|Date||Match Up||Rating||Score||Result||Profit||Lead Time||Analysis|
|01-05-18||Pistons v. 76ers -6||78-114||Win||100||8 h 46 m||Show|
15* NBA Friday No-Doubt Rout on Philadelphia 76ers -6
The Detroit Pistons are extremely vulnerable right now due to all their injuries. They are already without Reggie Jackson, Stanley Johnson and Jon Leuer. Now they could be without All-Star center Andre Drummond tonight as he is questionable with a rib injury.
The 76ers are in good shape on the injury front with their only player they’re missing being Markelle Fultz, who has been out for months. This return to health has led to a 4-1 SU & 4-1 ATS run over their last five games for the 76ers.
I’m expecting a big effort here from the 76ers. That’s because they won’t play against until January 11th, getting five days off in between games. They want to go into this extended break on a four-game winning streak and should have no problem accomplishing that against the depleted Pistons.
Philadelphia is 36-17 ATS in its last 53 games following an ATS win. The 76ers are 10-3 ATS in their last 13 Friday games. The Pistons are 19-42 ATS in their last 61 road games vs. a team with a losing home record. Detroit is 2-9 ATS in its last 11 vs. NBA Atlantic Division opponents. The favorite is 39-18-1 ATS in the last 58 meetings. Take the 76ers Friday.
|01-04-18||Thunder v. Clippers +2||Top||127-117||Loss||-110||12 h 53 m||Show|
20* Thunder/Clippers TNT Late-Night BAILOUT on Los Angeles +2
The Los Angeles Clippers are way under the radar right now. They had some key injuries that led to a poor run, but now Blake Griffin and company are back healthy and the Clippers are playing their best basketball of the season coming into this game.
Indeed, the Clippers are 6-1 SU & 6-0-1 ATS in their last seven games overall. They won all six games by 8 points or more as well. They had yesterday off and will be fresh and ready to go at home tonight against the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Conversely, the Thunder just played last night against the Lakers and will be playing the 2nd of a back-to-back. And spending the night in Los Angeles is always a shaky proposition because it’s likely the players went out and partied last night. And the Thunder have been money burners on the road, going 7-11 SU & 6-12 ATS this season.
Oklahoma City is 3-15 ATS in road games after covering four or five of their last six against the spread over the last two seasons. The Clippers are 12-3-1 ATS in their last 16 games overall. Los Angeles is 8-0-1 ATS in its last nine after scoring 100 points or more in its previous game. The Thunder are 1-9 ATS in their last 10 games vs. a team with a losing record. The home team is 4-0 ATS in the last four meetings. Bet the Clippers Thursday.
|01-04-18||Cincinnati v. Temple +7.5||55-53||Win||100||10 h 13 m||Show|
15* Cincinnati/Temple ESPN 2 No-Brainer on Temple +7.5
The Temple Owls are going to be highly motivated for a victory tonight following three consecutive losses coming in. But the competition has been stiff with losses to Georgia, Houston and Tulane with two of those on the road. And now they are battle-tested and ready to go against a ranked Cincinnati team tonight.
Conversely, Cincinnati comes in overvalued off three straight blowout wins over weak competition in Arkansas-Pine Bluff, Cleveland State and Memphis. The Bearcats have only played two true road games this year, and they lost at Xavier and won at UCLA. This will be a tough test for them against a motivated Owls squad looking to avoid an 0-3 start in conference play.
This has been a closely-contested series in recent meetings. Each of the last four meetings have been decided by 7 points or less. And Temple is 4-0-1 ATS in its last five meetings with Cincinnati. That’s significant considering the Owls returned four starters this season and are much better than they have shown up to this point.
Cincinnati is 4-15 ATS in road games when playing just its 2nd game in 8 days over the last three seasons. The Bearcats are 0-6 ATS in road games after scoring 75 points or more in two straight games over the last two seasons. Temple is 13-4 ATS versus good offensive teams scoring 77 or more points per game over the last three years. The Bearcats are 2-8 ATS in their last 10 road games. Roll with Temple Thursday.
|01-04-18||Ohio State v. Iowa +1||92-81||Loss||-100||8 h 13 m||Show|
15* Big Ten PLAY OF THE DAY on Iowa +1
After opening 0-3 in Big Ten play with losses to Penn State, Indiana and Michigan, it’s safe to say the Iowa Hawkeyes will be highly motivated for their first conference victory at home tonight. This is a very important game for them since their next there games on the road, so they will be max motivated.
Ohio State has not done well when stepping up in class this season, and the Buckeyes are 0-4 ATS in their last four games overall. They have losses to UNC, Clemson, Gonzaga and Butler with three of those losses coming by double-digits, so they have rarely been competitive against the better teams they have faced.
The Hawkeyes are 3-1 SU & 3-1 ATS in their last four meetings with the Buckeyes. They have won their last two home meetings with Ohio State by 13 and 9 points.
The Buckeyes are 12-30-1 ATS in their last 43 road games. The Hawkeyes are 4-1-1 ATS in their last six home games. Ohio State is 0-7 ATS after having won five or six of its last seven games over the last two seasons. Iowa is 6-0 ATS in home games with a total set of 150 to 154.5 over the last two years. The Buckeyes are 0-6 ATS in road games versus good offensive teams scoring 77 or more points per game over the last two seasons. Take Iowa Thursday.
|01-03-18||Suns v. Nuggets OVER 217.5||Top||111-134||Win||100||10 h 15 m||Show|
20* NBA TOTAL OF THE MONTH on Suns/Nuggets OVER 217.5
The books have set the bar too low in this game tonight between the Phoenix Suns and Denver Nuggets. This game will be a shootout, especially since both teams are almost fully healthy going in.
The recent head-to-head series is all that needs to be seen here to know there’s value with the OVER. The OVER is 4-0 in the last four meetings with combined scores of 235, 247, 234 and 224 points. That’s an average of 235 combined points per game, which is roughly 18 points more than this 217.5-point total.
Denver is 10-1 OVER in home games off an upset loss as a favorite over the last three seasons. The Nuggets are 15-2 OVER versus terrible defensive teams that allow 110 or more points per game over the last two seasons. Bet the OVER in this game Wednesday.
|01-03-18||Virginia v. Virginia Tech +4||78-52||Loss||-115||9 h 27 m||Show|
15* CBB Wednesday UPSET SHOCKER on Virginia Tech +4
Buzz Williams has this Virginia Tech program on the rise. He led them to a 22-11 record and the NCAA Tournament last season. Now he has four starters back from that team and his best team yet in his fourth season.
The Hokies are off to an 11-3 start this season with their three losses all coming on the road to Syracuse, Kentucky and Saint Louis. But they are 9-0 SU & 5-0 ATS at home this season, winning by an average of 28.8 points per game.
And Virginia Tech has been able to upset Virginia at home each of the last two seasons. The Hokies won 70-68 as 12.5-point home underdogs in 2016 and 80-78 as 5-point home dogs in 2017. Now they are 4-point home underdogs and have their best team yet, so they should be able to pull the upset again here, especially with how well they play at home.
Virginia is 5-21 ATS in its last 26 games off a close home win by 3 points or less. Virginia Tech is 10-2 ATS in home games after playing a road game over the last three seasons. The Hokies are 12-2 ATS as a home underdog or PK over the last three years. Virginia Tech is 24-7-1 ATS in its last 32 home games overall. The Hokies are 8-2-1 ATS in their last 11 vs. ACC opponents. The home team is 4-0 ATS in the last four meetings. The Cavaliers are 0-4 ATS in their last four trips to Blacksburg. Take Virginia Tech Wednesday.
|01-03-18||St Bonaventure -1.5 v. Dayton||Top||72-82||Loss||-106||9 h 43 m||Show|
20* CBB Wednesday No-Doubt Rout on St. Bonaventure -1.5
The St. Bonaventure Bonnies are absolutely loaded this season. They returned four starters from last year including their killer backcourt of Matt Mobley and Jaylen Adams, who combined to average 39 points per game last season.
It’s no surprise the Bonnies are off to an 11-2 start this season with wins over the likes of Maryland and Syracuse on the road thus far. Adams is averaging 20.1 points and Mobley 18.3 points thus far to pick up right where they left off last year.
Dayton was clearly going to be a rebuilding team this season. They lost head coach Archie Miller to Indiana and lost four of their top five scores from last season. It’s no wonder they are just 6-7 this season with losses to the likes of Hofstra, Old Dominion, Pennsylvania and Duquesne already. Their six wins have come against Wagner, Georgia State, Tennessee Tech, Akron, Ohio and Ball State.
St. Bonaventure is 10-0 ATS in road games after a combined score of 165 points or more over the last three seasons. The Bonnies are 9-0 ATS in road games after scoring 85 points or more over the last three years. Dayton is 0-6 ATS versus teams who commit 14 or fewer turnovers per game this season. The road team is 5-0 ATS in the last five meetings. These four trends combine for a perfect 30-0 system backing the Bonnies. Bet St. Bonaventure Wednesday.
|01-03-18||Cavs v. Celtics -2.5||88-102||Win||100||9 h 15 m||Show|
15* Cavs/Celtics ESPN Wednesday No-Brainer on Boston -2.5
The Boston Celtics want to make a statement tonight and let the Cleveland Cavaliers know that they are coming for them in the Eastern Conference. Look for a big effort from the Celtics, especially given the advantageous situation for them.
The Celtics were a tired team in December with a brutal schedule and few breaks. But they got a big break heading into this game with two days off having last played on Sunday against Brooklyn. They will be rested and ready to go tonight.
Conversely, the Cavaliers will be playing the 2nd of a back-to-back after a home win over the Portland Trail Blazers last night. It was Isaiah Thomas’ season debut, and he played well and showed what might be a sign of things to come. But now Thomas will sit this game to rest, and the Cavaliers will be fatigued quickly.
The Cavaliers are 1-7 ATS in their last eight games following a win. Cleveland is 0-4 ATS in its last four road games. Boston is 10-3-1 ATS in its last 14 games following an ATS loss. The Celtics are 11-4-1 ATS in their last 16 after allowing 100 points or more in their previous game. Take the Celtics Wednesday.
|01-03-18||Rockets v. Magic +8||116-98||Loss||-110||8 h 34 m||Show|
15* NBA Wednesday Undervalued Underdog on Orlando Magic +8
The Houston Rockets cannot be 8-point road favorites over the Orlando Magic tonight. They just lost their best player and MVP candidate James Harden to a hamstring injury that will sideline him for a couple weeks. They’ll still be good with Chris Paul, but they cannot be laying this kind of weight.
Conversely, the Orlando Magic are getting healthy. They just recently got back their top two scorers in Evan Fournier and Aaron Gordon, who both average over 18 points per game. They have been competitive in their three games since their return, beating Detroit by 13 and only losing to Miami by 6 and Brooklyn by 3.
Home-court advantage has been big in this series as the home team is 5-1 straight up in the last six meetings. The Magic have won two of their last three home meetings with the Rockets outright, and their only loss came by 7 points, which is less than this 8-point spread.
The Rockets are 7-18-1 ATS in their last 26 games vs. a team with a losing record. Houston is 0-6 ATS in its last six games overall. The Rockets are 0-4 ATS in their last four road games. The Magic are 11-4 ATS in their last 15 meetings with the Rockets, including 6-2 ATS in their last eight home meetings. Roll with the Magic Wednesday.
|01-02-18||Florida +2.5 v. Texas A&M||83-66||Win||100||9 h 44 m||Show|
15* Florida/Texas A&M ESPN 2 ANNIHILATOR on Florida +2.5
The Texas A&M Aggies are a great team to fade opening SEC play. I did just that when they were ranked 9th and traveled to Alabama. I took Alabama +1 and the Crimson Tide delivered with a 79-57 blowout victory. I’ll fade the Aggies again tonight for many of the same reasons.
Texas A&M has a ton of injuries and suspensions right now. They are missing leading scorer DJ Hogg (14.6 ppg, 6.8 rpg) due to suspension and third-leading scorer Admon Gilder (12.7 ppg, 5.3 rpg) due to a knee injury. Fourth-leading scorer Duane Wilson (12.1 ppg, 4.5 apg) is also doubtful with a knee injury. It’s no wonder they were nearly upset by Northern Kentucky at home recently in a 6-point win and were blown out by Alabama.
Florida has suffered several close losses this season that has it undervalued. The Gators are only 9-4, but three losses came by 6 points or fewer, including a 3-point loss to Duke and a 2-point loss to Clemson. This team has been through the gauntlet with one of the toughest schedules in the country, which will only benefit the Gators heading into conference play.
Florida is 33-14 ATS in its last 47 games after failing to cover the spread in three or more consecutive games. The Gators are 14-6 ATS in their last 20 road games following three or more consecutive home games. Texas A&M is 4-12 ATS in all home games over the last two seasons. The road team is 4-1 ATS in the last five meetings. Florida coach Mike White is 9-1 ATS in road games after failing to cover the spread in three or more consecutive games in all games he has coached. Take Florida Tuesday.
|01-02-18||Blazers v. Cavs OVER 211.5||110-127||Win||100||7 h 49 m||Show|
15* NBA Tuesday Total DOMINATOR on Blazers/Cavaliers OVER 211.5
The Cleveland Cavaliers have already been one of the best offensive teams in the NBA, and one of the worst defensive teams in the league up to this point. Now Isaiah Thomas is expected to make his season debut for the Cavaliers tonight. Thomas is a great scorer and a terrible defender, so he’ll fit right in.
The Cavaliers rank 3rd in the NBA in offensive efficiency, averaging 111.1 points per 100 possessions. But what has held them back this season is the fact that they rank 28th in defensive efficiency, giving up 108.7 points per 100 possessions.
Portland also gets some good news tonight with the return of leading scorer Damian Lillard, who missed the past five games with a right hamstring strain. The Blazers have put up 114 and 124 points in two of their last three games without him, but getting him back will only make them even more explosive offensively moving forward.
The OVER is 21-10-1 in Cavaliers last 32 home games. The OVER is 8-3 in Cavaliers last 11 games when playing on 2 days’ rest. The OVER is 7-1 in the last eight meetings in Cleveland. They combined for 262 points in their lone meeting in Cleveland last season. Roll with the OVER in this game Tuesday.
|01-02-18||Michigan v. Iowa +3||Top||75-68||Loss||-110||7 h 44 m||Show|
20* Michigan/Iowa ESPN 2 No-Brainer on Iowa +3
The Iowa Hawkeyes have really turned it around in the month of December. They have gone 5-0 SU & 4-0 ATS in their last five games overall. Four of their five wins have come by 23 or more points, and the lone exception was an 80-73 victory as 3.5-point favorites over Colorado on a neutral.
Michigan is having a solid season overall at 12-3. But the Wolverines have lost two of their four true road games to Ohio State and North Carolina. And I think they will be in over their heads here against an Iowa team that has owned them recently.
Indeed, the Hawkeyes are a perfect 5-0 SU & 5-0 ATS in their last five meetings with Michigan despite being an underdog in the last two. They have won those five meetings by an average of 12.0 points per game to boot. I think the one-sided nature of this series continues tonight as the improving Hawkeyes get the win and cover.
Iowa is 8-0 ATS in home games vs. teams who shoot 45% or better and give up 42% or worse over the last three seasons. The Hawkeyes are 6-0 ATS in home games versus good defensive teams allowing 64 points or fewer over the last three seasons. Iowa is 4-0-1 ATS in its last five home games. The Hawkeyes are 4-0-1 ATS in their last five games overall. Throw in the 5-0 ATS run against Michigan, and we have a combined 27-0 system backing the Hawkeyes here tonight. Bet Iowa Tuesday.
|01-01-18||Alabama -1.5 v. Clemson||Top||24-6||Win||100||654 h 29 m||Show|
25* College Bowl GAME OF THE YEAR on Alabama -1.5
Nick Saban with revenge and extra time to prepare. Sign me up. The Crimson Tide get a chance to avenge their 35-31 loss to Clemson in the National Championship last year. I fully expect them to take advantage of their opportunity, and this time around they won’t have to deal with Deshaun Watson.
This is the third straight year these teams will meet in the playoffs. The Crimson Tide were 6-point favorites two years ago and 6.5-point favorites last year. So the fact that they are only 1.5-point favorites in the grudge match shows that there is some line value here.
Let’s look at those last two meetings. Alabama led 45-33 two years ago with two minutes left before Clemson got a meaningless touchdown with 12 seconds left to cover as 6.5-point dogs. Then last year, Alabama led 31-28 with only two minutes left, only to watch Clemson score on the game’s final play on a pick play that wasn’t called to win 35-31.
That sick loss has sat in Saban and the Crimson Tide’s stomach for a full year now, and they can’t wait to get the taste out of their mouths. And they won’t have to deal with Watson this time. Kelly Bryant is a good quarterback, but he’s certainly no Watson and isn’t battle-tested in these big games like Watson was.
I think Alabama actually comes into the four-team playoff undervalued because of the fact that they are the No. 4 seed and they ended their season with a 14-26 loss at Auburn, which was their only loss of the season. It’s the first time in a long time I can remember this team being as undervalued as they are right now.
Conversely, Clemson comes into this game overvalued due to being the No. 1 seed. They were last seen beating a banged-up Miami team 38-3 in the ACC Championship. I think that Saban will feed off of the fact that they are the higher seed and cement in his players’ minds that they are the underdogs, despite the fact that Vegas disagrees, and I agree with Vegas.
The Crimson Tide were banged up on defense down the stretch this season, but they are expected to get several key players back along the defensive front seven and in the secondary for this game. They should be about as healthy as they’ve been since the start of the season. And I’d put this defense up against anyone.
Alabama gives up just 11.5 points per game, 258 yards per game and 4.0 yards per play this season against teams that average 27 points, 382 yards per game and 5.7 per play. Clemson has an elite defense as well, but it’s not as good as this Alabama unit when you compare the numbers.
Alabama also has the edge on offense, and it’s not really even that close. Clemson has taken a big step back on offense this season. Yards per play is the most important stat in my opinion. Alabama averages 6.9 yards per play against teams that give up 5.7 per play, while Clemson averages just 6.0 yards per play against teams that give up 5.7 per play. So essentially the Crimson Tide are 0.9 yards per play better than Clemson offensively.
Saban is 15-4 ATS after failing to cover three of their last four against the spread as the coach of Alabama. The Crimson Tide are 42-21 ATS in their last 63 road games following one or more consecutive ATS losses. Alabama is 10-4 ATS in its last 14 games following an ATS loss. The Crimson Tide are 4-0 ATS in their last four games on fieldturf. The Tigers are 2-7 ATS in their last nine games on fieldturf. Bet Alabama in the Sugar Bowl Monday.
|01-01-18||Magic +2 v. Nets||95-98||Loss||-105||8 h 42 m||Show|
15* NBA Monday PLAY OF THE DAY on Orlando Magic +2
The Magic just recently got healthy with Evan Fournier and Aaron Gordon returning to the lineup. These are their two leading scorers as Gordon averages 18.9 PPG while Fournier scores 18.3 PPG. They have gone 1-1 since their return with an upset win over Detroit by 13 and a 6-point loss to Miami as underdogs.
I think the Magic can take advantage of a Nets team in a terrible situation tonight. The Nets will be playing the 2nd of a back-to-back and their 5th game in 7 days after a tough 105-108 loss in Boston last night. They won’t have much left in the tank here.
The spot is even worse for the Nets considering they are coming off a five-game road trip with a ton of travel. I usually like fading tired teams off an extended road trip in their first game back home. They are usually distracted, and the Nets will certainly be distracted considering last night was New Year’s Eve.
The Nets are 6-17 ATS in home games off a division game over the last three seasons. Brooklyn is 18-33 ATS when playing 8 or more games in 14 days over the last three years. Bet the Magic Monday.
|01-01-18||Georgia v. Oklahoma +2.5||54-48||Loss||-110||80 h 34 m||Show|
15* Georgia/Oklahoma Rose Bowl ANNIHILATOR on Oklahoma +2.5
The Big 12 has put together an impressive showing in these bowl games with a 5-2 record thus far. And Oklahoma was the class of the Big 12, and it wasn’t really even close. Once again the Sooners won the conference and will get another shot at the four-team playoff here, and they’ll want to redeem themselves after losing to Clemson in their last appearance.
Now they have the best quarterback in the country in Baker Mayfield. He leads a high-octane Oklahoma offense that is putting up 44.9 points per game, 583 yards per game and 8.4 yards per play. The Sooners are scoring 17 points per game, averaging 181 yards per game and 3.1 yards per play more than their opponents allow on average this season. This offense is simply unstoppable.
TCU has a comparable defense to Georgia. The Horned Frogs were one of the best defensive teams in the country this season. And Oklahoma beat TCU 38-20 in the regular season while putting up 533 total yards. Then they backed up that win with a 41-17 win over the Horned Frogs in the Big 12 Championship Game. Georgia isn’t going to be able to stop Mayfield and company, either.
I think Georgia benefited from an extremely soft schedule this season. The SEC East was arguably the worst division of all Power 5 conferences. And they draw Mississippi State and Auburn from the SEC West, and actually lost to Auburn 17-40 in the regular season. The Bulldogs were able to get revenge in the SEC Championship against Auburn to get into the four-team playoff, but it doesn’t mask the fact that their schedule was rather easy this year outside of a 1-1 split with Auburn.
Oklahoma is 4-0 in its last four games against SEC opponents, which includes a bowl win over Alabama a few years back. The Sooners have been able to step up to the plate against the better teams, and they have been able to handle the SEC. That’s evidence by the fact that they are 11-1 ATS when playing against a team with a winning record over the last two seasons, and a perfect 7-0 ATS when playing against a team with a winning percentage of better than 75% over the last two years. Roll with Oklahoma in the Rose Bowl.
|01-01-18||Central Florida +10 v. Auburn||Top||34-27||Win||100||75 h 5 m||Show|
20* UCF/Auburn Peach Bowl No-Brainer on UCF +10
Let’s take a look at the history of how these Group of 5 teams have done against the Power 5 opponents dating back to the BCS era and currently the New Year’s 6. In the last 19 meetings, the Power 5 team has been favored 16 times. Well, the Group of 5 team has actually gone 13-6 straight up in those 19 meetings.
I think there’s an obvious explanation for the success of the Group of 5 team holding that 13-6 straight up edge. The Group of 5 team is almost always max motivated, as will be the case for UCF in this game as they are 12-0 and feel like they belong in the four-team playoff.
Conversely, the Power 5 team is not motivated. It’s a lose-lose situation for them. If they win the game they were expected to win anyways. If they lose the game, it looks really bad. And that Power 5 team likely just missed out on the four-team playoff or a bigger bowl game dating back to the BCS era.
That is the case for Auburn here. The Tigers would have made the four-team playoff had they beaten Georgia for a second time in the SEC Championship Game. Instead, they lost that game and now have to settle for the Peach Bowl. They will still be disappointed that they aren’t in the playoff, and they won’t be fully motivated for this game.
UCF has made me a lot of money this season, going 12-0 SU & 7-3-1 ATS. The Knights were really undervalued early in the year going 5-0 ATS in their last first five games while winning each of their first seven games by double-digits. I think the fact that they went just 2-3 ATS in their final five games has them undervalued.
The schedule got tougher and the pressure mounted down the stretch. They beat South Florida 49-42 to get in the AAC Championship Game, then had to face a revenge-minded Memphis team that they had beaten 40-13 earlier in the year. Memphis gave them all they wanted in a 62-55 overtime win.
I think the experience from those two close games will pay dividends for them in this game against Auburn, which I expect to be close as well. And instead of having a huge target on their backs like they did during their 12-0 run, they get to be the hunters in this game. All the pressure is on Auburn, a big-name team from the SEC with the target on their backs in this one.
I also love the fact that Scott Frost has remained with the team and will coach this game. He will keep his assistants with him before they move on full time to Nebraska after this game. It shows a lot about the character of Frost in wanting to see this unbeaten 13-0 season through.
"There's some unusual circumstances, but our staff is completely committed and we're going to do everything we can for this football team," Frost said. "It's an honor to be invited to this game. These players have poured their hearts out to accomplish a lot this year."
The Knights lead the nation in scoring offense at 49.4 points per game. They also have an elite defense, giving up just 25.2 points per game. They won’t be overmatched athletically as Frost did a tremendous job of recruiting athletes that can compete with SEC teams. The Tigers are 0-4-1 ATS in their last five non-conference games. Take UCF in the Peach Bowl Monday.
|12-31-17||Grizzlies v. Kings -2||Top||114-96||Loss||-102||8 h 31 m||Show|
20* NBA Sunday No-Doubt Rout on Sacramento Kings -2
This is the perfect spot to fade the Memphis Grizzlies. They are coming off a 128-141 shootout loss to the Golden State Warriors on the road last night. So they will be tired now as they are playing the 2nd of a back-to-back and their 7th game in 12 days tonight.
The Kings come in rested with yesterday off and motivated for a victory following an upset home loss to the Suns. It was an understandable loss as they were coming off a 109-95 upset win over the Cavs as 9.5-point dogs, so it was clearly a letdown spot. Look for them to be refocused and ready to go tonight against the fatigued Grizzlies.
Sacramento is 10-1 ATS off a loss to a division opponent over the last two seasons. The Kings are 35-16 ATS in their last 51 games off an upset loss by 10 points or more as a home favorite. Memphis is 2-11 ATS when the total is 190 to 195.5 this season. The Grizzlies are 2-11 ATS vs. a team with a losing record this season. Sacramento is 7-2-1 ATS in its last 10 games following a loss. Bet the Kings Sunday.
|12-31-17||Georgia +10 v. Kentucky||Top||61-66||Win||100||6 h 8 m||Show|
20* Georgia/Kentucky SEC Sunday No-Brainer on Georgia +10
The Kentucky Wildcats are getting way too much respect from oddsmakers off their 90-61 win over rival Louisville on Friday. Well, Louisville isn’t the same team without Rick Pitino and is clearly down this season.
That win has the betting public quickly forgetting that the Wildcats lost 75-83 to UCLA in their previous game. I think the Wildcats came out inspired because of that loss. But now they won’t have much left in the tank as they will be playing their 2nd game in 3 days here.
Georgia, on the other hand, hasn’t played since an impressive 84-66 home victory as 2-point favorites over Temple on December 22nd. This is the best Georgia team that Mark Fox has had in some time as the Bulldogs are off to a 9-2 start and have some NBA talent. They are more than capable of going toe-to-toe with this Kentucky outfit that clearly isn’t as good as in years’ past.
Georgia is 10-1 ATS in road games against conference opponents over the last two seasons. The Bulldogs are 9-2 ATS in their last 11 games as road underdogs. Georgia is 9-1 ATS when playing against a team with a winning percentage of 80% or better over the last two seasons. Roll with Georgia Sunday.
|12-31-17||49ers +4 v. Rams||Top||34-13||Win||100||126 h 36 m||Show|
20* NFC West GAME OF THE MONTH on San Francisco 49ers +4
I’ve been on the 49ers every week since Jimmy Garoppolo took over. I’m not about to buck them now. They are 4-0 SU & 3-0-1 ATS since he took over. He is undefeated in his career as a starting quarterback dating back to his time with New England. He is the real deal.
If you don’t believe Garoppolo is for real after he put up 44 points on Jacksonville’s vaunted defense last week, you need your head checked. Garopplo is completing 69.0% of his passes for 1,268 yards with 5 touchdowns and 3 interceptions for the 49ers. He is averaging 8.7 yards per attempt. Those are MVP-type numbers over a four-game sample.
The success the offense is having has prompted the defense to step up their game and play with a new passion as well. The defense is giving up just 21.5 points per game over their past four games. It’s a stop unit with a ton of talent along the front seven, and the secondary intercepted Blake Bortles three times last week. The 49ers want to finish off this 5-0 run and keep their momentum going into the offseason.
But the key handicap for this game is the motivation for the and rest situation for the Rams. I locked in the 49ers +4 early in the week anticipating that the Rams might rest starters. And that’s precisely what has happened in this game. Head coach Sean McVey came out and said that almost all of his key starters are going to rest, including Jared Goff, Todd Gurley and many others.
It was another wise move by McVey, who has been as impressive as any head coach this season. It makes 100% sense. The Rams are going to have to play next week, and they’re going to get a home game. It would actually benefit them to lose and get the No. 4 seed instead of fighting for the No. 3 seed.
That’s because the No. 4 seed is going to likely get to play the No. 1 seed Philadelphia Eagles two weeks from now. They would take on struggling Nick Foles and the Eagles, who have limped to the finish line, instead of taking on No. 2 seed Minnesota, which looks like the best team in the NFC. The Rams were already throttled 24-7 on the road by the Vikings and don’t want to have to play them again. They nearly beat the Eagles, losing 35-43 in the game that Carson Wentz got hurt.
Plays on favorites (San Francisco) after covering two of their last three games, a bad team (25% to 40%) playing a team with a winning record are 45-15 (75%) ATS since 1983. The 49ers are 4-0 ATS in their last four meetings with the Rams. Take the 49ers Sunday.
Note: I locked this line in at +4 early in the week anticipating the Rams would likely be resting their starters. That has turned out to be true. This is still a 20* play all the way to 49ers -3. It’s a 15* play at -3.5 or higher. I think there’s a good chance the 49ers blow them out of the building still, so don’t let the line move shy you away from betting them. It's a benefit to my long-term clients to get the plays as soon as I release them instead of purchasing the day of the game and getting worse lines.
|12-31-17||Cardinals +9 v. Seahawks||26-24||Win||100||123 h 26 m||Show|
15* NFL Sunday Undervalued Underdog on Arizona Cardinals +9
The fact that this is a must-win game for the Seahawks is baked into the number. They need to win and have the Falcons lost at home to the Panthers to get into the playoffs. But this line has gotten out of hand and indicates the Cardinals are just going to lay down for them. That won’t be the case.
There is rumors that it may be the last game for Bruce Arians at Arizona. His players absolutely love him and it’s well documented. It could also be the final game for Larry Fitzgerald. I think everyone will play their hearts out for those two guys, and they would love nothing more than to be the team that knocked the hated Seahawks out of the playoffs.
Quietly, the Cardinals have gotten to 7-8 this season and will be motivated to finish .500 as well. They have been hit hard by injuries, but have battled through it. They are playing their best football of the season down the stretch.
The Cardinals have actually outgained four of their last five opponents while going 3-2 over their last five games. Their defense is playing as well as any defense in the NFL, giving up just 247.4 yards per game in their last five games. And Drew Stanton and his big arm and mobility has given the offense spark. He is one of the better backup quarterbacks in the NFL.
I think Seattle beating Dallas 21-12 on the road last week has them overvalued now. But that was one of the most misleading finals you will ever see. They actually had more penalty yards (142) than total yards (136) of offense in that game. They were outgained by 147 yards by the Cowboys.
In fact, the Seahawks have been playing terrible for four straight weeks. They have been outgained in four consecutive games and by a total of 488 yards in those four, or by an average of 122 yards per game. The betting public is quick to forget that Seattle was just blown out at home 42-7 by the Rams the week prior. What a difference a week and a misleading 21-12 win over Dallas makes. Their offense is still a mess, and their defense still has injuries everywhere.
Arizona always plays Seattle tough, and that will be no different hear. And home-field advantage has meant nothing in this series of late. The road team is 5-0-1 SU & 5-0-1 ATS in the last six meetings. Arizona won outright as 9-point dogs and as 3-point dogs in its last two trips to Seattle. The Cardinals may not win outright Sunday, but they will give the Seahawks more of a fight than they bargained for.
Arians is 9-1 ATS revenging a home loss against opponent in all games he has coached. Arians is a perfect 7-0 ATS revenging a loss loss by 7 points or less as the coach of Arizona. After a tough 22-16 home loss to the Seahawks thanks to a miracle play from Russell Wilson, the Cardinals will be revenge-minded here and have the ability to pull off the upset. Roll with the Cardinals Sunday.
|12-31-17||Bulls +7.5 v. Wizards||110-114||Win||100||4 h 19 m||Show|
15* NBA Sunday Undervalued Underdog on Chicago Bulls +7.5
What do the Chicago Bulls have to do to get any love from the books? They are once again catching too many points here as 7.5-point road underdogs to the Washington Wizards.
All the Bulls have done is gone 10-2 straight up in their last 12 games and 12-1 ATS in their last 13 games. This run has coincided with Nikola Mirotic joining the lineup over the past 12 games. There’s no reason to stop backing them now.
I think the Wizards are getting love from oddsmakers from their 121-103 win over the Rockets on Friday. But that was an awful spot for the Rockets as they were playing the 2nd of a back-to-back and they were without Chris Paul. They had blown a 26-point lead to the Celtics the previous night and were in a hangover spot because of it.
The Bulls are 9-0 ATS in their last nine games following a win. Chicago is 6-1 ATS in its last seven road games. The Wizards are 1-5 ATS in their last six games following a win. The road team is 14-6 ATS in the last 20 meetings. The underdog is 19-7 ATS in the last 26 meetings. Take the Bulls Sunday.
|12-31-17||Providence +9 v. Creighton||64-83||Loss||-103||3 h 57 m||Show|
15* Big East PLAY OF THE DAY on Providence +9
The Providence Friars came into Big East play underrated due to their 2-9 ATS mark. But they had a ton of injuries in non-conference play, and then almost everyone got healthy heading into their showdown with St. John’s on Thursday.
I promptly backed the Friars in that game and they delivered with an emphatic 94-72 victory as 6-point road underdogs. I’ll back them again here as they are simply catching too many points as 9-point road underdogs at Creighton.
Providence is going to want some revenge from a 58-70 loss to Creighton in the Big East Tournament last year. And home-court advantage has meant nothing in this series as the road team has won three of the last four meetings outright, including both meetings last year. Providence won 68-66 as 7-point road dogs at Creighton last year and returned all five starters from that team.
The Friars are 7-0 ATS off an upset win as an underdog over the last two seasons. Providence is 10-2 ATS in road games off a win by 10 points or more over the last three seasons. The Friars are 16-3 ATS after two straight games committing 11 or fewer turnovers over the last three seasons. Providence is 9-2 ATS in its last 11 vs. Big East opponents. The Friars are 8-3 ATS in their last 11 road games. The Bluejays are 0-5 ATS in their last five games vs. a team with a winning % above .600. Bet Providence Sunday.
|12-31-17||Browns +14 v. Steelers||Top||24-28||Win||100||122 h 30 m||Show|
25* NFL GAME OF THE YEAR on Cleveland Browns +14
The Cleveland Browns are now assured the No. 1 pick in next year’s draft. I don’t think they were purposely tanking this season to get that pick, but that’s what happens when you go 0-15. So now their focus will be on getting a win and not becoming the second 0-16 team, joining the Detroit Lions.
I took the Browns early in the week when the line came out anticipating that the Steelers were going to rest their starters. The Steelers clinched a first-round bye on Monday with their 34-6 win over the Texans. So now they’ll be on a short week, and they would be wise to rest their starters.
Plus, the Patriots are 15.5-point home favorites over the Jets. Conventional wisdom says the Patriots aren’t losing that game, so the Steelers have no chance to get the No. 1 seed in the AFC. The more important thing is for them to be healthy going into the playoffs because they haven’t been fully healthy for years.
The Killer B’s have all missed time in the playoffs in recent years. Le’Veon Bell seems to get hurt going into or during the playoffs every year. But he’s healthy now and Mike Tomlin would be wise to sit him. He would also be wise to sit Big Ten, and Antonio Brown is already out. He is expected to return for the playoffs, though.
Tomlin has already hinted at all three of these players resting early on in the week, and tackle Marcus Gilbert came out and said as much as Big Ten and Bell won’t play. He said Landry Jones will get the start. Don’t be surprised if several other key players get the day off.
This happened in Week 17 last year as well. Cleveland nearly beat the Steelers on the road. They lost 24-27 at Pittsburgh as 3-point underdogs in overtime. Don’t be surprised if this line gets down to close to the -3 mark as well if Tomlin rests as many players as I’m anticipating, and plays this like a preseason game as he should.
Cleveland played one of its best games of the year against Pittsburgh back in Week 1. The Browns only lost that game 18-21 as 10-point home underdogs. They haven’t been as bad as their 0-15 record would suggest this season. But they are last in the NFL in turnover differential by a wide margin. They are -28 in turnovers on the season, which is almost unheard of.
Design Kizer should have a much better day against a Steelers team that will be treating this like a preseason game. I think the Browns want to go into the offseason with some momentum and a win. They are only getting outgained by 23 yards per game on the season, so obviously it has just been the turnovers that killed them. There are many teams with worse yardage differentials than them.
Plays on underdogs of 10.5 or more points (Cleveland) - off a loss by 14 points or more against an opponent that scored 30 or more points in their last game are 27-5 (84.4%) ATS over the last 10 seasons. Pittsburgh is 12-27 ATS in its last 39 games as a favorite of 10 or more points. Bet the Browns Sunday.
Note: This play is a 25* all the way down to +10. It's a 20* from +7 to +9.5. It's a 15* at +6.5 or less. I realize this line has moved a ton since more information became available. That's why it's a benefit to my long-term clients to get my plays as soon as I release them instead of buying them the day of the game and getting worse lines.
|12-30-17||76ers v. Nuggets OVER 215.5||107-102||Loss||-110||11 h 49 m||Show|
15* NBA Saturday Total DOMINATOR on 76ers/Nuggets OVER 215.5
The 76ers are a much better team with Joel Embiid in the lineup, but they are also a much worse defensive team without him. And that leads me to take the OVER here in this game between the 76ers and Nuggets tonight with Embiid out. The 76ers play at a much faster tempo without him because they don’t have to run their offense through him. They also play little to no defense.
These two teams are mirror images of one another for the most part. They both have skilled big men, they both thrive on offense, and they both play little defense. The Nuggets average 111.7 points per game at home this season and give up 105.8 points per game overall. The 76ers are averaging 107.9 point points per game overall and giving up 110.7 points per game on the road.
The Nuggets are coming off a 125-128 overtime loss at Minnesota, while the 76ers are coming off a 110-114 loss in Portland. The last time these two teams met up came in Denver last year with the 76ers winning 124-122 for 246 combined points.
The OVER is 9-2 in Nuggets last 11 vs. NBA Atlantic Division opponents. The OVER is 4-1 in 76ers last five vs. Western Conference foes. Denver is 16-3 OVER in home games off a division game over the last three seasons. The Nuggets are 10-1 OVER after a combined score of 245 points or more over the last two years. Denver is 32-11 OVER versus poor defensive teams allow 106 or more points per game over the last two seasons. Roll with the OVER in this game Saturday.
|12-30-17||Wisconsin v. Miami-FL +6||34-24||Loss||-103||83 h 54 m||Show|
15* Wisconsin/Miami Orange Bowl ANNIHILATOR on Miami +6
No Power 5 team played a softer schedule than Wisconsin this season. The Badgers played in the weak Big Ten West Division and took advantage. That is evident in the fact that they were double-digit favorites in 11 of their 12 regular season games this year.
We saw that weak schedule catch up to them in the Big Ten Championship in a 21-27 loss to Ohio State, which is also a team that I think is overrated. But that game was a bigger blowout than the final score showed. The Badgers were outgained by 151 yards by the Buckeyes and should have lost by more.
Now the Badgers will have to deal with either the first or second-best team they have faced all season in Miami. The Hurricanes went through the gauntlet this season in the ACC, and they also beat Notre Dame 41-8 out of conference. I think they come into this game undervalued due to losing their final two games to Pittsburgh and Clemson on the road after their 10-0 start.
I like this matchup for the Hurricanes. Their front seven is loaded with athletes that will be able to slow down Wisconsin’s running game. The Hurricanes only allow 146 rushing yards per game and 3.5 per carry this season. And they have a ball-hawking secondary, forcing 22 turnovers in their last seven games. That could be a problem for Wisconsin QB Alex Hornibrook, who has thrown 15 interceptions this year.
Wisconsin didn’t handle the most athletic team they’ve seen this season in Ohio State very well. They gave up 449 total yards to the Buckeyes and were held to just 298 total yards themselves. They gave up 238 rushing yards to Ohio State. I have no doubt Miami’s athletes are going to be a problem in this game on both sides of the ball for the slower Badgers.
I also question Wisconsin’s motivation in this game. It’s the second straight year that the Badgers have had to play in a second-tier bowl game. Had they beaten Ohio State, they would have made the four-team playoff. After letting that opportunity slip through their grasps, I don’t think they’ll be nearly as motivated to win the Orange Bowl.
This is going to be a home game for the Hurricanes being played at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami. That is a huge advantage for their team as this has become a rabid fan base once again now that Mark Richt has put the program back on the map. And Richt has proven to be a quality coach with extra time to prepare, going 10-5 SU & 9-6 ATS in his career in bowl games.
"It means a lot," defensive lineman Kendrick Norton said. "Obviously, it's going to be like a home game for us, so we will be comfortable. Miami hasn't been (in the Orange Bowl) for a while, so we have a lot of pride in getting there and doing well.”
The Hurricanes went 7-0 at home this season and outscored opponents by 18.0 points per game. Miami is 4-0 ATS in its last four home games vs. a team with a winning road record. The Hurricanes are 6-2 ATS in their last eight non-conference games. I believe the wrong team is favored in this game. Take Miami Saturday.
|12-30-17||Louisiana Tech v. Marshall -2||Top||65-78||Win||100||9 h 56 m||Show|
20* CBB Saturday No-Doubt Rout on Marshall -2
The Marshall Thundering Herd have been one of the most underrated teams in the country since Dan D’Antoni took over a few years ago. They are off to a 10-4 start this season, and they are 27-14 ATS as a favorite over the last three seasons.
Marshall is a perfect 9-0 at home this season, outscoring opponents by 14.6 points per game on average. Now they face a LA Tech team that is 0-3 in true road games this season. I think we are getting quite the discount here with Marshall as only a 2-point home favorite.
LA Tech is 2-10 ATS in Saturday road games over the last three seasons. Marshall is 6-0 ATS off two straight wins by 15 points or more over the last three years. The Thundering Herd are 21-8 ATS in their last 29 home games vs. a team with a losing road record. Bet Marshall Saturday.
|12-30-17||Texas A&M v. Alabama +1||57-79||Win||102||7 h 20 m||Show|
15* CBB Saturday UPSET SHOCKER on Alabama +1
The No. 9 Texas A&M Aggies are a good team to fade opening SEC play. They are overvalued due to their 11-1 start. But this isn’t the same team that they were early in the season due to all the injuries and suspensions here of late.
That has shown up in their last two games as the Aggies only beat Northern Kentucky by 6 and Buffalo by 16 at home. Now they will be playing just their second true road games of the entire season. And they are missing leading scorer DJ Hogg (14.6 ppg, 6.8 rpg) due to a suspension and third-leading scorer Admon Gilder (12.7 ppg, 5.3 rpg) due to a knee injury.
Alabama was banged-up early but now is healthy and will be a dangerous team moving forward under Avery Johnson. The Crimson Tide have gone 5-1 at home this season with solid wins over Texas-Arlington, LA Tech and Rhode Island.
Texas A&M is 3-11 ATS following an ATS win over the last two seasons. Alabama is 15-4 ATS in its last 19 games after scoring 50 points or fewer. The Crimson Tide are 10-1 ATS in their last 11 games following a double-digit home loss. The Aggies are 1-7 ATS in their last eight games following an ATS win. Take Alabama Saturday.
|12-30-17||Washington v. Penn State -1.5||Top||28-35||Win||100||79 h 35 m||Show|
20* Washington/Penn State Fiesta Bowl No-Brainer on Penn State -1.5
Penn State is good enough to be a playoff team. Their two losses this season came by a combined 4 points to Ohio State and Michigan State both on the road. In fact, they have now lost three games over the past year and a half by a combined 7 points when you factor in their 52-49 loss to USC in the Rose Bowl last year. I would argue that they are the best team in the Big Ten right now.
The Nittany Lions are loaded on offense with Trace McSorley, Saquon Barkley and four receivers with 40-plus receptions this season. They average 41.6 points per game. They also have an elite defense that gives up 15.5 points per game. I think the Nittany Lions are the more battle-tested team playing a much tougher schedule in the Big Ten East division.
I’m way down on the Pac-12 in these bowl games. I’ve faded several Pac-12 teams with success up to this point. Washington played a very soft schedule this season and isn’t battle-tested. The Huskies lost to both Arizona State and Stanford on the road this season, managing just 7 points and 230 total yards against ASU and 22 points and 315 total yards against Stanford.
And that’s the problem for the Huskies and why I don’t trust them. Quarterback Jake Browning has come up short time and time again in big games. He was off the mark against Stanford and ASU this year, and he was overwhelmed against both USC and Alabama last year. He has thrown for only 2,544 yards and 18 touchdowns on the season.
McSorley has upped his play in the biggest games with what he did against USC last year and at Ohio State this year on the road, leading the Nittany Lions to 49 and 38 points against those two teams, respectively. He has accounted for 37 total touchdowns this season with 26 passing and 11 rushing. I simply trust McSorley more than Browning at the all-important QB position in what is otherwise a pretty evenly matched game elsewhere on the field.
The Nittany Lions are 16-4-2 ATS in their last 22 games overall. They have been extremely undervalued for two straight seasons now. James Franklin is 7-0 ATS off two consecutive wins by 10 points or more over conference opponents as the coach of Penn State. Franklin is 7-0 ATS off a road win as the coach of the Nittany Lions. Franklin is 9-0 ATS off three straight conference wins as the coach of Penn State. Take these three 100% never lost systems straight to the bank today. Bet Penn State Saturday.
|12-29-17||USC +8.5 v. Ohio State||Top||7-24||Loss||-115||59 h 25 m||Show|
20* USC/Ohio State Cotton Bowl No-Brainer on USC +8.5
This is a classic case of Urban Meyer and Ohio State getting way too much respect in another bowl game. There’s no way this line should be 8.5 or even over a touchdown. It should be close to Ohio State -3, and I wouldn’t be surprised if USC won this game outright.
I question the Buckeyes’ motivation a little in this game because they thought they did enough to make the four-team playoff by winning the Big Ten. But a 16-31 home loss to Oklahoma and a 24-55 road loss at Iowa as 18-point favorites did them in, and I 100% agree with the committee they aren’t one of the best four teams in the country. They have to be deflated a little playing in this second-tier bowl game.
USC, on the other hand, was never going to make the four-team playoff after losing two games to Washington State and Notre Dame both on the road midseason. But I like the way this team fought back by going 5-0 over their final five games. I think they’re more than happy to be playing in the Cotton Bowl after beating Stanford in the Pac-12 Championship because they were never talked about for the four-team playoff down the stretch.
It seemed like every time Ohio State took a step up in class this season they did not play well. They lost to Oklahoma and Iowa as mentioned before. They needed to erase a 19-point deficit at home to beat Penn State 39-38. They trailed Michigan most the way before winning 31-20. And they couldn’t put away Wisconsin in a 27-21 win in the Big Ten Championship. I would argue USC is the best team they have faced since Oklahoma, so I don’t know how oddsmakers can expect them to beat the Trojans by more than a touchdown.
USC has played Big Ten teams each of the last three seasons in bowls. They went 2-1 with their only loss coming 21-23 to Wisconsin. They beat Penn State 52-49 last year in the Rose Bowl, the same Penn State team that had beaten Ohio State. They racked up 575 total yards on the Nittany Lions behind 453 passing from Sam Darnold. He’ll be ultra-motivated to put on another lasting impression and improve his draft stock. He threw 14 touchdowns with just 3 interceptions over his final seven games this season.
The Buckeyes are 0-4 ATS in their last four non-conference games. Ohio State is 1-4 ATS in its last five games following a win. The Buckeyes are 3-7 ATS in their last 10 games vs. a team with a winning record. They padded their stats against weak Big Ten teams this year. Now they take a massive step up in class in the Cotton Bowl. Bet USC Friday.
|12-29-17||Pacers v. Bulls -2||Top||107-119||Win||100||8 h 10 m||Show|
25* NBA Revenge GAME OF THE YEAR on Chicago Bulls -2.5
The Chicago Bulls are 9-2 SU & 10-1 ATS since Nikola Mirotic made his season debut. They are getting contributions from everywhere and continue to be one of the most undervalued teams in the NBA at this point in the season.
Now the mission will be to avenge a 96-98 road loss at Indiana the game before this streak started. The Bulls led that game 83-69 entering the fourth quarter, but were outscored 29-13 in the final period. There’s no question they haven’t forgotten that loss and will want to get their revenge at home this time around.
I like their chances considering Indiana is likely to be without its best player in Victor Oladipo in this one. Oladipo missed the last game with knee soreness and is doubtful to play tonight. It would be a huge loss for the Pacers as he averages 24.9 points per game and is their emotional leader.
The Bulls are 10-1 ATS in their last 11 games overall, 6-0 ATS in their last six home games and 8-0 ATS in their last eight games following a win. The favorite is 5-1 ATS in the last six meetings. The home team has won 10 of the last 12 meetings and is 13-6 ATS in the last 19 meetings. Take the Bulls Friday.
|12-29-17||Northern Illinois +16 v. Iowa||75-98||Loss||-107||9 h 37 m||Show|
15* CBB Friday Undervalued Underdog on Northern Illinois +16
The Iowa Hawkeyes are getting way too much respect from oddsmakers tonight. This is a team that lost by 24 to VA Tech, by 9 to LA Lafayette, but 8 to South Dakota State and by 13 to Indiana among their six losses already this season.
But people are quick to forget those awful losses because the Hawkeyes have won four in a row coming into this game, including covering three straight spreads. But those four wins came against Southern University, Drake, Southern Utah and Colorado. It hasn’t exactly been murderer’s row to say the least.
Now the Hawkeyes have to face a game Northern Illinois team that hasn’t lost any game by more than 14 points this season. The Huskies covered as 15.5-point underdogs in a 14-point loss at Iowa State, the same Iowa State team that beat Iowa 84-78. Even more impressively, they only lost 70-79 at Marquette as 16.5-point dogs.
I think this is a lookahead spot for Iowa to a big showdown with Michigan on January 2nd as they get back into conference play. NIU is 74-46 ATS in its last 120 games as a dog of 10 or more points. The Huskies are 4-1-1 ATS in their last six road games. Roll with Northern Illinois Friday.
|12-28-17||Michigan State +1 v. Washington State||42-17||Win||100||43 h 35 m||Show|
15* Michigan State/Washington State Holiday Bowl BAILOUT on Michigan State +1
This line is moving toward Michigan State for good reason. Washington State opened as a 4.5-point favorite and now is only a 1-point favorite and even underdogs in some spots. I totally agree with this move as I currently lock in Michigan State as a 1-point underdog in the Holiday Bowl.
For starters, Mark Dantonio is 17-4 ATS in his last 21 games as an underdog. I realize the Spartans may not be dogs by the time this game goes off. But it’s still worth noting and just goes to show how he has been one of the most underrated head coaches in the country. He almost always exceeds expectations.
That was certainly the case this season as nothing was expected from Michigan State after they went just 3-9 last year. They returned only eight starters from that squad. It was a young team, and Dantonio worked his magic by getting the Spartans to 9-3. Now they have a chance for their fourth 10-win season in the past five years and will be highly motivated to get it.
It wasn’t a fluky 9-3, either. Michigan State actually outgained 10 of its 12 opponents this season with he only exceptions both coming on the road at Ohio State and Michigan, and they beat Michigan 14-10 as 13-point dogs. They are outgaining opponents by 80 yards per game on the season. Their defense has been very good, giving up just 298 yards per game.
I really question Washington State’s motivation coming into this game. The Cougars had a chance to get to the Pac-12 Championship in their season finale against Washington for a second consecutive season. And for a second straight year, they fell flat on their faces with a 14-41 loss at 9.5-point underdogs. Luke Falk was overwhelmed and played one of the worst games of his career with 3 interceptions. After playing for such high stakes and coming up short, I can’t see the Cougars being all that motivated to play Michigan State here.
Now Falk’s job gets even tougher due to the losses of his two best receivers in Tavares Martin Jr. and Isaiah Johnson0Mack, who have both been dismissed from the team heading into the bowl game. These two combined for 130 receptions, 1,386 receiving yards and 14 touchdowns this season. The fact that both aren’t playing helps explain this line move in Michigan State’s favor.
Washington State hasn’t fared very well in the three bowl games under Mike Leach over the past four seasons. Despite being favored in all three games, the Cougars have gone just 1-2 SU & 1-2 ATS. They lost as 5-point favorites to Colorado State in 2013, barely beat Miami 20-14 as 3-point favorites in 2015, and lost 12-17 to Minnesota as 10-point favorites last year. The Spartans are by far the best bowl team that the Cougars will have faced in the Leach era.
The Spartans have been impressive in bowl games over the last six years under Dantonio. They have gone 4-1 SU & 4-1 ATS despite being underdogs in all five. They lost to Alabama in the four-team playoff two years ago, but upset Georgia, TCU, Stanford and Baylor in their previous four bowl games.
Dantonio is 6-0 ATS in road games off a double-digit road win as the coach of Michigan State. The Spartans are 12-1 ATS in their last 13 games after allowing 150 or fewer yards in their previous game. The Cougars are 1-5 ATS in their last six vs. Big Ten opponents. Take Michigan State Thursday.
|12-28-17||Wolves v. Bucks -3.5||Top||96-102||Win||100||8 h 57 m||Show|
20* NBA Thursday No-Doubt Rout on Milwaukee Bucks -3.5
The Minnesota Timberwolves will be playing the 2nd of a back-to-back and their 3rd game in 4 days after a grueling 128-125 overtime victory over the Denver Nuggets last night. They won’t have much left in the tank for the Milwaukee Bucks tonight, especially since they are expected to be without starting PG Jeff Teague.
Milwaukee comes into this game highly motivated for a victory after back-to-back losses to Charlotte and Chicago. The Bucks will be the much fresher team as this will be just their 2nd game in 5 days. I expect a big effort from them tonight.
The home team is 3-0 SU & 3-0 ATS in the last three meetings. The Bucks own the Timberwolves, going 5-1 SU & 5-1 ATS in the last six meetings. They won their last three home meetings with the Timberwolves by 7, 15 and 14 points. The Bucks are 6-1 ATS in the last seven meetings overall.
The Timberwolves are 6-19-1 ATS in their last 26 vs. Eastern Conference opponents. The Bucks are 3-0-1 ATS In their last four games vs. at team with a winning record. Minnesota is 1-8 ATS in non-conference games this season. The Timberwolves are 17-42 ATS in their last 59 after scoring 120 points or more in their previous game. The Bucks are 25-12 ATS in home games after having lost two of their last three games over the past three seasons. Bet the Bucks Thursday.
|12-28-17||Bradley v. Drake OVER 139||64-66||Loss||-115||8 h 51 m||Show|
15* CBB Thursday Total DOMINATOR on Bradley/Drake OVER 139
The Drake Bulldogs play an up-tempo system under first-year head coach Niko Medved now. The betting markets have been slow to catch up as the OVER is 7-3 in all Drake games this season. I look for a high-scoring affair tonight in their conference opener with Bradley.
Drake is putting up 79.5 points per game and giving up 77.6 points per game on the season. They are shooting 41% from 3-point range which has been the key to their offensive success. But they still don’t play any defense, giving up 47.4% shooting to opponents.
Just looking at this head-to-head history it’s easy to see there’s value with the OVER. The OVER is 4-1 in the last five meetings, and that was before Medved was head coach at Drake. They combined for 143 or more points in four of the five meetings. And they averaged 145.0 combined points per game in those five meetings. Drake will control the tempo playing at home tonight.
Drake is 8-1 OVER at home when the line is +3 to -3 over the last three seasons. The OVER is 9-1 in Drake’s last 10 December games. The OVER is 5-1 in Bulldogs last six games overall. The OVER is 9-2 in Bulldogs last 11 games vs. a team with a winning record. The OVER is 45-20 in Bulldogs last 65 home games. Roll with the OVER in this game Thursday.
|12-28-17||Providence +6.5 v. St. John's||94-72||Win||100||7 h 52 m||Show|
15* CBB Thursday Undervalued Underdog on Providence +6.5
The Providence Friars are are undervalued right now because of a 2-9 ATS start to the season. But that is largely due to some significant injuries, and this team is getting healthy heading into conference season. I expect them to make a statement with likely an upset victory over St. John’s tonight, though we’ll take the points for some insurance.
St. John’s is getting a lot of love due to its 10-2 start to the season. But the Red Storm have played a considerably weaker schedule than Providence. They still haven’t played a true road game, and they lost to the best teams they faced in Missouri (82-90) and Arizona State (70-82) on a neutral court. The Red Storm are still without their best player in G Marcus Lovett, who is doubtful tonight with an ankle injury.
Providence is 4-1 SU & 4-1 ATS in its last five meetings with St. John’s. Home-court advantage has meant very little as the road team is 4-1 SU & 4-1 ATS in the last five meetings. Providence has won its last three trips to St. John’s by 11, 14 and 17 points.
The Friars are 8-2 ATS in their last 10 vs. Big East opponents. Providence is 7-3 ATS in its last 10 road games. St. John’s is 2-9 ATS in its last 11 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600. Take Providence Thursday.
|12-28-17||Virginia Tech v. Oklahoma State -4||Top||21-30||Win||100||69 h 54 m||Show|
20* VA Tech/Oklahoma State Camping World Bowl No-Brainer on Oklahoma State -4
The Oklahoma State Cowboys were a national title contender coming into the season. So their 9-3 record is a bit of a disappointment, but it also has them coming into the bowl season undervalued. This team is among the Top 10 in the country talent-wise, and I think the price is cheap here as only 4-point favorites over the VA Tech Hokies in the Camping World Bowl because of it.
The Cowboys were a very public team after a 3-0 SU & 3-0 ATS start with three blowout victories. But they couldn’t live up to the expectations after that, going just 3-6 ATS over their final nine games as they were consistently laying big numbers that they couldn’t cover. But now they are in the type of price range that’s easy for them to cover as they basically just have to win the game by a touchdown or more here.
The three losses came to Oklahoma, TCU and Kansas State at home, and they were competitive in all three games. Most impressively is the fact that Oklahoma State went 6-0 on the road. The Cowboys averaged 42.7 points and 532 yards per game on the road while giving up just 25.5 points and 345 yards per game on the highway. They outscored teams by 17.2 points per game and outgunned them by 187 yards per game on the road this season.
Everyone knows about Oklahoma State’s high-powered offense that averages 46.2 points, 576 yards per game and 7.3 yards per play on the season against teams that allow 28.7 points, 420 yards per game and 5.9 per play. They are topping their opponent’s season averages by 17.5 points per game, 156 yards per game and 1.4 per play. Mason Rudolph is one of the best quarterbacks in the country, completing 65% of his passes for 4,553 yards with 35 touchdowns and only 9 interceptions while averaging 10.0 per attempt.
But most folks don’t realize how improved Oklahoma State’s defense is this season. The Cowboys are allowing only 400 yards per game and 5.5 per play against teams that average 415 yards per game and 5.9 per play. Their defense fell off toward the end of the year against Oklahoma, and then with hangover games against Iowa State and Kansas State. But this defense is loaded with speed and talent and will be re-focused for this bowl game against Virginia Tech.
The Hokies have a great defense, there’s no question, but their offense is just average. They score 28.7 points pre game and average 5.4 yards per play against teams that give up 5.6 per play. They struggle to throw the football, and they are stubborn trying to run the ball. They average 44 rushing attempts per game, but only 167 rushing yards per game and 3.8 per carry.
Virginia Tech’s offense won’t be able to keep up with Mason Rudolph and company in this one. That’s especially the case now that they are going to be without two of their best playmakers in WR Cam Phillips and RB Travon McMillian. Phillips is the leading receiver on the team by a landslide with 71 receptions for 964 yards and 7 touchdowns, so his loss is huge. McMillian leads the team in rushing and is a significant loss as well.
Oklahoma State is 28-12 ATS in its last 40 games after scoring 50 points or more in its last game. Mike Gundy is 19-10 ATS as a favorite of 3.5 to 10 points as the coach of Oklahoma State. Gundy is 15-4 ATS after two straight games with 40 or more pass attempts as the coach of the Cowboys. The Cowboys are 5-0 ATS in their last five non-conference games. Bet Oklahoma State Thursday.
|12-27-17||Cavs v. Kings +9.5||Top||95-109||Win||100||11 h 29 m||Show|
20* NBA DOG OF THE WEEK on Sacramento Kings +9.5
The Cleveland Cavaliers are in a big hangover spot tonight against the Sacramento Kings. They just lost to their biggest rivals in the Golden State Warriors 99-92 on Christmas Day. There’s no way they will bring the same intensity to this game against the Kings that they did against the Warriors.
That’s especially the case considering they just beat the Kings 101-95 as 12.5-point home favorites earlier this month. They will think they can just show up and win, while the Kings will be ultra motivated to get revenge and pull off the upset.
I realize the Kings played last night against the Clippers on the road, but that was a blowout and they won’t be fatigued because of it. They were probably looking ahead to this game. And this will be just their 3rd game in 7 days, so the effects of the back-to-back are a non-factor here.
Cleveland is 0-8 ATS when playing against a team with a winning percentage of 25% to 40% this season. The Cavaliers are 3-14 ATS vs. teams with losing records this season. Cleveland is 0-12 ATS as a favorite of 9.5 or more points this season. The Cavaliers are 5-21 ATS as a favorite this year. Bet the Kings Wednesday.
|12-27-17||Colorado State +11.5 v. Boise State||71-93||Loss||-115||11 h 44 m||Show|
15* CBB Wednesday Undervalued Underdog on Colorado State +11.5
The head-to-head series between Colorado State and Boise State has been remarkably close. That’s why the Rams getting 11.5 points here is way too much, and I think there’s a ton of value with this double-digit underdog tonight.
Indeed, each of the last seven meetings in this series have been decided by 7 points or fewer. They have been decided by 3, 1, 7, 4, 4, 4, and 6 points in the last seven meetings, respectively. Colorado State has gone 4-1 ATS in the last five meetings, and the underdog is 6-1 ATS in the last seven meetings.
Boise State is 1-8 ATS in home games against conference opponents over the last two seasons. The Broncos are actually losing 74.4 to 74.6 on average in this spot. The Rams are 10-4-1 ATS in their last 15 conference games. The Broncos are 1-8 ATS in their last nine conference games. Roll with Colorado State Wednesday.
|12-27-17||Purdue +3.5 v. Arizona||Top||38-35||Win||100||203 h 40 m||Show|
20* Purdue/Arizona Foster Farms Bowl No-Brainer on Purdue +3.5
Jeff Brohm seriously deserved coach of the year consideration for the job he did at Purdue this season. He took a team that was 9-39 over the past four seasons and got them to 6-6 and a bowl game in the rugged Big Ten. This team was undervalued all seasons with their 8-4 ATS record, and I think they remain undervalued as underdogs here to Arizona in the Foster Farms Bowl.
What the Boilermakers did down the stretch shows how badly they wanted to make a bowl game. They went 3-1 over their final four games, beating Illinois 29-10 at home, Iowa 24-15 as 6-point road underdogs, and Indiana 31-24 at home. That Indiana game was a 31-10 blowout late in the fourth quarter before giving up two garbage touchdowns late. And in their lone loss, they put up 438 total yards against a very good Northwestern team in a 13-23 road loss. They outgained the Wildcats in that contest.
So there’s no question that Purdue wants to be playing in this bowl game. It will be their first bowl game since 2012 and only their third bowl appearance in the last 10 years. And Brohm is 2-0 in his career in bowl games. At Western Kentucky, they beat Memphis 51-31 as 7-point favorites in 2016 and USF 45-35 as 2-point favorites in 2015. I trust Brohm and his players to come forth with a big effort in this game Wednesday.
Brohm was known for his offense at Western Kentucky, and while they do have a solid offense that averages 5.6 yards per play against teams that only allow 5.3 per play, the real improvement on this team has come on defense. The Boilermakers only allow 19.3 points per game and 5.2 yards per play against teams that average 28.6 yards per game and 5.7 per play. They are holding opponents to 9.3 points and 0.5 yards per play below their season averages. That’s the sign of an elite defense.
I think Arizona remains overvalued due to the Khalil Tate factor. He has taken the college football world by storm. And he started off tremendous against some bad teams, but then teams got film on him and the Wildcats struggled down the stretch. Arizona went 1-3 SU & 1-3 ATS over its final four games with its only win coming against terrible Oregon State. The Wildcats lost all three games by double-digits.
No question Purdue has a massive edge on defense in this game. And the matchup favors this Purdue defense because stopping Tate and the running game is the key. The Boilermakers are equipped to do just that. They give up just 132 rushing yards per game and 3.6 per carry against opponents that average 174 rushing yards per game and 4.5 per carry on average. They are holding teams to 42 yards and 0.9 per carry less than their season averages.
Arizona has one of the worst defenses in the country. They give up 34.1 points, 464 yards per game and 6.0 yards per play against teams that average 28 points, 420 yards per game and 5.7 per play. The Wildcats have allowed 37 or more points in six of their last eight games coming into this bowl game. It’s a defense that cannot be trusted, and certainly one that can’t be trusted to lay points here.
While Brohm is 2-0 SU & 2-0 ATS in bowl games, Arizona head coach Rich Rodriquez has been terrible in bowl games. Rodriquez is just 3-7 ATS in his career in bowl games. Arizona barely beat New Mexico last year and barely beat Nevada a few years back. The Wildcats lost when they took a step up in class in recent bowl games against Oklahoma State and Boise State. And I think Purdue is a step up in class for them here. The Wildcats are also 1-5 ATS in their last six bowl games.
Rodriquez is 1-10 ATS in road games after three straight games where 60 or more points were scored in all games he has coached. Brohm is 10-2 ATS versus good rushing teams averaging 4.75 or more yards per carry in all games he has coached. Arizona is 0-7 ATS in road games off two straight conference games over the last two seasons. The Wildcats are 0-6 ATS in road games in the second half of the season over the last two seasons. Purdue is 6-0 ATS in road games off one or more straight overs over the last two years. The Wildcats are 0-4 ATS in their last four neutral site games. The Boilermakers are 4-0 ATS in their last four non-conference games. These seven trends combine for a 47-3 system backing the Boilermakers. Bet Purdue Wednesday.
|12-27-17||Celtics v. Hornets +1.5||102-91||Loss||-105||8 h 5 m||Show|
15* NBA Wednesday No-Doubt Rout on Charlotte Hornets +1.5
The Boston Celtics are running on fumes right now. They haven’t had two straight days off since November 28-29. They will be playing their 11th game in 19 days here tonight, and they have a home game against Houston on deck tomorrow.
It’s no wonder the Celtics are currently going through their roughest stretch of the season. They have lost three of their last four to Miami, New York and Washington. The Celtics are just 3-8-1 ATS in their last 12 games overall.
Making matters worse for the Celtics is that they are banged-up right now. They are without Marcus Morris, Jaylen Brown and Semi Ojeleye for this game. Their depth, which has been a huge strength up to this point, has been compromised.
The Hornets are fresh and ready to go tonight as they have had three days off since beating the Bucks 111-106 at home on Saturday. They are also extremely healthy right now for the first time basically all season as they only significant player they are missing is bench player Cody Zeller.
The Hornets blew a 57-41 halftime lead and lost 87-90 at Boston in their only meeting against the Celtics this season. They will be motivated for revenge at home this time around. The Hornets are 19-8 ATS in their last 27 home games when playing only their 2nd game in 5 days. Take the Hornets Wednesday.
|12-27-17||Boston College v. Iowa -2.5||20-27||Win||100||45 h 56 m||Show|
15* Boston College/Iowa Pinstripe Bowl ANNIHILATOR on Iowa -2.5
Let’s just start out with the fact that Iowa is going to be highly motivated for a victory in this bowl game. The Hawkeyes have lost five straight bowl games and really want to end that streak. But there’s a reason they’ve lost five straight because they have been underdogs in all five against superior competition.
The five losses have come to Oklahoma as 13-point dogs, LSU as 7-point dogs, Tennessee as 3-point dogs, Stanford as 6-point dogs and Florida as 3-point dogs. Now they finally get to take a step down in class after a 7-5 season against 7-5 Boston College. And they’re favored for a reason here because they are clearly the better team. And these Iowa seniors will be motivated to taste their first bowl victory.
Iowa closed it season with a 56-14 blowout at Nebraska. Four of Iowa’s five losses this season came by single-digits, and the one exception was a loss at Wisconsin the week after their 55-24 win over Ohio State. That was arguably the best win of the season of any team in college football against the Buckeyes, and it was clearly a massive letdown spot the next week against Wisconsin.
Boston College had a very impressive season with one of the youngest teams in the country. But a big reason for the Eagles’ success was freshman quarterback Anthony Brown. This offense isn’t nearly as explosive without Brown’s dual-threat ability. He has missed the final two games of the season.
I think people will see that Boston College blew out its final opponents so the Brown loss isn’t that big. But one of the wins was against one of the worst teams in college football in UConn 39-16, and the other was against a Syracuse team that was without starting quarterback Eric Dungey by a final of 42-14. UConn and Syracuse have terrible defenses, and this will be a big step up in class for backup QB Darius Wade against this Iowa defense.
Boston College only averages 163 passing yards per game and 5.7 per attempt. So the key to stopping the Eagles is stopping their running game, which averages 224 yards per game and 4.7 per carry. That makes this a perfect matchup for head coach Kirk Ferentz and this Iowa defense. His teams have always thrived against power-running teams, and that will show in this next trend.
Ferentz is 36-15 ATS versus good rushing teams averaging 200 or more rushing yards per game as the coach of Iowa. The Hawkeyes gave up just 19.9 points per game this season, and they allowed just 142 rushing yards per game and 4.1 per carry in the rugged Big Ten. Iowa is 55-28 ATS in its last 83 games after failing to cover the spread in two of its last three games coming in. The Eagles are 2-6 ATS in their last eight bowl games. The Eagles are 1-4 ATS in their last five vs. Big Ten opponents. Boston College is 1-8 ATS in its last nine December games. Take Iowa in the Pinstripe Bowl Wednesday.
|12-26-17||Kansas State v. UCLA UNDER 60.5||35-17||Win||100||25 h 31 m||Show|
15* Kansas State/UCLA Cactus Bowl BAILOUT on UNDER 60.5
Josh Rosen, the potential No. 1 overall pick in this year’s draft, is doubtful to play in this game with a concussion. The line moving from K-State -2.5 to -6.5 indicates he is not going to play. That completely changes the complexion of this game, and I think the UNDER is a great beat tonight.
Rosen means everything to this offense. He is completing 62.5 percent of his passes for 3,717 yards with 26 touchdowns and 10 interceptions on the season while averaging 8.2 per attempt. Backup Devon Modster hasn’t been nearly as effective in spot duty for him. Look for the Bruins to go to more of a run-first approach without him.
Running the ball certainly isn’t a strength of the Bruins. They are averaging just 120 rushing yards per game and 3.9 per carry. Kansas State been tremendous at stopping the run this season, holding opponents to just 122 rushing yards per game and 3.6 per carry.
The Wildcats once again feature a methodical offense that likes to churn yards out on the ground. They only average 182 passing yards per game. They rush 39 times per game for 187 yards per game and 4.8 per carry. They will keep the ball on the ground in this game and churn out yards and burn clock.
Kansas State is also likely to go with a redshirt freshman at quarterback due to injuries to starter Jesse Ertz and backup Alex Delton. He went 10-of-21 for 152 yards in the season finale against Iowa State. He isn’t likely to handle this big stage that well, and the game plan will be conservative with him under center.
Plays on the UNDER on neutral field teams where the total is between 56.5 and 63 (UCLA) - off a home win against a conference rival against an opponent off a win against a conference rival are 28-9 (75.7%) over the last 10 seasons. The UNDER is 4-1 in Wildcats last five December games. Take the UNDER in this game Tuesday.
|12-26-17||Pacers v. Pistons -1.5||83-107||Win||100||8 h 3 m||Show|
15* NBA Tuesday No-Doubt Rout on Detroit Pistons -1.5
The Detroit Pistons are getting zero respect from oddsmakers as only 1.5-point home favorites over the Indiana Pacers tonight. They are 4-1 in their last five games overall and deserve to be getting more respect here tonight. One of those was a 104-98 road win at Indiana as 5-point underdogs.
The Pacers are just 3-3 in their last six games. Their three wins came against Brooklyn (twice) and Atlanta, two of the worst teams in the NBA. Now they have to travel and face a Pistons team that has a huge home-court advantage over the past several seasons, going 10-5 at home this year.
The Pistons are 4-1 ATS in their last five games when playing on three or more days’ rest. The home team is 4-1 ATS in the last five meetings. The favorite is also 4-1 ATS in the last five meetings. Roll with the Pistons Tuesday.
|12-26-17||Utah v. West Virginia UNDER 57||Top||30-14||Win||100||172 h 41 m||Show|
25* College Bowl TOTAL OF THE YEAR on Utah/West Virginia UNDER 57
I expect a low-scoring affair between Utah and West Virginia today. The biggest reason is that West Virginia is going to be without starting quarterback Will Grier, who means everything to their offense. They will have to go to a more run-first approach without him.
Grier was one of the better quarterbacks in the country this season. He completed 64.4 percent of his passes for 3,490 yards with 34 touchdowns and 12 interceptions while averaging 9.0 per attempt. Backup Chris Chugunov completes just 54.8 percent of his passes and averages 6.6 per attempt in limited action in Grier’s place.
Utah boasts an elite defense once again this season that gives up just 23.9 points, 353 yards per game and 5.2 per play against teams that average 29.5 points, 405 yards and 5.8 per play. They are stout up front and will be able to limit WVU’s run-heavy attack in this one.
Utah also insists on running the football more than it throws it. But the Utes have struggled to run the ball this year. They average 39 attempts for 161 yards per game and 4.1 per carry against teams that give up 188 yards per game and 4.6 per carry on the ground. They are a below-average running team.
Utah is 29-10 UNDER in its last 39 road games after gaining 6.25 or more yards per play in its previous game. The UNDER is 5-1 in Utah last six games following a win by more than 20 points. The UNDER is 7-1 in Mountaineers last eight December games. Bet the UNDER in this game Tuesday.
|12-25-17||Raiders v. Eagles -9||Top||10-19||Push||0||61 h 45 m||Show|
20* Raiders/Eagles ESPN Monday No-Brainer on Philadelphia -9
The Philadelphia Eagles can clinch home-field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs with a win over the Oakland Raiders on Monday Night Football. It’s safe to say they will be motivated to the max. A win would allow them to rest their starters in Week 17 and really get a leg up on the competition heading into the playoffs.
Conversely, the Oakland Raiders have officially been eliminated from the playoffs. And the way they were eliminated will be very difficult to recover from. Derek Carr was diving for the game-winning touchdown against the Cowboys last week, but he fumbled through the end zone for a touchback. Gone with that fumble was any hope of them making the postseason. There’s no question in my mind that the Raiders will suffer a hangover from that defeat, and they won’t even show up Monday night.
The Raiders also have some significant injuries at the wide receiver position that hamper them even further. Both Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree are highly questionable heading into this game. Cooper has a nagging ankle injury, while Crabtree suffered a concussion against the Cowboys that forced him off the field for the final play of the game. They may both play, but I question the effectiveness of Carr’s top two receivers.
The Eagles are a perfect 6-0 SU & 5-1 ATS at home this season. They are outscoring opponents by a ridiculous 19.8 points per game, scoring 35.0 on offense and giving up just 15.2 on defense. Nick Foles showed last week that he can man the offense just fine, throwing four touchdown passes against the Giants on the road and leading the Eagles to 34 points.
Doug Perderson is a perfect 8-0 ATS off two or more consecutive overs as the coach of Philadelphia. Pederson is 7-0 ATS in home games off a win as the coach of the Eagles. I don’t think the Raiders will enjoy the cold weather in Philadelphia Monday night, either. I always like fading warm weather West Coast teams in these cold weather games. It’s expected to be 26 degrees and windy Monday night. Bet the Eagles Monday.
|12-25-17||Rockets v. Thunder +2||Top||107-112||Win||100||11 h 1 m||Show|
20* Rockets/Thunder NBA No-Doubt Rout on Oklahoma City +2
The Oklahoma City Thunder have had this game circled all offseason. They lost 4-1 to the Rockets in the playoffs with three of those losses coming by 6 points or fewer. They were a one-man show with Russell Westbrook then, but that’s the case no longer now.
The Thunder have finally started to gel with Paul George and Carmelo Anthony. They are playing their best basketball of the season right now, going 6-1 in their last seven games overall coming in. They are primed to upset the Houston Rockets on Christmas Day.
The Rockets have struggled of late with back-to-back upset home losses to the Lakers are 15-point favorites and the Clippers as 12.5-point favorites. It’s easy to see why they’ve struggled with their injuries right now. Chris Paul has missed the past couple games and is doubtful, Luc Mbah a Moute remains out, and Clint Capela is questionable.
The Thunder are 40-18-3 ATS in their last 61 home games vs. a team with a road winning % of greater than .600. Oklahoma City is 12-4 at home this season, winning by 7.0 points per game on average. Take the Thunder Monday.
|12-25-17||76ers v. Knicks -3||105-98||Loss||-105||3 h 9 m||Show|
15* 76ers/Knicks ESPN Early ANNIHILATOR on New York -3
One of the best bets of the early NBA season is backing the New York Knicks when at home. They are 15-5 SU & 15-5 ATS in their 20 home games this year, winning by an average of 7.0 points per game. Madison Square Garden is becoming the home-court advantage that it used to be.
Now the Knicks get to host the struggling Philadelphia 76ers, who are just 1-9 SU in their last 10 games overall. The 76ers are also just 2-12 ATS in their last 14 games. They continue to get too much respect from oddsmakers night in and night out.
The 76ers are dealing with a bunch of injuries right now, too. Markelle Fultz is out, J.J. Redick is questionable and Joel Embiid is nursing a back injury, though he is likely to play today. The Knicks are basically fully healthy outside of Tim Hardaway.
New York is 7-0 ATS in home games after having won four or five of its last six games this season. The 76ers are 0-8-1 ATS when their opponent scores 100 points or more in their previous game. The Knicks are 5-1 ATS in their last six games overall. New York is 13-3 ATS in its last 16 home games. Roll with the Knicks Monday.
|12-24-17||Houston v. Fresno State OVER 49||27-33||Win||100||131 h 42 m||Show|
15* Houston/Fresno State Hawai’i Bowl BAILOUT on OVER 49
I think the fact that both Houston and Fresno State were heavy under teams during the regular season is giving us value to pull the trigger on the OVER in the Hawai’i Bowl. The Cougars went 2-9 to the under this season, while the Bulldogs went 3-9-1 to the under this year.
But we’ve seen this story in bowl games before. Offenses pull out new tricks with all of that extra time to prepare, and I think that will certainly be the case here. Both head coaches in Jeff Tedford and Major Applewhite are great offensive minds who got their jobs because of the work they’ve done on the offensive side of the football.
Fresno State made its run to a trip to the MWC title game after quarterback Marcus McMaryion took over the reigns after the non-conference portion of the schedule. He went on to complete 61.1 percent of his passes for 2,384 yards with 14 touchdowns and only 4 interceptions while averaging 7.9 per attempt. He also rushed for 250 yards and two scores on 5.1 per carry.
The same thing happened for Houston once D’Eriq King took over at quarterback four the final four games of the season. He has completed 69.8 percent of his passes for 991 yards with a 6-to-1 TD/INT ratio while averaging 10.3 per attempt. King also brings a big rushing element to the offense, rushing for 341 yards and eight scores while averaging 5.4 per carry. He has 15 pass plays of 20 or more yards, including touchdowns of 61, 62 and 75 yards despite such limited action.
Tedford is 17-5 OVER in non-conference road games in all games he has coached. We’re seeing an average of 61.6 points per game on average in this spot. The OVER is 12-5-1 in Bulldogs last 18 non-conference games. Perfect conditions inside Aloha Stadium in Hawai’i will also help aid this OVER. Bet the OVER in the Hawai’i Bowl Sunday.
|12-24-17||Jaguars v. 49ers +4.5||33-44||Win||100||102 h 33 m||Show|
15* Jags/49ers Late-Afternoon ANNIHILATOR on San Francisco +4.5
I’ve backed the San Francisco 49ers with success in three consecutive weeks. I’m not about to buck them now as they are once again undervalued here Sunday as 4.5-point home underdogs to the Jacksonville Jaguars. They are 3-0 under Jimmy Garoppolo, and they are clearly playing with a new level of excitement and intensity on both sides of the ball now.
The 49ers won Garoppolos’ first start 15-14 at Chicago as 2.5-point underdogs. That game was a bigger blowout than the final score showed. They outgunned the Bears by 241 yards and should have won by a lot more. But they had red zone struggles with penalties and critical mistakes that had them settling for five field goals.
Two weeks ago the 49ers went into Houston and won 26-16 as 1-point road underdogs. They outgunned the Texans by 105 yards in that contest. Garoppolo threw for 334 yards and a touchdown in the win. The 49ers put up 416 total yards a week after amassing 388 total yards against a good Bears defense. Those two performances showed that this is a much more dynamic offensive under Garoppolo.
Last week the 49ers moved the ball up and down the field at will on the Tennessee Titans. They only won that game 22-20, but it should have been a much bigger blowout. They again had problems in the red zone and settled for a whopping six field goals. Garoppolo had another monster game, completing 31 of 43 passes for 381 yards with a touchdown and zero interceptions.
While the offense is hitting on all cylinders under Garoppolo and Kyle Shanahan, the defense has been extremely impressive and not getting the respect they deserve. The 49ers are only giving up 262.0 yards per game and 5.0 yards per play in their last three contests. They should be able to slow down a mediocre Jaguars offense that could be missing three key playmakers in Leonard Fournette, Allen Hurns and Marquise Lee.
The Jacksonville Jaguars come in way overvalued due to its 45-7 home victory over Houston last week. It was their third straight victory, all coming at home. Now they hit the road for the first time since November. They were last on the road on November 26th, getting upset 27-24 at Arizona as 6-point favorites. They were actually outgunned by 125 yards by the Cardinals in that contest.
Let’s just look at this game from a line value perspective. San Francisco goes from being a 2.5-point home favorite against Tennessee to a 4.5-point home dog against Jacksonville. Well, Jacksonville and Tennessee are two similar teams talent-wise, and yet their is a 7-point swing in this line. So we are basically getting 7 points of value with the 49ers in my opinion this week.
Jacksonville now has a two-game lead over Tennessee for first place in the AFC South. Well, Tennessee is a touchdown home underdog to the Los Angeles Rams this week. That game will go off at 1:00 EST and will be over by the time this game starts. So the Jaguars are likely to clinch the AFC South title before this game starts. I will certainly question their motivated this week if the Titans lose to the Rams like they’re supposed to. Basically, I know for sure I’m going to get a big effort from the 49ers, but the Jaguars motivation is in question to say the least given the situation.
Jacksonville is 5-15 ATS in its last 20 games off two consecutive covers as a favorite. The Jaguars are 2-10 ATS in their last 12 road games vs. NFC West opponents. Jacksonville is 4-10 ATS in its last 14 games following a win by more than 14 points. Roll with the 49ers Sunday.
|12-24-17||Broncos +3.5 v. Redskins||Top||11-27||Loss||-110||121 h 1 m||Show|
20* NFL Non-Conference GAME OF THE MONTH on Denver Broncos +3.5
The Denver Broncos are probably the single-most underrated team in the entire NFL heading into the final two weeks of the season. This team has a 5-9 record, and that’s what the betting public looks at, but this team has the numbers of a 9-5 team or better.
The Broncos are actually outgaining opponents by 46 yards per game on the season. That is one of the better marks in the NFL. Their offense has just been mediocre at best, but their defense has been one of the best in the league, and defense travels.
The Broncos rank 1st in the NFL in yards per game allowed at 276.8. They are second in third-down percentage (30.8%) allowed. They defend the run well, they can stack the box because they have some of the best corners in the NFL who can play man-to-man.
It’s clear that the Broncos have not quit, and their defense continues to play at a high level. They have won their last two games with a 23-0 victory over the Jets and a 25-13 triumph over the Colts. They held the Jets to just 100 total yards and the Colts to just 228 total yards in the two victories.
But what really intrigues me is the performance of Brock Osweiler last week after he replaced the injured Trevor Siemian. He led the Broncos to a season-high 462 total yards. Osweiler finished with a 99.4 QBR out of 100, which is the single-best mark in the NFL in any one game this year. He had 194 passing yards on 12 completions and two touchdowns, while also rushing for a score. He is motivated to try and prove that he belongs as a started in the NFL over the final three weeks, and you could see that against the Colts last week.
The Redskins are 6-8, and they have the numbers of a 6-8 team. They are getting outgained by 17 yards per game on the season. They have been hit hard by injuries on both sides of the football. Their defense is giving up points in bunches and cannot be trusted. The Redskins have allowed 30 or more points in six of their last nine games overall.
The Redskins were fortunate to beat the Cardinals 20-15 last week. They were outgunned 218 to 286 by the Cardinals, but Arizona was held to five field goals, and their red zone struggles were the difference. The Redskins have been held to 65 or fewer rushing yards in three consecutive games. They are going to be one-dimensional because Denver ranks 4th in the NFL against the run. But the Broncos are 2nd against the pass, so they are as equipped as anyone to stop Kirk Cousins and Washington’s preferred pass attack.
I like the fact that the Broncos come in on extra rest here too after playing the Colts last Thursday. That will give them ample time to get ready for Washington, and getting a few extra days of rest is huge this late in the season when players are worn down. It will make them the more energized team heading into this game Sunday.
Washington is 61-94 ATS in its last 155 games as a favorite, including 42-69 ATS in its last 111 games as a home favorite. The Redskins are 6-22 ATS in their last 28 home games when playing against a bad team with a winning percentage of 25% to 40%. Washington is 0-4 ATS in its last four games following a win. The Redskins are 2-7 ATS in their last nine games following an ATS win. Bet the Broncos Sunday.
|12-24-17||Browns +6.5 v. Bears||3-20||Loss||-110||98 h 27 m||Show|
15* NFL Sunday Undervalued Underdog on Cleveland Browns +6.5
The Cleveland Browns will continue fighting over these final two weeks to try and avoid a winless season. Now they have one of their best chances yet to get a win this week against the 4-10 Chicago Bears. And they are getting 6.5 points to boot, which is too many I believe.
The Browns rank last in turnover differential by a wide margin this season. They are -25 in turnover differential. They haven’t forced a turnover in four games. I think they have been extremely unlucky this season in the turnover department.
Fortunately, this week they’re up against a Bears defense that doesn’t force many turnovers. The Bears have only forced 19 turnovers on the season. And Chicago has a ton of injury issues right now on defense that will make life easier on Deshon Kizer and the Browns offense.
This is a good matchup for the Browns on defense as well. The strength of the Browns is their rushing defense, which ranks 7th in the NFL in giving up just 96.1 rushing yards per game. The Browns are actually 1st in the NFL in rushing yards per carry (3.3) allowed. The Bears only average 177 passing yards per game, so stopping the rushing attack is the key to stopping them. The Bears average 118 rushing yards per game and 4.4 per carry. Cleveland is equipped to slow down Jordan Howard and Tarik Cohen.
My favorite trend in this game pertains to Chicago head coach John Fox. Fox is 0-7 SU & 0-7 ATS as a favorite as the coach of the Bears. Chicago is losing by 8.4 points per game in this spot. That’s right, the Bears have never even won a game straight up in seven tries as a favorite under Fox.
Chicago is 9-21 ATS in its last 30 home games versus poor offensive teams that score 17 or fewer points per game. Plays on road underdogs or PK (Cleveland) - after seven or more consecutive losses, in the second half of the season are 54-25 (68.4%) ATS since 1983. The Browns are 20-9-1 ATS in their last 30 road games vs. a team with a losing home record. The Bears are 1-5-1 ATS in their last seven games overall. Take the Browns Sunday.
|12-23-17||Wolves v. Suns +8||115-106||Loss||-105||11 h 32 m||Show|
15* NBA Saturday Undervalued Underdog on Phoenix Suns +8
The Phoenix Suns continue to get no respect from oddsmakers since trading away Eric Bledsoe and losing Devin Booker to injury. But this team has arguably been better since because they are so deep. And they consistently catch more points in the underdog role than they should be getting, which is the case once again tonight as 8-point home dogs to the Minnesota Timberwolves.
The Suns have gone 8-3 ATS in their last 11 games overall. They have only gone 4-7 SU during this stretch, but only three of those seven losses came by more than this 8-point spread. They have only played four games at home during this stretch, and only one of those game resulted in a loss by more than 8 points.
Phoenix has played Minnesota extremely tough this season. This will be the 4th and final meeting of the season, and the Suns are 2-1 SU & 2-0-1 ATS in their first three meetings. They won 118-110 as 10-point home dogs, won 108-106 as 12-point road dogs, and only lost 108-119 as 11-point road dogs for their only push. So they have actually played the Timberwolves very evenly, and they should be able to stay within 8 points at home again.
Minnesota is 21-37 ATS as a favorite over the last two seasons. The Timberwolves ar e3-13 ATS in their last 16 road games vs. a team with a winning % of less than .400. The Suns are 5-0 ATS in their last five Saturday games. Phoenix is 19-7-1 ATS in its last 27 games vs. a team with a winning record. Roll with the Suns Saturday.
|12-23-17||Vikings -8 v. Packers||16-0||Win||100||13 h 45 m||Show|
15* Vikings/Packers NFC North No-Brainer on Minnesota -8
The Green Bay Packers have quit. They just suffered their dream-crushing loss last week despite the return of Aaron Rodgers. Now they’ve been eliminated from the playoffs. As a result, management has decided to put Rodgers back on injured reserve, signaling to the entire team that they don’t care about these last two games.
The Packers also have a laundry list of injuries elsewhere outside of Rodgers. There are currently 19 players either on injured reserve or questionable, including WR Devante Adams, who has 10 touchdowns receptions on the season.
Adams would be a huge loss, and it would be smart of the Packers to rest him considering it’s the second severe concussion he has suffered this season. They shouldn’t risk his long-term health. The Vikings have a shutdown corner in Xavier Rhodes, and they’ll put him on Jordy Nelson. Brett Hundley won’t have many options outside, and those limitations are a big reason why I like the Vikings this week.
The Vikings will be highly motivated. They need to keep winning to clinch a first-round bye. If they were to lose and the Panthers were to win this week, they would lose the tiebreaker to the Panthers because of a head-to-head loss. That’s why I’m not concerned at all about Minnesota’s motivation. They would love to kick the Packers while they’re down after so many years of frustration against them in this division.
"I told my team this: We're a good team, we're not a great team,” Minnesota head coach Mike Zimmer said. "I don't know if there's any great teams out there, but we're a good team. We don't have the luxury of looking past anybody, and that's really not our mentality as a football team (or) the kind of guys that we have.”
Hundley will face a huge challenge against a Vikings defense that ranks second in the NFL in total defense and scoring defense. Conversely, Case Keenum is in line for a big day. He is ranked eighth in the NFL in passer rating (98.9) and second in completion percentage (67.9). Green Bay is No. 30 in opponent passer rating (100.5) and No. 30 in opponent completion percentage (68.4). The Packers gave up four touchdown passes to Cam Newton and a season-worst 29 first downs last week.
Plays on favorites of 3.5 to 10 points (Minnesota) after a game where they committed one or fewer turnovers against an opponent after a game with a turnover margin of -3 or less are 54-23 (70.1%) ATS over the last 10 seasons. The Vikings are 41-16 ATS in their last 57 games overall. The Packers are 1-5 ATS in their last six vs. a team with a winning record. Take the Vikings Saturday.
|12-23-17||Thunder v. Jazz||103-89||Loss||-110||10 h 36 m||Show|
15* NBA Saturday No-Doubt Rout on Utah Jazz PK
I love the spot for the Utah Jazz tonight. They had yesterday off. That followed a 100-89 home win over the San Antonio Spurs on Thursday, which came after an ugly 79-107 road loss at Oklahoma City on Wednesday. Now the Jazz will be out for revenge getting to face the Thunder just three days later, but at Salt Lake City this time around.
And the Thunder are extremely vulnerable coming into this game. They won’t be motivated to beat a team they just blew out three days ago. And they are coming off an emotional buzzer-beating 120-117 home win over the Hawks last night as 11.5-point home favorites. It’s a clear letdown spot for them.
Plus, the Thunder are running on fumes right now. Not only will they be playing the 2nd of a back-to-back, they will also be playing their 6th game in 9 days. The Thunder haven’t had back-to-back days off since November 27-28. This is such a tired team right now, and it helps explain why they are just 10-21 ATS on the season, including 5-11 SU & 4-12 ATS in road games.
Utah 9-1 ATS off a win by 10 points or more this season, including a perfect 7-0 ATS off a home win by 10 points or more. The Thunder are 2-10 ATS in their last 12 road games. Oklahoma City is 0-8 ATS in its last eight games vs. a team with a losing record. Utah is 6-1 ATS in its last seven home games. The home team is 8-1 SU & 7-2 ATS in the last nine meetings. Roll with the Jazz Saturday.
|12-23-17||Bucks v. Hornets UNDER 212||106-111||Loss||-108||9 h 42 m||Show|
15* NBA Saturday Total DOMINATOR on Bucks/Hornets UNDER 212
This is one of my favorite situations to back an UNDER. This is a home-and-home situation between the Bucks and Hornets. These teams just played last night with the Bucks winning 109-104 at home. Now they play again a day later in Charlotte this time around.
So they combined for 213 points last night, and now the total is set at 212. The second meeting in these home-and-home situations is almost always lower scoring than the first. And I expect that to be the case here as these teams are obviously extremely familiar with one another.
In fact, this will actually be the 4th and final meeting of the season between these teams already. It will be their 4th meeting in a two months as their first meeting occurred on October 23rd. No two teams are more familiar with each other than the Hornets and Bucks this season, which favors the defenses.
Milwaukee is 39-22 UNDER in its last 61 road games where the total is 210 to 219.5. Charlotte is 21-10 UNDER after having lost three of its last four games over the past two seasons. The UNDER is 4-0 in Hornets last four games playing on 0 days’ rest. The UNDER is 8-2 in Hornets last 10 games when their opponent allowed 100 points or more in their previous game. Take the UNDER in this game Saturday.
|12-23-17||76ers +10.5 v. Raptors||Top||86-102||Loss||-110||7 h 56 m||Show|
20* NBA Eastern Conference GAME OF THE MONTH on Philadelphia 76ers +10.5
I love the Philadelphia 76ers in this spot. This is a home-and-home situation after the 76ers lost 109-114 at home to the Toronto on Thursday. Now they get their shot at revenge only two days later and are catching 10.5 points in the rematch to boot. I’ll gladly back the more motivated team catching double-digit points here.
The 76ers are certainly a ‘buy low’ team right now after going just 2-11 ATS in their last 13 games. But they were never once a double-digit underdog in those 13 games. They were favored in eight of them. Now they’re back to their more preferred role as underdogs.
The Raptors are a great ‘sell high’ candidate right now. They have gone 11-1 SU in their last 12 games while covering each of their last four against the spread. But it has come against an extremely soft schedule, and it’s worth noting the Raptors are just 5-7 SU against teams who are above .500 this season. They aren’t as good as they’re perceived to be right now.
Plays against any team (Toronto) off two or more consecutive road wins, in December games are 76-35 (68.5%) ATS over the last five seasons. Plays on any team (Philadelphia) off a home loss to a division rival against opponent off a home win against a division foe are 49-18 (73.1%) ATS over the last five years. Philadelphia is 23-8 ATS in its last 31 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600. Bet the 76ers Saturday.
|12-23-17||Army v. San Diego State -6.5||Top||42-35||Loss||-115||102 h 52 m||Show|
20* Army/San Diego State Armed Forces Bowl ANNIHILATOR on San Diego State -6.5
Despite being 10-2 this season, I think the San Diego State Aztecs are actually being undervalued because they didn’t win the Mountain West. But they basically gave the game away to Boise State, and they suffered a hangover the next week against Fresno State, the two teams that played in the Mountain West Championship.
Rocky Long has done a great job of refocusing the Aztecs and getting them to finish the season strong following those two losses. This is a team that beat both Arizona State and Stanford earlier in the season, and then they finishes the year by going 4-0 SU & 4-0 ATS over their final four games with four straight wins all by 19 points or more.
Now Rocky Long gets extra time to prepare for Army’s triple-option. I always like fading triple-option teams when their opponent has extra time to prepare. And Long is used to facing triple-option teams having to play Air Force every season. And boy do his defenses know how to stop them. In his time at San Diego State, Long’s teams are 13-2 SU & 12-3 ATS in 15 games against triple-option teams.
I really question Army’s motivation in this bowl game. They just upset Navy for a second consecutive year with a late touchdown to win 14-13. That game was their Super Bowl, and they won’t nearly be as motivated to face San Diego State as they were to face Navy.
Army was a very fortunate team this season, going 5-2 in games decided by a touchdown or less. I don’t think the Black Knights are nearly as good as their 9-3 record would suggest. And they played a much softer schedule than that of San Diego State. Seven of the Aztecs’ 10 wins came by double-digits, while only four of Army’s nine wins came by double-digits, and those were against Fordham, UTEP, Rice and Air Force.
Rocky Long’s teams always get after it defensively, and this year has been no exception. They only give up 18.4 points, 299 yards per game and 5.1 yards per play this season. They have been extremely good at stopping the run, allowing just 111 rushing yards per game and 3.5 per carry. That makes this an excellent matchup for their defense.
San Diego State actually has one of the best offenses it has had in years this season. The Aztecs average 30.4 points per game. They are led by a ground attack that produces 253 yards per game and 5.5 per carry. Army gives up 5.0 per carry, so this is also a good matchup for their offense. Rashaad Penny, one of the most underrated players in college football, rushed for 2,027 yards and 19 touchdowns this season while averaging 7.4 per carry. He’ll be primed for a big game in this one.
The Aztecs have won their last two bowl games in blowout fashion with a 34-10 win over Houston as 4-point dogs in the Las Vegas Bowl last year, and a 42-7 win over Cincinnati as 2-point favorites in the Hawai’i Bowl in 2015.
Plays on any team (San Diego State) - excellent rushing team averaging 4.8 or more yards per carry against a terrible rushing defense giving up 4.8 or more per carry after 7-plus games, after outrushing their last two opponents by 150 or more yards per game are 37-10 (78.7%) ATS since 1992. The Black Knights are 1-5 ATS in their last six vs. MWC opponents. Bet San Diego State Saturday.
|12-23-17||Ohio State +7 v. North Carolina||72-86||Loss||-108||3 h 7 m||Show|
15* Ohio State/UNC CBS Saturday No-Brainer on Ohio State +7
Former Butler head coach Chris Holtmann was a great hire at Ohio State. After a semi slow start to the season, this team has really kicked it into gear of late. I think we are getting the Buckeyes at a great value here against UNC as 7-point underdogs on a neutral court down in New Orleans Saturday.
The Buckeyes are 5-0 SU & 3-2 ATS in their last five games overall. They beat Wisconsin by 25 on the road as 7.5-point underdogs, and topped Michigan 71-62 as 2-point home favorites during this stretch. The other three wins came by 35, 13 and 29 points against overmatched competition.
The UNC Tar Heels are not playing well at all. They trailed almost the entire way before going on a run late to squeak by Tennessee 78-73. Then they suffered one of the most shocking losses of the season with a 75-79 home loss to Wofford as 25-point favorites on Wednesday, December 20th. That’s not the kind of effort that would warrant them being 7-point favorites here.
North Carolina is 4-13 ATS in its last 17 road games when playing against a good team with a winning percentage between 60% and 80%. Plays against neutral court teams as a favorite or PK (UNC) - after being beaten by the spread by more than 18 points in their previous game, in December games are 30-9 (76.9%) ATS since 1997. The Buckeyes are 8-3 ATS in their last 11 vs. ACC opponents. Bet Ohio State Saturday.
|12-22-17||Lakers +11 v. Warriors||Top||106-113||Win||100||13 h 40 m||Show|
20* Lakers/Warriors ESPN Late-Night BAILOUT on Los Angeles +11
The Los Angeles Lakers are going to want revenge from two overtime home losses to the Golden State Warriors already this season. They lost 123-127 as 13.5-point dogs, and then 114-116 as 5.5-point dogs on December 18th just five days ago. I really like the revenge factor being fresh in this quick rematch.
The Lakers are playing some of their best basketball of the season right now. They are 3-3 SU & 5-1 ATS in their last six games overall. They have been on the road for five of these six games, pulling off upset wins over Philadelphia as 8.5-point dogs, Houston as 15-point dogs and Charlotte as 3.5-point dogs. And all three of their losses came by 2, 4 and 9 points. That 9-point loss came in a cover as 10.5-point dogs at Cleveland.
The Warriors are vulnerable right now because of all their injuries. Steph Curry, Zaza Pachulia and Shaun Livingston remain out, Andre Iguodala is questionable, and Draymond Green is expected to play tonight but is battling as shoulder injury. I don’t expect a very focused effort from the Warriors tonight after just beating the Lakers on Monday.
Plays on road teams (LA Lakers) - revenging a close loss vs opponent of 3 points or less, a bad team winning 25% to 40% of their games are 54-25 (68.4%) ATS over the last five seasons. The Lakers are 6-0 ATS in their last six when playing on one days’ rest. The Warriors are 10-24 ATS in their last 34 games vs. a team with a winning % below .400. Bet the Lakers Friday.
|12-22-17||Xavier v. Northern Iowa +6.5||77-67||Loss||-105||11 h 35 m||Show|
15* CBB Friday Undervalued Underdog on Northern Iowa +6.5
The Xavier Musketeers are clearly vulnerable right now due to all their injuries. That has shown in their last two games. They beat East Tennessee State 68-66 as 21.5-point favorites, needing to erase a 22-point second half deficit to do so. Then they only beat Marshall 81-77 as 19-point home favorites last time out.
That Marshall game was on Tuesday, so they have only had two days to get ready for Northern Iowa. Now four key players are questionable to play tonight for the Musketeers. They are three of their top four scorers in J.P. Macura (11.9 ppg, 4.4 rpg), Tyrique Jones (9.8 ppg, 6.4 rpg) and Kaiser Gates (9.7 ppg, 5.3 rpg), plus key bench player Naji Marshall (8.1 ppg).
Northern Iowa is consistently one of the most underrated teams in the Missouri Valley year in and year out. They are 8-3 SU this season with their only losses coming to North Carolina, Villanova and Iowa State. They have beaten UNLV, NC State and SMU, so they have gone through the gauntlet. Now they are going to want revenge from two losses to Xavier last season.
They didn’t get to play Xavier at home last year, but they do this season, and they have a great home-court advantage. The Panthers are 6-0 at home this season winning by 23.5 points per game on average. The Musketeers are 2-7 ATS in their last nine games following an ATS loss. Take Northern Iowa Friday.
|12-22-17||Knicks v. Pistons UNDER 203.5||101-104||Loss||-110||9 h 60 m||Show|
15* NBA Friday Total DOMINATOR on Knicks/Pistons UNDER 203.5
The New York Knicks will be playing the 2nd of a back-to-back tonight after a 102-93 home win over the Boston Celtics last night. Kristaps Porzingis made his return from injury, but went 0-for-11 and didn’t attempt a shot in the second half. He clearly isn’t 100% and it wouldn’t surprise me if they continue to rest him tonight.
The Pistons have really been struggling offensively of late. They have been held to 100 or fewer points in seven of their last 11 games overall. They have shot 43.6% or less in eight of those 11 games as well. They miss Avery Bradley and Jon Leuer, who are both out with injury right now.
Both of these teams prefer to play at slower tempos. The Pistons rank 21st in pace while the Knicks are 19th. The UNDER is 4-2 in the last six meetings as these teams have combined for 204 or fewer points in four of those six. I think we see a very low-scoring game tonight given the tough situation for the Knicks, and the offensive struggles of the Pistons.
The UNDER is 25-12-1 in Knicks last 38 vs. Eastern Conference opponents. The UNDER is 8-2-1 in Pistons last 11 games overall. The UNDER is 20-5-1 in Pistons last 26 games following a loss. The UNDER is 5-0 in Pistons last five Friday games. The UNDER is 8-3 in the last 11 meetings in Detroit. Take the UNDER in this game Friday.
|12-22-17||Temple v. Georgia -3||66-84||Win||100||3 h 46 m||Show|
15* CBB Friday No-Doubt Rout on Georgia -3
The Georgia Bulldogs have been one of the most underrated teams in college basketball this season. They are 8-2 on the year, including 5-0 at home. Mark Fox has one of his best teams yet and a clear NCAA Tournament team this year.
The Temple Owls have too many concerning performances of late to trust them only catching 3 points on the road here. They have losses to both La Salle and George Washington, they only beat St. Joe’s by 3 as 10.5-point favorites, lost to Villanova by 20 as 9.5-point dogs, and barely beat Drexel by 3 last time out as 16-point home favorites. Those efforts show they can’t compete with Georgia.
Georgia is 10-2 ATS after failing to cover two of their last three against the spread over the last two seasons. Temple is 1-9 ATS versus teams who force 12 or fewer turnovers per game over the last two seasons. The Owls are 0-4-1 ATS in their last five games overall. Roll with Georgia Friday.
|12-22-17||UAB +7.5 v. Ohio||Top||6-41||Loss||-110||75 h 43 m||Show|
20* UAB/Ohio Bahamas Bowl No-Brainer on UAB +7.5
The UAB Blazers have gone from not fielding a team the last two years to playing in their first bowl game in 13 seasons. Financial reasons forced them to close the football program after the 2014 season. But fundraising helped bring back the program in 2017, and the fan base has been behind them 100%.
Head coach Bill Clark did not leave the program after the 2014 season. He came back and led the Blazers to a school-record 8 wins. They went 8-4 overall and finished 6-2 in Conference USA’s West Division. Now they’ll be playing in their first bowl game since 2004, and it’s safe to say that no team will be more happy to be playing in a bowl this year than them.
Clark is deserving of winning Coach of the Year honors, and many speculated that he would leave for greener pastures. But Clark has shown his loyalty to the program by recently signing a five-year extension. That will give the team a huge boost and eliminate any possible distractions.
While UAB is happy to be here, I think Ohio is still suffering a hangover effect from losing its final two games of the season. Those losses cost the Bobcats a chance to play for the MAC Championship. They were upset 34-37 at Akron as 15.5-point dogs, and then watched Akron go on to get blown out by Toledo in the MAC Championship and by FAU in the Boca Raton Bowl. The Bobcats also lost 24-31 at Buffalo in the finale.
The Bobcats’ ground game is their strength, but that takes a big hit now that leading rusher A.J. Oullette (985 yards, 7 TD) is doubtful with a shoulder injury. That will allow UAB to focus in more on stopping QB Nathan Rourke (877 yards, 21 TD). And UAB only gives up 188 passing yards per game and 51.4% completions this season, so they are equipped to stop Rourke if he decided to air it out more.
Head coach Frank Solich hasn’t been very good at pushing the right buttons with players leading up to bowl games. He is 4-9 in his career in bowl games, including 2-6 at Ohio. The Bobcats have lost three straight bowl games, and the opponents haven’t been very good in East Carolina, Appalachian State and Troy. I don’t trust Solich’s ability to regroup this team after such a deflating finish to the season losing out on a chance at a MAC title.
Plays against any team (Ohio) off two straight losses to conference rivals, allowing 31 points or more in each, in a game involving two good teams winning 60% to 80% of their games are 28-8 (77.8%) ATS over the last 10 seasons. The Blazers are 5-0 ATS in their last five games vs. a team with a winning record. Bet UAB in the Bahamas Bowl Friday.
|12-21-17||Portland State +5.5 v. California||106-81||Win||100||10 h 21 m||Show|
15* CBB Thursday Late-Night BAILOUT on Portland State +5.5
The Portland State Vikings have been one of the most underrated teams in college basketball. They have gone 9-3 SU and a perfect 9-0 ATS in their nine lined games. Now they’re catching 5.5 points tonight against a rebuilding California Bears team in a game that they’ll likely win outright.
The Vikings’ three losses have all come against very good teams. They lost 81-99 as 24.5-point dogs to Duke, 69-71 as 12-point dogs to Butler, and 84-95 as 13-point road dogs at Oregon. They have beaten Stanford and everyone else they have faced this year.
California is just 6-6 with losses to the likes of UC-Riverside (66-74) as 13.5-point favorites at home, Chaminade (72-96) without a line on the road and Central Arkansas (69-96) without a line at home. Those three results right there should show just how poor of shape the Bears are really in this season.
California is 0-8 ATS in home games versus good shooting teams that make 45% or more of their shots over the last two seasons. The Bears are 0-9 ATS in home games versus good teams who outscore their opponents by 4-plus points per game over the last two years. The Vikings are 9-0 ATS in all games this season. These three trends combine for a perfect 26-0 system backing the Vikings. Roll with Portland State Thursday.
|12-21-17||Celtics v. Knicks +3||93-102||Win||100||8 h 33 m||Show|
15* Celtics/Knicks TNT Thursday No-Brainer on New York +3
The Boston Celtics are in an extremely difficult spot tonight. They will be playing the 2nd of a back-to-back and their 5th game in 7 days. They haven’t had consecutive days off in the entire month of December.
This team is running on fumes right now, and it showed their their 89-90 upset home loss to the Miami Heat. They will also be playing their 8th game in 12 days tonight. I don’t expect much of an effort at all from them tonight.
Meanwhile, the Knicks have had two days off since last playing on Monday. And they get a big boosts with he return of Kristaps Porzingis to the lineup tonight after he missed the past two games with a sore knee.
The Knicks have been a great beat at home this season, going 14-5 SU & 14-5 ATS inside Madison Square Garden. The Celtics are 3-7 ATS in their last 10 games when playing on 0 days’ rest. New York is 7-1 ATS in its last eight games following a straight up loss of more than 10 points. Take the Knicks Thursday.
|12-21-17||Bulls +10.5 v. Cavs||Top||112-115||Win||100||6 h 23 m||Show|
20* NBA DOG OF THE WEEK on Chicago Bulls +10.5
The Chicago Bulls are now 7-0 since Nikola Mirotic made his season debut seven games ago. He is averaging 19.6 points per game and the bench is playing great. The Bulls are a perfect 8-0 ATS in their last eight games overall. They continue to get no respect from oddsmakers as 10.5-point underdogs here.
Chicago will be playing the 2nd of a back-to-back here after a 112-94 home win over Orlando last night. But that’s not a concern because of their deep bench, and the fact that no player logged more than 29 minutes Wednesday, so the team should be relatively fresh as a whole.
The Cars are way overvalued due to winning 18 of their last 20 games. They have gone just 3-8 ATS in their last 11 games overall. They aren’t blowing teams out. And now they have their NBA Finals rematch with Golden State on deck on Christmas Day and can’t help but be looking ahead to that huge showdown.
The Bulls have had the Cavaliers’ number, going 6-3 SU & 8-1 ATS in the last nine meetings. Chicago is 23-7 ATS in its last 30 Thursday games. The Bulls are 14-2 ATS in their last 16 vs. Eastern Conference opponents. The Cavaliers are 5-21-1 ATS in their last 27 home games. Bet the Bulls Thursday.
|12-20-17||Spurs v. Blazers -2||Top||93-91||Loss||-110||11 h 50 m||Show|
20* NBA Wednesday No-Doubt Rout on Portland Trail Blazers -2
The Portland Trail Blazers are on a roll right now and they’re still being undervalued tonight as only 2-point favorites over the San Antonio Spurs. The Blazers are a perfect 6-0 ATS in their last six games overall.
While they are just 3-3 SU during this stretch, they have played five of their last six on the road. And their three losses came to Houston (by 7), Golden State (by 7) and Minnesota (by 1), three of the best teams in the NBA. This recent stretch of great play has been possible by the fact that the Blazers have gotten 100% healthy.
The Spurs are usually one of the best teams in the NBA, but they won’t be tonight with all the players they’ll be missing due to injury. San Antonio will be without both Kawhi Leonard and Tony Parker, plus Danny Green and Kyle Anderson are both banged up as well. They won’t have enough firepower to hang with the Blazers tonight.
Plays on all teams where the line is +3 to -3 (Portland) - after a close loss by 3 points or less against opponent that scored 105 or more points in their previous game are 51-21 (70.8%) ATS over the last five seasons. The Spurs are 1-4 ATS in their last five games overall. Portland is 14-6 ATS in its last 20 home meetings with San Antonio. Bet the Blazers Wednesday.
|12-20-17||Magic v. Bulls -4.5||94-112||Win||100||9 h 37 m||Show|
15* NBA Eastern Conference ANNIHILATOR on Chicago Bulls -4.5
The Chicago Bulls are 6-0 SU & 6-0 ATS since Nikola Mirotic made his season debut. They are playing team basketball and I’m going to continue riding them tonight. Mirotic is averaging 23.2 points per game over his past five games.
"You can see it in the locker room," Chicago guard Kris Dunn said. "Everybody has a smile, everyone is happy. That's what it's all about. I think the biggest thing, the reason why we are winning is because we are having fun with it. When you are having fun, when you are winning, things (are) a lot smoother.”
Now the Bulls get to play the banged-up Orlando Magic, who have lost five straight coming in to fall to 11-20 on the season. They are missing two starters in Evan Fournier and Aaron Gordon, and their 6th man Terrence Ross remains out as well. They simply do not have the talent elsewhere to make up for the losses of these three key players.
Chicago has owned Orlando, going 4-1 SU & 4-1 ATS in the last five meetings with the four wins coming by 22, 47, 32 and 8 points. That 22-point win came earlier this season on November 3rd in Orlando. The Magic are 0-7 ATS revenging a same season loss vs. opponent this season. Orlando is 16-40-2 ATS in its last 58 games following an ATS win. Chicago is 7-0 ATS in its last seven games overall. Take the Bulls Wednesday.
|12-20-17||Louisiana Tech +5 v. SMU||51-10||Win||100||34 h 13 m||Show|
15* LA Tech/SMU Frisco Bowl ANNIHILATOR on LA Tech +5
The LA Tech Bulldogs are one of the most underrated teams heading into bowl season. That’s because they went just 6-6 this season, but they were better than that record suggests. In fact, three of their losses this season came by a single points, and they went 1-4 in games decided by a touchdown or less.
But give head coach Skip Holtz and the Bulldogs credit for continuing to fight. They needed to win each of their final two games to get into a bowl, and they did just that with a 42-21 win at UTEP as 16-point favorites, and a 20-6 home win over UTSA as 1-point favorites. This team will clearly be happy to be playing in a ball after the way they fought for it down the stretch.
"The competitive nature of this team and the will to fight, that's been consistent all throughout the season." Louisiana Tech senior running back Boston Scott said. "We're going to go out there and play hard -- we know what's at stake. We have to have that single-elimination mindset; it's win or end with a loss. I'm looking forward to seeing this team compete."
Holtz has certainly been a coach you want to back in these bowl games. He is 3-0 in bowl games as the head coach at Louisiana Tech. They beat Illinois 35-18 in in the 2014 Heart of Dallas Bowl, topped Arkansas State 47-28 in the 2015 New Orleans Bowl, and then won a wild 48-45 game against Navy in the 2016 Armed Forces bowl.
No doubt SMU players were happy to clinch a bowl berth back on October 27th with their 38-34 win over Tulsa. But they struggled down the stretch to stay motivated, going 1-3 SU & 1-3 ATS in their final four games overall. They were fortunate to beat Tulane 41-38 as 8-point favorites in their season finale at home as the Green Wave came up inches short of a game-winning TD in the closing seconds.
Now I really question the motivation of this team. Head coach Chad Morris has abandoned the team and left for the Arkansas job, and he took a handful of assistants with him. New head coach Sonny Dykes hasn’t had time to install his preferred Air Raid offense, so he will just sit back and let some of the team’s remaining assistants call the game and let his new team play to their strengths. That sounds like a disaster waiting to happen, and I just can’t imagine these SMU players being as focused as they normally would be coming into a game.
It’s just hard to trust SMU in this game with the way they play defense. They give up 35.5 points, 487 yards per game and 6.7 yards per play on the season. Compare that to LA Tech, which allows 26.7 points, 395 yards per game and 5.8 per play, and it’s easy to see which team has the superior defense in this one. I think that will be the difference in this game, plus the fact that the Bulldogs will be the more focused, motivated team.
SMU is 1-9 ATS in its last 10 games off a close home win by 3 points or less. LA Tech is 8-1 ATS versus poor rushing defenses that allow 200 or more yards per game over the last three seasons. The Mustangs are 1-6 ATS in their last seven games overall. The Bulldogs are 4-1 ATS in their last five bowl games. Bet Louisiana Tech Wednesday.
|12-20-17||Kings v. Nets -5||104-99||Loss||-110||8 h 20 m||Show|
15* NBA Non-Conference KNOCKOUT on Brooklyn Nets -5
The Sacramento Kings are in a very tough spot tonight. They will be playing the 2nd of a back-to-back and their 3rd game in 4 days. Now they are getting too much respect from the books for their upset win over Philadelphia last night, a tired Philly team that was playing the 2nd of a back-to-back itself.
The Nets are rested and ready to go as they have had two days off since losing to Indiana on Sunday. They will also be motivated for a victory after going 0-3 SU & 0-3 ATS in their last three games overall, which has them undervalued as well. The Nets had gone 10-2 ATS in their previous 12 games and I feel like they are back to being undervalued here.
The Kings are 14-25 ATS off a win over the last two seasons. Sacramento is 16-34-2 ATS in its last 51 vs. NBA Atlantic Division opponents. The Kings are 1-4-1 ATS in their last six games on 0 days’ rest. The Nets are 10-1 ATS in their last 11 vs. Western Conference opponents. Brooklyn is 7-2 ATS in its last nine games following a loss. The Nets are 43-19-2 ATS in their last 64 vs. NBA Pacific Division foes. The Kings are 1-7 ATS in their last eight trips to Brooklyn. Roll with the Nets Wednesday.
|12-20-17||Houston -4.5 v. Providence||70-59||Win||100||8 h 36 m||Show|
15* Houston/Providence ESPNU No-Brainer on Houston -4.5
The Houston Cougars are one of the most underrated teams in the country. Head coach Kelvin Sampson has this team playing at a very high level. They are off to a 9-2 start this season with their two losses coming by 3 and 4 points. They even beat Arkansas 91-65 as 4-point home dogs for their signature win.
Providence is struggling against the spread right now due to all their injuries. They are 0-4 ATS in their last four games overall. They only beat Rider 88-84 as 14-point favorites, lost at Rhode Island 68-75 as 4-point dogs, only beat Brown 77-72 as 18.5-point home favorites, lost at UMass 63-72 as 4.5-point favorites. And there wasn’t even a line in their last game against Stony Brook, and they only won that game 62-60 at home.
The Friars' best player Emmitt Holt is out for the season. Both Alpha Diallo (11.4 ppg, 5.0 rpg) and Maliek White (6.1 ppg) are doubtful to play tonight. And their floor general in point guard Kyron Cartwright (9.4 ppg, 6.0 apg) is questionable after suffering an ankle injury in his previous game. They are simply missing too many players right now, which is the reason for their recent struggles.
Plays on neutral court teams as a favorite or PK (Houston) - an explosive offensive team scoring 76 or more points per game against a good offensive team (74-76 ppg), after scoring 75 points or more in three straight games are 77-38 (67%) ATS over the last five seasons. The Cougars are 5-1 ATS in their last six after scoring more than 90 points in their previous game. The Friars are 2-7 ATS in their last nine vs. a team with a winning % above .600. Take Houston Wednesday.
|12-19-17||Cavs v. Bucks +2.5||116-119||Win||100||8 h 26 m||Show|
15* Cavs/Bucks NBA TV ANNIHILATOR on Milwaukee +2.5
The Milwaukee Bucks are primed for a big effort tonight. They have lost three straight coming in and will be highly motivated for a victory. They have also had two days off since a 111-115 loss at Houston as 10.5-point dogs on Saturday, which was as tough as anyone has played the Rockets during their 14-game winning streak.
The Cleveland Cavaliers will be playing their 3rd game in 4 days here tonight. They are getting way too much respect from oddsmakers after going 18-1 in their last 19 games overall. But they are just 3-7 ATS in their last 10 games overall as they have consistently been overvalued.
Milwaukee will also be out for revenge after losing each of their first two meetings this season to the Cavaliers. They want to prove they can beat the defending Eastern Conference champs, who are much more vulnerable this season than they have been in year’s past due to trading Kyrie Irving and with all their current injuries.
Cleveland is a woeful 5-19 ATS as a favorite this season. Milwaukee is 17-4 ATS in home games off two or more consecutive losses over the last three seasons. It is winning by 6.9 points per game on average in this spot. Take the Bucks Tuesday.
|12-19-17||Drake v. South Dakota State OVER 153.5||Top||74-87||Win||100||8 h 4 m||Show|
20* CBB TOTAL OF THE MONTH on Drake/South Dakota State OVER 153.5
We have the perfect storm for an OVER here with two teams that love to push the tempo in Drake and South Dakota State. Niko Medved has brought his up-tempo system to Drake in his first year hear, and T.J. Otzelberger learned under Fred Hoiberg at Iowa State and has brought that system to South Dakota State.
The Jack Rabbits are averaging 83.9 points per game on the season and shooting an impressive 41.4% from 3-point range on 26 attempts per game. They give up 76.1 points per game because of the frenetic pace they play at.
The Bulldogs have really improved offensively this season, averaging 79.9 points per game and shooting 41.6% from 3-point range on 25 attempts per game. They have been pretty poor defensively, though, allowing 78.6 points per game on 48.1% shooting.
Drake is 7-0 OVER after allowing 85 points or more over the last two seasons. South Dakota State is 13-3 OVER vs. teams who make 8 or more 3-point shots per game over the last two seasons. The OVER is 25-10-1 in Bulldogs last 36 games following a loss. The OVER is 8-2 in Jack Rabbits last 10 games following an ATS loss. The OVER is 40-19-1 in Jack Rabbits last 60 non-conference games. Bet the OVER in this game Tuesday.
|12-19-17||Belmont +6.5 v. Western Kentucky||75-72||Win||100||8 h 52 m||Show|
15* CBB Tuesday Undervalued Underdog on Belmont +6.5
The Belmont Bruins cannot be this big of road underdogs to Western Kentucky given how well they have played on the road this season. And this is a WKU team that returned zero starters from last year and simply isn’t very good.
Belmont has road losses to Washington (82-86), Providence (65-66) and TCU (76-87) that show they are capable of beating Western Kentucky. They also have a road win at Middle Tennessee (69-63) as 7-point underdogs and a home win over Vanderbilt (69-60) as 4-point underdogs.
Western Kentucky is actually a tired team right now as this will be their 4th game in 9 days, which is a lot when you consider last week was Finals Week. And the Hilltoppers won’t have many fans in attendance at home here with everyone on Spring Break, so the home-court advantage is neutralized.
Belmont is 7-0 ATS in road games after scoring 75 points or more in two straight games over the past two seasons. The Bruins are 10-3 ATS in their last 13 road games overall. The Bruins are 5-0 ATS in their last five vs. a team with a winning record. The Hilltoppers are 1-5 ATS in their last six vs. Ohio Valley opponents. Take Belmont Tuesday.
|12-19-17||Akron +23.5 v. Florida Atlantic||Top||3-50||Loss||-110||9 h 14 m||Show|
20* Akron/FAU Boca Raton Bowl No-Brainer on Akron +23.5
For starters, this is the biggest spread in college football bowl history. I’ll gladly take the underdog in this situation as this 23.5-point spread has gotten out of hand for a number of reasons. The value is clearly with Akron in the Boca Raton Bowl Tuesday.
This is an Akron team that has been underrated for most of the season. Nobody expected them to go to the MAC Championship, but that’s precisely what they did. The key was their 37-34 win over Ohio as 15.5-point underdogs. There was nothing fluky about that win as they outgunned Ohio by 48 yards.
I like the fact that in the MAC Championship Game, they could have packed it in when they fell behind big early. But they kept fighting and wound up covering as 20.5-point underdogs in a 28-45 loss to Toledo, which is a better team than Florida Atlantic.
The Zips are very happy to be playing in a bowl game and will be motivated to try to pull the upset and finish their season with a winning record. After all, this is only their third bowl game in the history of the program. It’s only their second bowl appearance in the past 11 seasons. They now get to head down to some warm weather in Florida and couldn’t be more excited to be here.
I think Florida Atlantic comes in way overvalued after going 9-0 SU & 7-2 ATS in their last nine games overall. The betting public has caught on to this team and has driven this line all the way up to 23.5. Their season is a success no matter what happens in this game, because they just won Conference USA with a 41-17 victory over North Texas.
They won their conference, and there really isn’t anything more to accomplish. And what is Florida Atlantic’s reward for winning a down Conference USA? They get to play another home game here. The betting public will look at that as a good thing, but I don’t believe it’s a good thing at all. They would much rather travel somewhere to a better destination. These players won’t be excited at all to stay home. Their lack of motivation in this game will make it very difficult to cover this 23.5-point spread in spite of their big talent edge.
Akron is 6-0 ATS after covering the spread in two of their last three games this season. Florida Atlantic is 25-42 ATS in its last 67 home games. The Zips are 21-8 ATS in their last 29 games versus good rushing teams who average 4.75 or more yards per carry. Akron is 6-1 ATS in its last seven vs. a team with a winning record. The Zips are 8-2 ATS in their last 10 games overall. The Owls are 2-6 ATS in their last eight non-conference games.
Plays against home favorites (Florida Atlantic) - an excellent offensive team averaging 6.2 or more yards per play against a defense that gives up 5.6 to 6.2 yards per play after 7-plus games, in non-conference games are 22-5 (81.5%) ATS since 1992. Bet Akron Tuesday.
|12-19-17||Marshall +21 v. Xavier||77-81||Win||100||7 h 51 m||Show|
15* Marshall/Xavier CBB Early ANNIHILATOR on Marshall +21
The Marshall Thundering Herd are 8-3 this season and Dan D’Antoni, the broker of Mike D’Antoni of the Houston Rockets, has this offense hitting on all cylinders. The Thundering Herd have won four straight coming in and are scoring 90.2 points per game on the season.
Marshall is a very difficult team to prepare for, and that will be a problem for a Xavier team that needed to erase a 22-point deficit in the second half to beat lowly East Tennessee State 68-66 on Saturday as 21.5-point favorites. They used a lot of energy to make that comeback, and they have only two days to get ready for Marshall. They also won’t have many fans in attendance with this being Christmas Break.
Xavier coach Chris Mack was impressed by what he saw on film from the Thundering Herd. "I love the way they play offense," he said. "Elmore is a special player. He's as adept shooting threes as he is getting to the foul line. He's surrounded by some really skilled personnel."
"We have a lot of respect for Marshall," Mack said. "They do a great job of spacing the floor and playing with space. They are difficult to prepare for. It's a big challenge.”
Marshall is 9-2 ATS after failing to cover two of their last three against the spread over the past two seasons. The Thundering Herd are 8-3 ATS in their last 11 vs. Big East opponents. I think the Musketeers find themselves in another battle they don’t want to be in tonight. Roll with Marshall Tuesday.
|12-18-17||Falcons v. Bucs OVER 47.5||Top||24-21||Loss||-110||164 h 37 m||Show|
25* NFL TOTAL OF THE YEAR on Falcons/Bucs OVER 47.5
The Atlanta Falcons and Tampa Bay Bucs should easily combine for enough points to sail over this 47.5-point total Monday night. After all, they have played in some big-time shootouts in all meetings over the past two seasons. I don’t expect anything to change with perfect weather expected for Tampa on Monday night. It’s supposed to by 79 degrees with 5-10 MPH winds and a 10% chance of ran as of this writing.
The OVER is 3-0 in the last three meetings over the past two seasons with combined scores of 55, 71 and 54 points. That’s an average of 60 combined points per game, which is 12.5 points more than this 47.5-point total. And that 71-point effort came last year in Tampa Bay.
None of those results were fluky either as both teams have been able to move the ball at will against one another. Atlanta has averaged 33.7 points and 450.3 yards per game in the three meetings. Tampa Bay has averaged 26.3 points and 380 yards per game in the three meetings.
I think the fact that Atlanta has played two straight unders against two great defensive teams in New Orleans and Minnesota is keeping this line lower than it should be. But the Falcons should have no problem getting back going offensively this week against one of the worst defenses in the NFL. Atlanta still has an elite offense that ranks 3rd in the NFL In yards per play (6.0) despite the media perceiving their offense as down this year.
Tampa Bay ranks 31st in the NFL in total defense, giving up 389.3 yards per game. The Bucs also rank dead last in yards per play defense, giving up 6.1 yards per play. They are missing several key players on defense, including arguably their best defender in DT Gerald McCoy, who is out with a biceps injury.
James Winston returned against the Packers two weeks ago and has actually had no problem moving the ball. The Bucs racked up 395 total yards against the Packers and 410 against the Lions and arguably should have won both games. But the lost in overtime to the Packers and fell by a field goal to the Lions only because they committed five turnovers against Detroit. They have also found a running game, rushing for 165 yards against the Packers and 133 against the Lions.
Tampa Bay is 6-0 OVER after allowing 7 or more yards per play in their previous game over the last two seasons. Atlanta is 8-1 OVER after allowing 6 or more yards per play in their previous game over the last two years. The Falcons are 10-2 OVER as a favorite of 3.5 to 9.5 points over the last two seasons. Atlanta is 10-0-1 OVER in its last 11 games vs. a team with a losing record. The OVER is 5-1 in Falcons last six Monday night games. Bet the OVER in this game Monday.
|12-18-17||76ers v. Bulls +2.5||115-117||Win||100||8 h 11 m||Show|
15* NBA Monday Undervalued Underdog on Chicago Bulls +2.5
Since Nikola Mirotic returned to the Bulls’ lineup on December 8th, they have gone a perfect 5-0 SU & 5-0 ATS. They have beaten Charlotte and Milwaukee on the road, and New York, Boston and Utah at home.
They were underdogs in all five games, and they continue to lack the respect they deserve from oddsmakers here as home dogs tonight. Mirotic has led the way in averaging 25 points in his past three games and is the team’s leading scorer on the season.
The 76ers are in a hangover spot here off a triple-overtime loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder. Joel Embiid suffered a back injury in that game, but played all three overtimes. He will now sit out this game to rest, as will Trevor Booker. The 76ers aren’t nearly the same team without Embiid. They have lost five of their last six games overall coming in.
Philadelphia is 24-39 ATS off a home loss over the last three seasons. Chicago is 25-9 ATS vs. good rebounding teams out-rebounding their opponents by 3-plus boards per game over the last three years. The 76ers are 1-6 ATS in their last seven games after scoring 100 points or more in their previous game. The Bulls are 6-0 ATS in their last six games overall. Chicago is 12-2 ATS In its last 14 vs. Eastern Conference opponents. Roll with the Bulls Monday.
|12-18-17||Celtics -2 v. Pacers||112-111||Loss||-107||7 h 11 m||Show|
15* NBA Monday No-Doubt Rout on Boston Celtics -2
The Boston Celtics have been one of the best teams in the NBA this season at 25-7. Getting them as only 2-point road favorites over the Indiana Pacers is a nice bargain tonight, especially considering the tough spot the Pacers are in.
Indiana will be playing the 2nd of a back-to-back after a 109-97 win in Brooklyn on Sunday. The Pacers will also be playing their 3rd game in 4 days and their 4th game in 6 days. The Celtics had yesterday off and will be re-energized here after beating the Grizzlies 102-93 on the road Saturday.
The Celtics have owned the Pacers, going 4-0 SU & 4-0 ATS in the last four meetings. All four wins came by 6 points or more, and most of those came against better Pacers teams that had Paul George. This is a better Celtics team this season as Kyrie Irving and this young talent have really played at a high level all year.
Boston is 11-0 ATS vs. good shooting teams that make 46% of their shots or better this season. The Celtics are 9-1 ATS in road games when the total is 200 to 209.5 this season. Boston is 20-7 ATS in its last 27 road games overall. Indiana is 14-30-1 ATS in its last 45 games when playing the 2nd of a back-to-back. Take the Celtics Monday.
|12-17-17||Cavs v. Wizards||106-99||Loss||-110||8 h 6 m||Show|
15* Cavs/Wizards NBA Sunday No-Brainer on Washington PK
The Washington Wizards just recently got back John Wall from injury. It’s no surprise they have won their two games since his return. And now they’re going to want to make a statement against the Cleveland Cavaliers, letting them know they are coming for them this season.
And now the Cavaliers are ripe for the picking. They will be playing the 2nd of a back-to-back and their 3rd game in 4 days, as well as their 6th game in 10 days. The Cars were already short-handed without Isaiah Thomas, Derrick Rose and Iman Shumpert, and now both Tristan Thompson and Dwyane Wade are expected to rest. The Cavs are short on numbers and won’t have much left in the tank tonight.
Plays against road teams where the line is +3 to -3 (Cleveland) after two or more consecutive wins, when playing the 2nd of a back-to-back are 72-37 (66.1%) ATS over the last five seasons. The Cavaliers are 0-5 ATS in their last five games following a win. Take the Wizards Sunday.
|12-17-17||Titans v. 49ers -2||Top||23-25||Push||0||149 h 19 m||Show|
25* NFL West Coast GAME OF THE YEAR on San Francisco 49ers -2
I’ve backed the 49ers with success in each of Jimmy Garoppolo’s first two starts. I’m not about to buck them now as I think they are still being undervalued as only 2-point home favorites over the Tennessee Titans. The 49ers have new life under Garoppolo, and they are treating this like a separate season. They are 2-0 in this new season.
The 49ers won Garoppolo’s first start 15-14 at Chicago as 2.5-point underdogs. That game was a bigger blowout than the final score showed. They outgained the Bears by 241 yards and should have won by a lot more. But they had red zone struggles with penalties and critical mistakes that had them settling for five field goals.
Then last week the 49ers went into Houston and won 26-16 as 1-point road underdogs. They outgained the Texans by 105 yards in that contest. Garoppolo threw for 334 yards and a touchdown in the win. The 49ers put up 416 total yards a week after amassing 388 total yards against a good Bears defense. This is a completely new offense with Garoppolo, a much more dynamic one that is undervalued.
The fact that the offense can actually move the ball and score points has the defense rejuvenated. And boy, is this defense playing well. The 49ers have one of the better front sevens in the league defensively, and they are showing it lately. San Francisco has given up just 229 total yards per game in their last two contests against the Bears and Texans.
The Titans are the single-most overrated team in the NFL. They are a fraudulent 8-5 and are not a playoff team. They have actually been outscored by 21 points on the season despite that 8-5 record. They are also getting outgained on the season as their numbers just aren’t very good.
Tennessee really only has one win by more than one score this season. That’s because I don’t count their wins over the Colts and Texans earlier where Derrick Henry ran for 70-plus yards for touchdowns in the final seconds when they were just trying to run out the clock. Both runs he could have gone down and the game would have been over. It led to brutal bad beats if you were on the Colts or Texans in those two games.
The Titans lost 7-12 at Arizona last week. Marcus Mariota looks broken, and the running game cannot get going. The Titans managed just 204 total yards in the loss. Mariota went 16-of-31 passing for 159 yards and two interceptions. He hurt his knee early and played through it, and that could be an issue again this week. The Titans have been held to 92 or fewer rushing yards in seven of their last 10 games. They just haven’t been able to run the ball like they did last year, and they won’t be able to against this stout San Francisco front seven, either.
San Francisco is 14-4 ATS in its last 18 home games off an upset win as a road underdog. The Titans are 7-20 ATS in their last 27 road games. Tennessee is 3-13-1 ATS in its last 17 road games vs. a team with a losing home record. Mike Mularkey is 4-14 ATS as an underdog as the coach of Tennessee. Bet the 49ers Sunday.
|12-17-17||Patriots v. Steelers +3||27-24||Push||0||80 h 30 m||Show|
15* Patriots/Steelers AFC ANNIHILATOR on Pittsburgh +3
The Pittsburgh Steelers are ready to turn the corner against the New England Patriots and exorcise their demons. The Patriots have owned them, including their 36-17 win in the AFC Championship Game. But Le’Veon Bell was hurt on the first drive of that game and did not return.
Now the three B’s are all healthy and are the only 3,000-yard, 1,000-yard, 1,000-yard trio in the NFL up to this point. And the Steelers are remarkably healthy as a whole. They get JuJu Smith-Schuster back from suspension this week, and CB Joe Haden could make his return this week as well. The only real significant loss is LB Ryan Shazier, and while that is a big loss, there’s no question the Steelers are the more healthy team.
The Patriots are banged up everywhere, but mostly along the defensive front seven. They have played without both Trey Flowers and Kyle Van Noy in recent weeks, and Alan Branch was injured against Miami and forced to leave the game. All three players are highly questionable, leaving the Patriots short of pass rushers, which is why they signed Ricky Jean Francois this week. Van Noy, Flowers and Branch are three of the most important players on defense. They could not get any pressure on Jay Cutler last week.
Their task gets even tougher this week against a Steelers offense that just put up 545 total yards against a very good Ravens defense last week. Big Ben three for 506 yards and two touchdowns in the win. The Steelers are the definition of an elite team. They are outgaining their opponents by 77 yards per game on the season. They have outgained 11 of their 13 opponents this year.
This is an awful spot for the Patriots. They will be playing their 3rd straight road game, and their 5th road game in the past 6 weeks. That’s about as tough of a situation as any NFL team can be in. Plus, they will now be working on a short week having played the Dolphins on Monday Night Football. I think the Steelers will be the fresher, more motivated team this week and that will greatly aid them in pulling off the upset victory.
This line suggests the Patriots would be 6-point favorites on a neutral and 9-point favorites at home when you factor in home-field advantage, so that fact alone shows there’s value on the Steelers as I would back them at both of those lines.
Having a healthy Bell will be key in exploiting the biggest weakness of the Patriots, which is stopping the run. The Patriots actually give up 5.0 yards per carry this season, which is the worst mark in the NFL. Expect a monster game from a motivated Bell who wants to prove that he was the difference as to why they lost in the AFC Championship Game last year.
Pittsburgh is 7-0 ATS versus poor rushing defenses that allow 4.5 or more rushing yards per carry in the second half of the season over the last three seasons. The Steelers are 40-20 ATS in their last 60 games vs. a team with a winning percentage of 75% or more. Pittsburgh is 19-6-2 ATS in its last 27 games after allowing more than 30 points in its previous game. Mike Tomlin is 7-0 ATS in home games after a home game where both teams scored 24 or more points as the coach of Pittsburgh. Roll with the Steelers Sunday.
|12-17-17||Kings v. Raptors UNDER 206||93-108||Win||100||6 h 40 m||Show|
15* NBA Sunday Total DOMINATOR on Kings/Raptors UNDER 206
The UNDER is almost always a good bet in the situation that the Kings and Raptors are in today. These teams just played each other on December 10th just seven days ago. They are extremely familiar with each other because of it, and familiarity favors defense.
The Kings are one of the slowest teams in the NBA. They rank 28th in pace at 96.8 possessions per game. And now they are expected to be without lighting-quick point guard De’Aaron Fox, who is doubtful with a quad injury. The only time they push the pace is when he’s in, but now they will be even slower than usual without him.
Toronto just beat Sacramento 102-87 for 189 combined points last Sunday. Now they’ve set the total at 206, which is 17 points higher. It’s clear that there’s value with the UNDER. Not to mention, the UNDER is 5-0 in the last five meetings. The last four meetings have seen 189, 201, 187 and 198 combined points, which is an average of just 193.8 combined points per game. That’s also 12 points less than this 206-point total.
The UNDER is 5-0 in Kings last five games vs. a team with a winning record. The UNDER is 15-7 in Kings last 22 Sunday games. The UNDER is 4-0 in Raptors last four Sunday games. Bet the UNDER in this game Sunday.
|12-17-17||Ravens v. Browns +7||27-10||Loss||-105||92 h 20 m||Show|
15* NFL Sunday Undervalued Underdog on Cleveland Browns +7
You have to have some seriously thick skin if you’ve backed the Cleveland Browns and continued to do so this season. They are just 3-10 ATS on the year, but could easily be 10-3 ATS instead. There have been eight ATS losses where they had a chance to cover in the closing seconds and haven’t gotten the job done.
It happened again last week as they led by 14 in the 4th quarter against the Packers, but ended up losing by 6 in overtime. So even backers who had Cleveland +3 couldn’t even get a push, even though it was the right side the entire game until the final play. But I think the value is with the Browns as 7-point home underdogs this week to the Ravens. When you’re getting 7 points, it means you can’t lose in overtime.
The Browns are clearly way better than their 0-13 record. They have the stats of a 6-7 or 5-8 team. They are only getting outgained by 17 yards per game on the season and 0.2 yards per play. We saw the Browns fight down the stretch last year to avoid a winless this season. I think they’ll do the same this season, especially since a win wouldn’t cost them the No. 1 pick considering every other team in the NFL has at least two wins.
Statistically, the Ravens have been a worse team than the Browns. They rank worse in total offense and total defense. They are getting outgained by 31 yards per game on the season and 0.4 yards per play. I question the fight the Ravens will have this week after their deflating 39-38 loss to Pittsburgh last week. They blew a double-digit lead to their biggest rivals, and it wouldn’t surprise me if they have a ‘hangover’ effect from hat defeat.
Big Ten threw for over 500 yards against Baltimore’s defense last week. It’s clear that the loss of Jimmy Smith is a big one for the Ravens as the Steelers did whatever they wanted to through the air. The Browns now have two legitimate weapons at receiver to exploit the Ravens. Corey Coleman is back healthy now, and Josh Gordon has returned from suspension and has been a huge factor already in the passing game. This Cleveland offense has a ton of potential moving forward.
Cleveland has outgained Baltimore in four of the last five meetings in this series, including a 386-337 yard edge in their first meeting this year. The Ravens won that game 24-10, but only due to five turnovers by the Browns. The Browns had multiple chances to cover as 7.5-point dogs, but kept turning the ball over deep in Baltimore territory.
Now Baltimore is basically an identical 7-point favorite in the rematch. Flipping home field should be a 6-point difference, which would mean Baltimore would be a 1.5-point favorite based on the 7.5-point spread in the first meeting. I think there’s value on the Browns at +7 because of this. The Ravens may win, but it won’t be by more than a touchdown.
Baltimore is 0-6 ATS off two or more consecutive ATS wins over the last three seasons. The Ravens are 1-8 ATS after allowing 400 or more total yards in their previous game over the last three years. Plays against favorites of 3.5 to 10 points (Baltimore) - a marginal winning team (51% to 60%) playing a terrible team (25% or less) after 8-plus games are 23-6 (79.3%) ATS over the last 10 seasons. Take the Browns Sunday.
|12-16-17||Mavs v. Spurs UNDER 198||96-98||Win||100||10 h 59 m||Show|
15* NBA Saturday Total DOMINATOR on Mavs/Spurs UNDER 198
I love betting the UNDER in this spot. The Mavs and Spurs just played each other on Tuesday with the Mavs winning 95-89 at home. So these teams are very familiar with one another, and now they’ll be playing each other just five days later. This situation always favors the defenses and the UNDER.
This has been a low-scoring series between the Mavs and Spurs anyway. They have combined for 191 or fewer points in six of their last eight meetings. They have averaged just 193.4 combined points per game in those eight meetings, which is roughly 5 points less than tonight’s posted total of 198.
The Spurs will be without their best player in Kawhi Leonard as he gets a night of rest in this back-to-back situation. The Mavs will be without starting point guard Dennis Smith Jr., who is arguably their best player and scorer as well. These injuries will help aid this UNDER.
The UNDER is 13-3-1 in Mavs last 17 Saturday games. The UNDER is 8-2 in Mavs last 10 vs. Western Conference. The UNDER is 8-1 in Spurs last nine when their opponent scores 100 points or more in their previous game. Take the UNDER in this game Saturday.
|12-16-17||Thunder v. Knicks +3||96-111||Win||100||9 h 59 m||Show|
15* NBA Saturday UPSET SHOCKER on New York Knicks +3
The Oklahoma City Thunder just played a triple-overtime game against the Philadelphia 76ers last night. It’s safe to say they won’t have anything left in the tank today, especially since all five starters played basically the entire 15 minutes of overtime. Russell Westbrook played 52 minutes, Steven Adams 51, Paul George 45, Carmelo Anthony 47 and Andre Roberson 34.
The Knicks will be motivated for the Anthony reunion to prove that they are a better team without him. They will also be rested after having yesterday off. The Knicks are 13-5 SU & 13-5 ATS at home this season, outscoring opponents by 6.5 points per game on average. They have been one of the most profitable teams to bet at home this season.
Plays against all teams where the line is +3 to -3 (Oklahoma City) - off a road win by 3 points or less, when playing the 2nd of a back-to-back are 25-5 (83.3%) ATS over the last five seasons. The Thunder are 2-9 ATS in their last 11 road games, and 2-9 ATS in their last 11 games overall. The Knicks are 7-1 ATS in their last eight vs. Western Conference foes. Bet the Knicks Saturday.
|12-16-17||Bears +6 v. Lions||Top||10-20||Loss||-110||112 h 38 m||Show|
20* Bears/Lions NFC North GAME OF THE MONTH on Chicago +6
The Chicago Bears have played nine straight games with Mitchell Trubisky as their starting quarterback. They have only lost one game by more than 8 points, and that came on the road against the juggernaut that is the Philadelphia Eagles. So they have been competitive in eight of their nine games. And now they are catching 6 points on the road against the Detroit Lions this week.
Trubisky is coming off his best game of the season. He completed 25-of-32 passes for 271 yards and a touchdown, while also rushing for a score in a 33-7 win at Cincinnati as 6-point dogs. The Bears also rushed for 232 yards as a team and racked up a season-high 482 yards in the win.
Another one of the Bears’ best offensive performances this year came a few weeks ago on November 19th in a 24-27 home loss to the Detroit Lions. The Bears actually outgunned the Lions 398 to 352 in that contest and arguably should have won. They rushed for 222 yards on that Lions defense. Now they will want revenge only a few weeks later, and I think they have a great chance to pull the upset as the offense continues to click against an awful Detroit defense.
The Lions aren’t the type of team used to blowing teams out, which is what it’s going to take to cover this 6-point spread. And their defense is not good enough to be favored this heavily. The Lions rank 27th in the NFL in total defense, giving up 363.3 yards per game and 5.7 yards per play. They needed five turnovers last week just to beat the hapless Bucs 24-21.
What makes the Bears so underrated is that their defense is very good, and they have a strong running game. The Bears rank 11th in the NFL in total defense, giving up just 325.5 yards per game and 5.1 yards per play. They rank 7th in rushing offense, averaging 124.5 rushing yards per game and 4.5 per carry. The Lions are 20th against the run, giving up 116.3 yards per game and 4.2 per carry. They have allowed an average of 158.6 rushing yards per game in their last five contests.
This head-to-head series has been extremely tight in recent meetings. In fact, each of the last six meetings between the Lions and Bears have been decided by 6 points or fewer. Each of the last five have been decided by 4 points or less. That fact alone just shows the kind of line value we are getting with the Bears catching 6 points here Saturday.
Detroit is 29-51 ATS in its last 80 games as a favorite of 3.5 to 9.5 points. Plays against home favorites of 3.5 to 10 points (Detroit) after a game where they forced 5 or more turnovers against an opponent off a game where they committed no turnovers are 23-5 (82.1%) ATS since 1983. Bet the Bears Saturday.
|12-16-17||Oklahoma v. Wichita State -7.5||91-83||Loss||-105||5 h 19 m||Show|
15* Oklahoma/Wichita State CBB No-Brainer on Wichita State -7.5
The Wichita State Shockers are ranked No. 3 in the country thanks to their 8-1 start and their five returning starters from last year. They have played the gauntlet, facing the likes of Cal, Marquette, Notre Dame, Baylor and Oklahoma State with all five of those games either on a neutral or on the road.
Now they get Oklahoma at home in one of the most hostile arenas in college basketball. And I think this Oklahoma team is way overrated and doesn’t have a real good victory to its name yet. USC and Oregon are both down, and they lost tot he best team they have faced in Arkansas 83-92.
Now the Shockers will be the best team they have played yet, and it will actually be their first true road game of the season. I don’t expect this young Sooners team led by freshman Trae Young to be able to handle this situation very well at all.
Oklahoma is 0-8 ATS off two or more consecutive wins over the last two seasons. The Sooners are 1-9 ATS after scoring 75 points or more in five straight games over the last three seasons. The Shockers are 8-3 ATS in their last 11 home games. Roll with Wichita State Saturday.
|12-16-17||North Texas v. Troy -6.5||Top||30-50||Win||100||68 h 23 m||Show|
20* North Texas/Troy 2017 Bowl Season Opener on Troy -6.5
The Troy Trojans are 10-2 this season. Their only losses came to Boise State and South Alabama. The Boise State loss was on the road and they were in it the entire way, and the South Alabama loss was a letdown spot following the biggest win in program history at LSU the previous week. Both losses were understandable.
This is a Troy team that is loaded with seniors. They will be motivated to win their 11th game and end their careers on top with a win in the New Orleans Bowl. And I certainly believe they are far and away the better team in this matchup with North Texas.
This is a North Texas team that was extremely fortunate to post a 9-4 record this year. The Mean Green went 5-0 in games decided by a touchdown or less. Every time they took a step up in class, they were blown out, and this is a step up as well. They lost by 22 at SMU, by 17 at Iowa, by 38 at Florida Atlantic and by 24 to FAU in the C-USA Championship. They trailed that game 34-0 before getting some garbage time scores.
Since that loss to South Alabama, Troy has gone 6-0 with five of those wins coming by 7 points or more. They are playing well and will be the superior team at the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball. They give up just 3.0 yards per carry on defense, and they average 4.8 yards per carry on offense.
North Texas hasn’t been able to run the ball since losing arguably their best player in running back Jeffery Wilson. He was hurt in the Army game in their 11th game of the season. Wilson has rushed for 1,215 yards and accounted for 16 total touchdowns. The Mean Green managed just 81 rushing yards on 35 carries against Florida Atlantic in the C-USA title game. They are one-dimensional now, which will make the task much easier for Troy in this game.
Another big difference in this game is on the defensive side of the ball. Troy has one of the better defenses in the country, giving up just 17.5 points per game and 4.9 yards per play on the season. North Texas is one of the worst defensive teams, giving up 33.8 points pre game and 5.9 yards per play. That’s more than a 16-point difference.
The Trojans have a coaching edge in this game. Troy defensive coordinator Vic Koenning held the same title at North Carolina when North Texas head coach Seth Littrell was the offensive coordinator of the Tar Heels. The Trojans will be prepared for what they’re going to face defensively Saturday.
"He's a really good friend of mine. I respect what he's done," Brown said of Littrell. "Vic's got an understanding of who Seth is and what he's about.”
"I really like what those guys do on offense, so I've watched them quite a bit as the years have gone on," Brown said of North Texas. "I've got a good feel for what they're trying to do offensively. The Fine kid ... they recruited him hard here at Troy. He's doing a really good job."
Plays on neutral field favorites (Troy) after allowing 8 or more yards per passing attempt last game, with 8 offensive starters returning are 23-4 (85.2%) ATS since 1992. North Texas is 1-9 ATS in road games vs. good passing teams with a completion percentage of 58% or better over the last three seasons. The Mean Green are 3-13 ATS in their last 16 road games vs. good offensive teams that average 5.9 or more yards per play. Neal Brown is 13-3 ATS in Saturday road games as the coach of Troy. The Trojans are 9-3 ATS in their last 12 games vs. at team with a winning record. Bet Troy in the New Orleans Bowl Saturday.
|12-15-17||Pelicans v. Nuggets +1||Top||111-117||Win||100||10 h 2 m||Show|
20* NBA DOG OF THE WEEK on Denver Nuggets +1
The Denver Nuggets have actually been able to sustain success despite the losses of their two best players in Nikola Jokic and Paul Millsap in recent weeks. But they don’t have to play without both any longer as Jokic is expected to make his return from an ankle injury tonight.
The Pelicans haven’t won back-to-back games since November 22-24. They have gone just 4-6 since and are coming off a 115-108 home victory over Milwaukee on Wednesday. Now they’ll be playing their 4th game in 6 days and their 9th game in 15 days. This is a tired team right now.
The Nuggets are going to want revenge from a 123-114 road loss at New Orleans on December 6th just over a week ago. The Nuggets won their three previous meetings with the Pelicans, including blowout home wins by 32 and 16 points. They should not be home underdogs here tonight.
The Nuggets are 5-1 ATS in their last six home games. Denver is 9-3 ATS in its last 12 Friday games. The Pelicans are 3-8 ATS in their last 11 trips to Denver. Bet the Nuggets Friday.
|12-15-17||Hawks v. Grizzlies UNDER 198||94-96||Win||100||9 h 35 m||Show|
15* NBA Friday Total DOMINATOR on Hawks/Grizzlies UNDER 198
Nothing has changed with the grit ’n grind Memphis Grizzlies this season. They are still a team that cannot score the ball, but they lay it on the line defensively every night. Of course, it hurts that they lost their best player in PG Mike Conley, and they are also playing without Wayne Selden and Brandan Wright, and possibly Tyreke Evans tonight.
The UNDER is 10-4 in Grizzlies last 14 games overall. They have failed to score more than 95 points in 11 of those 14 games. But they have given up 100 or fewer in seven of those. Now they face a tired Hawks team that will be playing the 2nd of a back-to-back and their 5th game in 7 days tonight. Don’t expect them to try and get up and down the floor with any kind of tempo tonight.
The Grizzlies rank 30th in the NBA in pace at 95.7 possessions per game, and they’ll control the tempo playing at home here tonight. Memphis ranks 27th in offensive efficiency while Atlanta is 21st. So it will be a slow tempo between two of the worst offensive teams in the NBA, which is a perfect recipe for an UNDER.
The UNDER is 6-1 in the last seven meetings between these teams. They have combined for 197 or fewer points in six of those seven meetings. They are averaging just 186.4 combined points per game in those seven meetings, which is nearly 12 points less than tonight’s posted total of 198. Roll with the UNDER in this game Friday.
|12-15-17||Thunder v. 76ers -1.5||119-117||Loss||-110||8 h 2 m||Show|
15* Thunder/76ers ESPN No-Brainer on Philadelphia -1.5
The Oklahoma City Thunder have been the most overrated team in the NBA to this point. They are just 13-14 SU & 8-18 ATS, including 4-10 SU & 3-11 ATS on the road. They have gone just 1-9 ATS in their last 10 games overall.
The problem with the Thunder is that in trading for Carmelo Anthony and Paul George, they traded away all their depth. Their bench is awful, and Anthony has proven to be a cancer in Oklahoma City just like he was in New York.
The 76ers will be hungry for a victory after losing four of their last five coming in. They have had two days off to get ready for the Thunder after last playing on Tuesday. They are almost fully healthy now as the only player they will be missing tonight Is Markelle Fultz. The home team is 4-0 ATS in the last four meetings in this series.
The 76ers are 20-4 ATS off two consecutive non-conference games over the past two seasons. Philadelphia is 9-1 ATS vs. teams who average 9 or more steals per game over the last two seasons. The Thunder are 0-6 ATS in their last six games following a win. The 76ers are 8-1 ATS in their last nine games playing on two days’ rest. Philadelphia is 42-16-1 ATS in its last 59 vs. Western Conference opponents. Take the 76ers Friday.
|12-14-17||Broncos -2 v. Colts||Top||25-13||Win||100||66 h 45 m||Show|
20* Broncos/Colts AFC GAME OF THE MONTH on Denver -2
The Denver Broncos are just 4-9 this season, but they have the statistics of a team that should be sitting with a winning record and in the playoff hunt. That is why they are undervalued right now, and I think we are getting a discount on them here Thursday as only 2-point road favorites over the Indianapolis Colts.
The Colts are 3-10 this season and they have the statistics of a team that would be 3-10. They are right where they should be. They are clearly one of the worst teams in the NFL, and that has shown with four consecutive losses and seven losses in their last eight games. They aren’t going to win this game, either.
The Broncos are actually outgaining their opponents by 32 yards per game on the season. They are led by a defense that ranks 1st in the NFL in total defense, giving up just 280.5 yards per game. They are 2nd in the NFL in yards per play defense, giving up only 4.7 yards per play. They are 22nd in total offense at 312.1 yards per game. Not great, but way better than the Colts.
The Colts are getting outgained by 85 yards per game, which is far and away the worst mark in the NFL. They rank 30th in total defense (375.3 yards/game) and 30th in yards per play (5.9) defense. They are 31st in total offense (290.7 yards/game) and 32nd in yards per play (4.6) offense.
I think the short week actually hurts the Colts more. They have to travel back home from the snow fest in Buffalo in which they lost 13-7 in the final minutes of overtime. That game had to take a lot out of them, and don’t be surprised if many of these Colts players come down with illnesses after having to play in the elements. This is a dome team not used to having to go outdoors and play in the snow like that.
Meanwhile, the Broncos made easy work of the Jets 23-0 last week. They limited the Jets to just 100 total yards in the win. It helped that they got Aqib Talib back. After spending little energy to put away the Jets, the Broncos should still be fresh. That’s key with this short week. That effort also shows that the Broncos have not quit on their season.
The Colts will be without starting center Ryan Kelly, wide receiver Donte Moncrief, slot corner Nate Hairston and cornerback Rahsaan Melvin against the Broncos. The Kelly injury is huge because he is their best offensive lineman. No quarterback has been sacked more than Jacoby Brissett this year. That makes this a great matchup for the Broncos, who are excellent at getting after opposing quarterbacks.
Plays on road teams (Denver) a slow starting team that is outscored by 5-plus points in the first half, after allowing 6 points or fewer last game are 25-6 (80.6%) ATS since 1983. Indianapolis is 1-9 ATS in its last 10 home games after scoring 17 points or less in three straight games. The Broncos are 8-2 ATS in their last 10 Thursday games. Bet the Broncos Thursday.
|12-14-17||Kings +10.5 v. Wolves||96-119||Loss||-105||8 h 5 m||Show|
15* NBA Thursday Undervalued Underdog on Sacramento Kings +10.5
The Minnesota Timberwolves have been an overvalued commodity this season due to the signing of Jimmy Butler and Jeff Teague. They are consistently laying prices that they cannot handle, and I think that’s the case again here tonight as double-digit favorites over the Kings.
The Timberwolves are just 3-9-1 ATS in their last 13 games overall. They are a mediocre 16-12 SU on the season as well. They are only outscoring the opposition by 0.6 points per game on the season, including just 2.2 points per game at home. They aren’t blowing out teams on the regular.
The Kings have been a nice money-maker for backers over the past three weeks. They have been flying under the radar, going 7-2-1 ATS in their last 10 games overall. They have three upset victories during this stretch, including a road win at Golden State as 12.5-point dogs.
The Kings are 3-1 SU & 3-1 ATS in their last four meetings with the Timberwolves, winning twice outright as underdogs. Sacramento is 5-0 ATS in its last five vs. Western Conference opponents. The Kings are 4-0-2 ATS in their last six road games. The Timberwolves are 0-7-1 ATS in their last eight home games. Roll with the Kings Thursday.
|12-14-17||Knicks v. Nets -1||111-104||Loss||-105||8 h 35 m||Show|
15* NBA Thursday No-Doubt Rout on Brooklyn Nets -1
The Brooklyn Nets have been one of the most underrated teams in the NBA this season. They have gone 11-15 SU & 17-9 ATS while being one of the most profitable teams to back. Now they just have to win to cover at home tonight against the Knicks, and I think they get the job done.
The Knicks have been a great team to back at home, but a terrible one on the road. They are just 1-8 SU & 2-7 ATS on the highway this season. They are getting outscored by a whopping 11.8 points per game on the road too, scoring just 97.2 on average and giving up 109.0 per game.
The Nets are 10-2 ATS in their last 12 games overall. Brooklyn is 20-9 ATS in its last 29 vs. Eastern Conference opponents. New York is 2-8 ATS in its last 10 vs. NBA Atlantic Division foes. Home-court advantage has been huge in this series as the home team is 8-2 ATS in the last 10 meetings. Take the Nets Thursday.
|12-13-17||Portland State +15 v. Oregon||84-95||Win||100||10 h 42 m||Show|
15* CBB Wednesday Late-Night BAILOUT on Portland State +15
The Portland State Vikings are one of the most underrated teams in the country. They have opened 8-2 SU and a perfect 8-0 ATS in their eight lined games. Now they are catching 15 points from a rebuilding Oregon team that has no business laying this kind of number.
Portland State’s two losses this season came to Duke (81-99) as 24.5-point underdogs on a neutral and Butler (69-71) as 12-point dogs on a neutral. The Vikings have pulled outright upsets over UC-Riverside, Utah State, Stanford, Loyola-Marymount and Santa Clara with four of those wins coming on the road. This team just continues to lack the respect they deserve.
Oregon is just 7-3 SU & 4-5 ATS on the season. The Ducks returned just one starter from last year. They have been upset by UConn and Boise State, and they also lost to Oklahoma by 10. Their 74-68 win over Texas Southern as 20-point home favorites on Monday was also a concerning result. Now they have had just one day to get ready for Portland State.
The Vikings are 12-3-1 ATS in their last 16 non-conference games. The Ducks are 1-5 ATS in their last six games overall. Oregon is 1-4 ATS in its last five home games. The Vikings are 7-0 ATS as an underdog this season. Roll with Portland State Wednesday.
|12-13-17||Raptors v. Suns +11.5||115-109||Win||100||10 h 37 m||Show|
15* NBA Wednesday Undervalued Underdog on Phoenix Suns +11.5
The Phoenix Suns have been playing without Devin Booker, but they have actually been competitive without him. They have lost their last three games without him, but they were all by 10 points or less to Washington (by 10), San Antonio (by 3) and Sacramento (by 7).
I think they get the cover with ease tonight against a Toronto Raptors team that is getting too much respect for its 6-1 run. But those seven games have come against the lines of Atlanta, Charlotte, Indiana, Phoenix, Memphis, Sacramento and the LA Clippers. They have feasted on an easy schedule, and they cannot be laying 11.5 points on the road here.
The Suns simply have the Raptors’ number. They have gone 6-3 SU and a perfect 9-0 ATS in the last 10 meetings. They covered as 14.5-point road dogs in a 13-point loss on December 5th, and they will want revenge just a week later here catching 11.5 points at home.
The Suns are 11-3 ATS in their last 14 vs. NBA Atlantic Division opponents. Phoenix is 7-2 ATS in its last nine vs. a team with a winning % above .600. The Suns are 20-8 ATS when playing against a team with a winning percentage from 60% to 70% over the last three seasons. Take the Suns Wednesday.
|12-13-17||Blazers v. Heat -2.5||Top||102-95||Loss||-105||8 h 6 m||Show|
20* NBA Wednesday No Doubt Rout on Miami Heat -2.5
The Miami Heat are rested right now, which has led to back-to-back blowout wins over Brooklyn (101-89) in Mexico City and Memphis (107-82) on the road. The Heat will be playing just their 4th game in 10 days tonight.
Now they host a Portland Trail Blazers team that has really been struggling. The Blazers are 0-5 in their last five five games overall despite playing four of those five games at home. They lost at Golden State on Monday, and it’s always tough to get back up after playing the defending champs. I certainly don’t like the spot for the Blazers here.
The Blazers have played their last two games without two key pieces in center Just Nurkic and small forward Maurice Harkless. Both Nurkic and Harmless are questionable to return tonight. The Heat have proven they can still play great basketball without Hassan Whiteside, who is expected to be out until the end of December with a bone bruise in his knee.
The Blazers are 4-10-1 ATS in their last 15 games following a loss. The Heat are 15-7-1 ATS in their last 23 vs. Western Conference opponents. The home team is 5-1 ATS in the last six meetings. Miami is 22-11 ATS off two consecutive ATS wins over the last two seasons. Bet the Heat Wednesday.
|12-12-17||Wizards v. Nets +4.5||98-103||Win||100||8 h 59 m||Show|
15* NBA Tuesday Undervalued Underdog on Brooklyn Nets +4.5
The Washington Wizards have played their last eight games without John Wall, who may return Wednesday against Memphis. But he’s out again tonight, and they are just 4-4 without him. They shouldn’t be favored on the road here against the Brooklyn Nets.
The Nets have been one of the most underrated teams in the NBA this season. They have gone 10-15 SU & 16-9 ATS. They have been competitive in most games. They have one of the deepest teams in the NBA, and that depth is what is allowing them to hang with teams that they aren’t expected to.
The Nets also are one of the best offensive teams in the NBA. They are averaging 108.6 points per game overall, including 113.7 points per game at home. And home-court advantage has been huge in this series as the home team is 20-8 ATS in the last 28 meetings.
The Nets are 9-2 ATS in their last 11 games overall. Brooklyn is 19-7 ATS in its last 26 games following a loss. Washington is 5-15-1 ATS in its last 21 road games vs. a team with a losing home record. Brooklyn is rested and is 48-26 ATS in its last 74 games when playing 4 or less games in 10 days. The Nets are a perfect 8-0 ATS versus good offensive teams who score 106 or more points per game this season. Take the Nets Tuesday.
|12-12-17||Hawks +11.5 v. Cavs||Top||114-123||Win||100||7 h 29 m||Show|
20* NBA Eastern Conference GAME OF THE WEEK on Atlanta Hawks +11.5
The Cleveland Cavaliers are grossly overrated right now due to winning 14 of their last 15 games overall. They are being asked to lay big numbers that they just can’t cover consistently. They are just 6-8 ATS in their last 14 games despite this recent run of straight up wins.
Now the Cavs are up against an Atlanta hawks team that has given them fits. The Hawks are 1-1 SU & 2-0 ATS in their two meetings with the Cavs this season. They won 117-115 as 11-point road dogs in Cleveland on November 5th, and only lost 114-121 as 7.5-point home dogs on November 30th. The Hawks are 4-3 SU & 6-1 ATS in their last seven meetings with Cleveland overall.
Atlanta comes in flying way under the radar. The Hawks have gone 5-1 ATS in their last six games overall. Their only ATS loss came in a tough spot in a home-and-home situation with the Brooklyn Nets. They had beaten Brooklyn on the road two nights earlier, then predictably fell flat in the rematch.
The Cavs could be without Kevin Love tonight, who is questionable. They are already without Isaiah Thomas, Derrick Rose and Iman Shumpert. And John Collins could make his return from a shoulder injury tonight for the Hawks.
Plays against any team (Cleveland) after going under the total by more than 6 points in three consecutive games, a good team (60% to 75%) playing a team with a losing record are 34-10 (77.3%) ATS over the last five seasons. The Hawks are 5-0 ATS in their last five games following a loss. The Cavs are 2-8-1 ATS in their last 11 games vs. a team with a winning % below .400. Cleveland is 6-19-1 ATS in its last 26 home games. Bet the Hawks Tuesday.