Bet Now/Bet Later NFL Week 12 odds: Now’s not the time to bet the Niners

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Being a successful sports bettor is not about betting on the best team but betting the best number. 

Scoring the optimal odds for your wager can sometimes be a race to the window – or your mobile – to get the spread or total you want before it changes. Or, sometimes it’s a waiting game until just before kickoff, projecting how the public players will manipulate the numbers.

Covers’ Senior Industry Analyst Jason Logan gives you a heads-up on the best “Bet Now/Bet Later” games on the NFL Week 12 board, so download the new Covers Live App and punch these odds into your line alerts.

SPREAD TO BET NOW: DALLAS COWBOYS AT NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (-6, 46)

Being “America’s Team”, the Cowboys always attract action at the window from legions of Dallas backers blindly betting the Boys. And it would seem, even in a matchup with the defending Super Bowl champs, early money is siding with Dallas.

The Cowboys opened as big as +6.5 at New England in Week 12 and books have trimmed that down to +6 at most books. The juice on Patriots -6 is seeing a discount as low as -105 and there’s even a -5.5 on the board as of Monday afternoon.

New England hasn’t been overwhelmingly impressive this season and is coming off an ugly win over Philadelphia this past Sunday. Dallas also took a “fugly” victory over a Stafford-less Detroit squad but the offense is firing on all cylinders – something Tom Brady & Co. can’t say after scoring 20 and 17 points respectively in their last two games. If you like the Cowboys collect the points at the key number of six while it still stands.

SPREAD TO BET LATER: GREEN BAY PACKERS AT SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS (-3, 45.5)

According to bookmakers, they expect money on the underdog Packers in this Sunday Night Football showdown. San Francisco hasn’t looked great in its last three games: two near losses to Arizona and an OT defeat at the hands of Seattle. Granted, the 49ers were dealing with dual-threat dynamos, Kyler Murray and Russell Wilson, who amounted for 154 yards rushing on 19 total carries in those three games.

Green Bay gunslinger Aaron Rodgers has plenty of weapons in his arsenal but he’s not as spry as those two QBs. The Cheeseheads are coming off a bye in Week 11, but before that squeaked out a win against Carolina (was McCaffrey in?) and fell to the L.A. Chargers.

San Francisco should get some bodies back in Week 12, with kicker Robbie Gould coming around and TE George Kittle listed at day-to-day. If you’re giving the Niners the nod, wait it out and see how low you can grab them under the key of a field goal.

TOTAL TO BET NOW: OVER 45.5 INDIANAPOLIS COLTS AT HOUSTON TEXANS

This number has made a significant dive, from as high as 47 to 45.5 points. Now might be the time to strike if you like the Over. For one: this is a primetime game and the public loves to root for high-scoring football in those night games, so action on the Over is expected.

The Colts will lean on the arm of QB Jacob Brissett more with RB Marlon Mack out with a hand injury. Indianapolis runs the ball on 47 percent of snaps but may have to resort to the air more often in this AFC South matchup, lending value to the Over. Brissett did enjoy his best game of the season at home to the Texans in Week 7, passing for three touchdowns on 326 yards – a game that scored 53 total points and topped the 46.5 Over/Under.

Houston just got cracked for 41 points versus Baltimore and hasn’t been that stout defense in 2019, allowing 30 or more points four times this season. The Texans offense – namely Deshaun Watson – will be eager to shake a stinky 7-point showing in Week 11, in which the QB passed for only 169 yards and an interception. Beat the public to the window and bet this Over now.

TOTAL TO BET LATER: OVER 39 PITTSBURGH STEELERS AT CINCINNATI BENGALS

This total is already on the way down, moving from 39.5 to 39, and I project it going even lower between now and kickoff Sunday. The Steelers mustered only seven points in a short week versus Cleveland last Thursday, which is fresh in everyone’s mind. But before that ugly result, Pittsburgh’s offense was finding its footing, averaging 24 points between Weeks 4 and 10 with second-stringer Mason Rudolph at the wheel.

The Bengals surrendered 27 points in a Week 4 loss at Pittsburgh, managing a lonely field goal in rebuttal. Cincinnati hasn’t been much better ever since, averaging only 15 points per outing in the six games since that dismal Monday night display.

That said, with a total this low, Over bettors may not need much more from Cincy to slide in above the number. The Bengals are notably better on offense at home – 17.5 points per home game versus 12.5 points per away game – and are 6-2-1 Over/Under in their previous nine games inside Paul Brown Stadium. If you like the Over, set your Covers Live App alert and see if you can get something in the 38-point range later in the week.

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.