|Date||Match Up||Rating||Score||Result||Profit||Lead Time||Analysis|
|01-12-19||VCU v. Davidson -2.5||57-64||Win||100||12 h 5 m||Show|
15* Atlantic 10 PLAY OF THE DAY on Davidson -2.5
The Davidson Wildcats are loaded once again this season. They are off to an 11-4 start with their only losses all coming on the road to Purdue, Temple, Wake Forest and UNC. But they have handled their business at home and have one of the best home-court advantages in the country.
The Wildcats are 7-0 at home this season, outscoring opponents by 15.4 points per game on the season. VCU is 1-2 in true road games this season and will have its hands full here against the Wildcats. I think Davidson is showing tremendous value as only 2.5-point home favorites today in a game they basically just have to win to cover.
VCU comes in getting a lot of respect from oddsmakers for its four-game winning streak and identical 11-4 record. But those four wins have come against Wichita State, Rider, Fordham and La Salle, not exactly a gauntlet. This will be one for their stiffest tests of the season here Saturday.
Davidson is 9-1 ATS when the total is 130 to 139.5 over the last two seasons. The Wildcats are 70-38 ATS in their last 108 games when the line is +3 to -3. Davidson is 6-0 ATS in home games off two or more consecutive wins over the last two seasons, winning by 21.3 points per game on average. The Wildcats are 15-5-1 ATS in their last 21 vs. Atlantic 10 opponents. Take Davidson Saturday.
|01-12-19||Oklahoma State v. West Virginia -5.5||85-77||Loss||-108||10 h 6 m||Show|
15* CBB Saturday Early ANNIHILATOR on West Virginia -5.5
The West Virginia Mountaineers come into this game against Oklahoma State Saturday highly motivated for a victory. They have opened 0-3 in Big 12 play, but could easily be 3-0 as their three losses have come by 3 to Texas Tech, by 7 at Texas and by 2 at Kansas State. They finally get a team they can handle here in Oklahoma State.
Indeed, the Cowboys are the worst team in the Big 12, period. They are just 7-8 this season with very few quality wins other than their upset home victory over Texas last week. I think they will be feeling fat and happy after winning their first Big 12 game in upset fashion. The Mountaineers will clearly want this game more, and this is a scary team when they are motivated.
Plays on home teams (WVU) - off a cover where they lost straight up as an underdog, a marginal winning team (51% to 60%) playing a losing team are 46-18 (71.9%) ATS over the last five seasons.
The Cowboys are 1-8 ATS in their last nine games overall. Oklahoma State is 0-4 ATS in its last four games following a win. West Virginia is 7-3-1 ATS in its last 11 games following a loss. The Mountaineers are 5-1 ATS in their last six Big 12 games. Bet West Virginia Saturday.
|01-11-19||Purdue v. Wisconsin -2.5||84-80||Loss||-109||10 h 20 m||Show|
15* Purdue/Wisconsin Big Ten No-Brainer on Wisconsin -2.5
I believe we are getting the Wisconsin Badgers at a very cheap price Friday night at home against the Purdue Boilermakers. The Badgers are a veteran team that returned five starters this season, while the Boilermakers are in rebuilding mode with just one returning starters.
That has come to fruition as the Badgers are 11-4 this season. Their four losses have come to Marquette, Virginia, Minnesota and Western Kentucky with three of those on the road. They’ve also beaten Penn State by 21 on the road, Iowa by 6 on the road, Oklahoma by 20 on the road, Xavier by 9 on the road, and NC State by 4 at home. They have been through the gauntlet.
Purdue is just 9-6 this season, and its inexperience is starting to show. It is really showing on the road as the Boilermakers are 0-4 SU & 1-3 ATS in true road games this season. They have also lost to Virginia Tech and Notre Dame on a neutral.
Home-court advantage has been huge in this series recently as the home team is 4-0 SU & 4-0 ATS in the last four meetings. Wisconsin upset Purdue 57-53 at home as 11-point dogs last season. The Badgers are 8-1 ATS off four straight games committing 11 or fewer turnovers over the last two seasons. Wisconsin is 8-2 ATS in its last 10 vs. Big Ten opponents. Purdue is 7-18-1 ATS in its last 26 vs. Big Ten foes. Roll with Wisconsin Friday.
|01-11-19||Mavs v. Wolves -4.5||119-115||Loss||-109||10 h 33 m||Show|
15* NBA Western Conference ANNIHILATOR on Minnesota Timberwolves -4.5
Two teams with huge home/road splits square off in Minnesota tonight. The Timberwolves have certainly been taking care of their home court this season, going 14-6 SU & 13-7 ATS in Minnesota. Dallas has been awful on the road, going 3-18 SU.
The Timberwolves are playing some great basketball coming into this game. They are 3-0 SU & 3-0 ATS in their last three games overall, winning by 17 over Orlando and by 22 over the Lakers, both at home. They also went on the road and upset the Thunder as 8.5-point dogs. Yet, they continue getting no respect from oddsmakers here as only 4.5-point home favorites.
The Mavericks are not playing well, going 1-3 SU & 1-3 ATS in their last four games with their only win coming at home against Phoenix, which has the worst record in the Western Conference. They lost by 21 at Boston and by 10 at home to the Lakers. They were down 15-plus in the 4th quarter against the 76ers but only lost by 6. The Mavs are just 4-11 SU in their last 15 games overall.
Minnesota is a perfect 10-0 ATS in January home games over the last two seasons. They are outscoring the opposition by a whopping 16.6 points pre game in these January home games. The favorite is 17-5 ATS in the last 22 meetings. The home team is 6-2 ATS in the last eight meetings. Take the Timberwolves Friday.
|01-11-19||Pacers v. Knicks +9||Top||121-106||Loss||-100||9 h 2 m||Show|
20* Pacers/Knicks ESPN No-Brainer on New York +9
The Knicks have already lost twice to the Pacers this season, so they’ll be playing with double revenge. They lost by 6 at home and by 11 on the road, so they were competitive in both games. And now they are catching 9 points at home tonight, which is simply too much.
The Knicks should be motivated not only for revenge, but also because this is a National TV game on ESPN, and they are rarely on National TV. They also come in on two days’ rest, so they will be fresh and ready to go. I expect one of their best efforts of the season tonight.
The Pacers will be playing their 3rd game in 4 days. They will also be playing their 5th straight road game, and in their 5th different city in 8 days. It’s a brutal scheduling spot for them. It’s worth noting that two of their best players are questionable to play tonight in Myles Turner (shoulder) and Darren Collison (leg).
Home-court advantage has been huge in this series as the home team is 8-2 SU in the last 10 meetings. The Knicks are 3-1 SU in their last four home meetings with the Pacers with their only loss coming by 6 points. The home team is 20-7 ATS in the last 27 meetings, and Indiana is 1-4 ATS in its last five trips to New York. The Pacers are 0-5 ATS in their last five games overall. New York is 36-17 ATS in its last 54 Friday games. Bet the Knicks Friday.
|01-10-19||Pistons v. Kings -5||102-112||Win||100||10 h 16 m||Show|
15* Pistons/Kings NBA Late-Night BAILOUT on Sacramento -5
It’s time to ‘buy low’ on the Sacramento Kings tonight. They have gone just 2-6 SU & 2-6 ATS in their last eight games overall. But all six losses came by single-digits as they were in every game with a chance to win in the 4th quarter. And five of the losses have come against playoff teams in the Clippers, Lakers, Blazers, Nuggets and Warriors.
Now the Kings get a team they can handle tonight in the Detroit Pistons, who are 4-15 SU & 5-13-1 ATS in their last 19 games overall. It’s a tired Detroit team that will be playing the 2nd of a back-to-back and their 6th game in 10 days after a 100-113 road loss to the Lebron-less Lakers last night. They won’t have much left in the tank for the Kings, who play at the 2nd-fastest pace in the NBA and will test their tired legs tonight.
Sacramento is 15-6 ATS when the total is 220 to 229.5 this season. The Kings are 12-4 ATS vs. a team with a losing record this season. Sacramento is 21-6 ATS in its last 27 vs. Eastern Conference opponents. The Pistons are 0-6 ATS in their last six after scoring 100 points or more in their previous game. Detroit is 1-5 ATS in its last six road games. Roll with the Kings Thursday.
|01-10-19||Thunder v. Spurs UNDER 224||Top||147-154||Loss||-102||10 h 46 m||Show|
20* Thunder/Spurs TNT No-Brainer on UNDER 224
The books have set the number way too high tonight in this battle between the Thunder and Spurs Thursday night. These are two of the best defensive teams in the NBA, and when they get together it’s usually a defensive battle as we take a look at the recent series history.
The Thunder rank 1st in the NBA in defensive efficiency, giving up just 100.4 points per 100 possessions. The Spurs will control the tempo at home tonight, and they rank 25th in pace at 100.2 possessions per game. And a big reason for the Spurs’ recent surge that has seen them go 13-4 in their last 17 games has been defense. The Spurs have allowed 98 or fewer points in nine of their last 16 games. They are giving up just 103.6 points per game at home this season.
The Spurs and Thunder have combined for 221 or fewer points in 25 straight meetings. That makes for a perfect 25-0 system backing the UNDER pertaining to tonight’s total set of 224. More recently, they’ve combined for 205 or fewer points in each fo their last seven meetings, and the UNDER has gone 6-1. They have averaged just 196.1 combined points per game in their last seven meetings, which is a whopping 28 points less than tonight’s posted total of 224. Bet the UNDER in this game Thursday.
|01-10-19||Clippers +6 v. Nuggets||100-121||Loss||-105||10 h 52 m||Show|
15* Clippers/Nuggets Western Conference ANNIHILATOR on Los Angeles +6
As long as Lou Williams has been healthy and in the lineup, the Clippers have been one of the best teams in the NBA this season. They got off to the best record in the West after about a month with him, then he got hurt and they struggled for a few weeks. But he returned from injury, and the Clippers have gone 7-3 SU & 8-2 ATS in their 10 games since. Each of their last six wins have come by 9 points or more.
The Denver Nuggets are starting to get too much respect from oddsmakers. They have simply been fortunate in close games this season, which is why they are 27-12. They are only outscoring the opposition by 5.0 points per game on the season. It’s time to ’sell high’ on the Nuggets while they have the best record in the Western Conference. They have gone just 3-6 ATS in their last nine games overall as they haven’t been able to meet the massive expectations they’ve set for themselves.
The Clippers are 12-3 ATS off a blowout win by 15 points or more over the last two seasons. Los Angeles is 8-0 ATS in its last eight when its opponent scores 100 points or more in their previous game. The Nuggets are 1-5 ATS in their last six vs. Western Conference opponents. Take the Clippers Thursday.
|01-10-19||Michigan v. Illinois +9.5||79-69||Loss||-110||9 h 38 m||Show|
15* Big Ten PLAY OF THE DAY on Illinois +9.5
The Illinois Fighting Illini will relish the opportunity to face the No. 2 Michigan Wolverines at home tonight. It will be a great atmosphere in Champaign tonight, and I fully expect one of the best efforts of the season tonight from the Fighting Illini.
It’s time to ’sell high’ on the Wolverines, who are one of the only remaining unbeaten teams in the country at 15-0 this season. The betting public sees that 15-0 record and automatically bets Michigan, which forces oddsmakers to shade the line towards Michigan. We saw 15-0 Houston lose last night, and don’t be surprised if 15-0 Michigan goes down tonight. But we don’t even need Illinois to win, we just need them to stay within 9.5 points.
I’ve been impressed with Illinois in its last two Big Ten games coming in. They only lost by 8 as 11-point dogs at Indiana, and by 2 as 7.5-point dogs at Northwestern. Well, Michigan only won by 2 as 5-point favorites at Northwestern. And the Wolverines have only played two true road games this season. The odds are starting to catch up with the Wolverines as they are just 2-5 ATS in their last seven games overall, with their two covers coming by just 2 points each.
The betting public wants nothing to do with this 4-11 Illinois team, which is why it’s time to ‘buy low’ on them. But they have faced a brutal schedule with nine of their 15 games on the road. They are 4-2 at home this season with their two losses coming by 8 and 2 points. They have beaten Evansville by 39 as 16-point favorites and E. Tennessee State by 18 as 6.5-point favorites. They also beat UNLV at home.
Home-court advantage has been huge in this series as the home team is 26-10-1 ATS in the last 37 meetings. Illinois is 13-4 SU & 10-7 ATS in its last 17 home meetings with Michigan. The Wolverines are 0-5 ATS in their last five road games off three or more consecutive home games. Bet Illinois Thursday.
|01-10-19||Cincinnati v. Tulsa +7.5||70-65||Win||100||7 h 24 m||Show|
15* AAC PLAY OF THE DAY on Tulsa +7.5
The Tulsa Golden Hurricane just aren’t getting any respect from oddsmakers, especially when they’re at home. The Golden Hurricane have gone 11-4 this season with all four of their losses coming on the road to Houston, Utah, Nevada and Southern Illinois. They were competitive in all but one of those games, too.
Tulsa is a perfect 9-0 at home this season. They have upset home wins over both Oklahoma State as 2-point dogs and Kansas State as 6.5-point dogs, two Power 5 teams from the Big 12. And now they will give Cincinnati a run for its money tonight.
The Bearcats aren’t nearly as strong as they have been in years’ past. They have gone just 1-2 SU & 0-3 ATS in true road games this season with their only win coming 65-61 as 7-point favorites at UNLV, failing to cover. They also lost 59-70 as 2.5-point dogs at Mississippi State and 71-73 as 17.5-point favorites in a shocking upset loss at East Carolina. This team clearly has some problems on the road.
Home-court advantage has been huge in this series as the home team is 5-1 SU & 5-1 ATS in the last six meetings. Tulsa only lost 55-57 as 9.5-point dogs and won 70-68 as 1.5-point favorites in its last two home meetings with Cincinnati. And this is the best Tulsa team that head coach Frank Haith has had yet, while it’s one of the worst Cincinnati teams that had coach Mick Cronin has had in recent memory.
Tulsa is 9-1 ATS in home games vs. teams who are called for 17 or fewer fouls per game over the last three seasons. The Golden Hurricane are 21-9 ATS off a home win over the last three seasons. Tulsa is 19-9 ATS when playing only its 2nd game in 8 days over the last three years. The Bearcats are 6-14 ATS in their last 20 road games vs. a team with a home winning % of greater than .600. Take Tulsa Thursday.
|01-09-19||Bulls +9.5 v. Blazers||112-124||Loss||-103||11 h 12 m||Show|
15* NBA Non-Conference KNOCKOUT on Chicago Bulls +9.5
The Bulls are as healthy as they’ve been at any point this season. It’s no surprise that they are starting to cover some spreads and be more competitive. Indeed, the Bulls are 5-3 ATS in their last eight games overall coming into this showdown with the Portland Trail Blazers tonight. They are well-rested and ready to go playing on two days’ rest as well.
The Bulls have been doing their best work on the road of late. Chicago is 3-2 SU & 4-1 ATS in its last five road games. That includes outright upsets at San Antonio 98-93 as 9-point dogs, at Cleveland 112-92 as 1-point dogs and at Washington 101-92 as 4.5-point dogs. They also gave the Raptors are run for their money in a 89-95 loss at 10.5-point dogs.
Portland will be playing its 4th game in 6 days tonight. The Blazers are starting to get bored playing five of their last six games at home. They failed to cover as 11.5-point favorites against the Knicks in their last home game, and I think they won’t be exactly excited to play the Bulls tonight, either.
Chicago is 13-3 ATS in road games with a total of 200 to 209.5 over the last two seasons. The Bulls are 19-8 ATS in road games when playing only their 2nd game in 5 days over the last three years. The Blazers are 1-5 ATS in their last six games following a win. The road team is 5-1 ATS in the last six meetings.
Plays against home favorites (Portland) - who score 102 or more points pre game against a team that scores 98-102 PPG, after scoring 110 points or more in two straight games are 71-34 (67.6%) ATS over the last five seasons. Roll with the Bulls Wednesday.
|01-09-19||TCU v. Kansas -5||68-77||Win||100||10 h 35 m||Show|
15* TCU/Kansas ESPN 2 ANNIHILATOR on Kansas -5
It’s safe to say the Kansas Jayhawks will be highly motivated for a victory tonight. They are coming off just their second loss of the season, and one of their worst losses in recent memory. They lost 60-77 at Iowa State over the weekend and committed a season-high 24 turnovers to basically give the game away.
“The thing that is good about getting beat rather than getting edged,” said Kansas head coach Bill Self, “is it’s very evident we have deficiencies and they need to be worked on.” It’s also safe to say the Jayhawks will have had a couple of very productive practices Monday and Tuesday leading up to this game.
TCU is overvalued right now due to its 12-1 start this season and the fact that the Horned Frogs have covered eight of their last nine spreads coming in. To only be catching 5 points at Kansas is showing how much respect the Horned Frogs are getting right now. And they have feasted on a very weak schedule with only one true road game thus far, and even their neutral court games have been against soft competition.
Kansas has already been through the gauntlet and is battle-tested heading into the Big 12. Sagarin has Kansas as playing the toughest schedule in the country thus far. They have already faced the likes of Michigan State, Marquette, Tennessee, Villanova, Arizona State, Oklahoma and Iowa State.
TCU has played the 151st-ranked schedule. They have only faced one team in the Top 50, while Kansas has already faced six teams in the Top 25 of Sagarin’s ratings, going 5-1 against them. KenPom has Kansas as playing the 3rd-toughest schedule, with TCU 186th. So both show Kansas with a massive advantage in strength of schedule thus far.
Kansas is 14-3 ATS off two or more consecutive ATS losses over the last three seasons. The Jayhawks are 41-24 ATS in their last 65 games following a road loss. Self is 14-3 ATS in home games after scoring 60 points or less in all games he has coached. The Jayhawks are 34-16-3 ATS in their last 53 games following a loss. Take Kansas Wednesday.
|01-09-19||Spurs v. Grizzlies UNDER 205.5||Top||86-96||Win||100||8 h 25 m||Show|
20* NBA TOTAL OF THE MONTH on Spurs/Grizzlies UNDER 205.5
I like taking the UNDER in games between teams who just recently played each other. They become familiar with one another, and it favors the defenses. The Spurs just beat the Grizzlies 108-88 at home on Saturday, January 5th for 196 combined points. It was one of many low-scoring battles in this series recently.
Indeed, the Spurs and Grizzlies have combined for 199 or fewer points in six of their last seven meetings overall. They have averaged 195.1 combined points per game in their last seven meetings, so we are essentially getting 10-plus points of value on the UNDER on this 205.5-point total.
Some things in the NBA change, but the Grizzlies stay the same. They are a team that relies on defense to win games. The Grizzlies are 30th in the NBA in pace at 97.6 possessions per game. The Spurs are 25th at 100.3 possessions per game, so these are two of the slowest teams in the NBA. Memphis is also 27th in offensive efficiency, but 6th in defensive efficiency.
The Grizzlies have been held to 107 or fewer points in 19 consecutive games, including 99 or fewer in 14 of those 19. Memphis is 16-4 UNDER off a road game this season. The UNDER is 8-3 in Grizzlies last 11 games overall. Bet the UNDER in this game Wednesday.
|01-09-19||76ers v. Wizards UNDER 229||106-123||Push||0||8 h 12 m||Show|
15* NBA Wednesday Total DOMINATOR on 76ers/Wizards UNDER 229
I always like backing the UNDER in the second game of these home-and-home situations. The 76ers just beat the Wizards 132-115 at home last night. Now they will be playing in Washington in a 2nd of a back-to-back situation or both teams. Both will be tired, and this fatigue plus the familiarity favors the UNDER.
That 247-point outburst was a rarity between these teams as both shots lights out from the field with the 76ers hitting 55.7% and the Wizards 50%. Each of the previous three meetings between these teams saw 221 or fewer combined points and averaged just 213.7 combined points. I think we are getting a ton of value on the UNDER 229 in this game tonight.
Washington is 19-9 UNDER after scoring 105 points or more in three consecutive games over the last two seasons. The UNDER is 5-1 in Wizards last six following a loss by more than 10 points. Take the UNDER in this game Wednesday.
|01-09-19||Ohio State -5 v. Rutgers||Top||61-64||Loss||-111||8 h 32 m||Show|
20* CBB Wednesday No-Doubt Rout on Ohio State -5
The Ohio State Buckeyes should come back highly motivated for a victory tonight after blowing a big lead against Michigan State at home over the weekend. Head coach Chris Holtmann was not happy with their effort in the second half, and I expect his players to respond in a big way tonight.
“We’re certainly not there yet,” Holtmann said afterward. “You let a team shoot 76 percent on your home floor and score 50 points in the second half, then you’ve got a long ways to go. That’s a fact for us.”
Now the Buckeyes get to take out their frustration on Big Ten bottom feeder Rutgers tonight. The Scarlet Knights have lost five of their past seven games overall with their only two wins coming at home against Maine and Columbia. They lost by 11 at home to Michigan State and by 14 at home to Maryland, and they only beat Columbia by 3 as 11-point favorites.
Ohio State certainly did not take Rutgers lightly in their two meetings last season. The Buckeyes won 68-46 as basically identical 6-point road favorites last year. And they came back and won 79-52 as 14.5-point home favorites in their second meeting. Given those two results, and the fact that Ohio State is every bit as good as it was a year ago, the Buckeyes should have no problem covering this generous 5.5-point spread tonight.
Rutgers is 3-11 ATS in home games after having lost four or five of their last six games over the past three seasons. Hortmann is 13-3 ATS in road games in all games he has coached at Ohio State. Holtmann is 12-2 ATS after playing a game as an underdog at Ohio State. The Scarlet Knights are 0-5 ATS in their last five home games. Bet Ohio State Wednesday.
|01-08-19||North Carolina v. NC State -1||Top||90-82||Loss||-100||11 h 3 m||Show|
20* UNC/NC State ESPN No-Brainer on NC State -1
What more does NC State have to do to start getting some respect from the books? Until they do, I’m going to continue to ride them as they’ve treated me very well this season. The Wolfpack returned three starters from last year, and underrated head coach Kevin Keatts brought in some great transfers that are really paying dividends this season.
Indeed, the Wolfpack are 13-1 SU this season. Their only loss came on the road at Wisconsin 75-79 as 6-point dogs. And you know this team is underrated when you consider they have gone 11-3 ATS this season. They are elite offensively, scoring 89.2 points per game on 52.1% shooting, including 40.9% from 3-point range. And they are very good defensively as well, holding opponents to 66.0 points and 42.4% shooting. They are outscoring the opposition by 23.2 points per game on average this year, including 29.8 points per game at home where they are 10-0.
North Carolina is 3-2 in true road games this season. They beat Wofford Elon and Pitt, but lost to the two best teams they’ve faced on the road in Michigan (67-84) and Kentucky (72-80). I strongly believe that NC State is one of the best teams in the country and as good as both Michigan and Kentucky, or close to them. That will show on the court tonight.
NC State is 7-1 ATS in its last eight games overall. The Wolfpack are 5-0 ATS in their last five games vs. a team with a winning % above .600. It's worth noting the Wolfpack get four days to prepare for UNC, while the Tar Heels only get two days to prepare after playing on Saturday. That's a nice advantage for the home team here that will pay off. Take NC State Tuesday.
|01-08-19||Southern Illinois -1 v. Drake||70-82||Loss||-110||10 h 6 m||Show|
15* MVC PLAY OF THE DAY on Southern Illinois -1
The Southern Illinois Salukis are one of the best teams in the MVC. They returned all five starters this season. The problem is, they lost one of their key starters to a suspension after seven games. Armon Fletcher (11.6 PPG, 5.1 RPG) has missed the last eight games because of the suspension, but he makes his return tonight.
The loss of Fletcher was huge as he shoots 58% from the floor and 47.8% from 3-point range. They went 5-2 with him in the first seven games with one of their only losses coming 59-71 at Kentucky as 18.5-point dogs. They have gone just 4-4 without him. They’ve managed to open 2-0 in MVC play without him with wins against Missouri State and Northern Iowa. And they’ll be a dangerous team moving forward with him now.
Conversely, Drake just lost its best player to a season-ending injury in the MVC opener against Evansville. The Bulldogs were upset by Evansville 77-82 on the road, and they also lost 74-85 to Loyola-Chicago at home in their first full game without him. PG Nick Norton (14.0 PPG, 5.9 APG, 40% 3-pointers) is irreplaceable. He has a triple-double this season and had 17 assists in one game. He was the leader of this team, and he’ll be missed greatly moving forward.
Southern Illinois has actually played its best basketball on the road this season, going a perfect 6-0 ATS with its only straight up losses coming to Kentucky by 12 as 18.5-point dogs and Buffalo by 8 as 13-point dogs, which are two of the better teams in the country. I think being a veteran team with five returning starters is the reason the Salukis have had so much success on the road this year. They improve to 7-0 ATS in road games with a win and cover tonight. Roll with Southern Illinois Tuesday.
|01-08-19||Nuggets v. Heat -1||Top||103-99||Loss||-110||10 h 59 m||Show|
20* NBA Tuesday No-Doubt Rout on Miami Heat -1
The Miami Heat are coming off one of their worst losses of the season. They lost 82-106 at Atlanta as 6.5-point favorites on Sunday. It’s safe to say that the Heat will come back highly motivated for a victory tonight at home against the Denver Nuggets.
It was clearly an aberration for the Heat, who have been playing great basketball for weeks. Indeed, the Heat are 12-6 SU & 12-5-1 ATS in their last 18 games overall. And the Heat have owned tonight’s opponent, the Denver Nuggets, in recent meetings. They are 5-2 SU & 5-2 ATS in their last seven meetings with the Nuggets.
Denver is in an awful spot here tonight. The Nuggets will be playing the 2nd of a back-to-back and their 5th game in 8 days here. They will also be playing in their 4th different city in six days. Now they’re up against a rested Heat team that will be playing only their 4th game in 9 days. The Nuggets won’t have much left in the tank off their 113-125 shootout loss in Houston last night.
Miami is 11-2 ATS vs. poor pressure defensive teams that force 14 or fewer turnovers per game this season. Denver is 0-7 ATS after allowing 115 points or more this season. The Nuggets are 1-9 ATS after scoring 110 points or more in three straight games this season. The Nuggets are 0-8 ATS off a combined score of 235 points or more this season. Bet the Heat Tuesday.
|01-08-19||Maryland v. Minnesota -1.5||Top||82-67||Loss||-100||9 h 16 m||Show|
20* Big Ten GAME OF THE WEEK on Minnesota -1.5
The Minnesota Golden Gophers should be bigger favorites at home over the Maryland Terrapins tonight. This is one of the most improved teams in the Big Ten as the Gophers returned five starters from last year and a ton of experience.
It has led to a 12-2 start for the Gophers, whose two losses both came on the road at Ohio State and Boston College. They have also beaten both Wisconsin and Washington on the road, as well as Nebraska and Oklahoma State at home. And they should be able to handle Maryland at home tonight.
The Terrapins are also a quality team at 12-3 this season, but they’ve done most of their damage at home. They have only played three true road games this season, losing at Purdue and winning at Rutgers and Navy. This will be their stiffest road test yet as I believe Minnesota is one of the best teams in the Big Ten this year, but they’re not being treated like it by oddsmakers.
Minnesota is 8-0 SU at home this season and basically just needs to win this game to cover the 1.5-point spread. Mark Turgeon is 9-18 ATS off a win by 10 points or more against a conference opponent as the coach of Maryland. The Terrapins are getting way too much respect from the books tonight. Bet Minnesota Tuesday.
|01-08-19||Tennessee v. Missouri +8||87-63||Loss||-109||9 h 10 m||Show|
15* SEC PLAY OF THE DAY on Missouri +8
The No. 3 ranked Tennessee Vols are one of the best teams in the country, no question. But they are getting a ton of respect from oddsmakers now and it’s time to ’sell high’ on them, especially off their 96-50 home win over Georgia on Saturday. They will have had just two days to get ready for Missouri now.
Meanwhile, Missouri has been off since December 29th, getting plenty of time to game plan for Tennessee. That’s a huge advantage for them. The Tigers should be highly motivated for a victory in their SEC opener tonight at home.
This is a Missouri team that has been grossly underrated of late, and has won me a couple bets in the process. They have gone 6-0 SU & 4-0-2 ATS in their last six games overall. I won with them as 2-point home dogs in their 71-56 win over Xavier. I also won with them as a pick ‘em in their 79-63 win over Illinois on a neutral during this stretch. Now they put their name on the map here by giving Tennessee a run for its money.
Missouri is 9-1 ATS in its last 10 games as a home dog of 6.5 to 9 points. Tennessee is 1-8 ATS after two straight games where they made 78% of their free throws or better over the last two seasons. The Vols are 26-44 ATS in their last 70 road games off four consecutive wins. The Tigers are 5-0-1 ATS in their last six home games. The home team is 6-1 ATS in the last seven meetings. Take Missouri Tuesday.
|01-07-19||Magic v. Kings -5||95-111||Win||100||14 h 5 m||Show|
15* NBA Monday Non-Conference KNOCKOUT on Sacramento Kings -5
The Sacramento Kings will be highly motivated for a victory at home Monday night. They have lost four straight coming in, but all four losses came by 7 points or less to the Lakers, Blazers, Nuggets and Warriors, four playoff teams in the Western Conference. I expect them to take out their frustrations on the lowly Magic tonight.
This is a bad spot for the Magic, who will be playing the 2nd of a back-to-back and their 6th game in 9 days, which is one of the toughest situations in the NBA. This is a Magic team that is 1-5 SU & 1-5 ATS in its last six road games with all five losses coming by 10 points or more. They have no depth, so this back-to-back really hurt them.
Making matters worse for the Magic is that their conditioning will really be tested against a Kings team that ranks 2nd in the NBA in pace at 106.3 possessions per game. The Magic are 26th in pace at 100 possessions per game. Sacramento will control the tempo playing at home, and Orlando won’t be able to keep up.
The Kings have owned the Magic, going 4-0 SU & 4-0 ATS in the last four meetings. Sacramento is also 20-6 ATS in its last 26 games vs. Eastern Conference opponents. The Kings are 10-1 ATS in their last 11 vs. NBA Southeast Division foes. Take the Kings Monday.
|01-07-19||Grizzlies v. Pelicans -5.5||Top||95-114||Win||102||12 h 57 m||Show|
20* NBA Monday No-Doubt Rout on New Orleans Pelicans -5.5
The Pelicans took out a few weeks’ worth of frustration with their 133-98 win over the Cavaliers on Saturday. And now they look to put a winning streak together here for the first time since mid-December. It’s time for them to turn the corner now that they are healthier than they’ve been in quite some time. They will be playing just their 2nd game in 5 days, while the Grizzlies will be playing their 3rd game in 4 days.
The Pelicans should have their way with a Grizzlies team that is really struggling right now. The Grizzlies are just 2-10 SU & 1-11 ATS in their last 12 games overall. Yet they continue getting a ton of respect from oddsmakers. The Grizzlies have been held to less than 100 points in 11 of their last 17 games, and 107 or fewer in 20 straight.
The Grizzlies just can’t score the ball, and that’s a tough way to win in today’s NBA. There has been some infighting as well as the Grizzlies called a players’ only meeting following their 94-101 home loss to Detroit as 6.5-point favorites. They proceeded to lose their next two games 100-109 as 4-point home favorites against Brooklyn, and 88-108 as 8.5-point road dogs at San Antonio. Clearly, the players’ only meeting only made things worse.
Memphis is 0-9 ATS after trailing its previous game by 20 or more points at the half over the last two seasons. As stated before, the Grizzlies are 1-11 ATS in their last 12 games overall. Bet the Pelicans Monday.
|01-07-19||Alabama -200 v. Clemson||Top||16-44||Loss||-200||32 h 2 m||Show|
20* Alabama/Clemson National Championship No-Brainer on Alabama ML -200
One of the best-kept secrets is betting favorites on the money line in Championship-type games. Whether it be the Super Bowl or the National Championship of college football, you almost always get a cheaper price on the favorite on the money line than it should be.
That’s because with so much action on these standalone games, there’s a ton of liability for sports books on the underdog on the money line. They take way more bets on the dog on the money line than they would in any regular game. So they have to adjust their money line prices so they don’t get killed if the underdog wins the game outright.
A typical 5.5-point favorite is around -240 on the money line. So we are basically getting 40 cents of value here taking Alabama on the money line. I don’t expect this to be a blowout, but I do expect Alabama to win, so I’m more than willing to lay the -200 on Alabama on the money line just to win the game. I think this is the best bet you can make in the National Championship Game.
Alabama certainly wants revenge from losing a heartbreaker on the final play of the game to Clemson a few years ago. And they are also motivated to cement themselves as arguably the greatest team in college football history. They have come this far in the face of all the hype from the media, remaining grounded. And I expect them to complete their mission and win this game Monday night.
This is certainly the best offense the Crimson Tide have ever assembled under Nick Saban, which is why they can stake their claim as the greatest ever. They are scoring 47.7 points per game and averaging 527.6 yards per game. What makes that so remarkable is that they’ve been able to rest their starters in the second half of most of their games this season. And they once again have an elite defense that yields just 16.2 points per game.
I think the fact that Alabama didn’t cover the 14-point spread against Oklahoma last week also has them undervalued. They stormed out to a 31-10 halftime lead and simply took their foot off the gas. Oklahoma got 24 points in garbage time in the second half with the game already decided. Too Tagovailoa showed zero ill-effects of the ankle injury, completing 24-of-27 passes for 318 yards and four touchdowns.
Conversely, I think Clemson is getting way too much respect due to its 30-3 win over Notre Dame. Clearly, the Fighting Irish played an easy schedule this season and weren’t one of the four best teams in the country. But it’s worth noting the Fighting Irish had their chances to put up points. In fact, Notre Dame had six drives that went into Clemson territory, and they came away with just 3 points on those six drives. That’s pretty hard to do.
Speaking of easy schedules, Clemson played a very easy schedule in the ACC, which was way down this season. They have only faced three teams in the Top 30 and one team in the Top 10. Meanwhile, Alabama has faced seven teams that rank in the Top 30 and three teams that rank in the Top 10. The’ve obviously beaten all seven. The Crimson Tide are way more battle-tested than the Tigers are coming into this game.
Nick Saban is 15-1 (+14 units) against the money line after failing to cover three of his last four games as the coach of Alabama. The Crimson Tide will cement themselves as arguably the greatest team in college football history with a win over Clemson. Bet Alabama on the Money Line Monday.
|01-06-19||Miami-FL v. Louisville -6||Top||73-90||Win||100||9 h 52 m||Show|
20* Miami/Louisville ACC No-Brainer on Louisville -6
The Louisville Cardinals have faced a brutal schedule this season and have managed a 9-4 record in Chris Mack’s first year on the job. Their four losses have come to Tennessee, Marquette, Indiana and Kentucky with three of those on the road. They have also beaten Michigan State, so it’s safe to say they are battle-tested heading into ACC play.
Now the Cardinals will be highly motivated for a win in their ACC opener Sunday against one of the worst teams in the ACC in Miami. And the Cardinals have been great at home this season, going 8-1 while outscoring their opponents by 16.3 points per game on average. Their only home loss came to Kentucky.
Miami just isn’t that good this season, as evidenced by their 8-5 record and 4-9 ATS mark. The Hurricanes have losses to Yale, Rutgers and Pennsylvania. They have only played one true road game this season, and that was their 75-89 loss at Pennsylvania as 5.5-point favorites. They also have some concerning wins as they beat Bethune-Cookman by 8 as 27-point home favorites, Houston Baptist by 7 as 20.5-point home favorites and Campbell by 11 as 19-point home favorites.
Miami is 1-8 ATS vs. good teams that outscore their opponents by 4-plus points per game this season. The Hurricanes are 1-7 ATS vs. good offensive teams that score 77-plus points per game this year. Miami is 7-20 ATS in its last 27 games overall. The Hurricanes are 2-8 ATS in their last 10 vs. ACC opponents. The Cardinals are 5-1-1 ATS in their last seven games following an ATS loss. Louisville is 12-4 ATS in its last 16 games following a double-digit home loss. Bet Louisville Sunday.
|01-06-19||Eagles +6 v. Bears||16-15||Win||100||73 h 23 m||Show|
15* Eagles/Bears NFC ANNIHILATOR on Philadelphia +6
The Philadelphia Eagles are the Wild Card team that nobody wants to face. They easily could have packed it in after their 4-6 start this season, but they didn’t. They went 5-1 in their final six games, including 3-0 in their final three with Nick Foles at quarterback, beating playoff teams in the Rams and Texans along the way. And their defense remains a juggernaut.
Foles threw for 962 yards and six touchdowns in the final three games of the season. This team responded well to him, and he delivered for them. What you have to like about Foles is that he stretches the field a lot more than Wentz does, taking deep shots to Alshon Jeffery and company that result in chunk plays. And it makes them a lot less predictable on offense.
And if you don’t think this Eagles defense is still Super Bowl-caliber, then look no further than the shutout they posted last week against the Redskins in which they allowed just 89 total yards. They are giving up just 21.7 points per game on the season, including 19.5 points per game during their 5-1 run over the final six weeks of the season.
Philadelphia’s defense should be able to hold Chicago’s offense in check. This Chicago offense is the weak link of the team as they obviously have a great defense. The Bears are just 21st in total offense at 343.9 yards per game, and 20th averaging 5.4 yards per play. Mitchell Trubisky will be playing in his first-ever playoff game, and he will be asked to make plays that he’s not used to in this pressure situation. I trust Foles a lot more than Trubisky here.
And it’s worth noting that both WR’s Anthony Miller (shoulder) and Allen Robinson (ribs) got injured against the Vikings lsat week and were forced to leave the game. Fellow WR Taylor Gabriel (ribs) is also on the injury report, as is S Eddie Jackson (ankle). I think the Bears made a big mistake playing their starters the entire game against the Vikings last week. These injuries were the result, and they certainly would have rather faced Kirk Cousins and the Vikings than Foles and the Eagles. I think Foles and the Eagles will feel extra motivated here because they feel slighted by the Bears, who clearly wanted to face them rather than Minnesota.
The Eagles have owned the Bears in recent meetings, going 3-0 SU & 3-0 ATS while outscoring the Bears by a whopping 28.7 points per game in the process. And the Eagles fit into one of my favorite wild card systems. The team that played the tougher schedule has gone 41-17-1 ATS in wild card games since 2002. When that difference is 10 or more according to Sagarin SOS rankings, those teams cover at better than an 80% clip. Well, the Eagles played the 15th-toughest schedule, while the Bears played the 31st-toughest. That easy schedule is also another reason the Bears are overvalued heading into the playoffs.
Plays on road underdogs of 3.5 to 10 points (Philadelphia) - a good passing team with a completion percentage of 60% or better, after gaining 6.75 or more passing yards per attempt in four straight games are 26-8 (76.5%) ATS over the last 10 seasons. Philadelphia is 8-1 ATS vs. good rushing defenses that allow 90 or fewer rushing yards per game over the last three seasons. The Eagles are 6-2 ATS in their last eight playoff road games. Roll with the Eagles Sunday.
|01-06-19||Magic v. Clippers -6.5||Top||96-106||Win||100||6 h 28 m||Show|
20* NBA Sunday No-Doubt Rout on Los Angeles Clippers -6.5
The Los Angeles Clippers are back healthy and playing like they did to start the season where they at one point at had the best record in the Western Conference. The Clippers are 5-3 SU & 6-2 ATS in their last eight games overall. They should handle the Magic with ease today at home.
The Magic will have spent last night in Los Angeles, which is always a scary proposition. Chances are they stayed out late and won’t be feeling 100% for this 12:35 Pacific tip. The Magic have lost four of their last five road games by double-digits, losing by 25 at Dallas, by 10 at Chicago, by 25 at Charlotte and by 17 at Minnesota.
The Clippers have owned the Magic in recent meetings, including their 120-95 road win as 3.5-point favorites in their first meeting this season. The Clippers have now won 10 straight meetings with the Magic by an average of 13.6 points per game.
The Magic are 1-5 ATS in their last six vs. Western Conference opponents. The Clippers are 6-0 ATS in their last six when their opponent scores more than 100 points in their previous game. The favorite is 21-5-2 ATS in the last 28 meetings. Bet the Clippers Sunday.
|01-06-19||Chargers +3 v. Ravens||23-17||Win||100||70 h 48 m||Show|
15* Chargers/Ravens AFC ANNIHILATOR on Los Angeles +3
The resurgence of the Ravens behind rookie quarterback Lamar Jackson has been one of the best stories in the NFL this season. They went 6-1 down the stretch to win the AFC North by a half-game. And their defense came up huge last week in stopping the Browns in the final seconds of a 26-24 victory a year after coming up short against the Bengals in Week 17.
But with this strong finish comes respect from oddsmakers that I don’t think the Ravens deserve. They are now 3-point home favorites against the Chargers this week after behind 4-point road dogs to the Chargers just two weeks ago. And this will be the first time this season that Jackson will have to face a team for a second time. I think the Chargers will come up with a great game plan to stop Jackson and the Ravens in this matchup now that they’ve already played them once.
That 22-10 final against the Chargers was misleading as well. The Chargers were down 5 and driving, only for Antonio Gates to fumble, and the Ravens returned it for a touchdown. And Philip Rivers threw a touchdown in the end zone with one minute remaining as well. That was certainly not a 12-point game like the final score showed. It was also a letdown spot for the Chargers, who were coming off a huge 29-28 comeback victory at division rival Kansas City the previous week.
I think we get the best effort of the season here from the Chargers in revenge mode. Plus, this is the best road team in the NFL. The Chargers are 8-1 SU & 7-2 ATS in road games this season, including 7-1 SU & 7-1 ATS in true road games as they beat the Titans in London. Their only loss came on the road at the Rams, and they have road wins over the likes of the Seahawks, Steelers and Chiefs this season. They are more than capable of beating the Ravens on the road here.
I just trust Philip Rivers more than the rookie Jackson, who will be starting his first playoff game. Rivers is having one of the best seasons of his career, and he realizes his opportunities are dwindling. I look for him to make the most of this opportunity. Rivers is playing at an MVP-level, completing 68.3% of his passes with a 32-to-12 TD/INT ratio. Melvin Gordon is healthy, and he gets TE Hunter Henry back for the first time this season to add another weapon.
Rivers is 5-1 ATS as an underdog in the playoffs. John Harbaugh is 0-7 ATS in home games off three or more consecutive wins as the coach of Baltimore having never covered in this situation. Baltimore is 0-6 ATS after allowing 7 points or less in the first half of two straight games over the last three seasons. It is coming back to lose by 13.0 points per game on average in this spot. Los Angeles is 21-8-1 ATS in its last 30 road games. Baltimore is 1-5 ATS in its last six home games. Take the Chargers Sunday.
|01-05-19||Rockets v. Blazers +1||Top||101-110||Win||100||13 h 17 m||Show|
20* NBA Saturday No-Doubt Rout on Portland Trail Blazers +1
I realize the Blazers are playing the second of a back-to-back here. But they’ll be motivated after blowing a lead to the Thunder and losing 109-111. And I don’t worry about back-to-backs with this team as much because they have one of the best benches in the NBA. I think they can overcome the situation considering it’s an even worse spot for the Rockets.
Indeed, the Rockets are coming off a huge, emotional win over the Warriors on a last-second 3-pointer from James Harden in OT. They wanted revenge on the Warriors from losing in seven games to them in the Western Conference Finals last year, and they got it. Now I fully expect them to suffer a letdown here in this clear hangover spot for them against the Blazers tonight.
James harden has to be running on fumes right now. He’s being asked to do so much for this team with both Chris Paul and Eric Gordon out. And backups PG Austin Rivers is questionable tonight with a neck injury as well. Sooner rather than later, these injuries are going to catch up to this team, and I think it’s tonight.
Houston is 1-8 ATS in road games after playing its last game on the road this season. The Rockets are 7-19-1 ATS in their last 27 games after scoring more than 125 points in their previous game. Portland is 29-14 ATS in its last 43 home games. I don’t expect the Rockets to show up at all tonight. Bet the Blazers Saturday.
|01-05-19||Seahawks v. Cowboys -1.5||Top||22-24||Win||100||53 h 59 m||Show|
25* NFL Wild Card GAME OF THE YEAR on Dallas Cowboys -1.5
Since trading for Amari Cooper, the Dallas Cowboys have been rolling. They have gone 7-1 SU & 6-1-1 ATS in their last eight games to close out the regular season. Their lone loss was a clear flat spot at Indianapolis in Week 15 as they were coming off a huge OT win over the Eagles the previous week that essentially clinched the NFC East title. I used the Colts as my 25* NFL Game of the Year that week, and they won 23-0. It was the best spot of the entire season for the Colts in my opinion.
Heck, the Cowboys even won last week when they were resting a lot of their starters. They beat the Giants 36-35 on the road. The way they won that game gives them a ton of momentum. Dak Prescott found Cole Beasley in the back of the end zone on 4th down on a tremendous catch by Beasley for the game-winner, and the defense held from there.
I just think the Seahawks are grossly overvalued. They managed to go 10-6 this season despite failing to outgain their opponents on the season. They actually get outgained on a yards per play basis. They average 5.6 yards per play on offense and give up 5.9 yards per play on defense. That is arguably the most important stat when handicapping NFL games.
The Cowboys have averaged 26.4 points per game in their seven wins here down the stretch. The offense has taken off with the addition of Cooper. And the Cowboys will have both G Zack Martin and T Tyron Smith healthy for this game after they sat out last week. And Zeke Elliott will be as healthy as he’s been after resting last week as well.
The Seahawks have some injury questions along the offensive line with both T Duane Brown and G J.R. Sweezy questionable for this game. The Seahawks also played their starters last week, and their performance was a lot more underwhelming. They needed a last-second field goal to beat the awful Arizona Cardinals 27-24 as 14.5-point home favorites. That was a Cardinals team that had lost their previous three games by 22, 26 and 14 points and finished 3-13 on the season. The Seahawks also only beat the Cardinals 20-17 on the road earlier this season as well.
Seattle went just 4-4 on the road this season. One of those wins was on a neutral against Oakland, so they only won three true road games. One was against the Cardinals, another was a fluky 30-27 win at Carolina in which they trailed the entire game, and the other was off their bye week in a great spot for them against the Lions.
Dallas is a great home team. The Cowboys are 7-1 SU & 5-2-1 ATS at home this season. They are outscoring opponents by 6.5 points per game at home this year. The Cowboys have an elite defense that gives up 20.2 points per game overall and 18.5 points per game at home.
This is a great matchup for the Cowboys’ defense. They are 5th in the NFL against the run, giving up 94.6 rushing yards per game. They are also 4th in the NFL in rushing yards per attempt (3.8) allowed. That bodes well for them going up against a Seahawks team that leads the NFL in rushing at 160.0 yards per game.
The Cowboys figure to feed Zeke Elliott a ton in this game. Their running game is still their bread and butter, especially with a healthy offensive line. The Cowboys are 10th in rushing offense at 122.7 rushing yards per game while also averaging 4.5 yards per carry. Well, the Seahawks rank 27th in yards per carry (4.9) allowed this season. It’s also a great matchup for the Dallas offense.
The Cowboys played the much tougher schedule this season. According to Sagarin, the Cowboys played the 11th-toughest schedule, while the Seahawks played the 25th. The team that played the tougher schedule according to Sagarin has gone 41-17-1 ATS since 2002 in Wild Card games. If the difference is more than 10, the team that played the tougher schedule is cashing over 80% since 2002.
Dallas is 6-0 ATS vs. poor defensive teams that allow 350 or more yards per game this season. The Cowboys are 8-1 ATS off an upset win as an underdog over the last three seasons. They are coming back to win by 8.6 points per game on average in this spot. Dallas is 7-0 ATS in its last seven games after allowing more than 250 passing yards in its previous game. The Seahawks are 1-5 ATS in their last six playoff games. Bet the Cowboys Saturday.
|01-05-19||Kansas v. Iowa State -1||Top||60-77||Win||100||9 h 33 m||Show|
20* Kansas/Iowa State Big 12 No-Brainer on Iowa State -1
The Iowa State Cyclones have one of the best home-court advantages in the country at Hilton Coliseum. And they clearly aren’t afraid of Kansas, having gone 5-5 SU & 8-2 ATS in their last 10 meetings with them.
There’s a reason Iowa State is favored here despite being unranked with Kansas being the No. 6 team in the country. Kansas is clearly overrated as they are 12-1, but seven of their wins have come by single-digits. They aren’t blowing teams out, and they have been fortunate in close games. Kansas has only played one true road game this season at Arizona State, and that was their only loss this season by a final of 76-80.
Iowa State has done a good job of getting to 11-2 this season with all of their injuries and suspensions. Four key players have miss significant time as Lindell Wigginton has missed 10 games, Cameron Lard has missed 7, Zoran Talley Jr. has missed 7 and Solomon Young has missed 11. But all four are back healthy now, and this is going to be a dangerous team moving forward.
The Cyclones are 8-2-2 ATS in their last 12 home games vs. a team with a losing road record. The Jayhawks are 1-4 ATS in their last five road games. Kansas is 1-6 ATS in its last seven Saturday games. The Jayhawks are 0-4 ATS in their last four games vs. a team with a winning % above .600. The Cyclones are 6-1 ATS in the last seven meetings. Bet Iowa State Saturday.
|01-05-19||Evansville v. Illinois State -5||46-58||Win||100||8 h 34 m||Show|
15* MVC PLAY OF THE DAY on Illinois State -5
Illinois State is an experienced team that returned four starters this season. Evansville is in rebuilding mode with just one returning starter. But both teams sit at 7-7 on the season, so they are looked at as close to even teams. That’s not the case at all.
Illinois State has played the much tougher schedule this year, and they come in undervalued after losing five of their last six. Well, those five losses have come to Ole Miss, San Diego State, Illinois-Chicago, UCF and Valpo with three of those true road games. They also beat BYU before that, and have beaten Akron and Boise State while losing to Georgia. Another loss came to Belmont in a true road game, which is one of the best non-power 5 teams in the country.
Evansville has been a great home team through the years, but a terrible road team. And that has been the case again this year. Evansville is 0-6 in true road games this season while losing by 11.7 points per game on average.
The Redbirds are 5-1 ATS in the last six meetings. Illinois State is 17-7-1 ATS in its last 25 games following a loss. The Redbirds are 6-1 ATS in their last seven vs. MVC opponents. Now that they’re into the MVC portion of the schedule, the competition gets weaker and they will get stronger. Take Illinois State Saturday.
|01-05-19||Baylor v. TCU -7.5||81-85||Loss||-109||7 h 25 m||Show|
15* CBB BLOWOUT GAME OF THE DAY on TCU -7.5
The TCU Horned Frogs are legit Big 12 title contenders this season. They returned three starters and a ton of experience. That has led to an 11-1 start this season. This team continues to be grossly undervalued, as evidenced by their perfect 8-0 ATS run over their last eight games overall coming in.
Now the Horned Frogs will be highly motivated for their home opener against Baylor, especially since they’ve been off since Christmas Day. It’s safe to say they know Baylor inside and out having nearly two weeks to prepare for them.
This is a rebuilding Baylor team that returned just one starter from last year. That has been evidenced by their shaky 8-4 start to the season. They lost to Texas Southern outright as 22-point home favorites. They only beat Prairie View A&M by 11 as 16.5-point home favorites. They only beat South Dakota by 6 as 14-point home favorites. They were upset by Stephen F. Austin as 13.5-point home favorites. Those four results alone show that they are a rebuilding team, and there have been other poor results as well.
Baylor is 4-18 ATS in its last 22 games off a cover as a double-digit favorite. The Bears are 2-8 ATS in their last 10 games following a win. Baylor is 1-7 ATS in its last eight games following an ATS win. The Horned Frogs are 10-0-1 ATS in their last 11 games following an ATS win. TCU is 6-0 ATS in its last six home games. The favorite is 7-0 ATS in the last seven meetings. The Horned Frogs are 8-0 ATS in their last eight games overall. These last four trends combine for a perfect 31-0 system backing the Horned Frogs. Roll with TCU Saturday.
|01-05-19||Boston College +16.5 v. Virginia Tech||66-77||Win||100||4 h 34 m||Show|
15* ACC PLAY OF THE DAY on Boston College +16.5
The No. 10 Virginia Tech Hokies are getting way too much respect from oddsmakers today as 16.5-point favorites over the Boston College Eagles. They are getting this respect due to their Top 10 ranking, but they will be hard-pressed to put away the Eagles by this margin.
Boston College is one of the most improved teams in the country this season. They returned four starters and are off to a 9-3 start. Most impressively, the Eagles have played their best on the road, going 3-0 SU & 3-0 ATS on the highway. They beat last year’s Final Four Cinderella in Loyola 78-66 as 4-point dogs on a neutral, handled Wyoming 88-76 as 8-point favorites on a neutral, and upset DePaul 65-62 as 4.5-point road dogs.
Boston College has clearly played the tougher schedule of these two teams, and their three losses have all come by 7 points or fewer. Virginia Tech lost to Penn State, and their only other decent wins have come against Washington, Notre Dame and Purdue. But Purdue and Notre Dame are way down this year.
I think Boston College is getting docked too much for its upset loss to Hartford last time out, but it was a clear lookahead spot with their ACC opener against the Hokies on deck. Well, the Eagles are 21-4 ATS in their last 25 road games off an upset loss as a favorite, and 15-2 ATS in their last 17 road games off an upset loss as a home favorite. The Eagles are 7-0 ATS in their last seven trips to Virginia Tech. The road team is 5-0 ATS in the last five meetings. Take Boston College Saturday.
|01-05-19||Michigan State v. Ohio State +3||Top||86-77||Loss||-115||3 h 8 m||Show|
20* Michigan State/Ohio State Big Ten Early ANNIHILATOR on Ohio State +3
The Ohio State Buckeyes are getting zero respect at home here today as underdogs to the Michigan State Spartans. The Buckeyes are 12-1 this season and one of the best teams in the country. Keep in mind they went 15-3 in the Big Ten last year as well.
Michigan State will be without one of its best players today in Joshua Langford, who is averaging 15.0 points per game this season. His absence is a big one as he’s one of their three best players, and it’s not being factored into this line enough.
Home-court advantage is not being factored in enough, either. The home team is 13-1 SU in the last 14 meetings in this series. The home team is 5-0 ATS in the last five meetings. Michigan State is 1-10 ATS in road games off five or more consecutive wins over the last two seasons. Bet Ohio State Saturday.
|01-04-19||Knicks +8.5 v. Lakers||119-112||Win||100||13 h 3 m||Show|
15* NBA Friday Undervalued Underdog on New York Knicks +8.5
The betting public wants nothing to do with the Knicks right now. That’s because they are only 1-13 SU & 3-11 ATS in their last 14 games overall. It’s time to ‘buy low’ on the Knicks now, which I did in their last game as they covered as 14-point dogs at Denver in a 7-point loss.
Now the Knicks are catching 8.5 points against a Los Angeles Lakers team that is without both Lebron James and Raton Rondo, and could be without Kyle Kuzma, who left last game with a back injury and didn’t return. It’s likely he sits this one out as well, meaning the Lakers will be without their two best players in James and Kuzma.
Teams with Lebron James on them have now gone just 1-14 SU in the last 15 games he has missed. The Lakers managed to blow a 4th quarter lead against the Thunder the other night as they looked lost in the final period without him. And the Knicks are as healthy as they’ve been at any point this season. Plus, they are rested and ready to go playing on two days’ rest.
Los Angeles tends to play to its level of competition. The Lakers are 2-10 ATS vs. poor teams who are outscored by 3-plus points per game this season. The Knicks are 35-17-1 ATS in their last 53 Friday games. Los Angeles is 3-12 ATS in its last 15 vs. Eastern Conference opponents.
Plays on underdogs of 3.5 to 9.5 points (New York) - in non-conference games, off three or more consecutive road losses are 33-8 (80.5%) ATS over the last five seasons. We’re getting great value on the road dog Knicks, who will be thrilled to play in Staples Center tonight on a big stage. Take the Knicks Friday.
|01-04-19||Thunder v. Blazers +1||Top||111-109||Loss||-115||13 h 1 m||Show|
20* Thunder/Blazers ESPN Late-Night BAILOUT on Portland +1
The Oklahoma City Thunder are coming off an emotional come from behind victory over the Lebron-less Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday. Paul George was booed for not signing with the Lakers in the offseason. And he played his heart out, as did the rest of the team, yet the Thunder still needed a big finish in the 4th to beat the Lakers without Lebron. This is now a clear letdown spot for them.
The Thunder now run into a buzz saw in the Blazers, who are 3-1 in their last four games with road wins over the Warriors and Kings, and a blowout home win by 36 points over the 76ers. Their only loss came the game after they beat Golden State as the Warriors got their revenge in a home-and-home situation. That’s understandable.
Portland has had one of the better home-court advantages in the NBA for years, and they are consistently undervalued at home. The Blazers are 14-6 SU & 12-8 ATS at home this year. And the Blazers own the Thunder, going 8-1 SU & 7-2 ATS in the last nine meetings. They should not be home dogs to the Thunder in this matchup tonight.
Portland is 11-1 ATS in home games after going under the total in three consecutive games over the past three seasons. It is winning by 10.7 points per game in this spot. The Thunder are 7-21 ATS in their last 28 vs. NBA Northwest Division opponents. Portland is 29-13 ATS in its last 42 home games dating back to last season. Bet the Blazers Friday.
|01-04-19||Thunder v. Blazers UNDER 223||111-109||Win||100||13 h 58 m||Show|
15* NBA Friday Total DOMINATOR on Thunder/Blazers UNDER 223
The Thunder and Blazers played four times last season. They combined for 223 or fewer points in all four meetings. They averaged just 211.5 combined points per game. They have combined for 223 or fewer in seven of their last eight meetings over the past two seasons as well. I just think there’s a ton of value with this UNDER tonight based on the recent head-to-head series.
Russell Westbrook is really struggling of late for the Thunder. He has 4-for-22, 6-for-20 and 3-for-17 performances over the past two weeks. But he and the rest of his team are making up for it on the defensive end. In fact, the Thunder are actually 1st in the NBA in defensive efficiency this season, giving up just 99.6 points per 100 possessions. That has been the key to their success this year.
Oklahoma City is 10-1 UNDER when the line is +3 to -3 this season, including 9-1 UNDER on the road when the line is +3 to -1 this year. Portland is 8-1 UNDER in home games after having won four or five of their last six games this season. The UNDER is 11-1 in Blazers last 12 vs. NBA Northwest Division opponents. The UNDER is 41-17 in Thunder last 58 road games vs. a team with a home winning % of greater than .600. Roll with the UNDER in this game Friday.
|01-04-19||Clippers -4 v. Suns||Top||121-111||Win||100||12 h 36 m||Show|
20* NBA Friday No-Doubt Rout on Los Angeles Clippers -4
The Los Angeles Clippers will be highly motivated for a victory tonight. They have lost two straight coming in to the Spurs and 76ers. Look for them to take out their frustration on the Phoenix Suns, who have the worst record in the Western Conference at 9-30 this season.
The Clippers have been taking out their frustrations on the Suns for years. Indeed, the Clippers are 10-0 SU & 8-2 ATS in the last 10 meetings. They have won those 10 games by a whopping 14.3 points per game on average, and all 10 have come by 4 points or more with eight by double-digits.
I think this line is lower than it should be simply because the Clippers only beat the Suns 123-119 on December 10th in their last meeting. Keep in mind the Clippers were favored by 9.5 points on the road in that game, so we’re essentially getting 5.5 points of value. And the Clippers are now as healthy as they’ve been at any point this season.
The Clippers are 16-5 ATS in their last 21 Friday games. The Suns are 7-21 ATS in their last 28 vs. NBA Pacific Division opponents. Los Angeles is 14-6 ATS as a favorite this season. Phoenix is 1-12 ATS in Friday home games over the past two seasons, losing by 16.0 points per game on average. Bet the Clippers Friday.
|01-04-19||Magic +5.5 v. Wolves||103-120||Loss||-109||11 h 36 m||Show|
15* NBA Friday Non-Conference KNOCKOUT on Orlando Magic +5.5
The Timberwolves have some key injuries right now that are really hampering them. Starting PG Jeff Teague (ankle) has been out for weeks and remains questionable to return tonight, backup PG Derrick Rose is doubtful with an ankle injury, and now Robert Covington just popped up with an ankle injury that will be keeping him out tonight.
All these injuries have been taking their toll on the Timberwolves. It’s no wonder they are just 4-9 SU & 5-8 ATS in their last 13 games overall. These aren’t big names, so the injuries aren’t getting factored into the lines enough. And once again the Timberwolves are getting too much respect tonight as 5.5-point favorites over the Magic.
Orlando comes in playing very well going 3-1 SU & 3-1 ATS in its last four games overall. That includes a 29-point home win over Toronto and a 28-point road win at Chicago. Their only loss during this stretch came on the 2nd of a back-to-back at Charlotte, which is understandable. The Magic have played their best basketball on the road this season, going 9-9 SU & 11-5-2 ATS.
The Magic own the Timberwolves, going 7-4 SU & 9-2 ATS in the last 11 meetings. Two of those losses came in overtime. Orlando is 7-0 ATS in road games off a road game this season. The Magic are 11-3 ATS in their last 14 games when playing on one days’ rest. Orlando is 10-1 ATS in its last 11 trips to Minnesota. The underdog is 10-1 ATS in the last 11 meetings. Take the Magic Friday.
|01-03-19||Rockets v. Warriors -8||135-134||Loss||-107||11 h 30 m||Show|
15* Rockets/Warriors TNT Late-Night BAILOUT on Golden State -8
The Houston Rockets are without both Chris Paul and Eric Gordon tonight. They will miss both of their playmaking ability against a team the caliber of the Golden State Warriors tonight. I don’t give the Rockets much of a chance here because James Harden is going to have to do too much, and going one-on-one against Golden State does not work.
The Rockets are starting to get some respect from oddsmakers because they’ve been able to win without Paul recently. They are 5-0 SU & 5-0 ATS in their last five games overall. But four of those five games have come at home. The Rockets are just 8-10 SU & 7-11 ATS on the road this season.
The Warriors are as healthy as they’ve been at any point this season, and it’s starting to show. They got their Big 4 back and hitting on all cylinders. They are coming off back-to-back double-digit road wins at Portland (115-105) and at Phoenix (132-109). And now they’re rested and ready to go having two days’ rest coming in.
Plays against underdogs (Houston) - off three or more consecutive wins, a marginal winning team (51% to 60%) playing a winning teams are 75-38 (66.4%) ATS over the last five seasons. The Rockets lost their final two games to the Warriors in the seven-game series last season without Paul by 29 and 9 points. The favorite is 4-0 ATS in the last four meetings. Take the Warriors Thursday.
|01-03-19||Raptors v. Spurs -1.5||Top||107-125||Win||100||8 h 56 m||Show|
20* Raptors/Spurs TNT Thursday No-Brainer on San Antonio -1.5
The San Antonio Spurs have been flying under the radar for weeks. They are 10-3 SU & 11-2 ATS in their last 13 games overall. And once again they are getting zero respect from oddsmakers tonight as only 1.5-point home favorites over the Toronto Raptors.
It’s a Raptors team that is already without Jonas Valanciunas and could be without Kyle Lowry, who is questionable with a back injury. Lowry has missed eight of the past nine games, and the Raptors are just 2-7 ATS without him this season.
I think the Spurs will be extra motivated tonight, also. They feel like they were scorned by Kawhi Leonard, and he forced his way out of San Antonio with the trade that brought DeMar DeRozan to the Alamo city. DeRozan will also be extra motivated, and his team will have his back here.
The Spurs are 15-5 SU & 14-6 ATS at home this season. San Antonio is 16-4 ATS at home when the line is +3 to -3 over the last two seasons. The Spurs are 12-1 ATS in home games after covering six or seven of their last eight against the spread over the last three seasons. The Raptors are 0-5 ATS in their last five road games. San Antonio is 6-0 ATS in its last six games vs. a team with a winning % above .600. Bet the Spurs Thursday.
|01-03-19||NC State -1.5 v. Miami-FL||Top||87-82||Win||100||7 h 12 m||Show|
20* ACC GAME OF THE WEEK on NC State -1.5
The NC State Wolfpack are one of the best teams in the country that nobody is talking about. Head coach Kevin Keatts is doing a tremendous job with his three returning starters and several key transfers that are playing big roles this season. They are scoring 89.4 points per game on 52.6% shooting this season, and giving up just 64.8 points per game on 42.1% shooting. They shoot 41.4% from 3-point range as a team.
The Wolfpack are off to a 12-1 start this year. Their only loss came on the road at Wisconsin 75-79 as 6-point underdogs. They have beaten the likes of Auburn, Penn State and Vanderbilt along the way while going 10-3 ATS in their 13 games, a sign of just how undervalued they’ve been.
Miami is a mess. The Hurricanes are just 8-4 SU & 4-8 ATS this season. They have lost to Seton Hall, Rutgers, Yale and Pennsylvania. They also have narrow wins over Bethune-Cookman (78-70) as 27-point home favorites, Fresno State (78-76) as 8-point neutral court favorites, Houston Baptist (80-73) as 20.5-point home favorites and Campbell (73-62) as 19-point favorites. Letting those teams hang around is a sign that they just aren’t that good.
Miami is 1-7 ATS vs. good teams who outscore their opponents by 4-plus points per game this season. The Hurricanes are 11-29 ATS in their last 40 home games. Miami is 7-19 ATS in its last 26 games overall. The Hurricanes are 2-7 ATS in their last nine vs. ACC opponents. The road team is 9-4-2 ATS in the last 15 meetings. Roll with NC State Thursday.
|01-02-19||Thunder v. Lakers +6||107-100||Loss||-109||10 h 4 m||Show|
15* Thunder/Lakers ESPN Late-Night BAILOUT on Los Angeles +6
Lebron James is obviously worth a lot to the point spread, but not this much. I think the books have adjusted too much. This Lakers team still has a lot of talent without James, and they won without him pulling off the upset at home over the Kings last time out.
Now the Lakers are rested and ready to win without him again tonight. They will be playing on two days’ rest here after having Monday and Tuesday off. They should be primed for a big effort against a Thunder team that will be playing their 3rd game in 4 days and their 11th game in 20 days.
The lack of rest for the Thunder is starting to show. They have gone just 2-3 SU & 2-3 ATS in their last five games overall. Their only two wins came on the road at Phoenix and at home against Dallas. They actually trailed Phoenix in the fourth quarter before pulling away late. And the win over the Mavs was a revenge spot after losing to the Mavs the night before.
The Lakers are 28-15 ATS after having lost two of their last three games over the past two seasons. The Thunder are 0-4 ATS in their last four road games vs. a team with a home winning % of greater than .600. Los Angeles is 4-1 ATS in its last five games vs. a team with a winning record. The home team is 16-5 ATS in the last 21 meetings. Take the Lakers Wednesday.
|01-02-19||DePaul v. Villanova -11.5||68-73||Loss||-110||8 h 43 m||Show|
15* CBB Wednesday No-Doubt Rout on Villanova -11.5
Oddsmakers just don’t price Villanova correctly despite winning two national championships the last three years. It’s hard to believe, but that’s been the case. The Wildcats are 36-16 ATS in their last 52 games overall, including 20-7 ATS in their last 27 home games. Just this season alone, the Wildcats are 7-2 ATS in their last nine games overall.
Now Villanova will be highly motivated for their conference opener tonight against DePaul. It’s a DePaul team the Wildcats have dominated. Indeed, Villanova is 16-0 SU in its last 16 meetings with DePaul. In fact, The Wildcats have won 11 of their last 12 meetings with the Blue Demons by 13 or more points. They won by 18 on the road and by 31 at home in their two meetings last year.
DePaul has an 8-4 record thus far, but they are clearly not that good. Their eight wins have come against Bethune-Cookman, Morgan State, PennState, Cleveland State, Florida A&M, Chicago State, Illinois-Chicago and Incarnate Word. They have lost to the four best teams they’ve faced in Notre Dame, Northwestern, Boston College and Xavier. They went 0-4 SU & 0-3-1 ATS against those four teams. And now Villanova will be the best team they’ve faced yet.
Villanova is 9-0 ATS vs. teams who shoot 45% or better and allow 42% or less over the last two seasons. The Wildcats are 12-1 ATS vs. good rebounding teams who outrebound their opponents by 4-plus boards per game over the last two seasons. Villanova is 8-0 ATS in its last eight home games vs. a team with a losing road record. These three trends combine for a 29-1 system backing the Wildcats tonight. Roll with Villanova Wednesday.
|01-02-19||Pelicans +1 v. Nets||Top||121-126||Loss||-108||7 h 4 m||Show|
20* NBA Non-Conference GAME OF THE WEEK on New Orleans Pelicans +1
The New Orleans Pelicans are as healthy as they have been all season. They’ll be a dangerous team moving forward because of it as they sit at just 17-21 and undervalued because of their record. But that record is largely due to their lack of health.
Anthony Davis, Nikola Mirotic and Elfrid Payton have all missed significant time this season. But Davis is healthy, and Payton has only played in seven games but just recently returned. They played great with him to start the season, and his absence has been big. Mirotic is the only player on the injury report now.
Speaking of injuries, the Nets have a plethora of them right now. They have been without leading scorer Caris LeVert and have been without him for some time. But now they are without two key role players in Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (9.9 PPG, 5.8 RPG) and Allen Crabbe (9.5 PPG). The strength of this team was their depth, but now that depth is being really tested.
The Pelicans have owned the Nets, going 9-1 SU in the last 10 meetings. And that’s significant because they just have to win the game to cover tonight as they are actually underdogs. This is one of the biggest line mistakes I’ve seen this season. Bet the Pelicans Wednesday.
|01-02-19||Drake -2 v. Evansville||77-82||Loss||-111||6 h 20 m||Show|
15* Missouri Valley PLAY OF THE DAY on Drake -2
The Drake Bulldogs have been one of the most underrated teams in the country this season. They are 11-2 SU & 10-1 ATS this season, including 5-2 SU & 6-1 ATS in all road games. And once again they’re not getting the respect they deserve here as only 2-point favorites over Evansville.
This is an Evansville team that returned just one starter this season and simply is not very good. The Purple Aces are just 6-7 this season despite playing a very easy schedule. They don’t have an impressive win yet as they were favored in five of those six victories.
Drake is 10-0 ATS in its last 10 games overall. It has upset wins over Boise State, North Dakota State, New Mexico State and San Diego with three of those four coming on the road. Its two losses this season have come on the road to Colorado and Iowa State, and they played Iowa State very tough and only lost by 9 as 13.5-point dogs in a game that they actually led in the second half before the Cyclones pulled away late. They’ll handle the Purple Aces tonight. Take Drake.
|01-02-19||Nebraska v. Maryland -1||Top||72-74||Win||100||6 h 59 m||Show|
20* Big Ten GAME OF THE WEEK on Maryland -1
It should be a rowdy atmosphere at Maryland tonight with No. 24 Nebraska coming to down. And I think it’s telling that Maryland is favored in this game, as they should be despite being unranked. They should take down the Huskers at home tonight.
Maryland is 10-3 this season with its three losses coming to Virginia (71-76), Purdue (60-62) and Seton Hall (74-78) by a combined 11 points. That’s how close they are to being 13-0. And if they were, they would be a much bigger favorite tonight. None of those were bad losses.
Nebraska is 11-2, but it is getting too much credit for its wins over Oklahoma State and Clemson. Both of those two teams are way down this season. They lost to the two best teams they’ve faced in Minnesota (by 7) and Texas Tech (by 18). And I think Maryland is close to being as good as both those teams, if not better.
Maryland is 21-7 ATS in its last 28 home games after covering four of their last five ATS. The Terrapins are 4-1 ATS in their last five games vs. a team with a winning record. The days of Nebraska being undervalued are over. They’ve gone 34-16-1 ATS in their last 51 games overall. The betting public has caught on by now. Bet Maryland Wednesday.
|01-01-19||76ers v. Clippers -2.5||119-113||Loss||-110||12 h 50 m||Show|
15* 76ers/Clippers NBA Late-Night BAILOUT on Los Angeles -2.5
Lou Williams returned from injury and the Clippers have been playing some great basketball since. They have gone 4-2 SU & 5-1 ATS in their last six games since Williams came back. One of those losses was a 2-point loss at Golden State as 11-point dogs.
I expect the Clippers to be highly motivated for a win off their upset home loss to the Spurs last time out. They should be rested and ready to go after having the last two days off. They also have two more days off following this game, so I expect them to give max effort given that this is their only game in a five-day span.
Meanwhile, the Clippers are in a tougher spot here playing their 4th consecutive road game. They have a 5th tomorrow night against the Suns as well, so they’ll be looking to conserve some energy and play their starters less minutes. They are coming off an ugly 95-125 road loss to the Blazers and are just 7-11 SU & 6-12 ATS in road games this season.
The Clippers are 7-1 ATS in their last eight games vs. a team with a winning % above .600. Los Angeles is 11-5 ATS in its last 16 home games. Philadelphia is 6-15 ATS in its last 21 road games. The 76ers are 2-11 ATS in their last 13 road games vs. a team with a home winning % of greater than .600. Roll with the Clippers Tuesday.
|01-01-19||Knicks +14 v. Nuggets||108-115||Win||100||11 h 35 m||Show|
15* NBA Tuesday Undervalued Underdog on New York Knicks +14
The Knicks could not possibly be more undervalued than they are right now. They have gone 1-12 SU & 2-11 ATS in their last 13 games overall coming in. So we’ll ‘buy low’ on them, knowing that the betting public wants nothing to do with them. That forces oddsmakers to set their lines higher than they should be, and we’re getting some great value on them as 14-point dogs now.
The Nuggets have been overvalued here down the stretch. They have gone 0-4 ATS in their last four games overall, losing by 21 to the Clippers, by 8 to the Spurs, only beating the Spurs by 3 and the Suns by 4. And now they’re being asked to lay a whopping 14 points to the Knicks tonight. It’s simply too much.
Plays on any team (New York) - in a game involving two teams who score at least 102 points per game, off three straight losses by 10 points or more are 54-24 (69.2%) ATS over the last five seasons. Take the Knicks Tuesday.
|01-01-19||Texas +14 v. Georgia||Top||28-21||Win||100||211 h 51 m||Show|
20* Texas/Georgia Sugar Bowl BAILOUT on Texas +14
This game is all about motivation. The Texas Longhorns are happy to be here. Whether or not they beat Oklahoma in the Big 12 Championship, they most likely would have been penciled into the Sugar Bowl. So they aren’t disappointed at all with being in this bowl game.
Conversely, Georgia played in the National Championship Game last year against Alabama. They lost to Alabama in the SEC Championship after blowing a double-digit lead to Jalen Hurts, their second blown double-digit lead in as many tries against the Crimson Tide. That loss cost them a spot in the four-team playoff. The Bulldogs aren’t happy at all to be playing in the Sugar Bowl. It was playoffs or bust for them.
The motivational edge will help Texas make up for their talent edge that clearly goes to Georgia in this one. Fortunately for us, talent doesn’t always win out in these bowl games. And we’re getting two touchdowns here with the more motivated team. I’ll take my chances almost every time.
I also like backing head coach Tom Herman as an underdog. Herman is 12-2 ATS as an underdog in all games he has coached between Houston and Texas. He has won most of those games outright, and his teams are outscoring the opposition by 6.0 points per game in these spots. He certainly knows how to get his team motivated when they are being counted out, which is exactly what he’s doing leading into the Sugar Bowl as nobody outside the locker room is giving them a chance to beat Georgia.
Herman is also 10-1 ATS vs. excellent rushing teams that average 5.25 or more yards per carry in all games he has coached. Texas does a good job of stopping the run, holding opponents to 136 rushing yards per game and 3.9 per carry this season. The Longhorns are holding their opponents to 44 rushing yards per game and 0.8 per carry less than their season averages this year. That will help them slow down a Georgia offense that averages 252 rushing yards per game and 6.1 per carry this season.
Plays against favorites of 10.5 to 21 points (Georgia) - a hot team having won eight or more of their last 10 games, a team that wins more than 80% of their games on the season playing a good team that wins 60% to 80% of their games are 61-27 (69.3%) ATS since 1992. Bet Texas Tuesday.
|12-31-18||Mavs v. Thunder UNDER 224||102-122||Push||0||10 h 35 m||Show|
15* NBA Monday Total DOMINATOR on Mavericks/Thunder UNDER 224
This is one of my favorite situations to bet UNDERS. It’s a home-and-home situation. The Mavs just played the Thunder last night in Dallas, and now they play again tonight in Oklahoma City. Teams obviously get familiar with one another in these home-and-home situations, and it tends to be lower scoring in the 2nd meeting because familiarity favors defense.
They only combined for 208 points last night. And now we’re seeing a total of 224 for the rematch. This is way too high, and there’s clearly some value with the UNDER. That’s especially the case when you look at the head-to-head series between these teams.
Indeed, the Mavs and Thunder have now combined for 211 or fewer points at the end of regulation in eight of their last nine meetings. They have averaged just 201.8 combined points in those nine meetings, which is roughly 22 points less than this 224-point total. It’s simply too high.
The UNDER is 42-20-1 in Mavericks last 63 games following a win. The UNDER is 8-2 in Mavericks last 10 Monday games. Dallas is 21-6 UNDER off a win by 6 points or less over the last three seasons. Oklahoma City is 54-36 UNDER when revenging a loss over the last three years. Take the UNDER in this game Monday.
|12-31-18||Grizzlies +5 v. Rockets||Top||101-113||Loss||-109||9 h 36 m||Show|
20* NBA Western Conference GAME OF THE MONTH on Memphis Grizzlies +5
The Houston Rockets are already without Chris Paul. And now they will be without Eric Gordon, who suffered a knee injury last game. This team has been terrible without Paul, and they can’t afford to lose Gordon. Paul and Gordon combine to average 30.3 points and 10.2 assists per game. They just aren’t deep enough to overcome their absences.
Memphis is fully healthy and one of the most improved teams in the NBA this season. They are so much better when both Mike Conley and Marc Gasol are healthy, and they have added some nice pieces around them. And this is a rested Grizzlies team that will be playing just their 2nd game in 5 days and only their 3rd game in 8 days.
Plays on underdogs of 3.5 to 9.5 points (Memphis) - a well rested team playing four or less games in 10 days, in December games are 44-21 (67.7%) ATS over the last five seasons. Bet the Grizzlies Monday.
|12-31-18||Missouri v. Oklahoma State +8||Top||33-38||Win||100||182 h 52 m||Show|
20* Missouri/Oklahoma State Liberty Bowl No-Brainer on Oklahoma State +8
It’s time to ‘buy low’ on Oklahoma State and ’sell high’ on Missouri in the Liberty Bowl. The Tigers are getting too much respect with how they finished the season, while the Cowboys are getting zero respect with how they finished the year. That has created some line value here on the Cowboys catching more than a touchdown to the Tigers in this matchup of old Big 12 rivals.
Oklahoma State finished the season 2-5 SU & 3-4 ATS in its last seven games overall. But four of those losses came by 7 points or less, and four of them were on the road. That includes their 47-48 loss at Oklahoma as 21.5-point dogs which showed they could play with anyone. They also beat West Virginia and Texas at home, two of the best teams in the Big 12.
Missouri is getting respect due to its 4-0 SU & 3-1 ATS finish to the season. But two of the wins came against bad Tennessee and Arkansas teams who didn’t make a bowl. They only beat Vanderbilt by 5 as 14.5-point favorites, and Vanderbilt barely made a bowl and went on to lose to Baylor in their bowl game. The win over Florida looks impressive, but not when you consider that it was a huge hangover spot for the Gators off their loss to Georgia the previous week that cost them the SEC East title.
The Cowboys will never be out of this game due to an offense that ranks 10th national in yards per game (500.2) and 14th in scoring (38.4). QB Taylor Cornelius threw for 3,837 yards with a 28-to-11 TD/INT ratio while also rushing for 385 yards and 10 scores. I realize leading rusher Justice Hill (930 yards, 9 TD, 5.9/carry) is out, but his absence is being overblown. Backup Chuba Hubbard (595 yards, 6 TD, 5.6/carry) isn’t much of a downgrade. He’s actually an upgrade in the passing game over Hill, averaging 10.1 yards per reception on his 19 receptions compared to 5.2 on 13 for Hill.
The Cowboys are 8-1 ATS in their last nine non-conference games. Oklahoma State is 5-1 ATS in its last five games following a loss. The Cowboys are 5-1 ATS in their last six games vs. a team with a winning record. The Tigers are 1-8 ATS in their last nine December games. Missouri is 1-4 ATS in its last five games following an ATS win. The Tigers are 1-4 ATS in their last five vs. Big 12 opponents. Bet Oklahoma State Monday.
|12-30-18||Colts -3 v. Titans||33-17||Win||100||31 h 16 m||Show|
15* Colts/Titans NBC Sunday Night BAILOUT on Indianapolis -3
The Indianapolis Colts are playing as well as anyone in the NFL right now. They are 8-1 in their last nine games overall, impressively rebounding from a 1-5 start. They are now on the verge of making the playoffs. A win and they’re in, while a loss and they’re out. It’s that simple for them here. And they’ve fought too hard to blow this opportunity now.
There has been nothing lucky about this run for the Colts. In fact, they have outgained 11 of their last 12 opponents, which is the sign of an elite team. Their defense is playing as well as it has in years, and Andrew Luck is moving the chains and putting points on the board. There’s no question the Colts have the edge on offense in this one, scoring 26.7 points and averaging 382.9 yards per game this season.
While the Titans also have a good defense, their offense is dreadful. They rank 26th in total offense at 316.0 yards per game. They are also 26th in scoring offense at 19.5 points per game. And their job gets even more difficult on offense this week with the injury to Marcus Mariota. He was knocked out of the game against the Redskins last week, and now Blaine Gabbert will be the starting quarterback. I certainly don’t trust him to perform well in this huge game with their season on the line.
I trust Andrew Luck a lot more. Luck is 10-0 in his 10 career starts against the Titans, which includes their 38-10 victory over Tennessee on November 18th when Luck went 23-of-29 passing for 297 yards, three touchdowns and zero interceptions. His dominance of the Titans continues as he improves to 11-0 against the Titans with a win and cover Sunday night.
Teams with a win percentage of 51% to 60% are 1-12 ATS in games with a line of +3 to -3 since the start of the 2009 season when facing an opponent that beat them by 14 or more points earlier in the season. The Colts are 5-0 ATS in their last five vs. a team with a winning record. The Titans are 5-14-1 ATS in their last 20 home games vs. a team with a winning record. Roll with the Colts Sunday.
|12-30-18||Thunder v. Mavs +3||103-105||Win||100||7 h 46 m||Show|
15* NBA Sunday UPSET SHOCKER on Dallas Mavericks +3
The Dallas Mavericks have one of the biggest home/road splits in the NBA. They are 14-3 at home compared to 2-15 on the road. They should not be home underdogs to the Thunder tonight considering they are 13-4 ATS at home and winning by 8.0 points per game on average in Dallas this season.
The Mavericks are certainly happy to be back home after playing six of their last eight on the road. That’s a big reason why they went just 1-7 in their last eight games overall. But they suffered several close losses to great teams along the way, losing by 4 at the Clippers, by 4 at the Warriors, by 3 at the Blazers and by 2 at the Pelicans. It’s safe to say they’ll be highly motivated for a win tonight to get back in the win column.
The Mavericks have had the Thunder’s number in recent meetings. Indeed, the Mavericks are 6-1 ATS in the last seven meetings. That includes 111-96 and 97-81 victories in their last two home meetings with the Thunder. They are 3-2 SU & 5-0 ATS in their last five home meetings with both of their losses coming by a single point. They have outscored the Thunder by an average of 8.8 points per game in those five meetings in Dallas.
The Mavericks are 20-8 ATS in their last 28 home games overall. The Thunder are 7-15 ATS in their last 22 Sunday games. The home team is 7-1 ATS in the last eight meetings. Dallas is 8-0 ATS at home when the line is +3 to -3 this season. Take the Mavericks Sunday.
|12-30-18||Wolves v. Heat -3.5||Top||113-104||Loss||-110||6 h 58 m||Show|
20* NBA Sunday No-Doubt Rout on Miami Heat -3.5
The Miami Heat are flying under the radar right now. They have gone 10-4 SU & 11-2-1 ATS in their last 14 games overall to get to .500 on the season. I expect them to continue to roll tonight at home against the Minnesota Timberwolves.
The Timberwolves have started to struggle of late. They are 3-7 SU & 4-6 ATS in their last 10 games overall. That includes losses to the Pistons, Hawks, Suns and Kings. A big reason for their struggles has been the injury to starting PG Jeff Teague. And now they are expected to be without backup PG Derrick Rose, who has been absolutely huge for them this season.
I always like fading teams who spent Saturday night in big cities. Well, there’s not many more distracting cities than South Beach, Miami. You can bet these Timberwolves players were out partying last night. They won’t be focused for this game at all. Plus, the Timberwolves are just 4-13 SU & 7-10 ATS on the road this season.
Minnesota is 1-9 ATS in road games after a combined score of 235 or more points over the last two seasons. The Heat are 7-0 ATS in their last seven games following a win. Miami is 14-3 ATS in its last 17 games overall. The Heat are 12-3-1 ATS in the last 16 meetings. Miami is 8-1 ATS in its last nine vs. Western Conference opponents. Bet the Heat Sunday.
|12-30-18||Bears v. Vikings -4||Top||24-10||Loss||-105||93 h 50 m||Show|
20* Bears/Vikings NFC North No-Brainer on Minnesota -4
I think the Chicago Bears are in a precarious situation here. Yes, they are still alive for the No. 2 seed and first-round bye, but they’re not in control of their own destiny. They would need the Rams to lose to the 49ers and to beat the Vikings to get the No. 2 seed. Well, the Rams are double-digit favorites over the 49ers at home this week, so players and coaches alike know that deep down inside they don’t have much of a chance.
It’s kind of a free roll here on Minnesota. We know the Vikings are going to be max motivated needing a win to get in the playoffs. If they lose, the Eagles would only need to beat the Redskins this week to overtake them. That’s likely to happen since the Eagles are 7-point favorites this week over the Redskins. So it’s essentially a must-win game for the Vikings.
And the Vikings have performed well in must-win mode over the last two weeks. They throttled the Dolphins 41-17 at home, and beat the Lions 27-9 on the road. Their offense has taken off since firing offensive coordinator DiFelippo prior to the Miami game. And their defense has held the Dolphins and Lions to just 13 points per game and 208 yards per game the last two weeks. This is still an elite defense, and I certainly trust the Vikings’ offense more than that of Chicago.
The reason it’s a precarious situation for the Bears is also because they could look up at halftime and see the Rams beating the 49ers by two touchdowns or more. If that’s the case, they could pull their starters in the second half. They could also pull their starters if they get behind Minnesota big early. It’s more important for them to be rested for the wild card game next week than it is for them to go ‘all in’ to try and win this game. I don’t expect them to, contrary to what head coach Matt Nagy may tell the media leading up to this game.
The Vikings have had one of the best home-field advantages in the NFL over the past few seasons. They are 36-15-1 ATS in their last 52 home games, including 29-11 ATS under current head coach Mike Zimmer. The Vikings are a perfect 6-0 ATS as a favorite of 3.5 to 9.5 points this season, winning by 13.6 points per game on average in this spotl. The home team is 23-9 ATS in the last 32 meetings. Minnesota has won six straight home meetings with Chicago, including the last three by a whopping 20.1 points per game. Take the Vikings Sunday.
|12-30-18||Dolphins v. Bills -3.5||Top||17-42||Win||100||96 h 30 m||Show|
20* NFL Sunday No-Doubt Rout on Buffalo Bills -3.5
You could make the argument that the Bills are playing as well as anyone in the NFL down the stretch. The Bills have outgained their last seven opponents by a total of 578 yards, or by an average of 83 yards per game. They rank 2nd in the NFL in total defense this season, and they’ve been competitive ever since Josh Allen returned from injury.
Buffalo has shown up every week Allen has been under center, and they’ll certainly show up in Week 17. Especially since they want revenge from a fluky 17-21 loss at Miami on December 2nd in their first meeting this season. The Bills dominated that game, outgaining the Dolphins 415 to 175, or by 240 total yards. But they found a way to lose. This time around, I expect them to dominate the box score and the scoreboard in the rematch in Buffalo.
Miami is coming off a dream-crushing loss to the Jaguars last week at home by 10 points. That followed up a 24-point road loss to the Vikings. The loss to the Jaguars officially eliminated them from playoff contention. I don’t even expect the Dolphins to show up this week as they’ll suffer a ‘hangover’ effect from that loss to the Jaguars.
Miami is also a warm weather team that has to now go play in the cold, which will not go well for them. It’s expected to be below freezing in Buffalo on Sunday. It’s a Dolphins team that has also one of the most fraudulent seven-win teams I can remember. They are getting outgained by nearly 100 yards per game on the season. Their seven wins have all come by 8 points or less, or by one score. And seven of their eight losses have come by 10 points or more. They have simply been lucky in close games this year. I don’t expect this game to be close at all.
The Dolphins are 6-2 at home this season compared to just 1-6 on the road. They have one of the biggest home/road splits in the NFL. They haven’t even been competitive on the road, going 2-5 ATS in their seven road games while getting outscored by a whopping 14.0 points per game, and outgained by 131.9 yards per game. Buffalo is 17-9 SU & 16-10 ATS in its last 26 home meetings with Miami.
Miami is 1-8 ATS in road games off a home game over the last two seasons, losing by 20 points per game on average in this spot. The Dolphins are 2-10 ATS in their last 12 road games overall. Buffalo has gone 5-1 ATS in its six most recent home meetings with Miami. The favorite is 11-4 ATS in the last 15 meetings. Bet the Bills Sunday.
|12-29-18||Spurs v. Clippers -3.5||Top||122-111||Loss||-105||12 h 27 m||Show|
20* Spurs/Clippers NBA Late-Night BAILOUT on Los Angeles -3.5
Lou Williams returned from injury and the Clippers have been rolling ever since. They are 4-1 SU & 5-0 ATS in their last five games overall with their only loss coming 127-129 at Golden State as 11-point underdogs. I think they continue rolling tonight as short home favorites over the Spurs.
The spot favors the Clippers. Both the Spurs and Clippers are on back-to-backs, but the Clippers don’t have to travel after facing the Lakers at Staples Center last night. The Spurs do have to travel after their 99-102 loss at Denver last night in the altitude. Playing in high elevation last night will have certainly taken its toll on the Spurs, and don’t be surprised if Greg Popovich rests a starter or two tonight.
The Spurs have one of the biggest home/road splits in the NBA. They are 14-5 at home compared to just 5-12 on the road. They are giving up a whopping 114.9 points per game and 48.5% shooting on the road. The Clippers are 12-4 SU & 11-5 ATS at home this year, scoring 117.3 points per game and shooting 47.6% from the floor.
The Spurs are 1-11 ATS in their last 12 road games following two more more consecutive ATS wins. Los Angeles is 9-1 ATS in home games with a total of 220 or more this season. The Spurs are 8-18-1 ATS in their last 27 road games overall. The home team is 4-1 ATS in the last five meetings. Bet the Clippers Saturday.
|12-29-18||Warriors v. Blazers UNDER 225||115-105||Win||100||12 h 57 m||Show|
15* NBA Saturday Total DOMINATOR on Warriors/Blazers UNDER 225
This is one of my favorite situations to bet UNDERS. The Warriors and Blazers are in a home-and-home situation here. They just played at Golden State on Thursday, and now they’ll play each other again in Portland on Saturday.
In these situations, teams are obviously familiar with one another after just playing. And that always seems to favor the defenses. Portland beat Golden State 110-109 (OT) on Thursday in a game that only had 204 combined points at the end of regulation. And now the total is 225 in the rematch? It’s simply too high.
Plays on the UNDER on road teams where the total is 200 or more (Golden State) - revenging a loss vs. opponent as a home favorite of 7 or more against an opponent that’s off an upset win as an underdog are 31-9 (77.5%) over the last five seasons. Roll with the UNDER in this game Saturday.
|12-29-18||Oklahoma v. Alabama UNDER 77.5||34-45||Loss||-107||138 h 7 m||Show|
15* Oklahoma/Alabama Orange Bowl Total DOMINATOR on UNDER 77.5
Alabama has one of the best defenses in the country. The Crimson Tide only give up 14.8 points and 295.4 yards per game on the season. And consistently, they’ve been up enough to put their backups in in the second half. When one team has a defense this good, and the total is 77.5, there’s value with the UNDER.
I know Oklahoma doesn’t have a great defense. But they consistently face better offenses when playing in the Big 12. The Sooners give up 32.4 points and 448.1 yards per game on the season. But even factoring in their bad defense, when you combine what they give up on average to Alabama, you get 47.2 points per game. That’s still more than 30 points less than this posted total of 77.5. There’s still value with the UNDER.
I realize both Alabama and Oklahoma have elite offenses. In fact, these are two of the best offenses in the country. And if both defenses only had a week to prepare for these offenses, it would favor the over. But it favors the under since both teams have had basically one entire month to prepare for one another. Oklahoma won’t be surprising Alabama’s defense, and Alabama won’t be surprising Oklahoma’s defense.
I think this number is inflated largely due to the shootout between Georgia and Oklahoma last year in the first game of the four-team playoff. But you can bet Nick Saban is going to come up with ways to slow down Heisman Trophy winner Kyler Murray and company. And Oklahoma’s defense will be able to hold Alabama’s offense in check, especially with QB Too Tagovailoa hampered with an ankle injury.
I expect Alabama’s strategy to be to slow this game down with its running game. The Crimson Tide will be trying to control the time of possession with their running game. They rush for 202 yards per game and can certainly move the chains with heir running game and keep Murray and company off the field. That’s their best strategy to win this game, and I expect Saban to deploy this strategy. They won’t be trying to simply outscoring Oklahoma in a shootout.
Oklahoma is 19-4 UNDER in its last 23 December games. Alabama sis 10-2 UNDER in tis last 12 games following three or more consecutive overs. Alabama is 43-21 UNDER in its last 64 games vs. good rushing teams that average 200 or more rushing yards per game. The UNDER is 7-2 in Sooners last nine vs. SEC opponents. The UNDER is 8-3 in Sooners last 11 bowl games. Roll with the UNDER in this game Saturday.
|12-29-18||Notre Dame +14 v. Clemson||Top||3-30||Loss||-124||134 h 7 m||Show|
20* Notre Dame/Clemson Cotton Bowl No-Brainer on Notre Dame +14
The Notre Dame Fighting Irish are better than they get credit for. They are getting disrespected despite being 12-0 this season. Their schedule looked very tough coming into the season, but turned out to be less difficult than expected. But the same can be said for Clemson, which beat up on a weak ACC this year.
I think Notre Dame feels disrespected being not only underdogs, but double-digit dogs in this matchup. Everyone thinks back to when they lost to Alabama in the National Championship a few years ago. But that was a different team, and this one is way better on offense than that version of Notre Dame was. This Fighting Irish team has a legit chance to win the national title, or at least beat Clemson in the first round of the four-team playoff. Head coach Brian Kelly will certainly be playing the underdog card leading up to this game.
While Notre Dame opened the season overvalued with Brandon Wimbush at quarterback, they transitioned into a great offensive team with a still elite defense once Ian Book took over. Book is completing 70.4% of his passes for 2,468 yards with a 19-to-6 TD/INT ratio while averaging 8.8 per attempt. And he’s not exactly a stagnant QB who only stays in the pocket. Book has rushed for 250 yards and four scores on 78 attempts this year. He can run the ball if he needs to.
Clemson will be without three suspended players. One of those is a first-round draft pick in DT Dexter Lawrence, and the other are role players in TE Braden Galloway and OL Zach Geilla. The loss of Lawrence is a big one as he’s one of the best players in the country.
Only five times in college football history has an undefeated team played another undefeated team and been a 7-point plus underdog. Well, Notre Dame is that team catching 7 or more points. In fact, the Fighting Irish are catching 14 points or less in most spots. The team catching 7 or more points is not only a perfect 5-0 ATS, but also a perfect 5-0 SU in this situation. The dog has won straight up every time.
Also, favorites in the last 16 Clemson bowl games have gone 4-12 SU & 2-14 ATS. Clemson is 4-14 ATS in its last 18 games after covering the spread in six or seven of its last eight games coming in. The Fighting Irish are 4-0 ATS in their last four neutral site games. Notre Dame is 4-0-1 ATS in its last five vs. a team with a winning record. The Tigers are 0-5 ATS in their last five non-conference games. Take Notre Dame Saturday.
Note: I know this line shows Notre Dame +14 with extra juice. I personally have a bet on Notre Dame +13. And I think they're worth a bet all the way down to +10.
|12-29-18||Nevada v. Utah +7.5||86-71||Loss||-110||4 h 39 m||Show|
15* CBB Saturday Undervalued Underdog on Utah +7.5
Nevada went into Christmas Break feeling fat and happy due to their 12-0 record and No. 6 national ranking. And with that ranking comes expectations for oddsmakers that are very tough to live up to. It started to show prior to the break.
Nevada has gone 0-3-1 ATS in its last four games overall. They won all four games straight up, but all four were by 8 points or less, including three by 6 points or fewer. And it’s not like it was that tough of a schedule as the four opponents were ASU, Grand Canyon, South Dakota State and Akron. Now they are laying 7.5 points on the road to Utah, which is simply too much.
Utah will be chomping at the bit to try and get a win over a Top 10 team here. The Utes have had one of the best home-court advantages in the country over time as well. They are 5-0 at home this season and winning by nearly 20 points per game on average.
Utah is 9-2 ATS in its last 11 home games off an ATS loss. Utah’s head coach s 23-9 ATS in Saturday home games as the coach of the Utes. Take Utah Saturday.
|12-29-18||Florida +7 v. Michigan||Top||41-15||Win||100||130 h 7 m||Show|
20* Florida/Michigan Peach Bowl Early ANNIHILATOR on Florida +7
Dan Mullen has already put Florida on the map in his first season in Gainesville. He took over a team that went 4-7 last year and turned the Gators into a 9-3 team and SEC contenders. And now the Gators will relish this opportunity to face Michigan in the Peach Bowl after missing out on a bowl game last year.
Michigan won’t be so happy to be here. The Wolverines were in prime position to make the four-team playoff. But they once again lost to Urban Meyer and Ohio State 62-39 in their season finale. That loss cost them the Big Ten title and a spot in the four-team playoff. I just don’t see Michigan being able to get back up off the mat after such a demoralizing defeat.
The same thing happened last year when Michigan went on to lose to South Carolina as 8-point favorites in the Outback Bowl. They also lost to Florida State as 7-point favorites in the 2016 Orange Bowl. Jim Harbaugh just hasn’t done a very good job in big games as the coach of Michigan.
Mullen did a great job improving this Florida offense to 34.5 PPG this season. And the Gators have yet another elite defense just as they do every year, giving up 20.4 PPG. The Wolverines also have an elite defense, but they have taken a hit with several players sitting out this game.
They will be without starting DE Rashan Gary, starting LB and Big Ten DPOY Devin Bush and leading rusher Karan Higdon. Florida expects to have everyone available for this bowl game. I think the Gators could have beaten the Wolverines at full strength, let alone without 3 of their best players.
Adding to Florida’s motivation is the fact that they’ve never beaten Michigan, going 0-3 in the all-time series. Two of those losses have come the past two seasons as they lost 41-7 in the 2016 Citrus Bowl and 33-17 in the 2017 season opener in Arlington. The Gators want revenge, while the Wolverines could be getting a case of ‘Florida fatigue’ having just beaten this team twice in the past two seasons.
Mullen is 9-0 ATS off two straight non-conference games in all games he has coached. Michigan is 1-11 ATS in its last 12 games after allowing 17 points or more in the first half of two straight games.
Plays against favorites of 3.5 to 10 points (Michigan) - off a road loss to a conference opponent, a top-level team that wins 80% or more of its games playing a good team (60% to 80%) are 24-5 (82.8%) ATS since 1992. Bet Florida Saturday.
|12-29-18||BYU +10 v. Mississippi State||Top||81-103||Loss||-109||2 h 39 m||Show|
20* CBB Saturday Early ANNIHILATOR on BYU +10
I like the situation for BYU today. They return from Christmas Break motivated after losing two hard-fought games against UNLV and San Diego State in their two games prior to the break. They’ll be laying it all on the line to get a win today.
Mississippi State returns from Christmas Break feeling fat and happy with their 11-1 record and No. 19 ranking nationally. There were signs going into the break that were not good. They only beat Wofford by 11 and Wright State by 4 both at home in their final two games before the break.
Now the Bulldogs take a big step up in class here against BYU. Home teams don’t have much of an advantage over Christmas Break because students return home to see their families, and the arenas just aren’t as rowdy. The Bulldogs won’t enjoy the normal home-court advantage they’ll get when the students return to class.
Mississippi State is 2-9 ATS after playing two consecutive home games over the last two seasons. The Bulldogs are 2-9 ATS vs. good offensive teams that score 77-plus points per game over the last two years. Plays on road underdogs of 10 to 19.5 points (BYU) - explosive offensive team that scores 84-plus points per game, after a combined score of 165 or more in two straight games are 26-5 (83.9%) ATS over the last five seasons. Bet BYU Saturday.
|12-28-18||Thunder v. Suns +7||118-102||Loss||-115||13 h 16 m||Show|
15* NBA Friday Undervalued Underdog on Phoenix Suns +7
It’s nice to see what the Phoenix Suns are capable of when they’re fully engaged and healthy. And that has come to fruition here over the last couple weeks. The Suns are 5-2 SU & 7-0 ATS in their last seven games overall with their two losses both coming on the road by a combined 11 points.
They have played so well despite five of their last seven games on the road. They have pulled off four outright upsets. They beat the Mavs by 10 as 6-point home dogs and the Timberwolves by 8 as 7.5-point home dogs. They also went on the road and won by 8 at Boston as 11.5-point dogs and by 2 at Orlando as 5.5-point dogs. And now the Suns are still getting no respect from oddsmakers as 7-point home dogs tonight.
Phoenix will be playing with triple-revenge as this will be the 4th and final meeting between these teams. From October 28th to November 17th in a span of three weeks, the Thunder beat the Suns three times by 7, 17 and 10 points. The Suns were not playing well at all then, but this is a different team now and they’ll be highly motivated to get a win to avoid the season sweep.
The Suns are 7-0 ATS in their last seven games overall. Phoenix is 8-0 ATS in its last eight games when its opponent allows 100 points or more in its previous game. Roll with the Suns Friday.
|12-28-18||Iowa State +3 v. Washington State||26-28||Win||100||115 h 8 m||Show|
15* Iowa State/Washington State Alamo Bowl BAILOUT on Iowa State +3
The Iowa State Cyclones have only been to 13 bowl games in school history. They will be going for back-to-back bowl wins for the first time in program history. They will also be going for their 9th win of the season, which would tie a school record set back in 2000. Prior to that season they hadn’t reached even eight wins since 1978. It’s safe to say the Cyclones are happy to be here, and they have every reason to be highly motivated for a win.
The job Matt Campbell is doing at Iowa State is remarkable. He is only in his third season and already has this team to two bowl games and a combined 16-9 record over the past two seasons. After a 1-3 start against a brutal schedule, the Cyclones reeled off five straight wins. They got into Big 12 title contention before a loss to Texas. But they won their final two games and now have a chance to make history.
The run started when freshman Brock Purdy took over at quarterback. He is completing 66.3% of his passes with a 16-to-5 TD/INT ratio and averaging 10 yards per attempt. He has also added a dual threat to the offense with 262 rushing yards and three scores. He has one of the best backs in the country to hand the ball off to in David Montgomery, who has put together back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons. Purdy also has a matchup nightmare to throw the ball to in Hakeem Butler, who has 1,126 receiving yards and 9 touchdowns while season while averaging 22.1 yards per reception.
While the Iowa State offense has made big strides this season, it’s the defense that has allowed them to win so many games over the past few seasons. The Cyclones have the second-best defense in the Big 12 this year. They are giving up just 22.5 points and 351 yards per game this season. They are holding opponents to 8.5 points and 63 yards per game less than their season averages. It’s a defense that is built to stop the Big 12 offenses, which makes this a great matchup against Washington State’s pass-happy attack that belongs in the Big 12.
I think Washington State actually had to be disappointed to be in the Alamo Bowl. The Cougars were ranked in the Top 10 down the stretch and actually had an outside shot to make the four-team playoff. But they once again lost to Washington in the Apple Cup in their season finale, so instead of playing the Pac-12 Championship and possibly the Rose Bowl at worse, they now have to try and get back up off the mat to play Iowa State in the Alamo Bowl.
Matt Campbell is 3-1 in all bowl games dating back to his time at Toledo. Mike Leach is just 1-3 in bowl games as the coach of Washington State. They lost handily 17-42 to Michigan State last year in the Holiday Bowl. I think Leach will have his hands full getting these Cougars motivated to play this game after what happened against Washington in the Apple Cup.
Iowa State played a much tougher schedule than Washington State this season. Iowa State played the 29th-toughest schedule, while Washington State played the 53rd. And Pac-12 teams have been terrible in bowl games in recent seasons. In fact, the Pac-12 is just 3-13 SU & 2-14 ATS in their last 16 bowl games over the past few seasons. It’s a conference that was way down this season, which is why I question how good all these Pac-12 teams are in these bowl games.
Campbell is 13-4 ATS when playing against a team with a winning record as the coach of Iowa State. Campbell is 8-1 ATS when playing against a team that wins more than 75% of their games on the season as the coach of Iowa State. Campbell is 12-2 ATS vs. good teams who outscore their opponents by 10-plus points per game as the coach of the Cyclones. Leach is 2-11 ATS after having won eight or more of his past 10 games in all games as a head coach. The Cougars are 0-5 ATS in their last five vs. Big 12 opponents. Take Iowa State Friday.
|12-28-18||Nets v. Hornets -4.5||Top||87-100||Win||100||11 h 15 m||Show|
20* NBA Friday No-Doubt Rout on Charlotte Hornets -4.5
I absolutely love the spot for the Charlotte Hornets tonight. This is a home-and-home situation, and the Hornets lost 132-134 at Brooklyn on Wednesday. And now they get to play two days later with the revenge-minded Hornets only laying 4.5 points at home over the Nets tonight. They’ll get their revenge with a win and cover at home here.
It’s definitely time to ’sell high’ on the Nets, who have gone 9-1 SU in their last 10 games overall. That’s why this line is lower than it should be. They have mostly beaten up on a weak schedule during this stretch with seven of their 10 games coming at home as well. We’ll ‘buy low’ on the Hornets, who are 1-6 ATS in their last seven games overall.
The Hornets are 12-7 at home this year. Their offense has been explosive at home, scoring 114.3 points per game on 47.3% shooting. The Nets are only scoring 106.8 points per game on the road on 44.2% shooting this season.
Plays on home favorites (Charlotte) - revenging a loss where opponent scores 100 or more points, off two or more consecutive road losses are 75-35 (68.2%) ATS over the last five seasons. Bet the Hornets Friday.
|12-28-18||Raptors v. Magic +7||87-116||Win||100||11 h 1 m||Show|
15* NBA Eastern Conference ANNIHILATOR on Orlando Magic +7
It’s time to ‘buy low’ on the Magic tonight at home. They have lost four straight both SU and ATS and are just 1-7-1 ATS in their last eight games overall. And now they are catching 7 points at home because of their recent struggles. I expect them to be max motivated with the Eastern Conference-leading Raptors coming to town tonight.
The Raptors are certainly vulnerable right now. They have been overvalued for a month now due to having the best record in the East. The Raptors are just 4-9-1 ATS in their last 14 games overall. They are also just 6-6 SU in their last 12 games.
The reason the Raptors have been vulnerable of late is due to all their injuries. They have been without both Jonas Valanciunas and Norman Powell for a while now, and Kyle Lowry has sat out a few gams with a back injury. Lowry is their most important player as they’ve been able to win consistently without Kawhi Leonard, but not when Lowry has been out of the lineup. They are just 1-5 ATS in the six games Lowry has missed.
The Magic will be looking to avenge a 91-93 home loss as identical 7-point dogs to the Raptors on November 20th in their first and only meeting this season. The Magic are 8-3-1 ATS in the last 12 meetings, and 6-2 ATS in the last eight meetings in Orlando. The home team is 4-1-1 ATS in the last six meetings. The Magic are 7-0-1 ATS in their last eight vs. NBA Atlantic Division opponents.
Plays on underdogs (Orlando) - after being beaten by the spread by 30 or more points total in their last three games, a marginal losing team (40% to 49%) playing a winning team are 46-19 (70.8%) ATS over the last five seasons. Take the Magic Friday.
|12-28-18||Syracuse v. West Virginia||Top||34-18||Win||100||111 h 23 m||Show|
25* Bowl GAME OF THE YEAR on Syracuse PK
It’s safe to say the Syracuse Orange are happy to be in a bowl game. Head coach Dino Babers delivered in a big way in his third season on the job. The Orange went from 4-8 last year to 9-3 this year and a chance to win 10 games for the first time since 2001. Two of their losses came to playoff teams in Clemson and Notre Dame, and they nearly upset Clemson on the road. They will be playing in their first bowl game since 2013 as well.
I certainly question West Virginia’s motivation. The Mountaineers had a chance to play in the Big 12 Championship in their season finale against Oklahoma. But they lost a 56-59 heartbreaker to the Sooners, and now they have to watch Oklahoma go on to the four-team playoff, while they’re stuck in the Camping World Bowl. They won’t be motivated at all for this game.
That’s especially the case now that Will Grier has decided to skip this bowl game and get ready for the NFL. Also out is left tackle Yodny Cajuste, who is also an NFL prospect. You don’t simply replace a QB the caliber of Grier. He has completed 67% of his passes for 3,864 yards with a 37-to-8 TD/INT ratio this season while averaging 9.7 yards per attempt.
Backup QB Jack Allison has only attempted 10 passes all season, and he’ll get the start Friday. The sophomore won’t have the services of star receiver Gary Jennings Jr, either. Jennings leads the Mountaineers in receiving yards (917) to go along with 54 receptions and 13 touchdowns. He is sitting out with an ankle injury.
The quarterback on the other sideline is a good one. Syracuse’s Eric Dungey played in all 12 games for the first time in his career this season, though he still had some injury issues but gutted it out. He completed 59.8% of his passes for 2,565 yards with a 17-to-7 TD/INT ratio. He is also the team’s second-leading rushing with 732 yards and 15 scores on the ground. He has accounted for 32 total touchdowns and will be a big reason why the Orange win this game.
While the Syracuse offense is explosive in averaging 40.7 points and 468 yards per game, it’s the defense that has made the biggest improvement. The Orange are allowing a respectable 27.7 points per game this season. They are right on par with WVU defensively as the Mountaineers yield 26.5 points per game. And there’s no question the Orange have the advantage on offense now with Grier, Cajuste and Jennings out.
Dana Holgorsen is 6-15 ATS with two or more weeks to prepare as the coach of West Virginia. Holgorsen is 1-4 SU & 0-5 ATS in his last five bowl games with their only win coming by a single point 43-42 over Arizona State in 2015. They lost by 16 to Utah in 2017, by 17 to Miami in 2016, by 8 to Texas A&M in 2014 and by 24 to Syracuse in 2012. The Mountaineers have rarely even been competitive in bowl games under Holgorsen. In fact, dating back further, West Virginia is just 5-16 ATS in its last 21 bowl games.
West Virginia is 0-7 ATS in its last seven December bowl games. The Mountaineers are 7-21 ATS in their last 28 games played on a neutral field. West Virginia is 10-24 ATS in its last 34 vs. ACC opponents. The Orange are 9-1-1 ATS in their last 11 games following a win.
Plays on all teams where the line is +3 to -3 (Syracuse) - off a double-digit road win, a good team (60% to 80%) playing a team with a winning record are 26-9 (74.3%) ATS over the last five seasons. Bet Syracuse Friday.
|12-27-18||76ers v. Jazz UNDER 219.5||114-97||Win||100||14 h 31 m||Show|
15* 76ers/Jazz TNT Late-Night BAILOUT on UNDER 219
The Utah Jazz remain one of the best defensive teams in the NBA. They are 6th in defensive efficiency. They have really clamped down on the defensive end of late, holding seven straight opponents to 107 points or fewer and giving up an average of just 96.9 points per game during this stretch.
I think this total has been inflated due to the fact that the 76ers are coming off three straight overs, including their 114-121 (OT) loss to the Celtics on Christmas Day. But I had the under in that game as well and it would have gone under if not for overtime, so that was a bad beat. They had 216 combined points at the end of regulation.
The UNDER is 8-2 in the last 10 meetings in this series. They have averaged just 187.4 combined points per game in those 10 meetings. The Jazz and 76ers have combined for 205 or fewer points in 14 of their last 15 meetings. They have topped 219 combined points just once in their last 43 meetings dating back to 1996. That makes for a 42-1 system backing the UNDER pertaining to tonight’s total set of 219.5.
The UNDER is 7-0 in Jazz last seven games overall. The UNDER is 5-0 in Jazz last five home games. The UNDER is 5-0 in 76ers last five vs. a team with a losing record. The UNDER is 7-0 in Jazz last seven after scoring 100 points or more in their previous game. The UNDER is 4-0 in the last four meetings in Utah. These five trends combine for a perfect 28-0 system backing the UNDER as well. Roll with the UNDER in this game Thursday.
|12-27-18||Lakers v. Kings -3.5||116-117||Loss||-110||13 h 2 m||Show|
15* Lakers/Kings NBA Western Conference ANNIHILATOR on Sacramento -3.5
The Los Angeles Lakers are coming off a huge 127-101 upset win as 9-point underdogs over the defending champion Golden State Warriors on Christmas Day. This is the ultimate letdown spot for them tonight as now they hit the road to take on the Sacramento Kings two days later.
Making matters worse for the Lakers is the fact that they lost LeBron James to a groin injury in that win, and now James will be sitting this game out. But the injuries don’t stop there. The Lakers are also expected to be without Rajon Rondo and Michael Beasley, and their top two centers in Tyson Chandler and JaVale McGee are questionable.
Yes, the Kings are playing the 2nd of a back-to-back after their loss to the Clippers last night, but all 13 players saw action and nobody played more than 30 minutes in that game. So they should be fresh and ready to go with the Lakers coming to town, especially since they had two days off prior to that Clippers game. This is also a very young team that can handle these back-to-back situations better than most teams.
The Lakers are 0-5-1 ATS in their last six games following a win. The Kings are 5-1 ATS in their last six home games. Sacramento is 15-6 ATS in its last 21 games following an ATS loss. The favorite is 5-1 ATS in the last six meetings. The Kings are 14-2 ATS when the total is 220 to 229.5 this season.
Plays on home favorites of 3.5 to 9.5 points (Sacramento) - revenging a same-season loss vs. opponent that’s off a win by 20 points or more over a division rival are 48-19 (71.6%) ATS since 1996. Take the Kings Thursday.
|12-27-18||Knicks +14.5 v. Bucks||Top||96-112||Loss||-104||11 h 2 m||Show|
20* NBA Eastern Conference GAME OF THE MONTH on New York Knicks +14.5
This is one of my favorite situations in the NBA. It’s a home-and-home situation where these teams just met in New York on Christmas Day, and now they’ll meet in Milwaukee two days later. I always like backing the team that lost the first game in these home-and-home situations, and that would be the Knicks here Thursday.
After losing 95-109 as 10-point home underdogs in the first meeting, the Knicks are now catching 14.5 points in the rematch. It’s simply too much. They’ll be the more motivated team after losing that first meeting, while the Bucks won’t be motivated at all after just beating the Knicks on National TV. I expect the Bucks to simply be going through the motions.
The Knicks played the Bucks tough outside of the 3rd quarter, where they were outscored 36-22. That proved to be the difference in the game. And the Knicks haven’t lost by more than 14 points to the Bucks yet this season. They lost by 11 in their first meeting in Milwaukee on October 22nd, won outright as 8-point home dogs by 2 in their 2nd meeting on December 1st, then obviously lost by 14 two days ago. In fact, the Bucks haven’t won any of their last 11 meetings with the Knicks by more than 14 points, making for an 11-0 system backing the Knicks pertaining to this 14.5-point spread.
New York is 22-11 ATS when revenging a home loss vs. opponent over the last two seasons. Milwaukee is 21-48 ATS in its last 69 games as a favorite of 10 or more points. The Bucks are 14-29 ATS in home games when playing against a team with a losing record over the last three seasons. Milwaukee is 2-7-1 ATS in its last 10 games following a win. The underdog is 10-4-1 ATS in the last 15 meetings. The road team is 5-1-1 ATS in the last seven meetings. Bet the Knicks Thursday.
|12-26-18||Nuggets v. Spurs -3.5||Top||103-111||Win||100||10 h 16 m||Show|
20* NBA Wednesday No-Doubt Rout on San Antonio Spurs -3.5
The San Antonio Spurs have been flying under the radar over the past three weeks. They have gone 7-2 SU & 7-2 ATS in their last nine games overall. They are better than they get credit for, and I’ll gladly lay the short number with them at home here tonight against the Denver Nuggets.
The Nuggets are simply getting too much respect from the books after going 11-3 SU & 11-3 ATS in their last 14 games overall. But they are missing three starters in Gary Harris, Paul Millsap and Will Barton, and it’s simply going to be hard for them to keep up this pace now. They just lost by 21 last time out to the Clippers on the road, and they’ll be hard-pressed to keep this game even competitive against the Spurs.
Home-court advantage has been huge in this series as the home team is 6-0 SU in the last six meetings. The Spurs are a perfect 11-0 SU In their last 11 home meetings with the Nuggets. They have won their last eight home meetings with the Nuggets by a whopping 17.1 points per game on average.
The Spurs are 8-1 ATS in home games vs. good offensive teams that score 110-plus points per game this season. They are beating these teams by 16.9 points per game on average. Denver is 1-10 ATS in road games vs. Southwest Division opponents over the last two seasons. They are losing by 12.7 points pre game in this spot. San Antonio is 22-8 ATS in its last 30 home games overall. Bet the Spurs Wednesday.
|12-25-18||Blazers v. Jazz UNDER 215||96-117||Win||100||33 h 45 m||Show|
15* Blazers/Jazz ESPN Late-Night BAILOUT on UNDER 215
I really like taking UNDERS in games between teams that just recently played. Well, this game fits that mold as the Blazers just hosted the Jazz on December 21st. So it will be their 2nd meeting in 5 days, and familiarity definitely favors defense. Look for a low-scoring affair between the Jazz and Blazers tonight.
They combined for only 210 points in that meeting on December 21st, continuing a trend of what has been a low-scoring series. In fact, the Jazz and Blazers have now combined for 211 or fewer points at the end of regulation in eight consecutive meetings. They have averaged just 195.5 combined points per game at the end of regulation in those eight games, which is nearly 20 points less than tonight’s posted total of 215.
The UNDER is 10-1 in Blazers last 11 vs. NBA Northwest Division opponents. The UNDER is 7-3 in Blazers last 10 games overall. The UNDER is 6-0 in Jazz last six games overall. The UNDER is 6-0 in Jazz last six after scoring 100 points or more in their previous game. Roll with the UNDER in this game Tuesday.
|12-25-18||Lakers +9 v. Warriors||127-101||Win||100||30 h 19 m||Show|
15* Lakers/Warriors ABC ANNIHILATOR on Los Angeles +9
The Golden State Warriors have been overvalued all season. That’s what happens when you win three titles in the last four years. They are just 14-20 ATS on the season. And they have been even more overvalued since getting Stephen Curry and Draymond Green back in the lineup. Asking them to win by double-digits to cover this number against the Lakers is simply asking too much.
Indeed, the Warriors are just 1-6 ATS in their last seven games overall. They only won by 8 as 9.5-point home favorites over the Timberwolves, lost outright to the Raptors as 8-point home favorites, only won by 5 as 7.5-point road favorites at Sacramento, lost by 5 as 2-point favorites at Utah, won by 4 as 11-point home favorites against the Mavericks and won by 2 as 11-point home favorites against the Clippers.
The Lakers played the Warriors very tough last season. They went 3-1 ATS and didn’t lose once by more than 11 points. They took the Warriors to overtime twice, and only lost by 7 points at Golden State as 11.5-point dogs. And now they have Lebron James and are way better than last year’s Lakers. And you can bet James wants to prove to the Warriors that he now has a team that can beat them in the playoffs.
The Warriors are 1-13 ATS in Tuesday games over the last two seasons. Golden State is 2-10 ATS as a favorite of 3.5 to 9.5 points this season. The Lakers are 24-10 ATS vs. good teams who outscore their opponents by 3-plus points per game over the last two seasons. The Warriors are 1-6 ATS in their last seven home games. Take the Lakers Tuesday.
|12-25-18||76ers v. Celtics UNDER 224||Top||114-121||Loss||-104||28 h 49 m||Show|
20* 76ers/Celtics ABC No-Brainer on UNDER 224
The Boston Celtics and Philadelphia 76ers are very familiar with one another. That’s because they played five games in the playoffs last year with the Celtics winning the series 4-1. And now this will be their second meeting of 2018 already, so this will be their 11th meeting over the past two seasons. Familiarity favors UNDERS.
The 76ers and Celtics have combined for 224 or fewer points in 13 of their last 14 meetings, and 218 or fewer in 12 of those 14 games. They have averaged just 200.8 combined points per game in their last 11 meetings, which is roughly 23 points less than today’s posted total of 224. They combined for just 192 points in their first meeting this season on October 16th. The books have really missed their mark badly on this total.
The Celtics rank 3rd in defensive efficiency this season, while the 76ers are solid as well at 12th. Plays on the UNDER on all teams where the total is 220 to 229.5 (Boston) - after a win by 10 points or more against opponent that’s off two straight wins by 10 points or more are 34-7 (82.9%) since 1996. Bet the UNDER in this game Tuesday.
|12-25-18||Thunder v. Rockets UNDER 222||109-113||Push||0||25 h 12 m||Show|
15* Thunder/Rockets ABC Total DOMINATOR on UNDER 222
Based on season averages, there is value with the UNDER in this game tonight. Especially since the Rockets are without Chris Paul as they haven’t been nearly as efficient offensively without him. The Rockets average 217.7 combined points per game this season, while the Thunder average 217.6 combined points per game.
The Thunder are actually 2nd in the NBA in defensive efficiency this season, giving up just 102.0 points per 100 possessions. But they are just 18th in offensive efficiency. The Rockets have been forced to play at a slower pace this season because their personnel just isn’t as good. In fact, the Rockets are 29th in pace at just 96.79 possessions per game. Only the Grizzlies play slower. They will control the tempo playing at home today.
The Rockets and Thunder have combined for 222 or fewer points in five of their last six games. The UNDER is 5-1 in those six games. They have averaged just 209.0 combined points per game in their last five meetings, which is roughly 13 points less than today’s posted total of 222. And they combined for just 178 points in their only meeting this season back on November 8th.
Houston is a perfect 8-0 UNDER against Northwest Division opponents this season, averaging just 197.6 combined points per game against them. Oklahoma City is 8-1 UNDER in road games after a combined score of 225 points or more this season. The Thunder are 12-1 UNDER in Tuesday road games over the last three seasons. Oklahoma City is 9-0 UNDER when the line is +3 to -3 this season. Houston is 19-5 UNDER when the line is +3 to -3 over the last two seasons. Take the UNDER in this game Tuesday.
|12-25-18||Bucks v. Knicks +10||Top||109-95||Loss||-105||22 h 19 m||Show|
20* Bucks/Knicks ESPN Early Riser on New York +10
The Milwaukee Bucks are way overvalued as 10-point road favorites over the New York Knicks on Christmas Day. This is a rare chance for the Knicks to showcase their talents on National TV, and they’ll be highly motivated for a victory here Tuesday. I expect one of their biggest efforts of the season.
We’ll ‘buy low’ on the Knicks, who are certainly undervalued after going 1-9 SU & 2-8 ATS in their last 10 games overall. But they are finally as healthy as they have been at any other point this season with only Kristaps Porzingis expected to miss this game. And we’ll ’sell high’ on the Bucks, who are are off to a fast 22-10 start and sitting in 2nd place in the Eastern Conference.
The Knicks have played the Bucks tough in their two meetings this season. They covered as 11.5-point road underdogs in an 11-point loss. And they won outright in overtime 136-134 as 8-point home dogs to the Bucks on December 1st. I think the Knicks will have an excellent chance to win this game outright as well, let alone stay within this massive 10-point spread at home.
Milwaukee is 20-48 ATS in its last 68 games as a favorite of 10 or more points. Plays against favorites of 10 or more points (Milwaukee) - an excellent offensive team that scores more than 102 points per game against a bad defensive team that allows more than 102 points per game, after scoring 90 points or less last game are 25-6 (80.6%) ATS over the last five seasons. Bet the Knicks Tuesday.
|12-24-18||Broncos v. Raiders +3||Top||14-27||Win||100||48 h 57 m||Show|
20* Broncos/Raiders MNF GAME OF THE MONTH on Oakland +3
The Oakland Raiders should not be home underdogs to the Denver Broncos tonight. The Raiders have shown that they are going to show up every week and try to win games here down the stretch, and they will certainly show up for this rare primetime opportunity on National TV on Monday Night Football. Especially since they are facing a hated rival in the Broncos.
The Oakland Coliseum was built specifically for the Raiders in the mid-1960’s, but Monday night’s game against the Broncos might be the Raiders’ last game there. Owner Mark Davis is looking for another venue for his team next season. So you have to think that these Oakland players want to send their fans out with one final taste of victory tonight.
“I’ve spent five years playing in the stadium and we have people talking trash about it, but I love it,” said quarterback Derek Carr. “It’s ours. It has been fun, and that fact that it could be the last game is crazy. When that times comes, we’ll enjoy it.”
“I get emotional about it,” head coach Jon Gruden told reporters this week. “Hopefully, we get it resolved to where we can continue to play here next season. It’s going to be a great atmosphere, Monday night, Christmas Eve, Denver coming to town. I get excited thinking about it."
The Raiders want to avenge their 19-20 loss at Denver in their first meeting this season in which Oakland blew a 12-0 halftime lead and should have won the game. That was a much better Broncos team than the version we have now here down the stretch. And the Broncos were 5.5-point favorites in that game at home, so if you flip home field, this line should be close to a PK if not the Raiders favored. I actually think the Raiders should be favored by 3 given what has transpired since that first meeting.
Jon Gruden clearly has not lost this team. The Raiders have shown up each of the last five weeks and played hard. They won at Arizona five weeks ago, deserved to lose 17-20 to the Ravens on the road but gave up two non-offensive touchdowns and lost by 17, hung tough in a 33-40 home loss to the Chiefs as 14-point dogs, upset the Steelers at home as 10-point dogs, and then had a 14-point loss to the Bengals last week in a game that was much closer than the final score. And it was an obvious letdown spot for the Raiders off their huge win over the Steelers the week prior. They’ll bounce back this week against a division rival in Denver.
I’ve correctly faded the Broncos in each of their last two games for many of the same reasons. The Broncos failed to cover as 3-point road favorites in a 14-20 upset loss at San Francisco. And last week they were upset at home by the Cleveland Browns. Key injuries are a big reason I’ve been fading the Broncos and they remain a big problem for them.
The most important injury was losing top WR Emmanuel Sanders prior to the 49ers game with a torn ACL. His loss was magnified by the fact that they traded away their other top receiver in DeMaryius Thomas to the Texans. The Broncos simply don’t have any weapons left, and their offense has been bogged down because of it. And defensively, they lost top CB Chris Harris also prior to that 49ers game. And the injuries keep piling up for the Broncos’ defense this week as they will be without SS Su’a Cravens and LB Shane Ray.
I also think this is a situation where the wind has been lifted out from underneath the Broncos’ sails. They had a chance to make the playoffs after winning three straight to get to .500, and they were still alive even after the loss to the 49ers. But heartbreaking one-point loss to the Browns last week has officially eliminated them from contention. As is often the case, teams don’t even show up the week after their were eliminated from postseason contention. That could easily be the case for Denver this week even though this is a primetime game, especially knowing that head coach Vance Joseph is a dead man walking.
Denver is 0-6 ATS in road games off two or more consecutive ATS losses over the past three seasons. The Broncos are losing by 18.6 points on average in this spot. Denver is 0-7 ATS vs. teams who force one or fewer turnovers per game over the past two seasons. The Broncos are 2-8-2 ATS in their last 12 Monday games. The home team is 4-1 ATS in the last five meetings. Bet the Raiders Monday.
|12-23-18||Bucknell +13 v. TCU||65-82||Loss||-105||9 h 10 m||Show|
15* Bucknell/TCU ESPN 2 Late-Night BAILOUT on Bucknell +13
Bucknell got to play before TCU last night. TCU finished its game after midnight. I always think that’s an advantage to play before your opponent in these tournaments. You get more rest, plus you get to watch your opponent after the game and scout them. It seems obvious, but I don’t think it gets factored enough into the line.
We’ll certainly ‘sell high’ on TCU, which is now 6-0 SU & 6-0 ATS in its last six games overall since getting upset by Lipscomb 64-73 as 12.5-point home favorites on November 20th. But those six wins have come against some bad opponents. Bucknell will give them more of a run for their money than this line suggests.
Bucknell has done well to get to 5-5 this season. Check out these upsets the’ve pulled off. Bucknell won 88-85 as 10-point road dogs at St. Bonaventure, 69-61 as 10.5-point road dogs at Vermont, 92-79 as a pick’ ‘em at LaSalle, and yesterday they upset Rhode Island 84-82 as 6-point dogs. And I haven’t even mentioned their most impressive performance yet, which came in a losing effort. Bucknell only lost 71-73 as 19-point road dogs at Ohio State, which is one of the best teams in the country.
Bucknell is 20-9 ATS in its last 29 games overall. The Bison are 7-0 ATS in their last seven games vs. good passing teams that average 16 or more assists per game. Bucknell is 8-1 ATS vs. good teams who outscore their opponents by 4-plus points per game over the last three seasons. The Bison are 5-0 ATS in their last five vs. a team with a winning % above .600. TCU is 3-12 ATS in its last 15 games after forcing 19 or more turnovers in three consecutive games coming in. Roll with Bucknell Sunday.
|12-23-18||Clippers +10.5 v. Warriors||Top||127-129||Win||100||8 h 0 m||Show|
20* Clippers/Warriors NBA Sunday No-Brainer on Los Angeles +10.5
The Clippers are undervalued right now. They lost six of seven and a large part of that streak was due to the injury to Lou Williams. But Williams returned two games ago, and it’s no surprise the Clippers have won their two games since his return by a combined 25 points over Dallas and Denver. Williams is the team’s third-leading scorer at 17.1 PPG and a vital part of their team as he injects life into the bench and closes out games. Williams has 32 points and 15 assists combined in his two games since returning.
Both the Clippers and Warriors played last night, so both will be on the 2nd of a back-to-back, but that favors the Clippers. They are a deep team which has been a big reason for their success, largely due to how well Williams plays off the bench. The Warriors rely heavily on their big four and play them big minutes, and there’s no doubt that Clippers are the more rested team.
The Clippers blew out the Nuggets by 21 points last night so they were able to rest their starters. Only one player played more than 26 minutes for them, and that was youngster Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. Meanwhile, the Warriors were in a dog fight with the Mavericks last night, winning 120-116. That will have taken its toll as their big four in Curry (39:29), Durant (36:51), Green (35:15) and Thompson (33:00) all were forced to play big minutes. They won’t have much left in the tank for the deep Clippers tonight.
I also think it’s a big look-ahead spot for the Warriors. They have the much-anticipated Christmas Day game with Lebron James and the Lakers on deck. The Clippers will be the more motivated team tonight as everyone gets up for the defending champs, and they already beat them 121-116 as 4-point home dogs in their first meeting this season. And they tend to play the Warriors tough on the road as their two meetings before that they only lost by 7 as 10.5-point road dogs and upset the Warriors by 19 as 12-point road dogs.
The Clippers are 15-4 ATS in their last 19 road games after covering three of their last four ATS over the last three seasons. Los Angeles is 16-5 ATS in its last 21 vs. NBA Pacific Division opponents. The Clippers are 6-1 ATS in their last seven vs. a team with a winning % above .600. The Warriors are 2-10 ATS in their last 12 vs. Western Conference opponents. Golden State is 9-19 ATS in its last 28 Sunday games. The road team is 6-1 ATS in the last seven meetings. Bet the Clippers Sunday.
|12-23-18||Chiefs v. Seahawks UNDER 56||31-38||Loss||-115||24 h 8 m||Show|
15* Chiefs/Seahawks NBC Sunday Night BAILOUT on UNDER 56
As the weather has gotten colder, games have become more and more low scoring. And it’s expected to be in the 40’s in Seattle tonight with a 40% chance of rain as well. While the weather is a big factor to these lower scoring games at the end of the season, the fact that both teams have so much film on one another is ultimately the bigger factor. It’s just easier on the defenses to stop opposing offenses because they know what to expect at this point in the season.
The Chiefs have certainly become less potent offensively here down the stretch. They failed to top 28 points in each of their last two games, and thy were held to just 294 total yards by the Chargers last week. Now, a lot of this has to do with the weapons the Chiefs are missing. They don’t have anyone to replace what Kareem Hunt brings to the offense, and top backup Spencer Ware remains out. Also out is one of their top receivers in Sammy Watkins. Mahomes just doesn’t have the same weapons he did for most of the season as he was lighting up the NFL.
I think the Seahawks can control the pace of this game with their running game, which has been one of the best in the NFL. They have rushed for 154 or more yards in 10 of their last 11 games, while passing for 242 or fewer yards in all but one game this season. They have been held to less than 205 or fewer passing yards in nine of their 14 games this year, and 217 or fewer in 11 of 14. Their offensive scheme keeps the clock running, and the Seahawks play at one of the slowest paces in the league. They know controlling time of possession is their best chance to beat the Chiefs tonight.
The Seahawks have held six of their last 12 opponents to 17 or fewer points. They have a good defense that is giving up just 20.9 points per game on the season, and 19.7 points per game at home. And the Chiefs have actually improved quite a bit defensively here down the stretch themselves. They have held seven of their last 11 opponents to 24 or fewer points, and I certainly think they can do the same here against this slow, vanilla Seahawks offense.
Plays on the UNDER on road teams where the total is 49.5 or higher (Kansas City) - after going over the total by 35 or more points combined in their last five games, in the second half of the season are 54-23 (70.1%) since 1983. The UNDER is 6-1 in Chiefs last seven Week 16 games. Take the UNDER in this game Sunday.
|12-23-18||Hornets v. Celtics -6.5||103-119||Win||100||6 h 33 m||Show|
15* NBA Eastern Conference ANNIHILATOR on Boston Celtics -6.5
The Boston Celtics had a lengthy team meeting after Friday night’s home loss to the Milwaukee Bucks. It was necessary after the Celtics suffered their third consecutive loss, which actually followed up an eight-game losing streak. I look for them to respond in a big way tonight at home against the Hornets now that they have cleared the air amongst themselves.
I think a big reason for their recent struggles has been the absence of center Al Horford, who has missed the past six games with a sore knee. But Horford is expected to return tonight, and he means everything to this team. He is a tremendous passer who can stretch the floor and open things up in the lane for all of their other playmakers like Irving, Tatum and Brown. Marcus Morris has missed the past two games and could return tonight as well as he is listed as questionable. They are close to full strength now.
The Celtics simply own the Hornets, going 7-1 SU & 6-1-1 ATS in their last eight meetings. Those seven wins have come by an average of 10.4 points per game. They actually lost by 5 at Charlotte in their lone meeting this season. But the Celtics are 30-10 ATS when revenging a loss over the last two seasons. They are 27-7 ATS when revenging a loss where opponent scored more than 100 points over the last two seasons. Boston is 23-8 ATS in its last 31 home games. Roll with the Celtics Sunday.
|12-23-18||Wizards v. Pacers -9.5||89-105||Win||100||5 h 38 m||Show|
15* NBA BLOWOUT GAME OF THE DAY on Indiana Pacers -9.5
This one is about as obvious as it gets tonight. The Wizards are coming off a triple-overtime victory over the Suns yesterday. They won’t have much left in the tank for the Pacers tonight. Bradley Beal (53:56), Trevor Ariza (54:10), Jeff Green (48:58) and Tomas Satorasnky (48:07) all plays huge minutes last night. Otto Porter is out due to injury, and John Wall is questionable after missing last night with an illness.
The Pacers come in playing very well. They have gone 8-2 SU & 7-3 ATS in their last 10 games overall. Their two losses during this stretch came by a combined 4 points, and one was on the road to Toronto. Seven of their eight wins have come by 8 points or more, including five by double-digits. Given the awful situation for the Wizards tonight off the triple-OT game, the Pacers should have no problem beating them by double-digits to get the cover.
The Wizards are just 4-14 SU & 4-14 ATS on the road this season, getting outscored by 10.8 points per game on average. The Pacers are 28-8 ATS after having lost two of their last three games over the past two seasons. Washington is 0-10 ATS in road games after a combined score of 215 points or more in three straight games this season. The Wizards are 0-7 ATS in road games vs. good shooting teams who make 46% of their shots or better this season. Washington is 4-10 ATS in its last 14 games when playing on zero rest. Take the Pacers Sunday.
|12-23-18||Steelers +7 v. Saints||28-31||Win||100||20 h 13 m||Show|
15* Steelers/Saints Non-Conference KNOCKOUT on Pittsburgh +7
With the Ravens winning yesterday, the Steelers need this game like blood. A loss and the Ravens would overtake the Steelers for first place in the AFC North. And the Ravens host the Browns next week, so it would likely been the end of the Steelers if they lose this game. They’d miss the playoffs entirely. As a result, they’ll be max motivated today against the Saints.
The Steelers come in with confidence after getting the monkey off their back in an impressive 17-10 win over the Patriots. And this is a Steelers team that simply does not get blown out. Four of their five losses this season have come by a touchdown or less. I expect them to stay within a touchdown of the Saints, and likely pull off the upset today with what’s at stake for them.
Since the Rams lost last week to the Eagles, the Saints essentially have a two-game lead over the Rams for the No. 1 seed because they beat them head-to-head. And the Saints host the Panthers next week, so they know that even if they lose this game they have that gimme game against a Carolina team that will likely have quit by that point to clinch the No. 1 seed. Knowing they have that in their hip pocket, I do not expect the Saints to be max motivated this week.
Even if they were to be, the Saints just aren’t playing well enough right now to be this heavily favored against a very good Pittsburgh team. Offensively, the Saints are broken right now. They are averaging just 283 yards per game in their last four games. They haven’t topped 346 yards in any of those games. Drew Brees just doesn’t have any weapons outside Michael Thomas and Alvin Kamara, and it’s really starting to show. And quietly, they have three offensive linemen starters on the injury report. They’ll be missing G Jermon Bushrod, and both T Terron Armstead (shoulder) and C Max Unger (concussion) won’t be at 100% this week.
I think too much is being made of the loss of James Connor. He won’t play this week, but the Steelers have just been able to plug and play at running back. And Jalen Samuels had 142 rushing yards and 172 yards from scrimmage last week against the Patriots. He is getting comfortable in this offense, and he’s a real weapon dating back to his time with NC State in college both as a runner and receiver.
The Steelers’ offense gets a lot of the attention for averaging 27.4 points and 405.8 yards per game this season. But it’s the defense that really makes the Steelers a Super Bowl contender. They have made huge strides on that side of the ball over the past two seasons, especially this year. They are holding opponents to 22.6 points and 333.7 yards per game this season, including 21.3 points and 318.6 yards per game on the road. The Steelers are outgaining their opponents by 72 yards per game this year, the sign of an elite team.
The Steelers are outgaining their opponents by 0.9 yards per play (6.2 offensive, 5.3 defense) while the Saints are only outgaining opponents by 0.3 yards per play (6.0 offense, 5.7 defense). Yards per play is one of the most important stats in the NFL and it’s a great indicator of how good a team really is.
Pittsburgh is 6-0 ATS after allowing 99 or fewer rushing yards in two straight games this season. The Steelers are 42-21 ATS in their last 63 games when playing against a top-level team that wins greater than 75% of their games. Pittsburgh is 19-6-2 ATS in its last 27 road games vs. a team with a winning home record.
Plays on road teams (Pittsburgh) - who average 265-plus passing yards per game against a poor passing defense that gives up 230-265 PYPG, after allowing 7 or more YPA in two straight games are 24-5 (82.8%) ATS over the last 10 seasons. Bet the Steelers Sunday.
Note: I took the only +7 option available on the site at extra juice. At the time I released the pick, the line was +6.5 in most places, including at my book. I bought the 1/2 point on the Steelers to +7 personally on my bet. I suggest you do the same if your line is 6.5. If not just bet it at +6, or even down to +4.5. I think this line should be 4 at most.
|12-23-18||Bears v. 49ers +5||14-9||Push||0||20 h 55 m||Show|
15* NFL Sunday Late-Afternoon ANNIHILATOR on San Francisco 49ers +5
The Chicago Bears are coming off back-to-back victories that would rank right up there as two of their most significant wins this century. They upset the Rams at home two weeks ago, then clinched their first division title since 2010 with their win over the hated Packers last week. They let their guard down and celebrated harder than they’ve celebrated in a long time in the locker room and likely went out on the town after that win. It’s only human nature that they’d suffer a letdown this week off two huge wins at home.
But now the Bears hit the road, where they are just 3-3 this season with losses to the likes of the Giants and Dolphins this season. They are 7-1 at home, so there is a big home-road split. I know the Bears are still alive for the No. 2 seed, but they would need the Rams to lose at least one game over the final two weeks to have a chance. The Rams are 14.5-point favorites over the Cardinals this week and will be double-digit home favorites over the 49ers next week. The Bears realize it’s unrealistic.
The 49ers’ December run continues. They won their final five games last season, and now they are making a run at the end of this season, too. The 49ers upset the Broncos 20-14 at home two weeks ago and then upset the Seahawks 26-23 at home last week. I was on the 49ers in both those games, and I’m on them again this week as they are catching even more points as 5-point home dogs to the Bears.
The reason to like the 49ers is simple. They are much better than their 4-10 record would indicate. In fact, the 49ers are actually outgaining their opponents by 18.8 yards per game this season. That’s the sign of a .500 or better team, not one that currently sits at 4-10. And just as they did at the end of last season, this team has not quit. Kyle Shanahan is here to stay, so his players will go to war from him every week. And they clearly seem to love him to play this hard for him to close out the season two straight years when things went so bad for the first 3/4 of the season both times.
Nick Mullens is proving that he can be a backup quarterback in this league, if not a starter by how quickly he has grasped Shanahan’s system and excelled in it. Mullens is completing 64.5% of his passes for 1,754 yards with 10 touchdowns and six interceptions while averaging 8.6 per attempt. He is putting up way better numbers than C.J. Beathard, and actually better numbers than Jimmy G. Mullens is averaging 292.3 passing yards per game in his six games this season.
And he should have some success against a Bears defense that will be missing two key players that got injured last week in the win over the Packers. SS Eddie Jackson and LB Aaron Lynch are both out, as is CB Bryce Callahan. The loss of Jackson is particularly a problem for the Bears. He was named to the Pro Bowl earlier this week, and he’s third in the NFL with six interceptions this season, two of which he has returned for touchdowns. Jackson is the leader of the secondary and will be missed.
Chicago is 2-12 ATS in road games when the total is 42.5 to 49 over the last three seasons. The Bears are 14-35 ATS in their last 49 December road games. Chicago is 3-16 ATS in its last 19 road games vs. excellent offensive teams that average 6 or more yards per play in the second half of the season. The Bears are 1-5 ATS in their last six road games vs. a team with a losing record. Roll with the 49ers Sunday.
|12-23-18||Bills +14.5 v. Patriots||Top||12-24||Win||100||17 h 53 m||Show|
20* NFL DOG OF THE WEEK on Buffalo Bills +14.5
The Buffalo Bills have been flying under the radar this season. The betting public never wants anything to do with them, so they go unnoticed. But when you really did deep into the numbers, the Bills have been one of the best teams in the NFL since Josh Allen returned from injury.
Indeed, the Bills have outgained their last six opponents by a combined 679 yards. That’s an average of 113.2 yards per game, which is the sign of an elite team. But because they’ve gone just 3-3 during this stretch, they are way undervalued. And getting them as two-touchdown underdogs to the Patriots Sunday is an absolute gift.
Allen actually leads the team in rushing with 506 yards, 6.7 per carry and six touchdowns this season. He is arguably the best dual-threat QB in the league right now. A big reason for him leading the team is that LeSean McCoy has been injured and missed the past few games. But the offense gets a big boost this week with McCoy returning from injury to try and take down the Patriots. It’s a sign that this team is max motivated against their division rival the fact that they aren’t sitting McCoy for the rest of the season when they easily could have.
But what makes me really like this Bills team and what makes me back them almost every single week is their defense. The Bills actually have the league’s 2nd best defense in the NFL this season. They give up 292.2 yards per game on the season, which is nearly 19 yards less than the third-place Bears. But when everyone talks about the league’s best defenses, they only mention the Ravens and Bears. That’s why the Bills are consistently undervalued because the fact that they’re 2nd goes completely unnoticed by most.
The Patriots’ stranglehold on the AFC may be coming to an end this year. They wouldn’t lose like they have here down the stretch in year’s past with what has been at stake. The Patriots are just 2-3 SU & 2-3 ATS in their last five games overall. They lost by 24 at Tennessee as 6.5-point favorites, were upset at Miami as 9-point favorites, and were upset at Pittsburgh as 2.5-point favorites. They were also very fortunate to cover agains the Jets in a 14-point win as 13-point favorites.
I think fatigue is taking its toll on the Patriots. They will now be in their 5th different city in six weeks with a ton of travel due to this road-heavy schedule. Now they are back home this week, and that’s going to be a distraction with all the things the players have to do to get ready for Christmas with their families. Plus, they just lost their best weapon in Josh Gordon, who was once again suspended by the league. Gordon leads the team with 720 receiving yards and 18 yards per reception. Without him, their offense is very vanilla, especially with Rob Gronkowski clearly on the downside of his career.
Buffalo will find some success running against this New England defense. The Bills are rushing for 174 yards per game in their last five games, and a large portion of that has been Allen. Now with McCoy back, they should be even more potent in the running game. And the Patriots have not been good against the run the past two weeks, giving up 173.5 rushing yards per game and a whopping 7.5 yards per carry to the Dolphins and Steelers.
I think the fact that New England won 25-6 in Buffalo earlier this season is making this number higher than it should be. Well, Buffalo was playing with Derek Anderson in that game and not Allen. And it was an 18-6 game with the Bills in the red zone before Anderson threw a pick-six that turned what would have been a 5-point game into a 19-point game. It was a very misleading final as the Patriots only outgained the Bills by 46 yards. It will be a much more competitive game with Allen in the second meeting Sunday.
Plays against any team (New England) - off two or more consecutive upset losses as a favorite, a good team (60% to 75%) playing a team with a losing record are 33-10 (76.7%) ATS since 1983. Buffalo is 23-7 ATS in its last 30 games off three or more consecutive ATS losses. The Bills deserved to cover in all three of those games, but since they didn’t they are way undervalued right now. Bet the Bills Sunday.
Note: I realize the line is 13.5 in most places, but 14 wasn't an option for me, so I took the 14.5 at extra juice on the site. I personally bought the 1/2 point on the Bills to +14 on my bet and I suggest you do the same if it's an option for you. Otherwise just bet it at +13.5.
|12-23-18||Texans v. Eagles -1.5||Top||30-32||Win||100||17 h 52 m||Show|
20* NFL Sunday No-Doubt Rout on Philadelphia Eagles -1.5
Don’t look now, but the Eagles are just a half-game back of the Vikings for the 6th and final wild card spot in the NFC. They have put themselves in this position by winning three of their last four games with their only loss coming at Dallas in overtime. The defending Super Bowl champs are starting to show some serious resilience here down the stretch as they fight for their playoff lives.
And the Eagles certainly come into this home game against the Houston Texans with a ton of momentum. That’s because they upset the Rams 30-23 on the road as 13.5-point underdogs last week. There was nothing fluky about it either as they dominated from start to finish and basically led the entire way.
The loss of Carson Wentz was clearly overblown as the Eagles went from 8-point dogs to 13.5-point dogs last week once it was announced Wentz would be out. In the Eagles’ locker room, they knew they had a chance to win that game with Nick Foles, and players rallied around him. Foles delivered a big performance, completing 24-of-31 passes for 270 yards. He utilizes Alshon Jeffery’s talents better than Wentz does because Jeffery is a jump-ball receiver. Foles connected on all eight passes attempts to Jeffery for 160 yards.
The Texans are grossly overvalued right now due to winning nine of their last 10 games overall coming in. They’ve won every coin flip during this stretch, including their extremely lucky push as 7-point favorites at the New York Jets last week. They trailed that game 19-22 with four minutes left, only to score 10 points the rest of the way to win 29-22. The Jets turned it over on downs deep in their own territory, and the Texans tacked on a field goal that made the final margin 7 points. The Eagles will offer a lot more resistance than the Jets did last week.
This is a Texans team that is missing some key playmakers on offense. Both RB Lamar Miller and WR Keke Coutee are out. Miller leads the team with 917 rushing yards and 4.8 per carry, and it’s a big downgrade to backup Alfred Blue, who is averaging just 3.3 yards per carry on his 143 attempts. Coutee is the team’s third-leading receiver and has been productive when healthy. Not to mention, star receiver DeAndre Hopkins was noticeably hobbled by an ankle injury suffered on the game-winning TD catch against the Jets last week. Not having him at 100% is a problem for the Texans.
Philadelphia is 8-1 ATS vs. good rushing defenses that allow 90 or fewer rushing yards per game over the last three seasons. The Texans are 1-8-1 ATS in the last four weeks of the regular season over the past three seasons. Houston is 2-8 ATS in its last 10 games played on a grass field. The Eagles are 7-2 ATS in their last nine home games vs. a team with a winning road record.
Plays home favorites (Philadelphia) - after having won three of their last four games against an opponent that has won eight or more of their last 10 games are 25-6 (80.6%) ATS over the last 10 seasons. Plays against road underdogs or PK (Houston) - hot team having won eight or more of their last 10 games are 39-13 (75%) ATS over the last 10 years. Take the Eagles Sunday.
|12-22-18||Bucks v. Heat +3||87-94||Win||100||10 h 53 m||Show|
15* NBA Saturday Undervalued Underdog on Miami Heat +3
The Miami Heat are undervalued once again as home underdogs to the Milwaukee Bucks tonight. This is a Heat team that has gone 5-2 SU & 6-1 ATS in their last seven games despite playing six of those seven on the road.
The Heat beat the Rockets 101-99 Thursday as 3-point dogs in their only home game during this stretch. And now they are certainly rested and ready to go as this will be just the 2nd game in 6 days for Miami. Look for another big performance from them here with the Bucks coming to down.
The Bucks are a tired team and are in a clearly letdown spot. Milwaukee will be playing the 2nd of a back-to-back, their 3rd game in 4 days and their 8th game in 14 days. They are coming off a huge 120-107 win in Boston in a revenge game after the Celtics knocked them out of the playoffs last year. They won’t be nearly as motivated to face the Heat tonight as they were the Celtics.
Few teams have been able to shut down Giannis and company like the Heat have. Indeed, the Heat are a perfect 5-0 SU & 5-0 ATS in their last five meetings with the Bucks. They have held the Bucks to just 90 points per game in those five meetings and have outscored them by an average of 11.8 points per game. Given the favorable situation for the Heat and the bad one for the Bucks, their domination of this series will continue tonight. Take the Heat Saturday.
|12-22-18||Illinois v. Missouri -1||Top||63-79||Win||100||9 h 13 m||Show|
20* Illinois/Missouri Rivalry GAME OF THE WEEK on Missouri -1
It’s time for Illinois’ five-game winning streak in this rivalry series to come to an end. All five of those wins over Missouri have come by 9 points or less and by a combined 24 points, or an average of 4.8 points per game. So the Tigers have suffered heartbreaking loss after heartbreaking loss in this series.
It’s safe to say Missouri will be max motivated to end this streak. And for once, they finally have the team to do it. I have no doubt the Tigers are the better team this year and it will show on the court Saturday night.
Missouri returned three starters and a ton of talent. The Tigers are off to a 7-3 start this season with their only losses coming to Iowa State, Kansas State and Temple with two of those on the road. They upset both UCF and Xavier at home, and also upset Oregon State on a neutral. They have been battle-tested and I was very impressed with their 15-point win over Xavier last time out, their fourth straight victory and third straight by 15-plus points.
Illinois only returned one starter this season in a rebuilding year. That has been evident with a 4-7 start to the season with their only wins coming against Evansville, Mississippi Valley State, UNLV and East Tennessee State. All four of those wins came at home. Illinois is 0-6 in all road games true and neutral this season.
Missouri makes 38.6% of their 3-point attempts this season. Illinois is 2-10 ATS in road games vs. good 3-point shooting teams who make 37% or more of their attempts over the last three seasons. The Fighting Illii are 4-12 ATS following an ATS win over the last two years. The Tigers are 6-1-2 ATS in their last nine games vs. a team with a winning % below .400. Bet Missouri Saturday.
|12-22-18||Nuggets v. Clippers -1||Top||111-132||Win||100||7 h 53 m||Show|
20* NBA Saturday No-Doubt Rout on Los Angeles Clippers -1
I think the Clippers are back to being undervalued now after losing six of their last eight overall since being in first place in the Western Conference. But a big reason for those struggles was the loss of perennial 6th man of the year Lou Williams. But he is back health now and returned for their win over the Mavericks on Thursday.
The Nuggets are overvalued due to winning four straight and 11 of their last 13 overall coming in. They have managed to get by despite key injuries with three starters out in Paul Millsap, Gary Harris and Will Barton. But I still believe it’s going to catch up with them sooner rather than later. And their four-game winning streak was all at home, and now they hit the road here.
The Clippers are 10-4 SU & 9-5 ATS at home this season. The Nuggets are 13-3 at home compared to just 8-6 on the road. And I have no doubt the Clippers will be the more motivated team here after their recent struggles. They also will be playing just their 2nd game in 5 days so they are rested and ready to go.
Denver is 2-11 ATS in its last 13 road games following two consecutive home games. The Clippers are 5-1 ATS in their last six games vs. a team with a winning % above .600. Los Angeles is 9-4 ATS in its last 13 home games. The favorite is 5-1 ATS in the last six meetings. Bet the Clippers Saturday.
|12-22-18||Redskins +10.5 v. Titans||Top||16-25||Win||100||73 h 7 m||Show|
20* Redskins/Titans Non-Conference KNOCKOUT on Washington +10.5
I won with the Redskins as a premium pick last week. They delivered for me with an outright upset of the Jacksonville Jaguars on the road as 7.5-point dogs. And I’m on them again for many of the same reasons again this week as they are catching even more points as 10.5-point road dogs at Tennessee.
Washington players knew they had no chance with Mark Sanchez at quarterback. They were down to their third-stringer Sanchez after both Alex Smith and Colt McCoy went down with injuries in consecutive weeks. And they played terrible against the Eagles once Sanchez took over, then even worse the next week in a blowout loss to the Giants as Sanchez basically gift-wrapped the Giants that win with turnovers.
However, the Redskins signed Josh Johnson, and he took over for Sanchez after they were trailing the Giants 40-0. Johnson sparked this team in the second half as they outscored the Giants 16-0 after he took over. And then Johnson led them to victory last week against the Jaguars. This guy is a lot better than he gets credit for. Johnson is completing 65.9% of his passes and averaging 8.4 yards per attempt. He also gives the Redskins a dual-threat as he has rushed for 94 yards on 16 attempts and a score while averaging 5.9 yards per carry.
The Titans come into this game getting a lot of love due to their three-game winning streak, and it’s time to ‘sell high’ on them after back-to-back blowout wins over the Jaguars and Giants. I just don’t think the Titans can be laying double-digits with an offense that ranks 27th in the NFL in scoring at just 19.1 points per game. Derrick Henry is playing well the last two weeks, but they are averaging just 124 passing yards per game their past two games.
The Redskins held the Jaguars to 192 yards last week and still have a very good defense, especially when they are locked in and focused. And they have played their best on the road, giving up just 19.6 points per game in their seven road games this year. I think they can hold Marcus Mariota in check, and Johnson will make enough plays for them to keep this a one-score game. Johnson should have some success against a banged-up Titans secondary that just lost their top corner in Logan Ryan to a season-ending injury last week, and starting S Kenny Vaccaro is in concussion protocol and highly questionable.
Tennessee is the team that is getting treated like they are in a must-win situation, but not Washington here with this 10.5-point spread. But in reality, both teams should be equally motivated. Washington is only a half-game back in the wild card race in the NFC, while Tennessee is tied with Indy and Baltimore for the final wild card spot in the AFC, but loses the tiebreaker to both currently. And I have no doubt that win over the Jaguars has injected new life into this Redskins team as they really think they have a shot.
Plays on road teams (Washington) - after failing to cover the spread in three of their last four games, in December games are 46-17 (73%) ATS over the last five seasons. The Redskins are 11-5 ATS in their last 16 games vs. a team with a winning record. Washington is 6-0 ATS in its last six Week 16 games. The Titans are 1-7-1 ATS in their last nine Week 16 games. The road team is a perfect 5-0 ATS in the last five meetings with four outright upsets. Bet the Redskins Saturday.
|12-22-18||Houston v. Army -4.5||Top||14-70||Win||100||72 h 19 m||Show|
20* Houston/Army Armed Forces Bowl No-Brainer on Army -4.5
A military team in a military bowl that’s happy to be here. Sign me up. Army has already had a phenomenal season, but there’s still work to be done. The Black Knights can earn a school-record 11th win with a victory over Houston in the Armed Forces Bowl. They will be max motivated to accomplish that feat.
Houston is a team that has all kinds of issues heading into this game. They lost starting QB D’Eriq King in their 11th game of the season. King is a huge loss as he has a 36-to-6 TD/INT ratio, while also rushing for 674 yards and 14 scores this season. Backup Clayton Tune is only completing 44.7% of his 85 passes and is a massive downgrade as he’s not a dual-threat like King was.
The Cougars are also missing four defensive linemen on their two-deep, including DT Ed Oliver, who will be a Top 10 pick in the NFL Draft. These defensive line injuries will make it extremely difficult for them to stop Army’s rushing attack. In fact, Houston has the worst defense of all the bowl teams, giving up 489 yards per game. And they were awful stopping the run down the stretch, giving up a whopping 278.2 rushing yards per game in their last six games, including 300-plus three times.
Well, Army is the second-best rushing team in the country at 296 yards per game on the ground. And QB Kelvin Hopkins Jr. is actually a threat to throw it this year as he’s averaging 10.6 yards per attempt with six touchdown passes. Army is also 2nd in the country in time of possession (38:51), while Houston is 129th in time of possession (25:04). The Black Knights will wear down this Houston defense and pull away in the second half.
I have a hard time believing Houston wants to be here. They had a chance to win their division and play for the AAC title, but lost in the season finale 31-52 at Memphis. They gave up 610 total yards, including 401 on the ground in that loss. And now they have to go up against a team in Army that is going to chop block them the whole game. No team can be too excited to face the triple-option, an offense designed to punch you in the mouth. Houston players will quit early in this game.
One hidden factor here is that Army recruits as well as almost anyone in the state of Texas. The Black Knights actually have 23 players from Texas on their roster. And this game will be played in Forth Worth, Texas, so they are using this opportunity as an excellent recruiting tool.
Military teams are 33-13 ATS in their last 46 bowl games. Military teams are 23-4 ATS in their last 27 bowl games when facing a team that wins 60% or more of their games. The Black Knights are 6-0-1 ATS in their last seven games vs. a team with a winning record. They’ll cap off a record-setting season with their 11th victory Saturday. Bet Army in the Armed Forces Bowl.
|12-22-18||Ohio State -6 v. UCLA||80-66||Win||100||4 h 13 m||Show|
15* Ohio State/UCLA CBS Saturday No-Brainer on Ohio State -6
Ohio State is one of the better teams in the country this season. They are off to a 10-1 start under Chris Holtmann, who is already doing big things for the Buckeyes just as he did at Butler before him. They went 25-9 last season and 15-3 in Big Ten play and certainly are a contender to win the Big Ten this season.
UCLA is a mess under Steve Alford. The Bruins are just 7-4 this season. They lost by 20 to Michigan State, by 16 to North Carolina, by 29 to Cincinnati and were upset by Beltmont. All seven of their wins have come at home, while they are 0-3 in either neutral or true road games.
That 29-point loss at Cincinnati is a important. That’s because that gives these teams a common opponent. Well, Ohio State won 64-56 as 4.5-point dogs at Cincinnati earlier this season. IUPU-Fort Wayne is also a common opponent. Ohio State beat them by 46 while UCLA beat them by 25. And given those results, the Buckeyes should have no problem covering this 6-point spread on a neutral against the Bruins today.
Ohio State is 12-3 ATS vs. teams who average 6 or fewer steals per game over the last two seasons. The Bruins are 1-7 ATS in their last eight games vs. a team with a winning % above .600. Roll with Ohio State Saturday.
|12-22-18||Wake Forest +3.5 v. Memphis||37-34||Win||100||69 h 50 m||Show|
15* Wake Forest/Memphis CFB Saturday Early ANNIHILATOR on Wake Forest +3.5
I think this this is a case where one team wants to be here, and one team doesn’t in the Birmingham Bowl between Wake Forest and Memphis. Wake Forest is the team that wants to be here. That was evidenced by the way they finished the season just to get into a bowl game.
The Demon Deacons needed to pull off two huge upsets on the road in their final three games just to get to 6-6 and bowl eligible. They beat NC State 27-23 as 18.5-point road underdogs. Then they blasted Duke 59-7 as 9-point road dogs in their season finale. You would be hard-pressed to find two better wins in the ACC than those two for the Demon Deacons.
Wake Forest head coach Dave Clawson is doing a tremendous job here with the Demon Deacons in making them relevant again. And Clawson is 2-0 in bowl games at Wake Forest. The Demon Deacons upset Temple as 12-point dogs in 2016. They also beat Texas A&M in a 55-52 thriller as 3-point favorites last year. They are certainly happy to be here with how hard they had to fight to get here, and I think that will show on the field Saturday.
QB Jamie Newman has been much more effective than Sam Hartman was before him, and he thrived once he was given the starting job after Hartman suffered a season-ending injury. Newman is completing 61.4% of his passes with an 8-to-3 TD/INT ratio while averaging 7.5 yards per attempt. Hartman is completing 55.3% and 6.8 per attempt. Newman has also been the better runner with 3.8 yards per carry compared to 2.6 for Hartman, and both have a significant amount of carries, so Newman being more of a dual-threat is definitely a factor.
Memphis does not want to be here. The Tigers are still reeling from blowing an 18-point halftime lead against UCF in the C-USA title game. They scored 38 points in the first half, but were held to just 3 points after intermission and completely imploded. It was the second blown lead against UCF this season in two losses to the Knights. Now they have to watch UCF go play LSU in the Fiesta Bowl, while they’re stuck in the Birmingham Bowl and have to face a 6-6 Wake Forest team.
Memphis will be without its best player in this game in RB Darrell Henderson, who is one of the best running backs in the country. He is sitting this game out to get ready for the NFL Draft, where he should be one of the first RB’s taken. Henderson has rushed for 1,9-9 yards and 22 touchdowns while averaging a ridiculous 8.9 yards per carry this season. You just don’t replace that type of production.
The Tigers have not fared well in bowl gams over the past three seasons, going 0-3 SU & 0-3 ATS. They lost by 21 to Auburn as 3-point dogs in 2015, by 20 to Western Kentucky as 7-point dogs in 2016, and were upset by Iowa State as 3-point favorites on their home field last year.
Memphis has played the 103rd-ranked schedule in the country, while Wake Forest has played the 53rd-toughest schedule. That’s a big difference in strength of schedule, and facing a team like Memphis will be a step down in class for Wake Forest compared to what they’re used to seeing in ACC action.
Teams that clinch a bowl game in their final game of the season have gone 41-21 ATS over the last 10 seasons. This is a great trend and it just goes to show that teams that had to fight to make a bowl in their final game are happy to be there and usually play well in their bowl game. And Memphis lost their offensive coordinator and their defensive coordinator prior to the bowl game, so they won’t be as well prepared as they normally would be going into a football game.
Memphis is 0-7 ATS in its last seven games after gaining 525 or more total yards in two consecutive games coming in. The Demon Deacons are 4-1 ATS in their last five bowl games, while the Tigers are 1-5 ATS in their last six bowl games. Take Wake Forest Saturday.
|12-21-18||Pelicans v. Lakers -5||104-112||Win||100||12 h 29 m||Show|
15* Pelicans/Lakers ESPN Late-Night BAILOUT on Los Angeles -5
The Los Angeles Lakers return home tonight highly motivated for a victory. They are coming off back-to-back upset road losses to the Wizards and Nets to close out a tough road trip. But the Lakers have had two days off since last playing on Tuesday to rest and recover. They are now primed for a big performance at home tonight.
The Pelicans are a mash unit right now. Starters Elfrid Payton and Nikola Mirotic are out, while fellow starters Anthony Davis and Julius Randle are listed as questionable. Well, the Lakers are getting healthier tonight as starter Brandon Ingram is expected to return from his ankle injury. Backup PG Rajon Rondo has been upgraded to questionable and could make his return to the lineup as well.
The Pelicans have been brutal on the road this season, going 4-12 SU and giving up 116.1 PPG. The Lakers are 11-4 at home and scoring 113.8 PPG and should be able to do whatever they want to offensively against a putrid Pelicans defense. And with all of their injuries right now, this New Orleans offense just isn’t hitting on all cylinders.
New Orleans is 3-12 ATS after playing a road game this season. Los Angeles is 19-8 ATS after failing to cover the spread in two or more consecutive games over the last two years. The Pelicans are 0-6 ATS in their last six games following an ATS win. New Orleans is 0-5 ATS in its last five Friday games. Los Angeles is 7-3 ATS in its last 10 games following an ATS loss. The favorite is 6-0 ATS in the last six meetings. Bet the Lakers Friday.
|12-21-18||Jazz v. Blazers -2||120-90||Loss||-107||12 h 1 m||Show|
15* NBA Western Conference ANNIHILATOR on Portland Trail Blazers -2
The Portland Trail Blazers are too good at home to only be laying two points to the Utah Jazz tonight. They are 12-4 SU & 11-5 ATS at home this season and winning by 8.3 points per game on average. The Blazers are 28-10 ATS in their last 38 home games overall.
Home-court advantage has been huge in this series too as the home team is 9-2 SU & 9-2 ATS in the last 11 meetings. And this is clearly a letdown spot for the Jazz, who are coming off a huge upset win over the defending champion Warriors on Wednesday and won’t be nearly as motivated to face the Blazers tonight. Take the Blazers Friday.
|12-21-18||Wolves v. Spurs -4||Top||98-124||Win||100||11 h 31 m||Show|
20* NBA Friday No-Doubt Rout on San Antonio Spurs -4
The San Antonio Spurs are a lot better than they get credit for. And they are certainly better at home than on the road. They come in playing well going 6-1 SU & 6-1 ATS in their last seven games overall. And I still think they’re undervalued as only 4-point home favorites over the Timberwolves tonight.
One of my favorite trends with this Spurs team is that they are 13-1 ATS when revenging a loss this season, including a perfect 11-0 ATS when revenging a loss where opponent scored 100 points or more this season. They are also 10-0 ATS when revenging a road loss this season. They are winning by an average of 16.2 PPG in this 10-0 situation.
Well, the Spurs just suffered one of their worst losses of the season 89-128 at Minnesota on November 28th. So they’ll be highly motivated to avenge that defeat. And they should be able to against a Timberwolves team that has been atrocious on the road, going 2-12 SU & 5-9 ATS while losing by 7.6 PPG.
The Timberwolves will also be without starting PG Jeff Teague tonight. Meanwhile, the Spurs are as healthy as they’ve been at any point this season, which is a big reason why they are playing so well coming into this game. Their strong play continues tonight in this revenge spot. Bet the Spurs Friday.
|12-21-18||Buffalo v. Marquette -2.5||Top||85-103||Win||100||10 h 16 m||Show|
20* CBB Friday No-Doubt Rout on Marquette -2.5
Buffalo’s 11-0 start to the season and winning streak comes to an end tonight. It’s been a good run for the Bulls, but this is by far their stiffest test of the season here against a Top 25 team in Marquette. And the Golden Eagles are only laying 2.5 points at home tonight, which is an absolute gift.
Buffalo is coming off a huge 71-59 upset win as 3.5-point dogs at Syracuse just a few days ago on Tuesday. I don’t think they’ll be able to follow up that win with the kind of effort it’s going to take to beat Marquette tonight. Syracuse is way down this season and was upset at home in its previous game while barely beating Georgetown by one point in its home game prior to that. The fact of the matter is that win over Syracuse just wan’t that impressive.
Marquette is 9-2 this season with its only losses coming in a true road game at Indiana and on a neutral to top-ranked Kansas. But the Golden Eagles have one of the best home-court advantages in the country. They are 8-0 at home this season and winning by 18.5 points per game. They have beaten Kansas State (by 12) and Wisconsin (by 5) at home this season already, two quality Power 5 conference teams. So they are battle-tested as they also have a neutral court win over Louisville.
Buffalo is 0-8 ATS in its last eight road games vs. Big East opponents, losing by 23.0 PPG on average. Marquette is 6-0 ATS after playing three consecutive home games over the past two seasons. Take Marquette Friday.