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UL Lafayette @ APP ST.
UL Lafayette +6 -110 over APP ST.

Pinnacle +6½ -110 Bet365 +6½ -110 SportsInteraction +6½ -110 5DIMES +6½ -110 888Sport +6½ -110

Posted at 11:00 PM EST. 

For NITRO subscribers - on ESPN in the CAN/USA Sports section.

UL Lafayette +6½ -110 over APP ST

Kidd Brewer Stadium – Boone, NC - Sun Belt Conference Championship Game

12:00 PM EST. It is a hard thing to beat the same team twice in a season. However, Appalachian State has served up crow to those that offered such advice in 2018 when App State defeated UL Lafayette 30-19 in the inaugural Sun Belt Conference Championship after defeating them 27-17 at home earlier that season. In 2019, the Mountaineers defeated the Ragin’ Cajuns in Lafayette in October on a Thursday Night prime-time game 17-7 and produced an upset priced as a +2½-point underdog. With the conference championship game returning to Boone, the Mountaineers look like a steal despite being priced at a notorious underdog-friendly number. Before pulling the trigger on what appears to be a cash grab, we urge backers to reconsider such a position.

There are several ingredients that have influenced the price here to the point of the Mountaineers being overvalued. The main ingredient is that App State has never lost to UL Lafayette in the seven times they have met since 2014. Last week, UL Lafayette suffered a scare at home when they slipped by arch nemesis UL Monroe in the Battle of the Bayou. Closing as a 20½-point choice, the Cajuns edged out the Warhawks 31-30. A lot of public action and interest lied with the Cajuns in the aforementioned bout and the fright lowered the market presence of ULL since UL-Monroe is not even bowl eligible. Nearly losing as a three-TD favorite one week, the market is running scared from the Ragin’ Cajuns.

Appalachian State has one win over an FBS opponent on the road (South Carolina) and three dominant wins against Sun Belt constituents since falling to Georgia Southern in their only defeat this season. Earlier this season, Appalachian State was garnered as the highest-ranked Sun Belt team in poll history before their defeat against the Eagles. As a result of the aforementioned results since the upset loss, Appalachian State is once again in position to perhaps attain that designation with a win here against UL-Lafayette. In fact, there is even an outside possibility that the Mountaineers may go to a New Year’s Six Bowl Game should Boise State and Memphis lose in their respective conference championships. There is also the possibility that App State is tired of just winning the conference and not given an opportunity to win something big.

Just to recap why you are going to pay inflated points on the chalk here: The Mountaineers beat the Cajuns in Boone last October as 25-point favorites, then again 30-19 as 17-point chalk in the first Sun Belt title game, then 17-7 in Lafayette this October as 1½-point underdogs. This year's regular-season meeting was the first time Appalachian State was an underdog in a Sun Belt game since 2014. This will be the eighth time these teams have met, all Mountaineers victories and the Cajuns have yet to hit 20 points or 370 yards in this series. We understand how difficult it is to pull the trigger on the underdog here but it is the right play to be sure, as the price says so and the underdog checks all the boxes of why upsets happen so frequently.

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Our Pick

UL Lafayette +6 -110 (Risking 2.20 units - To Win: 2.00)

Wisconsin vs Ohio State
Wisconsin +15 -106 over Ohio State

Pinnacle +15½ -106 Bet365 +15½ -110 SportsInteraction +15½ -110 5DIMES +15½ -110 888Sport +15½ -110

Posted at 11:00 PM EST. 

For NITRO subscribers - on multiple FOX affiliates in the Networks section.

Wisconsin +15½ -106 over Ohio State

Lucas Oil Stadium – Indianapolis, IN - BIG TEN Championship Game

8:00 PM EST. Last week, we targeted the Buckeyes in their rivalry match with Michigan and found ourselves on the end of a ripped ticket when Ohio State punished the Wolverines 56-27 to cover easy as an -8½-point favorite. Despite the Buckeyes being a tough team to fade overall with a 9-3 ATS record on the year, we are going to stick with our assault on Ohio State for the same reasons as we always do. Once again the Buckeyes are overpriced by a wide margin. When some of the recent hyperbolic language that has surrounded this program is tossed into the mix, the Buckeyes are at risk for an even bigger overlay against a Badgers team that will come into this contest with a chip on their shoulder.

Ohio State has been dominant against Wisky as of late. In the last 11 meetings between both teams, the Buckeyes have won 10 of them. Over that span, the Ohio State University also produced an affable 8-2-1 ATS record. These two sides have met in B1G Conference Championships in both 2014 and 2017 and Ohio State would win both and in some cases submarine College Football Playoff prospects while doing so. As a result of the aforementioned, this will cultivate a recency bias and the “experts” that suggest laying points with Ohio State are playing right into that narrative. There is also the fact that pretty much every pundit has crowned Ohio State as the National Champion before even cementing their College Football Playoff berth. Some will argue that Ohio State doesn’t “need” this game to finish in the top-four. This kind of subject matter could serve as a rat poison for a team like the Bucks, as it sets them up to come into this affair looking past the Badgers.

Earlier this season, Ohio State and Wisconsin met in Columbus and the Buckeyes lit the Badgers up by a score of 38-7. In spite of that result, the Badgers are taking back just one more point compared to their closing price of +14.5 against Ohio State. This resonates with us strongly. However, the context in which Wisconsin comes into this game contrasts with the preceding contest. Wisconsin stubbed its toe on the road the week before against the Illinois Fighting Illini where they were upset outright as a 31-point favorite. It was blatantly obvious that the Badgers were looking ahead to the Buckeyes given how important the match meant to them. However, Wisky’s goals were ruined by that shocker, thus it was shell-shocked under Ohio State’s boot before they could catch their breath. We expect the opposite to be the case here.

Wisconsin comes into this game on a four-game winning streak capped off by a reclamation of Paul Bunyan’s Axe against arch-rival Minnesota in Minneapolis last week, when they hosed the #8 Gophers 38-17. The Badgers are playing their best football of the year and while they may not be able to get into the College Football Playoff, they can still earn a trip to the Rose Bowl and maybe ruin Ohio State’s season while they do so. While not ideal, these are still good consolation prizes for the Badgers who cannot only come in under the number here but they just might bring forth some chaos in the College Football Playoff picture.

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Our Pick

Wisconsin +15 -106 (Risking 2.12 units - To Win: 2.00)

Virginia vs Clemson
Virginia +28 -105 over Clemson

Pinnacle +28½ -105 Bet365 +28½ -110 SportsInteraction +28½ -110 5DIMES +28½ -110 888Sport +28½ -110

Posted at 11:00 PM EST. 

For NITRO subscribers - on multiple ABC affiliates in the Networks section.

Virginia +28½ -105 over Clemson

Bank of America Stadium – Charlotte, NC - ACC Championship Game

7:30 PM EST. We need not provide a preface as to who Clemson is and what they have done. They are the face of college football and they steamroll opponents. While we would be the first to recognize Dabo Swinney and his seamless blueprint which gets his teams to play at a consistent high-level and excel in the postseason, we would be remiss to not call the amount of points to the Cavaliers here as outright insulting.

The Coastal Division Champion Virginia Cavaliers see themselves taking back their biggest allotment of points season-to-date and they are effectively priced in the same range against this outfit as South Carolina (+27½) who Clemson whacked last week 38-3 and Syracuse (+28), Florida State (+26½) and North Carolina (+26½) who Clemson earned wins against earlier this season. Against FSU, Clemson was academic and crushed the Noles 45-14. The same happened when Clemson visited ‘Cuse and obliterated them 41-6 in mid-September. Clemson’s only scare transpired against North Carolina in Chapel Hill in late September when a failed two-point conversion allowed Clemson to escape with a 21-20 victory. That said, it would be unreasonable to expect any team to play at a high level every single game so the UNC scare means jack.

Virginia is essentially priced in the same range as the aforementioned teams. We must annotate that of these four teams, only one was able to produce a bowl berth (North Carolina) and that came last week when it earned its sixth win against N.C. State who also will not be going to the postseason. However, UVA is a much better team comparatively, as they come in off a monumental win against cross-state rival Virginia Tech in the Commonwealth Cup. It is also worth mentioning that the Hokies were ranked at the time of the UVA victory. While many will revel in Clemson’s balance on both sides of the football and their ability to do so impeccably, Virginia has a recipe to stymie a Tiger rout at minimum. The Cavaliers are one of the best teams in the country in ball control, as they sit seventh in the FBS in time of possession (33:27 minutes per game) while keeping their defense on the field for just 26:32 minutes per game (10th in America). This is an advantage that the Cavs own over the Tigers who sit 35th in offensive time on field with 31:18 minutes per game. Should Quarterback Bryce Perkins bring his A-Game and showcase his skill set as a dual-threat quarterback, Virginia’s defense will have a low pitch count. The Hoos strategy here has to be to play keep away, which will certainly make it harder for Clemson to cover this lofty figure. On the flip-side, should Clemson build a large lead there is tremendous backdoor potential, as there is little question Dabo will pull his players once the game is well in hand to prevent exposing them to injuries in preparation for their title defense in the CFP. Look it, we have no idea whether or not the Hoos will come in under this number but know damn sure that of all the teams and games today, there is not a more inflated price than this one and spotting the points is going with the “worst of it” on every level.

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Our Pick

Virginia +28 -105 (Risking 2.10 units - To Win: 2.00)

Oklahoma vs Baylor
Oklahoma -8 -103 over Baylor

Pinnacle -8½ -103 Bet365 -8½ -110 SportsInteraction -8½ -110 5DIMES -8½ -110 888Sport -8½ -110

Posted at 11:00 PM EST. 

For NITRO subscribers - on multiple ABC affiliates in the Networks section.

Oklahoma -8½ -103 over Baylor AT&T Stadium – Arlington, TX - Big 12 Championship Game

12:00 PM EST. When two teams have a rematch in any given sport, a common practice that many handicappers will employ to find value is looking for a “soft” number compared to the final score in the previous game. For example, a team getting blown out taking back a smaller tag in their follow-up is a great way to locate a “sucker bet”. The market would likely eat up the favorite in the aforementioned spot, as said favorite would look like a cash grab with a shorter line to cover. In the case of Baylor and Oklahoma, the same ingredients apply but instead the opposite holds true, as the underdog looks like a guaranteed winner taking back a touchdown more than the final score of when these two sides last met very recently in mid-November where a field goal separated the two sides.

When the Bears hosted the Sooners in Waco on November 16th, Baylor came into the clash as a -10½-point home underdog and they played like a 21-point favorite when they jumped out to a 28-3 lead over the Sooners. Then, Jaylen Hurts would do Jaylen Hurts type of things and lead a heroic comeback, enabling the Sooners to escape with a 34-31 win. Since that day, Baylor, to their credit, has steamrolled everything it has come across outscoring both Texas and Kansas by a margin of 85-16 and going 2-0 ATS while doing so. Meanwhile, Oklahoma crept by TCU in a 28-24 thriller in their follow-up before offering up one of their better outings this season against Oklahoma State to close out their campaign with a 34-16 triumph. As a result, the stock on Baylor remains through the ceiling furthered by a 7-2 ATS record over their last nine matches. Oklahoma, though they have the same straight-up record and a win over the Bears head-up have a far lower stock, as they have gone just 2-6 ATS in their last eight matches. Thanks to all of the above, this may be one of the best times ever to lay points with the Sooners.

Normally, we would expect the masses to be all over Oklahoma. After all, the Sooners are a public team, a historic program with a pedigree, and they are the four-time defending Big 12 Champions. However, the market has flooded the Bears to the point of grabbing our attention. The price on Oklahoma has been dropping all morning so if you took Baylor as early as yesterday, you’re going to beat the closing line. When an underdog is attracting this much market attention, it usually ends up being one of the worst bets of the weekend. We urge those that bought at +9 to sell it back at -8½ or even -8 but that’s your call.

Sure, Oklahoma only edged out the Bears by a field goal in Waco but they also outscored the Bears 31-3 after addressing all the miscues and mistakes they committed in the early stages of the game. Once the Sooner Schooner got rolling, there was nothing Baylor could do to stop it. A master of winning conference titles equipped with experience navigating this phase of the college football season as a whole, Coach Lincoln Riley and his quarterback Jalen Hurts know better than anyone how to prepare for games of this magnitude. Baylor is more prone to get caught up in the moment and suffer a letdown. Very simply, we are getting the better team with more tangible experience at a reduced price and for that we will move in every time.

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Our Pick

Oklahoma -8 -103 (Risking 2.06 units - To Win: 2.00)

Miami (OH) vs Central Michigan
Miami (OH) +6 -101 over Central Michigan

Pinnacle +6½ -101 Bet365 +6½ -110 SportsInteraction +6½ -110 5DIMES +6½ -110 888Sport +6½ -110

Posted at 11:00 PM EST. 

For NITRO subscribers - on ESPN2 in the CAN/USA Sports section.

Miami (OH) +6½ -101 over Central Michigan

Ford Field – Detroit, MI - Mid-American Conference Championship Game

12:00 PM EST. Central Michigan is one of 2019’s surprise teams. Under first-year Head Coach Jim McElwain, the Chippewas have transformed from the ugly duckling of the MAC into a beautiful swan. After going 1-11 straight up in 2018 and failing to win a game against an FBS opponent, the Chips have won the MAC West in 2019 and could finish with 10 wins should it emerge victorious here and then in their bowl game. In addition to the feel-good element and heightened sentimentality that such a story can bring, the Chippewas took advantage of being supremely undervalued and have been kind to those that have backed them, going 9-3 ATS over the span of the 2019 regular season. Given how hot the Chips have been against the spread (covering nine of their previous 10), it’s the perfect time to sell high. One of the common pitfalls of first-time conference championship contestants is feeling too much fait accompli in winning the division, leading to a "just happy to be there" mentality. Miami fielded just the 11th-best total offense in the league but rode a lot of lucky bounces and the best special teams in the MAC to a division crown.

Though Central Michigan offers a better won-loss record compared to the Redhawks, a closer look under the hood would reveal that perhaps Miami Ohio should actually be favored here. In conference play, the Redhawks and the Chippewas attained equal marks, both winning six and dropping two. However, their out-of-conference dossiers are anything but equal. Central Michigan faced the likes of Albany (FCS), New Mexico State, Miami, and Wisconsin. In terms of FBS opposition, New Mexico State won just two games in 2019 and the Hurricanes of Miami backed their way into a bowl with a six-win season. The only team that offers any kind of quality in the aforementioned would be the #8 Badgers who made a mockery of the Chippewas in a 61-0 rout when they hosted CMU in Madison.

Miami (OH) though owning one more loss than their counterparts at 7-5 played three teams that are presently ranked to comprise their out-of-conference schedule (excluding FCS Tennessee Tech as the fourth non-conference opponent), including at #1 Ohio State, at #16 Iowa, and at #20 Cincinnati. While none of the results against any of these teams were pretty (especially the 76-5 beat-down suffered against the Buckeyes), there is little question that Miami Ohio is the more battle-tested bunch, as they played a higher echelon of competition outside their MAC docket. Had CMU failed to cash in perhaps just once over their 9-1 ATS run, we might have seen them as the pup here. However, as a result of this plot line, we get to play the Redhawks at an enhanced figure. Upset potential is high in this match-up but we’ll stick with the points.

----------------------------------------------------

A cheaper and better alternative to CABLE

TV Programming

A GREAT OFFER FOR SPORTSWAGERS READERS:

We’re offering a better and cheaper alternative to cable TV. You will literally save thousands of dollars. If you’re sick of paying a fortune for programming that you don’t even want or need, this is for you. All pro sports -- EVERY GAME, tons of college football and basketball games and tons of regular programming (non-sports). Over 2500 channels all in HD for a mere $20 per month. You have to be nuts not to get it.

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Our Pick

Miami (OH) +6 -101 (Risking 2.02 units - To Win: 2.00)

RangeWLP+/- (Units)
Yesterday100.00+2.04
Last 30 Days21150.00+12.03
Season to Date59520.00+17.83
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