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Utah vs Oregon college football picks and Pac-12 Championship predictions: Ducks won’t fly in wet weather

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College football Championship Week kicks off on Friday night as the Utah Utes lock horns with the Oregon Ducks for the Pac-12 Title.

The Utes have gone 8-0 straight up and against the spread over their previous eight games and are 6.5-point favorites against the Oregon Ducks.

From the kickoff to the final whistle we break down the odds for this West Coast battle with our best bets and predictions

UTAH UTES VS OREGON DUCKS (+6.5, 46)

QUICK HITTER

Utah has an explosive offense but puts up an unimpressive 6.0 points per game in the first quarter of games. Oregon averages 7.5 ppg in the opening quarter and that number has gone up to 10.3 ppg over their last three contests.

We like the +125 payout for Oregon to score first. However, considering that the Ducks have scored 56 touchdowns this year while settling for just six field goals, we love the first score to be an Oregon TD even more.

PICK: First Score Method – Oregon Touchdown +175

FIRST HALF BET

Both of these offenses have been very good this season, especially in the first half of games where Utah averages 19.1 ppg (17th in the country) and Oregon puts up 17.4 ppg (26th). However, when they face each other tonight they will both be going up against the best defenses they have seen all year.

Utah’s stop unit is loaded with talent at every level. Defensive lineman Bradlee Anae and Leki Fotu will be NFL bound, linebackers Devin Lloyd and Francis Bernard led the squad in tackles, while defensive backs Jaylon Johnson and Julian Blackmon will likely make the All-Pac-12 team for the second year in a row. The Utes hold opponents to 6.7 ppg in the first half of games (seventh-best in the country) and that number has gone down to just 3.3 ppg over their last three contests.

Oregon, led by linebacker Troy Dye and freshman defensive end Kayvon Thibodeaux, has allowed 9.0 first-half ppg to FBS opponents. And that number has dipped to 6.3 ppg over their previous three games. With messy weather expected for this clash we’re taking the Under on the 1H total.

PICK: First Half Under 21

TEAM/PLAYER PROP

Oregon’s offense is led by senior Justin Herbert, a likely first round NFL draft pick, who has thrown for 3140 passing yards and 31 touchdowns this season. But Herbert could have a hard time airing it out tonight. The Utes have one of the best pass defenses in the nation, allowing just 5.8 yards per pass attempt (fifth-best in the FBS) and 194.9 passing yards per game.

The weather is also expected to be wet and windy (more on that later) which could impact how often Herbert airs it out. Herbert is coming off a 174-yard performance last week and his passing yards total for this game is set at 245.5, a number he has surpassed just twice in his last five games. Take the Under.

PICK: Justin Herbert Under 245.5 passing yards

FULL GAME TOTAL

We’ve mentioned it before but weather will play major a factor in tonight’s game at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California. There is a high chance of rain while wind is projected to be over 20 mph. Both squads practiced with wet footballs all week in anticipation of the conditions. That could play havoc with the passing games of both squads.

Expect both teams to lean on their strong running games. Only one problem with that, both teams are terrific at defending against the run. The Ducks hold opponents to 116.7 rushing yards per game on 3.4 yards per carry while the Utes give up just 58.3 rushing yards per game and 2.3 yards per carry – the best marks in the country.

It’s likely that both teams will stack the box and force the other side into passing situations. This game could be messy so we’re leaning towards the Under.

PICK: Under 46

FULL GAME SIDE

As we’ve stressed throughout this article, most signs are pointing towards a low-scoring, ground-based battle. If that’s the case 6.5-points is a lot to spot a strong defensive team like Oregon.

While Utah has a terrific running back in Zack Moss (200 carries for 1246 yards and 15 touchdowns), Oregon is no slouch in the running game themselves. The Ducks running back committee has totaled 381 carries for 2193 yards, so even if Justin Herbert and the passing game are limited they should still be able to generate some offense.

As strong as Utah’s defensive line is, Oregon’s offensive line anchored by Shane Lemieux and Calvin Throckmorton is among the best in the nation. This game will likely be determined in the trenches and the Ducks should be physical enough to stand up to the Utes.

The best teams that Utah has faced so far this season are Washington and USC. They had a come-from-behind five-point win against the Huskies and lost to the Trojans. Oregon’s biggest test was their season opener against a very good Auburn team where they lost by six points after leading until the fourth quarter. Take Oregon and the points.

PICK: Oregon +6.5

Canucks vs Golden Knights picks and predictions for Game 1

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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

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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