For line moves, we have NBA basketball on Friday and football Saturday thru Monday. Take a minute to review all the betting trends, our free picks and predictions (458-370-13 in 2018) to see what we are thinking today. See you back next week.
NBA – (567) ATLANTA at (568) BOSTON 7:05 ET FSS, CSNE
This total, in general, is cause for pause and having slid three points to 221.5, is even more unnerving. Atlanta is 22nd in scoring (107.9 PPG) and Boston is 3rd in points allowed (103.6). That makes sense for the total to collapse. Next, we have the C’s scoring 111.1 PPG, with the Hawks surrendering 118 PPG. Oh, that sounds like an Over. So what is the right way to surmise this contest, let’s take OVER, with the Celtics 20-7 OVER at home after a combined score of 235 points or more.
Betting Trend – 51% backing Over
Doug’s VPID Take – Play Over
NBA – (583) OKLAHOMA CITY at (584) DENVER 10:05 ET ESPN
The late ESPN game is for first place in the Northwest Division. Hoops bettors are more fascinated in the total than the side and raised it from 216.5 to 219. Oklahoma City’s offense has seen an uptick in their last five contests, however, on the road they are 9-4 UNDER. Denver’s shooting has been erratic of late, sometimes good, sometimes not, with the average total score of a Nuggets game at home about 215 points. With the Thunder at last look a -1.5 point favorite, they are 7-0 UNDER when the line is +3 to -3 this season.
Betting Trend – 74% backing Over
Doug’s VPID Take – Play Under
BOWLS – (201) NORTH TEXAS vs. (202) UTAH STATE 2:00 ET ESPN
Utah State opened as an 11-point favorite after a sensational 10-2 season, in which they won 10 in a row. But a disappointing loss at Boise State cost the Aggies a chance to play for the MWC title and the following week their head coach left for green pastures (money). With football bettors thinking about that and potential North Texas has after a somewhat underachieving season at 9-3, Utah State has fallen all the way to -7.5. However, the Mean Green enter the New Mexico Bowl with a 1-7 ATS mark. Update – Utah State continues to slide, now down to -7. Not an easy one to forecast with the Aggies missing coaches, but North Texas has the talent to keep this close.
Betting Trend – Was 68% backing North Texas, now 51%
Doug’s VPID Take – Lean North Texas
BOWLS – (205) ARIZONA STATE vs. (206) FRESNO STATE 3:30 ET ABC *New*
Hard to say what is driving the market on the Las Vegas Bowl, with Fresno State exploding from -3 to -6 or -6.5 as we got to Friday. The sharps and wise guys I’m familiar with are at 60-40 Arizona State to cover. As you can see below, the public prefers Fresno State, but hardly in overwhelming fashion. My feeling is both teams will be excited to play and both have teams have plusses and minuses that matter. I took Fresno State at -3 when it was released. But I’m not crazy about this line. I would suggest waiting to see if you can get the Sun Devils at +7 and I certainly will, as I will be after a middle if the number reaches that point.
Betting Trend – 66% backing Fresno State
Doug’s VPID Take – Lean Arizona State
BOWLS – (207) EASTERN MICHIGAN vs. (208) GEOR. SOUTHERN 5:30 ET ESPN
The Camellia Bowl opened as a Pick but has since seen Georgia Southern climb to -2.5. Both these teams are nicknamed the Eagles and the G.S. Eagles have more team speed and run the option offense. The E.M. Eagles played Army, who runs a similar offense and they lost 37-22. Nevertheless, Eastern Michigan is 25-12 ATS since 2016 and 17-5 ATS as an underdog. Update – Georgia Southern is up to -3 and I’ll agree with that thinking because what I said before the speed difference.
Betting Trend – Was 64% backing Georgia Southern, now 62%
Doug’s VPID Take – Georgia Southern covers
NFL – (315) DETROIT at (316) BUFFALO 1:00 ET FOX (side and total)
The Buffalo Bills have lost very winnable games in the last two they have played, yet they are still drawing support against Detroit. This nonconference clash opened as a Pick and the Bills are now up to -2.5. If Matthew Stafford was playing anywhere near his ability, this would an easy choice on the Lions, but he’s not. The total has also climbed from 38 to 40, with Buffalo 10-0 OVER at home off one or more Over’s since 2016. Update – The total has locked in, but the Bills have risen to -2.5. Of the two bets, the OVER is my favorite choice as there will be defensive breakdowns or special teams gaffes that will lead to points. Though Stafford is not playing well, I still prefer him in the QB battle and will side with Detroit.
Betting Trend – Was 57% backing Buffalo and 81% on Over, Now, 65% and 75% respectively
Doug’s VPID Take – Play Over, lean Detroit
NFL – (317) GREEN BAY at (318) CHICAGO 1:00 ET FOX
With Green Bay averaging barely over 20 PPG on the road and Chicago permitting only 19 PPG anywhere they play, the total in this NFC Norris Division rivalry (Chris Berman reference) has fallen like the temps in the Windy City from 46.5 to 44.5. That might seem correct, yet you have to consider the Packers are 18-6 OVER in road games the last three seasons. Update – A slight uptick back to 45 points. I’m not seeing Green Bay or Chicago generating enough offense and will take the UNDER.
Betting Trend – Was 52% backing Over, now 48%
Doug’s VPID Take – Play Under
NFL – (327) NEW ENGLAND at (328) PITTSBURGH 4:25 ET CBS
Even with the news Ben Roethlisberger is a “Go” for Sunday, the slumping Steelers have been taken from +1 to +2.5 versus their nemesis New England. Of course with the Patriots having won the last five battles and posting a 4-0-1 ATS mark has something to do with it. With Pittsburgh having the Pats this week and at New Orleans, losing their last three games, all which they should have won, places them in peril Sunday. Update – The Patriots are up to -3 and while their defense is a concern, what makes Pittsburgh a better choice with how they are playing and history?
Betting Trend – Was 77% backing New England, now 73%
Doug’s VPID Take – New England covers
NFL – Monday – (331) NEW ORLEANS at (332) CAROLINA 8:16 ET ESPN
If you look at the broader picture of this NFC South showdown, the total crumbling like a Christmas cookie from 54 to 51 does not make sense. But in the NFL, results often reflect recent events, not how a team plays all year. In these team’s last three outings, New Orleans average total score is 37.7 PPG and Carolina is at 48 PPG. Now that makes more sense. Update – The total has gone down again, now at 50. I’m going to back the direction this total is going and say turnovers will end up taking points off the board.
Betting Trend – Was 84% backing Over, now 72%
Doug’s VPID Take – Play Under
Public’s Favorite Sides Bets (20-21-1 ATS) in order: Ravens, Rams and Texans
Public’s Favorite Totals Bets (19-21-2) in order: Dolphins/Vikings OVER, Cardinals/Falcons OVER and Patriots/Steelers OVER
Public Consensus Record (2018) – 51% to 79% – 264-262-15 ATS
Public Consensus Record (2018) – 80% or Higher – 113-98-2 ATS
Line Movement Direction Record (2018) – 385-380-17 ATS