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Bet on another big game from Aaron Jones, and Friday’s NFL bets you need to make in Week 6

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Aaron Jones is coming off a massive performance in Week 5 and he could be in for another big performance this weekend against the Detroit Lions. We break down all the football odds including team totals, player props, teasers and a whole lot more as we give you our best bets and predictions for Week 6 in the NFL.

A JONES THROW AWAY

We don’t always suggest betting on players coming off monstrous four-touchdown games, but when these players are squaring off against a defense that is allowing 66 yards receiving to opposing running backs this year, we love hitting the “Over” button.

The Detroit Lions are 12th in DVOA pass defense but sit 31st in receiving yards per game allowed to running backs. Five RBs have gone Over 31 yards receiving through the Lions’ four games to date as the Motor City Mammalia are surrendering 8.74 yards per pass attempt to opposing backs.

Green Bay Packers’ Aaron Jones sits third on the team in receiving yards and has stuffed the passing boxscore in the last two weeks turning 15 targets into 13 catches for 112 yards. With Davante Adams expected to sit again on Monday, we are firing up the Jones Over 30.5 receiving yards as a rare two-unit play.

COOPER SIZE ME

The New York Jets came into the 2019 season with a plethora of injuries to their secondary, so much so that safety Jamal Adams jokingly said he would play corner if the team needed. They are finally getting healthy, but the problem is they still stink, especially to opposing WR1s where they are allowing a league-worst 114 yards a game.

The fact that quarterback Sam Darnold will likely start and the recently embarrassed Dallas Cowboys are coming to town creates a perfect storm — sans Clooney and Wahlberg. Amari Cooper hung a 11/226/1 on PFF’s No.1 cornerback last week and will feast on the Jets who may be more competitive with Darnold running the offense again, keeping the score closer than previous weeks.

Take the Over on Amari Cooper’s 80.5 receiving yards.

ALIVE AND KICKING

The field goals have been flying at Empower Field at Mile High this year. The Denver Broncos have played two home games this year and kickers are a perfect 10-for-10 in the Colorado air.

The Broncos are giving up over three field-goal attempts a game as their defense is only allowing TDs in the redzone on 33 percent of their opponents’ trips inside the 20.

The Tennessee Titans will have a new kicker when they take on the Broncos Sunday as Cody Parkey replaces Cairo Santos. The former Chicago outcast will have his chances to prove himself to his new club as the Titans have had trouble finishing drives of late, scoring a TD in the rezone at the 28th-worst clip over their last three.

Kickers are people too. Grab the Over 3.5 field goals made (+100)

TROUBLE IN THE REDZONE

Two teams in the league have yet to score a touchdown in the redzone on the road. One of them is the Miami Dolphins and the second, more surprisingly, is the Pittsburgh Steelers. Mike Tomlin’s crew will head to Los Angeles to take on the Chargers and their troubles within the 20 may be prevalent for another week.

The best-case scenario for the Steelers is that Mason Rudolph and his 161 yards per game start and the worst-case scenario is undrafted quarterback Delvin Hodges starts. Both cases don’t inspire much confidence in the team’s ability to move the ball as their team total sits at 16.5.

We are betting on Pittsburgh’s first score being a field goal (-110).

SACKS CALLING

The Carolina Panthers have been getting consistent pressure on opposing quarterbacks, sacking QBs 5.3 times per game over their last three. That is bad news for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers who gave up six sacks last week and 12 total in Weeks 3 through 5.

Adding insult to injury, the Bucs will also be without their starting right guard and right tackle, meaning Winston may be running for his life in London. Take the Over 5.5 total sacks and enjoy this seldom played but entertaining prop play.

 

Longshots to consider when betting the Shoemaker Mile

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Monday’s Shoemaker Miles Stakes at Santa Anita Park is a great race for a number of reasons. For starters, the Shoemaker Mile is a Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series “Win and You’re In” race that offers the winner a guaranteed spot in the 2020 Breeders’ Cup Mile at Keeneland.

Watch the Shoemaker Mile on Monday, May 25 from 6-8 p.m. ET on NBCSN, NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app.

The race also features last year’s Preakness Stakes winner, War of Will, making his season debut. Despite his triumphs on the dirt in 2019, War of Will started his career on the turf and his pedigree suggests that he’s very likely to be just as successful on the grass. That said, the Shoemaker Mile will be his first start off of a six-month break, and I’m going to try to take a swing or two with some horses who could upset the apple cart at longer odds.

Let’s start out with the horse on the rail, Without Parole. He won the Group 1 St. James’s Palace Stakes going a mile at Ascot back in 2018. His three other career wins have all came at this mile distance as well. Granted, he hasn’t won in six races since the St. James’s Palace but he did finish a fast-closing third two starts ago in a much tougher U.S. debut in the TVG Breeders’ Cup MileIrad Ortiz Jr. rode Without Parole in that race and he will reclaim the mount on him again on Monday.

Without Parole has only had one race this year and it was in the Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational in which he finished second to last. However, he had several excuses right from the start of that race when he got squeezed coming out of the gate. He also raced in traffic throughout and got cut off several times in the stretch before Frankie Dettori — who had come from Europe to ride him at Gulfstream — finally just wrapped up on him. The Pegasus World Cup Turf also was a race that didn’t allow him to run on Lasix (furosemide) after he’d shown significant improvement racing on Lasix for the first time at the Breeders’ Cup.

Stream the 2020 Shoemaker Mile live here

How much of a factor might Lasix be for some horses? Well, let’s next look at the horse who finished last in the Pegasus World Cup Turf: Next Shares. In his following start (back on Lasix) in the Grade 1 Frank E. Kilroe Mile Stakes, Next Shares finished third (beaten just a neck) to River Boyne. Both Next Shares and River Boyne return in the Shoemaker Mile and I prefer the former as a pace play who has plenty of back-class. If you rewatch the Kilroe Mile, Next Shares covered a lot more ground than River Boyne. With a similar effort, Next Shares could certainly turn the tables.

The other thing to like about Next Shares is that his trainer, Richard Baltas, has entered speedster Neptune’s Storm in the Shoemaker Mile. That horse, along with Voodoo Song, should ensure a very brisk pace up front — they’ll also be kept honest by Blitzkrieg and War of Will, both of whom usually race on or near the lead. All of that speed adds up to good news for Next Shares. He’s a Grade 1 winner who has always done his best running when he’s had some pace to run into. The other two keys for him (like all stalking or closing-type runners) is clear running room late, and hopefully he’ll get that with Hall of Fame rider John Velazquez taking the mount.

Lastly, we should take a look at True Valour. It’s hard to make much of an excuse for his flat finish in the Kilroe last out, but he’s truly performed better than what his results on paper might indicate. In the Thunder Road Stakes in February, he looked pretty keen early and it took him a few strides to settle down without throwing his head around and fighting his rider. Turning for home, it was clear that jockey Andrea Atzeni had plenty of horse under him but was just waiting for some running room. It ended up coming too late because River Boyne was in a better spot and had already taken command. True Valour did split horses nicely in the closing stages and was half a jump away from finishing second.

If you go back to the Breeders’ Cup Mile, True Valour had excuses there, too. He was up on heels early and he again took a little bit of time to settle down into a comfortable stride. Then, turning for him, he was just waiting for running room but instead got stuck behind a wall of horses. True Valour ended up steadying pretty badly and lost all chance at that point. I’m a little worried about how headstrong he tends to be early in races, but there’s a scenario here that could have at least two horses battling for the lead early and opening up some daylight on the rest of the field. That means he’ll be less likely to be running up on anyone’s heels and it also ensures that he’ll have a nice setup. Whether he can navigate clear passage late in the race is a separate matter.

Longshot Selections

#1 Without Parole

#3 Next Shares

#2 True Valour

Watch the Shoemaker Mile on Monday, May 25 from 6-8 p.m. ET on NBCSN, NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app.

How to bet an exacta on a horse race

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Betting an exacta can present a challenge on several levels.

There is, of course, the primary need to analyze past performances and decide which horses are going to finish first and second.

Yet because of the inherently lower payoffs as opposed to what you’ll find in a Pick 3 or Pick 4, you’ll need to structure your wagers effectively in order to turn your selections into a profitable wager.

For starters, an exacta can be a simple wager. If you like two horses equally, you can just box them in the exacta and collect so long as they finish 1-2 in any order. If you like one of them a little more, you can then bet more on the one you prefer, say $10 on a 1-2 exacta and $5 on 2-1.

If you’re a little more uncertain, make sure you structure your bet around the size of the field and the probable payoffs.

If you like a longshot, the higher probable payoffs give you the cushion you need to wager on more combinations and still turn a nice profit.

But if you’re dealing with favorites or horses at relatively low odds, you have to wager more efficiently to preserve your profit.

In a field of six or less, you’re best to either focus on one horse or box two of them instead of boxing three or more horses because of the small payouts the bet will most likely generate.

In a field of seven, a wise strategy would be to box your top two choices and then, if you are worried about other horses, play them top and/or bottom other the other horses. For example, box 1-2, then bet 1-2 over 3-4 and 3-4 over 1-2. This way you are getting coverage on four horses without having to box them.

Once you get an eight-horse field, as long as there is not an overwhelming favorite, you can expand the number of horses you box since the payoffs will typically be higher, giving you a better opportunity to offset the inevitable array of losing tickets in a boxed wager.