Points of Interest: NFL Week 4 Over/Under picks and predictions

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Yikes that was a rough Week 3. Missed all three picks (two by the dreaded half point) and the Saquon Barkley injury has my fantasy team in shambles. No use dwelling on it. Trust me, I’ve done enough of that already. Let’s move on and take a look at the state of the NFL entering Week 4.

Checking in on the top and bottom performers, we don’t see a lot of changes from Week 3. Indianapolis surprisingly joins the top offenses at No. 4. Meanwhile, Cleveland’s struggles continued and I’m not sure you need any advanced stats to know it if you watched Sunday night’s game. They sit 30th by offensive EPA and 29th in per play efficiency.

On the defensive side, we’ve got a few big surprises. The 49ers who couldn’t force a turnover to save their lives last year have seven takeaways through three games and sit second by EPA. The next two teams in the ranks also come as a surprise. Tampa Bay and the L.A. Rams were 28th and 17th respectively by EPA in 2018 but sit third and fourth while allowing just 5.1 and 4.7 yards per play

OK, time to get back on the horse with some Week 4 NFL Over/Under picks.

TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS AT LOS ANGELES RAMS (-0.5, 49.5)

Back to the well with the Bucs after their shootout in Week 3. Looking at that game, the Bucs had several deep completions on busted coverages by the Giants defense, which ranks 31st in both number of and yards allowed on 20-plus yard passes. The Rams meanwhile rank No. 1 in both categories, allowing just four passes of 20-plus yards for 110 total yards and zero touchdowns.

That Rams defense also ranks third in defensive EPA and has done a lot to overshadow the struggling offense. Jared Goff had a better game Week 3, but the Rams still sit middle of the pack in offensive EPA, per play efficiency, and yards per play. The Buccaneers’ stop unit predictably regressed in Week 3 but still sits among the better defenses by EPA and suffered mainly from a couple of big plays, something the Rams offense has struggled to produce so far this season.

PREDICTION: Under 49.5

 

SEATTLE SEAHAWKS AT ARIZONA CARDINALS (+5, 48)

This is a tale of two struggling defenses in Arizona. The Cardinals were widely expected to suck and have lived up to that. They sit 26th by EPA and gave up 38 points to backup QB Kyle Allen and the Panthers. Seattle was less of a known quantity but haven’t looked a whole lot better. Their slow pace has hidden it somewhat, but they’ve still allowed the eighth most points against in what should have been a pretty easy opening schedule: Bengals, Steelers without Big Ben and the Saints without Drew Brees.

While the defenses have struggled, both offenses sit Top 10 in number of big plays. With Chris Carson struggling to hold onto the ball, we’re likely to see more Russel Wilson moving forward. Speed up the pace of play and that Seattle offense starts to look a lot more dangerous (see the second half of their game versus the Saints).

As a little bonus, we’ve seen both these teams fully embrace garbage time when behind, aggressively calling timeouts, passing the ball and generally trying to score points when the game is hopelessly out of reach (even when the clock reads 0:00.)

PREDICTION: Over 48

OAKLAND RAIDERS AT INDIANAPOLIS COLTS (-7, 45)

If you’d told me the Jacoby Brissett-led Colts were 2-1 through three weeks, I’d have assumed that their defense was playing great and the offense was playing safe and doing just enough. Instead, we have almost exactly the opposite. The defense sits 29th by EPA while the offense, as mentioned at the top, sits fourth. Brissett hasn’t done anything spectacular but has played well enough and made big throws when necessary, while Marlon Mack doesn’t seem to be missing Andrew Luck at all.

The Raiders, meanwhile, after an impressive Week 1 have gone back to being the Raiders we all remember from 2018. The offense – particularly Darren Waller – has shown flashes, but sits middle of the pack while the defense has predictably struggled, ranking 27th. With two lower-tier defenses and one (and a half?) functional offenses, I’d have put this total at or above the 2019 NFL average of 46.

PREDICTION: Over 45

Week 4: 0-3
Season to date: 3-6

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