SNF Week 13 odds: Steelers favorites at home vs. Chargers

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One positive reason for why the Pittsburgh Steelers can seem like a soap opera at times is that they inevitably bounce back quickly from bad games.

Coming off a road loss to sub-.500 Denver, the Steelers, with veteran quarterback Ben Roethlisberger behind center, are 3.5-point betting favorites against the Los Angeles Chargers with a 52-point total on the Sunday Night Football odds at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

The Steelers are 7-0-1 straight-up in their last eight games after a loss, but are 1-5 against the spread in their last six home games against teams with winning records. The OddsShark NFL Database also notes the Steelers are 6-3 SU and 4-5 ATS in their last nine home games as a favorite of 3.0 to 7.0 points. The Chargers are 4-10 SU and 9-4-1 ATS in their last 14 road games as a underdog in that 3.0 to 7.0 range.

The Chargers are 8-3 SU and 6-5 ATS behind the leadership of their own 15-year veteran quarterback Philip Rivers, but only one of their wins is against a team with a winning record. Some skepticism about a Southern California-based team going into Pittsburgh’s Heinz Field in December minus feature running back Melvin Gordon (MCL sprain) is understandable, but the Chargers are 5-2 ATS in their last seven road games against AFC North teams and 8-1 ATS in their last nine road games after consecutive home games.

Austin Ekeler, Gordon’s replacement, is actually averaging more yards per touch than the starter. If strong safety Morgan Burnett (back, doubtful) is out for the Steelers, the Chargers passing game could get receivers such as Keenan Allen into more favorable matchups against a Steelers pass defense that allows just 6.9 yards per throw (fourth in the NFL).

The Steelers are 7-3-1 SU and 6-4-1 ATS, and have been electric in prime time, where they are 14-1 SU in their last 15 night games under coach Mike Timlin. The big question for bettors might be determining whether some recent issues – such as seven turnovers in their last two games, and a ground game built around James Conner that has cooled off – are anomalous or actual regressions.

In the passing phase, Roethlisberger and his two favorite receivers Antonio Brown and JuJu Smith-Schuster seem to have a challenging matchup, as the Chargers cornerback tandem of Casey Hayward and Michael Davis have helped Los Angeles limit teams to 7.2 yards per pass (ninth in the NFL). With Marcus Gilbert ruled out, the Steelers will also have right tackle Matt Feiler lined up against a top edge pass rusher in Joey Bosa. With all that being said, the Steelers have shown a propensity for rising to the occasion at home.

The effect of Gordon’s absence could be more acute in the totals, since he tends to churn out first downs that keep the clock rolling.  The total has gone UNDER in eight of the Chargers’ last 11 road games, with an average combined score of 39.18 points. The total has gone OVER in three of the Chargers’ last four games against the Steelers, with an average combined score of  56.75 points. The total has gone OVER in six of the Steelers’ last seven games at home, with an average combined score of 62.86 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.

 

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.