OddsUSA NCAAF Best Bet of the Week for Week 13: Notre Dame at UNC

Ian Book has been here before, and he does not want history to repeat itself. During his freshman season in 2017, Notre Dame entered their game against No. 7 Miami ranked No. 3 in the nation. While the Hurricanes were supposed to be tough, the Fighting Irish were supposed to win—but they did not.

Just like that, their national championship dreams came to an end that year.

The situation is a little different this time around. The College Football Playoff Committee just named Notre Dame the No. 2 team in the country, and this time, Book is the starting quarterback. As for their opponent, North Carolina, the Tar Heels are good but not as highly ranked as Miami was (UNC is No. 19).

This could be a trap game for the Fighting Irish, but it could just as easily be nothing more than a stepping stone on their journey to the playoffs.

Spread: Notre Dame -5.0

Moneyline: Notre Dame -195; North Carolina +155

Over/Under: 68.0

*Odds via DraftKings.com

Notre Dame Fighting Irish Betting Preview

If Ian Book wanted to make one last-ditch effort to get into the Heisman conversation, this would be the game to do it in. While Notre Dame has a good defense, the North Carolina offense is simply one you hope to slow down as it is too potent to stop it altogether.

Sam Howell is a talented, veteran quarterback with better wide receivers, and he is going to know how to exploit the Notre Dame defense better than Uiagalelei.

Now, the Notre Dame defense did limit Clemson’s run game to just 34 yards, but the secondary got torched by DJ Uiagalelei for 400+ yards and a pair of touchdowns.

That means, to secure a win, the Fighting Irish are going to need Book to put up some big numbers—on the stat sheet and the scoreboard.

With one of the better offensive lines in the country and an excellent group of wide receivers and running backs, that should not be a problem. It helps, of course, that the Tar Heels defense is not very tough; they rarely force turnovers and allow over 30 points a game.

UNC Tar Heels Betting Preview

The Tar Heels came into the season with high expectations but struggled to get on track early on. Consequently, they lost two games they probably should have won. So, more than likely, they are out of the national championship and ACC title pictures.

But with how the offense has looked in the last two games, they could certainly play spoiler to a team with aspirations like Notre Dame.

Howell threw for close to 800 yards and nine touchdowns combined in his last two games… and not at the expense of the run game. Against Wake Forest, they ran for 192 yards, and that was after they gouged the Duke Blue Devils for 338 yards and five touchdowns in the previous week.

However, they may struggle to run the ball against Notre Dame’s run defense. Sam Howell will need to get on the same page with his wide receivers early in the game in order to open up their run game.

Notre Dame at UNC Betting Prediction

Notre Dame’s best defense in this game will be their offense, especially their run game. Why? Because Sam Howell cannot throw touchdowns if he is not on the field. North Carolina’s defense is averaging 151.9 yards a game, so, theoretically, it may not be easy. But the Tar Heels gave up 241 yards to Florida State, 210 to Virginia, and 260 to Virginia Tech.

So, the Fighting Irish will likely try to win this one on the ground where UNC is giving up just 75 yards a game. With the No. 14 rushing attack in the country, there is a good chance they will succeed. North Carolina will stay in the game because of their passing attack, but they will be hard-pressed to win this one. Notre Dame is a complete team while the Tar Heels have too many holes.

Take Notre Dame to win straight up and against the spread. Plus, if you feel like a one-game parlay thanks to these two offenses, you should also hit the over with no problem.

OddsUSA College Football Best Bet of the Week: Mississippi State at LSU

By: Travis Pulver

  • Spread: LSU -16.5
  • Moneyline: LSU -1250; Mississippi State +750
  • Over/Under: 56.0

*Odds via DraftKings.com

It has been a long time coming, but the defending national champions will finally take the field this weekend when the LSU Tigers host the Mississippi State Bulldogs for the 114th time. While it hasn’t always been the most competitive rivalry, it is a rivalry, nonetheless.

Fans can count on both teams bringing their ‘A’ games.

If history is any indication, though, the game may already be done and over with. Since 1985, LSU has lost to Mississippi State just five times. Only two losses have come since the turn of the millennium. But when both teams take the field Saturday, neither will be much like it was last season.

So, since they have yet to play a single game, how can you trust what they will play like? You can’t. That means fans will have to decide how to bet off what little they do know.

LSU Tigers Betting Preview

When you think about a national champion that went 15-0 taking on a team that went 6-7 last season, it is hard not to favor the defending champs. But these champs are not going to look too much like the group that won it all last season.

Last year’s team saw 14 guys get drafted, five inside the first round. Twenty former players total are now on NFL rosters. Another 15 are gone due to opt-outs, transfers, and/or dismissals. That means the roster has only a few returning starters and even less with experience of any kind.

Due to all the personnel losses, many have viewed the Tigers’ preseason rank to be a little inflated (No.6). But head coach Ed Orgeron has always been viewed as a solid recruiter. However, while fielding an almost brand-new starting offense will be a challenge, replacing passing game coordinator Joe Brady may be asking too much.

They have tasked Scott Linehan with that job. But as antiquated as he was with the Cowboys, is he going to be up to the challenge?

It doesn’t get any easier on defense, either. Defensive coordinator Dave Aranda is now the head coach at Baylor. Former Nebraska head coach, Bo Pelini, steps in as the new DC. He will need to find several new starters, as well, along with installing a new scheme.

Mississippi State Bulldogs Betting Preview

For the Bulldogs, the story is all about their new head coach—Mike Leach. With him, will, of course, be his ‘air raid,’ pass-happy offense. To guide it, he will have former Stanford quarterback and graduate transfer, K.J. Costello.

Officially, freshman Will Rogers is also listed as the starter, but he will probably only play if Costello falls flat on his face.

Costello’s best offensive weapon will be running back Kylin Hill, the SEC’s leading returning rusher. He will likely not see nearly as many carries but will probably get lots of work as a receiver out of the backfield.

His receivers do not have a ton of experience, but they will get put to work quickly in Mike Leach’s offense.

If there is a downside to the offense, it is the front line. Last year’s group as a good one, but losing Tyre Phillips (tackle) and Darryl Williams (center) will hurt. How quickly the rebuilt line can gel will be the key to whatever success the Bulldogs have on offense.  

But if there is a downside to Mississippi State, it is the defense. While there is talent in the group, it will be down five of last season’s top tacklers.  The defensive line is expected to be tough, and the linebackers will be led by a beast in Errol Thompson.

Their problem, however, will be in the secondary. While some experience does return, it will need to learn from last season and perform better this year.

OddsUSA Best Bet of the Week Betting Prediction

LSU will likely be just fine despite losing so many players from the championship squad. Programs like the Tigers tend to reload with ease because they recruit so well. That could very well be the case for the Tigers this season.

However, with new coaches on both sides of the ball to go with so many new starters, it would not be shocking to see LSU get off to a slow start. Not only does it take time to learn how to play together, but it takes time to learn how to play a new system together.

Having Scott Linehan coordinating the passing game is not encouraging.

Mississippi State will have its share of growing pains as well, but the Bulldogs may start with a slight edge since it has more returning starters. However, Ed Orgeron is the better head coach between him and Mike Leach. While his players may not look great right out of the gate, he will make the necessary in-game changes to get things on track. So—how should you bet? Take Mississippi State to win against the spread, but for LSU to win straight up. As for the over/under, with how well a Mike Leach offense can score, take the over (56).

Heisman Trophy Odds for Week 3: A Tiger Leads the Chase

By: Travis Pulver

Even though we are only two weeks in, college football seems to have figured out how to keep the season moving forward. It will look unlike any other season with one major conference not active and another not starting until late October.

But that means other, smaller schools will get a chance to be in the national spotlight like never before. It also means there is a distinct possibility someone at a school that usually gets little to no national attention has a shot at the Heisman Trophy this year. 

However, until every Big 12, ACC, and SEC team plays, the picture will remain a little muddy. But since we have seen most ACC teams and some of the Big 12, there are a few players worth talking about.

Heisman Trophy Odds: Trevor Lawrence’s to Lose?

Preseason favorites rarely win, but in this case, with the talent pool being smaller, it would not be shocking if that rule did not apply. Of course, it helps that Trevor Lawrence (+300; odds via BetMGM) got off to such a strong start with a 350+ yard, three-touchdown game against Wake Forest.

This would be a perfect season for a running back to steal the show, and Lawrence has one of the best in the country in the Clemson backfield with him in Travis Etienne (+2000). His day against Wake Forest will undoubtedly keep him in the hunt (17 carries, 102 yards, and a touchdown). But he’ll need to have a few ‘wow’ days to overtake Lawrence.

Miami’s D’Eriq King has the second-best odds (+700) and is considered a serious candidate with how his career at Houston unfolded. While he led the Hurricanes to a win over UAB last week and accounted for 223 total yards of offense and two touchdowns, voters will want to see a better passing game (144 yards) to take him seriously.

Oklahoma’s Spencer Rattler (+900) showed voters the kind of day they’d like, 14-17 for 290 yards and four touchdowns against Missouri State. If he can keep that kind of production up when Big 12 play starts, he could give Lawrence a run for his money.

The same could be said for Texas quarterback Sam Ehlinger (+1200), who had 426 yards and five touchdowns against UTEP. Notre Dame’s Ian Book (+3000) didn’t have a bad day against Duke (19-31 for 263 yards, one touchdown, and an interception). But Heisman voters are going to want to see better.

Micale Cunningham should be on every voter’s radar after his 343-yard, four total touchdown day against Western Kentucky. If he can have a similar kind of day against Miami’s defense this week, his odds will probably shorten quite a bit.

Sam Howell (+5000) got off to a slow start against Syracuse last week but still ended the day with a good stat line (25-34, 295 yards, one touchdown, and two interceptions). North Carolina didn’t play well until the fourth quarter in that game, so we probably haven’t seen his best yet.

The Rest of the Pack’s Heisman Trophy Odds

Of course, many guys have yet to play that could very well work their way into the Heisman race. Some of them have great odds already; some not so much. Once they start playing, we’ll get an idea of who has a real shot and who doesn’t.

The following are just a handful of the guys fans should keep an eye on as the rest of the active college football teams start to play:

  • Racey McMath +1000
  • JT Daniels           +1400
  • Kellen Mond     +1600
  • Mac Jones          +2500
  • K.J. Costello       +2500
  • Kyle Trask           +2500
  • Chuba Hubbard                +3000

Memphis quarterback Brady White (+10000) had a good day in a win over Arkansas State (280 yards, four touchdowns, and one interception. Grant Wells (no odds) had a great day in Marshall’s season opener (307 yards and four touchdowns).

But a few small school players even have odds. Since they do not play the best competition, it will be harder for them to garner enough attention to be given odds.

So—who’s going to win?

That is a great question. However, it is one we can’t even begin to answer until we hear how the Heisman Trust wants to deal with the Big Ten starting in October now. That decision will add several good candidates to the race, but they will not play as many games as the rest.

If allowed in, that could give those candidates an unfair advantage. So, will the Trust exclude them or possibly push the award date back?

Only time will tell.

Heisman Trophy Odds Revisited: Do Not Count Anyone Out—Yet

By: Travis Pulver 

Heisman Trophy Odds Revisited: Do Not Count Anyone Out—Yet

With all the changes that the college football season has endured, it is good to know that one thing has stayed the same—the Heisman Trophy. Many wondered if the Trust would change things up this year and award after the Big Ten and Pac-12 play in the spring. 

But the Heisman Trophy Trust will hand out the award like it always does in early December. 

What does this mean for gamblers? It means the player pool will be a lot smaller, with two major conferences not playing and several players opting out because of coronavirus concerns. If you took a chance and rolled the dice on a long shot, good for you. His odds are not going to be nearly as long now(probably). 

It could also mean the usual rules are out the window. With a smaller player pool, maybe a defensive player can capture the hearts of voters and win. At the least, running backs and wide receivers will have a better chance. 

But who is going to win? 

Heisman Trophy Odds Revisited: We Have A New Favorite

Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields was the preseason favorite to win the Heisman this year, and deservedly so. But with the Big Ten not playing this season, Fields is no longer a candidate—which also means we need a new favorite. 

No one should be surprised that it is Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence (+200; odds via DraftKings). What may be surprising, though, is that the player with the next best odds has yet to start a game, Oklahoma’s Spencer Rattler (+700). 

Since his odds are significantly higher than Lawrence, are oddsmakers trying to send us a message? Is this year’s Heisman Lawrence’s to lose? What about the preseason Heisman favorite curse? Not familiar with that one? 

It’s simple—preseason Heisman favorites rarely even get invited to the ceremony in December, let alone win. But Lawrence might get lucky in this case since Ohio State’s Justin Fields was the original favorite. Then again, he might not. 

Lawrence is the favorite heading into the season because he is the superstar we know. We have seen just how great he can be—which is why he was one of the favorites heading into last season. But his game was lackluster at best, and he quickly fell out of contention. 

He is the obvious choice for favorite with Fields out, but the usual rules will apply in the end. Voters are going to gravitate to whoever shocks them. They are going to look for someone with the ‘wow’ factor. If no one does have it, Lawrence could be the fallback plan (assuming he plays well enough). 

JT Daniels (+1000) could certainly be that guy now that the job is his at Georgia. 

Is it Time for a Running Back to Take Over the Heisman Trophy Odds

But with the player pool being thinner, the door could be wide open for a running back, wide receiver, or even a defensive player winning. Travis Etienne (+1400), Najee Harris (+2200), and Jaylen Waddle (+2000) stand to be on the radar of voters more than they would have. Should Chuba Hubbard (+3300) replicate last season’s success, he has to become a front runner. 

If Lawrence is not impressive, but someone plays like Chase Young did last year, we could see our first defensive Heisman winner. Maybe LSU defensive back Derek Stingley Jr. (+10000 

This could also be the year we see a Group of Five player become a legitimate candidate. Had Miami’s D’Eriq King (+800) stayed at Houston, he would be a great option. But at Miami, he will be on a better overall team, which will improve his chances. 

Louisville quarterback Micale Cunningham (+5000) certainly has a good shot. Memphis quarterback Brady White (+25000) had a great game in their season opener. But Group of Five guys could also have an even harder time getting consideration since they will not be playing against any Power Five teams. 

So—who is going to win? 

That’s a great question. Without interconference games this season, voting is going to be even more subjective than usual. So, while this could be the season for a running back, wide receiver, or defensive player to win, it wouldn’t be shocking to see voters focus their attention on the early favorites.

OddsUSA NCAA Football Best Bet of the Week for Week 1: Coastal Carolina at Kansas

By: Travis Pulver 

OddsUSA NCAA Football Best Bet of the Week for Week 1: Coastal Carolina at Kansas

  • Spread: Kansas -7 
  • Moneyline: Kansas -265; Coastal Carolina +205 
  • Over/Under: 56.5 

*Odds via DraftKings.com 

No, the Coastal Carolina-Kansas game is not going to be must-see-TV. It may not even be worth having on as background noise if you have friends over Saturday night. If you are thinking about recording it, remember that we have NFL games on Sunday. 

But it is a game that gamblers should find intriguing. 

Kansas will be entering its second year under former LSU-great, Les Miles. In his first year, the Jayhawks went a dismal 3-9, the worst single-season record Miles has ever had as a head coach. It was the second year in a row Kansas went 3-9 and the fifth time in the last ten seasons. 

Oh— and one of those nine losses was a 12-7 defeat at the hands of the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers. Yet, for some reason, oddsmakers have made Kansas a touchdown favorite in the game. Surely, there must be a reason…right? 

Handicapping the Kansas Jayhawks

If fans were hoping for a quick turnaround in their first season under Les Miles, they were delusional. Yes, Miles is a former national champion, but Kansas has been one of the country’s worst programs for over a decade. It is going to take time for him to work his magic. 

He certainly didn’t work much last season. His offense managed to score less than it did the year before, failed to score 20+ points in five games, gave up 40+ in five games, and got blown out by double digits in six games. 

On the plus side— they have nowhere to go but up. However, with their current roster, Kansas is going to have a hard time doing so. 

The offensive line will be heavy, but it will need three new starters this year. Miles has yet to decide on a starting quarterback and has hinted at possibly using both. That could mean neither has played well enough to win the job. But it could also mean both have played well enough to earn it. 

Whoever it is will have a decent running back in the backfield with him in Pooka Williams. Stephon Robinson and Andrew Parchment are the team’s best wide receivers. 

As for the defense, the best thing that can be said about it is that most of last year’s terrible unit is gone. 

Popping any Champagne with the Chanticleeers of Coastal Carolina?

The win over Kansas last season was the first for the Chanticleers against a team from a Power 5 conference (1-7). It seemed to light a fire under the team who went on to win their next two giving them a 3-1 record entering conference play. 

Once conference games started, the Chanticleers fell apart, going 2-6 the rest of the way. But on a positive note, the team has a lot of starters coming back this season, including four on the offensive line, running back CJ Marable, both quarterbacks (Bryce Carpenter and Fred Payton), and their best wide receiver (Jaivon Heiligh). While the offense was not explosive, it could put up points (they scored 30+ in five of their first eight games). 

But the offense was just as likely to flounder as it did down the stretch against Louisiana, Arkansas State, and UL Monroe. However, it would not be shocking if this largely veteran unit was better in its second year under head coach Jamey Chadwell and offensive coordinator Newland Isaac.        

As for the defense, the unit did well against the offenses it should have dominated last year and poorly against the better ones. The front seven was not good at getting into the backfield or putting pressure on the quarterback, and the secondary was not super-productive. 

However, the defense has eight returning starters, which could give it a leg up early in the season. 

NCAA Football Best Bet for Week 1 Betting Pick

Traditionally, Power 5 teams are stronger than their Group of 5 counterparts, but there is no reason to believe that will be the case here. Neither team is great, but in this case, Coastal Carolina is better. Take the Chanticleers to win straight up and against the spread. 

As for the over/under, it would not be shocking to see Coastal Carolina scoring 35, but it is hard to say Kansas will put up 22+. Take the under.

Big 12 Championship Odds Preview

By: Travis Pulver 

Big 12 Championship Odds Revisited: Has Anything Really Changed for The Big 12? 

With all the chaos and confusion surrounding the college football season for a while, it seemed like it may not happen for a while. It may not look like your typical season, but there will be football. It will be different. But different can be good, right? 

However, are things really going to be all that different for the Big 12? 

Since they only have ten teams in the conference, they already play everyone in the conference. The only difference is the non-conference slate—which has been reduced to one game. Teams will typically have three giving them plenty of time to work the kinks out before the conference slate starts. But this year, there will only be one.  

So, when the conference slate starts, teams could very well still be trying to figure things out. Because of that, there could be a few early upsets that end up impacting the final standings. 

Should that possibility impact how you bet, though? 

Big 12 Championship Odds Revisited: Conference Still Oklahoma’s To Lose

When preseason odds were first released months ago, Oklahoma was considered the favorite to win the Big 12—and nothing has changed. DraftKings still has the Sooners listed as the favorite (-125) followed closely by Texas (+175). 

Odds for the rest of the conference are as follows: 

  • Oklahoma State (+650) 
  • Iowa State (+1000) 
  • TCU (+1600) 
  • West Virginia (+2500) 
  • Baylor (+3300) 
  • Kansas State (+4000) 
  • Texas Tech (+6600) 
  • Kansas (+10000) 

Oklahoma has been the class of the conference, having won the championship for five years in a row. But if they were ever going to get knocked off, this could be the year. They lost a lot of key players off last year’s good-but-not-great defense that will need to be replaced. 

While the passing game rules in the Big 12, you still need a run game. But with Kennedy Brooks out and Trey Sermon now calling Ohio State home, there is no telling what the Sooners run game will look like.  If the running game struggles, it may be harder for their new quarterback, Spencer Rattler, to acclimate to the college game. 

Once the Sooners play a game, we will know what to expect from them going forward, but there are plenty of questions about the team for now. But there are even more about Baylor. 

Should You Follow the Matt Rhule Rule Like the Oddsmakers?

It seems as if oddsmakers are down on the Bears because Matt Rhule left. But the Bears are still a very good team. While losing Denzel Mimms to the NFL hurts, the Bears have a good offense coming back, led by quarterback Charlie Brewer. However, they may be in trouble on defense, with only two starters coming back. But with a defensive-minded head coach in Dave Aranda, they could surprise people with a quick rebuild. 

As usual, expectations are high for Texas. With the talent coming back on offense, that is not hard to understand. However, Texas could have used the additional non-conference games this season with new coordinators on both sides of the ball. 

Should either side struggle with their new playbooks, the Longhorns could find themselves on the outside looking in for the playoffs early in the season. They have two relatively easy games in September, but then face TCU, Oklahoma, Baylor, and Oklahoma State in October. 

Texas could be out of the running heading into November. 

Iowa State is not going to be an easy win with much of last year’s defense coming back and a talented trio on offense at quarterback (Brock Purdy), Breece Hall (running back), and wide receiver (Tariq Milton). But the offense has to be rebuilt with only one starter coming back—which could mean trouble early in the year. 

Oklahoma State will get a lot of attention early on with Heisman hopeful Chuba Hubbard leading the way coming out of the backfield. As a team, they have 19 starters coming back, which could lead to high expectations or a faster start than anyone else in the conference. 

As for the rest of the conference, TCU will likely be a better team than it was last year. But it may be asking too much to think they could compete for the conference title. The same could be said for Kansas State. 

West Virginia will still be rebuilding this season, and Texas Tech has a lot of work to do, which leaves Kansas. Les Miles has his work cut out for him there. 

So—who’s going to win? 

That’s a good question, which is also why college football is so great. There is a world of potential ready for each team to tap into. Whoever does the better job will come out ahead in the end. But who that will be right now is hard to say.

NCAA Betting: ACC Conference Odds: The Fight Comes to the ACC

By: Travis Pulver

Clemson has owned the Atlantic Coast Conference in recent years. They’ve won the conference title in each of the last five seasons. With how the rest of the conference looks, they will probably make it six in a row this year. 

But due to circumstances, the conference will include a new team this year, Notre Dame. 

As one of the few FBS teams without a conference affiliation for football, the Fighting Irish have watched their schedule disappear. With most of the Power Five deciding to go with an all-conference schedule this year, they need opponents. 

Since Notre Dame has a preexisting relationship with the ACC in every sport other than football, joining up with them just made sense. To make the temporary marriage a little more exciting, the Fighting Irish will be eligible for the ACC title game. 

Clemson is still the top dog, of course. But while the rest of the pack is quietly sitting at the bottom of the porch stairs, Notre Dame is more than capable of running with the big dog. But that doesn’t necessarily mean Clemson has anything to fear. 

Or does it….    

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ACC Conference Odds: The Competition Has Now Become Real  

Let’s not waste time or mince words here. No one in the ACC is ready to step up and take down the mighty Clemson Tigers. Yes, Clemson will have to rebuild its offensive line this year and replace a few guys on defense. But when you win as they have been, it is not hard to attract top-notch recruits. 

From those recruits, they should not have a hard time finding guys where they need them. 

So, yeah—Clemson is going to be tough this year and quite possibly one of the best teams in the country, again. If we are being real, then anyone in the conference could beat the Tigers; you know, that ‘any given Saturday’ logic. Theoretically, it is true. Miami has a lot of potential, after all. 

According to the odds at FoxBet.com, so does North Carolina, Virginia Tech, and Florida State: 

  • Atlantic Coast Conference Winner 
  • Clemson             -300 
  • Miami (FL)          +1200 
  • North Carolina +1400 
  • Virginia Tech    +2000 
  • Florida State      +2500 
  • Louisville   +3300 
  • Virginia                +4500 
  • Pittsburgh          +5000 
  • NC State             +7500 
  • Wake Forest, Duke         +10000 
  • Boston College, Syracuse, Georgia Tech +20000 

But honestly— no one inside the conference has much of a chance of pulling off the upset. It would take another team widely considered to be one of the best in the country. 

Enter Notre Dame (+350). 

Unlike every other team in the ACC, the Fighting Irish are actually good. The NCAA’s latest top-25 has them listed as the No.11 team in the country. With a Heisman contender at quarterback, Ian Book, and a veteran offensive line, the offense will be as good as ever. While the defense lost a couple of guys, they have enough coming back to hit the ground running. 

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Answering the Biggest ACC Odds Question

Can they beat Clemson, though? 

The Tigers will have Trevor Lawrence back at quarterback and Travis Etienne back at running back. Lawrence lost some great receivers to the NFL, but he’ll still have Justyn Ross to work with. However, the offensive line will have to be rebuilt. But with how well Dabo Swinney recruits, that shouldn’t be a problem.    

On the defensive side, last year’s unit was outstanding. But many of those guys are now in the NFL, leaving the Clemson defense full of holes. However, the Tigers have arguably the best defensive coordinator in the nation, Brent Venables. 

If anyone can figure out how to make a young group of relatively inexperienced guys play like a top-20 unit, he can. 

Okay—but can Notre Dame beat them? 

The odds still heavily favor Clemson, but Notre Dame should not be ignored. Can the Fighting Irish win against Clemson? Of course! 

After all, any team can win on any given Saturday. 

Most RBI Odds: Who is Gonna Take Care of All the Ducks on the Pound?

By: Travis Pulver 

Most RBI Odds: Who is Gonna Take Care of All the Ducks on the Pound?

We are not going to have baseball as we know and love it this season. But we will have a baseball season. For fans and gamblers, that is what matters. Do you like watching guys throw 100 MPH fastballs? Or is betting on guys like balls Mike Trout crushing those fastballs your thing? 

Either way, the season is here— time to enjoy (and bet) as much as we want. 

Categories like home runs and strikeouts will likely get the most attention. Why? Simple, because they are sexy. But RBI—RBI is a measure of productivity. Home runs look great during highlights, but it’s the runs batted in that win games. 

During a typical season, the league leader will hit well over 100+; last year’s leader, Anthony Rendon, knocked in 126. But that is a number no one will likely come close to in just 60 games. The leaders at the 60-game mark dating back to the 2002 season have ranged from the high-40s to the mid-60s. 

So, who is going to lead the league in RBI this season? 

Odds on Who Will Have the Most Regular Season RBI: One of the Usual Suspects or Someone New?

What should you look for in an RBI leader? Power is nice because home runs certainly generate a lot of RBI. But power hitters often strike out a lot, too. However, if someone is a great contact hitter, he is going to put balls in play. Every time he does with someone on base, there is an opportunity for an RBI. 

Ideally, it would be great to find someone with power that is also good at making contact. Most of the time, they will be batting clean-up, giving them ample opportunity to knock in a few runs (if the guys hitting ahead of him did their job). 

Of course, you can cut right to the chase and just look at the last few years to see who consistently records a high number of RBI—like Colorado’s Nolen Arenado (+1200). Arenado has finished in the top five for the last since 2015 (including two titles in ’15 and ’16). 

He is also a career .295 hitter and has had right around 40 home runs in each of the last five seasons. 

Should the reigning NL MVP, Cody Bellinger (+1300), continue to improve, he will definitely be in the running. He ranked right inside the top ten last year with 115.  If he can continue to drop his strikeout numbers and continue to make contact while not sacrificing power, his ceiling will be high. 

But he could also miss out on opportunities with Mookie Betts (+10000) now in the lineup. Betts only had 80 his last two seasons in Boston, but he does have two 100+ seasons on his resume.  

A SHOCKING Name to Bet on with the Most RBI Odds

It would be foolish to overlook the greatest player in the game, Mike Trout. His RBI numbers have not always been too impressive. But he has everything you should look for. He is a career .305 hitter that you can probably count on for a fair number of home runs, too. 

With a better lineup around him this season, the opportunities will be there. 

Trout’s numbers could suffer a little because of the big free-agent signing the team made in the offseason—Anthony Rendon (+2500). Rendon led the league last year with 126 and has hit over .300 in each of the last three seasons with 40+ home runs. 

Mets slugger Pete Alonso (+2000) ranked fourth in RBI last year with 120 doing much of his damage with home runs (53). However, he only hit .260 last season, and while the lineup around him is not bad, it does not necessarily provide him with a lot of protection. 

While the Red Sox are not one of the more feared teams this season, they have a couple of good candidates. Rafael Devers (+2000) burst onto the scene last year with 115 RBI. JD Martinez (+2200) might have had an ‘off’ year last season with just 105. But he led the league through 60 games in 2018 with 50. In 2017 he had a stretch of 62 games where he knocked in 65. 

Most RBI Odds Conclusion

Those are just a few of the many guys PointsBet.com is offering odds on that are worth considering. Braces star first baseman Freddie Freeman (+1500) was third in the league last season with 120. As long as he stays healthy, Christian Yelich (+2500) will be one of the league leaders (if not the leader). Jose Abreu (+4000) was only three back of Anthony Rendon last year with 123. 

Right now, cases could be made for lots of guys. Juan Soto (+1500) has all the potential in the world but will miss time with the coronavirus. Bryce Harper (+2000) could come alive. Trash cans or not, the Astros have some excellent candidates in Alex Bregman (+2000), George Springer (+5000), Carlos Correa (+5000), and Jose Altuve (+10000).   

You could wait for everyone to get about ten games under their belt and then make a call. By then, we may see a few hitters starting to separate from the rest. But then their odds are going to get really short and your payout real small. 

So, do you want to wait or take a chance and possibly win more money? 

MLB Most Stolen Bases Odds: Does Speed Still Matter

By: Travis Pulver 

MLB Most Stolen Bases Odds: Does Speed Still Matter

Brief as the moment may be, stolen bases bring excitement to baseball, and we love that. Why do we love it? More action in a game some perceive as slow can only be a good thing. Maybe it is the act of ‘stealing’ we get a thrill from, or perhaps it is the strategic aspect. 

Whatever the reason, fans enjoy seeing guys steal bases. But in recent years, it has almost seemed like stealing is becoming a lost art. Rather than manufacture runs, many teams seem to rely more on home runs to clear the bases. 

No one has had 60+ stolen bases in the AL since Juan Pierre had 68 in 2010. Ronald Acuna Jr.’s 37 last season was the lowest for a season-leader in the NL since 1961 (Maury Wills, 35). 

But in this year’s 60-game season, it might not be surprising to see managers give their speed demons the green light more often. With every game being much more important this season, it would not be shocking to see some managers be a little more aggressive with base runners. 

Numbers will obviously be smaller than usual since the regular season will only be 60 games. However, if more managers to get aggressive with their base runners, maybe the race for the league lead will be more contested than usual. 

MLB Most Stolen Bases Odds: Should You Roll with a Favorite?

The oddsmakers at DraftKings have made it clear who they think will lead the league (AL and NL) in steals this season: 

  • Most Stolen Bases 2020 
  • Adalberto Mondesi +200 
  • Mallex Smith +400 
  • Trea Turner +600 
  • Ronald Acuna Jr., Jonathan Villar +900 
  • Victor Robles +1600 
  • Starling Marte +1800 
  • Whit Merrifield +2500 
  • Byron Buxton, Fernando Tatis Jr., Jose Ramirez, Jarrod Dyson +2800 
  • Elvis Andrus, Dee Gordon, Francisco Lindor, Oscar Mercado, Amed Rosario, Christian Yelich +4000 
  • Billy Hamilton, Trevor Story +5000 
  • Bo Bichette, Tommy Pham, Luis Robert +6600 
  • Kolten Wong, Tim Anderson +8000 
  • Mookie Betts +10000 
  • Mike Trout +25000 

If you are a casual fan, some of these names will be familiar to you, but many will not be. However, since oddsmakers felt the need to include them on this list, you know they have to be decent base-stealers, if not good ones.   

So, how do you figure out who to target? 

Base stealers are fast guys who tend to be contact hitters that can get on base, not power hitters (but sometimes they are decent power hitters, too). Look for guys that play positions for speed and dexterity are vital (i.e., outfielders, shortstops, and second basemen). 

The only guys that recorded 40+ last season were a center fielder (Mallex Smith, 46), a shortstop (Adalberto Mondesi, 43), and a second baseman (Jonathan Villar, 40). 

Mondesi (+200) and Smith (+400) definitely have the kind of speed you want in a base stealer, but both struggle in one vital aspect—they struggle to get on base. Last season, Mondesi hit just .263 and had an OBP of .291. Smith struggled even more at the plate hitting just .227 but had a slightly better OBP of .300 (but still bad). 

Why the Favorites in the MLB Stolen Bases Odds are the Favorites and Why Some Speed Demons Have a Fatal Flaw

However, what’s interesting about them is despite their struggles to get on base, they still led MLB in steals. If that wasn’t intriguing enough, Mondesi only played in 102 games and Smith 134. So, you know they had to have the green light more often than not. 

National’s shortstop Trea Turner (+600) has comparable speed to Mondesi and Smith and does a better job getting on base (BA-.298; OBP– .353). He only had 35 last season but missed 40 games. But he had 46 in 2017 when he played in 98. However, Anthony Rendon is no longer in the lineup, so he may not see as many hittable pitches as last season. 

Jonathan Villar (+900) shouldn’t be ignored after notching 40 last season and does have a 60+ season during his career, but that was back in 2016 when he was with the Brewers. The Braves young star, Ronald Acuna Jr. (+900), has the tools to lead the league in steals. He recorded 37 last year and could have solid numbers again this season if given the green light. 

If you are interested in taking a longshot, there are a few promising candidates. Minnesota’s Byron Buxton (+2800) has the tools to be a great base stealer but struggles to remain healthy. Billy Hamilton (+5000) has four seasons with 50+ on his resume. However, he has struggled to stay on the field as well.   

Dee Gordon (+4000) is a former steals champ with two 60+ seasons to his name, the last coming in 2017. But players tend to get slower with age, and he is now 32, and he struggled to stay on the field last season (117 games). 

It seems like younger players are the ones with the kind of speed needed to be a good base stealer. This season, there could be several good, young players worth betting on—Bo Bichette (+6600), Luis Robert (+6600), and Oscar Mercado (+4000). However, it is hard to say how much playing time some of them will get right now. 

So—who should you bet on? 

That’s hard to say. Yes, there are plenty of guys with speed, but many tend to struggle with getting base. However, when they do, they are dangerous. Some older guys are consistent producers but don’t tend to get big numbers anymore. 

But if someone were to go on a tear and record a few multi-steal games, it could be anyone’s contest this year. 

NCAA Football Odds for Bowl Games: Who IS Going Bowling?

By: Travis Pulver 

NCAA Football Odds for Bowl Games: Who IS Going Bowling?

At one time, there were only a handful of bowl games every year in college football. But as the number of games grew (currently 40 with 78 slots to fill), what it took to qualify for one became easier. Teams use to need at least a winning record. But now 6-6 teams and even 5-7 ones can get invites. 

So, if it is that easy to go to a bowl game, why do teams still care about them? 

Bowl games give every team another chance to end their season on a high note, with a win. For seniors, it means an opportunity to play one more time before hanging the shoulder pads up for good. As for underclassmen, ending the season with a win means they head into the offseason with hope for next year.  

For a team trying to rise from the ashes, making a bowl game is a sign that you are doing something right. You may still be far from being a conference or title contender, but at least you are on the right track. 

While the Bahamas Bowl, Frisco Bowl, Camellia Bowl, Quick Lane Bowl, and Redbox Bowl don’t have the prestige the Rose Bowl has, the teams that played in those games last season were probably ecstatic to do so.     

So— who is going to go bowling this season? 

College Football Bowl Game Odds: Any Newcomers Out There?

It is not too hard to figure out many of the teams that will be bowl-bound at the season’s end. Many, if not most, of the usual suspects will probably qualify again. However, it is not as easy to figure out who the newcomers are going to be. 

Of the 50 teams that did not go bowling last season, which ones have a good shot at qualifying this season (odds via FoxBet.com)?    

  • Army                                    Yes        -286      No         +225 

Army loves to control the ball on the ground and play good defense. If the other team does not touch the ball much, they can’t score much.  It worked very well in 2018 when they went 11-2. But t did not so go well last year when they went 5-8. 

However, four of their losses were by a touchdown or less. Had one or two more plays gone their way, they could have easily gotten the one win they would have needed to become eligible. 

This season they will be replacing a few key players on both sides of the ball. But they have guys ready to step in that could do the job. As close as they were to becoming bowl eligible last season, it is not hard to see them winning one more game and becoming eligible this season. 

  • West Virginia                     Yes        +275     No         -350 

With a new coaching staff and quite a few new starters, expectations were low for the Mountaineer in 2019. But considering the circumstances, a 5-7 finish was not too bad. Five of the losses were bad, but two were by a touchdown or less. 

So, they were not too far from being bowl eligible last year.    

Both sides of the ball are going to be a lot better this year, with quite a few starters coming back for both units. But the offensive line and running game are going to be significant question marks heading into the season. 

Assuming the returners are better, they could steal another win from a Big 12 opponent. However, there are several good teams in the Big 12 this season. So, that will be easier said than done.   

Some Old School Football Teams to Look at for NCAA Football Odds and Bowl Games

  • Syracuse                             Yes        +220     No         -275 

Not much was expected of the Orange last season as the team was in a rebuilding year. But the talent was there to do better than they did. While they did finish with a 5-7 record, they struggled to move the ball and had just as much trouble stopping opponents. 

If the running game can pick up where it left off last season, and the offensive line can give quarterback Tommy DeVito a little time, there is hope for the offense. However, the defense has a lot of work to do in the front seven. 

But as long as the offensive line and defense can improve, they could get the one additional win they need to become bowl eligible.    

  • Rice                                       Yes        +155     No         -188 

The Owls were a young team playing a brutal schedule last season, and it showed in their 3-9 finish. But those three wins all came at the end of the season, giving the appearance that things finally came together. 

If that is indeed the case, and that young team can pick up where they left off when the new season starts, they could win six or seven games this season. At the same time, it is not hard to imagine them struggling to another 3-9 finish, too.    

  • Oregon State                    Yes        +275     No         -350 

The Beavers took quite a few steps in the right direction last season but failed to become bowl eligible when they lost three of their last four (5-7 record). On the defensive side, they have quite a few starters returning on a good overall unit from last season. 

But the problem will be on the offensive side of the ball as they try to replace their quarterback, their No.1 running back, and No.1 receiver. Their offensive line is going to need some work, too. However, if they can, they will have a good shot at getting that elusive sixth win and returning to the postseason.