Massive weekend of important and not so important football games and we have all the line moves covered. Take a minute to review all the betting trends and our free picks (444-353 of late and now on 52-34 run) when we post them, to see what we are thinking. See you back here Tuesday and Happy New Year!
BOWLS – Taxslayer - (269) KENTUCKY vs. (270) GEORGIA TECH 11:00 ET ESPN *New*
With two terrific rushing teams on display going against two shoddy rushing defenses, the total this week has been climbing from 60 to 62.5. For whatever reason, Georgia Tech has had problems gearing up the running game with time off and is 11-3 UNDER when playing with two weeks or more off. However, Kentucky is 7-0 OVER off a upset win as a double digit underdog and we’ll back the higher score.
Betting Trend – 89% backing Over
Doug’s VPID Take - Play Over
BOWLS – Peach - (271) WASHINGTON vs. (272) ALABAMA 3:00 ET ESPN
Given Alabama’s defense and how disruptive they can be, the total on the first national semi-final has crumbled from 58 to 54. How both quarterbacks react to the pressure they will be under from the opposing team and internally will play a big part in final score. Still not going to overlook the Crimson Tide is 8-1 OVER as a neutral field favorite since 2014. Update – In spite of the general betting trend, the total has continued to erode and now resides at 52.5. We still think the points will pile up.
Betting Trend – 58% backing Over
Doug’s VPID Take - Play Over
BOWLS – Fiesta – (273) OHIO STATE vs. (274) CLEMSON 7:00 ET ESPN
In the second national semi-final, this total has also been lowered. This is one not quite as much, going from 61.5 to 59.5. A look at each clubs away numbers finds both were in the lower 50′s for total scores. Have to consider Ohio State is 15-6 OVER when the total is between 56.5 and 63, nonetheless, Clemson is 9-1 UNDER after scoring 42 or more points in two consecutive outings. Update – Been locked on at 59 for weeks, which tells us the betting markets are more than satisfied with this adjustment.
Betting Trend – 62% backing Over
Doug’s VPID Take - Lean Under
NFL – (305) BALTIMORE at (306) CINCINNATI 1:00 ET CBS *New*
Cincinnati was sent out as a 2.5-point home favorite and they have been reduced to Pick. Both teams have failed to live up to preseason expectations and desire will play a huge part in the outcome, before a well less than sold-out stadium. We’ll side with the Bengals after the Ravens crushing loss last week.
Betting Trend – 85% backing Baltimore
Doug’s VPID Take – Lean Cincinnati
NFL – (309) GREEN BAY at (310) DETROIT 8:30 ET NBC *New*
The total on this contest has been on the rise going from 48 to 49.5. From pure wagering perspective this would appear to favor Green Bay with Aaron Rodgers and the offense hot and Detroit scoring only 15.7 PPG in their last three outings. However, the Lions are 6-0 ATS when the total is 49.5 or higher the last two seasons. We will support the adjusted number, with the Packers 17-4 OVER in road games vs. teams with a completion percentage of 64% or better.
Betting Trend – 57% backing Over
Doug’s VPID Take - Lean Over
NFL – (311) JACKSONVILLE at (312) INDIANAPOLIS 1:00 ET CBS *New Total*
With Indianapolis missing the playoffs again, some football bettors are counting on the Colts lack of interest in season finale and dropped them from -7 to -4.5 against Jacksonville. The logic is there with Indy only 3-4 SU and ATS at home and the Jaguars 5-2 ATS as visitors this year. At adjusted price, have to think about Colts at 9-1 ATS, after posting 1-2 ATS mark over three-game stretch. Update – No change on side but total has slid from 48.5 to 47. My intel had the total going either, so no strong opinion.
Betting Trend – 86% backing Indianapolis and 65% on Under
Doug’s VPID Take - Indianapolis covers and slight lean on Over
NFL – (315) CHICAGO at (316) MINNESOTA 1:00 ET FOX *New*
On the surface this total rising from 40 to 43 seems rather extremely until you realize what the quarterbacks are capable of. This is not mentioned in a positive sense, rather because Sam Bradford and Matt Barkley are highly capable of throwing interceptions which could result in immediate points. Yet, I’m not completely on board and found Minnesota is 11-3 UNDER in dome games the last three years and 6-0 UNDER with same season revenge.
Betting Trend – 76% backing Over
Doug’s VPID Take – Lean Under
NFL – (325) ARIZONA at (326) LOS ANGELES 4:25 ET FOX
After sensational win over Seattle, part of the wagering community are not sold Arizona will have a follow up road effort and have sent the Cardinals from -7.5 to -6. While this is possible, what does Los Angeles have to play for on a 0-6 SU and ATS dry spell and just blowing game to San Francisco? Enough said. Update – Starting to see more action on Arizona who is now at -6.5 with a few sportsbooks -7. We concur.
Betting Trend – 85% backing Arizona
Doug’s VPID Take – Lean Arizona
NFL – (331) OAKLAND at (332) DENVER 4:25 ET CBS *New*
The Raiders suffered a devastating blow in losing Derek Carr. This is ultra important game for them this week, because a win gives them the No. 2 seed in the AFC, a bye week to further develop Matt McGloin as new starting quarterback. Denver is done and will not defend Super Bowl title. Rumors have rookie Payton Lynch either starting or seeing time with Trevor Siemian for the Broncos, thus, any thought of Denver going all out to ruin Oakland’s playoff plans seem optimistic rather than realistic, which is why we support Oakland falling from +3 to +1.5. Look for the Raiders to run right at Denver’s porous run defense and improve to 10-1 ATS as road underdogs.
Betting Trend – 74% backing Denver
Doug’s VPID Take - Oakland covers
BOWLS – Cotton – (277) WESTERN MICHIGAN vs. (278) WISCONSIN 1:00 ET ESPN
Both teams hold on to the ball in possessing for better than 34 minutes a contest, which can shorten a game, especially if the defenses are sound and the total has fallen a couple points to 52. Whether this total is higher or lower, it will depend upon if the offense generates big plays or not. Here is to thinking they will. Update – A modest buyback to 53 points, with still heavy betting on lower score. As stated, see more big plays than anticipated,
Betting Trend – 79% backing Under
Doug’s VPID Take - Lean Over
BOWLS – Sugar - (281) AUBURN vs. (282) OKLAHOMA 8:30 ET ESPN
For an 8-4 team, Auburn is being given a lot of credit in Sugar Bowl showdown with Oklahoma and has plummeted from +6 to +3. It is understood the Tigers will be healthier than they were the later stages of November and have the far better defense. However, have to consider Auburn was 2-4 SU versus other Power 5 conference bowl foes. Update – Lots of wise guy action in spite of where the public is. Maybe Auburn at +6, but not at +3.
Betting Trend – 79% backing Oklahoma
Doug’s VPID Take - Oklahoma covers
Public Consensus Record – 51% to 79% – 315-300-3
Public Consensus Record – 80% or Higher – 190-165-2
Line Movement Direction Record – 533-484-5