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Fading kickers for cash, and the NFL bets you need to make in Week 12

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The tumultuous state of the Bears kicking game has almost reached comedic levels. While that stinks for Eddy Pinerio and Bears fans alike it presents so good value for bettors. We break down the odds for this and let you know what other bets we like for this weekend’s NFL action as we dive into sides, totals, props and more. **video

HACKY SACK

The New York Giants and the Chicago Bears have been allowing 8.4 sacks combined over the last three weeks. However, both these teams have struggled to take down opposing QBs this year as they sit in the bottom half in the league in sacks per game at nearly five takedowns combined. This last stat may give us some value in a total-sacks prop that won’t be set too high thanks to the Bears’ and Giants’ sacks per game rate.

Daniel Jones has been sacked 22 times in his last four games because the Giants have been pass-happy of late, averaging 39 passes a game since Week seven. Mitch Trubisky will have a short leash that could work in our favor. The Bears QB has been sacked nine times in his last two home games and if Mitch gives way to Chase Daniel, that could be money in the bank. The Bears’ backup was sacked twice in four dropbacks last week while getting taken down four more times in 30 pass attempts in his only other start this year.

We are 6-1 on our weekly sack plays and will be taking the Over 5.5 sacks in the Giants-Bears matchup Sunday.

SKIPPING LEG DAY

Bears’ kicker Eddy Pineiro has zero trust from his coaching staff as Matt Nagy decided to go for it on 4th and nine from their opponents 31-yard line in a 0-0 game. Over their last three games, Nagy’s Bears have attempted just 0.7 FGs.

The Giants are dead last in field goal attempts this season and are kicking a whopping one three-point attempt per game. New York’s kicker Aldrick Rosas is 8-for-10 this year with a long of just thirty-six yards.

Chicago will be breezy Sunday with winds expected in the double digits, further helping our lean on this kicking prop. Take the Under 44.5 yards longest field goal scored.

DRISKEL DRUMMING UP RUSHES

Jeff Driskel will start again for the Lions Sunday against Washington as Matthew Stafford may have to sit out the rest of the season with Detroit out of playoff contention. The word on Driskel’s rushing ability is not widely known yet but the Lions’ starter rushed for 51 yards on eight carries and had a rushing TD for good measure last week.

Driskel is not afraid to take off and run as the 26-year-old QB has averaged 4.5 carries over his seven career starts. The Washington is allowing a completion rate of 71 percent which may stop Driskel from taking off as much but we still like his rushing prospects for Sunday and will take the Over on any number below 23 yards.

TAKE THESE BROKEN WENTZ

The Philadelphia Eagles receiving core is a mess. Last week they gave 88 percent of the snaps to Jordan Mathews who had just signed two weeks ago and now Nelson Agholor appears questionable for Sunday’s game against the Seattle Seahawks.

They could have Alshon Jeffrey back this week, but this is a run-first offense and with Jordan Howard likely back this week after missing Week 11, we don’t see Carson Wentz and the offense airing things out against Seattle. The Eagles are 24th in the league in passing yards per game at 215 and 28th over their last three games at 185 yards.

We are jumping on the Under 241.5 passing yards for Carson Wentz, a number he has not eclipsed in four-straight games.

HOME FAVS LEADING THE WAY

Over the last 30 days, home favorites have been winning SU at 73 percent clip and last week they hit at 78 percent. This week, home teams are favored in nine of the 13 games. Our two favorite home favorite MLs this week are the Atlanta Falcons and the New England Patriots. Parlayed together, this two-teamer pays out an even +100.

New England has won 16-straight games at home and is allowing just 11 points per game at Gillette stadium this year. The offense hasn’t looked great, but this is a defense-first team that could give the Cowboys some problems as they have only beat the Redskins, the Giants and the Lions on the road this year while losing to the Jets and Saints.

Atlanta has run off two consecutive wins versus divisional opponents and picked off Kyle Allen four times last week. They also haven’t allowed a touchdown in 10 quarters of football. They could really force Bruce Arians to sit Jameis Winston if the Dirty Birds get to the Bucs’ QB early.

Take the Pats ML and Falcons ML for a +100 payout.

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.