Getty

Playing Props Divisional Round

Leave a comment

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.

Daytona 500 Odds: Betting Preview for Great American Race

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Winning the Great American Race once might generate confidence with bettors, but recent history shows that it means little once the race begins.

Joey Logano, one of the eight past champions in the field, is the +800 co-favorite on the Daytona 500 odds at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com. Brad Keselowski (+800) and Kevin Harvick (+850) join Logano at the top of the board.

The favorites for the NASCAR Cup season opener at Daytona International Speedway also include Kyle Busch (+1200), who won in 2017, as well as Ryan Blaney (+1100), Clint Bowyer (+1100), Chase Elliott (+1100) and Denny Hamlin (+1100).

A chalk pick with Logano, who will start fourth, is justifiable, but the wide-open nature of motorsports means the value is farther down on the board and higher in the grid. Ten of the last 13 champions, including the last four, have been first-time winners. Five of the last six winners have started eighth or higher on the grid.

Picking Keselowski would mean being comfortable with a racer who has failed to finish in the last four runnings at Daytona International Speedway. Elliott is a big name bettors probably should fade, based on the fact he has also fared poorly on this track. Likewise, Harvick has failed to finish in four of his last five runnings on the track, while Kyle Busch has finished outside of the top five in each of the last two years.

Aric Almirola (+1100), who had the lead in the 2018 race until he crashed with a mile to go, still holds of a lot of value as bettors try to gauge whether he has put that misfortune in this showcase event behind him or it becomes some sort of mental millstone. Jimmie Johnson (+1800), who won the rain-shortened Advance Auto Parts Clash last Sunday, is one former champion who might worth taking a flier on.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (+1500) has fared well in his recent restrictor-plate races and would fit the first-time winner trend. A darkhorse whose NASCAR odds for Sunday have dropped without killing his value, though, is Daniel Suarez (+2200), who ran well during the aforementioned Clash before getting stuck behind a wreck and ultimately finishing 10th.

It is tough enough to win Daytona twice in a lifetime, let alone twice in a row, so defending champion Austin Dillon (+3000) is well down the board at online sports betting sites. No driver has won the race twice in a row since Sterling Marlin in 1994 and 1995.

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.

Smith Jr., Curry, Team LeBron favorites on All-Star weekend NBA odds

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Overdoing it in the Slam Dunk Contest last year has given Dennis Smith Jr.’s odds a little more vertical, so to speak, entering NBA All-Star weekend.

Smith is the +200 favorite on the Slam Dunk Contest odds for Saturday in Charlotte at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com. The New York Knicks point guard was the favorite in the 2018 edition but a miss in the first round brought him back to earth, helping the Utah Jazz’s Donovan Mitchell – who’s not competing this time around – win the title.

The aesthetics of the dunk contest tend to favor players around the size of the six-foot-three Smith, who may have learned some lessons about the procedure of the event.

Miles Bridges (+225) of the host Charlotte Hornets is an explosive leaper who has the hometown advantage. The Atlanta Hawks’ John Collins (+225), as the tallest player competing, might be at a judging disadvantage.

The Golden State Warriors’ Stephen Curry (+175) is the favorite on the Three-Point Contest odds, followed by defending champion Devin Booker (+450), Buddy Hield (+450), Seth Curry (+550), Kemba Walker (+900), Joe Harris (+900) and Damian Lillard (+900).

The fact that 10 players have won in the last 10 years highlights the randomness of the event. Beyond Stephen Curry, Booker offers excellent value in an event that is overdue for someone to win back-to-back, and Walker will be competing on his home floor, although no host-team player has won in the event’s 32-year history.

De’Aaron Fox (+250) has top odds in the Skills Challenge at betting sites, followed by Luka Doncic (+325), Trae Young (+375), Mike Conley (+550), Nikola Jokic (+600), Jayson Tatum (+600) and Kyle Kuzma (+700). International players comprise four of the last nine winners and Doncic might offer more upside than the favored Fox. The last three winners of this timed event have all been six-six or taller, so a skilled big such as the six-nine Kuzma poses a darkhorse threat.

As for the game on Sunday, Team LeBron is a 6-point betting favorite against Team Giannis. The higher value resides in the game MVP props, where superlative scorer Kevin Durant (+600) is co-favorite to win MVP with Giannis Antetokounmpo. Team LeBron is loaded with three-point threats such as Durant, James himself (+650), James Harden (+1000), Klay Thompson (+4000), Damian Lillard (+4000) and Bradley Beal (+4000). Harden’s historic streak of 30-point games makes him an intriguing pick.

On the Team Giannis side, the Greek Freak himself would seem to pose the best chance; the game MVP always comes from the winning side and he would stand to play a major role in the betting-line underdog winning on these NBA odds.

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.