Both teams are facing uncertainty in this matchup, but it seems like the underdog Tar Heels are the better bet here and it's hard to back UCLA here with Jaime Jaquez Jr. nursing a badly sprained ankle and may not be able to take the floor. UNC has the advantage on the glass where they average 40.3 rebounds per game and with Jaquez most likely out for this game, I think it proves too for UCLA to overcome.
Iowa State is comfortable playing at different speeds, and the key will be weathering an early punch from Miami's up-tempo offense. This might be a game between double-digit seeds, but it's going to be entertaining. Which team can knock down a few 3's in the second half? That will be the difference. We'll go with the Cyclones in yet another upset.
It will be fun to see how Notre Dame's explosive offense plays against the stiff defense of Rutgers, but I like ND and the OVER 132 here. Notre Dame's offense has been a juggernaut this season and has averaged 81.42 points PG in their last 7 games.
Iowa has been a covering machine and already destroyed Northwestern once this season. The Hawkeyes were 10.5-point home favorites in that 82-61 victory Feb 28.
While Murray leads the show, Iowa has four players averaging double figures in points on a routine basis. Iowa is also 7-3 ATS with a rest advantage, which it will have here with Northwestern having to play in the first round yesterday.
More transfers and opt outs has the Tigers' roster depleted down to 45 players at most, including no scholarship quarterback, unless they plan on burning Garrett Nussmeier's redshirt.
LSU key players missing for this game: QB Max Johnson, linebacker Damone Clark, running back Tyrion Davis-Price and defensive tackle Neil Farrell Jr. — announced they opted out to train for the NFL draft. Additional LSU players not on the Sunday roster were - were sophomore cornerback Dwight McGlothern, senior safety Cameron Lewis, fifth-year defensive tackle Glen Logan, junior cornerback Cordale Flott, backup offensive lineman Garrett Dellinger, senior linebacker Micah Baskerville and freshman running back Armoni Goodwin.
It's no wonder this line has jumped to -7 with how depleted this LSU team is limping into this game. I look for Skylar Thompson and Deuce Vaughn both to have monster games. And I expect KSU offensive coordinator Collin Klein to call a great game here and prove himself as one of the brightest young OC's out there.
The Colts activated Carson Wentz off the COVID list and Indy has the majority of their starting offensive line back. Meanwhile, Taylor has averaged 143.4 yards from scrimmage since Week 4 while the Raiders have allowed the fifth-most rushing touchdowns (14) and third-most receiving touchdowns (6) to running backs this season.
The Raiders have only one quality receiver, Hunter Renfro, available for this game and will be one-dimensional with running Josh Jacobs. Simply not enough weapons against Indy's defense. I've got the Colts here by double digits.
The Giants are in shambles without Daniel Jones and have scored more than 10 points just once in their four games without him. The Giants had 16 players on their Thursday injury report, and several more on the COVID-19 list. Plus, the two-dozen or so on IR. The season can’t end fast enough for New York. Jake Fromm was predictably incompetent in the team’s latest blowout loss, and the combination of him and Mike Glennon we’ll likely see on Sunday is even less inspiring. The Bears did show some life against Seattle with Foles at QB in last outing. I’m going with the Bears solely because David Montgomery has really been heating up lately and the Giants are a hot mess.
Wisconsin's Braelon got dinged up late in the season but reported comes into this game 100%. The Badgers offensive line likely will be missing two starters in Logan Bruss (foot) and center Joe Tippmann (undisclosed injury).
Badgers quarterback Graham Mertz has things in his favor facing a ASU secondary missing its top two corners, so long as the offensive line holds up in pass protection. The amount of two tight end sets that UW employs could keep ASU in its base defense and help the Badgers attack through the air.
The Sun Devils’ will be w/o their best RB in Rachaad White who opted out of the game. And to compound issues, their second-leading rusher Deamonte Tayanum entered the transfer portal and also won't play. ASU had success this season attacking defenses with its strong interior offensive line, but it’s hard to imagine the Sun Devils will be able to lean on that against the Badgers’ front seven.
This game is tough pick but Arizona State’s short handed lineup tip the scales toward UW here in what should setup as a low scoring game.
The good news for the Tar Heels is that QB Sam Howell intends to start this game. On the other side, South Carolina had mass defections, including starting QB Jason Brown, who hit the transfer portal. Untested QB Zeb Noland, who had just 597 passing yards this season, will get the starting nod. The Gamecocks leading rusher RB ZaQuandre White and stud DE Kingsley Enagbare both opted out.
PICK: The best play here is UNC -11, despite the fact the Tar Heels have had issues in bowl games in the past. UNC has the best player on the field in Howell, and he won’t have to contend with Enagbare.
The Titans will most likely be getting A.J. Brown back in this game, but with the pass protection having a colossal meltdown in recent weeks, I’m not sure it will have the impact most Titans bettors are hoping for here.
I think the Titans still struggle to score, but I think the Titans defense does a good job preventing SF from scoring as well. Points will be at a premium and that means there will be an emphasis on field position and the red zone. So the best bet here is UNDER 44.
If I had to pick a team to turn it over, I think the Titans will. If I had to pick a play caller to score TDs in the red zone, I’m picking Kyle Shanahan over Todd Downing.
The Titans smashed the Jacksonville Jaguars 37-19 when they met earlier this season, but the Titans have been on a massive backslide since losing Derrick Henry, A.J. Brown and Julio Jones to injury. But I think this is a get right game against a 2-10 Jags team that looked inept as ever in a 30-point road loss to the Rams last week. The Titans are still fighting for playoff position, and they should take care of the Jaguars by double digits in this one.
The Aztecs appear to actually be getting worse on offense as the season progresses. They've been held to 20 points or fewer in four consecutive games, but they've won three of them because they're well above average on defense and because opponents often need to go 60-plus yards just to get into field-goal range after an Araiza moon shot.
But like Fresno State, which beat San Diego State 30-20 two weeks ago, Nevada is well equipped for those long drives, boasting an excellent quarterback in Carson Strong. His ability to throw against any defense combined with Nevada's propensity for takeaways (19 in nine games) should yield a win for the Wolf Pack this weekend.
Southern Miss has the worst offense in the nation and have yet to score 20 points against an FBS opponent. Winning a road game against an undefeated team that averages a just under 40 points per game would require a miracle. Even if UTSA sleepwalks through the first half while peeking ahead to next week's showdown with UAB, it'll still cruise to victory. Thick spread here so treading lightly but I'd take UTSA here if forced to play it.
Arizona snapped a 20-game losing streak last week, edging a short-handed California team 10-3. Good for the Wildcats, but I think it's time to start a new losing streak.
It might not be quite as ugly as Utah's 52-7 win over Stanford last Friday, but it is beyond difficult to imagine Arizona's anemic offense keeping pace with an excellent Utes rushing attack that has gone for at least 180 yards and multiple touchdowns in six consecutive games. Don't be fooled by Arizona's win last week, the Wildcats still stink.
LSU put up a valiant fight against Bama' last week, but I think it would be a knee jerk reaction to play the Tigers this week. Not to mention I think Alabama is over rated this season but that's a story for another day.
LSU keeps trying to establish the run, but with the exception of shredding Florida, it just hasn't been working. As a result, the Tigers have been held to 21 points or fewer in four of their last five games.
LSU's anemic offense isn't going to cut it against an Arkansas offense that has run the ball at will against every opponent not named Georgia, especially considering Kentucky, UCLA, Ole Miss and Auburn ran for miles against LSU.
Between the recent wins over Alabama and Missouri, it's clear Texas A&M is figuring out this offense thing. It felt like quarterback Zach Calzada gained about three years' worth of experience in that performance against the Crimson Tide, and then running backs Isaiah Spiller and Devon Achane paved the way against the Tigers. It was a 180 from what we saw from the Aggies through the first five weeks.
The same cannot be said for South Carolina, which has yet to reach 24 points against an FBS opponent this season. The Gamecocks defense also allowed 40 to Georgia and 45 to Tennessee, so this could get ugly if A&M continues to cook on offense.
NC State's defense is legit this year, they're allowing only 14.3 points and 292.7 total yards per game. Among ACC teams, only the Clemson D has been stingier on the scoreboard, and no one has been tougher to move the ball against. And the Wolfpack have been especially good on the ground, allowing just one rushing touchdown all season.
As was the case last week for Boston College against NC State, that means Miami will need something special from a quarterback (Tyler Van Dyke) who is only starting because of a season-ending injury to the previous starter (D'Eriq King). The offense hasn’t been bad under Tyler Van Dyke. Frankly he’s not King, and he only hit 44% of his passes with three picks against North Carolina, but he’s thrown for over 200 yards in each of his three starts and the team was in a position in each of the last two games to get wins.
Vegas only likes NC State by a field goal, but the Wolfpack should win convincingly and make Miami seriously consider adding Manny Diaz to the shockingly long list of head coaches who have already been fired.
Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer said his team's offensive performance last week against the Seattle Seahawks was its best in his eight-year tenure. But the Vikes have rarely been consistent offensively during that period, and quarterback Kirk Cousins is a Jekyll-and-Hyde.
Cousins has yet to throw an interception, but he gets his biggest test so far against this stingy Browns defense. With an unblockable Myles Garrett leading the defense and a two-headed rushing attack, Cleveland should control this game.
Garrett had 4.5 sacks against the Bears last week, and the Minnesota offensive line is far from legendary. The Vikes were desperate to save their season last week, but it's tough to keep that flowing two weeks in a row against high-quality opponents. A team with the league's 27th-ranked run defense could be in trouble against Mayfield and CO. today.
Dalvin Cook is questionable (but expected to play) but I still like the Browns here in what should be a helluva game.
Indiana has yet to play their best football this season. The Hoosiers threw two pick-sixes in their Week 1 loss to Iowa, and they committed four turnovers in a Week 3 loss to Cincinnati. I don't trust Penn State's offense to cover a double digit spread against this good Indiana team. If the Hoosier's play a clean game and avoid turning the ball over, we could see this game come down to the wire.
At this point, it's pretty clear that Iowa's offense is lackluster, at best. The Hawkeyes are averaging below 300 yards of total offense per game, and their rushing attack has now been held to 1.7 yards per carry in two of their past three games. Not much offensive output from the Hawkeyes.
But Iowa's defense is exceptionally good. All four of the Hawkeyes' opponents have been held below 100 rushing yards and to 17 points or fewer, and that's going to be a substantial uptick in difficulty level for an undefeated Maryland offense that has faced a favorable schedule thus far.
Good luck picking a side in this one, but I do like think this game sets up for a low scoring game. Iowa's anemic offense combined with a stellar defense will keep this one under the total.
Jorge Lopez is one of those guys that’s better than he’s recent…at least recently at least. He’s just 3-12 on the season but he is having some better luck lately, giving up only 3 runs in last 2 starts over 12 IP. Baltimore has actually won 4 of his last 5 starts. It’s hard to bet against Chris Sale but if he’s not 100% today then Baltimore is in a great spot to steal the game. I'll take a stab at the big plus money here.
Jose Suarez gave up eight runs (four earned) in 3 1/3 innings on Tuesday against the Rockies. Jordan Lyles was great in his last start against Arizona only giving up 2 runs over 7 IP. Against my better judgement I'm going with Texas here.
Bryce Wilson was hit hard by St. Louis last week and gave up 5 earned over 4 innings. But Wilson bounced back in last start against the Mets not allowing any runs over 3 innings. I'm bullish on Wilson - he was brought up to fill in for the injured Tucker Davidson. He is a future starter, had a good spring, and is a better pitcher than what we’ve seen early.
Prediction: Wilson surprises tonight with 4-5 solid innings of work and Pittsburgh sneaks off to early lead. But I wouldn't be surprised if Pittsburgh’s pen blows it late. But at these odds, I'll take a flyer on Wilson and Pittsburgh +165 (1st Five Innings).
Both teams enter the Conference finals down one star player. Chris Paul, is still currently in the leagueâ€™s health and safety protocol will miss Game 1 of the series. Kawhi Leonard is out for at least the first two games with a knee sprain. The bigger loss here is Kawhi for the Clippers.
With Leonard out, the Clippers no longer have the luxury of being able to confidently say they have the best player in the series on their side. On a given night, it could be George, but it could also be Booker or Paul (when/if he plays). It could even be Ayton, if can make the most of his size and skill against LAâ€™s wings.
This series comes down to availability of Chris Paul.
With Paul for majority of games: Suns win in six games Without Paul for majority of games: Clippers win in six games
TODAY'S PICK: Despite posting a pair of impressive victories with Leonard on the sidelines to put away Utah, I still feel the Clippers are sitting ducks against Phoenix ahead of this next series â€“ especially coming off an exhausting 7 game series and without their best player in Kawhi. Iâ€™ll lay the points with Phoenix to start the series.
Stripling carried a 7.20 ERA into late May, but has allowed just one run over 12 innings in his last two starts.Ross Stripling has pitched better as of late and Toronto has the much better bullpen (3.65 ERA) compared to Houston's pen (4.41 ERA). I like Stripling to keep it rolling.
Kikuchi carried a no-hitter into the sixth inning his last time out against Texas, flashing much more intent behind his two-strike pitches than ever before. Kikuchi has been going deep into games too - going at least six innings in nine of his 10 starts this season. On the other side, Cobb has been phenomenal since returning from the injured list, allowing one run in 12 innings with 12 strikeouts in two starts. If both starters bring their A-game this one should be a defensive game.
The Braves have won the past three games started by Morton, who has posted a 2.50 ERA over that span. Itâ€™s going to be a lower scoring game, but the offense should be able to give Morton enough run support to get the W here at +123 plus money.
This matchup features two of the better teams in the C-USA with 7-2 Marshall taking on 9-4 Western Kentucky. Western Kentucky has defeated strong teams this season. They topped Rhode Island and Alabama of the SEC and have an experienced roster. Marshall had trouble on the road against L.A. Tech last weekend, surrendering 75 and 73 points respectively and the Hilltoppers are a better team than L.A. Tech. Western Kentucky has the edge defensively, the Hilltoppers have limited their opponent to an average of only 66 points in their four conference games, and the defense should help them get the win at home here today.
Hofstra normally plays a zone defense and that will frustrate some of the newer Delaware players, who normally wouldn't be getting this much playing time Gianmarco Arletti is a freshman guard who is averaging 15.4 minutes per game, but wasn't playing around five minutes per game until the last three games. He has performed fairly well, but asking a freshman to play 39 minutes is a tough ask against a seasoned Hofstra backcourt. Hofstra is only 1-4 ATS last 5 games and coming off of a 9 point loss to Northeastern in a game they were favored by 2 points, but Hofstra is still the better team here and I think they beat up on Delaware here this afternoon.