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|
|02-03-19||Patriots -2 v. Rams||Top||13-3||Win||100||30 h 14 m||Show|
Patriots 30 Rams 24
The Patriots rush defense has been phenomenal in both playoff games giving up just 30 yards on average and that will stymie the Rams attack. Look for the Patriots to open the game up after having success running the ball. Belichick and Brady prove too much for the young Rams.
Total Rushing Yards by Patriots: (at Station Casinos)
Over 123.5 (-120)
The Patriots have their running games going as of late and Sony Michel has been the primary beneficiary, rushing for 242 yards and five touchdowns on 53 carries in two postseason games. I look for Coach Belichick to move the chains on the ground enough to get this prop over with two other capably running backs in White and Burkhead.
Total Receiving Yards by: Julian Edelman (NE) (at Westgate SB)
Over 79.5 (-110)
Edelman had 13 targets and nine receptions for 151 yards in the divisional round and had 10 targets with seven receptions for 96 yards in the AFC Championship. Look for Brady to go to him early and often with him being a big part of the game plan.
Total points by: Stephen Gostkowski (NE) (at Westgate SB)
Over 8.5 (-110)
I expect the Patriots to score at least three touchdowns (3 extra points) and two or three field goals (6 to 9 points) to get the Patriots kicker over his point’s total.
|01-13-19||Eagles v. Saints -8||Top||14-20||Loss||-105||29 h 18 m||Show|
Saints – 8
The lowest point in the Philadelphia Eagles' season also provided the inspiration to turn it around. After their postseason plans were put in peril following a lopsided loss in New Orleans, the defending Super Bowl champion Eagles look to exact revenge against the host Saints on Sunday and become the first No. 6 seed to reach the conference championship since 2010.
"That game has helped us become the team we are today," Philadelphia quarterback Nick Foles said of the 48-7 shellacking in Week 11. "Going through that, that's not easy as a team to lose like that.
The Eagles won five of their last six games to squeeze into the playoffs, and Foles helped lead the team to its fourth straight victory overall by throwing for 266 yards and two touchdowns in a 16-15 decision at Chicago on Sunday.
New Orleans' starters have been well-rested for quite some time. Pro Bowl quarterback Drew Brees, who shattered his own NFL record for completion percentage in a season (74.4), finished close to that number on Nov. 18 after completing 22 of 30 passes for 363 yards with four touchdowns against the Eagles.
New Orleans enjoyed a plus-8 turnover ratio this season while Philadelphia finished minus-6 in that department. That can come into play in this game with the Saints having the edge.
New Orleans has won six consecutive postseason games at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.
Eagles are 4-9 ATS in their last 13 games on fieldturf and Eagles are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 meetings vs. the Saints.
Saints are 25-6 ATS in their last 31 home games vs. a team with a winning road record.
Bottom line here is I’m willing to lay the points with quarterback Drew Brees and the Saints at home.
|01-13-19||Chargers +4 v. Patriots||Top||28-41||Loss||-101||26 h 44 m||Show|
Chargers + 4
Having set the bar so high since the arrival of Bill Belichick and Tom Brady, even an average season by the New England Patriots was enough to earn a 10th consecutive AFC East title and a first-round bye in the playoffs. Seeking a ninth Super Bowl appearance in 18 years, the Patriots kick off their postseason by hosting the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday.
Los Angeles is the No. 5 seed, it had a better record than the Patriots and turned in an impressive performance by holding off a late rally in a 23-17 road win at Baltimore last week.
Philip Rivers has had one of his best seasons, tossing 32 TD passes and matching his career high with a 105.5 quarterback rating.
Keenan Allen had 97 receptions to lead a deep, talented receiving corps that could see the return of tight end Hunter Henry, who tore an ACL in May but practiced fully Wednesday and Thursday. Defensive ends Melvin Ingram and Joey Bosa lead a unit that registered seven sacks last week and ranked ninth against the pass this season (227.9 yards).
The Patriots’ defense yields lots of yardage, ranking 21st (359.1) per game.
It’s very tough to bet against the Patriots at home any week let alone in the playoffs but the Chargers have the recipe to make it happen. Take the points and a little on the money line!
|01-12-19||Cowboys +7.5 v. Rams||Top||22-30||Loss||-119||9 h 54 m||Show|
Cowboys + 7.5
Star running backs will be entrenched in the spotlight on Saturday as two-time league rushing champion Ezekiel Elliott and the Dallas Cowboys visit the defending NFL Offensive Player of the Year Todd Gurley and the Rams in an NFC divisional round playoff game at the Los Angeles.
Elliott, who had a league-best 1,434 rushing yards this season, added 137 more and scored a touchdown in Dallas' 24-22 win over Seattle last weekend.
The 23-year-old Elliott will bid to become the fourth player in NFL history to record three consecutive postseason games with at least 125 rushing yards when he squares off against Los Angeles, which has been gashed for a league-worst 5.1 yards per rush.
Gurley finished with 1,251 rushing yards and NFL-best 21 total touchdowns despite sitting out the Rams' final two games because of knee inflammation and soreness. The 24-year-old will need to overcome the injury as well as a Cowboys' rush defense that permitted an NFL fifth-best 3.8 yards per carry and limited the Seahawks' run-heavy offense to just 3.0 yards per rush.
Cowboys are 6-2 ATS in their last 8 vs. NFC. Rams are 1-4-1 ATS in their last 6 home games and are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 playoff games.
Feeling here is the Cowboys hang tough all game and get the cover.
|01-12-19||Colts +5 v. Chiefs||Top||13-31||Loss||-103||5 h 15 m||Show|
Colts + 5
History does not favor the Kansas City Chiefs entering Saturday's AFC divisional round matchup versus the sixth-seeded Indianapolis Colts, but that does not concern the overwhelming favorite for league MVP honors. Second-year quarterback Patrick Mahomes leads the NFL's most prolific offense as the top-seeded Chiefs look to secure only their second win in 12 playoff appearances since 1994.
Indianapolis quarterback Andrew Luck finished second to Mahomes with 39 scoring passes after missing the entire 2017 season.
Indianapolis overcame a 1-5 start by winning nine of its last 10 regular-season games and carried the momentum into the playoffs by knocking off No. 3 seed Houston 21-7 as Luck threw a pair of first-half touchdown passes to stake his team to a 21-point lead.
Running back Marlon Mack did the bulk of the heavy lifting by rushing for 148 yards and a touchdown on 24 carries, his fifth 100-yard effort in 11 games. Dontrelle Inman has caught a scoring pass in each of the last three games, giving Luck another target opposite top wide receiver T.Y. Hilton, who had five catches for 85 yards last week after amassing 1,270 yards during the regular season.
The Colts' defense allowed a league-low 16.4 points over the final 10 weeks of the regular season.
Indianapolis allowed the fewest sacks in the league with 18.
I’m going with the more complete team in the Colts.
|01-07-19||Alabama v. Clemson +6||Top||16-44||Win||100||56 h 11 m||Show|
Two stalwarts of the College Football Playoff era square off for a fourth consecutive year when No. 2 Clemson takes on top-ranked Alabama for the national title Monday in Santa Clara, California. After splitting a pair of championship-game matchups following the 2015 and 2016 seasons, the Crimson Tide dispatched the Tigers 24-6 in the semifinals last year, and both emerged as early favorites to reach the title game.
The first two meetings - Alabama’s 45-40 win in January 2016 and Clemson’s 35-31 triumph in January 2017 - were classics that went down to the wire, and both coaches expect a similar outcome between two evenly matched teams on Monday.
Swinney made the bold decision to go with Trevor Lawrence as his starting quarterback four games into the season, and the move has paid off as the freshman has piled up 2,933 passing yards with 27 touchdowns and four interceptions. Lawrence’s big arm gives the Tigers a downfield threat on every play, but running back Travis Etienne (1,572 yards, 22 TDs) is the workhorse on offense.
I love the points with Clemson.
|01-06-19||Eagles +7 v. Bears||Top||16-15||Win||100||51 h 58 m||Show|
The Chicago Bears opened the door for the Philadelphia Eagles to defend their Super Bowl crown with a suffocating performance against Minnesota in the regular-season finale. The third-seeded Bears bid to shut that door just as swiftly on Sunday when they host the sixth-seeded Eagles at Soldier Field in Chicago in an NFC wild-card game.
Quarterback Nick Foles thrived under that glaring spotlight last season, guiding the "underdog" -- albeit top-ranked -- Eagles to three straight wins while securing Super Bowl MVP honors for himself in the process. The 29-year-old Foles (ribs) participated fully in Thursday's practice for Philadelphia, which returns to the postseason in consecutive years for the first time since the 2009-10 seasons and bids to become the first repeat Super Bowl champion since the 2003-04 New England Patriots.
Pro Bowler Zach Ertz set an NFL record this season for catches (116) by a tight end to go along with a career-best 1,163 receiving yards.
Philadelphia Pro Bowl DT Fletcher Cox notched three of his team-leading 10.5 sacks in Sunday's 24-0 win over Washington.
Eagles are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games in January and are 6-2 ATS in their last 8 playoff road games. Bears are 15-40-1 ATS in their last 56 games after accumulating more than 150 yards rushing in their previous game. Underdog is 9-4 ATS in their last 13 meetings.
I see this being a very close game so take the points with Philly.
|01-06-19||Chargers +3 v. Ravens||Top||23-17||Win||100||47 h 23 m||Show|
The Los Angeles Chargers finished tied with the best record in the AFC but one loss over the final six games cost them a chance at the No. 1 overall seed and home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. Instead, the Chargers have to open the postseason on the road and will get a chance to avenge a Week 16 defeat when they visit the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday.
The Ravens went 6-1 down the stretch after turning the offense over to rookie Lamar Jackson, who will become the youngest quarterback to start a playoff game.
Philip Rivers had one of the finest seasons of his 15-year career, posting a passer rating of 105.5 while throwing for 4,308 with 32 touchdowns versus 12 interceptions, but Baltimore picked him off twice and held him to a season-low 181 yards. Running back Melvin Gordon rushed for 41 yards and a touchdown on 12 carries in Week 16 in his first game back after missing the previous three with an ankle injury, but he said this week that he feels much healthier entering the rematch. Keenan Allen is the favorite target of Rivers with 97 receptions for 1,196 yards and leads a talented receiving corps that could see the return of tight end Hunter Henry, sidelined since May with a torn ACL. Melvin Ingram, one of seven Chargers named to the Pro Bowl, and fellow defensive end Joey Bosa combined for 12.5 sacks for the NFL's No. 9 defense.
Jackson relied just as much on his legs as his arm since taking over for an injured Joe Flacco, but he threw for a season-high 204 yards and a touchdown against the Chargers, who held him to a rushing low of 39 yards in his seven starts.
Rivers can become the fourth QB to post a passer rating of at least 115.0 in three straight playoff games and I’m backing him over rookie Lamar Jackson.
|01-05-19||Seahawks +2.5 v. Cowboys||Top||22-24||Win||100||31 h 34 m||Show|
Ezekiel Elliott was a busy man this season, as the Pro Bowl running back recorded a league-high 1,434 rushing yards and team-best 77 receptions to help the Dallas Cowboys punch their ticket to the playoffs for the third time in five years. After sitting out the regular-season finale, a well-rested Elliott is expected to carry the mail on Saturday as the fourth-seeded Cowboys host the fifth-seeded Seattle Seahawks in an NFC wild-card game.
While the Cowboys boast a 7-1 mark at AT&T Stadium and won seven of their last eight games overall, the Seahawks emerged victorious in six of their last seven contests to reach 10 wins and a playoff berth for the sixth time in Russell Wilson's seven seasons with the club. Wilson, who threw two of his NFL third-best 35 touchdown passes in Seattle's win over Dallas in Week 3.
Chris Carson (team-best 1,151 rushing yards) had a season-high 32 carries for 102 yards and a touchdown against Dallas, a performance that set the tone for what would become Seattle's top-ranked rushing offense (160.0 yards per game).
Seattle Pro Bowl LB Bobby Wagner had eight of his club-high 138 tackles against Dallas in Week 3.
Seattle recorded a league-best plus-15 turnover differential this season.
Seahawks are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 road games. Cowboys are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games in January. Underdog is 5-1 ATS in their last 6 meetings.
I like QB Russell Wilson over Dak Prescott.
|01-05-19||Colts +1 v. Texans||Top||21-7||Win||100||27 h 54 m||Show|
The Houston Texans may have saved their season with an overtime win at Indianapolis in Week 4, but the Colts may have done the same by beating their AFC South rivals 10 weeks later to keep their playoff chances alive. The stakes will be considerably higher Saturday when the teams square off for the third time this season in the AFC wild card round in Houston.
The Texans prevented an 0-4 start to the season by outlasting the Colts 37-34 on Sept. 30, a victory that spurred a nine-game winning streak and a worst-to-first finish in the division. Indianapolis avenged that defeat and ended Houston's nine-game run with a 24-21 road victory on Dec. 9 to ignite a season-closing four-game winning streak that locked up the No. 6 seed and a third meeting with the Texans.
Andrew Luck finished with 4,593 yards and 39 touchdown passes while guiding Indianapolis to nine wins over its final 10 games. His favorite target is wide receiver T.Y. Hilton, who has been battling an ankle injury but still has his fifth 1,000-yard season (1,270) and burned the Texans for nine catches and 199 yards in Week 14. Tight end Eric Ebron had a career-best 13 touchdown catches, including one in each matchup versus Houston, while Marlon Mack rushed for nine touchdowns and had four 100-yard outings in his last 10 games. Rookie Darius Leonard, the league leader with 163 tackles, heads a defense that did not allow 30 points over the final 10 games after surrendering at least 34 points in four of the first six contests.
Luck has passed for 2,776 yards and 23 touchdowns in 10 career games versus Houston. Hilton has 41 catches for 933 yards and seven touchdowns in seven games at NRG Stadium.
Colts are 6-0 ATS vs. a team with a winning record. Texans are 1-5 ATS vs. a team with a winning record. Colts are 5-0-1 ATS in their last 6 meetings in Houston.
I’m backing the Colts with the better coach and QB as my top play of the weekend.
|12-29-18||Notre Dame v. Clemson -12||Top||3-30||Win||100||22 h 49 m||Show|
Clemson will play in the College Football Playoff for the fourth consecutive season when the second-seeded Tigers face No. 3 Notre Dame in the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic on Dec. 29 in Arlington, Texas. The Tigers are 3-2 in the College Football Playoff over the past three years, including a national title in 2016 and a 24-6 loss to Alabama in last year’s semifinal. The Fighting Irish are making their first appearance in the four-team playoff, which was instituted in 2014.
Clemson’s offense thrives on big plays, while Notre Dame’s defense has been one of the nation’s best at preventing them. The Tigers rank in the top five nationally in plays of 20, 30, 40, 50 and 60 yards, including 90 plays of 20 yards or more and 19 of 50 yards or more. The Fighting Irish rank in the top 10 defensively in all those categories and have given up only nine plays of 60 yards or more, the fewest in the nation.
Two of the country’s top running backs will be on display with Clemson’s Travis Etienne and Notre Dame’s Dexter Williams. Etienne (1,434 yards, 21 touchdowns) averages 8.31 yards per carry and has topped 150 yards in six games this season. Williams was suspended for the first four games of the season but has averaged 117.6 rushing yards in eight games since while scoring 12 of his 13 touchdowns on the ground.
The Fighting Irish survived the regular season unscathed, but had five games decided by eight points or fewer and played only three ranked teams in the latest Top 25.
The Tigers might be the most well-rounded team in the country, as they rank fifth nationally in total offense and scoring, second in scoring defense, and sixth in total defense. Etienne and freshman quarterback Trevor Lawrence (2,606 passing yards, 24 TDs, 4 INTs) have put up big numbers, and 10 players have caught a touchdown pass. Clemson’s defense has been a wrecking crew, racking up 121 tackles for loss and 46 sacks with end Clelin Ferrell (17 tackles for loss, 10 1/2 sacks) leading the way.
Clemson wins a blowout.
|12-29-18||Florida +6 v. Michigan||Top||41-15||Win||100||18 h 48 m||Show|
Seventh-ranked Michigan and No. 10 Florida are set to renew hostilities when they meet in the Peach Bowl on Dec. 29 in Atlanta. The Wolverines harbored serious College Football Playoff hopes heading into their final regular season game against sixth-ranked Ohio State, but suffered a devastating 62-39 loss to the Buckeyes to fall out of the playoff picture and aim to overcome the disappointment by achieving 11 wins in a season for just the 10th time in program history. The Dan Mullen era in Gainesville began with a bang as the Gators raced out to a 6-1 record before dropping back-to-back contests against No. 5 Georgia (36-17) and Missouri (38-17), but won three straight games to close out the regular season and hope to put an exclamation point on a promising campaign by knocking off the Wolverines for the first time in program history.
Michigan looks to avoid a bad case of Florida fatigue as they get set to face the Gators for the third time since 2016. The Wolverines routed Florida 41-7 in the 2016 Citrus Bowl before taking down the Gators 33-17 in the 2017 season opener in Arlington, TX to improve to 4-0 all time in the series and hope a historic defeat to their bitter rivals doesn't carry over into the postseason, where they have dropped four of their last five bowl games, including a 26-19 setback to South Carolina in the 2018 Outback Bowl.
Mullen has restored Florida's swagger as he orchestrated victories over No. 11 Louisiana State and 18th-ranked Mississippi State to leave him in position to win 10 games in his first season in Gainesville - a feat which eluded Steve Spurrier and Urban Meyer. Mullen has resuscitated a moribund offense that was 109th in yards per game (335.9) last season as Florida has generated over 500 yards in three consecutive contests heading into the Peach Bowl and hopes to keep firing on all cylinders against Michigan.
Gators are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 non-conference games. Wolverines are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 non-conference games.
I’m looking for a very close game so take the Gators plus the points.
|12-23-18||Chiefs v. Seahawks +2.5||Top||31-38||Win||100||8 h 29 m||Show|
The stakes will be high when the Seattle Seahawks host the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday night with major playoff seeding implications on the line. The Chiefs are trying to lock up the AFC West title and a first-round bye, while the Seahawks can clinch a postseason berth with a win and a loss by either Washington or Minnesota.
Both teams are looking to bounce back from disappointing losses that raised the stakes this week. The Chiefs appeared poised to clinch the division crown last week before the Los Angeles Chargers rallied from a 28-14 deficit in the final four minutes to post a 29-28 victory. The Seahawks suffered a stunning 26-23 overtime loss at San Francisco to snap their four-game winning streak and create pressure to win at least one of their final two games.
All six of Seattle’s losses have come by eight points or fewer, which is why a team that ranks ninth in the NFL in scoring offense and seventh in scoring defense is fighting to make the playoffs. Chris Carson, who rushed for a career-high 119 yards and a touchdown last week, leads the league’s top ground game, but Russell Wilson quietly has put together a great season with 3,025 passing yards, 31 touchdowns and six interceptions. Seattle’s once-dominant defense has been decimated by injuries but has forced 22 turnovers. Wilson has thrown 13 touchdown passes and two interceptions in six home contests.
Chiefs are 0-4-1 ATS in their last 5 games overall. Seahawks are 4-0-1 ATS in their last 5 games following a ATS loss.
I’ll take the home Seahawks in what should be the most entertaining game of the week!
|12-23-18||Bucs v. Cowboys -7||Top||20-27||Push||0||1 h 13 m||Show|
After laying an egg on the road, the Dallas Cowboys will try to clinch the NFC East at home when they host the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday. The Cowboys' five-game winning streak came to a crashing halt with a 23-0 loss at Indianapolis last Sunday, but the team remains in the driver's seat in the division and can sew it up in front of the home fans.
The Buccaneers' remote playoff hopes were dashed with back-to-back losses to New Orleans and Baltimore and they'll finish with a losing record for the seventh time in eight years. Tampa Bay had a season-low 241 total yards in last Sunday's 20-12 loss at Baltimore. I look for a lot of the same here vs. the Dallas defense.
The Cowboys are fourth in the NFL in scoring defense (19.2) and the Buccaneers are 30th (28.8).
The Cowboys are 11-1 at home against Tampa Bay. Cowboys get the win and cover.
|12-23-18||Giants v. Colts -9.5||Top||27-28||Loss||-109||1 h 12 m||Show|
The Indianapolis Colts are one of the hottest teams in the NFL but still have work to do to make the playoffs for the first time in four years, a quest that continues Sunday against the visiting New York Giants. Last week's 23-0 win over the Dallas Cowboys was the seventh win in the last eight contests for the Colts, who enter Week 16 two games out in the AFC South and right in the thick of the wild-card race.
The Colts rolled up 178 yards on the ground and limiting a red-hot Dallas offense to just 292 total yards. The Giants had won four of five and entertained thoughts of sneaking in the back end of the NFC playoffs before falling 17-0 to Tennessee last week. Star receiver Odell Beckham Jr. (quadriceps) has missed two straight games and is out again.
Colts RB Marlon Mack ran for a career-high 139 yards and two TDs in the win over the Cowboys.
Giants are 4-10-2 ATS in their last 16 road games vs. a team with a winning home record. Colts are 32-14-1 ATS vs. a team with a losing record. Giants are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 meetings.
I got the Colts in a blow-out.
|12-23-18||Texans v. Eagles -1||Top||30-32||Win||100||1 h 11 m||Show|
The Houston Texans could be sitting pretty at the conclusion of the weekend, provided they handle their business against the host Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday and receive a bit of help along the way. Defeating the Eagles is not something the Texans have done in their existence, however, as the club has dropped all four encounters by double-digit margins.
The 23-year-old Watson, sacked on six occasions by the Jets and an NFL-high 52 times, faces an Eagles' contingent that has 35 sacks on the season. Nick Foles stepped in for an injured Carson Wentz and completed 24 of 31 attempts for 270 yards as Philadelphia moved within a game of NFC East-leading Dallas by posting a 30-23 win versus the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday.
Zach Ertz, who ranks third in the NFL with 101 catches, is 10 receptions shy of breaking Jason Witten's single-season record for tight ends. Wideout Alshon Jeffery reeled in team highs in catches (eight) and receiving yards (160) against the Rams.
Texans are 1-8-1 ATS in their last 10 games in December. Eagles are 7-2 ATS in their last 9 home games vs. a team with a winning road record.
I’ll back Philly to grab the home victory with a outside shot at the playoffs.
|12-23-18||Vikings -6.5 v. Lions||Top||27-9||Win||100||1 h 10 m||Show|
The Minnesota Vikings look to move closer to obtaining an NFC wild-card berth when they visit the Detroit Lions on Sunday. Minnesota currently occupies the second wild-card spot, sitting one-half game ahead of Philadelphia and Washington.
The Lions dropped a 14-13 decision to Buffalo last week, their sixth setback in eight games.
Minnesota recorded a franchise-record 10 sacks in a 24-9 win over the Lions on Nov. 4 as defensive end Danielle Hunter registered 3.5 of them and also returned a fumble 32 yards for a touchdown. Hunter is tied for second in the NFL with 14.5 sacks and notched two in the victory over the Dolphins as the Vikings posted nine overall. Cousins is 87 yards shy of his fourth straight 4,000-yard campaign while wide receiver Adam Thielen ranks second in the league in receptions (105) and eighth in receiving yards (1,255) despite recording season lows of two and 19 against Miami.
Vikings RB Dalvin Cook rushed for a career-high 136 yards and scored two touchdowns in the win over the Dolphins. Detroit RB Kerryon Johnson (knee), who is the team's leading rusher with 641 yards despite playing in just 10 games, was placed on injured reserve.
Vikings are 13-5-1 ATS vs. a team with a losing record. Lions are 4-11 ATS in their last 15 games after allowing less than 15 points in their previous game.
Vikings are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 meetings in Detroit and will get the win and cover to keep their playoff hopes very alive.
|12-22-18||Wake Forest +3.5 v. Memphis||Top||37-34||Win||100||20 h 31 m||Show|
Saturday, DEC 22
Memphis and Wake Forest will meet for the first time since 1967 when they face off in the Jared Birmingham Bowl on Dec. 22 in Birmingham, Ala. The Tigers finished first in the West Division of the American Athletic Conference but fell in the title game 56-41 to unbeaten UCF. The Demon Deacons were tied for fifth in the ACC Atlantic Division and became bowl-eligible with a 59-7 win over Duke in their regular-season finale.
Wake Forest will be without its top quarterback as freshman Sam Hartman has been declared out. Hartman, who injured his leg in early November against Syracuse, missed the final three regular-season games with sophomore Jamie Newman taking his place. Newman isn’t the downfield passing threat Hartman is but did a nice job and finished the season with 755 passing yards on 101 attempts and a touchdown-to-interception ratio of 8:3.
The Demon Deacons are in a bowl game for the third year in a row and it took their best performance of the season to get them there in the rout of the Blue Devils on Nov. 24.
Wake Forest just only 3-6 as dog this season but Coach Clawson was 10-2-1 in role entering this season. Deacs 4-1 SU, 4-0-1 vs. line last five bowls including wins past two seasons. Memphis no wins or covers last three years in bowls, only 2-4 vs. points away from home this season.
Tigers are 0-5 ATS in their last 5 games in December and are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 Bowl games. Demon Deacons are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games in December and are 16-5 ATS in their last 21 games after allowing less than 170 yards passing in their previous game.
I got Wake Forest to get the job done here in a close game coming down to the wire.
|12-20-18||Marshall -3.5 v. South Florida||Top||38-20||Win||100||9 h 50 m||Show|
South Florida hopes to soothe the sting of a five-game losing streak that ended the regular season when it takes on Marshall in the Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl on Dec. 21 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla.
The Bulls, who face the Thundering Herd for the first time, started the season with seven consecutive victories and had visions of a major bowl game before injury issues and a leaky defense (39.6 points per game allowed in losses) led to five double-digit setbacks. Marshall won three straight games to seal its fifth bowl appearance in six years before ending the regular season with a 41-20 loss at Virginia Tech.
South Florida hopes to have a healthier offense after a four-week break following the 38-10 loss to No. 7 Central Florida on Nov. 23 and the Bulls, who averaged 35.6 points during their 7-0 start, will face a defense that allowed 22 points per game and tied for sixth in the nation with 39 sacks.
USF did not have No. 1 quarterback Blake Barnett in two of its last three games because of a shoulder injury and he may return, but the Bulls will have a new play caller after offensive coordinator Sterlin Gilbert was hired as McNeese State’s new coach after the regular season.
This is a home game for the Bulls, but while a home game in general is usually a good thing, some of these teams look forward to enjoying the bowl experience in a different place. So, motivation could actually be missing in this case. Not that home field did much for the Bulls anyway this season, where they went just 1-5 ATS.
USF needs to run the ball well to be successful and that seems like a tall order against a Marshall run defense that allows a miniscule 2.9 yards per carry on the season. If the Herd can get the Bulls in third and long scenarios it could be a long night for USF. Additionally, the Herd are 5-0 SU/ATS under head coach Doc Holliday in bowl games.
I like Marshall to win by 10 or more…
|12-16-18||Patriots -2.5 v. Steelers||Top||10-17||Loss||-112||29 h 23 m||Show|
Patriots – 2.5
The New England Patriots and Pittsburgh Steelers appeared to be en route to another high-stakes collision course in the season's final month, but recent stumbles by both teams have changed the dynamics. While the No. 1 overall seed in the AFC may be out of reach, the Patriots and Steelers try to move closer to wrapping up division titles when they meet in Pittsburgh on Sunday.
The Patriots, who are coming off a stunning last-second loss at Miami, have won five in a row against the Steelers.
Tom Brady threw for 358 yards and three touchdowns at Miami, but New England failed to take advantage of three prime red-zone opportunities in which they came away with a total of six points. That will not be the case here vs. the weak Steelers defense.
Pittsburgh's defense has been burned for 39 fourth-quarter points during the three-game skid.
Brady has thrown 25 touchdown passes and four interceptions in career 10 games against Pittsburgh. Gronkowski has scored eight touchdowns in six games versus the Steelers and made nine catches for 168 yards in last season's matchup.
Patriots are 9-2 ATS in their last 11 games in December. Steelers are 1-7 ATS in their last 8 games in December. Patriots are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 meetings in Pittsburgh.
Take the Patriots to get the hard fought win on the highway.
|12-16-18||Seahawks -3.5 v. 49ers||Top||23-26||Loss||-103||29 h 4 m||Show|
Seahawks – 3.5
The Seattle Seahawks attempt to record their fifth consecutive victory when they host the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday. Seattle's recent hot stretch has placed it in a strong position in the NFC wild-card chase, and the team can clinch a playoff berth this weekend if it defeats the 49ers.
The defense carried the load in Seattle's latest win as Wilson (29 touchdowns this season) completed just 10-of-20 passes - with the longest being a 14-yarder - in a stale effort.
The Seahawks have won each of the last nine regular-season meetings and they get the win and cover the number in this spot.
|12-16-18||Raiders +3 v. Bengals||Top||16-30||Loss||-100||26 h 2 m||Show|
Raiders + 3
The Cincinnati Bengals are looking to end a losing streak that ruined their season, but their opponent may not be the pushover it has been for the majority of the campaign. Cincinnati attempts to halt its five-game slide when it hosts the Oakland Raiders on Sunday.
Derek Carr's early-season interception problem is a thing of the past as he has gone eight games without being picked off. The 27-year-old, who has thrown for 3,434 yards and 18 touchdowns, leads the AFC and ranks fifth in the entire league with a 69.5 completion percentage.
I’m looking for the Raiders to take it to the worst defense in the NFL in the Bengals.
|12-16-18||Lions v. Bills -2.5||Top||13-14||Loss||-110||26 h 1 m||Show|
Bills – 2.5
The Detroit Lions' playoff chances are minuscule, but they are technically still alive and looking to remain a factor with a win Sunday at the Buffalo Bills. A 17-3 victory at Arizona last weekend kept the Lions mathematically in the hunt and a stretch run with three games against teams at .500 or worse gives them an opportunity to finish strong and hope for help -- lots of it -- elsewhere. They have no shot.
That task would become much more difficult without starting quarterback Matthew Stafford, who has been limited in practice due to a back issue after throwing for a season-low 101 yards against the Cardinals. The Bills are coming off back-to-back four-point losses that have dashed what were already slim playoff hopes in the AFC. They'll continue to try to foster the growth of rookie quarterback Josh Allen, who has thrown for 597 yards and run for 335 -- the most ever by a quarterback in a three-game span -- since returning from a sprained elbow.
The defense shined while Stafford and company struggled to produce a season-low 218 total yards at Arizona, with Darius Slay's 67-yard interception return for a touchdown the game's biggest play -- and players on that side of the ball know their top goal this week is to contain Allen. I don’t think they can.
The Lions will have problems moving the ball here vs. this solid Bills defense. Bills have the single best yardage differential in the NFL over the last five weeks
This one maybe close but Buffalo pulls it out at home.
|12-16-18||Cowboys +3 v. Colts||Top||0-23||Loss||-100||26 h 60 m||Show|
Cowboys + 3
Two of the hottest teams in the NFL try to push closer to playoff berths when the surging Dallas Cowboys visit the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday. The NFC East-leading Cowboys ran their winning streak to five games with a 29-23 victory over Philadelphia last week, riding another monster effort from wideout Amari Cooper, who had a career-high 217 receiving yards and three touchdowns -- including the game-winner in overtime.
The Colts quarterback Andrew Luck ranks second in the NFL with 34 passing TDs after tossing two more -- to go along with 399 yards -- in a crucial 24-21 win at Houston last week. The victory kept Indianapolis' AFC South hopes alive and put it squarely in the wild-card race as it looks to snap a three-year playoff drought. I see Luck not having an easy game vs., the Dallas defense.
Ezekiel Elliott (NFL-best 1,262 yards) has 155 touches over the last five games, including a season-high 40 last week. Prescott threw for a career-high 455 yards against the Eagles and is completing 74.1 percent of his passes since Cooper arrived.
Dallas took the last three meetings, including a 42-7 rout in 2014 in which Luck threw for 109 yards and two interceptions before being yanked from the game in the third quarter.
Take the points as I give the Cowboys a good chance to win this game outright.
|12-16-18||Packers v. Bears -5||Top||17-24||Win||100||26 h 59 m||Show|
Bears - 5
The Green Bay Packers looked like a different team in their first week under interim coach Joe Philbin, but a date with a more impressive defense is looming. Aaron Rodgers and the Packers offense will have its work cut out when they visit the NFC North-leading Chicago Bears on Sunday.
Rodgers owns just one interception on the season and broke Tom Brady's NFL record for consecutive pass attempts (358) without an INT in last week's win, but Green Bay is going up against a Bears defense that leads the league with 25 interceptions. The Packers' defense only owns seven interceptions but is riding a streak of five consecutive games holding opponents under 25 points.
Defense wins this game going away so back the Bears.
|12-15-18||Arizona State v. Fresno State -4||Top||20-31||Win||100||23 h 6 m||Show|
Arizona State running back Eno Benjamin should receive ample opportunities to break the single-season school rushing record when the Sun Devils meet Fresno State in the Mitsubishi Motors Las Vegas Bowl on Dec. 15 at Sam Boyd Stadium. Benjamin is 42 yards short of breaking the 46-year-old Arizona State record (1,565) set by Woody Green, and the Sun Devils will be without No. 1 receiver N'Keal Harry, which should allow even more carries for Benjamin. Harry, who had 73 catches for 1,088 yards and nine touchdowns this season, has decided to skip the bowl game and begin preparing for the NFL Draft.
Fresno State should be plenty motivated in its first meeting against Arizona State since 1941. The Bulldogs earned this bowl bid with a dramatic 19-16 overtime win at Boise State on Dec. 1, putting themselves in position to win 12 games in a season for the first time in program history. Fresno State, which finished the regular season ranked No. 21 in the coaches' poll, will also be looking to win bowl games in back-to-back seasons for the first time since winning three in a row from 2002-04.
Fresno State quarterback Marcus McMaryion took his play to another level this season, completing nearly 70 percent of his passes, throwing 25 touchdowns and getting intercepted just three times - none in the past four games.
Sun Devils are 1-6 ATS in their last 7 vs. MWC. Bulldogs are 8-2 ATS in their last 10 non-conference games and are 15-4 ATS in their last 19 games after allowing less than 20 points in their previous game.
Lay the points with the Bulldogs in Vegas.
|12-10-18||Vikings v. Seahawks -3||Top||7-21||Win||100||9 h 26 m||Show|
The Seattle Seahawks saw any hopes of winning the NFC West evaporate when the division-rival Los Angeles Rams opened the season 8-0. The Seahawks' playoff chances also appeared to take a major hit after back-to-back losses to both Los Angeles teams, but they have bounced back and carry a three-game winning streak into Monday night's contest against the visiting Minnesota Vikings.
Minnesota owns a one-half game lead over three teams for the last postseason berth after losing at New England 24-10 last weekend and now must fly to the opposite coast to face resurgent Seattle.
Minnesota has alternated losses and wins over its last five games, a stretch during which Cousins has thrown nine touchdown passes against six interceptions.
Unlike Minnesota, the running game is a point of emphasis for Seattle, which features the top-ranked attack with an average of 148.8 yards and at least 32 rushes in eight of its last 10 games.
Quarterback Russell Wilson is averaging only 226.4 yards passing but usually dials it up late in the season, and this year is no exception - he has 11 touchdown passes and zero interceptions over his last four contests. Linemen Frank Clark and Jarran Reed have combined for 16.5 sacks to lead a unit ranked ninth in scoring defense (21.6 points).
Wilson has a 142.0 passer rating with eight TDs and zero interceptions in three career matchups versus Minnesota.
Vikings are 1-7 ATS vs. a team with a winning record and are 2-9 ATS in their last 11 Monday games. Seahawks are 5-0-1 ATS in their last 6 vs. NFC and are 22-9-1 ATS in their last 32 games in December. Vikings are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 meetings in Seattle.
Look for the Seahawks to be the better team on both sides of the ball tonight here at home.
|12-09-18||Eagles v. Cowboys -3||Top||23-29||Win||100||30 h 37 m||Show|
The Dallas Cowboys began the turnaround to their season by watching Ezekiel Elliott score twice in a 27-20 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles on Nov. 11. The Cowboys bid to strengthen their grip atop the NFC East and push their winning streak to five games at AT&T Stadium on Sunday when they vie for their first season sweep of the Eagles since 2012.
Dak Prescott was efficient in Thursday's 13-10 upset of New Orleans, completing a season-best 85.7 percent of his passes (24 of 28) for 249 yards. The 25-year-old has developed chemistry with in-season trade acquisition Amari Cooper, connecting eight times in back-to-back weeks and on six occasions in the first meeting with Philadelphia.
Cowboys rookie LB Leighton Vander Esch registered a season-high 13 tackles and an interception in the initial encounter with the Eagles.
Eagles are 1-4 ATS vs. a team with a winning record. Cowboys are 6-1 ATS in their last 7 vs. NFC East. Favorite is 5-1 ATS in their last 6 meetings.
|12-09-18||Jets v. Bills -3.5||Top||27-23||Loss||-120||26 h 11 m||Show|
With little else for which to play in the standings, the New York Jets are seeking a measure of revenge when they travel to Buffalo on Sunday to meet the Bills. The Jets were 3-6 after suffering three straight losses but still hoping to turn things around heading into a Week 10 matchup with the struggling Bills at home, only to lay an egg in an embarrassing 41-10 loss to their AFC East foes.
The Jets' slide has reached six in a row and last week's 26-22 setback at Tennessee was just about as painful, as they blew an early 16-0 lead and lost on a touchdown in the final minute. Buffalo followed up its 31-point win at MetLife Stadium on Nov. 11 with a victory over Jacksonville and a narrow loss at Miami as Sean McDermott's team displays a more competitive streak. Josh Allen threw for 231 yards and two touchdowns and ran for 135 more in the 21-17 loss to the Dolphins, and he figures to face off with New York's Sam Darnold -- who expects to return from a foot injury -- in a matchup of rookie quarterbacks.
Buffalo has taken five of the last six meetings at home and are in a good spot here.
|12-09-18||Saints -9.5 v. Bucs||Top||28-14||Win||100||26 h 10 m||Show|
The New Orleans Saints will have nine full days off to diagnose what went wrong in a rare loss last Thursday before continuing their march toward a first-round bye in the NFC playoffs. The Saints will try to avenge a Week 1 loss when they visit the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday.
New Orleans, which dropped a 48-40 decision to Tampa Bay in the opener before ripping off 10 consecutive wins, put up its worst offensive performance last week in a 13-10 loss at the Dallas Cowboys on Nov. 22.
Brees is up to 30 TD passes and three interceptions on the season but posted a season-low 71.6 rating last week. He will have a great game on Sunday vs. this Bucs Defense.
Saints are 9-1 ATS in their last 10 games overall and are 15-6 ATS in their last 21 vs. NFC South. Buccaneers are 2-9-1 ATS in their last 12 games in Week 14.
Look for the Saints to overpower the Bucs and win going away.
|12-09-18||Colts +4.5 v. Texans||Top||24-21||Win||100||26 h 9 m||Show|
The Houston Texans can take another big step toward clinching the AFC South when they host the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday. A 10th straight win for the Texans would eliminate the Colts from contention in the division.
The Colts averaged 34.6 points during a five-game winning streak before being blanked 6-0 at Jacksonville last Sunday. Houston used a field goal with no time on the clock in overtime to top Indianapolis 34-31 earlier in the year.
Indianapolis has won four of the last five meetings in Houston.
This game will come down to the wire so back the points with the Colts on the road.
|12-09-18||Ravens +7 v. Chiefs||Top||24-27||Win||100||26 h 9 m||Show|
The league’s highest-scoring offense and its stingiest defense square off Sunday, when the Kansas City Chiefs host the Baltimore Ravens in a matchup of AFC playoff contenders. The high-scoring Chiefs hope to maintain their one-game lead in the AFC West, while the hard-nosed Ravens are trying to hang on to the last wild-card spot.
The Chiefs average an NFL-best 37 points per game - a total the Ravens have reached only once this season. Baltimore’s defense has been especially dominant during the team's three-game winning streak - it held Atlanta to 131 total yards in last week's 26-16 victory - but it will face its toughest test yet the Chiefs.
Baltimore has held its last three opponents to 255 total yards or fewer, while Kansas City’s season low for total offense is 330 against Arizona.
Lamar Jackson is expected to make his fourth straight start, which limits the Ravens in the passing game but gives them a dynamic rushing attack. Baltimore has rolled up more than 200 rushing yards in the three games Jackson has started.
The biggest question for the Chiefs is whether or not the defense can stop playoff-caliber opponents, and the secondary is especially suspect as the team ranks last against the pass.
Ravens are 7-2-1 ATS in their last 10 games on grass. Road team is 6-2 ATS in their last 8 meetings.
I’ll take the points with a defense the Chiefs have not seen yet this season.
|12-02-18||Chargers +3.5 v. Steelers||Top||33-30||Win||100||33 h 52 m||Show|
Philip Rivers and Ben Roethlisberger meet up again when the Los Angeles Chargers visit the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday night. The two members of the 2004 NFL Draft class are thriving in their 15th seasons with Rivers coming off a record-setting performance in last week's 45-10 rout of the Arizona Cardinals.
Rivers has thrown multiple touchdown passes in each game this season while passing for 3,119 yards and 26 scores against six interceptions. Standout running back Melvin Gordon (knee) will miss the contest so Austin Ekeler (409 yards, 5.8 average) will get the call. He should do well vs. this poor Steelers defense.
Standout defensive end Joey Bosa displayed he is fully recovered from the foot injury that caused him to miss the first nine games by recording two sacks against the Cardinals.
Steelers RB James Conner (849 yards) has only 143 over the past three games after compiling four straight 100-yard outings.
I’m looking for the Chargers to have to overall better game in one that comes down to the wire. Take the points.
|12-02-18||49ers v. Seahawks -10||Top||16-43||Win||105||29 h 57 m||Show|
Seahawks – 10
Richard Sherman makes his return to Seattle for the first time as an opposing player when the San Francisco 49ers visit the Seahawks on Sunday. Sherman was released in March while recovering from an Achilles injury after seven seasons and two Super Bowl appearances with the team.
49ers Quarterback Nick Mullens will make his fourth straight start but is on a short leash after throwing two interceptions in the team's sluggish 27-9 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last weekend.
San Francisco ranks 10th in defending the run (102.7 yards per game) and will be challenged by a Seattle offense that leads the NFL in rushing at 147.1.
Seattle has won its last two games to perk things up after the team was unable to find a sustained groove earlier this season and are in the wild card hunt.
Wilson is enjoying a strong season with 2,531 yards and 25 touchdowns against only five interceptions, while defensive end Frank Clark has been a standout with 10 sacks.
The Seahawks have won the past nine meetings - playoffs included and they get the double digit win here.
|12-02-18||Colts -4 v. Jaguars||Top||0-6||Loss||-110||26 h 34 m||Show|
Colts – 4
The Jacksonville Jaguars are busy imploding, leaving the AFC South a two-team race between the Indianapolis Colts and the Houston Texans, with the Tennessee Titans lurking in the background. The Colts will try to take advantage of the sliding Jaguars and earn another division victory when they host the matchup on Sunday.
The Jaguars are streaking in the opposite direction with seven consecutive losses following a 3-1 start and finally made the decision to bench quarterback Blake Bortles this week. Jacksonville will start Cody Kessler at quarterback on Sunday and are giving him a new play caller in quarterback coach Scott Milanovich, who takes over after offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett was fired on Monday.
Luck's re-emergence as a premier quarterback after several injury-marred seasons is the driving force behind Indianapolis' climb into the playoff race. The former No. 1 overall pick completed 30-of-37 passes for 343 yards and three touchdowns against the Dolphins last week.
Colts are 32-13-1 ATS vs. a team with a losing record and I’m more than willing to lay points on the road vs. a dysfunctional team in the Jags.
|12-02-18||Panthers -3 v. Bucs||Top||17-24||Loss||-112||26 h 33 m||Show|
Panthers – 3
It was less than a month ago that the Carolina Panthers harbored hopes of overtaking the New Orleans Saints in the NFC South, owning a 6-2 record and riding a three-game winning streak. Things have since taken a dramatic turn for Carolina, which is trying to climb back into the playoff race entering Sunday's game at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Tampa Bay ended a four-game slide behind its finest defensive performance of the season in a 27-9 victory over the lowly San Francisco 49ers last week. Ryan Fitzpatrick threw for four touchdowns in the loss to the Panthers, but Jameis Winston will make his second straight start for the Buccaneers.
Running back Christian McCaffrey had a monster game in last week's 30-27 loss to Seattle, amassing a franchise record 237 yards from scrimmage to go with two touchdowns, and also piled up 157 yards and two scores in the win over Tampa Bay last month.
Carolina’s offense will be too much for the Tampa Bay horrible defense to contain.
|12-02-18||Rams -10 v. Lions||Top||30-16||Win||100||26 h 33 m||Show|
Rams – 10
The Los Angeles Rams can wrap up their second straight NFC West Division title and stay in the hunt for the top overall seed in the conference when they visit the Detroit Lions on Sunday afternoon. Los Angeles, which won its first eight games behind a high-powered offense, is coming off a bye that followed a pulsating 54-51 win over Kansas City in Week 11.
Detroit has seen its playoff hopes fizzle over the past five weeks, falling to 1-4 in that span after a 23-16 loss to the Bears on Thanksgiving Day.
Todd Gurley, who fell to second in the league in rushing during the bye week, was hindered by an ankle injury and had a season-low 12 carries against Kansas City but McVay said he had a great practice Wednesday. Jared Goff threw for 413 yards and four touchdowns in the shootout against the Chiefs and has 14 scoring passes against one interception over his past five games.
Brandin Cooks has bounced back from a quiet three-game stretch with three consecutive 100-yard games, hauling in 24 receptions in that span. Defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh returns to the city where he began his career but Aaron Donald is a bigger threat with an NFL-high 14.5 sacks.
I’m looking for the Rams to run all over the Lions and I’m laying the big number.
Rams are 8-2-1 ATS in their last 11 games following a bye week.
|12-01-18||Georgia v. Alabama -13||Top||28-35||Loss||-115||52 h 37 m||Show|
Top-ranked Alabama will undoubtedly be part of the four-team College Football Playoff but fourth-ranked Georgia isn't a lock as the two squads prepare for Saturday's SEC championship game at Atlanta. The Bulldogs can clinch a CFP spot by beating the Crimson Tide but risk being bypassed for the playoff if they should lose the contest.
The two squads met in last season's national title game with Alabama prevailing 26-23 in overtime in what was the coming out party for Crimson Tide quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, who came off the bench to throw three touchdown passes.
Alabama has been dominant all season but coach Nick Saban is very wary of Smart - his former defensive coordinator - and the Bulldogs.
Tagovailoa has thrown a school-record 36 touchdown passes against two interceptions and the sophomore fuels an offense averaging 49 points per game. Jerry Jeudy is enjoying a standout season with 56 receptions for 1,079 and 11 touchdowns while fellow sophomore receiver DeVonta Smith (27 receptions) will forever be remembered in Alabama lore for catching the game-winning 41-yard touchdown pass in the national championship game. The Crimson Tide give up an average of 13.8 points with sophomore nose guard Quinnen Williams recording a team-leading 16 tackles for loss and senior defensive end Isaiah Buggs notching a team-best 9.5 sacks.
Crimson Tide are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 conference games.
Look for Alabama to pull away in the second half and get the cover.
|12-01-18||Memphis v. Central Florida -3||Top||41-56||Win||100||51 h 13 m||Show|
Seventh-ranked Central Florida attempts to finish the job after an emotional week and earn a second straight American Athletic Conference title when it hosts surging Memphis in the championship game Saturday. The Knights extended their national-best winning streak to 24 games with a resounding 38-10 victory at South Florida last Friday, but the triumph came at a cost as star quarterback McKenzie Milton was lost to a severe right knee injury.
UCF is eighth in the College Football Playoff rankings. Freshman quarterback Darriel Mack Jr. gets the job of trying to lead the Knights to another title. Memphis comes to Orlando, Fla. with one of the nation’s best running backs in junior Darrell Henderson, a four-game winning streak and the confidence of two near misses against UCF during the Knights' winning streak - but a 1-12 all-time record against the Knights.
The Knights will lean more toward the ground attack with the 6-3, 230-pound Mack at the helm as he has run for 281 yards (7.0 per carry) and completed just 48.8 percent of his passes in a limited role. UCF’s rushing attack has gotten better each game and sophomore Greg McCrae (895 yards, eight TDs on the ground) took the leading role at the end of October while junior Adrian Killins Jr. (1,023 yards rushing and receiving) is always a threat. The Knights’ defense, led by sophomore defensive back Richie Grant (team highs of 98 tackles, five interceptions) and senior lineman Titus Davis (six sacks, 15.5 tackles for loss), must step up again versus the talented Tigers.
Tigers are 5-16-1 ATS in their last 22 games on grass and are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 games in December. Knights are 6-1 ATS vs. a team with a winning record. Tigers are 0-6 ATS in their last 6 meetings in Central Florida.
Central Florida gets the job done here to take the title.
|12-01-18||Texas +8 v. Oklahoma||Top||27-39||Loss||-105||49 h 43 m||Show|
Lincoln Riley's dynamic offense at Oklahoma has consistently been explosive enough this season to make up for one of the worst defenses in the country, but Texas knows all about the one time it wasn't. The fifth-ranked Sooners hope to avenge their only loss of the season and impress the College Football Playoff committee enough to move up from the No. 5 spot in the CFP rankings when they meet No. 9 Texas on Saturday in the Big 12 Championship Game at AT&T Stadium in Dallas.
Oklahoma, which leads FBS in scoring (50.3 points) and total offense (583.8 yards), finished the regular season on a six-game winning streak despite surrendering 47.3 points per game in its last four contests - and at least 40 points in each contest - by averaging 53.3. The Sooners have failed to score at least 48 points in only three games, the last of which came on Oct. 6 when Oklahoma needed less than six minutes in the fourth quarter to erase a 21-point deficit before the Longhorns got a game-winning 40-yard field goal from freshman Cameron Dicker as time expired for a 48-45 victory. Texas has been living on the edge for most of the season, playing all but one of its last eight opponents within one score and winning six of them. The Longhorns are making their sixth Big 12 Championship appearance and first since 2009, while the Sooners are seeking their fourth consecutive conference crown and a ninth championship win in 18 league title games.
The Longhorns, who are the only school in the Big 12 with a winning record against the Sooners (62-46-5), are 6-3 in one-possession games this season.
Take the points with Texas in a close game that comes down to the wire.
|11-30-18||Utah v. Washington -5||Top||3-10||Win||100||33 h 59 m||Show|
Sans decorated quarterbacks Sam Darnold, Josh Rosen and Luke Falk, the Pac-12 took on a more defensive tone in 2018. And that’s certainly reflected in Friday night’s conference championship game which pits No. 17 Utah against No. 11 Washington in Santa Clara, Calif.
Both teams boast top-20 FBS total and scoring defenses with the Huskies allowing 311.3 yards and 16.5 points and the Utes permitting 315.8 yards and 19.3 points per game.
Washington will be playing in its second Pac-12 title game in three years while Utah is making its first appearance since joining the conference in 2011.
Unlike Utah, the Huskies have the advantage of health and experience in the backfield with the senior duo of Jake Browning and tailback Myles Gaskin. Browning, despite averaging a career-low 224.3 aerial yards this season, is the school’s career passing yards leader and Pac-12’s all-time winningest quarterback, while Gaskin is averaging 107.6 yards on the ground and is the school’s all-time leader in rushing yards and touchdowns. Senior linebacker Ben Burr-Kirven is tied for the lead nationally with 155 tackles and paces a defense which ranks second in the conference against the run (121.8 yards allowed) and pass (189.4 yards).
With a 21-7 road win at Utah on Sept. 15, Washington has won five of the six meetings since Utah entered the Pac-12. In the September contest, Gaskin rushed for 143 yards and a TD on 30 carries while the Huskies’ defense forced three turnovers and had a trio of fourth-down stops.
Lay the points here with Washington to capture the PAC-12 Title.
|11-26-18||Titans v. Texans -5.5||Top||17-34||Win||100||54 h 18 m||Show|
Their ugly start to the season now a distant memory, the Houston Texans can set a franchise record when they host the Tennessee Titans on Monday night. The Texans own a two-game lead atop the AFC South and will go for their eighth consecutive victory after opening the campaign with three straight losses, including a 20-17 setback at Tennessee in Week 2.
The Titans squandered a chance to make Monday's matchup a showdown for division supremacy, following a pair of decisive wins over Dallas and New England with a 38-10 loss to Indianapolis last week. Tennessee quarterback Marcus Mariota was knocked out of that game with a stinger, but he practiced fully on Friday and Titans offensive coordinator Matt LaFleur pronounced him "ready to roll."
Watson had his NFL coming-out party against Tennessee last season in his third career start, throwing for four touchdowns and rushing for another as Houston set a franchise record for points in a 57-14 rout.
Running back Lamar Miller is providing balance to the offense with at least 18 carries and 86 yards rushing in three of the last four games. The Texans are fifth in scoring defense (20.5 points).
Texans DE J.J. Watt has registered 10 sacks on the season, including one in each of his last three games. Hopkins has at least 100 yards in three of his last four versus Tennessee, including 110 and a TD in Week 2.
Ride the Texans to the home win and cover on Monday Night.
|11-25-18||Dolphins v. Colts -7.5||Top||24-27||Loss||-110||26 h 29 m||Show|
Ryan Tannehill would love to be as fortunate as Andrew Luck, who has silenced any talk about the shoulder injury that sidelined him for all of the 2017 season by tossing at least three touchdown passes in each of his last seven games. Luck and the Colts vie for their fifth straight win on Sunday when they host the returning Tannehill and the Miami Dolphins, who skidded into their bye with losses in five of their last seven outings.
"I was not in a good spot a year ago. I remember that. I am in a good spot now," said Luck, who is enjoying a career-best completion percentage (67.3) and quarterback rating (101.8) while tossing an NFL second-best 29 touchdown passes this season. The 29-year-old earned AFC Offensive Player of the Week honors after connecting with trusted target T.Y. Hilton for two of his three touchdown passes in Sunday's 38-10 romp over Tennessee.
Tannehill, who has been sidelined since Miami's 27-17 setback to Cincinnati on Oct. 7, takes the helm of an offense that has failed to score a touchdown in its last nine quarters.
Luck is tied with Miami legend Dan Marino for the third longest streak of consecutive games with three or more touchdown passes, trailing only Tom Brady (10) and Peyton Manning (eight). The offensive line has done its part in protecting Luck, who has not been sacked in five straight games.
The Colts Hilton has found the end zone five times in his last five home games while running back Marlon Mack also had a touchdown on Sunday, giving him five scores (four rushing, one receiving) in his past four contests overall.
The Dolphins' first drive has failed to produce any points in 13 consecutive games.
Dolphins are 5-18 ATS in their last 23 games on fieldturf and are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 road games.
If you looking for the rout of the day, this is it. Colts roll Miami here at home.
|11-25-18||Giants +6 v. Eagles||Top||22-25||Win||100||23 h 6 m||Show|
The Philadelphia Eagles found themselves on the business end of a beat-down so severe that it was the most lopsided loss ever by a defending Super Bowl champion. The Eagles aim to shake off the effects of a 41-point demolition on Sunday at Lincoln Financial Field when they bid for their ninth win in 10 outings against the New York Giants.
Carson Wentz completed 19 of 33 passes for 156 yards and three interceptions in Sunday's 48-7 shellacking in New Orleans. The 25-year-old Wentz fared significantly better in his last encounter versus the Giants, throwing for three touchdowns with a pick in Philadelphia's 34-13 road win on Oct. 11. Rookie Saquon Barkley ripped off a 50-yard scoring run in that contest and found the end zone on three occasions (two rushing, one receiving) to highlight a career-high 142-yard rushing performance in Sunday's 38-35 victory over Tampa Bay.
Eli Manning completed all but one of his 18 pass attempts versus the Buccaneers and has five touchdown passes in his last two contests -- after mustering just eight in the first eight games.
The locker room talk after that debacle in New Orleans centered around safety Malcolm Jenkins pointing out a lack of fight of some of his teammates, although there's even more concern about the health of the team's secondary. Cornerbacks Jalen Mills (foot), Sidney Jones (hamstring), Rasul Douglas (knee) and Avonte Maddox (knee) were all absent from Wednesday's practice.
Giants are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 road games. Eagles are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 vs. NFC.
Take the Giants plus the points.
|11-25-18||Browns +2.5 v. Bengals||Top||35-20||Win||100||23 h 6 m||Show|
The Cincinnati Bengals are losers of four of their last five games to sink back to .500 but could be on the verge of getting an offensive weapon back. The Bengals hope to have star wide receiver A.J. Green available when they host the Cleveland Browns on Sunday.
Cleveland snapped a four-game losing streak in Williams' second game by knocking off the Atlanta Falcons 28-16 at home on Nov. 11 prior to the bye. Rookie quarterback Baker Mayfield played his most efficient game in the win, completing 17-of-20 passes for 216 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions.
Cincinnati fired defensive coordinator Teryl Austin prior to the loss at Baltimore and looked more confident on defense with Lewis calling the plays but the Bengals sit 31st in the NFL in scoring defense (31.2 points allowed) and rank last while yielding an average of 449.4 yards.
Browns: 8-3-1 SU and 9-3 ATS as division dogs of 3 or fewer points, including 8-1-1 SU and 9-1 ATS with revenge … Bengals: 1-7 ATS home versus rested opponents; and 0-5 the last five games.
Back the Browns in this spot.
|11-25-18||Patriots -10 v. Jets||Top||27-13||Win||100||23 h 5 m||Show|
The New England Patriots had two weeks off to reassess after suffering a 34-10 loss at the Tennessee Titans and they are ready to move on. The Patriots will try to get back to the business of dominating the AFC East when they visit the New York Jets on Sunday. Tight end Rob Gronkowski (ankle) is among those expected to return to the lineup on Sunday.
The Jets went into the bye with a sour taste as well after getting crushed at home 41-10 by the Buffalo Bills to extend their losing streak to four straight. New York will again turn to veteran Josh McCown, who completed 17-of-34 passes for 135 yards and two interceptions in the loss to Buffalo.
New England is used to residing at or near the top of the NFL in most offensive categories but comes out of the bye seventh in the league in scoring (28 points) and 10th in yards per game (377.2).
New England took the last four meetings and seven of eight in the series.
Patriots are 6-1 ATS in their last 7 games after scoring less than 15 points in their previous game. Jets are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 vs. AFC East.
Look to Brady and the Pats to get the easy win and cover.
|11-24-18||Notre Dame -11 v. USC||Top||24-17||Loss||-109||7 h 32 m||Show|
Notre Dame needs one more win for its first undefeated regular season since 2012 and a likely first-ever trip to the College Football Playoff. All that stands in its way is USC as the long-time rivals go head-to-head in primetime from L.A. on Saturday evening.
The third-ranked Fighting Irish passed their latest test in dominant fashion last Saturday, getting past then-No. 12 Syracuse with ease in a 36-3 win at Yankee Stadium. Ian Book threw for 292 yards and two touchdowns in his return to the lineup after missing one game with a rib injury, while Dexter Williams added 74 yards and a touchdown on 13 carries. USC has lost four of its last five after starting the season 4-2 and needs an upset win over the Irish to become bowl eligible. The Trojans’ latest setback came at the hands of crosstown-rival UCLA as the Bruins managed a 34-27 win at the Rose Bowl last weekend.
The offense did its job but it was Notre Dame’s defense that was the story of the game as it recorded three interceptions and six sacks against an Orange offense that was averaging 44.4 points per game coming in. I expect the same here vs. USC.
The Trojans allowed Bruins running back Joshua Kelley to run for 289 yards (third-most in UCLA history) and two touchdowns on 40 carries and the USC defense will have its hands full in trying to contain Williams.
The Fighting Irish have outgained seven of their last eight opponents by 100 yards or more.
|11-24-18||LSU v. Texas A&M -2.5||Top||72-74||Loss||-120||6 h 3 m||Show|
The biggest questions for LSU were about the effectiveness of the offense after it was held scoreless by Alabama and struggled in a win over Arkansas. The eighth-ranked Tigers finally opened things up last weekend, just in time to take on their final SEC challenge against host Texas A&M on Saturday.
The Aggies moved back into the top 25 in the College Football Playoff rankings at No. 22 after knocking off UAB 41-20 last week. The Aggies needed only 54 offensive plays to score 41 points against UAB and were led by running back Trayveon Williams, who churned out 167 yards on 20 carries while scoring a pair of touchdowns.
Aggies are 8-1 ATS in their last 9 home games. Favorite is 7-0-1 ATS in their last 8 meetings.
|11-23-18||Washington v. Washington State -2||Top||28-15||Loss||-110||8 h 4 m||Show|
There is more than Apple Cup bragging rights on the line when seventh-ranked Washington State hosts No. 16 Washington in Friday's Pac-12 showdown. The Cougars are ranked No. 8 in the College Football Playoff rankings and need two more victories, some help from opponents and some help from the selection panel to crack the final four.
The winner advances to play Utah in the Pac-12 title game, and Huskies coach Chris Petersen knows his defense faces a challenge in Washington State senior quarterback Gardner Minshew II, who leads the nation with 36 touchdown passes.
The Cougars have won seven consecutive games behind the stellar play of Minshew, the East Carolina transfer who has topped 300 yards a school-record 11 times while passing for 4,325, fourth-most in school history. Minshew fired a school-record seven touchdown passes in last weekend's 69-28 blistering of Arizona as 11 different players caught passes and six had scoring receptions. The defense allows an average of 22.6 points per game and features a force in senior linebacker Peyton Pelluer (team-high 76 tackles) and also is receiving strong play from sophomore linebacker Jahad Woods (68 tackles, four forced fumbles).
Huskies are 0-7 ATS in their last 7 conference games. Cougars are 8-1 ATS in their last 9 games following a straight up win.
|11-23-18||Oklahoma v. West Virginia +3||Top||59-56||Push||0||8 h 35 m||Show|
Less than one week after losing whatever chance it had to make the College Football Playoff, West Virginia can strike a similar blow to Oklahoma by beating the Sooners for the first time since becoming conference rivals in 2012. The 12th-ranked Mountaineers will attempt to end their recent struggles against No. 6 Oklahoma when the two meet in Morgantown, W. Va. on Friday in what likely amounts to a Big 12 Championship play-in game.
Oklahoma is coming off an uninspiring 55-40 home victory over the three-win Jayhawks, allowing 524 yards to an offense that had not gained more than 368 during conference play.
Heisman Trophy candidate Will Grier threw for 364 yards versus the Cowboys to post his school-record 18th career 300-yard passing game and boosted his career completion total to 484, passing Oliver Luck (1978-81) for fifth place in program history.
Look for W.V. to outscore Oklahoma.
|11-19-18||Chiefs +3.5 v. Rams||Top||51-54||Win||100||10 h 30 m||Show|
The Los Angeles Rams saw their perfect record come to an end two weeks ago in New Orleans in a marquee showdown between the two highest-scoring teams in the NFC. Another high-octane matchup is on desk for the Rams, who will face a test against the best team in the AFC when quarterback Pat Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs pay them a visit on Monday night.
The teams enter Monday's game - initially scheduled to be played in Mexico City - with identical 9-1 records, marking only the fifth time since the 1970 merger that two clubs squared off in Week 11 with fewer than two losses each.
Mahomes had his streak of eight straight 300-yard performances halted in last week's 26-14 win over Arizona, but he threw a pair of scoring passes to give him the franchise's single-season record of 31 with only seven interceptions. Mahomes has a bevy of weapons at his disposal that includes game-breaking wide receiver Tyreek Hill (nine touchdowns) and tight end Travis Kelce, who leads the team with 57 catches to go along with six scores. Running back Kareem Hunt also is a dangerous two-way threat with 13 total TDs on 754 yards rushing and 23 receptions.
Mahomes has thrown 18 TD passes and three interceptions for a passer rating of 125.9 in five road games this season.
Chiefs are 6-0 ATS in their last 6 road games vs. a team with a winning home record. Rams are 1-6 ATS in their last 7 games overall.
I’m on the underdog Chiefs here as my best bet of the week.
|11-18-18||Broncos v. Chargers -7||Top||23-22||Loss||-110||6 h 16 m||Show|
The Los Angeles Chargers look to extend their winning streak to seven games when they host the AFC West-rival Denver Broncos on Sunday. The Chargers' first contest at the StubHub Center in Carson, Calif. in 42 days will be against a Denver team that has suffered six setbacks in its last seven games.
Los Angeles has allowed an average of 13.2 points over its last five games while the offense has scored at least 20 in all nine contests this year. Veteran quarterback Philip Rivers (21 touchdowns, four interceptions) is enjoying a stellar campaign, but he also is highly wary of Broncos pass rushers Von Miller (nine sacks) and Bradley Chubb (eight to lead all NFL rookies).
Star defensive end Joey Bosa (23 sacks in 28 NFL games) will be a game-time decision as he hopes to make his season debut after suffering a foot injury in August.
I’ll lay the touchdown with the much better team.
|11-18-18||Bucs v. Giants -2.5||Top||35-38||Win||100||3 h 10 m||Show|
Manning showed he still has more in the tank on Monday when he threw three touchdown passes -- including one to Sterling Shepard in the final minute -- as New York snapped a five-game losing skid with a 27-23 victory over San Francisco. The win guaranteed Manning the start versus the Buccaneers' 29th-ranked pass defense and nothing more from coach Pat Shurmur, although he has tossed at least two scoring strikes in his previous four encounters with Tampa Bay.
Odell Beckham Jr. has made himself at home in the end zone with four scores in his last five games after being held without a touchdown reception in each of his previous four. Rookie Saquon Barkley has reached 90-plus scrimmage yards in all nine games this season and faces a Tampa Bay defense that has yielded at least 99 scrimmage yards to running backs in each of the past four weeks. A revamped offensive line paid dividends for both Barkley and Manning on Monday, as the former had a season-high 15 carries in the first half while the latter was sacked just once as opposed to 31 times in the previous eight contests.
The Giants have a big day on offense and win going away.
|11-18-18||Texans -3 v. Redskins||Top||23-21||Loss||-100||3 h 9 m||Show|
The Houston Texans bid to match a franchise record by winning seven in a row for the first time since 2011 on Sunday when they face the Washington Redskins at FedEx Field. The well-rested Texans hope to continue their magic following their bye, led by a determined defense that has not allowed more than two touchdowns in five consecutive contests.
Deshaun Watson has thrown seven touchdown passes with zero interceptions during the last two contests of the six-game winning streak, while DeAndre Hopkins has found the end zone five times in his last four.
While Hopkins leads the team in receptions (63), receiving yards (894) and touchdowns (seven) by a wide margin, new acquisition Demaryius Thomas brings a wealth of experience and provides Watson with yet another large target on the outside. The bye week afforded Houston additional time to get the 30-year-old up to speed after he grabbed all three of his targets for 61 yards in a 19-17 win against his former team (Denver).
Look for the Texans to get the job done on the road.
|11-18-18||Cowboys +3.5 v. Falcons||Top||22-19||Win||100||3 h 8 m||Show|
The Dallas Cowboys still are in the mix in the mediocre NFC East, but they’ll need to snap a three-game skid against the host Atlanta Falcons on Sunday to avoid losing ground. The Cowboys are two games behind first-place Washington in the division while the Falcons, who have a matching 4-5 record, trail NFC South-leading New Orleans by four contests.
Elliott is coming off one of the best games of his young career as he recorded 187 yards from scrimmage and two touchdowns in last week’s 27-20 win at Philadelphia.
The defense has been solid in every aspect except forcing turnovers, as the Cowboys have only nine takeaways.
Take the Cowboys plus the points
|11-11-18||Falcons -5.5 v. Browns||Top||16-28||Loss||-108||27 h 52 m||Show|
The Atlanta Falcons have revived their playoff hopes with a three-game winning streak, and they’ll look to keep rolling when they visit the Cleveland Browns on Sunday. While the Falcons have been streaking back to .500, the Browns have lost four straight.
The Falcons still are three games behind New Orleans in the NFC South, but they’re in the crowded wild-card mix. The takeaways haven’t been enough to buoy the Browns lately, as they’re coming off a 37-21 loss to Kansas City last week in Gregg Williams’ debut as interim head coach. Cleveland’s offense has not registered 400 total yards during the skid.
Atlanta’s passing game has been in high gear during the winning streak, as Matt Ryan has passed for at least 350 yards in a franchise-record three consecutive contests. Julio Jones ranks second in the league in receiving yards (933) but caught his first touchdown pass of the season last week, as rookie Calvin Ridley (seven touchdowns) has become Ryan’s favorite red-zone target. Atlanta’s secondary has been suspect, but the run defense is rounding into form as it has held the last two opponents under 80 yards.
Cleveland ranks 30th in total defense and will have a tough time keeping Atlanta out of the endzone for multiple touchdowns.
Falcons are 6-2 ATS in their last 8 games after allowing more than 350 total yards in their previous game and are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games in November.
Atlanta scores enough points to get the road win and cover.
|11-11-18||Saints -5.5 v. Bengals||Top||51-14||Win||100||27 h 51 m||Show|
Drew Brees has achieved a pair of major milestones this season and another is within his reach when the New Orleans Saints visit the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday afternoon. Winners of seven in a row, the red-hot Saints have to be mindful of a letdown after handing the Los Angeles Rams their first loss last weekend to move into a tie for the NFC's top record.
The Bengals are trying to figure out how to deal with the absence of No. 1 wideout A.J. Green, who is expected to miss at least two games due to a toe injury.
Brees threw for 346 yards and four touchdows in last week's 45-35 win over the Rams to give him 18 scoring passes (versus one interception) for the season and leave him two shy of tying Brett Favre (508) for second place on the all-time list.
Running back Alvin Kamara rushed for a pair of touchdowns and added one through the air against the Rams to give him 12 scores on the season. The Saints are No. 1 against the rush (76.4 yards per game).
Despite a second-half collapse, Cincinnati averted a third consecutive defeat entering its bye on a last-second field goal in a 37-34 victory over the Buccaneers.
Brees leads the NFL in completion percentage (76.3) and passer rating (120.6).
Saints are 6-0 ATS in their last 6 games overall and are 16-5 ATS in their last 21 road games vs. a team with a winning home record. Bengals are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games in Week 10.
|11-11-18||Lions v. Bears -6.5||Top||22-34||Win||100||27 h 51 m||Show|
The Chicago Bears are sitting atop the NFC North halfway through the season and are showing no signs of slowing down. The Bears will try to push their winning streak to three straight and earn another key division victory when they host the Detroit Lions on Sunday.
Chicago owns one of the best defenses in the NFL, allowing an average of 19.1 points, and that unit intends to take it up a notch during an upcoming stretch of schedule featuring division opponents.
The Lions are in last place in the NFC North but sit only two games back of the Bears in a tightly-packed division despite scoring a total of 23 points while dropping the last two games.
Detroit quarterback Matthew Stafford was sacked 10 times in a 24-9 loss at Minnesota last week, leading to plenty of criticism for the offensive line. Stafford was sacked 13 times in the first seven games and could use some help from a rushing attack that totaled 100 yards in the last two contests.
Chicago's defense will attack that suspect Detroit offensive line with a front seven that routinely harasses opposing quarterbacks into turnovers. The Bears are second in the NFL with 14 interceptions and lead the league by returning three of those for touchdowns.
Lions are 3-9 ATS vs. a team with a winning record. Bears are 5-1 ATS vs. a team with a losing record.
Look for the Bears defense to be at a very high level here vs. the Lions. Bears take the win and cover.
|11-10-18||Colorado State v. Nevada -14||Top||10-49||Win||100||12 h 26 m||Show|
Colorado State continues its tough season when they visit MacKay Stadium in Reno, Nevada to take on the Wolf Pack.
The Nevada Wolf Pack are 3-2 at home this season, 3-2 against conference opponents. At home the Wolf Pack are averaging 33.4 scoring and holding teams to 26.0 points scored on defense.
The Colorado State Rams are 1-2 while on the road this season, 2-3 against conference opponents. On the road, the Rams are averaging 26.7 scoring, and holding teams to 44.7 points scored on defense.
Rams are 3-13 ATS in their last 16 games overall and are 2-9 ATS in their last 11 games following an ATS loss.
Nevada’s offense will have solid success here and they get the win and late cover.
|11-10-18||Northwestern +11 v. Iowa||Top||14-10||Win||100||42 h 10 m||Show|
Northwestern looks to take a big step towards its first appearance in the Big Ten Championship game when it visits Iowa on Saturday. The Wildcats control their own destiny with a one-game lead over Wisconsin and Purdue, including the head-to-head tiebreaker over both teams, and hope to stay on course for their first Big Ten West Division title by extending their conference winning streak to five games.
Northwestern has won nine straight contests against West Division rivals and can clinch the title as early as Saturday if they beat the Hawkeyes while Purdue and Wisconsin both fall. Iowa suffered a 38-36 setback to Purdue in Week 10 to fall into fourth place in the West Division. The Hawkeyes were flying high after a 6-1 start but have been reduced to the role of spoiler after dropping two straight games by a combined eight points. They hope to get back on track by beating Northwestern for the first time since 2015.
Northwestern has won 12 of its last 13 Big Ten games dating back to last season and have won six straight conference road games.
Wildcats are 21-4-1 ATS in their last 26 games after allowing more than 280 yards passing in their previous game and are 20-5-1 ATS in their last 26 conference games. Hawkeyes are 0-4-1 ATS in their last 5 games after allowing more than 280 yards passing in their previous game.
Back Northwestern plus the points as my top game of the week!
|11-09-18||Fresno State -2.5 v. Boise State||Top||17-24||Loss||-110||26 h 44 m||Show|
Boise State’s blue turf has not been kind to No. 17 Fresno State, which is winless in its last nine games against the Broncos at Albertsons Stadium. The surging Bulldogs, who are 23rd in the College Football Playoff rankings, look to end the streak Friday in a critical Mountain West showdown against the Broncos, who have won four in a row following a loss to San Diego State.
Fresno State is riding a seven-game winning streak and boasts a stellar defense that has allowed an average of 7.2 points in five conference contests. Defensive backs Mike Bell and Tank Kelly have three interceptions apiece but figure to be tested by Boise State quarterback Brett Rypien, who needs 36 yards to become the Mountain West’s all-time passing yardage leader.
The game features a pair of senior signal-callers in Rypien and the Bulldogs’ Marcus McMaryion, who threw for 274 yards and two scores in last week’s 48-3 win over UNLV.
The Bulldogs closed last year’s regular season with a 28-17 home victory over Boise State before the Broncos answered with a 17-14 win in the Mountain West championship game in Boise.
Fresno State is 7-0 on the road under Tedford in Mountain West regular-season games.
Bulldogs are 14-2 ATS in their last 16 games after allowing less than 20 points in their previous game and are 13-2-1 ATS in their last 16 road games. Broncos are 1-4 ATS vs. a team with a winning record.
In a hard-fought battle Fresno State comes out on top.
|11-04-18||Rams v. Saints +2||Top||35-45||Win||100||6 h 7 m||Show|
The Los Angeles Rams almost saw their perfect record go by the boards last weekend, but they will face perhaps a more daunting challenge this weekend in what could be a battle for supremacy in the NFC. The lone undefeated team at the midway point of the season, the Rams will square off against another surging team when they visit Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints on Sunday afternoon.
Los Angeles will be facing an elite quarterback for the second time in as many weeks, having squeezed out a 29-27 victory over Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers.
New Orleans owns the league's second-longest winning streak -- behind only Los Angeles -- with six consecutive victories after knocking off Minnesota 30-20 in a rematch of last season's NFC playoff game.
Quarterback Jared Goff has 17 TD passes versus five interceptions and will get one of his top targets back in Cooper Kupp, who has a team-best five touchdown receptions despite missing the past two games.
After squeezing out a one-point win at Baltimore when the Ravens missed a tying extra point, New Orleans relied on its defense to avenge last season's loss at Minnesota with an interception return for a score and a fumble return that set up a TD. Brees tossed his first interception last week but has 14 touchdown passes and sports a league-leading 77.4 completion percentage and gaudy 118.2 passer rating. Alvin Kamara's workload has been reduced with the return of fellow running back Mark Ingram from a four-game suspension, but he had a rushing and receiving score last week to boost his season total to nine touchdowns.
Brees has thrown for 1,045 yards with eight touchdowns and zero interceptions in his last three at home.
Rams are 9-19-1 ATS in their last 29 games on fieldturf. Saints are 46-20-1 ATS vs. a team with a winning record and have covered 5 straight.
In one of the best Sunday Night games of the season the Saints get the home victory.
|11-04-18||Texans +1.5 v. Broncos||Top||19-17||Win||100||6 h 48 m||Show|
The Houston Texans knew they were a better team than they showed in the early part of the season and have proven themselves right, turning things around and soared to the top of the AFC South. Houston will have a new weapon in its arsenal on Sunday as it seeks a sixth consecutive victory when it visits the Denver Broncos.
The Texans began the campaign with three tough losses - all by seven points or fewer - but have reeled off five straight wins, including a 42-23 rout of Miami on Oct. 25. Houston has had more than a week to prepare for Denver and will have someone very familiar with its opponent at its disposal in wide receiver Demaryius Thomas, who was acquired from the Broncos on Tuesday. Denver's season has been almost completely opposite of Houston's, as the club won its first two games before losing four in a row and five of six after falling 30-23 at Kansas City in Week 8.
Deshaun Watson had a field day against the Dolphins last week, completing 16-of-20 attempts for 239 yards and five touchdowns without an interception. The 23-year-old has thrown 34 scoring passes in 15 career games and needs one to join Kurt Warner (39) and Dan Marino (35) as the only quarterbacks in NFL history with at least 35 in their first 16 contests.
Texans are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 road games vs. a team with a losing home record. Broncos are 2-8 ATS in their last 10 games after allowing less than 90 yards rushing in their previous game.
Texans get the money on the road.
|11-04-18||Chargers v. Seahawks +1||Top||25-17||Loss||-105||6 h 48 m||Show|
Philip Rivers will make his 200th consecutive regular-season start when he leads the Los Angeles Chargers into battle against the host Seattle Seahawks on Sunday. Rivers will become only the fourth quarterback to reach the milestone, joining Brett Favre (297), Eli Manning (210) and Peyton Manning (208).
Seattle is on a hot streak with four victories in five games after getting off to a slow start. Russell Wilson is performing well with three touchdown passes in each of his past three contests.
Rivers has passed for 2,008 yards and 17 touchdowns against three interceptions this season while helping the offense average 27.9 points. The Chargers are hoping to have running back Melvin Gordon (466 yards, six touchdowns) back on the field after he missed a win over Tennessee due to a hamstring injury and also had a bye week to recuperate. Defensive end Joey Bosa (foot) still isn't ready to make his season debut for a unit that is allowing 23.3 points per game.
Wilson, who has thrown for 1,556 yards, 16 touchdowns and four interceptions, earned a perfect quarterback rating (158.3) in last week's 28-14 win over Detroit as he completed 14-of-17 passes for 248 yards. The running game ranks third in the NFL with an average of 137.4 yards as Chris Carson (457 yards) has stepped up as the primary ball carrier by topping 100 yards in three of his last four games. Defensive end Frank Clark has registered six sacks to help a unit that ranks fifth in total defense (327.3 yards per game) and is tied for third in takeaways (16).
Chargers are 3-8 ATS in their last 11 games following a bye week and are 3-8 ATS vs. a team with a winning record. Seahawks are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games overall.
Take the Seahawks in a game that comes down to the wire.
|11-04-18||Chiefs -7.5 v. Browns||Top||37-21||Win||100||3 h 46 m||Show|
After a tumultuous week off the field, the Cleveland Browns face a major challenge between the lines Sunday, when they host the Kansas City Chiefs and their dynamic offense. It’s a matchup of two of the league’s most exciting young quarterbacks, as Kansas City’s Patrick Mahomes and Cleveland’s Baker Mayfield go head-to-head in a throwback to their days as Big 12 Conference rivals.
Mayfield has been a bright spot for a Browns team that seemed to be making strides but was loaded with dysfunction that came to a head this week. Coach Hue Jackson and offensive coordinator Todd Haley were fired Monday, and defensive coordinator Gregg Williams was elevated to interim head coach. The Browns’ defense faces a stiff test against Mahomes and a Chiefs offense that leads the NFL in scoring and ranks third in total offense.
The Chiefs are loaded with a group of offensive talent that includes versatile running back Kareem Hunt, speedster Tyreek Hill and tight end Travis Kelce, who have combined for 22 touchdowns. They’re coming off their lowest offensive output of the season with 340 total yards last week, but it was enough to hold on for a 30-23 win over Denver that kept Kansas City in command in the AFC West. The defense ranks 31st and struggled against the pass early in the season but has improved in the last two weeks and has recorded 10 takeaways in the last five games.
After playing well to start the season, Cleveland’s defense has surrendered more than 400 total yards in five straight games while the rushing defense has been especially bad in recent weeks. The unit’s only saving grace has been a league-best 22 turnovers, including 12 interceptions. The offense has shown promise with Mayfield and fellow rookie Nick Chubb providing a glimpse of what may come, but the Browns sputtered to a season-low 237 total yards in last week’s 33-18 loss at Pittsburgh.
Chiefs are 19-7 ATS in their last 26 road games and are 7-1 ATS in their last 8 games overall. Browns are 7-22 ATS in their last 29 games in November.
Look for K.C. to get the road cover.
|11-04-18||Steelers +2 v. Ravens||Top||23-16||Win||100||3 h 45 m||Show|
The Baltimore Ravens' once-impenetrable defense is beginning to show some cracks, sending the team tumbling down the standings. The Ravens will try to avoid a three-game slide and jump back into the race in the AFC North when they host the rival Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday.
Baltimore was torched for a season-high 36 points in a 15-point loss at the Carolina Panthers last week after dropping a 24-23 home decision to the New Orleans Saints.
The Steelers are trending in the opposite direction with wins in three straight games since a 26-14 home loss to the Ravens in Week 4 and running back James Conner is leading the charge. Conner is making fans forget about Le'Veon Bell by piling up a total of 526 yards and six touchdowns in the last three contests.
Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is completing 67.7 percent of his passes during the winning streak but will play with a fractured left (non-throwing) index finger this week after suffering the injury in the 33-18 drubbing of the Cleveland Browns last week.
Baltimore slid into third place in the AFC North behind Pittsburgh and Cincinnati (5-3) with the loss to the Panthers and knows it faces an uphill climb.
The Ravens are 24th in the league with an average of 96.6 rushing yards and made a move to improve that area by trading for Green Bay Packers running back Ty Montgomery prior to Tuesday's trade deadline.
Ravens starting offensive linemen LT Ronnie Stanley (ankle), G Alex Lewis (neck) and RT James Hurst (back) are all questionable.
Road team is 4-0 ATS in their last 4 meetings. Pittsburgh gets the money here on the road.
|11-04-18||Falcons v. Redskins -2||Top||38-14||Loss||-105||3 h 44 m||Show|
Running back Adrian Peterson continues to defy both critics and Father Time to help the NFC East-leading Washington Redskins win three straight games. The 33-year-old Peterson and the Redskins look to continue their strong performances on Sunday when they host the Atlanta Falcons, who are 0-2 away from home this season and play six of their final nine games on the road.
The running joke gaining steam is that there's no stopping Julio Jones ... well, until he reaches the red zone. Sure, the five-time Pro Bowl selection has yet to find the end zone this season, but Jones is doing his best to turn Atlanta's fortunes around by averaging an NFL-best 116.0 yards per game.
The Falcons have struggled to get much established with their 30th-ranked ground attack and will have trouble running on the Redskins.
Atlanta's third-ranked passing game will be put to the test against a Washington secondary that features D.J. Swearinger (NFL-high four interceptions) as well as fellow safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, who was acquired from Green Bay on Tuesday. Swearinger, who recorded his second multi-interception game of the season last week, has forced a fumble in back-to-back contests.
Falcons are 3-14 ATS in their last 17 games after allowing more than 250 yards passing in their previous game and are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 road games. Redskins are 7-0 ATS in their last 7 games after accumulating more than 350 total yards in their previous game and are 6-1 ATS in their last 7 home games.
Redskins take it in a close one.
|11-03-18||Missouri v. Florida -6||Top||38-17||Loss||-110||4 h 27 m||Show|
No. 14 Florida’s SEC East title hopes dissipated last week, but it will try to get back on track when it hosts Missouri on Saturday. The Tigers remain winless in SEC play, but three of their four losses were against teams in the top nine in the initial College Football Playoff rankings and two setbacks have come on the final play of the game.
Florida coach Dan Mullen was still at Mississippi State when the Gators were routed 45-16 at Missouri a year ago, but he knows his players haven’t forgotten.
The Gators also will be motivated to bounce back from last week’s 36-17 loss to Georgia, which effectively erased them from the SEC East title picture. The Tigers could have been in the running if not for a pair of last-second defeats, including last week’s 15-14 setback against Kentucky, which scored the winning touchdown on an untimed down after a controversial pass-interference call in the end zone.
The Gators are coming off their worst offensive output of the season after totaling just 275 total yards and 105 through the air - both season lows - against Georgia. It was a step back for both an offense that has improved greatly and quarterback Feleipe Franks, whose 1,511 passing yards already have surpassed last season’s total. The 429 total yards allowed against the Bulldogs marked the second-highest total of the year for the Gators, who have been especially tough versus the pass.
Florida is tied for eighth in the nation with 18 takeaways and has converted them into 50 points.
Tigers are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 road games and are 1-6 ATS in their last 7 games after accumulating less than 275 total yards in their previous game. Gators are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games overall.
Look for the Gators to get inside the number and win by at least a touchdown.
|11-03-18||Georgia v. Kentucky +10||Top||34-17||Loss||-115||4 h 3 m||Show|
Fifth-ranked Georgia is used to playing showdown games in November with SEC and national title aspirations at stake, but No. 12 Kentucky finds itself in that unfamiliar spot when it hosts their matchup on Saturday. The Wildcats defeated Missouri 15-14 last week, scoring on the final play of the game, and are off to their best eight-game start since 1977 behind a defense that is allowing a nation-low average of 13 points.
Kentucky, which has improved its win total in each of Stoops' six seasons, were ninth in the College Football Playoff rankings that were released on Tuesday - three spots behind Georgia, which whipped Florida 36-17 last week. Quarterback Jake Fromm rebounded from a sub-par showing in a loss at LSU to throw three touchdown passes against the Gators and now faces a defense led by standout linebacker Josh Allen, who ranks in the top three nationally in tackles for loss (14.5) and sacks (10).
Kentucky Quarterback Terry Wilson completed 22-of-31 passes for 267 yards last week and wide receiver Lynn Bowden Jr. made 13 catches for 166 yards while also returning a punt 67 yards for a touchdown. Running back Benny Snell Jr. was held to 67 yards on 19 carries but leads the SEC and ranks 10th nationally in rushing yards per game (116.9). The defense gets plenty of attention, but the Wildcats are third in the conference in rushing offense (214 yards).
Kentucky is the only FBS team yet to allow more than 20 points in a game this season.
Wildcats are 8-3 ATS in their last 11 games after allowing less than 20 points in their previous game.
Back Kentucky as a home underdog.
|10-28-18||Packers +9.5 v. Rams||Top||27-29||Win||100||29 h 51 m||Show|
The Los Angeles Rams are running away and hiding in the NFC West, already building a four-game lead in the division as the only undefeated team in the NFL. After completing a sweep of a three-game road trip, running back Todd Gurley and the Rams look to remain perfect when they host Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers on Sunday afternoon.
Los Angeles survived a pair of close calls away from home, beating Seattle and Denver by a combined five points before blowing out San Francisco 39-10 last week.
Green Bay had to rally for a 33-30 victory over the 49ers prior to last week's bye and has yet to post back-to-back victories this season.
Rodgers injured his knee in the season opener and has been hindered since, but he practiced fully Wednesday and has put up huge numbers -- 12 touchdowns versus one interception and 1,997 yards. He should get a boost with the expected returns of wide receivers Randall Cobb and Geronimo Allison, who have sat out three and two games, respectively. Davante Adams has been sensational over the past three games, hauling in 27 catches and three touchdowns while eclipsing 100 yards in each of the past two contests.
Gurley was named the NFL Offensive Player of the Year in 2017 and could be on his way to winning MVP honors this season, leading the league in rushing with 686 yards and touchdowns with 14, including 11 on the ground.
Packers are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 meetings.
|10-28-18||Broncos v. Chiefs -9.5||Top||23-30||Loss||-105||25 h 28 m||Show|
The Kansas City Chiefs look to continue their divisional dominance – especially against the Denver Broncos – when they host their AFC West rivals on Sunday. The Chiefs have won six straight meetings and are 18-2 against divisional opponents since 2015.
Kansas City sits atop the AFC West again thanks to second-year quarterback Patrick Mahomes and one of the league’s most dynamic offenses. Mahomes’ legend grew when he rallied the Chiefs from a 10-point deficit in the final 13 minutes for a 27-23 win at Denver in Week 4.
That was the second of four straight losses for the Broncos, who rebounded with a 45-10 romp at Arizona last week but still trail the Chiefs in the division by three games.
Denver’s run defense had been horrendous for three games before tightening up in last week’s win over the Cardinals. The Broncos limited Arizona to 223 total yards and forced five turnovers, but they’ll face a much greater challenge against Mahomes and the Chiefs. Rookie running back Phillip Lindsay has emerged as the workhorse in the backfield, but offseason signing Case Keenum has struggled to maintain possession, throwing nine interceptions against eight touchdowns.
The 27 points against the Broncos marked a season low for Kansas City, which owns the league’s highest-scoring offense. Mahomes has topped 300 yards passing in six straight games – the longest streak in the league – and leads the NFL with 22 touchdown passes, including seven to speedster Tyreek Hill. The defense gives up a league-worst 435.4 yards per game but is coming off a dominant effort in last week’s 45-10 rout of Cincinnati, as it held the Bengals to 239 total yards.
Broncos are 2-11 ATS in their last 13 road games and are 3-12-1 ATS in their last 16 vs. AFC West. Chiefs are 11-1 ATS in their last 12 games overall. Broncos are 0-6 ATS in their last 6 meetings.
|10-28-18||Jets v. Bears -7.5||Top||10-24||Win||100||25 h 27 m||Show|
The Chicago Bears have fallen just short in back-to-back losses and hope to have enough to get to the finish line this Sunday when they host the New York Jets. After a three-point overtime loss at Miami on Oct. 14, the Bears went back and forth with the high-powered New England Patriots before falling 38-31, with a Hail Mary completion on the final play leaving them one yard short.
"Coming up one yard short and not tying the game and going to overtime, that's not good enough anymore," quarterback Mitchell Trubisky told reporters after the loss in which he was 26-for-50 for 333 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions.
The Jets scored 76 points during a two-game winning streak before they were stifled in a 37-17 loss to the Minnesota Vikings at home last week. Rookie Sam Darnold completed only 17-of-42 attempts while throwing a season-high three interceptions and getting sacked three times. "He tries to get better and learn from his mistakes," New York head coach Todd Bowles told reporters of Darnold's mindset after the rocky performance.
The locker room received a bit of a blow when the team announced that running back Bilal Powell, who ranks second with 343 rushing yards, was to undergo season-ending neck surgery that could end the career of the longest-tenured Jet. The team will lean a little more on leading rusher Isaiah Crowell, but he has been hampered by a foot injury since his franchise-record 219 yards against Denver in Week 5 and had just 29 yards on 11 carries last week.
Star linebacker Khalil Mack had five sacks and four forced fumbles though the first four games but has zero in both categories over the last two contests as he deals with an ankle issue that has limited him in practice this week, but he is improving.
Chicago is 8-3 against New York and has won the last four meetings. Look for the Bears to get the home cover.
|10-28-18||Redskins -1 v. Giants||Top||20-13||Win||100||25 h 26 m||Show|
The Washington Redskins find themselves in relatively new territory (first place in the NFC East) while the reeling New York Giants are exactly where they were at this point last season (1-6, last place in the division). The Redskins vie for their third straight win on Sunday when they visit MetLife Stadium, where they have dropped 10 of their last 11 contests.
Alex Smith, who has thrown three touchdown passes without an interception in the last two weeks. Adrian Peterson has run for at least 96 yards in four of his six games this season and faces a New York rush defense that surrenders 113.9 yards per contest.
The Giants dropped their fourth in a row following Monday's 23-20 setback in Atlanta and subsequently parted ways with a pair of former first-round picks Eli Apple (New Orleans) and Damon Harrison (Detroit) over the following 48 hours.
Chris Thompson aims to return to action Sunday after a two-week absence. Thompson's team-leading 26 receptions are just four more than tight end Jordan Reed, who has been limited to just eight catches for 100 yards over the last three games. Josh Doctson, who had three receptions for 42 yards in Sunday's 20-17 win over Dallas, scored a touchdown in Washington's 20-10 win over New York on Oct. 23, 2017.
Redskins LB Ryan Kerrigan, who had two sacks and a forced fumble versus the Cowboys, had a pair of sacks and a forced fumble in his last encounter with the Giants.
The Giants could very well be the worst team in the league. Back Washington for the road Win!
|10-28-18||Eagles -3 v. Jaguars||Top||24-18||Win||100||22 h 58 m||Show|
Two teams that played for their respective conference championship last season face the prospect of falling two games below .500 on Sunday as the Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles face the Jacksonville Jaguars at Wembley Stadium in London. The Eagles let a 17-point, fourth-quarter lead go by the boards in a 21-17 setback to Carolina last Sunday while the Jaguars have been outscored 90-28 during their three-game losing skid.
Carson Wentz completed 30 of 37 passes for 310 yards with a pair of scoring strikes last week versus the Panthers, increasing his touchdown total to nine with zero interceptions over the last four games. Jacksonville's Blake Bortles hasn't been as fortunate in his last four contests, as he was picked off six times and drew an early exit last Sunday in a 20-7 setback versus Houston.
Alshon Jeffery has returned with a flourish from offseason shoulder surgery, recording 25 catches for 306 yards and four touchdowns in four games for the Eagles.
Zach Ertz, who leads all tight ends in receptions (57) and receiving yards (618), had nine catches for 138 yards last week and has at least five grabs in nine straight games. The Eagles' new-look ground attack mustered just 58 yards versus the Panthers, although it faces a Jaguars' defense that has been gashed for 157.7 rushing yards per game over the last three weeks.
Eagles are 6-2 ATS in their last 8 games in October. Jaguars are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games in October.
|10-27-18||Texas -3 v. Oklahoma State||Top||35-38||Loss||-115||9 h 16 m||Show|
There is uncertainty over the status of sophomore quarterback Sam Ehlinger as No. 7 Texas prepares to visit Oklahoma State in Big 12 play on Saturday. Ehlinger suffered a sprained passing shoulder against Baylor on Oct. 13 and his availability won't be determined until late in the week. My sources tell me he will get the start.
Oklahoma State has dropped three of its past four games and coach Mike Gundy is perplexed over his team's inconsistent nature.
Texas Junior Shane Buechele will also be prepared to play just in case the right-handed Ehlinger's shoulder doesn't appear ready for the contest. Buechele was 20-of-34 passing for 184 yards, one touchdown and one interception in the narrow 23-17 victory over Baylor and has started 19 games during his college career.
Senior defensive end Charles Omenihu for Texas leads the team with six sacks and freshman safety Caden Sterns has a team-best four interceptions for a unit that has held four teams to 17 or fewer points.
Longhorns are 11-4-1 ATS vs. a team with a winning record. Cowboys are 2-6 ATS in their last 8 conference games. Favorite is 8-1 ATS in their last 9 meetings. Longhorns are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 meetings in Oklahoma State.
Texas keeps it rolling with a win and cover.
|10-27-18||Georgia v. Florida +7||Top||36-17||Loss||-116||5 h 39 m||Show|
Florida and Georgia square off in this year's edition of the “World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party” on Saturday in Jacksonville, with both teams highly ranked in the national polls. Both are fresh off their bye week, but the 11th-ranked Gators posted their fifth victory in a row last time out, while the sixth-ranked Bulldogs suffered their first loss of the season at LSU.
Florida was in a classic letdown situation when it stepped on the field at Vanderbilt, having just knocked off then-No. 6 LSU. The Gators came out flat in the first half and trailed by as many as 18 points, but a 48-yard touchdown run by Jordan Scarlett to start the fourth quarter helped them match the largest road comeback in school history in the 37-27 win. Georgia, meanwhile, used its bye week to reflect on a 36-16 loss in which its usually prolific offense was held to just 322 total yards.
Florida’s offense was nearly unstoppable against the Commodores with 576 total yards and a time of possession of 36 minutes, 14 seconds, but three turnovers - two by quarterback Feleipe Franks - led to 17 points for Vanderbilt. The defense didn’t have its best performance of the season in Nashville, but it might be the key to upsetting the Bulldogs as the Gators feature the NCAA’s sixth-ranked passing defense and a line that has registered 21 sacks - good for third in the SEC.
Georgia Sophomore quarterback Jake Fromm was particularly bad against the Tigers, completing just 16-of-34 passes for 209 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions, while the running game was held to just 113 yards - well below its prior season average of just under 245. Look for the Florida defense to hold the Bulldogs down again this week.
Gators are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 games overall. Bulldogs are 3-11 ATS in their last 14 games following a bye week.
I’ll back the underdog Gators at the Worlds Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party.
|10-27-18||Iowa +5.5 v. Penn State||Top||24-30||Loss||-102||5 h 37 m||Show|
Iowa saw an upset bid against Penn State last year disappear on the final play of the game, a damaging blow that kicked off a 3-5 stretch. The 18th-ranked Hawkeyes seek a measure of revenge when they visit the 16th-ranked Nittany Lions on Saturday for a key Big Ten battle.
Trace McSorley's touchdown pass to Juwan Johnson with no time on the clock lifted Penn State to a dramatic 21-19 victory at Iowa in 2017, the Lions' fourth consecutive win in the series and one that has the Hawkeyes looking for a more complete effort this time around.
Iowa has won three in a row, including last week's 23-0 triumph over Maryland and a 42-16 victory at Indiana the previous Saturday. Penn State narrowly avoided a third straight loss by surviving 33-28 at the Hoosiers last week despite being outgained by 137 yards and recording 12 fewer first downs.
Stanley threw for just 86 yards last week, but his team barely needed anything from the junior's arm, as the defense held Maryland to only 115 total yards.
Iowa is 7-6 all time in State College. Hawkeyes are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 road games and are 8-1 ATS in their last 9 games overall.
Take the points with Iowa in a lower scoring battle that will be close.
|10-20-18||Vanderbilt v. Kentucky -11||Top||7-14||Loss||-110||46 h 29 m||Show|
The season is only half over but the offensive line of No. 17 Kentucky, which returns Saturday in an SEC contest against visiting Vanderbilt after a week off, is already being recognized for its play. Bunchy Stallings and the rest of the unit have paved the way for one of the top rushing attacks in the nation for the Wildcats, who have won two straight over the Commodores.
The Commodores and senior quarterback Kyle Shurmur have lost two straight and four out of their last five games, including three defeats to ranked teams, and now face the first of three straight road games.
ABOUT VANDERBILT (3-4, 0-3 SEC): After being held in check by No. 6 Georgia and Florida, wide receiver Kalija Lipscomb will try to make his mark against Kentucky's smothering pass defense. The junior, who posted four straight games with at least nine catches prior to being held to six receptions for 80 yards in the last two games.
ABOUT KENTUCKY (5-1, 3-1): The run game, led by junior Benny Snell, Jr., ranks 26th nationally with 223.5 yards per game even after being limited to 70 yards and 2.3 yards per carry against Texas A&M on Oct. 6. Snell needs 713 yards to become Kentucky's all-time leading rusher.
The Commodores are 2-9 in their last 11 games against ranked teams with wins over No. 24 Tennessee in 2016 and No. 18 Kansas State in 2017. The Wildcats are 14-6 in their last 20 regular-season games, their best mark since producing the same record from 1984 to 1985.
Commodores are 1-9-1 ATS in their last 11 conference games. Wildcats are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games following a ATS loss. Favorite is 7-2 ATS in their last 9 meetings.
|10-13-18||Colorado +7 v. USC||Top||20-31||Loss||-120||13 h 47 m||Show|
No. 18 Colorado is commanding its share of national attention as one of 11 FBS unbeatens and the only one located west of the Mississippi River. The Buffaloes, though, are bracing for their first Pac-12 road test, which comes Saturday night at USC.
The spotlight has shone the brightest on CU sophomore receiver Laviska Shenault, who’s become the first wideout to garner two Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week awards in the same season.
Shenault scored all four of the Buffaloes’ TDs, including two on the ground, a week ago in a hard-fought 28-21 win over visiting Arizona State while catching a career-high 13 passes for 127 yards. USC, meanwhile, has rebounded from a 1-2 start with narrow Pac-12 wins over Washington State (39-36) and Arizona (24-20) and is only a half-game behind Colorado in the South Division standings.
Shenault’s sensational start has overshadowed the strong play of several other Buffs, most notably junior quarterback Steven Montez, who ranks second in the conference in overall passing (284.0 yards), passing efficiency (174.24 rating) and total offense (309.0 yards). Montez has had a hand in 14 total TDs, including three rushing, while completing 75.2 percent of his passes and throwing only two interceptions in 153 attempts.
Buffaloes are 8-3 ATS in their last 11 games in October.Trojans are 5-15-1 ATS in their last 21 games overall.Buffaloes are 3-1-1 ATS in their last 5 meetings.
Take the points in a game Colorado can win outright.
|10-13-18||Baylor v. Texas -14||Top||17-23||Loss||-105||6 h 44 m||Show|
The hype surrounding the Texas football program is bigger than it has been in years thanks to a dramatic win over rival Oklahoma last week and steady improvement under head coach Tom Herman. The 14th-ranked Longhorns will try to avoid a letdown and stay on pace for a Big 12 title when they host Baylor on Saturday.
Herman is trying to rebuild Texas into a national championship contender and has the team on a five-game winning streak following a season-opening loss to Maryland, and the 48-45 triumph over Oklahoma last week is just another step.
The Bears are trying to rebuild themselves into a contender as well and responded to a loss at the Sooners by holding off Kansas State 37-34 last week - providing a little momentum going into a two-game stretch at Texas and No. 6 West Virginia.
The Bears were ripped 66-33 at Oklahoma in Week 5, and bouncing back with the win over Kansas State the following week marked a step in the right direction but they still have a lot of work to do to restore the program.
The Longhorns' ascent has coincided with the rise of quarterback Sam Ehlinger, who put his name in the Heisman Trophy conversation with his five touchdowns - three rushing - in the win over Oklahoma.Ehlinger is enjoying a school-record streak of 163 consecutive pass attempts without an interception.
Bears are 3-14-1 ATS in their last 18 games after accumulating more than 280 yards passing in their previous game.Longhorns are 8-2-1 ATS vs. a team with a winning record.
The Longhorns earned a 38-7 win at the Bears last season in the first Big 12 meeting between Herman and Rhule. No let down here for Texas as they roll Baylor here at home.
|10-07-18||Cowboys v. Texans -3||Top||16-19||Push||0||10 h 36 m||Show|
Texans – 3
In a state where football is king, the two NFL tenants will be squaring off for only the fifth time when the Dallas Cowboys visit the Houston Texans on Sunday night. Both teams are coming off much-needed -- and dramatic -- wins, as Houston beat Indianapolis in overtime for its first victory while Dallas topped Detroit on a last-second field goal.
Dallas has won the past three against the Texans, although the teams last met four years ago, but the Cowboys have dropped both games away from home this season. Houston halted a nine-game losing streak dating to last season by outlasting the Colts 37-34 and coach Bill O'Brien said his team must carry over the momentum to this week.
Deshaun Watson struggled in the season opener at New England, but he registered his third straight 300-yard game last week, throwing for 375 yards and two touchdowns while adding 41 yards rushing and another score.
Cowboys are 2-8 ATS in their last 10 games in Week 5. Texans are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games in October.
|10-07-18||Rams -7 v. Seahawks||Top||33-31||Loss||-115||6 h 41 m||Show|
Rams – 7
The Los Angeles Rams are owners of a 4-0 start for the first time since 2001 as they venture to the Pacific Northwest to take on the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday. The Rams are off to the franchise's best start since opening with six straight wins while being located in St. Louis in 2001, a season that ended with a loss in the Super Bowl to New England.
While the Rams are one of two unbeaten teams in the NFL, with Kansas City being the other, the Seahawks are trying not to lose their tag as the kings of the NFC West as the 42-7 defeat they suffered against Los Angeles in December still is at the forefront of their minds.
Goff is off to a terrific start with 1,406 yards, 11 touchdowns and two interceptions while helping the Rams average 35 points (second in the NFL) and a league-best 468.5 yards per game.
Russell Wilson has passed for 888 yards, seven touchdowns and three interceptions this season but averaged just 170 yards in last season's two meetings with the Rams.
Rams are 6-2 ATS in their last 8 road games. Seahawks are 1-6-1 ATS in their last 8 home games vs. a team with a winning road record.
|10-07-18||Giants v. Panthers -6.5||Top||31-33||Loss||-105||2 h 19 m||Show|
Panthers – 6
The Carolina Panthers are rested, relatively healthy and feature some potentially impactful new faces as they prepare to host the New York Giants on Sunday. After defeating Cincinnati 31-21 in Week 3, the Panthers enjoyed a bye week before beginning a stretch in which they play three straight NFC East teams.
The Giants have been unable to get their offense going and are coming off a 33-18 home loss to New Orleans last week. They've lost their last two games against the Panthers in 2013 and 2015, giving up 38 points both times.
New York enters the week ranked 29th in scoring (18.3 points per game) and star wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. has gone without a touchdown while averaging a career-low 10.7 yards per catch.
Newton has five passing TDs and two more on the ground over the last two games and he's completing 67.4 percent of his passes, well over his career mark of 58.7. He and running back Christian McCaffrey have combined for 407 yards on the ground for the NFL's top rushing attack (166 yards per game).
Carolina has won seven straight home games. Giants are 2-8 ATS in their last 10 vs. NFC. Panthers are 6-1 ATS in their last 7 home games.
|10-07-18||Ravens -3 v. Browns||Top||9-12||Loss||-113||2 h 18 m||Show|
Ravens – 3
The Cleveland Browns have already matched their victory total from the past two seasons combined and will try to turn the tables on an old nemesis when they host the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday in an AFC North matchup. Rookie Baker Mayfield will make his second career start as Cleveland seeks to end a five-game slide against the Ravens.
Baltimore has won 18 of the past 20 meetings in the series, but Ravens defensive coordinator Don Martindale wants his team to know these are not the same old Browns.
Cleveland offensive coordinator Todd Haley sought to quell the hype surrounding Mayfield, knowing the Browns face a daunting challenge against a Baltimore defense that has surrendered 14 points or fewer in each of its three wins.
Ravens CB Jimmy Smith will make his season debut after serving a four-game suspension.
Ravens are 13-4 ATS in their last 17 vs. AFC North. Browns are 1-10 ATS in their last 11 games after accumulating more than 250 yards passing in their previous game. Road team is 12-4-1 ATS in their last 17 meetings.
|10-07-18||Broncos -1 v. Jets||Top||16-34||Loss||-105||2 h 17 m||Show|
Broncos - 1
The New York Jets put up 48 points in a Week 1 win but totaled 41 points in dropping their last three contests as rookie quarterback Sam Darnold goes through some growing pains. Darnold and the Jets will try to find some consistency on offense and get back into the win column when they host the Denver Broncos on Sunday.
The Broncos have plenty to work on as well after squandering a lead at home to the rival Kansas City Chiefs on Monday - their second consecutive loss after two wins to open the season - but they are not discouraged.
Denver is second in the league in rushing at an average of 148.3 yards.
Darnold and the offense are getting most of the questions, but the defense is looking for improvement as well after allowing the Jaguars 503 yards of total offense.
Denver shut out New York 23-0 at home last December - its third straight win in the series. Denver wins this game with their running game and their defense.
|10-06-18||Notre Dame -6.5 v. Virginia Tech||Top||45-23||Win||100||10 h 50 m||Show|
After a perfect September that included wins over two ranked teams, life doesn’t get any easier for No. 7 Notre Dame as it visits No. 23 Virginia Tech on Saturday evening. The Hokies, who fell out of the rankings after their shocking loss to Old Dominion two weeks ago, got back into the Top 25 with a win at previously undefeated Duke last weekend.
Fighting Irish coach Brian Kelly continues to look smart for moving quarterback Ian Book into the starting lineup two weeks ago, as the junior threw for 278 yards and four touchdowns in the 38-17 win over Stanford last weekend.
For N.D. no one is happier to have Book at the helm than senior wide receiver Myles Boykin (20 catches for 311 yards) as the two hooked up 11 times for 144 yards and a touchdown against Stanford. The Irish also got a huge offensive boost from senior running back Dexter Williams, who ran for 161 yards and a touchdown in his first game of the season after missing the first four for disciplinary reasons.
This game could come down to which Virginia Tech defense shows up - the one that allowed 600 yards and seven touchdowns to Old Dominion two weeks ago or the one that limited Duke to 327 yards and 4-of-16 on third down conversions last week. I see the bad defense showing up vs. this stout N.D. offense.
Notre Dame piled up 550 yards of total offense against Stanford while limiting the Cardinal to 31 total yards in the second half.
Fighting Irish are 39-18-2 ATS in their last 59 games in October.
|10-06-18||Arizona State v. Colorado -2.5||Top||21-28||Win||100||5 h 29 m||Show|
Colorado is the only undefeated team remaining in the Pac-12 Conference and has climbed back into the national rankings at No. 22. But the Buffaloes’ schedule has been down-pillow soft so far – their four opponents (Colorado State, Nebraska, New Hampshire and UCLA) are a combined 1-16 – and now they will step up in class Saturday afternoon with 3-2 Arizona State visiting Boulder.
The No. 22 ranking is Colorado’s first since 2016 when they finished 10-4 and won the Pac-12 South Division title. The Buffaloes are atop the South again at 1-0 in the conference with USC (2-1), Arizona (1-1) and Arizona State (1-1) right behind, but head coach Mike MacIntyre stresses that the current rankings and standings matter little in the big picture.
Coach Herm Edwards’ Arizona State squad also was ranked three weeks ago after upending visiting Michigan State 16-13 on Sept. 8 but road losses against San Diego State (28-21) and Washington (27-20) followed before last Saturday’s rebound, 52-24 rout of Oregon State.
Against the visiting Beavers, the Sun Devils fed sophomore tailback Eno Benjamin who delivered a school-record 312 rushing yards and four total touchdowns to earn Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week honors.
The Buffaloes’ attack ranks second in the Pac-12 in scoring (40.2 points) and has been powered by the triplets of quarterback Steven Montez, wide receiver Laviska Shenault and tailback Travon McMillian.
Montez has completed 75.8 percent of his passes and ranks second in the conference in passing efficiency (173.7) and third in total offense (300.0 yards) while the sophomore Shenault leads the FBS with 9.5 receptions and 145.3 receiving yards per contest while scoring six TDs, including a pair on rushes as he’s been employed in multiple ways in offensive formations. McMillian, meanwhile, is a Virginia Tech transfer who ranks fourth in Pac-12 rushing (98.0 yards) and has topped 100 yards in three of four games so far.
Sun Devils are 19-40-2 ATS in their last 61 road games vs. a team with a winning home record. Buffaloes are 7-1 ATS in their last 8 games following a straight up win of more than 20 points. Home team is 5-0 ATS in their last 5 meetings.
|10-06-18||LSU v. Florida +3||Top||19-27||Win||100||5 h 1 m||Show|
LSU is clicking on both sides of the ball but faces a tough task Saturday when it visits Florida in SEC action. The sixth-ranked Tigers are 5-0, but the Gators have won three straight including a pair of road wins to open conference play.
LSU has been held below 31 points only once and has not given up more than 21 points in any outing as the team is off to its best start in three years. The Gators should be up for the task of slowing down LSU after suffocating Mississippi State in last week's 13-6 win.
The Gators rank ninth nationally in points allowed (14.0) and have given up more than 10 points only twice this season. "This is going to be the best defense we faced so far this year," LSU coach Ed Orgeron said. "They're very aggressive. He won't give you the same look many times. Their movement is very precise." Feleipe Franks had thrown multiple TD passes in each of the first four games before failing to throw a touchdown - or any completion over 20 yards, for that matter - in the ugly win against Mississippi State.
After hovering around 50 percent completions in each of his previous three games, Franks completed a season-high 71 percent of his attempts last week.
Gators are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games overall. Home team is 5-2 ATS in their last 7 meetings.
|10-06-18||Syracuse -3 v. Pittsburgh||Top||37-44||Loss||-110||2 h 52 m||Show|
Syracuse was 13 minutes away from upending No. 4 Clemson last week for a second consecutive season and entering the top-25 rankings for the first time since 2001 before the Tigers rallied for two touchdowns and a 27-23 victory. Orange coach Dino Babers said his team needs to take a page from the Clemson playbook and battle through adversity this Saturday when it visits a struggling Pittsburgh team.
Pitt was reminded last week how far it sits from the top-25 in coach Pat Narduzzi’s fourth season when it got clobbered 45-14 by No. 13 Central Florida after an earlier 51-6 loss to No. 11 Penn State.
Syracuse’s Dungey completed 26-of-41 passes for 250 yards and scored two rushing TDs against Clemson, and the senior has accounted for 15 TDs (nine passing, two interceptions) while compiling 1,378 yards of total offense this season. The Orange defense tallied four quarterback sacks against the Tigers and are averaging 4.7 over their last three contests.
For Pitt, Narduzzi is known for his tenacious defenses at Michigan State, has not been able to duplicate that in the Steel City (457.5 total yards per game in last four FBS contests), but he’s as equally frustrated by increased penalties, including 11 last week.
The Panthers also felt they had their quarterback issues resolved with Kenny Pickett, but the sophomore hasn’t thrown for 200 yards in any of his six career starts and 58 of his 163 yards passing last week came on a short pass at the line of scrimmage.
Syracuse K Andre Szmyt has converted multiple field goals in all five games this season, making 13-of-14 while drilling all 26 extra points. He ranks first in the ACC and third in the FBS in scoring (13 points per game) while leading FBS with 2.6 field goals per game.
Orange are 7-1 ATS in their last 8 road games and are 4-0-1 ATS in their last 5 games in October. Panthers are 7-17 ATS in their last 24 home games and are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games overall.
|10-06-18||Oklahoma v. Texas +7.5||Top||45-48||Win||100||1 h 28 m||Show|
Even though the Red River Showdown has not meant as much in terms of deciding the Big 12 champion lately as it did a few years ago, the rivalry between Texas and Oklahoma has not lacked in terms of producing thrilling games. Second-year coach Tom Herman appears to be working his magic with the 20th-ranked Longhorns this year, and they'll try to prove their resurgence is for real Saturday when they meet the fifth-ranked Sooners at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas.
After wallowing in mediocrity for the better part of the last decade, Texas has knocked off ranked teams in USC and TCU during a four-game winning streak on the strength of the conference's second-best scoring defense (19.8 points per game). The Longhorns are coming off a 19-14 victory at Kansas State last week despite committing 10 penalties for 104 yards - an area they'll need to clean up against the Big 12's highest-scoring offense (48.6). Oklahoma moved to 5-0 for the first time since 2013 last weekend, scoring at least 14 points in every quarter while routing Baylor 66-33. Despite the Sooners' recent run of dominance inside the conference, each of the archrivals' last four meetings has been decided by seven points or fewer.
Texas Sophomore Sam Ehlinger established a personal best by completing 80.6 percent of his passes at Kansas State and has thrown 128 consecutive passes without an interception, good for the third-longest streak in school history. Lil'Jordan Humphrey ranks seventh in the conference in receptions (26) and receiving yards (402), while fellow junior Collin Johnson is tied for eighth and ranks 11th in those respective categories (24, 350). Senior defensive end Charles Omenihu had five tackles - three for loss and two sacks - last weekend, while receiver/defensive back D'Shawn Jamison earned Big 12 Special Teams Player of the Week on Monday after becoming the first Longhorn true freshman with a punt return for a touchdown since Selvin Young in 2002.
Saturday will mark the first time since 2012 both schools enter this game inside the top 25.
Longhorns are 4-0-1 ATS in their last 5 games in October and are 7-2-1 ATS vs. a team with a winning record. Sooners are 2-8 ATS in their last 10 neutral site games and are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games following a straight up win. Longhorns are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 meetings.
|09-29-18||Ohio State v. Penn State +4||Top||27-26||Win||100||9 h 41 m||Show|
The winner of the Ohio State-Penn State game has gone on to win the Big Ten championship each of the last two years, and this Saturday's clash hosted by the Nittany Lions will again give one team a big leg up in that race. The fourth-ranked Buckeyes, who put forth a stirring rally to steal a 39-38 win over Penn State a year ago, have barely been challenged in a 4-0 start, including a 49-6 win over Tulane last week in head coach Urban Meyer's return from suspension.
Meyer's team dropped a 24-21 decision in its last visit to Happy Valley in 2016 and knows it will be tested by another "White Out" at Beaver Stadium.
No. 9 Penn State has rebounded from an early slugfest with Appalachian State to defeat its last three opponents by a combined 177-40 margin, although it trailed early in the second half at Illinois last week before erupting in the fourth quarter.
ABOUT OHIO STATE (4-0, 1-0 Big Ten): The big story this week in Columbus is the absence of star defensive end Nick Bosa, who will miss this contest and perhaps several more after undergoing core muscle surgery. However, fellow junior Robert Landers returns from an undisclosed injury to help bolster the defensive line and running back Mike Weber - who had 186 yards rushing and four total touchdowns in the season opener against Oregon State - will play after leaving the Tulane win with a sprained foot. Dwayne Haskins ranks second among FBS passers with both 16 touchdowns - against one interception - and a completion percentage of 75.7.
ABOUT PENN STATE (4-0, 1-0): McSorley has completed just 53.8 percent of his passes and has a pick in each of the last two games, but he is doing significant damage on the ground with 235 yards - on 5.7 per carry - and six scores through the first four games. Miles Sanders had 200 of the Nittany Lions' 387 rushing yards last week and he added three TDs after failing to reach the end zone in routs of Pittsburgh and Kent State.
|09-28-18||UCLA v. Colorado -8.5||Top||16-38||Win||100||49 h 52 m||Show|
Two programs who have had vastly different starts clash Friday night when winless UCLA visits unbeaten Colorado in Boulder. The game serves as the Pac-12 Conference opener for both teams.
The Buffaloes are 3-0 for the second straight season but are hoping this year brings a better finish as Colorado proceeded to drop seven of its nine Pac-12 games a season ago to finish last in the Pac-12 South. So far, the Buffaloes have beaten Colorado State (45-13), Nebraska (33-28) and FCS-foe New Hampshire (45-14), but that trio of teams is a combined 1-10 on the season.
It’s been the mirror-opposite for UCLA, whose first three foes – Cincinnati, No. 5 Oklahoma and Fresno State – are a combined 10-1 so far. Regardless, the Chip Kelly Era is off to a rough start, and the Bruins are hoping to avoid their first 0-4 record since 1971, when they finished 2-7-1.
Penalties (23 for 199 yards), pass protection (12 sacks allowed) and turnovers (five) have hampered the Bruins this season.
Bruins are 2-10 ATS in their last 12 games in September. Buffaloes are 6-1 ATS in their last 7 games following a straight up win of more than 20 points. Bruins are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 meetings.
|09-23-18||Cowboys v. Seahawks +1||Top||13-24||Win||100||6 h 37 m||Show|
The Seattle Seahawks look to avoid their first 0-3 start since 2002 when they play their home opener against the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday. Seattle, which opened the campaign with back-to-back losses in Denver and Chicago, hope the home-field advantage will help them top the Cowboys and begin a turnaround.
ABOUT THE COWBOYS (1-1): Quarterback Dak Prescott has thrown for just 330 yards in two games and running back Ezekiel Elliott has rushed for only 147 after efforts of 69 and 78 to open the season.
ABOUT THE SEAHAWKS (0-2): Quarterback Russell Wilson has passed for 524 yards and five touchdowns but also has thrown three interceptions while being sacked 12 times behind shoddy play by the offensive line. The rushing attack is averaging just 69 yards per game and 3.6 per carry as first-round pick Rashaad Penny (17 carries, 38 yards) has been unable to make an impact thus far.
The Seahawks have won three of the last four meetings.
Seahawks are 10-4-2 ATS in their last 16 games following a straight up loss.
|09-23-18||Colts +7 v. Eagles||Top||16-20||Win||100||2 h 16 m||Show|
The City of Brotherly Love is set to welcome back Carson Wentz with open arms as the franchise quarterback returns to lead the Philadelphia Eagles against Frank Reich and the visiting Indianapolis Colts on Sunday. Wentz watched as Nick Foles led the Eagles to the franchise's first Super Bowl title as well as a 1-1 mark this season while recovering from an ACL and LCL tear sustained in December.
While Wentz returns, the Eagles have several other question marks on offense with injuries to Jay Ajayi (back) and tackle Jason Peters (quad) as well as a banged-up wide receiver corps. While Philadelphia is coming off a 27-21 setback to Tampa Bay, Indianapolis presented new head coach -- and former Eagles offensive coordinator -- Reich with his first win following Sunday's 21-9 triumph over Washington. Andrew Luck tossed a pair of touchdown passes for the second straight game and aims to exploit the Eagles' 28th-ranked pass defense that was shredded by Buccaneers quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick.
ABOUT THE COLTS (1-1): Four-time Pro Bowl wide receiver T.Y. Hilton recorded a touchdown pass in his first two games this season before providing even more good news to the fanbase on Thursday by downplaying the severity of a quad injury that has forced him to miss two days of practice:
ABOUT THE EAGLES (1-1): Ajayi shares the NFL lead with three rushing touchdowns this season, although he was limited to just seven carries for 23 yards and a score against the Buccaneers on Sunday. With Ajayi and Darren Sproles (hamstring) nursing their respective injuries, Corey Clement could see an advanced workload out of the backfield against the Colts with Wendell Smallwood contributing as well.
Colts are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 meetings.
|09-23-18||Raiders v. Dolphins -3||Top||20-28||Win||100||2 h 16 m||Show|
The Oakland Raiders seemingly have received nothing but doom and gloom to start the season in the new Jon Gruden Era while the Miami Dolphins conversely have enjoyed sunny skies to begin the 2018 campaign. The Raiders aim to change their outlook on Sunday when they visit Hard Rock Stadium to face the Dolphins, who are off to a 2-0 start for the first time since 2013.
The Raiders have been left reeling after trading away 2016 NFL Defensive Player of the Year Khalil Mack, with the team averaging an NFL 31st-ranked 154.0 rushing yards to opponents while recording just two sacks -- matching Mack's total with Chicago.
What might not be as obvious is Miami quarterback Ryan Tannehill is 9-1 in his last 10 starts -- a stretch that is sandwiched around a serious knee injury that sidelined him for the 2017 season. The 30-year-old Tannehill threw two touchdown passes for the second time in as many weeks in Sunday's 20-12 triumph over the New York Jets.
While Kenyan Drake leads the team in carries (25) and rushing yards (101) and has the team's lone rushing touchdown, the ageless Frank Gore is averaging a robust 4.8 yards per carry. Gore, who totaled 468 scrimmage yards in four career encounters with the Raiders.
Miami's aerial attack features a number of receivers in play, with Danny Amendola leading the team with just eight catches while Kenny Stills has a club-best 123 yards receiving and two touchdowns.
Raiders are 2-7-1 ATS in their last 10 road games vs. a team with a winning home record. Dolphins are 4-1-1 ATS in their last 6 games following a ATS win. Raiders are 0-4-1 ATS in their last 5 meetings.
|09-23-18||49ers v. Chiefs -5||Top||27-38||Win||100||2 h 15 m||Show|
The Arrowhead Stadium faithful will get their first live look at their electric young quarterback when the Kansas City Chiefs host the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday. It will be the first home start for Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes, who has set an NFL record with 10 touchdown passes through his first three starts – all of which have come in two games this season.
Mahomes has been named the AFC Offensive Player of the Week in each of the first two weeks of the 2018 campaign, and although he’s facing a San Francisco secondary that has been lit up for 556 passing yards in two games, the Chiefs know the league is bound to find a way to slow him down eventually, but not this week.
ABOUT THE 49ERS (1-1): Garoppolo’s numbers have been pedestrian thus far, but the 49ers have benefited from having a solid backfield duo in Matt Breida – the NFL’s leading rusher with 184 yards – and Alfred Morris (86 yards). The defense has been a mixed bag, with a solid pass rush led by DeForest Buckner - who ranks second in the league with 3.5 sacks - but a suspect secondary.
ABOUT THE CHIEFS (2-0): The Chiefs possess one of the league’s most explosive offenses, but also one of the NFL’s most combustible defenses. Mahomes has thrown touchdown passes to seven different players, including three to speedster Tyreek Hill, who has made 12 catches for 259 yards to go along with a punt-return touchdown.
49ers are 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games in September and are 6-14-1 ATS vs. a team with a winning record. Chiefs are 11-1 ATS in their last 12 games after allowing more than 250 yards passing in their previous game and are 6-0 ATS in their last 6 games in September. Home team is 5-1 ATS in their last 6 meetings.
|09-23-18||Titans v. Jaguars -9.5||Top||9-6||Loss||-109||2 h 14 m||Show|
The Jacksonville Jaguars made a statement last week with a dominant performance against the defending AFC champions and can improve to 3-0 for the first time since 2004 when they host the Tennessee Titans on Sunday. Blake Bortles outplayed Tom Brady with 376 passing yards and four touchdowns to lead the Jaguars to a 31-20 win over the New England Patriots in Week 2.
Jacksonville had a 480-302 advantage in total yards to avenge a loss to the Patriots in the AFC Championship Game in January, and it has payback on its mind this week as it prepares for the Titans, who won both meetings in 2017.
Quarterback Marcus Mariota continues to feel tingling in his fingers from an elbow injury suffered in Week 1 and his status remains uncertain.
ABOUT THE TITANS (1-1): Mariota, who ran 16 times for 84 yards in the two wins over Jacksonville last year, was limited at practice Wednesday while throwing with a glove.
Blaine Gabbert threw for 117 yards in relief of Mariota at Miami and finished with the exact same total - as well as a TD pass - in a starting role against the Texans. If he starts he will have big problems vs. this Jags defense.
ABOUT THE JAGUARS (2-0): Bortles was 29-of-45 against the Patriots in perhaps his best overall performance as a pro and he continues to develop chemistry with second-year wideout Keelan Cole, who hauled in seven catches - one with one hand that the league is still buzzing about - for 116 yards and a TD. The Jaguars hope to have another weapon on the field Sunday in the form of running back Leonard Fournette, who missed last week due to hamstring injury but has been practicing on a limited basis.
Titans are 4-11 ATS in their last 15 road games vs. a team with a winning home record. Jaguars are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games in September. Titans are 1-5-1 ATS in their last 7 meetings in Jacksonville.
|09-16-18||Colts +6 v. Redskins||Top||21-9||Win||100||2 h 60 m||Show|
The Washington Redskins' defense was impressive in a Week 1 win at Arizona but it will be tested in the coming weeks by a string of top-notch quarterbacks, beginning with Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts.
The Colts raced to a 13-point lead in the third quarter last week against Cincinnati before fading down the stretch and turning the ball over in the final minute in a 34-23 loss. Luck completed 39-of-53 passes for 319 yards and two touchdowns in his first regular-season game since Jan. 1, 2017.
ABOUT THE COLTS (0-1): Luck will have a big member of his protection unit available Sunday when standout left tackle Anthony Castonzo returns from a hamstring injury that caused him to miss the opener. Tight end Jack Doyle had seven catches for a team-high 60 yards against the Bengals but it was his fumble in the final minute that was returned 83 yards for a clinching score as Indianapolis was driving for a potential game-winning touchdown.
ABOUT THE REDSKINS (1-0): While the defense turned heads in the opener vs. Horrible Arizona, Washington was pleased with its new-look backfield. Quarterback Alex Smith (21-of-30, 255 yards and a TD) was solid in his team debut, as was running back Adrian Peterson, who ran 26 times for 96 yards and a TD.
Indianapolis won the last three meetings, including the most recent matchup in 2014, when Luck threw for 370 yards and a career-high five TDs in a 49-27 rout.
Colts are 34-15 ATS in their last 49 games following a straight up loss and are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games following a double-digit loss at home. Redskins are 13-28-2 ATS in their last 43 home games vs. a team with a losing road record.
|09-16-18||Panthers +6 v. Falcons||Top||24-31||Loss||-110||2 h 59 m||Show|
Matt Ryan has carved up the Carolina Panthers in recent years, and the Atlanta Falcons hope that trend holds when they host their NFC South rivals on Sunday. The Falcons have won four of the last five meetings and haven’t lost to the Panthers at home since 2014.
Ryan has averaged 343.2 passing yards with 10 touchdowns and two interceptions in the last five games of the all-time series, and the Falcons need another big effort from him to avoid a 0-2 start. The Panthers are attempting to begin with a 2-0 record for the fourth time in five seasons.
It’s an annual homecoming for Panthers quarterback Cam Newton, a native of nearby College Park, Ga. who has accounted for 25 touchdowns (18 passing, seven rushing) in 14 career games against his hometown team.
ABOUT THE PANTHERS (1-0): Carolina has some issues on offense, as evidenced by the fact Newton was the team’s leading rusher and running back Christian McCaffrey was the leading receiver in the season-opening 16-8 win over Dallas. The Panthers will have to lean on a defense that was dominant against the Cowboys and has gone an NFL-best 21 games without allowing a 100-yard rusher after limiting Ezekiel Elliott to 69 yards on 15 carries.
ABOUT THE FALCONS (0-1): Atlanta was too one-dimensional on offense in an 18-12 loss at Philadelphia, as Julio Jones caught 10 passes for 169 yards but no one else did much of note. Running back Devonta Freeman was off to a good start before leaving with a knee injury and is out for Sunday. The defense had a solid debut but lost two key players in Week 1, as Pro Bowl safety Keanu Neal (knee) and Pro Bowl linebacker Deion Jones (foot) both were placed on injured reserve.
Panthers are 8-3 ATS in their last 11 road games. This game will be close and I’ll back the road team with the points.
|09-16-18||Texans -3.5 v. Titans||Top||17-20||Loss||-114||2 h 58 m||Show|
The Tennessee Titans started the Mike Vrabel era with a loss last week, but the first-year head coach should have his team well prepared for Week 2. Vrabel and the Titans will try to earn their first win when they host his former team, the Houston Texans, on Sunday.
ABOUT THE TEXANS (0-1): Houston quarterback Deshaun Watson opened eyes during an injury-shortened 2017 rookie campaign but struggled in Week 1, completing 50 percent of his passes for 176 yards, one touchdown and one interception. I feel he will have a much better game on Sunday. Watson is expected to get another weapon in the passing game on Sunday with the return of wide receiver Will Fuller V, who sat out Week 1 with a hamstring injury.
ABOUT THE TITANS (0-1): Tennessee franchise quarterback Marcus Mariota endured a season debut to forget when he managed 103 passing yards and was intercepted twice before leaving with an elbow injury. Mariota may be dealing with some protection issues in Week 2 with left tackle Taylor Lewan in the concussion protocol and right tackle Jack Conklin (knee), who sat out Week 1, still limited in practice.
Texans are 8-2 ATS in their last 10 games in Week 2. Titans are 17-36-3 ATS in their last 56 vs. AFC South. Texans are 7-2 ATS in their last 9 meetings.
The Texans are my best play of the week.
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.