|Date||Match Up||Rating||Score||Result||Profit||Lead Time||Analysis|
|10-28-19||Dolphins +14.5 v. Steelers||Top||14-27||Win||100||155 h 42 m||Show|
20* Dolphins/Steelers ESPN Monday No-Brainer on Miami +14.5
This line is outrageous. The Miami Dolphins cannot be catching more than two touchdowns against the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Dolphins aren’t as bad as they are perceived to be, and the Steelers are one of the worst teams in the NFL, so they just can’t be laying this big of a number.
The Steelers are 2-4 this season with their two wins coming against the Bengals and Chargers, who are a combined 2-12. And their win over the Chargers was very misleading as the Chargers basically gave them two touchdowns with turnovers. The Steelers only gained 256 total yards on offense against the Chargers.
And that’s my problem with the Steelers laying this big of a number. Their offense is horrid. They average just 20.5 points and 276.5 yards per game this season. The Steelers rank 28th in total offense this season. With backup quarterbacks, they have gone to a dink and dunk passing game that will get figured out rather quickly. They just aren’t going to be putting up points in a hurry.
My mind was blown last week when it was announced that Ryan Fitzpatrick was going to start against the Bills instead of Josh Rosen, and the line didn’t move at all. Fitzpatrick is at least worth 3 to 4 points over Rosen, and he has proven that the last two weeks. He entered late against the Redskins and led the Dolphins on two touchdown drives, nearly leading them to their first victory of the season in a 16-17 loss.
Then last week, Fitzpatrick did everything in his power to beat the Bills as 17-point road underdogs. The Dolphins probably deserved to win that game because they outgained the Bills by 76 yards. Fitzpatrick threw for 282 yards with one touchdown and one pick, while also rushing for a score. The Bills got a 45-yard onside kick return TD for a score with 1:38 left to make it a misleading 31-21 final.
I like the fight I saw in the Dolphins in that game. They are rallying around Fitzpatrick and they clearly aren’t tanking contrary to popular belief. I’ve seen a team hungry for a victory the last two weeks. And that certainly won’t change on the bright lights of Monday Night Football. This team would love nothing more than to get their first win of the season on the biggest stage to quiet their naysayers.
Plays against home favorite of 10.5 or more points (Pittsburgh) - after having won two of their last three games, in October games are 38-13 (74.5%) ATS since 1983. Pittsburgh is 12-28 ATS in its last 40 games as a favorite of 10 or more points. Mike Tomlin is 5-14 ATS against teams that are outscored by 10-plus points per game on the season as the coach of the Steelers. Pittsburgh is just 1-5 ATS in its last six games following a bye week. Bet the Dolphins Monday.
|10-28-19||Warriors v. Pelicans -4||134-123||Loss||-110||9 h 50 m||Show|
15* NBA Monday No-Doubt Rout on New Orleans Pelicans -4
The New Orleans Pelicans could easily be 3-0 instead of 0-3. They led the entire game against the Raptors on the road in the opener before losing by 8 in overtime. They played the Mavericks tough in their second game and lost 116-123. And last time out on Saturday they only lost 123-126 on the road at Houston as 12-point dogs.
The Golden State Warriors haven’t even come close to winning. They lost 122-141 in their home opener to the Clippers. And yesterday they got crushed on the road 92-120 by a bad Oklahoma City Thunder team. So they’ll now be playing the 2nd of a back-to-back.
The problem for the Warriors is that they don’t have any scorers outside Stephen Curry and De’Angelo Russell. And Russell isn’t off to a promising start in his first season with the Warriors. They have no depth, and they really miss Klay Thompson and Kevin Durant. They also have no inside game as both Kevon Looney and Willie Cauley-Stein are out. And they play no defense, ranking dead last in the NBA in defensive efficiency by a wide margin.
The Pelicans rank 6th in offensive efficiency and will test this porous Golden State defense. The Warriors are 1-9-1 ATS in their last 11 games playing the 2nd of a back-to-back. New Orleans is 8-0 ATS in its last eight Monday games. Take the Pelicans Monday.
|10-28-19||76ers v. Hawks +5||105-103||Win||100||8 h 56 m||Show|
15* NBA Monday Undervalued Underdog on Atlanta Hawks +5
The Atlanta Hawks are getting zero respect early in the season. They went on the road as underdogs and crushed the Pistons 117-100 in their first game. And they upset the Magic 103-99 in their home opener on Saturday. Now the Hawks are once again underdogs to the Philadelphia 76ers.
It’s a 76ers team that could be without Joel Embiid, who is battling an ankle injury. The 76ers have opened 2-0 with a good win over Boston in their opener, but they needed a comeback win against the Pistons to beat them 117-111 on the road. That’s a Pistons team that was playing without both Blake Griffin and Reggie Jackson, arguably their two best players.
The Hawks rank 7th in offensive efficiency and 10th in defensive efficiency thus far through two games. They are shooting 51.2% and giving up just 38% as a team. Trae Young is averaging 38.5 points and 9.0 assists as he appears to be building off the tremendous second half last year. And they drafted De’Andre Hunter to improve their defense and guard the opposing team’s best player. He is also shooting 61.5% from the floor and 50% from 3 in the early going.
Philadelphia is 4-14 ATS after successfully covering the spread in two or more consecutive games over the last two seasons. The 76ers are also 9-23 ATS off two or more consecutive wins over the last two years. Atlanta is 27-13 ATS after playing a home game over the last two seasons. The Hawks went 3-0 SU & 3-0 ATS against the 76ers last season, upsetting them as 4.5, 7.5 and 10-point dogs in the three meetings. Atlanta is 6-1 ATS in its last seven home meetings with Philadelphia. Roll with the Hawks Monday.
|10-27-19||Heat v. Wolves -6.5||109-116||Win||100||9 h 43 m||Show|
15* NBA Sunday PLAY OF THE DAY on Minnesota Timberwolves -6.5
It’s a tough spot for the Miami Heat tonight. They erased a 17-point halftime deficit yesterday against the Bucks and came back to force overtime. They eventually won 131-126 as 11.5-point dogs in the extra session. Now, this is obviously a letdown spot, but they’ll be pretty tired playing the 2nd of a back-to-back off an OT game.
The Timberwolves will test the fatigue factor for the Heat. They ranked 1st in pace in the preseason and are currently 8th in pace through two games of the regular season. This is a young team, and they’ve stated they want to get up and down the floor this year to take advantage of their youth.
So far so good for the Timberwolves, who are 2-0 SU & 2-0 ATS with two road wins over the Nets and Hornets. Fans should be pretty excited and turn out for their home opener today against the Heat. It’s their only home game in their first five games this season, so look for them to take advantage. Bet the Timberwolves Sunday.
|10-27-19||Browns +13 v. Patriots||13-27||Loss||-120||40 h 17 m||Show|
15* NFL Sunday Undervalued Underdog on Cleveland Browns +13
I love several things about the Browns +13 over the Patriots this week. First and foremost, the Browns are coming off their bye week, giving them a chance to regroup. And the Patriots will be working on a short week after playing on Monday Night Football. The rest and preparation advantage clearly goes to the Browns in this one.
The Patriots were -10.5 over the Browns on the lookahead line last week. But after beating the Jets 33-0, the Patriots jumped up to -13 favorites. Well, the Jets basically gave that game away by committing six turnovers. They threw two touchdowns in the end zone and just nothing went their way as Sam Darnold famously said he was ’seeing ghosts’.
The Browns come in highly motivated for a victory after two straight losses, including a blown 20-6 lead over the Seahawks to lose 28-32 going into the bye week. The Browns also get a lost healthier this week as they get some key pieces back in the secondary in CB’s Greedy Williams and Denzel Ward from injury. And Baker Mayfield got some much needed extra time to rest his banged up hip.
I think the Browns are one of the most underrated teams in the NFL right now due to their 2-4 start. The talent is just too good on this team to be 2-4. They showed what they were capable of in their 40-25 road win over the Ravens as 7-point dogs a few weeks back. Unfortunately, they haven’t always lived up to their potential because of turnovers. They have already committed 14 turnovers in six games, including a combined 12 turnovers in their four losses. There’s no question they are primed for a big effort off their bye week as long as they take care of the football.
The Patriots are clearly overvalued right now after their 7-0 start to the season. I say that because they have faced the easiest schedule in the entire NFL. Their schedule ranks 32nd in difficulty. The Browns have faced the 13th-toughest schedule to compare. Six of the Patriots seven wins have come against teams that are a combined 7-32 on the season. The lone exception was the 16-10 win over the 5-1 Buffalo Bills, but that was a fluky result as the Bills outplayed them and should have won. The Bills outgained them by 151 yards. I believe Cleveland is by far the 2nd-best team the Patriots will have faced this season.
The Browns are 4-1 ATS in their last five road games. Cleveland is 8-3 ATS in its last 11 games following an ATS loss. Plays against favorites (New England) - a good offensive team scoring 27 or more points per game against a poor defensive team that allows 23 to 27 points per game, after allowing 14 points or less in two straight games are 33-12 (73.3%) ATS since 1983. Roll with the Browns Sunday.
|10-27-19||Eagles v. Bills -1.5||Top||31-13||Loss||-109||83 h 42 m||Show|
25* NFL Non-Conference GAME OF THE YEAR on Buffalo Bills -1.5
The Buffalo Bills are legit this season, yet they just rarely get the respect they deserve from oddsmakers. And I definitely think they are getting overlooked as only 1.5-point home favorites here against the Eagles.
This is the best Bills team the city has seen in probably decades. They are 5-1 and nothing about what they have done this season is a fluke. They are outgaining teams by nearly 70 yards per game this season. They have outgained five of their six opponents.
The only exception was actually last week in a flat performance against the Dolphins, yet they still won by 10 points. And I think the fact that they didn’t cover that inflated 17-point spread is why we are getting them at a discount here.
Nobody has played the Patriots tougher than the Bills. They lost 10-16 to the Patriots, but gave up a special teams touchdown and outgained the Patriots by 151 yards. Tom Brady had one of the worst games of his career in that game. He was 18-of-39 passing for 150 yards without a touchdown and an interception.
Now this elite Bills defense will continue to terrorize Carson Wentz, who is probably seeing ghosts by now just like Sam Darnold. The Eagles lost by 18 at the Vikings and followed it up with a miserable 27-point road loss to the Cowboys last week. If they were going to show some fight, it would have been last week against the Cowboys. I just think this team is broken right now.
They have one of the worst secondary’s in the league. And they just got rid of Orlando Scandrick, who called out the Eagles’ locker room for being content after winning the Super Bowl two years ago. He said the hunger is gone, and it’s hard to argue.
The Vikings and Cowboys proved you could run on the Eagles. Those two teams averaged 156 rushing yards per game the last two weeks on this Eagles defense. They have injuries on the offensive line and at the skill positions that are making things tough on Wentz and the offense.
The Eagles are now 1-3 on the road this season and getting outscored by 10.5 points per game. It will be a very hostile atmosphere in Buffalo this week as the fans couldn’t possibly be more excited about this team. It is one of the most passionate fan bases in the NFL, even when they’re bad. But when they’re good, their home-field advantage is massive.
Plays on home favorites in non-conference games off a win by 10 points or more over a division rival are 28-7 (80%) ATS over the last 10 seasons. Plays against any team (Philadelphia) - after trailing in their previous game by 14 points or more at the half against an opponent that scored 30 points or more last game are 40-14 (74.1%) ATS over the last five seasons. Bet the Bills Sunday.
|10-27-19||Giants +7 v. Lions||Top||26-31||Win||100||83 h 42 m||Show|
20* NFC GAME OF THE WEEK on New York Giants +7
The Detroit Lions just can’t be favored by a touchdown over the Giants today. They are 2-3-1 on the season with their two wins coming by a field goal each. And they were aided by mistakes by the Chargers and injuries to the Eagles.
Detroit’s defense has completely fallen apart. The Lions are giving up 33.0 points and 462.7 yards per game in their last three games, which have all resulted in losses. The injuries are mounting on defense as they will be without DT Mike Daniels and CB Darius Slay. And they just traded away a team captain and one of the most liked players on the team in Quandre Diggs, and players voiced their frustrations over the move.
The Giants should be able to shred this Lions defense as well. Detroit just got back some key pieces from injury last week in Saquon Barkley and Evan Engram. And Golden Tate is back from suspension. Their offense is about as healthy as it has been at any point this season, and Daniel Jones is primed for another big performance here.
I liked what I saw from the Giants’ defense last week against a good Cardinals offense. They held the Cardinals to just 245 total yards, including 89 passing. They fell in a quick 17-0 hole early and were able to climb their way back with a chance to win thanks to the job the defense did. They held the Cardinals to just 10 points over the final three quarters, and one of those was a field goal after the offense turned it over on downs deep in their own territory late.
Plays against home favorites of 3.5 to 10 points (Detroit) - after covering the spread in four of hitter last five games, a marginal losing team (40% to 49%) playing a losing team are 23-5 (82.1%) ATS since 1983. The Lions are 16-37 ATS in their last 53 games after covering the spread in four or five of their last six games. They are getting too much respect here after covering four of their last five coming in, and they aren’t winning by margin.
The Giants are 16-3 ATS in their last 19 games after allowing 17 points or more in the first half of two straight games. New York is 8-2 ATS in its last 10 road games. The road team is 7-2 ATS in the last nine meetings. Look for New York to continue to be road warriors here and cover this inflated number. Take the Giants Sunday.
|10-26-19||Washington State +14.5 v. Oregon||Top||35-37||Win||100||51 h 15 m||Show|
20* Washington State/Oregon ESPN Late-Night BAILOUT on Washington State +14.5
The Oregon Ducks are coming off a massive comeback road win over Washington last week. The Ducks trailed that game by double-digits most the way before coming on strong in the second half to escape with a victory from the jaws of defeat. I think they are now being overvalued off that huge win here laying more than two touchdowns to a good Washington State team. It’s also a sandwich spot with a road game at USC on deck.
Washington State put an end to a tough three-game losing streak with an emphatic 41-10 home win over Colorado last week. They blew late leads against both UCLA and Arizona State or they’d be 6-1 this season. I think the fact that they are only 4-3 has them undervalued this week.
Overlooking Washington State has been a regular occurrence every year for Oregon. It’s clear that the Cougars get up for this game more than the Ducks do, and Mike Leach has them figured out. Washington State is a perfect 9-0 ATS in the last nine meetings, covering the spread by a whopping 152 combined points in those nine meetings. That’s an average cover of 16.9 points per game. The Cougars have gone 4-0 SU & 4-0 ATS in their last four meetings with the Ducks and haven’t lost to them by more than 7 points in any of the last five meetings.
Washington State is 9-0 ATS vs. good passing teams that average 250 or more yards per game over the last three seasons. The Cougars are 7-0 ATS when the total is 63.5 to 70 over the last three years. Throw in the 9-0 ATS in the last nine meetings, and we have a combined 25-0 system backing the Cougars here. Roll with Washington State Saturday.
|10-26-19||Clippers -9 v. Suns||Top||122-130||Loss||-110||11 h 50 m||Show|
20* Clippers/Suns NBA Late-Night BAILOUT on Los Angeles -9
I don’t even think it’s an overreaction to say that the Clippers are the best team in the Western Conference from what we’ve seen from them so far. They beat the Lakers 112-102 in their home opener, then went on the road Thursday and crushed the Warriors 141-122.
Not only do the Clippers have a great starting lineup led by Leonard, Beverly and the underrated duo of Shamet and Zubac, but they clearly probably have the best bench in the league. Their bench scored 60 points against the Lakers and following it up with 68 against the Warriors. That’s a mind-blowing 128 bench points in two games. It’s scary to think that they are doing this without Paul George.
The Phoenix Suns are in an awful spot tonight. They will be playing the 2nd of a back-to-back and their 3rd game in 4 days. Not only that, but they went to overtime against Denver on the road in the altitude last night. They won’t have much left in the tank, especially since they’ll be without DeAndre Ayton again tonight.
The Clippers already own the Suns, going 12-0 SU & 10-2 ATS in the last 12 meetings. A whopping 10 of those wins came by double-digits. And now the Clippers have the best team they’ve ever had, while the Suns are still the same old Suns. Bet the Clippers Saturday.
|10-26-19||Astros v. Nationals +101||Top||8-1||Loss||-100||9 h 25 m||Show|
25* MLB Playoffs GAME OF THE YEAR on Washington Nationals +101
The Houston Astros are favored for a fourth straight game. The Nationals cannot get any respect despite having the best record in baseball since the end of May. And despite the fact that they are 18-3 in their last 21 games overall. One loss is not going to deter the Nationals, who actually played well last night but couldn’t capitalize on their base runners. They had 14 base runners and only scored one run. That’s hard to do.
Now, the Nationals are set up well here in Game 4. They will throw out left-hander Patrick Corbin, who is 9-2 with a 2.62 ERA and 1.009 WHIP in 17 home starts this season. And after Corbin, they have the luxury of throwing both Sean Doolittle and Daniel Hudson, their two best relievers who are on two days’ rest. They were able to use their worst relievers in Game 3 in the later innings to save these two horses.
Conversely, Houston will be going with a bullpen game. They will start rookie Jose Urquidy, and I can’t see that going well for the youngster. Last night, the Astros used all of their best relievers in Will Harris, Joe Smith and Roberto Osuna. Harris pitched 1 2/3 innings and almost certainly won’t be available tonight. If any of these guys are available, the Nationals will be ready for them after seeing them last night.
The Nationals are 8-1 in their last nine playoff games. Washington is 23-9 in its last 32 games off a loss. The Nationals are 42-17 in their last 59 games overall. Washington is 6-0 in Corbin’s last six home starts vs. a team with a winning record. The Nationals are 14-3 in Corbin’s last 17 home starts. Bet the Nationals Saturday.
|10-26-19||Raptors v. Bulls +3.5||108-84||Loss||-110||9 h 50 m||Show|
15* NBA Saturday Undervalued Underdog on Chicago Bulls +3.5
The Chicago Bulls are a young team that can handle these back-to-back situations better than most. I love their young, talented roster, and they really should be 2-0. They lost 125-126 at Charlotte only after the Hornets made a ridiculous 23-of-44 from 3-point range. But they came back and won 110-102 at Memphis last night.
The Raptors lost Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green from last year. They just won’t be as good this year, and they should be 0-2. They trailed almost the entire way against the Pelicans in their home opener, needing overtime to beat them while getting a fluky cover as 7-point favorites. And last night they lost to the rival Celtics 106-112 on the road and now will be on the road again for the 2nd of a back-to-back. I think that affects the Raptors worse because they have several older players in Lowry, Gasol and Ibaka who play big minutes and will need to be limited here.
Fans will be excited for the home opener for the Bulls and they’ll pack the United Center tonight. It should be a great atmosphere for a fan base starting for a winner, and the Bulls are very close to turning the corner with the talent they have stockpiled. Chicago is 15-5 ATS in its last 20 meetings with Toronto. Take the Bulls Saturday.
|10-26-19||Arizona State v. UCLA +4||32-42||Win||100||48 h 14 m||Show|
15* CFB Saturday UPSET SHOCKER on UCLA +4
We saw last season the UCLA Bruins improve greatly as the season went on in Year 1 under Chip Kelly. And I think we will see the same thing in the second half this season as the Bruins try and chase down a bowl game after a slow start.
The biggest reason for UCLA’s slow start is the schedule. Their schedule ranks as the 6th-toughest in the country thus far. A big reason for that is a brutal non-conference schedule that featured Cincinnati, San Diego State and Oklahoma. They got off to a 1-5 start this season and had their stud QB in in Dorian Thompson-Robinson getting hurt.
Thompson-Robinson missed part of the Arizona loss and the entire Oregon State loss, which explains that defeat. But he returned against Stanford last week and led the Bruins to an impressive 34-16 road victory as 4-point dogs to the Cardinal. Now, UCLA has two winnable home games in a row coming up against ASU and Colorado, and if they can win those two games they’d get to 4-5 and in great shape for a bowl game. That is clearly the goal here.
I think Arizona State is one of the most overrated teams in the country. The Sun Devils are ranked No. 24 in the country and off to a 5-2 start this season. But they had a fluky win at Michigan State where they were outgained by 188 yards, they were upset by Colorado at home, they needed a last-second TD to beat Washington State at home, and they only beat Cal by 7 and Sacramento State by 12 as 35.5-point favorites. They are fortunate to be 5-2 to say the least.
Arizona State’s true colors showed last week in a 3-21 road loss to Utah where they managed just 136 yards of total offense. And it’s that dreadful offense that makes it hard for ASU to be laying points on the road here to UCLA, which has the better offense in this matchup, especially with a healthy DTR at QB. Arizona Stae is averaging just 22.1 points and 365 yards per game this season, including 12.3 points and 239 yards per game in their three road games.
The Sun Devils are 4-14 ATS in their last 18 road games after having won five or six of their last seven games coming in. The Bruins are 4-1-2 ATS in their last seven conference games. UCLA is 11-5 ATS in the last 16 meetings, including 6-2 ATS in the last eight home meetings. Take UCLA Saturday.
|10-26-19||Missouri v. Kentucky +10.5||7-29||Win||100||48 h 13 m||Show|
15* SEC PLAY OF THE DAY on Kentucky +10.5
The Missouri Tigers are notorious for beating up on bad teams and losing when they step up in class. But they even lost to a bad team last week, falling 14-21 as 21.5-point favorites at Vanderbilt. And there’s no way they should be laying double-digits on the road here against Kentucky.
I was very impressed with how well Kentucky played last week in a 21-0 loss at Georgia. They were only outgained by 99 yards by the Bulldogs. Three of Kentucky’s four losses have come on the road this season. They are 3-1 at home and should be 4-0 as they missed a chip shot field goal that would have likely given them the upset win over Florida. Instead, the Gators scored on the next play from scrimmage to win 29-21. If they can play Florida that tough at home, they certainly will have a chance to pull off the upset here against Missouri.
The weather is going to help the Wildcats, too. There is a 100% chance of precipitation. Kentucky wants to run the ball anyway with WR turned QB Lynn Bowden Jr. He rushed for 196 yards and two touchdowns against Arkansas two weeks ago. And last week he rushed for 99 yards on 17 carries against Georgia’s vaunted defense.
Missouri has faced the 77th-toughest schedule in the country this season. Kentucky has faced the 20th-toughest schedule according to Sagarin, a difference of 57 spots. So I think the Tigers are overrated and that showed last week in their upset loss at Vanderbilt. And Kentucky is underrated due to the difficulty of their schedule thus far.
Kentucky has Missouri’s number. The Wildcats are 3-1 SU & 4-0 ATS in the last four meetings. They pulled two outright upsets as more than a touchdown underdogs. I’m not so sure Missouri should even be favored in this game, let alone a double-digit favorite. The Tigers are 0-5 ATS in their last five road games vs. a team with a losing home record. The Wildcats are 4-0 ATS in their last four home games. Roll with Kentucky Saturday.
|10-26-19||Missouri v. Kentucky UNDER 45||7-29||Win||100||48 h 13 m||Show|
15* CFB Saturday Total DOMINATOR on Missouri/Kentucky UNDER 45
Forecasts are calling for 100% chance of precipitation in Lexington for this game between Kentucky and Missouri. As a result, I’ll back the UNDER in what will be a low-scoring game due to the poor weather, and the resulting game plans by both teams to almost exclusively run the football.
Kentucky wants to run the ball anyway with WR turned QB Lynn Bowden Jr. He rushed for 196 yards and two touchdowns against Arkansas two weeks ago. And last week he rushed for 99 yards on 17 carries against Georgia’s vaunted defense. Since Bowden Jr. took over at QB, the Wildcats have only passed the ball 28 times in two games, or an average of 14 attempts per game.
Missouri likes to run the football anyway, too. They average 44 rushing attempts per game compared to 32 passing attempts per game. Since both teams are going to be keeping the ball on the ground probably 75% to 80% of the time in this game due to weather, that’s going to keep the clock moving and benefit this UNDER greatly.
The UNDER is 4-0 in Kentucky’s last four games overall with combined scores of 41, 31, 44 and 21 points. The UNDER is 5-1 in Missouri’s last six games overall as they have a worse offense and a better defense than most were expecting coming into the season. These teams combined for just 29 points in their meeting last season, and a similar result can be expected here due to the weather.
Kentucky is 7-0 UNDER in weeks 5 through 9 over the last two seasons. The UNDER is 9-2 in Kentucky’s last 11 conference games. The UNDER is 7-2 in Tigers last nine conference games. The UNDER is 4-1 in the last five meetings. Bet the UNDER in this game Saturday.
|10-26-19||Heat v. Bucks -10.5||131-126||Loss||-108||6 h 50 m||Show|
15* NBA Saturday No-Doubt Rout on Milwaukee Bucks -10.5
The Miami Heat are going to be without Jimmy Butler, Dion Waiters and James Johnson tonight. They were able to overcome the loss of these three in their opener, winning 120-101 over the Grizzlies at home. But that was a misleading final as the Grizzlies led the entire way, and it took a crazy 26-1 run in the 4th by the Heat to beat them.
Now, the Heat take a big step on in class on the road against the team that I believe is the best in the Eastern Conference in the Milwaukee Bucks. It’s a Bucks team that returned almost everyone from last year and also added in Wesley Matthews, Robin Lopez and Kyle Korver. And unlike the Heat, they are completely healthy.
The Bucks own the Heat. They won their final three meetings last season against the Heat by 38, 15 and 29 points. Those 38 and 29-point wins came at home, and I expect another blowout here in their home opener in what will be a great atmosphere for a game in Milwaukee tonight.
The Heat are 3-13 ATS off a home win by 10 points or more over the last three seasons. The Bucks are 37-17-2 ATS in their last 56 vs. Eastern Conference opponents. Bet the Bucks Saturday.
|10-26-19||Penn State v. Michigan State +6.5||Top||28-7||Loss||-105||98 h 52 m||Show|
20* Big Ten GAME OF THE WEEK on Michigan State +6.5
This is a great spot to fade the Penn State Nittany Lions. We cashed with Michigan +9 over Penn State last week. And we’re fading them again this week for many of the season reasons. I believe the Nittany Lions are one of the most overrated teams in the country. They are undefeated and ranked No. 6 in the country and you’re paying a heavy price to back them now, so it’s time to ’sell high’.
It’s a tough spot for the Nittany Lions. They are coming off two huge night game victories on the road at Iowa and at home over Michigan. I question how much they have left in the tank. Now they face a rested, hungry Michigan State team that is coming off its bye week.
Everyone has left the Spartans for dead after back-to-back blowout road losses at Ohio State and at Wisconsin, and now it’s time to ‘buy low’ on them. They lost by 24 at Ohio State and 38-0 at Wisconsin. It was a 17-0 game at Wisconsin entering the 4th quarter, and they simply ran out of gas and gave up 21 points in the final period.
But now the Spartans are refreshed with two weeks off and back home. The Spartans are 3-1 at home this season with their only loss a fluky 7-10 loss to Arizona State. They outgained ASU by 188 yards in that game. They are outscoring opponents by 15.3 points and outgaining them by 182 yards per game at home this year.
Michigan State has outgained five of its seven opponents this season. Penn State has actually been outgained by 4 of their 7 opponents, which isn’t the sign of a 7-0 team. They were outgained by Pitt, Buffalo & Michigan at home, and they were also outgained at Iowa. They have only had to play two true road games all season, and one of those was at Maryland, which was essentially a home game for them.
Michigan State owns Penn State, going 5-1 SU & 5-1 ATS in its last six meetings with the Nittany Lions. The Spartans won outright as 13.5 & 9.5-point underdogs the last two years. And I fully expect them to win this game outright and hand the fraudulent Nittany Lions their first loss of the season. Make sure to sprinkle some on the money line, but we’ll take the +6.5 points for some insurance.
Plays on underdogs of 3.5 to 10 points (Michigan State) - off two consecutive losses by 10 points or more to conference opponents, in weeks 5 through 9 are 34-9 (79.1%) ATS over the last five seasons. Bet Michigan State Saturday.
|10-26-19||Auburn v. LSU UNDER 59.5||20-23||Win||100||44 h 15 m||Show|
15* Auburn/LSU CBS No-Brainer on UNDER 59.5
LSU has the best offense in school history this season. There’s no denying that. But they will finally get some resistance against the best defense they have faced all season. And as a result, I think this total of 59.5 between Auburn and LSU has been inflated here Saturday too much due to LSU’s offensive numbers up to this point.
Auburn’s defense gives up 17.1 points, 319 yards per game and 4.7 yards per play this season. They are holding opponents to 12.9 points, 93 yards per game and 1.3 yards per play less than their season averages. This is an elite Auburn defense that might have the best defensive line in the country.
LSU’s defense isn’t too shabby, either. The Tigers give up 20.0 points, 319 yards per game and 4.7 yards per play which is very similar to Auburn’s numbers. And the key here is that Auburn isn’t going to be able to match LSU score for score because freshman QB Bo Nix hasn’t played well on the big stage.
In Auburn’s three games against Oregon, Texas A&M & Florida, Nix has gone a combined 37-of-80 (46.2%) passing for 428 yards for an average of just 142.7 passing yards per game. Auburn’s only hope of keeping this game close is to run the ball and control the clock, which I think they will try and do, and that is going to favor the UNDER.
This has been an UNDER series. In fact, 52 of the last 53 meetings in this series have seen 59 or fewer combined points. That makes for a 52-1 system backing the UNDER pertaining to this 59.5-point total. Take the UNDER in this game Saturday.
|10-26-19||Tulane v. Navy UNDER 57.5||38-41||Loss||-105||44 h 14 m||Show|
15* AAC PLAY OF THE DAY on Tulane/Navy UNDER 57.5
Two familiar foes who love to run the football meet in a key AAC showdown when Navy hosts Tulane Saturday. I expect this to be a low-scoring game, and this total of 57.5 is simply too high. The clock will be moving constantly and both of these defenses are good enough to keep this game UNDER the number.
Navy is obviously a triple-option team still that runs the ball an average of 60 times per game. Tulane throws more than last year, but not that much more as they average 45 rushes per game. Navy averages 34 possession minutes per game as its key is to control the clock, and it has worked out well as the Midshipmen are greatly improved at 5-1 this season.
The biggest reason for Navy’s improvement has been their defense. They are only giving up 16.2 points per game, 282 yards per game and 4.6 yards per play, holding opponents to 8.6 points, 81 yards per game and 0.7 yards per play less than their season averages. They have been great at stopping the run, giving up just 97 rushing yards per game and 3.0 per carry and holding opponents to 64 rushing yards per game and 1.0 per carry less than their season averages.
Tulane boasts arguably the best defensive line in the AAC. That gives them a great chance of stopping Navy here. The Green Wave give up 23.1 points, 347 yards per game and 5.2 yards per play this season. They are giving up 142 rushing yards per game and 4.0 per carry, holding opponents to 41 rushing yards per game and 0.6 per carry less than their season averages.
Both of these teams are familiar with one another as this will be the 5th meeting in five years between these teams. That familiarity will help both in stopping the opposing offenses, which clearly favors the defenses. And all four previous meetings have seen 57 or fewer combined points and an average of just 45.3 combined points per game, which is roughly 12 points less than this 57.5-point total. Roll with the UNDER in this game Saturday.
|10-26-19||Virginia -3 v. Louisville||21-28||Loss||-110||44 h 14 m||Show|
15* ACC PLAY OF THE DAY on Virginia -3
Yes, I’m on Virginia again this week. And yes, it’s for many of the same reason. I really believe this is one of the better teams in the country and they should be 7-0, but since they are not they are still undervalued. I cashed in with them with ease over Duke in a 48-14 win as 3-point favorites last week. And I expect them to cover a similar spread this week against Louisville.
The reason I believe Virginia should be 7-0 is because they lost two games they should have won and are 5-2 instead. One was a 20-35 loss at Notre Dame as a 10.5-point dog. They led at halftime but committed five turnovers and gave the game away in the second half. They were only outgained by 5 yards by Notre Dame. The other was their 9-17 loss at Miami. They had six trips inside the Miami 25-yard line and came away with just three field goals, failing to score a single touchdown. So they basically gave both those games away.
This is a bad spot for Louisville. The Cardinals are coming off a 10-45 home loss to Clemson, and I think they could suffer a hangover from that defeat. They are pretty fortunate to be 4-3 this season because two of their wins came by a combined five points with their 41-39 win over Boston College and 62-59 win over Wake Forest. Their three losses all came by double-digits, including an 18-point home loss to Notre Dame to give them a common opponent.
The Cardinals didn’t play Notre Dame nearly as tough as Virginia did, and Virginia was on the road while Louisville was at home. Another common opponent is Florida State. Virginia beat Florida State 31-24 at home and outgained them by 86 yards, while Louisville lost 24-35 at Florida State and was outgained by 112 yards.
Virginia has the much superior defense in this matchup, and that’s another big reason I trust them more. The Cavaliers are only giving up 19.7 points, 270.3 yards per game and 4.3 yards per play. They are holding opponents to 5.7 points, 86 yards per game and 0.9 yards per play less than their season averages. Louisville gives up 33.4 points, 455.3 yards per game and 6.1 yards per play. Opponents are averaging 4.6 points, 42 yards per game and 0.3 yards per play more than their season averages on Louisville’s defense.
Louisville is 1-9 ATS vs. good offensive teams that score 31 or more points per game over the last two seasons. The Cavaliers are 8-1-2 ATS in their last 11 games after scoring more than 40 points in their previous game. The Cardinals are 1-9 ATS in their last 10 conference games. The Cavaliers are 4-1 ATS in the last five meetings. Bet Virginia Saturday.
|10-26-19||Nevada +14 v. Wyoming||Top||3-31||Loss||-106||43 h 45 m||Show|
20* Mountain West GAME OF THE WEEK on Nevada +14
The Wyoming Cowboys are one of the most fraudulent teams in college football. They are 5-2 this season but could easily be 2-5. Four of their five wins have come by 13 points or less with the only exception being a blowout win over a bad UNLV team. They beat Idaho by 5 as 27.5-point favorites and New Mexico by 13 as 17-point favorites. They should not be laying 14 points to Nevada here.
The numbers show that Wyoming is a fraud. The Cowboys have been outgained in six of their seven games this season, including by Texas State, Idaho, Tulsa and New Mexico, which are four bad teams. They are getting outgained by 47 yards per game on the season.
Nevada is one of the better teams in the Mountain West. They are 4-3 this season with their only losses coming to Oregon, Hawaii and Utah State. I know they have been going through a QB carousel, but I’m not too concerned about it because Wyoming has an awful offense that won’t be able to put away Nevada no matter who is under center.
Plays on road underdogs of 10.5 to 21 points (Nevada) - off one or more consecutive unders, an average offensive team (21 to 28 PPG) against a good offensive team (28-34 PPG) are 27-6 (81.8%) ATS over the last five seasons. The Cowboys are 1-6 ATS in their last seven vs. a team with a winning record. Take Nevada Saturday.
|10-26-19||Ohio v. Ball State -2.5||34-21||Loss||-109||43 h 44 m||Show|
15* MAC PLAY OF THE DAY on Ball State -2.5
Bettors just haven’t caught on with how good Ball State is this year because expectations were so low on them coming into the season. And bettors continue to give Ohio too much respect because the Bobcats were picked by many to win the MAC this year as expectations were high. Getting Ball State as only a 2.5-point home favorite over Ohio Saturday is a gift from oddsmakers.
It’s Ball State that is the team capable of winning the MAC this year. They have gone 4-3 SU & 5-2 ATS, including 3-0 SU & 3-0 ATS in MAC play. There were signs early in the season that this team was going to be good before we even got into conference play. They only lost by 10 at Indiana as 17.5-point dogs, and lost by 11 at NC State as 19-point dogs.
The Cardinals then opened MAC play with two straight outright road wins as underdogs over Northern Illinois and Eastern Michigan. Then they blew the doors off another MAC favorite in Toledo 52-14 at home last week. They put up 580 total yards on Toledo and held the Rockets to just 309 total yards, so it wasn’t a fluke.
Ohio is just 3-4 SU & 1-6 ATS this season, yet they continue to get respect from the books. Their three wins have come over Rhode Island, Buffalo (by 1) and Kent State (by 7). They lost on the road to Pitt and Marshall, were blasted by 25 at home by Lafayette in an upset, and were also upset by Northern Illinois at home. They gave up 39 points and 510 total yards to a bad NIU offense, while Ball State held NIU to 20 points and 388 yards to give them a common opponent.
The home team is 5-1 ATS in the last six meetings. It’s time for the Cardinals to exact some revenge on Ohio after getting blown out by them the last two seasons. Take Ball State Saturday.
|10-26-19||Iowa v. Northwestern +10.5||20-0||Loss||-115||41 h 44 m||Show|
15* CFB Saturday Early ANNIHILATOR on Northwestern +10.5
Everyone has left Northwestern for dead with their 1-5 start this season. This is exactly the time to ‘buy low’ on the Wildcats and head coach Pat Fitzgerald, who thrive in this underdog role with their backs against the wall.
The biggest reason for Northwestern’s struggles this season has been the schedule. In fact, Northwestern has faced the No. 1 toughest schedule in the entire country according to Sagarin. They have played Stanford, Wisconsin and Nebraska on the road, and Ohio State and Michigan State at home. That is simply murderer’s row.
The Wildcats have had an extra day to recover and regroup from their 3-52 home loss to Ohio State last Friday. Now, they face an Iowa Hawkeyes team that is more on their level. And it’s a Hawkeyes team that they own, going 3-0 SU & 3-0 ATS in the last three meetings with two outright wins as double-digit underdogs.
The Hawkeyes feasted on an early easy schedule of Miami Ohio, Rutgers, Iowa State and Middle Tennessee en route to a 4-0 start, and they were fortunate to beat Iowa State. But reality has set in since they got into Big Ten play, going 1-2 SU & 0-3 ATS with their only win coming against Purdue 26-20 as 17.5-point favorites.
Iowa’s offensive line is a mess right now due to injury and poor performance. They are averaging just 57.7 rushing yards per game and 1.9 yards per carry in Big Ten play. Their inability to run the ball is putting too much pressure on QB Nate Stanley, who is also without his favorite receiver in Brandon Smith (33 receptions, 407 yards, 4 TD) due to injury. You just can’t trust this Iowa offense to be laying double-digits on the road.
Northwestern is 21-7 ATS in its last 28 games following a double-digit home loss. The Wildcats are 12-3 ATS in their last 15 games after scoring less than 20 points in their previous game. Northwestern is 6-0 ATS when playing against a team that wins 60% to 75% of their games over the last two years. The Hawkeyes are 1-4 ATS in their last five road games. Bet Northwestern Saturday.
|10-25-19||Mavs v. Pelicans OVER 228||123-116||Win||100||9 h 56 m||Show|
15* Mavs/Pelicans ESPN No-Brainer on OVER 228
The New Orleans Pelicans consistently play at one of the fastest paces in the NBA under head coach Alvin Gentry. That won’t change this season, especially with a younger roster that is built for getting up and down the floor.
The Pelicans were 5th in pace in the regular season, averaging 110.4 possessions per game. In their opener, they went to OT against the Raptors in a 122-130 loss. Well, that game was tied 117-117 at the end of regulation despite poor shooting from both teams. The Pelicans shot 42.2% from the field while the Raptors shot 40.8%.
The Mavericks are coming off a low-scoring, 108-100 home win over the Wizards in their opener. The Wizards shot just 39.8% from the field and aren’t very good. The Mavericks are going to have to do a lot more offensively in this one to keep up with the Pelicans, who will control the pace at home.
The OVER is 6-1 in the last seven meetings with combined scores of 220, 226, 241, 238, 220, 235 and 248 points at the end of regulation in the last seven meetings, respectively. That’s an average of 232.6 combined points per game. And both teams are stronger offensively with what they did this offseason. Take the OVER in this game Friday.
|10-25-19||Astros v. Nationals +127||4-1||Loss||-100||9 h 30 m||Show|
15* Astros/Nationals Game 3 ANNIHILATOR on Washington +127
I cashed in the Nationals +197 and +170 in Games 1 and 2. I’m sticking with them here Friday in Game 3 as they continue to lack the respect they deserve from oddsmakers. Bettors just keep backing the Astros because they are in a must-win, failing to realize that the Nationals are just the better, hotter team right now.
No team has a better record in MLB than the Nationals since late-May. They carried over their momentum from comeback wins over the Brewers in the wild card and the Dodgers in the NLCS. The Nationals have now gone 8-0 in their last eight games overall and 18-2 in their last 20 games.
Anibal Sanchez is 1-0 with a 0.71 ERA in two postseason starts this season. He was four outs away from a no-hitter in Game 1 of the NLCS. Zack Greinke is 0-2 with a 6.43 ERA in three postseason starts for the Astros. Greinke is now 0-4 with a 6.14 ERA in his last six postseason starts, giving up 20 earned runs and 8 homers in 29 1/3 innings.
The Nationals are 7-0 in their last seven interleague games. Washington is 4-1 in Sanchez’s last five starts. The Nationals are 21-5 in the last 26 meetings. Roll with the Nationals in Game 3 Friday.
|10-25-19||Raptors v. Celtics -2.5||Top||106-112||Win||100||7 h 29 m||Show|
20* NBA Friday No-Doubt Rout on Boston Celtics -2.5
The Boston Celtics are highly motivated for a win in their home opener. They lost on the road to the 76ers to open the season Wednesday and now they welcome the defending champs to Boston. Look for them to handle their business as only 2.5-point home favorites tonight.
I loved the move to replace cancer Kyrie Irving with Kemba Walker. Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown are on their way to becoming stars and will get to play larger roles this season. And Gordon Hayward is back in the starting lineup after coming off the bench last year. Hayward scored 25 points in the opener and should return to the player that he was in Utah.
The Raptors lost both Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green to the Lakers in free agency. They still have some talent here with Lowry, Gasol, Siakam, Ibaka and Van Vleet, but they are a far cry from the team they were last year. They didn’t do much to add to their roster in the offseason and two signees in Patrick McCaw and Rondae-Hollis Jefferson are out with injuries.
Nick Nurse is 4-15 ATS after a combined score of 235 points or more as the coach of Toronto. Boston is 15-4 ATS in home games vs. division opponents over the last three seasons. The home team is 11-0 SU & 10-1 ATS in the last 11 meetings as home-court advantage has been huge in this series. Bet the Celtics Friday.
|10-24-19||Redskins +17 v. Vikings||9-19||Win||100||9 h 15 m||Show|
15* Redskins/Vikings NFC ANNIHILATOR on Washington +17
This is a great time to ’sell high’ on the Minnesota Vikings and ‘buy low’ on the Washington Redskins. The Vikings are 5-2 SU & 5-2 ATS this season, while the Redskins are 1-6 SU & 2-5 ATS. Bettors want nothing to do with the Redskins and want to back the Vikings as a result. That creates artificial line inflation as the books don’t want to have one-sided action on the Vikings. This line should be less than two touchdowns, so we’ll take the value.
The headline surrounding this game is Kirk Cousins facing his former team. But what about Adrian Peterson and Case Keenum? Cousins chose to leave for Minnesota in free agency. Keenum was the one who would have been hurt because the Vikings didn’t want him despite a great season, electing to sign Cousins instead. And you know Adrian Peterson wants to have a big game against his former team.
I think having both Keenum and Peterson will be a huge advantage for the Redskins. They know all of Mike Zimmer’s defensive tendencies, so they won’t be surprised by anything they see. And I expect Washington players to rally around their veteran leaders and try and put forth their best game of the season here to try and get them both a win against their former team.
“It’s gonna help a lot, watching film and seeing some of their tendencies,” said Peterson on how his familiarity with the Vikings defense could help the offense on a short week. "Just knowing the personalities and their mentality right there is gonna be very important for me and being able to talk to these guys as well since it’ll probably be their first time going up against some of them.”
“This is where we’re at and there’s only one way to get out of it, is to get out of it together,” said offensive tackle Morgan Moses on how the locker room is dealing with the team’s tough start. “I think we have a great plan, I know the guys are still here, they’re still bought in. We show up everyday to work, to make our situation better.”
The Vikings have won and covered three straight coming in. They couldn’t possibly be more overvalued right now as a result. Kirk Cousins had a disastrous start in his first four games this season, but has gotten going against three bad defenses in the Giants, Eagles and Lions. Now, Cousins won’t have his favorite target in Adam Thielen, who suffered a hamstring injury in the win over the Lions last week.
Not having to face Thielen should make Washington’s job a lot easier on defense. They can now double-team Stephon Diggs because the Vikings simply don’t have any other great weapons. Focus on stopping Diggs and Dalvin Cook will give them a chance to be competitive in this game. It’s a Redskins defense that comes in playing well having given up just 12.5 points per game and 277 yards per game in their last two games overall.
Plus, Kirk Cousins is covering about 2/3 of the time in 1:00 EST games on Sunday’s, but he has shied away from the big stage. Cousins is only covering about 1/3 of the time with the Vikings in games not in the 1:00 EST Sunday time slot. Each of the last 10 meetings in this series have been decided by 12 points or less, making for a perfect 10-0 system backing the Redskins pertaining to this 17-point spread.
Plays on any team (Washington) - after being beaten by the spread by 42 or more points total in their last five games against an opponent that went over the total by 35 or more points total in their last three games are 25-5 (83.3%) ATS over the last 10 seasons. Take the Redskins Thursday.
|10-24-19||Bucks +2 v. Rockets||117-111||Win||100||9 h 32 m||Show|
15* Bucks/Rockets TNT Non-Conference KNOCKOUT on Milwaukee +2
The Milwaukee Bucks had the best record in the NBA last season and will challenge for the top spot again in 2019. They didn’t lose much this offseason outside Malcolm Brogdon, who was simply an injury waiting to happen and the Pacers paid way too much for him.
I actually think the Bucks got better in the offseason. They brought back their core four in Giannis, Bledsoe, Middleton and Lopez. They added veteran Wesley Matthews, C Robin Lopez, G Kyle Korver and F Dragan Bender. The Bucks will be a force once again and are far and away the best team in the East in my opinion.
I think it’s going to take some time for the Rockets to get accustomed to playing with both James Harden and Russell Westbrook, the two most ball-dominant players in the NBA. They lost Chris Paul, Iran Shumpert and Kenneth Faried in the offseason. I don’t like the additions of Tyson Chandler and Thabo Sefolosha, who have both been non-factors in the NBA due to injury and age.
The Bucks owned the Rockets in both meetings last season. They won 108-94 at home and held the Rockets to 36.4% shooting. They also won 116-109 on the road and held the Rockets to 37.6% shooting. The Bucks are 4-1 ATS in the last five meetings. Expect more of the same here in the opener. Roll with the Bucks Thursday.
|10-24-19||SMU -13 v. Houston||Top||34-31||Loss||-110||58 h 57 m||Show|
20* SMU/Houston ESPN Thursday No-Brainer on SMU -13
The SMU Mustangs are one of the best teams in the country that nobody is talking about. They are 7-0 SU & 6-1 ATS this season while covering the spread by a combined 81 points. They are covering by an average of 11.6 points per game, which really shows how underrated this team has been.
Now, SMU is laying less than two touchdowns to a Houston team that is in rebuilding mode. We’ll gladly back the Mustangs in what will be yet another blowout victory in their favor tonight. This is their chance to show the world how good they are with a standalone week night ESPN game, so I’m not worried at all about them having a letdown.
Houston pretty much sealed its fate when all-everything QB D’Eriq King and his favorite WR in Keith Corbin decided to redshirt after four games this season. Houston has gone 2-1 since, but just 1-2 ATS and their two wins were against North Texas and UConn. They lost by 15 at home to Cincinnati and will suffer a similar fate here against SMU.
Last week, Houston barely beat UConn 24-17 as 21.5-point favorites. That’s a UConn team that is one of the worst in all of college football. And Houston really should have lost that game as they were dominated in the box score. The Cougars managed just 286 total yards and gave up 438 yards to the Huskies, getting outgained by a whopping 152 yards.
SMU boasts a high-powered offense led by Texas transfer Shane Buechele at quarterback. They re putting up 44.3 pints and 521.1 yards per game this season. I expect them to match or exceed their season average considering they will be up against a soft Houston defense that allows 30.7 points and 473.9 yards per game this season. SMU has scored at least 41 points in six straight games, including against some good defenses in TCU, Temple and Tulsa.
I have been impressed with the improvement of SMU’s defense as much as anything this season, especially under an offensive-minded head coach like Sonny Dykes. They hold opponents to 370 yards per game and 5.0 yards per play, limiting them to 27 yards per game and 0.4 yards per play less than their season averages. So, this is an above-average defense coupled with one of the best offenses in the country. I don’t see any way Houston gets to 30 points in this one, which is at least what it will take to cover this spread.
The Cougars are 1-6 ATS in their last seven vs. a team with a winning record. Houston is 0-4 ATS in its last four conference games. Bet SMU Thursday.
|10-23-19||Nationals +170 v. Astros||12-3||Win||170||10 h 14 m||Show|
15* Nationals/Astros Game 2 ANNIHILATOR on Washington +170
I cashed in the Nationals as nearly +200 underdogs last night, and I’m back on them again tonight as this line is way out of whack. They are factoring in the must-win situation for the Astros too much into this line. The fact of the matter is that the Nationals are the Astros’ equals, and they just aren’t getting treated like it from oddsmakers.
The Nationals have now won seven straight games overall and have the best record in baseball since late May. They simply feel invincible right now after coming back from 3-1 down in the 8th inning to beat the Brewers in the wild card, and from a 2-1 deficit in the series with the Dodgers to win the final two games, including a comeback victory late in Game 5.
Stephen Strasburg is quietly showing he’s a great big game pitcher. He is 4-2 with a 1.10 ERA in his postseason career while giving up just 5 earned runs in 41 innings. He is 3-0 with a 1.64 ERA in the 2019 postseason and won’t shy away from the moment tonight.
Justin Verlander is having a great season, but he has given up 41 homers this year and that has been his kryptonite. And Verlander has been very hittable in the postseason, going 0-2 with a 5.19 ERA in his last three stats while allowing 10 earned runs and 5 homers in 17 1/3 innings.
The Nationals are 7-0 in their last seven games overall. Washington is 5-0 in its last five road games. The Nationals are 10-1 in Strasburg’s last 11 interleave starts. Washington is 44-15 in Strasburg’s last 59 road starts. The Nationals are 90-35 in Strasburg’s last 125 starts overall. Washington is 9-1 in its last 10 meetings in Houston. Bet the Nationals Wednesday.
|10-23-19||Grizzlies +8 v. Heat||101-120||Loss||-105||9 h 13 m||Show|
15* NBA Wednesday Non-Conference KNOCKOUT on Memphis Grizzlies +8
The Miami Heat are getting too much respect from oddsmakers in their opener against Memphis. They signed Jimmy Butler, and he has been a cancer in his last two stops in Philadelphia and Minnesota. He needs to have the ball in his hands to be effective, and he’s just not a great team player.
The rest of Miami’s starting five includes Jutise Winslow, Dion Waiters, Kelly Olynyk and Bam Adebayo, though Waiters is out with a suspension. They are also without key role player James Johnson. They lost Dwyane Wade, Josh Richardson and Hassan Whiteside. I like the draft pick on Tyler Herro, but Meyers Leonard was their only other key addition, and he’s just not very good.
The Grizzlies managed to win 33 games last year despite all of their injuries and players they traded away. They enter a new era now with a younger, exciting group of players. Their top two picks in the draft the last two years in Jaren Jackson Jr. and Ja Morant are absolute studs. They also got Brandon Clarke in the draft, giving them three huge building blocks for the future.
Jonas Valanciunas was not a downgrade at all from Marc Gasol at center. He played well down the stretch for the Grizzlies as they were a thorn in the side of a lot of playoff contenders. They also added veteran Jae Crowder, who will start alongside Jackson Jr., Morant, Valanciunas and Dillon Brooks, who had a big preseason and looks to take the next step forward. They have a lot of depth as they added 10 players this offseason. Roll with the Grizzlies Wednesday.
|10-23-19||Bulls -2.5 v. Hornets||Top||125-126||Loss||-109||10 h 36 m||Show|
20* NBA Wednesday No-Doubt Rout on Chicago Bulls -2.5
The Chicago Bulls will be one of the most improved teams in the NBA this season. The Charlotte Hornets will be the worst team in the NBA by my estimation. So it only makes sense to back the Bulls as short favorites here in the opener over the Hornets.
Injuries decimated the Bulls in a 22-60 season last year. This is one of the most talented rosters in the league when healthy. They have Lauri Markkanen, Otto Porter Jr. and Zach LaVine as veterans to lead the way. They landed Coby White in the draft and added Thaddeus Young and Tomas Satoransky in free agency. And they get last year’s first-round pick in Wendell Carter Jr. back from injury.
The Hornets could have traded Kemba Walker and got a big return either of the last two seasons. Instead, they gave hime a lowball offer and let him walk in free agency to Boston. They replaced him with a backup PG in Terry Rozier. The Hornets also let Jeremy Lamb walk in free agency, so they’ve lost their two best players. Their projected starting five of Rozier, Bacon, Washington, Bridges and Zeller is the worst in the NBA. Bet the Bulls Wednesday.
|10-23-19||Cavs +9 v. Magic||85-94||Push||0||9 h 43 m||Show|
15* NBA Wednesday Undervalued Underdog on Cleveland Cavaliers +9
The Orlando Magic open the 2019-20 season getting too much respect from oddsmakers after a big finish last season to make the playoffs. I like their team, but they should not be laying 9 points to the Cleveland Cavaliers in the opener.
While the Magic didn’t do much this offseason, the Cavaliers will be greatly improved after going just 19-63 last season. They drafted Daris Garland to pair with Collin Sexton, giving them one of the most dynamic backcourts in the NBA. They also drafted Dylan Windler and Kevin Porter Jr., thought Windler is out to start the season with a leg injury.
Now the Cavaliers have a nice mix of youth and veterans. Their frontcourt is in good shape with Kevin Love and Tristan Thompson, and they brought back Matthew Dellavedova, who are the holdovers from the 2016 glory days. Love is still an All-Star caliber player who was hurt last year. Jordan Clarkson and Larry Nance Jr. should take another step forward this year. Take the Cavaliers Wednesday.
|10-22-19||Nationals +197 v. Astros||5-4||Win||197||10 h 22 m||Show|
15* Nationals/Astros Game 1 ANNIHILATOR on Washington +197
Getting Max Scherzer as nearly a 2-to-1 underdog is too good a value to pass up. I like that the Nationals have had some extra time to rest their arms, while the Astros only had a few days in between series. We saw the Astros lose Game 1 to the Yankees after having just one day off after beating the Rays in five games.
The Nationals just feel like a team of destiny this year. They came back from 3-1 down in the 8th inning to beat the Brewers in the wild card just to get into the NLDS. Then they won Game 4 and Game 5 of the NLDS over the Dodgers, including a comeback win in Game 5. They have since swept the Cardinals behind dominant pitching, limiting St. Louis to a total of 6 runs in the four games.
No question Gerritt Cole is having a phenomenal year, but he is hittable. He had his worst performance in a while and the Yankees let him off the hook last time out as he walked five batters. Scherzer has allowed just one run and five hits in 15 innings in his last three postseason appearances.
The Nationals are 6-0 in their last six playoff games. Washington is 4-0 in its last four road games. The Nationals are 15-3 in Scherzer’s last 18 starts. Washington is 37-15 in Scherzer’s last 52 road starts. The Nationals are 40-16 in their last 56 games overall. Take the Nationals in Game 1 Tuesday.
|10-22-19||Pelicans +7 v. Raptors||Top||122-130||Loss||-106||10 h 19 m||Show|
20* Pelicans/Raptors TNT No-Brainer on New Orleans +7
I think the injury to Zion Williamson is being overblown here, and the Pelicans are catching too many points now on opening night to pass up. This line has moved from Toronto -5 up to Toronto -7, providing us with ample value to pull the trigger on the Pelicans.
New Orleans made plenty of other offseason moves that will improve them. They also added Jaxson Hayes and Nickeil Alexander-Walker in the draft. They signed JJ Redick and Nicolo Melli in free agency while also dealing for Derrick Favors. Plus, they got Lonzo Ball, Josh Hart and Brandon Ingram back in the Anthony Davis trade. This team is loaded with talent and depth now.
The Raptors lost both Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green to the Lakers in free agency. Kyle Lowry will play despite recovering from offseason thumb surgery. And key signees Patrick McCaw (knee) and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (groin) will be out to start the season. There is still some talent here with Marc Gasol, Pascal Siakam and Serge Ibaka, but they are a far cry from the team that won the title last year while riding Leonard.
The Pelicans are 4-1-1 ATS in their last six trips to Toronto. The underdog is 5-1 ATS in the last six meetings. Bet the Pelicans Tuesday.
|10-21-19||Patriots v. Jets +10||Top||33-0||Loss||-110||110 h 28 m||Show|
20* Patriots/Jets MNF GAME OF THE MONTH on New York +10
The New York Jets have been a completely different team with Sam Darnold at quarterback. In their two games with him this season, they only lost 16-17 to the Bills and upset the Cowboys 24-22 as 7-point dogs. And they led 16-0 over Buffalo before linebacker C.J. Mosley went out with an injury, and gave up three straight scoring drives late to lose by one.
Darnold returned from Mono last week and had a great game against the Cowboys, going 23-of-32 passing for 338 yards with two touchdowns and one interception. They jumped out to a 21-3 lead early before the Cowboys made it interesting late with two touchdowns late in the fourth quarter. And now, the Jets are expected to get back the quarterback of their defense in Mosley, who is one of the best linebackers in the NFL and has been out since Week 1.
The Jets want some revenge from a 14-30 road loss to the Patriots as 20.5-point dogs. They managed to cover that spread despite having the inept Luke Falk at quarterback. This team had no chance with Falk, and their season numbers are skewed because of having to start him for three games. The numbers look much better in games with Darnold at quarterback as he is simply picking up where he left off at the end of last year.
The Patriots are dealing with a ton of injuries themselves, especially on offense where they haven’t looked the greatest in recent weeks despite facing the Bills, Redskins and Giants. Julian Edelman and Phillip Dorsett are both banged up, but both are expected to play. Josh Gordon was forced to leave the Giants game last week with a leg injury, and his status is questionable, though I would guess he’s more doubtful. They lost FB James Devlin to a neck injury and their running game just hasn’t been the same since. The Patriots only average 102 rushing yards per game and 3.5 per carry this season.
The Patriots have put up historic numbers defensively thus far this season. However, it’s worth noting that they have played the single-easiest schedule (32nd) in the entire NFL. Five of the six teams they have played have two wins or less on the season with the one exception being the Bills, and they probably should have lost that game as they were outgained by 151 yards in that game. The Jets have played the 10th-toughest schedule as four of the five teams they have faced are .500 or better with the lone exception being the Browns.
Plays against favorites of 3.5 to 10 points (New England) - a good offensive team that averages 27 or more points per game, after allowing 14 points or less in two straight games are 24-5 (82.8%) ATS over the last 10 seasons. Plays on underdogs of 3.5 to 10 points (NY Jets) - revenging a same-season loss, off a home win are 37-13 (74%) ATS over the last 10 years. New York is 7-1-1 ATS in its last nine home games vs. a team with a winning record. Bet the Jets Monday.
|10-20-19||Saints v. Bears -3||Top||36-25||Loss||-115||124 h 10 m||Show|
20* NFC GAME OF THE MONTH on Chicago Bears -3
I’m fading the New Orleans Saints again this week. My handicap wasn’t bad on the Jaguars last week. I said Teddy Bridgewater and the Saints offense isn’t very good. And they only scored 13 points against the Jaguars. But they still won because their defense was lights out and held Gardner Minshew down.
They keep winning every close game because Bridgewater has been a game manager and their defense has been good enough. But the streak stops here. The Saints are way overvalued right now due to being 5-1, but all five victories have come by one score, so they have gone 5-0 in games decided by a touchdown or less. That’s very tough to sustain.
The Bears are pissed off coming off a loss to the Raiders in London. And they’ve had two weeks to get ready for the Saints as they are coming off their bye week. I’m not concerned at all whether Chase Daniel or Mitchell Trubisky starts for the Bears because I have them power rated the same. It looks like Trubisky is good to go, and he has the higher ceiling and more mobility.
The last time we saw the Bears at home they were shutting down the Vikings 16-6. And they will shut down Bridgewater and the Saints again this week. Chicago is giving up just 13.8 points per game this season and 8.0 points per game in their two home games against the Packers & Vikings.
The Saints are averaging just 18.3 points and 278 yards per game on the road this season. This is the best defense that Bridgewater will have seen yet. The Saints are giving up 374 yards per game on the road and getting outgained by 96 yards per game in their three road games this year.
The Bears are 7-0-1 ATS in their last 8 home games against a team with a winning record. The Bears are 18-7-1 ATS in their last 26 home games overall. They have had a great home-field advantage over the past few seasons. The Saints have notoriously struggled in road games outdoors on grass because it neutralizes their team speed. And it’s worth noting their best playmaker in Alvin Kamara is banged up right now. Take the Bears Sunday.
|10-20-19||Rams v. Falcons OVER 53.5||Top||37-10||Loss||-118||121 h 45 m||Show|
25* NFC TOTAL OF THE YEAR on Rams/Falcons OVER 53.5
Expect plenty of offensive fireworks in this game between the Rams and Falcons Sunday played inside the Georgia Dome in Atlanta. It’s perfect conditions for a high-scoring affair between two of the better offenses in the NFL, but also two of the worst defenses in the league.
The Falcons rank 7th in total offense at 391.3 yards per game. The Rams are 12th in total offense at 370.8 yards per game. The Falcons are 26th in total defense, giving up 388.8 yards per game. And the Rams are 12th in total defense at 346.8 yards per game.
The Falcons are giving up 31.0 points per game this season. It’s like their defense has quit, but they have also been hit hard by injuries. The Falcons have been particularly bad defensively the last two weeks. They gave up 53 points to the Texans and 34 points to the Cardinals.
The Rams started the season pretty well defensively against some bad offenses, but they have been very poor defensively the last three weeks. They gave up 55 points to the Bucs, 30 to the Seahawks and 20 to the 49ers for an average of 35.0 points per game. I expect both offenses to top 28 points in this one, and likely to get into the 30’s with the winner scoring 40-plus.
The Rams traded for Jalen Ramsey, and he should play this week. But they also traded away CB Marcus Peters, lost their best corner in Aqib Talib to a rib injury, and lost one of their best pass rushers in Clay Matthews to a broken jaw. That helps explain why their defense has been so poor. Offensively, they should get back Todd Gurley from injury this week, who they didn’t have against the 49ers.
The Falcons are also dealing with a ton of injuries defensively as they are without S J.J. Wilcox, DT Michael Bennett, S Keanu Neal and S Johnathan Cyprien. They could also be without CB Desmond Trufant and CB Blidi-Wreh-Wilson, who are both questionable. These secondary injuries basically give them no chance of stopping anyone. Matt Ryan has thrown for over 300 yards in every game this season as the Falcons are consistently playing from behind. Fortunately, they have stayed almost 100% healthy on offense and have a ton of playmakers for Ryan.
The Rams are 7-0 OVER in their last seven road games after possessing the ball for 26 or fewer minutes and gaining 13 or fewer first downs in their previous game. The OVER is 5-1 in Rams last six games following an ATS loss. The OVER is 4-0 in the last four meetings in Atlanta with combined scores of 55, 58, 64 and 51 points. The OVER is 16-5 in the last 21 meetings overall. Bet the OVER in this game Sunday.
|10-20-19||Texans v. Colts -1||Top||23-30||Win||100||79 h 15 m||Show|
20* AFC South GAME OF THE MONTH on Indianapolis Colts -1
I really like the spot for the Indianapolis Colts this week. They are coming off a bye and first place in the AFC South is on the line. That’s why I’m not concerned at all bout them having any sort of letdown following their big upset road win over the Chiefs last time out.
The bye week came at a great time because the Colts were really banged up. Now the Colts should get back several key players this week, including their best defensive player in LB Darius Leonard, who led the NFL in tackles last season. They’ll be as healthy as they have been at any point in the season this week.
The Texans could suffer a letdown following their comeback from 14 points down at Kansas City last week to win 31-24. And they didn’t come out of that game unscathed. They have a ton of injuries at linebacker and in the secondary, as well as the offensive line. And those injuries to two starters up front will be where the Texans hurt the most.
The key to beating the Texans is to sack Deshaun Watson. The Falcons and the Chiefs weren’t able to get after him the last two weeks, but the Colts will be able to. The Texans managed just 13 points against the Jaguars, who rank 7th in adjusted sack rate. The Texans only managed 10 points against the Panthers, who rank 1st in adjusted sack rate. And the Colts rank 3rd in adjusted sack rate, so they will be in Watson’s face all game long, especially going up against a banged up offensive line.
The Colts are 9-1 ATS in their last 10 vs. a team with a winning record. Indianapolis is 14-3 SU in its last 17 home meetings with Houston. The Texans are 4-13 ATS in their last 17 road games off an upset win as an underdog. Houston is 3-10 ATS in its last 13 road games vs. a team with a winning record. Roll with the Colts Sunday.
|10-19-19||Nevada +21 v. Utah State||10-36||Loss||-109||65 h 45 m||Show|
15* CFB Saturday Late-Night BAILOUT on Nevada +21
The Utah State Aggies are getting treated like the team they were last year and not like the team they are this year by oddsmakers. They had one of their best seasons in program history last year and lost head coach Matt Wells to Texas Tech as a result. Former Utah State head coach Gary Anderson has returned to the program, and the cupboard was left bare as the Aggies returned only nine starters this year.
Utah State is off to a 3-2 start this season, but it only has one win by more than 10 points, and that came against FCS opponent Stony Brook. In no way should the Aggies be favored by three touchdowns over Nevada here. They only beat a bad Colorado State team 34-24 as 23.5-point favorites in their last home game, and they lost 6-42 at LSU last time out. They simply aren’t nearly as good as they were last year.
Nevada returned from its bye with a solid 41-38 home win against an improved San Jose State team last week. Nevada was up 24-3 before taking its foot off the gas, so that game was a bigger blowout than the final score showed. And it was the first start from former Florida State transfer Malik Henry at quarterback, and he was brilliant in leading the Wolf Pack to 41 points.
Henry was the #2 dual-threat QB in the country coming out of high school, but he had some depression issues at FSU that held him back. He has found a home here in Nevada now, and things are looking up for him after a great start last week. Henry threw for 352 yards and a touchdown against SJSU last week. Look for him to try and match Utah State QB Jordan Love score for score in this one.
Nevada has had Utah State’s number in recent years. Nevada is 8-3 SU in the last 11 meetings with its three losses coming by 4, 4 and 2 points. As you can see, Utah State hasn’t beaten Nevada by more than 4 points in any of the last 11 meetings, making for a perfect 11-0 system backing the Wolf Pack pertaining to this 21-point spread. The underdog is 5-0 ATS in the last five meetings. Bet Nevada Saturday.
|10-19-19||Florida State v. Wake Forest -1.5||20-22||Win||100||62 h 0 m||Show|
15* CFB Saturday No-Doubt Rout on Wake Forest -1.5
I believe the Wake Forest Demon Deacons got the humbling they needed last week against Louisville. They opened 5-0 before losing to the Cardinals 59-62 at home last week. It was a game they deserved to win as they outgained the Cardinals by 148 yards. But because they lost that game and they aren’t 6-0 now, we are getting the Demon Deacons at only -1.5 when they would probably be more than 3-point favorites had they won that game.
Florida State’s biggest rival is Clemson, and they lost to the Tigers 14-45 last week. I think the Seminoles suffer a hangover effect from that defeat and won’t be up for Wake Forest this week as a result. Clemson outgained the Seminoles by 299 yards and held them to just 253 yards while forcing four turnovers in the win.
I realize Wake Forest QB Jamie Newman was knocked out of the Louisville game with a shoulder injury. However, I don’t think there’s any difference between Newman and backup Sam Hartman, who gained starting experience for the Demon Deacons last year and is ready to go if called upon. Hartman went 9-of-15 for 172 yards and two touchdowns while also rushing for a score in place of an injured Newman last week and nearly led the comeback against Louisville.
The Seminoles will have their hands full against an explosive Wake Forest offense that puts up 39.7 points, 540 yards per game and 6.3 yards per play this season. They have a balanced attack with 209 rushing yards and 331 passing yards per game. They are very tough to tame, which is bad news for a FSU defense that allows 32.2 points and 464 yards per game.
Florida State is 1-8 ATS after playing three straight conference games over the last three seasons. The Seminoles are 0-7 ATS vs. excellent passing teams with a completion percentage of 62% or better over the last three years. Florida State is 0-3-1 ATS in its last four road games. The Demon Deacons are 4-1 ATS in their last five games following a loss. The home team is 6-2-1 ATS in the last nine meetings. Bet Wake Forest Saturday.
|10-19-19||Michigan +9.5 v. Penn State||Top||21-28||Win||100||62 h 59 m||Show|
20* Michigan/Penn State ABC No-Brainer on Michigan +9.5
I’m back to fading Penn State again this week. I must really love misery. But in all seriousness, this line has gotten out of hand. It’s up to +9.5 now after opening around +7. I would consider my loss on Iowa +3.5 last week a bad beat, and the Nittany Lions are getting too much respect for that win.
The Hawkeyes outgained the Nittany Lions by 62 yards. But they missed a field goal and came up short on a 2-point conversion to lose by 5. They also fumbled a handoff inside their own 20 to gift wrap Penn State a touchdown. And Iowa also failed to score a touchdown from first and goal from the 3-yard line. Iowa was the right side in that game.
Penn State is 6-0, but they have been outgained in three of their six games. Not only were they outgained by Iowa, but they were also outgained at home by both Buffalo and Pitt. I really think this is one of the most overrated teams in the country. You’re going to hear a lot about Penn State playing at night and in a white out this week. And it seems like everyone is on the Nittany Lions because of it. I just think this is a great time to go contrarian.
Michigan can still achieve all of its goals if it wins out. I think we’re getting extra value on the Wolverines after their 42-25 win over Illinois last week. The Wolverines were up 28-0 before taking their foot off the gas. It’s like they were just ready to get to the Penn State game at halftime and forgot to play the second half.
Penn State’s offense just doesn’t have the firepower to put Michigan away by double-digits. Pitt held them to 17 points and Iowa held them to 17 points this season. And Michigan has as good or better defense than both of those teams. The Wolverines only allow 17.5 points, 283 yards per game this season and 4.2 yards per play this season. I expect this to be an ugly, low-scoring Big Ten game. So getting 9.5 points is a tremendous value.
Michigan beat Penn State 42-7 last year and held them to just 186 total yards. They outgained the Nittany Lions by 217 yards in the win. The Wolverines are now 4-1 SU & 4-1 ATS in the last 5 meetings. Penn State may ultimately win this game, but they have to beat us by double-digits to get the cover, and I just don’t think they can.
Plays against home favorites of 3.5 to 10 points (Penn State) - after scoring and allowing 17 points or less in their last game are 29-6 (82.9%) ATS over the last five seasons. Jim Harbaugh is 9-1 ATS vs. good rush defenses that allow 2.75 or fewer yards per carry in all games he has coached. The Nittany Lions are 1-6 ATS in their last seven games following an ATS win. Roll with Michigan Saturday.
|10-19-19||Kansas +21.5 v. Texas||48-50||Win||100||62 h 30 m||Show|
15* CFB Saturday Undervalued Underdog on Kansas +21.5
The Texas Longhorns are in a hangover spot here from their 27-34 loss to rival Oklahoma last week. Their dreams of playing in the four-team playoff have been crushed now with losses to Oklahoma and LSU, and it’s tough to get back up off the mat after such a crushing defeat. I look for them to go through the motions this week and fail to cover this massive 21.5-point spread against Kansas.
I’ve been saying Texas is overrated since before the season, and it has proven to be true. The Longhorns were fortunate to only lose 27-34 to Oklahoma. They were outgained by 201 yards by the Sooners and outgained by 3.5 yards per play in that game. Oklahoma averaged 7.7 yards per play while Texas only averaged 4.2 yards per play and was sacked nine times. But Oklahoma had two turnovers deep in Texas territory which kept the game closer than the final score.
Now Kansas and Texas have a common opponent in Oklahoma. Kansas only lost 20-45 at home to Oklahoma and was only outgained by 191 yards in that game, covering the 32-point spread. And now the Jayhawks have had two weeks to get ready for Texas after having their bye last week. I think we get a big effort out of the Jayhawks because of it.
Kansas has been a big thorn in Texas’ side in recent years. The Jayhawks are 3-0 ATS in the last three meetings, pulling the 24-21 upset as 23.5-point dogs in 2016, only losing 27-42 as 32-point road favorites in 2017, and only losing 17-24 as 15.5-point home dogs last year. The Jayhawks just seem to get up for Texas, while the Longhorns consistently overlook them.
Texas is 0-6 ATS in home games with a total of 56.5 to 63 over the last three seasons. Kansas is 6-1 ATS in its last seven games following a loss. The Jayhawks are 4-0 ATS in their last four road games vs. a team with a winning record. Roll with Kansas Saturday.
|10-19-19||Baylor v. Oklahoma State -3||Top||45-27||Loss||-110||113 h 30 m||Show|
25* Big 12 GAME OF THE YEAR on Oklahoma State -3
Of all the Power 5 teams that are still undefeated, both Baylor and Minnesota are clearly the two most overrated. They are overrated because both have feasted on easy schedules, and both are very fortunate to be 6-0. The Bears should have lost to both Iowa State and Texas Tech, winning those two games by a combined 5 points. And their other four wins have come against Stephen F. Austin, Rice, UTSA and Kansas State.
Baylor has played the 96th-toughest schedule this season according to the Sagarin ratings. Oklahoma State has played the 36th-toughest schedule. That’s a 60-spot difference in strength of schedule. He actually has Oklahoma State rated higher than Baylor despite being 4-2, and I agree with him. I think we are getting the Cowboys at a massive discount as only 3-point home favorites over the Bears here.
Oklahoma State’s two losses have both come on the road to Texas (30-36) and Texas Tech (35-45). That was not a bad loss to Texas, and the loss at Texas Tech was very fluky considering the Cowboys lost the turnover battle 5-0. And I loved how QB Spencer Sanders took all the blame in the loss, saying he was solely responsible for the five turnovers and has to be better. Keep in mind Baylor needed overtime to beat Texas Tech at home.
Now, the Cowboys are in a great spot here coming off their bye week and returning home. They have only played two home games compared to four road games this year, while Baylor has played four home games compared to only two road games. And the Cowboys will be highly motivated to stay in Big 12 title contention in this must-win situation for them.
There’s on injury for Baylor that is flying under the radar and not getting priced into the line. LB Clay Johnson suffered a season-ending knee injury against Texas Tech last week. Johnson leads the team with 58 tackles, and second place on the team has 30 tackles. He is the heart and soul of the defense. Now the Bears have to try and stop a Oklahoma State rushing attack that averages 279 rushing yards per game and 5.6 per carry without Johnson. Expect Chuba Hubbard (1,094 yards, 13 TD, 6.8/carry) to have a massive day on the ground against this Baylor defense Saturday.
Over the last 10 years, when Oklahoma State has been unranked and favored at home against a ranked team, they have gone a perfect 3-0 SU & 3-0 ATS with all three wins coming by double-digits. The Cowboys are favored for good reason despite being unranked, but they aren’t favored by as much as they should be. Baylor is 1-9 ATS in its last 10 trips to Oklahoma State.
The Cowboys are 9-0 ATS in their last nine home games after a game where they committed five or more turnovers. The Cowboys are 7-0 ATS in their last seven vs. a team with a winning record. The Cowboys are 5-0 ATS in their last five home games. These three trends combine for a perfect 21-0 system backing the Cowboys. Bet Oklahoma State Saturday.
|10-19-19||Duke v. Virginia -3||Top||14-48||Win||100||58 h 59 m||Show|
20* ACC GAME OF THE MONTH on Virginia -3
I really like the spot for Virginia here. They are coming off back-to-back road losses to Notre Dame and Miami in games they felt like they should have won. I had Virginia in both of those games and felt like I deserved to win them both as well. Now the Cavaliers are back home here and still believe they can win the Coastal, but they certainly need to beat Duke if they are going to accomplish that goal.
The Cavaliers were getting +10.5 at Notre Dame and lost by 15. They were winning outright at halftime, and they were only outgained by 5 yards in that game, but they lost by 15 because they committed five turnovers. Then last week they were getting +3 at Miami. They outgained the Hurricanes by 61 yards and shut down the Miami offense. But Virginia left a ton of points in the board. The Cavaliers had six trips inside the Miami 25-yards line and managed just 9 points in a 9-17 loss. They failed to score a single touchdown.
Now, it’s a great time to buy low on the Cavaliers after those two losses where they probably deserved to win both and should be 6-0. And it’s time to sell high on Duke, which is coming off a misleading 41-23 home win over Georgia Tech, which is the worst team in the ACC. The Blue Devils won by 18 and covered the 17.5-point spread despite getting outgained by the Yellow Jackets.
This will easily be Duke’s toughest test since their 42-3 loss to Alabama in the opener. Their last five games since have come against NC A&T, Middle Tennessee, VA Tech, Pitt and Georgia Tech. And it’s worth noting that Duke lost at home to Pitt 30-33, while Virginia won 30-14 at Pitt to give these teams a common opponent.
Virginia owns Duke, going 4-0 SU & 4-0 ATS in the last four meetings while winning all four games by 7 points or more. And those were some pretty poor Virginia teams, while this 2019 version is the best team they have had in years. Duke is a team that likes to run the ball, averaging 183 yards per game on the ground. They’ll get plenty of resistance from a Virginia defense that gives up just 90 rushing yards per game and 2.7 per carry. That makes this a great matchup for the Cavaliers. Take Virginia Saturday.
|10-19-19||Georgia Tech +18.5 v. Miami-FL||28-21||Win||100||55 h 31 m||Show|
15* CFB Saturday Early ANNIHILATOR on Georgia Tech +18.5
The betting public wants nothing to do with the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets right now. They are 1-5 SU & 0-6 ATS this season, failing to cover a spread yet. It was easy to see this was going to be a rebuilding year for the Yellow Jackets this season as they made the transition from Paul Johnson’s triple-option to Geoff Collins’ pro-style offense.
After a slow start, I have seen some real signs of progress by the Yellow Jackets, and I think it’s time to ‘buy low’ on them now. Two of their last three losses have been very misleading. They lost 2-24 at Temple but were only outgained by 18 yards. And last week they lost 23-41 at Duke, but actually outgained the Blue Devils by 6 yards. If they can finish equal in stats against those two teams, they certainly can hang with Miami this week.
I think it’s a great time to ’sell high’ on Miami off its misleading 17-9 home win over Virginia last week. The Hurricanes deserved to lose that game as they were outgained by 62 yards by Virginia. The Cavaliers had six trips inside the Miami 25-yard line, but only managed 9 points and didn’t score a single touchdown. I think the Hurricanes are now in a big letdown spot off that primetime win on National TV.
And there were some real concerns about Miami coming into that Virginia game. They had lost 35-42 at home to a Virginia Tech team that looked like they quit the previous week. And before that, they only beat Central Michigan 17-12 at home as 30.5-point favorites. This still isn’t a very good Miami team, and certainly not the type of team that should be laying a huge number to Georgia Tech here.
Georgia Tech hasn’t lost by more than 17 points to Miami in any of the last eight meetings in this series, making for a perfect 8-0 system backing the Yellow Jackets pertaining to this 18.5-point spread. The Hurricanes are 2-9 ATS in their last 11 games after scoring less than 20 points in their previous game.
Plays on any team (Georgia Tech) - after five or more consecutive losses against the spread against an opponent that is off one or more consecutive ATS wins are 41-13 (75.9%) ATS over the last five seasons. This system just shows how profitable it is to back a team on a long ATS losing streak against a team on a winning ATS streak. Take Georgia Tech Saturday.
|10-18-19||UNLV +16 v. Fresno State||Top||27-56||Loss||-105||56 h 17 m||Show|
20* UNLV/Fresno State MWC Late-Night BAILOUT on UNLV +16
The Fresno State Bulldogs are one of the most overrated teams in the country this season. That’s because they covered a combined 20 spread over the previous two seasons. But that was a veteran team, and the Bulldogs are a young, inexperienced team now that returned only nine starters this year. This is clearly a rebuilding season, but they keep getting priced like they are one of the best teams in the Mountain West.
The Bulldogs are 2-3 SU & 1-3-1 ATS this season. Their only two wins both came against worse teams than UNLV and both by 14 points or less. They beat Sacramento State 34-20 as 24.5-point home favorites and New Mexico State 30-17 as 21-point road favorites. This game will be decided by 14 points or less as well.
UNLV has really impressed me in its last two games. The Rebels hung tough with Boise State for four quarters. They were only down 18 with two minutes left but missed an extra point. Then Boise State returned the onside kick inside the 10 and punched it in for a TD late to win by 25 and cover the 24.5-point spread.
Last week, UNLV’s 34-10 win at Vanderbilt as 16-point underdogs was no fluke. The Rebels outgained the Commodores 388 to 306 and were only +1 in turnovers. That victory certainly gives this team a lot of confidence heading into this showdown with Fresno State.
UNLV is a good rushing team that averages 180 rushing yards per game. The Rebels ran for 206 yards on Vanderbilt last week, and they should find plenty of success on the ground against a Fresno State defense that is allowing 156 rushing yards per game. They gave up 175 rushing yards to USC, 146 to Minnesota and 340 to Air Force last week in their 24-43 loss to the Falcons.
In their last trip to Fresno State, UNLV won outright 26-16 as 21.5-point underdogs in 2017. Plays on road underdogs of 10.5 to 21 points (UNLV) - off one or more consecutive unders, an average offensive team (21 to 28 PPG) against a good offensive team (28 to 34 PPG) are 26-5 (83.9%) ATS over the last five seasons. Tony Sanchez is 16-7 ATS as a road underdog as the coach of UNLV. The Rebels are 11-5 ATS in their last 16 road games. Bet UNLV Friday.
|10-18-19||Ohio State v. Northwestern UNDER 49.5||52-3||Loss||-105||55 h 53 m||Show|
15* Ohio State/Northwestern Big Ten Total DOMINATOR on UNDER 49.5
The Northwestern Wildcats grow the grass on their home field in Evanston as long as possible. They do this to slow down the opposition, and it will come into play here against Ohio State. The Buckeyes won’t be as fast as they usually are on this grass field. It will give the Wildcats a chance to hang with them as their defense holds the Buckeyes to their lowest point total of the season Friday.
The Wildcats have one of the worst offenses in the country. They are scoring just 14.4 points per game, averaging 293 yards per game and their 3.9 yards per play ranks dead last in the entire country. I would be surprised if they score more than 10 points in this game, which would mean that Ohio State would need more than 38 points to beat us, and I don’t think they will get there.
Northwestern has always been a great defensive team under Pat Fitzgerald. That has been the case against this year as the Wildcats are only giving up 19.8 points per game, 319 yards per game and 4.8 yards per play. They are holding opponents to 7.8 points per game and 67 yards per game less than their season averages. In their last two games, they held Nebraska to 13 points and held Wisconsin’s offense to only 10 points. The Badgers got two defensive touchdowns in their 24-15 victory over the Wildcats.
Ohio State’s defense has been lights out this season, which is why I can’t see Northwestern scoring more than 10 points. The Buckeyes only give up 8.8 points per game, 234 yards per game and 3.7 yards per play. This is the best defense the Wildcats have faced this season, and they could easily get shut out. Both teams love to run the football as the Buckeyes average 46 rush attempts per game while the Wildcats average 42, which should keep the clock moving.
Ohio State is 7-0 UNDER after gaining 475 or more total yards in three straight games over the last two seasons. Northwestern is 10-1 UNDER after playing a road game over the last three seasons. The UNDER is 6-1 in Buckeyes last seven games on grass. The UNDER is 42-14-1 in Wildcats last 57 home games. Take the UNDER in this game Friday.
|10-18-19||Astros v. Yankees +140||1-4||Win||140||10 h 50 m||Show|
15* Astros/Yankees ALCS ANNIHILATOR on New York +140
We are getting the Yankees at a great value as home underdogs to the Houston Astros in Game 5 tonight. I just can’t see the Astros sweeping the Yankees at Yankee Stadium, and thus I’ll back New York here as a big dog to stave off elimination for one more day.
Few starters have been as good against the Astros as James Paxton has. He is 8-4 with a 3.25 ERA and 1.265 WHIP in 15 career starts against them. Paxton is 7-3 with a 3.48 ERA and 1.173 WHIP in 16 home starts this season.
Justin Verlander has been vulnerable in his last two starts and may be wearing down. He is 0-1 with a 5.23 ERA in his last two starts while allowing 6 earned runs, 3 homers and 17 base runners in 10 1/3 innings. Verlander’s problem has been giving up homers as he has allowed 39 on the season.
The Yankees are 18-1 after batting .225 or worse over a 5-game span this season. New York is 22-5 in home games off a loss this year. The Yankees are 54-19 in their last 73 home games. New York is 6-0 in Paxton’s last six home starts. Roll with the Yankees Friday.
|10-17-19||UCLA v. Stanford -6.5||Top||34-16||Loss||-116||31 h 17 m||Show|
20* Pac-12 GAME OF THE WEEK on Stanford -6.5
The Stanford Cardinal have turned their season around. After opening 1-3 against a brutal schedule with losses at USC, at UCF and at home to Oregon, they have bounced back nicely in their last two games. They won 31-28 at Oregon State followed by a 23-13 home win over Washington as 12.5-point underdogs. Now they’ve had two weeks off to get ready for UCLA tonight.
I realize Stanford is down to its third-string quarterback, but that is factored into the line. And these injuries have brought the team closer together. I think the Cardinal are way undervalued as a result of these QB injuries and some other injuries along the offensive line. The quotes coming from the players and coaches right now make me want to get behind them.
A sophomore from Alabama, QB Jack West took all the reps in practice Monday after playing the final 10 minutes against Washington after backup Davis Mills went out. West took a lot of reps as the primary backup in spring ball than he normally would because of the situation with starter KJ Costello. He has continued to get additional reps the past few weeks, too.
“I had a great conversation with Jack at the end of training camp,” head coach David Shaw said. “I said I have no issues with him playing. If he plays, I know we can run anything in the playbook. It was a compliment to how hard he has worked. If he goes out to play, we’ll be able to run the whole playbook.”
Stanford also has some injuries on the offensive line as they finished the game playing three true freshmen. The 11-day break could mean that some of those injuries heal, but in a strange way, the injuries have brought Stanford’s players closer together.
“It hasn’t helped up but it has rallied us,” running back Cameron Scarlett said. “Seeing a guy go down, you want to do all you can to make sure you make a play for him. It’s definitely rallied us. We knew adversity was going to strike at some point this season. Didn’t think it would strike this hard, this fast, but we just have to respond and keep it moving.”
Scarlett has been a big reason why the Cardinal have overcome some of the injury issues. He rushed for 97 yards in the loss to Oregon, 92 yards in the win over Oregon State, and then piled up a career-best 157 yards on 33 carries against a good Washington defense.
UCLA is quickly making a case to be the worst team in the Pac-12. They came into the season overrated, and they have really disappointed by going 1-5 SU & 1-4-1 ATS. Their only win came when they trailed by 32 points at Washington State, so they easily could be 0-6. Their 31-48 home loss to Oregon State last time out really showed that this team is pretty much quitting on head coach Chip Kelly.
Stanford owns UCLA, going 11-0 SU & 9-1-1 ATS in the last 11 meetings with 10 of those wins coming by 7 points or more. The Cardinal are 18-6-2 ATS in their last 26 games vs. a team with a losing record. Bet Stanford Thursday.
Note: Stanford is down to -3 as of 2:00 EST Thursday afternoon. It's still a 20* play at that number.
|10-17-19||Chiefs v. Broncos +3.5||30-6||Loss||-115||15 h 33 m||Show|
15* Chiefs/Broncos AFC West ANNIHILATOR on Denver +3.5
The Kansas City Chiefs are broken defensively. It doesn’t matter how good their offense is, they simply cannot overcome their defensive woes. And they have so many injuries right now on both sides of the ball that they just can’t get anything fixed. Plus, they are on a short week here and traveling to play in altitude, making matters worse for them.
The Chiefs are 1-2 SU & 0-3 ATS in their last three games overall. They were fortunate to win 34-30 over the Lions three weeks ago on the road, but failed to cover as 7-point favorites. Then they lost 13-19 as 10.5-point home favorites to the Colts. And last week they lost 24-31 as 3.5-point home favorites to the Texans. You know this team is not right when they are losing back-to-back home games.
The Denver Broncos opened 0-4 and mostly everyone but the guys in the locker room gave up on this team. They have rebounded with two impressive victories, winning 20-13 on the road over the Chargers as 4.5-point dogs and topping the Titans 16-0 at home as 1-point favorites. Now, the Broncos know that with a win Thursday they can pull within one game of the Chiefs for the division lead. That’s why I think they will be the more motivated team here.
When you look at the numbers, it’s easy to see the Broncos are better than their 2-4 record would indicate. They have outgained four of their six opponents this season. They are outgaining foes by 28 yards per game and 0.4 yards per play this year. They are a lot more healthy than the Chiefs and are expected to get WR Emanuel Sanders back from injury this week. But look for them to run the football as much as possible and try to control the time of possession, taking a blueprint from the Colts and Texans the last two weeks.
The Texans rushed 41 times for 192 yards on the Chiefs, while the Colts rushed 45 times for 180 yards. Teams have gashed the Chiefs on the ground all season. The Chiefs rank 30th in the NFL against the run, giving up 161.8 rushing yards per game. They are also tied for 30th in giving up 5.2 yards per carry.
The Chiefs are having a hard time possessing the ball for long, which is putting their defense in some terrible predicaments. That’s the knock on Andy Reid is that he gets too pass-happy. The Chiefs only ran the ball 14 times for 36 yards against the Colts. They ran even less against the Texans with 11 rushes for 53 yards. And Reid is stubborn and won’t change his strategy now.
Patrick Mahomes is battling an ankle injury that has really limited his mobility, and he’s just not the same player right now because of it. Not to mention, he’s missing some key pieced on offense, including Sammy Watkins and a pair of offensive linemen. Defensively, the Chiefs are in even worse shape. They are without their best defensive player in DT Chris Jones. They are also without DT Xavier Williams. They could be without CB Kendall Fuller and LB Anthony Hitchens.
The Broncos played the Chiefs tough in both meetings last year, and they weren’t very good while the Chiefs were one of the best teams in the NFL. They only lost 23-27 at home as 3.5-point dogs, and they only lost 23-30 on the road as 8.5-point dogs. They actually outgained the Chiefs 796 to 786 in those two meetings as well and arguably should have won both.
Plays against any team (Kansas City) - off two or more consecutive upset losses as a favorite, a good team (60% to 75%) playing a team with a losing record are 35-11 (76.1%) ATS since 1983. The Chiefs are 2-14 ATS in their last 16 games after gaining 6 or more yards per play in four consecutive games. Kansas City is 0-4 ATS in its last four road games vs. a team with a. Losing record. The Broncos are 10-2 ATS in their last 12 Thursday games. Roll with the Broncos Thursday.
|10-17-19||Astros v. Yankees -126||Top||8-3||Loss||-126||13 h 13 m||Show|
20* Astros/Yankees ALCS No-Brainer on New York -126
This is a must-win game for the New York Yankees tonight. I expect them to get the job done here with Masahiro Tanaka over Zack Greinke. I believe he is the better starter in this matchup, and the Yankees will respond with a Game 4 victory after losing the last two games in this series.
Tanaka is 3-0 with a 1.00 ERA in his last three starts, giving up just 2 earned runs in 18 innings. Tanaka has also had success against the Astros recently, giving up 3 earned runs or fewer in six straight starts against them while allowing just 8 earned runs in 37 innings for a 1.95 ERA. He beat them in Game 1, pitching six shutout innings while allowing only two base runners in a 7-0 victory.
Zack Greinke is no doubt a great starter, but he just doesn’t seem like he is built for the postseason. He seems to shy away from the big moment. After allowing 6 runs in 3 2/3 innings in a 3-10 loss to the Rays in Game 3 of that series, he gave up 3 runs in 6 innings against the Yankees in Game 1 opposite Tanaka. Greinke is now 0-4 with a 6.84 ERA in his last five postseason starts, giving up 19 earned runs and 8 homers in 25 innings.
The Yankees are 54-18 in their last 72 home games. New York is 20-6 in its last 26 games after scoring two runs or less in its previous game. The Astros are 3-8 in their last 11 meetings in New York. Take the Yankees Thursday.
|10-16-19||South Alabama v. Troy UNDER 57.5||Top||13-37||Win||100||8 h 22 m||Show|
20* South Alabama/Troy ESPN 2 Total DOMINATOR on UNDER 57.5
In-state rivals Troy and South Alabama meet tonight in Sun Belt action. I expect this to be a low-scoring affair and stay UNDER the posted total of 57.5. Both teams come in on extra rest and preparation time, which favors the defenses. South Alabama hasn’t played in 13 days, while Troy hasn’t played in 11 days.
The UNDER is 3-1-1in five meetings over the last five seasons. But all five meetings have seen 55 or fewer combined points, so the OVER would be 5-0 on this 57.5-point total. They have averaged just 42.2 combined points per game in those five meetings, which is roughly 15 points less than this posted total. The last two meetings in Troy have seen 27 and 42 combined points.
South Alabama is a bad offensive football team. The Jaguars average just 16.8 points and 319 yards per game this season. I just don’t see them scoring too many points here to contribute to the over. They are 0-3 on the road and scoring 13.7 points per game and averaging 294 yards per game. However, they do have an improved defense this year, giving up 29.3 points and 400 yards per game.
Troy’s numbers are skewed to the over due to two games against good offensive teams in Southern Miss and Arkansas State. They combined for 89 points with Southern Miss and 93 points with Arkansas State. However, their other three games have all seen 57 or fewer combined points. They combined for 57 with Campbell, 42 with Akron and 52 with Missouri. And this South Alabama offense is one of the worst they’ve been up against this season, comparable to Akron and Campbell.
The UNDER is 5-1 in South Alabama’s six games this season with combined scores of 56 or fewer in all six games. South Alabama is 10-2 UNDER in its last 12 games after scoring 7 points or less in two straight games. The UNDER is 4-1 in Jaguars last five road games. The UNDER is 9-2 in Trojans last 11 games after gaining less than 100 rushing yards in their previous game. Bet the UNDER in this game Wednesday.
|10-15-19||Cardinals v. Nationals -159||Top||4-7||Win||100||9 h 46 m||Show|
20* Cardinals/Nationals NLCS No-Brainer on Washington -159
The Washington Nationals feel invincible right now. They have won five straight and their pitching has been dynamite, giving up only 6 runs in those five games for an average of 1.2 runs per game. Now they want to clinch their spot in the World Series in front of their hungry home fans tonight and cap off the sweep of the Cardinals.
The Nationals have the edge on the mound tonight with Pat Corbin. He is 14-8 with a 3.20 ERA and 1.187 WHIP in 34 starts this season, including 8-2 with a 2.40 ERA and 0.990 WHIP in 16 home starts. Corbin has allowed 2 runs or fewer in four of his last five starts against the Cardinals as well.
Dakota Hudson is fortunate to have a 3.32 ERA despite a 1.410 WHIP in 33 starts this season. It’s not like he has great stuff as he has just 138 K’s in 178 2/3 innings. He has been one of the luckiest starters in baseball this year. Hudson is 7-5 with a 4.16 ERA and 1.612 WHIP in 15 road starts. His luck comes to an end tonight as the Cardinals already feel defeated. St. Louis has scored just 2 runs in the last 33 innings.
The Cardinals are 0-6 in their last six NLCS games. The Nationals are 11-1 in their last 12 home games vs. a team with a winning record. Washington is 13-3 in Corbin’s last 16 home starts. The Nationals are 9-0 in Corbin’s last nine starts when heir opponent scores 2 runs or less in their previous game. Bet the Nationals Tuesday.
|10-14-19||Lions v. Packers UNDER 46||Top||22-23||Win||100||70 h 37 m||Show|
20* Lions/Packers ESPN Monday No-Brainer on UNDER 46
This total seems a little high for two teams with suspect offenses up against two improved defenses. Plus it’s a division rivalry, so these teams are very familiar with one another. I expect a low-scoring, defensive battle in this one that stays UNDER the combined total of 46 points. It also helps that it’s going to be cold out with temperates expected to be 34 degrees Monday night.
You would be hard-pressed to find a defense that is as improved as much as the Packers are this season. They are only giving up 18.6 points per game. They have made some great additions in the secondary throughout the draft, and also acquired some impressive free agents up front. They have been great against the pass but poor against the run this season.
The good news for the Packers is that the Lions aren’t a team that runs the football very well as they averaging just 3.9 yards per carry this year. I expect the Lions to try and utilize their ground game more in this one, which will keep the clock moving. They do average 31 rush attempts per game, which is way up from normal for them as they try and get their renewed run game going with consistency. It just hasn’t worked out very well for them.
The Lions are scoring 24.2 points per game this year, but they have played basically all soft defenses in the Cardinals, Chargers, Eagles and Chiefs. This will easily be the best defense they have faced yet. The Packers have struggled offensively, averaging 23.8 points per game but only 337 yards per game.
Life gets much more difficult for the Packers this week as they have a ton of injury concerns on offense. They will be without star WR Devante Adams, who is quickly thrusting himself in among the Top 5 receivers in the game. They could also be without RB Jamaal Williams and C Corey Linsley in this game. I believe the Lions can slow them down, especially without having to deal with Adams.
Detroit is 32-16 UNDER in its last 48 road games after allowing 30 points or more last game. The UNDER is 5-0 in Packers last five vs. NFC North opponents. The UNDER is 5-1 in Lions last six games following a bye week. The UNDER is 5-1 in Lions last six games following a loss.
Plays on the UNDER on any team against the total (Green Bay) - after going over the total by 28 or more points in their last three games, a good team winning 75% or more of their games on the season are 34-11 (75.6%) over the last five seasons. Bet the UNDER in this game Monday.
|10-14-19||Cardinals v. Nationals UNDER 7||1-8||Loss||-117||8 h 26 m||Show|
15* Cardinals/Nationals NLCS Total DOMINATOR on UNDER 7
The pitcher’s duel between the Cardinals and Nationals in this series should continue tonight in another low-scoring affair in Game 3. They combined for 2 runs in Game 1 and 4 runs in Game 2, and now arguably the two best starters on both teams go tonight in Game 3.
Stephen Strasburg is 19-6 with a 3.30 ERA and 1.027 WHIP in 35 starts this season. He is 2-0 with a 2.50 ERA and 0.778 WHIP in his last three starts. Strasburg is also 3-2 with a 2.50 ERA and 1.093 WHIP in eight career starts against the Cardinals.
Jack Flaherty is undoubtedly the ace of the Cardinals. He is 12-9 with a 2.75 ERA and 0.974 WHIP in 35 starts this season. No starter has been better than Flaherty in the second half this season. He has posted a 1.13 ERA in his last 18 starts while allowing just 15 earned runs in 119 1/3 innings.
The UNDER is 13-4-2 in Flaherty’s last 19 starts. The UNDER is 8-2-2 in Flaherty’s last 12 road starts. The UNDER is 6-2 in Nationals last eight games overall. The UNDER is 7-0-1 in the last eight meetings in this series. The UNDER is 4-1 in Strasburg’s last five home starts vs. the Cardinals. Take the UNDER in this game Monday.
|10-13-19||Steelers +7 v. Chargers||24-17||Win||100||46 h 43 m||Show|
15* Steelers/Chargers NBC Sunday Night BAILOUT on Pittsburgh +7
The Los Angeles Chargers just can’t be this heavily favored at home. They are 1-2 at home this season with their only win coming over the Colts in overtime. They were also upset by the Texans and the Broncos at home this year. They simply have no home-field advantage with a tiny stadium and fair-weather fans.
The Steelers travel well, and I won’t be surprised if this feels like a home game for them based on what I’ve seen out of the Chargers in the past. They should not be catching 7 points here, not even with a third-string quarterback after Mason Rudolph was knocked out with a concussion last week.
I love the story of Steelers’ QB Devlin Hodges. He was lightly recruited out of high school and chose to stay closer to home and attend Samford. All he did was go on to becoming the FCS record holder in career passing yards with 14,584, breaking the previous record held by Steve McNair. Despite that, he wound up going undrafted.
Hodges kept his poise, and he earned a practice squad spot on the Steelers. He kept making plays and great throws in practice, and eventually made the 53-man roster to be the backup QB last week. And he held his own when replacing Rudolph, completing 7-of-9 passes for 68 yards in the OT loss to the Ravens. It certainly wasn’t his fault they lost that game. Hodges is a guy that plays with a chip on his shoulder, and now he has a full week of practice to prepare to be the starter.
No team has been hit harder by injuries than the Chargers, which is why they shouldn’t be this heavily favored. They are without S Derwin James, T Russell Okung, S Adrian Phillips, WR Dontrell Inman, K Michael Badgley and C Mike Pouncey. They could also be without TE Hunter Henry and DE Melvin Ingram, who are both questionable after missing last week. These injuries are a big reason why the Chargers are just 2-3 this season. Their only blowout win by more than 6 points came against the Miami Dolphins, the worst team in the NFL.
Conversely, the Steelers have only been blown out once, and that was the opener at New England. Their other three losses all came by 4 points or less, so I think they are undervalued right now because of their 1-4 record when they could easily be 3-2. The Steelers are 7-1-1 ATS in their last nine games following an ATS win. The Chargers are 11-28-1 ATS in their last 40 home games. Roll with the Steelers Sunday.
|10-13-19||Saints v. Jaguars -1||Top||13-6||Loss||-110||60 h 48 m||Show|
20* NFL Non-Conference GAME OF THE MONTH on Jacksonville Jaguars -1
I’ve been so impressed with rookie QB Gardner Minshew of the Jaguars. He has single-handedly injected life into this Jaguars team following their Week 1 loss to the Chiefs. They have gone 3-1 ATS since Minshew took over. And in three of his four games, he has led a late drive in the 4th quarter to give his team a chance to win. All three of those games were on the road, too.
The Jaguars only lost by 1 at Houston after falling inches short on a 2-point conversion. They got a late score to beat the Broncos 26-24 outright as underdogs in Denver. And last week Minshew was chucking it into the end zone in the final seconds of a 27-34 loss at Carolina. They also beat Tennessee 20-7 in his lone home start in a game that was never in doubt.
Minshew is completing 67% of his passes for 1,279 yards with a 9-to-1 TD/INT ratio this season. This is a Jaguars offense that just put up 507 total yards on a good Panthers defense last week. They had 455 yards on the Broncos last week. I think the last time we’ve seen a Jacksonville offense this explosive was back in the Mark Brunell days. The threat of Minshew has opened up running lanes for Leonard Fournette as well as the Jaguars have rushed for an average of 209 yards per game the last two weeks.
It’s time to ’sell high’ on the Saints. They are off to a 4-1 start this season despite losing Drew Brees in Week 2. They have played four straight games against NFC teams, and they are coming off a division win last week over the Bucs. Now they step out of conference and won’t be nearly as motivated here against the Jaguars.
The Saints have not put up very good numbers at all in their two road games this year. They have been outgained by an average of 193 yards per game in their road games against the Rams and Seahawks. The Jaguars simply need this win more as they sit at 2-3 on the season. I expect them to get it Sunday done Sunday at home with the help of a Saints team that won’t be as interested.
Jacksonville is 11-2 ATS in its last 13 home games after gaining six or more yards per play in two consecutive games. Fans will be excited to see Minshew in action because he hasn’t played at home in nearly a month with their last home game on September 19th. They’ll have a bigger home-field advantage than normal as a result. And there’s a good chance Jacksonville gets back CB Jalen Ramsey from injury this week. Bet the Jaguars Sunday.
|10-13-19||Eagles v. Vikings -3||20-38||Win||100||38 h 22 m||Show|
15* NFL Sunday No-Doubt Rout on Minnesota Vikings -3
The Minnesota Vikings showed some resiliency following their lackluster road loss to the Bears in Week 4. They bounced back with a 28-10 road win over the New York Giants in a game that wasn’t even that close. The Vikings outgained the Giants 490 to 211 and really should have won by even more.
Now, the Vikings return home where they have one of the best home-field advantages in the entire NFL. No stadium gets louder than Minnesota, and they have dominated in both of their home games this season. They are 2-0 and outscoring their opponents by 18.0 PPG. They beat the Falcons 28-12 before crushing the Raiders 34-14.
Mike Zimmer is 31-12 ATS in all home games as the coach of the Vikings. He has been even better as a home favorite when he has stepped outside the division. In fact, the Zimmer is 20-2 SU & 18-2-2 ATS as a home favorite against non-division opponents as the coach of Minnesota.
The Eagles are getting a little too much love for their 31-6 home win over the hapless New York Jets last week. Keep in mind this is a team that has lost to the Lions and Falcons this year, and they barely beat the Redskins. And the injury situation is not a good one for the Eagles. They are without DT Malik Jackson, DT Timmy Jernigan, WR DeSean Jackson, CB Ronald Darby, CB Avonte Maddox and RB Darren Sproles.
I think those two losses at defensive tackle in Jackson and Jernigan hurt the Eagles more than anything in this matchup with the Vikings. Minnesota has a renewed focus on running the football on offense this year. The Vikings are executing it to perfection as they are rushing for 166 yards per game and 5.4 yards per carry this season. This is easily the best rushing attack that the Eagles have faced yet as they have almost exclusively gone up against pass-heavy teams. Only one team has tried to run the ball more than 20 times on the Eagles this year.
The Vikings are 7-0 ATS in home games when the total is 42.5 to 49 over the last 2 seasons. The Vikings are 11-3 ATS in their last 14 home games vs. a team with a winning record. Minnesota is 38-16-1 ATS in its last 55 home games overall. Carson Wentz will be up against the best defense he has faced this year, and I expect him to struggle. Take the Vikings Sunday.
|10-12-19||Yankees +147 v. Astros||7-0||Win||147||8 h 23 m||Show|
15* Yankees/Astros ALCS ANNIHILATOR on New York +147
The New York Yankees are rested and ready to go after sweeping the Minnesota Twins in the ALDS. The three other series all went the distance. I think the Yankees are at an advantage here now, especially in Game 1 of this series. They don’t have to face Verlander or Cole, instead they get someone they can get to in Zack Greinke.
Plus, the Yankees are set up well now in their rotation. Their ace Masahiro Tanaka gets to take the ball in Game 1. Tanaka is 12-8 with a 4.40 ERA and 1.223 WHIP in 32 starts this season. He is coming off two great starts, going 2-0 with a 1.50 ERA while allowing just two earned runs in 12 innings. Tanaka has also had success against Houston recently, giving up 3 earned runs or fewer in five straight starts against them while allowing just 8 earned runs in 31 innings for a 2.32 ERA.
Zack Greinke is no doubt a great starter, but he just doesn’t seem like he is built for the postseason. The guy doesn’t talk and seems to shy away from the moment. Greinke was rocked for 6 runs in 3 2/3 innings with three homers in a 3-10 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays in Game 3. He is now 1-2 with an 8.55 ERA in four postseason starts, giving up 19 earned runs and 9 homers in 20 innings.
The Yankees are 10-1 in Tanaka’s last 11 Saturday starts. New York is 15-4 in Tanaka’s last 19 starts overall. The Astros are 0-4 in their last four ALCS games. Houston is 1-5 in its last six games vs. a team with a winning % above .600. Tanaka over Greinke here plus the extra rest is too good of value to pass up at this +147 price. Bet the Yankees in Game 1 Saturday.
|10-12-19||Penn State v. Iowa +3.5||Top||17-12||Loss||-108||72 h 10 m||Show|
25* Big Ten GAME OF THE YEAR on Iowa +3.5
The Iowa Hawkeyes finally got the humbling they needed last week on the road at Michigan. They lost that game 10-3 as their offense gave the game away. They committed 4 turnovers, including 3 interceptions from senior QB Nathan Stanley. Stanley is the kind of QB I trust to bounce back from such a bad performance. He still has a 60-to-19 TD/INT ratio for his career.
Now the Hawkeyes return home where they are 3-0 and winning by 33.0 PPG. This will be a night game for the Hawkeyes at Kinnick Stadium, which is one of the best atmospheres in the entire country. They have knocked off Michigan and Ohio State in recent years outright as home underdogs. In fact, Iowa has covered 70% of the time as a home underdog since 2000 in 22 attempts.
And Iowa wants revenge from a pair of tough losses to Penn State over the last two years. They lost 19-21 at home to Penn State as 12.5-point dogs in 2017. And last year they lost 24-30 at Penn State as 5-point dogs in a game they dominated everywhere but the scoreboard. And those were better Penn State teams than this 2019 version.
Yes, the Nittany Lions are 5-0, but they are a fraudulent 5-0. They have played four home games and just one road game at Maryland, which is essentially a home game for them as they had a ton of fans there. They have played the 86th-toughest schedule in the country. And that easy schedule is a big reason why I’m fading them this week.
The Nittany Lions were outgained by 72 yards at home by Buffalo in a very misleading final. They were also outgained at home by Pittsburgh in a lackluster 17-10 win. Pittsburgh is a poor man’s Iowa. This will be by far their toughest test of the season. Iowa has already played two very difficult games on the road against Iowa State and Michigan, so they are battle-tested.
Iowa has one of the best defenses in the country giving up just 8.8 points and 254 yards per game. The Nittany Lions are 0-17 ATS in their last 17 games vs. teams who give up 12 or fewer points per game. Penn State is 6-23 ATS in its last 29 road games after allowing 9 points or less last game. Iowa is 20-6 ATS in its last 26 vs. good offensive teams that score 37 or more points per game.
Plays against any team (Penn State) - after beating the spread by 40 or more points total in their last five games, a top-level team winning 80% or more of their games when playing a good team that wins 60% to 80% of their games are 42-13 (76.4%) ATS over the last five seasons. Bet Iowa Saturday.
|10-12-19||Nebraska +7.5 v. Minnesota||7-34||Loss||-109||72 h 8 m||Show|
15* CFB Saturday Undervalued Underdog on Nebraska +7.5
The Minnesota Golden Gophers are probably the most fraudulent 5-0 team in the country. Four of their five wins have come by 7 points or less, and the lone exception was a 23-point home win over Illinois last week in which the Fighting Illini were decimated by injuries. So, getting 7.5 points here with Nebraska is a tremendous value considering this is easily the toughest team they have faced yet.
Minnesota’s five wins have come against South Dakota State, Fresno State, Georgia Southern, Purdue and Illinois. They could easily be 2-3 instead of 5-0, too. They have played the 84th-toughest schedule in the country. I think they get a reality check here Saturday against the Cornhuskers, who are in must-win mode if they want to win the Big Ten West.
Nebraska is 4-2, but should be 5-1. They blew a 17-0 lead at Colorado and lost 31-34. Their other loss came to Ohio State, who may be the best team in the country. It’s a Nebraska team that has put up good numbers averaging 5.9 yards per play on offense and giving up only 5.1 yards per play on defense. And they’ve played the much tougher schedule having already played Ohio State.
I realize QB Adrian Martinez is questionable, but that is factored into the line. And it’s not like Martinez has been a world beater. Nebraska has a nice safety blanked in backup QB Noah Vedral, who spent time with Scott Frost at UCF and really knows the playbook. Vedral led the game-winning drive against Northwestern last week after Martinez left with injury. Not to mention another backup in Luke McCaffrey, Christian’s brother, is one of the top athletes on the team. The Huskers will be just fine if Martinez cannot go.
Minnesota had 239 more yards than Illinois last week, a banged up Illinois team. Well, Nebraska had 391 more yards than Illinois when they played them on the road earlier this season, which shows they are probably the better of these two teams, yet they are catching more than a touchdown. I simply believe Nebraska is undervalued right now after starting 1-5 ATS on the season, and they had a big second half of the season last year, which is something they can fall back on this year too.
Nebraska is 30-10 ATS in its last 40 games after failing to cover four or five of its last six games coming in. The Huskers are 6-0 ATS off three straight conference games over the last two seasons. Nebraska is 21-10-1 ATS in its last 32 road games. The Golden Gophers are 5-11-1 ATS in their last 17 games following an ATS win. Roll with Nebraska Saturday.
|10-12-19||San Jose State v. Nevada -2||38-41||Win||100||69 h 37 m||Show|
15* CFB Saturday No-Doubt Rout on Nevada -2
I love the spot for the Nevada Wolf Pack in this game. They are coming off a bye week following an embarrassing home loss to Hawaii. Now everyone has written them off, and I have no doubt they were extra focused these last two weeks to correct their mistakes. They are primed for their best effort of the season at home against San Jose State this weekend now.
That’s saying a lot considering they already beat Purdue 34-31 at home, and that was back when Purdue was healthy and good. Their two losses have come to Oregon and Hawaii, who are both two very quality teams. Now they take a step back in class here against San Jose State, a team they should be able to handle.
San Jose State is getting a lot of respect from oddsmakers due to beating Arkansas 31-24 on the road. The other two wins came at home over Northern Colorado and New Mexico as favorites, which weren’t impressive. They also lost at home by 18 against a mediocre Tulsa team, and were blown out on the road 24-41 at Air Force. That was a 10-41 game against Air Force before they tacked on two garbage touchdowns late.
The bye week was the perfect time to name Malik Henry their new starting quarterback. Henry was the No. 3 ranked QB coming out of high school and has transferred to Nevada from Florida State. It’s a surprise he didn’t win the job from the start, and he will be playing with a chip on his shoulder. Having two weeks to get accustomed to the offense due to the bye week will be a huge advantage for him.
Nevada is 8-0 SU & 7-1 ATS in its last eight home meetings with San Jose State. It is winning these games by an average of 22.6 points per game. Getting the Wolf Pack as only 2-point favorites here is an absolute gift from oddsmakers. Nevada is 13-3 ATS in its last 16 home games after scoring 14 points or less last game. The Wolf Pack are 7-2 ATS in their last nine games following a bye week.
Plays against all teams where the line is +3 to -3 (San Jose State) - off a home win over a conference rival, winning between 51% and 60% of their games on the season are 30-6 (83.3%) ATS over the last five seasons. Bet Nevada Saturday.
|10-12-19||Alabama v. Texas A&M +17||47-28||Loss||-110||68 h 17 m||Show|
15* Alabama/Texas A&M CBS No-Brainer on Texas A&M +17
The Texas A&M Aggies are treating this game as their Super Bowl. They already have two losses on the season, so for them to really call this a successful year, they need to upset Alabama. Look for them to put forth their biggest effort of the season at home here Saturday with the 12th man behind them at Kyle Field.
Yes, Texas A&M has two losses, but they were competitive in both. They lost to Clemson 10-24 and to Auburn 20-28. Both teams are ranked in the Top 12 in the country. If they can play with both of those teams, they should be able to stay within 17 points of Alabama at home here Saturday.
Obviously, the Aggies have played a tough schedule having already had to play Clemson and Auburn. Alabama has played the much easier schedule as the toughest team they have faced is South Carolina, which is ranked 38th in the Sagarin ratings. Their other four wins have come against Duke, New Mexico State, Southern Miss and Ole Miss.
This Alabama defense has shown vulnerability due to injuries. They gave up 23 points and 459 total yards to South Carolina and 31 points and 476 total yards to Ole Miss. It’s safe to say they don’t have the same lockdown defense they have had in years’ past. Kellen Mond and company should be able to score with Alabama and take advantage of their soft defense.
Texas A&M has been able to play Alabama tougher than most teams in recent years. Indeed, six of the last seven meetings have been decided by 22 points or fewer. Jimbo Fisher will have his players ready for the fight of their lives this weekend to try and turn their season around. Plus, defensively the Aggies are elite, giving up just 17.8 points per game, 299.8 yards per game and 4.7 yards per play this season. I would argue they have the better defense this year.
Texas A&M is 8-1 ATS vs. good passing teams with a completion percentage of 62% or better over the last three seasons. Nick Saban is 9-18 ATS when the total is 56.5 to 63 as the coach of Alabama. The Crimson Tide are 1-6 ATS in their last seven games following a win. The Aggies are 11-3 ATS in their last 14 home games. Take Texas A&M Saturday.
|10-12-19||Michigan State +11 v. Wisconsin||Top||0-38||Loss||-115||68 h 9 m||Show|
20* Michigan State/Wisconsin Big Ten No-Brainer on Michigan State +11
The Michigan State Spartans are way undervalued right now. They are coming off a 10-34 loss at Ohio State, and everyone seems to have given up on this team now. This is exactly the type of game I like backing the Spartans in as head coach Mark Dantonio always seems to get his team to respond. It’s a great time to ‘buy low’ on the Spartans this week.
Michigan State should be 5-1 this season with its only loss on the road at Ohio State. And Ohio State is making everyone look bad and may be the best team in the country. I say they should be 5-1 because they have outgained five of six opponents this year by an average of 160.4 yards per game. Their 7-10 loss to Arizona State was a fluke because they outgained the Sun Devils by 188 yards.
Wisconsin is overvalued due to being 5-0 SU & 4-1 ATS this season. Now they are laying too many points this week against a Michigan State team that I believe is close to their equal. It’s exactly the type of matchup that these teams love, and so do teams like Iowa and Northwestern in the Big Ten West. Games that are expected to be physical, low scoring games are what these teams live for.
Favorites of more than 7 points with a total of 43 or less are covering just 43% of the time over the last 17 seasons, a sample size of more than 400 games. Favorites have a hard time covering when it’s expected to be a low-scoring game.
Plus, these teams now have a common opponent in Northwestern. Wisconsin beat Northwestern only 24-15 at home despite getting two defensive touchdowns. Michigan State beat Northwestern 31-10 on the road. Those results against a common opponent give me a lot of confidence that the Spartans can give the Badgers a run for their money, possibly pulling off the upset.
That 24-point loss to Ohio State also sets Michigan State up for a great situation. Michigan State is 10-1 SU in its last 11 games off a double-digit loss with its only loss coming by a field goal. We saw how well the Spartans bounced back off that fluke loss to Arizona State with their 21-point win at Northwestern. And the Spartans will be looking to salvage their season with an upset victory here Saturday.
Michigan State is 5-4 SU & 6-3 ATS in its last nine meetings with Wisconsin. The Badgers have only beaten the Spartans by double-digits once in the last nine meetings. Wisconsin is 0-6 ATS after gaining 300 or more rushing yards last game over the past two seasons. Dantonio is 9-1 ATS in road games with a total of 42 or less as the coach of Michigan State.
Plays against any team (Wisconsin) - after beating the spread by 40 or more points total in their last five games, a top level team winning at least 80% of their games playing a good team that wins 60% to 80% of their games are 42-13 (76.4%) ATS over the last five seasons. Roll with Michigan State Saturday.
|10-12-19||Oklahoma v. Texas +11||34-27||Win||100||65 h 43 m||Show|
15* Oklahoma/Texas FOX Early ANNIHILATOR on Texas +11
The Oklahoma Sooners are overvalued after a 5-0 start against a very soft schedule. They haven’t played a team ranked higher than 43rd in the Sagarin ratings. The best team they have played thus far is Texas Tech, and two of their other premier games were against Houston and UCLA. The other two wins have come against South Dakota and Kansas.
Conversely, Texas has played the 16-toughest schedule in the country. Their 38-45 loss to LSU is looking better and better by the week. They have also beaten Oklahoma State, West Virginia, LA Tech and Rice thus far. I think the fact that the Longhorns are battle-tested is a huge advantage for them heading into this Red River Rivalry.
Texas always seems to play Oklahoma tough. Texas is 6-1 ATS in the last seven meetings with only one loss coming by double-digits, and that was a 12-point defeat. The Longhorns have covered those games by an average of 11.5 points per game. And we all know that Tom Herman loves playing the role of underdog. In fact, Herman is 13-3 ATS as an underdog as the coach of Texas.
Jalen Hurts has been up against a schedule of very soft defenses, and he’ll finally get some resistance here against Texas. His accuracy as a passer will finally get tested here. And the Longhorns have been good at stopping the run, holding opponents to just 117 rushing yards per game and 3.5 per carry. They will make Hurts try and beat them with his arm, and I’m doubting he’ll be able to do it.
Texas is 6-0 ATS in road games after playing a game where 60 or more total points were scored over the last three seasons. Herman is 11-2 ATS vs. good rushing teams that average 5.25 or more yards per carry in all games he has coached. The Longhorns are 7-2 ATS in their last nine neutral site games, while the Sooners are just 4-9 ATS in their last 13 neutral site games. Bet Texas Saturday.
|10-12-19||South Carolina +25 v. Georgia||Top||20-17||Win||100||65 h 39 m||Show|
20* SEC GAME OF THE MONTH on South Carolina +25
For starters, I love the fact that South Carolina is coming off a bye week. This has given them extra time to get healthy, and nobody needed it more than their two best offensive players in QB Ryan Hilinski and RB Rico Dowdle. Both are now probably and expected to play in this game against rival Georgia.
The Gamecocks bounced back nicely going into the bye with a 24-7 home win over Kentucky. They dominated that game by outgaining the Wildcats by 175 yards in the win. Hilinski has been impressive competing 61% for 912 yards with five touchdowns and three interceptions. Dowdle has rushed for 370 yards and four scores while averaging 6.6 per carry.
Georgia is coming off a misleading 43-14 win at Tennessee last week. This was a 15-point game with only eight minutes to go against a very bad Tennessee team that might be the worst in the SEC. But Georgia tacked on two touchdowns in the final minutes to cover, including a 69-yard fumble recovery for a score. It was such a bad beat for Tennessee backers that it ended up on SVP bad beats. I think Georgia is overvalued because they covered that game.
South Carolina always seems to play Georgia tough. In fact, the Gamecock’s have only lost once by more than 24 points to the Bulldogs in the last 42 meetings. That’s a 41-1 system backing South Carolina pertaining to this 25-point spread. Enough said. Take South Carolina Saturday.
|10-11-19||Nationals +124 v. Cardinals||2-0||Win||124||8 h 10 m||Show|
15* Nationals/Cardinals NLCS ANNIHILATOR on Washington +124
The Washington Nationals won the wild card game in comeback fashion. Then they trailed the big bad Dodgers 2-1 and won the final two games, including coming back from a 3-1 deficit in the 8th inning to win in extras in Game 5. They just feel like a team of destiny, and I’m probably going to keep riding them as much as possible the rest of the way because of it.
Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg and Patrick Corbin is about as good a 1-3 as there is in baseball. However, it makes people overlook the job Anibal Sanchez has done for this team. Sanchez is 11-8 with a 3.79 ERA in 31 starts this season, 7-6 with a 3.48 ERA in 15 road starts, and 2-0 with a 3.18 ERA in his last three starts. Sanchez has posted a 3.44 ERA in eight career starts against St. Louis as well.
Miles Mikolas is definitely one of the weak links in the Cardinals rotation. He is 9-14 with a 4.10 ERA in 33 starts this season. Mikolas has posted a 4.21 ERA in four career starts against the Nationals. I just don’t think he should be favored here over Sanchez and a Nationals lineup that is better than the one the Cards put on the field tonight.
The Nationals are 25-5 vs. an NL team with a batting average of .250 or worse in the second half of the season this season. Washington is 11-2 in its last 13 vs. a team with a winning record. The Nationals are 8-0 in their last eight games after scoring 5 runs or more in their previous game. Washington is 5-1 in Sanchez’s last six road starts. Take the Nationals Friday.
|10-11-19||Virginia +2.5 v. Miami-FL||Top||9-17||Loss||-109||48 h 19 m||Show|
20* Virginia/Miami ESPN No-Brainer on Virginia +2.5
Wrong team favored here. The Virginia Cavaliers are a legit ACC title contender this season and have been the best team in the Coastal to this point. They will prove they are the class of the Coastal with a road win at hapless Miami Friday night.
The Cavaliers are 4-1 this season with wins over Florida State and Pittsburgh. Their only loss came on the road at Notre Dame in a game they led at halftime, but five turnovers did them in in a misleading 20-35 loss. The Cavaliers were only outgained by 5 yards by the Fighting Irish in the loss.
Miami is already regretting hiring the inexperienced Manny Diaz. The Hurricanes are off to a 2-3 start this season with their only wins coming at home over Bethune-Cookman and Central Michigan. And even that win against Central Michigan was ugly as they won 17-12 as 30.5-point favorites while getting held to just 301 yards of total offense.
The three losses have come against the best three teams they played. They lost to Florida on a neutral, to UNC on the road and to Virginia Tech at home. That 35-42 home loss to the Hokies last year was real poor when you consider VA Tech was coming off a 10-45 home loss to Duke. It was a Hokies team that many feel quit on their head coach, but they jumped out to a 28-0 lead and never really looked back.
There’s going to be a lot of people backing Miami in this game that say the Hurricanes dominated the box score in that game. While that’s true, you have to factor in that VA Tech got up 28-0, and the Hurricanes were in the hurry up the rest of the way. Of course they are going to put up big numbers against the Hokies’ prevent defense. There’s a reason N’Kosi Perry was beat out by Jarren Williams at quarterback in the offseason. And I don’t think Perry is going to have much success against this vaunted Virginia defense.
This is a Virginia defense that is only allowing 21.4 points, 275 yards per game and 4.3 yards per play. They are holding opponents to 78 yards per game and 0.9 yards per play less than their season averages. Virginia also had the better QB in Bryce Perkins, a dual-threat who have accounted for 10 total touchdowns this year while completing 67% of his passes.
Miami is 3-15 ATS in its last 18 off an upset loss to a conference rival as a favorite of 6 points or more. The Hurricanes are 1-8 ATS when playing against a team with a winning record over the last two seasons. Miami is 1-11 ATS in its last 12 October games. The underdog is 13-2 ATS in the last 15 meetings. Virginia is 4-0 ATS in its last four trips to Miami. Bet Virginia Friday.
|10-10-19||Giants v. Patriots -16.5||14-35||Win||100||33 h 4 m||Show|
15* Giants/Patriots Non-Conference KNOCKOUT on New England -16.5
Tom Brady is on record saying this is the best defense he has ever played with in New England. That’s hard to argue when you look at the numbers this defense has put up since the Super Bowl last year, and frankly since the second half of last season in general.
The defense has allowed just two touchdowns total in their last six games, which is two touchdowns in 24 quarters. That’s hard to do in today’s NFL. Two touchdowns they’ve given up this season have been via special teams and on offense, so we don’t count those. They are the top ranked team in scoring defense at 6.8 points per game and total defense at 238.4 yards per game.
Now, you can only imagine what this defense is going to do to a rookie quarterback in Daniel Jones who is missing almost all of his top weapons. Top RB Saquon Barkley and backup RB Wayne Gallman have been ruled out, and the Giants are bringing up Jon Hillman from the practice squad to fill in for them. Top receiver Sterling Shepard won’t play after suffering a concussion last week, and the best weapon in TE Evan Engram is questionable with a knee injury.
Jones clearly has his hands full. This game will go similar to last week’s 10-28 home loss to the Vikings, who also have a strong defense. That game was a bigger blowout than the final score even showed as the Vikings outgained the Giants 490 to 211 in total yards, outgaining them by 279 yards for the game.
The Vikings had really struggled on offense prior to gaining 490 yards on this soft New York defense. It’s a Giants defense that ranks 30th in the NFL in giving up 409.4 yards per game. The Giants have cluster injuries at linebacker with three LB’s questionable, and their best LB in Ryan Connelly out for the season. Tom Brady and company should be able to score at will on them. The Vikings ran for 211 yards on them last year.
The Patriots are scoring 31.0 points per game and averaging 378.6 yards per game. This is the worst defense they have faced yet this season outside the Dolphins, who they beat 43-0. The Patriots are 5-0 this season with four of those wins coming by 16 points or more, so I’m not afraid to lay 16.5 points with them here.
New England is 13-2 ATS vs. poor passing defenses that allow 235 or more passing yards per game over the last three seasons. The Patriots are 13-3 ATS in their last 16 home games vs. a team with a losing record. New England is 43-19 ATS in its last 62 games overall. The Patriots are 40-17-2 ATS in their last 59 home games. Bet the Patriots Thursday.
|10-10-19||Rays v. Astros -1.5||Top||1-6||Win||100||8 h 25 m||Show|
20* Rays/Astros ALDS No-Brainer on Houston -1.5 (-120)
The Houston Astros knew they had an ace in their sleeve with Gerrit Cole to pitch Game 5 if need be. They took a shot with Justin Verlander on 3 days’ rest, and it didn’t work out. Now that ace in their sleeve will deliver for them tonight at home in Game 5.
Gerrit Cole is 17-0 over his last 23 starts with his last loss coming clear back on May 22nd. He has allowed 2 earned runs or fewer in 21 of those 23 starts. Cole is deserving of the AL Cy Young as he is 21-5 with a 2.41 ERA and 0.886 WHIP in 34 starts this season with 341 K’s in 220 innings. Cole pitched 7 2/3 shutout innings in Game 2 against the Rays with 15 K’s.
Tyler Glasnow was opposite Justin Verlander in a 2-6 loss to the Astros in Game 1. He allowed 2 runs and 7 base runners in 4 1/3 innings in the defeat. He’s not ready for this big of a stage. And the Astros have basically seen the entire Rays’ bullpen to this point, so they’ll know what to expect when Glasnow gets removed early.
Cole is 46-11 as a favorite of -150 or more over the last two seasons. The Astros are winning by 3.6 runs per game in this spot. Te Rays are 0-5 in their last five divisional playoff road games. Houston is 6-0 in its last six divisional playoff home games. The Astros are 27-4 in Cole’s last 31 home starts. Bet the Astros on the Run Line Thursday.
|10-09-19||Appalachian State v. UL-Lafayette -108||Top||17-7||Loss||-108||9 h 12 m||Show|
25* Sun Belt GAME OF THE YEAR on Louisiana-Lafayette PK
I absolutely love the situation for the Louisiana-Lafayette Rajin’ Cajuns tonight. They lost both meetings with Appalachian State last year, losing 27-17 in the regular season and 19-30 in the Sun Belt Championship Game. They were only outgained by 44 yards in the first meeting and actually outgained the Mountaineers by one yard in the title game.
It’s safe to say the Rajin’ Cajuns want some revenge tonight. Both of those meetings were on the road at Appalachian State. Now, the Rajin’ Cajuns get them at home this time around. It will be a rowdy atmosphere at Cajun Field for this week night game that has huge Sun Belt title implications.
Appalachian State isn’t as strong as last year, especially after losing head coach Scott Satterfield to Louisville. They have played the 143rd-toughest schedule in the country, which is a big reason why they are off to a 4-0 start. Three of their four wins have come at home, and their lone road win came at UNC 34-31 against a Tar Heels team that was in a clear flat spot.
Lafayette is the real deal this season. It is off to a 4-1 SU & 5-0 ATS start as oddsmakers have failed to realize how good this team really is. They have covered the spread by a combined 73 points during their 5-0 ATS start, or by an average of 14.6 points per game. Their only loss came on the road at Mississippi State 28-38 as 18.5-point dogs. They should be favored in this game Wednesday night.
Lafayette is putting up elite numbers this year, too, to prove that this start is no fluke. They are averaging 44.4 points, 540.2 yards per game and 7.6 yards per play on offense. They are only giving up 21.4 points, 345.2 yards per game and 5.1 yards per play on defense. They are outscoring opponents by 23.0 points per game, and they are outgaining them by 195.0 yards per game and 2.5 yards per play.
Looking at the yardage totals for Appalachian State, it’s easy to see that their 4-0 start is very fraudulent, especially when you consider how easy their schedule has been. The Mountaineers are gaining 429.2 yards per game on offense and giving up 420.0 yards per game on defense. They are only outgaining opponents by 9.2 yards per game on the season.
Lafayette is 17-3 ATS in its last 20 games after gaining 475 or more total yards per game in their last three games coming in. The Rajin’ Cajuns are 13-3 ATS in their last 16 games overall. Lafayette is 5-0 ATS in its last five games following a win. Bet Louisiana-Lafayette Wednesday.
|10-09-19||Cardinals v. Braves UNDER 7.5||13-1||Loss||-100||6 h 15 m||Show|
15* Braves/Cardinals NLDS Total DOMINATOR on UNDER 7.5
Two starters who have been absolutely dominant down the stretch square off in Game 5 of this winner-take-all contest tonight. It only makes sense to take the UNDER in a game where runs will be very hard to come by.
Jack Flaherty has posted a 1.11 ERA in his last 17 starts while allowing just 14 earned runs in 113 1/3 innings. No starter has been better than Flaherty in the second half of the season, and he is very deserving of winning the NL Cy Young. He has given up just 3 earned runs in 13 innings in his last two starts against the Braves.
Mike Foltynewicz got off to a slow start this season as he returned from injury. But he is clearly feeling back to his old self, posting a 1.48 ERA in his last eight starts while allowing only 8 earned runs in 48 2/3 innings. He has pitched 13 innings without allowing a single earned run and only 8 base runners in his last two starts against the Cardinals.
The UNDER is 13-3-2 in Flaherty’s last 18 starts. The UNDER is 8-1-2 in Flaherty’s last 11 road starts. The UNDER is 10-2 in Braves last 12 games vs. a starter with a WHIP less than 1.15. The UNDER is 4-0 in Foltynewicz’s last four home starts. Take the UNDER in this game Wednesday.
|10-08-19||Astros v. Rays +225||1-4||Win||225||8 h 39 m||Show|
15* Astros/Rays ALDS ANNIHILATOR on Tampa Bay +225
Few teams have played as well against the Astros as the Rays have over the past three years. Indeed, the Rays are 13-11 (+7.3 units) in all meetings with the Astros over the last three seasons. That includes an 8-4 (+6.1 units) record in 12 home meetings, including a 4-1 record in Tampa Bay this season.
Justin Verlander has had the Rays’ number, however he will be doing something he hasn’t done all season tonight. Verlander will be pitching on three days’ rest after facing them in Game 1 on Friday. If the Rays were ever going to get to Verlander, it would be tonight.
Getting seven innings from Charlie Morton and Oliver Drake on Monday has allowed manager Kevin Cash to have a healthy assortment of rested relievers to mix-and-max in Game 4. They’ll go with Diego Castillo to start. Castillo has pitched 3 2/3 shutout innings thus far in the postseason.
Castillo is 7-0 (+9.4 units) as an underdog of +100 or higher over the last two seasons. The Rays are 10-1 in their last 11 home games vs. a team with a winning road record. Tampa Bay is 22-7 in its last 29 home games overall. Houston is 6-18 in its last 24 trips to Tampa Bay. Bet the Rays Tuesday.
|10-07-19||Browns v. 49ers -3||Top||3-31||Win||100||174 h 3 m||Show|
20* Browns/49ers ESPN Monday No-Brainer on San Francisco -3
The San Francisco 49ers have finally remained healthy this season, and head coach Kyle Shanahan has shown what he can do with this team that has stockpiled a ton of talent through the draft and has been ready to break out. They have certainly broken out this season as they are off to as impressive a 3-0 start as anyone in the NFL thus far.
The 49ers have outscored their three opponents by a combined 42 points. The numbers they’ve put up show that it has been no fluke. The 49ers rank 4th in total offense at 421.0 yards per game while averaging 32 points per game. They are 3rd in total defense, giving up just 283.3 yards per game and 18 points per game. They are the only team in the NFL to rank in the Top 5 in both categories.
The 49ers are averaging 6.3 yards per play on offense and giving up only 4.7 yards per play on defense. As you can see, they are outgaining opponents by 1.6 yards per play, which is one of the best marks in the entire NFL and is probably the most important stat when handicapping games.
Jimmy G is getting into a rhythm offensively, and he is helped by an elite rushing attack that is averaging 175 rushing yards per game and 4.6 per carry. And this young defense has arguably the best front seven in the entire NFL thanks to mostly first-round draft picks across the board.
The Browns are getting too much respect here for their 40-25 beating of the Ravens last week. That’s a Baltimore team that ranks last in the NFL in total defense. Baker Mayfield really struggled in his first three games before having his best game of the season against the Ravens. He’ll go back to struggling this week against a defense that I believe is the best he will have faced up to this point in the 49ers. The Browns only averaged 16.3 points per game in their first three. And I don’t think they handle success very well.
The 49ers are hungry to be a winning team this year and take down the NFC West division. They are starving for wins. They have had such bad luck in the injury department in recent years, which has held them back. Shanahan has done a good job of getting the most out of what he has had to work with. Now, he has one of the best rosters in the NFL. That’s why I’m not concerned about the 49ers getting overconfident or lacking hunger. I think the bye week will have them re-focused and even healthier now, and there’s no question they want to show the world how good they are on Monday Night Football this week.
Cleveland is 1-9 ATS in its last 10 road games off a win by 10 points or more against a division opponent. San Francisco is 32-11 ATS in its last 43 Monday Night Football games. The Browns are 0-6 ATS in their last six games following a win by more than 14 points.
Plays against road underdogs or PK (Cleveland) - off an upset win by 14 points or more as an underdog, with a winning percentage between 45% & 55% on the season are 33-10 (76.7%) ATS since 1983. Bet the 49ers Monday.
|10-07-19||Dodgers v. Nationals -132||1-6||Win||100||9 h 4 m||Show|
15* MLB Monday No-Doubt Rout on Washington Nationals -132
Washington Nationals' manager Dave Martinez has saved his ace for Game 4 of this NLDS series against the Dodgers. It’s a good move as the Nationals are now set up well with Scherzer and Strasburg for Game’s 4 and 5 if needed.
Scherzer is 11-7 with a 2.98 ERA and 1.03 WHIP in 28 starts this season. Scherzer has owned the Dodgers recently, posting a 2.29 ERA in his last nine starts against them while allowing only 15 earned runs in 59 innings. He has allowed 2 earned runs or fewer in eight of those nine starts.
Rich Hill has only made 13 starts this season and is only averaging 4.5 innings per start. There’s a good chance he’ll get pulled early in this one as well, which will get the Nationals into the Dodgers’ bullpen early. Hill is 2-3 with a 4.67 ERA in eight career starts against the Nationals.
The Nationals are 13-3 in Scherzer’s last 16 starts. Washington is 5-0 in its last five games following a loss. The Nationals are 6-1 in their last seven vs. a left-handed starter. Take the Nationals Monday.
|10-06-19||Braves -113 v. Cardinals||3-1||Win||100||5 h 19 m||Show|
15* Braves/Cardinals NLDS ANNIHILATOR on Atlanta -113
For whatever reason, the Braves decided to save their best pitcher for Game 3 of this series Sunday. Mike Soroka is 13-4 with a 2.68 ERA and 1.111 WHIP in 29 starts. It actually makes sense when you consider Soroka has been at his best on the road, going 7-1 with a 1.55 ERA and 0.963 WHIP in 16 starts away from home. He is also 1-0 with a 0.69 ERA and 0.923 WHIP in two career starts against St. Louis, both of which have come in 2019.
The Braves clearly have the edge on the mound over the Cardinals in this one. Adam Wainwright is 14-10 with a 4.14 ERA and 1.427 WHIP in 31 starts this season. He was not good in his final two starts of the regular season, going 1-1 with a 10.61 ERA while allowing 11 earned runs and 5 homers in 9 1/3 innings. Wainwright is also 1-2 with a 7.20 ERA in his last four starts against the Braves, giving up 16 earned runs in 20 innings.
Soroka is 13-1 vs. an NL team with a team batting average of .250 or worse over the last two seasons. The Braves are winning by 3.2 runs per game in this spot. Bet the Braves Sunday.
|10-06-19||Vikings v. Giants +6||Top||28-10||Loss||-110||95 h 44 m||Show|
20* NFL DOG OF THE MONTH on New York Giants +6
I’ve been on the Giants in both games since Daniel Jones took over at quarterback and they haven’t disappointed. They erased an 18-point deficit at Tampa Bay and won 32-31 as 6.5-point underdogs. And last week they dominated from start to finish in a 24-3 rout of the Redskins at home. Jones just gives this team a huge boost as they know they have a chance with him under center.
He completed over 85% of his passes in the preseason with 416 yards and two touchdowns with zero interceptions and a 137.3 QBR. He has carried over that success to the regular season. Jones is completing 69% of his passes for 578 yards and 8.1 yards per attempt through two games. He has the 3rd-best QBR in the league right now. His mobility is what really gives this offense a boost as he has rushed for 66 yards and two scores on 6.6 per carry through two games.
Heck, what was a bad defense though the first three weeks even stepped their game up in a big way last week, and I have no doubt it’s the boost they got from Jones at quarterback. The Giants limited the Redskins to just 176 total yards and forced 4 turnovers. Now a weak Vikings offense comes to town and the Giants should not be catching 5.5 points at home in this one.
Kirk Cousins has been awful this season as the Vikings are averaging just 169 passing yards per game. The Vikings have wanted to run the football more this year is part of the reason, but there’s just no fixing Cousins at this point. The Giants have done a good job of stopping the run this year, holding opponents to 110 rushing yards per game and 3.9 per carry.
Jones is forming a great chemistry with Sterling Shepard and Evan Ingram, his two best weapons. And now the Giants get Golden Tate back from a 4-game suspension. They didn’t miss Saquon Barkley at all last week. Backup Wayne Gallman rushed for 63 yards and a touchdown and added 6 receptions for 55 yards and a score. I think the Barkley injury is overblown and being factored into the line too much once again.
The Vikings are 1-5 ATS in their last six road games and have lost both road games to the Packers and Bears this season. The home team is 4-1 ATS in the last five meetings in this series. Minnesota is 0-6 ATS in its last six games after allowing less than 90 rushing yards in its previous game. New York is 5-0-1 ATS in its last six games after gaining 350 or more total yards in its previous game.
Plays on home underdogs of 3.5 to 10 points (NY Giants) - after allowing 14 points or less last game against an opponent that scored 3 points or less in the first half last game are 25-6 (80.6%) ATS over the last five seasons. Finally, the Giants’ home-field advantage is bigger than it normally is in the short-term because fans are excited about Jones, and we saw that last week against the Redskins. Bet the Giants Sunday.
|10-06-19||Bills v. Titans -2.5||Top||14-7||Loss||-105||95 h 43 m||Show|
20* NFL Sunday No-Doubt Rout on Tennessee Titans -2.5
I am on the Tennessee Titans this week despite the fact that they are a tough team to figure out. They’ve gone on the road and beaten both Cleveland and Atlanta in blowouts to flash their potential. But they also lost at home to the Colts and had a no-show at Jacksonville. However, I trust them more than the Bills this week.
It’s a terrible spot for Buffalo. They feel like they should be 4-0. They blew a golden opportunity against the team they hate the most in the Patriots last week. They dominated the box score, but committed 4 turnovers and gave up a special teams touchdown to gift-wrap the game to the Patriots.
This has hangover written all over it. It’s the type of loss that beats a team twice because they still aren’t over it the next week, which usually leads to a bad week of practice and another poor performance. Not to mention, they lost starting QB Josh Allen to a concussion in the loss and he’s unlikely to play this week.
Meanwhile, the Titans are almost fully healthy and get back their best offensive lineman in Tayler Lewan from a 4-game suspension. He will certainly help in pass protection and run blocking as the Titans love to run behind their road grader. The Titans also want revenge from a 12-13 loss in Buffalo last season in which they gave the game away with 3 turnovers.
Both teams are pretty equal defensively as the Bills give up 15.7 points per game this season, while the Titans give up 15.5 points per game. But there’s no question the Titans have the edge on offense. They average 22.7 points per game, while the Bills average just 19.0 points per game. And the Bills will be severely handicapped if Matt Barkley starts over Allen. We are getting a line here that indicates Allen will start, but if he is out then this line will sure go to -3.5 or higher.
The Titans are 26-13 ATS in their last 39 games as a home favorite of 3 points or less. Tennessee is 11-5 ATS in its last 16 games vs. a team with a winning record. They seem to show up against the better teams in the NFL. They will want it more than the Bills this week, who are still hungover from that Patriots loss. Take the Titans Sunday.
|10-06-19||Ravens v. Steelers +3.5||26-23||Win||100||95 h 43 m||Show|
15* Ravens/Steelers AFC North ANNIHILATOR on Pittsburgh +3.5
The Baltimore Ravens are probably the most overrated team in the NFL right now. They should not be 3.5-point road favorites over the rival Steelers. In fact, this is the largest home underdog role for the Steelers ever in the Tomlin vs. Harbaugh series. And it’s worth noting that 13 of the last 25 meetings in this series were decided by 3 points or less, so there’s definitely value getting the Steelers +3.5 this week.
The reason the Ravens are overrated is because they have one of the worst defenses in the NFL. They rank 27th in total defense in giving up 395.5 yards per game. They are also dead last in yards per play (7.0) allowed. They gave up 33 points and 503 total yards to the Chiefs two weeks ago. And last week they allowed 40 points and 520 total yards to the Browns, a Browns offense that had been struggling prior to that game.
I think the Steelers are underrated because they opened 0-3 this season against a brutal schedule that featured road games at the Patriots and 49ers, as well as a home loss to the Seahawks. Well, those three teams are a combined 11-1 this season. And they gave the Seahawks and 49ers a run for their money, only losing by a combined 6 points to those two.
I was on the Steelers Monday night in their ‘get right’ game against the Bengals. They did not disappoint as they dominated in a 27-3 victory. The offense finally got going under Mason Rudolph with 260 passing yards. They got created with the wild cat package, too, and I’m sure they have more tricks up their sleeve that the Ravens won’t be prepared for this week. They also held the Bengals to 175 total yards and have a better defense than they showed in the first three weeks of the season.
The Steelers have always been better with their backs against the wall under Mike Tomlin. They have covered 70% of the time when they’ve had a losing record. Despite the 1-3 start, the Steelers are only one game back in the AFC North. If they win this week and the Browns lose at San Francisco Monday night, they’ll actually be tied for first place in the division. They still have all of their goals in front of them.
The Ravens are 0-5 ATS in their last five games following a loss. Baltimore is 0-5 ATS in its last five vs. AFC North opponents. The Steelers are 6-1-1 ATS in their last seven games following an ATS win. The underdog is 7-1-1 ATS in the last nine meetings. These four trends combine for a 23-2 system backing Pittsburgh. Roll with the Steelers Sunday.
|10-06-19||Bears v. Raiders +5.5||21-24||Win||100||95 h 42 m||Show|
15* Bears/Raiders London No-Brainer on Oakland +5.5
Bettors and oddsmakers alike just don’t want to give the Oakland Raiders any credit. They have been an underdog of 3 points or more in all four games this season, and a dog of 6 or more three times. Yet, they’ve managed to go 2-2 and I believe they are better than they are getting credit for. That’s why I’ll ‘buy low’ on the Raiders again this week just as I did last week when they beat the Colts 31-24 outright as 6-point dogs on the road.
Conversely, the betting public is quick to back the Bears after winning three straight coming in. But two of those wins were against winless Denver and Washington, who are a combined 0-8. And the other was a 16-6 home win last week against an overrated Minnesota Vikings team. I just don’t think the Bears can be laying big points when their offense averages just 16.5 points per game while ranking 30th in total offense at 273.5 yards per game. Their defense is elite, but they can only carry this team so far.
Jon Gruden and Derek Carr are clearly on the same page this season. He is having a great year as Carr is completing 72.1% of his passes for 888 yards with a 6-to-3 TD/INT ratio thus far. He loves his two new targets in Tyrell Williams and Darren Waller. Williams has 17 receptions for 216 yards and four touchdowns, and Waller has been a matchup nightmare that will exploit this Bears defense. He has already caught 33 balls for 320 yards. Plus, rookie Josh Jacobs has rushed for 307 yards and two scores while averaging 5.0 per carry.
One key reason I’m backing the Raiders is because they are used to this trip to London, and I agree with their approach of flying out early rather than flying out late like the Bears did. Last season, the Raiders flew in late in the week, and didn’t put up much of a fight in a 27-3 loss to a very good Seahawks team at Wembley Stadium. Coach Jon Gruden takes full responsibility for that showing.
“I learned a valuable lessen,” Gruden said. “We need a little more time to get acclimated. It’s my first time last year coming to London and playing football. I’m used to playing home games at home. I made a mistake, tried to correct it this year and hopefully it shows on the field.”
“My body feel better, I know our team feels better,” Carr said. “Having that day off when you first get here, and then having another day off after that to rest and get right and eat, get your metabolism going back the right way. As a family man I hate it, but as a quarterback I love it. I think coming the whole week is a good move.”
The Bears spent all week begging their players to fall asleep on their overnight flight, which separated Chicago around dinnertime Thursday and landed in London around breakfast Friday morning. Chicago receiver Allen Robinson has played overseas three times as a member of the Jaguars, the NFL’s unofficial London team.
“It’s a rude awakening,” Robinson said. “I’ll be honest; It isn’t an easy trip. You’ve got to get over there, and you’ve got to get acclimated quickly. It’s a long flight. As soon as you land, you’re starting your day. My advice to the team would be to go to sleep as soon as you get on the plane. It’s such a different agenda than you’re accustomed to, as far as sleep patters.”
Chicago is 13-33 ATS in its last 46 road games after a game with a turnover margin of +2 or better. The Bears are 3-12 ATS in their last 15 games off three consecutive games with a turnover margin of +1 or better. The Raiders won’t be giving the Bears the same turnover gifts that the last three teams they have faced have. And I like that the Raiders will feel normal having gone to London early in the week to get acclimated, while the Bears’ bodies won’t quite be used to it in time for this game. Take the Raiders Sunday.
|10-06-19||Falcons +5 v. Texans||32-53||Loss||-105||95 h 42 m||Show|
15* NFL Sunday Non-Conference KNOCKOUT on Atlanta Falcons +5
It’s do or die for the Atlanta Falcons this week. They sit at 1-3, two games behind the Saints in the NFC South and alone in last place in the division. This is a must-win for them, and I like backing teams where I know I’m going to get their max effort.
It’s also time to ‘buy low’ on the Falcons after most bettors have given up on them after their 1-3 start. But when you look at the numbers, this is much better than a 1-3 team. The Falcons are improved defensively this season as they are 8th in total defense, giving up 324.8 yards per game. They are 12th in total offense, averaging 382.8 yards per game. They are outgaining opponents by 58 yards per game and 0.7 yards per play as they average 6.0 yards per play on offense and give up 5.3 yards per play on defense. Those are numbers of a 3-1 team, not a 1-3 team.
The Houston Texans are 2-2, but they have the numbers of a 1-3 team. They are 22nd in total offense at 329.2 yards per game and 5.5 yards per play. They are 17th in total defense, giving up 363.5 yards per game and 5.7 per play. The problem with their offense is their offensive line and Deshaun Watson holding onto the ball too long.
In fact, Watson has now been sacked at least 4 times in nine of their last 10 games. They led the league in giving up 61 sacks last year and are well on their way to leading the league in that category again. You’d think head coach Bill O’Brien would do more to protect Watson and make sure the ball gets out quicker, but that’s just not happening. Those negative plays keep wrecking drives.
The Texans have scored just 10, 13 and 7 points in their last three home games dating back to their loss to the Colts in the playoffs last year. They are averaging just 10.0 points per game. It’s hard to lay points with a team like the Texans who just haven’t been able to score at home, let alone lay more than a field goal, which you have to do if you want to back the Texans here. This line should be a field goal or less, and that’s why I think there’s tremendous value with the Falcons here.
Atlanta is 13-4 ATS in its last 17 road games after allowing 24 points or more in the first half last game. Houston is 13-28 ATS in its last 41 games vs. excellent offensive teams that average 375 or more yards per game. The Falcons are 23-9 ATS in their last 32 games after scoring less than 15 points in their previous game.
Plays on road teams (Atlanta) a good passing team (265 PYPG or more) against a poor pass defense (230-265 PYPG allowed), after allowing 7 or more passing yards per attempts in two straight games are 33-8 (80.5%) ATS over the last 10 seasons. At some point, the Falcons are going to stop self-destructing and living up to their potential, and I’m betting on it being this week. Bet the Falcons Sunday.
|10-05-19||Liberty v. New Mexico State +5||20-13||Loss||-109||77 h 48 m||Show|
15* CFB Saturday UPSET SHOCKER on New Mexico State +5
You would be hard-pressed to find a team that has played a tougher schedule than New Mexico State has to this point. The Aggies have played the 15th-toughest schedule in the country according to Sagarin, and that’s a big reason why they are 0-5 this season. They have been a 17-plus point underdog in four of their five games, and a dog in all five.
They opened the season with road losses to Washington State and Alabama. They have played two of the best teams in the Mountain West in San Diego State and Fresno State at home. And their most winnable game was as 4-point dogs at New Mexico in a 52-55 loss in a huge rivalry game. They have managed to go 3-2 ATS, so they have exceeded expectations in terms of the spread. And they were competitive in every game as they were only outgained by 68 yards by SDSU, 109 yards by New Mexico and 71 yards by Fresno.
Now, New Mexico State is looking at this home game against Liberty as their best chance to get a victory. They don’t want to let this opportunity slip by, and they are hungry for their first win. They have a three-game road trip coming up at Central Michigan, at Georgia Southern and at Ole Miss after this. No question they have this game circled.
Plus, Liberty and New Mexico State are becoming rivals quickly. They played each other twice last year with the home team winning both meetings. New Mexico State won 49-41 at home as 3-point dogs and racked up 573 total yards in the victory. Liberty won 28-21 at home as 6-point favorites despite getting outgained 396 to 295. New Mexico State outgained Liberty by a total of 158 yards in the two meetings.
I think Liberty comes in overvalued off due to its three-game winning streak. They opened the season with a 24-0 home loss to Syracuse and a 14-35 road loss at Louisiana-Lafayette. But they have reeled off three straight home wins since against a soft schedule in Buffalo, Hampton and New Mexico. They only beat New Mexico 17-10 as 7.5-point home favorites last week.
So, Liberty has played four home games compared to just one road game. They have played the 121st-toughest schedule in the country compared to the 15th-toughest for NMSU. That difference in strength of schedule is the biggest reason I’m on New Mexico State this week. Plus, it’s a must-win game for the Aggies with the brutal schedule they still have ahead with three straight road games next. Bet New Mexico State Saturday.
|10-05-19||California v. Oregon -17.5||Top||7-17||Loss||-110||77 h 47 m||Show|
20* Pac-12 GAME OF THE WEEK on Oregon -17.5
The Oregon Ducks are undervalued due to losing to Auburn in their opener. They had that game in hand but allowed a big comeback late and lost 21-27 as 4-point dogs. Well, Auburn has gone 5-0 SU & 5-0 ATS this season and is clearly one of the best teams in the country, so that loss doesn’t feel too bad now. And the Ducks know they still have a chance to win the Pac-12 and make the four-team playoff. They have been and will be motivated for style points the rest of the way.
Oregon has gone on to dominate in their three games since that loss. They beat Nevada 77-6 as 24-point home favorites, cruised past Montana 35-3, and topped Stanford 21-6 on the road as 10.5-point favorites. They haven’t allow a single touchdown in any of their last three games as this may be the best defense in program history. They are giving up just 10.5 points, 263 yards per game and 3.9 yards per play this season.
Justin Herbert returned this season for one reason and one reason only, and that’s to win the Pac-12. He has been a tremendous leader for this team and is having another monster season this year. Herbert is completing 74.4% of his passes for 1,127 yards with a 14-to-0 TD/INT ratio while averaging 8.7 yards per attempt.
California got off to a fraudulent 4-0 start and was and still is getting too much respect from oddsmakers because of it. This vaunted Cal defense gave up over 500 total yards to Ole Miss two weeks ago and were fortunate to win 28-20. They only beat North Texas 23-17 as 14-point home favorites, the same North Texas team that was just blasted by Houston last week despite the Cougars redshirting their top QB and WR before the game. And last week they were upset 17-24 at home by Arizona State while getting outgained by 120 yards.
Of course, it hurt that Cal QB Chase Garbers had to leave the game with a shoulder injury. Backup QB Devon Modster was forced into action and was terrible, completing 5-of-14 passes for 23 yards with an interception. Now Modster will have to start for them moving forward, and I just don’t see how Cal can score enough points to hang with Oregon. It’s a Cal offense that is only scoring 23.0 points per game this season after averaging just 21.5 points per game last year, and that was with a solid Garbers at QB.
Oregon beat Cal 42-24 on the road last year. Oregon is now 9-1 in the last 10 meetings with eight of those nine wins coming by 16 points or more. Oregon is 11-1 SU & 10-2 ATS in its last 12 home meetings with Cal, winning by an average of 18 points per game. The Ducks are 43-13 ATS in their last 56 games after allowing 3 points or less in the first half last game. Finally, the Ducks have had two full weeks to prepare for Cal, and they are 20-8 ATS in their last 28 games off a bye week. Roll with Oregon Saturday.
|10-05-19||Northwestern v. Nebraska -7||10-13||Loss||-117||73 h 54 m||Show|
15* Northwestern/Nebraska FOX No-Brainer on Nebraska -7
The Nebraska Cornhuskers have every reason to be more motivated for this game than any game yet at this point in the season. They were just embarrassed on National TV by Ohio State, which is looking more and more like the best team in the country. And now they want revenge on Northwestern after blowing a big lead to the Wildcats last year.
In fact, the Cornhuskers have now lost in overtime to Northwestern each of the last two seasons. They led 31-21 at Northwestern with under three minutes to play. Northwestern scored 10 points in the final 2:27, including a TD with 12 seconds left to force OT. Then they won it on a field goal in the extra session. It was a heartbreaking loss for the Huskers, and one that certainly have not forgotten.
The Huskers should be 4-1 this season. They blew a 17-0 lead at Colorado in Week 2 for their other loss outside Ohio State. They are clearly improved. Scott Frost is trying to build something big here, which is why I’m not worried about how they’ll come back off that loss to Ohio State. Frost is a prideful guy who has rubbed off on his players and I have no doubt they’ll give a big effort this week.
While the Huskers are improved, Northwestern clearly isn’t the same team that won the Big Ten West last year. The Wildcats are just 1-3 SU & 1-3 ATS this season with their only win coming 30-14 at home against a UNLV team that has looked atrocious this season. They also lost to a bad Stanford team 7-17 on the road, were blown out at home by Michigan State 10-31, and lost last week to Wisconsin 15-24.
I was on Northwestern last week as 24-point dogs at Wisconsin. It was a clear flat spot for the Badgers off their huge win over Michigan the previous week. And the Badgers were as flat as a pancake as expected. It was also a good matchup for Northwestern. Pat Fitzgerald’s teams always do better in games that are expected to be physical, low-scoring games. They don’t do as well against teams like Nebraska that can spread you out and use their speed.
This is a dynamic Huskers offense that is putting up 31.8 points, 438 yards per game and 6.1 yards per play. Adrian Martinez has remained healthy this season and is playing well, completing 59.5% of his passes for 1,099 yards with a 7-to-5 TD/INT ratio and 8.7 yards per attempt. Martinez has also rushed for 315 yards and three scores already. The Wildcats will struggle to contain his speed just as they did last year with the Huskers scored 31 points on them.
Northwestern has a putrid offense that won’t be able to keep up with Nebraska. The Wildcats are averaging just 15.5 points, 293 yards per game and 3.9 yards per play this season. QB Hunter Johnson has been a huge disappointment after transferring from Clemson. He also got hurt last week against Wisconsin, and though he’s probable this week, he won’t be 100%.
Nebraska is 16-3 ATS in its last 19 games vs. poor passing teams with a completion percentage of 48% or worse. The Huskers are 7-0 ATS after playing two straight conference games over the last two seasons. Nebraska is 13-3 ATS in its lsat 16 games after failing to cover the spread in four of its last five games coming in. The Huskers are 4-0-1 ATS in their last five games off a loss. A lot of bettors have given up on the Huskers after their no-show against Ohio State last week, and this is the perfect time to ‘buy low’ on them. Roll with Nebraska Saturday.
|10-05-19||Baylor v. Kansas State -2||Top||31-12||Loss||-107||92 h 58 m||Show|
20* Big 12 GAME OF THE WEEK on Kansas State -2
I think this is a good opportunity to buy low on Kansas State and sell high on Baylor after their performances last week. Kansas State lost by 13 to Oklahoma State and failed to cover the 4-point spread. That was a hungry Cowboys team as they didn’t want to open 0-2 in Big 12 play after a tough loss at Texas. And it’s always tough to win in Stillwater.
Baylor beat Iowa State 23-21 at home outright as 2.5-point dogs last week. A lot of people were on Iowa State in that game, so it’s a result that is giving Baylor a lot of respect. But now this will be just Baylor’s 2nd road game of the season. Their only other road game this year was a lackluster 21-13 win at Rice as 27-point favorites.
Kansas State is coming off a tough two-game road trip at Mississippi State and Oklahoma State. They were certainly happy to get a split there as they upset Mississippi State before losing to the Cowboys. But in their two home games this season, Kansas State has outscored its two opponents 101-14. Fans will be excited for the Big 12 home opener this week with Baylor coming to town.
It’s a good matchup for Kansas State. They have been soft against the run, but Baylor is a team that likes to put the ball in the air. And Kansas State is only giving up 127 passing yards per game, 51.1% completions and 5.4 yards per attempt. I really just think that Baylor is overvalued after starting 4-0 against such a soft schedule. Kansas State is way more battle-tested having already faced Mississippi State and Oklahoma State.
The Wildcats are 6-1 ATS in their last seven home games. Kansas State is 6-1 ATS in its last seven games off a loss. The Wildcats are 19-7-1 ATS in their last 27 games after failing to cover the spread in their previous game. The Bears are 2-7 ATS in their last 9 games after covering the spread in their previous game. Kansas State is 4-1 ATS in its last five home meetings with Baylor. The Wildcats are 14-3 ATS in their last 17 games after being out-rushed by 200 or more yards in their previous game. Bet Kansas State Saturday.
|10-05-19||Illinois +14 v. Minnesota||Top||17-40||Loss||-109||72 h 19 m||Show|
20* Big Ten GAME OF THE WEEK on Illinois +14
This is easily the best team that Lovie Smith has had at Illinois. The Fighting Illini returned 17 starters this year. They opened 2-0 with conformable wins over Akron and Connecticut. But they have lost back-to-back heartbreakers to Eastern Michigan by 3 and Nebraska by 4. They are coming off a bye week, which helps them refocus off those two tough losses. And they should put forth a great effort here against Minnesota as a result this week.
Minnesota is a fraudulent 4-0 this season, and that’s why it’s time to sell high on them. All four wins have come by 7 points or less against an easy schedule of South Dakota State, Fresno State, Georgia Southern and Purdue. I expect this one goes down to the wire as well.
Illinois has been terrible the last two seasons, but yet they’ve had Minnesota’s number. They only lost by 7 as 14.5-point road dogs in 2017. And last year they pulled the upset in blowout fashion as 9.5-point home dogs 55-31. The Fighting Illini racked up 646 total yards against Minnesota last year, including 430 rushing.
This will easily be the best rushing attack the Golden Gophers have faced this year. Illinois averages 181 rushing yards per game and 4.6 per carry this season. Minnesota just can’t run the football. They average 116 rushing yards per game and 2.6 per carry despite the soft schedule. They are a one-dimensional passing team, which is why I don’t trust them.
The underdog is 7-3 ATS in the last 10 meetings. The Golden Gophers are 1-4 ATS in their last five games off an ATS win. It’s time to sell high on fraudulent, unbeaten Minnesota this week. And they could easily be looking ahead to their showdown with Nebraska next week. The Fighting Illini will give them more of a fight than they bargained for this weekend. Take Illinois Saturday.
|10-05-19||Eastern Michigan v. Central Michigan +6.5||16-42||Win||100||72 h 47 m||Show|
15* MAC PLAY OF THE DAY on Central Michigan +6.5
The Central Michigan Chippewas are improving rapidly under former Florida head coach Jim McElwain. He was one of the better hires of the offseason, and probably the best hire in the MAC. He is trying to turn the Chippewas into relevance again as this has been one of the better MAC programs throughout the years.
The Chippewas are 2-3 on the season, and all three losses have come on the road against some very good teams in Wisconsin, Miami and Western Michigan. After no-showing at Wisconsin, I was impressed with their last two road performances. They only lost 12-17 at Miami as 30.5-point dogs and held the Hurricanes to just 301 total yards in the defeat. And last week they lost 15-31 at Western Michigan as 16-point dogs in a very misleading final. They actually outgained Western Michigan by 5 yards in the defeat.
Since David Moore took over at quarterback after the loss to Wisconsin, this Chippewas offense has taken off. Moore has thrown for 854 yards with three touchdowns and three interceptions in three starts since taking over. Plus, Central Michigan has dominated in its two home games this season, beating Albany 38-21 as 13.5-point favorites and topping Akron 45-24 as 2.5-point favorites.
Eastern Michigan has played a very soft schedule, and all of their wins have been close. Yes, they are 3-1, but they only beat Coastal Carolina by 7, Illinois by 3 and Central Connecticut State by 5. They also lost by 21 at Kentucky. That 5-point win over Central Connecticut State only came after they blocked a punt and returned it for a touchdown in the final seconds. They were 33-point favorites in that game, so it was an awful effort and one that shows they are extremely vulnerable. They have no business being nearly touchdown road favorites here.
Central Michigan is 5-2 SU & 5-2 ATS in its last seven meetings with Eastern Michigan. The home team has won four straight meetings in this series. Eastern Michigan is 10-23 ATS in its last 33 road games off a home win. Chris Creighton is 2-9 ATS off two or more consecutive overs as the coach of Eastern Michigan. The Eagles are 12-27 ATS in their last 39 games following a win. The Chippewas are 9-4 ATS in their last 13 after scoring less than 20 points in their previous game. Take Central Michigan Saturday.
|10-05-19||TCU v. Iowa State -3||24-49||Win||100||90 h 22 m||Show|
15* CFB Saturday Early ANNIHILATOR on Iowa State -3
The Iowa State Cyclones feel like they should be 4-0. They blew late leads against both Iowa at home and Baylor on the road in the closing minutes. They lost those two games by a combined 3 points. Now, this is a must-win game for them at home Saturday when they host the TCU Horned Frogs as they don’t want to fall to 0-2 in the Big 12. All goals are still in front of this team with a big finish. They started slow last year at 1-3, but rebounded for an 8-5 season. They brought 16 starters back from that team as well.
When you look at the numbers, it’s easy to see Iowa State has been much more dominant than is 2-2 record would indicate. The Cyclones are averaging 500.0 yards per game and 7.1 yards per play on offense, and only giving up 352.7 yards per game and 4.6 yards per play on defense. They are outgaining their opponents by 147.3 yards per game and 2.5 yards per play on the year. This is still one of the better teams in the country, but since they are just 2-2 they are getting overlooked now.
TCU has played such a soft schedule and is just 3-1 this season despite playing three home games. They lost at home to SMU 38-41. That’s a good SMU team, but it’s still a bad loss. Their three wins have come against Arkansas-Pine Bluff, Purdue and Kansas. And that win over Purdue comes with an asterisk. The Boilermakers were banged up and it was their first game without QB Elijah Sindelar. Plus, TCU was off a bye week, so it was a great spot for the Horned Frogs.
Once again, TCU is a one-dimensional running team, which isn’t going to bode well for them here against Iowa State. The Horned Frogs average 275 rushing yards per game, but they are completing just 52.3% of their passes for 213 passing yards per game despite the easy schedule. Well, Iowa State has been stout against the run, giving up just 119 rushing yards per game and 3.3 yards per carry. They held a really good Iowa rushing attack to just 112 yards on 37 carries, an average of 3.0 yards per carry.
The home team has won three straight and four of the last five meetings in this series. TCU is 0-6 ATS off two consecutive games where they forced one or fewer turnovers over the last two seasons. Iowa State is 7-0 ATS in October games over the last three years. The Cyclones are 6-0 ATS after having lost two of their last three games over the last three seasons. These three trends combine for a perfect 19-0 system backing the Cyclones. Take Iowa State Saturday.
|10-05-19||Purdue +28.5 v. Penn State||7-35||Win||100||69 h 48 m||Show|
15* CFB Saturday Undervalued Underdog on Purdue +28.5
The Penn State Nittany Lions come into this game way overvalued. They are 4-0 and coming off a 59-0 beat down as only 6-point favorites at Maryland, covering the spread by 53 points. Now the betting public is quick to jump on them after that performance, and quick to forget that they were in dog fights with Buffalo and Pittsburgh in their two previous games at home.
Indeed, in Week 3 Penn State actually trailed Buffalo at halftime as 31.5-point favorites. They were outgained by 72 yards by the Bulls in a very misleading final. Then in Week 3, Penn State only beat Pitt 17-10 as 17-point home favorites. The Nittany Lions were also outgained by 7 yards by the Panthers. That’s a Pitt team that lost by 16 at home to Virginia and barely beat Delaware 17-14 at home.
The Nittany Lions clearly got a boost from their bye week in Week 4 and came back and played their best game of the season. They won’t play a better game than they did against Maryland. But now this is a sandwich spot off the National TV win over Maryland, and with the meat of their Big Ten schedule on deck. Penn State could easily be overlooking Purdue and looking ahead to games against Iowa, Michigan and Michigan State the next three weeks. They’d be more than happy to get out with a win against Purdue, but they won’t be concerned with covering this massive 28.5-point spread.
Purdue comes in undervalued after opening the season 1-3 SU & 1-3 ATS. Two of their losses came by 7 points or less to Nevada and Minnesota. They also beat Vanderbilt by 18 as 7-point home favorites in their lone cover. And their lone blowout loss came 13-34 at home to TCU in their first game without QB Elijah Sindelar. Plus, TCU was coming off a bye week. It was just a bad spot for them.
I was impressed with the way Purdue was able to hang against Minnesota last week without Sindelar. They only lost 31-38 and racked up 414 total yards on a solid Minnesota defense. Jack Plummer took over for an injured Sindelar early in that one and threw for 245 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions. Now that he has some experience under his belt, he should only continue to get more comfortable in Jeff Brohm’s explosive offense.
I know WR Rondale Moore is also out after getting injured last game, but he left that game early and only had two receptions for 18 yards. So Plummer is used to playing without him. Certainly these injuries to Sindelar and Moore hurt Purdue, but this line would probably be somewhere in the neighborhood of 14 if both were healthy. Oddsmakers have over-adjusted for these injuries, and the betting public has bet this number up way too high now. It’s time to ‘buy low’ on the Boilermakers, and ’sell high’ on the Nittany Lions.
Penn State is 7-19 ATS in its last 26 home games after covering the spread in three of its last four games coming in. Jeff Brohm is 10-2 ATS vs. good teams that outscore their opponents by 10-plus points per game in his career as a head coach. Brohm is 20-6 ATS vs. good passing teams with a completion percentage of 58% or better in all games as a head coach.
Plays against home favorites (Penn State) - after beating the spread by 35 or more points in their last three games, who are undefeated on the season are 40-14 (74.1%) ATS over the last five seasons. The Boilermakers are 15-6 ATS in their last 21 games following an ATS loss. The Nittany Lions are 1-5 ATS in their last six games following an ATS win. Bet Purdue Saturday.
|10-05-19||Iowa v. Michigan -3.5||3-10||Win||100||51 h 0 m||Show|
15* Iowa/Michigan FOX No-Brainer on Michigan -3.5
The Michigan Wolverines were 12-point favorites over Iowa when this line came out in the offseason. It has moved nearly 10 points in Iowa’s favor. In my opinion, it’s time to ‘buy low’ on the Wolverines now that everyone has basically given up on them following their loss at Wisconsin two weeks ago. That loss to Wisconsin doesn’t look so bad now with the Badgers blasting everyone they have played to this point.
I know it was Rutgers, but I was impressed with how Michigan came back last week and handled their business following that loss to Wisconsin. They could have easily suffered a hangover after that loss to the Badgers. They didn’t. They beat Rutgers 52-0 and covered as 27-point favorites with ease. Keep in mind Iowa only beat Rutgers 30-0 as 17.5-point home favorites.
And that’s my issue with Iowa is the ease of their schedule to this point. They have played the 110th-toughest schedule in the country. They made easy work of Miami Ohio, Rutgers and Middle Tennessee State at home. In their lone real test, they won 18-17 at Iowa State and were fortunate to win that game. Iowa State outgained Iowa by 105 yards and deserved to win. Michigan is better than Iowa State.
The home team is 6-1 SU in the last seven meetings in this series. Iowa is 0-7 ATS in its last seven games as an underdog of 7 points or fewer. The Hawkeyes are 2-6 ATS in their last eight road games vs. a team with a winning record. Kirk Ferentz is 13-23 ATS in road games off a win by 21 points or more as the coach of Iowa. Roll with Michigan Saturday.
|10-04-19||Nationals +142 v. Dodgers||4-2||Win||142||13 h 37 m||Show|
15* Nationals/Dodgers NLDS Late-Night BAILOUT on Washington +142
This is a good value on the Nationals against the Dodgers in essentially a must-win Game 2 tonight after losing 6-0 in Game 1. There’s a reason the Dodgers went with Walker Buehler over Clayton Kershaw in Game 1. Kershaw isn’t what he used to be, and he has suffered playoff disappointment after playoff disappointment.
Stephen Strasburg gets the ball for the Nationals tonight. Strasburg is 18-6 with a 3.32 ERA and 1.038 WHIP in 33 starts this season, including 3-1 with a 1.76 ERA in his last eight starts, allowing just 10 earned runs in 51 innings. Strasburg has posted a 2.66 ERA and 0.930 WHIP in 11 career starts against the Dodgers. He also has a 2.08 ERA in 26 innings at Dodger Stadium.
The Nationals are 8-1 in their last nine vs. a team with a winning record. Washington is 13-3 in its last 16 games vs. a left-handed starter. The Nationals are 87-35 in Strasburg’s last 122 starts. Roll with the Nationals Friday.
|10-04-19||Central Florida v. Cincinnati +4.5||Top||24-27||Win||100||53 h 41 m||Show|
20* UCF/Cincinnati AAC ANNIHILATOR on Cincinnati +4.5
The Cincinnati Bearcats are ready to win the AAC this season. The conference goes through UCF, which has won it each of the last two years. But their run comes to an end this year, and it starts with losing at Cincinnati here Friday night in front of what will be a raucous home crowd at Nippert Stadium.
The loss at Ohio State for Cincinnati doesn’t look too bad now. Ohio State is blasting everyone. And the Bearcats have handled their business in impressive fashion in their other three games, going 3-0 SU & 3-0 ATS. They beat UCLA 24-14 at home as 2.5-point favorites, covered as 17.5-point home favorites in a 35-13 win over Miami Ohio, and blasted a good Marshall team 52-14 as 4-point road favorites.
It’s very impressive how well the Bearcats have responded following that loss to Ohio State with back-to-back blowout wins over Miami Ohio and Marshall. Their defense is borderline elite, allowing just 20.7 points per game, 297 yards per game and 4.7 yards per play. Their defense is holding opposing offenses to 11.3 points per game, 89 yards per game and 1.1 yards per play less than their season averages. This will easily be the best defense UCF has faced to date.
UCF has become a huge public team because they’ve been so good against the spread over the past three seasons. And they opened up this season covering their first three games in wins over Florida A&M, Florida Atlantic and Stanford. But they have failed to cover the last two weeks as their lines have been inflated. They lost outright to Pittsburgh 34-35 on the road as 10-point favorites. And they failed to cover as 42.5-point favorites in a 35-point win over lowly UConn.
Without question, Cincinnati has played the much more difficult schedule this year. The Bearcats have played the 33rd-toughest schedule in the country. The Knights have played the 96th-toughest schedule based on the Sagarin ratings. Their one loss came to Pittsburgh, which was blasted at home by Virginia by 16 and also barely beat Delaware at home 17-14 last week.
It’s also worth noting that UCF had that dream crusher loss to Pittsburgh. This is a team that lost just one game over the previous two seasons combined and were at least in the playoff discussion. But now with that loss at Pitt they have no shot to make the playoff. I question how motivated they are going to be the rest of the way because of it. The Bearcats are 8-0 SU in their eight home games over the past two seasons, winning by an average of 26.5 points per game. Bet Cincinnati Friday.
|10-04-19||Cardinals v. Braves +118||0-3||Win||118||8 h 37 m||Show|
15* Cardinals/Braves NLDS No-Brainer on Atlanta +118
This is pretty much a must-win game for the Braves tonight after losing Game 1 of this series, 6-7. They blew a 3-1 lead in the 8th, fell down 7-3 in the 9th, and stormed back to make it 7-6. That showed some resiliency to keep fighting in the 9th inning. I look for them to bounce back with a Game 2 victory tonight.
Mike Foltynewicz was at his best down the stretch for the Braves. He is finally back healthy and showing how good he is. Foltynewicz is 4-1 with a 1.73 ERA in his last seven starts, giving up just 8 earned runs in 41 2/3 innings. He beat the Cardinals on May 24th by firing 6 solid innings without allowing a single earned run in a 5-2 victory.
No question Jack Flaherty was also dominant down the stretch for the Cardinals. But he is getting too much respect as a road favorite here. Flaherty has posted a 3.86 ERA and 1.715 WHIP in two playoff starts in his career. He is also 1-1 with a 4.32 ERA in three career starts against Atlanta.
The Braves are 13-3 in Foltynewicz’s last 16 starts. Atlanta is 5-0 in Folty’s last five home starts. The Braves are 36-17 in their last 53 home games. The Cardinals are 1-6 in their last seven playoff road games. Atlanta is 6-0 following four or more consecutive losses over the last two seasons. Take the Braves Friday.
|10-03-19||Nationals +156 v. Dodgers||0-6||Loss||-100||11 h 54 m||Show|
15* Nationals/Dodgers NL ANNIHILATOR on Washington +156
The Washington Nationals feel invincible right now. They trailed 3-1 in the 8th against the Brewers in the wild card game, but scored three runs in that inning to win 4-3. We saw a few years ago the Royals erase a 7-3 deficit in the wild card game and go on to win the World Series.
The Nationals are a dangerous team because they have one of the best rotations of any team in the playoffs, plus an offense that is humming. They will start left-hander Patrick Corbin tonight in Game 1 of this series. Corbin is 14-7 with a 3.25 ERA and 1.183 WHIP in 33 starts this season.
I love the move to start Corbin, who is 2-0 with a 0.59 ERA in his last five starts against the Dodgers, allowing just 2 earned runs in 30 1/3 innings. It’s well documented that the Dodgers struggle against left-handers due to their left-handed heavy lineup. They are hitting just .242 and scoring 4.7 runs per game against left-handed starters this season.
The Nationals are 9-0 in their last nine games overall. Washington is 8-0 in its last eight vs. a team with a winning record. The Nationals are 4-0 in Corbin’s last four starts. These three trends combine for a perfect 21-0 system backing Washington. Take the Nationals Thursday.
|10-03-19||Rams v. Seahawks -110||Top||29-30||Win||100||78 h 17 m||Show|
25* NFC West GAME OF THE YEAR on Seattle Seahawks PK
The Seattle Seahawks want revenge from losing two heartbreakers to the Rams 31-33 at home and 31-36 on the road last year. They really feel like they can win the division this year, and this Thursday night home game will play a big role in whether they do or not.
The Seahawks are off to a 3-1 start this season. Their only loss came to the Saints in a fluky final as the Saints had two non-offensive touchdowns in that game, but the Saints outgained them by 249 yards. They also outgained the Steelers by 164 yards in their 28-26 road win in Week 2. And last week they handled their business in a 27-10 road win at Arizona, so they should still be fresh as they put it on cruise control in the second half.
The Rams opened 3-0 and were fortunate to win by 3 at Carolina and by 7 at Cleveland with a goal line stand at the end. And they also were fortunate when Drew Brees got hurt early in the game against the Saints and they ended up winning comfortably as the Saints weren’t prepared to lose their leader.
Last week, the Rams were finally exposed in their 40-55 home loss to the Bucs as 9-point favorites. They fell behind 21-0 early and were using the hurry up to try and get back in the game the rest of the way. They used a ton of energy trying to come back in that shootout, which makes matters worse for them here on a short week with travel. They will clearly still be fatigued.
The Rams could not contain the run against the Seahawks last season. Seattle rushed for a combined 463 yards in their two meetings with the Rams last season, an average of 231.5 yards per game. Look for them to ground and pound them to death again.
Todd Gurley isn’t the same player he was last year, and he has just 219 rushing yards on 49 carries for 4.5 per carry on the season. Gurley isn’t being used as much in the passing game, either, as he has just 11 receptions for 62 yards. Jared Goff isn’t very good with a 6-to-6 TD/INT ratio on the season and I almost certainly believe the Rams are regretting their decision to give him a big contract.
Seattle is 8-1 ATS vs. good passing teams with a completion percentage of 64% or better over the last two seasons. The Seahawks are 9-2 ATS vs. good offensive teams that average 5.65 or more yards per play over the last two years. The Rams are 31-64-1 ATS in their last 96 road games vs. a team with a winning record. The Seahawks are 7-0-1 ATS in their last nine Thursday games. Seattle is 9-3 ATS in its last 12 home meetings with the Rams.
Plays on home teams (Seattle) - after three consecutive games where they forced one or fewer turnovers against an opponent after a game with a turnover margin of -3 or worse are 24-5 (82.8%) ATS over the last 10 seasons. Bet the Seahawks Thursday.
|10-02-19||Rays v. A's -126||Top||5-1||Loss||-126||9 h 31 m||Show|
20* Rays/A’s AL Wild Card ANNIHILATOR on Oakland A’s -126
The Nationals broke their curse last night in close out games at home. And I believe the A’s are going to break their 0-8 curse in winner-take-all games under Billy Beane tonight. They have the weapon on the mound to get it done, and certainly the advantage at the plate tonight over the Rays.
Sean Manaea returned from a 12-month absence following surgery on a torn labrum to dominate down the stretch for the A’s. He went 4-0 with a 1.21 ERA and 0.775 WHIP in five starts to come up real clutch. Manaea is also 1-1 with a 2.70 ERA and 0.950 WHIP in three career starts against the Rays.
Charlie Morton has been much better at home than on the road for the Rays this year. Morton has posted a 3.59 ERA and 1.229 WHIP in 16 road starts this season. He has posted a 3.20 ERA in seven career starts against Oakland, but his teams have gone just 2-5 in those starts. And the A’s have already seen him twice this season, while the Rays haven’t seen Manaea, which is an advantage for Oakland hitters over Tampa hitters.
Manaea is 20-5 vs. an AL team with a batting average of .255 or worse over the last three seasons. The Rays are 1-4 in Morton’s last five road starts vs. a team with a winning record. The A’s are 26-6 in their last 32 games following a loss. Oakland is 13-3 in its last 16 home games vs. a team with a winning record. The A’s are 45-21 in their last 66 home games. Bet the A’s Wednesday.
|10-01-19||Brewers v. Nationals -173||Top||3-4||Win||100||10 h 22 m||Show|
20* Brewers/Nationals NL Wild Card ANNIHILATOR on Washington -173
The Washington Nationals come into the wild card game with a ton of momentum. They are 8-0 in their last eight games overall while winning seven of those games by 3 runs or more. Not to mention, they opened 19-31 this season and have been one of the best teams in baseball since while posting a 93-69 record this season.
Ace Max Scherzer will get the ball tonight. Scherzer is 11-7 with a 2.92 ERA and 1.027 WHIP in 27 starts this season. Scherzer is 2-2 with a 1.80 ERA and 0.900 WHIP in eight career starts against Milwaukee as well. Not having to face the injured Christian Yelich is a huge advantage for him. Not to mention, the Nationals can turn to Stephen Strasburg as soon as they need to, which is a tremendous 1-2 punch.
The Brewers lost all three games in Colorado in their final series of the season with the NL Central on the line. Had they won two of three they would have tied the Cardinals for the NL Central. A sweep would have given them the division. So they aren’t feeling great about themselves coming in as they did not play well against a hapless Rockies team. This will be a bullpen game for the Brewers starting with Brandon Woodruff.
The Nationals are 12-3 in Scherzer’s last 15 starts. Washington is 40-17 in its last 57 home games. The Nationals are 8-0 in their last eight home games vs. a team with a winning record. Bet the Nationals Tuesday.
|09-30-19||Bengals v. Steelers -3||Top||3-27||Win||100||35 h 47 m||Show|
20* Bengals/Steelers ESPN Monday No-Brainer on Pittsburgh -3
Now that this line has moved down to Pittsburgh -3 I think it’s time to pull the trigger on the Steelers. I still believe they are the better team here even without Ben Roethlisberger, so getting them -3 at home is pretty cheap.
The Steelers have lost a couple close games to two very good teams since Mason Rudolph took over for Ben Roethlisberger in Week 2. They lost 26-28 at home to the Seahawks and 20-24 on the road to the 49ers. Those are two common opponents with the Bengals. The Bengals lost 20-21 to the Seahawks and played them similarly. However, they were blitzed by the 49ers at home 17-41.
While the Steelers are very healthy outside Big Ben, the Bengals have all kinds of injury concerns heading into this game. DE Carlos Dunlap, T Andre Smith, DE Sam Hubbard, T Cordy Glenn, DE Carl Lawson, G Michael Jordan and DT Ryan Glasgow are all questionable for this game. CB Darius Phillips, CB Darqueze Denard, WR AJ Green and G Alex Redmond are all out.
The Steelers have only averaged 17 rush attempts per game this season, which is not what they want as they are passing on 67% of their plays. They will certainly take a look at that leading up to this game and try to get James Conner going. It’s the perfect opponent for Conner to break out as the Bengals are allowing 169 rushing yards per game and 4.9 per carry. That will help take some pressure off of Rudolph.
Bets against underdogs of PK (Cincinnati) - an good offensive team averaging 5.8 or more yards per play against a defense that is allowing 5.8 or more yards per play, after allowing 400 or more total yards in their previous game are 34-11 (75.6%) ATS over the last five seasons. The Bengals gave up 572 total yards to the 49ers and 416 total yards to the Bills the last two weeks. Their defense simply cannot be trusted, and I believe the Steelers have by far the superior stop unit in this one.
The Steelers have won 42 of their last 56 meetings with the Bengals. They have won 8 straight in this series and are 11-1 SU in the last 12 meetings. Bet the Steelers Monday.
|09-29-19||Bucs +10 v. Rams||Top||55-40||Win||100||119 h 13 m||Show|
20* NFC GAME OF THE MONTH on Tampa Bay Bucs +10
I think this is a great time to fade the Los Angeles Rams. They are off to a 3-0 SU & 3-0 ATS start this season, and now they are overvalued. They only beat Carolina by 3 in the opener. They got a great break with an injury to Drew Brees in Week 2 that allowed them to beat the Saints. And last week they needed a goal-line stand in the final seconds to beat the Browns by 7.
Plus, the Rams have two huge division games coming up the next two weeks with games against the Seahawks and 49ers. And they are coming off a primetime game on Sunday Night Football against the Browns. This is a sandwich spot here against the Bucs, and I don’t expect them to have their full focus.
The Bucs have lost at home to the 49ers and Giants by giving the game away. They had four turnovers against the 49ers and two pick 6’s. And last week they blew an 18-point lead to the Giants, and missed a chip shot field goal at the buzzer that would have won it. I think the fact that they lost that game instead of winning it has them undervalued as well when clearly they should have won.
The Bucs just seem to play better on the road when they get away from the negativity that surrounds Jameis Winston at home. They went on the road in Week 2 and beat the Panthers 20-14 as 6.5-point dogs. And they’ll relish this opportunity to face the defending NFC champs here on the road Sunday.
The Rams just don’t have much of a home-field advantage. And Jared Goff just isn’t that good with a 4-to-3 TD/INT ratio this season and only 7.0 yards per attempt. Todd Gurley isn’t himself as he clearly has a knee problem. The Rams have hardly used him in the passing game since the knee injury popped up late last year. He’s only a shell of his former self when he’s not catching balls out of the backfield.
I would definitely argue that Jameis Winston just put together two of his best games in a row in his career. I think Bruce Arians is starting to get through to him. Winston was 16-of-25 for 208 yards and a touchdown with zero turnovers against the Panthers on the road two weeks ago. And last week he threw for 380 yards with three touchdowns and one interception. He’s done everything he could do to win both of those games.
Tampa Bay may have the best defense it has had in years. Todd Bowles took over as defensive coordinator, and the Bucs added some great pieces in LB Shaq Barrett (8 sacks) and DT Ndamukong Suh. The combination of Suh and Vita Vea up the middle makes them very tough to run against. And Barrett has provided a tremendous pass rush. The Bucs are only allowing 330.7 yards per game and 5.1 yards per play, holding opponents to 68 yards per game and 1.2 yards per play less than their season averages.
The Bucs are 5-0-1 ATS in their last six games following a loss. The Rams are 4-10-1 ATS in their last 15 home games against a team with a losing record. Tampa Bay is 35-19 ATS in its last 54 games after scoring 30 points or more last game. Arians is 15-4 ATS after allowing 300 or more passing yards in their last game in all games he has coached. Bet the Bucs Sunday.
|09-29-19||Cubs v. Cardinals -1.5||0-9||Win||100||4 h 52 m||Show|
15* MLB Sunday No-Doubt Rout on St. Louis Cardinals -1.5 (-135)
The St. Louis Cardinals are doing everything they can to hand the NL Central to the Brewers. The Brewers do not want to take it, losing the last two days to the Brewers. So the Cardinals are still in a great position despite losing four straight coming in. They clinch the NL Central with a win Sunday over the Cubs.
Now the Cardinals hand the ball to who I believe should win the NL Cy Young in Jack Flaherty. Flaherty has posted a minuscule 0.97 ERA in five September Starts after posting a 0.71 ERA in August. Opponents are only hitting .198, .145 and .122 against him over the last three months. Flaherty is 2-2 with a 3.21 ERA and 1.071 WHIP in eight career starts against Chicago, including 1-0 with a 0.60 ERA in his last two starts against them while allowing just one earned run in 15 innings.
The Cardinals should get their bats going today against Derek Holland. The left-hander is 1-4 with a 6.75 ERA in seven starts this season, 0-2 with an 8.10 ERA in four road starts, and 0-2 with an 11.37 ERA in his last three starts.
The Cubs are 2-9 in their last 11 games overall. The Cardinals are 41-17 in their last 58 games after losing the first two games of a series. Bet the Cardinals on the Run Line Sunday.