NFL odds for Super Bowl 2021: Titans highlight best value bets and long shots

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They’re still sweeping confetti off the field at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami after Kansas City’s epic comeback win over San Francisco in Super Bowl LIV, but we’re already looking ahead to next season’s Big Game. We comb through the early odds to win Super Bowl LV, searching for NFL betting value as to who will hoist the Lombardi Trophy on February 7, 2021.

While it’s no surprise this year’s Big Game combatants top the 2021 Super Bowl odds, there are plenty of dark horses and sleeper candidates that could emerge between now and then. We analyze some of the best value bets to win Super Bowl LV.

SEATTLE SEAHAWKS – 20/1

Russell Wilson. That’s all you need to be a contender. The guy likely wins the NFL MVP this season if not for Lamar Jackson. Plus, he’s been a winner his entire NFL career. The Seahawks have made the playoffs in seven of his first eight years in Seattle, two culminating with Super Bowl appearances with one title.

Obviously, the days of the Legion of Boom are long gone, but even with a sub-par defense (it ranked 18th in DVOA and 26th against the pass) the Seahawks managed to win 11 games. Now, they’ll need to break the bank to keep DE Jadeveon Clowney, but he’ll be worth it. He spent his first season in Seattle reminding people just how dominant he can be. You can also expect Seattle to upgrade its secondary through free agency and the draft.

Young offensive weapons like WR D.K. Metcalf will have another year under their belt and running back Chris Carson should be healthy heading into next season. As long as Wilson is under center, the Seahawks are going to have a legit chance at the playoffs, and once you’re there, anything can happen.

TENNESSEE TITANS – 40/1

This number seems a little absurd when you consider the Titans were leading by 10 points in the AFC Championship Game just a few weeks ago. But Tennessee has a few big names to resign this offseason, most notably star running back Derrick Henry and Comeback Player of the Year QB Ryan Tannehill. Both are due for big pay days after their respective 2019-20 seasons.

First of all, Henry isn’t going anywhere. Once Tannehill took over the starting job from Marcus Mariota, Henry rushed for 1,124 yards at a clip of nearly six yards per carry and 12 touchdowns. He followed that up with another 446 yards and a pair of scores in three playoff games. There’s a pretty good case to keep Tannehill as well, who finished the season with the NFL’s best passer rating. That is, unless Tom Brady comes walking through the door to re-unite with his old buddy Mike Vrabel. But that’s what Vrabel seems to be building in Tennessee – New England Lite – with a “do your job” accountability that’s beginning to bare fruit.

The Titans also have a talented young receiving corps led by A.J. Brown and an underrated defense that could use a little upgrade in the secondary. The AFC South is a winnable division and once Tennessee gets to the playoffs, no one wants to tackle Henry in January.

CAROLINA PANTHERS – 100/1

Boy, Super Bowl 50 seems like a lifetime ago for the Carolina Panthers. After the retirement of LB Luke Kuechly, the departure of TE Greg Olsen and the firing of head coach Ron Rivera, there are just seven players remaining on the Panthers roster from that Super Bowl run.

And 2019 was a rough one for the Panthers. After starting the season 5-3, Carolina lost eight straight ball games thanks in part to several key injuries – the most important being Cam Newton. The former MVP was sidelined after Week 2 with a foot injury. The other big problem was the Panthers’ run defense, which ranked dead last in the NFL. Losing your two starting defensive tackles doesn’t help, as both Kawann Short and Dontari Poe were also lost for the season due to injury.

But on to 2021! Enter new head coach Matt Rhule, the man who turned around the disgraced Baylor program in just a few seasons: from 1-11 in 2017 to an 11-3 season and a Sugar Bowl appearance this past year.

With some enthusiasm injected by a new head coach and hopefully a healthy star quarterback, it wouldn’t be crazy to see the Panthers have a quick turnaround next year. Particularly when you consider the division. How much longer will Drew Brees be around (or effective)? Who knows what version of the Falcons we’ll see? And the Bucs. They also have this guy named Christian McCaffrey (Google him). And 100/1 is ridiculous. That’s the same as the Bengals and Dolphins. The Panthers are better than that.

Here are the complete Super Bowl LV odds courtesy the Superbook at Westgate:

TEAM SUPER BOWL ODDS (AS OF FEB. 7, 2020)
Kansas City Chiefs 5/1
San Francisco 49ers 8/1
Baltimore Ravens 8/1
New Orleans Saints 10/1
Dallas Cowboys 12/1
New England Patriots 14/1
Pittsburgh Steelers 16/1
Philadelphia Eagles 20/1
Green Bay Packers 20/1
Seattle Seahawks 20/1
Los Angeles Rams 25/1
Minnesota Vikings 25/1
Chicago Bears 25/1
Cleveland Browns 30/1
Los Angeles Chargers 40/1
Indianapolis Colts 40/1
Houston Texans 40/1
Tennessee Titans 40/1
Buffalo Bills 40/1
Las Vegas Raiders 40/1
Atlanta Falcons 50/1
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 60/1
Denver Broncos 60/1
New York Jets 80/1
Arizona Cardinals 80/1
New York Giants 80/1
Detroit Lions 80/1
Jacksonville Jaguars 100/1
Carolina Panthers 100/1
Miami Dolphins 100/1
Cincinnati Bengals 100/1
Washington 200/1


College basketball odds, picks and predictions: Bet on big first half from Oregon

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Baylor aims to stay at the top of the NCAA men’s basketball rankings as they take on a reeling West Virginia squad on Saturday, while Oregon looks to crush visiting Utah on Sunday night. We break down the college basketball odds for those games and much more as we bring you the best betting notes, picks and predictions across the NCAA this weekend.   

WEST VIRGINIA MOUNTAINEERS AT BAYLOR BEARS

Things don’t get any easier for No. 14 West Virginia as they come off back-to-back losses. The Mountaineers fell to Oklahoma on the road last Saturday before losing at home to Kansas on Wednesday. They scored an average of just 54 points per game in those two contests and now take on No. 1 Baylor who has held foes to 58.3 ppg on 38.4 percent shooting this season.

Generally the best way to attack the 1-1-3 zone defense that Baylor employs is to attack with a pair of guards that can dribble and drive, as well as knock down the occasional jumper. Unfortunately for WVU, while they have strong players down low, they lack scoring punch in their backcourt. Look for the Bears to hold the Mountaineers Under their team total. 

PURDUE BOILERMAKERS AT OHIO STATE BUCKEYES

Anyone who has been following the Big Ten this season knows that most schools are killing at home and just getting shredded on the road. Purdue and Ohio State represent this trend probably better than anyone, especially during the first half of games.

The Buckeyes have an average first-half scoring margin of plus-12.2 ppg at home (fifth-best in the country) but that drops to minus-1.8 on the road. The Boilermakers have an average first-half margin of plus-11.7 ppg at home and that falls to minus-1.7 on the road.

With Purdue putting up just 27.6 first half ppg on the road, and Ohio State holding opponents to 25 first half ppg in Columbus, take Ohio State on the 1H spread.

GONZAGA BULLDOGS AT PEPPERDINE WAVES

The Zags have the No. 2 team in the country but they might not have the best betting value when they face Pepperdine on the road on Saturday night. Gonzaga is coming off a 30-point rout of Saint Mary’s but prior to that game they failed to cover in three straight contests.

Pepperdine is 25th in the country in scoring with 77.2 ppg and is 7-3 SU over their last 10 contests. They also played well against Gonzaga in the last meeting between the two squads, falling by a score of 75-70 on the road on January 4. A matter of fact, the Waves are 3-1 ATS in the last four games of the head-to-head with the Zags.

With Gonzaga usually a massive favorite, laying at least 10 points in 13 of their last 14 contests (and laying at least 20 points in seven of those), the underdog Waves have value on the spread.   

UTAH UTES AT OREGON DUCKS

Utah is 0-6 SU and 1-5 ATS on the road in Pac-12 play, losing by scoring margins of 39, 19, 19, 16, 14 and 4 points. A common theme for Utah in those losses has been ice-cold shooting, far too many turnovers and a tendency to fall behind early. In three of those games, including Thursday night against Oregon State, the Utes were down at least 16 points by halftime.

On Sunday the Utes wrap up their Oregon road trip as they face the No. 17 Ducks. The Ducks are tied for first place in the Pac-12 after a come from behind win against Colorado on Thursday.

Led by guards Payton Pritchard (19.3 points and 6 assists per game) and Chris Duarte (14 ppg), the Ducks rank 19th in the country in offensive efficiency. And Pritchard and Duarte are especially effective at home where they shoot a combined 49 percent from the floor and 41 percent from deep. Bet on Oregon to cover the first half spread.  

MID-MAJOR TO WATCH: BRIGHAM YOUNG COUGARS (19-7, 17-9 ATS, 15-11 O/U)

BYU received 43 votes in the latest AP Top 25 Poll and is currently riding a five-game winning streak. Over their last 17 games the Cougars have gone 14-3 SU and 13-4 ATS. BYU has the best group of outside shooters in the country, connecting on 10.9 made 3-point shots per game while shooting 42.5 percent from deep.

On Saturday, BYU heads to the Jenny Craig Pavillion (seriously that’s what it’s called) to take on the San Diego Toreros. The Toreros are at the bottom of the West Coast Conference standings and shoot just 41.2 percent from the floor. That’s right: San Diego shoots worse from the field than BYU does from beyond the arc.

NATIONAL TITLE ODDS

Dayton has been flying up the NCAA futures odds board and is currently listed as high as +1,600 at some books. The Flyers are fifth in the country in scoring (81.6 ppg) and first in shooting percentage (52.3), and haven’t lost a game since December. While detractors might point at the lack of stiff competition in the Atlantic 10 Conference, it’s worth noting that the Flyers only two losses this season occured in overtime and one of them was against No. 3 Kansas.

On Saturday, Dayton is on the road against the Massachusetts Minutemen. The Minutemen allow 72.9 ppg on 46.5 percent shooting (328th in the country) and lost by 28 points to Dayton on January 11.

BETTING TRENDS

• The Toledo Rockets are just 1-10 ATS at home this season. On Friday they host the Buffalo Bulls who are 4-0 SU and ATS in the last four games in the head-to-head. The Rockets look like a good fade as 2.5-point favorites.  

• Over the last ten days SEC conference games have gone 13-4 O/U. If you’re looking for a solid Over bet in SEC play this weekend, the matchup between Mississippi State and Arkansas looks good. Arkansas has cashed the Over in eight straight games while Miss State is 7-1 O/U in its previous eight contests.

• The top ATS team in the country are the North Florida Osprey who are 19-6 ATS, including 7-1 ATS over their last eight games. On Saturday, the Osprey host the North Alabama Lions. North Florida is 4-0 ATS in four games against North Alabama dating back to last season.

2020 NBA All-Star Skills Challenge odds to win and betting picks: Don’t fade the big men

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The NBA skills challenge might not be the flashiest event at the All-Star Game, but it has proved to be very profitable for bettors who like to wager on underdogs. We take a look at the odds to win the NBA skills challenge for this year’s field and break down our betting picks for the 2020 event.  

WHAT ARE THE RULES FOR THE TACO BELL SKILLS CHALLENGE?

The skills challenge features eight NBA players going through an obstacle course which tests their dribbling skills, passing ability, agility and shooting.

Two players face off next to each other on identical courses on the court. For the first leg, they run down the court while dribbling between five obstacles, before throwing a pass through a target. Then they turn around and dribble back the full length of the court for a lay up. Then they head back up the court before hitting a 3-pointer from the top of the key. The first player to sink his shot from beyond the arc wins.

It’s a single elimination format with three rounds and the brackets won’t be chosen until Saturday.

ODDS TO WIN NBA SKILLS CHALLENGE

PLAYER TEAM ODDS
Spencer Dinwiddie Brooklyn Nets +350
Khris Middleton Milwaukee Bucks +410
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander Oklahoma City Thunder +460
Jayson Tatum Boston Celtics +550
Pascal Siakam Toronto Raptors +550
Domantis Sabonis Indiana Pacers +850
Patrick Beverley Los Angeles Clippers +900
Bam Adebayo Miami Heat +1,200

NBA SKILLS CHALLENGE BETTING PREDICTION

This year’s event features three former winners: Patrick Beverley (2015), Spencer Dinwiddie (2018) and Jayson Tatum (2019). While Dinwiddie has the best odds to win at +350, if recent history is any indication this is one contest where underdogs have a good chance of coming out on top.

Since the event started including big men in 2016, two players have won with the worst odds (Dinwiddie and Karl-Anthony Towns) while another took home the title with the second-worst odds (Kristaps Porzingis in 2016). Last year, Tatum won with the fifth-best odds at +600.

That said, we’re not taking the player with the worst odds this year. Adebayo is having a terrific season but he’s only connected on one 3-point shot all year (on 11 attempts), so the final step in this event could prove to be a challenge.

We like the +550 payout for Tatum to repeat, but our money is on the player tied with Tatum in the odds department: Raptors forward Pascal Siakam. Siakam is quicker and has better handles than many give him credit for, and he’s really improved his shot from beyond the arc this season (connecting on more than two 3-point shots per game at a clip of 36 percent).

Siakam also seems to play at his best when the pressure is on, so expect him to thrive under the spotlight in Chicago this weekend. We’re betting on the Raptors’ big man.