Points of Interest: NFL Week 3 Over/Under picks and predictions

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Week 3 of the NFL season brought more than its fair share of mayhem as the quarterback injuries have started to pile up. 

Looking at the two biggest injuries, Big Roethlisberger and Drew Brees are worth about four and six points per game over an average QB, by EPA since 2009. The lines for their games have dropped by three and five respectively since the news broke, so oddsmakers have (unsurprisingly) done a good job adjusting. What we saw of the backups wasn’t enough to say what’s going to happen going forward, so I’ll be avoiding those games this week and waiting for a little more data.

Otherwise, we saw a lot more of the same in Week 2. The Ravens, Cowboys, Chiefs and Patriots stayed as the Top 4 offenses by EPA, though the 49ers at No. 5 after their destruction of the Bengals is not something most would have predicted.

On the other end of the spectrum, Miami may be the worst team ever and the Jets predictably struggled with Luke Falk at QB, but the remainder of the Bottom 5 offenses are all surprising: Carolina, Tampa Bay and (most surprising of all) Cleveland. Now we don’t want to move too much based on two games but certainly we’ll be keeping an eye on those teams moving forward.

NEW YORK GIANTS AT TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS (-6.5, 48)

We got a win Week 1 with a bet against the Bucs offense and have another great spot here going up against rookie QB Daniel Jones and the Giants.

I mentioned in Week 1 that Tampa Bay’s defense had shown signs of life late in 2018 and they’ve more than kept that up, sitting second in defensive EPA through 2 games. We expect them to regress somewhat, but we’re still looking at an above-average defense against a rookie QB whose best healthy receiver is (I had to look it up)… Cody Latimer?

On the other side of the ball, Jameis Winston rebounded from a terrible Week 1 but did so in very safe fashion. The Bucs have yet to eclipse 300 yards or 20 points and just don’t look like the explosive offense many expected them to be. Two bad offenses, one good defense and an above average total. Stinks like Under to me.

PREDICTION: Under 48

HOUSTON TEXANS AT LOS ANGELES CHARGERS (-3.5, 47.5)

This line has come down from 49 after the two teams combined for just 23 points in Week 2. A few things to note: first the Chargers left a lot of points on the table. Austin Ekeler fumbled at the one-yard line, Philip Rivers threw a pointless pick in the end zone and the Chargers put up well over 400 yards of offense despite only scoring 10 points.

Houston, meanwhile, went up against a very good Jaguars defense that had Deshaun Watson under pressure all day. The Chargers have just two sacks through two games and have struggled overall on defense, ranking near the bottom on the NFL by EPA so far in 2019.

It’s easy to look at last week’s scoreboard and think we have two good defenses and two bad offenses, but EPA would suggest quite the opposite.

PREDICTION: Over 47.5

NEW YORK JETS AT NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (-22.5, 43.5)

This one is a bet on the New England Patriots defense as much as anything. Coming into the season it was expected to be good and you can’t ask for much more through two games, allowing just three points and less than 500 total yards while leaving the rest of the league in the dust by defensive EPA.

It’s easy to write off last week’s destruction of the Dolphins, but they also held a healthy Ben Roethlisberger & Co. to a mere field goal in Week 1, so it looks like much of that preseason hype was warranted.

The concern here is that the Patriots do most or all of the work themselves, but last week’s scoreboard was run up in large part due to two fourth-quarter pick-6s and a garbage-time touchdown to James White.

Diving deeper, we’ve only seen 22 points scored through 49 minutes. The Jets also pose a much tougher test on defense. Miami ranks 32nd by defensive EPA (again, worst team ever?) whereas the Jets’ stop unit has kept them in games, allowing 40 points through two outings and ranking 11th by EPA.

The Jets defense isn’t going to stop the Patriots but it should offer more resistance than the Dolphins did. And until Sam Darnold’s mono improves, we’re not going to see a lot of points out of Gang Green.

PREDICTION: Under 43.5

Week 2: 1-2
Season to date: 3-3

Canucks vs Golden Knights picks and predictions for Game 1

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Perhaps no team has been more fun to follow during the NHL playoffs than the Vancouver Canucks, and hockey bettors can still get the Canucks at +1,300 to hoist Lord Stanley’s cup. Vancouver is coming off a thrilling series win against the defending champion St. Louis Blues, but now a much more difficult challenge awaits. The Vegas Golden Knights are +350 favorites to win it all, and they’ve certainly looked the part while dropping only one playoff contest.

Game 1 of this series gets underway Sunday, so we’re here to bring you our NHL picks and predictions in this Western Conference semifinal showdown.

Vancouver Canucks vs Vegas Golden Knights betting preview

Starting Goalies

Canucks: Jacob Markstrom – playoffs – 7-3, 2.44 GAA, .929 SV% (season – 23-16, 2.75 GAA, .918 SV%)

Golden Knights: Robin Lehner – playoffs – 5-1, 2.44 GAA, .904 SV% (season – 19-10, 2.89, .920 SV%)

If this game was actually played in Las Vegas, then Markstrom could easily spend a few hours performing with Cirque du Soleil. The 30-year-old dazzled against Blues with an eye-opening array of acrobatic saves and an impressive 7-3 record. He’ll need to provide more of the same against a dangerous Vegas squad.

The Knights will likely roll with Robin Lehner, who has taken over the spot as Vegas’s starter in the crease—and rightfully so. Still, the Knights have the luxury of having Marc-Andre Fleury as their “backup.” The five-time All-Star matched an NHL record this season with his 14th consecutive playoff appearance.

Injuries

Vancouver: Tyler Myers D (out), Tyler Toffoli RW (out), Micheal Ferland LW (out), Josh Leivo LW (out)

Vegas: Tomas Nosek LW (out)

Betting Trend to Know

Canucks are 0-6 in their last six Sunday games. Find the latest NHL betting trends for Canucks vs. Golden Knights.

MONEYLINE PICK

The Canucks have been a force with the extra man during the postseason, converting 26.2% of their power plays. While the Knights are known for their offensive firepower, it’s their stingy defense that allows them to suffocate opponents—as evidenced by an 86.4% penalty kill during their playoff run. Vancouver is the only team in the league to never beat Vegas in regulation, going 0-11 all time. That’s something I just can’t ignore.

PREDICTION: Vegas ML (-175)

OVER/UNDER PICK

Each team is filled with loads of offensive talent. Vancouver’s Bo Horvat and J.T. Miller have combined for 11 goals thus far. Elias Pettersson has racked up 13 points, tied with Colorado’s Nathan MacKinnon for the playoff lead.

The Knights can match Vancouver’s scorers, but they’re more balanced—Shea Theodore, Alex Tuch and Mark Stone have each lit the lamp four times during the postseason. The difference is on defense, where Vancouver has allowed the most high-danger chances of all remaining playoff teams.

PREDICTION: Over 5.5 (-110)

PROP PICK

Though I like Vegas to win, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Canucks kept it close and continued their offensive success. I’ll take a flyer on Vancouver scoring at least three goals.

PREDICTION: Canucks total goals Over 2.5 (-100)

Canucks vs Golden Knights Betting Card

  • Vegas ML (-175)
  • Over 5.5 (-110)
  • Canucks total goals Over 2.5 (-100)
NHL Parlays

Did you know that if you parlayed today’s NHL Canucks vs Golden Knights picks, you could win $104.93 on a $10 bet?

Use our NHL parlay calculator to create your own parlays and see their potential payouts.

Verlander injury shuffles Astros’ MLB futures odds

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MLB betting got a shake-up Sunday afternoon, specifically on World Series odds and AL pennant odds, with news that Astros star pitcher Justin Verlander could miss the rest of the season – or at least a significant chunk of it – with an arm injury.

Initial reports suggested Verlander had an elbow ailment, but both he and manager Dusty Baker quickly denied that. Baker called it a forearm strain and said that Verlander would be re-evaluated in “a couple of weeks.” The reigning AL Cy Young winner pitched a solid six innings in an 8-2 Opening Day rout of the Seattle Mariners on Friday.

Verlander’s injury led oddsmakers to shuffle futures book odds on the defending AL champions. Covers checked in on the MLB odds moves with a couple of Las Vegas sportsbooks.

How does Verlander’s injury affect Astros’ World Series odds?

At CG Technology books, risk analyst Rich Zanco said the Astros quickly moved from +1,200 to +1,800 in World Series futures. The SuperBook at Westgate also had Houston pegged +1,200 prior to Sunday’s news and initially went to +1,600, then dialed it a little further to +1,800.

However, there were apparently buyers on the Astros at that point, prompting the SuperBook to reel the price in to +1,400.

How does Verlander’s injury affect Astros’ American League odds?

In AL pennant futures, the Astros initially moved from +600 to +800 at The SuperBook, then ticked back to +700.

World Series odds

Team Odds to win
Los Angeles Dodgers +350
New York Yankees +350
Houston Astros +600
Atlanta Braves +1,600
Minnesota Twins +1,600
Tampa Bay Rays +1,800
Washington Nationals +2,000
Cleveland Indians +2,000
New York Mets +2,000
Chicago Cubs +2,000
Oakland Athletics +2,000
St. Louis Cardinals +2,500
Cincinnati Reds +2,500
San Diego Padres +2,500
Philadelphia Phillies +3,000
Chicago White Sox +3,000
Los Angeles Angels +3,000
Milwaukee Brewers +4,000
Boston Red Sox +5,000
Arizona Diamondbacks +6,000
Colorado Rockies +8,000
Toronto Blue Jays +10,000
Texas Rangers +10,000
Pittsburgh Pirates +20,000
Detroit Tigers +20,000
San Francisco Giants +30,000
Seattle Mariners +30,000
Miami Marlins +30,000
Baltimore Orioles +30,000
Kansas City Royals +30,000

Odds courtesy The SuperBook