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June 2021


Sports picksJune 26, 2021

After a wild two-week group stage it’s on to the round of 16. Will Portugal defend their 2016 Euro Title? Can France add a Euro Championship to go along with their 2018 World Cup win. Who will advance into the next round? 

Round of 16

Some great matches are set in the knockout stage! The best of Europe’s international squads have advanced past the group stage and are looking to get their hands on the trophy. Let’s take a look at each group match up and find some betting nuggets.

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Wales vs. Denmark

  •  Wales were able to finish 2nd in their group with after drawing with Switzerland and beating Turkey 2-0. They did lose to Italy 1-0 but played a very spirited match. Gareth Bale is the key star up front for the Dragons but look for Aaron Ramsey and Connor Roberts to make some noise. Wales will look to soak up pressure and use a quick counter-attack.
  • Denmark began the campaign with a devastating injury to star-man Christian Eriksen, who went into cardiac arrest on the pitch during the Finland match. They lost 1-0 that night and took on Belgium in the next match. Though they fought hard the Danish fell 2-1 to the Red Devils. They needed a win in the next match and sealed their spot in the knockout round with a 4-0 win. The Danish look to find Yussuf Poulsen and Martin Braithwaite who are dangerous up front. Look for them to advance from the round of 16.

Wales +203 / Denmark -120 


Italy vs. Austria 

  • Italy are on of the favorites, posting a perfect record in the group stage. The Italians play a up-tempo, quick passing game where they can dominate the possession and get guys forward. Italy are coming off a 30 match un-beaten streak and will attack heavily. Jorginho is the play-maker, and is flanked by Manuel Locatelli and Nicolo Barella. 
  • Austria finished 2nd in their group after beating Ukraine, which happened to be for a spot in the knockout round. Led by David Alba who is set to be joining Real Madrid next season, Austria like to build up play from the back to find area to attack. Look for them to get high balls in the box for Marcel Sabitzer and Christoph Baumgartner to shoot. 

Italy -185 / Austria +550


Netherlands vs. Czech Republic 

  • The Czech Republic have a disciplined and well organized squad, with a trio of players who can hurt the Dutch. They finished 3rd in their group with goal differential, but played very well in all 3 matches. Look for Patrik Schick and Tomas Soucek to lead the Czech front line. They should be ready for the Dutch after facing England and Croatia, two of the tougher teams in the competition.
  • The Dutch are finally back in their fist major tournament since the 2014 World Cup. They walked through the group stage, scoring 8 goals in three matches. Georginio Wijnaldum is the man who makes the Dutch tick. While much of the focus is on Memphis Depay, who is on fire so far this competition.

Czech Republic +420 / Netherlands – 150  


Belgium vs. Portugal

  • This is going to be a heavy-weight fight, with both sides boasting some of the worlds best players. The Belgium team is full of stars, led by Kevin De Burnye and Romero Lukaku. They scored 7 goals in the group stage where they finished 1st. The Red Devils also have a very good bench, so look for that to play a factor has the match goes on.
  • Portugal are looking to hoist back to back Euro trophies, but end up finishing 3rd in their group. This causes them to meet up with Belgium and if they win possibly a meeting with red-hot Italy. Christrinaldo Ronaldo leads Portugal up top, but they have world-class players at every position. The defense has lacked in the group stage but they survived the Group of Death to reach the knockout stage.

Portugal +210 / Belgium +140  


Croatia vs. Spain

  • Spain started the competition slowly but beat Slovakia 5-0 to secure 2nd place in the group. Spain come into this game as favorites but they have struggled to score goals. Look for Alvaro Moratato shake off his bad form because he will need to be clinical if Spain are to advance. The midfield should also play a major part in the match.
  • Croatia got a big win in their last game, beating Scotland to finish 2nd in their group. Led by Luka Modric who reminded us how good he is with a fantastic goal in that Scotland match. Croatia have beaten Spain in two of the last three meeting, the previous being played in 2018. Croatia will look to withstand the pressure of Spain but can get them on the break.

Spain -165 / Croatia +550


France vs. Switzerland

  • France are the favorites in the early start of the competition and look to hold that on into the Knockout stage. They topped their group stage known as the Group of Death, and played impressively. They have a team full of world class players and most of the roster are still there for their 2018 World Cup win. Look for France to be very dominate on the ball.
  • For Switzerland playing France in a major tournament is nothing new, having playing them in the Euro’s in 2016 and the World Cup in both 2006 and 2014. The Swiss have some benefit of rest, securing their knockout place earlier in the week. Switzerland do struggle without the ball and that is an area France will look to exploit.

France -185 / Switzerland +600


England vs. Germany

  • England have played well in their 3 group matches but haven’t played up to their standard. They kept clean sheets in all three matches but found very little in scoring goals. England manager Southgate plays a very defensive style and rumors are he will play a back 5 to defend Germany like a wall. England have struggled to retain possession but if they are able to attack with numbers they could cause Germany threats.
  • Germany were six minutes from exiting the tournament but scored an equalizer against Hungary to secure a 2nd place finish over Portugal. Germany have underperformed but that was in the Group of Death so it is understandable. Look for them to try and keep heavy possession and attack England on the break.

Germany +190 / England +150


Sweden vs. Ukraine

  • Sweden were able to top their group with some nice wins over Poland and Slovakia. They did tie in a 0-0 draw with Spain but won the group with their other two wins. Sweden have shown they can play in many different styles, changing formation throughout the group stage. They only had 15% of possession in that match vs. Spain and still held on for the draw. 
  • Ukraine are an underdog for this match but have played a style of play known to frustrate teams. They have to find a way to gain possession and funnel it to the strikers. They were one of the best 3rd place teams despite losing two of the matches in their group. Sweden is expected to win but anything can happen in the knockout round.

Ukraine +220 / Sweden +135


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Football picksJune 25, 2021

Finding betting trends for Tom Brady as the Super Bowl champ is easy. Knowing which ones he’ll extend is another challenge altogether.

Brady Betting Trends

In six divisional games last season, Brady threw 12 TDs and seven interceptions, averaging 299 passing yards per game


Brady Betting Trends Have No Age Limit

When the 2020 NFL season was set to begin, Tampa Bay was sitting around 10th on most power rankings. Tom Brady was surrounded by some of his best offensive weaponry since 2007, but there was uncertainty. Could he learn a new system and develop chemistry with playmakers? Would he and Bruce Arians be a good fit?

There was also the question of Brady’s age, but nobody is doubting the ability of this 43-year-old anymore.

Brady holds the age-gap record between starting QBs, set in Week 4 of the 2020 season against Justin Herbert (22) and the Los Angeles Chargers.

Brady turns 44 in August and the Bucs are first on my preseason power rankings chart. They are returning all 22 starters, Brady’s O-Line is stacked and his list of targets would make a lot of Pro Bowl QBs jealous.

Antonio Brown is set to play a full season and while he’s past the prime of his Pittsburgh days, that’s okay when the guys ahead of you on the depth chart are named Mike Evans and Chris Godwin. Rob Gronkowski is also going after another Super Bowl, while O.J. Howard returns from a torn Achilles that shut him down after just four games.

For depth on the O-Line, Tampa drafted Robert Hainsey out of Notre Dame in the third round. Primarily considered a guard, Hainsey can play all five positions. The Bucs also re-signed Josh Wells, a seven-year vet that’s played in 28 games the past two years including three starts.

Lavonte David and Devin White are at the heart of the defense and just like the O-Line, the defensive front is loaded. Tampa Bay finished the season ranked 5th in DVOA against the pass, and 1st against the rush. No team did a better job at limiting rushing yards before contact (1.0). Note that nose tackle Vita Vea, who missed the bulk of 2020 with an ankle, will be ready for Week 1.

The challenge this year when handicapping the Bucs, is knowing which betting trends Tom Brady can repeat, and which ones offer value on the other side. I’ve highlighted a handful of betting trends below that will come into play this season. Any questions, feel free to hit me up on Twitter.

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Tampa Bay Buccaneers Odds

I’m tracking NFL offseason betting odds for you throughout the summer. Every time a new team preview is added or the futures market takes a significant swing, I’ll post on social media and you can stay up to date as we countdown to kickoff.

For preseason power rankings for the whole league, visit my NFL Team Previews HQ!

2021 NFL Season Win Total Odds: 11.5 OV -150
Pre-draft NFL Win Total Odds: 11.5 OV -125
2020 Record: 11-5
Average Wins 2018-20: 7.7
Odds to win the Division: -190 (1st place)
Net Strength of Schedule: 11th best

Tampa Bay plays back-to-back road games four times this year but the second pair, Week 8 at New Orleans and Week 10 at Washington, is separated with a bye week.

The long trip to Los Angeles in Week 3 is followed by a game in New England, but this is still early in the season. Guys shouldn’t be too burnt out yet, plus it’s Brady’s homecoming. He’ll have his team amped for this one and it almost makes circling the Rams a good move as a potential look-ahead spot for the Bucs.

Tampa Bay plays three of four divisional games to finish but two are at home. Besides, it’s tough knowing what to expect from the Saints now that Drew Brees has moved on. The non-divisional game in this group is against the Jets, too.

  • Brady’s all-time record against the New York Jets = 30-7 SU (81%).

Brady hasn’t lost to the Jets since 2015. He’s 8-0 SU and 5-3 ATS in eight games since, staying UNDER seven of eight times.

The Bucs odds to win the Super Bowl start at +550 and can go as high as +715 at various online sportsbooks. They are clear favorites to win the division and like a lot of Brady betting trends, the cost on that future is rising.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers Betting Trends

Tampa Bay averaged 30.8 points per game in 2020, playoffs included. They scored 30 points or more in seven consecutive games to wrap up the year, the 31-9 Super Bowl win over Kansas City counting as the seventh. The Bucs allowed just 21.6 PPG, seventh best in the NFL.

  • When the Bucs are favored after a strong defensive effort, holding opponents under their projected team total by seven or more points, the OVER is 13-0 (100%).

Not counting the Chiefs, Tampa Bay held five teams to 17 points or fewer last year. This angle was live four times, and all four went OVER by a minimum of seven points. In the fifth game that followed a strong defensive stand, the Bucs were underdogs at Green Bay. Tampa won that game 31-26, going just OVER the number.

  • Defending Super Bowl champs (SBC) are 29-42 ATS (41%) as road favorites.

The champs have an excellent 65-percent win rate straight up when laying points on the road, but as you might expect, bettors are faced to pay a premium. As the SBC, Kansas City went 7-1 SU as a road fave in 2020, the loss being in the Super Bowl at T-Bay (normally considered neutral, but it was against the Bucs). KC was 2-6 ATS including a streak of 5-straight ATS losses to finish, from Week 11 out.

  • As a road fave off a win, the defending SBC is just 15-29 ATS (34%).

Week 6 at Philly is a good spot to circle as the Bucs will be off Miami and are projecting as 7-point faves vs. the Eagles.

  • As double-digit home faves, the champs are 23-15 ATS (61%).

Since 2007, the SBC has had its way with weaker opponents at home. Their straight-up record is nearly perfect (34-4 or .895) and totals are 24-11-3 OVER (69%), thanks to a 31 PPG scoring average. A word of caution, though. In 2020, the Chiefs were 2-4-1 O/U as double-digit home faves. It was a combination of the pointspread being too big (3-4 ATS), and totals being too high.

  • Brady’s record as a double-digit SBC home fave is 15-1 SU and 12-4 ATS (75%).

The Bucs could be laying this type of lumber two or three times this year. Circle Week 2 (Falcons), Week 7 (Bears) and Week 11 (Giants).

UNDER bettors can keep an eye out for this 70-percent opportunity to pounce.

  • The defending Super Bowl champ is 21-9 UNDER when playing on the road with normal rest (no bye), and the posted total is 48 points or greater.

This is a good one to tuck away for later in the year. After Thanksgiving, the UNDER is on a 11-3 (79%) run. Totals are more inflated by that point in the year but weather can play a role, and defenses are finding their groove. Brady’s eight most recent betting trends in this spot went 1-6-1 O/U.

Bucs Bottom Line

Brady holds the current age-gap record against Herbert, but like so many of Brady’s records, he’s likely to break it again and again this season. Brady plays the Patriots in Week 4, Eagles in Week 6, Bears in Week 7 and Jets in Week 17. There’s no guarantee that Mac Jones (22), Jalen Hurts (22), Justin Fields (23) and Zach Wilson (21) will start those games, but it’s a safe bet that Tom Brady will be.

NFL regular season MVP odds start with Patrick Mahomes (+500), followed by Aaron Rodgers, Josh Allen, Matthew Stafford and Russell Wilson. Herbert, Dak and Lamar Jackson are next, and finally Brady whose MVP odds are 17 to 1.

People are constantly trying to find out what motivates Tom Brady to keep playing football, despite all his records. There is nothing left to prove for TB 12, but he loves the game and makes every player around him better. The last time someone repeated as Super Bowl champs was 2003-04. It was Brady and the New England Patriots. And although the odds are stacked against him doing it again, 7 to 1 payback on a guy that has defied odds the past 21 years isn’t such a bad deal.

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Football picksJune 21, 2021

Betting the Cowboys to win the division or go over their posted win total means betting on a healthy Dak Prescott. 

betting the cowboys

When Zeke rushes for 100-plus yards with Dak in the lineup, the Cowboys are 20-7 ATS (74%) all-time 


Betting the Cowboys: Dak is Back 

Dak Prescott was off to an epic start in 2020. His completion percentage (68.0), passing yards per attempt (8.4) and per game (371), were all at career highs. The season-ending injury Dak suffered in Week 5 against the Giants was the kind nobody wants to see twice. And although Dallas won that game, it would be their last until Nov. 22 (Week 11). Dallas finished the season with a 6-10 record, their fewest wins since 2015, when the team finished 4-12. 

Football is a brutal game and injuries are a part of it, but Prescott is having the kind of offseason that anyone betting the Cowboys has to feel optimistic about. Dak signed a franchise record four-year, $160 million dollar extension that shows how confident trainers were in his rehab program. 

Throughout six OTAs and two minicamp practices, Dak was moving without restrictions. His mobility, core and arm strength all looked exactly how the media was hoping. Whether the injury, which occurred at the end of a scramble, will change the way Dak and his coaching staff gameplan remains to be seen. But betting the Cowboys offense will return to its early-2020 production is backed by huge news from their offensive line. 

The Dallas Cowboys used 13 different O-Line combinations in 2020. 

Zack Martin, Tyron Smith and La’el Collins, all of whom missed significant time last year, are on pace to start the season healthy. 

Martin, RG: Drafted 1st Round, 16th overall, 2014 (DAL). Started 16 of 16 games in five of seven years. Six-time Pro Bowler. Missed six games in 2020 due to concussion, calf injury. Ranked second by Pro Football Focus of all guards ahead of 2021 season, behind Quenton Nelson (Colts). 

Smith, LT: Drafted 1st Round, 9th overall, 2011 (DAL). Played only two games last season. Coming off neck surgery. Health and durability are major concerns as he has not played a full season since 2015. 

Collins, RT: UDFA, 2015 (DAL). Missed all of 2020 after hip surgery after a breakout year in 2019. Solid run blocker and in pass protection. 

Surrounded by Ezekiel Elliot, Amari Cooper, CeeDee Lamb and Michael Gallup, this offense is ready to go. The O-Line is in much better shape this year and for now, it puts the brakes on last year’s revolving door at QB. 

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Dallas Cowboys Odds 

I’m tracking NFL offseason betting odds for you throughout the summer. Every time a new team preview is added or the futures market takes a significant swing, I’ll post on social media and you can stay up to date as we countdown to kickoff.

For preseason power rankings and Super Bowl odds, visit my NFL Team Previews HQ!

2021 NFL Season Win Total Odds: 9.5 OV -110
Pre-draft NFL Win Total Odds: 9.5 UN -135
2020 Record: 6-10
Average Wins 2018-20: 8
Odds to win the Division: +123 (1st)
Net Strength of Schedule: 7th best

If betting the Cowboys win total last year was a letdown, you might look at 2021 as another chance to roll the dice. Given the team’s 6-10 record, though, the ‘ask’ is a great deal higher this year.

In 2020, the average Cowboys win total with online sportsbooks was 9.63, which was 1.63 more than the team’s 8-8 SU record in 2019. This year, the win total is in the same ballpark but the jump is much more significant. Hitting 10 wins after going 6-10 the previous year is not a common occurrence.

Teams that were asked to make a significant jump in 2020 include the Cardinals, Bengals, Browns, Cowboys, Lions, Chargers, Giants, Bucs and Washington.

  • On average, these nine teams were projected to win 2.6 more games than the previous year.

All of those teams other than Dallas won more games in 2020 than they did in 2019, but their win totals went 4-5 (44%). When you factor in the juice on the five OVER-bet losers, it was a losing proposition, and Dallas going OVER would have still resulted in a net loss.

Keep an eye on the Dallas win total odds over the next six weeks. America’s team is often a popular public bet and that can drive up the price. They do have a nice strength of schedule, especially in the second half, but betting the Cowboys to win the division at plus-money could actually be a better play than going OVER their season win total.

Dallas Cowboys Trends

Prescott has a career average of 255.6 passing yards per game.

  • In games where Prescott passes for 200-250 yards, the Cowboys are 15-5 (75%) ATS.
  • Dallas is 30-19 OVER (61%) in home games during the first half of the season since 2008.

The Cowboys outscored opponents 27-24 in those 49 games. Only three teams, the Dolphins, Lions and Saints have played OVER at a higher percentage during that span.

  • HC Mike McCarthy has a 49-34 ATS (59%) record in all divisional games.

McCarthy was long thought of as a coaching mastermind when it came to divisional battles, but a word of caution. His divisional record since 2017 is 5-10-1 SU and 4-12 ATS. The OVER is 10-6 (63%) and given the state of Dallas’ defense, it’s a stronger overall play.

  • HC McCarthy has an all-time record of 45-26 OVER (63%) on artificial surfaces.
  • Dallas is 12-2 ATS after a bye week if they were favored at home the week before their break.
  • The Cowboys are 12-30 ATS (29%) on turf when the line is within +/- 3 points of Pick em and they are coming off a home game.
  • As a favorite of -7 points or more, the Cowboys are 8-3-1 ATS (73%) the past five years.

Dallas won 11 of those 12 games straight up and scored 32.2 points on average. Check Week’s 3 (Eagles), 4 (Panthers), 5 (Giants) and 9 (Broncos) for potentially big ATS lines. Strong results against Tampa and the Chargers in Week’s 1-2 will play a big role in the pointspreads for that three-game Cowboys homestand in Week’s 3-5.

Cowboys Bottom Line

The next question anyone serious about betting the Cowboys wants to ask is, “What about the D?”

Jaylon Smith has underperformed but has the Cowboys over a barrel thanks to a five-year extension signed in 2019. There is little upside to trading or releasing him, so he’ll remain a part of new D-Co Dan Quinn’s system. Quinn is also looking to convert Keanu Neal from DB to linebacker and Neal has the athleticism to line up deep, and slide into nickel coverage. He’s been compared to Darren Woodson in his prime and had 100-plus tackles for the third time last year in Atlanta.

LB Leighton Vander Esch has had trouble staying healthy and will give way to this year’s first round pick, Micah Parsons (Penn St). With a full season, Parsons could lead the team in tackles but he’ll also be a nightmare for opposing QBs. An explosive player, Parsons ran a 4.39 forty in his pro days, racking up 14 tackles and five sacks in 2019 before opting out of the 2020 season. He’ll be in the starting lineup this year and gives an immediate boost to a unit that finished 21st in DVOA against the pass, and 23rd against the run.

Quinn was a huge reason for Seattle’s ‘Legion of Boom’ defensive success in 2013-14, and he has a great understanding of what it takes to get all three levels playing in-sync. That didn’t translate into much success with Atlanta, where his D only finished Top 10 once in his six years as head coach, but with this group there is only one way to go.

In the end, Dallas will need the offense to set the pace. Dallas averaged 32.6 points per game in their first five games last year, third in the NFL behind the Packers (38 PPG) and Seahawks (33.8). Dak has the weapons and it looks like he’ll be 100-percent by Week 1. Get your popcorn ready.

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Basketball picksJune 19, 2021

The 2021 NBA Playoffs have been very entertaining, with great games night after night. It hasn’t been all sunshine and daisies though, with some of the games biggest stars going down with injury. Due to the bubble and the quick turnaround to the next season, it’s not surprising why we are seeing injuries across the board.

NBA injuries are taking a toll in playoffs.

Clippers star Kawhi Leonard walking off court

LeBron James was a huge critic of jumping into a new season with only a few months layoff for recovery, and voiced his concerns on Twitter earlier this week. It is clear that the time off from the bubble to the start of the years season was not enough time for the stars (who played well into the bubble) to be able to rest up properly for another full season. Down below we will take a look at some NBA injuries and see what impact they can have moving forward.

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Kawhi Leonard 

Kawhi injured his right knee in the Clippers game 4 win on Monday. The Clippers have not offered a time-table for his return which could mean he is out for the rest of the playoffs. The Clippers did finish off the Jazz in Game 6 last night, sending them to their first conference finals in franchise history. Look for the Leonard injury to carry through the Suns series and if the Clippers advance maybe even though the Finals. 


Anthony Davis

Davis has been banged up all year with a calf strain forcing him to miss two months, right before the playoffs. Add on another two NBA injuries with AD injuring both his knee and groin in the series verse the Suns. The Lakers tired to give AD a go in Game 6 vs the Suns but he headed to the locker room after coming off the floor in some pain. Anthony Davis is going to need time to get healthy cause when he is, he can be one of the best players on the floor.


James Harden

Harden came up holding his hamstring not even two minutes into Game 1 of the series vs the Bucks. Harden missed the next three games before a last-minute return to the line-up in Game 5. Harden brings a constant flow to the offense, even when he does jack up some dribble between the legs 3 pointers. James missed the last month of the regular season with a similar injury. Harden is one of the best scores in the NBA, so if he isn’t 100% the Nets could be looking at an earlier than expect trip to Cancun. 


Kyrie Irving

Kyrie sprained his ankle in the second quarter of Game 4 vs the Bucks and he is out indefinitely. This is a big blow to the Nets, who now have to rely on KD, a banged up Harden, and an at time bench who can struggle to produce. They may be deep enough to win this Game 7 tonight but I would be worried going into the next round. Kyrie out for the rest of the season might be what keeps the Nets from the Finals.


Joel Embiid 

Embiid suffered a small lateral tear of his meniscus in the 76ers’ first round series vs the Wizards. He has come back to play in the series vs Atlanta but he has struggled in the series so far. Embiid knows he isn’t 100% and says he is just gonna manage it best he can. Philly has a Game 7 tomorrow and will need every bit of Embiid that they can. The 76ers need Embiid’s physical presence in the paint, with Dwight Howard not playing up-to-par in the series so far.


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Football picksJune 18, 2021

Chiefs QB Mahomes has the perfect combination in WR Tyreek Hill and TE Travis Kelce. Playmaking ability, speed and reliability are the trademarks of this Kansas City offense and it gives bookmakers an easy decision when it comes to listing AFC Conference favorites.

Chiefs QB Mahomes

Chiefs WR Tyreek Hill led the NFL in Yards per Touch in 2018 (15.0) & 2020 (14.0)


Chiefs QB Mahomes has Top Pass Catching Duo

If you want to talk about a full-on receiving corps in the NFL, Tom Brady’s talented group in Tampa Bay gets the top spot. For one thing, they are looking as good – if not better – in 2021 than they did last year. And then there’s those fresh Super Bowl rings so, uh, case closed. But if it’s the top 1-2 punch you want, the kind of thing that causes sleepless nights for defensive coordinators, Kansas City gets the nod.

Tyreek Hill’s 2020 Highlights: In his fifth consecutive Pro Bowl season (out of five), Hill had 135 targets and tied a career-high with 87 receptions. He set a new high in touchdowns (15) and receptions per game (15). Hill led the NFL in yards per touch with 14.0, only a yard off his career-high and league-leading mark of 15.0 set in 2018, and Hill extended his unbelievable tally of TDs on 20-plus-yard targets over the past four years to 25.

Hill’s speed gives Andy Reid and Eric Bieniemy the ability to take all of their ingenuity, bore out the cylinders, and then hand the keys to Chiefs QB Mahomes.

Add Travis Kelce to the mix, and Chiefs QB Mahomes has the best of both worlds. Kelce led all tight ends in 2020 in Yards Above Replacement, DYAR, and Effective Yards. He set career-highs in yards per touch (13.5), yards from scrimmage (1,416) and TDs (11).

  • Kelce caught 72.4% of every ball Chiefs QB Mahomes threw his way and KC led the NFL with 303.8 passing yards per game.

The workhorse has notched 1,000 yards in five consecutive seasons and will continue to dominate matchups ahead in 2021. Especially against teams that sit back and let the play come to them.

Circle KC’s Week 5 game against Buffalo and Week 17 matchup vs. Cinci as two spots where Kelce could have big games. The Bills ranked 28th vs. tight ends and Bengals 27th. Buffalo will be in double-revenge mode, which should make for a great game, and it’s a Sunday nighter. Double bonus!

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Kansas City Chiefs Odds

I’m tracking NFL offseason betting odds for you throughout the summer. Every time a new team preview is added or the futures market takes a significant swing, I’ll post on social media and you can stay up to date as we countdown to kickoff.

For preseason power rankings and Super Bowl odds, visit my NFL Team Previews HQ!

2021 NFL Season Win Total Odds: 12.5 UN -130
Pre-draft NFL Win Total Odds: 12 OV -115
2020 Record: 14-2
Average Wins 2018-20: 12.7
Odds to win the Division: -310 (1st)
Net Strength of Schedule: 18th best

Kansas City doesn’t have the most favorable schedule in 2021, but they have a couple games worth circling for early line value. One of those games is Week 8 vs. the New York Giants.

  • Projected Line for Week 8 = Giants vs. Chiefs -12

The Giants were 25th in opponent completion percentage (67.6), 26th in time of possession and they allowed the eighth-most first downs via passing.

  • Record for Chiefs QB Mahomes at home off a road game = 13-1 SU and 8-6 ATS

Kansas City outscored opponents 28.6 to 15.1 in those games. When favored by more than -10 points, KC won all seven times by an average score of 26.3 to 9.9.

Kansas City Chiefs Trends

The post-divisional letdown spot is a great team trend to look at when perusing the schedule in the offseason. If a team has struggled with divisional games of late, has a new coach or perhaps one whose seat is starting to get hot, they could dump a lot of effort into the more important rivalries. No matter how the game turns out, it’s realistic to think they’ll be a bit off next week, but not all teams are created equal. Here’s an example.

Andy Reid started with the Chiefs in 2013. The Chiefs went 11-5 SU that season but lost both games against the San Diego Chargers. Those two games sunk KC’s record vs. the Chargers to 5-15 SU over the past 10 seasons!

  • Kansas City’s record after facing the Chargers from 2007-13 was 3-11 SU, including 1-7 SU at home. KC only covered the spread in two out of eight home games during that span and averaged just 16.2 points per game.

And then along came Chiefs QB Mahomes. His first real season was 2018 and since then, Kansas City is 5-1 SU and 4-2 ATS with 3 OVERS, 2 UNDERS and a push after the Chargers.

  • Patrick Mahomes is 16-1 SU and 11-6 ATS (65%) all-time when following any divisional matchup.

The point of all this is that when betting trends, it pays to look beyond the numbers.

Another trend to consider with HC Reid is that when it comes to so-called ‘winnable’ games, he takes no prisoners.

  • Reid has a road record of 19-7 ATS (73%) against teams with a .500 or worse record.

One cautionary spot with Chiefs QB Mahomes is when he’s coming off a game in which he wasn’t picked off.

  • Mahomes is 4-10 ATS as a favorite up to -7 points following a game where he threw zero interceptions.

The smallish pointspread lets you know this is a formidable foe. Yet because of his reputation, and the fact he was likely in the zone last week, books will charge a premium on KC in this spot. Last year, this situation arose three times and KC won all three straight up but they went 0-3 ATS. The spread was just too generous.

Chiefs Bottom Line

With an offense that features Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce, Kansas City already has the most reliable, consistent and talented mix of playmakers in the NFL. Add RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire into the mix, with a proper training camp for HC Reid to impart his knowledge, and the ground game that was 13th in rushing DVOA last year will jump into the Top 10.

Chiefs QB Mahomes is also going to have a new offensive line in front of him this season after the trade for LT Orlando Brown out of Baltimore. Brown has started 42 games the past three years, earning Pro Bowl recognition in 2019 and 2020. He was also named Big 12 O-Lineman of the year in back-to-back seasons at Oklahoma and once this group gets settled, they will be one of top units in the NFL. KC also signed free agent Joe Thuney (Patriots) and brought in Austin Blythe (Rams) for depth at center.

HC Reid is one of the greatest coaches all-time with extra prep, and he’ll have this team ready to make a run back towards the Super Bowl. Bettors can expect some pricey lines on the Chiefs, so we’ll have to pick our spots. But winning 12-13 games this season is well within the realm.

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Sports picksJune 16, 2021

San Diego, CA – The 121st United States Open Golf Championship tees off Thursday morning at Torrey Pines golf course, and I have a few bits on the U.S. Open odds here which I hope will help you with your own handicapping of the big event.

U.S. Open odds and betting advice
2020 U.S. Open champion Bryson DeChambeau

The course – Torrey Pines South is one of the longest courses on Tour, and it is a regular stop each year (Farmers Insurance Open). This is the site of Tiger Woods’ “Expect anything different!?” moment at the 2008 U.S. Open when he won in a playoff against Rocco Mediate. The course has been redesigned several times and was most recently updated in 2019. The Torrey Pines grounds were originally used as a military training facility during World War II, opening just after the Pearl Harbor invasion. After the war, it was turned into a racetrack until 1956, when the land was sold back to the city of San Diego, and construction on this municipal masterpiece began.

Tiger Woods 2008 U.S. Open

The greens are Poa Annua, and we can expect to see our fair share of lip-outs from five feet and in this weekend. Being able to move on from those, more than the thick rough or the sloping greens will test the mental capabilities of the competitors.

The USGA is shortening #6 by about 50 yards and converting it from a par-5 to a par-4. So they will be playing it to a par-71 this time around as opposed to the par-72 Torrey Pines usually plays at.

The sixth hole is a behemoth now, for sure. It is still over 500 yards, and a par here will certainly be acceptable to the field. As stated above, this course is long. The only sub-400-yard par-4 on the course is #2 (387 yards). Another 500-plus-yard par-4 is the eighth. #8 was the most difficult hole at the ’08 U.S. Open, and with two new bunkers added during the 2019 redesign, it is sure to be just as difficult.

Hole #13 is also another that will test the golfers’ length and accuracy. It is a 612-yard par-5, but it should still be one of the few spots on the course where players can look to score.

And the finishing hole, a short-ish par-5, should also provide for an exciting finish on Sunday. It played as the easiest hole to par in 2008, and it features the course’s only water hazard (except for the Pacific ocean, of course). Eagles can be had on #18.

So who is going to win? My best answer to that question is, “Who’s your pick?” Picking the winner of any golf tournament is a crapshoot to say the least. It is one of the reasons why my official picks are head-to-head. While the course set up this week will be different than it was for the Farmers, there is still some useful information to be pulled. Certain courses just fit certain players better. Take a guy like Xander Schauffele (20-1)…he had a T2 finish here in January, he’s a local kid, and he has won several big tournaments throughout the state of California.

Another player who has been very open about his love of this Torrey Pines track is Aussie Marc Leishman (66-1). He finished T18 at the Farmers in January has been eagerly awaiting this weekend, referring to it as his “chance to win one.”

U.S. Open odds

The matter of Phil – Mickelson (50-1) could have a tough week in front of him. While I think most fans are rooting for him on a personal level, he barely made the cut and finished T53 here in January. He has also admittedly struggled here since the latest course redesign. It would be an awesome story…great for Phil, great for the game, and even great for us old guys, but the 200-1 odds he got at the PGA seems a little more fitting to the 50-1 U.S. Open odds he’s at for this weekend.

Jordan Spieth (20-1) and Brooks Koepka (18-1) actually missed the cut here in January. Certainly, Jordan has upped his game since and should be around for the weekend, but Brooks is more of a question. Though his history at this event also says he could be a sure thing. He was in it until late at the PGA, but it seemed as if his inability to bend down and read putts may have cost him a couple of strokes down the stretch. How is Koepka’s knee? Can he get down to read these tough, Poa greens? He is a money player, no doubt about it, and Brooks Koepka the Sunday leaderboard of a Major is nothing new.

The odds-on favorites – Jon Rahm (10-1) and Dustin Johnson (16-1) are the two favorites to win the U.S. Open this week. Rahm, coming off of COVID protocol, was leading by six strokes a couple of weeks ago when he was forced to withdraw. His game is suited for this course. He has the length off the tee and a deft touch around the greens that he is the betting favorite for a good reason. Rahm’s big question is how will he handle the several hiccups that will occur during U.S. Open play.
And for the #1 player in the world, DJ has been flying under the radar a bit. Since the start of 2020, DJ is second only to Scottie Scheffler (45-1) in relation to par at Majors. He has the pedigree, a U.S. Open title already under his belt, and the kind of game that can see him run away from the field. And it wasn’t that long ago when he was being fitted for his Green Jacket.

Patrick Reed, 2021 Farmers Insurance Open

Best cumulative score to par in the Majors since the beginning of 2020:
Scottie Scheffler, -18
Dustin Johnson, -15
Jon Rahm, -14
Hideki Matsuyama, -13
Patrick Reed, -13

Okay, here it is…Brooks vs. Bryson! Unless you are part of one of their teams, I think you just have to look at it as a funny situation between two guys that are unbelievably talented. I guess if we are keeping score, though…Bryson DeChambeau (18-1) is the defending U.S. Open champion. The trophy sits on his mantle right now, so I suppose he gets bragging rights for now. Lest ye forget, though, Brooks has TWO U.S. Open trophies in his case, to go with a pair of Wannamaker trophies. If Bryson can replicate the methodical approach he perfected at Winged Foot last year, you can expect to see him in the hunt again on Sunday.

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