Your weekly dose of sports betting tips, news and humor, every Saturday at 10am Eastern. Happy Holidays!
Buffalo at Chicago, NFL Week 16 – Pro bettor Rob Pizzola believes this game is all about the weather, as the forecast predicts sustained winds of 20+ mph in Chicago on Saturday with gusts of up to 40mph.
If this were an ordinary game played in normal weather conditions, Rob would lay the points with the Bills. However, weather is a great equalizer.
The Bills will have to run a suboptimal offense with a strong dose of the running game. In these conditions, the discrepancy between Buffalo and Chicago, a team with a strong run game, is minimal. For these reasons, Rob likes Chicago +8.5, available at Barstool sports book as of Saturday morning.
You can check out all the great work that Rob and his team do at The Hammer.
Tulane vs USC, Cotton Bowl – On Thursday’s episode of the Right Angle Sports Podcast, professional bettor Eddie Walls makes an emphatic case for the over in this game.
Heisman Trophy winner Caleb Williams might not be able to play for USC due to a hamstring injury. However, the Trojans have five-star backup QB Miller Moss waiting in the wings. There is ample talent on offense at the skill positions even without star WR Jordan Addison.
Tulane’s offense should also help with scoring points, as the USC defense has conceded explosive plays to good offenses all season. Based on Walls’s breakdown, the value on the over skyrockets if Williams plays and is close to 100 percent. There is still value even if USC has to turn to its backup QB.
In addition, my member numbers have 66 points for the total. This all suggests value on over 62 points when Tulane and USC play on January 2nd in the Cotton Bowl.
New Orleans Saints – With a 5-9 record and -29 point differential, New Orleans hasn’t exactly impressed this season. An early season switch from one short term answer at QB to another doesn’t add confidence.
But as I noted on the Unexpected Points podcast with Kevin Cole, New Orleans looks better in the underlying metrics. By my adjusted passing success rate, the Saints are 12th on offense and 8th on defense. Based on adjusted data from the current season, New Orleans is 9th.
My numbers predict Cleveland by 1.3 points. However, I don’t see too much value in New Orleans +3 due to the weather conditions. Strong winds in the cold should favor Cleveland’s run game. However, New Orleans is a team to look towards for value in the last two weeks of the season.
Kevin is one of the sharpest NFL analysts in the business, and you should check out his Unexpected Points on Substack.
Injuries and key absences – The NFL data is obtained from ESPN unless otherwise noted.
- Arizona QB Colt McCoy is out with a concussion. Trace McSorley will get the start.
- Baltimore QB Tyler Huntley is listed as questionable with a concussion but should start against Atlanta.
- Philadelphia QB Jalen Hurts will not play against Dallas because of a sprained shoulder.
- Tennessee QB Ryan Tannehill is most likely done for the season because of an ankle injury.
- Minnesota QB Tanner Morgan hasn’t played the last 3 games and is questionable against Syracuse. While it is hard to find any media reports on his status, the markets have moved from Minnesota -7.5 to -10 this week. This suggests that Morgan will play.
- Western Kentucky QB Austin Reed hit the transfer portal, and I thought that meant he wouldn’t play against Southern Miss. However, he decided not to transfer and threw for almost 500 yards in a 44-23 win. Don’t assume that entering the transfer portal means a player will not play in a bowl game.
The value in teasers – On The Football Analytics Show podcast, Matt Landes talked about how teasers let you take advantage of small edges.
For example, let’s suppose you like New England +3 at home against Cincinnati, but then the market moves to +2.5. Instead of betting the dog at a worse number, you can use the dog in one of two games in a teaser. With a six point teaser, now New England +8.5 becomes one of two legs, and you have moved through the key numbers of 3 and 7.
Unabated essentials – Captain Jack Andrews, Rufus Peabody and the excellent folks at Unabated have launched a new tier of their premium service.
Unabated essentials gives you access to a wide variety of their tools, including their odds screen and NFL season simulator. The latter helped me uncover value on Cincinnati futures earlier this season, and -160 to make the playoffs has already cashed.
Unabated essentials is less than a third of the cost of their premium membership. To learn more, click here.
NFL humor – “That game did end in penalty kicks, which I thought was the dumbest way a game could end. But then I watched the Patriots game.” One of Annie Agar’s best videos of the year.
Football betting with a PhD edge
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