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Can bettors trust in Tennessee, and Wednesday’s NFL bets you need to make in Week 6

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Can you believe it’s Week 6 of the NFL already? And we are down to just two undefeated teams. The 49ers and the Patriots who open this week by hosting the Giants Thursday. 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.

TATE OF EMERGENCY

The New York Giants’ No. 1 receiver Sterling Shepard will reportedly be out for a while as he is in the league’s concussion protocol. This will mean Golden Tate will play exclusively out of the slot, one week after returning from suspension and catching three balls for 13 yards.

The perceived increase in the passing game works in our advantage as we may get a higher receiving total for Tate ahead of his extremely difficult matchup versus the New England Patriots’ slot corner Jonathan Jones.

Jones has the best matchup advantage of the game per Pro Football Focus and owns an impressive defensive grade of 90 with a 23 percent catch rate and a minuscule 0.32 yards per route covered.

It’s going to be a tough go for rookie quarterback Daniel Jones as Bill Belichick is 17-5 in games against rookie quarterbacks, including 11-0 at home. Take the Under on Tate’s 54.5 receiving yard total.

TEAM TOTAL TREASURE

Last week we went 5-1 on full-time team totals and it has quickly become one of our favorite early-week prop markets. Here are a couple of our favorites.

San Francisco 49ers (22.5) @ L.A. Rams: We hate putting our money on a recent performance, but with the 49ers averaging the second-most points per game at 31.8 and the Rams having allowed 85 points in their last two, we don’t mind. We know that San Fran will be on a short week and be without the services of Kyle Juszczyk, but the travel is short, and they only had to compete for 35 minutes on Monday night to get the win.

This is a perfect spot for Kyle Shanahan to beat the Rams using play-action off his amazing run scheme which is averaging 200 yards per game. L.A. owns the 24th-ranked DVOA pass defense and allowed Russell Wilson and Jameis Winston to combine for 752 passing yards over Weeks 4 and 5. Jump on the San Fran wagon and grab the Over.

Houston Texans (24.5) @ Kansas City Chiefs: We have backed the Chiefs for three-straight weeks and have come up empty. Andy Reid’s team is just finding ways to beat themselves as they have turned the ball over too much and were very close to having two-straight losses heading into their Week 6 matchup.

Houston and Deshaun Watson are coming off an offensively historic win in Atlanta last week and will take their top-10-yards-per-rush attack to KC versus the Chiefs’ 30th ranked DVOA run defense. KC has already allowed Detroit, Baltimore, and Jacksonville to eclipse 24.5 points this year. Hit the Over 24.5 especially with the Texans scoring a TD in 100 percent of their red-zone trips while on the road this year.

AGREE TO TENNESSEE

We may have a good read on the Tennessee Titans for the first time ever. We hit them as 3.5-point favs in Week 4 for a winner and faded them versus the Bills’ defense last week for another one. That means that it is time for the kings of inconsistency to continue this week in Denver versus the Broncos. If you didn’t know, the Titans tend to hurt bettors who bet solely on their previous week’s performance.

Mariota is 0-2 at home this year for just 332 yards and one touchdown but 2-1 for 779 yards and eight TDs with a 110.1 QB rating on the road. The Titans are also 2-0 ATS as road underdogs this year as it seems every week the road pups are hitting.

The Broncos are coming off their first win of the year last week and are 2.5-point favorites after facing spreads of +4.5, -2.5, +6, +3, and -3 — covering twice and zero times as the favorite. The Denver rush defense is also allowing 6.3 yards per carry at home which is only worse than…no, not the Dolphins but the Bengals.

We are getting on Tennessee at +2.5 now as it sits at +2 on a few other books.

RAVENS & DEMONS

The biggest story on Tuesday was the turd that Freddie Kitchens, Baker Mayfield, and the Browns dropped in San Fran on Monday night. We do like the value in a bounce back game for the Browns as the public will have the memory of Monday’s embarrassment fresh in their minds. Instead, we are going to look at a team that allowed that same Browns team to total 530 yards of offense for 40 points, just two weeks ago.

The Baltimore Ravens are giving up 32 points to opponents over their last three with injuries to the secondary having a lot to do with that. In that same three-game stretch, the blackbirds are giving up nearly 300 yards of passing and doing even worse at home, surrendering 333 yards through the air a game.

We know that Lamar Jackson and the offense can put up points, so we will avoid the 12-point spread, but there is no reason that the this week’s opponent, the Cincinnati Bengals, can’t clear their team totals of 17.5 points and first-half team total of 7.5.

PointsBet USA unveils partnership with Detroit Tigers

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In the absence of MLB games until – hopefully – later this month, MLB betting made some news Thursday with the announcement that PointsBet USA is now the official gaming partner of the Detroit Tigers. It’s the first such arrangement between a sports betting entity and an MLB team, made possible by PointsBet USA’s recent agreement with MLB designating the sportsbook as an authorized gaming operator by the league.

“The PointsBet team is excited to announce our groundbreaking deal with the Detroit Tigers and Major League Baseball, becoming the first legal sports betting operator in U.S. history to partner with an MLB franchise,” PointsBet USA CEO Johnny Aitken said in a news release. “We offer the most betting options in the world on MLB games via our unique PointsBetting product, and we are excited to inject a unique and robust betting proposition into the great state of Michigan.”

Michigan legalized sports betting in December, for both brick-and-mortar and online operators, and books began taking bets in March. PointsBet USA is not only the first book to partner with an MLB franchise, but the first to partner with any Michigan-based professional sports team.

As part of the multi-year deal, PointsBet USA will have TV broadcast-visible branding at Comerica Park, a sponsored presence on the Tigers’ digital platforms, and will be integrated into The District Detroit app and the MLB Ballpark app.

“We are thrilled to welcome PointsBet as a gaming partner of the Detroit Tigers,” said Chris Granger, group president of sports and entertainment for Ilitch Holdings. “Our incredible fans will love the unique experiences and innovative offerings that PointsBet’s personalized platform provides. We look forward to the fan-friendly enhancements this will bring to the game-day experience in and around Comerica Park for years to come.”

NBA betting: Eight seeding games to bet when NBA returns

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NBA betting is back on the board with the NBA season restarting in Orlando after the COVID-19 shutdown. From July 30-August 14, the 22 remaining teams with NBA Championship aspirations will face off against each other to determine playoff seeding, so get ready for some exciting matchups.

We take a look at eight must-bet NBA seeding games to watch as the league returns to action.

Clippers vs Lakers (-1.5, 218.5), July 30, 9 p.m. ET

When the Los Angeles Lakers, led by LeBron James and Anthony Davis, take on Kawhi Leonard, Paul George and the Los Angeles Clippers, the NBA doesn’t get much better than this. Opening day and Christmas Day also featured this marquee matchup and the opening night of the restart in Orlando will mark the fourth time this season that these LA rivals have faced off.

The Lakers are third in the NBA in scoring defense, allowing 106.9 points per game, while the Clippers hold opponents to just 43.6 percent shooting from the field, also third-best in the league. With both teams coming in off lengthy breaks, there may be some rust on the offensive end of the floor making the Under 218.5 an intriguing play.

Betting trend to watch: The Clips won the first two meetings while the Lakers won the last one in March. The Under hit in each of those contests with an average score of 108.7-106.7 in favor of the Clippers.

Celtics vs Bucks (-5, 217.5), July 31, 6:30 p.m. ET

Barring an absolute collapse, the Milwaukee Bucks will wrap up the No. 1 seed in the East, but they will still likely want to play MVP front-runner Giannis Antetokounmpo in this one just to shake off the cobwebs after the break.

This could be a preview of the Eastern Conference Finals and it will be interesting to see how Boston Celtics point guard Kemba Walker looks after being hampered by knee issues following the All-Star break. Boston split the series with Milwaukee during the season and Walker torched the Bucks both times, scoring 32 points against them in November and putting up 40 on them in January.

Betting trend to watch: Milwaukee opened as a five-point favorite, with the total set at 217.5, but don’t count out the Celtics, who have gone an impressive 14-4 ATS as an underdog this season.

Rockets vs Mavericks (+1.5, 225.5), July 31, 9 p.m. ET

The battle between James Harden and Luka Doncic will be a treat for basketball fans, but the Houston Rockets and Dallas Mavericks have plenty of firepower in addition to their All-NBA guards.

With the full game total for this contest opening at a reasonable 225.5, keep an eye on the first half total when it drops.

Betting trend to watch: Fast starts have been a trend for both squads, with Houston leading the league with 59.9 first-half points per game and Dallas second with 59.3 ppg. For good measure, the Rockets also rank 25th in the NBA in first-half scoring defense, surrendering 58.1 ppg.

Heat vs Nuggets (-1, 212.5), August 1, 1 p.m ET

Both the Miami Heat and the Denver Nuggets could see their seeding change dramatically based on how they perform in Orlando. Miami has an absolute gauntlet to run through with its first four games against Denver, Toronto, Boston and Milwaukee.

The Nuggets have long had a massive edge at home, due to the increased elevation at the Pepsi Center, and losing that advantage in Orlando could hurt. Then again, Miami could be in the same boat considering that they posted an average scoring margin of plus-9.3 ppg at home — and that plummeted to minus-2.7 in away contests.

Betting trend to watch: The Heat have been one of the highest-scoring teams in the league during the first quarter, but have really struggled to put the ball in the hoop at the end of games, averaging just 26 ppg in the fourth quarter. With Denver holding opponents to just 26.2 fourth-quarter points per game on the road, this is a trend you’ll want to consider when live betting in the final 12 minutes.

Bucks vs Rockets, August 2, 8:30 p.m. ET

It’s always a blast watching two MVP favorites face off against each other, and after Harden came up short against Antetokounmpo last year there seems to be a lack of respect between the two superstars. The Greek Freak took a potshot at Harden when he selected his team during All-Star weekend, with the Rockets guard responding with, “I wish I could be 7 feet and run and just dunk. Like, that takes no skill at all.”

Betting trend to watch: Unfortunately for the small-ball Rockets, defending in the paint is their biggest weakness, especially after trading away Clint Capela left them with the 6’5″ PJ Tucker often manning the center position. Houston allows 51.5 ppg in the paint, sixth-worst in the league, and Giannis is the most dominant inside scorer since Shaq, putting up 29.6 ppg this season.

Grizzlies vs Pelicans, August 3, 6:30 p.m. ET

Not only will this matchup feature the two best rookies in the league in Ja Morant and Zion Williamson, but it will also be a prime spot for the New Orleans Pelicans to gain ground on the Memphis Grizzlies for the No. 8 seed in the Western Conference.

New Orleans was impressive on offense even without Zion and have become even more unstoppable since the first-overall draft pick joined the team on January 22. Once Zion joined the fold the Pelicans averaged 120.1 ppg and played at the fastest pace in the league.

Betting trend to watch: Thanks in large part to Morant, Memphis also looks good on the offensive end of the floor, ranking seventh in the league in both possessions per game and shooting percentage. With both teams electrifying on offense – and terrible on defense – this should be a very fun game with the Over worth looking at.

Trail Blazers vs Nuggets, August 6, 8 p.m ET

There might not a more dangerous team currently outside a playoff spot than the Portland Trail Blazers, who arguably boast the second-best backcourt out of all 22 teams in Orlando and will also get center Jusuf Nurkic back from a broken leg. The Nuggets are third in the West but sit only 1.5 games behind the Clippers and 1.5 games ahead of the Jazz, so every game matters.

This is a rematch of last year’s Western Conference semifinals, where the Blazers upset the Nuggets in seven games. In three games head-to-head this year the Nuggets went 3-0 SU and ATS.

Betting trend to watch: Blazers All-Star Damian Lillard has struggled against Denver, averaging 21.6 ppg on 37.7 percent shooting over his last seven regular-season games against the Nuggets. Although he played better during the playoff series last season, it was CJ McCollum who carried the Blazers offense, especially in Game 7 when Lillard went 3-17 from the field.

Raptors vs 76ers, August 12, 6:30 p.m. ET

There might not be much on the line if the Toronto Raptors have already secured a seed by this time, but if their nerve-wracking seven-game playoff series against the Philadelphia 76ers last year is any indication, this should still be a great game.

Betting trend to watch: It will be interesting to see how these teams play on neutral ground. Toronto has been one of the best teams in the league away from home, going 23-9 SU and 16-15 ATS and posting an average scoring margin of plus-4.2 ppg. On the other hand, the 76ers have been terrible on the road, going 10-24 SU, 9-23 ATS and posting a scoring margin of minus-5.3.