|Date||Match Up||Rating||Score||Result||Profit||Lead Time||Analysis|
|01-02-21||Western Kentucky v. Charlotte +6||71-75||Win||100||6 h 1 m||Show|
15* C-USA PLAY OF THE DAY on Charlotte +6
Charlotte wants revenge from a 63-67 loss to Western Kentucky yesterday as a 7-point underdog. They don't have to wait long to get it as they will be playing each other again today. The 49ers will be the more motivated team in the rematch, and I expect them to cover this 6-point spread and possibly win outright.
This is a Charlotte team that has shown they can play with some good teams. They upset Davidson 63-52 as 10.5-point dogs as part of their three-game winning streak prior to losing to WKU. I expect the Hilltoppers to relax today after winning six straight coming in.
Western Kentucky has been winning but not covering, which means they continue to be overvalued. The Hilltoppers are now 1-7 ATS in their last eight games overall. Four of their last five wins have come by 4 points or less.
Charlotte is 9-1-1 ATS in its last 11 games as a home underdog. Western Kentucky is 1-11 ATS in its last 12 games vs. teams who force 14 or fewer turnovers per game. Take Charlotte Saturday.
|01-02-21||Northern Iowa v. Evansville +6.5||61-65||Win||100||6 h 0 m||Show|
15* MVC PLAY OF THE DAY on Evansville +6.5
The Northern Iowa Panthers have been one of my favorite teams to fade in the early going. A big reason for that is they are missing their best player in AJ Green. Green's loss is huge as he averaged 19.7 PPG last season and is averaging 22.3 PPG this season. He is out for the year.
The Panthers have gone 2-5 SU & 1-5 ATS this season. And now they are getting too much respect from oddsmakers once again today as 6.5-point road favorites over Evansville. It's a Purple Aces team that is on the improve.
Indeed, Evansville has gone 3-2 SU & 4-1 ATS in its last five games overall. The two losses were both covers in a 9-point loss to Belmont and a 6-point loss to Southern Illinois. Then they avenged that loss to Southern Illinois and handed the Salukis their first loss in an 84-72 victory as 8-point dogs. Roll with Evansville Saturday.
|01-02-21||Niagara +101 v. Marist||Top||86-72||Win||101||4 h 2 m||Show|
20* CBB Saturday No-Doubt Rout on Niagara ML +101
Niagara will be highly motivated from a 61-63 loss to Marist yesterday. Now they don't have to wait long for revenge as they play each other for a second consecutive day. I look for the Purple Eagles to have their revenge and win this game.
They went from being -2 yesterday to underdogs today, and I don't think the move is warranted. They should be favored again, especially considering they are going to be the more motivated team here.
Plays on road dogs or PK (Niagara) - revenging a SU loss as a favorite against an opponent that's off two consecutive conference wins by 5 points or less are 70-31 (69.3%) ATS since 1997. Niagara is 11-1 ATS in its last 12 games after scoring 30 points or fewer in the first half of two straight games. Bet Niagara Saturday.
|01-01-21||Ohio State v. Clemson UNDER 68||Top||49-28||Loss||-109||14 h 12 m||Show|
25* Bowl TOTAL OF THE YEAR on Ohio State/Clemson UNDER 68
Clemson and Ohio State are very familiar with one another having played in the playoffs three times since the 2013 season. That includes Clemson's 29-23 win last year that saw only 52 combined points. Familiarity favors defense, and I can't believe the books have set this total this high for the Sugar Bowl rematch.
Both teams are elite defensively. Clemson gives up 17.5 points and 298.5 yards per game this season. They held Notre Dame to 10 points and 263 total yards in the ACC Championship Game. And they have allowed just 12.3 points per game in their last three games coming in.
Ohio State gives up 21.0 points and 358.0 yards per game this season. They have held their last two opponents to 11.0 points per game, including their 22-10 win over Northwestern in the Big Ten Championship Game.
And we saw how the Northwestern defense was able to stop Justin Fields. He went just 12-of-27 passing for 114 yards with two interceptions and zero touchdowns. Fields is also battling a thumb injury. The Buckeyes are more of a running team, which is going to favor the UNDER here as they try and milk the clock and limit possessions for Trevor Lawrence. They average 45 rush attempts per game compared to 27 pass attempts.
The UNDER is 4-0 in Buckeyes last four bowl games. The UNDER is 5-1 in Buckeyes last six games as underdogs. The UNDER is 7-2 in Buckeyes last nine games vs. a team with a winning record. The UNDER is 5-0 in Tigers last five playoff semifinal games. The UNDER is 7-2 in Tigers last nine bowl games as a favorite. Bet the UNDER in this game Friday.
|01-01-21||Lakers v. Spurs +7||Top||109-103||Win||100||11 h 51 m||Show|
20* NBA DOG OF THE WEEK on San Antonio Spurs +7
This is a great spot to back the San Antonio Spurs. They want revenge from a 107-121 loss to the Lakers on Wednesday, and they don't have to wait long to get it. Now they are 7-point underdogs in the rematch and will be the more motivated team here.
I expect the defending champion Lakers to relax, while the Spurs will have the gas pedal down for four quarters. And there's a decent chance the Spurs get back LaMarcus Aldridge, who sat out the first meeting with a knee injury. Either way, I like the Spurs to cover as Aldridge has actually not been great from an analytical standpoint. There's also a chance LeBron James sits as he is questionable with an ankle injury.
The Spurs are 12-2 ATS in their last 14 home games off two or more consecutive losses. The Lakers are 1-5 ATS in their last six games following a win. San Antonio is 8-2 ATS in its last 10 games as an underdog. Roll with the Spurs Friday.
|01-01-21||Niagara -1 v. Marist||61-63||Loss||-110||5 h 46 m||Show|
15* CBB Friday PLAY OF THE DAY on Niagara -1
Head coach Greg Paulus, the former Duke standout, is in his second year at Niagara. I expect big things from him and this team this year. They returned all five starters from last year and four of their top five scorers.
After a slow start to the season due to COVID, this experienced team has found their stride. The Purple Eagles are 3-1 SU & 4-0 ATS in their last four games overall. They crushed Fairfield twice by 17 and 20 points. And then they upset Albany as a 3.5-point dog. And now they will take down Marist tonight.
Marist is getting too much respect from oddsmakers due to its 5-1 start against an extremely soft schedule. Their six wins have come against Manhattan (twice), Canisius and Binghamton (twice). And it's worth noting two of those wins came in overtime. Now Marist will meet its match here against this experienced, talented Purple Eagles squad. Take Niagara Friday.
|12-31-20||Michigan v. Maryland +2||Top||84-73||Loss||-109||10 h 17 m||Show|
20* Michigan/Maryland ESPN No-Brainer on Maryland +2
It's time to 'sell high' on the Michigan Wolverines after their 7-0 start against a soft schedule. They got to play their first six games of the season all at home with their only decent opponent being a 62-58 win over Penn State. And their only road game this season came at Nebraska, which is the worst team in the Big Ten.
This is a big step up in class for the Wolverines against a Maryland team that has already been tested. The Terrapins are 6-3 this season with their only losses coming to Clemson and Purdue on the road, as well as Rutgers at home. They proved what they were capable of last time out with a 70-64 win at Wisconsin as a 7.5-point dog.
I like that Maryland has been active lately and will be the sharper team because of it. It will be their 4th game since December 22nd. Meanwhile, the Wolverines will be playing just their 2nd game since December 13th. I imagine they will be pretty rusty here.
The Terrapins are 5-1 at home this season and winning by 16.3 points per game. Maryland beat Michigan 83-70 at home last season. The Wolverines are 1-4 ATS in their last five games vs. a team with a winning % above .600. Bet Maryland Thursday.
|12-31-20||West Virginia v. Army +7||Top||24-21||Win||100||27 h 48 m||Show|
25* Bowl GAME OF THE YEAR on Army +7
The Army Black Knights have put together another great season under head coach Jeff Monken, who is quickly becoming one of the best coaches in program history. They sit at 9-2 on the season and will be highly motivated for a victory in the Liberty Bowl to get to 10 wins.
Army went from being a huge snub from a bowl game to finally getting a game against West Virginia, which was announced on December 21st. Monken fought for a bowl game and got it done for his team. Now I expect his players to respond in a great way here and make the most of this opportunity.
Give West Virginia credit for accepting this game, but it's not going to go well for them. The Mountaineers have had just over a week to get ready for the triple-option. They never see this physical style in the Big 12 and won't be ready for it. Players hate to face triple-option teams, which is why you see so many Military schools have so much success year after year.
We saw this West Virginia defense get gashed on the ground down the stretch. They gave up 179 or more rushing yards three times over their final five games, including 236 by Iowa State in their 6-42 loss in the season finale. And they didn't have to play Oklahoma, so their season-long stats look good, but they are a little skewed to say the least.
Army is going to punch WVU in the mouth for four quarters with a rushing attack that ranked fourth in the nation at 281.3 yards per game. They had four different players rush for between 401 and 502 yards, so they are a balanced attack that will hit you from everywhere they can on the ground.
This is a great Army defense that is giving up just 14.0 points and 271.1 yards per game as wlell. West Virginia's weakness is on offense at 26.8 points per game this season. Their offense really struggled down the stretch against the better competition they faced. They managed just 14.3 points per game in their final three games and also managed just 13 points against Oklahoma State earlier this season.
West Virginia is 1-11 ATS in its last 12 games as a neutral field favorite, including 0-8 ATS in its last eight games as a neutral field favorite of 7 points or less. The Mountaineers are 5-17 ATS in their last 22 bowl games, including 0-6 ATS in their last six bowl games. Bet Army in the Liberty Bowl Thursday.
|12-31-20||Cavs v. Pacers -7.5||99-119||Win||100||5 h 22 m||Show|
15* NBA Thursday PLAY OF THE DAY on Indiana Pacers -7.5
The Indiana Pacers are one of the most underrated teams in the NBA this season. They are a blown 17-point lead against the Celtics from being 4-0 this season. First-year head coach Nate Bjorkgren is doing a tremendous job with this team.
Of course, it helps that the Pacers have their two best players healthy this season, which wasn't the case last year. Victor Oladipo (22.7 PPG, 5.7 RPG) and Domantas Sabonis (21.8 PPG, 11.0 RPG, 7.3 APG) are two of the more underrated players in the NBA and off to fast starts. Malcolm Brogdon (20.8 PPG, 6.5 APG) is also healthy this season after missing some time last year.
The Cavaliers are overvalued after starting 3-1 this year. Their three wins came against Charlotte, Detroit and Philadelphia. They then lost 86-95 to the Knicks last time out. And the Cavaliers now have a lot of injury problems that they didn't have to start the season. They will be without Kevin Love, Dylan Windler, Isaac Okoro, Kevin Porter Jr. and Matthew Dellavedova.
Indiana has won four of its last five meetings with Cleveland all by 7 points or more. The Pacers are 22-9-2 ATS in the last 33 meetings. Cleveland is 5-18 ATS in its last 23 games after covering three of its last four ATS coming in. The Cavaliers are 8-22-1 ATS in their last 31 road games vs. a team with a home winning % of greater than .600. Take the Pacers Thursday.
|12-30-20||Hornets +8 v. Mavs||Top||118-99||Win||100||10 h 41 m||Show|
20* NBA GAME OF THE WEEK on Charlotte Hornets +8
The Dallas Mavericks are overvalued off their shocking 124-73 win over the Clippers last time out. They had lost 115-138 to the Lakers and 102-106 to the Suns in their two prior games, so it came out of nowhere. And the Mavericks are still without Kristaps Porzingis, so they probably shouldn't be favored by 8 points against anyone.
The Hornets are 1-2 SU this season with an impressive 106-104 win over the Nets as 11.5-point dogs to flash their potential. They only lost 107-109 to the Thunder and 114-121 to the Cavs, so they were competitive in both losses. And I expect them to be competitive here against the Mavericks and stay within this 8-point spread.
The Hornets are 8-2-1 ATS in their last 11 games overall. Charlotte is a perfect 8-0-1 ATS in its last nine games as an underdog. The Hornets are 22-6-1 ATS in their last 29 games vs. a team with a winning % below .400. The Mavericks are 8-20-2 ATS in their last 30 games following a win. Dallas is 1-6 ATS in its last seven vs. a team with a losing record. Take the Hornets Wednesday.
|12-30-20||Florida v. Oklahoma -2.5||Top||20-55||Win||100||51 h 42 m||Show|
20* Florida/Oklahoma Cotton Bowl No-Brainer on Oklahoma -2.5
The Oklahoma Sooners have been one of the best teams in the country since a shocking 1-2 start this season with losses to Kansas State and Iowa State to open Big 12 play. They have gone 7-0 SU & 6-1 ATS since while outscoring the opposition by 23.0 points per game. They will win their 8th straight here in the Cotton Bowl against Florida.
Oklahoma has familiarity playing inside AT&T Stadium having just beating Iowa State in the Big 12 Championship. They will not be awe struck one bit, and it's an advantage for them getting to play there again less than two weeks later. And they will be motivated to knock off an SEC opponent here and put an exclamation point on what has been a tremendous turnaround season.
Oklahoma has another high-powered offense this year averaging 41.8 points per game. Spencer Rattler came on strong starting with the win over Texas. He completed 68% of his passes for 2,784 yards with a 25-to-7 TD/INT ratio this season, while also rushing for five scores. Rattler and this Oklahoma offense should pick apart a Gators defense that ranked 78th national in yards per pass attempt (7.6) and 93rd in passer rating (145.6).
But the key to this Sooners team is that they have the best defense they've had in the Lincoln Riley era. They give up just 21.9 points and 334.6 yards per game. They have been tremendous against the run, allowing 92 rushing yards per game and 3.1 per carry. Coordinator Alex Grinch has built a unit that thrives against fling-it-around schemes like this one run by Florida.
Florida is going to need to be able to run the football considering they will be without their top four receivers in this game. WR Kedarius Toney (70 receptions, 984 yards, 10 TD), TE Kyle Pitts (43, 770, 12 TD) and WR Trevon Grimes (38, 589, 9 TD) will all be sitting out this game to prepare for the NFL Draft. Jacob Copeland (23, 435, 3 TD) is also out due to COVID-19. Even with star QB Kyle Trask at the helm, this offense won't be anywhere close to firing on all cylinders.
I think Oklahoma is happy to be here as they were eliminated from the four-team playoff early in the season and have earned their way to this Cotton Bowl. I think Florida is not happy to be here as they had an outside shot at the four-team playoff down the stretch after an 8-1 start, but lost their final two games. They lost as 23-point favorites to LSU and then to Alabama in the SEC Championship Game. I always like fading teams after playing Alabama. They won't be nearly as excited to play Oklahoma as they were Alabama, and that is evident with all these opt-outs.
Plays against all teams where the line is +3 to -3 (Florida) - a good team outscoring opponents by 7-plus points per game, after allowing 31 points or more in two straight games are 44-17 (72.1%) ATS over the last 10 seasons. The Sooners are 6-1 ATS in their last seven games overall. The Gators are 2-8 ATS in their last 10 games on fieldturf. The Sooners are 5-2 ATS in their last seven vs. SEC opponents. Bet Oklahoma Wednesday.
|12-30-20||Eastern Illinois v. Eastern Kentucky -3.5||61-69||Win||100||9 h 6 m||Show|
15* CBB Wednesday No-Doubt Rout on Eastern Kentucky -3.5
Eastern Kentucky returned four starters this season and is off to a 7-2 SU & 5-2 ATS start this season. They took Xavier to overtime in one of their losses as 16-point underdogs. That's a Xavier team that is 8-1 this season.
Eastern Illinois is just 3-4 SU & 2-5 ATS this season. They lost by 10 to Wisconsin and by 25 to Marquette as well as a loss to a down Dayton team. They also lost to a bad Evansville team as 3-point favorites. They only beat Western Illinois 92-88 as 11.5-point favorites and needed overtime to beat a bad Wisconsin-Green Bay team as 5.5-point favorites. Their only blowout win came 78-56 against Chicago State, which is one of the worst teams in the country, and they failed to cover as 26-point favorites.
Given these results, it's clear that Eastern Kentucky should be more than a 3.5-point favorite in this game tonight. Not to mention Eastern Kentucky won both meetings with Eastern Illinois last year despite being underdogs in both games. And they returned more talent and experience than Eastern Illinois did this season.
Eastern Illinois is 0-7 ATS in its last seven road games after failing to cover the spread in two or more consecutive games coming in. The Panthers are 5-11 ATS in their last 16 road games. The Colonels are 8-1-1 ATS in their last 10 games as home favorites. The Colonels are 20-7-1 ATS in their last 28 games overall. Roll with Eastern Kentucky Wednesday.
|12-30-20||Richmond +1 v. Davidson||Top||80-74||Win||100||8 h 7 m||Show|
20* Atlantic 10 GAME OF THE MONTH on Richmond +1
Richmond is a team I'm looking to back a lot this season since they returned four starters from last year. And it has paid off for the most part in the early going as they are 6-2 SU against a brutal schedule.
We're going to get a motivated Richmond team off an upset loss to Hofstra last time out. They have wins over Kentucky, Wofford, Northern Iowa, Vanderbilt and Loyola-Chicago this season. Their only other loss came to West Virginia, one of the best teams in the country.
Now the Spiders open Atlantic 10 play against Davidson, who has losses to Texas, Providence and Charlotte this season. The Wildcats are now getting too much respect off two straight wins over Rhode Island and Vanderbilt.
Richmond won both meetings with Davidson last season 80-63 at home and 70-64 on the road. It will be more of the same in their first meeting of 2020-21. The Spiders are 4-0 ATS in their last four games following an ATS loss. The underdog is 6-2 ATS in the last eight meetings. Bet Richmond Wednesday.
|12-30-20||La Salle +12.5 v. Dayton||67-65||Win||100||8 h 7 m||Show|
15* CBB Wednesday Undervalued Underdog on La Salle +12.5
The Dayton Flyers are way overvalued in the early going this season. They lost a lot from last year's team that was one of the best in the country, including Wooden Award winner Obi Toppin. I'll gladly fade them here as 12.5-point favorites against La Salle in this Atlantic 10 opener for both teams.
Dayton is 4-1 SU but just 2-3 ATS. Each of their five games this season have been decided by 6 points or less. That includes a 66-63 win over Eastern Illinois as 14-point favorites and a 66-60 win over Northern Kentucky as 11.5-point favorites.
La Salle is just 3-5 SU this season but has been competitive in almost all their losses. The Explorers are 3-1 ATS in their last four games overall. They upset Drexel 58-48 as 3-point road dogs, covered as 3-point favorites in a 71-61 win over Delaware, and only lost 71-84 at Maryland as 16.5-point dogs last time out.
The Flyers are 0-4 ATS in their last four games vs. a team with a winning % below .400. La Salle is 6-0 ATS in its last six road games off two consecutive non-conference games. The Explorers are 6-0 ATS in their last six games after scoring 30 points or less in the first half of two straight games. The Explorers are 10-1 ATS in their last 11 games vs. teams who average 6 or fewer steals per game. These four trends combine for a 26-1 system backing the Explorers tonight. Take La Salle Wednesday.
|12-29-20||Colorado +8.5 v. Texas||Top||23-55||Loss||-114||13 h 29 m||Show|
20* Colorado/Texas Alamo Bowl BAILOUT on Colorado +8.5
Karl Dorrell's first year at Colorado brought with it Pac-12 Coach of the Year honors. The Buffaloes were the surprise of the Pac-12 with a 4-1 SU & 4-1 ATS record with their only loss coming to Utah in the season finale. And now the Buffaloes are extremely happy to be playing in the Alamo Bowl.
The roles are reversed for Texas this year. They beat a flat Utah team in the Alamo Bowl that just missed the 4-team playoff after losing in the Pac-12 Championship. The Longhorns were the team that wanted to be there. I don't think they will want to be playing in the Alamo Bowl for a second consecutive season after having higher expectations during the regular season of winning a Big 12 title and coming up short.
Now Texas will be without several key players who have opted out, showing they don't care much about winning this game. They will be without leading receiver Brennan Eagles, left tackle Samuel Cosmi and another starter in senior Derek Kerstetter. There's also some uncertainty with right guard Denzel Okafor, who could miss the game due to COVID-19 protocols. The Longhorns are likely to start two true freshmen up front.
Colorado RB Jarek Broussard earned Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Year honors this season by rushing for over 800 yards and 6.3 per carry in just five games. Dual-threat QB Sam Noyer is tough to deal with as he led the Buffaloes with five rushing touchdowns. And slowing down these two will be more difficult considering Texas will be without star DE/LB Joseph Ossai. He wreaks havoc in opposing backfields with 5.5 sacks and three forced fumbles this season.
Dorrell is 13-5 ATS as an underdog as the coach of Colorado. Dorrell is 9-2 ATS after allowing 37 points or more as the coach of the Buffaloes. It's clear that Colorado wants to be here more with all of these opt outs by the Longhorns. And they should be able to stay within a touchdown of Texas and likely pull off the upset. Bet Colorado in the Alamo Bowl Tuesday.
|12-29-20||Bucks -5 v. Heat||144-97||Win||100||10 h 0 m||Show|
15* Bucks/Heat TNT ANNIHILATOR on Milwaukee -5
It's a great time to 'buy low' on the Milwaukee Bucks after opening the season 1-2 SU & 1-2 ATS. They lost on banked 3-pointer by the Celtics just before the buzzer. They crushed Golden State 138-99 to flash their potential. And the buy low opportunity comes from their 110-130 loss at New York as 13-point favorites.
Now the Bucks are just 5-point favorites over the Miami Heat tonight. They want revenge on the Heat after getting upset by them in the playoffs last year with their season coming to an end at the hands of Miami. Plus, they won't have to face Miami's best player in Jimmy Butler, who is out with an ankle injury.
Milwaukee is 31-16 ATS in its last 47 games following a SU loss. The Bucks are 45-27 ATS in their last 72 games as a favorite of 3.5 to 9.5 points. The Bucks are 27-12 ATS in their last 29 games off an upset loss as a favorite. Take the Bucks Tuesday.
|12-29-20||Florida State v. Clemson -1.5||Top||67-77||Win||100||10 h 46 m||Show|
20* ACC GAME OF THE WEEK on Clemson -1.5
The Clemson Tigers are one of the most underrated teams in college basketball this season. They are 6-1 SU & 5-2 ATS this season with their only loss coming on the road to Virginia Tech. They have wins over Mississippi State (by 11), Purdue (by 11), Maryland (by 16) and Alabama (by 8) so they have played a very tough schedule as well.
The Florida State Seminoles lost their three best players to the NBA or graduation from last year's team. They have still opened 5-1 and are talented, but their 12-point loss to UCF is a concern two games back. And they didn't come close to covering as a 20-point favorite in a 13-point win over Gardner Webb last time out. This team is simply getting too much respect from oddsmakers.
Clemson is 9-1 ATS in its last 10 games after allowing 25 points or fewer in the first half of last game. The Tigers are the best defensive team in the ACC, giving up just 53.4 points per game and 37% shooting this season. The Tigers are 6-1 ATS in their last seven games vs. a team with a winning % above .600. The home team is 4-1 ATS in the last five meetings. Bet Clemson Tuesday.
|12-28-20||Blazers +4 v. Lakers||Top||115-107||Win||100||11 h 18 m||Show|
20* Blazers/Lakers NBA TV Late-Night BAILOUT on Portland +4
The Los Angeles Lakers will be playing the 2nd of a back-to-back and their 3rd game in 4 days after a win over Minnesota yesterday. They could decide to sit both Lebron James (ankle) and Anthony Davis (calf) given the situation. Both are listed as questionable.
Either way, the Blazers will be highly motivated to take on the defending champs tonight. I know we'll get a big effort from them, especially after losing in five games to the Lakers in the playoffs last year, so they will have revenge in mind. And they are starting out 2020-21 very healthy with the Big 3 of Lillard, McCollum and Nurkic all playing big minutes in each of their first two games this season.
The Blazers are 21-8 ATS in their last 29 meetings in Los Angeles. The Lakers are 12-27 ATS in their last 39 home games after leading their previous game by 20-plus points at halftime. Los Angeles is 1-4 ATS in its last five games following a win. Take the Blazers Monday.
|12-28-20||Bills -7 v. Patriots||Top||38-9||Win||100||11 h 43 m||Show|
20* Bills/Patriots ESPN No-Brainer on Buffalo -7
The Buffalo Bills want the No. 2 seed in the AFC. That would give them home-field advantage all the way until they have to face the Chiefs in the the AFC Championship Game if both teams win out. Adding to their motivation is that they have been the little brother to New England for a few decades. They would love to pull off the season sweep here in emphatic fashion.
Of course the Bills are going to show up for a prime time game on National TV. And of course they are going to show up with it being the Patriots. So motivation won't be an issue for them, and I expect them to continue firing on all cylinders as they have been for weeks now.
Indeed, the Bills are 7-1 SU in their last eight games overall with their only loss coming on the hail mary by the Arizona Cardinals on the final play of the game. They are 6-0 ATS in their last six gmes overall with five wins by double-digits during this stretch. They beat the Broncos 48-19 last week, the Steelers 26-15 two weeks ago, the 49ers 34-24 three weeks ago, the Chargers 27-17 four weeks ago and the Seahawks 44-34 seven weeks ago.
Josh Allen is playing at an MVP level by leading the Bills to an average of 34.8 points per game in their last six games. And their defense is starting to play up to its potential now in holding the last four opponents to 18.8 points per game. They held the Steelers to 224 yards and the Broncos to 255 yards the last two weeks.
There's no way this pitiful New England offense is going to be able to keep up with Allen and company. They have averaged just 248.3 yards per game in their last four games coming in. They were held to 12 points against the Dolphins and outgained by 80 yards. They were held to 3 points and 220 yards against the Rams. And they were held to 179 yards against the Cardinals. They were also held to 291 yards in a misleading win over the Chargers. And now they are without their best CB in Stephon Gilmore, who would have been matched up with Stefon Diggs. Now Diggs, who has 111 receptions for 1314 yards this season, will have a huge game tonight.
The Bills are 6-0 ATS in their last six games overall. Buffalo is 11-4-2 ATS in its last 17 road games. The road team is 21-8-2 ATS in the last 31 meetings. Bet the Bills Monday.
|12-28-20||Missouri State +3.5 v. Northern Iowa||75-85||Loss||-108||9 h 13 m||Show|
15* CBB Monday UPSET SHOCKER on Missouri State +3.5
I cashed in Missouri State as a 6.5-point underdog against Northern Iowa in their 79-59 win. I said they should not be underdogs in this game and believe they should not be underdogs in the rematch either. So I'm back on them as 3.5-point dogs again today.
The Panthers are 1-5 SU & 0-5 ATS this season. They just lost their best player in A.J. Green, who averaged 22.2 PPG and 5.7 RPG in his three games this season. Green averaged 19.7 PPG last year and is now out for the season. Plus, the Panthers hadn't played since December 9th, so they are rusty right now.
Missouri State is off to a 4-0 SU & 3-0 ATS start this season. They crushed Northwestern State 94-67 as a 10.5-point favorite. Then they upset a very good Arkansas-Little Rock team that returned all five starters from last year 85-77 as 1.5-point dogs. And add in that 79-59 win as 6.5-point dogs to Northern Iowa yesterday.
The Bears are 11-2 ATS in their last 13 games overall. Missouri State is 9-2 ATS in its last 11 road games. The Panthers are 0-6 ATS in their last six games overall. Northern Iowa 17-36-1 ATS in its last 54 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600. Missouri State is 10-1 ATS in its last 11 games vs. teams who average 33 or fewer rebounds per game. The Bears are 10-1 ATS in their last 11 games after allowing 60 points or fewer in their previous game. Roll with Missouri State Monday.
|12-28-20||Missouri State v. Northern Iowa UNDER 140.5||75-85||Loss||-112||9 h 13 m||Show|
15* CBB Monday Total DOMINATOR on Missouri State/Northern Iowa UNDER 140.5
Missouri State just beat Northern Iowa 79-59 yesterday for 138 combined points. And now the total has been set at 140.5 for the rematch today, which is too high. These teams will easily go UNDER this total. They are familiar with each other now, and that favors defense.
Missouri State is a great defensive team in giving up 66.7 points per game and 39.2% shooting this season en route to a 4-0 start. Northern Iowa is a great defensive team year in and year out, and that's the case again this season despite playing a brutal schedule.
But Northern Iowa is in a world of hurt offensively right now. They just lost their best player in A.J. Green, who averaged 22.2 PPG and 5.7 RPG in his three games this season. Green averaged 19.7 PPG last year and is now out for the season. Plus, the Panthers hadn't played since December 9th, so they are rusty right now.
Missouri State and Northern Iowa have combined for 138 or fewer points in nine of their last 10 meetings. That makes for a 9-1 system backing the UNDER pertaining to this 140.5-point total. Northern Iowa is 22-6 UNDER in its last 28 games when revenging a loss. The Panthers are 6-0 UNDER in their last six games off a loss by 10 points or more. Bet the UNDER in this game Monday.
|12-28-20||Evansville +9 v. Southern Illinois||84-72||Win||100||7 h 13 m||Show|
15* CBB Monday Undervalued Underdog on Evansville +9
The Evansville Purple Aces get another shot at Southern Illinois tonight. They lost 57-63 as 8.5-point dogs yesterday. Now they are 9-point dogs to the Salukis in the rematch. This makes no sense as the Purple Aces will be the more motivated team, while the Salukis will relax after just beating them.
Plus Southern Illinois is overvalued as it is due to an unbeaten 7-0 record against an extremely soft schedule. Their seven wins have come against SE Missouri State, Quincy, Murray State, North Dakota (twice), Butler and Evansville.
Four of the last five meetings in this series have now been decided by 7 points or less. The road team is 6-2-1 ATS in the last nine meetings. The Purple Aces are 4-1-1 ATS in their last six games vs. a team with a winning % above .600. Take Evansville Monday.
|12-27-20||Celtics v. Pacers +2.5||107-108||Win||100||9 h 33 m||Show|
15* NBA Sunday UPSET SHOCKER on Indiana Pacers +2.5
The Indiana Pacers played great in the preseason for new head coach Nate Bjorkgren. They are going with a faster-paced style and a lot of 3-pointers. And they won 121-107 over the Knicks in their opener despite making only 8-of-34 (23.5%) of their 3-point attempts.
This is one of the most underrated teams in the NBA with a ton of talent and depth. Five different players scored in double figures against the Knicks led by 32 from Sabonis, who is an All-Star who missed significant time last season. As did Oladipo (22 points) and Brogdon (21), who are both healthy to start the season. And Turner (10) and Warren (5) were huge contributors last year. McDermott (13), McConnel (5) and the Holiday brothers (13 combined) provide some great production off the bench.
The Pacers came back yesterday and crushed the Bulls 125-106 as a premium pick for us. They shot 56% as a team but just 35% from 3-point range. And their starters played limited minutes with nobody getting more than 33 minutes, so they should still be fresh here for the Celtics.
This is a Boston team that just lost 95-123 to the Brooklyn Nets last time out. The Celtics really missed PG Kemba Walker as they will be a team to fade until he returns. Not to mention they lost Gordon Hayward this offseason. They are too reliant on Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum to provide their offense. I'll gladly back the deeper Pacers who play well together as a team. Take the Pacers Sunday.
|12-27-20||Missouri State +6.5 v. Northern Iowa||79-59||Win||100||5 h 38 m||Show|
15* MVC PLAY OF THE DAY on Missouri State +6.5
The Northern Iowa Panthers are getting way too much respect from oddsmakers today. They should not be 6.5-point favorites over the Missouri State Bears in this Missouri Valley Conference matchup.
The Panthers are 1-4 SU & 0-4 ATS this season. They just lost their best player in A.J. Green, who averages 22.2 PPG and 5.7 RPG in his three games this season. Green averaged 19.7 PPG last year and is now out for the season. Plus, the Panthers haven't played since December 9th, so they will be rusty.
Missouri State is off to a 3-0 SU & 2-0 ATS start this season. They crushed Northwestern State 94-67 as a 10.5-point favorite. Last time out they upset a very good Arkansas-Little Rock team that returned all five starters from last year 85-77 as 1.5-point dogs.
The Bears are 10-2 ATS in their last 12 games overall. Missouri State is 8-2 ATS in its last 10 road games. The Panthers are 0-5 ATS in their last five games overall. Northern Iowa 17-35-1 ATS in its last 53 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600. The Bears are 11-2 ATS off a home win over the last two seasons. Missouri State is 9-1 ATS in its last 10 games vs. teams who average 33 or fewer rebounds per game. Bet Missouri State Sunday.
|12-27-20||Falcons +11 v. Chiefs||Top||14-17||Win||100||3 h 19 m||Show|
20* NFL Non-Conference GAME OF THE MONTH on Atlanta Falcons +11
The Kansas City Chiefs are overvalued due to their 13-1 record. I have been selling high on them for weeks, except for last week I had them when they covered as closing 2.5-point favorites over the Saints. And now this is a huge letdown spot off that win over New Orleans as they won't be nearly as motivated to face the Falcons. Not to mention, they basically already have the No. 1 seed wrapped up in the AFC and a first-round bye.
The Chiefs have gone 1-5 ATS in their last six games overall. They have won all six games, but all six wins came by 6 points or less. They just don't keep their foot on the gas and they just seem to be going through the motions waiting for the playoffs to come. I wouldn't be surprised at all to see the Falcons pull the upset here, and at the very least this 11-point spread is way too high.
The Falcons continue to play hard for Raheem Morris. In their last seven games, they have either won the game outright or lost by 5 points or fewer six times. So they have been competitive in every game. The only exception was the loss to the Saints 9-24 in which they led 9-3 but fell apart in the second half. They gave the Bucs all they could handle last week in a 27-31 loss. That's a Bucs team that went on to crush Detroit 47-7 on Saturday.
The Falcons have a very underrated defense that has allowed 24 or fewer points in four of their last five games overall. They will be able to slow down the Chiefs here. And Matt Ryan and company should be able to keep pace as well. They have scored 25 or more points in four of their last seven games and are averaging 25.8 points per game in their last four.
Kansas City is 2-13 ATS in its last 15 games after gaining 400 or more yards in three straight games coming in. The Falcons are 7-1 ATS in their last eight Week 16 games. Atlanta is 4-1 ATS in its last five games following a loss. The Falcons are 7-3 ATS in their last 10 road games. The Chiefs are 1-5 ATS in their last six games as favorites. Bet the Falcons Sunday.
|12-27-20||Bears v. Jaguars OVER 46.5||41-17||Win||100||3 h 19 m||Show|
15* NFL Sunday Total DOMINATOR on Bears/Jaguars OVER 46.5
The Chicago Bears have become an offensive juggernaut with Mitch Trubisky at quarterback. He has led the Bears to 30 or more points in three straight games now. And they have gotten their running game going, making things easier on him in the play-action passing game.
The Bears have rushed for at least 140 yards in all three games. They only had to punt once against the Vikings last week in their 33-27 victory. And now they face a Jaguars defense that gave up 40 points to Baltimore last week. In fact, the Jaguars have now allowed at least 24 points in each of their last 13 games, all losses. They give up 30.2 points per game this season. The Bears should get to 30-plus points for a fourth consecutive week.
The Jaguars should be able to do their part against a Bears defense that allowed 34 points to the Lions three weeks ago and 27 to the Vikings last week. I think Jacksonville should top 20 points in this one. Mike Glennon will be their quarterback, and he has been the best of the Jaguars' three different signal callers this season. It will be great weather in Jacksonville as well, which sets this game up to be a shootout.
The OVER is 20-7 in Bears last 27 road games vs. a team with a losing home record. The OVER is 19-7 in Bears last 26 games as a road favorite. The OVER is 4-0 in Jaguars last four games following an ATS loss. Roll with the OVER in this game Sunday.
|12-27-20||Bengals v. Texans OVER 44.5||37-31||Win||100||3 h 19 m||Show|
15* AFC PLAY OF THE DAY on Bengals/Texans OVER 44.5
The Cincinnati Bengals and Houston Texans have nothing to play for but pride. I like backing the OVER late in the season when that is the case. I see defense as being optional in this game, and for both the Bengals and Texans to hang big numbers offensively.
For starters, these are two of the worst defenses in the NFL. The Texans give up 27.6 points and 402.8 yards per game this season. The Bengals allow 25.4 points and 372.6 yards per game. The Texans still have a very good offense under Deshaun Watson, and the Bengals showed some life offensively last week with 27 points against a very good Steelers defense.
Houston is 19-6 OVER in its last 25 games coming off three or more consecutive unders. If the Texans hadn't fumbled inside the 5-yard line in the final seconds against the Colts two of the last three weeks, both those games would have gone OVER. I think that fact is providing us with some line value here with this total of only 44.5. Plus the Bengals have gone under the total in four of their last five while playing some very bad offenses in Washington, Giants, Dolphins, Cowboys and Steelers. That has also provided us with some value on the OVER. Take the OVER in this game Sunday.
|12-26-20||Dolphins -3 v. Raiders||26-25||Loss||-101||35 h 52 m||Show|
15* Dolphins/Raiders AFC Saturday Night BAILOUT on Miami -3
The Miami Dolphins have been the gift that keeps on giving for me and my premium clients. They will continue adding to our profits on the day after Christmas here against the fading Oakland Raiders. The Dolphins are now 9-5 SU this season and 11-3 ATS, the best ATS mark in the NFL.
Better yet, the Dolphins are now 8-2 SU & 9-1 ATS in their last 10 games overall. They are currently the 7th seed in the AFC playoffs, tied with the Ravens for the final spot. They cannot afford to take their foot off the gas now, especially knowing they have a difficult game at Buffalo on deck next week. This is a must-win for them and they will play like it.
The Dolphins have the best scoring defense in the NFL at 18.4 points per game allowed. That's what makes them so underrated. Now they have Tua at quarterback coming into his own the last three weeks. Hew threw for 296 yards against the Bengals and 316 yards against the Chiefs before completing 20-of-26 passes against the Patriots last week. And the Dolphins showed they could win that game on the ground with 250 rushing yards in their 22-12 victory.
The Dolphins will be able to do whatever they want to offensively against a Raiders defense that gives up 30.1 points and 385.4 yards per game and just recently fired their defensive coordinator. It didn't matter much at all as they gave up 30 points and 402 yards against the Chargers last time out. And now after going 1-4 SU in their last five games overall, the Raiders have been all but eliminated from the playoffs and have nothing to play for the rest the way.
The Dolphins were missing three of their best weapons in WR Parker, WR Grant and TE Gesicki last week and still found a way to win with their running game and a high-efficiency game from Tua. But all three were close to playing last week, so there's a good chance they get back a few of them this week. The Raiders have a worse injury situation as they are missing a handful of starters on defense, have injuries all over their offensive line, and now Derek Carr had to leave the last game with a groin injury. He may return this week, but he won't be mobile at all and will probably hurt the Raiders more by playing than help them.
The Raiders are 0-6 ATS in their last six home games off two or more consecutive ATS losses. The Dolphins are 20-6 ATS in their last 26 games, including 9-1 ATS in their last 10 games. Miami is 5-0 ATS in its last five December games. The Raiders are 0-4 ATS in their last four games overall, failing to cover the spread by a combined 66 points. I'll gladly back the better, more motivated team in this one that has a lot more to play for. Roll with the Dolphins Saturday.
|12-26-20||Pacers -4.5 v. Bulls||125-106||Win||100||10 h 24 m||Show|
15* NBA Saturday No-Doubt Rout on Indiana Pacers -4.5
The Indiana Pacers played great in the preseason for new head coach Nate Bjorkgren. They are going with a faster-paced style and a lot of 3-pointers. And they won 121-107 over the Knicks in their opener despite making only 8-of-34 (23.5%) of their 3-point attempts.
This is one of the most underrated teams in the NBA with a ton of talent and depth. Five different players scored in double figures against the Knicks led by 32 from Sabonis, who is an All-Star who missed significant time last season. As did Oladipo (22 points) and Brogdon (21), who are both healthy to start the season. And Turner (10) and Warren (5) were huge contributors last year. McDermott (13), McConnel (5) and the Holiday brothers (13 combined) provide some great production off the bench.
The Bulls are in rebuilding mode under first-year head coach Billy Donavan. They were blasted 104-124 by the Atlanta Hawks in their opener and trailed by as many as 37 points. The Hawks were held to 13 points in the 4th quarter and still won by 20. The Pacers should make easy work of them as well. Roll with the Pacers Saturday.
|12-26-20||Liberty +7 v. Coastal Carolina||Top||37-34||Win||100||82 h 24 m||Show|
20* Liberty/Coastal Carolina Cure Bowl ANNIHILATOR on Liberty +7
The Liberty Flames were one of my favorite teams to back all season. They went 9-1 SU & 8-2 ATS this season to earn head coach Hugh Freeze a hefty new contract. I had them against Virginia Tech as 17-point dogs earlier this season in a game they won outright. And their only loss came to NC State 14-15 after they had a last-second field goal blocked.
Liberty's stats are off the charts this season. They are outgaining opponents by over 190 yards per game. They give up just 307 yards per game defensively. They average nearly 40 points and 500 yards per game on offense. QB Malik Willis is one of the most underrated players in the country. He had a 20-to-4 TD/INT ratio this season. He led the team in rushing with 807 yards and 10 scores. He is just tough to handle.
It's time to 'sell high' on Coastal Carolina and their perfect 11-0 record. I was all ready to fade them with Louisiana in the Sun Belt Championship until COVID problems struck the Chanticleers. And now there may be lingering effects from that with a lack of practice time. I faded them with Troy in their regular season finale when the Trojans nearly won that game outright. And I'm going to fade them again here.
I think Liberty will be the more motivated team here. The Flames are extremely happy to be in this bowl game facing an unbeaten team. Coastal Carolina thought it might be playing in a New Year's 6 Bowl and probably would have had they beaten Louisiana. Instead of playing a big name Power 5 program, now they have to play Liberty. I just can't see them getting up for this game.
"Having another chance to face Coastal Carolina after it was taken away from us at the end of our regular season gives us a chance to finish off a magical season and another special win," Liberty coach Hugh Freeze said.
Freeze is one of my favorite head coaches to back because he is so underrated dating back to his time at Ole Miss. Freeze is now 62-35 ATS as a head coach. Liberty is 21-7 ATS in its last 28 games as an underdog. The Flames are 7-0 ATS in their last seven games overall. Take Liberty Saturday.
|12-26-20||49ers v. Cardinals -4.5||Top||20-12||Loss||-101||31 h 7 m||Show|
20* NFC West GAME OF THE MONTH on Arizona Cardinals -4.5
Fading the 49ers has made me a lot of money this season. And I'm not about to stop now as they continue to be overvalued week after week, including here Saturday against Arizona in Week 16. The 49ers are now 1-6 SU & 1-6 ATS in their last six games overall with all six losses coming by 8 points or more. The Cardinals should be at least 7-point favorites in this matchup.
The 49ers have officially been eliminated from the playoffs after three straight upset losses to Buffalo, Washington and Dallas. Now they are down to third-string QB CJ Beathard, who is 1-9 as a starter in the NFL, including 0-3 in three meetings with the Cardinals. And their laundry list of injuries is worse than any other team in the NFL, which is the biggest reason they have struggled this season to a 5-9 record after nearly winning the Super Bowl last year.
The Cardinals are highly motivated right now to clinch a playoff spot. They are 8-6 and currently in the final spot in the NFC playoff race. They would clinch a spot in the postseason for the first time since 2015 if they win on Saturday and the Chicago Bears lose to the Jaguars on Sunday. They have owned the 49ers over the years as they are going for their 5th season sweep in the past 6 years after winning 24-20 at San Francisco in Week 1.
Kyler Murray looks fully recovered from a shoulder injury that hampered him for a few weeks during a three-game skid. But the Cardinals have since won their last two with a dominant 26-7 road win over the Giants and a 33-26 home win over the Eagles. The sign that Murray is healthy is that he is using his legs again with 21 rush attempts combined in those two victories.
The offense was certainly hitting on all cylinders against the Eagles with 526 yards as they outgained the Eagles by 104 yards. They had 390 yards on a very good Giants defense, and they held them to just 159 yards and outgained them by 231 yards. Now the season-long stats for the Cardinals really show they are a dominant team outscoring opponents by 4.4 points per game and outgaining them by 49.2 yards per game.
The 49ers cannot be trusted to hold onto the football. They have committed two or more turnovers in eight consecutive games and 10 of their last 11 games overall. Beathard is a turnover machine as well and will be running for his life in this one. And this 49ers defense looked to kind of quit last week in giving up 41 points to Dallas. They are just playing out the string right now and disappointed they have to be in Arizona over Christmas instead of being with their family due to the COVID restrictions in Santa Clara.
Plays against underdogs or PK (San Francisco) - after going over the total by 28 or more points total in their last three games, versus division opponents are 36-9 (80%) ATS over the last five seasons. Arizona is 4-1 ATS in its last five vs. a team with a losing record. The Cardinals are 5-0-1 ATS in the last six meetings. Bet the Cardinals Saturday.
|12-26-20||Virginia +8.5 v. Gonzaga||75-98||Loss||-110||6 h 18 m||Show|
15* Virginia/Gonzaga CBS ANNIHILATOR on Virginia +8.5
The Virginia Cavaliers are exactly the type of team that can slow down the Gonzaga Bulldogs. They have been among the best defensive teams in the country under Tony Bennett for years. And that's the case again this season as they give up just 54.0 points per game and 36.3% shooting.
I like the fact that Virginia returned from its 17-day absence from COVID problems and looked very sharp in a 76-40 win as 23.5-point favorites over William & Mary on December 22nd. And now they are highly motivated to try and knock off the No. 1 team in the country in Gonzaga. Getting 8.5 points with a team the caliber of Virginia is an absolute Christmas gift.
The Cavaliers are 37-16 ATS in their last 53 games as underdogs. Virginia is 8-3-1 ATS in its last 12 games overall. It's time to 'buy low' on the Cavaliers and 'sell high' on the Bulldogs today. Take Virginia Saturday.
|12-26-20||Western Kentucky v. Georgia State -3.5||Top||21-39||Win||100||75 h 11 m||Show|
20* WKU/Georgia State LendingTree Bowl No-Brainer on Georgia State -3.5
Conference USA teams have looked awful early in the bowl season. North Texas lost 28-56 to Appalachian State, Louisiana Tech lost 3-38 to Georgia Southern and FAU lost 10-25 to Memphis. All three failed to cover the spread by over 40 points combined. Expect more of the same here for C-USA member Western Kentucky.
The Hilltoppers went 5-6 this season with four losses by double-digits. Their five wins came against some awful teams in Middle Tennessee, Chattanooga, Southern Miss, FIU and Charlotte. And three of those wins came by only 3 points each. Chattanooga is an FCS team and the four C-USA teams they beat have a combined record of 8-22 this season.
This is a big step up in class here for Western Kentucky. The Sun Belt has looked great early in the bowl season, including two matchups against Conference USA teams. Applachian State beat North Texas 56-28 and Georgia Southern crushed LA Tech 38-3. This is a different matchup here, but Georgia State was one of the better teams in the Sun Belt, which proved to be perhaps the most underrated conference in the country when you consider what Louisiana and Coastal Carolina did.
Georgia State only lost to Louisiana by 3, App State by 4 and beat Georgia Southern by 6. This is a veteran Panthers team that returned 16 starters and a ton of seniors this year. The Panthers had 14 players named to the All-Sun Belt Conference. And in his 24 seasons as a Division 1 coach, Shawn Elliott has been a part of 19 teams that have reached a bowl game or the NCAA playoffs.
"I am so proud of our players and the hard work to persevere through the season," Elliott said. "We talk about doing things for the first time, and back-to-back bowl games is another first for our program."
I just don't see how Western Kentucky is going to keep up with Georgia State in this one. The Hilltoppers struggled offensively all season, averaging just 18.8 points per game, which was last in Conference USA. Georgia State averages 32.7 points per game. The Panthers are led by QB Cornelius Brown, who has thrown for 2,046 yards and 14 touchdowns, while also rushing for 261 yards and seven scores.
The Hilltoppers are 1-5 ATS in their last six vs. Sun Belt opponents. Western Kentucky is 2-8 ATS in Saturday games this season. Bet Georgia State Saturday.
|12-25-20||Clippers v. Nuggets +2.5||121-108||Loss||-104||13 h 11 m||Show|
15* Clippers/Nuggets ESPN Late-Night BAILOUT on Denver +2.5 I think we're getting value on the Denver Nuggets tonight based off results from opening night. The Clippers pulled the upset over the Lakers, while the Nuggets were upset by the Kings. So instead of Denver being a favorite as it should be, we are now getting the Nuggets as underdogs. We saw who was the better team in the playoffs last year when the Nuggets took out the Clippers in seven games. And the Nuggets have only gotten stronger as they have great chemistry with basically the same guys back this year, plus another year of development for this young, talented squad. The Clippers lost some key pieces in the offseason like Harrell. The Nuggets are 10-4-1 ATS in their last 15 games as underdogs. Denver is 4-0 ATS in its last four games following an ATS loss. The Clippers are 1-5 ATS in their last six games as favorites. Denver is 5-1 ATS in the last six meetings. Roll with the Nuggets Friday.
|12-25-20||Vikings +7 v. Saints||33-52||Loss||-120||7 h 7 m||Show|
15* Vikings/Saints NFC ANNIHILATOR on Minnesota +7
The Minnesota Vikings aren't officially eliminated from the playoffs yet. And until they are, I trust Mike Zimmer to have this team ready to go in Week 16 against the New Orleans Saints. After all, this is Christmas Day on National TV, so players will be up for this game to try and knock off the Saints. It's a Saints team they have quietly formed a rivalry with after meeting in the playoffs a couple times in recent years.
There's clearly value with the Vikings here. In fact, this is their largest underdog role of the season. They haven't been 7-point dogs or higher in any game this year. And in their two previous biggest dog roles, they lost in the closing seconds 26-27 as 6.5-point dogs at Seattle. They won outright 28-22 as 6-point dogs at Green Bay. And they deserved to cover had Dan Bailey not missed three FG's and an extra point in a 14-26 loss as 6-point dogs at Tampa Bay.
It's a great time to 'buy low' on the Vikings after going 0-5 ATS in their last five games overall. But they have played better than that would suggest. In fact, the Vikings have now outgained seven straight opponents by an average of 63 yards per game. They have an offense that will keep them in this game with the Saints. They have averaged 407.3 yards per game in their last seven.
The Saints remain overvalued from a 9-game winning streak. But they have since lost their last two outright with a 21-24 loss to the Eagles as 7.5-point favorites and a 29-32 loss to the Chiefs as 2.5-point dogs. They were outgained by 55 yards by Jalen Hurts and the Eagles. Then they were fortunate to even be that close against the Chiefs considering they were held to 285 yards and outgained by 126 yards by the Chiefs. Kansas City also had a 34 to 15 edge in first downs.
Drew Brees looked to return too early from a rib injury that sidelined him for a handful of games. He completed just 15-of-34 (44%) of his passes against the Chiefs for 234 yards. It was all dink and dunk, and he clearly missed having Michael Thomas, who is on the IR. Not to mention he is without both Tre'quan Smith and Deonte Harris at receiver as well. The Saints are so thin at the position that they cannot be trusted to get margin here against a Vikings team that will keep coming due to their elite offense.
Minnesota has won three of its last four meetings with New Orleans. The Vikings are a perfect 6-0 ATS in their last six games following two or more consecutive losses. They are winning outright by an average of 7.5 points per game in this spot. Zimmer is 14-3 ATS following two or more consecutive losses as the coach of Minnesota. The Saints are 1-8 ATS in their last nine home games following an ATS loss. Minnesota is 38-14 ATS in its last 52 games following a SU loss. Take the Vikings Friday.
|12-25-20||Marshall v. Buffalo -4||Top||10-17||Win||100||53 h 19 m||Show|
20* Marshall/Buffalo Crampton Bowl No-Brainer on Buffalo -4
The Buffalo Bulls were the best team in the MAC this season. They were also one of the best non-power 5 teams in the country. And the fact that they lost outright to Ball State in the MAC Championship Game as a 12.5-point favorite has them undervalued heading into bowl season.
That was a misleading loss for Buffalo to Ball State. They racked up 499 total yards and outgained the Cardinals by 60 yards, but lost 28-38. Their season stats are off the charts as they score 47.8 points per game and give up just 23.8 points per game. They boast a rushing attack that averages 310 yards per game and 7.2 per carry behind one of the best backs in the country in Jaret Patterson, who is expected to play in this bowl game. Patterson has rushed for 1,072 yards, 19 TD and 7.6 per carry this season.
Marshall feasted on an easy schedule early in the season with a 7-0 start. But the Thundering Herd have been a different team since. They lost 20-0 as a 24-point favorite against Rice. Then they lost 13-22 as a 4.5-point favorite against UAB in the C-USA Championship Game. So their offense has been held to averages of just 6.5 points and 256.5 yards per game in their last two.
Their defense gave up 468 yards to UAB as they were outgained by 200 yards by the Blazers. UAB rushed for 216 yards on them, so you can imagine what this Buffalo rushing attack is going to do to them. And Marshall QB Grant Wells is awful, completing just 26-of-58 (44.8%) of his pass attempts with a 2-to-5 TD/INT ratio against Rice and UAB combined.
While Patterson and everyone is expected to play for Buffalo, Marshall has had three key players opt out. They will be without leading rusher Brenden Knox, who rushed for 887 yards and nine touchdowns this season. They will also be without leading tackler Tavante Beckett, who had 90 tackles and four fumble recoveries. And their best offensive lineman in G Josh Ball has opted out.
Conference USA teams have looked awful early in the bowl season. North Texas lost 28-56 to Appalachian State, Louisiana Tech lost 3-38 to Georgia Southern and FAU lost 10-25 to Memphis. All three failed to cover the spread by over 40 points combined. Expect more of the same here for C-USA member Marshall.
The Thundering Herd are 0-5 ATS in their last five games following a SU loss. The Bulls are 11-3 ATS in their last 14 games overall. Buffalo is 6-1 ATS in its last seven vs. a team with a winning record. The Bulls are 7-0 ATS in their last seven games after accumulating more than 450 yards in their previous game. Bet Buffalo Friday.
|12-25-20||Wisconsin v. Michigan State UNDER 140||Top||85-76||Loss||-110||3 h 6 m||Show|
20* Wisconsin/Michigan State FOX Early ANNIHILATOR on UNDER 140
The head-to-head history in this series really stood out to me this morning when looking into this game. There's no way this total should be 140 with how low-scoring this series has been over the last several years.
Indeed, the UNDER is 5-0-1 in the last six meetings. Wisconsin and Michigan State have combined for 137 or fewer points in each of the last seven meetings, making for a 7-0 system backing the UNDER pertaining to this 140-point total. They have averaged just 126.9 combined points per game in those seven meetings, which gives us roughly 13 points of value here. Enough said. Bet the UNDER in this game Friday.
|12-24-20||Hawaii +11.5 v. Houston||Top||28-14||Win||100||30 h 19 m||Show|
20* Hawaii/Houston New Mexico Bowl No-Brainer on Hawaii +11.5
We've already seen a couple AAC teams get destroyed in bowls already. Tulane lost 27-38 to Nevada, which this is also an AAC vs. Mountain West matchup. And UCF got blasted 49-23 by UCF. Keep in mind both Tulane and UCF scored late to make those final scores even closer than they really were. And I can't give Memphis much credit for its 25-10 win over a bad FAU team.
Now Houston is laying double-digits in this bowl game and it's simply too much. The Cougars went just 3-4 this season with thier only wins coming against Tulane, Navy and South Florida. Three of their four losses came by 17 points or more. So I'm not sure exactly what they have done to warrant being a double-digit favorite here.
Hawaii was solid in Todd Graham's first season this year. They only lost to the best the Mountain West had to offer with setbacks against Boise State, San Jose State, San Diego State and Wyoming. And they actually beat Nevada, which just beat Tulane.
Hawaii will never be out of this game with Chevan Cordeiro at quarterback. He is completing 62.1% of his passes for 1,947 yards with 11 touchdowns and only six interceptions, while also rushing for a team-high 452 yards and seven touchdowns. I like his dual-threat ability here.
Hawaii is extremely happy to be here. The Rainbow Warriors will be making just their third-ever trip to a bowl in the 48 contiguous states and first since the 2008 Sugar Bowl in New Orleans. And Graham has a chance to reach 100 wins as a head coach with a win on Christmas Eve.
"I am so excited for our team and staff," Graham said in a release. "They've worked hard throughout the entire season, under such challenging circumstances. This game is a great chance to showcase our team to the people of Texas and to a national television audience. Houston is a fine program and we can't wait to compete against them on Christmas Eve."
The Cougars are 2-6 ATS in their last eight vs. Mountain West opponents. Bet Hawaii Thursday.
|12-23-20||Jazz v. Blazers -1||Top||120-100||Loss||-109||11 h 57 m||Show|
20* Jazz/Blazers NBA Late-Night BAILOUT on Portland -1
The Portland Trail Blazers made a big run in the bubble last year just to make the playoffs. It showed what they could do when they are healthy, and that is the case for them to open the 2020-21 campaign here.
Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum are still the cornerstones. Jusuf Nurkic and Rodney Hood are back after serious injuries kept them off the floor for length stretches last season. They brought back Enes Kanter and Carmelo Anthony to provide scoring punch off the bench. And they acquired Robert Covington and Derrick Jones Jr. to shore up their defense. I absolutely love this team this season.
Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell are cornerstones for the Jazz, but I'm not a huge fan of the rest of their team. Joe Ingles and Mike Conley are old. As is one of their biggest acquisitions in Derrick Favors, who spent 8.5 seasons in Utah before getting traded to New Orleans.
Portland is 37-16 SU in its last 53 home meetings with Utah. The Blazers are 4-1 ATS in the last five meetings. The Blazers are 7-2 ATS in their last nine home meetings with the Jazz. The home team won all three meetings last season. Roll with the Blazers Wednesday.
|12-23-20||Rutgers v. Ohio State -2.5||Top||68-80||Win||100||5 h 22 m||Show|
20* Rutgers/Ohio State Big Ten No-Brainer on Ohio State -2.5
The Ohio State Buckeyes (6-1) responded from a loss to Purdue in their Big Ten opener with a 77-70 win over a very good UCLA team on Saturday. They got leading rebounder E.J. Liddell back from a two-game absence due to mononucleosis and should be closer to full strength for this game now as the Buckeyes are highly motivated for their first conference victory.
It's a great time to 'sell high' on unbeaten Rutgers (6-0) tonight. The Scarlet Knights have opened 2-0 in Big Ten play with wins over Maryland and Illinois after a soft early schedule. But they just lost starting center Clifford Omoruyi to an injury in the win over Illinois and his loss will be feld here against Liddell and Ohio State.
Ohio State is 8-2 SU against Rutgers as Big Ten members, including 5-0 SU at home. The Buckeyes are 8-1 ATS in their last nine home games off an ATS win. Ohio State is 20-8 ATS in its last 28 home games. The Buckeyes are 8-2 ATS in their last 10 games as home favorites. Bet Ohio State Wednesday.
|12-22-20||Clippers v. Lakers -2.5||116-109||Loss||-110||10 h 6 m||Show|
15* Clippers/Lakers NBA Season Opener on Los Angeles Lakers -2.5
The Los Angeles Lakers should come out hitting on all cylinders. They won the NBA title last year and return all their key pieces from that team plus add in some nice players, including former Clipper Montrezl Harrell and Marc Gasol. Not to mention last year's top draft pick Talen Horton-Tucker had a monster preseason with 20.5 PPG and 53.8% 3-point shooting as the Lakers cruised to a 4-0 record.
Things didn't go near as smoothly for the Clippers in the preseason. They went 0-3 and lost to the Lakers twice 81-87 and 106-131. And they played their starters more minutes in those games than the Lakers did. The Clippers also lost 105-125 to the Jazz. They are trying to implement several new players and things will probably start poorly for them this season, starting with this showdown with the Lakers. Bet the Lakers Tuesday.
|12-22-20||North Dakota State +12 v. TCU||82-89||Win||100||9 h 2 m||Show|
15* CBB Tuesday Undervalued Underdog on North Dakota State +12
North Dakota State's 2-5 record has the Bison undervalued. But they are in the midst of their toughest nonconference slate in school history having already traveled to No. 11 Creighton, No. 7 Kansas and Nebraska. They are battle-tested and ready to go.
Keep in mind the Bison covered in road losses to Creighton (58-69) as 23.5-point dogs and Kansas (61-65) as 24-point dogs. They also only lost to a very good South Dakota State team 75-77 as 7.5-point dogs. They have proven they can hang with those teams, so they definitely can hang with TCU here.
This is a good 'sell high' spot on TCU. The Horned Frogs are coming off two straight wins and covered over Texas A&M and Oklahoma State. Now they step back outside of Big 12 play here and won't be nearly as motivated for face NDSU as they were Oklahoma State last time out. This is a TCU team that only beat Tulsa by 5, Liberty by 4 and Northwestern State by 6 earlier this season. They aren't good enough to get margin on this underrated NDSU team tonight.
North Dakota State is 7-0 ATS in its last seven road games following an ATS loss. TCU is 5-16 ATS in its last 21 games following an ATS win. The Horned Frogs are 1-6 ATS in their last seven games as home favorites. Take North Dakota State Tuesday.
|12-22-20||Tulane v. Nevada +2.5||Top||27-38||Win||100||5 h 8 m||Show|
20* Tulane/Nevada Potato Bowl No-Brainer on Nevada +2.5
The wrong team is favored in this Famous Idaho Potato Bowl between Tulane and Nevada given the circumstances. The least of which is that this is a short trip for the Wolf Pack at a familiar site in Boise, Idaho. It's a long trip for the Green Wave from Louisiana.
Tulane is strong in the trenches, but they will be without two starting defensive linemen, including a first-team all-conference player. They have another one questionable that was a first-teamer as well. That leaves Tulane's already poor pass defense that gives up 281 passing yards per game and 8.5 yards per attempt even more susceptible. Nevada QB Carson Strong should have a huge day through the air for a Wolf Pack team that averaged 325 passing yards per game and 7.9 per attempt this season.
Team chemistry will be off for the Green Wave as well. They lost both of their coordinators earlier this offseason. Offensive coordinator Will Hall was hired as Southern Miss' head coach. Defensive coordinator Jack Curtis was fired as well. They haven't had much time to get ready with their new coordinators and that makes this a very tough spot for them.
Tulane's offensive strength matches Nevada's defensive strength. The Green Wave average 219 rushing yards per game and 5.0 per carry. The Wolf Pack give up only 131 rushing yards per game and 3.8 per carry. Jay Norvell made recruiting huge, athletic defensive linemen a priority and it is finally starting to pay off for the Wolf Pack.
The Wolf Pack are 9-4 ATS in their last 13 games overall. Nevada is 5-0 ATS in its last five games as an underdog. The Wolf Pack are 4-0 ATS in their last four games following an ATS loss. Nevada is 7-2-1 ATS in its last 10 games following a SU loss. Bet Nevada in the Potato Bowl Tuesday.
|12-22-20||Tulane v. East Carolina -5||58-68||Win||100||4 h 32 m||Show|
15* CBB Tuesday No-Doubt Rout on East Carolina -5
The East Carolina Pirates returned all five starters from last year and are a sleeper in the American Athletic Conference. They are off to a 6-1 start this season with their only loss coming to SMU, which is 5-0 this season.
Last year ECU crushed Tulane in both meetings with an 81-62 win at home and an 81-67 win on the road. With the Pirates having all five starters back, it should be more of the same here against a Tulane team that returned just one starter.
Tulane is getting too much respect here for its 5-1 start this season. The loss came to Memphis, and the five wins were against awful competition in Lamar, Lipscomb, Southern Miss, Arkansas-Pine Bluff and Grambling. They will meet their match here in the Pirates with this big step up in class.
The Green Wave are 7-24 ATS in their last 31 road games following three or more consecutive home games. This will be their first road game all season as well as their first six games have all been at home. East Carolina has played two tough road games at Charlotte and SMU. They are 5-0 at home this season and winning by 13.4 points per game. Roll with East Carolina Tuesday.
|12-21-20||Steelers v. Bengals +14.5||Top||17-27||Win||100||10 h 50 m||Show|
20* Steelers/Bengals ESPN No-Brainer on Cincinnati +14.5
This line has gotten out of hand. The Pittsburgh Steelers are now laying more than two touchdowns to the Bengals, and it's time to pull the trigger on Cincinnati. The Bengals will bring a big effort here knowing this is a Primetime game with their division rival coming to town.
It's a good time to 'buy low' on the Bengals, who have gone 0-5 SU & 1-4 ATS in their last five games overall. They are coming off a misleading 7-30 loss to the Cowboys in which they lost fumbles on each of their first three possessions. I think it's safe to say that's not going to happen again. And keep in mind they outgained the Cowboys by 37 yards in that misleading loss.
There has been nothing misleading about Pittsburgh losing its last two games to Buffalo and Washington. They lost 17-23 at home to Washington as 5.5-point favorites and 15-26 at Buffalo as 2-point dogs. Their offense is broken right now as they have failed to reach 50 rushing yards in five of their last seven games. And their defense is banged up as the losses at LB of Bud Dupree and Devin Bush have really taken their toll.
Cincinnati has actually been playing its best defense of the season down the stretch. The Bengals have held three of their last four opponents to 20 points or fewer. And they just held the Cowboys to 272 total yards last week. Their defense can keep them in this game, and I expect their offense cant' be any worse than it has been in recent weeks. Ryan Finley started three games as a rookie in 2019, including a 16-10 loss to the Steelers. Getting a whole week of practice preparing to be the starter will help him succeed in this spot.
The Steelers are 0-6 ATS in their last six December games. The Bengals are 9-4 ATS in their last 13 games following a double-digit home loss. Cincinnati is 4-1 ATS in its last five home games. The Bengals are 7-3 ATS in their last 10 games following a SU loss. Bet the Bengals Monday.
|12-21-20||Tulsa v. Memphis -9||56-49||Loss||-110||10 h 35 m||Show|
15* CBB Monday No-Doubt Rout on Memphis -9
The Memphis Tigers are one of the most talented teams in the country. They returned four starters from last year and added some real talent for Penny Hardaway. But they are off to a disappointing 5-3 SU & 2-6 ATS start this season, and I think this is a good opportunity to 'buy low' on them as a single-digit favorite here against Tulsa.
The three losses came to WKU, VCU and Auburn. They have also beaten Tulane and St. Mary's. So Memphis has played a pretty tough schedule and is battle-tested now. This team is only going to get better as the season goes on as they develop chemistry with all this talent.
Tulsa is just 2-3 SU & 2-3 ATS with its only two wins coming against UT-Arlington and Northwestern State. They lost to TCU, Wichita State and South Carolina. Memphis will be the best team that they have played yet and it's not really even close.
Memphis is 12-2 SU in its last 14 home meetings with Tulsa with 11 of those wins coming by 9 points or more. The Tigers are 6-0 ATS in their last six games off a win by 6 points or less. The Tigers are 6-0 ATS in their last six home games off a road win. Take Memphis Monday.
|12-20-20||St. Louis -2 v. Minnesota||82-90||Loss||-109||9 h 47 m||Show|
15* Saint Louis/Minnesota CBB Sunday Night BAILOUT on Saint Louis -2
The Saint Louis Billikens have now won 11 straight games dating back to last season. They are loaded this year with five returning starters for head coach Travis Ford. They are one of the most underrated teams in the country.
The Billikens have opened 6-0 SU & 6-0 ATS this season with four wins by 19 points or more, an 11-point win over NC State and a 4-point win over LSU. So it's not like they have feasted on a soft schedule. They are shooting 52.7% as a team and giving up just 40.3% shooting, winning their six games by an average of 24.4 PPG.
Minnesota opened 6-0 against an extremely soft schedule with wins over Green Bay, Loyola-Marymount (twice), North Dakota, Kansas City and Boston College. They needed overtime to beat BC. Then they finally stepped up in class and got blasted 65-92 at Illinois last time out. And now they have a game on deck against a Top 5 Iowa team. This is a sandwich spot for them as they jump out of conference play sandwiched between two huge Big Ten games against ranked opponents. I don't expect them to handle it well.
The Billikens are 10-1 ATS in their last 11 games overall. Saint Louis is 22-5 ATS in its last 27 games vs. a team with a winning record. The Gophers are 4-9-1 ATS in their last 14 games as home underdogs. Minnesota is 1-7-2 ATS in its last 10 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600. Take Saint Louis Sunday.
|12-20-20||Chiefs -3 v. Saints||Top||32-29||Push||0||74 h 2 m||Show|
20* Chiefs/Saints Non-Conference KNOCKOUT on Kansas City -3
After failing to cover the spread in five consecutive games, it's time to 'buy low' on the Kansas City Chiefs as only 3-point favorites over the Saints. The Chiefs are the best team in the NFL and should be favored by 3 or more against any team in the NFL.
The Chiefs impressed me last week as they managed to beat the Dolphins despite committing four turnovers. They had 448 total yards against a good Miami defense. I was fortunate to get the cover with the Dolphins +7.5 in that game as they kicked a FG with 16 seconds left to only lose by 6. Kansas City is now 12-1 this season with 11 wins by 3 points or more.
The Saints are overvalued after winning nine of their last 10 and covering five of their last six coming in. But keep in mind that nine of those 10 games came against teams with losing record, so they have been feasting on an easy schedule. They finally had their winning streak snapped last week in an upset loss to the Eagles as 7.5-point favorites. They gave up 413 total yards to Jalen Hurts and the Eagles.
I know Drew Brees is expected to return this week, but I think he is coming back early from a terrible rib injury. He waited until his team finally lost and now is coming back. And now he won't have his favorite receiver in Michael Thomas, who has been place on IR and an ankle injury. Thomas was starting to really form a chemistry with Taysom Hill. He is arguably the best receiver in the NFL and without him I don't see the Saints being able to keep up with the Chiefs.
The Saints are 0-6 ATS in their last six home games after having won four of their last five games coming in. The Chiefs are 30-13 ATS in their last 43 games after failing to cover the spread in five or six of their last seven games coming in. The Saints are 1-4 ATS in their last five vs. a team with a winning record. Bet the Chiefs Sunday.
|12-20-20||Oklahoma State +7 v. Texas||74-77||Win||100||2 h 17 m||Show|
15* CBB Sunday Undervalued Underdog on Oklahoma State +7
This is a great time to 'buy low' on the Oklahoma State Cowboys (6-1) off their first loss of the season. They blew an 8-point lead in the final two minutes and lost 76-77 to TCU as a 5-point favorite. This is a team that went on the road and beat Marquette earlier this season and they are still one of the better teams in the Big 12. Look for them to bounce back with a big effort here against Texas.
It's also a great time to 'sell high' on Texas, which has won its last two games in blowout fashion over Texas State and Sam Houston State. The Longhorns have two wins by a combined 4 points this season plus a loss to Villanova. They are being asked to get margin here against an Oklahoma State team they are very comparable to talent-wise.
Oklahoma State went on the road last year and crushed Texas 81-59 as a 4-point underdog. Texas is 1-10 ATS in its last 11 games after having won five or six of its last seven games coming in. The Longhorns are 0-8 ATS in their last eight vs. good offensive teams that average 77 or more points per game. Bet Oklahoma State Sunday.
|12-20-20||Patriots v. Dolphins -1||12-22||Win||100||4 h 43 m||Show|
15* NFL Sunday No-Doubt Rout on Miami Dolphins -1
The Miami Dolphins are 7-2 SU & 7-2 ATS in their last nine games overall with one of those losses coming to the Kansas City Chiefs in which they covered. This team has been underrated all season and has made me a lot of money. And I'm going to continue to ride with them here against the Patriots.
The Dolphins are the team that has everything to play for right now at 8-5 on the season and not only alive for a wild card, but also the AFC East title. They have been winning behind one of the best defenses in the NFL that gives up just 18.8 points per game this season. And Tua Tagovailoa is getting comfortable in this offense, throwing for 296 yards against the Bengals and then 316 against the Chiefs in his last two games.
New England is 6-7 this season and basically eliminated from playoff contention. They had the wind lifted from their sails in a 3-24 loss to the Rams last week. And I question their level of motivation now this week here against the Miami Dolphins. I have no doubt the Dolphins will be the more motivated team, especially wanting to avenge their Week 1 loss at New England.
This Patriots offense is so pitiful that it cannot be trusted to do much against the Dolphins here. They are averaging just 230 yards per game in their last three games. They had 179 yards against the Cardinals, 291 against the Chargers and 220 against the Rams.
The Dolphins are 9-1 ATS when playing with six or less days' rest this season. Miami is 7-0 ATS in its last seven home games vs. a team with a losing road record. The Dolphins are 5-0 ATS in their last five home games. Miami is 7-0 ATS in its last seven games after allowing more than 30 points in its previous game. These four trends combine for a 28-1 system backing Miami. Take the Dolphins Sunday.
|12-20-20||49ers v. Cowboys +3.5||33-41||Win||100||4 h 43 m||Show|
15* NFL Sunday UPSET SHOCKER on Dallas Cowboys +3.5
Fading the depleted San Francisco 49ers here down the stretch has been a very profitable move. The 49ers are 1-5 SU & 1-5 ATS in their last six games overall. Yet here they are overvalued again laying 3.5 points on the road to the Dallas Cowboys. I'll gladly fade them again in this spot.
The 49ers have been hit so hard by injuries all season. And I think a big blow that is getting overlooked here is Deebo Samuel's injury. Samuel is their best playmaker on offense, and without him their offense has simply been vanilla. He returned recently and performed well with 11 receptions for 133 yards against the Rams three weeks ago, and six receptions for 73 yards against the Bills two weeks ago. But he left early against Washington last week and they struggled offensively with just 15 points.
While the 49ers have nothing but pride to play for the rest of the way, the Cowboys (4-9) are still alive in the pathetic NFC East. There is a good chance both the Giants and Washington lose this week as they are both nearly touchdown underdogs to the Browns and Seahawks, respectively. So this is a great opportunity for them to make up some more ground.
The Cowboys have gone 3-2 ATS in their last five games overall. They pulled the upset at Minnesota, nearly upset the Steelers, and they crushed the Bengals 30-7 last week. I like the momentum of this team right now and think they are flying way under the radar. I have the Cowboys lined as a favorite in this matchup given the motivation and the injury situation for the 49ers. So getting +3.5 at home here is an excellent value in a game the Cowboys should win outright.
The 49ers are 0-6 ATS vs. bad defensive teams that give up 24 or more points per game this season. They are actually losing by 13.6 points per game in this spot. The Cowboys are a perfect 5-0 ATS in their last five games as home underdogs. Roll with the Cowboys Sunday.
|12-19-20||Panthers +8 v. Packers||Top||16-24||Push||0||10 h 58 m||Show|
20* Panthers/Packers NFC No-Brainer on Carolina +8
This is the role I like backing the Carolina Panthers in. The Panthers are 7-1 ATS in their last eight games as underdogs this season, while they are 0-3 ATS as a favorite this season. They have won four of those games as a dog outright. They also only lost to the Chiefs 31-33 as a 10-point dog. So they can hang with the Packers here.
It's a great time to 'buy low' on the Panthers, who have lost seven of their last eight straight up. But they continue to show up every week, and keep in mind that six of those seven losses came by only one score. So they have been competitive, and they will continue to fight hard for head coach Matt Rhule to close out the season. They are relishing this opportunity to face the No. 1 seed in the NFC in the Green Bay Packers and test themselves.
Conversely, it's a great time to 'sell high' on the Packers, who have won three striaght and five of their last six. They failed to cover as a 9.5-point favorite at Detroit last week, and they should not be favored by 8 points here over a Panthers team that just recently beat Detroit 20-0 for their last victory. This line should be under a touchdown, and we'll gladly take the 8 points with the Panthers.
Carolina is just 4-9 SU this season, but in seven of those losses the Panthers have had the ball late in the fourth quarter with a chance to win or send the game to overtime. "It's definitely a hump that we want to get over," Panthers QB Teddy Bridgewater said. "We are capable of getting over it, but we have to execute when that situation comes. And that starts with me being better in those situations."
The Panthers will get a big boost with the return of WR D.J. Moore after he missed the Denver game last week due to COVID-19. Moore has 50 catches for 924 yards and four touchdowns this season. He has been Bridgewater's go-to guy and makes a big difference for this offense. I don't think his return is being factored into this line enough.
Plays against home favorites of 3.5 to 10 points (Green Bay) - after a game where they forced no turnovers against an opponent off two straight games where they committed one or fewer turnovers are 28-6 (82.4%) ATS over the last five seasons. Plays against favorites of 3.5 to 10 points (Green Bay) - off a divisional road win, a top team winning 75% or more of their games in the second half of the season are 31-8 (79.5%) ATS over the last 10 seasons.
The Panthers are 5-0 ATS in their last five road games. As stated before, the Panthers are 7-1 ATS in their last eight games as underdogs. The Packers are 1-5 ATS in their last six games following a SU win. Roll with the Panthers Saturday.
|12-19-20||Stanford +7 v. UCLA||48-47||Win||100||53 h 46 m||Show|
15* CFB Saturday Undervalued Underdog on Stanford +7
The Stanford Cardinal opened 0-2 with tough losses to Oregon and Colorado and could have easily packed it in. Instead, they have gone 3-0 in their last three games overall with road wins over California, Washington and Oregon State and now have a ton of momentum. I like their mindset much more than that of UCLA heading into this game Saturday.
"For this team to come back after being on the road the last few weeks and be on a three-game winning streak, facing all kinds of odds," Stanford head coach David Shaw gushed last week. "We talk so much about character and recruiting the right guys. We push each other; we support each other."
The mindset of the Bruins is a disastrous one. They thought they were going to pull the upset over rival USC last week when they kicked a 43-yard field goal with 52 seconds to go to pull ahead 38-36. But after a long kickoff return, USC marched down quickly and scored the game-winning touchdown with 16 seconds left.
The Bruins looked gutted after the game, and I don't see how they could possibly get back up off the mat to give the kind of effort it's going to take to put Stanford away by more than a touchdown. It has been a season of close calls for the Bruins, who lost by 6 to Colorado and by 3 to Oregon as well. I think all these close losses will finally take their toll this week and the Bruins will fail to even show up.
The Cardinal are 12-2 ATS in their last 14 December games. The Bruins are 2-7 ATS in their last nine games as favorites. The Cardinal are 5-1-1 ATS in the last seven meetings. Stanford is 4-0-1 ATS in its last five trips to UCLA. Shaw is 10-2 ATS off a win by 3 points or less as the coach of the Cardinal. Bet Stanford Saturday.
|12-19-20||CS-Northridge +12 v. California||56-87||Loss||-114||7 h 2 m||Show|
15* CBB Saturday Undervalued Underdog on CS-Northridge +12
Northridge has really impressed me this season. They are 3-2 SU & 3-1 ATS with their only losses coming by 5 to Air Force and by 11 to Stanford as a 16-point dog. They upset Pepperdine as a 15.5-point dog and also upset Seattle as a 2-point dog. They can hang with this rebuilding California team today.
California played that same Pepperdine team and lost 62-74 to them to give these teams a common opponent. The Golden Bears are now just 3-4 SU & 2-4 ATS this season with their only wins coming against Northwest College, Nicholls State and San Francisco.
Northridge is 11-1 ATS as a road underdog of 6.5 to 12 points over the last three seasons. California is 2-11 ATS in its last 13 games off two consecutive non-conference games. The Matadors are 42-23 ATS in their last 65 games overall, including 7-1 ATS in their last eight. Take CS-Northridge Saturday.
|12-19-20||Boise State v. San Jose State +7||20-34||Win||100||50 h 26 m||Show|
15* Boise/SJSU MWC Championship ANNIHILATOR on San Jose State +7
What more do the San Jose State Spartans have to do to get some respect? They are 6-0 this season and the best team in the Mountain West in my opinion. Yet they are still 7-point underdogs to the Boise State Broncos. They can use the underdog card here again as head coach Brent Brennan keeps pushing all the right buttons for this team.
The Spartans are 6-0 and there has been nothing fluky about it. They have outgained five of their six opponents this season. They just put up 506 total yards on a very good Nevada defense last week in a 30-20 win to punch their ticket into this MWC Championship Game. And they have the best defense in the conference, giving up just 17.5 points per game this season.
Boise State's 5-1 record is fools' gold. They got crushed against the best team they played in a 17-51 loss to BYU. They were outgained by 264 yards by the Cougars. In fact, they have been outgained in three of their six games this season. They were also outgained by Air Force and Colorado State. Plus, they only outgained Hawaii by 14 yards. To compare, San Jose State outgained both Air Force and Hawaii by a combined 137 yards in their two games against common opponents with Boise.
Last year, San Jose State nearly pulled the upset in a 42-52 loss to Boise State as a 16.5-point dog. And that was a much better Boise State team and a much worse SJSU team than the 2020 versions. The Spartans held a 24-17 halftime lead, a 28-23 edge in first downs and and 497-466 yard edge. They deserved to win that game. And now they want revenge for it a year later.
The Spartans are 12-3-1 ATS in their last 16 games as underdogs. San Jose State is 6-0-2 ATS in its last eight games following a win. The Broncos are 1-4 ATS in their last five games following a win. Roll with San Jose State Saturday.
|12-19-20||Ole Miss -2 v. LSU||48-53||Loss||-111||70 h 7 m||Show|
15* SEC PLAY OF THE DAY on Ole Miss -2
I love the spot for the Ole Miss Rebels Saturday. They are coming off three straight wins to get to get to 4-4 this season. And they would love to finish with a winning record this year by knocking off rival LSU. And now they have three weeks to get ready for the Tigers after last playing on November 28th. This extra practice time has been great for first-year head coach Lane Kiffin and this talented young team. It should pay off this week.
Meanwhile, LSU will be playing for a 5th consecutive week. They just pulled one of the biggest upsets of the season last week in a 37-34 win as a 23-point dog over Florida. It was a misleading final as LSU gave up 609 total yards to the Gators, but won the turnover battle 3-0. And now LSU somehow has to get motivated this week following three straight games against playoff contenders in Texas A&M, Alabama and Florida. I don't expect them to show up at all Saturday.
This is still a terrible LSU team that is 4-5 this season. They are getting too much respect from oddsmakers after that misleading win over Florida. And I agree with the line move here that now has Ole Miss the favorite after opening as the underdog. The Rebels should have no problem winning this game by a field goal or more. They have an elite offense averaging 39.8 points and 563.5 yards per game. And they should score at will on an LSU defense that gives up 33.4 points and 484.7 yards per game.
LSU is 2-11 ATS in its last 13 games off an upset win as a road underdog. Ole Miss is 9-2 ATS in its last 11 games after a game where it forced one or fewer turnovers. Plays against all teams where the line is +3 to -3 (LSU) - in conference games, off a close road win by 3 points or less are 24-8 (75%) ATS over the last five seasons. Take Ole Miss Saturday.
|12-19-20||Air Force -2.5 v. Army||Top||7-10||Loss||-110||70 h 37 m||Show|
20* CFB Saturday No-Doubt Rout on Air Force -2.5
Air Force is undervalued right now due to a 3-2 record when they could easily be 5-0. The Falcons have outgained four of their five opponents this season. They were only outgained by 3 yards by San Jose State. They have played the two best teams in the MWC in Boise and SJSU, who are squaring off in the MWC Championship Game Saturday. And those are their only two losses.
They could have easily won both games. They outgained Boise State by 25 yards in a misleading loss to the Broncos. They rushed for 415 yards on Boise State's defense. And they now average 336 rushing yards per game and 5.9 per carry this season. They just do everything a little better than Army does. The Black Knights average 280 rushing yards per game and 4.8 per carry.
Army is coming off a massive 15-0 win over Navy last week, which is their biggest rival. They managed to win by 15 despite gaining just 162 total yards. Keep in mind Air Force blasted Navy 40-7 earlier this season, so that gives them a common opponent. Air Force has had two weeks off to get ready for Army, which will be a huge advantage. That's especially the case considering Army just played a really physical game against Navy last week and won't have much left in the tank.
Air Force is great against the run, giving up just 106 rushing yards per game and 3.6 per carry. Last year, Air Force rushed for 328 yards on Army while the Black Knights managed just 129 rushing yards. So the Falcons had nearly 200 more rushing yards than Army in their 17-13 victory. And I think we are getting the Falcons cheap here as only a 2.5-point favorite. Not only are they the better team, but the spot favors them as well.
Army's 8-2 record has come against an extremely soft schedule and it has them overvalued. The Falcons are 21-6 ATS in their last 27 non-conference games. Air Force is 9-1 ATS in its last 10 trips to Army. Bet Air Force Saturday.
|12-19-20||Western Kentucky +5 v. Alabama||73-71||Win||100||4 h 48 m||Show|
15* CBB Saturday UPSET SHOCKER on Western Kentucky +5
Western Kentucky is loaded this season with five returning starters. They are one of the best non-Power 5 teams in the country. They are 5-2 this season with their only losses coming to West Virginia and Louisville. They also upset Memphis while beating both Rhode Island and Northern Iowa. They have been battle-tested and Alabama will only be the third-best team they have played this season.
Alabama was very fortunate to beat Furman as a 6-point favorite. They didn't lead in that game until there was under a minute remaining. They won 83-80 as a 6-point favorite. The Crimson Tide are now 4-2 this season with an 18-point loss to Stanford and an 8-point loss to Clemson. They are once again being overvalued here as 5-point favorites over a Hilltoppers team that will likely win this game outright.
Alabama is 3-14 ATS in its last 17 games after failing to cover the spread in three of its last four games. The Hilltoppers are 23-8 ATS in their last 31 games as underdogs, including 7-2 ATS in their last nine games as road dogs. The Crimson Tide are 3-9-1 ATS in their last 13 home games. Roll with Western Kentucky Saturday.
|12-19-20||Washington State v. Utah -10.5||28-45||Win||100||27 h 40 m||Show|
15* Pac-12 PLAY OF THE DAY on Utah -10.5
This is a great ‘buy low’ spot on the Utah Utes after opening the season 2-2 SU under the best head coach in the conference in Kyle Whittingham. I have put my trust him to get this thing turned around. The two losses came to two of the best teams in the conference in USC and Washington.
Utah uncharacteristically gave both of those games away by committing five turnovers against USC and four more against Washington. Whittingham-coached teams don’t make those kinds of mistakes. And I think the slow start to the season has to do with all the Covid-19 issues with in the program that cut short their practice time. But now with four games under their belts, this team is getting sharper and sharper as the season goes on.
That showed two weeks ago when Utah stormed out to a 30-10 lead over Oregon State early in the 4th quarter. They did allow two garbage touchdowns late, and I think because that 30-24 final appears closer than it was, there was real value with the Utes last week against Colorado.
I cashed in Utah as an underdog as my 25* Pac-12 GAME OF THE YEAR last week in their 38-21 beat down of previously unbeaten Colorado. The Utes racked up 432 total yards in the snow and controlled the game for four quarters. QB Jake Bentley is playing great football, and they have now rushed for at least 192 yards in three straight games coming in. They have also committed just one turnover in their last two games combined.
Now Utah has a ton of momentum and should crush a rusty Washington State team that will be playing just their 2nd game since November 14th. The Cougars lost 29-43 to Oregon on November 14th and then 13-38 at USC on December 6th. Those are two of the best teams in the conference, but I believe this current version of Utah is every bit as good as those two teams. So they should be able to win by 14-plus points as well just like those two teams did.
Washington State is 0-6 ATS in its last six road games off a conference loss. The Cougars are 0-6 ATS in their last six road games off an ATS loss. Utah is 8-1 ATS in its last nine games off a conference win. Nick Rolovich is 4-14 ATS off a conference loss in all games he has coached. The Utes are 5-0 ATS in their last five vs. a team with a losing record. Take Utah Saturday.
|12-19-20||Gonzaga v. Iowa +4.5||Top||99-88||Loss||-108||2 h 2 m||Show|
20* Gonzaga/Iowa CBS No-Brainer on Iowa +4.5
The Iowa Hawkeyes are legitimately one of the best teams in the country. They prove it once again Saturday with an upset win over the No. 1 ranked Gonzaga Bulldogs. This is an Iowa team that returned all five starters, and that experience is showing early in the season.
Indeed, the Hawkeyes are 6-0 SU & 5-1 ATS with their only non-cover coming on a banked 3-pointer from half court at the buzzer against Southern. They beat North Carolina by 13 and Iowa State by 28. They have the best big man in the country in Luka Garza, and he is surrounded by four shooters at all times as the Hawkeyes are averaging 12 made 3-pointers per game and shooting them at a 39.8% clip as a team.
Gonzaga hasn't played since an 87-82 win over West Virginia as an 8.5-point favorite on December 2nd. That's the same WVU team that nearly lost outright to Iowa State last night, which is the same Iowa State team that Iowa beat by 28.
Gonzaga coach Mark Few says his team practiced on Thursday for the first time since its COVID-19 pause on December 4th. He is very concerned about their conditioning and their ability to execute against Iowa.
"I can tell you in the 22 years I've been coaching this is probably the biggest challenge I've faced as a head coach," Few said. To even use the term 'monumental challenge' would be doing it a disservice. Then there is the factor of a game plan for one of the top offenses in college basketball and the best scorer in college basketball."
Iowa is 9-0 ATS in its last nine games after committing 11 or fewer turnings in two straight games. The Hawkeyes are 19-6-3 ATS in their last 28 games overall. Iowa is 13-2-1 ATS in its last 16 neutral site games. Bet Iowa Saturday.
|12-18-20||Montana State +6.5 v. Washington State||Top||54-82||Loss||-103||9 h 21 m||Show|
20* CBB Friday Undervalued Underdog on Montana State +6.5
Montana State is 2-1 this season. The Bobcats pulled the 91-78 win at UNLV as 12.5-point dogs in their opener. Then they played a very good Pacific team and only lost 70-74 (OT) as 4.5-point dogs. And they crushed overmatched Yellowstone 114-74 in their most recent outing.
The Bobcats are one of the better offensive teams in the country. They are scoring 91.7 points per game on 51.1% shooting overall and 44.1% shooting from 3-point range. Defensively, they have held opponents to just 38.4% shooting overall as well.
Washington State is a fraudulent 5-0 against a very soft schedule. All of their wins have come down to the wire as they are 5-0 with an average margin of victory of only 4.6 points per game. They only beat Texas Southern 56-52 as a 12-point favorite, Eastern Washington 71-68 as a 5.5-point favorite, Idaho 61-58 as an 18.5-point favorite and Portland State 69-60 as a 9-point favorite. Four of their five wins have come by 4 points or less.
Montana State is 9-1 ATS in its last 10 road games after playing a road game. Washington State is 0-8 ATS in its last eight home games off five or more consecutive wins. The Cougars are 0-5-1 ATS in their last six games as favorites. Take Montana State Friday.
|12-18-20||Ball State +13.5 v. Buffalo||Top||38-28||Win||100||29 h 16 m||Show|
20* Ball State/Buffalo MAC Championship No-Brainer on Ball State +13.5
The senior-laden Ball State Cardinals lost their opener to Miami Ohio and went on to win five straight to earn their trip to the MAC Championship Game. They have all the momentum right now and won't be intimidated one bit by the Buffalo Bills. This number has gotten out of control as the Cardinals shouldn't be catching nearly two touchdowns to the Bulls.
I've backed the Bulls several times already this season, so I am very high on them. But they have feasted on the easiest schedule of anyone in the MAC. They are in the weaker division and their wins have come against Akron, Bowling Green, Northern Illinois, Miami and Kent State.
Ball State plays in the tougher division. They have wins over Toledo, Western Michigan, Central Michigan, Eastern Michigan and Northern Illinois. So while Buffalo has the way better numbers this year, it's easy to see why when you factor in strength of schedule.
Buffalo averages 166 passing yards per game and 345 rushing yards per game. So the key to stopping the Bulls is stopping the run. And Ball State's strength defensively is stopping the run. They give up 148 rushing yards per game and only 3.9 per carry. They will be prepared to stop Buffalo here.
Ball State has one of the best offenses in the MAC at 33.7 points and 457.8 yards per game. They average 179 rushing yards and 279 passing yards per game with a balanced attack. Drew Plitt is arguably the best QB in the MAC with 66.3% completions, 1,674 yards and a 13-to-5 TD/INT ratio. The Cardinals are never going to be out of this game with Plitt at quarterback.
Ball State is 6-0 ATS in its last six games vs. good offensive teams that average 450 or more yards per game. The Cardinals are 8-1 ATS in their last nine vs. a team with a winning record. Ball State is 6-0 ATS in its last six games as an underdog. The Bulls are 1-6 ATS in their last seven neutral site games. The underdog is 5-0 ATS in the last five meetings. Bet Ball State Friday.
|12-18-20||Loyola-Chicago v. Richmond -1.5||73-75||Win||100||6 h 1 m||Show|
15* CBB Friday No-Doubt Rout on Richmond -1.5
Richmond returned all five starters this season from a team that went 24-7 last year. They are a team I have been backing with regularity, and they are certainly worth a bet today as only 1.5-point favorites over Loyola-Chicago.
There is a big strength of schedule disparity here. Richmond has played the 67th-toughest schedule in the country. They are 5-1 with their only loss coming to a Top 10 West Virginia team whose only loss came to Gonzaga. They have wins and covers over Kentucky, Northern Iowa and Vanderbilt as well.
Loyola-Chicago is also an experienced team that returns all five starters. But they are just 3-1 with their three wins coming against Lewis, Chicago State and Illinois-Chicago. Their loss came 63-77 to Wisconsin as they were way overmatched by the Badgers. The Ramblers have played the 215th-toughest schedule in the country, almost 150 spots lower than Richmond.
Loyola-Chicago is 0-7 ATS in its last seven road games after playing a road game. The Ramblers are 3-8 ATS in their last 11 games as underdogs. Loyola-Chicago is 9-25-1 ATS in its last 35 Friday games. Roll with Richmond Friday.
|12-17-20||Chargers +3 v. Raiders||Top||30-27||Win||100||10 h 39 m||Show|
20* Chargers/Raiders AFC West No-Brainer on Los Angeles +3
There's going to be some value with the Chargers here down the stretch due to their 4-9 record. They finally got a win Sunday over the Falcons to give them some positive vibes moving forward. And now they want to end their 9-game losing streak against AFC West opponents and get revenge on the Raiders here Thursday night.
The Chargers are so much better than their 4-9 record would indicate. All three of their AFC West losses this season have come down to the final play. They lost on Harison Butker's 58-yard field goal against the Chiefs, lost on Drew Lock's TD to K.J. Hamler and lost to the Raiders when Justin Herbert's TD pass to Donald Parham was overturned on replay. Of the Charger's 20 losses over the past two seasons, 16 have been by one score. They are simply unlucky.
The numbers show the Chargers are the better team. They are averaging 383.0 yards per game on offense and giving up just 337.1 yards per game on defense this season, outgaining opponents by 45.9 yards per game. The Raiders average 369.2 yards per game on offense and give up 384.1 yards per game on defense, getting outgained by 14.9 yards per game.
The Chargers were the better team in their first meeting and should have beaten the Raiders, too. Los Angeles outgained Las Vegas 440 to 320 in that game, or by 120 yards. The Chargers have by far the superior defense in this matchup. They have now allowed 351 or fewer yards in eight consecutive games coming in.
The Raiders are playing awful right now. They are 1-3 SU in their last four games and would be on a four-game losing streak if not for the hail mary against the winless Jets to win 31-28. Their defense is allowing 37.5 points per game during this stretch, which led to the firing of defensive coordinator Paul Guenther.
But it's not going to make much of a difference here with all of the key pieces the Raiders are missing on defense. They are without several starters including DE Clelin Ferrell, LB Nicholas MOrrow, CB Trayvon Mullen and S Johnathan Abram. They have allowed over 200 rushing yards in consecutive games against the Jets and Colts. And they simply cannot get pressure on opposing quarterbacks. Justin Herbert is going to have a field day. He threw for 326 yards and two touchdowns in his first meeting with the Raiders. Austin Ekeler is back healthy at RB and should have a monster game as well.
Plays on underdogs or PK (LA Chargers) - after allowing 17 points or more in the first half of two straight games against an opponent that is off a loss by 10 points or more are 75-36 (67.6%) ATS since 1983. The Chargers are 32-15-4 ATS in their last 51 games as road underdogs. Bet the Chargers Thursday.
|12-17-20||San Francisco v. Oregon -7||64-74||Win||100||9 h 18 m||Show|
15* CBB Thursday PLAY OF THE DAY on Oregon -7
The Oregon Ducks are loaded with talent yet again this season for head coach Dana Altman. But they didn't get to play a game until December 2nd due to COVID. And they lost 75-83 to Missouri in their opener because of it. That's a Missouri team that is one of the most underrated in the country as they just beat Illinois too. And that loss has the Ducks undervalued.
Oregon has gone 4-0 since with a 13-point win over a very good Seton Hall team. And now they have had four days off to get ready for San Francisco here. Altman is not happy about how poorly his team has shot the ball, and a lot of that has been due to the rust and the focus on Final exams.
"We've got good 3-point shooters. I'm not saying great, but we've got good ones and they're going to have to put some time in," he said. "There's no excuse not to be in the gym. I can't force them, but they've got to get in there on their own and get some shots up and get ready to shoot the ball."
San Francisco has been overrated since defeating then-No. 4 Virginia 61-60 on NOvember 27th. They went 13-for-28 from 3-point range in that game to pull off the upset. Keep in mind this is the same San Francisco team that lost outright to UMass-Lowell as a 14-point favorite, were beating by 13 by Rhode Island and were upset by California. This will be their toughest test yet against Oregon.
The Ducks are 10-2 ATS in their last 12 games when playing only their 2nd game in 8 days. Oregon is a perfect 6-0 ATS in its last six home games after failing to cover the spread in two or more consecutive gams. Oregon is 13-3 ATS in its last 16 games vs. teams who make 8 or more 3-point shots per game. The Dons are 6-14 ATS in their last 20 games following a loss. The Ducks are 32-15 ATS in their last 47 games overall. The Ducks are 19-7 ATS in their last 26 home games. Take Oregon Thursday.
|12-16-20||UTEP +13.5 v. Arizona State||Top||76-63||Win||100||9 h 5 m||Show|
20* CBB DOG OF THE WEEK on UTEP +13.5
The UTEP Miners started 2-0 this season before facing a gauntlet with games against St. Mary's and Arizona. But they held their own in those two games, covering in a 61-73 loss at St. Mary's as 12.5-point dogs and covering in a 61-69 loss at Arizona as 15.5-point dogs. Now I expect them to stay within 13.5 points of overrated Arizona State here.
"We kept battling and we weren't going anywhere," UTEP coach Rodney Terry said of the effort against Arizona. "I love my team; this team's going to be really good. We're learning some tough lessons right now through playing some really good competition."
UTEP's Souley BOum scored 16 against Arizona after reaching 20-plus points in each of his first three games. Boum is averaging 23.5 points this season, knows how to get to the basket, has a penchant for drawing fouls and has hit on 13-of-24 (54.2%) 3-pointers this season.
This is as much of a fade of Arizona State as it is a play on UTEP, though. The Sun Devils came into the season ranked 18th in the country. They lost to Villanova by 9 and San Diego State by 12. They are 4-2 this season with just one win by more than 8 points, and that was a 23-point win as a 37-point favorite against Houston Baptist.
The Sun Devils needed a last-second 3-pointer just to beat Grand Canyon 71-70 on Sunday as an 8-point favorite. They only beat Cal by 8 and failed to cover in a 6-point win over Rhode Island. They aren now just 1-5 ATS this season and have been one of the most overrated teams in the country. They get outrebounded by 6.2 boards per game and play shaky defense, allowing 76.7 points per game and 45.1% shooting.
The Miners are 6-1 ATS in their last seven games overall. The Sun Devils are 1-9-1 ATS in their last 11 games overall. Arizona State is 1-9 ATS in its last 10 games as a favorite, including 0-6 ATS in its last six games as a home favorite. Bet UTEP Wednesday.
|12-15-20||Georgia Tech +8 v. Florida State||Top||61-74||Loss||-102||9 h 3 m||Show|
20* ACC GAME OF THE WEEK on Georgia Tech +8
The Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets have their most talented team of the Josh Pastner era. He has almost everyone back from a team that caught fire in February. Senior PG Jose Alvarado, junior wing Michael Devoe and Moses Wright are among four returning starters for the Yellow Jackets this year.
The Yellow Jackets are undervalued now after upset losses to Georgia State and Mercer in their first two games. They have since bounced back with an upset win over Kentucky 79-62 as a 6.5-point dogs and a blowout win at Nebraska 75-64 as a 1.5-point favorite. They forced a combined 37 turnovers in those two games while only committing 15 miscues themselves.
"This is us," Alvarado said. "This is Georgia Tech from now on. I'll be shocked if we stop playing like this. We've got to keep improving because we are a really good team."
Wright (21.3 PPG, 10.0 RPG) and Alvarado (17.8 PPG, 4.0 APG) lead five players all scoring 11 points per game or more. They also have Parham (13.0 PPG), Devoe (12.5 PPG, 6.0 RPG) and Usher (11.0 PPG, 5.8 RPG) making significant contributions.
This is a young, rebuilding FSU team that lost PG Trent Forrest, plus guards Patrick Williams and Devin Vassell, who were picked four and 11th in the 2020 NBA Draft, respectively. That’s a lot to replace for head coach Leonard Hamilton.
But the Seminoles are overvalued now after a 3-0 SU & 2-1 ATS start. They beat North Florida, which is 1-7 this season. They survived Indiana 69-67 as a 3-point home favorite. Then on Saturday they beat rival Florida 83-71 at home. Now this is a letdown spot for them, and they only have two days to get ready for Georgia Tech. The Yellow Jackets have five days to get ready after last playing on Wednesday.
Georgia Tech is 9-1 ATS in its last 10 road games vs. good offensive teams that score 77 or more points per game. The Yellow Jackets are 12-4 ATS in their last 16 road games. The underdog is 21-9 ATS in the last 30 meetings. The road team is 12-5 ATS in the last 17 meetings. Bet Georgia Tech Tuesday.
|12-15-20||Loyola-Chicago +9.5 v. Wisconsin||63-77||Loss||-115||9 h 33 m||Show|
15* CBB Tuesday Undervalued Underdog on Loyola-Chicago +9.5
Loyola-Chicago is the best team in the Missouri Valley this season and it's really not even close. They returned five starters and 91.7% of their minutes from a team that went 21-11 last year. Senior Cameron Krutwig is back after doing it all for the Ramblers last year, averaging 15.1 PPG, 8.1 RPG, 4.2 APG and 1.2 SPG.
He is joined by fellow seniors Lucas Williamson, Tate Hall and Keith Clemons. Clemons and Hall combined to make 44% of their 3-pointers last year. Marquise Kennedy is also a 3-point sniper and returns. The additions of Cooper Kaifes and Braden Norris gives them great depth. Kaifes shot 36.5% from 3-point range in 2018-19 before sitting out last year. Norris made 48.6% of his 3-point shots in 2018-19 before transferring from Oakland.
The Ramblers are off to a 3-0 start this season and winning by 25.3 points per game. They are shooting 54.9% as a team, including 41.3% from 3-point range, and averaging 80.3 points per game. They are holding opponents to 55.0 points per game, 37.9% shooting and 26.9% from 3-point range.
Wisconsin got a lot of hype coming into the season with four starters back. But they have failed to meet expectations. They are 4-1 SU but 1-3-1 ATS. They lost outright to Marquette as a 3.5-point favorite, and their four wins have come against Eastern Illinois, Arkansas-Pine Bluff, Wisconsin-Green Bay and Rhode Island. They only beat Eastern Illinois by 10 as a 22-point favorite and Rhode Island by 11 as an 11-point favorite. Loyola-Chicago might be the best team they have faced yet.
Wisconsin is 1-9 ATS in its last 10 games vs. good passing teams who average 16 or more assists per game. The Ramblers are 21-9-1 ATS in their last 31 games as road underdogs. Take Loyola-Chicago Tuesday.
|12-15-20||Clemson +2 v. Virginia Tech||60-66||Loss||-108||7 h 3 m||Show|
15* Clemson/VA Tech ACC ANNIHILATOR on Clemson +2
Clemson went just 16-15 last season and 9-11 in the ACC, but they did knock off three teams that were in the Top 5 of the rankings when they played them. And now the Tigers returned four starters from that squad and should be one of the most improved teams in the ACC.
The Tigers have started eight different players and have 11 players averaging at least 10 minutes per game. Their depth will be some of the best in all of college basketball this season. And they are off to a 5-0 start this season with wins by 11 over Purdue, by 11 over Mississippi State, by 16 over Maryland and by 8 over Alabama.
As you can see, the Tigers have faced a brutal schedule and have gotten through it unblemished. They have done so behind one of the best defenses in the nation. The Tigers are allowing just 51.4 points per game, holding opponents to 34.9% shooting and forcing 19 turnovers per game. Purdue is the only team to top 56 points against them this season.
Virginia Tech has been overvalued since a shocking upset of Villanova as a 9-point dog in their second game of the season. They trailed VMI late and needed a big surge to win 64-57 as a 20-point favorite. Then they lost 55-75 as a 5.5-point home favorite to Penn State. There's no way the Hokies should be favored against the Tigers today.
Clemson wants revenge from two losses to Virginia Tech last season. The Tigers are 10-1 ATS in their last 11 games off two or more consecutive wins. The Tigers are 6-0 ATS in their last six games overall. Clemson is 6-0 ATS in its last six vs. a team with a winning % above .600. The Hokies are 0-4 ATS in their last four games following a double-digit home loss. Virginia Tech is 0-4 ATS in its last four home games vs. a team with a winning road record. These four trends combine for a 26-1 system backing the Tigers. Roll with Clemson Tuesday.
|12-14-20||Ravens v. Browns UNDER 46.5||Top||47-42||Loss||-110||9 h 56 m||Show|
20* Ravens/Browns ESPN No-Brainer on UNDER 46.5
This will be the 2nd meeting between the Ravens and Browns this season. I always like to look to the UNDER in the 2nd meeting between teams in a division rivalry because they are so familiar with one another. They are able to make adjustments from the first meeting, and those adjustments almost always favor the defenses.
Weather will play a factor here as well, which is a big reason I'm on the UNDER. It's going to be 30 degrees with 15 to 25 MPH winds are kickoff tonight in Cleveland. And we've seen how wind and cold weather has affected the scoring conditions in these Cleveland home games recently.
Indeed, the UNDER is 3-0 in Cleveland's last three home games. They lost to the Raiders 6-16 for 22 combined points, beat the Texans 10-7 for 17 combined points and beat the Eagles 22-17 for 39 combined points. The UNDER is 3-0 in Baltimore's last three road games with combined scores of 34, 40 and 33 points as well.
These are two of the best rushing offenses in the NFL as well. The Ravens average 33 attempts for 169 yards per game on the ground, while the Browns average 32 attempts for 158 yards per game. So both teams are going to run the football a lot, especially with the winds, and that will keep the clock moving and make the game fly right by.
Both defenses have been above average at stopping the run, too. The Ravens give up 112 rushing yards per game, while the Browns allow just 104 rushing yards per game. In their first meeting, the Browns held the Ravens to 107 rushing yards on 30 attempts. Cleveland had 138 yards on 27 attempts but fell way behind early. This rematch should be much closer, which will have both teams sticking to their running games.
Plays on the UNDER on home teams where the total is 42.5 to 49 points (Cleveland) - off an upsset win as an underdog, a top level team that wins 75% or more of their games are 70-29 (70.7%) since 1983. There's so much at stake here in terms of the playoff race that this game will be played close to the vest. Look for it to go well UNDER the number. Bet the UNDER in this game Monday.
|12-13-20||Steelers v. Bills -2||Top||15-26||Win||100||12 h 23 m||Show|
20* Steelers/Bills NBC Sunday Night BAILOUT on Buffalo -2
The Buffalo Bills came back from their bye week pissed off from their hail mary loss to the Cardinals. If not for that play, the Bills would be on a six-game winning streak. They are 4-0 ATS in their last four games overall and playing their best football of the season. And now they are ready to prove they are Super Bowl contenders by knocking off the Steelers tonight.
The Bills came back from their bye and crushed the Chargers 27-17. Then they went on the road last week and made easy work of the 49ers in a 34-24 win as 2-point dogs. They racked up 449 total yards against a very good San Francisco defense. Josh Allen threw for 375 yards and four touchdowns without an interception in the win. What more does this guy have to do to be mentioned among the best quarterbacks in the NFL?
The Bills are remarkably healthy right now due to that bye week. And their defense is getting back to being the same dominant unit that it was a year ago. And that's what makes this team so scary now. They have an elite offense and an above average defense now that they are healthy in the secondary on that side of the ball, which hasn't been the case for much of the season.
While the Bills are healthy, injuries are mounting up for the Steelers. They are extremely thin at LB now without Bud Dupree and Devin Bush, plus Vince Williams and Robert Spillane are out for this game. CB Joe Haden is out and CB Steven Nelson is questionable, leaving the Steelers extremely thin in the secondary and at linebacker. The Bills should be able to do whatever they want to against the Steelers here.
It's also a terrible spot for the Steelers. They had their bye week stolen from them early in the season, and now they are a very tired team because of it. They will be playing their 3rd game in 12 days here after playing Baltimore last Wednesday and Washington on Monday. They blew a 14-0 lead over Washington as Alex Smith diced up their secondary, leading Washington to a 23-17 victory. And I always like fading teams after they've had a long winning streak come to an end. Pittsburgh's perfect season is no longer, and I think they could have a hangover effect here against the Bills.
Buffalo is 9-2 ATS in the second half of the season over the last two seasons. Pittsburgh is 0-5 ATS in its last five December games. The Bills are 4-0 ATS in their last four games overall. Buffalo is 5-1 ATS in its last six games as a home favorite. The spot, injuries and momentum all favor the Bills in this matchup tonight. Bet the Bills Sunday.
|12-13-20||Penn State +7.5 v. Michigan||58-62||Win||100||3 h 49 m||Show|
15* Big Ten PLAY OF THE DAY on Penn State +7.5
Penn State is a 19-point blown lead against a good Seton Hall team away from being 4-0 this season. They led that game by 8 with two minutes to go as well, but eventually fell 92-98 in overtime.
The Nittany Lions have played a tough schedule thus far. They also have a win over VCU and a dominant 75-55 win at previously unbeaten Virginia Tech as 5.5-point dogs. That's the same VA Tech team that upset Villanova earlier this season. The Nittany Lions are a real contender in the Big Ten this season.
While Penn State has faced a gauntlet of a schedule, Michigan has been feasting on terrible teams during its 5-0 start. The Wolverines have wins over Bowling Green, Oakland, Ball State, UCF and Toledo. This is a huge step up in class for them today, and I don't expect them to handle it very well. They are way overvalued due to this 5-0 SU & 3-1-1 ATS start.
Penn State has won their last two meetings with Michigan outright as underdogs. They won 72-63 as 4.5-point dogs at Michigan, and 75-69 as 7-point home dogs. The Nittany Lions are 6-0 ATS off an upset win as a road underdog over the last three seasons. Penn State is 11-4-1 ATS in its last 16 games as a road underdog. The underdog is 5-1 ATS in the last six meetings. Take Penn State Sunday.
|12-13-20||Chiefs v. Dolphins +7.5||33-27||Win||100||91 h 21 m||Show|
15* NFL Sunday Undervalued Underdog on Miami Dolphins +7.5
The Miami Dolphins are now 7-1 SU & 7-1 ATS in their last eight games overall. They have been the most profitable team in the NFL to back over the past two months. And it still feels like they are getting no respect here as 7.5-point home underdogs to the Kansas City Chiefs.
It hasn’t mattered whether it has been Ryan Fitzpatrick or Tua at quarterback. The Dolphins keep winning because they play team football and tremendous defense. They give up just 17.7 points per game this season and have forced at least one turnover in all 12 games. They just do everything fundamentally sound, which is the sign of a great head coach in Brian Flores.
The Chiefs continue to be overvalued week after week due to winning the Super Bowl last year and with an 11-1 record. They have now gone 0-4 ATS in their last four games overall. Although they have won all four games SU, all four wins have come by 6 points or less. They have bene life and death with the Panthers, Raiders and Broncos during this stretch. And it’s not like any of those teams are any good.
It just feels like the Chiefs are going through the motions right now and just ready to get to the playoffs. They already have the AFC West locked up. Meanwhile, the Dolphins are still fighting to win the AFC East. They are just one game back of the Buffalo Bills for 1st place in their division. They are the team playing like their pants are on fire right now, not the Chiefs.
Kansas City is 1-12 ATS in its last 13 games after gaining 400 or more total yards in three consecutive games. Miami is 18-6 ATS in its last 24 games overall dating back to last season. The Dolphins are 4-0 ATS in their last four home games. Miami is 13-3 ATS vs. good passing teams with a completion percentage of 61% or better over the last two seasons. The Dolphins are 9-1 ATS off two or more consecutive unders over the last three years. Take the Dolphins Sunday.
|12-13-20||Vikings v. Bucs -6.5||Top||14-26||Win||100||91 h 21 m||Show|
25* NFC GAME OF THE YEAR on Tampa Bay Bucs -6.5
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers really needed a bye last week after going 12 straight weeks without one. Now they’ll be rejuvenated to bounce back from two straight losses to the Chiefs and Rams by 3 points each. And a bye will help a team like the Bucs more than most just because they have so many new faces this year on offense for Tom Brady to try and form a chemistry with.
Now the Bucs take on a Vikings team that was very fortunate to win their last two games against the lowly Panthers and Jaguars. They needed a last-second TD to beat the Panthers 28-27, and they needed overtime to beat the Jaguars 27-24. That’s a Jaguars team that has now lost 11 straight. And don’t forget they were upset by the Cowboys the week prior as a 7-point home favorite.
This is a Vikings defense that Tom Brady and company should light up. Minnesota gives up 27.4 points and 382.7 yards per game this season. This feels like a game Kirk Cousins is going to have to be a gun slinger to try and keep up, and that’s exactly the type of game that I like to fade the Vikings in because Cousins is terrible when he has to do it all.
The key to stopping the Vikings is stopping Dalvin Cook, and there’s no team in the NFL better equipped to do that than the Bucs. They lead the NFL in rushing defense, giving up just 74 rushing yards per game and 3.3 per carry. They also rank near the top of the league in total defense, allowing just 329.9 yards per game.
Plays on any team (Tampa Bay) - a good offensive team (5.4 to 5.8 YPP) against a team with a terrible defense (5.8 YPP or more), after being outgained by 100 or more total yards in their previous game are 36-7 (83.7%) ATS over the last five seasons. Bruce Arians is 13-4 ATS off a home loss as a head coach. Arians is also 21-9 ATS in December games as a head coach. Bet the Bucs Sunday.
|12-13-20||Richmond +7.5 v. West Virginia||71-87||Loss||-110||2 h 49 m||Show|
15* CBB Sunday Undervalued Underdog on Richmond +7.5
Richmond is loaded with four returning starters this season from a team that went 24-7 last year. They are off to a 4-0 start this season with an upset win over Kentucky. They have five players averaging over 12 PPG this season with Golden (15.3 PPG, 6.5 RPG), Cayo (14.5 PPG, 4.3 RPG), Francis (13.8 PPG), Burton (12.8 PPG, 9.0 RPG) and Gilyard (12.3 PPG, 7.0 APG, 4.3 SPG).
The Spiders are coming off a 10-point home win over Northern Iowa on Wednesday. Now they've had three days to get ready for West Virginia. Meanwhile, the Mountaineers only have one day to get ready for Richmond. They are coming off a 62-50 win over North Texas as a 13.5-point favorite on Friday.
And they had to use a lot of energy to bounce back from a 29-21 halftime deficit against a mediocre Mean Green squad. The game prior, they trailed a bad Georgetown team 34-32 at halftime and came back to win 80-71, but failing to cover an as 11.5-point favorite. And they are definitely overvalued here again as a 7.5-point favorite against a Richmond team that has Sweet 16 potential.
Richmond is 6-0 ATS after two or more consecutive overs over the last two seasons. The Mountaineers are 1-5 ATS in their last six Sunday games. The spot favors the Spiders, and they have a great chance to win this game outright, let alone cover this 7.5-point spread. Bet Richmond Sunday.
|12-12-20||Niagara +10 v. St. Peter's||49-53||Win||100||10 h 57 m||Show|
15* CBB Saturday Undervalued Underdog on Niagara +10
Head coach Greg Paulus, the former Duke standout, is in his second year at Niagara. I expect big things from him and this team this year. They return all five starters from last year and four of their top five scorers.
The Purple Eagles finally got to play their first game on December 3rd. They lost that game 45-75 to Syracuse. They were clearly rusty as they shot just 27.7% from the field. That rust carried over in their 54-70 loss to St. Peter’s last night as they shout just 35.1% as a team.
Now this is a rare situation where the Purple Eagles get to play St. Peter’s for a second consecutive day. And I love this situation as they will be the more motivated, revenge-minded team here. And we are getting an even better number on them than we did yesterday here as 10-point dogs.
After losing by 5 to St. Peter’s in their first meeting last year, Niagara came back with a 63-54 upset victory as 5-point dogs. And I think they can pull the upset here in their rematch in 2020, let alone cover this 10-point spread.
Niagara is 9-0 ATS after scoring 65 points or less in two straight games over the last two seasons. The Purple Eagles are 7-0 ATS off two straight losses by 10 points or more over the last three seasons. Niagara is 9-1 ATS after failing to cover the spread in two or more consecutive games over the last three years. Bet Niagara Saturday.
|12-12-20||Alabama v. Clemson +2||56-64||Win||100||10 h 57 m||Show|
15* Alabama/Clemson Non-Conference KNOCKOUT on Clemson +2
Clemson went just 16-15 last season and 9-11 in the ACC, but they did knock off three teams that were in the Top 5 of the rankings when they played them. And now the Tigers returned four starters from that squad and should be one of the most improved teams in the ACC.
The Tigers have started eight different players and have 11 players averaging at least 10 minutes per game. Their depth will be some of the best in all of college basketball this season. And they are off to a 4-0 start this season with wins by 11 over Purdue, by 11 over Mississippi State and by 16 over Maryland. They should not be underdogs to Alabama today.
Alabama is 3-1 this season with an 18-point loss to Stanford. Their three wins have come against suspect competition in Jacksonville State, UNLV and Providence. This will be the Crimson Tide’s toughest test yet.
Clemson is 9-1 ATS in its last 10 games off two or more consecutive wins. The Tigers are 5-0 ATS in their last five games overall. The Crimson Tide are 1-4 ATS in their last five games following a win. Roll with Clemson Saturday.
|12-12-20||Wisconsin v. Iowa +2.5||Top||7-28||Win||100||19 h 47 m||Show|
20* Big Ten GAME OF THE MONTH on Iowa +2.5
The Iowa Hawkeyes are making the most out of this COVID-shortened season. They could have easily packed it in after an 0-2 start with two tough losses by a combined 5 points. But they have gone the other way and made the most out of it. They have gone 5-0 SU & 4-1 ATS since, and now they want to make it six in a row against their rivals in the Wisconsin Badgers.
Conversely, Wisconsin has gone the other way. They opened 2-0 with blowout wins over bad Illinois and Michigan teams. But COVID has held them to only four games, and they have gone on to lose 7-17 to Northwestern as 7-point favorites and 6-14 to Indiana as 11.5-point favorites. It’s hard to see them showing up this week either as all of their dreams and preseason goals can no longer be achieved. They were expected to be one of the best teams in the conference.
That loss to Indiana is particularly concerning considering the Hoosiers were without their starting QB due to injury. And this Wisconsin offense is really struggling right now, scoring a combined 13 points and committing a total of seven turnovers the last two weeks. It’s just a lack of focus really.
Their job won’t get any easier against an Iowa defense that has now allowed 25 or fewer points in 21 consecutive games. The Hawkeyes have allowed 24 or fewer in every game this season, giving up just 17.3 points, 326.4 yards per game and 4.5 yards per play. And I believe this Iowa offense is the best unit that Wisconsin will have faced this season as well. The Hawkeyes average 32.3 points per game this season.
Paul Chryst is 0-7 ATS after outgaining his last three oponnents by 125 or more total yards in all games he has coached. The Badgers are 0-4 ATS in their last four games following a loss. Bet Iowa Saturday.
|12-12-20||Coastal Carolina v. Troy +14||42-38||Win||100||18 h 17 m||Show|
15* Sun Belt PLAY OF THE DAY on Troy +14
Coastal Carolina is coming off a massive win over BYU to improve to 10-0 for the first time in program history. The Chanticleers have an even bigger game against Louisiana on deck next week in the Sun Belt Championship Game. This is a sandwich spot for them here having to play Troy this week, while Louisiana gets a bye week to get ready for them.
Coastal Carolina has also gone 8-1-1 ATS this season. So bettors who have backed them have made a fortune. But now you are paying a tax to back the Chanticleers as 14-point road favorites here against Troy. And I think this sandwich spot makes it a great time to ‘sell high’ on them.
Troy will be ready for this one. The Trojans want revenge from a 35-36 loss to Coastal Carolina in which the Chanticleers scored and converted a 2-point conversion with 30 seconds left. Troy outgained Coastal 500-476 in that one and threw for 385 yards on them.
The Trojans bounced back from three straight losses with a 29-0 win at South Alabama last time out as 4-point favorites. QB Gunnar Watson, who has missed some time with injury this season and the Trojans have struggled without him, completed 82.9% of his passes for 297 yards with three touchdowns and zero interceptions against South Alabama. He is completing 70.5% on the season with 1,881 yards and a 15-to-6 TD/INT ratio. Watson means everything to their offense.
This is a 5-5 Troy team that has three losses by one score and four wins by 20 points or more. And I like their chances of staying within two scores of the Chanticleers given the spot. This is Troy’s Super Bowl, while Coastal Carolina basically played a Super Bowl against BYU last week and will be playing another next week. If they were going to slip up, this would be the spot against Troy.
Troy is a perfect 7-0 ATS vs. good passing teams that average 8 or more yards per attempt over the last three seasons. Roll with Troy Saturday.
|12-12-20||Utah +1 v. Colorado||Top||38-21||Win||100||15 h 22 m||Show|
25* Pac-12 GAME OF THE YEAR on Utah +1
This is a great ‘buy low’ spot on the Utah Utes after opening the season 1-2 SU under the best head coach in the conference in Kyle Whittingham. I trust him to get this thing turned around. The two losses came to two of the best teams in the conference in USC and Washington.
Utah uncharacteristically gave both of those games away by committing five turnovers against USC and four more against Washington. Whittingham-coached teams don’t make those kinds of mistakes. And I think the slow start to the season has to do with all the Covid-19 issues with in the program that cut short their practice time. But now with three games under their belts, this team should only get sharper as the season goes on.
That showed last week when Utah stormed out to a 30-10 lead over Oregon State early in the 4th quarter last week. They did allow two garbage touchdowns late, and I think because that 30-24 final appears closer than it was there is real value with the Utes this week going to Colorado.
It’s also a great time to ’sell high’ on the Buffaloes, who have been the surprise of the conference at 4-0 SU & 4-0 ATS this season. They deserve some credit, but it’s worth noting they have played one of the easiest schedules in the conference with wins over Arizona, San Diego State, Stanford and UCLA. And all four wins came by 11 points or less, so they have been fortunate in close games. Their good fortune runs out this week against a Utah team that is simply better than them.
Utah is 7-1 SU in its last eight meetings with Colorado with blowout wins each of the last three seasons by 30, 23 and 21 points. If you would have told me Utah would be an underdog to Colorado coming into the season I would have laid my largest wager of the year on the Utes. And I’m certainly going to lay one of my largest wagers on Utah here in the underdog role. Bet Utah Saturday.
|12-12-20||Wake Forest +2.5 v. Louisville||Top||21-45||Loss||-103||15 h 17 m||Show|
20* ACC GAME OF THE MONTH on Wake Forest +2.5
Louisville head coach Scott Satterfield made waves during the bye week when he talked with South Carolina about its coaching vacancy that was eventually filled by Oklahoma assistant Shane Beamer. The fact that Satterfield even explored a new job just two seasons into his tenure at Louisville rubbed Cardinals fans and players the wrong way.
I just don’t think the Cardinals are all that motivated to finish the season with a win here Saturday. They sit at just 3-7 on the season and have lost three of their last four coming in with their only win coming against lowly Syracuse. They’ve had several players opt out of playing the rest of the season as well.
Conversely, Wake Forest sits at 4-3 right now and wants to finish the season with a winning record. The Demon Deacons have been one of the biggest surprised in the conference. They are scoring 39.3 points per game on offense and giving up 29.7 points per game on defense.
None of the three losses were bad, either. They covered in a 24-point loss to Clemson to open the season. They only lost by 3 on the road to NC State and by 6 at North Carolina after blowout a double-digit lead late. The Demon Deacons are 4-1 SU & 5-0 ATS in their last five games overall and finishing the season strong.
Wake Forest QB Sam Hartman has zero interceptions in 195 pass attempts this season. He has hit on 62.6% of his attempts while averaging a whopping 13.8 yards per completion. He had 429 yards and four touchdowns against UNC and they actually held a 45-24 lead in that contest.
Louisville is 2-11 ATS in its last 13 vs. good offensive teams that average 425 or more yards per game. The Cardinals are 6-22-1 ATS in their last 29 vs. a team with a winning record. Dave Clawson is a perfect 7-0 ATS after scoring 37 points or more in two straight games as a head coach. Take Wake Forest Saturday.
|12-12-20||Illinois +14 v. Northwestern||10-28||Loss||-110||15 h 17 m||Show|
15* CFB Saturday Undervalued Underdog on Illinois +14
Northwestern has beaten Illinois five straight seasons, the longest winning streak they have ever had in this rivalry with the Fighting Illini. Lovie Smith and company want the Land of Lincoln Trophy to return to Champaigne on Saturday.
“It’s been up north for too long,” Smith said. “Our guys will be pumped up and ready to go. We plan on playing our best game we’ve played all year.”
So you know the Fighting Illini are going to want it, and I think that will be enough to cover this 14-point spread. Of course, it helps that they now have Brandon Peters back as their starting quarterback. He is 7-6 SU in games in which he has started and finished at Illinois.
Two games ago, Peters led Illinois to a 41-23 upset win at Nebraska at 17-point underdogs. He also threw two touchdown passes early last week as the Fighting Illini jumped out to a 14-0 lead over Iowa, only to eventually fall 21-35. That was a quality performance against an Iowa team that has now won five in a row and is playing as well as anyone in the Big Ten.
I question how motivated Northwestern will be Saturday. The Wildcats clinched their second division total in three years on Saturday despite their game against Minnesota being canceled due to COVID-19. They will be playing in the Big Ten Championship Game next week. They will be more focused on keeping everyone healthy for that game than trying to blow out Illinois. And I’ll gladly back the more motivated Fighting Illini playing their final game of the season here.
Northwestern may be 5-1 this season, but four of those wins have come by 10 points or less. And they just were upset by a terrible Michigan State team 20-290 as 13.5-point favorites last time out. They just have trouble getting margin because their offense isn’t very good. They have scored 27 or fewer points in five straight games while averaging 21.2 points per game during this stretch.
Illinois is 16-4 ATS in its last 20 road games after a game where they committed zero turnovers. Northwestern is 3-12 ATS in its last 15 home games vs. poor defensive teams that allow 425 or more yards per game. The Fighting Illini are 5-1 ATS in their last six road games. The Wildcats are 2-7-1 ATS in their last 10 games as home favorites. The road team is 5-1 ATS in the last six meetings. Take Illinois Saturday.
|12-11-20||Nevada v. San Jose State UNDER 59.5||Top||20-30||Win||100||12 h 13 m||Show|
20* Nevada/San Jose State MWC Late-Night BAILOUT on UNDER 59.5
Mountain West Championship implications are on the line tonight when the Nevada Wolf Pack (6-1) take on the San Jose State Spartans (5-0) at Sam Boyd Stadium in Nevada. Look for a defensive battle between these teams with what is at stake tonight.
Both Nevada and San Jose State have elite defenses. Nevada gives up 21.9 points, 361.1 yards per game and 5.0 yards per play this season. They have one of the most improved defenses in the country largely because of their huge, dominant defensive line. They give up just 121 rushing yards per game and 3.4 per carry.
San Jose State has been even better defensively. The Spartans give up 17.0 points, 347.2 yards per game and 5.0 yards per play this season. While their offense is solid, they only average 419.2 yards per game this season on that side of the ball. And Nevada’s offense gets more credit than it deserves, too. They have been held to 27 or fewer points in three of their last four games overall.
Nevada is 7-0 UNDER in its last seven games off a home conference win. The Wolf Pack are 7-0 UNDER in their last seven games after gaining 325 or more passing yards last game. The UNDER is 36-17 in Wolf Pack last 53 games off an ATS win. The UNDER is 5-1 in San Jose State’s last six games overall. Bet the UNDER in this game Friday.
|12-11-20||Iowa State v. Iowa -12.5||77-105||Win||100||10 h 13 m||Show|
15* CBB Friday No-Doubt Rout on Iowa -12.5
The Iowa Hawkeyes are loaded this season with five returning starters, including Wooden Award favorite Luka Garza. They have gone 4-0 SU & 3-1 ATS this season while outscoring their opponents by 27.8 points per game. And they would be 4-0 ATS if not for a banked 3-pointer from halfcourt at the buzzer.
After making each work of three teams all by 27 points or more, the Hawkeyes were tested last time out against North Carolina. The passed with flying colors in a 93-80 win as 4-point favorites in a game they controlled from start to finish. Garza finished with fewer than 20 points for the first time in 20 games, but he still contributed 14 rebounds and four blocks.
That performance against UNC showed Iowa can still win as a team even when Garza doesn’t have a monster game. Jordan Bohannon drilled seven 3-pointers, while CJ Frederick (21 points) and Joe Wieskamp (19) each had five 3-pointers. And now the Hawkeyes take a step down in class here against the rival Iowa State Cyclones. They’ll have no problem running up the score here.
Iowa State is in the midst of a 9-day layoff. The Cyclones trailed by 15 points against South Dakota State before making it a 68-71 loss by the end of regulation. And they trailed lowly Arkansas-Pine Bluff at halftime before winning 80-63 as a 33-point favorite. They lost their best player Tyrese Haliburton to the NBA lottery, and there just isn’t much talent on this Cyclones team. Steve Prohm is doing a terrible job, killing the tradition of great basketball in Ames.
Iowa has been an underdog to Iowa State in each of the last two meetings, and they blasted them 98-84 at home in 2018 and 84-68 on the road in 2019. And oddsmakers still aren’t giving them the respect they deserve here in this 2020 meeting as they should be closer to a 20-point favorite.
Iowa State is 3-14 ATS as an underdog over the last two seasons. The Cyclones are 2-10 ATS in their last 12 road games. The Hawkeyes are 8-1 ATS in their last nine games as a home favorite of 10 points or more. Iowa State is 0-7 ATS in its last seven games vs. a team with a winning % above .600. The Hawkeyes are 17-4-2 ATS in their last 23 home games. Roll with Iowa Friday.
|12-11-20||Niagara +9 v. St. Peter's||54-70||Loss||-115||10 h 32 m||Show|
15* CBB Friday Undervalued Underdog on Niagara +9
Head coach Greg Paulus, the former Duke standout, is in his second year at Niagara. I expect big things from him and this team this year. They return all five starters from last year and four of their top five scorers.
The Purple Eagles finally got to play their first game on December 3rd. They lost that game 45-75 to Syracuse. They were clearly rusty as they shot just 27.7% from the field. They should be much sharper this time around, and it will help them taking a big step down in class here against St. Peter’s.
The Peacocks are 2-2 this season and coming off a 57-90 loss to Maryland as 12.5-point dogs. That’s the same Maryland team that was just blown out by Clemson. St. Peter’s only has wins over LaSalle and Stony Brook this season.
Last year, Niagara lost by 5 to St. Peter’s and won by 9 in the rematch. So with all five starters and four of their top five scorers back, they should have no problem covering this 9-point spread in their first meeting of the 2020-21 season.
Niagara is 7-0 ATS off a road loss by 20 points or more over the last three seasons. The Purple Eagles are 14-3 ATS after scoring 60 points or less over the last three years. The Purple Eagles are also 8-0 ATS in their last eight games off a SU loss by more than 20 points. Take Niagara Friday.
|12-10-20||Patriots v. Rams -4.5||Top||3-24||Win||100||10 h 56 m||Show|
20* Patriots/Rams Non-Conference KNOCKOUT on Los Angeles -4.5
The Los Angeles Rams have the best stats in the entire NFL this season. They are 8-4 SU & 7-5 ATS this season but the numbers on offense and defense tell the story. They are gaining 395.3 yards per game and 5.9 yards per play on offense while giving up just 291.6 yards per game and 4.9 per play on defense. They are outgaining their opponents by 103.4 yards per game and 1.0 yards per play this season, both the best numbers in the NFL.
The racked up 463 yards on the Cardinals last week and held them to just 232 yards, outgaining them by 231 yards. It was as an impressive performance as I’ve seen this season from them. And don’t forget they just beat the Bucs and Seahawks recently as well, so they have been playing great against some of the best teams in the NFL.
The Patriots aren’t one of those best teams. They are very fortunate to be 6-6 this season. Their last two wins over the Cardinals and Chargers were fraudulent final scores. They were outgained by 119 yards by the Cardinals and held to just 179 total yards, but found a way to win 20-17. And last week they only managed 291 total yards and only outgained the Chargers by 33 yards in their 45-0 win, which featured several big plays on special teams.
Cam Newton threw for just 84 yards and 4.0 YPA against the Cardinals and 69 yards and 3.0 YPA against the Chargers. They just can’t keep winning with him playing so poorly, especially not here in this huge step up in class against a motivated Rams team that is trying to win the NFC West. Adding to their motivation is their loss to the Patriots in the Super Bowl a few years back, which several players on this team clearly have not forgotten. They will be looking for revenge tonight.
“That’s just a loss,” DT Aaron Donald said. “I try to not thing about the loss. But you know, this is definitely a game that’s going to give you a little bit more push just for a little payback.”
With Newton struggling to throw the football, the Patriots have relied on their rushing attack, which ranks third in the NFL at 150.9 yards per game. Well, the Rams are equipped to stop them. They have the league’s third-best rushing defense, allowing just 93.1 yards per game on the ground. Los Angeles hasn’t allowed a 100-yard rusher all season long.
Sean McVay is a perfect 8-0 ATS after a dominant performance with 34-plus minutes of time of possession and 24 or more first downs last game as the coach of the Rams. The Patriots are 1-6-1 ATS in their last seven games following an ATS win. Bet the Rams Thursday.
|12-10-20||Pittsburgh v. Georgia Tech +7||34-20||Loss||-103||9 h 41 m||Show|
15* Pitt/Georgia Tech ACC ANNIHILATOR on Georgia Tech +7
The Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets are much better than their 3-6 record would suggest. They are only getting outgained by 58.7 yards per game on the season and have been through the gauntlet recently with games against Clemson and Notre Dame. They have a lot of misleading box scores this season in which they lost the game but won the box score.
I think that has created some nice line value here on the Yellow Jackets late in the season catching 7 points at home to Pittsburgh. They outgained NC State by 15 yards in a 13-23 loss, were only outgained by 47 yards by Boston College in a 21-point loss, and outgained Syracuse by 96 yards in a loss. But they have been playing better in recent weeks, covering their last two games and really should have covered three in a row.
They covered against Notre Dame as a 20.5-point dog, beat Duke outright 56-33 as a 3-point dog, and then lost to NC State by 10 as a 7-point dog. But again, they gained 412 yards on the Wolfpack but only had 13 points to show for it. That’s hard to do. Look for them to put those good stats to use this week and hang a big number on this Pittsburgh defense.
The Panthers just had their best defensive lineman in Rashad Weaver (7.5 sacks) opt out of the rest of the season for personal reasons. They were already missing another of their top DL coming into the season in Jaylen Twyman for personal reasons. And now all of a sudden this Pitt defense isn’t very good.
That was on display last time out as they gave up 52 points and 591 total yards to Clemson in their 35-point loss. And it’s going to be hard for Pitt to get up for Georgia Tech after facing Clemson. I always like fading teams after they play Top 5 schools like Clemson.
Three of the last five meetings have been decided by 5 points or less. Pitt has only beaten Georgia Tech by more than 5 points once in the last seven meetings, and that was their 20-10 win last year against a rebuilding Georgia Tech team in Geoff Collins’ first season. The Yellow Jackets have been way more competitive here in his second season, and now they want to prove the strides they’ve made by beating Pitt here Thursday night.
Pittsburgh is 2-10 ATS in its last 12 vs. bad defensive teams that give up 37 or more points per game. The Panthers are 4-13 ATS in their last 17 games following a game in which they committed four or more turnovers. Pitt is 1-5 ATS in its last six road games. The Yellow Jackets are 5-2 ATS in their last seven games following an ATS loss. Take Georgia Tech Thursday.
|12-09-20||Indiana +3.5 v. Florida State||67-69||Win||100||8 h 3 m||Show|
15* Indiana/FSU ESPN No-Brainer on Indiana +3.5
The Indiana Hoosiers returned four starters this season and this is Archie Miller’s best team yet. They are off to a 3-1 start this season, and I think their 44-66 loss to No. 17 Texas was an aberration that has them undervalued. They shot just 23.9% in that defeat.
Indiana has been simply dominant in its other three games, going 3-0 SU & 3-0 ATS. They won by 30 over Tennessee Tech as a 25.5-point favorite, by 21 over Providence as a 2-point favorite and by 16 over Stanford as a 1.5-point dog. Trayce Jackson-Davis is averaging 21.5 PPG and 7.0 RPG and is one of the best players in the country.
While Indiana gained some great experience playing against quality competition in the Maui Invitational, Florida State only has one game under its belt. That came in an 86-58 win over North Florida as a 25.5-point favorite. A quick look at North Florida shows that they are 0-6 this season with five losses by double-digits. They aren’t very good.
This is a rebuilding FSU team that lost PG Trent Forrest, plus guards Patrick Williams and Devin Vassell, who were picked four and 11th in the 2020 NBA Draft, respectively. That’s a lot to replace for head coach Leonard Hamilton. I’ll side with the veteran Hoosiers who have proven themselves already against the much tougher competition. Roll with Indiana Wednesday.
|12-09-20||Toledo +14.5 v. Michigan||Top||71-91||Loss||-110||7 h 48 m||Show|
20* CBB DOG OF THE WEEK on Toledo +14.5
The Toledo Rockets have been too good to be catching 14.5 points from Michigan. They are 3-2 this season with both their losses coming by a combined 5 points on the road to Bradley and Xavier.
They only lost 59-61 at Bradley as 2.5-point underdogs and 73-76 at Xavier as 8.5-point dogs. That’s a very good Bradley team and a Xavier team that is 6-0 this season. They beat Oakland by 27 as an 11-point favorite, Cleveland State by 9 as an 8.5-point favorite and Eastern Michigan by 17 as a 2.5-point favorite. So the Rockets are a perfect 5-0 ATS this season.
Michigan covered its last two as well against UCF and Ball State at home, as well as a cover in a 14-point win over Bowling Green as a 13.5-point favorite. But the 81-71 (OT) win over Oakland as a 31.5-point favorite really stands out like a sore thumb. And now Toledo will be the best team that the Wolverines have faced yet this season.
The Rockets are 24-5 ATS in their last 29 road games off a conference road win. Toledo is 11-2 ATS in its last 13 road Ames off an ATS win. The Rockets are 5-1-1 ATS in their last seven games as underdogs. Bet Toledo Wednesday.
|12-09-20||Maryland v. Clemson -2||51-67||Win||100||6 h 48 m||Show|
15* Maryland/Clemson ESPN 2 ANNIHILATOR on Clemson -2
Clemson went just 16-15 last season and 9-11 in the ACC, but they did knock off three teams that were in the Top 5 of the rankings when they played them. And now the Tigers returned four starters from that squad and should be one of the most improved teams in the ACC.
The Tigers have started eight different players and have 11 players averaging at least 10 minutes per game. Their depth will be some of the best in all of college basketball this season. And they are off to a 3-0 start this season with wins by 11 over Purdue and by 11 over Mississippi State.
Those two wins trump anything that Maryland has on its resume. The Terrapins are 4-0 this season, but their four wins have all come at home over Old Dominion, Navy, Mount St. Mary’s and St. Peters. They will now be playing their first road game of the season, and the Tigers are allowing 1,860 masked and socially distanced fans inso Littlejohn Coliseum.
The Terrapins lost Jalen Smith to the NBA lottery, had a bad recruiting class and had five reserves transfer in the offseason. That’s why they are picked to finish near the bottom of the Big Ten this year. So their 4-0 start is a mirage because it has come against such a soft schedule.
Clemson is 8-1 ATS in its last nine games following two or more consecutive wins. Maryland is 11-24 ATS in its last 35 road games off three straight wins by 10 points or more. The Terrapins are 12-31-1 ATS in their last 44 games following a win by more than 20 points. Take Clemson Wednesday.
|12-08-20||Cowboys +8 v. Ravens||17-34||Loss||-110||11 h 47 m||Show|
15* Cowboys/Ravens FOX ANNIHILATOR on Dallas +8
The spot really favors the Dallas Cowboys tonight. They’ve had nearly two weeks to get ready for Baltimore after last playing Washington on Thanksgiving. Meanwhile, the Ravens come in on a short week after playing the Steelers on Wednesday last week. The Cowboys will be the fresher, more prepared team for this one.
The Ravens have lost a lot of practice time with many of the players that will be playing tonight as well due to Covid-19. They will get several players back for this game, including QB Lamar Jackson, but they won’t be sharp due to the lack of practice. And it’s not like they were playing very well with him anyway.
Indeed, the Ravens are 1-4 SU & 2-3 ATS in their last five games overall. They were upset by the Steelers, Patriots and Titans. They have been outgained in three of their last four games, getting outgained by a total of 256 yards in those four games combined. And they still are missing several key players for this one.
There’s clearly value with the Cowboys here tonight. They go from 3-point favorites over Washington to now 8-point dogs to Baltimore. That’s an 11-point adjustment. They have thrived in this big underdog role in recent weeks, too. They nearly beat Pittsburgh outright in a 19-24 loss as a 14-point dog three games back. And they did upset Minnesota 31-28 as a 7-point road dog two games ago.
Dallas is 12-3 ATS in its last 15 road games off an upset loss by 14 points or more as a favorite. Baltimore is 2-8 ATS in its last 10 games following a loss. It’s asking a lot for the Ravens to win this game by more than a touchdown given the awful spot for them and the great one for Dallas tonight. Bet the Cowboys Tuesday.
|12-08-20||North Carolina v. Iowa -2.5||Top||80-93||Win||100||9 h 5 m||Show|
20* UNC/Iowa ESPN No-Brainer on Iowa -2.5
The Iowa Hawkeyes are loaded this season with five returning starters, including Wooden Award favorite Luka Garza. They have gone 3-0 SU & 2-1 ATS this season with all three wins by 27 points or more. And they would be 3-0 ATS if not for a banked 3-pointer from halfcourt at the buzzer.
Garza does it all for the Hawkeyes. He is shooting 76% from the field and average 34 points over his first three games. He has also connected on 5-of-8 from 3-point range. Joe Wieskamp is 6-of-12 from beyond the arc and C.J. Fredrick is 5-of-10. This team is loaded with shooters surrounding Garza, making them a serious national title contender.
North Carolina has been up and down this season thus far. They opened the season with blowout wins over bad Charleston and UNLV teams. They were fortunate to beat Stanford 67-63 as they were sloppy with the ball and committed 24 turnovers. And then they lost at the buzzer to Texas, 67-69. This will be their toughest test of the season here tonight.
Iowa is 16-4-2 ATS in its last 22 home games. The Hawkeyes are 15-5-2 ATS in their last 22 games as a favorite. North Carolina is 0-6 ATS in its last six road games after two straight games where it had 10 or more rebounds than its opponent. The Tar Heels are 2-9 ATS in their last 11 games after playing two consecutive games as a favorite. Take Iowa Tuesday.
|12-08-20||Boston College +7 v. Minnesota||80-85||Win||100||8 h 12 m||Show|
15* CBB Tuesday Undervalued Underdog on Boston College +7
This is a great ‘buy low’ spot on Boston College. They are 1-3 SU this season, but that is due to a brutal schedule where they have been underdogs in three of their four games. They upset Rhode Island as a 2-point dog, only lost to Villanova by 9 as a 15-point dog, and lost by 4 to Seton Hall as a 2-point favorite. Then they were blown out by 20 last time out as a 5.5-point dog, and that result has them undervalued.
The Eagles certainly are battle tested, while the Minnesota Golden Gophers are not. Their schedule couldn’t have been any easier during a 4-0 start, and now it’s time to ’sell high’ on the Gophers. They have wins over Wisconsin-Green Bay, Loyola-Marymount (twice) and North Dakota. They only beat Loyola by 3 as a 13.5-point favorite and North Dakota by 9 as a 22-point favorite in their last two games.
The Eagles have been a great offensive team this season, averaging 74.8 points per game with five players averaging in double figures. They are Winston Tabbs (15.5 PPG), CJ Felder (11.3), Jay Heath (11.3), Rich Kelly (11.0) and Makai Ashton-Langford (10.0). This is a game the Eagles will have a chance to win outright tonight. Roll with Boston College Tuesday.
|12-07-20||Washington Football Team +7 v. Steelers||Top||23-17||Win||100||68 h 49 m||Show|
20* Washington/Pittsburgh FOX No-Brainer on Washington +7
This is an awful spot for the Pittsburgh Steelers for a number of reasons. For starters, they will be playing on a short week after having to play the Ravens on Wednesday after the game was pushed back a couple different times due to Covid-19. The Steelers really haven’t even had a bye week as it was interrupted by the Titans earlier this year. So they have to be a tired team right now.
You are paying a tax to back the Steelers right now too because they are still undefeated at 11-0 on the season. And now the Steelers just lost starting LB Bud Dupree to a torn ACL against the Ravens. That’s an even bigger loss now considering they were already playing without fellow starting LB Devin Bush. Those two guys are the keys to their defense in the middle. RB James Connor, DE Stehpon Tuitt and C Maurkice Pouncey are all questionable this week due to Covid-19 as well.
Meanwhile, Washington comes in rested after playing last Thursday on Thanksgiving and will be fresh and ready to go. Washington will also be motivated as they sit atop the NFC East standings tied with the Giants, but they are in second place due to losing both head-to-head meetings. So they need wins more right now than the Giants do.
And they are playing like it. Washington is 3-3 SU & 4-2 ATS in its last six games overall with all three losses coming by 3 points or less and by a combined 7 points. And the three wins all came in blowout fashion with a 25-3 win over Dallas, a 20-9 win over Cincinnati and another 41-16 win over Dallas.
Alex Smith has given the offense new life since taking over for an injury Kyle Allen four weeks ago. He has topped 300 yards passing twice, and in the other two games he didn’t Washington got its running game going with 164 yards against the Bengals and 182 more against Dallas. So this offense is showing some versatility.
But what really makes Washington a great bet week in and week out is a defense that is one of the most underrated in the NFL. They are giving up just 22.1 points and 309.5 yards per game. They have arguably the best defensive line in the NFL, which is going to be key here against a Steelers team that only likes to throw the football because they cannot run it. The Steelers only average 99 rushing yards per game and 3.8 per carry this season.
Ron Rivera is 45-21 ATS after playing his last game on the road in all games as a head coach. Mike Tomlin is 7-17 ATS after having won eight or more of their last 10 games as the coach of the Steelers. This is also a sandwich spot for the Steelers after beating their biggest rivals in the Ravens 19-14 last week and now having another huge game on deck at Buffalo in AFC action next week. This is definitely a game that Washington can win outright tonight given the favorable spot for them and the awful spot for Pittsburgh. Bet Washington Monday.
|12-06-20||Pepperdine +9 v. San Diego State||60-65||Win||100||6 h 49 m||Show|
15* CBB Sunday Undervalued Underdog on Pepperdine +9
The Pepperdine Waves are loaded this season with four starters and 82.5% of their minutes returning from last year. Each of their top three returning scorers all made 34.9% or better from 3-point range. This looks like Lorenzo Romar’s best team yet in his second stint in Malibu. Senior Colbey Ross (20.5 PPG last year) is back along with junior wing Kessler Edwards (14.0 PPG).
The Waves are off to a 2-1 start this season. They beat UC-Irvine 86-72 before losing to UCLA 98-107 in three overtimes. They came back with a 94-45 win over St. Katherine. That means they have played the exact same three opponents as San Diego State, which beat UCLA 73-58, UC-Irvine 77-58 and St. Katherine 83-41. Those are two nearly identical results plus the win over UCLA. But Pepperdine played UCLA tough, too.
San Diego State was a nice story last year in going 30-2 and nearly getting through the regular season unbeaten. But they lose three starters from that team, including Mountain West Player of the Year Malachi Flynn. Tanni Wetzell transferred to Vanderbilt and K.J. Feagin is pursuing a professional career in Germany.
Pepperdine is 8-1 ATS in road games vs. good teams that outscore their opponents by 4-plus points per game over the last two seasons. The Waves are 17-4 ATS in their last 21 road games vs. good pressure teams that force 18 or more turnovers per game. Pepperdine is 6-0 ATS in its last six road games vs. good defensive teams that allow 64 or fewer points per game. The Waves are 27-10-1 ATS in their last 38 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600. This 9-point spread is simply too much today. Take Pepperdine Sunday.
|12-06-20||Rams v. Cardinals +3||38-28||Loss||-120||43 h 55 m||Show|
15* NFL Sunday UPSET SHOCKER on Arizona Cardinals +3
I lost with Arizona last week. And because they lost to the Patriots, there is even more value with them this week. They outgained the Patriots by 119 yards and held them to 179 yards but found a way to lose. Their kicker has not cost them two games this year as he missed a 45-yarder which allowed the Patriots to go down and kick the game-winning 50-yarder at the buzzer.
The Cardinals were also stopped twice from the 1-yard line right before halftime which turned out to be a 7-point swing. And they had a phantom late hit on Cam Newton on the final drive on a 3rd-and-13 that set the Patriots up in field goal range. They really deserved to win that game. But now that the Cardinals are 0-4 ATS in their last four games overall, this is a great ‘buy low’ spot on them.
I don’t know how Jared Goff can be trusted as a road favorite here. The Rams had four turnovers again last week and just 308 total yards in a 20-23 upset loss to the 49ers. Goff goes hot and cold, but Kyler Murray shows up every week and I trust him more. The Cardinals want serious revenge from six straight losses to the Rams in this series as well.
Arizona is 30-15 ATS in its last 45 home games off a loss by 6 points or less. The Cardinals are 47-26 ATS in their last 73 home games off two or more consecutive losses. Arizona is 5-1-1 ATS in its last seven games as an underdog. The Cardinals have just two losses in 11 games by more than 3 points this season, and both came on the road to the Panthers and Seahawks.
Plays on underdogs or PK (Arizona) - off an upset loss as a road favorite, winning between 51% and 60% of their games in the second half of the season are 30-8 (78.9%) ATS since 1983. Roll with the Cardinals Sunday.
|12-06-20||Oklahoma -3.5 v. TCU||Top||82-78||Win||100||5 h 20 m||Show|
20* CBB Sunday No-Doubt Rout on Oklahoma -3.5
The Oklahoma Sooners are loaded this season. They went 19-12 last year and returned 70% of their scoring. Back to lead the way are seniors Brady Manek (14.4 PPG last year) and Austin Reaves (14.7 PPG).
You could say the Sooners got off to a great start this season with a 105-66 win as 15-point favorites over UTSA on Thursday. And now they are ready to take down a rebuilding TCU team that is very fortunate to be 4-0 this season.
Indeed, the Horned Frogs are 4-0 SU but just 1-3 ATS. They only beat Tulsa by 5, Liberty by 4 and Northwestern State by 6 as 18.5-point favorites. Now they take a big step up in class here and all that they lost in the offseason will take its toll.
TCU lost 11 of its final 14 games last season. They lost the program’s third all-time leading scorer in Desmond Bane. They lost PG Kendric Davis in the transfer portal to SMU. That is proving to be a huge loss as Davis is averaging 21.3 PPG and 8.0 APG through four games with the Mustangs.
The Sooners are 6-0 SU in their last six meetings with TCU. The road team is 5-1 ATS in the last six meetings. The Horned Frogs are 4-10 ATS in their last 14 games as underdogs. Bet Oklahoma Sunday.
|12-06-20||Browns +5.5 v. Titans||Top||41-35||Win||100||40 h 50 m||Show|
25* AFC GAME OF THE YEAR on Cleveland Browns +5.5
The Tennessee Titans are overvalued after winning in upset fashion in back-to-back weeks over the Ravens and Colts. Now they are 5.5-point favorites here against a Cleveland Browns team with the same record (8-3) as them. It’s time to ’sell high’ on the Titans this week.
The Titans took advantage of a banged-up Colts team last week that was missing several key players on defense and offense due to either injury or Covid-19. So their 45-26 blowout win has them overvalued, and now they are asking to get margin here against the Browns.
The Titans are just 2-5 ATS as favorites this season. One of those covers was as a 6.5-point favorite over the Bears in a 7-point win. The other was as 3.5-point favorites over the Texans where they won by 6 in overtime. So they haven’t won a single game as a favorite by more than one score all season.
It’s a good time to ‘buy low’ on the Browns, who are just 1-5 ATS in their last six games overall. But they have gone 4-2 SU during this stretch. And they deserved to cover against the Jaguars last week but let them in the back door after a phantom roughing the passer penalty in a 27-25 win. They took the Jaguars for granted, but they won’t do the same this week. They’ll go back to feeling disrespected here and give their best effort.
The Browns get their best defensive player in Myles Garret back from Covid-19 this week after he missed the past few games. He’ll wreak havoc on a banged-up Titans offensive line that is starting backups at both tackle positions. And they are also missing key blocker and receiver Jonnu Smith at tight end. Guard Rodger Safford is also questionable at guard.
Stopping the run is the key to stopping the Titans and Derrick Henry. The Browns have done a good job of that this season in allowing 108 rushing yards per game. The Titans haven’t really stopped anyone. They are giving up 25.9 points and 384.1 yards per game on the season.
The Browns have one of the best rushing attacks in the NFL at 161 yards per game and 5.0 per carry. And they even played without Nick Chubb for several games, but he’s back healthy and doing his thing now alongside Kareem Hunt. The Titans give up 116 rushing yards per game. Tennessee is also 31st in pressure rate, so Baker Mayfield will have time to throw the ball and make plays through the air. Mayfield is averaging 9.7 yards per game in his three games against teams that rank in the Bottom 5 in pressure rate this season.
The Titans are 2-12 ATS in their last 14 games off an upset win by 14 points or more as a road underdog. Tennessee is 19-35 ATS in its last 54 games as a home favorite of 3.5 to 7 points. The underdog is 4-1-1 ATS in the last six meetings. Cleveland is 3-1-1 ATS in the last five meetings. Bet the Browns Sunday.
|12-06-20||Saints v. Falcons +3||Top||21-16||Loss||-115||40 h 50 m||Show|
20* NFC South GAME OF THE MONTH on Atlanta Falcons +3
It’s a great time to ’sell high’ on the New Orleans Saints this week. They have won eight straight games coming in and have covered four in a row as well. And they are coming off a 31-3 win over the Denver Broncos, who didn’t have a quarterback last week.
But this Saints offense hasn’t done much with Taysom Hill as their starter. They only managed 292 total yards against the Broncos last week. And the Falcons should be a lot better against him having just faced him two weeks ago in their 24-9 loss.
The Falcons got out to a 9-3 lead but had to settle for field goals on each of their first three scoring drives. The Saints took over in the second half and dominated. The Falcons have not forgotten, and they want revenge in a big way here. There’s a nice system on teams facing each other twice in three weeks. The team that lost the first meeting has gone 19-4 ATS in the last 23 in the second meeting.
The Falcons are still playing hard for Raheem Morris and have gone 4-2 with him as their interim coach with one of those a 1-point loss. They are coming off a 43-6 beat down of the Raiders last week that really showed their potential. And now they are expected to get Julio Jones back in the lineup this week from a hamstring injury after he was forced out of the Saints game last time.
The injury situation is not great for the Saints. They have key injuries at cornerback, defensive line and offensive line. They will be without CB Janoris Jenkins and could be without CB Patrick Robinson. DE Marcus Davenport is out, and T Terron Armstead is out with Covid-19. DT Sheldon Rankins is questionable as well. And obviously Hill is a downgrade from Brees at QB.
The Falcons are 11-4 ATS in their last 15 games as a home underdog. Atlanta is 4-0 ATS in its last four December games. Take the Falcons Sunday.
|12-05-20||Oregon State v. Utah -11||24-30||Loss||-110||52 h 31 m||Show|
15* CFB Saturday Late-Night BAILOUT on Utah -11
This is a great ‘buy low’ spot on the Utah Utes after opening the season 0-2 SU under the best head coach in the conference in Kyle Whittingham. I trust him to get this thing turned around. The two losses have come to two of the best teams in the conference in USC and Washington.
Utah uncharacteristically gave both of those games away by committing five turnovers against USC and four more against Washington. Whittingham-coached teams don’t make those kinds of mistakes. And I think the slow start to the season has to do with all the Covid-19 issues with in the program that cut short their practice time. But now with two games under their belts, this team should only get sharper as the season goes on.
Look for Utah to put its best foot forward here against Oregon State. And it’s a great time to ‘sell high’ on the Beavers, who are coming off two straight wins and are 3-0 ATS in their last three games overall. They just won their ‘Super Bowl’, beating arch rival Oregon outright 41-38 as a 13-point underdogs. And now this is a huge letdown spot for the Beavers this week.
Unfortunately for Oregon State, they lost starting QB Tristan Gebbia to a hamstring injury on the game-winning drive as he was trying to go in on a QB sneak. Now they will start backup Chance Nolan, and this is a big downgrade. They are going to have to rely even more on their running game and star RB Jermar Jefferson, who has rushed for 675 yards and seven touchdowns.
But this is a terrible matchup for Jefferson and this Oregon State offense. Utah has one of the best defensive lines in the country. They are giving up just 90 rushing yards per game and 3.2 yards per carry against USC and Washington. Their weakness has been against the pass, but that won’t be a factor here against backup QB Nolan.
Utah should really gets its offense going against an Oregon State defense that gives up 32.5 points and 442.8 yards per game this season. We saw that last year when Utah blasted Oregon State 52-7 and racked up 503 total yards int he victory. They held the Beavers to just 217 total yards, including only 48 rushing on 22 attempts. It will be more of the same in this 2020 meeting.
Utah is 6-0 ATS in its last six home games after allowing 100 or less rushing yards in two straight games. The Utes are 9-2 ATS in their last 11 conference games. Utah is 5-1 ATS in its last six home games. Roll with Utah Saturday.