NFL Week 8 opening odds and early moves: With Chiefs minus Mahomes, Packers are road faves

Leave a comment

Week 8 of the NFL season is on deck, featuring an NFC-AFC clash that’s missing one of the league’s biggest stars. Covers checks in on the opening odds and early action for that contest and three others, with insights from John Murray, director of The SuperBook at Westgate in Las Vegas.

Green Bay Packers at Kansas City Chiefs (+3)

Under the Sunday night lights, Kansas City won’t have prime-time quarterback Patrick Mahomes, who suffered a dislocated knee in the second quarter at Denver in Week 7. The Chiefs (5-2 SU, 4-3 ATS) still went on to win easily 30-6 as 3-point favorites behind backup Matt Moore, but will most certainly face a stiffer challenge minus Mahomes this week.

Green Bay stubbed its toe at home in the Week 4 Thursday nighter, but has otherwise been spotless this season. The Packers (6-1 SU, 5-2 ATS) rolled over Oakland 42-24 as 5.5-point favorites in Week 7.

The opening number was a healthy distance away from last week’s look-ahead line for this contest.

“The look-ahead number was Chiefs -4 before the Mahomes injury,” Murray told Covers on Sunday night. “We reopened with Green Bay a 3-point fave. Keep an eye on the other players Kansas City has been missing the last few weeks. They have a number of other key veterans that should be back soon.”

Arizona Cardinals at New Orleans Saints (-7.5)

New Orleans was without Drew Brees the past five weeks, yet went 5-0 SU and ATS in that stretch to stand atop the NFC South. The Saints (6-1 SU, 5-2 ATS) went off as 4-point underdogs at Chicago in Week 7 and emerged with a 36-25 victory.

Arizona is coming along much better than expected under rookie coach Kliff Kingsbury and rookie QB Kyler Murray. The Cardinals (3-3-1 SU, 5-2 ATS) nabbed a 27-21 road win over the New York Giants catching 3.5 points to win and cash for the third straight week.

There’s a chance Brees returns this week from a thumb injury, but Murray thinks that might be more talk than anything else.

“We opened this game Saints -7.5 and are up to -8.5,” Murray said. “I don’t see the Saints pressing Brees into action here. They have been winning without him and have a bye next week.”

Carolina Panthers at San Francisco 49ers (-6)

San Francisco is one of just two remaining undefeated outfits, joining New England in that respect. The 49ers (6-0 SU, 4-2 ATS) battled through the rain at Washington in Week 7, slogging out a 9-0 victory as 10-point faves.

Carolina ripped off four consecutive SU and ATS wins without Cam Newton, who’s been out with a foot injury. The Panthers (4-2 SU and ATS), coming off their bye week, rode backup Kyle Allen to a 37-26 Week 6 win laying 2 points at Tampa Bay.

“The 49ers are 6-0 SU, but they’re going to need more from their offense to keep winning deep into the season,” Murray said. “The Panthers are coming into this game off their bye week. It could be a tricky spot for San Francisco.”

Philadelphia Eagles at Buffalo Bills (-1.5)

One team is putting itself in playoff position, the other is sub-.500, but it’s a bit of a surprise as to who’s who.

Buffalo is out to a 5-1 SU start (4-2 ATS), with the only loss a more-than-respectable setback to New England. The Bills struggled through three quarters against winless Miami, but scored three fourth-quarter touchdowns to win 31-21 giving a hefty 17 points at home.

Meanwhile, Philadelphia dropped two in a row and four of its last six to fall to 3-4 SU and 2-5 ATS. The Eagles went to Dallas as 3-point underdogs and got run 37-10 in the Week 7 Sunday nighter.

“It’s off the board now, but we opened Bills -1.5,” Murray said, noting this game was taken down ahead of Philly’s Sunday night loss, but it will go back up Monday morning. “The Eagles are on the third of three straight tough road games, after playing at Minnesota and at Dallas the last two weeks. The Eagles need to get healthy quickly, or they will fall out of the NFC playoff picture.”

Patrick Everson is a Las Vegas-based senior writer for Covers.com. Follow him on Twitter: @Covers_Vegas.

Canucks vs Golden Knights picks and predictions for Game 1

Leave a comment

Perhaps no team has been more fun to follow during the NHL playoffs than the Vancouver Canucks, and hockey bettors can still get the Canucks at +1,300 to hoist Lord Stanley’s cup. Vancouver is coming off a thrilling series win against the defending champion St. Louis Blues, but now a much more difficult challenge awaits. The Vegas Golden Knights are +350 favorites to win it all, and they’ve certainly looked the part while dropping only one playoff contest.

Game 1 of this series gets underway Sunday, so we’re here to bring you our NHL picks and predictions in this Western Conference semifinal showdown.

Vancouver Canucks vs Vegas Golden Knights betting preview

Starting Goalies

Canucks: Jacob Markstrom – playoffs – 7-3, 2.44 GAA, .929 SV% (season – 23-16, 2.75 GAA, .918 SV%)

Golden Knights: Robin Lehner – playoffs – 5-1, 2.44 GAA, .904 SV% (season – 19-10, 2.89, .920 SV%)

If this game was actually played in Las Vegas, then Markstrom could easily spend a few hours performing with Cirque du Soleil. The 30-year-old dazzled against Blues with an eye-opening array of acrobatic saves and an impressive 7-3 record. He’ll need to provide more of the same against a dangerous Vegas squad.

The Knights will likely roll with Robin Lehner, who has taken over the spot as Vegas’s starter in the crease—and rightfully so. Still, the Knights have the luxury of having Marc-Andre Fleury as their “backup.” The five-time All-Star matched an NHL record this season with his 14th consecutive playoff appearance.

Injuries

Vancouver: Tyler Myers D (out), Tyler Toffoli RW (out), Micheal Ferland LW (out), Josh Leivo LW (out)

Vegas: Tomas Nosek LW (out)

Betting Trend to Know

Canucks are 0-6 in their last six Sunday games. Find the latest NHL betting trends for Canucks vs. Golden Knights.

MONEYLINE PICK

The Canucks have been a force with the extra man during the postseason, converting 26.2% of their power plays. While the Knights are known for their offensive firepower, it’s their stingy defense that allows them to suffocate opponents—as evidenced by an 86.4% penalty kill during their playoff run. Vancouver is the only team in the league to never beat Vegas in regulation, going 0-11 all time. That’s something I just can’t ignore.

PREDICTION: Vegas ML (-175)

OVER/UNDER PICK

Each team is filled with loads of offensive talent. Vancouver’s Bo Horvat and J.T. Miller have combined for 11 goals thus far. Elias Pettersson has racked up 13 points, tied with Colorado’s Nathan MacKinnon for the playoff lead.

The Knights can match Vancouver’s scorers, but they’re more balanced—Shea Theodore, Alex Tuch and Mark Stone have each lit the lamp four times during the postseason. The difference is on defense, where Vancouver has allowed the most high-danger chances of all remaining playoff teams.

PREDICTION: Over 5.5 (-110)

PROP PICK

Though I like Vegas to win, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Canucks kept it close and continued their offensive success. I’ll take a flyer on Vancouver scoring at least three goals.

PREDICTION: Canucks total goals Over 2.5 (-100)

Canucks vs Golden Knights Betting Card

  • Vegas ML (-175)
  • Over 5.5 (-110)
  • Canucks total goals Over 2.5 (-100)
NHL Parlays

Did you know that if you parlayed today’s NHL Canucks vs Golden Knights picks, you could win $104.93 on a $10 bet?

Use our NHL parlay calculator to create your own parlays and see their potential payouts.

Verlander injury shuffles Astros’ MLB futures odds

Getty Images
Leave a comment

MLB betting got a shake-up Sunday afternoon, specifically on World Series odds and AL pennant odds, with news that Astros star pitcher Justin Verlander could miss the rest of the season – or at least a significant chunk of it – with an arm injury.

Initial reports suggested Verlander had an elbow ailment, but both he and manager Dusty Baker quickly denied that. Baker called it a forearm strain and said that Verlander would be re-evaluated in “a couple of weeks.” The reigning AL Cy Young winner pitched a solid six innings in an 8-2 Opening Day rout of the Seattle Mariners on Friday.

Verlander’s injury led oddsmakers to shuffle futures book odds on the defending AL champions. Covers checked in on the MLB odds moves with a couple of Las Vegas sportsbooks.

How does Verlander’s injury affect Astros’ World Series odds?

At CG Technology books, risk analyst Rich Zanco said the Astros quickly moved from +1,200 to +1,800 in World Series futures. The SuperBook at Westgate also had Houston pegged +1,200 prior to Sunday’s news and initially went to +1,600, then dialed it a little further to +1,800.

However, there were apparently buyers on the Astros at that point, prompting the SuperBook to reel the price in to +1,400.

How does Verlander’s injury affect Astros’ American League odds?

In AL pennant futures, the Astros initially moved from +600 to +800 at The SuperBook, then ticked back to +700.

World Series odds

Team Odds to win
Los Angeles Dodgers +350
New York Yankees +350
Houston Astros +600
Atlanta Braves +1,600
Minnesota Twins +1,600
Tampa Bay Rays +1,800
Washington Nationals +2,000
Cleveland Indians +2,000
New York Mets +2,000
Chicago Cubs +2,000
Oakland Athletics +2,000
St. Louis Cardinals +2,500
Cincinnati Reds +2,500
San Diego Padres +2,500
Philadelphia Phillies +3,000
Chicago White Sox +3,000
Los Angeles Angels +3,000
Milwaukee Brewers +4,000
Boston Red Sox +5,000
Arizona Diamondbacks +6,000
Colorado Rockies +8,000
Toronto Blue Jays +10,000
Texas Rangers +10,000
Pittsburgh Pirates +20,000
Detroit Tigers +20,000
San Francisco Giants +30,000
Seattle Mariners +30,000
Miami Marlins +30,000
Baltimore Orioles +30,000
Kansas City Royals +30,000

Odds courtesy The SuperBook