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Playing Props Divisional Round

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The NFL postseason is one of the heaviest times of the year to see increased betting action since we have so much focus on each individual game. One of the most popular aspects of playoff football betting is individual player props. While you can’t strike it rich on player prop bets because the majority of books have restricted limits on player props, they do offer an edge since the books since the lines are being set on the basics of a player, his average stats, and the average stats of the defense he is facing. Player props were my sour note while betting last week, going 4-5 in picks. I’m still very tilted about Ezekiel Elliott not catching a pass in the second half a week ago.

*All Player Props are taken from the FanDuel Sportsbook

Marlon Mack Over 85.5 Receiving + Rushing Yards

Mack has been a tear, going over 118 yards from scrimmage in three of his past four games as he’s put clamps on owning the Indianapolis backfield. Mack has averaged 42.1 percent of the team touches over the past four games after averaging 30.4 percent per game over his first nine games played of the season.  This week, he faces a Kansas City defense that allowed 169.4 yards from scrimmage to opposing backfields this season (30th), 113.5 of which were rushing yards per game (28th).  The opposition’s lead back has hit this yards from scrimmage total in 11 games this season against the Chiefs and in nine of the past 10 games.

Jared Goff Under 278.5 Passing Yards

Goff has struggled to end the season, averaging just 228.2 yards passing per game over the final five weeks of the regular season. He threw for 216 yards or fewer in four of those five games. The biggest culprit has been his lack of hitting the deep ball. Over that span, Goff completed just 8-of-31 (25.8 percent) pass attempts 15-plus yards downfield after completing 54.5 percent (42-of-77) of those passes prior. Goff did throw for 342.1 yards per game at home this season, but those numbers stemmed from playing in shootouts. The Cowboys are seven point underdogs, which comes into play with forcing the Rams to have to throw. In their six losses this season, Dallas allowed just 223 passing yards per game with just two passers to hit the 200-yard mark. With Goff’s recent struggles, Dallas slowing the game down and the Rams favored to control the game script, I’m going under this large total.

Amari Cooper Under 65.5 Receiving Yards

By now we’re well aware of the wonky passing splits the Dallas offense has had on the road this season and we’ve seen that roll into Cooper’s up and down yardage totals. In four games away from Dallas, Cooper averaged 43.5 yards per game, posting yardage totals of 36, 32 and 31 yards over his final three on the road. He also has a rough track record against both Marcus Peters and Aqib Talib, who he faced frequently while with the Raiders. Amari Cooperhas caught 1-of-7 targets for eight yards and no touchdowns in Talib’s coverage. In six career games versus Peters, Cooper has caught 6-of-12 targets for 77 yards and no touchdowns in Peters’ coverage. In Week 1 while with the Raiders, Cooper was target just once in the coverage of either corner. The Rams have allowed 7.2 yards per target, 126 yards per game with just two touchdowns to opposing wide receivers since Talib returned in Week 13.

 

Mike Williams Under 44.5 Receiving Yards

Williams is playing more and more and last week was the first game in which he ran as many pass routes as Tyrell Williams in a game in which both played in full. Williams has hit this number in four of his past six games but has averaged only 47.8 yards per game over that span. This is a week to expect him to go under that average as he squares off against Stephon Gilmore. Gilmore allowed just 46.7 percent of targets in his coverage to be completed, which ranked second in the league. Tack on that Hunter Henry should grab a few targets in his return and I’d expect Williams to disappoint.

Drew Brees Over 290.5 Passing Yards

Brees has always been at his best at home and this season was no different. At home, Brees averaged 321.6 passing yards per game as opposed to 217.6 per game on the road. At home, he hit this total in 5-of-7 games, including a 364-yard, passing game against the Eagles in Week 11. Brees has also averaged 305.8 passing yards per game in his five postseason starts in New Orleans. The Eagles ranked 30th in passing yardage allowed per game (307.9 yards) during the regular season and they allowed the most passing yards (303) to a quarterback in the opening week of the playoffs to Mitchell Trubisky.

Darren Sproles Under 47.5 Rushing + Receiving Yards

I bet the over on Sproles’ yards from scrimmage prop last week and watched him come four yards shy of getting there. This week, they raised his line to a total that he’s hit in just one of his seven games played this season. Sproles has hit 40 yards from scrimmage just twice. His former team allows just 96.7 total yards per game to opposing backfields, which was second in the league.

EPL Matchweek Odds: Liverpool favored over Manchester United

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The twist scenario in this weekend’s derby is that the pressure is on the visiting, first-place Liverpool – which could make Manchester United the value play.

Liverpool is the +135 away favorite on the Premier League odds with host Manchester United coming back at +205, while the draw is offering +250 and there is a 2.5-goal total for Sunday at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

This is first-place Liverpool’s game in hand over second-place Manchester City; while the Reds are undefeated in 26 of their last 27 away matches, they are coming off a desultory 0-0 draw against Germany’s Bayern Munich this week in Champions League play. Manchester United’s new-found confidence attributed to caretaker manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is borne out by some strong trends, which include scoring at least two goals in six consecutive matches, while also winning eight of their last nine in the league.

Confidence in Manchester United, which is led by midfield magician Paul Pogba, could be tempered somewhat if first-choice starters Jesse Lingard and Anthony Martial are ruled out of action. Liverpool would seem like a safe bet to continue its skein of scoring in every away game in the league this season, even though Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah have not been capitalizing at a high rate of late.

Cardiff City (+215) and Watford (+140, draw +230) meet in a Friday EPL matchup with a strong OVER trend, as 10 of their last 11 meetings have had more than two goals. With Cardiff refreshed by a bye week and Watford being without suspended left back Jose Holebas, alternate totals such as OVER 3.5 (+245) should be considered.

West Ham United (-115) hosts Fulham (+325, draw +295), which has been a feeble away team that has lost 10 of its last 11 away games in the league, while also trailing at halftime in seven of its last eight away games. West Ham’s Marko Arnautovic (+333 first scorer, EVEN anytime) should have ample opportunity to score. In correct score group props, West Ham United 3-0, 3-1 or 3-2 (+450) is a high-value, if chancier, play.

Burnley (+425) takes dubious trends against Tottenham Hotspur (-145, draw +270) into a Saturday matchup. Tottenham has kept a clean sheet in the last three meetings and is undefeated in the past nine. Burnley is a tough out at home, and Tottenham win / yes (+250) and yes / over 2.5 (+125) both offer value in both teams to score prop betting.

Bournemouth (+180) and Wolverhampton (+160, draw +235) is the tautest three-way moneyline of the week. The slight home underdog Cherries are an attacking team at home and five of the Wolves’ last six away matches have gone OVER 2.5 goals, so both teams to score props are worth poring over, and Either Team 2-1 (+350) has potential in the correct score group props.

And Leicester City (+120) hosts Crystal Palace (+250, draw +235) dragging a three-match home losing streak, as well as a three-match goalless streak against the visiting Eagles.

The head-to-head trend makes Crystal Palace the percentage play on the double chance (-140 for a win or draw), but there is potential for offense and Leicester could get it from winger Demarai Gray (+900 first scorer, +330 anytime), with Jamie Vardy (+350 first scorer, +120 anytime) being the usual suspect.

For more odds information, betting picks and a breakdown of this week’s top sports betting news check out the OddsShark podcast with Jon Campbell and Andrew Avery. Subscribe on iTunes or Spotify or listen to it at OddsShark.libsyn.com.

Red Sox, Yankees share top of 2019 World Series odds board

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With Major League Baseball so split into the win-now and win-later camps, it lends itself to wondering whether the grand old game will see it its first repeat champion in almost two decades.

The reigning Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees are each listed at +600 on the 2019 World Series odds at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com. After the AL East’s two behemoths, the top of the board also includes the Houston Astros (+800)  and Los Angeles Dodgers (+800).

No team has repeated since the 1998-2000 Yankees won three World Series in a row. But the Red Sox, led by reigning MVP Mookie Betts, are coming off a dominant 108-win season where they scored 876 runs. Boston also has proven pitching depth.

The current Yankees should also be formidable at bat and on the mound, particularly with a bullpen of Dellin Bettances, Zack Britton, Aroldis Chapman and Adam Ottavino that could be lights-out in the postseason. Whoever finishes first in the AL East – keep in mind that the last four World Series champions have been either a No. 1 or No. 2 playoff seed in their league – will rate an excellent chance of being the favorite in October.

The Astros and the Dodgers rate the relatively short odds. However, the respective AL West and NL West champs face questions about their pitching – Houston bid adieu to Dallas Keuchel, whereas Los Angeles is wondering how much velocity Clayton Kershaw will recover after three consecutive years of battling injuries – that beg taking a wait-and-see approach.

Recent league MVP Bryce Harper is still unsigned and the team that the slugging outfielder has been most linked to, the Philadelphia Phillies (+1400), presents excellent value farther down the board, including on the season win totals at sportsbooks.

The most tightly contested division is expected to be the NL Central with the Chicago Cubs (+1400), St. Louis Cardinals (+1400) and Milwaukee Brewers (+1600). Of those three, the Cardinals, who added slugging first baseman Paul Goldschmidt over the winter, might be the most undervalued.

The Atlanta Braves (+1600), Cleveland Indians (+1600) and Washington Nationals (+1600) are all recent playoff teams. Atlanta probably has the most upside of those teams by virtue of having a young corps, and a longshot play on a team building toward its peak is always better than taking a team past its best-before date.

For more odds information, betting picks and a breakdown of this week’s top sports betting news check out the OddsShark podcast with Jon Campbell and Andrew Avery. Subscribe on iTunes or Spotify or listen to it at OddsShark.libsyn.com.