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Blue Devils head into weekend atop 2019 NCAA Tournament odds

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Despite the Tennessee Volunteers sitting atop the college basketball polls for the third week in a row, they have been unable to supplant the second-ranked Duke Blue Devils from the No. 1 spot at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com as the favorites on the odds to win the 2019 NCAA Tournament.

The Blue Devils are listed at +170 (bet $100 to win $170) to cut down the nets on April 1 in advance of Saturday’s ACC showdown with the Virginia Cavaliers while the Volunteers are the second choice to take home the title at +750.

Duke fell from the top spot of the polls following a surprising 95-91 overtime loss to the unranked Syracuse Orange as a 17-point home favorite on January 14. Since then, the Blue Devils have reeled off six consecutive wins though, going 4-2 against the spread during that stretch.

Meanwhile, Tennessee is riding a 17-game winning streak (10-6-1 ATS) since suffering its lone loss of the season to the 13th-ranked Kansas Jayhawks 87-81 in OT as a 3.5-point underdog on the college basketball odds on November 23. The Jayhawks have lost three of their last four games overall, and they are currently the eighth choice to win the NCAA Tournament at +1600.

Virginia is the +800 fourth choice to win the NCAA Tournament right now and will have an excellent opportunity to move up in the polls and on the betting board with a home victory versus Duke on Saturday. The third-ranked Cavaliers lost the first meeting with the Blue Devils 72-70 on January 19 but beat the spread as 3.5-point road underdogs.

Other teams in the mix to win the national title include the fifth-ranked Kentucky Wildcats (+900), seventh-ranked Michigan Wolverines (+750), fourth-ranked Gonzaga Bulldogs (+1000), ninth-ranked Michigan State Spartans (+1000), sixth-ranked Nevada Wolf Pack (+2000) and eighth-ranked North Carolina Tar Heels (+2400).

The Wildcats host the Volunteers a week from Saturday in a huge SEC battle. North Carolina will also host Virginia on Monday in another big ACC game.

The 14th-ranked Villanova Wildcats, the defending national champions who have won the NCAA title in two of the past three years, are further down the March Madness odds board at +4000. Villanova is off to an impressive 10-0 start in Big East play going into a key conference road matchup with the 10th-ranked Marquette Golden Eagles on Saturday.

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.

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.