DOUG’S BETTING CARD – December 2023

Below are bets that I actually make. My approach entails aggregating conversations with extremely respected oddsmakers and bettors, along with my own handicapping. I want to share that insight and intel.

Sportsbooks prefer you wager solely on marquee games and make multiple parlays. I do not oblige. That may entail taking days off or passing on exciting matchups. Winning takes occasional discipline but the good opportunities will present themselves – if one is mildly patient.

MAIN BETS – Dollar amounts differ for each person but unit sizes (1x through 5x) are an effective method. 5x represents my largest and most confident wager.

LEANS – These represent mere opinions on other games where my conviction is not high enough to place a wager.

completed plays / results

SUNDAY, DECEMBER 31(-.55 units)

.5x Colts -4 vs. Raiders – This is brutal scheduling spot for Las Vegas, which is playing consecutive road games and should also be flat after an emotional win over its rival. Meanwhile, Indy is coming off its own tough spot and now returns home. Plus, Michael Pittman will return to the lineup and that will boost the Colts offense drastically. The Raiders have been playing better since the coaching change but rookie Aidan O’Connell is still limited and I am unconvinced he can take full advantage of a poor Colts defense. And last week the Vegas defense restricted Kansas City but I believe they were more self-inflicted wounds by KC. LOSS

LEANS: Dolphins +3.5 L, Bills -14 L, Commanders +14 L, Broncos -3 W, Packers +1 W

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 30 (+1.0 unit)

.5x Maryland +6.5 over Auburn and .5x Maryland Team Total over 19.5 points (-130) – The Terps will be pumped to face an SEC school and I am unsure what version of the Tigers we see. This was a very inconsistent team all season that can be vulnerable against the pass. I think the Terps can throw all over them. WIN

LEANS: Penn St. -5 L, Georgia -20 W, Toledo +3.5 W, Pistons +4.5 W, Bulls -1.5 W, Mavericks -4.5 W, Lions/Cowboys over 53 L, Cowboys Team Total over 29.5 L

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 29 (-3.3 units)

1x Nets -6 at Wizards – Brooklyn was extremely short-handed in its last game but return to full strength. At their best, they are a deep and well-coached team with a second unit that can extend leads. The Wizards have an extremely low IQ that fully represents their 5-25 record. The talent on paper reflects a team that should be better but they just find ways to lose decisively. LOSS

1x Clemson/Kentucky under 44.5 – Both quarterbacks have decided to play this bowl game but defense has been the calling card for each team. The Tigers are missing some studs but this is a program that reloads. When the Wildcats faced decent or very good defenses like Alabama, Georgia, Missouri and South Carolina, they did not top the 21-point mark. I think Clemson can have the same effect. LOSS

1x Iowa State -10.5 vs. Memphis – At first glance, this feels like too many points. But is it really a good thing that the Tigers are playing on their home field? Also, Memphis looked the part of a solid Group of 5 team but they faced a pretty soft schedule. I am actually most impressed with their seven-point loss to Missouri on a neutral field. However, Iowa State is battle-tested. I believe its physicality will limit the Memphis offense and the Cyclones will pull away to cover this number. They won five of their final seven games in the Big 12, while only losing to Kansas and Texas by relatively close margins. LOSS

LEANS: Oregon St./Notre Dame under 41.5 L, Missouri +5 W, Kings/Hawks over 252.5 L, Nuggets -1.5 W, Blazers -5.5 W, Clippers -4.5 W

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 28 (-4.0 units)

2x Andre Drummond over 31.5 Points + Rebounds – He has extreme production when he gets the proper playing time. With Nikola Vucevic out, he delivered in the last game with 24 points and 25 rebounds against Atlanta. The Pacers play a similar pace as the Hawks, so I expect a similar stat line tonight. LOSS

.5x Mavericks/Timberwolves under 226.5 – Luka Doncic is out for this matchup but I still think the principles apply. Minnesota owns the league’s top-rated defense and Dallas ranks among the top teams offensively. When these matchups occur, the defensive-minded team usually imposes their will and dictates the game. I think that’s even more the case with Minnesota coming off a loss. In their lone meeting this season, they combined for 220 points. That included both teams shooting above 47% from the field and the T’Wolves knocking down 45.1% of their three-pointers. I think Minnesota plays this to a slower pace. LOSS

1.5x Miami (FL) +2.5 vs. Rutgers – I have seen a lot of handicappers backing the Scarlet Knights because they anticipate a more motivated team. However, given this game is played at Yankee Stadium, I think the Hurricanes will have plenty of excitement and be ready to rock. If focus and desire are a wash, Miami has a significant edge with talent and speed. The Canes will turn to a third-string QB but teams have done well in that situation already this bowl season. Overall, the Big Ten has been a giant disappointment this year. So while I do give Greg Schiano the edge over Mario Cristobal, I am backing the ‘Canes in the surprising underdog role after opening as a four-point favorite. LOSS

1.5x Miami/Rutgers over 41.5 – This is a low total for a bowl game, considering five of the last six bowls featured at least 54 points. I realize Rutgers has a well-regarded defense but how much of that label is attributed to facing bad Big Ten offenses? After all, the Scarlet Knights did allow 42 points to Maryland, 27 to Penn State and 35 to Ohio State. I think Miami should be able to score fairly easily, given the edge it has with speed and talent. Plus, this game will be played outdoors in the Bronx but no issues with the weather. WIN

.5x Jets/Browns under 35 and .5x 1st Half under 17 – Cleveland has a stout defense, particularly at home, and it should be able to shut down this offense led by QB Trevor Siemian. The Jets have been eliminated from playoff contention but given this game is in primetime, I think the defense will have the right energy and intensity. LOSS

LEANS: SMU -10.5 W, NC State/Kansas State under 48.5 W, Oklahoma +2.5 L

WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 27 (+0.0 units)

LEANS: Virginia Tech -10.5 W, West Virginia -6.5 W, Texas A&M +3.5 L, USC +6 W, Magic -1.5 L, Rockets +3.5 L

TUESDAY, DECEMBER 26 (+.50 units)

.5x UNLV/Kansas over 67.5 – Sharp money has steamed this total up and it really does have all the makings of a shootout. Both quarterbacks will suit up. They each averaged 32+ points during the regular season and both defenses are more than capable of getting scorched. I am expecting strong efforts from each team and while this is a high total, we should sneak over the total. WIN

LEANS: Bowling Green +3 L, Rice/Texas State under 60 L, Pistons +6.5 W, Grizzlies +4.5 W, Blazers +7.5 W, Hornets +13.5 W

MONDAY, DECEMBER 25(-.55 units)

.5x 49ers -6 vs. Ravens – San Francisco is the class of the league right now and finally will face an opponent that should provide some resistance. However, I am unsure Baltimore can keep this a one-score game, as the Niners have won six straight by double-digits. Lamar Jackson is a dynamic talent and could present unique problems to this stout defense but I will lay the points. The Niners are just that good. LOSS

LEANS: Chiefs -10.5 L, Giants +13.5 W, Bucks -3 L, Sixers/Heat over 225.5 W, Celtics -3 W, Mavs/Suns over 237.5 W, Warriors +6.5 W

SUNDAY, DECEMBER 24 (-.45 units)

1x Packers/Panthers over 37.5 – The Green Bay offense has turned the corned and is really click over the last month or so. Turnovers have prevented them from scoring even more but I am not too worried about the Carolina defense generating turnovers, given they are dead last in takeaways. The Panthers offense leaves a lot to be desired but they can contribute a little against a Packers defense that is missing some guys. WIN

.5x Bucs +1 vs. Jaguars – Trevor Lawrence is slated to play but I still don’t believe in Jacksonville. The defense is brutal and Baker Mayfield is playing extremely well. Obviously last week was one of the best games of his career and you don’t want to overreact to the most recent game but he’s been playing fairly well all season. This Tampa Bay team has a bunch of talent. WIN

1.5x 6-point Teaser: Steelers +8.5 vs. Bengals and Broncos -1 vs. Patriots – I backed Pitt in similar fashion last week and they let me down, despite leading 13-0. It’s tough to back a team that’s struggling so much but is is a more advantageous situation, given they are playing at home. I also expect the Broncos to beat the Patriots, who have an extremely limited offense. Inclement weather is expected and it could be a sloppy game but I have faith in Denver to get back on track. LOSS

LEANS: Falcons -2.5 W, Packers -3.5 L, Titans +3 P, Vikings +2.5 L, Cardinals +4 L, Patriots/Broncos under 36.5 L

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 23 (+1.95 units)

.5x Duke +7 vs. Troy – Both schools lost their head coach and Duke will play without quarterback Riley Leonard. The Trojans had a great season but this feels like too much of an adjustment to the Duke players missing this game, which includes several defenders. Group of 5 programs often get overlooked but I am not sure Troy is a team that should be laying all these points. They faced one Power 5 school and got blown out by Kansas State and also lost to James Madison. I like what I saw from Blue Devils backup QB Grayson Loftis and think this game will come down to the wire. WIN

.5x Georgia State +2 vs. Utah State – The Panthers stumble into this game riding five straight losses. It takes a strong stomach to back a team on such a streak but it also means you can count on them to prepare properly and take a bowl game seriously. The Aggies were a mixed bag all season and their best is better than Georgia State’s best but I am unsure we see that version. WIN

.5x South Alabama / Eastern Michigan under 45 – The Jaguars should dominate this game, seeking their first bowl win in school history that coincidentally will take place on their home field. Plus, the Eagles had the second-easiest schedule in all of FBS and QB Austin Smith will not play this game, as he entered the transfer portal. All that is why USA is a 17-point favorite. I don’t expect much from the EMU offense and hopefully this game doesn’t get out of hand. LOSS

.5x Utah/Northwestern under 41.5 – The Wildcats found some offense late in the regular season but I am not optimistic that is transfers over to this bowl game. Northwestern will lean on a solid defense to keep this game close and hope they can steal it late. Meanwhile, how sharp will Utah’s offense be against this Wildcats defense? Utah has played in the last two Rose Bowls and I question the motivation. In fact, QB Bryson Barnes is getting the starting nod but he is bound for the portal, which seems strange. I lean to the ‘dog and the points but I’ll play the under. WIN

.5x Coastal Carolina +10 over San Jose State and .5x under 48.5 – This is a tough handicap with so many Chantecliers in the transfer portal, including school legend QB Grayson McCall. However, redshirt freshman Ethan Vasko has played well in limited time and generated plenty of buzz. In fact, I think McCall’s shine was fading. The concern for these two wagers are Coastal’s defense. There is certainly a scenario where the Spartans torch the Chants and QB Chevan Cordeiro thrives in his return to Hawai’i for this bowl game. However, I will grab the points and take the under. WIN

LEANS: Air Force +1.5 W, Chargers +12.5 W

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 22 (-1.1 units)

.5x UCF -6 vs. Georgia Tech and .5x over 66 – Getting the worst of the number so only playing for a half-unit each. Nonetheless, this has all the makings of a high-scoring bowl game. Predicting motivation is a key this time of year and all indications are that Knights head coach Gus Malzahn has his team focused and ready to play. The offense should score at will against Tech and I don’t think much of UCF’s defense either. LOSS

LEANS: Raptors +8.5 L, Nets +4.5 L, Heat -1.5 W, Warriors -11.5 L

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 21 (-2.90 units)

1x Pacers/Grizzlies over 247 and 1x Grizzlies Team Total over 125.5 and 1x 1st Half over 121.5 EV – This has all the makings of an absolute track meet. In his return, Ja Morant scored 34 points in 35 minutes. More importantly, Memphis racked up 74 points in the second half, compared to just 41 before halftime. It took them some time to adjust, which is completely understandable. Now they get to face the league’s highest-scoring team that plays minimal defense and Morant should be able to thrive in this flow. LOSS

1.5x Thunder -5.5 vs. Clippers – No team is hotter than LA but I think the nine-game win streak ends in OKC. Playing the second leg of a back-to-back against the Thunder is a tough ask. Paul George will miss this game, and I think the Clippers exerted tons of energy in yesterday’s win in Dallas. They blew a halftime lead and allowed the Mavs to take a lead but the Clippers gutted out the win. I think the Thunder can roll. WIN

1x Syracuse -3 vs. USF – Normally I’d be concerned betting on a backup quarterback that has thrown one pass all season but Braden Davis has had extensive practice leading up to this bowl game. Plus, it’s not like Garrett Shrader was lighting the world on fire, and I also think the Orange will effectively utilize Wildcat formations like they did earlier in the season. Additionally, the Bulls have an awful defense, allowing the second-most passing yards per game in all of FBS. There’s also motivation uncertainty with this game being located a three-hour drive away from the USF campus. LOSS

LEANS: Rams -4 W, Syracuse/USF over 55.5 L, Lakers/T’Wolves under 224 L, Jazz +2.5 W, Spurs/Bulls over 228.5 L, Blazers -4 L

WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 20 (-0.10 units)

1x Coby White over 33.5 Points + Assists + Rebounds (-105) – Conventional wisdom would suggest this magical run is about to end, especially given the market correction. However, I have to keep playing it. He has cashed this prop nine straight games that Zach LaVine has missed, averaging 25.4 points, 6.4 rebounds and 6.8 assists over that span. The market has adjusted drastically but I still think we have a little value. LOSS

.5x Clippers -3 at Mavericks and .5x Clippers Team Total over 121.5 – The Clippers have hit a groove with eight straight wins, thanks in large part to an offense that is clicking since Russell Westbrook volunteered to come off the bench. Dallas ranks eighth-worst in defensive efficiency and the Clippers are the type of team that can explode on them. .5x WIN, .5x LOSS

1x Duke -2 vs. Baylor – I like this spot for the Blue Devils. They are battle-tested with recent road losses and now face Baylor in a friendly environment at Madison Square Garden. The Bears just got drilled by 24 points by Michigan State, trailing 45-17 at halftime as favorites. I wonder if that loss exposed them a bit and they have not had enough time to pick up the pieces. WIN

TUESDAY, DECEMBER 19 (+2.90 units)

1x Pelicans -7 vs. Grizzlies – Ja Morant is returning but I question his overall effectiveness and how much the Grizzlies will fit together on day one. Meanwhile, the Pelicans are loaded and have a ton of firepower to cover a sizeable number like this. LOSS

2x Memphis -3.5 vs. Virginia and 2x under 132.5 – These teams rank 108th and 114th in offensive efficiency so this has all the making of a low-scoring rock fight. The Cavaliers are coming off a disappointing 56-54 win over Northeastern and I believe the length of Memphis will generate enough offense to cover and keep this under the total. WIN

LEANS: UTSA/Marshall under 47.5 L, Celtics -5.5 L, CS Northridge +17.5 W

MONDAY, DECEMBER 18 (+0.9 units)

2x Coby White over 31.5 Points + Assists + Rebounds – this prop continues to cash. He’s gone over this number ever since Zach LaVine went down with an injury. It’s all about usage and opportunity, and White continues to take advantage of the additional playing time. WIN

1x Lakers -4.5 vs. Knicks – This has been a long road trip for New York, playing one home game since November 30th. They actually just played the Clippers in LA on Saturday so they’ve remained in the same city but it’s still draining. Meanwhile, the Lakers return home after losing at lowly San Antonio on Friday. It’s a good spot to back the Lakers. LOSS

LEANS: Eagles -4 L, Hawks -12 L, Mavericks +8.5 L, Jazz +3.5 W, Wizards/Kings over 250 W

SUNDAY, DECEMBER 17 (+1.4 units)

1.5x Saints -5.5 vs. Giants – This is a fade of the Giants off the huge win. It has all the makings of a letdown. I am no fan of laying points with the Saints but they should be the right side, given New York’s situation. Also, Taysom Hill is expected to return, which makes a huge difference in the red zone. WIN

1x Bills -1.5 over Cowboys – This is another fade of a team off a huge win. Dallas was determined to beat Philly and notch a win over a quality opponent. Now they hit the road, where they have been a completely different team, and face an explosive offense that is desperate for wins. WIN

1x Cowboys/Bills over 49 – As I mentioned, Buffalo has a potent offense and can score on anyone. The defense lacks playmakers and does not offer much resistance to quality offenses. Dak Prescott and the Cowboys offense is legitimate. They’ve lit up opponents at home and only had a few stretches on the road. But I think they are in a good groove right now and I expected a solid showing. LOSS

LEANS: Falcons -2.5 L, Bears +3 P, Packers -3.5 L, Jets +7.5 L, Chiefs -8.5 W, Ravens/Jaguars under 41 W

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 16 (+1.1 units)

3x 6pt Teaser: Steelers +7.5 with Chiefs -2 (-130) – The numbers are pretty obvious. Taking a teaser through 3, 4, 6 and 7 makes the most sense. As for the micro, the Steelers have looked absolutely terrible the past two games. Of course in the NFL this is when you bet on a team that’s hideous. Specifically, I think Gardner Minshew tries to make too many plays in the pocket and that is a kiss of death against this Steelers pass rush. Also, the Indy defense is really bad. The Colts have the most overs this season for a reason. As for KC, well, I don’t believe in New England, regardless of their last game. The Chiefs need this game badly. LOSS

2x Jacksonville State -2.5 over Louisiana – Rich Rodriguez is an experienced coach and should take advantage of a bad Louisiana rush defense. Their tempo should ultimately prove to be a deciding factor in this matchup. I will roll with the Gamecocks. WIN

3x Miami (OH)/Appalachian State under 41.5 – The total has come down from 48.5 and it’s solely because of severe winds forecasted in Orlando. I still don’t think the line has adjusted enough. If you monitor in-game lines like I do, one punt can skew this to this 38.5. Truthfully, oddsmakers hate these situations because their power rankings don’t accurately project for weird weather. I just think it will be a very low-scoring game. WIN

LEANS: Bengals -3 P, Lions -4.5 W, New Mexico State -3.5 L, Creighton -7 L, St. Mary’s -6.5 L, Pacers/T’Wolves under 241.5 W, Warriors -3 W, Jazz +9.5 L, Clippers -6 W

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 15 (-2.3 units)

1x Pacers/Wizards over 260.5, 1x 1st Half over 128 and Pacers team total over 135.5 points – As I have written before, styles make fights. This should be an absolute track meet, similar to what we saw when Indy faced Atlanta and they surpassed the 300-point mark. Both teams shot exceptionally well in that game but we don’t need 300+ points. Normal percentages will be sufficient. LOSS

1x Lakers/Spurs over 234.5 – The Lakers are at full strength and with LeBron James playing, this rematch should have more points that Wednesday’s game of 241. San Antonio’s poor defense enables opponents to light it up and the Spurs can hold their own as well. WIN

LEANS: Gonzaga +3.5 L, Pelicans/Hornets over 233 L, Rockets/Grizzlies over 212 L, Suns -4.5 L

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 14 (+2.5 units)

.5x Easton Stick to throw a TD pass (-150) – All things considered, this feels like a cheap price. He is mobile quarterback and just last week we saw Bailey Zappe and Mitchell Trubisky create offense in a game expected to be very low-scoring. He has the capabilities to get this done, especially against a suspect Raiders defense. WIN

2x Coby White over 29.5 Points + Assists + Rebounds – There is no reason to get off this train. He has surpassed this mark in every game in which he has replaced Zach LaVine in the starting lineup. That includes each of the past six games, where his PAR total was 33 or higher in each. WIN

LEANS: Chargers +3 L, Nuggets -9.5 W, Clippers -5.5 W

WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 13 (+1.0 unit)

1x Rockets -8.5 vs. Grizzlies – I was waiting to get official word on Desmond Bane but he is still listed as questionable. I still think it’s worth a play, given the overall mess in Memphis. If he misses this game, the Grizzlies may not top 90 points. Meanwhile, Houston is reliable and well-coached, which is what you want when facing an inferior team and laying significant points. The Rockets are 10-1 at home and should approach this matchup with their customary professionalism. WIN

LEANS: Lakers -3 P, Pacers +6.5 L, Nets +4.5 W, Nets/Suns over 231.5 L, FAU -23 W, UNLV +13 W

TUESDAY, DECEMBER 12 (-2.2 units)

2x Warriors +1 at Suns – In this morning’s NBA preview segment, I mentioned how it made sense to grab +3 or 3.5 with the potential of Kevin Durant missing this game. That is now official. Bradley Beal is expected to make his debut and play alongside Devon Booker but missing Durant leaves a gaping hole. I think the Warriors will win this game. We saw Phoenix play fairly well in their last game without Durant but ultimately lost by eight points at home to Sacramento. The Warriors have their issues but this feels like the right side. LOSS

LEANS: Celtics -11.5 L, Lakers/Mavericks over 231 W, Clippers -3 W, Cincinnati -21 W

MONDAY, DECEMBER 11 (+1.85 units)

.5x Tyreek Hill over 111.5 receiving yards – Not only is he an extremely dangerous threat and surpassed 100 yards in three straight games but I believe the Monday Night Football stage will play a role. He’s in the MVP conversation and Mike McDaniel recognizes that a huge showing will help the cause. I think that will play a factor in play-calling at certain junctures and push this over the edge. LOSS

.5x Nuggets -2.5 at Hawks – Denver has lost three straight games and Nikola Jokic is just 18/58 over the past two games. I have to believe the defending champs will get right. However, Atlanta has also lost three straight and should be ready for this type of opponent but Denver’s best effort should lead to a cover over Atlanta’s. The Hawks have significant defensive issues. ranking fifth-worst in efficiency. WIN

2x Coby White over 29.5 Points + Assists + Rebounds (-105) and .1x Top Point Scorer +1600 – This comes down to usage. He has surpassed this PAR benchmark in every game Zach LaVine has missed. There is no reason this should discontinue, especially against a poor Milwaukee defense. It’s a big wager but the stars are aligned. As for the +1600 longshot, there is no telling how Milwaukee will respond after the in-season tournament. 2x WIN, .1x LOSS

LEANS: Giants +6 W, Dolphins -14 L, Pistons 1Q +2.5 W, Mavericks -1.5 W, Rockets -9.5 W, Yale -8.5 L

SUNDAY, DECEMBER 10 (+.5 units)

.5x Cowboys Team Total over 27.5 – The game total opened 48.5 and I completely agree with the steam. The Cowboys offense has been on an absolute roll and Mike McCarthy will return to the team and call plays after having appendix surgery this week. Philly’s defense just is not the same this year, and we saw that last week with the San Francisco offense torching it. I expect this to be a back-and-forth game. And we are keeping units down until we get back on track. WIN

LEANS: Rams/Ravens under 39.5 L, Browns -2.5 W, Falcons -2 L, Bengals -2 W, Jets +3.5 W, Bills/Chiefs over 48.5 L

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 9 (+1.7 units)

1.5x Talita Alencar +130 over Rayanne dos Santos (UFC Fight Night) and .25x on Alencar via Submission +500 – This is the sharpest of sharp plays, based on all my intel. Alencar has a distinct advantage on the ground and should be able to get dos Santos to the mat at some point. That should end the fight pretty quickly. She would have to weather dos Santos’ striking to do so but that’s a doable path to victory. 1.95x WIN, .25x LOSS

LEANS: Army/Navy under 28 P, Tennessee -7 P, Villanova -3.5 W, Alabama +6 P, Auburn -7 W, Arizona -9.5 W, BYU -3.5 L, Lakers/Pacers 1H over 119 W

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 8 (-1.1 units)

.5x Thunder -3 vs. Warriors and .5x Thunder 1st Half -1.5 – I really like this spot, which includes Golden State off a win in which they started off poorly. Fading a team in that scenario typically bodes well. And OKC outranks the Warriors in both offensive and defensive efficiency, although some of that is misleading because of short-handed Golden State lineups. Also, the Warriors historically have been a strong third-quarter team so splitting the unit to include the first half makes sense. Also, when a bettor is on a cold run, it’s smart to pull back. So while I do like other plays, I will include them in Leans until I regain my groove. LOSS

LEANS: Pistons +11 L, Sixers -9 W, T’Wolves/Grizzlies under 213.5 L, Bulls -2 W, Knicks +7.5 L, Clippers/Jazz under 224.5 W, Kings -2 W

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 7 (-2.2 units)

2x Patriots/Steelers under 30 – Welp…I’ll take the bait. Honestly, New England should not be able to find the endzone more than once, if at all. The Pittsburgh defense is as stout as any, allowing the second-lowest completion percentage to opposing quarterbacks. In fact, turnovers and short fields concern me more than the Pats’ ability to score. The reason I am backing the under on such a historically low total is because of Mike Tomlin’s desire to bleed clock if his team has a sizeable lead. He doesn’t really step on the gas. LOSS

LEANS: Steelers -5.5 L, Pacers/Bucks over 257 L, Pelicans +2 L

WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 6 (-.15 units)

1x Rockets 1st Qtr +.5 over Thunder – I am playing into a narrative of what Houston coach Ime Udoka said after the team’s last game. He was upset with their effort in a loss to the Lakers and basically called his players “soft”. I will play that angle, and I also like playing the first quarter because OKC has such an advantage in the second quarter with a strong bench. So I am hoping this young Rockets squad responds to their coach’s comments. WIN

1x Clips 1st Qtr PK over Nuggets (-115) – You never truly know what you’re going to get with the Clippers but this seems like the right play. In their last meeting, the Clips lost at home when Denver played without Nikola Jokic, Jamal Murray and Aaron Gordon. It was perhaps their worst loss of the season. I fully anticipate a strong start tonight. LOSS

LEANS: 76ers -10 L, Pistons +2 L, Spurs/T’Wolves under 230.5 W, Rockets +2 W, Jazz +11.5 L, Clippers -1 W, Blazers +12.5 W, Maryland -7.5 L, Texas +8.5 L, South Carolina +8.5 W

TUESDAY, DECEMBER 5 (-1.10 units)

1x Knicks (+5) at Bucks – This feels more like a coinflip game, given the coaching edge with Tom Thibodeau and just how unreliable Milwaukee has been. The Bucks have significant defensive issues and also will be limited offensively without Pat Connaughton. I expect a strong showing from New York and can win this game. LOSS

LEANS: Suns +1.5 L, UNC +5.5 L, Cornell/Syracuse under 165 W

MONDAY, DECEMBER 4 (-3.30 units)

2x Celtics/Pacers over 240.5 and 1x 1st half over 121 – This total opened 237.5 and has been appropriately bet up to the current number. I still think it’s too short. Perhaps the originators assumed a playoff atmosphere with defensive focus but I do not envision that. Indiana has cashed the over in 16 of 18 games. When they face an offensively-challenged team, then I understand the apprehension. However, both teams can score quickly and push the pace. In their earlier meeting, the Celtics dropped 155 points. Tyrese Haliburton did not play for Indiana and he only increases the pace and the Pacers’ scoring output. LOSS

LEANS: Pelicans +4 W, Iowa +12.5 L

SUNDAY, DECEMBER 3 (-1.20 units)

1x Broncos +3 at Texans – This could be a very fun game, given Denver has won five straight and the Houston offense has explosiveness. The Broncos defense has performed extremely well since the debacle in Miami. The Texans are resonating but some of it is misleading. This feels more like a toss-up game so I will gladly take three full points. LOSS

1x Niners -3 at Eagles and 1x under 47.5 – Philly deserves all the credit in the world for its 10-1 mark but this spot really sets up well for San Francisco. The Eagles are coming off intense games with the Chiefs and Bills. At some point teams hit a wall, and the Niners should be much fresher with extended rest from their Thanksgiving game and Philly just playing an overtime game. Of course the Eagles have answered every call but I do think it runs out here. 1x WIN, 1x LOSS

LEANS: Lions -4.5 W, Steelers -6.5 L, Panthers +3.5 W, Panthers/Bucs over 36.5 W, Rams -4 W, Packers +6 W

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 2 (-5.90 units)

4x Heat -5 vs. Pacers – Indiana will likely play without Tyrese Haliburton, who is essentially as valuable as any player. Indy lost by 51 points in its lone game this season without him. Plus, Indy has a huge game on Monday against Boston for the In-season Tournament. Bam Adebayo will miss this game for Miami but it still looks as though this is a classic case of an unfocused Pacers squad. LOSS

1x Hawks/Bucks over 253 – As I have mentioned, styles make fights. When these two types of teams meet, the power ratings cannot truly grasp the game flow. For example, Atlanta and Indiana combined for over 300 points in a recent game. This should have a similar pace. PUSH

1x Georgia/Alabama over 53.5 and 1x Georgia Team Total over 29.5 – Sharp money arrived on the under and Bama but sometimes you just have to stick to your guns. By their lofty standards, these two defenses are not as stout as we are accustomed to seeing. The Bulldogs have allowed some respectable outputs to subpar offenses so I believe the Tide can continue with their explosive plays. And that’s what Jalen Milroe and Bama utilize so well. As for Georgia, their offense is potent with Brock Bowers back from injury. I feel confident in their ability to score so will also play their team total. LOSS

3x Michigan -21.5 vs. Iowa and 2x Michigan Team Total over 27.5 points (-115) – This is a complete mismatch. Give the Hawkeyes credit for their 10-2 record and reaching this conference title game. But they only have managed wins because of their weak opponents, rather than an ability to outperform quality teams. They have only faced one ranked school and lost 31-0 to Penn State. And since that game, they’ve lost their starting QB and stud CB/punt returner Cooper DeJean to injury. The Wolverines are far superior and should not let up, given they benefit from “style points”. There’s a chance they earn the top overall seed for the CFP so I believe we are poised to see something similar to the 2021 Big Ten Championship Game, when Michigan beat Iowa, 42-3. 3x WIN, 2x LOSS

LEANS: Oklahoma State +15 L, Miami (OH) +7 W, Appalachian State +6 L, Louisville +1 L, Michigan/Iowa over 35 L, Iowa Team Total under 7.5 (-195) W, Duke -12.5L, USC/Gonzaga over 152.5 W, Hawks +6 L, Pelicans -3 L, Thunder -4 W, Jazz -1.5 W, Rockets +5 L

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 1 (-.2 units)

1x Oregon -9 vs. Washington – I am taking a leap of faith on the Ducks, even though I know a very respected bettor played Washington +10 this week. We all know Oregon lost in Seattle but teams are allowed to improve, and the Ducks seemingly have done that every week. They even struggled to beat Texas Tech earlier this season. At this juncture, the Ducks appear significantly better than Washington when you compare common opponents. The Huskies have squeaked by, while Oregon has controlled those games. The table is set for Bo Nix and the Ducks to win by double digits. LOSS

1x Grizzlies/Mavericks over 226.5 – These two teams combined for 235 points earlier this season and Kyrie Irving missed that game. I expect a up-and-down game. Memphis is one of the league’s worst teams and there is always trepidation with betting the over, since they are dead last in offensive efficiency. However, Dallas can offset that with its high offensive and poor defensive rankings. LOSS

2x Nuggets -3 at Suns – I think this is a cheap price for Denver. The market did not account for Jamal Murray’s absence appropriately and now you get Murray. Plus, with Devon Booker out, I feel it’s much better value than -1.5 with Booker, which was the overnight line. There’s also the potential of Phoenix lacking focus, hence Booker’s absence, since the Suns play an in-season tournament game on Tuesday. Denver did not qualify. WIN

LEANS: New Mexico St +10.5 L, Oregon/Washington under 65.5 W, Sixers +6.5 L, Magic -11, Spurs/Pelicans over 237

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