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Running up the points with Rockets, and the college football bets you need to make in Week 12

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Are you ready for some more MAC-tion? Because there are two more games on the schedule Wednesday night. We break down the best bets for these games and take a look at the weekend ahead in college football – from sides and totals to props and everything in between.

ROOM TO ROAM

The Toledo Rockets might be only slight favorites for Wednesday night’s MAC tilt with visiting Northern Illinois, but they have a significant advantage in at least one area – and it could turn this one into a bit of a laugher. The Rockets come into the game with the nation’s No. 12 rushing offense, averaging nearly 251 yards per game on the ground – and they’ve been especially dominant over their previous two games, racking up a combined 664 rushing yards in narrow victories over Eastern Michigan and Kent State. The Huskies, meanwhile, are coming off getting routed 48-10 to Central Michigan in which the Chippewas posted 327 rushing yards.

An edge like this makes Toledo a terrific option in a variety of different bet scenarios; we recommend buying a few points in their favor and taking an alternate line of -6.5.

MIAMI (OH) FOR 3

The Miami (OH) Redhawks should have little trouble filling the board Wednesday night as they host a Bowling Green defense that ranks among the worst in the nation in points allowed. But while the Falcons have surrendered a mind-boggling 33.8 points per game so far this season, the Redhawks might not necessarily be headed for a parade to the end zone. Miami (Ohio) has one of the worst touchdown-to-field-goal ratios in the country coming into Week 12, having scored 22 TDs compared with 16 FGs – six of those coming over the course of their current three-game winning streak.

Miami (Ohio) is a big-time favorite here, and is a good bet to open the scoring given BGSU’s 2.5 first-half-points-per-game average on the road this season. We like the Redhawks FG to kick off the point parade.

GILBERT  GETTING BACK

Kansas State’s premier rushing threat might be back on the field this weekend. Wildcats senior James Gilbert practiced on Tuesday and is trending in the right direction as he recovers from an undisclosed ailment that kept him out of last week’s 27-24 loss to the Texas Longhorns. It was originally thought that Gilbert would be in the lineup vs. Texas, but he was a late exclusion – and Kansas State struggled in his absence, finishing with a paltry 51 rushing yards on 26 attempts. Gilbert ranks ninth in the Big 12 Conference in rushing yards (558) while adding five touchdowns on the ground.

Gilbert’s return would invigorate a Kansas State rush attack that has a favorable matchup against a West Virginia defense allowing 173 rushing yards per game. We recommend the hosts ATS if Gilbert is deemed fit to return.

WAKING NIGHTMARE

The Wake Forest Demon Deacons have seen their season take a terrible turn with word that standout wide receiver Sage Surratt will miss the remainder of 2019 with an undisclosed injury. Wake Forest head coach Dave Clawson confirmed Tuesday that Surratt, who wasn’t featured on the team’s depth chart ahead of its Week 12 encounter with Clemson, would be out for the rest of the season – though he wouldn’t specify what was wrong with the star wideout. Surratt finishes the year with 1,001 receiving yards and 11 touchdowns on 66 receptions as the premier target for quarterback Jamie Newman.

The absence of Surratt should give bettors even less of a reason to bank on Wake Forest, which has seen the line shift as far as four points in Clemson’s favor. Look for the Tigers to keep the undermanned Deacons below their team total.

Too late to start fading the Fins, and the NFL bets you need to make in Week 11

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This may require a double-take, but listen up. The Miami Dolphins have been the best bet in the NFL since the start of October. Yes, those Miami Dolphins. We break down the odds and let you know what bets we like in Week 11 of the NFL as we dive into sides, totals, props and more. 

STAYING HOT IN Q1

The hottest team in the league right now is Lamar Jackson’s Baltimore Ravens. After knocking off the Patriots in Week 9, they turned their crosshairs on the winless Cincinnati Bengals in Week 10. The Ravens ran just 48 offensive plays but managed to put up 49 points. Lost in the 49-13 win was the fact that Baltimore moved to 8-1 against the first-quarter spread after winning the first 15 minutes 14-0.

This week, Baltimore is a 4-point home favorite versus a Houston team that is coming off their bye. If you don’t trust a team coming off a blowout win versus the worst team in the league and/or covering their last three games, take a look at the 1Q Ravens -0.5 (-105) as an alternative.

Baltimore is second in the league in first quarter points per game at 9.5 and third in the league in points against in the first quarter at 3.67 while the Texans are 0-3-1 on the road this year in the first quarter. Take the Ravens 1Q -0.5.

FEAST AWAITS EVANS

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will face a very motivated New Orleans Saints team Sunday, but NOLA will be without their top cornerback in Marcus Lattimore. The third-year CB is week-to-week with a hamstring injury meaning Bucs WRs Mike Evans and Chris Godwin will face sub-par corners in P.J. Williams and Eli Apple.

As Brad Evans pointed out on twitter, this is especially great news for Mike Evans who has struggled over his career versus Lattimore. Evans put up a donut early this year in Week 5 at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome and averaged 9.5 targets for three catches and 34 yards in two games in 2017 (last year Lattimore struggled following up his 2017 DROY but has been much better this year).

Even with Jameis Winston getting sacked nearly four times a game, Evans is averaging 139 yards a game over his last four contests. Jump on Evans’ receiving yard total on any number below 85 and check in on his reception total, hitting the Over on any number below 7.

LOADING SCREEN

No team in the league relies on the screen game more than the Minnesota Vikings. Per ESPN, Minnesota is averaging 9.8 yards per screen attempt which is 3.5 yards more per attempt than the No.10 team.

The beneficiary of this is running back Dalvin Cook who gashed the Cowboys in primetime every time he got the ball with blockers ahead of him. Over the last three games, Cook has amassed 193 yards receiving and will face a Denver Broncos’ defense that is giving up 8.6 yards per pass to RBs since Week 8.

Grab the Over on Cook’s receiving yards on any total less than 40 yards.

LOADING SCREEN PT. 2

If you’re tailing the Cook receiving yards play and want some action on the other side of the ball, maybe look to fade the Broncos’ backfield in receiving yards. Denver is the worst team at generating yards on the screen game (3.7 yards per attempt) and neither Phillip Lindsay nor Royce Freeman has topped 17 yards receiving in the last two weeks. In the only game Brandon Allen has started at quarterback, Lindsay wasn’t targeted at all and Freeman saw one target which he lost a yard on.

Feel confident in taking Lindsay’s Under receiving yards on anything greater than 19 and Freeman’s Under on any number greater than 25.

AIN’T FADING THE FINS NOW

The best team ATS over the last five weeks has been the Miami Dolphins. The former 0-7 team has rattled off five-straight wins ATS and face a Buffalo Bills team that has zero offensive identity of late and trailed the Dolphins by five points heading into the fourth quarter just four weeks ago.

We are a little bearish on Miami hitting a sixth-straight win ATS but have no problem fading Josh Allen’s Bills who are putting up just 288 yards of total offense over the last three weeks, good for sixth-worst. Their once stellar defense now sits 12th in Wtd DVOA — 9th against the pass and 27th against the run.

The Bills needed 22 4th-quarter points in their last meeting to cover their team total and we don’t see Brian Daboll’s offense clearing 23.5 points since they are 2-5 O/U that total in their last seven.

Get on the Bills’ team total Under 23.5 now, as it may drop under this key number later in the week.

NFL Week 11 opening odds and early action: Line moves toward Texans in battle vs Ravens

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An AFC clash featuring two dynamic quarterbacks highlights the NFL’s Week 11 schedule. Covers checks in on the opening odds and early action for a quartet of games, with insights from John Murray, director of The SuperBook at Westgate in Las Vegas.

Houston Texans at Baltimore Ravens (-4.5)

Baltimore is two games clear of the rest of the AFC North and has an MVP candidate emerging at quarterback in Lamar Jackson. After handing New England its first loss, the Ravens (7-2 SU, 4-5 ATS) went to Cincinnati as 10.5-point faves and rumbled to a 49-13 victory Sunday.

Houston is atop a clogged AFC South, with all four teams within two games of each other. The Texans (6-3 SU, 5-4 ATS) had a bye in Week 10, after breezing by Jacksonville 26-3 catching 1 point on the road in Week 9.

“We opened Ravens -4.5 and moved down to -4,” Murray said. “The Texans have been great in this position as a road underdog and are coming off their bye week. This is the best game of the morning slate by far.”

New England Patriots at Philadelphia Eagles (+3.5)

New England had a well-timed bye this past week, following its first loss of the season, which actually ended a 13-0 SU (10-3 ATS) dating to last December. The Patriots (8-1 SU, 6-3 ATS) tumbled to Baltimore 37-20 as 3-point road favorites in Week 9.

Philadelphia is just a tick above .500 following its bye week, but is certainly in contention in the middling NFC East. The Eagles (5-4 SU, 4-5 ATS) topped Chicago 22-14 as a 5-point home favorite in Week 9.

Aside from a preseason meeting last year, this is the first time these two have met since the Eagles beat the Patriots 41-33 in Super Bowl 52. Murray fully expects an overload of Patriots action.

“We opened it Patriots -3.5,” Murray said. “Interesting game with both teams coming off their byes. The Patriots were exposed in a lot of ways by Baltimore. Books will need the Eagles huge.”

There were no line moves Sunday night, but the Patriots twice went to -3 (even), then back to -3 flat.

Kansas City Chiefs at Los Angeles Chargers (+4.5)

Kansas City was thought to be the best shot to dethrone New England atop the AFC, but at 6-4 SU (5-5 ATS) faces a key Monday night showdown in Tinseltown. The Chiefs let a 29-20 fourth-quarter lead slip away in a wild finish at Tennessee, losing 35-32 as 5-point favorites Sunday.

Los Angeles hasn’t lived up to preseason expectations, but a win in this prime-time contest would put it right back in contention in the AFC West. In the Week 10 Thursday nighter, the Chargers (4-6 SU, 3-5-2 ATS) gave up a late touchdown at Oakland to lose 26-24 laying 1 point.

“The Chargers got a little banged up on Thursday in Oakland,” Murray said. “The public will be all over the Chiefs, who will likely need to win to stay in first place, assuming the Raiders beat the Bengals on Sunday. The Chargers may as well play a home game out of the country. They don’t have any fans at their games in L.A. anyway.”

The line settled at Chiefs -4 late Sunday evening.

Arizona Cardinals at San Francisco 49ers (-13.5)

San Francisco (8-0 SU, 5-3 ATS) still has Week 10 work to do, facing a tough Monday night task at home against Seattle. But the 49ers have very recent tape to work with for Week 11, having played at Arizona in the Week 9 Thursday nighter. In that contest, the Niners got out to a 21-7 lead, then held on for a 28-25 victory giving 10.5 points.

Arizona is much more competitive than expected under rookie head coach Kliff Kingsbury and rookie QB Kyler Murray. The Cardinals (3-6-1 SU, 7-3 ATS) have played in seven one-score games, including Sunday’s 30-27 loss at Tampa Bay getting 5.5 points. Arizona is tied with Green Bay for the NFL’s best ATS mark.

“The Cardinals have been great ATS this season, especially as road ‘dogs,” Murray said. “These two teams just played, and the Cardinals moved the ball pretty well. We may see sharps on Arizona and squares on San Francisco here.”