The college football bets you need to make in Week 6

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Another college football Saturday is here and conference play is in full swing! And we’ve spent all week looking up and down the Week 5 college football betting odds, compiling the best picks and predictions on spreads, totals, props and everything in between.

RED ZONE RIDICULOUSNESS

Transitioning into a new offense takes time and patience – but Georgia Tech fans and bettors are running out of both as the Yellow Jackets prepare to host North Carolina. While Georgia Tech still relies heavily on the run, it has incorporated more of a passing approach in 2019 – with dreadful results. Not only are the Yellow Jackets completing fewer than half their pass attempts with just two TD passes and four interceptions, they also rank dead last in the FBS in red-zone success rate, having scored on just five of their nine trips inside their opponents’ 20-yard line (four touchdowns, one field goal).

The Yellow Jackets have failed to cover in seven consecutive games – and with offensive execution this poor, it’s no wonder. We lean toward a visiting North Carolina team that very nearly upset the defending-champion Clemson Tigers last week.

CAN’T KEEP ANYONE UPRIGHT

No team has done a poorer job of protecting its quarterback than the South Florida Bulls, who go into Saturday’s matchup with the Connecticut Huskies as a double-digit road favorite. The Bulls are allowing an average of five sacks per game for the season, the most of any FBS team – and that’s not the only strike against the USF offensive line. The rush attack is averaging a meager 3.1 yards per carry through the first four games, with not a single Bulls rusher having recorded more than 82 yards on the ground. UConn ranks in the middle of the pack in sacks per game (2.50).

We’re not sure how a 1-3 team with such a poor offensive line is favored by double digits on the road against another FBS team, but such is the case. We like UConn ATS after the Huskies fought Illinois hard in their only previous home game of 2019.

TAYLOR MADE FOR DOMINANCE

What happens when the No. 1 running back in the nation takes on the worst run defense in the country? We’re about to find out as Jonathan Taylor and the Wisconsin Badgers tangle with the visiting Kent State Golden Flashes on Saturday. Taylor has menaced opposing defenses through his first four games this season, racking up 559 yards and eight touchdowns on the ground – and he should feast against a Kent State defense that is surrendering an NCAA-high 261 yards per game on the ground. Look for backup running back Nakia Watson to see plenty of action in this one, with Wisconsin favored by five touchdowns.

Taylor and the rest of the Wisconsin offense should have little trouble handling Kent State – and with the Badgers eyeing an even higher position in the NCAA rankings, don’t expect any mercy. We favor the host Badgers to cover.

DON’T PLAY THIS FAVORITE

The San Diego State Aztecs have been a fairly predictable team of late: bet against them when they’re favored, and you’re going to make out well. The Aztecs are one-touchdown road favorites Saturday night at Colorado State, and will look to cover as a fave for the second consecutive game. But bettors beware: San Diego State had gone 0-10 ATS in its previous 10 games as a favorite – and needed a touchdown with 3:49 remaining against New Mexico State to end that lengthy skid on Sept. 14. Colorado State has covered in back-to-back games, including a 10-point loss to Utah State as a 24-point ‘dog last time out.

With the Aztecs ranking outside the top 100 in passing offense and Colorado State coming in 15th (with the 39th-ranked pass defense), the Rams are not only an intriguing cover option, but are worth a look to win outright.

PURDUE’S STAR RECEIVER SIDELINED

It’s bad news for the Purdue Boilermakers, who will be without star receiver Rondale Moore indefinitely. Moore let last week’s 38-31 loss to the Minnesota Golden Gophers on a cart after sustaining a leg injury. He’ll miss this week’s encounter with the Penn State Nittany Lions, but head coach Jeff Brohm isn’t ready to declare Moore out for the season. Moore was one of the top wide receivers in the nation prior to the injury, catching 29 passes for 387 yards and a pair of touchdowns. He joins quarterback Elijah Sindelar (broken collarbone, out indefinitely) on the sidelines.

This has moved by as many as five points in some places – and Penn State still looks like the superior cover option with Purdue down its top two offensive players in hostile territory this weekend.

OREGON GAINS A WEAPON

The Oregon Ducks will likely have one more difference-maker in the lineup for Saturday’s game against the rival Cal Golden Bears. Four-star wide receiver Mycah Pittman has been cleared to return to action for the first time since suffering a shoulder injury in preseason camp. Considered one of the top wide receiver prospects in the Pac-12, Pittman joins a Ducks receiving corps that is led by the talented trio of Jacob Breeland (18 receptions, 265 yards, 5 TDs), Johnny Johnson III (22 receptions, 264 yards, 2 TDs) and Jaylon Redd (17 receptions, 149 yards, 3 TDs).

With the Ducks (and quarterback Justin Herbert in particular) officially loaded in the passing game and the Golden Bears starting a backup quarterback this weekend, Oregon looks like a good bet to surpass its team point total despite the tough matchup.

DTR WITH THE DNP

The UCLA Bruins could be down their starting quarterback for this weekend’s game against Oregon State. Dorian Thompson-Robinson missed practice Wednesday with an undisclosed injury. He was seen on the sidelines stretching but did not take the field.

Thompson-Robinson was knocked out of last week’s loss to Arizona with a suspected leg injury and his status for this weekend is unclear. Austin Burton will get the start if Thompson-Robinson can’t play. DTR has thrown for 1,243 yards with 11 touchdowns and six interceptions for the Bruins so far this season.

This is certainly an injury to monitor, with the struggling Bruins favored by six points against the visiting Beavers. A potential downgrade at QB for UCLA limits the Bruins’ scoring potential, which brings the Under in play (especially with this game carrying a total in the mid-60s).

PASS TO PLAY?

Jawon Pass is hoping to return to the Louisville Cardinals’ lineup for this weekend’s home encounter with Boston College.

The junior quarterback suffered a foot injury that has kept him out the Cardinals’ previous two games but with Louisville coming off a bye, Pass has had time to recover and was able to practice over the weekend.

That said, he’s still considered a game-time decision against the Eagles, with Malik Cunningham set to start if Pass is unable to go. Pass threw four touchdown passes in his previous outing, a 42-0 victory over Eastern Kentucky back on September 7.

If Pass is healthy enough to go, he’ll find himself in a favorable matchup against a Boston College pass defense that ranks just inside the Top 100 nationally in yards allowed per game (255.6), making the home team cover a more viable option.

A NEW AFFLICTION

A new injury could keep Stanford Cardinal quarterback K.J. Costello off the field for Saturday’s game against the Washington Huskies. Costello is dealing with a hand injury that kept him out of last Saturday’s game against Oregon State, after he had previously missed time while recovering from a concussion.

Costello has been labeled between questionable and doubtful by Stanford head coach David Shaw, making it likely that Davis Mills will get the start in Costello’s place. Mills has completed 62.5 percent of his passes with four touchdowns and one interception so far this season.

The downgrade in quarterback could make a difficult task even tougher for a Cardinal team giving away more than two TDs to the visiting Huskies. Stanford is averaging just 11.5 points in two home games, so we like the Under 17.5 on the team point total.

FROM HERO TO HURT

The hero of Pitt’s shocking win over Central Florida might be on the shelf for yet another week. Panthers quarterback Kenny Pickett is still recovering from an undisclosed injury that held him out of last week’s victory over Delaware, and head coach Pat Narduzzi could only say “I don’t know” when asked earlier this week if Pickett would return.

Pickett, who caught the game-winning touchdown pass for Pitt in a 37-34 triumph over ranked UCF, has thrown for 1,102 yards on the season with three touchdowns and two interceptions. Nick Patti will get the start if Pickett can’t go.

Duke comes into this one as a 4-point favorite and while Patti fared well in Pickett’s absence, the Blue Devils’ 38th-ranked pass defense should make his day difficult. And with Pitt struggling to run the ball, we favor the hosts to cover.

JEFFERSON JIVING

LSU receiver Justin Jefferson might be back on the field against visiting Utah State this weekend. Jefferson left the Tigers’ Septemer 21 triumph over Vanderbilt with an ankle injury, but with LSU enjoying a week off following the victory, the junior wide receiver had plenty of time to rest and heal.

He returned to the team’s unpadded practice to start the week and is trending toward returning against the Aggies. Jefferson is having a solid season for the Tigers so far, having hauled in 21 passes for 392 yards and five touchdowns to help lead LSU to a perfect 4-0 start.

With LSU getting another weapon back and enjoying home-field advantage against a USU team that ranks outside the Top 100 in passing yards allowed, the Tigers are a great bet to finish above their team total, which sits at around 50 points.

MOD’S SQUAD

Devon Modster has taken over the reins as starting quarterback for the California Golden Bears. Modster will get the start this weekend against the Oregon Ducks in place of Chase Garbers, who suffered an upper-body injury and is reportedly out for the “long term”.

While Garbers was having an up-and-down season – throwing for eight touchdowns against just two interceptions but completing only 59.1 percent of his attempts – Modster was decidedly less stellar in relief, going 6-of-15 for a paltry 39 yards with an interception and a sack in the loss to Arizona State.

Oregon is one of the most dangerous first-half teams in the league (especially at home, where the Ducks average 24.7 first-half points per game) and Cal will struggle to keep up in hostile territory. We favor Oregon -10 on the first-half spread.

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)