Happy Friday, everyone. We’ve been through it for another week and we have a great weekend in store for us. Not only do we have four college football games on the agenda tonight, but a full (ish) day of college football on Saturday and the NFL all day on Sunday. In addition, we have the return of the Premier League now that football’s international break is over.
And I have a little bit of everything for you in today’s newsletter. In fact, today’s newsletter is practically bursting at the seams, so I don’t want to waste too much of your time here. Hell, you’ve probably scrolled past this already. It’s OK. I understand. Sure, it’s a bit of a blow to my ego, but I have to learn to live with that. Not you. So I’ll stop wasting your time and let you get what you came here for.
First, let’s catch up with today’s news.
All times Eastern, and all odds through William Hill Sportsbook
The hot ticket
New Mexico in the Air Force, 9:30 PM | TV: FS1
The pick: New Mexico +9.5 (-110): Listen, there is a certain amount of trust involved in our relationship. You subscribe to this newsletter to stay up to date with today’s news, and with the PM edition you trust me to give you good betting advice. Because of that confidence, I feel the need to tell you that there are four college football games tonight, and as someone who loves college football more than some people he should love a lot, I have to tell you that these games stink. I’m going to watch at least parts of all four because I’m crazy, but they’re bad games. Worse, out of four, only one I can find a good bet in, and it’s New Mexico.
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Air Force hasn’t played since Halloween, when it lost to Boise State 49-30. It has to do with injuries and COVID-19 problems. New Mexico has had its own COVID-19 problems, but not like this. Instead, it is not allowed to play at home due to the kind of state guidelines. But while the Lobos are 0-3 to start the year, they were competitive. Much more competitive than you would expect from a team that deals with the conditions they face. Tonight I love this matchup for them.
Their problems were defensive against the pass, and the Air Force is an options team that throws the ball, but isn’t built to do it consistently. The Falcons felony ranks 105th nationally in terms of efficiency. What New Mexico is doing well defensively is stopping the flight. It scores a respectable 33rd nationally in success rate against the run and allows 3.23 yards per carry, which is in 15th place. In addition, New Mexico’s defensive coordinator is Rocky Long. The same Rocky Long who has dominated option attacks throughout his coaching career. I think the Lobos may take their first win tonight ahead of new head coach Danny Gonzales, but getting the points is a much smarter game.
Main trend: New Mexico has seven of the last eight reports against the Air Force.
This is what SportsLine says about the game:If you don’t trust me, trust the advanced computer model. See what it has to say about this game at SportsLine.
No. 9 Indiana at No. 4 Ohio State, Saturday, noon | TV: Fox
The Pick: Ohio State -20.5 (-110) –After four games, Indiana has generated 12 sales, and it has done a phenomenal job making points. The problem is, Indiana has struggled to score points on its other assets. During the first four games, 37.8% of Indiana’s points of foul were scored after a turnover. That’s the second highest percentage in the country, behind only rival Purdue. The average length of Indiana’s touchdown drives this season was 53.2 yards, the shortest of any team to have played at least two games.
So if Indiana doesn’t have a shortage of field thanks to sales, it’s having a tough time reaching the end zone. In a game like this, against a highly defensive Ohio State team that probably won’t bring in much turnover, Indiana probably won’t have many short fields. Meanwhile, the state of Ohio has Justin Fields as the quarterback and one of the most powerful offenses in the country. Also, let’s not forget that Indiana was a strong team last season, losing to Ohio State at home, 51-10.
Main trend: Ohio State is 11-4 ATS in the last 15 Big Ten games
Want more college football picks this weekend? Read my weekly column The Six Pack.
Falcons at Saints, Sundays, 1 pm | TV: Fox
The choice: falcons above 23.5 (-105) –I had been watching the Falcons at this place since last week, but once it was announced that Drew Brees would miss the game, the spread lost all its value. However, the reason I liked the Falcons so much isn’t influenced by the absence of Drew Brees. I like the Falcons in this place because Matt Ryan has been lighting the Saints’ defenses over the years. In his last four starts against New Orleans, Ryan has thrown for 1,245 yards, 11 touchdowns and just four interceptions. The Falcons are standing still and should have both Calvin Ridley and Julio Jones at full strength. I don’t know what to expect from the Falcons defense in this place, but I do think the Falcons will put points on the board anyway.
Main trend: The Falcons have averaged 27 points per game this season.
Packers at Colts, Sunday, 4:25 PM | TV: Fox
The Pick: Packers (+110) –When it comes to matchups between strong defense and explosive fouls, I lean towards the offense. That’s what I’m doing here, and it’s a bonus to do that while supporting Aaron Rodgers. Yes, the Colts have a great defense that ranks fourth in the NFL in DVOA. While the Colts generally have strong pass defense, they don’t have a great pass rush and don’t put much pressure on the QB. The last thing I want to give Aaron Rodgers is time to investigate the field. On the other hand, Green Bay’s defense leaves a lot to be desired, but Colts’ attack struggles to get the ball and Philip Rivers seems to be getting a little worse every week.
Main trend: The Packers have won five of the last six games and were underdogs.
Cowboys at Vikings, Sunday, 4:25 PM | TV: Fox
The Pick: Vikings -7 (-110) –Nothing that happened to the Cowboys in recent months has been a good development. Meanwhile, the Vikings are currently playing well. So good that for the first time in his career, Kirk Cousins even managed to win a game on a Monday night. Now the Vikings are returning home. This year, Cousins has averaged 268.3 yards per game in four home games and has thrown 11 touchdowns. Compare that to his forks on the road, where he averages just 214.8 yards per start and has six touchdown passes in five games. Dalvin Cook also eats up bad defenses all season long, and the Dallas defense is ranked 28th in DVOA against the flight. Put it on purple.
Main trend: The Cowboys are 1-8 ATS in their last nine games.
Tottenham Hotspur – Manchester City, Saturday, 12:30 pm | TV: NBC
The choice: Manchester City (-125) –It’s a bit crazy that City is now in 10th place behind teams like Crystal Palace, but there they are now. Their climb to the top will start soon, probably against Spurs this weekend. City has been better at road racing so far this season. It’s where he’s been a lot more defensive. On the other hand, Spurs were more aggressive on the road attack than at home. They have an xG differential of 1.3 at home compared to 4.9 on the road in the same number of races. I think we could get a bit of a goal party here (so I don’t hate it), but I like City’s chances of leaving with all three points more than anything.
Interested in more Premier League picks? You can find them in my weekly column Corner Picks.
SportsLine pick of the day:The SportsLine projection model has ranked 39-21 in the top-rated picks this season, already bringing in more than $ 1,000 in profits, and it has a top rated play on one of tonight’s CFB games.
The DFS rundown
Lamar Jackson, QB, Baltimore – I don’t have my beloved Kyler Murray available on Sunday because he played Thursday night, so I think I have to settle for Lamar Jackson. Now Jackson doesn’t have the same year he won MVP in 2019, but I like this week’s matchup. The Titans’ defense ranks 22nd in the NFL in terms of flight success rate, and I think an attack from Ravens stuck in neutral will finally get out of its rut. If you want a contrarian option, consider Tua Tagovailoa vs. Denver.
Dalvin Cook, RB, Minnesota – Cook will be the highest owner in DFS this weekend. As I said above when I explained why I brought the Vikings, Cook faces a terrible defense in Dallas. Cook is a must-have cash. If you’re looking for a little more rebellious for a bigger tournament, I’m a fan of Green Bay’s Aaron Jones this week. Yes, even against Colts’ defense.
Taysom Hill, TE, New Orleans – This is a bit of a cheat, but if you’re playing on Fanduel, Taysom Hill is listed as a tight end. That could change for Sunday. If not, start Taysom Hill! He’s starting this weekend as a quarterback for the Saints, which means you can get QB production in your TE spot. Find edges wherever you can!
Full line-up advice
SportsLine’s team of DFS insiders have you covered for everyday fantasy sports. Mike McClure has won nearly $ 2 million playing DFS, and Jacob Gibbs was ranked as one of the most accurate Fantasy experts in the country last year. Plus,use SportsLine’s all-new DFS Optimizerto get optimal NFL DFS choices from 10,000 simulations.
Saturday CFB Parlay
A six-legged college football money line that pays out +141.
- State of Ohio -1100
- Nebraska -700
- Wisconsin -300
- Alabama -7000
- Oklahoma -270
- Georgia -2400
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