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Written Thursday December 25th, 2020 at 11 a.m. Eastern Time (spreads/odds may have changed) Last week, we had a couple of 5-star picks, which was highly unusual! Bucs +3.5 vs Chiefs (won the bet, but deserved to lose in my opinion); Giants -5.5 at Bengals (lost the bet, but we got screwed by: a) Daniel Jones’ injury; b) a TD on a kickoff return by Cincy; c) a bogus PI penalty that allowed a garbage TD late in the fourth quarter). Our record on 5-star picks: 3-2 this season 8-4 past three years Overall, last week was a lucrative one: a 4-2 record on official picks and a perfect 2-0 on leans. We have been on fire recently with a 10-5-2 ATS record since Week 10. Let’s keep rolling, folks!!! PICK #1 (4 STARS): CLEVELAND BROWNS +6 AT TENNESSEE TITANS I’ve said it a few times this year, and I’ll say it again. In my opinion, the Titans are a good team to bet as underdogs, but they’re a good team to fade as favorites. As a matter of fact, they have beaten the spread just two times the last seven games they were established as favorites. My main concern about this game is Cleveland’s pass defense. They were already without Greedy Williams, and now their other starting cornerback Denzel Ward seems on the wrong side of questionable for Sunday. That could open up the field for A.J. Brown. Other than that, I like the Browns here. To me, the spread is way too high. Cleveland should be fine running the ball against Tennessee, whose defense has been average. Meanwhile, the Browns are fairly strong defending the run and they are welcoming back stud defensive end Myles Garrett this weekend. The revenge factor comes into play as well. I’m sure Baker Mayfield and company remember last year’s season opener, a game in which Cleveland got hammered 43-to-13 at home against Tennessee. Mayfield threw three interceptions in that game, but that won’t happen this time. For these reasons, I’m backing Cleveland as 6-point underdogs as my top play in Week 13. PICK #2 (3 STARS): SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS +1 VS BUFFALO BILLS San Francisco’s defense is quickly getting back to form. After undergoing a rash of injuries, they have gotten some players back, which has shown on the field. Last week, they bottled up a good Rams offense and allowed just 14 first downs. Buffalo QB Josh Allen usually makes a mix of great and bad plays. I expect him to make a few mistakes that will cost his team this Monday. He is also still missing wide receiver John Brown; the offense is good, but not as great when Brown is out of the lineup. I have spoken a few times this year about how researchers have shown that peak athletic performance occurs during the late afternoon or early evening. For this reason, a West Coast team gets an advantage when playing a night game against a team from the East Coast. Each team’s record on Monday Night Football is at opposite ends: Buffalo is 0-3-1 ATS versus 13-3 for the Niners. San Francisco also holds an impressive 7-3 ATS record at home when facing a team with a winning record. The key to this game will be San Francisco’s running game who should be able to exploit a weak Buffalo run defense, who ranks 27th in the league in terms of yards allowed per carry. With Raheem Mostert back from an injury, I believe he will run wild and cause headaches to the Bills. PICK #3 (3 STARS): LOS ANGELES RAMS -2.5 AT ARIZONA CARDINALS Kyler Murray’s throwing shoulder is hurt. He didn’t look as sharp as usual last week in New England. Coincidence or not, he ran for a season-low five times both of the past two weeks. I suspect he doesn’t want to take more hits to lower the risk of aggravating his injury. After a hot start, the Cards are definitely stumbling. They have won just one of their last four matchups, and the lone win should have been a loss, if not for a miracle Hail Mary pass on the last play of the game against the Bills. Jared Goff tends to struggle when he feels pressure, otherwise he is super efficient. I expect him to have a clean pocket this Sunday, given Arizona’s pass rush who is not that great. I also like the three-headed monster at the running back position for the Rams: Darrell Henderson, Malcolm Brown and rookie Cam Akers. Los Angeles has rebounded with a win after each of their three losses in 2020. Also note that the Rams have beaten the spread the last five times they made a trip to Arizona. Another reason for taking the Rams in this contest is the mismatch on defense. Los Angeles’ defense has been great, both against the run and the pass. As for Arizona, they have a middle of the pack defense. PICK #4 (2 STARS): INDIANAPOLIS COLTS -3 AT HOUSTON TEXANS The Colts are not intimidated from playing in Houston at all: they are 7-0-1 ATS in their last eight meetings there. Indy is also a team that can rebound nicely after poor performances. Indeed, they have posted an incredible 6-0-1 ATS record after double-digit home losses. Last week, they got beaten up 45-26 against the Titans. I am aware that the Texans will benefit from three additional days of rest after playing on Thanksgiving, but the team suffered a HUGE blow when their top wide receiver (Will Fuller V) and their top cornerback (Bradley Roby) got hit with six-game suspensions for violating the league’s PEDs policy. With Randall Cobb already out and Kenny Stills being waived about a week ago, that will put the wide receiver depth to the test. I expect Indy’s defense to respond strongly after such a poor outing last week. With Deshaun Watson having less weapons at his disposal, he’ll need to do a Superman impersonation in order to keep his team afloat. I don’t think it will happen. Houston’s defense has been awful both against the run and the pass, while the Colts should get running back Jonathan Taylor back. I am worried about the Colts possibly being without their star left tackle Anthony Castonzo, but I’m still putting my money on Indy to do everything they can to keep up with the Titans for the AFC South title. PICK #5 (2 STARS): SEATTLE SEAHAWKS -10 VS NEW YORK GIANTS Last Monday, I posted an alert in my Facebook group and to people on my mailing list about a great bargain. The Seahawks were tagged as 7.5-point favorites at Bet365 at the time, while some bookies had a line of 10 points. I put a fairly big bet, then I let everyone know about this nice deal, and the line moved to 9, and then 10 points within an hour. No matter if the bet wins or loses, this was clearly a good value wager. Now that the dust has settled, I still think Seattle -10 points is an enticing play. According to the latest reports, Daniel Jones seems unlikely to play. His backup, Colt McCoy, is simply horrible. He’s been bad throughout his 11-year career, and that’s not about to change. He couldn’t get the offense going last week against a weak Cincinnati defense. I love how Seattle matches up well with the Giants. With McCoy under center, New York will need their running game to get going, but that should prove very difficult considering the Seahawks defense is 3rd in the NFL in terms of yards allowed per carry. That will force McCoy into long third downs, and the result will be catastrophic. On the other side of the ball, New York’s strength on defense is its run defense. Unfortunately for them, Seattle has a guy named Russell Wilson at quarterback who is ready to shred their pass defense. Seattle wins by at least two touchdowns and beats the spread. UNOFFICIAL PICKS For entertainment purposes, here are some leans for you: LEAN #1: Chargers +1 vs Patriots (This is a passing league, and there is a huge gap between New England’s and Los Angeles’ passing offenses. Cam Newton is banged up and his team will be travelling through three time zones to play this game.); LEAN #2: Broncos +14 at Chiefs (The weakness of K.C.’s defense is its run defense, so I think Denver can find a way to run efficiently and run out the clock a little bit. On the other side of the ball, Denver’s pass defense is among the top 10 and could limit the damage against Mahomes and company. The Broncos are 1-9 ATS in the last 10 meetings with the Chiefs, but they are a perfect 7-0 ATS after scoring 14 points or less! Drew Lock will be back under center.); LEAN #3: Dolphins -11 vs Bengals (I hope Ryan Fitzpatrick remains the starter because he is better than Tua right now. Good luck to QB Brandon Allen against a stifling Dolphins pass defense! Miami could welcome back running backs Myles Gaskin and/or Salvon Ahmed); LEAN #4: Washington +8.5 at Steelers (Pittsburgh is not nearly as good as its record indicate. Man, they played badly against the Ravens last Wednesday! Washington is fighting hard every week and they are playing sound football for head coach Ron Rivera. It won’t be an easy task for the Steelers to beat them by 9 points or more). A big thank you for reading this column every week, I hope to help you beat your bookie! Professor MJ https://youtu.be/7RFlJpe3P4E
Written Thursday October 22nd, 2020 at 2 p.m. Eastern Time (spreads/odds may have changed) This week we’ve got just our second 5-star play of the 2020 season! The only other one was Arizona +7 against the 49ers in Week #1, a bet that easily covered since the Cards won the game straight up by a margin of four points. Such picks rated 5 stars have done very well since I started this “Professor MJ” brand a few years ago. That being said, I’m not suggesting to bet your house on it. You’ll never hear me talk about “the lock of the century” or “100% guaranteed winner” or any similar bull$$hit. There is always risk involved. Bet at your own risk and never bet an amount that you cannot afford to lose. PICK #1 (5 STARS): NEW YORK JETS +13 VS BUFFALO BILLS Wow, picking the lowly Jets as a five-star play is pretty bold, isn’t it? Adam Gase’s team is 0-6 both straight up (SU) and against the spread (ATS) this year. Since 1985, six teams have started the season with six straight losses both SU and ATS. How did these teams fare in the remainder of their season? They went 34-24 ATS, a 58.6% win rate. I like the Jets for many other reasons. The rest factor is in favor of New York since the Bills are coming off a Monday night game. Also, NFL teams tend to do very well in the rematch against a division rival after losing the first meeting of the season. In this case, Buffalo won 27-17 in Week #1, which makes the Jets a good play based on this betting angle. Finally, the Bills have been struggling a lot recently. They blew a 25-point lead against the Rams before escaping with the win, thanks to a questionable pass interference penalty on fourth down in the final drive. They got hammered 42-16 against a depleted Titans team two weeks ago. Last week, losing 26-17 against the Chiefs may not look bad on paper, but if you watched the game you know what I’m talking about. The Bills were out of sync on offense, where Josh Allen looked more like the 2018 or 2019 version of himself. And their defense was gashed on the ground by allowing 5.3 yards per carry. This unit was supposed to be among the league’s best, but they an average of 28 points per game. Meanwhile, Sam Darnold has a shot to be back under center. He is a big improvement over Joe Flacco, and he would finally have some weapons around him with Jamison Crowder, Breshad Perriman and maybe rookie Denzel Mims who could make his NFL debut. Some bookies have already lowered their spread to 12, but at the time I’m making this video BetOnline still has 13. This is where I placed my bet. I really like New York to cover in this one. PICK #2 (3 STARS): KANSAS CITY CHIEFS -9.5 AT DENVER BRONCOS Over the last nine meetings between these two clubs, Kansas City holds an 8-1 record ATS. If you focus on games played in Denver only, the Chiefs have beaten the spread on six consecutive occasions. Sure, Kansas City loses one day of rest after playing the Monday nighter. But in my opinion, elite teams fare well when facing adversity. They are a well-coached team and it won’t affect them that much. The Broncos are coming off a nice upset win in New England. Quarterback Drew Lock made two incredibly bad decisions that almost gave the game away, but he should be thankful that his defense saved the day. Denver’s offense struggled most of the day and couldn’t score more than 18 points despite the Pats turning the ball over three times. They won’t be able to keep up with KC’s offense, who are unlikely to take them lightly, considering it’s a divisional game. PICK #3 (3 STARS): LAS VEGAS RAIDERS +4 VS TAMPA BAY BUCS I feel like the public is getting overexcited following Tampa’s convincing win over the Packers. It was indeed an impressive outing where emotions were high, which makes this non-conference matchup a trap game for them. Las Vegas is also coming off their bye week, which is always a nice advantage. Tampa’s top three receivers (Evans-Godwin-Miller) are all likely to play, but are nursing injuries. On the defensive side of the ball, the loss of nose tackle Vita Vea for the rest of the year was a big blow and is an underrated loss for this squad. They also have three good guys on defense who are listed as questionable: LB Lavonte David and DEs Jason Pierre-Paul and William Gholston. The Raiders have beaten the Chiefs, the Saints and the Panthers, while losing to Buffalo and New England. In other words, there wasn’t a single easy opponent (Carolina was expected to be weak, but they are off to a nice start). I’m taking the Raiders as home underdogs here. PICK #4 (1 STAR): SEATTLE SEAHAWKS -3 AT ARIZONA CARDINALS Seattle is coming off their bye week, while the Cards lose one day of preparation after playing the Monday night game. Arizona also had to travel on three straight weeks prior to this week, which isn’t easy. I’m pretty sure the Seahawks remember the last time they faced Kliff Kingsbury’s squad: a 27-13 home loss in Week #16 that hurt their chances of clinching a first-round bye. Payback time! Over the last 11 meetings between these two rivals, the road team has a 9-1-1 record ATS. Please note that the “under” was a winning bet in each of the last five matchups. As mentioned last week, I also like to back road favorites coming off a bye week. A reminder that such teams showed a jaw-dropping 15-1-2 ATS record over four seasons (they went 1-1 last week though). Best of luck with your plays and I’ll see you again next week! Professor MJ https://www.youtube.com/c/ProfessorMJ/featured Twitter: @DavidBeaudoin79 FB: ProfessorMJ www.professormj.com
Hi all I will be selecting 3 players to get booked in certain games and putting the bets into a trixie format. Using Bet365 because they have the bet Builder option available. Today’s games are Palace v Tottenham, Chelsea v Sheffield Wednesday, St Mirren v Hibs, Livingston v Rangers.