For any resources you could need like sports handicapping odds, handicapping stats, schedules, or handicappers free picks and tips please click on any of the links on the right hand side of this page.
CLICK A CAPPERS NAME TO SEE THEIR PREMIUM DAILY EXPERT PLAYS + PREDICTIONS!
WANT FREE SPORTS PICKS to your inbox? | Newsletter Sign-UP!
|Date||Match Up||Rating||Score||Result||Profit||Lead Time||Analysis|
|11-07-13||Los Angeles Clippers v. Miami Heat -5||Top||97-102||Push||0||23 h 51 m||Show|
I'm playing on MIAMI. I played on the Clippers last Thursday. However, I'm going against them here.
Last Thursday, the Clippers were playing at home. They'd had the previous night off. And, they were facing a team (Golden St) which had played the previous night. Tonight, the shoe is on the other foot. The Clippers lost at Orlando last night. They're on the road. And, they're facing a Miami team which had last night off.
The Clippers are now 1-2 on the road, getting outscored by an average of 105-101.
The champs have had their wake-up call. Since dropping a pair of early road games, they've won back-to-back games, each win coming by a minimum of nine points. Now, playing a National TV game against a team they could potentially meet in the Finals, I look for the Heat to be fully focused and to be at their best.
The Heat are in one of their better roles here. They're 7-2 ATS (8-1 SU) their last nine as home favorites in the 3.5 to 6 range. During the same stretch, the Clippers are 10-12-1 ATS as road underdogs in the 3.5 to 6 range.
The Clippers beat the Heat 107-100 at LA last season. However, the game here at Miami resulted in a 111-89 victory for the Heat. I expect home court to again prove important, the Heat holding serve with a solid win and cover. 10*
|11-06-13||Washington Wizards -2 v. Philadelphia 76ers||Top||116-102||Win||100||10 h 27 m||Show|
I'm playing on WASHINGTON. The 76'ers got off to a terrific 3-0 start, surprising nearly everyone. That included a victory over these same Wizards, at Washington. The 76'ers came back down to earth in a big way in their last game though, as the Warriors came in here and hammered them. Facing a Wizards team determined to avenge last week's loss, I expect the 76'ers to stumble once again.
Philadelphia's Spencer Hawes had this to say about the 76'ers last game: "There's no beating around the bush, they beat the heck out of us."
Not only should the Wizards be motivated by "revenge," they should desperate just to win a game. They're off to a disappointing 0-3 start and they've got some far more difficult games on the horizon. Their next one comes against an improved Brooklyn team. After that, they play road games at OKC, Dallas and San Antonio. Needless to say, none of those games will be easy. That makes taking care of business tonight all the more urgent.
Philadelphia coach Brett Brown knows the Wizards are going to come out a determined bunch. He had this to say: "They're going to want to make amends, we're going to have a much more difficult game."
Although they came up short, the Wizards are off arguably their best performance of the season. They fought hard against Miami, trimming a 23-point lead to seven.
Washington coach Randy Wittman noted: "This is how we've got to play. Nobody wants to lose but I thought we took a good step in the right direction."
This has been one of the Wizards' best roles the past couple of seasons, as we find them at 30-16 ATS the last 46 times that they attempted to avenge an earlier home loss. I believe that they bring a little more to the table and I expect them to improve on those stats in convincing fashion. 10*
|11-05-13||Los Angeles Lakers v. Dallas Mavericks -8.5||Top||104-123||Win||100||15 h 37 m||Show|
I'm playing on DALLAS. The Lakers have gotten a couple of wins without Kobe. However, they got hammered by 31 points in their lone game away from LA and I expect them to struggle again tonight.
The Mavs also lost their lone road game. However, they're 2-0 here at Dallas, winning by nine and 12 points. The 12-point win came in their most recent game, a 111-99 victory over Memphis.
Now, the Mavs get to face an LA team which has long given them trouble. I don't expect them to show the Lakers any sympathy/mercy because Kobe isn't in the lineup. They'd like nothing better than to kick the Lakers while they're down.
Note that the Lakers are an awful 15-33 ATS the past couple of seasons, after scoring 105 or more points in their previous game.
The Mavs are in one of their better roles. Indeed, they're 13-4 ATS (16-1 SU) the past couple of seasons as home favorites in the 6.5 to 9 range.
During the same stretch , the Lakers are 3-10 ATS (1-12 SU) as road underdogs in the 6.5 to 9 range. During that stretch, they're an ugly 28-54-1 ATS on the road overall, 23-38 ATS as underdogs overall. I expect a double-digit win for the well-rested home team. 10*
|11-04-13||Chicago Bears +11 v. Green Bay Packers||Top||27-20||Win||100||36 h 30 m||Show|
I'm playing on CHICAGO. Without Cutler, not many are giving the Bears much of a chance against the mighty Packers. I also respect Green Bay. The Packers are very well-coached and have an outstanding quarterback. That doesn't mean that they can't be beaten though - or at least seriously challenged. Facing a desperate Chicago team, I expect the Packers to have their hands full Monday night.
Obviously, playing without Cutler is not ideal. However, McCown is a veteran and I expect him to give everything he's got.. He's been with the team for some time.. He's been here before, throwing for 242 years at Lambeau on Christmas Day 2011. He's off an impressive "relief" performance, hitting 70% (14 of 20) of his passes at Washington, for better than 200 yards with a TD, while also running for 33 more. McCown will have benefitted from the bye week, getting extra time to work with the first team. He's got plenty of weapons, with the likes of Forte, Marshall, Jeffery and Bennett. He knows this is his chance - and I expect him to do everything he can to make the most of it.
Cutler said this of his backup: "Josh is going to do the job. We've got a good game plan coming in. Josh fared well against Washington. He'll play well again this week."
Its also true that the Bears defense is banged-up, arguably a bigger concern than the QB situation. The defense should have also benefitted from the extra week off though. The defensive players too know this is their opportunity and that the team badly needs them to elevate their play.
Lets not forget that the Packers have significant injury issues of their own.
Lets also not forget that the Bears haven't lost a game by more than eight points this entire season or that the Packers have seen five of seven games decided by 13 or less.
Chicago coach Marc Trestman had this to say: "We really have to play together more than ever now. And I think that's something that we're capable of doing."
While the Packers have generally finished on top, the Bears almost always play them tough. Eight of the past 10 meetings have been decided by 10 point or less and all 10 of those games were decided by 14 or less. I expect that to be the case again and am grabbing all the points I can get. 10*
|11-04-13||Golden State Warriors -7 v. Philadelphia 76ers||Top||110-90||Win||100||9 h 29 m||Show|
I'm playing on GOLDEN STATE. At first glance, it might seem a bit funny to see the undefeated 76'ers catching this many points on their home floor. However, while the 76'ers have certainly off to a great start, I believe the visiting Warriors are favored by this many for good reason.
I successfully played against the Warriors in their only road game this season. However, that was vs. the Clippers and the Warriors were off a game the previous night. That's not the case here. The 76'ers aren't nearly as talented as the Clippers, nor are the Warriors playing the second of back-to-back games. Even including the Halloween loss at LA, the Warriors are still a lucrative 46-34-1 ATS on the road, the past 2+ seasons.
With the Warriors averaging 112.7 points and the 76'ers averaging 110, we're seeing a very high O/U line. While every season is obviously different, that hasn't been a good situation for the 76'ers over the years. Indeed, they're just 5-17-1 ATS the last 23 times that they played a home game with an O/U line of 210 or more, going 15-33-1 ATS their last 49 with an O/U line of 210 or more overall.
While the 76'ers are 13-20 ATS (9-24 SU) against teams which average 99 or more points, the Warriors are 29-18 SU/ATS the past couple of seasons, when facing a team which allows 99 or more points per game. Facing their first Western Conference foe of the season, I expect the 76'ers to get a dose of reality. 10*
|11-03-13||Indianapolis Colts v. Houston Texans +1.5||Top||27-24||Loss||-110||151 h 30 m||Show|
I'm playing on HOUSTON. I've had success playing both on and against the Colts this season. I feel that this will be a good spot to go against them.
While they couldn't quite manage the outright victory, the Texans broke through with a cover last time out, losing by a single point at KC, vs. the undefeated Chiefs.
The Texans know they basically need to win every game the rest of the way, if they want any shot at making the playoffs. Even if they don't believe that's really possible, I believe that they'll be treating this game very seriously, doing everything possible to earn a win. After all, this is a divisional game on National TV. It offers a chance to show the world that they're a lot better than their record indicates.
With victories over the Broncos and also at San Francisco, the Colts have proven that they can beat any team in the league. However, they did lose their last road game (19-9 at SD) and I believe that this will be a tough venue. Not having Reggie Wayne doesn't figure to help matters.
For all this season's troubles, the Texans are still outgaining opposing teams by an average margin of 449.3 to 244.7 in their three games here at Houston. (Somehow, they only managed to win one of those, covering none.)
Note that the home team won both meetings by double-digits in this series last season. The Colts beat the Texans 28-16 at Indianapolis. However, the Texans beat the Colts 29-17 in the game here at Houston.
Keenum is expected to get the call and his performance seemed to light a spark for the team, particularly in terms of the deep passing game. According to ESPN Stats & Information, Keenum completed three of five pass attempts longer than 20 yards. In the previous four weeks, the Texans had attempted only six such passes total. Keenum finished with a passer rating of 110.6, completing 15 of 25 passes for 271 yards and a touchdown. Keep in mind that those numbers came against the Chiefs, arguably this season's best defensive team through the first half of the season.
With the calendar having flipped, note that the Texans are a perfect 7-0 SU (5-1-1 ATS) in the month of November, the past coupe of seasons. I expect their best effort, en route to another ATS win. 10*
|11-02-13||Auburn v. Arkansas +8||Top||35-17||Loss||-110||28 h 18 m||Show|
I'm playing on ARKANSAS. I've only played on the Razorbacks once this season. That was when they covered vs. Texas A&M back on 9/28. Its a good thing that I've avoided them in their other games, as that cover has been sandwiched by six straight ATS losses, three on either side. I believe that those poor ATS results, combined with Auburn's really good recent ATS stats, have worked in our favor here - and that we're getting very fair line value.
As mentioned, the Razorbacks are reeling a little., having failed to cover three straight. However, those three games came against the likes of Florida, South Carolina and Alabama - and two of the three came on the road. (Note that this is their Razorbacks 5th straight game against a ranked opponent, the longest stretch of an SEC team in more than 20 years.) They've since had a bye, allowing extra preparation time for this game and time to lick their wounds and regroup in time for the final stretch. I believe that the bye came at the perfect time and I expect to see a refreshed and re-energized team.
Arkansas head coach Brett Bielema said this of today's game: "It's obviously a big game for us. There's a lot that goes into it. They're a team that's ranked, a team that's done some good things. Obviously an opportunity to be here at home on what should be close to a sell-out crowd, an evening game that everyone should be jacked up for. It will be a tremendous environment."
The Tigers are indeed on quite a roll. While they definitely deserve credit for beating Texas A&M, lets keep in mind that they won that one by only four points. (Not enough to cover here.) Their other wins have largely come against mediocre or weak opposition. I believe that they're a good team - but probably not as good as their lofty national ranking suggests. Note that the Tigers' starting QB is expected to play, but that he's a bit "sore" and banged-up.
Their only other road game was a double-digit loss. Even with the win over the Aggies, the Tigers are still only 2-9 SU and 4-7 ATS on the road the past couple of seasons. They were 2-5 ATS the past two Novembers and they're 0-2 ATS the past two times that they were favored in the 3.5 to 10 range.
The Razorbacks won by 17 at Auburn last season and they beat the Tigers by 24 here the previous season. I expect them to come in both confident and motivated and I expect at least a cover. 10*
|11-02-13||Wake Forest v. Syracuse -3||Top||0-13||Win||100||120 h 34 m||Show|
I'm playing on SYRACUSE. I won with the Demon Deacons a few weeks back. Listed as underdogs, they upset NC State. That was the start of three straight ATS victories. This week, however, I feel that the value has shifted the other way.
Syracuse is 2-1 at home. The Orange have outscored teams by a 40 to 22 average margin here, outgaining them by an average of 465.7 to 347. While the victories did come again weak opposition, this can still be a difficult place to play.
Wake Forest is 1-3 on the road. The Deacons are getting outscored by an average of 28.7 to 15.7 in those four games, outgained by a 408.7 to 297.2 margin.
Going back a bit further finds that Wake Forest is only 4-10 (SU) its last 14 road games while Syracuse is 10-5 its last 15 home.
The Orange were embarrassed last time out, losing 56-0 at Georgia Tech. That debacle should provide them with some added motivation here. Note that they've since had an extra week off to recover and prepare.
The Deacons were much more competitive in losing their last game. In fact, they lost by only three points at Miami. Give them credit for playing the Hurricanes tough. However, after leaving everything on the field at Miami and losing in the final minute, they're now playing their second road game in two weeks. The previous time that they were in that situation (2nd of b2b road games) this season, they lost by a score of 56-7. While the Deacons will be trying to get coach Grobe his school record 78th victory, I believe last week's loss while have a lingering effect.
These teams last met in 2011. The Orange won that meeting by seven points. The Orange know that if they want to make it to a bowl game, this is a game they desperately need. I expect another win and cover. 10*
|10-30-13||Denver Nuggets v. Sacramento Kings +1||Top||88-90||Win||100||35 h 28 m||Show|
I'm playing on SACRAMENTO. Many are going to see this matchup and automatically assume a victory for the Nuggets. I don't think we should be so quick to that though.
True, the Nuggets made the playoffs again last season. However, they also lost in the first round, again. That led to some major offseason changes. When the smoke cleared, the Nuggets lost both George Karl (the reigning Coach of the Year) and general manager Masai Ujiri, the Executive of the Year. Even Ujiri's assistant, Pete D'Alessandro, left.
Introduced as the new general manager, Tim Connelly immediately stated this his first priority was re-signing star player Andre Iguodala. That didn't happen though, as A.I. left for Golden State.
Brian Shaw was a hot commodity and was probably a good hire at coach. However, he's got an entirely different philosophy from Karl. So, we can't necessarily expect immediate success.
In addition to losing Iguodala, the Nuggets also start the season without Danilo Gallinari, another of the team's top scorers. While Kenneth Faried (hamstring) is probable, Ty Lawson (groin) is currently questionable.
The Kings also have seen some offseason changes. However, while I believe the Nuggets are likely going to take a step back this season, I like the moves in Sacramento.
I like Malone's attitude at coach. I like that he ripped the team after a poor practice on Monday, letting them know they need to get serious. Immediately.
Lets not forget that the Kings' home record was actually better than the Nuggets' road record last season. I expect them to tip things off with a win and cover. 10*
|10-28-13||Seattle Seahawks v. St Louis Rams +12||Top||14-9||Win||100||56 h 1 m||Show|
I'm playing on ST. LOUIS. Without starting QB Sam Bradford, not many are giving the Rams much of a chance here. I believe that they're offering us excellent value.
Keep in mind that the Seahawks have only won one of their four road games by more than five points. They beat Arizona by 12 last time out. However, before that, they'd lost by six at Indianapolis, won by three at Houston and won by five at Carolina.
Bradford had been playing well of late. So, losing him certainly wasn't a "good" thing. However, I'm not as down on Clemens as many others seem to be. Clemens, who worked with offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer during his tenure with the Jets, knows this is his big opportunity. He's been Bradford's backup for a couple of years and has been in the league a lot longer than that.
Clemens noted: "...I'll go out there and do the best job I can and try to help this team win some games."
As impressive as Wilson's career has been, he didn't fare well here last season. In fact, he was picked off three times here, only one of two times that he's been intercepted more than once in the same game. Note that he'll still be without Percy Harvin here, as Carroll has indicated the star receiver won't play. St. Louis won that game by a score of 19-13, while losing the game at Seattle by seven points.
The Rams are 2-0 ATS the past couple of seasons, when listed as home underdogs in the 10.5 to 14 range. They've won two of their last three and I expect their very best effort on Monday night. 10*
|10-27-13||Green Bay Packers v. Minnesota Vikings +10||Top||44-31||Loss||-110||123 h 8 m||Show|
I'm playing on MINNESOTA. Off a poor performance on National TV last week, not many bettors are going to want to back the Vikings here. Not against the mighty Packers. I feel that sentiment is providing us with excellent value with the home underdog.
The Packers are 0-2-1 ATS away from Lambeau this season. They lost two of those games outright while winning the other by just two points.
While they've admittedly struggled the last two weeks, the Vikings first four games were all decided by 10 or fewer points; three losses by 10 or less and a win by seven.
With the playoffs no longer even worth dreaming about, a home game on National TV, vs. a division rival, is about as big as it gets for the Vikings. I expect them to treat it like a "very important game."
On the other hand, the Packers have many bigger games still to play, including a big one next week vs. arch-rival Chicago, a team they're fighting with the for the division lead.
The Vikings are 25-14-1 ATS (31-9 SU) the last 40 times that they played a home game with an O/U line in the 45.5 to 49 range, 3-1 ATS the last couple of seasons. During that time, the Packers are 1-5-1 ATS when playing a road game with an O/U line in that range.
While they lost by 14 at Lambeau in January, the Vikings won last year's game here at Minnesota by three points, losing by nine at Lambeau.
The Vikings are 14-9-2 ATS the last 25 times that they were getting points. During that time, they're 7-4 ATS off two or more consecutive losses. I expect their best effort to lead to at least another cover on Sunday night. 10*
|10-26-13||Texas v. TCU -2||Top||30-7||Loss||-110||29 h 50 m||Show|
I'm playing on TCU. I backed the Longhorns in their win over Oklahoma. However, I'm going against them here.
Although the Frogs have had some trouble on the road, they're 3-0 at home. They've outscored visiting teams by an average score of 37.7 to 17.
The well-coached Frogs are 5-2 SU the last seven times that they were off a conference loss, covering the spread in four of those. During that time, Texas is only 4-7 ATS off a conference win.
While they've had some time off, I believe the Longhorns may still be patting themselves on the back for finally beating the Sooners. Even Mack Brown admitted that his Longhorns were feeling "..really full of themselves."
Both teams can run the ball. However, TCU is better at stopping the run. (The Frogs lead the Big 12 in rushing defense, allowing opponents to average just 115.3 yards on the ground.)
In last year's game at Texas, the Frogs had a 217-86 edge on the ground, en route to a 20-13 win. I look for them to have the advantage once again. 10*
|10-26-13||Utah v. USC -6.5||Top||3-19||Win||100||25 h 21 m||Show|
I'm playing on USC. The Trojans are 2-0 against the Utes since Utah joined the Pac-12. Going back further finds USC at 8-3 all-time in this series. I expect the Trojans to continue that dominance Saturday afternoon.
Its true that the Trojans are dealing with some injury issues and that they're off a loss. Keep in mind this team is still 3-0 its last three home games though, beating Arizona, Utah State and Boston College by a combined score of 90-52.
The Utes, who were hit hard by personnel losses in the offseason, are also dealing with some injuries. They're off a double-digit loss at Arizona and playing the second of back-to-back road games for the first time this season. QB Wilson is expected to start but may still be at less than 100%.
The Trojans won by 10 at Utah last season and they beat the Utes by nine the previous season. Even with all their current issues, I still believe that they're the strong team and I look for them to win by more than a TD once again. 10*
|10-26-13||Houston v. Rutgers -6.5||Top||49-14||Loss||-110||21 h 23 m||Show|
I'm playing on RUTGERS. I successfully played on the "under" the last time that the Knights took the field, a 24-10 loss at Lousville a couple of weeks back. In their previous game, I successfully played against the Knights, a 3-pt win vs. SMU. This week, however, I feel that the Knights have the situation in their favor.
Houston has been a spread-covering machine this season. However, the Cougars saw their dreams of an undefeated season go up in smoke last week, losing by a single point (47-46) vs. BYU. That figures to be a tough pill to swallow; I won't be surprised if they're a little deflated here.
Rutgers is 5-1 SU (4-1 ATS) its last six off a bye. During that stretch, the Knights are 5-2 ATS as home favorites in the 3.5 to 10 range.
While the Cougars can certainly put points on the board, I believe the Knights have a little more overall talent. Throw in the home field and situational advantages and I expect the Knights to pull away with a double-digit win. 10*
|10-24-13||Carolina Panthers v. Tampa Bay Buccaneers +7||Top||31-13||Loss||-130||51 h 4 m||Show|
I'm playing on TAMPA BAY. With an 0-6 record not too many people are going to want to back the Bucs here. I believe that sentiment is providing us with very fair value on what I expect to be a highly determined home underdog.
I believe that the Bucs will really want this game. Coach Schiano had this to say: ''I want to be clear on this because I don't take lightly 0-6. I've never been 0-6. But we do our best. We're trying our hardest. Our guys are working ... and I have found when you have good people and they work hard and they work smart it'll turn. That's what I believe."
Last year's games between these two clubs were both decided by six points. The Bucs won 16-10 at Tampa in September and then they won 27-21 at Carolina in November.
This year's Tampa games have also been close, for the most part. An eight-point loss at Atlanta last time out was their fourth loss of eight or fewer points, three of those coming by three or less.
While they're 0-3 at home, the Bucs have actually been leading their home games by an average score of 11.3 to 8.0 at halftime. Overall, they're being outscored by an average of 5.3 points per game here.
Carolina linebacker Thomas Davis correctly stated: "In this league anything is possible and we know what Tampa Bay is capable of. If you look at their games this year they've pretty much been in all of those games. It just came down to executing in the fourth quarter and they could have a much different record. We know that."
The Panthers are 0-2 ATS the past couple of seasons as road favorites in the 3.5 to 7 range. I expect them to have their hands full the entire way and am grabbing all the points I can get. 9*
|10-24-13||Kentucky +10.5 v. Mississippi State||Top||22-28||Win||100||50 h 5 m||Show|
I'm playing on KENTUCKY. The Wildcats were blown out in their last game. However, that was vs. Alabama and it was the only time that it was their fourth straight very difficult game in a row. Prior to facing Alabama, they'd faced Louisville, Florida and South Carolina. They were mostly competitive in each of those games, including losing by just seven at South Carolina. I successfully backed the Cats in their cover at South Carolina and I look for them to again be far more competitive than most will be expecting.
The Bulldogs have beaten Kentucky four straight times, defeating them in Rich Brooks' last season and each of Joker Phillips' three. The Cats have a new coach (Stoops) now though and I do believe that they're an improved team. Note that these teams have played each other every year during that time and that neither team has won more than three straight in the series since 1990.
The Bulldogs are 3-3 on the season. The did blow out Troy and Alcorn State but when facing quality teams have come up short. Against Bowling Green, their most recent game, they won by only one.
While the Bulldogs certainly aren't slouches, they aren't quite as good as some of the teams which Kentucky has encountered recently. I believe all those games against elite opponents will serve the Cats well here, as they step down in class. I expect them to serve notice that they're no longer going to be push-overs in this rivalry, going all out for their first SEC win and earning AT LEAST a cover along the way. 10*
|10-21-13||Minnesota Vikings +3.5 v. NY Giants||Top||7-23||Loss||-105||13 h 43 m||Show|
I'm playing on MINNESOTA. Needless to say, this wasn't the season that either of these teams had hoped for. Nor was it the matchup that ESPN envisioned. However, its still an interesting storyline, one which I believe is offering us excellent value.
When teams underachieve the way these ones have, homefield can often be less advantageous than normal. The crowd can be a little less into it from the onset and it can be quick to turn on the home team, if/when things don't go as planned.
Even though the chances of making the playoffs are now extremely remote for both teams, there should be no shortage of motivation. Both teams have pride, both want to get things turned around. Both would love to show the national audience that they're better than their record indicates. The QBs, in particular, both figure to have much to prove. While he obviously didn't fare too well in Tampa, I believe Freeman will provide a boost for the Vikings.
The Giants may have looked a little better than the Vikings in their most recent game but overall, the Vikings have been far more competitive.
The Vikings are being outscored on the road, but only by a 30.7 to 29.3 average margin. On the other hand, the Giants are being outscored by a 38.5 to 22.2 average margin at home.
The Giants 9-13 ATS as favorites the past couple of seasons are 1-2 ATS on Monday nights the past couple of seasons.
The Vikings are 2-1 ATS as underdogs this season, 14-8-2 ATS as underdogs the past couple of seasons. I'm taking the points. 10*
|10-20-13||Denver Broncos v. Indianapolis Colts +7||Top||33-39||Win||100||108 h 27 m||Show|
I'm playing on INDIANAPOLIS. Some will surely believe that I need to have my head checked for going against Manning in his return to Indianapolis. That's OK. They thought that each of the past two weeks when I went against the Broncos too.. Denver failed to cover in either of those games. Once again. I feel that the value lies in going against the Broncos.
I've had pretty good success in picking my spots to play on/against the Colts. Last week, I successfully played against them, when they lost at San Diego. Included in my reasons for playing against them was the fact that they were on the road and that they might be caught looking ahead to this week's big game.
Prior to that, I'd also successfully played against the Colts in their opening week ATS loss vs. Oakland. And, I successfully played ON the Colts when they crushed the 49'ers, a result that shows they can beat elite teams.
Keep in mind that prior to last week's loss, the Colts had won three straight. After their previous loss, they won their next two games by a combined score of 64-10.
While Mannning will obviously want to play his best and to win, the Colts should be every bit as determined to avoid letting that happen.
While he admittedly seems to have ice water in his veins at times, it still figures to be an emotional homecoming for Peyton and its only natural to be at least a little nervous. Note that he was somewhat mortal in the game against Jacksonville, too. (Threw for less than 300 yards, had passer rating of less than 100, got picked off etc.) It should also be noted that Manning is without All Pro left tackle Ryan Clady and that right tackle Orlando Franklin got banged-up in the Jacksonville. Even if he plays, he may be at less than 100%.
The Colts, who allow just 16.3 points per game, are 4-1 ATS the last five times that they were listed as home underdogs in the 3.5 to 7 range. This is a huge game for them and I expect their best effort, en route to AT LEAST another cover. 10*
|10-20-13||San Francisco 49ers v. Tennessee Titans +4.5||Top||31-17||Loss||-110||104 h 60 m||Show|
I'm playing on TENNESSEE. While I certainly respect the 49'ers, I like how this sets up for the Titans.
For starters, the Titans are expected to have Locker back at QB. That figures to help, as the offense had really struggled under Fitzpatrick the past couple of seasons.
Off three straight double-digit wins, I believe that the 49'ers could easily get caught patting themselves on the back a little here. It should be easy to take a struggling non-conf. opponent like Tennessee lightly, particularly with a trip to London on deck.
Keep in mind that the Titans still have a winning record at home, where they're outgaining opposing teams by a 371-320 margin.
While every game is certainly important to the 49ers, who are batting with Seattle for the division lead, the 49'ers do have some very winnable games on deck and even if they didn't ultimately beat Seattle, they'd still be in a solid spot for the Wildcard, even if they lost here. I would argue its a bigger game for the Titans, who would fall below .500 with a loss.
The Titans, who have a long history of ATS success vs. NFC teams, are already 3-1 ATS as underdogs this season. I expect at least another cover. 10*
|10-19-13||Oregon State v. California +10.5||Top||49-17||Loss||-110||125 h 6 m||Show|
I'm playing on CALIFORNIA. Its definitely been a tough start to the season for the Bears. In fact, they've only got one SU win and have yet to cover the spread. I feel that they're offering excellent value here though and that this will be the week that they finally break through with at least a cover.
In addition to playing on the road for the second straight week, this will be the fourth time, in their past five games, that the Beavers have played away from home. They've got a huge game vs. Stanford on deck next week. I feel that it will be easy to look past lowly Cal here.
That will prove costly as the Bears haven't forgotten that the Beavers embarrassed them last season, a 62-14 drubbing at Oregon State. They've had more success against the Beavers here at home though, most recently a 23-8 win in 2011.
While the Beavers have been explosive offensively, the defense has been suspect. The Beavers are allowing more than 30 points and 400 yards per game. On the road, the Beavers are allowing 34 points and 415 yards. That make covering double-digits tough.
While the Bears have admittedly had defensive issues of their own, Cal can also move the ball. Indeed, the Bears are averaging a whopping 563 yards in their four games. While that's translated to "only" 30.7 points per game, it easily could have been more.
The Bears are 6-3 the last nine times that they were listed as home underdogs in the 10.5 to 14 range. During that time, the Beavers were 1-2 ATS as road favorites in the 10.5 to 14 range. I believe the Bears are going to play with a chip on their shoulder and I expect them to score enough points to earn AT LEAST the cover. 10*
|10-19-13||Florida State v. Clemson +3||Top||51-14||Loss||-110||123 h 8 m||Show|
I'm playing on CLEMSON. Needless to say, this is a huge game for both teams. With it being played at Death Valley, I favor the home underdog.
I successfully played against the Tigers at Boston College last week. They needed to rally to win the game. I believe that result has worked in our favor here. The Tigers got their wake-up call last week - lets not forget that Boston College also gave the Seminoles a bit of a scare. (I also had BC in that one.) The fact that they were able to rally for the win should give them confidence and momentum here, while also some valuable close game experience. Additionally, as the perception is that they barely won last week - while FSU had a bye preceded by a 63-0 win - we're getting the Tigers as an underdog.
Clemson defensive end Vic Beasley, who already has nine sacks, had this to say: ''Last year they got us, but I feel like we should have won. We're looking for payback.''
The Tigers, who beat FSU here in 2011 and who have long had ATS success as a host in this series, have been excellent in conference play the past few seasons, going a profitable 15-5-1 ATS. I'll take the points, but expect them to rise to the occasion with the outright win. 10*
|10-19-13||Wisconsin v. Illinois +10.5||Top||56-32||Loss||-110||123 h 34 m||Show|
I'm playing on ILLINOIS. I won with the Badgers in their last game, a 35-6 blowout of Northwestern. I also won by going against the Illini in their last game, a 39-19 loss against Nebraska, two weeks ago. This time, however, I feel the value lies with the Illini, particularly after some line movement in their favor.
The Illini were on the road when they lost to Nebraska. They're back home now and they've had an extra week to prepare and recover. Note that the Illini are 3-0 in true home games, outscoring visiting teams by a 45.7 to 21.7 margin. The Nebraska loss notwithstanding, this is a much improved team from the one which lost by 17 AT Wisconsin last year, while listed as 14.5 point underdogs.
Also, note that the Illini are already 1-0 SU/ATS off a bye this season. While the competition (obviously) wasn't nearly what they'll face here, the Illini were outstanding that game, beating Miami Ohio by a 50-14 margin. I backed the Illini in that game and they rewarded me by putting up more than 600 yards of offense, limiting the RedHawks to 250.
While they've faced a pair of tough opponents - and while they didn't get any help from the refs out West - the Badgers are still 0-2 SU on the road. Now, they're being asked to lay double-digits away from home. Note that the Badgers, who were underdogs for each of their first two games, are 2-5 ATS the last seven times that they were listed as road favorites.
While the Badgers are indeed tough to stop, note the Illini are expected to get 6-foot-3, 290-pound defensive tackle Teko Powell back. As defensive coordinator Tim Banks mentioned, he's athletic enough (and big enough) to help against the pass and the run.
I expect the Illini to score points, enough of them to earn AT LEAST the cover. 10*
|10-19-13||UCLA v. Stanford -4||Top||10-24||Win||100||104 h 1 m||Show|
I'm playing on STANFORD. The Bruins check with the better record and the higher overall ranking. However, I believe that the Cardinal are favored for good reason.
The Cardinal appeared headed for a showdown with Oregon, thinking if they could win that game that they'd have the inside track for the National Championship game. Those plans took a major hit with last week's loss vs. Utah. Still, I believe that Stanford can and will handle its disappointment and bounce back with a much needed victory.
With a game vs. Oregon on deck, its now UCLA which is starting to entertain National Title dreams.
The Cardinal have won all three meetings the past couple of seasons, covering the spread in two of those.
The Cardinal are in one of their better roles here. They're 3-0 ATS the last three times that they were listed as home favorites in the 3.5 to 7 range.
If UCLA can beat Utah and Utah can beat Stanford, then UCLA must be able to beat Stanford. Right? Not in my opinion. I still believe the Cardinal are the stronger team and I look for them to show it on Saturday afternoon. 10*
|10-18-13||Central Florida +14.5 v. Louisville||Top||38-35||Win||100||13 h 39 m||Show|
I'm playing on CENTRAL FLORIDA. This line has climbed considerably from its opener. While I already really liked the Knights, I now believe that we're also getting very good line value.
Louisville is indeed a very strong team, on both sides of the ball. The Cardinals check in with a perfect 6-0 record. They've defeated every opponent by a minimum of 14 points and are winning their games by an average score of 41 to 7.3. While those are certainly impressive numbers, I believe that Central Florida is by far the best team that the Cards will have faced.
The Knights are 4-1 on the season, including a victory at Penn State. That 34-31 victory, part of their 3-0 road record, was arguably more impressive than anything Louisville has yet to accomplish. The Knights lone loss on the season came at home - and by only a field goal - against a talented South Carolina team.
In going 3-0 on the road, the Knights have outscored their hosts by an average score of 32-16.
For the season, UCF is averaging 414 yards per game, 6.5 yards per play. The defense is permitting just 16.6 ppg, 353 ypg. The Nittany Lions were the only team to score more than 30 points against them - and they got just 31.
Bridgewater has proven to be a very capable QB for the Cards. However, he wasn't all that sharp last time out. While not nearly as well known, UCF has a capable QB of its own. Blake Bortles has completed nearly 65 percent of his passes for 1,334 yards and nine touchdowns.
While the Knights are off a bye, the Cards are playing their third game in the past 13 days. The Knights have been excellent as road underdogs in this range over the years and I look for them to prove a much tougher test for the Cards than many will be expecting. 10*
|10-17-13||Miami (Florida) v. North Carolina +9.5||Top||27-23||Win||100||12 h 31 m||Show|
I'm playing on NORTH CAROLINA. I've liked UNC all week, liking the Tar Heels at +7 or better. However, I waited until Wednesday to release the play, as I'd hoped the number might climb all the way to (or past) +10. When it looked like it wouldn't get there, II decided to jump in at +9.5. Frankly, I won't be shocked if UNC scores the outright win.
Back in the top 10 for the first time in a few years and facing a struggling UNC squad, I believe that the Hurricanes could easily get caught patting themselves on the back.
While the Hurricanes are always loaded with talent and very athletic, I'm not convinced that this year's team has done enough (yet) to deserve its lofty ranking. Sure, they beat G-Tech last game. That was at home though - and they had to overcome a 10-point deficit. The Canes win over Florida, while impressive, also came at home - and it came by only five points. The Canes only road game was at South Florida. So, not only were they within their own state, they were also facing a Bulls team which has been terrible this season.
Granted, the Tar Heels haven't been too good either. In fairness, however, three of their five games have been on the road - and those games were at South Carolina, Georgia Tech and Virginia Tech - none of them easy venues. They had one disappointing home loss (ECU) but won their other home game (MTSU) by double-digits.
While its been a tough start, a win here would change everything for the Heels. Not only would they gain respect from the National TV audience, they'd put themselves back in position to reach a bowl. (After this, the schedule gets considerably easier.)
The Heels upset the Canes last season, at Miami. That should give them some confidence here that they can do it again. Miami QB Morris struggled, going 12 of 26 for 155 yards with two INTs, before exiting late due to an ankle injury.
The Canes won here in 2011 but it was only by six points. Prior to that, the Heels had beaten them four straight here.
UNC's coach Larry Fedora said this, when asked if the season was salvageable: "There is no doubt in my mind that it is and it starts today, or yesterday or whenever you want it to start, it starts now
|10-14-13||Indianapolis Colts v. San Diego Chargers +2||Top||9-19||Win||100||38 h 14 m||Show|
I'm playing on SAN DIEGO. I successfully played against the Chargers last week. However, that was on the road and they were laying a handful of points. That's not the case here. They're at home and aren't being asked to win by any extra margin. I feel that they're providing us with fair value.
Give the Colts credit for a big win over the Seahawks last week. However, that was at home. Now, they're out West, thousands of miles away. They've also got a Sunday night showdown vs. Peyton Manning, their former leader, on deck. If there's ever a game to get caught looking ahead to, that figures to be it. (*The Chargers have Jacksonville on deck, so no reason for them to look ahead.) The Colts could easily be caught patting themselves on the back a little, too.
Note that this is the Colts third road game in the past four weeks - the second time that they've had to come out West, during that span.
The Chargers did lose at Oakland last week. However, they had a 423-299 edge in total yards. On the other hand, the Colts were out gained by more than 100 yards in their win.
The Chargers, who have had remarkable success vs. AFC South teams over the years, are 8-2 SU/ATS the last 10 times that they played a home game with an O/U line of greater than 49. I look for home field to prove significant, the Chargers emerging victorious. 10*
|10-13-13||Washington Redskins +6 v. Dallas Cowboys||Top||16-31||Loss||-105||84 h 7 m||Show|
I'm playing on WASHINGTON. I've successfully played on the Cowboys a couple of times already, most recently last week at Denver. I've also successfully played against the Skins a couple of times, most recently choosing to go against them in their loss against the Packers. However, every team has good "play on" and "play against" times. In this case, I feel its now the Skins which are in the "play on" spot, while the opposite is true of the Cowboys.
The Skins come in with some positive momentum. They got back on track with a win at Oakland in their last game. They've also had extra rest, having received a bye last week.
Dallas, which doesn't have the luxury of coming off a bye, just went toe to toe with mighty Denver. The Cowboys left it all on the field and came up short. That figures to be a tough pill to swallow.
Obviously, any division game is a huge one for both teams, particularly one on national TV when the division is so up for grabs. This one is arguably more important for the Skins though. They've still only got one win - none in divisional play - while the Cowboys have a divisional win under their belts, one of two victories.
Griffin, who had this best game of the season in the win over the Raiders, had this to say: "The start of the season didn't go the way we wanted to, but we got the win before the bye, and that's what we've got to keep doing. We know we can still go out and win this division. We've got to take it one week at a time, and it starts with the Cowboys."
While I did back the Cowboys over the Giants, they're still only 3-10 ATS in divisional play the past couple of seasons.
While I did play against the Skins in their loss to the Eagles, they're still 10-3 ATS in divisional play the past couple of seasons.
The Cowboys are just 7-15-1 ATS as favorites the past couple of seasons, 2-4 ATS as home favorites in the 3.5 to 7 range.
The Skins are 11-6 ATS on the road the past couple of seasons. The beat the Cowboys in both games last season and the previous year they lost both games by a combined five points. I expect them to be at their best here. 10*
|10-13-13||Jacksonville Jaguars +27 v. Denver Broncos||Top||19-35||Win||100||128 h 18 m||Show|
I'm playing on JACKSONVILLE. OK. I admit that picking Jacksonville against Denver isn't exactly "fun," nor will it make me very popular. That said, I'm not looking for fun or to win any popularity contests. I simply feel that this line is too big - even for a game with the mighty Broncos taking on the hapless Jags.
Obviously, Denver has been MUCH better than Jacksonville. The Broncos are off a hard-fought and emotional win (Dallas) though and they've got a big Sunday night showdown at Indianapolis (Peyton's old team) on deck. I believe it will be very easy for them to go through the motions a little here.
Coach Fox noted: "One thing I've learned is if you fall asleep at the wheel, you wreck. Sometimes dealing with prosperity is more difficult than the adversity
|10-13-13||Philadelphia Eagles v. Tampa Bay Buccaneers +3||Top||31-20||Loss||-120||19 h 36 m||Show|
I'm playing on TAMPA BAY. Foles is expected to get the start for the Eagles here. However, whether it was Vick, perhaps at less than 100%, or Foles (1-5 as a starter last season) at QB for the visitors, I like the Bucs in this matchup.
Naturally, with zero wins on the season, the Bucs aren't getting much respect. However, kets keep in mind that three of their losses came by six combined points. (They lost by 1 at NY, by 2 vs. NO and by 3 vs. Arizona.) Indeed, this team could easily have had at least one victory - and with a few breaks could have been sitting at 3-1 right now. The only time that they lost a game by more than a field goal this season was at New England. No other team has played the Saints as tough - on the scoreboard at least - as Tampa.
Speaking of close games, the Eagles beat the Bucs by two points here last season, a 23-21 win. The Bucs were laying a touchdown in that game. Now, we're getting points with them.
The Eagles offense has certainly had some impressive moments and can indeed be explosive. However, the defense has been brutal. The Eagles rank 30th in points allowed (31.8) and 31st in total defense (434.0).
I expect Tampa's run game to get back on track here. Note that Doug Martin ran for 128 and a touchdown on 28 carries when these teams met last year. Overall, the Bucs had a 136-29 edge on the ground in that one.
Philadelphia's DeSean Jackson can be a real load for teams without someone to cover him. However, the Bucs have Darrelle Revis, still considered one of the elite players in the league. Revis figures to be fired up after listening to Jackson state the following: "I don't think he can run with me. I don't think he's as fast as me
|10-12-13||Georgia Tech +7 v. BYU||Top||20-38||Loss||-110||79 h 49 m||Show|
I'm playing on GEORGIA TECH. Many people are currently pretty down on the Yellow Jackets. They're off back-to-back losses and going on the road to face a team that pounded them last season. Meanwhile, BYU is off a big win over a good team, their second straight blowout win. That has many people jumping on the BYU bandwagon. I believe that combination of pro-BYU and anti-GT sentiment is helping to provide us with excellent value on what I expect to be a highly determined visitor.
True, the Jackets are off back-to-back losses. I played against them in the first of those losses though (vs. V-Tech) so that didn't come as a real shock to me. Last week's game was at Miami. The Jackets weren't getting as many points in that game, as they are here - yet, I feel they match up better against the Cougars than they did against the Hurricanes.
Keep in mind that G-Tech won its first three games by a combined score of 136-34.
True, BYU looked very impressive in beating Texas, back in early December. Give the Cougars props for that win. However, last week's win at Utah State needs a bit of an asterisk beside it, as the Aggies lost their star QB early on in that one. Not that BYU lost by three at Virgnia and that it was beaten by seven here by Utah.
Including the loss vs. the Utes, the Cougars are an ugly 1-6 ATS the last seven times that they were favored in the 3.5 to 10 range. During the same stretch, the Jackets were 4-2 ATS as underdogs in the 3.5 to 10 range.
G-Tech comes in with payback on its mind. The Cougars embarrassed the Jackets last season. Many of those same GT players are back and they haven't forgotten. I don't believe that the BYU defensive line is as good as the one that the GT offense struggled against last year - and I look for the Jackets to have considerably more success in putting pts on the board. Ultimately, I expect AT LEAST a cover. 10*
|10-12-13||Northwestern v. Wisconsin -10||Top||6-35||Win||100||126 h 49 m||Show|
I'm playing on WISCONSIN. Northwestern checks in with a top 20 ranking. However, I feel that the unranked Badgers are laying this many points for good reason.
Give the Wildcats credit for playing a great game last week. They very nearly defeated Ohio State. They didn't though and the tough loss figures to take a toll on them here.
The Badgers are also off a tough loss vs. those same Buckeyes. However, they've had an extra week off in between games.
Note that Melvin Gordon, Jacob Pedersen and Kenzel Doe all figure to play for the Badgers, the bye allowing each some extra time to recover.
Homefield advantage has to be considered.The Badgers have beaten the Wildcats three straight times here, winning the last two here by 79 combined points. This season, they're 3-0 SU/ATS here, outscoring teams by a 47.3 to 3.3 margin, out gaining them by a 583.3 to 168.3 average, in terms of total yards.
The Badgers are 8-4 ATS their last 12 as home favorites in the 7.5 to 10 range, going 9-3 ATS the last 12 times that they played a home game where the O/U line ranged from 56.5 to 63. That includes a 4-0 SU/ATS mark their last four in that situation. I expect them to pull away for a double-digit win. 10*
|10-06-13||San Diego Chargers v. Oakland Raiders +5||Top||17-27||Win||100||112 h 8 m||Show|
I'm playing on OAKLAND. The Chargers are on a nice roll and deserve credit for beating the Cowboys. Lets not get carried away though. They're still only 2-2. Three of their four games, including both those on the road, were decided by a field goal. Yet, here they are on the road, laying more than that. I believe that's asking too much.
The Chargers are giving up 432.2 yards per game, including a whopping 481.5 on the road.
Despite facing two of the top 10 scoring teams in the league (Denver, Indianapolis) the Raiders are giving up considerably fewer yards (349) and points (22.7) than the Chargers. In their two home games, the Raiders are allowing an average of only 293.5 points and 16.5 yards.
While the Raiders offense struggled last game, they're expecting to get Pryor back here, which I feel will make a big difference. As noted, the defense has been very stingy here.
The last meeting in the series was decided by a field goal. I won't be surprised if this one also comes down to the wire and am grabbing all the points I can get. 10*
|10-06-13||Denver Broncos v. Dallas Cowboys +8||Top||51-48||Win||100||128 h 20 m||Show|
I'm playing on DALLAS. Each week, the Peyton Manning legend seems to get bigger. However, with every new notch in Manning's belt, the pointspreads keep getting bigger. This week, playing on the road against perhaps their most talented opponent yet, the Broncos are laying more than a touchdown. As great as they've looked, I believe that's asking too much.
The Cowboys may have had some trouble on the road but they're also 2-0 at home. Denver has still only played one road game - and that was against the Giants (a team Dallas also defeated) and so there was the whole big brother vs. little brother thing going on, which sort of trumped the venue. (Also, the Giants are a mess.)
Now, the Broncos visit a Cowboy team which is outscoring opponents by a 33.5 to 19.5 margin here at Dallas.
The Broncos are obviously scoring points at a phenomenal rate. However, they're also quietly giving up quite a few. (They rank 30th in the league vs. the pass.) I have a feeling that Monte Kiffin's defense will give them some trouble and that Manning will come back down to earth a little. Meanwhile, the Cowboys offense should be able to sore some points themselves.
The Cowboys have lost twice, both times by single-digits. After their first loss, they responded with a 31-7 victory. Given the awful start by their NFC East brethren, the Cowboys could probably "afford" a loss here. However, they also know that a win really puts them in the driver's seat in the division and shows the world that they're a force to be reckoned with, a team capable of beating anyone. Some will surely call me crazy, but I'm taking the points. 10*
|10-05-13||Florida Atlantic v. UAB -4||Top||37-23||Loss||-117||97 h 54 m||Show|
I'm playing on UAB. The Blazers improved last year, showing glimpses of being half decent and making strides under their first year coach. I believe his year's team has improved again and that this week's game should provide an excellent opportunity to demonstrate it.
Its no surprise that the Blazers are 1-3. Three of their four games have been on the road, two of them vs. SEC teams. They were competitive vs. Troy, their only road game vs. a non-SEC team, losing by just three points. In their lone home game, the Blazers won by 24.
I recall reading a preview of the Blazers' season, one of the many I read. The writer offered both a most optimistic and a most pessimistic scenario. The former called for eight wins and a bowl berth. The latter called for three wins, this being one of them. In other words, even if the season went terribly, this was a game that the Blazers were still expected to win. Now, that was just someone else's opinion - but the reason I even remember that, was that I felt/feel the same way. I personally had this game marked down as a "highly probable" win for UAB since the first time I went through the schedule.
While I like the job their coach is doing, the Owls simply aren't all that talented. They're also relatively young and inexperienced on the defensive and offensive lines. Additionally, they've had a very challenging schedule, as this marks their fifth road game through the first six weeks of the schedule. Throw in the fact that they're off a heart-breaker (let game get away vs. Rice) last week and I believe that they're in a very challenging spot.
While we have to go back a bit, the Blazers are 6-2-1 ATS (8-1 SU) the last nine times that they were listed as home favorites in the 3.5 to 7 range. I believe they've got a number of advantages here and I expect a win and cover. 10* personal favorite
|10-05-13||Army v. Boston College -11.5||Top||27-48||Win||100||101 h 13 m||Show|
I'm playing on BOSTON COLLEGE. I've played on the Eagles twice so far this season, going 2-0 in those games. I had them last week when they covered vs. Florida State and I had them in their second game, when they defeated Wake Forest by two touchdowns. I believe this will be another good spot to back them.
The Eagles' last two games have been difficult ones, to say the least. They had to play on the West Coast against USC and then had to come back to face Florida State. With all due respect to the Black Knights, Army represents a significant step down in class.
While they had trouble out West, the Eagles played the Seminoles tough last week. When facing lesser opposition, they won both previous home games by double-digits.
While they weren't able to score the outright upset, the Eagles played the Noles considerably tougher than they have in recent seasons, showing vast improvement from last year. Andre Williams ran 28 times for 149 yards for the Eagles. QB Chase Rettig completed 19 of 29 passes for 197 yards and a career-high four touchdowns.
Florida State's Kenny Shaw said this of the Eagles: ''They came out firing. They came out playing better than we expected. I give them big ups for that."
Now, the Eagles get to face another team which defeated them last year. It was almost exactly a year ago to the day (10/6/12) that Army upset them by a score of 34-31. I feel that it will provide another excellent chance for the Eagles to show that they're improved - and this time, that improvement should translate to a victory.
There were a lot of low points last season. The Army game was right there with the worst of them though. It wasn't a blowout loss, as the Eagles lost by only three. However, it was their only "upset" loss and it came against a team which finished with only two total wins.. Every other loss on the season came when they were underdogs. I believe the Eagles will have payback on their minds.
Army is off an impressive win vs LA Tech at the Cotton Bowl. Listed as underdogs, the Knights won by a score of 35-16. However, before getting too carried away about that victory, keep in mind that the Knights' previous game was a 25-11 loss vs. Wake Forest - a team BC defeated. The Knights' previous road game was a 40-14 blowout loss at Ball State. They've been brutal in true road games in recent seasons.
Note that the Knights didn't play back-to-back road games last season. They did once the previous season but there was a bye in between those games. So, playing a "neutral site" game followed by a road game, is somewhat new territory for them.
The Eagles have a road game at highly ranked Clemson on deck, followed by another road game (UNC) after that. That makes taking advantage of this winnable game that much more important.
Wake Forest and Florida State already found out that BC is much improved. I say Army finds out the same thing Saturday afternoon, the revenge-minded Eagles pulling away for a double-digit win. 10*
|10-03-13||Texas -7.5 v. Iowa State||Top||31-30||Loss||-106||60 h 36 m||Show|
I'm playing on TEXAS. I won with the Longhorns in their last game and I believe that this will be another good spot to back them.
The Longhorns entered their last game off back-to-back bad losses. Their dreams of a national title were already shot. Many were calling for Mack Brown's head, lamenting about the demise of the program. Needless to say, the win over K-State was huge.
One big win can change a lot. The Longhorns have now regained some of their swagger and confidence. They're 1-0 in Big 12 play and they know their dream of winning the conference is still alive.
Keep in mind that this is an experienced and talented Texas team, one which had really big hopes entering the season.
In addition to the "W" in the conference standings and the emotional lift, there were a lot of positives gained on the field in beating the Wildcats. The defense showed vast improvement in its second game under new coordinator Robinson. The running game really got going. Backup QB Case McCoy got more work.
When off a big win, teams often like to keep playing. However, I believe having a bye came at a good time for the Longhorns and I look for them to benefit from it. Its given them some time to get healthy, while also allowing some extra time to prepare. Note that they're 5-1 ATS their last six off a bye.
There are still a few concerns. QB Ash is still being evaluated and may not be able to go. Linebacker Jordan Hicks got hurt last game and is out for the season. Starting middle linebacker Steve Edmond is out for the first half, due to a targeting penalty.
In my opinion, the Longhorns have the talent to overcome that adversity though; I don't believe Iowa State has the type of team which can take advantage.
It seems likely that Texas won't rush Ash back. While McCoy is more 1-dimensional than Ash, he can be an effective game manager, the type of QB capable of beating the likes of Iowa State.
After the win over K-State, Brown had this to say: "There were parts of the team I expected to see and expect to see for the rest of the year. This can be a really good football team. I don't think this team will let up. We need to get healthy, but there are no excuses. Just keep your mouth shut and go play. We need to win."
Whether its Ash of McCoy, the I look for Brown's team to do just that. 10*
|09-30-13||Miami Dolphins v. New Orleans Saints -6||Top||17-38||Win||100||155 h 30 m||Show|
I'm playing on NEW ORLEANS. I won with the Saints last week and I'm going to ride them one more time here.
In case you haven't noticed, the Saints are off to an excellent start. Last week's 31-7 win brought them to 3-0. The defense has allowed 17, 14 and 7 points, an average of 12.7 per game. Opposing teams are averaging only 295.7 yards. The offense, which has long been a strength, put up 423 yards last week.
The Dolphins are also off to an impressive 3-0 start, making for an exciting matchup. They're clearly improved but I don't think that they're ready for the hostile environment that they're going to encounter here.
I backed the Saints the year that they won the Super Bowl, winning both the side and total of the SB. I also rode them in their playoff victories and had a very good handle on them all year. That year, they were at their best in the "prime-time" games, seemingly out to show the world how good that they were.
I expect them to again come out with a chip on their shoulder, eventually earning another double-digit win. 10* main event
|09-29-13||New England Patriots v. Atlanta Falcons -1||Top||30-23||Loss||-116||31 h 57 m||Show|
I'm playing on ATLANTA. I expect the Falcons to be the more "desperate" team in this matchup. They're 1-2 and chasing the Saints. They can't afford to fall to 1-3 here. On the other hand, the Patriots are 3-0. While the Dolphins have the same record, the Pats likely aren't too concerned about not making the playoffs, something that has to be priority #1 for the Falcons. While needing to win doesn't always translate to actually winning, I expect that sense of urgency to come into play on Sunday.
Before getting too excited about the Pats' 3-0 record and their strong defensive numbers, keep in mind that they've faced the Jets, Bills and Bucs. Two of those three teams have a rookie QB and the third team just benched their QB, as he had the worst numbers in the league. Needless to say, facing Matt Ryan at the Georgia Dome represents an entirely different ballgame.
As for the Falcons, their loses came against teams (NO and Miami) that currently have a perfect 6-0 combined record. They also came on the road. The Falcons won their lone home game (by 7) and are 15-4 SU here the past 2+ seasons.
While the Pats did beat the Bucs, they're still only 5-5 SU and 3-6-1 ATS against NFC teams the past couple of years. During that span, the Falcons are 7-2 SU and 5-3-1 ATS against AFC opponents.
While the Falcons do indeed have some injuries, the same can be said of the Pats. Of course, New England did also suffer those offseason personnel losses at the receiver position. While he's obviously still very dangerous, thus far, Brady's numbers are nothing special.
Brady got the better of Ryan when the two went head-to-head before. However, that was back in 2009 and it was at Atlanta. Ryan's got a few more years to gain experience, while by 2009 Brady was arguably past the point where the extra years could help him. Perhaps more importantly, now the rematch is at Atlanta. I say Ryan and co. get some revenge, getting themselves back into the playoff race in the process. 10* SNF Main Event
|09-29-13||Arizona Cardinals v. Tampa Bay Buccaneers -3||Top||13-10||Loss||-100||123 h 49 m||Show|
I'm playing on TAMPA. The Cardinals check in with the better record. They're 1-2 while Tampa is 0-3. Playing at home, I believe the Bucs will prove to be the better team.
You probably heard that Freeman is out as the starter for this week, replaced by rookie Mike Glennon. It remains to be seen how Glennon will fare. However, the team needed a spark and I believe that they'll rally around their new pivot. Considering that Freeman had the worse QB rating in the league to go along with the worst completion percentage, it won't take much for Glennon to be an upgrade.
I played against the Cardinals last week. They played without nose tackle Dan Williams after his father was tragically killed in a car wreck on his way to the game. Then, three of their linebackers were lost for the season after suffering injuries. Sam Acho broke his leg, Lorenzo Alexander has a foot injury and rookie Alex Okafor suffered a torn biceps.
Additionally, safety Rashad Johnson lost the tip of his left middle finger and missed the second half before. While he may play this week, the team was already weak on defense to begin with.
True, Arizona did beat Detroit. That was at home though. The Cards are 0-2 on the road, including a loss at St. Louis. While the Cards lost 31-7 against the Saints, Tampa nearly beat New Orleans - losing 16-14. The Cards are now 3-15 SU away from home the past 2+ seasons.
The Arizona offense has been nothing special either. Palmer initially looked good in this offense However, he's since struggled and his numbers rank near the bottom of the pack. (72.3 passer rating is 26th in the NFL.)
Despite facing the Saints and Pats in two of their three games, the Bucs are still only allowing an average of 19 points per game, much better than the 26.3 (29 on the road) that the Cards are allowing. I expect them to take advantage of this winnable game Sunday, covering the small number along the way. 10* personal favorite
|09-29-13||Seattle Seahawks v. Houston Texans +3||Top||23-20||Push||0||123 h 30 m||Show|
I'm playing on HOUSTON. Things change in a hurry in the NFL. Public perception changes about as quickly as anything. If we were at this point of last season, the Seahawks sure wouldn't be favored here at Houston. But with the Hawks off back to back blowout wins and the Texans off a blowout loss, that's where we stand. I believe its providing us with excellent value with the home team.
The Seahawks are certainly a good team and the 29-3 dismantling of the 49'ers was indeed impressive. However, lets keep in mind that they've played two of three games at home and that their other two games came vs. Carolina and Jacksonville.
The Texans may be 0-3 ATS but they're still 2-1 SU. Their lone loss came on the road vs. the defending Super Bowl champs. This team is 14-5 SU and 12-6-1 ATS here the past 2+ seasons.
The Texans are also a profitable 8-1-1 ATS (8-2 SU) the last 10 times that they played a game where the line ranged from the -3 to +3.
While the Texans played a bad game last week, I still believe they're a good team. I'll take whatever points are being offered but I expect them to rise the occasion with the outright win. 10* best bet
|09-29-13||Chicago Bears v. Detroit Lions -3||Top||32-40||Win||100||23 h 25 m||Show|
I'm playing on DETROIT. The Bears are 3-0. The Lions are 2-1. The Bears were 2-0 in the series last season and have won nine of the last 10 meetings. Yet, its the Lions who are listed as small favorites. That will have many tempted to take the points. I believe the Lions are favored for good reason though.
The nationally televised blowout of Pittsburgh is fresh in people's memories. Keep in mind that the Bears barely eked out wins in each of their first two games, a 3-point win vs. Cincinnati and a 1-point win vs. Minnesota. (The Lions beat the Vikings by 10.)
While the Bears' defense has been scoring points, they've also been giving up some. They're tied for 19th in scoring defense at 24.7 points per game and rank 25th in yards allowed at 383. Note that Chicago starting defensive tackle Henry Melton will undergo season-ending knee surgery. Also, note that Tillman, who normally covers Calvin Johnson, is questionable.
For all their trouble over the years, the Lions are actually a profitable 18-13-1 (21-11 SU) the last 32 times that they were listed as home favorites of three or fewer points, 1-0 SU/ATS the past couple of seasons. They know they desperately need to find a way to beat this team and I look for them to finally step up and get it done. 8*
|09-28-13||Texas A&M v. Arkansas +15||Top||45-33||Win||100||35 h 7 m||Show|
I'm playing on ARKANSAS. Its true that the Aggies were very good on the road last year. However, this is a new year and this is their first road game of the season. I expect them to have their hands full.
The Razorbacks haven't forgotten that the Aggies embarrassed them 58-10 last year. I expect them to show up an extremely motivated team.
True the Razorbacks remain young at a few key positions. They aren't without talent though. They've also got a much better coach this year though and the secondary is more experienced - they should be able to deal with Manziel somewhat more effectively.
Of course, stopping Manziel completely is no easy task. The best way to limit him is to keep him on the sidelines. That goes hand-in-hand with the ball control type of offense that Bielema wants from Arkansas.
Not only does Bielema's crew want to dominate time of possession, they'll be up against an Aggie run defense that should allow them to do just that. In fact, you might be surprised to learn that the Aggies are giving up 218 rushing yards per game, good for 106th in the country. Opposing backs are averaging 5.9 yards per run against them. Even Rice ran for more than 300 yards against them.
Although they ran for only 101 yards last week, the Razorbacks ran for 292, 333 and 258 yards in their first three games.
While the Aggies are off a big win, note that they had more than 100 yards of penalties and missed three extra point attempts. I expect them to have their hands full the entire way. 10*
|09-28-13||LSU v. Georgia -3||Top||41-44||Push||0||101 h 55 m||Show|
I'm playing on GEORGIA. The Bulldogs have played a brutal schedule. Prior to last week's easy game (45-21 win vs. North Texas) they had to take on South Carolina and Clemson. Those teams were ranked #8 and #6 when they faced them. Now, they take on #6 LSU. That makes them only the third team in the BCS era to face three top 10 opponents in their first four games. While beating LSU is almost never easy, I believe the Bulldogs will be up for the task.
The Bulldogs know that if they can win this one, that they're right back in the hunt for a trip to the National Championship game. I believe that the two early challenges will serve them well here.
LSU has cruised through the first four games, going 4-0 SU. This year's team suffered heavy personnel losses though. The Tigers had a school-record eight defensive players drafted and they'll have four new starters on the defensive line. At the beginning of the season, defensive coordinator John Chavis noted: ''Obviously, the number of guys that we lost last year isn't usual."
The Tigers, who have failed to cover their last two, now take a serious step up in class. I expect some of last season's personnel losses to finally catch up with them.
The Bulldogs haven't forgotten about a 42-10 beating the Tigers gave them back in December of 2011, at the SEC Title game. I say its payback time on Saturday afternoon. 10* personal favorite
|09-28-13||Florida State v. Boston College +21.5||Top||48-34||Win||100||101 h 47 m||Show|
I'm playing on BOSTON COLLEGE. I successfully backed the Eagles when they beat Wake Forest. I feel that this will be another good spot to do so.
Needless to say, the Seminoles are much tougher than the Demon Deacons. Still, they're also laying more than three touchdowns. I believe that's asking too much of them.
True, the Eagles got blown out (35-7) in their last game. However, that was at USC and they've since had a bye week to recover. Note that they're getting considerably more points this week than they were against the Trojans, despite now playing at home. They're 2-0 SU here on the season, both wins by double-digits.
While they did cover (vs. Bethune Cookman) last week, the Seminoles are still only 5-9 ATS the past couple of seasons, after winning two or more consecutive games.
While it may not necessarily give them the best chance at the outright win, I believe BC's conservative mindset lends itself well to keeping this one close.
Coach Steve Addazio noted: "We have to play great defense, get field position and run the ball well."
With their perfect record, with big games vs. Maryland and Clemson on deck and having embarrassed the Eagles each of the past couple of seasons, I believe that it will be easy for the 'Noles to go through the motions a bit here. On the other hand, I expect the Eagles to be absolutely focused on the task at hand and for that to lead to at least a cover. 10*
|09-26-13||Virginia Tech +7 v. Georgia Tech||Top||17-10||Win||100||57 h 51 m||Show|
I'm playing on VIRGINIA TECH. I won with the Yellow Jackets last week. This week, however, I feel that the value lies the other way.
The Hokies haven't been very good at the betting window the last couple of seasons and they're already off to a slow start in that area this year. That has many bettors hesitant to back them. This, in turn, has helped to create solid line value.
The Hokies may be 0-2-2 ATS. However, keep in mind that they're also 3-1 SU and 3-0 SU their last three games. Their only loss all season came against Alabama. They haven't been dominant but they've found a way to win.
True, facing the Yellow Jackets' unique offense on short rest and off a triple OT game isn't probably ideal. However, to compensate the Hokies spent their past several Sunday practices on G-Tech preparation.
Virginia Tech senior defensive tackle Derrick Hopkins said this of adjusting to G-Tech's offense: "It's not a tough adjustment. Most guys have been preparing for it a long time, so it's just like second nature kind of. We know what to expect."
Note that VT scout team quarterback T.J. Shaw has played the role of the Yellow Jackets' quarterbacks for four consecutive years on Georgia Tech game week.
While the Hokies have had some kicking issues the past couple of games, they'll get senior kicker Cody Journell back from suspension. Prior to an off game vs. ECU, Journell had made 36 of 44 career fg's.
Note that the last time that V-Tech played a Thursday game on short rest was way back in 2006, when the Hokies upset #10 Clemson.
Last year's game was decided by three points, a 20-17 win for the Hokies. The 2011 meeting here saw the Hokies win by 11.
Beamer has said repeatedly he wants his Hokies to "be good" by the start of ACC play. I believe they've got a real shot at the upset here and expect them to be "good enough" to earn at least a cover. 10*
|09-22-13||Chicago Bears v. Pittsburgh Steelers +3||Top||40-23||Loss||-125||52 h 14 m||Show|
I'm playing on PITTSBURGH. The Bears beat the Bengals. And, the Bengals beat the Steelers. So, the Bears must be able to beat the Steelers, right? That's the type of logic a lot of recreational bettors apply. Sounds reasonable enough in theory. However, in reality, it rarely holds much weight. There are always many other factors to consider. For example, the Bears hosted the Bengals while the Steelers had to play at Cincinnati.
In addition to playing at home, the Steelers figure to be the more desperate team. The NFL is so competitive that coming back from 0-2 to make the playoffs is extremely difficult. Coming back from 0-3 is practically impossible.
On the other hand, while a Monday night game is always a big deal, the 2-0 Bears could potentially be a little more complacent.
The Bears are 3-8-3 ATS the last 14 times that they were road favorites of three or fewer points, going 0-2 ATS their last two in that role During that time, the Steelers were 1-0-1 ATS as home underdogs of three or less. With their season on the line, I expect Big Ben and co. to dig deep and to deliver their best effort. 10* main event
|09-22-13||St. Louis Rams +4 v. Dallas Cowboys||Top||7-31||Loss||-110||133 h 36 m||Show|
I'm playing on ST. LOUIS. The Rams have been forced to rally from behind in each of their first two games. They battled back for a win against Arizona in Week 1 but were unable to dig out from a bigger hole at Atlanta last week. They did fight hard though, making a game of it, despite the early deficit. Taking on a team with a few issues of its own. I expect their best effort.
The Cowboys want to be able to run the ball, but have been unable to do so. They're off a tough 1-point loss and have some key players nursing bumps and bruises.
While the Rams have a slight edge in total yards in their two games, note that Dallas has been outgained by an average margin of 395.5 to 324.5.
While I did successfully play on the Cowboys in their win over the Giants, its worth noting that they're still only 4-13 ATS here the past couple of seasons, including 2-4 ATS as home favorites in the 3.5 to 7 range. Overall, they're just 6-14-1 ATS as favorites.
The Rams have seen both games decided by seven or less while the Cowboys have seen both theirs decided by five or less. I won't be surprised if this one also comes down to the wire and am grabbing all the points I can get. 10* best bet
|09-22-13||Cleveland Browns +5 v. Minnesota Vikings||Top||31-27||Win||100||132 h 6 m||Show|
I'm playing on CLEVELAND. Not many people are giving the Browns much of a chance here. After all, they're 0-2, they're down to their backup or third-string QB and they just traded away their running back. While all that may be true, keep in mind that the Vikings are also 0-2 and that they too have QB issues.
While you'll hear much about the Browns' problems, note that Cleveland gets back top receiver Josh Gordon. Gordon, who led the team with 805 receiving yards and five touchdowns in 2012, was suspended for the first two games for violating the league's substance-abuse policy.
QB Campbell noted: "He's a huge difference. He's a big target. He's a big guy. He's a big part of what we do offensively. Not having him out there, definitely hurts a little bit, because he is a big part of what we do. So it'll be good to get him back, get him going, try to get him back into a rhythm."
Of course, Campbell isn't expected to start, that job goes to Brian Hoyer.
Cleveland coach Rob Chudzinski said this of that decision: "I feel like based on our current situation - where we're at offensively as well as getting into the game planning for Minnesota - that Brian's strengths are the best fit for this week and that he gives us our best chance to win. The things that he does well fit what we need. For me, it's about who gives us the best chance to win."
While Peterson is obviously a great running back, the Vikings remain fairly one dimensional on offense. Worse, the defense is allowing an average of 32.5 points and 440 yards per game. (Cleveland is allowing 18.5 ppg and 285.5 ypg.)
The Vikings, who are off a 1-point loss last time out, are very capable of covering when getting points. However, their tendency to play close games makes covering difficult when they're the ones laying points. In fact, they're only 3-8-1 ATS as favorites the past couple of seasons. I'm grabbing all the points I can get. 9*
|09-22-13||Arizona Cardinals v. New Orleans Saints -7||Top||7-31||Win||100||77 h 5 m||Show|
I'm playing on NEW ORLEANS. I successfully played against the Saints last week. They were on the road, off an emotional divisional win and facing what I felt was going to be a very determined divisional rival. Things set up much differently here.
This time, the Saints are at home. This time, they're facing a defensively challenged opponent from outside their division.
Give the Cardinals credit. They're 1-1 SU and 2-0 ATS. They've scored points in both games and the offense does appear to be considerably improved. Note that Larry Fitzgerald is banged-up. While the Cards are hopeful he can play, if he does, he may be at less than 100%.
Still, the Arizona offense isn't as good as the one they'll be up against here.
Neither is the defense. While its obviously a small sample size, the Cards are allowing an average of 24 points and 344 yards. On the road, those numbers are 27/366.
The Saints, on the other hand, are allowing just 15.5 points per game, on only 320 yards.
While the Saints' offense has yet to really get rolling, Brees has to be licking his chops. Sam Bradford and Matthew Stafford combined to complete 68.9 percent of their passes for 577 yards and four touchdowns against the Cards, who have only one interception and one sack.
The Saints are 12-5 ATS their last 17 as favorites in the 3.5 to 9.5 range. I expect a breakout game from the offense, en route to a big win. 10* personal favorite
|09-21-13||Kansas State v. Texas -6||Top||21-31||Win||100||115 h 16 m||Show|
I'm playing on TEXAS. The Longhorns have dropped two in a row, getting beaten up in the process. Fans are jumping off the bandwagon and/or calling for Mack Brown's head. Those results and that sentiment have kept the line below a touchdown here. I believe that's offering plenty of value with what I expect to be a very dangerous team.
The Longhorns are still very talented and they still believe. Remember, this team returned 19 starters from a team that won nine last year. Sunday, the day after the loss to Ole Miss, a group of seniors addressed the team, saying how much they still wanted to leave with the conference title.
True, K-State has had the Longhorns' number in recent seasons. The Wildcats didn't do themselves any favors, in my opinion, when Tre Walker stated that Texas lays down when times get tough.
Texas safety Adrian Phillips had this to say about that: "Its basically a slap in the face. You don
|09-21-13||Louisiana-Lafayette -5.5 v. Akron||Top||35-30||Loss||-110||43 h 28 m||Show|
I'm playing on UL LAFAYATTE. I like how this one sets up for the road team. The Ragin' Cajuns had some experience against good teams, losing at Arkansas and Kansas State. Then, stepping down significantly in class, they crushed Nicholls 70-7. They set numerous school offensive records in that game and come in on a high, with positive momentum.
That's not the case for the Zips. Akron played a great game last week, very nearly upsetting Michigan. To some so close to pulling off the miracle, only to lose, can be tough. An emotional letdown wouldn't surprise.
Akron isn't good enough to not bring its "emotional A Game." Not against a team which just put 70 points on the board, one which has the best offense in its conference and in its school's history.
Keep in mind that the Zips lost by 31 in their opener and then barely beat James Madison in their second game, winning by only two and giving up 498 total yards. With that ATS loss, they're 4-9 ATS at home the past couple of seasons. That includes a 1-2 ATS mark as home underdogs in the 3.5 to 7 range.
The Cajuns couldn't pull off the upset in either of their first two road games but this is still a team with very big expectations and plans for the year. None of those plays include a loss here. I expect a double-digit win. 10*
|09-21-13||Tennessee v. Florida -17||Top||17-31||Loss||-110||111 h 13 m||Show|
I'm playing on FLORIDA. The poor Volunteers. Last week, they had to contend with Oregon. (They were blown out 59-14.) This week, they take on a hungry Florida Gators team, one which almost always gives them trouble.
The Gators are 8-0 their last eight against the Vols. Throw in the fact that the Vols are 1-23 their last 24 games (0-17 L17) against Top 25 teams and one can imagine that even Tennessee fans might be a little nervous.
While the line might seem a little high, keep in mind that the last six games in this series have all been decided by double-digits and by an average of 19. Note that the Vols are 2-10 ATS as underdogs the past couple of seasons.
While Tennessee was getting destroyed by Oregon, Florida was resting with a bye week. That gave QB Driskel an extra week to heal. He's expected to be fine. On the other hand, the Vols are unsure who even will play QB for them.
I expect another blowout win for the Gators. 10* SEC GOM
|09-21-13||North Carolina v. Georgia Tech -6||Top||20-28||Win||100||107 h 25 m||Show|
I'm playing on GEORGIA TECH. The Yellow Jackets have owned the Tar Heels in recent years. I don't see that changing this season. The Jackets have destroyed a pair of lesser teams and come in loaded with confidence. They followed up a 70-0 win over Elon with a 38-14 road win at Duke. They ran for 368 yards and 344 yards.
Last season, the Jackets won 68-50 at UNC. This one likely won't be as high-scoring as that one. (Although you never know.) However, with an O/U line of 60 and a pair of capable, albeit different, offenses - we will see some points.
UNC lost by 17 at South Carolina and then responded with a 20 point win at Middle Tennessee State. The Tar Heels allowed the Gamecocks to gain 228 yards on the ground and then Middle State ran for 158 (401 overall) yards against them. I see them having real trouble stopping the G-Tech attack, one which ran for 380 yards against them last season.
This year's Tech offense is arguably even more dangerous - or at least more difficult to prepare for. In the game against Duke, the Jackets broke out some new formations and were throwing for TDs.
UNC's Tim Jackson said this of Paul Johnson and G-Tech throwing the ball: "I feel like they did it just because they could, honestly. Another wrinkle for you to prepare for. I'm not sure if they're even going to run that against us, but it just gives you another reason to prepare for them, another 30 minutes that you have to spend watching film on their formations. Let's throw four times and make them prepare for the pass when we're really going to run the ball,"' he added, saying of Johnson: "Dude's smart. He knows what he's doing."
While they had a bye last week, the Tar Heels are 0-2 SU/ATS off a bye the past couple of seasons. During that stretch, they're 1-5 ATS as underdogs, 0-1 ATS as road underdogs in the 3.5 to 7 range. They'd dearly love to avenge last year's loss, I just don't feel they'll be up to the task.
The Jackets are 8-2 ATS the past couple of years in September. During that stretch, they're 4-1 ATS when playing a home game with an O/U line in the 56.5 to 63 range and 1-0 ATS as home favorites in the 3.5 to 7 range. I feel they'll score enough for the win and cover. 9* breakfast club
|09-20-13||Boise State v. Fresno State -3||Top||40-41||Loss||-115||56 h 38 m||Show|
I'm playing on FRESNO STATE. Many aren't accustomed to seeing Boise State listed as an underdog, particularly against a team they have dominated, like Fresno State. Not surprisingly, the line dropped from its opener. I believe the Bulldogs are favored for good reason though and I feel this game provides an excellent opportunity for them to get some payback against a team which embarrassed them (57-7) here two seasons ago.
This is a huge game for Fresno State. The fact that last week's game got cancelled figures to be a positive. No injuries and more time to game plan specifically for the Broncos.
Note that DeRuyter wasn't around when the Bulldogs got killed here two years ago. That's noteworthy as they're 8-0 at home since he took over. With the exception of the 1-point win over Rutgers in Week 1, every victory came by double-digits.
The Bulldogs recently cracked the Top 25 and now I look for them to prove that they're worthy of that ranking. *9 Main Event
|09-19-13||Kansas City Chiefs v. Philadelphia Eagles -3||Top||26-16||Loss||-123||74 h 43 m||Show|
I'm playing on PHILADELPHIA. Reid returns to Philadelphia, bringing his new 2-0 team with him. Needless to say, emotions will be high, as are the stakes. Reid will want to win his old team. The Eagles will want to beat their old coach. The Chiefs want to stay perfect. The Eagles want to climb back above .500. Both teams and QBs feel they have something to prove, a nationally televised Thursday game provides the perfect opportunity.
While the Chiefs may have the better record, keep in mind that one of their wins came vs. Jacksonville. The other was at home, by only a single point. Obviously, this will be a much tougher venue.
While the actual distance the Chiefs travel isn't that great, I still feel that the short week favors the home team.
The Eagles' offense has yet to be stopped. Rivers and co. were able to keep up. I don't expect the Chiefs to be so fortunate. 9* thurs main event
Long known for his "Big Game Prowess," Ben Burns is already off to a PERFECT 6-0 start to the season w/ his NFL primetime (Sunday Night, Monday Night, Thursday Night) plays. His latest is another ABSOLUTE BEAST. You know what to do!
|09-16-13||Pittsburgh Steelers +7 v. Cincinnati Bengals||Top||10-20||Loss||-115||147 h 31 m||Show|
I'm playing on PITTSBURGH. Admittedly, the Steelers didn't look too good in Week 1. They're also off a down year and a winless preseason. Meanwhile, the Bengals looked better in losing their opener. That combination of events has caused many bettors to steer clear of the Steelers this week. In my opinion, that's created excellent value with what I still believe is a dangerous Pittsburgh team.
While Rothlisberger no longer has all previous weapons at his disposal, I still consider him to be a very talented QB - one who works with the talent around him and finds a way. While losing a center is rarely good, note that they've now had a week to adapt. While I won't count on it, its also possible that Miller could be back.
Either way, I expect this proud and well-coached team to be much better than it was in Week 1.
The Bengals saw their opening game decided by a field goal, blowing a double-digit lead in the process. Those type of losses aren't always as easy to bounce back from as people expect them to be.
Both games between these teams last season were also close. The Steelers won by seven here at Cincinnati. The Bengals won by three at Pittsburgh. With last year's victory, the Steelers are 17-5 ATS (18-4 SU) their last 22 visits here. That includes an 11-1 mark their last 12 here.
Including the losses vs the Steelers, the Bengals are just 6-9-1 ATS here the past couple of seasons. I expect them to have their hands full the entire way. 10* AFC North GOM
|09-15-13||New Orleans Saints v. Tampa Bay Buccaneers +3.5||Top||16-14||Win||100||118 h 34 m||Show|
I'm playing on TAMPA. The Saints are off a win and cover. The Bucs are are off a tough 1-point loss at New York. This week, the Bucs are playing at home though, while also getting points. I believe that's offering excellent value.
While Brees is indeed one of the elite QBs in the league, the Bucs now have one of the league's elite cornerbacks, in Revis.
As Brees noted: "Obviously, Revis and his reputation - he's one of the best corners in the league, and you've got two young corners on the other side too that play very well. So, all in all, it's an extremely solid secondary and one that you've got to be able to prepare for."
Meanwhile, the Saints had trouble running the ball last week and also had trouble stopping the run. Note that the Saints allowed a league-worst 6.3 yards per carry in Week 1 after they ranked last in that category last season at 5.2.
The Bucs have played the Saints trough here the last couple of seasons here. They lost 35-28 in last year's meeting here. However, they had an edge in first downs, time of possession, rushing yards and passing yards. The previous season, the Bucs won 26-20 here. I believe the Bucs will be ready and I won't be surprised by another upset Sunday afternoon. 10* best bet
|09-15-13||Washington Redskins v. Green Bay Packers -7||Top||20-38||Win||100||100 h 2 m||Show|
I'm playing on GREEN BAY. Both teams lost last week. I expect the Packers to be the team which bounces back with a victory.
The Washington defense was not good last year. Getting lit up by the Eagles in Week 1 doesn't bode well for them vs. Rodgers and co. Even against the 49'ers defense, considered among the best, the Pack still threw for 322 yards, scoring 28 points.
McCarthy and the Packers coaching staff saw Washington struggle against the quick hurry-up attack that the Eagles employed. They should devise a gameplan to exploit the vulnerability.
Just as the defense struggled, the Redskins defense wasn't too good either. The Washington ground game didn't look good at all. Meanwhile, while Griffin did throw for more than 300 yards, he also got picked off twice while fumbling.
The Packers have won 20 of their last 21 regular-season games at Lambeau Field. I believe that they're the superior team and I expect a win and cover. 10* personal favorite
|09-15-13||San Diego Chargers v. Philadelphia Eagles -7||Top||33-30||Loss||-120||100 h 58 m||Show|
I'm playing on PHILADELPHIA. I successfully backed both these teams on Monday night. While both covered the spread, both had different SU outcomes. The Eagles jumped all over the Redskins early and hung on for a 33-27 win. The Chargers also jumped off to a significant lead. However, they couldn't hang on, eventually losing 31-28 vs. Houston. I believe those results favor the Eagles, even more so with both teams playing on a short week.
The Chargers left it all out on the field on Monday. To give that kind of effort - only to lose in heart-breaking fashion - is tough. Off that kind of loss, having to fly across the country to play an early game, on a short week - is even tougher.
The Chargers will have to deal with a new look Eagles attack that appeared unstoppable for much of the opener. As noted prior to the Washington game, I like Kelly and I like Vick in this offense.
While the Eagles are also playing on a short week, they're also riding an emotional high. This is a team and city which feels that its back. That emotion and positive momentum figures to compensate for the short work week. Also, unlike the Chargers, the Eagles didn't have to fly across the country to get here.
While the Chargers can be tough against their own conference, they were 0-8 ATS (1-7 SU) against NFC teams the past couple of seasons. They'll likely get a non-conf. cover at some point this season, I just don' think it'll be this week. 10*
|09-14-13||Wisconsin v. Arizona State -5.5||Top||30-32||Loss||-106||101 h 54 m||Show|
I'm playing on ARIZONA STATE. The Badgers come in with the higher ranking. However, I believe that the Sun Devils are favored for good reason.
The Badgers have indeed looked dominant. However, their opposition has been extremely weak. Now, they'll be playing in the heat of the desert against a far more dangerous opponent. Of course, the same can be said for Arizona State.
I believe that the venue is going to play an important factor in the outcome. Note that the Badgers are only 3-6 ATS (4-5 SU) on the road the past couple of seasons. During that time, they're also 1-3 SU/ATS vs. Pac-12 teams and 0-2 ATS as underdogs in the 3.5 to 10 range.
While the prime-time start might allow the temperature to drop a bit (The National Weather Service forecast is calling for a daytime high of 103 degrees and a low of 82.) I believe it favors the home team. Keep in mind that the East Coast based Badgers have played at 12 ET in both previous games.
Arizona State fans will reportedly be dressed in black - for a "blackout" and will be fired up, ready to support their team. I expect the Sun Devils, 10-2 ATS their last 12 against Big-10 teams, to ride the wave of emotion, en route to a big win. 10* Personal Favorite
|09-14-13||Washington v. Illinois +10||Top||34-24||Push||0||96 h 6 m||Show|
I'm playing on ILLINOIS. I've won with both these teams already this season. In Week 1, I backed the Huskies when they hammered Boise State. Last week, I backed the Illini. Listed as underdogs vs. Cincinnati, they won by a score of 45-17, racking up better than 500 yards of offense. While that did get people noticing the Illini a little, I believe that they're still flying under the radar.
As Illinois linebacker Jonathan Brown noted: "No one really gives us a chance, which is nothing new here. It's been that way almost all of my four years here and it's something we work hard every day to try and change."
Needless to say, this is a very big game for the Illini. A chance to beat a nationally ranked team, while also a chance to play at Soldier's Field for the first time in nearly two decades.
Beating the Huskies won't be easy, as they are indeed a talented club. Still, I really like the new Illini offense.
Senior QB Nathan Scheelhaase has thrived under offensive coordinator Bill Cubit. He's already got six TD passes and is averaging 9.97 yards on every attempt. You may recall Cubit was the head coach at Western Michigan, where his teams regularly featured non-huddle spread looks.
Cubit said this of his QB: "He's so intelligent. For me, it's just a pleasure to watch him go out there and have fun. For a guy who's been a little bit maligned around here, you know, right now I think he's leading the Big Ten in passing."
I expect the Illini offense to again have success, enough to AT LEAST lead to a cover. 10* best bet
|09-14-13||Louisville v. Kentucky +13.5||Top||27-13||Loss||-110||91 h 42 m||Show|
I'm playing on KENTUCKY. I won with the Cardinals when these instate rivals faced each other. At the time, people didn't know quite how good Louisville is and they also didn't know quite how bad Kentucky was. The Cards easily covered. Things set up somewhat differently this year.
The Cards are again a very good team. This time, however, everyone knows it. Meanwhile, thanks to last year's record, everyone still thinks of Kentucky as a very bad team. However, I think this team is considerably better than the one which took the field last season.
I backed the Cats last week and they destroyed Miami Ohio by a a 41-7 margin. The score easily could have been even more lopsided given the 675-122 edge in total yards.
Obviously, the Cards are vastly superior than the RedHawks. However, that big win over Miami Ohio should give Kentucky the confidence it can play with Louisville, giving the Cats some much needed swagger.
Looking back to last year and we find that Louisville was laying two touchdowns at home. This season, the line has climbed even higher than that, despite the fact that Kentucky is now playing at home and appears to be improved from last year. I feel that's providing us with excellent value and I'm grabbing all the points I can get. 9*
|09-12-13||TCU -3 v. Texas Tech||Top||10-20||Loss||-110||50 h 44 m||Show|
I'm playing on TCU. While I often find myself on a home underdog on Thursday nights, I like the road team in this one.
With Pachall out, Boykin gets the call for the Frogs. Admittedly, he doesn't have a great record as a starter. However, he got plenty of experience last year - and he was 9 of 13 for 133 yards and two TDs after coming on last week. Note that he can also make more plays with his legs than Pachall.
Note that Boykin threw for a career high 332 yards and four TDs when these teams faced each other last season, the first time they did so as Big 12 foes.
While the Frogs have faced LSU, the Red Raiders have played lesser opposition. I expect that game vs. quality opposition to serve the Frogs well here.
Remembers, Tech QB Mayfield is a freshman walk-on and he'll be facing a TCU defense which was best in the Big 12 last year and which returned nine starters from that unit.
Texas Tech QB Kingsbury had this to say: "I
|09-09-13||Houston Texans v. San Diego Chargers +4.5||Top||31-28||Win||100||34 h 0 m||Show|
I'm playing on SAN DIEGO. The Texans are a talented team and they're off a very strong (regular) season. Expectations are high once again. That's not the case in San Diego. The Chargers are off a bad year and even San Diego fans aren't sure what to make of their team's chances. I believe that sentiment has created excellent value with what I believe will be an extremely motivated and dangerous home underdog.
I like the coaching changes in San Diego and believe that the new emphasis on short and intermediate routes will benefit Rivers.
While the Texans were indeed a tough defense last year, they did show vulnerabilities against the pass at times. While Ed Reed has been signed to help address that flaw, he may not be able to go here - and if he does, he may not be 100%,
The Texans, who also have a banged-up Arian Foster, are 0-2 ATS (1-1 SU) their last two Monday games, 1-5 ATS their last six. I believe all the talk about what a great season they're going to have may have them believing that they're a little better than they really are.
The Chargers have had remarkable success vs. the AFS South, going 20-3 ATS their last 23 vs. that division. That includes a perfect 8-0 ATS mark since 2009, one of them an upset win at Houston in 2010. Rivers had four TDs and 295 yards in that game. While he may not match those stats tonight, I do expect Rivers to have a solid game, en route to leading his team to AT LEAST a cover. 10*
|09-09-13||Philadelphia Eagles +3.5 v. Washington Redskins||Top||33-27||Win||100||72 h 54 m||Show|
I'm playing on PHILADELPHIA. The Skins had their way with the Eagles last season. However, that was with Foles at QB and with Reid as the head coach. Things are different in Philly now and I look for a much different team and result on the field this evening.
I like the coaching change that the Eagles made. Reid did a lot of good things, but his time here was clearly done. Kelly is a winner and he's brought a winning mentality with him.
Obviously, Griffin has some special talents and he had a great season last year. Keep in mind that he'll be taking his first snap in an NFL game since reconstructive surgery and since re-hurting his right knee in the playoff loss vs. Seattle.
While he's considerably older, keep in mind that Vick has a lot of the same skills that Griffin does. With a renewed emphasis on the ground game, Vick will finally be encouraged to utilize his running skills.
Vick was quoted saying: "I'm going to have the opportunity to do what I want to do in this offense and run the football. And yes, I will be a threat. I think you've got to take on a certain mindset that you're going to play the game all-out."
Vick's "all out" mentality might make it difficult to last the entire season - but it should make him extremely dangerous, when healthy. Note that he was 20 of 28 for 333 yards and four touchdowns to go with 73 yards rushing.
Kelly said this of his QB: "The biggest thing with Mike that you saw was just his growth and improvement. He just kept learning the system ... His willingness to learn, his passion for the game of football was evidenced since the first day we saw him."
The Skins, who ranked just 28th defensively last season, have long been terrible in the favorite role. They're 51-81-3 ATS the last 135 times that they were laying points, including a 12-24 ATS mark when listed as home favorites in the -3.5 to -7 range. While that's admittedly largely ancient history, they were also 0-2 ATS in that role the past couple of seasons.
Meanwhile, despite a poor record at the betting window overall, the Eagles have quietly gone a profitable 3-1 ATS as road underdogs in the 3.5 to 7 range.
While they were beaten badly here last season, the Eagles remain a healthy 13-7-1 ATS (14-7 SU) their last 21 visits here. Vick has won his last three starts against the Skins, throwing for better than 900 yards while recording eight touchdowns. I expect AT LEAST another cover tonight. 10* NFC Best Bet
|09-08-13||Arizona Cardinals v. St. Louis Rams -4.5||Top||24-27||Loss||-108||170 h 14 m||Show|
I'm playing on ST. LOUIS. With most expecting the 49'ers and Seahawks to again be very good, not many are expecting much from either the Rams or the Cardinals. The general feeling is that they'll be competing for third in the NFC West. While that may indeed prove to be the case, I believe that the Rams are closer to the level of SF and Seattle than they are to the Cardinals. I expect them to prove it on Sunday afternoon.
Looking back to last season and we find that the Cardinals were favored, albeit slightly, for both meetings with the Rams. However, the Rams won both of those games by double-digits, 17-3 here at St. Louis and 31-17 at Arizona.
Including that 31-17 rout, the Cards finished the season on a 1-11 streak. Meanwhile, the Rams finished the season by winning four of their last six.
As coach Fisher noted: "One would assume that we'll just continue to get better."
True, the Rams no longer have Steven Jackson. While Jackson did plenty of good things here, I'm not overly concerned with his departure. Keep in mind that he's 30 now, fairly old for a running back which has taken the kind of pounding that he has. Additionally, keep in mind that Daryl Richardson averaged 4.8 ypc for them last season.
More significant that the departure of Jackson, at least in my opinion, is adding tight end Jared Cook and offensive tackle Jake Long to the St. Louis offense.
Note that Bradford doesn't have to learn new schemes for once, as offensive coordinator Brian Schttenheimer returns.
That's not the case for the Cards, as they've got a new QB (Palmer) and a new coach.
Keep in mind that the Cards had the worst offense, in terms of yards per game, in the league last season - they were second worst in points allowed. Throw in the fact that the Rams also scored more ppg and St. Louis appears stronger on both sides of the ball. Also, Fisher and the Rams coaching staff should have an edge over the Cards. Add it all up and I expect another win and cover for St. Louis. 10* personal favorite
|09-07-13||Southern Mississippi v. Nebraska -28||Top||13-56||Win||100||77 h 34 m||Show|
I'm playing on NEBRASKA. The Huskers won their opener. However, they didn't look very good in doing so. In fact, they allowed 602 yards against Wyoming, eventually eking out a 37-34 victory - that was the second most yards ever allowed by the Huskers, in a game that they won. While that performance may keep some off the Huskers this week, I expect it to have them in an angry mood. I expect their "anger" to spell trouble for a vastly over-matched Southern Miss. squad.
The Golden Eagles have lost 13 straight games. Favored by a touchdown in their opener, they lost 22-15 vs lowly Texas State, turning the ball over six times. The score could have been even worse too, as they managed a mere 215 total yards, while allowing 400.
Speaking of lopsided yardage stats, these teams met on the first day of Sept. last season. The Huskers won by 29, dominating on the ground and through the air. The total yards was 632-260. The Huskers balanced attack put up 354 yards through the air (26 of 34 with 5 TD passes fro Martinez) while rushing for another 278. Dominating stats indeed.
So, why do the Eagles have to play here again? Actually, the game originally was scheduled to be played in Hattiesburg, Miss. However, the financially strapped Southern Miss athletic department struck a deal to be the visiting team in exchange for$2.1 million.
While the Golden Eagles should eventually snap their losing streak, its not going to happen here - or likely for at least a few weeks. (This game is followed by road games at Arkansas and Boise State.)
Nebraska can score with the best of them - and the Huskers learned a lesson last week - don't take your foot off the gas pedal. I seem them "getting healthy" against these weak foe, winning in decisive fashion. 10* personal favorite
|09-07-13||Cincinnati v. Illinois +8||Top||17-45||Win||100||71 h 40 m||Show|
I'm playing on ILLINOIS. Both these teams won their opener. However, the Bearcats covered while the Illini did not. Laying 10.5, Cincy crushed Purdue by a score of 42-7. On the other hand, Illinois won by a 42-34 margin over Southern Illinois, a game they were laying 16.5 for. Those results - the fact that the Bearcats were more "impressive" have worked in our favor, in my opinion. That's helped in allowing us to get more than a touchdown with the Illinois.
While the Illini defense did surrender a few more yards through the air than they wanted, they were very stingy against the Salukis' run game. They allowed just 66 yards on the ground, on 26 carries. That should serve them well against a Cincy team which ran the ball almost twice as much (47 carries vs. 25 pass attempts) as it threw the ball last week.
The Illini were also excellent on the other side of the ball, as senior QB Nathan Scheelhase threw for a career high 416 yards. Needless to say, he's happy with new offensive coordinator Bill Cubit.
The Bearcats are only 1-4 ATS the last five times that they were listed as road favorites in the 7.5 to 10 range. I expect them to have their hands full the entire way here. 10* best bet
|08-31-13||Northwestern v. California +6||Top||44-30||Loss||-110||30 h 1 m||Show|
I'm playing on CALIFORNIA. Northwestern is coming off a dream season, one which resulted in its first bowl win in 64 years. Facing a California team which struggled last year, many will expect a blowout.
I like the changes here at Cal though starting with Dykes at head coach. Tedford hasn't been getting it done in recent years while Dykes led an LA Tech team which averaged better than 50 points a game last season.
While the Wildcats have managed some opening wins on the road, they're a long way from home here. They're no longer the underdog and no longer will be surprising anyone. Instead, its Cal which is in that position, hungry to make a name for itself.
As good as they've been against the number overall, the Wildcats are 0-1 ATS the only time that they were a road favorite in the 3.5 to 7 range the past couple of seasons.
I expect the new look Bears to be much tougher than many will be expecting, ushering in the new era by improving to 26-14 ATS the last 40 times that they were underdogs in the 3.5 to 10 range. 10*
|08-31-13||Boise State v. Washington Huskies -3.5||Top||6-38||Win||100||31 h 55 m||Show|
I'm playing on WASHINGTON. The Broncos come in with the higher ranking. However, I believe that the Huskies are favored for good reason.
You may recall these teams meeting at Vegas last December, the Broncos winning 28-26. The rematch comes in front of a fired up Pacific Northwest crowd though against a highly experienced Husky squad, determined to get some payback. I expect the change in venue to make a big difference.
While the Broncos have admittedly been tough, wherever they play, the Huskies are very hard to beat here in their home state. They're 10-2 SU and 9-3 ATS here at "home" the past couple of seasons, covering five straight. Note that their home has enjoyed a $250 million dollar redecorating job. I expect them to christen it with a win and cover. 10* personal favorite
|08-30-13||Texas Tech v. SMU +5.5||Top||41-23||Loss||-110||23 h 55 m||Show|
I'm playing on SMU. The Red Raiders have owned this series. I believe the Mustangs are in a good spot to finally deliver some payback. SMU covered its final five games here last season. June Jones has brought in old Hal Mumme to help tweak the offense; I expect the Mustangs to have success against a vulnerable Texas Tech defense, one which is again adjusting to a new scheme. Jones said this of he and Mumme's new attack: "I always kind of felt that what we did in our passing game was getting the ball down the field vertically ... and he was more horizontal. We've combined some of the approaches, and I'm going to kind of enjoy watching what happens this fall because I think we stumbled upon some pretty good concepts." While he did have a number of picks early in the season, note that SMU's senior QB Garret Gilbert was sharp down the stretch (15 TDS vs. 0 INTS in L5 starts last season) and that he'll be up against a very inexperienced TT secondary. Jones, who knows a thing or two about QBs has said this of Gilbert: "he has the skills to go to the next level." Remember, Gilbert was once considered among the top 5 high school QB prospects in the country - he's got something to prove and knows he can change his life if he can put it all together this season. Obviously, this is an excellent opportunity (ESPN) to show the world what he can do. Obviously new Texas Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury wants to win his debut. The former TT QB has brought some excitement to the program and I hope he ultimately does well there. However, lets keep in mind that he is the youngest coach in any BCS automatic qualifying conference and that he is giving up some experience in the coaching matchup vs. Jones here. Kingsbury, who threw for 5000+ yards here in 2002, inherits a Red Raider offense that averaged 355.9 ypg last season, among the best in the country. However, Seth Doege is no longer here at QB. Meanwhile, while Michael Brewer was supposed to be the replacement, he's out with a back injury. That leaves them very inexperienced here. Admittedly, Kingsbury's crew should score some points, as defense isn't exactly SMU's forte. That said, there are some concerns. Offensive line depth is a potential issue for the Red Raiders and their inexperienced QB; note that starting offensive guard Tony Morales is expected to be out. Note that tight end Jace Amaro is suspended for the first half. (He only played seven games last season and had more than 400 receiving yards.) Ultimately, in what could be a fairly high-scoring affair, I believe the experience factor at QB will help lead the Mustangs to AT LEAST a cover. 9* main event
|08-17-13||Green Bay Packers v. St Louis Rams -3.5||Top||19-7||Loss||-110||119 h 46 m||Show|
I'm playing on ST. LOUIS. While both teams lost their opener, I believe that the Rams will be the team with more to prove in this contest.
In addition to the fact that they're playing at home, unlike the Packers, the Rams have a team and fan base which still needs something to feel good about. That's not the case for the Packers.
Last year, in Fisher's first year as head coach, the Rams did show considerable improvement from previous seasons. However, they still only finished at 7-8-1. I believe Fisher, who has won 10 of his last 15 Week 2 preseason games, will want a victory here.
Note that last season, the Rams looked bad in losing their preseason opener. However, they returned home in Week 2 and promptly recorded a double-digit (31-17) win.
On the other hand, the Packers looked bad (21-13 loss) in their Week 1 preseason game last season - and then looked even worse (35-10 loss) in their Week 2 matchup.
You may have heard that former Browns QB Bernie Kosar was taking shots at the Rams - particularly at their receivers and QB Kellen Clemens - during last week's broadcast, when the Rams were playing Cleveland. Kosar's comments were pretty hard-hitting - and I expect them to provide the Rams with some added motivation here. Add it all up and I expect a win and cover for the home team. 10*
|08-15-13||San Diego Chargers +5 v. Chicago Bears||Top||28-33||Push||0||71 h 52 m||Show|
I'm playing on SAN DIEGO. Both these teams lost their preseason opener. Both also have new coaches. One would assume that would mean both teams might want this game a little more than is "normal" for a Week 2 preseason game. While that remains to be seen, I believe the value lies with the road underdog.
True, the Chargers got blown out (31-10) in their opener. However, when the starters exited, the Bolts were actually leading, thanks to Rivers orchestrating a 13-play drive, which saw him throw six passes, completing five for 45 yards. Also, Ryan Mathews ran the ball well on that drive with 3 attempts for 19 yards, highlighted by a 9-yard run on a fourth and one situation.
Meanwhile, the first team defense shut down Russel Wilson and the Seattle offense. Wilson was on the field for two drives and neither were successful.
As is normal in the second game, the starters will see a few more snaps this week. I expect them to play hard and well during the time that they're in there.
True, San Diego's second and third stringers didn't fare nearly as well. That should help provide them with some motivation here though, in my opinion. Whitehurst, who has been around the league for awhile and knows he could be dropping in the depth chart with another sub-par performance, should be particularly hungry for a big effort.
I believe that the Bears, who have issues on their offensive line, will have less to prove. Their coach has had success before - albeit in the CFL - they're coming off a better season than the Chargers and they weren't embarrassed the way that the Chargers were in Week 1. Add it all up and I'm grabbing all those generous points. 9* thursday best bet
|08-14-13||Seattle Mariners v. Tampa Bay Rays -1.5||Top||4-5||Loss||-125||8 h 26 m||Show|
I'm playing on TAMPA on the run-line. (-1.5 runs.) Its not that often that I'll lay -1.5 runs. However, in this case, I'm comfortable doing so.
Since coming back from the disabled list, Price is 5-1 with a 1.40 ERA in eight starts. During that stretch, he tossed three complete games. That includes a remarkable 0.77 ERA and 0.643 WHP his last three starts.
While he did walk one last time out, Price had previously gone 35+ innings without issuing a free pass. In other words, the 2012 AL Cy Young winner remains one of the best in the business. Poor Seattle has never faced him either.
Some of you may recall that I successfully played on the Mariners in Harang's last start. However, he was pitching at home - and he wasn't matchup up against Price. Furthermore, I was fortunate to win that one - as Harang got rocked. (He gave up seven runs in two innings but the M's bailed him out by scoring nine and providing seven innings of shutout relief!)
Some of may also remember that I also successfully played against the Mariners the last time that Harang pitched on the road. Once again, he gave up seven runs. The M's did again provide him with plenty of support - but it wasn't enough. Harang took the "L" in an 11-8 loss.
Including that debacle, Harang is 1-5 with a 6.93 ERA on the road this season, the M's going 1-6. He's also 0-2 with an 11.25 ERA and 1.833 WHIP his last three starts.
Even with yesterday's loss, their fifth straight, the Rays are still 22-11 (+11.5) the past few seasons, when off three or more consecutive losses. With their ace on the mound, I expect them to bounce back in a big way here, "covering the spread," along the way. 10* personal favorite
|08-04-13||Atlanta Braves v. Philadelphia Phillies -1.5||Top||4-1||Loss||-100||20 h 24 m||Show|
I'm playing on PHILADELPHIA. There's no denying that the Braves appear are in great shape to win the division OR that they're the much hotter team. Still, one can't overlook the fact that the Phillies are sending Cliff Lee to the mound to face Alex Wood. Desperate to stop the bleeding and with a proven winner on the mound, I expect them to bounce back and avoid the sweep.
While he hasn't been at his best lately, Lee still has 16 K's vs. just a single walk over his last three starts. So, its not like he's "losing control." For the season, he's still 10-4 with a solid 3.05 ERA and 1.009 WHIP. He's averaging better than seven innings per start and has 55 Ks vs. just six walks in 55 innings here at home.
On the other hand, Wood has made just three starts this season, having primarily worked out of the bullpen. He's got a 5.02 ERA and 1.535 WHIP in those games, averaging less than five innings. His lone road start resulted in a 7-4 loss, Wood compiling a terrible 8.39 ERA and 2.309 WHIP.
Lee is already 2-0 against the Braves this season, striking out 12 without walking a batter. I expect him to outpitch and outlast Wood, as the Phillies, who are still a lucrative 33-17 (+9.6) the last 50 times that they were listed as home favorites in the -125 to -150 range, to finally stop the bleeding. 10* main event
|06-22-13||Oakland A's v. Seattle Mariners +1.5||Top||5-7||Win||100||12 h 1 m||Show|
I'm playing on Seattle on the RUN-LINE ( +1.5 Runs.)
With Oakland favored on the money-line, we're able to get the Mariners at +1.5 runs at what I believe is a very reasonable price. While I do believe that the M's have an excellent shot at winning this game "outright," I don't mind laying the short price to improve my chances by adding an extra 1.5 runs.
After all, with an O/U line of less than eight, every run figures to be important. Also, keep in mind that prior to last night, the M's had seen three straight games decided by a single run. (Note that last night's game was also a 1-run affair until the A's scored two in the 9th.)
Harang figures to be happy to be back home. In his last start here, he tossed a complete game 2-hit shutout. He had 10 K's without walking a batter.
I'm not sold on Straily. He gave up six runs in 4 2/3 innings last time out and has a 5.30 ERA in six road starts.
While the A's haven't seen Harang yet this season, the M's already beat up on Straily here last month. Seattle won 6-3, Straily gave up all six runs, while lasting only five innings.
Add it up and I expect at least a "cover" for the home team. 9* personal favorite
|06-20-13||San Antonio Spurs v. Miami Heat -6||Top||88-95||Win||100||36 h 56 m||Show|
I'm playing on MIAMI. While Game 6 didn't go the way I wanted, it was certainly exciting. I also believe that it sets up Game 7 very well.
One could easily use stats to make a case for either team. I believe homecourt and confidence/momentum will prove more important than anything else.
Having seen how close the Spurs were to winning Game 6 and knowing that they covered the entire way, many bettors will likely be quick to grab the points.
I believe that the Spurs had their opportunity though and that they won't get another one on Thursday night.
Losing in that fashion figures to be deflating for the Spurs. Winning in that manner has to make the Heat feel invincible.
There is certainly a lot of pressure on Lebron and the Heat. Now, in my opinion, the Spurs will also be feeling the pressure.
This entire series, in the eyes of most, the Spurs have been underdogs to win the title. However, that changed they were up double-digits in the second half of Game 6 - and leading the way they were in the final minute. The series was theirs.
Despite failing to cover Tuesday, the Heat are now 46-7 at home, outscoring opposing teams by more than 10 points.
After a number of close games early in last year's Finals, the Heat closed out the Thunder with a 15-point win in the final game of the series. I won't be surprised to see another double-digit win here. 10*
|06-18-13||San Antonio Spurs v. Miami Heat -7||Top||100-103||Loss||-105||37 h 15 m||Show|
I'm playing on MIAMI. You guys know the story-line already. The champs are down 3-2 but heading home. They're off a blowout loss and now need to win two in a row. Some are writing them off but I expect them to pull it off.
Lets remember that the Spurs were 23-18 on the road in the season while the Heat were 37-4 at home. Lets also remember what happened last game here - a 103-84 blowout win for the champs.
Including their last loss here, the Spurs are a modest 6-5 ATS when leading in a playoff series and only 1-5 ATS the last six times that they were listed as road favorites in the 6.5 to 9 range.
Including that Game 2 victory, the Heat are 7-1 ATS the last eight times that they were trailing in a playoff series and 13-7 ATS the last 20 times that they were listed as home favorites in the 6.5 to 9 range.
While the Spurs have obviously had excellent success in the Finals over the years, the Heat are still the defending champs. And, as we hear Rudy Tomjanovich proclaim before each of these games: "Don't ever underestimate the heart of champion." I'm not going to do so. With James at his best and an improved defensive effort, I expect the Heat to extend the series, covering the number along the way. 10* Main Event
|06-13-13||Miami Heat +2 v. San Antonio Spurs||Top||109-93||Win||100||31 h 39 m||Show|
I'm playing on MIAMI. As you're surely aware, the Spurs dominated Game 3 and have a 2-1 lead in the series. While I lost with them last game, I'm not writing off the champs yet.
The Heat are 6-1 ATS the last seven times that they were trailing in a playoff series. They've been in that situation twice this season, most recently in Game 2 of this series. They responded with a 103-84 win. When trailing the Bulls, they responded with an even bigger blowout, winning 115-78.
Its also worth noting that the Heat have won 22 of 30 - and seven of their last nine - after a double-digit loss.
Its worth noting that Parker is reported to have a hamstring strain. While I won't necessarily count on it effecting his play, its definitely not going to help him.
Lebron had this to say about tonight's game: "Something has to give tomorrow night. They have a championship pedigree. They have four titles. We have two. So something has to give. We'll see what happens. We
|06-11-13||Miami Heat +2.5 v. San Antonio Spurs||Top||77-113||Loss||-110||36 h 4 m||Show|
I'm playing on MIAMI. The Heat dominated the second half in Game 2 and I believe that they'll carry the momentum into Game 3.
The Heat were the best team in the league this season and when they play like they did in the second half of Game 2, they're very hard to beat - regardless of venue.
The Heat are typically at their best when tied in a series, going 9-3 ATS their last 12 in that situation, 4-0 ATS their last four.
While it wasn't the case the previous season, this year's Miami team has excelled when listed as an underdog. Its been as if they feel that, as champions, they should always be favored. Indeed, they've been listed as underdogs seven times this season and they rose to the occasion with outright wins in six of those. I expect them to be all business again tonight. 10* Main Event
|06-09-13||San Antonio Spurs v. Miami Heat -6||Top||84-103||Win||100||37 h 48 m||Show|
I'm playing on MIAMI. Down a game and desperate to avoid an 0-2 hole with three games at San Antonio to follow, the Heat are ready in a "must win" situation. I expect them to respond with their best game.
The Heat, who haven't lost two straight home games all season, have been in this situation before. In fact, in the previous three times that the Heat opened a playoff series with a Game 1 loss, they won the following four games. It happened last month against the Bulls in the Eastern Conference semifinals.
The Heat are 5-1 ATS the last six times that they attempted to avenge a home loss and 16-9 ATS their last 25 in the "revenge role" overall. They're also 5-1 ATS the last six times that they were trailing in a playoff series.
The Heat understand how important this game is. Wade had the following to say: "It's very urgent. Obviously you don't want to go down 0 2 going to San Antonio for three straight games. Odds are not that good. They are not in our favor. We're not a team that really says too much like, 'This is a must win game.' But this is a must win game."
I expect James, Wade and co. to "up their game," play with a sense of urgency and ultimately earn a win and cover. 10* Finals GOY
|06-06-13||San Antonio Spurs v. Miami Heat -5.5||Top||92-88||Loss||-105||63 h 9 m||Show|
I'm playing on MIAMI. The Spurs had a much easier time in the Conference Finals than the Heat did. They swept the Grizzlies while the Heat were forced to go to seven games against the Pacers. The Heat were fortunate with the schedule though. Despite going the distance vs. Indiana, they still get a couple of days off before the finals start. That means that they should be well-rested, which isn't always the case for a team that goes to Game 7.
On the other hand, the Spurs are playing with a lot of extra rest. They last played way back on 5/27. I won't be at all surprised if there's some "rust." Note that they're just 1-3-1 ATS the last five times that they were off a SU win as an underdog.
The Heat know first hand that an extended break isn't always an advantage in the first game of a series. When playing with multiple days between games, they lost outright vs. Chicago and needed OT to beat Indiana by a single point
While the Heat are 0-2 ATS when playing with extended rest in the playoffs, they're 8-4 ATS (10-2 SU) the last 12 times that they played with two day's rest in between games. The last time (5/13) they were in that situation, they went on the road and beat Chicago by 23 points. In the first round, when playing with two day's rest, they won and covered vs. the Bucks, another double-digit win.
The Heat, 13-7 ATS the last 20 times that they were listed as home favorites in the 3.5 to 6 range, have been dominant here all season and both their last two games here resulted in double-digit wins. I believe they've had their wake-up call and I expect them to bring their "A-Game" right out of the gate. Ultimately, I expect that to least to another convincing win and cover. 10* Main Event
|06-03-13||Indiana Pacers v. Miami Heat -7||Top||76-99||Win||100||37 h 36 m||Show|
I'm playing on MIAMI. The Heat didn't look too good last game and find themselves in a must win situation. I expect the defending champs to respond with their very best effort.
The Heat are 3-0 SU/ATS the last three times that they were tied in a playoff series, going 8-3 SU/ATS their last 11 in that situation.
Note that the Heat are also 12-6 ATS (15-3 SU) the last 18 times that they were off an "upset" loss.
On the other hand, the Pacers were just 5-9 ATS this seasons, when off a SU win as an underdog.
It should also be noted that the Pacers are just 10-20 ATS the last 30 times that they were listed as road underdogs in the 6.5 to 9 range.
Bottom line: The Pacers deserve a lot of credit and have already accomplished more than they did last year. I don't believe they're ready to take the next step though. I expect Lebron and co. to bring their A game and to ultimately earn the win and cover. 10* main event
|05-27-13||Colorado Rockies v. Houston Astros +1.5||Top||2-3||Win||100||6 h 10 m||Show|
I'm playing HOUSTON on the run-line (+1.5 runs). With the Rockies favored fairly heavily on the money-line, we're able to get the Astros at an excellent price on the run-line. Considering that I expect them to have an edge on the mound, I believe that's providing us with excellent value.
Norris has been a bright spot for the Astros, at least here at Houston. In six home starts, he's 3-1 with a stellar 1.93 ERA. While he has had to deal with a bit of stiffness in his back lately, he still tossed six shutout innings last time out.
Speaking of back problems ...
Chacin got off to a hot start this season. However, he then missed a few starts with a back injury and he's been terrible ever since. In fact, since returning to the rotation, he's 0-3 with a 6.85 ERA in four outings.
With yesterday's loss, the Rockies are now a dismal 44-80 (-43.2) in day games the past few seasons.
The Astros are 10-8 in Norris' last 18 home starts. Considering that four of the losses came by a single run, they'd be 14-4 his last 18 here, if getting +1.5 runs each time.
The Astros have won nine of 14 over the Rockies at Minute Maid Park. I expect AT LEAST a "cover" this afternoon. 10* best bet
|05-25-13||San Antonio Spurs v. Memphis Grizzlies -5||Top||104-93||Loss||-108||60 h 16 m||Show|
I'm playing on MEMPHIS. The Grizzlies certainly would have preferred to steal a game at San Antonio. They're not out of it yet though. Returning home, I expect their very best effort.
Not only are the Grizzlies 11-2 ATS in the playoffs, they're now 5-0 ATS when trailing in a playoff series.
The Grizzlies are also in one of their best roles, as we find them at 11-2 ATS the last 13 times that they were listed as home favorites in the 3.5 to 6 range. They're 23-11 ATS (26-8 SU) in that role the past few seasons.
The Spurs are obviously tough - but the Grizzlies have enjoyed success against them here. Since the start of 2011, they've won seven of nine against the Spurs here, covering in six of those games.
The Grizzlies, who are allowing a mere 87.2 points per game this season, have held the Spurs to double-digits in scoring each of the last seven meetings here. I expect another strong defensive effort here to ultimately lead to a win and cover. 10* Main Event
|05-24-13||Indiana Pacers v. Miami Heat -7||Top||97-93||Loss||-110||35 h 15 m||Show|
I'm playing on MIAMI. The Pacers proved that they can play with the Heat in Game 1. That'll likely have many "grabbing the points" in Game 2. I believe the situation favors the Heat though.
The Pacers know that they let one get away in the opener. That was their chance and they couldn't capitalize. Vogel and co. can claim otherwise but I believe that its going to be hard from them to bounce back here.
On the other hand, the Heat know that they barely escaped Game 1. I believe the fact that they won such an emotional affair will provide them with positive momentum here.
The Heat were dealing with a long layoff - longer than the Pacers - in Game 1. Now, they've received their "wake up call" and will be playing on "normal" rest. I expect them to be better.
As Bosh noted Thursday: 'We're going to play a lot better. We've come to expect that of ourselves. We know that yesterday wasn't the championship effort that we need in order to win the series, let alone win the finals. We're going to have to do a much better job on defense and on offense to take care of the basketball, do a better job on the boards, do a better job of containing some of their actions."
Miami backups Allen, Battier and Cole combined to go 2 for 16 last game. Their numbers should improve with the Heat cutting down on turnovers at the same time.
Even with the cover in Game 1, the Pacers are still 15-20 ATS as underdogs, 2-3 ATS as road underdogs in the 6.5 to 9 range. In fact, they're an ugly 9-19 ATS their last 28 in that role.
The Heat, on the other hand, remain a solid 10-6 ATS as home favorites in the 6.5 to 9 range. One of those victories came in the regular season meeting against the Pacers here. Laying 6.5 points, the Heat won by 14. I expect another double-digit win. 10* Eastern Finals GOY
|05-19-13||Memphis Grizzlies v. San Antonio Spurs -4.5||Top||83-105||Win||100||7 h 4 m||Show|
I'm playing on SAN ANTONIO. Needless to say, both teams have played well. The Grizzlies are a bit more of a surprise to some - as they weren't really expected to be here. However, beating the Clippers wasn't all that big a surprise and the path through OKC became a lot easier when Westbrook went down. That was no longer the 3-Headed Monster that we'd seen in recent years, Durant, Harden and Westbrook. Rather, it was just Durant and the defensive-minded Grizzlies were able to shut him down. The Spurs are an entirely different type of team though. They've got multiple weapons. Veteran leadership and smarts on the floor. Playoff experience. Outstanding coaching. All areas the Thunder are (arguably) lacking in.
If the Spurs have a potential flaw, its that they're "old." However, they've had two day's off in between games - and are playing at home. Fatigue should not be a factor. Note that they're 9-1 SU and 6-4 ATS the last 10 times that they played with two day's rest in between games. Note that the Grizzlies were only a mediocre 3-3 SU/ATS when playing with three day's rest in between games this season.
The Spurs are smart enough to know that they can't afford to have any kind of letdown here. Parker noted: ''We understand as a team that those opportunities are very rare, and we have another great one right now. We have home-court advantage against a very good team, so we have to take full advantage of it.''
The home team won all four regular season meetings. The Grizzlies won by only two and three points in the two at Memphis. However, the Spurs won by four and 21 in the two here at San Antonio, an average margin of 12.5 points. I expect another win and cover this afternoon. 10* main event
|05-15-13||Memphis Grizzlies v. Oklahoma City Thunder -4||Top||88-84||Loss||-106||12 h 26 m||Show|
I'm playing on OKC. The Thunder are certainly in a hole. With their backs to the wall, I expect them to be at their very best tonight.
A couple of recent losses notwithstanding, the Thunder are still 106-68-1 ATS their last 175 when facing an opponent which defeated them in the previous meeting.
This is just the second time all year that the Thunder have dropped three games n a row. The last time it happened, they responded by going 3-0 SU/ATS their next three games, winning by 16, 30 and 45 points!
Coach Brooks had this to say of his star Kevin Durant: ''One thing about Kevin, he's going to come back and give everything he has. He's not an excuse guy. He's not going to blame anything on nobody, other than put the pressure on himself to perform every night. That's what makes us a good team, because of that attitude that he has.''
'Brooks went on to say: "We want to be able to win in front of our home fans and have another game in Memphis and see what we can do there. I like our ability to come back in tough situations, within games and even to the next game. This is obviously not the greatest position to be in but we still have a chance to be a part of history. There's not a lot of teams that have come back from 3-1 but we have the talent, we have the teamwork, we have the effort and teamwork to do it.''
While it remains to be seen whether or not the Thunder can come all the way back, behind a big performance from Durant, I at least like them to take the first step tonight, covering the small number along the way. 10* personal favorite
|05-14-13||Golden State Warriors v. San Antonio Spurs -7||Top||91-109||Win||100||48 h 35 m||Show|
I'm playing on SAN ANTONIO. These teams have alternated victories in the series, the Warriors covering three of four. After the Spurs eked out a win in the opener, the Warriors responded with an upset win in Game 2. That was followed by a double-digit victory by the Spurs. Once again, the Warriors answered, winning Game 4 in OT. I expect that trend to continue and for the Spurs to be the team which answers the bell in Game 5.
With the win/cover in Game 3, the Spurs are now an outstanding 20-9-1 ATS (21-9 SU) the last 30 times that they were tied in a playoff series.
The Spurs have a few other favorable stats going for them. Over the past few seasons, they're 17-11 ATS (22-6 SU) off a double-digit loss and 40-29-3 ATS (50-22 SU) when facing an opponent which defeated them in the previous meeting.
Note that the Spurs are also 10-6-1 ATS (15-2 SU) as home favorites in the 6.5 to 9 range, going 26-15-2 ATS (38-5 SU) their last 43 in that role.
Perhaps most impressive, the Spurs are 12-5 ATS (14-3 SU) the last 17 times that they were off an "upset" loss, going 26-13 ATS (30-9 SU) in that situation the past few seasons.
Although they played well here in the first two games, the Warriors are still a sub-500 team on the road. They were able to gain energy from the home crowd in Oakland last game but won't have that advantage here.
Bottom line: I still believe that the Spurs are the more complete team and I expect them to take care of business Tuesday. 10* personal favorite
|05-13-13||Oklahoma City Thunder +4.5 v. Memphis Grizzlies||Top||97-103||Loss||-105||24 h 37 m||Show|
I'm playing on OKC. While they don't have Westbrook, the Thunder have been here before. They were also trailing 2-1 vs. the Grizzlies in the 2011 series and had to play Game 4 here at Memphis. It wasn't easy (triple-OT!) but they wound up winning that game. I feel that they're again providing us value here.
Kevin Durant had this to say: ''Same situation we was in a few years ago, so we know how to handle it. We can't come into practice today and with our heads down moping around because we lost the basketball game. We just got to keep moving forward, keep fighting and we'll be fine.''
Durant went on to say: "I have to put them in better position I have to make shots to free them up. I have to continue to help their confidence grow every time down. I got to do a better job. That's how I look at it.''
Even with the Game 3 loss, the Thunder are still 57-34 ATS (61-30 SU) the past few seasons, when facing an opponent which defeated them in the previous meeting.
The Thunder are 17-7-1 ATS the last 25 times that they failed to score more than 85 points in their last game. It only happened once all season - and that was in their very first game - they responded with a 14-point win in their next game, scoring 106. With Durant leading the way, I expect AT LEAST another cover tonight. 10* main event
|05-08-13||Chicago Bulls v. Miami Heat -12||Top||78-115||Win||100||9 h 22 m||Show|
I'm playing on MIAMI. I won with the "under" in Game 1 (didn't play the side) and stated that "Miami might be a little rusty after the long layoff." Still, while not "shocked," I admit that I was surprised that they lost the game outright. Rust won't be a factor tonight though. Neither will complacency. Having received their "wake up call," I expect the Heat to be at their best tonight.
Heat coach Erik Spoelstra had this to say:
|05-07-13||Memphis Grizzlies v. Oklahoma City Thunder -2.5||Top||99-93||Loss||-109||33 h 15 m||Show|
I'm playing on OKLAHOMA CITY. The Grizzlies covered in the opener. However, they squandered a golden opportunity to steal the outright victory. I believe this situation favors the Thunder.
Many will look at Game 1 and see that the Grizzlies easily could have won. That will cause them to back them here.
However, it often doesn't work that way. Second chances don't always come around. The Grizzlies had their chance to win the opener and they didn't take advantage of the opportunity.
Now, the Thunder have had their "wake up call." I expect them to be better than they were in the opener.
Despite failing to cover on Sunday, the Thunder are still a profitable 12-3 ATS (13-2 SU) the last 15 times that they faced a team which allows 91 or fewer points per game.
The Thunder have beaten the Grizzlies six of the last eight here at OKC. Prior to Sunday, the previous five of those victories all came by at least seven points.
The Grizzlies did manage to steal Game 1 when these teams met in the 2011 playoffs. However, the Thunder came back a solid 111-102 victory in Game 2. I expect another win and cover here. 10* Main Event
|05-06-13||Golden State Warriors v. San Antonio Spurs -8.5||Top||127-129||Loss||-110||13 h 10 m||Show|
I'm playing on SAN ANTONIO. Both teams played well in the opening round. The Warriors upset the Nuggets. The Spurs dismantled the Lakers. I expect the Spurs to be the team which keeps on rolling this evening.
A look at the season series reveals that the home team won all four games. The Warriors won both at Golden State but the Spurs won both at San Antonio, most recently a 104-93 win on 3/20.
Speaking of double-digit victories, all four of the Spurs' victories in the first round came by double-digits.
The Spurs have long dominated the Warriors here. In fact, the Warriors haven't won here in well over a decade - since Duncan was still in college.
While Curry is obviously an outstanding shooter, I believe the Spurs simply have more weapons. In addition to the "Big 3," Kawhi Leonard has developed into a star.
The Spurs are 25-14-2 ATS the last 41 times that they were listed as home favorites in the 6.5 to 9 range, going 10-4-1 ATS their last 15 in that role.
Note that the extremely well-coached Spurs are 5-2 ATS (6-1 SU) when playing with three or more day's rest in between games. They outscored teams by greater than 10 points per game this season.
While the Warriors are in unchartered waters, the Spurs have been here plenty of times. They swept their second round matchup (vs. the Clippers) last year, covering three of those games. That sweep began with a 108-92 victory in Game 1 and was followed by a 105-88 blowout in Game 2. I expect them to start things off with another double-digit win tonight. 10* personal favorite
|04-30-13||Golden State Warriors v. Denver Nuggets -7.5||Top||100-107||Loss||-105||11 h 43 m||Show|
I'm playing on DENVER. The Nuggets have their backs against the wall and find themselves in a "must win" situation. I expect them to respond with their very best game of the series.
Mark Jackson said this of the Nuggets: "They have a great coach. George Karl is going to have them prepared too, so we're anticipating the biggest fight of the season we've had all year on our hands.''
True, they failed to cover in Game 1, when the O/U line was 211.5. (It dipped to 208.5 in Game 2.) However, even with that ATS loss, the Nuggets are still an outstanding 12-2 ATS when playing a home game with an O/U line of 210 or greater, going a perfect 14-0 SU in those games.
The Nuggets have lost three games in a row, failing to cover in four in a row. They haven't lost four in a row all season and they also haven't failed to cover five in a row all season. The only previous time that they failed to cover four in a row, they responded with an outright win (as an underdog) at Indiana in their next game.
Lets keep in mind that the Warriors were 19-22 on the road this season and that prior to this series, they were 3-18 their previous 21 games without David Lee in the lineup. Lets also remember that the Nuggets were 38-3 at home. I expect them to force a Game 6, earning the cover along the way. 10* main event
|04-29-13||Indiana Pacers +2 v. Atlanta Hawks||Top||91-102||Loss||-108||29 h 2 m||Show|
I'm playing on INDIANA. I successfully backed the Hawks in Game 3. As you likely know, Atlanta won that game in blowout fashion. I never did state that I thought the Hawks were a better team though. Rather, I just didn't think that they were going to get swept and felt that they might be a little more hungry. After getting embarrassed last time out, I expect the Pacers to bring their "A Game" and for that to be enough to result in a win/cover.
As I acknowledged in my Game 3 analysis, the Pacers have struggled here at Atlanta. However, this is arguably the best Indiana team in a long time, a stronger and more complete team than the one which lost many games here. I feel that they're ready to break through with a win here.
Admittedly, the Pacers were pretty bad in Game 3. However, lets not get carried away by one Game 3 loss. The Pacers know all about that. Last year, they crushed the Miami Heat (94-75) in Game 3. However, the Heat responded by dominating every game the rest of the way.
I believe that the well-coached Pacers are also very capable at responding to a poor Game 3, as they're usually at their best off a bad loss. They were 10-4 SU/ATS off a double-digit defeat.
On the other hand, the Hawks were 7-12 ATS off a double-digit win, falling to 24-35 ATS in that situation the past few seasons. Note that they were also 1-5 ATS off a game in which they allowed 85 or fewer points.
I expect the Pacers to exorcise their "Atlanta demons," taking a stranglehold on the series. 10*
|04-27-13||INDIANA GM3 v. ATLANTA GM3 -2||Top||69-90||Win||100||11 h 31 m||Show|
I'm playing on ATLANTA. I won with the Pacers in Game 1 of this series. As you're likely aware, they followed it up with another convincing win in Game 2. However, with the series shifting to Atlanta for Game 3, I expect the "desperate" Hawks to respond with a victory of their own.
Coach Larry Drew had this to say: "It's about adjustments. We've done some good things in the first couple of games, but there are some things we need to do better. Some changes may push us over the edge in that respect."
Admittedly, the Hawks had trouble covering large pointspreads here this season. However, they did still manage a 25-16 SU record here. Note that record is considerably better than Indiana's 19-21 mark on the road.
When the pointspread was smaller, as it is today, the Hawks had much better success. In fact, they were 3-1 ATS when listed as home favorites of three or fewer points.
On the other hand, some might be surprised to learn that the Pacers are a dismal 1-8 ATS the last nine times that they were listed as road underdogs of three or fewer points, going just 5-13-1 ATS in that role the past few seasons.
Back in their own building, the Hawks should have plenty of confidence, as they have dominated the Pacers here. In fact, they've beaten Indiana 11 straight times here. A closer look reveals that every single one of those wins came by a minimum of three points. I expect more of the same here. 10* personal favorite
|04-23-13||Golden State Warriors v. Denver Nuggets -8||Top||131-117||Loss||-104||16 h 25 m||Show|
I'm playing on DENVER. The fact that the Warriors "kept it close" in Game 1, nearly pulling off the upset, will have many looking to grab the points here. I'm not one of them.
While there are obviously examples on both sides, its been my experience that road teams which squander an opportunity to "steal" Game 1 often don't perform as well in Game 2.
Making matters worse for the Warriors is the loss of David Lee. After recording yet another "double-double," Lee went down in the fourth quarter of Game 1.
Think that's not a blow? Consider that Lee led the NBA in "double-doubles" with 56 this season. He averaged 18.5 points, 11.2 rebounds and 3.5 assists.
Golden State coach Mark Jackson noted: "We can't replace him, and we know that. And that's the thing we have to know right away. He's an All-Star power forward who's had an incredible year ... "
While the Warriors are now without Lee, the Nuggets are expecting to have Kenneth Faried back in the lineup. The player nicknamed ''Manimal'' provides an "energy boost."
Andrew Bogut said this of Faried: "He's an all-effort guy. It's not like they're going to throw the ball into the post and let him get a one-on-one. That's not his strength. His strength is offensive rebounds, hustle points, loose balls. He's one of the best in the league in doing that."
While the Warriors are 19-24 on the road, the Nuggets are now 39-3 at home. That includes a 28-14 mark at the betting window.
Despite failing to cover in Game 1, the Nuggets are 19-9 ATS against teams which average 99 or more points per game. They got their "wake up call" in Game 1 and I expect them to "bounce back" with a double-digit win tonight. 9* personal favorite
|04-21-13||Atlanta Hawks v. Indiana Pacers -6.5||Top||90-107||Win||100||69 h 32 m||Show|
I'm playing on INDIANA. Neither of these teams played particularly well down the stretch. Atlanta lost its final two regular season games and five of its last seven. The Hawks are only 2-8 ATS their last 10. Indiana hasn't been any better. The Pacers lost their last three games and five of their last six. They were 0-6 ATS during that stretch. Playing at home, I believe that the Pacers will be the team which is able to bounce back and return to form.
Homecourt is important to almost every team and that's certainly the case for both of these clubs.
The Hawks were 25-16 at home but only 19-22 on the road this season. On the other hand, the Pacers were 30-11 at home, going 19-21 on the road. They outscored teams by a 97.6 to 89.9 margin here. Visiting teams shot just 41.2% here.
Not surprisingly, given the above stats, the home team won all four meetings during the regular season. The Pacers won the two games here by an average of 8.5 points.
Despite the late season struggles, I believe that the well-coached Pacers will be ready to go. Indiana coach Vogel had this to say: ''The guys are really dialed in. Everything out of your mouth, they're nodding their heads and they're coaching themselves.''
The Pacers have only lost three in a row one previous time in 2013. After dropping three straight in late January, they responded with a 98-79 victory. I expect this well-coached team to again bounce back, picking up the cover along the way. 10* personal favorite
|04-20-13||Chicago Bulls +5 v. Brooklyn Nets||Top||89-106||Loss||-110||52 h 3 m||Show|
I'm playing on CHICAGO. These teams faced each other four times during the regular season, most recently about three weeks ago. The Bulls won that 4/4 meeting, which was played here at Brooklyn, by a score of 92-90. The Bulls also won both meetings at Chicago, while losing the first game at Brooklyn by four points.
Including those results, the Bulls are 13-8 ATS the last 21 times that they were road underdogs in the 3.5 to 6 range, going 7-4 ATS their last 11 in that situation.
Meanwhile, the Nets are 8-15 ATS their last 23 as home favorites in the 3.5 to 6 range, going 6-9 ATS their last 15 in that role.
Overall, the Nets were 16-23-2 ATS here while the Bulls are 23-17-1 ATS on the road.
While the Bulls sometimes struggled against lower tier competition, they were typically tough against better teams. They finished the season at 24-21 ATS (25-20 SU) against teams with a winning record, going 70-52-1 ATS (72-51 SU) against winning teams the past few seasons.
On the other hand, the Nets often had their way against weak teams but were only 14-24-1 ATS (15-24 SU) against teams with a winning record.
While Deron Williams may (arguably) be the best player on the floor, I believe that the Bulls have more depth and a more complete team. Perhaps more importantly, I also believe that they've got an edge in the coaching department.
The Nets weren't able to beat the Bulls by more than four points in any of this season's meetings, three of those being decided by four or less. I won't be surprised if this one also comes down to the wire and am grabbing all the points I can get. 10* best bet
|04-17-13||Cleveland Cavaliers v. Charlotte Bobcats -2.5||Top||98-105||Win||100||12 h 59 m||Show|
I'm playing on CHARLOTTE. Although this is technically a "meaningless" game, I expect both teams to want to win it. That said, I believe the Bobcats will want it a little more. Throw in the fact that they're also currently playing much better and I believe this low line is very fair.
Note that Charlotte's overall home record (14-26) is four games better than Cleveland's 10-30 mark on the road.
The Cavaliers would like to close out their season with a victory. There's a chance that Byron Scott won't be around next season and the players would likely want to send him out as a winner.
I believe the Bobcats have more to play for though. With a victory here, the Bobcats can win three in a row. A win here will also give them a chance to pass Orlando (teams are currently tied) and to avoid having the worst record in the league.
Charlotte guard Gerald Henderson had this to say about avoiding last place:"We want to take care of that. It's not been one of our goals to start the season, obviously, but it's become a smaller goal for us as we've come down the stretch."
The fact that the Cavs have won both this season's meetings should provide the Bobcats with a little extra incentive too, as they look to avoid the series sweep.
Motivation aside, the Bobcats are simply playing much better than the Cavs right now. While Cleveland had lost five straight and 15 of its last 17, Charlotte has quietly won seven of its last nine at home. I expect the Bobcats to "keep on rolling," as they close out the season with another victory, providing the home fans with some hope that next season may finally be different. 10* personal favorite
Guaranteed Winners or your money back and Free Picks in the NFL football, NBA basketball, MLB baseball, NCAA college football and basketball, Nascar Racing, Arena Football nhl hockey leagues and more.
We are part of the internets Premier Sports Handicappers League with full documentation of all members on this sports betting news and info portal. Free Membership, Join Today and start Winning!
For any resources you could need like sports handicapping odds, handicapping stats, schedules, or handicappers free picks and tips please click on any of the links on the right hand side of this page.