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College football Week 10 opening odds and early action: Bettors hit Georgia first vs Florida

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Week 10 is the last one to make an impression on the first College Football Playoff rankings of the season. Covers checks in on opening odds and early action for a quartet of key games, with insights from Matt Chaprales, head of content for PointsBet USA in New Jersey.

No. 7 Georgia Bulldogs vs. No. 6 Florida Gators (+3.5)

Georgia put itself in a must-win position for this game by severely stubbing its toe in Week 7, losing outright at South Carolina as 20.5-point chalk. The Bulldogs (6-1 SU, 3-4 ATS) rebounded by blanking Kentucky 21-0 as 23.5-point Week 8 favorites, then had a bye in Week 9.

Florida’s lone loss also came in Week 7, though in much more respectable fashion at Louisiana State, where it stuck around throughout before succumbing late, 42-28. The Gators (7-1 SU, 5-3 ATS) then did what Georgia couldn’t, winning at South Carolina 38-27 as 3.5-point Week 8 faves. Florida also had a bye in Week 9.

Per usual, Jacksonville’s TIAA Bank Field hosts this neutral-site game, long dubbed the World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party.

“This is obviously the biggest game of the week and a de facto play-in for the SEC title game,” Chaprales said, before noting the line uptick to Bulldogs -4. “The first move was toward Georgia, but we’re expecting smart money to take the points with Florida. It should be good two-way action, regardless.”

No. 8 Oregon Ducks at Southern California Trojans (+4.5)

Oregon is the Pac-12’s best hope for a CFP bid, with its lone loss a quality one in a neutral-site Week 1 setback against Auburn. But the Ducks (7-1 SU, 4-4 ATS) barely stayed in that playoff conversation in Week 9, needing a final-seconds field goal to beat Washington State 37-35 laying 14 points at home.

Likewise, Southern Cal was a double-digit Week 9 favorite and barely got the job done. The Trojans (5-3 SU, 4-4 ATS) were giving 10.5 points at Colorado on Friday night and trailed much of the game, but nabbed the 35-31 win on a late touchdown.

“A potential preview of the Pac-12 championship game, neither of these teams impressed in victory as double-digit chalk this past weekend,” Chaprales said. “That said, we’ve seen more Oregon interest this year, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see this number grow.”

No. 14 Southern Methodist Mustangs at No. 23 Memphis Tigers (-3.5)

Southern Methodist is in the rare air of perfection, sitting at 8-0 SU and a solid 6-2 ATS through nine weeks. The Mustangs got all they could handle at Houston last Thursday, hanging on for a 34-31 victory as 12-point road favorites.

Memphis is also having a solid year in the American Athletic Conference, at 7-1 SU (5-3 ATS). Much like SMU, though, the Tigers got a tough Week 9 road test, scoring a touchdown with 4:26 remaining to snare a 42-41 victory over Tulsa as 10-point faves.

“All quiet so far, but given that both teams have overachieved relative to market expectations, and this is a nationally televised prime-time game, it will be interesting to see how the public gets involved,” Chaprales said.

By Monday afternoon, someone got involved, as the line jumped to Memphis -4.5.

No. 10 Utah Utes at Washington Huskies (+2)

Utah is a longer shot to make the CFP, but a win this week would certainly help keep it in the conversation. The Utes (7-1 SU, 5-3 ATS) won and cashed their last four outings, including a 35-0 bashing of California as 21-point home favorites in Week 9.

Washington was thought to be a preseason CFP contender, but already has three losses. In Week 8, the Huskies (5-3 SU and ATS) held a 28-14 lead over Oregon early in the third quarter, but gave it back in a 35-31 loss catching 3 points at home. Washington had a bye in Week 9.

“We opened Utah -2 and took a few bets at that number, and then a bit more following an initial move to 2.5, pushing it up to 3. That figures to be the resistance point,” Chaprales said.

As it turned out, 3 wasn’t quite the resistance point. PointsBet USA moved Utah to -3.5 by Monday afternoon.

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

Verlander injury shuffles Astros’ MLB futures odds

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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

MLB picks and predictions for Opening Day

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It was a long and scary road, but we finally get MLB betting back on Thursday, July 23. Opening Day of the pandemic-shortened 60-game baseball schedule is headlined by a pair of matchups, with the New York Yankees visiting the Washington Nationals and the Los Angeles Dodgers rekindling their rivalry with the San Francisco Giants.

Like we do each MLB season (COVID-19 or not), we’ll be taking a swing at today’s baseball odds and giving our best MLB picks and predictions. Up first: Opening Day 2020.

MLB picks for today

New York Yankees vs Washington Nationals

Yankees slugger Aaron Judge was supposed to miss the start of the season back in the spring, but the delay to the 2020 campaign allowed the outfielder to heal up from broken ribs and return to his longball-launching self.

Judge looked great in New York’s warmup games, albeit for a limited number of at-bats. He went 3-for-7 with all three hits leaving the ballpark. And he wasn’t alone, with the Yankees’ other power bats providing plenty of pop around him in the order. He’ll get a chance to go yard again on Opening Day.

PREDICTION: Aaron Judge home run (+210)

San Francisco Giants at Los Angeles Dodgers

The Giants are no strangers to Clayton Kershaw, who has long dominated the Dodgers’ divisional foes. In 49 career appearances against San Francisco, The Claw is 23-12 with a 1.74 ERA and has allowed just 0.71 hits per innings pitched in those starts.

The Giants don’t pose much of an offensive threat, averaging 8.22 hits per game in 2019. San Francisco has managed 45 total hits in its last eight starts against Kershaw – an average of 0.86 hits per inning faced. Given the Dodgers’ ace looked ready for work in his tune-up efforts, we could see him go seven innings or more on Thursday, panning out to a little over six hits for San Fran.

PREDICTION: Giants between 6-7 total hits (+235)

Mookie Betts has reportedly landed a whale of a contract extension with the Dodgers after joining the ballclub this offseason via a trade with the Boston Red Sox. And what better way to lock down that deal than an impressive effort on Opening Day.

Betts recorded 313 total bases in 2019 (30th) and 353 in 2018 (fourth). He’s been swinging well in training sessions this offseason: in 27 at-bats during the spring/summer schedule, he has 13 total bases, including two doubles and a home run, while hitting leadoff during Summer Camp. We like that to continue into Opening Day.

PREDICTION: Mookie Betts two or more total bases (-182)

Top MLB consensus for today

Want to know who today’s biggest MLB betting and consensus bets are right now? Check out our top MLB consensus picks.

Opening Day betting card

  • Aaron Judge home run (+210)
  • Giants between 6-7 total hits (+235)
  • Mookie Betts two or more total bases (-182)