A Super Special MVP, and Super Bowl LIV bets need to make Wednesday

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The matchup for Super Bowl LIV is set with the San Francisco 49ers preparing to battle the Kansas City Chiefs and that mean props galore are starting to hit the board. Josh Inglis gives you his initial picks and predictions for Super Bowl Sunday. 

SPECIAL MVP

Vegas expects Super Bowl LIV to be a close game as the Kansas City Chiefs are just 1.5-point favorites. Of the last 12 Super Bowls, eight have been decided by eight points or less which means one big play could lead to the crowning of the game’s MVP. On Feb 2, that big play could come from the Chief’s special teams.

K.C. return man Mecole Hardman has 4.33 wheels and was third in the league in yards per return. He was also one of seven players to take a kickoff to the house (104 yards). The wide receiver also returns punts and has the ability to break a big play and change the game.

We are looking at Hardman to do his best Desmond Howard impression and take home the MVP honors thanks to a big special teams play. Hardman is currently paying +6600 to win the MVP.

RUNNING INTO PROBLEMS

Damien Williams has seen 29 of the Chiefs’ 30 running back carries in the playoffs but has gained just 92 yards against the No. 22 and No. 10 rush defenses. Should we expect the running back to top his rushing total of 53.5 yards against San Francisco’s No. 2 DVOA defense that held Aaron Jones to 12-56-1 and Dalvin Cook to 9-18-0?

Over their last five games, the 49ers have allowed an average of 44.6 yards to opposing teams’ leading rusher. The Niners have a theme of not giving up big gains on the ground as the longest rushing play, they have given up in the last six weeks was a 15-yard run — they have also held two of their last five opponents to a long run of under 10 yards.

We are taking the Under 53.5 rushing yards for Williams.

OH, SAY CAN YOU SEE

The Over/Under for the national anthem sung by Demi Lovato sits at two minutes. Over two minutes is the heavy favorite at -200 and the Under two minutes is paying +150. Heading into the 2019 Super Bowl, the average length of the anthem was one minute 55 seconds (n=28).

Last year, the length was set at one minute 45 seconds and Gladys Knight hit the Over, clocking in at two minutes and one second. However, the Under has hit in nine of the last 13 Super Bowls.

One of the most recent versions of Lovato singing the national anthem — McGregor Vs. Mayweather in 2018 — clocks the singer at two minutes 12 seconds in what looks like a visibly nervous performance. The female singer pays +600 if she omits or forgets a word.

We are trusting the juice and leaning on the Over.

LACES OUT

Although Chiefs’ kicker Harrison Butker has attempted just one field goal so far in the playoffs, he finished the season hitting nearly 90 percent of his FGs, good for a Top-7 finish. Butker was also a perfect 13-for-13 from 40-49 yards and had long of 56 yards.

His kicking opponent, Robbie Gould, finished 28th in FG% (77.8%) but has made all five of his kicks this postseason including a season-high 54-yarder last week. The San Fran veteran is also a perfect 13-for-13 in his nine career playoff games.

The 49ers could make things more difficult for Mahomes in the red zone while Kansas City’s red zone defense was the 8th-best unit in the league, allowing a TD in 51 percent of its opponents’ RZ possessions.

We like the Over 3.5 field goals at -115 or if you prefer one kick over the other, both kickers’ totals sits at 7.5 with the Over paying -130.

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