Vikings, Bradford favorites against Niners on Sunday Night Football

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Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer clearly takes the preseason seriously – and the coach’s attitude toward non-counting games is usually the best trend to go by in August in the NFL.

The Vikings are listed as 4.5-point favorites against the San Francisco 49ers with a 42-point total for their Sunday Night Football matchup at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

The game will wrap up Week 3 of the preseason, which is usually the stage where teams will use their first-string offenses and defenses for an entire half. Minnesota is 13-2 straight-up and 12-3 against the spread in the preseason since Zimmer took their coaching reins in 2013.

Vikings QB Sam Bradford will also play before giving way to seasoned backup Case Keenum. The 49ers, who are 5-12-1 ATS over their last 18 games overall (counting preseason) according to the OddsShark NFL Database, will likely be taking a long look at rookie QB C.J. Beathard.

The week’s docket includes two cross-town matchups on Saturday. The Los Angeles Rams are 2.5-point betting favorites against the Los Angeles Chargers, with a 42-point total. The Chargers are 3-7 SU in their last 10 preseason games as an underdog. The Rams are likely due to improve on their 2-7-1 ATS mark over their last 10 preseason home games.

The New York Giants are favored by five points against the New York Jets with a 39-point total. The Giants will have had a short week (four days between games), but won their Week 3 preseason game under coach Ben McAdoo in 2016. The Jets have won the last five preseason matchups against the Giants in odd-numbered years.

With backup QB Nick Foles expected to get extended action, the Philadelphia Eagles are 3.5-point favorites at home against the Miami Dolphins, with a 42.5-point total. The Dolphins are 1-5 ATS in their last six games against the Eagles. Philly is 6-2 ATS in its last eight home games.

The Denver Broncos are three-point favorites against the Green Bay Packers, with a 42.5-point total. The home team is 6-1 ATS in the last seven matchups between Denver and Green Bay. The total has gone under in eight of the Packers’ last 10 preseason road games.

The Dallas Cowboys are three-point favorites against the Oakland Raiders, with a 44.5-point total. The total has gone over in both six of the Raiders’ last eight preseason games and in six of the Cowboys’ last seven preseason games.

The New England Patriots are a two-point road favorite against the Detroit Lions, with a 44-point total. Tom Brady is expected to play for the Patriots, who are 3-0 SU in their last three games in Week 3 of the preseason. Since 2014, Detroit is 10-4 both SU and ATS in the preseason.

And the Seattle Seahawks are 3.5-point favorites against the Kansas City Chiefs, with a 43-point total. The Chiefs are just 1-8-1 ATS in their last 10 games as a preseason underdog. Seattle is 7-3 ATS in its last 10 preseason games as a favorite of 3.0 or more points.

NFL Thanksgiving Day betting guide: Odds, trends for trio of matchups

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Whether the Dallas Cowboys can break both their funk and a trend of failing to cover against sub-.500 teams might hinge largely on the status of one man – left tackle Tyron Smith.

The Cowboys host a pick-’em on Thursday against the Los Angeles Chargers with a 48-point total at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

The OddsShark NFL Database notes that the Cowboys are an underwhelming 4-12 against the spread in their last 16 home games against teams with losing records like Los Angeles, so having Smith (back/groin) return from a two-game absence will be paramount against a Chargers team that has one of the NFL’s best pass rushes, led by Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram.

The Chargers are 4-6 straight-up and 5-4-1 ATS, but with veteran QB Philip Rivers’ savvy they are good on short weeks, sporting a 4-1 ATS mark in their last five Thursday games. The Cowboys, who are 5-5 both SU and ATS, could impose their will on the Chargers in the rushing phase. Alfred Morris has been a bright spot with Ezekiel Elliott injured, and Dallas leads the NFL in yards per rush while Los Angeles gives up the most yards per rush.

The total has gone over in three of the Chargers’ last four games against the Cowboys. The total has gone over in seven of the Cowboys’ last nine games in the late afternoon.

Earlier on Thursday, the Minnesota Vikings are three-point road favorites against the Detroit Lions, with a 44.5 total.

The Vikings are 8-2 SU and 6-4 ATS, and bettors will have to decide whether to give more weight toward their head-to-head showing against the Lions – 0-3 SU in their last three – or a 6-0 SU streak that began after a Week 4 home loss against Detroit. The favored team is just 3-9 ATS in the last 12 games of this matchup. The Lions, who QB Matthew Stafford has led to a 6-4 SU and 5-4-1 ATS record, have shown a tendency to hit their stride in late November. They are 8-0 SU and ATS in their last eight home games in November.

The total has gone under in seven of the last eight games in this matchup.

And the Washington Redskins are set as 7.5-point favorites against the New York Giants, with a 44.5 total in the primetime matchup on Thursday.

The main question with the Giants and QB Eli Manning, who are 2-8 SU and 4-6 ATS, is whether they maintain the same urgency they had in Week 11 when they upset the Kansas City Chiefs, assuaging the pressure on head coach Ben McAdoo. The form suggests that’s unlikely, as New York is 2-7-1 ATS in its last 10 road games. The Redskins, who are 4-6 both SU and ATS, should rate a good shot at putting up a point total somewhere in the high 20s, since QB Kirk Cousins is playing well and RB Samaje Perrine looks like a ready-made replacement for the injured Chris Thompson.

The total has gone under in eight of the Giants’ last 11 games against the Redskins. Whether that trend holds will come down to the chess match between the Giants offense (30th in scoring) and Redskins defense (31st in scoring defense).

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

Eagles, Wentz Big Favorites Against Depleted Cowboys on Sunday Night

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Carson Wentz and the Philadelphia Eagles go into a road team-dominated rivalry game on Sunday night against a Dallas Cowboys opponent that struggles as a home underdog

The Eagles are listed as 4.5-point road favorites against the Cowboys with a 48-point total for the Week 11 Sunday Night Football matchup at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

The visiting team is 6-2 straight-up in its last eight games in this NFC East matchup and 8-3 against the spread in the last 11. Dallas, which will not have key performers such as RB Ezekiel Elliott (suspension), LT Tryon Smith (groin, back) and LB Sean Lee (hamstring), is also an inauspicious 2-8 SU and 4-4-2 ATS in its last 10 games as the underdog at AT&T Stadium.

The first priority for the Eagles, who are 8-1 SU and 7-2 ATS, will be making sure RT Lane Johnson can contain DE Demarcus Lawrence, who already has 11.5 sacks. That’s easier said than done, but the Eagles have myriad rushing and short-passing threats they can use to slow up the Cowboys’ pass rush. Lee often shadows tight ends and running backs. If Philly’s leading receiver, TE Zach Ertz (hamstring, probable) is good to go, then the Eagles should have a well-balanced passing game.

The Cowboys give up a below-average 4.3 yards per rush and DT Maliek Collins (foot) could be missing from the interior of the front seven. Every bit of extra yardage the likes of Jay Ajayi grinds out will help Philadelphia, which is 5-1 SU and 4-2 ATS in its last six games as a favorite of 5.0 or fewer points, avoid the obvious passing downs where Lawrence can tee off with a speed rush.

The Cowboys, who are 5-4 both SU and ATS, will need their second-year QB Dak Prescott to carry the load with his passing. Leading receiver Dez Bryant (ankle) will likely tough it out, but Philadelphia permits only 6.6 yards per pass (ninth in the NFL) and the pass coverage should get shored up by the return of CB Ronald Darby (ankle), who has been out for a month.

With no Elliott to hit the holes or Smith to open them, it’s hard to see how Dallas’ ground game will get traction against an elite Eagles defensive line fortified by DT Fletcher Cox and DE Brandon Graham. Philly allows only 3.6 yards per rush.

The total has gone over in six of the Eagles’ last eight games, according to the OddsShark NFL Database. The total has gone under in nine of the Cowboys’ last 11 games as an underdog.

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.