|Date||Match Up||Rating||Score||Result||Profit||Lead Time||Analysis|
|01-15-18||Lakers v. Grizzlies -2.5||Top||114-123||Win||100||7 h 9 m||Show|
20* Lakers/Grizzlies TNT GAME OF THE WEEK on Memphis -2.5
The Memphis Grizzlies will be playing more inspired today than they would on any average night. It’s Martin Luther King Day, and with Memphis being the place of MLK’s death, this day holds an even more special day for these players and their fans. Look for a big effort from them tonight.
The Grizzlies have been much more competitive of late, going 5-2 ATS in their last seven games overall. I believe they are currently undervalued. And home-court advantage has been huge in this series. The home team is 8-2 straight up in the last 10 meetings. The Grizzlies are 6-0 straight up in their last six home meetings with the Lakers.
Los Angeles is starting to get too much respect from oddsmakers due to going 4-0 SU & 4-0 ATS in its last four games overall. But three of those four games were at home, and three were against some of the worst teams in the NBA in Atlanta, Sacramento and Dallas. The Lakers had lost 12 of their previous 13 games prior to this streak.
The Lakers could be without two of their best players tonight in Brandon Ingram and Lonzo Ball, who are both questionable. The Lakers are 5-13 ATS in their last 18 road games vs. a team with a losing home record. The Grizzlies are 4-0-1 ATS in their last five games following a loss. The home team is 5-1 ATS in the last six meetings. Bet the Grizzlies Monday.
|01-15-18||Heat v. Bulls UNDER 207||111-119||Loss||-105||5 h 59 m||Show|
15* NBA Monday Total DOMINATOR on Heat/Bulls UNDER 207
Few teams play as hard defensively as the Miami Heat. That was certainly on display yesterday as the Heat won their seventh consecutive game with a n impressive 97-79 home victory over the Milwaukee Bucks. I think their offense will suffer playing the second of a back-to-back here, but their defensive intensity will be there to make up for it as they go for their 8th straight victory.
But it’s the head-to-head history between Miami and Chicago that has me really intrigued by this UNDER. The UNDER is 5-1 in the last six meetings. All six meetings saw 205 or fewer combined points. The Bulls and Heat have averaged just 195.2 combined points per game in those six games, which is roughly 12 points less than today’s posted total of 207.
Miami is 20-6 UNDER in its last 26 games off a win by 10 points or more. The Heat are 10-1 UNDER in road games versus up-tempo teams averaging 88 or more shots per game over the last three seasons. The UNDER is 7-2 in Heat last nine games playing on 0 days’ rest. The UNDER is 5-0 in Heat last five vs. a team with a losing record. The UNDER is 35-17 in Heat last 52 road games. The UNDER is 15-4 in Bulls last 19 home games vs. a team with a winning road record. Take the UNDER in this game Monday.
|01-14-18||Saints v. Vikings -3.5||Top||24-29||Win||100||162 h 30 m||Show|
20* Saints/Vikings NFC Sunday No-Brainer on Minnesota -3.5
I strongly believe the Minnesota Vikings will be the first team ever to play in their home stadium in the Super Bowl this season. I feel they are far and away the best team in the NFC, but they don’t get treated like it. They should be more than 3.5-point home favorites against the New Orleans Saints here.
Getting the bye is a huge advantage for the Vikings. They will be rested and ready to go. And you could argue that they’ve had three byes this season considering they had a bye on November 5th, and their Week 17 game against the Bears didn’t matter. They will be primed for a big effort.
Conversely, the Saints have been in playoff mode for at least three straight weeks dating back to their win over the Falcons. The Saints haven’t had a bye since October 8th which was way back in Week 5. They were one of the first teams to receive a bye this season. That will make them even more tired coming into this game.
And the Saints have been hit hard by injuries defensively, which is a big reason why I’m quick to fade them here Sunday. They’ve lost basically five starters to season-ending injuries on defense. They are without LB Alex Anzalone, DE Alex Okafor, LB A.J. Klein, LB Hau’oli Kikaha, S Kenny Vaccaro, DE Mitchell Loewen and CB Delvin Breaux.
All these injuries and the lack of rest has this New Orleans defense playing awful here down the stretch. They allowed 31 points and 455 total yards in a loss to the Bucs in Week 17 in which they needed a win to clinch the division. Then they allowed 26 points and 413 total yards to the Panthers in their 31-26 home win where they were life-and-death in the closing seconds just to win that game.
One stat that really stands out in these two games is that New Orleans has allowed 60% conversions on 3rd down to the Bucs and Panthers. They allowed the Bucs to convert 13-of-18 on 3rd down, and the Panthers to convert 8-of-16 on 3rd down.
Now let’s look at this Minnesota defense, which I believe to be the best stop unit in the NFL. The Vikings have the No. 1 3rd down defense in the NFL, giving up just 25% conversions on the year. They are the first team since 1991 to hold all 16 of their opponents to less than 40% 3rd down conversions in every game. Minnesota ranks 1st in total defense (275.9 yards/game), tied for 1st in yards per play defense (4.6 yards/play) and 1st in scoring defense (15.8 points/game).
This Minnesota defense has been even better at home. They allow just 12.5 points per game and 248 yards per game at home this year. They have only allowed one touchdown in their last five home games combined. If that’s not dominance, I don’t know what is. And I think Minnesota’s home-field advantage is worth upwards of 4 points in the playoffs, which will be the most hostile atmosphere the Saints have played in all season.
After all, these teams already played once in Minnesota back in Week 1. The Vikings beat the Saints 29-19 in that contest. They racked up 470 yards of total offense while limiting the Saints to 344 yards, outgaining them by 126 yards in that contest. These teams are different since then, but I could see a very similar end result with a 10-plus point victory for the Vikings.
While everyone knows the Vikings’ defense is good, they don’t want to give Case Keenum and the offense their due. But this offense has been just fine in averaging 24 points and 357 yards per game on the season. Keenum has thrown 22 touchdowns against only 7 interceptions this season while completing 67.6% of his passes while averaging 7.4 yards per attempt. And the Vikings have been able to run the ball behind a vastly improved offensive line. They have rushed for at least 100 yards in eight consecutive games and in 13 of their 16 games this season.
The Vikings are 34-16-1 ATS in their last 51 home games, including 12-4 ATS inside their new stadium, which opened last year. Minnesota is 11-1 ATS in its last 12 home games vs. a team with a winning road record. The Saints are 1-4 ATS in their last five games overall. Mike Zimmer is 9-1 ATS versus excellent offensive teams that average 375 or more yards per game as the coach of Minnesota. Zimmer is 24-8 ATS in home games as the coach of Minnesota. Take the Vikings Sunday.
|01-14-18||Indiana State +10 v. Missouri State||73-76||Win||100||4 h 56 m||Show|
15* CBB Sunday Undervalued Underdog on Indiana State +10
The Indiana State Sycamores are simply catching too many points today against the Missouri State Bears. They have opened 3-2 in MVC play with their only losses coming by 3 points at Illinois State and by 3 points at home to Drake.
Missouri State is also 3-2 in MVC play, losing back-to-back games to Illinois State and Evansville. In their two home MVC games they have only won by 5 and 7 points. So it’s not like they are blowing teams out.
This has been a very closely-contested series in recent years. Indeed, each of the last five meetings have been decided by 9 points or less, including four by 6 points or fewer. Two of those games went to overtime.
The underdog is 16-4-1 ATS in the last 21 meetings. Missouri State is 9-19 ATS as a favorite over the last two seasons. Paul Lusk is 2-9 ATS as a favorite of 10 points or more as the coach of Missouri State. Bet Indiana State Sunday.
|01-14-18||Jaguars v. Steelers -7||45-42||Loss||-110||159 h 55 m||Show|
15* Jaguars/Steelers AFC Sunday ANNIHILATOR on Pittsburgh -7
A big reason I faded the Jaguars last week and backed the Bills was the fact that the Jaguars played the 32nd-toughest schedule this season. That’s right, they played the easiest schedule in the entire NFL. It was a big reason for their huge turnaround season.
I also think Doug Marrone made a big mistake playing his starters in Week 17 in a meaningless game against the Titans in which they lost 10-15. They were already locked in to the No. 3 seed, so there was no need to play the starters. I think Tom Coughlin was in his ear and his old-school ways overtook him. It’s really going to cost them this week.
The Jaguars were fortunate it didn’t cost them last week. The Bills were the better team but lost 10-3. They outgained the Jaguars by 39 yards. They held this woeful Jacksonville offense to just 230 total yards. Blake Bortles was awful, completing just 12-of-23 passes for 87 yards in the win. He did shockingly rush for 88 yards, while Leonard Fournette was held to 57 yards on 21 carries. His legs are the reason they won, but now the Steelers will be prepared for that element of his game after seeing it against Buffalo.
The Steelers have had horrible luck in the playoffs injury-wise in previous years. They have been missing one of the Killer B's basically every year they have made the playoffs in recent years, and it’s usually Le’Veon Bell. But after resting the Killer B’s in Week 17, all three of Big Ben, Antonio Brown and Le’Veon Bell are healthy going into the playoffs. Brown is expected to return from his calf injury, and the Steelers are remarkably healthy everywhere outside of LB Ryan Shazier now.
And boy are the Steelers going to be revenge-minded. They were rusty earlier in the year due to Bell’s suspension and lacked chemistry. I think that helps their 30-9 home loss to the Jaguars back on October 8th, which is one of the most misleading finals you’ll ever see. The Steelers outgained the Jaguars 373-313 in that game yet lost by 21. That only tells half the story.
Big Ben hard arguably the worst game of his career, throwing five interceptions, including two that were returned for touchdowns. A couple of those were tipped balls and weren’t his fault, but he was still jokingly contemplating retirement afterwards. And Fourtnette had a 90-yard TD run with only 1:47 remaining as they were just trying to run out the clock. So without that run, the Jaguars would have only had 223 total yards. I think that’s a number that we can expect them to have in this rematch.
Bortles only went 8-of-14 passing for 95 yards without an touchdown and with one interception in that game. And there is the problem with the Jaguars. They don’t have the firepower to keep up with the Steelers in this game. I can guarantee you the Steelers are going to be much more productive on offense than they were in the first meeting.
And the reason they will be more productive is because they won’t put so much on Big Ben’s shoulder. Look for 30-plus carries from Le’Veon Bell because the Steelers realize they are better when he gets more carries as it has shown throughout their history. That will open things up for Big Ben in play-action, and they won’t be playing into the Jaguars’ defensive strength, which is their pass defense.
Big Ben through 55 times in that first meeting. I only expect him to throw 20-30 times in the rematch. That will negate the Jacksonville pass rush, which has been their strength all season. The weakness of the Jaguars is their run defense, which ranked 21st in the league in the regular season, giving up 116.2 rushing yards per game. The Jaguars have allowed 108 or more rushing yards in six of their last seven games overall.
With Bortles being one of the worst passing quarterbacks in the NFL, the Jaguars are going to try to run the football. Well, the Steelers have been stout against the run all season. They have allowed 91 or fewer rushing yards in 10 of their 16 games this season. They rank 10th against the run in giving up 105.8 rushing yards per game on the year. And their defense is significantly improved overall, giving up just 19.2 points per game on the season.
Pittsburgh is 11-1 ATS in its last 12 home games when revenging an upset loss against an opponent as a home favorite. It is coming back to win by 11.1 points per game on average in this spot. The Steelers are 6-0 ATS when playing against a good team with a winning percentage of 60% to 75% over the last two seasons. They are winning these games by 16.5 points per game on average. Pittsburgh is 7-1 ATS in its last eight playoff home games. Roll with the Steelers Sunday.
|01-14-18||Bucks v. Heat -2||79-97||Win||100||2 h 10 m||Show|
15* NBA Sunday No-Doubt Rout on Miami Heat -2
They Miami Heat have now won six straight games. Now they are getting some reinforcements today as both James Johnson and Justise Winslow are returning from injury. Now at basically full strength, this team is going to continue being dangerous moving forward.
The Bucks have struggled of late, going 2-3 SU & 1-4 ATS in their last five games overall. They are coming off a disappointing 94-108 home loss to the Golden State Warriors Friday in which they blew a 4th quarter lead. I think they’ll suffer a hangover from that loss to the defending champs.
Miami is 12-1 ATS off four or more consecutive wins over the last two seasons. The Heat are 16-5 ATS versus poor rebounding teams getting outrebounded by 3-plus boards per game over the last two seasons. The Bucks are 9-23 ATS in their last 32 Sunday games. The home team is 4-1 ATS in the last five meetings. Roll with the Heat Sunday.
|01-13-18||Pistons v. Bulls -1||105-107||Win||100||21 h 9 m||Show|
15* NBA Saturday No-Doubt Rout on Chicago Bulls -1
We are certainly getting a nice value with the Chicago Bulls at home tonight as only 1-point favorites over the Detroit Pistons. They just have to win the game essentially to cover, and this team has been doing a lot of winning and covering of late.
Indeed, the Bulls are 12-7 SU in their last 19 games and 15-5 ATS in their last 10 games. They have consistently been undervalued over the past month and that hasn’t changed one bit here tonight. I love the passion this team has played with ever since Nikola Mirotic returned to the lineup.
The home team is 4-0 SU & 4-0 ATS in the last four meetings. None of those four meetings were even close as the home team won by 11 points or more in all four meetings and by an average of 17 points per game.
Detroit is 4-17 ATS on the road when the line is +3 to -3 over the last two seasons. Chicago is 9-1 ATS when playing just its 2nd game in 5 days this season. The Bulls are 7-0 ATS in home games versus horrible foul drawing teams who attempt 21 or fewer free throws per game this season. The Bulls are 10-1 ATS in their last 11 games following a win. The Pistons are 20-43 ATS in their last 63 road games vs. a team with a losing home record. Take the Bulls Saturday.
|01-13-18||Nets +9.5 v. Wizards||Top||113-119||Win||100||21 h 34 m||Show|
20* NBA DOG OF THE WEEK on Brooklyn Nets +9.5
Both the Wizards and Nets played last night, so there will be no advantage there. The Wizards beat the Magic 125-119, while the Nets beat the Hawks 110-105. But the difference here is that the Nets have the better bench and will be the fresher team because nobody played big minutes last night.
Only one player played more than 29 minutes for the Nets, which was the 33 by Allen Crabbe. Conversely, the Wizards had their three studs in John Wall (36), Bradley Beal (36) and Otto Porter (39) all play big minutes as they were fighting tooth and nail to beat the lowly Magic.
The Nets have owned the Wizards this season, going 2-0 SU & 2-0 ATS in the two previous meetings. They won 103-98 as 3.5-point home underdogs, and 119-84 as 6-point home dogs. Now they find themselves catching a whopping 9.5 points in the third meeting, which is simply too much.
The Nets are 8-1 ATS in their last nine vs. Eastern Conference opponents. Brooklyn is 7-1 ATS in its last eight games overall. The Nets are 12-4 ATS in their last 16 road games. The Wizards are 1-6 ATS in their last seven games vs. a team with a winning % below .400. Brooklyn is 12-3 ATS vs. good offensive teams scoring 106-plus points per game this season. Washington is 4-14 ATS as a favorite of 3.5 to 9.5 points this season. Bet the Nets Saturday.
|01-13-18||Texas v. Oklahoma State -2||Top||64-65||Loss||-107||9 h 22 m||Show|
20* Big 12 GAME OF THE WEEK on Oklahoma State -2
This is a very tough spot for Texas. The Longhorns just found out their best player Andrew Jones has Leukemia before the TCU game on Wednesday. They laid it all on the line for him and came away with a miraculous 99-98 victory in double-overtime.
TCU missed a wide open layup in the second OT as time expired, making you wonder if the power’s that be made sure that Texas won that game. Off such an emotional win, and still without their best player in Jones who averages 13.5 points, shoots 52.8% from the field and 47.5% from 3-point range, I expect a big mental letdown tonight against Oklahoma State.
The Cowboys will be motivated for a win after opening 1-3 in Big 12 play. Two of those losses were on the road to Oklahoma and Kansas State. The Cowboys are 9-2 at home this season with their only two losses coming to two of the best teams in the country in West Virginia and Wichita State.
The home team is 7-2 straight up in the last nine meetings. Oklahoma State is 8-3-1 ATS in the last 12 meetings, including 4-1-1 ATS in the last six home meetings. The Longhorns are 1-6 ATS in their last seven games following a win. The Cowboys are 12-4 ATS in their last 16 games following an ATS loss. Bet Oklahoma State Saturday.
|01-13-18||Falcons -2.5 v. Eagles||Top||10-15||Loss||-120||148 h 58 m||Show|
25* NFL Playoffs GAME OF THE YEAR on Atlanta Falcons -2.5
I was on the Falcons last week and I’m going to back them again this week. Except this time, they are up against a much weaker opponent than they were last week against the Rams. The Eagles are only a shell of the team they were with Carson Wentz before.
A big reason why I loved the Falcons last week is because their perception is way down compared to last year coming into the playoffs. But they still managed to win 10 games despite playing the 4th-most difficult schedule in the NFL. And their numbers from a yards per play basis were almost identical to where they were last year, but they struggled in the red zone more than they did last season.
The Falcons still had to settle for four field goals against the Rams last week, but their offense was productive in a 26-13 victory. But what really has me excited about this team is how well the defense has been playing down the stretch.
Indeed, the Falcons have allowed 23 or fewer points in seven consecutive games to close out the season. This despite facing the Saints twice, the Vikings, the Panthers and the Rams, five playoff teams in their final seven games. They are giving up just 16.3 points per game and 319.2 yards per game in their last six games. This defense is playing much better than it gets credit for.
Now the Falcons should have another great defensive showing against an Eagles team that has been terrible on offense in its last two games. The Eagles were leading Oakland 13-10 before a fluke lateral fumble return for a touchdown on the final play to win 19-10 in Week 16. Then they lost 0-6 to Dallas despite playing their starters for much of the game.
The culprit has been the horrible play of backup quarterback Nick Foles. He is completing just 56.4% of his passes and averaging 5.3 yards per attempt on the season. He is only averaging 5.0 yards per attempt in his last three games, which came agains the Giants, Cowboys and Raiders. Those aren’t exactly defensive juggernauts.
I think a big reason Foles has struggled is because he’s a warm weather quarterback. He played for Arizona in college and mostly in perfect weather out on the West Coast. Now he’s in Philadelphia and has played three straight cold weather games at New York, and at home against Oakland and Dallas. And the temperature Saturday is going to be a high of 30 and a low of 18 with 10 mile per hour winds. I don’t trust him one bit, and I don’t think the Philadelphia players trust him either.
As I mentioned before, the Falcons played the 4th-most difficult schedule this season. The Eagles played the 21st-toughest to compare. They simply took advantage of an easy schedule, won basically all of their close games, and got great play from Carson Wentz to lead the way. But Wentz is no longer here to save the day, otherwise this would be a legitimate Super Bowl contender. The difference from Wentz to Foles is 7-plus points, if not more.
I still think Atlanta is on a mission to make up for last year’s Super Bowl debacle. That has shown here down the stretch as they have won four of their last five with their only loss coming on the road to the Saints. The Eagles have shown signs of being a fraud with Foles against the Giants, Cowboys and Raiders down the stretch, and now they will be up against their best opponent yet in Atlanta.
Plays on favorites (Atlanta) - after having won 3 of their last 4 games against a hot team, a team that won 8 of their last 10 games are 34-8 (81%) ATS over the last 10 seasons. Atlanta is 9-1 ATS off an upset win as an underdog over the last three seasons. The Falcons are 7-0 ATS off an upset win as a road dog over the last three years. Bet the Falcons Saturday.
|01-13-18||Creighton v. Xavier -3.5||Top||70-92||Win||100||6 h 28 m||Show|
20* Big East GAME OF THE WEEK on Xavier -3.5
Xavier will be playing with a chip on its shoulder today after back-to-back road losses to Providence and Villanova to fall to 15-3 on the season. The Musketeers also want revenge from getting knocked out of the Big East Tournament by Creighton last year, 75-72.
Xavier is 11-0 SU & 8-3 ATS at home this season, outscoring opponents by 19.2 points per game. That’s why I have no doubt they’ll get right back on the winning track at home here Saturday as mere 3.5-point home favorites over Creighton.
The Bluejays have only had to play four true road games this season. They lost at Gonzaga by 17 and Seton Hall by 6 against the two best teams they played away from home, and two teams similar to Xavier talent-wise. They beat Northwestern and Georgetown.
Xavier is 51-28 ATS in its last 79 January home games. The Musketeers are 15-4 ATS in their last 19 games after allowing a shooting percentage of 55% or higher. Xavier is 6-0 ATS versus teams who force 12 or fewer turnovers per game over the last two seasons. The Musketeers are 6-0 ATS versus good rebounding teams who average 4-plus boards more than their opponents this season. The Bluejays are 1-6 ATS in their last seven games following an ATS win. Take Xavier Saturday.
|01-13-18||South Carolina v. Georgia -4||64-57||Loss||-105||5 h 22 m||Show|
15* SEC PLAY OF THE DAY on Georgia -4
The Georgia Bulldogs have been grossly undervalued this season, especially when playing at home. After blowing a halftime lead and losing at Missouri last time out, I expect the Bulldogs to be playing motivated here at home today.
And Georgia will be looking to stay unbeaten at home this season. The Bulldogs are 8-0 SU & 4-1 ATS at home this year, outscoring opponents by an averages of 13.9 points per game. They have blowout wins over Georgia Tech (80-59), Temple (84-66), Ole Miss (71-60) and Alabama (65-46) in their last four home games, respectively.
South Carolina is clearly in a rebuilding year under Frank Martin after last year’s surprise Final Four run. The Gamecocks are just 1-5 ATS in their last six games overall. The competition has gotten stiffer, and they have lost four of their last six by 16 to Clemson, by 5 to Ole Miss, by 11 to Missouri and by 14 to Alabama.
These teams have five common opponents already this season. Georgia is 3-2 against them and winning by 5.2 points per game, while South Carolina is 1-4 against them and losing by 8.0 points per game. The Bulldogs are 19-7 ATS in their last 26 games following a loss. The Gamecocks are 3-12 ATS in their last 15 SEC games. South Carolina is 0-5 ATS in its last five vs. a team with a a winning record. The Gamecocks are 0-4-1 ATS in their last five road games. Take Georgia Saturday.
|01-13-18||Georgetown +12.5 v. Seton Hall||61-74||Loss||-105||4 h 23 m||Show|
15* CBB Saturday Undervalued Underdog on Georgetown +12.5
The Georgetown Hoyas just aren’t getting any respect from oddsmakers in their first season under Patrick Ewing. But boy is he doing a fine job with them this season. They are off to a 12-4 start with only one of their four losses coming by double-digits.
Seton Hall is a very good team at 14-3 this season, but the Pirates have been fortunate in close games this year. Each of their last four wins have come by 12 points or less against Manhattan, Creighton, St. John’s and Butler despite playing three of those four at home.
Georgetown has gone 3-1 SU & 3-0-1 ATS in all road games this season. It has road wins over Richmond, DePaul and St. John’s with upsets as underdogs in the latter two. Its only road loss came by a final of 65-74 at Marquette, the same Marquette team that Seton Hall just lost 64-84 to last time out.
This has been a very closely-contested series in recent years. Each of the last five meetings have been decided by 8 points or less. The Hoyas are 6-1 ATS in their last seven games overall, and 4-0 ATS in their last four road games. The road team is 5-1 ATS in the last six meetings. Roll with Georgetown Saturday.
|01-13-18||Kansas State v. Kansas -12||72-73||Loss||-103||4 h 23 m||Show|
15* CBB Saturday No-Doubt Rout on Kansas -12
The Kansas State Wildcats just recently lost their floor general in PG Kamau Stokes to an injury. Stokes averages 13.4 points and 4.6 assists per game. They were able to overcome his loss to beat Oklahoma State 86-82 at home in their first game without him. Beating Kansas on the road will be a monumental challenge without him.
I think this is one of the rare times you will get Kansas at a cheap price. That’s because the Jayhawks have actually lost at home twice already this season, which is unheard of in the Bill Self era. But the Jayhawks are playing well, going 6-1 in their last seven games and 4-2 ATS in their last six games.
Kansas is 19-1 SU & 12-8 ATS in its last 20 home meetings with Kansas State. It still has arguably the best home-court advantage in the country. And I don’t expect the Wildcats to handle the environment very well, especially now that they are without their starting point guard.
Kansas State is 0-7 ATS versus teams who attempt 18 or fewer free throws per game over the last three seasons. The Wildcats are 3-9 ATS in their last 12 games overall. Kansas State is 11-29-2 ATS in the last 42 meetings, including 3-13-1 ATS in its last 17 trips to Kansas. Roll with Kansas Saturday.
|01-12-18||Knicks +9 v. Wolves||108-118||Loss||-105||10 h 43 m||Show|
15* NBA Friday Non-Conference KNOCKOUT on New York Knicks +9
The Minnesota Timberwolves have gone 3-0 SU & 3-0 ATS in their last three games overall. This run has them overvalued now. And the Timberwolves are clearly primed for a letdown after back-to-back huge home wins over the Cavaliers and Thunder.
Plays against favorites (Minnesota) after beating the spread by more than 6 points in three consecutive games, a good team winning 60% to 75% or more of their games on the season are 38-12 (76%) ATS over the last five seasons.
Conversely, the Knicks are undervalued after going just 2-8 SU & 3-7 ATS in their last 10 games overall. But six of those eight losses came by 9 points or fewer, so they have been competitive. And seven of those 10 games were on the road. It has been a tough stretch, but the Knicks should be rejuvenated now as this will be just their 2nd game in 5 days.
The Knicks have owned the Timberwolves over the past two seasons, going 4-0 SU & 4-0 ATS despite being the underdog in three of those four meetings. They just have the winning formula against the Timberwolves, and I think they will be the more motivated team in this matchup.
The Knicks are 8-2 ATS in their last 10 games when playing on one day of rest. The Timberwolves are 8-22-1 ATS in their last 31 vs. Eastern Conference opponents. The underdog is 8-2-1 ATS in the last 11 meetings. New York is 4-1-1 ATS in its last six trips to Minnesota. Take the Knicks Friday.
|01-12-18||Cavs v. Pacers +2.5||Top||95-97||Win||100||9 h 43 m||Show|
20* NBA Eastern Conference GAME OF THE WEEK on Indiana Pacers +2.5
I’m not sure how the Cleveland Cavaliers can actually be favored tonight against the Indiana Pacers with how poorly they are playing. After all, the Cavaliers are 6-25-1 ATS as favorites this season, so they have been money burners all year.
And now the Cavs will be playing the 2nd of a back-to-back after yet another ugly 99-133 loss in Toronto last night against a Raptors team that was playing without two starters in Kyle Lowry and Serge Ibaka. That followed up a 99-127 loss at Minnesota the game before. The Cavs are now just 2-6 SU in their last eight games and 1-9 ATS in their last 10 contests. And now they’ll be without Isaiah Thomas, who is resting in this one.
The Pacers haven’t won a game when Victor Oladipo has sat out. But he returned from injury three games ago and the Pacers have gone 2-1 since. They beat the Bulls 125-86 and the Bucks 109-96 while losing to the red-hot Miami Heat 106-114. But they shot just 1-of-18 from 3-point range against the Heat, yet were still tied with a few minutes to go. They won’t shoot that poorly again, especially not against a Cleveland defense that has allowed 129 points per game in their last three contests.
Indiana is 9-1 ATS after having lost six or seven of its last eight games over the past two seasons. It is winning by 7.8 points per game on average in this spot. The Cavs are 1-9 ATS versus good shooting teams that make 46% of their shots or better this season. Cleveland is 0-8 ATS in its last eight road gams. The Pacers have won each of their first two meetings this season with the Cavs outright as underdogs. Indiana is 12-4-1 ATS in the last 17 meetings. Bet the Pacers Friday.
|01-12-18||Marquette v. Butler -4.5||83-94||Win||100||8 h 4 m||Show|
15* Marquette/Butler Big East No-Brainer on Butler -4.5
Off three consecutive losses, it’s safe to say the Butler Bulldogs are going to be highly motivated for a victory at home tonight against the Marquette Golden Eagles. I expect a big effort from them to get the win and cover here and to get back on track.
It’s easy to see why Butler has lost three in a row. They were underdogs on the road to both Xavier and Creighton, and they only lost by 3 at home to Seton Hall after blowing a double-digit lead. The game before this skid, they beat Villanova 101-93 at home. The Bulldogs are now 9-1 SU & 7-2 ATS at home this season with one of the better home-court advantages in the country.
Butler has really had Marquette’s number in recent meetings. The Bulldogs are 5-1 SU & 5-1 ATS in the last six meetings. Butler is 7-1-2 ATS in the last 10 meetings overall. Marquette has played a much softer schedule than Butler and will be taking a big step up in class here tonight.
Butler is 8-1 ATS in home games when playing its 3rd game in a week over the last three seasons. The Bulldogs are 8-1 ATS in home games versus teams who attempt 21 or more 3-point shots per game over the last three seasons. The Golden Eagles are 0-4 ATS in their last four trips to Butler. Roll with Butler Friday.
|01-11-18||Clippers v. Kings +1.5||Top||121-115||Loss||-104||10 h 55 m||Show|
20* NBA Thursday No-Doubt Rout on Sacramento Kings +1.5
The Los Angeles Clippers are in a very difficult spot tonight. They will be playing the 2nd of a back-to-back and their 3rd game in 4 days here. And they are clearly in a letdown spot after beating the Warriors on the road last night. Well, the Warriors sat both Steph Curry and Klay Thompson, so it comes with an asterisk.
The Clippers won’t be nearly as excited to face the Kings, who will be highly motivated for a victory after dropping five of their last six games overall. But in their last two home games they beat Denver 106-98 as 8.5-point dogs and led San Antonio nearly the entire way until the closing minutes, losing 100-107 as 5-point dogs.
While the Kings are relatively healthy, the Clippers have all kinds of injury issues that will make this back-to-back that much more difficult. They have been without Blake Griffin, who remains questionable with a concussion. Austin Rivers, Danilo Gallinari and Patrick Beverly are all out. C.J. Williams is doubtful, while Milos Teodosic is questionable.
Plays on home teams where the line is +3 to -3 (Sacramento) - off a loss to a division rival, in January games are 24-6 (80%) ATS over the last five seasons. Plays against road teams where the line is +3 to -3 (LA Clippers) - off two or more consecutive wins, playing on back-to-back days are 74-39 (65.5%) ATS over the last five years. Bet the Kings Thursday.
|01-11-18||Cavs v. Raptors UNDER 222||99-133||Loss||-106||7 h 23 m||Show|
15* Cavs/Raptors TNT Thursday No-Brainer on UNDER 222
The Toronto Raptors are going to be without two of their best offensive weapons in point guard Kyle Lowry and power forward Serge Ibaka tonight. They are going to have to muck it up and make this an ugly game if they want any chance to beat the Cavaliers tonight, which is why I think there’s value with the UNDER.
The Cavaliers are frustrated right now, losing five of their last seven games overall coming in. It can mostly be attributed to poor defense, but their offense has also been struggling. They have been held to 101 or fewer points in all five of those losses. I look for them to put a renewed effort defensively tonight after losing 99-127 to the Timberwolves on Monday. They have had two days off since to fix their defense.
These teams are very familiar with one another after squaring off in the playoffs each of the past two seasons. I think that familiarity will make points harder to come by. In fact, 14 of the last 17 meetings in this series have seen less than 222 points, which is what this total has been set at tonight.
Cleveland is 10-2 UNDER off a non-conference game this season. Toronto is 11-3 UNDER vs. good 3-point shooting teams who make 36% or better this season. The UNDER is 7-0 in Cavaliers’ last eight vs. NBA Atlantic opponents. The UNDER is 5-1 in Raptors last six home games. The UNDER is 21-7 in the last 28 meetings in Toronto. Take the UNDER in this game Thursday.
|01-11-18||Maryland v. Ohio State -4.5||69-91||Win||100||7 h 50 m||Show|
15* Big Ten PLAY OF THE DAY on Ohio State -4.5
Chris Holtmann has this Ohio State Buckeyes team on the rise in his first season. He did big things at Butler and now he has carried over that success to Columbus. The Buckeyes are 13-4 on the season, including 10-1 at home and winning by 16.8 points per game.
Ohio State has gone 8-1 in its last nine games overall with its only loss coming to UNC on a neutral court. They beat Wisconsin by 25 on the road, Michigan by 9 at home, Iowa by 11 on the road and Michigan State by 16 at home during this stretch. And you can bet Ohio State will be out for revenge following four straight losses to Maryland over the past two seasons.
That’s the same Michigan State team that Maryland just lost by 30 to on the road a week ago today. This Maryland team isn’t as good as the ones in recent years that made the NCAA Tournament. The Terrapins are just 1-2 in true road games this season with their only win coming 92-91 against an Illinois team that remains winless in Big Ten play.
Ohio State is 19-6 ATS in its last 25 home games off three straight games committing 11 or fewer turnovers. The Buckeyes are 11-2 ATS in home games when playing against a good team winning 60% to 80% of their games over the last three seasons. Ohio State is 9-1 ATS in home games vs. teams who are called for 3-plus fouls per game less than their opponents over the last three years. Roll with Ohio State Thursday.
|01-10-18||Pelicans v. Grizzlies UNDER 213||102-105||Win||100||7 h 21 m||Show|
15* NBA Wednesday Total DOMINATOR on Pelicans/Grizzlies UNDER 213
Just looking at the recent head-to-head history in this series it’s easy to see that there is value with the UNDER tonight. Plus the fact that the Pelicans are going to be without their best player in Anthony Davis makes me like the UNDER even more.
The Pelicans and Grizzlies have combined for 205 or fewer points at the end of regulation in eight straight meetings, which makes for a perfect 8-0 system backing the UNDER pertaining to this 213-point total. They have averaged just 190.4 combined points per game in those eight meetings, which is roughly 23 points less than this total. The UNDER is 9-2 in the last 11 meetings in Memphis.
Memphis is 8-1 UNDER in home games versus good 3-point shooting teams making 36% or more of their attempts this season. New Orleans is 14-4 UNDER in road games vs. division opponents over the last three seasons. Memphis is 8-1 UNDER vs. division opponents this season. The Grizzlies are 10-1 ATS after covering four of their last five games against the spread over the last two seasons. Take the UNDER in this game Wednesday.
|01-10-18||Pelicans v. Grizzlies +1.5||102-105||Win||100||7 h 3 m||Show|
15* NBA Wednesday UPSET SHOCKER on Memphis Grizzlies +1.5
The New Orleans Pelicans are going to be without their best player in Anthony Davis tonight. They haven’t been playing well of late anyways, going 2-3 SU & 1-4 ATS in their last five games overall. They have upset home losses to Dallas and New York during this stretch, and an 18-point road loss at Minnesota.
The Memphis Grizzlies are starting to play much better here of late. They are 2-3 SU but 4-1 ATS in their last five games overall despite playing four of their last five games on the road, and their lone home game was a 2-point loss to Washington as 4.5-point dogs.
The Grizzlies have owned the Pelicans, going 8-2 SU & 7-3 ATS in the last 10 meetings. Plays against all teams where the line is +3 to -3 (New Orleans) - after a win by 6 points or less against opponent off a loss by 6 points or less are 50-20 (71.4%) ATS over the last five seasons. Roll with the Grizzlies Wednesday.
|01-10-18||Missouri State v. Evansville +2.5||55-64||Win||100||7 h 59 m||Show|
15* Missouri Valley PLAY OF THE DAY on Evansville +2.5
The Evansville Purple Aces have one of the more underrated home-court advantages in the country. They are 9-1 at home this season, outscoring opponents by 14.3 points per game. They are coming off a dominant 68-44 home win over Bradley as only 1-point favorites.
Missouri State is a quality team this season, but it should not be favored on the road here. The Bears have lost two of their last three road games despite being favorites in each. They lost 66-73 as 12.5-point favorites at Oral Roberts, and 68-72 as 4-point road favorites at Illinois State.
Evansville has owned Missouri State in recent meetings, going 6-1 straight up in the last seven meetings. The Purple Aces are 4-0 in their last four home meetings with the Bears, winning by 8, 10, 19 and 7 points, respectively.
The Purple Aces are 6-1 ATS in their last seven games vs. a team with a winning record. Evansville is 9-3 ATS in its last 12 home games. The Purple Aces are 16-5 ATS in their last 21 games after allowing less than 50 points in their previous game. Evansville is 9-2 ATS when the line is +3 to -3 over the last two seasons. Missouri State is 9-18 ATS as a favorite over the last two seasons. Take Evansville Wednesday.
|01-10-18||Heat v. Pacers -5||Top||114-106||Loss||-105||6 h 21 m||Show|
20* NBA Wednesday No-Doubt Rout on Indiana Pacers -5
The Pacers had lost five in a row before the return of Victor Oladipo. He returned Saturday and sparked the Pacers’ 39-point win. The Pacers then led the entire way in an impressive 109-96 home victory over the Milwaukee Bucks.
The Heat are overvalued right now due to winning five straight games. But now they’re in a tough spot as they will be playing the 2nd of a back-to-back and their 3rd game in 4 days after a 90-89 victory in Toronto against a Raptors team that was playing without Kyle Lowry last night.
And now the Heat will likely be without one of their best players in James Johnson, who is expected to be suspended. They were already missing Dion Waiters and Justise Winslow, and Tyler Johnson is questionable with a shoulder injuries. That makes this back-to-back set even more difficult for them.
Indiana is 10-0 straight up in its last 10 home meetings with Miami. The Heat are 1-5 ATS in their last six meetings in Indiana. The Pacers are 8-0 ATS in their last eight vs. NBA Southeast Division opponents. Miami is 1-9 ATS off two or more consecutive wins this season. Bet the Pacers Wednesday.
|01-10-18||Notre Dame v. Georgia Tech -1||Top||53-60||Win||100||6 h 16 m||Show|
20* ACC GAME OF THE MONTH on Georgia Tech -1
The Notre Dame Fighting Irish are way overvalued right now due to their 5-game winning streak. They were able to survive their first few games without Bonzie Colson, and even their last game against Syracuse without Matt Farrell. But with their two best players out, this team is going to struggle moving forward, especially tonight.
Colson (21.4 ppg, 10.4 rpg) and Farrell (15.9 ppg, 5.1 apg) are simply irreplaceable on this team. Colson has missed the past two games while Farrell missed one. Both will be out tonight and really hamper Notre Dame’s chances of being successful. In their first game without both, they managed just 51 points against Syracuse.
Georgia Tech is really coming on strong of late. The Yellow Jackets are 2-1 SU & 3-0 ATS in their last three games overall. The loss was a 59-68 setback at Notre Dame as 14-point dogs, which places the Yellow Jackets in revenge mode. They also upset Miami 64-54 as 5-point home dogs and easily covered as 9-point favorites in a 74-60 home win over Yale.
Georgia Tech is 14-3 ATS in January games over the last three seasons. The Yellow Jackets are 10-1 ATS in their last 11 games after committing 11 or fewer turnovers in three straight games. Georgia Tech is 14-4 ATS in its last 18 home games. The Yellow Jackets are 42-20-2 ATS in their last 64 games vs. a team with a winning percentage above .600. Bet Georgia Tech Wednesday.
|01-09-18||Ole Miss +10.5 v. Auburn||70-85||Loss||-105||9 h 47 m||Show|
15* SEC PLAY OF THE DAY on Ole Miss +10.5
The Auburn Tigers are in the ultimate letdown spot tonight. They are coming off back-to-back wins over ranked teams in Tennessee and Arkansas for the first time since 2007. They have now jumped into the Top 25 for the first time in 15 years. It’s safe to say they will relax after accomplishing that feat.
Ole Miss will give them a run for their money tonight. The Rebels have gone 4-1 SU & 4-1 ATS in their last five games with their only loss coming on the road at Georgia. They have beaten both South Carolina and Mississippi State during this run, while winning their other two games by 23 and 22 points.
Ole Miss simply owns Auburn, going a perfect 10-0 SU & 7-3 ATS in the last 10 meetings. The Rebels are 5-0 ATS in the last five meetings. They won both meetings last season and have four starters back from that squad under Andy Kennedy this season.
Ole Miss is 10-1 ATS when playing its 3rd game in a week over the last two seasons. Auburn is 0-6 ATS after scoring three of its last four against the spread over the past three seasons. The Rebels are 5-1 ATS in their last six SEC games. Roll with Ole Miss Tuesday.
|01-09-18||Wisconsin v. Nebraska -1.5||59-63||Win||100||9 h 0 m||Show|
15* Big Ten PLAY OF THE DAY on Nebraska -1.5
Nebraska continues to get no love from oddsmakers this season. The Huskers have opened 11-6 this year, and head coach Tim Miles is doing a tremendous job. Their recent results have me believing they should be favored by more than 1.5 points at home against Wisconsin tonight.
The Huskers are a perfect 6-0 ATS in their last six games overall. They beat Minnesota 78-68 as 9-point home dogs, only lost by 10 at Creighton as 12-point dogs, only lost by 1 at home to Kansas as 12-point dogs, beat UTSA by 10 as 9.5-point favorites, won outright at Northwestern by 15 as 7.5-point dogs, and gave Purdue a run in a 12-point road loss as 21-point dogs.
Wisconsin has been one of the most overrated teams in the country this season. The Badgers are just 1-5 SU & 1-5 ATS in all road games this season. They are just 9-8 on the year as this is one of the worst Wisconsin teams in recent memory. They have lost their last two true road games to Temple and Rutgers.
Nebraska is 45-21 ATS in its last 66 home games with a line of +3 to -3. The Huskers are 27-13 ATS in their last 40 home games as a favorite of 3 points or less or PK. Nebraska is 7-0 ATS after playing a game as an underdog this season. The Huskers are 6-0 ATS in home games when playing against a team with a winning record this season. Take Nebraska Tuesday.
|01-09-18||Heat v. Raptors UNDER 207.5||Top||90-89||Win||100||8 h 56 m||Show|
20* NBA TOTAL OF THE WEEK on Heat/Raptors UNDER 207.5
The Toronto Raptors just played a grueling 114-113 (OT) game in Brooklyn last night. Kyle Lowry fell hard and hurt his tailbone, forcing him to leave the game. It’s likely that he won’t be available tonight in this back-to-back set against the Heat, which would significantly hamper Toronto’s offense.
The Heat prefer to play at a slow tempo. They rank 27th in the NBA in pace at 96.8 possessions per game. Miami is one of the better defensive teams in the NBA, especially when Hassan Whiteside is healthy, which he hasn’t been for much of the season until recently. And the Heat are just 22nd in offensive efficiency.
But the heat-to-head history here is the reason this is such a good bet. In fact, each of the last 11 meetings between Toronto and Miami have seen 205 combined points or less. And two of those games even went to overtime. They have averaged just 190.3 combined points per game in those 11 meetings, which is roughly 17 points less than tonight’s posted total of 207.5. We’ll take this 11-0 system straight to the bank tonight. Bet the UNDER in this game Tuesday.
|01-08-18||Alabama -175 v. Georgia||Top||26-23||Win||100||115 h 24 m||Show|
20* Alabama/Georgia National Championship No-Brainer on Alabama -175
I backed Alabama -1.5 as my 25* College Bowl Game of the Year in a 24-6 win over Clemson in the first round of the college football playoffs. I’m not about to buck them now as they still fit many of the same reasons I backed them against Clemson.
I thought Alabama came into the four-team playoff grossly underrated for the first time ever. It’s because they were the No. 4 seed and barely got in after not winning the SEC Championship thanks to their loss to Auburn in the regular season finale. They actually came in as an underdog by perception because they were the No. 4 seed going against the No. 1 seed Clemson.
Let’s just think back to the National Championship last year. If Alabama hadn’t gave up a touchdown on the final play of the game to lose to Clemson, they would be going for their 3rd straight national title. And if that was the case, which it easily could be, Alabama would be upwards of a 7-point favorite or more here against Georgia. Instead they are only 3.5-point favorites and -175 on the money line, which I think is the better bet in this matchup in case they do win by 3. But I’m confident they will win this game.
Alabama has the best defense in the country, and that showed in limiting Clemson to just 6 points and 188 total yards last week. They match up very well with Georgia, a predominant running team that only averages 173 passing yards per game. The Crimson Tide only give up 92 rushing yards per game and 2.7 per carry, with the latter being the best mark in the entire country. The only teams the Crimson Tide struggle against are ones with mobile quarterbacks, and Jake Fromm doesn’t fit that category. He has rushed for just 94 yards on the season and 2.0 per carry.
I think the situation is better for Alabama having more time to get ready for this game. They played in New Orleans, made easy work of Clemson, and have a short trip up to Atlanta for the National Championship. Meanwhile, Georgia played all the way out in California and as a result will have the tougher travel schedule. They also needed to exert more effort as they went to double-overtime in a 54-48 thriller. And I think the Bulldogs are just happy to be here, while Alabama is on a mission to make up for that devastating loss in the national title game last season.
Alabama has been favored in 112 of its 113 games. The only time it wasn’t a favorite was as a 1.5-point underdog at Georgia in 2015. Well, the Crimson Tide rolled the Bulldogs 38-10 in that game. Rarely ever do we get to back them as small as -175 money line favorites. This is basically free money in my opinion because they aren’t going to lose this game.
My favorite trend in this game is that Nick Saban is 11-0 SU & 9-2 ATS when facing his former assistants. This is a big brother, little brother phenomenon. Saban has won by 14-plus points in all 11 games and by an average of a whopping 29 points per game in this spot. Kirby Smart will be overmatched in this matchup.
Saban has also had great success in games that are expected to be low scoring, which this game is considering the total is only 45 points. Alabama is 45-19 ATS in its last 64 games with a total set of 50 points or less under Saban. This goes back to the point I made before that the only teams that give the Crimson Tide trouble are teams with dual-threat quarterbacks when shootouts are the expectation. This game will be a grind-it-out, hard-hitting game that plays right into Alabama’s hands. Saban and company live for these kinds of games.
Saban is 21-11 ATS vs. good defensive teams that give up 17 or fewer points per game as the coach of Alabama. His teams are winning these matchups by 15.1 points per game on average. The Crimson Tide are 5-1 ATS in their last six neutral site games. I think we are getting a nice discount here with the Crimson Tide on the money line because a very large amount of people who are betting Georgia are betting them on the money line. Bet Alabama on the Money Line.
|01-08-18||Bucks v. Pacers -1.5||Top||96-109||Win||100||7 h 44 m||Show|
20* NBA Monday No-Doubt Rout on Indiana Pacers -1.5
I love the situation tonight for the Indiana Pacers. They just lost to the Bucks 101-122 on the road on Wednesday, January 3rd. Now they get their chance at revenge less than a week later, and this time around they will have their best player in Victor Oladipo.
After losing five consecutive games and remaining winless when Oladipo sits, they got a big boost with his return on Saturday. Oladipo went 9-of-11 shooting for 23 points and delivered nine assists with five steals in a 125-86 rout of the Chicago Bulls.
Now the Pacers will be fresh as this is just their 2nd game in 5 days, while the Bucks will be playing their 7th game in 12 days. And the Pacers have owned the Bucks at home, going 34-12 straight up in their last 46 meetings.
Plays on favorites (Indiana) - revenging a loss vs. opponent by 10 points or more against an opponent that’s off a road win are 106-60 (63.9%) ATS over the last five seasons. The Pacers are 7-0 ATS in their last seven Monday games. The Bucks are 2-8-2 ATS in their last 12 vs. NBA Central Division opponents. The home team is 4-1 ATS in the last five meetings. Take the Pacers Monday.
|01-07-18||Spurs v. Blazers -2.5||110-111||Loss||-107||11 h 40 m||Show|
15* NBA Sunday No-Doubt Rout on Portland Trail Blazers -2.5
The Portland Trail Blazers are getting healthy and will be a dangerous team moving forward. They have had a rough season injury-wise thus far, yet they’re still 20-18 on the year. Look for this team to make a push into the All-Star Break after going 4-2 SU & 4-2 ATS in their last six games overall.
The Spurs have lost two of their last four to the Piston and 76ers with their two wins coming against the Knicks and Suns. Unlike Portland, San Antonio is really banged up right now. The Spurs are expected to be without Kawhi Leonard, Tony Parker, Danny Green and Rudy Gay tonight.
The Spurs are just 9-11 SU & 7-12-1 ATS on the road this season. Plays on home favorites (Portland) after going over the total by 42 or more points total in their last five games, in Sunday games are 45-15 (75%) ATS over the last five seasons. The Blazers are 5-0 ATS in their last five Sunday games. Portland is 7-1-2 ATS in its last 10 games following a straight up win by more than 10 points. Take the Blazers Sunday.
|01-07-18||Florida State v. Miami-FL -2.5||74-80||Win||100||7 h 13 m||Show|
15* FSU/Miami ACC Sunday No-Brainer on Miami -2.5
The Florida State Seminoles are in a really tough spot here. They have opened ACC play having to play both Duke on the road and North Carolina at home. Off a 1-point win over the Tar Heels, the Seminoles won’t have much left in the tank for the Hurricanes tonight.
Miami comes in highly motivated off an upset road loss at Georgia Tech last time out. The Hurricanes are still 12-2 on the season and have played nine road games and only five at home. Miami is 5-0 at home this season, winning by an average of 26.6 points per game.
Florida State is 2-9 ATS in road games off two consecutive conference games over the last two seasons. Miami is 12-3 ATS in its last 15 home games versus teams who score 84 or more points per game. The Hurricanes are 4-1 ATS in their last five Sunday games. Roll with Miami Sunday.
|01-07-18||Bills +9 v. Jaguars||Top||3-10||Win||100||74 h 30 m||Show|
20* Bills/Jaguars NFL Wild Card GAME OF THE WEEK on Buffalo +9
Both the Bills and Jaguars were Cinderella stories this season. The Jaguars won their first-ever AFC South title, will be going to the playoffs for the first time since 2007, and will hosting their first playoff game since 1999. The Bills were able to snap the longest playoff drought in the NFL, getting back to the postseason for the first time since 1999.
The books have simply set this number too high. The Jaguars cannot be laying more than a touchdown to the Bills in this matchup. The Jaguars may be 3 to 4 points better on a neutral field, so this line should be closer to 6 or 7. I think we’re getting a ton of value with the Bills +9 here folks.
A lot will be made of the Bills’ point differential leading into this game. It’s the fifth-worst point differential of any team to ever make the playoffs at -57. But keep in mind that Nate Peterman was responsible for a lot of that in a 24-54 loss to the Chargers. And also, the four teams will worse point differentials in playoff history all won their first playoff game.
Another thing you’ll hear is that the Jaguars lead the NFL in sacks. Well, now they’ll be up against a mobile quarterback in Tyrod Taylor, who has been one of the most underrated signal callers in the NFL over the past few seasons. Taylor led the Bills to three wins in the final four games just to get into the playoffs. Taylor has completed 62.6% of his passes with 14 touchdowns and only 4 interceptions, while also rushing for 427 yards and four scores on 5.1 per carry.
I think the Jaguars made a big mistake not resting their starters in Week 17 against the Titans. They were already locked into the No. 3 seed and had nothing to play for. Doug Marrone and his old-school mentality that may have been influenced by Tom Coughlin was clearly not happy with the 33-44 loss at San Francisco the week before. But the Jaguars were even worse against the Titans in a 10-15 loss, managing just 227 total yards while turning it over four times. They aren’t playing well coming in, and now they won’t be fresh, either.
The Bills have really stepped it up defensively here down the stretch. They have given up 16 or fewer points in four of their last six games overall. The only exceptions were the 23 and the 37 allowed to the Patriots in their two meetings with them, which is no shame. Their defense is good enough to contain Blake Bortles and this weak Jacksonville offense. That’s another reason the Jaguars can’t be this big of a favorite because Bortles is still their quarterback.
The strength of the Bills offensively is their running game. They have rushed for at least 104 yards in six of their last seven games and rank 6th in the NFL in rushing at 126.1 yards per game. LeSean McCoy is a fast healer and should be ready to go as he returned to practice late in the week. And the weakness of the Jaguars’ defense is against the run. They rank 21st in rushing defense at 116.2 yards per game and 4.3 per carry allowed. The Jaguars have allowed at least 108 rushing yards in five of their last six games overall.
A big reason for the Jaguars’ success this season is their weak schedule. They actually played the easiest (32nd) schedule in the entire NFL. The Bills played the 16th-toughest schedule. According to Jeff Sagarin’s strength of schedule rankings, the team that played the tougher schedule in the regular season is 41-19 SU & 41-18-1 ATS since the inception of the Wild Card. Underdogs that played the harder schedule are 21-9 ATS. When the difference is 10 or more, the team that played the tougher schedule is 24-5 SU & 23-5-1 ATS. Take the Bills Sunday.
|01-06-18||Pelicans +2 v. Wolves||Top||98-116||Loss||-110||11 h 0 m||Show|
20* NBA Saturday No-Doubt Rout on New Orleans Pelicans +2
The Minnesota Timberwolves are in a brutal spot tonight. They will be playing the 2nd of a back-to-back and their 5th game in 7 days. They are a tired team right now, and it has shown with back-to-back road losses at Brooklyn and at Boston.
After facing Boston last night, it will be a long flight back to Minnesota. And compounding matters is the fact that they have to face a rested Pelicans team that has had two days off coming in, and one that will be playing just their 2nd game in 7 days.
They will also be facing a motivated Pelicans team that has already lost twice at home to the Timberwolves this season. So they’ll want some revenge here, and they should get it given their massive rest advantage.
Plays on underdogs (New Orleans) - revenging a home loss vs. opponent, off an upset win as a road underdog are 98-54 (64.5%) ATS over the last five seasons. The Timberwolves are 2-10-1 ATS in their last 13 home games. Roll with the Pelicans Saturday.
|01-06-18||Falcons +6.5 v. Rams||26-13||Win||100||56 h 30 m||Show|
15* Falcons/Rams NFC Saturday No-Brainer on Atlanta +6.5
The Atlanta Falcons are going to be highly motivated to make a deep run in the playoffs after what happened to them in the Super Bowl last year, blowing a 28-3 lead to the Patriots. They have held it together pretty well this season and have avoided that dreaded Super Bowl hangover.
I like the fact that the Falcons have been in must-win mode here down the stretch, which is basically playoff mode, so they are battle-tested and ready to go. The Falcons have gone 3-1 down the stretch while outgaining all four opponents, their only loss coming on the road at New Orleans.
Last week they needed a win to get in the playoffs, and boy did they deliver. They beat the Panthers 22-10 at home and outgained them by 123 total yards. Matt Ryan threw for 317 yards and a touchdown without an interception to lead the way. The defense came through with arguably their best performance of the season, limiting Cam Newton to 14-of-34 passing for 180 yards and forcing three interceptions. The Panthers managed just 248 total yards in the game.
The Rams were smart to rest many of their starters against the 49ers last week. And I have been high on this team all season, but they weren’t in playoff mode in Week 17, and I don’t trust their inexperience in this pressure-packed situation. Mostly everyone on the roster has little-to-no playoff experience, including QB Jared Goff. I certainly trust Ryan more in this situation than Goff. And we’re getting 6.5 points with the Falcons to boot.
The Falcons actually rank 4th in the NFL in yards per play differential. Only the Saints, Jaguars and Vikings have been better in this department. That’s even more impressive when you consider the Falcons faced the 4th-toughest schedule in the entire NFL this season. This team isn’t as broken as the media leads you on to believe.
While the Falcons played the 4th-toughest schedule, the Rams played the 17th-hardest. That’s important when we look at a wild card system that is tried and true. Since the inception of the wild card, teams that played the tougher schedule according to Jeff Sagarin’s rankings are 41-19 SU & 41-18-1 ATS. Underdogs with the tougher schedule are 21-9 ATS. When the difference is 10 or more, like it is here (4th & 17th), the team that played the harder schedule is 24-5 SU & 23-5-1 ATS.
Atlanta is 6-0 ATS against NFC West opponents over the last two seasons. Atlanta is 6-0 ATS in its last six games after gaining less than 90 rushing yards in its previous game. The Rams are 4-10-1 ATS in their last 15 home games. Roll with the Falcons Saturday.
|01-06-18||Marquette +16 v. Villanova||90-100||Win||100||10 h 55 m||Show|
15* CBB Saturday Undervalued Underdog on Marquette +16
This line is inflated because Villanova is off a loss, and the betting public is quick to back them off that loss. But I think the Wildcats have a lot of issues right now, especially inside, that will have them overvalued in Big East play all season.
Marquette is too good of a team to be catching 16 points to Villanova. They are 11-4 this season with their four losses coming to Purdue, Wichita State, Georgia and Xavier. Not one of those losses came by 16-plus points.
Marquette hasn’t lost any of its last four meetings with Villanova by more than 15 points. In fact, the Golden Eagles upset the Wildcats 74-72 at home last year. The Golden Eagles are 4-1 ATS in their last five road games. Bet Marquette Saturday.
|01-06-18||Titans v. Chiefs UNDER 44.5||Top||22-21||Win||100||53 h 56 m||Show|
20* Chiefs/Titans NFL Wild Card Opener on UNDER 44.5
The Kansas City Chiefs and Tennessee Titans will play in a defensive battle to open the playoffs Saturday afternoon. It will be cold in Kansas City on Saturday with a high of 31 degrees and wins from 10 to 15 miles per hour, so the weather will aid this UNDER as well.
The Chiefs give up some plays between the 20’s, but they buckle down in the red zone, especially at home. Kansas City is only allowing 16.9 points per game at home this season. In fact, the Chiefs haven’t allowed more than 20 points at home all year! They’ve given up 13, 13, 15 and 16 points in their last four home games, respectively.
The Titans have been held to 23 or fewer points in six of their last seven road games. They are scoring just 14.7 points per game in their last seven road games. Their offense has been terrible all season as Marcus Mariota is extremely overrated. And they no longer have the dangerous 1-2 punch in the backfield as DeMarco Murray has missed time down the stretch and won’t play in this game. Making matters worse is that no receivers are getting separation for Mariota.
The Chiefs got off to a tremendous start to the season offensively, but things have cooled off significantly for them on that side of the ball down the stretch. They are averaging 22.7 points per game in their last seven games overall. Based on these averages with the Chiefs’ offense down the stretch and the Titans on the road, we’re looking at somewhere in the neighborhood of a 23-15 game, which would be well below the 44.5-point total.
Tennessee has been playing some very good defense here down the stretch. They Titans have allowed 22 or fewer points in nine of their last 12 games. They have allowed 16 points or fewer in four of their final six games. They are giving up just 19.2 points per game in their last 12 games overall. They are fully capable of keeping this Kansas City offense in check Saturday.
The UNDER is 44-19 in Chiefs last 63 home games overall. The UNDER is 4-1 in Chiefs last five playoff home games. The UNDER is 6-0 in Chiefs last six home games with a total between 42.5 and 45 points. Kansas City is 9-1 UNDER in home games when playing with 6 or fewer days’ rest over the last two seasons. The UNDER is 4-0 in Titans last four playoff games. Bet the UNDER in this game Saturday.
|01-06-18||Kansas State +10 v. Texas Tech||58-74||Loss||-108||6 h 56 m||Show|
15* Big 12 PLAY OF THE DAY on Kansas State +10
The Texas Tech Red Raiders are in a bad spot today. They are coming off a huge upset win at Kansas, which sets them up for a letdown spot. And they’re being overvalued due to that Kansas win now as double-digit favorites here against Kansas State.
Certainly the Red Raiders are improved this season, but they have mostly feasted on an easy schedule and cannot live up to the expectations they have created for themselves.
The Wildcats are now pushovers. They are 11-3 this season against a tougher schedule than Texas Tech has played. They went on the road and beat Iowa State 91-75 in their conference opener before losing by 8 to a very good West Virginia team at home. They are more than capable of hanging with the Red Raiders today. Roll with Kansas State Saturday.
|01-06-18||Notre Dame v. Syracuse -6||Top||51-49||Loss||-110||5 h 11 m||Show|
20* ACC GAME OF THE WEEK on Syracuse -6
Notre Dame is without its two best players today in Bonzie Colson (21.4 ppg, 10.4 rpg) and Matt Farrell (15.9 ppg, 5.1 apg). They won’t be nearly the team they were before without those two, and now they have to go on the road in a hostile environment against Syracuse.
And the Orange certainly won’t be taking the Fighting Irish lightly. They are coming off a road loss at Wake Forest and will be highly motivated for a win here at home. They were last seen at home blowing out Virginia Tech 68-56, and they are 10-1 at home this season.
Syracuse is 9-1 ATS in home games against conference opponents over the last two seasons, winning by an average of 10.8 points per game. Notre Dame is 5-19 ATS in its last 24 games off a win by 20 points or more against a conference opponent. Bet Syracuse Saturday.
|01-06-18||Seton Hall v. Butler -3||90-87||Loss||-108||4 h 26 m||Show|
15* Big East PLAY OF THE DAY on Butler -3
The Butler Bulldogs are certainly battle-tested coming into this game with Seton Hall tonight. They beat Villanova 101-93 at home and lost 79-86 at Xavier in their last two games, while also winning in overtime at Georgetown to open conference play. They’ll be ready for Seton Hall tonight.
Conversely, Seton Hall has played four straight home games and has opened conference play with Narrow wins over Creighton (90-84) and St. John’s (75-70). They certainly take a step up in class here and will be on the road for the first time since an ugly 65-71 loss at Rutgers as 8.5-point favorites.
Butler has one of the best home-court advantages in the country. The Bulldogs are 9-0 SU & 7-1 ATS at home this season, winning by 22.2 points per game on average. The Bulldogs are 6-0 ATS in home games off a road loss over the last three seasons. Butler is 8-1 ATS in its last nine meetings with Seton Hall. Take Butler Saturday.
|01-05-18||Raptors v. Bucks +1.5||Top||129-110||Loss||-110||9 h 47 m||Show|
20* NBA Eastern Conference GAME OF THE MONTH on Milwaukee Bucks +1.5
I love the situation for the Milwaukee Bucks tonight. They get a chance to avenge an overtime loss in Toronto on Monday, January 1st just a few days ago. They will be the more motivated team here on Friday, January 5th.
The Bucks come in playing well having gone 3-1 SU & 4-0 ATS in their last four games overall. They have beaten Minnesota and Indiana at home, and Oklahoma City on the road while also losing to the Raptors on the road in overtime. This team is really coming together.
I think the Raptors are way overvalued right now as road favorites here over the Bucks. They have won three straight coming in, but the schedule has been much lighter with games against the Hawks, Bucks and Bulls. They lost their two previous road games to the Thunder and Mavericks prior to this winning streak.
Plays on home teams where the line is +3 to -3 (Milwaukee) - after going over the total by 48 or more points total in their last ten games, on Friday nights are 38-15 (71.7%) ATS over the last five seasons. The Raptors are 0-4 ATS in their last four games vs. a team with a winning record. The Bucks are 7-0-1 ATS in their last eight games vs. a team with a winning record. Bet the Bucks Friday.
|01-05-18||Knicks v. Heat -4.5||103-107||Loss||-107||9 h 46 m||Show|
15* NBA Eastern Conference ANNIHILATOR on Miami Heat -4.5
The Miami Heat have done a great job of digging themselves out of an early hole to get to 20-17 and currently three games above .500. They recently got James Johnson back in the lineup, and they are getting some big contributions from everywhere.
The Heat have gone 9-4 in their last 13 games overall. They are coming off a 111-104 win over the Pistons. Kelly Olynyk had 25 points and 13 rebounds, Goran Tragic had 24 points and 13 assists, Josh Richardson had 25 points and 5 assists and Johnson provided 16 points in 24 minutes in his return from injury.
I don’t like the mindset of the Knicks right now. Kristaps Porzingis came out and said he is so tired right now, and that it’s mentally tough and he doesn’t have it in him. That’s a bad statement and one that won’t sit well in the locker room moving forward.
The Knicks have gone 1-6 SU & 2-5 ATS in their last seven games overall. New York is 3-13 SU & 5-11 ATS on the road this season. The Knicks are 1-12 ATS in road games against teams who attempts 21 or fewer free throws per game over the last two seasons. Miami is 25-11 ATS when revenging a loss vs. opponent over the last two seasons. The Heat are 28-11 ATS in their last 39 Friday games. The favorite is 19-7 ATS in the last 26 meetings. The Knicks are 4-10 ATS in the last 14 meetings. Roll with the Heat Friday.
|01-05-18||Pistons v. 76ers -6||78-114||Win||100||8 h 46 m||Show|
15* NBA Friday No-Doubt Rout on Philadelphia 76ers -6
The Detroit Pistons are extremely vulnerable right now due to all their injuries. They are already without Reggie Jackson, Stanley Johnson and Jon Leuer. Now they could be without All-Star center Andre Drummond tonight as he is questionable with a rib injury.
The 76ers are in good shape on the injury front with their only player they’re missing being Markelle Fultz, who has been out for months. This return to health has led to a 4-1 SU & 4-1 ATS run over their last five games for the 76ers.
I’m expecting a big effort here from the 76ers. That’s because they won’t play against until January 11th, getting five days off in between games. They want to go into this extended break on a four-game winning streak and should have no problem accomplishing that against the depleted Pistons.
Philadelphia is 36-17 ATS in its last 53 games following an ATS win. The 76ers are 10-3 ATS in their last 13 Friday games. The Pistons are 19-42 ATS in their last 61 road games vs. a team with a losing home record. Detroit is 2-9 ATS in its last 11 vs. NBA Atlantic Division opponents. The favorite is 39-18-1 ATS in the last 58 meetings. Take the 76ers Friday.
|01-04-18||Thunder v. Clippers +2||Top||127-117||Loss||-110||12 h 53 m||Show|
20* Thunder/Clippers TNT Late-Night BAILOUT on Los Angeles +2
The Los Angeles Clippers are way under the radar right now. They had some key injuries that led to a poor run, but now Blake Griffin and company are back healthy and the Clippers are playing their best basketball of the season coming into this game.
Indeed, the Clippers are 6-1 SU & 6-0-1 ATS in their last seven games overall. They won all six games by 8 points or more as well. They had yesterday off and will be fresh and ready to go at home tonight against the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Conversely, the Thunder just played last night against the Lakers and will be playing the 2nd of a back-to-back. And spending the night in Los Angeles is always a shaky proposition because it’s likely the players went out and partied last night. And the Thunder have been money burners on the road, going 7-11 SU & 6-12 ATS this season.
Oklahoma City is 3-15 ATS in road games after covering four or five of their last six against the spread over the last two seasons. The Clippers are 12-3-1 ATS in their last 16 games overall. Los Angeles is 8-0-1 ATS in its last nine after scoring 100 points or more in its previous game. The Thunder are 1-9 ATS in their last 10 games vs. a team with a losing record. The home team is 4-0 ATS in the last four meetings. Bet the Clippers Thursday.
|01-04-18||Cincinnati v. Temple +7.5||55-53||Win||100||10 h 13 m||Show|
15* Cincinnati/Temple ESPN 2 No-Brainer on Temple +7.5
The Temple Owls are going to be highly motivated for a victory tonight following three consecutive losses coming in. But the competition has been stiff with losses to Georgia, Houston and Tulane with two of those on the road. And now they are battle-tested and ready to go against a ranked Cincinnati team tonight.
Conversely, Cincinnati comes in overvalued off three straight blowout wins over weak competition in Arkansas-Pine Bluff, Cleveland State and Memphis. The Bearcats have only played two true road games this year, and they lost at Xavier and won at UCLA. This will be a tough test for them against a motivated Owls squad looking to avoid an 0-3 start in conference play.
This has been a closely-contested series in recent meetings. Each of the last four meetings have been decided by 7 points or less. And Temple is 4-0-1 ATS in its last five meetings with Cincinnati. That’s significant considering the Owls returned four starters this season and are much better than they have shown up to this point.
Cincinnati is 4-15 ATS in road games when playing just its 2nd game in 8 days over the last three seasons. The Bearcats are 0-6 ATS in road games after scoring 75 points or more in two straight games over the last two seasons. Temple is 13-4 ATS versus good offensive teams scoring 77 or more points per game over the last three years. The Bearcats are 2-8 ATS in their last 10 road games. Roll with Temple Thursday.
|01-04-18||Ohio State v. Iowa +1||92-81||Loss||-100||8 h 13 m||Show|
15* Big Ten PLAY OF THE DAY on Iowa +1
After opening 0-3 in Big Ten play with losses to Penn State, Indiana and Michigan, it’s safe to say the Iowa Hawkeyes will be highly motivated for their first conference victory at home tonight. This is a very important game for them since their next there games on the road, so they will be max motivated.
Ohio State has not done well when stepping up in class this season, and the Buckeyes are 0-4 ATS in their last four games overall. They have losses to UNC, Clemson, Gonzaga and Butler with three of those losses coming by double-digits, so they have rarely been competitive against the better teams they have faced.
The Hawkeyes are 3-1 SU & 3-1 ATS in their last four meetings with the Buckeyes. They have won their last two home meetings with Ohio State by 13 and 9 points.
The Buckeyes are 12-30-1 ATS in their last 43 road games. The Hawkeyes are 4-1-1 ATS in their last six home games. Ohio State is 0-7 ATS after having won five or six of its last seven games over the last two seasons. Iowa is 6-0 ATS in home games with a total set of 150 to 154.5 over the last two years. The Buckeyes are 0-6 ATS in road games versus good offensive teams scoring 77 or more points per game over the last two seasons. Take Iowa Thursday.
|01-03-18||Suns v. Nuggets OVER 217.5||Top||111-134||Win||100||10 h 15 m||Show|
20* NBA TOTAL OF THE MONTH on Suns/Nuggets OVER 217.5
The books have set the bar too low in this game tonight between the Phoenix Suns and Denver Nuggets. This game will be a shootout, especially since both teams are almost fully healthy going in.
The recent head-to-head series is all that needs to be seen here to know there’s value with the OVER. The OVER is 4-0 in the last four meetings with combined scores of 235, 247, 234 and 224 points. That’s an average of 235 combined points per game, which is roughly 18 points more than this 217.5-point total.
Denver is 10-1 OVER in home games off an upset loss as a favorite over the last three seasons. The Nuggets are 15-2 OVER versus terrible defensive teams that allow 110 or more points per game over the last two seasons. Bet the OVER in this game Wednesday.
|01-03-18||Virginia v. Virginia Tech +4||78-52||Loss||-115||9 h 27 m||Show|
15* CBB Wednesday UPSET SHOCKER on Virginia Tech +4
Buzz Williams has this Virginia Tech program on the rise. He led them to a 22-11 record and the NCAA Tournament last season. Now he has four starters back from that team and his best team yet in his fourth season.
The Hokies are off to an 11-3 start this season with their three losses all coming on the road to Syracuse, Kentucky and Saint Louis. But they are 9-0 SU & 5-0 ATS at home this season, winning by an average of 28.8 points per game.
And Virginia Tech has been able to upset Virginia at home each of the last two seasons. The Hokies won 70-68 as 12.5-point home underdogs in 2016 and 80-78 as 5-point home dogs in 2017. Now they are 4-point home underdogs and have their best team yet, so they should be able to pull the upset again here, especially with how well they play at home.
Virginia is 5-21 ATS in its last 26 games off a close home win by 3 points or less. Virginia Tech is 10-2 ATS in home games after playing a road game over the last three seasons. The Hokies are 12-2 ATS as a home underdog or PK over the last three years. Virginia Tech is 24-7-1 ATS in its last 32 home games overall. The Hokies are 8-2-1 ATS in their last 11 vs. ACC opponents. The home team is 4-0 ATS in the last four meetings. The Cavaliers are 0-4 ATS in their last four trips to Blacksburg. Take Virginia Tech Wednesday.
|01-03-18||St Bonaventure -1.5 v. Dayton||Top||72-82||Loss||-106||9 h 43 m||Show|
20* CBB Wednesday No-Doubt Rout on St. Bonaventure -1.5
The St. Bonaventure Bonnies are absolutely loaded this season. They returned four starters from last year including their killer backcourt of Matt Mobley and Jaylen Adams, who combined to average 39 points per game last season.
It’s no surprise the Bonnies are off to an 11-2 start this season with wins over the likes of Maryland and Syracuse on the road thus far. Adams is averaging 20.1 points and Mobley 18.3 points thus far to pick up right where they left off last year.
Dayton was clearly going to be a rebuilding team this season. They lost head coach Archie Miller to Indiana and lost four of their top five scores from last season. It’s no wonder they are just 6-7 this season with losses to the likes of Hofstra, Old Dominion, Pennsylvania and Duquesne already. Their six wins have come against Wagner, Georgia State, Tennessee Tech, Akron, Ohio and Ball State.
St. Bonaventure is 10-0 ATS in road games after a combined score of 165 points or more over the last three seasons. The Bonnies are 9-0 ATS in road games after scoring 85 points or more over the last three years. Dayton is 0-6 ATS versus teams who commit 14 or fewer turnovers per game this season. The road team is 5-0 ATS in the last five meetings. These four trends combine for a perfect 30-0 system backing the Bonnies. Bet St. Bonaventure Wednesday.
|01-03-18||Cavs v. Celtics -2.5||88-102||Win||100||9 h 15 m||Show|
15* Cavs/Celtics ESPN Wednesday No-Brainer on Boston -2.5
The Boston Celtics want to make a statement tonight and let the Cleveland Cavaliers know that they are coming for them in the Eastern Conference. Look for a big effort from the Celtics, especially given the advantageous situation for them.
The Celtics were a tired team in December with a brutal schedule and few breaks. But they got a big break heading into this game with two days off having last played on Sunday against Brooklyn. They will be rested and ready to go tonight.
Conversely, the Cavaliers will be playing the 2nd of a back-to-back after a home win over the Portland Trail Blazers last night. It was Isaiah Thomas’ season debut, and he played well and showed what might be a sign of things to come. But now Thomas will sit this game to rest, and the Cavaliers will be fatigued quickly.
The Cavaliers are 1-7 ATS in their last eight games following a win. Cleveland is 0-4 ATS in its last four road games. Boston is 10-3-1 ATS in its last 14 games following an ATS loss. The Celtics are 11-4-1 ATS in their last 16 after allowing 100 points or more in their previous game. Take the Celtics Wednesday.
|01-03-18||Rockets v. Magic +8||116-98||Loss||-110||8 h 34 m||Show|
15* NBA Wednesday Undervalued Underdog on Orlando Magic +8
The Houston Rockets cannot be 8-point road favorites over the Orlando Magic tonight. They just lost their best player and MVP candidate James Harden to a hamstring injury that will sideline him for a couple weeks. They’ll still be good with Chris Paul, but they cannot be laying this kind of weight.
Conversely, the Orlando Magic are getting healthy. They just recently got back their top two scorers in Evan Fournier and Aaron Gordon, who both average over 18 points per game. They have been competitive in their three games since their return, beating Detroit by 13 and only losing to Miami by 6 and Brooklyn by 3.
Home-court advantage has been big in this series as the home team is 5-1 straight up in the last six meetings. The Magic have won two of their last three home meetings with the Rockets outright, and their only loss came by 7 points, which is less than this 8-point spread.
The Rockets are 7-18-1 ATS in their last 26 games vs. a team with a losing record. Houston is 0-6 ATS in its last six games overall. The Rockets are 0-4 ATS in their last four road games. The Magic are 11-4 ATS in their last 15 meetings with the Rockets, including 6-2 ATS in their last eight home meetings. Roll with the Magic Wednesday.
|01-02-18||Florida +2.5 v. Texas A&M||83-66||Win||100||9 h 44 m||Show|
15* Florida/Texas A&M ESPN 2 ANNIHILATOR on Florida +2.5
The Texas A&M Aggies are a great team to fade opening SEC play. I did just that when they were ranked 9th and traveled to Alabama. I took Alabama +1 and the Crimson Tide delivered with a 79-57 blowout victory. I’ll fade the Aggies again tonight for many of the same reasons.
Texas A&M has a ton of injuries and suspensions right now. They are missing leading scorer DJ Hogg (14.6 ppg, 6.8 rpg) due to suspension and third-leading scorer Admon Gilder (12.7 ppg, 5.3 rpg) due to a knee injury. Fourth-leading scorer Duane Wilson (12.1 ppg, 4.5 apg) is also doubtful with a knee injury. It’s no wonder they were nearly upset by Northern Kentucky at home recently in a 6-point win and were blown out by Alabama.
Florida has suffered several close losses this season that has it undervalued. The Gators are only 9-4, but three losses came by 6 points or fewer, including a 3-point loss to Duke and a 2-point loss to Clemson. This team has been through the gauntlet with one of the toughest schedules in the country, which will only benefit the Gators heading into conference play.
Florida is 33-14 ATS in its last 47 games after failing to cover the spread in three or more consecutive games. The Gators are 14-6 ATS in their last 20 road games following three or more consecutive home games. Texas A&M is 4-12 ATS in all home games over the last two seasons. The road team is 4-1 ATS in the last five meetings. Florida coach Mike White is 9-1 ATS in road games after failing to cover the spread in three or more consecutive games in all games he has coached. Take Florida Tuesday.
|01-02-18||Blazers v. Cavs OVER 211.5||110-127||Win||100||7 h 49 m||Show|
15* NBA Tuesday Total DOMINATOR on Blazers/Cavaliers OVER 211.5
The Cleveland Cavaliers have already been one of the best offensive teams in the NBA, and one of the worst defensive teams in the league up to this point. Now Isaiah Thomas is expected to make his season debut for the Cavaliers tonight. Thomas is a great scorer and a terrible defender, so he’ll fit right in.
The Cavaliers rank 3rd in the NBA in offensive efficiency, averaging 111.1 points per 100 possessions. But what has held them back this season is the fact that they rank 28th in defensive efficiency, giving up 108.7 points per 100 possessions.
Portland also gets some good news tonight with the return of leading scorer Damian Lillard, who missed the past five games with a right hamstring strain. The Blazers have put up 114 and 124 points in two of their last three games without him, but getting him back will only make them even more explosive offensively moving forward.
The OVER is 21-10-1 in Cavaliers last 32 home games. The OVER is 8-3 in Cavaliers last 11 games when playing on 2 days’ rest. The OVER is 7-1 in the last eight meetings in Cleveland. They combined for 262 points in their lone meeting in Cleveland last season. Roll with the OVER in this game Tuesday.
|01-02-18||Michigan v. Iowa +3||Top||75-68||Loss||-110||7 h 44 m||Show|
20* Michigan/Iowa ESPN 2 No-Brainer on Iowa +3
The Iowa Hawkeyes have really turned it around in the month of December. They have gone 5-0 SU & 4-0 ATS in their last five games overall. Four of their five wins have come by 23 or more points, and the lone exception was an 80-73 victory as 3.5-point favorites over Colorado on a neutral.
Michigan is having a solid season overall at 12-3. But the Wolverines have lost two of their four true road games to Ohio State and North Carolina. And I think they will be in over their heads here against an Iowa team that has owned them recently.
Indeed, the Hawkeyes are a perfect 5-0 SU & 5-0 ATS in their last five meetings with Michigan despite being an underdog in the last two. They have won those five meetings by an average of 12.0 points per game to boot. I think the one-sided nature of this series continues tonight as the improving Hawkeyes get the win and cover.
Iowa is 8-0 ATS in home games vs. teams who shoot 45% or better and give up 42% or worse over the last three seasons. The Hawkeyes are 6-0 ATS in home games versus good defensive teams allowing 64 points or fewer over the last three seasons. Iowa is 4-0-1 ATS in its last five home games. The Hawkeyes are 4-0-1 ATS in their last five games overall. Throw in the 5-0 ATS run against Michigan, and we have a combined 27-0 system backing the Hawkeyes here tonight. Bet Iowa Tuesday.
|01-01-18||Alabama -1.5 v. Clemson||Top||24-6||Win||100||654 h 29 m||Show|
25* College Bowl GAME OF THE YEAR on Alabama -1.5
Nick Saban with revenge and extra time to prepare. Sign me up. The Crimson Tide get a chance to avenge their 35-31 loss to Clemson in the National Championship last year. I fully expect them to take advantage of their opportunity, and this time around they won’t have to deal with Deshaun Watson.
This is the third straight year these teams will meet in the playoffs. The Crimson Tide were 6-point favorites two years ago and 6.5-point favorites last year. So the fact that they are only 1.5-point favorites in the grudge match shows that there is some line value here.
Let’s look at those last two meetings. Alabama led 45-33 two years ago with two minutes left before Clemson got a meaningless touchdown with 12 seconds left to cover as 6.5-point dogs. Then last year, Alabama led 31-28 with only two minutes left, only to watch Clemson score on the game’s final play on a pick play that wasn’t called to win 35-31.
That sick loss has sat in Saban and the Crimson Tide’s stomach for a full year now, and they can’t wait to get the taste out of their mouths. And they won’t have to deal with Watson this time. Kelly Bryant is a good quarterback, but he’s certainly no Watson and isn’t battle-tested in these big games like Watson was.
I think Alabama actually comes into the four-team playoff undervalued because of the fact that they are the No. 4 seed and they ended their season with a 14-26 loss at Auburn, which was their only loss of the season. It’s the first time in a long time I can remember this team being as undervalued as they are right now.
Conversely, Clemson comes into this game overvalued due to being the No. 1 seed. They were last seen beating a banged-up Miami team 38-3 in the ACC Championship. I think that Saban will feed off of the fact that they are the higher seed and cement in his players’ minds that they are the underdogs, despite the fact that Vegas disagrees, and I agree with Vegas.
The Crimson Tide were banged up on defense down the stretch this season, but they are expected to get several key players back along the defensive front seven and in the secondary for this game. They should be about as healthy as they’ve been since the start of the season. And I’d put this defense up against anyone.
Alabama gives up just 11.5 points per game, 258 yards per game and 4.0 yards per play this season against teams that average 27 points, 382 yards per game and 5.7 per play. Clemson has an elite defense as well, but it’s not as good as this Alabama unit when you compare the numbers.
Alabama also has the edge on offense, and it’s not really even that close. Clemson has taken a big step back on offense this season. Yards per play is the most important stat in my opinion. Alabama averages 6.9 yards per play against teams that give up 5.7 per play, while Clemson averages just 6.0 yards per play against teams that give up 5.7 per play. So essentially the Crimson Tide are 0.9 yards per play better than Clemson offensively.
Saban is 15-4 ATS after failing to cover three of their last four against the spread as the coach of Alabama. The Crimson Tide are 42-21 ATS in their last 63 road games following one or more consecutive ATS losses. Alabama is 10-4 ATS in its last 14 games following an ATS loss. The Crimson Tide are 4-0 ATS in their last four games on fieldturf. The Tigers are 2-7 ATS in their last nine games on fieldturf. Bet Alabama in the Sugar Bowl Monday.
|01-01-18||Magic +2 v. Nets||95-98||Loss||-105||8 h 42 m||Show|
15* NBA Monday PLAY OF THE DAY on Orlando Magic +2
The Magic just recently got healthy with Evan Fournier and Aaron Gordon returning to the lineup. These are their two leading scorers as Gordon averages 18.9 PPG while Fournier scores 18.3 PPG. They have gone 1-1 since their return with an upset win over Detroit by 13 and a 6-point loss to Miami as underdogs.
I think the Magic can take advantage of a Nets team in a terrible situation tonight. The Nets will be playing the 2nd of a back-to-back and their 5th game in 7 days after a tough 105-108 loss in Boston last night. They won’t have much left in the tank here.
The spot is even worse for the Nets considering they are coming off a five-game road trip with a ton of travel. I usually like fading tired teams off an extended road trip in their first game back home. They are usually distracted, and the Nets will certainly be distracted considering last night was New Year’s Eve.
The Nets are 6-17 ATS in home games off a division game over the last three seasons. Brooklyn is 18-33 ATS when playing 8 or more games in 14 days over the last three years. Bet the Magic Monday.
|01-01-18||Georgia v. Oklahoma +2.5||54-48||Loss||-110||80 h 34 m||Show|
15* Georgia/Oklahoma Rose Bowl ANNIHILATOR on Oklahoma +2.5
The Big 12 has put together an impressive showing in these bowl games with a 5-2 record thus far. And Oklahoma was the class of the Big 12, and it wasn’t really even close. Once again the Sooners won the conference and will get another shot at the four-team playoff here, and they’ll want to redeem themselves after losing to Clemson in their last appearance.
Now they have the best quarterback in the country in Baker Mayfield. He leads a high-octane Oklahoma offense that is putting up 44.9 points per game, 583 yards per game and 8.4 yards per play. The Sooners are scoring 17 points per game, averaging 181 yards per game and 3.1 yards per play more than their opponents allow on average this season. This offense is simply unstoppable.
TCU has a comparable defense to Georgia. The Horned Frogs were one of the best defensive teams in the country this season. And Oklahoma beat TCU 38-20 in the regular season while putting up 533 total yards. Then they backed up that win with a 41-17 win over the Horned Frogs in the Big 12 Championship Game. Georgia isn’t going to be able to stop Mayfield and company, either.
I think Georgia benefited from an extremely soft schedule this season. The SEC East was arguably the worst division of all Power 5 conferences. And they draw Mississippi State and Auburn from the SEC West, and actually lost to Auburn 17-40 in the regular season. The Bulldogs were able to get revenge in the SEC Championship against Auburn to get into the four-team playoff, but it doesn’t mask the fact that their schedule was rather easy this year outside of a 1-1 split with Auburn.
Oklahoma is 4-0 in its last four games against SEC opponents, which includes a bowl win over Alabama a few years back. The Sooners have been able to step up to the plate against the better teams, and they have been able to handle the SEC. That’s evidence by the fact that they are 11-1 ATS when playing against a team with a winning record over the last two seasons, and a perfect 7-0 ATS when playing against a team with a winning percentage of better than 75% over the last two years. Roll with Oklahoma in the Rose Bowl.
|01-01-18||Central Florida +10 v. Auburn||Top||34-27||Win||100||75 h 5 m||Show|
20* UCF/Auburn Peach Bowl No-Brainer on UCF +10
Let’s take a look at the history of how these Group of 5 teams have done against the Power 5 opponents dating back to the BCS era and currently the New Year’s 6. In the last 19 meetings, the Power 5 team has been favored 16 times. Well, the Group of 5 team has actually gone 13-6 straight up in those 19 meetings.
I think there’s an obvious explanation for the success of the Group of 5 team holding that 13-6 straight up edge. The Group of 5 team is almost always max motivated, as will be the case for UCF in this game as they are 12-0 and feel like they belong in the four-team playoff.
Conversely, the Power 5 team is not motivated. It’s a lose-lose situation for them. If they win the game they were expected to win anyways. If they lose the game, it looks really bad. And that Power 5 team likely just missed out on the four-team playoff or a bigger bowl game dating back to the BCS era.
That is the case for Auburn here. The Tigers would have made the four-team playoff had they beaten Georgia for a second time in the SEC Championship Game. Instead, they lost that game and now have to settle for the Peach Bowl. They will still be disappointed that they aren’t in the playoff, and they won’t be fully motivated for this game.
UCF has made me a lot of money this season, going 12-0 SU & 7-3-1 ATS. The Knights were really undervalued early in the year going 5-0 ATS in their last first five games while winning each of their first seven games by double-digits. I think the fact that they went just 2-3 ATS in their final five games has them undervalued.
The schedule got tougher and the pressure mounted down the stretch. They beat South Florida 49-42 to get in the AAC Championship Game, then had to face a revenge-minded Memphis team that they had beaten 40-13 earlier in the year. Memphis gave them all they wanted in a 62-55 overtime win.
I think the experience from those two close games will pay dividends for them in this game against Auburn, which I expect to be close as well. And instead of having a huge target on their backs like they did during their 12-0 run, they get to be the hunters in this game. All the pressure is on Auburn, a big-name team from the SEC with the target on their backs in this one.
I also love the fact that Scott Frost has remained with the team and will coach this game. He will keep his assistants with him before they move on full time to Nebraska after this game. It shows a lot about the character of Frost in wanting to see this unbeaten 13-0 season through.
"There's some unusual circumstances, but our staff is completely committed and we're going to do everything we can for this football team," Frost said. "It's an honor to be invited to this game. These players have poured their hearts out to accomplish a lot this year."
The Knights lead the nation in scoring offense at 49.4 points per game. They also have an elite defense, giving up just 25.2 points per game. They won’t be overmatched athletically as Frost did a tremendous job of recruiting athletes that can compete with SEC teams. The Tigers are 0-4-1 ATS in their last five non-conference games. Take UCF in the Peach Bowl Monday.
|12-31-17||Grizzlies v. Kings -2||Top||114-96||Loss||-102||8 h 31 m||Show|
20* NBA Sunday No-Doubt Rout on Sacramento Kings -2
This is the perfect spot to fade the Memphis Grizzlies. They are coming off a 128-141 shootout loss to the Golden State Warriors on the road last night. So they will be tired now as they are playing the 2nd of a back-to-back and their 7th game in 12 days tonight.
The Kings come in rested with yesterday off and motivated for a victory following an upset home loss to the Suns. It was an understandable loss as they were coming off a 109-95 upset win over the Cavs as 9.5-point dogs, so it was clearly a letdown spot. Look for them to be refocused and ready to go tonight against the fatigued Grizzlies.
Sacramento is 10-1 ATS off a loss to a division opponent over the last two seasons. The Kings are 35-16 ATS in their last 51 games off an upset loss by 10 points or more as a home favorite. Memphis is 2-11 ATS when the total is 190 to 195.5 this season. The Grizzlies are 2-11 ATS vs. a team with a losing record this season. Sacramento is 7-2-1 ATS in its last 10 games following a loss. Bet the Kings Sunday.
|12-31-17||Georgia +10 v. Kentucky||Top||61-66||Win||100||6 h 8 m||Show|
20* Georgia/Kentucky SEC Sunday No-Brainer on Georgia +10
The Kentucky Wildcats are getting way too much respect from oddsmakers off their 90-61 win over rival Louisville on Friday. Well, Louisville isn’t the same team without Rick Pitino and is clearly down this season.
That win has the betting public quickly forgetting that the Wildcats lost 75-83 to UCLA in their previous game. I think the Wildcats came out inspired because of that loss. But now they won’t have much left in the tank as they will be playing their 2nd game in 3 days here.
Georgia, on the other hand, hasn’t played since an impressive 84-66 home victory as 2-point favorites over Temple on December 22nd. This is the best Georgia team that Mark Fox has had in some time as the Bulldogs are off to a 9-2 start and have some NBA talent. They are more than capable of going toe-to-toe with this Kentucky outfit that clearly isn’t as good as in years’ past.
Georgia is 10-1 ATS in road games against conference opponents over the last two seasons. The Bulldogs are 9-2 ATS in their last 11 games as road underdogs. Georgia is 9-1 ATS when playing against a team with a winning percentage of 80% or better over the last two seasons. Roll with Georgia Sunday.
|12-31-17||49ers +4 v. Rams||Top||34-13||Win||100||126 h 36 m||Show|
20* NFC West GAME OF THE MONTH on San Francisco 49ers +4
I’ve been on the 49ers every week since Jimmy Garoppolo took over. I’m not about to buck them now. They are 4-0 SU & 3-0-1 ATS since he took over. He is undefeated in his career as a starting quarterback dating back to his time with New England. He is the real deal.
If you don’t believe Garoppolo is for real after he put up 44 points on Jacksonville’s vaunted defense last week, you need your head checked. Garopplo is completing 69.0% of his passes for 1,268 yards with 5 touchdowns and 3 interceptions for the 49ers. He is averaging 8.7 yards per attempt. Those are MVP-type numbers over a four-game sample.
The success the offense is having has prompted the defense to step up their game and play with a new passion as well. The defense is giving up just 21.5 points per game over their past four games. It’s a stop unit with a ton of talent along the front seven, and the secondary intercepted Blake Bortles three times last week. The 49ers want to finish off this 5-0 run and keep their momentum going into the offseason.
But the key handicap for this game is the motivation for the and rest situation for the Rams. I locked in the 49ers +4 early in the week anticipating that the Rams might rest starters. And that’s precisely what has happened in this game. Head coach Sean McVey came out and said that almost all of his key starters are going to rest, including Jared Goff, Todd Gurley and many others.
It was another wise move by McVey, who has been as impressive as any head coach this season. It makes 100% sense. The Rams are going to have to play next week, and they’re going to get a home game. It would actually benefit them to lose and get the No. 4 seed instead of fighting for the No. 3 seed.
That’s because the No. 4 seed is going to likely get to play the No. 1 seed Philadelphia Eagles two weeks from now. They would take on struggling Nick Foles and the Eagles, who have limped to the finish line, instead of taking on No. 2 seed Minnesota, which looks like the best team in the NFC. The Rams were already throttled 24-7 on the road by the Vikings and don’t want to have to play them again. They nearly beat the Eagles, losing 35-43 in the game that Carson Wentz got hurt.
Plays on favorites (San Francisco) after covering two of their last three games, a bad team (25% to 40%) playing a team with a winning record are 45-15 (75%) ATS since 1983. The 49ers are 4-0 ATS in their last four meetings with the Rams. Take the 49ers Sunday.
Note: I locked this line in at +4 early in the week anticipating the Rams would likely be resting their starters. That has turned out to be true. This is still a 20* play all the way to 49ers -3. It’s a 15* play at -3.5 or higher. I think there’s a good chance the 49ers blow them out of the building still, so don’t let the line move shy you away from betting them. It's a benefit to my long-term clients to get the plays as soon as I release them instead of purchasing the day of the game and getting worse lines.
|12-31-17||Cardinals +9 v. Seahawks||26-24||Win||100||123 h 26 m||Show|
15* NFL Sunday Undervalued Underdog on Arizona Cardinals +9
The fact that this is a must-win game for the Seahawks is baked into the number. They need to win and have the Falcons lost at home to the Panthers to get into the playoffs. But this line has gotten out of hand and indicates the Cardinals are just going to lay down for them. That won’t be the case.
There is rumors that it may be the last game for Bruce Arians at Arizona. His players absolutely love him and it’s well documented. It could also be the final game for Larry Fitzgerald. I think everyone will play their hearts out for those two guys, and they would love nothing more than to be the team that knocked the hated Seahawks out of the playoffs.
Quietly, the Cardinals have gotten to 7-8 this season and will be motivated to finish .500 as well. They have been hit hard by injuries, but have battled through it. They are playing their best football of the season down the stretch.
The Cardinals have actually outgained four of their last five opponents while going 3-2 over their last five games. Their defense is playing as well as any defense in the NFL, giving up just 247.4 yards per game in their last five games. And Drew Stanton and his big arm and mobility has given the offense spark. He is one of the better backup quarterbacks in the NFL.
I think Seattle beating Dallas 21-12 on the road last week has them overvalued now. But that was one of the most misleading finals you will ever see. They actually had more penalty yards (142) than total yards (136) of offense in that game. They were outgained by 147 yards by the Cowboys.
In fact, the Seahawks have been playing terrible for four straight weeks. They have been outgained in four consecutive games and by a total of 488 yards in those four, or by an average of 122 yards per game. The betting public is quick to forget that Seattle was just blown out at home 42-7 by the Rams the week prior. What a difference a week and a misleading 21-12 win over Dallas makes. Their offense is still a mess, and their defense still has injuries everywhere.
Arizona always plays Seattle tough, and that will be no different hear. And home-field advantage has meant nothing in this series of late. The road team is 5-0-1 SU & 5-0-1 ATS in the last six meetings. Arizona won outright as 9-point dogs and as 3-point dogs in its last two trips to Seattle. The Cardinals may not win outright Sunday, but they will give the Seahawks more of a fight than they bargained for.
Arians is 9-1 ATS revenging a home loss against opponent in all games he has coached. Arians is a perfect 7-0 ATS revenging a loss loss by 7 points or less as the coach of Arizona. After a tough 22-16 home loss to the Seahawks thanks to a miracle play from Russell Wilson, the Cardinals will be revenge-minded here and have the ability to pull off the upset. Roll with the Cardinals Sunday.
|12-31-17||Bulls +7.5 v. Wizards||110-114||Win||100||4 h 19 m||Show|
15* NBA Sunday Undervalued Underdog on Chicago Bulls +7.5
What do the Chicago Bulls have to do to get any love from the books? They are once again catching too many points here as 7.5-point road underdogs to the Washington Wizards.
All the Bulls have done is gone 10-2 straight up in their last 12 games and 12-1 ATS in their last 13 games. This run has coincided with Nikola Mirotic joining the lineup over the past 12 games. There’s no reason to stop backing them now.
I think the Wizards are getting love from oddsmakers from their 121-103 win over the Rockets on Friday. But that was an awful spot for the Rockets as they were playing the 2nd of a back-to-back and they were without Chris Paul. They had blown a 26-point lead to the Celtics the previous night and were in a hangover spot because of it.
The Bulls are 9-0 ATS in their last nine games following a win. Chicago is 6-1 ATS in its last seven road games. The Wizards are 1-5 ATS in their last six games following a win. The road team is 14-6 ATS in the last 20 meetings. The underdog is 19-7 ATS in the last 26 meetings. Take the Bulls Sunday.
|12-31-17||Providence +9 v. Creighton||64-83||Loss||-103||3 h 57 m||Show|
15* Big East PLAY OF THE DAY on Providence +9
The Providence Friars came into Big East play underrated due to their 2-9 ATS mark. But they had a ton of injuries in non-conference play, and then almost everyone got healthy heading into their showdown with St. John’s on Thursday.
I promptly backed the Friars in that game and they delivered with an emphatic 94-72 victory as 6-point road underdogs. I’ll back them again here as they are simply catching too many points as 9-point road underdogs at Creighton.
Providence is going to want some revenge from a 58-70 loss to Creighton in the Big East Tournament last year. And home-court advantage has meant nothing in this series as the road team has won three of the last four meetings outright, including both meetings last year. Providence won 68-66 as 7-point road dogs at Creighton last year and returned all five starters from that team.
The Friars are 7-0 ATS off an upset win as an underdog over the last two seasons. Providence is 10-2 ATS in road games off a win by 10 points or more over the last three seasons. The Friars are 16-3 ATS after two straight games committing 11 or fewer turnovers over the last three seasons. Providence is 9-2 ATS in its last 11 vs. Big East opponents. The Friars are 8-3 ATS in their last 11 road games. The Bluejays are 0-5 ATS in their last five games vs. a team with a winning % above .600. Bet Providence Sunday.
|12-31-17||Browns +14 v. Steelers||Top||24-28||Win||100||122 h 30 m||Show|
25* NFL GAME OF THE YEAR on Cleveland Browns +14
The Cleveland Browns are now assured the No. 1 pick in next year’s draft. I don’t think they were purposely tanking this season to get that pick, but that’s what happens when you go 0-15. So now their focus will be on getting a win and not becoming the second 0-16 team, joining the Detroit Lions.
I took the Browns early in the week when the line came out anticipating that the Steelers were going to rest their starters. The Steelers clinched a first-round bye on Monday with their 34-6 win over the Texans. So now they’ll be on a short week, and they would be wise to rest their starters.
Plus, the Patriots are 15.5-point home favorites over the Jets. Conventional wisdom says the Patriots aren’t losing that game, so the Steelers have no chance to get the No. 1 seed in the AFC. The more important thing is for them to be healthy going into the playoffs because they haven’t been fully healthy for years.
The Killer B’s have all missed time in the playoffs in recent years. Le’Veon Bell seems to get hurt going into or during the playoffs every year. But he’s healthy now and Mike Tomlin would be wise to sit him. He would also be wise to sit Big Ten, and Antonio Brown is already out. He is expected to return for the playoffs, though.
Tomlin has already hinted at all three of these players resting early on in the week, and tackle Marcus Gilbert came out and said as much as Big Ten and Bell won’t play. He said Landry Jones will get the start. Don’t be surprised if several other key players get the day off.
This happened in Week 17 last year as well. Cleveland nearly beat the Steelers on the road. They lost 24-27 at Pittsburgh as 3-point underdogs in overtime. Don’t be surprised if this line gets down to close to the -3 mark as well if Tomlin rests as many players as I’m anticipating, and plays this like a preseason game as he should.
Cleveland played one of its best games of the year against Pittsburgh back in Week 1. The Browns only lost that game 18-21 as 10-point home underdogs. They haven’t been as bad as their 0-15 record would suggest this season. But they are last in the NFL in turnover differential by a wide margin. They are -28 in turnovers on the season, which is almost unheard of.
Design Kizer should have a much better day against a Steelers team that will be treating this like a preseason game. I think the Browns want to go into the offseason with some momentum and a win. They are only getting outgained by 23 yards per game on the season, so obviously it has just been the turnovers that killed them. There are many teams with worse yardage differentials than them.
Plays on underdogs of 10.5 or more points (Cleveland) - off a loss by 14 points or more against an opponent that scored 30 or more points in their last game are 27-5 (84.4%) ATS over the last 10 seasons. Pittsburgh is 12-27 ATS in its last 39 games as a favorite of 10 or more points. Bet the Browns Sunday.
Note: This play is a 25* all the way down to +10. It's a 20* from +7 to +9.5. It's a 15* at +6.5 or less. I realize this line has moved a ton since more information became available. That's why it's a benefit to my long-term clients to get my plays as soon as I release them instead of buying them the day of the game and getting worse lines.
|12-30-17||76ers v. Nuggets OVER 215.5||107-102||Loss||-110||11 h 49 m||Show|
15* NBA Saturday Total DOMINATOR on 76ers/Nuggets OVER 215.5
The 76ers are a much better team with Joel Embiid in the lineup, but they are also a much worse defensive team without him. And that leads me to take the OVER here in this game between the 76ers and Nuggets tonight with Embiid out. The 76ers play at a much faster tempo without him because they don’t have to run their offense through him. They also play little to no defense.
These two teams are mirror images of one another for the most part. They both have skilled big men, they both thrive on offense, and they both play little defense. The Nuggets average 111.7 points per game at home this season and give up 105.8 points per game overall. The 76ers are averaging 107.9 point points per game overall and giving up 110.7 points per game on the road.
The Nuggets are coming off a 125-128 overtime loss at Minnesota, while the 76ers are coming off a 110-114 loss in Portland. The last time these two teams met up came in Denver last year with the 76ers winning 124-122 for 246 combined points.
The OVER is 9-2 in Nuggets last 11 vs. NBA Atlantic Division opponents. The OVER is 4-1 in 76ers last five vs. Western Conference foes. Denver is 16-3 OVER in home games off a division game over the last three seasons. The Nuggets are 10-1 OVER after a combined score of 245 points or more over the last two years. Denver is 32-11 OVER versus poor defensive teams allow 106 or more points per game over the last two seasons. Roll with the OVER in this game Saturday.
|12-30-17||Wisconsin v. Miami-FL +6||34-24||Loss||-103||83 h 54 m||Show|
15* Wisconsin/Miami Orange Bowl ANNIHILATOR on Miami +6
No Power 5 team played a softer schedule than Wisconsin this season. The Badgers played in the weak Big Ten West Division and took advantage. That is evident in the fact that they were double-digit favorites in 11 of their 12 regular season games this year.
We saw that weak schedule catch up to them in the Big Ten Championship in a 21-27 loss to Ohio State, which is also a team that I think is overrated. But that game was a bigger blowout than the final score showed. The Badgers were outgained by 151 yards by the Buckeyes and should have lost by more.
Now the Badgers will have to deal with either the first or second-best team they have faced all season in Miami. The Hurricanes went through the gauntlet this season in the ACC, and they also beat Notre Dame 41-8 out of conference. I think they come into this game undervalued due to losing their final two games to Pittsburgh and Clemson on the road after their 10-0 start.
I like this matchup for the Hurricanes. Their front seven is loaded with athletes that will be able to slow down Wisconsin’s running game. The Hurricanes only allow 146 rushing yards per game and 3.5 per carry this season. And they have a ball-hawking secondary, forcing 22 turnovers in their last seven games. That could be a problem for Wisconsin QB Alex Hornibrook, who has thrown 15 interceptions this year.
Wisconsin didn’t handle the most athletic team they’ve seen this season in Ohio State very well. They gave up 449 total yards to the Buckeyes and were held to just 298 total yards themselves. They gave up 238 rushing yards to Ohio State. I have no doubt Miami’s athletes are going to be a problem in this game on both sides of the ball for the slower Badgers.
I also question Wisconsin’s motivation in this game. It’s the second straight year that the Badgers have had to play in a second-tier bowl game. Had they beaten Ohio State, they would have made the four-team playoff. After letting that opportunity slip through their grasps, I don’t think they’ll be nearly as motivated to win the Orange Bowl.
This is going to be a home game for the Hurricanes being played at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami. That is a huge advantage for their team as this has become a rabid fan base once again now that Mark Richt has put the program back on the map. And Richt has proven to be a quality coach with extra time to prepare, going 10-5 SU & 9-6 ATS in his career in bowl games.
"It means a lot," defensive lineman Kendrick Norton said. "Obviously, it's going to be like a home game for us, so we will be comfortable. Miami hasn't been (in the Orange Bowl) for a while, so we have a lot of pride in getting there and doing well.”
The Hurricanes went 7-0 at home this season and outscored opponents by 18.0 points per game. Miami is 4-0 ATS in its last four home games vs. a team with a winning road record. The Hurricanes are 6-2 ATS in their last eight non-conference games. I believe the wrong team is favored in this game. Take Miami Saturday.
|12-30-17||Louisiana Tech v. Marshall -2||Top||65-78||Win||100||9 h 56 m||Show|
20* CBB Saturday No-Doubt Rout on Marshall -2
The Marshall Thundering Herd have been one of the most underrated teams in the country since Dan D’Antoni took over a few years ago. They are off to a 10-4 start this season, and they are 27-14 ATS as a favorite over the last three seasons.
Marshall is a perfect 9-0 at home this season, outscoring opponents by 14.6 points per game on average. Now they face a LA Tech team that is 0-3 in true road games this season. I think we are getting quite the discount here with Marshall as only a 2-point home favorite.
LA Tech is 2-10 ATS in Saturday road games over the last three seasons. Marshall is 6-0 ATS off two straight wins by 15 points or more over the last three years. The Thundering Herd are 21-8 ATS in their last 29 home games vs. a team with a losing road record. Bet Marshall Saturday.
|12-30-17||Texas A&M v. Alabama +1||57-79||Win||102||7 h 20 m||Show|
15* CBB Saturday UPSET SHOCKER on Alabama +1
The No. 9 Texas A&M Aggies are a good team to fade opening SEC play. They are overvalued due to their 11-1 start. But this isn’t the same team that they were early in the season due to all the injuries and suspensions here of late.
That has shown up in their last two games as the Aggies only beat Northern Kentucky by 6 and Buffalo by 16 at home. Now they will be playing just their second true road games of the entire season. And they are missing leading scorer DJ Hogg (14.6 ppg, 6.8 rpg) due to a suspension and third-leading scorer Admon Gilder (12.7 ppg, 5.3 rpg) due to a knee injury.
Alabama was banged-up early but now is healthy and will be a dangerous team moving forward under Avery Johnson. The Crimson Tide have gone 5-1 at home this season with solid wins over Texas-Arlington, LA Tech and Rhode Island.
Texas A&M is 3-11 ATS following an ATS win over the last two seasons. Alabama is 15-4 ATS in its last 19 games after scoring 50 points or fewer. The Crimson Tide are 10-1 ATS in their last 11 games following a double-digit home loss. The Aggies are 1-7 ATS in their last eight games following an ATS win. Take Alabama Saturday.
|12-30-17||Washington v. Penn State -1.5||Top||28-35||Win||100||79 h 35 m||Show|
20* Washington/Penn State Fiesta Bowl No-Brainer on Penn State -1.5
Penn State is good enough to be a playoff team. Their two losses this season came by a combined 4 points to Ohio State and Michigan State both on the road. In fact, they have now lost three games over the past year and a half by a combined 7 points when you factor in their 52-49 loss to USC in the Rose Bowl last year. I would argue that they are the best team in the Big Ten right now.
The Nittany Lions are loaded on offense with Trace McSorley, Saquon Barkley and four receivers with 40-plus receptions this season. They average 41.6 points per game. They also have an elite defense that gives up 15.5 points per game. I think the Nittany Lions are the more battle-tested team playing a much tougher schedule in the Big Ten East division.
I’m way down on the Pac-12 in these bowl games. I’ve faded several Pac-12 teams with success up to this point. Washington played a very soft schedule this season and isn’t battle-tested. The Huskies lost to both Arizona State and Stanford on the road this season, managing just 7 points and 230 total yards against ASU and 22 points and 315 total yards against Stanford.
And that’s the problem for the Huskies and why I don’t trust them. Quarterback Jake Browning has come up short time and time again in big games. He was off the mark against Stanford and ASU this year, and he was overwhelmed against both USC and Alabama last year. He has thrown for only 2,544 yards and 18 touchdowns on the season.
McSorley has upped his play in the biggest games with what he did against USC last year and at Ohio State this year on the road, leading the Nittany Lions to 49 and 38 points against those two teams, respectively. He has accounted for 37 total touchdowns this season with 26 passing and 11 rushing. I simply trust McSorley more than Browning at the all-important QB position in what is otherwise a pretty evenly matched game elsewhere on the field.
The Nittany Lions are 16-4-2 ATS in their last 22 games overall. They have been extremely undervalued for two straight seasons now. James Franklin is 7-0 ATS off two consecutive wins by 10 points or more over conference opponents as the coach of Penn State. Franklin is 7-0 ATS off a road win as the coach of the Nittany Lions. Franklin is 9-0 ATS off three straight conference wins as the coach of Penn State. Take these three 100% never lost systems straight to the bank today. Bet Penn State Saturday.
|12-29-17||USC +8.5 v. Ohio State||Top||7-24||Loss||-115||59 h 25 m||Show|
20* USC/Ohio State Cotton Bowl No-Brainer on USC +8.5
This is a classic case of Urban Meyer and Ohio State getting way too much respect in another bowl game. There’s no way this line should be 8.5 or even over a touchdown. It should be close to Ohio State -3, and I wouldn’t be surprised if USC won this game outright.
I question the Buckeyes’ motivation a little in this game because they thought they did enough to make the four-team playoff by winning the Big Ten. But a 16-31 home loss to Oklahoma and a 24-55 road loss at Iowa as 18-point favorites did them in, and I 100% agree with the committee they aren’t one of the best four teams in the country. They have to be deflated a little playing in this second-tier bowl game.
USC, on the other hand, was never going to make the four-team playoff after losing two games to Washington State and Notre Dame both on the road midseason. But I like the way this team fought back by going 5-0 over their final five games. I think they’re more than happy to be playing in the Cotton Bowl after beating Stanford in the Pac-12 Championship because they were never talked about for the four-team playoff down the stretch.
It seemed like every time Ohio State took a step up in class this season they did not play well. They lost to Oklahoma and Iowa as mentioned before. They needed to erase a 19-point deficit at home to beat Penn State 39-38. They trailed Michigan most the way before winning 31-20. And they couldn’t put away Wisconsin in a 27-21 win in the Big Ten Championship. I would argue USC is the best team they have faced since Oklahoma, so I don’t know how oddsmakers can expect them to beat the Trojans by more than a touchdown.
USC has played Big Ten teams each of the last three seasons in bowls. They went 2-1 with their only loss coming 21-23 to Wisconsin. They beat Penn State 52-49 last year in the Rose Bowl, the same Penn State team that had beaten Ohio State. They racked up 575 total yards on the Nittany Lions behind 453 passing from Sam Darnold. He’ll be ultra-motivated to put on another lasting impression and improve his draft stock. He threw 14 touchdowns with just 3 interceptions over his final seven games this season.
The Buckeyes are 0-4 ATS in their last four non-conference games. Ohio State is 1-4 ATS in its last five games following a win. The Buckeyes are 3-7 ATS in their last 10 games vs. a team with a winning record. They padded their stats against weak Big Ten teams this year. Now they take a massive step up in class in the Cotton Bowl. Bet USC Friday.
|12-29-17||Pacers v. Bulls -2||Top||107-119||Win||100||8 h 10 m||Show|
25* NBA Revenge GAME OF THE YEAR on Chicago Bulls -2.5
The Chicago Bulls are 9-2 SU & 10-1 ATS since Nikola Mirotic made his season debut. They are getting contributions from everywhere and continue to be one of the most undervalued teams in the NBA at this point in the season.
Now the mission will be to avenge a 96-98 road loss at Indiana the game before this streak started. The Bulls led that game 83-69 entering the fourth quarter, but were outscored 29-13 in the final period. There’s no question they haven’t forgotten that loss and will want to get their revenge at home this time around.
I like their chances considering Indiana is likely to be without its best player in Victor Oladipo in this one. Oladipo missed the last game with knee soreness and is doubtful to play tonight. It would be a huge loss for the Pacers as he averages 24.9 points per game and is their emotional leader.
The Bulls are 10-1 ATS in their last 11 games overall, 6-0 ATS in their last six home games and 8-0 ATS in their last eight games following a win. The favorite is 5-1 ATS in the last six meetings. The home team has won 10 of the last 12 meetings and is 13-6 ATS in the last 19 meetings. Take the Bulls Friday.
|12-29-17||Northern Illinois +16 v. Iowa||75-98||Loss||-107||9 h 37 m||Show|
15* CBB Friday Undervalued Underdog on Northern Illinois +16
The Iowa Hawkeyes are getting way too much respect from oddsmakers tonight. This is a team that lost by 24 to VA Tech, by 9 to LA Lafayette, but 8 to South Dakota State and by 13 to Indiana among their six losses already this season.
But people are quick to forget those awful losses because the Hawkeyes have won four in a row coming into this game, including covering three straight spreads. But those four wins came against Southern University, Drake, Southern Utah and Colorado. It hasn’t exactly been murderer’s row to say the least.
Now the Hawkeyes have to face a game Northern Illinois team that hasn’t lost any game by more than 14 points this season. The Huskies covered as 15.5-point underdogs in a 14-point loss at Iowa State, the same Iowa State team that beat Iowa 84-78. Even more impressively, they only lost 70-79 at Marquette as 16.5-point dogs.
I think this is a lookahead spot for Iowa to a big showdown with Michigan on January 2nd as they get back into conference play. NIU is 74-46 ATS in its last 120 games as a dog of 10 or more points. The Huskies are 4-1-1 ATS in their last six road games. Roll with Northern Illinois Friday.
|12-28-17||Michigan State +1 v. Washington State||42-17||Win||100||43 h 35 m||Show|
15* Michigan State/Washington State Holiday Bowl BAILOUT on Michigan State +1
This line is moving toward Michigan State for good reason. Washington State opened as a 4.5-point favorite and now is only a 1-point favorite and even underdogs in some spots. I totally agree with this move as I currently lock in Michigan State as a 1-point underdog in the Holiday Bowl.
For starters, Mark Dantonio is 17-4 ATS in his last 21 games as an underdog. I realize the Spartans may not be dogs by the time this game goes off. But it’s still worth noting and just goes to show how he has been one of the most underrated head coaches in the country. He almost always exceeds expectations.
That was certainly the case this season as nothing was expected from Michigan State after they went just 3-9 last year. They returned only eight starters from that squad. It was a young team, and Dantonio worked his magic by getting the Spartans to 9-3. Now they have a chance for their fourth 10-win season in the past five years and will be highly motivated to get it.
It wasn’t a fluky 9-3, either. Michigan State actually outgained 10 of its 12 opponents this season with he only exceptions both coming on the road at Ohio State and Michigan, and they beat Michigan 14-10 as 13-point dogs. They are outgaining opponents by 80 yards per game on the season. Their defense has been very good, giving up just 298 yards per game.
I really question Washington State’s motivation coming into this game. The Cougars had a chance to get to the Pac-12 Championship in their season finale against Washington for a second consecutive season. And for a second straight year, they fell flat on their faces with a 14-41 loss at 9.5-point underdogs. Luke Falk was overwhelmed and played one of the worst games of his career with 3 interceptions. After playing for such high stakes and coming up short, I can’t see the Cougars being all that motivated to play Michigan State here.
Now Falk’s job gets even tougher due to the losses of his two best receivers in Tavares Martin Jr. and Isaiah Johnson0Mack, who have both been dismissed from the team heading into the bowl game. These two combined for 130 receptions, 1,386 receiving yards and 14 touchdowns this season. The fact that both aren’t playing helps explain this line move in Michigan State’s favor.
Washington State hasn’t fared very well in the three bowl games under Mike Leach over the past four seasons. Despite being favored in all three games, the Cougars have gone just 1-2 SU & 1-2 ATS. They lost as 5-point favorites to Colorado State in 2013, barely beat Miami 20-14 as 3-point favorites in 2015, and lost 12-17 to Minnesota as 10-point favorites last year. The Spartans are by far the best bowl team that the Cougars will have faced in the Leach era.
The Spartans have been impressive in bowl games over the last six years under Dantonio. They have gone 4-1 SU & 4-1 ATS despite being underdogs in all five. They lost to Alabama in the four-team playoff two years ago, but upset Georgia, TCU, Stanford and Baylor in their previous four bowl games.
Dantonio is 6-0 ATS in road games off a double-digit road win as the coach of Michigan State. The Spartans are 12-1 ATS in their last 13 games after allowing 150 or fewer yards in their previous game. The Cougars are 1-5 ATS in their last six vs. Big Ten opponents. Take Michigan State Thursday.
|12-28-17||Wolves v. Bucks -3.5||Top||96-102||Win||100||8 h 57 m||Show|
20* NBA Thursday No-Doubt Rout on Milwaukee Bucks -3.5
The Minnesota Timberwolves will be playing the 2nd of a back-to-back and their 3rd game in 4 days after a grueling 128-125 overtime victory over the Denver Nuggets last night. They won’t have much left in the tank for the Milwaukee Bucks tonight, especially since they are expected to be without starting PG Jeff Teague.
Milwaukee comes into this game highly motivated for a victory after back-to-back losses to Charlotte and Chicago. The Bucks will be the much fresher team as this will be just their 2nd game in 5 days. I expect a big effort from them tonight.
The home team is 3-0 SU & 3-0 ATS in the last three meetings. The Bucks own the Timberwolves, going 5-1 SU & 5-1 ATS in the last six meetings. They won their last three home meetings with the Timberwolves by 7, 15 and 14 points. The Bucks are 6-1 ATS in the last seven meetings overall.
The Timberwolves are 6-19-1 ATS in their last 26 vs. Eastern Conference opponents. The Bucks are 3-0-1 ATS In their last four games vs. at team with a winning record. Minnesota is 1-8 ATS in non-conference games this season. The Timberwolves are 17-42 ATS in their last 59 after scoring 120 points or more in their previous game. The Bucks are 25-12 ATS in home games after having lost two of their last three games over the past three seasons. Bet the Bucks Thursday.
|12-28-17||Bradley v. Drake OVER 139||64-66||Loss||-115||8 h 51 m||Show|
15* CBB Thursday Total DOMINATOR on Bradley/Drake OVER 139
The Drake Bulldogs play an up-tempo system under first-year head coach Niko Medved now. The betting markets have been slow to catch up as the OVER is 7-3 in all Drake games this season. I look for a high-scoring affair tonight in their conference opener with Bradley.
Drake is putting up 79.5 points per game and giving up 77.6 points per game on the season. They are shooting 41% from 3-point range which has been the key to their offensive success. But they still don’t play any defense, giving up 47.4% shooting to opponents.
Just looking at this head-to-head history it’s easy to see there’s value with the OVER. The OVER is 4-1 in the last five meetings, and that was before Medved was head coach at Drake. They combined for 143 or more points in four of the five meetings. And they averaged 145.0 combined points per game in those five meetings. Drake will control the tempo playing at home tonight.
Drake is 8-1 OVER at home when the line is +3 to -3 over the last three seasons. The OVER is 9-1 in Drake’s last 10 December games. The OVER is 5-1 in Bulldogs last six games overall. The OVER is 9-2 in Bulldogs last 11 games vs. a team with a winning record. The OVER is 45-20 in Bulldogs last 65 home games. Roll with the OVER in this game Thursday.
|12-28-17||Providence +6.5 v. St. John's||94-72||Win||100||7 h 52 m||Show|
15* CBB Thursday Undervalued Underdog on Providence +6.5
The Providence Friars are are undervalued right now because of a 2-9 ATS start to the season. But that is largely due to some significant injuries, and this team is getting healthy heading into conference season. I expect them to make a statement with likely an upset victory over St. John’s tonight, though we’ll take the points for some insurance.
St. John’s is getting a lot of love due to its 10-2 start to the season. But the Red Storm have played a considerably weaker schedule than Providence. They still haven’t played a true road game, and they lost to the best teams they faced in Missouri (82-90) and Arizona State (70-82) on a neutral court. The Red Storm are still without their best player in G Marcus Lovett, who is doubtful tonight with an ankle injury.
Providence is 4-1 SU & 4-1 ATS in its last five meetings with St. John’s. Home-court advantage has meant very little as the road team is 4-1 SU & 4-1 ATS in the last five meetings. Providence has won its last three trips to St. John’s by 11, 14 and 17 points.
The Friars are 8-2 ATS in their last 10 vs. Big East opponents. Providence is 7-3 ATS in its last 10 road games. St. John’s is 2-9 ATS in its last 11 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600. Take Providence Thursday.
|12-28-17||Virginia Tech v. Oklahoma State -4||Top||21-30||Win||100||69 h 54 m||Show|
20* VA Tech/Oklahoma State Camping World Bowl No-Brainer on Oklahoma State -4
The Oklahoma State Cowboys were a national title contender coming into the season. So their 9-3 record is a bit of a disappointment, but it also has them coming into the bowl season undervalued. This team is among the Top 10 in the country talent-wise, and I think the price is cheap here as only 4-point favorites over the VA Tech Hokies in the Camping World Bowl because of it.
The Cowboys were a very public team after a 3-0 SU & 3-0 ATS start with three blowout victories. But they couldn’t live up to the expectations after that, going just 3-6 ATS over their final nine games as they were consistently laying big numbers that they couldn’t cover. But now they are in the type of price range that’s easy for them to cover as they basically just have to win the game by a touchdown or more here.
The three losses came to Oklahoma, TCU and Kansas State at home, and they were competitive in all three games. Most impressively is the fact that Oklahoma State went 6-0 on the road. The Cowboys averaged 42.7 points and 532 yards per game on the road while giving up just 25.5 points and 345 yards per game on the highway. They outscored teams by 17.2 points per game and outgunned them by 187 yards per game on the road this season.
Everyone knows about Oklahoma State’s high-powered offense that averages 46.2 points, 576 yards per game and 7.3 yards per play on the season against teams that allow 28.7 points, 420 yards per game and 5.9 per play. They are topping their opponent’s season averages by 17.5 points per game, 156 yards per game and 1.4 per play. Mason Rudolph is one of the best quarterbacks in the country, completing 65% of his passes for 4,553 yards with 35 touchdowns and only 9 interceptions while averaging 10.0 per attempt.
But most folks don’t realize how improved Oklahoma State’s defense is this season. The Cowboys are allowing only 400 yards per game and 5.5 per play against teams that average 415 yards per game and 5.9 per play. Their defense fell off toward the end of the year against Oklahoma, and then with hangover games against Iowa State and Kansas State. But this defense is loaded with speed and talent and will be re-focused for this bowl game against Virginia Tech.
The Hokies have a great defense, there’s no question, but their offense is just average. They score 28.7 points pre game and average 5.4 yards per play against teams that give up 5.6 per play. They struggle to throw the football, and they are stubborn trying to run the ball. They average 44 rushing attempts per game, but only 167 rushing yards per game and 3.8 per carry.
Virginia Tech’s offense won’t be able to keep up with Mason Rudolph and company in this one. That’s especially the case now that they are going to be without two of their best playmakers in WR Cam Phillips and RB Travon McMillian. Phillips is the leading receiver on the team by a landslide with 71 receptions for 964 yards and 7 touchdowns, so his loss is huge. McMillian leads the team in rushing and is a significant loss as well.
Oklahoma State is 28-12 ATS in its last 40 games after scoring 50 points or more in its last game. Mike Gundy is 19-10 ATS as a favorite of 3.5 to 10 points as the coach of Oklahoma State. Gundy is 15-4 ATS after two straight games with 40 or more pass attempts as the coach of the Cowboys. The Cowboys are 5-0 ATS in their last five non-conference games. Bet Oklahoma State Thursday.
|12-27-17||Cavs v. Kings +9.5||Top||95-109||Win||100||11 h 29 m||Show|
20* NBA DOG OF THE WEEK on Sacramento Kings +9.5
The Cleveland Cavaliers are in a big hangover spot tonight against the Sacramento Kings. They just lost to their biggest rivals in the Golden State Warriors 99-92 on Christmas Day. There’s no way they will bring the same intensity to this game against the Kings that they did against the Warriors.
That’s especially the case considering they just beat the Kings 101-95 as 12.5-point home favorites earlier this month. They will think they can just show up and win, while the Kings will be ultra motivated to get revenge and pull off the upset.
I realize the Kings played last night against the Clippers on the road, but that was a blowout and they won’t be fatigued because of it. They were probably looking ahead to this game. And this will be just their 3rd game in 7 days, so the effects of the back-to-back are a non-factor here.
Cleveland is 0-8 ATS when playing against a team with a winning percentage of 25% to 40% this season. The Cavaliers are 3-14 ATS vs. teams with losing records this season. Cleveland is 0-12 ATS as a favorite of 9.5 or more points this season. The Cavaliers are 5-21 ATS as a favorite this year. Bet the Kings Wednesday.
|12-27-17||Colorado State +11.5 v. Boise State||71-93||Loss||-115||11 h 44 m||Show|
15* CBB Wednesday Undervalued Underdog on Colorado State +11.5
The head-to-head series between Colorado State and Boise State has been remarkably close. That’s why the Rams getting 11.5 points here is way too much, and I think there’s a ton of value with this double-digit underdog tonight.
Indeed, each of the last seven meetings in this series have been decided by 7 points or fewer. They have been decided by 3, 1, 7, 4, 4, 4, and 6 points in the last seven meetings, respectively. Colorado State has gone 4-1 ATS in the last five meetings, and the underdog is 6-1 ATS in the last seven meetings.
Boise State is 1-8 ATS in home games against conference opponents over the last two seasons. The Broncos are actually losing 74.4 to 74.6 on average in this spot. The Rams are 10-4-1 ATS in their last 15 conference games. The Broncos are 1-8 ATS in their last nine conference games. Roll with Colorado State Wednesday.
|12-27-17||Purdue +3.5 v. Arizona||Top||38-35||Win||100||203 h 40 m||Show|
20* Purdue/Arizona Foster Farms Bowl No-Brainer on Purdue +3.5
Jeff Brohm seriously deserved coach of the year consideration for the job he did at Purdue this season. He took a team that was 9-39 over the past four seasons and got them to 6-6 and a bowl game in the rugged Big Ten. This team was undervalued all seasons with their 8-4 ATS record, and I think they remain undervalued as underdogs here to Arizona in the Foster Farms Bowl.
What the Boilermakers did down the stretch shows how badly they wanted to make a bowl game. They went 3-1 over their final four games, beating Illinois 29-10 at home, Iowa 24-15 as 6-point road underdogs, and Indiana 31-24 at home. That Indiana game was a 31-10 blowout late in the fourth quarter before giving up two garbage touchdowns late. And in their lone loss, they put up 438 total yards against a very good Northwestern team in a 13-23 road loss. They outgained the Wildcats in that contest.
So there’s no question that Purdue wants to be playing in this bowl game. It will be their first bowl game since 2012 and only their third bowl appearance in the last 10 years. And Brohm is 2-0 in his career in bowl games. At Western Kentucky, they beat Memphis 51-31 as 7-point favorites in 2016 and USF 45-35 as 2-point favorites in 2015. I trust Brohm and his players to come forth with a big effort in this game Wednesday.
Brohm was known for his offense at Western Kentucky, and while they do have a solid offense that averages 5.6 yards per play against teams that only allow 5.3 per play, the real improvement on this team has come on defense. The Boilermakers only allow 19.3 points per game and 5.2 yards per play against teams that average 28.6 yards per game and 5.7 per play. They are holding opponents to 9.3 points and 0.5 yards per play below their season averages. That’s the sign of an elite defense.
I think Arizona remains overvalued due to the Khalil Tate factor. He has taken the college football world by storm. And he started off tremendous against some bad teams, but then teams got film on him and the Wildcats struggled down the stretch. Arizona went 1-3 SU & 1-3 ATS over its final four games with its only win coming against terrible Oregon State. The Wildcats lost all three games by double-digits.
No question Purdue has a massive edge on defense in this game. And the matchup favors this Purdue defense because stopping Tate and the running game is the key. The Boilermakers are equipped to do just that. They give up just 132 rushing yards per game and 3.6 per carry against opponents that average 174 rushing yards per game and 4.5 per carry on average. They are holding teams to 42 yards and 0.9 per carry less than their season averages.
Arizona has one of the worst defenses in the country. They give up 34.1 points, 464 yards per game and 6.0 yards per play against teams that average 28 points, 420 yards per game and 5.7 per play. The Wildcats have allowed 37 or more points in six of their last eight games coming into this bowl game. It’s a defense that cannot be trusted, and certainly one that can’t be trusted to lay points here.
While Brohm is 2-0 SU & 2-0 ATS in bowl games, Arizona head coach Rich Rodriquez has been terrible in bowl games. Rodriquez is just 3-7 ATS in his career in bowl games. Arizona barely beat New Mexico last year and barely beat Nevada a few years back. The Wildcats lost when they took a step up in class in recent bowl games against Oklahoma State and Boise State. And I think Purdue is a step up in class for them here. The Wildcats are also 1-5 ATS in their last six bowl games.
Rodriquez is 1-10 ATS in road games after three straight games where 60 or more points were scored in all games he has coached. Brohm is 10-2 ATS versus good rushing teams averaging 4.75 or more yards per carry in all games he has coached. Arizona is 0-7 ATS in road games off two straight conference games over the last two seasons. The Wildcats are 0-6 ATS in road games in the second half of the season over the last two seasons. Purdue is 6-0 ATS in road games off one or more straight overs over the last two years. The Wildcats are 0-4 ATS in their last four neutral site games. The Boilermakers are 4-0 ATS in their last four non-conference games. These seven trends combine for a 47-3 system backing the Boilermakers. Bet Purdue Wednesday.
|12-27-17||Celtics v. Hornets +1.5||102-91||Loss||-105||8 h 5 m||Show|
15* NBA Wednesday No-Doubt Rout on Charlotte Hornets +1.5
The Boston Celtics are running on fumes right now. They haven’t had two straight days off since November 28-29. They will be playing their 11th game in 19 days here tonight, and they have a home game against Houston on deck tomorrow.
It’s no wonder the Celtics are currently going through their roughest stretch of the season. They have lost three of their last four to Miami, New York and Washington. The Celtics are just 3-8-1 ATS in their last 12 games overall.
Making matters worse for the Celtics is that they are banged-up right now. They are without Marcus Morris, Jaylen Brown and Semi Ojeleye for this game. Their depth, which has been a huge strength up to this point, has been compromised.
The Hornets are fresh and ready to go tonight as they have had three days off since beating the Bucks 111-106 at home on Saturday. They are also extremely healthy right now for the first time basically all season as they only significant player they are missing is bench player Cody Zeller.
The Hornets blew a 57-41 halftime lead and lost 87-90 at Boston in their only meeting against the Celtics this season. They will be motivated for revenge at home this time around. The Hornets are 19-8 ATS in their last 27 home games when playing only their 2nd game in 5 days. Take the Hornets Wednesday.
|12-27-17||Boston College v. Iowa -2.5||20-27||Win||100||45 h 56 m||Show|
15* Boston College/Iowa Pinstripe Bowl ANNIHILATOR on Iowa -2.5
Let’s just start out with the fact that Iowa is going to be highly motivated for a victory in this bowl game. The Hawkeyes have lost five straight bowl games and really want to end that streak. But there’s a reason they’ve lost five straight because they have been underdogs in all five against superior competition.
The five losses have come to Oklahoma as 13-point dogs, LSU as 7-point dogs, Tennessee as 3-point dogs, Stanford as 6-point dogs and Florida as 3-point dogs. Now they finally get to take a step down in class after a 7-5 season against 7-5 Boston College. And they’re favored for a reason here because they are clearly the better team. And these Iowa seniors will be motivated to taste their first bowl victory.
Iowa closed it season with a 56-14 blowout at Nebraska. Four of Iowa’s five losses this season came by single-digits, and the one exception was a loss at Wisconsin the week after their 55-24 win over Ohio State. That was arguably the best win of the season of any team in college football against the Buckeyes, and it was clearly a massive letdown spot the next week against Wisconsin.
Boston College had a very impressive season with one of the youngest teams in the country. But a big reason for the Eagles’ success was freshman quarterback Anthony Brown. This offense isn’t nearly as explosive without Brown’s dual-threat ability. He has missed the final two games of the season.
I think people will see that Boston College blew out its final opponents so the Brown loss isn’t that big. But one of the wins was against one of the worst teams in college football in UConn 39-16, and the other was against a Syracuse team that was without starting quarterback Eric Dungey by a final of 42-14. UConn and Syracuse have terrible defenses, and this will be a big step up in class for backup QB Darius Wade against this Iowa defense.
Boston College only averages 163 passing yards per game and 5.7 per attempt. So the key to stopping the Eagles is stopping their running game, which averages 224 yards per game and 4.7 per carry. That makes this a perfect matchup for head coach Kirk Ferentz and this Iowa defense. His teams have always thrived against power-running teams, and that will show in this next trend.
Ferentz is 36-15 ATS versus good rushing teams averaging 200 or more rushing yards per game as the coach of Iowa. The Hawkeyes gave up just 19.9 points per game this season, and they allowed just 142 rushing yards per game and 4.1 per carry in the rugged Big Ten. Iowa is 55-28 ATS in its last 83 games after failing to cover the spread in two of its last three games coming in. The Eagles are 2-6 ATS in their last eight bowl games. The Eagles are 1-4 ATS in their last five vs. Big Ten opponents. Boston College is 1-8 ATS in its last nine December games. Take Iowa in the Pinstripe Bowl Wednesday.
|12-26-17||Kansas State v. UCLA UNDER 60.5||35-17||Win||100||25 h 31 m||Show|
15* Kansas State/UCLA Cactus Bowl BAILOUT on UNDER 60.5
Josh Rosen, the potential No. 1 overall pick in this year’s draft, is doubtful to play in this game with a concussion. The line moving from K-State -2.5 to -6.5 indicates he is not going to play. That completely changes the complexion of this game, and I think the UNDER is a great beat tonight.
Rosen means everything to this offense. He is completing 62.5 percent of his passes for 3,717 yards with 26 touchdowns and 10 interceptions on the season while averaging 8.2 per attempt. Backup Devon Modster hasn’t been nearly as effective in spot duty for him. Look for the Bruins to go to more of a run-first approach without him.
Running the ball certainly isn’t a strength of the Bruins. They are averaging just 120 rushing yards per game and 3.9 per carry. Kansas State been tremendous at stopping the run this season, holding opponents to just 122 rushing yards per game and 3.6 per carry.
The Wildcats once again feature a methodical offense that likes to churn yards out on the ground. They only average 182 passing yards per game. They rush 39 times per game for 187 yards per game and 4.8 per carry. They will keep the ball on the ground in this game and churn out yards and burn clock.
Kansas State is also likely to go with a redshirt freshman at quarterback due to injuries to starter Jesse Ertz and backup Alex Delton. He went 10-of-21 for 152 yards in the season finale against Iowa State. He isn’t likely to handle this big stage that well, and the game plan will be conservative with him under center.
Plays on the UNDER on neutral field teams where the total is between 56.5 and 63 (UCLA) - off a home win against a conference rival against an opponent off a win against a conference rival are 28-9 (75.7%) over the last 10 seasons. The UNDER is 4-1 in Wildcats last five December games. Take the UNDER in this game Tuesday.
|12-26-17||Pacers v. Pistons -1.5||83-107||Win||100||8 h 3 m||Show|
15* NBA Tuesday No-Doubt Rout on Detroit Pistons -1.5
The Detroit Pistons are getting zero respect from oddsmakers as only 1.5-point home favorites over the Indiana Pacers tonight. They are 4-1 in their last five games overall and deserve to be getting more respect here tonight. One of those was a 104-98 road win at Indiana as 5-point underdogs.
The Pacers are just 3-3 in their last six games. Their three wins came against Brooklyn (twice) and Atlanta, two of the worst teams in the NBA. Now they have to travel and face a Pistons team that has a huge home-court advantage over the past several seasons, going 10-5 at home this year.
The Pistons are 4-1 ATS in their last five games when playing on three or more days’ rest. The home team is 4-1 ATS in the last five meetings. The favorite is also 4-1 ATS in the last five meetings. Roll with the Pistons Tuesday.
|12-26-17||Utah v. West Virginia UNDER 57||Top||30-14||Win||100||172 h 41 m||Show|
25* College Bowl TOTAL OF THE YEAR on Utah/West Virginia UNDER 57
I expect a low-scoring affair between Utah and West Virginia today. The biggest reason is that West Virginia is going to be without starting quarterback Will Grier, who means everything to their offense. They will have to go to a more run-first approach without him.
Grier was one of the better quarterbacks in the country this season. He completed 64.4 percent of his passes for 3,490 yards with 34 touchdowns and 12 interceptions while averaging 9.0 per attempt. Backup Chris Chugunov completes just 54.8 percent of his passes and averages 6.6 per attempt in limited action in Grier’s place.
Utah boasts an elite defense once again this season that gives up just 23.9 points, 353 yards per game and 5.2 per play against teams that average 29.5 points, 405 yards and 5.8 per play. They are stout up front and will be able to limit WVU’s run-heavy attack in this one.
Utah also insists on running the football more than it throws it. But the Utes have struggled to run the ball this year. They average 39 attempts for 161 yards per game and 4.1 per carry against teams that give up 188 yards per game and 4.6 per carry on the ground. They are a below-average running team.
Utah is 29-10 UNDER in its last 39 road games after gaining 6.25 or more yards per play in its previous game. The UNDER is 5-1 in Utah last six games following a win by more than 20 points. The UNDER is 7-1 in Mountaineers last eight December games. Bet the UNDER in this game Tuesday.
|12-25-17||Raiders v. Eagles -9||Top||10-19||Push||0||61 h 45 m||Show|
20* Raiders/Eagles ESPN Monday No-Brainer on Philadelphia -9
The Philadelphia Eagles can clinch home-field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs with a win over the Oakland Raiders on Monday Night Football. It’s safe to say they will be motivated to the max. A win would allow them to rest their starters in Week 17 and really get a leg up on the competition heading into the playoffs.
Conversely, the Oakland Raiders have officially been eliminated from the playoffs. And the way they were eliminated will be very difficult to recover from. Derek Carr was diving for the game-winning touchdown against the Cowboys last week, but he fumbled through the end zone for a touchback. Gone with that fumble was any hope of them making the postseason. There’s no question in my mind that the Raiders will suffer a hangover from that defeat, and they won’t even show up Monday night.
The Raiders also have some significant injuries at the wide receiver position that hamper them even further. Both Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree are highly questionable heading into this game. Cooper has a nagging ankle injury, while Crabtree suffered a concussion against the Cowboys that forced him off the field for the final play of the game. They may both play, but I question the effectiveness of Carr’s top two receivers.
The Eagles are a perfect 6-0 SU & 5-1 ATS at home this season. They are outscoring opponents by a ridiculous 19.8 points per game, scoring 35.0 on offense and giving up just 15.2 on defense. Nick Foles showed last week that he can man the offense just fine, throwing four touchdown passes against the Giants on the road and leading the Eagles to 34 points.
Doug Perderson is a perfect 8-0 ATS off two or more consecutive overs as the coach of Philadelphia. Pederson is 7-0 ATS in home games off a win as the coach of the Eagles. I don’t think the Raiders will enjoy the cold weather in Philadelphia Monday night, either. I always like fading warm weather West Coast teams in these cold weather games. It’s expected to be 26 degrees and windy Monday night. Bet the Eagles Monday.
|12-25-17||Rockets v. Thunder +2||Top||107-112||Win||100||11 h 1 m||Show|
20* Rockets/Thunder NBA No-Doubt Rout on Oklahoma City +2
The Oklahoma City Thunder have had this game circled all offseason. They lost 4-1 to the Rockets in the playoffs with three of those losses coming by 6 points or fewer. They were a one-man show with Russell Westbrook then, but that’s the case no longer now.
The Thunder have finally started to gel with Paul George and Carmelo Anthony. They are playing their best basketball of the season right now, going 6-1 in their last seven games overall coming in. They are primed to upset the Houston Rockets on Christmas Day.
The Rockets have struggled of late with back-to-back upset home losses to the Lakers are 15-point favorites and the Clippers as 12.5-point favorites. It’s easy to see why they’ve struggled with their injuries right now. Chris Paul has missed the past couple games and is doubtful, Luc Mbah a Moute remains out, and Clint Capela is questionable.
The Thunder are 40-18-3 ATS in their last 61 home games vs. a team with a road winning % of greater than .600. Oklahoma City is 12-4 at home this season, winning by 7.0 points per game on average. Take the Thunder Monday.
|12-25-17||76ers v. Knicks -3||105-98||Loss||-105||3 h 9 m||Show|
15* 76ers/Knicks ESPN Early ANNIHILATOR on New York -3
One of the best bets of the early NBA season is backing the New York Knicks when at home. They are 15-5 SU & 15-5 ATS in their 20 home games this year, winning by an average of 7.0 points per game. Madison Square Garden is becoming the home-court advantage that it used to be.
Now the Knicks get to host the struggling Philadelphia 76ers, who are just 1-9 SU in their last 10 games overall. The 76ers are also just 2-12 ATS in their last 14 games. They continue to get too much respect from oddsmakers night in and night out.
The 76ers are dealing with a bunch of injuries right now, too. Markelle Fultz is out, J.J. Redick is questionable and Joel Embiid is nursing a back injury, though he is likely to play today. The Knicks are basically fully healthy outside of Tim Hardaway.
New York is 7-0 ATS in home games after having won four or five of its last six games this season. The 76ers are 0-8-1 ATS when their opponent scores 100 points or more in their previous game. The Knicks are 5-1 ATS in their last six games overall. New York is 13-3 ATS in its last 16 home games. Roll with the Knicks Monday.
|12-24-17||Houston v. Fresno State OVER 49||27-33||Win||100||131 h 42 m||Show|
15* Houston/Fresno State Hawai’i Bowl BAILOUT on OVER 49
I think the fact that both Houston and Fresno State were heavy under teams during the regular season is giving us value to pull the trigger on the OVER in the Hawai’i Bowl. The Cougars went 2-9 to the under this season, while the Bulldogs went 3-9-1 to the under this year.
But we’ve seen this story in bowl games before. Offenses pull out new tricks with all of that extra time to prepare, and I think that will certainly be the case here. Both head coaches in Jeff Tedford and Major Applewhite are great offensive minds who got their jobs because of the work they’ve done on the offensive side of the football.
Fresno State made its run to a trip to the MWC title game after quarterback Marcus McMaryion took over the reigns after the non-conference portion of the schedule. He went on to complete 61.1 percent of his passes for 2,384 yards with 14 touchdowns and only 4 interceptions while averaging 7.9 per attempt. He also rushed for 250 yards and two scores on 5.1 per carry.
The same thing happened for Houston once D’Eriq King took over at quarterback four the final four games of the season. He has completed 69.8 percent of his passes for 991 yards with a 6-to-1 TD/INT ratio while averaging 10.3 per attempt. King also brings a big rushing element to the offense, rushing for 341 yards and eight scores while averaging 5.4 per carry. He has 15 pass plays of 20 or more yards, including touchdowns of 61, 62 and 75 yards despite such limited action.
Tedford is 17-5 OVER in non-conference road games in all games he has coached. We’re seeing an average of 61.6 points per game on average in this spot. The OVER is 12-5-1 in Bulldogs last 18 non-conference games. Perfect conditions inside Aloha Stadium in Hawai’i will also help aid this OVER. Bet the OVER in the Hawai’i Bowl Sunday.
|12-24-17||Jaguars v. 49ers +4.5||33-44||Win||100||102 h 33 m||Show|
15* Jags/49ers Late-Afternoon ANNIHILATOR on San Francisco +4.5
I’ve backed the San Francisco 49ers with success in three consecutive weeks. I’m not about to buck them now as they are once again undervalued here Sunday as 4.5-point home underdogs to the Jacksonville Jaguars. They are 3-0 under Jimmy Garoppolo, and they are clearly playing with a new level of excitement and intensity on both sides of the ball now.
The 49ers won Garoppolos’ first start 15-14 at Chicago as 2.5-point underdogs. That game was a bigger blowout than the final score showed. They outgunned the Bears by 241 yards and should have won by a lot more. But they had red zone struggles with penalties and critical mistakes that had them settling for five field goals.
Two weeks ago the 49ers went into Houston and won 26-16 as 1-point road underdogs. They outgunned the Texans by 105 yards in that contest. Garoppolo threw for 334 yards and a touchdown in the win. The 49ers put up 416 total yards a week after amassing 388 total yards against a good Bears defense. Those two performances showed that this is a much more dynamic offensive under Garoppolo.
Last week the 49ers moved the ball up and down the field at will on the Tennessee Titans. They only won that game 22-20, but it should have been a much bigger blowout. They again had problems in the red zone and settled for a whopping six field goals. Garoppolo had another monster game, completing 31 of 43 passes for 381 yards with a touchdown and zero interceptions.
While the offense is hitting on all cylinders under Garoppolo and Kyle Shanahan, the defense has been extremely impressive and not getting the respect they deserve. The 49ers are only giving up 262.0 yards per game and 5.0 yards per play in their last three contests. They should be able to slow down a mediocre Jaguars offense that could be missing three key playmakers in Leonard Fournette, Allen Hurns and Marquise Lee.
The Jacksonville Jaguars come in way overvalued due to its 45-7 home victory over Houston last week. It was their third straight victory, all coming at home. Now they hit the road for the first time since November. They were last on the road on November 26th, getting upset 27-24 at Arizona as 6-point favorites. They were actually outgunned by 125 yards by the Cardinals in that contest.
Let’s just look at this game from a line value perspective. San Francisco goes from being a 2.5-point home favorite against Tennessee to a 4.5-point home dog against Jacksonville. Well, Jacksonville and Tennessee are two similar teams talent-wise, and yet their is a 7-point swing in this line. So we are basically getting 7 points of value with the 49ers in my opinion this week.
Jacksonville now has a two-game lead over Tennessee for first place in the AFC South. Well, Tennessee is a touchdown home underdog to the Los Angeles Rams this week. That game will go off at 1:00 EST and will be over by the time this game starts. So the Jaguars are likely to clinch the AFC South title before this game starts. I will certainly question their motivated this week if the Titans lose to the Rams like they’re supposed to. Basically, I know for sure I’m going to get a big effort from the 49ers, but the Jaguars motivation is in question to say the least given the situation.
Jacksonville is 5-15 ATS in its last 20 games off two consecutive covers as a favorite. The Jaguars are 2-10 ATS in their last 12 road games vs. NFC West opponents. Jacksonville is 4-10 ATS in its last 14 games following a win by more than 14 points. Roll with the 49ers Sunday.
|12-24-17||Broncos +3.5 v. Redskins||Top||11-27||Loss||-110||121 h 1 m||Show|
20* NFL Non-Conference GAME OF THE MONTH on Denver Broncos +3.5
The Denver Broncos are probably the single-most underrated team in the entire NFL heading into the final two weeks of the season. This team has a 5-9 record, and that’s what the betting public looks at, but this team has the numbers of a 9-5 team or better.
The Broncos are actually outgaining opponents by 46 yards per game on the season. That is one of the better marks in the NFL. Their offense has just been mediocre at best, but their defense has been one of the best in the league, and defense travels.
The Broncos rank 1st in the NFL in yards per game allowed at 276.8. They are second in third-down percentage (30.8%) allowed. They defend the run well, they can stack the box because they have some of the best corners in the NFL who can play man-to-man.
It’s clear that the Broncos have not quit, and their defense continues to play at a high level. They have won their last two games with a 23-0 victory over the Jets and a 25-13 triumph over the Colts. They held the Jets to just 100 total yards and the Colts to just 228 total yards in the two victories.
But what really intrigues me is the performance of Brock Osweiler last week after he replaced the injured Trevor Siemian. He led the Broncos to a season-high 462 total yards. Osweiler finished with a 99.4 QBR out of 100, which is the single-best mark in the NFL in any one game this year. He had 194 passing yards on 12 completions and two touchdowns, while also rushing for a score. He is motivated to try and prove that he belongs as a started in the NFL over the final three weeks, and you could see that against the Colts last week.
The Redskins are 6-8, and they have the numbers of a 6-8 team. They are getting outgained by 17 yards per game on the season. They have been hit hard by injuries on both sides of the football. Their defense is giving up points in bunches and cannot be trusted. The Redskins have allowed 30 or more points in six of their last nine games overall.
The Redskins were fortunate to beat the Cardinals 20-15 last week. They were outgunned 218 to 286 by the Cardinals, but Arizona was held to five field goals, and their red zone struggles were the difference. The Redskins have been held to 65 or fewer rushing yards in three consecutive games. They are going to be one-dimensional because Denver ranks 4th in the NFL against the run. But the Broncos are 2nd against the pass, so they are as equipped as anyone to stop Kirk Cousins and Washington’s preferred pass attack.
I like the fact that the Broncos come in on extra rest here too after playing the Colts last Thursday. That will give them ample time to get ready for Washington, and getting a few extra days of rest is huge this late in the season when players are worn down. It will make them the more energized team heading into this game Sunday.
Washington is 61-94 ATS in its last 155 games as a favorite, including 42-69 ATS in its last 111 games as a home favorite. The Redskins are 6-22 ATS in their last 28 home games when playing against a bad team with a winning percentage of 25% to 40%. Washington is 0-4 ATS in its last four games following a win. The Redskins are 2-7 ATS in their last nine games following an ATS win. Bet the Broncos Sunday.
|12-24-17||Browns +6.5 v. Bears||3-20||Loss||-110||98 h 27 m||Show|
15* NFL Sunday Undervalued Underdog on Cleveland Browns +6.5
The Cleveland Browns will continue fighting over these final two weeks to try and avoid a winless season. Now they have one of their best chances yet to get a win this week against the 4-10 Chicago Bears. And they are getting 6.5 points to boot, which is too many I believe.
The Browns rank last in turnover differential by a wide margin this season. They are -25 in turnover differential. They haven’t forced a turnover in four games. I think they have been extremely unlucky this season in the turnover department.
Fortunately, this week they’re up against a Bears defense that doesn’t force many turnovers. The Bears have only forced 19 turnovers on the season. And Chicago has a ton of injury issues right now on defense that will make life easier on Deshon Kizer and the Browns offense.
This is a good matchup for the Browns on defense as well. The strength of the Browns is their rushing defense, which ranks 7th in the NFL in giving up just 96.1 rushing yards per game. The Browns are actually 1st in the NFL in rushing yards per carry (3.3) allowed. The Bears only average 177 passing yards per game, so stopping the rushing attack is the key to stopping them. The Bears average 118 rushing yards per game and 4.4 per carry. Cleveland is equipped to slow down Jordan Howard and Tarik Cohen.
My favorite trend in this game pertains to Chicago head coach John Fox. Fox is 0-7 SU & 0-7 ATS as a favorite as the coach of the Bears. Chicago is losing by 8.4 points per game in this spot. That’s right, the Bears have never even won a game straight up in seven tries as a favorite under Fox.
Chicago is 9-21 ATS in its last 30 home games versus poor offensive teams that score 17 or fewer points per game. Plays on road underdogs or PK (Cleveland) - after seven or more consecutive losses, in the second half of the season are 54-25 (68.4%) ATS since 1983. The Browns are 20-9-1 ATS in their last 30 road games vs. a team with a losing home record. The Bears are 1-5-1 ATS in their last seven games overall. Take the Browns Sunday.
|12-23-17||Wolves v. Suns +8||115-106||Loss||-105||11 h 32 m||Show|
15* NBA Saturday Undervalued Underdog on Phoenix Suns +8
The Phoenix Suns continue to get no respect from oddsmakers since trading away Eric Bledsoe and losing Devin Booker to injury. But this team has arguably been better since because they are so deep. And they consistently catch more points in the underdog role than they should be getting, which is the case once again tonight as 8-point home dogs to the Minnesota Timberwolves.
The Suns have gone 8-3 ATS in their last 11 games overall. They have only gone 4-7 SU during this stretch, but only three of those seven losses came by more than this 8-point spread. They have only played four games at home during this stretch, and only one of those game resulted in a loss by more than 8 points.
Phoenix has played Minnesota extremely tough this season. This will be the 4th and final meeting of the season, and the Suns are 2-1 SU & 2-0-1 ATS in their first three meetings. They won 118-110 as 10-point home dogs, won 108-106 as 12-point road dogs, and only lost 108-119 as 11-point road dogs for their only push. So they have actually played the Timberwolves very evenly, and they should be able to stay within 8 points at home again.
Minnesota is 21-37 ATS as a favorite over the last two seasons. The Timberwolves ar e3-13 ATS in their last 16 road games vs. a team with a winning % of less than .400. The Suns are 5-0 ATS in their last five Saturday games. Phoenix is 19-7-1 ATS in its last 27 games vs. a team with a winning record. Roll with the Suns Saturday.
|12-23-17||Vikings -8 v. Packers||16-0||Win||100||13 h 45 m||Show|
15* Vikings/Packers NFC North No-Brainer on Minnesota -8
The Green Bay Packers have quit. They just suffered their dream-crushing loss last week despite the return of Aaron Rodgers. Now they’ve been eliminated from the playoffs. As a result, management has decided to put Rodgers back on injured reserve, signaling to the entire team that they don’t care about these last two games.
The Packers also have a laundry list of injuries elsewhere outside of Rodgers. There are currently 19 players either on injured reserve or questionable, including WR Devante Adams, who has 10 touchdowns receptions on the season.
Adams would be a huge loss, and it would be smart of the Packers to rest him considering it’s the second severe concussion he has suffered this season. They shouldn’t risk his long-term health. The Vikings have a shutdown corner in Xavier Rhodes, and they’ll put him on Jordy Nelson. Brett Hundley won’t have many options outside, and those limitations are a big reason why I like the Vikings this week.
The Vikings will be highly motivated. They need to keep winning to clinch a first-round bye. If they were to lose and the Panthers were to win this week, they would lose the tiebreaker to the Panthers because of a head-to-head loss. That’s why I’m not concerned at all about Minnesota’s motivation. They would love to kick the Packers while they’re down after so many years of frustration against them in this division.
"I told my team this: We're a good team, we're not a great team,” Minnesota head coach Mike Zimmer said. "I don't know if there's any great teams out there, but we're a good team. We don't have the luxury of looking past anybody, and that's really not our mentality as a football team (or) the kind of guys that we have.”
Hundley will face a huge challenge against a Vikings defense that ranks second in the NFL in total defense and scoring defense. Conversely, Case Keenum is in line for a big day. He is ranked eighth in the NFL in passer rating (98.9) and second in completion percentage (67.9). Green Bay is No. 30 in opponent passer rating (100.5) and No. 30 in opponent completion percentage (68.4). The Packers gave up four touchdown passes to Cam Newton and a season-worst 29 first downs last week.
Plays on favorites of 3.5 to 10 points (Minnesota) after a game where they committed one or fewer turnovers against an opponent after a game with a turnover margin of -3 or less are 54-23 (70.1%) ATS over the last 10 seasons. The Vikings are 41-16 ATS in their last 57 games overall. The Packers are 1-5 ATS in their last six vs. a team with a winning record. Take the Vikings Saturday.
|12-23-17||Thunder v. Jazz||103-89||Loss||-110||10 h 36 m||Show|
15* NBA Saturday No-Doubt Rout on Utah Jazz PK
I love the spot for the Utah Jazz tonight. They had yesterday off. That followed a 100-89 home win over the San Antonio Spurs on Thursday, which came after an ugly 79-107 road loss at Oklahoma City on Wednesday. Now the Jazz will be out for revenge getting to face the Thunder just three days later, but at Salt Lake City this time around.
And the Thunder are extremely vulnerable coming into this game. They won’t be motivated to beat a team they just blew out three days ago. And they are coming off an emotional buzzer-beating 120-117 home win over the Hawks last night as 11.5-point home favorites. It’s a clear letdown spot for them.
Plus, the Thunder are running on fumes right now. Not only will they be playing the 2nd of a back-to-back, they will also be playing their 6th game in 9 days. The Thunder haven’t had back-to-back days off since November 27-28. This is such a tired team right now, and it helps explain why they are just 10-21 ATS on the season, including 5-11 SU & 4-12 ATS in road games.
Utah 9-1 ATS off a win by 10 points or more this season, including a perfect 7-0 ATS off a home win by 10 points or more. The Thunder are 2-10 ATS in their last 12 road games. Oklahoma City is 0-8 ATS in its last eight games vs. a team with a losing record. Utah is 6-1 ATS in its last seven home games. The home team is 8-1 SU & 7-2 ATS in the last nine meetings. Roll with the Jazz Saturday.
|12-23-17||Bucks v. Hornets UNDER 212||106-111||Loss||-108||9 h 42 m||Show|
15* NBA Saturday Total DOMINATOR on Bucks/Hornets UNDER 212
This is one of my favorite situations to back an UNDER. This is a home-and-home situation between the Bucks and Hornets. These teams just played last night with the Bucks winning 109-104 at home. Now they play again a day later in Charlotte this time around.
So they combined for 213 points last night, and now the total is set at 212. The second meeting in these home-and-home situations is almost always lower scoring than the first. And I expect that to be the case here as these teams are obviously extremely familiar with one another.
In fact, this will actually be the 4th and final meeting of the season between these teams already. It will be their 4th meeting in a two months as their first meeting occurred on October 23rd. No two teams are more familiar with each other than the Hornets and Bucks this season, which favors the defenses.
Milwaukee is 39-22 UNDER in its last 61 road games where the total is 210 to 219.5. Charlotte is 21-10 UNDER after having lost three of its last four games over the past two seasons. The UNDER is 4-0 in Hornets last four games playing on 0 days’ rest. The UNDER is 8-2 in Hornets last 10 games when their opponent allowed 100 points or more in their previous game. Take the UNDER in this game Saturday.
|12-23-17||76ers +10.5 v. Raptors||Top||86-102||Loss||-110||7 h 56 m||Show|
20* NBA Eastern Conference GAME OF THE MONTH on Philadelphia 76ers +10.5
I love the Philadelphia 76ers in this spot. This is a home-and-home situation after the 76ers lost 109-114 at home to the Toronto on Thursday. Now they get their shot at revenge only two days later and are catching 10.5 points in the rematch to boot. I’ll gladly back the more motivated team catching double-digit points here.
The 76ers are certainly a ‘buy low’ team right now after going just 2-11 ATS in their last 13 games. But they were never once a double-digit underdog in those 13 games. They were favored in eight of them. Now they’re back to their more preferred role as underdogs.
The Raptors are a great ‘sell high’ candidate right now. They have gone 11-1 SU in their last 12 games while covering each of their last four against the spread. But it has come against an extremely soft schedule, and it’s worth noting the Raptors are just 5-7 SU against teams who are above .500 this season. They aren’t as good as they’re perceived to be right now.
Plays against any team (Toronto) off two or more consecutive road wins, in December games are 76-35 (68.5%) ATS over the last five seasons. Plays on any team (Philadelphia) off a home loss to a division rival against opponent off a home win against a division foe are 49-18 (73.1%) ATS over the last five years. Philadelphia is 23-8 ATS in its last 31 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600. Bet the 76ers Saturday.
|12-23-17||Army v. San Diego State -6.5||Top||42-35||Loss||-115||102 h 52 m||Show|
20* Army/San Diego State Armed Forces Bowl ANNIHILATOR on San Diego State -6.5
Despite being 10-2 this season, I think the San Diego State Aztecs are actually being undervalued because they didn’t win the Mountain West. But they basically gave the game away to Boise State, and they suffered a hangover the next week against Fresno State, the two teams that played in the Mountain West Championship.
Rocky Long has done a great job of refocusing the Aztecs and getting them to finish the season strong following those two losses. This is a team that beat both Arizona State and Stanford earlier in the season, and then they finishes the year by going 4-0 SU & 4-0 ATS over their final four games with four straight wins all by 19 points or more.
Now Rocky Long gets extra time to prepare for Army’s triple-option. I always like fading triple-option teams when their opponent has extra time to prepare. And Long is used to facing triple-option teams having to play Air Force every season. And boy do his defenses know how to stop them. In his time at San Diego State, Long’s teams are 13-2 SU & 12-3 ATS in 15 games against triple-option teams.
I really question Army’s motivation in this bowl game. They just upset Navy for a second consecutive year with a late touchdown to win 14-13. That game was their Super Bowl, and they won’t nearly be as motivated to face San Diego State as they were to face Navy.
Army was a very fortunate team this season, going 5-2 in games decided by a touchdown or less. I don’t think the Black Knights are nearly as good as their 9-3 record would suggest. And they played a much softer schedule than that of San Diego State. Seven of the Aztecs’ 10 wins came by double-digits, while only four of Army’s nine wins came by double-digits, and those were against Fordham, UTEP, Rice and Air Force.
Rocky Long’s teams always get after it defensively, and this year has been no exception. They only give up 18.4 points, 299 yards per game and 5.1 yards per play this season. They have been extremely good at stopping the run, allowing just 111 rushing yards per game and 3.5 per carry. That makes this an excellent matchup for their defense.
San Diego State actually has one of the best offenses it has had in years this season. The Aztecs average 30.4 points per game. They are led by a ground attack that produces 253 yards per game and 5.5 per carry. Army gives up 5.0 per carry, so this is also a good matchup for their offense. Rashaad Penny, one of the most underrated players in college football, rushed for 2,027 yards and 19 touchdowns this season while averaging 7.4 per carry. He’ll be primed for a big game in this one.
The Aztecs have won their last two bowl games in blowout fashion with a 34-10 win over Houston as 4-point dogs in the Las Vegas Bowl last year, and a 42-7 win over Cincinnati as 2-point favorites in the Hawai’i Bowl in 2015.
Plays on any team (San Diego State) - excellent rushing team averaging 4.8 or more yards per carry against a terrible rushing defense giving up 4.8 or more per carry after 7-plus games, after outrushing their last two opponents by 150 or more yards per game are 37-10 (78.7%) ATS since 1992. The Black Knights are 1-5 ATS in their last six vs. MWC opponents. Bet San Diego State Saturday.
|12-23-17||Ohio State +7 v. North Carolina||72-86||Loss||-108||3 h 7 m||Show|
15* Ohio State/UNC CBS Saturday No-Brainer on Ohio State +7
Former Butler head coach Chris Holtmann was a great hire at Ohio State. After a semi slow start to the season, this team has really kicked it into gear of late. I think we are getting the Buckeyes at a great value here against UNC as 7-point underdogs on a neutral court down in New Orleans Saturday.
The Buckeyes are 5-0 SU & 3-2 ATS in their last five games overall. They beat Wisconsin by 25 on the road as 7.5-point underdogs, and topped Michigan 71-62 as 2-point home favorites during this stretch. The other three wins came by 35, 13 and 29 points against overmatched competition.
The UNC Tar Heels are not playing well at all. They trailed almost the entire way before going on a run late to squeak by Tennessee 78-73. Then they suffered one of the most shocking losses of the season with a 75-79 home loss to Wofford as 25-point favorites on Wednesday, December 20th. That’s not the kind of effort that would warrant them being 7-point favorites here.
North Carolina is 4-13 ATS in its last 17 road games when playing against a good team with a winning percentage between 60% and 80%. Plays against neutral court teams as a favorite or PK (UNC) - after being beaten by the spread by more than 18 points in their previous game, in December games are 30-9 (76.9%) ATS since 1997. The Buckeyes are 8-3 ATS in their last 11 vs. ACC opponents. Bet Ohio State Saturday.