May 21, 2024

Want to know the latest trends, matchups and injury news in football? We’ve got you. Want to know where the public has money this week? We’ve got you. Want to know which teams to play, whom to roster in DFS or whom to pick in your Eliminator pool? We’ve got you there, too. Here’s everything you need to know as you prepare for your fantasy football matchups and potential bets on the games this weekend. Odds by ESPN BET.

CFB: Action Report | Analytics Edges | Confidence pool picks

NFL: Injury update | Matchups to exploit | Eliminator Challenge | DFS plays | Analytics Edges | Action Report | Confidence pool picks | Pigskin Pick’em

Sports Betting home | Fantasy Football home


College Football

David Purdum’s Action Report

  • At 35.5, the over/under total on the Big Ten championship between the No. 2 Michigan Wolverines and No. 16 Iowa Hawkeyes is the lowest for a conference championship game in ESPN Stats & Information’s database. However, it’s a touchdown higher than the totals on Iowa’s recent games. The total on last week’s Iowa-Nebraska game closed at a consensus 25.5, the lowest of any college football game in the database. Focusing on the defensive-minded Hawkeyes, the over/under on Iowa’s total points in the first half was as low as 0.5 this week at DraftKings. It had grown to over/under of 2.5 by Thursday, with heavy action on the over in both halves, according to DraftKings. For the full game, it was 7.5 and was attracting notable action. DraftKings reported Wednesday that twice as much had been bet on the Iowa team total than had been bet on any other team total. The bulk of it — approximately 80%- — is on the Hawkeyes to go over.

  • Lines and totals on the week’s conference championship game held mostly steady as of Thursday, although the Georgia-Alabama point spread wiggled a little bit in the middle of the week. The Bulldogs opened as consensus 4-point favorites. The line grew to as high as Georgia -6 on Wednesday but was ticking back down toward the opening number on Thursday.

  • No. 5 Oregon Ducks QB Bo Nix enters the Pac-12 championship game on Friday as the consensus favorite to win the Heisman Trophy at sportsbooks. Nix is a -190 odds-on favorite to win the award at ESPN BET, followed by No. 13 LSU Tigers quarterback Jayden Daniels, who has seen his odds shorten significantly over the past month. Daniels is +160 at ESPN BET.

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Steve Sarkisian: We need to take care of business in Big 12 title game

Texas coach Steve Sarkisian discusses his team’s mindset ahead of the Big 12 championship.

Seth Walder’s biggest edges from ESPN Analytics

  • No. 8 Alabama Crimson Tide (+5.5) vs. No. 1 Georgia Bulldogs: FPI makes the Bulldogs the favorites, but barely — by under a point. From the model’s perspective: Georgia has had the better offense this year, but Alabama has had the better defense. Putting it all together, the margin between these two teams is slim, so the model will take the points.

  • No. 1 Georgia to not make the playoff (+550): This is priced like the Bulldogs still will have a very strong chance to reach the CFP even with a loss to Alabama. With so many teams hovering with 0 or 1 loss, the Allstate Playoff Predictor isn’t convinced of that at all and thinks Georgia will be on very shaky ground if it can’t win the SEC.

Joe Fortenbaugh’s Confidence picks

  • No. 8 Alabama vs. Georgia OVER 54.5 points: I believe both of these defenses are a bit overrated, and thus see value in backing the over here. In matchups against some respectable offenses this season, the Tide surrendered 34 points to Texas, 28 points to LSU and 20 points to Tennessee … in the first half. As for Georgia, the Bulldogs have dropped from first in the country against the run in 2022 to 25th this season, which should pave the way for a big game on the ground from Jalen Milroe. I can see some fireworks here.

  • No. 7 Texas Longhorns team total OVER 34.5 points: The one-loss Longhorns have the poor fortune of playing the first game on the schedule this Saturday, which means they’ll be completely unaware of their place in the playoff committee’s eyes, with so much still to be determined. As a result, I’m betting Steve Sarkisian looks to run up the score on the Oklahoma State Cowboys in an effort to make a big final statement for the playoff committee.

  • Boise State Broncos (-2.5) over UNLV Rebels: I love what coach Barry Odom has done in Las Vegas this season, but Boise State is the play here. The Broncos are a reinvigorated bunch since the dismissal of former coach Andy Avalos, posting back-to-back wins and covers against Utah State and Air Force by a combined 43 points. Boise is peaking at the perfect time.


NFL

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1:45

Is Jordan Love a streaming option in Week 13?

Stephania Bell and Field Yates talk about if they view Jordan Love as a streaming option against the Chiefs.

Stephania Bell’s injury update.

  • Get all the latest injury news here.

Matt Bowen’s matchups to exploit

  • Jalen Hurts‘ deployment on designed rushing attempts vs. the 49ers: A critical piece to the Eagles run game, look for Hurts to be deployed situationally as a runner versus the 49ers on Sunday. Think third downs here, plus opportunities in the low red zone. Including the Eagles’ “tush push” on the goal line, Hurts has rushed for 50 yards — and four touchdowns — on designed carries over his past two games, with wins over Buffalo and Kansas City.

  • Travis Kelce vs. the Packers’ zone coverage schemes: Look for the Chiefs to scheme Kelce open on three-level concepts that attack the Packers’ core zone coverages. Green Bay has played zone on 59.1% of opponent dropbacks this season, mixing both two-high and single-high schemes. In the Chiefs’ Week 12 win over the zone-heavy Raiders, Kelce caught six of seven targets for 91 yards. Find open grass here and make yourself available to quarterback Patrick Mahomes.

  • For more breakdowns, check out Matt Bowen’s Film Room.

Mike Clay’s Eliminator Challenge advice

  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers (vs. Carolina Panthers): We’ve already burnt 12 teams, and, with six squads on a bye this week, we’re left with one team we’ve yet to use with a win probability over 70%. The 4-7 Tampa Bay Buccaneers (76%) still have a lot to play for (they’re one game out in the NFC South) and are a 5-point home favorite against a 1-10 Carolina Panthers club that fired its coach earlier this week. This will be our only opportunity to use the Buccaneers other than perhaps at Carolina in Week 18.

  • Follow Be sure to follow Clay’s Eliminator Challenge advice all season long and find other tips for Week 13 here.

Seth Walder’s biggest edges from ESPN Analytics

  • Sam Howell OVER 0.5 interceptions (-145): It’s rare for it to be worth it to pay this kind of price on an interception prop, but this is one situation where it makes sense: Howell has a higher-than-average pick rate (2.3%), his team is a heavy underdog and, crucially, he’s expected to throw a ton, with an attempts prop line of 38.5 at ESPN BET. Each of those pass attempts carries interception risk. My model shows a remarkable fair price of -182.

  • Quincy Williams OVER 7.5 tackles + assists (+100): This is all about the opponent. The Jets are light underdogs against the Falcons, who run on early downs more than any team outside of the 49ers. Even though Williams’ tackle rates are just OK, all those extra runs will result in more tackles to go around — and some of them will make their way to him.

David Purdum’s Action Report

  • The SuperBook in Las Vegas saw action early in the week from influential bettors on the Houston Texans, who opened as 3-point home favorites over the Denver Broncos. The line grew to as high as -4 at the SuperBook on Monday, before settling back at -3.5 on Thursday. The Carolina Panthers and New England Patriots, two underdogs, also saw early interest from influential bettors at the SuperBook.

  • The early money has been on the visiting San Francisco 49ers in their road game against the Philadelphia Eagles. San Francisco opened as 2.5-point favorites over the Eagles, and the line ticked up to -3 by middle of the week. At DraftKings, the 49ers had attracted more point-spread money than any other team playing on Sunday.

Anita Marks’ NFL confidence pool picks

  • Broncos (+3.5) vs. Texans: Denver has won five straight games (4-1 ATS). Russell Wilson is playing well and not turning the ball over. Defensively, the Broncos have improved — a top-seven unit in the league since Week 6 with a top-10 pressure rate

  • Los Angeles Rams (-3) vs. Cleveland Browns: Cleveland could be without Myles Garrett, who is dealing with a shoulder injury, Amari Cooper has a rib injury, and either PJ Walker or Joe Flacco could get the start. The Browns’ defense is allowing 30 points per game on the road. The Rams crushed the Cards’ secondary last week, scoring 37 points.

Tyler Fulghum’s Pigskin Pick’em plays

Week 12 was fantastic for the public. Twelve of 16 favorites covered almost setting a record in the process. You know that means we’re bound for some chaos soon. The NFL isn’t the best reality TV out there because what’s expected to happen comes to fruition. We’ll see if Week 13 becomes a big week for the ‘dogs. I’m thinking it will be smart to try and find a few you think can pull off the upset. Good luck in Week 13 of Pigskin Pick’em!

  • Cowboys (Thursday)

  • Texans

  • Chargers

  • Lions

  • Steelers

  • Jets

  • Titans

  • Dolphins

  • Buccaneers

  • Browns

  • 49ers

  • Chiefs

  • Jaguars

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