The college football bets you need to make in Week 3

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Another college football Saturday is upon us and while there are no matchups of top 25 teams, there are plenty of intriguing games on the board and a ton of betting value to be found. That includes a showdown between Arizona State and Michigan State, K.J. Costello returns for Stanford and can Tennessee start to turn its season around? 

We have spent all week looking up and down the Week 3 college football betting odds, compiling the best picks and predictions on spread and totals, as well as team totals, player props and derivatives.

SUN DEVILS’ SLOW STARTS

The Arizona State Sun Devils will need to be a whole lot better in the first half if they have any hope of being competitive this weekend against the host Michigan State Spartans. Arizona State has sleepwalked through the first half of its opening two games in 2019, scoring a combined 13 points prior to the half in victories over Kent State and Sacramento State. And that doesn’t bode well at all for Herm Edwards’ crew, which faces a Spartans team that has limited Tulsa and Western Michigan to just 14 first-half points in back-to-back one-sided wins.

Add in the fact that Michigan was the best team in the nation in 2018 at limiting first-half scoring – allowing just 6.3 points per game prior to the break – and it could be a rough start for the visiting Sun Devils. We like a pair of picks here, rolling with host Michigan State on the -7.5 first-half line and going with the Under on the first-half total of 21.

NOWHERE TO RUN

The UNLV Runnin’ Rebels have certainly lived up to their moniker so far in 2019, but they’ll face a daunting task Saturday as they tangle with a stout Northwestern Wildcats defense. The visiting Rebels are led by running back Charles Williams, who ranks third in the nation in rushing yards heading into the weekend (311) and already has four touchdowns on the ground. But the Wildcats are well-rested following a Week 2 bye and limited Stanford to just 3.38 yards per carry on 39 attempts in their season-opening 17-7 loss to the visiting Cardinal.

Northwestern is a 17.5-point home favorite going into this one – and their run-stopping success is no fluke, after they finished 26th in yards against per game last season. with the Rebels’ pass offense very much a work in progress, look for the Wildcats to stamp out the ground game and cover the spread in this one.

SINDELAR A GAME-TIME DECISION

The Purdue starting quarterback situation likely won’t be settled until just prior to Saturday’s game against the visiting TCU Horned Frogs. Boilermakers head coach Jeff Brohm says that, while he’s optimistic that Elijah Sindelar will be cleared from the concussion protocol in time for the game, it’s far from a certainty. Sindelar, who suffered a concussion in Purdue’s Week 2 victory over the Vanderbilt Commodores, is off to a blistering start to the season, having thrown for 932 yards and nine touchdowns against three interceptions. Freshman Jack Plummer will get the start in Sindelar’s place if he can’t go.

The concussion news dropped Purdue from being a slight favorite to a slight underdog for Saturday’s game against the Horned Frogs. If Sindelar is cleared, jump on the home team money line before it shifts; if you’re too late, you can still take the Boilermakers ATS if they emerge as the favorite again.

HAWAIIAN GENEROSITY

Hawaiians are a kind, generous people – and that philosophy extends to their football team, for better or worse, as the Warriors prepare to face the host Washington Huskies. Hawaii enters the game as one of the most careless teams in the country with the football, having turned it over a whopping eight times (three fumbles lost, five interceptions). And those extra possessions in favor of the home team could sink the Warriors’ chances of competing against a Huskies team that is not only favored by roughly three touchdowns, but has also turned the ball over just twice so far.

Coupled with the Huskies coming off a +3 turnover differential showing in 2018 (and Hawaii finishing at -9), it’s clear that the home side has the edge in the ball security department. Look for Washington to turn one of those Warriors turnovers into a touchdown, a development that pays out at +200.

WIMBUSH BACK IN THE MIX?

The Central Florida Knights will likely have their top three quarterbacks in the fold for this weekend’s encounter with the visiting Stanford Cardinal. Reshirt senior Brandon Wimbush missed last week’s game against Florida Atlantic due to an undisclosed injury, but head coach Jeff Lebby says Wimbush will be in action Saturday. Wimbush and Dillon Gabriel have split the majority of the work so far, but Darriel Mack has been cleared to return and might also hit the field against the Cardinal.

While winning the game is certainly the Knights’ top priority, they might be almost as concerned with getting multiple quarterbacks into Saturday’s game. And with this line having climbed all the way to UCF -9, the conditions are ideal for bettors to favor the visitors ATS given the uncertainty of the UCF offense.

STRAKEL TAKES OVER

The Arkansas Razorbacks have named graduate transfer Nick Starkel their starting quarterback ahead of Saturday’s showdown with Colorado State. Starkel will take over for Ben Hicks, who started each of the Razorbacks’ first two games but was pulled from both due to poor performances. Starkel, who came to Arkansas from Texas A&M, has been the far superior option so far, having completed better than 72 percent of his pass attempts while throwing the Razorbacks’ only passing touchdown to date.

While the upgrade from Starkel to Hicks (who completed less than half of his attempts) is a favorable one, Arkansas’ team total in this one is a sky-high 37.5. With the Razorbacks having scored just 37 points in two games, and Colorado State having finished in the top-30 in plays per game in two straight years (and is 18th this season), the Arkansas U37.5 is a decent play here.

GOOD NEWS, BAD NEWS

It’s been a good-news, bad-news kind of week for the Stanford Cardinal as they prepare to face the Central Florida Knights on Saturday. First, the good: The Cardinal will have quarterback KJ Costello back in the fold after he missed last week’s loss to USC after suffering an injury in the first half of the season opener against Northwestern. Unfortunately, he’ll be missing one of his key offensive lineman, with tackle Walker Little set to undergo season-ending knee surgery; he was also injured vs. the Wildcats.

While losing Little certainly hurts, the return of Costello is a big one for a Cardinal team that saw backup Davis Mills struggle against the Trojans (237 passing yards, 1 TD, 1 INT). The Knights like it fast (ranking 30th in plays per game last season) and Costello is talented enough to lead Stanford over its 26.5-point team total.

AGGRAVATED AGGIES

A disappointing 24-10 setback to No. 1 Clemson wasn’t the only loss the Texas A&M Aggies suffered last week; they’ve learned they’ll be without leading rusher Jashaun Corbin for the remainder of the season with a hamstring injury. Corbin suffered the injury midway through the third quarter of last week’s loss; he had compiled 34 yards on 13 carries to that point but gained over 100 yards the week prior in a victory over Texas Southern. Corbin finishes the year with 137 rushing yards and a score.

Given that the Aggies are ridiculous 43.5-point favorites for this week’s game against visiting Lamar, look for head coach Jimbo Fisher to take full advantage and give as many of his players as much rest as possible; temperatures will also approach 100 degrees Fahrenheit, which is another good reason to pump the brakes. We like the Under-63 option here.

ONE TITANIC CHALLENGE

After comparing his team to “The Titanic,” Tennessee head coach Jeremy Pruitt will look to right the ship this week as the winless Volunteers host state rival Chattanooga. And getting back on track could mean a heavier reliance on a run game that has looked a lot better than the passing game through the first two weeks. Ty Chandler (202 yards) and Eric Gray (106) should both see plenty of action in a game in which the hosts are favored by four touchdowns.

Their early-season success, coupled with struggles from starting quarterback Jarrett Guarantano, could make this a 55-carry kind of game as Tennessee looks for its first win of the season. And with the Mocs coming in having averaged just 22 points per game against far inferior competition, we see the Vols controlling the game sufficiently to keep their foes below their team total.

VanVleet picks up where he left off in the playoffs, and the NBA bets you need to make Tuesday

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Opening day of the 2019-20 NBA season is here with the defending champion Toronto Raptors hosting the New Orleans Pelicans. The late matchup pairs the top two choices to win it all, according to the NBA betting odds, with the Los Angeles Lakers taking on the new-look Los Angeles Clippers. 

If you’re betting on the NBA openers, we have the best bets and prop predictions for Tuesday’s two games.

BIG CHANGES IN THE BIG EASY

The Pelicans sport one of the most overhauled rosters in the NBA after trading Anthony Davis to the Lakers in exchange for Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram and draft picks. New Orleans then selected Zion Williamson first overall in the draft, but unfortunately, his debut will have to wait as he is expected to miss the first couple of weeks with a knee injury. Some more big pickups include Derrick Favors and J.J. Redick.

Although Redick is playing for a new squad this year, while with Philadelphia he had success versus the Raptors in the playoffs, shooting 43.9 percent from the field, 41 percent from beyond the arc, and scored 15 or more points in four of those seven postseason games. With an increased role on the Pelicans and some good shooting numbers, back Over his points total of 16.5 on PointsBet.

NO HANGOVER HERE

The Raptors kick their season off playing a double-header with the first game at home to the Pelicans. The 2018-2019 season saw the Raptors set franchise records in points per game, assists per game, rebounds per game, and 3-point shots made. A regression is expected with Toronto losing both Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green but still finds itself a 7-point favorite in the season opener.

With the Championship banner being hoisted, rings handed out, and the Raptors looking to start the schedule strong, look for them to take care of business and cover at home as 7-point favorites.

RIGHT SAID FRED

With Toronto PG Kyle Lowry undergoing surgery on his finger in the offseason, don’t be surprised to see big numbers out of Fred VanVleet in the first few games of the schedule.

Last season, VanVleet averaged 27.5 minutes with 11 points, 4.8 assists and 2.6 rebounds per game. Although this is a revamped Pelicans roster with many new faces, New Orleans struggled to defend opposing point guards last year, allowing 23.3 points per game and the league’s highest assists per game average at 9.1 to that position. If he carries over his postseason play, VanVleet will be a major player and offensive contributor for the defending champs. Take Over his assists total of 4.5.

BATTLE: LOS ANGELES

The Lakers start their second season with LeBron James at the helm but has more support behind him with guys like Anthony Davis, Dwight Howard, and Danny Green. The Clippers were also busy in the offseason, adding MVP talents in Kawhi Leonard and Paul George.

George will not be playing in the opening game (out until November while recovering from shoulder surgery), which plays a major role in shaping this spread, which sees the Purple and Gold as short “home” favorites in the war for the Staples Center.

LeBron and the Lakers have a lot to prove after a terrible finish to 2018-19 and we like them to cover as 2.5-points favorites Tuesday.

DOWN TO DEFENSE

With both Leonard and Patrick Beverly on the floor, the Clippers will be a difficult team to score on. With George out of action and this L.A. offense not firing on all cylinders, the Clippers certainly have the defense to keep things close.

The Lakers have plenty of scoring options but miss out on the services of Kyle Kuzma (18.7 ppg in 2018-19), who will be sitting out in the opening game with a foot injury. While it’s Game 1 of an 82-game season, this Los Angeles rivalry could have playoff intensity right out of the gate. We like a lower-scoring game and the Under 225.5 points Tuesday night. 

Lakers vs Clippers NBA betting picks and predictions: Davis will dominate down low on opening night

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The 2019-2020 NBA season starts off with a bang tonight as two revamped teams with some of the best players in the world take to the court in Los Angeles as the Lakers face the Clippers. 

Expectations are sky-high for both teams after the Lakers added Anthony Davis as a running mate for Lebron James, while the Clippers are led by last year’s NBA Finals MVP in Kawhi Leonard. These rivals will be highly motivated to begin the season with a win and stake an early claim as the best team in the league.

We break down the odds for the Battle of L.A. and give you five of our best bets and predictions.

QUICK HITTER

The biggest move the Lakers made in the offseason was obviously the addition of Anthony Davis. But he’s not the only new face with Danny Green, Quinn Cook, Dwight Howard, and Avery Bradley all in line to receive significant minutes in their rotation.

The Clippers have also gone through a makeover adding Kawhi Leonard, Paul George, and Maurice Harkless. While George won’t play until at least mid-November after undergoing shoulder surgery, the other two should log major minutes.

Playing together in practice and the preseason is no substitute for the actual defensive intensity of an NBA game. So expect both offenses to take some time to gell and back the Under on the 1Q total.

PICK: First Quarter Under 58 (-115)

FIRST HALF BET

The first quarter might see from offensive jitters from both teams but they should begin to settle down after 12 minutes. Lebron James, in particular, should have little problem facilitating the offense while the underrated additions of Green and Cook should improve their three-point efficiency which was among the worst in the league last year.

On defense, they match up well with the Clippers with Lebron able to switch onto Leonard while Bradley can give Lou Williams fits. Rajon Rondo is listed as questionable with a calf injury but if he’s good to go that will be yet another Lakers defender that can pressure opposing ball-handlers.

The Lakers also have a height advantage which should help them win the battle on the boards and get more second chances. Bet on the Lakers to cover the short first-half spread.

PICK: First Half Lakers -1.5 (-120)

TEAM/PLAYER PROP

Davis looks like a great fit in the Lakers offense next to Lebron. The Brow can run the pick and roll, attack down low and hit jumpers when he needs to. He gets to face a Clippers team that was among the worst at defending inside last season, giving up 50.7 points per game in the paint. Montrezl Harrell, Ivica Zubac and JaMychal Green will have a major mismatch on their hands against the Lakers star.

Last year Davis combined for 41.8 points, rebounds and assists per game but that includes a stretch towards the end of the season where New Orleans severely limited his minutes. Before the All-Star break, he combined for 45.2 points, rebounds, and assists per contest. Take the Over on his PRA total tonight.

PICK: Anthony Davis – Points, Rebounds and Assists Over 41.5 (-115)

 

FULL GAME TOTAL

The O/U for this game opened at 227 on Saturday and has already dropped to 224 and for good reason. The Clippers should be terrific at defending on the perimeter with Patrick Beverly and Leonard while the Lakers will miss Kyle Kuzma’s production on the offensive end of the floor. Kuzma averaged 18.7 ppg last season but the forward is still recovering from a foot injury.

The Lakers should be much improved at defending the rim with Davis and Howard, which will force Leonard and Lou Williams to carry the offensive load.

The Lakers added plenty of experience and size in the offseason. That might be a formula for winning but also means that they added older players and guys that prefer to set up in the half-court rather than running the floor all game. Expect them to play at a slower pace than last season and take the Under 224.

PICK: Under 224 (-110)

FULL GAME SIDE

As we enter this new era of “Super-Duos” in the NBA the Clippers could find themselves at a disadvantage without one half of their duo. Leonard will do his part on both ends of the floor but the Clippers will need a heroic display from Lou Williams and improved defensive play from their big men if they want to hang with the Lakeshow.

The Clips won’t have an answer for AD and Lebron will come out as healthy and as motivated as he’s been in years. As the season goes on, expect Lakers coach Frank Vogel to start resting his superstars, but he has said that there won’t be any minutes restrictions for Lebron or Davis at the start of the year. Count on the Lakers viewing this as a statement game and back them to pull off the win while covering.

PICK: Los Angeles Lakers -3.5 (-105)