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.

Unbeaten Aztecs to start hot, and the NCAA basketball best bets you need to make this weekend

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The San Diego State Aztecs will look to keep their perfect season going on Sunday, while Texas Tech and Kentucky tangle in a matchup between two Top-20 teams on Saturday night. Rohit Ponnaiya digs into the college basketball odds and brings you his favorite bets and predictions for the weekend.

FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS

The game of the night Friday will take place in the Big East as Marquette tangles with Butler. After falling 76-61 to Villanova on Tuesday (which made us a bit of money), Butler has now lost three straight games after beginning the season with a 15-1 record. In Butler’s last three games they’ve allowed 112.3 points per 100 possessions and a large reason for that is that they’ve been sending opposing teams to the line. Over that three game span they’ve given foes an average of 26.7 free throw attempts per game.

That’s bad news against a Marquette squad that has scored at least 82 points in each of it’s last three games and is led by the leading scorer in the country in Markus Howard. Howard has averaged 35 points per game over his last five contests and has averaged 12.5 FTA over his last two. As a team the Golden Eagles know how to get to the line, attempting 23.6 free throws per game, 18th highest in the country. We like the Over 64.5 on Marquette’s team total. 

EVERYTHING IS BIGGER IN TEXAS

Two Top-20 teams face off in the Lone Star State on Saturday as the Kentucky Wildcats travel to Lubbock to face Texas Tech at 6:00 p.m ET. This matchup should get plenty of action with the Red Raiders coming off a Final Four finish while Kentucky is…well Kentucky.

Texas Tech is coming off a road loss against TCU but is 9-1 at home. Chris Beard’s Red Raiders are known for their defensive intensity and this year’s squad ranks 7th in the country in adjusted defensive efficiency according to the KenPom rating system. That said, Kentucky ranks 42nd in defensive efficiency and 32nd in offensive efficiency (while Texas Tech ranks 97th on offense).

Kentucky has three guards (Ashton Hagans, Immanuel Quickley and Tyrese Maxey) that love to apply pressure on opposing ball-handlers while also being able to create their own shot. With Nick Richards and EJ Montgomery, Calipari’s squad has a (pardon the pun) big edge in size and rebounding ability. And unlike past editions of the Wildcats, this team has plenty of veteran experience so don’t expect them to be rattled playing in hostile territory.

We’re expecting Texas Tech to have the chalk and backing UK as the likely underdog, but if public action makes the Wildcats the faves the value will be on the Red Raiders.

HOUSE OF THE RISING SUN DEVILS

It’s the battle of Arizona on Saturday night as the Arizona State Sun Devils host the Arizona Wildcats. These teams met up on January 4, with the Wildcats routing ASU by a score of 75-47. But don’t expect to see a repeat of that score with the Sun Devils now enjoying home-court advantage.

The Wildcats led by guard Nico Mannion and big man Zeke Nnaji are 13-5 but they have been very beatable when playing outside of Tucson. They’re 9-2 ATS at home but just 1-6 ATS on the road and at neutral sites. They have an average scoring margin of plus-26.6 ppg at home but that falls to minus-1 ppg away from home.

The Sun Devils also play way better in front of their home crowd, outscoring opponents by a margin of plus-15.7 ppg in Tempe, compared to minus-7.2 ppg when they have to travel. Take the home side to cover as underdogs.

THE LAST OF THE UNBEATENS

The last unbeaten team in the country are the No. 4 San Diego Aztecs who head to Vegas to take on the UNLV Runnin’ Rebels on Sunday. The Aztecs have an aggressive defense and have been holding opponents to just 56.7 ppg on 36.7 percent shooting. But SDSU has been effective on the offensive end of the floor as well, ranking 14th in the country in offensive efficiency.

UNLV has been solid, winning seven of the their last nine games and going 6-3 ATS, but they might be out of their depth here. Their two losses during that span were by 14 points against Nevada and seven points against Boise State. The Aztecs beat Nevada by 13 points and clobbered BSU by 18 after leading by 23 points at halftime.

UNLV has been sloppy with the ball turning the ball over 14.6 times per game, second-worst among all Mountain West teams. SDSU has just 11.1 turnovers per game on offense while their pesky defense forces 15.2 TO per game. The full game spread might be a bit too rich for our blood but with the Aztecs fifth in the nation with an average first-half scoring margin of plus-9.2 ppg, look for them to cover the 1H spread. 

MID-MAJOR TO WATCH: DAYTON (17-2 SU, 11-8 ATS, 13-6 O/U)

Dayton is flying up the rankings currently sitting at No. 7. Their 17-2 record is even more impressive when you consider that both defeats were in overtime to quality opponents, falling 90-84 to Kansas and 78-76 to Colorado.

Led by forward Obi Toppin (19.5 ppg, 7.7 rpg, 62.3 percent shooting) the Flyers are first in the country in field goal percentage at 52.5 percent and rank third in scoring with 83 ppg. On Saturday they take on the Richmond Spiders who can also fill up the basket converting at a clip of 47.5 percent from the field, including a sizzling 57.6 percent from the floor over their last three games. The Over is worth looking at.

NATIONAL TITLE ODDS

Gonzaga isn’t a program to sleep on anymore, currently sitting at No. 1 in the polls and with the best odds to win the National Championship at +1000. The Zags have the top rated offense in the nation, putting up 88.8 ppg on 50.6 percent shooting and those numbers jump up to 93.5 ppg and 52.5 percent at home.

On Saturday, Gonzaga hosts Pacific and will probably be favored by more than 20 points. Gonzaga is 4-1 ATS in the last five meetings at home between the two teams dating back to 2016, and the average score of those games was 80-52 in favor of Gonzaga.

If you want to look at a team that’s tumbled down the odds board look no further than the Memphis Tigers who came into the season at +1300 after a terrific recruiting class. After top freshman James Wiseman was suspended and then chose to leave the school, Memphis has looked ugly, coming off a 80-40 smackdown at the hands of Tulsa on Wednesday night. The Tigers currently sit at +6000 odds and even that might be generous. Memphis will try to get back on track on Saturday as they host SMU.

BETTING TRENDS

• By holding Memphis to just 40 points, Tulsa managed to cash the Under for the sixth game in a row. The Golden Hurricanes are 15-4 to the Under and will take on UConn on Sunday. Thanks to a defense that ranks inside the Top-50 teams in the country in opponent FG percentage and an offense that ranks outside the Top-250 in FG percentage, the Huskies have also been a great Under bet, going below the total in 12 of their last 16 contests.

• Virginia has been awful on offense, terrific on defense and plays at the slowest pace in Div 1. But oddsmakers might set the total for their Sunday matchup on the road against Wake Forest a tad too low. The Demon Deacons have gone 8-0-1 to the Over in their last nine games and are 7-1 O/U at home this season.

• Austin Peay is 7-0 ATS in their last seven games overall and is a perfect 6-0 ATS at home this season. On Saturday, the Governors will host the Belmont Bruins in a Ohio Valley Conference matchup. The Bruins are coming off a 10-point loss on the road against Murray State and have failed to cover in their last two away contests.

NHL Midseason betting review: Stanley Cup futures odds and best bets

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With the NHL heading into the All-Star break we take a look the updated futures odds to win the Stanley Cup as well as the best and worst teams to wager on in terms of Moneyline, Puckline and Over/Under bets.

Despite Washington leading the way for the Presidents’ Trophy this season, Tampa Bay still has the best odds to win the Stanley Cup. The Lightning are followed by the Boston Bruins and the defending Stanley Cup champions the St. Louis Blues.

On the other hand, the Toronto Maple Leafs have fallen outside the Top-5 and now sit at +2000, while the San Jose Sharks have plummeted from a Stanley Cup contender to a +8000 long shot.

Here are every teams’ odds to win the Stanley Cup, courtesy of the Superbook at Westgate:

Teams Odds to win Stanley Cup (as of Jan 23)
Tampa Bay Lightning +600
Boston Bruins +800
St. Louis Blues +800
Washington Capitals +1,000
Colorado Avalanche +1,000
Vegas Golden Knights +1,000
Pittsburgh Penguins +1,200
Dallas Stars +1,200
Arizona Coyotes +1,600
Florida Panthers +2,000
Toronto Maple Leafs +2,000
Vancouver Canucks +2,000
Edmonton Oilers +2,500
Calgary Flames +2,500
New York Islanders +4,000
Carolina Hurricanes +4,000
Nashville Predators +4,000
Columbus Blue Jackets +4,000
Philadelphia Flyers +5,000
Winnpeg Jets +5,000
Minnesota Wild +6,000
San Jose Sharks +8,000
Montreal Canadiens +10,000
New York Rangers +10,000
Buffalo Sabres +10,000
Chicago Blackhawks +10,000
Los Angelas Kings +50,000
Anahiem Ducks +100,000
Ottawa Senators +200,000
New Jersey Devils +200,000
Detroit Red Wings +1,000,000

The Capitals don’t just have the best record in the league, they’ve also been the best Over bet as well as the top team to back on the moneyline returning a profit of +9.35 units for bettors this season.

Thanks to rookie goalie Elvis Merzlikins and a group of forwards that can’t find the back of the net, the Columbus Blue Jackets have been the NHL’s best Under bet. The top team to back on the puckline as a favorite has been the surprising Vancouver Canucks who lead the Pacific Division.

While the Golden Knights were sweating sportsbooks when they made their Cinderella run to the Stanley Cup Finals two years ago, oddsmakers have made some of that money back this season as the Knights have been the second-worst money team in the league. The Knights are still way ahead of Detroit who has cost bettors dearly with a loss of almost 20 units.

BEST OVER BETS

Teams Over/Under
Washington Capitals 31-18
Florida Panthers 30-17
Nashville Predators 28-17
Toronto Maple Leafs 28-18
Tampa Bay Lightning 27-20

BEST UNDER BETS

Teams Over/Under
Colombus Blue Jackets 18-32
Dallas Stars 16-29
Carolina Hurricanes 21-29
San Jose Sharks 21-28
Calgary Flames 20-27

BEST MONEY BETS

Teams Total Money Won (based on 100$ bets)
Washington Capitals $935
New York Islanders $700
Colombus Blue Jackets $605
Pittsburgh Penguins $596
New York Rangers $567

WORST MONEY BETS

Teams Total Money Won (based on 100$ bets)
Detroit Red Wings $-1992
Las Vegas Golden Knights $-1010
Los Angelas Kings $-916
San Jose Sharks $-895
Toronto Maple Leafs $-829

BEST PUCKLINE TEAMS AT -1.5 

Teams Total Money Won as Puckline Favorite (PL record as favorite)
Vancouver Canucks $840 (11-12)
Colorado Avalanche $771 (14-14)
Chicago Blackhawks $480 (7-8)
Florida Panthers $410 (13-17)
New York Rangers $375 (5-5)