2021 NFL Super Bowl Odds: Prepare for Mahomes vs. Lamar

By: James Tillman

Greetings and salutations football fans. Welcome back to our weekly look at the teams in the running to win it all in 2021. Following Week 1, the teams that were in the running for the title of championship contenders from a betting standpoint included the New Orleans Saints, Baltimore Ravens, and the defending champion Kansas City Chiefs.

Were these teams able to hold on to their respective positions or did were they bumped off the list? So, without further ado, here’s a look at the three teams with the best Super Bowl odds.

Third-Best Super Bowl Odds: New Orleans Saints (+1100). Last Week’s Odds (+1000)

The New Orleans Saints finished with one of the best records in the NFC in 2019. And they also won their season opener as well. Unfortunately, they came up a bit short against the Las Vegas Raiders in Week 2. Despite jumping out to a 10-0 lead after the first quarter, the Raiders manage to tie the game at 17 going into halftime.

Furthermore, the Raiders held the Saints to just seven points the rest of the way en route to a somewhat surprising 34-24 victory. Although the Saints didn’t fare too well against a team that didn’t make it to the playoffs last season, they should still be expected to contend for a postseason berth when it’s said and done.

Second-Best NFL Super Bowl Odds: Kansas City Chiefs (+500). Last Week’s Odds (No Change)

The Kansas City Chiefs overcame an early deficit against the Houston Texans in Week 1. If this sounds familiar to you, that’s because it’s not the first time this squad has fallen behind early before going on to win the game. Following a 34-20 victory over the Houston Texans, the Chiefs were given all they could handle against the Los Angeles Chargers.

In this contest, the Chiefs were down 17-9 before outscoring the Chargers 11-3 in the fourth quarter, sending the two teams into an overtime period. Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker would play the role of hero in this one, converting the game-winning 58-yard field goal with 1:55 remaining in the extra session, giving Kansas City a 23-20 victory. Given the fact they are the defending champions, look for the Chiefs to be in the running all season long.

Best NFL 2021 Super Bowl Odds: Baltimore Ravens (+500). Last Week’s Odds (No Change)

The Baltimore Ravens concluded the 2019 NFL season with 12 consecutive wins. For obvious reasons that fact gets lost in the shuffle when you flame out in the postseason. After steamrolling over the Cleveland Browns to the tune of 38-6 in their season opener, the Ravens took on the Texans in Week 2.

While the Texans put up more of a fight than the Browns did (as expected), the Ravens won the game by a 33-16 margin. Reigning MVP Lamar Jackson completed 18 of his 24 passes for 204 yards, including one touchdown. The victory gave the Ravens their 14th straight regular-season victory and the longest such winning streak since the Carolina Panthers accomplished the feat back in 2014-15.

The Ravens and Chiefs are two of the best football teams in the AFC and it would be fitting if these two powerhouses met in the playoffs with a chance to play for the Super Bowl on the line.

Week 3 NFL MVP Odds: Let. Russ. Cook

By: James Tillman

We are now two weeks through the current NFL season and the race for league MVP is in full swing. In 2018, Patrick Mahomes came away with the prestigious hardware. Last season, Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson won the award after guiding his team to the best record in the league.

That said, it was only fitting that those two were ranked one and two in the MVP race. Did that trend continue or did a few other names make their way onto the list? Here’s a look at the players with the best odds to win the MVP award based on their performances from Week 2.

Third-Best NFL MVP Odds: Patrick Mahomes (+500), Last Week’s Odds (+300)

Patrick Mahomes is coming off a 2019 campaign in which he and the Kansas City Chiefs won the Super Bowl. And following a three-touchdown, 211-yard outing in a 34-20 win against the Houston Texans, Mahomes had the best MVP odds. Against the Los Angeles Chargers, though, the Chiefs narrowly escaped with a 23-20 win.

In that contest, Mahomes failed to complete less than half of his pass attempts in the first half before finishing 27-for-47 for 302 yards and a pair of touchdowns. While Mahomes may have dropped to the bottom of the list, chances are he won’t stay there for long.

Second-Best NFL MVP Odds: Lamar Jackson (+500), Last Week’s Odds (No Change)

For the second straight week, Lamar Jackson comes in at the No. 2 spot on our list. Although he didn’t put up the same numbers as he did in the season opener (completed 20 of 25 passes, 275 yards, and three scores), Jackson still had a decent outing. He threw for 204 yards, including one touchdown pass to go along with 54 yards on the ground.

Thanks to having one of the best backfields in the league, the Ravens went on to beat the Texans 33-16, extending their regular-season winning streak to 14 games – the longest in the NFL since Carolina won 18 consecutive games in 2014-15.

Best NFL MVP Odds: Russell Wilson (+300), Last Week’s Odds (+600)

Welcome to the top of the list, Mr. Wilson. A week ago, Wilson was No. 3 on the MVP odds list but has catapulted to the top spot. In Week 2, Wilson and the Seahawks squared off against Cam Newton and the New England Patriots. Just like the Super Bowl game between these two teams a few years ago, the outcome wasn’t decided until the last play.

The Patriots had the ball on the one-yard line and Cam Newton attempted to run the ball but was stopped short of the endzone, allowing the Seahawks to escape with a 35-30 victory. Russell continued his hot start to the season, completing 21 of 28 passes for 288 yards and five touchdowns. It was the fourth time in his career in which he has thrown five TD passes in a game. Last week, I stated that the MVP was a two-man race, but Wilson is quickly showing why he deserves to be in the conversation as well.

Best Picks for Week 3 of 2020 NFL Season

By: James Tillman

Welcome back to our best picks for Week 3 of the 2020 NFL season. In Week 2, I predicted that the Green Bay Packers would knock off the Detroit Lions in an NFC North divisional showdown. I also predicted that the San Francisco 49ers and the Tennessee Titans would win their games as well.

On the heels of a perfect 3-0 week, my overall record on the season has improved to 4-1. Hopefully, that trend will continue this week. In any case, here’s a look at some of the best bets for Week 3.

Since the upcoming week features a few marquee names at the quarterback position, I’m going to attempt to pick the winner in those two contests before offering my sure bet of the week.

Green Bay Packers vs. New Orleans Saints (-3)

Both teams had pretty good seasons in 2019. Additionally, both teams feature future Hall-of-Fame quarterbacks in Aaron Rodgers and Drew Brees. The Packers come into this matchup at 2-0, after knocking the Minnesota Vikings 43-34 in the season opener and blowing out the Detroit Lions 42-21 in Week 2.

Meanwhile, the Saints are coming off a somewhat surprising 34-24 loss against the Las Vegas Raiders. Although both quarterbacks can put up 300-yard games in their sleep, with the top wideout targets out on both sides – Davante Adams for Green Bay and Michael Thomas for the Saints — the rushing game could play an integral role in who comes out on top here.

While the Saints are favored by three points, I’m going to go with my gut and pick the Packers. The reason behind this pick is because Green Bay leads the league in total offense (1,010 yards) and they have the most rushing yards of any team in the league (417) and they’re averaging 42.5 points per contest – which is also the best mark in the NFL.

James’ Pick: Packers +3

Kansas City Chiefs vs. Baltimore Ravens (-3)

This is the game of the week, and it isn’t even close. These are the two teams that everyone expected to see in the AFC championship game last season, but it wasn’t in the cards as the Ravens were upended by the Tennessee Titans in the divisional playoff round. Although the stakes aren’t as high compared with that of a postseason contest, there will be plenty of fireworks considering that you have two quarterbacks that bring a lot to the table from both sides.

Patrick Mahomes makes difficult throws look easy and can kill an opponent with big plays or via a methodical approach of short passes, as he did against the Chargers last week. On the other side, you have Lamar Jackson who won the MVP award last season. Need I say more?

Jackson has proven to be one of the most talented quarterbacks in the league through the air and on the ground as well. My concern about the champs is they are playing their second road game in as many weeks and their offense hasn’t exactly been a thing of beauty through the first two weeks. Still, this is the game that the Chiefs’ offense will take center stage in a close win.

James’ Pick: Chiefs +3

Houston Texans vs. Pittsburgh Steelers (-4)

The Houston Texans have had their struggles this season. Not only are they 0-2, but both losses have been by double-digit margins. On the other side of this matchup, you have a Pittsburgh Steelers team that is 2-0, even if they didn’t look overly impressive in a 26-21 win over the Denver Broncos last week.

After missing all but two games last season, Steelers’ quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has been playing well, having thrown for 540 yards, five touchdowns (against one interception) and he has a passer rating of 107.1. Given the fact that the Texans haven’t had much success against the run or pass, look for Big Ben to have a field day against Houston’s defense. Not only will the Steelers win the game, but they will also exceed the four-point spread.

James’ Pick: Steelers -4


NFL 2021 SUPER BOWL ODDS: Mahomes or Lamar, Chiefs or Ravens?

By: James Tillman

Happy Wednesday NFL fans. With everything that has been going on in the world over the past several months, I’m sure you more than happy that your favorite sport is in full swing. The 2019 NFL season concluded with the Kansas City Chiefs overcoming a double-digit, fourth-quarter deficit to win their first championship in 50 years.

As is the case when a team wins a championship, the media begins posing the question as to whether the champion can repeat next season. While one week is certainly too early to start that discussion, the defending champions did kick off their 2020 season on a high note (more on that in a bit) but there a few other teams that could make some noise this year as well.

So, without further ado, let’s look at the top three teams who are the odds-on favorites to win the 2021 Super Bowl (according to Unibet).

Third-Best Super Bowl Odds: New Orleans Saints (+1000)

The New Orleans Saints were coming off a season in which they went 13-3. This was the third straight season that they had won at least 11 games. Unfortunately, they were defeated by the Minnesota Vikings 26-20 in the wild-card round of the NFC playoffs.

That said, you can imagine that this ball club was anxious to get the season off to a good start. The Saints’ opponent in Week 1 was none other than Tom Brady and the new-look Tampa Bay Buccaneers – a matchup between the two leading passers in NFL history. Although the Buccaneers marched down the field on their first drive of the game, the Saints’ defense forced them to come up empty on their next five possessions.

And despite a somewhat mediocre outing from Drew Brees (18-for-30, 160 yards), the Saints scored 17 points off three Tampa Bay miscues en route to a 34-23 victory and they were the only team in their division (NFC South) to win its opening game.

Second-Best Super Bowl Odds: Baltimore Ravens (+500)

The Baltimore Ravens finished 2019 with the best record in the NFL, going 14-2. However, their postseason run was abruptly ended by the Tennessee Titans in the divisional round of the playoffs.

Looking to prove that their success from a year ago was not a fluke, the Ravens kicked off their season by whooping on the Cleveland Browns to the tune of 38-6. Reigning MVP, Lamar Jackson, completed 20 of 25 passes for 275 yards. He also ran for a team-leading 45 yards. So, for those of us who are tempted to crown the Chiefs as champs again, the Ravens are showing that it’s not wise to count them out.

Best Super-Bowl Odds: Kansas City Chiefs (+500)

On the heels of a season that saw them win their first title in five decades, the Kansas City Chiefs faced a familiar foe in Week 1 – the Houston Texans. These teams met in the divisional round of the playoffs last season. In that contest, the Texans jumped out to a 24-0 lead in the second quarter. Kansas City not only erased that 24-point deficit, but they also went on to win that game by a 51-31 margin.

So, what happened when these two teams faced off once again? Well, it was more of the same. The Texans jumped out to an early 7-0 lead before the Chiefs rattled off 31 consecutive points. Houston added two late touchdowns to make the final margin respectable, but Kansas City came away with a 34-20 victory.

Patrick Mahomes completed 24 of 32 passes for 211 yards and three scores. And on the defensive side of the ball, Kansas City sacked Deshaun Watson four times. Again, titles aren’t won in one game, but the Chiefs sure played like a team looking to successfully defend its title.

Best Against the Spread Picks for Week 1

By: James Tillman 

James Tillman’s NFL Best Bets for Week 1

Are you ready for some football? Those are the six words that mean that the upcoming football season is right around the corner. For obvious reasons, this is big-time news for NFL fans. The big game that took place back in February saw the Kansas City Chiefs take on the San Francisco 49ers. San Francisco led by a double-digit margin in the final frame.  

But as they had done several times before, the Chiefs managed to overcome that advantage en route to winning the team’s first Super Bowl title in five decades. Was this win the beginning of the next NFL dynasty, or will someone challenge the champions during the 2020 NFL season? But before we start getting too far ahead of ourselves here, let’s take a look at our best pick(s) for Week 1. 

NFL Best Bet ATS for Week 1, No. 1: Arizona Cardinals at San Francisco 49ers

San Francisco 49ers (-7) vs. Arizona Cardinals 

For our first sure pick, we have a matchup between two division rivals. Last season, the 49ers finished with one of the best records in the league at 13-3. Additionally, the 49ers had the fourth-best offense in the NFL, totaling 381.1 yards per game and they also had the second-best defense in the league as well, giving up just 281.8 yards per outing.  

Meanwhile, the Cardinals finished last in the NFC West at 5-10. Along with that, the Cardinals had the 21st-best offense in the NFL and finished dead last in total yards allowed per game at 402. Based on the numbers, the 49ers should not only win this game, but they should also cover the spread as well.  

NFL Best Bet ATS for Week 1, No. 2: Houston Texans at Kansas City Chiefs

Houston Texans vs. Kansas City Chiefs (-9) 

Ironically, these two teams faced off in last year’s AFC divisional playoffs. In that contest, the Houston Texans were rolling early as they jumped out to a 24-0 lead. Unfortunately for the Texans, that three-score lead would not hold up. In fact, the Chiefs erased the huge deficit thanks to scoring 41 consecutive points.  

And when it was all said and done, the Chiefs ended up winning the game by a 51-31 margin. It was the biggest comeback win in franchise history. While the Texans should prove to be a formidable opponent for the defending champs, look for the Chiefs to get the better of their opponent this time around as well and start the season off on a high note and win by double-digits.

Washington Football Team Odds and Betting Preview

By: Faux John Madden (Special to OddsUSA.com)

Washington Football Team 2020 Betting Preview 

Who Decided Joining This Dumpster Fire of a Professional Franchise was a Good Idea? 
QB Kyle Allen (Panthers) 
RB Peyton Barber (Buccaneers) 
CB Ronald Darby (Eagles) 
FS Sean Davis (Steelers) 
LB Thomas Davis Sr. (Chargers) 
CB Kendall Fuller (Chiefs) 
RB J.D. McKissic (Lions) 
G Wes Schweitzer (Falcons) 
TE Logan Thomas (Lions) 
OL Jeremy Vujnovich (Cardinals) 

Who Got to Escape This Football Wasteland 
OT Trent Williams (Traded to 49ers) 
CB Josh Norman (Bills) 
CB Quinton Dunbar (Traded to Seahawks) 
G Ereck Flowers (Dolphins) 
RB Chris Thompson (Jaguars) 
FB Michael Burton (Saints) 
TE Vernon Davis (Retired) 
TE Jordan Reed (For some reason hasn’t retired; Signed in San Fran) 
WR Paul Richardson (Free Agent) 
CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (Free Agent) 

Held Against His Will Due to the Franchise Tag 
G Brandon Scherff (Signed tender) 

Best Sportsbooks 2020

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  • Pennsylvania
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Colorado
  • Illinois

Washington Football Team’s Offseason Review

Daniel Snyder Hired a Respected Football Coach?!   
He did!  After eight seasons in Carolina, Ron Rivera was let go by new Panthers ownership looking to rebuild the team. Somehow, Daniel Snyder was able to convince Ron Rivera to join this clown show of a franchise over any of the other 31 teams!   

Rivera’s hiring in Washington was made possible by Jay Gruden doing Jay Gruden things and subsequently getting fired in October after an 0-5 start to the 2019 season. 

Rivera’s craft comes on the defensive side of the football, and in Washington he is inheriting one of the most impressive defensive lines in all of football, a unit that got even richer thanks to their first-round selection of Ohio State star Chase Young.    

It’s a rarity in the Daniel Snyder regime when he makes a prudent decision to better his football team, but landing Rivera to be the team’s new coach is definitely a step in the right direction. 

Daniel Snyder Changed the Team’s Name?! 

He did! To say the political tone in the country has drastically changed in recent months would be vastly underselling the current climate of everything going on, but the team now has a soccer like “Washington Football Team” name bestowed upon them for the 2020 season until a new permanent nickname is decided. 

But now, you will have an NFL team looking like 2K Sports created a football game without licensing rights.  

Also, it bears repeating, how in the world do you not call them the “Washington Football Club” Dan?!  That’s a lay-up even the Washington Wizards wouldn’t miss.  

 Washington Football Team 2019 Season Review 

One word can summarize Washington’s 2019 season. 

Yikes. 

The team without a name in 2020, played most of 2019 without an offense. After Alex Smith suffered a horrific leg injury in 2018, Jay Gruden was left to scramble to find a quarterback to man his offense. For Gruden, the desired QB was Case Keenum. For Snyder, it was first-round pick Dwayne Haskins.  

The inner-conflict about who should play quarterback for the nameless squadron ultimately led to Gruden losing his job after a dreadful 0-5 start to the season, and Haskins would wind up finishing the season as the team’s quarterback, but not until Week 9 of the lost season. 

The team’s best player on offense was their franchise left-tackle Trent Williams. Snyder, naturally, botched this entire thing as well. Williams would hold out until the trade deadline for how the team handled an injury and cancer scare over the past few years.  The offense was doomed from the start.  

There weren’t a whole lot of good things to happen to Washington a season ago.  Even their wins would prove long-term to work against them. 

In the immediate week after the team fired Gruden, they would play the Miami Dolphins and leave Miami with a 17-16 win — only because Kenyan Drake dropped the game-winning two-point conversion. 

That moment would eventually cost Washington the No. 1 overall pick. And we can only speculate how that would have changed their approach to the 2020 season and beyond.  

But if you’re looking to take a glass half-full approach to a 3-13 season, there were some good things to mine from their otherwise terrible season.   

Washington looks to have a star wide receiver in the making with third-round pick Terry McLaurin.  Despite the many problems with Washington’s offense, the rookie wideout had a fantastic season accumulating 919 yards receiving and 7 touchdowns in his debut season.  

Dwayne Haskins also appeared to start to turn a corner towards the end of the season, as he closed a rocky rookie performance with back-to-back strong outings against Philadelphia and New York.  

Washington’s defense also has quietly assembled one of the most formidable defensive lines in the league, and while their secondary struggled immensely in 2019, their front 7 looks to be very sound and not very far off becoming one of the better groups in football. 

And hey!  Being this crappy led to Bruce Allen being fired, which immediately improves any situation.   

Washington Football Team 2020 Offensive Preview 

The questions circulating Dwayne Haskins will continue heading into the season, especially now that a new coaching regime has taken over. The team flirted with the idea of drafting a quarterback, namely eventual Miami Dolphins first-rounder Tua Tagovailoa, and did sign former Carolina Panther Kyle Allen to back him up, but will go into the season with Haskins as the guy. 

The leash for Haskins may be quite short however.  

Coming over to Washington with Ron Rivera was ex-Carolina quarterbacks coach Scott Turner to run the Washington Football Team offense in 2020. Kyle Allen of course is already familiar with this offense, and if Haskins struggles out of the gate, the team could very well turn to Allen to be their starter. 

The team also hoped to lean more on the running of young tailback Derrius Guice in 2020.  But then Guice was arrested on domestic violence charges and released by the team.   

So now the starting running-back for your Washington Football Team is the ageless Adrian Peterson, with free-agent acquisition Peyton Barber, Bryce Love and rookie Antonio Gibson all in the mix to be his backup.   

Other free-agent running back acquisition J.D. McKissic was brought on to replace Chris Thompson as the 3rd down passing game back, but now may also see more action in light of Guice’s arrest and removal from the team. 

The team finally moved on from injury liabilities Jordan Reed and Paul Richardson, and Vernon Davis elected to retire. Outside of the aforementioned Terry McLaurin, Washington does not have a whole lot to work with in the passing game once again. 

The team’s offensive line, which was a major issue a year ago, looks to be heading towards the same precarious position in 2020, as they were unable to retain Erick Flowers and traded Trent Williams without a viable replacement. They were able to keep hold of Pro Bowler Brandon Scherff with the franchise tag, the only thing saving the Washington offensive line from being a complete disaster. 

Washington Football Team 2020 Defensive Preview 

While Washington most definitely has enormous questions on the offensive side of the football, defensively the team looks to be heading in the right direction. 

The defense got a bit of an overhaul after the Ron Rivera hiring. Jack Del Rio is back coaching in the NFL for the first time since the Raiders fired him in 2017 to bring on the brother of the former Washington football coach and now I’ve gone cross-eyed.  

As mentioned before, with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, the Washington footballers selected former Ohio State phenom Chase Young. Young is already drawing comparisons to the last defensive end to go No. 2 overall in the NFL Draft… another Carolina Panther, Julius Peppers. 

Young becomes the fifth former first-round pick to join the Washington defensive line, joining Montez Sweat, Ryan Kerrigan, Jonathan Allen and Daron Payne to form one imposing looking group of talent.  

With the logjam on the DL, Rivera will move Chase Young to outside linebacker on passing downs, and play a unique form of the 4-3 defense.  

Washington also retooled a secondary that finished in the bottom of the league in 2019, bringing Kendall Fuller back to the team after he got to win a ring with Patrick Mahomes.  They also added corner Ronald Darby and safety Sean Davis in free-agency while cutting Josh Norman and trading Quinton Dunbar to Seattle.  

The team did not do much at linebacker, as they are banking on Reuben Foster to return from injury (and not get arrested). They did sign former Panther Thomas Davis though, who has been in the league since roughly 1957.  


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 Washington Football Team Odds Outlook & Washington Betting Prediction

Hiring Ron Rivera was a step in the right direction for this football team, and Rivera will inherit a nice foundation of talent on the defensive side of the ball to at the least make games more competitive in 2020 than they were in 2019 when they suffered nine double-digit losses. 

The offense leaves way too much to be desired however, and Washington may very well find themselves in the hunt for the #1 overall pick yet again.  The offensive line is in shambles.  Adrian Peterson is 105 years old.  Dwayne Haskins will have to run for his life and depend on his one wide receiver to get past teams.   

It won’t be pretty, but Chase Young will be exciting to see for the team with no name.  

Washington 2020 Projection: 3-13, 4th NFC East 

2020 Betting Projections 

From a betting perspective, we would lean on the following futures bets involving the Washington Football Team 

  • NFC East – Exact Order (Eagles, Cowboys, Giants, Washington) — (+310) at Fanduel Sportsbook 
    Slight spoiler alert to future previews, but I believe this is a two-team race for the NFC East and that the Giants and Redskins will bring up the rear of the division.  I am picking the Eagles to win the division essentially here. 
  • Terry McLaurin UNDER 1050.5 yards receiving — (-110) at DraftKings Sportsbook 
    Nothing against McLaurin, I just believe the Redskins offense will struggle to move the football in most of their games this season.   
  • Washington Football Team UNDER 5 wins — (+118) at DraftKings Sportsbook 
    I can’t find five wins on their schedule.  Ron Rivera is a good coach, but this would be one amazing coaching job to get Washington at 6-10 or better.  
  • Team to win Least Games — (+550) at DraftKings Sportsbook 
    I believe this is excellent value on a team that can very easily find itself with the worst record in the NFL.  
  • Division Finishing Position, 4th Place — (-125) at DraftKings Sportsbook 
    Once again, playing the value here.  Though, the Giants are capable of making this interesting.  
     
     

Cincinnati Bengals Odds and Betting Preview

By, Faux John Madden (Special to OddsUSA.com) 

Free Agents Who Somehow Got Talked Into Signing Here: 
DT D.J. Reader (Texans) 
CB Trae Waynes (Vikings) 
G Xavier Su’a-Filo (Cowboys) 
CB Mackensie Alexander (Vikings) 
LB Josh Bynes (Ravens) 
S Vonn Bell (Saints) 
CB LeShaun Sims (Titans) 
WR Mike Thomas (Rams) 
 
Franchise Tag aka One-Year Prison Sentence 
WR A.J. Green 

Players Fortunate to Escape Cincinnati 
DT Andrew Billings (Browns) 
QB Andy Dalton (Cowboys) 
TE Tyler Eifert (Jaguars) 
S Clayton Fejedelem (Dolphins) 
OT Cordy Glenn (Free Agent) 
CB Dre Kirkpatrick (Free Agent) 
CB Tony McRae (Lions) 
LB LaRoy Reynolds (Falcons) 
LB Nick Vigil (Chargers) 

Bengals 2019 Season Review

As far as 2-14 teams go, the Bengals weren’t exactly the worst 2-14 team we’ve seen in the NFL.   

But… they weren’t a very good team either.  And at times, they not only looked bad but they were almost hard to stomach as well. 

(Which is an eerily similar description to Cincinnati’s famous Skyline Chili.)   

The 2019 season ushered in a new beginning to the Queen City, as Zac Taylor was hired from the Los Angeles Rams to take over for Bengals’ lifer Marvin Lewis who was fired after roughly 40 years coaching in Cincinnati.  

The aforementioned Taylor got his big break when Bengals owner Mike Brown was carousing the LinkedIn connections from Sean McVay and happened to land on his profile.   

The rest is history. 

So what went wrong for a Bengals team that wasn’t expected to be picking first in the draft? 

A few things created a lot of problems for Cincinnati.  The biggest issue the Bengals faced in 2019 came with their offensive line.  The Bengals o-line could have been swapped out with an Ohio State Fair turnstile and you’d be none the wiser. 

Per Pro Football Focus, only two teams in the league (Rams and Dolphins) had a worse offensive line than the Bengals did last season. 

Cincinnati was without 2019 first-round pick Jonah Williams for the entire season, forcing the Bengals to turn to the likes of Cordy Glenn, Andre Smith and John Jerry to protect Andy Dalton’s blindside. 

Naturally, this didn’t go very well. 

The Andy Dalton Saga for 2019

Andy Dalton, to his credit, did not play the worst football of his career.  Doubly impressive considering the Bengals were also without their franchise-player A.J. Green for the entire season as well.  Bengal wideouts John Ross and Auden Tate also missed several games due to injury.  

The shoddy offensive line also hampered Joe Mixon’s ability to get a consistent running game going, as Mixon would not hit 100 yards rushing in a game until Week 10 in a blowout loss to the Ravens. 

Mixon finished the season strong for the Bengals, rushing for 494 yards and 3 touchdowns in the last four weeks of the season.  Prior to that, Mixon had only 643 yards rushing and 2 touchdowns in 12 games.  

Defensively in 2019, the Bengals were dreadful.  

Per Football Outsiders, the Bengals ranked 30th in defensive DVOA, including 28th against the pass.  They surrendered the most rushing yards in football, giving up nearly 150 yards a game on the ground. 

The data backs up the results.  Time and time again, the Bengals defense would surrender big plays and an abundance of yardage.  This would put the Bengals offense in a terrible situation given all their issues on the offensive line, and the Bengals would not have much of a chance to hang around for the entire game to pull off the win, as hard as they may have tried. 

Bengals 2020 Offensive Preview

The Bengals reward for their pain came with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft.  

The Bengals then selected LSU quarterback Joe Burrow with that selection, bringing Burrow back to the state of Ohio where he once dominated at the high-school ranks.  

Burrow joins the Bengals after having the greatest season in college football history.   

That statement does not come with hyperbole either. 

Burrow led the LSU Tigers to their first National Championship since 2007, while compiling stats that you would only see in an NCAA Football 14 dynasty. 

Here’s what Burrow did in 2019. 

  • 5671 yards passing  
  • 6055 yards of total offense   
  • NCAA single-season record 60 touchdown passes 
  • NCAA single-season record 202.0 passer rating 
  • Five touchdowns rushing 
  • Maxwell Award Winner 
  • Heisman Trophy Winner   
  • And he was filmed doing this after smacking Clemson around for four quarters. 

To say the Bengals don’t have high hopes for their new quarterback after the Andy Dalton era would be quite the understatement. 

All things considered, Burrow is coming into a situation that’s actually not that bad for a #1 overall pick.  

The Bengals will have A.J. Green back at WR, where alongside Tyler Boyd, John Ross, Auden Tate and former Clemson star Tee Higgins, the Bengals actually have quite a bit of weapons for Burrow to get the ball to.    

Even more importantly, the Bengals will also have Jonah Williams back at LT, who gets to pull a Ben Simmons and have his rookie year come in his second season.  The Bengals also added veteran guard Xavier Su’a-Filo in free agency to replace released John Miller.  

All eyes will be on the inexperienced head coach Zac Taylor to try to work some of that Sean McVay like magic on his young Bengals offense in 2020.   

However, if there is cause for concern for the Bengals improving on the offensive side of the ball in 2020, beyond that of their offensive line anyway, it would be how quickly Burrow is able to pick up the offense considering how abbreviated the offseason will be due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  

Bengals 2020 Defensive Preview

The Bengals rarely spend money in free-agency, but in 2020 Mike Brown went deep into the Bengals coffers to sign defensive-tackle D.J. Reader and cornerback Trae Waynes to big deals.  

The addition of Reader (four-year, $53 million) is especially noteworthy, as he will play alongside eight-time Pro Bowler Geno Atkins, Carlos Dunlap and Carl Lawson on the Bengals defensive line. 

The Bengals big issue in 2019 on the defensive side of the ball came in their secondary, as they were constantly picked apart by offenses throughout the season. 

Cincinnati turned to free agency to try to remedy some of this, signing Vikings’ castaways Trae Waynes (three-year, $42 million) and Mackensie Alexander (four-year, $4.31 million), alongside former Saints safety Vonn Bell (three-year, $18 million).  

The Bengals other weakness on defense a year ago came at linebacker, so naturally the team decided to select three linebackers in the draft this year, with Logan Wilson (3rd round) and Akeem Davis-Gaither (4th round) expected to produce the most.  

The defensive has been revamped and has seen a lot of changes from a season ago.  Bengals defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo will need to improve the Bengals fortunes on this side of the ball for them to have any chance of competing in a suddenly stacked AFC North division. 

2020 Bengals Outlook & Bengals Betting Prediction

This is going to be a really fun team in a few years, but they’re not quite ready for primetime just yet.  Joe Burrow has franchise quarterback potential and the Bengals offense is ripe with talent at key skill positions. 

The Bengals offensive line and holes on defense though will be too much to overcome with a rookie quarterback in a loaded division.   

Look for Cincinnati to improve, but in an offseason disrupted by a pandemic and practices being all sorts of choppy, we expect the young QB to have some growing pains early before becoming more comfortable in his new digs.  

Bengals 2020 Projection:  4-12, 4th AFC North 

2020 Bengals Betting Preview 

From a betting perspective, I would lean on the following futures bets involving the Bengals: 

  • Bengals Under 5.5 wins; (+115) FanDuel Sportsbook
    This will be a close bet that likely comes down to the end, but looking over the Bengals schedule I see a team that’s right at 4-5 wins. Taking the plus-money pick here.
  • Joe Burrow to win Offensive Rookie of the Year (+225)
    After Chiefs RB Damien Williams elected to opt-out of 2020 with COVID-19 related concerns, that made their first-round selection Clyde Edwards-Helaire (+400) a formidable foe on Burrow’s quest to win Rookie of the Year. I may still place a bet on CEH, but will also be sprinkling a little bit on Burrow to win yet another award.
     
  • Bengals to finish in 4th Place AFC North (-250) 
    The -250 price is a bit steep, so probably would not go too crazy with this, but barring disaster from another team in the division, I do not see Cincinnati climbing out of the basement just yet.

Coronavirus Update For 7/21/2020

Here is the latest information we have to date regarding sports and COVID-19

NFL

League Offers Zero Preseason Games In Latest Proposal

It looks like the NFL will jump right into the Regular Season this year. The NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport is reporting that the NFL has sent a proposal to the players’ union that features zero preseason games in 2020. This news comes after Training Camps began this week.

The NFL preseason usually lasts four weeks and has every team participate in four games. The league originally proposed playing two preseason games, but the players pushed for zero games. The first game of the preseason, the NFL Hall of Fame Game, has already been canceled this year.

League Lays Out Protocols For COVID-19 Testing

The National Football League now has a plan in place to test for and contain the potential spread of COVID-19 this season. In a conference call yesterday, the NFL’s Chief Medical Officer said that the league will test all players every day for the first two weeks of Training Camps. Players will also need more than one negative test result to enter team facilities. The protocols were agreed upon by the NFL and the players’ union yesterday.

The protocols also state that after two weeks, the rate of positive tests will be examined. If this rate is below five percent, the league will move testing to every other day. Veterans are scheduled to report to Training Camps on July 28th.

NBA

League Reports Zero Positive COVID-19 Tests

It looks like the NBA has the Coronavirus Pandemic under control. Yesterday, the league officially announced that zero players out of 346 have tested positive for COVID-19 since July 13th. The league is saying that if a player does end up recording a positive test on the NBA campus in Orlando, then that individual will have to self-isolate until he has been cleared by league protocols.

NHL

Only Two Positive Coronavirus Tests Since Camp Opened

The NHL has some good news about their most recent round of COVID-19 testing. Yesterday, the National Hockey League announced that only two players have tested positive for the Coronavirus since camps opened on July 13th. The identities of the two players have not been revealed as per NHLPA policy.

In a statement, the league said that it completed the first five days of Phase Three testing from July 13th to July 17th. The statement also explained that 2,618 tests were administered to over 800 players, but only two players tested positive for the disease. At this time, both players are self-isolating. There is no clear timeline as to when the unnamed individuals will be able to return to practice.

MLB

Dr. Fauci To Throw Out First Pitch At Nationals’ Home Opener

The reigning World Series Champions will have a very special guest at their home opener. Yesterday, the Washington Nationals announced that Dr. Anthony Fauci will throw out the ceremonial first pitch at the team’s home opening game against the New York Yankees. The Nats and the Yankees are scheduled to face off Thursday night.

“Dr. Fauci has been a true champion for our country during the COVID-19 pandemic and throughout his distinguished career, so it is only fitting that we honor him as we kick off the 2020 season…”

Washington Nationals’ Statement on Dr. Anthony Fauci

Continue checking oddsusa.com for more updates on the Coronavirus Pandemic.

Coronavirus Update For 7/19/20

Here is the latest information we have to date regarding sports and COVID-19

MLB

Blue Jays Barred From Playing Games In Toronto

It appears that the Toronto Blue Jays will not be allowed to play home games in Canada this year. Yesterday, the Canadian government denied the Blue Jays’ request to play home baseball games at the Rogers Centre in Toronto this season. Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino later confirmed this information. The Canadian government doesn’t reportedly think it is safe for players to travel back and forth from the United States during the ongoing Coronavirus Pandemic.

The Blue Jays are currently considering a few different locations where they could play home games. One of the sites in the mix is the team’s training facility in Dunedin, Florida. The franchise is also thinking about utilizing Sahlen Field in Buffalo, New York which is home to Toronto’s triple-A affiliate baseball team. The Blue Jays are currently scheduled to begin their season on July 24th.

NBA

League Will Shorten Exhibition Games

The NBA announced it is tweaking the rules of the first exhibition games of the league restart to make them go by a little faster. For the initial matchups of the NBA restart, the league has decided to go with ten-minute quarters instead of the traditional 12-minute quarters. The NBA is hoping this will allow players to get ready to finish the season while also enabling them to conserve their energy for more important games that will come later.

ESPN is reporting that the clock change will only apply to the first exhibition game for every team. The second and third exhibition games at Disney will go back to the standard timing. Every team participating in the NBA restart is required to play in three exhibition games.

Race For NBA’s Individual Awards Is Already Over

On Friday, the NBA told teams that none of the seeding games will be taken into consideration when selecting this season’s individual award winners. The league also said that voting for honors like All-NBA, ROTY, etc. will be completed before the season restart on July 30th. This news means that the race for individual awards like MVP is now officially over. Giannis Antetokounmpo won the MVP award last season with the Milwaukee Bucks and is hoping to win it again this year.

NFL

Training Camps To Start As Scheduled

Despite spiking Coronavirus cases across the country, the NFL has decided to start preseason activities on time. Yesterday, all 32 NFL teams received an email from the league informing them that training camps will begin as scheduled. Rookies will report first, followed by QBs and injured players, and finally, veterans.

Rookies that play for the Kansas City Chiefs and the Houston Texans are the first players that will report to camp this year. They are all scheduled to show up at camp tomorrow. Meanwhile, the NFL said that all other teams are allowed to have rookies report to camp as early as Tuesday the 21st. NFL veterans are scheduled to report on July 28th.

NHL

Oilers’ Defenseman Feeling “Healthy” After Positive COVID-19 Test Results

On Friday, the Oilers’ Caleb Jones revealed that he had tested positive for COVID-19 and had to self-isolate for two weeks before joining the team at training camp. The defenseman reportedly tested positive for Coronavirus when he first showed up for training camp in Edmonton three weeks ago. He then had to quarantine for two weeks. Friday marked the first time Jones was able to participate in the team’s main practice.

“We’ll see if he takes part in [the] scrimmage tomorrow… I’m not sure he’s going to go that far yet, but it’s good to have him back. He had no symptoms, he tested positive without any symptoms at all, so he’s coming back feeling healthy and ready to go.”

Edmonton Oilers’ coach Dave Tippett on Jones’ return

Caleb Jones was drafted by the Edmonton Oilers in 2015. The 23-year-old defenseman played in 43 games for Edmonton this year. He finished the regular season with four goals and five assists for nine total points.

Continue checking oddsusa.com for more updates on the Coronavirus Pandemic.

72 NFL Players Have Tested Positive For COVID-19

NFLPA announced 72 players tested positive for Coronavirus as of July 10th

We now know how many NFLers have COVID-19 after the league’s first few rounds of testing. Earlier today, the NFL Players’ Association released a set of data that revealed 72 players league-wide have tested positive for COVID-19 as of July 10th, 2020. According to NFL.com, the 72 individuals make up about 2.5% of rostered players in the league.

In the announcement, the NFLPA also released a map showing the concentration of Coronavirus in NFL markets. The Miami Dolphins have the highest concentration of average daily Coronavirus cases per 100,000 people with 67.53 cases per 100K. The New England Patriots have the lowest concentration of cases with just 3.27 cases per 100,000 people.

The NFL and the NFLPA are still trying to resolve outstanding issues between the two sides before players have to report to team facilities. Rookies for the Kansas City Chiefs and the Houston Texans are scheduled to report to work this weekend. All NFL veterans are slated to report to work by July 28th.

NFL Comeback Player of the Year Odds

By: James Tillman 

NFL Comeback Player of the Year Odds: Count on Cam?

In 2019, quarterback Ryan Tannehill was traded from the Miami Dolphins to the Tennessee Titans. He was slated to be the backup behind Marcus Mariota. However, after the Titans got off to a 2-4 start, the team decided to turn over the keys to Tannehill and he did not disappoint. He threw for 2,742 yards, 22 touchdowns against just six interceptions. He completed 70.3 percent of his passes during the regular season, had a league-best 9.6 yards per pass attempt and he led the NFL with a 117.5 passer rating.  

On the heels of Tannehill’s play, the Titans grabbed the No. 6 seed. They went on to knock off Tom Brady and the Patriots and the top-seeded Ravens before coming up short against the eventual champion Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC championship game. Needless to say, Tannehill was an easy choice for the Comeback Player of the Year last season. Which players have the best odds to win the award for the 2020 NFL season? Here’s a look at the top three players in the running according to Unibet.  

Third-Best Comeback Player of the Year Odds: J.J. Watt (+700)

J.J. Watt entered the NFL in 2011. During his rookie campaign, he recorded 5.5 sacks. However, over the next four seasons, his stock rose considerably. In 2012 and 2013, Watt had 20.5 and 10.5 sacks, respectively. In 2014 and 2015, he had 20.5 and 17.5 sacks. It should not be much of a surprise that he was named the league’s top defensive player three times in his first five seasons. Unfortunately, injuries hampered Watt over the next two seasons (2016 and 2017) as he played a total of just eight games.  

Watt returned to form in 2018, as he recorded 16 sacks – the highest total in the AFC and he led the NFL with seven forced fumbles. Although injuries limited Watt to just eight games in 2019, he returned in time for the playoffs. Based on the numbers he put up when he was healthy, it’s easy to understand why he comes in at the No. 3 spot on the list.  

Second-Best Comeback Player of the Year Odds: Cam Newton (+400)

It wasn’t that long ago when Cam Newton was the top quarterback in the league. During the 2015 campaign, he was named MVP following a season in which threw for 3,837 yards, 35 touchdowns, and 10 interceptions. Even more important, the Panthers went 15-1 en route to the team’s second appearance in the Super Bowl. Unfortunately, Newton and the Panthers came up a bit short against the Denver Broncos 24-10 in Super Bowl 50.  

Newton has started 124 games in his career, posting a 68-55-1 record while completing 59.6% of his passing attempts for 29,041 yards, 182 touchdowns, 108 interceptions, and an 86.1 passer rating. He also has 4,806 rushing yards and 58 touchdowns. Additionally, during the first eight years of his NFL career, Newton had thrown for at least 3,000 yards and 18 touchdowns.  

That streak came to an abrupt end in 2019, as injuries limited him to just two outings. Now that he has signed with the New England Patriots, the former MVP is hoping to turn things around, even though there’s an open competition at the starting quarterback position. If he can stay healthy, Newton has more than an outside shot at winning the Comeback Player of the Year award. 

Top Comeback Player of the Year Odds: Ben Roethlisberger (+300)

Pittsburgh Steelers’ quarterback Ben Roethlisberger comes in at the No. 1 spot. Roethlisberger has not played a full 16-game season in five years. And like Newton, he appeared in just two games during the 2019 season and had to undergo elbow surgery. For those of us that may be tempted to think that Big Ben doesn’t have a lot left in the tank, I would caution you to think otherwise.  

In his last full season (2018), he led the NFL with 5,129 passing yards to go along with 34 touchdowns. Both stats were career-highs for the two-time Super Bowl champion. If his level of play is remotely similar to that season, Roethlisberger could help lead the Steelers back to playoff contention as they have failed to reach the postseason in each of the past two seasons.

Coronavirus Update For 7/14/20

Here is the latest information we have to date regarding sports and COVID-19

MLB

Officials Say fans Won’t Be Allowed At Phillies Games In 2020

Earlier today, city officials said that fans will not be allowed in the stands during home games for the Philadelphia Phillies in 2020. The officials also said that this decision applies to Philadelphia Eagles’ home games in 2020 as well. Philadelphia Health Commissioner Thomas Farley said he believes baseball and football can be played under the right circumstances, but he does not think it is a good idea to have fans in the stands for games.

“I do not think that they can have spectators at those games. There’s no way for them to be safe having a crowd there… I can’t say what the plans are for the league, but from a safety perspective, they can play games but not [have] crowds.”

Philadelphia Health Commissioner Thomas Farley

NFL

Sources Say Players’ Union Has New Set Of Requests For Return-To-Work Plan

As the NFL and the NFLPA continue to negotiate the terms of play this season, it seems that the players are looking for extra securities and financial support. According to sources, the NFLPA requested the following in their most recent proposal to the league:

  • Opt-out clause for at-risk players to receive salary if one decides not to play
  • Opt-out clause and benefits for players with at-risk families if they decide not to play
  • Opt-out clause for a player that leaves the teams after reporting
  • A $250K stipend guaranteed to all players if they show up to camp and everything is shut down due to COVID-19

NBA

Michael Beasley Reportedly Leaves Orlando Bubble

Sources are saying that new Brooklyn Nets Guard Michael Beasley left the NBA Bubble at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. Sources told ESPN that Beasley recently tested positive for Coronavirus.

Beasley was signed by Brooklyn back on July 9th as a replacement player that would participate in the NBA Restart in Orlando. Sources are saying that it is unclear if the 31-year-old will eventually rejoin the team in the bubble.

NHL

Nine Pittsburgh Penguins Sidelined After Potential Virus Exposure

Yesterday, the Pittsburgh Penguins announced they were “voluntarily sidelining” nine players from their training camp roster after it was discovered the players may have been exposed to a person who tested positive for COVID-19. This news comes just one day after NHL Training Camps opened. The nine players will not be allowed to participate in team activities until they pass all NHL safety protocols.

Continue checking oddsusa.com for more updates on the Coronavirus Pandemic.

Chiefs Sign Patrick Mahomes To Ten-Year Extension

Mega-Deal is reportedly worth $503 Million

It looks like Patrick Mahomes is going to be the Chiefs’ starting quarterback for a long time. According to the NFL Network’s Michael Silver, Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs agreed on a mega-deal that will keep the 24-year-old Quarterback in KC through the 2031 season. The NFL Network is reporting the deal is worth up to $503 million.

The contract extension is the largest in sports history. Mahomes is now the first athlete in history with a contract worth half-a-billion dollars. The contract also marks the first time an NFL player is the highest-paid athlete in the world of sports.

Patrick Mahomes has a 24-7 record in 31 starts. Mahomes was named MVP in his first season as a starter, throwing for 50 Touchdowns and over 5000 yards in 2018. Despite missing some time due to injury this past season, Mahomes led the Chiefs to an 11-3 record and a victory in Super Bowl LIV. He was named the game’s MVP after throwing for 286 passing yards and recording three total touchdowns.

Coronavirus Update For 7/5/20

Here is the latest information we have to date regarding sports and COVID-19

NHL

Members Of Blues’ Organization Reportedly Test Positive For COVID-19

According to multiple reports that came out Friday night, multiple members of the St. Louis Blues’ organization tested positive for COVID-19. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch says that no staff members or coaches are believed to have been infected with COVID-19 during the ongoing pandemic.

The Athletic is reporting that the team’s Phase Two workouts that were scheduled for Friday were canceled due to the positive Coronavirus test results. No further workouts are scheduled for this weekend. Current reports indicate that the team is expected to resume practice on Monday.

MLB

White Sox And Nationals Report Positive Coronavirus Test Results

Both the Washington Nationals and the Chicago White Sox announced two players on each team tested positive for COVID-19. Both teams made the announcements earlier today.

The Chicago White Sox did not identify the players who tested positive but did say they are both asymptomatic and in isolation. Meanwhile, Nats’ Manager Dave Martinez told the media that two players out of 60 tested positive for COVID-19. The four players will be allowed to return to baseball activities after recording two negative COVID-19 test results and passing other pre-established Coronavirus protocols.

NBA

League Releases Restart Scrimmage Schedule

Yesterday, the NBA released its scrimmage schedule ahead of the 2019-20 NBA season restart that will take place in Orlando. All 22 teams participating in the restart will play in three scrimmages before the season resumes on July 30th. The league is saying that the Television broadcast details will be released at a later time.

NFL

Sources: NFLPA Recommends Canceling All Preseason Games

According to ESPN’s sources, on Friday, the NFL Players’ Association Board of Representatives voted to recommend canceling all 2020 preseason games. Sources say that the decision was voted on unanimously.

Earlier this week, the NFL decided to shorten the 2020 preseason to two games from four. At this time, the league has not formally announced the decision to reduce the number of preseason games this year. ESPN says it is unclear if the NFL will consider the players’ union’s recommendation to cancel all preseason games.

Continue checking oddsusa.com for more updates on the Coronavirus Pandemic.

Coronavirus Update For 7/2/20

Here is the latest information we have to date regarding sports and COVID-19

NBA

Nine More Players Test Positive For COVID-19

Earlier today, the NBA revealed the results of the COVID-19 tests that were administered throughout the league from June 24th to the 29th. The NBA announced that the results showed nine more players tested positive for the Coronavirus. The league reports that 25 players have tested positive since testing began on June 23rd. The NBA also revealed that 10 team staffers out of 884 have tested positive for the illness to date.

NFL

No Agreement Yet On Length of Shortened Preseason

While the NFL is hoping to play at least two preseason games in 2020, there is no guarantee that it will be possible. According to the NFL Network, some members of the NFL Players’ Association are currently in favor of playing no preseason games this year. These reports come after sources said the NFL was planning on shortening the preseason to two games from four this year due to COVID-19 concerns.

The NFLPA must sign off on any decision the league makes, but they have not yet shown their approval of the plans to shorten the preseason to two games. A Board of Representatives call that will provide more information on the developments is scheduled to take place later today.

NHL

Toronto And Edmonton Expected To Be Named Hub Cities

Sportsnet says that Toronto and Edmonton are expected to be named the hub cities for the NHL season restart. The decision will be finalized once the players approve the league’s return-to-play plan, which is expected to happen later this week. Elliotte Friedman reported that teams will likely play in one of the two locations based upon conference alignment, so Eastern Conference teams will likely play in Toronto while Western Conference teams will be in Edmonton.

MLB

Teams Cannot Identify Players Who Test Positive For COVID-19

There will likely be players who test positive for COVID-19 this baseball season, but they will not have to reveal that information to the public unless they want to. According to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, “teams are not allowed to divulge the name of any player who tests positive.” The law goes on to state that only a player can reveal to the public that they tested positive for COVID-19. The MLBPA has not made a comment on the decision at this time.

Continue checking oddsusa.com for more updates on the Coronavirus Pandemic.

NFL MVP Odds Longshots After the Cam Signing

By: Matt Watkins 

NFL MVP Odds Longshots Now That Cam is a Pat

Until Sunday, not much changed in the overall NFL MVP race since the end of the draft. Patrick Mahomes (+400) and Lamar Jackson (+700) are still the favorites. Tom Brady (+1600) is still receiving plenty of attention. Between his on field potential with the Bucs and his wrist slaps from the NFLPA and local authorities for his working out either with too many peoplein restricted places, or walking into the wrong person’s home, TB12 in TB is off to a bit of a rough start, but keeps him in the news.  

But there are others who have flown more under the radar. Those who have put together good seasons, maybe even MVP seasons before, but have been written off as past their prime, not a good fit, don’t play the right position. Guys who are capable of, if everything falls into place, snagging the league’s premier award. 

Aaron Rodgers (+3000) – If you’ve read anything I’ve written before, I spent a good portion of last season trying to figure out why Aaron Rodgers was being regarded as highly as he was heading into the year. I mused how a 34-year old quarterback, playing in a new offensive system for the first time in his NFL career, with a head coach he likely saw as a peer — not a coach — was considered one of the elite in the league. The numbers, especially early in the season bore out those thoughts.  

With the exception of a fantastic month of October, Aaron Rodgers looked more like Average Rodgers. Well, now enter 2020. He’s had a year to learn both Matt LaFleur’s system, as well as get a better understanding of their relationship as coach-QB. Add to that the drafting of what seems to be an apparent successor in Jordan Love and Rodgers may have found a new chip to glue onto his shoulder, which is when he plays at his best. If you’ve got it, taking a flyer on Rodgers as a safe buy to help diversify your portfolio.  

Does a New Contract Boost a Certain “Stars” NFL MVP Odds?

Dak Prescott (+1400) – I know, hold on a minute, how is anyone under +2000 a long shot? Look at the splits in his games against teams above .500 and below .500 and you can see why. You can also question the motivation he’ll have after getting franchised and making $31.4M this season, more than he probably ever thought he’d make as a fourth round pick. $37.7M, that’s why. That’s the guaranteed value of his contract NEXT season if Dallas tags him again. Extended contract (I hesitate to say long term since Dak apparently wants less years than the Cowboys), that’s why. There’s a lot to be said for someone who has started all 64 possible games in his NFL career through four seasons, but franchise tag or not, he’s still on a one-year deal.  

A good/great/MVP type season this year will force Dallas’ hand in a big way. The longshot aspect comes from his nagging inability thusfar to display success against those aforementioned quality teams. I’d be a little less interested in dropping some money on him until a month in when we have a chance to gauge how he’s played against the Texans, Rams, and Seahawks. Could that shift his money line away from your favor, yes, but it could also save you some $$ if he doesn’t play to hopes. 

Christian McCaffrey (+3300) – Ok, let’s be clear, he’s a running back, so he has basically no shot. Thing is, with as much ink (pixels? – you know since no one reads actual newspapers anymore) of coverage as he got last year, you’d never know it. He is a unique talent and someone who, if any running back will win the award, it’s him. He’ll get more than 2,000 yards combined rushing and receiving. He’ll catch 80 passes, especially now that he has a new QB that will need an escape valve as Teddy Bridgewater learns a new system.  

Superman is now a Patriot… If You Can Find a Line, Should You Pull on Superman’s Cape?

Cam Newton (NL) – What, you were expecting Jarrett Stidham here? I’ll say it right now, I am NOT a Cam Newton fan. It’s not for the dabbing, his fashion style in postgame press conferences, or him saying in pre-draft workouts that he wanted to be an icon before he’d ever played a down in the league. Honestly, for me it’s always been about the lack of personal accountability. It’s NEVER his fault. Someone was always against him. Someone always wanted to do him wrong. As soon as adversity arises, his path has been to shrink from responsibility.  

There’s a reason he’s here though. Even at 31 after foot and shoulder injuries, he’s still an amazing talent. Add to it that, regardless of whether you like the “Patriots’ Way” or not, Bill Belichick’s track record of reclamation projects of athletes who have been considered headaches or problems by the rest of the league is undeniable. Factor in a healthy offensive line and an offensive coordinator in Josh McDaniels who had enough imagination to create and manipulate one-on-one matchups to go 7-4 with Tim Tebow as a starter in Denver? This could be the beginning of Newton’s redemption arc.  

Other NFL MVP Odds Worth Monitoring

Kyler Murray (+1000) – Successful rookie season, now has DeAndre Hopkins to throw to, coach who loves to air it out, all good things to put up MVP numbers.  

DeShaun Watson (+1800) – Yes, Hopkins is gone and there’s no guarantee of a solid running game with David Johnson, but Watson’s offensive line is the best it’s been in his career and he grew up last season in learning to throw the ball away or tuck and run. Toss in that, as great as Hopkins is and Houston never should have dealt him, at least for so little, Watson’s best success has come with Will Fuller on the field. Fuller stays healthy, Watson will be fine.  

Drew Brees (+2500) – He’s an MVP candidate until he’s not, though we’ll see how that gets impacted by a fractured locker room.  

Aaron Donald (+10000) – Because I like having a defensive guy on the list. 33 sacks, 45 TFL, and six forced fumbles the last two seasons while playing all 32 games are as good credentials as you’ll find for anyone on that side of the ball. 

Sources: Cam Newton To Sign With Patriots

The “incentive-laden” deal is reportedly for one-year

It looks like the Pats have found Tom Brady’s successor. A little before 8:00 PM EST, sources told ESPN’s Adam Schefter and Chris Mortensen that Cam Newton reached an agreement on a one-year deal with the New England Patriots. According to Adam Schefter, the deal is “incentive-laden.”

This addition means that the Patriots have three Quarterbacks on the roster heading into this season. Newton will be competing with Jarrett Stidham and Brian Hoyer for the Pats’ starting job. Whoever ends up starting for New England will have big shoes to fill as he looks to be the successor to Tom Brady and the Patriots’ dynasty.

Cam Newton just turned 31 last month after spending the first nine seasons of his career with the Carolina Panthers. Newton had notable success after being selected with the first overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft. He finished his tenure with Carolina as the franchise’s all-time leader in Quarterback Wins, Passing Yards, Passing Touchdowns, Pass Completions, Pass Attempts, and Rushing Touchdowns. Newton’s best season came in 2015 when he was named the NFL MVP and led the Panthers to Super Bowl 50.

Sources: Cam Newton To Sign With Patriots

The “incentive-laden” deal is reportedly for one-year

It looks like the Pats have found Tom Brady’s successor. A little before 8:00 PM EST, sources told ESPN’s Adam Schefter and Chris Mortensen that Cam Newton reached an agreement on a one-year deal with the New England Patriots. According to Adam Schefter, the deal is “incentive-laden.”

This addition means that the Patriots have three Quarterbacks on the roster heading into this season. Newton will be competing with Jarrett Stidham and Brian Hoyer for the Pats’ starting job. Whoever ends up starting for New England will have big shoes to fill as he looks to be the successor to Tom Brady and the Patriots’ dynasty.

Cam Newton just turned 31 last month after spending the first nine seasons of his career with the Carolina Panthers. Newton had notable success after being selected with the first overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft. He finished his tenure with Carolina as the franchise’s all-time leader in Quarterback Wins, Passing Yards, Passing Touchdowns, Pass Completions, Pass Attempts, and Rushing Touchdowns. Newton’s best season came in 2015 when he was named the NFL MVP and led the Panthers to Super Bowl 50.

Coronavirus Update For 6/26/20

Here is the latest information we have to date regarding sports and COVID-19

NBA

16 Players Test Positive For COVID-19

The first series of Coronavirus tests have been conducted by the NBA, and the results are not great. The NBA and the Players’ Union announced that 16 players out of 302 total tested positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday. This means that 5.3% of the players in the NBA pool have tested positive for Coronavirus.

Under the NBA’s current safety guidelines, any player that tests positive for COVID-19 must remain in self-isolation until “he satisfies public health protocols.” A player may only end their period of self-isolation if given permission by a doctor or physician.

NHL

Vancouver No Longer Being Considered As Hub City for Restart

Yesterday, the Vancouver Canucks announced that their city will not serve as a 12-team “hub” when the NHL season restarts. This news comes despite there being speculation that Vancouver was a front-runner city to be named an NHL hub.

Canucks Sports and Entertainment COO Trent Carroll released a statement about the decision yesterday. He said, “although Vancouver won’t be a Hub City, we are still excited to see hockey start up again…”

NFL

Teams Told Training Camps Will Open As Scheduled

The NFL is still on track to start the 2020 regular season on time. Yesterday, the NFL advised teams that training camps across the league will still open on July 28th as planned. The league also said that certain selected players will be permitted to report to training camps even earlier than that.

The decision was announced during a virtual meeting amongst the owners yesterday. The Commissioner went on to say after the meeting that they not only plan to start on time, but they are planning to “get ready for games at our stadiums and to engage our fans both in stadiums and through our media partners.”

MLB

Giants To Display Fans’ Images In Stands

Yesterday, the San Francisco Giants announced a new program that will allow fans to send in images of themselves to be used on cardboard cutouts in the stands at games. The “Giants Fan Cutout Program” allows Giants’ fans to send in an image of themselves that will be placed on a cardboard cutout that will be in the stands during Giants’ home games throughout the 2020 season. The program will only be available to San Francisco Giants season ticket-holders

Continue checking oddsusa.com for more updates on the Coronavirus Pandemic.

2020 NFL Hall Of Fame Game Canceled, Enshrinement Postponed

First Preseason game of 2020 season scheduled for August has been canceled

It looks like we are going to have to wait longer than expected for our first football game of the 2020 NFL season. Early this morning, the Pro Football Hall of Fame announced that the opening game of the 2020 preseason, the NFL’s annual Hall of Fame Game, has been canceled. Also, the league announced the enshrinement ceremony for the 2020 Hall of Fame class will be postponed to next year.

Pro Football Hall of Fame CEO and President David Baker voiced his opinions on the decision. He explained that the health and safety of Hall of Famers and football fans came first and foremost when making this decision. “The health and safety of our Hall of Famers, fans and volunteers who make Enshrinement Week so special remains our top priority… the Hall will honor the Centennial Class of 2020 next August, along with what promises to be an equally spectacular Class of 2021…”

The Hall of Fame Game was scheduled to take place on August 6th, 2020. The game was supposed to be a matchup between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Dallas Cowboys. However, now that the Hall of Fame Game is no longer taking place, the Steelers and Cowboys will be expected to report to training camp like the rest of the teams in the league in late July.

The 2020 Pro Football Hall of Fame class will now be honored next summer in 2021. Eight individuals were elected to the Hall of Fame this year. Steve Atwater, Isaac Bruce, Steve Hutchinson, Edgerrin James, and Troy Polamalu, Head Coaches Bill Cowher and Jimmy Johnson, and three contributors: Steve Sabol, Paul Tagliabue, and George Young, will now all be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame next summer with the class of 2021.

NFL Over Under Wins: NFC West Over Under Wins Edition

By: Field Level Media 

NFL Over Under Wins: NFC West Over Under Wins Edition

Arizona Cardinals Over Under Wins: 

In a rough and tumble division, the Cardinals are the upstarts and capable of getting to nine wins if everything breaks perfectly. That’s a huge jump after losing 10 games in 2019 with one tie. We aren’t yet sold on a rebuilt defense or the ability of the offensive line to consistently win in the fourth quarter. 

Arizona Cardinals 2020 schedule 

Sept. 13 at San Francisco 49ers, 4:25 p.m. ET 

Sept. 20 vs. Washington Redskins, 4:05 p.m. ET 

Sept. 27 vs. Detroit Lions, 4:25 p.m. ET 

Oct. 4 at Carolina Panthers, 1:00 p.m. ET 

Oct. 11 at New York Jets, 1:00 p.m. ET 

Oct. 19 at Dallas Cowboys, 8:15 p.m. ET (ESPN) 

Oct. 25 vs. Seattle Seahawks, 4:05 p.m. ET 

BYE 

Nov. 8 vs. Miami Dolphins, 4:25 p.m. ET 

Nov. 15 vs. Buffalo Bills, 4:05 p.m. ET 

Nov. 19 at Seattle Seahawks, 8:25 p.m. ET (FOX/NFL Network/Amazon) 

Nov. 29 at New England Patriots, 1:00 p.m. ET 

Dec. 6 vs. Los Angeles Rams, 4:05 p.m. ET 

Dec. 13 at New York Giants, 1:00 p.m. ET 

Dec. 20 vs. Philadelphia Eagles, 4:05 p.m. ET 

Week 16 vs. San Francisco 49ers, TBD 

Jan. 3 at Los Angeles Rams, 4:25 p.m. ET 

2019 record: 5-10-1 

Last playoff appearance: 2015 

PointsBet over-under for Cardinals wins: 7 

FLM projects: 6 wins 

Upset watch: Arizona is not an easy place to visit, and defending the Kliff Kingsbury offense comes with many caveats. The Philadelphia Eagles didn’t have enough pass rush or quality cornerback play last season to shut down the league’s best passing games, and the Cardinals are shaping up to be a threat for teams that can’t put the QB on the ground. 

Longshot wager: Kingsbury is +2200 to be NFL Coach of the Year, right in line with Steelers coach Mike Tomlin and Pete Carroll of the Seahawks, and 12th from the top (Patriots coach Bill Belichick is +1000). To get that award, it’ll likely take more than nine wins and big noise in the playoffs. KK could cash if he hits 11 wins and his offense realizes its prolific potential. 

Los Angeles Rams Over Under Wins

The Rams’ subtractions in the offseason go beyond the system. A defense anchored by perennial Defensive Player of the Year candidate Aaron Donald helps, but mediocre will not float in the NFC West. 

Los Angeles Rams 2020 schedule 

Sept. 13 vs. Dallas Cowboys, 4 p.m. ET 

Sept. 20 at Philadelphia Eagles, 1 p.m. ET 

Sept. 27 at Buffalo Bills, 1 p.m. ET 

Oct. 4 vs. New York Giants, 4:05 p.m. ET 

Oct. 11 at Washington Redskins, 1 p.m. ET 

Oct. 18 at San Francisco 49ers, 8:20 p.m. ET (NBC) 

Oct. 26 vs. Chicago Bears, 8:15 p.m. ET (ESPN) 

Nov. 1 at Miami Dolphins, 1 p.m. ET 

BYE 

Nov. 15 vs. Seattle Seahawks, 4:25 p.m. ET 

Nov. 23 at Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 8:15 p.m. ET (ESPN) 

Nov. 29 vs. San Francisco 49ers, 4:05 p.m. ET 

Dec. 6 at Arizona Cardinals, 4:05 p.m. ET 

Dec. 10 vs. New England Patriots, 8:20 p.m. ET (FOX/NFL Network/Amazon) 

Week 15 vs. New York Jets, TBD 

Dec. 27 at Seattle Seahawks, 4:05 p.m. ET 

Jan. 3 vs. Arizona Cardinals, 4:25 p.m. ET 

2019 record: 9-7 

Last playoff appearance: 2018 

PointsBet over-under for Rams wins: 8.5 

FLM projects: 7 wins 

Upset watch: Drawing the Cowboys in Los Angeles sets up nicely for the Rams if the plan to ball-control their way to victories pans out. Others to watch in the Rams’ favor are the pair of duels with the San Francisco 49ers. Their 34-31 shootout in December 2019 was an epic battle of offensive brainpower, with the 49ers winning on Robbie Gould’s late FG. 

Longshot wager: The Rams are +450 — third of four teams — to win the NFC West behind the heavily favored 49ers (-110) and Seattle Seahawks (+225). But beating the 49ers and holding their own against Seattle (4-1 in the past five meetings) makes L.A. a reasonable investment to take the division again. 

San Francisco 49ers Over Under Wins

The Super Bowl runner-up hangover is a real trend. But scratching out potential results, it’s easy to envision 10 wins for this roster. If the 49ers avoid injuries, 12 isn’t that big of a stretch. 

San Francisco 49ers 2020 schedule 

Sept. 13 vs. Arizona Cardinals, 4:25 p.m. ET 

Sept. 20 at New York Jets, 1 p.m. ET 

Sept. 27 at New York Giants, 1 p.m. ET 

Oct. 4 vs. Philadelphia Eagles, 8:20 p.m. ET (NBC) 

Oct. 11 vs. Miami Dolphins, 4:05 p.m. ET 

Oct. 18 vs. Los Angeles Rams, 8:20 p.m. ET (NBC) 

Oct. 25 at New England Patriots, 4:25 p.m. ET 

Nov. 1 at Seattle Seahawks, 4:25 p.m. ET 

Nov. 5 vs. Green Bay Packers, 8:20 p.m. ET (FOX/NFL Network/Amazon) 

Nov. 15 at New Orleans Saints, 4:25 p.m. ET 

BYE 

Nov. 29 at Los Angeles Rams, 4:05 p.m. ET 

Dec. 7 vs. Buffalo Bills, 8:15 p.m. (ESPN) 

Dec. 13 vs. Washington Redskins, 4:25 p.m. ET 

Dec. 20 at Dallas Cowboys, 8:20 p.m. ET (NBC) 

Week 16 at Arizona Cardinals, TBD 

Jan. 3 vs. Seattle Seahawks, 4:25 p.m. ET 

2019 record: 13-3 

Last playoff appearance: 2019 

PointsBet over-under for 49ers wins: 10.5 

FLM projects: 11 wins 

Upset watch: Going to New Orleans is no stroll even for San Francisco, and the 49ers are all too familiar with the idea after last year’s 48-46 shootout. These are the kinds of losses that live in the mind and on the bulletin board of Saints quarterback Drew Brees and head coach Sean Payton. 

Longshot wager: Many would rather buy quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo at +7000, but tight end George Kittle (+8000) has the makings of an MVP in this system. If he gets to 110 catches and clears 15 touchdowns as he plays for a long-term contract, Kittle would get a ton of attention to go along with a schedule loaded with national TV exposure. 

Seattle Seahawks Over Under Wins

Not many saw the Seahawks’ 10-2 start coming in 2019, and if not for a litany of injuries that contributed to a 1-3 finish, a 13-3 season was feasible. Yes, the division is stronger, but crossover games with the NFC East and AFC East set up Seattle to hit 10 victories for the seventh time in eight seasons. 

Seattle Seahawks 2020 schedule 

Sept. 13 at Atlanta Falcons, 1 p.m. ET 

Sept 20 vs. New England Patriots, 8:20 p.m. ET (NBC) 

Sept. 27 vs. Dallas Cowboys, 4:25 p.m. ET 

Oct. 4 at Miami Dolphins, 1 p.m. ET 

Oct. 11 vs. Minnesota Vikings, 8:20 p.m. ET (NBC) 

BYE 

Oct. 25 at Arizona Cardinals, 4:05 p.m. ET 

Nov. 1 vs. San Francisco 49ers, 4:25 p.m. ET 

Nov. 8 at Buffalo Bills, 1 p.m. ET 

Nov. 15 at Los Angeles Rams, 4:25 p.m. ET 

Nov. 19 vs. Arizona Cardinals, 8:20 p.m. ET (FOX/NFL Network/Amazon) 

Nov. 30 at Philadelphia Eagles, 8:15 p.m. ET (ESPN) 

Dec. 6 vs. New York Giants, 4:05 p.m. ET 

Dec. 13 vs. New York Jets, 4:05 p.m. ET 

Dec. 20 at Washington Redskins, 1 p.m. ET 

Dec. 27 vs. Los Angeles Rams, 4:05 p.m. ET 

Jan. 3 at San Francisco 49ers, 4:25 p.m. ET 

2019 record: 11-5 

Last playoff appearance: 2019 

PointsBet over-under for Seahawks wins: 9.5 

FLM projects: 11 wins 

Upset watch: The road trip to Washington and the recently reloaded defensive line of the Redskins could be perilous, but we’d also raise the caution flag on the long leg from Seattle to Miami, which comes with pratfalls beyond jetlag. The Dolphins were dangerous in a nothing-to-lose sense last season and will likely be massive underdogs in this one. 

Longshot wager: Linebacker Bobby Wagner is +3300 to win Defensive Player of the Year. Bet $2 to win $66? Sure, we like that return. Wagner turns 30 in June and has relatively high miles, but we believe coach Pete Carroll and Lofa Tatupu when they say Wagner has plenty of good years left. If the defensive line comes together, one more great year isn’t out of the question. 

–Field Level Media 

Coronavirus Update For 6/17/20

Here is the latest information we have to date regarding sports and COVID-19

NBA

League Lays Out Specific Plans, Health Protocols For Season Restart

Yesterday, the NBA sent teams a 100-plus page document that outlined almost every detail of what life will be like for players and staff at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida when the season restarts next month. The document explained social distancing guidelines as well as how the league plans to handle a player or staff member testing positive for COVID-19.

The document laid out a process for players or staff members to follow if they test positive for Coronavirus. First, they will be placed in “isolation housing” to avoid infecting others. The individual will then have to take another COVID-19 test as soon as possible in order to rule out the possibility of a false positive. A third Coronavirus test will be administered 24 hours after the first if the second test comes back negative. A person can only leave isolation once they record two negative Coronavirus test results in a 24 hour period.

MLB

Dr. Fauci Says MLB Season Shouldn’t Go Too Deep Into Fall

Yesterday, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, voiced his concerns about the potential 2020 MLB season. In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, the doctor said baseball would be better served being played during the summer and not extending too far into late Fall.

“If the question is time, I would try to keep it in the core summer months and end it not with the way we play the World Series, until the end of October when it’s cold, I would avoid that.”

Dr. Fauci explaining that the MLB Season should not end too late

When to end the potential season has been a big talking point between the MLB and the Players’ Union. Dr. Fauci said that if baseball is to be played, it should be done mostly during the summer. The MLB season remains in jeopardy as the Commissioner’s office is currently refusing to set a schedule for the season in response to the players’ union’s decision to end negotiations with the league.

NHL

Players Reportedly Won’t Have To Wear Face Shields When Play Resumes

It seems the NHL is confident in its plans to contain COVID-19 when the season picks back up. According to ESPN, the National Hockey League will not expect players to wear face shields during gameplay when the season starts up again. ESPN is saying that this does not necessarily mean players will not wear some type of face-covering during competition.

A person who spoke anonymously to the Associated Press said that emphasis has been placed on player testing and other safety precautions outside of the arena. ESPN is saying that daily testing of players means additional on-ice safety equipment is not expected to be required for practices or games.

NFL

Ohio Governor Says Hall OF Fame Game Likely Won’t Have Fans

The first game of the NFL preseason will likely not have fans. Yesterday, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine said that if the 2020 NFL Hall of Fame Game is played, it will likely be without fans in attendance. The game, which is scheduled for August 6th, will be a matchup between the Dallas Cowboys and the Pittsburgh Steelers.

“As much as I hate to say this, because we’ve all been looking forward to that and I know how much it means to the Canton area and the Stark County area and, really, across the country, it’s a great, great event that we’ve been looking forward to, [but] having a crowd that size is highly unlikely. Certainly, it could not occur today. It would be very dangerous to do it today.”

Mike DeWine explains that fans likely won’t attend the Hall of Fame Game in an interview with WKYC-TV

Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium reportedly has a capacity of 23,000. According to ProFootballTalk, July 1st appears to be the deadline for the final decision on whether or not the game will be played.

Continue checking oddsusa.com for more updates on the Coronavirus Pandemic.

NFL Over Under Wins: NFC South Over Under Wins

By: Field Level Media 

Atlanta Falcons Over Under Wins: 

The NFC South isn’t a breeze, and plenty of tests dot the Atlanta slate start to finish. Going to Green Bay, Kansas City and Minnesota is a steep climb in nonconference play without considering the new and intense challenge of visiting Tampa Bay. Hitting .500 looks like a home run here. 

Atlanta Falcons 2020 schedule 

Sept. 13 vs. Seattle Seahawks, 1 p.m. 

Sept. 20 at Dallas Cowboys, 1 p.m. 

Sept. 27 vs. Chicago Bears, 1 p.m. 

Oct. 5 at Green Bay Packers, 8:15 p.m. (ESPN) 

Oct. 11 vs. Carolina Panthers, 1 p.m. 

Oct. 18 at Minnesota Vikings, 1 p.m. 

Oct. 25 vs. Detroit Lions, 1 p.m. 

Oct. 29 at Carolina Panthers, 8:20 p.m. (FOX/NFL Network/Amazon) 

Nov. 8 vs. Denver Broncos, 1 p.m. 

BYE 

Nov. 22 at New Orleans Saints, 1 p.m. 

Nov. 29 vs. Las Vegas Raiders, 1 p.m. 

Dec. 6 vs. New Orleans Saints, 1 p.m. 

Dec. 13 at Los Angeles Chargers, 4:25 p.m. 

Dec. 20 vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 1 p.m. 

Dec. 27 at Kansas City Chiefs, 1 p.m. 

Jan. 3 at Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 1 p.m. 

2019 record: 7-9 

Last playoff appearance: 2017 

PointsBet over-under for Falcons wins: 7.5 

FLM projects: 7 wins 

Upset watch: It’s been a few moons since head coach Dan Quinn helped Pete Carroll build a Super Bowl defense in Seattle, and he knows where the weak spots are in Russell Wilson’s game. Seattle built a 24-0 lead at halftime when these teams met Week 8 last year, but the game finished as a one-possession result. 

Longshot wager: If the wheels come off for the Falcons — the schedule is rough, and an injury to Matt Ryan could spell doom, for example — PointsBet has installed Atlanta as a +3000 shot (11th-best odds) for the NFL’s worst record. Stranger things have happened. 

Best Sportsbooks 2020

  • New Jersey
  • Most popular
  • Pennsylvania
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Colorado
  • Illinois

Carolina Panthers Over Under Wins

The turnaround in Carolina could be more expeditious than national pundits are projecting, but 2020 isn’t going to bring a playoff aroma to the Panthers. Teddy Bridgewater helps stabilize an offense with an MVP candidate — Christian McCaffrey — front and center. First-year head coach Matt Rhule did everything possible to address his defense by investing each of the team’s draft picks on that side of the ball. The Panthers still don’t stack up from a talent and overall playmaking standpoint. 

Carolina Panthers 2020 schedule (all times ET) 

Sept. 13 vs. Las Vegas Raiders, 1 p.m. 

Sept. 20 at Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 1 p.m. 

Sept. 27 at Los Angeles Chargers, 4:05 p.m. 

Oct. 4 vs. Arizona Cardinals, 1 p.m. 

Oct. 11 at Atlanta Falcons, 1 p.m. 

Oct. 18 vs. Chicago Bears, 1 p.m. 

Oct. 25 at New Orleans Saints, 1 p.m. 

Oct. 29 vs. Atlanta Falcons, 8:20 p.m. (FOX/NFL Network/Amazon) 

Nov. 8 at Kansas City Chiefs, 1 p.m. 

Nov. 15 vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 1 p.m. 

Nov. 22 vs. Detroit Lions, 1 p.m. 

Nov. 29 at Minnesota Vikings, 1 p.m. 

BYE 

Dec. 13 vs. Denver Broncos, 1 p.m. 

Week 15 at Green Bay Packers, TBD 

Dec. 27 at Washington Redskins, 1 p.m. 

Jan. 3 vs. New Orleans Saints, 1 p.m. 

2019 record: 5-11 

Last playoff appearance: 2017 

PointsBet over-under for Panthers wins: 5.5 

FLM projects: 5 wins 

Upset watch: Close games could be the calling card of this team. They rank 18th in strength of schedule. We like their chances to tip the Chicago Bears because of what appears to be an offense without star power, but within the division, the New Orleans Saints are at risk in this matchup. Carolina typically keeps it close against New Orleans and fell just shy — 34-31 — of the upset last November. 

Longshot wager: McCaffrey is +4500 to win the NFL MVP award, and we get that he won’t likely win if the Panthers aren’t putting up Ws. But consider he will be in the running if he gets near 2,750 total yards and 25 touchdowns on a mediocre team. He posted 2,392-19 last season. 

New Orleans Saints Over Under Wins

NFC South division champs for three years running, the Saints still have the muscle to dominate, and the defense could be a tick better. Insurance behind Drew Brees now includes Jameis Winston, and running back Alvin Kamara is primed for a big year for a team that again made a stable offensive line a top priority. Drawing the Chiefs, Packers and 49ers at home is a huge advantage for New Orleans. 

New Orleans Saints 2020 schedule 

Sept. 13 Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 4:25 p.m. ET 

Sept. 21 at Las Vegas Raiders, 8:15 p.m. ET (ESPN) 

Sept. 27 vs. Green Bay Packers, 8:20 p.m. ET (NBC) 

Oct. 4 at Detroit Lions, 1 p.m. ET 

Oct. 12 vs. Los Angeles Chargers, 8:15 p.m. ET (ESPN) 

BYE 

Oct. 25 vs. Carolina Panthers, 1 p.m. ET 

Nov. 1 at Chicago Bears, 4:25 p.m. ET 

Nov. 8 at Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 8:20 p.m. ET (NBC) 

Nov. 15 vs. San Francisco 49ers, 4:25 p.m. ET 

Nov. 22 vs. Atlanta Falcons, 1 p.m. ET 

Nov. 29 at Denver Broncos, 4:05 p.m. ET 

Dec. 6 at Atlanta Falcons, 1 p.m. ET 

Dec. 13 at Philadelphia Eagles, 4:25 p.m. ET 

Dec. 20 vs. Kansas City Chiefs, 4:25 p.m. ET 

Dec. 25 vs. Minnesota Vikings, 4:30 p.m. ET (FOX/NFL Network/Amazon) 

Jan. 3 at Carolina Panthers, 1 p.m. ET 

2019 record: 13-3 

Last playoff appearance: 2019 

PointsBet over-under for Saints wins: 10.5 

FLM projects: 11 wins 

Upset watch: Taking the show on the road has always been a variable for this offense. Going to Denver and Chicago could set the Saints up for tight games — if not losses — but even with Brees out, the Saints were 11-6-0 in 2019 against the spread. 

Longshot wager: The Saints have the fourth-best odds to finish the 2020 season undefeated. That’s probably not happening, but at 150-1, you can find worse ways to spend your wild-card cash. Compare the investment to the Chiefs and Ravens at 25-1. 

Tampa Bay Buccaneers 2020 Schedule

Underrated in the entire projection of the Buccaneers’ 2020 season is a defense that could be downright filthy. So many offensive weapons and arguably the greatest quarterback of all-time will drive a lot of attention, but Tampa’s defense will secure plenty of wins. 

Tampa Bay Buccaneers 2020 schedule 

Sep. 13 at New Orleans Saints, 4:25 p.m. ET 

Sep. 20 vs. Carolina Panthers, 1 p.m. ET 

Sep. 27 at Denver Broncos, 4:25 p.m. ET 

Oct. 4 vs. Los Angeles Chargers, 1:00 p.m. ET 

Oct. 8 at Chicago Bears, 8:20 p.m. ET (FOX/NFL Netwprl/Amazon**) 

Oct. 18 vs. Green Bay Packers, 4:25 p.m. ET 

Oct. 25 at Las Vegas Raiders, 8:20 p.m. ET 

Nov. 2 at New York Giants, 8:15 p.m. ET (ESPN) 

Nov. 8 vs. New Orleans Saints, 8:20 p.m. ET (NBC) 

Nov. 15 at Carolina Panthers, 1 p.m. ET 

Nov. 23 vs. Los Angeles Rams, 8:15 p.m. ET (ESPN) 

Nov. 29 vs. Kansas City Chiefs, 4:25 p.m. ET 

BYE 

Dec. 13 vs. Minnesota Vikings, 1 p.m. ET 

Dec. 20 at Atlanta Falcons, 1 p.m. ET 

Week 16 at Detroit Lions, TBD 

Jan. 3 vs. Atlanta Falcons, 1 p.m. ET 

2019 record: 7-9 

Last playoff appearance: 2007 

PointsBet over-under for Buccaneers wins: 10 

FLM projects: 11 wins 

Upset watch: The Bucs were 5-9-2 against the spread last season, fourth-worst in the NFL, but that’s about to change unless expectations are astronomical. One game that will be watched around the world is the Chiefs visiting Raymond James Stadium in one of the headliners of the 2020 season. We like Tampa’s chances in an emotionally charged environment to post a Brady-driven victory.

Longshot wager: Shaquil Barrett is +3300 to claim Defensive Player of the Year honors, and the 27-year-old might be priced in the right spot at the moment. But if the Buccaneers are the offensive juggernaut many expect, seeing Barrett hit 17 or 18 sacks and racking up big plays is feasible. That puts him squarely in the DPOY conversation. 

–Field Level Media 

Sources: Members Of Two NFL Teams Test Positive For COVID-19

Sources tell ESPN players on the Houston Texans and Dallas Cowboys have tested positive for Coronavirus

Earlier today, it was reported that players on the Cowboys and Texans tested positive for COVID-19. The news was first reported by Tom Pelissero and Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network.

Ezekiel Elliott is one of the players that has tested positive for the Coronavirus according to his agent. Zeke’s agent told the NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport that Elliott is “feeling good.” However, Dallas could not provide any further information on the status of the all-star running back in a statement issued by the team shortly after the news was reported.

Sources say one player was reportedly feeling flu-like symptoms but is fine now. Meanwhile, sources also confirmed that another player who tested positive for the disease is currently asymptomatic. Previously, Von Miller of the Denver Broncos and Brian Allen of the Los Angeles Rams are the only other NFL players that have publicly revealed they tested positive for COVID-19.

According to Ian Rapoport, none of the players that tested positive for the disease have visited team facilities yet. Rapoport is also saying that the Texans and Cowboys are currently following all proper health protocols outlined by local health officials and the NFL.

Coronavirus Update For 6/14/20

Here is the latest information we have to date regarding sports and COVID-19

NBA

Players And Staff To Be Tested Every Other Day For Coronavirus In Orlando

The league sent out a memo to teams yesterday that outlined how Coronavirus testing will take place once the season starts back up again. The NBA said that the first Coronavirus tests for players and staff will happen on June 23rd and then take place every other day after that.

The memo said that all players and staff will be administered a COVID-19 test as well as a COVID-19 antibodies test. Each person on each team will then be tested every other day and two days directly before the team leaves to travel to Orlando. All clubs are scheduled to arrive in Florida between July 7th and July 9th.

NFL

League Commissioners Coming Together For ESPN Special Tomorrow

ESPN will be hosting a conversation tomorrow with a number of commissioners from some of the top professional sports leagues in America. Commissioners from the MLB, NBA, NFL, NHL, MLS, and WNBA will discuss the current state of sports and the concerns about Coronavirus Monday night on SportsCenter Special: The Return of Sports. The program will air from 9 PM to 11 PM EST.

MLB

Players’ Union Rejects Latest Proposal From Owners

There continues to be tension between Major League Baseball players and owners. Yesterday, the MLBPA asked the league to set a schedule for the 2020 season rather than counter the MLB’s latest collective bargaining agreement proposal. MLBPA executive director Tony Clark rejected the proposal and said, “further dialogue with the league would be futile. It’s time to get back to work. Tell us when and where.”

An agreement between the two sides in March allows the MLB to set a schedule for this season. ESPN is saying that the league could impose a schedule of around 50 games that would reportedly pay players their full prorated salary.

NHL

Arizona Coyotes Staff Member Tests Positive For COVID-19

Yesterday, the Arizona Coyotes were informed that a member of their staff had tested positive for COVID-19. The male staffer has said he feels no symptoms of the disease, but he is still self-isolating at home at this time. All other members of the Coyotes’ organization that are in phase two of the NHL’s return-to-play protocols have tested negative for COVID-19.

Continue checking oddsusa.com for more updates on the Coronavirus Pandemic.

NFL And NFLPA Discussing Shortening Preseason

NFL Network reports that discussions began today

There is a chance that we may miss out on some preseason NFL games this year. According to Tom Pelissero of the NFL Network, the league and the players’ union are currently discussing the idea of shortening the 2020 NFL Preseason. Pelissero is saying that the league is considering going from four games to two this year.

Nothing has been finalized yet, but multiple team executives that know of the talks believe the NFL Preseason will be cut in half this year. The abbreviated preseason would allow players to spend more time working out while also giving medical experts more time to establish proper health and safety protocols so that the regular season can start on time and all games can be played.

Pelissero explained what he learned on NFL Now. He said, “none of this has to do with when the regular season would begin. This is strictly about the preseason, having the testing protocols, the game day protocols, all up to speed… Let’s go back to 2011, coming out of the lockout, there was a rash of injuries league statistically, hamstrings, Achilles injuries, and guys just coming back in not the best of shape…”

The first game of the NFL Preseason is scheduled to take place on August 6th when the Cowboys take on the Steelers in the NFL’s Hall of Fame Game. The NFL regular season is still expected to begin on-time on Thursday, September 10th.

NFL Over Under Wins: NFC North Over Under Wins

Chicago Bears Over Under Wins:

A 3-1 start last season had Chicago jazzed about Matt Nagy and the future, but it didn’t take long to nosedive in the NFC North. This season they get the Houston Texans, Tennessee Titans, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and New Orleans Saints in out-of-division games, and it’s difficult to envision the team entering any of those four as the favorite. The trip to Los Angeles to tackle the Rams will also be a stiff test.

Chicago Bears 2020 schedule

Sept. 13 at Detroit Lions, 1 p.m. ET

Sept. 20 vs. New York Giants, 1 p.m. ET

Sept. 27 at Atlanta Falcons, 1 p.m. ET

Oct. 4 vs. Indianapolis Colts, 1 p.m. ET

Oct. 8 vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 8:20 p.m. ET (FOX/NFL Network/Amazon)

Oct. 18 at Carolina Panthers, 1 p.m. ET

Oct. 26 at Los Angeles Rams, 8:15 p.m. ET (ESPN)

Nov. 1 vs. New Orleans Saints, 4:25 p.m. ET

Nov. 8 at Tennessee Titans, 1 p.m. ET

Nov. 16 vs. Minnesota Vikings, 8:15 p.m. ET (ESPN)

BYE

Nov. 29 at Green Bay Packers, 8:20 p.m. ET (NBC)

Dec. 6 vs. Detroit Lions, 1 p.m. ET

Dec. 13 vs. Houston Texans, 1 p.m. ET

Dec. 20 at Minnesota Vikings, 1 p.m. ET

Dec. 27 at Jacksonville Jaguars, 1 p.m. ET

Jan. 3 vs. Green Bay Packers, 1 p.m. ET

2019 record: 8-8

Last playoff appearance: 2018

PointsBet over-under for Bears wins: 8

FLM projects: 7 wins

Upset watch: The Bears were an NFL-worst 4-12 against the spread in 2019. Expectations for a division title defense dwindled early. But there’s still potential for the Bears to regain the roar, and most of the optimism for a resurgence is rooted in a defense with an abundance of talent in the front seven. Chicago is 5-19 against the Green Bay Packers and Aaron Rodgers but has held up relatively well — with multiple chances to win in the fourth quarter.

Longshot wager: Mitchell Trubisky has a lot working against him, including Nagy ally Nick Foles, entering the season. But he’s talented enough to win the starting job, and considering Foles’ injury history, he should play at some point. At 100-1 via PointsBet, he could pay off huge as a roll-of-the-dice MVP bet.

Detroit Lions Over Under Wins

Somehow the Lions landed the fifth-most difficult schedule based on 2019 results, with opponents generating a .525 winning percentage. In a must-win season for head coach Matt Patricia, it’s now or never. When considering whether this could be the Lions’ year, note the franchise hasn’t hit 10 wins since 2014 and lost all eight wild-card playoff chances since 1991.

Detroit Lions 2020 schedule

Sept. 13 vs. Chicago Bears, 1 p.m. ET

Sept. 20 at Green Bay Packers, 1 p.m. ET

Sept. 27 at Arizona Cardinals, 4:25 p.m. ET

Oct. 4 vs. New Orleans Saints, 1 p.m. ET

BYE

Oct. 18 at Jacksonville Jaguars, 1 p.m. ET

Oct. 25 at Atlanta Falcons, 1 p.m. ET

Nov. 1 vs. Indianapolis Colts, 1 p.m. ET

Nov. 8 at Minnesota Vikings, 1 p.m. ET

Nov. 15 vs. Washington Redskins, 1 p.m. ET

Nov. 22 at Carolina Panthers, 1 p.m. ET

Nov. 26 vs. Houston Texans, 12:30 p.m. ET

Dec. 6 at Chicago Bears, 1 p.m. ET

Dec. 13 vs. Green Bay Packers, 1 p.m. ET

Week 15 at Tennessee Titans, TBD

Week 16 vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers, TBD

Jan. 3 vs. Minnesota Vikings, 1 p.m.

2019 record: 3-12-1

Last playoff appearance: 2016

PointsBet over-under for Lions wins: 6.5

FLM projects: 5 wins

Upset watch: The New Orleans Saints are built for the indoor environs of Ford Field, but it’s a good course of action to apply the “Stafford Rule” to at least one game per season, when the conditions are ripe for the rifle-armed quarterback to go bananas and put the Lions in position to win a game they probably shouldn’t. Likewise, the Saints aren’t above playing to the level of competition under Sean Payton.

Longshot wager: Cornerback Jeff Okudah, the No. 3 pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, is not one of the favorites for Defensive Rookie of the Year at 16-1 (PointsBet). Bet on the Lions to make improvement on defense, and if Okudah can make a few game-turning plays, he’ll be in this conversation.

Green Bay Packers Over Under Wins

As a 13-win team that won the NFC North over only one real contender — the Minnesota Vikings — there is more resistance coming for the Packers in 2020. But Aaron Rodgers remains the class of the division at the position, and Green Bay’s defense more than held its own most of the year.

Green Bay Packers 2020 schedule

Sept. 13 at Minnesota Vikings, 1 p.m. ET

Sept. 20 vs. Detroit Lions, 1 p.m. ET FOX

Sept. 27 at New Orleans Saints, 8:20 p.m. ET (NBC)

Oct. 5 vs. Atlanta Falcons, 8:15 p.m. ET (ESPN)

BYE

Oct. 18 at Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 4:25 p.m. ET

Oct. 25 at Houston Texans, 1 p.m. ET

Nov. 1 vs. Minnesota Vikings, 1 p.m. ET

Nov. 5 at San Francisco 49ers, 8:20 p.m. ET (FOX/NFL Network/Amazon)

Nov. 15 vs. Jacksonville Jaguars, 1 p.m. ET

Nov. 22 at Indianapolis Colts, 1 p.m. ET

Nov. 29 vs. Chicago Bears, 8:20 p.m. ET (NBC)

Dec. 6 vs. Philadelphia Eagles, 4:25 p.m. ET

Dec. 13 at Detroit Lions, 1 p.m. ET

Week 15 vs. Carolina Panthers, TBD

Dec. 27 vs. Tennessee Titans, 8:20 p.m. ET (NBC)

Jan. 3 at Chicago Bears, 1 p.m. ET

2019 record: 13-3

Last playoff appearance: 2019

PointsBet over-under for Packers wins: 9

FLM projects: 11 wins

Upset watch: The Packers are going to be favored at Lambeau Field in almost any scenario this season as long as Rodgers is upright. But AFC runner-up Tennessee coming to Green Bay could be a dogfight based on the physical style of play on both sides of the ball from the throwback Titans. It’s the same smashmouth style that exposed the team at San Francisco last season.

Longshot wager: Maybe the Packers didn’t draft well enough, and maybe the lopsided losses to the San Francisco 49ers are still meaningful one year later. But at 30-1 to win the Super Bowl, we are willing to let a few bucks ride on Rodgers ending his season in Tampa.

Minnesota Vikings Over Under Wins

With a healthy Dalvin Cook and a defense fueled by a dynamic pass rush, the Vikings are going to be in almost every game. Mike Zimmer has built a team that won’t beat itself. There is still sufficient doubt over whether quarterback Kirk Cousins can win critical games on the road.

Minnesota Vikings 2020 schedule

Sept. 13 vs. Green Bay Packers, 1 p.m. ET

Sept. 20 at Indianapolis Colts, 1 p.m. ET

Sept. 27 vs. Tennessee Titans, 1 p.m. ET

Oct. 4 at Houston Texans, 1 p.m. ET

Oct. 11 at Seattle Seahawks, 8:20 p.m. ET (NBC)

Oct. 18 vs. Atlanta Falcons, 1 p.m. ET

BYE

Nov. 1 at Green Bay Packers, 1 p.m. ET

Nov. 8 vs. Detroit Lions, 1 p.m. ET

Nov. 16 at Chicago Bears, 8:15 p.m. ET (ESPN)

Nov. 22 vs. Dallas Cowboys, 4:25 p.m. ET

Nov. 29 vs. Carolina Panthers, 1 p.m. ET

Dec. 6 vs. Jacksonville Jaguars, 1 p.m. ET

Dec. 13 at Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 1 p.m. ET

Dec. 20 vs. Chicago Bears, 1 p.m. ET

Dec. 25 at New Orleans Saints, 4:30 p.m. ET (FOX/NFL Network/Amazon)

Jan. 3 at Detroit Lions, 1 p.m. ET

2019 record: 10-6

Last playoff appearance: 2019

PointsBet over-under for Vikings wins: 9

FLM projects: 10 wins

Upset watch: Week 1 against the Green Bay Packers is no picnic, even though Minnesota has won three of the last four meetings at home. The Vikings are likely to be favored. But the Packers won at US Bank Stadium last season for the first time since 2015 and the recipe of ball control — Aaron Jones had 154 yards and two touchdowns — and pass rush lifted Green Bay over the top.

Longshot wager: Zimmer is 25-1 to win NFL Coach of the Year, or about 18th from the top, according to PointsBet. We’d take that action. Minnesota is also 25-1 to win the Super Bowl.

Coronavirus Update For 6/8/20

Here is the latest information we have to date regarding sports and COVID-19

NBA

Sources: League Will Use Win Percentages To Determine Standings

According to sources, the NBA has decided that the standings for the league will be determined by winning percentage when play resumes next month. Sources also said that typical tie-breaking procedures will be used if necessary. These decisions are expected to play an important role in the final seeding of the Western Conference playoffs which has 13 teams competing for eight spots.

The league will be resuming the 2019-20 season next month in Orlando, Florida. 22 teams have been invited to the facilities to participate in eight regular-season games to determine who qualifies for the playoffs. Nine teams from the East and 13 teams from the West will be traveling to Orlando to participate in the events.

MLB

New Proposal From League Reportedly Features 76-Game Season

Sources are saying Major League Baseball has a new offer for a return-to-play plan. A source close to the negotiations told ESPN’s Karl Ravech the league made a proposal to the MLBPA earlier today for a new return-to-play plan. The proposal reportedly features a 76-game regular-season with players receiving 75% of their prorated salaries.

The plan also reportedly has a $200 million postseason pool for the players. Also, the proposal would have the MLB season end no later than October 31st. The playoff schedule, which would feature ten teams, has not yet been finalized.

NFL

Teams Receive Memo About Total Reopening Of Facilities

The league now has a plan in place for clubs to completely reopen team facilities. The NFL reportedly sent out a memo to all teams that states proper guidelines and protocols for the total reopening of training facilities.

The four-part memo breaks down the protocols players must follow to be allowed back into facilities. Some of the factors players must take into consideration include physical distancing, proper cleaning and hygiene, and even taking steps to educate yourself about the spread of COVID-19.

The NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero is reporting that no timetables have been set for when minicamps or training camps are expected to begin. However, Pelissero is reporting that the NFL and the NFLPA are discussing the possibility of certain players, like rookies or veterans on new teams, being allowed to return to facilities before June 26th.

NHL

League Transitioning To Next Phase Of Return-To-Play Plan

The National Hockey League continues to move closer to normalcy. The NHL announced that it is transitioning into phase two of its return-to-play plan. This means that teams will be allowed to reopen training facilities starting today if local regulations allow it.

During this next phase of the plan, NHL players and coaches will have much more freedom to work out and train. Players will be permitted to work out in small groups of no more than six. Players will also be required to wear face coverings at all times in the facility except when exercising or on the ice.

Continue checking oddsusa.com for more updates on the Coronavirus Pandemic.

Coronavirus Update For 6/4/20

Here is the latest information we have to date regarding sports and COVID-19

NBA

Sources: League Approves Plan To Restart Season In Orlando

Basketball is almost here! Earlier today, a source told ESPN that the league’s Board of Governors voted to approve the league’s 22-team format to restart the 2019-20 season. Sources say the plan was approved in a 29-1 vote.

Under the plan, 13 Western Conference teams and nine Eastern Conference teams will head to Orlando, Florida to resume and eventually finish the 2019-20 NBA season. Each team will play in eight regular-season games to determine playoff seeding. There will be a potential play-in tournament for the eighth seed in either conference if necessary.

NHL

Source: League And Players’ Union Agree On Playoff Format

Hockey is coming back! According to ESPN’s sources, the NHL and the NHLPA have agreed on a playoff proposal. The plan features a 24-team qualifying tournament comprised of best-of-five series. Sources say all four rounds of the playoffs will be a best-of-seven series.

According to ESPN, Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly said the league is on track to hold Training Camps starting in July. Determining health and safety protocols will be the next step in the league’s plan to return to play.

MLB

League Reportedly Rejects MLBPA’s 114-Game Proposal

It looks like we will have to continue waiting for the return of Professional Baseball. ESPN’s sources have confirmed that Major League Baseball rejected the MLBPA’s return-to-play proposal that included a 114-game schedule with no additional salary cuts. Sources are saying the league did not make a counterproposal to the players’ union.

Players presented their proposal to the league on Sunday in response to management’s plan of an 82-game season. Under the players’ plan, the regular season would run from June 30th to October 31st. At this time the league has said it has no interest in extending the season into November.

NFL

Coaches Allowed To Return To Facilities This Week

NFL coaching staff members will be allowed to return to team facilities starting this week. Commissioner Goodell sent out a memo to clubs that said coaches will be allowed to return to team facilities starting tomorrow. The league has said that players who are not being treated for injuries are still not allowed to work out at team facilities at this time.

The memo states that coaches may only return to club facilities if the team “received necessary permission from state and local governments to reopen its facility.” Clubs may also have up to 100 employees at the team facility if given permission by local authorities.

Continue checking oddsusa.com for more updates on the Coronavirus Pandemic.

Heisman Odds for the Longshots: Who Is This Year’s Joe Burrow?

By: Travis Pulver 

Part of the reason why Joe Burrow was such a great story at LSU last season was that no one really saw him coming. The year before, he only completed 57.8 percent (219-for-379) of his passes for 2894 yards and 16 touchdowns with five interceptions. He was not bad, but he was nothing special. 

If anything, he was the definition of adequate—which was why he was a long shot at winning the Heisman at +20000 heading into last season. For those that believed, their faith paid off. 

As the 2020 season draws near, fans must be wondering who this year’s Joe Burrow could be. 

Longshot Heisman Odds: Is Anyone Worth the Risk?

Lots of guys have insanely long odds. But how do you figure out which ones are worth betting on? 

He can’t be a superstar. Talent is a must, but fans need to be surprised when he blows up the first couple weeks of the season. If he is already being talked about for his NFL potential, he isn’t really a longshot. 

His team’s schedule must have at least a few tough games on it. To be the man, you have to beat the man (Ric Flair “Woooo”). Voters like to see talented players shine. But, to get Heisman votes, they need to shine against the better teams in the country— and win. 

Heisman winners do not come from teams that lose a lot (or even a little). 

Also, Heisman winners can’t do it alone. They need help in the form of other talented players. Running backs need an offensive line that can block, quarterbacks need wide receivers that can catch, and wide receivers need a quarterback that can throw. 

In short, they need to be good but not great (yet), they need to face and beat some great teams, and the team needs to be talented. There just so happens to be a few guys that fit that description: 

  • Kyle Trask, QB, Florida; +4500 (odds via FanDuel

He isn’t exactly an unknown commodity after rising from obscurity last season to lead the Gators to an 11-2 record and a bowl win. With the team surrounding him, the talent will be there. In the SEC, the schedule will certainly be tough enough, too. 

The question, of course, is whether he can take his game to the next level. If he does and Florida wins the SEC, he could be headed to New York in early December for a particular ceremony. 

  • CJ Verdell, RB, Oregon; +8000 

With a first-year starter at quarterback this season, the Ducks will likely lean on Verdell and the defense to lead the way. However, with the Pac-12 not being held in the highest regard, the Ducks will need to go undefeated and win the conference for Verdel to have a shot. 

That is, as long as he remains the focal point of the offense, can average 6.2 yards/carry (like last season) or better, and gets into the endzone more often (he had eight touchdowns last season). 

  • John Rhys Plumlee, QB Ole Miss; +6000 

Joe Burrow got some help becoming a superstar from passing game coordinator Joe Brady. Maybe an offensive mastermind like Lane Kiffin can do the same for Plumlee (a dual-threat QB). He will get tested with games against Baylor, Auburn, LSU, Alabama, Florida, and Texas A&M). 

Should he pass each test with flying colors, he could go from being a longshot to a sure thing. 

The Best Running Back Longshot Heisman Odds

  • Chuba Hubbard, RB, Oklahoma State; +5000 

He finished 8th in the Heisman vote last season, led the country in rushing yards with 2094, and scored 21 touchdowns. But with the bias towards quarterbacks, his odds of winning are not high despite his undeniable talent. 

Should he produce as well again this year and lead the Cowboys to a Big 12 title (which is possible), we could see a running back win the Heisman for the first time since 2015. 

  • Najee Harris, RB, Alabama; +8000 

Quarterbacks usually win the Heisman, but the last two running backs to take home the trophy both came from Alabama. With the offensive line Harris has coming back, and a question mark at quarterback, Alabama is probably going to lean on him heavy early on. 

With the stat sheet he will produce, he will go from longshot to favorite pretty quick. 

  • JT Daniels, QB, Georgia; +12500 (odds via BetMGM

Daniels could be the dark horse of all dark horses. He will need a waiver from the NCAA after transferring from USC to Georgia just to be eligible to play—and that is the easy part. The tough part will be beating out another transfer, former Wake Forest QB Jamie Newman.     

However, should he do so, the stage will be set for a Joe Burrow-like emergence. He was good but not great during his freshman campaign at USC. The Bulldogs have a talented roster that can help make him look good. Georgia’s schedule is the kind voters love, and he will be in the SEC. 

Everyone watches/follows the SEC. 

NFL Training Camp Only Allowed At Team Facilities

League expected to make change to off-season policy by late-July

The NFL is making yet another change to the off-season schedule as the world continues to feel the impact of the ongoing Coronavirus Pandemic. According to the NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo, earlier today, the league informed all 32 clubs that training camps will only be held at team facilities this season. Fans had previously been allowed to attend NFL Training camps at designated locations across the country before this season.

The purpose of the decision is to limit the amount of travel and potential exposure to COVID-19. ESPN is reporting that there are seven teams that are expecting to hold their training camps at locations different from where their training facilities are.

This afternoon, two franchises announced the cancellation of training camps held outside team facilities. It is being reported that the Panthers will not be holding their training camp at Wofford College in South Carolina for the first time in franchise history. It is also being reported that the Dallas Cowboys will not hold Training Camp in Oxnard, California this summer as originally scheduled.

ESPN is reporting that the league plans to announce the policy change soon. Also, the league reportedly has a tentative start date of late July for the beginning of camps.

NFL Over Under Wins: NFC East Over Under Wins

Dallas Cowboys Over Under Wins 

Teams undergoing a coaching change and system shift are at a disadvantage this offseason, and the transition could be even more seismic if quarterback Dak Prescott chooses to play hide-and-seek over his contract demands. The NFC East shouldn’t be too tough — we’re not buying the Giants or Redskins as contenders, yet — but drawing the NFC West plus the Minnesota Vikings and Baltimore Ravens doesn’t set up coach Mike McCarthy for smooth sailing. 

Dallas Cowboys 2020 schedule 

Sept. 13 at Los Angeles Rams, 8:20 p.m. ET (NBC) 

Sept. 20 vs. Atlanta Falcons, 1 p.m. ET 

Sept. 27 at Seattle Seahawks, 4:25 p.m. ET 

Oct. 4 vs. Cleveland Browns, 1 p.m. ET 

Oct. 11 vs. New York Giants, 4:25 p.m. ET 

Oct. 19 vs. Arizona Cardinals, (Mon) 8:15 p.m. ET (ESPN) 

Oct. 25 at Washington Redskins, 1 p.m. ET 

Nov. 1 at Philadelphia Eagles, 8:20 p.m. ET (NBC) 

Nov. 8 vs. Pittsburgh Steelers, 4:25 p.m. ET 

BYE 

Nov. 22 at Minnesota Vikings, 4:25 p.m. ET 

Nov. 26 vs. Washington Redskins, 4:30 p.m. ET 

Dec. 3 at Baltimore Ravens, 8:20 p.m. ET (FOX/NFL Network/Amazon) 

Dec. 13 at Cincinnati Bengals, 1 p.m. ET 

Dec. 20 vs. San Francisco 49ers, 8:20 p.m. ET (NBC) 

Dec. 27 vs. Philadelphia Eagles, 4:25 p.m. ET 

Jan. 3 at New York Giants, 1 p.m. ET 

2019 record: 8-8 

Last playoff appearance: 2018 

PointsBet over-under for Cowboys wins: 9.5 

FLM projects: 9 wins 

Upset watch: Going to Cincinnati sets up as a risky trip for the Cowboys in what is the first meeting between the teams since 2016 and Dallas’ first trip to play the Bengals since 2012. 

Longshot wager: PointsBet has the Cowboys at +200 to miss the playoffs, and we need flip back only a few months to realize this is beyond plausible. The schedule isn’t kind to the Cowboys, and an offseason of uncertain could be a stormy brew leading to a slow start for a team with a recent history of bombing in December. 

New York Giants Over Under wins

It should help to be 26th in strength of schedule, but how much? Quarterback Daniel Jones should be improved, and there are high expectations for running back Saquon Barkley, but how much better is the offensive line? If Jones is running for his life and Barkley has be his own blocker, a dismal season is easy to envision. Based on the holes in this defense, can first-year coach Joe Judge even get the Giants to last year’s total of four wins? 

New York Giants 2020 schedule 

Sept. 14 vs. Pittsburgh Steelers, 7:15 p.m. ET (ESPN) 

Sept. 20 at Chicago Bears, 1 p.m. ET 

Sept. 27 vs. San Francisco 49ers, 1 p.m. ET 

Oct. 4 at Los Angeles Rams, 4:05 p.m. ET 

Oct. 11 at Dallas Cowboys, 4:25 p.m. ET 

Oct. 18 vs. Washington Redskins, 1 p.m. ET 

Oct. 22 at Philadelphia Eagles, 8:20 p.m. ET (FOX/NFL Network/Amazon) 

Nov. 2 vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 8:15 p.m. ET (ESPN) 

Nov. 8 at Washington Redskins, 1 p.m. ET 

Nov. 15 vs. Philadelphia Eagles, 1 p.m. ET 

BYE 

Nov. 29 at Cincinnati Bengals, 1 p.m. ET 

Dec. 6 at Seattle Seahawks, 4:05 p.m. ET 

Dec. 13 vs. Arizona Cardinals, 1 p.m. ET 

Dec. 20 vs. Cleveland Browns, 1 p.m. ET 

Dec. 27 at Baltimore Ravens, 1 p.m. ET 

Jan. 3 vs. Dallas Cowboys, 1 p.m. ET 

2019 record: 4-12 

Last playoff appearance: 2016 

PointsBet over-under for Giants wins: 6.5 

FLM projects: 5 wins 

Upset watch: Tom Brady and the Buccaneers come to New York, and rest assured the betting public will be ready to hammer Tampa Bay. If the Giants don’t sleepwalk into this one in the weeks prior, take a flier on a big game from Barkley under the spotlight on Monday Night Football. 

Longshot wager: If you are into longshots, the Giants are +4500 on PointsBet’s NFL oddsboard to win the NFC Championship. Hard to believe, sure, but consider the San Francisco 49ers were +2200 at this time last year. Only the Panthers and Redskins are longer shots to rep the conference in the Super Bowl. 

Philadelphia Eagles Over Under Wins

The Eagles went 5-3 at home last season, but the teams coming to Philadelphia this season — Ravens, Rams, Saints, Seahawks among them — put an industrial-strength slant on the schedule for the NFC East favorites. A peek at the depth chart post-draft leaves one to wonder if there’s enough pass rush (again) and cornerback depth (we repeat). 

Philadelphia Eagles 2020 schedule 

Sept. 13 at Washington Redskins, 1:00 p.m. ET 

Sept. 20 vs. Los Angeles Rams, 1:00 p.m. ET 

Sept. 27 vs. Cincinnati Bengals, 1:00 p.m. ET 

Oct. 4 at San Francisco 49ers, 8:20 p.m. ET (NBC) 

Oct. 11 at Pittsburgh Steelers, 1:00 p.m. ET 

Oct. 18 vs. Baltimore Ravens, 1:00 p.m. ET 

Oct. 22 vs. New York Giants, 8:20 p.m. ET (FOX/NFLN/Amazon) 

Nov. 1 vs. Dallas Cowboys, 8:20 p.m. ET (NBC) 

BYE 

Nov. 15 at New York Giants, 1:00 p.m. ET 

Nov. 22 at Cleveland Browns, 1:00 p.m. ET 

Nov. 30 vs. Seattle Seahawks, 8:15 p.m. ET (ESPN) 

Dec. 6 at Green Bay Packers, 4:25 p.m. ET 

Dec. 13 vs. New Orleans Saints, 4:25 p.m. ET 

Dec. 20 at Arizona Cardinals, 4:05 p.m. ET 

Dec. 27 at Dallas Cowboys, 4:25 p.m. ET 

Jan. 3 vs. Washington Redskins, 1:00 p.m. ET 

2019 record: 9-7 

Last playoff appearance: 2019 

PointsBet over-under for Eagles wins: 9.5 

FLM projects: 9 wins 

Upset watch: Aggressive could be defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz’s middle name, and he’ll throw a blitz of every size and shape at Lamar Jackson when the Ravens come to town. The Eagles are looking to create their own Jackson knock-off in rookie Jalen Hurts, which is sure to be an intriguing storyline entering this meeting of 2019 division winners. 

Longshot wager: At 25-1 odds via PointsBet, quarterback Carson Wentz could be worth a wager as NFL MVP. He set a franchise record for passing yards in 2019 and did it without much to brag about at wide receiver. The talent is abundantly upgraded at the pass-catching positions, Wentz has another year in the system and, if healthy, has already played at an MVP level for extended stretches. 

Washington Redskins Over Under Wins

Washington is still essentially playing with a rookie at quarterback, and the business model for first-year coach Ron Rivera is to pound the rock and let the defense win games. That’s a tough position to leverage in a league that thrives by exploding the scoreboard with video-game passing numbers. 

Washington Redskins 2020 schedule 

Sept. 13 vs. Philadelphia Eagles, 1 p.m. ET 

Sept. 20 at Arizona Cardinals, 4:05 p.m. ET 

Sept. 27 at Cleveland Browns, 1 p.m. ET 

Oct. 4 vs. Baltimore Ravens, 1 p.m. ET 

Oct. 11 vs. Los Angeles Rams, 1 p.m. ET 

Oct. 18 at New York Giants, 1 p.m. ET 

Oct. 25 vs. Dallas Cowboys, 1 p.m. ET 

BYE 

Nov. 8 vs. New York Giants, 1 p.m. ET 

Nov. 15 at Detroit Lions, 1 p.m. ET 

Nov. 22 vs. Cincinnati Bengals, 1 p.m. ET 

Nov. 26 at Dallas Cowboys, 4:30 p.m. ET 

Dec. 6 at Pittsburgh Steelers, 1 p.m. ET 

Dec. 13 at San Francisco 49ers, 4:25 p.m. ET 

Dec. 20 vs. Seattle Seahawks, 1 p.m. ET 

Dec. 27 vs. Carolina Panthers, 1 p.m. ET 

Jan. 3 at Philadelphia Eagles, 1 p.m. ET 

2019 record: 3-13 

Last playoff appearance: 2015 

PointsBet over-under for Redskins wins: 5.5 

FLM projects: 4 wins 

Upset watch: Young teams rarely make noise on the road, but a defensive line with five first-round picks, including No. 2 overall selection Chase Young, is going to put a charge in teams that can’t protect the quarterback. Enter the Arizona Cardinals and Kyler Murray, who’ll be running for his life again unless the ragtag front five magically improves. 

Longshot wager: Do we really believe in the Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles so much that the NFC East couldn’t be claimed by a longshot? Let’s say no. The Redskins are worth a sniff at +2200 to win the East considering the delta between this team and the favorites — Dallas is -110, and the Eagles are +115.