|Date||Match Up||Rating||Score||Result||Profit||Lead Time||Analysis|
|10-14-18||Rams v. Broncos +7||Top||23-20||Win||100||96 h 26 m||Show|
20* NFL Non-Conference GAME OF THE MONTH on Denver Broncos +7
The Los Angeles Rams are 5-0 and the talk of the league right now. It seems as though everyone is already trying to crown them Super Bowl champs. But with that 5-0 start and all the hype comes expectations from oddsmakers that are tough for them to live up to.
The Rams were laying 7 points to the Vikings two weeks ago and won by 7. Then they were asked to lay 7 points on the road to the Seahawks last week and needed a last-second field goal to win 33-31. And now they’re once again being asked to lay 7 points on the road to the Denver Broncos this week.
The Rams have mounting injury problems right now. Both Cooper Kupp and Brandin Cooks were knocked out of that Seattle game with concussions and did not return in the second half. Tight end Tyler Higbee also suffered an injury that forced him out of action. All three players are questionable, leaving this offense lacking playmakers heading into this game with the Broncos.
Defensively, the Rams are missing cornerback Aqib Talib, and fellow corner Marcus Peters is playing through injury and was torched time and time again last week. This is a Rams defense that has not lived up to expectations, giving up a combined 62 points to the Vikings and Seahawks the last two weeks.
The Broncos come in hungry for a victory Sunday. They have lost three in a row, though two of those were on the road, and the other was at home to the unbeaten Chiefs. They are a much better home team, going 2-1 with wins over the Seahawks and Raiders. And they gave the Chiefs their toughest test of the season, actually leading by double-digits in the 4th quarter before losing 23-27. They were driving with a chance to win in the closing seconds.
Denver’s offense certainly has what it takes to move the ball and score points against this Rams’ defense. The Broncos rank 12th in the league in total offense at 393.4 yards per game. They will be able to run the football on the Rams just like the Seahawks did last week, rushing for 190 yards. The Rams are giving up 5.0 yards per carry this season. The Broncos are averaging 5.6 yards per carry as their running game has been the strength. Look for them to try and control the clock with their running game and keep Jared Goff off the field.
With the weather report, there’s no question the running game will be huge in this matchup. On Sunday there is a 90% chance of snow with a high of 28 degrees. That will help level the playing field here for the Broncos. The Rams are a warm-weather team and are clearly not used to those kinds of conditions. The Broncos are used to them, and that will be a huge advantage for them in this one.
Denver is 14-3 ATS in its last 17 home games vs. excellent teams that are outscoring opponents by 10-plus points per game. The Broncos are simply a different animal at home, and they’ll be fired up for this one with the undefeated Rams coming to town. The underdog is 5-0 ATS in the last five meetings. Take the Broncos Sunday.
|10-14-18||Steelers +2.5 v. Bengals||28-21||Win||100||70 h 3 m||Show|
15* NFL Sunday UPSET SHOCKER on Pittsburgh Steelers +2.5
The Pittsburgh Steelers sit at 2-2-1 on the season. They are 1.5 games behind the 4-1 Cincinnati Bengals. All of a sudden this is a much bigger game for the Steelers than it is for the Bengals. And because of that, among many other reasons, I think the Steelers will win this game outright simply because they need it more.
The Steelers simply own the Bengals. They are 6-0 SU & 4-1-1 ATS in the last six meetings. In fact, the Steelers are 8-1 in their last nine trips to Cincinnati. And Big Ben loves playing in his home state of Ohio. Big Ben is 25-4-1 in 30 career games in Ohio.
Back in the summer, the Steelers were -4 against the Bengals in this game. So from what we’ve seen through only five games, oddsmakers have made a 6.5-point adjustment off that number. I think there’s a ton of value here with the Steelers this week as they are the better team in this matchup.
The Bengals are getting respect because they are 4-1. However, they could easily be 0-5 instead. They got a late defensive touchdown against the Colts in Week 1 to seal that game. The only game they played well from the start was their Thursday night home win over the Ravens, but playing on Thursday night at home is a huge advantage as those teams are 5-0 this season.
The Bengals lost 21-31 on the road to the Panthers in Week 3. They scored on a last-second play to beat the Falcons 37-36, which was a Falcons team that was extremely banged up. And it’s worth noting the Steelers beat the Falcons 41-17 last week. And then last week the Bengals erased a 17-0 deficit at home to the Dolphins to win 27-17 thanks to a pair of late defensive touchdowns.
Plays against all teams where the line is +3 to -3 (Cincinnati) - with a poor first half defense that is allowing 14 or more points per game, after scoring 3 points or less in the first half last game are 33-11 (75%) ATS over the last 10 seasons. The Steelers are 24-9-2 ATS in their last 35 road games vs. a team with a winning record. The Steelers are 16-4-2 ATS in their last 22 meetings in Cincinnati.
This is a Bengals defense that is allowing 26.0 points and 394.8 yards per game this season. Again, they’re very fortunate to be 4-1 with that defense. The Steelers, who are averaging 28.6 points and 405 yards per game, will light them up this week. Roll with the Steelers Sunday.
|10-13-18||Miami-FL v. Virginia +7||Top||13-16||Win||100||67 h 59 m||Show|
20* ACC GAME OF THE MONTH on Virginia +7
Bronco Mendenhall has this Virginia Cavaliers program on the rise in his third season. They are off to a 3-2 start this year with their only losses coming on the road to Indiana (16-20) and NC State (21-35). They also beat Ohio 45-31 on a neutral field, and dominated their two home games with a 42-13 win over Richmond as 14.5-point favorites and a 27-3 thumping of Louisville as 4.5-point favorites.
Now the Cavaliers return home this week fresh off a bye, so they will be rested and ready to go. And they have made this a night game in Charlottesville, so the atmosphere will be electric with nationally ranked Miami coming to town. The Cavaliers are looking for that signature win under Mendenhall, and I think they have a great chance to get it given the situation Saturday night off the bye.
I think Miami is massively overrated right now. They lost their toughest game 17-33 to LSU in what was a 33-3 game until the Hurricanes tacked on two meaningless touchdowns late. Since then, their five wins have come against suspect competition in Savannah State, Toledo, FIU, UNC and Florida State. And they’ve had some lackluster efforts in there.
Miami only beat Florida International 31-17 at home as 26-point favorites three weeks ago. Then two weeks ago their 47-10 win over UNC was very misleading. They only outgained UNC by 25 yards in that contest and were the beneficiaries of 6 turnovers, 3 that were returned for touchdowns. And last week against Florida State they trailed 27-7 before rallying to win 28-27 as 14-point favorites.
I think that comeback will certainly have taken a lot out of the Hurricanes emotionally and physically. They are now in line for a hangover effect here against Virginia. It’s never easy playing the next week off a win against one of your biggest rivals, and the nature of the way they won that game will make it even more difficult this week. Virginia will simply want this game more than Miami.
Virginia also wants revenge from blowing a 28-14 lead in the 3rd quarter on the road at Miami last season. The Hurricanes scored the final 30 points in that game to win 44-28, but failed to cover the 20.5-point spread. Virginia actually outgained Miami 439 to 358 in that contest, or by 81 total yards. I think they’ll win the box score and the game this time around.
Virginia has a great defense that is giving up just 20.4 points per game and 325 total yards per game this season. Defense has always been a staple with Mendenhall-coached teams. But the reason the Cavaliers are so improved this season is that the offense is so much better. The Cavaliers are averaging 30.2 points and 418 yards per game this season. QB Bryce Perkins is completing 63.5% of his passes, averaging 8.2 yards per attempt, and has an 11-to-4 TD/INT ratio. He is a dual-threat who has also rushed for 341 yards and three scores this year.
The Hurricanes are 1-5 ATS in their last six games vs. a team with a winning record. The Cavaliers are 8-3 ATS in their last 11 vs. a team with a winning record. Virginia is 9-2 ATS in its last 11 games following a bye week. The underdog is 12-2 ATS in the last 14 meetings. Don’t be surprised if the Cavaliers win this game outright. Roll with Virginia Saturday.
|10-13-18||West Virginia v. Iowa State +7||Top||14-30||Win||100||103 h 19 m||Show|
25* Big 12 GAME OF THE YEAR on Iowa State +7
The West Virginia Mountaineers are way overrated right now. They are off to a 5-0 start and currently ranked as the No. 6 team in the country. With that ranking comes respect from oddsmakers that they simply cannot live up to. They should not be laying a touchdown on the road to Iowa State this week.
For starters, WVU has played a soft schedule. The Mountaineers have played the 70th-ranked schedule in the country. Their five wins have come against Tennessee, Youngstown State, Kansas State, Texas Tech and Kansas. They have played just one true road game this season, which was their 42-34 win at Texas Tech in which they won the turnover battler 3-0 that was the difference.
After covering the spread in each of their first four games, the Mountaineers came up short last week in a lackluster 38-22 home win over Kansas as 27.5-point favorites. Now they will be facing their stiffest test of the season on the road against a Cyclones team that just thrives in these big games against nationally ranked opponents.
Iowa State is undervalued after a 2-3 start to the season. But the Cyclones have played the 2nd-toughest schedule in the entire country. Despite this, they’ve had a chance to win all five games. They only lost by 10 at Iowa, by 10 to Oklahoma and by 3 to TCU. They went on the road and beat Oklahoma State 48-42 last week as 10-point underdogs. They have been a dog in four of five games thus far, so to get through at 2-3 with a chance to win every game is actually a nice accomplishment.
And now the Cyclones will be battle-tested here and not phased with No. 6 WVU coming to town. After all, they beat two Top 10 opponents last season. They beat Oklahoma on the road and TCU at home last year. Matt Campbell is a tremendous coach who thrives in the underdog role. Campbell is 16-5 ATS as an underdog in his last 21 games as the coach of Iowa State.
Iowa State has a very good defense that is giving up just 350 yards per game and 5.1 yards per play against opponents that average 438 yards per game and 6.4 per play, holding them to 88 yards and 1.3 yards per play less than their season averages. This is by far the best defense that WVU will have faced this season.
After struggling a little on offense the first four games, the Cyclones made the switch at quarterback to freshman Brock Purdy against Oklahoma State. And boy did it pay off. Purdy led the Cyclones to 48 points in the upset of the Cowboys last week while completing several beautiful deep balls. Purdy finished 18-of-23 passing for 318 yards with four touchdowns and one interception, while also rushing for 84 yards and a score. It was the best freshman QB debut in Cyclone history, and the future is bright for this program with him at the helm.
The Cyclones are 13-3-1 ATS in their last 17 vs. a team with a winning record. Iowa State is 21-6-1 ATS in its last 28 games overall. The Cyclones are 10-1 ATS in their last 11 games after allowing more than 40 points in their previous game. Iowa State is 9-1 ATS vs. excellent passing teams that average 8.5 or more yards per attempt over the last three seasons. Dana Holgorsen is 0-8 ATS after covering the spread in three of his last four games as the coach of West Virginia. He has never covered in this spot. Bet Iowa State Saturday.
|10-13-18||UCLA v. California -7||37-7||Loss||-110||71 h 14 m||Show|
15* CFB Saturday No-Doubt Rout on California -7
This feels like a get right game for the Cal Golden Bears. They have lost the last two weeks to Oregon and Arizona. They gave both those games away by committing a combined 9 turnovers. I can only think that the emphasis all week will be taking care of the football, because if they do they should roll UCLA at home Saturday night.
The 17-24 loss at Arizona last week was particularly misleading. Cal outgained Arizona by 211 total yards. But the Wildcats got two defensive touchdowns to swing the game in their favor. This elite Cal defense held Arizona to just 10 points and 265 total yards. They will shut down a poor UCLA offense this week.
UCLA is 0-5 this season. The Bruins have played a tough schedule, no question, but they’re also not very good. And they’ve rarely been competitive as all five of their losses have come by 7 points or more. They trailed by 17 to Washington last week but made it interesting in the end, losing 24-31. I think the fact that they kept the final score close is earning them too much respect now from oddsmakers this week. And it was a deflating loss that they will probably suffer a hangover from.
Turnovers shouldn’t be a problem for Cal against UCLA. After all, the Bruins have only forced five turnovers in five games this season. They aren’t big on takeaways. And I just don’t know how UCLA is going to score against Cal’s defense, which is giving up just 331 yards per game and 4.9 per play. UCLA’s offense is only averaging 18.4 points, 334 yards per game and 5.1 per play this season.
The last time at Cal in 2016 the Bears rolled to a 36-10 victory as 3-point underdogs. They outgained the Bruins 496 to 260 in that contest. I think we see a similar beat down here, especially with the Bears coming off two straight losses and wanting revenge from a 27-30 road loss at UCLA last year.
The Bruins are 14-34 ATS in their last 48 October road games. UCLA is 3-13 ATS in its last 16 games following an ATS win. UCLA is 2-7 ATS in its last nine road games. The Bears are 6-1 ATS in their last seven games after scoring less than 20 points in their previous game. Cal is 5-2-1 ATS in its last eight home games. The Bears are 4-1 ATS in their last five vs. a team with a losing record. The home team is 7-1 ATS in the last eight meetings. The Bears are 5-0 ATS int heir last five home meetings with the Bruins. Bet Cal Saturday.
|10-13-18||Houston v. East Carolina +16||42-20||Loss||-106||67 h 49 m||Show|
15* CFB Saturday Undervalued Underdog on East Carolina +16
The Houston Cougars have been an overvalued commodity this season. They should not be laying 16 points on the road to an improved East Carolina squad that is fully capable of making a game out of this based off everything I’ve seen this season.
Houston opened the season with a 45-27 win at Rice as 25-point favorites. But the Cougars actually trailed in that game 27-17 midway through the second quarter before scoring the final 28 points. Their win over Arizona doesn’t look that impressive now, and they lost 49-63 at Texas Tech. A win over Texas Southern is nothing to brag about. And last week they actually trailed 26-17 in the 4th quarter at home to Tulsa before scoring the final 24 points to win 41-26 as 17-point favorites. Tulsa gave them two free touchdowns on turnovers late to turn a near-upset into a semi-blowout.
East Carolina has beaten UNC 41-29 as 15-point underdogs, while also going on the road and giving South Florida all they could handle in a 13-20 loss as 19-point underdogs. In fact, ECU actually outgained each of its first four opponents by 113 or more yards. That’s why I’m saying their 6-49 loss at Temple last week was clearly the aberration, not the norm for this team. And that blowout loss clearly has them undervalued heading into this matchup with Houston, catching more points than they should be.
Last year, Houston won 52-27 at home over East Carolina as 24.5-point favorites, covering by a half a point. But that was a misleading final as well. ECU actually outgained Houston 504 to 472 in that contest. But the Pirates lost the turnover battle 3-0. And there’s no question the Pirates are a lot better than they were a year ago, while the Cougars aren’t nearly as good, especially with their leaky defense that is giving up 29.6 points and 488 yards per game this season. ECU is only allowing 340 yards per game this year.
Houston is 0-6 ATS off a home win over the last two seasons. The Cougars are 1-8 ATS in road games after the first month of the season over the last three seasons. Houston is 1-5 ATS in its last six road games. The Cougars are 4-11 ATS in their last 15 conference games. The home team is 4-0 ATS in the last four meetings. Take East Carolina Saturday.
|10-13-18||Dodgers v. Brewers UNDER 8.5||4-3||Win||100||5 h 11 m||Show|
15* Dodgers/Brewers Game 2 No-Brainer on UNDER 8.5
I think we are getting some value on the UNDER 8.5 today because the Brewers and Dodgers combined for 11 runs in Game 1. That Game 1 total was only 7.5, and this Game 2 total is now 8.5.
Hyun-Jin Ryu has been absolutely lights out for the Dodgers of late. He has allowed just one earned runs in his last 26 innings pitched. He is now 8-3 with a 2.12 ERA in 16 starts this season.
Left-hander Wade Miley gets the start for the Brewers today. He has been one of the most underrated starters in baseball this season, going 5-2 with a 2.43 ERA in 17 starts.
The UNDER is 22-10-2 in Ryu’s last 34 road starts. The UNDER is 9-2-1 in Ryu’s last 12 starts vs. NL Central opponents. The UNDER is 7-3 in Brewers last 10 home games. Take the UNDER in this game Saturday.
|10-13-18||Washington v. Oregon +3.5||Top||27-30||Win||100||72 h 51 m||Show|
20* Washington/Oregon Pac-12 No-Brainer on Oregon +3.5
The Oregon Ducks should be 5-0 this season. They blew a 24-7 lead in the second half against Stanford a few weeks ago and eventually lost in overtime. Several fluky things went against them, and they simply could have kneeled on the ball at the end and won. Instead, they fumbled and Stanford scored to tie it, and the rest was history.
Almost everyone was on California the next week against Oregon, thinking the Ducks wouldn’t be able to recover from that loss. Instead, the Ducks showed a lot of heart, throttling California 42-24 on the road. It was a Cal team that was coming off a bye, so it was a great performance for the Ducks.
Now the Ducks have had a bye week to get ready for a Washington team that was in a dog fight last week in a 31-24 win over UCLA as 21-point favorites. They only outgained the Bruins by 40 yards in that contest, and that’s a UCLA team that is currently 0-5. The Huskies only beat Arizona State by 7 at home as 18-point favorites earlier this year. And they lost at Auburn, and that loss looks a lot worse now after Auburn went on to lose to LSU at home and Mississippi State on the road.
I think the Huskies are starting to run out of gas a little because they will be playing for a 7th consecutive week, and that started to show in the second half last week against UCLA. Now the Ducks will put their fatigue to the test with their spread-option, up-tempo offense. QB Justin Herbert is leading an Oregon offense that is putting up 46 points and 504 yards per game this season.
The Ducks have been an elite team with a healthy Herbert under center. Jake Browning is one of the most overrated quarterbacks in the country. He leads a Washington offense that is averaging just 29 points pre game this season. Running back Myles Gaskins is banged up, and Browning is lacking weapons on the outside. Clearly Oregon has the supreme offense in this matchup.
Washington’s defense is very good, there’s no question about it, but they did give up 24 points and 422 total yards to a very bad UCLA offense last week. Again, it was a sign that they are starting to show some fatigue. I think Oregon coming off a bye this week is a huge advantage, and it’s going to be a great atmosphere at Autzen Stadium with essentially the Pac-12 North title on the line in this matchup.
Plays on underdogs of 3.5 to 10 points (Oregon) - in a game involving two teams who are outgaining opponents by 100-plus yards per game, after gaining 475 or more total yards in two consecutive games are 29-7 (80.6%) ATS over the last five seasons. Take Oregon Saturday.
|10-13-18||Ohio v. Northern Illinois -3.5||21-24||Loss||-110||63 h 19 m||Show|
15* MAC PLAY OF THE DAY on Northern Illinois -3.5
The Northern Illinois Huskies headed into MAC play grossly undervalued. That’s because they went 0-3 in non-conference play against a brutal schedule. They lost to the likes of Iowa, Utah and Florida State with two of those games on the road. And I think they continue to be undervalued here as only 3.5-point home favorites over Ohio.
It’s no surprise that NIU is 3-0 in MAC play this season because they are still one of the best teams in this conference. They beat Central Michigan 24-16 at home before going not he road and topping Eastern Michigan 26-23 and Ball State 24-16. And now they return home here against an Ohio team that has been getting way too much respect from oddsmakers.
Ohio is 3-2, but it has been outgained in four of its five games this season. The most concerning game was the 38-32 home victory over Howard as 30.5-point favorites in the opener. The Bobcats were outgained by 220 yards in that game and should have lost. They were also outgained by 188 yards in their 31-45 loss at Virginia. And last week they only beat Kent State 27-26 as 11-point favorites and were outgained by 58 yards.
The problem with backing Ohio is that they play no defense. They are giving up 35.8 points, 509 yards per game and 7.2 yards per play this season against opponents that only average 435 yards per game and 5.8 per play. They are allowing 74 yards and 1.4 yards per play more than their opponents average this season. They simply cannot stop anyone, and even NIU is in line for its biggest offensive output of the season this week.
Conversely, Northern Illinois has probably the best defense in the MAC. The Huskies are only giving up 23.7 points, 356 yards per game and 4.4 yards per play this season. That’s despite playing three elite Power 5 programs in Iowa, Utah and FSU already. And they’ve also shut down two very good MAC offenses in EMU and Ball State while also holding a bad CMU offense to 16 points.
Another concern for Ohio is that starting QB Nathan Rourke is banged up and battling a shoulder injury right now, leaving his status up in the air for this game. He is the heart and soul of this team, averaging 8.7 has per pass attempt and 7.8 per rush attempt while rushing for 391 yards and three scores this season. Early indications are that he will likely suit up, but he clearly won’t be 100%. If he doesn’t play then this is an absolute certainty that NIU wins and covers.
Ohio is 2-10 ATS in its last 12 road games vs. good rushing defenses that allow 3.25 or fewer yards per carry. Northern Illinois is 10-2 ATS vs. poor passing defenses that allow 58% completions or worse over the last three seasons. The Bobcats are 1-4 ATS in their last five road games. The Huskies are 14-6-1 ATS in their last 21 after accumulating more than 200 rushing yards in their previous game. Roll with Northern Illinois Saturday.
|10-13-18||Georgia v. LSU +7.5||16-36||Win||100||63 h 19 m||Show|
15* Georgia/LSU SEC ANNIHILATOR on LSU +7.5
The LSU Tigers just can’t get any love this season. They have opened 5-1 with wins over the likes of Miami, at Auburn and home against Ole Miss. They were up 33-3 on Miami on a neutral, they outgained Auburn by 42 yards in a 22-21 road win at 10-point dogs, and they crushed Ole Miss 45-16 as 11.5-point home favorites.
Last week’s 19-27 loss to Florida has everyone writing off LSU. I’m not one of those people. I was on Florida in that game and felt it was a great spot for the Gators, and I’m on record saying that Florida was an SEC title contender coming into the season. And that game was up for grabs in the final seconds before the Gators got a defensive touchdown. Florida only outgained LSU by 19 yards.
There’s no question LSU has played the more more difficult schedule between these teams. In fact, the Tigers have played the 13th-toughest schedule this season. Georgia has played just the 62nd-toughest. I think the Bulldogs are way overvalued right now due to their No. 2 ranking and their 6-0 start. Their six wins have come against Austin Peay, South Carolina, Middle Tennessee, Missouri, Tennessee and Vanderbilt.
I would have to say their toughest game was at Missouri. And they only won 43-29 as 14-point favorites. Georgia only outgained Missouri by 52 yards in that contest. I have no doubt that this road game at LSU is the most difficult game thus far on their schedule. And there’s nothing like the home-field advantage the Tigers have in Death Valley.
LSU is never more than a touchdown home underdog due to their home-field advantage. The only times they’ve been priced in this range in the past decade was against Tim Tebow’s Florida team and two times against Alabama. No question Georgia is a great team, but they are not good enough to be laying more than a touchdown on the road here to the Tigers in the Bayou.
LSU is a perfect 9-0 ATS vs. good passing teams who average 8 or more yards per attempt over the last three seasons. It is actually winning by 18.9 points per game in this spot and holding those teams to just 16.0 points per game. The Tigers are 8-1 ATS in their last nine conference games. Bet LSU Saturday.
|10-12-18||Dodgers v. Brewers +143||Top||5-6||Win||143||8 h 37 m||Show|
20* Dodgers/Brewers Game 1 No-Brainer on Milwaukee +143
The Brewers are the hottest team in baseball. The are 11-0 in their last 11 games overall while playing must-win game after must-win game. They have stepped up to the plate and are grossly undervalued heading into this series with the Dodgers.
Gio Gonzalez has posted a 2.13 ERA in five starts with the Brewers since getting traded from Washington. But the thing about the Brewers is that starting pitching doesn’t matter for them because they go to their electric bullpen early and often. The Brewers have allowed a total of just 3 runs in their last 5 games.
Clayton Kershaw is a great regular season starter, but he has failed time and time again in the postseason. He is consistently overvalued in the postseason. Gonzalez is 4-1 with a 2.34 ERA and 1.016 WHIP in seven career starts against Los Angeles.
Gonzalez is 16-3 (+13.2 units) when pitching on 7 or more days’ rest in his career. The Brewers are 23-6 in their last 29 games overall, including 14-3 in their last 17 vs. a team with a winning record. Milwaukee is 5-0 in Gonzalez’s last five starts. Bet the Brewers Friday.
|10-12-18||South Florida v. Tulsa +7.5||25-24||Win||100||57 h 22 m||Show|
15* USF/Tulsa AAC ANNIHILATOR on Tulsa +7.5
It’s time to ‘buy low’ on Tulsa and ‘sell high’ on South Florida in this AAC showdown Friday night. I like the Golden Hurricane catching more than a touchdown at home to the Bulls in a game that they have an excellent chance to win outright.
Tulsa is better than its 1-4 record would indicate. The Golden Hurricane are actually outgaining their opponents by 17 yards per game this season despite that record, and they have an improved defense that is allowing just 381 yards per game. The problem with them has been turnovers as they’ve committed 16 already through five games and it will be a point of emphasis this week.
South Florida is 5-0, but not nearly as good as its record would indicate. The Bulls are only outgaining their opponents by 54 yards per game. And they’ve played a much easier schedule than Tulsa as their five wins have come against Elon, Georgia Tech, Illinois, ECU and UMass. They only beat Illinois by 6 and ECU by 7, they were outgained by Georgia Tech by 176 yards and by ECU by 116 yards. And they needed a big 4th quarter comeback to beat Illinois.
Tulsa’s four losses have come to Texas, Arkansas State, Temple and Houston. They were competitive in all four of those games. They only lost by 7 to Texas and by 9 to Arkansas State. They outgained Temple by 103 yards despite losing by 14 thanks to a pair of defensive touchdowns. And they led Houston on the road last week 26-17 in the 4th quarter before giving up 24 unanswered points in the final 12 minutes.
Tulsa knows that if it is going to challenge for a bowl game, it starts with a win this week against South Florida. And the Golden Hurricane have the rest advantage after playing last Thursday, so they have had seven days to get ready for this game. USF played on Saturday in a 58-42 shootout at UMass and will be the more fatigued team here having just five days to get ready for Tulsa.
Last year, Tulsa only lost 20-27 at South Florida as 23.5-point underdogs. And that was a much better USF team that lost a lot from last year. And Tulsa is certainly better this season than last with 15 returning starters from a squad that went 2-10. The Golden Hurricane will be out for revenge at home this time around, and they’ll be excited welcoming a Top 25 team in a nationally televised Friday night game.
Plays on underdogs of 3.5 to 10 points (Tulsa) - off two consecutive losses by 10 points or more to conference opponents, in October games are 26-6 (81.2%) ATS over the last five seasons. The Golden Hurricane are 11-2 ATS in their last 13 vs. a team with a winning record. They just come up big time and time again against teams they appear overmatched by. Roll with Tulsa Friday.
|10-11-18||Eagles v. Giants OVER 43.5||34-13||Win||100||35 h 42 m||Show|
15* Eagles/Giants NFC East Total DOMINATOR on OVER 43.5
Both Philadelphia and New York have shown signs of life offensively in recent weeks. I think this is a pretty low total at 43.5 tonight for an NFL game that features two offenses with plenty of playmakers. Look for this game to sail OVER the total Thursday night.
The Eagles now have three games with Carson Wentz at quarterback. They have been moving the football just fine with Wentz and should continue to do so against the Giants this week. They had 382 yards against the Colts, 432 against the Titans and 364 against the Vikings the last three weeks, respectively. And they have topped 20 points in all three games.
The Giants got off to a rough start offensively this season against two great defenses in Jacksonvilleand Dallas. But they have been much sharper the last three weeks. They scored 27 with 379 total yards against Houston in Week 3. And last week they scored 31 with 432 total yards against Carolina.
The biggest problem for the Giants has been their defense, which has given up at least 20 points in every game, including 33 each the last two weeks to the Saints and Panthers. And it’s not like the Eagles have been great defensively as they have given up 23, 26, and 27 points in three of their last four games coming in.
The Giants can’t run the ball, but that’s not a problem because the Eagles can’t stop the pass, giving up 277 yards per game. The Eagles are good against the run, so the Giants won’t even test it that much. This is a game that will be played mostly through the air, especially with the injuries the Eagles have at running back. That will lead to more clock stoppages and ultimately more points.
The OVER is 5-0 in the last five meetings. The Giants and Eagles have combined for 63, 51, 43, 51 and 65 points in their last five meetings, respectively. That’s an average of 54.6 combined points per game, which is roughly 11 points per game more than this 43.5-point total. There’s clearly value with the OVER here tonight. Take the OVER in this game Thursday.
|10-11-18||Texas Tech v. TCU UNDER 62||Top||17-14||Win||100||34 h 52 m||Show|
20* Texas Tech/TCU Big 12 No-Brainer on UNDER 62
Both Texas Tech and TCU have quarterback injuries heading into this one that makes me like the UNDER quite a bit. Tech starter Alan Bowman suffered a collapsed lung last game and is highly questionable, and his backed McLane Carter is also questionable with an ankle injury. TCU starter Shawn Robinson is battling a shoulder injury, and even though he’s probable he may not start Thursday.
Regardless, this has been an UNDER series the past two years. TCU won 27-24 (OT) in 2016 for 51 combined points, but they scored 17 in overtime so there were just 34 combined points at the end of regulation. And then last year TCU won 27-3 for 30 combined points. It’s clear to me that this 62-point total has been set way too high Thursday night.
I also like the fact that both teams come in off bye weeks and on extra rest. That extra time to prepare certainly favors the defenses more than the offenses. There will be no element of surprise for these two teams because they’ll know each other so well. And Texas Tech has an improved defense this year, while TCU has one of the best defenses in the country once again.
The Horned Frogs are giving up just 304 yards per game and 4.5 yards per play against opponents that average 380 yards per game and 5.5 yards per play. Texas Tech has faced some great offenses this year, so the numbers haven’t been as good. But they are giving up 6.2 yards per play against teams that average 6.5 yards per play, so they have actually been better than average. And they should be able to contain a suspect TCU offense that is managing just 415 yards per game this season.
TCU is 10-1 UNDER off a win against a conference opponent over the last three seasons. The Horned Frogs are 11-1 UNDER vs. poor passing defenses that are allowing 250 or more passing yards per game over the last three seasons. The UNDER is 4-1 in Red Raiders last five road games. The UNDER is 21-6 in Horned Frogs last 27 conference games. Bet the UNDER in this game Thursday.
|10-09-18||Red Sox v. Yankees -119||4-3||Loss||-119||8 h 21 m||Show|
15* Red Sox/Yankees Game 4 ANNIHILATOR on New York -119
The New York Yankees will stave off elimination with a Game 4 victory tonight over the Boston Red Sox. I think we are getting them at a great value here as only small home favorites over their biggest rivals to send this series back to Boston for a Game 5.
C.C. Sabathia has been a rock for the Yankees all season, going 9-7 with a 3.65 ERA in 29 starts, including 6-3 with a 3.12 ERA in 15 home starts. In his postseason career spanning 11 appearances, Sabathia is 6-0 with a 3.32 ERA in the ALDS. He went 1-0 with a 4.50 ERA in three starts against the Red Sox during the regular season.
Rick Porcello is 17-7 in spite of a 4.28 ERA in 33 starts for the Red Sox this season. He is 0-3 with a 5.33 ERA in 12 postseason appearances and 0-1 with a 7.00 ERA in four postseason outings with the Red Sox. In his last start at Yankee Stadium on May 9th, Porcello gave up 5 earned runs and 11 base runners in 5 1/3 innings of a 6-9 loss.
The Re Sox are 1-4 in their last five playoff road games. The Yankees are 7-1 in their last eight playoff home games. New York is 24-8 in Sabathia’s last 32 home starts. The Yankees are 43-15 in their last 58 games following a loss. Bet the Yankees Tuesday.
|10-09-18||Appalachian State v. Arkansas State +10.5||Top||35-9||Loss||-105||8 h 14 m||Show|
20* App State/Ark State Sun Belt No-Brainer on Arkansas State +10.5
The Arkansas State Red Wolves are getting zero respect from oddsmakers here as 10-point home underdogs to the Appalachian State Mountaineers. This is a team that has dominated the Sun Belt, winning at least a share of the conference title five of the last six years while going 40-7 in Sun Belt play over that time frame. Simply put, they are better than everyone else in the Sun Belt.
The Red Wolves have opened 3-2 against a tough schedule. Their two losses came on the road at Alabama and at Georgia Southern 21-28 in the closing seconds. And that means they are 0-1 in Sun Belt play to open the season, so they’ll be extra motivated here to avoid falling to 0-2. They also went on the road and got a big win at Tulsa while also beating a good UNLV team at home.
Appalachian State deserves some credit for taking Penn State to overtime in the opener. But there’s no question they are overvalued now because of it, especially after three straight blowout wins over Charlotte, Gardner Webb and South Alabama since. Well, Gardner Webb is an FCS school, and Charlotte and South Alabama are two of the worst FBS programs in the country. This is a huge step up in class for the Mountaineers tonight.
Arkansas State is a veteran squad that returned all of its top playmakers from an offense that put up 37.8 points and 495 yards per game last season. They are still averaging 474 yards per game this season, but the points haven’t been there at 26.4 per game, and I think they’re undervalued because of it. And their defense has been solid in giving up just 393 yards per game despite the brutal schedule.
Senior QB Justice Hansen is probably one of the best quarterbacks you’ve never heard of for the Red Wolves. He is completing 64.8% of his passes for 1,329 yards with an 11-to-2 TD/INT ratio this season. He has also rushed for 192 yards and two scores. He has a plethora of weapons outside with the top two receivers back from last year in Justin McInnis (23 receptions, 233 yards, 2 TD) and Omar Bayless (13, 216, 1 TD), as well as Oregon transfer Kirk Merritt (29, 238, 1 TD).
The Red Wolves are 37-17-1 ATS in their last 55 conference games. Arkansas State is 6-1 ATS in its last seven games following a bye week. The Red Wolves are 7-0 ATS in October games over the last three seasons, winning by 23.4 points per game on average. Take Arkansas State Tuesday.
|10-08-18||Redskins +7 v. Saints||Top||19-43||Loss||-120||164 h 52 m||Show|
20* Redskins/Saints ESPN Monday No-Brainer on Washington +7
I believe the Washington Redskins are one of the most underrated teams in the NFL at this point in the season. They are off to a 2-1 start with a 24-6 blowout win at Arizona and a dominant 31-17 home win over Green Bay. Their only loss came 9-21 at home to Indianapolis, but it’s worth noting they outgained the Colts by 53 yards in that contest.
In fact, when you look at the numbers, the Redskins have been one of the best teams in the NFL to this point. They are averaging 383 yards per game and 5.9 yards per play on offense, while giving up just 278 yards pre game and 4.9 yards per play on defense. They are outgaining their opponents by 105 yards per game and 1.0 yards per play.
What I love about this Redskins team is that they are excellent in the trenches on both side of the ball. The run the ball and stop the run. They are averaging 138 rushing yards per game behind a rejuvenated Adrian Peterson, who will be chomping at the bit to face his former team in the Saints, who cut him last year. And they are giving up just 91 rushing yards per game, while also being dominant against the pass, allowing just 187 passing yards per game.
I think the Saints come into this game overvalued off back-to-back wins and covers on the road against the Falcons (in OT) and the Giants. Everyone is beating the Giants, and the Falcons are decimated with injuries. People are quick to forget that the Saints were upset by the Bucs 48-40 as 10-point favorites and should have lost to the Browns in a 21-18 win as 9.5-point favorites in their two home games.
Now the Saints are being asked to lay a full touchdown here to the Redskins, who I believe to be one of the better teams in the NFL. And this is a Redskins team that will be fresh and ready to go off their bye week. That bye week came at a good time because they had some injuries along the offensive line, but now they are very healthy compared to most teams.
Alex Smith should be able to pick apart this New Orleans defense that is giving up 390 yards per game and 6.7 yards per play, including 311 passing yards per game and 9.3 per attempt. Alex Smith is completing 68.8% of his passes and averaging 8.0 yards per attempt. He has a 4-to-1 TD/INT ratio and simply does not make mistakes. He is also one of the most underrated quarterbacks in the NFL as he wins everywhere he goes.
New Orleans is 12-32 ATS in its last 44 home games off a game with a turnover margin of +2 or better. The Redskins are 4-0 ATS in their last four games after gaining more than 350 yards in their previous game. The Saints are 1-4 ATS in their last five home games. New Orleans is 1-5 ATS in its last six Monday games.
The Redskins are 4-2 SU and a perfect 6-0 ATS in their last six meetings with the Saints. They were underdogs in five of those games, and both of their losses came by exactly 3 points in overtime, including a 31-34 road loss as 9.5-point underdogs last season. They simply have the Saints’ number. Bet the Redskins Monday.
|10-08-18||Astros v. Indians -123||11-3||Loss||-123||2 h 25 m||Show|
15* Astros/Indians Game 3 Early ANNIHILATOR on Cleveland -123
Look for the Cleveland Indians to avoid the sweep against the Houston Astros as they return home for Game 3 Monday afternoon. The Indians have the clear advantage on the mound in this one, and home teams have dominated thus far in the postseason.
Mike Clevinger has been one of the most underrated starters in baseball over the past few seasons. He is 13-8 with a 3.01 ERA and 1.155 WHIP in 32 starts this season, including 7-3 with a 3.14 ERA and 1.160 WHIP in 17 home starts. Clevinger has posted a 3.98 ERA in four career starts against Houston.
Dallas Keuchel just hasn’t been the same since winning the Cy Young. He is 12-11 with a 3.78 ERA and 1.314 WHIP in 34 starts this season, including 1-1 with a 6.23 ERA and 1.846 WHIP in his last three starts. He has allowed 6 earned runs in 11 innings for a 4.91 ERA in two starts against Cleveland in 2018.
Cleveland is 9-1 in its last 10 games when trailing in a playoff series. The Astros are 1-5 in Keuchel’s last six starts vs. a team with a winning record. The Indians are 6-0 in Clevinger’s last six home starts. Cleveland is 15-7 in its last 23 home meetings with Houston. Take the Indians Monday.
|10-07-18||Cowboys v. Texans -3||Top||16-19||Push||0||140 h 59 m||Show|
20* Cowboys/Texans NBC Sunday Night BAILOUT on Houston -3
The Houston Texans saved their season with a 37-34 overtime win at Indianapolis last week. They picked up their first win of the year, and now they get two home games back-to-back against Dallas and Buffalo that can get them right back in the playoff conversation. They are going to be ‘all in’ here for this game against the Cowboys Sunday night.
There’s no question in my mind that the Texans are better than their 1-3 record. That’s why I was on them last week to beat the Colts, and I’m on them again this week to beat the Cowboys. The Texans are outgaining opponents by 32 yards per game this season. Their offense is certainly not broken, as they are averaging 414 yards per game and 6.3 yards per play. And Deshaun Watson finally looked real comfortable against the Colts last week. And JJ Watt looks like his old dominant self again.
The Cowboys certainly don’t have the firepower to match the Texans on offense. Dallas is averaging just 16.7 points and 312 yards per game. And that’s even after they had their best offensive output of the season against the Lions last week. The Panthers, Giants and Seahawks all shut them down, and I expect the Texans to be able to do the same thing with Watt and company. Stopping Ezekiel Elliott is the key to stopping Dallas, and the Texans are only giving up 94 rushing yards per game and 3.5 per carry this season. Dallas only averages 166 passing yards per game, so it won’t be able to take advantage of what has been the weakness of the Texans in their secondary.
The Cowboys are 0-2 on the road this season. They are scoring just 10.5 points per game and averaging 267.5 yards per game on the highway. Houston has been dealt a tough schedule with three of its first four games on the road, so they will be happy to be playing a home game here Sunday night.
This Dallas defense is certainly improved this season. However, injuries are starting to take their toll. The Cowboys are now without their most important defender in Sean Lee, who is the quarterback of their defense at linebacker. Last year, opponents averaged 6.0 yards per play when Lee was off the field, and 4.5 yards per play when he was on it. He makes sure everyone is in the right place at all times, while also making a ton of plays himself. The loss of Lee cannot be overstated.
Bill O’Brien is 16-5 ATS vs. awful pass defenses that allow a completion percentage of 64% or worse as the coach of Houston. Jason Garrett is 7-17 ATS when playing against a team with a winning percentage of 25% to 40% as the coach of Dallas. Take the Texans Sunday.
|10-07-18||Packers v. Lions +1.5||23-31||Win||100||99 h 35 m||Show|
15* NFL Sunday UPSET SHOCKER on Detroit Lions +1.5
The Detroit Lions are desperate for a win Sunday to save their season. They have opened 1-3 with two road losses to San Francisco and Dallas by a combined 5 points. That’s how close they are to being 3-1. I think they are undervalued right now because of their record because they are clearly a better team than that.
They show that with their dominant 26-10 home win over the New England Patriots in Week 3. Their backs were against the wall after an 0-2 start and they responded. I think this is a similar situation here. Look for the Lions to put their best foot forward this week against a division rival in the Green Bay Packers.
Green Bay is overvalued off its 2-1-1 start. Well, the Packers have played three of their first four games at home. And they are fortunate that they aren’t 1-3 as well. They needed to overcome a 20-3 deficit to beat the Bears 24-23 as 7-point favorites in Week 1. They tied the Vikings 29-29 at home in Week 2 with the Vikings missing some easy field goals. And their 22-0 win over the Bills last week is nothing to be proud of.
Green Bay failed miserably in its only road game this season. The Packers went into Washington as 2.5-point favorites and came away with a 17-31 loss. They are once again short road favorites here when they shouldn’t be. Aaron Rodgers is still hobbled, and he could be without two of his top receivers in Randall Cobb and Geronimo Allison. The defense is weak once again this season, and the Packers can’t be favored here.
The Lions have actually had the Packers’ number in recent meetings. They are 5-4 SU & 5-4 ATS in the last night meetings with three of their losses coming by a touchdown or less. The Lions are 5-0 ATS in their last five vs. NFC opponents. The Packers are 1-5 ATS in their last six vs. NFC foes. Detroit is 4-1 ATS in its last five games following a loss.
Plays against all teams where the line is +3 to -3 (Green Bay) - after allowing 6 points or less last game against an opponent that is coming off a loss by 3 points or less are 32-7 (82.1%) ATS since 1983. Take the Lions Sunday.
|10-07-18||Titans v. Bills +5.5||12-13||Win||100||42 h 2 m||Show|
15* AFC GAME OF THE DAY on Buffalo Bills +5.5
The Tennessee Titans are way overvalued after their 3-1 start to the season. All three of hitter wins came by exactly 3 points, and now they’re being asked to go on the road and lay 5.5 points to the Buffalo Bills this week. That’s simply too much, and it’s time to ‘sell high’ on the Titans and ‘buy low’ on the Bills.
The Titans have been outgained by an average of 49 yards per game this season. Their offense has been putrid in averaging 18.7 points, 312 yards per game and 5.1 yards per play. And their defense is giving up 361 yards per game and 6.0 yards per play. This team isn’t nearly as good as their 3-1 record would suggest.
And I think the Titans are primed for a letdown here. They are coming off a shocking upset of the defending champion Philadelphia Eagles, which followed up their 9-6 win over the Jaguars the week before. Coming off those two wins, there’s no way they get up for the Buffalo Bills this week. And teams who are on the road following a win over the defending Super Bowl champ are 16-38 ATS since 1992.
The Bills come in undervalued off their shutout loss to the Green Bay Packers last week. They were in for a letdown following their 27-6 road win over Minnesota in Week 3, which showed what they are capable of. And the Bills have played three of their first four games on the road this season. They were competitive in their only home game in a 20-31 loss to the Chargers, and keep in mind that was Josh Allen’s first start at quarterback. Now he has three games under his belt and is a lot more comfortable.
Buffalo does have a capable defense that is giving up 358 yards per game and 5.6 yards per play, numbers that are better than what Tennessee has given up. And the Bills have faced some very good offenses in the Ravens, Chargers, Vikings and Packers thus far. Tennessee is by far the weakest offense they have faced yet, and I look for them to shut the Titans down here.
Tennessee is 0-8 ATS in road games after gaining 6 or more yards per play in their previous game over the past three seasons. It is losing by 13.6 points per game on average in this spot. Plays against favorites of 3.5 to 10 points (Tennessee) - off an upset win as a home underdog, with a winning record on the season playing against a losing team are 36-13 (73.5%) ATS since 1983. Roll with the Bills Sunday.
|10-07-18||Wyoming v. Hawaii -3||Top||13-17||Win||100||55 h 3 m||Show|
20* Wyoming/Hawaii MWC Late-Night BAILOUT on Hawaii -3
I faded Hawaii with success last Saturday as I backed San Jose State +10 at home against the Warriors. And that game went into overtime as SJSU easily covered, but Hawaii won outright 44-41. Well, that was a dream spot for SJSU coming off a bye and with Hawaii coming to the mainland.
However, I think this is now a dream spot for the Warriors. They will be playing with a ton of momentum from that OT win that improved them to 5-1 this season. And now fans back home in Hawaii are excited, and it should be a great atmosphere for them at home against Wyoming this week.
I certainly felt the Warriors were overvalued last week, and that has shown of late as they are just 0-3-1 ATS in their last four games overall. Now the public is off of them, and I think the value is back with them now as only 3-point favorites here. Plus, their only loss came on the road 21-28 at Army, and we’ve seen Army take Oklahoma to overtime as 28.5-point underdogs and crush Buffalo 42-13 as an underdog. Clearly, that loss to Army doesn’t look so bad now.
Hawaii is 3-0 at home this season with three double-digit wins over Navy (59-41), Rice (43-29) and Duquesne (42-21). The Warriors boast an explosive offense that is putting up 42.0 points and 495.8 yards per game this season, including 48.0 points and 507.0 yards per game at home. They clearly have a huge edge on offense over Wyoming.
Wyoming is off to a 2-3 start this season. Its two wins came against New Mexico State 29-7 and Wofford 17-14. Well, NMSU is 1-4 this season with four double-digit losses and their only win coming against UTEP. And that 17-14 win over FCS foe Wofford is clearly a concern for the Cowboys.
Wyoming’s three losses have all come in blowout fashion. They lost at home to Washington State 19-41, at Missouri 13-40 and at home to Boise State 14-34 last week. They were even coming off a bye. This is a Wyoming offense that is only averaging 18.4 points, 304 yards per game and 4.8 yards per play this season. There’s no way they can keep up with Hawaii in this one.
One key factor here that is certainly getting overlooked is Wyoming lost its punter to a season-ending injury in that loss to Boise State last week. Tim Zaleski suffered a torn ACL. He started all 18 games since the start of last season, averaging 39.9 yards per punt. That leaves junior Ryan Galovich, who had not punted in a game until last week. His lone career punt covered only 27 yards in the fourth quarter last week after Zaleski went down.
“Losing your punter is a big, big hit,” Wyoming head coach Craig Bowl said. “We’re going to need to absorb that and make some plans.” With how poor this Wyoming offense has been, they’re going to need their punter a lot this week against Hawaii. And the Warriors should get plenty of short fields for their offense to take advantage of as a result.
Plays against underdogs of 3 to 10 points (Wyoming) - after having lost two of their last three games against an opponent that’s won four of their last five games are 41-12 (77.4%) ATS over the last five seasons. The Warriors will improve to 6-1 Saturday night and get back in the ATS win column with ease. Roll with Hawaii Saturday.
|10-06-18||Yankees +103 v. Red Sox||6-2||Win||103||12 h 40 m||Show|
15* Yankees/Red Sox Game 2 No-Brainer on New York +103
David Price has started nine postseason games in his career. His team last lost all nine of them. As a starter, he is 0-8 with a 5.74 ERA with 11 home runs allowed in 58 innings. That explains why the Red Sox are only a slight favorite here.
Masahiro Tanaka is 12-6 with a 3.75 ERA and 1.13 WHIP in 27 starts for the Yankees this season. I trust him more than Price, who has allowed 44 earned runs in 51 1/3 innings in his last 10 starts against the Yankees for a 7.71 ERA.
The Yankees are 39-15 in their last 54 Saturday games, including 4-0 in Tanaka’s last four Saturday starts. The Red Sox are 1-6 in there last seven Divisional Playoff games. Take the Yankees Saturday.
|10-06-18||Kentucky v. Texas A&M -5.5||14-20||Win||100||50 h 60 m||Show|
15* CFB Saturday No-Doubt Rout on Texas A&M -5.5
The No. 13 Kentucky Wildcats are starting to get some accolades. And now they will be looking to open a season 6-0 for the first time since 1950. I don’t see it happening Saturday as they finally meet their match against Texas A&M and the 12th man at Kyle Field. It will be a hostile atmosphere for the Wildcats for this Saturday night game under the bright lights.
Kentucky has had the fortune of playing four of its first five games at home. The Wildcats’ lone road game was an upset win at Florida, which was clearly impressive, but they caught the Gators in the second week of the season when they weren’t hitting on all cylinders under a new head coach. And they simply wanted that game more as they had lost 31 straight previously to Florida.
I’ve been a lot more impressed with Texas A&M despite just a 3-2 start. Well, the two losses came to a pair of playoff contenders in Clemson and Alabama, and they covered the spread in both games. They only lost 26-28 at home to Clemson as 11.5-point underdogs, and 23-45 at Alabama as 24-point dogs. I’m willing to forgive them for their 24-17 win as 20-point favorites against Arkansas last week because it was a hangover spot from the Alabama loss.
Jimbo Fisher has been quick to call out his team for that poor performance against Arkansas. Look for them to respond in a big way here. And Fisher will be going against his pupil in Mark Stoops, who was the defensive coordinator under Fisher as Florida State. I give a big advantage to the teacher over the pupil in this head coaching matchup.
Both teams have great defenses, but I give Texas A&M the edge on offense. The Aggies are averaging 36 points, 512 yards per game and 6.7 yards per play this season behind a balanced attack that averages 232 rushing yards and 280 passing yards per game despite the brutal schedule. Kentucky is only averaging 407 yards per game.
This one-dimensional Kentucky offense will cost them this week. The Wildcats are only averaging 153 passing yards per game this season. They have relied heavily on Benny Snell and the running game, which has averaged 254 yards per game and 5.8 per carry. Fisher will be locked in on trying to stop Snell, and there’s no question Texas A&M has the goods to do it.
Indeed, the Aggies are only allowing 81 rushing yards per game and 3.1 per carry this season against teams that average 157 yards per game and 4.8 per carry. Just look at what they did to Clemson and Alabama. The Aggies held Clemson to just 115 rushing yards on 32 carries, and Alabama to 109 rushing yards on 28 carries. They are 3rd in the country in stopping the run this season, and they’ve played some great running teams thus far. It’s impressive to say the least.
Texas A&M is a perfect 8-0 ATS off a home game over the last two seasons. Plays against any team (Kentucky) - after beating the spread by 49 or more points in their last five games, a team that wins 80% or more of their games against a good team that wins 60% to 80% are 34-10 (77.3%) ATS over the last five seasons. The Wildcats are simply overvalued right now due to their 5-0 start and Top 25 ranking. Roll with Texas A&M Saturday.
|10-06-18||Florida State +14 v. Miami-FL||27-28||Win||100||47 h 2 m||Show|
15* FSU/Miami ACC No-Brainer on Florida State +14
It was going to take some time for Willie Taggart to get Florida State back to an ACC title contender. The Seminoles were decimated by injuries last season and barely made a bowl game. And they have started just 3-2 this season with ugly losses to Virginia Tech and Syracuse.
However, now we are nearing the midway point of the season, and it’s clear Taggart hasn’t lost his team. The fruits of his labor have started to show the past two weeks. After crushing Northern Illinois 37-19 despite losing the turnover battle 4-0, they went on the road last week and pulled out a gutsy comeback victory at Louisville 28-24. Taggart clearly hasn’t lost his players, and this team will be feeling good about themselves and 100% focused going up against rival Miami this week.
I think Miami comes into this game way overvalued due to a four-game winning streak since their ugly 17-33 loss to LSU in the opener. Well, the four wins have come against Savannah State, Toledo, FIU and UNC. And they only beat FIU 31-17 as 26-point home favorites.
I also believe Miami’s misleading 47-10 win over North Carolina last week has them overvalued as well. That was a much closer game than the final score showed. UNC committed six turnovers, three of which were returned for touchdowns. Miami only outgained UNC by 25 yards in that game. The Hurricanes deserved to probably win by two touchdowns, but not by 37 points. And because of the misleading final, they’re now being asked to lay 14 points to an FSU team that will be the most talented squad they’ve faced since that 16-point loss to LSU.
The recent series history shows that there’s no way Miami should be favored by 14 points. Florida State is 8-2 SU in the last 10 meetings with Miami’s two wins coming by 4 points each, including last year’s last-second 24-20 win that will have FSU out for revenge. In fact, Miami hasn’t beaten Florida State by more than 8 points in any of the last 17 meetings, making for a 17-0 system backing the Seminoles pertaining to this 14-point spread. The last time Miami won by this kind of margin was their 49-27 win in 2001.
Mark Richt is 1-9 ATS in home games off two consecutive home wins in all games he has coached. His teams are only winning by 5.9 points per game in this spot. Taggart is 23-9 ATS as a road underdog in all games he has coached. Taggart is 10-2 ATS off a win by 6 points or less in all games he has coached. The underdog is 13-3 ATS in the last 16 meetings. Bet Florida State Saturday.
|10-06-18||LSU v. Florida +3||Top||19-27||Win||100||47 h 52 m||Show|
20* SEC GAME OF THE MONTH on Florida +3
There’s no question LSU came into the season undervalued. I wasn’t very high on them coming into the season either, but fortunately I’ve only faded them once, and I won that bet when I did on Louisiana Tech +21 in Week 4. And I’m now ready to fade them again this week.
LSU is starting to get that respect now that they are 5-0 and ranked No. 5 in the country. With that ranking comes expectations that are tough to live up to. They are now being asked to go on the road and lay points to the Florida Gators. Well, I believe Florida is the better team, and they’re at home.
I was really high on the Gators coming into the season. I thought they’d have a chance to win the SEC. And with the way they are going right now, they certainly will have a chance. They have gone 4-1 SU & 4-1 ATS in this season with their only loss coming to Kentucky, which doesn’t look that bad now.
Florida beat Colorado State 48-10 as 21.5-point home favorites, won at Tennessee 47-21 as 4.5-point favorites, and upset Mississippi State 13-6 as 7-point road underdogs the past three weeks. The Gators keep getting better with each game. They are the most experienced team in the SEC with 19 returning starters, while LSU is the least-experienced team in the SEC with just 10 starters back.
And those returning starters remember their 17-16 loss to LSU last season. Florida was a much weaker team last year than they are this year due to all the injuries and suspensions. But they’re a lot healthier this year and got most of those suspended players back. They will be a force the rest of the way.
Florida is averaging 6.4 yards per play on offense and giving up just 4.6 yards per play on defense, outgaining teams by 1.8 yards per play. LSU hasn’t been nearly as dominant in that category, averaging 5.7 on offense and giving up 4.7 on defense, only outgaining opponents by 1.0 yards per play.
Florida head coach Dan Mullen is making his mark already on this program. And Mullen actually went 4-0 ATS in his final four meetings with LSU at Mississippi State, so he knows how to beat this team. Mullen will push the right buttons here and let his team know that they are getting no respect while playing the underdog card. Expect a huge effort from the Gators this weekend. Take Florida Saturday.
|10-06-18||Iowa v. Minnesota +7||48-31||Loss||-105||47 h 52 m||Show|
15* Big Ten PLAY OF THE DAY on Minnesota +7
Both of these teams are off a bye week. While that would normally be a wash, it’s worth noting that Iowa is 2-8 ATS in road games off a bye under head coach Kirk Ferentz. I think Iowa wouldn’t have been too focused during its bye week after pretty much losing its Super Bowl in a 17-28 home loss to Wisconsin that will likely decide the West Division. So I like the spot for Minnesota better.
And I just don’t think this Iowa team is very good. The Hawkeyes have played four home games to open the season. They beat Northern Illinois, Iowa State and Northern Iowa before losing to Wisconsin. So their three wins were against some pretty bad teams. And now they’ll be hitting the road for the first time this season.
Well, Minnesota is 3-0 at home this season. They mopped the floor with New Mexico State 48-10 in their opener. Then they beat Fresno State 21-14 despite being underdogs in that game. And we’ve seen Fresno State go on to basically blow everyone else out, so that win looks better and better by the week. And the Golden Gophers easily covered as 13.5-point favorites in a 26-3 beat down of Miami Ohio.
I think Minnesota comes into this game undervalued due to its 13-42 loss at Maryland last time out. Well, that was a hungry Maryland team that was coming off an upset loss to Temple. And the Golden Gophers were probably feeling fat and happy after their 3-0 start. I think that loss will have humbled them, and it will be much easier to get over than Iowa’s loss to Wisconsin where they had every chance to win.
These teams are pretty much mirror images of each other. Both have sub-par offenses and elite defenses. Minnesota is giving up just 17.2 points, 300 yards per game and 5.0 yards per play this season. They are holding opponents to 12.0 points per game less than their season averages. And it’s their defense that gives them a chance to win here against an Iowa offense that is only scoring 25.2 points per game despite such a soft schedule.
Just looking at the recent series history it’s easy to see there’s value on Minnesota as 7-point home underdogs here. Each of the last three meetings in this series were decided by 7 points or less. Iowa won all three by 5, 7 and 7 points, so you can bet the Golden Gophers want some revenge. They last beat Iowa 51-14 at home in 2014. And the home team is 7-2 SU in the last nine meetings. The underdog is 3-0-1 ATS in the last four meetings.
The Hawkeyes are 0-5 ATS in their last five road games vs. a team with a winning home record. The Golden Gophers are 10-2-3 ATS in their last 15 games following an ATS loss. Minnesota is 4-1 ATS in its last five home games.
Plays on underdogs of 3.5 to 10 points (Minnesota) after a game with a turnover margin of -2 or worse against an opponent after a game with turnover margin of -3 or worse are 34-10 (77.3%) ATS over the last 10 seasons. Take Minnesota Saturday.
|10-06-18||Oklahoma v. Texas +8||Top||45-48||Win||100||74 h 35 m||Show|
20* Oklahoma/Texas Big 12 Early ANNIHILATOR on Texas +8
It’s well documented how great Tom Herman has been as an underdog. In fact, Herman is a ridiculous 22-1 ATS as an underdog in all games as a coach dating back to his time as an assistant at Iowa State and Ohio State, and most recently as the head coach of Houston and Texas.
Herman has his best team yet at Texas. I thought the Longhorns were a Big 12 title contender coming into the season, and nothing has changed my mind on that. Sure, they were upset by Maryland in the opener, but they came into the season overvalued. They have since reeled off four straight victories to get back in the discussion.
They throttled USC 37-14 at home as 3-point favorites, and won outright as 2.5-point home underdogs over TCU in a dominant 31-16 win. I think last week’s narrow 19-14 win at Kansas State has Texas undervalued coming into this week. But that was a 19-0 game before the Wildcats tacked on two second half touchdowns. And Texas held K-State to just 217 total yards in a dominant effort.
Conversely, I think Oklahoma is coming in overvalued off its 66-33 win over Baylor last week. Well, the Sooners were 21-point favorites in that game so it wasn’t expected to be close. And it’s clear that Baylor is still another year or two away from really being competitive.
That effort against Baylor has folks quickly forgetting that Oklahoma needed overtime to beat Army as a 28.5-point favorite the week prior. And the Sooners failed to cover their previous three spreads before Baylor, so they’ve been overvalued. It’s just tough for Top 10 teams like the Sooners to live up to expectations every week because they are ranked so high and in the public eye.
Oklahoma's five opponents this season are a combined 1-10 against Power 5 opponents, so they haven't really played anybody compared to Texas. The Longhorns already have wins over two ranked opponents in TCU and USC by a combined 38 points. They have played the much tougher schedule, and that will have them a lot more battle-tested than the Sooners coming into this one.
Texas certainly wants some revenge after some heartbreaking losses to Oklahoma in recent years. Oklahoma has won three of the last five meetings, including the last two, but all three victories came by only 5 points. Texas is a perfect 5-0 ATS in the last five meetings, including two outright upsets as double-digit underdogs, covering the spread by an average of 15 points per game in those five contests. I think there’s a ton of value getting the Longhorns as more than a TD dog here against the Sooners.
This is an elite Texas defense that is giving up just 19.8 points, 333 yards per game and 4.8 yards per play this season with opposing QB’s completing just 54.9% of their passes. Their defense is the reason they have a chance to upset the Sooners here. Oklahoma has given up at least 21 points in four consecutive games, including the 33 to Baylor last week. Their lackluster defense, which is allowing 30 points and 470 yards per game in two Big 12 games against Iowa State and Baylor, is going to make it difficult for them to put Texas away.
Texas is 7-0 ATS vs. good passing teams who average 8.5 or more yards per attempt over the last three seasons. The Longhorns are 7-2-1 ATS in their last 10 vs. a team with a winning record. The Sooners are 2-8 ATS in their last 10 neutral site games. The Longhorns are 10-2 ATS vs. good offensive teams that average 37 or more points per game over the last three seasons. Bet Texas Saturday.
|10-06-18||Alabama v. Arkansas +36||65-31||Win||100||43 h 18 m||Show|
15* CFB Saturday Undervalued Underdog on Arkansas +36
These Alabama spreads are getting out of hand. They are the No. 1 ranked team in the country and the public has been all over them. Oddsmakers are forced to set the number higher than it should be to try and get even action on both sides. And if you faded Alabama the last two weeks, you would have won.
I did fade Alabama two weeks ago by cashing in Texas A&M +27 in a 23-45 road loss to the Crimson Tide. I didn’t pull the trigger last week on UL Lafayette +49 but wish I would have. Alabama actually jumped out to a 56-0 lead before allowing 14 points in the 4th quarter to win 56-14 and fail to cover.
And that’s the problem with laying these kinds of numbers with Alabama. They try for a quarter or two, jump out to a big lead, and then call off the dogs. The back door is almost always open with the underdog. But I don’t think we’ll need the back door with Arkansas this week.
You can see that Arkansas is improving despite a misleading 1-4 record. They have actually outgained three of their five opponents this Eason. They won their opener 55-20. They lost 27-34 to Colorado State after leading that game 27-9 in the second half. They lost 17-44 to North Texas but were only outgained by 40 yards. They lost 3-34 at Auburn but actually outgained Auburn by 65 yards in one of the most misleading finals of the year. And they only lost 17-24 as 20-point underdogs at Texas A&M last week, which was their most impressive showing yet.
The reason Arkansas has a chance to hang within the number is because they boast a defense that is much better than it is getting credit for. The Razorbacks are only giving up 353 yards per game and 4.9 yards per play against opponents that average 430 yards per game and 5.6 per play. They have been very good against the run, yielding just 106 rushing yards per game and 3.0 per carry.
Arkansas held a good North Texas offense to just 376 total yards. Then the next week in the misleading final of the year they held Auburn to just 225 total yards. And then they held an explosive Texas A&M offense to just 377 total yards last week. That’s a Texas A&M offense that put up over 500 yards on Clemson and 393 yards against Alabama. The Razorbacks should be able to stop the run once Alabama gets ahead, and that will be key in them playing close to an even game with the Crimson Tide in the second half.
Arkansas is 3-1 ATS in the last four meetings. They lost by 1, 13, 19 and 32 points. But even in that 32-point loss last year on the road they covered as 37-point underdogs. And now they’re 36-point underdogs at home this time around. It’s simply too much.
The Razorbacks are 15-6 ATS in their last 21 home games vs. a team with a winning road record. The Crimson Tide are 2-6 ATS in their last eight vs. a team with a losing record. Alabama is 1-5 ATS in its last six conference games. Arkansas is 15-4 ATS in its last 19 home games vs. teams who average 275 or more passing yards pre game. The Razorbacks are 20-8 ATS in their last 28 games following three or more consecutive losses.
Plays on underdogs of 31.5 or more points (Arkansas) - with 17 or more starters returning are 52-22 (70.3%) ATS since 1992. Bet Arkansas Saturday.
|10-05-18||Braves v. Dodgers UNDER 7||0-3||Win||100||10 h 36 m||Show|
15* Braves/Dodgers NL Late-Night BAILOUT on UNDER 7
This game has the makings of a pitcher’s duel between Anibal Sanchez of the Braves and Clayton Kershaw of the Dodgers tonight. Look for runs to be at a premium in this one.
Kershaw has posted a 2.48 ERA this season when working on five or more days’ rest. He owns the Braves, going 5-0 with a 1.32 ERA and 0.915 WHIP In 12 career starts against them.
Anibal Sanchez is 7-6 with a 2.80 ERA and 1.077 WHIP in 24 starts this season, 5-2 with a 2.67 ERA in 13 road starts, and 1-1 with a 1.59 ERA in his last three outings. Sanchez has allowed two runs or fewer in six of his last seven starts coming in.
Atlanta is 12-3 UNDER in road games off a shutout loss over the last two seasons. The UNDER is 5-0 in Braves last five road games vs. a left-handed starter. The UNDER is 4-1-1 in Sanchez’s last six road starts. The UNDER is 5-1-1 in Dodgers last seven playoff home games. The UNDER is 16-4-1 in Dodgers last 21 home games vs. a team with a winning record. The UNDER is 43-20-2 in Kershaw’s last 65 starts vs. a team with a winning record. The UNDER is 4-0 in the last four meetings. Take the UNDER in this game Friday.
|10-05-18||Georgia Tech v. Louisville +4.5||Top||66-31||Loss||-105||31 h 39 m||Show|
20* Georgia Tech/Louisville ACC ANNIHILATOR on Louisville +4.5
I’m surprised Georgia Tech is a road favorite at Louisville this week. Both of these teams have been disappointing to this point, but for whatever reason the Yellow Jackets are getting respect, but the Cardinals are not. I’m not buying it.
I think Louisville’s potential is much greater the rest of the way than Georgia Tech. This Cardinals team still has a ton of talent and they are relatively healthy. They showed a lot last week when they led Florida State late in the 4th quarter and probably should have won that game, but lost 24-28. They outgained the Seminoles by 51 yards and covered as 5-point underdogs.
I think the Cardinals are going to be playing pissed off at home Friday night. They need a win if they are going to make a bowl game because they cannot afford to fall to 2-4 with the tough schedule that lies ahead. I expect them to get the job done, and for the offense to build on a solid effort in which they gained 421 yards against a good FSU defense.
Louisville should be able to light up a Georgia Tech defense that gave up 49 points to South Florid and 49 points to Clemson in two of its three losses. And this is a Georgia Tech offense that just hasn’t been the same since losing KirVonte Benson to a season-ending injury in the loss to USF. Benson rushed for over 1,000 yards last season and they simply lack playmakers without him.
Georgia Tech’s only two wins this season came against Alcorn State and Bowling Green. They trailed Pitt 24-6 in the 4th quarter, and that’s a Pitt team that we’ve seen is absolutely awful. They also lost 38-49 to a USF team that nearly lost to both Illinois and ECU. It’s clear to me that the Yellow Jackets aren’t very good.
Georgia Tech is 0-8 SU & 0-8 ATS in its last eight games as a road favorite, losing outright by double-digits four times during this span. The Yellow Jackets simply cannot be trusted in the road favorite role, especially here on a short week against a talented Louisville team that is way undervalued right now after a poor start to the season. The Cardinals have the bigger upside, and I think they show it Friday night. Bet Louisville Friday.
|10-04-18||Colts v. Patriots UNDER 52||Top||24-38||Loss||-108||72 h 4 m||Show|
20* Colts/Patriots AFC Total DOMINATOR on UNDER 52
I’m taking the UNDER in this game Thursday night between the New England Patriots and Indianapolis Colts. I’m shocked it’s this high given the injuries to both teams, plus the fact that both offenses just really aren’t playing well at all this season.
Andrew Luck’s favorite target in T.Y. Hilton is doubtful with a hamstring injury. Tight end Jack Doyle is also out with a hip injury. The Colts were missing their two starting tackles last week and could be without them again. I just don’t know how the Colts are going to be able to move the ball and score points here.
I know Julian Edelman returns for the Patriots this week from a four-game suspension. However, they could be without Rob Gronkowski, who left last week with an ankle injury and is highly questionable. Either way this is a Patriots offense that just isn’t as explosive as in year’s past as they’ll have to rely more on defense this season to win games.
New England is only averaging 23.7 points and 337.2 yards per game this season. The defense is giving up just 21.0 points per game, and came through with their best effort of the season last week in holding the Dolphins to just 7 points and 172 total yards. Expect more of the same here from this defense against the banged-up Colts.
Indianapolis has been fine offensively in its two domed home games, but outside on grass has been another story. The Colts beat the Redskins 21-9 in Week 2 for just 30 combined points, and they lost to the Eagles 16-20 in Week 3 for just 36 combined points. Well, they managed just 281 total yards against the Redskins, and just 209 total yards against the Eagles. Give their defense credit for giving up just 14.5 points per game in their two road games as this is clearly an improved unit this season.
Plays on the UNDER on any team where the total is 49.5 or more in a game involving two average teams (+/- 3 PPG differential) are 38-12 (76%) over the last five seasons. The UNDER is 6-0 in Colts last six road games. The UNDER is 8-1 in Colts last nine games following a loss. The UNDER is 7-0 in Patriots last seven games after rushing for more than 150 yards in their previous game. The UNDER is 13-6 in Patriots last 19 games overall. The UNDER is 10-2 in Colts last 12 games overall. Bet the UNDER in this game Thursday.
|10-04-18||Tulsa +18.5 v. Houston||26-41||Win||100||8 h 59 m||Show|
15* Tulsa/Houston ESPN No-Brainer on Tulsa +18.5
I have no doubt Tulsa is better than an 18.5-point underdog to Houston today. But the fact that the Golden Hurricane have opened 1-3 has them way undervalued. I’ll back them here catching this big number in a rivalry game that they care more about than Houston does.
All three of Tulsa’s losses have come by 14 points or less. They only lost by 7 at Texas as 21-point underdogs to show what they are capable of. They lost 20-29 to Arkansas State and were only outgained by 70 yards. And they actually outgained Temple by 103 yards but lost 17-31 on the road due to giving up two defensive touchdowns.
Tulsa has now had two full weeks to get right off their bye. They are outgaining their opponents by 34 yards per game this season, so they are way better than their 1-3 record would suggest. And the schedule has been tough to their credit, so they are battle-tested and ready to give Houston a run for its money.
The Cougars have opened 3-1 and are overvalued. Their win over Arizona doesn’t look that good now, and their other two wins came against Rice and Texas Southern. They only beat Rice by 18 as 25-point favorites and actually trailed that game 24-17 at halftime. They needed a big second half just to escape with that victory. And they lost 49-63 to Texas Tech.
It’s clear that Tulsa takes this game more seriously than Houston every year. Tulsa is 2-3 SU but 4-1 ATS in the last five meetings. Houston hasn’t beaten Tulsa by more than 14 points in any of the five meetings. Last year, Tulsa won 45-17 outright as 13.5-point home underdogs, and that was a bad Tulsa team. In 2016, Tulsa only lost 31-38 at Houston as 21.5-point dogs.
The Golden Hurricane are 10-2 ATS in their last 12 games vs. a team with a winning record. Tulsa is 16-6 ATS in its last 22 road games. The Cougars are 0-5 ATS in their last five games following a SU win of more than 20 points. Houston is 4-10 ATS in its last 14 conference games. The Golden Hurricane are 4-0 ATS in their last four meetings in Houston. The road team is 6-1 ATS in the last seven meetings. Take Tulsa Thursday.
|10-04-18||Rockies +149 v. Brewers||2-3||Loss||-100||5 h 43 m||Show|
15* Rockies/Brewers Game 1 ANNIHILATOR on Colorado +149
The Colorado Rockies are playing as well as anyone entering the postseason. They are 10-2 in their last 12 games overall. They survived in 13 innings in a gutsy 2-1 win at Chicago that will give them a ton of confidence heading into this series with the Milwaukee Brewers.
I’m surprised the Brewers are using a bullpen approach to this Game 1 tonight. They are starting Brandon Woodruff, who doesn’t have much starting experience at all. And I certainly don’t believe Woodruff and company should be this heavily favored in Game 1.
The clear value is with the Rockies and Antonio Senzatela, who comes in hot having gone 2-0 with a 1.62 ERA and 1.080 WHIP in his last three starts. Senzatela has allowed three runs or fewer in eight of his last 10 starts, including one run or less in six of those. He pitched 5 shutout innings in his only career start against Milwaukee.
The Rockies are 23-9 in their last 32 games vs. a right-handed starter. Colorado is 4-1 in Senzatela’s last five starts. The Brewers are 1-5 in Woodruff’s last six home starts. Milwaukee is 1-4 in its last five playoff games. Roll with the Rockies Thursday.
|10-03-18||A's v. Yankees UNDER 8.5||2-7||Loss||-113||10 h 30 m||Show|
15* A’s/Yankees AL Wild Card No-Brainer on UNDER 8.5
I’m taking the UNDER in this game between the A’s and Yankees that will decide which team advances to the divisional round. All hands will be on deck for both teams, just like they were last night in the Rockies’ 2-1 victory over the Cubs in 13 innings.
Luis Severino is 19-8 with a 3.39 ERA and 1.144 WHIP in 32 starts this season, including 10-2 with a 2.74 ERA and 1.043 WHIP in 15 home starts. The Yankees won’t be afraid to give him the quick hook if necessary, but they shouldn’t need to as Severino should shut down the A’s here.
Oakland is going with a committee approach to this game. The A’s will start Liam Hendricks, who has posted a 2.08 ERA and 1.038 WHIP in his eight starts this season. But Hendriks will only be going one or two innings in this one before giving way to Oakland’s tremendous bullpen.
The wind is expected to be blowing in from left field by game time, so that will also held aid this UNDER. Runs are just harder to come by in the postseason because the weather gets colder, and teams go to their bullpens early if necessary. And bullpens now dominate major league baseball, especially these two. Bet the UNDER in this game Wednesday.
|10-02-18||Rockies v. Cubs UNDER 7||2-1||Win||100||8 h 0 m||Show|
15* Rockies/Cubs NL Total DOMINATOR on UNDER 7
The weather has changed to cold in Colorado already with highs around 60 expected today. And the wind will be blowing in a little by game time. I think those factors, plus the fact that the Rockies and Cubs are throwing their two best starters, has me liking the UNDER in this wild card showdown.
Jon Lester has the most postseason experience on this staff. Lester has had a huge second half to get to 18-6 with a 3.32 ERA in 32 starts this season, including 6-1 with a 1.71 ERA in his last eight starts, allowing just 9 earned runs in 47 1/3 innings. Lester is also 2-3 with a 1.91 ERA and 1.062 WHIP in six career starts against Colorado.
Kyle Freeland grew up a Rockies fan and is going to be a start for them for years to come. That was on display this season as he went 17-7 with a 2.85 ERA in 33 starts, including 2-0 with a 1.83 ERA in his last three outings. To have a sub-3.00 ERA while pitching half of your games at Coors Field is a massive accomplishment.
The UNDER is 6-0 in Lester’s six career starts against Colorado. Freeland is 18-4 UNDER vs. boor base running teams that average 0.5 or less SB’s/game this season. Freeland is 10-1 UNDER off a Colorado loss this season. The UNDER is 42-16-3 in Freeland’s last 61 starts overall. The UNDER is 11-3 in Cubs last 14 home games. Bet the UNDER in this game Tuesday.
|10-01-18||Chiefs v. Broncos +5||Top||27-23||Win||100||99 h 15 m||Show|
20* Chiefs/Broncos ESPN Monday No-Brainer on Denver +5
The Kansas City Chiefs are clearly the flavor of the week right now. They have opened 3-0 SU & 3-0 ATS with Patrick Mahomes setting all kinds of records through three weeks. While he and the Chiefs have been impressive, it’s clearly time to ‘sell high’ on them.
The Chiefs were 3.5-point underdogs at the Chargers in Week 1. They won that game by 10 against a Chargers defense that was missing two of their best players. Then they were 4-point road dogs to the Steelers in Week 2 and won 42-37 against a Steelers defense that is clearly terrible without Ryan Shazier, and they were missing Joe Haden. Then they won 38-27 as 6-point home favorites over the 49ers last week. The 49ers also have a soft defense, and Jimmy G got hurt when they were making their comeback.
So now the Chiefs are being asked to go on the road and lay 5 points to a good Denver Broncos team. And they will be playing in altitude, which makes this one of the best home-field advantages in the NFL for the Broncos. They won their first two home games over the Seahawks and Raiders this season before losing on the road to the Ravens last week, which isn’t a bad loss.
There’s no question the Broncos have one of the most improved offenses in the league behind Case Keenum and the emergence of RB Philip Lindsay. Denver is putting up 382.7 yards per game and 6.0 yards per play despite playing two quality defenses in Seattle and Baltimore. They are tied for 11th in total offense this season.
Well, Mahomes has masked a Kansas City offense that has been atrocious this year. Indeed, the Chiefs rank dead last in total defense at 474 yards per game. They are also 31st in scoring defense at 30.7 points per game and 31st in yards per play (6.7) allowed. No question Keenum and company are going to be able to take advantage.
But the biggest reason I like the Broncos this week is because they have the defense it takes to stop the league’s top offenses. They have a tremendous pass rush with Von Miller and Bradley Chubb, who will make life miserable on Mahomes. And they have one of the top secondaries in the NFL. I know the numbers don’t show it up to this point, but I’m believing it’s more of an aberration. This has been a top 5 defense, especially against the pass, for the better part of the last five years.
Denver also wants revenge from five straight loses to the Chiefs in this series. But the last two Kansas City wins in Denver have come by 3 points each. And I think we are getting a ton of value here with the Broncos +5 at home. They can still lose the game and get the cover with this inflated line, though I’m expecting them to win outright. Bet the Broncos Monday.
|09-30-18||Nationals v. Rockies -1.5||0-12||Win||120||4 h 56 m||Show|
15* MLB Sunday PLAY OF THE DAY on Colorado Rockies -1.5 (+120)
The Rockies can at least clinch a share of the NL West title and a tiebreaker game with the Dodgers with a win Sunday. I expect them to win this game by two runs or more over the Washington Nationals.
The Rockies have gone 8-1 in their last nine games overall and are playing with a ton of confidence right now. They have won all eight games by two runs or more. They have also outscored their opponents 57-24 in those nine contests.
It was a huge break for the Rockies that the Nationals decided to start Erick Fedde instead of Max Scherzer today. Fedde is 2-3 with a 5.24 ERA and 1.511 WHIP In 10 starts this season. He is 0-1 with an 11.25 ERA in one career start against Colorado, giving up 7 runs, 5 earned, and 12 base runners in 4 innings of a 6-10 loss.
Tyler Anderson hasn’t put up great numbers either, but he’s better than Fedde. Anderson is 6-9 with a 4.76 ERA and 1.289 WHIP in 31 starts this season. He has posted a 4.35 ERA in two career starts against Washington, both of which resulted in Colorado wins. And I expect the Rockies to go their bullpen earlier than normal if needed as all hands are on deck for this one. Bet the Rockies on the Run Line.
|09-30-18||Dolphins v. Patriots -6.5||Top||7-38||Win||100||143 h 35 m||Show|
25* AFC East GAME OF THE YEAR on New England Patriots -6.5
Had the Patriots not lost to the Lions last week, this line would have been closer to Patriots -10. Now we are getting the Patriots under a touchdown at -6.5. I think we are getting a ton of line value here in a spot that is a supreme one for the home team.
The Patriots will obviously be in a sour mood off their lost to the Lions. We’ll get a great effort from them here, especially since this game has a ton riding on it in the AFC East race with Miami already off to a 3-0 start. I love backing the Patriots off a loss, and I think they’ll perform much better at home here off back-to-back road losses.
The Dolphins are the most fraudulent team in the NFL. Yes, they’re 3-0, but they are very fortunate to have that record. They were outgained by 105 yards in their win over the Jets. They only outgained the Titans by 6 yards and got help with Marcus Mariota getting injured. And they were outgained by 61 yards by the Raiders last week. So, they have been outgained by 150 yards on the season, or an average of 50 yards per game. And their three wins have come against three of the worst teams in the NFL in the Titans, Raiders and Jets.
The Patriots had a lot of injuries heading into that Detroit games. I’m expecting they could get back Patrick Chung, Trey Flowers, Eric Rowe and Rex Burkhead. Plus, with their deficiencies at receiver thus far, don’t be surprised if Josh Gordon makes his New England debut here at home and has a huge game.
Home-field advantage has been huge in this series. The home team is 10-2 SU & 11-1 ATS in the last 12 meetings. The Patriots are 6-0 SU & 6-0 ATS in their last six home meetings with the Dolphins. They have won by 18, 7, 29, 28, 10 and 28 points in their last six home meetings with the Dolphins, or by an average of 20 points per game. They have won nine straight home meetings with Miami with eight of those wins coming by 7 points or more.
The Dolphins suffered some key injuries on defense last week that will hurt them against the Patriots this week. They lost arguably their best run stopper and one of their top pass rushers in DE William Hayes to a torn ACL. They also lost fellow DE Andre Branch. S Reshad Jones is questionable with a shoulder injury here as well. Look for the Patriots to get their running game going this week, and for Tom Brady to get right against a soft Miami defense.
New England is 8-1 ATS as a home favorite of 7 points or less over the last three seasons. The Patriots are 8-0 ATS after gaining 99 or fewer rushing yards in two consecutive games over the last two seasons. New England is 29-12 ATS in its last 41 games overall. The Patriots are 35-16-2 ATS in their last 53 home games. The Dolphins are 5-22 ATS in their last 27 games after allowing more than 250 passing yards in their previous game. Miami is 1-5 ATS in its last six road games. Bet the Patriots Sunday.
|09-30-18||Texans +3 v. Colts||Top||37-34||Win||100||142 h 10 m||Show|
20* AFC South GAME OF THE MONTH on Houston Texans +3
The Houston Texans have been a big disappointment with their 0-3 start. So I think they are undervalued right now because they have not lived up to expectations. I expect a huge effort from them Sunday in Indianapolis as they try to get in the win column and save their season.
The best part about the Texans is there’s no doubt they are better than their 0-3 record would suggest. They lost in Week 1 at New England but were only outgained by 64 yards. They outgained the Titans by 154 yards and should have won that game on the road. And they outgained the Giants by 48 yards at home last week, yet lost.
There’s no question the Texans still have a great defense. And their offense hasn’t gotten the points that they should have by now with how well their moving the football. Indeed, the Texans rank 8th in the NFL in total offense at 396.3 yards per game, but just 22nd in scoring offense at 19.7 points per game. At some point, this offense is going to start turning that yardage into points, and I’m guessing it’s going to be this week.
I strongly believe the Colts are one of the worst teams in the NFL. They beat the Redskins in Week 2 for their only win, but they were outgained by 53 yards. They were outgained by 170 yards by the Eagles last week in a game that wasn’t as close as the final score. While the Colts may be improved defensively, this is still a bottom half of the league unit.
The problem with the Colts right now actually is their offense. They rank 28th in the league in total offense at 290.0 yards per game. Andrew Luck doesn’t quite look right, and the offense is missing a lot of players due to injury. In fact, the Colts as a team have the longest injury report in the entire NFL if you take a look at it. They have been playing without important players like TE Jack Doyle, T Antony Castonzo and RB Marlon Mack. They have a handful of important defensively players who are either listed as questionable or out this week.
Plays on road teams (Houston) - who are averaging at least 265 passing yards per game against a poor pass defense that allows 230-265 YPG, after allowing 7 or more passing yards per attempt in two straight games are 29-6 (82.9%) ATS over the last 10 seasons.
Bill O’Brien is 15-5 ATS vs. awful pass defenses that allow 64% or more completions as the coach of Houston. Opposing QB’s are completing 71.2% of their passes against the Colts this season. The road team is 5-1-2 ATS in the last eight meetings. Take the Texans Sunday.
|09-30-18||Eagles -3.5 v. Titans||23-26||Loss||-110||142 h 9 m||Show|
15* NFL Sunday No-Doubt Rout on Philadelphia Eagles -3.5
Carson Wantz had a successful debut against the Colts last week. He completed 25-of-37 passes for 255 yards with a touchdown and an interception while leading the Eagles to a 20-16 victory. And that was clearly a bigger blowout than the final score showed last the Eagles outgained the Colts by 170 yards.
Now I expect Wentz to be even sharper in his second game back against the Titans. I actually think Wentz is at least a 4-point upgrade over Nick Foles. It’s a miracle the Eagles won a Super Bowl with Foles as their QB because he did not play well other than the Super Bowl. This team simply won with a great defense, which they still have after limiting the Colts to just 209 total yards last week. And now their offense will get back to being that high-octane unit it was with Wentz under center last year.
Tennessee is the single-most fraudulent team in the NFL right now. They’re 2-1, but they should clearly be 0-3. They lost 20-27 at Miami in their opener. Then they beat Houston 20-17 at home in Week 2 despite getting outgained by 154 yards. And they upset the Jaguars 9-6 last week. That win over the Jags is earning them too much credit from oddsmakers. It was a clear letdown spot for Jacksonville off its win over New England the previous week.
The Titans simply cannot keep winning with how poor their offense has been playing. They rank 29th in total offense at 284.0 yards per game. They are also 27th at 4.7 yards per play. Marcus Mariota was forced into action last week despite a sore elbow because Blaine Gabbert was knocked out with a concussion. Mariota has looked terrible thus far this season, and he doesn’t have any weapons, especially with his favorite target in TE Delanie Walker out with a season-ending injury.
Meanwhile, the Eagles get some key players back this week on offense. Both RB Jay Ajayi and RB Darren Sproles are expected to return this week after sitting out the Colts game. Plus, WR Alshon Jeffery may return this week after missing the first three games of the season with a shoulder injury. That would be a big boost to Wentz and the offense.
The Titans are 17-39-2 ATS in their last 58 games following a SU win, and 16-36-1 ATS in their last 53 games off an ATS win. The Eagles are 13-6 ATS in their last 19 games overall. Philadelphia is 10-4 ATS in its last 14 games vs. a team with a winning record. The Titans will get exposed this week for the frauds that they are by one of the best teams in the NFL in Philadelphia. Roll with the Eagles Sunday.
|09-29-18||Oregon State +22 v. Arizona State||Top||24-52||Loss||-106||54 h 24 m||Show|
20* CFB Saturday Late-Night BAILOUT on Oregon State +22
I really question what the Arizona State Sun Devils have left in the tank for Oregon State this week. They are coming off three straight physically taxing games against Michigan State, San Diego State and Washington over the past three weeks. Those are three teams that will punch you in the mouth on both sides of the football.
Now they must play an Oregon State team that will go up-tempo and spread you out. It’s a completely different style than what they’ve seen thus far, and I think this Oregon State offense will certainly have some success against Arizona State’s defense.
It’s an Oregon State offense that scored 31 points and had nearly 400 total yards against Ohio State in Week 1. Then they scored 48 with 639 total yards against Southern Utah in Week 2. And they lost scored 35 with 540 total yards against Nevada in Week 3 in a game they should have won.
But Oregon State laid an egg in a 14-35 home loss to Arizona last week. So this week I think we’re getting the opportunity to ‘buy low’ on the Beavers off that performance. And we are ‘selling high’ on the Sun Devils after their 3-1 ATS start which included a cover as 18-point underdogs in a 20-27 loss at Washington last week. The Sun Devils will also have a ‘hangover’ effect after facing ranked Washington, and they won’t be focused enough this week to put Oregon State away by more than three touchdowns.
And Arizona State hasn’t been able to beat Oregon State by this kind of margin in recent years. In fact, each of the last nine meetings in this series have been decided by 16 points or less. And dating back further, Arizona State has not beaten Oregon State by more than 21 points in any of the last 23 meetings. That’s a perfect 23-0 system backing the Beavers pertaining to this 22-point spread. Bet Oregon State Saturday.
|09-29-18||Nationals v. Rockies -121||12-2||Loss||-121||12 h 36 m||Show|
15* MLB Saturday PLAY OF THE DAY on Colorado Rockies -121
I’m back on the Rockies again today for many of the same reasons. The Rockies are the hottest team in baseball. They are 8-0 in their last eight games overall with all eight wins coming by 2 runs or more. They have outscored the opposition 57-12 during this winning streak.
The Rockies need wins because they are still just one game up on the Dodgers for first place in the NL West. They could win the division with a win today and a Dodgers loss. Meanwhile, the Nationals have nothing to play for and I don’t expect them to offer much resistance.
Stephen Strasburg has struggled mightily in his last two starts against the Rockies. He has allowed 13 earned runs in 7 2/3 innings in those two starts for a 15.25 ERA. The Rockies have been dominant down the stretch when Jon Gray starts as he has pitched very well in the second half of the season.
Indeed, the Rockies are 12-3 in Gray’s last 15 starts, including 7-1 in his last eight home starts. Colorado is 4-1 in its last five meetings with Washington. The Rockies should be bigger home favorites today with what’s at stake. Take the Rockies Saturday.
|09-29-18||Ohio State v. Penn State UNDER 71||Top||27-26||Win||100||52 h 5 m||Show|
20* Ohio State/Penn State ABC No-Brainer on UNDER 71
This total of 71 is simply too high. For starters, it’s the highest total for any Penn State game in program history. And it’s the third-highest total in Ohio State program history. That alone shows that there has to be some value with this UNDER.
This game not only has Big Ten title implications, but also national title implications as well. It will be played closer to the vest, which is going to favor the defenses. It will be a white out at Penn State Saturday night and the noise is going to affect both offenses. It’s also on grass, which is ideal conditions for under bettors as compared to turf.
A lot is being made about how well both offenses have played. But they’ve both played extremely soft schedules to this point. And the defenses have both been excellent. The Nittany Lions are allowing just 19.5 points per game this season, holding opponents to 13 points and 1.3 yards per play less than their season averages. The Buckeyes are giving up 17 points per game, holding opponents to 9.4 points and 0.5 yards per play less than their season averages.
I think the fact that last year was a shootout between these two teams is also playing into this total being so high. Ohio State beat Penn State 39-38 at home last year for 77 combined points. But that was a huge misleading final. Penn State only had 283 yards of total offense, yet scored 38 points. And they barely topped 800 total yards between them.
The previous three meetings between these teams were all low-scoring. Penn State won 24-21 at home in 2016 for 45 combined points. Ohio State won 38-10 at home in 2015 for 48 combined points. And Ohio State won 31-24 (OT) on the road in 2014 for 55 combined points, but just 48 points at the end of regulation. I think we see a combined score in the 50’s here, not the 70’s. Take the UNDER in this game Saturday.
|09-29-18||Hawaii v. San Jose State +10||Top||44-41||Win||100||51 h 24 m||Show|
25* Mountain West GAME OF THE YEAR on San Jose State +10
The San Jose State Spartans are coming off a bye week. They have had two full weeks to prepare for Hawaii, and they’ll be desperate for a win after their 0-3 start to the season. I think they’re sitting on a big game here against a Hawaii team that has to be tired after playing five games already without a bye in between.
It’s easy to see why San Jose State is 0-3. The Spartans opened the season with a very good FCS opponent in Cal Davis and lost 38-44 as 3-point favorites. Then they went on the road to Washington State and lost 31-0 as 30.5-point underdogs. It’s clear that Washington State is better than most expected.
But most impressively, San Jose State only lost 22-35 at Oregon as 42.5-point underdogs in Week 3. They covered the spread by 29.5 points in that matchup. And we know how good Oregon looked at home against Stanford last week as they clearly should have won that game. And SJSU held Oregon’s offense to just 35 points and 443 total yards, which is no small feat.
Hawaii is overvalued off its 4-1 start to the season. The four wins have come against Colorado State, Navy, Rice and Duquesne. And it’s not like they are blowing anyone out as their biggest victory was a 21-point win over Duquesne as 36.5-point favorites. Now the Warriors are being asked to lay double-digits on the road here to an improved, rested San Jose State squad, and it’s simply too much.
Last year, San Jose State went into Hawaii and played a four-quarter game, losing 26-37 as 17-point underdogs. They actually outgained the Warriors by 53 yards in that contest and racked up 504 total yards on Hawaii’s defense. I think they’ll have their way with a Hawaii defense that is giving up 30.6 points, 428 yards per game and 6.3 yards per play against opponents that are averaging 25.7 points, 374 yards per game and 5.2 yards per play. This is a bad Hawaii defense that can’t be trusted laying double-digits on the road here.
Nick Rolovich is 1-8 ATS as a favorite as the coach of Hawaii. Rolovich is 1-10 ATS off two or more consecutive ATS losses as the coach of the Warriors. The Warriors are also 0-9 ATS in their last nine games off an ATS loss. Hawaii is 6-21 ATS in its last 27 games vs. a team with a losing record. Bet San Jose State Saturday.
|09-29-18||Florida Atlantic v. Middle Tennessee State +3.5||24-25||Win||100||51 h 24 m||Show|
15* CFB Saturday UPSET SHOCKER on Middle Tennessee +3.5
The betting public jumped on the Lane Kiffin train late in the season last year. They beat up on a very weak schedule and kept on covering. And they haven’t jumped off the train yet in 2018. The Owls clearly came into this season overvalued, and that has shown with their 0-4 ATS start. And now they’re once again overvalued as road favorites here against a very good Middle Tennessee squad.
FAU opened its season with a 14-63 loss at Oklahoma as only 18.5-point dogs. Then they failed to cover as 7.5-point home favorites in a 33-27 home win over Air Force. They weren’t impressive at all in their 49-28 home win over Bethune-Cookman as 40.5-point favorites. And they lost 36-56 on the road to UCF as 14-point favorites last week.
That game against UCF sets FAU up for a big ‘hangover’ effect here. The Owls wanted to prove they could beat UCF, a team that went undefeated last season and still hasn’t lost. And instead they got embarrassed, giving up 56 points and 545 total yards and turning the ball over three times. I don’t think they’ll get up off the mat in time to get ready for Middle Tennessee this week.
This is a Middle Tennessee team that is rested and ready to go after getting a bye last week. And it’s also one that is undervalued right now due to its 1-2 start to the season. But both losses came on the road to a pair of SEC teams in Vanderbilt and Georgia. Now they’ll be primed for a big performance in their Conference USA opener here against FAU with two weeks to prepare for them.
Middle Tennessee is 9-1 SU in its last 10 meetings with FAU. The Blue Raiders had their nine-game winning streak over the Owls snapped last year in a 20-38 road loss. But they were without starting QB Brent Stockstill, and their backup QB three three costly interceptions. Yet the Blue Raiders still outgained the Owls 454 to 413 in that game with a backup QB.
Now Stockstill is back healthy and sitting on a big performance as he’s one of the more underrated quarterbacks in the country. Stockstill is completing 69% of his passes with a 7-to-2 TD/INT ratio thus far in 2018 despite facing a brutal schedule. He’ll have his way with an awful FAU pass defense that is allowing 67.3% completions and 10.1 yards per attempt to opposing quarterbacks. This its an awful FAU defense in general.
Middle Tennessee is 6-0 ATS off a loss by 21 or more points over the last three seasons. It is bouncing back to win by 16.0 points per game on average in this spot. The Owls are 3-11-1 ATS in their last 15 games vs. a team with a losing record. The Blue Raiders are 7-1 ATS in their last eight games following a SU loss. Middle Tennessee is 8-3 ATS in its last 11 games following a bye week. The Blue Raiders are 6-0 ATS in their last six games after scoring less than 20 points in their previous game. Roll with Middle Tennessee Saturday.
|09-29-18||Cincinnati v. Connecticut +17.5||49-7||Loss||-106||48 h 52 m||Show|
15* CFB Saturday Undervalued Underdog on Connecticut +17.5
It’s time to ‘buy low’ on Connecticut and ‘sell high’ on Cincinnati this week. Cincinnati has opened 4-0 SU & 3-1 ATS this season, while UConn has opened 1-3 SU & 0-3-1 ATS. As a result, you have to pay a tax to bet Cincinnati here as 17.5-point road favorites against the Huskies.
I’ll admit the Huskies have a terrible defense and have been dreadful. But a lot of that has to do with the schedule. They have faced UCF, Boise State and Syracuse already, and those are three of the best offenses in the country. It’s also a big reason why they are 1-3 as they have been 24-point underdogs plus in those three contests. I don’t think Cincinnati is anywhere near as good as those three squads.
Cincinnati has feasted on an easy schedule. They beat UCLA, Miami Ohio, Alabama A&M and Ohio. Well, UCLA is still winless, Miami Ohio is not nearly as good as they were expected to be, and the same can be said for Ohio. No question the Bearcats are improved this season, but they are getting way too much respect from oddsmakers due to this 4-0 start.
UConn does have a good offense that can put up enough points to stay within the number this week. Despite the tough schedule, they are averaging 25.2 points and 412 yards per game. Randy Edsall has allowed them to put in a more up-tempo offense that is starting to see the fruits of their labor.
UConn was bad last season and still nearly beat Cincinnati, losing 21-22 as 6.5-point road underdogs. They outgained the Bearcats 449 to 335 in that game. And UConn won 20-9 as 3-point home underdogs against the Bearcats in 2016 as well, outgaining them 412 to 317 in the process.
So, after being only 6.5-point road dogs to Cincinnati last year, the Huskies are now 17.5-point home dogs this year, basically an 18-point adjustment from 2017 to 2018 when you factor in home-field advantage. There’s clearly a ton of value on the Huskies +17.5 here.
Plays against road favorites of 10.5 to 21 points (Cincinnati) - who are outgaining their opponents by 125 yards per game, after gaining 525 or more yards in two consecutive games are 46-14 (76.7%) ATS over the last 10 seasons.
Cincinnati is 1-8 ATS vs. poor pass defenses that allow 58% or more completions over the last three seasons. The Bearcats are 4-12 ATS in their last 16 conference games. The Huskies are 5-1 ATS in their last six conference games. The home team is 9-4 ATS in the last 13 meetings. Take UConn Saturday.
|09-29-18||Syracuse +25.5 v. Clemson||23-27||Win||100||44 h 24 m||Show|
15* Syracuse/Clemson ACC Early ANNIHILATOR on Syracuse +25.5
Clemson is getting way too much respect from oddsmakers as 25.5-point home favorites over Syracuse this week. This line opened at -18.5 and has been moved seven full points to -25.5 as of this writing. That was mostly due to Clemson announcing that freshman Trevor Lawrence will start at QB.
No question Lawrence has the better long-term potential over the incumbent Kelly Bryant. But I worry about the state of the Tigers in the locker room right now because Bryant immediately announced he was transferring after the decision to start Lawrence came out this week. There’s no doubt that the team loved Bryant.
And Clemson being a Top 5 team makes them overvalued most weeks. They have opened just 1-3 ATS in their four games with their lone cover coming as 15.5-point road favorites over Georgia Tech last week. I was on Clemson in that game as my free pick for Saturday because it was a great matchup for them, and they own the Yellow Jackets’ triple option. And Georgia Tech simply isn’t any good.
But this Syracuse team might be the most underrated team in the entire country. Head coach Dino Babers has his best team yet this year. The Orange have opened 4-0 SU & 3-0-1 ATS in their four games. Yet they are getting no respect from oddsmakers this week.
Syracuse goes as QB Eric Dungey goes. When healthy, they have been a dangerous team. Last year they upset Clemson at home as 23.5-point underdogs. And they were huge dogs against LSU, Miami and Florida State last year, but lost those three games by a combined 11 points.
Dungey is healthy this year and engineering an offense that is putting up 49.5 points and 523 yards per game. He is completing 62.4% of his passes with a 9-to-1 TD/INT ratio, while also rushing for 354 yards and four scores on 6.9 per carry. Dungey gave Clemson’s defense fits last year. They run a quick-strike passing game that will negate Clemson’s great D-Line, and Dungey’s ability to extend plays is exactly the recipe for having success against this Clemson D.
After all, Clemson’s worst performance this season was against Texas A&M and mobile QB Kellen Mond, who torched the Clemson defense for 501 total yards, including 430 passing. The Tigers only won that game 28-26 as 11.5-point favorites. I’m not so sure Syracuse isn’t every bit as good as Texas A&M, and Dungey is a comparable QB to Mond, and probably better. Clemson’s other three wins have come against Furman, Georgia Southern and Georgia Tech, three run-heavy triple-option teams who just didn’t have the athletes to match the Tigers. Syracuse does.
I have been impressed with the improvement Syracuse has made defensively this year, which I think is getting overlooked. Not only can Syracuse score with Clemson, they can get off the field, too. That was evident in Week 3 when they held Florida State to just 7 points and 240 total yards. I know Western Michigan scored 42 points on them in Week 1, but Syracuse got a huge early 34-7 lead and was simply playing prevent defense the rest of the way. They won’t be playing prevent against Clemson, they’ll be playing more aggressive like they did against FSU.
Plays on road teams (Syracuse) an excellent offensive team averaging 6.2 or more yards per play against a team with an excellent defense allowing 4.2 or fewer yards per play, after gaining 525 or more total yards in their previous game are 34-9 (79.1%) ATS over the last 10 seasons.
Clemson has only won three of its past 19 ACC games by more than 22 points. The Tigers are also 1-8 ATS in their last nine ACC games as a favorite of 20-plus points. The Orange are 5-0-1 ATS in their last six games following a win. The Orange are 6-1 ATS in their last seven road games. Roll with Syracuse Saturday.
|09-29-18||Temple v. Boston College -12.5||35-45||Loss||-100||44 h 22 m||Show|
15* CFB Saturday No-Doubt Rout on Boston College -12.5
A lot of bettors were high on Boston College coming into the season. It made sense because they finished last season very strong and had 16 starters back this season, including 10 on an explosive offense led by QB Anthony Brown and RB AJ Dillon. And their defense is stout year after year.
The Eagles delivered for bettors the first three weeks of the season, opening 3-0 SU & 3-0 ATS with wins and covers against UMass, Holy Cross and Wake Forest. But then they laid an egg last week at Purdue, losing 13-30 as 6-point favorites. And I think this is a perfect ‘buy low’ situation on the Eagles this week as only 12.5-point favorites over Temple.
Look for the Eagles to be in a sour mood all week in practice. They’re sitting on a big effort here. I still believe this is one of the best teams in the ACC and a legit contender. That loss to Purdue wasn’t as bad as it looked because Purdue was way better than the 0-3 record they had coming into that contest, losing three straight coin flip games. Purdue simply wanted it more, and Boston College was feeling fat and happy being ranked in the Top 25. They’ll be humbled this week, and a humbled team is a dangerous one.
We’ll ‘sell high’ on this Temple team this week. The Owls are coming off back-to-back wins and covers. They beat Maryland 35-14 on the road as 16-point underdogs. Then they beat Tulsa 31-17 as 6-point home favorites last week. Those two efforts quickly allowed most to overlook the fact that Temple had already been upset by Villanova 17-19 at home in Week 1 and Buffalo 29-36 at home in Week 2.
I think this Temple team is more like the one that lost to Villanova and Buffalo than the one that beat Maryland and Tulsa. And that win over a 2-10 Tulsa team from last year could not have been more misleading. Tulsa outgained Temple 403 to 300 for the game, or by 103 total yards. But the Golden Hurricane turned the ball over 5 times, including a 36-yard INT return TD and a 50-yard fumble return TD. I’m giving Temple zero credit for beating Tulsa at home in a game they should have lost. Boston College will be by far the best team that they’ve faced yet.
Boston College is 10-1 ATS when playing with 6 or less days’ rest over the last two seasons. The Eagles are 11-2-1 ATS in their last 14 games overall. Boston College is 8-0-1 ATS in its last nine games on field turf. The Owls are 1-4 ATS in their last five vs. ACC opponents.
Boston College is 5-0 SU & 5-0 ATS in its last five meetings with Temple, winning all five games by 17 points or more and by an average of 23.0 points per game. The Eagles get right this week with a blowout victory by two touchdowns or more. Bet Boston College Saturday.
|09-28-18||UCLA v. Colorado UNDER 61||Top||16-38||Win||100||54 h 16 m||Show|
20* UCLA/Colorado Pac-12 Late-Night BAILOUT on UNDER 61
Both Colorado and UCLA have had two weeks to prepare for this game as each is coming off a bye week. I actually think that strongly favors the defenses in this game getting that extra time to prepare for these offenses. And as a result, I expect a lower-scoring game than the oddsmakers are anticipating, so I’ll take the UNDER 61 here.
Colorado is putting up some big offensive numbers thus far, but that’s only because they’ve faced such a soft schedule of opposing defenses in Colorado State, Nebraska and New Hampshire. And despite playing a decent schedule of opposing offenses, the Buffaloes are only giving up 18.3 points, 373 yards per game and 4.9 yards per play.
This isn’t the Chip Kelly offense we saw at Oregon. UCLA has an atrocious offense and is seriously lacking talent. The Bruins have only averaged 17.3 points, 320 yards per game and 4.8 yards per play this season. That’s the biggest reason why they are 0-3 because their offense has been woeful, plus they’ve played a tough schedule.
But I have been impressed with what UCLA has done defensively despite facing Cincinnati, Oklahoma and Fresno State. The Bruins are holding those three offenses to an average of just 403 yards per game and 5.2 yards per play. Those three offenses average 6.3 yards per play on the season, so the Bruins are holding them to 1.1 yards per play less than their season averages.
The last two meetings in this series have gone well UNDER the total. Colorado beat UCLA 20-10 at home in 2016 with total of 56.5, going 26.5 points UNDER the number with only 30 combined points. Then last year UCLA won 27-23 at home for 50 combined points with a total of 66.5, going UNDER by 16.5 points. Now we’re seeing another total that is too high here at 61.
UCLA is 10-2 UNDER in its last 12 games after allowing 37 points or more in two straight games coming in. The Bruins are 32-13 UNDER in their last 45 games after a game where they committed four or more turnovers. The UNDER is 6-0 in Colorado’s last six Friday games. Bet the UNDER in this game Friday.
|09-28-18||Nationals v. Rockies -1.5||2-5||Win||100||8 h 58 m||Show|
15* MLB Friday No-Doubt Rout on Colorado Rockies -1.5 (+100)
The Colorado Rockies are coming up big here down the stretch. They are 7-0 in their last seven games overall with all seven wins coming by 2 runs or more. They have outscored the opposition 52-10 during this winning streak.
The Rockies now hold a one-game lead over the Dodgers for first place in the NL West and can win the division title over the weekend with this series with the Nationals. Washington has nothing to play for but pride and should offer little resistance.
The Rockies have the clear advantage on the mound tonight. Kyle Freeland has been one of the most underrated starters in baseball. He is 16-7 with a 2.84 ERA and 1.222 WHIP in 32 starts this season, including 9-2 with an impressive 2.36 ERA and 1.118 WHIP in 14 starts at Coors Field. Freeland is also 1-0 with a 3.72 ERA in two career starts against Washington.
Joe Ross will be making just his third start of the season for the Nationals tonight. Ross is 0-1 with a 4.09 ERA and 1.364 WHIP in two starts this season. He has posted a 9.64 ERA and 1.927 WHIP in one career start against Colorado, which came last season as he allowed 5 earned runs in 4 2/3 innings.
Freeland is 14-2 in his last 16 starts vs. teams whose hitters strike out 7 or more times per game. The Rockies are winning by 2.3 runs per game in this spot. The Rockies are 12-1 in Freeland’s last 13 starts overall. Take the Rockies on the Run Line Friday.
|09-27-18||Vikings +7 v. Rams||Top||31-38||Push||0||58 h 4 m||Show|
20* Vikings/Rams NFC Thursday No-Brainer on Minnesota +7
Had the Vikings not lost to the Bills last week, this line would have been in the -3.5 to -4 range in favor of the Los Angeles Rams. But since they lost, we are getting at least a field goal worth of value here. I simply believe that was a flat spot for the Vikings and actually had the Bills +17 as a premium play Sunday.
The Vikings were coming off a huge game against their biggest rivals in the Packers, in which they tied in Green Bay. And they had another massive game on deck Thursday on a short week here against the Rams. So it was easy to see the Vikings coming out flat. I think now they’ll be fired up and be playing with a chip on their shoulder this week, so we should get the best version of the Vikings, which is still one of the best teams in the NFL.
The Rams are clearly overvalued right now. They have opened 3-0 SU & 3-0 ATS, and everyone seems to be already crowning them Super Bowl champs. They have won their first three games by double-digits. However, those three wins came against teams who are now a combined 1-8 in the Raiders, Cardinals and Chargers. The Vikings will be by far the best team they have faced yet.
We saw what happened last year when the high-octane Rams’ offense went up against the best defense in the NFL. The Vikings won that game 24-7 at home as 2-point favorites. They held the Rams to just 254 total yards and outgained them by nearly 200 yards in the win.
I think this Vikings offense will get going again here against a Rams defense that is banged up right now. Two of their key acquisitions this offseason were corners Aqib Talib and Marcus Peters. Well, both Talib and Peters got injured in their 35-23 win over the Chargers last week. Talib is for sure out, while Peters is very questionable and unlikely to play.
Kirk Cousins will be able to dice up this undermanned Los Angeles secondary. Cousins has certainly lived up to the hype of the big contract thus far. He is completing 68.3% of his passes for 965 yards with seven touchdowns and only two interceptions through three games this year.
Mike Zimmer is 9-2 ATS vs. teams who average at least 375 yards per game on offense as the coach of Minnesota. Zimmer is 20-9 ATS as a dog as the coach of Minnesota. Zimmer is 45-24 ATS in all games as the coach of the Vikings. The Vikings are 23-9 ATS in their last 32 games following a loss. I trust Zimmer to have his team ready to put forth a big effort against the Rams in this one. Bet the Vikings Thursday.
|09-27-18||North Carolina +18 v. Miami-FL||10-47||Loss||-105||29 h 12 m||Show|
15* UNC/Miami ACC ANNIHILATOR on North Carolina +18
Certainly the start to the season was not a good one for North Carolina. They lost 17-24 at California and were trailing by three touchdowns at one point in their opener. Then they lost 19-41 at East Carolina as a 15-point favorite.
But I think those two results had this team undervalued moving forward. And they pulled off the upset as 3-point home underdogs to Pittsburgh last week. And that game was a bigger blowout than the final score showed as the Tar Heels outgained the Panthers by 84 yards. They racked up 486 total yards on a good Pitt defense.
Miami had a big season last year during its 10-0 start, but it got very lucky in close games. And the Hurricanes went on to lose their next four games to quality competition, including their 17-33 season-opening loss to LSU. They have rebounded with three straight wins since, but those have come against Savannah State, Toledo and FIU. And they only beat FIU 31-17 as 26-point home favorites last week. Now they’re laying an even bigger price here to UNC as 18-point favorites.
Plus, this is a UNC team that is going to be vastly improved this week from the simple fact that they get seven players back from suspension who missed the first three games this year. One of those is sophomore QB Chazz Surratt, who started for them last year. Senior DE Malik Carney is also back. He had two sacks against Cal in Week 1 and has had his suspension staggered. OL Brian Anderson was the No. 12 center in the country coming out of high school. If nothing else, these seven players will add some depth.
UNC has clearly had Miami’s number in recent years. The Tar Heels are just 2-3 SU but 4-1 ATS in the last five meetings. They covered as 21-point home underdogs in a 19-24 loss to Miami last year and actually outgained the Hurricanes. They won outright as 6-point road dogs in 2016 by a final of 20-13 and outgained the Hurricanes by nearly 100 yards. Larry Fedora and company just seem to get up for Miami every year.
Plays against home favorites of 10.5 to 21 points (Miami) - with a good run D that allows 100 or fewer rushing yards per game, after allowing one or less rushing yards per attempt last game are 42-13 (76.4%) ATS since 1992.
The Tar Heels are 10-2 ATS in their last 12 road games after allowing 17 points or more in the first half of two straight games. Fedora is a perfect 7-0 ATS vs. good punt return teams who average 12 or more yards per return as the coach of UNC. The Tar Heels are 4-0 ATS in their last four vs. a team with a winning record. UNC is 5-1-1 ATS in its last seven games overall. The Hurricanes are 1-6 ATS in their last seven conference games. I simply believe Miami is overvalued right now, while UNC is undervalued. Take North Carolina Thursday.
|09-27-18||Phillies v. Rockies -1.5||3-5||Win||106||3 h 48 m||Show|
15* MLB Thursday No-Doubt Rout on Colorado Rockies -1.5 (+106)
The Rockies are fighting for their postseason lives right now. They are actually a half-game ahead of the Dodgers for the NL West lead and can get a full game up with a win Thursday. They have 6-0 in their last six games overall with all six wins coming by 2 runs or more. They have outscored the opposition 47-7 during this winning streak.
The Phillies have officially been eliminated from the postseason for several days now and are playing like it. They are 0-7 in their last seven games overall. They have been outscored 34-4 by the Rockies in the first three games of this series. I expect more of the same here.
Antonio Senzatela is 4-5 with a 4.08 ERA in 12 starts this season. He is coming off back-to-back great starts, going 2-0 with a 1.50 ERA in his last two starts. He’ll be opposed by Jake Arrieta, who is 0-1 with an 8.25 ERA in his last three starts. Arrieta is also 2-2 with a 6.11 ERA in five career starts against Colorado.
The Phillies are 1-10 in their last 11 vs. a team with a winning record. Philadelphia is 7-23 in its last 30 road games. The Phillies are 2-7 in Arrieta’s last nine starts. The Rockies are 7-0 in their last seven vs. NL East teams. Colorado is 29-11 in its last 40 home games. Roll with the Rockies on the Run Line Thursday.
|09-26-18||Phillies v. Rockies -1.5||Top||0-14||Win||105||9 h 25 m||Show|
20* MLB Wednesday No-Doubt Rout on Colorado Rockies -1.5 (+105)
The Colorado Rockies are so close they can taste it. They are only a half-game behind the Dodgers for first place in the NL West and a half-game ahead of the Cardinals for the second wild card spot. They have a lot to play for right now and are stepping up to the plate.
The Rockies have gone 5-0 in their last five games overall with all five wins coming by two runs or more. They have outscored the opposition 33-7 during this winning streak. Meanwhile, the Phillies have officially been eliminated from the postseason recently and are playing like it. They are 0-6 in their last six games overall, getting outscored 20-4 by the Rockies throughout he first two games of this series.
German Marquez has been Colorado’s best starter since the All-Star Break. Marquez has 11 or more strikeouts in four of his last five starts, and he has allowed 3 or fewer runs in 11 consecutive turns. He is 5-2 with a 2.36 ERA with 14 walks and 98 K’s in 76 1/3 innings in this 11 starts. Marquez is also 3-1 with a 2.23 ERA in his last six home starts.
Nick Pivetta is 6-13 with a 4.60 ERA in 31 starts for the Phillies this season, including 3-5 with a 4.90 ERA in 14 road starts. Pivetta is also 0-2 with a 14.08 ERA and 2.477 WHIP in two career starts against the Rockies, giving up 12 earned runs and 19 base runners in 7 2/3 innings.
The Phillies are 4-22 in their last 26 games vs. a right-handed starter. Philadelphia is 0-9 in its last nine vs. a team with a winning record. The Phillies are 0-4 in Pivetta’s last four starts. The Rockies are 6-0 in their last six vs. NL East opponents. Colorado is 5-1 in Marquez’s last six home starts. Bet the Rockies on the Run Line Wednesday.
|09-25-18||Pirates v. Cubs -136||Top||6-0||Loss||-136||10 h 32 m||Show|
20* NL Central GAME OF THE MONTH on Chicago Cubs -136
The Chicago Cubs will be highly motivated for a victory tonight. They are coming off an upset loss to the Pirates yesterday and are now just 1.5 games ahead of the Brewers in the NL Central. Not only are they trying to win the NL Central, they are also trying to secure the top seed in the NL and home-field advantage.
The Cubs have a big advantage on the mound over the Pirates. Mike Montgomery is 5-4 with a 3.25 ERA in 17 starts this season, including 2-1 with a 2.70 ERA in six home starts. Montgomery has never lost to the Pirates, going 3-0 with a 0.96 ERA and 0.857 WHIP In three career starts against them.
Chris Archer has been a big disappointment this season. He is 5-8 with a 4.55 ERA and 1.391 WHIP in 26 starts, including 4-6 with a 4.61 ERA and 1.415 WHIP in 15 road starts. The Pirates certainly lost the trade with the Rays when they made the move to get Archer before the deadline.
The Pirates are 0-4 in Archer’s last four road starts. The Cubs are 25-8 in their last 33 during Game 2 of a series. Chicago is 4-1 in Montgomery’s last five starts. The Cubs are 75-35 in their last 110 games following a loss. Bet the Cubs Tuesday.
|09-24-18||Phillies v. Rockies -1.5||Top||1-10||Win||106||8 h 32 m||Show|
20* MLB Monday No-Doubt Rout on Colorado Rockies -1.5 (+106)
The Colorado Rockies are 1.5 games behind the Los Angeles Dodgers in the race for the NL West title. They are also just one game behind the St. Louis Cardinals in the chase for the second wild card spot. They have a lot to play for right now.
The Philadelphia Phillies had the second-best record in the NL on August 5th, but have imploded since, going 15-29 for the worst record in the NL during that stretch. And the Phillies were just swept by the Braves in four games in Atlanta, which officially eliminated them from postseason contention. I question their mental state over the final week of the season and expect them to pack it in.
Philadelphia’s Zach Eflin will get rocked tonight. He is 3-4 with a 5.07 ERA in 11 road starts this season. Eflin is 1-1 with a 7.50 ERA and 1.750 WHIP in two career starts against Colorado. Jon Gray gets the ball for the Rockies. He has been great for them in the second half of the season.
The Rockies are 26-11 in their last 37 home games. Colorado is 11-3 in Gray’s last 14 starts. Philadelphia is 0-5 in Eflin’s last five road starts. The Phillies are 1-7 in Eflin’s last eight starts vs. NL West opponents. Philadelphia is 0-7 in its last seven vs. a team with a winning record. The Phillies are 7-20 in their last 27 road games. Bet the Rockies on the Run Line Monday.
|09-24-18||Steelers v. Bucs OVER 53.5||30-27||Win||100||146 h 52 m||Show|
15* Steelers/Bucs ESPN Total DOMINATOR on OVER 53.5
The Tampa Bay Bucs have been the surprise of the NFL through two weeks. Not for their defense, but for Ryan Fitzpatrick and the offense. They are 2-0 behind that offense that scored 48 points against a good Saints defense in Week 1 and followed it up with 27 points against a great Eagles defense in Week 2.
The Bucs haven’t been able to run the football, so they’ve relied solely on Fitzpatrick, which is great for OVER bettors. He threw for 417 yards and 4 touchdowns against the Saints in Week 1. Then he threw for 42 yards and 4 touchdowns with an interception against the Eagles in Week 2. The Bucs are loaded with weapons at receiver in DeSean Jackson, Mike Evans, O.J. Howard and Chris Godwin. It’s nice to see this offense living up to their potential.
The Bucs had one of the worst defenses in the NFL last season. It appears that hasn’t changed this year, either. They are giving up 30.5 points and 443.5 yards per game, including 6.8 yards per play thus far. The Steelers should be able to take advantage and put up a big number here.
Pittsburgh hasn’t had any problem moving the football on offense this season. The Steelers are averaging 29.0 points and 473.5 yards per game in their two games against the Chiefs and Browns. But their defense has been atrocious since losing Ryan Shazier to a season-ending injury last year. And it has carried over into 2018 as the Steelers are giving up 31.5 points and 388 yards per game this year.
Star CB Joe Haden missed last week for the Steelers and could be out again this week. The Bucs are playing without LB Kendell Beckwith and CB Vernon Hargreaves, and they could be without both CB Brent Grimes and DT Vita Vea again this week.
Plays on the OVER on road teams against the total (Pittsburgh) - off an upset loss as a home favorite, in the first month of the season are 48-19 (71.6%) over the last 10 seasons. The OVER is 7-1 in Steelers last eight games on grass. The OVER is 4-1 in Bucs last five vs. a team with a losing record. Bet the OVER in this game Monday.
|09-23-18||Patriots v. Lions OVER 51.5||10-26||Loss||-106||121 h 2 m||Show|
15* Pats/Lions NBC Sunday Night BAILOUT on OVER 51.5
Expect plenty of offensive fireworks Sunday night inside the dome at Ford Field between the Patriots and Lions. This game should see touchdowns in bunches and should easily sail OVER this 51.5-point total. I rarely take overs this high, but this is a new NFL and this one I believe to be worth it.
The Lions clearly have a woeful defense again this season. They are giving up 39 points per game and 6.3 yards per play through two games against the Jets and 49ers. Offensively, the Lions have no running game again this season, putting everything on Matthew Stafford’s shoulders. That’s good for OVER bettors. They are averaging 314 passing yards per game through two games.
New England has played two tough defenses already to start the season in the Texans and Jaguars. That’s why the Patriots are only averaging 23.5 points per game thus far. But the Lions have one of the worst defenses in the NFL, and their offense will get right here.
The problem for the Patriots dating back to the Super Bowl is that their defense just isn’t as good as it has been in year’s past. They gave up 41 points to the Eagles in the Super Bowl. Then they gave up 20 to a banged-up Texans offense in Week 1 before allowing a whopping 31 points and 481 yards to a bad Jacksonville offense in Week 2. Blake Bortles threw for 377 yards and 4 touchdowns on them!
Detroit is 17-4 OVER in its last 21 home games off a road cover where they lost straight up as an underdog. Bill Belichick is 14-3 OVER off an upset loss by 10 points or more as a favorite as the coach of the Patriots. The OVER is 8-2 in Lions last 10 home games. Take the OVER in this game Sunday night.
|09-23-18||Cowboys v. Seahawks -1||Top||13-24||Win||100||118 h 3 m||Show|
20* NFC GAME OF THE WEEK on Seattle Seahawks -1
Seattle is a team I’ve faded with success each of the first two weeks of the season because I wasn’t very high on them coming into the year. And I won with the Broncos -2.5 in Week 1 and the Bears -3 in Week 2 going against them. I thought they were overvalued coming into the year, and I was right. But I had to sweat out both of those games as they lost by 3 at Denver and by 7 at Chicago, only after a pick-six by the Bears that was the difference.
Now, after an 0-2 start, I believe the Seahawks to be undervalued this week at home against the Cowboys. The look-ahead line for this game was Seattle -3 on Monday morning prior to the Bears’ game, and now they are only -1 after the Bears’ game. There’s some value here because of it. Their defense played better than I expected last week as they held the Bears to just 271 total yards. And their offense is moving the ball fine once they get Russell Wilson in up-tempo situations, which I look for them to do more of this week.
But the key here is that Seattle played its first two games of the season on the road. Now the Seahawks return home, where the 12th man is the real deal and they are one of the toughest teams in the NFL to beat at home. Plus, they’ll be highly motivated here for a win with essentially their season on the line. Look for a big effort from the Seahawks this week.
The Cowboys come in overvalued here off their 20-13 win over the Giants on Sunday Night Football last week. But the Giants are clearly a bad team this year. And this Dallas offense did little after its opening TD drive on a long pass play to Tavon Austin on broken coverage. Dallas didn’t score until the 4th quarter in Week 1 against the Panthers in an 8-16 loss. It’s a Dallas offense that is only averaging 14 points and 265 total yards per game thus far.
Pete Carroll is 10-2 ATS off two or more consecutive losses as the coach of Seattle. Carroll is 11-2 ATS in September home games as the coach of the Seahawks. Carroll is 43-26 ATS in all home games as the coach of Seattle. The Seahawks are 10-4-2 ATS in their last 16 games following a loss. Take the Seahawks Sunday.
|09-23-18||Rockies +113 v. Diamondbacks||2-0||Win||113||5 h 2 m||Show|
15* MLB Sunday PLAY OF THE DAY on Colorado Rockies +113
The Rockies should not be underdogs to the Arizona Diamondbacks today. They are in an NL pennant race with the Dodgers and fighting to make the playoffs. The Diamondbacks are eliminated from postseason contention and have gone 1-6 in their last seven games overall to reflect that. They can’t be trusted to be favorites here.
Kyle Freeland has been one of the most underrated starters in baseball this season. He is 15-7 with a 2.95 ERA in 31 starts, including 2-0 with a 2.84 ERA in his last three starts. He has won five of his seven career starts against the Diamondbacks.
Zack Godley has posted a 4.82 ERA and 1.443 WHIP in 30 starts this season in what has clearly been a down year for him. He has really struggled of late, going 0-3 with a 9.23 ERA and 2.052 WHIP in his last three starts. Godley allowed 5 earned runs in 4 innings of a 2-13 loss to the Rockies in his last start against them on September 10th.
The Rockies are 20-7 in Freeland’s last 27 starts, including 10-1 in his last 11 starts vs. an NL team with an on base percentage of .325 or worse. Colorado is 8-1 in Freeland’s last nine starts vs. NL West opponents. The Diamondbacks are 1-5 in Godley’s last six starts. Arizona is 8-20 in its last 28 games overall. Roll with the Rockies Sunday.
|09-23-18||Saints +3 v. Falcons||43-37||Win||102||115 h 38 m||Show|
15* Saints/Falcons NFC South ANNIHILATOR on New Orleans +3
This is a clear ‘buy low’ opportunity on the New Orleans Saints Sunday as field goal underdogs to the Atlanta Falcons. There were big expectations for the Saints coming into the season as many felt they were Super Bowl contenders. And they were priced like it in their first two home games.
But the Saints fell flat on their faces in Week 1, losing 40-48 to the Tampa Bay Bucs as 10-point favorites. Then they failed to cover as 9.5-point favorites and were really fortunate to win 21-18 over the Cleveland Browns. So they basically go from being double-digit favorites two straight weeks to now 3-point underdogs, which is a 13-point adjustment.
I still think the Saints are one of the best teams in the NFL and that rough start will wake them up moving forward. And clearly the Bucs are better than they were getting credit for coming into the season because they followed up their win over the Saints with a dominant 27-21 win over the defending Super Bowl champion Eagles in Week 2. That was a 20-point game before the Eagles made it interesting in the 4th quarter. And the Browns are better than expected too as they tied the Steelers in OT and gave the Saints all they wanted.
The Falcons couldn’t beat an undermanned Eagles team in Week 1, losing 12-18 despite being favored on the road. Then they beat the Panthers 31-24 last week, but it’s worth noting the Panthers were missing several key players along the offensive line, at LB and at TE. And the Panthers had the ball with a chance to tie in the closing seconds still.
The Saints are almost fully healthy and will be a tough challenge for the Falcons this week. I believe the Saints are the better team right now, especially when you consider the significant injuries to the Falcons. Atlanta is missing two of its best defensive players in S Keanu Neal and LB Deion Jones to season-ending injuries. The Falcons are also without star RB Devonta Freeman with a knee injury. I don’t think the Falcons have what it takes to beat the Saints without those three guys, let alone win by margin and cover this 3-point spread.
Quietly, the Saints have been a better bet on the road than at home over the last few seasons. Indeed, the Saints are 14-5 ATS in their last 19 road games. The Falcons are just 5-24 ATS in their last 29 home games off a home win. In fact, they are losing 19.7 to 24.6 in this spot, or by nearly 5 points per game. They haven’t been able to follow up success with more success at home. Roll with the Saints Sunday.
|09-23-18||Raiders +3.5 v. Dolphins||Top||20-28||Loss||-115||115 h 38 m||Show|
20* AFC GAME OF THE WEEK on Oakland Raiders +3.5
I love this situation for the Oakland Raiders. We are getting a motivated 0-2 team up against an fat and happy 2-0 team in the Miami Dolphins. I’ll back the more motivated team almost every time, especially when I feel the 0-2 team is actually the better squad, which is the case here.
Oakland had a 13-10 lead over the L.A. Rams before imploding with three second-half turnovers in Week 1. Oakland had a 12-0 lead over the Broncos before missing an extra points and letting Denver come back in the second half, losing 20-19 on a last-second field goal with the extra point being the difference.
Well, Denver and the LA Rams have two of the best defenses in the NFL, and the Raiders actually had great success offensively against them. They had 395 total yards against the Rams and 373 total yards against the Broncos. They are averaging 384.0 yards per game and 6.3 yards per play on offense. Derek Carr went 29-of-32 passing for 288 yards and a score against that vaunted Denver pass D last week.
Not only do I believe the Dolphins are the worst 2-0 team in the NFL right now, they are still among the worst NFL teams in general this season. They are starting to get too much respect from oddsmakers this week as 3.5-point home favorites here against the Raiders. And they are reading the press clippings and feeling good about themselves. I think they will fall flat on their faces this week.
The two wins have come against the Titans and Jets, also two of the worst teams in the NFL. They survived a seven-hour marathon at home against the Titans in Week 1, and an injury to Marcus Mariota aided their win. Then last week they were thoroughly outplayed by the Jets, but found a way to win 20-12. They managed just 257 total yards against the Jets while giving up 362, getting outgained by 105 total yards. They have simply been fortunate in those two games by forcing a combined six turnovers. It’s a Miami offense that is averaging just 299.5 yards per game and 5.4 per play this season.
Oakland is 23-9 ATS in its last 32 road games off a loss by 6 points or less. Miami is 6-20 ATS in its last 26 games off an upset win over a division rival as an underdog. John Gruden is 20-8 ATS off a loss by 3 points or less in all games he has coached. The Dolphins are 16-45-3 ATS in their last 64 home games vs. a team with a losing road record. Miami is 4-22 ATS in its last 26 games after allowing more than 250 passing yards in its previous game.
Plays on road teams (Oakland) - off a loss to a division rival, in the first month of the season, after closing out last season with three or more straight losses are 39-15 (72.2%) ATS since 1993. We are buying low on Oakland and selling high on Miami this week. Bet the Raiders Sunday.
|09-23-18||Bills +17.5 v. Vikings||27-6||Win||100||115 h 38 m||Show|
15* NFL Sunday Undervalued Underdog on Buffalo Bills +17.5
The Buffalo Bills couldn’t be more undervalued than they are right now. The betting public wants nothing to do with them after their 0-2 start, which featured a 3-47 loss at Baltimore in Week 1 and a 20-31 home loss to the Los Angeles Chargers in Week 2. That’s why this spread has been inflated as oddsmakers have no choice but to make it this high in hopes of getting even action on both sides. The public will still back the Vikings at this massive price, but the sharp money will be on the Bills this week.
Buffalo at least looked like a competent offense against the Chargers last week with rookie Josh Allen at quarterback. Allen went 18-of-33 passing for 245 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions, while also rushing for 32 yards on eight carries in the loss. The Bills were only outgained by 56 yards in that game and were more competitive than the final score would suggest.
This is the ultimate sandwich game for the Vikings this week. They are coming off a draining 29-29 tie against the Green Bay Packers in which they probably should have lost in regulation, but then they should have won in OT. Their kicker let them down and they signed Dan Bailey this week. But now they can’t help but look ahead to a Thursday night showdown with the Los Angeles Rams on the road next week. They won’t be giving the Bills their full attention, and as a result it will make it very difficult to cover this 17.5-point spread.
Buffalo is 53-29 ATS in its last 82 games following two or more consecutive ATS losses. The price is right to back the Bills this week as 17.5-point underdogs to the Vikings. You rarely see numbers this big in the NFL. And the spot couldn’t be worse for the Vikings this week. Bet the Bills Sunday.
|09-22-18||Eastern Michigan +12 v. San Diego State||20-23||Win||100||44 h 23 m||Show|
15* Eastern Michigan/SDSU Late-Night BAILOUT on Eastern Michigan +12
This is a very bad spot for the San Diego State Aztecs. They are getting a lot of respect from oddsmakers now after their upset win over Arizona State last week. But it was a Sun Devils team in a flat spot off their own upset win over Michigan State the week prior. And now SDSU won’t be able to help but look ahead to their huge showdown with Boise State on deck. This is the classic sandwich game, and I expect the Aztecs to be flatter than a pancake. That will make it very difficult for them to cover this 12-point spread, let alone win the game.
Eastern Michigan has flown under the radar over the past few seasons under Chris Creighton. The Eagles made their first bowl game since 1987 in 2016 and went 7-6. They were better than their 5-7 record showed last year. And now they have 13 starters back this season and have already outperformed expectations.
Eastern Michigan opened with a resounding 51-17 win over Monmouth. Then they went on the road in Week 2 and upset Purdue 20-19 as 15-point underdogs. Last week they were on the road again and lost to a very good Buffalo team 28-35 as 3-point dogs. But they weren’t overmatched in that game as they actually outgained Buffalo in that contest. I had Buffalo last week and had to sweat that one out.
That’s the thing about this Eagles squad, they just don’t get blown out. In fact, each of their last 10 losses have come by 12 points or less, including nine by 7 points or fewer. And each of their last 14 losses have come by 15 points or less. They aren’t going to be intimidated by this San Diego State squad after beating the likes of Rutgers and Purdue on the road over the past few seasons.
Eastern Michigan is 8-0 ATS when playing against a good team with a winning percentage between 60% and 75% over the last three seasons. The Eagles are 10-2 ATS as road underdogs over the last three years. Eastern Michigan is 14-3 ATS in its last 17 non-conference games. The Eagles are 7-0 ATS in their last seven games following an ATS loss. The Aztecs are 1-5 ATS in their last six vs. a team with a winning record. Roll with Eastern Michigan Saturday.
|09-22-18||East Carolina +21 v. South Florida||13-20||Win||100||42 h 2 m||Show|
15* CFB Saturday Undervalued Underdog on East Carolina +21
South Florida is being priced like the team that went a combined 21-4 over the previous two seasons. But that team was loaded, and Charlie Strong now has mostly his players instead of Willie Taggart’s. And Strong has an inexperienced bunch that returned just 11 starters this season. I have not been impressed with USF thus far, and they certainly shouldn’t be laying three touchdowns to East Carolina here Saturday.
USF opened with an underwhelming 34-14 win over Elon as 27.5-point favorites. Their 49-38 home win over Georgia Tech as 3.5-point dogs in Week 2 was a fluke. They were outgained by 176 yards and gave up 602 yards to the Yellow Jackets, trailing through three quarters and needing a miracle finish to pull off the upset. Then last week they trailed by 12 in the fourth quarter against a bad Illinois team and needed to score the final 17 points to win 24-19 as 14-point favorites.
Scottie Montgomery is in Year 3 at East Carolina, which is when teams usually show their most improvement under a new head coach. And I think it’s safe to say this team is Montgomery’s best yet after upsetting North Carolina 41-19 as 15-point underdogs in Week 2, covering the spread by 37 points. They racked up 510 total yards and held the Tar Heels to 395 in a dominant effort.
Now the Pirates have had two full weeks to prepare for South Florida after their game against Virginia Tech was cancelled last week. Look for a big effort from them because of it. And they have a knack for playing South Florida tough. Four of the last five meetings have been decided by 17 points or less. In their last two trips to USF, ECU lost by 16 but only trailed by 2 with under seven minutes left in 2016. And they won outright 28-17 back in 2014. I believe the Pirates will keep this one closer than expected. Take East Carolina Saturday.
|09-22-18||Stanford -2 v. Oregon||38-31||Win||100||42 h 52 m||Show|
15* Stanford/Oregon ABC ANNIHILATOR on Stanford -2
This used to be a great rivalry with Stanford and Oregon trading blows every year back when Chip Kelly around. But that’s no longer the case. Stanford has dominated the last two meetings. They won 52-27 on the road as 3-point favorites in 2016. They won 49-7 at home as 9.5-point favorites last year.
Now, Stanford is only a 2-point favorite in 2018 as oddsmakers are expecting a close game. I’m just not seeing it. Stanford is a legit contender to win the Pac-12. The Cardinal have been tested already and have passed with flying colors.
The Cardinal beat San Diego State 31-10 as 14-point home favorites. They shut down USC 17-3 as 4.5-point home favorites as well. So, they have been battle-tested, and it’s clear they have an elite defense. Offensively, star RB Bryce Love sat out last week and is now healthy and fresh for this huge game against Oregon. He will easily have his best game of the season here.
No team has faced an easier schedule than Oregon through the first three weeks. They beat Bowling Green in the opener. Then they beat Portland State, an FCS team that is 1-13 dating back to last season. Most concerning was Oregon’s 35-22 home win over San Jose State as 42.5-point favorites last week.
That mere 13-point win is a big concern considering San Jose State is one of the worst teams in the country. Now, the Ducks won’t be prepared to get smacked in the mouth like they will against Stanford this week due to their lack of competition up to this point. It’s going to be a big eye-opener for them.
This is also a big coaching mismatch with David Shaw over Mario Cristobal. I believe Cristobal is in over his head here. Also, Autzen Stadium isn’t what it once was back when Oregon was actually good. Stanford is 21-8-1 ATS in its last 30 games following an ATS loss. The Cardinal are 5-1 ATS in their last six vs. a team with a winning record. The Ducks are 3-12-1 ATS in their last 16 games following a win.
Cristobal is 0-7 ATS in home games off a home game in all games he has coached. Oregon is 0-6 ATS after allowing 100 or less rushing yards last game over the past two seasons. The Ducks are 0-7 ATS vs. teams who commit one or fewer turnovers per game over the last three seasons. Oregon is 1-9 ATS versus good offensive teams that average 5.9 or more yards per play over the last three years. Stanford is 6-0 ATS vs. good offensive teams that average 5.9 or more yards per play over the last two seasons. These last five trends combine for a 35-1 system backing the Cardinal. Bet Stanford Saturday.
|09-22-18||Texas Tech +14 v. Oklahoma State||Top||41-17||Win||100||41 h 14 m||Show|
20* Big 12 GAME OF THE MONTH on Texas Tech +14
Many expected Oklahoma State to be down this season because they lost a ton of talent on offense. But they have proved their doubters wrong thus far by opening 3-0. The Missouri State and South Alabama wins were nothing to be proud of, but their 44-21 win over Boise State at home last week was certainly a statement game. Keep in mind that Oklahoma State only outgained Boise State by 8 yards in that contest, though.
Now, after ‘upsetting’ Boise State as 1-point underdogs, the Cowboys are back to getting respect from oddsmakers. And I think it’s too much respect. I still question how good this team really is. And Boise State isn’t the program it once was under Chris Petersen. I think the Cowboys are getting way more credit for that win than they deserve. They’re being asked to lay two touchdowns in their Big 12 opener against Texas Tech this week.
Texas Tech was written off after its 27-47 season-opening loss to Ole Miss. But this team has shown some big-time resiliency the last two weeks. They throttled Lamar 77-0, which OK it’s Lamar. But then last week was their real impressive win against Houston 63-49. They racked up a whopping 704 total yards, including 605 passing, against a good Houston defense.
Clearly Texas Tech has the offensive firepower to keep up with Oklahoma State. That has shown in recent meetings, too. Texas Tech is 3-1 ATS in the last four meetings despite going 0-4 SU. They lost 34-41 at home as 10-point dogs in 2017, 44-45 on the road as 10.5-point dogs in 2016, 53-70 at home as 2-point dogs in 2015, and lost 35-45 on the road as 14.5-point dogs in 2014. “Last year we had our chances, so we feel like we’ve closed the gap some compared to when we first got here.” Head coach Kliff Kingsbury said.
Kingsbury is on the hot seat and needs a signature win. The Red Raiders have shown they are behind him 100% with their effort over the last two weeks. And now they want some revenge after losing nine straight to the Cowboys in this series. I think they can not only cover, but pull off the upset as well. This is a Texas Tech team that returned 16 starters from last year, including 10 on defense. This should be one of their best chances to actually beat Oklahoma State in recent years because of all the Cowboys lost with just 5 starters back on offense and all of their key playmakers gone from last year.
The Red Raiders are 21-6-1 ATS in their last 28 September games. Texas Tech is 8-2 ATS in its last 10 games after scoring more than 40 points in their previous game. Kingsbury is 8-1 ATS off two straight non-conference games as the coach of Texas Tech. The Red Raiders are 6-0 ATS off a home game where both teams scored 31 or more points over the last three seasons.
Plays on road teams (Texas Tech) with an excellent offense that averages 6.2 or more yards per play against a team with a defense that allows 4.2 or fewer yards per play, after gaining 525 or more yards in their previous game are 33-9 (78.6%) ATS over the last 10 seasons. Bet Texas Tech Saturday.
|09-22-18||Louisiana Tech +21 v. LSU||21-38||Win||100||41 h 2 m||Show|
15* CFB Saturday Non-Conference KNOCKOUT on Louisiana Tech +21
This is a bad spot here for the LSU Tigers. They have overachieved thus far with two upset wins over top-10 teams in Miami and Auburn. And after their big win at Auburn last week, this is going to be a flat spot for them hosting Louisiana Tech as 21-point favorites. I think the Tigers are way overvalued right now due to their 3-0 start.
We saw them fall pretty flat in Week 2 with their 31-0 win over SE Louisiana, failing to cover as 41.5-point favorites. Their offense is still an issue as they only managed 31 points and 335 total yards against that Southern Utah squad. And they will be hard-pressed to top those numbers here against a much better Louisiana Tech team.
Skip Holtz is one of my favorite coached in college football. He got has gotten Louisiana Tech to at least 9 wins in three of the past four seasons. After a 7-6 season last year with just 11 returning starters, Holtz brought back 15 starters this season and has one of the best teams in Conference USA.
Louisiana Tech opened its season with a. 30-26 win at South Alabama. That game was a bigger blowout than the final score showed as the Bulldogs outgained USA by 132 yards. And then they beat Southern 54-17 at home in Week 2 before getting a bye last week. So now they’ve had two full weeks to prepare for this game against LSU. And you can tell from the press clippings that this team is hungry to beat their in-state foe.
Tech cornerback Amik Robertson, sho said he chose the Bulldogs over the Tigers when he was recruited out of Thibodaux High School in Louisiana, call this a ‘statement game’. “It’s a huge game, not just for me, but for everyone on the team,” Roberston said. “I probably wasn’t the only person on my team that had interest from LSU. LSU has passed on a lot of players on this team and they also have a point to prove. And not just proving to LSU, but proving to Louisiana Tech that we can play with anybody.”
Last season, the Bulldogs proved they could play with another SEC school when they led at South Carolina until the Gamecocks prevailed 17-16 on a field goal with four seconds remaining. In fact, the Bulldogs are 9-4 ATS in in their last 13 games as underdogs against Power 5 schools.
“I’m not really proud that we lost that game, but I’m king of happy that it did happen,” Roberston said. “Now we know what it takes - finishing at the end, make those important plays. We had a lot of busted players toward the end, not at the beginning. That’s why we got to go into this game and play 60 minutes of Louisiana Tech football.”
Those are some quotes I can certainly get behind. Not only does Louisiana Tech think they can be competitive in this game, they think they can win it. And LSU lost outright to Troy in a similar spot last year as 20.5-point home favorites. LSU is now 2-7 ATS in its past nine games as a 20-plus point favorites. The Tigers just don’t have the kind of offensive firepower it takes to cover these massive spreads.
LSU is 8-19 ATS in its last 27 games as a home favorites of 14.5 to 21 points. The Tigers are 0-6 ATS in September home games over the last three seasons. Holtz is 30-15 ATS as a road underdog in all games as a head coach. The Bulldogs are 7-2 ATS in their last nine vs. SEC opponents.
Plays on road underdogs (Louisiana Tech) - off a home win, with 4-plus more returning starters and their QB returning against a team with a new QB are 27-7 (79.4%) ATS over the last five seasons. Bet Louisiana Tech Saturday.
|09-22-18||Arizona v. Oregon State +7||Top||35-14||Loss||-110||38 h 53 m||Show|
20* CFB Saturday UPSET SHOCKER on Oregon State +7
Many expected Oregon State to be one of the worst Power 5 teams in the country this season. After all, this was a team that was coming off a 1-11 season last year and with a new head coach in former Beaver QB Jonathan Smith. Well, Smith is getting the most out of this team, and I believe the Braves are vastly underrated right now entering Week 4.
Losing 31-77 at Ohio State in the opener wasn’t that bad of a loss. And I came away impressed that they could put up 31 points on that defense. They then beat Southern Utah 48-25 and covered as 13.5-point favorites. And they should have beaten Nevada last week, losing 35-37 as 4-point underdogs. But they committed three turnovers in that game and missed two field goals, including a chip shot that would have won it in the closing seconds. They outgained Nevada by 183 yards in that contest.
This is a talented Oregon State offense that can hang with mediocre teams like Arizona. The Beavers are averaging 38.0 points and 527.0 yards per game. That’s bad news for an Arizona defense that has been torched this season, giving up 34.7 points and 469 yards per game. I don’t know how Arizona can be laying a touchdown on the road here with that defense.
Kevin Sumlin is one of the worst coaches in college football. He recruited great talent at Texas A&M, but could never get anything out of it after Johnny Manziel left. And now he’s been a big disappointment at Arizona thus far. The Wildcats are 1-2 SU & 1-2 ATS. They lost 23-28 at home to BYU as 11.5-point favorites, and were blasted 18-45 at Houston as 3.5-point dogs. They also beat Southern Utah at home 62-31, the same team that Oregon State faced and beat handily.
Arizona is 5-16 ATS in its last 21 road games, while Oregon State is 9-4 ATS in its last 13 home games. The Beavers are 13-4 ATS in the last 17 meetings, including 7-2 ATS in their last nine home meetings. The Wildcats are 1-8 ATS in conference road games over the last three seasons. The Beavers are 6-0 ATS in home games vs. teams who commit 60 or more penalty yards per game over the last three seasons. Roll with Oregon State Saturday.
|09-22-18||Texas A&M +27 v. Alabama||Top||23-45||Win||100||37 h 23 m||Show|
20* SEC GAME OF THE MONTH on Texas A&M +27
The Alabama Crimson Tide are the defending national champs. They are also the No. 1 team in the country. The betting public has been all over this team in the early going, and it has paid huge dividends. Alabama is off to a 3-0 SU & 3-0 ATS start this season. The public is going to continue to back them this week, and I think this is finally the game where the market has over-corrected itself. There’s value with Texas A&M as 27-point dogs in this matchup.
I question that strength of schedule to this point for Alabama, though. The win over Louisville doesn’t look any good now after Louisville nearly lost to Western Kentucky at home last week. They were outplayed badly in that game and won 20-17. And Ole Miss clearly isn’t that good, especially defensively. A win over Arkansas State is nothing special, either. This is a huge step up in class for Alabama this week.
Texas A&M has already played a team the caliber of Alabama and passed with flying colors. They only lost 26-28 at home to Clemson as 11.5-point underdogs. And you could argue that they should have won that game. They racked up 501 total yards against a very good Clemson defense, a defense that is probably better than this Alabama unit. QB Kellen Mound threw for 430 yards and three touchdowns without an interception against that Clemson defense.
No team upgraded at head coach more than Texas A&M this offseason. Kevin Sumlin could recruit talent to college station, but he didn’t know what do to with it. And now Sumlin is struggling at Arizona. Jimbo Fisher was a home run hire after winning a national championship at Florida State. He is already getting the most out of this talent as Texas A&M is 3-0 ATS this season and hitting on all cylinders. The cupboard certainly wasn’t bare as 16 starters returned from last year’s squad.
Mond has already thrown for 824 yards with a 6-to-0 TD/INT ratio. This is an offense that is putting up 44.3 points, 596.3 yards per game and 7.5 yards per play. The defense is also playing very well, limiting opponents to 15.0 points and 331 yards per game. I think this team really believes they can hang with Alabama, and few teams have been as competitive against Alabama as Texas A&M over the past several years.
Alabama and Texas A&M have played in six consecutive seasons since the Aggies joined the SEC. Well, Alabama has only beaten Texas A&M by more than 19 points once in those six meetings. Texas A&M only lost 19-27 at home to Alabama as 25-point dogs last year. I think getting them as 27-point road underdogs is an absolute gift from oddsmakers this week. Fisher will have his team ready to go Saturday.
Plays on road underdogs of 21.5 or more points (Texas A&M) - after outgaining an opponent by 175 or more total yards in their previous game, with an experienced QB returning as a starter, in the first month of the season are 30-9 (76.9%) ATS over the last 10 seasons.
Texas A&M is 9-1 ATS in the first month of the season over the last three seasons. The Aggies are 7-0 ATS after playing a home game over the last two years. Texas A&M is 20-5-1 ATS in its last 26 September games. Alabama is 1-4 ATS in its last five conference games. It’s time to ‘sell high’ on the Crimson Tide this week. Take Texas A&M Saturday.
|09-22-18||Phillies v. Braves -141||3-5||Win||100||3 h 46 m||Show|
15* MLB Saturday PLAY OF THE DAY on Atlanta Braves -141 The Atlanta Braves will be highly motivated for a victory at home today agains the reeling Philadelphia Phillies. They can clinch the NL East title with a win here Saturday afternoon. The Phillies have gone 4-9 in their last 13 games overall and won’t offer much resistance. They know their fate is already sealed. I’ll gladly back the underrated Mike Foltynewicz in this matchup. He is 11-10 with a 2.90 ERA and 1.125 WHIP in 29 starts this season. Folty has allowed 2 earned runs or fewer in seven of his last eight starts against the Phillies, including one or fewer six times. He is 3-2 with a 2.51 ERA in his last eight starts against Philadelphia, giving up just 12 earned runs in 43 innings. The Phillies are 6-20 in their last 26 games vs. a right-handed starter. Philadelphia is 24-58 in its last 82 road games vs. a team with a. Winning home record. The Braves are 12-2 in their last 14 home games vs. a team with a losing road record. Atlanta is 7-1 in its last eight games following a win. Philadelphia is 1-5 in its last six meetings in Atlanta. Take the Braves Saturday.
|09-21-18||Washington State v. USC -3.5||Top||36-39||Loss||-108||50 h 39 m||Show|
20* Pac-12 GAME OF THE MONTH on USC -3.5
This feels like a ‘rally the troops’ game for USC. And that has been evident in practice this week. Clay Helton has stated that this has been the best week of practice this season. Players are fired up and ready to show that they aren’t as bad as their 1-2 record would suggest. They simply need a win here.
It’s easy to see how USC is 1-2. After all, they were road underdogs in each of their last two games with a 3-17 loss at Stanford as 4.5-point dogs, and a 14-37 loss at Texas as 3-point dogs. Those are two very tough places to play, so they are forgivable. I think we are getting a discount on USC this week because the betting public wants nothing to do with them now after those two losses.
But those two games weren’t the blowouts that they seemed. USC was only outgained by 10 yards at Stanford and simply couldn’t capitalize on a handful of trips to the Stanford side of the 50. And they were only outgained by 77 yards at Texas. They actually led that game 14-3 and played well defensively. But Texas got a special teams TD on a blocked FG return that really changed the course of that game. Also, Texas should have been called for a safety that wasn't called. And USC was stopped on 4th-and-goal from the 1.
Washington State hasn’t played anyone. But they’re 3-0 and getting a lot of respect now. They beat Wyoming 41-19 but they only led 20-19 going into the 4th quarter before outscoring Wyoming 21-0 in the final period. And Wyoming clearly isn’t very good because they were blown out 13-40 at Missouri and barely beat Wofford 17-14 at home. Then they beat San Jose State 31-0 and Eastern Washington 59-24. Big deal. You won’t find many teams with easier schedules thus far than that.
So, USC is clearly the more battle-tested team. They will be ready for this game. And they have an advantage playing on a short week at home not having to travel. Plus, USC wants revenge from a 30-27 loss at Washington State last year as 4.5-point favorites. But the Cougars only return 10 starters from that team and are one of the least-experienced teams in the country.
USC is now a perfect 14-0 straight up at home over the last three seasons. In fact, Clay Helton is 17-0 SU at home as the coach of USC. They have a better home-field advantage than they get credit. I think after two tough road tests, freshman QB JT Daniels will have his coming out party here in front of his home fans against a suspect Washington State defense. The Trojans will be playing with a chip on their shoulder in this one. Bet USC Friday.
|09-21-18||Orioles v. Yankees OVER 9||8-10||Win||100||6 h 11 m||Show|
15* MLB Friday Total DOMINATOR on Orioles/Yankees OVER 9
Expect plenty of offensive fireworks here today between the Orioles and Yankees. This is a New York lineup that is now back to basically full strength, but they aren’t getting treated like it with a total this low. And the Orioles certainly will be motivated to beat their AL East rivals here down the stretch.
Yefrey Ramirez has been awful for the Orioles. He is 1-6 with a 6.59 ERA and 1.626 WHIP in 10 starts this season, including 0-3 with an 11.66 ERA and 2.318 WHIP in four road starts. Ramirez is 0-2 with a 10.00 ERA and 2.222 WHIP in two starts against the Yankees this season.
C.C. Sabathia has faltered here down the stretch. He is 0-2 with a 9.29 ERA and 2.251 WHIP in his last three starts. He has allowed 11 earned runs and 24 base runners in 10 2/3 innings while averaging just 3.6 innings per start during this stretch. Even the Orioles should be able to touch him up here.
The OVER is 6-1 in Orioles last seven after scoring 2 runs or less in their previous game. The OVER is 4-1 in Orioles last five road games. The OVER is 20-6-1 in Yankees last 27 home games vs. a team with a road winning % of less than .400. The OVER is 34-16-1 in the last 51 meetings. The OVER is 19-7 in the last 26 meetings in New York. The OVER is 5-1 in Sabathia’s last six starts against the Orioles. Take the OVER in this game Friday.
|09-20-18||Jets v. Browns -3||Top||17-21||Win||100||50 h 59 m||Show|
20* Jets/Browns AFC Thursday No-Brainer on Cleveland -3
The Cleveland Browns have held their own against two of the best teams in the NFL. They tied the Steelers in overtime in Week 1, and they should have beaten the Saints in Week 2 in an 18-21 loss. Kicker Zane Gonzalez missed two field goals and two extra points in that defeat last week, which was the difference.
I’ve been most impressed with what the Browns have been able to do defensively. Holding both the Steelers and the Saints to 21 points each is no small feat. They legitimately have one of the best defenses in the NFL, and now they will be up against the worst offense they’ve faced yet in the New York Jets this week.
They Jets opened their season with a misleading 48-17 win over the Lions. But that was a misleading result. For starters, their defensive players were tipped off to all of Matthew Stafford’s signals, which was a huge advantage. They forced five turnovers as a result and got defensive and special teams touchdowns in the win. The Jets came back last week and laid an egg 12-20 at home to the Dolphins.
So, the Jets have played two of the worst teams in the NFL in the Lions and Dolphins, while the Browns have played two of the best teams in the NFL in the Steelers and Saints. That preparation against that level of competition will make this seem like a much easier game for the Browns here. And they are starved for a win and it will be a rowdy atmosphere Thursday night in Cleveland as the fans pack the stands in hopes of ending this losing streak.
Schedule makers have done the Jets no favors here. They played on Monday Night Football in Week 1. And now have to play on Thursday in Week 3. That means they will be playing their 3rd game in 11 days, which is about as tough a situation as there is in the NFL. Don't be surprised if they are gassed by the second half of this one.
These teams played last year with the Jets winning 17-14 in Cleveland. That also puts the Browns in revenge mode. Plus, the Browns dominated that game, outgaining the Jets 419 to 212, or by 207 total yards. But they lost the turnover battle 3-1. Another lopsided box score this week will actually lead to a Browns’ victory because they are taking care of the football and getting turnovers this year. They have a +6 turnover differential through two games.
Todd Bowles is 0-7 ATS in road games off a division game as the coach of the Jets. New York is losing in this spot by 12.7 points per game. This is a 100% never lost system that we’ll back here tonight. Bet the Browns Thursday.
|09-20-18||Tulsa +7 v. Temple||17-31||Loss||-100||23 h 34 m||Show|
15* Tulsa/Temple ESPN ANNIHILATOR on Tulsa +7
The Tulsa Golden Hurricane are a vastly improved team this season over a year ago. They returned 15 starters this year. It’s a team that went 10-3 in 2016 but just 2-10 in 2017. I think they’re somewhere in between this year.
Tulsa beat Central Arkansas in the opener 38-27 as 11.5-point favorites. But that was a bigger blowout than the final score showed as the Tulsa outgained them by 223 total yards. Then in Week 2 Tulsa went toe-to-toe with Texas and only lost 21-28 as 22.5-point road underdogs.
I think the Golden Hurricane are undervalued this week due to their 20-29 home loss to Arkansas State as 2-point favorites last week. A lot of money came pouring in on Tulsa for that game as they flipped favorites because they opened as dogs. And now all that money wants nothing to do with them this week. I like getting a full touchdown with the Golden Hurricane here.
This Tulsa defense has played two really good offenses in Texas and Arkansas State and have held their own. This was the weakness of the team last year, but it’s a strength now. The Golden Hurricane are only allowing 377 yards per game and 5.3 yards per play. That’s way down from the 529 yards per game and 5.9 per play they allowed last season. And the offense is better than it has shown to this point.
I think Temple comes in overvalued due to its shocking 35-14 win at Maryland as 16-point underdogs last week. But keep in mind this is a Temple team that was upset 17-19 by Villanova as 14.5-point home favorites in Week 1. They were even outgained by 154 yards in that contest. They were also upset 29-36 as 4-point home favorites to Buffalo in Week 2 while getting outgained by 72 yards.
Temple has some serious injury issues coming into this one. They are without starting DL Dana Levine. Starting QB Frank Nutile, DL Quincy Roche, K Aaron Boumerhi, TE Kenny Yeboah, and LT James McHale are all listed as questionable for this game. That’s six potential starters they could be without for this game. Meanwhile, Tulsa is extremely healthy with only two players on the injury list, and only one is a starter in LB Robert Revels III who is questionable.
Philip Montgomery is 12-3 ATS as a road underdog as the coach of Tulsa. Montgomery is 10-1 ATS after a game where they forced one or fewer turnovers as the coach of Tulsa. Montgomery is a perfect 6-0 ATS after a game where they committed three or more turnovers as the coach of Tulsa. The Golden Hurricane have committed eight turnovers this season thus far otherwise they could easily be 3-0. Don’t be surprised if they pull the upset in this game tonight. Take Tulsa Thursday.
|09-20-18||Rays -131 v. Blue Jays||8-9||Loss||-131||8 h 14 m||Show|
15* MLB Thursday PLAY OF THE DAY on Tampa Bay Rays -131
The Rays just keep on winning and I’m going to ride them again today. They are 23-5 in their last 28 games overall. They are trying to chase down the A’s for the final wild card spot in the American League in the final two weeks of the season. They are playing like a very hungry team right now.
Ryan Stanek has posted a 2.50 ERA and 1.056 WHIP in his 26 starts this season for the Rays. Tampa Bay is 4-0 in Stanek’s four career starts against the Blue Jays, all of which have come in 2018. He has posted a 0.00 ERA and 0.563 WHIP in those four starts.
The Toronto Blue Jays are playing for nothing but pride at this point. Sam Gaviglio has been a disappointment, going 2-8 with a 5.38 ERA and 1.476 WHIP in 21 starts, including 0-2 with a 7.43 ERA and 1.650 WHIP in his last three starts. Gaviglio is also 1-2 with a 4.61 ERA and 1.391 WHIP in three career starts against Tampa Bay.
The Rays are 9-1 in their last 10 vs. AL East opponents. Tampa Bay is 7-1 in its last eight road games. The Blue Jays are 0-7 in Gaviglio’s last seven starts vs. a team with a winning record. Tampa Bay is 7-2 in the last nine meetings. Roll with the Rays Thursday.
|09-19-18||Rays -147 v. Rangers||Top||9-3||Win||100||3 h 56 m||Show|
20* MLB Wednesday No-Doubt Rout on Tampa Bay Rays -147
The Tampa Bay Rays gained a game on the A’s in the wild card yesterday. They are now just 5.5 games back. They have gone 22-5 in their last 27 games overall. Plays in that locker room believe they have a legitimate chance to get into the postseason, and they are playing like it.
With 20-game winner Blake Snell and a bullpen approach, the Rays remarkably have one of the best records in baseball. After Snell led them to victory yesterday, they’ll get back to the bullpen approach today, starting with Diego Castillo. He has posted a 2.92 ERA and 0.891 WHIP in his eight starts this season.
Texas is just 3-9 in its last 12 games overall and there’s not a lot to like about the Rangers right now. They have been shut out in back-to-back games. Yohander Mendez is 1-1 with a 5.54 ERA and 1.308 WHIP in three starts this season for Texas. He is getting a trial run here in these meaningless games for them.
The Rays are 7-1 in Castillo’s last eight starts. Tampa Bay is 14-2 in its last 16 vs. a team with a losing record. The Rays are 10-1 in their last 11 vs. AL West foes. The Rangers are 0-7 in their last seven vs. a team with a winning record. Bet the Rays Wednesday.
|09-18-18||Rays -1.5 v. Rangers||Top||4-0||Win||100||8 h 24 m||Show|
20* MLB Tuesday No-Doubt Rout on Tampa Bay Rays -1.5 (-125)
The Tampa Bay Rays are just 6.5 games back in the wild card and feel like they still have a chance. They are playing like it, too, going 21-5 in their last 26 games overall. Players in that locker room aren’t giving up until they are officially eliminated.
Now Tampa Bay sends starter Blake Snell to the mound tonight. Snell is 19-5 with a 2.03 ERA and 0.982 WHIP in 28 starts this season with 195 K’s in 164 innings. He is certainly deserving of the Cy Young Award in the American League for his efforts this year, especially pitching in the AL East. Snell is 1-0 with a 1.42 ERA and 0.790 WHIP in one career starts against Texas, which came earlier this season.
The Rangers are just 3-8 in their last 11 games overall. There’s not a lot to like about them right now. And Yovani Gallardo has been atrocious this season, especially of late. Gallardo is 8-5 in spite of a 5.94 ERA and 1.526 WHIP In 15 starts this season, including 1-2 with a 10.22 ERA and 2.028 WHIP in his last three starts. He is also 0-2 with an 8.38 ERA in his last two starts against the Rays, giving up 9 earned runs, 3 homers and 17 base runners in 9 2/3 innings.
Snell is 10-1 vs. AL West opponents over the last two seasons, and the Rays are winning these games by 2.1 runs per game on average. Tampa Bay is 9-1 in its last 10 vs. AL West foes. The Rangers are 0-6 in their last six vs. a team with a winning record. Bet the Rays on the Run Line Tuesday.
|09-17-18||Seahawks v. Bears -3||Top||17-24||Win||100||71 h 41 m||Show|
20* Seahawks/Bears ESPN Monday No-Brainer on Chicago -3
I expect the Chicago Bears to be one of the most improved teams in the NFL this season. They went just 5-11 last year, but Mitchell Trubisky had nobody to throw to, and the coaching staff didn’t have a clue. Yet, they managed to beat three of the better teams in the NFL in the Steelers, Panthers and Ravens, and they took both the Falcons and the Vikings down to the wire early in the season.
The Bears were competitive due to a defense that ranked 9th in scoring and 10th in total defense last year. That defense will be very good again, especially with the addition of former NFL Defensive Player of the Year Khalil Mack via trade with the Raiders. They gave up a lot to get him, but that won’t hurt them this season, only in the future.
Matt Nagy is the new head coach. He was the offensive coordinator for the Chiefs under Andy Reid, and he was the perfect hire for the Bears this offseason to inject some new life into the offense. Nagy will get the most out of Trubisky, who now has ample weapons to lead the offense. No team improved their playmakers more this offseason than Chicago.
The Bears already have a pair of talented backs in Jordan Howard and Tarik Cohen. But they added former Jacksonville No. 1 receiver Allen Robinson, who is primed for a bounce-back season after playing just one game in Jacksonville last year before getting injured. New slot receiver Taylor Gabriel has 4.3-40 speed and will be missed in Atlanta. Trey Burton was stuck behind Zach Ertz in Philadelphia at tight end, but now he’ll be playing the role Travis Kelce played in Nagy’s offensive in KC. They used their second-round pick on WR Anthony Miller out of Memphis as well.
The Bears certainly looked the part as the most improved team in the NFL when they jumped out to a 20-0 lead over Green Bay at Lambeau Field last week. But they took the foot off the gas late and allowed Aaron Rodgers and company to come back and win 21-20, though the Bears easily covered as 7.5-point dogs and we had them. Kyle Fuller dropped an easy INT on the Packers’ final drive that would have sealed the win. Look for the Bears to come back pissed off this week and redeem themselves on Monday Night Football against the Seattle Seahawks.
This is a Seahawks team I’m way down on this season for several reasons. I won on the Broncos -2.5 last week against them in a game that was an even bigger blowout than the final score showed. The Broncos outgained the Seahawks by 164 total yards and racked up 470 total yards on Seattle’s defense. But three Case Keenum interceptions kept Seattle in it.
The Seahawks are a team in transition. They ‘Legion of Boom’ is no longer. Richard Sherman is gone to the 49ers, and Kam Chancellor is out for the season. Earl Thomas just returned from his holdout last week, but he’s about all they got in the secondary. CB Byron Maxwell is on the IR with a hip injury. Not to mention, DE Cliff Avril and DE Michael Bennett are both gone. This defense doesn’t look anything like the dominant unit it was a few years ago, and that was evident by giving up 470 yards to the Broncos last week.
The same problem remains for Seattle’s offense. They simply cannot run the football. Russell Wilson had a big season last year, but only because he had to. Wilson actually led the team in rushing, and by a wide margin. No Seattle running back had more than 240 yards last year. The offensive line is still a mess, and the options are limited at receiver. They lost both Jimmy Graham and Paul Richardson, who combined for 16 TD receptions last year. And now Doug Baldwin, who caught 75 balls for 991 yards and 8 TD last year, suffered a knee injury against the Broncos and has been ruled out this week.
That doesn’t even cover all the injuries for the Seahawks right now. MLB Bobby Wagner is questionable with a groin injury, and OLB K.J. Wright is doubtful with a knee injury. Wagner led the team in tacklers with 133 last year while Wright was second with 108. Starting G D.J. Fluker is questionable, and starting TE Ed Dickson is out with a groin injury. A guy I’ve never heard of in TE Will Dissly actually led the team in receiving last week against the Broncos.
Teams who are playing back-to-back road games to open the season in Week 2 are 0-12 SU over the past five seasons. Pete Carroll is 1-9 ATS in road games in the first two weeks of the season as the coach of Seattle. Bet the Bears Monday.
|09-17-18||Rays -134 v. Rangers||3-0||Win||100||8 h 41 m||Show|
15* MLB Monday No-Doubt Rout on Tampa Bay Rays -134
The casual fan would look at the Rays being 7 games back in the wild card and think they are done. And many teams would think the same way. But the Rays clearly aren’t approaching it that way. They are making a big run, going 20-6 in their last 26 games overall. They still feel like they have a chance in that locker room, and that’s what matters.
Tyler Glasnow has shut down the Indians twice in his last three starts, giving up 3 earned runs in 14 innings in those two starts. He had a stinker against the Blue Jays where he couldn’t make it out of the first inning in between, but I think we get good Glasnow here Monday against the Rangers.
Adrian Sampson will be making just his second start as a Ranger tonight. He lost his first start against the Angels, though he did pitch pretty well. He has just been an average starter in the minors and cannot be trusted to go deep into this start.
The Rays are 17-4 in their last 21 games vs. a starer with a WHIP greater than 1.30. Tampa Bay is 21-6 in its last 27 games against a right-handed starter. The Rays are 8-1 in their last nine vs. AL West opponents. Tampa Bay is 14-3 in its last 17 Monday games. The Rangers are 1-8 in their last nine vs. a right-handed starter. Texas is 0-5 in its last five vs. a team with a winning record.
|09-16-18||Giants +3 v. Cowboys||Top||13-20||Loss||-102||47 h 48 m||Show|
20* Giants/Cowboys NBC Sunday Night BAILOUT on New York +3
The New York Giants are undervalued off their disastrous 3-13 season last year. They were hit as hard by injuries as any team in the league last year. Ben McAdoo was not fit for the job. But this is a team that made the playoffs in 2016, so there is still a lot of talent on this squad. And they got even better in the offseason.
The Giants have improved most in the trenches. They nabbed four new starters along the offensive line, including LT Nate Solder from the Patriots. They will have a running game now with that improved O-Line and the addition of first-round pick RB Saquon Barkley, who is sure to be a star in the NFL for years to come. Odell Beckham Jr. got his big contract, and now he’s back healthy this season. Eli Manning has everything he needs to succeed.
The Giants had one of the best defenses in the NFL in 2016. But injuries decimated this unit last last year and poor play by the offense had them gassed. This stop unit should come back energized and become one of the better defenses in the NFL in 2018. I love the addition of LB Alec Ogletree, who will become the QB of the defense after serving the same role with the Rams previously.
The Giants actually played well against the Jaguars in Week 1 and should have won. They gained 324 yards on offense against arguably the best D in the NFL. Their defense only gave up 305 total yards and actually held the Jaguars’ offense to just 13 points because one of their touchdowns was a pick-six. The Giants should finally click offensively this week against a Dallas D that isn’t nearly as good as Jacksonville.
I still think the Cowboys have a decent D, but they are battling injuries right now. They have three DE’s who are hurt in Demarcus Lawrence, Tyrone Crawford, David Irving (suspension) and Randy Gregory. Both Irving and Gregory are out, while Lawrence and Crawford are expected to play. Also out is DT Datone Jones and FS Xavier Woods.
The real problem for the Cowboys is on offense. Dak Prescott regressed big-time last year, and now this year he has no weapons with Dez Bryant and Jason Witten gone. And the offensive line is missing starting center Travis Frederick right now. That offense was atrocious against Carolina last week. The Cowboys trailed 16-0 and finally got on the scoreboard in the 4th quarter, but it was too little, too late. They managed just 232 total yards against the Panthers.
Jason Garrett is 3-11 ATS as a home favorite of 3 points or less as the coach of Dallas. Garrett is 1-9 ATS in home games after scoring 14 points or less as the coach of the Cowboys. Dallas has been terrible in the home favorite role over the years. I think the Giants are the better of these two teams and they prove it on the field Sunday night. Bet the Giants Sunday.
|09-16-18||Dodgers v. Cardinals +138||0-5||Win||138||7 h 15 m||Show|
15* Dodgers/Cardinals ESPN Sunday Night BAILOUT on St. Louis +138
The St. Louis Cardinals should be highly motivated for a victory against the Los Angeles Dodgers tonight. They have lost the first three games of this series to fall behind the Dodgers by a game in the wild card race. They don’t want swept in four games here.
Veteran Adam Wainwright should come up big in this spot. I trust him more than Ross Stripling, who doesn’t have much big-game experience under his belt, and who just recently returned to the rotation.
Wainwright has posted a 3.08 ERA and 1.168 WHIP in 15 career starts against the Dodgers. Stripling has posted a 7.20 ERA and 2.200 WHIP in one career start against the Cardinals.
The Cardinals are 38-16 in Wainwright’s last 54 home starts. Getting him and the Cardinals are underdogs is a big-time line mistake from the oddsmakers tonight. Bet the Cardinals Sunday.
|09-16-18||Texans -2.5 v. Titans||17-20||Loss||-110||40 h 38 m||Show|
15* Texans/Titans AFC South ANNIHILATOR on Houston -2.5
There is a lot to like about the Houston Texans heading into 2018. For starters, Deshaun Watson is fully healthy now. He was on pace for 43 touchdowns as a rookie before suffering a season-ending knee injury. Watson led an offense that averaged 39 points per game from Week 3 to Week 8 in a five-game span. It’s scary how good this offense was when he was healthy, and when WR Will Fuller was on the field.
Fuller had 7 touchdown receptions on just 28 grabs last year. Well, Fuller missed Week 1’s 20-27 loss to the Patriots. But Fuller is expected back this week, giving Watson his full arsenal of weapons against the Titans this week. And Watson had a concussion that he has been cleared from this week.
Defensively, the Texans get their two best players back healthy as well. Both J.J. Watt and Whitney Mercilus return this season. Watt is a three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year. He, Jadeveon Clowney and Mercilus will wreak havoc on opposing offenses this season. Both LB’s Benardick McKinney and Zach Cunningham are coming off productive seasons, and this is one of the best front seven’s defensively in the NFL.
I’m way down on the Tennessee Titans this season. They were the worst team to make the playoffs last year and I just don’t trust them at all. They are due for some big-time regression. Marcus Mariota just isn’t progressing as he was supposed to, and he has limited weapons on offense. The defense has plenty of holes as well.
Tennessee lost 20-27 in Miami last week. It was a strange game because it was delayed by lightning, and actually took seven hours to complete. And by the 4th quarter, both teams looked so gas because they were out on the field for most of the day in the scorching heat. I question what the Titans have left in the tank this week.
The Titans came away with some serious injuries. Mariota was knocked out of the game with an elbow injury, and while he is likely to play this week, he is highly questionable and won’t be 100%. He lost his security blanket in TE Delanie Walker to a season-ending ankle injury. Top WR Corey Davis is battling a hamstring injury. Starting LB Derrick Morgan (knee) is questionable, starting SS Johnathan Cyprien (knee) is out for the season, and two offensive tackles in Taylor Lewan and Jack Conklin are out this week. Fellow offensive tackler Dennis Kelly is questionable.
It’s a laundry list of injuries for the Titans right now. The key injuries are those to Walker and the offensive tackles. Walker had caught at least 60 passes every year for the Titans since signing with them in 2013. And Watt, Clowney and company should be all over Mariota since the Titans are likely going with a pair of backup tackles this week.
Bill O’Brien is 17-8 ATS as a favorite as the coach of Houston. The Texans are winning in this spot by 7.6 points per game on average. The Texans are 8-2 ATS in their last 10 games in Week 2. The Titans are 15-40-4 ATS in their last 59 vs. AFC opponents. Tennessee is 8-26-3 ATS in its last 37 vs. a team with a losing record. Roll with the Texans Sunday.
|09-16-18||Browns v. Saints -9||18-21||Loss||-110||39 h 28 m||Show|
15* NFL Sunday No-Doubt Rout on New Orleans Saints -9
I think the Saints simply took the Bucs too lightly in Week 1. I was actually on the Bucs last week because I thought they came into the season undervalued. And it was a good move as the Bucs upset the Saints 48-40. I certainly don’t believe the Saints are this bad defensively because they were vastly improved last year. And their task gets much easier against the Browns this week.
I think that loss to the Bucs will serve as a wake-up call for the Saints. They won’t be taking the Browns lightly this week as they’ll be putting their best foot forward. Look for them to roll at home behind an offense that racked up 475 total yards and 40 points against the Bucs. I’m certainly not ready to write off their defense because they actually added more talent in the offseason.
Now the Saints are up against a weak Browns’ offense that just isn’t very explosive. The Browns trailed the Steelers 21-7 midway through the fourth quarter last week before tacking on two late touchdowns and forcing overtime. But the Browns deserves to lose that game. They gave up 472 total yards and managed just 322 themselves, getting outgained by 150 yards. They were +5 in turnovers and still couldn’t win! Drew Brees and the Saints won’t be giving away any gifts this week.
I certainly believe the Browns have an improved defense this year with some playmakers, but those 472 yards they gave up to the Steelers without Le’Veon Bell is concerning. And Cleveland’s offense doesn’t have the potential to keep up with the Saints in a shootout, which this is expected to be with a total set of 49.5 points. The Saints will get their points because they always do at home.
The Browns are 0-8 ATS in their last eight games vs. NFC opponents. Cleveland is 5-15-1 ATS in its last 21 road games. I think last week’s results are keeping this line lower than it should be. New Orleans should have no problem winning by double-digits. Take the Saints Sunday.
|09-15-18||USC v. Texas -3||Top||14-37||Win||100||103 h 42 m||Show|
20* USC/Texas FOX Saturday No-Brainer on Texas -3
I believe we are getting Texas at a great value here as only 3-point home favorites over the USC Trojans. They would be bigger favorites if not for a sluggish start to the season. They were clearly overvalued coming into the season, being asked to lay 12 points on the road at Maryland and 21 points at home to Tulsa.
They lost to Maryland 29-34 outright. That’s a Maryland team that I feel was underrated coming into the season. They also only beat Tulsa 28-21 at home, but that was a 21-0 game late in the 3rd quarter before the Longhorns let their foot off the gas. Those two scores now have the Longhorns undervalued.
Texas is still one of the best teams in the Big 12. They have 14 starters back in Tom Herman’s second season and should only get better as the season goes along. And they have had this game against USC circled all offseason after losing 24-27 (OT) at USC last season. It’s revenge time for the Longhorns as they get the Trojans at home this time around.
USC is a team that is due to regress this season after some key losses on offense and defense. They lost QB Sam Darnold (4,143 yards, 26 TD), leading rusher Ronald Jones (1,550 yards, 19 TD) and leading receiver Deontay Burnett (1,114 yards, 9 TD) to the NFL. They have clearly not been good through the first two games and will struggle against Texas as well.
USC only outgained UNLV by 96 yards in the opener in what was a closer game than the final 43-21 margin would suggest. Then they lost 3-17 at Stanford last week and couldn’t get anything going offensively. Freshman QB JT Daniels was put in his place by that Stanford defense, and he won’t have much more success here against Texas, either.
Daniels hit only 16 of 34 passes for 215 yards with two fourth quarter interceptions against Stanford last week. He sustained a bruise to his right (throwing) hand during the loss, which is obviously a concern for any quarterback. He will play this week, but he won’t be 100%.
USC is 0-6 ATS in September road games over the last three seasons. Texas is 6-0 ATS off a home game over the last two years. The Longhorns are 13-4 ATS in their last 17 games as a home favorite of 3 to 7 points. Clay Helton is 1-9 ATS as an underdog as the coach of USC, and his teams are losing by 16.9 points per game in this spot. Helton is 0-6 ATS as a road dog of 7 points or less as the coach of the Trojans. Roll with Texas Saturday.
|09-15-18||Missouri v. Purdue +7.5||40-37||Win||100||101 h 38 m||Show|
15* CFB Saturday UPSET SHOCKER on Purdue +7.5
This just feels like a ‘rally the troops’ game for Purdue. It’s a team that had high expectations following a bowl win in Jeff Brohm’s first season last year. But the Boilermakers are off to an 0-2 start with losses to Northwestern and Eastern Michigan by a combined 5 points. So they could easily be 2-0, and now they’ll be extra motivated for a win to save their season.
The Boilermakers have had 15-yard penalties to keep drives alive late in their losses to both Northwestern and Eastern Michigan. It’s something that Brohm has harped on all week leading up to the game. I believe Purdue will have an excellent week of practice and put their best foot forward against Missouri this week.
Purdue outgained Northwestern by 71 yards and Eastern Michigan by 60 yards and clearly should have won both games. But they lost the turnover battle 5-1 combined in those two games, which has also been a point of emphasis. The offense, which returned nine starters this year, has been explosive in averaging 474 yards per game and 6.9 yards per play. Avoid the turnovers and this is going to be a scary bunch.
While Purdue is undervalued right now due to its 0-2 start, Missouri is clearly overvalued due to its 2-0 start. They have blowout wins over Tennessee-Martin and Wyoming. Big deal. We saw Wyoming get blown out at home by Washington State the week prior to playing Missouri, and that’s a rebuilding Cougars team.
No question the Tigers have a good offense, but their defense was one of the worst in the country last year and won’t be much improved. It’s a Missouri team that went 7-0 against teams with losing records last year, but 0-6 against teams with winning records. Every time they stepped up in class they couldn’t win. And they’re stepping up in class here against a capable Big Ten foe.
Purdue went into Missouri and won 35-3 last year as 6-point underdogs. The Boilermakers gained 477 yards on offense and allowed just 203 yards on defense, outgaining the Tigers by 274 yards in a dominant effort. Now we are seeing basically the same spread here with Purdue as a touchdown underdog, but the Boilermakers are at home this time around. That clearly shows what public perception is doing here, and it’s working in our favor.
Sure, Missouri will want revenge, but Purdue will match or exceed their intensity after an 0-2 start. I’m not even sure Missouri is the better of these two teams, but I am certain they are not good enough to justify being a 7.5-point road favorite here.
Plays on underdogs of 3.5 to 10 points (Purdue) - in a game involving two dominant teams who outgain their opponents by 1.2-plus yards per play, after gaining 450 or more total yards in two consecutive games are 32-9 (78%) ATS over the last five seasons. The Boilermakers are 5-1 ATS in their last six non-conference games. Bet Purdue Saturday.
|09-15-18||Eastern Michigan v. Buffalo -3||28-35||Win||100||58 h 16 m||Show|
15* MAC PLAY OF THE DAY on Buffalo -3
The Buffalo Bulls are one of the better Group of 5 teams in the country this season. They went 6-6 last year in Lance Leipold’s third season and got better as the season went on, winning each of their fina three games. And all six of their losses came by 10 points or less, including a 10-point loss at Minnesota as 24-point dogs and a 4-point loss to Army as 15-point dogs. They went 8-2-2 ATS last season and were a very undervalued commodity.
The Bulls returned 14 starters this year, including eight on offense from a unit that average 432 yards per game last year. Tyree Jackson is back at QB after only starting half the games last year due to injury. He has stud WR Anthony Johnson back as well, and Johnson had 1,356 yards and 14 touchdowns last year. Leading rusher Emmanuel Reed (840 yards, 9 TD) is back as well.
This Buffalo offense is hitting on all cylinders with a 48-10 win over Delaware State in the opener and a 36-29 win at Temple as 4-point dogs in Week 2. The defense is only giving up 19.5 points and 315 yards per game and 4.5 per play while forcing seven turnovers thus far. This defense is solid again after allowing just 24.8 points per game last season.
No question Eastern Michigan has been an undervalued commodity as well over the past couple seasons. And they are off to a 2-0 SU & 2-0 ATS start this season, including their shocking 20-19 upset win at Purdue last week. However, its that win that has me liking Buffalo here. There’s no question Eastern Michigan is in line for a huge letdown after a road win over a Big Ten opponent. They won’t be on their ‘A’ game this week because of it.
The Eagles are 9-22 ATS in their last 31 games following a win. Eastern Michigan is 11-32 ATS in its last 43 games after allowing less than 20 points in its previous game. The Bulls are 11-4 ATS in their last 15 games overall, including 6-1 ATS in their last seven home games. Buffalo is 6-0 ATS in its last six home games vs. a team with a winning road record. Bet Buffalo Saturday.
|09-15-18||Ohio v. Virginia -3.5||31-45||Win||100||57 h 47 m||Show|
15* CFB Saturday No-Doubt Rout on Virginia -3.5
The Virginia Cavaliers are in Year 3 under Bronco Mendenhall. They went 6-7 last year and made a bowl game, already ahead of schedule. And they have 13 starters back this season, including eight on defense. This should be his best stop unit yet.
I’ve been impressed with this Virginia outfit thus far, especially defensively. They beat Richmond 42-13 in their opener as 14.5-point favorites and outgained them by 267 yards in a dominant effort. Then they only lost 16-20 at Indiana and covered as 5-point road underdogs against a solid Big Ten squad. It’s a team I believe to be flying under the radar.
Ohio has only played one game because they had an open date Week 2. They have that advantage plus this game has been moved from Virginia to Nashville, so it will essentially be a neutral site game. But I think that’s why we are getting a shorter price on Virginia than we should be here as only 3.5-point favorites.
And that opener by Ohio was shocking, and it’s a sign of things to come for this team this season. Ohio only beat Howard 38-32 as 30.5-point home favorites. The Bobcats were actually outgained by 220 yards by Howard! But they won’t the turnover battle 4-0, which is the only reason they were able to pull out the win.
The Bobcats gave up a whopping 645 total yards to Howard. It’s a defense that has problems because they only returned four starters on D this year. They have to replace six of seven starters along the front seven. And get this, Howard lost 14-54 at Kent State in Week 2! I don’t need to say it but Kent State is not very good.
Mendenhall is 8-1 ATS off a non-conference game as the coach of Virginia. Mendenhall is 6-0 ATS in road games in the first half of the season as the coach of the Cavaliers. The Cavaliers are 6-2 ATS in their last eight games vs. a team with a winning record. Roll with Virginia Saturday.
|09-15-18||Colorado State v. Florida -20||10-48||Win||100||98 h 26 m||Show|
15* CFB Saturday Big Chalk BLOWOUT on Florida -20
The Florida Gators are a team I’m very high on coming into the season. They had 19 returning starters and Dan Mullen is one of the most underrated head coaches in the country. And they looked the part in their season-opening 53-6 win over Southern. But they were upset 16-27 by Kentucky last week, ending their 31-game winning streak over the Wildcats.
I think because they were upset they are laying fewer points than they should be this week against Colorado State. And because Colorado State upset Arkansas at home last week, the Rams are getting too much respect from oddsmakers. It’s the perfect storm and a great situation to back the Gators this week. They’ll be motivated to bounce back, while the Rams could fall flat and will get beat up playing two SEC teams in consecutive weeks.
This is a Colorado State team that couldn’t look any worse in their first two games. They trailed Hawaii 37-7 and lost 34-43 as 17-point home favorites in their opener. They lost 13-45 to Colorado as 7-point underdogs on a neutral field in Week 2. And they were down 27-9 late against Arkansas before scoring 25 unanswered points to steal victory from the jaws of defeat. I still don’t believe this team is any good, and that will show this week as the Gators keep their foot on the gas for four quarters.
This Colorado State defense is giving up a whopping 38.3 points and 550 yards per game this season while yielding 7.7 yards per play. Florida should be able to score at will on them. And this Florida defense is one of the best in the country and has been one for years. Colorado State only managed 13 points against Colorado, and I’d be surprised if they top that total this weekend.
The Gators are 7-2 ATS in their last nine games following a double-digit home loss. The Rams are 1-9 ATS in their last 10 games overall. Off a rare cover against Arkansas last week in a miracle comeback, the Rams will get back to their losing ways against the number here. Take Florida Saturday.
|09-15-18||Dodgers v. Cardinals +123||17-4||Loss||-100||4 h 49 m||Show|
15* Dodgers/Cards MLB Early ANNIHILATOR on St. Louis +123
The St. Louis Cardinals will be highly motivated for a victory here Saturday. They have lost three straight, including the first two of this series to the Dodgers. They are now tied with the Dodgers for the 2nd wild card spot in the National League.
I believe the Cardinals have the advantage on the mound today and should not be underdogs because of it. John Cant is 5-5 with a 3.24 ERA and 1.198 WHIP in 16 starts this season, including 2-0 with a 1.08 ERA and 1.140 WHIP in his last three starts.
Rich Hill is 8-5 with a 3.91 ERA and 1.198 WHIP in 21 starts this season, but 2-1 with a 6.19 ERA in his last three outings. Hill is 2-1 with a 4.33 ERA and 1.370 WHIP in six career starts against the Cardinals. He is getting too much respect from oddsmakers today.
St. Louis is 18-4 after scoring and allowing 3 runs or less this season. The Cards are 36-15 in their last 51 games after losing the first two games of a series. Take the Cardinals Saturday.
|09-15-18||Georgia Tech v. Pittsburgh +4||19-24||Win||100||53 h 47 m||Show|
15* CFB Saturday Undervalued Underdog on Pittsburgh +4
I liked Pitt coming into the season and took their OVER 5.5 wins as part of my Top 10 NCAAF Season Win Totals bets. This was a game I expected the Panthers to win, and I still do. And I think it’s a great time to back them as they are undervalued off their misleading 6-51 loss to Penn State last week.
That was a 7-6 game against Penn State with only a few seconds left before halftime. The Nittany Lions scored right before half, and proceeded to roll in the second half. But Pitt was only outgained by 90 yards in that contest and held the Nittany Lions to 390 total yards, which is no small feat against that offense. I believe this is the best defense that Pat Narduzzi has fielded at Pitt with nine returning starters from last year.
Georgia Tech gave up a whopping 49 points in their loss to South Florida last week. That loss and defensive effort is a big concern considering USF lost most of their studs from last season and isn’t nearly as good as they have been over the past few years.
Georgia Tech has some key injuries heading into this one. For starters, QB TaQuan Marshall is nursing a toe injury that will slow him down. And the Yellow Jackets lost their stud B-Back in KirVonte Benson to a season-ending knee injury in the lost to USF. He rushed for 1,053 yards and six touchdowns last year. Their next leading back had 271 yards on the ground, so it’s a huge blown. And center Kenny Cooper has a foot injury as well and is questionable for this one. He made 11 starts last year and would be a big loss if he can’t go.
I simply feel that the wrong team is favored here Saturday. Georgia Tech is 0-7 SU & 0-7 ATS in its last seven games as a road favorite, including four losses by double-digits. The underdog is 4-1 ATS in the last five meetings. Take Pittsburgh Saturday.
|09-15-18||Florida State v. Syracuse +3||Top||7-30||Win||100||52 h 19 m||Show|
20* FSU/Syracuse ESPN Early ANNIHILATOR on Syracuse +3
The Syracuse Orange are in the 3rd year under Dino Babers. They have 14 returning starters including eight on an explosive offense that could hang with anyone when QB Eric Dungey was healthy last year. That showed by how they performed against their best competition last year.
Syracuse handed Clemson its only regular season loss last year in a 27-24 upset at home as 23-point dogs. The Orange hung with LSU for four quarters and only lost 26-35 on the road as 21-point dogs. They only lost at NC State 25-33 as 13-point dogs. They only lost at Miami 19-27 as 17-point dogs. And they nearly upset Florida State in a 24-27 road loss as 6-point dogs.
Once Dungey got hurt last year, the Orange folded in their final three games. Dungey is back healthy and has this Syracuse offense hitting on all cylinders. The Orange have averaged 58.5 points and 508 yards per game in wins over Western Michigan and Wagner. Dungey has a 7-to-1 TD/INT ratio while also rushing for 244 yards and a score on 9.4 per carry thus far through two games.
Florida State is a team in transition under first-year head coach Willie Taggart. It has been an ugly start for the Seminoles. They lost 3-24 at home to Virginia Tech as 7.5-point favorites in their opener and committed five turnovers. Even worse was their 36-26 home win over lowly Samford as 31-point favorites in Week 2. Samford actually gained 525 total yards on this suspect FSU defense and committed 5 turnovers, otherwise they probably would have pulled off the upset.
You can just imagine what Dungey and company will do against this FSU defense. And the Orange want revenge from that 27-24 loss at Florida State last year. I simply believe the wrong team is favored in this matchup as Syracuse has the better team this year.
The Seminoles are 0-7-2 ATS in their last nine conference games. Florida State is 0-6 ATS in the first half of the season over the last two seasons. Syracuse is 8-3-1 ATS in its last 12 games overall with its only non-covers coming without Dungey under center. Bet Syracuse Saturday.
|09-14-18||A's v. Rays -118||Top||2-1||Loss||-118||7 h 2 m||Show|
20* AL GAME OF THE MONTH on Tampa Bay Rays -118
The Tampa Bay Rays continue to fight to make the playoffs. They are 20-6 in their last 26 games overall. The Rays are also 38-13 in their last 51 home games. Now they get to face the team they are trailing in the wild card standings in the Oakland A’s with a chance to make up some serious ground with a sweep.
It starts with Game 1 tonight and starter Diego Castillo, who has posted a 3.85 ERA in his six starts this season, and a 1.93 ERA in three home starts. The Rays are a perfect 6-0 in Castillo’s six starts this season.
Edwin Jackson is having a solid year for the A’s at 5-3 with a 3.26 ERA in 14 starts. But he has come back down to reality a bit, going 1-0 with a 4.61 ERA in his last three starts. Jackson is 0-3 with a 7.94 ERA in his last three starts against the Rays.
The Rays are 6-0 in their last six against AL West opponents. Tampa Bay is 6-2 in its last eight meetings with Oakland. Bet the Rays Friday.
|09-13-18||Ravens +1 v. Bengals||Top||23-34||Loss||-107||54 h 36 m||Show|
20* Ravens/Bengals AFC North No-Brainer on Baltimore +1
The Baltimore Ravens are a legit playoff contender. It’s a team I was high on coming into the season due to several things that happened this offseason. For starters, Joe Flacco is more motivated than he’s ever been after the Ravens traded up to draft Lamar Jackson in the first round. And he finally has some weapons to work with on offense.
The Ravens added Michael Crabtree, Willie Snead and John Brown at receiver. Fittingly, all three receivers caught touchdown passes from Flacco in a 47-3 beat down of the Buffalo Bills in Week 1. And the defense limited the Bills to just 153 total yards as the Ravens outgained them by 216 yards in the game. This is one of the best defenses in the NFL.
The Ravens went 5-0 in the preseason and now are 1-0 in the regular season. They have outscored their six opponents by a total of 99 points, or by an average of 16.5 points per game. Their defense has held their six opponents to just an average of 12.5 points per game. This is a deep, talented defense that will give Andy Dalton and company fits this week.
The Bengals were fortunate to win 34-23 at Indianapolis in Week 1. They were outgained by 50 total yards and got an 83-yard fumble recovery for a TD with 24 seconds left as the Colts were driving deep in the red zone to win the game. And the Colts aren’t a very good team.
The Bengals were one of the worst offensive teams in the NFL last year. Things don’t look a whole lot better for them in 2018. They managed just 330 total yards against what was an awful Colts’ defense last year, and one that isn’t much better this year. And Andrew Luck threw for 319 yards as the Colts managed 380 total yards against what is just an average Bengals defense.
Cincinnati has some big injury concerns coming into this one. Starters that are questionable to play include DE Carlos Dunlap (calf), LG Clint Boling (foot), CB Darqueze Dennard (neck) and MLB Preston Brown (ankle). Not to mention, the Bengals are already playing without LB Vontaze Burfict due to a four-game suspension.
But what I really like about this game is the situation. Baltimore simply needed a win in Week 17 last year to make the playoffs. Instead, the Bengals upset them 31-27 in Baltimore as 8-point underdogs. The Bengals scored on a 49-yard TD Pass with just 44 seconds left to stun the Ravens. You can bet Baltimore has been thinking about that game all offseason. They have had this game circled, and they will get their revenge Thursday night in Cincinnati.
Baltimore won 20-0 in Cincinnati last year. The Ravens are 10-1 ATS in their last 11 games after scoring 40 points or more in their previous game. Baltimore is 12-3 ATS in its last 15 vs. AFC North opponents. The underdog is 7-1 ATS in the last eight meetings. Bet the Ravens Thursday.
|09-13-18||Boston College v. Wake Forest +7||41-34||Push||0||52 h 13 m||Show|
15* Boston College/Wake Forest ACC ANNIHILATOR on Wake Forest +7
The Wake Forest Demon Deacons just get no respect. They went 8-5 last season and 8-3-2 ATS in their 13 games. Dave Clawson has now gotten the Demon Deacons to back-to-back bowl games. They are well on their way to another bowl game after their 2-0 start in Clawson’s 5th season.
The Demon Deacons returned 14 starters this season. Eight starters are back on an offense that set a school record with 454 points last year while averaging 35.3 points and 466 yards per game. They were competitive in every single game last season due to the offense and did not get beat by more than 14 points all season.
All five starters and a whopping 132 career starts returned along the offensive line in what will be one of the ACC’s top O-Lines. Each of the top two receivers are back from last year in Greg Dortch (53 receptions, 722 yards, 9 TD) and Scotty Washington (45, 711, 3 TD), as is leading rusher Matt Colburn (904 yards, 7 TD). That has helped ease the transition of highly touted freshman QB Sam Hartman.
The offense is in high gear already as the Demon Deacons have averaged 37 points and 565 yards per game in wins over Tulane and Towson. They beat Tulane 23-17 in a game that was a bigger blowout than the final score showed. They outgained Tulane by 112 yards, and that’s a Tulane team that went on to beat FCS power Nicholls State 42-17 the following week. Nicholls State upset Kansas on the road in Week 1. Wake Forest then handled Towson 51-20 in Week 2.
Hartman is completing 61.5% of his passes for 620 yards with four touchdowns and three interceptions, while also rushing for 128 yards and a score on 5.8 per carry. And he hasn’t even had the services of Washington yet, who missed the two games with a shoulder injury and is questionable tonight. Dortch leads the way with 19 receptions for 243 yards and Sage Surratt has 15 receptions for 213 yards.
Boston College is a team that everyone and their brother has jumped on this season as being a team that could contend in the ACC. While I agree they should be good, the love has gotten out of control, especially after a 2-0 start against weak competition in UMass and Holy Cross. Now the Eagles are being asked to go on the road and win by a touchdown or more to cover this spread this week, and I feel like it’s too much. I think Wake wins this game outright.
That’s precisely what happened last year as Wake Forest dominated Boston College 34-10 on the road. The Demon Deacons forced four turnovers and held Boston College to 305 total yards. Boston College has only beaten Wake Forest by more than 6 points on the road once in the last seven trips to Winston-Salem. That was a 10-point victory back in 2010.
Plays on underdogs of 3.5 to 10 points (Wake Forest) - in a game involving two dominant teams that are outgaining their opponents by 100-plus yards per game, after gaining 475 or more total yards in two consecutive games are 28-5 (84.8%) ATS over the last five seasons.
Wake Forest is 11-2 ATS in its last 13 games as an underdog. Clawson is 14-3 ATS off a win by 21 or more points in all games he has coached. Clawson is 9-1 ATS off two consecutive games with a turnover margin of -1 or worse in all games he has coached. They only had 13 turnovers all of last season, and now they have 5 already this season. It has been a point of emphasis in practice this week for Clawson. Look for a big effort from the Demon Deacons at home tonight. Take Wake Forest Thursday.
|09-13-18||Diamondbacks +130 v. Rockies||3-10||Push||0||5 h 12 m||Show|
15* MLB Thursday Undervalued Underdog on Arizona Diamondbacks +130
The Arizona Diamondbacks now sit in 3rd place in the NL West. They blew a save against the Rockies yesterday; I know because I had them and it was brutal. But I’m back on them tonight because they simply need this game more, and they have the advantage on the mound.
Clay Buchholz has been one of the most underrated starters in baseball this season. He is 7-2 with a 1.74 ERA and 1.037 WHIP in 16 starts, including 0-0 with a 0.98 ERA and 1.091 WHIP in his last three starts.
Kyle Freeland has been good himself at 14-7 with a 2.91 ERA and 1.236 WHIP in 29 starts. However, Freeland has not been able to figure out the Diamondbacks, going 1-2 with a 4.60 ERA and 1.568 WHIP in six career starts against them.
The Diamondbacks are 11-3 in their last 14 after allowing 5 runs or more in their previous game. Arizona is 10-4 in its last 14 meetings in Colorado. Roll with the Diamondbacks Thursday.
|09-12-18||Diamondbacks -108 v. Rockies||Top||4-5||Loss||-108||9 h 49 m||Show|
20* NL West GAME OF THE MONTH on Arizona Diamondbacks -108
The Diamondbacks are 2.5 games behind the Rockies in the NL West. They need a win here Wednesday to inch closer to them and post back-to-back victories for the first time since late August. I believe they get a win thanks to their big advantage on the mound.
Pat Corbin is 11-5 with a 2.96 ERA and 1.002 WHIP in 29 starts for the Diamondbacks this season, including 1-1 with a 1.50 ERA and 0.778 WHIP in his last three starts. Corbin has owned the Rockies of late, going 3-0 with a 2.45 ERA in his last four starts against them.
Jon Gray is 11-7 with a 4.63 ERA and 1.290 WHIP in 27 starts for the Rockies this season, including 1-0 with a 4.86 ERA and 1.440 WHIP in his last three starts. Gray is also 2-4 with a 5.80 ERA and 1.655 WHIP in seven career starts against Arizona.
The Diamondbacks are 14-3 in Corbin’s last 17 starts against the Rockies. Arizona is 10-3 in its last 13 meetings in Colorado. The Diamondbacks are 7-2 in Corbin’s last nine starts. Bet the Diamondbacks Wednesday.
|09-11-18||Pirates v. Cardinals -137||Top||5-11||Win||100||9 h 59 m||Show|
20* NL Central GAME OF THE MONTH on St. Louis Cardinals -137
The Cardinals are clinging on to the second wild card spot in the National League. They are also trying to chase down the Cubs and Brewers in the NL Central. Games are a lot more important to them right now than the Pirates, and they are playing like it.
The Cardinals have a big advantage on the mound today behind Miles Mikolas. The right-hander is 14-4 with a 3.06 ERA and 1.134 WHIP in 28 starts this season, including 6-4 with a 2.31 ERA and 1.037 WHIP in 14 home starts. Mikolas has also posted a 3.38 ERA and 1.167 WHIP in four starts against the Pirates in 2018.
Joe Musgrove is 6-8 with a 3.75 ERA in 17 starts for the Pirates this season, including 1-1 with a 6.06 ERA in his last three starts. Musgrove has made just one career start at St. Louis and it was only a few weeks ago on August 30th. He gave up 5 earned runs in 6 innings of a 5-0 loss to the Cardinals.
Musgrove is 1-11 (-9.8 units) as an underdog of +100 to +150 over the last two seasons. St. Louis is 20-4 (+15.5 units) off a game where it stranded three or less runners on base over the last two years. The Pirates are 17-43 in their last 60 road games vs. a team with a winning home record. The Cardinals are 10-2 in Mikolas’ last 12 starts vs. a team with a losing record. St. Louis is 38-15 in its last 53 home meetings with Pittsburgh. Bet the Cardinals Tuesday.
|09-10-18||Jets +7 v. Lions||Top||48-17||Win||100||127 h 36 m||Show|
20* Jets/Lions ESPN Monday No-Brainer on New York +7
The Detroit Lions have been nothing but mediocre for decades. They have not won a playoff game in 26 seasons. They are kind of starting over this year with a new head coach in Matt Patricia. I don’t expect them to come out Week 1 hitting on all cylinders with new systems and new personnel in place. They certainly shouldn’t be favored by a touchdown against anyone in this league, not even the Jets.
The problem for the Lions is always defense and the lack of a running game. They are trying to change that this year, but it won’t happen overnight. The Lions ranked 27th in total defense last year and 32nd in rushing offense, averaging just 76.3 yards per game. They’re expecting Patricia to magically improve the defense, and for LeGarrette Blount and company to improve the running game.
I like the chemistry the Jets have with Todd Bowles. He enters his 4th season with the franchise and is 20-28 overall, but has been trying to upgrade the talent since he got here. That’s not a bad record for the shortage of talent that he’s had to work with. They are starting to turn the corner in that department.
The Jets used their top pick on Sam Darnold, and he’s expected to start Week 1. The future of the offense is bright now that they finally found their QB. Jermaine Kerse (65 receptions, 810 yards, 5 TD last year) and Robby Anderson (63, 941, 7 TD) provide an underrated receiver duo, and Terrelle Pryor only adds to it. Isaiah Crowell was signed this offseason to be the workhorse after rushing for 853 yards in Cleveland last year. The offensive line should be improved with the addition of center Spencer Long from the Redskins.
New York is loaded with playmakers defensively. Leonard Williams had the third-most QB hits (25) in the AFC last season. Steve McLendon is a solid run-stuffing nose tackle. The Jets replaced Demario Davis with a younger version of him in LB Avery Williamson, who had 92 tackles and 3 sacks with the Titans last year. Darron Lee improved greatly in his second season and will take an even bigger step this year. Second-year safeties Jamal Adams and Marcus Maye are promising. The Jets signed former Rams No. 1 corner Tremaine Johnson to a five-year, $72 million deal. Morris Claiborne is a solid No. 2 corner opposite Johnson.
The fact of the matter is that there’s not much difference between the Lions and Jets talent-wise, so this spread should not be a touchdown. The Lions admittedly have the better offense, but the Jets clearly have the better defense. Detroit is 31-51 ATS in its last 82 games as a favorite of 3.5 to 9.5 points. The Jets are 9-4-1 ATS in their last 14 games overall and come into 2018 underrated as well. Bet the Jets Monday.
Note: I recommend buying the Jets to +7