Watt, Elliott betting favorites for 2016 NFL Awards at Sportsbooks

Leave a comment

Houston Texans linebacker J.J. Watt has seen limited action at the team’s Offseason Team Activities after undergoing offseason surgery, but the NFL’s reigning Defensive Player of the Year remains a strong favorite to maintain his crown in 2016 at +275 odds at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

Watt endured an injury-plagued campaign in 2015 but remained an important part of Houston’s drive to the AFC South title, leading the NFL with 17.5 sacks, and is expected to be 100% ready for the club’s Week 1 matchup with the Chicago Bears at NRG Stadium.

Linebacker Von Miller of the Super Bowl champion Denver Broncos is currently Watt’s closest competition, pegged at +600 odds to win the award.

Miller failed to duplicate his strong numbers from the 2014 regular season in last year’s campaign, racking up just 35 tackles, but played a pivotal role in the Broncos’ victory at Super Bowl 50, earning game MVP honors.

Khalil Mack (+700) is the only other DPOY candidate sporting odds under +1000. The Oakland Raiders lineman has tallied 153 tackles over his first two NFL seasons, and earned Defensive Player of the Week honors in Week 14 of last season.

Carolina Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly picked up the Defensive Player of the Year award in 2013 and is a +1000 bet to do it again, alongside the Los Angeles Rams’ Aaron Donald, while Seattle’s Richard Sherman trails at +1500.

On the opposite side of the ball, running back Ezekiel Elliott has seen his odds of being named Offensive Rookie of the Year steadily climb of late, and he is now perched as the heavy -125 betting favorite at the sportsbooks.

Selected by the Dallas Cowboys fourth overall at the 2016 NFL Draft, Elliott enjoyed a stellar college career at Ohio State, earning Offensive MVP honors following the Buckeyes’ victory in the national championship game and running for 23 touchdowns last season.

This first overall pick, quarterback Jared Goff, sits back of Elliott in OROY betting at +650.

Selected by the freshly relocated Rams, Goff threw for 43 touchdowns and a Pac-12 conference record 4,714 yards for the California Golden Bears last season, and has been a focus at the Rams’ OTAs in the absence of veteran pivot Nick Foles.

Washington Redskins wide receiver Josh Doctson follows at +1200 on those NFL betting props, joined by Minnesota’s Laquon Treadwell, while reigning Heisman Trophy winner Derrick Henry is pegged at +1600, deadlocked with receivers Corey Coleman and Sterling Sheppard, and rushers Kenneth Dixon and Jordan Howard.

Marcus Mariota can’t even explain his historic touchdown catch

Leave a comment

A touchdown pass to … yourself?!

That’s exactly what happened to Titans QB Marcus Mariota in Tennessee’s incredible 22-21 Wild Card victory over the Kansas City Chiefs.

The Chiefs were up 21-3 entering halftime and appeared to be well on their way to advancing to the divisional round of the NFL playoffs, but then Mariota made history with one of the craziest plays you’ll ever see:

With the six-yard touchdown, Mariota became the first player in NFL history to record a passing and receiving TD in a playoff game.

NFL Wild Card Weekend betting lines reflect recent favorites trend

Leave a comment

Wild Card Weekend has been ruled by favored teams recently – on the field, if not on the board. Favored teams are 10-2 straight-up in wild card games over the last three seasons. At the sportsbooks – and this seems germane with the home teams each laying at least six points this weekend – favorites are a more modest 7-4-1 against the spread.

The 2017 playoffs saw home teams go 4-0 SU and ATS in wild card games. Eighteen of the last 28 wild card games have gone under the posted total, with one push.

The Kansas City Chiefs are listed as 9-point favorites against the Tennessee Titans with a 44-point total at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com in a Saturday matchup. The Chiefs are just 1-6 ATS in their last seven playoff games as a favorite, but QB Alex Smith has had a stronger second half of the season than Marcus Mariota, his Titans counterpart.

Tennessee, which is 5-1 ATS in its last six games against the Chiefs, could be compromised offensively if DeMarco Murray (knee) is unable to play and spell off team rushing leader Derrick Henry. The total has gone over in five of the Titans’ last seven games against the Chiefs.

The Los Angeles Rams are 6.5-point betting favorites against the Atlanta Falcons with a 48.5-point total in the late Saturday matchup. The Rams and first-time playoff QB Jared Goff are just 3-8 ATS in their last 11 home games. However, Los Angeles, which lost its regular-season finale against the San Francisco 49ers, is 5-0 SU in its last five games after a loss.

Falcons QB Matt Ryan, whose team is 10-3 ATS in its last 13 night games, will not have his optimal offensive line in front of him as LG Andy Levitre (triceps) is out for the season. The Rams defense, led by DT Aaron Donald, has the third-highest tally of interceptions. The total has gone under in the Falcons’ last five games.

The Jacksonville Jaguars are nine-point betting favorites against the Buffalo Bills with a 39.5-point total in a Sunday matchup between teams that had a combined 26-year playoff drought (since 1999 for the Bills; 2007 for the Jags). The visiting team is 5-1 ATS in the last six games of this matchup, but Buffalo will likely only stand a chance if RB LeSean McCoy (ankle sprain) is healthy enough to play; there is no way he will be 100 percent.

The Jaguars, who are only 4-13 SU in their last 17 home games against teams with winning records, must hope QB Blake Bortles has some recent regression out of his system. The total has gone over in the Bills’ last five games against the Jaguars.

And the New Orleans Saints are listed as seven-point favorites against the Carolina Panthers with a 48-point total in a late Sunday betting matchup. The Panthers and QB Cam Newton are 0-5-1 ATS in their last six tries against the NFC South rival Saints and also boast the NFL’s 28th-ranked passing attack while the Saints are fifth through the air (each team’s pass defense is right in the middle of the rankings).

New Orleans and veteran QB Drew Brees are 6-2 ATS in their last eight games against divisional opponents, as well as 5-0 SU in their last five home playoff games. The total has gone over in six of the Panthers’ last seven games against the Saints. The total has also gone over in five of the Saints’ last six games in the wild card round.

For more info, picks and a breakdown of this week’s top sports betting news check out the new OddsShark podcast with Jon Campbell and Andrew Avery. Subscribe on iTunes, or check it out at OddsShark.libsyn.com.