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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.

 

Running up the points with Rockets, and the college football bets you need to make in Week 12

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Are you ready for some more MAC-tion? Because there are two more games on the schedule Wednesday night. We break down the best bets for these games and take a look at the weekend ahead in college football – from sides and totals to props and everything in between.

ROOM TO ROAM

The Toledo Rockets might be only slight favorites for Wednesday night’s MAC tilt with visiting Northern Illinois, but they have a significant advantage in at least one area – and it could turn this one into a bit of a laugher. The Rockets come into the game with the nation’s No. 12 rushing offense, averaging nearly 251 yards per game on the ground – and they’ve been especially dominant over their previous two games, racking up a combined 664 rushing yards in narrow victories over Eastern Michigan and Kent State. The Huskies, meanwhile, are coming off getting routed 48-10 to Central Michigan in which the Chippewas posted 327 rushing yards.

An edge like this makes Toledo a terrific option in a variety of different bet scenarios; we recommend buying a few points in their favor and taking an alternate line of -6.5.

MIAMI (OH) FOR 3

The Miami (OH) Redhawks should have little trouble filling the board Wednesday night as they host a Bowling Green defense that ranks among the worst in the nation in points allowed. But while the Falcons have surrendered a mind-boggling 33.8 points per game so far this season, the Redhawks might not necessarily be headed for a parade to the end zone. Miami (Ohio) has one of the worst touchdown-to-field-goal ratios in the country coming into Week 12, having scored 22 TDs compared with 16 FGs – six of those coming over the course of their current three-game winning streak.

Miami (Ohio) is a big-time favorite here, and is a good bet to open the scoring given BGSU’s 2.5 first-half-points-per-game average on the road this season. We like the Redhawks FG to kick off the point parade.

GILBERT  GETTING BACK

Kansas State’s premier rushing threat might be back on the field this weekend. Wildcats senior James Gilbert practiced on Tuesday and is trending in the right direction as he recovers from an undisclosed ailment that kept him out of last week’s 27-24 loss to the Texas Longhorns. It was originally thought that Gilbert would be in the lineup vs. Texas, but he was a late exclusion – and Kansas State struggled in his absence, finishing with a paltry 51 rushing yards on 26 attempts. Gilbert ranks ninth in the Big 12 Conference in rushing yards (558) while adding five touchdowns on the ground.

Gilbert’s return would invigorate a Kansas State rush attack that has a favorable matchup against a West Virginia defense allowing 173 rushing yards per game. We recommend the hosts ATS if Gilbert is deemed fit to return.

WAKING NIGHTMARE

The Wake Forest Demon Deacons have seen their season take a terrible turn with word that standout wide receiver Sage Surratt will miss the remainder of 2019 with an undisclosed injury. Wake Forest head coach Dave Clawson confirmed Tuesday that Surratt, who wasn’t featured on the team’s depth chart ahead of its Week 12 encounter with Clemson, would be out for the rest of the season – though he wouldn’t specify what was wrong with the star wideout. Surratt finishes the year with 1,001 receiving yards and 11 touchdowns on 66 receptions as the premier target for quarterback Jamie Newman.

The absence of Surratt should give bettors even less of a reason to bank on Wake Forest, which has seen the line shift as far as four points in Clemson’s favor. Look for the Tigers to keep the undermanned Deacons below their team total.

Too late to start fading the Fins, and the NFL bets you need to make in Week 11

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This may require a double-take, but listen up. The Miami Dolphins have been the best bet in the NFL since the start of October. Yes, those Miami Dolphins. We break down the odds and let you know what bets we like in Week 11 of the NFL as we dive into sides, totals, props and more. 

STAYING HOT IN Q1

The hottest team in the league right now is Lamar Jackson’s Baltimore Ravens. After knocking off the Patriots in Week 9, they turned their crosshairs on the winless Cincinnati Bengals in Week 10. The Ravens ran just 48 offensive plays but managed to put up 49 points. Lost in the 49-13 win was the fact that Baltimore moved to 8-1 against the first-quarter spread after winning the first 15 minutes 14-0.

This week, Baltimore is a 4-point home favorite versus a Houston team that is coming off their bye. If you don’t trust a team coming off a blowout win versus the worst team in the league and/or covering their last three games, take a look at the 1Q Ravens -0.5 (-105) as an alternative.

Baltimore is second in the league in first quarter points per game at 9.5 and third in the league in points against in the first quarter at 3.67 while the Texans are 0-3-1 on the road this year in the first quarter. Take the Ravens 1Q -0.5.

FEAST AWAITS EVANS

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will face a very motivated New Orleans Saints team Sunday, but NOLA will be without their top cornerback in Marcus Lattimore. The third-year CB is week-to-week with a hamstring injury meaning Bucs WRs Mike Evans and Chris Godwin will face sub-par corners in P.J. Williams and Eli Apple.

As Brad Evans pointed out on twitter, this is especially great news for Mike Evans who has struggled over his career versus Lattimore. Evans put up a donut early this year in Week 5 at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome and averaged 9.5 targets for three catches and 34 yards in two games in 2017 (last year Lattimore struggled following up his 2017 DROY but has been much better this year).

Even with Jameis Winston getting sacked nearly four times a game, Evans is averaging 139 yards a game over his last four contests. Jump on Evans’ receiving yard total on any number below 85 and check in on his reception total, hitting the Over on any number below 7.

LOADING SCREEN

No team in the league relies on the screen game more than the Minnesota Vikings. Per ESPN, Minnesota is averaging 9.8 yards per screen attempt which is 3.5 yards more per attempt than the No.10 team.

The beneficiary of this is running back Dalvin Cook who gashed the Cowboys in primetime every time he got the ball with blockers ahead of him. Over the last three games, Cook has amassed 193 yards receiving and will face a Denver Broncos’ defense that is giving up 8.6 yards per pass to RBs since Week 8.

Grab the Over on Cook’s receiving yards on any total less than 40 yards.

LOADING SCREEN PT. 2

If you’re tailing the Cook receiving yards play and want some action on the other side of the ball, maybe look to fade the Broncos’ backfield in receiving yards. Denver is the worst team at generating yards on the screen game (3.7 yards per attempt) and neither Phillip Lindsay nor Royce Freeman has topped 17 yards receiving in the last two weeks. In the only game Brandon Allen has started at quarterback, Lindsay wasn’t targeted at all and Freeman saw one target which he lost a yard on.

Feel confident in taking Lindsay’s Under receiving yards on anything greater than 19 and Freeman’s Under on any number greater than 25.

AIN’T FADING THE FINS NOW

The best team ATS over the last five weeks has been the Miami Dolphins. The former 0-7 team has rattled off five-straight wins ATS and face a Buffalo Bills team that has zero offensive identity of late and trailed the Dolphins by five points heading into the fourth quarter just four weeks ago.

We are a little bearish on Miami hitting a sixth-straight win ATS but have no problem fading Josh Allen’s Bills who are putting up just 288 yards of total offense over the last three weeks, good for sixth-worst. Their once stellar defense now sits 12th in Wtd DVOA — 9th against the pass and 27th against the run.

The Bills needed 22 4th-quarter points in their last meeting to cover their team total and we don’t see Brian Daboll’s offense clearing 23.5 points since they are 2-5 O/U that total in their last seven.

Get on the Bills’ team total Under 23.5 now, as it may drop under this key number later in the week.