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Put your money on Mariota getting mashed, and the NFL bets you need to make in Week 5

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October football is here, which means it’s time to separate the contenders from the pretenders. We get you ready for the week ahead in NFL betting, with our best picks and predictions. And we’re not stopping at pointspreads and totals – no, no. We’re digging into team totals, player props, derivative odds and more. Welcome to Wednesday.

SACK-O’-LANTERN

Last week we won a little money on Marcus Mariota and the Tennessee Titans. The “King of Inconsistency” will possibly face off against Matt Barkley and the Buffalo Bills as a 3-point favorite. We aren’t going to put our winnings back on MarMar but will be hoping he and Barkley will be hitting the dirt early and often.

Although Mariota has yet to throw an interception this year, he has been sacked 17 times – fourth-most in the league. With Josh Allen still in concussion protocol, Barkley will have to face a Titans defense that is getting to opposing QBs 3.2 times a game while the Bills are allowing 2.5 sacks a game.

You may have to wait closer to game time to get this prop but when it opens, hit the Over 5.5 sacks (value at O/U 6.5 as well).

CARDIAC RUSSELL

In Week 3, Russel Wilson threw for over 400 yards at home versus the Saints secondary in the pouring rain. On Thursday, he’ll be back at CenturyLink Field facing an L.A. Rams defense that allowed 55 points to Jameis Winston (385 yards and four TDs) and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Last year, Wilson tossed three TDs and ran for 92 yards on the road versus the Rams. With L.A. getting embarrassed last week, look for it to be tough sledding for the Seahawks’ running game versus a Rams run defense that still ranks eighth in DVOA.

With the Sean McVay & Co. able to put up points against a middle-of-the-pack Seattle defense, we’re taking the Over on Wilson’s 19.5 rushing yards and Over 30.5 pass attempts, as the Rams are averaging 37.5 pass attempts allowed through four games.

CASHING ON THE CARDS

Last week we mentioned how terrible the Arizona Cardinals have been at defending tight ends this year. Seattle’s Will Dissly hit the trifecta by going Over on his receptions, yards and scored a plus-money TD in the second quarter. This week Tyler Eifert will get his chance to pad the stats in Week 5’s edition of Cashing On the Cards.

The Cincinnati Bengals TE has seen at least five targets in three of his four games this year and will have a better time making more of his snaps as the Cardinals are averaging a passer rating of 118.4 to opponents – ahead of just the Dolphins. The Cincy offensive line got embarrassed on the national stage Monday night and will be a motivated to give Andy Dalton a little more time to pass.

We’re going back on the trifecta with Eifert’s unassuming totals: Over 2.5 receptions (-128), Over 30.5 yards (-114), and a touchdown anytime (+224).

OVER THEM MOUNTAINS

The Carolina Panthers have failed to hold a visiting team to under 17.5 points in eight of their last nine home games. On the other hand, Jacksonville Jaguars’ “Uncle Minshew” has led his offense to 46 points over their last two games: against the Titans’ No. 7 DVOA defense and last week in the thin air of Denver.

Don’t like trends? OK, we hear you. The Panthers put Pro-Bowler and starting DE Kawaan Short (83.7 PFF grade 2018) on IR and will be starting practice squader Brian Cox Sunday. Also, corner Donte Jackson, who has two INTs this year and is graded positively per PFF, is questionable with a groin injury that held him out last week. On top of this, the Panthers rank as the fourth-worst rushing DVOA defense.

We don’t have a good lean on the side or the total, but we are going to play the Over on Jacksonville’s team total of 17.5 points in what is looking like a perfect weather game in Carolina.

WATCHING WILSON

Heading into Week 4, did you know who the Top-3 leaders in the league in rushing touchdowns were? Mark Ingram, Dalvin Cook and … second-year undrafted RB Jeff Wilson Jr. The San Francisco 49ers goal-line back is coming off a bye week which could really help bettors if he plays.

After scoring 30 touchdowns in his final two years at North Texas, Wilson Jr. leads the league in rushes inside the five-yard line and is second in rushes inside the 10.

Unfortunately, with the Week 4 rest, Tevin Coleman may return from injury and possibly push Wilson to be inactive versus the Cleveland Browns on Monday night. The Niners likely won’t dress four running backs, making things a little murkier than usual.

This is a profitable situation to monitor and worthy of your attention. If Coleman were to sit again, we are banging the Wilson anytime TD prop with confidence.

 

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)