|Date||Match Up||Rating||Score||Result||Profit||Lead Time||Analysis|
|12-30-18||Bears v. Vikings -4||Top||24-10||Loss||-105||93 h 50 m||Show|
20* Bears/Vikings NFC North No-Brainer on Minnesota -4
I think the Chicago Bears are in a precarious situation here. Yes, they are still alive for the No. 2 seed and first-round bye, but they’re not in control of their own destiny. They would need the Rams to lose to the 49ers and to beat the Vikings to get the No. 2 seed. Well, the Rams are double-digit favorites over the 49ers at home this week, so players and coaches alike know that deep down inside they don’t have much of a chance.
It’s kind of a free roll here on Minnesota. We know the Vikings are going to be max motivated needing a win to get in the playoffs. If they lose, the Eagles would only need to beat the Redskins this week to overtake them. That’s likely to happen since the Eagles are 7-point favorites this week over the Redskins. So it’s essentially a must-win game for the Vikings.
And the Vikings have performed well in must-win mode over the last two weeks. They throttled the Dolphins 41-17 at home, and beat the Lions 27-9 on the road. Their offense has taken off since firing offensive coordinator DiFelippo prior to the Miami game. And their defense has held the Dolphins and Lions to just 13 points per game and 208 yards per game the last two weeks. This is still an elite defense, and I certainly trust the Vikings’ offense more than that of Chicago.
The reason it’s a precarious situation for the Bears is also because they could look up at halftime and see the Rams beating the 49ers by two touchdowns or more. If that’s the case, they could pull their starters in the second half. They could also pull their starters if they get behind Minnesota big early. It’s more important for them to be rested for the wild card game next week than it is for them to go ‘all in’ to try and win this game. I don’t expect them to, contrary to what head coach Matt Nagy may tell the media leading up to this game.
The Vikings have had one of the best home-field advantages in the NFL over the past few seasons. They are 36-15-1 ATS in their last 52 home games, including 29-11 ATS under current head coach Mike Zimmer. The Vikings are a perfect 6-0 ATS as a favorite of 3.5 to 9.5 points this season, winning by 13.6 points per game on average in this spotl. The home team is 23-9 ATS in the last 32 meetings. Minnesota has won six straight home meetings with Chicago, including the last three by a whopping 20.1 points per game. Take the Vikings Sunday.
|12-30-18||Dolphins v. Bills -3.5||Top||17-42||Win||100||96 h 30 m||Show|
20* NFL Sunday No-Doubt Rout on Buffalo Bills -3.5
You could make the argument that the Bills are playing as well as anyone in the NFL down the stretch. The Bills have outgained their last seven opponents by a total of 578 yards, or by an average of 83 yards per game. They rank 2nd in the NFL in total defense this season, and they’ve been competitive ever since Josh Allen returned from injury.
Buffalo has shown up every week Allen has been under center, and they’ll certainly show up in Week 17. Especially since they want revenge from a fluky 17-21 loss at Miami on December 2nd in their first meeting this season. The Bills dominated that game, outgaining the Dolphins 415 to 175, or by 240 total yards. But they found a way to lose. This time around, I expect them to dominate the box score and the scoreboard in the rematch in Buffalo.
Miami is coming off a dream-crushing loss to the Jaguars last week at home by 10 points. That followed up a 24-point road loss to the Vikings. The loss to the Jaguars officially eliminated them from playoff contention. I don’t even expect the Dolphins to show up this week as they’ll suffer a ‘hangover’ effect from that loss to the Jaguars.
Miami is also a warm weather team that has to now go play in the cold, which will not go well for them. It’s expected to be below freezing in Buffalo on Sunday. It’s a Dolphins team that has also one of the most fraudulent seven-win teams I can remember. They are getting outgained by nearly 100 yards per game on the season. Their seven wins have all come by 8 points or less, or by one score. And seven of their eight losses have come by 10 points or more. They have simply been lucky in close games this year. I don’t expect this game to be close at all.
The Dolphins are 6-2 at home this season compared to just 1-6 on the road. They have one of the biggest home/road splits in the NFL. They haven’t even been competitive on the road, going 2-5 ATS in their seven road games while getting outscored by a whopping 14.0 points per game, and outgained by 131.9 yards per game. Buffalo is 17-9 SU & 16-10 ATS in its last 26 home meetings with Miami.
Miami is 1-8 ATS in road games off a home game over the last two seasons, losing by 20 points per game on average in this spot. The Dolphins are 2-10 ATS in their last 12 road games overall. Buffalo has gone 5-1 ATS in its six most recent home meetings with Miami. The favorite is 11-4 ATS in the last 15 meetings. Bet the Bills Sunday.
|12-29-18||Spurs v. Clippers -3.5||Top||122-111||Loss||-105||12 h 27 m||Show|
20* Spurs/Clippers NBA Late-Night BAILOUT on Los Angeles -3.5
Lou Williams returned from injury and the Clippers have been rolling ever since. They are 4-1 SU & 5-0 ATS in their last five games overall with their only loss coming 127-129 at Golden State as 11-point underdogs. I think they continue rolling tonight as short home favorites over the Spurs.
The spot favors the Clippers. Both the Spurs and Clippers are on back-to-backs, but the Clippers don’t have to travel after facing the Lakers at Staples Center last night. The Spurs do have to travel after their 99-102 loss at Denver last night in the altitude. Playing in high elevation last night will have certainly taken its toll on the Spurs, and don’t be surprised if Greg Popovich rests a starter or two tonight.
The Spurs have one of the biggest home/road splits in the NBA. They are 14-5 at home compared to just 5-12 on the road. They are giving up a whopping 114.9 points per game and 48.5% shooting on the road. The Clippers are 12-4 SU & 11-5 ATS at home this year, scoring 117.3 points per game and shooting 47.6% from the floor.
The Spurs are 1-11 ATS in their last 12 road games following two more more consecutive ATS wins. Los Angeles is 9-1 ATS in home games with a total of 220 or more this season. The Spurs are 8-18-1 ATS in their last 27 road games overall. The home team is 4-1 ATS in the last five meetings. Bet the Clippers Saturday.
|12-29-18||Warriors v. Blazers UNDER 225||115-105||Win||100||12 h 57 m||Show|
15* NBA Saturday Total DOMINATOR on Warriors/Blazers UNDER 225
This is one of my favorite situations to bet UNDERS. The Warriors and Blazers are in a home-and-home situation here. They just played at Golden State on Thursday, and now they’ll play each other again in Portland on Saturday.
In these situations, teams are obviously familiar with one another after just playing. And that always seems to favor the defenses. Portland beat Golden State 110-109 (OT) on Thursday in a game that only had 204 combined points at the end of regulation. And now the total is 225 in the rematch? It’s simply too high.
Plays on the UNDER on road teams where the total is 200 or more (Golden State) - revenging a loss vs. opponent as a home favorite of 7 or more against an opponent that’s off an upset win as an underdog are 31-9 (77.5%) over the last five seasons. Roll with the UNDER in this game Saturday.
|12-29-18||Oklahoma v. Alabama UNDER 77.5||34-45||Loss||-107||138 h 7 m||Show|
15* Oklahoma/Alabama Orange Bowl Total DOMINATOR on UNDER 77.5
Alabama has one of the best defenses in the country. The Crimson Tide only give up 14.8 points and 295.4 yards per game on the season. And consistently, they’ve been up enough to put their backups in in the second half. When one team has a defense this good, and the total is 77.5, there’s value with the UNDER.
I know Oklahoma doesn’t have a great defense. But they consistently face better offenses when playing in the Big 12. The Sooners give up 32.4 points and 448.1 yards per game on the season. But even factoring in their bad defense, when you combine what they give up on average to Alabama, you get 47.2 points per game. That’s still more than 30 points less than this posted total of 77.5. There’s still value with the UNDER.
I realize both Alabama and Oklahoma have elite offenses. In fact, these are two of the best offenses in the country. And if both defenses only had a week to prepare for these offenses, it would favor the over. But it favors the under since both teams have had basically one entire month to prepare for one another. Oklahoma won’t be surprising Alabama’s defense, and Alabama won’t be surprising Oklahoma’s defense.
I think this number is inflated largely due to the shootout between Georgia and Oklahoma last year in the first game of the four-team playoff. But you can bet Nick Saban is going to come up with ways to slow down Heisman Trophy winner Kyler Murray and company. And Oklahoma’s defense will be able to hold Alabama’s offense in check, especially with QB Too Tagovailoa hampered with an ankle injury.
I expect Alabama’s strategy to be to slow this game down with its running game. The Crimson Tide will be trying to control the time of possession with their running game. They rush for 202 yards per game and can certainly move the chains with heir running game and keep Murray and company off the field. That’s their best strategy to win this game, and I expect Saban to deploy this strategy. They won’t be trying to simply outscoring Oklahoma in a shootout.
Oklahoma is 19-4 UNDER in its last 23 December games. Alabama sis 10-2 UNDER in tis last 12 games following three or more consecutive overs. Alabama is 43-21 UNDER in its last 64 games vs. good rushing teams that average 200 or more rushing yards per game. The UNDER is 7-2 in Sooners last nine vs. SEC opponents. The UNDER is 8-3 in Sooners last 11 bowl games. Roll with the UNDER in this game Saturday.
|12-29-18||Notre Dame +14 v. Clemson||Top||3-30||Loss||-124||134 h 7 m||Show|
20* Notre Dame/Clemson Cotton Bowl No-Brainer on Notre Dame +14
The Notre Dame Fighting Irish are better than they get credit for. They are getting disrespected despite being 12-0 this season. Their schedule looked very tough coming into the season, but turned out to be less difficult than expected. But the same can be said for Clemson, which beat up on a weak ACC this year.
I think Notre Dame feels disrespected being not only underdogs, but double-digit dogs in this matchup. Everyone thinks back to when they lost to Alabama in the National Championship a few years ago. But that was a different team, and this one is way better on offense than that version of Notre Dame was. This Fighting Irish team has a legit chance to win the national title, or at least beat Clemson in the first round of the four-team playoff. Head coach Brian Kelly will certainly be playing the underdog card leading up to this game.
While Notre Dame opened the season overvalued with Brandon Wimbush at quarterback, they transitioned into a great offensive team with a still elite defense once Ian Book took over. Book is completing 70.4% of his passes for 2,468 yards with a 19-to-6 TD/INT ratio while averaging 8.8 per attempt. And he’s not exactly a stagnant QB who only stays in the pocket. Book has rushed for 250 yards and four scores on 78 attempts this year. He can run the ball if he needs to.
Clemson will be without three suspended players. One of those is a first-round draft pick in DT Dexter Lawrence, and the other are role players in TE Braden Galloway and OL Zach Geilla. The loss of Lawrence is a big one as he’s one of the best players in the country.
Only five times in college football history has an undefeated team played another undefeated team and been a 7-point plus underdog. Well, Notre Dame is that team catching 7 or more points. In fact, the Fighting Irish are catching 14 points or less in most spots. The team catching 7 or more points is not only a perfect 5-0 ATS, but also a perfect 5-0 SU in this situation. The dog has won straight up every time.
Also, favorites in the last 16 Clemson bowl games have gone 4-12 SU & 2-14 ATS. Clemson is 4-14 ATS in its last 18 games after covering the spread in six or seven of its last eight games coming in. The Fighting Irish are 4-0 ATS in their last four neutral site games. Notre Dame is 4-0-1 ATS in its last five vs. a team with a winning record. The Tigers are 0-5 ATS in their last five non-conference games. Take Notre Dame Saturday.
Note: I know this line shows Notre Dame +14 with extra juice. I personally have a bet on Notre Dame +13. And I think they're worth a bet all the way down to +10.
|12-29-18||Nevada v. Utah +7.5||86-71||Loss||-110||4 h 39 m||Show|
15* CBB Saturday Undervalued Underdog on Utah +7.5
Nevada went into Christmas Break feeling fat and happy due to their 12-0 record and No. 6 national ranking. And with that ranking comes expectations for oddsmakers that are very tough to live up to. It started to show prior to the break.
Nevada has gone 0-3-1 ATS in its last four games overall. They won all four games straight up, but all four were by 8 points or less, including three by 6 points or fewer. And it’s not like it was that tough of a schedule as the four opponents were ASU, Grand Canyon, South Dakota State and Akron. Now they are laying 7.5 points on the road to Utah, which is simply too much.
Utah will be chomping at the bit to try and get a win over a Top 10 team here. The Utes have had one of the best home-court advantages in the country over time as well. They are 5-0 at home this season and winning by nearly 20 points per game on average.
Utah is 9-2 ATS in its last 11 home games off an ATS loss. Utah’s head coach s 23-9 ATS in Saturday home games as the coach of the Utes. Take Utah Saturday.
|12-29-18||Florida +7 v. Michigan||Top||41-15||Win||100||130 h 7 m||Show|
20* Florida/Michigan Peach Bowl Early ANNIHILATOR on Florida +7
Dan Mullen has already put Florida on the map in his first season in Gainesville. He took over a team that went 4-7 last year and turned the Gators into a 9-3 team and SEC contenders. And now the Gators will relish this opportunity to face Michigan in the Peach Bowl after missing out on a bowl game last year.
Michigan won’t be so happy to be here. The Wolverines were in prime position to make the four-team playoff. But they once again lost to Urban Meyer and Ohio State 62-39 in their season finale. That loss cost them the Big Ten title and a spot in the four-team playoff. I just don’t see Michigan being able to get back up off the mat after such a demoralizing defeat.
The same thing happened last year when Michigan went on to lose to South Carolina as 8-point favorites in the Outback Bowl. They also lost to Florida State as 7-point favorites in the 2016 Orange Bowl. Jim Harbaugh just hasn’t done a very good job in big games as the coach of Michigan.
Mullen did a great job improving this Florida offense to 34.5 PPG this season. And the Gators have yet another elite defense just as they do every year, giving up 20.4 PPG. The Wolverines also have an elite defense, but they have taken a hit with several players sitting out this game.
They will be without starting DE Rashan Gary, starting LB and Big Ten DPOY Devin Bush and leading rusher Karan Higdon. Florida expects to have everyone available for this bowl game. I think the Gators could have beaten the Wolverines at full strength, let alone without 3 of their best players.
Adding to Florida’s motivation is the fact that they’ve never beaten Michigan, going 0-3 in the all-time series. Two of those losses have come the past two seasons as they lost 41-7 in the 2016 Citrus Bowl and 33-17 in the 2017 season opener in Arlington. The Gators want revenge, while the Wolverines could be getting a case of ‘Florida fatigue’ having just beaten this team twice in the past two seasons.
Mullen is 9-0 ATS off two straight non-conference games in all games he has coached. Michigan is 1-11 ATS in its last 12 games after allowing 17 points or more in the first half of two straight games.
Plays against favorites of 3.5 to 10 points (Michigan) - off a road loss to a conference opponent, a top-level team that wins 80% or more of its games playing a good team (60% to 80%) are 24-5 (82.8%) ATS since 1992. Bet Florida Saturday.
|12-29-18||BYU +10 v. Mississippi State||Top||81-103||Loss||-109||2 h 39 m||Show|
20* CBB Saturday Early ANNIHILATOR on BYU +10
I like the situation for BYU today. They return from Christmas Break motivated after losing two hard-fought games against UNLV and San Diego State in their two games prior to the break. They’ll be laying it all on the line to get a win today.
Mississippi State returns from Christmas Break feeling fat and happy with their 11-1 record and No. 19 ranking nationally. There were signs going into the break that were not good. They only beat Wofford by 11 and Wright State by 4 both at home in their final two games before the break.
Now the Bulldogs take a big step up in class here against BYU. Home teams don’t have much of an advantage over Christmas Break because students return home to see their families, and the arenas just aren’t as rowdy. The Bulldogs won’t enjoy the normal home-court advantage they’ll get when the students return to class.
Mississippi State is 2-9 ATS after playing two consecutive home games over the last two seasons. The Bulldogs are 2-9 ATS vs. good offensive teams that score 77-plus points per game over the last two years. Plays on road underdogs of 10 to 19.5 points (BYU) - explosive offensive team that scores 84-plus points per game, after a combined score of 165 or more in two straight games are 26-5 (83.9%) ATS over the last five seasons. Bet BYU Saturday.
|12-28-18||Thunder v. Suns +7||118-102||Loss||-115||13 h 16 m||Show|
15* NBA Friday Undervalued Underdog on Phoenix Suns +7
It’s nice to see what the Phoenix Suns are capable of when they’re fully engaged and healthy. And that has come to fruition here over the last couple weeks. The Suns are 5-2 SU & 7-0 ATS in their last seven games overall with their two losses both coming on the road by a combined 11 points.
They have played so well despite five of their last seven games on the road. They have pulled off four outright upsets. They beat the Mavs by 10 as 6-point home dogs and the Timberwolves by 8 as 7.5-point home dogs. They also went on the road and won by 8 at Boston as 11.5-point dogs and by 2 at Orlando as 5.5-point dogs. And now the Suns are still getting no respect from oddsmakers as 7-point home dogs tonight.
Phoenix will be playing with triple-revenge as this will be the 4th and final meeting between these teams. From October 28th to November 17th in a span of three weeks, the Thunder beat the Suns three times by 7, 17 and 10 points. The Suns were not playing well at all then, but this is a different team now and they’ll be highly motivated to get a win to avoid the season sweep.
The Suns are 7-0 ATS in their last seven games overall. Phoenix is 8-0 ATS in its last eight games when its opponent allows 100 points or more in its previous game. Roll with the Suns Friday.
|12-28-18||Iowa State +3 v. Washington State||26-28||Win||100||115 h 8 m||Show|
15* Iowa State/Washington State Alamo Bowl BAILOUT on Iowa State +3
The Iowa State Cyclones have only been to 13 bowl games in school history. They will be going for back-to-back bowl wins for the first time in program history. They will also be going for their 9th win of the season, which would tie a school record set back in 2000. Prior to that season they hadn’t reached even eight wins since 1978. It’s safe to say the Cyclones are happy to be here, and they have every reason to be highly motivated for a win.
The job Matt Campbell is doing at Iowa State is remarkable. He is only in his third season and already has this team to two bowl games and a combined 16-9 record over the past two seasons. After a 1-3 start against a brutal schedule, the Cyclones reeled off five straight wins. They got into Big 12 title contention before a loss to Texas. But they won their final two games and now have a chance to make history.
The run started when freshman Brock Purdy took over at quarterback. He is completing 66.3% of his passes with a 16-to-5 TD/INT ratio and averaging 10 yards per attempt. He has also added a dual threat to the offense with 262 rushing yards and three scores. He has one of the best backs in the country to hand the ball off to in David Montgomery, who has put together back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons. Purdy also has a matchup nightmare to throw the ball to in Hakeem Butler, who has 1,126 receiving yards and 9 touchdowns while season while averaging 22.1 yards per reception.
While the Iowa State offense has made big strides this season, it’s the defense that has allowed them to win so many games over the past few seasons. The Cyclones have the second-best defense in the Big 12 this year. They are giving up just 22.5 points and 351 yards per game this season. They are holding opponents to 8.5 points and 63 yards per game less than their season averages. It’s a defense that is built to stop the Big 12 offenses, which makes this a great matchup against Washington State’s pass-happy attack that belongs in the Big 12.
I think Washington State actually had to be disappointed to be in the Alamo Bowl. The Cougars were ranked in the Top 10 down the stretch and actually had an outside shot to make the four-team playoff. But they once again lost to Washington in the Apple Cup in their season finale, so instead of playing the Pac-12 Championship and possibly the Rose Bowl at worse, they now have to try and get back up off the mat to play Iowa State in the Alamo Bowl.
Matt Campbell is 3-1 in all bowl games dating back to his time at Toledo. Mike Leach is just 1-3 in bowl games as the coach of Washington State. They lost handily 17-42 to Michigan State last year in the Holiday Bowl. I think Leach will have his hands full getting these Cougars motivated to play this game after what happened against Washington in the Apple Cup.
Iowa State played a much tougher schedule than Washington State this season. Iowa State played the 29th-toughest schedule, while Washington State played the 53rd. And Pac-12 teams have been terrible in bowl games in recent seasons. In fact, the Pac-12 is just 3-13 SU & 2-14 ATS in their last 16 bowl games over the past few seasons. It’s a conference that was way down this season, which is why I question how good all these Pac-12 teams are in these bowl games.
Campbell is 13-4 ATS when playing against a team with a winning record as the coach of Iowa State. Campbell is 8-1 ATS when playing against a team that wins more than 75% of their games on the season as the coach of Iowa State. Campbell is 12-2 ATS vs. good teams who outscore their opponents by 10-plus points per game as the coach of the Cyclones. Leach is 2-11 ATS after having won eight or more of his past 10 games in all games as a head coach. The Cougars are 0-5 ATS in their last five vs. Big 12 opponents. Take Iowa State Friday.
|12-28-18||Nets v. Hornets -4.5||Top||87-100||Win||100||11 h 15 m||Show|
20* NBA Friday No-Doubt Rout on Charlotte Hornets -4.5
I absolutely love the spot for the Charlotte Hornets tonight. This is a home-and-home situation, and the Hornets lost 132-134 at Brooklyn on Wednesday. And now they get to play two days later with the revenge-minded Hornets only laying 4.5 points at home over the Nets tonight. They’ll get their revenge with a win and cover at home here.
It’s definitely time to ’sell high’ on the Nets, who have gone 9-1 SU in their last 10 games overall. That’s why this line is lower than it should be. They have mostly beaten up on a weak schedule during this stretch with seven of their 10 games coming at home as well. We’ll ‘buy low’ on the Hornets, who are 1-6 ATS in their last seven games overall.
The Hornets are 12-7 at home this year. Their offense has been explosive at home, scoring 114.3 points per game on 47.3% shooting. The Nets are only scoring 106.8 points per game on the road on 44.2% shooting this season.
Plays on home favorites (Charlotte) - revenging a loss where opponent scores 100 or more points, off two or more consecutive road losses are 75-35 (68.2%) ATS over the last five seasons. Bet the Hornets Friday.
|12-28-18||Raptors v. Magic +7||87-116||Win||100||11 h 1 m||Show|
15* NBA Eastern Conference ANNIHILATOR on Orlando Magic +7
It’s time to ‘buy low’ on the Magic tonight at home. They have lost four straight both SU and ATS and are just 1-7-1 ATS in their last eight games overall. And now they are catching 7 points at home because of their recent struggles. I expect them to be max motivated with the Eastern Conference-leading Raptors coming to town tonight.
The Raptors are certainly vulnerable right now. They have been overvalued for a month now due to having the best record in the East. The Raptors are just 4-9-1 ATS in their last 14 games overall. They are also just 6-6 SU in their last 12 games.
The reason the Raptors have been vulnerable of late is due to all their injuries. They have been without both Jonas Valanciunas and Norman Powell for a while now, and Kyle Lowry has sat out a few gams with a back injury. Lowry is their most important player as they’ve been able to win consistently without Kawhi Leonard, but not when Lowry has been out of the lineup. They are just 1-5 ATS in the six games Lowry has missed.
The Magic will be looking to avenge a 91-93 home loss as identical 7-point dogs to the Raptors on November 20th in their first and only meeting this season. The Magic are 8-3-1 ATS in the last 12 meetings, and 6-2 ATS in the last eight meetings in Orlando. The home team is 4-1-1 ATS in the last six meetings. The Magic are 7-0-1 ATS in their last eight vs. NBA Atlantic Division opponents.
Plays on underdogs (Orlando) - after being beaten by the spread by 30 or more points total in their last three games, a marginal losing team (40% to 49%) playing a winning team are 46-19 (70.8%) ATS over the last five seasons. Take the Magic Friday.
|12-28-18||Syracuse v. West Virginia||Top||34-18||Win||100||111 h 23 m||Show|
25* Bowl GAME OF THE YEAR on Syracuse PK
It’s safe to say the Syracuse Orange are happy to be in a bowl game. Head coach Dino Babers delivered in a big way in his third season on the job. The Orange went from 4-8 last year to 9-3 this year and a chance to win 10 games for the first time since 2001. Two of their losses came to playoff teams in Clemson and Notre Dame, and they nearly upset Clemson on the road. They will be playing in their first bowl game since 2013 as well.
I certainly question West Virginia’s motivation. The Mountaineers had a chance to play in the Big 12 Championship in their season finale against Oklahoma. But they lost a 56-59 heartbreaker to the Sooners, and now they have to watch Oklahoma go on to the four-team playoff, while they’re stuck in the Camping World Bowl. They won’t be motivated at all for this game.
That’s especially the case now that Will Grier has decided to skip this bowl game and get ready for the NFL. Also out is left tackle Yodny Cajuste, who is also an NFL prospect. You don’t simply replace a QB the caliber of Grier. He has completed 67% of his passes for 3,864 yards with a 37-to-8 TD/INT ratio this season while averaging 9.7 yards per attempt.
Backup QB Jack Allison has only attempted 10 passes all season, and he’ll get the start Friday. The sophomore won’t have the services of star receiver Gary Jennings Jr, either. Jennings leads the Mountaineers in receiving yards (917) to go along with 54 receptions and 13 touchdowns. He is sitting out with an ankle injury.
The quarterback on the other sideline is a good one. Syracuse’s Eric Dungey played in all 12 games for the first time in his career this season, though he still had some injury issues but gutted it out. He completed 59.8% of his passes for 2,565 yards with a 17-to-7 TD/INT ratio. He is also the team’s second-leading rushing with 732 yards and 15 scores on the ground. He has accounted for 32 total touchdowns and will be a big reason why the Orange win this game.
While the Syracuse offense is explosive in averaging 40.7 points and 468 yards per game, it’s the defense that has made the biggest improvement. The Orange are allowing a respectable 27.7 points per game this season. They are right on par with WVU defensively as the Mountaineers yield 26.5 points per game. And there’s no question the Orange have the advantage on offense now with Grier, Cajuste and Jennings out.
Dana Holgorsen is 6-15 ATS with two or more weeks to prepare as the coach of West Virginia. Holgorsen is 1-4 SU & 0-5 ATS in his last five bowl games with their only win coming by a single point 43-42 over Arizona State in 2015. They lost by 16 to Utah in 2017, by 17 to Miami in 2016, by 8 to Texas A&M in 2014 and by 24 to Syracuse in 2012. The Mountaineers have rarely even been competitive in bowl games under Holgorsen. In fact, dating back further, West Virginia is just 5-16 ATS in its last 21 bowl games.
West Virginia is 0-7 ATS in its last seven December bowl games. The Mountaineers are 7-21 ATS in their last 28 games played on a neutral field. West Virginia is 10-24 ATS in its last 34 vs. ACC opponents. The Orange are 9-1-1 ATS in their last 11 games following a win.
Plays on all teams where the line is +3 to -3 (Syracuse) - off a double-digit road win, a good team (60% to 80%) playing a team with a winning record are 26-9 (74.3%) ATS over the last five seasons. Bet Syracuse Friday.
|12-27-18||76ers v. Jazz UNDER 219.5||114-97||Win||100||14 h 31 m||Show|
15* 76ers/Jazz TNT Late-Night BAILOUT on UNDER 219
The Utah Jazz remain one of the best defensive teams in the NBA. They are 6th in defensive efficiency. They have really clamped down on the defensive end of late, holding seven straight opponents to 107 points or fewer and giving up an average of just 96.9 points per game during this stretch.
I think this total has been inflated due to the fact that the 76ers are coming off three straight overs, including their 114-121 (OT) loss to the Celtics on Christmas Day. But I had the under in that game as well and it would have gone under if not for overtime, so that was a bad beat. They had 216 combined points at the end of regulation.
The UNDER is 8-2 in the last 10 meetings in this series. They have averaged just 187.4 combined points per game in those 10 meetings. The Jazz and 76ers have combined for 205 or fewer points in 14 of their last 15 meetings. They have topped 219 combined points just once in their last 43 meetings dating back to 1996. That makes for a 42-1 system backing the UNDER pertaining to tonight’s total set of 219.5.
The UNDER is 7-0 in Jazz last seven games overall. The UNDER is 5-0 in Jazz last five home games. The UNDER is 5-0 in 76ers last five vs. a team with a losing record. The UNDER is 7-0 in Jazz last seven after scoring 100 points or more in their previous game. The UNDER is 4-0 in the last four meetings in Utah. These five trends combine for a perfect 28-0 system backing the UNDER as well. Roll with the UNDER in this game Thursday.
|12-27-18||Lakers v. Kings -3.5||116-117||Loss||-110||13 h 2 m||Show|
15* Lakers/Kings NBA Western Conference ANNIHILATOR on Sacramento -3.5
The Los Angeles Lakers are coming off a huge 127-101 upset win as 9-point underdogs over the defending champion Golden State Warriors on Christmas Day. This is the ultimate letdown spot for them tonight as now they hit the road to take on the Sacramento Kings two days later.
Making matters worse for the Lakers is the fact that they lost LeBron James to a groin injury in that win, and now James will be sitting this game out. But the injuries don’t stop there. The Lakers are also expected to be without Rajon Rondo and Michael Beasley, and their top two centers in Tyson Chandler and JaVale McGee are questionable.
Yes, the Kings are playing the 2nd of a back-to-back after their loss to the Clippers last night, but all 13 players saw action and nobody played more than 30 minutes in that game. So they should be fresh and ready to go with the Lakers coming to town, especially since they had two days off prior to that Clippers game. This is also a very young team that can handle these back-to-back situations better than most teams.
The Lakers are 0-5-1 ATS in their last six games following a win. The Kings are 5-1 ATS in their last six home games. Sacramento is 15-6 ATS in its last 21 games following an ATS loss. The favorite is 5-1 ATS in the last six meetings. The Kings are 14-2 ATS when the total is 220 to 229.5 this season.
Plays on home favorites of 3.5 to 9.5 points (Sacramento) - revenging a same-season loss vs. opponent that’s off a win by 20 points or more over a division rival are 48-19 (71.6%) ATS since 1996. Take the Kings Thursday.
|12-27-18||Knicks +14.5 v. Bucks||Top||96-112||Loss||-104||11 h 2 m||Show|
20* NBA Eastern Conference GAME OF THE MONTH on New York Knicks +14.5
This is one of my favorite situations in the NBA. It’s a home-and-home situation where these teams just met in New York on Christmas Day, and now they’ll meet in Milwaukee two days later. I always like backing the team that lost the first game in these home-and-home situations, and that would be the Knicks here Thursday.
After losing 95-109 as 10-point home underdogs in the first meeting, the Knicks are now catching 14.5 points in the rematch. It’s simply too much. They’ll be the more motivated team after losing that first meeting, while the Bucks won’t be motivated at all after just beating the Knicks on National TV. I expect the Bucks to simply be going through the motions.
The Knicks played the Bucks tough outside of the 3rd quarter, where they were outscored 36-22. That proved to be the difference in the game. And the Knicks haven’t lost by more than 14 points to the Bucks yet this season. They lost by 11 in their first meeting in Milwaukee on October 22nd, won outright as 8-point home dogs by 2 in their 2nd meeting on December 1st, then obviously lost by 14 two days ago. In fact, the Bucks haven’t won any of their last 11 meetings with the Knicks by more than 14 points, making for an 11-0 system backing the Knicks pertaining to this 14.5-point spread.
New York is 22-11 ATS when revenging a home loss vs. opponent over the last two seasons. Milwaukee is 21-48 ATS in its last 69 games as a favorite of 10 or more points. The Bucks are 14-29 ATS in home games when playing against a team with a losing record over the last three seasons. Milwaukee is 2-7-1 ATS in its last 10 games following a win. The underdog is 10-4-1 ATS in the last 15 meetings. The road team is 5-1-1 ATS in the last seven meetings. Bet the Knicks Thursday.
|12-26-18||Nuggets v. Spurs -3.5||Top||103-111||Win||100||10 h 16 m||Show|
20* NBA Wednesday No-Doubt Rout on San Antonio Spurs -3.5
The San Antonio Spurs have been flying under the radar over the past three weeks. They have gone 7-2 SU & 7-2 ATS in their last nine games overall. They are better than they get credit for, and I’ll gladly lay the short number with them at home here tonight against the Denver Nuggets.
The Nuggets are simply getting too much respect from the books after going 11-3 SU & 11-3 ATS in their last 14 games overall. But they are missing three starters in Gary Harris, Paul Millsap and Will Barton, and it’s simply going to be hard for them to keep up this pace now. They just lost by 21 last time out to the Clippers on the road, and they’ll be hard-pressed to keep this game even competitive against the Spurs.
Home-court advantage has been huge in this series as the home team is 6-0 SU in the last six meetings. The Spurs are a perfect 11-0 SU In their last 11 home meetings with the Nuggets. They have won their last eight home meetings with the Nuggets by a whopping 17.1 points per game on average.
The Spurs are 8-1 ATS in home games vs. good offensive teams that score 110-plus points per game this season. They are beating these teams by 16.9 points per game on average. Denver is 1-10 ATS in road games vs. Southwest Division opponents over the last two seasons. They are losing by 12.7 points pre game in this spot. San Antonio is 22-8 ATS in its last 30 home games overall. Bet the Spurs Wednesday.
|12-25-18||Blazers v. Jazz UNDER 215||96-117||Win||100||33 h 45 m||Show|
15* Blazers/Jazz ESPN Late-Night BAILOUT on UNDER 215
I really like taking UNDERS in games between teams that just recently played. Well, this game fits that mold as the Blazers just hosted the Jazz on December 21st. So it will be their 2nd meeting in 5 days, and familiarity definitely favors defense. Look for a low-scoring affair between the Jazz and Blazers tonight.
They combined for only 210 points in that meeting on December 21st, continuing a trend of what has been a low-scoring series. In fact, the Jazz and Blazers have now combined for 211 or fewer points at the end of regulation in eight consecutive meetings. They have averaged just 195.5 combined points per game at the end of regulation in those eight games, which is nearly 20 points less than tonight’s posted total of 215.
The UNDER is 10-1 in Blazers last 11 vs. NBA Northwest Division opponents. The UNDER is 7-3 in Blazers last 10 games overall. The UNDER is 6-0 in Jazz last six games overall. The UNDER is 6-0 in Jazz last six after scoring 100 points or more in their previous game. Roll with the UNDER in this game Tuesday.
|12-25-18||Lakers +9 v. Warriors||127-101||Win||100||30 h 19 m||Show|
15* Lakers/Warriors ABC ANNIHILATOR on Los Angeles +9
The Golden State Warriors have been overvalued all season. That’s what happens when you win three titles in the last four years. They are just 14-20 ATS on the season. And they have been even more overvalued since getting Stephen Curry and Draymond Green back in the lineup. Asking them to win by double-digits to cover this number against the Lakers is simply asking too much.
Indeed, the Warriors are just 1-6 ATS in their last seven games overall. They only won by 8 as 9.5-point home favorites over the Timberwolves, lost outright to the Raptors as 8-point home favorites, only won by 5 as 7.5-point road favorites at Sacramento, lost by 5 as 2-point favorites at Utah, won by 4 as 11-point home favorites against the Mavericks and won by 2 as 11-point home favorites against the Clippers.
The Lakers played the Warriors very tough last season. They went 3-1 ATS and didn’t lose once by more than 11 points. They took the Warriors to overtime twice, and only lost by 7 points at Golden State as 11.5-point dogs. And now they have Lebron James and are way better than last year’s Lakers. And you can bet James wants to prove to the Warriors that he now has a team that can beat them in the playoffs.
The Warriors are 1-13 ATS in Tuesday games over the last two seasons. Golden State is 2-10 ATS as a favorite of 3.5 to 9.5 points this season. The Lakers are 24-10 ATS vs. good teams who outscore their opponents by 3-plus points per game over the last two seasons. The Warriors are 1-6 ATS in their last seven home games. Take the Lakers Tuesday.
|12-25-18||76ers v. Celtics UNDER 224||Top||114-121||Loss||-104||28 h 49 m||Show|
20* 76ers/Celtics ABC No-Brainer on UNDER 224
The Boston Celtics and Philadelphia 76ers are very familiar with one another. That’s because they played five games in the playoffs last year with the Celtics winning the series 4-1. And now this will be their second meeting of 2018 already, so this will be their 11th meeting over the past two seasons. Familiarity favors UNDERS.
The 76ers and Celtics have combined for 224 or fewer points in 13 of their last 14 meetings, and 218 or fewer in 12 of those 14 games. They have averaged just 200.8 combined points per game in their last 11 meetings, which is roughly 23 points less than today’s posted total of 224. They combined for just 192 points in their first meeting this season on October 16th. The books have really missed their mark badly on this total.
The Celtics rank 3rd in defensive efficiency this season, while the 76ers are solid as well at 12th. Plays on the UNDER on all teams where the total is 220 to 229.5 (Boston) - after a win by 10 points or more against opponent that’s off two straight wins by 10 points or more are 34-7 (82.9%) since 1996. Bet the UNDER in this game Tuesday.
|12-25-18||Thunder v. Rockets UNDER 222||109-113||Push||0||25 h 12 m||Show|
15* Thunder/Rockets ABC Total DOMINATOR on UNDER 222
Based on season averages, there is value with the UNDER in this game tonight. Especially since the Rockets are without Chris Paul as they haven’t been nearly as efficient offensively without him. The Rockets average 217.7 combined points per game this season, while the Thunder average 217.6 combined points per game.
The Thunder are actually 2nd in the NBA in defensive efficiency this season, giving up just 102.0 points per 100 possessions. But they are just 18th in offensive efficiency. The Rockets have been forced to play at a slower pace this season because their personnel just isn’t as good. In fact, the Rockets are 29th in pace at just 96.79 possessions per game. Only the Grizzlies play slower. They will control the tempo playing at home today.
The Rockets and Thunder have combined for 222 or fewer points in five of their last six games. The UNDER is 5-1 in those six games. They have averaged just 209.0 combined points per game in their last five meetings, which is roughly 13 points less than today’s posted total of 222. And they combined for just 178 points in their only meeting this season back on November 8th.
Houston is a perfect 8-0 UNDER against Northwest Division opponents this season, averaging just 197.6 combined points per game against them. Oklahoma City is 8-1 UNDER in road games after a combined score of 225 points or more this season. The Thunder are 12-1 UNDER in Tuesday road games over the last three seasons. Oklahoma City is 9-0 UNDER when the line is +3 to -3 this season. Houston is 19-5 UNDER when the line is +3 to -3 over the last two seasons. Take the UNDER in this game Tuesday.
|12-25-18||Bucks v. Knicks +10||Top||109-95||Loss||-105||22 h 19 m||Show|
20* Bucks/Knicks ESPN Early Riser on New York +10
The Milwaukee Bucks are way overvalued as 10-point road favorites over the New York Knicks on Christmas Day. This is a rare chance for the Knicks to showcase their talents on National TV, and they’ll be highly motivated for a victory here Tuesday. I expect one of their biggest efforts of the season.
We’ll ‘buy low’ on the Knicks, who are certainly undervalued after going 1-9 SU & 2-8 ATS in their last 10 games overall. But they are finally as healthy as they have been at any other point this season with only Kristaps Porzingis expected to miss this game. And we’ll ’sell high’ on the Bucks, who are are off to a fast 22-10 start and sitting in 2nd place in the Eastern Conference.
The Knicks have played the Bucks tough in their two meetings this season. They covered as 11.5-point road underdogs in an 11-point loss. And they won outright in overtime 136-134 as 8-point home dogs to the Bucks on December 1st. I think the Knicks will have an excellent chance to win this game outright as well, let alone stay within this massive 10-point spread at home.
Milwaukee is 20-48 ATS in its last 68 games as a favorite of 10 or more points. Plays against favorites of 10 or more points (Milwaukee) - an excellent offensive team that scores more than 102 points per game against a bad defensive team that allows more than 102 points per game, after scoring 90 points or less last game are 25-6 (80.6%) ATS over the last five seasons. Bet the Knicks Tuesday.
|12-24-18||Broncos v. Raiders +3||Top||14-27||Win||100||48 h 57 m||Show|
20* Broncos/Raiders MNF GAME OF THE MONTH on Oakland +3
The Oakland Raiders should not be home underdogs to the Denver Broncos tonight. The Raiders have shown that they are going to show up every week and try to win games here down the stretch, and they will certainly show up for this rare primetime opportunity on National TV on Monday Night Football. Especially since they are facing a hated rival in the Broncos.
The Oakland Coliseum was built specifically for the Raiders in the mid-1960’s, but Monday night’s game against the Broncos might be the Raiders’ last game there. Owner Mark Davis is looking for another venue for his team next season. So you have to think that these Oakland players want to send their fans out with one final taste of victory tonight.
“I’ve spent five years playing in the stadium and we have people talking trash about it, but I love it,” said quarterback Derek Carr. “It’s ours. It has been fun, and that fact that it could be the last game is crazy. When that times comes, we’ll enjoy it.”
“I get emotional about it,” head coach Jon Gruden told reporters this week. “Hopefully, we get it resolved to where we can continue to play here next season. It’s going to be a great atmosphere, Monday night, Christmas Eve, Denver coming to town. I get excited thinking about it."
The Raiders want to avenge their 19-20 loss at Denver in their first meeting this season in which Oakland blew a 12-0 halftime lead and should have won the game. That was a much better Broncos team than the version we have now here down the stretch. And the Broncos were 5.5-point favorites in that game at home, so if you flip home field, this line should be close to a PK if not the Raiders favored. I actually think the Raiders should be favored by 3 given what has transpired since that first meeting.
Jon Gruden clearly has not lost this team. The Raiders have shown up each of the last five weeks and played hard. They won at Arizona five weeks ago, deserved to lose 17-20 to the Ravens on the road but gave up two non-offensive touchdowns and lost by 17, hung tough in a 33-40 home loss to the Chiefs as 14-point dogs, upset the Steelers at home as 10-point dogs, and then had a 14-point loss to the Bengals last week in a game that was much closer than the final score. And it was an obvious letdown spot for the Raiders off their huge win over the Steelers the week prior. They’ll bounce back this week against a division rival in Denver.
I’ve correctly faded the Broncos in each of their last two games for many of the same reasons. The Broncos failed to cover as 3-point road favorites in a 14-20 upset loss at San Francisco. And last week they were upset at home by the Cleveland Browns. Key injuries are a big reason I’ve been fading the Broncos and they remain a big problem for them.
The most important injury was losing top WR Emmanuel Sanders prior to the 49ers game with a torn ACL. His loss was magnified by the fact that they traded away their other top receiver in DeMaryius Thomas to the Texans. The Broncos simply don’t have any weapons left, and their offense has been bogged down because of it. And defensively, they lost top CB Chris Harris also prior to that 49ers game. And the injuries keep piling up for the Broncos’ defense this week as they will be without SS Su’a Cravens and LB Shane Ray.
I also think this is a situation where the wind has been lifted out from underneath the Broncos’ sails. They had a chance to make the playoffs after winning three straight to get to .500, and they were still alive even after the loss to the 49ers. But heartbreaking one-point loss to the Browns last week has officially eliminated them from contention. As is often the case, teams don’t even show up the week after their were eliminated from postseason contention. That could easily be the case for Denver this week even though this is a primetime game, especially knowing that head coach Vance Joseph is a dead man walking.
Denver is 0-6 ATS in road games off two or more consecutive ATS losses over the past three seasons. The Broncos are losing by 18.6 points on average in this spot. Denver is 0-7 ATS vs. teams who force one or fewer turnovers per game over the past two seasons. The Broncos are 2-8-2 ATS in their last 12 Monday games. The home team is 4-1 ATS in the last five meetings. Bet the Raiders Monday.
|12-23-18||Bucknell +13 v. TCU||65-82||Loss||-105||9 h 10 m||Show|
15* Bucknell/TCU ESPN 2 Late-Night BAILOUT on Bucknell +13
Bucknell got to play before TCU last night. TCU finished its game after midnight. I always think that’s an advantage to play before your opponent in these tournaments. You get more rest, plus you get to watch your opponent after the game and scout them. It seems obvious, but I don’t think it gets factored enough into the line.
We’ll certainly ‘sell high’ on TCU, which is now 6-0 SU & 6-0 ATS in its last six games overall since getting upset by Lipscomb 64-73 as 12.5-point home favorites on November 20th. But those six wins have come against some bad opponents. Bucknell will give them more of a run for their money than this line suggests.
Bucknell has done well to get to 5-5 this season. Check out these upsets the’ve pulled off. Bucknell won 88-85 as 10-point road dogs at St. Bonaventure, 69-61 as 10.5-point road dogs at Vermont, 92-79 as a pick’ ‘em at LaSalle, and yesterday they upset Rhode Island 84-82 as 6-point dogs. And I haven’t even mentioned their most impressive performance yet, which came in a losing effort. Bucknell only lost 71-73 as 19-point road dogs at Ohio State, which is one of the best teams in the country.
Bucknell is 20-9 ATS in its last 29 games overall. The Bison are 7-0 ATS in their last seven games vs. good passing teams that average 16 or more assists per game. Bucknell is 8-1 ATS vs. good teams who outscore their opponents by 4-plus points per game over the last three seasons. The Bison are 5-0 ATS in their last five vs. a team with a winning % above .600. TCU is 3-12 ATS in its last 15 games after forcing 19 or more turnovers in three consecutive games coming in. Roll with Bucknell Sunday.
|12-23-18||Clippers +10.5 v. Warriors||Top||127-129||Win||100||8 h 0 m||Show|
20* Clippers/Warriors NBA Sunday No-Brainer on Los Angeles +10.5
The Clippers are undervalued right now. They lost six of seven and a large part of that streak was due to the injury to Lou Williams. But Williams returned two games ago, and it’s no surprise the Clippers have won their two games since his return by a combined 25 points over Dallas and Denver. Williams is the team’s third-leading scorer at 17.1 PPG and a vital part of their team as he injects life into the bench and closes out games. Williams has 32 points and 15 assists combined in his two games since returning.
Both the Clippers and Warriors played last night, so both will be on the 2nd of a back-to-back, but that favors the Clippers. They are a deep team which has been a big reason for their success, largely due to how well Williams plays off the bench. The Warriors rely heavily on their big four and play them big minutes, and there’s no doubt that Clippers are the more rested team.
The Clippers blew out the Nuggets by 21 points last night so they were able to rest their starters. Only one player played more than 26 minutes for them, and that was youngster Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. Meanwhile, the Warriors were in a dog fight with the Mavericks last night, winning 120-116. That will have taken its toll as their big four in Curry (39:29), Durant (36:51), Green (35:15) and Thompson (33:00) all were forced to play big minutes. They won’t have much left in the tank for the deep Clippers tonight.
I also think it’s a big look-ahead spot for the Warriors. They have the much-anticipated Christmas Day game with Lebron James and the Lakers on deck. The Clippers will be the more motivated team tonight as everyone gets up for the defending champs, and they already beat them 121-116 as 4-point home dogs in their first meeting this season. And they tend to play the Warriors tough on the road as their two meetings before that they only lost by 7 as 10.5-point road dogs and upset the Warriors by 19 as 12-point road dogs.
The Clippers are 15-4 ATS in their last 19 road games after covering three of their last four ATS over the last three seasons. Los Angeles is 16-5 ATS in its last 21 vs. NBA Pacific Division opponents. The Clippers are 6-1 ATS in their last seven vs. a team with a winning % above .600. The Warriors are 2-10 ATS in their last 12 vs. Western Conference opponents. Golden State is 9-19 ATS in its last 28 Sunday games. The road team is 6-1 ATS in the last seven meetings. Bet the Clippers Sunday.
|12-23-18||Chiefs v. Seahawks UNDER 56||31-38||Loss||-115||24 h 8 m||Show|
15* Chiefs/Seahawks NBC Sunday Night BAILOUT on UNDER 56
As the weather has gotten colder, games have become more and more low scoring. And it’s expected to be in the 40’s in Seattle tonight with a 40% chance of rain as well. While the weather is a big factor to these lower scoring games at the end of the season, the fact that both teams have so much film on one another is ultimately the bigger factor. It’s just easier on the defenses to stop opposing offenses because they know what to expect at this point in the season.
The Chiefs have certainly become less potent offensively here down the stretch. They failed to top 28 points in each of their last two games, and thy were held to just 294 total yards by the Chargers last week. Now, a lot of this has to do with the weapons the Chiefs are missing. They don’t have anyone to replace what Kareem Hunt brings to the offense, and top backup Spencer Ware remains out. Also out is one of their top receivers in Sammy Watkins. Mahomes just doesn’t have the same weapons he did for most of the season as he was lighting up the NFL.
I think the Seahawks can control the pace of this game with their running game, which has been one of the best in the NFL. They have rushed for 154 or more yards in 10 of their last 11 games, while passing for 242 or fewer yards in all but one game this season. They have been held to less than 205 or fewer passing yards in nine of their 14 games this year, and 217 or fewer in 11 of 14. Their offensive scheme keeps the clock running, and the Seahawks play at one of the slowest paces in the league. They know controlling time of possession is their best chance to beat the Chiefs tonight.
The Seahawks have held six of their last 12 opponents to 17 or fewer points. They have a good defense that is giving up just 20.9 points per game on the season, and 19.7 points per game at home. And the Chiefs have actually improved quite a bit defensively here down the stretch themselves. They have held seven of their last 11 opponents to 24 or fewer points, and I certainly think they can do the same here against this slow, vanilla Seahawks offense.
Plays on the UNDER on road teams where the total is 49.5 or higher (Kansas City) - after going over the total by 35 or more points combined in their last five games, in the second half of the season are 54-23 (70.1%) since 1983. The UNDER is 6-1 in Chiefs last seven Week 16 games. Take the UNDER in this game Sunday.
|12-23-18||Hornets v. Celtics -6.5||103-119||Win||100||6 h 33 m||Show|
15* NBA Eastern Conference ANNIHILATOR on Boston Celtics -6.5
The Boston Celtics had a lengthy team meeting after Friday night’s home loss to the Milwaukee Bucks. It was necessary after the Celtics suffered their third consecutive loss, which actually followed up an eight-game losing streak. I look for them to respond in a big way tonight at home against the Hornets now that they have cleared the air amongst themselves.
I think a big reason for their recent struggles has been the absence of center Al Horford, who has missed the past six games with a sore knee. But Horford is expected to return tonight, and he means everything to this team. He is a tremendous passer who can stretch the floor and open things up in the lane for all of their other playmakers like Irving, Tatum and Brown. Marcus Morris has missed the past two games and could return tonight as well as he is listed as questionable. They are close to full strength now.
The Celtics simply own the Hornets, going 7-1 SU & 6-1-1 ATS in their last eight meetings. Those seven wins have come by an average of 10.4 points per game. They actually lost by 5 at Charlotte in their lone meeting this season. But the Celtics are 30-10 ATS when revenging a loss over the last two seasons. They are 27-7 ATS when revenging a loss where opponent scored more than 100 points over the last two seasons. Boston is 23-8 ATS in its last 31 home games. Roll with the Celtics Sunday.
|12-23-18||Wizards v. Pacers -9.5||89-105||Win||100||5 h 38 m||Show|
15* NBA BLOWOUT GAME OF THE DAY on Indiana Pacers -9.5
This one is about as obvious as it gets tonight. The Wizards are coming off a triple-overtime victory over the Suns yesterday. They won’t have much left in the tank for the Pacers tonight. Bradley Beal (53:56), Trevor Ariza (54:10), Jeff Green (48:58) and Tomas Satorasnky (48:07) all plays huge minutes last night. Otto Porter is out due to injury, and John Wall is questionable after missing last night with an illness.
The Pacers come in playing very well. They have gone 8-2 SU & 7-3 ATS in their last 10 games overall. Their two losses during this stretch came by a combined 4 points, and one was on the road to Toronto. Seven of their eight wins have come by 8 points or more, including five by double-digits. Given the awful situation for the Wizards tonight off the triple-OT game, the Pacers should have no problem beating them by double-digits to get the cover.
The Wizards are just 4-14 SU & 4-14 ATS on the road this season, getting outscored by 10.8 points per game on average. The Pacers are 28-8 ATS after having lost two of their last three games over the past two seasons. Washington is 0-10 ATS in road games after a combined score of 215 points or more in three straight games this season. The Wizards are 0-7 ATS in road games vs. good shooting teams who make 46% of their shots or better this season. Washington is 4-10 ATS in its last 14 games when playing on zero rest. Take the Pacers Sunday.
|12-23-18||Steelers +7 v. Saints||28-31||Win||100||20 h 13 m||Show|
15* Steelers/Saints Non-Conference KNOCKOUT on Pittsburgh +7
With the Ravens winning yesterday, the Steelers need this game like blood. A loss and the Ravens would overtake the Steelers for first place in the AFC North. And the Ravens host the Browns next week, so it would likely been the end of the Steelers if they lose this game. They’d miss the playoffs entirely. As a result, they’ll be max motivated today against the Saints.
The Steelers come in with confidence after getting the monkey off their back in an impressive 17-10 win over the Patriots. And this is a Steelers team that simply does not get blown out. Four of their five losses this season have come by a touchdown or less. I expect them to stay within a touchdown of the Saints, and likely pull off the upset today with what’s at stake for them.
Since the Rams lost last week to the Eagles, the Saints essentially have a two-game lead over the Rams for the No. 1 seed because they beat them head-to-head. And the Saints host the Panthers next week, so they know that even if they lose this game they have that gimme game against a Carolina team that will likely have quit by that point to clinch the No. 1 seed. Knowing they have that in their hip pocket, I do not expect the Saints to be max motivated this week.
Even if they were to be, the Saints just aren’t playing well enough right now to be this heavily favored against a very good Pittsburgh team. Offensively, the Saints are broken right now. They are averaging just 283 yards per game in their last four games. They haven’t topped 346 yards in any of those games. Drew Brees just doesn’t have any weapons outside Michael Thomas and Alvin Kamara, and it’s really starting to show. And quietly, they have three offensive linemen starters on the injury report. They’ll be missing G Jermon Bushrod, and both T Terron Armstead (shoulder) and C Max Unger (concussion) won’t be at 100% this week.
I think too much is being made of the loss of James Connor. He won’t play this week, but the Steelers have just been able to plug and play at running back. And Jalen Samuels had 142 rushing yards and 172 yards from scrimmage last week against the Patriots. He is getting comfortable in this offense, and he’s a real weapon dating back to his time with NC State in college both as a runner and receiver.
The Steelers’ offense gets a lot of the attention for averaging 27.4 points and 405.8 yards per game this season. But it’s the defense that really makes the Steelers a Super Bowl contender. They have made huge strides on that side of the ball over the past two seasons, especially this year. They are holding opponents to 22.6 points and 333.7 yards per game this season, including 21.3 points and 318.6 yards per game on the road. The Steelers are outgaining their opponents by 72 yards per game this year, the sign of an elite team.
The Steelers are outgaining their opponents by 0.9 yards per play (6.2 offensive, 5.3 defense) while the Saints are only outgaining opponents by 0.3 yards per play (6.0 offense, 5.7 defense). Yards per play is one of the most important stats in the NFL and it’s a great indicator of how good a team really is.
Pittsburgh is 6-0 ATS after allowing 99 or fewer rushing yards in two straight games this season. The Steelers are 42-21 ATS in their last 63 games when playing against a top-level team that wins greater than 75% of their games. Pittsburgh is 19-6-2 ATS in its last 27 road games vs. a team with a winning home record.
Plays on road teams (Pittsburgh) - who average 265-plus passing yards per game against a poor passing defense that gives up 230-265 PYPG, after allowing 7 or more YPA in two straight games are 24-5 (82.8%) ATS over the last 10 seasons. Bet the Steelers Sunday.
Note: I took the only +7 option available on the site at extra juice. At the time I released the pick, the line was +6.5 in most places, including at my book. I bought the 1/2 point on the Steelers to +7 personally on my bet. I suggest you do the same if your line is 6.5. If not just bet it at +6, or even down to +4.5. I think this line should be 4 at most.
|12-23-18||Bears v. 49ers +5||14-9||Push||0||20 h 55 m||Show|
15* NFL Sunday Late-Afternoon ANNIHILATOR on San Francisco 49ers +5
The Chicago Bears are coming off back-to-back victories that would rank right up there as two of their most significant wins this century. They upset the Rams at home two weeks ago, then clinched their first division title since 2010 with their win over the hated Packers last week. They let their guard down and celebrated harder than they’ve celebrated in a long time in the locker room and likely went out on the town after that win. It’s only human nature that they’d suffer a letdown this week off two huge wins at home.
But now the Bears hit the road, where they are just 3-3 this season with losses to the likes of the Giants and Dolphins this season. They are 7-1 at home, so there is a big home-road split. I know the Bears are still alive for the No. 2 seed, but they would need the Rams to lose at least one game over the final two weeks to have a chance. The Rams are 14.5-point favorites over the Cardinals this week and will be double-digit home favorites over the 49ers next week. The Bears realize it’s unrealistic.
The 49ers’ December run continues. They won their final five games last season, and now they are making a run at the end of this season, too. The 49ers upset the Broncos 20-14 at home two weeks ago and then upset the Seahawks 26-23 at home last week. I was on the 49ers in both those games, and I’m on them again this week as they are catching even more points as 5-point home dogs to the Bears.
The reason to like the 49ers is simple. They are much better than their 4-10 record would indicate. In fact, the 49ers are actually outgaining their opponents by 18.8 yards per game this season. That’s the sign of a .500 or better team, not one that currently sits at 4-10. And just as they did at the end of last season, this team has not quit. Kyle Shanahan is here to stay, so his players will go to war from him every week. And they clearly seem to love him to play this hard for him to close out the season two straight years when things went so bad for the first 3/4 of the season both times.
Nick Mullens is proving that he can be a backup quarterback in this league, if not a starter by how quickly he has grasped Shanahan’s system and excelled in it. Mullens is completing 64.5% of his passes for 1,754 yards with 10 touchdowns and six interceptions while averaging 8.6 per attempt. He is putting up way better numbers than C.J. Beathard, and actually better numbers than Jimmy G. Mullens is averaging 292.3 passing yards per game in his six games this season.
And he should have some success against a Bears defense that will be missing two key players that got injured last week in the win over the Packers. SS Eddie Jackson and LB Aaron Lynch are both out, as is CB Bryce Callahan. The loss of Jackson is particularly a problem for the Bears. He was named to the Pro Bowl earlier this week, and he’s third in the NFL with six interceptions this season, two of which he has returned for touchdowns. Jackson is the leader of the secondary and will be missed.
Chicago is 2-12 ATS in road games when the total is 42.5 to 49 over the last three seasons. The Bears are 14-35 ATS in their last 49 December road games. Chicago is 3-16 ATS in its last 19 road games vs. excellent offensive teams that average 6 or more yards per play in the second half of the season. The Bears are 1-5 ATS in their last six road games vs. a team with a losing record. Roll with the 49ers Sunday.
|12-23-18||Bills +14.5 v. Patriots||Top||12-24||Win||100||17 h 53 m||Show|
20* NFL DOG OF THE WEEK on Buffalo Bills +14.5
The Buffalo Bills have been flying under the radar this season. The betting public never wants anything to do with them, so they go unnoticed. But when you really did deep into the numbers, the Bills have been one of the best teams in the NFL since Josh Allen returned from injury.
Indeed, the Bills have outgained their last six opponents by a combined 679 yards. That’s an average of 113.2 yards per game, which is the sign of an elite team. But because they’ve gone just 3-3 during this stretch, they are way undervalued. And getting them as two-touchdown underdogs to the Patriots Sunday is an absolute gift.
Allen actually leads the team in rushing with 506 yards, 6.7 per carry and six touchdowns this season. He is arguably the best dual-threat QB in the league right now. A big reason for him leading the team is that LeSean McCoy has been injured and missed the past few games. But the offense gets a big boost this week with McCoy returning from injury to try and take down the Patriots. It’s a sign that this team is max motivated against their division rival the fact that they aren’t sitting McCoy for the rest of the season when they easily could have.
But what makes me really like this Bills team and what makes me back them almost every single week is their defense. The Bills actually have the league’s 2nd best defense in the NFL this season. They give up 292.2 yards per game on the season, which is nearly 19 yards less than the third-place Bears. But when everyone talks about the league’s best defenses, they only mention the Ravens and Bears. That’s why the Bills are consistently undervalued because the fact that they’re 2nd goes completely unnoticed by most.
The Patriots’ stranglehold on the AFC may be coming to an end this year. They wouldn’t lose like they have here down the stretch in year’s past with what has been at stake. The Patriots are just 2-3 SU & 2-3 ATS in their last five games overall. They lost by 24 at Tennessee as 6.5-point favorites, were upset at Miami as 9-point favorites, and were upset at Pittsburgh as 2.5-point favorites. They were also very fortunate to cover agains the Jets in a 14-point win as 13-point favorites.
I think fatigue is taking its toll on the Patriots. They will now be in their 5th different city in six weeks with a ton of travel due to this road-heavy schedule. Now they are back home this week, and that’s going to be a distraction with all the things the players have to do to get ready for Christmas with their families. Plus, they just lost their best weapon in Josh Gordon, who was once again suspended by the league. Gordon leads the team with 720 receiving yards and 18 yards per reception. Without him, their offense is very vanilla, especially with Rob Gronkowski clearly on the downside of his career.
Buffalo will find some success running against this New England defense. The Bills are rushing for 174 yards per game in their last five games, and a large portion of that has been Allen. Now with McCoy back, they should be even more potent in the running game. And the Patriots have not been good against the run the past two weeks, giving up 173.5 rushing yards per game and a whopping 7.5 yards per carry to the Dolphins and Steelers.
I think the fact that New England won 25-6 in Buffalo earlier this season is making this number higher than it should be. Well, Buffalo was playing with Derek Anderson in that game and not Allen. And it was an 18-6 game with the Bills in the red zone before Anderson threw a pick-six that turned what would have been a 5-point game into a 19-point game. It was a very misleading final as the Patriots only outgained the Bills by 46 yards. It will be a much more competitive game with Allen in the second meeting Sunday.
Plays against any team (New England) - off two or more consecutive upset losses as a favorite, a good team (60% to 75%) playing a team with a losing record are 33-10 (76.7%) ATS since 1983. Buffalo is 23-7 ATS in its last 30 games off three or more consecutive ATS losses. The Bills deserved to cover in all three of those games, but since they didn’t they are way undervalued right now. Bet the Bills Sunday.
Note: I realize the line is 13.5 in most places, but 14 wasn't an option for me, so I took the 14.5 at extra juice on the site. I personally bought the 1/2 point on the Bills to +14 on my bet and I suggest you do the same if it's an option for you. Otherwise just bet it at +13.5.
|12-23-18||Texans v. Eagles -1.5||Top||30-32||Win||100||17 h 52 m||Show|
20* NFL Sunday No-Doubt Rout on Philadelphia Eagles -1.5
Don’t look now, but the Eagles are just a half-game back of the Vikings for the 6th and final wild card spot in the NFC. They have put themselves in this position by winning three of their last four games with their only loss coming at Dallas in overtime. The defending Super Bowl champs are starting to show some serious resilience here down the stretch as they fight for their playoff lives.
And the Eagles certainly come into this home game against the Houston Texans with a ton of momentum. That’s because they upset the Rams 30-23 on the road as 13.5-point underdogs last week. There was nothing fluky about it either as they dominated from start to finish and basically led the entire way.
The loss of Carson Wentz was clearly overblown as the Eagles went from 8-point dogs to 13.5-point dogs last week once it was announced Wentz would be out. In the Eagles’ locker room, they knew they had a chance to win that game with Nick Foles, and players rallied around him. Foles delivered a big performance, completing 24-of-31 passes for 270 yards. He utilizes Alshon Jeffery’s talents better than Wentz does because Jeffery is a jump-ball receiver. Foles connected on all eight passes attempts to Jeffery for 160 yards.
The Texans are grossly overvalued right now due to winning nine of their last 10 games overall coming in. They’ve won every coin flip during this stretch, including their extremely lucky push as 7-point favorites at the New York Jets last week. They trailed that game 19-22 with four minutes left, only to score 10 points the rest of the way to win 29-22. The Jets turned it over on downs deep in their own territory, and the Texans tacked on a field goal that made the final margin 7 points. The Eagles will offer a lot more resistance than the Jets did last week.
This is a Texans team that is missing some key playmakers on offense. Both RB Lamar Miller and WR Keke Coutee are out. Miller leads the team with 917 rushing yards and 4.8 per carry, and it’s a big downgrade to backup Alfred Blue, who is averaging just 3.3 yards per carry on his 143 attempts. Coutee is the team’s third-leading receiver and has been productive when healthy. Not to mention, star receiver DeAndre Hopkins was noticeably hobbled by an ankle injury suffered on the game-winning TD catch against the Jets last week. Not having him at 100% is a problem for the Texans.
Philadelphia is 8-1 ATS vs. good rushing defenses that allow 90 or fewer rushing yards per game over the last three seasons. The Texans are 1-8-1 ATS in the last four weeks of the regular season over the past three seasons. Houston is 2-8 ATS in its last 10 games played on a grass field. The Eagles are 7-2 ATS in their last nine home games vs. a team with a winning road record.
Plays home favorites (Philadelphia) - after having won three of their last four games against an opponent that has won eight or more of their last 10 games are 25-6 (80.6%) ATS over the last 10 seasons. Plays against road underdogs or PK (Houston) - hot team having won eight or more of their last 10 games are 39-13 (75%) ATS over the last 10 years. Take the Eagles Sunday.
|12-22-18||Bucks v. Heat +3||87-94||Win||100||10 h 53 m||Show|
15* NBA Saturday Undervalued Underdog on Miami Heat +3
The Miami Heat are undervalued once again as home underdogs to the Milwaukee Bucks tonight. This is a Heat team that has gone 5-2 SU & 6-1 ATS in their last seven games despite playing six of those seven on the road.
The Heat beat the Rockets 101-99 Thursday as 3-point dogs in their only home game during this stretch. And now they are certainly rested and ready to go as this will be just the 2nd game in 6 days for Miami. Look for another big performance from them here with the Bucks coming to down.
The Bucks are a tired team and are in a clearly letdown spot. Milwaukee will be playing the 2nd of a back-to-back, their 3rd game in 4 days and their 8th game in 14 days. They are coming off a huge 120-107 win in Boston in a revenge game after the Celtics knocked them out of the playoffs last year. They won’t be nearly as motivated to face the Heat tonight as they were the Celtics.
Few teams have been able to shut down Giannis and company like the Heat have. Indeed, the Heat are a perfect 5-0 SU & 5-0 ATS in their last five meetings with the Bucks. They have held the Bucks to just 90 points per game in those five meetings and have outscored them by an average of 11.8 points per game. Given the favorable situation for the Heat and the bad one for the Bucks, their domination of this series will continue tonight. Take the Heat Saturday.
|12-22-18||Illinois v. Missouri -1||Top||63-79||Win||100||9 h 13 m||Show|
20* Illinois/Missouri Rivalry GAME OF THE WEEK on Missouri -1
It’s time for Illinois’ five-game winning streak in this rivalry series to come to an end. All five of those wins over Missouri have come by 9 points or less and by a combined 24 points, or an average of 4.8 points per game. So the Tigers have suffered heartbreaking loss after heartbreaking loss in this series.
It’s safe to say Missouri will be max motivated to end this streak. And for once, they finally have the team to do it. I have no doubt the Tigers are the better team this year and it will show on the court Saturday night.
Missouri returned three starters and a ton of talent. The Tigers are off to a 7-3 start this season with their only losses coming to Iowa State, Kansas State and Temple with two of those on the road. They upset both UCF and Xavier at home, and also upset Oregon State on a neutral. They have been battle-tested and I was very impressed with their 15-point win over Xavier last time out, their fourth straight victory and third straight by 15-plus points.
Illinois only returned one starter this season in a rebuilding year. That has been evident with a 4-7 start to the season with their only wins coming against Evansville, Mississippi Valley State, UNLV and East Tennessee State. All four of those wins came at home. Illinois is 0-6 in all road games true and neutral this season.
Missouri makes 38.6% of their 3-point attempts this season. Illinois is 2-10 ATS in road games vs. good 3-point shooting teams who make 37% or more of their attempts over the last three seasons. The Fighting Illii are 4-12 ATS following an ATS win over the last two years. The Tigers are 6-1-2 ATS in their last nine games vs. a team with a winning % below .400. Bet Missouri Saturday.
|12-22-18||Nuggets v. Clippers -1||Top||111-132||Win||100||7 h 53 m||Show|
20* NBA Saturday No-Doubt Rout on Los Angeles Clippers -1
I think the Clippers are back to being undervalued now after losing six of their last eight overall since being in first place in the Western Conference. But a big reason for those struggles was the loss of perennial 6th man of the year Lou Williams. But he is back health now and returned for their win over the Mavericks on Thursday.
The Nuggets are overvalued due to winning four straight and 11 of their last 13 overall coming in. They have managed to get by despite key injuries with three starters out in Paul Millsap, Gary Harris and Will Barton. But I still believe it’s going to catch up with them sooner rather than later. And their four-game winning streak was all at home, and now they hit the road here.
The Clippers are 10-4 SU & 9-5 ATS at home this season. The Nuggets are 13-3 at home compared to just 8-6 on the road. And I have no doubt the Clippers will be the more motivated team here after their recent struggles. They also will be playing just their 2nd game in 5 days so they are rested and ready to go.
Denver is 2-11 ATS in its last 13 road games following two consecutive home games. The Clippers are 5-1 ATS in their last six games vs. a team with a winning % above .600. Los Angeles is 9-4 ATS in its last 13 home games. The favorite is 5-1 ATS in the last six meetings. Bet the Clippers Saturday.
|12-22-18||Redskins +10.5 v. Titans||Top||16-25||Win||100||73 h 7 m||Show|
20* Redskins/Titans Non-Conference KNOCKOUT on Washington +10.5
I won with the Redskins as a premium pick last week. They delivered for me with an outright upset of the Jacksonville Jaguars on the road as 7.5-point dogs. And I’m on them again for many of the same reasons again this week as they are catching even more points as 10.5-point road dogs at Tennessee.
Washington players knew they had no chance with Mark Sanchez at quarterback. They were down to their third-stringer Sanchez after both Alex Smith and Colt McCoy went down with injuries in consecutive weeks. And they played terrible against the Eagles once Sanchez took over, then even worse the next week in a blowout loss to the Giants as Sanchez basically gift-wrapped the Giants that win with turnovers.
However, the Redskins signed Josh Johnson, and he took over for Sanchez after they were trailing the Giants 40-0. Johnson sparked this team in the second half as they outscored the Giants 16-0 after he took over. And then Johnson led them to victory last week against the Jaguars. This guy is a lot better than he gets credit for. Johnson is completing 65.9% of his passes and averaging 8.4 yards per attempt. He also gives the Redskins a dual-threat as he has rushed for 94 yards on 16 attempts and a score while averaging 5.9 yards per carry.
The Titans come into this game getting a lot of love due to their three-game winning streak, and it’s time to ‘sell high’ on them after back-to-back blowout wins over the Jaguars and Giants. I just don’t think the Titans can be laying double-digits with an offense that ranks 27th in the NFL in scoring at just 19.1 points per game. Derrick Henry is playing well the last two weeks, but they are averaging just 124 passing yards per game their past two games.
The Redskins held the Jaguars to 192 yards last week and still have a very good defense, especially when they are locked in and focused. And they have played their best on the road, giving up just 19.6 points per game in their seven road games this year. I think they can hold Marcus Mariota in check, and Johnson will make enough plays for them to keep this a one-score game. Johnson should have some success against a banged-up Titans secondary that just lost their top corner in Logan Ryan to a season-ending injury last week, and starting S Kenny Vaccaro is in concussion protocol and highly questionable.
Tennessee is the team that is getting treated like they are in a must-win situation, but not Washington here with this 10.5-point spread. But in reality, both teams should be equally motivated. Washington is only a half-game back in the wild card race in the NFC, while Tennessee is tied with Indy and Baltimore for the final wild card spot in the AFC, but loses the tiebreaker to both currently. And I have no doubt that win over the Jaguars has injected new life into this Redskins team as they really think they have a shot.
Plays on road teams (Washington) - after failing to cover the spread in three of their last four games, in December games are 46-17 (73%) ATS over the last five seasons. The Redskins are 11-5 ATS in their last 16 games vs. a team with a winning record. Washington is 6-0 ATS in its last six Week 16 games. The Titans are 1-7-1 ATS in their last nine Week 16 games. The road team is a perfect 5-0 ATS in the last five meetings with four outright upsets. Bet the Redskins Saturday.
|12-22-18||Houston v. Army -4.5||Top||14-70||Win||100||72 h 19 m||Show|
20* Houston/Army Armed Forces Bowl No-Brainer on Army -4.5
A military team in a military bowl that’s happy to be here. Sign me up. Army has already had a phenomenal season, but there’s still work to be done. The Black Knights can earn a school-record 11th win with a victory over Houston in the Armed Forces Bowl. They will be max motivated to accomplish that feat.
Houston is a team that has all kinds of issues heading into this game. They lost starting QB D’Eriq King in their 11th game of the season. King is a huge loss as he has a 36-to-6 TD/INT ratio, while also rushing for 674 yards and 14 scores this season. Backup Clayton Tune is only completing 44.7% of his 85 passes and is a massive downgrade as he’s not a dual-threat like King was.
The Cougars are also missing four defensive linemen on their two-deep, including DT Ed Oliver, who will be a Top 10 pick in the NFL Draft. These defensive line injuries will make it extremely difficult for them to stop Army’s rushing attack. In fact, Houston has the worst defense of all the bowl teams, giving up 489 yards per game. And they were awful stopping the run down the stretch, giving up a whopping 278.2 rushing yards per game in their last six games, including 300-plus three times.
Well, Army is the second-best rushing team in the country at 296 yards per game on the ground. And QB Kelvin Hopkins Jr. is actually a threat to throw it this year as he’s averaging 10.6 yards per attempt with six touchdown passes. Army is also 2nd in the country in time of possession (38:51), while Houston is 129th in time of possession (25:04). The Black Knights will wear down this Houston defense and pull away in the second half.
I have a hard time believing Houston wants to be here. They had a chance to win their division and play for the AAC title, but lost in the season finale 31-52 at Memphis. They gave up 610 total yards, including 401 on the ground in that loss. And now they have to go up against a team in Army that is going to chop block them the whole game. No team can be too excited to face the triple-option, an offense designed to punch you in the mouth. Houston players will quit early in this game.
One hidden factor here is that Army recruits as well as almost anyone in the state of Texas. The Black Knights actually have 23 players from Texas on their roster. And this game will be played in Forth Worth, Texas, so they are using this opportunity as an excellent recruiting tool.
Military teams are 33-13 ATS in their last 46 bowl games. Military teams are 23-4 ATS in their last 27 bowl games when facing a team that wins 60% or more of their games. The Black Knights are 6-0-1 ATS in their last seven games vs. a team with a winning record. They’ll cap off a record-setting season with their 11th victory Saturday. Bet Army in the Armed Forces Bowl.
|12-22-18||Ohio State -6 v. UCLA||80-66||Win||100||4 h 13 m||Show|
15* Ohio State/UCLA CBS Saturday No-Brainer on Ohio State -6
Ohio State is one of the better teams in the country this season. They are off to a 10-1 start under Chris Holtmann, who is already doing big things for the Buckeyes just as he did at Butler before him. They went 25-9 last season and 15-3 in Big Ten play and certainly are a contender to win the Big Ten this season.
UCLA is a mess under Steve Alford. The Bruins are just 7-4 this season. They lost by 20 to Michigan State, by 16 to North Carolina, by 29 to Cincinnati and were upset by Beltmont. All seven of their wins have come at home, while they are 0-3 in either neutral or true road games.
That 29-point loss at Cincinnati is a important. That’s because that gives these teams a common opponent. Well, Ohio State won 64-56 as 4.5-point dogs at Cincinnati earlier this season. IUPU-Fort Wayne is also a common opponent. Ohio State beat them by 46 while UCLA beat them by 25. And given those results, the Buckeyes should have no problem covering this 6-point spread on a neutral against the Bruins today.
Ohio State is 12-3 ATS vs. teams who average 6 or fewer steals per game over the last two seasons. The Bruins are 1-7 ATS in their last eight games vs. a team with a winning % above .600. Roll with Ohio State Saturday.
|12-22-18||Wake Forest +3.5 v. Memphis||37-34||Win||100||69 h 50 m||Show|
15* Wake Forest/Memphis CFB Saturday Early ANNIHILATOR on Wake Forest +3.5
I think this this is a case where one team wants to be here, and one team doesn’t in the Birmingham Bowl between Wake Forest and Memphis. Wake Forest is the team that wants to be here. That was evidenced by the way they finished the season just to get into a bowl game.
The Demon Deacons needed to pull off two huge upsets on the road in their final three games just to get to 6-6 and bowl eligible. They beat NC State 27-23 as 18.5-point road underdogs. Then they blasted Duke 59-7 as 9-point road dogs in their season finale. You would be hard-pressed to find two better wins in the ACC than those two for the Demon Deacons.
Wake Forest head coach Dave Clawson is doing a tremendous job here with the Demon Deacons in making them relevant again. And Clawson is 2-0 in bowl games at Wake Forest. The Demon Deacons upset Temple as 12-point dogs in 2016. They also beat Texas A&M in a 55-52 thriller as 3-point favorites last year. They are certainly happy to be here with how hard they had to fight to get here, and I think that will show on the field Saturday.
QB Jamie Newman has been much more effective than Sam Hartman was before him, and he thrived once he was given the starting job after Hartman suffered a season-ending injury. Newman is completing 61.4% of his passes with an 8-to-3 TD/INT ratio while averaging 7.5 yards per attempt. Hartman is completing 55.3% and 6.8 per attempt. Newman has also been the better runner with 3.8 yards per carry compared to 2.6 for Hartman, and both have a significant amount of carries, so Newman being more of a dual-threat is definitely a factor.
Memphis does not want to be here. The Tigers are still reeling from blowing an 18-point halftime lead against UCF in the C-USA title game. They scored 38 points in the first half, but were held to just 3 points after intermission and completely imploded. It was the second blown lead against UCF this season in two losses to the Knights. Now they have to watch UCF go play LSU in the Fiesta Bowl, while they’re stuck in the Birmingham Bowl and have to face a 6-6 Wake Forest team.
Memphis will be without its best player in this game in RB Darrell Henderson, who is one of the best running backs in the country. He is sitting this game out to get ready for the NFL Draft, where he should be one of the first RB’s taken. Henderson has rushed for 1,9-9 yards and 22 touchdowns while averaging a ridiculous 8.9 yards per carry this season. You just don’t replace that type of production.
The Tigers have not fared well in bowl gams over the past three seasons, going 0-3 SU & 0-3 ATS. They lost by 21 to Auburn as 3-point dogs in 2015, by 20 to Western Kentucky as 7-point dogs in 2016, and were upset by Iowa State as 3-point favorites on their home field last year.
Memphis has played the 103rd-ranked schedule in the country, while Wake Forest has played the 53rd-toughest schedule. That’s a big difference in strength of schedule, and facing a team like Memphis will be a step down in class for Wake Forest compared to what they’re used to seeing in ACC action.
Teams that clinch a bowl game in their final game of the season have gone 41-21 ATS over the last 10 seasons. This is a great trend and it just goes to show that teams that had to fight to make a bowl in their final game are happy to be there and usually play well in their bowl game. And Memphis lost their offensive coordinator and their defensive coordinator prior to the bowl game, so they won’t be as well prepared as they normally would be going into a football game.
Memphis is 0-7 ATS in its last seven games after gaining 525 or more total yards in two consecutive games coming in. The Demon Deacons are 4-1 ATS in their last five bowl games, while the Tigers are 1-5 ATS in their last six bowl games. Take Wake Forest Saturday.
|12-21-18||Pelicans v. Lakers -5||104-112||Win||100||12 h 29 m||Show|
15* Pelicans/Lakers ESPN Late-Night BAILOUT on Los Angeles -5
The Los Angeles Lakers return home tonight highly motivated for a victory. They are coming off back-to-back upset road losses to the Wizards and Nets to close out a tough road trip. But the Lakers have had two days off since last playing on Tuesday to rest and recover. They are now primed for a big performance at home tonight.
The Pelicans are a mash unit right now. Starters Elfrid Payton and Nikola Mirotic are out, while fellow starters Anthony Davis and Julius Randle are listed as questionable. Well, the Lakers are getting healthier tonight as starter Brandon Ingram is expected to return from his ankle injury. Backup PG Rajon Rondo has been upgraded to questionable and could make his return to the lineup as well.
The Pelicans have been brutal on the road this season, going 4-12 SU and giving up 116.1 PPG. The Lakers are 11-4 at home and scoring 113.8 PPG and should be able to do whatever they want to offensively against a putrid Pelicans defense. And with all of their injuries right now, this New Orleans offense just isn’t hitting on all cylinders.
New Orleans is 3-12 ATS after playing a road game this season. Los Angeles is 19-8 ATS after failing to cover the spread in two or more consecutive games over the last two years. The Pelicans are 0-6 ATS in their last six games following an ATS win. New Orleans is 0-5 ATS in its last five Friday games. Los Angeles is 7-3 ATS in its last 10 games following an ATS loss. The favorite is 6-0 ATS in the last six meetings. Bet the Lakers Friday.
|12-21-18||Jazz v. Blazers -2||120-90||Loss||-107||12 h 1 m||Show|
15* NBA Western Conference ANNIHILATOR on Portland Trail Blazers -2
The Portland Trail Blazers are too good at home to only be laying two points to the Utah Jazz tonight. They are 12-4 SU & 11-5 ATS at home this season and winning by 8.3 points per game on average. The Blazers are 28-10 ATS in their last 38 home games overall.
Home-court advantage has been huge in this series too as the home team is 9-2 SU & 9-2 ATS in the last 11 meetings. And this is clearly a letdown spot for the Jazz, who are coming off a huge upset win over the defending champion Warriors on Wednesday and won’t be nearly as motivated to face the Blazers tonight. Take the Blazers Friday.
|12-21-18||Wolves v. Spurs -4||Top||98-124||Win||100||11 h 31 m||Show|
20* NBA Friday No-Doubt Rout on San Antonio Spurs -4
The San Antonio Spurs are a lot better than they get credit for. And they are certainly better at home than on the road. They come in playing well going 6-1 SU & 6-1 ATS in their last seven games overall. And I still think they’re undervalued as only 4-point home favorites over the Timberwolves tonight.
One of my favorite trends with this Spurs team is that they are 13-1 ATS when revenging a loss this season, including a perfect 11-0 ATS when revenging a loss where opponent scored 100 points or more this season. They are also 10-0 ATS when revenging a road loss this season. They are winning by an average of 16.2 PPG in this 10-0 situation.
Well, the Spurs just suffered one of their worst losses of the season 89-128 at Minnesota on November 28th. So they’ll be highly motivated to avenge that defeat. And they should be able to against a Timberwolves team that has been atrocious on the road, going 2-12 SU & 5-9 ATS while losing by 7.6 PPG.
The Timberwolves will also be without starting PG Jeff Teague tonight. Meanwhile, the Spurs are as healthy as they’ve been at any point this season, which is a big reason why they are playing so well coming into this game. Their strong play continues tonight in this revenge spot. Bet the Spurs Friday.
|12-21-18||Buffalo v. Marquette -2.5||Top||85-103||Win||100||10 h 16 m||Show|
20* CBB Friday No-Doubt Rout on Marquette -2.5
Buffalo’s 11-0 start to the season and winning streak comes to an end tonight. It’s been a good run for the Bulls, but this is by far their stiffest test of the season here against a Top 25 team in Marquette. And the Golden Eagles are only laying 2.5 points at home tonight, which is an absolute gift.
Buffalo is coming off a huge 71-59 upset win as 3.5-point dogs at Syracuse just a few days ago on Tuesday. I don’t think they’ll be able to follow up that win with the kind of effort it’s going to take to beat Marquette tonight. Syracuse is way down this season and was upset at home in its previous game while barely beating Georgetown by one point in its home game prior to that. The fact of the matter is that win over Syracuse just wan’t that impressive.
Marquette is 9-2 this season with its only losses coming in a true road game at Indiana and on a neutral to top-ranked Kansas. But the Golden Eagles have one of the best home-court advantages in the country. They are 8-0 at home this season and winning by 18.5 points per game. They have beaten Kansas State (by 12) and Wisconsin (by 5) at home this season already, two quality Power 5 conference teams. So they are battle-tested as they also have a neutral court win over Louisville.
Buffalo is 0-8 ATS in its last eight road games vs. Big East opponents, losing by 23.0 PPG on average. Marquette is 6-0 ATS after playing three consecutive home games over the past two seasons. Take Marquette Friday.
|12-21-18||Hawks v. Knicks -2.5||114-107||Loss||-109||10 h 31 m||Show|
15* NBA Eastern Conference ANNIHILATOR on New York Knicks -2.5
The New York Knicks will be highly motivated for a victory at home tonight. They have lost eight of their last nine coming in and have played a brutal road schedule with five of their last eight on the road. Their last two home games were both on the second of a back-to-back, too, so their home schedule has been rough.
But now the Knicks are undervalued and it’s time to ‘buy low’ on them here. They are back home and had yesterday off to rest and regroup, and they should be able to handle a bad Atlanta Hawks team that is just 7-23 overall this season, including 2-14 on the road and losing by 12.4 PPG on average away from home.
The Knicks have already beaten the Hawks twice this season. They won 126-107 as 4-point home favorites in their first meeting, and 112-107 as 1.5-point road favorites in their second meeting. So when you compare this 2.5-point spread to that -4 number they were laying against the Hawks in their first home meeting, there’s some clear value here with the Knicks.
Atlanta is 0-7 ATS against Atlantic division opponents this season and losing by 16.7 PPG on average. The Hawks are 2-15 ATS in their last 17 Friday games. Atlanta is 2-8 ATS in its last 10 games vs. a team with a winning % below .400. New York is 35-16-1 ATS in its last 52 Friday games. Roll with the Knicks Friday.
|12-21-18||Cal-Irvine +8.5 v. Butler||54-71||Loss||-109||8 h 17 m||Show|
15* CBB Friday Undervalued Underdog on UC-Irvine +8.5
UC-Irvine has been a Big West powerhouse, finishing no worse than second in the conference over the last five years. And now the Anteaters returned all five starters this season and are one of the better non-Power 5 teams in the country.
The Anteaters are off to an 11-2 start this season with their only losses coming to two other non-Power 5 powerhouses in Utah State and Toledo. They have outright upsets in true road games at Texas A&M as 4.5-point dogs and at St. Mary’s as 6.5-point dogs. And now they are catching too many points tonight at Butler as 8.5-point dogs, which is their largest underdog role this season.
Butler just hasn’t been that impressive at 8-3 SU & 4-7 ATS this season. It’s a Butler team that lost two starters from last season, including their best player in Kelan Martin (21.2 PPG, 6.3 RPG). They have already been upset by Dayton, Saint Louis and Indiana. Heck, they are coming off a 76-67 home win of Presbyterian on Tuesday as 21-point favorites. If Presbyterian can stay within 9 of them, I think UC-Irvine will have a chance to pull the upset, let alone stay within 8.5 points.
Butler is 4-13 ATS in its last 17 games vs. a team that wins more than 80% of their games. Plays on road teams (UC-Irvine) - after allowing 55 points or less in three straight games, with two-plus more starters returning from last year than their opponent are 52-20 (72.2%) ATS since 1997. The Anteaters are an impressive 10-1 ATS in their last 11 road games. Roll with UC-Irvine Friday.
|12-20-18||Rockets v. Heat +3.5||Top||99-101||Win||100||10 h 32 m||Show|
20* Rockets/Heat TNT Thursday No-Brainer on Miami +3.5
The spot couldn’t be better for the Miami Heat tonight. They’ve had three days off to rest and recover from a tough six-game road trip. Impressively, the Heat went 4-2 SU & 5-1 ATS on that road trip, pulling off outright upsets over the Clippers, Grizzlies and Pelicans, while also playing the Lakers right down to the wire and covering. Now they’ll be motivated to beat another Western Conference team at home tonight.
The spot couldn’t be much worse for the Houston Rockets. The Rockets will be playing the 2nd of a back-to-back and their 3rd game in 4 days. They beat the Wizards at home last night in an absolute shootout, setting the NBA record for made 3’s (26) in a game. Off that record-setting performance, it’s only human nature for them to have a letdown here.
Plays on underdogs of 3.5 to 9.5 points (Miami) - a well-rested team playing four or less games in 10 days, in December games are 43-17 (71.7%) ATS over the last five seasons.
The Rockets are 0-5 ATS in their last five road games vs. a team with a home winning % of less than .400. Miami is 6-0 ATS in its last six vs. NBA Southwest Division opponents. The Heat are 7-1 ATS in their last eight vs. Western Conference foes. Miami is 10-4 ATS in its last 14 games when playing on three or more days’ rest. Take the Heat Thursday.
|12-20-18||Marshall -2.5 v. South Florida||38-20||Win||100||29 h 50 m||Show|
15* Marshall/USF Gasparilla Bowl ANNIHILATOR on Marshall -2.5
South Florida was a complete fraud during its 7-0 start this season. They had narrow single-digit wins over East Carolina (20-13) as 19-point home favorites, Tulsa (25-24) as 10-point road favorites and UConn (38-30) as 33.5-point home favorites. Looking back, ECU, Tulsa and UConn were awful, and all three had a shot to beat them.
Then reality set in down the stretch. South Florida went 0-5 in its final five games with all five losses coming by double-digits. The schedule got tougher, and the Bulls were completely exposed. And now they are going to have to try and get back up off the mat for their bowl game, and I’m not seeing it. Especially since it’s not a destination bowl game as they will be playing on their home field at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa. Fans won’t be that excited to watch a team that closed the season on a five-game losing streak.
Marshall is happy to be here. The Thundering Herd put together an impressive 8-4 season with two of their losses coming to ACC opponents in NC State and Virginia Tech. And the loss to Virginia Tech in the finale has them undervalued. The Hokies needed that win to make a bowl game, and it was a rescheduled game in the final week. The Thundering Herd were already going to a bowl game and didn’t need a win.
Marshall head coach Doc Holliday certainly knows how to prepare his teams for bowl games. Indeed, Holiday is a perfect 5-0 SU & 5-0 ATS in his five bowl games at Marshall. Not only are the Thundering Herd winning, then are dominating their opposition in these bowl games. They are winning by an average of 11.8 points per game in those five games.
USF QB Blake Barnett is banged up with an ankle injury. He will play, but he could be hampered and not as big of a rushing threat. That’s big because he has rushed for eight scores this year. Barnett is a horrible passer with an 11-to-11 TD/INT ratio. And if he gets hurt, both of the backups are completing less than 50% of their passes in their combined 73 attempts this season.
South Florida’s offense will struggle to move the football on what is a very good Marshall defense. The Thundering Herd are holding their opponents to just 22.0 points and 335.6 yards per game. They are holding their opponents to 5.2 points, 41 yards and 0.7 yards per play less than their season averages. Conversely, the Thundering Herd should be able to move the football at will against a USF defense that is yielding 31.5 points and 442.2 yards per game.
South Florida is 0-9 ATS in its last nine home games after having lost five or six of its last seven games coming in. Marshall is 11-2 ATS in its last 13 bowl games, including the 5-0 ATS in Holliday’s tenure as stated before. The Thundering Herd are 21-8-1 ATS in their last 30 non-conference games. The Bulls are 1-4 ATS in their last five vs. C-USA opponents. The Bulls are 0-4 ATS in their last four home games. Bet Marshall Thursday.
|12-20-18||Utah State v. Houston -4||50-60||Win||100||9 h 9 m||Show|
15* CBB Thursday No-Doubt Rout on Houston -4
The Houston Cougars are 10-0 and the No. 21 ranked team in the country. They have a 23-game home winning streak in tact. So laying only 4 points at home with them here against Utah State tonight is certainly a discount as I expect them to extend that home winning streak to 24 while covering this short number.
The Cougars have beaten all comers by at least 4 points this season. They have beaten the likes of Oregon, LSU and Saint Louis at home, as well as both BYU and Oklahoma State on the road. And that BYU game is significant because it gives these teams a common opponent.
Houston won 76-62 at BYU, while Utah State lost 80-95 at BYU. The Aggies also lost to Arizona State on a neutral. No question the Aggies are a quality team in the Mountain West, but this is a big step up in class for them, and when they’ve stepped up they’ve lost. Their best win this season came against a down St. Mary’s team on a neutral.
Utah State is 0-8 ATS in road games after scoring 85 points or more over the last three seasons. Houston is 7-0 ATS off two straight games as a home favorite over the last three years. The Cougars are 6-0-1 ATS in their last seven games following an ATS loss. These three trends combine for a perfect 21-0 system backing the Cougars. Roll with Houston Thursday.
|12-19-18||Grizzlies v. Blazers -6||Top||92-99||Win||100||10 h 4 m||Show|
20* NBA Wednesday No-Doubt Rout on Portland Trail Blazers -6
I love the spot for the Portland Trail Blazers tonight. They want revenge from an 83-92 loss at Memphis on December 12th exactly one week ago today. And they’re home here tonight where they have been playing great basketball up against a short-handed Grizzlies team.
The Blazers are 11-4 SU & 10-5 ATS at home this season, outscoring opponents by an average of 8.4 points per game. They are fully healthy right now and really playing well at home of late, going 3-0 SU & 3-0 ATS in their last three home games with a 22-point win over Phoenix, and 8-point win over Minnesota and a 6-point win over Toronto. Dating back further, Portland is 27-10 ATS in its last 37 home gams.
The Grizzlies are stuck on the struggle bus right now. They are 1-5 SU & 1-5 ATS in their last six games overall. And they are coming off a 17-point loss to the defending champion Warriors, and I always like fading teams after facing the Warriors. PG Mike Conley hasn’t been healthy for weeks as he continues to battle a hamstring injury and is questionable tonight. He means everything to this team. And this is a tired Grizzlies team playing their 8th game in 13 days.
Memphis is 6-18 ATS when playing 8 or more games in 14 days over the past two seasons. Plays on favorites of 3.5 to 9.5 points (Portland) - after a game where they covered the spread, in a game involving two marginal winning teams (51% to 60%) are 72-23 (75.8%) ATS over the last five seasons. Bet the Blazers Wednesday.
|12-19-18||Nets v. Bulls +2||96-93||Loss||-103||8 h 59 m||Show|
15* NBA Wednesday UPSET SHOCKER on Chicago Bulls +2
It’s time to ’sell high’ on the Brooklyn Nets and ‘buy low’ on the Chicago Bulls tonight. The Nets have won six straight coming into this game and are a perfect 7-0 ATS in their last seven games overall. And now they are rare road favorites tonight when they have only been favored on the road once this season, and that was at Phoenix.
It’s an awful spot for the Nets. They are coming off a huge upset home win over the Lakers last night, so they are clearly in line for a letdown. Plus, they will be playing the 2nd of a back-to-back and their 3rd game in 4 days here. They won’t have much left in the tank for the Bulls tonight.
We’ll ‘buy low’ on a Bulls team that is just 3-15 SU in its last 18 games overall. They are also coming off a 25-point loss at Oklahoma City. That followed up an upset win at San Antonio as 9-point dogs to show what they were capable of. And the Bulls are as healthy as they’ve been all season with Markkanen, Portis and Dunn all recently returning to the lineup. They should be a money-maker in the short-term moving forward.
Brooklyn is 12-27 ATS in its last 39 road games off three or more consecutive ATS wins. The Nets are 1-7 ATS in their last eight games playing on zero rest. The home team is 4-1 ATS in the last five meetings. Take the Bulls Wednesday.
|12-19-18||Wizards v. Rockets OVER 223.5||118-136||Win||100||8 h 59 m||Show|
15* NBA Wednesday Total DOMINATOR on Wizards/Rockets OVER 223.5
The Wizards have been one of the worst defensive teams in the NBA this season. They are giving up 117.0 points per game and 47.2% shooting overall, including 119.9 points and 48.3% shooting on the road. They have been good offensively, though, scoring 112.7 points per game on the season. The Rockets are still an offensive juggernaut, and they play little defense as well, giving up 108.7 points and 47.5% shooting on the season.
I think the Rockets can hang a big number on the Wizards, who have allowed 109 or more points in eight consecutive games. But the Wizards will get their points, too, as they’ve scored 110 or more in four straight and six of their last eight. They’ve only been held below 100 points twice in 31 games this season. They have held their opponents to less than 100 only three times. This is a Wizards team that has to play small ball, which favors high-scoring affairs.
The Wizards and Rockets have already squared off once this season. The Wizards won 135-131 (OT) at home on November 26th for 266 combined points. Granted, it went to OT, but it was still 250 combined points at the end of regulation as only 16 points were scored in the extra session. And the Wizards and Rockets have combined for at least 224 points in three straight meetings now.
Washington is 37-17-1 OVER in its last 55 games when playing on zero rest. Houston is 12-2 OVER in home games off three or more consecutive ATS wins over the last three years. The OVER is 34-16-1 in Wizards last 51 games following an ATS loss. The OVER is 5-1 in Wizards last six vs. Western Conference opponents. The OVER is 6-0 in Rockets last six vs. Eastern Conference foes. The OVER is 4-1-1 in the last six meetings. Roll with the OVER in this game Wednesday.
|12-19-18||Ohio v. San Diego State +3||27-0||Loss||-100||173 h 2 m||Show|
15* Ohio/SDSU Frisco Bowl ANNIHILATOR on San Diego State +3
I think San Diego State comes into the bowl season undervalued due to its 0-3 finish to the season. That followed a 7-2 start as this was one of the better Group of 5 teams in the country up to that point. But the poor finish can easily be explained.
Let’s go back to the UNLV loss which started the streak. San Diego State saw that Fresno State had lost to Boise State the previous night, meaning that they could afford a loss to UNLV and still have a shot to win their division. And they promptly lost 24-27 as 24-point favorites. Then everything was on the line the next week against Fresno State, and they lost 14-23. And it was then an obvious hangover spot the next week in the 30-31 loss to Hawaii.
There’s no question that head coach Rocky Long and his players want to get that sour taste out of their mouths. They’ll be ‘all in’ for this bowl game against Ohio, and I look for them to dominate from start to finish. MAC teams have been awful in bowl games over the past several season, and that will continue this season. Ohio coach Frank Solich is just 5-9 SU all-time in bowl games, and 3-6 at Ohio.
While Ohio has a very good offense, they have a weak defense that gives up 26.7 points, 399 yards per game and 6.2 yards per play on the season. Compare that to San Diego State, which gives up just 21.7 points, 327 yards per game and 5.0 yards per play, and we are clearly backing the superior defense.
San Diego State’s offense was held back by injuries all season. That made them a bad bet as big favorites, which they were consistently. But this offense is as healthy as it has been all year, and they are healthy as a team as a whole with only two players on the injury list heading into this bowl game. They key is having QB Christian Chapman and his 8.9 yards per attempt and RB Juwan Washington and his 870 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns back healthy. These are the two leaders of this offense and they’ll be looking to go out with a bang.
And this is a great matchup for the Aztecs’ defense. The strength of the Ohio offense is their running game, which produces 262 rushing yards per game and 6.1 per carry. Well, the Aztecs have the fourth-best rushing defense in the country. They give up just 94 rushing yards per game and 2.7 per carry this season. They have the ability to make Ohio one-dimensional, and the Bobcats just aren’t very good when they have to throw the football.
And keep in mind San Diego State is usually laying points, but here they are getting points, and it all stems back to that misleading poor finish to the season. As a dog this season, the Aztecs have stepped up. They beat Arizona State outright as 5.5-point dogs. They went into Boise State and won outright as 13-point dogs. And they covered as 10-point dogs at Fresno State.
Ohio is 1-10 ATS in road games off three consecutive games where they committed one or fewer turnovers. The Aztecs are 11-2 ATS in their last 13 road games following a loss by 3 points or less. Rocky Long is 9-2 ATS in road games vs. teams who average 450 or more yards per game as the coach of San Diego State. The Bobcats are 6-17 ATS in their last 23 games following a win by more than 20 points.
The MAC is 6-24 SU in bowl games over the last six years, including 1-12 SU the last three years. San Diego State is 8-1 ATS in its last nine games as an underdog. Betting on teams in bowl games off a SU loss as a favorite against a team that is coming in off back-to-back wins are 44-14 ATS since 1981. Bet San Diego State Wednesday.
|12-19-18||Auburn v. NC State +2||Top||71-78||Win||100||7 h 30 m||Show|
20* Auburn/NC State ESPN 2 No-Brainer on NC State +2
NC State is loaded this season. The Wolfpack brought back three starters from last year, and then added in some tremendous college-ready transfers in Devon Daniels, C.J. Bryce, Blake Harris, Wyatt Walker and Eric Lockett. They brought back senior Torin Dorn, sharp-shooter Braxton Beverly and junior Markell Johnson, who led the ACC with 7.3 assists per game last year.
The Wolfpack are off to a 9-1 start this season with their only loss coming 75-79 at Wisconsin as 6-point dogs. They have been undervalued all season as they are 8-2 ATS. They are outscoring opponents by a whopping 25.3 points per game on the year with an offense that puts up 88.9 points per game on 51.5% shooting, and a defense that allows just 63.6 points per game on 40.9% shooting.
Dorn (16.0 PPG, 6.9 RPG, 45.8% 3-pointers this season) and Johnson (12.3 PPG, 4.3 APG, 47.5% 3-pointers) are doing their thing, while Bryce (12.4 PPG, 5.6 RPG, 42.9% 3-pointers) and Daniels (9.1 PPG, 4.3 RPG) are contributing right away as transfers. As you can see, all of their top scorers shoot the lights out from 3-point range, and that’s a big reason why their offense is so efficient.
It will be a packed house tonight for the Wolfpack in anticipation of the No. 7 Auburn Tigers coming to town. That Top 10 ranking has had the Tigers grossly overvalued here of late as they are 0-3 ATS in their last three games overall, failing to cover the spread by a combined 35 points in those three games. That includes their narrow 75-71 win over UAB as 20.5-point favorites last time out.
Auburn lost its toughest game to Duke, and it doesn’t have many impressive wins this season. Their best wins have come against Arizona, Xavier and Washington. Well, Arizona and Xavier are way down this year, and Washington was a home game. In fact, this will be the first true road game all season for Auburn. I love fading teams in their first true road game of the season, especially when they haven’t had one this late in the season.
Auburn is 0-7 ATS in its last seven road games with a total of 155 to 159.5. NC State is 9-1 ATS in home games with a total of 150 to 159.5 over the lats two seasons. The Wolfpack are 10-1 ATS in home games after having won five or six of their last seven games over the past three seasons. The Tigers are 0-7 ATS in their last seven games following an ATS loss. These four trends combine for a 33-2 system backing the Wolfpack tonight. Take NC State Wednesday.
|12-18-18||Mavs +5 v. Nuggets||118-126||Loss||-105||10 h 32 m||Show|
15* NBA Tuesday Night Line Mistake on Dallas Mavericks +5
The Dallas Mavericks will be highly motivated for a victory tonight. They are coming off back-to-back upset losses to the Suns and Kings, which followed up 12-3 run that has the Mavericks sitting in first place in their division right now. They are rested and ready to go as they’ll be playing just their 2nd game in 5 days tonight.
I think the Nuggets are in a big letdown spot tonight. They have managed to win three straight at home over the Grizzlies, Thunder and Raptors despite playing without three starters in Gary Harris, Paul Millsap and Will Barton. Teams can play well in the short-term with injuries, but it catches up to them over the long haul due to depth issues. I think it starts catching up for the Nuggets tonight, especially off their big win over the Raptors last time out as they won’t be nearly as motivated to face the Mavs.
Dallas had Denver’s number last season, going 2-2 SU & 4-0 ATS in their four meetings. Their two losses came on the road by only 2 and 3 points, and they won their two home meetings with the Nuggets by 17 and 11 points. And you have to consider that the Nuggets are in a lot worse shape right now than they were last year, while the Mavericks are one of the most improved teams in the NBA and almost 100% healthy.
The Nuggets are 3-13 ATS in their last 16 vs. NBA Southwest Division opponents, while the Mavericks are 16-5 ATS in their last 21 vs. NBA Northwest Division foes. Dallas is 29-11 ATS in its lsat 40 games following an ATS loss, and 5-1 ATS in its last six games following a SU loss. Take the Mavericks Tuesday.
|12-18-18||Northern Illinois v. UAB -1.5||Top||13-37||Win||100||270 h 50 m||Show|
20* NIU/UAB Boca Raton Bowl No-Brainer on UAB -1.5
The UAB Blazers are a tremendous story. To go from not having a football program at all for two years to going 8-5 in 2017 and then 10-3 and a Conference USA Championship this season is one of the most remarkable feats I’ve ever seen in college football. These players love head coach Bill Clark, and they’ll be highly motivated to get another win to cap off this impressive season.
I like their chances of winning this game against a Northern Illinois team that just isn’t very good. Yes, the Huskies won the MAC, but that conference was way down this season and always struggles in bowl games. And they had to erase a 29-10 deficit in the second half against Buffalo to win 30-29. They’ve already reached the pinnacle.
I’ll gladly fade NIU head coach Rod Carey, who just can’t seem to make anything work in bowl games. Carey is 0-5 SU & 0-5 ATS in his career in bowl games, and not only are his teams losing, they are getting crushed. Carey’s teams are getting outscored by 25 points per game on average, and they losing by 18 points per game against the spread on average. In none of those five games did they even stay within a touchdown of the spread!
Yes, Northern Illinois has a good defense, but their offense is atrocious. QB Marcus Childers only averages 5.4 yards per attempt with a 15-to-10 TD/INT ratio on the season. He also rushes for just 2.8 yards per carry on his ridiculous 176 rushing attempts this season. The Huskies score just 20.7 points per game this season. They are getting outgained by 22.8 yards per game on the year. It’s just not an offense I’m willing to get behind, and I’ll gladly fade it.
UAB does have a respectable offense that puts up 29.3 points and 400.1 yards per game. They also have an elite defense that gives up just 17.3 points and 300.2 yards per game on the year. They are outgaining their opponents by 100 yards per game, which is the sign of a good team and one I want to put my money behind, especially laying less than a field goal here.
Keep in mind UAB’s season stats got skewed a little too in the final game of the regular season. They already had a trip to the C-USA Championship clinched, and they didn’t even show up in their 3-27 loss to Middle Tennessee in which they were outgained by 305 yards. They rested their starters, and then came back the next week and won 27-25 at Middle Tennessee in the rematch. So if you throw out that meaningless game, the Blazers have outgained the other 12 opponents by over 1600 yards on the season and by 134 yards per game.
The Huskies are 5-16-1 ATS in their last 22 neutral site games. Northern Illinois is 1-5 ATS in its last six vs. C-USA opponents. UAB is 32-10 ATS in its last 42 games following a two-game road trip. Again, the Huskies are 0-5 ATS in their last five bowl games. And the MAC is 6-22 SU over the last five years in bowl games, and 1-10 SU the last two years. Bet UAB Tuesday.
|12-18-18||Xavier v. Missouri +3||56-71||Win||100||7 h 27 m||Show|
15* CBB Tuesday UPSET SHOCKER on Missouri +3
Xavier is getting too much respect for what it has done in the past, including a 29-6 season last year. But they lost nearly everyone in G Trevon Bluiett, G J.P. Macura, F Kerem Kanter, F Kaiser Gates and F Sean O’Mara from last year’s team. They also lost head coach Chris Mack to Louisville. Their leading returning scorer averaged just 8.7 PPG and they are clearly rebuilding.
That has been evident in Xavier’s 7-4 SU & 4-6 ATS start tot he season. And they’ve only played one true road game this season, which was a 15-point loss at Cincinnati as 6.5-point dogs. They also lost to SDSU and Auburn on a neutral, as well as Wisconsin at home. Their seven wins have come against IUPUI, Evansville, Illinois, Miami Ohio, Oakland, Ohio and Eastern Kentucky with six of those wins coming at home.
Missouri is an improved team this season with three returning starters and some nice talent for Cuonzo Martin. The Tigers are 6-3 with two of their losses coming on the road to very good Iowa State and Kansas State teams. They did lose at home to Temple 77-79, but Temple is arguably the best team in the AAC. They beat UCF, another AAC title contender outright as underdogs. They also upset Oregon State on a neutral. They should not be home dogs to Xavier tonight.
The Tigers are 3-1-1 ATS in their last five home games. The Musketeers are 1-7-1 ATS in their last nine games vs. a team with a winning % above .600. Xavier is 3-9 ATS in its last 12 games following a win. My final factor favoring Missouri is that they have had 10 days off to prepare for Xavier, while the Musketeers only have two days to get ready for the Tigers after playing on Saturday. Roll with Missouri Tuesday.
|12-17-18||76ers v. Spurs||Top||96-123||Win||100||8 h 3 m||Show|
20* NBA Monday No-Doubt Rout on San Antonio Spurs PK
The San Antonio Spurs had their four-game winning streak come to an end with an ugly 93-98 home loss to the Bulls last time out. Look for them to respond in a big way here against the Philadelphia 76ers and continue their success at home, where they are 11-5 SU & 10-6 ATS on the season.
The Spurs catch the Philadelphia 76ers in a very tough spot here tonight. The 76ers will be playing the 2nd of a back-to-back and their 3rd game in 4 days after winning in Cleveland last night. It's a long flight to San Antonio, and I don’t think the 76ers will have much left in the tank tonight.
The Spurs are 12-2 SU in their last 14 meetings with the 76ers overall. The Spurs are 19-2 SU in their last 21 home meetings with the 76ers. The 76ers are 2-8 ATS in their last 10 road games vs. a team with a home winning % of .600 or better. The Spurs are 20-8 ATS in their last 28 home games.
San Antonio is 16-4 ATS in December home games over the last three seasons. The Spurs are 14-4 ATS at home when the line is +3 to -3 over the last two seasons. The Spurs are 16-5 ATS in home games off an upset loss as a favorite over the last three seasons. Take the Spurs Monday.
|12-17-18||Saints v. Panthers +6.5||Top||12-9||Win||100||152 h 37 m||Show|
20* Saints/Panthers ESPN Monday No-Brainer on Carolina +6.5
The Carolina Panthers opened 6-2 and were becoming a pretty big public team. But now the public has been burnt by the Panthers week after week, and they’re going to be off of them now. It’s certainly time to ‘buy low’ on the Panthers, who have now lost five consecutive games despite being favored in four of the five.
When you dig deeper into the numbers, it’s easy to see that the Panthers are better than their 6-7 record. In fact, the Panthers have now outgained eight of their last nine opponents. They are outgaining opponents by 25.5 yards per game on the season. That’s the sign of a good team, not one that currently has a losing record heading into Week 15.
Most would believe the Panthers are ready to quit, but I beg to differ. Just look at the standings and it’s easy to see that the Panthers are still very much alive to make the playoffs. They sit at 6-7, just a half-game back of the 6-6-1 Vikings for the final wild card spot in the NFC. And their closest contenders in the Redskins (6-7) and Eagles (6-7) both have huge injury issues, and both are massive road underdogs this week.
Plus, Cam Newton received a broom from an anonymous person. That broom signifies the season sweep the Saints put on them last year. They won both regular season meetings, plus beat the Panthers 31-26 at home in the playoffs. Newton already made his comments about the broom, and there’s no question he and the rest of his teammates want some serious revenge here at home Monday night.
The Saints are ripe for the taking right now. They just aren’t playing well at all over the past three weeks against the Falcons, Cowboys and Bucs. They were outgained by 54 yards at home by the Falcons, by 132 yards by the Cowboys in a 10-13 road loss, and they only outgained the Bucs by 19 yards last week. They were fortunate to win that game after trailing 14-0.
The most staggering numbers are the poor offensive numbers the Saints are putting up. Drew Brees may be starting to show his age, and the Saints’ lack of weapons outside Michael Thomas and Alvin Kamara are starting to catch up with them. They were held to 312 total yards by a bad Falcons defense, to just 176 yards by a good Cowboys defense, and to just 298 yards against a bad Bucs defense. That’s an average of just 262 yards per game in their last three games.
The Saints can’t be expected to go on the road and win by a TD or more to cover this inflated 6.5-point spread with this kind of an offense. And the Panthers still have a very good defense that is capable of slowing down Brees and company, especially outdoors on grass. This is also an improved Carolina offense that is averaging 378 yards per game this season.
The Panthers have a big home/road split this season. While they are just 1-6 on the road, they are 5-1 SU & 4-2 ATS at home and outscoring opponents by 7.6 points per game. Their offense has exploded for 30.8 points per game at home this year. Their only home loss came to the Seahawks by a field goal 27-30 in a game in which they controlled the whole way until giving up a 35-yard TD pass on 4th and long with three minutes left to tie it, and then a field goal with no time left on the clock.
Plays against road teams (New Orleans) - who outscore their opponents by 10 or more points per game, after allowing 14 points or less last game are 25-7 (78.1%) ATS over the last five seasons.
Carolina is 14-3 ATS in its last 17 home games vs. good offensive teams that average 375 or more yards per game in the second half of the season. Ron Rivera is 22-6 ATS off a road loss as the coach of Carolina. The Panthers are 8-3 ATS in their last 11 home games. The underdog is 7-1 ATS in the last eight meetings. Bet the Panthers Monday.
|12-17-18||Bulls +13 v. Thunder||96-121||Loss||-109||8 h 32 m||Show|
15* NBA Monday Undervalued Underdog on Chicago Bulls +13
The Chicago Bulls have been more competitive since Jim Boylan took over as head coach. They have gone 3-2-1 ATS in their last six games with an outright upset at San Antonio as 9-point dogs and an outright upset over Oklahoma City at home as 8-point dogs.
Now, the Bulls are catching 13 points here on the road in the rematch with the Thunder, and it’s simply too much. That’s especially the case when you consider the Bulls have gotten a lot healthier in recent weeks. They’ve gotten Lauri Markkanen (15.1 PPG, 6.1 RPG), Kris Dunn (11.8 PPG, 4.5 RPG, 4.5 APG) and Bobby Portis (10.7 PPG, 8.4 RPG) back from injury. This team now has more depth than they’ve had all season.
The Thunder moved into first place in the Western Conference recently, and have been overvalued since. They have gone just 1-5 ATS in their last six games overall. And once again they are laying too many points here against the Bulls as massive 13-point favorites.
The Bulls have had the Thunder’s number in recent meetings, going 4-3 SU & 4-3 ATS with three outright upsets. Oklahoma City is just 9-26 ATS when revenging a straight up loss as a favorite over the last two seasons. Worse yet, the Thunder are 3-13 ATS when revenging a loss as a road favorite over the last two years. Roll with the Bulls Monday.
|12-16-18||Knicks +12 v. Pacers||99-110||Win||100||5 h 5 m||Show|
15* NBA Sunday PLAY OF THE DAY on New York Knicks +12
The love for the Indiana Pacers is starting to get out of hand here Sunday. They are 12-point favorites over the New York Knicks. Well, the Pacers have only been favored by more than 8 points once all season. That was as 11.5-point home favorites over the Hawks, and the Pacers failed to cover in an 8-point win.
The reason the Pacers are getting so much love right now is because they have won six in a row coming in while going 5-1 ATS in the process. They are coming off back-to-back upset wins over the Bucks and 76ers as well. If anything, that sets them up for a letdown spot here as they won’t be nearly as motivated to face the Knicks. It’s time to ’sell high’ on the Pacers today.
Conversely, it’s time to ‘buy low’ on the Knicks. They have gone just 1-5 SU & 1-5 ATS in their last six games overall. But they had a nice 126-124 (OT) road win over the Hornets last time out where they showed a ton of heart in coming back from a big deficit. And the Knicks certainly want revenge from a 101-107 home loss to the Pacers in their first and only meeting this season. I like them quite a bit here catching 12 points on the road in the rematch.
Five of the last six meetings in this series have been decided by 8 points or less. Plays on underdogs (New York) - revenging a same season loss, off a huge upset win as a road underdog of 10 points or more are 23-4 (85.2%) ATS over the last five seasons. New York will put up more of a fight than this line suggests tonight. Bet the Knicks Sunday.
|12-16-18||Seahawks v. 49ers +7||23-26||Win||100||123 h 28 m||Show|
15* NFL Sunday Late-Afternoon ANNIHILATOR on on San Francisco 49ers +7
I won with the 49ers in their upset win over the Broncos last week, and I’m back on them again this week. I got an early +7 at -130 on them when the line was +6 mostly everywhere. I thought it was worth it to pay the extra juice for the +7 at that point. But now the line has dropped all the way down to Seattle -3.5 in most places, and I still recommend a play on the 49ers at +3 or better. Obviously bet more if you got +6 or better early, and bet less if you got +3 or +3.5 late.
This has been the biggest line move in the NFL this week, and it’s warranted. The 49ers never should have been close to a TD underdog to the Seahawks. In fact, I think they win this game outright. The Seahawks are working on a short week after their huge win over the Vikings on Monday Night Football. They will be less prepared and less rested than the 49ers will be.
That win over the Vikings basically locked the Seahawks into the No. 5 seed in the NFC. They now have a 99% chance of making the playoffs. They can’t win the division, either, as the Rams clinched that already with their two head-to-head wins over the Seahawks. So Seattle is just stuck in no-man’s land here just playing out the string and anticipating their trip to the playoffs. The hard work is done. And they certainly could be looking ahead to their huge showdown with the Chiefs next week.
The Seahawks are overvalued after winning four straight games coming in and going 4-0-1 ATS in their last five games overall. But many of those were misleading wins, or wins they had no business getting. In fact, the Seahawks have been outgained in five of their last six games overall. That’s not the sign of a good team. The only game they won the yardage battle was their 27-24 comeback win over the Packers at home in which they only outgained Green Bay by 19 yards.
Meanwhile, the 49ers are grossly undervalued due to their 3-10 record. They are much better than that as they have now outgained their opponents by 296 yards on the season, and by an average of 23 yards per game. And they are playing their best football of the season coming in. The 49ers have outgained four of their last five opponents by a combined 426 yards and by an average of 85.2 yards per game.
Nick Mullens has more passing yards (746) than any other quarterback in the NFL over the last two weeks, so he is really starting to grasp Kyle Shanahan’s offense. George Kittle had 210 receiving yards last week and ranks second in the NFL in receiving yards (1,103) by a tight end this season. And Mullens is getting help with some players who are returning from injury. RB Matt Breida should be back this week, and WR Marquise Goodwin returned last week after missing two games.
I love backing teams in division games in the 2nd meeting who just recently lost their first meeting. The Seahawks just beat the 49ers 43-16 two weeks ago in Seattle. Well, that was one of the most misleading final scores of the year. The 49ers gained 452 yards and held the Seahawks to 331 yards, outgaining them by 121 yards for the game. And the Seahawks got a 98-yard INT return TD in the final minutes that turned what would have been a 13-point game into a 27-point game. That misleading final score also has the Seahawks overvalued, and you know the 49ers are going to want to exact some revenge here at home.
Plays on home underdogs of 3.5 to 10 points (San Francisco) - after failing to cover the spread in two of their last three games, a bad team that wins 25% or fewer of their games on the season playing against a team with a winning record in the second half of the season are 56-25 (69.1%) ATS since 1983. Don’t be surprised if the 49ers win this game outright again this week. Take the 49ers Sunday.
|12-16-18||Cowboys v. Colts -2.5||Top||0-23||Win||100||120 h 24 m||Show|
25* NFL GAME OF THE YEAR on Indianapolis Colts -2.5
I was on the Colts last week in their outright win over the Texans, and I’m right back on them this week as my strongest release of the entire 2018 NFL season. They have made my 25* NFL GAME OF THE YEAR label for this game against the Dallas Cowboys. Every factor in this game favors the Colts, and thus getting them as only 2.5-point home favorites is an absolute gift from oddsmakers and the biggest line mistake of the season.
It mostly comes down to the motivational mismatch in favor of the Colts. They need this game like they need blood. There are currently four teams in the AFC tied at 7-6 for the final wild card spot, and the Colts have an outside shot to win the division. The Colts have put themselves in this position by going 6-1 SU in their last seven games overall, and they aren’t about to let up now that they are so close they can taste the postseason.
The Cowboys are coming off their ’Super Bowl’, a gutsy 29-23 (OT) home win over the Philadelphia Eagles that all but locked up the division. After that win, the Cowboys currently have a 99% chance of winning the division. They would have to go 0-3 and have either the Redskins go 3-0 or the Eagles go 3-0 to not win the division. Well, the Eagles are double-digit underdogs at the Rams this week and just lost Carson Wentz, and the Redskins are mess with all their injuries and are 7-point road dogs to the Jaguars. In all reality, the Cowboys have already won the division. They will suffer a ‘hangover’ effect from that win over the Eagles.
The Colts have outgained nine of their last 10 opponents. That’s the sign of a really good team and one I want to get my money behind. Andrew Luck is back to being Andrew Luck, and the Colts have one of the most improved defenses in the NFL. All of that young talent they’ve drafted over the past several seasons is finally starting to pay off. They have held their last four opponents to an average of just 15.3 points per game.
And I really like the matchup for the Colts’ defense. Their strength is their run defense, which ranks 8th in the NFL in giving up just 102.9 rushing yards per game. They also rank 5th in the NFL in yards per carry (3.8) allowed. And they’ve been even better in recent weeks, holding their last five opponents to just 91.8 rushing yards per game and 3.4 per carry. They should be able to limit Zeke Elliott, who was hobbled in that win over the Eagles and could have his workload limited after touching the ball 40 times last week.
One hidden advantage here is Indianapolis head coach Frank Reich, the former offensive coordinator in Philadelphia. The Eagles clearly miss him as their offense has been atrocious this year and terrible on 3rd downs, whereas the Colts are one of the best 3rd down offenses in the NFL. But Reich knows the personnel in the NFC East, and he’s actually gone 2-0 ATS against NFC East teams this season, beating the Redskins outright and covering in a last-second loss to the Eagles. And he certainly knows Dallas’ personnel as well as it hasn’t changed much from last year. He’ll come up with a game plan to beat their defense, while also helping his defensive coaches with the Cowboys’ offense.
I think the Cowboys are starting to be overvalued now this week after going 5-0 SU & 5-0 ATS in their last five games overall. I just don’t think they show up at all this week. The Colts are 4-0 ATS in their last four games against teams with a winning record. Plays on home favorites (Indianapolis) - after having won two of their last three games, a marginal winning team (51% to 60%) playing a winning team are 25-6 (80.6%) ATS over the last 10 seasons. Bet the Colts Sunday.
|12-16-18||Lions v. Bills -2.5||Top||13-14||Loss||-104||120 h 24 m||Show|
20* NFL Non-Conference GAME OF THE MONTH on Buffalo Bills -2.5
The Bills really should be in the midst of a four-game winning streak right now. But since they’re not and actually failed to cover the closing line each of the last two weeks, I think they are undervalued now. Meanwhile, the Lions are coming off a misleading 17-3 win at Arizona last week, and they’ve overvalued.
Two weeks ago, the Bills outgained the Dolphins by 240 yards and lost 17-21 as 3.5-point dogs. Then last week, the Bills outgained the Jets by 120 yards and lost 23-27 as 4.5-point home favorites. They led that Jets game 14-3 and never trailed until the final minute. It’s two games they should have won but they didn’t, and they won their previous two games against the the Jets and Jaguars by a combined 34 points. In fact, the Bills have outgained four of their last five opponents by a combined 680 yards, or by an average of 136 yards per game. That’s the sign of an elite team.
The Bills have been playing much better football ever since Josh Allen returned to the lineup. Allen has actually rushed for 99 or more yards in three consecutive games, which is unheard of in today’s NFL. And if his receivers quit dropping passes, he’d be putting up even better numbers through the air. After his receivers let him down last week, I think they’ll be extra focused to make amends for their quarterback this week.
Buffalo has an elite defense, which is my favorite thing about this team. They actually rank 1st in the NFL in total defense, giving up just 290.6 yards per game. Not too many people saw that coming heading into the season. There’s nothing fluky about it because they are 2nd in the NFL in yards per play (4.8) allowed. They will shut down the Lions this week.
Detroit is just 2-5 SU & 2-5 ATS in its last seven games overall. And really the Lions are fortunate to even have two wins during this stretch. They have been outgained in six of their last seven games, and eight of their last 10 games overall. That’s the sign of a bad team.
Matthew Stafford looks lost ever since trading Golden Tate and having Marvin Jones go down to injury. There just aren’t any playmakers left on this team. The score showed Detroit winning 17-3 against Arizona last week, but they were outgained by the Cardinals and managed just 218 total yards. The Lions managed only 96 passing yards on 23 attempts. This offense has been dreadful, and it won’t get any easier against the Bills this week.
Detroit is a dome team that certainly won’t enjoy the cold weather this late in the year in Buffalo. The Lions don’t have anything to play for, and I trust this young Bills team with a rookie quarterback to keep showing up because they have showed up every week that Allen has been under center. They’re the better team, and they’re only laying 2.5 points here at home. Sign me up.
Plays against road teams where the line is +3 to -3 (Detroit) - after allowing 6 points or less last game against an opponent that is coming off a loss by 6 points or less are 36-12 (75%) ATS since 1983. The Lions are 4-14 ATS in their last 18 games off a double-digit road win. The Bills are 15-4 ATS in their last 19 home games vs. bad defensive teams that allow 24 or more points per game in the second half of the season. Detroit is 17-36-1 ATS in its last 54 games after allowing less than 15 points in its previous game. Take the Bills Sunday.
|12-16-18||Titans v. Giants -2.5||17-0||Loss||-113||120 h 24 m||Show|
15* NFL Sunday No-Doubt Rout on New York Giants -2.5
The New York Giants played the toughest schedule in the NFL over their first eight games of the season. It’s no surprise they opened 1-7. But the schedule has eased up, and they’ve been handling their business since. They have gone 4-1 SU & 4-0-1 ATS in their last five games overall, and they are playing with a ton of confidence right now and showing up every week. If not for a blown 19-3 lead against the Eagles, they would be on a five-game winning streak.
The biggest reason for their great play is the improvement on offense. The Giants have averaged 31.4 points per game in their last five games. They hung 40 points on the Redskins last week even without Odell Beckham Jr. And Beckham feels a lot better this week and there’s a good chance he returns to the lineup. And besides Beckham and Landon Collins, the Giants are a very healthy team right now. Eli Manning knows that these could be his last games as a Giant, and he’s clearly motivated to make the most of it despite their record.
I think the Titans come in overvalued off their win over the Jaguars last week. I’ve watched many NFL games, and I haven’t seen many teams quit as blatantly obviously as the Jaguars did. They didn’t even try to tackle Derrick Henry, and as a result Henry had a career game with 238 rushing yards and four touchdowns. Defenders simply got out of his way or half-ass attempted to tackle him. I give the Titans zero credit for that win.
The Titans have not been good on the road this season. They are just 2-5 SU & 3-4 ATS in road games. They have one of the worst offenses in the NFL, averaging just 19.3 points per game on the season. Their offense has been even worse on the road, scoring just 16.4 points per game an averaging only 306.9 yards per game. I just don’t trust Marcus Mariota and this offense to score enough points here to win this game against the Giants.
Tennessee is 0-6 ATS in road games off two or more consecutive wins over the last two seasons. The Titans are losing by a whopping 20.2 points per game on average in this spot. The Titans are 1-10 ATS in road games after gaining 6 or more yards per play in their previous game over the past three seasons.
Plays on home favorites (NY Giants) - in non-conference games, off a win by 10 points or more against a division opponent are 30-7 (81.1%) ATS over the last 10 seasons. Roll with the Giants Sunday.
|12-16-18||Redskins +7 v. Jaguars||16-13||Win||100||120 h 23 m||Show|
15* NFL Sunday Undervalued Underdog on Washington Redskins +7
The Jacksonville Jaguars are just 4-9 this season. They can’t be laying a touchdown to the Washington Redskins, or any team for that matter. Not after what I saw last week against the Titans. They didn’t even try to tackle Derrick Henry, and he rushed for 238 yards and four touchdowns in a 30-9 win by Tennessee.
I can say with confidence that the Jaguars have quit. This is a team that made the AFC Championship Game last year with big expectations coming into the season. Now, at 4-9 and with nothing to play for, they have simply packed it in. I don’t see them showing up this week at all, and even if they did they aren’t good enough to cover this 7-point spread.
Unlike the Jaguars, the Redskins still have a lot to play for. The Vikings are currently the 6th and final wild card team in the playoffs if the season were to end today at 6-6-1. Well, the Redskins are 6-7, so they are only a half-game back in the wild card. As ugly as it’s been of late for the Redskins, they can still look to the standings and realize they have a legit chance of making the playoffs. And I fully expect them to show up these final three weeks.
I also think the Redskins are being undervalued this week off their 40-16 loss to the Giants last week. Well, Mark Sanchez is maybe the worst backup QB in the NFL, and he simply gift-wrapped the Giants several points. The Redskins trailed that game 40-0 before giving way to Josh Johnson.
Sure, the Giants probably didn’t try too hard after being up 40-0, but either way I was impressed with what I saw from Johnson. He outscored the Giants 16-0 the rest of the way after he entered the game. Johnson finished 11-of-16 passing for 195 yards with one touchdown and one interception, while also leading the team with 45 rushing yards and a score on only seven carries. He averaged 12.2 yards per pass attempt and 6.4 rushing yards per attempt. Those are elite numbers.
Well, Johnson will get the start this week as Jay Gruden was impressed enough with what he saw to give him the nod. And I think the Redskins as a team realize they had no chance of winning games with Sanchez at the held, so the fact that Johnson is starting has re-energized them. They played hard for him to close out that Giants game, and they’ll play hard for him again this week against a Jaguars team that has quit. I’ll gladly take the points on the more motivated team here.
The Redskins get some good news in the injury department this week, too. Their top playmaker in Jamison Crowder is back healthy and had 87 receiving yards and a score last week. Josh Doctson had 84 receiving yards last week and should be available this week. Both starting tackles along the offensive line in Trent Williams and Morgan Moses are both healthy and probable. That will certainly help Johnson having his two starting tackles protecting him.
Look for the Redskins to run wild on the Jaguars behind Johnson, Adrian Peterson and Chris Thompson. The Jaguars did not want to tackle Henry last week, and they certainly don’t want to try and tackle Peterson, either. This is a Jaguars defense that has really fallen off this season, especially down the stretch. They have allowed 24 or more points in four of their last six games overall.
It’s also a Jaguars offense that has really struggled and one that is going through a quarterback controversy with Blake Bortles getting benched in favor of Cody Kessler. Kessler has led the Jaguars to an average of just 7.5 points per game in his two starts over the past two weeks. The Jaguars have yet to decide who will be under center, but it won’t matter. This offense is simply not good enough to be laying 7 points to anyone, especially not against a Redskins defense that has been respectable this season in allowing 22.8 points per game. The Jaguars average just 16.3 points per game on the season.
Washington is a perfect 7-0 ATS after allowing 6.5 or more yards per play in their previous game over the past two seasons. The Redskins are coming back to win by 6.6 points per game on average in this spot. Jacksonville is 2-11 ATS in its last 13 home games after being outrushed by 100 or more yards in its previous game. Washington is 5-0 ATS in its last five games following a double-digit home loss. The Jaguars are 1-6-2 ATS in their last nine games overall. The Redskins are 5-1 ATS in the last six meetings. Roll with the Redskins Sunday.
|12-16-18||Rhode Island v. West Virginia -6.5||83-70||Loss||-107||1 h 46 m||Show|
15* CBB Sunday No-Doubt Rout on West Virginia -6.5
The West Virginia Mountaineers should roll the Rhode Island Rams today at Mohegan Sun Arena in Connecticut. They are the more talented, more experienced team and this is really a shorter number than it should be Sunday afternoon.
The Mountaineers returned four players who averaged at least 8.7 points per game from last year’s team. And I think they are being undervalued right now because they already have three losses on the season against a difficult schedule. But they also have wins by 7 points or more against St. Joe’s, Valpo and Pitt, and they are playing a lot better since a slow start. They’ve gone 5-1 SU & 4-2 ATS in their last six games overall with their only loss coming as dogs to Florida on a neutral.
Rhode Island is clearly a rebuilding team. Dan Hurley bolted for greener pastures in the offseason, and it’s no surprise he left when he did because the Rams lost a ton of talent. They only have one returning starter, and lose five players who combined to average 53.6 points per game last year. That’s a lot of production gone. They don’t return a single double-digit scorer from last year’s team that went 26-8.
The early struggles during a 4-3 start for the Rams are not surprising. Their four wins have come against Bryant, Harvard (by 2), Brown and Holy Cross with three of those at home. They lost by 11 at Charleston as 2.5-point dogs, were upset at home by Stony Brook by 10 despite being 10.5-point favorites, and lost by 9 at Providence as 7-point dogs. So they’ve played an extremely weak schedule, and yet at just 4-3.
West Virginia is 9-1 ATS vs. teams who average 40 or more rebounds per game over the past three seasons. The Mountaineers are once again a tremendous rebounding team, which is the one thing the Rams do well. Rhode Island has terrible guard play as they are shooting just 39.9% from the field and 20.3% from 3-point range on the season. That’s not going to cut it in today’s college basketball. The Rams are 0-7 ATS in their last seven games following a win. Roll with West Virginia Sunday.
|12-15-18||Middle Tennessee State +7 v. Appalachian State||Top||13-45||Loss||-110||78 h 2 m||Show|
20* MTSU/App State New Orleans Bowl BAILOUT on Middle Tennessee +7
Appalachian State head coach Scott Satterfield has moved on to coach Louisville. Teams in December bowl games whose coaches were either fired or left to coach elsewhere last season went 1-5 ATS. It always leaves a lot of questions surrounding the program and a ton of distractions for the players when a coach leaves.
I don’t think Appalachian State will be focused at all with Satterfield gone. The Mountaineers have already accomplished all they wanted to this season, and losing to Middle Tennessee isn’t going to change that. They won the Sun Belt title and have already won 10 games, so there’s nothing left for them to play for.
Middle Tennessee comes in with a sour taste in its mouth from a 2-point loss to UAB in the Conference USA Championship Game. The Blue Raiders have gone 11-3 ATS in their last 14 games following a loss, so they have been a resilient bunch. And I look for that to be the case again here as the Blue Raiders clearly want to be playing in this game.
This is the final opportunity for head coach Rick Stockstill and son Brent Stockstill to go to battle together. Stockstill is a redshirt senior quarterback who will be playing his final game at Middle Tennessee. He is the leader of this team and will have his guys ready to go. Stockstill was already the school’s all-time leading passer prior to this season, and he is completing 70.4% of his passes with a 28-to-8 TD/INT ratio this year.
The Blue Raiders come in playing their best football of the season. They have gone 5-1 ATS in their last six games overall. They have outgained each of their last five opponents by an average of 145.4 yards per game. That’s impressive when you consider they’ve played C-USA champ UAB twice and Kentucky on the road during this stretch.
There’s no doubt the Blue Raiders have played the tougher schedule of these two teams as well. They played three SEC bowl teams in Georgia, Kentucky and Vanderbilt all on the road in the non-conference. Meanwhile, the Mountaineers played the 132nd-ranked schedule in the country this season. They’ve played an extremely weak slate since their loss to Penn State in the opener, and they’re still getting too much respect from that OT loss.
I’m getting the more motivated team, and arguably the better team, catching a touchdown in the New Orleans Bowl. Sign me up. Bet Middle Tennessee State Saturday night.
|12-15-18||Browns +3 v. Broncos||17-16||Win||100||103 h 24 m||Show|
15* Browns/Broncos AFC ANNIHILATOR on Cleveland +3
I faded the Broncos last week and won the 49ers. And I’m fading them again this week for many of the same reasons. But a new reason popped up this week. That loss crushed Denver’s playoff hopes. They now have just a 5% chance of making the playoffs, and they are four teams ahead of them now fighting for that final wild card spot. In other words, their season is over, and I think they suffer a ‘hangover’ effect from that defeat.
Denver is overvalued right now due to going 3-1 SU & 3-1 ATS in their last four games overall. But two of those wins were fluky, and they beat up on an injury-riddled Bengals team in their only legit win. In fact, the Broncos have been outgained by a total of 440 yards in their last four games, or by an average of 110 yards per game. With stats like that they should be 0-4 and 1-3 at best.
But the biggest reason I faded the Broncos last week was because they lost two key players to injury the previous week. Emmanuel Sanders was lost to a season-ending Achilles injury. The loss of Sanders was huge because they already traded away Demaryius Thomas. Sanders was having a career season with 71 receptions for 868 yards and four touchdowns in 12 games. They just don’t have many playmakers left at receiver for Case Keenum.
On defense, the loss of Chris Harris is a big one. He is their top cover corner. San Francisco 3rd-string quarterback Nick Mullens lit up this Denver defense for 332 passing yards and two touchdowns. And you can bet that Baker Mayfield, who is in line to win Rookie of the Year honors, will light them up as well. The Broncos also have a couple other defensive backs that have shown up on the injury report this week.
Cleveland comes in playing very well, going 3-1 SU & 3-1 ATS in their last four games overall. Unlike Denver, there hasn’t been anything fluky about the Browns’ run. They have outgained their last four opponents in cumulative total yards, and the offense is hitting its stride by scoring 26 or more points in all three wins behind the guidance of new coordinator Freddie Kitchens. The only exception was the loss at Houston, but the Browns had a TD called back and also fumbled through the end zone for a touchdown. They have 428 total yards against that good Houston defense.
The Browns are looking up at the AFC North standings right now and feeling like they have a legit chance to win the division. And belief can go a long way in this league. And they get to play on Saturday, so they won’t get to see the results from Sunday yet. They’ll be ‘all in’ for this game, unlike Denver. The Browns trail the Steelers by two games, but the Steelers are underdogs this week and they’ll be underdogs to the Saints next week. And though they also trail the Ravens by 1.5 games, they still get to play the Ravens in Week 17, which could ultimately decide the division. And the Browns host the Bengals next week, so they will have a legit shot of getting to 8-7-1, which could be good enough to win this division.
Denver is 0-8 ATS in its last eight home games following two consecutive road games. The Broncos are 0-6 ATS in their last six games after trailing their previous game by 14 points or more at halftime. Plays against home teams (Denver) - after covering the spread in three of their last four games, in a game involving two marginal losing teams (40% to 49%) are 22-4 (84.6%) ATS since 1983. Roll with the Browns Saturday.
|12-15-18||Lakers -1.5 v. Hornets||Top||128-100||Win||100||9 h 11 m||Show|
20* NBA Saturday No-Doubt Rout on Los Angeles Lakers -1.5
The Los Angeles Lakers have really been playing some great basketball. It was always going to take them some time to gel with Lebron James and all the new faces, but they’ve certainly gelled now. The Lakers are 13-5 SU in their last 18 games overall coming in.
And I like backing the Lakers off their tough loss to Houston on Thursday. They have been really good following a loss, going 5-1 SU in their last six games off a loss. And the Lakers are rested right now as this will be just their 2nd game in 5 days tonight. They should be primed for a big effort here.
Conversely, the Charlotte Hornets are in an awful spot. They played an overtime game against the Knicks last night and lost 124-126. That had to take a lot out of them. They’ll now be playing the 2nd of a back-to-back and their 3rd game in 4 days. And all five starters played at least 36 minutes last night.
Charlotte is 6-19 ATS in home games off two consecutive home games over the past three seasons. Los Angeles is 18-8 ATS after failing to cove the spread in two or more consecutive games over the last two years. The Lakers are 6-2 ATS in their last eight games following an ATS loss. Los Angeles is 4-1 ATS in its last five games following a loss by more than 10 points. The Hornets are 1-6-1 ATS in their last eight games after allowing more than 125 points in their previous game. The road team is 16-5-1 ATS in the lsat 22 meetings. The Lakers are a perfect 6-0 ATS in their last six meetings in Charlotte. Bet the Lakers Saturday.
|12-15-18||Southern Miss +9 v. Wichita State||60-63||Win||100||6 h 26 m||Show|
15* CBB Saturday Night Line Mistake on Southern Miss +9
Wichita State is clearly in rebuilding mode. The Shockers only returned one starter this season and lost almost every key player from last year’s team that went 25-8. The only key returnee is SF Markis McDuffie, who is the top returning scorer at only 8.3 PPG.
It’s no wonder the Shockers are off to a shaky 5-4 start this season. They lost by 13 at home to LA Tech as 9-point favorites, and they only beat Jacksonville State by 4 last time out at home as 7.5-point favorites. They have only had two days to get ready for Southern Miss.
This is a Southern Miss team on the rise. The Golden Eagles are in their best shape since being hit with a three-year probation from former coach Donnie Tyndall’s tenure. Fifth-year coach Doc Sadler returns a very experienced team, including four senior starting guards from last year. Tyree Griffin (15.0 PPG, 5.9 APG last year), Cortez Edwards (16.6 PPG, 6.4 RPG), Dominic Magee (11.7 PPG, 6.6 RPG) and Kevin Holland (6.8 PPG) all returned. That’s a lot of production.
The Golden Eagles are off to a 7-2 start this season. And their two most impressive performances came in their only two true road games. They won outright 74-64 at SMU as 9.5-point underdogs, and 81-66 at Troy as 1.5-point dogs. They certainly won’t be losing by double-digits on the road to this rebuilding Wichita State team tonight.
Wichita State is 5-15 ATS vs. teams who attempt 21 or more 3-point shots per game over the last two seasons. Plays on road dogs of 3.5 to 9.5 points (Southern Miss) - in a game involving two up-tempo teams who average 60 or more shots per game, after two straight games where they allowed their opponents to shoot 37% or less are 30-6 (83.3%) ATS since 1983. Roll with Southern Miss Saturday.
|12-15-18||North Texas +8.5 v. Utah State||13-52||Loss||-105||71 h 3 m||Show|
15* CFB Saturday Early Bowl ANNIHILATOR on North Texas +8.5
The North Texas Mean Green certainly want to be here in this New Mexico Bowl Saturday. Sitting at 9-3, they have a chance to win 10 games for the first time in nearly 70 years. They are 2-7 all-time in bowl games, so they don’t get to go bowling very often. And they want to make amends for their loss to Troy last year. Plus, head coach Seth Littrell turned down the Kansas State job to stay here, so his players will go to war with him.
This is a very experienced Mean Green team that returned 17 starters from a team that also won nine games last season. And they were even better this year, as their three losses all came by 8 points or fewer and by a combined 13 points, and they led by double-digits in all three. That’s how close this team was to being 12-0.
Improvement came from a defense that gave up 35 points and 431 yards per game last season. The Mean Green this season only give up 21.8 points and 359.5 yards per game. And their offense exceeded last years numbers slightly and remains elite, scoring 36.4 points per game and averaging 472.8 yards per game. QB Mason Fine was already the school’s all-time leading passer coming into the season, and had another big year, throwing for 3,734 yards with a 27-to-5 TD/INT ratio.
My favorite stat on this North Texas team is that they were the only team in the country to outgain every opponent they played this year. Even Alabama was outgained by Georgia in the SEC Championship. The Mean Green are outgaining opponents by 113.3 yards per game on the season. That’s the sign of a good team and one that I have no problem getting my money behind.
Utah State head coach Matt Wells has moved on to greener pastures, taking the Texas Tech job. He is going to bring his assistants with him, though those assistants will stick around to coach the bowl game. I expect a lack of focus from these Utah State players given the coaching situation. Plus, teams in December bowl games who lost their head coach last year went 1-5 ATS.
Another reason the Aggies will be lacking motivation is because they blew a huge opportunity in their regular season finale with a heartbreaking loss to Boise State. That loss cost them a trip to the Mountain West Championship Game. Now they have to try and get up to face North Texas when they’d much rather be up against a Power 5 team like both Fresno State and Boise State get the opportunity to as rewards for playing the MWC Championship. Utah State doesn’t want to be here at all.
I’ll gladly back the more motivated team here in North Texas catching more than a touchdown against Utah State in the New Mexico Bowl. Plays against favorites of 3.5 to 10 points (Utah State) - off a road loss to a conference opponent, a team that wins more than 80% of their games playing a good team that wins 60% to 80% of their games are 24-4 (85.7%) ATS since 1992. Take North Texas Saturday.
|12-15-18||Rutgers +7 v. Seton Hall||Top||66-72||Win||100||4 h 33 m||Show|
20* CBB DOG OF THE WEEK on Rutgers +7
I love the spot for Rutgers today. They are coming off three consecutive losses and will be highly motivated for a victory. Well, an 11-point loss to Michigan State and a 5-point road loss to Wisconsin as 11.5-point dogs aren’t bad losses. The upset loss at Fordham was, but it was understandable given they stepped out of conference following those losses to MSU and Wisconsin.
Look for the Scarlet Knights to be refocused and ready to go tonight. This is a team that got off to a 5-1 start, which includes a 57-54 win at Miami as 11-point dogs. And their only loss was as dogs to St. John’s up to that point. So they have been through the gauntlet, playing one of the most difficult schedules in the country to this point. They won’t be phased at all by this road game at Seton Hall as it will already be their fourth true road game of the season.
I also love the spot fading Seton Hall. They are coming off one of their biggest wins in program history, an 84-83 win over Kentucky on a neutral last time out. After beating the Wildcats, who are down this season, they certainly won’t be nearly as motivated to face Rutgers tonight. This is a Seton Hall team that lost by 23 to Nebraska, was upset by St. Louis at home, and upset by Louisville at home. Rutgers will have a chance to pull the upset today, too.
Seton Hall is 1-9 ATS after playing a game where both teams scored 80 points or more over the last three seasons. It’s a Pirates team that lost their four best players from last year, and one that is being overvalued now off that win over Kentucky. The Scarlet Knights are 14-6-1 ATS in their last 21 non-conference games, and 5-1 ATS in their last six road games. The road team is 20-6 ATSi n the last 26 meetings. The Scarlet Knights are 9-2 ATS in their last 11 trips to Seton Hall. Bet Rutgers Saturday.
|12-15-18||Penn State v. NC State -4||78-89||Win||102||3 h 43 m||Show|
15* Penn State/NC State ESPNU No-Brainer on NC State -4
NC State is loaded this season. The Wolfpack brought back three starters from last year, and then added in some tremendous college-ready transfers in Devon Daniels, C.J. Bryce, Blake Harris, Wyatt Walker and Eric Lockett. They brought back senior Torin Dorn, sharp-shooter Braxton Beverly and junior Markell Johnson, who led the ACC with 7.3 assists per game last year.
The Wolfpack are off to an 8-1 start this season with heir only loss coming 75-79 at Wisconsin as 6-point dogs. They have been undervalued all season as they are 7-2 ATS. Dorn (16.1 PPG, 7.2 RPG, 47.8% 3-pointers this season) and Johnson (12.2 PPG, 4.2 APG, 48.6% 3-pointers) are doing their thing, while Bryce (12.3 PPG, 5.8 RPG, 40% 3-pointers) and Daniels (9.6 PPG, 4.3 RPG) are contributing right away as transfers.
Penn State clearly came into the season overvalued. The Nittany Lions are just 5-4 SU & 3-6 ATS in their nine games this season. Their five wins have come against North Florida, Jacksonville State, Wright State, VA Tech (at home by 1) and Colgate. They already have upset losses to DePaul, Bradley and Indiana, and they failed to cover in a loss at Maryland. This team just isn’t very good.
Penn State is 2-10 ATS in road games vs. up-tempo teams who average 62 or more shots per game. The Wolfpack are scoring 88.9 PPG this season, which is 15.9 per game more than their opponents give up on average. They are also holding teams to 62 PPG, which is 6 points less than their opponents average. This team is a lot better than they’re getting credit for as only 4-point favorites here, and that will show on the court this afternoon. Take NC State Saturday.
|12-14-18||Raptors v. Blazers +4||122-128||Win||100||10 h 40 m||Show|
15* Raptors/Blazers NBA Non-Conference KNOCKOUT on Portland +4
The Toronto Raptors are getting too much respect from oddsmakers tonight. They are coming off back-to-back road wins over the Clippers and Warriors. They were 8-point dogs to the Warriors, and now they are 4-point favorites at the Blazers. And they’re certainly in a huge letdown spot off that big win over the Warriors.
Toronto has some serious injury concerns moving forward. Kawhi Leonard has been sitting out with a hip injury and is questionable to return tonight. They haven’t needed him, so I’m not concerned whether he plays or not. But they just lost Jonas Valanciunas for the next four-to-six weeks with a thumb injury in that win over the Warriors. He provides much-needed toughness inside, and they’re going to miss him more than what will get factored into the point spread moving forward.
Portland comes in highly motivated for a victory off back-to-back road losses to Houston and Memphis. The Blazers had their chances late in both of those games, but finished poorly. Now they return home, and this team has one of the biggest home/road splits in the NBA. They have a tremendous home-court advantage, going 10-4 SU & 9-5 ATS while outscoring their opponents by 8.6 points per game in Portland.
Plays on underdogs (Portland) - off two or more consecutive road losses, in December games are 70-33 (68%) ATS over the last five seasons. The Blazers are 26-10 ATS in their last 36 home games. The Raptors are 2-8 ATS in their last 10 vs. NBA Northwest Division opponents. Portland is 7-3 ATS in its last 10 home meetings with Toronto. Roll with the Blazers Friday.
|12-14-18||Wizards v. Nets -1.5||Top||118-125||Win||100||7 h 9 m||Show|
20* NBA Friday No-Doubt Rout on Brooklyn Nets -1.5
The Brooklyn Nets are having some fun right now. I’ve watched this team a lot this season and have been impressed with what I’ve seen, especially of late. They had lost eight straight games, including back-to-back heartbreaking 2-point losses to close out the streak. But they didn’t give in.
Since those two 2-point losses, the Nets have gone 3-0 SU & 3-0 ATS in their last three games overall. They beat the Raptors 106-105 (OT) at home and celebrated like they won the NBA title. It was fun to see, and this team has just kept on rolling since. They went on the road and beat the Knicks 112-104 as 2-point dogs, and then upset the 76ers 127-124 as 6-point dogs. And this is a fresh team right now as the Nets will be playing just their 2nd game in 6 days.
The Wizards just can’t be trusted. They have been one of the most disappointing teams in the NBA this season at 11-17. They have gone 0-3 SU & 0-3 ATS in their last three games overall. They lost by 15 at Cleveland as 7.5-point favorites, by 8 at Indiana as 6-point dogs, and then in OT 125-130 to Boston at home as 3.5-point dogs. And after playing the Celtics, they certainly won’t get up to face the Nets and this is a ‘hangover’ spot for them. It’s also a sandwich spot with the Lakers on deck.
The Nets have had the Wizards’ number in recent meetings, going 3-2 SU & 4-1 ATS in the last five meetings. In their last two home meetings with the Wizards, the Nets won 119-84 and 103-98, both times winning outright as underdogs. And they should have no problem covering this short 1.5-point spread at home here tonight. John Wall is hobbled by an ankle injury and left last game, while Otto Porter Jr. is questionable with a knee injury after sitting out last game.
Washington is 0-8 ATS in road games after allowing 105 points or more in three straight games this season. It is losing by a whopping 17.7 points per game on average in this spot. On the season, the Wizards are 4-11 SU & 4-11 ATS on the road, getting outscored by 10.8 points per game. Dating back further, the Wizards are 5-21 ATS in their last 26 road games. The home team is 7-2 ATS in the last nine meetings. Brooklyn is 4-0 ATS in its last four home meetings with Washington. Bet the Nets Friday.
|12-14-18||Bucks v. Cavs +10.5||114-102||Loss||-109||7 h 9 m||Show|
15* NBA Friday Undervalued Underdog on Cleveland Cavaliers +10.5
This is one of my favorite situations in the NBA. I like backing teams who are playing with quick revenge after a recent loss to their opponent. The Cavs lost 92-108 at Milwaukee as 10-point dogs on Monday, December 10th, and now they are 10.5-point dogs at home in the rematch. There’s clearly some value here.
The Cavs are playing very well at home of late. They beat the Wizards 116-101 outright as 7.5-point dogs, and then the Knicks 113-106 outright as 1.5-point dogs in their last two home games. And this is a team that is getting healthier with several guys recently returning from injury. The addition of Matthew Dellavedova from the Bucks is also paying dividends as he’s playing big, important minutes and has been a nice role model for rookie sensation Collin Sexton.
While the Cavs will be highly motivated for revenge on Milwaukee, the Bucks will have a hard time getting up for this game considering they just beat the Cavs by 16 four days ago. And the Bucks have been a bad bet on the road this season, going 5-6 SU & 4-7 ATS while only outscoring their opponents by 2.2 points per game on average. The Cavs are only getting beat by 4.4 points per game at home this year.
Milwaukee is 20-48 ATS in its last 68 games as a favorite of 10 or more points. The Bucks are 4-12 ATS in their last 16 road games dating back to last season. The home team is 3-0-1 ATS in the last four meetings. Take the Cavaliers Friday.
|12-13-18||Clippers v. Spurs -2.5||Top||87-125||Win||100||8 h 55 m||Show|
20* NBA Thursday No-Doubt Rout on San Antonio Spurs -2.5
The San Antonio Spurs have been a great home team this season. They are 10-4 SU & 9-5 ATS at home this year. I like them here quite a bit laying this short number to the Los Angeles Clippers, who have finally come back down to reality here of late.
The Clippers were the No. 1 team in the West just a short few weeks ago, but they’ve hit a wall. They are just 1-3 SU & 0-4 ATS in their last four games overall. Their only win came 123-119 (OT) against the Phoenix Suns, who are far and away the worst team in the West. The three losses came by 10, 23 and 24 points.
A big reason the Clippers are going to continue to struggle in the short-term is the loss of Lou Williams (17.2 PPG, 4.5 APG) to a hamstring injury. He isn’t someone who affects the point spread, but he should. He is the best 6th man in the league and provides a huge scoring punch for the Clippers’ bench. Without Williams, the Clippers no longer have the bench advantage they’ve had all season.
The Spurs are 36-10 SU in their last 46 home meetings with the Clippers. The home team is 4-0 SU & 3-1 ATS in the last four meetings with the Spurs winning by 18 and 13 points in their last two home meetings with the Clippers. The Spurs are 19-7 ATS in their last 26 home games, including 8-1 ATS in their last nine home games vs. a team with a winning road record.
San Antonio also wants revenge from a 111-116 road loss to the Clippers in their lone meeting this season on November 15th. Well, the Spurs are 10-1 ATS when revenging a loss this season, including a perfect 9-0 ATS when revenging a road loss this season. Take the Spurs Thursday.
|12-13-18||Chargers v. Chiefs UNDER 53||Top||29-28||Loss||-105||56 h 45 m||Show|
20* Chargers/Chiefs AFC West No-Brainer on UNDER 53
The Chargers trail the Chiefs by one game in the AFC West standings. They can move into a first place tie with the Chiefs with a win Thursday night. It’s safe to say this game will be played close to the vest, especially in a bitter rivalry between these division opponents who are very familiar with one another. And I think the defenses win out in this one, so I’ll side with the UNDER.
There’s several reasons to like the UNDER. The first and most important is that both teams are short on weapons right now. The Chargers are going to likely be without Melvin Gordon, and backup RB Austin Ekeler is questionable as well. For the Chiefs, they will be without starting RB Kareem Hunt and backup RB Spencer Ware. They’ll also be without WR Sammy Watkins, and fellow WR Tyreek Hill was noticeably hobbled with a heel injury against the Ravens on Sunday. Hill will play tonight, but on a short week I question how productive he’ll be.
The Ravens were able to slow down the Chiefs last week behind one of the best defenses in the NFL. And the Chargers have the ability to do the same thing. This is a Chargers defense that is giving up just 16.7 PPG over their last nine games. Since getting Joey Bosa back from injury, they’ve been even better. Bosa and Melvin Ingram combine for arguably the best pass-rushing duo in the NFL.
The Chiefs do not have a good defense, but it’s worth noting they have been able to hold teams in check in recent weeks as well. In fact, the Chiefs have allowed 23 or fewer points in seven of their last 10 games overall. I like their chances of holding the Chargers to 23 or fewer tonight as well. It’s going to be cold and there’s a chance of rain today in Kansas City. The UNDER is 48-21-1 in Chiefs last 70 home games. The UNDER is 8-1 in Chargers last nine vs. AFC West opponents.
The Chargers are 10-1 UNDER vs. bad defensive teams that give up 24 or more points per game in the second half of the season over the last three seasons. Kansas City is 9-0 UNDER In home games vs. teams who allow 5.65 or more yards per play over the last three years. Los Angeles is 10-1 UNDER in December games over the last three seasons. The Chargers are 7-0 UNDER off three or more consecutive wins over the last two years. These four trends combine for a 36-2 system backing the UNDER tonight. Bet the UNDER in this game Thursday.
|12-12-18||Wolves v. Kings +3.5||130-141||Win||100||10 h 52 m||Show|
15* NBA Wednesday Late-Night BAILOUT on Sacramento Kings +3.5
The Sacramento Kings should not be home underdogs to the Minnesota Timberwolves tonight. The Kings have been one of the most underrated teams in the NBA this season, and they continue to be here. They are 14-12 SU & 16-10 ATS in all games this season.
The Kings have really turned it on of late, going 4-1 SU & 4-1 ATS in their last five games overall, with three of those wins all coming by 17 points or more. It’s even more impressive when you consider that four of those five games were on the road.
The Timberwolves are in a tough spot here. They are coming off two straight road games against the Blazers and Warriors. And after losing to the Warriors on Monday, there’s no way they’ll be nearly as motivated to face the Kings tonight as they were the defending champs. Minnesota is just 2-10 on the road this season, getting outscored by 7.2 points per game. That’s why they can’t be favored here.
Minnesota is 0-9 ATS in road games after scoring three of their last four against the spread over the past two seasons. They are losing by 11.1 points per game on average in this spot. Sacramento is 12-2 ATS when the total is 220 to 229.5 this season. The Timberwolves ar e12-25 ATS in their last 37 road games. The Kings are 8-0 ATS in their last eight games when playing on one days’ rest.
Plays on underdogs of 3.5 to 9.5 points (Sacramento) - after having won two of their last three games, a marginal winning team (51% to 60%) playing a losing team are 26-5 (83.9%) ATS over the last five seasons. Roll with the Kings Wednesday.
|12-12-18||LSU v. Houston -3.5||Top||76-82||Win||100||9 h 45 m||Show|
20* LSU/Houston ESPN 2 No-Brainer on Houston -3.5
The Houston Cougars are one of the most underrated teams in the country. They have opened 8-0 SU & 5-2-1 ATS through their first eight games, outscoring the opposition by 17.7 points per game on average. They play elite defense, giving up just 57.7 points and 37.8% shooting to their opponents.
And it’s not like Houston is beating up on a bunch of cupcakes, either. They won 76-62 at BYU as 2-point underdogs. They beat Oregon 65-61 as 3.5-point home favorites. And they won 63-53 at Oklahoma State as 2.5-point underdogs.
That Oklahoma State result is important because it pertains to this game. LSU is 7-2, but one of its losses came to Oklahoma State 77-90 on a neutral despite being 5.5-point favorites. So that’s the common opponent between these teams, and Houston won by 10 on the road, while LSU lost by 13 on a neutral.
And LSU has beaten up on a lot of cupcakes as they also lost to Florida State, while their seven wins all came against suspect competition as 8.5-point favorites or more. In fact, this will be the first true road game of the season for the Tigers, which is always a precarious spot, especially up against a Top 25 team like Houston with a great home-court advantage.
LSU is 3-12 ATS in road games vs. teams who attempt 21 or more 3-point shots per game over the last three seasons. The Tigers are 1-7-3 ATS in their last 11 road games. The Cougars are 10-4-2 ATS in their last 16 home games. Houston is 15-5-2 ATS in its last 22 games overall. The Cougars are 8-2-1 ATS in their last 11 games following a win. Bet Houston Wednesday.
|12-12-18||Nets +7 v. 76ers||Top||127-124||Win||100||7 h 51 m||Show|
20* NBA Eastern Conference GAME OF THE WEEK on Brooklyn Nets +7
The Philadelphia 76ers will be without Jimmy Butler, who suffered a groin injury last time out and will miss this game. After trading away Dario Saric and Robert Covington for Butler, and with Markelle Fultz out with a shoulder injury, the 76ers are really short on talent and depth right now.
The Nets suffered two straight crushing losses to Cleveland (by 2) and Oklahoma City (by 2) to start the month of December. But they have rallied since, upsetting the Raptors 106-105 as 8.5-point home underdogs. Then they went on the road the next night and beat the Knicks 112-104. Now, the Nets are working on three days’ rest having last played on Saturday, so they are primed for a big effort.
The first two meetings this season show that the Nets have the 76ers’ number. The Nets won 122-97 as 4-point home underdogs in their first meeting. Then they let the 76ers off the hook in the 2nd meeting, blowing a 68-54 halftime lead and losing 125-127 as 4.5-point home dogs, so they covered. And now they’re catching 7 points here in the 3rd meeting and out for revenge for that blown lead, plus they’re rested and up against a depleted 76ers squad.
Brooklyn is 13-3 ATS in its last 16 road games when playing on three or more days’ rest. The Nets are 17-6 ATS in road games when revenging a loss over the last two seasons. The Nets are 12-4 ATS in their last 16 games overall when playing on three days’ rest or more. Brooklyn is 17-8 ATS in its last 25 road games. Philadelphia is 1-8 ATS in its last nine games vs. a team with a winning % below .400. Bet the Nets Wednesday.
|12-12-18||Pistons v. Hornets -5.5||107-108||Loss||-101||7 h 51 m||Show|
15* NBA Wednesday No-Doubt Rout on Charlotte Hornets -5.5
The Charlotte Hornets are one of the most improved teams in the NBA this season. They have handled their business at home, going 9-5 SU & 9-5 ATS while outscoring the opposition by 7.5 points per game. And they’re fully healthy in this one while also coming in on two days’ rest, so they are fresh and ready to go. It’s also just their 4th game in 10 days.
Detroit is 0-5 SU & 0-5 ATS in its last five games overall. All five losses have come by 6 points or more, and I think you can chalk up a 6th straight loss by at least 6 points for them here. The Pistons will be playing their 3rd game in 4 days, and their 8th game in 13 days. They are a tired team right now.
That fatigue has led to some injuries lately that are really holding the Pistons back. They are without Reggie Bullock (10.1 PPG) and Ish Smith (9.2 PPG), and Stanley Johnson (9.8 PPG) is banged up and questionable with a knee injury. All three are among their top six scorers this season, so they are very short on depth right now.
The Hornets are 3-0 SU & 3-0 ATS in their last three meetings with the Pistons, winning all three by 10 points or more and by an average of 12.3 points per game. Charlotte is 10-2 ATS after allowing 105 or more points in three straight games this season. The Pistons are 3-13 ATS in their last 16 vs. NBA Southeast Division foes. Detroit is 3-10 ATS in its last 13 road games vs. a team with a winning home record. The Hornets are 5-1 ATS in their last six home meetings with the Pistons. The favorite is 10-4 ATS in the last 14 meetings. Take the Hornets Wednesday.
|12-11-18||Suns v. Spurs -12.5||Top||86-111||Win||100||10 h 15 m||Show|
20* NBA Tuesday No-Doubt Rout on San Antonio Spurs -12.5
The San Antonio Spurs are 9-4 SU & 8-5 ATS at home this season. They are coming off back-to-back home wins over the Lakers (133-120) and Jazz (110-97) by 13 points apiece. And they should have no problem winning by 13 points or more to cover this 12.5-point spread against the Phoenix Suns tonight.
The Suns are in an awful spot. They will be playing the 2nd of a back-to-back after a 119-123 (OT) loss to the Clippers last night. I always like looking to fade teams on a back-to-back, especially when they’re coming off an OT game. This will also be the 9th game in 15 days for Phoenix. The Spurs had yesterday off.
The Suns are without Devin Booker right now, which is a big reason they are 0-9 SU & 1-8 ATS in their last nine games overall. Seven of those nine losses have come by double-digits, so they’re used to losing by these margins. They are 1-12 SU & 3-10 ATS on the road this season, losing by 15.2 points per game on average.
The Spurs are 8-0 SU & 6-1-1 ATS in their last eight home meetings with the Suns. Their last six home wins have all come by 14 points or more and by an average of 19.2 points per game. San Antonio is a perfect 8-0 ATS when revenging a road loss this season. After losing in Phoenix in their last meeting this season, the Spurs won’t be taking the Suns lightly tonight. Bet the Spurs Tuesday.
|12-10-18||Heat +7 v. Lakers||105-108||Win||100||10 h 21 m||Show|
15* Heat/Lakers NBA TV Late-Night BAILOUT on Miami +7
The Miami Heat are playing their best basketball of the season right now. They are 4-1 SU & 4-1 ATS in their last five games overall. They upset both the Pelicans and Jazz at home, and throttled the Suns by 17 and the Clippers by 23 on the road.
The spot is a good one for the Heat tonight. They didn’t have to travel as they played in Los Angeles on Saturday. They probably went out Saturday night and had Sunday to recover. And now they’ll be looking forward to the opportunity of trying to pull the Staples Center sweep tonight. Plus, they get Goran Dragic back from injury, and they are getting healthy and becoming a very dangerous team because of it.
The Lakers are getting a little too much respect from oddsmakers tonight. They have won five of their last six while going 4-1-1 ATS in the process. But it has mostly been against an easy schedule. And while the Lakers will be playing their 4th game in 6 days here, the Heat will be playing just their 4th game in 7 days.
Miami is 18-5 ATS as a road underdog of 6.5 to 12 points over the last three seasons. Los Angeles is 6-22 ATS in its last 28 home games after scoring 105 points or more in five straight games. The Heat are 35-15-2 ATS in their last 52 road games vs. a team with a winning home record. The Lakers are 0-5 ATS in their last five Monday games.
Plays against home favorite of 3.5 to 9.5 points (LA Lakers) - in non-conference games, off an upset win as a road underdog are 45-15 (75%) ATS over the last five seasons. The Lakers will be without two key players in Brandon Ingram and Rajon Rondo tonight as well. Roll with the Heat Monday.
|12-10-18||Grizzlies +2 v. Nuggets||99-105||Loss||-105||9 h 51 m||Show|
15* NBA Monday UPSET SHOCKER on Memphis Grizzlies +2
It’s no surprise that the Denver Nuggets have lost two straight games to the Hornets and Hawks coming into this game. For starters, they just played five straight road games. And now they’re in their first game back home after being on the road for 10 days. I always like fading teams in this spot.
The Nuggets will also be playing their 4th game in 6 days here. And their injury situation is the biggest reason I’m fading them tonight. They are without Gary Harris (16.6 PPG), Will Barton (16.5 PPG) and Paul Millsap (13.6 PPG), who are three of their top five scores. And they may also be without leading scorer Jamal Murray (17.4 PPG), who suffered a shin injury in their loss to the Hawks on Saturday and is questionable tonight.
Meanwhile, the Memphis Grizzlies are fully healthy right now with both Mike Conley and Garrett Temple expected to play. And at full strength and up against a depleted Nuggets squad, the Grizzlies should be favored in this game even though it’s on the road.
Memphis is 7-0 ATS in road games off a home game this season. The Grizzlies are 34-19 ATS when playing their 3rd game in 4 days over the last three seasons, so they are in the same situation as the Nuggets, but it doesn’t seem to phase them. Memphis is 10-2 ATS in its last 12 vs. NBA Northwest Division opponents. Denver is 5-16 ATS in its last 21 vs. NBA Southwest Division foes. Take the Grizzlies Monday.
|12-10-18||Vikings v. Seahawks UNDER 45.5||Top||7-21||Win||100||81 h 2 m||Show|
20* Vikings/Seahawks MNF Total DOMINATOR on UNDER 45.5
This is essentially a play-in game for the playoffs. It will have a playoff atmosphere as the Seahawks are 7-5 and the Vikings are 6-5-1, both fighting to earn a wild card spot. In the case of the Vikings, they’re still alive to win the NFC North. I think this game is played close to the vest, and I think points will be very hard to come by as both of these defenses control this game.
I also like the fact that both teams will be looking to run the football, which will keep the clock moving. The Seahawks have really become a run-heavy team, which has been key to their success. They have rushed 28 or more times in 10 consecutive games now. They have more rushing attempts than pass attempts in eight of those 10 games.
Well, the Vikings have been a great defense overall, and especially against the run. They rank 7th in rushing defense, giving up just 99.2 yards per game on the ground. The Vikings are also tied for 2nd in rushing yards per attempt (3.7) allowed this season. They’ll be able to shut down this Seahawks offense.
The Vikings know they need to run the ball more if they want to win this time of year. They have gotten pass-happy in recent losses to the Bears and Patriots. They should get back to their ground game this week knowing that the Seahawks are vulnerable against the run. In fact, the Seahawks are tied for last in yards per carry (5.1) allowed this season. The Vikings would be foolish not to run the ball more and keep that clock moving.
The most recent meeting between these teams came in the playoffs in 2016. The Seahawks won that game 10-9 in Minnesota. The Vikings managed just 183 total yards in that game, while the Seahawks had just 226 total yards. I don’t think it will be that low-scoring again, but I do think this game stays well UNDER the 45.5-point total.
The UNDER is 4-0 in Vikings last four games in December. The UNDER is 5-1 in Vikings last six Monday games. The UNDER is 6-2 in Seahawks last eight Monday games. Seattle is 10-2 UNDER in its last 12 home games after scoring 30 points or more in two straight games.
Plays on the UNDER on road teams where the total is 42.5 to 49 points (Minnesota) - an average team (+/- 0.4 YPP) against a poor team (outgained by 0.4 to 1.0 YPP) after eight-plus games are 31-6 (83.8%) over the last five seasons. Bet the UNDER in this game Monday.
|12-10-18||Jazz v. Thunder -5||Top||113-122||Win||100||8 h 51 m||Show|
20* NBA Monday No-Doubt Rout on Oklahoma City Thunder -5
I love the spot for the Oklahoma City Thunder tonight. They come in on two days’ rest and off a bad upset loss at Chicago as 8.5-point favorites. So they’ll be fresh and ready to go, plus they’ll be highly motivated for a win off that Chicago loss.
Adding to Oklahoma City’s motivation tonight is the fact that Utah bounced them from the playoffs last year. Paul George had one of the worst games of his career in their 96-91 loss at Utah in Game 6. He and Russell Westbrook will be looking to make amends. In fact, I don’t think the Thunder will be more motivated for any other game in the regular season than this one.
Meanwhile, the Utah Jazz will be playing the 2nd of a back-to-back off their 97-110 loss in San Antonio last night. So you have a team playing for a second consecutive day up against a team with two days’ rest. The Thunder have a huge scheduling advantage in this one to say the least.
The Thunder are 9-3 at home this season and winning by 8.7 points per game on average. The Jazz are 2-7 ATS in their last nine games when playing on zero rest. Oklahoma City is 7-2 ATS in its last nine home games. The home team is 22-10 ATS in the last 32 meetings. The Thunder are 12-4-1 ATS in their last 17 home meetings with the Jazz. Bet the Thunder Monday.
|12-09-18||Jazz v. Spurs +4||97-110||Win||100||7 h 50 m||Show|
15* NBA Sunday Night Line Mistake on San Antonio Spurs +4
The revenge tour of the San Antonio Spurs continues tonight. They avenged a 113-121 road loss to the Lakers on Wednesday with a 133-120 home win over the Lakers on Friday. And now they’ll be looking to avenge their 105-139 road loss to the Jazz on Tuesday when they get to host Utah this time around.
San Antonio has gone 71-22 SU in its last 93 home meetings with Utah. And home-court advantage has been huge in this series recently as the home team is 6-1 SU in the last seven meetings. I don’t think the Spurs should be home dogs tonight, let alone 4-point home dogs.
The Spurs are a perfect 7-0 ATS when revenging a road loss against an opponent this season. San Antonio is also a perfect 7-0 ATS when revenging a loss where opponent scored 100 points or more this season. The Spurs are 17-7 ATS in their last 24 home games, including 7-1 ATS in their last eight home games vs. a team with a winning road record. Take the Spurs Sunday.
|12-09-18||Bucks v. Raptors -5||104-99||Loss||-107||6 h 50 m||Show|
15* Bucks/Raptors NBA TV ANNIHILATOR on Toronto -5
The Raptors are coming off a bad overtime loss to the Nets last time out. That should have them refocused and ready to go at home tonight against the Milwaukee Bucks. They’ll also want revenge from a 109-124 loss at Milwaukee in their first meeting this season.
No team is as equipped to stop Giannis and the Bucks quite like Toronto. Kawhi Leonard is arguably the best defender in the NBA, and he’ll relish the challenge to top Giannis tonight. I expect a big effort from the Raptors here.
The Bucks have done most of their damage at home thanks to a home-heavy schedule with 15 home games compared to just 9 road games. And the Bucks are just 4-5 SU & 3-6 ATS on the road this season.
Toronto is 14-3 ATS after failing to cover four of their last five against the spread over the last three seasons. The Bucks are 1-6 ATS in their last seven games overall. Milwaukee is 3-11 ATS in its last 14 road games. Roll with the Raptors Sunday.
|12-09-18||Purdue v. Texas +2.5||Top||68-72||Win||100||5 h 20 m||Show|
20* Purdue/Texas ESPN 2 No-Brainer on Texas +2.5
It’s safe to say the Texas Longhorns will be highly motivated for a victory tonight. They opened 5-0 with wins against Arkansas and North Carolina, but not they’ve lost three straight to Michigan State, Redford and VCU. They want to get back in the win column here tonight in a bad way.
Purdue is coming off a 62-60 home win as 9-point favorites over Maryland. Now they step out of conference here. They only have two days’ rest after playing on Thursday, while Texas has three days’ rest after last playing on Wednesday.
While Texas has four returning starters, Purdue has just one returning starter and has been grossly overvalued this season. The Boilermakers also have three losses this year, and they are 0-2 in true road games losing to Michigan and Florida State by an average of 10 points per game.
The Boilermakers are 7-17-1 ATS in their last 25 games overall. Purdue is 3-12-1 ATS in their last 16 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600. The Boilermakers are 1-7 ATS in their last eight road games. Texas is 15-5 ATS in its last 20 games as a home dog of 3 points or less or PK. Bet Texas Sunday.
|12-09-18||Nevada v. Grand Canyon +11||74-66||Win||100||5 h 50 m||Show|
15* CBB Sunday Undervalued Underdog on Grand Canyon +11
Nevada (9-0) is getting a lot of respect from oddsmakers after its unbeaten start and No. 6 ranking. Now the Wolf Pack are being asked to lay double-digits in what is essentially a home game for Grand Canyon at Talking Stick Resort in Phoenix.
Dan Majerle is doing big things at Grand Canyon, and it helps that they have some of the best facilities and weather in the country, which has helped him get recruits. Grand Canyon is 5-3 this season with all three losses coming by 9 points or less, and they were all on the road to the likes of Utah, Seton Hall and South Dakota State.
But what I really like about this game is the fact that Grand Canyon is rested with seven days in between games having last played on December 1st. Nevada just played on Friday, December 7th in a hard-fought 72-66 win over Arizona State in Los Angeles. So the Wolf Pack only have one day to prepare for Grand Canyon.
That’s a huge scheduling advantage for the Antelopes here. The Antelopes are 6-2 ATS in their last eight games vs. a team with a winning % above .600. The Wolf Pack are simply getting too much respect from oddsmakers, and that will show tonight as the Antelopes give them a run for their money. Take Grand Canyon Sunday.
|12-09-18||Broncos v. 49ers +4.5||14-20||Win||100||76 h 25 m||Show|
15* NFL Sunday Late-Afternoon ANNIHILATOR on San Francisco 49ers +4.5
With three more turnovers last week against the Seahawks, including a 98-yard INT return TD, the 49ers now have the worst turnover differential (-20) in the NFL. These teams with horrible turnover differentials are undervalued this late in the year, because there’s a big element of luck in turnovers.
I have no doubt the 49ers are better than their 2-10 record would suggest. And a quick look at the numbers shows that this should at least be a 6-6 team or better. They 49ers have outgained their opponents by 174 yards on the season. They are outgaining them by 15.2 yards per game. That’s not the sign of a 2-10 team.
The Broncos are +8 in turnovers over the past three weeks, which has allowed them to win three straight games over the Steelers, Chargers and Bengals. But they had no business winning those games against the Steelers and Chargers as those two teams simply gave the game away. And the Bengals are decimated with injuries playing with a backup QB. They’re broken.
The 49ers do show up every week. Their 16-43 loss to the Seahawks last week makes most bettors seem like they packed it in. But that wasn’t the case, and it was one of the most misleading finals of the week. I mentioned the 98-yard INT return TD the Seahawks got at the end of the game. But the 49ers gained 452 total yards and gave up 331, actually outgaining the Seahawks by 121 yards in that contest. They deserved better, and Nick Mullens had one of his better games of the season with 386 passing yards.
The Broncos have some key injuries this week that will make them less effective. Emmanuel Sanders suffered an Achilles injury in practice on Wednesday that has landed him on IR. Sanders was having a great year with 71 receptions for 868 yards and four touchdowns. And since the Broncos traded away Demaryius Thomas, his loss is even more significant. The Broncos are seriously lacking weapons for the mediocre Case Keenum now.
Plus, the Broncos’ best pass defender is Chris Harris Jr., and he’s out with a fractured fibula now. The 49ers were without both Marquise Goodwin and Pierre Garcon last week. But Goodwin is expected to return, giving Mullens another big weapon outside. And Garcon is questionable and could make his return this week as well. Mullens should be able to make some more plays in the passing game this week.
Denver is 0-6 ATS vs. teams who force one or fewer turnovers per game on the season over the last two seasons. The Broncos are 0-7 ATS in their last seven games after gaining more than 150 rushing yards in their previous game. This is clearly a ‘buy low’ situation on the 49ers, and a ‘sell high’ situation on the Broncos. Roll with the 49ers Sunday.
|12-09-18||Ravens +7 v. Chiefs||24-27||Win||100||73 h 21 m||Show|
15* Ravens/Chiefs AFC Sunday No-Brainer on Baltimore +7
I agree with this line move. The Chiefs opened as 7.5-point favorites or higher, and now this line has been bet down to 6.5 in most places as of this writing. So if your book as +6.5 make sure to buy it up to +7 and bet the Ravens.
This really comes down to the numbers for me. The Ravens have the numbers of an elite team in spite of their mediocre 7-5 record. They are outgaining teams by 102 yards per game on the season. To compare, the Chiefs are only outgaining teams by 20 yards per game, which isn’t the sign of a 10-2 team. I think the Chiefs are grossly overrated at this point of the season.
The problem with the Chiefs is that they give up 27.2 points per game while ranking 31st in the league in total defense at 417 yards per game allowed. Only the Bengals have been worse. The Ravens rank 1st in the NFL in scoring defense at 17.8 points per game allowed, and 1st in total defense at 281.7 yards per game allowed.
Lamar Jackson took over three games ago, and the Ravens have gone 3-0 in his starts while outscoring their three opponents by a combined 30 points, or by an average of 10 points per game. They have become a run-heavy team since Jackson took over, averaging a whopping 238 rushing yards per game in their last three games. That doesn’t bode well for the Chiefs, who are tied for dead last in the NFL in allowing 5.1 yards per carry this season. So this is a great matchup for the Ravens’ offense. They can control time of possession and keep Mahomes off the field with their ground game.
It’s also a great matchup for the Ravens’ defense. The Chiefs won’t be running the ball much now that Kareem Hunt has been released. And they'll certainly miss his 1,202 yards from scrimmage and 14 total touchdowns as he was a matchup nightmare, especially in the passing game. The Chiefs will be putting the ball in Pat Mahomes’ hand even more.
Well, the Ravens rank 2nd in the NFL against the pass, giving up just 194.4 passing yards per game. Better yet, the Ravens are 1st in the NFL in passing yards per attempt (6.1) allowed. No other defense is even close to them in that department as only three teams allow fewer than 6.8 per attempt this season.
Baltimore is 11-1 ATS in their last 12 road games vs. terrible defensive teams that allow 375 or more yards per game in the second half of the season. Kansas City is 2-10 ATS in its last 12 games after gaining 450 or more total yards in its previous game. The Ravens are 5-0-1 ATS in their last six games after gaining 150 or more rushing yards in their previous game. Bet the Ravens Sunday.
|12-09-18||Colts +5 v. Texans||Top||24-21||Win||100||73 h 20 m||Show|
20* AFC South GAME OF THE MONTH on Indianapolis Colts +5
In the NFL, lines are very tight. And if a line if a point or two off, that’s all it takes for there to be some value. I think this line should be Texans -3. So we are basically getting two points of value on the Colts +5 this week. That’s enough for me to pull the trigger.
I believe the Texans are overvalued due to their 9-game winning streak. And they’re coming off a misleading 16-point win over the Browns last week. The Browns basically gave that game away by losing the turnover battle 4-0. They had a 75-yard TD called back by a penalty, and they had another would-be 75-yard TD on the next play end in a player fumbling the ball through the end zone for a touchback. The Browns gained 428 yards on the Texans and outgained them by 44 yards for the game.
I believe the Colts come in undervalued this week off their upset 6-0 shutout loss at Jacksonville last week. But the Colts actually outgained the Jaguars by 54 yards and held them to 211 yards. In fact, the Colts have now outgained eight of their last nine opponents coming in. That’s the sign of an elite team and one that I want to put my money behind, especially as 5-point underdogs.
There’s no doubt the Colts want revenge from their 34-37 (OT) home loss to the Texans earlier this season in their first meeting. The Colts gained 478 total yards on the Texans and moved the ball at will. I think the Texans will relax this week. They have a three-game lead over both the Colts and Titans in the division, so they can afford a loss. Meanwhile, the Colts are in must-win mode here trying to stay alive for a wild card spot.
Andrew Luck has been tremendous off a loss. In fact, Luck is 25-8 SU & 24-9 ATS in his last 33 games as a starting quarterback following a defeat. Plays on underdogs of 3.5 to 10 points (Indianapolis) - revenging a loss where opponent scored 35 or more points, who are also off a close loss by 7 points or less to a division rival are 30-9 (76.9%) ATS since 1983.
The road team is 6-1-2 ATS in the last nine meetings. The Colts are 7-3-2 ATS in the last 12 meetings. The Colts are 4-0-1 ATS in their last five trips to Houston. Indianapolis is 7-2 ATS in its last nine games after scoring 14 points or fewer in its previous game. The Texans are 1-7 ATS in their last eight December games. Take the Colts Sunday.
|12-09-18||Jets v. Bills -3||Top||27-23||Loss||-120||73 h 18 m||Show|
25* NFL BLOWOUT GAME OF THE YEAR on Buffalo Bills -3
The Buffalo Bills deserved to blow out the Miami Dolphins last week. But the fact that they somehow lost that game 17-21 has them undervalued coming into this game. They failed to cover the spread as closing 3.5 points underdogs, and it was one of the most misleading finals of the season.
The Bills gained 415 total yards and held the Dolphins to just 175 total yards, outgaining them by 240 yards for the game. Those stats alone show that the Bills should have won the game. But Charles Clay dropped what would have been a game-winning touchdown catch late as well. I think it works out better for us this week that they actually lost though, because now we’re laying only 3 points instead of 4 or more.
The Jets are getting too much credit for giving the Titans a run for their money last week. The Jets actually led that game most the way, but eventually lost 22-26, covering as 10-point underdogs. But they were thoroughly out-statted as well. The Jets gained just 280 total yards and gave up 403 total yards, getting outgained by 123 yards by the Titans.
The Jets are now 0-6 SU & 1-5 ATS in their last six games overall. They have been blown out consistently with all six losses by 4 points or more, five losses by 7 points or more, and four losses by 14 points or more. They have been outscored by 90 points during this losing streak, or by an average of 15 points per game.
The reason I love this Bills team is because they play defense. In fact, the Bills rank 2nd in the NFL in total defense, giving up just 294.2 yards per game. The third place Bears give up 317.9 yards per game, and they only trail the Ravens (281.7) in this category. They have an elite defense, yet they don’t get credit for it.
The Bills have played much better on offense when either Josh Allen or Matt Barkley has been under center at quarterback. In fact, Allen ranks 3rd in the NFL in rushing over the last two weeks, rushing for a combined 234 yards the past two games. I don’t think he gets enough credit for being the dual-threat he is, completing opening up this offense and making opposing defenses defend the entire field.
The Jets are a bad team, period. They get outgained by 75.4 yards per game on the season, while the Bills only get outgained by 8.5 yards per game. The Jets rank 23rd in total defense, giving up 376.4 yards per game on the season. New York also ranks 30th in total offense, averaging just 301.0 yards per game on the season.
Buffalo blew out New York 41-10 on the road as 7-point underdogs in their first meeting this season. This was every bit the blowout the final score showed and wasn’t misleading at all. The Bills gained 451 total yards in that game and gave up just 199 yards, outgaining the Jets by 252 total yards in that contest. The Bills rushed for 212 yards on the Jets, and Matt Barkley played well with 232 passing yards and two touchdowns. Allen and company should also have plenty of success on this Jets defense once again.
The Jets are 3-14 ATS in their last 17 games off a road cover where they lost straight up as an underdog. New York is 4-14 ATS in its last 18 road games after allowing 25 points or more in two straight games. Buffalo is 15-3 ATS in its last 18 home games vs. bad defensive teams who give up 24 or more points per game in the second half of the season. The Jets are 0-5 ATS in their last five vs. AFC East opponents. The Bills are 5-1 ATS in their last six home meetings with the Jets. Bet the Bills Sunday.
|12-08-18||Wolves v. Blazers -2||Top||105-113||Win||100||11 h 47 m||Show|
20* T’Wolves/Blazers NBA TV Late-Night BAILOUT on Portland -2
It’s time to ‘buy low’ on the Portland Trail Blazers. They have lost six of their last eight and are just 1-8 ATS in their last nine games overall. The betting public doesn’t want anything to do with them, and these are just the types of teams I’m looking to back.
The Blazers are coming off a 22-point win over the Suns, though, and now they get star guard CJ McCollum back from injury tonight. They are 100% healthy and should make easy work of the Minnesota Timberwolves, who are getting way too much respect from the books right now.
We’ll ‘sell high’ on the Timberwolves, who are 6-1 SU & 6-1 ATS in their last seven games overall. But those six wins have come against six teams with losing records, so they have simply feasted on an easy schedule. The only good team they played during this stretch was Boston, and they lost at home.
The Timberwolves are just 2-8 on the road this season, losing by 7.1 points per game. The Blazers are 9-4 at home and winning by 8.6 points per game. Portland is 37-10 SU in its last 47 home meetings with Minnesota, including 5-0 SU & 5-0 ATS in its last five home meetings. The home team is 9-0 SU in the last nine meetings.
The Blazers are 37-13-1 ATS in their last 51 meetings with the Timberwolves. Minnesota is 0-8 ATS in road games after covering three of its last four against the spread over the past two seasons. Portland is 9-1 ATS after allowing 90 points or less over the last two years. The Blazers are 25-10 ATS in their last 35 home games. Bet the Blazers Saturday.
|12-08-18||Lakers v. Grizzlies -2||111-88||Loss||-105||9 h 47 m||Show|
15* NBA Western Conference ANNIHILATOR on Memphis Grizzlies -2
Both the Grizzlies and Lakers are in tough spots tonight playing the 2nd of a back-to-back. However, the Grizzlies have had more rest over the last few weeks, so they are the preferred side here. The Grizzlies will be playing their 5th game in 11 days, while the Lakers will be playing their 6th game in 10 days.
The Lakers have been pretty dreadful on the road this season at 5-6 SU & 4-7 ATS. They lost by 13 to the Spurs last night and by 32 to the Nuggets in their last two road games. Meanwhile, the Grizzlies are 8-3 SU & 8-3 ATS at home this season. And they basically just have to win this game to cover the spread.
Making matters worse for the Lakers is the fact that they are playing without two key players right now in Brandon Ingram and Rajon Rondo. Given this tough rest situation, their lack of depth to make up for those two key losses is huge. They won’t have much left in the tank for the Grizzlies tonight. The Lakers are 0-6 ATS in their last six games when their Starting 5 combines for more than 160 minutes played the previous day.
Los Angeles is 1-8 ATS vs. good ball-handling teams who commit 14 or fewer turnovers per game this season. The Lakers are 4-13 ATS after having won four of their last five games over the past two seasons. Memphis is 13-3 ATS in home games off an upset win as an underdog over the last three years. The Grizzlies are 11-3 ATS in their last 14 home games, and 7-1 ATS in their last eight home games vs. a team with a losing road record. Bet the Grizzlies Saturday.
|12-08-18||Nets v. Knicks -2.5||Top||112-104||Loss||-104||8 h 18 m||Show|
20* NBA Saturday No-Doubt Rout on New York Knicks -2.5
There are so many factors favoring the Knicks to win and cover tonight against the Brooklyn Nets. I’ll gladly lay the short number with them here at home in a game they should win in blowout fashion.
The Knicks are rested playing just their 2nd game in 5 days and their 4th game in 10 days tonight. The same cannot be said for the Nets, who will be playing the 2nd of back-to-back, their 3rd game in 4 days and their 6th game in 9 days. This is a tired, vulnerable Nets team right now, especially after going into overtime last night.
The Nets are just 1-8 SU in their last nine games overall. But they did upset the Raptors 106-105 at home last night. However, that works against them now because it’s a letdown spot after beating the team with the best record in the NBA. They won’t get up for the Knicks nearly as much as they were up for the Raptors last night, and they certainly won’t have much left in the tank for the Knicks.
The Knicks own the Nets, going 5-1 SU & 6-0 ATS in the last six meetings. They won by 19 at home earlier this season, and by 16 in their final home meeting last season. They also won by 21 in their first home meetings last season. Each of their last five wins in this series have come by 7 points or more, including four by double-digits.
Brooklyn is 0-7 ATS when playing its 3rd game in 4 days this season. It is losing by 8.4 points per game on average in this spot. The Nets are also 0-7 ATS in their last seven games when playing on zero rest. The Knicks are 7-1 ATS in their last eight home meetings with Brooklyn.
Plays on home teams where the line is +3 to -3 (New York) - vs. division opponents, off a road loss by 10 points or more are 36-12 (75%) ATS over the last five seasons. Take the Knicks Saturday.
|12-08-18||Rockets v. Mavs +3||104-107||Win||100||6 h 25 m||Show|
15* NBA Saturday UPSET SHOCKER on Dallas Mavericks +3
What more do the Dallas Mavericks have to do to get some respect around here? Until they do, I’ll keep backing them as home underdogs tonight against the Houston Rockets, who have no business being favored with the way they are playing right now.
The Mavericks are a perfect 8-0 SU & 8-0 ATS in their last eight home games. They have beaten the likes of the Thunder, Jazz, Warriors, Celtics, Clippers and Blazers at home during this stretch, so it’s not like they are feasting on weak competition. And now the Mavericks have two days’ rest to get ready for the Rockets after last playing on Wednesday.
The Rockets are just 3-6 SU & 2-7 ATS in their last nine games overall. They are coming off a 27-point loss to the Jazz, which is their fourth loss by at least 9 points during this stretch. One of those was at home against the Mavericks on November 28th as the Mavs won 128-108 as 5.5-point dogs, covering the spread by 25.5 points.
The Mavs are 7-0 ATS at home with a line of +3 to -3 this season. The Rockets are 0-7 ATS in their last seven when heir opponent scores 100 points or more in their previous game. Dallas is 7-0 ATS off an ATS loss this season. And add in that the Mavericks are 8-0 ATS in their last eight home games, and we have a combined 29-0 system backing Dallas in this one. Roll with the Mavericks Saturday.