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2012 Final 4 Champion Odds Favorites & Dark Horses To Win NCAA Tournament

It seems like just yesterday when the Connecticut Huskies were battling it out the Butler Bulldogs for the National Championship. We all were watching as Kemba Walker led the Huskies in cutting down the nets last April, but it’s that time of the year again.

The start of the 2011-12 college basketball betting season has begun and it’s time to discuss the favorites and the dark horses for the 2012 final four in this upcoming spring. Let the 2011-2012 madness begin.





Xavier: (dark horse)

60/1 odds to win 2012 Final 4

Finish last season:

First Round


The first time team on our list suffered a first round exit a year ago. They are a bit of a dark horse, but when you have Tu Holloway in the back court, anything is possible. With Holloway, along with a couple of returning players that made an impact a season ago. plus a very solid recruiting class, and this team will have every opportunity to make some noise in March this season. Along shot worth taking a look at for the serious bettor.



Expert CBB Betting Picks | Who is the public betting on today?



Connecticut:

12/1 odds to win 2012 Final 4

Finish last season:

National Champs


They lost Kemba, but they still have the man that came up huge in that Championship game. Jeremy Lamb is the guy I am talking about here. He returns alongside Shabazz Napier and Alex Oriakhi. That trio will be expected to lead this team to a deep tournament run yet again. They will be joined by the incredibly talented Andre Drummond. He was able to receive eligibility a year earlier than they thought, and he will be a tremendous boost to the team. A lower risk wager here for a marginal return.



Duke:

12/1 odds to win 2012 Final 4

Finish last season:

Sweet 16


This team brings back a ton of talent for the 2011/2012 season. Seth Curry is the one that has people talking so far. He will be joined by Andre Dawkins, and Mason and Miles Plumlee who will likely make up four fifths of the starting lineup. The fifth member will no doubt be freshman Austin Rivers. A lot will be asked of him in his first, and possibly last college season. Young by talented this Blue Devils team could be a solid pick with a nice return.




Louisville:

12/1 odds to win 2012 Final 4

Finish last season:

1st Round


A young squad a season ago, whose season ended earlier than it should, will no doubt have the Cardinals motivated for a better finish this season. They bring back most of the talent from a season ago, and the group is highlighted by junior point guard Peyton Siva. The Cards will go as far as Siva can take them basically. They also bring in three key freshman that will all make an impact at some point this year. Wayne Blackshear, Chane Behanan, and Kevin Ware. A safer bet here, still with a decent return.



Syracuse:

8/1 odds to win 2012 Final 4

Finish last season:

2nd Round


This Syracuse bunch will be a force to be reckoned with all season long with their returning talent. The group is led by the trio of Brandon Triche, Scoop Jardine, and Kris Joseph. They also bring back project big man Fab Melo. A guy they hope to get a lot out of in his second season with the team. The Orangemen also brought in a couple of players they hope to get something out of right away. Wingman Michael Carter-Williams should be able to have an impact immediately in whatever role they ask of him with his talent, and the same can be said about big man Rakeem Christmas. A solid pick here.



Ohio State:

8/1 odds to win 2012 Final 4

Finish last season:

Sweet 16


The main thing that can be said for this Buckeye team is that they are bringing back Jared Sullinger. That will certainly almost instantaneously put them back into the Championship hunt. He is an outstanding player that would have easily been a top three pick in the draft had he entered. Be careful with this one. If Sullinger succumbs to injury, so may your wager.




North Carolina:

3/1 odds to win 2012 Final 4

Finish last season:

Elite 8


The Tar Heels have an incredible cast of returning players. This group is led by the trio of Kendall Marshall, Harrison Barnes, and Tyler Zeller. A threesome that is undoubtedly unmatched across the country due to their experience and their talent. However, despite all of the returning athletes, it didn’t stop Roy Williams from bringing in a couple of blue chippers for this season as well. P.J. Hairston and James McAdoo were both very highly touted players coming out of high school, and will unquestionably add to the depth of this very potent North Carolina attack. As always UNC is a big favorite, and this year may prove to be their best shot, and yours for a sure return.



Kentucky:

7/2 odds to win 2012 Final 4

Finish last season:

Final 4


The University of Kentucky is fresh off of a Final Four appearance, but because head coach John Calipari, seems to bring in one and done types and rarely returns much talent to build off of, that kind of performance may be hard to duplicate. This season however, they are returning three key contributors in Terrence Jones, Doron Lamb, and Darius Miller. it will remain to be seen whether the trio will take a back seat in order to make room for the plethora of freshman brought in by Calipari, including Marquis Teague, Anthony Davis, and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. It will likely take some time for this team to find their way, but as they grow, they will turn into the contender Vegas sees them as now. If you’ve got the patience, the Wildcats could pay big dividends.



Odds to win the 2012 Final 4:

Final Four Champ Odds from BOVADA




North Carolina
7/2

Kentucky
13/2

Duke
8/1

Louisville
8/1

Ohio State
8/1

Syracuse
12/1

Texas
15/1

Florida
18/1

Kansas
20/1

Memphis
20/1

Pittsburgh
20/1

UCLA
20/1

Connecticut
25/1

Michigan State
25/1

St. John’s
25/1

Indiana
30/1

Arizona
35/1

Baylor
35/1

Butler
35/1

Georgetown
35/1

Gonzaga
35/1

Michigan
35/1

Notre Dame
35/1

Vanderbilt
35/1

Kansas State
50/1

Texas A&M
50/1

Villanova
50/1

Washington
50/1

Wisconsin
55/1

Alabama
60/1

Temple
60/1

Tennessee
60/1

West Virginia
60/1

Florida State
65/1

Boston College
75/1

Cincinnati
75/1

Illinois
75/1

Minnesota
75/1

Mississippi State
75/1

Missouri
75/1

Oregon
75/1

Purdue
75/1

UNLV
75/1

Xavier
75/1

Arkansas
100/1

California
100/1

Clemson
100/1

Colorado
100/1

Georgia
100/1

Georgia Tech
100/1

Marquette
100/1

Maryland
100/1

New Mexico
100/1

North Carolina State
100/1

Oklahoma
100/1

Oklahoma State
100/1

Richmond
100/1

San Diego State
100/1

Seton Hall
100/1

St. Mary’s
100/1

Stanford
100/1

USC
100/1

Utah State
100/1

VCU
100/1

Virginia Tech
100/1

Washington State
100/1

Iowa
125/1

Mississippi
125/1

Arizona State
150/1

BYU
150/1

LSU
150/1

Miami FL
150/1

Old Dominion
150/1

Penn State
150/1

South Carolina
150/1

Auburn
200/1

Rutgers
200/1

South Florida
200/1

Texas Tech
200/1

UAB
200/1

UTEP
200/1

Virginia
200/1

Wake Forest
200/1

Ohio State vs. Florida Point Spread Preview, Expert Picks, Gator Bowl Score Prediction 2012

This is just the second time these two teams have met in their school’s histories. The last go around was for much higher stakes than this meeting as the Gators took down the Buckeyes in the 2007 BCS National Championship Game with relative ease.




Now a young Buckeye team led by freshman quarterback Braxton Miller will look to avenge that loss, sending interim coach Luke Fickell out with a loss in his last game as the head man before the Urban Meyer era begins.




When: Monday, January 2nd 2012 1:00 PM EST

Where: Everbank Field, Jacksonville, FL

TV: ESPN2/ESPN3

LINE: -2 (Florida), O/U 44

Expert Picks: Click Here

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The Gators head into this one as a slight, two-point favorite over the Buckeyes, and that slim advantage basically tells the story in this one. With as much as a flip of a coin, this contest could be decided on just a single pay or one late drive. A highly-contested match-up between two 6-6 teams that have been wildly inconsistent all year. Both teams are incredibly talented as shown by a numerous amount of top 10 and five recruiting classes, but each have underwent coaching changes lately and have suffered as a result.



OHIO STATE vs. FLORIDA Expert Picks | Who is the public betting on?



These two teams are also remarkably similar in the amount of points they put on the scoreboard, and what they hold their opponents to in each game. In Florida’s games this season there has been an average of 46.2 points scored per game. The Gators have scored 25.6 of those, while they have been allowing 20.6. Then take a look at the Buckeyes numbers and you see just how similar these two teams have scored the ball this season. Ohio State has scored 25.1 a game, while allowing 20.8 for a total of 45.9. The total for this one currently sits at 44, so you may want to get in on this one before there are any moves.


The one separating factor here, is the fact that Florida gets the added benefit of playing this one in their own backyard. That’s probably why Ohio is being spotted the two points in the spread, because there is not a whole lot separating these two teams. The Gators throw the ball a little better, though, averaging just shy of 200 passing yards per contest(190.2). Even with that stat, health concerns still surround Gator quarterback John Brantley. If he is able to shake off the concussion symptoms and avoid the turnover bug, I fully see the Gators as a team capable of covering the two point spread.

On the other hand, you have an Ohio State team that is led by the constantly improving Braxton Miller. As a result of Miller’s play, the Buckeyes are the more efficient running team of the two as Miller adds in the extra threat from the backfield every play. If the Buckeyes get an early score and are able to establish their ground attack, they should be able to spring what would be a very minor upset here.




Florida vs. Ohio State Bowl Game Prediction:



This game will no doubt come down to who values the ball more. The team that is able to force the extra turnover, and grab the extra possession for their offense, will likely come out ahead in this game. Ohio State has been better in that category all season long, which is why I think they will come out with a very narrow win in Jacksonville, going slightly over the 44 points given.


Matt’s Prediction: Ohio State 24 – Florida 21








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Nebraska vs. South Carolina Point Spread Preview, Expert Picks, Capital One Bowl Score Prediction 2012

This will be the first post season match-up between these two schools, and the first meeting between the schools since 1987.


Nebraska holds a 3-0 edge in the all-time series with the closest contest coming in the lone game played in Columbia, S.C., a 27-24 Cornhusker win.





When: Monday, January 2nd 2012 1:00 PM EST

Where: Florida Citrus Bowl, Orlando, FL

TV: ESPN/ESPN3

LINE: +2.5(Nebraska), O/U 46.5

Expert Picks: Click Here

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Nebraska is led by their outstanding offense, which is ran by sophomore quarterback Taylor Martinez, while the Gamecocks of South Carolina are trying to piece back together an offense that was gutted when their main playmaker, Marcus Lattimore, went down with a season ending knee injury. This was a huge blow to a team that was already marred by a ton of quarterback issues. Luckily, the Gamecocks still have offensive guru Steve Spurrier. and are able to fall back one of the best defenses in the country.

The 2.5-points given to Nebraska is in no doubt due to the respect for South Carolina’s defense.

A healthy South Carolina team was definitely a group that was good enough to keep up with the likes of Alabama and Louisiana State, but without Lattimore, the question is always whether or not they can score enough points for their defense to do its job.



NEBRASKA vs. S. CAROLINA Expert Picks | Who is the public betting on?



The total in this game seems meaningless to me. The reason being is that these two team’s style of play is so incredibly different. If Nebraska is going to win, the number is going to prove to be too low, and if South Carolina wins this one, the number will end up being a touchdown or so higher, making the over under a difficult bet here.

South Carolina’s defense has carried the way since Lattimore went down, but it’s going to be a lot to ask of them in this one. The Gamecocks will have to score some points if they want to win this game. Something that isn’t exactly hard to do against the Nebraska defense, but turnovers and penalties could prove to be a problem.


If South Carolina is able to play a very disciplined brand of football in this game, they are more than capable of winning this game by the 2.5-point spread. Their main goal will be to play their typical brand of ball control offense so that they can keep the potent Cornhusker offense on the sideline. If they are able to do those three things, I can see them ending their season on a high note.

As for Nebraska, they do things a little differently as they just go out and try to outscore their opponent. This is something they excel at and have a ton of playmakers on the offensive side of the ball that can execute such a plan.

Led by Martinez, who has made huge strides this season in terms of throwing the ball, the Huskers’ are good at running the football. So if they are able to have any success through the air that could be just enough to win them this game.

The will need to attack South Carolina’s amazing pass defense effectively, they but not going to the air too much, which could get them into trouble..




Nebraska vs. South Carolina Bowl Game Prediction:


I personally see this one going in Nebraska’s favor. They simply have too many ways of attacking you, and even as good as South Carolina’s defense is, it will prove to be too much to contain.


That being said, I think the 46.5 number will prove to be a little bit too low. If Nebraska is able to get on the scoreboard early, that will force South Carolina into throwing the ball more, which will lead to this one being a shootout.


Matt’s Prediction: Nebraska 31 – South Carolina 24








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NFL Betting Stats YTD: Best & Worst Teams Against the Spread 2011

Whether you’re a long suffering Buffalo Bills fan only wanting to turn the page on this season and get ready for the next, or a super excited New Orleans Saints fan hoping for more success from Drew Brees and his mates in the playoffs, Week 17 has arrived which gives us a chance to rehash the highs and lows throughout the first 16 weeks of the NFL betting odds season.

Here’s how the best and worst teams fared against the spread and totals since Week 1.



Pointspread Dominators:

1) San Francisco 49ers (12-2-1 ATS) Jim Harbaugh was just the tonic needed for the Niners who churned out a lucrative 80 percent winning percentage versus the closing number. San Francisco has a shot of locking up a first round bye on Sunday at St. Louis after failing to qualify for the playoffs each of the last eight seasons.

2) New Orleans Saints (11-4 ATS) Though the Saints went to the playoffs and even won a Super Bowl each of the last two seasons, they were hardly kind to their NFL betting backers in the regular season going a combined 15-17-1 ATS. That was far from the case in 2011, as the “Who Dat” Nation saw their team cover 11 of 15 lined games, which included a perfect 7-0 tally as a host.

3) Green Bay Packers (10-5 ATS) The defending Super Bowl champs will have posted three straight +$$$ seasons against the oddsmakers after it closes its regular season docket up at home against Detroit on Sunday. They covered six of their seven home games this year which has to have Cheeseheads all throughout Wisconsin thrilled that the road to Super Bowl XLVI in the NFC runs through Lambeau.

4) Houston Texans (10-5 ATS) For the first time in franchise history, the Texans are headed to the second season which will more than likely allow Gary Kubiak to hold onto his position as head coach. Unfortunately, Houston was able to take advantage of a very weak AFC South versus the NFL betting lines, so it will be interesting to see how they stack up against the big boys come the post season.



Bankroll Busters

1) St. Louis Rams (2-13 ATS) Amazingly, the only two games the Rams won this season came outright as underdogs against Cleveland and shockingly New Orleans. QB Sam Bradford and a bevy of other impact players were nicked up all season long, but St. Louis could be a great story next year with what will be a super high draft pick a year removed from a 10-6 mark versus the closing number.

2) Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-11 ATS) The Bucs got out to a decent start to their 2011-12 campaign winning four of their first six games straight up, but it was all downhill after their trip across the pond to battle the Chicago Bears; Raheem Morris’ squad went on to lose each of their last eight games (1-7 ATS) which will more than likely cost him his job.

3) San Diego Chargers (5-10 ATS) The Bolts had posted winning marks against the NFL betting pointspread each of the previous two seasons, so this season’s major drop off came as quite the surprise. Injuries and an impostor wearing jersey #17 were the main reasons why SD failed to qualify for the playoffs for the second straight season.

4) Dallas Cowboys (5-9-1 ATS) The Cowboys head into their do or die Week 17 match-up with the New York Giants winners against the closing number in just one of their L/6 gridiron battles; amidst that wretched streak are three outright defeats as chalk. They do however stand 2-1 ATS when dogged this season, and find themselves in that role for the first time since getting blown out at Philadelphia back in Week 8.







Best “OVER” Teams:

1) New England Patriots (10-5)
2) Minnesota Vikings (10-5)
3) Cincinnati Bengals (10-5)
4) New York Jets (10-5)
5) Green Bay Packers (10-5)




Top 5 ‘UNDER” Teams:

1) Kansas City Chiefs (4-11)
2) Jacksonville Jaguars (4-10-1)
3) Tennessee Titans (4-10-1)
4) Miami Dolphins (4-10-1)
5) St. Louis Rams (5-9-1)







Auburn vs. Virginia Point Spread Preview, Expert Picks, Chick-fil-A Bowl Score Prediction 2011

Two teams that both had nice seasons based on preseason expectations square off in the Chick-fil-A Bowl. An undefeated Auburn team won the National Championship last season, but many forecasted gloom and doom this season with much of that team now in the NFL. Instead, the Tigers finished with a winning 7-5 record and they went a commendable 4-4 in SEC play while facing a brutal South Division schedule.


Virginia was an even bigger surprise, as the Cavaliers were expected to be doormats in a weak ACC but instead finished at 8-4 thanks to a four-game winnings streak before getting shut out by Virginia Tech in the season finale.


Auburn is a small (-3) favorite here with a total of 48.



ODDS: OPEN: AUBURN -1 | CURRENT: AUBURN -3 | O/U: 48


1. Why Auburn will cover the spread: Auburn will cover this spread if it can run the ball effectively without its leading rusher Michael Dyer, who has been suspended for this contest. We think that the Tigers will be able to do so, as Onterio McCalebb looks like a suitable fill-in after rushing for 532 yards on a sparkling 5.2 yards per carry in his own right, and let’s face it, Auburn is not facing an SEC run defense here. Yes, Virginia is only allowing 3.7 yards per rush, but that was vs. an ACC schedule.

When the Cavaliers finally got a chance to prove their worth vs. a good teem in the finale, the Hokies ran right through them for 183 rushing yards.



AUBURN vs. VIRGINIA Expert Picks | Who is the public betting on?



2. Why Virginia will cover the spread: Basically, whichever team gets the most rushing yards in this game will cover the spread, so Virginia has the exact same key as Auburn. The Cavaliers have a couple of solid running backs to go to in Perry Jones (883 yards on 5.0 yards per carry) and Kevin Parks (661 yards on 4.7 YPC), and they will be running against one of the lesser defenses in the SEC, as Auburn is allowing 29.3 points and 405.9 yards per game, as well as a poor 4.7 yards per rush.

A second key for Virginia would be having its strong rushing defense numbers translate well vs. a stronger opponent. That did not happen vs. Virginia Tech, but the Cavs might be able to stuff the box here in an attempt to commit to stopping the run, as Auburn had issues at quarterback all year long.




3. Total Talk: We see both teams running often, so the ‘under’ is the logical call in this game. After all, none of the three quarterbacks used by Auburn has been very accurate and they have combined for only 15 touchdown passes and 11 interceptions. Meanwhile, Virginia quarterback Michael Rocco has as many touchdown passes as interceptions with 11 apiece.



4. Betting Trends for the game: ACC underdogs have gone a nice 31-14-1 in bowls since 2000, and Virginia has been a big part of that, going 4-1 ATS in its last five bowl games overall. However, Auburn is 9-3 ATS in its last 12 games following an ATS loss.

There is a clash of total trends here, as the ‘over’ is 7-1 in Virginia’s last eight bowl games but the ‘under’ is 8-1-1 in Auburn’s last 10 games vs. the ACC.



Auburn-Virginia Bowl Game Prediction: Auburn 27 – Virginia 17









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Iowa vs. Oklahoma Point Spread Preview, Expert Picks, Insight Bowl Score Prediction 2011

Oftentimes, the more minor bowls are decided more by desire than by talent. The Oklahoma Sooners were considered the favorites to win the national championship by many before this season started, but they looked to be just going through the motions in their two games following their second loss of the year and they are probably not too enthused being delegated to this Insight Bowl.


Iowa comes in at 7-5 with a home win over Michigan probably being its only statement win all year, but at least the Hawkeyes are happy to be here and they upset another ranked Big 12 team in Missouri in this same bowl last season.


Oklahoma is a huge (-14) favorite here with the total set at 57½.



ODDS: OPEN: OKL -15.5 | CURRENT: OKL -14 | O/U: 58


1. Why Iowa will cover the spread: The first part to any equation resulting in an Iowa cover here is Oklahoma playing as listless as it did after losing its second game of the year vs. Baylor, thus knocking the Sooners out of title contention. Oklahoma had a lackluster 26-6 home win vs. Iowa State right after that and then gave a very disappointing effort in a 44-10 blowout loss to Oklahoma State in the Bedlam game. Those games saw the lowest two point outputs by the Sooners all year.

If that same Oklahoma team shows up here, then Iowa quarterback James Vandenberg should be able to attack the Oklahoma secondary. Vandenberg wasn’t always accurate this year, completing 59.4 percent of his passes, but he did average 7.8 yards per attempt with 23 touchdown passes and only six interceptions, and he will be throwing against an Oklahoma pass defense that allowed an ugly 8.4 yards per pass attempt the last three games.



OKLAHOMA vs. IOWA Expert Picks | Who is the public betting on?



2. Why Oklahoma will cover the spread: Very simply, Oklahoma will cover this spread if it feels like playing and returns to its great form of early in the year. If that happens, there is no way that Iowa can keep pace with a high powered Oklahoma offense led by Landry Jones, who finished the season with 4300 passing yards while completing 63.1 percent of his passes with 28 touchdown tosses.




3. Total Talk: There is a direct correlation here between which Oklahoma team shoes up and this total. If the real Sooners show up, they are capable of getting into the 50s all by themselves. If the lethargic Oklahoma team from the final two regular season games takes the field, then we expect a lower scoring game with the Iowa offense not being explosive. We expect the latter and an Iowa cover, so we are going with the ‘under’.



See All Of Our Free College Bowl Game Predictions



4. Betting Trends for the game: The Big 12 is just 32-48-5 ATS in all bowl games since 2000 while Big Ten bowl underdogs are 35-26-1 ATS during that time. The Sooners themselves are 1-4 ATS in their last five bowl games. The ‘under’ is 7-2 in Iowa’s last nine games vs. the Big 12, as well as 10-2 in Oklahoma’s last 12 December games.



Oklahoma-Iowa Bowl Game Score Prediction: Oklahoma 31, Iowa 23









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Cowboys vs. Giants Sunday Night Point Spread Preview, Expert Picks, Score Prediction

The New York Giants did their part last week by beating the New York Jets in a mild upset, setting up this winner-take-all season ending pseudo playoff game vs. the Dallas Cowboys, with the winner winning the NFC East and the loser being eliminated from the playoffs.


The Dallas game last week amounted to nothing more than an exhibition game, as the Giants’ win earlier in the day rendered the Dallas game meaningless. Still, since the Giants’ game was still going on when the Dallas game started, Tony Romo did start, and wouldn’t you know it he suffered a contusion in his throwing hand when hitting a defenders helmet before the starters could be pulled from the contest.



The Giants are the (-3 +105) favorites at home here, with the total set at 46½.



SNF ODDS: OPEN: GIANTS -1 | CURRENT: GIANTS -3 | O/U: 46


1. Why Dallas will cover the spread: Romo is probable for this contest, so assuming that the hand won’t bother him, Dallas will both cover this spread and pull off the outright upset if he can match the same success he had vs. a struggling Giants’ secondary the first time these teams met, when he completed 21-of-31 passes for 321 yards and four touchdowns. Of course, Dallas blew a 12-point lead in the final three minutes of that game, but that was vs. a hot Eli Manning, and he has struggled since.

The Cowboys will also cover this spread if their normally great pass rush can apply more pressure on Manning after not recording a single sack against him in that initial meeting. That was unusual for a Dallas team that ranks fourth in the NFC with 40 sacks, with DeMarcus Ware having 18 of them.



2. Why New York will cover the spread: The Giants will cover the spread if they run the ball a lot better than they did in the first meeting, as that would keep the Dallas offense on the sidelines. The Giants get a major boost in that area as Ahmad Bradshaw was out for that game, and having him back in combination with Brandon Jacobs helps, as the Giants rushed for 115 yards on 26 carries as a team vs. the Jets in their best running game in quite some time last week.



COWBOYS vs. GIANTS Expert Picks | Who is the public betting on?




3. Total Talk: While Bradshaw looked the best he has since his return last week, he still rushed for only 54 yards on 15 carries and the Dallas run defense is allowing an acceptable 3.9 yards per rush over the last three weeks. Thus, do not be surprised if this becomes an aerial show like the first meeting. Now Manning passed for 400 yards in that game, but that is just slightly less than he has thrown for in the last two games combined while throwing four interceptions and just one touchdown pass.

Thus, Dallas may welcome lots of Manning throws here, as they could lead to points for either teem. With that in mind, we like the ‘over’ at this posted number, as we do feel it is likely that Romo will match that first effort.



4. Betting Trends for the game: The underdogs are 5-0 in the last five head-to-head meetings between these division rivals, and the ‘over’ is 21-8-1 in New York’s last 30 conference games.



Cowboys-Giants SNF Week 17 Prediction: Dallas 27 – New York 24









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NFL Betting Guide: NFL Week 17 Underdog Picks, Point Spreads, Over-Unders



Live Week 17 NFL Lines & NFL Spreads are located below for online sportsbook BOVADA.


Potential Week 17 Underdog Picks:

Panthers +9 vs. Saints


Redskins +9 vs. Eagles


KC Chiefs +3 vs. Broncos




Michigan State vs. Georgia Point Spread Preview, Expert Picks, Outback Bowl Score Prediction 2012

This is going to be the third time these two teams have met in the last 25 years, and Georgia who has taken the first two, will be looking to keep that little streak up in this year’s edition of the Outback Bowl against the Michigan State Spartans.


This is a match-up of two teams that lost their respective conference championship games, and play the game in a very similar manner. They are both very balanced and don’t get hung up doing just one thing, which of course has made both teams difficult to stop all season long.




When: Monday, January 2, 2012 1:00 PM EST

Where: Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, FL

TV: ABC

LINE: +3.5(Michigan State), O/U 50

Expert Picks: Click Here

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Away from home, the Bulldogs have been their same old, dominant selves. On the other side of that you have Michigan State. Their numbers completely take a hit when traveling outside their home stadium. The Spartans score nearly 10 fewer points per game, while giving up almost seven more. Not a good stat considering you don’t get to play bowl games at home.

The 3.5-point spread seems pretty spot on considering it will be the closest thing to a home game for the Bulldogs without actually playing in Athens. The Bulldog faithful travel fairly well anyways, and this game is just in Tampa, so they will have their half of the tickets sold pretty easily.


The total seems like a fairly solid number as well. Both teams are averaging over 30 points per contest, and they each give up a little under 20, so 50 points is a pretty reasonable number for this match-up. This game will come down to which defense that makes the most stops and big plays, and happens to force that one possible key turnover.

If Michigan State wants to win this game, they need to keep Georgia’s ball hawking defenders away from the football. This Georgia unit has been adept in the takeaway department all season long, but the Spartans have done a pretty good job holding onto the this season. If they are able to replicate this on January 2nd, they will likely lift the trophy afterwards.

Meanwhile, the Georgia Bulldogs need to do two things in this one. They need to avoid the turnover bug, which is something they have been pretty good at lately. And other is improving their special teams coverage. Both their kick, and punt coverage has been just dreadful all season long. It showed up again in their game against LSU, allowing the Tigers all the space in the world to run around in the SEC Championship game. If the Bulldogs can improve quickly in both areas, they could win this one easily.

Bet Over or Under?

I have to say I see this game staying very close to the 50 point number, with the game going slightly over in the end. Georgia and Michigan State both like to throw the ball around a lot, and if this is going to be the shootout that I expect, it will definitely exceed the number.

Georgia vs. Michigan St. Prediction:

End the end, however, I think that Georgia will come away with a turnover at some point in this game to drastically swing the momentum as they have done that all season long. In the end, it will be the Bulldogs capping off their phenomenal run with a bowl win . Look for Aaron Murray to have a big day.




Matt’s Prediction: Georgia 31 – Michigan State 24








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Baylor vs. Washington Point Spread Preview, Expert Picks, Alamo Bowl Score Prediction 2011

Robert Griffin III had a phenomenal season for the Baylor Bears, and was the worthy winner of the Heisman Trophy. Now, RG3 has the chance to have some fun at the expense of the 7-5 Washington Huskies in the Alamo Bowl vs. a defense that is allowing more than 33 points and 426 yards per game.


Then again, if Baylor played any defense it would be in a BCS bowl, as this team probably would not have lost three games had it not surrendered nearly 36 points and 480 yards per game.


Baylor is a nice sized (-9½) favorite here with the total set understandably very high at 78.



ODDS: OPEN: Baylor -9 | CURRENT: Baylor -9.5 | O/U: 78


1. Why Baylor will cover the spread: In a game that should be dominated by the offense, Baylor will cover the spread rather handily if it can make some stops on defense. It is almost a given that the Bears will score on most of their possessions vs. the poor Huskies’ defense, especially when you consider that Baylor is averaging 46.4 points and 587.0 total yards per game during its current five-game winning streak with nearly twice as many touchdown passes (31) than punts (16).

However, that itself would not ensure covering this number without at least some help from a defense that is allowing an obscene 510.5 total yards per game over the last three contests with 400.3 of those yards coming through the air! The Bears could actually succeed here though vs. a rather pedestrian Washington offense that averaged only 25.3 points and 331.0 yards in its last three games.



BAYLOR vs. WASHINGTON Expert Picks | Who is the public betting on?



2. Why Washington will cover the spread: Washington will cover this spread if it can run the ball well with Chris Polk and eat up some time to keep the Baylor offense on the sideline. Polk rushed for over 1300 yards on 5.1 yards per carry this season, so he should definitely be effective vs. a Baylor run defense that is allowing an unacceptable 5.2 yards per rush over the entire season.

Another key to a Washington cover could be dropping extra defenders back in pass coverage, although that could also result in Griffin beating the Huskies with his legs. Then again, at least the Bears would take longer to score that way.




3. Total Talk: The Baylor offense is simply unstoppable at the current time, while its defense is very “capable” of making even an average Washington offense look good. No, we do not expect the Huskies to match the Bears score-for-score, and Washington probably does not want that type of game anyway, as it would prefer to control the clock with the running of Polk.

Still, we think that Washington cannot help but to score enough points to push this game ‘over’ the enormous total, as the Huskies’ defense does not figure to stop anything.



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4. Betting Trends for the game: We are bucking two strong conference bowl profiles with our selection of Baylor, as Pac-12 bowl underdogs are 22-10-1 ATS since 2000 while the Big 12 is 32-48-5 ATS in all bowls since then. However, Baylor is 20-6-1 ATS the last 27 times it went off the board as the decided favorite.



Baylor-Washington Bowl Game Prediction: Baylor 49 – Washington 34








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