NFL Week 9 lines: Falcons, Raiders, Seahawks all primetime favorites

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Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons’ scoring machine stand a good shot at breaking an against-the-spread drought against Jameis Winston and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

The NFC South-leading Falcons are the three-point road favorite against the Buccaneers in the Thursday Night Football matchup, according to sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com. The OddsShark NFL Database reveals that Atlanta is riding a dubious streak of being 0-7 against the spread in its last seven games as a favorite of three or fewer points.

Ryan and WR Julio Jones are facing a Buccaneers defense that yields 8.0 yards per pass (sixth-worst in the NFL). Winston is 3-0 in his career against Atlanta. However, the second-year QB has plateaued in recent weeks and did not get on the same page with WR Mike Evans during a Week 8 defeat against Oakland. The favored team is 19-3 straight-up in the last 22 games of this matchup.

The Oakland Raiders are the one-point favorite against the Denver Broncos in an AFC West first-place showdown on Sunday Night Football. Derek Carr and the Raiders’ productive offense face their biggest challenge of the season. The Broncos’ defense, buoyed by sack-happy OLB Von Miller, allows an NFL-low 5.7 yards per pass. Denver’s offense with first-year starting QB Trevor Siemian has been inefficient.

The Baltimore Ravens are the 2.5-point favorite against the Pittsburgh Steelers. That line will move, subject to the Steelers’ QB situation – either Ben Roethlisberger (torn meniscus) coming back from an injury, or backup Landry Jones. The Ravens have beat the Steelers three times in a row at home and have key starters such as OLB Terrell Suggs, WR Steve Smith and LT Ronnie Stanley back following a bye week.

The New York Giants are favored by three points against the Philadelphia Eagles. New York will need to neutralize DT Fletcher Cox to make the Eagles honor the run and open up downfield pass routes for WR Odell Beckham Jr. and Sterling Shephard. The Giants’ rebuilt defense is fourth-best in yards per pass allowed and will pose a challenge for Eagles rookie QB Carson Wentz. Whichever team fixes its third-down conversion issues will likely win.

The Green Bay Packers are favored by seven points against the Indianapolis Colts. Aaron Rodgers’ offense put up 32 points in Week 8 with no bona fide running back, and the Colts have a woeful pass defense. As well, Indianapolis QB Andrew Luck has been sacked an NFL-most 31 times, and the Packers have a solid pass rush.

And the Seattle Seahawks are favored by seven points on the Vegas odds against the Buffalo Bills in the Monday Night Football matchup. The Bills, with OLB Lorenzo Alexander leading the NFL in sacks, are capable of putting heat on Seattle QB Russell Wilson. Whether Bills QB Tyrod Taylor can produce against a premier pass defense such as Seattle’s remains to be seen.

NFL Draft Betting Value Rests Beyond Browns’ No. 1 Overall Pick

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The only certainty on the morning of the 2018 NFL draft is that the Cleveland Browns, with the No. 1 and 4 overall picks, will take a quarterback – which has created a ripple effect on other betting props.

Southern California quarterback Sam Darnold is the -180 favorite to be the No. 1 overall choice in the 2018 NFL draft that takes begins in Arlington, Texas on Thursday, according to sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

The other players in the No. 1 pick prop include three other quarterbacks, Wyoming’s Josh Allen (+175), Oklahoma’s Baker Mayfield (+450) and UCLA’s Josh Rosen (+1800), plus Penn State running back Saquon Barkley (+600) and North Carolina State defensive end Bradley Chubb (+4500).

Quarterbacks have been taken No. 1 in 12 of the last 17 drafts and no running back has been the top pick since 1995. Darnold’s price might reflect an expectation that his skillset is most in tune with conventional NFL thinking. If a bettor believes the Browns will buck convention, well, Allen is believed to have better physical tools and there is the Hail Mary option of Mayfield, whose competitiveness and athleticism is offset by being short for a NFL quarterback.

The quarterback-at-No. 1 argument adds values to other props. Barkley (+175) has the lowest price but is still plus money as the No. 2 overall selection on the 2018 NFL draft betting props board. The New York Giants have that pick and general manager Dave Gettleman does not have a history of trading down at the draft. The Giants haven’t indicated a focus on a QB, which seemingly rules out Darnold (+275), Allen (+350) and Rosen (+400).

The New York Jets are a lock to take a quarterback, creating a very tight No. 3 overall prop between Rosen (+140) and Mayfield (+160). The play there depends on what type of risk bettors believe the Jets want to take on: with Mayfield, the only knock is his height (a smidge about 6-foot), while Rosen battled concussions in college.

Between the Browns also holding the No. 4 choice and the Denver Broncos possibly trading down from No. 5, the +225 price on whether one of the first five picks will be traded is a very enticing proposition. The Buffalo Bills are one of the quarterback-hungry teams with two first-round picks they could ante to move up in the draft order, while speculation also has the New England Patriots looking to move up, since Tom Brady presumably will not play forever.

Position props can also be great fun. The over/under on quarterbacks selected in the first round is 5.5. Only once – the famed John Elway-Jim Kelly-Dan Marino draft in 1983 – have six QBs gone in the first round. Tying that record would require both Louisville’s Lamar Jackson and Oklahoma State’s Mason Rudolph to go in the first round. The over/under on Jackson’s draft slot is 17.5

It is considered a thin year for elite wide receivers, so the -150 under on the 2.5 total seems like the percentage play. Teams have been wary of using first-rounders on running backs in recent years, but the total is only 1.5, making the -220 over a realistic hit since, after Barkley goes, only one team would have to take a chance on a back such as Louisiana State’s Derrius Guice or Georgia’s Sony Michel.

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

 

 

Best ads from Super Bowl LII

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The best Super Bowl ads made us laugh, cry, and audibly wonder how much a trip to Australia would cost.

Here are some of the best ads from Super Bowl LII:

GOAT Ad: Doritos, Mountain Dew collaboration with Peter Dinklage and Morgan Freeman rapping Busta Rhymes and Missy Elliott

Peter Dinklage and Morgan Freeman in any Super Bowl commercial was going to be epic, but having them RAP (lip sync, obviously) Busta Rhymes and Missy Elliott?! That was what Super Bowl commercials are made for.

Leaving on a Jet Plane: Australia Tourism

It’s cold on the East Coast right now and Australia looks nice and warm, so this ad should move Australia to the next spot on your vacation list. The ad referenced a “remake” of ‘Crocodile Dundee’ with Chris Hemsworth and Danny McBride, the incredible Australian wine, and stunning beaches.

Laugh Out Loud: NFL’s Dirty Dancing tribute ad

Eli Manning and Odell Beckham Jr. had the time of their lives during Super Bowl LII, paying tribute to Dirty Dancing’s famous dance routine and acrobatic leap done by Jennifer Grey and Patrick Swayze.

You are, you’re a Superstar… commercial: Amazon

Amazon brought the star power to their Amazon Echo spot, with Gordon Ramsey, Cardi B, Leslie Jones, Rebel Wilson and Anthony Hopkins, filling in for a voiceless Amazon Alexa.

Get the tissues: Hyundai

Hyundai’s ad where car buyers meeting cancer patients that they helped by purchasing a car hit you right in the feels. It was obvious that every parent was on the edge of tears while watching the videos of patients saying thank you.

If you want to watch all of the Super Bowl ads, check them out here.