Visiting Vikings Heavy Favorites at Lambeau Field for Saturday Night

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The Minnesota Vikings-Green Bay Packers rivalry hasn’t seen a spread like this in three decades.

With the playing-for-pride Packers shutting down franchise QB Aaron Rodgers for the season, the Vikings are listed as 9-point road favorites at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com against Green Bay with a 40-point total in a Saturday matchup on the NFL Week 16 schedule.

According to the OddsShark NFL Database, this is the first time since 2000 the Vikings have gone into Green Bay as the favorite. It is also the most points the Packers have been spotted for a home game since 1988.

Minnesota is 6-3 straight-up and 5-4 against the spread over their last nine games as a road favorite. Green Bay, with Brett Hundley back as the starting quarterback, are 1-6 SU and 1-5-1 ATS in their last seven games as a home underdog.

With a forecast high of 20 degrees, the weather will be a factor for both offenses, but the Vikings, who are 11-3 SU and 10-4 ATS, don’t fit the stereotype of dome teams. Many members of QB Case Keenum’s complement of receivers – including WR Stefon Diggs, WR Adam Thielen, RB Jerick McKinnon and TE Kyle Rudolph – were around when Minnesota played in the elements in 2015.

Depending on how much of an equalization the conditions become, Keenum and Co. should have a matchup edge since the Packers give up 7.8 yards per pass, fourth-worst in the NFL.

The Vikings, if LT Riley Rieff (ankle) returns, should have their entire offensive line whole again. Minnesota has a good-but-great ground game with Latavius Murray and McKinnon and the Packers are limiting teams to just 4.0 yards per rush, ninth in the NFL.

The prospects for the Packers, who are 7-7 SU and ATS, getting a shot at the cover or the outright victory likely come down to the production of Hundley and the protection of his offensive line. Instability with the latter is why Green Bay has allowed way too many sacks (46) this season, but they are relatively healthy.

With Davante Adams in the concussion protocol, Green Bay will likely be counting on the WR trio of Randall Cobb, Jordy Nelson and Geronimo Allison to find slews of space against Minnesota’s second-ranked defense, whose 5.9 yards per pass allowed is also second in the NFL.

Green Bay, which is 4-2 ATS in its last six games, has an above-average rushing attack with the Jamaal Williams-Aaron Jones tandem. Whether they get to use it against the Vikings, whose 3.7 yards allowed per rush is also second in the NFL, depends on not falling behind and containing Minnesota early.

Bettors should keep an eye on the total as kickoff approaches. The over is 19-14-3 in 36 NFL games this season that had a closing total of less than 40.

The total has gone over in four of the Vikings’ last five games as road favorites. The closing totals in those games ranged between 38.0 and 40.5 – similar to the total for this matchup. The total has gone over in the Packers’ last six games in December.

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.

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.