NFL Picks & Hoops Betting Recap, 12.28.14

This football weekend couldn’t have gone any better.  My Dallas Cowboys wrapped up a surprising 12-4 season by throttling the rival Redskins and my football bets were a perfect 8-0.  Some clients lost or pushed the Jacksonville-Houston Under thanks to that late safety, depending on when they placed the bet.  Here are my NFL picks (5-0) from Sunday, as well as the two basketball bets that lost.  As always, these are the same plays and analysis that were released to clients.

2:00 pm ET
College Basketball
#815 HARVARD +3
$200 (Normal Bet)

BOTTOM LINE: I just can’t resist this one.  Harvard is coming off a humiliating 76-27 (yes, TWENTY-SEVEN) loss at Virginia.  They shot just 8-of-50 (16%) from the field in that one.  On the flip side, ASU is coming off a huge 93-54 home win as 8.5-point chalk over Detroit.  Yet the Sun Devils are just one possession favorites in this one?  Not surprisingly, the public is all over Arizona State here.  75% of reported bets are on ASU, yet the line has dropped to 2.5 at some shops.  Hmmm.  Guess we know where the sharp money is going.  I love how this game sets up and it looks like the books are absolutely begging for ASU money here.  I’m not biting.  I’ll take a shot with HARVARD.


9:05 pm ET
NBA
#807-808 UNDER 210 Toronto at Denver
$200 (Normal Bet)

BOTTOM LINE: These two met a couple weeks ago in Toronto.  They totaled 219 points, but that was with OT.  Only 204 points were scored in regulation.  Denver has not been shooting well and as a result have played Under in five straight games and 8 of their last 9.  Toronto is off a 12-point win at the Clippers yesterday, so it’s important to note the Under is 7-1 in their last 8 games following a double-digit win.  My projection is 205 points for this one, so I see enough value to play UNDER.


1:00 pm ET
NFL
#303-304 UNDER 40.5 Jacksonville at Houston
$200 (Normal Bet)

BOTTOM LINE: Two good defenses, two subpar QBs, and two teams that know each other well should lead to a low-scoring affair in this divisional rematch.  The first go-around resulted in a 27-13 Texans win in Jacksonville in which Houston went run-heavy to the tune of 169 yards on 43 rushes (only 19 pass attempts).  With Case Keenum under center and a playoff berth hanging in the balance, I expect Houston to play this close to the vest (play not to lose) and once again go ground-heavy on offense.  The Jags went pass-heavy in that first meeting.  Rookie QB Blake Bortles threw 39 passes as compared to just 22 rushing attempts.  I expect that to at least balance out in this one.  Jags head coach Gus Bradley has a solid defensive mind and I expect the proper adjustments to made after watching film of Keenum and the first meeting this season when Ryan Fitzpatrick was under center.  My projection shows 36 total points, giving me enough of an overlay to bet UNDER.


1:00 pm ET
NFL
#320 KANSAS CITY pick
$200 (Normal Bet)

BOTTOM LINE: Both teams harbor playoff aspirations, but the path is clear for the Chargers: win and they’re in.  KC needs to win this game and have the Ravens lose and the Texans either lose or tie.  Needless to say, KC needs a miracle.  But I’m confident in saying KC would love nothing more than to have a hand in knocking the rival Chargers out of a playoff spot.  The Chiefs went into San Diego earlier this season and upset the Chargers, 23-20.  KC outgained SD in that contest, 365-251, so it was not a fluke.  This line dropped from -4 to pick’em as soon as it was announced that KC QB Alex Smith was ruled out of this game (lacerated spleen).  That is a huge overreaction.  KC is not about the passing game.  KC is all about the running game and defense.  None of that changes.  Chase Daniel gets the start in place of Smith.  He won’t be asked to do too much, much like Smith.  Daniel actually played well in Week 17 last season against San Diego, so no worries for me here.  Chargers QB Philip Rivers is banged up and you can bet that KC pass rush is going to knock him around often since San Diego has no run game demanding any kind of respect.  Chargers RB Ryan Mathews is out for this game & one of Rivers’ favorite targets, Keenan Allen, is doubtful.  In the end, I expect KC’s ground game (4.7 ypr) to be too much for SD’s run defense (4.6 ypr allowed).  The Chiefs will spoil San Diego’s bid for a playoff berth.  Take KANSAS CITY.


4:25 pm ET
NFL
#302 GREEN BAY -7.5
$200 (Normal Bet)

BOTTOM LINE: Revenge games do not come much bigger than this one.  Way back in Week 3, Detroit hosted the Packers and held them to a single TD in a 19-7 Lions win.  The Packers had just 223 total yards of offense while the Lions dominated time of possession by almost 17 minutes.  That sets the stage for this one, a Week 17 rematch with the NFC North title going to the winner.  You better believe Aaron Rodgers and company will be ready to dish out some payback.  This is Lambeau Field in December, not ideal conditions for these Lions, a team that plays their home games indoors at ideal temperature and conditions, on turf.  The Packers are undefeated at home this season, winning by an average of about THREE touchdowns per game.  They’re scoring 41 points per game at Lambeau, so it’s highly unlikely Detroit’s sputtering offense (13.8 ppg on the road) will be able to keep up.  It’s common knowledge Detroit has the NFL’s #2 defense and they held the Packers to 7 points back in September.  The books putting this line at 7.5 makes it look to me like they’re just begging for Detroit money, teasing us with that extra half-point.  I’m not biting.  Give me Rodgers and the Packers at their freezing outdoor home in December, playing with revenge and a division title & first-round bye at stake.  Lay it with GREEN BAY.


4:25 pm ET
NFL
#315 CAROLINA +3
$300 (MAX BET)

NOTE: Whenever we step out like this, I’m going to remind you what “Max Bet” means.  It does NOT mean: bet your whole bankroll, bet your rent/mortgage payment, bet the car payment, etc.  What it DOES mean is that you should bet 50% more on this play than on a normal play.  So, if your normal bet is for $100, then this Max Bet should be for $150.  If your normal bet is for $200, then this Max Bet should be for $300… If your normal bet is 2% of bankroll, then this Max Bet should be for 3% of bankroll, etc. etc.  PLEASE use this type of money management ALWAYS.  If you bet like a degenerate gambler, YOU WILL LOSE like a degenerate gambler.

BOTTOM LINE: The joke that is the NFC South comes down to this game.  The winner takes the division and the NFC’s #4 playoff spot.  This is a revenge game for Carolina, as they lost at home to these Falcons 19-17 a few weeks ago.  That game could’ve easily gone the other way, as Panthers kicker Graham Gano missed a field goal and had another one blocked.  Everyone remembers these Falcons going into New Orleans last Sunday and stunning Drew Brees and the high-powered Saints, 30-14.  It’s always a mistake to put too much stock into a team’s last game.  Carolina got past Cleveland last weekend, 17-13.  Unimpressive to say the least, but the Browns have a very good defense.  The Falcons defense leaves little to be desired.  What’s worse is they have a one-dimensional offense with little-to-no running game.  And a major part of the Atlanta passing attack, Julio Jones, is banged up and won’t be 100% if he can go at all.  Carolina revamped their secondary a few weeks ago and it has really worked for them.  Cam Newton ran 12 times for 63 yards last Sunday, a good sign that he is finally healthy.  Another good sign was the 122 rushing yards gained on 24 carries by Jonathan Stewart in that same game last Sunday.  The Panthers shored up their offensive line and last Sunday’s results should mean some trouble for Atlanta’s defense in this one.  The Panthers know how to finish a season, as evident by their 11-1 record in their last 12 December games.  I expect the Panthers to control the game with a physical defense and a ground game led by Stewart & Newton.  I really expect the Panthers to win outright (put a little on the money line too), so I’ll gladly grab the FG for a MAX BET on CAROLINA.


4:25 pm ET
NFL
#327-328 UNDER 41.5 St. Louis at Seattle
$200 (Normal Bet)

BOTTOM LINE: Seattle’s defense got healthy and returned to its dominant form, holding their last five opponents to a grand total of just 33 points.  That’s 6.6 points per game, folks.  Now they play a divisonal revenge game with a division title & #1 seed on the line.  Think that Seattle D will be pumped for this one?  Yeah, me too.  They allowed 28 points to these Rams in St. Louis, but much of that was due to some special teams trickery that resulted in a 90-yard punt return TD and 201 total return yards.  The Rams won’t get anywhere near that this time around.  I had the Under in that game as well.  I believe the total was 43.5 and it sailed over with 54 points scored (Rams 28-26).  I don’t see that happen again because: A) Seattle’s defense is insane right now; B) the Rams won’t be able to fool Seattle on special teams this time around; and C) the Rams defense has also come alive over the second half of the season.  Yes, that Rams D just got lit up for 37 points last weekend by the Giants.  But I see that as a good thing for us, as Jeff Fisher will have a fire lit under that Rams defense for this one.  My projection is for 36 total points to be scored in this one, so the UNDER is my play.

 

The Author

Dwayne Bryant

Dwayne Bryant

Dwayne Bryant is the owner & handicapper of DBpicks.com. Dwayne provides members with sports betting tips (aka "picks" or "plays") in NFL, college football, NBA, NCAA basketball, and MLB.

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