DOUG’S BETTING CARD – October 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

TUESDAY, OCTOBER 31 (+1.0 unit)

1x Knicks -3.5 at Cavaliers – Cleveland is still short-handed without Jarret Allen and Darius Garland. Additionally, Donovan Mitchell is listed as questionable. The Knicks are solid and have proved their capabilities, taking the Celtics to the wire and only losing to New Orleans because of a brutal scheduling spot. WIN

Leans: Northern Illinois -5.5 L, Toledo -15.5 W, Rangers/D’Backs under 9.5 L, Suns -7.5 L

MONDAY, OCTOBER 30 (-4.4 units)

3x Bulls/Pacers over 226 – I think this number is way too low. While Chicago could clog the pace, I really do not think they have the capabilities to do that to an Indiana team that may lead the NBA in scoring. Point guard Tyrese Haliburton is the key. He fills up the stat sheet and orchestrates an offense that wants to push pace and bomb threes. In three meetings last year in which he played, these two teams combined for 230, 233 and 247 points. I would also consider some alternate totals and the first half total, once it is posted. LOSS

1x Pelicans -2.5 vs. Warriors – For the second straight game, New Orleans is catching an opponent on the second night of back-to-back road games. Additionally, New Orleans is loaded and Zion Williamson presents all sorts of challenges to oddsmakers. Steph Curry can win a game by himself but outside of that, this should be a solid win for New Orleans. LOSS

Leans: Pacers -3.5 L, Bucks -5 W, Magic +2.5 L, Diamondbacks -1.5 (+180) L

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 29 (+2.0 units)

1x Dolphins -8 vs. Patriots – New England shocked everyone with its win over Buffalo last weekend but now they catch the Dolphins off a loss. Miami plays the roll of bully very well. I expect Miami to dominate and while Bill Belichick does have a knack for confusing quarterbacks, I just do not believe in the Pats. WIN

1x Seahawks -3.5 vs. Browns – Phillip Walker is not a good QB and we have much more evidence of that than of the recent performances that have led to wins. Keep in mind that while Cleveland scored 39 points last week, he still had a QB rating of 51. Plus, it is a horrible spot for Cleveland. The Browns are riding consecutive wins and this is a second straight road game. I anticipate a strong performance from Seattle. WIN

Leans: Titans +2.5 W, Vikings -1 W, Rams +6.5 L, Chiefs/Broncos under 45.5 W, Bengals/49ers under 43.5 L, Bears +8.5 L

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 28 (-2.2 units)

1x Kentucky +4 vs. Tennessee – This is a great spot to back the Wildcats. They’re off a bye and two losses, and UK catches Tennessee off a tough loss at Alabama. Do the Vols have the maturity to gut out a road win and cover on back-to-back games, including enduring the physicality of playing the Tide? They might but I’ll bank on the rested team. LOSS

1x Purdue +2.5 at Nebraska – This should be a brutal watch, given the pedestrian offenses and inclement weather involved. However, the Boilermakers have a much higher ceiling, which I feel is important to acknowledge in these types of matchups. Purdue enters this game off a bye, and my gut tells me they can avoid the mistakes and finish off drives more effectively. LOSS

Leans: Maryland -14 L, Michigan St. +7 L, Duke/Louisville under 45.5 W, USTA -18 L, Colorado St. +14.5 L

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 27 (+.9 units)

2x Spurs -2.5 vs. Rockets – Houston is likely the league’s worst team and has limited firepower. Fred VanVleet is a nice option and Alperen Sengun can keep the defense off-balance but this team is extremely limited. The Spurs aren’t exactly a contender but they have seven guys that can score double-figures. For what it’s worth, they just played in the preseason and San Antonio led by 19 points after the first quarter and no one played more than 30 minutes. Houston just doesn’t have the horses and it will have growing pains all season. WIN

1x Kings -2.5 vs. Warriors – One team will play much harder this game and that is undoubtedly the Kings. Sacramento was eliminated by Golden State in painful fashion last spring and there is little doubt they will treat this game more seriously. Plus, Golden State is pretty limited without Draymond Green and Klay Thompson seems like a shell of himself. The Kings are also the better team. LOSS

Leans: D’Backs -1.5 (+230) L, FAU/Charlotte over 42.5 W, Nets +6.5 W, Blazers +2.5 L

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 26 (+1.0 unit)

1x Bucs/Bills under 43.5 – Buffalo is perhaps the most difficult team for me to handicap. We all know the ceiling is high but consistency is an issue. I refuse to overreact to what I last saw but they’ve played poorly in three straight games. Even though Josh Allen and the Bills offense can explode, I will side with the under. Tampa Bay is limited offensively, especially if Baker Mayfield plays hurt or misses the game. The Bucs defense should be able to slow down Buffalo a bit. WIN

Leans: 76ers +6.5 W, Suns/Lakers under 223.5 W, Syracuse/VT under 47 L

WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 25 (-1.1 units)

1x Sam Houston State -3.5 vs. UTEP – Winless Sam Houston State was laying 5.5 points last week and they were unprepared for the situation. I actually think that experience will help them here. Plus, I think UTEP has a poor coach in Dana Dimel. I am fully prepared to feel like an idiot laying 3.5 points with an 0-7 team but it does feel like the right situation for the Bearkats to notch their first win. LOSS

Leans: Jacksonville State -8 W, Knicks +3 L, Timberwolves -1 L, Thunder -1 W, Mavs/Spurs over 229.5 W

TUESDAY, OCTOBER 24 (-1.1 units)

1x New Mexico St. / Louisiana Tech over 52 – I am expecting strong performances from both offenses. First off, the Aggies will look to run all day and they should be able to accomplish that against the Bulldogs. Louisiana Tech has some key injuries in the backfield so I assume Hank Bachmeier will have to throw early and often. Of course, that’s if he is healthy and suits up. If he doesn’t, well, the Aggies could hit this total by themselves. This number feels low, given all the moving parts. I think it could get wild. LOSS

Leans: Phillies -1.5 (+120) L, WKU +5 L, Nuggets -5 W, Suns +1 W

MONDAY, OCTOBER 23 (-2.13 units)

.5x 49ers -3.5 (1st Half) at Vikings and .5x 49ers -6.5 (-115) at Vikings – I like backing very good teams off a loss. San Francisco’s best is much better than Minnesota’s. However, I think the Vikes are better than they have demonstrated most of this season. Nonetheless, I think San Francisco is the play, although I dislike backing a team playing consecutive road games. So, I will split up my one unit between first half and game bets. LOSS

1x Phillies -1.5 runs (+115) vs. Diamondbacks – Aaron Nola has an ERA under 1 in three starts this postseason, including six shutout innings against Arizona in Game 2. He’s a reliable beast, and I am banking on his helping Philly punch its ticket to the World Series. The Diamondbacks are a wonderful story but I feel it ends on Monday. LOSS

Leans: Astros -125 L

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 22 (+1.7 units)

1x 6-point teaser: Bills -1.5 with Seahawks -2.5 (-130) – As I have expressed, the most effective use of a teaser leg is adjusting the NFL point spread through the numbers of 3, 6 and 7. This two-teamer allows you to do that. Buffalo obviously looked flat against the Giants last week but I expected some of that, given they had just returned from London and were facing a backup QB. However, the Patriots typically get their attention so I will back them to essentially win the game. As for Seattle, I expect a solid Seattle win (see below). For content, a two-team moneyline parlay would cost -171 so -130 (or better) at these spreads makes sense. LOSS

1x Steelers +3 at Rams – I am far from a Kenny Pickett supporter but getting the full field goal feels like value with Pittsburgh off a bye. The Steelers’ pass rush should disrupt Matthew Stafford enough and maybe they catch the Rams a bit drained, following an exhausting game with Philly and comeback win over Arizona. The crowd will obviously be filled with Steelers fans, for what that’s worth, and I am banking on coach Mike Tomlin having his team prepared and an offense ready to break through some early struggles. WIN

2x Seahawks -8.5 vs. Cardinals – Every year there is a subpar team or two that impresses fans and bettors with various covers and performances that resonate early in the season. Reality then sets in but the believers take forever to adjust, given first impressions last so long. Arizona is that team. They opened the season with near-upsets of the Commanders and Giants before beating the Cowboys. But now order is restored and opponents are making QB Joshua Dobbs look like the liability that he is. Meanwhile, Seattle is off a loss and should be ready to rock. The Seahawks play the role of bully as well as any team so I expect them to use the Cardinals as a slump-buster. WIN

Leans: Lions +3 L, Bucs -2.5 L, Packers -1.5 L, Chargers +5.5 L, Dolphins +2.5 L, Rangers/Astros under 8.5 (-105) L

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 21 (-1.3 units)

1x Ohio -16.5 vs. Western Michigan – This sure feels like a get-right spot for the Bobcats, who just had their five-game win streak snapped. QB Nathan Rourke was shaky in that loss but should feast on this poor Broncos defense. Western Michigan has lost five of six and has quarterback issues. Three different guys are getting time and none have secured the position. I envision a one-sided affair. LOSS

1x Wisconsin/Illinois under 40.5 – It’s always difficult to take under a total this low but the Badgers should lean on their run game all day, given QB Tanner Mordecai is out with an injury. Meanwhile, the Illini are a mess on offense and have been unable to generate much on that side of the ball. This has all the makings of a field-position game that bleeds clock. LOSS

1x Colorado State/UNLV over 61.5 – This has all the makings of a shootout but the one concern is a potential flat spot for the Rams, who won last week on a Hail Mary. However, that could also mean the defense is unfocused and allows a ton of points to a UNLV offense that averages nearly 40 points per game. In fact, the Rebels have covered every game. I have faith in this CSU offense to score enough points, given the respectable firepower. LOSS

2x Arizona State (+27.5) at Washington – This scheduling spot presents a great opportunity. Not only is ASU playing much better lately but it is a giant flat spot for the Huskies. Washington is off the monster win against Oregon and seemingly will have an empty tank against a team that is unlikely to generate much interest from a team with national title aspirations. Michael Penix Jr. is dynamic and obviously they could roll the Sun Devils but I have to fade them here. WIN

Leans: Pittsburgh +1 L, Penn State +5 L, FSU -14 W, Utah +6.5 W, UCLA/Stanford under 52 W, Phillies -130 W

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 20 (+0 units)

Leans: Phillies -135 L, Temple +24 L

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 19 (-1.1 units)

1x Saints -1 vs. Jaguars – In a vacuum, I would probably bet Jacksonville but I doubt we get the Jags’ best performance. Here we are on a short week in Week 7 and they are pretty well-traveled. This has the makings of a clunky product and while New Orleans has issues, it’s hard to go into the Voodoo Dome and win. LOSS

Leans: Rice +3 W, Marshall +3.5 L, Phillies -1.5 (+120) L, Astros +100 W

WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 18 (+4.0 units)

3x Aces/Liberty under 168.5 – I do not understand this number. I thought it would be in the neighborhood of 10 points lower, given that Las Vegas PG Chelsea Gray is out with an injury. She may not be as well known as MVPs A’ja Wilson and Breanna Stewart but she was the Finals MVP last year. She is the orchestrator of this potent offense. For the Aces to win, they will need to rely on their defense because their short-handed offense will not operate with the same efficiency. Wilson has guarded Stewart effectively this entire season and I do not see any reason that changes. The Aces may try to run a little more, even without Gray, but New York knows their path to victory is avoiding a track meet with the Aces. This bet only loses if one team catches fire from three-point land, and I am a little worried Sabrina Ionescu finds her touch, but I have to roll with this under. WIN

1x New Mexico State -3 at UTEP – This is a fade of UTEP coach Dana Dimel, who is as shaky as any coach outside of Mario Cristobal. Meanwhile, the Aggies are led by veteran Jerry Kill and should have a huge advantage on the headsets. I also think this squad is pretty decent, and that’s represented by their 3-1 mark in their last four games. The lone loss was a blown second-half lead at Hawaii, which is always a tough trip. I just have to grab the more polished and better coached team, especially when that is magnified on the difficulty of a short week. WIN

Leans: FIU +5.5 W, Astros +110 W

TUESDAY, OCTOBER 17 (-.1 unit)

1x Phillies -155 vs. Diamondbacks – Aaron Nola is so solid and the Phillies bats continue to deliver. Meanwhile, are we confident Merrill Kelly can handle the environment? He was excellent against the Dodgers in his lone playoff outing so far but he took the mound with a 6-0 lead. This will be a much different situation. I need to ride the hot team. WIN

1x Western Kentucky -7.5 at Jacksonville State – This line has gradually trickled up and crossed the key number of 7. There has not been an official word regarding Gamecocks QB Zion Webb. I would assume he misses this game but even if he does go, this Jacksonville State offense has serious limitations. The defense will show up but ultimately I think it’s too much offense for the Hilltoppers. LOSS

Leans: Middle Tennessee/Liberty over 56.5 W, So Miss/South Alabama under 52 L

MONDAY, OCTOBER 16 (+0 units)

1x Rangers -1.5 (+160) vs. Astros – The Rangers may never lose this postseason. While I say that jokingly, this sport does reward the hottest team and Texas sure seems to bear wearing that hat. They are healthy and the pitching has surpassed expectations. No better example of that than Nathan Eovaldi, who has been virtually unhittable in these playoffs, allowing one earned run in each outing so far. Houston has some dangerous bats but I’ll ride with the hot team at a very attractive plus-price on the reverse run line. LOSS

1x 2-leg 6-point teaser: Rams -1 with Chargers +7.5 (-130) – The Cardinals have already proven doubters wrong with one win and a few competent performances. However, Joshua Dobbs prevents them from having a higher ceiling. He is just so limited. As much as I like what I am seeing from this team and their rookie head coach, I do not think they have the chops to win on the road. The Rams have been solid and should win this game. Meanwhile, I think the Chargers win outright on Monday night but I really think there is strong value with them in a teaser at this number. WIN

Leans: Chargers +1.5 L, DAL/LAC under 51 W

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 15 (+3.0 units)

1x Bengals -2.5 (-115) vs. Seahawks – The Bengals seemed to find their offensive groove last week with Ja’Marr Chase catching three TD passes and Joe Burrow demonstrating improved health. Seattle has been impressive but this line seems out of whack. I feel like the right point spread should be around 4.5. The Seahawks might be legitimate but they have to handle their business in this game to prove it. WIN

1x Jets +7 (-115) vs. Eagles – This is a tough spot for Philly, although Sauce Gardner will miss this game. The Eagles are coming off perhaps their most complete win and it’s a consecutive road game. Meanwhile, the Jets are off a nice win and should have a strong performance. Zach Wilson is steadily improving. This number feels too high, and I actually think New York is a live ‘dog. WIN

1x Liberty +2.5 vs. Aces – Las Vegas is the better team and has completely controlled the series but I am banking on complacency, as well as the Liberty’s desperation. There is nothing more to it. As their coach said to the media, this is about pride and hunger. Sometimes you just have to ignore what you have seen and understand the situation calls for a certain wager. It is not guaranteed but this approach in these types of instances will win more often than it will lose. WIN

Leans: Panthers +14.5 L, Vikings/Bears over 43.5 L, Colts +4 L, Saints -1.5 L, Lions -3 W, Giants +15 W

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 14 (+1.9 units)

1x Purdue +18.5 vs. Ohio State – The Buckeyes escaped Maryland with a cover but the final score was extremely misleading. They just are not that impressive or explosive. The brand name has us waiting for them to restore their typical dominance but that may never come. Additionally, they have a monster game on deck next week with Penn State so I cannot image they are too focused on the Boilermakers. Purdue certainly has issues and is more than capable of getting blown out but this game has potential to get weird. LOSS

1x Purdue 1st Half Moneyline vs. Ohio State +410 – I think this has a decent shot to cash. It’s worth a play for me. LOSS

2x Utah -10.5 vs. Cal – This is my favorite play this weekend but I am a bit uneasy because sharp money drove down this number. However, sometimes you have to stick with your read and also acknowledge that respected money only backed the Bears at a higher number and not the current spread of -10.5. Frankly, I just do not think Cal has the maturity or composure to hang with Utah at Rice-Eccles. Although QB Cam Rising is still questionable, the Utes could deliver a dominating performance off a loss and bye. Additionally, Justin Wilcox’s signature is defense but this Cal unit allowed Washington and Oregon State each to score 50+ points. The Utes aren’t as potent but they should have enough firepower to cover 10.5 points. WIN

1x Oregon/Washington over 66.5 – In short, there are so many more ways to win this wager than lose it. Both quarterbacks, Bo Nix and Michael Penix Jr., are dynamic and have big-play ability. Drives can certainly stall and maybe even turnovers lead to scoring droughts but both offenses are superior to the defenses. Statistically, the Ducks defense has posted some decent numbers but I think they are misleading because of weak competition. Colorado was extremely flat when Oregon shut them down and even Texas Tech had no issues putting up points. This has shootout written all over it. I particularly like over Washington’s team total, once it is posted. WIN

1x Virginia Tech -1.5 vs. Wake Forest – Sharp money has trickled in on the Hokies, and I agree with the steam. The offense seems to click much better since Kyron Drones took over QB duties and I am unsure Wake has the chops to hang for four quarters. They just lost a tough game at Clemson and now have a consecutive road game. The Demon Deacons have improved a bit but ultimately this is an unreliable and inconsistent team with only one solid performance. WIN

Leans: Rutgers -4.5 L, Washington -3 P, South Carolina -2.5 L, Kentucky -2.5 L, Iowa/Wisconsin under 35 W, Pittsburgh +7.5 W, Washington State -7.5 L, Notre Dame -2.5 W, UCLA/Oregon State under 54 L

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 13 (+0 units)

Leans: Tulane -4.5 W, Fresno St./Utah St. over 56.5 W, Stanford +12.5 W

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 12 (-1.1 units)

1x Broncos/Chiefs over 47.5 – Denver surprisingly has a defense that has allowed the most yards and points per game. Some of that is skewed because they allowed Miami to hang 70 points but the Broncos have still cashed the over in four of five games. The defense is bad. Also, in a couple recent meetings between these teams, Denver has committed to the run and tried to shorten the game, keeping Patrick Mahomes on the sideline. I think Sean Payton is too impatient and aggressive to adopt that approach. The offense has weapons and he wants to show off his abilities, especially after losing to Nathaniel Hackett last weekend. Obviously the Travis Kelce injury concerns me but I will still take the over. LOSS

Leans: Braves/Phillies over 8.5 L, West Virginia -3 L, SMU -12.5 W

WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 11 (+.05 unit)

1x Aces/Liberty under 171.5 – This is essentially a must-win for New York and they know that defense has to be their focal point. Four Aces scored at least 19 points in Game 1 and that spells doom for the Liberty, if history repeats itself. New York will do what it can to slow down the pace, which is how it beat Las Vegas during the regular season. And I have confidence in the Aces defense. I think we sneak under the total. LOSS

1x Astros (+115) at Twins – There is no part of me that thinks the Twins are the better team. Houston has the swagger and poise, given its postseason experience, and I will continue to ride that. Jose Urquidy instills enough confidence for me to back Houston on the road. I’ll grab the small ‘dog price. WIN

Leans: Phillies -120 W, Dodgers -145 L, UTEP +2.5 W, New Mexico State -3.5 W

TUESDAY, OCTOBER 10 (+2.0 units)

1x Rangers (-140) vs. Orioles – Do not assume regression or that a baseball team will win just because it had a better record during the regular season. After all, Arizona has won the first two games against the Dodgers and the Phillies nearly grabbed that same lead over Atlanta. Right now, the Rangers are hitting well and getting enough pitching. I have to ride the hot hand because baseball is a weird sport, which is why it sees fewer championship favorites win it all than any other major sport, once the postseason begins. WIN

1x Middle Tennessee (1st Half, -2.5) vs. Louisiana Tech – I just cannot quit the Blue Raiders, despite already being burned twice. This time, I am going to back them in the first half because ultimately the second halves have burned me, for whatever reason. It’s so bad that a friend recently tweeted, “Does Middle Tennessee drink rubbing alcohol at halftime?”. Let’s hope that’s not the case and that they can handle the Bulldogs by halftime because backing this one-win team is getting painful – and expensive. WIN

Leans: Liberty/Jacksonville State over 56.5 L, Astros +115 W

MONDAY, OCTOBER 9 (-3.3 units)

3x Packers/Raiders over 45.5 – Both offenses should be fresh and ready to capitalize on the other’s suspect defense. Also, Jimmy Garoppolo returns for Las Vegas and that should make a huge difference. In their last game, rookie Aidan O’Connell held the ball way too long and that prevented more scoring. Both teams should be able to go up and down. LOSS

Leans: Phillies/Braves over 8 L, D’Backs/Dodgers over 8.5 W

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 8 (+.9 units)

1x Dolphins -12.5 vs. Giants – Typically it is unwise to lay double-digits in the NFL but this situation calls for it. Plus, the sharpest sportsbooks continue to move this number higher and higher. I have spoken to professional bettors who often back the ugly ‘dogs but they are staying away from the Giants. The offensive line is a mess, and the Dolphins are coming off a poor performance. All signs point to a lopsided outcome. WIN

1x Steelers +4.5 vs. Ravens – This number really confuses me but Pittsburgh also looked poor in its last game. I chalk up that loss to Houston to scheduling circumstances. The Steelers were coming off emotional primetime wins on Monday and Sunday nights. They had nothing left in the tank. I think we see a strong performance from their defense and Kenny Pickett does just enough to keep this inside the number. Frankly, Baltimore is not that great. Lamar Jackson has his flashes but they have issues just like every other team. The number feels too high. WIN

1x Falcons -2 vs. Texans – I think this is a great opportunity to buy low on Atlanta and sell high on Houston. I just expressed how I believe the Texans dominated Pittsburgh in their last game. C.J. Stroud still has a ways to go and the team now faces an Atlanta squad that is tough at home. Desmond Ridder leaves a lot to be desired but I like the rest of their roster. Getting Atlanta under a field goal feels like a discount. PUSH

1x Liberty/Aces under 171.5 – In their first meeting, the Liberty learned the hard way that they do not want to try to run with Las Vegas. In subsequent meetings, they intentionally slowed the pace and that is why we saw so many unders. Additionally, while Breanna Stewart is an offensive force, A’ja Wilson defends her extremely well and that disrupts the New York offense. All this points to an under, which is why the number has gradually trickled down this week. LOSS

Leans: Jaguars +5.5 W, Saints/Patriots under 39 W, Rams +4 L, Jets/Broncos over 43.5 W, 49ers -3.5 W

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 7 (-2.3 units)

1x Texas -5.5 vs. Oklahoma – Texas definitely has the superior defense, and I also think it can control the trenches on both sides of the ball. Many have used the ‘revenge card’ to back Oklahoma, given the 49-0 pounding last year. However, I disregard those narratives in rivalry games because my thought process is that the teams are already hyped. Are the Sooners really going to play harder because of last year’s result? So Texas will take this game lightly because they rolled OU last year? It just seems way too convenient. LOSS

1x North Carolina -9.5 vs. Syracuse – I maintain the market continues to undervalue UNC, and my guess is that it stems from Drake Maye only having five touchdown passes and the near-loss to Appalachian State. But over the past two weeks, the Tar Heels have demonstrated an ability to dominate these types of games. Additionally, I wonder how much is left in Syracuse’s tank. Last week the Orange had a chance to upset Clemson at home and remain undefeated but the Tigers controlled the game from the opening kick. WIN

2x Colorado State -3 at Utah State – The Rams opened the week as underdogs and are now favorites. I agree with the line move. I’ve been impressed with CSU in both victory and defeat. They’ve showed a lot of resilience and aptitude and thus I feel the Rams get the win and cover. The Aggies are pretty limited and at the same time, they are not a team Colorado State will take lightly. Frankly, that’s because CSU is not that good. I think Jay Norvell keeps his guys focused and they get the job done. LOSS

Leans: Maryland +19.5 L, Purdue/Iowa under 38.5 W, Kentucky +14.5 L, Minnesota +18.5 L, CSU/Utah St. over 62.5 W, Oregon St./Cal under 51.5 L

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 6 (+0 units)

Lean: Oklahoma State +11, Illinois -3.5

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 5 (-2.2 units)

2x Commanders (-6) vs. Bears – Respected money has appeared on both sides but at different prices. This point spread reached seven points and sharp money backed the ugly underdog, Chicago. Professional money did lay 5.5 points too. Personally, I cannot back a team riding a 14-game skid that is coming off a demoralizing loss. I have to see the Bears execute in this situation before I believe it. Do I love Washington laying this many points? Of course not but I cannot back Chicago. The Bears are inept, and Justin Fields is not as good as some people have tried to make themselves believe. LOSS

Lean: Bears/Commanders over 44.5 W

WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 4 (+.8 units)

1x Rays (-1.5, +130) vs. Rangers – Tampa turns to its ace in a must-win situation, and I want to back Zach Eflin. The Rangers offense is obviously more than capable of mashing anyone but this situation screams for the Rays to bounce back. Obviously you cannot blindly back a Game 2 home team off a loss but I do think Eflin is the right guy. Additionally, I have zero faith in Nathan Eovaldi. He’s had some big post-season performances but he struggled down the stretch this September and I truly believe his best days are behind him. I’ll back the Rays to get back in the series. LOSS

1x Rays team total over 4.5 runs (+110) – For all the reasons mentioned above, I believe the Tampa offense will break out against Eovaldi. If the Rangers offense produces and maybe even wins the game, then I at least want a wager that solely depends on the Rays to score some runs. LOSS

2x Phillies -1.5 (+140) vs. Marlins – Game 1 unfolded as I expected, and I do not anticipate Game 2 being much different. Aaron Nola is capable of duplicating Zack Wheeler’s five-hit performance and the Phillies bats can get the offense going. I know runs are typically limited in the playoffs but we also see occasional offensive explosions. At the risk of getting too cute, I will lay the run line for plus-money. WIN

Lean: Twins -140 W, D’Backs +110 W, Middle Tennessee -3.5 L, FIU +6.5 L

TUESDAY, OCTOBER 3 (+1.0 unit)

1x Marlins team total under 3.5 runs (-140)– Playoff baseball is a much different can of worms. Everything is magnified but Philly has experience from last season’s World Series run. Zack Wheeler shined in last year’s playoff opener with six shutout innings, and I am envisioning a similar performance against Miami. He started three games this year against the Marlins and allowed six earned in 18 innings. Runs should be at a premium. WIN

Lean: Rangers +130 W, Blue Jays/Twins over 7.5 L, D’Backs +150 W

MONDAY, OCTOBER 2 (-2.2 units)

2x Giants +2 vs. Seahawks – This is a must-win for New York and my gut tells me they get it done. The NFL season has so many ups and downs and a large reason for that is energy and emotion. Seattle is coming off back-to-back wins, including an impressive victory in Detroit. The Seahawks followed that up with a home win over Carolina. It’s a lot to ask for them to win a third straight, while facing a desperate Giants squad. LOSS

SUNDAY OCTOBER 1 (-.30 units)

1x 2-leg 6-point teaser: Dallas PK with Giants +8 (-130) – Dallas is much better than last week’s performance, and I think we get a strong showing. The Patriots are not awful but they also are not that good. They have a relatively low ceiling and I trust the Cowboys to win this game. Additionally, I think it’s a great spot to back the Giants. Seattle is off a couple nice wins but this will be a tough ask. Plus, we are getting over a touchdown with the teaser. LOSS

1x Chargers -6 vs. Raiders – This is a fade of what I perceive as a flat and fractured locker room. The decision by coach Josh McDaniels to kick a field goal late in last week’s loss was truly inexplicable, and DaVante Adams essentially criticized his coach. That was only what we saw and heard. Additionally, Jimmy Garoppolo will miss this game. I know the Chargers are also dealing with injuries and Brandon Staley is unreliable but I will lay the points. The Raiders are likely a mess and I do not like much else on the card. WIN

Lean: Vikings -4.5 W, Commanders +9.5 W, Dolphins +3 L, Cowboys -6 W, Jets +8.5 W

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