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The 49ers had the bulk of their secondary out of practice this week due to COVID-19 protocols but are likely to be ready come game day. Nonetheless, sitting for a week ahead of the biggest game of the season doesn't bode well for the backend of the San Francisco defense. Plus, the 49ers face a quarterback dilemma: does Jimmy Garoppolo gut it out, playing through a torn UCL in this thumb or does coach Kyle Shanahan turn to rookie quarterback Trey Lance to make his third career NFL start? Meanwhile, the Rams have found away to win their last 5 games and playing their best ball. With a game that I believe the Rams come out of the gates swinging haymakers early on, close game here but I have L.A. defeating the 49ers by a slim margin. Going to buy the hook here and take 49ers -3 (-120).

My vs predictions:

$100 | LAR -3.5
$250 | OVER 44.5

Tennessee comes into this game banged up and now will be w/o receiver AJ Brown and one of their offensive lineman. Not good news going up against one of the hottest teams in the NFL on their home field.

I actually put $100 on Patriots at +4000 to win the super bowl in week 3 and they are currently +900 to win the super bowl. This will be a big test for the Pats but I'm not betting against them.

My vs predictions:

$500 | NE -7

Two weeks ago against Navy, they didn't take the lead for the first time until the final play before halftime. And last week against Tulane, they were up only 14-12 until they started to pull away late in the third quarter.

Against a Tulsa team that almost beat Oklahoma State and that had Ohio State on the ropes into the fourth quarter, a similar first-half performance could be a major problem.

Prediction: Cincinnati 34, Tulsa 20

My vs predictions:

$500 | TULSA +22.5

I'm really surprised this line is over 4 TD's. But this isn’t your typical LSU team. With Ed Orgeron on the way out and several injuries to the Tigers ranks, this game will not be as close as it has in years past, but 28.5? I think LSU does just enough to get the backdoor cover.

Prediction: Alabama 41, LSU 14

My vs predictions:

$100 | LSU +29

The Boilermakers are averaging 307.1 passing yards per game while Michigan State has allowed a fourth-most-in-the-nation 300.5 passing yards per game, despite having not faced any of the Big Ten's top four passing attacks (Ohio State, Maryland, Purdue and Penn State).

Sparty had no answer for unknown freshman Andrel Anthony this past week, and they might have even more trouble against Purdue's David Bell, who shredded Iowa for 240 receiving yards in the aforementioned massive upset.

Unlike Iowa, at least Michigan State has an elite running back. Kenneth Walker III rushed for five touchdowns against Michigan, single-handedly saving the day. But he was also held in check in MSU's close calls against Nebraska and Indiana. If he's anything less than great in this road game, the Boilermakers can (and probably should) pull off the upset.

Prediction: Purdue 27, Michigan State 24

My vs predictions:

$250 | PURDUE +2.5

Nebraska might be the toughest 3-6 team you'll ever meet. All six of the Cornhuskers' losses have been by eight points or fewer, which includes road games against Oklahoma, Michigan State and Minnesota, as well as home games against Michigan and Purdue.

BUT this may be where the floodgates open and the dam breaks, because Ohio State has beaten Nebraska by at least 35 points in four of their last five meetings.

Nebraska will put a few dents in the scoreboard. Adrian Martinez has very quietly thrown for at least 200 yards in all nine games this season, and this offense has scored multiple touchdowns in each game. But Ohio State is going to repeatedly march down the field against this good-not-great Husker D.

Buying the hook here and taking OSU -14 (-120).

My vs predictions:

$250 | OHIOST -14

Vegas is daring us to pick the Texans based on the enormous spread, but nope, I'm not biting. The Cardinals just decimated a talented (albeit injury-riddled), Browns squad without their head coach/play-caller Kliff Kingsbury, quarterbacks coach Cameron Turner, outside linebacker Chandler Jones, nose tackle Corey Peters, defensive end Zach Allen and center Rodney Hudson. All of those coaches and players missed the game because of a COVID-19 outbreak, but the Cardinals will come into this game fully loaded.

Meanwhile, the Texans have hung with some teams this year, but they've also suffered four double-digit losses and will throw rookie Davis Mills to the wolves again Sunday. It's unlikely to end well.

Score Prediction: Arizona 38- Houston 13

My vs predictions:

$250 | ARI -20

Against FBS opponents, Tulane is 0-5 and has allowed 44.2 points per game. And SMU is merely one of the most potent offenses in the country with a quarterback (Tanner Mordecai) who is averaging 4.3 passing touchdowns per game.

Tulane is good enough on offense to make this interesting for 1-2 quarters, but I predict a pile of points out of the Ponies this weekend.

I'm predicting a SMU 56, Tulane 28 type of score.

My vs predictions:

$250 | SMU -14

We really send our very best to London, don’t we? Lol Look, we already know that the Jaguars are bad. Urban Meyer is a disaster but somehow escaped being the first head coach to lose their job this season. And Trevor Lawrence continues to throw the ball all over the place. But are we sure the Dolphins are much better?

Tua Tagovailoa is back at practice but wasn’t particularly good before getting sidelined with his fractured ribs and will probably be rusty in his return. The Dolphins rank in the bottom quartile of rushing and passing DVOA on both offense and defense. Even the Jags aren’t that bad! In fact, they actually rank second in rushing DVOA. James Robinson has been the best, most efficient RB outside of Dallas. And we send the Jags to London so much this should practically be a home game.

I’ll take the points here in this pillow fight, I like getting the hook on this +3.5 number, not in support of Jacksonville but more of a fade of Miami.

THE PICK: Lean Jaguars +3.5

My vs predictions:

$250 | JAC +1.5

Tampa Bay’s secondary is held together by duct tape right now, but Philly hasn’t been been passing the ball well. The Eagles are a running offense — they rank fourth in rush offense DVOA but just 21st in pass offense DVOA. The Bucs are still one of the league’s elite run defenses, so much that a couple opponents haven’t even tried to run against them.

The Eagles have had a hard time scoring this season, frequently lingering in single points until late or garbage time, and the O-line is in rough shape. If Jalen Hurts can’t hit some big passes, I don’t see how Philly keeps up with this high-powered Tampa offense, even if it’s a bit creaky on a short week.

THE PICK: Bet Bucs -6.5

My vs predictions:

$250 | TB -7

Both teams have been frustratingly unpredictable this season, with New Orleans in particular hitting extreme highs (38-3 over Green Bay at a neutral site) and lows (a home loss to the lowly New York Giants).

Considering neither team can string two wins or two losses together, the Saints would appear to have the advantage coming off their L in this spot.

This line suggests the Saints are a significantly better team than Washington, but I don't believe that to be the case. The WFT's defense is too good to keep struggling, and they'll now get to feast on a notoriously mistake-prone quarterback who will be in trouble behind a banged-up offensive line.

Not a ton of value here bettors as this one feels like a crap shoot, but I'll take Washington here in a small upset.

My vs predictions:

$100 | WAS +2.5

Pittsburgh has looked awful for most of this season and the offensive line is a mess, and Ben Roethlisberger seems cooked. But with Teddy Bridgewater on the shelf last week, the Denver offense ground to a halt, and the Steelers are still a good defensive team.

Drew Lock is not reliable, especially on the road against a desperate and opportunistic unit led by the ferocious T.J. Watt. And while the Denver D ranks seventh in DVOA, Big Ben eventually has to string together a decent performance.

Prediction It won't be pretty, but Pittsburgh will find a way to stop the bleeding and hand the Broncos their second consecutive loss.

My vs predictions:

$250 | PIT +1.5

That was a really good win by LSU last week. The Tigers took advantage of every chance the Bulldogs gave them, the young players played well and they kept their season alive. Auburn probably should have lost last week, and maybe they cycle back to a good effort this week, but I dunno. Things just seem "off" there. The QB position seems to be a problem, and now Auburn goes on the road to Death Valley and might have to play LSU transfer TJ Finley? Nothing about the situation seems good for Auburn.

Betting Pick: LSU -3 (-120)

My vs predictions:

$500 | LSU -3

Middle Tennessee only scored 13 points against UTSA in their last outing and could barely move the ball down the field without giving up a sack or a run play without a loss of yardage. Charlotte isn't as good of team as year's past but in a great spot because their one glaring weakness of giving up yards on the ground will be negated by MTSU’s refusal to run. The Blue Raider’s OL is bad (real bad) and will allow a ton of pressure from the 49ers. Also Charlotte is a heavy run offense and can burn an entire quarter on one drive. Slight lean with Charlotte -3 here but I think the smart money is on the UNDER 56 in this game as both offenses will struggle.

My vs predictions:

$100 | CHARLT -2.5
$500 | UNDER 55.5

The Indianapolis Colts are such a talented and well-coached team that it's hard to believe they're significant underdogs while facing a potential 0-2 start at home. Some might dismiss the Rams' convincing Week 1 victory over Chicago as 'it was just the Bears," but Matthew Stafford had a near perfect QB rating last week and the Rams looked like a team that is going to compete to win the NFC West this season. Meanwhile, the Colts struggled to put together anything on offense in Week 1. And the icing on the cake of me is the Colts are already banged up and without several key players today in: Darius Leonard (ankle), Quenton Nelson (foot/back), Xavier Rhodes (calf) and Braden Smith (foot) are all banged up for the Colts, while L.A. remains healthy.

Score Prediction: Rams 31, Colts 20

My vs predictions:

$250 | LAR -4

We already know that Iowa's defense is exceptional. The Hawkeyes held Indiana without a touchdown and forced four huge turnovers in a convincing road win over Iowa State. Thus far this season, Iowa's defense has scored more touchdowns (three) than it has allowed (two). But this should be the game where we find out how much the Hawkeyes can do on offense, where they have averaged just 238.0 total yards per game.

Kent State allowed 38.0 points per game last fall and relented nearly 600 yards of total offense in a Week 1 loss to Texas A&M. If Spencer Petras is going to throw the ball well against anyone this season, he should certainly be able to do so in this game. Hawkeyes should roll today.

Prediction: Iowa 45, Kent State 7

My vs predictions:

$250 | IOWA -22.5
$500 | UNDER 55.5

Nebraska has bounced back nicely from its meltdown at Illinois, throttling Fordham and Buffalo by a combined score of 80-10. And we saw last night against Maryland that Illinois is a descent team. Dual-threat quarterback Adrian Martinez has looked much, much better than he did in the opener.

The Sooners struggled against Tulane in week 1 and while Oklahoma is the much better team here, I just think Martinez and the Husker offense will be able to do enough to stay within earshot here.

Prediction: Oklahoma 37, Nebraska 21

My vs predictions:

$250 | NEBR +22.5

South Carolina is sitting at 2-0 but don't let this record fool you. The Gamecocks needed a pick-six late in the first half and a last-second field goal in order to erase a 14-0 deficit for a come-from-behind victory over a bad East Carolina team. The other win came against a bad Eastern Illinois team. Shane Beamer might eventually bring this program back to national relevance, but South Carolina is nowhere near ready to pull off a road upset over the best defense in the country. I like Georgia here but 31.5 feels a bit inflated, instead I'm looking at the Under 47 in this one. I don't see South Carolina scoring more than 7 points in this game.

Prediction: Georgia 34, South Carolina 6

My vs predictions:

$500 | UNDER 47.5

Ohio is coming off a 28-26 loss to FCS opponent Duquesne. The Bobcats rallied from a 25-13 deficit in the fourth quarter, only to be thwarted at a two-point attempt that failed with only nine seconds remaining in the contest.

On the other side, Louisiana earned its first win of the season with a 27-24 win over FCS Nicholls. The Ragin' Cajuns actually had a 27-10 lead in the fourth quarter and were able to withstand a two-touchdown effort by the Colonels to hold on for the victory.

PicK: Ohio has struggled to run the ball this season and that doesn’t bode well against a stout Louisiana defense. So this is a game Louisiana should certainly win but based on Louisiana’s early resume this number feels too big. Louisiana struggled in its season-opening loss to Texas (38-18) and had to hold on versus a weak FCS team in Nicholls in Week 2. Buying this one up to +21 (-120) and taking the Bobcats to stay within ear shot.

My vs predictions:

$250 | OHIO +19

The Golden Bears have consistently been one of the best defensive teams in the Pac-12 as of late, but the Bears offense is one of the worst offenses in the Pac-12 - averaging fewer than 22 points per game. This line feels about right so not in love with the side bet here, but looking at the O/U 47 which is low for a college game and it's low for a reason. We've got two solid defenses against a bad offense and an average offense so I don't expect to see a ton of scoring here.

Prediction: TCU 24, Cal 13

My vs predictions:

$250 | UNDER 46.5

Save for Ohio State-Oregon, the early slate of games this week is not great. The only other ranked team even kicking off before 2:30 p.m. ET is Florida, which should destroy South Florida. But that just means Pittsburgh-Tennessee is the clear-cut second-screen viewing choice in my area today.

Both the Panthers (vs. Massachusetts) and the Volunteers (vs. Bowling Green) annihilated what might be the two worst teams in the FBS ranks, so it's hard to take anything away from either sides first games last week. I'm just not buying this Tennessee team, QB Joe Milton III failed to even complete 50 percent of his passes in a game that didn't start to get out of hand until midway through the third quarter against a bad BG defense. Tennessee ran the ball quite well last week, but Pitt had one of the stingiest rush defenses in the country last year and have 7 starters back on that side of the ball. Going with Pittsburgh here even if more of a fade of Tennessee from what I saw in week 1.

Prediction: Pittsburgh 34, Tennessee 23

My vs predictions:

$500 | PITT -4

🏈 Early NFL 9/12 Picks

Seahawks -2.5(-110) *2u

9ers -7.5(-110)

9ers u44.5(-110)

Cardinals o52(-110)

Patriots o43.5(-110)

Packers -4(-110)

My vs predictions:

$500 | GB -3.5

Detroit has made some progress towards being respectable this season, Baltimore has maintained its spot as one of the worst teams in the league. The O’s might have the much much better lineup but are not even close on the mound today. Casey Mize is having the best season from a Tigers pitcher in some time. The team is 6-4 in his last 10 starts and 2 starts ago he did not give up an earned run to Baltimore over 7.0 innings. There is no reason he can’t do it again. Orioles will be sending out lefty Keegan Aikin - he has been getting hit hard and they took him out of the rotation for a little bit. He is back in there now but it is hard to expect anything different in terms of results. His home ERA is 2 runs lower but it is still just 6.41. Getting Detroit here at even money is best bet on the board today.

My vs predictions:

$500 | DET -129

Angels Chris Rodriguez has a 2-1 record but he has not pitched very well and his Minor League stats show that he is not really a prospect. The Toronto offense is red hot and I think they get to the rookie today. This first game will also be a shortened game as it’s a makeup game from earlier this year, so this spot creates a nice advantage for the Jays too as the bullpen is likely not as much of a factor.

My vs predictions:

$250 | TOR -1.5
$250 | TOR -165

This was a game I circled as soon as I saw Kyle Muller was scheduled to start for the Braves in place of Max Fried. Muller had a 4.60 ERA over 31 1/3 innings in Triple-A this season, and he has only thrown five big league innings over two appearances. There is a lot of potential for implosion on the mound today for Atlanta.

The Reds have already taken two of the first three games of this series, and they have their ace Tyler Mahle to the mound today against a bum in Muller. Let's go Cincinnati -155 ML and average down with a 2nd bet on Cincinnati RL +125.

My vs predictions:

$250 | CIN -152

Over the last two weeks, the Arizona Diamondbacks are batting just .237 as a team and will be facing Yu Darvish who has a 2.50 ERA and Darvish coming off a game against the Dodgers where he struck out 11 over six innings while allowing just two hits.

And while the Padres have an offense capable of topping this 7.5 over/under on their own, the Diamondbacks are sending Zac Gallen to the mound. Gallen just spent some time on the injured list with an elbow sprain, but he is one of the better young pitchers in baseball and allowed just one earned run while striking out eight over five innings in his last start. I’m betting on Darvish shutting down a bad Diamondbacks lineup and Gallen to limit the damage against Fernando Tatis Jr. and that Padres lineup. The play here is UNDER 7.5 runs.

My vs predictions:

$500 | UNDER 7.5

The Blue Jays are one of the hottest teams in baseball, and they finally added George Springer to their already-potent lineup. Ross Stripling, gets the nod for Toronto this afternoon- in five of his last six starts, Stripling has allowed only two or fewer runs. In four of those, he has allowed one or fewer. His ERA is still a rather pedestrian 4.33, but it was 7.20 back on May 19 and has been freefalling.

The O's are countering with Jorge Lopez, who is 2-9 with a 5.68 ERA and 1.46 WHIP on the season. The Orioles are not a good team, and they may very well have the worst pitching staff in baseball. That isn’t a good combination when facing an offensive juggernaut like the Blue Jays. There's only one platy here and that's the Toronto RL -134.

My vs predictions:

$250 | TOR -223

And lets add some Boston -115. The Red Sox lineup should have no problem getting to Keller on Saturday, who ranks in the bottom 3% of the league in xBA, xwOBA and xERA this season.

My vs predictions:

$500 | BOS -116

Cease has been pretty dominant this season and Urena has a 2-5 record and sitting on a 4.25 ERA. Detroit's offense is one of the worst in the league and Chicaog's is ranked 5th. Give me the much better offense and the much better hurler. Betting Pick: Chicago RL -1.5 (+110)

My vs predictions:

$250 | CHW -172

If Triston McKenzie gets the nod I'll back Cleveland here. McKenzie has been a bright spot for the Indians - two starts ago, he tossed five scoreless innings before fanning 10 batters in his next outing.

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