Jan 11, 2021; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban and offensive lineman Alex Leatherwood (70) celebrates with the CFP National Championship trophy after beating the Ohio State Buckeyes in the 2021 College Football Playoff National Championship Game. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

CFP champion Alabama already 2022 favorite

The celebrations were barely underway Monday night after Alabama’s latest national title when the Crimson Tide were installed as one of the favorites to claim the championship again next year.

Clemson, which lost in a national semifinal on Jan. 1, is the co-favorite or second favorite at various sportsbooks.

BetMGM and DraftKings had Alabama at +300 and Clemson at +350. FanDuel listed the Crimson Tide at +350 and the Tigers at +400, with Georgia also at +400. SportsBetting.com tabbed Alabama at +300, Clemson at +400 and Georgia at +500.

Alabama and Clemson topped PointsBet’s list at +300, with Ohio State next at +500. The Buckeyes also were the third choice at DraftKings at +400, third at BetMGM at +500 and fourth at FanDuel at +600.

The fourth choice at DraftKings was Oklahoma at +800, with Georgia at +1400. The Sooners were the fourth choice at SportsBetting.com at +600 and the co-fourth choice at FanDuel at +600, along with Ohio State. Georgia and Oklahoma shared fourth for PointsBet at +800.

Top-ranked Alabama (13-0) demolished third-ranked Ohio State 52-24 on Monday at Miami Gardens, Fla., to give coach Nick Saban his record seventh national championship.

The Buckeyes (7-1) couldn’t control Crimson Tide wide receiver DeVonta Smith, the Heisman Trophy winner, who piled up 215 yards and three touchdowns on 12 first-half receptions before exiting with an injury.

–Field Level Media

Feb 27, 2020; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Oregon Ducks quarterback Justin Herbert (QB07) and Louisiana State Tigers quarterback Joe Burrow (QB02) watch from the sidelines during the 2020 NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Burrow out, Herbert in driver’s seat for offensive ROY

Joe Burrow won’t take another snap in 2020, setting the stage for Justin Herbert to swipe the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year award down the stretch.

Burrow was lost for the season on Sunday with a torn ACL, MCL and peripheral damage. With the universal betting favorite for the OROY award gone, a red-hot Herbert jumped into the favorite’s role entering Week 12.

Herbert is now +100 at multiple sportsbooks, including FanDuel, BetRivers and PointsBet to win the award. DraftKings already listed Herbert as the favorite before Burrow went down on Sunday.

Though the Chargers are scuffling at 3-7, Los Angeles has found its quarterback.

Herbert is on pace to obliterate the NFL rookie record for TD passes (37). He has completed 238 of 350 passes (68 percent) for 2,699 yards — 299.9 yards per game — and has 22 touchdowns to six interceptions.

Tua Tagovailoa, drafted ahead of Herbert but behind Burrow in April, was benched Sunday in favor of Ryan Fitzpatrick and lost ground in the OROY pecking order. Steelers wide receiver Chase Claypool, who added a touchdown Sunday to his remarkable debut season, is the first rookie with 10 TD catches in the Super Bowl era. He’s at +1500 along with Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson. Jefferson, a first-round pick by Minnesota, is on pace to break the record for rookie receiving yards.

Jaguars running back James Robinson, the undrafted starter in Jacksonville, is at +1800 at FanDuel and DraftKings.

–Field Level Media

Jan 9, 2017; Tampa, FL, USA;  General view of the logo on the 50 yard line prior to the 2017 College Football Playoff National Championship Game between the Alabama Crimson Tide and the Clemson Tigers at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Conference postponements create havoc for sportsbooks

With the COVID-19 pandemic having a major impact on yet another sport, casinos and sportsbooks are once again scrambling to figure out how to adjust.

And in the wake of the Pac-12 and Big Ten announcing Tuesday that they have suspended all fall sports with no set return date, ESPN reported Wednesday that sportsbooks have stopped taking bets on college football, and are in the process of sorting out which futures bets are still valid and which are in line for a refund.

According to the report, Caesars Sportsbook, for instance, considers bets on teams from the Big Ten or Pac-12 to win the national championship still live since house rules dictate wagers are good as long as a national champion is declared in 2021.

Futures bets on a Heisman Trophy winner are also valid at Caesars, as long as the award is presented before March 31.

But BetMGM’s Jeff Stoneback told ESPN that if a champion is declared, their policy is that any bets on teams that did not play will be refunded.

“We would refund the teams that don’t play,” Stoneback said. “If you’ve got teams that are in there now and they play the season and a champion is declared, we’d pay off on that. If you’ve got LSU and they’re declared the winner, you’d get paid. If you have USC, we’ll give you a refund.”

Another potential headache for future bettors could arise if all Power 5 conferences suspend their seasons but one or more Group of Five conferences do play a season and the NCAA declares a national champion out of that group.

“If Drake plays Northern Iowa in what the NCAA says is the national championship game, then everyone’s on the hook,” Jeff Davis of Caesars told ESPN.

But some books specify that a team must win the “College Football Playoff Championship Game” in order for a futures bet on that team to pay out.

Other books, such as FanDuel, are simply freezing all bets, as well as potential refunds, as it waits to see how the fall season plays out. It is using what is known as an “act of God” stipulation in the house rules as it decides how to proceed.

“That’s a mess,” Stoneback told ESPN.

–Field Level Media

NFL Conference Championship Weekend: Over and Under Bets

This NFL season, with sports betting expected to be a more common and accepted practice, we’re making a point to look beyond point spreads and analyze often-neglected totals. As part of that approach, we’re offering up our favorite bet over and favorite under each week.

Over and Under Best Bets

Take the over: New England Patriots at Kansas City Chiefs

Total: 56.5

The Chiefs remain vulnerable against the run. The Colts averaged 6.2 yards per rush against them but weren’t able to establish the run consistently due to the score.

Meanwhile, the Patriots have really discovered a strong running game thanks to the emergence of Sony Michel. Look for them to keep it on the ground and set things up for the passing game to take advantage of a secondary that is also beatable.

You know Tom Brady will get some shots in, and there’s little doubt Patrick Mahomes will do the same. New England’s run defense is also vulnerable — only the Rams surrendered more yards per carry than the Pats and Chiefs this season — and Damien Williams and Spencer Ware should have plenty of success setting up the passing game. Kansas City could also get a shot in the arm from the return of injured guard Laurent Duvernay-Tardif.

These teams combined for 83 points in their first meeting, and this should be another track meet. After initial weather concerns, the latest forecast indicates this game won’t be played in sub-zero temperatures after all, and I think both teams will have just enough in them on offense to push this one into the 60s.

Predicted score: Chiefs 34, Patriots 28

Take the under: Los Angeles Rams at New Orleans Saints

Total: 56

Dating back to Week 13, the Saints have averaged fewer than 20 points per game. And while they scored 45 points the last time they faced Los Angeles, Rams defensive coordinator Wade Phillips is too smart to let that happen again. Look for Aqib Talib — who didn’t play in that first meeting — to do a better job against productive star Saints receiver Michael Thomas, and don’t be surprised if underrated Rams linebacker Cory Littleton limits Alvin Kamara’s damage.

That could make life real tough against a defensive front featuring defensive player of the year shoo-in Aaron Donald as well as Ndamukong Suh, who looks inspired thus far in January.

And while the Rams also scored 35 points in that Week 9 meeting, that offense has also been less stable and consistent without Cooper Kupp down the stretch.

The Saints defense is certainly beatable, but keep in mind that New Orleans completely shut down the Eagles for three and a half quarters on Sunday and has surrendered 17 or fewer points in seven of its last nine games.

Not even sure this one will hit 50.

Predicted score: Rams 24, Saints 23

Good luck, we’re all counting on you.

Previous results
Last week: 2-0
2018 season: 23-14-1

NFL Divisional Playoff Weekend: Over and Under Best Bets

NFL Divisional Playoff Weekend: Over and Under Best Bets

This NFL season, with sports betting expected to be a more common and accepted practice, we’re making a point to look beyond point spreads and analyze often-neglected totals. As part of that approach, we’re offering up our favorite bet over and favorite under each week. 

Over and Under Best Bets

Over of the week: Dallas Cowboys at Los Angeles Rams

Total: 49

The Cowboys offense has come alive. Dak Prescott is playing well, Ezekiel Elliott has picked up steam and the offensive line is healthier than it was during much of the regular season. As a result, Dallas has averaged 32.3 points per game the last three weeks.

Meanwhile, the Rams might not be projected to load up on points considering the way they finished the regular season — they averaged “just” 27.0 points per game during the final four weeks of the year — but they still averaged a league-high 37.1 points per game at home this season, and star running back Todd Gurley is now healthier than he’s been in weeks.

Both defenses have stellar playmakers, but the Rams have the league’s worst run D in terms of rushing yards allowed per attempt. That bodes well for Elliott. The Dallas D is excellent against the run but remains vulnerable through the air and struggled when defending running backs in the passing game. And that, of course, bodes well for Gurley and the rest of L.A.’s high-powered, innovative offense.

It’d be a huge surprise if the Cowboys and Rams didn’t combine for 50-plus points Saturday night in front of a split crowd at the L.A. Coliseum.

Predicted score: Cowboys 30, Rams 27

Under of the week: Indianapolis Colts at Kansas City Chiefs

Total: 57.5

Whaaaat?

OK, the Chiefs have one of the worst defenses in the NFL, and that unit was at its worst when it gave up 35.6 points per game between Week 11 and Week 16 before recovering in finale against Raiders. But let’s not forget that Indy’s shockingly strong defense has surrendered a league-low 15.5 points per game dating back to Week 7.

Both offenses will undoubtedly move the ball and find the end zone, but I get the feeling oddsmakers have given too much credit to NFL touchdown pass leaders Patrick Mahomes and Andrew Luck and not enough credit to Indy’s all-around stellar D and Kansas City’s under-the-radar pass-rush.

The Chiefs can be had on the ground and in the secondary, but don’t be surprised if Bob Sutton dials up some stops with his sneaky-good pass-rush, and be less surprised if the still-mistake-prone Mahomes experiences some growing pains in his first career playoff start.

After all, the same thing happened to Lamar Jackson, Deshaun Watson and Mitchell Trubisky last week, as well as Jared Goff in his maiden playoff voyage last January.

This game won’t be low-scoring by any stretch, but I doubt these teams combine for more than 50 points.

Predicted score: Colts 27, Chiefs 24

Good luck, we’re all counting on you. 

Previous results
Last week: 2-0
2018 season: 21-14-1

Super Bowl 53 Future Book Odds: Start To Finish

Wildcard weekend is out of the way and Super Bowl 53 coming up fast.  Here are the current odds for teams in the playoffs. We’ve also put together a visualization of the odds for teams throughout the season below. The Saints have been the consistent favorite throughout 2018, with the Chiefs following close behind.

NFL Odds

Super Bowl LIII Line

AFC                  +3

NFC                  -3

 

Who will win Super Bowl LIII?

AFC Team         +130     (13/10)

NFC Team         -150     (2/3)

 

Odds to Win Super Bowl 53       

New Orleans Saints                                      5/2

Kansas City Chiefs                                        4/1

Los Angeles Rams                                        9/2

New England Patriots                                   6/1                   

Los Angeles Chargers                                  9/1

Indianapolis Colts                                        10/1

Dallas Cowboys                                           12/1

Philadelphia Eagles                                     12/1

 

Exact Super Bowl Matchups (Most likely to least likely)

New Orleans Saints vs. Kansas City Chiefs                    4/1

New Orleans Saints vs. New England Patriots                 5/1

Los Angeles Rams vs. Kansas City Chiefs                      6/1

Los Angeles Rams vs. New England Patriots                  8/1

New Orleans Saints vs. Los Angeles Chargers                8/1

New Orleans Saints vs. Indianapolis Colts                      10/1

Los Angeles Rams vs. Los Angeles Chargers                  12/1

Los Angeles Rams vs. Indianapolis Colts                        14/1

Dallas Cowboys vs. Kansas City Chiefs                          16/1

Philadelphia Eagles vs. Kansas City Chiefs                     16/1

Dallas Cowboys vs. New England Patriots                       20/1

Philadelphia Eagles vs. New England Patriots                 20/1

Dallas Cowboys vs. Los Angeles Chargers                      28/1

Philadelphia Eagles vs. Los Angeles Chargers                28/1

Dallas Cowboys vs. Indianapolis Colts                            33/1     

Philadelphia Eagles vs. Indianapolis Colts                      33/1

 

Here you can select a team and see what the probability of them winning the Super Bowl was throughout each week of the season.

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NFL Wild Card Weekend: Over and Under Best Bets

NFL Wild Card Weekend: Over and Under Best Bets

This NFL season, with sports betting expected to be a more common and accepted practice, we’re making a point to look beyond point spreads and analyze often-neglected totals. As part of that approach, we’re offering up our favorite bet over and favorite under each week. 

Over and Under Best Bets

Over of the week: Seattle Seahawks at Dallas Cowboys

Total: 42.5

Just 34 percent of games involving the Seahawks or Cowboys fell short of the total this season, and Saturday’s over/under of 42.5 indicates we’re still under-estimating both teams’ ability to score points.

The Cowboys put up 63 points in their final two games of the regular season and averaged 25.0 points per game at home this season, while Seattle scored 65 points in its last two games and averaged 26.8 points per game overall.

That made the Seahawks offense the sixth-highest-scoring unit in football, thanks partly to the league’s highest-ranked running game and a suddenly-respectable offensive line. Plus, Doug Baldwin and Tyler Lockett have been crushing it in that receiving corps,

Meanwhile Amari Cooper has teamed up with Ezekiel Elliott to give Dallas one of the most dangerous offenses in the game. The Cowboys scored at least 27 points in five of their last eight games with Cooper, and Elliott once again gained steam during the second half of the season.

That doesn’t bode well for a Seahawks run defense that surrendered 4.9 yards per carry during the regular season, especially as the Dallas offensive line gets healthier.

Predicted score: Cowboys 26, Seahawks 23

Under of the week: Los Angeles Chargers at Baltimore Ravens

Total: 42

I can’t comprehend why this total is above 40. After all, the Los Angeles Chargers offense has gone a little cold, scoring just 33 points in their last two regular-season games. Just 10 of those points came in Week 16 against these Ravens, who scored just 16 offensive points of their own in that prime-time matchup.

Baltimore’s top-rated defense surrendered just 17.9 points per game during the regular season, while the Chargers ranked in the top 10 with just 20.6 points per game allowed.

Look for Baltimore’s D — which has been known to rise to occasions in the playoffs — to be just as strong at home as it was in that road victory over the Chargers. And look for L.A. to do an even better job at limiting the Ravens’ unique rushing attack, now that it has more tape and experience to work from.

It’s a lot easier to trust these defenses than these offenses, especially considering the Chargers’ history with big-game duds and L.A.’s turnover-filled final few games of the 2018 regular season.

Predicted score: Ravens 20, Chargers 17

Good luck, we’re all counting on you. 

Previous results
Last week: 0-2
2018 season: 19-14-1

DraftKings CEO Robins Reveals Sports Betting Already Crushing For Company Overall

The numbers are beginning to show that DraftKings’ metamorphosis from a daily fantasy sports operator to sportsbook-first company is moving at Ludicrous Speed. The DFS aspect of the company isn’t going anywhere, but the revenue and obviously growth potential in the U.S. is in legal sports betting.

At the ICE Sports Betting USA conference in Manhattan on Wednesday, DraftKings Co-Founder and CEO Jason Robins told Darren Rovell (who himself switched jerseys from ESPN to Action Network mid-conference) that 20 percent of the company’s business is currently being generated through sports betting. In New Jersey, where the DraftKings Sportsbook was first to market in the state in August, Robins said sports betting represents 80 percent of the company’s revenue.

In other words, the sports betting revenue being generated in just one state*, roughly four months post-launch, is currently accounting for 20 percent of the company’s overall revenue coming nationwide via daily fantasy sports contests.

DraftKings Sportsbook Already Driving 20 Percent of Company’s Revenue; Full Speed Ahead For Familiar Players As Expansion Continues

 

 

Read more DraftKings CEO Robins Reveals Sports Betting Already Crushing For Company Overall on SportsHandle.