|Date||Match Up||Rating||Score||Result||Profit||Lead Time||Analysis|
|12-09-18||Broncos v. 49ers +4.5||14-20||Win||100||76 h 25 m||Show|
15* NFL Sunday Late-Afternoon ANNIHILATOR on San Francisco 49ers +4.5
With three more turnovers last week against the Seahawks, including a 98-yard INT return TD, the 49ers now have the worst turnover differential (-20) in the NFL. These teams with horrible turnover differentials are undervalued this late in the year, because there’s a big element of luck in turnovers.
I have no doubt the 49ers are better than their 2-10 record would suggest. And a quick look at the numbers shows that this should at least be a 6-6 team or better. They 49ers have outgained their opponents by 174 yards on the season. They are outgaining them by 15.2 yards per game. That’s not the sign of a 2-10 team.
The Broncos are +8 in turnovers over the past three weeks, which has allowed them to win three straight games over the Steelers, Chargers and Bengals. But they had no business winning those games against the Steelers and Chargers as those two teams simply gave the game away. And the Bengals are decimated with injuries playing with a backup QB. They’re broken.
The 49ers do show up every week. Their 16-43 loss to the Seahawks last week makes most bettors seem like they packed it in. But that wasn’t the case, and it was one of the most misleading finals of the week. I mentioned the 98-yard INT return TD the Seahawks got at the end of the game. But the 49ers gained 452 total yards and gave up 331, actually outgaining the Seahawks by 121 yards in that contest. They deserved better, and Nick Mullens had one of his better games of the season with 386 passing yards.
The Broncos have some key injuries this week that will make them less effective. Emmanuel Sanders suffered an Achilles injury in practice on Wednesday that has landed him on IR. Sanders was having a great year with 71 receptions for 868 yards and four touchdowns. And since the Broncos traded away Demaryius Thomas, his loss is even more significant. The Broncos are seriously lacking weapons for the mediocre Case Keenum now.
Plus, the Broncos’ best pass defender is Chris Harris Jr., and he’s out with a fractured fibula now. The 49ers were without both Marquise Goodwin and Pierre Garcon last week. But Goodwin is expected to return, giving Mullens another big weapon outside. And Garcon is questionable and could make his return this week as well. Mullens should be able to make some more plays in the passing game this week.
Denver is 0-6 ATS vs. teams who force one or fewer turnovers per game on the season over the last two seasons. The Broncos are 0-7 ATS in their last seven games after gaining more than 150 rushing yards in their previous game. This is clearly a ‘buy low’ situation on the 49ers, and a ‘sell high’ situation on the Broncos. Roll with the 49ers Sunday.
|12-09-18||Ravens +7 v. Chiefs||24-27||Win||100||73 h 21 m||Show|
15* Ravens/Chiefs AFC Sunday No-Brainer on Baltimore +7
I agree with this line move. The Chiefs opened as 7.5-point favorites or higher, and now this line has been bet down to 6.5 in most places as of this writing. So if your book as +6.5 make sure to buy it up to +7 and bet the Ravens.
This really comes down to the numbers for me. The Ravens have the numbers of an elite team in spite of their mediocre 7-5 record. They are outgaining teams by 102 yards per game on the season. To compare, the Chiefs are only outgaining teams by 20 yards per game, which isn’t the sign of a 10-2 team. I think the Chiefs are grossly overrated at this point of the season.
The problem with the Chiefs is that they give up 27.2 points per game while ranking 31st in the league in total defense at 417 yards per game allowed. Only the Bengals have been worse. The Ravens rank 1st in the NFL in scoring defense at 17.8 points per game allowed, and 1st in total defense at 281.7 yards per game allowed.
Lamar Jackson took over three games ago, and the Ravens have gone 3-0 in his starts while outscoring their three opponents by a combined 30 points, or by an average of 10 points per game. They have become a run-heavy team since Jackson took over, averaging a whopping 238 rushing yards per game in their last three games. That doesn’t bode well for the Chiefs, who are tied for dead last in the NFL in allowing 5.1 yards per carry this season. So this is a great matchup for the Ravens’ offense. They can control time of possession and keep Mahomes off the field with their ground game.
It’s also a great matchup for the Ravens’ defense. The Chiefs won’t be running the ball much now that Kareem Hunt has been released. And they'll certainly miss his 1,202 yards from scrimmage and 14 total touchdowns as he was a matchup nightmare, especially in the passing game. The Chiefs will be putting the ball in Pat Mahomes’ hand even more.
Well, the Ravens rank 2nd in the NFL against the pass, giving up just 194.4 passing yards per game. Better yet, the Ravens are 1st in the NFL in passing yards per attempt (6.1) allowed. No other defense is even close to them in that department as only three teams allow fewer than 6.8 per attempt this season.
Baltimore is 11-1 ATS in their last 12 road games vs. terrible defensive teams that allow 375 or more yards per game in the second half of the season. Kansas City is 2-10 ATS in its last 12 games after gaining 450 or more total yards in its previous game. The Ravens are 5-0-1 ATS in their last six games after gaining 150 or more rushing yards in their previous game. Bet the Ravens Sunday.
|12-09-18||Colts +5 v. Texans||Top||24-21||Win||100||73 h 20 m||Show|
20* AFC South GAME OF THE MONTH on Indianapolis Colts +5
In the NFL, lines are very tight. And if a line if a point or two off, that’s all it takes for there to be some value. I think this line should be Texans -3. So we are basically getting two points of value on the Colts +5 this week. That’s enough for me to pull the trigger.
I believe the Texans are overvalued due to their 9-game winning streak. And they’re coming off a misleading 16-point win over the Browns last week. The Browns basically gave that game away by losing the turnover battle 4-0. They had a 75-yard TD called back by a penalty, and they had another would-be 75-yard TD on the next play end in a player fumbling the ball through the end zone for a touchback. The Browns gained 428 yards on the Texans and outgained them by 44 yards for the game.
I believe the Colts come in undervalued this week off their upset 6-0 shutout loss at Jacksonville last week. But the Colts actually outgained the Jaguars by 54 yards and held them to 211 yards. In fact, the Colts have now outgained eight of their last nine opponents coming in. That’s the sign of an elite team and one that I want to put my money behind, especially as 5-point underdogs.
There’s no doubt the Colts want revenge from their 34-37 (OT) home loss to the Texans earlier this season in their first meeting. The Colts gained 478 total yards on the Texans and moved the ball at will. I think the Texans will relax this week. They have a three-game lead over both the Colts and Titans in the division, so they can afford a loss. Meanwhile, the Colts are in must-win mode here trying to stay alive for a wild card spot.
Andrew Luck has been tremendous off a loss. In fact, Luck is 25-8 SU & 24-9 ATS in his last 33 games as a starting quarterback following a defeat. Plays on underdogs of 3.5 to 10 points (Indianapolis) - revenging a loss where opponent scored 35 or more points, who are also off a close loss by 7 points or less to a division rival are 30-9 (76.9%) ATS since 1983.
The road team is 6-1-2 ATS in the last nine meetings. The Colts are 7-3-2 ATS in the last 12 meetings. The Colts are 4-0-1 ATS in their last five trips to Houston. Indianapolis is 7-2 ATS in its last nine games after scoring 14 points or fewer in its previous game. The Texans are 1-7 ATS in their last eight December games. Take the Colts Sunday.
|12-09-18||Jets v. Bills -3||Top||27-23||Loss||-120||73 h 18 m||Show|
25* NFL BLOWOUT GAME OF THE YEAR on Buffalo Bills -3
The Buffalo Bills deserved to blow out the Miami Dolphins last week. But the fact that they somehow lost that game 17-21 has them undervalued coming into this game. They failed to cover the spread as closing 3.5 points underdogs, and it was one of the most misleading finals of the season.
The Bills gained 415 total yards and held the Dolphins to just 175 total yards, outgaining them by 240 yards for the game. Those stats alone show that the Bills should have won the game. But Charles Clay dropped what would have been a game-winning touchdown catch late as well. I think it works out better for us this week that they actually lost though, because now we’re laying only 3 points instead of 4 or more.
The Jets are getting too much credit for giving the Titans a run for their money last week. The Jets actually led that game most the way, but eventually lost 22-26, covering as 10-point underdogs. But they were thoroughly out-statted as well. The Jets gained just 280 total yards and gave up 403 total yards, getting outgained by 123 yards by the Titans.
The Jets are now 0-6 SU & 1-5 ATS in their last six games overall. They have been blown out consistently with all six losses by 4 points or more, five losses by 7 points or more, and four losses by 14 points or more. They have been outscored by 90 points during this losing streak, or by an average of 15 points per game.
The reason I love this Bills team is because they play defense. In fact, the Bills rank 2nd in the NFL in total defense, giving up just 294.2 yards per game. The third place Bears give up 317.9 yards per game, and they only trail the Ravens (281.7) in this category. They have an elite defense, yet they don’t get credit for it.
The Bills have played much better on offense when either Josh Allen or Matt Barkley has been under center at quarterback. In fact, Allen ranks 3rd in the NFL in rushing over the last two weeks, rushing for a combined 234 yards the past two games. I don’t think he gets enough credit for being the dual-threat he is, completing opening up this offense and making opposing defenses defend the entire field.
The Jets are a bad team, period. They get outgained by 75.4 yards per game on the season, while the Bills only get outgained by 8.5 yards per game. The Jets rank 23rd in total defense, giving up 376.4 yards per game on the season. New York also ranks 30th in total offense, averaging just 301.0 yards per game on the season.
Buffalo blew out New York 41-10 on the road as 7-point underdogs in their first meeting this season. This was every bit the blowout the final score showed and wasn’t misleading at all. The Bills gained 451 total yards in that game and gave up just 199 yards, outgaining the Jets by 252 total yards in that contest. The Bills rushed for 212 yards on the Jets, and Matt Barkley played well with 232 passing yards and two touchdowns. Allen and company should also have plenty of success on this Jets defense once again.
The Jets are 3-14 ATS in their last 17 games off a road cover where they lost straight up as an underdog. New York is 4-14 ATS in its last 18 road games after allowing 25 points or more in two straight games. Buffalo is 15-3 ATS in its last 18 home games vs. bad defensive teams who give up 24 or more points per game in the second half of the season. The Jets are 0-5 ATS in their last five vs. AFC East opponents. The Bills are 5-1 ATS in their last six home meetings with the Jets. Bet the Bills Sunday.
|12-08-18||Navy +7 v. Army||Top||10-17||Push||0||46 h 11 m||Show|
20* Army/Navy CBS Saturday No-Brainer on Navy +7
The Army Black Knights will be going to the Armed Forces Bowl on December 22nd to face Houston. They have a lot to look forward to still. As a result, they won’t be as motivated as Navy in this matchup, which missed out on a bowl game this season with a 3-9 record. This is Navy’s bowl game.
And you can bet Navy wants revenge from back-to-back losses to Army in this series, losing 21-17 in 2016 and 14-13 last season. The difference here is that Army goes from being the hunter to the hunted here. Army hasn’t been favored in this rivalry game since 2001. Now, all of a sudden the Black Knights are whopping 7-point favorites this year. It’s simply too much.
Army feasted on an easy schedule this season that ranked 99th in the country. The Black Knights haven’t faced an FBS opponent since their 17-14 home win over Air Force back on November 3rd. They closed the season playing Lafayette and Colgate, and they haven’t played a game since November 17th, so they could certainly be rusty. It could take them a quarter or two to fully get into this game.
Navy played the 66th-toughest schedule as their schedule was much more difficult than that of Army. That contributed to their 3-9 record, but so did several close losses along the way. Navy lost three games by a total of 9 points this season to SMU, Tulane and Temple. All three of those teams will be going to bowl games, and they played nine bowl teams this season. To compare, Army only played six bowl teams.
I like the way Navy finished the season. They went 3-0 ATS in their final three games. They gave UCF all they wanted on the road in a 24-35 loss as 23.5-point underdogs. They then beat Tulsa 37-29 at home as 5.5-point favorites. And they finished going on the road losing 28-29 at Tulane as 6-point dogs. Tulane had a huge second half comeback and needed that win to make a bowl. They won on a 2-point conversion in the final minutes.
Navy is 6-0 ATS in road games off three straight games where they committed one or fewer turnovers over the past three seasons. Army is 16-35 ATS in its last 51 games off a bye week. The Black Knights are 3-9 ATS in their last 12 games vs. a team with a losing record. The Midshipmen simply want this game more, and even if they don’t win there’s a great chance they stay within a touchdown, just as they did the past two seasons. In fact, each of the last four meetings were decided by 7 points or fewer. Bet Navy Saturday.
|12-06-18||Jaguars +5.5 v. Titans||9-30||Loss||-108||9 h 31 m||Show|
15* Jaguars/Titans AFC South ANNIHILATOR on Jacksonville +5.5
Let’s start out by looking at this game from a line value perspective. The Jaguars were 10-point favorites over the Titans at home in their first meeting. So adjust for home-field advantage, they would have been roughly 4-to-5-point road favorites at that time. Instead, they are 5.5-point road underdogs, which is basically a 10-point adjustment. The line value is clearly on the Jaguars tonight.
I like the fact that they didn’t quit on their season. The Jaguars shut out the Colts 6-0 last week, playing the role of spoiler very well. And now they want revenge on the Titans from three straight losses against them, including their 6-9 upset loss earlier this season. They would love to beat the Titans here and end their playoff hopes as well.
The Titans were fortunate to escape with a 26-22 home win over the lowly Jets last week. They trailed the Jets 6-19 in the 3rd quarter, but scored a touchdown with 36 seconds left to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. And that’s a bad Jets team that loses by double-digits week after week. They’ll have a much bigger problem with the Jaguars tonight.
The Jaguars have been a lot more competitive whenever Leonard Fournette has been in the lineup. He has missed several games due to injury, and last week he was out with a suspension. But he’s back this week and ready to have a big game against the Titans. Fournette has only played in five games this season. He’ll be fresh since he had last week off following a very productive game against the Bills the previous week.
I know the Jaguars are going with backup Cody Kessler again this week. However, he’s not much of a downgrade from Blake Bortles, who has had a brutal season. Kessler has actually shown well, completing 72.2% of his 54 attempts this season with one touchdown and one interception. He’ll be much more comfortable in his second start of the season here for the Jaguars.
The Jaguars (4-8) are the team with the stats of a 6-6 or better team, while the Titans (6-6) are a team with the stats of closer to a 4-8 team. The Jaguars actually outgain their opponents by nearly 20 yards per game on the season. They have an elite defense that ranks 3rd in the NFL in giving up just 315.6 yards per game.
The Titans are actually getting outgained by 31 yards per game on the season. They have a dreadful offense that scores just 18.4 points per game while ranking 28th in total offense at 310.2 yards per game. The Jaguars should be able to shut them down, which will be a big reason why they are able to stay within this 5.5-point spread tonight.
Plays on underdogs of 3.5 to 10 points (Jacksonville) - in a game involving two good defensive teams that allow 18-23 PPG, after eight-plus games, after scoring and allowing 14 points or less last game are 30-8 (78.9%) ATS since 1983.
The Titans are 0-6 ATS vs. poor offensive teams that score 17 or less points per game over the last three seasons. The Jaguars are 10-2 ATS in their last 12 road games after scoring and allowing 14 points or less last game. Tennessee is 0-6 ATS after gaining 400 or more total yards in its previous game over the last three seasons. The Titans are 15-33-3 ATS in their last 51 vs. a team with a losing record. Roll with the Jaguars Thursday.
|12-03-18||Redskins v. Eagles UNDER 45.5||Top||13-28||Win||100||75 h 55 m||Show|
20* Redskins/Eagles MNF TOTAL OF THE MONTH on UNDER 45.5
This is a division rivalry with a lot at stake. The Eagles are trying to keep pace with the Redskins and Cowboys in the NFC East, while the Redskins are just trying to stay afloat after a fast start to the season. I think this game will be played closer to the vest, and I certainly think it favors both defenses than both offenses, which is why I’ll side with the UNDER Monday night.
Both offenses are really struggling this season. The Redskins rank 27th in total offense at 331.5 yards per game, while the Eagles are 19th at 353.9 yards per game. The Redskins are also 27th in scoring offense at 20.0 points per game, while the Eagles are 23rd at 20.9 points per game.
Both of these teams are led by their defenses. The Redskins are 7th in scoring defense, giving up just 20.8 points per game. The Eagles are 15th at 23.0 points per game, but I have no doubt they are better than that with the talent that’s on hand.
And Philadelphia should have no problem shutting down a Washington offense that has been plagued by injuries along the offenses line, at the skill positions, and at quarterback. The Redskins are using backup QB Colt McCoy after Alex Smith suffered a gruesome injury a few weeks back. And he’s getting no protection and terrible play from the skill positions outside of TE Jordan Reed due to injuries.
Plays on the UNDER on any team against the total (Washington) - in a game involving two good defensive teams that allow 18-23 PPG, after allowing 30 points or more last game are 38-13 (74.5%) over the last five seasons.
Philadelphia is 6-0 UNDER in home games vs. poor pass defenses that allow 7 or more yards per attempts over the last three seasons. The Eagles are 9-2 UNDER in home games where the total is 42.5 to 49 points over the last two seasons. Philadelphia is 8-0 UNDER in home games off a division game over the last three years. The Eagles are 7-0 UNDER in home games after having lost two of their last three games coming in over the last three years. Take the UNDER in this game Monday.
|12-02-18||Chargers v. Steelers -3||Top||33-30||Loss||-120||60 h 52 m||Show|
20* Chargers/Steelers NBC Sunday Night BAILOUT on Pittsburgh -3
The Pittsburgh Steelers are coming off a misleading 17-24 road loss to the Denver Broncos. I think it has them undervalued this week, and they should be laying more than a field goal to the San Diego Chargers on Sunday Night Football.
The Steelers clearly deserved to win that game against the Broncos. They amassed 527 total yards and held the Broncos to 308, outgaining them by 219 yards. Yet, they still found a way to lose because they lost the turnover battle 4-0. They had several drives inside the Denver 20-yard line that resulted in zero points, including the final drove where Big Ben was intercepted in the end zone.
I still believe the Steelers are closer to the team that had won six straight prior to that lost while going 5-0-1 ATS than the one that lost to the Broncos. They should be re-focused at home Sunday night against a Chargers team that has lost every time they’ve stepped up in class.
The Chargers lost by 10 at home to the Chiefs and by 12 on the road to the Rams. They also lost at home to that same Broncos team. Their eight wins have come against the Bills, 49ers, Raiders (twice), Browns, Titans, Seahawks and Cardinals. Only one of those teams has a winning record, and that’s Seattle, and the Chargers had a bye prior to facing the Seahawks so it was a dream spot for them.
The Chargers lost their best weapon on offense last week to a knee injury in Melvin Gordon. His absence is huge in this game as the Chargers need all the weapons they can get to keep up with this high-powered Steelers offense. Gordon has rushed for 802 yards and nine touchdowns, while also catching 44 balls for 453 yards and four scores. He is their third-leading receiver, so he’ll be missed in the passing game as well.
Plays on favorites (Pittsburgh) - after having won three of their last four games against an opponent that has won eight or more of their last 10 games are 30-6 (83.3%) ATS over the last 10 seasons. Mike Tomlin is 8-1 ATS after gaining 500 or more total yards in their previous game as the coach of Pittsburgh. Take the Steelers Sunday.
|12-02-18||Bills +4.5 v. Dolphins||Top||17-21||Win||100||83 h 53 m||Show|
20* AFC East GAME OF THE MONTH on Buffalo Bills +4.5
I won on both the Bills and Dolphins last week. They were my two top play winners in an otherwise disappointing 2-3 Sunday. But I’m sticking with the Bills this week and fading the Dolphins. The Dolphins go from being 9-point underdogs to the Colts to now 4.5-point favorites against the Bills. That’s nearly a 14-point swing from week to week, and I think it’s too much.
I believe the Bills to be the better of these two teams. Miami has one of the worst home-field advantages in the NFL over the past several seasons because fans simply don’t show up. So they can’t be laying 4.5 points here. This line should be Miami -2.5 or even -3 at the most.
I trust the Bills more because of their defense. They actually rank 2nd in the NFL in total defense this season. They rank 3rd in the NFL in yards per play defense, only behind the Ravens and Bears. And the offense got a jolt last week with Josh Allen returning at quarterback to beat the Jaguars. When Allen or Matt Barkley have been under center, the Bills have been a great bet this season.
Injuries are another reason I think the Bills have a huge advantage. The Bills have stayed remarkably healthy this season as they only have four players currently on the injury report. One is backup QB Derek Anderson, and TE Charles Clay is questionable with a hamstring. So they basically just have two players out with season-ending injuries. Miami already has 11 players lost to season-ending injuries. Two of those are their best playmakers in Albert Wilson and Jakeeem Grant, and Danny Amendola is questionable.
Having Ryan Tannehill back at quarterback helps the Dolphins, but he is lacking weapons on the outside. And the Dolphins’ 24-27 loss to the Colts last week was misleading. They only managed 314 total yards and gave up 455 total yards, getting outgained by 141 yards by the Colts. Indianapolis simply kept the Dolphins in the game by committing three turnovers. And that was a home run spot for Miami coming off their bye week. The Bills also had a bye last week, so both teams are fresh.
Tannehill is really going to struggle without his top playmakers against a Buffalo defense that has allowed 126, 116 and 107 passing yards in its last three games, respectively. They are giving up just 116.3 passing yards per game over their past three games, and they’ve held six of their past seven opponents to 156 passing yards or fewer. That’s almost unheard of in today’s NFL and it just goes to show how elite this defense really is. They have held four of their last six opponents to 83 or fewer rushing yards as well.
Miami is 0-8 ATS in its last eight home games vs. poor offensive teams that average 4.75 or fewer yards per play. The Dolphins are 18-46-3 ATS in their last 67 home games vs. a team with a losing road record. Buffalo is 7-3 ATS in its last 10 meetings with Miami. Bet the Bills Sunday.
|12-02-18||Broncos v. Bengals +5.5||24-10||Loss||-110||53 h 33 m||Show|
15* NFL Sunday Undervalued Underdog on Cincinnati Bengals +5.5
This is the ultimate ‘buy low, sell high’ situation here. We’ll buy low on the Bengals, who have lost three straight and five of their last six, meaning the betting public wants nothing to do with them. And we’ll sell high on the Broncos, who are coming off back-to-back upset victories over the Chargers and Steelers.
The Broncos were coming off their bye prior to that win over the Chargers, so it was a great spot for them. And only poor coaching by the Chargers allowed the Broncos to win that game. They erased a 19-7 deficit to win 23-22. And the Steelers win was even more misleading. The Broncos were outgained by 219 yards and gave up 527 total yards to the Steelers. But they won the turnover battle 4-0. It was a complete fluke.
The Bengals have been plagued by injuries, which is a big reason for their recent struggles. But they are expected to get star receiver AJ Green back from injury this week, and he makes a huge difference for this team. I know the Bengals will be without Andy Dalton this week, but Jeff Driskel really impressive me last week, and I think he’s good enough to beat the Broncos with Green at his disposal now.
The Bengals trailed the Browns 28-0 last week. They only ended up losing 20-35, and a lot of that had to do with Driskel. They seemed energized when he came into the game, and that should carry over this week. Driskel finished 17-of-29 passing for 155 yards with a touchdown in the comeback attempt, while also rushing for a score. I think this team continues to be energized by their backup QB, who is better than he gets credit for.
Plays against favorites of 3.5 to 10 points (Denver) - after having won two of their last three games, a team that wins 40% to 49% of their games on the season playing a losing team are 68-27 (71.6%) ATS since 1983.
The Broncos are 4-11 ATS int heir last 15 road games. Denver is 1-7-1 ATS in its last nine games after allowing more than 250 passing yards in its previous game. The Bengals are 9-3 ATS int heir last 12 vs. AFC opponents. Cincinnati is 20-8-1 ATS in its last 29 December games. The underdog is 4-0 ATS in the last four meetings. Bet the Bengals Sunday.
|12-02-18||Ravens v. Falcons -1.5||26-16||Loss||-110||53 h 32 m||Show|
15* NFL Sunday No-Doubt Rout on Atlanta Falcons -1.5
Lamar Jackson and the Ravens are getting way too much respect for back-to-back home wins against the Bengals and Raiders. These two teams have been two of the worst in the NFL over the past month-plus, so those wins are nothing to write home about.
Plus, they only beat the Bengals by a final of 24-21 as 6.5-point home favorites, so they failed to cover the spread. And they were extremely fortunate to cover against the Raiders last week as 13-point favorites, winning 34-17 thanks to two non-offensive touchdowns with one on special teams and one on defense.
The Ravens take a big step up in class this week against the Falcons. The Falcons are undervalued off three straight losses, which followed up three straight wins. But they had their chance to win each of the last three games, but they blew it with red zone struggles.
Atlanta’s 17-31 loss at New Orleans last week was one of the most misleading final scores of the week. I know because I had the Falcons +13.5 in that game and was extremely unlucky not to cash that ticket. The Flacons outgained the Saints and held them to just 312 total yards, but they committed four turnovers, including three fumbles inside New Orleans’ 20-yard line. Had they simply kicked one field goal on one of those three drives, they would have covered the 13.5-point spread.
Now Atlanta has the rest advantage in this one after playing last Thursday, while Baltimore had to play on Sunday. So the Falcons got to watch Baltimore and Lamar Jackson, and their defense will know how to stop them. Their offense will also find some holes, unlike Cincinnati or Oakland did the two previous weeks with two bad offenses. And the Falcons have a better defense than either of those two teams, especially since they are supposed to get MLB Deion Jones back from injury. He’ll be key in slowing down Jackson and company this week.
Baltimore is 0-6 ATS after outgaining its previous opponent by 150 or more total yards over the past three season. It is coming back to lose by 6.3 points per game on average in this spot. The Ravens are 2-8-1 ATS in their last 11 games following a win by 14-plus points. The value is on Atlanta as a short home favorite this week. Roll with the Falcons Sunday.
|12-01-18||Northwestern v. Ohio State -14||Top||24-45||Win||100||67 h 47 m||Show|
20* Northwestern/Ohio State Big Ten BAILOUT on Ohio State -14
Because Ohio State came out No. 6 in the playoff rankings this week, they know they need style points to get in. This really feels like a few years ago when they needed style points against Wisconsin. They were actually underdogs in that game and won 59-0. They got in over TCU because of it, and went on to win the national title.
Ohio State knows how to put the hammer down when it needs to. And the Buckeyes certainly put the hammer down last week by scoring 62 points against Michigan’s No. 1 ranked defense in the country. I don’t think I’ve seen a more impressive performance all season. And it just shows what the Buckeyes are capable of when they are locked in. They’ll be locked in Saturday night looking to impress the playoff committee again.
I’ve thought Northwestern was overrated most of the season. They’ve squeaked out a ton of close wins this season to win the Big Ten West division. And basically everyone else in their division fell apart around them to help them out.
This is a Northwestern team that is only outscoring opponents by 2 points per game this season. They are actually getting outgained by 27 yards per game in Big Ten play. Their offense ranks 126th out of 130 teams in yards per play (4.6). They are one-dimensional, averaging just 3.0 yards per carry. It’s an offense that puts up just 23.7 points per game this season, and I just don’t believe Clayton Thorson is capable of matching the Buckeyes score for score.
I like the fact that this game is played indoors in a dome in Indianapolis. That’s going to favor Ohio State’s high-powered offense. The Buckeyes average 43.3 points and 544 yards per game this season. When I’m laying double-digit points, I need it to be with an elite offense that I know is going to hang a big number. Ohio State certainly fits the bill.
I don’t believe this game will ever be close with the exception of early on in the first quarter. But say Ohio State is up by 10 in the final minutes. They won’t simply kneel on it. They’ll go down and try to score for style points because they need to leapfrog Oklahoma or whoever else is in their way in the playoff standings. So we have that in our back pocket if we need it. I don’t think we’ll need it, though.
The Buckeyes are 7-2 ATS in their last nine neutral site games. Ohio State is 5-1 ATS in its last six meetings with Northwestern. Urban Meyer is 13-1 ATS off an upset win as an underdog in all games he has coached. Take Ohio State Saturday.
|12-01-18||Georgia +14 v. Alabama||28-35||Win||100||62 h 31 m||Show|
15* Georgia/Alabama SEC ANNIHILATOR on Georgia +14
The betting public is infatuated with Alabama right now. They are just betting the Crimson Tide blindly because they have been so good to them all season. It’s time to ‘sell high’ on the Crimson Tide this week because bettors are clearly paying a tax to bet them at this point in the season. They should not be two touchdown favorites over Georgia, one of the top teams in the country.
The tax caught up to the Crimson Tide two weeks ago in their 50-17 win over The Citadel. That game was tied 10-10 at halftime believe it or not. And last week they only led Auburn 17-14 at halftime and did not deserve to cover the 25.5-point spread. But they outscored the Tigers 35-7 after intermission to get the cover. Georgia will offer a lot more resistance than any other team Alabama has played this season.
Georgia has had revenge in mind since a 26-23 (OT) loss to Alabama in the National Championship Game last year. They led that game 13-0 at halftime and feel like they let it slip away. I am 100% confident we’ll get the biggest effort of the season from Georgia in the SEC Championship Game this week, and that should be enough to stay within two touchdowns of the Crimson Tide, possibly pulling off the upset.
I think Georgia’s 16-36 loss at LSU was a blessing in disguise back in early October. They gave that game away by committing four turnovers. They have only committed five turnovers in five games since, and they’ve gone 5-0 SU & 4-1 ATS in their last five games overall. Their only non-cover came in a 39-point win as 41.5-point favorites over UMass. Big deal. They have won all five games by at least 17 points.
Alabama hasn’t had to face an offense as good as Georgia’s this season. The Bulldogs score 40.1 points per game an average 481 yards per game. Their ground game is elite once again as they rush for 260 yards per game and 6.3 per carry. And Jake Fromm is completing 69.1% of his passes with a 24-to-5 TD/INT ratio while averaging 9.6 per attempt. He held his own against Alabama as a freshman last year and was the biggest reason they had a shot to win that game. Fromm won’t fold in the SEC Championship Game having that experience in his hip pocket.
Georgia is 9-1 ATS after having won four or five of their last six games over the past two seasons. The Bulldogs are 12-3 ATS when playing against a team with a winning record over the last two seasons. Georgia is 10-2 ATS vs. good rushing teams who average 4.75 or more yards per carry over the last two years. The underdog is 5-0 ATS in the last five meetings.
Plays on neutral field underdogs (Georgia) - an excellent rushing team that averages 225 or more rushing yards per game, after gaining 225 or more rushing yards in four straight games coming in are 23-3 (88.5%) ATS since 1992. Roll with Georgia Saturday.
|12-01-18||Memphis +3.5 v. Central Florida||Top||41-56||Loss||-115||61 h 7 m||Show|
25* Conference Championship GAME OF THE YEAR on Memphis +3.5
I was on the Memphis Tigers last week in a dominant 52-31 win over Houston. They took advantage of Houston’s starting QB being out, and now they’ll take advantage of UCF’s starting QB being out this week as well. The wrong team is favored in this matchup, and I love everything about Memphis in this AAC Championship Game Saturday.
The streak ends here. UCF has won 24 consecutive games over the past two seasons, but all of that was with QB McKenzie Milton at quarterback. He has accounted for 80 total touchdowns over the past two seasons, more than any other player in college football. He is simply irreplaceable.
UCF’s backup is freshman Darriel Mack Jr. He has gotten some action this season in either mop up duty or like last week against USF in the second half after Milton went out. He has not been impressive at all. Mack Jr. is completing just 48.8% of his 43 attempts and averaging only 4.0 yards per attempt. He hasn’t thrown a single touchdown pass on those 43 attempts, either.
Mack Jr. is more of a running quarterback as he has rushed for 281 yards on 40 attempts. Well, that plays right into the hands of Memphis, who have the better defense in this matchup, especially against the run. The Tigers are only giving up 3.9 yards per carry on 40 attempts per game this year. That is the strength of their defense.
UCF has been good at stopping the pass, but terrible at stopping the run. The Knights give up 212 rushing yards per game and 4.5 per carry, including 262 rushing yards per game in their last four games coming in. The Tigers average 276 rushing yards per game and 6.4 per attempt. Don’t get me wrong, they’re still a great passing team at 254 yards per game and 8.6 per attempt behind Brady White, but their strength is their ground game.
And Memphis has one of the best running backs in the country and a future NFL star in Darrell Henderson. He has rushed for the second-most yards in the nation with 1,700 yards and 19 touchdowns while averaging 8.6 per carry. He is a huge back who is tough to bring down, and he has tremendous explosiveness and quickness for a big guy. Henderson rushed for 199 yards against UCF in their first meeting.
Speaking of that first meeting, Memphis will be playing with triple-revenge from three losses to UCF over the past two seasons. They blew a 30-14 lead over UCF and lost 30-31 at home in their first meeting this season. They also lost during the regular season last year at UCF and again at UCF 55-62 in overtime in last year’s AAC Championship Game. To say they want revenge would be a massive understatement, and they don’t care that Milton is out, they just want to beat this UCF team so badly.
I don’t think UCF should be favored at all without Milton. And I just don’t see how the Knights can keep up on the scoreboard with this high-powered Memphis offense that averages 43.8 points and 530 yards per game this season. They hung 52 on Houston last week and amassed 610 total yards, including 410 rushing. They have gone 4-0 SU & 4-0 ATS in their last four games overall and are playing their best football of the season down the stretch when these games matter most.
Memphis is 7-0 ATS vs. poor rushing defenses that allow 200 or more rushing yards per game over the last two seasons. It is winning by 30.3 points per game on average in this spot. Bet Memphis Saturday.
|11-30-18||Utah v. Washington -5||Top||3-10||Win||100||43 h 43 m||Show|
20* Utah/Washington Pac-12 Championship No-Brainer on Washington -5
The Washington Huskies were one of the most overrated teams in the country all season. So despite the fact that they went 9-3 SU, they went just 3-9 ATS. They were consistently laying too many points week in and week out because many expected them to be a playoff contender coming into the season.
This is the role I like them in. The Huskies are only 5-point favorites here against the Utes. Two of their three covers this season came as a small favorite or underdog. They won 21-7 at Utah in their first meeting as 4-point favorites, and then last week put together their most complete performance of the season in a 28-15 win at Washington State as 3-point dogs.
The line in that first meeting with Utah is important. Washington was a 4-point favorite in that true road game, and now they are only a 5-point favorite on a neutral field in the rematch. When you adjust for Utah’s massive home-field advantage, Washington would have been around an 8-point favorite on a neutral back then. So we are getting value here.
And I think Utah has gotten worse since that game while Washington has gotten better. The Utes have lost starting QB Huntley and starting RB Moss, their two best players on offense. Washington State has gotten a healthy Myles Gaskins back at RB after missing a few games and TE Hunter Bryant who missed the first nine games of the season.
The Huskies outgained Washington State by 250 total yards last week. They rushed for 258 yards, including 170 and three touchdowns from Gaskins. And Bryant is one of the most talented tight ends in the country, so Jake Browning is glad to have him back. He caught three balls for 108 yards and a touchdown in the snow against the Cougars.
Meanwhile, Utah had to erase a 27-7 deficit in the second half last week to come back and beat BYU 35-27. The Utes did not deserve to win that game at all as they managed just 296 total yards and were outgained by 61 yards. But they used a lot of energy to erase that deficit, and they haven’t had a bye since mid-September. They are running on fumes right now.
Washington gets an extra days’ rest after playing Washington State last Friday, while Utah had to play a late-night game on Saturday. And the Huskies just had their bye on November 10th, so they are by far the fresher team. It explains their solid play to close out the season, and I think they have another big performance in them here Friday night as they claim the Pac-12 title in blowout fashion. Bet Washington Friday.
|11-29-18||Saints v. Cowboys +8||Top||10-13||Win||100||18 h 23 m||Show|
20* Saints/Cowboys NFC Thursday No-Brainer on Dallas +8
The New Orleans Saints have now covered in nine straight games. The betting public has made a fortune off this team and they’ll continue to back them every week until they lose. Oddsmakers haven’t been able to set their lines high enough. And there’s no question the value is on the Dallas Cowboys this week catching more than a touchdown at home.
I had the Falcons +13.5 against the Saints last week in a 14-point loss. It was clearly a right side loser as the Falcons were the better team in that game but found a way to lose by 14. They outgained the Saints by 54 yards and held them to 312 total yards, but lost the turnover battle 4-1. And the Falcons lost three fumbles inside New Orleans’ 20-yard line that took points off the board. It was a complete fluke.
I like the way the Cowboys have rallied the troops and are feeling good about themselves right now. They have gone 3-0 SU & 3-0 ATS in their last three games overall, which includes upset road wins over the Eagles and Falcons, and a 31-23 home win over the Redskins last week. They dominated the Redskins in that game.
This Dallas offense has taken off since Amari Cooper came over from Oakland. Cooper already has 22 receptions for 349 yards and three touchdowns in four games for the Cowboys. He has opened up things for Ezekiel Elliott, who has rushed for at least 121 yards in three straight games now. This offense has what it takes to move the chains and keep Drew Brees on the sidelines.
Of course, it also helps that the Cowboys have one of the best defenses in the NFL. Dallas ranks 7th in the NFL in total defense, giving up just 331.1 yards per game. The Cowboys are even better in the all-important scoring defense (19.4) category. Only the Ravens and Bears have been better in that department.
Sean Payton is 2-10 ATS in road games after having won eight or more of their last 10 games as the coach of the Saints. Dallas is 11-2 ATS after gaining 400 or more total yards in its previous game over the last three seasons. The Cowboys are 6-0 ATS vs. poor defensive teams that allow 350 or more total yards per game over the last two seasons. The underdog is 9-2 ATS in the last 11 meetings. The home team is 4-1 ATS in the last five meetings. Bet the Cowboys Thursday.
|11-26-18||Titans v. Texans -3.5||17-34||Win||100||8 h 47 m||Show|
15* Titans/Texans AFC South No-Brainer on Houston -3.5
The Houston Texans are one of the hottest teams in the NFL. They have reeled off seven straight victories since their 0-3 start to the season. But they could have won any of those first three games as they were all one-score games. And they are finally winning their share of one-score games during this seven-game winning streak.
Now the Texans are as healthy as they’ve been all season. They get some key players back on defense this week and will be playing just their 2nd game in 22 days because they had a bye in Week 10. They should be primed for another big effort here on Monday Night Football to cement their place atop the AFC South standings.
The Texans will be out for revenge from a 17-20 road loss at Tennessee in their first meeting. Well, they dominated the Titans in that game and should have won. They outgained Tennessee 437 to 283 for the game, or by 154 total yards. The Titans got a 66-yard fake punt TD in that game that proved to be the difference.
Home-field advantage has been huge in this series as the home team is 5-0 SU & 5-0 ATS in the last five meetings. Houston is 6-0 SU & 5-1 ATS in its last six home meetings with Tennessee with all six wins coming by 6 points or more and by an average of 19.7 points per game. So based on this series history, we are getting the Texans at a pretty cheap -3.5 price here tonight.
Tennessee is a fraudulent 5-5. The Titans are getting outgained by nearly 40 yards per game on the season. They are scoring just 17.8 points per game and rank 30th in total offense at 295.4 yards per game. The Texans are a legit 7-3, outgaining teams by 34 yards per game. They are scoring 23.9 points per game and rank 15th in total offense at 364.2 yards per game. And they have posted better defensive numbers than the Titans as well. The Texans rank 4th in yards per play (5.0) allowed, while the Titans are 10th in yards per play (5.5) allowed.
Houston is 4-1 ATS in its last five vs. AFC opponents, while Tennessee is just 19-43-4 ATS in its last 66 vs. AFC foes. The Texans are 10-4-1 ATS in the last 15 meetings. Roll with the Texans Monday.
|11-25-18||Dolphins +10 v. Colts||Top||24-27||Win||100||90 h 5 m||Show|
20* AFC GAME OF THE WEEK on Miami Dolphins +10
The Colts are getting way too much love this week. That’s because they have gone 4-0 SU & 3-0-1 ATS in their last four games overall coming in. Now the betting public is on them, and it’s time to ‘sell high’ here Sunday. They are coming off a 38-10 beat down of the Titans last week. I had the Colts in that game, and was fortunate Marcus Mariota got hurt. The rest was history. But I’ll gladly fade them this week as 10-point favorites over the Dolphins.
Indianapolis has only been favored by more than 3.5 points once this season, and that was as 7-point favorites against the Bills. And now they have to play a motivated, rested Dolphins team that is coming off their bye week at 5-5 and looking to make a playoff push. And the Dolphins get Ryan Tannehill back at quarterback this week, which is a big upgrade over Brock Osweiler.
The Dolphins opened 3-0 this season before back-to-back road losses to the Patriots and Bengals. Tannehill led them to that 3-2 start, and the Dolphins led the Bengals big before he got hurt. Speaking of injuries, the Colts suffered a big blow when they lost center Ryan Kelly to a knee injury against the Titans last week. Center is one of the most underrated positions in the NFL. Kelly is their best linemen, and the Colts have a couple other key injuries along the offensive line that will make life more difficult on Andrew Luck this week.
Plays on any team (Miami) - in a game involving two poor defensive teams that allow 23-27 PPG in the 2nd half of the season, after scoring 14 points or less in two straight games are 39-15 (72.2%) ATS since 1983. The Colts should be closer to 3-point favorites than 10-point favorites this week. We’ll take the value on Miami. Bet the Dolphins Sunday.
|11-25-18||Seahawks v. Panthers -3||30-27||Loss||-119||87 h 41 m||Show|
15* NFL Sunday No-Doubt Rout on Carolina Panthers -3
I was on the Panthers last week as my free play, and it was probably a week early. They lost 19-20 to the Lions after going for a 2-point conversion to win the game in the closing seconds. To my credit, the Panthers outgained the Lions by 78 yards and probably should have won that game. But their road struggles continued and they lost.
But now the Panthers return home highly motivated for a victory after back-to-back road losses. This is a place of comfort for them as the Panthers are 5-0 SU & 4-1 ATS at home this season, outscoring the opposition by 9.8 points per game in the process. They should get back on track at home here with a win and cover as only 3-point favorites over the Seahawks.
This is a bad matchup for Seattle. The Seahawks lead the league in rushing, but they are just 28th in passing offense, averaging only 196.8 passing yards per game. The weakness of Carolina is their pass D, but the Seahawks won’t be able to exploit it. Carolina ranks 7th in the NFL against the run, giving up just 98.5 rushing yards per game. They have the speed at linebacker with Luke Keuchly and company to stuff the read-option that Seattle likes to run.
Seattle is only 2-3 in true road games this season. One of those came 20-17 at Arizona, a terrible team and arguably the worst team in the NFL this season. The other was at Detroit the week they were coming off a bye, so they were primed for a big effort there. This is clearly a step up in class for the Seahawks, and I expect them to fail here Sunday.
The Panthers are 6-1 ATS in their last seven games following a loss. Carolina is 8-2 ATS in its last 10 home games. The home team is 4-1 ATS in the last five meetings. Ron Rivera is 9-1 ATS off an upset loss as a road favorite as the coach of Carolina. Rivera is also 22-4 ATS off a road loss as the coach of the Panthers. Roll with the Panthers Sunday.
|11-25-18||Jaguars v. Bills +3.5||Top||21-24||Win||100||87 h 40 m||Show|
20* NFL Sunday UPSET SHOCKER on Buffalo Bills +3.5
We’ve already found out that the Buffalo Bills are trying to win every game they play. That was evident last time out in a 41-10 win as 7-point road dogs over the New York Jets. And now they are coming off their bye week feeling good about themselves, so they’ll be rested and motivated for another win here against the Jaguars.
I certainly question Jacksonville’s motivation at this point. This is a team that made the AFC Championship Game last year, and now they sit at 3-7 off six consecutive losses. There are issues in the locker room that aren’t fixable. And they just blew a big lead in a 20-16 loss to the Steelers last week. I don’t like their state of mind coming into this game at Buffalo.
Now the Jaguars have to head to colder weather, which they aren’t used to. And they have to try and get back up off the mat to face a 3-7 Bills team. I just don’t think they will be motivated at all the rest of the way, especially this week in a hangover spot from that loss to the Steelers.
The Bills have the 2nd-best defense in the NFL according to Football Outsiders. That matches up with their season-long stats as well. The Bills are 2nd in the NFL in total defense, giving up just 302.2 yards per game. They are also 2nd in yards per play (4.9) allowed. This is an elite defense, and one that will shut down this putrid Jacksonville offense.
The Bills get a big boost this week with rookie QB Josh Allen returning to the lineup from an elbow injury. They have been highly competitive with Allen this season, and pretty bad without him with the exception of that Jets came when Matt Barkley came in and gave them a spark. I think this offense will take another step forward this week with Allen having two full weeks to prepare for the Jaguars.
The Jaguars have a laundry list of injuries that has contributed to this six-game losing streak, and it’s not getting any better this week. The Bills are 5-1 ATS in their last six games after rushing for more than 150 yards in their previous game. The underdog is 6-2 ATS in the last eight meetings. Take the Bills Sunday.
|11-25-18||Raiders +11 v. Ravens||17-34||Loss||-110||87 h 40 m||Show|
15* NFL Sunday Undervalued Underdog on Oakland Raiders +11
The Oakland Raiders showed last week they wouldn’t quit on the season when they went into Arizona and won 23-21 as 4.5-point underdogs. This line of Baltimore laying 11 points Sunday indicates that the Raiders have quit, but they obviously haven’t. I think there’s a ton of value on the Raiders catching double-digits points here this week.
Lamar Jackson led the Ravens to a 24-21 win over the Bengals last week. And Jackson will make another start in place of Joe Flacco. But now the Raiders have some game film on him they can use. And Jackson isn’t going to lead the Ravens to a ton of points simply because his style doesn’t suit it.
Jackson only threw fate ball 19 times last week for 138 yards against the Bengals. They rushed 54 times. They are going to implement a similar game plan here with a run-heavy scheme. And that will keep the clock moving and make it very predictable for the Raiders.
It also helps out the Raiders dramatically because they rank 32nd in the league in yards per pass attempt (8.9) allowed, which is their biggest weakness. The Raiders have at least been respectable against the run and should be able to limit the Ravens’ rushing attack this week.
The Ravens are 1-3 SU & 0-4 ATS in their last four games overall. There’s no way they should be getting this much respect from oddsmakers. They are just 1-5 ATS in their last six games as a favorite, and they have been favored in six consecutive games. I’m confused at all the love for the Ravens at this point.
Plays on underdogs of 10.5 or more points (Oakland) - off an upset win as a road underdog are 39-15 (72.2%) ATS since 1983. Baltimore is 1-8 ATS in its last nine games after outgaining its last opponent by 100 or more yards. The Ravens are 0-5 ATS in their last five home games vs. a team with a losing road record. The underdog is 4-1 ATS in the last five meetings. Take the Raiders Sunday.
|11-25-18||49ers +3.5 v. Bucs||9-27||Loss||-125||87 h 39 m||Show|
15* NFC PLAY OF THE DAY on San Francisco 49ers +3.5
The Bucs can’t be trusted to be laying 3.5 points at home to the 49ers this week. They are 1-7 in their last eight games overall with their only win coming by exactly 3 points at home against the Browns. I think this is a game where the 49ers have an excellent chance to win outright.
The Bucs keep playing musical chairs at quarterback. Now they are going back to Jameis Winston this week. He has been worse than Ryan Fitzpatrick this season, but they aren’t giving up on him for whatever reason. Whoever is under center has turned the ball over at an alarming rate, and that won’t stop this week. The Bucs have 29 turnovers in their last nine games, averaging 3.2 turnovers per game. It’s simply too tough to win that way.
The Bucs also have a ton of injury issues coming into this game. They are missing four starters on defense in Lavonte David, Chris Conte, Kwon Alexander and Vernon Hargreaves. They have two DE starters questionable in Vinny Curry and Jason Pierre-Paul. They are without their stud tight end in OJ Howard, plus C Ryan Jensen and WR DeSean Jackson are questionable.
The 49ers are coming off their bye week, so they are as healthy as they have been since Week 1. That should have them primed for a big effort here against the hapless Bucs. And I like the fact that Nick Mullens is getting another start this week. Mullens is completing 70.5% of his passes for 512 yards with four touchdowns and two interceptions in his two starts this season. Those are better numbers than both Jimmy G and C.J. Beathard have put up this season.
The 49ers have the numbers of a team that is much better than their 2-8 record would indicate, too. They are outgaining opponents by 13.1 yards per game this season. You’d expect them to be at least .500 with those numbers. And their defense has really stepped up the last two weeks, holding the Raiders to just 242 total yards and the Giants to just 277 total yards. They have given up 331 or fewer yards in four consecutive games now.
Tampa Bay is 1-12 ATS after going OVER the total in their previous game over the past two seasons. The 49ers are 21-9 ATS in their last 30 road games off an upset loss as a favorite. The Bucs are 1-6-1 ATS in their last eight games overall. Bet the 49ers Sunday.
|11-24-18||BYU +12 v. Utah||Top||27-35||Win||100||71 h 49 m||Show|
20* BYU/Utah FS1 Late-Night BAILOUT on BYU +12
This is a very precarious spot for the Utah Utes. Even though it’s a rivalry game, I don’t expect them to be motivated at all. That’s because they have their big game on deck next week in the Pac-12 Championship against the Washington/Washington State Apple Cup winner. And if they win that game, they’ll go to the Rose Bowl.
I just don’t foresee the Utes being motivated at all to face BYU this week. And even if they were motivated, it would be tough for them to cover this 12-point spread because BYU simply doesn’t get blown out. I have no doubt the Cougars will want this game more, and I’ll gladly back the more motivated double-digit underdog in this matchup.
Utah lost its two best players on offense in a 20-38 loss to Arizona State. The Utes were able to win their next two games against Oregon and Colorado without those two players, but I think it catches up with them here. Those two players are QB Tyler Huntley and RB Zack Moss, who rushed for 1,092 yards and 11 touchdowns in the first nine games this season.
BYU has had a nice bounce-back season this year and they want to cap it off with an upset win over retire rivals. They are 6-5 this season, but three of those losses have come by 5 points or less. Like I said, this team just doesn’t get blown out. And I think they’ll hold their own in what is sure to be a defensive battle with a total set of only 44. I love taking double-digit dogs in expected defensive battles.
BYU is 6-0 ATS in November road games over the last three seasons. Plays on underdogs of 10.5 to 21 points (BYU) - off a home win by 17 points or more against an opponent that’s off a double-digit road win are 37-14 (72.5%) ATS over the last 10 seasons. Take BYU Saturday.
|11-24-18||Kansas State +14 v. Iowa State||Top||38-42||Win||100||68 h 48 m||Show|
20* Big 12 GAME OF THE WEEK on Kansas State +14
The Iowa State Cyclones had their dreams crushed last week. They went into their showdown with Texas last week controlling their own destiny to get to the Big 12 title game. Simply win that game and this week against Kansas State, and they would have made the conference championship game.
But they got worked and lost 10-24 in a game that wasn’t even that close. And for a program like Iowa State, it was an extra crushing loss because they almost never get the opportunity they had last week. And now they will have a hard time getting back up off the mat to face Kansas State this week.
We know Kansas State will be motivated. The Wildcats currently sit at 5-6 and one win shy of bowl eligibility. They have won their last two games against Kansas and Texas Tech to put themselves in this position. And that 21-6 win against Texas Tech as 6.5-point dogs was mighty impressive. They held the high-powered Red Raiders to just 181 total yards. And they are capable of shutting down this mediocre Iowa State offense as well.
Now team has owned Iowa State quite like Kansas State. Indeed, the Wildcats have gone 10-0 SU in their last 10 meetings with the Cyclones. And now they’re catching 14 points, which makes absolutely zero sense. The Cyclones have struggled to score points against the Wildcats in recent years, and that will be the case again Saturday. Especially in this ‘hangover’ spot off the loss to Texas. Bet Kansas State Saturday.
|11-24-18||Rutgers +27.5 v. Michigan State||10-14||Win||100||65 h 48 m||Show|
15* CFB Saturday Undervalued Underdog on Rutgers +27.5
Quietly, the Rutgers Scarlet Knights have been big money makers down the stretch. They haven’t quit. They have gone 4-0 ATS in in their last four games overall. They only lost 15-18 as 20-point home dogs to Northwestern, 17-31 as 29-point road dogs at Wisconsin, 7-42 as 37-point home dogs to Michigan, and 7-20 as 28-point home dogs to Penn State.
Rutgers has covered the spread by a combined 49 points in its last four games. The betting public wants nothing to do with 1-10 Rutgers, which is why they are consistently catching too many points here down the stretch. And oddsmakers still haven’t adjusted as they are once again catching 27.5-points this week against Michigan State.
I just can’t see Michigan State being motivated enough to beat Rutgers by this kind of margin. The Spartans are 6-5 this season and off back-to-back losses to Ohio State and Nebraska in which they scored a combined 12 points in those two losses. And that’s the issue here with the Spartans. Can they even score 28 points?
Michigan State has a putrid offense that is putting up just 20.3 points per game this season. And Rutgers has a respectable defense that is allowing 409.8 yards per game on the year. The Scarlet Knights are definitely good enough defensively to hold Michigan to less than 28 points. And their offense should contribute a touchdown or two.
The total set in this game is only 37 points. I always like taking big underdogs in games that are expected to be low scoring. Basically they are saying the score is going to be 32-5 based on this total. I think Rutgers can score 7, and I don’t think Michigan State can score 32.
Plays against home favorites (Michigan State) - after going under the total by more than 28 points in their previous game, in weeks 10 through 13 are 33-9 (78.6%) ATS over the last 10 seasons. Michigan State is 10-27 ATS in its last 37 games after scoring 7 points or less in the first half of two straight games. Mark Dantonio is 0-6 ATS after scoring 6 points or less last game as the coach of Michigan State. Bet Rutgers Saturday.
|11-24-18||Tennessee v. Vanderbilt -3||13-38||Win||100||65 h 45 m||Show|
15* CFB Saturday No-Doubt Rout on Vanderbilt -3
Both Vanderbilt and Tennessee have a lot to play for here Saturday. The winner will be going to a bowl game, while the loser will be staying home for bowl season. And it’s Senior Day for the Commodores on their home turf. I just think Vanderbilt is the better team, and they should be laying more than a field goal at home here to the Vols because of it.
Vanderbilt has impressed me a lot here down the stretch. They have played well in five straight games coming in, and that consistency is why I like them so much. It started five weeks ago when they led Florida 21-3 at home, but couldn’t hold on in the second half, losing 27-37 and failing to cover as 9.5-point dogs only after a 43-yard field goal by Florida with 37 seconds left.
Since that defeat, Vanderbilt has gone 4-0 ATS in its last four games, consistently being undervalued. They only lost 7-14 at Kentucky as 10-point dogs, upset Arkansas 45-31 as 2-point road dogs, only lost 28-33 at Missouri as 14.5-point dogs, and beat Ole Miss 36-29 at home as 3-point favorites.
Tennessee has not played well down the stretch, going 1-2 ATS, with their only win coming at home over Kentucky in a clear flat spot for the Wildcats after losing to Georgia the previous week. They only beat a bad Charlotte team 14-3 at home as 21-point favorites. And they lost 17-50 to Missouri as 6-point home dogs last week.
While Vanderbilt has been able to stay remarkably healthy this season, Tennessee has not. They have seven players who are out for the season, and several others who are probable or questionable, including QB Jarrett Guarantano. This guy has taken a beating all season from poor offensive line play, and it’s starting to take its toll. He is dealing with a head injury, and if he takes another big hit Saturday, he’ll get the hook quick. And the drop-off from him to backup Keller Chryst is significant.
No question we are backing the better offense and the better quarterback here in Kyle Shurmur. The senior will be looking to make a statement in his final home game. Shurmur has thrown for 2,477 yards with a 20-to-6 TD/INT ratio this season while completing 61.4% of his passes in the rugged SEC. He has a stud running back to hand the ball off to in Ke’Shawn Vaughn, who has rushed for 976 yards and 10 touchdowns while averaging a jaw-dropping 7.1 per carry.
Tennessee’s offense averages just 23.6 points per game overall and 21.3 points per game in conference play. And this is a pretty evenly-matched game defensively, tho the Vols give up more points overall (27.0) and in conference play (35.9) than Vanderbilt does overall (26.2) and in conference play (31.7). So we’re getting the better offense at home on Senior Day playing for a bowl game. That’s worth more than 3 points in my eyes.
Vanderbilt is 4-2 SU & 5-1 ATS in its last six meetings with Tennessee. The Vols are 0-4 ATS in their last four games vs. a team with a losing record. The Commodores are 5-1 ATS in their last six games following an ATS win. Vanderbilt is 4-0 ATS in its last four conference games. Take Vanderbilt Saturday.
|11-24-18||Marshall v. Florida International +3||28-25||Push||0||61 h 47 m||Show|
15* CFB Saturday UPSET SHOCKER On Florida International +3
I’ve cashed in FIU each of the last two weeks. They won 45-7 as 10.5-point favorites at UTSA and 42-35 as 3.5-point favorites at Charlotte. And I’m on FIU again this week simply because I believe they continue to be undervalued here as 3-point home underdogs to Marshall.
Motivation is a big reason I’ve been on FIU. Three weeks ago, win out and they controlled their own destiny to get to the C-USA title game. They’ve completed the first two steps, and now I expect them to finish it off and improve to 7-1 in C-USA with a win over Marshall Saturday.
Marshall is in a questionable motivational spot. Sure, they are still alive for the C-USA East title, but they would also need some help. They would need Middle Tennessee to lose at home to UAB, a team that has nothing to play for this week. I just really like the motivational spot better for FIU here, especially at home on Senior Day, and I simply believe they are the better team as well.
This FIU offense has been impressive this season, averaging 35.5 points per game. And their defense has held opponents to 24.4 points per game. James Morgan is having a huge season at quarterback for the Golden Panthers, completing 65.5% of his passes, averaging 8.7 yards per attempt, and compiling a 26-to-5 TD/INT ratio.
Marshall has an uninspiring offense that is putting up 28.1 points per game this season. Against the same two opponents FIU played the last two weeks, they only managed 30 points against Charlotte and 23 against UTSA. FIU scored 45 on UTSA and 42 on Charlotte. I just don’t think the Thundering Herd have the firepower to keep up in this one.
Marshall is 19-34 ATS in its last 53 games as a road favorite. The Golden Panthers are 14-3 ATS in their last 17 games after scoring more than 40 points in their previous game. FIU is 6-1 ATS in its last seven vs. a team with a winning record. The Thundering Herd are 0-6 ATS in their last six games after allowing more than 20 points in their previous game. Marshall is 1-5 ATS in its last six games following a win. Roll with Florida International Saturday.
|11-23-18||East Carolina +19.5 v. Cincinnati||Top||6-56||Loss||-110||41 h 48 m||Show|
20* AAC GAME OF THE WEEK on East Carolina +19.5
East Carolina may be just 3-7 on the season, but they have the stats more of a 7-3 team, which has them undervalued at this point in the campaign. The Pirates are actually outgaining their opponents by 58 yards per game on the season.
The problem for the Pirates has been turnovers. But they finally won the turnover battle last week, and they beat UConn 55-21 as a result. And I think they can hang with Cincinnati this week. This is a Cincinnati team that has committed at least three turnovers in four of their last six games coming in.
It’s also a Bearcats squad that had their dreams crushed last week in their 25-point loss to UCF. That game decided which team was going to the AAC Title game, and they fell flat on their faces. I don’t expect these Cincinnati players to get back up off the mat in time to face lowly East Carolina. They probably think they can just show up and win, but that won’t be the case.
Especially now that stud freshman Holton Ahlers has taken over at quarterback. He has really thrives the past five games since taking over against mostly a brutal schedule that has included Houston, UCF, Memphis and Tulane. Ahlers has thrown for 1,601 yards with an 11-to-2 TD/INT ratio this season, while also rushing for a team-high 571 yards and six scores on 5.2 per carry. He is one of the best freshman QB’s in the country that not many folks know about.
Cincinnati is 0-6 ATS after allowing 37 points or more last game over the past three seasons. The Bearcats are 0-7 ATS in home games when the total is 49.5 to 56 over the last three years. I don’t expect the Bearcats to show up at all this week. That’s going to make it extremely difficult to cover this 19.5-point spread. Bet East Carolina Thursday.
|11-23-18||Houston v. Memphis -7||31-52||Win||100||37 h 19 m||Show|
15* CFB Friday No-Doubt Rout on Memphis -7
The AAC West title is on the line here when Houston visits Memphis Friday afternoon. I think the home team has a ton of advantages here that will allow them to not only win, but also cover this generous 7-point spread. Lay the wood on the Tigers here Friday.
For starters, the Liberty Bowl in Memphis has been one of the best home-field advantages in the country. The Tigers have gone 27-6 SU at home over the past five seasons. They are 5-1 at home this season and outscoring their foes by 28.7 points per game. Their only loss this season came 30-31 to unbeaten UCF after they blew a big lead in the 2nd half. Houston’s not nearly as good as UCF.
That’s especially the case now that Houston lost its all-everything QB D’Eriq King to a season-ending injury in the win over Tulane last week. It’s the one player they could not afford to live without. King threw for 2,982 yards with a 36-to-6 TD/INT ratio this season, while also rushing for 674 yards and 14 scores. He was their entire offense. Now they have to get freshman QB Clayton Tune ready to make his first-ever road start in a hostile environment. Tune is only completing 47.6% of his 42 attempts this season, and he’s not a dual-threat.
The Cougars will now have a very hard time keeping up with this high-powered Memphis offense Friday. The Tigers are scoring 43.1 points per game and averaging 523.0 yards per game on the season, including 51.5 points per game and 602.8 yards per game at home. That’s why I have no problem laying the seven points with the Tigers here.
Houston is 3-11 ATS off a home win over the last three seasons. The Tigers are 6-0 ATS in November games over the last two years. The Cougars are 1-10 ATS in their last 11 games on field turf. The Tigers are 7-1 ATS in their last eight Friday games. With what’s at stake here, we’ll get an ‘A-Plus’ effort from Memphis, and Houston won’t be able to match it due to the injury to King. Roll with Memphis Friday.
|11-23-18||Nebraska +9 v. Iowa||28-31||Win||100||37 h 19 m||Show|
15* Nebraska/Iowa Big Ten No-Brainer on Nebraska +9
I certainly don’t mind buying stock in Nebraska right now. The Huskers are 6-1 ATS in their last seven games overall. Their only non-cover was a 45-9 win over Bethune-Cookman as 46.5-point favorites in which they pulled their starters after a 38-3 halftime lead. They have been way undervalued since their 0-6 start to the season.
The Huskers haven’t been blown out at all here down the stretch. They covered as 18.5-point dogs at Wisconsin, as 3.5-point dogs at Northwestern in a 31-34 (OT) loss after they blew a 14-point lead late, they beat Minnesota 53-28 as 4-point home favorites, only lost 31-36 at Ohio State as 17-point dogs, crushed Illinois 54-35 as 17-point home favorites, and knocked off Michigan State 9-6 as 1-point home favorites last week.
How they’ve played against all of those teams shows me that they can certainly hang with Iowa, which has lost three of its last four coming in with its only win coming against lowly Illinois. The Hawkeyes seem to just be going through the motions since their dreams of winning the Big Ten West were crushed.
Nebraska certainly has the offense to keep up with the Hawkeyes. They are scoring 30.0 points and averaging 459.6 yards per game in conference play this season. And their defense has only gotten better as the season has gone on. That was on display last week when they held Michigan State to just 6 points and 289 yards of offense. And Iowa has a very similar offense to Michigan State.
No question Nebraska wants revenge from back-to-back blowout losses to the Hawkeyes by 30 and 42 points. But those games were with the anemic Mike Riley at the helm. Scott Frost has changed the culture here already, and he certainly wants his team to know that it’s extremely important to win these rivalry games. No question we’ll get an ‘A-Plus’ effort here from the Cornhuskers knowing this is their final game of the season.
Nebraska is 9-1 ATS off a home win over the last three seasons. Plays on road teams (Nebraska) - with an excellent offense that averages 6.1 or more yards per play, after gaining 3.75 or less hard per play in their previous game are 23-4 (85.2%) ATS since 1992. Take Nebraska Friday.
|11-22-18||Falcons +13.5 v. Saints||Top||17-31||Loss||-115||30 h 19 m||Show|
20* Falcons/Saints NFC South No-Brainer on Atlanta +13.5
What the Saints are doing is absolutely remarkable. They have now covered the spread in eight consecutive games. How rare is that? Well, it happens less than once per season on average. And with that point spread success now comes expectations from oddsmakers that are going to be tough to live up to moving forward.
It’s time to ‘sell high’ on the Saints. They haven’t been double-digit favorites once this season, and now they are 13.5-point favorites against the Atlanta Falcons this week. And the Falcons are better than many of the teams they have played, plus they are a division rival that knows the Saints very well. They simply cannot be laying this kind of number against the Falcons this week.
The Falcons will show up because it’s a division rival and because it’s the Saints, who are one of the best teams in the NFL. I actually think the Falcons will want this game more to try and save their season and earn a signature win. And it’s not like the Falcons are losing by these kinds of margins. The only time they would have failed to cover this spread was against the Steelers in a 17-41 loss. The Falcons were banged up badly defensively coming into that game.
The series history shows there’s value with the Falcons, too. The Saints haven’t even been a double-digit favorite against the Falcons since 2009, and they haven’t beaten the Falcons by 14 points or more since 2011. In fact, the Saints haven’t won any of the last 13 meetings by more than 10 points, making for a perfect 13-0 system backing the Falcons pertaining to this 13.5-point spread. And the Falcons will surely be out for revenge from their 37-43 (OT) home loss to the Saints earlier this season.
Plays against favorites (New Orleans) - dominant team that outscores opponents by 10 or more points per game, after allowing 14 points or less in two straight games are 35-11 (76.1%) ATS over the last 10 seasons. The Falcons are 7-2 ATS in their last nine Thursday games. The underdog is 8-2 ATS in the last 10 meetings. Bet the Falcons Thursday.
|11-22-18||Falcons v. Saints OVER 59.5||17-31||Loss||-105||30 h 19 m||Show|
15* NFL Thursday Total DOMINATOR on Falcons/Saints OVER 59.5
Expect a shootout between the Falcons and Saints Thursday night. They combined for 80 points in their first meeting this season with the Saints winning 43-37 (OT) in Atlanta. They also combined for 941 total yards in that contest. I see no reason this game won’t play out the same way in the rematch.
You already know the Saints are an offensive juggernaut, scoring 37.8 points per game. They should be able to handle their share. But they do give up 25.4 points per game at home, and the Falcons should be able to score their share of points as well. They are scoring 26.3 points per game on the season. The Falcons have scored at least 31 points in five of their last nine games overall.
The Falcons are 20-7 OVER in their last 27 games as an underdog of 10 or more points. The Saints are 11-2 OVER in their last 13 games off five or more consecutive ATS wins. The OVER is 4-0 in Saints last four vs. NFC South opponents. The OVER is 19-8-1 in Saints last 28 home games. The OVER is 16-5 in Falcons last 21 games in a dome. Take the OVER in this game Thursday.
|11-22-18||Mississippi State v. Ole Miss +11.5||35-3||Loss||-110||29 h 28 m||Show|
15* Mississippi State/Ole Miss SEC ANNIHILATOR on Ole Miss +11.5
The Ole Miss Rebels sit at 5-6, needing a win to make a bowl game. They have lost four straight coming in, but it’s not for a lack of trying. Their four losses have all come by 15 points or less, and their offense has been good enough to win every game. I think they’re undervalued due to going 0-5 ATS in their last five games, and now we will ‘buy low’ on them here as double-digit home dogs to Mississippi State.
They were only 5.5-point home dogs to Auburn and 2-point home favorites against South Carolina during this stretch. And Mississippi State isn’t necessarily better than either of those teams, yet they are laying 11.5-points to the Rebels. They were also only 11-point road underdogs to LSU and 21-point home underdogs to Alabama. That fact alone shows you there’s value with the home dog here.
Ole Miss had 447 total yards against Auburn, 616 total yards against South Carolina, 440 total yards against Texas A&M and 578 total yards against Vanderbilt in their last four games. With this offense, they are never out of any game. And I just don’t think Mississippi State has the firepower on offense to put them away.
This is a Mississippi State offense that is only averaging 17.0 points and 301.3 total yards per game in SEC play this season, and that even includes the 52 points they scored against Arkansas. So they have been horrible. The Bulldogs are 1-3 SU & 1-3 ATS on the road this season, averaging just 10.2 points and 292 yards per game. Ole Miss is 3-3 at home, scoring 41.8 points per game and averaging 572 yards per game.
Mississippi State is 0-6 ATS after having won three of its last four games over the past two seasons. Plays on any team (Ole Miss) - off five or more consecutive ATS losses against an opponent that’s off one or more consecutive ATS wins are 39-11 (78%) ATS over the last five seasons. Roll with Ole Miss Thursday.
|11-20-18||Northern Illinois v. Western Michigan +7||21-28||Win||100||6 h 15 m||Show|
15* NIU/WMU MAC Tuesday No-Brainer on Western Michigan +7
We’re definitely getting a ‘buy low’ opportunity here on the Western Michigan Broncos Tuesday night. They have lost three straight coming in, including upset losses to Toledo and Ball State. And now we’re catching more points than we should be with them at home tonight.
I think their misleading 41-42 loss to Ball State has a lot to do with it. Western Michigan racked up 548 total yards in that game and held Ball State to 349, outgaining them by nearly 200 yards. They obviously should have won that game. And they committed six turnovers the game before against Ohio to give that game away as well.
Look for the Broncos to be the more motivated team here at home on Senior Night Tuesday. They want to end their season with a victory over one of their biggest rivals here in Northern Illinois. And they want to get to 7-5 on the season to make sure they get to a bowl game, as just because they are bowl eligible doesn’t mean they’ll be going to a bowl game for sure.
What I do know for sure is that Northern Illinois is in a tough spot mentally here. The Huskies have already clinched the MAC West title, so they’ll be going to the MAC Championship Game no matter what happens here. Their lack of motivation showed last week in a 7-13 upset home los to Miami Ohio. And I don’t see them showing up for this game tonight, either.
Western Michigan is 21-7 ATS in its last 28 games vs. good rush defenses that allow 120 or fewer rushing yards per game. Plays on underdogs of 3.5 to 10 points (WMU) - good rushing team (190-230 RYPG) against a team with a good rushing defense (100-140 RYPG), after outrushing their last opponent by 150 yards or more are 31-10 (75.6%) ATS over the last 10 seasons. Bet Western Michigan Tuesday.
|11-19-18||Chiefs +3.5 v. Rams||Top||51-54||Win||100||146 h 3 m||Show|
20* Chiefs/Rams ESPN Monday No-Brainer on Kansas City +3.5
I’ve successfully faded the Rams four of the last five weeks. And I’m going to fade them again this week against the Kansas City Chiefs. They have consistently been overvalued, and they remain overvalue here as 3.5-point home favorites against the Chiefs in Los Angeles.
The Rams are just 1-6 ATS in their last seven games overall. They did win six of those games outright, but only one came by more than 7 points. They have simply been fortunate in close games, but I think their luck runs out this week against a team the caliber of the Chiefs. And that hook on the +3.5 could certainly come into play here if the Rams do miraculously win another close one.
The problem with the Rams has been defensively. They just haven’t been the same since losing Aqib Talib. The Rams are giving up 27.9 points per game in their last seven games. And they are running on fumes right now because they haven’t had a bye week yet, which I think is affecting their defense a lot more than their offense.
Conversely, the Chiefs have really turned it around on the defensive end after a poor start to the season. The Chiefs have allowed 23 or fewer points in five of their last six games overall. They are giving up just 17.0 points per game in their last four games.
Patrick Mahomes and company are 2nd in the NFL in scoring offense this season at 35.3 points per game. Mahomes is having an MVP-caliber season, completing 67% of his passes for 3,150 yards with 31 touchdowns and only seven interceptions. He is averaging 9.1 yards per attempt. It also helps that he has the best set of weapons in the NFL with Kareem Hunt, Tyreek Hill, Travis Kelce and Sammy Watkins at his disposal.
The Rams are 3rd in scoring offense at 33.5 points per game. But they suffered a big blow last week with Cooper Kupp suffering a torn ACL. Kupp was leading the team with six touchdown receptions to go along with 40 receptions for 566 yards despite missing two games previously with a knee injury. He may be the most important receiver on the team as he’s been Jared Goff’s security blanket on 3rd down over the past two seasons. His loss is getting scraped under the rug here, but it’s a big one, and Sean McVay even said so after the Seahawks game last week.
So I’m basically getting the better offense and the better defense in this game catching 3.5 points. And the Chiefs are 9-1 this season with their only loss coming to the Patriots on the road on a last-second field goal by a final of 43-40. The Rams don’t have the same kind of home-field advantage as the Patriots. You can actually hear opposing fans out-cheer them in their home games, similar to what we saw with the Seahawks last week and the Packers a few weeks back in Los Angeles. Chiefs fans travel well, too.
The Rams are 2-15 ATS in their last 17 games after allowing 400 or more total yards in two consecutive games coming in. The Chiefs are 6-0 ATS in road games off two or more consecutive wins over the last two years. Kansas City is 8-0 ATS vs. excellent passing teams who average 260 or more passing yards per game over the last three seasons. The Chiefs are winning by 13.9 points per game in this spot. Kansas City is 6-0 ATS in its last six road games vs. a team with a winning home record. Bet the Chiefs Monday.
Note: I originally took the UNDER 63.5 in this game when it was going to be played in Mexico City. I liked the under because the field conditions were expected to be so sloppy that it was going to be difficult for the offenses to put up points. But I no longer like the UNDER now that it has been moved to Los Angeles. I like the Chiefs at +3.5 instead.
|11-18-18||Vikings +3 v. Bears||Top||20-25||Loss||-118||148 h 41 m||Show|
20* Vikings/Bears NBC Sunday Night BAILOUT on Minnesota +3
The bye week came at a great time for the Minnesota Vikings. They had some of their star players miss last game or the last few games, and they have a good chance at getting back some this week. WR Stephon Diggs will return from a rib injury, and there’s a good chance both S Andrew Dendejo (groin) and LB Anthony Barr (hamstring) make their returns this week as well. Not to mention, CB Xavier Rhodes (foot) is expected to play as well.
The Vikings will be as close to full strength now as they’ve been since Week 1. And they’ll be highly motivated for a win here Sunday night with first place on the line in the NFC North. They sit at 5-3-1 right now, just 0.5 games behind the Chicago Bears for first place. I expect them to handle their business here as I believe they are the better team in both sides of the ball, and they are in a prime spot here off their bye.
The Bears are starting to get too much respect from the books due to going 3-0 SU & 3-0 ATS in their last three games overall. But those three wins came against the Jets, Bills and Lions, which are three of the worst teams in the NFL. Their other three wins came against the Cardinals, Bucs and Seahawks. They haven’t beaten a team that currently has a winning record yet. In fact, they have only PLAYED one team that currently has a winning record, and that was a home loss to the Patriots. They have simply feasted on an easy schedule.
The Vikings have owned the Bears, going 6-1 SU In the last seven meetings. Mike Zimmer is 9-1 ATS off a division win as the coach of Minnesota. Chicago is 6-24 ATS in its last 30 games after scoring 25 or more points in two consecutive games. The Bears are 0-8 ATS after gaining 6.5 or more yards per play in their previous game over the last three seasons. They are coming back to lose by 15.4 points per game on average the next week. Take the Vikings Sunday.
|11-18-18||Texans -2.5 v. Redskins||Top||23-21||Loss||-119||140 h 15 m||Show|
25* NFL Non-Conference GAME OF THE YEAR on Houston Texans -2.5
The Houston Texans are one of the hottest teams in the NFL right now. They have reeled off six straight victories following an 0-3 start. Yet they aren’t getting any respect from the books. They are only 2.5-point favorites here in a great spot against the Washington Redskins, who are one of the most fraudulent 6-3 teams you will ever see.
The Texans are coming off their bye week. It was good timing because their defense has injuries in the secondary, at linebacker and at receiver where they could get some guys back that they were missing previously. And they now come out of the bye playing with a ton of confidence due to the six straight wins. I think they make it seven in a row Sunday.
The Redskins have gotten to 6-3 with smoke and mirrors. And last week’s 16-3 win over Tampa Bay was one of the most misleading box scores of the season. The Bucs racked up 501 total yards and 29 first downs in that game and punted once, but managed only 3 points. They held the Redskins to just 286 total yards and outgained them by 225 for the game.
This is a similar situation to two weeks ago when the Falcons were coming off the bye and facing the Redskins. They rolled to a 38-14 victory while amassing 491 yards. So, the Redskins have allowed 496 yards per game on average in their last two games against the Falcons and Bucs. Their defense is leaky, and their offense is now one of the worst in the league.
Indeed, the Redskins are scoring just 19.6 points per game on the season while ranking 26th in total offense at 337.4 yards per game. You just can’t win in this league consistently with those kind of offensive numbers, which is why there’s no way they should be 6-3. And the offense is only going to continue to be poor due to all the injuries. The Redskins are missing three starters on the offensive line, and they have a few others questionable. They have also been playing without their top two playmakers in Jamison Crowder and Chris Thompson, as well as receiver Paul Richardson.
The bye also gave new receiver Demaryius Thomas time to get acclimated to the offense. The Texans, who rank 14th in total offense at 369.1 yards per game while scoring 24.0 points per game, should only continue to get better on offense now with Thomas around. And they could finally get fellow receiver Keke Coutee back from a hamstring injury this week.
Defensively, the Texans have one of the best units in the league. They are giving up just 20.4 points per game while ranking 9th in total defense at 336.3 yards per game. JJ Watt is in line to earn Comeback Player of the Year as he’s back to being his former self. And Jadeveon Clowney is also wreaking havoc on opposing quarterbacks. Watt and Clowney will be licking their chops at the opportunity to get after Alex Smith while working against a Redskins offensive line full of backups.
Jay Gruden is 2-9 ATS after allowing 14 points or less as the coach of Washington. The Redskins are 0-6 ATS after allowing 14 points or less over the last two seasons. The Texans are 4-0 ATS in their last four games following a bye week. The Redskins are 1-6 ATS in their last seven home games vs. a tam with a winning road record. Washington is 4-11 ATS in its last 15 games following a win.
Plays against all teams where the line is +3 to -3 (Washington) - after going under the total by 42 or more points total in their last five games, with a winning record on the season are 33-9 (78.6%) ATS over the last 10 seasons. Bet the Texans Sunday.
|11-18-18||Titans v. Colts -2||10-38||Win||100||140 h 15 m||Show|
15* NFL Sunday No-Doubt Rout on Indianapolis Colts -2
The Colts are such a better team with Andrew Luck at quarterback that it’s like night and day. They have been competitive this season and come in playing their best football of the season. They have gone 3-0 SU & 2-0-1 ATS in their last three games, outscoring their last three opponents by a combined 49 points. Yet they continue to get no respect as only 2-point home favorites against the Tennessee Titans this week.
The Titans looked awful through their first seven games this year. They opened 3-4 with all three of their wins coming by exactly 3 points. But then they had their bye week and have delivered back-to-back eye-opening performances, winning 28-14 at Dallas and 34-10 at home against New England. No question those two results were impressive, but it also has the Titans now overvalued.
And I think this is a massive letdown spot for the Titans. We’ve seen several teams over the years have a letdown after beating the Patriots, and I expect that to be the case again this week. Mike Vraebel and company put a lot of effort into beating their former team last week, including Dion Lewis, who was not shy with his comments after the game about how much the team wanted to beat the Patriots. It’s only human nature for them to have a letdown the next week.
Even after those two performances, the Titans are still scoring just 18.7 points per game on the season while ranking 30th in total offense at 299.0 yards per game. This offense still isn’t any good, and it doesn’t stand much of a chance of keeping up with the Colts score for score. The Colts are scoring 28.9 points per game while ranking 9th in total offense at 379.8 yards per game behind Luck. And they’ve gotten some key playmakers back in recent weeks in T.Y. Hilton, Jack Doyle and Marlon Mack that will only make them even more explosive moving forward.
The Titans are 1-9 ATS in last 10 road games after gaining 6 or more yards per play in their previous game. The Colts are 48-27 ATS in their last 75 games after scoring 25 points or more in two consecutive games. Tennessee is 16-34-2 ATS in its last 52 games following a win. The Titans are 10-27-3 ATS in their last 40 games vs. a team with a losing record. The Colts are 16-5-1 ATS in their last 22 home games vs. a team with a winning road record. Indianapolis is 10-2-1 ATS in its last 13 November games. The Colts are 10-3 ATS in the last 13 meetings, including 6-1 ATS in the last seven meetings in Indianapolis.
Plays against road underdogs or PK (Tennessee) - off an upset win by 14 points or more as an underdog, with a winning percentage between 45-55% on the season are 32-10 (76.2%) ATS since 1983. Roll with the Colts Sunday.
|11-17-18||San Diego State +15 v. Fresno State||Top||14-23||Win||100||116 h 41 m||Show|
20* SDSU/Fresno State MWC Late-Night BAILOUT on San Diego State +15
This is the perfect opportunity to ‘buy low’ on San Diego State and ‘sell high’ on Fresno State. We’ll ‘sell high’ on the Bulldogs, who have been the best point spread team in the country over the last two seasons, going 21-4-1 ATS in their last 26 games overall. Now they are being asked to lay a whopping 15 points to a San Diego State team capable of winning outright.
We’ll ‘buy low’ on the Aztecs, who are coming off the biggest upset loss of the week last week. They lost 24-27 at home to UNLV as 24-point favorites. Now the betting public wants nothing to do with the Aztecs this week after seeing that result. But there’s a perfectly good explanation for it when you read between the lines.
San Diego State woke up Saturday morning knowing they could lose to UNLV and STILL win the Mountain West’s West Division title. That’s because they saw Fresno State lose to Boise State Friday night. That meant Fresno State was 5-1 within the conference, and San Diego State was sitting at 4-1. So a win or loss didn’t matter. The Aztecs knew that they could win the tiebreaker over Fresno State simply by winning this week. And that’s the scenario.
No question we are getting extra value here on San Diego State because they lost to UNLV last week. And it’s value we’ll take advantage of. This line probably would have been closer to 7 had they not lost to UNLV. And I have no doubt we get a big effort here from the Aztecs in bounce-back mode with the division title on the line.
San Diego State has actually gotten two huge pieces back recently from injury that will make them a tough out here against Fresno State. QB Christian Chapman has returned to the lineup and has played in just four games this season. He completes 67.3% of his passes, which is a huge upgrade over Ryan Agnew, who completed just 51.9% in his absence.
The other huge player the Aztecs got back was RB Juwan Washington. He has rushed for 674 yards and eight touchdowns while averaging 5.1 per carry in only six games this season, which means he has missed four games. He is the most talented player on the entire roster and gives the Aztecs a fighting chance to pull this upset Saturday night.
The Bulldogs still have the edge on offense, but I give the edge to the Aztecs on defense, and that gives them a fighting chance. San Diego State is only allowing 20.7 points, 302 yards per game and 4.6 yards per play this season. They are holding opponents to 7.5 points, 83 yards and 1.1 yards per play less than their season averages this season. They have played a much tougher schedule than Fresno State has, too. And keep in mind San Diego State won 19-13 at Boise State as 13-point dogs, while Fresno State lost at Boise State 17-24 as 2-point favorites.
San Diego State is 10-2 ATS in its last 12 road games off a loss by 3 points or less. The Aztecs are 16-5 ATS in their last 21 road games vs. good offensive teams that score 34 or more points per game. San Diego State is 13-3 ATS in its last 16 games on field turf. This line has gotten out of hand. The Aztecs will come to play with the division title at stake, while the Bulldogs could suffer a hangover from that loss to Boise State last week. Bet San Diego State Saturday.
|11-17-18||Rice +44 v. LSU||10-42||Win||100||113 h 41 m||Show|
15* CFB Saturday Undervalued Underdog on Rice +44
I always like fading SEC teams in this spot. They step out of conference late in the season to face a non-conference opponent. They are never motivated for these games, and they aren’t looking to run up the score, either. They are looking to play their starters for a half before giving way to the backups. It’s as easy as it gets taking the big underdog in these spots.
My favorite SEC candidate to fade in this spot this week is LSU, though there’s plenty to choose from. But LSU makes the best candidate because they don’t put up big numbers offensively. Heck, I’d be surprised if they even score 44 points, which is what it’s going to take and then some to cover this 44-point spread.
LSU is winning with defense, not offense this season. The Tigers are only averaging 26.7 points and 362.3 yards per game on the year. We saw LSU step out of conference earlier this season and only beat LA Tech 38-21 as 18.5-point favorites. And that game is significant because Rice just played LA Tech.
In fact, Rice actually led LA Tech in the second half on the road last week. But they ultimately lost 13-28 as 23-point underdogs, easily covering the spread. And they have gone 3-1 ATS in their last four games overall as they have consistently been catching too many points. They only lost by 19 as 23-point dogs at FIU and by 24 as 29.5-point dogs at North Texas. They are once again catching too many points this week.
The clock is constantly going to be moving, which will shorten the game and help Rice cover here. That’s because both of these teams rely heavily on the run to move the football. LSU averages 42 rushing attempts per game compared to only 28 passing. Rice averages 37 rushing attempts per game compared to 31 passing. It’s no surprise that both teams have won the time of possession battle this season.
I also like the quotes I’ve read from Rice head coach Mike Bloomgren heading into this one. “We can’t come out of the tunnel and let Death Valley or Mike the Tigers score points for them. We’ve got to make them line up across from us, go toe-to-toe and earn everything they get. And we’ve got to give it back to them. That’s what I expect from our guys. Nobody outside these walls believes we can do it. We know we can. So let’s go. Let’s just go play football and enjoy every minute.”
I guarantee you LSU doesn’t have that same mindset. They think they can just show up and win, which they probably can, but not by 44 points. And they’ll certainly be more worried about their road game at Texas A&M next week that will likely decide whether or not they will make it to a New Year’s Six Bowl. Their concern is staying healthy and just getting out with a win, not with a cover.
Plays against home favorites of 31.5 or more points (LSU) - after allowing 10 or less rushing yards last game are 35-17 (72.6%) ATS over the last five seasons. The Tigers are 1-5-1 ATS in their last seven non-conference games. The Owls are 4-0 ATS in their last four road games vs. a team with a winning home record. Roll with Rice Saturday.
|11-17-18||Indiana +28 v. Michigan||Top||20-31||Win||100||118 h 34 m||Show|
20* CFB Line Mistake GAME OF THE MONTH on Indiana +28
I liked the fight I saw in Indiana last week as they beat Maryland 34-32 at home to keep their bowl hopes alive and improve to 5-5 on the season. I look for the Hoosiers to fight again this week to try and knock off the big, bad Michigan Wolverines. And they are catching 28 points to boot, so we have a ton of room to work with.
We see this almost every season where a team gets ranked highly in the playoff rankings. And with that high ranking comes expectations from oddsmakers that are tough to live up to. Michigan failed to cover as 37-point favorites at Rutgers last week, and they are going to have to play a near-perfect game to cover against Indiana this week.
You also have to consider the mental state of the Wolverines right now. They don’t need style points, they just need to win out and they’ll get in the four-team playoff. Plain and simple. So they won’t be looking to pour it on here against Indiana, only to get out with a win. And then you consider that Michigan will likely be overlooking Indiana and looking ahead to the huge showdown at Ohio State next week, and we are getting a ton of value here with the Hoosiers.
Indiana hasn’t lost by this margin all season. All five of their losses came by 26 points or fewer, including their 26-49 road loss at Ohio State as 27.5-point underdogs. That game was much closer than the final score showed. They only lost to Michigan State by 14, a Spartans team that was coming off a bye. And they only lost by 5 as 14-point dogs to Penn State. They have played the best teams in the Big Ten East tough thus far.
Michigan’s offense only averages 422 yards per game. Indiana’s offense averages 411 yards per game, which is 43 yards per game more than their opponents normally give up on average. The Hoosiers have faced the gauntlet in terms of strength of opposing defenses, and they’ve bene able to score plenty of points to be competitive. So they won’t be phased by this Michigan defense they are about to see.
Michigan’s defense hasn’t faced many quarterbacks the caliber of Indiana’s Peyton Ramsey. He is an accurate thrower who completes 67.3% of his passes, and he has some mobility as he has rushed for 266 yards and four touchdowns this year. His escapability will be key here in creating some plays with his legs that Michigan doesn’t usually have to account for.
Indiana also will be revenge-minded. The Hoosiers have lost two of their last three meetings with the Wolverines in overtime, and the other was a 10-point road loss. So they have played the Wolverines right down to the wire each of the last three seasons. Plus, the Hoosiers haven’t lost any of their last seven meetings with the Wolverines by more than 24 points, which makes for a 7-0 ATS system backing them pertaining to this 28-point spread.
Jim Harbaugh is 1-8 ATS off a win by 35 or more points as the coach of Michigan. Harbaugh is 0-6 ATS off a blowout win by 35 points or more against a conference opponent as the coach of the Wolverines. This is also a 100% never lost system pertaining to Harbaugh at Michigan in this spot. Take Indiana Saturday.
|11-17-18||Florida International -5.5 v. Charlotte||42-35||Win||100||107 h 11 m||Show|
15* Conference USA PLAY OF THE DAY on Florida International -5.5
I was on Florida International -10 at UTSA last week and they delivered with an emphatic 45-7 victory. I’m back on them again for many of the same reasons, and for the simple fact that they should be laying more than 5.5 points to Charlotte this week.
FIU is a highly motivated team right now. That’s because a win this week would tie them for first place with Middle Tennessee for the C-USA East Division lead. And they beat Middle Tennessee 24-21, so they own the tiebreaker. Essentially, they control their own destiny. Win out and they will win the East Division and earn a trip to the C-USA Championship Game to face UAB. I expect them to handle their business this week.
Charlotte is in a world of hurt right now offensively. They lost starting QB Chris Reynolds a few weeks back to a season-ending ankle injury. He was completing 64.9% of his passes with a 6-to-2 TD/INT ratio at the time of his departure. Backup Evan Shirreffs just hasn’t been nearly as good, completing only 51.9% of his passes with a 2-to-4 TD/INT ratio. Reynolds averaged 7.6 YPA compared to 6.1 YPA for Shirreffs as well.
That helps explain why Charlotte’s offense has struggled so badly over the last four weeks. They are averaging just 11.5 points per game and 253 yards per game in their last four games. I just don’t see how Charlotte can possibly hang with this high-powered FIU attack that is averaging 34.8 points per game on the season. Offensively, this is a huge mismatch, and we’ll gladly bet the better offensive team here.
FIU is 13-2 ATS in its last 15 games off a game with a turnover margin of +3 or better. Charlotte is 1-8 ATS in its last nine games off two consecutive games where it committed one or fewer turnovers. The Golden Panthers are 12-3 ATS in their last 15 games off a win by 21 points or more.
Plays against home underdogs of 3.5 to 10 points (Charlotte) - after having lost five or six of their last seven games against opponent after having won three of their last four games are 27-4 (87.1%) ATS over the last five seasons. Take Florida International Saturday.
|11-17-18||Northwestern v. Minnesota +3||Top||24-14||Loss||-120||116 h 45 m||Show|
25* College Football GAME OF THE YEAR on Minnesota +3
This game has everything I look for when seeking out a pick to use as my 25* College Football GAME OF THE YEAR. We have one team who will be max motivated in Minnesota up against another team in Northwestern that is likely to just go through the motions. And we’re getting the max motivated team as the underdog.
The reason the Golden Gophers will be max motivated is because they sit at 5-5 and need a win to get to a bowl game. And with a road game at Wisconsin on deck, this is their best chance to get it. It’s also Senior Day for Minnesota here. So they have every reason to want to lay it all on the line to win this game.
Conversely, Northwestern just clinched everything with last week’s 14-10 win at Iowa. They clinched the Big Ten West Division title, which means they will be going to the Conference Championship Game to face either Michigan or Ohio State. And they clinched a bowl berth with their 6th win.
I expect the Wildcats to fall flat on their faces this week as they don’t care one bit whether or not they win this game now. They’ve been getting patted on the back all week at school and having everyone tell them how good they are. They probably also partied more than usual this week leading up to the game. It’s just not a spot where you want to be betting on the Wildcats this week.
Plus, one of my favorite trends this season is that the underdog in Northwestern games is now 9-0-1 ATS on the season. I used this trend last week when I backed the Wildcats as my 25* Big Ten GAME OF THE YEAR. And I’m using it again this week to fade them in this horrific spot. Pat Fitzgerald knows how to motivated his team when they are the underdog, but not when he has expectations and he is favored.
Northwestern was favored by 3 at home against Duke and lost 7-21. The Wildcats were favored by 21 against Akron and lost outright 34-39. They were favored by 3.5 against Nebraska and won 34-31 only after a last-second miracle, but failed to cover. And they were favored by 20 at Rutgers and barely escaped with an 18-15 victory.
Minnesota’s 41-10 win over Purdue as 11-point underdogs last week was one of the best performances of the season. The Golden Gophers came into that game knowing they needed to beat Purdue and Northwestern to make a bowl, and step 1 is completed. They held that high-octane Purdue offensive attack to just 233 total yards in the win.
The Golden Gophers have a huge home/road split this season. They have yet to win a road game, but they are 5-1 SU & 5-1 ATS at home this year, outscoring their opponents by 14.9 points per game in the process. And home-field advantage has been huge in this series in recent meetings as the home team is 4-0 SU & 4-0 ATS in the last four meetings.
Minnesota is 24-9-2 ATS in its last 35 November games. The Golden Gophers are 10-1 ATS in their last 11 games following an upset win as a double-digit underdog. Bet Minnesota Saturday.
Note: I know this line has flipped to Minnesota -2.5 as of this writing Saturday morning. I still like Minnesota as a 25* up to -3 today.
|11-17-18||TCU v. Baylor -2||Top||16-9||Loss||-109||105 h 12 m||Show|
20* TCU/Baylor Big 12 Early ANNIHILATOR on Baylor -2
The books have been off on TCU all season. They are just 4-6 SU & 1-9 ATS this year. Yet they keep getting respect from the books week after week. And they’re getting too much respect again this week as only 2-point road underdogs to the Baylor Bears.
Things have gotten so bad for TCU that they lost outright to Kansas as 13-point favorites. They have completely fallen apart since losing to Ohio State in Week 3. They are 0-7 ATS in their last seven games since then and have failed to cover by a combined 101 points in those seven games! Books haven’t even been close on this team.
While TCU still has a respectable defense, though were forced for 52 points against Oklahoma and 47 against West Virginia. But the defense isn’t the issue. It’s the putrid offense that has been held to 17 points or fewer in five of their last seven games. That’s just not going to cut it in the Big 12. They lost starting QB Shawn Robinson to a season-ending shoulder injury on October 22nd, and then lost their best playmaker in KaVontae Turpin on October 23rd due to a suspension.
I don’t even think TCU wants to make a bowl game at this point, they just want the season to be over. The Horned Frogs lost 10-47 at West Virginia last week and looked to have quit. We actually saw this a few years back in 2013 with the Horned Frogs as they finished 4-8. Sitting at 4-6 on the season, a 4-8 finish is highly likely at this point.
Conversely, Baylor wants to get to a bowl game. The Bears are in the second year under Matt Rhule and have been one of the most improved teams in the country. They sit at 5-5 on the season and one win shy of a bowl berth. They’ll be highly motivated to clinch that bowl bid here at home Saturday instead of waiting until next week against Texas Tech.
I was impressed with the way Baylor played against Iowa State on the road last week. If they didn’t have struggles in the red zone and two missed chip shot field goals, they probably would have won that game. They actually outgained the Cyclones 505 to 355 in that game, or by 150 total yards. Iowa State has the best defense in the Big 12, so putting up 505 yards on them is no small feat.
The Bears received good news early this week when it was announced that QB Charlie Brewer wouldn’t be suspended for this game after getting ejected against Iowa State. Brewer is completing 61.6% of his passes for 2,164 yards with 14 touchdowns and only six interceptions on the season, while also rushing for 223 yards and four scores. He has really taken a big step forward as a sophomore this season, as has the rest of this team under the guidance of Rhule.
TCU is 0-6 ATS vs. good passing teams with a completion percentage of 58% or better this season. The Horned Frogs are 0-7 ATS in conference games this season. This is simply as obvious as it looks folks. The Horned Frogs are once again getting respect from the books that they don’t deserve here. Roll with Baylor Saturday.
|11-17-18||Arkansas +20.5 v. Mississippi State||6-52||Loss||-109||105 h 12 m||Show|
15* SEC PLAY OF THE DAY on Arkansas +20.5
I usually look to fade teams the week after they play Alabama. There’s usually a ‘hangover’ effect from the loss to the No. 1 team in the country. Simply put, teams won’t be nearly as motivated against their next opponent. And teams certainly are beat up physically from facing the Crimson Tide. Such is the case for Mississippi State this week.
I faded LSU in the same spot last week off their 29-0 loss to Alabama. And they failed to cover as 14-point favorites against Arkansas. And now I’m backing Arkansas again this week because they are once again facing the team that played Alabama last week. They keep getting these good scheduling spots to close out the season.
Quietly, Arkansas has gone 5-1 ATS in its last six games overall. The betting public wants nothing to do with this team because they are just 2-8 SU on the season. They are catching too many points every week, and that’s again the case here this week as nearly three-touchdowns underdogs to the Bulldogs.
I’m not sure how Mississippi State is expected to cover three touchdowns when they have had a hard time even scoring three touchdowns. Indeed, the Bulldogs have failed to top 28 points in any SEC game this season. They are scoring just 11.2 points per game and averaging just 272.3 yards per game against SEC opponents this season. Arkansas held LSU to just 24 points last week, and they should be able to hold Mississippi State to 24 or fewer, too.
The Razorbacks have been respectable against the run this season, giving up just 155 rushing yards per game and 4.0 per carry. That will be the key to their cover this week because Mississippi State is only completing 50.2% of its passes and is not known as a passing team. The Bulldogs average 212 rushing yards per game, and that’s their strength. They are very predictable.
Arkansas is 13-2 ATS in its last 15 road games with a total set of 45.5 to 49 points. The Razorbacks are 7-0 ATS off a home loss to a conference opponent over the last three years. Arkansas is 6-0 ATS vs. excellent rushing teams that average 5.25 or more yards per carry over the last three years. The Razorbacks are 5-0 ATS in their last five games following a loss. These four trends combine for a 31-2 system backing the Razorbacks. Bet Arkansas Saturday.
|11-17-18||Ohio State -16.5 v. Maryland||52-51||Loss||-103||105 h 12 m||Show|
15* CFB Saturday No-Doubt Rout on Ohio State -16.5
I cashed in Ohio State last week against Michigan State, and style points was the theme. They took care of business in a 26-6 win as only 3.5-point favorites. The Buckeyes need style points this time of year because they are 10th in the latest playoff rankings. And they’ll be looking for more style points this week against Maryland.
Let’s just look at the last four meetings in this series, and you’ll love Ohio State as much as I do this week. The Buckeyes are 4-0 SU & 3-1 ATS in the last four meetings, winning by 48, 59, 21 and 28 points. They have won those four meetings by an average of 39 points per game. And we’re only having to lay 16.5 with the Buckeyes this week? Sign me up.
The reason Maryland struggles against teams like Ohio State is because they can’t keep up with them offensively. Maryland is a run-first team that struggles against teams that can stop the run. That was on display two weeks ago when they lost to Michigan State 24-3 at home, the same Michigan State team Ohio State just beat by 20 on the road.
Maryland only averages 131 passing yards per game, but 235 rushing. Well, Ohio State has been good at stopping the run this season as they give up just 143 rushing yards per game and 4.2 per carry. The only teams that Ohio State has really struggled against are teams that can throw the ball, which includes their narrow wins over Nebraska and Penn State, and their loss to Purdue. They won’t struggle against this predictable Maryland outfit.
Maryland is 0-8 ATS in its last eight games after gaining 350 or more rushing yards in their last game. They ran all over Indiana last week and still lost 32-34. Again, that’s the same Indiana team that lost by 23 to Ohio State. The Terrapins are 1-9 ATS in their last 10 games vs. good passing teams who complete 62% of their passes or better. They are losing by 30.6 points per game on average in this spot. Look for the Buckeyes to hang a big number on the Terrapins and cover this generous number with ease. Roll with Ohio State Saturday.
|11-17-18||South Florida v. Temple -13.5||17-27||Loss||-112||105 h 11 m||Show|
15* AAC PLAY OF THE DAY on Temple -13.5
It was obvious that South Florida’s 7-0 start was a fraudulent one. They were outgained by 176 yards by Georgia Tech and found a way to win. They were also outgained by 116 yards by ECU and won 20-13. They only beat Tulsa by one and UConn by 8, and those are two of the worst teams in the AAC.
But once the competition ramped up in recent weeks, the Bulls were exposed for the frauds that they are. They lost 36-57 at Houston and were outgained by 215 yards. They lost 15-41 to Tulane at home, getting upset as 6-point favorites. And they lost 23-35 at Cincinnati last week. It’s worth noting the Bearcats had the ball down to the USF 1-yard line in closing seconds and took a knee.
Now they have to face Temple, which I believe is the best team in the AAC. They beat Cincinnati earlier this season and have been playing great football. They should have beaten UCF a few weeks ago as they outgained them by 40 yards but blew a late lead and lost 40-52 on the road. And then last week they went on the road at Houston and won 59-49 as 3.5-point dogs. South Florida was blasted by both Houston and Cincinnati, and they’d get blasted by UCF, too. They’ll get blasted by Temple this week.
This is a Temple offense that is hitting on all cylinders right now. They put up 40 points and 670 total yards on UCF two weeks ago, and then 59 points and 537 total yards on Houston last week. When I’m laying double-digit points like this, I want it to be with an offense that is going to put up a big number. And there’s no question the Owls are going to hang a big number on this poor USF defense that has allowed an average of 38.2 points per game in their last six games. That’s real bad when you consider UMass, Tulsa, UConn and Tulane were four of those six opponents.
I have to believe Temple remembers their 7-43 road loss at South Florida last year. The Bulls weren’t afraid to run up the score on them, and the Owls won’t be afraid to run of the score this season to return the favor. Temple won 46-30 in their last home meeting in 2016 as 6-point underdogs. And this is the first time in recent seasons that Temple actually has the better team between these two. They should have no problem winning by two-plus touchdowns here on Senior Day, which is also extra motivation for them.
The Owls are 21-5 ATS in their last 26 conference games. The Bulls are 1-5 ATS in their last six conference games. The home team is 4-0 ATS in the last four meetings. Temple is 8-0 ATS after scoring 37 points or more last game over the last three seasons. The Owls are 7-0 ATS when playing against a good team that wins 60% to 75% of their games over the last three years. The Owls are 9-1 ATS vs. poor defensive teams that allow 425 or more yards per game over the past three seasons. These last four trends combine for a 28-1 system backing the Owls. Take Temple Saturday.
|11-16-18||Memphis v. SMU OVER 72||Top||28-18||Loss||-110||90 h 6 m||Show|
20* Memphis/SMU ESPN 2 Total DOMINATOR on OVER 72
Get ready for plenty of offensive fireworks Friday night in this standalone game between Memphis and SMU in AAC action. Both teams will be full speed trying to put up as many points as possible, and there will be very little defense being played in this battle between two teams known for offense and not so much for defense.
Memphis is putting up 44.6 points and 531.9 yards per game this season behind a balanced attack that produces 270 rushing yards per game and 262 passing. SMU is scoring 32.3 points per game this season and has improved as the season has gone on under Sonny Dykes. The Mustangs put up 45 points against Houston and 62 points against UConn in their last two games coming in.
The problem both of these teams have is that they cannot defend a lick. The Mustangs are giving up 36.8 points per game, while the Tigers are yielding 30.5 points per game on the season. The Tigers have gone OVER the total in three straight coming in, while the Mustangs have gone OVER in each of their last two contests.
I think we get a similar output to last year when Memphis beat SMU 66-45 for 111 combined points and a total of 71.5. The Tigers racked up 664 total yards in the win, while the Mustangs managed 477 themselves. That was a similar total to this 72.5-point number we’re seeing here. And I just think it’s two low as both of these teams get to at least 35 points in this one with Memphis likely topping 50. After all, Memphis has scored at least 48 points in each of its last four meetings with SMU.
Memphis is a perfect 7-0 to the OVER in road games vs. good passing teams with a completion percentage of 58% or better over the last three seasons. We’re seeing 89.1 combined points per game on average in this spot. The OVER is 9-1 in Tigers last 10 games after gaining 450 or more total yards in their previous game. The OVER is 4-0 in Tigers last four November games. The OVER is 5-0 in Mustangs last five November games. These four trends combine for a 25-1 system backing the OVER. Bet the OVER in this game Friday.
|11-15-18||Florida Atlantic v. North Texas OVER 61||Top||38-41||Win||100||67 h 31 m||Show|
20* FAU/North Texas CFB Late-Night BAILOUT on OVER 61
I think we’re getting value on the OVER tonight between FAU and North Texas because both of these teams have been under teams of late, especially the Mean Green. North Texas has gone under the total in all 10 of their games thus far, which is almost unheard of. But that trend stops tonight.
The problem recently with betting overs in North Texas games is all the poor offenses they’ve been up against this season. But they have still combined for 61 or more points four times with their opponents this season, and most of those were against the best offensive teams the’ve faced in SMU, Arkansas and Old Dominion.
FAU has gone under the total in three of their last four games coming in. The one exception was against the best offensive team they faced in FIU, and they combined for 63 points with the Golden Panthers. The fact of the matter is that these are two of the best offensive teams in Conference USA, and we’re going to see plenty of points between them as a result to top this 61-point total.
North Texas boasts an offense that puts up 37.2 points and 464.7 yards per game this season. Florida Atlantic’s offense is putting up 31.1 points and 476.5 yards per game on the year. The Owls are getting better as the season goes on offensively. They put up 49 points and 596 yards against FIU and 34 points and 576 yards against Western Kentucky in their last two games coming in.
These teams met twice last year. The first meeting was a 69-31 FAU blowout with 100 combined points and a total of 67. The second meeting was in the Conference Championship Game with FAU winning 41-17 and 58 combined points with a total of 71.5. So the fact that the total was 67 and 71.5 in the two meetings last year and now it’s only 61 in the rematch this year shows there’s clearly value with the OVER. I expect both teams to top 30 points in this one. Bet the OVER in this game Thursday.
|11-15-18||Packers v. Seahawks -2.5||24-27||Win||100||65 h 19 m||Show|
15* Packers/Seahawks NFC No-Brainer on Seattle -2.5
Thursday night home teams have a huge advantage on these short weeks, and I don’t think that’s being factored into the line enough here. The home team is now 8-2 SU & 7-2-1 ATS in Thursday games thiss Eason. The only two teams that lost were the Giants and Cardinals, two of the worst teams in the NFL, and they were both underdogs to the Eagles and Broncos, respectively.
I actually have the Packers and Seahawks power-rated as basically even teams on a neutral field. But when you factor in the home field for the Seahawks, and the situation with this being a short week and them only having to travel from Los Angeles to Seattle, while the Packers have to travel from Green Bay all the way to Seattle, and I think there’s ample value to back the Seahawks as 2.5-point home favorites here.
The Seahawks are clearly better than a 4-5 team, too. All five of their losses have come by 8 points or less, so they’ve been competitive in every game. That includes 2 and 5-point losses to the Rams, who many consider to be the best team in the NFL. The other losses were to the Broncos, Bears and Chargers with the first two of those on the road. The Seahawks are actually outscoring opponents by 3.0 points per game on the season despite their record. And it’s worth noting that the Seahawks have played six of their first nine games on the road.
Green Bay has a big home-road split this season. The Packers are 4-0-1 at home where they have handled their business. However, the Packers are 0-4 SU & 1-3 ATS on the road this season, getting outscored by 9.5 points per game on average. They lost to the Redskins by 14, the Lions by 8 and the Patriots by 14. The Redskins and Lions aren’t as good as the Seahawks.
Seattle is 14-4 ATS in its last 18 home games after a game where 60 or more points were scored. Pete Carroll is 17-4 ATS vs. bad defensive teams that give up 24 or more points per game in the second half of the season as the coach of Seattle. Carroll is 11-2 ATS off two or more consecutive losses as the coach of the Seahawks. Carroll is 6-0 ATS after allowing 6 or more yards per play in two consecutive games as the coach of the Seahawks. Carroll is 7-0 ATS when playing on Thursday as the coach of Seattle. The home team is 6-1 ATS in the last seven meetings. Take the Seahawks Thursday.
|11-12-18||Giants v. 49ers OVER 43.5||Top||27-23||Win||100||99 h 35 m||Show|
20* Giants/49ers MNF TOTAL OF THE MONTH on OVER 43.5
The San Francisco 49ers are just 2-7 on the season while the New York Giants are 1-7. I like backing the OVER on teams with nothing to play for but pride in National TV games. It just seems as though the offenses take chances and there’s more big plays because they have nothing to lose. And the defenses aren’t prepared for it.
I was certainly impressed with the 49ers’ offense against the Raiders last week with Nick Mullens making his first start. They racked up 34 points and 405 total yards against the Raiders. Mullens went 16-of-22 for 262 yards and three touchdowns. He’s from Southern Miss, just like Brett Favre, who is one of his biggest fans. He’s out to prove that he belongs in this league.
The Giants’ offense has held them back so far. And you know that offensive-minded head coach Pat Shurmur doesn’t like what he’s seen so far. So the Giants come off a bye week, and I fully expect them to have a bunch of new wrinkles on offense. They have the two best playmakers on the field in Odell Beckham and Saquon Barkley. They should be able to come through with one of their best offensive performances of the season against this 49ers defense. The 49ers are giving up 26.6 points per game while the Giants are giving up 25.6 points per game this season.
The 49ers are 6-0 OVER off a non-conference games over the last two seasons. They are combining with their opponents for 54.0 points per game in this spot. The OVER is 18-5 in Giants last 23 games after allowing more than 15 rushing yards in they previous game. The OVER is 4-0 in 49ers last four games following a win. Bet the OVER in this game Monday.
|11-11-18||Cowboys +7 v. Eagles||27-20||Win||100||100 h 1 m||Show|
15* Cowboys/Eagles NBC Sunday Night BAILOUT on Dallas +7
This is a great ‘buy low’ opportunity on the Dallas Cowboys. Everyone saw them lose to the Tennessee Titans on Monday Night Football last week, and now the betting public wants nothing to do with them. But it was their own mistakes that cost them in that game, and they’re easily fixable.
For starters, the Cowboys rushed for over 50 yards in the first quarter, but then were held to just 72 yards for the entire game. That’s because they quit trying to run the ball. They were up 7-0 and instead of running it, Dak Prescott threw an interception in the end zone. It totally changed the complexion of the game. They managed to run the ball just 19 times the whole game. I think they’ll make the proper adjustments and force feed Zeke Elliott, which is when they are at their best offensively.
I know the Eagles are off a bye week, but I think that’s getting factored into the line too much. Most would say the Cowboys are on a short week, which they are, but it’s not a true short week. The Cowboys had their bye prior to the Titans game. So this will still be just their 2nd game in 21 days. They should be plenty fresh for this game.
The Cowboys will also be playing with a chip on their shoulder to redeem themselves from that poor Monday night performance. And they realize this is a must-win game, so they will be laying it all on the line. They can’t afford to fall further behind the Eagles or the Redskins in the NFC East if they want a realistic shot of winning the division. A win and they’re right back in the hunt. I have no doubt they’ll show up with a big effort Sunday night.
It’s certainly worth noting that Dallas hasn’t been more than a 3-point underdog all season to anyone. So we’re getting value here on them as 7-point dogs. And they have seemed to thrive in the role of the underdog in recent seasons, and struggle in the favorite role. Dallas is 35-20 ATS in its last 55 games off a loss by 14 points or more.
And it’s not like the Eagles are blowing anyone out this season. They are clearly in the midst of a Super Bowl hangover at 4-4 on the season. Only one of their four wins came by more than 6 points, and that was against the hapless Giants. It’s worth noting the Giants actually outgained them in that contest, and the Eagles have been outgained in five of their eight games this season. In fact, seven of the eight Eagles games have been decided by 6 points or fewer this season.
Plays on road underdogs or PK (Dallas) - in a game involving two average teams with a +/- 3 PPG differential, after scoring 14 points or less last game are 99-51 (66%) ATS since 1983. The Cowboys are 18-7-1 ATS in their last 26 games on grass. Grass fields fit perfectly into what they want to do, which is run the football. The Eagles are 1-5 ATS in their last six games on grass. The Cowboys are 5-1 ATS in their last six trips to Philadelphia. The road team is 10-3 ATS in the last 13 meetings. Roll with the Cowboys Sunday night.
|11-11-18||Seahawks +10 v. Rams||Top||31-36||Win||100||96 h 10 m||Show|
20* Seahawks/Rams NFC Late-Afternoon ANNIHILATOR on Seattle +10
Fading the Los Angeles Rams has paid off big-time for myself and my clients of late. And I’m not going to stop now that they are 10-point home favorites here against the Seattle Seahawks. This is once again too many points as the Rams continue to be overvalued due to their 8-1 record, previously 8-0 before they finally lost to the Saints last week, and I had the Saints as my 25* NFC GOTY.
The Rams are now just 1-5 ATS in their last six games overall. They have won just one game by more than 7 points during this stretch, and that was against the 49ers. And I certainly question the Rams’ motivation coming into this game. They are in a ‘hangover’ spot from their loss to the Rams, and a ‘look-ahead’ spot because they play the Chiefs next week. That makes this a sandwich game from them, and I’m not expecting their best effort.
The Seahawks will be playing with revenge in mind after losing a 31-33 heartbreaker at home to the Rams in Seattle in the first meeting. The Seahawks actually led that game by 7 points in the fourth quarter before getting outscored 9-0 in the final period to lose by two. At 4-4 on the season, this feels like a make-or-break game for the Seahawks as well if they want any shot of making the playoffs.
All four of Seattle’s losses this season came by 8 points or fewer, so they’ve been competitive in every game and haven’t lost yet by double-digits. And this is the biggest underdog role of Russell Wilson’s career. He’s never been a double-digit dog. And Wilson is 3-0 ATS when listed as a dog of 7.5 points or more in his career.
The Rams have some defensive problems right now. They have allowed over 27 points per game int heir last six games coming in. They haven’t been the same since losing Aqib Talib to injury, and their pass defense has suffered. The Seahawks also rushed for 190 yards on the Rams in their first meeting. The Rams are 24th in 3rd down defense. The Seahawks are 7th in 3rd down defense. The Seahawks are also 3rd in turnover differential this season, so they don’t beat themselves.
I also think the Rams could be getting tired, which is another big reason I’ve faded them so frequently of late. They are one of the few teams who have yet to have their bye week. They don’t get their bye until Week 12 after they play the Chiefs, and by then they will certainly need it. I also think the Rams have very little home-field advantage, as the Packers actually seemed like they were the home team when they played the Rams a few weeks ago.
Pete Carroll is 9-1 ATS in road games vs. excellent passing teams who average 7.5 or more yards per attempt as the coach of Seattle. The Seahawks are 12-4-2 ATS in their last 18 games following a loss. The Rams are once again getting way too much respect from the books this week, and it will show up on the scoreboard as Seattle has a shot to win this game outright. Bet the Seahawks Sunday.
|11-11-18||Lions +7 v. Bears||Top||22-34||Loss||-130||142 h 49 m||Show|
25* NFC North GAME OF THE YEAR on Detroit Lions +7
This is the perfect opportunity to ‘sell high’ on the Chicago Bears and ‘buy low’ on the Detroit Lions. This line is maxed out with Chicago -7 as they should never be a 7-point favorite over the Lions. But because the public has seen the Bears succeed lately and the Lions fail, oddsmakers have to set this line higher than it should be knowing the public will be quick to back the Bears.
Chicago is coming off back-to-back wins and covers with a 24-10 home victory over the Jets, and a 41-9 road victory at the Bills. Those are two of the worst teams in the NFL. The Jets were banged up, especially at receiver with no weapons. And the Bills gave the game away with four turnovers.
There was no more misleading final score than Chicago 41-9 victory over the Bills last week. Indeed, the Bears only managed 190 total yards in that game and were actually outgained by 74 yards by the Bills. You read that right, the Bears had less than 200 total yards yet still scored 41 points. I can’t remember the last time that happened. So we’re getting extra value here due to that misleading score.
Conversely, Detroit is coming off two straight poor performances. They lost 14-28 at home to the Seahawks and 9-24 on the road to the Vikings. Well, they had every chance to score in the red zone but committed 3 turnovers against Seattle. And that was a Seahawks team coming off a bye, so it was a favorable spot for them. And in the 9-24 loss to the Vikings the Lions played well defensively, giving up just 283 total yards. Both of those games were closer than the final scores, and both were against two of the better teams in the NFC, not the weak competition Chicago has feasted on.
Chicago’s five wins this season have come against the Seahawks, Cardinals, Bucs, Jets and Bills. Those five teams are a combined 14-27 this season, and non has a winning record. The Lions have beaten the Patriots and Packers, so they’ve proven they can play with anyone. And I think we get a big effort from them here knowing their season is on the line. A win and the Lions would pull within one game of first place in the NFC North. A loss and they would be facing an insurmountable deficit, three games behind the Bears. Detroit will be the more motivated team, hands down.
Matthew Stafford clearly loves facing the Bears, as evidenced by Detroit’s domination in this series in recent years. Indeed, the Lions are 9-1 SU in the last 10 meetings. Their only loss during this stretch came by a final of 14-17 at Soldier Field. If the Bears win this game, it won’t be by more than 7 points. There is a ton of value on the Lions this week.
Plays against home teams (Chicago) who force 2.5 or more turnovers per game against a team that forces 1.25 or fewer turnovers per game, after a game where they forced 4 or more turnovers are 25-5 (83.3%) ATS since 1983. Their turnover luck has been great this season, and they can’t keep forcing turnovers at this rate. And this just goes to show you how there’s value in fading a team coming off a 4-turnover game like the Bears had against the Bills last week.
The Lions are 7-0 ATS in their last seven road games after tailing their last two games by 10-plus points at halftime. Detroit is 22-7 ATS in its last 29 road games off a loss by 14 points or more. The Bears are 3-12 ATS in their last 15 games following two consecutive covers as a favorite. Take the Lions Sunday.
|11-10-18||Clemson v. Boston College +20||27-7||Push||0||50 h 17 m||Show|
15* Clemson/Boston College ACC No-Brainer on Boston College +20
It’s time to ‘sell high’ on the Clemson Tigers this week. Bettors are clearly being asked to pay a tax to back Clemson now after what they’ve done in recent weeks. Not only are they 9-0 and the No. 2 ranked team in the country, but they’re 4-0 ATS in their last four games overall, winning by 60, 34, 49 and 61 points. But that was against the bottom of the ACC in Wake Forest, NC State, FSU and Louisville.
Now Clemson actually has to play what I believe is the second-best team in the ACC in Boston College. The Eagles are 7-2 SU & 7-2 ATS this season and have been covering machines over the past two years. Yet, they are getting absolutely no respect from oddsmakers this week as 20-point home underdogs.
This will be a night game in the cold in Boston. The Eagles are used to these conditions, while the Tigers are now. And Boston College is 5-0 SU & 4-1 ATS at home this season, outscoring opponents by a whopping 24.6 points per game on average. They are outgaining their foes by 207 yards per game at home as well, averaging 504 yards per game on offense and giving up only 297 yards per game on defense.
Clemson doesn’t need style points any more. They just know that they need to win out to make the four-team playoff because they aren’t going to drop from the No. 2 ranking if they just keep winning. They certainly wouldn’t drop all the way to No. 5 if they win out, but it’s ugly. And so they can win this game and we can still win catching 20 points on the Eagles.
One matchup I like here is this Boston College offensive line against Clemson’s defensive line. The Tigers get all the accolades for having a NFL talent across their defensive line, but the Eagles have NFL talent on their offensive line as well. In fact, I believe this is one of the Top 5 offensive lines in the country. And they’re well-equipped to handle this Clemson defensive front. The Eagles are rushing for 229 yards per game this season and have one of the better running backs in the country in A.J. Dillon. Dillon and company can control the clock, move the chains and keep that Clemson high-powered offense off the field.
Boston College is 11-1 ATS against ACC opponents over the last two seasons. The Eagles are 6-0 ATS vs. good offensive teams who score 31 or more points per game over the last two years. Boston College is 9-1-1 ATS in its last 11 games vs. a team with a winning record. The Eagles are 4-1 ATS in their last five meetings with Clemson. Bet Boston College Saturday.
|11-10-18||LSU v. Arkansas +14||Top||24-17||Win||100||75 h 24 m||Show|
20* SEC GAME OF THE MONTH on Arkansas +14
I always like fading teams after they play Alabama. This is the perfect spot to fade LSU. Their dreams were crushed last week with their 29-0 loss to Alabama. They could have won the SEC West and been a playoff contender if they had won that game, but they were thoroughly outplayed. It was a bigger blowout than the 29-point margin suggests even as they were outgained by 380 yards and managed just 196 total yards on offense.
Now the Tigers somehow have to try and get motivated to face a 2-7 Arkansas team, and I don’t think they will. They certainly won’t be motivated enough to cover this 14-point spread. The Razorbacks come in on two weeks’ rest fresh off their bye as well, so they should be sitting on a big effort here. I’ll gladly back the more motivated home team in this matchup.
Having a first-year head coach in Chad Morris, the Razorbacks won’t quit on their season, and they’ve shown no signs of doing so. They have been undervalued here down the stretch, going 4-1 ATS in their last five games overall. They beat Tulsa 23-0, only lost by 4 to Ole Miss after blowing a late double-digit lead, and they only lost by 7 at Texas A&M as 19-point dogs. They covered as 35-point dogs against Alabama and actually scored 31 points on the Crimson Tide, which is the most they have allowed to anyone all season.
The Razorbacks also get some key players back healthy this week off their bye. And LSU usually plays Arkansas the week after Alabama. That helps explain the fact that the Razorbacks are 8-3 ATS in the last 11 meetings, including 4-1 ATS in the last five meetings in Fayetteville. Arkansas is 6-0 ATS off a home conference loss over the last three seasons. The Razorbacks are 4-0 ATS in their last four games following a loss. The Tigers are 0-4 ATS int heir last four games following a double-digit home loss. The Razorbacks are 16-6 ATS in their last 22 home games vs. a team with a winning record. Take Arkansas Saturday.
|11-10-18||Miami-FL v. Georgia Tech -3||Top||21-27||Win||100||49 h 18 m||Show|
20* Miami/Georgia Tech ACC ANNIHILATOR on Georgia Tech -3
The Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets have been a buzz saw lately. They have gone 4-1 SU & 4-1 ATS in their last five games overall and now would love to clinch a bowl berth with a home win Saturday against Miami. They have not only been winning, they’ve been dominating.
The Yellow Jackets’ four wins during this stretch came by a combined 112 points and by an average of 28 points per game against Bowling Green, Louisville, VA Tech and UNC with three of those games on the road. Their only loss was to a well-rested Duke team coming off a bye week, but they gave that game away with three turnovers. They have outgained each of their last five opponents and eight of their last nine foes with the only exception being Clemson. They are much better than their 5-4 record would suggest.
What does Miami have to play for at this point? The Hurricanes were the favorites to win the ACC Coastal this season and they fell flat on their faces. With three straight losses, they now sit at 5-4 and in 6th place in the Coastal. They will simply be playing out the string at this point. They were upset 12-20 as 9-point home favorites against Duke last week. Their offense has been held to just 13 points per game in their last three contests.
Now, the Hurricanes go into this game against Georgia Tech knowing it’s going to be physical, and knowing they are going to get cut-block all game. They don’t want any part of it. I expect Georgia Tech, which averages 377 rushing yards per game and 6.2 per carry this season, to break the will of the Hurricanes. This Yellow Jackets offense has really taken off since Tobias Oliver took over at quarterback. He has rushed for 780 yards and 12 touchdowns on 5.9 per carry.
Miami is 2-10 ATS when playing against a team with a winning record over the last two seasons. The Hurricanes are 3-14 ATS in their last 17 games off an upset loss to a conference opponent as a favorite of 6 points or more. Miami is 0-7 ATS off a conference loss over the last three years. The Hurricanes are 0-7 ATS in road games off one or more consecutive ATS losses over the last three seasons. Georgia Tech is 10-1 ATS after gaining 125 or fewer passing yards in three straight games over the last three years. The Hurricanes are 1-6 ATS in their last seven road games. Bet Georgia Tech Saturday.
|11-10-18||Florida International -10 v. UTSA||45-7||Win||100||49 h 18 m||Show|
15* Conference USA PLAY OF THE DAY on Florida International -10
I think this is a ‘buy low’ opportunity on the Florida International Panthers this week. They are coming off a 14-49 loss to Lane Kiffin and the FAU Owls. That was a 21-14 game going into the 4th quarter before the Kiffin and company decided to run up the score late, which they’ve been known to do. So that misleading final has FIU laying less than they should be here as only 10-point favorites against UTSA.
It won’t be hard at all for head coach Butch Davis to get his team refocused this week and over that loss to FAU quickly. That’s because when you look at the standings, the Panthers are just a half-game behind Middle Tennessee for first place in Conference USA’s East Division. They are 4-1 and Middle Tennessee is 5-1, but FIU holds the tiebreaker over MTSU after beating them 24-21 earlier this season.
They control their own destiny. Win out and the Panthers will be going to the C-USA Championship Game to face UAB. They’ll be motivated to get back on the horse this week and picked up where they left off with a four-game winning streak prior to that FAU defeat. And they should have no problem making easy work of an overmatched UTSA squad this week.
The UTSA Roadrunners are just 3-6 on the season. They still have FIU, Marshall and North Texas on the schedule, and will be huge underdogs in all three games, so they won’t be going to a bowl game. And that realization has really sunk in over the last three weeks as the Roadrunners have been battered and bruises.
UTSA lost three straight to open the season, then won three straight over bottom feeders Texas State, UTEP and Rice to get to 3-3. But then the competition ramped up again and they haven’t even been competitive at all. They lost 3-31 at home to Louisiana Tech, followed by a 17-27 loss at Southern Miss, and then the ultimate 3-52 embarrassment at home to UAB last week.
It’s hard to fathom how UTSA is supposed to stay within 10 points of FIU with their offense. The Roadrunners are averaging a paltry 15.8 points, 243 yards per game and 3.8 yards per play this season. They are averaging 10.4 points, 132 yards per game and 1.9 per play less than their opponents average giving up on the season. This is one of the worst offenses in the country folks. Compare that to FIU, which averages 33.7 points per game and 6.2 yards per play this season, and it’s easy to see how the Roadrunners are going to have a hard time keeping pace.
UTSA has zero home-field advantage, especially now that they are this bad and there’s likely only to be a few thousand fans in attendance. The Roadrunners are 0-9 ATS in all home games over the last two seasons. UTSA is also 0-6 ATS when playing against a team with a winning record over the last two years. Roll with Florida International Saturday.
|11-10-18||Northwestern +11 v. Iowa||Top||14-10||Win||100||71 h 24 m||Show|
25* Big Ten GAME OF THE YEAR on Northwestern +11
The Northwestern Wildcats have been one of the most underrated teams in the Big Ten this season. Here they sit at 5-1 within the conference and with a one-game lead over both Purdue and Wisconsin in the West Division. Yet they are getting no respect as 11-point underdogs, and you can bet that head coach Pat Fitzgerald will play the underdog card the disrespect cards to their fullest Saturday when the Wildcats take on the Iowa Hawkeyes.
The Wildcats went on the road and beat Michigan State and Purdue, while also topping Wisconsin at home. Their only conference loss this season came to Michigan by a final of 17-20. And we’ve seen in recent weeks how good Michigan is. They also hung tough against unbeaten Notre Dame last week in a 10-point loss. Yet here they are needing to prove themselves again, and they’ll be up to the task Saturday.
I like the mindset of the Wildcats right now because they still haven’t clinched a bowl berth at 5-4 because of their struggles outside the conference. Fitzgerald said his message to the team Monday was ’20’. “This squad is only guaranteed 20 days together,” Fitzgerald said. “What we learn every day will hopefully prepare us for those three Saturday’s we have left together.”
I think that Iowa is in a very tough spot mentally. It’s going to be very hard for them to recover from back-to-back gut-wrenching losses to Penn State and Purdue in which they had to a chance to win both games in the final minutes, but came up short. The same thing happened against Wisconsin a few weeks back. That leaves the Hawkeyes at 3-3 within the conference and with basically zero chance of winning the West, because they also trail both Purdue and Wisconsin, two teams that hold the tiebreaker over them. So basically Iowa is just playing out the string now.
My favorite trend for this game is that underdogs are 9-0-1 ATS in Northwestern games this season. That just goes with my theory that Fitzgerald thrives preparing his team when they are the underdogs. They don’t respond as well to him when they are expected to win. And the Wildcats are a perfect 6-0 ATS as road underdogs over the last three seasons. Northwestern is 20-5-1 ATS in its last 26 conference games. The Wildcats are 16-5 ATS in their last 21 road games. Northwestern is 21-4-1 ATS in its last 26 games after allowing more than 280 passing yards in its previous game. Bet Northwestern Saturday.
|11-10-18||Virginia Tech v. Pittsburgh -3||22-52||Win||100||46 h 48 m||Show|
15* CFB Saturday No-Doubt Rout on Pittsburgh -3
Don’t look now, but the Pitt Panthers are 4-1 in ACC and atop the ACC Coastal Division. They control their own destiny and have certainly been rejuvenated by it. It should be a great atmosphere for Senior Day in their final home game of the season Saturday at Heinz Field as they host the Virginia Tech Hokies.
The resurgent Panthers have gone 3-1 SU & 4-0 ATS in their last four games overall. They beat Syracuse 44-37 as 3-point home dogs, only lost 14-19 at Notre Dame as 21-point dogs, upset Duke 54-45 as 2.5-point home dogs, and upset Virginia 23-13 as 7-point road dogs. And I still don’t think they’re getting any respect here as only 3-point home favorites against Virginia Tech.
The Hokies are a mess right now. They just haven’t recovered since their 35-49 road loss at Old Dominion, a team that is just 2-7 on the season. The Hokies are 2-4 SU & 1-5 ATS in their last six games overall. They were lucky to win 22-19 at North Carolina in a final seconds, a UNC team that is 1-7 this season. They also lost by 22 at home to Notre Dame, by 21 at home to Georgia Tech and by 10 at home to Boston College. It’s just not a team I trust at all right now.
The key matchup here is Pitt’s running game against VA Tech’s young defense that just can’t stop the run. The Panthers are averaging 231 rushing yards per game and 5.8 per carry against teams that normally only give up 178 rushing yards per game and 4.5 per carry. They are averaging 280 rushing yards per game in their last four, which is impressive considering they’ve faced some good run defenses in Notre Dame, Duke and Virginia during this stretch.
Virginia Tech has allowed 178 rushing yards per game and 4.4 per carry this season. But it’s gotten a lot worse for them of late. In their last three games, the Hokies allowed 235 rushing yards to UNC, 465 to Georgia Tech and 219 to Boston College. You can just imagine what this fierce Pitt rushing attack is going to do to them this week. The Panthers should get 300-plus yards on the ground in this one.
Virginia Tech is 0-6 ATS vs. excellent rushing teams that average 230 or more rushing yards per game over the last three seasons. They are losing by 9.7 points per game on average against these power-running teams. The Hokies are 0-5 ATS in their last five games after allowing more than 200 rushing yards in their previous game. The Panthers are 6-1 ATS in their last seven conference games, and 4-0 ATS in their last four games overall. Finally, Pitt has owned VA Tech, going 10-1 ATS in the last 11 meetings, and 7-0 ATS in the last seven meetings at Heinz Field. Take Pittsburgh Saturday.
|11-10-18||Kentucky v. Tennessee +6||7-24||Win||100||46 h 47 m||Show|
15* CFB Saturday UPSET SHOCKER on Tennessee +6
This is an awful spot for the Kentucky Wildcats Saturday. They are coming off their ‘game of the century’ last week against Georgia. It was for all the marbles to win the SEC East, and the Wildcats fell flat on their faces in a 17-34 defeat that really wasn’t even as close as the score. And now what do they have left to play for?
They’ve already clinched a bowl berth and they could win out and maybe snag a New Year’s Six Game, but it’s unlikely. I think the most likely scenario is that the Wildcats fall flat on their faces this week at Tennessee. This is clearly a ‘hangover’ spot for them, and I look for it to be one of their worst games of the season.
I think we’re getting added value built into the line on Tennessee because the Vols are coming off a lackluster 14-3 home win over Charlotte last week. Well, SEC teams who step out of conference right in the middle of the conference slate usually struggle to be motivated in these non-conference games.
That was especially the case for Tennessee last week. They were coming off five straight grueling conference games against Florida, Georgia, Auburn, Alabama and South Carolina with three of those on the road. They actually held their own in many of those games, winning outright at Auburn 30-24 as 15.5-point dogs, and only losing 24-27 at South Carolina as 10.5-point dogs.
I think those performances against Auburn and South Carolina are more indicative of what Tennessee is capable of than their 14-3 win over Charlotte last week as 21-point favorites. And you know first-year head coach Jeremy Pruitt is going to rally the troops this week. Tennessee still needs two wins in its final three games to make a bowl, and they have home games against Kentucky and Missouri, and a road game at Vanderbilt to finish, so it’s very doable. It starts with an upset of Kentucky this week.
The Wildcats just don’t have the offense to put away teams. They are scoring just 24.7 points per game an averaging 356 yards per game this season. This is a below-average offense with numbers comparable to that of Tennessee. And the Vols have actually been pretty good defensively given the tough schedule, surrendering just 26.7 points and 368.4 yards per game this season. This is a much more evenly-matched game than this spread would suggest, and that’s even before you factor in the awful spot for Kentucky.
Kentucky has been thriving in the role of the underdog lately under Mark Stoops, but now they have expectations with a national ranking and a 7-2 record. And they haven’t handled expectations very well at all. That’s evident by the fact that Kentucky is 1-9 ATS as a favorite over the last two seasons. Stoops is 0-6 ATS as a favorite of 3.5 to 10 points as the coach of Kentucky having never covered a spread in this price range. Roll with Tennessee Saturday.
|11-10-18||Maryland v. Indiana -1.5||Top||32-34||Win||100||42 h 18 m||Show|
20* CFB BLOWOUT GAME OF THE MONTH on Indiana -1.5
I love the spot for the Indiana Hoosiers this week. They are coming off a much-needed bye week after going through the gauntlet with four straight losses to Ohio State, Iowa, Penn State and Minnesota. But they still sit at 4-5 on the season, and they still have two home games left against Maryland and Purdue, so they can still make a bowl game. They’ll come in fresh and ready to go off their bye week as they seek their 5th win of the season.
I just don’t like the feel of this Maryland program at all right now. The Terrapins reinstated DJ Durkin then fired him again. And the team has been drug through the media. I think it showed last week in their lackluster 3-24 home loss to the Michigan State Spartans. The Terrapins managed just 100 total yards of offense in an embarrassing effort. Don’t expect them to fare much better this week, and I’m shocked Indiana is only a 1.5-point favorite Saturday.
Indiana had won both meetings in 2015 and 2016 before losing 39-42 at Maryland last season. They outgained the Terrapins 483 to 345 in that game, or by 138 yards and certainly deserved to win. Now they’ll want revenge on the Terrapins, who probably just want this season to be over at this point and don’t even want to go to a bowl game.
Maryland is 2-10 ATS in road games after the first month of the season over the last three seasons. They are losing by 20 points per game on average in this spot. The Terrapins are 1-8 ATS vs. excellent passing teams with a completion percentage of 62% or better over the last three years. They are losing by 33.8 points per game in this situation. The Terrapins are 4-11 ATS in their last 15 road games overall. Roll with Indiana Saturday.
|11-10-18||Ohio State -3.5 v. Michigan State||26-6||Win||100||42 h 17 m||Show|
15* Ohio State/Michigan State Big Ten No-Brainer on Ohio State -3.5
The Ohio State Buckeyes are grossly undervalued right now. They have gone 0-5 ATS in their last five games overall, which is why they are only 3.5-point favorites at Michigan State this weekend. I bought Ohio State down to -3 personally and hit it hard, and I think you should too. This is the perfect ‘buy low’ opportunity on the Buckeyes, which is rare.
Ohio State still has everything to play for. At 8-1, the Buckeyes are the lowest ranked (No. 10) one-loss Power 5 team in the latest playoff rankings. They have some work to do, but with ranked matchups against Michigan State and Michigan on the horizon, they can make up some serious ground. They know they need to do so with style points, too, which makes laying this small price a no-brainer.
I’m just not that impressed with this Michigan State offense, and I don’t think they have the firepower to hang with the Buckeyes Saturday. The Spartans are only averaging 23.4 points, 360 yards per game and 5.0 yards per play this season. Compare that to the Buckeyes, who average 42.2 points, 547 yards per game and 6.7 per play, and you can see how they are going to have some issues trying to keep up.
Ohio State crushed Michigan State 48-3 at home last season. Sure, I don’t expect it to be that lopsided again, but you don’t need much to cover this 3.5-point spread. Under Urban Meyer, the Buckeyes are 11-2 SU & 10-3 ATS as a favorite of 4 points or less or an underdog. In these types of roles, the Buckeyes excel. They just aren’t great at covering the massive spreads they’ve been asked to cover in recent weeks, which is why they are on an 0-5 ATS run. That run stops today.
The Buckeyes are 37-18 ATS in their last 55 games on grass. Ohio State is 34-16-1 ATS in its last 51 road games vs. a team with a winning home record. The Spartans are 1-4 ATS in their last five home games. The road team is 7-3 ATS in the last 10 meetings. The Buckeyes are 5-2 ATS in their last seven trips to East Lansing. Ohio State is 23-9 ATS in its last 32 games as a road favorite of 7 points or less. Take Ohio State Saturday.
|11-09-18||Fresno State -2.5 v. Boise State||17-24||Loss||-115||54 h 18 m||Show|
15* Fresno State/Boise State ESPN 2 No-Brainer on Fresno State -2.5
The Fresno State Bulldogs have been the single-most underrated team in the country over the past two seasons. That’s evident by their success against the spread as they’ve gone 25-4-1 ATS in their last 30 games overall. They’ve also gone 13-2-1 ATS in their last 16 road games.
But because the Bulldogs play on the West Coast, they don’t get much national attention. And they really should be 9-0, but their early season loss at Minnesota has them flying under the radar. I get that they have had a lack of competition, but they have played everyone that’s on their schedule, and they’ve handled them all outside Minnesota.
Indeed, Fresno State is 8-0 SU & 8-0 ATS in all games outside Minnesota. They won all eight of those games by 18 points or more. They are outscoring opponents by a ridiculous 28.1 points per game on the season. Their offense is rolling at 40.4 points per game, and their defense would allow them to hang with anyone as they are giving up just 12.3 points per game on the season. They have allowed 7 or fewer points in four of their last five games overall coming in, including exactly 3 points three times.
Boise State has been one of the most overrated teams in the country since Brian Harsin took over. They are just 2-4-1 ATS in their last seven games overall. They stepped up in class and lost 21-44 at Oklahoma State and 13-19 at home to San Diego State. They only beat Nevada by 4 and BYU by 5 recently. And that BYU game they were thoroughly outplayed and fortunate to win.
Fresno State clearly has the better defense between these teams, and it’s not really even close. The Broncos have lost three of their best players on defense to season-ending injuries. They were already without NT David Moa and S DeAndre Pierce, and now you can add leading tackler Riley Whimpey to the list as their LB suffered a torn ACL against BYU last week. The Broncos are allowing 23.7 points per game this year.
Fresno State wants revenge from a 14-17 loss to Boise State in the Mountain West Championship Game last season. The Bulldogs held a 14-10 lead at half but were shut out after intermission and lost a heartbreaker. I have no doubt Fresno State is the better team this year, and Boise State has taken a step back. And the Bulldogs will be looking to prove that on the field Friday night.
Fresno State is 12-1 ATS in conference games over the last two seasons. The Broncos are 9-0 ATS when playing against a team with a winning record over the last two years. Boise State is 0-8 ATS in its last eight home games vs. teams who commit one or fewer turnovers per game. The Broncos are just 5-15 ATS in their last 20 home games overall. Bet Fresno State Friday.
|11-08-18||Panthers v. Steelers -3||Top||21-52||Win||100||9 h 22 m||Show|
20* Panthers/Steelers Non-Conference GAME OF THE WEEK on Pittsburgh -3
The Pittsburgh Steelers are rolling right now. They have gone 4-0 SU & 4-0 ATS in their last four games overall with all four victories coming by at least 7 points and by an average of 13.3 points per game. They should keep rolling tonight in this Thursday home matchup with the Carolina Panthers.
The Panthers are also playing well having gone 3-0 SU & 3-0 ATS in their last three games. But they are getting too much respect from the books and the betting public as this line has dropped from -5 down to -3. I certainly love the Steelers at -3 now and I’m glad I waited for it to keep dropping before pulling the trigger.
The Panthers have done all their damage at home this season. They’ve played five home games compared to just three road games. The Panthers are 1-2 on the road this season, losing to the Falcons and Redskins while getting a fortunate win at Philadelphia after erasing a double-digit deficit in the 4th quarter. They’re just not the same team on the highway.
These Thursday night home teams have a huge advantage on these short weeks, and I don’t think that is being factored into the line here. The home team is 7-2 SU & 6-2-1 ATS in Thursday games this season. The only two teams that lost were the Giants and Cardinals, two of the worst teams in the NFL, and they were both underdogs to the Eagles and Broncos, respectively.
Carolina is 2-10 ATS in its last 12 road games after scoring 30 points or more in two straight games coming in. The Steelers are 3-0-1 ATS in their last four Thursday games. The Panthers are 1-4 ATS in their last five Thursday games. The Steelers are 6-0 ATS in their last six meetings with the Panthers. Bet the Steelers Thursday.
|11-07-18||Ohio -3.5 v. Miami-OH||Top||28-30||Loss||-105||22 h 8 m||Show|
20* MAC GAME OF THE WEEK on Ohio -3.5
The Ohio Bobcats will be max motivated tonight to beat the Miami Ohio Redhawks. They are in 2nd place behind Buffalo in the MAC East division, and they need a win to keep pace with the Bulls. A win this week would mean a win next week at home against Buffalo would put Ohio in 1st place in the MAC East and a trip to the MAC Championship Game.
Miami Ohio had its make-or-break game last week against Buffalo. The Redhawks played well, only losing 42-51 in that contest, but it was a dream-crushing loss. The Redhawks and now 2.5 games behind Buffalo in the MAC East with zero chance to win the division because they’ve already lost the tiebreaker. And certainly it’s going to be tough to recover from back-to-back brutal losses to Army and Buffalo by a combined 10 points. They won’t get back up off the mat in time to stop this Ohio freight train.
Freight train, indeed. The Bobcats are absolutely rolling right now. They have gone 6-1 ATS in their last seven games overall. Their only two losses straight up during this stretch came on the road at Cincinnati by 4 and at Northern Illinois by 3. If you look at their last three games, you can tell the Bobcats are zoned in.
Ohio beat Bowling Green 49-14 on October 20 as 16.5-point favorites and outgained them by 283 yards. The Bobcats beat Ball State 52-14 as 10.5-point favorites on October 25th and outgained them by 312 years. And then they went into Western Michigan last week and rolled 59-14 as 3-point favorites. This team is simply on a mission right now and cannot be stopped.
The Bobcats have probably the best quarterback in the MAC in Nathan Roarke, if it’s not Buffalo’s Tyree Jackson. Roarked has a 17-to-5 TD/INT ratio this season while averaging 9.5 yards per attempt. And he has been an unstoppable force on the ground, rushing for 637 yards and 7.3 per carry with eight touchdowns. And his teammates will go to war with him any day.
Ohio has made huge strides defensively after being awful on that side of the ball to start the season. The Bobcats are holding their last three opponents to just 14.0 points and 275.3 yards per game. Miami Ohio has been hit hard by injuries on defense, and that was on display last week with the 51 points and 505 total yards given up to Buffalo.
Ohio has simply owned this series, going 5-0 SU & 3-1-1 ATS in the last five meetings. The Bobcats have won four of those five meetings by 10 points or more. Ohio is 4-1-1 ATS in its last six trips to Miami. They won 45-28 at home last year as 6.5-point favorites, and 17-7 on the road as 2-point favorites in 2016. I think this domination continues given that both teams are going in opposite directions both in the win-loss column and mentally right now.
Plays against home underdogs of 3.5 to 10 points (Miami Ohio) - after having lost two of their last three games against opponent after having won four of their last five games are 31-6 (83.8%) ATS over the last five seasons. Plays on road favorites (Ohio) - after allowing 17 points or less in two straight games against an opponent that allowed 37 points or more last game are 40-11 (78.4%) ATS over the last five seasons. Bet Ohio Wednesday.
|11-06-18||Kent State +21.5 v. Buffalo||Top||14-48||Loss||-110||6 h 21 m||Show|
20* Kent State/Buffalo MAC Tuesday No-Brainer on Kent State +21.5
Buffalo (8-1, 5-0 MAC) plays Ohio (6-3, 4-1 MAC) next week in the game that will decide the MAC East title. The Bulls will certainly have that game in the back of their minds, knowing they could actually lose to Kent State and win next week and still capture the MAC East crown. That’s a precarious spot to be in mentally, and I certainly don’t think the Bulls are capable of covering this massive 21-point spread given the situation.
Kent State is a vastly improved team this year. I know the record shows 2-7, but this is a team that scored just 12.8 points per game last year, which was the second-worst mark in college football. Former Syracuse offensive coordinator Sean Lewis has turned the Golden Flashes into a much more competitive team this year, with an improved offense and an improved defense.
Kent State is two 1-point losses away from behind 4-5 this year instead of 2-7. They lost 23-25 to Akron as 5-point home dogs and 26-27 to Ohio as 11.5-point home dogs. That effort against Ohio showed they could play with anyone in the MAC, because Ohio is as good as any of these MAC teams. The Bobcats have been steamrolling everyone else of late.
The weather conditions also make me like the underdog Golden Flashes. It’s going to be a windy night in Buffalo with the average wind at 30 MPH. There will be gusts up to 50 MPH. That’s why the total on this game has dropped from 52 all the way down to 43. And getting 21 points with a team with a total of only 43 is usually a great proposition.
Both teams will be running the football almost exclusively to keep the clock moving and avoid making mistakes. And Kent State has been solid at running the ball this year. They are averaging 178 rushing yards per game and 4.3 per carry. And they’ve been respectable at stopping the run, giving up 4.2 yards per carry against teams that normally average 4.4 per carry.
Buffalo rushes for 173 yards per game and 4.3 per carry, numbers similar to Kent State but actually worse. And Buffalo allows 3.9 per carry against teams that normally average 4.0 per carry. So they haven’t faced too many good rushing offenses yet, meaning their defensive numbers are a bit skewed. Tyree Jackson is clearly the better quarterback in this matchup for Buffalo, but his passing will almost be a non-factor.
The road team is 9-1-2 ATS in the last 12 meetings. The Golden Flashes are 4-1-1 ATS in their last six trips to Buffalo. Bet Kent State Tuesday.
|11-05-18||Titans v. Cowboys -5||Top||28-14||Loss||-105||55 h 54 m||Show|
20* Titans/Cowboys ESPN No-Brainer on Dallas -5
The Cowboys can’t afford to fall further behind the Redskins in the NFC East, especially after losing to them last time out. But they’ve had two weeks to recover after missing a potential game-tying field goal at the gun. And I look for them to play with an attitude here Monday night against the Tennessee Titans.
The vibes have to be pretty good in Dallas after management made a huge trade to get Amari Cooper. The Cowboys had arguably the worst playmakers in the NFL at receiver prior to the trade, so Cooper is going to be worth a lot to this team. And they’ve had nearly two weeks to get him acclimated to the offense.
Having Cooper will help the play-action passing game flourish for sure. Because the Cowboys are already great at running the ball, averaging 137 rushing yards per game and 4.9 per carry. And they should have some success against a Titans defense that has allowed over 100 rushing yards in five of their seven games this season. Plus, opposing teams like the Titans won’t be able to stack eight in the box to try and stop Zeke Elliott any more because the Prescott can make them pay.
I really like this Dallas defense, though. The Cowboys are giving up just 17.6 points and 313.7 yards per game this season. They rank 2nd in scoring defense and 3rd in total defense this year. That’s bad news for the Titans, who have one of the worst offenses in the NFL.
Indeed, the Titans rank 30th in scoring offense (15.1 points/game) and 30th in total offense (280.9 yards/game). Consider that only the Bills and Cardinals have been worse on offense, and those are two terrible offensives. Those three units are far and away the three worst offenses in the league.
Dallas has had some drastic home/road splits this season. The Cowboys are 0-4 on the road, but 3-0 at home. They are outscoring their opponents by 14.0 points per game in their three home games this year. They are scoring 28.7 points per game and giving up just 14.7 points per game at home. That’s why I’m not afraid to lay this big of a spread with the Cowboys as 5-point favorites. They should have no problem winning by a touchdown or more.
The Titans are very fortunate to be 3-4 this season. All three of their wins came by exactly a field goal, and two of those were at home. Their only road win came at Jacksonville in a huge letdown spot for the Jaguars off their win over the Patriots the previous week. They also lost outright to both Miami and Buffalo on the road. So I give them little chance of pulling off this upset, let alone staying within 5 points of the Cowboys.
Dallas is 21-7 ATS in its last 28 home games vs. poor offensive teams that average 285 or fewer yards per game. The Cowboys are winning by 14.9 points per game on average in this spot. Jason Garrett is 19-9 ATS vs. AFC opponents as the coach of the Cowboys. The Titans are 5-15-1 ATS in their last 21 road games vs. a team with a losing record. Tennessee is 9-27-3 ATS in its last 39 games vs. a team with a losing record. The Cowboys are 13-6 ATS in their last 19 games following a bye week. Dallas is 9-4-1 ATS in its last 14 vs. a team with a losing record. Bet the Cowboys Monday.
|11-04-18||Rams v. Saints -1.5||Top||35-45||Win||100||92 h 23 m||Show|
25* NFC GAME OF THE YEAR on New Orleans Saints -1.5
I won on the Packers last week fading the unbeaten Los Angeles Rams. And I’m fading the Rams again this week. They are simply overvalued due to their 8-0 record this season, and I’ve been fading them almost every week because of it. No team is going to go 16-0, and this is the Rams’ best chance to lose a game to date when they have to travel to face the New Orleans Saints in the Superdome this week.
The Rams have won four of their last five games by a touchdown or less and have gone 1-4 ATS in the process. They are starting to show their vulnerabilities, and that 1-4 ATS run just shows how overvalued they’ve been. Their four road wins have come against the Raiders, Seahawks, Broncos and 49ers. They only beat the Seahawks by 2 and the Broncos by 3. This will be by far the Rams’ stiffest road test to date.
The Saints are winning with conviction of late. They have reeled off six straight victories since their upset loss to the Bucs to open the season. They have gone 5-0 ATS in their last five games overall. Three of their last four wins have come by double-digits.
The Saints are fresh after having a bye in Week 6. They returned from that bye and went on the road to beat the Ravens and the Vikings, two impressive victories. And now they return home to what will be a raucous home crowd Sunday afternoon with essentially first place on the line in the NFC.
I think a big reason for the Rams’ recent struggles to put teams away is that they are simply getting tired. They haven’t had their bye week yet and don’t get it until Week 12. And after playing a dog fight against the Packers last week, I’m not sure what they’ll have left in the tank for the Saints this week.
Todd Gurley has been a beast for the Rams this season. But the Saints actually have what it takes to slow him down. The Saints rank 1st in the NFL against the run this season, giving up just 74.1 rushing yards per game and 3.2 yards per carry. It has been a big reason for their resurgence the last several weeks, and I look for it to be a key factor in why they win this game as well.
The Saints are 8-1 ATS vs. good offensive teams that score 24 or more points per game over the last three seasons. The Rams are 30-62-1 ATS in their last 93 road games vs. a team with a winning record. New Orleans is 24-5 ATS in its last 29 home games vs. a team with a winning record. When the Saints have to play a good team at home, they usually take care of business. Finally, the home team is 6-0 ATS in the last six meetings in this series. Bet the Saints Sunday.
|11-04-18||Steelers v. Ravens -2||23-16||Loss||-103||40 h 49 m||Show|
15* Steelers/Ravens AFC North No-Brainer on Baltimore -2
I realize the Steelers are going to want revenge from their 26-14 home loss to the Ravens earlier this season. That is definitely a factor, but I don’t think the Steelers will be any more motivated than the Ravens. In fact, I actually think Baltimore is the more motivated team coming into this game.
The Ravens are coming off back-to-back losses to the Saints and Panthers, and there’s no shame in those two losses. But sitting at 4-4 on the season compared to 4-2-1 for the Steelers, this is essentially a must-win game for the Ravens. They can’t afford to fall further behind the Steelers if they want to win the division. And knowing that they have a bye on deck next week, the Ravens will be ‘all in’ Sunday to try and go into their bye with a win and some momentum heading into the second half of the season.
I think there’s value getting the Ravens here as less than a field goal favorite. The Steelers are starting to get some respect because of their three-game winning streak coming in. But they beat a Falcons team that had all kinds of injury issues, beat a Bengals team that they have simply owned over the past decade, and their other win came against Cleveland off their bye week. Those three wins aren’t impressive at all.
It’s pretty clear to me that despite having the worse record, the Ravens are actually the better of these two teams. The Ravens are outgaining their opponents by 85 yards per game this season. That’s one of the best marks in the NFL. They are led by a defense that ranks 1st in the NFL scoring defense (17.1 PPG), 1st in total defense (293.8 yarsd/game) and 1st in yards per play (4.7) allowed. They also have a vastly improved offense this season that ranks 14th in total offense (379.2 yards/game).
The Steelers are also a good team, outgaining opponents by 58 yards per game. While impressive, it isn’t as good as the Ravens, and it’s largely due to the lack of competitive over the last three weeks. The Steelers still have all kinds of issues on defense. They are 16th in scoring defense (24.6 PPG) and 16th in total defense (359.7 yards/game).
Pittsburgh didn’t score a single point against Baltimore in three of the four quarters in their first meeting. The Ravens won that game 26-14, and Joe Flacco had a monster day. He completed 28-of-42 passes for 363 yards and two touchdowns int he win. He clearly knows how to beat this soft Pittsburgh defense, and I look for the Ravens to hang another big number on the Steelers in the rematch.
Mike Tomlin is 2-9 ATS in road games after covering the spread in four of their last five games as the coach of Pittsburgh. Ben Roethlisberger hasn’t been nearly as good on the road as he has been at home in his career. He is only averaging 22.4 points per game on the road. And he has a 55-to-40 TD/INT ratio on the road compared to a 107-to-40 ratio at home. John Harbaugh is 6-0 ATS after allowing 24 points or more in the first half last game as the coach of Baltimore. The Ravens are coming back to win by 10 points per game on average in this spot. Roll with the Ravens Sunday.
|11-04-18||Chiefs v. Browns +10||Top||37-21||Loss||-130||40 h 48 m||Show|
20* AFC GAME OF THE WEEK on Cleveland Browns +10
Betting on teams after they fire their head coach is usually a great spot to do so. Teams get rejuvenated for one week with a new voice, and that should be the case here for the Cleveland Browns. I love them catching nearly double-digits at home this week against the Kansas City Chiefs, and I expect one of their best efforts of the season here.
The Chiefs are overvalued due to their 7-1 SU & 7-1 ATS start to the season. You’re starting to have to pay a tax on them. I faded the Chiefs last week with success as they were 10-point favorites over the Broncos and won by 7. I’m fading them again this week, this time as 10-point road favorites, but I like the Browns all the way down to +7 in this one if you can’t get the great line that I did.
So we’ll ‘sell high’ on the Chiefs and ‘buy low’ on the Browns, who are coming off three straight losses. But the Browns are 2-1-1 at home this season with their only loss to the Chargers. They beat the Jets and Ravens, and tied the Steelers. So they’ve already played two of the best teams in the AFC in the Ravens and Steelers and stood toe-to-toe with them at home.
Greg Williams is a great defensive coordinator, and the Browns still have a very good defense. Their problem has been against the run, but they’ve been good against the pass, making this a great matchup for them. The Browns are holding opposing quarterbacks to just 6.7 yards per attempt against QB’s that average 7.6 yards per attempt, so they’re holding them 0.9 yards per attempt less than their season averages.
The Browns should be able to really get their offense going this week against a Kansas City defense that is one of the worst in the NFL. Indeed, the Chiefs rank 31st in total defense, giving up 432.4 yards per game. They are also 27th in yards per play (6.3) allowed. That’s why the Chiefs can’t sustain this success is because they have a terrible defense. And they have some key injuries on defense with Eric Berry doubtful, and starting LB’s Justin Houston and Anthony Hitchens questionable. The Chiefs also give up 5.4 yards per carry while the Browns have been running the ball well, averaging 127 rushing yards per game and 4.6 per carry. They can control the ball with their running game and keep Mahomes off the field.
Kansas City is 1-9 ATS in its last 10 games after gaining 6 or more yards per play in four consecutive games coming in. It is actually losing outright by 1.7 points per game in this spot. The Browns are 5-1 ATS in the last six meetings. The underdog is also 5-1 ATS in the last six meetings. There is a ton of value catching the Browns as more than TD home underdogs this weekend. Take the Browns Sunday.
|11-03-18||BYU +13 v. Boise State||16-21||Win||100||74 h 22 m||Show|
15* BYU/Boise State ESPN 2 Late-Night BAILOUT on BYU +13
The Boise State Broncos are grossly overrated. There’s no way they should be laying 13 points to a very good BYU team that is capable of hanging with the Broncos, and possibly pulling off the upset. I’ll gladly take the value with the road underdog in this rivalry.
The Broncos have gone just 4-2 SU & 2-3-1 ATS in their last six games overall. They only had one real solid performance during this stretch, which was their 34-14 win at Wyoming as 15.5-point favorites where they outgained a bad Cowboys team by 211 total yards. Other than that, they have actually been outgained in three of their last six games. And they pushed in a 48-38 win at Air Force last week as 10-point favorites while only outgaining them by 87 yards. And they won 31-27 at Nevada as 14.5-point favorites in a game where they only outgained the Wolf Pack by 120 yards.
BYU comes in undervalued off its 6-7 upset home loss to Northern Illinois last week as 6.5-point favorites. But that’s a very good NIU team whose only losses this season have come to Iowa, Utah and Florida State. And keep in mind that BYU had a bye heading into that game, so they will still be fresh and ready to go against Boise State this week.
I also look for the Cougars to be max motivated against their rivals here needing two more wins to get bowl eligible. They still have a road game at Utah in the season finale, so they’ll be playing with a sense of urgency, especially after blowing a golden opportunity to beat NIU last week. They outgained the Huskies by 97 yards and really should have won.
The Broncos have lost their home-field advantage. They are just 5-14 ATS in their last 19 home games. Boise State is 1-8 ATS in home games after committing zero turnovers in their previous game over the last three seasons. Brian Harsin is 0-6 ATS as a home favorite of 10.5 to 14 points as the coach of Boise State, actually losing outright by 0.9 points per game on average in this spot.
The Cougars are 5-1 ATS in their last six road games, which includes an outright win as 23.5-point dogs at Wisconsin earlier this year. BYU is also 5-1 ATS in its last six games following a loss. Bet BYU Saturday.
|11-03-18||Alabama v. LSU +14.5||29-0||Loss||-106||72 h 8 m||Show|
15* Alabama/LSU CBS No-Brainer on LSU +14.5
For starters, this is the largest home underdog role for a Top 4 team in the country ever. LSU has lost by double-digits only once at home in the past decade. And there’s nothing like a night game in Baton Rouge. So the Tigers have everything going for them here as 14.5-point home underdogs to Alabama Saturday night.
No question what Alabama has done so far has been mighty impressive. They are not only winning, they are winning big. But with that 8-0 record and all those blowout wins comes expectations from oddsmakers that are tough to live up to. And we’ve seen that recently with the Crimson Tide going 2-3 ATS in their last five games overall coming in.
The problem I have with Alabama is that they haven’t faced any real good teams yet. The best opponent they played was Texas A&M, and they played them at home. They won by 22 as 23.5-point favorites, failing to cove the spread. Alabama has faced just two Top 50 teams all season and have played the 60th-toughest schedule in the country.
Conversely, LSU has played the 6th-toughest schedule in the country. They’ve already played five Top 30 teams. And they have gotten through that gauntlet at 7-1. What more does this team need to do to get some respect from oddsmakers? The Tigers will certainly be playing the disrespect and underdog cards leading up to this game, which works in their favor big-time, especially with the home crowd on their side.
This will easily be Alabama’s toughest test of the season to date, and it’s not really even close. LSU has gone 4-1 against those five Top 30 teams with road wins over Miami and Auburn, and home wins over Georgia and Mississippi State. That 36-16 beat down of Georgia was really impressive as they outgained the Bulldogs by 158 yards and gained 475 total yards on offense. And they avoided the letdown the next week with an equally impressive 19-3 win over Mississippi State.
No question the Crimson Tide have the edge on offense with better quarterback play, but this LSU offense is getting it done and has been better than in year’s past. And the Tigers actually have the better defense this year because they’ve put up nearly identical numbers to Alabama despite facing the tougher schedule. They are giving up just 15.1 points per game. They are holding opposing quarterbacks to 50.6% completions and just 200 passing yards per game. They have what it takes to slow down this Alabama offensive freight train.
Ed Orgeron is 10-0 ATS vs. good passing teams who average 8 or more yards per attempt as the coach of LSU. The Tigers are winning by 19 points per game in this spot having never lost against the spread. That perfect record continues here this weekend as the Tigers get the cover and possibly pull off the upset. Roll with LSU Saturday.
|11-03-18||Louisiana Tech +23.5 v. Mississippi State||3-45||Loss||-106||51 h 57 m||Show|
15* CFB Saturday Undervalued Underdog on Louisiana Tech +23.5
This could not be a worse spot for Mississippi State. The Bulldogs are coming off a huge 28-13 home win over Texas A&M last week after playing LSU, Auburn, Florida and Kentucky in their previous five games. And now they step out of conference to face LA Tech with a game against Alabama looming on deck next week. This is a sandwich spot if I’ve ever seen one.
We’ve seen these SEC teams fail to cover time and time again in these sandwich spots when they step out of conference. And I don’t expect to get the best effort from Mississippi State here. The Bulldogs will be just looking to get out of Starkville with a win. They won’t be concerned at all about covering this massive 23.5-point spread.
Louisiana Tech went into LSU and gave the Tigers a run for their money earlier this season. They lost 21-38 as 19.5-point underdogs, covering the spread. But that was a 21-24 game in the second half before the Tigers tacked on two late touchdowns to pull away. And LSU beat Mississippi State 19-3 in their meeting just two weeks ago. So LA Tech is catching more points here against Mississippi State than they were against LSU. That fact alone shows there’s value, even without considering the awful situational spot for Mississippi State.
And this is one of the better teams Skip Holtz has had at Louisiana Tech. They are 6-2 this season with their only losses coming to LSU and UAB, which may be the best team in Conference USA. Those teams are a combined 14-2 this season
I love backing Skip Holtz as an underdog. In fact, Holtz is 21-7 ATS in his last 28 games as a head coach as a road underdog. LA Tech is 6-0 ATS in road games off a conference game over the last two seasons. LA Tech is 8-1 ATS off two or more consecutive wins over the last three years. LA Tech is 8-2 ATS in its last 10 vs. SEC opponents. LA Tech is 37-17 ATS in its last 54 road games. Take Louisiana Tech Saturday.
|11-03-18||Notre Dame v. Northwestern +9.5||31-21||Loss||-106||51 h 42 m||Show|
15* Notre Dame/Northwestern ESPN ANNIHILATOR on Northwestern +9.5
We see this year after year with Notre Dame. They’ll get off to a hot start and get into the playoff conversation before shitting the bed down the stretch. The Fighting Irish are now ranked No. 4 in the initial college football playoff rankings. They have expectations now, and those expectations are very tough for them to live up to. Notre Dame is just 3-14 ATS in their last 17 games in the month of November.
That has proven to be the case in their last two games as the Fighting Irish have failed to cover the massive spreads. They only won 19-14 as 21-point home favorites against Pittsburgh two games ago. And last week they won 44-22 as 22.5-point favorites over Navy, failing to cover against a Navy team that is way down this year.
And that Navy game also figures into this handicap. Teams don’t tend to do well the following week after facing a triple-option team. Those are physical games where the defense gets cut-blocked continuously. That’s especially the case for Notre Dame over the years after facing Navy. In fact, the Fighting Irish are just 3-11 ATS in their last 14 games after facing Navy.
Just bet the underdog in Northwestern games this season and you’d be a perfect 9-0 ATS. The Wildcats always rise to the occasion in the role of the dog, and fail to meet expectations as a favorite. That could just be a reflection of head coach Pat Fitzgerald. He’s able to get his players up for these big games, and that has been the case all season for the Wildcats.
Indeed, Northwestern 4-0 ATS as an underdog this season, and 0-5 ATS as a favorite. They won at Purdue 31-27 as 1-point underdogs. They only lost 17-20 at home to Michigan as 14.5-point dogs. They won 29-19 at Michigan State as 10.5-point road underdogs. And last week they upset Wisconsin 31-17 as 4.5-point home dogs.
The Wildcats have a strong defense that is holding opponents to just 23.6 points per game this season. And Clayton Thorsen has put the offense on his shoulders and really improved his draft stock with what he has been able to do against these good teams. He has led the Wildcats to four straight victories in Big Ten play and certainly will be relishing the opportunity of trying to knock off unbeaten Notre Dame.
The Wildcats are 5-0 ATS in their last five games in the month of November. Northwestern is 7-2-1 ATS in its last 10 games following an ATS win. Fitzgerald is 9-2 ATS off three straight conference wins as the coach of Northwestern. Don’t be surprised if the Wildcats pull off another upset here, but 9.5 points is simply too much either way. Roll with Northwestern Saturday.
|11-03-18||Houston v. SMU +14||Top||31-45||Win||100||71 h 9 m||Show|
20* AAC GAME OF THE MONTH on SMU +14
The Houston Cougars are coming off a huge win over ranked and previously unbeaten South Florida last week. They now have a two-game lead for first place in the West Division. This is now a massive letdown spot for the Cougars, and that’s not being priced into the line here. They should not be 14-point road favorites over SMU this week.
The Mustangs are the team that trails Houston by two games in the division, so they will be max motivated to get a win here and stay alive. And I really like the way this SMU team is playing coming in. They are 3-2 in their last five games with a home win over Navy and a road win at Tulane. Their only two losses came to UCF and Cincinnati, who teams who are a combined 15-1 this season. And they only lost in overtime to Cincinnati.
SMU only lost 22-35 on the road at Houston last year. And SMU pulled one of the biggest upsets of the season at home against Houston in 2016. They came in as 23.5-point underdogs and won 38-16, covering the spread by 45.5 points. The Mustangs are live underdogs in this game here Saturday as well.
The Cougars are 1-9 ATS in their last 10 games on field turf. Houston is 1-6 ATS in its last seven games following a straight up win of more than 20 points. The Cougars are simply overvalued right now and in a very tough spot here against the Mustangs. They’re getting way too much respect for their win over an overrated South Florida team last week. Roll with SMU Saturday.
|11-03-18||Missouri v. Florida -6||38-17||Loss||-109||68 h 8 m||Show|
15* CFB Saturday No-Doubt Rout on Florida -6
The Missouri Tigers beat up on weak competition and lose to good competition. The Tigers went 1-13 in 2016 and 2017 against bowl teams. And this year they have folded against the best competition. They are 0-4 in SEC play this year and I’m not expecting them to pick up their first conference win of the season this week at Florida.
Drew Lock has a 24-to-29 TD/INT ratio against Power 5 teams that make it to a bowl game, but a 61-to-8 ratio in all other games in his career. Lock has a 1-to-5 ratio in SEC play this season and an 11-to-1 ratio against non-conference opponents. Lock is also 0-9 SU against Top 25 teams in his career.
I think this is a worse spot for Missouri this week than Florida. The Tigers are coming off a gut-wrenching last-second loss to Kentucky. The final score showed 14-15, but the Tigers were actually outgained in that game by 136 total yards. Lock and the offense were held to just 239 total yards against a good Kentucky defense, one that’s similar to the one they will be up against this weekend at Florida.
Certainly the Gators won’t be feeling too hot after tier 17-36 loss to Georgia in the Cocktail Party. But they still have big aspirations and can have a 10-win season if they win out while making a New Year’s Six Bowl. And they should be favorites in the rest of their games to do so.
Keep in mind that Florida had a bye before the Georgia game, so they are still fresh. And Dan Mullen is one of my favorite head coaches in the country. Considering this is his first year with the program, he won’t let this team quit on their season. He’ll get the most out of them and I expect the Gators to show up this week and handle their business against Missouri.
Another reason they should show up is because they were embarrassed 16-45 at Missouri last year. Obviously that was a completely different Florida team with suspensions and injuries, but many of these players have not forgotten that loss. They want to put a beat down on Missouri similar to the 40-14 thrashing they put on the Tigers in Gainesville in 2016.
Plays against underdogs of 3.5 to 10 points (Missouri) - with a good offense that averages 450 or more total yards per game, after being outgained by 125 or more yards in their previous game are 35-11 (76.1%) ATS over the last five seasons. The Tigers didn’t have a single first down in the second half against Kentucky last week. They’ll struggle to get anything going against what may be the fastest defense in the SEC in the Gators this week. Take Florida Saturday.
|11-03-18||West Virginia v. Texas -2||Top||42-41||Loss||-105||68 h 39 m||Show|
20* Big 12 GAME OF THE MONTH on Texas -2
The West Virginia Mountaineers are getting way too much respect from oddsmakers due to their 6-1 start this season. They have played the 59th-toughest schedule in the country, and that easy schedule is the reason for their fast start. But we’ve seen this time and time again with Dana Holorsen teams. When the competition gets tougher, the Mountaineers fold.
West Virginia still has Oklahoma, Texas, Oklahoma State and TCU remaining on the schedule. Their toughest game thus far was a trip to Iowa State. They lost 30-14 in a game that was a bigger blowout than the final score even showed. They were outgained by 346 yards by the Cyclones and held to just 152 yards of total offense. They have played the rest of the worst teams in the Big 12 up to this point.
Texas has been through the gauntlet already while facing the 18th-toughest schedule in the country. They handed Oklahoma their only loss of the season. I am not concerned with their loss to Oklahoma State last week. I think they’ll bounce back in a big way knowing that if they run the table, they will win the Big 12 regular season title and beat headed to the conference championship game. They’ll be 100% focused and ready to go Saturday knowing that WVU is likely their biggest threat to play Oklahoma in the title game.
The Mountaineers have played just two true road games this season. They barely won at Texas Tech and were thoroughly outplayed by Iowa State. Texas is 4-0 at home this season and holding opponents to just 17 points per game. They have a defense the caliber of Iowa State’s that can give Will Grier fits as well. This will be Grier’s stiffest test of the season to date.
I also think West Virginia is getting too much respect from its home blowout win over Baylor last week. But the Bears basically gave that game away by losing the turnover battle 4-0. And Holgorsen is 5-19 ATS off a game where they forced three or more turnovers as the coach of West Virginia.
Texas is 8-1 ATS vs. teams who average 8.5 or more passing yards per attempt over the last three seasons. The Longhorns are 11-3 ATS vs. teams who score 37 or more points per game over the last three years. They usually step up against good offensive teams like West Virginia. That will be the case again this weekend. West Virginia is 0-7 ATS as an underdog over the last three seasons. Take Texas Saturday.
|11-03-18||Georgia Southern v. UL-Monroe +7.5||Top||25-44||Win||100||67 h 9 m||Show|
25* Sun Belt GAME OF THE YEAR on Louisiana-Monroe +7.5
Georgia Southern is coming off one of the biggest wins in program history. They beat Appalachian State 34-14 to take the lead in their division last week. And now they have a huge game on deck against Troy next week. This is clearly a sandwich spot for them, and I don’t expect them to show up at all.
That was a misleading win over Appalachian State, too. The Eagles won outright as 11-point underdogs. But they had a huge advantage after star App State QB Zac Thomas was knocked out with an injury on the first series. Their backup quarterbacks combined for five turnovers the rest of the way to basically gift-wrap the victory for Georgia Southern.
Louisiana-Monroe comes in at 4-4 on the season and in need of a victory if they want to get bowl eligible. Three of their losses have come to Troy, Texas A&M and Ole Miss. They are coming off a bye week as well, so they’ve had two full weeks to prepare for Georgia Southern’s option offense. I always like backing teams who have extra prep time against option offenses. It’s safe to say that this couldn’t be a better spot for the Warhawks.
Louisiana-Monroe is 6-1 ATS in its last seven November games. The Warhawks are 7-2 ATS in their last nine games after allowing less than 275 total yards in their previous game. This game really doesn’t matter to Georgia Southern at all because if they win next week against Troy, they will win the East division and head to the Sun Belt title game. Conversely, Monroe is tied for first place in the West and needs this win more if they want to be serious contenders. Bet Louisiana-Monroe Saturday.
|11-03-18||Georgia Tech -6 v. North Carolina||38-28||Win||100||64 h 22 m||Show|
15* GA Tech/UNC ACC Early ANNIHILATOR on Georgia Tech -6
The Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets have really turned the corner here of late. They have gone 3-1 SU & 3-1 ATS in their last four games overall with blowout wins over Bowling Green (63-17), Louisville (66-31) and Virginia Tech (49-28) with the latter two coming on the road. Their only loss came to a Duke team that was coming off a bye week.
I have a good feeling the Yellow Jackets are going to put UNC out of its misery here. The Tar Heels are just 1-7 on the season with nothing to play for now. They have suffered some tough close losses of late and I just don’t know how much more they can handle. I think they’ve hit their breaking point now that they’ve officially been eliminated from bowl contention.
Meanwhile, Georgia Tech still needs two more wins for bowl eligibility. And with Miami and Georgia still on the schedule, the Yellow Jackets are looking at this like a must-win game here against the Tar Heels. So they should be max motivated. Plus, the Yellow Jackets get extra time to prep after playing last Thursday, while UNC played on Saturday. That’s a hidden rest and prep advantage here for Georgia Tech.
Georgia Tech beat UNC 33-7 as 8-point home favorites last season. The Yellow Jackets have rushed for 300-plus yards in nine of their last 10 meetings with the Tar Heels. They should have their way on the ground again against a UNC defense that is allowing 191 rushing yards per game and 4.7 per carry this season.
Georgia Tech is 9-1 ATS in its last 10 games following an upset win by 10 points or more as a road underdog. The Yellow Jackets are 9-1 ATS after gaining 125 or fewer passing yards in three straight games over the past two seasons. Georgia Tech is 6-0 ATS vs. bad defensive teams that allow 31 or more points per game over the last three years.
Plays against home underdogs of 3.5 to 10 points (UNC) - after having lost five or six of their last seven games against an opponent that’s won three of their last four games are 25-4 (86.2%) ATS over the last five seasons.
Plays on road favorites (Georgia Tech) - after outfighting opponent by 100 or more yards in three straight games against an opponent that was outrushed by 125 or more yards last game are 25-3 (89.3%) ATS over the last 10 seasons. Bet Georgia Tech Saturday.
|11-02-18||Pittsburgh +7.5 v. Virginia||Top||23-13||Win||100||53 h 28 m||Show|
20* Pitt/Virginia ACC GAME OF THE WEEK on Pittsburgh +7.5
Virginia is in a spot it is not used to here Friday night against Pitt. The Cavaliers are now the hunted and not the hunters after a 6-2 start to the season. They have already clinched bowl eligibility and are ranked for the first time since 2011. That’s a huge accomplishment for a program that has had just one winning season since 2008.
But now the Cavaliers have to deal with expectations. And they will surely be getting serenaded in the media all week leading up to this game. I can’t help but think they will not put forth their best effort given what they have just accomplished. I look for them to come out flat, which is going to make it difficult for them to cover this 7.5-point spread against Pitt.
The Pitt Panthers will show up because they are fighting to make a bowl. They sit at just 4-4 this season with three road games in their last four to close. They may not be favored in any of the four games. So they have to give it their all to try and scrape out two wins to get to a bowl. And it’s clearly to me they’ve already started to fight with how well they’ve played the last three weeks.
Pitt is 2-1 SU & 3-0 ATS in its last three games overall despite being an underdog in all three games. The Panthers upset Syracuse 44-37 as 3-point home dogs. They then gave Notre Dame all they wanted in a 14-19 road loss at 21-point dogs. And last week they beat Duke 54-45 as 2.5-point home dogs. If that’s not an impressive run then I don’t know what is.
The problem with asking Virginia to lay points is that they just don’t have that good of an offense. They have been held to 28 or fewer points in five of their last seven games overall. The only exceptions were the 45 they scored against an awful Ohio defense and the 31 against a bad UNC defense. Pitt will offer some resistance here, and they’ll certainly be able to put up some points with an offense that is clicking right now.
Pitt is 4-1 SU & 3-1-1 ATS in five meetings with Virginia over the past five seasons as ACC opponents. The only loss came by 5 by a final of 19-24 as 5-point underdogs. Pitt beat Virginia 31-14 at home last season, 45-31 on the road in 2016, and 26-19 at home in 2015.
The Panthers are 5-1 ATS in their last six conference games. Pitt is 7-2 ATS in its last nine vs. a team with a winning record. Virginia is 14-28 ATS in its last 42 games after having won four of its last five games coming in. I don’t think the Cavaliers will handle all the hype they’re getting right now very well. And I know we’ll get a big effort from Pitt, which should be good enough to cover this 7.5-point spread regardless of whether or not Virginia shows up. Bet Pittsburgh Friday.
|11-01-18||Raiders v. 49ers OVER 45.5||3-34||Loss||-104||24 h 18 m||Show|
15* Raiders/49ers NFL Thursday Total DOMINATOR on OVER 45.5
We have the 1-7 San Francisco 49ers against the 1-6 Oakland Raiders Thursday night. It’s two teams who have little to play for but pride the rest of the way. And I certainly like backing OVERS in games when this is the case. The offenses almost always show up in these primetime games between bad teams, but whether or not the defenses show up is another story.
And it’s not like either of these two teams have played much defense up to this point, especially Oakland. The Raiders are giving up 31.1 points and 407.4 yards per game this season. The 49ers are allowing 29.5 points and 364.4 yards per game.
Both offenses have actually been pretty good. The Raiders are averaging 369.7 yards per game and the 49ers 348.2 yards per game. Derek Carr is still having a solid season, and with the Raiders losing Marshawn Lynch, he’s actually had to throw more. That means more points and more clock stoppages without the threat of a running game.
The 49ers have put up some very good offensive showings against the Chargers and Packers even with CJ Beathard at quarterback. They had 27 points against the Chargers and 30 against the Packers. They did not play well against the Rams or Cardinals in the other games that Beathard has started, but now they are up against the worst defense they’ve faced this season in the Raiders tonight. They should have one of their best offensive outputs of the season.
I realize the 49ers have some injuries on offense, and the Raiders traded away Amari Cooper, but I’m not worried. The Raiders have such a bad defense that even though they’re healthy they still can’t stop anyone. And the 49ers have worse injuries on defense than on offense. They are missing SS Jaquiski Tartt and starting LB Reuben Foster, not to mention CB Richard Sherman is questionable.
Plays on the OVER on any team against the total (San Francisco) - in non-conference games, off a close loss by 7 points or less to a division rival. The OVER is 18-6-3 in Raiders last 27 games in November. The OVER is 8-0 in Raiders last eight games in Week 9. The OVER is 8-3 in 49ers last 11 games overall, including 4-1 in they last five home games. Take the OVER in this game Thursday.
|11-01-18||Temple +11 v. Central Florida||Top||40-52||Loss||-115||29 h 29 m||Show|
20* Temple/UCF ESPN Thursday No-Brainer on Temple +11
The UCF Knights are ranked 12th in the initial playoff rankings. They are getting respect for going 13-0 last season and 7-0 this season for a 20-0 record over the past two years. And with that record comes expectations from oddsmakers that are going to be tough to live up to moving forward. I don’t think the Knights should be 11-point favorites over Temple in this game.
The problem I have with UCF is that they have played nobody. They have faced the 125th-ranked schedule in the country. Their seven wins have come against UConn, South Carolina State, FAU, Pitt, SMU, Memphis and ECU. They best opponent there was probably Memphis and they only won that game 31-30 as 4.5-point road favorites. I have no doubt Temple is the best team they will have faced yet.
The Temple Owls have been one of the most underrated teams in the country over the past few seasons. That’s evident by the fact that they are 35-16 ATS in their last 51 games overall. They have gone 6-0 ATS in their last six games this season as they have been a completely different team since their 0-2 start.
Temple has won five of its last six games with its only loss coming at Boston College 35-45, but covered the 13-point spread. The Owls outgained five of those six opponents, so there was nothing fluky about the run. They also won outright as 16-point dogs at Maryland 35-14 while covering by 37 points. They have played very well on the road this season and certainly will be up for this game to knock off an unbeaten, ranked squad in UCF here.
UCF QB McKenzie Milton actually had to sit out last game against ECU with an ankle injury and is questionable to return this week. All signs are that Milton will play but not at 100%. The Tigers were outgained by ECU and they were also outgained the previous week by Memphis. Their defense gave up 496 yards to ECU and 490 yards to Memphis. It’s their defense that is the biggest reason it will be difficult to beat Temple by double-digits Thursday night.
The Owls are 22-5 ATS in their last 27 conference games. Temple is 41-18 ATS in its last 59 road games. The Owls are 10-1 ATS vs. good rushing teams who average 230 or more yards per game over rate last three years. Temple is 5-0 ATS in its last five road games vs. a team with a winning home record. The Owls are 9-0 ATS in their last nine games off a game where they committed 3 or more turnovers. The UCF winning streak may come to an end here this week. Bet Temple Thursday.
|10-30-18||Miami-OH +7.5 v. Buffalo||42-51||Loss||-115||8 h 48 m||Show|
15* Miami Ohio/Buffalo MAC No-Brainer on Miami Ohio +7.5
The Miami Ohio Redhawks need a win here Tuesday to keep their bowl hopes alive. They sit at just 3-5 on the season, but 3-1 in MAC play and only one game out of first place in the MAC East. They can move into a tie with Buffalo, tonight’s opponent, with an upset win Tuesday. It’s safe to say they will be ‘all in’ to try and win this game tonight given the situation.
I like how this Redhawks team has responded following a tough start to the season with three consecutive non-conference losses to Marshall, Cincinnati and Minnesota. They have gone 3-2 SU and a perfect 5-0 ATS in their last five games overall. Their two losses came by a single point each with a 39-40 home loss to Western Michigan and a 30-31 road loss to Army. And now they’re catching 7.5 points against Buffalo.
The Bulls are 7-1 this season and getting a lot of respect from oddsmakers because of it. But they do have a common opponent with Miami Ohio in Army, and Buffalo lost that game 13-42 at home as 7-point favorites. As stated before, Miami Ohio only lost by a single point at Army when they played them last time out.
While Buffalo may have a slight edge on offense, Miami has a clear edge on defense. The Redhawks are holding opponents to 48 yards per game and 0.6 yards per play less than their season averages. The Bulls are holding their opponents to just one yard less than their season average and are dead even in yards per play based on what their opponents average this season. I think this is a much more evenly-matched game than this line would suggest.
Miami Ohio is 2-1 SU & 3-0 ATS in its last three meetings with Buffalo. The Redhawks won 24-14 as 3-point home favorites in 2017, 35-24 as 10-point road favorites in 2016, and lost only 24-29 as 7-point home dogs in 2015.
The Redhawks are 5-0 ATS in their last five conference games. Miami Ohio is 4-1 ATS in its lsat five road games. The Bulls are 5-13-1 ATS in their last 19 games following a bye week. Chuck Martin is 13-5 ATS in conference road games as the coach of the Redhawks. Roll with Miami Ohio Tuesday.
|10-29-18||Patriots -13.5 v. Bills||25-6||Win||100||72 h 41 m||Show|
15* Patriots/Bills AFC East ANNIHILATOR on New England -13.5
I rarely take double-digit favorites in the NFL. In fact, I can’t remember the last time I took a double-digit road favorite. That being said, I think the Patriots can cover this 13.5-point spread at Buffalo this week. The Bills are the new Cleveland Browns of the NFL this season, especially without Josh Allen at quarterback.
Allen injured his elbow two weeks ago against the Texans with the Bills actually leading late. Nathan Peterman came in and through one of his patented pick-six’s, and the rest was history. The Bills new they couldn’t even be competitive with Peterman, so they signed Derek Anderson out of retirement.
That experiment didn’t work either. The Bills were routed 37-5 at Indianapolis last week and committed five turnovers. Anderson is expected to get the start again this week, and while he should be a little sharper, I don’t think he stands much of a chance of making the Bills competitive. Especially not against a team that caliber of the Patriots.
The Patriots have been a juggernaut ever since opening 1-2. They added Josh Gordon and got Julian Edelman back from suspension, and their offense has taken off. The Patriots are 4-0 SU & 3-1 ATS in their last four games overall. Their only non-cover was a 3-point win over the Chiefs are 3.5-point favorites.
The Patriots have scored at least 38 points in four consecutive games while averaging 39.3 points per game during this span. I think they can get to 38-plus here against the Bills, which should be more than enough to cover this 13.5-point spread.
The Bills are dead last in scoring offense at 11.6 points per game and 31st in total offense at 234.0 yards per game. I just don’t see how they can possibly generate enough offense with Anderson at quarterback and the worst receivers in the NFL to hang with the Patriots.
The Patriots are 15-5-1 ATS in their last 21 meetings in Buffalo. They have won their last three meetings with the Bills by 21, 20 and 16 points. And those were better Buffalo teams than this 2018 version. New England is 15-5 ATS in its last 20 road games. The Patriots are 9-2 ATS in their last 11 vs. teams with a losing record. There will be no letdown for Tom Brady and company on Monday Night Football. Bet the Patriots Monday.
|10-28-18||Packers +10.5 v. Rams||Top||27-29||Win||100||98 h 14 m||Show|
20* Packers/Rams NFC Late-Afternoon ANNIHILATOR on Green Bay +10.5
Aaron Rodgers has never been this big of an underdog as a starting quarterback in his career. So from a value perspective, I love getting Rodgers as a double-digit underdog here against the Los Angeles Rams. Rodgers is 4-0 ATS lifetime as an underdog of 6 points or more.
Plus, the Packers are coming off their bye week, so they’ll be rested an ready to go. The bye week has allowed several players to get healthy, including tackles Brian Bulaga and Jason Spriggs, CB Breshaud Breeland, and WR’s Randall Cobb and Geronimo Allison. Rodgers should have his full complement of weapons on offense for the first time this season. And the Packers are 9-2 ATS in their last 11 games following a bye week.
The Rams are clearly overvalued due to their 7-0 start. They are the last unbeaten team in the NFL, and the betting public flocks to unbeaten teams. With that record comes expectations from oddsmakers that are very difficult to live up to. The Rams are good, but they are not 10 points better than the Packers.
The Packers are 3-2-1 this season, but their numbers suggest they are a better team than that. They are putting up 421 yards per game on offense and giving up just 328 yards per game on defense. They are outgaining opponents by 93 yards per game, which is one of the best marks in the NFL. They have what it takes to hang with the Rams for four quarters. And with Rodgers under center they’ll never be out of it.
The Packers are 5-0 ATS in their last five meetings with the Rams. I think this is a tough spot for the Rams off three straight road games. Teams on the road this long are always tired when they get home, and there are more obligations when they get home. It’s a big distraction, and I think it will be for the Rams here.
Mike McCarthy is 11-2 ATS in road games after failing to cover the spread in three of the last four games as the coach of Green Bay. The Rams are 6-15-1 ATS in their last 22 games after allowing less than 250 total yards in their previous game. The Rams are overvalued off their blowout win over the 49ers last week. Bet the Packers Sunday.
Note: The Packers are a 20* all the way down to +7.5.
|10-28-18||Ravens v. Panthers UNDER 44||Top||21-36||Loss||-105||95 h 49 m||Show|
20* NFL TOTAL OF THE MONTH on Ravens/Panthers UNDER 44
I’m shocked to see a total this high between two of the best defenses in the NFL in the Carolina Panthers and Baltimore Ravens. I think there’s a ton of value with the UNDER in this matchup Sunday in what will be a good old-fashioned defensive battle.
The Ravens lead the NFL in scoring defense at 14.4 points per game allowed. They are also 1st in total defense at 280.6 yards per game allowed. The Panthers are 10th in scoring defense at 21.8 points per game, and 13th in total defense at 355.3 yards per game.
Both of these teams like to run the football and both have suspect quarterback play and weapons. The Ravens have been a lot worse offensively on the road than at home. They are scoring just 19.7 points per game on the road this season.
The UNDER is 5-0 in Ravens last five games overall. They have seen 41 or fewer combined points in four of those five games. The only exception was the 47 points against New Orleans last week, but that game still stayed UNDER the 49-point total. And that’s the Saints, not the Panthers, a team with a better defense but a lot worse offense than New Orleans.
The UNDER is 35-14-2 in Ravens last 51 games after gaining more than 250 passing yards in their previous game. The UNDER is 4-1 in Ravens last five road games. The UNDER is 20-8 in Panthers last 28 home games vs. teams who average 260 or more passing yards per game. Take the UNDER in this game Sunday.
|10-28-18||Broncos +10.5 v. Chiefs||23-30||Win||100||95 h 48 m||Show|
15* NFL Sunday Undervalued Underdog on Denver Broncos +10.5
The Kansas City Chiefs are getting a lot of love from the betting public right now. They are not only 6-1 SU, but also 7-0 ATS this season. They are the only team that has covered the spread on every closing line this year. Of course that’s going to attract betting from the public.
But this line has gotten out of hand this week. The Chiefs are now 10.5-point home favorites over the Broncos. This is a Broncos team that gave the Chiefs one of their toughest games of the season in Denver. They only lost 23-27 after blowing a late 10-point lead in the fourth quarter. Now, just four weeks later, they get their shot at revenge.
I love the spot for the Broncos because of the revenge, but also because they have extra rest here. They played last Thursday in what was a must-win game and came through with their best performance of the season. They throttled Arizona 45-10 as 1-point road favorites. But they are getting no credit for that win, while the Chiefs are getting a ton of love after beating the Bengals 45-10 on Sunday Night Football.
The Chiefs have been getting by with bad defense as they rank dead last in total defense at 435.4 yards per game allowed. They are only outgaining opponents by 2 yards per game on the season. That’s not the sign of a team that should be 6-1 SU & 7-0 ATS. At some point, it’s going to catch up with them being this bad defensively.
Compare their numbers to Denver and these are two pretty evenly matched teams. The Broncos are also getting outgained by two years per game this season. They have a vastly improved offense that is putting up 23.6 points and 376.4 yards per game this season. Their defense has a lot more talent than the numbers have shown to this point as they’re giving up 23.4 points and 378 yards per game.
They held the Chiefs to just 13 points in the first 53 minutes last meeting, so they know what it takes to slow them down. Now they just got to find a way to stop the Chiefs late if they want to pull off the upset. The good news is they don’t have to win this game for us to win, they just have to stay within 10 points, which shouldn’t be a problem. The road team is 8-2 ATS in the last 10 meetings. Roll with the Broncos Sunday.
|10-27-18||Georgia v. Florida +7||Top||36-17||Loss||-115||74 h 38 m||Show|
20* Georgia/Florida SEC No-Brainer on Florida +7
I came into the season loving Florida with the OVER 8 wins as my favorite win total. And they’ve done nothing to disappoint me. They’ve gone 6-1 SU & 6-1 ATS this season as a hugely underrated commodity. And they remain underrated as 7-point underdogs to Georgia here in the Cocktail Party.
Just look at common opponents and it’s easy to see that Florida is the better of these two teams. They’ve both played the same three teams this season. Florida is 3-0 against them, outscoring them by 14.7 points per game. Georgia is 2-1 against them, inly outscoring them by 11.4 points per game.
The one game that really stands out is the LSU game. Florida beat LSU 27-19 and held the Tigers to just 371 total yards. Georgia lost 16-36 at LSU and gave up 475 total yards. The Bulldogs were pushed around at the line of scrimmage, while the Gators stood their ground. Georgia rushed for 275 yards on Georgia and 180 against Florida. Florida rushed for 215 yards against LSU while Georgia rushed for just 113 yards. And I think Florida winning the battle at the line of scrimmage is the key to their victory here.
Plays on underdogs of 3.5 to 10 points (Florida) - a good rushing team that gains 190 to 230 RYPG against a team with a good run defense that gives up 100 to 140 RYPG, after outrushing their last opponent by 150 or more yards are 30-9 (76.9%) ATS over the last 10 seasons.
Dan Mullen is 15-5 ATS versus excellent rushing teams that average 5.25 or more yards per carry in all games he has coached. Florida is 34-17 ATS in its last 51 road games when playing with two or more weeks’ rest. The Bulldogs are 3-11 ATS in their last 14 games following a bye week. The Gators are 4-1 ATS in the last five meetings. Roll with Florida Saturday.
|10-27-18||Texas Tech v. Iowa State -3||Top||31-40||Win||100||84 h 34 m||Show|
25* CFB BLOWOUT GAME OF THE YEAR on Iowa State -3
The Iowa State Cyclones have played the toughest schedule in the entire country to this point according to the Sagarin ratings. That explains why they are just 3-3 on the season, and they’ve done a great job of winning three games when you consider they’ve been an underdog in five of their six games this year. And they were competitive in every game as they didn’t lose once by more than 10 points.
Iowa State’s resurgence in its last two games have been a lot about freshman QB Brock Purdy. He took over against Oklahoma State and led the Cyclones to a 48-42 victory as 10-point road underdogs. And he also led them to a 30-14 home win over West Virginia as 4.5-point dogs.
Purdy is completing 75% of his passes for 572 yards with a 7-to-2 TD/INT ratio and 11.9 yards per attempt. He is a dual-threat with 122 rushing yards and a score as well in those two games. Star RB David Montgomery is back healthy, and WR Hakeem Butler is a beast who is averaging 20 yards per reception with 5 touchdowns. The run-pass option of Purdy, Montgomery and Butler is one of the deadliest trios in the country.
But it’s this Iowa State defense that deserves the credit. The Cyclones held Will Grier and the high-powered WVU offense to just 152 total yards and outgained them by 346 yards for the game. Despite playing the toughest schedule in the country, the Cyclones are only giving up 22.7 points per game and 316.7 yards per game. They are holding opponents to 115 yards per game and 1.5 per play below their season averages.
I think the bye week came at a great time after the win over West Virginia. Any team that plays a tough early schedule needs a bye, and the Cyclones got it at the perfect time. Now they can refocus for the stretch run. They have a legit shot to make the Big 12 title game because they will be favored in five of their final six games with the only exception being at Texas.
Kliff Kingsbury learned his offense from WVU head coach Dana Holgorsen. And Iowa State head coach Matt Campbell has owned the Red Raiders in his two meetings against them. The Cyclones won 66-10 as 3.5-point home dogs in 2016. They also won 31-13 as 7-point road dogs in 2017. They have covered the spread by a combined 85 points in their two games against Texas Tech under Campbell. And their defense held held that potent Red Raiders offense to just 11.5 points and 321 yards per game in the two meetings.
The Cyclones are 22-6-1 ATS in their last 29 games overall. They have been way undervalued over the past three seasons under Campbell, and they continue to be here as only 3-point home favorites in a game I expect them to win in blowout fashion. Iowa State is 8-1 ATS when playing against a team with a winning record over the last two seasons. Texas Tech is 5-17 ATS in its last 22 games as a road underdog of 3 to 7 points. Kingsbury is 2-9 ATS off a conference win by 10 points or more as the coach of Texas Tech. Bet Iowa State Saturday.
|10-27-18||Clemson v. Florida State +17||Top||59-10||Loss||-110||70 h 8 m||Show|
20* Clemson/Florida State ACC Early ANNIHILATOR on Florida State +17
For starters, this is the biggest home underdog role for Florida State since at least 1980. That was the furthest I was able to look back. So that fact alone show you there’s value with Florida State as 17-point home dogs to Clemson this week.
It was always going to take some time for first-year head coach Willie Taggart to implement his systems. And it was ugly to start this year as the Seminoles opened 1-2 with blowout losses to Virginia Tech and Syracuse, as well as a narrow home win over FCS foe Samford.
But the Seminoles have gotten going in recent weeks. They are 3-1 SU & 3-1 ATS in their last four games overall. They beat Northern Illinois by 18 at home, won 28-24 at Louisville, and beat Wake Forest by 21 at home. Their only loss was a 28-27 road loss at Miami as 14-point dogs, so they covered the spread with ease and actually led that game 27-7 before giving up 21 unanswered to close.
I was impressed with the way the Seminoles came out of their bye week following that heartbreaking loss to Miami. They swiftly took care of business against Wake Forest in that 21-point win. And now they will be amped up to face the No. 2 team in the country in Clemson.
I think Clemson comes in overvalued off its 41-7 win over NC State last week at home. The Wolfpack were ranked coming into that game, so the win looks better than it was, but they were clearly overrated. And most teams Clemson goes up against they have the better athletes, but that won’t be the case here against Florida State.
Florida State hasn’t lost by more than 17 points to Clemson in any of the last 12 meetings in this series. And the lone 17-point loss came last year at Clemson as 16.5-point dogs. Well, that was a 17-14 game with only three minutes to go. Clemson got two touchdowns in the final three minutes, including a 10-yard run with 35 seconds left when they could have simply kneeled. I think these FSU players remember the way that Clemson kind of rubber their noses in at the end of the game and will be looking for revenge.
The Seminoles didn’t have QB Deondre Francois for that game as he was lost for the season in the opener against Alabama. Francois is starting to grasp Taggart’s offense, and his talents are really starting to show over the past four games. He has a 10-to-2 TD/INT ratio in his last four games while throwing for at least 294 yards in three of the four.
Plays against road favorite of 10.5 to 21 points (Clemson) - a team that outgains their opponents by 125 or more yards per game, after gaining 525 or more total yards per game in their last two games are 48-17 (73.8%) ATS over the last 10 seasons. Th home team is 14-6 ATS in the last 20 meetings. Clemson is 14-29 ATS in its last 43 games off three straight wins over conference opponents. The Seminoles are 7-1 ATS in their last eight games following an ATS win. Take Florida State Saturday.
|10-27-18||UMass v. Connecticut +5||22-17||Push||0||42 h 45 m||Show|
15* CFB Saturday Non-Conference KNOCKOUT on Connecticut +5
This young UConn team went through the gauntlet to start the season. They are 1-6 with their six losses coming to UCF, Boise State, Syracuse, Cincinnati, Memphis and South Florida with four of those on the road. They have played the 26th-toughest schedule in the country.
I was all over UConn last week as 34-point underdogs at South Florida as my 25* AAC GAME OF THE YEAR. They easily covered in a 30-38 loss. A big reason I was on them was because of the difficult schedule, and also because they were coming off a bye. And bye weeks are huge for young teams. There’s no question this team took a big step forward on their bye week.
And now they should still be fresh here with Mass coming to town this weekend, and a great chance for the Huskies to pick up their second win of the season. These opportunities are few and far between for this team, so I look for them to take advantage and be playing with a lot of confidence following that 8-point road loss to unbeaten and ranked South Florida.
I’m shocked UMass is a road favorite here. This is a Minutemen team that is just 1-6 SU & 1-6 ATS on the season with their only win coming at home against Charlotte as favorites. All six of their losses have come by double-digits, including their 13-24 home loss to Coastal Carolina last week as 2-point favorites. They also have losses to Boston College, Georgia Southern, FIU, Ohio and South Florida. As you can see, that’s a much easier slate than what UConn has been up against. The Minutemen have played the 100th-toughest schedule in the country.
Now UMass even has to deal with the loss of their best player in QB Andrew Ford, who is out for the season with a leg injury. He has put up huge numbers over the past few seasons for the Minutemen. Ford is completing 64.4% of his passes for 1,340 yards with a 9-to-5 TD/INT ratio for Mass this season. There’s a big downgrade to their backup quarterback. Without Ford, it makes even less sense that the Minutemen are favored here.
UConn has actually put up solid offensive numbers this season despite the brutal schedule. They hung 30 points and 455 total yards on South Florida last week. And they should be able to do whatever they want to offensively against a UMass defense that is allowing 42.2 points and 500 yards per game. UConn allowed a season-low in points last week and this defense certainly got a lot healthier over the bye week. This defense will be much better the rest of the way than it was in the first half of the season, simply with experience and healthy, plus the fact that the schedule gets a lot easier.
UConn is a perfect 9-0 ATS in its last nine games off two consecutive road losses. The Minutemen are 0-5 ATS in their last five road games. These two trends combine for a perfect 14-0 system backing the Huskies, who are simply undervalued right now because the betting public wants nothing to do with them. There’s going to be value on the Huskies moving forward, including this week. Take UConn Saturday.
|10-27-18||Vanderbilt v. Arkansas +1.5||45-31||Loss||-108||42 h 45 m||Show|
15* CFB Saturday UPSET SHOCKER on Arkansas +1.5
It was always going to take some time for Chad Morris to turn around this Arkansas program. After a 1-6 start to the season, the Razorbacks had been through the gauntlet. Their final four losses during that stretch came against Auburn, Texas A&M, Alabama and Ole Miss. But there were parts of every one of those games that were good signs for Arkansas moving forward.
The 3-34 loss at Auburn was one of the biggest misleading finals of the year. Arkansas actually outgained Auburn by 65 yards in that game while holding the Tigers to just 225 total yards. They only lost 17-24 at Texas A&M the next week and easily covered the 19-point spread. Then they hung 31 points on Alabama and covered the 34.5-point spread. And then they held a 10-point lead over Ole Miss late, but lost 33-37, covering as 6.5-point underdogs.
The Razorbacks took out their frustration last week with a 23-0 win over Tulsa as 7-point favorites. The defense has made major strides in recent weeks, and the offense is playing much better under QB Ty Story. Quietly, the Razorbacks have gone 4-0 ATS in their last four games overall. And they’re once again getting zero respect as home underdogs to Vanderbilt here.
We see this happen to Vanderbilt every season. They’ll get off to a great start in non-conference play, but then get worked in SEC play. And it’s been more of the same this year. Vanderbilt is 0-4 SU & 1-3 ATS in SEC play this season. In between the four losses was an ugly 31-27 home win over Tennessee State as 28.5-point favorites.
Vanderbilt lost 14-37 at home to South Carolina as 1.5-point dogs and were outgained by 250 yards. They were crushed 13-41 at Georgia as 25.5-point dogs and outgained by 239 yards. They lost at home to Florida 27-37 as 9.5-point dogs and were outgained by 240 yards. They did only lose 7-14 at Kentucky last time out as 10.5-point dogs, but that’s an overrated Kentucky team.
The Commodores are 2-9-1 ATS in their last 12 conference games. The Razorbacks are 5-1 ATS in their last six conference games. Arkansas is 5-1-1 ATS in its last seven home games. Vanderbilt is 1-9 ATS in its last 10 games after gaining less than 100 rushing yards in its previous game. The Commodores are 2-17 SU in SEC road games since 2013. The Razorbacks are 5-1 SU in their last six meetings with Vanderbilt. Bet Arkansas Saturday.
|10-26-18||Miami-FL v. Boston College +3.5||Top||14-27||Win||100||53 h 22 m||Show|
20* Miami/Boston College ACC No-Brainer on Boston College +3.5
The Boston College Eagles still have their sights set on an ACC title. They sit at 5-2 on the season with one of their losses being a non-conference loss at Purdue, which looks better and better by the day. And their other loss was a 23-28 road loss to NC State. And now the Eagles get to host both Miami and Clemson in two of the next three weeks, so they have a legitimate shot.
It should be a great atmosphere for the Eagles on a Friday night home game on ESPN. The Eagles are 4-0 SU & 3-1 ATS at home this year, outscoring opponents by 27.5 points per game. They are scoring 50.0 points and putting up 521.2 yards per game at home this year, and giving up just 22.5 points and 294.5 yards per game.
Boston College is remarkably healthy right now. The only player listed on the injury report is RB A.J. Dillon, but he is probable. And while Dillon (652 yards, 6 TD) is a special back, he is one of five players averaging at least 5.6 yards per carry for the Eagles. BC has one of the best offensive lines in the entire country, and their ability to move Miami back will be the key to them winning this game.
Maimi’s five wins this season have come against Savannah State, Toledo, FIU, UNC and FSU with four of those wins coming at home. When they’ve stepped up in class, they haven’t performed well. They lost 17-33 to LSU on a neutral in what was a 33-3 game before the Hurricanes tacked on two late garbage touchdowns. They only beat Florida State 28-27 at home as 14-point favorites, and actually trailed 27-7 in that game. And they lost 13-16 at Virginia as 7-point favorites.
Miami does have a laundry list of injuries with 10 players out. And they keep playing musical chairs at quarterback. After a sluggish start to the season, Malik Rosier was benched. But now after that 13-16 loss to Virginia, the Hurricanes are going back to Rosier this week. He has held back this offense over the past two years and he won’t have much success against his stingy BC defense this week, either.
Miami is 3-13 ATS in its last 16 games off an upset loss to a conference opponent as a favorite of 6 or more points. The Hurricanes are 0-6 ATS in road games off one or more consecutive ATS losses over the last three years. The Eagles are 10-1-1 ATS in their last 12 conference games. Boston College is 13-3-1 ATS in its last 17 games overall. The Hurricanes are 1-6 ATS in their last seven vs. a team with a winning record.
Plays against road favorite of 3.5 to 10 points (Miami) - off a road loss, with a winning record on the season playing another winning team are 30-8 (78.9%) ATS since 1992. Bet Boston College Friday.
|10-25-18||Dolphins v. Texans -7.5||23-42||Win||100||30 h 6 m||Show|
15* Dolphins/Texans AFC GAME OF THE WEEK on Houston -7.5
Most folks wrote the Houston Texans off after an 0-3 start. But a closer look at the numbers showed that they simply were unfortunate to lose all three games. They were outgained by 64 yards at New England, but they outgained Tennessee by 154 yards and New York by 48 yards and probably should have won both of those games.
Since then the Texans have reeled off four straight victories and are currently in first place in the AFC South. And they have a great opportunity here to grab a stranglehold on the division with a win over the Miami Dolphins Thursday night. I think they win in blowout fashion here at home tonight.
The numbers show the Texans are one of the better teams in the NFL. They are outgaining opponents by 42 yards per game and 0.5 yards per play on the season. Watson and the offense are moving the football at will, and JJ Watt and the defense are playing at a very high level. They have allowed 7, 13 and 16 points in their last three games, respectively.
I think this Houston defense will feast on a banged-up Miami offense that is playing with a backup QB and has several injury concerns at receiver. Brock Osweiler will start in place of Ryan Tannehill. And he’ll be without his two best weapons in Kenny Stills and Albert Wilson, while DeVante Parker and Danny Amendola will both be playing through injury. Stills is averaging 17.6 YPC with 4 touchdowns while Wilson is averaging 15.0 YPC with 4 touchdowns. That’s two huge losses.
The Dolphins are not a very good team as they’re a fraudulent 4-3 this season. They are actually getting outgained by 76 yards per game this season. The problem I have with Miami is their defense, which is giving up 405.3 yards per game and 6.3 yards per play this season. They are soft at the line is scrimmage, giving up 137 rushing yards per game and 4.5 per carry. They’re also allowing 269 passing yards per game and 8.0 per attempt.
Adam Gase is 0-7 ATS in road games off a loss as the coach of Miami. The Dolphins are 7-23 ATS in their last 30 games after allowing 400 or more yards per game in their last three games. Miami is 1-7 ATS in its last eight road games. The Dolphins are 0-6 ATS in their last six road games vs. a team with a winning home record. Bet the Texans Thursday.
|10-25-18||Appalachian State v. Georgia Southern +10.5||14-34||Win||100||30 h 52 m||Show|
15* App State/Georgia Southern Sun Belt ANNIHILATOR on Georgia Southern +10.5
Appalachian State just moved into the Top 25 for the first time in program history this week. I always like fading teams who just reached the Top 25 that aren’t used to it. They start getting national recognition and feeling fat and happy. And they have extra expectations from oddsmakers that they simply cannot live up to.
I’m shocked to see the Mountaineers as double-digit road favorites over Georgia Southern tonight. There’s so much to like about this game, but it starts with the value perspective fading the Mountaineers because of their Top 25 ranking.
The second-most important factor is that Georgia Southern runs a triple-option offense, and Appalachian State only has a few days to get ready for it after playing on Saturday. Triple-option teams have a huge advantage on a short week every time. It’s simply the most difficult offense to prepare for because defensive fundamentals are so important.
This Georgia Southern team is one of the most underrated in the country. They returned 18 starters this year, so this was already going to be a veteran bunch. And they have come out guns-a-blazing with a 6-1 start and are legitimate threats to Appalachian State to win the Sun Belt. Their only loss this season came on the road at Clemson.
Georgia Southern is a perfect 4-0 SU & 4-0 ATS at home this season. They are outscoring their opponents 36.7 to 13.2 on average, or by 23.5 points per game at home. The Eagles are 6-0 ATS in their last six home games dating back to last year. Head coach Chad Lunsford is 6-0 ATS in games played on a grass field as the coach of Georgia Southern.
Plays against a team with a winning percentage of 80% or better (Appalachian State) - after beating the spread by 49 or more points total in their last five games when playing another team with a winning record are 59-23 (72%) ATS over the last five seasons. Roll with Georgia Southern Thursday.
|10-25-18||Ball State +11 v. Ohio||14-52||Loss||-115||29 h 23 m||Show|
15* Ball State/Ohio MAC ANNIHILATOR on Ball State +11
Sitting at 3-5 on the season, the Ball State Cardinals need a win tonight if they want any chance of making a bowl game. I look for them to lay it all on the line here against the Ohio Bobcats to get a win. I love catching double-digits with this hungry Cardinals squad tonight.
I have no doubt Ball State is better than is 3-5 record, too. Three of the losses came by 8 points or fewer, including a 16-24 loss at Notre Dame as 33.5-point underdogs. The only exceptions were a 10-38 loss at Indiana and a 20-42 loss to Eastern Michigan, which is probably the best team in the MAC. And they’ve only been outgained by more than 69 yards once this season, and that was the 110 yards at Indiana.
Many expected Ohio to compete for a MAC title this year, but this team looks far from a MAC title contender thus far. The Bobcats opened the season with a 38-32 home win over Howard as 30.5-point favorites and were outgained by 220 yards in that game. That was a sign of things to come for this team.
The Bobcats have been outgained in five of their seven games this season, so they are very fortunate to be 4-3. The only two teams they outgained were Bowling Green and UMass, and both of those games were at home. Their other two wins came against Kent State 27-26 as 11-point favorites and that 6-point win over FCS foe Howard. Ball State is much better than the four teams Ohio has beaten this year.
I think we’re getting some extra value here on the Cardinals based on last week’s results. Ball State lost by 22 to Eastern Michigan, while Ohio beat Bowling Green by 35. Otherwise this line probably would have been a touchdown or less. So now we’re catching double-digits on the Cardinals when we shouldn’t be.
These are two evenly-matched teams when you look at the numbers, and if anything the Cardinals have been better. Ball State has clearly played the tougher schedule having had to face Notre Dame and Indiana out of conference. And the Cardinals are still outgaining opponents by 31 yards per game on the season. Ohio is actually getting outgained by 9 yards per game. This is an Ohio defense that can’t be trusted, giving up 465 yards per game and 6.7 per play.
The Cardinals are 56-27 ATS in their last 83 road games. The Bobcats are 5-16 ATS int heir last 21 games following a SU win of more than 20 points. Ball State is 3-1 ATS in its last four meetings with Ohio. Take Ball State Thursday.
|10-25-18||Baylor +14 v. West Virginia||Top||14-58||Loss||-105||29 h 22 m||Show|
20* Baylor/WVU Big 12 No-Brainer on Baylor +14
The Baylor Bears are 4-3 this season and have their sights set on a bowl game in Matt Rhule’s second season. Their three losses have come to Duke, Oklahoma and Texas with the latter two coming on the road.
But they showed they could play with the big boys in that loss to Texas. They actually had the ball inside the Texas 20-yard line with only a few seconds left and a chance to win. They lost 17-23 as identical 14-point underdogs.
West Virginia came into the Iowa State game way overrated as the No. 6 team in the country. I was on Iowa State +7 as my 25* Big 12 GAME OF THE YEAR in that game. And the Cyclones dominated the Mountaineers 30-14. They held Will Grier and WVU to just 7 points and 152 total yards. Their other TD came on a blocked FG return TD.
The reason they were so overrated is because they played such an easy early schedule. They have still played just the 53rd-ranked schedule in the country, so their 5-1 start is fraudulent. Baylor has already played Oklahoma and Texas, the two best teams in the Big 12, and West Virginia hasn’t played either yet.
Baylor has had West Virginia’s number, too. The Bears are 5-1 ATS in the last six meetings. Their four SU losses during this stretch have come by 2, 3, 14 and 7 points. So they haven’t lost once by more than two touchdowns. And last year a 1-11 Baylor team only lost 36-38 at home to WVU as 10.5-point underdogs In 2016 they only lost 21-24 as 17-point road dogs as well.
Baylor has put up the kind of numbers that validate them being a good team. They have outgained five of their seven opponents this season. The only exceptions were the 114 yards they were outgained by at Oklahoma and the 61 yards at Texas. They are averaging 475 yards per game on offense and giving up 408 yards per game on defense, outgaining opponents by 67 yards per game.
West Virginia is 2-11 ATS in its last 13 home games off an upset loss to a conference opponent as a favorite. Rhule is 26-13 ATS as an underdog in all games as a head coach. Holgorsen is 0-6 ATS after being outgained by 225 or more yards in his previous game as the coach of West Virginia. The Mountaineers are 7-22-1 ATS in their last 30 home games vs. a team with a winning record. Bet Baylor Thursday.
|10-23-18||Troy v. South Alabama +13||Top||38-17||Loss||-110||8 h 12 m||Show|
20* Troy/South Alabama Sun Belt GAME OF THE WEEK on South Alabama +13
The South Alabama Jaguars have been through the gauntlet this season. They’ve played four road games against Oklahoma State, Memphis, Appalachian State and Georgia Southern. So they’ve already played the two best teams in the Sun Belt, plus Oklahoma State and Memphis out of conference. It’s no wonder they are just 2-5.
But South Alabama has played well at home this season. The Jaguars are 2-1 SU & 2-0-1 ATS at home this year. Their only loss came to a very good Louisiana Tech team from Conference USA by a final of 26-30 as 11-point underdogs. They beat Texas State 41-31 as 10-point favorites and Alabama State 45-7 as 27-point favorites.
I think Troy is getting too much respect from oddsmakers for what they did last season. Quarterback Kaleb Barker had been very good, completing 73% of his passes for 1,013 yards with a 10-to-2 TD/INT ratio. Unfortunately, he suffered a season-ending ACL injury in a 37-20 home win over Georgia State on October 4th.
The Trojans were forced to go with backup QB Sawyer Smith against Liberty last time out, and they were promptly upset 16-22 as 10.5-point road favorites. Smith hasn’t been nearly as good as Barker, completing just 59.3% of his passes with a 4-to-3 TD/INT ratio. I’m shocked the Trojans are double-digit road favorites here against the Jaguars again this week with Smith starting at QB.
This is a rivalry game in the state of Alabama, and I think South Alabama takes it a lot more seriously than Troy. South Alabama is actually 3-1 SU & 3-1 ATS in the last four meetings. The Jaguars won outright 19-8 as 18-point underdogs last year. They only lost by 7 as 9.5-point home dogs in 2016. They won 24-18 as 6-point road dogs in 2015. And they won 27-13 as 16-point home favorites in 2014.
The Jaguars are 4-0 ATS in their last four home games vs. a team with a winning road record. The Trojans are 1-5-1 ATS in their last seven October games. The underdog is 5-0 ATS in the last five meetings. The Jaguars are 4-1 ATS in the last five meetings. Bet South Alabama Tuesday.
|10-22-18||Giants +6 v. Falcons||Top||20-23||Win||100||151 h 33 m||Show|
25* MNF PARLAY OF THE YEAR on New York Giants +6/OVER 54
Reasons the Giants Cover:
The Giants are coming off an embarrassing 13-34 home loss to the Eagles on Thursday Night Football last week. The betting public wants nothing to do with them now, so this is a great ‘buy low’ opportunity on them catching more points than they should be at Atlanta this week.
It also means the Giants get extra time to prepare after playing last Thursday. I like backing teams with extra prep time because it is a huge advantage in the NFL. It gives their players time to heal up, and the coaching staff more time to game plan for the opponent.
And that 13-34 loss to the Eagles was very misleading. The Giants actually outgained the Eagles by 22 yards in that contest, so there’s no way they should have lost by 21. In fact, the Giants are only getting obtained by 9.7 yards per game on the season. That shows me that they are way better than their 1-5 record would indicate. And with how bad the NFC East has been this season, they still have hope to make a run and win the division.
The Falcons cannot be trusted to lay this kind of number right now. They are just 2-4 SU & 2-4 ATS this season. Their two wins were somewhat fortunate as they beat a banged-up Panthers team 31-24 at home with Carolina having a chance to tie on the final drive. Then last week they got a 57-yard field goal from Matt Bryant with just over a minute left to take a 34-29 lead over the Bucs, and then their defense held in the red zone to save the game. They covered as 3-point favorites, and I think they are getting too much respect for that win.
Well, Bryant ruptured his hamstring making that 57-yarder, and he has been one of the most reliable kickers in the NFL for years. Add him to the laundry list of injuries for the Falcons now. Also add Calvin Ridley and Mohamed Sanu, two of their three best receivers who left that Bucs game with injuries. Both are probable to play this week but won’t be at 100%. And Devonta Freeman remains out with a foot injury.
The real issue for the Falcons right now is injuries to their defense. They have lost three starters to season-ending injuries in Keanu Neal, Deion Jones and Ricardo Allen. Plus, fellow starter Grady Jarrett has missed the last few weeks with an ankle injury and is questionable to return this week. They simply haven’t been able to overcome these injuries, and their defense has been horrendous, giving up 32.0 points and 417.5 yards per game. They can’t be trusted to cover this 6-point spread with that defense. Their defense will make even Eli Manning look like a first ballot Hall of Famer.
Reasons for the OVER:
The OVER is 5-0 in Falcons last five games overall. They have combined for 55, 80, 73, 58 and 63 points in their last five games, respectively. That’s an average of 65.8 combined points per game, which is roughly 12 points more than this 54-point total. Also, playing the OVER on Monday Night Football games when the home team has a bye next week is 39-12 in the last 51 tries.
This is a Falcons defense that has been lit up for 37.5 points and 458.5 yardsper game over the last four weeks. Saquon Barkley had a monster game against the Eagles last week with 229 yards (130 rushing, 99 receiving) from scrimmage. He will have a field day against this Atlanta defense. And the Giants aren’t short on playmakers outside with Odell Beckham and Sterling Shepard.
The problem for the Giants on offense up to this point is that they’ve played arguably the toughest schedule in the entire NFL, and certainly the toughest schedule of opposing defenses to this point. They’ve played the Jags, Cowboys, Texans, Saints, Panthers and Eagles. Five of those six defenses are elite, while the Saints have been playing great on that side of the ball of late.
This will be the worst opposing defense the Giants have faced by far, and it should lead to their biggest scoring output of the season. And they still managed 27 points at Houston and 31 points at Carolina in their last two road games, so they have proven their offense can travel.
Obviously I don’t want the Falcons scoring too much so that the Giants can cover the +6. But I do think they’ll come close to their season averages of 27.8 points and 397 yards per game in this one. I’m not naive enough to think the Giants will shut them down because the Falcons do have one of their best offenses in the league. My best guess is that the Giants win this game in the 31-28 neighborhood.
Note: I don’t recommend betting parlays often because they are not good bets. Make sure to bet both plays separate at the normal 25* amount. Whether or not you parlay is up to you. But I plan on going 2-0. Bet the Giants and the OVER.
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