Sunday, December 30, 2018

Trail Blazers Host 76ers on Sunday

Trail Blazers Basketball

76ers are Banged up Heading into Portland





The Philadelphia 76ers and the Portland Trail Blazers will meet on Sunday at Moda Center. The 76ers may be battling tonight without a key piece to their lineup.





TV: 9 p.m. ET, NBCS Philadelphia, NBCS Northwest (Portland), Line: Portland -1.5; O/U: 223.





Philadelphia could be without star center Joel Embiid when they continue their five-game road trip Sunday. Embiid recorded 23 points, 15 rebounds and five blocked shots in Thursday's 114-97 win at Utah. He missed Saturday's practice due to knee pain and might sit out his first game of the season due to injury.





Mike Muscala likely would start in place of Embiid for Philadelphia. They are 1-1 on their road trek and have won seven of its last 12 road games. This is a great turnaround after opening 0-5 away from home. The Trail Blazers won at Golden State on Thursday before falling to the Warriors at home two days later. Damian Lillard racked up 40 points in the 115-105 loss for Portland. The game began a stretch where they play seven of eight and 13 of 19 at home.





The 76ers are 23-13 on the season. Ben Simmons recorded his 17th career triple-double in the win over the Jazz. Simmons is averaging 17 points, 10.9 rebounds and 8.3 assists this month. J.J. Redick continued his hot stretch with 24 points while making 6-of-9 3-pointers. Muscala is heading in the other direction. He has gone 4-for-16 from long range over the same span while missing his only two-point attempt.





The Trail Blazers are 20-16 on the season. Portland received very little from its bench on the front end of its back-to-back set against the Warriors. Eight reserves combined to produce 14 points on 5-of-21 shooting. Lillard was on the court for 39 minutes. This was after playing 41 at Golden State. He has struggled with zero days of rest between games, and it is drastic. He is averaging 19 points on 41.1 percent shooting compared to 28.1 on 45.6 percent in all other contests. Jusuf Nurkic averaged 24 points and 11 rebounds in the home-and-home set. He has registered four double-doubles over his last five games.





PREDICTION: Trail Blazers 109, 76ers 100





NBA Betting Odds & Trends






Philadelphia 76ers
The 76ers are 14-6 SU in its last 20 games
The total has gone OVER in 4 of Philadelphia's last 6 games
The 76ers are 6-14 ATS in its last 20 games on the road
The total has gone OVER in 16 of Philadelphia's last 24 games on the road
Philadelphia is 5-1 ATS in its last 6 games when playing Portland
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Philadelphia's last 6 games when playing Portland
The 76ers are 1-7 SU in its last 8 games when playing on the road against Portland
The total has gone OVER in 7 of Philadelphia's last 10 games when playing on the road against Portland

Portland Trail Blazers
The Trail Blazers are 1-4 ATS in its last 5 games
The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Portland's last 6 games
The Trail Blazers 5-2 SU in its last 7 games at home
The total has gone UNDER in 11 of Portland's last 15 games at home
Portland is 1-5 ATS in its last 6 games when playing Philadelphia
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Portland's last 6 games when playing Philadelphia
The Trail Blazers 7-1 SU in its last 8 games when playing at home against Philadelphia
The total has gone OVER in 7 of Portland's last 10 games when playing at home against Philadelphia






Next up:
Philadelphia at Los Angeles Tuesday, January 1
Portland at Sacramento Tuesday, January 1





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NFL Week 17 Free Betting Pick- Bears at Vikings

Minnesota Vikings Football

Playoff Seeding at Stake with Bears and Vikings





The NFL regular season comes to a close this Sunday with an important matchup in the NFC North. The 11-4 Chicago Bears and the 8-6-1 Minnesota Vikings. These bitter rivals don't need anything to motivate them usually, but with playoff implications on the line this should be a slobber-knocker.





Game time from US Bank Stadium is set for 4:25 p.m. on FOX. BetAnySports has set the Vikings as six-point home favorites with a total line of 40.5 points.





The Bears have already clinched the division title. They are gunning for a first-round bye with one more win and one more Los Angeles Rams’ loss. Chicago has won its last three games both straight-up and against the spread. This was after Sunday’s 14-9 win at San Francisco as a 3.5-point favorite. The Bears are now 8-1 (SU and ATS) over its last nine games. The total has stayed UNDER in four of its last five contests.





Chicago will go as far as its defense can take it this postseason. With a points-allowed average of 18.1, this has quickly turned into one of the best units in the NFL. During this current three-game run, the Bears have allowed a combined 32 points. On the other side of the ball, they have scored an average of just 17.7 points during the same three-game span.





The Vikings Can Clinch Final Playoff Spot





Minnesota will clinch the final playoff spot in the NFC with a win on Sunday afternoon. They can also get into the postseason with a Philadelphia loss. The Vikings lost to Chicago 25-20 on Nov. 18 as 2.5-point road underdogs. This was part of an even 3-3 mark SU and ATS over their last six games. They did beat Miami at home and Detroit on the road in their last two games. The total has stayed UNDER BetAnySports’ closing line in six of Minnesota’s last eight contests.





Behind Kirk Cousins, the Vikings are averaging 262.3 passing yards per game. They fall much farther down the list when it comes to running the ball. The Vikings average of 95.3 rushing yards per game is down the list a bit. Adam Thielen has been Cousins’ top target with 110 receptions for 1,335 yards and nine scores. Dalvin Cook is the team’s leading rusher with 576 rushing yards and two scores on 122 carries.





It is obvious that Minnesota needs a win on Sunday much more than Chicago. With that being said, I will still take the Bears and the six points as my ‘best bet’ pick. The Bears win 23-14.





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NFL Betting Odds & Trends






Chicago Bears
The Bears are 8-1 ATS in its last 9 games
Chicago is 8-1 SU in its last 9 games
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Chicago's last 5 games
The Bears are 4-2 SU in its last 6 games on the road
Chicago is 6-17 SU in its last 23 games on the road
The Bears are 4-1 ATS in its last 5 games when playing Minnesota
Chicago is 2-6 SU in its last 8 games when playing Minnesota
The total has gone UNDER in 10 of Chicago's last 14 games when playing Minnesota
The Bears are 2-4 ATS in its last 6 games when playing on the road against Minnesota
Chicago is 0-5 SU in its last 5 games when playing on the road against Minnesota
The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Chicago's last 7 games when playing on the road against Minnesota

Minnesota Vikings
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Minnesota's last 5 games
The Vikings are 17-7-1 ATS in its last 25 games at home
The Vikings are 11-2 SU in its last 13 games at home
The total has gone UNDER in 8 of Minnesota's last 11 games at home
The Vikings are 1-4 ATS in its last 5 games when playing Chicago
Minnesota is 6-2 SU in its last 8 games when playing Chicago
The total has gone UNDER in 10 of Minnesota's last 14 games when playing Chicago
The Vikings are 4-2 ATS in its last 6 games when playing at home against Chicago
Minnesota is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games when playing at home against Chicago
The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Minnesota's last 7 games when playing at home against Chicago

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NFL Week 17: Texans Host the Jaguars

Houston Texans Football

Texans Look to Clinch AFC South and More With Help





The Jacksonville Jaguars and the Houston Texans meet at NRG Stadium on Sunday afternoon. The Texans can clinch the AFC South with a win or Titans and Colts Tie. They can also clinch home field and other advantages with help from some other teams. The entire scenario is explained further down the article.





TV: 1 p.m. ET, CBS. LINE: Texans -7 ;O/U: 40.





The Houston Texans were in a position to clinch a first-round bye in the AFC playoffs and possibly the No. 1 overall seed. But they dropped two of their last three games.





Houston will clinch the AFC South with a win and can grab the No. 2 seed with a win and a loss by the New England Patriots. The Pats close out the regular season by hosting the New York Jets. The Jaguars already clinched last place in the AFC South after reaching the AFC championship game last season. They are reduced to the role of spoiler on Sunday.





The Jaguars are 5-10 going into NFL Week 17. Jacksonville coach Doug Marrone benched quarterback Blake Bortles following a seven-game losing streak. Bortles will return to the starting role Sunday after he came on in relief and led a field-goal drive at Miami last week. The Jaguars averaged 11.3 points in the four games Cody Kessler started in place of Bortles.





The Texans are 10-5 going into week 17 and that is a minor miracle after starting the season 0-3. Houston suffered a 32-30 loss at Philadelphia last week. It wasn't for lack of effort from quarterback Deshaun Watson. He wowed teammates and coaches with his performance. Watson threw for 339 yards and a pair of touchdowns against the Eagles. He rushed for two more scores. He needs 69 passing yards on Sunday to reach 4,000 for the first time in his career.





PREDICTION: Texans 24, Jaguars 13





NFL Betting Odds & Trends






Jacksonville Jaguars
The Jaguars are 2-7-2 ATS in its last 11 games
Jacksonville is 2-9 SU in its last 11 games
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Jacksonville's last 6 games
The Jaguars are 1-4-1 ATS in its last 6 games on the road
The Jaguars are 1-5 SU in its last 6 games on the road
The total has gone OVER in 4 of Jacksonville's last 5 games on the road
The Jaguars are 2-7 SU in its last 9 games when playing Houston
Jacksonville is 5-1 ATS in its last 6 games when playing on the road against Houston
The Jaguars are 2-6 SU in its last 8 games when playing on the road against Houston

Houston Texans
The Texans are 6-12-2 ATS in its last 20 games
The Texans are 10-2 SU in its last 12 games
The total has gone OVER in 4 of Houston's last 6 games
Houston is 3-6 ATS in its last 9 games at home
The Texans are 5-1 SU in its last 6 games at home
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Houston's last 6 games at home
The Texans are 7-2 SU in its last 9 games when playing Jacksonville
Houston is 1-5 ATS in its last 6 games when playing at home against Jacksonville
The Texans are 6-2 SU in its last 8 games when playing at home against Jacksonville

NFL Playoff Scenarios for Houston





Houston can clinch the AFC South division title and home-field advantage throughout AFC playoffs with:

1) HOU win + NE loss or tie + KC loss + LAC loss + HOU clinches a tie in strength of victory tiebreaker over KC





Houston can clinch the AFC South division title and a first-round bye with:
1) HOU win + NE loss or tie
2) HOU win + KC loss + LAC loss + HOU clinches a tie in strength of victory tiebreaker over KC
3) HOU tie + NE loss
4) IND-TEN tie + NE loss + BAL win + HOU clinches a tie in strength of victory tiebreaker over BAL





Houston can clinch the AFC South division title with:

1) HOU win or tie

2) IND-TEN tie





NFL Playoff Scenario Source





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Saturday, December 29, 2018

Trail Blazers Host Warriors Friday Night

Trail Blazers Basketball

Warriors Look for Revenge in Back to Back Meetings





The Golden State Warriors (23-13 SU, 14-22 ATS) came out of the holidays as the top team in the Pacific Division. They’re not playing like the juggernauts of recent memory though. They won’t have their big off-season acquisition ready for Saturday’s road game against the Portland Trail Blazers (20-15 SU, 17-18 ATS).





Tip-off is at 10 PM ET on NBA-TV. Line: Warriors -5; O/U: 226.





The Warriors had hoped that DeMarcus Cousins might be ready to make his 2018-19 season debut on or shortly after Christmas Day. His recovery from last year’s torn Achilles is taking some time. Cousins’ rehab might even extend into February. That is leaving Golden State’s front-court in some disarray . Damian Jones is also out indefinitely with a torn pectoral.

Portland has a healthy lineup going into Saturday’s matchup, but they’re an average team at best right now. They are outscoring teams by an average of 0.1 points per game. The Warriors have a point differential of plus-4.0. PG Damian Lillard is scoring 27.5 points per 36 minutes for the Blazers. Most of his back-court teammates defense leaves something to be desired. Big men Jusuf Nurkic and Zach Collins supply most of Portland’s stopping power





This, That, and a Dart Throw





Damian Lillard didn't miss his chance to win a game in overtime on Thursday, but Kevin Durant did. Durant and the Warriors will try to get some quick revenge against the Trail Blazers on Saturday in the back end of the home-and-home set. Lillard buried a 3-pointer with 6.3 seconds left in overtime on Thursday. It gave the Trail Blazers a 110-109 lead that became the final when Durant missed a jumper at the other end.





Golden State dropped its last two games and three of the last five. The team continues to look for the form that enabled them to win three of the last four NBA titles. Steph Curry finished with 29 points and seven assists on Thursday. He also committed the turnover that led to Lillard's go-ahead 3-pointer. Curry is 9-of-16 from 3-point range over the last three contests. Klay Thompson went 2-of-9 from 3-point range. He is shooting 20.8 percent from beyond the arc over the last eight games.





Portland center Jusuf Nurkic collected 27 points on 10-of-18 shooting. He also had 12 rebounds on Thursday. He took advantage of a Warriors team lacking a true center. Nurkic was one of the few Trail Blazer players to enjoy a decent shooting night Thursday. The rest of the club shot 32.2 percent from the floor.





PREDICTION: Warriors 112, Trail Blazers 106





NBA Betting Odds & Trends






Golden State Warriors
The Warriors are 0-5 ATS in its last 5 games
Golden State is 8-4 SU in its last 12 games
The total has gone UNDER in 7 of Golden State's last 10 games
The Warriors are 4-1 SU in its last 5 games on the road
The Warriors are 1-4 ATS in its last 5 games when playing Portland
Golden State is 12-3 SU in its last 15 games when playing Portland
The total has gone OVER in 18 of Golden State's last 24 games when playing Portland
The Warriors are 5-2 SU in its last 7 games when playing on the road against Portland
The total has gone OVER in 10 of Golden State's last 11 games when playing on the road against Portland

Portland Trail Blazers
The Trail Blazers are 6-13 ATS in its last 19 games
The Trail Blazers are 5-2 SU in its last 7 games
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Portland's last 5 games
Portland is 4-2 ATS in its last 6 games at home
The Trail Blazers are 5-1 SU in its last 6 games at home
The total has gone UNDER in 10 of Portland's last 14 games at home
The Trail Blazers are 4-1 ATS in its last 5 games when playing Golden State
Portland is 3-12 SU in its last 15 games when playing Golden State
The total has gone OVER in 18 of Portland's last 24 games when playing Golden State
The Trail Blazers are 2-5 SU in its last 7 games when playing at home against Golden State
The total has gone OVER in 10 of Portland's last 11 games when playing at home against Golden State

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Orange Bowl: Oklahoma Sooners vs Alabama Crimson Tide

Orange Bowl

Sooners and Crimson Tide On Collision Course





The Oklahoma Sooners and the Alabama Crimson Tide will on Saturday at Hard Rock Stadium. They will be playing in t he Capital One Orange Bowl. The bowl game is the setting for a College Football Playoff semifinal matchup. These two squads have the two top ranked offenses in the nation.





TV: 8 p.m. ET, ESPN. LINE: Alabama -14; O.U: 80.5.





Top-seeded, and top-ranked, Alabama begins pursuit of a second straight College Football Playoff title. It would be the third in five seasons with a win. when it matches up with fourth-seeded Oklahoma in a semifinal game at the Orange Bowl in Miami. The Crimson Tide sailed through the regular season without a close call. They then had a heavyweight title fight in the SEC Championship game. They notched a 35-28 victory over Georgia. The fourth-seeded Sooners engaged in several shootouts during a one-loss season. They are back in the CFP for the third time in the past four seasons.





Oklahoma junior QB Kyler Murray won the Heisman Trophy over Alabama sophomore Tua Tagovailoa. Both quarterbacks put up superb statistics this season. Murray passed for 4,053 yards and 40 touchdowns and had only seven interceptions. He also rushed for 892 yards and 11 scores. Tagovailoa threw for 3,353 yards and 37 touchdowns and was only picked off four times. While Murray ponders whether to change his plan of playing professional baseball (1st round draft pick and signed with the Oakland Athletics) in favor of the NFL, Tagovailoa has more immediate concerns. He recovering from the left ankle surgery he underwent earlier this month after the beating he took against the Bulldogs. He is also dealing with season-long issues with his right knee.





While they are the top two scoring teams in the nation, Oklahoma at 49.5 points per game, Alabama at 47.9, the Crimson Tide has a huge edge on defense. The Crimson Tide ranks fourth in scoring defense at 14.8 ppg and held eight opponents to 17 points or fewer. The Sooners are giving up 32.4 per game gave up 40 or more five times. It was four straight November games where the defense got pummeled. The Sooners lone blemish is a 48-45 loss to Texas on Oct. 6th. The unit faces a huge challenge in slowing down an Alabama attack that rolled up 45 or more points nine times.





This, That, and a Dart Throw





The Sooners were 12-1 overall and 8-1 in the Big 12 during the regular season. The status of All-American receiver Marquise Brown may remain unclear until close to game time, but he is expected to play. He suffered a left lower-leg injury in the Big 12 title game victory over Texas. Brown has 75 receptions for 1,318 yards and 10 touchdown receptions. He is one of a strong cast of skill players Murray has at his disposal. Wideout CeeDee Lamb has 57 catches for 1,049 yds and 10 scores. Running back Kennedy Brooks rushed for 1,021 yards and 12 touchdowns. RB Trey Sermon chipped in 928 yards rushing and 12 scores. The terrible defense has solid players in middle linebacker Kenneth Murray. He had 140 tackles and four sacks. Weak-side linebacker Curtis Bolton had 130 stops with four sacks.





The Crimson Tide made it through a brutal schedule undefeated. Tagovailoa also has an All-American target in wideout Jerry Jeudy. He has 59 catches for 1,103 yards and 12 touchdowns. Henry Ruggs III chipped in 42 catches for 724 yards. He also has been a big-play target with 10 scoring catches. All-American defensive tackle Quinnen Williams put together one of the top campaigns of any defensive player in the nation. He had 18 tackles for loss, including eight sacks, while making 66 stops. All-American safety Deionte Thompson had two interceptions and four forced fumbles. Linebacker Dylan Moses had a team-high 76 tackles.





PREDICTION: Alabama 56, Oklahoma 24





Capital One Orange Bowl Trends





Alabama Crimson Tide Trends





  • Trend Over is 9-2 in Crimson Tide last 11 bowl games as a favorite of 3.5-10.0. Hit % 81.80% (11) O/U 9|2 Push 0 W/L
  • Over is 20-5-2 in Crimson Tide last 27 neutral site games as a favorite. 80.00% (27) 20|5 2
  • Over is 11-3 in Crimson Tide last 14 neutral site games as a favorite of 3.5-10.0. 78.60% (14) 11|3 0
  • Over is 9-1-2 in Crimson Tide last 12 neutral site games as a favorite of 10.5 or greater. 90.00% (12) 9|1 2

Oklahoma Sooners Trends





  • Trend Under is 8-2 in Sooners last 10 neutral site games as a favorite. Hit % 80.00% (10) O/U 20|5 Push 2 W/L
  • Under is 6-1 in Sooners last 7 neutral site games as a favorite of 3.5-10.0. 85.70% (7) 11|3 0
  • Under is 4-0 in Sooners last 4 bowl games as a favorite. 100.00% (4) 10|4 0
  • Over is 8-1 in Sooners last 9 games as a favorite. 88.90% (9) 9|4 1

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Cotton Bowl Classic: Notre Dame Fighting Irish vs Clemson Tigers

2018 Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic

Clemson and Notre Dame Fighting Battle in CFP Semifinals





The fans at AT&T Stadium will see the third-ranked Notre Dame Fighting Irish and the second-ranked Clemson Tigers Saturday afternoon. They will be playing in the 2018 Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic. The game is a College Football Playoff semifinal matchup. The winner earns a spot in the championship game. This is the first time two undefeated teams have played in the College Football Playoff.





TV: 4 p.m. ET, ESPN. LINE: Clemson -11.5; O/U: 57.5.





Clemson will play in the College Football Playoff for the fourth consecutive season. The Tigers are 3-2 in the College Football Playoff over the past three years, including a national title in 2016. They suffered a 24-6 loss to Alabama in last year's semifinal. The Fighting Irish are making their first appearance in the four-team playoff, which was instituted in 2014.





Clemson's offense thrives on big plays. Notre Dame's defense is one of the nation's best at stopping them. Something has got to give. The Tigers rank in the top five in plays of 20, 30, 40, 50 and 60 yards. They have 90 plays of 20 yards or more and 19 of 50 yards or more. The Fighting Irish rank in the top 10 defensively in all those categories. The unit has given up only nine plays of 60 yards or more, the fewest in the nation.





Two of the country's top running backs will be on display this afternoon. Clemson's Travis Etienne and Notre Dame's Dexter Williams are in the upper echelon in the nation. Etienne rushed for 1,434 yards, 21 touchdowns, and averages 8.31 yards per carry. He has topped 150 yards in six games this season. Williams was suspended for the first four games of the season. He has averaged 117.6 rushing yards in eight games. He has scored 12 of his 13 touchdowns on the ground.





This, That, and a Dart Throw





The Fighting Irish ended the regular season 12-0. They are in the ACC in every sport but football, but play 6 games against ACC opponents. Notre Dame had five games decided by eight points or fewer. They only played three ranked teams in the latest Top 25. Notre Dame's offense is not elite, but Williams provides a strong runner to complement quarterback Ian Book. Book passed for 2,468 yards, 19 touchdowns and six interceptions. He has thrown at least two touchdowns in all eight games since becoming the starter. The defense is led by a dominant line and has forced 20 takeaways.





Clemson is also undefeated. The Tigers might be the most well-rounded team in the country. They rank fifth in total offense, scoring offense, second in scoring defense, and sixth in total defense. Etienne and QB Trevor Lawrence have put up big numbers. Lawrence has 2,606 yards passing, 24 TD's and only four interceptions. The Tigers have 10 players who have caught a touchdown pass. Clemson's defense has been a wrecking crew. The squad has racked up 121 tackles for loss and 46 sacks. Defensive end Clelin Ferrell has 17 tackles for loss and10 1/2 sacks. He leads the way. The suspension of projected first round pick, Dexter Lawrence, shouldn't be an issue. Clemson is that deep.





PREDICTION: Clemson 34, Notre Dame 10





Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic Trends





Clemson Tigers Trends





  • Trend Under is 5-2 in Tigers last 7 bowl games as an underdog of 3.5-10.0. Hit % 71.40% (7) O/U 2|5 Push 0 W/L
  • Under is 14-6 in Tigers last 20 games as a favorite of 0.5-3.0. 70.00% (20) 6|14
  • Under is 6-2 in Tigers last 8 neutral site games as an underdog of 3.5-10.0. 75.00% (8) 2|6
  • Under is 4-1 in Tigers last 5 neutral site games as a favorite of 10.5 or greater. 80.00% (5) 1|4

Notre Dame Fighting Irish Trends





  • Trend Under is 10-1 in Fighting Irish last 11 games as an underdog of 10.5 or greater. Hit % 90.90% (11) O/U 1|10 Push 0 W/L
  • Under is 8-2 in Fighting Irish last 10 neutral site games as a favorite. 80.00% (10) 2|8
  • Over is 11-5 in Fighting Irish last 16 games as a favorite of 0.5-3.0. 68.80% (16) 6|14
  • Under is 4-0 in Fighting Irish last 4 neutral site games as a favorite of 3.5-10.0. 100.00% (4) 0|4

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Peach Bowl: Florida Gators vs Michigan Wolverines

Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl

Wolverines Looks to Save Season Against Gators





The fans at Mercedes-Benz Stadium will see the 10th-ranked Florida Gators and the seventh-ranked Michigan Wolverines on Saturday. They will be battling in the 2018 edition of the Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl.





TV: Noon ET, ESPN. LINE: Michigan -4.5; O/U: 51.





The Wolverines harbored serious College Football Playoff hopes heading into their final regular season game against sixth-ranked Ohio State. They suffered a devastating shellacking in a 62-39 loss to the Buckeyes. Michigan looks to overcome the ass-kicking by getting to 11 wins in a season for just the 10th time in program history. The Dan Mullen era at "The Swamp" began with a bang. The Gators raced out to a 6-1 start. They then dropped back-to-back contests against No. 5 Georgia (36-17) and Missouri (38-17). The Gators won three straight games to close out the regular season. Florida looks put an exclamation point on a solid season by knocking off the Wolverines for the first time in program history.





Michigan looks to avoid a bad case of Florida fatigue as they get set to face the Gators for the third time since 2016. The Wolverines routed Florida 41-7 in the 2016 Citrus Bowl. They took the Gators down 33-17 in the 2017 season opener in Arlington, TX. The Wolverines improved to 4-0 all time in the series. They hope a historic loss to their bitter rivals doesn't carry over into the Peach Bowl. Michigan has dropped four of their last five bowl games.





Mullen has restored Florida's swagger this year. He orchestrated victories over No. 11 Louisiana State and 18th-ranked Mississippi State to put the program in position to win 10 games in his first season at the helm. This is a feat which eluded Steve Spurrier and Urban Meyer. Mullen has resuscitated a moribund offense that was 109th in yards per game (335.9) last season. Florida has generated over 500 yards in three consecutive games heading into the Peach Bowl. They hope the month off allows them to keep firing on all cylinders. Michigan tops the nation in total defense at 262.5 yards per game.





This, That, and a Dart Throw





The Wolverines were 10-2 overall and 8-1 in the Big Ten during the regular season. Linebacker Devin Bush was named the Big Ten's Defensive Player of the Year after recording a team-high 80 tackles. That including 9.5 for a loss and throw in five sacks. Bush is likely to forego his senior season in order to turn pro. Defensive end Rashan Gary was selected to Big Ten All-Defensive First Team by the coaches. He missed three games with a shoulder injury and will sit out the Peach Bowl. The projected first-round pick will be preparing for the 2019 NFL Draft. Shea Patterson was a huge upgrade at the quarterback position. The Ole Miss transfer threw for 2,364 yards and 21 touchdowns this season. He will announce whether he will turn pro or come back for another year following the Peach Bowl.





The Gators were 9-3 overall and 5-3 in the SEC during the regular season. Defensive end Jachai Polite was named a Second Team All-American by the Associated Press. He rang up a tally of 16 tackles for loss, 11 sacks and five forced fumbles. Van Jefferson played with Patterson at Ole Miss before transferring to Florida. He leads the Gators in receptions with 31, receiving yards with 439, and touchdowns with 6. Lamical Perine had 750 yards and 6 TD's and Jordan Scarlett had 717 yards and 4 scores. They form an explosive one-two punch in the backfield. Feleipe Franks made big strides in his sophomore season. He threw for 2,284 yards and 23 touchdowns. He added another 276 yards and six scores on the ground.





PREDICTION: Florida 27, Michigan 17





Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl Trends





Michigan Trends





  • Trend Over is 5-0 in Wolverines last 5 games as an underdog of 10.5 or greater. Hit % 100.00% (5) O/U 5|0 Push 0 W/L
  • Over is 4-0 in Wolverines last 4 bowl games as a favorite of 3.5-10.0. 100.00% (4) 4|0
  • Over is 4-0 in Wolverines last 4 neutral site games as a favorite. 100.00% (4) 4|0
  • Under is 4-0 in Wolverines last 4 games as a favorite of 0.5-3.0. 100.00% (4) 0|4

Florida Trends





  • Trend Over is 5-1 in Gators last 6 games as an underdog of 10.5 or greater. Hit % 83.30% (6) O/U 5|0 Push 0 W/L
  • Under is 4-0 in Gators last 4 neutral site games as a favorite. 100.00% (4) 4|0
  • Under is 7-2 in Gators last 9 games as a favorite of 0.5-3.0. 77.80% (9) 0|4
  • Under is 5-2 in Gators last 7 neutral site games as a favorite of 3.5-10.0. 71.40% (7) 5|0

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Friday, December 28, 2018

Alamo Bowl: Iowa State Cyclones vs Washington State Cougars

Valero Alamo Bowl

First Meeting Between Cyclones and Cougars





The 24th-ranked Iowa State Cyclones and the 13th-ranked Washington State Cougars will meet on Friday at the Alamodome. They are participating in the 2018 Valero Alamo Bowl.





TV: 9 p.m. ET, ESPN. LINE: Washington State -2.5; O/U: 56.5.





The Iowa State and Washington State football programs have each been around for approximately 125 years. They'll meet for the first time ever in the Valero Alamo Bowl. Iowa State rallied behind QB Brock Purdy to tie for third in the Big 12 with West Virginia. They earned this bid based on their 30-14 win against the Mountaineers, who were ranked No. 6 at the time. Purdy made his first career start in that game and threw three touchdown passes. He has remained a steady force for the Cyclones, leading them to a 6-1 mark as a starter.





Washington State tied for first in the North Division of the Pac-12. They missed out on the conference championship game when they lost to Washington 28-15 in the regular-season finale. The Cougars are led by quarterback Gardner Minshew. He is a senior transfer from East Carolina who passed for 4,477 yards and 36 touchdowns this season. Opposing defenses only managed nine interceptions and 11 sacks against the agile signal caller. Washington State coach Mike Leach has faced Iowa State four times in his career, owning a 3-1 mark. This was while coaching Texas Tech from 2000-2009.





Much of the focus is going to be on the quarterbacks. Iowa State sported the top-ranked defense in the Big 12 during the regular season, only allowing an average of 22.5 points a game. The leader on that side of the ball is safety Greg Eisworth. He is a community college transfer who was named the Big 12 Defensive Newcomer of the Year by conference coaches. Eisworth led the Cyclones with 7.6 tackles a game. Iowa State will likely gear its defense toward the pass. Washington State ranked second-to-last in rushing among 129 FBS teams during the regular season.





This, That, and a Dart Throw





Iowa State was 8-4 overall and 6-3 in the Big 12 during the regular season. The Cyclones ranked last in the Big 12 in rushing offense at 124.3 yards a game. They had the third-most productive running back in the conference in David Montgomery. He who averaged 99.3 yards a game and was Iowa State's lone first-team all-conference selection. Montgomery missed a 48-42 victory against Oklahoma State on Oct. 6 with an upper arm injury. It was feared at the time that Montgomery would be out longer, but he came back with a season-high 189 yards the following week against West Virginia. He enters the Alamo Bowl with back-to-back 100-yard efforts.





Washington State was 10-2 overall and 7-2 in the Pac-12 during the regular season. The snowy conditions played a huge role in Washington State's loss to Washington last month. Minshew didn't throw a touchdown pass for the first time this season. He was held to 152 passing yards after throwing for at least 319 in every other game. Minshew won't need to deal with adverse weather inside the Alamodome. Minshew hasn't looked for wide receivers Dezmon Patmon and Easop Winston much the last two games. That should change on the speedy turf.





PREDICTION: Washington State 38, Iowa State 24





Valero Alamo Bowl Trends





Washington State Cougar Trends





  • Trend Under is 8-2 in Cougars last 10 games as an underdog of 10.5 or greater. Hit % 80.00% (10) O/U 2|8 Push 0 W/L
  • Under is 6-1 in Cougars last 7 games as a favorite of 0.5-3.0. 85.70% (7) 1|6 0
  • Under is 4-1 in Cougars last 5 games as a favorite. 80.00% (5) 1|4 0
  • Over is 5-1-1 in Cougars last 7 games as an underdog of 3.5-10.0. 83.30% (7) 5|1 1

Iowa State Cyclones Trends





  • Trend Under is 7-0 in Cyclones last 7 games as a favorite of 0.5-3.0. Hit % 100.00% (7) O/U 1|6 Push 0 W/L
  • Under is 26-7-1 in Cyclones last 34 games as a favorite. 78.80% (34) 1|4 0
  • Under is 3-0-1 in Cyclones last 4 bowl games as an underdog. 100.00% (4) 0|3 1
  • Under is 7-2 in Cyclones last 9 games as an underdog of 3.5-10.0. 77.80% (9) 5|1 1

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Camping World Bowl: West Virginia Mountaineers vs Syracuse Orange

Syracuse Takes on Depleted West Virginia





The 20th-ranked Syracuse Orange and the 16th-ranked West Virginia Mountaineers meet on Friday at Camping World Stadium. They will battle in the 2018 Camping World Bowl. This game had the potential to be a entertaining track meet, but that may not develop by players electing to bypass the game for their NFL future.





TV: 5:15 p.m. ET, ESPN. LINE: Syracuse -3; O/U: 67.5.





No. 16 West Virginia will be missing a pair of studs on offense when they take on No. 20 Syracuse in the Camping World Bowl. The Mountaineers have announced that quarterback Will Grier and left tackle Yodny Cajuste will skip the game to prepare for their careers in the NFL. The betting line has been turned on it's head in recent days. West Virginia opened as a 6.5-point favorite and are now sitting as 3-point underdogs. The total has dropped from 74 to 67.5.





Grier would have served as one-half of a senior quarterback matchup. Instead that matchup will pit sophomore Jack Allison against Syracuse senior Eric Dungey. The Orange field general has thrown 17 touchdowns and only seven interceptions. He also has 15 rushing scores to go with his 732 rushing yards, which is second on the squad.





There could be plenty of points in this contest, as Syracuse scores 40.8 points on average and gives up 27.8. West Virginia averages 42.3 points, although with the absence of Grier and Cajuste will alter the Mountaineers' offensive potential in this one. West Virginia will not be without talent on offense. Wideouts Gary Jennings Jr. and David Sills V have posted 115 combined catches for 1,823 yards and 28 touchdowns.





This, That, and a Dart Throw





West Virginia was 8-3 overall and 6-3 in the Big 12 during the regular season. The Mountaineers allowed 104 points in losing their final two games of the regular season. The losses to Oklahoma State and Oklahoma saw the D giving up 35 fourth-quarter points in the two games. Allison has only thrown 10 passes this season and will rely on the trio of Kennedy McKoy, Martell Pettaway and Leddie Brown. The trio combined for over 1,700 rushing yards and 17 touchdowns. Grier had 37 touchdowns and only eight interceptions. He is considered one of the top quarterbacks available in the NFL Draft, while Allison is widely expected to take over as the Mountaineers' starting quarterback next season. This game could go a long way in determining that.





Syracuse was 9-3 overall and 6-2 in the ACC during the regular season. The Orange won five of their final six games after a mid-season lull. They scored at least 40 points in each of those victories. They had a 42-21 shellacking at Boston College in the regular-season finale. Moe Neal has 827 yards and is the team's leading rusher. The issue is, he has only found the end zone in three of Syracuse's 12 games. On special teams, the Orange boast an All-American kicker in Andre Szmyt. The freshman was 28-of-32 on field goals. First-team All-ACC punter Sterling Hofrichter should give them a nice advantage if the bowl game becomes a field-position battle.





PREDICTION: Syracuse 56, West Virginia 27





Camping World Bowl Trends





Syracuse Trends





  • Trend Under is 5-0 in Orange last 5 games as an underdog of 10.5 or greater. Hit % 100.00% (5) O/U 0|5 Push 0 W/L
  • Under is 5-1-1 in Orange last 7 games as a favorite of 0.5-3.0. 83.30% (7) 1|5 1
  • Under is 5-0 in Orange last 5 neutral site games as an underdog of 3.5-10.0. 100.00% (5) 0|5 0
  • Over is 5-2 in Orange last 7 games as a favorite. 71.40% (7) 5|2 0

West Virginia Trends





  • Trend Under is 5-1 in Mountaineers last 6 games as a favorite of 0.5-3.0. Hit % 83.30% (6) O/U 1|5 Push 1 W/L
  • Over is 4-0 in Mountaineers last 4 games as a favorite. 100.00% (4) 5|2 0
  • Over is 3-1-1 in Mountaineers last 5 games as an underdog of 3.5-10.0. 75.00% (5) 6|20 1
  • Over is 6-2 in Mountaineers last 8 games as a favorite of 10.5 or greater. 75.00% (8) 6|2 0

Meetings Trends





  • Trend Under is 4-1 in the last 5 meetings. Hit % 80.00% (5) O/U 1|4 Push 0 W/L
  • Mountaineers are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 meetings. 20.00% (5) 0 1|4
  • Mountaineers are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 meetings in Syracuse. 71.40% (7) 0 5|2
  • Underdog is 4-1 ATS in their last 5 meetings. 80.00% (5) 0 1|4






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Thursday, December 27, 2018

Jazz Hosts the 76ers on TNT

Utah Jazz

Jazz Looking to Get Back to .500





The Philadelphia 76ers and the Utah Jazz will meet on Thursday at Vivint Smart Home Arena. Both teams are coming off Christmas Day games with differing results.





TV: 10:30 p.m. ET, TNT, NBCS Philadelphia, AT&T SportsNet Rocky Mountain (Utah) LINE: Jazz -4.5; O/U: 219.5.





The Utah Jazz are starting to find their form. They have wins in three of the last four games and are coming off a dominating Christmas Day performance in a win over the Portland Trail Blazers. The Jazz will be looking to get back to .500 against the Philadelphia 76ers.





Utah is holding its own against some of the best teams in the West. They have wins over Portland (twice) and Golden State in the last four games. The 76ers began their five-game road trip with a 121-114 overtime loss at Boston on Tuesday. They still feel they are headed in the right direction to be able to compete for the Eastern Conference crown.





The 76ers are 22-13 on the season and have battled all year. Philadelphia's starters scored 101 of the team's 114 points on Tuesday. Getting more out of the bench has to be a priority. Power forward Mike Muscala suffered through the roughest night for any of the reserves. He went 1-of-9 from the floor (1-of-8 from beyond the arc). PG Ben Simmons recorded a double-double in each of the last three games, including one triple-double.





The Jazz are 17-18 on the season. Utah held Portland to 39.3 percent shooting on Tuesday. Center Rudy Gobert anchored the defensive effort with seven blocks. Gobert added 18 points on 7-of-10 shooting. He chipped in 14 rebounds for his fifth straight double-double. PG Dante Exum scored 15 points on 7-of-9 shooting Tuesday. He snapped a string of five straight games scoring in single digits.





PREDICTION: Jazz 110, 76ers 98





NBA Betting Odds & Trends






Philadelphia 76ers
The 76ers are 13-6 SU in its last 19 games
The total has gone OVER in 4 of Philadelphia's last 5 games
The 76ers are 5-14 ATS in its last 19 games on the road
The 76ers are 6-13 SU in its last 19 games on the road
The total has gone OVER in 5 of Philadelphia's last 7 games on the road
Philadelphia is 4-2 ATS in its last 6 games when playing Utah
The 76ers are 3-9 SU in its last 12 games when playing Utah
The total has gone UNDER in 8 of Philadelphia's last 10 games when playing Utah
Philadelphia is 7-16-1 ATS in its last 24 games when playing on the road against Utah
The 76ers are 1-12 SU in its last 13 games when playing on the road against Utah
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Philadelphia's last 5 games when playing on the road against Utah

Utah Jazz
The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Utah's last 5 games
The Jazz are 5-1 ATS in its last 6 games at home
The Jazz are 5-1 SU in its last 6 games at home
The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Utah's last 5 games at home
The Jazz are 2-4 ATS in its last 6 games when playing Philadelphia
Utah is 9-3 SU in its last 12 games when playing Philadelphia
The total has gone UNDER in 8 of Utah's last 10 games when playing Philadelphia
Utah is 7-3 ATS in its last 10 games when playing at home against Philadelphia
The Jazz are 12-1 SU in its last 13 games when playing at home against Philadelphia
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Utah's last 5 games when playing at home against Philadelphia






Next up:
Philadelphia at Portland Sunday, December 30
Utah home to New York Saturday, December 29





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Texas Bowl: Baylor Bears vs Vanderbilt Commodores

2018 Texas Bowl

Vandy and Baylor Want to End Strong





The Baylor Bears and the Vanderbilt Commodores will meet at NRG Stadium on Thursday Night. They will be playing in the 2018 Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl. Boy that was a mouthful.





TV: 9 p.m. ET, ESPN. LINE: Vanderbilt -4; O/U: 57.





Baylor's big turnaround landed them in the Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl. The Bears followed a one-win season in Matt Rhule's first year with a 6-6 record and a trip to a bowl game. Rhule's Temple team beat Vanderbilt 37-7 in the 2014 opener. That was coach Derek Mason's first game with the Commodores.





Vanderbilt running back Ke'Shawn Vaughn had 1,001 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns on 144 carries this season. He averaged an SEC-best 6.95 yards per carry. He also led SEC backs with seven runs of 40 or more yards. Vaughn also averaged 13.1 yards per catch out of the backfield. He will be a huge test for a Baylor team that allowed 172.8 rushing yards per game. The Bears will also try to establish a ground attack as well. They averaged 208.5 rushing yards in their six wins. That was 98 yards better than in their six losses.





The Bears will be without receiver Jalen Hurd. He played through a knee injury in the regular-season finale and he helped the Bears beat Texas Tech. Hurd was named the Big 12's offensive newcomer of the year after producing 69 receptions for 946 yards and four touchdowns. He had a operation on Dec. 4 that will keep him out. Hurd was converted from running back to receiver after transferring from Tennessee. He hopes to be healthy enough to play in the Senior Bowl in late January.





This, That, and a Dart Throw





Baylor was 6-6 overall and 4-5 in the Big 12 during the regular season. The Bears will need to focus on protecting quarterback Charlie Brewer. The athletic QB had 2,635 yards, 17 passing touchdowns, and six rushing touchdowns during the year. They will have to protect the ball after having a Big 12-worst minus-9 turnover margin. The line also allowed a conference-high 37 sacks. Running back John Lovett had 546 yards and five touchdowns. He is coming off a career-high 126 rushing yards in the regular-season finale. Receiver Denzel Mims had 49 catches, 699 yards, and a team-high eight touchdowns. He will try to replace some of Hurd's production. The Bears lead the country with seven blocked kicks.





Vanderbilt was 6-6 overall and 3-5 in the SEC during the regular season. Quarterback Kyle Shurmur had 2,844 yards and 23 passing touchdowns. He finished the regular season on a roll by completing 73.2 percent of his passes for 999 yards, 11 touchdowns and one interception over the final four games. He needs 119 passing yards, seven completions and 16 attempts to pass Jay Cutler's Vanderbilt career records. Shurmur already has the career record with 63 touchdown passes. He threw 16 of his TD's to receiver Kalija Lipscomb. Lipscomb had 81 catches and 886 yards receiving. Tight end Jared Pinkney chipped in 45 catches and 698 yards. Cornerback Joejuan Williams had four of the team's 12 interceptions. Vanderbilt finished the regular season plus-8 in turnover margin.





PREDICTION: Vanderbilt 31, Baylor 28





Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl Trends





Vanderbilt Commodores





  • Trend Under is 13-3 in Commodores last 16 games as an underdog of 10.5 or greater. Hit % 81.20% (16) O/U 3|13 Push 0 W/L
  • Under is 7-3 in Commodores last 10 games as a favorite. 70.00% (10) 3|7 0
  • Over is 6-2 in Commodores last 8 games as an underdog of 3.5-10.0. 75.00% (8) 6|2 0
  • Under is 5-1 in Commodores last 6 games as an underdog. 83.30% (6) 1|5 0

Baylor Bears





  • Trend Over is 5-2 in Bears last 7 games as an underdog of 10.5 or greater. Hit % 71.40% (7) O/U 3|13 Push 0 W/L
  • Over is 9-0 in Bears last 9 neutral site games as a favorite. 100.00% (9) 9|0 0
  • Over is 10-1-1 in Bears last 12 games as a favorite of 0.5-3.0. 90.90% (12) 10|1 1
  • Over is 5-0 in Bears last 5 neutral site games as a favorite of 10.5 or greater. 100.00% (5) 5|0 0

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Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Cheez-It Bowl: California Golden Bears vs TCU Horned Frogs

2018 Cheez-It Bowl

Defenses Front and Center in Cheez-It Bowl





The fans at Chase Field will see the TCU Horned Frogs and the California Golden Bears on Wednesday evening. They are participants in the 2018 Cheez-It Bowl. This Bowl has been around since 1989 and had several names. Staring as the Copper Bowl, then the Insight.com Bowl, then the Cactus Bowl and finally the name it has now.





TV: 9 p.m. ET, ESPN. LINE: TCU -1 ; O.U: 38.5.





Defense figures to be at center stage when California and TCU Tonight. Cal is allowing only 21.3 points per game, while TCU is close behind at 24.4. The Horned Frogs are 6-0 against Pac-12 opponents under coach Gary Patterson. That included a 39-37 victory over Stanford in last year's Alamo Bowl.





Linebackers Evan Weaver and Jordan Kunaszyk have a combined 275 tackles for the Golden Bears. They had won four of five before losing 23-13 to Stanford on Dec. 1. The Bears opened Pac-12 play with three straight losses. Later the team recorded signature wins over Washington (12-10) and USC (15-14). Cal secured a bowl berth for only the second time in seven years. Kunaszyk received first team All-Pac-12 honors after recording 11 tackles for loss, four sacks and five forced fumbles.





The Horned Frogs dropped five of its first eight games and it looked like a long season. They finished by winning three of its last four, including a 31-24 home win over Oklahoma State in the season finale. The Horned Frogs held opponents to an average of 344.4 yards per game. They have been especially tough against the pass. The unit is allowing only 202.6 yards through the air. The team boasts two of the top defensive ends in the country. They have first team All-Big 12 selections Ben Banogu and L.J. Collier. The duo combined for 12.5 sacks.





This, That, and a Dart Throw





The Golden Bears were 7-5 overall and 4-5 in the PAC-12 during the regular season. Cal had the worst passing offense in the Pac-12 with an average of 188.1 yards per game. Running back Patrick Laird rushed for 932 yards and had five touchdowns. He will be asked to carry a heavy load against the Horned Frogs. The defense is led by Kunaszyk and Weaver. Weaver had nine tackles for loss, 4.5 sacks and two interceptions. Cal's impressive special teams unit features several standouts. Punter Steven Coutts is solid and kick returner Ashtyn Davis averages 26.1 yards per kickoff return.





TCU was 6-6 overall and 4-5 in the Big 12 during the regular season. The Horned Frogs won three games scoring 17 points or fewer. The wins were over Iowa State, Kansas State and Baylor. They finished seventh in the Big 12 in passing offense at 226.8 yards per game. Third-string quarterback Grayson Muehlstein took over late in the season. Five players earned second team All-Big 12 honors. The players are safety Ridwan Issahaku, offensive tackle Lucas Niang, wide receiver Jalen Reagor and cornerback Jeff Gladney. Gladney had(one interception and 13 breakups. Reagor has caught a touchdown pass in seven consecutive games. He finished the regular season with a team-high 72 receptions for 1,061 yards and nine scores.





PREDICTION: TCU 21, Cal 14





Cheez-It Bowl Odds & Trends





TCU Horned Frogs Trends





  • Trend Over is 5-1 in Horned Frogs last 6 games as an underdog of 10.5 or greater. Hit % 83.30% (6)
  • Under is 5-0 in Horned Frogs last 5 bowl games as a favorite of 3.5-10.0. 100.00% (5)
  • Under is 8-3-1 in Horned Frogs last 12 neutral site games as a favorite. 72.70% (12)
  • Under is 10-3-1 in Horned Frogs last 14 games as a favorite of 0.5-3.0. 76.90% (14)

California Golden Bears Trends





  • Trend Under is 4-0 in Golden Bears last 4 games as an underdog of 10.5 or greater. Hit % 100.00% (4)
  • Over is 7-1 in Golden Bears last 8 neutral site games as a favorite. 87.50% (8)
  • Over is 6-1 in Golden Bears last 7 bowl games as a favorite. 85.70% (7)
  • Over is 21-6 in Golden Bears last 27 games as a favorite of 10.5 or greater. 77.80% (27)

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Quick Lane Bowl: Minnesota Golden Gophers vs Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets

Yellow Jackets Johnson Coaching Final Game





The fans at Ford Field will see the Minnesota Golden Gophers and the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets on Wednesday afternoon. The teams are meeting in the 2018 Quick Lane Bowl. The bowl game features teams from the Big Ten conference and the ACC.





TV: 5:15 p.m. ET, ESPN. LINE: Georgia Tech -6; O/U: 57.





It is the end of an era for Georgia Tech. Eleventh year coach Paul Johnson will direct the Yellow Jackets for the final time. The 61-year-old announced he is stepping down after the game. He has spent the time since trying to deflect attention from his farewell. Johnson's triple-option offense has given opponents fits over the years. The Yellow Jacket offense also ranks among the nation's top rushing attacks year-in and year-out.





The Yellow Jackets reached their ninth bowl under Johnson, and it wasn't easy. The team can give thanks to a furious late-season hot streak that erased a 1-3 start. They finished with six victories in seven games. Those victories weren't against cupcakes either. They included wins over Virginia Tech, Miami and Virginia. The rushing offense remains the focal point. Georgia Tech has rushed for a FBS-leading 334.9 yards per contest. Quarterbacks TaQuon Marshall and Tobias Oliver have combined for 1,703 rushing yards and 23 touchdowns. The duo also has passed for a total of 990 yards.





Minnesota won three of its final five games to become bowl eligible. It included a stunning 37-15 rout at Wisconsin to beat the Badgers for the first time since 2003. The Golden Gophers season may have turned when Joe Rossi was elevated to interim defensive coordinator on Nov. 3rd. Minnesota allowed only 49 points in its final three games. Before that they had surrendered 40-plus points in four of the previous six matchups. Minnesota will not have leading tackler Blake Cashman, as he is foregoing his remaining eligibility to prepare for the NFL Draft.





This, That, and a Dart Throw





The Golden Gophers were 6-6 overall and 3-6 in the Big Ten during the regular season. Cashman is one of two starters to skip the Quick Lane Bowl. Left tackle Donnell Green is following suit. That means new starters will be in place. Linebacker Jacob Huff will be one of those new starters. He recorded 10 tackles in each of Minnesota's final two games. Running back Mohamed Ibrahim is ninth in the Big Ten in rushing with 936 yards. He has also chipped in seven touchdowns in nine games. Quarterback Tanner Morgan has played more as the season has progressed. He is completing 59 percent of his pass attempts.





The Yellow Jackets were 7-5 overall and 5-3 in the ACC during the regular season. Georgia Tech scores plenty of points. as they average 36.6 per game. The issue is they have allowed 28.9 per contest. Two of the worst performances came against powerhouses Clemson and Georgia. They gave up 49 and 45 points, respectfully. Defensive lineman Anree Saint-Amour recorded team highs in tackles for loss (11), sacks (four) and forced fumbles (three). He also intercepted two passes. Marshall has rushed for 100-plus yards four times in 11 games. He has surpassed 100 passing yards just three times. Two of those games coming against Alcorn State and Bowling Green.





PREDICTION: Georgia Tech 41, Minnesota 27





Quick Lane Bowl Betting Odds & Trends






Minnesota Golden Gophers
Minnesota is 3-6 SU in its last 9 games

Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets
Georgia Tech is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games
The total has gone OVER in 4 of Georgia Tech's last 5 games


Team Last 5 Games
Minnesota Golden Gophers





DateOpponentscoreResultlineATS Resultoffensive rush yardsoffensive passing yardsoffensive total yardsdefensive rush yardsdefensive passing yardsdefensive total yardsturnoversLocation
Nov 24, 2018WISCSN37-15W11.5/53.5W/U201124325170189359-4A
Nov 17, 2018NWESTN14-24L-3/49L/U109197306952303253H
Nov 10, 2018PURDUE41-10W10.5/58.5W/U265150415881452330H
Nov 3, 2018ILLINO31-55L-9.5/61.5L/O178260438430216646-1A
Oct 26, 2018INDIAN38-31W2.5/54W/O1803024821532323851H


Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets





DateOpponentscoreResultlineATS Resultoffensive rush yardsoffensive passing yardsoffensive total yardsdefensive rush yardsdefensive passing yardsdefensive total yardsturnoversLocation
Nov 24, 2018GEORGI21-45L17/60.5L/O12891219285162447-1A
Nov 17, 2018VIRGNA30-27W-6.5/52.5L/O26837305130273403-1H
Nov 10, 2018MI-FL27-21W-1/51W/U23173304134165299-2H
Nov 3, 2018UNC38-28W-4/65.5W/O4611045651662083740A
Oct 25, 2018VTECH49-28W3/58.5W/O4650465122201323-1A

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First Responder Bowl: Boston College Eagles vs Boise State Broncos

First Responder Bowl

Boise State & Boston College Match up Well





The Boston College Eagles and the Boise State Broncos meet on Wednesday afternoon at the Cotton Bowl Stadium in Dallas, TX. They will be playing in the 2018 SERVPRO First Responder Bowl. It was formerly the Heart of Dallas Bowl.





TV: 1:30 p.m. ET, ESPN. LINE: Boise State -2.5; O/U: 49.





Both Boston College and Boise State will be trying to rebound from disappointing endings to their regular seasons. The Eagles saw a promising season torpedoed by three straight losses. That includes a 21-point home loss against Syracuse to end the season. Boise State had won seven in a row before falling to Fresno State in the Mountain West title game. The Broncos did finish with double-digit victories for the 16th time in their last 20 seasons





Boston College coach Steve Addazio will finish with a 7-6 record for the fifth time in his six seasons if he loses this matchup. The school still likes the direction of the program and has rewarded him with a two-year extension. That will keep him with the team through 2022, in theory. Addazio is 38-38 with the Eagles and 1-3 in bowl games. He'll be matching wits with fifth-year Boise State coach Bryan Harsin. He is former quarterback with the Broncos, and Harsin is 52-15 with the program and 3-1 in bowls.





The month-plus of rest should do wonders for the Eagles' star running back A.J. Dillon. He missed two games in the middle of the season with an ankle issue. The bum ankle caused him to struggle at times down the stretch as the injury lingered. Dillon finished with 1,108 yards and 10 touchdowns on the ground. That legs well behind Broncos junior Alexander Mattison. He rushed had 1,415 yards and 17 touchdowns. He had 400 yards over his last two games. Boise State enters the bowl season ranked 23rd nationally in run defense, giving up 122.9 yards per game. Boston College was 52nd, which ranked 154.9.





This, Than, and a Dart Throw





Boston College was 7-5 overall and 4-4 in the ACC during the regular season. Quarterback Anthony Brown threw for 2,121 yards and 20 TD's. He had four of his nine interceptions in the final two games of the regular season. Kobay White had a team-high 33 catches and 526 receiving yards. Jeff Smith led the way with six TD's. The Eagles are tied for the lead nationally with 18 interceptions. Defensive back Hamp Cheevers has seven of them, and is also tied for the most in the country.





Boise State was 10-3 overall and 7-1 in the Mountain West during the regular season. Brett Rypien was the Mountain West Offensive Player of the Year. He won the award after throwing for 3,705 yards and 30 TD's. Both tallies rank top 10 in the nation. Wideouts Sean Modster and A.J. Richardson combined for 1,803 receiving yards. The duo had eight TD's a piece through the air. Only five FBS teams had more sacks than the Broncos' 39. The unit is led by sophomore linebacker Curtis Weaver with 9.5.





PREDICTION: Boise State 33, Boston College 30





SERVPRO First Responder Bowl Betting Odds & Trends






Boston College Eagles
Boston College is 15-6-1 ATS in its last 22 games
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Boston College's last 5 games

Boise State Broncos
Boise State is 7-1 SU in its last 8 games
The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Boise State's last 5 games


Team Last 5 Games
Boston College Eagles





Date
Nov 24, 2018
Nov 17, 2018
Nov 10, 2018
Nov 3, 2018
Oct 26, 2018
DateOpponentscoreResultlineATS Resultoffensive rush yardsoffensive passing yardsoffensive total yardsdefensive rush yardsdefensive passing yardsdefensive total yardsturnoversLocation
Nov 24, 2018SYRACU21-42L-5/61L/O1052513561973625593H
Nov 17, 2018FLAST21-22L-2.5/49.5L/U1252974221563224780A
Nov 10, 2018CLEM7-27L17.5/52L/U9104113129295424-2H
Nov 3, 2018VTECH31-21W-2/57W/U219177396111281392-1A
Oct 26, 2018MI-FL27-14W3.5/49W/U223210433155150305-1H


Boise State Broncos





Date
Dec 1, 2018
Nov 24, 2018
Nov 16, 2018
Nov 9, 2018
Nov 3, 2018
DateOpponentscoreResultlineATS Resultoffensive rush yardsoffensive passing yardsoffensive total yardsdefensive rush yardsdefensive passing yardsdefensive total yardsturnoversLocation
Dec 1, 2018FRESNO16-19L-1.5/51.5L/U225125350118170288-1H
Nov 24, 2018UTAHST33-24W-2.5/64.5W/U19931050962363425-2H
Nov 16, 2018NEWMEX45-14W-21.5/61.5W/U227222449159103262-3A
Nov 9, 2018FRESNO24-17W2.5/55.5W/U1792694481072833901H
Nov 3, 2018BYU21-16W-11.5/53.5L/U11321432796292388-1H






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Monday, December 24, 2018

Raiders Host Broncos on Christmas Eve

Oakland Raiders Football

Monday Night Football with ZERO Playoff Implications





Divisional bragging rights will be about all that is on the line on Monday Night when the Denver Broncos and the Oakland Raiders meet at Oakland Alameda Coliseum. Neither team is eligible for the playoffs, so the most intriguing storyline may be if this is the Raiders last game in Oakland.





TV: 8:15 p.m. ET, ESPN. LINE: Broncos -3 O/U: 42.5





Oakland is in the running for the league's worst record in Jon Gruden's first season as coach. The Raiders may need to find a temporary home while a new stadium is being built in Las Vegas in time for the 2020 season.





Denver's excitement has been tempered by back-to-back losses to Cleveland and San Francisco. There were losses that extinguished its postseason chances. They still expect a rude welcome from the Raiders faithful.





This, That and a Dart Throw





The Broncos are 6-8 on the season. Denver won three in a row to jump into the thick of the AFC playoff race. They then scored a total of 30 points in the losses to the 49ers and Browns. A pair of sub-.500 teams at the time to put the Broncos out of the playoff hunt. Case Keenum was working with a patchwork receiving corps that has three rookies playing prominent roles. He has thrown one touchdown pass and two interceptions in his last two games, despite going to the air 90 times. Rookie running back Phillip Lindsay has been one of the bright spots in the season. He needs just nine yards to reach 1,000 for the year. He was held to 24 on 14 carries by Cleveland. Denver ranks sixth in the league with 42 sacks. They have gotten a total of 26.5 from the linebacker tandem of Miller and rookie Bradley Chubb.





The Raiders are 3-11 going into tonight's game. What a difference one week makes. After throwing for 322 yards and two touchdowns in a 24-21 upset win over Pittsburgh, Derek Carr was sacked five times as Oakland dropped a 30-16 decision to the Bengals. Cincinnati had lost five in a row. Carr, who has not thrown an interception, absorbed 36 sacks in his last nine games. He completed 90.6 percent (29-of-32) of his passes for 288 yards and was taken down only once in a 20-19 loss at Denver in Week 2. Tight end Jared Cook is Carr's top target. He has 63 receptions and six touchdowns. Leading rusher Doug Martin has failed to gain 40 yards in each of his last two games as well. Oakland's pass rush has been non-existent with a league-low 12 sacks. That is a dozen fewer than any other team.





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NFL Betting Odds & Trends






Denver Broncos
The Broncos are 6-3 ATS in its last 9 games
The Broncos are 8-16-1 ATS in its last 25 games
The Broncos are 8-17 SU in its last 25 games
The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Denver's last 5 games
Denver is 4-1 ATS in its last 5 games on the road
The Broncos are 5-12 ATS in its last 17 games on the road
Denver is 4-13 SU in its last 17 games on the road
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Denver's last 5 games on the road
The Broncos are 2-4 ATS in its last 6 games when playing Oakland
Denver is 11-3 SU in its last 14 games when playing Oakland
The total has gone UNDER in 6 of Denver's last 7 games when playing Oakland
The Broncos are 5-2 ATS in its last 7 games when playing on the road against Oakland
Denver is 11-4 SU in its last 15 games when playing on the road against Oakland
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Denver's last 6 games when playing on the road against Oakland

Oakland Raiders
The Raiders are 3-7 ATS in its last 10 games
The Raiders are 3-15 SU in its last 18 games
The total has gone OVER in 4 of Oakland's last 5 games
The total has gone UNDER in 14 of Oakland's last 21 games
The Raiders are 3-5-1 ATS in its last 9 games at home
Oakland is 1-4 SU in its last 5 games at home
The total has gone UNDER in 8 of Oakland's last 11 games at home
The Raiders are 4-2 ATS in its last 6 games when playing Denver
Oakland is 3-11 SU in its last 14 games when playing Denver
The total has gone UNDER in 6 of Oakland's last 7 games when playing Denver
The Raiders are 2-5 ATS in its last 7 games when playing at home against Denver
Oakland is 4-11 SU in its last 15 games when playing at home against Denver
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Oakland's last 6 games when playing at home against Denver

Next up:
Denver home to Los Angeles Sunday, December 30
Oakland at Kansas City Sunday, December 30





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