Sunday Night Football

Sunday Night Football NFL odds: Rams nearly two-touchdown favorites

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Oddsmakers are putting a lot of trust in the Los Angeles Rams’ ability to bounce back with a statement game, against a Philadelphia Eagles team that was having trouble covering on the road even with a healthy roster.

The Rams, with Jared Goff behind center, are 13-point betting favorites on the Week 15 Sunday night NFL odds against the Eagles with a 52.5-point total at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

News that Eagles starting quarterback Carson Wentz (vertebrae) seems unlikely to play has led to the line moving significantly after the Rams opened as 8.5-point favorites. The Eagles are also 1-5 against the spread in their last six road games, while the Rams are 2-6-2 ATS over their last 10 games.

Prospects for the Eagles, whose record of 6-7 SU and 4-9 ATS puts them a half-game out of a NFC wild-card spot, are yoked to whether Wentz or Nick Foles starts. Philadelphia famously won Super Bowl 52 last season with Foles filling in, but the support from the ground game that a backup quarterback typically needs could be wanting thanks to injuries along the offensive line.

If Jay Ajayi and an Eagles run game that is 26th in the NFL in yards-per-rush (4.1) sputters, Foles could face a plethora of obvious passing downs against interior pass rusher extraordinaire Aaron Donald. The Rams allow 7.7 yards per pass, but their 14 interceptions (tied for fifth in the NFL) have somewhat negated that and their best cover cornerback, Aqib Talib, is back in the lineup.

The Rams, who are 11-2 SU and 5-6-2 ATS, have been a double-digit favorite at betting sites on three previous occasions since relocating to Southern California in 2016, and covered each time with the total going UNDER. Whether they can go 4-for-4 on the former count largely rests on the Goff-led offense, which scored a season-low six points last week against the Chicago Bears.

The Rams offensive line has to contend with a formidable defensive tackle, Fletcher Cox, but Los Angeles is sixth in the NFL in yards-per-rush (4.8) and the Eagles are 28th in yards-per-rush allowed (4.9), thanks to recurring containment issues that a running back such as the Rams’ Todd Gurley can exploit. Rams wide receivers Brandin Cooks, Josh Reynolds and Robert Woods would seem to have the matchup edge against an Eagles secondary further depleted by injuries with cornerback Sidney Jones (hamstring) hobbled, but it will be on Goff to take advantage of that.

On paper, the Rams seem to be in good shape. Bettors will have to decide whether their record of 1-4 SU and 0-5 ATS in their last five games at home after consecutive road games is an ongoing flaw or something they are due to correct.

The total has gone OVER in six of the Eagles’ last seven road games, according to the OddsShark NFL Database, with an average combined score of 56.  The total has gone OVER in four of the Rams’ last five home games, with an average combined score of 71.

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.

Sunday Night Football odds: Bears slim favorites hosting rival Vikings

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A first-place showdown in the NFC North is a study in contrast twice over, with a young Chicago Bears team trying to buck a long-term betting trend, while the more seasoned Minnesota Vikings try to maintain one.

The Bears, with the rookie head coach / second-year quarterback combo of Matt Nagy and Mitchell Trubisky, are 2.5-point favorites on the Sunday Night Football odds against the Vikings with a 44.5-point total at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

The first-place Bears are 5-1-1 against the spread in their last seven home games against teams with winning records, but since 2012 they are 4-6 straight-up and 3-6-1 ATS as a home favorite of 3.0 or fewer points. For what it might be worth, over that same span the Vikings are 8-2 both SU and ATS in 10 games as a road underdog, according to the OddsShark NFL Database.

Minnesota is also on a 6-0-1 SU run over its last seven games against NFC North counterparts.

The Vikings, who are 5-3-1 SU and 4-3-2 ATS, are firmly in the middle of the NFL pack in offensive proficiency after betting big on quarterback Kirk Cousins in free agency. Minnesota has had turnover issues and the fourth-ranked Bears defense, built around outside linebacker Khalil Mack, thrives at takeaways and creating opportunities for points off of turnovers.

Minnesota expects to have both of its top two wide receivers, Stefon Diggs (ribs) and Adam Thielen, healthy, as they try to break down a Bears pass defense whose 6.8 yards per attempt is the third-best in the league.

While a bye in Week 10 might have given Minnesota extra time to work on their ground game with Dalvin Cook and Latavius Murray, they are only 2-6 ATS in their last eight post-bye week games. The Bears lead the league with 3.6 yards per rush allowed, which mean Cousins will likely face his share of obvious passing downs.

The Bears, who are 6-3 SU and ATS on the season, are on roll behind Trubisky, a quarterback in the modern mold who can create havoc for defenses with his arms and legs. Whether the Bears continue a trend of being 8-2 ATS in their last 10 home games against the Vikings, a team they play twice a season, will come down to whether Trubisky will keep his wits about him against a fifth-ranked Vikings defense whose 31 sacks are second in the NFL.

The Bears have the benefit of having a cadre of receivers – Allen Robinson, Taylor Gabriel and Anthony Miller out wide; Trey Burton at tight end; and Tarik Cohen coming out of the backfield – whose varying skillsets could force Minnesota into a guessing game.

Bettors will have to decide whether the fact the Vikings allow a full yard per pass, 7.8 yards, more than the Bears speaks more to scheme or health. Defensive stalwarts such as nose tackle Linval Joseph, defensive end Everson Griffen, cornerback Xavier Rhodes, linebacker Anthony Barr and safety Andrew Sendejo are all expected to be available after missing games. Despite those injuries, Minnesota played the run well, allowing 3.6 yards per rush, a close fourth in the league rankings.

The total has gone UNDER in eight of the Vikings’ last 10 games at night. The total has gone UNDER in seven of the Vikings’ last nine games against the Bears, with an average combined score of 38.33 points. The total has gone OVER in five of the Bears’ last six games, with an average combined score of 54.33 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.

Sunday Night Football: Steelers favorites against Packers

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The Pittsburgh Steelers have been indomitable in prime time, while the Green Bay Packers were a shaky play in tough road games even when franchise quarterback Aaron Rodgers was healthy.

The Steelers and veteran quarterback Ben Roethlisberger are listed as 14-point favorites against the Packers with a 43-point total for the Week 12 Sunday Night Football matchup, according to sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

Pittsburgh is 6-0 against the spread in its last six games at night and is also 14-2 straight-up in its last 16 home games as the favorite, according to the OddsShark NFL Database. Green Bay is just 3-8 against the spread in its last 11 November road games.

The Packers are 5-5 SU and 4-6 ATS on the season, which of course includes being 1-4 SU and ATS since the game when Rodgers suffered a broken collarbone. Fill-in quarterback Brett Hundley offers mobility and a strong arm, but is still very raw in his mechanics and pocket awareness, which will likely limit the impact that WR Jordy Nelson, WR Davante Adams and WR Randall Cobb will be able to make against a Steelers pass defense that allows 6.7 yards per attempt, 12th in the NFL.

Pass protection could also be an issue, given that DE Cam Heyward and the Steelers are second in the NFL in sacks while the Packers have allowed the second-most.

Green Bay, which is 2-7 ATS in its last nine road games against teams with winning records, may be drawn down to rookie RB Jamaal Williams with starter Ty Montgomery hobbled.

The Steelers are 8-2 and 6-4 ATS, but the whole has been less than sum of its parts on offense, where they rank 27th in the NFL in yards per rush and have also tossed 10 interceptions. With the Packers having SS Morgan Burnett in the lineup to help with containment, there is a chance Green Bay can keep the scoreline tight, especially if the Steelers remain intent on feeding the ball to Le’Veon Bell instead of trying to force the issue downfield.

In the passing phase, it’s probably just a matter of when WR Antonio Brown will bust loose for some big plays, especially against an opponent that is allowing 7.7 yards per pass (27th in the league).

That said, the Pittsburgh passing game could be affected by the absence of rookie WR JuJu Smith-Schuster (hamstring). Either Eli Rogers or Martavis Bryant would draw in as the No. 2 wideout.

The total has gone over in 13 of Green Bay’s last 17 games, but much of that is attributable to the absent Rodgers. The total has gone under in eight of the Steelers’ last 10 games as a favorite, and given Green Bay’s offensive woes they would likely have to account for a lion’s share of the points for the over to hit on the 43 total.

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.