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|Date||Match Up||Rating||Score||Result||Profit||Lead Time||Analysis|
|02-03-19||Patriots -129 v. Rams||Top||13-3||Win||100||287 h 51 m||Show|
Monster quarterback edge. Far more biggest-stage experience. Intangibles. I want all those things going for me and that's why I am siding with the Patriots. Look I love Sean McVay. But if there's one coach - and there is only one coach - who can trump McVay it is Bill Belichick especially with two weeks of preparation. I don't trust Jared Goff. He didn't look good down the stretch once Cooper Kupp suffered a season-ending knee injury halfway through the season. Only once in his last seven games did Goff reached 300 yards passing. Goff had only a 10-to-9 touchdown-to-interception ratio when not playing at home. The Rams averaged just 22.6 points during their last six games if you discount their 48-point performance versus the 49ers. The Patriots have excellent cornerbacks. They can control Brandin Cooks, who they know well since Cooks was with New England last season, and Robert Woods. The Patriots had the 11th-best run defense, too. Tom Brady is the best big-game quarterback in NFL history. The only other names you can throw into that argument are Joe Montana, Bart Starr and Otto Graham. The Rams haven't been to the Super Bowl since 2001. That happened to be the first Super Bowl Belichick and Brady played in together. Since then the Patriots have played in seven other Super Bowls. This is their ninth Super, fourth one in five season and third straight. Cooks and defensive back Aqib Talib are the only Rams who have even played in a Super Bowl. The Patriots have covered nine of their last 12 playoff games. What is McVay's history? The Rams were one-and-done last season losing by 13 points at home to the Falcons as 6 1/2-point favorites. They barely managed to cover against the Cowboys at home this season in their first playoff game and then hung in to pull the upset against the Saints in the NFC title game benefitting from maybe the worst non-call in playoff history on an obvious pass interference call. I don't mean to demean, or sound harsh against the Rams. Again, I really like McVay. I do think he is at the genius level. He just doesn't have the quarterback, nor the dominant shutdown type of defense needed to beat the Patriots. New England may have the most underrated interior offensive line in football. The Patriots haven't allowed a sack in playoff victories against the Chargers and Chiefs. The Rams finished with 11 fewer sacks than the Chiefs and had just three more sacks than the Chargers during the regular season. Todd Gurley is the Rams' most dangerous weapon. And he's not 100 percent. He barely played against the Saints carrying only four times, which tells me he's far from 100 percent because of a lingering knee injury. If Gurley isn't in top form than Sony Michel is the best running back. Michel is stepping up with 242 rushing and five touchdowns in New England's two postseason victories. He has looked great. The Patriots are a combined 62-1 in the regular season and playoffs when having a runner rush for 100 yards. Aaron Donald is a monster in the Rams' defensive line. But LA doesn't have the quality linebackers to both stop Michel and cover the Patriots' various short receiving threats - running back James White, Julian Edelman and Rob Gronkowski, who looked better than he had in weeks during the win against the Chiefs. Brady is the master at knowing who and when to use his various weapons. I'm not betting against him and Belichick.
|01-20-19||Patriots v. Chiefs UNDER 56||Top||37-31||Loss||-110||97 h 37 m||Show|
I understand why the oddsmaker set a total this high. There were 83 points scored when the teams met in Week 6 with the Patriots winning, 43-40. The Patriots also looked great in steamrolling the Chargers this past Sunday, 41-28.But this matchup is going to be much different. It is going to be far more lower scoring than perceived. Let's start with a weather element. Kickoff is set for 6:40 p.m. Kansas City time. By that time, temperatures are forecast to be around 10 degrees, possibly lower. If the temperatures reach single digits it would make it the coldest playoff game in the history of Arrowhead Stadium. The Chiefs' offense is less explosive without Kareem Hunt, their best running back. The Patriots' defense is underrated. It has a bend-but-don't break nature. Only six teams gave up fewer points than the Patriots, although playing the Jets, Bills and Dolphins twice each padded those defensive statistics. However, part of Bill Belichick's genius is his ability to see things on film and learn from a previous matchup. Look for the Patriots to be in proper position to thwart Patrick Mahomes, playing in his first NFL title game, and the rest of the Chiefs. Kansas City isn't going to get any cheap points against such a well-coached defense. If Belichick has a hidden wrinkle that Mahomes hasn't seen, he will unleash it here. Another reason the total opened so high is because the Chiefs surrendered the second-most yards in the league and also the second-most passing yards. But Kansas City's defense is entirely different at home. The Chiefs gave up an average of 34.6 points on the road, but just 18 points per game at Arrowhead. And that's not including the Chiefs' playoff victory against the Colts last week. The Colts could manage just a single touchdown on offense against the Chiefs. The Patriots are not explosive like they have been in past seasons. Losing Josh Gordon to suspension and Rob Gronkowski becoming just a shell of his former self because of injuries have weakened New England's offense. Even with Gordon, the Patriots averaged only 21.6 points in their road games. That's the lowest total in Tom Brady's career. Brady did not have one of his better seasons. The Patriots rely on the running of Sony Michel and short passes now. The key to stopping Brady is having a strong pass rush without resorting to blitzes. The Chiefs can do that because they have three excellent pass rushers, Chris Jones, Dee Ford and Justin Houston. That trio combined to record 27 1/2 sacks.
|01-20-19||Rams +3.5 v. Saints||26-23||Win||100||91 h 10 m||Show|
The Saints hosted the Rams back in Week 9. The Rams were 1 1/2-point road favorites. Now look at the spread. There's a difference of four points, which I don't see between these two teams. These are the two best teams in the NFC deserving of meeting in the title game. But in my view the Rams are slightly better and that isn't negated by the Saints being home. It was huge for the Rams that they played earlier this season in the Superdome. They now have more of an idea of what to expect. Yes, the Saints beat the Rams, 45-35. But the score was tied 35-35 and the Rams had a chance to deliver a knockout blow to the Saints. They didn't do it - this time. The Saints are at their best inside their dome. But a fast-track, carpet field without weather conditions is helpful for the Rams, too. They are explosive with reliance on speed. Jared Goff is far better when not affected by bad weather. Take away their road loss to the Bears in cold weather and the Rams would be averaging 36.6 points a game. This is the first time LA is getting points all season. The Saints are going to have to score a ton of points to win and even more to cover the spread. Lost in the glare of the Saints' playoff victory against the Eagles was New Orleans losing defensive tackle Sheldon Rankins. He suffered a torn Achilles. That's a huge defensive loss for New Orleans. Rankins finally was living up to his vast potential with eight sacks while playing the run well. Sean McValy is a coaching genius. I rank him as the best coach in the NFC. He had the vision to make the Rams more of a physical team instead of just a finesse passing team. He did this on a fly, too, implementing that late in the season. The move paid off against a Cowboys defense that is better than the Saints defense. The Rams ran for 273 yards against a Cowboys defense that ranked fifth versus the run. On the flip side, the Rams held NFL rushing leader Ezekiel Elliott to 47 yards rushing on 20 carries. LA has a trump card on defense: Aaron Donald. He's the most dominant defensive lineman in football. He's be operating against Audrus Peat, who is playing with a broken hand. Donald can disrupt the Saints offense just by himself.
|01-13-19||Eagles v. Saints -8||Top||14-20||Loss||-105||54 h 29 m||Show|
No the Saints aren't blowing out the Eagles by 41 points like they did at home in Week 11. Philadelphia's secondary is in better physical shape and Nick Foles has replaced ailing Carson Wentz at quarterback. But this isn't enough to keep the Eagles within a touchdown of the Saints. New Orleans is a level higher this season than the Eagles and playing inside their dome stadium where Drew Brees threw 22 touchdown passes with just one interception. The Eagles struggled against Mitch Trubisky on grass last week surviving only because of Cody Parkey's bad luck on his final field goal attempt. Brees on a fast track with Alvin Karma, Michael Thomas and Mark Ingram is too much offense for the Eagles. Karma and Ingram both are far superior to any of the Eagles running backs. Thomas is the best wide receiver on the field. The Eagles carry a fatigue rating playing in their third straight road matchup while the Saints are rested. Offensive mastermind Sean Payton is dangerous with extra prep time. The Eagles have failed to cover nine the last 13 times they have played on carpet. Foles may be the top backup quarterback in the league. But if he were a starter he would rank among the bottom half. Foles has started the past four games. He has an eight-to-five TD-to-interception ratio during this time. The Saints are much improved defensively. During Weeks 10 through 15 - when they were competing hard for playoff seeding - the Saints gave up 12.3 points per game. No team scored more than 17 points on them during this time. You need a balanced offense and ball-control to beat the Saints inside the Louisiana Superdome. The Eagles rank 28th rushing. New Orleans has the No. 2 run defense. Credit to the Eagles for getting this far. But their journey to repeat as Super Bowl champions ends here.
|01-12-19||Cowboys v. Rams -7||22-30||Win||100||46 h 39 m||Show|
There are three major reasons why I like the Rams to beat the Cowboys by more than a touchdown: Situation, home/road data and coaching. Let's start with the situation. LA is rested. The Rams should be well prepared given two weeks to prepare with Sean McVay, who just might be the sharpest offensive-minded coach in football. The Rams won 11 games under McVay last season emerging as a force. However, the Rams suffered from playoff inexperience and lost in the first round to the Falcons. This year the Rams won 13 games and improved even more. Jared Goff and Co. now have playoff experience. A rested Todd Gurley trumps Ezekiel Elliott especially with a far better downfield passing attack on his side. The Cowboys entered this season having won one playoff game in Jason Garrett's previous seven years as head coach. McVay versus Garrett is a huge coaching mismatch in LA's favor. Home/road splits are huge for both teams. The Rams went 7-1 at home, averaging nine more points per game at home while giving up 8.2 points less per contest. Goff is a California quarterback. His quarterack rating was nearly 35 points higher when he played in LA. Dallas, by contrast, averaged 7.5 points fewer per game when on the road with Dak Prescott's quarterback rating being nearly 24 points lower away from Dallas. The Cowboys averaged a league-low 5.8 points in the first half when on the road. The Cowboys are heavily run-oriented. Prescott has severe limitations when throwing more than just short passes. The Cowboys also have a cluster injury problem at wide receiver. They are not built to come from behind if the Rams should jump out to a big lead against them.
|01-12-19||Colts +5 v. Chiefs||Top||13-31||Loss||-105||121 h 48 m||Show|
Andy Reid is a likely Hall of Fame coach. But when it comes to the playoffs he is a Hall of Fame chump. Reid's team have lost eight of their last nine playoff games. This includes a 1-4 postseason mark with the Chiefs. The Titans upset the Chiefs as 8 1/2-point road 'dogs last season in the Chiefs' first playoff game. These Colts are far better than that Tennessee team. The Chiefs went just 3-3 down the stretch going 1-4-1 ATS with their lone cover coming against the Raiders. Indianapolis is 10-1 in its last 11 games. The Colts' defense has been far better than perceived. So has their offensive line, which gave up the fewest sacks in the league. Marlon Mack has emerged as a running back threat. He's better than any of Kansas City's running backs with Kareem Hunt gone. Patrick Mahomes had a great season. But so did Andrew Luck, who threw the second-most TD passes on the season in back of only Mahomes. Luck has playoff experience, something Mahomes lacks. Kansas City's defense has played better at home. But the Colts hold a defensive edge. They've held five of their last six foes to 21 points or fewer. The Chiefs defense surrendered the second-most points per game and second most-yards per game. The Colts have become a physical unit that can play ball control. That's the way to beat the Chiefs.
|01-07-19||Alabama v. Clemson +5.5||Top||16-44||Win||100||115 h 3 m||Show|
Clemson isn't getting the respect it deserves from oddsmakers. The Tigers are every bit as good - if not better - than Alabama. Yes, the SEC is a better football conference than the ACC. No argument there. But I will argue the Tigers passed a tough schedule with flying colors beating 10 Bowl teams, eight of them by 20 or more points. Clemson is every bit as dominating as Alabama ranking fourth in points scored while giving up the fewest points per game in the nation. The Tigers have proven themselves huge money-winners in the postseason, too, covering eight of their last nine bowl games. Alabama's defense showed some vulnerability against Oklahoma. True, the Sooners have a great offense. But so does Clemson. I like Tigers QB Trevor Lawrence much more than Kelly Bryant. The Tide defeated Clemson, 24-6, in the Sugar Bowl last season when Bryant was behind center. This time around it will be much different.
|01-06-19||Chargers +3 v. Ravens||Top||23-17||Win||100||39 h 22 m||Show|
The Chargers are that rare team that plays better on the road than at home. The reason for this is they really don't have a home-field advantage playing at sparsely populated StubHub Center in Southern California. The Chargers are 8-0, though, in games outside of Southern California. They have won in five different time zones and won't be intimidated here. The forecast for Sunday in Baltimore is sunny with temperatures in the 40s with around a 10-12 mph wind. So it's not like the Chargers are going into frigid conditions. Baltimore dominated the Chargers, 22-10, on the road just two weeks ago. Until that loss, the Chargers were in the argument for best team in the league. So maybe they needed a loss like that to sharpen them up and energize their focus. There is no secret to the Ravens. They are going to pound the ball, play for field position and rely on their excellent defense. The Chargers won't be ambushed again by the Ravens. Baltimore beat the Chargers after LA had knocked off the Chiefs the previous week on the road. So it wasn't a great spot for the Chargers. I respect the Ravens. Their defense is better than the Chargers. John Harbaugh is an above average coach, while Anthony Lynn is untested in playoff games. But I believe the Chargers are the better all-around team. Philip Rivers, Melvin Gordon and Keenan Allen give the Chargers the best skill position players. The Chargers also get back big-play tight end Hunter Henry for the first time this season. They also have change-of-pace Austin Ekeler back. He missed the first game against the Ravens. Ekeler is a key because he's good pass-catching back and can hurt the Ravens via screen passes, which would slow down the Ravens' pass rush. The Chargers know what's coming. They are going to be prepared for Baltimore's ground attack by loading up the box. Lamar Jackson is an outstanding running QB, but he's not a good downfield passer.
|01-05-19||Seahawks v. Cowboys -125||Top||22-24||Win||100||50 h 15 m||Show|
Those who like Seattle in this matchup point to the Seahawks' playoff experience and coaching/quarterback edges thanks to Pete Carroll and Russell Wilson. But the Seahawks have failed to cover in five of their last six playoff games. Dak Prescott isn't nearly as good as Russell Wilson and I would take Carroll over Jason Garrett. But the Cowboys hold most of the other edges not to mention home field and having had the opportunity to rest Ezekiel Elliott last Sunday. Elliott trumps any of Seattle's running back. The Cowboys are healthier in the trenches and have the superior defense. Both teams rely on the run to set up play-action. Dallas has the better offensive line. Seattle has a key defensive injury with cornerback Shaquill Griffin dealing with an ankle injury. Griffin would be lining up opposite Amari Cooper, who caught 53 passes for 725 yards and six touchdowns in just nine games for the Cowboys providing Dallas with a legitimate No. 1 receiver. The Cowboys also found a late-season hidden weapon, second-year tight end Blake Jarwin. He had 228 receiving yards in Dallas' last four games while scoring three touchdowns against the Giants in Week 17. The Cowboys defense ranks in the top-seven in fewest points, fewest yards and run defense. Seattle was 16th in yards allowed, 13th in run defense and 11th in scoring defense. Bobby Wagner is the Seahawks' lone defensive star. The Cowboys have an elite pass rusher, DeMarcus Lawrence, a top-notch cornerback, Byron Jones, and two emerging star linebackers, Leighton Vander Esch and Jaylon Smith. It's an added plus if Sean Lee is healthy enough to give them anything. Dallas' home field advantage can't be minimized either. It's huge. Dallas is 7-1 at home. The Cowboys held the Saints to a season-low 10 points at AT&T Stadium. Seattle is 4-4 on the road. The Seahawks' away victories came against the Cardinals, Lions, Panthers and Raiders - all below .500 teams.
|01-01-19||Texas +13.5 v. Georgia||28-21||Win||100||24 h 51 m||Show|
Not sure of Georgia's motivation for this game after playing for the national title game last season and falling short against Alabama this season. I'm not doubting the Bulldogs' talent. But Texas is going to be up for this game. The Longhorns never lack talent either and they have the best underdog coach going for them in Tom Herman. How good of a 'dog coach is Herman? If you take his last four jobs as offensive coordinator and head coach his teams are 23-2 ATS for 92 percent when taking points! Texas has a pair of dangerous big-play versatile receivers in Collin Johnson and Lil' Jordan Humphrey. The Bulldogs are without their top defensive back, Deandre Baker, who is sitting out the game to prepare for the NFL draft.
|01-01-19||Washington v. Ohio State -6||Top||23-28||Loss||-110||20 h 22 m||Show|
I want Ohio State going for me in Urban Meyer's final game as Buckeyes coach and the price isn't too high to get it. The Pac 12 is down this season. That's reflected in the bowls. Washington is one-dimensional relying on a strong defense. But Ohio State has a great offense ranking No. 2 in the nation in yards gained and seventh in points. The Buckeyes average 17 points more per game than the Huskies and play in the stronger conference in my view. If the Huskies fall behind early they are in big trouble because they lack an explosive offense. When motivated the Buckeyes can beat any team with the exception of Alabama and Clemson. Washington isn't close to being in that class. The Huskies lost to Auburn, Oregon and California. Ohio State displayed its power by burying Michigan, 62-39, in its last game. I see a class difference here. Throw in the huge motivating factor to get Meyer a victory in his finale and I'll lay the points.
|12-31-18||NC State v. Texas A&M OVER 55.5||Top||13-52||Win||100||21 h 59 m||Show|
Both teams rank among the top 26 in scoring. NC State averages 35.6 points. Texas A&M averages 34.7 points. So I find this total short. Neither defense can is strong enough to slow the other offense down. North Carolina State has a stud QB in Ryan Finley. He has a deep group of receivers to throw, including Kelvin Harmon and Jakobi Meyers. Both of whom had more than 1,000 yards receiving this season. The Wolfpack have gone Over in each of their last eight neutral site games. The Over has cashed in each of North Carolina State's last six bowl games. Texas A&M has gone Over in six of its last seven nonconference games. The Aggies have one of the best running backs in college football, Trayveon Williams, and also one of the better tight ends, Jace Sternberger, who had 804 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns.
|12-31-18||Missouri v. Oklahoma State +10||33-38||Win||100||17 h 25 m||Show|
If Missouri is the better team here, the Tigers aren't more than a touchdown better than Oklahoma State. Both offenses are strong. Missouri has the better defense, but Oklahoma State can score on any team. The Cowboys rank 14th in scoring and 10th in yardage. QB Taylor Cornelius is one of the most dangerous dual threats in the country. Cornelius is backed by talented running backs. The Tigers didn't see a lot of wide open attacks like Oklahoma State has playing in the SEC. The Tigers have good skill position talent, too, but Drew Lock doesn't have Cornelius' mobility and the Tigers could be missing several of their weapons with running back Damarea Crockett, wide receiver Jalen Knox and tight end Albert Okwuegbunam all banged-up. The Cowboys have been point spread gold in nonleague games covering eight of their past nine nonconference matchups.
|12-31-18||Virginia Tech v. Cincinnati -6.5||Top||31-35||Loss||-110||14 h 5 m||Show|
This is not a very good Virginia Tech team. The Hokies just were able to sneak into a bowl game. I find Cincinnati to not only be the superior team, but the more motivated one. The Bearcats surrendered 152 fewer yards per game than the Hokies. Cincinnati gave up fewer than 17 points a game, while Virginia Tech allowed nearly 32 points per game. The Hokies can be run on and passed on yielding more than 220 yards both ways. Cincinnati has the skill position talent to exploit Virginia Tech's vulnerable defense with dual threat quarterback Desmond Ridder and running back Michael Warren II. The Bearcats also have the best pass rusher in the game in Cortez Broughton and an excellent punter, James Smith. When Virginia Tech loses it is not by a close count. All of the Hokies' six defeats came by 10 or more points.
|12-30-18||Colts -3 v. Titans||33-17||Win||100||74 h 48 m||Show|
The Colts knocked out Marcus Mariota when they played the Titans in Week 11. The Colts buried the Titans, 38-10, in that game. Andrew Luck torched the Titans for 297 yards passing and three touchdowns. Luck is 10-0 lifetime versus Tennessee. Luck is an elite quarterback and now, for the first time, has an elite pass-blocking offensive line. The Colts are very underrated defensively giving up the 11th fewest yards and 13th fewest points. I expect Mariota to start for the Titans. But he's not likely 100 percent and he's not that good even when he is healthy unable to consistenly hurt a defense with downfield throws. The Titans' strategy has become feed Derrick Henry and rely on a good - but not great - defense. The Colts rank eighth in run defense. They are going to stack the line keying on Henry. Then what for the Titans? I don't see them being able to keep up with Luck, who is back to elite status and has found a decent running back in Marlon Mack. If the Colts are able to build a big early lead the Titans are in real trouble because that would take Henry out of the mix. The Colts have been playing extremely well going 8-1 in their last nine games, charging hard for a playoff spot. I believe they are the better team with the much superior quarterback. The Titans' home field is strong, but not strong enough to compensate for them being the weaker foe.
|12-30-18||Chargers -6.5 v. Broncos||23-9||Win||100||112 h 53 m||Show|
Despite getting manhandled last week by the Ravens, the Chargers are one of the best teams in the NFL. They are 11-4 and rank in the top 10 both offensively and defensively. The Chargers need this game in their hunt to finish with the best record in the AFC and win the AFC West Division title. They will be playing hard especially following their bad performance against the Ravens. The Broncos are a shot team done in by injuries, low morale and a coach who barring a miracle won't be with the team next season. Denver is reeling as the regular season comes to a conclusion losing the past three weeks to the 49ers, Browns and Raiders this past Monday night. The Broncos are 11-20 under Vance Joseph, who has impressed no one with his coaching blunders. Denver is down three key players - cornerback Chris Harris, wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders and now its star rookie running back Phillip Lindsay, who suffered a wrist injury against the Raiders. LA is much the better team and has motivation. The Chargers have the best road mark in the NFL at 6-1 SU and ATS. They have posted road victories against much stronger teams than the Broncos beating the Chiefs, Steelers and Seahawks.
|12-30-18||Raiders v. Chiefs -13.5||3-35||Win||100||70 h 33 m||Show|
When is it OK to lay two touchdowns in a division game? The answer is right here. This is a kill spot for the high-powered Chiefs off two straight losses and looking for a big win to regain momentum for the playoffs. No team gains more yards or scores more points than the Chiefs, who average 35.3 points per game. Patrick Mahomes should be the MVP of the league with his 48 TD passes, which is 12 more than second-place Andrew Luck. The Raiders rank 31st in scoring defense allowing 28.9 points a game. The Raiders are traveling on a short week after getting a bit of redemption for their disaster of a first season under Jon Gruden having just beaten the Broncos on national TV Monday. I see the Raiders being fat and happy after that win. They don't have nearly the talent to hang against the Chiefs on the road unless they produce an "A" effort. Gruden is going to be around a long time for the Raiders after signing a 10-year contract. I don't see the Raiders entering this matchup with a lot of urgency. They just want this season to be over with. Oakland is 1-6 on the road with the lone victory coming by two points against the punchless Cardinals, who are the opposite of the Chiefs with the worst offense in the NFL. Just two weeks ago the Raiders traveled to Cincinnati and lost by 14 points to the hapless Bengals surrendering 30 points to an outfit that is down their starting quarterback and their three best receivers. The Raiders have lost four road games by 14 points or more. Defense has been Kansas City's major weakness. The Chiefs, though, are giving up a respectable 20.1 points a game when playing at Arrowhead Stadium. The return of star safety Eric Berry improves their defense, too.
|12-30-18||Cardinals +14 v. Seahawks||24-27||Win||100||68 h 53 m||Show|
I understand the Cardinals are dog excrement. They are 3-12 and headed toward getting the No. 1 draft pick. Steve Wilks has been a dismal failure and is likely to be one-and-out as the Cardinals head coach. However ...The Seahawks have no incentive to pile up a big victory here. They clinched a playoff spot this past week. Even if they beat the Cardinals the best they can be is a No. 5 seed. That means the Seahawks may not play Russell Wilson and some of their other key players the entire game. The Seahawks are not some dominant, elite team. Their defense is opportunistic rather than outstanding with 24 takeaways. The Cardinals have better talent than their record shows with David Johnson, Larry Fitzgerald, Chandler Jones and Patrick Peterson. Arizona nearly forced overtime in the first meeting. The Seahawks won, 20-17, on a 52-year field goal with no time left. The Seahawks have won nine games. Only two of those victories, though, were by more than 14 points.
|12-30-18||Dolphins v. Bills -3||Top||17-42||Win||100||140 h 13 m||Show|
The Dolphins have lost 11 of their last 12 road games. They are 0-6 SU, 1-5 ATS in their past six away matchups. The Dolphins are not going to the playoffs and likely will have a new coach and management team in place next season. The warm-weathered Dolphins have no interest in traveling to Buffalo where the forecast is for temperatures in the 20's with wind and a 30 percent chance of snow. That's the situational aspect. The fundamental matchup is the Bills have the superior defense and a far more mobile quarterback. Miami ranks third-from-the-bottom in both yards allowed and fewest yards gained. Ryan Tanneheill is a mediocre quarterback, who is even less effective because of a sore ankle. He has been sacked 20 times in the last five games. Buffalo ranks No. 1 in pass defense and also gives up the second-fewest yards in the league. The Bills' defense is far more respectable than Miami's. Josh Allen provides a spark for the Bills on offense. He's already one of the best running quarterbacks having rushed for 100 yards twice this season. The Bills outgained the Dolphins, 415-175, when the teams met in Week 13. The Dolphins won, though, 21-17. The Bills should have taken a late lead but Charles Clay dropped a throw in the end zone with 53 seconds left.
|12-29-18||Notre Dame v. Clemson UNDER 57||Top||3-30||Win||100||21 h 17 m||Show|
Clemson's Travis Etienne and Notre Dame's Dexter Williams are two excellent running backs. I expect a lot of carries for these two backs given the high quality of these defenses and the inexperience of each team's quarterback when going against an elite defense. Running the ball eats clock. So given this high of a total, Under is the way to go. Notre Dame ranks 10th in scoring defense allowing just 17.2 points a game. The Irish do not give up big plays, which has been a staple of Clemson's quick-strike offense. Clemson also doesn't give up big plays. The Tigers rank fourth in the country in both fewest yards and fewest points allowed. I don't see Notre Dame QB Ian Book having too much success against the Tigers. The Irish defense, with their strong defensive front, can contain Clemson freshman QB Trevor Lawrence.
|12-29-18||South Carolina v. Virginia +5||0-28||Win||100||17 h 16 m||Show|
Virginia has steadily improved under Bronco Mendenhall. The Cavaliers reached a bowl game last season and now they are ready to win one after getting crushed by Navy, 49-7, in a bowl game that was more like a home game for the Midshipmen. South Carolina has a strong passing attack. However the Gamecocks have two things against them. They won't have their best wideout, Deebo Samuel, who is sitting out for personal reasons. And they are facing a strong Virginia secondary that ranked 14th in the nation in pass defense. The Cavaliers have an excellent quarterback in Bryce Perkins, a dual threat who accounted for 3,314 all-purpose yards and 31 touchdowns. South Carolina will be without two injured defensive starters, too, tackle Javon Kinlaw and cornerback Keisean Nixon.
|12-28-18||Iowa State +3 v. Washington State||Top||26-28||Win||100||80 h 16 m||Show|
There are many reasons to like Iowa State against Washington State especially when the wrong team is favored. Iowa State played in the tougher conference and faced a tougher schedule. The Pac-12 was extremely weak this year. Washington State is a one-dimensional passing team. This is a reflection on its coach, Mike Leach. Iowa State is used to facing passing teams being in the Big 12. The Cyclones have a solid defense. They held West Virginia and Baylor to 14 points each. If the Cyclones can stop Will Grier like they did, they can slow down Gardner Minshew. I find Leach to be an overrated coach. I base much of this opinion on his being 1-7 ATS in his last eight bowl games. The long layoff from the end of the regular season to the bowl game is a real negative for Washington State, throwing off its timing in the passing game. The Cougars are averaging just 16.3 points during their past three bowl games. Washington State was hoping to play in the Rose Bowl. The Cougars had to settle for this minor Alamo Bowl game after losing 28-15 at home to long-time Pac 12 rival Washington. So the Cougars may not be fully motivated. Iowa State quarterback Brock Purdy proved himself this season with a 16-to-5 touchdown-to-interception ratio in eight games. He has a pair of tremendous skill position weapons in running back David Montgomery and wide receiver Hakeem Butler. I also like Iowa State coach Matt Campbell. His Cyclones have covered 69 percent of the time in the 36 past instances when they were underdogs of three points or higher.
|12-27-18||Duke +3.5 v. Temple||Top||56-27||Win||100||23 h 39 m||Show|
Care to lay points with an 8-4 American Athletic Conference school against an Atlantic Coast Conference opponent, who owns victories this season against bowl teams Army, Northwestern, Baylor, Georgia Tech and Miami? I sure don't. That's one reason I'm taking the points with Duke against Temple in the Independence Bowl. Please note this game goes early Thursday. The Blue Devils are going for their third straight bowl win. They have a tremendous bowl and underdog coach in David Cutcliffe, whose teams have covered 60 percent of the time the past 80 times they have been underdogs. Cutcliffe's teams are 8-2 ATS, too, in bowl games. Temple, by contrast, has a messed-up coaching situation. Ed Foley will be coaching just his second game as Owls head coach Geoff Collins left for Georgia Tech. The Owls' biggest wins were against Maryland, which finished with a losing record in the down Big Ten, and Houston. The Cougars just got blasted, 70-14, by Army in the Armed Forces Bowl. It's clear Duke has played a far tougher schedule. Blue Devils quarterback Daniel Jones is a pro prospect. Wrong team favored in my view.
|12-26-18||Minnesota v. Georgia Tech -5.5||Top||34-10||Loss||-100||29 h 14 m||Show|
Minnesota ranks 74th in run defense. The Gophers give up 5.2 yards per run, second-worst among all bowl team. And these numbers include the Gophers having their best defensive player, senior linebacker Blake Cashman, who is sitting out this game in preparation for the NFL draft. Cashman was in on 104 tackles. If you can't stop the run, you can't beat Georgia Tech with its unique triple-option attack. The Yellow Jackets are the No. 1 rushing team in the country averaging 335 yards on the ground. Minnesota's defense isn't that good to begin with and now facing Georgia Tech and without Cashman it is in real trouble. The Yellow Jackets have an underrated defense ranking 45th in total yards. The Gophers were 89th in yards gained. The topper is the Yellow Jackets will be highly motivated to bury the Gophers as a sendoff to their coach, Paul Johnson. He is retiring after this game.
|12-24-18||Broncos v. Raiders +3||Top||14-27||Win||100||20 h 10 m||Show|
If there is one game the Raiders should be up for it is this one - a Monday night home game in what could be their final game ever in Oakland. The Broncos are a dead team done in the past two weeks by losses to the 49ers and Browns. Vance Joseph is not expected to return as coach. One of Joseph's failing is Denver's poor road record during his two seasons - 4-11 SU, 5-10 ATS - including a seven-point road loss to the Raiders last season. Denver failed to cover when it hosted the Raiders in Week 2, winning 20-19 as 5 1/2-point favorites. Derek Carr completed 29 of 32 passes in that game for 288 yards and a touchdown. The Broncos' secondary is down a key member with cornerback Chris Harris out. Carr rates a strong edge over journeyman Case Keenum.
|12-23-18||Chiefs -120 v. Seahawks||31-38||Loss||-120||20 h 32 m||Show|
There's a class difference here. The Chiefs have the best QB in football. Patrick Mahomes leads the NFL in touchdown throws with 45 and in yards passing. The Seahawks defense is down from previous years. It's decent, but far from dominating. Seattle no longer has the home mystique it used to possess. The Seahawks are 2-7-1 ATS in their last 10 home games. The Seahawks offense is one-dimensional. The Chiefs' defense is improved with the return of star safety and defensive leader Eric Berry. He had six tackles last week in his first action since the 2017 season opener. The Chiefs have covered 71 percent of their last 29 road games. They also are on extra rest having played last Thursday. The extra rest is huge this late in the season.
|12-23-18||Steelers v. Saints OVER 52.5||28-31||Win||100||16 h 48 m||Show|
The Steelers rank in the top-five in points scored and yards gained. They have an elite offense. The Saints also have an elite offense. However, this total is lower than it should be because the Saints are averaging just 16.6 points during their last three games. Those three games all were on the road, though. Drew Brees has a strong history inside the Louisiana Superdome. The Saints are averaging 41.7 points during their past four home games. The Steelers have surrendered 24 points in each of their last two road games. Those were against the Raiders and Broncos, who have far inferior offenses to the Steelers. The Saints are 19-9-1 to the Over in their last 29 home games.
|12-23-18||Bucs v. Cowboys -7||Top||20-27||Push||0||87 h 29 m||Show|
Tampa Bay's defense has shown improvement, but not enough to overcome the Cowboys' ground attack and poor situational spot the Bucs find themselves in. The Buccaneers' defense was on the field for 74 plays comprising 37 minutes against the highly physical Ravens on the road last Sunday. This is their second road game in a row and 11th straight week of playing. I can envision the gassed Buccaneers losing the battle of the trenches to the Cowboys offensive line and superstar running back Ezekiel Elliott. Tampa Bay ranks 27th in run defense. Jameis Winston doesn't often play well on the road. The Buccaneers are averaging only 16.6 points a game in their last three games. Their offense has declined as their defense has improved. The Cowboys have a top-five defense, which is made even better with the return of Sean Lee. The Cowboys are going to be highly motivated following a 23-0 shutout loss to the Colts on the road last Sunday. The Cowboys are 6-1 SU, 5-2 ATS at home this season.
|12-23-18||Vikings v. Lions UNDER 42.5||27-9||Win||100||72 h 53 m||Show|
The teams met in Week 9 and the Vikings won 24-9 sacking Matthew Starfford 10 times. Things are even worse now for the Lions. Stafford isn't healthy. His offensive line is banged-up. His top running back, Kerryon Johnson, is out and his receiving corps is reduced to just one good player, Kenny Golladay. Detroit hasn't scored more than 22 points during its last eight games. The Lions are averaging 16.3 points in their last seven games. That figure would rank 29th if computed for the entire season. Stafford has just three touchdown throws in his last five games. He figures to be under constant pressure again so expect a lot of inside running by LeGarrette Blount, which is perfect for an Under. The Vikings have committed to the run under their new offensive coordinator. So expect a lot of running plays, too, from the Vikings. All of this is going to keep the clock moving.
This has been an Under series recently with four of the past five going below the total.
|12-23-18||Bengals +10.5 v. Browns||18-26||Win||100||12 h 29 m||Show|
The Browns are in uncharted waters laying a number this big especially versus a division rival that has just as many wins as they do. I understand why Cleveland is such a large favorite. They are still alive for the playoffs and the Bengals have lost all of their best skill position players except workhorse running back Joe Mixon. All the pressure is on the Browns. They are a young team that has not been in this type of must-win spot before let alone cover a double-digit spread. The Browns are going to take the Bengals' best shot that's for sure. Cincinnati hasn't been swept by the Browns since 2002. The Browns defeated the Bengals, 35-20, on Nov. 25. The game was even more lopsided than the final 15-point margin with Cleveland jumping off to a 28-0 lead and coasting from there. Not knowing how to properly win and being coached by cheap-shot motivator Gregg Williams, the Browns rubbed that victory into the Bengals' faces trash talking during and after the game. The Bengals haven't forgotten about the humiliation, nor Damarious Randall's classless stunt of handing Hue Jackson the football after he interceped an Andy Dalton pass. The Bengals are down their two best wide receivers and top tight end. Mixon, though, has stepped up to become the star running back the Bengals envisioned when they drafted him. He is leading the AFC in rushing. Jeff Driskel isn't as good as Andy Dalton, but he does provide a running threat that Dalton didn't. The Bengals also have played better defense the past couple of weeks. Cincinnati has covered 11 of its past 15 games versus AFC opponents.
|12-22-18||Louisiana Tech v. Hawaii UNDER 61.5||Top||31-14||Win||100||33 h 20 m||Show|
It's easy to think that there are a lot of points going to be scored in this bowl matchup pitting Louisiana Tech against Hawaii. Louisiana Tech has averaged 45.2 points during its past four bowl games while Hawaii averages 32.1 points a game this season. But the total is set too high based on reputation rather than reality. Louisiana Tech isn't nearly the offensive machine of previous seasons. The Bulldogs rank 101st in scoring at 24.2 points per game. Their offensive decline is made up for by their defensive improvement. The Bulldogs held opponents to 23.8 points a game. The result has been a 7-3-1 mark to the Under for Louisiana Tech. The Bulldogs have the pass rush, led by star defensive end Jaylon Ferguson, to bother Cole McDonald. The average combined total in Louisiana Tech's games versus FBS foes came out to fewer than 46 points per game. Hawaii's defense isn't as good as the Bulldogs. But the Rainbow Warriors aren't pitted against a good quarterback. Louisiana Tech QB J'Mar Smith had just a 5-to-4 touchdown-to-interception ratio in his last eight games while completing less than 57 percent of his throws.
|12-20-18||Marshall -2.5 v. South Florida||Top||38-20||Win||100||68 h 2 m||Show|
Current form and superior defense are two keys in projecting bowl winners. So is pedigree. Marshall has all these factors going and the spread is low enough to back the Thundering Herd.Marshall has won and covered each of its last six bowl games under Doc Holliday. Holliday is a coach you can count on. South Florida is in terrible form. The Bulls were bogus when they opened 7-0. That was proven when they finished the regular-season with five straight losses, all by double-digits. The Thundering Herd own a huge defensive advantage. They rank 31st in the country in fewest points allowed at 22 per game. South Florida ranks 92nd in points given up at 31.5. That number shoots up to 39.6 if you count just the Bulls' last five games.
|12-17-18||Saints v. Panthers +7||Top||12-9||Win||100||19 h 22 m||Show|
It has been a disappointing season to say the least for the Panthers. That's what happens when you lose a lot of close games like Carolina has. Only twice all season have the 6-7 Panthers lost by more than a touchdown.This is the Panthers' Super Bowl. They draw the Saints playing in their third consecutive road game. New Orleans has averaged just 262 total yards of offense in its last three games, which would rank 31st in the league if computed for the entire season. Carolina's troubles have stemmed mainly when they are on the road. The Panthers have won 10 of their last 11 home games, including going 5-1 at home this season.
|12-16-18||Eagles v. Rams -9||Top||30-23||Loss||-103||129 h 1 m||Show|
Physically and mentally down, the Eagles aren't ready for the Rams. LA is in a kill mood after its worst offensive performance of the season this past Sunday night. That was in cold conditions on the road against a very strong Bears defense. The Rams have multiple weapons to take advantage of the Eagles' messy cornerback situation, which has numerous injuries and is composed of second and third-stringers. Jared Goff is back in his element playing in California. Unlike last season when the Eagles outscored the Rams, 43-35, Philadelphia doesn't have the offensive capability to hang anymore with LA. The Eagles have no ground game to fall back on and Golden Tate has been a major disappointment since joining the Eagles from the Lions failing to elevate Philly's passing attack. The Eagles defense was on the field for 93 plays in their overtime loss against the Cowboys last week. They are worn down. They couldn't ask for a more dangerous offense to face on the road than the Rams. Mentally, the Eagles aren't there either with their playoff hopes realistically dashed following the loss to Dallas.
|12-16-18||Cowboys v. Colts -140||0-23||Win||100||122 h 31 m||Show|
Dallas is in a major flat spot after winnings its division showdown game against the Eagles. That victory all but clinched the NFC East for the Cowboys. They are pretty much locked into their playoff seeding at 8-5 since the two other division leaders, the Saints and Rams, are each at 11-2. The Colts also won a division showdown game this past Sunday beating the Texans. But the Colts need to keep winning in order to make the playoffs being 7-6. Andrew Luck has regained his status as an elite quarterback. He's also getting tremendous pass protection for the first time in his career. Indy's defense is much improved. The combination of Luck, being home and drawing the Cowboys in a letdown spot are enough factors to lay the short number with the Colts.
|12-16-18||Dolphins v. Vikings -7||Top||17-41||Win||100||121 h 40 m||Show|
The Dolphins are not nearly as good as their 7-6 record. They don't have an elite player on their roster. Their best player might be corernback Xavien Howard and he's hurt missing last week's game. The Vikings have a very strong home field. They have covered 69 percent of their home games under Mike Zimmer. The Dolphins are 1-10 SU, 2-9 ATS in their last 11 road games. They have lost four away games this season by double-digits. Minnesota's defense is far superior. The Vikings also don't have to deal with a high octane offense. The Dolphins' lone outside threat is Kenyan Drake and he is under utilized. Ryan Tannehill is a limited quarterback and playing on a sore ankle. Look for the fired-up Vikings to expose the Dolphins for the fraud team that they are.
|12-16-18||Bucs v. Ravens UNDER 46.5||12-20||Win||100||37 h 24 m||Show|
Baltimore has the best defense in the NFL giving up the fewest points per game at 18.5 and the second-fewest yards per game. The Ravens also rank No. 3 in pass defense. The Buccaneers are less free-wheeling and more short-to-medium pass oriented with Jameis Winston at quarterback instead of wild man Ryan Fitzpatrick. I don't see the Buccaneers putting up many points against the Ravens especially on the road and down big-play receiver/returner DeSean Jackson. Tampa Bay managed just 81 yards offense in the second half against the Saints last week. There is a wind and rain factor, too, with the forecast calling for light showers and 8-10 mph wind. The key in making this under work is being able to rely on the Buccaneers' defense. Tampa Bay ranks 30th in points allowed at 29.5 per game. That number is skewed, though, from how bad the Bucs defense was earlier in the season. Tampa Bay has gotten healthier defensively and played much better. If you discount a 38-point performance from the Giants, the Bucs have surrendered only 17.5 points in their last four games. That figure would rank No. 1. The Under is going to be helped by the Ravens running the ball so much since they switched to Lamar Jackson at quarterback. Jackson can't pass very well. But he's an excellent runner. The Ravens are like a college option team running the ball more than any other team in the NFL. The Ravens have a bunch of inside runners, though, no breakaway, dangerous outside running threats. This sets up long sustained ground-oriened drives that eat clock and keep the ball away from Tampa Bay's more explosiving passing attack. It's a plus for the Under.
|12-16-18||Titans +2.5 v. Giants||17-0||Win||100||37 h 13 m||Show|
The Titans are on extra rest and are the superior team. The oddsmaker set a bad line opening the Giants as a favorite. I'm late for the party, but at least I have arrived as the Titans should win this game. It's certainly not too much to ask of them. The Giants caught the oddsmaker's attention by winning four of their last five games. However, three of those wins were against the 49ers, Buccaneers and Redskins starting Mark Sanchez. Their only legitimate win came against the Bears in a letdown spot for Chicago - and they nearly blew that. The Titans give up the fourth-fewest points in the NFL. They are going to load the box keying on Saquan Barkley, who is a one-man band with Odell Beckham Jr. out another week. Eli Manning doesn't have the arm nor talent anymore to back the Titans off the line. Tennessee should have no problem running on the Giants with Derrick Henry. The Giants no longer have run-stuffing defensive tackle Damon Harrison and they lost strong safety Landon Collins to a season-ending injury. New York has yielded at least 115 yards on the ground in five of its past six games. Despite facing a number of backup quarterbacks - Sanchez, Josh Johnson, Chase Daniel and Nick Mullens - the Giants are giving up an average of nearly 27 points per game during their last 10 games. The point spread won't matter. Tennessee wins this game straight-up.
|12-15-18||Middle Tennessee State v. Appalachian State OVER 47.5||13-45||Win||100||36 h 42 m||Show|
I find this total low given the quality of the offenses and this game being played on a fast track inside the Louisiana Superdome. Yes, Appalachian State has a strong defense. But the Mountaineers also have a strong, balanced offense that averages 36.7 points a game. Their quarterback, Zac Thomas, is a dual threat so Middle Tennessee State has to respect both the pass and run. The Blue Raiders' defense has shown signs of slippage surrendering 27 or more points in three of their last four games. I've always liked Blue Raiders QB Brent Stockstill. He had another big season throwing for 3,214 yards and 28 touchdowns. Middle Tennessee State averaged nearly 30 points a game and close to 400 yards per contest. The Blue Raiders also have a balanced attack.
|12-15-18||Browns +3 v. Broncos||17-16||Win||100||105 h 44 m||Show|
Toss out Hue Jackson and football becomes fun again for the Browns. No, the Browns are not a playoff team. But they have emerging young talent and a decent defense. All they needed to do was get rid of Jackson, one of the most incompetent head coaches in NFL history. Interim coach Gregg Williams is 3-2 since replacing Jackson. That matches Jackson's win total from the past two-plus seasons. Baker Mayfield and Nick Chubb have thrived since Jackson was fired. Chubb has rushed for 100 yards in every game since Jackson's departure. Jackson was hardly using the guy. Mayfield is attacking downfield. He's thrown 11 touchdowns during the past five games. Cleveland has dropped just two of its six road games by more than a field goal. There is a good chance star rookie cornerback Denzel Ward will be able to play for the Browns here after missing last week. Denver isn't making the playoffs either. A loss to the 49ers this past Sunday took care of that. Unlike the Browns, morale is down now with the Broncos. The Broncos' secondary is hurting without cornerback Chris Harris. They just lost another cornerback, Isaac Yiadom, forcing journeyman Tramaine Brock into their starting lineup. The Broncos' passing game - not good to begin with - has taken a major nosedive with the season-ending Achilles injury to Emmanuel Sanders, their best wide receiver by far. Right now the Browns are the superior team. Taking points with them is a bonus.
|12-15-18||Arizona State v. Fresno State -4||Top||20-31||Win||100||68 h 41 m||Show|
Credit to Herm Edwards for doing an excellent job with Arizona State. But the Sun Devils are not in Fresno State's class. Fresno State is holding foes to 13.7 points a game this season. That's the second-best scoring defense in the nation. Arizona State surrendered 12 more points per game than the Bulldogs. The Sun Devils will be without their best player with wide receiver N'Keal Harry deciding to skip the game in order to prepare for the NFL draft where he is expected to go in the first round. I'm not that high on ASU quarterback Manny Wilkins especially since he won't have Harry anymore. An insight into this matchup could come with common opponents. Both teams played San Diego State at home. Fresno State beat the Aztecs, 23-14, and had a 108-yard advantage, where as the Sun Devils lost 28-21 to the Aztecs and were outgained, 440-377. Each team also played UCLA. Fresno State whipped the Bruins, 38-14, on the road while outgaining them by 150 yards. ASU nipped the Bruins, 31-28, while playing at home and only outgained them by 41 yards.
|12-09-18||Rams v. Bears UNDER 51||6-15||Win||100||44 h 39 m||Show|
It's easy to think Todd Gurley and all the offensive stars in this matchup. I choose to think of Aaron Donald and Khalil Mack, perhaps the two most dominant defenders in the NFL right now. Just because the Rams are involved doesn't mean this is going to be a high-scoring game. This isn't the Rams hosting the Chiefs. It's being played in 20-degree December weather in Chicago against a Bears defense that gives up the third-fewest yards and fifth-fewest points. Jared Goff is a California quarterback, both in college and the pros. This will be the coldest game he has played in. He has yet to distinguish himself in this type of weather. He's down a key wide receiver with Cooper Kupp out. Donald could have a dominating performance operating against rookie left guard James Daniels and second-string right guard Bryan Witzmann, who has replaced injured Kyle Long. I am not trusting of Mitch Trubisky, who has missed the past two games with a shoulder injury. He last played against the Vikigns on Nov. 18 and threw two interceptions with a 61.9 passer rating. Trubisky is not a downfield passer and he figures to be rusty.
|12-09-18||Broncos v. 49ers +4.5||14-20||Win||100||78 h 50 m||Show|
This is a major flat spot for the Broncos after three straight wins beating the Chargers, Steelers and Bengals. It's their second consecutive road game and they just lost their best wide receiver, Emmanuel Sanders. The 49ers usually play hard every week for Kyle Shanahan. The 49ers can move the ball - averaging 393.2 yards per game during their last four games - and they give up the 12th-fewest yards in the NFL. Denver isn't good despite its recent hot streak. The Broncos were outgained by an average of 107.6 yards in their past three games.
|12-09-18||Jets +3.5 v. Bills||Top||27-23||Win||100||75 h 16 m||Show|
When it's dreck versus dreck give me the garbage team getting the points especially with division revenge. That would be the Jets here. Both teams are going with rookie quarterback and rebuilding for next season. But the Jets are going to be super high for this game after the Bills embarrassed them on Nov. 11 dealing them one of the ugliest defeats in franchise history, 41-10. That loss really put Todd Bowles on the hot seat. Bowles is popular with the Jets players. I believe the Jets will put forth one of their strongest - if not the strongest - effort of the season in this matchup. Talent-wise, the Bills are not any better than the Jets.
|12-09-18||Saints v. Bucs UNDER 56||Top||28-14||Win||100||71 h 32 m||Show|
This total opened very high. There were a staggering 88 points scored the first time these two teams met. The Buccaneers upset the Saints, 48-40, in that matchup. That was opening week. The Buccaneers have gotten healthy on defense and their current form is much different than what it was back in Week 1. The Buccaneers have given up just 17, 9 and 16 points during three of their last four games. Tampa Bay is allowing an average of just 16.2 points during its last four home games. Tampa Bay leads the NFL in yards gained. However, the Bucs are 10th in scoring. The Buccaneers have committed 30 turnovers, by far the most in the league. Their offense has become more short-pass oriented with Jameis Winston replacing Ryan Fitzpatrick. Winston still is heavily turnover-prone. The Saints have a tremendous offense. But it is balanced. The weather forecast is not good - rain and winds in the 14-16 mph range. That means the Saints are going to have to deal with the elements, something they are not used to. So I envision more running on their part and Drew Brees throwing more short passes than usual.
|12-09-18||Colts +4.5 v. Texans||24-21||Win||100||36 h 20 m||Show|
The Texans haved won nine in a row. They are fat and happy with a bulging three-game division lead. The Colts are 6-6 and in must-win mode. The Texans were lucky to beat the Colts in overtime during the first meeting. They are going to get Indy's best effort here. Houston only nipped the Colts in the first meeting when the Colts failed to pick up a first down on fourth and four from their own 43 with 27 seconds left. The Texans took over on downs and kicked a field goal on the final play. If the Colts would have punted, like they should have, the chances are very high the game would have finished in a tie. Andrew Luck trumps DeShaun Watson and the Colts rank first in pass protection. That negates a major Houston strength, which is its pass rush. Until being shut out by the Jaguars last Sunday, the Colts were averaging 34.3 points in their last eight games. Luck can hurt the Texans secondary if given time. Sparked by rookie sensation Darius Leonard, the Colts' defense is much improved. The Texans have a poor track record as a favorite under conservative Bill O'Brien going 4-8-1 ATS when laying three or more points.
|12-06-18||Jaguars v. Titans -4.5||Top||9-30||Win||100||24 h 49 m||Show|
Bad quarterback. Decimated offensive line. Shot morale with no playoff chance after entering the season holding Super Bowl aspirations. Say hello to the 2018 Jacksonville Jaguars, the biggest underachievers in the AFC. The Jaguars are further hurt by traveling on a short week this being the Thursday game. Game manager Cody Kessler is 1-8 as an NFL starter. He's isn't going to produce many points with a beat-up offensive line and sub-par receivers. Tennessee's defense has played just below Jacksonville's ranking sixth in fewest points allowed and ninth in yards given up. So while a slight edge to Jacksonville on defense, the Titans have a much superior offense. Marcus Mariota has been playing well. He plays better against the Jaguars than any other team with a seven-game career mark of 107-for172 (62.2 percent), 1,317 yards passing and an eight-to-two touchdown-to-interception ratio. He also has rushed for 290 yards and scored two touchdowns on the ground. The Titans have defeated the Jaguars in their last three meetings holding the Jaguars to an average of 10.6 points a game.
|12-02-18||Chargers v. Steelers -3||33-30||Loss||-120||43 h 6 m||Show|
I want the Steelers going for me on national television at home after they self-destructed last week in a road loss to the Broncos despite dominating the yardage battle by having a minus four turnover ratio.Philip Rivers is having a great season, but Ben Roethlisberger trumps him when playing at home especially in December. Roethlisberger has his main weapons while Rivers is down star running back Melvin Gordon. The Steelers lead the NFL in sacks with 39. The Chargers have surrendered seven sacks in their past two games. The Chargers also have key injuries on defense down tackle Corey Liuget and linebacker Denzel Perryman. That really hurts their run defense and sets up Roethlisberger's dangerous play action. Pittsburgh has a history of winning late season big games and making the playoffs. The Chargers don't. The Chargers are hurt by poor special teams and questionable coachin
|12-02-18||Vikings v. Patriots -4.5||10-24||Win||100||14 h 58 m||Show|
The Patriots are 5-0 at home and have yet to really play their best ball. That could happen here as Bill Belichick perceives a real challenge. Slowly but surely New England is getting healthy on offense. The Patriots got Sony Michael, their top runner, back last week along with Rob Gronkowski. This week they add to their running back depth with the return of Rex Burkhead. The Vikings' top cornerback, Xavier Rhodes, is questionable with a hamstring injury. Even if he plays, Rhodes isn't likely to be 100 percent making Josh Gordon a dangerous deep threat. Tom Brady is coming off his highest passer rating of the season. It's not a coincidence that happened with all of his weapons returning. The Vikings are well coached under Mike Zimmer. But they have not been good covering against strong opponents going 1-6 ATS versus foes with a winning mark. It's a bit of a flat spot, too, for the Vikings off a huge nationally televised Sunday night home win against their division arch rivals the Packers. The Patriots have covered 17 of the past 24 times when going against above .500 opponents.
|12-02-18||Cardinals v. Packers UNDER 44||20-17||Win||100||36 h 44 m||Show|
First let's take in the weather forecast: 19 mph winds and light snow. Next let's examine the Cardinals' offense: It's terrible. The combination of rookie quarterback Josh Rosen, a decimated offensive line and a below average receiving corps headed by over-the-hill Larry Fitzgerald brings no fear. The Packers give up 10 fewer points per game at home, allowing 18.8 points when playing at Lambeau Field. Surprisingly, the Packers also have 36 sacks, just three behind NFL leader Pittsburgh. Now study the Cardinals' defense. It's actually pretty darn good considering how putrid their offense is. While Arizona ranks last in all the major offensive categories, including scoring and yards, its defense gives up the second-fewest TD passes and leads the NFL in sack percentage. The Packers have offensive line injuries. Their best lineman is left tackle David Bakhhtiari and he's questionable with a knee injury. The Packers lack depth in their offensive line. Aaron Rodgers is not having a typical Aaron Rodgers season either.
|12-02-18||Ravens v. Falcons -120||26-16||Loss||-120||36 h 43 m||Show|
Atlanta is on a slippery slope to miss the playoffs having lost three in a row. The Falcons are 4-7. So this is last stand time for them. I see the Falcons getting the job done at home against this foe. The Falcons' defense is improved with the return of middle linebacker Deion Jones and they hold a monster quarterback edge with Matt Ryan, who has put up MVP numbers at home with a 15-to-2 touchdown-to-interception ratio. Baltimore got some early love from the oddsmaker, but there has been a switch of favorites. The steam is justified. The Ravens have won two in a row. Lamar Jackson was the QB in each of those wins. But those victories were against the Raiders and Bengals, both at home. Jackson hasn't shown an ability to throw downfield. The Ravens scored on a defensive touchdown and punt return touchdown against the Raiders. Their offense managed just 20 points against the Raiders' 29th-ranked defense. The Bengals rank last defensively giving up the most points and yards per game. Those are two defenses Jackson has gone against The Falcons' defense can handle Jackson while Ryan should shine at home aided by Julio Jones, who is on a streak of six straight 100-yard plus receiving games.
|12-02-18||Browns +7 v. Texans||Top||13-29||Loss||-140||36 h 42 m||Show|
Free of Hue Jackson, rookies Baker Mayfield and Nick Chubb are playing their best ball. Mayfield is 36-for-46 passing for 474 yards with a 7-to-0 touchdown-to-interception ration in his last two games while Chubb has gained 337 yards from scrimmage and scored four TD's in the last two weeks.Cleveland is a dangerous foe for the fat and happy Texans, winners of eight in a row. Houston is on a short week after dispatching Tennessee at home and two games up on the Colts in the AFC South Division. The Texans aren't nearly as good as their record and are ripe for an upset. They have built their win streak versus easy competition and by winning close games. Houston won four games by a combined 10 points, two of them coming in overtime. They have lost to the Giants and only beaten the Bills by a touchdown. Bill O'Brien plays not to lose. Because of that, the Texans are very bad in a chalk role. Going back to 2016, the Texans are 3-8-1 ATS when laying a field goal or more. Houston also has failed to cover in its last seven December games.
|12-01-18||Northwestern v. Ohio State OVER 61||24-45||Win||100||35 h 3 m||Show|
Ohio State covered this total by itself last week putting up 62 points and piling up more than 500 yards. And that was against Michigan, a much stronger defensive team than Northwestern. The Wildcats can contribute their share of points, too, as their offense has picked up. The Wildcats have scored 24 points in each of their last two games. Ohio State's pass defense ranks 78th. It has been a down year for Ohio State's defense given its past history. The Over has cashed four of the past five times the teams have met. Note, too, this game is being played indoors on carpet at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.
|12-01-18||Stanford v. California +3.5||23-13||Loss||-115||25 h 58 m||Show|
Stanford is being overrated by the linesmaker. This is a huge Pac-12 rivalry and California is the home team. The Golden Bears are 4-1 ATS as underdogs this season. Both teams enter the matchup with two-game win streaks. I'm not impressed with Stanford's two victories against UCLA and Oregon State, though. The last time the Cardinal beat a team with a winning record was mid-October. Their defense has been disappointing while Cal's defense has yielded only 14.2 points per game during its last five matchups.
|12-01-18||UAB v. Middle Tennessee State UNDER 45||Top||27-25||Loss||-115||90 h 1 m||Show|
Look for defense to rule in this Conference USA title game. UAB ranks in the top nine in fewest yards per game and fewest points per game. Middle Tennessee State has a respectable defense ranking 51st in points allowed per game at 25.2. The teams met this past Saturday and MTS won, 27-3. The Blue Raiders held the Blazers to 89 yards. That doesn't bode well for UAB in the rematch. The Blazers are ground-oriented. They were held to minus 1 yard rushing by MTS. The Blazers are not in good shape. Their quarterback is banged-up and they have multiple offensive line injuries. MTS relies on the pass. The Blazers, though, own the best pass defense in Conference USA. The Blue Raiders aren't going to be helped by the weather with the forecast calling for heavy wind and rain. The Under has cashed in 12 of the Blazers' past 15 road conference games and nine of their last 11 road games. The Under is 9-1-1 in MTS's last 11 home games.
|11-30-18||Northern Illinois +4 v. Buffalo||Top||30-29||Win||100||20 h 26 m||Show|
Northern Illinois has lost two in a row, but the Huskies are laying in the weeds. They've been pointing to this matchup, the MAC title game. Note the game is at a neutral site, Ford Field in Detroit. Buffalo has the better record and the flashier quarterback in Tyree Jackson. Northern Illinois, though, has the best defense in the MAC. Jackson is turnover prone and hasn't faced a defense this good. Jackson has a stud wideout, Anthony Johnson. But look for Northern Illinois to cause Jackson problems with its pass rush and linebackers. The situation favors Northern Illinois, too. Buffalo played last week. Northern Illinois has been idle since Nov. 20. This also is the Bulls' third straight road appearance and fourth different venue in their last four games. The Huskies nipped the Bulls, 14-13, at Buffalo last season. The combination of the superior defense and running of Tre Harbison - who has rushed for 950 yards while averaging 5.4 yards a carry - should carry the Huskies to a cover if not an outright victory.
|11-25-18||Packers v. Vikings -3||Top||17-24||Win||100||33 h 36 m||Show|
The Packers didn't make the playoffs last season. They aren't going to make the postseason either this season. The reasons are many: A talent shortage. Stale coaching by Mike McCarthy. Key injuries. Lack of a pass rush. Vulnerable secondary. Aaron Rodgers performing at a good rather than great level. The Vikings aren't at the elite level of the Rams and Saints. But they are coming on and clearly are a tier higher than the Packers. Green Bay is 0-5 on the road this season. The Lions, Seahawks and Redskins all whipped the Packers when they hosted them. The Packers lost to those teams by an average of 8.3 points a game. None of those three teams are as good as Minnesota. The Packers are 1-6-2 ATS the past nine times they have been underdogs. Their history under McCarthy is very bad as underdogs. They don't win games they are not expected to win. This is the third year the Vikings are playing their home games at U.S. Bank Stadium. It is a very strong home field. The Packers are 0-2 there having lost 23-10 last season and 17-14 in 2016 when Sam Bradford was Minnesota's quarterback. The Vikings were missing their two best offensive linemen, Pat Elfein and Brian O'Neill, when they met the Packers in Green Bay in Week 2. The game finished in a 29-29 tie. Vikings kicker Daniel Carlson missed three field goals, including two in overtime. Elfein and O'Neill are back for the Vikings. Carlson has been replaced by steady Dan Bailey, who has made 14 of 17 field goals for Minnesota with one of those misses caused by a bad snap. The Vikings have come on since that early season game. Their defense was elite last season and it has yielded just 263.6 yards during the past five games. That would rank No. 1 in the NFL by 37 yards if computed during the entire season. Just two games ago, the Vikings amassed 10 sacks in a 24-9 win against the Lions. Maybe because his knee still isn't 100 percent. Maybe it's because of his barely concealed ill feelings toward McCarthy. Whatever it is, Rodgers isn't having is typical season. There has been tremendous quarterback play from a number of quarterbacks - Patrick Mahomes, Philip Rivers, Andrew Luck, Dree Brees, Matt Ryan and Jared Goff. Rodgers hasn't performed at that level. Rodgers is going to face tremendous inside pressure from the Vikings' defensive line and he doesn't have quality guards to protect him. He's also down several of his receivers, including Randall Cobb, Geronimo Allison and possibly Jimmy Graham, who has a broken thumb. The Packers are thin defensively especially at safety. Green Bay also is without its best defensive player, tackle Mike Daniels. Kirk Cousins has the weapons to take advantage with Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs. Look for Dalvin Cook to have a big game, too, now that he's healthy. Green Bay's run defense really goes downhill minus Daniels.
|11-25-18||Steelers -3 v. Broncos||17-24||Loss||-105||125 h 55 m||Show|
I'm not so sure this a flat spot that some envision here for the Steelers. Pittsburgh was flat for nearly the entire game last week on the road against the Jaguars, yet still pulled out a victory. That might be a wake-up call for the Steelers because talent-wise there is no comparison between these two teams. So I'm going to ride the Steelers at a line I'm surprised opened so low. There is no comparison in the offenses. The Steelers are one of the most explosive offenses in the NFL. The Broncos are below average with a below average quarterback and an injury ravaged offensive line. Pittsburgh's defense has come on holding its past seven foes to an average of fewer than 16 points a game while leading the NFL in sacks with 37. The Steelers should dominate the Broncos' beat-up offensive line.
|11-25-18||Jaguars -3 v. Bills||21-24||Loss||-110||122 h 43 m||Show|
As toxic and unappealing as the Jaguars are, they still are a field goal better than the Bills. Buffalo likely gets Josh Allen back, but he's no savior but just a turnover-prone rookie. The Bills have one of the worst offenses of all-time. Buffalo put up 41 points on the Jets in its last game and still ranks LAST in scoring at 13.7 points a game and second-to-last in yards. The Jaguars defense isn't lacking in talent. They have elite players and should be able to come up with takeaways against the punchless Bills, who rank last in passing yards. Buffalo has failed to break the 13-point barrier in seven of its 10 games. Blake Bortles remains a quarterback without a passing touch, but he does have the splendid Leonard Fournette to take the load off him and set up play-action.
|11-25-18||Seahawks v. Panthers -3||30-27||Loss||-125||121 h 14 m||Show|
I want the Panthers going for me when they are at home especially with a low line against a mediocre opponent. The Panthers have won their last 10 home games, including all five this season. They are 8-2 ATS in those 10 games. Carolina averages 35.5 points at home, which is 15.5 points more per game than they average on the road. Cam Newton has better weapons this season and is playing well. Seattle's defense is way down from past seasons and its offense is below average at nearly every position except quarterback. The Seahawks have gone back to being run-oriented. Carolina, though, ranks eighth in run defense and has tremendously athletic linebackers to stop Wilson's short passes.
|11-25-18||Giants v. Eagles OVER 47||22-25||Push||0||25 h 29 m||Show|
Look for a shootout in this matchup. The Eagles' secondary is decimated. How decimated? They are down their top FIVE cornerbacks. The Saints took advantage to pile up 48 points and 546 yards last week against Philadelphia. Yes that was the Saints. Still, 545 yards is 545 yards. Eli Manning is playing better thanks to a revamped offensive line and skill position superstars Odell Beckham Jr. and Saquon Barkley, who had 229 rushing/receiving yards in the first meeting between the two teams when the Eagles were far healthier on defense. Carson Wentz was rounding into top shape. The Eagles just got steamrolled by the Saints, who are playing better than any team in the NFL right now. Wentz should be in line for a big performance against a gutted Giants defense that weakened its run defense by trading Damon Harrison. Wentz has very good receiving weapons that were upgraded with Golden Tate coming to Philadelphia. Josh Adams has upgraded the Eagles' ground attack.
|11-24-18||Utah State v. Boise State -145||Top||24-33||Win||100||27 h 53 m||Show|
Utah State has been a monster surprise this season. The Utes deserve plenty of kudos. But I don't see them beating Boise State on the road. The Broncos are far more experienced in big games like this and have dominated this series defeating the Aggies nine of the past 10 times. Boise State has won its last six games, including defeating Colorado State by 28 points. Utah State was fortunate to just nip the Rams, 29-24, last Saturday. Colorado State appeared to have won the game on a 34-yard touchdown pass with no time left, but the score was negated by a penalty. The combination of veteran QB Brett Rypien and a strong defensive front are the winning keys for the Broncos. Just two weeks ago, the Broncos were short home 'dogs to Fresno State and they beat the Bulldogs by seven points. I don't see Utah State faring any better than Fresno State at this venue.
|11-24-18||Troy +10.5 v. Appalachian State||10-21||Loss||-109||45 h 19 m||Show|
Troy can hang in with defense. The Trojans have covered in 19 of their last 26 road games and are 8-1-1 ATS in their past 10 Sun Belt Conference games. This a showdown matchup to decide the East half of the Sun Belt. Troy hasn't lost in Sun Belt play this season winning all seven games. The Trojans give up only 21.2 points a game.The teams last met two seasons ago and none of the games were decided by more than four points.
|11-24-18||Texas Tech v. Baylor OVER 63||24-35||Loss||-110||46 h 53 m||Show|
Both teams are off bad performances. Now they each step down in class against lower-caliber defenses. So I envision a loose, fast-tempo matchup where offense, not defense, rules. Texas Tech has firepower no matter who is behind center. The Red Raiders rank 17th in the nation in scoring at 38.5 points a game. Baylor has already been torched for 58 and 66 points during their last seven games. The Bears have come up with just one takeaway during their past four games. Look for the Bears to put up their share of points, too. Baylor has faced Iowa State and TCU in its last two games. Now they step down as Texas Tech ranks 107th in yards allowed. Charlie Brewer is in line for a big passing game as the Red Raiders have the 127th rated pass defense.
|11-23-18||Washington v. Washington State OVER 48.5||28-15||Loss||-102||26 h 39 m||Show|
Given the quality of these quarterbacks, it's not hard to imagine each team scoring at least 24 points. Washington senior Jake Browning has 94 career TD throws. He has one of the top senior RB's in the country in Myles Gaskin. They've helped the Huskies scored 27 or more points in seven of their last eight games. Gaskin rushed for 192 yards and scored four touchdowns against the Cougars last season in the Huskies' 41-14 victory. Washington State senior Gardner Minshew II is putting up Heisman Trophy-worthy numbers, including throwing a nation-leading 36 TD passes. The Cougars are coming a 69-28 romp against Arizona where Minshew fired a school-record seven touchdown passes.
|11-23-18||Buffalo v. Bowling Green OVER 60||Top||44-14||Loss||-115||35 h 3 m||Show|
Buffalo ranks 28th in scoring averaging 34.5 points. The Bulls have scored 31 or more points in five of their seven MAC games and have gone Over in eight of their last 10 games. Bowling Green isn't going to be able to slow down the Bulls. The Falcons are terrible defensively surrendering 39.6 points a game to rank 122nd while rating 107th in yards allowed.The Over has cashed in six of the Falcons' last eight home games. It's a red flag for Buffalo that its defense surrendered 52 points and 646 yards to Ohio in its last game.
|11-22-18||Falcons +13 v. Saints||Top||17-31||Loss||-105||56 h 20 m||Show|
At 4-6, the Falcons are on life support. They are in must-win mode while the Saints are on cruise control. Normally the home team has a huge edge on Thursday games. But the Falcons are familiar with their division rival and this isn't a long trip. The Saints nipped the Falcons, 43-37, in overtime back in Week 3. I see the same back-and-forth type offensive fireworks in the rematch. Drew Brees is having another brilliant season, but so is Matt Ryan, who threw for five touchdowns in the first meeting. As geat as the Saints have been this season, they are 0-4 ATS the past two yers when laying nine or more points.
|11-18-18||Vikings +3 v. Bears||Top||20-25||Loss||-125||131 h 40 m||Show|
Coming off their bye, the Vikings have gotten healthier on defense and their defense is coming on ranking in the top-five during their past four games.Minnesota is close to full strength now and has Dalvin Cook back to provide a home run threat on offense, which it was lacking before. Cook's dangerous presence can mitigate the Bears' pass rush because of his value as a receiving back. Kirk Cousins rates a strong edge on Mitchell Trubisky. The Bears also are unstable at kicker with Cody Parkey missing four kicks last Sunday, including two extra points. The Vikings took care of their kicking issues by signing highly accurate and reliable Dan Bailey.
|11-18-18||Eagles +9.5 v. Saints||7-48||Loss||-120||87 h 57 m||Show|
The Eagles can hang with the Saints. Philadelphia's losses this season have come by an average of 4.4 points. Only once in their last 31 games have the Eagles lost by more than seven points. This is a pivotal game for the Eagles, trailing the Redskins by two games in the NFC East Division. The Saints, on the other hand, are fat and happy sitting at 8-1. Drew Brees is having another outstanding season, but Carson Wentz can hang with him. Wentz is back healthy. He's thrown two or more touchdowns in his last six games. The Eagles' offense is improved with the addition of Golden Tate and their defense is better than New Orleans. The Saints rank 24th defensively in points allowed and yards given up. New Orleans also suffered a key injury last week losing offensive let tackle Terron Armstead to a shoulder injury.
|11-18-18||Broncos v. Chargers -7||23-22||Loss||-105||126 h 27 m||Show|
The Chargers have been playing extremely well. They are a bit below the radar considering they are 16-5 SU, 13-8 ATS in their last 21 games. They are 7-1 in their last eight games at their temporary home at StubHub Center. Philip Rivers quietly has put together an MVP-caliber season with the third-highest passer rating in the league at 115.4 and a 21-to-4 touchdown-to-interception ratio. One of the trademarks of the Broncos under Vance Joseph is their horrendous road record. Denver is 2-9 SU, 3-8 ATS under Joseph in away games. Case Keenum has had problems on the road. He has been sacked 14 times and turned the ball over eight times in Denver's four away matchups this season.
|11-18-18||Raiders v. Cardinals -4.5||23-21||Loss||-114||29 h 27 m||Show|
The Raiders are introducing a new thing to the NFL, something bottom feeders in the NBA have been doing for a long time: Tanking. Oakland can get away with this because its coach, Jon Gruden, is armed with a 10-year contract and enormous power. It's actually in the best interest of the Raiders to do their best to secure the No. 1 overall draft pick and set themselves up for down the road when they move to Las Vegas to start over because they sure aren't doing anything this season. The Raiders are historically bad. How bad? They have lost five straight games by two touchdowns or more. If they lose by a two-touchdown margin to the Cardinals they will tie the longest streak for those type of losses since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger. The flip side of this is the Cardinals are a play-on team against this opponent. The Cardinals' offense has improved since Byron Leftwich became the offensive coordinator a couple of weeks ago. Josh Rosen is flashing now and David Johnson looks like the stud back of two years ago with the Cardinals doing a better job of getting him in space and making sure he gets a lot of touches. The Raiders rank 30th in run defense and give up the third-most points per game in the NFL at 30.2. The Raiders can't protect Derek Carr, who has become nothing more than a dink-and-dunk passer lacking playmakers. The Cardinals rank sixth in sacks. They should dominate a porous Oakland offensive line. Chandler Jones is a premier pass rusher. The Cardinals can be counted on for a good effort. They want to deliver their home fans a strong showing. The Raiders can't even be relied upon to try these days espcially in a non-conference matchup.
|11-18-18||Texans -142 v. Redskins||23-21||Win||100||123 h 21 m||Show|
The Texans come in off their bye to face a Redskins team that lacks dynamic skill position players and is down three starting offensive linemen, including both of their guards and star left tackle Trent Williams. Houston should easily win the line of scrimmage with J.J. Watt and Jadeveon Clowney potentially dominating. Washington was extremely fortunate to get past the self-destructing Buccaneers last week. The Redskins were outgained by 215 yards. The Texans have won their last three road games. DeShaun Watson and Lamar Miller are playing better. DeAndre Hopkins is in the argument for best wide receiver in football and now he's joined by Demaryious Thomas, who has shown renewed life since joining Houston. I just don't believe the Redskins are any good. This is a spot to fade them with the superior team.
|11-17-18||Connecticut v. East Carolina OVER 69||21-55||Win||100||30 h 33 m||Show|
This might seem like a very high total until your realize Connecticut lost 62-50 to SMU last week. The Huskies could have the worst defense in the nation ranking last or near the bottom in yards and points given up. East Carolina quarterback Holton Ahlers has looked very good the past three games proving to be an effective dual threat.
The Huskies will put up their share of points against an East Carolina defense that gives up nearly 35 points a game and ranks 107th in scoring defense. The Pirates have surrendered 35 or more points in five of their last six games.
|11-17-18||Texas Tech v. Kansas State +7||Top||6-21||Win||100||25 h 24 m||Show|
Kansas State is a must-win mode if it wants to make it nine straight years of going to a bowl game. The Wildcats have a strong history of covering as a 'dog under Bill Snyder and they surely won't lack motivation here with speculation this could be Snyder's final home game. He could be retiring after 27 years of coaching. So this is going to be an emotional setting at Bill Snyder Family Memorial Stadium. Kansas State has lost three games by a combined nine points. The Wildcats have the superior rushing attack - led by Alex Barnes one the best running backs in the country - and better defense. Texas Tech has been regressing. The Red Raiders have lost three in a row. They are likely not to have injured quarterback Alan Bowman available. He's recovering from a lung injury. Kansas State has won the last three in the series, including winning 42-35 at Texas Tech last season.
|11-17-18||Wisconsin +4 v. Purdue||47-44||Win||100||24 h 29 m||Show|
This has been a disappointing season for Wisconsin. But the Badgers shouldn't be a road 'dog against Purdue. Wisconsin has beaten Purdue 12 straight times, including the past seven at Purdue. The Badgers have lost to strong competition. They might not have their starting quarterback, Alex Hornibrook, back either. He's questionable with a concussion. But Wisconsin wins behind star running back Jonathan Taylor and one of the top offensive lines in the country. Taylor leads the nation in rushing with 1,548 yards. The Boilermakers peaked when they upset Ohio State. They have lost two of their past three games losing by 10 to Michigan State and by 31 to Minnesota. Their lone win during the past three games came by two points at home against Iowa. The Boilermakers may be distracted by frequent coaching rumors surrounding Jeff Brohm their head coach. Wisconsin has covered 12 of its last 16 road games.
|11-17-18||Virginia +5 v. Georgia Tech||27-30||Win||100||24 h 33 m||Show|
Even though this is a division game it's kind of a sandwich spot for Georgia Tech. The Yellow Jackets are coming off a huge win against Miami and are at hated in-state rival Georgia next week. Virginia is playing well winning four of its last five games. The Cavaliers had a much easier game than Georgia Tech last week dispatching Liberty, 45-24. Unlike Georgia Tech, Virginia has a balanced attack. Cavaliers QB Bryce Perkins is No. 1 in the ACC in points accounting for 26 TD's. The Yellow Jackets have a below average defense giving up 27.5 points per game. The Cavaliers know how to defend Georgia Tech's unique option offense thanks to head coach Bronco Mendenhall. His teams are 9-2 SU and ATS when facing triple-option opponents.
|11-17-18||UL-Monroe v. Arkansas State OVER 66||17-31||Loss||-109||111 h 8 m||Show|
Defense? What defense. Not when these two teams meet. The Over has cashed five of the past six times they have met. Arkansas State beat UL-Monroe 67-50 last season. Both offenses are gliding along. Monroe has scored 38 or more in three of its last four games. Arkansas State is averaging 44 points in its last four games and going against the Warhawks' 96th ranked defense both in points allowed and yards allowed.
|11-16-18||Memphis v. SMU +8.5||Top||28-18||Loss||-102||33 h 57 m||Show|
SMU has come on be tied for first in the AAC West Conference. Mustangs QB Ben Hicks is having a nice season with 1,919 yards and 16 TD passes of which 10 have come during the past four games. The Mustangs have a deep crop of running backs, too. Memphis is 1-4 ATS in its last five road games and lacks the defense to cover this big of a road number. The Tigers' record has been fattened up by the weak foes they have played such as Mercer, Georgia State, South Alabama, UConn, East Carolina and Tulsa.
|11-15-18||Packers v. Seahawks -133||Top||24-27||Win||100||75 h 57 m||Show|
The Packers aren't very good - 7-13 in their last 20 games - are shorthanded in the secondary and traveling on a short week. Green Bay has yet to win a road game losing to the Patriots, Rams, Lions and Redskins. Seattle has become a strong rushing team averaging 5.3 yards rushing per carry during its last five games. Russell Wilson is even more dangerous when backed by a strong running attack. Aaron Rodgers doesn't have his past receiving weapons and isn't 100 percent. His mobility is impacted by a knee brace. He no longer can carry a sub-par team by himself.
|11-13-18||Western Michigan -7.5 v. Ball State||Top||41-42||Loss||-100||16 h 45 m||Show|
Back in Week 2, Ball State hung in against Notre Dame losing, 24-16. Since then, though, things have gone way downhill for the Cardinals. They are 2-6 since that close loss and out of conference and bowl contention. Their starting quarterback, Riley Neal, is out with a knee injury and their top running back, James Gilbert, has been demoted to second team after missing last week's game with a back injury. Ball State has gotten blasted in its last two games losing, 52-14 to Ohio and 45-13 to Toledo. The Cardinals have two games left and their coaching staff has made it known they are going to be looking at younger players. There are inexperienced players in the secondary and in the offensive line. Western Michigan needs this game to keep its MAC West Division title hopes alive and also secure a bowl bid. The Broncos buried the Cardinals, 55-3, last season. The Broncos are treating this as their most important game of the season.
|11-12-18||Giants +3.5 v. 49ers||27-23||Win||100||10 h 53 m||Show|
Now that there is film on Nick Mullens, I don't see him performing like he did last Thursday when he sparked the 49ers to an easy win against the Raiders. He is a limited player with flaws. That nationally televised game has caused this line to be inflated. The Giants are better than the Raiders and aren't tanking. This nationally televised game is a chance to give them some redemption. I expect an all out effort from the Giants.Eli Manning actually can have a good game facing such a beat-up and vulnerable secondary. The Giants have by far the two best skilled position players in Saquan Barkley and Odell Beckham Jr.
|11-11-18||Dolphins v. Packers OVER 47||Top||12-31||Loss||-110||38 h 5 m||Show|
I have no doubt the Packers are going to get their points here. Until beating the punchless Jets last week, the Dolphins had surrendered an average of 33.4 points and 175.6 yards rushing during their past five games. Aaron Rodgers can beat the Dolphins passing and Aaron Jones, who averages an NFL-best 6.0 yards per carry, can hurt a Miami run defense that ranks 28th. Just two games ago, DeShaun Watson threw five touchdown passes for the Texans in a 42-23 victory against the Dolphins. Houston has not broken 20 points during their four other games in this five-week span. The key question is how many points can the Dolphins score knowing Brock Osweiler is their quarterback another week? I hate Osweiler. But Green Bay's defense isn't very good and Osweiler has several playmakers. If you discount the Bills and their all-time bad offense, the Packers have given up in their last six games 29, 31, 31, 30, 29 and 31 points. That's being consistent as in consistently bad.
|11-11-18||Redskins v. Bucs -150||16-3||Loss||-150||35 h 43 m||Show|
I can't see the Redskins keeping up with the Buccaneers. Tampa Bay has a dynamic passing attack leading the NFL in passing yards and ranking No. 2 in total yards. Ryan Fitzpatrick has a deep receiving group of Mike Evans, DeSean Jackson, Chris Godwin, Adam Humphries, O.J. Howard and Cameron Brate to put up outstanding numbers, which he has done this season. Few teams can match the quality of Tampa Bay's receiving group. The Redskins are just the opposite on offense. They are an outdated ground-and-pound team with a dink-and-dunk quarterback and second-stringers dotting nearly their entire offensive line. The Redskins are down both of their starting guards and left tackle Trent Williams, their best offensive lineman. They may also be without their starting right tackle. Also out is Chris Thompson, who is their best pass-catching running back and lone dynamic skill position player. The Redskins have failed to break the 20-point barrier in four of their last five games. They are averaging 19.2 points during this span - and that's before losing Williams along with starting guards Brandon Scherff and Shawn Lauvao. Wide receiver Paul Richardson also is out and Adrian Peterson is battling a shoulder injury. Alex Smith needs multiple weapons to succeed. He doesn't have them. Tampa Bay's defense is better with its star lineman Gerald McCoy healthy. This is that rare matchup when a last-place 3-5 team does deserve to be favored against a 5-3 first-place team.
|11-11-18||Saints v. Bengals +6||51-14||Loss||-105||35 h 42 m||Show|
The Saints are a very good team. That's evident by them winning their last seven games. But they are not some dominant powerhouse and they are facing a very difficult situation in this matchup. Cincinnati is home and rested having just had their bye. The Saints are coming off their most impressive victory of the season, a home win against the previously unbeaten Rams. Up next for the Saints is a home game against the defending Super Bowl champion Eagles. This is a huge flat spot for them against a nonconference opponent on what is an off-surface for them being outdoors. The Bengals have a good history in these instances being 9-2 ATS at home versus above .500 road foes. If you recall their two games before the Rams, the Saints were lucky to win both. They got past the Ravens when Baltimore missed an extra point that would have forced overtime and took advantage of two crucial turnovers to beat the Vikings despite being outgained by 150 yards. The Saints also were fortunte to nip the Browns on a late field goal, 21-18. The Browns could have forced overtime by making a 52-yard field goal at the end of regulation. Oh, yes, the Saints' lone loss came to Tampa Bay. The Browns and Buccaneers are a combined 5-11. Cincinnati won't have its star wideout, A.J. Green. But the Bengals have other weapons, including breakout star wide receiver Tyler Boyd. Andy Dalton is on pace for a career-high in TD passes and the Bengals entered their bye week ranked first in red zone percentage touchdowns.
|11-11-18||Cardinals v. Chiefs OVER 49.5||14-26||Loss||-105||35 h 41 m||Show|
Nobody has stopped the Chiefs offense yet. Arizona isn't going to be the first. Kansas City leads the NFL in points per game at 36.3. The Chiefs have scored 30 or more points in eight of their nine games. Patrick Mahomes is the first-half MVP and he's going to get plenty of help from running back Kareem Hunt, who goes against the Cardinals' 31st-ranked run defense. The Cardinals offense showed life with the switch to Byron Leftwich as their new offensive coordinator. The Cardinals scored 15 points in the fourth quarter of their last game in an 18-15 victory against the 49ers. Rookie Josh Rosen set a career high in completions with 23 and in passing yards with 252 while throwing for two touchdowns. Arizona was idle last week giving Leftwich even more time to tweak and make changes to the Cardinals' offense while allowing Larry Fitzgerald to get fully healthy. Look for Leftwich to provide max protection for Rosen in an effort to improve the Cardinals' passing game while also getting David Johnson more involved in space through screen passes and outside runs, something the Cardinals were not doing enough earlier in the season.
|11-11-18||Lions +7.5 v. Bears||22-34||Loss||-135||35 h 39 m||Show|
Sitting two games behind the Bears and Vikings in the NFC North Division, the Lions desperately need to win this game. They should play with a strong sense of urgency. So the effort should be there. I like getting this many points in this division rivalry. The Lions have owned the Bears beating them nine of the last 10 times, including the past three. Chicago is much improved this season. But the Lions have the superior quarterback. That's huge. The Bears rely first on their ground attack. Detroit's ranks 30th in run defense. The Lions, however, have improved their rush defense after trading for defensive lineman Damon Harrison. If you discount a 70-yard run by Dalvin Cook, the Lions would have held the Vikings to 58 yards rushing on 22 carries for a 2.6 yard average last Sunday. This line is inflated because Matthew Stafford was sacked 10 times in the Lions' 24-9 road loss to the Vikings. That sack figure is an outlier, though, as in their previous seven games the Lions allowed just 13 sacks, an average of fewer than two per game. Line value, quarterback, history and sense of urgency are all on the Lions' side here.
|11-10-18||Miami-FL +3.5 v. Georgia Tech||Top||21-27||Loss||-115||43 h 10 m||Show|
Stop Georgia Tech on the ground and you beat the Yellow Jackets. Miami has done that in each of the last three seasons beating Georgia Tech three times in a row. The Hurricanes have a tremendous trio of three-year starting linebackers in Zach McCloud, Michael Pinckney and Shaq Quarterman. They've helped the Hurricanes rank No. 1 in the nation in tackles for losses, being No. 2 in total defense and 19th in scoring defense giving up 19.3 points per game. The last time Georgia Tech faced a defense this good was in Week 4 when it lost 49-21 to Clemson. No, Miami isn't nearly as good as Clemson. But the Hurricanes are good where it counts against this opponent, who they have owned the last three seasons. Georgia Tech has no choice but to run the ball. They are a one-dimensional option offense. Hurricanes coach Mark Richt knows Georgia Tech's offense well from his days coaching at Georgia. The key for Miami is getting good enough quarterback play. That should happen with the decision to go with N'Kosi Perry as the starter this week. He's more talented than Malik Rosier.
|11-10-18||Michigan v. Rutgers +39.5||42-7||Win||100||40 h 30 m||Show|
Michigan just got through beating Penn State, Michigan State and Wisconsin, all of whom were ranked teams at the time they played Michigan. The Wolverine are going to be hard-pressed to take Rutgers seriously. I envision a flat effort by the Wolverines - and I couldn't blame them. The Wolverines are 0-7 ATS the past seven times they've been on the road playing a foe with a losing home mark. Bottom line: Too many points for Michigan to lay.
|11-10-18||Washington State -6 v. Colorado||31-7||Win||100||38 h 29 m||Show|
Washington State has won five in a row and has the best spread mark in the country at 8-1 ATS. Colorado is going in the opposite direction with four straight losses. The Buffaloes have lost by 11, 14, 7 and 8 points in their last four games. Their defense is wearing down giving up 83 points and 1,025 yards in the last two games. Colorado has skill position injuries. The Buffs aren't going to be able to keep up with Washington State's high-powered attack. Cougars QB Gardner Minshaw leads the nation in passing yards per game and completions. He has three outsanding wide receiving targets and a versatile running back in James Williams. Colorado can't match that.
|11-10-18||Troy v. Georgia Southern UNDER 45||35-21||Loss||-102||36 h 33 m||Show|
Defense should carry the day especially with a wind factor. Both teams rank in the top 40 in fewest points allowed per game. Troy hasn't permitted more than 21 points during its past five games. It's a red flag that Georgia Southern could manage only one touchdown on offense and 216 yards against UL-Monroe last week. Georgia Southern has held three of its last five opponents to 14 points or fewer. The clock should keep moving with Georgia Southern running on 79 percent of its plays using a triple-option offense. Troy ranks 26th in run defense.
|11-10-18||Ohio State -3.5 v. Michigan State||26-6||Win||100||46 h 28 m||Show|
I certainly respect Michigan State's defense. But it is going to wear down against Ohio State's offense. There's a monster gap between Ohio State's skill position players - quarterback Dwayne Haskins, running back J.K. Dobbins and wide receivers Parris Campbell and K.J. Hill - and Michigan State's backfield personnel especially with the Spartans having ineffective Brian Lewerke at quarterback. The Buckeyes won't lack motivation either still in the national title picture. They stomped the Spartans, 48-3, last season.
|11-09-18||Fresno State v. Boise State +3||Top||17-24||Win||100||25 h 16 m||Show|
Fresno State has the best defense in the Mountain West Conference. That's helped make the Bulldogs a road favorite here. But that should come with a disclaimer: The Bulldogs haven't faced a decent quarterback or offense. Now they draw the Broncos and Brett Rypien, who is on the verge of becoming the Mountain West's all-time passing yardage leader. Boise State ranks 21st in points per game and 22nd in yards per game. Fresno State hasn't won during its last nine tries at Boise State. The teams last met at Boise State in last season's Mountain West title game. The Broncos were 10-point home favorites - a swing of nearly two touchdowns from the line on this game - and defeated the Bulldogs, 17-14. Fresno State is good. But so is Boise State. The Broncos are just 5-15 ATS at home. But they haven't been a home 'dog before. And they shouldn't be here.
|11-08-18||Panthers v. Steelers -3.5||Top||21-52||Win||100||80 h 57 m||Show|
The Steelers are playing their finest ball winning and covering their last four games. Carolina is at a severe disadvantage being the visitor for this Thursday game. The Panthers have a below average passing statistics. They are vulnerable to Ben Roethlisberger, who has a strong history of playing much better at home. James Connor has more than filled in well for holdout Le'Veon Bell providing the Steelers with a balanced attack. The Panthers lack the Steelers' strong downfield passing game. Pittsburgh ranks tied for third in the AFC in sacks. Cam Newton is not an accurate passer and will be under a heavy pass rush.
|11-05-18||Titans v. Cowboys OVER 39.5||Top||28-14||Win||100||12 h 2 m||Show|
In today's NFL where all the rules are skewed toward offense a total like this is just too low unless you are the Jets, Bills or Dolphins quarterbacked by Brock Osweiler. The Titans and Cowboys are none of the above teams. Dallas' offense actually is respectable now that it has a lead wide receiver in Amari Cooper. The Cowboys average 28.6 points at home. Dallas put up 40 points on Jacksonville during its last home game. The Jaguars have a better defense than Tenneseee. Ezekiel Elliott is a top-five running back. Dak Prescott is a highly mobile quarterback. The Titans have a below average run defense ranking 19th. Both teams are rested and have had ample time to add wrinkles to their offense having been idle last week. The Titans' offense has been disappointing. That should start to change as Marcus Mariota has gotten healthy discarding a glove he had been wearing on his throwing hand due to numbness. The Cowboys are down one of their key pass rushers with David Irving sideined with an ankle injury. Mariota is not a good downfield thrower, but he like Prescott is extremely mobile and he has a dangerous dump-off back to throw to in Dion Lewis. Titans first-year head coach Mike Vrabel has already established himself as a gambler, a foolish one so far. But a gambler nevertheless, which is another plus for the Over.
|11-04-18||Packers v. Patriots OVER 56||Top||17-31||Loss||-109||33 h 17 m||Show|
Neither defense can stop the other team's offense. The Packers played perhaps their finest defensive game of the season last week against the Rams yet still surrendered 29 points, which could been 36 points if Todd Gurley didn't fall down right before the goal line at the end of the game.
Now the Packers go from West to East to face another high-powered offense and a better quarterback, Tom Brady. Look for Rob Gronkowski and Sony Michel to play giving Brady his full arsenal of weapons. Until beating the Bills 25-6 on the road this past Monday, the Patriots were averaging 39.2 points in their last four games. Green Bay lacks the pass rushers, coverage linebackers and secondary to get stops against Brady.
The Packers traded away safety Ha Ha Clinton Dixon this week for a draft choice. Dixon wasn't an All-Pro, but he was a steady force on Green Bay's defense having played all but three snaps during his five seasons. His departure leaves Kentrell Brice, who is below average, as the only experienced safety. Brady is sure to exploit this. So, too, with Gronkowski.
Aaron Rodgers can hurt a Patriots defense that is only good when cripple shooting bad quarterbacks in their weak AFC East Division. New England gave up an average of 30.2 points to the Jaguars, Colts. Lions and Chiefs.
|11-04-18||Steelers +3 v. Ravens||23-16||Win||100||26 h 58 m||Show|
These teams are heading in different directions. Pittsburgh is coming on winning its past three games, all by seven or more points. The Steelers are averaging 34 points in their last three games. James Conner has made everyone not miss Le'Veon Bell. Pittsburgh's defense has improved, too, holding foes to 18.3 points in the last three games. Baltimore, by contrast, has dropped three of its last four. Joe Flacco has regressed to where he was last season - terrible. The Ravens also have a cluster injury problem in their offensive line with both of their starting tackles out. Losing left tackle Ronnie Stanley is a huge below-the-radar injury. It means Jermaine Eluemunor will be making his first NFL start. The Steelers' pass rush has come on to rank seventh in sack ratio and second in quarterback hits. Flacco, more than most quarterbacks, gets rattled under pressure. The Steelers have a monster skill posiiton edge with Ben Roethlisberger, Antonio Brown, JuJu Smith-Schuster and Conner. This is one of the most fierce rivalries in the NFL. The Steelers have short revenge for a home loss to the Ravens five weeks ago. The Steelers are the fresher team having had their bye just two weeks ago. Baltimore doesn't get its bye until after this game.
|11-04-18||Falcons +2.5 v. Redskins||38-14||Win||100||26 h 56 m||Show|
I've been looking to fade the Redskins - and this is the spot to do it. Washington has won three in a row. The Redskins don't have a good history, though, under Jay Gruden of following a win with a good performance being 4-10 ATS after winning in their previous game. The Redskins are an average team at best with a below average quarterback in Alex Smith. Washington's style is run the ball with Adrian Peterson and play stout run defense. The Falcons are not a good opponent for that style to work. Matt Ryan is having a strong season. He's riding a 13-to-0 touchdown-to-interception ratio in his last five games. He has thrown for more than 350 yards in four of those five games. Ryan rates a huge edge on Smith, who rarely completes downfield passes. Ryan challenges secondaries. Smith doesn't. The Falcons are off a bye. They've had ample weeks to patch up their battered defense. The Redskins lack the dynamic offense to take advantage. Washington also will be without its best offensive lineman with left tackle Trent Williams out following surgery on his thumb.
|11-04-18||Chiefs v. Browns UNDER 52.5||37-21||Loss||-110||26 h 55 m||Show|
The Browns' offense was a mess with Hue Jackson and Todd Haley in charge of it. It remains a mess now that both Jackson and Haley are gone.They have no experienced play-caller with Jackson and Haley both sacked. This makes it rough on rookie Baker Mayfield. Kansas City's defense has looked better the past couple of weeks. Cleveland has a respectable defense that plays better at home. The Browns have held three of their four home opponents to 21 points or fewer. The Chiefs are coming off their lowest offensive output of the season picking up 340 yards against Denver last week. Defensive coordinator Gregg Williams was elevated to interim coach replacing Jackson. He's a defensive guy who will do anything not to get embarrassed by the Chiefs' high-powered offense in his Browns head coaching debut. Under Williams, the Browns are leading the NFL with 22 takeaways, including 12 interceptions. Cleveland has come up with two or more takeaways in seven of its eight games. The Chiefs defense has stepped up to average two takeaways during their last five games. There also is a weather element to this matchup. The forecast is for clear skies and temperatures in the low 50s, but with wind blowing in the 13-15 mph range.
|11-03-18||Louisiana Tech +23.5 v. Mississippi State||3-45||Loss||-105||30 h 8 m||Show|
This is your classic sandwich spot for Mississippi State. The Bulldogs are coming off a huge home win against Texas A&M and have Alabama on deck next week. So the Bulldogs aren't going to be taking this non-conference matchup too serious. Mississippi State also isn't a good team to lay big points on. The Bulldogs rank 107th in passing yards. Nick Fitzgerald is more dangerous as a runner than thrower. Louisiana Tech's top defensive strength is its pass defense. So Mississippi State is going to have to grind away on the ground, which eats a lot of clock. The Bulldogs' best runner is Kylin Hill, who is questionable after missing last week's game with a leg injury. It wouldn't be surprising if Hill sat out so he would fresh for Alabama. Louisiana Tech is well-coached under Skip Holtz. Under Holtz, Louisiana has covered seven of its last nine road games as an underdog against the power-five conference teams. Tech is 8-2 ATS versus SEC foes. The latest example occurred in Week 3 when Tech hung in and covered a 19-point road spread against LSU, a team that beat Mississippi State, 19-3, just two weeks ago.
|11-03-18||Houston -14 v. SMU||Top||31-45||Loss||-113||30 h 22 m||Show|
Houston wins because of its high-scoring offense. The Cougars have scored 40-plu points in eight straight games. They rank first in the country in total yards and No. 2 in scoring. Houston quarterback D'eriq King has had at least two passing touchdowns and one rushing TD in every game this year. The Cougars have an excellent track record on the road going 23-10-1 (70%) in their past 34 away matchups. SMU needs to play ball-control and have a balanced offense to hang with the Cougars. But the Mustangs don't have that. They are averaging 98.6 yards on the ground, which ranks 123rd. SMU is averaging fewer than 50 yards rushing in its last three games. The Mustangs are poorly-coached - 5-11 ATS in their last 16 games - and have given up eight-non defensvie touchdowns, including four pick-six interceptions off Ben Hicks.