|Date||Match Up||Rating||Score||Result||Profit||Lead Time||Analysis|
|01-23-22||Bills v. Chiefs OVER 54||Top||36-42||Win||100||92 h 2 m||Show|
20* Bills/Chiefs AFC No-Brainer on OVER 54
Two of the best offenses in the NFL square off Sunday when the Buffalo Bills visit the Kansas City Chiefs. The Bills are putting up 29.4 points per game while the Chiefs are averaging 29.0 points per game this season. Both offenses have been hitting on all cylinders here down the stretch with even better numbers.
Indeed, the Chiefs are scoring 36.5 points per game in their last six games. The Bills are putting up 33.4 points per game in their last five games and just hung 47 on a very good New England defense. Both teams will get their points, and which ever team is trailing is more than capable of catching up with a quick-strike offense.
The Bills do have one of the best defenses in the NFL, but they haven't faced many good offenses especially here down the stretch. Their last five games have come against the Panthers, Patriots (twice), Falcons and Jets. In the game prior they gave up 33 points and 488 total yards in a 33-27 loss to the Bucs. Andy Reid and company can figure out their defense. After all, Patrick Mahomes has averaged 32.2 points per game as a starter in the playoffs throughout his career.
The Bills will get their points against a soft Kansas City defense that ranks 28th in allowing 5.8 yards per play this season. This is one of the most overrated defenses in the NFL. The Bills shredded them in their first meeting this season in a 38-20 win for 58 combined points. The Chiefs were held to 20 because they committed four turnovers, which won't happen again. The previous meeting in the AFC Championship last year saw 62 combined points as well. The books have set this number too low at 54 here.
The forecast looks great for a January game in Kansas City. Indeed, temperatures will be in the 40's with less than 5 MPH winds and zero chance of precipitation. The OVER is 8-0 in Bills last eight games as underdogs. The OVER is 6-0 in Chiefs last six games overall. The OVER is 4-1 in the last five meetings in Kansas City. Take the OVER in this game Sunday.
|01-22-22||49ers +6 v. Packers||13-10||Win||100||70 h 47 m||Show|
15* 49ers/Packers FOX Saturday Night BAILOUT on San Francisco +6
The San Francisco 49ers are one of the most underrated playoff teams in the history of the NFL. Their stats are elite, they are a lot healthier going into the playoffs than they were in the first half of the season, and they are a nightmare matchup for the Green Bay Packers just as they were against the Dallas Cowboys. They are also 8-2 SU in their last 10 games overall, outgained both opponents they lost to, and have outgained nine of their last 10 opponents during this streak.
The 49ers already have playoff experience because their Week 18 game was a playoff game as they had to win to get into the postseason. After trailing 17-0 in the first half, the 49ers stormed back and beat the Rams 27-24 (OT). They trailed by 7 with under two minutes remaining and no timeouts, and drove the field to tie it and force OT. They outgained the Rams by 184 yards and deserved to win. They came into the playoffs with a ton of confidence and it carried over into their 23-17 upset win at Dallas as 3-point dogs in which they were in control of the game the entire way.
Yards per play is arguably the most important stat in the NFL, and the 49ers are elite on both offense and defense. Indeed, the 49ers rank 1st in the NFL at 6.1 yards per play on offense and 6th in the NFL at 5.1 yards per play allowed on defense. They are +1.0 yards per play, which is the second-best mark in the entire league behind the Buffalo Bills (+1.1 YPP). They are also 4th in defensive success rate against the run and 4th in defensive success rate against the pass.
The 49ers have really gotten their running game going in recent weeks, rushing for at least 100 yards in five of their last six games. That rushing attack consistently gives the Packers fits in the playoffs, which is a big reason Aaron Rodgers is 0-3 all-time against the 49ers in the postseason. And the Packers rank 30th in defensive success rate against the run, making this a nightmare matchup for them. Green Bay is also 31st in the NFL in allowing 4.7 yards per carry.
The 49ers can take the same game plan they had against the Cowboys, which is control the game with their running game and play keep away from a potent Dallas defense. And holding the Cowboys to just 17 points is no small feat as Dallas was the highest-scoring team in the NFL this season. This defense can hold Aaron Rodgers and company in check as well, while the offense can control the ball with their running game and timely passes from Jimmy G.
Injuries to Jimmy Garoppolo, Nick Bosa and Fred Warner are a big reason this line is as high as it is. But Jimmy G just said Wednesday he is good to go, the 49ers certainly expect to have Bosa available, and Warner was seen jumping around on the sidelines late in that Dallas game so he will probably be a go as well. I think as the injury report looks better for the 49ers late in the week, this line will drop as +6 is not the right line.
These teams are pretty evenly matched and the Packers should be closer to a 3-point favorite given the bye week and the home-field advantage. Consider the 49ers were 3-point home favorites in their first meeting this season, so this is a 9-point adjustment and clearly shows there's value on the road dog.
The 49ers are 8-0 ATS in their last eight January games. San Francisco is 6-1 ATS in its last seven games as an underdog. Everyone is making too big a deal of the Packers playing at home at Lambeau Field in the cold. But the 49ers are actually built for cold outdoor games with the better running game and defense than the Packers. They have been a much better bet on the road than they have been at home in recent years, and they just went on the road and beat the Rams and Cowboys both. They are getting disrespected again here and will continue playing with that chip on their shoulder, making them dangerous road warriors. Roll with the 49ers Saturday.
|01-22-22||Bengals v. Titans OVER 47||Top||19-16||Loss||-107||66 h 3 m||Show|
25* NFL Playoffs TOTAL OF THE YEAR on Bengals/Titans OVER 47
It's going to be pretty perfect scoring conditions in Nashville for the month of January Saturday. Temperatures will be in the mid-30's with less than 5 MPH winds. These are two of the better offenses in the NFL, and both defenses are susceptible to the opposing offense's strengths.
Joe Burrow has this Cincinnati offense humming. He has led their offense to 33.7 points per game in his last three starts while throwing for 1,215 yards with a 10-to-0 TD/INT ratio. The Bengals should be able to pass all over a Tennessee defense that is stout against the run, but ranks 25th against the pass in allowing 245.2 yards per game. They gave up 306 passing yards to the 49ers and 289 more to the Texans in two of their last three games down the stretch.
The Titans are a dangerous offense when they have Derrick Henry, AJ Brown and Julio Jones all healthy. Well, they haven't been healthy together for much of the season. But they are entering the playoffs as Henry is expected to make his return. And the Titans should be able to run all over a Cincinnati defense that ranks 17th in allowing 4.4 yards per carry.
But this Cincinnati defense just got even thinner and lost their best run stuffer in DT Larry Ogunjobi to a season-ending injury in the win over the Raiders last week. They will also be without DT Mike Daniels, and they could be without DE Trey Hendrickson and DT Josh Tupou, who are both questionable. The Titans should be able to run the football at will against this banged-up front seven, and that will set up big plays off play-action to Brown and Jones.
Tennessee is 13-2 OVER in its last 15 games after winning three of its last four games. The Titans are 6-0 OVER in their last six games after leading their previous game by 14 points or more at halftime. The OVER is 5-0 in Bengals last five games after allowing more than 350 yards in their previous game. The OVER is 5-1 in the last six meetings in Tennessee. Bet the OVER in this game Saturday.
|01-17-22||Cardinals v. Rams -4||11-34||Win||100||98 h 1 m||Show|
15* Cardinals/Rams ESPN ANNIHILATOR on Los Angeles -4
The Los Angeles Rams simply own the Arizona Cardinals, and Sean McVay owns Kliff Kingsbury. The Rams are 9-1 SU & 8-1-1 ATS in their last 10 meetings with the Cardinals with all nine wins coming by 7 points or more. The one loss came this season when the Rams were coming off a huge win over the defending Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Bucs the previous week and were in a letdown spot early in the season.
That was back when Arizona was playing well. The Cardinals have fallen flat on their faces since, and it has been yet another late-season collapse under Kingsbury. He has been knowing for this dating back to his time at Texas Tech, and as you can tell he is one of my least favorite head coaches in the NFL.
The Cardinals are just 1-4 SU & 1-4 ATS in their last five gams overall. That includs an upset loss to Seattle as a 5.5-point home favorite, an upset loss to a short-handed Colts team as a 3-point favorite, an upset loss at Detroit by 18 as 13-point favorites and an upset home loss to the Rams by 7 as 3-point favorites. The Rams made the proper adjustments in that 2nd meeting in a 30-23 win, and I trust McVay to have the right game plan to beat Arizona again.
It's not all Kingsbury's fault, though. Injuries have played a big factor as they have been without DeAndre Hopkins and JJ Watt. The defense has really taken a hit without Watt, and the offense is not close to how explosive it was when Hopkins was healthy. Both James Conner and Chase Edmunds are banged up going into the playoffs, as is WR Rondale Moore with two of those three questionable.
The Rams have finished the season strong by going 5-1 SU in their final six games. They won four of those five games by 7 points or more. The lone loss came in OT to the 49ers in Week 18, which was predictable as there was a lot more at stake for the 49ers than there was for the Rams, and the 49ers are one of the most underrated teams in the NFL. A big reason the Rams are playing so well down the stretch is because they are one of the healthiest teams in these playoffs, unlike Arizona.
Yards per play is one of the most important stats in predicting NFL games. The Rams are elite in this aspect, ranking 4th at 6.0 yards per play on offense and 10th at 5.2 yards per play allowed on defense. They are outgaining teams by 0.8 yards per play, which is one of the best marks in the league. The Cardinals are 18th at 5.4 yards per play allowed on defense and 15th at 5.6 yards per play on offense, only outgaining teams by 0.2 yards per play.
The Rams don't always have the biggest home-field advantage in the regular season, but it will be a much bigger advantage in these playoffs. Los Angeles is 10-2 ATS off a division game over the last two seasons. Kingsbury is 2-9 ATS when playing against a team with a winning record in the 2nd half of the season as the coach of Arizona. Arizona is 1-8 ATS vs. good offensive teams that average 350 or more yards per game in the 2nd half of the season over the last two seasons. Los Angeles is 11-4-1 ATS in its last 16 games following a loss. The Rams are 28-13-1 ATS in their last 42 vs. NFC opponents. Roll with the Rams Monday.
|01-16-22||Steelers v. Chiefs -12.5||21-42||Win||100||74 h 2 m||Show|
15* Steelers/Chiefs NBC Sunday Night BAILOUT on Kansas City -12.5
The Pittsburgh Steelers are gassed. They have played essentially six straight playoffs games. They beat the Ravens by 1, lost by 8 at the Vikings after trailing 23-0 at halftime, beat the Titans by 6 after trailing 10-0 at halftime, lost 10-36 at Kansas City after trailing 36-3, beat the Browns 26-14 on Monday Night Football and beat the Ravens 16-13 in OT last week.
Those wins over the Titans, Browns and Ravens all come with asterisks and they barely won all three. The Titans were missing AJ Brown and Julio Jones, the Browns had just been eliminated from playoff contention and it was Big Ben's final home game, and the Ravens were ravaged by injuries and playing with a backup QB. The Steelers are one of the worst playoff teams in recent memory. Give them credit for winning these games, but they're not very good. That's indicated by the fact that they have been outgained in seven of their last eight games overall.
Of course, the one blowout loss during this stretch came in that 10-36 road loss to the Chiefs. And keep in mind the Chiefs didn't have Travis Kelce plus Tyreke Hill was limited due to injury and only had two receptions for 19 yards. Now Kelce and Hill are both back healthy and this is going to be another blowout.
We saw the Chiefs crush the Raiders 41-14 on the road and come back home and beat the Raiders 48-9. Sometimes, it's just a bad matchup for the opponent like it is for the Raiders. And this is a terrible matchup for the Steelers. Big Ben is only good at checking the ball down with his weak arm and cannot match Patrick Mahomes score for score. In fact, Big Ben is averaging just 5.0 yards per attempt in his last six games.
This Kansas City offense has hit its stride down the stretch en route to going 9-1 SU in its last 10 games overall with its only loss coming at Cincinnati after blowing a double-digit lead. Unlike Big Ben, the Bengals have the firepower with Joe Burrow and company to match the Chiefs score for score. The Chiefs are averaging 35.4 points per game in their last five games.
This is an underrated Kansas City defense as well that has allowed 17 or fewer points in seven of their 10 games during this 9-1 run. The Chiefs are also the fresher team having played on Saturday last week while the Steelers played on Sunday. Again, the Steelers just don't have much left in the tank after going to overtime with the Ravens and playing so many tight playoff games here down the stretch. The Chiefs are one of the healthiest teams in these playoffs as well.
Double-digit favorites are a perfect 5-0 ATS in the wild card round since 2003. Pittsburgh is 1-7 ATS in its last eight games following an ATS win. The Steelers are 2-6-2 ATS in their last 10 playoff games. The Chiefs are 4-0 ATS in their last four home games. Pittsburgh is 2-5 ATS in its last seven trips to Kansas City. We get a playoff-motivated Chiefs team here that will dominate from pillar to post this weekend. Take the Chiefs Sunday.
|01-16-22||49ers +3 v. Cowboys||Top||23-17||Win||103||70 h 17 m||Show|
25* NFL Wild Card GAME OF THE YEAR on San Francisco 49ers +3
The San Francisco 49ers are one of the most underrated wild card teams in the history of the NFL. Their stats are elite, they are a lot healthier going into the playoffs than they were in the first half of the season, and they are a nightmare matchup for the Dallas Cowboys. They are also 7-2 SU in their last nine games overall, outgained both opponents they lost to, and have outgained eight of their last nine opponents during this streak.
The 49ers already have playoff experience because their Week 18 game was a playoff game as they had to win to get into the postseason. After trailing 17-0 in the first half, the 49ers stormed back and beat the Rams 27-24 (OT). They trailed by 7 with under two minutes remaining and no timeouts, and drove the field to tie it and force OT. They outgained the Rams by 184 yards and deserved to win. It's safe to say the 49ers come into the playoffs now with a ton of confidence feeling like they can win under any circumstance.
Yards per play is arguably the most important stat in the NFL, and the 49ers are elite on both offense and defense. Indeed, the 49ers rank 1st in the NFL at 6.1 yards per play on offense and 6th in the NFL at 5.1 yards per play allowed on defense. They are +1.0 yards per play, which is the second-best mark in the entire league behind the Buffalo Bills (+1.1 YPP).
While the 49ers are one of the most underrated playoffs teams, the Cowboys are one of the most overrated. It's a great time to 'sell high' on them after going 5-1 SU & 5-1 ATS in their last six games overall. Their five wins came against Washington (twice), Philadelphia's backups, a Giants team that has quit and a Saints team ravaged by COVID.
The loss came at home to the Arizona Cardinals 22-25 as 6.5-point favorites in which they were outgained by 98 yards. That's a fellow NFC West team. The Cowboys also have upset home losses to the Broncos as 10.5-point favorites and the Raiders as 7-point favorites in their last 10 games. They just can't be trusted to lay a number at home against a team as good as the 49ers.
The 49ers are expected to get LT Trent Williams back this week and he is one of the best tackles in the game. He helps a 49ers offensive line that ranks 1st in the NFL in run blocking according to pro football focus. Dallas ranks 22nd against the run according to pro football focus. That's why this is a nightmare matchup for the Cowboys. The 49ers will be able to run the ball and control the game. Jimmy G likes to throw the ball over the middle, which is Dallas' weakness against the pass whereas they are great at defending the pass outside the numbers.
Jimmy G will have Kittle and Deebo Samuel open across the middle when he needs to throw. These are two of the most underrated weapons in the game. Kittle has 71 receptions for 910 yards and six touchdowns this season in just 14 games. Samuel has 77 receptions, 1,405 yards and six scores while also rushing for 365 yards and eight touchdowns in 15 games. RB Elijah Mitchell (963 yards, 4.7 YPC, 5 TD) is also healthy now after playing in just 11 games this season.
The 49ers feel like they are free rolling after last week's comeback, while all the pressure is on the Cowboys to try and win a playoff game. Dallas is just 3-10 SU & 3-10 ATS in the playoffs dating back to 1996, including 1-6 SU & 1-6 ATS as favorites. The Cowboys are 1-8 ATS in their last nine games with a line of +3 to -3. The 49ers are 7-0 ATS in their last seven January games. San Francisco is 5-1 ATS in its last six games as an underdog. Dallas is 1-7 ATS in its last eight January games. Bet the 49ers Sunday.
|01-15-22||Patriots v. Bills -4||Top||17-47||Win||100||50 h 2 m||Show|
20* Patriots/Bills CBS Saturday Night BAILOUT on Buffalo -4
The Buffalo Bills have elite stats that would suggest they are the best team in the NFL. Yards per play is arguably the most important stat in handicapping NFL teams. Well, the Bills rank 1st in the NFL in allowing just 4.6 yards per play on defense and 14th in averaging 5.7 yards per play on offense. Their +1.1 YPP differential is the best mark in the entire NFL.
The Bills also average 28.4 points per game and 381.7 yards per game on offense and give up just 17.0 points per game and 272.8 yards per game on defense. They are outscoring teams by 11.4 points per game and outgaining them by 108.9 yards per game on the season. Simply put, they are an elite team and should be more than 4-point favorites over the Patriots.
The first meeting in Buffalo this season was fluky as it was hurricane winds and the Patriots won 14-10 while throwing the ball just three times. The Bills took that loss personally and have been a different team since. After losing 27-33 (OT) at Tampa Bay against the healthy defending champs at that time, they have since gone 4-0 SU & 3-0-1 ATS in their last four games while outgaining all four opponents, including the Jets by 371 yards last game in a misleading 27-10 win.
That also included a 33-21 win at New England in which they got their revenge and outgained the Patriots by 140 yards. Wind wasn't a factor in that game, and the Patriots had to try and do more than just run the ball. Josh Allen threw for 314 yards and three touchdowns in the win. Conversely, Mac Jones went just 14-of-32 passing for 145 yards with no touchdowns and two interceptions.
Jones is going to have to try and do more than he did in that first meeting in Buffalo. Yes, it will be cold, but winds will be in single-digits which favors the Bills drastically. The last rookie quarterback to win a playoff game was Russell Wilson clear back in 2012. Jones is still a rookie, and just because he plays for the Patriots doesn't mean he is going to overcome this trend.
The Patriots are reeling having gone 1-3 SU & 1-3 ATS in their last four games overall with their lone win coming against the Jaguars. Jones and the offense are a problem, but is a defense that has now allowed an average of 164 rushing yards per game in their last six games. The Bills have rushed for 161.8 yards per game in their last five games, so they can also run the ball at will on the Patriots if they so choose instead of relying on Allen's arm. They have so many ways to beat the Patriots and are better everywhere.
The Bills are legit Super Bowl contenders with their elite stats and playoff experience gained the last couple seasons. Last year, they made the AFC Championship Game. That's important because home teams coming off a loss in last year's conference championship are 44-8 SU & 34-16-2 ATS in their last 52 tries. The Bills are ready to take that next step, and the Patriots aren't good enough to do anything about is, especially with a rookie QB up against a veteran stud like Josh Allen.
Buffalo is 9-1 ATS in its last 10 games after allowing 99 or fewer rushing yards in two consecutive games. The Bills are 6-0 ATS in their last six games after outrushing their last opponent by 75 or more yards. Buffalo is 9-4-2 ATS in its last 15 home games. The Bills are 6-1-1 ATS in their last eight vs. AFC East opponents. Take the Bills Saturday.
|01-15-22||Raiders v. Bengals -5||Top||19-26||Win||100||46 h 18 m||Show|
20* Raiders/Bengals NFL Wild Card Opener on Cincinnati -5
The Cincinnati Bengals are rested and ready to pick up where they left off when they went 3-0 SU & 3-0 ATS in their three games prior to Week 18 to seal the AFC North title. They beat the Broncos 15-10 as 3-point road underdogs, the Ravens 41-21 as 7.5-point home favorites and the Chiefs 34-31 as 3.5-point home dogs to clinch the title.
The Bengals decided to rest their starters in a 16-21 loss at Cleveland in Week 18. That was a wise move by Zac Taylor, who is among the favorites to win Coach of the Year. Of course, franchise QB Joe Burrow was banged up against the Chiefs and Joe Mixon was out with COVID, so it was an easy decision. But now the Bengals come back fresh and primed for a big effort at home against the Raiders on Saturday.
Conversely, this couldn't be a worse spot for the Raiders. They had to win four straight games to close the season which were all basically playoff games. All four wins came by 4 points or less as they were simply good at winning coin flips. But they needed OT to beat the Chargers on Sunday Night Football, and now the NFL has done them no favors by making them play the first wild card game Saturday afternoon. They are gassed and have nothing left in the tank for the Bengals here.
The Raiders were in a similarly tough situation when they hosted the Bengals earlier this season. They were coming off a Sunday night game against the Chiefs and they had a Thursday game on deck against the Cowboys. Predictably, they fell flat and were crushed 32-13 by the Bengals in Las Vegas. I think they get crushed again here in what is actually an even worse spot for them.
The Raiders have the worst run defense of all the playoff teams according to pro football focus. Joe Mixon rushed for 123 yards and two scores against the Raiders in that first meeting. And you know Joe Burrow is going to have another great game as he has been on fire down the stretch and has that big game experience by leading LSU to a national title. This playoff atmosphere won't phase him.
Burrow threw for 525 yards and four touchdowns without a pick against the Ravens in Week 16 and followed it up with 446 yards and four scores without a pick against the Chiefs in Week 17. He now has an 11-to-0 TD/INT ratio in his last four games while completing at least 68% of his passes in all four games. He is probably the single-most underrated quarterback in the NFL right now.
Las Vegas is 1-12 ATS in its last 13 games off an upset win as a home underdog over a division opponent. The Raiders are 3-11 ATS in their last 14 games after allowing more than 30 points in their previous game. The Bengals are 5-1 ATS in their last six games vs. a team with a winning record. Cincinnati is 5-0 ATS in the last five meetings. Bet the Bengals Saturday.
|01-10-22||Georgia -135 v. Alabama||Top||33-18||Win||100||127 h 9 m||Show|
20* Alabama/Georgia Championship Game No-Brainer on Georgia ML -135
Let's start out by looking at this from a line value perspective. Georgia was nearly a touchdown favorite over Alabama in the SEC Championship Game. Now Georgia comes back as a 2.5 to 3-point favorite against Alabama in the rematch. So strictly from a line value perspective, the price is right to pull the trigger on Georgia.
We are getting Georgia cheap on the Money Line because there is a lot of money on the Alabama Money Line, so I have chosen that route instead of laying the -2.5 or -3. I fully expect them to win this game and have their revenge from the SEC Championship Game loss. The fact of the matter is Georgia has been the better team all season, and they are ready to get their Alabama monkey off their back.
I took Alabama +6.5 in the SEC Championship Game for a couple different reasons. But the main reason was that Alabama needed it like blood to get in the four-team playoff, while Georgia could lose and still get in. Simply put, Alabama wanted that game more and it showed on the field as they won outright.
It's a role reversal here. Now we are getting a max motivated Georgia team out for revenge and hungry for a National Championship. And when Georgia has been max motivated, they have rolled all season. Indeed, the Bulldogs have gone 13-0 SU & 9-4 ATS in their other 13 games this season. They are outscoring opponents by nearly 30 points per game on the season.
I was way more impressed with Georgia's 34-11 win over Michigan than I was with Alabama's 27-6 win over Cincinnati. That was a very good Michigan team, and the Bulldogs made them look like they didn't even belong on the field. Alabama was in a dog fight with Cincinnati midway through the 3rd quarter, while the Georgia game was decided by halftime as they took a 27-3 lead and coasted from there.
Alabama passed all over Georgia in the SEC Championship Game but it's not going to happen again. Kirby Smart will make the proper adjustments, and he won't have to deal with one of Alabama's best receivers in John Metchie this time around after he suffered a season-ending ACL tear. Metchie had six receptions for 97 yards and a score against Georgia in the first meeting. Now the Bulldogs can focus their attention on stopping Jameson Williams, who had 68 receptions for 1,445 yards and 15 touchdowns this season.
Metchie had 96 receptions for 1,142 yards and eight scores on the year and is a huge loss as he was Bryce Young's security blanket. Also, RG Emil Cyiyor Jr. and RT Chris Owens exited the win over Cincinnati with injuries and are questionable to play. They were already without C Darian Dalcourt and he's questionable to return as well. That's not good news for the Crimson Tide being up against the best defensive line in the country in the Bulldogs. Bet Georgia on the Money Line Monday.
|01-09-22||Saints -4 v. Falcons||Top||30-20||Win||100||149 h 14 m||Show|
20* NFL BLOWOUT GAME OF THE WEEK on New Orleans Saints -4
The New Orleans Saints are in must-win mode in Week 18 and actually have an excellent chance to make the playoffs. They just have to beat the Falcons and have the 49ers lose on the road to the Rams to get in. The 49ers are a decent-sized underdog to the Rams. But first things first, and that's handling their business against the Falcons.
This is a terrible spot for the Falcons. They were just eliminated from playoff contention with their 29-15 loss at Buffalo last week. There will be a hangover effect here, especially after blowing a 15-14 halftime lead and getting shutout after intermission. Of course they would like to keep the Saints out of the playoffs, but I can't see them being all that motivated to do so.
And the fact of the matter is the Falcons are one of the worst teams in the NFL and not good enough to do anything about it. They are getting outscored by 8.5 points per game on the season. The Falcons have been at their worst at home, going 1-5 SU & 0-6 ATS with their only win coming against Tim Boyle and the Lions two weeks ago. They were outgained by the Lions by 84 yards and should have lost that game.
The Saints are 3-1 SU & 3-1 ATS in their last four games overall. They have won every game that Taysom Hill has started here down the stretch with their only loss coming to the Dolphins when they were down to their 4th-string QB and missing a ton of players. In fact, the Saints are 8-3 when Jameis Winston or Hill starts this season, and 0-5 in all other games.
The Saints should be able to run on Atlanta with Hill, Kamara and company. The Falcons have now allowed 130 or more rushing yards in three straight games and an average of 175 rushing yards per game in their last three.
New Orleans has one of the best defenses in the NFL and should shut down this suspect Falcons offense. The Saints rank 4th in scoring defense while the Falcons are 27th in scoring offense. The Saints have held their last four opponents to an average of 9.8 points per game.
New Orleans is 8-0 ATS in its last eight road games vs. poor defensive teams that allow 5.65 or more yards per play in the second half of the season. The Saints are 37-14 ATS in their last 51 road games overall. New Orleans is 5-1 ATS in its last six trips to Atlanta. Bet the Saints Sunday.
|01-09-22||49ers +5.5 v. Rams||Top||27-24||Win||100||149 h 13 m||Show|
20* 49ers/Rams NFC West No-Brainer on San Francisco +5.5
The San Francisco 49ers are in must-win mode this weekend. They need to win to get into the playoffs or have the Saints lose to the Falcons. The Saints are 4-point favorites over the Falcons, so the 49ers don't want to rely on that. They want to handle their business here Sunday and win this game outright against the Los Angeles Rams.
The Rams have a lot less at stake. They just have seeding in the NFC on the line. I can't see them being max motivated here. Plus, the Rams have been fortunate to win their last two games against the Vikings and Ravens as Matthew Stafford has committed six turnovers. He isn't playing well, and he won't have much success against one of the best defenses in the NFL here.
Indeed, the 49ers not only have one of the best defenses in the NFL, but they are 3rd in the NFL in yards per play differential (+0.8 YPP). That is the sign of an elite team and one that is way better than their 9-7 record would indicate. The 49ers are led by a defense that ranks 4th in the NFL at 312.8 yards per game allowed. They are outgaining their opponents by nearly 60 yards per game on the season, which is better than the Rams mark of 40 yards per game.
Simply put, Kyle Shanahan owns his disciple Sean McVay. The 49ers have gone 5-0 SU & 4-1 ATS in the last five meetings with four outright wins as underdogs. That includes their 31-10 home win as 3.5-point underdogs in their first meeting this season. Stafford went 26 of 41 for 243 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions in that defeat.
The Rams are 0-6 ATS after having won four or five of their last six games this season. Los Angeles is 4-13 ATS in its last 17 games following two or more consecutive wins. The 49ers are 6-0 ATS in thier last six January games. The Rams are 1-4 ATS in their last five games vs. a team with a winning record.
Plays on road underdogs or PK (San Francisco) - after a game where they committed one or fewer turnovers against an opponent after two consecutive games with a turnover margin of -1 or worse are 37-8 (82.2%) ATS over the last five seasons. Take the 49ers Sunday.
|01-09-22||Bears +3.5 v. Vikings||17-31||Loss||-103||93 h 56 m||Show|
15* NFL Sunday UPSET SHOCKER on Chicago Bears +3.5
The Chicago Bears are quietly playing their best football of the season here down the stretch. They have won two in a row over the Seahawks as 7-point dogs and the Giants 29-3 as 7-point favorites with two different quarterbacks. It hasn't mattered who is under center for them because their defense has been elite.
The Bears have now outgained six of their last eight opponents all by 54 yards or more. The only exceptions were when they were outgained by 92 yards at Green Bay and by 14 yards at Seattle. The Bears have the 5th-ranked unit in total defense at 315.8 yards per game allowed.
Chicago wants revenge from a 9-17 home loss to the Vikings in which they deserved to win on December 20th. They had 370 total yards and held the Vikings to just 193 yards, outgaining them by 177 yards. But they failed time and time again in the red zone. They haven't forgotten, and I like their chances of winning this game outright let alone covering this spread Sunday as they get their revenge.
This is a terrible spot for the Vikings. They were just eliminated from playoff contention with their emphatic 37-10 loss at Green Bay last week. Their defense was shredded for 481 total yards and they were without Kirk Cousins due to COVID. I just can't see them being able to get back up off the mat in time to face the Bears. They won't care about this game nearly as much as they are leading on in the media. The Bears will show up just as they have every week here down the stretch.
Plays against home teams (Minnesota) - off a road loss, a marginal losing team (40% to 49%) playing a bad team (25% to 40%) are 60-22 (73.2%) ATS since 1983. The Vikings are 3-8 ATS in their last 11 home games. Minnesota is 1-7 ATS in its last eight games vs. a team with a losing record. Roll with the Bears Sunday.
|01-08-22||Cowboys v. Eagles OVER 43||Top||51-26||Win||100||32 h 44 m||Show|
20* Cowboys/Eagles NFC East No-Brainer on OVER 43
The Dallas Cowboys are playing to win this game to try and improve their seeding in the NFC and sharpen up following a home loss to the Cardinals last week. Their offense is mostly healthy and should put up plenty of points on this Philadelphia Eagles defense to get the OVER.
It's uncertain what the Eagles are going to do. The good news is that they have one of the best backup quarterbacks in the NFL in Gardner Minshew if they decide to bench Jalen Hurts. He is a gun slinger and will be trying to win this game no matter what, so the Eagles should be able to do their part on offense as well.
This Dallas defense is going to be missing some key players including Micah Parsons and possibly Trevon Diggs. Those are not only their two best defensive players, but two of the best defensive players in the NFL this season. The Eagles have all kinds of COVID questions and it's going to hurt their defense more than their offense if players cannot go.
Dallas is scoring 31.0 points per game in its last six games overall. Philadelphia has scored at least 20 points in 13 of its last 14 games overall. If the Eagles get to 20 in this game, this should get OVER the total, and I think they will. It will be 28 degrees in Philadelphia Saturday but only 3 MPH winds, so scoring conditions will be just fine.
Dallas beat Philadelphia 41-21 in their first meeting this season for 62 combined points. They also combined for 54 points in their final meeting last season. This total is just way too low Saturday knowing that the Cowboys are playing to try to win, while Philadelphia will be just fine on offense with Minshew if it comes down to it. Bet the OVER in this game Saturday.
|01-04-22||LSU v. Kansas State -3.5||20-42||Win||100||116 h 57 m||Show|
15* LSU/Kansas State Texas Bowl ANNIHILATOR on Kansas State -3.5
The Kansas State Wildcats clearly want to be playing in the Texas Bowl. They have everyone available for this game including QB Skylar Thompson, who has been out since November 20th in a loss to Baylor. Thompson means everything to their offense as he is a huge upgrade over backup Will Howard, who completed only 54.5% of his passes in Thompson's absence.
Indeed, Thompson is the leader of this team, and he is also a great player as well. Thompson is completing 68.8% of his passes with a 9-to-4 TD/INT ratio this season, while also scoring four touchdowns on the ground. He'll be supported by one of the best defenses in the Big 12 that gives up just 21.1 points per game on the season.
LSU got the big 27-24 upset win over Texas A&M in their regular season finale to send Ed Orgeron out a winner. But now Brian Kelly will be taking his place, and this is a program in transition heading into their bowl game. Offensive line coach Brad Davis will serve as the interim coach, and he is having to deal with a ton of opt-outs and transfers.
LSU will be without QB Max Johnson among others. That's a huge blow as Johnson had a 27-to-6 TD/INT ratio this season. The only scholarship quarterback left on the roster is Garrett Nussmeier, a true freshman who appeared in four games and completed just 50.9% of his passes. LSU is still trying to get a redshirt for him. I just think this team is distracted as a whole right now and doesn't want to be here nearly as bad as the Wildcats, and motivation is everything in bowl games.
Kansas State is 39-16-2 ATS in its last 57 games following an ATS loss. The Wildcats are 4-1 ATS in their last five neutral site games as a favorite. Kansas State is 8-1 ATS in its last nine games after going under the total in two or more consecutive games. Bet Kansas State Tuesday.
|01-03-22||Browns v. Steelers +3.5||Top||14-26||Win||100||48 h 5 m||Show|
20* Browns/Steelers ESPN No-Brainer on Pittsburgh +3.5
Ben Roethlisberger has hinted that this will be his final home game. He would love nothing more than to beat the Cleveland Browns one last time and continue his dominance of them. Big Ben is 25-2-1 all-time against the Browns straight up. And we are getting 3.5 points with him and the Steelers at home here where they can still lose by 3 and cover.
This line doesn't make a whole lot of sense. Cleveland was a 5.5-point closing favorite in the first meeting, losing 15-10 outright to the Steelers at home. Now they are a 3.5-point road favorite and after taking a ton of money already this week as Pittsburgh actually opened the favorite. This despite the Steelers being one of the healthiest teams in the NFL.
Admittedly, the Browns are getting healthier this week and are probably the better team on a neutral. But this line has shifted too much in their direction. Baker Mayfield cannot be trusted as he threw four interceptions against the Packers last week and has been terrible all season as he has battled through injury. I trust Big Ben more, and I trust that it will be a raucous atmosphere for his final home game and his players will have his back as they are fighting for their playoff lives right now.
There's actually a chance the Browns will be eliminated from division contention even before they play this game, which would take the wind out of their sails. They sit at 7-8 this season and in last place in the division. I think there's a good chance Cincinnati (8-7) or Baltimore (8-7) pull the upset this week in their respective games. And Pittsburgh is going to be alive for the division title no matter what happens on Sunday before this game is played.
The Browns haven't won any of their last six games by more than 3 points. Cleveland is 0-7 ATS in its last seven games following a road loss. The Browns are 2-9 ATS in their last 11 division games. Pittsburgh is 33-16-2 ATS in its last 51 games as an underdog. The Steelers are 18-6-2 ATS in their last 26 games as home underdogs. Pittsburgh is 19-0 SU in its last 19 Monday Night Football home games with its last loss in 1991! Bet the Steelers Monday.
Note: The Browns did get eliminated from playoff contention on Sunday which is why this line has moved from Cleveland -3.5 to +2.5. I would still take the Steelers as a 15* play at -2.5. Glad we got in early at +3.5 and beat this line move!
|01-02-22||Lions +7 v. Seahawks||Top||29-51||Loss||-101||99 h 43 m||Show|
20* NFL DOG OF THE WEEK on Detroit Lions +7
I faded the Seahawks with success last week as the Bears won outright as 7-point underdogs at Seattle. I'm fading the Seahawks again for a number of the same reasons this week. They are 5-10 this season and will finish with a losing record for the first time with Russell Wilson. Seattle won't be going to the playoffs, and they are simply playing out the string now with zero motivation. They can't be laying 7 points to the Detroit Lions given their lack of motivation.
The Seahawks are one of the worst teams in the NFL as it is. They rank 31st in total defense at 385.5 yards per game allowed. They are 29th in total offense at 305.2 yards per game. They are getting outgained by over 80 yards per game, which is one of the worst marks in the NFL this season.
The Lions continue to fight every week. They were without Jared Goff last week and covered in a 16-20 road loss to the Atlanta Falcons as 7-point dogs. They actually outgained the Falcons by 84 yards and should have won. There was a chance they would get Goff back this week, but even without him they'll be able to run the football as they have a healthy De'Andre Swift back at RB.
The Lions are much better than their 2-12-1 record and continue to show up every week for Dan Campbell. They have quietly gone 6-1 ATS in their last seven games overall. They have only lost once by more than 4 points during this run.
The Lions have rushed for at least 100 yards in six of their last seven games. They have one of the best offensive lines and rushing attacks in the NFL. You can definitely run on the Seahawks as they give up 115 rushing yards per game. Detroit's defense is good enough to keep them in this game as well. They have allowed 20 or fewer points in five of their last seven games overall.
Plays against home favorites of 3.5 to 10 points (Seattle) - after a game where they forced no turnovers against an opponent after two consecutive games where they committed one or fewer turnovers are 44-15 (74.6%) ATS over the last 10 seasons. The Lions will show up this week, and I don't think the same can be said for the Seahawks. Bet the Lions Sunday.
|01-02-22||Bucs v. Jets OVER 45.5||28-24||Win||100||17 h 55 m||Show|
15* NFL Sunday Total DOMINATOR on Bucs/Jets OVER 45.5
The Tampa Bay Bucs should get Mike Evans back this week. They have been scoring at will regardless of who has been in the lineup. The Bucs have scored 30 or more points in five of their last six games overall. They should get to 30 here to help pave the way for us cashing this OVER.
The Jets have one of the worst defenses in the NFL. They rank 32nd in scoring defense at 29.9 points per game and 32nd in total defense at 391.3 yards per game. They are 31st against the run at 141.3 yards per game and 28th against the pass at 250.0 yards per game. The Bucs are going to be able to name their number on the Jets.
New York has shown some life on offense in recent weeks in scoring 26 points against the Jaguars and 24 against the Dolphins. They should do their part to get this OVER against a Tampa Bay defense that will be missing several key players this week. They have three cornerbacks either questionable or doubtful. They will for sure be without two of their best pass rushers in Shaq Barrett and Jason Pierre-Paul as well.
Bruce Arians is 8-1 OVER after allowing 14 points or less last game as the coach of Tampa Bay. Arians is 16-4 OVER in road games following two or more consecutive unders in all games as a head coach. Tampa Bay is 6-0 OVER in its last six games following a double-digit road win. The OVER is 20-5-1 in Bucs last 26 games after allowing less than 15 points in their previous game. The OVER is 9-3 in Jets last 12 games overall. Take the OVER in this game Sunday.
|01-02-22||Eagles -4.5 v. Washington Football Team||20-16||Loss||-106||17 h 55 m||Show|
15* NFL Sunday No-Doubt Rout on Philadelphia Eagles -4.5
The Philadelphia Eagles are one of the hottest teams in the NFL. They have gone 5-1 SU & 4-1-1 ATS in their last six games overall to get to 8-7 on the season and knocking on the door of making the playoffs. They have a lot to play for right now and that motivation is a big reason I am backing them as short road favorites over Washington this week.
Philadelphia is very close to being on a 6-0 run. Its only loss came when it committed four turnovers against the Giants on the road in a 7-13 loss, losing the turnover battle 4-0. They avenged that loss last week in a 34-10 home win over the Giants. They also beat the Broncos by 17, the Saints by 11, the Jets by 15 and Washington by 10 during this run so all five wins have been by double-digits.
Philadelphia was a 10-point home favortie against Washington two weeks ago in that 27-17 win that was even more dominant than the final score showed. They racked up 519 total yards on Washington and outgained them by 282 yards. They should be more than 4.5-point favorites in the rematch, a 5.5-point adjustment down.
Washington has zero home-field advantage right now because they are 6-9 on the season and eliminated from playoff contention. They had the wind knocked out of their sails by the Eagles two weeks ago, and that showed last week as they came back and got blown out 56-14 by the Cowboys. They gave up 505 more yards to the Cowboys and were outgained by 240 yards. They were seen fighting on the sidelines. This team just wants the season to be over right now.
While the Eagles are one of the healthiest teams in the NFL right now, the Football Team has a ton of injuries and COVID issues which is a big reason they have struggled so badly of late. They will be without RB Antonio Gibson among several others this week against the Eagles. I just don't see them showing up this week, and even if they do they aren't good enough to hang with Philadelphia.
Washington is 3-13 ATS in its last 16 games following a loss by 10 points or more. The Football Team is 8-21-1 ATS in their last 30 games following a loss. The Eagles are 6-2-1 ATS in the last nine meetings.
Plays on favorites (Philadelphia) - an average defensive team (18 to 23 PPG) against a bad defensive team (27 PPG or more), after scoring 30 points or more last game are 25-6 (80.6%) ATS over the last five seasons. Roll with the Eagles Sunday.
|01-02-22||Chiefs v. Bengals OVER 50.5||Top||31-34||Win||100||17 h 54 m||Show|
20* Chiefs/Bengals AFC No-Brainer on OVER 50.5
Expect a shootout between two of the best offenses in the NFL that boast two of the best quarterbacks in the NFL in Patrick Mahomes and Joe Burrow. These are two of the healthiest offenses in the NFL right now, which is why they are both humming.
Both teams have all of their key playmakers on offense as Travis Kelce returns for the Chiefs this week. Kansas City has now scored 39.3 points per game in its last three games as it has entered playoff mode trying to get that all-important top seed in the AFC and a first-round bye. They won't be holding anything back on offense this week.
Burrow is coming off a franchise-record 525 passing yards against the Baltimore Ravens last week in leading the Bengals to a 41-21 victory. He is going to have to be on top of his game to try and match Mahomes and company score for score, and I think he'll be up to the test in a shootout.
The Chiefs have benefited from playing a lot of terrible offenses lately. The one exception was the Chargers, who had 28 points and 428 total yards against them even though they came with zero points three times inside the Kansas City 5-yard line. The Bengals have a ton of injuries on defense right now that are going to make them soft as butter and give them almost zero chance to slow down the Chiefs.
The OVER is 5-1 in Chiefs last six January games. The OVER is 4-1 in Chiefs last five vs. AFC opponents. The OVER is 7-0 in Bengals last seven January games. The OVER is 4-1 in Bengals last five home games. The OVER is 5-0 in Bengals last five games following a win. Bet the OVER in this game Sunday.
|01-01-22||Baylor v. Ole Miss -120||21-7||Loss||-120||44 h 42 m||Show|
15* Baylor/Ole Miss Sugar Bowl BAILOUT on Ole Miss ML -120
You just have to love Ole Miss QB Matt Corral. He has decided to play in this game despite the likelihood that he could be the top QB drafted in the NFL this spring. He is a gamer, and he played through injury at the end of the season. Corral should be has healthy as he has been in a long time and ready to put on a showcase for NFL scouts against Baylor in the Sugar Bowl.
"It never crossed my mind to sit out the game," Corral said. "I'm healthy, I'm going to give these guys everything I got til it's over." I think having that continuity, plus Lane Kiffin returning next season gives the Rebels huge motivation heading into this game. DE Sam Williams, who set a school record with 12.5 sacks, will also play for Ole Miss, which has no opt-outs for the New Orleans classic.
Corral leads a Ole Miss offense that is 4th in the country at 506.6 yards per game and scores 35.9 points per game. Corral is completing 68.3% of his passes for 3,333 yards with a 20-to-4 TD/INT ratio, while also rushing for 597 yards and 11 scores. He will be the best player on the field by far. And he'll be supported by an underrated Ole Miss defense that gave up 25.0 points per game this season despite the offense playing at such a fast tempo.
Baylor's season is a success no matter what happens in this game. They pulled off the shocking 21-16 upset of Oklahoma State in the Big 12 Championship after getting goal-line stand in the final seconds. They won that game despite gaining just 242 yards on offense and getting outgained by 91 yards. They benefitted from four Oklahoma State turnovers. They had barely beaten a bad Texas Tech team 27-24 at home as 14-point favorites the week prior. Their luck runs out in the Sugar Bowl against this better Ole Miss team.
Ole Miss is 12-2 SU & 11-2-1 ATS in its last 14 bowl games. Baylor is 5-12-1 ATS in its last 18 non-conference games. Ole Miss is 7-0-1 ATS in its last eight neutral site games as a favorite. The Rebels are 5-1 ATS in their last six games vs. a team with a winning record. Ole Miss is 5-0-1 ATS in its last six non-conference games. Take Ole Miss Saturday.
|01-01-22||Utah +4.5 v. Ohio State||Top||45-48||Win||100||75 h 28 m||Show|
20* Utah/Ohio State Rose Bowl No-Brainer on Utah +4.5
I don't think Ohio State is going to be that motivated even though the Rose Bowl is a New Year's 6 game. They had won eight straight games and looked destined to make the four-team playoff. But a loss to Michigan in the regular season finale cost them a trip to the Big Ten Championship where they would have throttled Iowa just as Michigan did.
Now the Buckeyes have had a ton of opt-outs, which is why this line has dropped. But it hasn't dropped enough as Utah should be favored given their motivational advantage and all the players the Buckeyes will be missing.
They will be without their top two receivers in Chris Olave and Garrett Wilson, who combined for 135 receptions, nearly 2,000 yards and 25 touchdowns. They will also be without DT Haskell Garrett and OT Nicholas Petit-Frere, fellow projected top picks alongside Olave and Wilson. So they will be without four of their best players.
Utah will be playing in its first Rose Bowl since joining the Pac-12 in 2011, so you know they will be motivated. The Utes are also one of the hottest teams in the nation having won six straight and nine of their past 10 games. They throttled Oregon twice by 31 and 28 points, the same Oregon team that went on the road and beat Ohio State earlier this season.
Utah limited four of its last five opponents to 13 points or fewer. QB Cameron Rising has given the offense a huge boost since taking over for Charlie Brewer. He has thrown for 2,279 yards with an 18-to-5 TD/INT ratio. His dual-threat ability has made this offense more dynamic as he has rushed for 407 yards and five scores while averaging 6.5 per carry.
Kyle Whittingham is 11-3 in bowl games and one of the best bowl coaches ever. He will have the Utes ready for this game, and they are expected to have a big home-field advantage with thousands of fans making the trip to Pasadena. I don't think the same can be said for the Buckeyes and head coach Ryan Day with all of these opt-outs. Utah likely wins this game outright.
Utah is 7-0 ATS in its last seven games vs. excellent passing teams with a completion percentage of 62% or better. The Utes are 47-22-2 ATS in their last 71 games as underdogs. The Buckeyes are 1-4 ATS in their last five games following a loss. Ohio State is 1-4 ATS in its last five neutral site games. Roll with Utah Saturday.
|01-01-22||Oklahoma State v. Notre Dame -1.5||Top||37-35||Loss||-110||572 h 42 m||Show|
25* New Year's 6 Bowl GAME OF THE YEAR on Notre Dame -1.5
Notre Dame is happy to be playing in the Fiesta Bowl. The Fighting Irish lost early in the season to Cincinnati in a bad spot where the Bearcats were coming off a bye while Notre Dame was coming off a physical game against Wisconsin in an impressive 41-13 win. So that head-to-head loss to Cincinnati was likely going to keep them out of the playoff anyway.
Oklahoma State, on the other hand, had a legit shot to make the four-team playoff. But they came up a yard short as they just couldn't score from the 1-yard line late in a 16-21 upset loss to Baylor in the Big 12 Championship Game. This is actually a letdown for them having to play in the Fiesta Bowl when they could be in the four-team playoff instead.
The Fighting Irish have rallied around new head coach Marcus Freeman and offensive coordinator Tommy Reese. These two will lead this program for years to come after Brian Kelly left for LSU. You can tell the players love these two guys, and they'll show up for their coaches and play their hearts out in the Fiesta Bowl.
The key to beating Oklahoma State is to force Spencer Sanders to try and throw the football. He's a terrible passer and their passing game is the biggest weakness in this matchup. Notre Dame only allows 3.7 yards per carry and 127 rushing yards per game, so it's going to be tough sledding for this Cowboys offense. Sanders has a 16-to-12 TD/INT ratio on the season and is a turnover machine. His turnovers will be the difference in this game.
Jack Coan protects the football and has had a big season for the Fighting Irish. He is completing 67.6% of his passes with a 20-to-5 TD/INT ratio on the season. The Fighting Irish will be without leading rusher Kyren Williams, but he only averaged 4.9 yards per carry this season. I don't think his loss is as big as it is being made out to be. The fact of the matter is the Fighting Irish have the better talent across the board.
The Fighting Irish are 7-0 SU & 7-0 ATS in their last seven games overall with six straight wins by double-digits coming in. Notre Dame is 10-0 ATS in its last 10 games after winning six or seven of its last eight games. The Fighting Irish are 18-7-1 ATS in their last 26 games vs. a team with a winning record. Bet Notre Dame Saturday.
|12-31-21||Georgia v. Michigan +8||Top||34-11||Loss||-115||236 h 19 m||Show|
20* Georgia/Michigan Orange Bowl No-Brainer on Michigan +8
The Michigan Wolverines have been one of the most underrated teams in the country all season. They have gone 12-1 SU & 11-2 ATS this season while outgaining their opponents by 136 yards per game and 1.8 yards per play. They remain undervalued as 8-point underdogs to Georgia in the Orange Bowl.
Not only did Michigan finally get that monkey off their back with their first win over Ohio State (42-27) under Jim Harbaugh, but they avoided the letdown the next week and crushed Iowa 42-3 in the Big Ten Championship. That let me know this team is serious about winning a national title, and they will be playing with a chip on their shoulder as this big of an underdog to Georgia.
The Big Ten was clearly the stronger of these two conferences and that has played out in the bowl games up to this point. Georgia faced a much easier schedule than Michigan this season. After opening 12-0 against a suspect schedule, the Bulldogs finally stepped up in class and were blasted 41-24 by Alabama while allowing 536 total yards. They were barely punished at all by oddsmakers for that loss as they remain overvalued here laying more than a touchdown to a Michigan team that is every bit as good as Alabama.
Both teams like to run the football and both teams are great at stopping the run. The weakness of both teams is their QB play, but I think it's actually more of an issue for Georgia than it is for Michigan. Cade McNamara has completed 65% of his passes with a 15-to-4 TD/INT ratio on the season. Stetson Bennett is great at playing from ahead but we saw how bad he was when he had to try to play from behind against Alabama. Bet Michigan Friday.
|12-31-21||Cincinnati +13.5 v. Alabama||6-27||Loss||-110||63 h 2 m||Show|
15* Alabama/Cincinnati Cotton Bowl ANNIHILATOR on Cincinnati +13.5
The SEC is getting too much respect in these bowl games, and that includes Alabama. The Crimson Tide are getting a ton of respect after beating Georgia 41-24 in the SEC Championship Game. Alabama was in must-win mode while Georgia didn't need the win to make the four-team playoff, which is why I was on Alabama in that game.
But now the Crimson Tide come back as nearly two-touchdown favorites against a Cincinnati team that has earned the right to be in the four-team playoff. And I think they'll put up a much better fight than some of these other Power 5 teams have against Alabama in the past. The Bearcats played their best football of the season down the stretch with the pressure on.
Indeed, they went 3-0 SU & 3-0 ATS in their final three games overall. Many thought they would get a test from SMU, but they throttled the Mustangs 48-14 and outgained them by 345 yards. They went on to cover in a 35-13 win at East Carolina as a 14.5-point favorite and a 35-20 home win over Houston as a 10.5-point favorite in the AAC Championship. They also beat Notre Dame on the road 24-13 earlier this season to prove they could play with the big boys.
Cincinnati has a championship-level defense that can keep them in this game for four quarters. They allow just 16.1 points, 305 yards per game and 4.3 yards per play. They have a veteran dual-threat QB in Desmond Ridder who doesn't make mistakes. Ridder has a 30-to-8 TD/INT ratio this season and has rushed for 361 yards and six scores. Alabama's kryptonite has been dual-threat quarterbacks in the past. Think of Deshaun Watson of Clemson and Johnny Manziel and a few others at Texas A&M.
Cincinnati is 8-0 ATS in its last eight games after allowing 100 or fewer rushing yards last game. The Bearcats are 9-1 ATS in their last 10 games when playing against a team with better than a 75% winning percentage. Cincinnati is 9-1 ATS in its last 10 games vs. good teams that outscore their opponents by 10-plus points per game. Take Cincinnati Friday.
|12-30-21||Arizona State v. Wisconsin -6||13-20||Win||100||46 h 16 m||Show|
15* ASU/Wisconsin Las Vegas Bowl BAILOUT on Wisconsin -6
Wisconsin is one of the most underrated bowl teams this season. Their 8-4 record doesn't show how good this team really was this season. And their upset loss to Minnesota in the finale has them pissed off and undervalued coming into this Las Vegas Bowl against Arizona State.
"Obviously, the regular season didn't end the way we would've liked it," Wisconsin coach Paul Chryst said. "But I go back to the fact that this group truly does enjoy each other. They care about each other, and we've got one game that we can play and one more opportunity. I think for all those reasons, it means a lot to them."
The Badgers led the nation in total defense at 240.8 yards per game and were 6th in scoring defense at 16.4 points per game. This is the best unit on the field and it's not close. The Badgers outgained their opponents by 136 yards per game and 1.4 yards per play on the season. That is the sign of an elite team.
Arizona State's suspect offense is going to struggle to do anything against this Wisconsin defense. QB Jayden Daniels was a big disappointment this season accounting for only 16 total touchdowns. He had a 10-to-9 TD/INT ratio through the air. The Sun Devils rely heavily on the run to move the football as they average more rushing yards than passing. That isn't going to work against a Wisconsin defense that gives up just 66 rushing yards per game and 2.2 per carry.
Making matters worse for this ASU offense is that they will be without their best playmaker on offense and each of their top two rushers. They will be without RB Rachaad White and his 1,006 rushing yards and 15 touchdowns, and backup RB DeaMonte Trayanum and his 402 rushing yards and six scores. Defensively, they will be without their top two cornerbacks in Chase Lucas and Jack Jones as they opted out to get ready for the NFL Draft. Meanwhile, Wisconsin should have all hands on deck as they have no opt-outs up to this point.
Wisconsin is 6-1 SU & 6-1 ATS in its last seven bowl games. The Sun Devils are 3-8 ATS in their last 11 bowl games. Arizona State is 0-7 ATS in its last seven games after allowing 100 or fewer rushing yards last game. The Sun Devils are 2-7 ATS in their last nine non-conference games. I'll gladly side with the Big Ten over the Pac-12 in almost any bowl game blindly, but this one checks all the boxes for sure. Take Wisconsin in the Las Vegas Bowl Thursday.
|12-30-21||Purdue v. Tennessee -5.5||Top||48-45||Loss||-117||39 h 47 m||Show|
20* Purdue/Tennessee Music City Bowl No-Brainer on Tennessee -5.5
Tennessee is excited to be playing in a bowl game in the first season under Josh Heupel. They will be well-represented in Nashville in the Music City Bowl, so it will be a nice home-field advantage for them. And I expect a big effort for the Volunteers, who have won four straight bowl games coming in.
All five of Tennessee's losses came against teams that are now ranked or were ranked at the time they played them. Their only losses came to Pittsburgh (by 7), Florida, Ole Miss (by 5), Alabama and Georgia. They have been through the gauntlet and their numbers are very impressive.
Tennessee puts up 38.8 points per game, 458.6 yards per game and 6.5 yards per play on offense. Hendon Hooker is one of the most underrated quarterbacks in the country with a 69% completion percentage and a 26-to-3 TD/INT ratio to go along with 561 rushing yards and five scores. Their defense is very underrated as they give up just 5.2 yards per play, outgaining teams by 1.3 yards per play on the season.
Purdue had a great season and would give Tennessee a run for its money at full strength. But the fact of the matter is the Volunteers are nowhere near full strength. They will be missing their best player on offense and their best player on defense. WR David Bell is sitting out after finishing with 93 receptions for 1,286 yards and six touchdowns this season. DE George Karlafitis is also opting out as he will likely be a TOp 5 pick in the NFL Draft.
If being without Bell and Karlafitis wasn't enough, the Boilermakers will also be without offensive lineman Greg Long, CB Dedrick Mackey and WR Milton Wright. The Wright loss is even bigger due to the loss of Bell. Wright was their second-leading receiver with 57 receptions for 732 yards and seven touchdowns. So that's 150 receptions, 2,018 yards and 13 touchdowns combined between them gone. They already have a weak offense, and they will have a hard time keeping up with Tennessee without these guys. Bet Tennessee in the Music City Bowl Thursday.
|12-29-21||Iowa State v. Clemson -2||13-20||Win||100||6 h 37 m||Show|
15* Iowa State/Clemson Cheez-It Bowl Line Mistake on Clemson -2
Iowa State is going to be without one of the best players in the country in RB Breece Hall. He had nearly 1,800 scrimmage yards and 23 touchdowns while leading the nation in scoring. Clemson's stout defensive line won't have to respect the play-action, which is going to be a problem for QB Brock Purdy and this suspect Iowa State offensive line. Clemson had 24 sacks in their last five games, while Iowa State went 0-5 ATS in games they allowed multiple sacks this season.
But the hits have kept coming for the Cyclones. They will be without Co-Big 12 Defensive Freshman of the Year Isheem Young, who is fourth in tackles and led the team in interceptions and was second in forced fumbles. They will be without CB Kym-Mani King and LB Aric Horne. And I added this pick on game day because I read that WR Xavier Hutchinson and LB Mike Rose will likely also be out. So it sounds like they'll be without their top RB, top WR, best defensive player in Rose, his backup, their starting safety, starting corner and starting center.
Clemson played up to its potential down the stretch in going 5-0 SU & 4-1 ATS this season with those 24 sacks. Their defense is one of the best in the country and the best unit on the field, which is why they should win this game. Their offense scored at least 30 points in all five wins down the stretch. They simply have the better athletes on the field, and I don't give the Cyclones much of a chance with all they'll be missing.
Iowa State struggled when they stepped up in class this season losing to Iowa, Baylor and Oklahoma as well as upset losses to West Virginia and Texas Tech. They underachieved based on expectations, and they simply weren't that good. The Tigers are 10-3 ATS in their last 13 bowl games. Clemson is 14-2 ATS in its last 16 December games. The Cyclones are 1-6 ATS in their last seven neutral site games, including 0-5 ATS in their last five neutral site games as underdogs. Take Clemson Wednesday.
|12-29-21||Maryland -3.5 v. Virginia Tech||Top||54-10||Win||100||15 h 56 m||Show|
20* Maryland/VA Tech ESPN Early ANNIHILATOR on Maryland -3.5
The Maryland Terrapins were sitting at 5-6 and facing 5-6 Rutgers with the winning getting a chance to go to a bowl game. The Terrapins won that game 40-16 in dominant fashion while outgaining the Scarlet Knights by 238 yards behind 575 total yards of offense against a good Rutgers defense.
It's safe to say that Maryland wants to be playing in this bowl game. The Terrapins haven't been to a bowl game since 2016 and haven't won one since 2010. They haven't had any key opt-outs, and this young team will relish this opportunity, as will head coach Mike Locksley.
The same cannot be said for Virginia Tech. This is a program in flux now after head coach Justin Fuente was fired on November 16th. Penn State defensive coordinator Brent Pry has been hired to replace Fuente, leaving J.C. Price as the interim coach to finish out this season.
The Hokies have been hit hard by opt-outs as they will be missing seven starters. They will be without QB Braxton Burmeister, wide receivers Tre Turner and Tayvion Robinson, cornerback Jermaine Waller, defensive end Amare Barno, NT Jordan Williams and OG Lecitus Smith.
Turner and Robinson were Virginia Tech's top two receivers, combining for 84 receptions, 1,234 yards and eight touchdowns. Robinson was also the punt returner. Burmeister entered the transfer portal as well. He threw for 14 touchdowns and four interceptions while also rushing for 521 yards and two scores.
Maryland played the 17th-toughest schedule in the country this season and actually outgained its opponents by 24 yards per game. Virginia Tech played the 65th-ranked schedule and was actually outgained by 14 yards per game. So the Terrapins were the better of these two teams even before all the opt-outs and distractions for the Hokies. They should be much more than a 3.5-point favorite given the circumstances.
Plays on favorites of 3.5 to 10 points (Maryland) - off an upset win as a road underdog against n opponent that is off a road win are 41-17 (70.7%) ATS since 1992. Virginia Tech is 1-8 ATS following a win over the last two seasons. The Terrapins are 5-1 ATS in their last six non-conference games. Bet Maryland in the Pinstripe Bowl Wednesday.
|12-28-21||Louisville v. Air Force +1||Top||28-31||Win||100||8 h 23 m||Show|
20* Louisville/Air Force First Responder Bowl No-Brainer on Air Force +1
Air Force went 9-3 this year and was very close to a perfect 12-0 season. All three losses were one-score games and by a combined 17 points. The Falcons should not be underdogs to this 6-6 Louisville team that didn't beat a single team with a winning record this season.
Air Force leads the country with 341.4 rushing yards per game. They should have success on the ground against a Louisville defense that allows 157 rushing yards per game and 4.5 yards per carry. They haven't faced a rushing attack as potent as Air Force. The only one they did face that was close was Kentucky, and they allowed 362 rushing yards in a 52-21 loss in the regular season finale against the Wildcats.
While this Air Force rushing attack is potent, the defense has almost been more impressive. The Falcons rank 5th in the country in allowing just 288.8 total yards per game. They are 7th against the run at 95.6 yards per game and 20th against the pass at 193.3 yards per game. This is a below-average Louisville defense that ranks 84th at 402.5 yards per game allowed this season.
Air Force went 5-1 SU & 5-1 ATS in road games this season. Louisville is 0-7 ATS in its last seven road games off a home loss by 14 points or more. The Falcons are 6-0 ATS after gaining 350 or more rushing yards last game this season. Air Force is 20-6 ATS in its last 26 games following a win by more than 20 points. The Falcons are 23-9 ATS in their last 32 non-conference games. The Cardinals are 11-27-1 ATS in their last 39 games vs. a team with a winning record. Louisville is 7-15-1 ATS in its last 23 non-conference games. Bet Air Force in the First Responder Bowl Tuesday.
|12-27-21||Dolphins -2.5 v. Saints||Top||20-3||Win||100||55 h 49 m||Show|
20* Dolphins/Saints ESPN No-Brainer on Miami -2.5
The New Orleans Saints have been hit hard by COVID this week. They will be without both Taysom Hill and Trevor Siemian at quarterback after they were already without Jameis Winston. Now they will be starting 4th-stringer Ian Book, and they just signed Blake Bortles on Friday as insurance.
Sean Payton was allowed to return to the team on Friday. But three other coaches who tested positive aren't expected to coach Monday. On Saturday, DE Carl Granderson became the 16th player to test positive for COVID this week and the 19th person on the roster or the coaching staff to test positive since Tuesday.
The Saints have two available DE's on the active roster for Monday's game; Cameron Jordan and Marcus Davenport, and Davenport is questionable with shoulder and knee injuries. S Malcolm Jenkins, LB Demario Davis, T Ryan Ramczyk, LB Kaden Elliss, G James Carpenter, T Jordan Mills, S Jeff Heath, DT Christian Ringo, TE's Adam Trautman and Juwan Johnson, special teams ace J.R> Gray and RB Dwayne Washington are the others outside the quarterbacks.
Don't look now but the Miami Dolphins are back to .500 and in position to make the playoffs after their 1-7 start. They have gone 6-0 SU & 5-1 ATS in their last six games overall. Their defense is playing lights out during this stretch. They are giving up just 11.5 points per game during this six-game winning streak. It won't get any easier for a Saints offense that is averaging just 15.5 points per game in their last four games with a 4th-stringer at quarterback this week.
While the Saints are a mash unit right now, the Dolphins are one of the healthiest teams in the NFL. And their offense gets a boost this week with the return of both WR Jaylen Waddle and RB Phillip Lindsay from the COVID list. Waddle is crucial as he has quickly become Tua's favorite target. He has 86 receptions for 849 yards and four touchdowns this season. Tua is quietly playing very well with a 70% completion percentage this season.
Miami is 8-1 ATS in its last nine games after covering the spread in three of its last four games. New Orleans is 1-6 ATS in its last seven games following an ATS win. The Saints are 1-4 SU & 1-4 ATS at home this season. And this is definitely a potential letdown spot for the Saints off their big upset win over the Tampa Bay Bucs last week. That win was aided by a ton of injuries and attrition throughout the game to Tampa's offense. Bet the Dolphins Monday.
|12-26-21||Washington Football Team +10 v. Cowboys||Top||14-56||Loss||-103||31 h 54 m||Show|
20* Washington/Cowboys NBC Sunday Night BAILOUT on Washington +10
I love the spot for the Washington Football Team tonight. They will be out for revenge from a 20-27 home loss to the Dallas Cowboys two weeks ago. So this will be their 2nd meeting in 3 weeks. And Washington lost QB Taylor Heineke in that game to injury. He missed last week, but he will be back this week to give the offense a boost against the Cowboys.
It's a great time to 'sell high' on the Cowboys after going 3-0 SU & 3-0 ATS in their last three games overall. But they easily could have lost all three of those games. They have benefited from being +8 in turnovers in those three games. They beat the Saints 27-17 despite getting outgained by 28 yards. Washington was driving to tie the game late in their 27-20 loss. And the Cowboys only outgained the Giants by 26 yards in their 21-6 win. They got to face backup quarterbacks in all three victories.
This Dallas offense just can't be trusted to lay this big of a number. And their defense isn't as good as the points per game allowed would indicate. The Cowboys rank 21st in total defense at 22nd against the pass this season. They have simply benefited from being ball hawks, ranking 1st with 31 takeaways. That is pretty unsustainable.
Washington is 4-1-1 ATS in its last six games as an underdog. Washington is 10-4 ATS in its last 14 trips to Dallas. The underdog is 29-14 ATS in the last 43 meetings. I know the Football Team will show up today to try and beat their hated rivals in the Cowboys. It should be good enough to stay within this inflated double-digit spread tonight. Roll with Washington Sunday.
|12-26-21||Bears +6.5 v. Seahawks||Top||25-24||Win||100||95 h 38 m||Show|
20* NFC GAME OF THE WEEK on Chicago Bears +6.5
The Seattle Seahawks just lost 20-10 on Tuesday to the Los Angeles Rams to fall to 5-9 on the season and assure a losing record. That defeat eliminated them from playoff contention. I think we see them very flat Sunday against the Chicago Bears because of it as they finally won't finish .500 or better with Russell Wilson.
The fact of the matter is the Seahawks aren't the better of these two teams anyway. Chicago is much better than its 4-10 record would indicate. And it's a great time to 'buy low' on the Bears after failing to cover the spread in five straight. But they deserved to cover in almost all of those.
Indeed, the Bears have amazingly outgained five of their last six opponents. They outgained the Steelers by 134 yards in their 27-29 road loss. They outgained the Ravens by 54 yards in their 13-16 home loss. They outgained the Lions by 139 yards in their 16-14 road win. They outgained the Cardinals by 72 yards in their 22-33 home loss. They did get outgained by 92 yards by the Pakcers on the road but held a 6-point halftime lead in that game. And last week they outgained the Vikings by 177 yards in their 9-17 home loss.
At some point, the Bears are going to win the stats and the scoreboard. I think this is the week against the Seahawks. Chicago has the 9th-ranked defense in the NFL giving up just 326.2 yards per game. Seattle ranks 31st in total defense, allowing 390.4 yards per game. The Seahawks are also 30th in total offense at 303.4 yards per game, getting outgained by nearly 90 yards per game on the season. That is the sign of a terrible team.
Chicago is 20-6 ATS in its last 26 games after three consecutive games with a turnover margin of -1 or worse. Off the loss to the Rams on Tuesday, this is a short week for the Seahawks getting only four days to get ready for the Bears. Nick Foles is not really a downgrade from Justin Fields and could provide this Chicago offense with a spark with his ability to stretch the field. Bet the Bears Sunday.
|12-26-21||Bucs v. Panthers +10||Top||32-6||Loss||-110||24 h 34 m||Show|
20* NFL DOG OF THE WEEK on Carolina Panthers +10
It's a great time to 'buy low' on the Carolina Panthers. They have gone 0-4 SU & 0-4 ATS in their last four games overall. But that won't stop them from showing up against the defending Super Bowl champion and division rival Tampa Bay Bucs today. They would love nothing more than to beat the Bucs here Sunday.
The Panthers should be getting Sam Darnold back today which will give the offense an added dimension. They also will have a kicker, which they didn't have against Buffalo after he got hurt in pregame, which ultimately cost them the cover. And their best receiver in DJ Moore has been upgraded to probable today.
This Carolina defense is one of the best in the NFL. They rank 2nd in total defense at 294.4 yards per game. They are also 2nd in passing defense, allowing just 178.8 yards per game. That makes this an excellent matchup for them to be able to slow down Tom Brady and this Tampa Bay passing attack.
This Bucs' offensive attack got a lot less potent in their 9-0 loss to the Saints last week. Injuries hit them hard in that game and they aren't any better this week. The Bucs will now be without their top two receivers in Chris Godwin and Mike Evans. They will also be without RB Leonard Fournette. That's over 3,200 yards of offense and 27 combined touchdowns between those three. Not to mention, their defense will be without S Antoine Winfield Jr, LB Lavonte David and DE Jason Pierre-Paul. They also have a couple CB's questionable in the secondary.
Carolina is 10-2 ATS in its last 12 home games after four or more consecutive overs. The Panthers are 60-37 ATS in their last 97 games following a loss by 10 or more points. The Buccaneers are 2-6 ATS in their last eight games as road favorites. Take the Panthers Sunday.
|12-25-21||Browns v. Packers -7||22-24||Loss||-110||8 h 14 m||Show|
15* Browns/Packers Non-Conference KNOCKOUT on Green Bay -7
The Green Bay Packers are one of the healthiest teams in the NFL and it's a big reason they have the best record in the NFC at 11-3 SU & 11-3 ATS this season. And they have been unstoppable at home, going 6-0 SU & 6-0 ATS while outscoring opponents by 13.7 points per game. You know it's going to be a great atmosphere for this home game against the Cleveland Browns at Lambeau Field on Christmas Day as well.
The Browns are a mess right now. They are 2-3 SU & 1-4 ATS in their last five games overall. Their two wins came against the Lions and the Ravens and their backups QB by a combined 5 points. They lost by 38 at New England, by 6 at Baltimore and at home to the lowly Raiders by 2. They are still missing a ton of key players, and I think they are getting too much respect with Baker Mayfield coming back because he has been terrible this season.
Green Bay is 8-0 ATS vs. poor pass defenses that allow a completion percentage of 64% or worse this season. This is a short week for the Browns after playing on Monday, so they have just four days to get ready for the Packers. They haven't been practicing much as a team due to all of these COVID problems, so chemistry will continue to be a problem for them. The Packers have been in sync since Week 1. Take the Packers Saturday.
|12-25-21||Ball State v. Georgia State -5.5||Top||20-51||Win||100||86 h 24 m||Show|
20* Ball State/Georgia State Camellia Bowl No-Brainer on Georgia State -5.5
Georgia State played as well as anyone in the Sun Belt down the stretch with the exception of perhaps conference champion Louisiana. The Panthers rebounded from a 1-4 start by going 6-1 SU & 6-1 ATS in their final seven games overall. They are clearly excited to be playing in this bowl game because they earned it.
They upset Coastal Carolina as 12.5-point road underdogs. Their only loss during this stretch came to Sun Belt champion Louisiana, 17-21 as 13.5-point road underdogs. But they easily could have won that game and actually led with under three minutes to play. Those efforts against Coastal and Louisiana show how good this team really is.
Ball State won the MAC last year and brought almost everyone back. The Cardinals were huge disappointments this season finishing just 6-6. Their last two wins came against Akron and Buffalo in non-impressive fashion against two of the worst teams in the MAC. They managed just 230 total yards against Buffalo and were outgained by 106 yards despite winning. They were outgained by 33 yards by Akron and needed to force a fumble at the goal line to escape with a 31-25 win as 20-point favorites.
This is a great matchup for Georgia State's offense. The Panthers rank 8th in the country in rushing at 225 yards per game and 5.0 yards per carry. They will be up against a Ball State defense that allows 170 rushing yards per game and 4.2 yards per carry. The Cardinals average just 335.9 yards per game on offense and give up 415.7 yards per game on defense, getting outgained by nearly 80 yards per game. This simply isn't a very good Ball State team with those numbers.
Georgia State is 6-0 ATS in its last six games as a favorite of 3.5 to 10 points. It is winning by 15.3 points per game in this spot. The Panthers are 7-0 ATS in their last seven games against poor pass defenses that allow 62% completions or higher. Georgia State is 8-1 ATS in its last nine games following a win. The Cardinals are 1-4 SU & 1-4 ATS in their last five bowl games. Roll with Georgia State Saturday.
|12-23-21||49ers -3 v. Titans||Top||17-20||Loss||-125||84 h 36 m||Show|
20* 49ers/Titans Non-Conference KNOCKOUT on San Francisco -3
The San Francisco 49ers are a freight train right now. They are playing as well as almost anyone in the NFL in going 5-1 SU & 5-1 ATS in their last five games overall. They were supposed to be one of the best teams in the NFL coming into the season but were hurt by injuries in the first half. Now that they've been a lot healthier they are playing up to their potential.
The 49ers made easy work of the Falcons in a 31-13 home victory last week. So they should still have plenty left in the tank for this short week game against Tennessee. They would be bigger favorites in this game if not for the short week and the West Coast team traveling East. But the 49ers have dominated when flying out East in recent seasons.
The Titans were grossly overvalued due to a great start this season behind Derrick Henry. But since Henry went down, the Titans have been awful. They have gone 1-4 ATS in their last five games overall. They are broken on offense, scoring 23 or fewer points in five straight games and an average of just 16.4 points per game in their last five.
The Titans have passed for less than 200 yards in five of their last six games because they have also been without both AJ Brown and Julio Jones at times. Brown should be back this week, but Jones suffered a hamstring injury last week and is questionable. They still aren't the same team without Henry, Brown and Jones all healthy and they are only likely to have one of the three.
Tennessee has been relying heavily on running the football offensively even without Henry. But that's not going to work against the 49ers. They have allowed 86 or fewer rushing yards in five of their last six games overall. And the Titans have struggled despite playing five straight bad offensive teams in the Saints, Texans, Jaguars, Steelers and Patriots. The Titans will be without two starters on the offensive line as well in Taylor Lewan and Rodger Saffold.
Now they take a big step up in class here against a 49ers offense that is rolling since getting George Kittle and Deebo Samuel healthy. The 49ers have scored 23 or more points in six straight games and an average of 29.2 points per game. Samuel has seven rushing touchdowns and 1,088 receiving yards on the season. Kittle has 28 receptions for 425 yards and three touchdowns over the last three weeks. Bet the 49ers Thursday.
|12-23-21||Miami-OH v. North Texas OVER 54.5||Top||27-14||Loss||-105||39 h 25 m||Show|
20* CFB Bowl TOTAL OF THE WEEK Miami Ohio/North Texas on OVER 54.5
Two offenses that are better than they get credit for square off in the Frisco Football Classic in this matchup between the Miami Ohio Redhawks and North Texas Mean Green Thursday. Look for a shootout that easily tops this 54.5-point total today.
North Texas won five straight games to close the season behind an offense that put up 36.4 points per game during the winning streak. They rushed for over 300 yards three times and are an elite rushing offense. They should be able to run the ball at will on a Miami Ohio defense that gave up 161 rushing yards per game and 4.3 per carry this season.
Miami Ohio has scored 33 or more points in five of its last six games overall. They passes for 351 or more yards in three of their last four games. Brett Gabbert is one of the more underrated quarterbacks in the country with a 24-to-6 TD/INT ratio on the season. They should be able to move the ball through the air on a North Texas defense that allows 7.7 yards per attempt while the Redhawks average 8.3 yards per pass attempt.
North Texas has played in shootouts in each of its last four bowl games because it always has a good offense and terrible defense. They combined for 84 points with Appalachian State last year, 65 points with Utah State in 2018, 80 points with Troy in 2017 and 69 points with Army in 2016. All four combined totals would easily top this 54.5-point total. Bet the OVER in this game Thursday.
|12-22-21||Missouri v. Army -3.5||22-24||Loss||-115||60 h 1 m||Show|
15* Missouri/Army Armed Forces Bowl ANNIHILATOR on Army -3.5
The Army Black Knights completed an 8-4 season under head coach Jeff Monken and continue to be a powerhouse. And I think we are getting them cheap in the Armed Forces Bowl against Missouri due to getting upset by Navy in their regular season finale. But that was Navy's National Championship because they weren't going bowling.
Army knew they had this bowl game on deck, and they'll be looking to cap off the season on a high note. The loss to Navy only makes them even more motivated, and they'll have no problem getting up to face a team from the SEC in Missouri here to showcase how good they really are.
This will be Army's third trip to the Armed Forces Bowl in Monken's run of five bowl games in the past six seasons. They upset San Diego State 42-35 in 2017 and crushed Houston 70-14 in 2018. The Black Knights are now 4-1 SU & 4-1 ATS in their last five bowl games. Their triple-option is tough for opponents to prepare for.
That will definitely be the case for Missouri as this is the perfect matchup for Army. The Black Knights ranked 2nd in the country in averaging 287 rushing yards per game and 4.9 yards per carry. Missouri ranks 124th in the country against the run, allowing 229 rushing yards per game and a whopping 5.5 yards per carry. Army is going to be able to run the ball at will on this putrid Missouri defense.
The Tigers aren't a great passing team, averaging 6.6 yards per pass, and defending the pass is Army's weakness. The matchup is a good one for this Army defense, too. They give up just 111 rushing yards per game and 3.7 yards per carry. That will make life difficult on a Missouri offense that relies heavily on the run at 180 rushing yards per game and 5.1 per carry.
Missouri is 8-21 ATS in its last 29 games overall. The Tigers are 2-9 ATS in their last 11 games vs. a team with a winning record. Missouri is 3-14 ATS in its last 17 December games. The Black Knights are 12-4-1 ATS in their last 17 December games. The Tigers are 1-9 ATS in their last 10 road games after a game where they forced one or fewer turnovers. Monken is 9-1 ATS after scoring and allowing 17 points or less as the coach of the Black Knights. Take Army Wednesday.
Update: This line has moved in Army's favor since I published it early in the week due to the SEC's leading rusher being out for Missouri. Tyler Badie's absence is a huge blow to the Missouri offense as he had 1,942 yards from scrimmage and 18 touchdowns, including 1,612 rushing yards and 14 touchdowns. I would still recommend a play at -6.5, but this play will be graded at -3.5.
|12-21-21||San Diego State v. UTSA +3||Top||38-24||Loss||-100||35 h 57 m||Show|
20* SDSU/UTSA Frisco Bowl No-Brainer on UTSA +3
The UTSA Roadrunners went 12-1 this season with their only loss coming in a meaningless game against North Texas in the regular season finale. They were coming off their huge win against UAB to clinch their spot in the C-USA title game, and they had that game on deck against Western Kentucky. North Texas needed the win to make a bowl game so it was just the perfect storm for the Roadrunners to lose that game.
They rebounded with a dominant 49-41 win over Western Kentucky in a game that was a bigger blowout than the final score showed. They led 42-13 before the Hilltoppers made a late run with their dynamic passing game, which they always seem to do. And beating Western Kentucky twice this season looks even better now with how well Conference USA looks in bowl games thus far.
Middle Tennessee won outright against Toledo as a double-digit dog, Western Kentucky upset Appalachian State 59-38, UAB upset BYU 31-28 and UTEP covered as a double-digit dog in a 24-31 loss to Fresno State. The conference is 4-1 ATS in bowl games already with the only non-cover coming on Marshall after getting outscored by 20 points in the 4th quarter of a 36-21 loss to Louisiana (13-1).
San Diego State went 11-2 this season but lost badly 46-13 to Utah State in the Mountain West Championship Game. I don't see them being all that motivated to play UTSA after losing that game. The Aztecs have six wins by one score this season and aren't as good as their record.
I like the matchup for UTSA because their weakness on defense is against the pass, and San Diego State only averages 25 pass attempts and 158 passing yards per game. The Aztecs rely on the run to move the football, and UTSA ranks 11th in the country in yards per carry (3.2) allowed while giving up just 111 rushing yards per game.
UTSA will be the more motivated team to get to 13 wins and capture their first bowl win in program history. The Roadrunners will also have the home-field advantage with thsi game being played in Frisco, Texas. The fans sold out their home game against Western Kentucky in the C-USA Championship Game and it was a huge advantage. They will travel the four hours to support their team here in Frisco, too.
UTSA is 6-0 ATS when the line is +3 to -3 over the last three seasons. The Roadrunners are 7-0 ATS in their last seven games vs. a team with a winning record. UTSA is 14-3 ATS in its last 17 games as an underdog. The Aztecs are 0-4-1 ATS in their last five games as favorites. Roll with UTSA Tuesday.
|12-21-21||Seahawks +7 v. Rams||Top||10-20||Loss||-107||35 h 59 m||Show|
20* NFC West GAME OF THE MONTH on Seattle Seahawks +7
This is already a terrible spot for the Los Angeles Rams. They are coming off an upset road win over the Arizona Cardinals on Monday Night Football. Now they stay within the division to take on a Seattle Seahawks team that is starting to play up to their potential as they try and keep their playoff hopes alive.
Now things have really gotten worse for the Rams. They now have placed 25 players on the COVID list, including CB Jalen Ramsey, WR Odell Beckham Jr., LB Von Miller and four other starters. They will get some guys back that they wouldn't have had if they played Sunday, but they still shouldn't be 7-point favorites in this game.
The Seahawks want revenge from a 26-17 home loss to the Rams in their first meeting this season. Russell Wilson was knocked out of that game early and replaced by Geno Smith. I like their chances for getting revenge and covering at the very least considering they are the much healthier team and playing up to their potential the last two weeks.
Indeed, the Seahawks are 2-0 SU & 2-0 ATS in their last two games. They upset the 49ers 30-23 as 2.5-point home underdogs. They followed it up with a dominant 33-13 win at Houston as 9.5-point favorites behind 453 yards of offense. Russell Wilson is starting to play like his old self as he has gotten healthier, and the Seahawks have rushed for 146 and 193 yards in their last two games, respectively.
Pete Carroll is 49-28 ATS as an underdog as the coach of Seattle. Los Angeles is 1-9 ATS in its last 10 games following two or more consecutive wins. The Seahawks are 15-6 ATS in their last 21 games as underdogs. The Rams are 1-5 ATS in their last six games as favorites. Bet the Seahawks Tuesday.
|12-21-21||Washington Football Team v. Eagles -6||17-27||Win||100||35 h 59 m||Show|
15* Washington/Eagles NFC East ANNIHILATOR on Philadelphia -6
The Philadelphia Eagles are in a great spot this week. They are coming off their bye week and expected to get Jalen Hurts back at quarterback. They should be as healthy as they have been all season and get their dynamic RB duo of Miles Sanders and Jordan Howard back.
The Eagles are really playing well right now in going 3-1 SU & 3-1 ATS in their last four games overall with all three victories coming by double-digits. The lone loss was fluky as they were -4 in turnovers against the Giants and only lost by 6 on the road. They clearly should have won that game.
Now they take on a banged-up Washington team that has as bad an injury report as any team in the NFL right now. QB Taylor Heineke and WR Terry McLaurin both left the Dallas game last week with injuries. Both are questionable to return this week.
They have 10 players in COVID protocol including DL Matt Ionnidis, backup QB Kyle Allen, CB Kendall Fuller, DL Jonathan Allen and a couple linebackers. They are already without Chase Young and cannot afford to lose all these guys up front. They will get some players back that they wouldn't have had if this game was played on Sunday, but the Eagles were double-digit favorites then. Now we are getting the Eagles as less than a TD favorite here.
This is a tired Washington team that has played five straight games that were decided by 10 points or fewer, including four one-score games in their last four. But they were getting blown out by Dallas last week before a late rally. I don't see them rallying against the Eagles this week.
The Eagles are ready to make a playoff push as they get three winnable home games plus Washington twice down the stretch. They have rushed for at least 176 yards in six straight games now and should be able to run all over this depleted Washington front seven. The Eagles are 6-2 SU & 6-2 ATS in the last eight meetings. Take the Eagles Tuesday.
|12-20-21||Vikings -5.5 v. Bears||Top||17-9||Win||100||92 h 41 m||Show|
20* Vikings/Bears ESPN No-Brainer on Minnesota -5.5
The Minnesota Vikings are one of the best 6-7 teams in the history of the NFL. They have held at least a 6-point lead in all 13 games this season and are clearly better than their record. But they are still alive for the playoffs, and this is a must-win game for them Monday night in Chicago.
Minnesota got Dalvin Cook back from injury last week and he ran wild on the Steelers in a 36-28 victory last Thursday. The Vikings had 458 total yards and a 29-0 lead on the Steelers, so it was a bigger blowout than the final score would indicate. Now this is like a mini-bye week for the Vikings, so they should be fresh and ready to go with three extra days' rest. They are also one of the healthier teams in the NFL.
The same cannot be said for the Bears, who have 12 players on the COVID list and three coordinators now. Offensive coordinator Bill Lazor, defensive coordinator Sean Desai and special teams coordinator Chris Tabor were all working remotely Thursday. They are likely to be without WR Allen Robinson and DEB Eddie Jackson among many other key players.
This is a bad spot for the Bears as it is even without the COVID news. At 4-9 now, they have no chance of making the playoffs. They just blew a 27-21 halftime lead against the Packers and were outscored 24-3 after intermission in a 45-30 loss. They were fortunate to even be in that game thanks to several big special teams plays. They won't be so fortunate against this motivated Vikings team to keep this one close for long.
Chicago is 3-13 ATS in its last 16 games vs. NFC opponents. The Bears are 1-6 ATS in their last seven games as underdogs. Chicago is 0-5 ATS in its last five games as a home underdog. Take the Vikings Monday.
|12-20-21||Tulsa v. Old Dominion +9||Top||30-17||Loss||-110||8 h 31 m||Show|
20* Tulsa/Old Dominion ESPN Early ANNIHILATOR on Old Dominion +9
Old Dominion didn't even play last season due to COVID. Monarchs head coach Ricky Rahne had a tall task ahead of him. That showed early in the season as the Monarchs opened 1-6. But they have since going 5-0 SU & 5-0 ATS to get to 6-6 and earn a bowl bid.
It's safe to say Old Dominion will be highly motivated for a bowl victory after fighting so hard at the end of the season just to get here. And it will be just the second bowl game in program history, adding to the motivation.
The turnaround for the Monarchs came when freshman QB Hayden Wolff replaced UCF transfer Darriel Mack Jr. midseason. He completed 62.2% of his passes and was way more elusive than Mack Jr, leading the Monarchs to a 5-1 record in his six starts down the stretch.
Tulsa also had a nice finish just to make this bowl game, but I don't think the Golden Hurricane can be trusted to lay this big of a number. They are 6-6 as well but five of those six wins came by one score. Their only blowout victory came against lowly Temple, which finished 1-7 in AAC play.
Tulsa QB Davis Brin had a 16-to-16 TD/INT ratio this season. The Golden Hurricane rely heavily on the run to move the football. That makes this a great matchup for the Monarchs. They give up just 125 rushing yards per game and 3.5 per carry, ranking in the Top 25 in the country against the run.
Conference USA has looked impressive in bowl games thus far. Middle Tennessee won outright against Toledo as a double-digit dog, Western Kentucky upset Appalachian State 59-38, UAB upset BYU 31-28 and UTEP covered as a double-digit dog in a 24-31 loss to Fresno State. The conference is 4-1 ATS in bowl games already with the only non-cover coming on Marshall after getting outscored by 20 points in the 4th quarter of a 36-21 loss to Louisiana (13-1). Tulsa is 2-6 ATS in its last eight games vs. C-USA opponents. Bet Old Dominion Monday.
|12-19-21||Falcons +9 v. 49ers||Top||13-31||Loss||-110||7 h 17 m||Show|
20* NFC GAME OF THE WEEK on Atlanta Falcons +9
The San Francisco 49ers were fortunate to win last week at Cincinnati. The Bengals gave that game away by muffing two punts in their own territory. The 49ers recovered all four fumbles in the game. And they still needed overtime to beat the Bengals, 26-23.
It's a good time to 'sell high' on the 49ers even though I like this team. They are now laying way too many points at home against the Atlanta Falcons, who are still in playoff contention at 6-7 this season. And while the 49ers have struggled at home in recent years, the Falcons have been a great bet on the road.
Indeed, the Falcons are 6-2 SU & 6-2 ATS away from home this season. They have upset wins over the Giants, Dolphins, Saints and Panthers. And they have a great path to the playoffs if they can pull another upset here because they have Detroit on deck next week.
The 49ers are just 4-10 ATS in their last 14 home games. San Francisco is 16-34-1 ATS in its last 51 games as a home favorite. The Falcons are 5-1 ATS in their last six road games. The road team is 5-2 ATS in the last seven meetings. Bet the Falcons Sunday.
|12-19-21||Titans v. Steelers +103||13-19||Win||103||60 h 25 m||Show|
15* NFL Sunday UPSET SHOCKER on Pittsburgh Steelers ML +103
The Pittsburgh Steelers sit at 6-6-1 and are playing for their playoff lives this week. Look for a big effort from them. I always like backing Mike Tomlin off a loss and as an underdog. And I think the wrong team is favored in this game Sunday.
The Steelers are one of the healthiest teams in the NFL right now and are expected to have T.J. Watt this week, one of the best defensive players in the NFL. The same cannot be said for the Titans, who have 20 players out and another eight questionable.
Tennessee's offense has hit the skids since losing both Derrick Henry and A.J. Brown to injury, their two best players. In their last five games, the Titans managed just 194 yards against the Rams, 264 yards against the Saints, 13 points in an upset loss to the Texans as 10.5-point favorites, 13 points against New England and just 263 yards against Jacksonville.
The Steelers have managed 300 or more yards in five straight games offensively. They have by far the better offense right now, and I rank these teams pretty even defensively. Plus you have to give the Steelers a few points for home-field advantage and simply needing the game more. It all adds up to the wrong team being favored.
Pittsburgh is 11-2 ATS in its last 13 home games after allowing 35 points or more. Tennessee is 3-17 ATS in its last 20 games vs. teams who force one or fewer turnovers per game. The Titans are 7-20-1 ATS in their last 28 road games vs. a team with a losing home record. Pittsburgh is 4-1 ATS in its last five games vs. a team with a winning record. The underdog is 4-1 ATS in the last five meetings. Take the Steelers on the Money Line Sunday.
|12-19-21||Cardinals v. Lions +13||12-30||Win||100||60 h 25 m||Show|
15* NFL Sunday Undervalued Underdog on Detroit Lions +13
It's a great time to 'buy low' on the Detroit Lions this week. They have not quit and continue to get the money for backers. And their 38-10 loss to Denver was very misleading last week. They were only outgained by 42 yards despite missing a ton of players due to COVID, but they had two turnovers in the red zone.
Now the Lions will get back several players they were missing last week. And they will relish this opportunity to try and beat the team with the best record in the NFC in the Arizona Cardinals. The Lions have gone 4-1 ATS in their last five games overall to improve to 8-5 ATS this season. So despite their 1-11-1 SU record, they continue fighting for bettors' money.
It's a great time to 'sell high' on the Cardinals, who are 7-0 SU & 7-0 ATS on the road this season with all seven wins by double-digits. Odds are they can't keep this streak going now that the books have over-adjusted for it this week. The Cardinals will be without their best receiver in De'Andre Hopkins, who suffered a possible season-ending injury last week.
They also have their top two running backs in James Conner and Chase Edmonds questionable. Not to mention, this is a terrible spot for the Cardinals. They are on a short week after losing 30-23 at home tot he Rams on Monday Night Football. And they have a big game on deck against the Colts on Saturday. They will be just looking to get in and get out with a win against the Lions with zero incentive to run up the score.
Detroit is 19-6 ATS in its last 25 games following a loss by 28 points or more. Arizona is 1-9 ATS in its last 10 road games. vs. poor pass defenses that allow 7.5 or more yards per attempt in the 2nd half of the season. The Lions are 6-0 ATS in their last six games following an ATS loss. Detroit is 6-0 ATS in its last six games after scoring less than 15 points in its previous game. The underdog is 7-2 ATS in the last nine meetings. The home team is 12-3 ATS in the last 15 meetings. The Cardinals are 1-5 ATS in their last six trips to Detroit. Roll with the Lions Sunday.
|12-18-21||Patriots v. Colts -130||Top||17-27||Win||100||116 h 28 m||Show|
25* AFC GAME OF THE YEAR on Indianapolis Colts ML -130
The Indianapolis Colts might be the most underrated team in the NFL right now. They are just 7-6 but much better than that record. They are outscoring their opponents by nearly 7 points per game on the season with a balanced offense and a very good defense that allows just 21.8 points per game.
The Colts opened 0-3 amid injuries and poor play. They have since gone 7-3 SU in their last 10 games overall and are very close to being on a 10-game winning streak. They blew a 19-point lead and lost in OT to the Ravens, lost in OT at home to the Titans after another late blown lead, and blew a 14-point lead to the Bucs in a last-second loss. The fact that they competed with those three teams and took them all to the wire tells all you need to know about the Colts' potential.
The Patriots are 7-0 SU & 7-0 ATS in their last seven games overall. Now it's time to 'sell high' on the Patriots this week. They aren't nearly as good as their 9-4 record would indicate. And the bye actually came at a bad time for them because they had all the momentum, stopping the Bills twice in the Red Zone to preserve a 14-10 victory last time out. They have feasted on the 5th-easiest schedule in the NFL this season. They come back down to reality this week against the Colts, who beat the Bills 41-15 on the road a couple weeks ago.
Indianapolis is 11-2 ATS in its last 13 games vs. good passing teams that average 7 or more yards per attempt. The Colts are 9-1 ATS in their last 10 games off a division game. Indianapolis is 24-7-1 ATS in its last 32 games after allowing less than 250 total yards in its previous game. The Colts are 19-9 ATS in their last 28 games vs. a team with a winning record. The home team is 5-1 ATS in the last six meetings. Bet the Colts on the Money Line Saturday.
|12-18-21||Eastern Michigan +9.5 v. Liberty||20-56||Loss||-110||44 h 19 m||Show|
15* CFB Saturday Undervalued Underdog on Eastern Michigan +9.5
The Liberty Flames had high expectations this season after going 10-1 last year and beating Coastal Carolina in the Cure Bowl to finish No. 17 in the polls. The Flames opened 7-2 this season before finishing with three straight losses to Ole Miss, Louisiana and Army all by double-digits and by a combined 56 points.
Now I question the Flames' motivation heading into the LendingTree Bowl sitting at 7-5. They go from playing unbeaten Coastal Carolina in their bowl game last year to playing a 7-5 Eastern Michigan team from the MAC. I don't think they will be all that motivated, and they are being asked to win by double-digits to beat us.
I know Eastern Michigan is going to be motivated. In fact, the Eagles haven't won a bowl game since 1987. They didn't go to another bowl until 2016. They have since lost three straight bowl games all by 4 points or fewer, covering the spread in all three bowl games. It's safe to say they are highly motivated to cash in that first bowl victory.
Eastern Michigan has been the king of one-score games under head coach Chris Creighton, which is why there's a ton of value getting them as +9.5 dogs. Dating back to the middle of 2019, Eastern Michigan has 14 losses. A whopping 10 of those have come by 8 points or fewer. So they have lost just four of their last 26 games by more than 8 points to put it better.
This Eastern Michigan offense is never going to be out of the game. They score 31.0 points per game on the season. QB Ben Bryant is completing 68.8% of his passes for 2,921 yards with a 14-to-6 TD/INT ratio. They will be opposed by a similar Liberty offense that averages 31.8 points per game on the season.
Eastern Michigan is 20-7 ATS in its last 27 road games following a blowout road loss by 21 points or more. The Eagles are 14-2 ATS in their last 16 road games vs. good passing teams that average 8 or more yards per attempt. Eastern Michigan is 20-7 ATS in its last 27 games following an ATS loss. The Eagles are 23-9 ATS in their last 32 games following a SU loss. Eastern Michigan is 28-13 ATS in its last 41 games as an underdog. Take Eastern Michigan in the LendingTree Bowl.
|12-18-21||UAB +7 v. BYU||Top||31-28||Win||100||72 h 3 m||Show|
20* Bowl GAME OF THE WEEK on UAB +7
I think UAB wants to be here more than BYU. And I like the matchup for the Blazers. BYU just completed a 10-2 season and knocked off several Pac-12 opponents along the way. They feel like they deserve a better bowl game than the Independence Bowl in Shreveport, Louisiana.
I've actually been to a bowl game in Shreveport when Iowa State played last. It's kind of a dump in and around the stadium. No offense to anyone that lives there reading this writeup, but it's not the greatest destination. BYU thought they had an outside shot of playing in a New Year's 6 Bowl.
It is a pretty short drive for UAB fans from Birmingham to Shreveport just over 6 hours. I think it will be like a home game for the Blazers. "I'm really proud of our selection to the bowl game, and man, what a great opponent we've got in BYU," Clark said on Monday. "I know our players are all going to be excited for the challenge ahead."
And the weather is going to help UAB keep this game close. There's a 90% chance of precipitation Saturday with 15 MPH winds, too. This game will mostly be played on the ground. UAB prefers to run the football, averaging 177 rushing yards per game. They should be able to run the ball on a BYU defense that gives up 151 rushing yards per game and 4.2 per carry.
BYU also likes to run the ball at 188 rushing yards per game. But the strength of UAB's team is their front 7 defensively. They give up just 105 rushing yards per game and 3.0 yards per carry this season. In their last three games against pretty good rushing teams they held Marshall to 37 yards on 21 carries, UTSA to 52 yards on 34 carries and UTEP to 99 yards on 30 carries.
UAB is 6-0 ATS vs. good passing teams that average 250 or more yards per game this season. BYU is 2-12 ATS in its last 14 games off two consecutive road wins. The Blazers are 4-0 ATS in their last four games vs. a team with a winning record. BYU fans have come out and said they are less than thrilled to be playing UAB. Meanwhile, it has been a different story for UAB fans and head coach Bill Clark and his players. Roll with UAB in the Independence Bowl Saturday.
|12-17-21||Toledo v. Middle Tennessee State OVER 49||Top||24-31||Win||100||15 h 34 m||Show|
20* Toledo/Middle Tennessee Bowl Season Opener on OVER 49
Toledo is going to take care of this total mostly on their own and I'd lean to laying the points with them too. But I feel better about the OVER 49. The Rockets have the superior offense in this game that averages 34.2 points per game on the season and led the MAC in scoring.
Toledo has really been humming on offense of late. The Rockets have scored 34 or more points in five consecutive games while averaging 43.2 points per game during this stretch. I think they get to 34 or more in this game, which just means we need a couple touchdowns from Middle Tennessee to get the OVER.
Middle Tennessee has been much better on offense than they get credit for, especially since changing quarterbacks. The Blue Raiders are putting up 29.8 points per game on the season. They have scored 21 or more points in five of their last six games overall and probably only need to get to 21 at most to cash this OVER.
The Blue Raiders went 3-2 with starter Nicholas Vattiato at quarterback to close the season. He is comlpeting 67.4% of his passes and only had one really bad game with five interceptions in a 48-21 loss to Western Kentucky, one of the best teams in C-USA.
Forecasts are calling for 81 degrees and mostly sunny during this game with only a 10% chance of precipitation and 15 MPH winds. While the winds will be a little brisk, they won't be bad enough to affect this game much. I think this total has dropped way too much from the opener of 54.5 and there's a ton of value on the OVER.
The OVER is 4-0 in Middle Tennessee's last four bowl games with combined scores of 58 or more points in all four. Toledo is 6-0 OVER in its last six road games after scoring 37 points or more last game. The Blue Raiders are 9-1 OVER in their last 10 road games after allowing 125 or fewer rushing yards in two straight games. The OVER is 4-0 in Rockets last four games overall. These four trends combine for a 23-1 system backing the OVER today. Bet the OVER in the Bahamas Bowl Friday.
|12-16-21||Chiefs v. Chargers OVER 51.5||Top||34-28||Win||100||52 h 1 m||Show|
20* NFL TOTAL OF THE WEEK on Chiefs/Chargers OVER 51.5
The Los Angeles Chargers should get back Keenan Allen this week from COVID protocol. Their already potent offense should be even stronger as it is nearly at full strength. They will be up against a Kansas City Chiefs defense that will be without their best player in Chris Jones due to COVID.
"The only guy you can really compare him to is probably Aaron Donald," Tyrann Mathieu said. "You talk about inside dominance. It's going to be a big challenge for us to replace him."
Of course, the way the Chiefs are going offensively right now they will be able to match the Chargers score for score. They just hung 48 points on the Raiders last week after scoring 41 on them in their first meeting a couple weeks ago. This Kansas City offense is pretty much at full strength now and ready for a big finish.
These are two of the worst teams in the NFL at stopping the run. The Chargers rank 29th at 4.7 yards per carry allowed, while the Chiefs are 26th at 4.6 yards per carry. The Chiefs are also 31st allowing 5.9 yards per play on defense. Only the Jets have been worse than them in this category.
This has been an OVER series. Three of the last four meetings have seen 52 or more combined points. That includes the 30-24 upset win by the Chargers as 7-point road underdogs in their first meeting this season. The Chiefs should have won that game as they were -4 in turnovers, had 33 first downs and 437 total yards. They should have scored more than 24 points. Both offenses should top 24 in this one. Bet the OVER in this game Thursday.
|12-13-21||Rams +2.5 v. Cardinals||Top||30-23||Win||100||96 h 20 m||Show|
20* Rams/Cardinals ESPN No-Brainer on Los Angeles +2.5
It's a good time to 'buy low' on the Los Angeles Rams. They lost three straight and failed to cover five in a row prior to their 37-7 blowout victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars last week. They got right and gained some confidence, and now they want revenge from a misleading 20-37 home loss to the Cardinals in their first meeting this season.
It's a good time to 'sell high' on the Cardinals, who are coming off a misleading 33-22 win against the Bears last week. They only managed 257 total yards against the Bears and were outgained by 72 yards. They simply benefited from being +4 in turnovers. They improved to 7-0 on the road this season with seven wins by double-digits, which is crazy.
The Cardinals have been much more vulnerable at home this season. They are 3-2 at home but two of those wins were misleading ones against the Vikings (by 1) and 49ers (by 7). The Vikings gave that game away by missing kicks, including a short game-winner. The 49ers lost 17-10 with Trey Lance at QB and squandered a ton of opportunities in Arizona territory. The other win was against the Texans. They also lost to the depleted Packers at home, and were crushed by the Panthers 34-10 at home.
That was a rare loss by the Rams against the Cardinals earlier this season. They had dominated this series, and I look for Sean McVay to get back to his dominance of Kliff Kingsbury as he is the better coach and will make the proper adjustments. The Rams are still 8-1 SU & 7-1-1 ATS in their last nine meetings with the Cardinals with all eight wins by 7 points or more and seven by double-digits.
Los Angeles is 6-0 ATS in its last six trips to Arizona. The Cardinals are 4-10 ATS in their last 14 games as home favorites. Arizona is 2-6 ATS in its last eight vs. a team with a winning record. The Cardinals are 0-6 ATS in their last six home games in the second half of the season.
Plays on road underdogs or PK (LA Rams) - after failing to cover three of their last four games ATS against an opponent that covered three of their last four games ATS are 27-5 (84.4%) ATS over the last five seasons. Bet the Rams Monday.
|12-12-21||Bills v. Bucs OVER 53||Top||27-33||Win||100||98 h 46 m||Show|
20* Bills/Bucs Non-Conference No-Brainer on OVER 53
It's going to be perfect weather in Tampa Bay Sunday. The forecast calling for temps in the upper-70's with 4 MPH winds. It's perfect conditions for a shootout between two of the best offenses in the NFL. The Bucs rank 1st in scoring offense (31.4 PPG) while the Bills rank 5th (28.0 PPG) this season.
And I think the fact that both of these teams went UNDER the total last week is keeping this total lower than it should be. Buffalo played the Patriots in terrible winds. And clearly the OVER on the Bucs/Falcons game was the right side but came up short.
The Bucs are going to continue to put up big numbers on offense. They have scored 30 or more points now in three straight games and in seven of their 12 games this season. Tom Brady has thrown for at least 4 TD passes in six of his 12 games this season.
The Bills are missing their best cover corner in Tre'Davious White, who recently tore his ACL. His loss wasn't important last week, but it will be against the Bucs this week. The Bills will get their offense going this week. They have scored 31 or more points in seven of their 12 games this season.
They'll be up against a banged-up Tampa Bay secondary. Richard Sherman and Jamel Dean are both questionable, and they are missing Mike Edwards and Carlton Davis already. The Falcons moved the ball up and down the field on them but didn't capitalize in the red zone. The Bills will capitalize and keep pace with the Bucs. I expect at least one team to get to 30 points in this one if not both.
Tampa Bay is 11-2 OVER in its last 13 games off a win by 10 points or more. Buffalo is 8-1 OVER in its last nine games following a division game. The Bills are 7-0 OVER in their last even road games against a good passing team that completes 61% or better. The OVER is 6-0 in Bills last six games as underdogs. The OVER is 11-4 in Bucs last 15 games as home favorites. Take the OVER in this game Sunday.
|12-12-21||Ravens v. Browns -2||Top||22-24||Push||0||109 h 14 m||Show|
25* AFC North GAME OF THE YEAR on Cleveland Browns -2
This is the perfect spot for the Cleveland Browns. I don't remember ever seeing a team play the same team twice surrounding their bye week. But that's the situation for the Browns. They lost to the Ravens 16-10 on the road in Week 12 before getting their bye last week. And now they get to host the Ravens coming out of their bye. So they have basically been preparing for the Ravens for three straight weeks. That's a huge advantage for them.
The Ravens have been in five straight dog fights the last five weeks with four games decided by one score. That includes their 20-19 loss to the Steelers last week in which they went for a 2-point conversion after scoring in the final seconds but came up just short. They will suffer a hangover from that defeat.
And while the Browns are healthier coming out of their bye, the injury situation is a terrible one for the Ravens. The reason they went for 2 was because they were down to three cornerbacks and didn't like their chances in overtime. Marlon Humphrey suffered a season-ending injury against the Steelers.
They also have key injuries along their front seven on defense and along their offensive line. Lamar Jackson has been a turnover machine in recent weeks trying to do too much. He has 10 interceptions and has been sacked 24 games in their last six games. This really looks like a Ravens team that is close to falling apart, and that could very well happen this week against the Browns.
The Ravens are the most overrated team in the NFL. They are nowhere near as good as their 8-4 record. They finally lost a close game last week, and their stats are awful. They average 5.5 yards per play on offense and give up 6.0 yards per play, getting outgained by 0.5 yards per play on the season. The rank 31st on defense in yards per play allowed.
The Browns gain 5.7 yards per play on offense and give up 5.2 yards per play on defense, outgaining teams by 0.5 yards per play. So they have been a full one yard per play better than Baltimore this season. They rank 5th in the NFL in yards per play allowed on defense.
We're getting the better, healthier team in the better situation off the bye as a short home favorite here of less than a field goal. Bet the Browns Sunday.
|12-12-21||Raiders +10.5 v. Chiefs||9-48||Loss||-120||65 h 7 m||Show|
15* NFL Sunday Undervalued Underdog on Las Vegas Raiders +10.5
This is a great 'buy low' spot on the Las Vegas Raiders after a 15-17 home loss to the Washington Football Team last week. This came after a 36-33 upset win at the Dallas Cowboys. The Raiders can stay within single-digits of the Chiefs and possibly pull off the upset.
This is also a great 'sell high' spot on the Chiefs, who have reeled off five straight victories and are 3-0 ATS in their last three games. They never should have covered in their 22-9 win over the Broncos last week. They were outgained by 137 yards by the the Broncos in that contest and gave up 404 total yards and only 9 points, which doesn't add up.
This Kansas City offense just isn't the same as it used to be. They were held to 267 yards by the Broncos, 370 by the Cowboys, 237 by the Packers, 368 by the Giants and 334 by the Titans in five of their last six games. Of course, the one exception was when they went off against the Raiders, but I'm expecting the Raiders to make the proper adjustments in the rematch. They will be out for revenge as well.
Las Vegas looks like the better team when you dive into the important stats. The Raiders rank 4th in the NFL averaging 6.0 yards per play on offense, while the Chiefs rank 9th at 5.8 yards per play. The Raiders rank 9th in the NFL allowing 5.3 yards per play on defense, while the Chiefs rank 30th at 6.0 yards per play allowed. Las Vegas outgains its opponents by 0.7 yards per play, while Kansas City is getting outgained by 0.2 yards per play.
The Raiders are 5-1 ATS in their last six games as road underdogs. Kansas City is 0-6 ATS in its last six games vs. bad defensive teams that allow 24 or more points per game in the second half of the season. The Chiefs are 7-16 ATS in their last 23 games overall. Kansas City is 3-10 ATS in its last 13 home games. The Chiefs go from being 2.5-point road favorites at Las Vegas to 10.5-point home favorites in the rematch. This is too big of an adjustment. Roll with the Raiders Sunday.
|12-11-21||Navy +7.5 v. Army||Top||17-13||Win||100||95 h 21 m||Show|
20* Army/Navy CBS No-Brainer on Navy +7.5
Both teams will be motivated. But I just think Navy will be the slightly more motivated team for a couple of different reasons. First, this is their 'National Championship' game since they won't be going to a bowl game. Secondly, the Midshipmen want revenge from a 15-0 loss to Army last season.
Navy played a much more difficult schedule than Army this season, which will work in its favor. The Midshipmen played the 54th-toughest schedule. Army played the 87th-toughest schedule and took advantage with an 8-3 campaign.
Navy was a much improved team in the second half of the season. The Midshipmen went 2-3 SU & 4-1 ATS in their final five games. They took four-team playoff participant Cincinnati to the wire in a 20-27 loss as 29-point dogs. They actually outgained Cincinnati by 37 yards in that contest.
They went on to upset Tulsa 20-17 as 12-point road dogs and outgained them by 8 yards. Their only non-cover was a 6-34 loss at Notre Dame as 21-point dogs, and Notre Dame is one of the best teams in the country as well so that's understandable. They took a very good ECU team to the wire in a 35-38 loss as 3.5-point dogs. Then they crushed Tulsa 38-14 as 13.5-point favorites in their finale. They are playing well enough to stay within a touchdown of Army and possibly pull off the upset.
Army played a much easier schedule of opposing defenses which is why its offensive numbers are better than Navy. But these teams are pretty even defensively despite Navy playing the much tougher schedule of opposing offenses. Navy gives up just 359.8 yards per game on the season, 132 rushing yards per game and 4.1 per carry. Army allows 324.1 yards per game, 3.7 per carry and 104 rushing yards per game.
Navy's defense is good enough to keep them in this game, and it's expected to be low scoring with a 34-point total, so getting over a touchdown here is a nice value. The Midshipmen are 5-1 ATS in their last six games vs. a team with a winning record. Bet Navy Saturday.
|12-09-21||Steelers v. Vikings -3||Top||28-36||Win||100||11 h 15 m||Show|
20* Steelers/Vikings Non-Conference KNOCKOUT on Minnesota -3
This is a great time to 'buy low' on the Minnesota Vikings and 'sell high' on the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Vikings are coming off two straight road losses to the 49ers and Lions, and that upset loss to the Lions looks real bad. Meanwhile, the Steelers just upset the Ravens at home.
But now the Steelers hit the road on a short week off a physical game against the Ravens. Their last two road performances were miserable. They lost 10-41 at Cincinnati and 37-41 to the Chargers in a game that was a much bigger blowout than the final score would indicate. They were down 27-10 going into the 4th quarter before miraculously scoring 27 points in the final period. They were outgained by 233 yards by the Chargers and should have lost by more.
Minnesota is back home where they were last seen upsetting the Green Bay Packers. They have one of the best home-field advantages in the NFL. Their season is on the line here, so we'll get a big effort from them. And they get back three key players from injury in LB Eric Kendricks, LB Anthony Barr and CB Patrick Peterson. Being without those three is a big reason why the Lions had success on offense against them last week.
The stats show the Vikings are by far the superior team. They rank 7th in the NFL with 5.8 yards per play on offense while the Steelers rank just 27th at 5.0 yards per play. Pittsburgh is slightly better on defense at 5.7 yards per play allowed while Minnesota gives up 5.8 yards per play. But the Steelers have played a very weak schedule of opposing offenses compared to the Vikings.
Minnesota is much better than its 5-7 record as all seven losses have come by one score. Pittsburgh isn't as good as its 6-5-1 record as four of its five losses have come by double-digits, while all six wins have come by one score. So we are getting artificial line value here on the Vikings because most look at these as even teams and give the Vikings 3 points for home field. But that's just not the case. The Vikings are the far superior team and it will show tonight.
Mike Zimmer is 16-5 ATS following two or more consecutive losses as the coach of Minnesota. Zimmer is 13-3 ATS after a loss by 3 points or less as the coach of the Vikings. The Steelers are 0-5 ATS in their last five games following an ATS win. The Vikings are 42-19 ATS in their last 61 games following a loss.
Plays against any team (Pittsburgh) - off an upset win as a home underdog, a marginal winning team (51% to 60%) playing a team with a losing record in the second half of the season are 24-4 (85.7%) ATS since 1983. Bet the Vikings Thursday.
|12-06-21||Patriots v. Bills -2.5||Top||14-10||Loss||-120||125 h 38 m||Show|
20* Patriots/Bills MNF GAME OF THE MONTH on Buffalo -2.5
It's time to 'sell high' on the New England Patriots. They have gone 6-0 SU & 6-0 ATS in their last six games overall with most their wins coming via blowout. But it has been about as an easy a schedule as possible. They beat the banged-up Jets, the Chargers, the Panthers, the banged-up Browns, the banged-up Falcons and the banged-up Titans. This is a huge step up in class for them Monday night.
The Buffalo Bills are a legitimate Super Bowl contender this season. They bounced back from a bad loss to the Colts where they had four turnovers with a 31-6 road win over the Saints on Thanksgiving. Now they have had extra rest and will be ready to go Monday night with a great atmosphere in Buffalo with first place on the line in the AFC East. We'll get an 'A' effort from the Bills, and their 'A' game is much better than that of the Patriots.
New England relies heavily on running the football. Well, the Bills have allowed 79 or fewer rushing yards in four of their last five games overall. They key to their run defense is LB Tremaine Edmunds. The Bills only give up 3.6 yards per carry with him on the field. Edmunds is healthy now, and this is one of the healthiest rosters in the entire NFL.
I've heard plenty about the weather in Buffalo Monday night being a reason bettors are on the Patriots. I disagree that the temps in the 20s with near-20 MPH winds helps New England. I think it actually favors the Bills, who have a strong-armed quarterback in Josh Allen who can cut through any wind, and also beat the Patriots with his legs.
Mac Jones is more of a finesse quarterback who will struggle more with the wind than Allen will. The Bills are a better rushing team than the Patriots, too. They average 118 rushing yards per game and 4.6 per carry, while the Patriots average 115 yards per game and 4.1 per carry. New England is only outgaining its opponents by 38.7 yards per game, while Buffalo is outgaining opponents by 113.7 yards per game. The Bills are clearly the better team and should be more than 2.5-point home favorites here.
Buffalo is 9-2 ATS in its last 11 games when the line is +3 to -3. The Bills are 10-2 ATS in the second half of the season over the last two seasons. Buffalo is 6-0 ATS in its last six games after allowing 4 yards per play or less last game. The Bills are 15-6-1 ATS in their last 22 games overall. The Patriots come back down to reality with this big step up in competition this week. Roll with the Bills Monday.
|12-05-21||Giants v. Dolphins -4||Top||9-20||Win||100||93 h 25 m||Show|
20* NFL BLOWOUT GAME OF THE MONTH on Miami Dolphins -4
The Miami Dolphins are grossly undervalued after a 1-7 start this season. They have gone 4-0 SU & 4-0 ATS since as they have gotten healthy and gotten back to playing the same dominant defense that got them as far as they did last year.
The Dolphins beat the Texans 17-9 with Jacob Brissett and held them to just 272 total yards while forcing four turnovers. They then beat the Ravens 22-10 and held them to 304 total yards while forcing two turnovers. They went on to beat the Jets 24-17. And last week they crushed the Panthers 33-10 at home and held them to just 198 total yards while forcing three turnovers.
Tua returned in the second half against the Ravens and had a great finish, completing 8-of-13 passes for 158 yards while also rushing for a score. He started against the Jets and had another solid game through the air, going 27-of-33 passing for 273 yards with two touchdowns and one pick. And last week he went 27-of-31 passing for 230 yards and a touchdown without a pick against a very good Carolina defense. That's 81% completions for Tua over the last three weeks. Having Tua back healthy and a dominant defense makes the Dolphins a sleeper moving forward.
Now they take on the Giants, who have about as bad an injury report as any team in the NFL right now. It got even worse with QB Daniel Jones ruled out this week, so Mike Glennon will get the start in his place. They will also be without WR's Sterling Shepard and Kedarius Toney with several other key players either ruled out or questionable. They have one of the worst injury reports in the entire NFL.
Miami has been blitzing a ton in recent weeks and trusting their lockdown secondary, which has been the key to their turnaround defensively. The statue, Glennon, is going to be under duress all game, and he doesn't have the healthy playmakers around him to make the Dolphins pay for blitzing. They will continue their recent surge with a 5th straight win and cover in blowout fashion over the short-handed Giants on Sunday. They will be up against a shaky New York offense that has managed just 264, 215 and 245 total yards in the three weeks, respectively.
The Dolphins are 12-4 ATS in their last 16 home games. Miami is 9-1 ATS in home games after the first month of the season over the last two seasons. The Dolphins are 7-0 ATS in home games in the second half of the season over the last two seasons. The Giants are 0-6 ATS in their last six games after winning two of their last three games. Bet the Dolphins Sunday.
|12-05-21||Bucs v. Falcons OVER 50||Top||30-17||Loss||-118||45 h 41 m||Show|
20* NFL TOTAL OF THE MONTH on Bucs/Falcons OVER 50
This game definitely sets up to be a shootout. I don't think it will be as high scoring as the first meeting when the Bucs won 48-25 for 73 combined points. There won't be as many defensive touchdowns. But we just need the OVER 50 here, and that shouldn't be a problem.
The Bucs are decimated in the secondary right now, which will allow Matt Ryan to have a big game, especially since he has a healthy Cordarrelle Patterson back to get the ball to. Patterson has been almost as important a player to his team as any player in the NFL this season that's a non-quarterback. It's a Tampa Bay secondary that will be without Richard Sherman, Carlton Davis and Mike Edwards and could be without Jamel Dean.
The Bucs got Gronk back on offense and are hitting on all cylinders on that side of the ball. They followed up a 30-point performance against the Giants with 38 points against the Colts last week. They should easily get to 30 or more here, and I think the Falcons are good for at least 20 while trying to pay catch up against a soft Bucs secondary.
The OVER is 10-1 in the last 11 meetings, including 5-0 in the last five meetings in Atlanta. They have combined for 50 or more points in 10 of their last 11 meetings. The Bucs are 17-5 OVER in their last 22 games vs. division opponents. Bet the OVER in this game Sunday.
|12-05-21||Chargers v. Bengals OVER 49||41-22||Win||100||45 h 41 m||Show|
15* NFL Sunday Total DOMINATOR on Chargers/Bengals OVER 49
These are two of the better offenses in the NFL and they should have no problem combining to top 49 points in this game Sunday. It will be sunny with temperatures in the 40's in Cincinnati on Sunday with light winds under 10 MPH. The weather will make for perfect scoring conditions in this matchup of two of the best young quarterbacks in the NFL.
The Bengals are scoring 28.1 points per game this season. Joe Burrow is completing 69.3% of his passes for 2,835 yards with a 22-to-12 TD/INT ratio this season. Joe Mixon has rushed for 924 yards and 11 touchdowns and should have a huge game on the ground against a Chargers defense that is the worst in the NFL against the run. They give up 145 rushing yards per game and 4.7 per carry this season, and 26.6 points per game overall.
The Chargers are scoring 24.8 points per game this season and averaging 383.8 yards per game. Justin Herbert is completing 66% of his passes for 3,230 yards with a 24-to-10 TD/INT ratio. Austin Ekeler has rushed for 604 yards and has 473 receiving yards with 14 combined touchdowns. The Bengals have good defensive numbers, but they have also played the easiest schedule in the NFL of opposing offenses. Their defense isn't as good as the numbers would suggest.
The OVER is 6-1-1 in Bengals last eight games as home favorites. The OVER is 4-0 in Bengals last four games after scoring more than 30 points in their previous game. Look for a shootout as Burrow and Herbert try and match each other score for score in this one. Take the OVER in this game Sunday.
|12-05-21||Bucs v. Falcons +11||30-17||Loss||-108||45 h 41 m||Show|
15* NFC PLAY OF THE DAY on Atlanta Falcons +11
Cordarrelle Patterson has meant everything to this Atlanta offense this season. He has 411 rushing yards and four touchdowns to go along with 41 receptions for 500 yards and five scores. With Calvin Ridley out, his presence on the field is even bigger. Their offense has been good with him, but without him it has been dreadful.
The Falcons are going to want revenge from a 25-48 road loss to the Bucs as 13-point dogs in their first meeting. That game was much closer than the final score showed as it was a 3-point game in the 4th quarter before two straight pick-6's from Matt Ryan to blow it open. That's unlikely to happen again, and I like the Falcons' chances of matching Tom Brady and company score for score in this one to stay within this massive 11-point spread.
The Falcons will never be out of this game because they will be up against a banged-up Tampa Bay secondary that will be without Richard Sherman, Carlton Davis and Mike Edwards and could be without Jamel Dean. The Bucs give up 67.7% completions on the season and their secondary is their weakness.
Tampa Bay is 3-3 SU & 1-5 ATS in road games this season with its three wins coming by 6 of Philadelphia, by 2 of New England and by 7 over Indianapolis. So the Bucs haven't blown anyone out on the road this year. They were fortunate to beat the Colts last week, who handed that game away by committing five turnovers in a 31-38 defeat.
Tampa Bay is 0-6 ATS in its last six road games after playing a game where 60 points or more were scored. The Bucs are 1-6 ATS in their last seven games as road favorites. The Falcons are 6-2 ATS in their last eight December games and have been great at playing the role of spoiler down the stretch in recent years. But they are still 5-6 this season and very much alive for the playoffs, so they have a lot to play for. The home team is 7-2 ATS in the last nine meetings. Take the Falcons Sunday.
|12-05-21||Colts v. Texans +10||31-0||Loss||-106||45 h 41 m||Show|
15* AFC PLAY OF THE DAY on Houston Texans +10
This is a terrible spot for the Indianapolis Colts. After crushing the Bills on the road, they came back home and blew a double-digit lead against the defending Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Bucs in a 38-31 shootout defeat. That loss will have taken a lot out of them, and now this is a sandwich spot with bigger games on deck against the Patriots and Cardinals. They will be overlooking the Texans.
We saw what happens when a team overlooks Tyrod Taylor and the Texans two weeks ago. They went into Tennessee and won outright as 10-point dogs. And after coming back home and losing to the Jets, we are getting great value on the Texans again this week as double-digit home underdogs. They will get up for this game against a division opponent just as they did for the Titans two weeks ago.
This Houston defense is improving, and the offense is much better with Taylor, who has been a covering machine throughout his career. The Texans are allowing just 17.0 points per game in their last three games while forcing 11 turnovers. They have not quit on that side of the ball. Their offense can make enough plays with Taylor to keep this game close, too.
Indianapolis beat Houston 31-3 at home in their first meeting, making this a revenge game for the Texans and adding to their motivation. But that game was with Davis Mills at QB for the Texans, and it was much closer than the final score showed. Indianapolis only outgained Houston by 35 yards in that contest. But the Texans beat themselves by being -3 in turnovers and failing to score on several red zone trips. Taylor won't make the same mistakes that Mills did.
Houston is 17-4 ATS in its last 21 home games when revenging a loss where opponent scored 28 points or more. The Texans are 17-5 ATS in their last 22 home games following a home loss. Plays on underdogs of 3.5 to 10 points (Houston) - after a game where they committed one or fewer turnovers against an opponent coming off a game with a turnover margin of -2 or worse are 31-10 (75.6%) ATS over the last five seasons. Roll with the Texans Sunday.
|12-04-21||Houston +10.5 v. Cincinnati||20-35||Loss||-108||73 h 33 m||Show|
15* Houston/Cincinnati AAC Championship ANNIHILATOR on Houston +10.5
Cincinnati has all the pressure in this game. Win and they become the 1st Group of 5 program to make the four-team playoff. Lose and they don't. That is a lot to deal with, and I don't expect them to handle it well. They no longer need style points either, so don't look for them to try and run it up if they get the opportunity. They just need to win.
Houston has quietly reeled off 11 straight victories since a season-opening loss to Texas Tech. The Cougars have been flying under the radar. And I'm sure they feel disrespected here and ready to try and prove a point. They will also be playing freely knowing they aren't going to the four-team playoff, win or lose. Look for one of their best performances of the season.
These teams aren't that far off statistically. Houston is outgaining teams by 132 yards per game behind a dominant defense that gives up just 290 yards per game. Cincinnati is outgaining opponents by 128 yards per game with a dominant defense that gives up 302 yards per game. This will be a defensive battle, and I think getting double-digits is a nice value in this instance.
Houston QB Clayton Tune is also quietly having a great season. He ranks as the 3rd-best QB in the country according to pro football focus behind Alabama's Bryce Young and Pittsburgh's Kenny Pickett. Tune is completing 68.7% of his passes for 3,013 yards with a 26-to-8 TD/INT ratio.
Houston is 6-0 SU in true road games this season and outscoring opponents by a whopping 26.5 points per game. The Cougars are 20-7-1 ATS in their last 28 games as road underdogs. Houston is 16-5 ATS in its last 21 games following an ATS loss. The road team is 4-1-1 ATS in the last six meetings. Roll with Houston Saturday.
|12-04-21||Appalachian State v. UL-Lafayette UNDER 53||16-24||Win||100||44 h 56 m||Show|
15* CFB Saturday Total DOMINATOR on Appalachian State/Louisiana UNDER 53
Talk about familiarity. Appalachian State and Louisiana have been battling for Sun Belt titles for the better part of the last five years. This will be their 7th meeting since 2018 and the 3rd time in the last four years that they will be meeting in the Sun Belt Championship Game while playing twice in the same season.
Familiarity favors defense and low scoring games. These teams have combined for 54 or fewer points in five of their last six meetings, and 49 points or fewer in four of those. The UNDER is 5-1 in those six meetings. Louisiana did beat Appalachian State 41-13 in their first meeting this season. While their defense was dominant in holding the Mountaineers to 211 total yards, their offense wasn't as good as the 41 points showed. They had several easy scores set up by four turnovers by the Mountaineers. That's not going to happen again.
Both teams live off running the football and playing defense. Appalachian State averages 41 rush attempts and 29 pass attempts per game, while Louisiana averages 39 rush attempts and 28 pass attempts. Louisiana allows just 18.5 points per game, 348.4 yards per game and 5.1 yards per play this season. Appalachian State allows 18.9 points per game, 319.6 yards per game and 4.9 yards per play.
The UNDER is 14-2 in Rajin' Cajuns last 16 home games. The UNDER is 9-0 in Louisiana's last nine home games vs. a team with a 58% completion percentage or better. The UNDER is 36-15-1 in Rajin' Cajuns last 52 conference games. The UNDER is 9-2 in Mountaineers last 11 games following a win by more than 20 points. Take the UNDER in this game Saturday.
|12-04-21||Kent State -3 v. Northern Illinois||Top||23-41||Loss||-115||40 h 27 m||Show|
25* Conference Championship GAME OF THE YEAR on Kent State -3
It's a minor miracle Northern Illinois even made the MAC Championship Game this season. They went 8-4 with seven wins by one score with the only exception being their victory over lowly FCS Maine. That includes four wins by 2 points or fewer.
The numbers show the Huskies are no better than an average team to possibly below average. They are getting outscored by 2.7 points per game on the season and outgained by 26.3 yards per game. They have a hobbled QB in Rocky Lombardi who sat out the regular season finale in a 21-42 loss to Western Michigan in which they were outgained by 345 yards.
Kent State is one win away from its first MAC Championship since 1972 and second in school history. The Golden Flashes have put themselves in this position by going 4-1 SU & 4-1 ATS in their last five games overall with their lone loss at Central Michigan. That includes their 52-47 win over Northern Illinois in their first meeting.
The Huskies racked up 681 total yards on this soft Northern Illinois defense in that first meeting. It's a NIU defense that has just 14 sacks all season, so they get no pressure on opposing quarterbacks. Dustin Crum threw for 322 yards and two touchdowns while also rushing for 72 yards and two scores in that first meeting. The Golden Flashes rushed for 359 yards as a team.
Kent State is 6-0 ATS in its last six vs. poor defensive teams that allow 425 or more yards per game. The Golden Flashes are 14-4 ATS in their last 18 road games vs. poor defensive teams that allow 450 or more yards per game. Northern Illinois is 3-12 ATS in its last 15 games as a neutral field underdog. The Golden Flashes are 9-1 ATS in their last nine games after gaining more than 450 yards in their previous game. Bet Kent State Saturday.
|12-03-21||Oregon v. Utah -2.5||Top||10-38||Win||100||24 h 27 m||Show|
20* Oregon/Utah Pac-12 Championship No-Brainer on Utah -2.5
Utah has never won a Pac-12 Championship. They have won the Pac-12 South now three of the last four years. But they came up shot in their two title games to Washington in 2018 and Oregon in 2019. The Utes will be highly motivated to hand Kyle Whittingham his first Pac-12 Championship this weekend.
That's why I'm not worried about any type of letdown that would occur from having already beaten Oregon 38-7 as 3-point favorites in their first meeting this season. It will be more of the same here as Utah shuts down the Oregon rushing attack, forcing the inaccurate Anthony Brown to try and beat them through the air.
In that first meeting, Utah held Oregon to just 63 rushing yards on 23 attempts and 294 total yards overall. The Utes did what they wanted to on the ground, rushing for 208 yards and gaining 386 total yards for the game. They played a vanilla second half after taking a 28-0 lead or they could have won by more.
This Utah team has been a different animal since Cam Rising took over at quarterback. They have won five straight and eight of their last nine games overall with all eight wins coming by 9 points or more. They have outgained seven of those nine opponents with the only exceptions being -7 against USC and -13 against Oregon State.
Rising has a 17-to-3 TD/INT ratio through the air, but his dual-threat ability has been what makes him tough to tame. He has rushed for 346 yards and five scores while averaging 6.4 per carry. In all honesty, these teams are pretty even outside of quarterback play. Their season-long stats are about the same offensively with Utah having the slight edge on defense. Rising over Brown, the edges on defense and special teams, and Whittingham over Cristobal makes Utah an easy choice as only a 2.5-point favorite.
Utah is 6-0 ATS in its last six games vs. teams that complete 62% of their passes or better. The Utes are 8-1 ATS in their last nine games after allowing 125 or fewer rushing yards in four straight games, and 34-13 ATS in their last 47 after allowing 125 or less in three straight. The Ducks are 8-20 ATS in their last 28 games following an ATS win. Bet Utah Friday.
|12-02-21||Cowboys -5 v. Saints||27-17||Win||100||11 h 39 m||Show|
15* Cowboys/Saints NFC ANNIHILATOR on Dallas -5
The Dallas Cowboys should get right tonight after losing two straight and three of their last four. They get several key players back from injury this week, not the least of which are their top two receivers in Amari Cooper and CeeDee Lamb.
The Cowboys should score at will on a Saints defense that is mostly responsible for going 0-4 SU & 1-3 ATS in their last four games overall. They were upset at home as 7-point favorites against the Falcons, lost by 2 on the road to a banged-up Tennessee team, lost by 11 as 3-point dogs at Philadelphia and lost by 25 as 7-point home dogs to the Bills.
This New Orleans defense gave up 40 points to Philadelphia and 31 more to Buffalo. I think the Cowboys will get to 30 in this game, and that will be enough to cover this 5-point spread because this New Orleans offense is broken as well.
Trevor Siemian went 0-3 as a starter and now the Saints are likely to turn to the hobbled Taysom Hill in desperation. They have terrible weapons on the outside, and Alvin Kamara is questionable to return this week. They have several injuries on defense and on offense that have held them back in recent weeks and continue to be a problem.
Dallas is 6-0 ATS vs. NFC opponents this season. New Orleans is 2-11 ATS in its last 13 home games following a home loss by 10 points or more. The Cowboys are 11-4 ATS in their last 15 games overall. The Saints are 3-8 ATS in their last 11 games vs. a team with a winning record. Dallas is getting right now in the health department, and New Orleans is broken. Bet the Cowboys Thursday.
|11-29-21||Seahawks v. Washington Football Team -105||Top||15-17||Win||100||69 h 7 m||Show|
20* Seattle/Washington ESPN No-Brainer on Washington PK
The Washington Football Team has climbed its way back into playoff contention by winning two straight games outright as underdogs. They beat the Bucs 29-19 as 10-point home dogs before going on the road and topping the Panthers 27-21 as 3-point dogs. They had a bye prior to the Tampa Bay game and have come back a different team.
But Washington has been playing elite defense for weeks. In their last four games, they held the Packers to 24 points and 304 yards, the Broncos to 17 points and 273 yards, the Bucs to 19 points and 273 yards and the Panthers to 21 points and 297 yards.
Their defense should win them this game as well against a Seattle offense that can't get anything going. The Seahawks have been held to 20 points or fewer in five of their last six games. They have scored a combined 13 points in their two games since Russell Wilson returned, so his presence hasn't mattered and he does not look healthy.
The Seahawks are now 3-7 and out of playoff contention. Their numbers are every bit as bad as their record suggests. They are averaging just 298.6 yards per game on offense and allowing 401.8 yards per game on defense, getting outgained by a whopping 103.2 yards per game. To compare, Washington is only getting outgained by 20.7 yards per game on the season.
Seattle is 0-6 ATS in its last six road games in the second half of the season. Seattle is 3-8 ATS in its last 11 road games. The Football Team is 4-0 ATS in their last four November games. Ron Rivera is 21-7 ATS off an upset win as an underdog as a head coach. We have two teams headed in opposite directions here. Bet Washington Monday.
|11-28-21||Vikings v. 49ers -3||Top||26-34||Win||100||97 h 10 m||Show|
20* Vikings/49ers NFC Late-Afternoon ANNIHILATOR on San Francisco -3
The 49ers had a team meeting after their terrible loss to Colt McCoy and the Cardinals. They came back and throttled the Rams 31-10 at home while holding them to just 278 total yards. Then they made that win count by going on the road and dominating the Jaguars 30-10 and holding them to just 200 total yards. Now the 49ers are starting to play like the team everyone thought they'd be coming into the season.
But we continue getting them at a discount because of their 5-5 record. Their numbers are elite. They average 360 yards per game on offense and have been even better when Jimmy G and George Kittle are healthy, which both are now. And they have one of the best defenses in the NFL at 318 yards per game allowed. They are outgaining opponents by over 40 yards per game and 0.6 yards per play.
Minnesota is also 5-5 but doesn't have as good of numbers. The Vikings only outgain opponents by 8 yards per game and actually get outgained by 0.2 yards per play on the season. And I think it's a terrible spot for the Vikings. They are coming off a huge last-second win over their biggest rivals in the Green Bay Packers. And that's a banged-up Packers team at that and they took advantage. Now they have to travel clear out to the West Coast. There's no way they'll be as motivated for this game as they were for the Packers, and I expect them to fall flat here.
Minnesota is 6-17 ATS in its last 23 games off an upset win as a home underdog. The Vikings are 8-20 ATS in their last 28 road games following a win by 3 points or less. The home team is 4-0 SU & 4-0 ATS in the last five meetings with the home team winning all four games by 8 points or more. I think we see the 49ers continue playing their best football of the season and win this game by more than a field goal over the Vikings. Take the 49ers Sunday.
|11-28-21||Chargers v. Broncos +3||13-28||Win||100||41 h 58 m||Show|
15* NFL Sunday UPSET SHOCKER on Denver Broncos +3
Death, taxes and Teddy Bridgewater as an underdog. Bridgewater is 25-9 ATS as an underdog in his career as a starting quarterback. And I think we are getting tremendous value on the Broncos this week as home underdogs to the Los Angeles Chargers.
The Broncos sit at 5-5 and ready to try and make a run at the playoffs here down the stretch. They come in off their bye week, so they will be fresh and have had two weeks to prepare for Justin Herbert and company. It should be a great atmosphere for the Broncos, and I fully expect them to win this game outright thanks to their rest and preparation advantage.
The Chargers will be playing for a 5th consecutive week and all five games went down to the wire decided by 7 points or less. That includes their crazy 41-37 win over the Steelers last week in which they blew a big lead and needed some late heroics from Justin Herbert to get the victory. I expect them to still be feeling the after-effects of all these close games and especially that tiring shootout last week on Sunday Night Football.
The key matchup here is that the Broncos will be able to run the football at will on the Chargers and control the game with time off possession. They are a solid running team averaging 4.5 yards per carry, and they'll be up against one of the worst run defenses in the NFL. The Chargers allow 145 rushing yards per game and 4.7 yards per carry.
Denver is 21-6 ATS in its last 27 games following a bye week. Los Angeles is 2-12 ATS in its last 14 games after gaining 400 or more total yards in its previous game. The Chargers are 1-9 ATS in their last 10 November games. The Broncos are 9-1 ATS in their last 10 games after scoring less than 15 points in their previous game. Take the Broncos Sunday.
|11-28-21||Panthers v. Dolphins +2.5||Top||10-33||Win||100||94 h 45 m||Show|
25* NFL Non-Conference GAME OF THE YEAR on Miami Dolphins +2.5
The Miami Dolphins are grossly undervalued after a 1-7 start this season. They have gone 3-0 SU & 3-0 ATS since as they have gotten healthy and gotten back to playing the same dominant defense that got them as far as they did last year.
The Dolphins beat the Texans 17-9 with Jacob Brissett and held them to just 272 total yards while forcing four turnovers. They then beat the Ravens 22-10 and held them to 304 total yards while forcing two turnovers. And last week they beat the Jets 24-17.
Tua returned in the second half against the Ravens and had a great finish, completing 8-of-13 passes for 158 yards while also rushing for a score. He started against the Jets and had another solid game through the air, going 27-of-33 passing for 273 yards with two touchdowns and one pick.
Having Tua back healthy and a dominant defense makes the Dolphins a sleeper moving forward, especially with three straight home games against suspect competition coming up with a chance to get back to .500. This team believes right now, and that is a big thing as we head down the stretch run of the season.
The Panthers continue to be overvalued from their blowout win at Arizona two weeks ago in Cam Newton's return. Newton got the nod last week and did not play well, losing 21-27 at home to Washington as 3-point favorites. Now they are favored against on the road here, and I just don't trust Newton to be able to beat Miami's blitz-happy defense with his arm. We saw what they did to Lamar Jackson two weeks ago. The formula will be the same here against Newton and the Panthers.
Carolina is 5-13-1 ATS in its last 14 games as a road favorite. The Panthers are 7-19 ATS in their last 26 games vs. a team with a losing record. The Dolphins are 11-4 ATS in their last 15 home games. Miami is 9-1 ATS in its last 10 home games vs. a team with a losing record. The home team is 4-1 ATS in the last five meetings. Bet the Dolphins Sunday.
|11-28-21||Bucs v. Colts +3||Top||38-31||Loss||-103||38 h 53 m||Show|
20* Bucs/Colts Non-Conference KNOCKOUT on Indianapolis +3
The Indianapolis Colts are 6-2 SU & 6-2 ATS in their last eight games overall with their only losses both coming in overtime to Baltimore and Tennessee. Carson Wentz has not thrown an interception in eight of his last nine games. And the Colts have a great defense and running game. They are definitely one of the biggest sleepers in the NFL right now.
That showed last week in their 41-15 win at Buffalo behind five touchdowns from arguably the best RB in the NFL in Jonathan Taylor. They could have a letdown, but I don't think so considering they still have a lot of work to do to make the playoffs as they sit at just 6-5 on the season. And they have the defending Super Bowl champion Bucs coming to town, so they are almost assuredly not going to let up.
I just don't think Tampa Bay can be trusted on the road, either. The Bucs are 2-3 SU & 0-5 ATS on the road this season. Their two wins came by 2 points over the Patriots and 6 over the Eagles. They lost at the Rams by 10, were upset at New Orleans by 9 and also upset as a double-digit favorite at Washington by 10. This might be their toughest road test of the season.
Plus, the Bucs are on a short week after playing on Monday Night Football. They could be without their best run stuffer in defensive tackle Vita Vea, who sat out last game. They have injuries in the secondary and on offense that are concerning. And I just think they are overvalued after beating the lowly Giants Monday night.
The Colts are 11-1 ATS in their last 12 games against good passing teams that average 7 or more yards per attempt. The Bucs are 0-6 ATS in their last six games as road favorites. Indianapolis is 4-0 ATS in its last four games as an underdog. These three trends combine for a 21-1 system backing Indianapolis. Roll with the Colts Sunday.
|11-28-21||Eagles v. Giants +4||7-13||Win||100||38 h 53 m||Show|
15* NFL Sunday Undervalued Underdog on New York Giants +4
It's a great time to 'sell high' on the Philadelphia Eagles. They are 3-1 SU & 3-1 ATS in their last four games overall. But those three wins came against the Lions, Broncos and Saints. And we saw how bad the Saints looked against the Bills on Thursday as they are missing several key players, as were the Broncos when they played them.
It's a good time to 'buy low' on the Giants after they were waxed 30-10 by the defending Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Bucs on Monday Night Football. That was a pissed off Bucs team coming off two straight losses, so they caught them at a bad time.
The Giants were playing well prior to that defeat, going 2-1 SU & 3-0 ATS in their previous three games. They upset the Panthers 25-3 at home, only lost by 3 to the Chiefs as 10.5-point road dogs, and upset the Raiders 23-16 at home. They had a bye after that game against Las Vegas, so they should still be fresh even though they are on a short week here after playing on Monday.
The Giants are 7-0 ATS in their last seven games after losing four or five of their last six games coming in. The Eagles are 3-9 ATS in their last 12 games following an ATS win. New York is 4-1 ATS in the last five meetings. The Giants are 18-7-1 ATS in their last 26 games vs. a team with a losing record.
Plays against favorites of 3.5 to 10 points (Philadelphia) after winning two of its last three games, a marginal losing team (40% to 49%) playing a losing team are 73-31 (70.2%) ATS since 1983. Bet the Giants Sunday.
|11-27-21||Pittsburgh v. Syracuse +13.5||31-14||Loss||-105||69 h 58 m||Show|
15* ACC PLAY OF THE DAY on Syracuse +13.5
Syracuse is 5-6 this season and needs one more win to get bowl eligible. It's clear we will get their 'A' game Saturday as they will be max motivated to get to a bowl. It will be a night game and a tremendous atmosphere with home-field advantage worth more than on any other normal week.
I question how motivated Pittsburgh will be for this one. In fact, I expect something less than their 'A' game for sure, which is going to make it hard for them to win this game by two touchdowns or more to beat us.
The Panthers just clinched the Coastal Division title with their 48-38 win over Virginia last week. They will be looking ahead to the ACC Championship Game next week, and they won't be fully focused on Syracuse. They will be more worried about trying to keep everyone healthy for next week to try and win the ACC title.
Syracuse is 12-3 ATS in its last 15 games following two straight conference losses where they allowed 31 points or more. The Orange are 5-0 ATS in their last five home games. Their three home losses this season were all close by 3 to Clemson, by 3 to Wake Forest and by 10 to Rutgers.
Plays on underdogs of 10.5 to 21 points (Syracuse) - after failing to cover the spread in two of their last three games against an opponent that covered the spread in five or six of their last seven games are 34-9 (79.1%) ATS over the last five seasons. Roll with Syracuse Saturday.
|11-27-21||Tulsa +6.5 v. SMU||Top||34-31||Win||100||65 h 29 m||Show|
25* College Football GAME OF THE YEAR on Tulsa +6.5
Tulsa has clawed its way back to 5-6 by winning four of its last six games to get within one more victory of bowl eligibility. The two losses came by 3 to Navy and by 8 to Cincinnati on the road in a game they nearly won outright. They will capitalize on this opportunity to make a bowl by winning this game outright at SMU Saturday.
I question the motivation of the Mustangs. They won't be going to the AAC Title game. They are coming off a 14-48 loss to Cincinnati that was every bit the blowout that the final score showed. They were outgained 199 to 544 by the Bearcats. They have now gone 1-3 SU & 1-3 ATS in their last four games overall for a lackluster finish. I see no reason they will want to win this game Saturday, either.
Tulsa is the better team despite having the worse record in my opinion. They have played the tougher schedule and are outgaining opponents by 62 yards per game and 0.6 yards per play. SMU has played the weaker schedule and is outgaining teams by 53 yards per game and 0.4 yards per play.
SMU was without leading receiver Danny Gray last week and his 49 catches for 803 yards and nine touchdowns this season. He's questionable to return this week and chances are the Mustangs are going to sit him considering this game isn't that important.
And I just think this SMU offense is overrated, managing 355 yards against Houston, 323 yards against Memphis and 199 yards against Cincinnati in three of their last four games. Their defense is poor too giving up 419.1 yards per game and 6.0 per play. Tulsa allows 378.1 yards per game and 5.5 per play this season to compare.
Tulsa is 7-0 ATS in its last seven games as an underdog. The Golden Hurricane are 9-1 ATS in their last 10 road games. SMU is 4-20 ATS in its last 24 home games after getting outgained by 225 or more yards last game. The Golden Hurricane are 7-0 ATS in their last seven games vs. good offensive teams that score 37 or more points per game. Don't hesitate to buy this to +7 while also sprinkling that money line. Bet Tulsa Saturday.
|11-27-21||Wisconsin v. Minnesota +7||13-23||Win||100||65 h 28 m||Show|
15* Wisconsin/Minnesota Big Ten ANNIHILATOR on Minnesota +7
Minnesota and Wisconsin match up very well. They are two physical teams that run the football and rely on defense. That is evident by this very low 39-point total. So getting 7 points in what is expected to be a defensive battle is a very nice value here with the Gophers at home Saturday.
Minnesota just outgained Indiana by 173 yards in a 35-14 road win and outgained Iowa by 132 yards in a losing effort on the road in a game they deserved to win the week prior. In fact, the Gophers have now outgained six straight Big Ten opponents coming into this game. They are playing well enough to knock off Wisconsin, and stay within a score of them at the very least.
It's a good time to 'sell high' on the Badgers off seven consecutive victories. But it's worth noting they were outgained by Nebraska by 54 yards last week in a fortunate 35-28 victory that kept their title hopes alive. They should be favored in this game, but by 3 and not 7 points in my opinion.
Last year, Minnesota only lost 17-20 (OT) as a 10.5-point road dog at Wisconsin. The Gophers outgained the Badgers in that game. They get them at home this time around and will be revenge-minded.
Wisconsin is 3-7 ATS in its last 10 games vs. a team with a winning record. Minnesota is 8-2-1 ATS in its last 11 conference games. The Gophers are 6-1-1 ATS in their last seven eight games as underdogs. The underdog is 9-4-1 ATS in the last 14 meetings. Minnesota is 10-1 ATS in its last 11 games after a game where it committed zero turnovers. Bet Minnesota Saturday.
|11-27-21||Arizona +20.5 v. Arizona State||15-38||Loss||-110||65 h 27 m||Show|
15* CFB Saturday Undervalued Underdog on Arizona +20.5
It's a terrible spot for Arizona State this week. They just lost out on their chance to win the Pac-12 title with their 10-24 road loss as 3-point favorites at Oregon State last week. And now they won't be that motivated to face a 1-10 Arizona team this week. Not only do they have to win, they have to win by three touchdowns or more to beat us.
Arizona State managed just 10 points and 266 total yards against a bad Oregon State defense last week. Injuries are mounting up on offense for the Sun Devils with two receivers and two tight ends out. QB Jayden Daniels is not playing well with an 8-to-9 TD/INT ratio this season and his job will be even tougher this week.
The Arizona Wildcats are flying under the radar here late in the season because they are just 1-10 SU this season. But they have been much more competitive than that record shows, and they certainly have not quit under first-year head coach Jedd Fisch. They will be max motivated playing their biggest rivals here to close out the season as this game means more to them than it does the Sun Devils.
Arizona State is 4-1 ATS in its last five games overall. The Wildcats only lost by 5 as 17.5-point dogs to Washington, by 7 to USC as 21.5-point dogs, upset Cal by 7 as 7-point dogs, and only lost by 9 to Utah as 23.5-point dogs. And Utah is one of the best teams in the conference. If they're not it's Oregon, and Arizona actually outgained Oregon by 42 yards earlier this season.
In fact, the Wildcats haven't been outgained by more than 139 yards in any of their last nine games. In their last nine games, the Wildcats are getting outgained by only 12.2 yards per game on average. They have been much more competitive than their record suggests as stated before.
Arizona State is 6-15 ATS in its last 21 games as a favorite. Take Arizona Saturday.
|11-27-21||Vanderbilt +32.5 v. Tennessee||Top||21-45||Win||100||73 h 35 m||Show|
20* SEC GAME OF THE WEEK on Vanderbilt +32.5
Tennessee just clinched bowl eligibility last week with a win over South Alabama to get their 6th victory of the season. I don't see them being that motivated to face Vanderbilt this weekend. And not only are they being asked to win, they are 32.5-point favorites at that.
At 2-9 on the season, this game means a lot more to Vanderbilt as it will be their final game of the season against their rivals. And that record has the Commodores undervalued here down the stretch. They have gone 4-1 ATS in their last five games overall with three straight covers.
They only lost to South Carolina by 1 as 19-point underdogs. They only lost to Missouri by 9 as 16.5-point underdogs. They covered as 21.5-point dogs in a 17-point loss to Kentucky. And last week was their most impressive performance yet. They only lost by 14 as 35.5-point dogs at Ole Miss. What was impressive about it was that they were only outgained by 16 yards by the Rebels.
Their offense came to life under backup quarterback Mike Wright. He led the Commodores to 454 total yards against a very good Ole Miss defense. Wright threw for 241 yards, but it's his dual-threat ability that makes this Vanderbilt offense better. He also rushed for 61 yards on 13 carries in that Ole Miss game. And I think he can do enough to keep Vanderbilt within the number here against this mediocre Tennessee defense.
Vanderbilt is 25-9 ATS in its last 34 road games following a road loss. The Commodores are 7-2 ATS in their last nine road games. The Volunteers are 7-22-1 ATS in their last 30 games following a win by more than 20 points. Tennessee is 1-6 ATS in its last seven games following a win. The Volunteers are 16-35-1 ATS in their last 52 games after covering the spread in their previous game.
Tennessee hasn't won any of its last 17 meetings with Vanderbilt by more than 29 points. That makes for a 17-0 system backing the Commodores pertaining to this 32.5-point spread. Bet Vanderbilt Saturday.
|11-27-21||Oregon State +7 v. Oregon||Top||29-38||Loss||-106||65 h 59 m||Show|
20* Pac-12 GAME OF THE WEEK on Oregon State +7
The Oregon Ducks suffered their dream crusher loss last week in a 38-7 setback at Utah. Now they know they won't be going to the four-team playoff when they were in control of their own destiny if they won out having that head-to-head victory over Ohio State. But none of that matters now.
I think the Ducks suffer a hangover from that defeat. Now they face an upstart Oregon State Beavers team that is still alive to win the Pac-12 North. The Beavers will be the more focused, motivated team here and I think we are getting tremendous value with them catching 7 points against the Ducks.
Oregon State is 7-4 this season with all four losses by 14 points or less. They have been competitive in every game. They are coming off a 24-10 win over Arizona State as 3-point underdogs. And I think they have what it takes to hang with this Oregon team that gave up 208 rushing yards to Utah last week.
The Beavers should get their ground game going on offense as they do every week. They average 230 rushing yards per game and 5.5 per carry this season. Their defense has been solid as well, allowing 24.8 points per game and 377.0 yards per game, numbers very comparable to Oregon on both sides of the ball.
Oregon State is 10-1 ATS in its last 11 games as a road underdog. The Beavers are 7-0 ATS in their last seven games after allowing less than 100 rushing yards in their previous game. Oregon State is 6-0 ATS in its last six games vs. a team with a winning record. Oregon is 1-6 ATS in its last seven home games. The Ducks are 2-9 ATS in their last 11 games as favorites. The road team is 11-3-1 ATS in the last 15 meetings. The Beavers are 5-1-1 ATS in their last seven trips to Eugene. Take Oregon State Saturday.
|11-27-21||Penn State -1 v. Michigan State||Top||27-30||Loss||-110||65 h 59 m||Show|
20* Big Ten GAME OF THE WEEK on Penn State -1
Michigan State suffered its dream crusher loss to Ohio State last week in a 56-7 blowout defeat. Now the Spartans know they won't be making the four-team playoff or the Big Ten Championship Game. I think they suffer a hangover from that defeat now that all of their dreams are gone.
Penn State has put the James Franklin rumors behind them as he just signed a contract extension. I think we get a focused effort from the Nittany Lions, and the fact of the matter is they are the better team in this contest. The numbers agree.
Penn State is averaging 381.5 yards per game on offense and allowing 333.7 yards per game on defense, outgaining teams by nearly 48 yards per game. Michigan State is averaging 429.1 yards per game on offense and giving up 463.4 yards per game on defense, actually getting outgained by over 34 yards per game. The Spartans are a fraudulent 9-2 this season, and they are dealing with a ton of injuries right now.
These teams have five common opponents this season. Penn State is outgaining those five teams by 65.4 yards per game, while Michigan State is getting outgained by 86.2 yards per game by those same five opponents. This shows that Penn State is the better team and it's not really even close.
The Nittany Lions are 11-4 ATS in their last 15 games overall. Penn State is 9-2 ATS in its last 11 games as a favorite. The Nittany Lions are 5-1 ATS in their last six road games. Penn State is 36-14-1 ATS in its last 51 games following a win. The favorite is 8-2 ATS in the last 10 meetings. Roll with Penn State Saturday.
|11-27-21||Louisiana Tech v. Rice +4||31-35||Win||100||62 h 27 m||Show|
15* CFB Saturday UPSET SHOCKER on Rice +4
Both of these teams are 3-8 this season, but I like the way that Rice has played to finish the season much more than that of Louisiana Tech. And I think knowing we will get the 'A' game out of rice and less than that from Louisiana Tech will lead to an upset victory for the Owls at home here Saturday.
Rice upset UAB 30-24 as a 23.5-point road underdog. They went on to lose to North Texas in OT despite outgaining them by 53 yards. Then they lost at Charlotte in OT despite outgaining them by 119 yards. They were only outgained by Western Kentucky by 83 yards in a 21-point loss that was much closer than the final score. And WKU is one of the better Group of 5 teams in the country, same with UAB. And last week they lost by 10 at UTEP, another solid 7-4 bowl team.
Louisiana Tech is 1-6 in its last seven games overall with its only win coming against Charlotte in a game it was outgained by 44 yards. The Bulldogs lost outright to a terrible Southern Miss team by 16 as 15.5-point favorites last week, which is all you need to know about how they are currently playing and their mental state to close the season. They have been outgained in five of their last six games overall as well. This team is used to going to bowl games under Skip Holtz, and with that off the table they have struggled to find motivation down the stretch.
The Bulldogs are 2-9 ATS in their last 11 games games following a loss. Rice is 30-9 ATS in its last 39 games as a home underdog of 7 points or less. Roll with Rice Saturday.
|11-27-21||Florida State +3 v. Florida||21-24||Push||0||61 h 28 m||Show|
15* Florida State/Florida ESPN Early ANNIHILATOR on Florida State +3
Mike Norvell has done a great job of keeping this Florida State team together this season after an 0-4 start. The Seminoles have gone 5-2 since with their only losses to Clemson and NC State. That includes upset road wins over North Carolina and Boston College, as well as an upset home win over Miami.
Now the Seminoles sit at 5-6 and one win away from bowl eligibility. They definitely want it, and I know we will get their 'A' game here against their rivals in Florida. I don't think the same can be said for their opponent and I don't expect anything close to their 'A' game.
Florida is 1-4 SU & 0-5 ATS in its last five games overall and just fired head coach Dan Mullen. The Gators are coming off an upset loss to Missouri. They were also upset by 23 as 20.5-point favorites against South Carolina and by 7 as 12.5-point favorites against LSU. Their only win during this stretch was even a concern as they gave up 52 points as a 31.5-point favorite against Samford. At 5-6, they just want their season to be over, especially with the distractions about who their next head coach will be.
Florida is 5-15 ATS in its last 20 home games after a loss by 6 points or less. The Seminoles are 10-3 ATS in their last 13 games vs. a team with a losing record. The Gators are 1-6-1 ATS in their last eight games vs. a team with a losing record. Florida is 0-5 ATS in its last five non-conference games. Take Florida State Saturday.
|11-26-21||Cincinnati v. East Carolina +14||35-13||Loss||-108||56 h 50 m||Show|
15* Cincinnati/East Carolina AAC ANNIHILATOR on East Carolina +14
I think Cincinnati breathes a sigh of relief this week just enough to fail to cover this 14-point spread. They became the first Group of 5 team to be ranked in the Top 4 of the playoff rankings in the eight years since this system came out. They finally got recognized after their dominant win over SMU last week, and I think they are overvalued this week as a result.
The fact remains, all the pressure is on Cincinnati here, and that's a lot to deal with. They hadn't handled it very well in the several weeks prior to SMU, and I think bettors are quickly forgetting that. And East Carolina is playing too good right now to be catching two touchdowns. This is the 'National Championship' game for the Pirates with a chance to knock off unbeaten Cincinnati at home.
The Bearcats went 0-4 ATS in their previous four games prior to beating SMU. They only beat Navy by 7 as 28.5-point favorites and were actually outgained by 37 yards by the Midshipmen. They needed a late surge to beat Tulane by 19 as a 27.5-point favorite and only outgained them by 71 yards. They were outgained by 56 yards in an 8-point win over Tulsa as a 22.5-point favorite. And they got a late INT return TD to win by 17 over South Florida as a 24.5-point favorite.
East Carolina hasn't lost by more than 14 points all season. They sit at 7-4 this season so they've already clinched a bowl berth, so they will be kind of free rolling here and playing relaxed football. Three of their four losses have come by 7 points or less with a 3-point loss to South Carolina, a 4-point loss at UCF and a 7-point loss at Houston. The 14-point loss was in the opener against Appalachian State.
The Pirates are 6-1 ATS in their last seven games overall. They beat Tulane by 23, South Florida by 15, Temple by 41, upset Memphis on the road and beat Navy by 3 as a 3.5-point favorite. That was a huge letdown spot against Navy and they still handled their business. They had just clinched bowl eligibility the previous week with a win at Memphis. And they had Cincinnati on deck, so it was a sandwich spot. So to avoid the upset there against Navy showed a lot about their character.
Not only has East Carolina been a covering machine, they have also dominated the stats here down the stretch. Indeed, the Pirates have now outgained all seven opponents during this 6-1 ATS stretch. The last three have been mighty impressive as they outgained Navy by 181 yards, Memphis by 161 yards and Temple by 276 yards. They also outgained Houston by 109 yards in a road loss in OT, and Houston is nearly as good as Cincinnati.
The Bearcats are 2-6 ATS in their last eight games as road favorites. The Pirates are 5-0-1 ATS in their last six games as underdogs. East Carolina is 8-1 ATS in its last nine conference games. The home team is 5-0 ATS in the last five meetings. The Pirates are 8-1 ATS in their last nine games vs. a team with a winning record. Cincinnati is 0-6 ATS in its last six games after allowing 125 or fewer passing yards in its previous game. Roll with East Carolina Friday.
|11-26-21||UTEP +13.5 v. UAB||Top||25-42||Loss||-104||54 h 20 m||Show|
20* Conference USA GAME OF THE MONTH on UTEP +13.5
This is the ultimate flat spot for the UAB Blazers. They played unbeaten UTSA last week with a trip to the Conference USA Championship Game on the line. They gave up a touchdown with 3 seconds left to lose, 31-34 in heartbreaking fashion. I don't think they'll be able to get back up off the mat in time to beat UTEP by 14-plus points to cover this number now.
Both of these teams are 7-4 this season, but it's UAB that gets the respect while UTEP has been flying under the radar all season. The Miners got off to a 6-1 start this season before losing three straight, but two of those losses were by exactly 3 points. They rebounded nicely last week with a 38-28 home win over Rice. Keep in mind UAB was upset by Rice recently. And now the Miners want to put a stamp on their season and beat UAB in the finale. They will be the more motivated team here.
UTEP boasts a balanced offense that averages 252 passing yards per game and 9.1 per attempt, and 148 rushing yards per game. They also boast an underrated defense that allows 23.2 points per game, 339.9 yards per game and 5.1 yards per play. Their numbers are very similar to that of UAB, which has a suspect offense at 389.5 yards per game on the season. That offense makes it hard for the Blazers to cover these big numbers, especially given the terrible spot for them today.
Plays on underdogs of 10.5 to 21 points (UTEP) - after failing to cover the spread in two of their last three games against an opponent that covered the spread in five or six of their last seven games are 34-9 (79.1%) ATS over the last five seasons. The Blazers are 3-8 ATS in their last 11 games following an ATS win. Take UTEP Friday.
|11-26-21||Eastern Michigan +9 v. Central Michigan||Top||10-31||Loss||-105||52 h 20 m||Show|
20* MAC GAME OF THE MONTH on Eastern Michigan +9
It's a great time to 'sell high' on Central Michigan. The Chippewas have gone 3-0 SU & 3-0 ATS in their last three games overall. They made a run to close the season to try and win the MAC West. But Northern Illinois sealed the West with a win last week in overtime against Buffalo.
Now this is a huge letdown spot for the Chippewas as the wind has been lifted from beneath their sails. They are no longer playing for a championship, and they already have a bowl bid locked up. I don't expect them to be nearly as motivated for this game as they would have been with a trip to the MAC Championship on the line.
Eastern Michigan has been grossly underrated for years, including this season. The Eagles sit at 7-4 this season as well. Amazingly, they have just one loss by more than 8 points, which came on the road at Wisconsin in non-conference play. That's understandable as Wisconsin is one of the best teams in the country.
Eastern Michigan has pulled several upsets this season. Most recently, they went into Toledo and won 52-49 as 9-point dogs, while also knocking off a very good Western Michigan team 22-21 as 5-point home dogs. Whoever wins this game Friday, I expect it to be decided by one score, so there's value here with the Eagles catching 9 points.
Chris Creighton is a perfect 8-0 ATS as a road underdog of 7.5 to 14 points as the coach of Eastern Michigan. Creighton is 9-1 ATS in road games vs. good offensive teams that score 31 or more points per game at EMU. The Eagles are 25-9 ATS in their last 34 road games, including 21-6 ATS in their last 27 games as road underdogs. Bet Eastern Michigan Friday.
|11-25-21||Bills -6 v. Saints||Top||31-6||Win||100||37 h 41 m||Show|
20* Bills/Saints NBC Thursday Night BAILOUT on Buffalo -6
The Buffalo Bills have responded well after bad losses this season. They want to get the taste out of their mouth from that 41-15 loss to the Colts in which they were -4 in turnovers. The good news is they don't have to wait long to do it here against the New Orleans Saints.
The Bills have four losses this season. They are 3-0 ATS following a loss. After losing to Pittsburgh in the opener, they beat Miami 35-0 on the road the next week. After losing at Tennessee, they won 26-11 at home against Miami the next week. And after losing at Jacksonville, they won 45-17 at the New York Jets the next week.
The Saints continue getting respect from oddsmakers that they don't deserve with a third-string QB. They are 0-3 SU & 1-2 ATS in their last three games overall. They are coming off a 40-29 loss at Philadelphia in which they gave up 242 rushing yards. They were upset at home as 7-point favorites against the Falcons and gave up 332 passing yards.
Injuries are adding up for the Saints, and they just don't have a good enough offense to keep up with the Bills. And Jalen Hurts ran wild on the Saints last week. Now they face another mobile quarterback in Josh Allen, who should have a monster game against their defense as well. And the Bills are about as healthy as any team in the NFL at this point in the season.
Plays against underdogs or PK (New Orleans) - after going over the total by 35 or more points in their last three games are 35-13 (77.6%) ATS over the last five seasons. Buffalo is 8-1 ATS in its last nine non-conference games. The Bills are 9-1-1 ATS in their last 11 games following a loss by more than 14 points. The favorite is 5-0 ATS in the last five meetings. Bet the Bills Thursday.
|11-25-21||Ole Miss +1.5 v. Mississippi State||31-21||Win||100||36 h 57 m||Show|
15* Ole Miss/Mississippi State ESPN ANNIHILATOR on Ole Miss +1.5
The Ole Miss Rebels are 9-2 this season and playing for a New Year's 6 Bowl ranked 9th in the latest playoff rankings. So anyone that questions their motivation here against a rival in Mississippi State is out of their minds. These players want this game more than any other game this season, so any concerns about Lane Kiffin possibly taking another job are unwarranted. That will show up in their bowl game if it does at all.
It's a great time to 'sell high' on Mississippi State, which has gone 4-1 SU & 5-0 ATS in its last five games overall. Now the unranked Bulldogs are actually favored over the 9th-ranked Rebels. Many like to back these unranked favorites against ranked teams blindly. But this isn't the spot for it as Ole Miss is simply the better team.
The four wins during this stretch have come against Vanderbilt, Kentucky, Auburn and Tennessee State. They lost to the best team they faced in Arkansas. And it's worth noting Ole Miss beat Arkansas, and gave Alabama a much better game than Mississippi State, which lost 49-9 to Alabama. Ole Miss beat LSU by 14 while Mississippi State lost to LSU.
While the Rebels get a lot of hype and deservedly so for Matt Corral and the offense that averaged 517.5 yards per game, it's the improvement on defense that has made the difference for the Rebels this season. They give up just 25.4 points per game on the season. They allow 5.5 yards per play, which is the same as Mississippi State, which allows 5.5 yards per play as well but is perceived to be the better defense.
There's no question Ole Miss has the better offense. They average 36.4 points, 517.5 yards per game and 6.7 yards per play. Mississippi State is improved offensively this year, but still far behind Ole Miss as 31.8 points, 452.3 yards per game and 6.1 yards per play. Ole Miss is outgaining teams by 1.2 yards per play, while Mississippi State is only outgaining opponents by 0.6 yards per play. Ole Miss only averages 0.7 turnovers per game on offense, while Mississippi State gives it away 1.4 times per game. The Rebels force 1.8 turnovers per game, while the Bulldogs force 1.4 turnovers per game.
Home-field advantage has meant nothing in this series. The road team is 5-1 ATS in the last six meetings. The underdog is 4-1 ATS in the last five meetings. Roll with Ole Miss Thursday.
|11-25-21||Raiders v. Cowboys UNDER 51||36-33||Loss||-110||33 h 51 m||Show|
15* Raiders/Cowboys Non-Conference KNOCKOUT on UNDER 51
The Raiders are broken offensively since losing Harry Ruggs to injury. They have scored 16 points or fewer in three consecutive games now and it has come against some pretty weak defenses in the Giants, Chiefs and Bengals. They won't do much better here against the Cowboys with an offense that only really features Darren Waller as a decent weapon.
The Cowboys have been held to 20 or fewer points in three of their last four. Injuries are really piling up for them on offense as well. Amari Cooper is out, and CeeDee Lamb and Ezekiel Elliott are questionable. But the Cowboys have an improved defense this season that gives up just 21.4 points per game. They have held three of their last four opponents to 19 points or fewer, including the 19 points allowed to the Chiefs last week.
The Raiders are also improved defensively this season. They give up just 352.7 yards per game. They have one of the best pass rushes in the NFL and should be able to get after Dak Prescott. They held Joe Burrow and Cincinnati's high-powered offense to just 129 passing yards on 20-of-29 attempts. Three weeks ago they held the Giants to 96 passing yards. They are giving up just 6.1 yards per attempt this season.
The UNDER is 4-0 in Cowboys last four games overall. The UNDER is 7-2 in Cowboys last nine November games. The UNDER is 7-3 in Raiders last 10 November games. Take the UNDER in this game Thursday.
|11-23-21||Western Michigan -3 v. Northern Illinois||Top||42-21||Win||100||8 h 24 m||Show|
20* Western Michigan/NIU ESPNU No-Brainer on Western Michigan -3
Northern Illinois just clinched a spot in the MAC Championship Game with their 33-27 (OT) win over Buffalo last week. Now this is the ultimate letdown spot for the Huskies, who won't care about winning this game and will just be looking to stay healthy going into the title game next week.
Western Michigan would love to beat this team to close out the regular season and will be the more motivated team. And I'm not so sure the Broncos aren't the better team, too. But I'm definitely playing them because of the spot, which screams letdown for the Huskies.
The numbers show the Broncos are the better team, though. Western Michigan is outgaining teams by 106.0 yards per game. They are averaging 448.2 yards per game on offense and giving up 342.5 yards per game on defense. The Broncos are clearly better than their 6-5 record would indicate.
Northern Illinois is only outgaining teams by 2.6 yards per game, averaging 439.1 yards per game on offense and giving up 436.5 yards per game on defense. They have been one of the most lucky teams in the country winning so many close games to get to 8-3 this season. Seven of their eight wins have come by one score with the lone exception being against FCS Maine.
Western Michigan is 12-3 ATS in its last 15 road games following three or more consecutive ATS losses. Northern Illinois is 2-8 ATS in its last 10 home games vs. a team with a winning record. Bet Western Michigan Tuesday.
|11-22-21||Giants +11.5 v. Bucs||Top||10-30||Loss||-116||68 h 18 m||Show|
20* Giants/Bucs ESPN No-Brainer on New York +11.5
The Tampa Bay Bucs continue to get too much respect from oddsmakers after winning the Super Bowl last year. They are just 3-6 ATS this season. After losing 27-36 on the road to the Saints and Trevor Siemian, the Bucs had their bye week and many expected a big effort. Instead, they lost outright 19-29 to Washington as 10-point favorites.
Now the Bucs come back as 11.5-point home favorites over another NFC East team in the New York Giants. This despite the fact that the Bucs are missing several key players. They are missing three cornerbacks, and they lost their run stuffer in Vita Vea last week with an injury. He is crucial to their front seven and is one of the most underrated players in the NFL. Offensively, they'll still be without Rob Gronkowki, and Antonio Brown is questionable after sitting last week.
Don't look now but the Giants are quietly playing some great football. They have gone 2-1 SU & 3-0 ATS in their last three games overall. They beat Carolina 25-3 as 3-point dogs and Las Vegas 23-16 as 3-point dogs. Their lone loss, they nearly upset the Chiefs in a 17-20 defeat as 10.5-point road dogs. And now they are coming off their bye week and will be even healthier than they were last time out against the Raiders.
The Giants are a pretty easy team to figure out. Always bet them as a road underdogs. Indeed, the Giants are 21-6 ATS in their last 27 road games, and 20-6 ATS in their last 26 games as road underdogs. The road team is 6-1-1 ATS in the last eight meetings. The Giants are 5-0-1 ATS in their last six trips to Tampa Bay. Bruce Arians is 0-6 ATS vs. NFC East opponents as the coach of Tampa Bay. Bet the Giants Monday.
|11-21-21||Texans +10.5 v. Titans||Top||22-13||Win||100||94 h 7 m||Show|
25* NFL GAME OF THE YEAR on Houston Texans +10.5
This is the spot the Tennessee Titans have their letdown. They have now won six straight games including five in a row against playoff teams from last year. I question how much they have left in the tank after their wins over the Jaguars, Bills, Chiefs, Colts, Rams and Saints the last six weeks.
This is a tired team right now too as the Titans haven't had a bye week yet and won't get one until Week 13. The injuries are piling up. They have 23 players on injured reserve. They are already without Derrick Henry and Julio Jones, leaving basically just Ryan Tannehill and AJ Brown as their best offensive players by far. LB's Bud Dupree, David Long Jr. and Rashaan Evans are all questionable, as is CB Greg Mabin.
The Titans were very fortunate to beat the Rams and Saints the last two weeks with their lack of offense. They beat the Rams despite just 194 total yards. They managed just 264 total yards against the Saints and had a fluky roughing the passer penalty go their way on Tannehill that wiped out an INT in the end zone and led to 7 points, which was the difference in their 23-21 victory. It also helped that the Saints missed two extra points. And the Saints should have won that game with a third-string QB in Trevor Siemian and without their best player in Alvin Kamara.
The Texans will be highly motivated for their first victory since Week 1. They are coming off their bye week and facing the division leader in the Titans, so they will give a big effort. It's clear they are still trying to win games or they wouldn't have brought back QB Tyrod Taylor. He was rusty in his first start back against the Dolphins, but he should get back to his old self off a bye. And his old self is a covering machine and one of the most underrated quarterbacks in the NFL with his ability as a dual-threat.
Both meetings last season were decided by 3 and 6 points. And in both games, the Texans had a chance to win late but fumbled going into the end zone. They have not forgotten, and they would love nothing more than to get their revenge here. I think they have an excellent chance to win outright, but at the very least they will cover this 10.5-point spread with ease.
Plays on road underdogs or PK (Houston) - after failing to cover the spread in three of their last four games against an opponent that covered the spread in three of their last four games are 36-4 (86.7%) ATS over the last five seasons.
Plays on road underdogs or PK (Houston) after six or more consecutive losses in Weeks 10 through 13 are 43-13 (76.8%) ATS since 1983. This is the ultimate 'buy low, sell high' spot. We'll 'buy low' on the Texans off eight straight losses. And we'll 'sell high' on the Titans off six straight wins. It's that simple folks as we are getting max line value here. Bet the Texans Sunday.
|11-21-21||Colts +7.5 v. Bills||Top||41-15||Win||100||94 h 4 m||Show|
20* Colts/Bills AFC No-Brainer on Indianapolis +7.5
The Buffalo Bills have beaten up on the bad teams they have faced. Their six wins have come against Houston, Miami (twice), Washington, Kansas City and the New York Jets. Five of those six wins came against teams that are 3-6 or worse. The lone decent win was against the Chiefs, but they are way down this season too. The Bills also lost to the Jaguars, Steelers and Titans. They have played the 32nd-ranked schedule in the NFL according to Sagain.
The Colts have played a much tougher schedule. And they are playing their best football of the season after a slow start. The Colts have gone 5-2 SU & 5-2 ATS in their last seven games overall. Their two losses both came in overtime to the Ravens and Titans in games in which they blew late leads. So they haven't lost any of their last seven games by more than 6 points.
The Colts are as healthy as they have been all season. They have a Top 10 defense to contain Josh Allen and this offense. And the Colts have been serviceable with Carson Wentz at quarterback and the running of Jonathan Taylor at running back. There could be some bad weather in Buffalo Sunday, so that favors the team that can run the football in the Colts. The Bills have struggled to run the ball again this season.
One sneaky factor here is that the Colts want revenge from a 24-27 road loss as nearly identical 7-point underdogs to the Bills in the playoffs last year. They actually deserved to win that game outright. They had 472 total yards against this Buffalo defense and outgained them by 75 yards. They rushed for 163 yards on this Buffalo defense.
The Colts are 10-1 ATS in their last 11 games vs. good passing teams that average 7 or more yards per attempt. Indianapolis is 8-1 ATS in its last nine road games vs. good offensive teams that average at least 350 yards per game. The Colts are 8-2 ATS in their last 10 road games overall.
I just think this line is too big of an overreaction to Buffalo's blowout win over the Jets last week in which the Jets committed five turnovers. They had just lost outright to the Jaguars as a 14.5-point favorite the week prior, so it's amazing how the betting markets shift their opinions in just one week. The Colts are not the type of team that gets blown out, they are too solid everywhere and will keep this game within one score. Take the Colts Sunday.
|11-21-21||Dolphins -3 v. Jets||24-17||Win||100||93 h 34 m||Show|
15* NFL Sunday No-Doubt Rout on Miami Dolphins -3
You definitely need to jump on the Dolphins as soon as possible. This line isn't going to hold at -3 for much longer. Joe Flacco is expected to start for the Jets. He has been a disaster and it's amazing he is even in the league. They will now be on their 4th different starting quarterback.
The offense will be a mess with him at the helm. And it just shows the Jets don't care about winning games by inserting Flacco instead of Mike White or Josh Johnson. They don't want there to be a QB controversy when Zach Wilson comes back.
New York's defense is already a mess, allowing a total of 175 points in their last 4 games for an average of 43.4 points per game. This is far and away the worst defense in the NFL. The Dolphins are in line for one of their best offensive performances of the season this week.
Tua came back in the 2nd half against the Ravens and led them to a 22-10 victory. His finger looked absolutely fine. He went 8-of-13 passing for 153 yards and averaged 12.2 yards per attempt. He also scored a rushing touchdown. And now the Dolphins get extra prep time after playing the Ravens last Thursday, which is basically a mine-bye week.
This Miami defense has gotten healthy in recent weeks and is getting back to being the dominant unit that led this team last year. They held Lamar Jackson and the Ravens to 10 points and 304 total yards while forcing two turnovers. That came a week after holding the Texans to just 9 points and 272 yards while forcing 4 more turnovers. And that was a Texans team with Tyrod Taylor at QB, which is a big upgrade over Davis Mills.
Miami won both meetings last year in blowout fashion, 24-0 at home and 20-3 on the road. The Dolphins improved to 6-0-1 ATS in the last seven meetings. The Jets are 2-8 ATS in their last 10 games overall and just a hot mess right now from head coach Robert Saleh, to the leaky defense, to the washed up Joe Flacco at quarterback. There's just nothing to like about them right now.
Miami has all the 'buy on' signs you are looking for late in the season. They are undervalued due to their 3-7 record. But they have won two straight and have a great chance of getting back to .500 at 7-7 with the upcoming schedule. After facing the Jets this week, they get three straight home games against the Panthers, Giants and Jets in games they should be favored in. Everything is still in front of them. Roll with the Dolphins Sunday.
|11-20-21||Oregon v. Utah -3||7-38||Win||100||52 h 17 m||Show|
15* Oregon/Utah ABC ANNIHILATOR on Utah -3
Utah is a one-way team for me right now. I'm either backing them or passing. Kyle Whittingham has this team playing up to its potential now after a slow start to the season. The Utes are 6-1 in their last seven games overall.
They have one of the best home-field advantages in the country. They are 4-0 at home this season with all four wins by double-digits. And this will be a night game at 7:30 EST at Rice-Eccles Stadium. That makes it one of the best atmospheres in all of college football. Not to mention the Utes would clinch a spot in the Pac-12 Championship with a win, so they have a lot to play for.
I haven't been a big Oregon believer all season. They seem to just keep escaping with wins ever since that victory over Ohio State. I think their run ends here Saturday against the best team in the Pac-12 in my opinion in Utah. The Utes definitely have the better quarterback. I bet Whittingham wishes he started Cameron Rising over Charlie Brewer from the start.
Rising has responded with a 14-to-2 TD/INT ratio. His dual-threat ability has been the key to this offense, though. Rising has rushed for 321 yards and 4 touchdowns while averaging 7.1 per carry. Utah has scored 34 or more points in 6 consecutive games now with Rising at the helm.
Utah is 6-0 ATS in its last six home games following two or more consecutive wins. The Ducks are 3-7 ATS in their last 10 games as road underdogs. Oregon is 1-5 ATS in its last six games following an ATS win. The Utes are 15-6 ATS in their last 21 conference games.
Plays on home teams (Utah) - after three or more consecutive wins against an opponent that's off five or more consecutive wins are 29-7 (80.6%) ATS over the last five seasons. Roll with Utah Saturday.
|11-20-21||Vanderbilt +36.5 v. Ole Miss||17-31||Win||100||52 h 3 m||Show|
15* SEC PLAY OF THE DAY on Vanderbilt +36.5
The 2-8 record for Vanderbilt has the Commodores undervalued here down the stretch. They have gone 3-1 ATS in their last four games overall. They only lost by 1 at South Carolina as 19-point dogs, by 9 to Missouri as 16.5-point dogs and by 17 to Kentucky as 21.5-point dogs.
Now the Commodores are looking forward to this opportunity to try and knock off Ole Miss. Meanwhile, the Rebels won't be up for this game at all. They are coming off their huge win over Texas A&M last week, and now they have an even bigger game on deck Thursday in the Egg Bowl against their biggest rivals in Mississippi State.
That makes this a sandwich spot. The Rebels won't be excited to face Vanderbilt, and they will be looking ahead to that game against Mississippi State. Since it's on Thanksgiving on a short week, they just want to try and go into that game healthy and fresh. Look for them to rest starters in the second half like they did against Liberty if it comes down to it. This is a tired Rebels team as it is playing for an 8th consecutive week.
Vanderbilt is the much fresher team. They had a bye prior to Kentucky last week, which allowed them to cover that number and only lose by 17. They should still be fresh for this one, which is key going up against a team like Ole Miss that plays with tempo.
The Commodores are 6-2 ATS in their last eight road games. Vanderbilt is 7-3 ATS in its last 10 trips to Ole Miss. The Commodores are 21-9 ATS in their last 30 road games following three or more consecutive losses. Take Vanderbilt Saturday.
|11-20-21||UCLA -3 v. USC||62-33||Win||100||49 h 33 m||Show|
15* Pac-12 PLAY OF THE DAY on UCLA -3
The UCLA Bruins returned from their bye and smoked Colorado 44-20 as an 18-point favorite. Now they will still be fresh and ready to take down their rivals in the USC Trojans, who don't care about this game as much as the Bruins do. UCLA wants revenge from a gut-wrenching 43-38 loss to the Trojans last year.
USC is a program in turmoil with a lame-duck interim head coach. Their play on the field has reflected it. The Trojans are 1-3 SU & 0-4 ATS in their last five games overall. Their only victory came in a nail biter against the worst team in the Pac-12 in Arizona by a final of 41-34 as a 21.5-point favorite.
USC lost 16-31 on the road to Notre Dame as a 7.5-point dog. They lost 26-42 at home as a 3-point favorite against Utah. And they also lost 16-31 as a 10-point dog at Arizona State. So they lost all three games by 15 points or more and weren't competitive. I don't expect them to be competitive Saturday, either.
USC is without starting QB Kedon Slovis. Backup Jaxson Dart will get the start, and he just hasn't been as effective this season. And he won't have the services of top wideout Drake London, who has 88 receptions for 1,084 yards and seven touchdowns this season. The next-best receiver has 41 receptions, 474 yards and one score, so the loss of London is huge.
The Bruins are 6-0 ATS in their last six games vs. a team with a losing record. The Trojans are 0-4 ATS in their last four home games. USC is 5-16 ATS in its last 21 games as an underdog. Roll with UCLA Saturday.
|11-20-21||SMU +11.5 v. Cincinnati||Top||14-48||Loss||-110||48 h 4 m||Show|
25* AAC GAME OF THE YEAR on SMU +11.5
The Cincinnati Bearcats are feeling the pressure of trying to make the four-team playoff. They are just surviving and advancing at this point. And they are overvalued late in the year due to their perfect 10-0 record. That unbeaten record is in jeopardy this weekend against arguably the best team they have faced yet in the SMU Mustangs.
The Bearcats are 0-4 ATS in their last four games overall. They only beat Navy by 7 as 28.5-point favorites and were actually outgained by 37 yards by the Midshipmen. They needed a late surge to beat Tulane by 19 as a 27.5-point favorite and only outgained them by 71 yards. They were outgained by 56 yards in an 8-point win over Tulsa as a 22.5-point favorite. And they got a late INT return TD to win by 17 over South Florida as a 24.5-point favorite last week.
SMU is looking at this game as its 'National Championship' game. The Mustangs sit at 8-2 but have a head-to-head loss to Houston, which will likely keep them out of the AAC title game. They would love nothing more than to knock off unbeaten Cincinnati.
The two losses by SMU came by 3 and 7 points this season. They are coming off a 55-28 win over UCF as a 7-point favorite, so they have momentum. And they have the offense to give Cincinnati a run for its money. No question, this is the best offense the Bearcats will have faced this season.
The Mustangs are putting up 41.6 points and 498.8 yards per game this season. Their defense has been respectable in allowing 25.9 points per game. There's a chance the Bearcats will be without leading rusher Jerome Ford, who has accounted for 1,053 scrimmage yards and 16 touchdowns this season. He missed last week's game against USF and is questionable for this one. The underdog is 4-1 ATS in the last five meetings. Bet SMU Saturday.
|11-20-21||Texas v. West Virginia -2.5||23-31||Win||100||69 h 51 m||Show|
15* CFB Saturday Early ANNIHILATOR on West Virginia -2.5
There's just no salvaging the season for Texas at this point. The damage has already been done. They have lost five straight games coming in. They followed up their 23-point loss to Iowa State by getting upset as a 31-point favorite against Kansas last week.
I just don't see them getting back up off the mat to take the long road trip to West Virginia. There is so much turmoil in this program right now. I think it's best we keep fading them for these last two games. And I like the spot for West Virginia, which needs to more wins to make a bowl and plays Kansas next week.
It's always a tough trip for this Big 12 teams going all the way out to West Virginia. Just ask Iowa State a few weeks ago when the Mountaineers upset them. And you know West Virginia has had this game circled after coming up just short at Texas last year in a 17-13 loss. They were driving late in the final seconds of that game to go in for the game-winning score, but the refs didn't throw an obvious pass interference penalty in the end zone that likely would have given them the win. I know because I had West Virginia in that game as they covered as 6.5-point dogs.
West Virginia's last two losses to Oklahoma State and Kansas State were misleading. They held Oklahoma State to just 285 yards. They held Kansas State to just 299 yards. They still have one of the best defenses in the Big 12. And their offense should come to life like it did against Iowa State 3 weeks ago when they had 492 yards against a very good Iowa State defense.
This Texas defense is soft as butter. The Longhorns just allowed 57 points to Kansas and have now allowed 30 or more points in 5 straight. They are giving up 38.1 points per game in conference play.
West Virginia is 9-1 ATS in its last 10 games when coming off a game where they forced zero turnovers. The Mountaineers are 12-3-2 ATS in their last 17 games as home favorites. The Mountaineers are 8-2-1 ATS in their last 11 home games overall. Whether or not Texas has quit, I expect the Mountaineers to win and cover at home Saturday as I know they will show up for this game. Bet West Virginia Saturday.
|11-20-21||Michigan State +19.5 v. Ohio State||Top||7-56||Loss||-110||45 h 34 m||Show|
20* Michigan State/Ohio State Big Ten No-Brainer on Michigan State +19.5
Michigan State finally gets its chance to earn some respect with a showdown with Ohio State this weekend. No question the Spartans feel disrespected being this big of underdogs. And I think this line is out of hand this weekend.
Michigan State is 9-1 SU & 8-2 ATS this season. The Spartans are loaded with a balanced offense that averages 34.6 points per game while rushing for 198 yards per game and throwing for 252 yards per game. I just don't see Ohio State being able to slow them down enough to cover this large number.
I do expect the Spartans to hold their own defensively, too. The Buckeyes are also balanced, but they aren't going to be able to run the football with much consistency on a Michigan State defense that gives up just 114 rushing yards per game and 3.3 per carry.
We've seen Ohio State pushed by Oregon, Penn State and Nebraska, arguably the three best teams they have faced. The Buckeyes lost outright to Oregon at home and only beat both Penn State and Nebraska by 9 points each. Michigan State is in the same ballpark as those three teams if not better than them. Bet Michigan State Saturday.