Monday, October 22, 2018

Monday Night Football: NY Giants vs Atlanta Falcons

Atlanta Falcons Football

Falcons Look to Take Care of Giants at Home

The New York Giants and the Atlanta Falcons will meet on Monday night. This Monday Night Football matchup will be at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. These two teams have struggled much of the season and look to get some momentum going.

TV: 8:15 p.m. ET, ESPN. LINE: Falcons -4 O/U: 54.

Quarterback Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons withstood a late comeback last week. They ended a three-game slide in what may have been a season-saving victory.

That's pretty much the same position the reeling New York Giants, and the much-maligned Eli Manning. find themselves in tonight.

After finishing 3-13 last season and winding up with prize running back Saquon Barkley, New York is off to a 1-5 start. Growing cries that Manning needs to be yanked from the starting lineup magnify with each snap.

Atlanta has plenty of issues of its own. Injuries are the big one. They still have Ryan and favorite target Julio Jones. He is the subject of pregame hype with New York's Odell Beckham Jr. on the opposite sideline.

Giants Need to Help Barkley

Barkley has lived up to his pre-draft hype for the #2 pick in the NFL draft. He rushed for 130 yards and a touchdown and caught nine balls for 99 yards in a 34-13 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles on Oct. 11.

Barkley has a chance to make history against the Falcons. He can join Kansas City's Kareem Hunt as the only players to pile up at least 100 yards from scrimmage in seven consecutive games to begin their career.

Eli Manning continues to have trouble connecting with Beckham. He has averaged 6.5 yards or fewer per pass attempt in four of six games.

New York's defense has allowed 27 points per game and is tied for last in the league with 7.0 sacks.

TE Evan Engram is expected to return after sitting out the last three games.

Falcons Offense is Flying High, Injuries have Decimated Defense

The Falcons have started the season 2-4. They could easily be 5-1 going into tonight's matchup. They lost 3 games in the last 30 seconds.

Ryan is third in the NFL with 1,956 passing yards and has 12 touchdowns. Throw in zero interceptions over the past four games. Ryan threw for 340 yards and three scores in last week's win over Tampa Bay.

Jones had 10 catches for 144 yards against the Buccaneers. He is second in the league with 708 yards, but he has yet to find the end zone. This was after scoring only three touchdowns in 2017. This is an issue Atlanta has to deal with.

Devonta Freeman was put on injured reserve following groin surgery this week. Tevin Coleman and rookie Ito Smith will share the load in the backfield.

Atlanta is 30th in total defense (417.2 yards) and 31 in points allowed (32.0). They have 4 pro-bowl players out for the season, or good portions of it, on defense.

Ryan has an NFL-best 1,432 yards and 128.2 passer rating since Week 3.

DE Takk McKinley has 4.5 sacks in the last five games.

PREDICTION: Falcons 30, Giants 23

NFL Betting Odds & Trends


Next up:
New York home to Washington Sunday, October 28
Atlanta at Washington Sunday, November 4

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Sunday, October 21, 2018

Ducks Host Sabres in NHL Action

Anaheim Ducks

Ducks Catch Sabres at End of Long Trip

The Buffalo Sabres and the Anaheim Ducks meet on Sunday at Honda Center. The Buffalo Sabres hope to conclude their five-game Western road trip with back-to-back victories.

TV: 8 p.m. ET, MSG (Buffalo), FS West (Anaheim).

Oddsmakers have the Ducks as -150-moneyline favorites. The game's total is at 5.5 Under -120.

Buffalo began its trek with a shutout win in Arizona. Then they offense shut down. They only totaled two goals in setbacks against Vegas and San Jose. They then rolling to a 5-1 triumph Saturday in Los Angeles.

Jeff Skinner registered his fifth career hat trick in the win. Jason Pominville recorded a tally and two assists. He hit the 700-point mark in his career.

Anaheim is coming off its second regulation loss in eight games this season. It was a 3-1 setback at Vegas on Saturday. Captain Ryan Getzlaf returned from a groin injury. The Ducks were limited to 18 shots and went 0-for-2 on the power play.

Ben Street has been a big contributor in the wake of Anaheim's early-season injuries. He recorded three goals and two assists over eight games. This is his first season with the team after notching three assists in his first 35 NHL contests.

Sabres Need Consistent Play

The Sabres are 4-4-0 on the season.

The 35-year-old Pominville recorded one point in his first seven contests this season. He is closing in on another milestone. The vet is five games away from 1,000 in the NHL.

Skinner has enjoyed the road trip thus far. He has registered four goals and two assists over the first four games. This was after being held without a point during Buffalo's season-opening four-game homestand.

The 26-year-old needs two power-play points to reach the century mark for his career. He has posted a plus-7 rating through eight games. Last season he finished a career-worst minus-27 while appearing in all 82 contests with Carolina last season.

Sabres captain Jack Eichel notched three assists against the Kings but has gone five games without a goal.

Ducks Are Injury Riddled

Anaheim has started the season 5-2-1.

Getzlaf was sidelined for five games. He registered an assist and delivered six hits while going 8-9 on face-offs in just over 17 minutes of ice time on Saturday.

Pontus Aberg saw just over 13 minutes of action. He recorded one shot and a plus-1 rating after being recalled from San Diego of the American Hockey League on Friday.

The 25-year-old Swedish left wing made his team debut in the season opener. He collected five goals and 13 assists in 68 career games with Nashville and Edmonton. He was claimed off waivers from the Oilers at the beginning of the month.

PREDICTION: Ducks 4, Sabres 2

NHL Betting Odds & Trends


Next up:
Buffalo home to Montreal Thursday, October 25
Anaheim at Chicago Tuesday, October 23

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Clippers Host Rockets on Sunday Evening

LA Clippers

Clippers Look to Take Advantage of Tired Rockets

The Houston Rockets and the Los Angeles Clippers will meet on Sunday at STAPLES Center. The Rockets are playing in STAPLES for the 2nd night in a row.

TV: 9 p.m. ET, AT&T Sportsnet-Southwest (Houston), Prime Ticket (Los Angeles)

Oddsmakers have the Clippers as -1-point favorites. The game's total is now at 222.

Chris Paul's return to Los Angeles was marred by an ugly fight. His status in doubt for Sunday night.

The Rockets opened their two-day, two-game visit to the City of Angels with a 124-115 win over the Lakers on Saturday. The contest featured a melee late in the fourth quarter. Paul and Lakers guard Rajon Rondo exchanged punches.

Rockets Look to Rebound After Rough Night

Reigning MVP James Harden scored nine of his 37 points after the bitch fight. The ruckus happened with just over four minutes remaining. Houston bounced back from a season-opening loss to New Orleans.

Guard Patrick Beverley played his first five seasons with the Rockets. He was shipped to Los Angeles in the trade for Paul in 2017. Beverly will be facing his former team for the first time.

Paul is the Clippers' all-time leader in assists. He recorded 28 points and 10 assists before his ejection. Clint Capela joined Paul in the double-double category. He had 19 points and 12 rebounds.

Gerald Green came off the bench to make 5-of-6 shots. He was  3-of-4 from 3-point range.

Gallinari has made 8-of-12 3-pointers.

Clippers Are at Team in Transition

The Clippers will be capping their season-opening three-game homestand after splitting the first two contests. Danilo Gallinari and Tobias Harris scored 26 points apiece.

Marjanovic played sparingly for the Clippers last season after coming over from Detroit in the deal for Blake Griffin. He's been among the most productive players in the NBA early on.

He has averages of 15.5 points and 6.5 rebounds in just 17 minutes. Including the preseason, Marjanovic is 33-for-44 from the floor over a span of seven games.

Gigantic, 7-3 center Boban Marjanovic recorded 10 of his 13 points in the fourth quarter. It lead a late rally in Friday's 108-92 win over Oklahoma City.

NBA Betting Odds & Trends


Next up:
Houston home to Utah Wednesday, October 24
Los Angeles at New Orleans Tuesday, October 23

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Sunday Night Football: Bengals vs Chiefs Preview and Pick

Kansas City Chiefs

Chiefs Face Tough Foe in Bengals

The Cincinnati Bengals and the Kansas City Chiefs battle at Arrowhead Stadium Sunday night. Two of the best teams in the NFL put it all on the line in primetime. Sunday Night Football is upon us.

TV: 8:20 p.m. ET, NBC. LINE: Chiefs -5.5 O/U: 586

The Chiefs will face a third consecutive AFC contender on Sunday night. The Chiefs put the best record in the conference on the line against the Bengals. The Cats are tied atop the AFC North standings.

Both teams are looking to bounce back from crushing losses a week ago.

The Bengals took the lead with 1:18 left against the Steelers. That only led to Pittsburgh drive for a score with 10 seconds remaining and claim a 28-21 victory.

Kansas City phenom Patrick Mahomes led a spirited comeback in the second half at New England. Then Tom Brady struck. The Patriots kicked a field goal in the final seconds for a 43-40 triumph.

Bengals Come in Looking to Get Offense Going

The Bengals are 4-2 and sit atop the AFC North.

Cincinnati ranks just 23rd in total offense. They are  sixth in scoring thanks to a league-best 75 percent touchdown rate in the red zone.

Andy Dalton has thrown seven interceptions but also has 14 touchdown passes. That includes three to veteran star A.J. Green and four to Tyler Boyd. Boyd has emerged as a dangerous secondary target.

With the exception of a Week 3 loss at Carolina, the Bengals have been solid against the run. The secondary has struggled  because of an inconsistent pass rush.

The Bengals have recorded 12 sacks in their four wins and only one in their two losses.

Chiefs Want High-Powered Offense Humming

Kansas City's offense is producing at a record-setting clip. Mahomes has passed for 1,865 yards with 18 touchdowns. He only has four interceptions through six games.

The second-year quarterback is surrounded with a lot of talent. Running back Kareem Hunt and versatile speedster Tyreek Hill have combined for 13 touchdowns.

The defense has been another story. They rank last in the NFL in total defense and 27th in scoring. They have struggled mightily against the pass. They are without safety Eric Berry who is out with an Achilles injury.

Linebacker Justin Houston has a bum hamstring. He could miss his second consecutive game.

Patrick Mahomes is the first quarterback in franchise history to pass for 300 yards in five consecutive games. He is second in the league to do so since 2016. Aaron Rodgers was the other.

Hill has averaged 47.4 yards on his 27 career touchdowns.

PREDICTION: Chiefs 37, Bengals 30

NFL Betting Odds & Trends


Next up:
Cincinnati home to Tampa Bay Sunday, October 28
Kansas City home to Denver Sunday, October 28

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Ravens Host High Powered Saints

Baltimore Ravens Football

Ravens Look to Tame Saints Offense

The New Orleans Saints and the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday at M&T Bank Stadium. Both teams have started well and look to go deep into the playoffs.

TV: 4:05 p.m. ET, FOX. LINE: Ravens -2.5 O/U: 49.5

The New Orleans Saints are on the short list of Super Bowl contenders. They own the top scoring offense in the NFL at an average of 36 points. Drew Brees and company will test that offense against the league's top defense today

The Ravens are surrendering an average of 12.8. They are coming off a 21-0 shutout of the Tennessee Titans in which they sacked Marcus Mariota 11 times.

The Saints are coming off a bye week. Brees set the NFL record for all-time passing yardage in a 43-19 thrashing of the Washington Redskins on Oct. 8th.

Brees is Playing Like he is 10 Years Younger

Brees is one TD pass away from reaching 500 for his career. He is completing 77.9 percent of his passes with 11 TDs and no interceptions this season.

"It's a lot of touchdowns and a lot of games and a lot of passes, but you take them one at a time and you just focus on winning the game and scoring points, regardless of if I am handing it off to one of these guys are throwing to one of our guys," Brees told reporters. "We focus on winning games and the rest of that stuff kind of takes care of itself. Numbers add up."

New Orleans added another key weapon to the offense in the win over the Redskins. Running back Mark Ingram making his season debut following a four-game suspension. He rushed for a pair of touchdowns.

CB Marshon Lattimore (concussion) was a full participant in practice this week and is questionable for Sunday.

Ravens Top Ranked D Will Get Tested today

Za'Darius Smith (5.5) and Terrell Suggs (4.5) lead Baltimore in sacks. Suggs is excited about the prospect of going up against a great offense.

"We like this game. It's going to be fun," Suggs told reporters. "They're an explosive offense and we get a chance to compete against as good a team as there is. I think it's going to be a good NFL game."

Baltimore's offense is doing just enough to support the defense. Quarterback Joe Flacco averages 298 passing yards with a total of nine TD passes and four INTs.

G Alex Lewis, who was carted off the field with a neck injury last week, returned to practice and could play Sunday.

The Ravens are the only team Brees has never beaten, owning an 0-4 record.

PREDICTION: Saints 24, Ravens 16

New Orleans:
Team record: 4-1 SU,3-2 ATS
Current Streak: won 4 straight games.
New Orleans is 4-2 ATS in its last 6 games
New Orleans is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games
The total has gone OVER in 6 of New Orleans's last 8 games

Team record: 4-2 SU,4-2 ATS
Baltimore is 4-2 ATS in its last 6 games
Baltimore is 9-4 SU in its last 13 games
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Baltimore's last 5 games

Next up:
New Orleans at Minnesota Sunday, October 28
Baltimore at Carolina Sunday, October 28

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NFL Week 7 Free Betting Pick- Carolina Panthers at Philadelphia Eagles

Philadelphia Eagles Football

Philadelphia Eagles Face Tough Test in Panthers

The Philadelphia Eagles are playing their way into shape, or are they? Since Wentz has come back the Eagles have looked a little inconsistent. What team shows up today?

The Carolina Panthers go on the road this Sunday. They face their second-straight NFC East foe. They have a 1 p.m. matchup on FOX against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field.

BetAnySports opened the Eagles as 3.5-point favorites with total opened at 45 points. The line is now Philadelphia -5 and the total is still at 45.

Panthers Look to Rebound after Tough Loss at Washington

Carolina fell to 3-2 straight-up with a 2-3 record against the spread with Sunday’s 23-17 loss to Washington. They closed as a one-point road favorite. The total stayed UNDER BetAnySports’ closing 44.5-point line. It had gone OVER in its previous three games.

The Panthers are 0-2 both SU and ATS in their first two road games this year.

A big part of the reason for Sunday’s loss was a slow start out of the gate. Carolina spotted the Redskins a 17-0 lead before attempting to close the gap.

Cam Newton completed 27 of his 40 passing attempts for 275 yards and two touchdown throws. He also led his the team in rushing with 43 yards on nine carries.

The Panthers only allowed 156 yards through the air. The defense did give up 132 yards rushing on 28 Washington attempts.

Philadelphia Eagles are Playing Way Into Form

The Eagles started their defense of last season’s Super Bowl title with a very shaky 2-3 SU start while going 1-4 ATS.

In an early must-win matchup against NFC East rivals New York, they quickly returned to form. They had a convincing 34-13 victory as slight 1.5-point favorites on the road.

The total went OVER BetAnySports’ 45.5-point closing line in last Thursday’s win. It has gone OVER in three of Philadelphia’s last five games.

Carson Wentz missed the first two games of the season coming off a major knee injury. He showed some signs of rust in his first three starts.

Last season’s MVP candidate returned to form against New York. He had 278 yards passing and three scoring strikes against zero interceptions. He completed 26 of his 36 passing attempts to eight different players.

Alshon Jeffrey was targeted 12 times. He came away with eight receptions for 74 yards including a pair of catches for touchdowns.

Carolina finds itself in a tough spot to avoid back-to-back losses to the NFC East. Philadelphia is 13-2 SU in its last 15 home games. They have an 8-4 record ATS in its last 12 games at home.

Both of these trends hold true this Sunday afternoon. Take Philly to Cover the -5-point spread.

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Saturday, October 20, 2018

NLCS Game 7: Dodgers vs Brewers Preview and Pick

2018 NLCS

NLCS Game 7 - Dodgers and Brewers Lay it on the Line

This is it. NLCS Game 7, and it is for a trip to the MLB World Series for the National League Champion. The Los Angeles Dodgers and the Milwaukee Brewers will battle it out at Miller Park tonight.

TV: 8:09 p.m. ET, Fox Sports 1

PITCHING MATCHUP: Dodgers RH Walker Buehler (0-1, 6.75 ERA) vs. Brewers RH Jhoulys Chacin (2-0, 0.00)

Odds: The Brewers opened as -108-moneyline favorites. The Dodgers are now -110-moneyline favorites. The total is 7.5 Under -120.

The Milwaukee Brewers have been dominant at home most of the season. They will get a chance to reach their first World Series since 1982. The Brewers finished with an NL best 51-30 record at home during the regular season.

They have won four of five at Miller Park in the playoffs after Friday's 7-2 victory in Game 6.

Atmosphere for Game 6 Was "Crazy"

Milwaukee manager Craig Counsell told reporters the fans "put a crazy amount of energy into the dugout" on Friday. The Brewers fed off that with four first-inning runs before adding on later. That allowed top reliever Josh Hader to stay in the bullpen.

The Brewers are set up for Game 7 with their top starting pitcher, Jhoulys Chacin, on the hill. The Dodgers will go with talented rookie Walker Buehler. He could be followed by three-time Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw.

Los Angeles will try to make back-to-back World Series appearances for the first time since 1977 and 1978. They were held to five hits on Friday. The team could not take advantage after David Freese led off the game with a homer.

Chris Taylor recorded one of the five hits by the Dodgers in Game 6. He is 7-for-20 in the series, but Manny Machado will have to recover from an 0-for-4 effort with two strikeouts.

Johnny WholeStaff Should be Ready for Both Teams

Buehler gave up four runs on six hits and a walk while striking out eight over seven innings.  He suffered the loss in Game 3 on Monday. The 24-year-old Vanderbilt product has allowed nine runs over 12 innings in two playoff starts.

He pitched to a 1.58 ERA over his last 11 starts of the regular season to finish at 8-5.

Orlando Arcia went deep in Game 3 against Buehler. Buehler posted a 3.45 ERA on the road as opposed to a 1.93 mark at home during the regular season.

Chacin has been outstanding in two postseason starts. He has permitting six hits and five walks across 10 1/3 scoreless innings. The Ace has recorded a pair of wins. The 30-year-old Venezuelan  won a career-high 15 games during the regular season.

He beat Buehler in Game 3 as he registered six strikeouts in 5 1/3 frames.

Matt Kemp has belted three homers. Cody Bellinger and Joc Pederson have gone deep twice against Chacin. Chacin recorded a 3.79 ERA at home in the regular season.

Los Angeles RHP Kenley Jansen also was not used on Friday. He has allowed two hits and registered seven strikeouts in 5 1/3 scoreless innings this postseason.

Milwaukee 1B Jesus Aguilar knocked in three runs Friday and has hit three doubles in his last two games.

PREDICTION: Brewers 4, Dodgers 2

NLCS Betting Odds & Trends


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LSU Hosts Mississippi State on Saturday Night

LSU Tigers Athletics

Will LSU Have Letdown After Huge UGA Win?

The fans at Tiger Stadium - "Death Valley" will see the Mississippi State Bulldogs and the LSU Tigers when they take their seats on Saturday. LSU is coming off a Huge win over 2nd-rankd Georgia. Will they have a letdown?

TV: 7 p.m. ET, ESPN. LINE: LSU -6.5; O/U 46.

Fifth-ranked LSU may have the most balanced offense in the nation entering this contest. LSU has rushed and passed for the exact same number of yards (1,415) through seven games.

QB Joe Burrow recorded 200 through the air while adding 66, and two scores, on the ground in the 36-16 rout of Georgia.

Mississippi State aims for its second consecutive victory over a top-10 opponent. They knocked off Auburn 23-9 on Oct. 6 before being idle last week.

Mississippi State Will have to Play Well Rounded Game

Mississippi State is 4-2 overall and 1-2 in the SEC. They can't afford another conference loss.

The Bulldogs feature one of the best defenses in the country. They are allowing an FBS-low 12.7 points per game. The unit also ranks eighth in total defense at 289.7 yards per contest.

Defensive lineman Montez Sweat leads the nation in sacks per game at 1.25. He also tops the SEC in total sacks with 7.5. The pass-rusher recording a career-best three, with a forced fumble, against Auburn.

Mississippi State has limited five of its six opponents to 14 points or fewer.

Quarterback Nick Fitzgerald accounted for 264 yards of total offense. He had two touchdowns, rushing for 195 and two scores against the Tigers. Fitzgerald is the top rushing quarterback in SEC history.

He is one yard shy of 3,000 for his career as he paces a running game that is averaging an SEC-best 240.7.

LSU Has to Avoid Emotional Letdown

LSU is 6-1 overall this season, and 3-1 in the SEC. They have played one of the toughest schedules in the nation this year. It doesn't get any easier. LSU has recorded three victories over top-10 teams this season for the third time in school history (1982, 2011).

Running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire ran for 145 yards last week. The Tigers finished with 275 on the ground and improved to 4-0 this season when one rusher tops the century mark.

Linebacker Devin White was named SEC Defensive Player of the Week. He recording a season-high 13 tackles and recovered a fumble. He also ranks third in the conference with 66 total tackles and 9.4 per game.

Kicker Cole Tracy was 5-for-5 on field goals. That ties the school record. He won SEC Special Teams Player of the Week honors.

The Tigers have won 16 of the last 18 meetings. The Bulldogs rolled to a 37-7 win last season. It was the largest margin of victory in the all-time series, which dates to 1896.

PREDICTION: LSU 23, Mississippi State 21

SEC Football Betting Odds & Trends


Next up:
Mississippi State home to Texas A&M Saturday, October 27
LSU home to Alabama Saturday, November 3

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Crimson Tide Invade Tennessee in SEC Action

Crimson Tide Sports

Vols Try to Slow down the Crimson Tide Offense

The Alabama Crimson Tide and the Tennessee Volunteers will on Saturday at Neyland Stadium. This SEC Football game of the week will test the Crimson Tide a little bit. This will be the most hostile territory the Tide has played in all season.

TV: 3:30 p.m. ET, CBS. LINE: Alabama -29.5; O/U 57.5.

Sophomore QB Tua Tagovailoa is expected to play for top-ranked Alabama on Saturday. Tagovailoa has been practicing despite aggravating a sprained right knee injury.

Tagovailoa departed after re-injuring his knee in third quarter of last weekend's 39-10 win over Missouri.

Tennessee is coming off its best performance of the season. It ended an 11-game SEC losing streak by stunning Auburn 30-24 last Saturday.

Crimson Tide Just Get Better Each Week

Alabama is 7-0 on the season, and 4-0 in SEC Play. What has been a dominant offense the last two years with Jalen Hurts is even better now with Tagovailoa. He can throw as well as he can run.

Tagovailoa has yet to be intercepted this season. He has thrown for 1,760 yards and 21 touchdown passes this season. The Tide will likely be without one of his top targets in DeVonta Smith, who is battling a bum hamstring.

Wideout Jerry Jeudy is enjoying a huge season with 26 receptions for 705 yards and nine touchdowns. Alabama's offense has set a school record by topping 500 yards in all seven games.

Cornerback Saivion Smith has recorded three of the team's 12 interceptions. Defensive end Isaiah Buggs has a team-leading 7.5 sacks.

Alabama has won the past 11 consecutive meetings.

Crimson Tide DE Raekwon Davis faces diminished playing time. He punched Missouri G Kevin Pendleton three times at the end of a play in last Saturday's game.

Vols Face a Huge Uphill Task

QB Jarrett Guarantano passed for a career-best 328 yards in the upset of Auburn. He has thrown for 1,129 yards and six touchdowns against two interceptions.

The defense was dealt a blow when fifth-year senior linebacker Jonathan Kongbo tore the ACL in his right knee last Saturday, ending his season.

CB Alontae Taylor returned a fumble for a touchdown against Auburn. It was the Volunteers first since Oct. 1, 2016 against Georgia.

PREDICTION: Alabama 55, Tennessee 12

SEC Football Betting Odds & Trends


Next up:
Alabama at LSU Saturday, November 3
Tennessee at South Carolina Saturday, October 27

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Friday, October 19, 2018

College Football Playoff - 2 Fantastic Games With Playoff Implications

College Football Playoff 2019

By: The Frisco Kid

College Football Playoff Lives are on the Line

College Football Week eight kicks off yet another fantastic schedule of games. Now it is becoming crunch time. Teams now start thinking playoffs and the implications that every game means. Each top ranked team wants to get in the “Big Six”.

The online bookies are going nuts trying to keep up with all of the upset action that happened last week. Setting the lines must be a journey indeed, and all of the lines can't be sharp.

This week represents the type of action that as a bettor, you can’t afford to miss out on. You must jump in the fray.

There are more than a few great games to talk about. Several of them will have playoff implications. We have narrowed the focus to a couple of them.

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Games with College Football Playoff Implications

#6 Michigan vs. #24 Michigan State

This is the best game of the week. It should be an absolute thriller. With the way both teams are playing, their couldn’t be a better time for this contest.

Nobody wants to beat Michigan any worse that Michigan State. You had better believe they will pull out all of the stops trying to get it done. The Spartans have 2 losses on the season. Last weeks upset victory at Penn State went a long way to help this team climb the playoff ladder.

Yes, we are still talking playoffs when it comes to the Spartans. What if they beat Michigan? Think about this. This team is capable. They went to Happy Valley and got it done. They can beat the Wolverines in their own back yard.

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What Each Team Has to do to Win

How do they do it? Stick to the game plan that beat Penn State. The Spartans Defense kept them in the game. The offense hung around with a pile of third downs. They got 259 yards from Brian Lewerke. He had 2 TD’s and 1 pick.

The ground game must be better against the Wolverines than it was in Penn State. La'Darius Jefferson had 15 carries for 60 yards and 1 TD. That was good, but not nearly good enough to beat Michigan.

The Spartans relied on their defense and it did get the job done. The win in Penn State was impressive to say the least. If the Spartans stick to the plan, forget about the rivalry and play football, they have a very good chance to win this game.

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Michigan needs this game much more than the Spartans do. They do not want to be looking at two losses going into Ohio State for the season ending clash. They must win this football game against the Spartans.

Jim Harbaugh is a master motivator and he will have a solid game plan. The Wolverines have a well balanced attack that can take on anybody. It seems their woes were early in the season.

Shea Patterson is a good quarterback. He is not Baker Mayfield or for that matter, Sam Darnold, but he is solid. With 10 TD’s to just 3 INT’s, he is solid enough that it works with their game plans.

With a ground game that is capable of tearing it up, Michigan can control the tempo. Michigan has 16 TD’s on the ground this year with over 1500 yards.

The Spartans had better bring the “Penn State D” or this game will be over early.

Prediction: Michigan State Money Line, Check with your favorite online bookie for up to the minute odds.

The second game—We will make this one short and sweet!

#16 NC State vs. #3 Clemson

Folks, NC State is a solid football team. The Wolfpack will hang around early and often.

They have a solid gunslinger at QB in Ryan Finley. He has over 1600 yard on the season and is 2nd only to Philip Rivers in winning percentage.

The bad news of the day is… They are playing this game in Death Valley. Clemson Head Coach Dabo Swinney has lost less than 8 games in his entire tenure as head coach. The Tigers can run with anybody including the Alabama Crimson Tide.

They will cover 17 today and rack up another huge home win.

Just about the time you start doubting Clemson, they double down. As the season has worn on, the Tigers have gotten better. This is how Dabo's teams always operate. They rarely cover early and then late in the season, they are a juggernaut.

NC State is solid. Not to take nothing away from this group of players but they will run out of gas early 2nd half. Then it is off to the races for Clemson.

Lay the points.

Most of all, have fun. It’s a great time to be a sports fan and a bettor. The bookies are offering all kinds of great deals. They are still offering great college football bonuses.

Check out your favorite online bookie and get in for this weekends action. Play your cards right and you will win a pile of cash.

NLCS Game 6: Dodgers vs Brewers Preview and Pick

2018 NLCS

Dodgers Can Clinch NLCS in the Brew City

The fans at Miller Park will see the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Milwaukee Brewers on Friday night. This series has been a nail-biter the entire time. There is no reason tonight will be any different.

TV: 8:39 p.m. ET, Fox Sports 1

PITCHING MATCHUP: Dodgers LH Hyun-Jin Ryu (1-0, 1.59 ERA) vs. Brewers LH Wade Miley (0-0, 0.00)

ODDS: The Dodgers are listed as -113-moneyline favorites versus the Brewers. The game's total opened at 8, but is now down to 7.5.

The Dodgers are one win away from a second straight trip to the World Series. They will have to earn that victory on the road in very hostile territory. The Dodgers will try to close out the best-of-seven NLCS.

The Dodgers fell behind 2-1 in the series after dropping Game 3 at home. They turned up the pitching over the next two contests. They limited the Brewers to a total of three runs in 22 innings in the two wins.

Pitching Will Decide This One

Milwaukee will try to find a way to push some runs across against left-hander Hyun-Jin Ryu. They are making some history by tossing lefty Wade Miley at the start in back-to-back games.

Miley started Game 5 but threw only five pitches, issuing a walk to Cody Bellinger. He was replaced by right-hander Brandon Woodruff in a surprise move designed to give Milwaukee a matchup advantage.

Miley dominated Los Angeles in Game 2, scattering two hits over 5 2/3 innings without factoring in the decision.

Ryu tossed seven scoreless innings to earn a win over the Atlanta Braves during the NL Division Series. He was not quite as sharp in Game 2 at Milwaukee.

The South Korea native was reached for two runs on six hits over 4 1/3 innings in a no-decision. Ryu did not allow more than two runs in any of his last five starts going back to the regular season. He has yet to be reached for more than three earned runs on the season.

This and That and NLCS Prediction

Brewers star RF Christian Yelich is 3-for-20 without an extra-base hit in the series.

LA RHP Pedro Baez has thrown 6 2/3 scoreless innings. He has allowed a total of two hits with 10 strikeouts in six postseason appearances.

Milwaukee went Game 5 without using relievers Josh Hader, Corey Knebel or Jeremy Jeffress, and all three should be ready to go Friday.

PREDICTION: Brewers 4, Dodgers 2

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Next up:
Los Angeles at Milwaukee Saturday, October 20

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Thursday, October 18, 2018

NBA on TNT: Trail Blazers Host the Lakers in Late Game

Trail Blazers Basketball

King James Makes Lakers Debut Against Trail Blazers

The Los Angeles Lakers and the Portland Trail Blazers meet on Thursday at Moda Center. TNT has the most anticipated debut game of any in recent memory of the NBA. Everyone in the world will be watching to see this game play out.

Tipoff is set for 10:30 pm EST.

Oddsmakers opened the Trail Blazers as -3-point favorites versus the Lakers, while the game's total opened at 220. The line stayed steady, but the total is up to 223.5.

LeBron James makes his highly anticipated team debut in the season opener for both teams. James signed a four-year, $153.3 million contract as a free agent last July. King James looks to boost the fortunes of the once-proud franchise.

James has played in the NBA Finals in each of the past eight seasons but it seems highly improbable that the Lakers. The Lakers have five straight losing seasons under their belt.

A turnaround that includes getting past the Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference seems unlikely.

Lakers Just Look to Improve in All Facets of the Game

The first task facing Los Angeles is figuring out how to beat the Trail Blazers. Portland has won the past 15 meetings and figure to be a playoff team again this season.

The Lakers were 35-47 last season and figure to be greatly improved. Becoming a playoff team is not that big of a reach with the talent they have brought in.

Los Angeles signed veteran point guard Rajon Rondo and center JaVale McGee. That adds some veteran presence into the starting lineup and perhaps shorten the time period it takes to win.

One young building block expected to take a step forward this season is Brandon Ingram. The small forward who was the No. 2 pick in 2016 and averaged 16.1 points last season.

Lonzo Ball begins his second season as a backup to Rondo. Much to his psychopathic daddy's chagrin.

Trail Blazers Have Become Perennial Playoff Team

Portland finished 49-33 last season and look to get past the 50 win mark barrier this season.

Portland is looking to make the postseason for the sixth straight season. There still is a sense of regret over last season's poor showing. The New Orleans Pelicans recorded a four-game sweep of the Trail Blazers in the first round.

That was the biggest shock of the NBA playoffs and has to leave a bad taste in the mouth of the players and coaches.

Damian Lillard has averaged more than 25 points per game in three straight seasons. C.J. McCollum has topped 20 in three consecutive campaigns.

The Trail Blazers won last season's three meetings by an average of 3.7 points. This is not last years Lakers team so the jury is out.

SF Maurice Harkless (knee) is questionable for the opener.

PREDICTION: Trail Blazers 119, Lakers 111

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Next up:
Los Angeles home to Houston Saturday, October 20
Portland home to San Antonio Saturday, October 20

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Arizona State hosts Stanford in Pac-12 Tilt

Arizona State Athletics

Stanford Healthy For Arizona State

The Stanford Cardinal and the Arizona State Sun Devils meet on Thursday when they battle at Sun Devil Stadium. Both teams can't afford to lose another conference game, but especially the Sun Devils.

TV: 9 p.m. ET, ESPN. LINE: Stanford -2 and O/U: 57

An open date came at a good time for 24th-ranked Stanford. They expect to have running back Bryce Love in the starting lineup Thursday's night. Love missed Stanford's loss to Utah two weeks ago with a left ankle injury.

He is healthy and rested heading into the contest against the Sun Devils, who are also coming off a break in their schedule.

Love's return provides an immediate boost for the Cardinal. They opened the season with four straight wins before the defense fell apart. The unit allowed an average of 39 points in back-to-back losses to No. 4 Notre Dame and Utah.

Quarterback K.J. Costello threw for 381 yards against Utah.

Stanford has won five of its last six meetings against Arizona State. The Sun Devils needs an improved defensive effort after allowing an average of 227.3 rushing yards over the past four games.

Stanford Has to Win to Have Chance at Conference Title

Stanford is 4-2 overall and 2-1  in Pac-12 play. The can't afford a 2nd conference loss and make it to the Pac-12 Championship Game.

Love rushed for 301 yards and three touchdowns in last season's 34-24 victory over the Sun Devils. He was sorely missed in the 40-21 loss to Utah. Stanford was held to 42 rushing yards.

Kaden Smith, JJ Arcega-Whiteside and Trenton Irwin all topped 100 receiving yards in the loss. Costello committed three turnovers and has a 12-to-6 touchdown-to-interception ratio through six games.

Linebackers Bobby Okereke (team-high 43 tackles) and Joey Alfieri (3.5 sacks) lead the defense. The defense has allowed only seven passing touchdowns.

Stanford is 18-5 under Shaw when coming off a loss.

Sun Devils are Primed for the Upset

Arizona State is 3-3 overall and  1-2 in Pac-12 play.

Eno Benjamin set a single-game school rushing record with 312 yards against Oregon State. He finished with 120 yards and two touchdowns against Colorado.

The Sun Devils' explosive offense includes dynamic wide receiver N'Keal Harry, who has six touchdowns. Quarterback Manny Wilkins has thrown 11 touchdowns against one interception. He appears fully healthy following an apparent injury late in the Colorado game.

The Sun Devils have recorded only three interceptions this season. Cornerback Chase Lucas has one of those, along with 19 solo tackles. He struggled in the loss to Colorado.

Arizona State has had four of its six games decided by seven points or fewer.

The Sun Devils have committed only two turnovers this season.

PREDICTION: Arizona State 27, Stanford 24

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Next up:
Stanford home to Washington State Saturday, October 27
Arizona State at USC Saturday, October 27

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Thursday Night Football: Broncos vs Cardinals Preview and Pick

Arizona Cardinals Football

Broncos and Cardinals Try to Save Season

The Denver Broncos and the Arizona Cardinals on Thursday Night at University of Phoenix Stadium. Both teams went shopping in the offseason to fix their respective quarterback issues. They came away with a pair of players who spent last season with the Minnesota Vikings.

Neither move has panned out for the Cardinals and Broncos. We have a pair of teams who have a collective three wins entering Thursday's matchup at Arizona.

TV: 8:20 p.m. ET, FOX, NFL Network. LINE: Cardinals -1.. O/U: 42.

Denver has dropped four in a row since opening the season with a pair of narrow victories at home. Cardinals rookie quarterback Josh Rosen supplanted Sam Bradford as the starter in Week 3.

Broncos have Lost 4 Straight

Denver is 2-4 on the season and are getting into must win territory.

Denver has to tighten up against the run. They rank last in the league with an average of 161.3 yards permitted on the ground. The Broncos allowed a 200-yard rusher for the second straight week. It ended in a 23-20 loss to the unbeaten Los Angeles Rams.

The Broncos' pass rush did generate five sacks in the latest loss. Three of them were by rookie linebacker Bradley Chubb.

Case Keenum threw scoring passes to wide receivers Emmanuel Sanders and Demaryius Thomas on Sunday. Yet he still has more interceptions (8) than TDs (7) through the first six games.

Rookie running backs Phillip Lindsay and Royce Freeman were held to a combined 40 yards on 13 carries last week.

Denver has won eight of the past nine meetings against the Cardinals.

Miller has 8.5 sacks and four forced fumbles in his last six games versus NFC opponents.

Cardinals Have to Play Better in All Aspects

The Cardinals have to win this week to have any chance at the playoffs. They have started the season 1-5 and a home win would be big for this team.

Arizona ranks last in the league in total yards (220.5) and rushing (64.0) under offensive coordinator Mike McCoy. He was fired by the Broncos during the 2017 season following a six-game slide.

Rosen did throw for a career-high 240 yards but failed to throw a touchdown pass in last week's 27-17 loss at Minnesota. Rosen connected with fellow rookie Christian Kirk six times for 77 yards against the Vikings.

Running back David Johnson has surpassed 55 yards rushing just once in six games despite scoring six touchdowns. The offensive woes are magnified by a defense that ranks 31st against the run by surrendering an average of 151.2 yards.

Johnson has had at least 100 yards from scrimmage in nine of his last 11 at home, scoring 13 TDs in that span.

PREDICTION: Broncos 23, Cardinals 20

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Next up:
Denver at Kansas City Sunday, October 28
Arizona home to San Francisco Sunday, October 28

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ALCS Game 5: Red Sox vs Astros Preview and Pick

ALCS of MLB Playoffs

Astros Look to Continue ALCS Down 3-1

The Houston Astros look to keep the Boston Red Sox from clinching a berth in the World Series tonight. It could be the first time since 2013 for the Red Sox to get the Series.

TV: 8:09 p.m. ET, TBS

PITCHING MATCHUP: Red Sox LH David Price (0-1, 9.95 ERA) vs. Astros RH Justin Verlander (2-0, 3.18).

ODDS: The Astros are -185-moneyline favorites. The total is 8 Under -120.

Andrew Benintendi made a game-saving diving catch of Alex Bregman's liner to left field with the bases loaded for the final out of Wednesday's dramatic 8-6 triumph.

Jackie Bradley Jr. hit a go-ahead, two-run homer in the sixth inning of Game 4, giving him two blasts and nine RBIs over his last three games.

The Astros were hurt Wednesday by a controversial fan-interference call. It turned Jose Altuve's would-be two-run, first-inning homer to right field into an out. Boston's Mookie Betts reached above the fence to try and catch the ball.

Price and Verlander Head to Head in ALCS Game 5

Price warmed up during the final two innings of Game 4 but wasn't used. He draws the start in Game 5 after ace Chris Sale (stomach) was ruled out as a possibility on Wednesday.

Price is 0-9 in 11 career postseason starts following a no-decision in Game 2. He gave up four runs and five hits over 4 2/3 innings.

Sale tentatively is slated to start a potential Game 6 at home on Saturday.

Closer Craig Kimbrel recorded the first six-out save of his career on Wednesday but allowed one run, two hits and three walks while notching one strikeout.

Verlander defeated the Red Sox in Game 1. He gave up two runs and two hits over six innings. He stated he doesn't see an issue with facing a team a second time in a series, but he still will tinker with his game plan.

George Springer belted his first homer of the series in Game 4. He is a stellar 13-for-31 with four blasts in the team's seven postseason contests.

PREDICTION: Red Sox 7, Astros 4

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Next up:
Boston home to Houston Saturday, October 20

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NBA on TNT: 76ers Host the Bulls in Early Game

76ers NBA Basketball

76ers Look to Rebound After Celtics Loss

The Chicago Bulls and the Philadelphia 76ers will meet on Thursday at Wells Fargo Center. This will be the early game on TNT's national coverage. Tip0ff is set for 8 pm EST.

Oddsmakers opened the 76ers as -11.5-point favorites versus the Bulls, while the game's total opened at 215. The 76ers are now 12-point favorites. The total is all the way up to 220.

Philadelphia suffered a 105-87 loss to the Boston Celtics on Tuesday. They hope for a better showing against a Chicago team that missed the playoffs last season.

The 76ers fancy themselves as a top-flight contender in the Eastern Conference. They didn't look the part while giving a subpar effort on both ends of the court in their opener.

The Bulls are without forward Lauri Markkanen due to an elbow injury. Offseason acquisition Jabari Parker will begin the season as a reserve.

Bulls Have High Hopes for 2018-19

The Bulls were 27-55 last season and look to get a good bit better in a weaker Eastern Conference. Parker initially seemed miffed that he wasn't going to be the starting small forward. He feels healthy after recovering from the second ACL tear in his left knee in four NBA campaigns.

First-round pick Wendell Carter Jr. is in the starting lineup. Along with Bobby Portis, and the latter will be a restricted free agent after the season.

G Denzel Valentine (ankle) and F Cristiano Felicio (ankle) are questionable for the opener.

76ers Looked Bad in Opening Game

The 76ers are 0-1 on the young season. As bad as they looked against Boston there is no reason to panic for 76er fans.

Second-year guard Markelle Fultz made his first NBA start against Boston. He struggled the whole night. Fultz had five points on 2-of-7 shooting in 24 minutes. Fultz played in only 14 games last season due to physical and mental issues.

He was the No. 1 overall pick and Philadelphia plans to push his development early in the campaign.

The 76ers won two of last season's three meetings.

F Wilson Chandler (hamstring), G Jerryd Bayless (knee) and C Mike Muscala (ankle) are all expected to miss their second straight game.

PREDICTION: 76ers 101, Bulls 91

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Next up:
Chicago home to Detroit Saturday, October 20
Philadelphia home to Orlando Saturday, October 20

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