NFL Week 13 Betting Preview & Picks

by WagerHome Blog on November 30, 2023

December football is here, and the playoff picture is becoming clearer. In fact, this week we might have our first playoff clinching scenario. If the Philadelphia Eagles win, and the Rams don’t, the Eagles are in the postseason.

Philadelphia also can get in with a win and losses by the Lions and Packers.

It won’t be an easy win for the Eagles, but it speaks to the coming dominoes to fall. Over the next few weeks, spots will be claimed, and other teams will be eliminated. And we get to place wagers on all of it.

Miami Dolphins (-9.5) at Washington Commanders

There has been a change at defensive coordinator in Washington. After losing to the Cowboys, 45-10, on Thanksgiving, a week after losing to the Giants 31-19, Jack Del Rio was relieved of his duties. Head coach Ron Rivera, himself on the hot seat, will take over DC duties for the remainder of the season.

None of it will matter against an offense as explosive as the Dolphins. Tyreek Hill has gone for 248 yards over the last two weeks, the Dolphins just boat-raced a good Jets defense on Black Friday, 34-13, and they should cruise against Washington.

Don’t be surprised if Miami wins by the largest margin of the week.

Detroit Lions (-4) at New Orleans Saints

Do not jump off the Lions just yet. Yes, the last three weeks the defense has looked bad, and in the last two weeks the results have been mixed. They should have lost to the Bears, and they did lose to the Packers. But the Lions are still good, and the three fumbles by Jared Goff last weekend is an anomaly. That will be fixed this week.

The Saints have scored just two touchdowns in their last 27 possessions, and last week they were kept out of the end zone by the Atlanta Falcons. They are one of the worst red zone teams in the NFL, ranking 29th in touchdowns per visit, and they will continue to struggle on Sunday.

The Lions get right and cover this spread.

San Francisco 49ers (-3) at Philadelphia Eagles

The aforementioned clinching scenario for the Eagles is indeed going to be a challenge. For the first time this season they are underdogs, and underdogs at home for the first time since 2021. And it’s for good reason. The 49ers are playing like the best team in the NFL.

The Eagles are an impressive 10-1, but they are winning by one or two plays, and in a few cases – like the Chiefs’ dropped pass – by luck. Meanwhile the 49ers are hammering the opposition, winning by an average of 21 points since they came off their bye.

Take the 49ers, and then look forward to the rematch.

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WagerHome BlogNFL Week 13 Betting Preview & Picks

College Football Conference Championships to Determine College Football Playoff

by WagerHome Blog on November 28, 2023

There are eight teams left in the running for the College Football Playoff’s final four positions, and it all comes down to one final weekend of conference championship football.

No. 6 Oregon (-9.5) vs. No. 4 Washington

Both the Ducks and Huskies can make the CFP, but only if they win on Friday in Las Vegas. Washington would be an obvious choice as an undefeated conference champion, and a two-time winner over Oregon. If the Ducks win the Pac-12 instead, then they would likely need a loss by Florida State to get into the CFP.

No. 20 Oklahoma State vs. No. 7 Texas (-15)

Similar to the scenario for one-loss Oregon to get into the CFP, Texas also has one loss, and would likely only leapfrog Florida State if the Seminoles lose. A win over Oklahoma State is expected to put them ahead of Ohio State, since the Longhorns would be a conference champion with an extra win.

Oklahoma State can’t get it, but a Big 12 win would be quite a coup for a team that got blown out this season by South Alabama and UCF.

No. 1 Georgia (-6) vs. No. 8 Alabama

If Alabama is able to get past Georgia in the SEC Championship Game, they will get into the CFP. Probably. But they would also need Texas to win, so that loss to the Longhorns early in the season doesn’t look so bad.

If Georgia loses, there are scenarios in which they can still get into the final four of the CFP. But the field is crowded, and there would need to be no more than one unbeaten team remaining. In order for two teams from the same conference to get it, we would need to see a little bit of chaos on Saturday.

No. 10 Louisville vs. No. 5 Florida State (-2.5)

It’s hard to envision a scenario where Florida State wins the ACC, but doesn’t get in. No unbeaten Power Five conference champion has ever been left out of the College Football Playoff. However, it isn’t beyond the realm of possibility that if FSU looks rather sluggish in beating Louisville, they could lose out to a one-loss Georgia.

The Seminoles would do themselves a big favor in showing the committee that even without quarterback Jordan Travis, this offense can put up points.

No. 3 Michigan (-23) vs. No. 17 Iowa

The biggest favorite of the week is Michigan, going against the best punting team in the history of college football, Iowa. The Wolverines cruise into the CFP with a win.

The looming question for the Big Ten is Ohio State. They lost to Michigan last year by 22 at home, and they still got into the CFP. In order for it to happen again this year they need Alabama, Oregon, Florida State and Texas to lose, and then put up their resume against one-loss FSU.

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WagerHome BlogCollege Football Conference Championships to Determine College Football Playoff

A Big Final Weekend of College Football

by WagerHome Blog on November 21, 2023

It’s Thanksgiving, it’s the final weekend of the college football regular season, and there are still several spots in conference championship games up for grabs.

Eat your leftover turkey sandwiches, turn on the TV, and place your wagers – just as the Pilgrims envisioned.

Texas Tech at No. 7 Texas (-13)

The Big 12 is a bit of jumbled mess behind Texas. If the Longhorns beat Texas Tech on Friday, they are in the Big 12 Championship Game in Arlington, Texas. Oklahoma State is also in if they beat BYU on Saturday.

But if either of these teams lose, Oklahoma could get in, Kansas State could get in, or Texas and Oklahoma State could still get in with losses. We could have as many as four teams tied for two spots, making for a great weekend of college football chaos.

No. 15 Oregon State at No. 6 Oregon (-13.5)

Washington is already in the Pac-12 Championship Game, and Oregon has the best chance at joining them. Win the “Civil War” over rival Oregon State, and the Ducks are going to Las Vegas.

But the Beavers are no pushover. They almost beat the Huskies last week, and they did beat the Ducks last year. And if they are to win this Friday, then Arizona gets a chance to advance to the Pac-12 Championship Game over Arizona State on Saturday.

No. 2 Ohio State at No. 3 Michigan (-3.5)

Nevermind the nonsense going on with Jim Harbaugh. This game, called The Game, is bigger than any one head coach. Unless that coach is Woody Hayes, who famously risked running out of gas, rather than filling his tank in “that state up north.”

His attitude sums up the entire feeling of this rivalry. The fans, the school, the alumni, the states, nothing but hatred for the other.

Both teams are in the top-five, both teams have designs on making it to the College Football Playoff, and both want to win this game more than any other on their schedule. The winner in Ann Arbor will face Iowa in the Big Ten Championship Game.

No. 8 Alabama at Auburn

Alabama is already headed to the SEC Championship Game to play Georgia, but winning the Iron Bowl before they do that could set them for a shot at the College Football Playoff. If they beat Auburn and Georgia, it will be hard to deny the Crimson Tide. But a loss at Auburn, which would be a second loss this season, would likely sink any chance at a national championship.

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WagerHome BlogA Big Final Weekend of College Football

NFL Thanksgiving Betting Preview

by WagerHome Blog on November 21, 2023

Since 1934 the Thanksgiving holiday has featured a Detroit Lions home game. The Dallas Cowboys joined the holiday action in 1966, hosting their own annual Thanksgiving Day game. A third game was added in primetime in 2006, and now in 2023 we get a fourth game on Black Friday.

The best American holiday keeps getting better.

Green Bay Packers at Detroit Lions (-7.5)

The Lions have been underdogs in 11 of their previous 15 Thanksgiving Day games, but this Lions team is now one of the best in the NFC, and they are the deserved favorite over the Green Bay Packers.

The Lions are 8-2 this season and they are tied for an NFL-best 7-3 against the spread. Meanwhile the Packers have covered in just two of their last seven games, and when they faced Detroit in Green Bay earlier this season, they lost by 14 points.

Washington Commanders at Dallas Cowboys (-11)

The last time these two teams played, last January, the Commanders won 26-6 and easily covered the spread. It was Week 18, but Dallas wasn’t resting anyone. They weren’t playing a skeleton crew in preparation for the playoffs. They just got their butts kicked, plain and simple.

This Commanders team in theory is better than that team, but this Cowboys team is certainly better. They are playing great football on both sides of the ball, and they have covered double-digit spreads in each of the previous two weeks.

San Francisco 49ers (-6.5) at Seattle Seahawks

Seattle head coach Pete Carroll says that despite the bruised tricep quarterback Geno Smith suffered last week, he will play on Thursday night against the 49ers. And that’s a good thing, because the Seahawks need all hands on deck when playing against the 49ers offense.

No offense looks better than San Francisco’s, and Seattle’s only hope is to score a lot of points themselves. It will be tougher without Kenneth Walker, who is out with an oblique injury. And it will be tough against a pretty good San Francisco front-seven that should harass Smith all game long.

Miami Dolphins (-10) at New York Jets

If you do not want to get into fist fights at Target over a half-price television, the NFL has your back. For the first time ever we get an NFL game on Black Friday, with the Dolphins visiting the New York Jets.

Miami has the offense, the Jets have the defense, and the Jets also have a new quarterback. Head coach Robert Saleh has moved Zach Wilson to third string, and handed over the offense to Tim Boyle, a 29-year-old five-year pro who made three starts for the Lions back in 2021. Trevor Siemian will serve as his backup on Friday.

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WagerHome BlogNFL Thanksgiving Betting Preview

NFL Week 11 Best Bets

by WagerHome Blog on November 16, 2023

Week 10 ended with the Buffalo Bills committing a mortal football sin, having too many men on the field when the game was on the line. And because of that error, and the loss that resulted because of it, offensive coordinator Ken Dorsey is out of a job, and the Bills may be out of the playoffs at the end of the year.

And we go to Buffalo to begin our best bets in the NFL for Week 11.

New York Jets (+7) at Buffalo Bills

Will the Bills lose two games in a row at home and actually fall behind the Jets in the standings? Not likely, but it is worth remembering that the Jets have won two of their last three games with the Bills. Also, when they met last season in Buffalo, when the Jets were worse and the Bills were better, New York was within a score of pulling off the upset.

Zach Wilson was better at protecting the football than Josh Allen in Week 1, he was better than Allen last year too, and if he is again this Sunday, look for the Jets to cover a very generous spread.

Pittsburgh Steelers (+1) at Cleveland Browns

The big story of the week is that just days after the Cleveland Browns pulled off a big win over the Baltimore Ravens and put themselves into a very real playoff position, they’ve lost quarterback Deshaun Watson for the season.

He is having surgery on his shoulder, and he will not play again until 2024. That means the team’s success is back in the hands of P.J. Walker, and he faces T.J. Watt and the Steelers this week.

Walker has played in three games this season, and he has one touchdown to five interceptions. Look for the Steelers to pull off the win on the road against the banged up Browns.

Las Vegas Raiders at Miami Dolphins (-13.5)

The Raiders are very pleased with the way life has gone since they dumped head coach Josh McDaniels, and replaced him with Anthony Pierce. They are 2-0 and playing with enthusiasm.

But those two wins came against two of the three worst offenses in football, the Jets and Giants. This week they play the best offense in football, the Dolphins, who are averaging a full 20 points more per game than the Giants.

Is there any chance that the Raiders, with Aiden O’Connell at quarterback, can keep up with the Miami offense? In a word, no. The Raiders are allowing 27 points on the road, and the Dolphins are averaging 43.5 points at home.

Miami covers this spread.

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WagerHome BlogNFL Week 11 Best Bets

Updated NFL Playoff Odds Before Week 11

by WagerHome Blog on November 15, 2023

On Monday night, in what was supposed to be one the easiest games left on a very difficult remaining schedule, the Bills lost to the Denver Broncos, 24-22.

Buffalo is now 5-5, just 3-5 against AFC competition, and they are currently the 10th seed in the conference.

With the meltdown currently happening in Buffalo, and the odds of them missing the playoffs now at -250, it seems like a good time to check in on the playoff odds for all the teams on the bubble.

AFC Playoff Hopefuls

The Cincinnati Bengals also lost in Week 10, and they are now 5-4 and in last place in the AFC North. But they are also still favored to be in the postseason at -135. However, that is a big drop from when the season began, and there is reason for concern in Cincinnati, especially with the Ravens coming up on a short week.

The team that beat the Bengals was the Houston Texans, and if the season ended today they would be in and the Bengals would be out. But they are still paying plus money to be a playoff team at +105.

The Cleveland Browns are just ahead of the Texans as the sixth seed in the AFC Playoffs, and even though it seems like Deshaun Watson has a new injury every week, they are -320 to make the postseason. That is the power of that defense and Defensive Player of the Year favorite Myles Garrett.

The third of the three AFC North teams currently in is the Pittsburgh Steelers, but there is a little less certainty that they will make the playoffs. The Steelers are even on making or missing, paying -110 for either bet.

NFC Playoff Hopefuls

The big story in the NFC has been the Minnesota Vikings, who refuse to die in spite of losing Kirk Cousins for the year. They have won five straight, Joshua Dobbs has won two games since he was traded for, and Minnesota is paying -200 to remain in the playoff field at season’s end.

Unlike the AFC, which has four teams currently out of the playoffs at .500 or better, all of the NFC teams below the seventh seed are below .500. In the eighth spot is the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and they are at +155 to make the playoffs. That’s because as bad as they have been, they’re only a game behind the Saints in the NFC South. New Orleans is paying -125 to win that division and make the postseason. Neither of these teams is a good bet to be a wild card team.

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WagerHome BlogUpdated NFL Playoff Odds Before Week 11

Best Week 10 NFL Bets

by WagerHome Blog on November 9, 2023

As we begin the second half of the NFL season, playoff chases and division races are beginning to take shape. And we now have enough of a sample size to begin seriously evaluating rookie quarterbacks.

No. 2 overall pick C.J. Stroud is FOR absolutely real, and this week against Joe Burrow he takes center stage.

Houston Texans at Cincinnati Bengals (-6.5)

The record-holder for most passing yards in a game by a rookie is C.J. Stroud. Last week against the Buccaneers he threw for 470 yards and five touchdowns, in leading the Texans to a last-second win.

But that was the Bucs, who are on a four-game losing streak. The Bengals have won four straight, including impressive wins over the 49ers and Bills, and at home they will be too much for Houston. Stroud will continue to grow and impress and lock up the Offensive Rookie of the Year, but the Bengals will win by a touchdown and cover this spread.

Green Bay Packers at Pittsburgh Steelers (-3)

Don’t be fooled by the Packers win over the Rams. That was against backup quarterback Brett Rypien, who was so bad that his job was given to Carson Wentz the next day. The Packers are not a good team.

The Steelers might be a good team, but they definitely have a good defense that will force at least one interception out of Jordan Love. T.J. Watt is having a monster year and this Pittsburgh offense does enough to cover the field goal spread.

New York Jets at Las Vegas Raiders (+1)

The Raiders feel liberated now that Josh McDaniels is no longer the head coach, and it showed in last week’s win over the Giants. The only offense in the league even close to being as bad as the Giants belongs to the Jets, and the Raiders defense should have another good game.

New York’s defense is elite, but when you have a quarterback like Zach Wilson, that’s not enough. It’s definitely not enough for them to give points. Take the Raiders.

Denver Broncos (+7.5) at Buffalo Bills

The Denver Broncos are on a two-game winning streak, and three games in a row we’ve seen great games out of their defense. They’ve ended the long losing streak against the Chiefs, and once they play this Monday night in Buffalo, the schedule turns favorable. Could Denver go on a run?

The Bills have been so up-and-down, that the answer is yes, the Broncos could continue their winning ways this weekend. But even if they don’t win, getting more than a touchdown is too much. Take those points and the Broncos.

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WagerHome BlogBest Week 10 NFL Bets

Future Favorites as College Basketball Begins

by WagerHome Blog on November 8, 2023

The college basketball season for both men and women began on Monday, and two unusual upsets highlighted opening night.

The best women’s basketball team in the land, the LSU Tigers, were easily handled by the Colorado Buffaloes, 92-78. Frida Foremann of Colorado led the upset with 27 points and seven 3-pointers. Angel Reece, who was the NCAA Tournament Most Outstanding Player when LSU rolled to the national championship last spring, had just 15 points on 15 shots.

It was the first time a women’s defending national champion lost on opening night since 1995.

On the men’s side the No. 4 ranked Michigan State Spartans lost to James Madison, 76-74 in overtime, making it just the first time a top-five team lost to an unranked opponent on opening night since 2005. That team that lost in 2005 was Michigan State.

This was the first November home loss for the Spartans since 1986, and just the second time in school history that James Madison has beaten a ranked team.

Men’s National Championship Favorites

  • Kansas (+1000)
  • Duke (+1100)
  • Purdue (+1100)
  • Kentucky (+1200)
  • Arizona (+1400)
  • UConn (+1400)
  • Michigan State (+1800)
  • Marquette (+1800)

Kansas has made head coach Bill Self the highest paid coach in the nation, and the Jayhawks are the favorites to win another national championship. They won it in 2022, but last year they were knocked out in the second round by Arkansas.

UConn is the defending national champion, and the Huskies are tied with Arizona for the fifth shortest odds to begin the season. The Wildcats won the Pac-12 Tournament last year and were awarded a two-seed, but they were bounced in the first round by the 15th-seeded Princeton Tigers.

Michigan State has fallen to +1800 after their loss to JMU in East Lansing.

Women’s National Championship Favorites

  • UConn (+400)
  • LSU (+450)
  • Iowa (+900)
  • Utah (+950)
  • South Carolina (+1100)
  • UCLA (+1400)
  • Indiana (+1500)
  • Ohio State (+1800)

LSU has dropped behind UConn as the early favorites to win the women’s national championship. UConn holds the record with 11 women’s national championships, and this season they have Page Bueckers. She was the AP, Naismith, and John Wooden Player of the Year in 2021, but missed all of last year with a torn ACL.

She headlines a great battle for this season’s player of the year, with Reece from LSU and Caitlin Clark of Iowa. Reece is the preseason SEC Player of the Year, and Clark is the preseason Big Ten Player of the Year. Reece and Clark, and LSU and Iowa, played in the finals last year of the highest rated NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament in history.

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WagerHome BlogFuture Favorites as College Basketball Begins

NFL Best Bets for Week 9

by WagerHome Blog on November 2, 2023

We are in Week 9 of 18, and now that the trade deadline is squarely behind us, teams can either look ahead to 2024, or begin the playoff chase in earnest.

Chicago Bears at New Orleans Saints (-8.5)

A team firmly looking ahead is the Chicago Bears. As things sit today, they have the No. 2 and No. 3 overall picks in next year’s draft. They feel good about the trade for Montez Sweat, and their ability to sign him long-term, and they are hoping to get Justin Fields back on the field soon.

All of that is well and good, but it is no match for a Saints team that wants to win right now, and is doing so with a revived offense. New Orleans scored 38 points against the Colts, and they will put up similar points against the Bears. This is going to be a double-digit win for the home team.

Washington Commanders (+3) at New England Patriots

The Washington Commanders have turned the page to next season, now that they have traded away their two good young defensive pass rushers, Montez Sweat and Chase Young. But this offense is still intact, with Terry McLaurin staying put as the WR1.

Quarterback Sam Howell is developing nicely, and this team can score points. And they will score points against a Patriots team that is even more short-handed now that their only viable wide receiver, Kendrick Bourne, is out for the season with a torn ACL.

Washington is getting points, and you should take them.

Los Angeles Rams (+3.5) at Green Bay Packers

Matthew Stafford is banged up and it’s possible he doesn’t play this week. But Brett Rypien is an experienced backup, and he has a great trio of wide receivers to throw to against a Green Bay defense that is not playing well.

Jordan Love is also not playing well, and the Packers have looked like one of the worst teams in football over the last month of play. They are at home, but this spread is still too big. Take the Rams and the points.


Buffalo Bills at Cincinnati Bengals (-2)

The last time the Bills and Bengals met in Cincinnati in primetime, the game was canceled because of the scary incident involving Damar Hamlin. Hamlin is now fully recovered, and for the Bengals, the calf of Joe Burrow appears to be fully recovered.

When they played last season in Buffalo in the playoffs, it was all Cincinnati. There is every reason to believe that is what will also happen this Sunday night. The Bengals have won three straight games, and they will make it a fourth with a convincing win over Buffalo.

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WagerHome BlogNFL Best Bets for Week 9