NFL Divisional Round Odds: Falcons, Steelers highlight favorites

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The Atlanta Falcons and the Philadelphia Eagles have made some NFL betting line history on a weekend where the recent trends have seen favorites win and away teams get the cover. Of course, the Falcons match both descriptions.

Favored teams are 16-3 straight-up in the last 19 NFL divisional round games, while away teams are 9-5-2 against the spread in the last 16 games held on the second weekend of the postseason.

For the first time in playoff history, a No. 1 seed is an underdog. The Falcons are listed as three-point road favorites against the Carson Wentz-less Philadelphia Eagles with a 41-point total in a Saturday matchup, according to sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com. Atlanta is only 1-7 SU and 1-6-1 ATS in its last eight road games against the Eagles.

Matt Ryan, Julio Jones and the Falcons offense will need to be sharp against defensive tackle Fletcher Cox and the Eagles’ No. 4-ranked defense. The Eagles, who are 5-2 ATS in their last seven home games, probably need to build a lead through running back Jay Ajayi and their ground game, rather than rely on backup quarterback Nick Foles.

Like with any game in the Northeast in January, weather, especially the wind, will be a factor. The total has gone under in nine of the Falcons’ last 12 games against the Eagles.

Meanwhile, the New England Patriots are 13.5-point favorites against the Tennessee Titans with a 47.5 total in the late Saturday matchup. Tennessee quarterback Marcus Mariota and his offense could have issues keeping pace with Tom Brady and the Patriots’ No. 1-ranked attack.

The Titans, who are just 7-20-1 ATS in their last 28 games after a win, will need a stronger pass rush than they usually get in order to stymie Brady, who has helped New England fashion a 9-1 ATS record in its last 10 games. New England is also 3-0 SU and 2-1 ATS in its last three games as a double-digit favorite in the playoffs.

The total has gone over in six of the Titans’ last seven games on the road against the Patriots. The total has also gone over in seven of the Patriots’ last 10 home games.

The Pittsburgh Steelers are listed as 7.5-point favorites against the Jacksonville Jaguars with a 41 total in Sunday’s early matchup. The Jaguars, who boast strong head-to-head trends – try 4-1 SU and ATS in their last five games on the road against the Steelers – must hope that running back Leonard Fournette can gash Pittsburgh’s 10th-ranked run defense. Relying on quarterback Blake Bortles to perform miracles is a likely non-starter.

It’s not yet confirmed that all-everything wide-out Antonio Brown will play, but he is practicing for the Steelers, who are 10-2 SU in their last 12 home games. Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers have had a soap opera-like season, but they are 4-0-1 ATS in their last five games at this stage of the playoffs.

The total has gone over in 18 of the Steelers’ last 25 playoff games.

And the Minnesota Vikings, second only to the Patriots on the Super Bowl 52 odds, are five-point favorites against the New Orleans Saints with a 46.5 total in the late Sunday matchup. New Orleans is only 2-7 ATS in its last nine games against Minnesota, but Drew Brees leads a No. 4-ranked offense that is complemented by a much more dynamic rushing attack than the one he had during a loss to the Vikings in Week 1 of this season.

The Vikings have changed their look since then, too, with quarterback Case Keenum taking over, but two constants are their No. 1-ranked defense and 9-2 ATS record over their last 11 games. The Vikings are also 6-2 SU in their last eight home games against teams with winning records.

The total has gone over in five of the Saints’ last seven games as an underdog. The total has also gone over in seven of the Saints’ last nine games against the Vikings.

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.

Patriots settle as small favorites on Super Bowl odds 2019

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For all the narratives that can hang off the great Tom Brady and Super Bowl first-timer Jared Goff, two of the big moving parts in the matchup on Super Sunday involve the rushing phase.

The New England Patriots have settled as 2.5-point favorites on the Super Bowl odds 2019 against the Los Angeles Rams with a 56.5-point total at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com in the Super Bowl 53 matchup slated for Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta on Sunday.

The Bill Belichick- and Brady-led Patriots are 6-2 against the spread in their last eight games as a favorite of 3.0 or fewer points, according to the OddsShark NFL Database, while the Rams are 4-3 straight-up and ATS in their last seven games as an underdog. Interestingly enough, underdogs are 13-4 ATS in the last 17 Super Bowl games.

As so often happens, the last two teams standings are in good health. The biggest exception for New England, whose run defense has been league-average much of the season, is that defensive tackle Malcom Brown (calf) was limited in practice. The Rams claim leading rusher Todd Gurley (left knee inflammation) is 100 per cent after he had only five touches during the NFC championship game two weeks ago.

Backing the Patriots, who are 13-5 SU and 11-7 ATS on the year, involves putting stock in Brady and cohorts’ abundant Super Bowl experience, along with the fact the offense has been at peak form, averaging 38.7 points and 465.7 yards per game over its last three outings.

The Patriots’ offensive line will arguably be the unofficial playoff MVP, collectively, if it contains the Rams’ front four anchored by Aaron Donald, the best defensive lineman in football. If Brady, the subject of many Super Bowl props for Sunday, isn’t disrupted and/or the opposing pass rush is sucking wind after a ball-control drive, the Patriots passing game is lethal.

The Rams, 15-3 SU and 9-7-2 ATS, are new to the tumult of the Super Bowl. However, head coach Sean McVay thrives at creating mismatches, and two of the Rams’ season-long strengths, running out one-back, one-tight end sets and using play-action passes, are not tactics that New England has defended particularly well.

Goff also led five game-winning drives during the season, emerging victorious in quarterback matchups against stars such as Drew Brees, Patrick Mahomes and Russell Wilson (twice).

The total has gone OVER in seven of the Patriots’ last eight games in the playoffs. New England’s last four closely contested playoff games have featured 68, 74, 44 and 62 points.

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 Spotify or listen to it at OddsShark.libsyn.com.

First commercial, Trump Tweets, Gatorade color among Super Bowl LIII props

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Fans watch the Super Bowl for the commercials as much as the game, which also lends itself to Super Bowl props.

For instance, Bud Light is the -105 favorite have a commercial appear first during the telecast at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com. The brewer has a long track record of attention-getting ads, and making a first impression can whet the appetite for something later on in the evening.

Budweiser (+200) is a second favorite on that prop and there might be longshot value on Stella Artois (+550), whose ad will include Jeff Bridges and Sarah Jessica Parker reprising their respective roles from The Big Lebowski and Sex and the City. Michelob Ultra (+550) and Bon & Viv Spiked Seltzer (+550) are also on the board.

The total number of commercials is set at 96, with both the over and under priced at -120. In the car commercial prop, Hyundai (-250) is favored against Mercedes-Benz (+170), but it might be worth playing a hunch since the February 3 game is at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta.

Atlanta has also been hit by wintry weather this week, and it’s -140 on the Super Bowl 2019 prop bets on the stadium’s roof being closed against even money for open.

The previous two championship matchups each had over 60 points scored, and the New England Patriots and Los Angeles Rams are certainly capable of trading touchdowns. It is -140 that any scoring drive will consume less game time than however long it will take Gladys Knight to perform The Star-Spangled Banner.

As far as coach props, the over/under is 1.5 on broadcaster references to the relative youthfulness of 33-year-old Rams coach Sean McVay, with the over (-220) favored against the under (+155). Los Angeles is the underdog on the 2019 Super Bowl odds.

There is also a total set for the number of tweets from President Donald Trump’s Twitter account during the big game. Over 6.0 tweets is a -140 favorite with the under an even-money underdog. It is -650 on Trump not attending the game and +375 on him showing up. He did not attend Super Bowl LII in 2018.

A cross-sport bet is whether Houston Rockets star James Harden’s streak of 30-point games – 24 and counting – will end before Super Bowl LIII does, with -120 odds either way. Harden’s next two opponents, the Denver Nuggets and Utah Jazz, have each managed to keep him under 30 at least once this season.

As far as props that pay off postgame are concerned, there is the ever-popular bet on what color liquid the winning coach will be doused in after the game. Clear / water (+220) is a slim favorite over lime / green / yellow (+225), followed by orange (+400), blue (+400), red (+600) and purple (+1000). The Patriots, for what it might be worth, have poured a clear liquid on coach Bill Belichick following each of their four most recent Super Bowl wins.

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 Spotify or listen to it at OddsShark.libsyn.com.