Minnesota Vikings at Green Bay Packers: Week 2 NFL Preview

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This Sunday, NFC North co-division leaders square off at Lambeau Field as the Green Bay Packers host the Minnesota Vikings at 1:00 p.m. ET. Las Vegas Odds has this Minnesota as 1.5-point underdogs against Green Bay with an over/under currently sitting at 46.

For Green Bay (1-0 SU, 0-1 ATS), its chance of victory solely rides on if Aaron Rodgers can play. Despite suffering a knee sprain in last weeks win against Chicago, all signs point to him suiting up this week against the Vikings.

In Week 1 against Chicago, Aaron Rodgers suffered a knee sprain on a sack midway through the 1st quarter. After missing much of the opening half, Rodgers, despite walking with a limp, returned to action and led the team to a miraculous comeback to beat the Bears 24-23.

With Rodgers at QB, Green Bay has proven they can beat anyone at Lambeau Field. Green Bay is 26-9 SU in their last 35 home games and 36-13-1 SU against divisional opponents. Without Rodgers, frankly the team doesn’t stand much of against on of the best teams in the NFL in the Minnesota Vikings.

Although Green Bay is tough to beat at home, Minnesota is without a doubt one of the scariest teams in the NFL. The addition of quarterback Kirk Cousins, who threw for 244 yards and two touchdowns in his debut against the 49ers, has solved maybe the only flaw the Vikings had last year — the lack of a vertical passing game. A Kirk Cousins led offense, combined with a suffocating, star-studded defense makes this team not only NFC North contenders, but Super Bowl Contenders as well.

Recent history favors the Vikings, as Minnesota is 4-1 SU and ATS in their last five games against Green Bay. The Vikings are also 5-2 against the spread in their last seven road games.

Finally, don’t expect a shootout, as the total between these two NFC North powers has gone UNDER in six of their last seven games.

PICK: If Aaron Rodger plays, our expert Scott Matthews likes Minnesota at +1.5.

New England Patriots at Jacksonville Jaguars: Week 2 NFL Preview

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NFC East Rivals face off in primetime as the New York Giants (0-1 SU, 0-1 ATS) head to Arlington Texas to take on the Dallas Cowboys (0-1 SU, 0-1 ATS) on Sunday at 8:20 p.m. ET. Las Vegas Odds has the Cowboys as 3.5-point favorites against the G-men with an over/under currently set at 42.5.

The Cowboys are coming off an uninspiring effort in a 16-8 loss against the Panthers. Against the Panthers, the offense couldn’t get anything going, finishing the day with only 232 total yards, albeit against a stout Panthers’ defense. Dallas’s two main stars on offense, quarterback Dak Prescott and running back Ezekiel Elliott, finished 170 yards (passing) and 69 yards (rushing) respectively. The combination will have to play better for this team to realize their playoff aspirations.

Good news is that the defens

Week 2 features a rematch of last year’s AFC Championship game as the Jacksonville Jaguars (1-0) host the New England Patriots (1-0) on Sunday at 4:25 p.m. ET. Las Vegas Odds has this contest as a PICK EM game with the over/under line set 44.5.

After years of doubting the longevity of the Patriots’ dominance, it’s safe to say the combination of Tom Brady and Bill Belichick trumps all. Issues along the offensive line — which lost left tackle Nate Solder in the offseason — along with a reshuffled wide receiving core, should not be overlooked. But as we’ve seen in previous years, this team has the head coach and quarterback necessary to scheme around anything.

Despite question marks on the roster as well as being on the road, the Patriots’ track record shows the team shouldn’t be overly concerned. New England is 14-1 straight up and 12-3 against the spread in their last 15 games away from Gillette Stadium. What’s even more impressive is that the Patriots have won their last 21 straight games against AFC South opponents, including the last six against the Jaguars.

We know what New England brings to the table, but Jacksonville is no slouch. Regardless of recent history, the Jaguars actually have a couple of reasons to feel confident going into this game.

For one, unlike in the AFC Championship game, the Jaguars face the Patriots at home at TIAA Bank Field. The Jaguars are currently on a six game home winning streak with those contests being decided by an average of 15-points.

Secondly, Jacksonville is built to beat a team like the Patriots. The Jaguars very likely possess the most dominant and talented defense we’ve seen on an NFL field since the Seahawks won the Super Bowl.

In last year’s loss to the 24-20 loss to the Patriots, Jacksonville’s defense limited New England’s offense to 10 points in the first half. In fact, the total has gone under in four of Jacksonville’s last five games against New England.

Many will rush to pick the Patriots in this game, but don’t discount the Jaguars — a team out for vengeance and are one of the biggest threats to the Patriots in the AFC. Nevertheless, this game is a must watch, pitting two of the NFL’s best

Pick: Our expert Scott Matthews likes this game to go OVER 44.5 on the total.

New York Giants at Dallas Cowboys: Week 2 NFL Preview

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NFC East Rivals face off in primetime as the New York Giants (0-1 SU, 0-1 ATS) head to Arlington Texas to take on the Dallas Cowboys (0-1 SU, 0-1 ATS) on Sunday at 8:20 p.m. ET. Las Vegas Odds has the Cowboys as 3.5-point favorites against the G-men with an over/under currently set at 42.5.

The Cowboys are coming off an uninspiring effort in a 16-8 loss against the Panthers. Against the Panthers, the offense couldn’t get anything going, finishing the day with only 232 total yards, albeit against a stout Panthers’ defense. Dallas’s two main stars on offense, quarterback Dak Prescott and running back Ezekiel Elliott, finished 170 yards (passing) and 69 yards (rushing) respectively. The combination will have to play better for this team to realize their playoff aspirations.

Good news is that the defense played hard, and was very solid against a dangerous Panthers offense led by Cam Newton. If the Cowboys’ offense can get going, the defense looks strong enough to keep them in games this season.

The Cowboys are 5-1 ATS in their last six vs. NFC East opponents and are 2-5 ATS in their last five home games.

Of the two, the Giants were the more team Week 1 — but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a reason for concern. Last week against the Jaguars, quarterback Eli Manning didn’t look very sharp as he threw for 224 yards and 1 interception. Defensively the team played decent, but failed to get much pressure on Jaguars’ QB Blake Bortles.

The positives for the Giants revolve around two of their most important offensive stars. Rookie phenom Saquon Barkley rushed for 106 yards including a 68-yard touchdown. Star Receiver Odell Beckham Jr. also stepped up with 11 receptions for 111-yards. The Giants must be encouraged by the duo’s performance against maybe the best defense in all the NFL.

The bad news for the Giants is that the team has lost four straight road games and has a history of going 0-2 as the team has accomplished that in each of the last four seasons.

The Cowboys have won seven of the past 10 in the series.

Pick: Our expert Scott Matthews likes the Under 43.5 in this matchup.

LSU at Auburn: Week 3 College Football Preview

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Two behemoths of the SEC clash this Saturday as #14 LSU visits Jordan-Hare Stadium to take on #7 Auburn at 3:30 p.m. ET. Auburn is a 10-point home favorite over LSU with an over/under line sitting at 44.5.

No one really knows what to expect from LSU this year— although so far they’ve handled their business. Led by Head Coach Ed Orgeron, LSU (2-0 SU, 1-1 ATS) jumped out of the gate with two impressive wins to start the season: an impressive 33-17 dismantling of a ranked Miami Hurricanes team and a 31-0 domination of Southeastern Louisiana. Flawed, one-dimensional offenses have held LSU back in recent years, but thus far 2018 for LSU appears to be different.

Heading into the Auburn game, LSU finally has a quarterback that can test SEC defenses. Dual-threat quarterback Joe Burrow has been impressive to start the season and last week threw for 2 touchdowns as well as a rushing touchdown verses Southeastern Louisiana. And as always LSU’s running back group, led by Nick Brousette, is one of the best and deepest in college football.

Despite being a 10-point underdog, LSU has to like its chances as they gave Auburn its most embarrassing lost last year, coming back from 23 down to win 27-23. LSU is 6-1 ATS in their last 7 road games.

Auburn could have played itself into The College Football Playoff last year despite its loss to LSU, but the team lacked the edge needed to compete with the best in the SEC. This year Auburn (2-0 SU, 1-1 ATS), led by Head Coach Gus Malzahn, returns a ton of experience from last year and should be hungry to rise to the top of the SEC.

Having already beaten a top-10 team in PAC 12 frontrunner Washington, Auburn must feel confident versing its first big SEC opponent in LSU at home. Auburn is 4-0 ATS when facing LSU at Jordan-Hare Stadium and are 4-1-1 ATS when scoring more than 40 points in their previous game (Auburn score 63 against Alabama St.)

Led by star quarterback Jarrett Stidham and a top-10 defense, Auburn has all the makings of a championship squad.

Although both teams have enviable offensive firepower, this game has the potential to be a classic, low-scoring SEC matchup between two defensive juggernauts.

Pick: Our Expert Scott Matthews ranks the game as a 5-unit selection and likes LSU +10 for this matchup.

USC at Texas: Week 3 College Football Preview

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Two illustrious programs clash on Saturday as #20 USC (1-1) travels to Royal Texas Memorial Stadium to take on Texas (1-1) at 8:00 p.m. ET. Las Vegas Odds has the Longhorns as a 3.5-point favorite over the Trojans with an over/under set at 48.

You may be wondering, why isn’t #20 ranked USC favored in this contest? Here might be some of the reasons.

To start, last season Texas almost pulled off a win in a 27-24 OT nail-bitter with Texas easily covering the spread as 17-point underdogs. While both teams enter Saturday’s game at 1-1, Texas appears to have improved while USC’s offense looks like a shell of itself.

Texas, lead 2nd year Head Coach Tom Herman, hasn’t quite lived-up to expectations, but has shown significant signs of improvement. The offense finally has its quarterback in Sam Ehlinger. Ehlinger had 237 yards passing and 2 touchdowns along with 52 yards and a TD on the ground in last weeks 28-21 win against Tulsa.

In the first two games, Texas has averaged 28.5 points on offense and has answered the bell so far to start the season.

Even though Texas failed to reach the spread in back to back games, the team is 6-2 in their last eight games after consecutive ATS losses.

USC entered the season with high expectations but fell down to earth in their 17-3 loss to Stanford last weekend. The strength of the team resides in its defense, which limited top-10 ranked Stanford to only 13 first downs.

The main issue and overall reality for this team is that it is very hard to be successful on offense with a true freshman quarterback. Against the Cardinals, JT Daniels threw for 236 yards and two interceptions. Although the team finished the game with 332 yards compared to Stanford’s 342, turnovers and a difficulty finishing drives has been the story so far for the Trojan’s offense.

Does USC have the defense and raw talent to beat Texas at home? We will have to wait and see.

The Trojans 0-5 ATS in its last five games and have gone under in seven of USC’s last nine on the road.

Pick: Our expert Scott Matthews has the game as a 3-unit selection and likes Texas as -3 favorites at home.

Ohio State vs. TCU: Week 3 College Football Preview

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Year after year, both Ohio State and TCU have to prove people wrong. The Buckeyes are perennially overrated. TCU is perennially overlooked. Week 3 has the opportunity to reveal truth as #5 Ohio State takes on #15 TCU at AT&T Stadium on Saturday at 8:00 p.m. ET. Ohio State is currently a 13.-point favorite vs. TCU with an over/under currently set at a total of 58.5.

Ohio will enter one of its biggest tests of the season without Head Coach Urban Meyer — who’s still serving a suspension for lying about an offseason domestic incident involving a former member of his staff. It’s tough to say how much his presence will be missed, but so far Ohio State looks as dominant as ever.

The Buckeyes (2-0 SU, 2-0 ATS) covered two enormous spreads to start the 2018 season with wins against Rutgers and Oregon St. and have suffocated opponents on both sides of he ball.

The offense, led by quarterback Dwayne Haskins (9 TDs, 1 Int), has scored 129 points in the team’s first two games and last week out-produced Rutgers 579-134 in total yardage.

You think the offense is scary? The defense is scarier as it held Rutgers to a lowly 2.2 yards per play. Defensive end Nick Bosa may be the most dominant player in college football and he is just one of the many NFL-caliber players scattered across the Buckeyes’ defense. TCU will most certainly have its hands full.

The Horned Frogs (2-0 SU, 1-1 ATS) have been waiting for an opportunity to make a statement and there is no bigger stage in America than a game against Ohio St. at AT&T Stadium. Head Coach Gary Patterson already has TCU in high gear with two convincing wins over SMU and FCS Southern University.

Many of the questions on offense surrounded starting quarterback Shawn Robinson, but the dual-threat quarterback has been solid thus far, throwing a total of four touchdowns and two interceptions. Robinson also shares the field with two of the most explosive playmakers in college football in KaVonte Turpin and Jalen Reagor.

While Ohio State is arguably the most talented team in College Football, Gary Patterson certainly has enough talent to pull off an upset. Patterson is 7-1 ATS when playing as an underdog of 10.5 to 21 points. However, the team is an awful 0-8 ATS in home games (which this game will technically be as it’s located in Texas) taking place in the first half of the season.

Pick: Our expert Scott Matthews likes the game to go OVER 58.5 between the two teams.

Oakland at Tampa Bay: 9/14/18 MLB Preview

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This Friday, two American League teams battle as the Oakland Athletics (89-57) visit Tropicana Field to play the Tampa Bay Rays (80-65) at 7:10 p.m. ET in the first of a three-game series.

The A’s have all but wrapped up a wildcard spot in the AL playoffs, but they can play themselves into danger if they get swept in this series against the Rays. Both Tampa Bay and Oakland are 8-2 in their last 10 games so expect this series to be highly contested.

Edwin Jackson gets the start for the A’s; the pitcher is 5-3 on the season with a 3.26 ERA. Jackson is 3-0 in his last three starts with an average of 4.5 innings pitched and 3.6 strikeouts. Jackson is 0-3 in his last three starts against the Rays with his last start in 2016 ending 15-1 blowout loss.

The A’s are 1-3 SU against the Rays this year, but boast a decent overall road record of 43-28 SU and 39-32 against the spread.

Despite being eliminated, Tampa Bay has continued to fight in the second half of the season. The Rays actually bear the third best record in all of baseball since June 15, going 48-28 in that span. What makes this series so interesting is the Rays have kept their foot on the pedal to close out the season meaning Oakland can ill afford to relax.

Diego Castillo will take the mound for the Rays, sporting a 3-2 record on the season with an ERA of 3.45. Castillo has been used as a situational pitcher this season averaging only 1 inning in his past three starts. Castillo has never faced the A’s in his career.

Odds for the game have yet to be revealed, but the A’s are 20-7 in their last 27 games as a road favorite of -110 to -150. The Rays are 19-7 in their last 26 games as home favorite.

Baltimore at Cincinnati: NFL Week 2 Preview

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Week 1 saw an underwhelming tie between two AFC North rivals. Week 2 puts the two teams atop the AFC North against one another, positioning one to take a lead in the Division as Cincinnati hosts Baltimore Thursday at 8:20 p.m. ET. The Las Vegas line has the contest as a PICK’EM game with the over/under total currently sitting at an even 44.

Baltimore (1-0) is coming off one of the most impressive efforts of any team in Week 1 with a 47-3 romping of the Bills. Most of the questions about the Ravens coming into the season revolved around the offense: Will Joe Flacco return to the vintage 2013 version that led the team to the Super Bowl? Will his new stable of wide receivers transform a passing offense that was anemic in 2017? The Ravens finished 9-7 SU (8-7-1 ATS) in last year despite their flaws and if Week 1 wasn’t a fluke, they figure to be much better this season.

In Week 1, Joe Flacco was the ultimate distributor of the football, throwing three touchdowns, including one to each of his new weapons in Willie Snead, John Brown, and Michael Crabtree. If the Joe Flacco and the offense can consistently compliment what was a top-10 defense in 2017, watch out. Last year the Ravens beat the Bengals 20-0 in the season opener, despite being 2.5-point underdogs.

The Bengals also had a very impressive Week 1 performance, albeit in a different way. Cincinnati entered the second half of last week’s contest against the Colts down 23-10, before scoring 24-straight points, 17 in the fourth quarter alone. Andy Dalton had a solid day with 243 yards passing and two touchdowns, complimented well by second year bell-cow running back Joe Mixon’s 149-yard effort (rushing and receiving).

Cincinnati’s story in recent years has been that they have all the talent, but never seem to live up to expectations. It was apparent early last year that the team— which finished the year with a 7-9 record SU (9-7 ATS) — wasn’t a playoff team. However this year, a weakened Steelers team and impressive week one performance has the team thinking playoffs are a possibility.

In terms of betting for this matchup, the total has gone under in three of the Raven’s last four games against the Bengals. Notorious for struggling in primetime, the Bengals have gone under in six of there last seven at night.

Pick: Our very own sports betting expert Scott Matthews has this game as a 3-unit selection and likes the game going OVER 44 on the total.

Arizona at Colorado – 7/12/18 MLB Preview

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You can almost sniff October and for divisions such as the NL West, each intra-divisional game matters. In what is the third game of a four-game series, two NL West frontrunners faceoff as the Arizona Diamondbacks visit Coors Field to take on the Colorado Rockies on Wednesday at 8:40 p.m. ET. The Las Vegas line currently has the Rockies as -115 favorites against the +105 Diamondbacks.

Getting the start for the Rockies is Jon Gray (11-7), who has been up and down all season currently sporting a 4.69 ERA with a 1.29 WHIP. In his last start against the Dodgers, he gave up two runs in four innings. This season he’s allowed 3 home runs in 4 innings against the Diamondbacks and is 2-3 with a 4.98 ERA against NL West opponents.

Colorado, as evidence of the 13-2 win in game one of the series, has a potent lineup lead by Charlie Blackmon, Carlos Gonzalez, and Ian Desmond. The Rockies lineup is currently averaging 4.76 runs per game, good for 8th in the MLB.

Arizona, who currently sits 3-games back behind the Rockies in the NL West, sends 29-year old Patrick Corbin (11-5) to the mound. Corbin has shown remarkable improvement in the second half of the season, improving his ERA to 3.01 with a 1.01 WHIP in 179.2 innings of work.

Corbin is 7-2 in his last 9 starts overall and is 4-2 on the road. This season he has only allowed four runs in 10 innings against the Rockies and is 8-3 with a 4.66 ERA against divisional foes.

Corbin has dominated the Rockies on the road in his career with an overall record of 14-3 in his last 17 road starts against Colorado.

Pick: Betting expert Scott Matthews has this game as a 3-unit selection and likes Arizona in this game at +105

Los Angeles Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs: NFL Week 1 Preview

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In a division that seems largely up-in-the-air, you can ill afford to fall behind early in the season. One team in the AFC West gets to make an early statement, as the Los Angeles Chargers visit the Kansas City Chiefs at 4:05 p.m. ET for Week 1 of the NFL season. Vegas odds currently have the Chargers as 3.5-point favorites against the Chiefs, with an over/under line set at 48.

Chiefs Head Coach Andy Reid has worked wonders since he was hired in 2013 as the team has finished 1st in the AFC West for two straight seasons. This season, Reid will have to work more of his magic because although the team returns most of the roster that finished 10-7 straight up (10-7 ATS), the Chiefs enter this season with a starting quarterback with only 1 start under his belt.

KC is buzzing over 2nd year quarterback Patrick Mahomes, who is set to take over the reins from long-time starter Alex Smith. The quarterback owns a rocket for an arm and flashed playmaking ability in his only start last year against Denver.

Although the Chiefs enter the game with a little experience at quarterback, Andy Reid coached teams are infamous for starting the season strong. Last year, the team started 5-1 before cooling-off, losing six of seven, but managed to sneak into the playoffs.

Reid won both games against the Chargers last year and the Chiefs covered the spread in both appearances.

The Chargers, who finished last season 9-7 SU(8-7-1 ATS), enter the season as a team many consider a dark horse in the AFC. A team seemingly snake-bitten by injures year-after-year, the 2018 Chargers may finally have the team deep enough to handle if-or-when adversity hits. Second-year Head Coach Anthony Lynn has everything you want on both sides of the ball.

On Offense, the team is still led by Pro Bowl quarterback Phillip Rivers — who finally seems to have enough weapons to threaten even the best defenses in the NFL.

On defense, the team has a ferocious pass rush along with a ball-hawking secondary. Even though Pro Bowl pass rusher Joey Bosa is expected miss the contest, the team still has two very capable pass rushers in Melvin Ingram III and rookie standout Uchenna Nwosu.

The Chargers have a lot of potential, but that’s a statement heard one-too-many times when it comes to this team. Nevertheless, look for this game to be a close one, as the total has gone UNDER in six in the last eight meeting between the two.