Hello sports investors! I’ve got a couple of NHL picks for you today. Time has not permitted me to post regularly about hockey, but we are 6-2 over our past eight picks (1-0 on November 3rd, 2-1 on October 30th and 3-1 on October 24th). Let’s see if we can keep our winning ways tonight!

PICK #1: Dallas Stars -139 (decimal 1.72) vs Winnipeg Jets

Prior to the start of the season, the Jets were projected to have a .476 record compared to .559 for Dallas (according to Vegas’ lines). Do we have reason to believe those numbers need any adjustments based on what we’ve observed so far? Personally, I don’t think so.

Winnipeg has won 7 of its first 13 games, which is slightly above .500. Granted, they have lost three games in extra time, while not winning any so maybe they were a bit unlucky. As for Dallas, they have won 8 of their first 14 games. They were off to a difficult start, but have won 7 of their last 10, so my guess is a .559 record is just fine.

That being said, a road team with a .476 record facing a home team with a .559 record has approximately a 38.6% chance of winning. In terms of money lines: Jets +159 versus Stars -159, or if you prefer decimal format that’s Jets 2.59 versus 1.63. So under current circumstances I’ll be taking Dallas at -139 (decimal 1.72).

My only concern is the fact that the Jets have beaten the Stars in each of the past five meetings (although only one of them happened in Dallas).

PICK #2: Minnesota Wild +113 (decimal 2.13) at Boston Bruins

Both teams will be pretty well-rested. The Wild are coming off six straight home games, so they did not have to travel much recently. As for the Bruins, tonight’s match will be their third consecutive in Boston (seventh home game over their past 8!).

Both teams are also fairly banged up. Minnesota will be missing Charlie Coyle and Zach Parise, whereas the Bruins won’t have David Backes, Adam McQuaid and probably not David Krejci either.

Boston is experiencing a scoring drought, as shown by their 10 goals scored over their last 5 games!

My projections on this game ended up being Minnesota -113 versus Boston +113, so I’ll be betting them with a positive money line here.

Cheers!

Professor MJ

Good Monday all! With only three games in the NBA tonight, my projected lines are in agreement with two of them, while there is one value play to be had.

PICK: Brooklyn Nets +1.5 at Phoenix Suns (rated 2 stars)

Both of these teams are pretty evenly matched, so with home-court advantage being around 8% you get an estimated win percentage for Phoenix at 58%. I actually came up with a 60% figure because of other factors, including injuries.

However, the schedule gives Brooklyn a HUGE advantage. Not only are they benefiting from two full days of rest, but they also had two more days of rest before their last game.

Meanwhile, the Suns will be playing back-to-back games, also their third game in 4 nights, and fourth in 6 nights. What a big difference! According to this information, I have multiplied the Suns’ estimated win percentage by 76% (following some statistical studies I read about the impact of rest in the NBA based on years of data), which yields a final estimate of 60% * 76% = 45.6%. In terms of point spreads that’s roughly 2 points, so my projections believe the Nets should be 2-point favorites instead of 1.5-point dogs.

Some people believe in it, while others don’t, but there is also a revenge factor. These two teams met six days ago, a game in which the Suns took it 122-114 in Brooklyn. I’m pretty sure the Nets will be looking for payback.

Brooklyn has dropped its past four straight games, including their latest two which occurred against weak teams (the Suns and the Lakers). With tough opponents up next (at Denver, at Portland and at Utah), I’m pretty sure they will give an all-out effort tonight.

Thanks again for reading, we’ll talk again soon!

Professor MJ

Hi hockey fans, I’ve got one value play tonight despite only two games being on the schedule. I actually like the bet a lot.

PICK: Edmonton Oilers -164 (decimal 1.61) vs New Jersey Devils

In my humble opinion, there is a huge gap in terms of how well-prepared and how focused these teams will be.

First, let’s consider the Devils. They are riding a three-game winning streak, but they have just faced two pretty weak teams: the Canucks and the Coyotes. Yes, I consider Vancouver as being a lousy club despite their record indicating they’ve won half of their games thus far. Prior to the start of the season, they were projected to finish 29th out of 31 teams according to Vegas’ lines. I don’t believe they will sustain a .500 record in the long run. So to go back to my argument, playing two bad teams in a row is not a good preparation for the following game, especially against a team that was projected to finish in the top 5 in the 2017-2018 season, but that has disappointed so far and will be very hungry at home.

Sure, Edmonton has played well below expectations. But don’t forget they were many people’s pick to win the Stanley Cup. And did you look at the strength of opposition they faced over their past 6 matches? They played Chicago, Philly, Pittsburgh, Dallas, Washington and Pittsburgh again. Wow, that’s tough! Contrary to the Devils, the Oilers will be well-prepared.

I also like how tonight’s game will mark Edmonton’s fourth straight game at home, thus more rest (no traveling). Meanwhile, New Jersey will be playing the second game of a three-game road trip on the West Coast.

The Devils are 5-0 on the road this season, but I’m betting their perfect record end in Edmonton tonight. Teams won’t be taking them lightly anymore with their 9-2 record.

Good luck and have a nice weekend!
Professor MJ

Ouch. We went 1-4 a couple of days ago with our picks. Lost the Hawks pick by 2 points. Lost the Heat pick by 2 points. And lost the Bucks pick by 2 points also. With a little bit of luck, we could have gone 4-1 instead of 1-4, but that’s how things go sometimes.

We all knew I could not sustain a 70% success rate, so we came back to Earth and we are now 13-9-1 (59.1%) for the year. I’ve got three plays for you today, so let’s aim for at least two winning ones!

PICK #1: Dallas Mavericks +4.5 vs New Orleans Pelicans (rated 4 stars)

I have only found arguments going in favor of Dallas in this one. I almost rated it a 5-star play. Maybe I’m being too conservative following a bad day with my picks two days ago. My projected lines are Pelicans -1.2 vs Mavericks +1.2, while the actual point spread is 4.5. I would have rated it 5 stars if the difference had been a bit bigger.

The public is betting New Orleans very heavily, as 85% of spread bets and 89% of money line bets are going their way. And yet, the line has not moved! Sharp action definitely seems to be on Dallas’ side.

The Mavericks are coming off two consecutive beatings, which is why people do not trust them right now. They lost their last game by a 119-98 score at the Clippers and 104-89 at Utah. I do believe they will rebound in front of their fans. By the way, the last time I had a 5-star play was those same Mavs at home against the Grizzlies, and they pulled it off for their only win of the season. Let’s see if we can repeat, but even if they lose they might cover the spread.

Dallas is 4-1 ATS against New Orleans over the past five meetings, and also 4-1 ATS over the last five meetings in Dallas.

PICK #2: Detroit Pistons -1.5 vs Milwaukee Bucks (rated 1 star)

My gut feeling doesn’t like this pick so much, but the facts are telling me to grab Detroit (our instincts are not always right!). First, my statistical models have the Pistons as 4-point favorites in this game. Secondly, I like how Detroit experienced a wakeup call in their last game via a 113-93 loss at the Lakers. After impressive wins against the Timberwolves, and at the Clippers and Warriors, they had a major letdown at the Staples Center. Granted, the Bucks are on a 2-game losing streak so they will definitely put in a good fight, which worries me a little bit.

Notice that Detroit is playing off two days of rest, while Milwaukee will be playing a third game in four nights (also fourth in six days).

Greg Monroe is still out with left calf soreness for the Bucks.

PICK #3: Oklahoma City -5.5 vs Boston Celtics (rated 1 star)

A few days ago I picked the Rockets at the Knicks despite my projections telling me otherwise because I had found many situational factors favoring Houston. It turned out to be a winner, so let me repeat the experience here. My statistical models view OKC as 4.2-point favorites, so normally I should go with Boston (or stay away). Why do I like the Thunder then?

The Celtics are coming off an easy 113-86 win over a weak Sacramento team, and I truly believe that’s not good preparation for your following game, especially when facing a top team like Oklahoma City.

Boston is 7-1 ATS this season, which is probably one of the main reasons why 69% of sports bettors are backing them right now. But guess what, the spread has moved from 5.5 to 6 with some sportsbooks; as mentioned above, I like reverse line moves like this one. It reinforces my confidence in a pick.

The Thunder has beaten Boston in 8 of the previous 9 matchups; they were 6-2-1 ATS in those games.

To top it all off, OKC benefited from two days of rest, compared to only one for the Celtics. Not a major factor, but still another one favoring them.

That’s it for today’s NBA write-up, I hope you enjoyed it and I wish you a great Friday!

Professor MJ

Hi guys, we got another winner last night with the Lakers beating the Pistons easily, despite most people betting Detroit. There are 12 games in the NBA tonight, and I’ve got plenty of things to let you know about.

PICK #1: Atlanta Hawks +8.5 at Philadelphia 76ers (rated 4 stars)

Let’s start with a strong argument: the Hawks have won the past 7 meetings with the Sixers (including 4 in Philly), winning all of them against the spread (ATS) too!

Things are not going so well for Atlanta thus far this season. After winning their opening game at Dallas, they went on to drop their following six games. Granted, notice how the Hawks have only played two home games in the 2017-2018 season.

Meanwhile, the 76ers are coming off a big 115-107 upset in Houston, which is why I expect a bit of a letdown tonight.

From an injury standpoint, I deducted 5% to the Hawks’ win probability for the absence of Ilyasova and Plumlee, while I added 5% to take into account the fact that Reddick is questionable and Fultz is out for Philadelphia.

PICK #2: Miami Heat -9.5 vs Chicago Bulls (rated 4 stars)

I pick underdogs more often than not, but this time I’m backing a huge favorite. Tonight’s matchup will feature the 6th straight home game for Miami before they leave for a 6-game road trip. They have lost their last three games and I firmly believe they will give an all-out effort to provide their fans with a nice convincing win before going on the road. Playing a weak team like the Bulls is usually not very motivating for their opponents, but under such circumstances I don’t see it happening at all. The Heat will be hungry and will want to destroy Chicago.

The Bulls are coming off a very embarrassing 101-69 loss against the Thunder. As a contrarian, I tend to go against recent tendencies, but not this time. Chicago is 1-6 ATS over the past seven meetings with the Heat.

Miami’s two leading scorers, Dragic and Whiteside, are listed as probable and questionable to play, but from what I’ve read it looks like they will both be in the lineup. Meanwhile, the Bulls will be missing Mirotic, Portis and LaVine.

PICK #3: Cleveland Cavaliers -3.5 first quarter vs Indiana Pacers (rated 3 stars)

A few days ago I suggested a play on the first quarter, but I didn’t make it an official pick. I should have done it. So this time I’m making my first official call on a first quarter spread. We have all heard of the Cavaliers’ recent struggles. After opening the season by beating Boston and Milwaukee, they have dropped four of their last five matches, where the only win occurred against a very weak Bulls team. The Cavs held a team meeting yesterday, and trust me they did not discuss Christmas plans. They will come out firing tonight.

Cleveland benefited from two full days of rest, while the Pacers are playing the second of back-to-back games. Indiana has surprised many people with a 4-3 record. They are riding a two-game winning streak after defeating the Spurs and the Kings. Unlike the Cavs, they won’t feel like they absolutely need this game. Also remember how bad the Pacers were on the road last year: they posted a 13-28 record, compared to 29-12 at home. I’ve loving this play, but since I have never paid too much attention to first quarter lines before, I’ll be conservative and grade it as a 3-star bet.

PICK #4: Houston Rockets -5.5 at New York Knicks (rated 1 star)

I hope I won’t regret this pick. I very rarely take a team when my projected lines are telling me to bet the opposing team. The spread is 5.5, while my statistical models estimated the line at 4.6. And yet, I’ll be siding with the Rockets because of many arguments favoring them. First, they will be firing on all cylinders following two straight losses, including a home loss to the Sixers. In contrast, the Knicks have surprised many experts with three consecutive wins (Brooklyn, Cleveland and Denver). They won’t feel the urgency to win nearly as much as the Rockets will.

Recent meetings are also pleading us to bet Houston. The Rockets have won 22 of the last 24 matchups! They are riding a seven-game winning streak in New York; they have beaten the spread on all seven occasions.

PICK #5: Milwaukee Bucks +3.5 at Charlotte Hornets (rated 1 star)

The Bucks are playing the second leg of back-to-back games, which is not good for them. However, they will be looking to avenge a 110-91 loss at home against the Thunder last night, while the Hornets could let their guard down a little bit following a big road win at Memphis.

Milwaukee has beaten the Hornets in the past three meetings, both straight up and ATS. Greg Monroe will be out for the Bucks, while Charlotte will still be missing Nicolas Batum.

A few notes about other games for which I am staying away:

• I’ve found conflicting arguments about the Kings-Celtics game. My projected lines are Kings +10.8 vs Celtics -10.8, while the actual spread is 13 so I was leaning towards Sacramento. However, the Kings are 1-4 against the spread over the past five meetings with Boston, and we are observing a reverse line movement on Boston (the majority of gamblers are taking the Kings, but the line moved from 12.5 to 13). Clear sandwich game for Boston as they are coming off games against three strong teams (San Antonio, Miami and Milwaukee) and are playing the Thunder next. The Kings will be looking to rebound following two straight blowout losses, while the Celtics are coming five straight victories. Based on all this information, I’m still leaning towards Sacramento but no official pick here.
• I’d like to take the Clippers because I expect them to rebound strong following a bad 141-113 loss against the Warriors, and a 95-87 setback once again at home versus the Pistons. They won’t take this game lightly, despite Dallas being a bottom tier team. The only problem is my statistical models view the Clippers as 8.5-point favorites, while the line is set at 9.5. I’ll stay disciplined and won’t bet this game.
• One more game where I’m aching to bet a certain team, but my projections disagree: I believe the Timberwolves should be 2-point favorites, but instead they are 2-point underdgs. According to this information, I should be jumping on Minnesota, but I’m staying away for many reasons. First, New Orleans is 10-2 over the past 12 meetings with the T-Wolves. If you look at records against the spread, the Pelicans are 7-3 over the last 10 meetings, including three straight wins ATS. Some situational factors also come into play in favor of the Pelicans. This will be their third straight game at home, so they are well-rested. They are coming off a loss against Orlando and will push hard to rebound, while Minnesota might letdown after beating OKC and Miami.

Enjoy the games, but most importantly best of luck on your bets!

Professor MJ

Hello my friends, how are you doing today? Before moving on with my picks for Tuesday, let’s update our season record following a 2-1 night yesterday:

5 star bets = 2-0
4 star bets = 0-0
3 star bets = 4-2
2 star bets = 2-2-1
1 star bets = 3-1

TOTAL: 11-5-1 (68.8%)

Out of the four games on the menu, I only like one.

PICK: Los Angeles Lakers +4.5 vs Detroit Pistons (rated 3 stars)

The difference between the actual spread and my projected lines is not huge (my statistical models have Detroit as 2.5-point favorites), but some situational factors have enticed me to grade this selection with a higher rating.

If you have ever heard of “sandwich” games, this is the textbook definition. The Pistons are facing a weaker Lakers teams after playing the top team in the league (despite what their record says), the Warriors, and they have another strong team up next in the Milwaukee Bucks. What makes this play even better is the fact that Detroit actually won their previous matchup against a top team, which makes them even more likely to letdown tonight in Los Angeles. This will be the Pistons’ final game of a three-game road trip, and they might feel satisfied with what they’ve accomplished thus far by beating the Clippers and the Warriors.

One more important factor in favor of the Lakers: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope faces his former team for the first time after spending his first four seasons in Detroit. Not only is this a good motivation factor, but he knows the Pistons’ tendencies very well.

To top it all off, we are observing a reverse line movement on this game as the spread opened at 5 at some sportsbooks, and dropped to 4.5 or 4 (depending on your bookie) despite heavy action on the Pistons, which is to be expected every time a team who is on fire faces a team who is riding a losing streak. Close to 70% of spread bets have gone on Detroit thus far.

The Lakers didn’t play too bad in their last two home games: they beat a good Wizards team in overtime, and they held a 17-point lead against the Raptors in the third quarter before losing by a 9-point margin.

In other words, from a statistical standpoint I would rate this play as 1 or 2 star(s), but the situation makes it even more alluring.

One final comment: the Pistons beat the spread by 3 points at the Lakers in their last visit at the Staples Center, but Los Angeles had beaten the spread in the previous five meetings in L.A.

Thanks for reading, let’s hope for another winner tonight! Happy Halloween!

Professor MJ

Hi hockey fans, I hope you had a nice weekend! We’ve got a fairly busy day in the NHL, and I see three profitable bets. Enjoy the read!

PICK #1: St. Louis Blues -124 (decimal 1.81) vs Los Angeles Kings

The Kings will be playing the final of a 6-game road trip. As you can imagine, a lot of traveling was involved and that’s never a good thing for players. Los Angeles has won 4 of the first 5 games in this trip and might feel satisfied with what they have accomplished already.

The Blues have won four of the last five meetings with the Kings. They are unbeaten at home thus far this year (4-0).

Jake Allen has been confirmed as the Blues starting goalie, but no word yet on LA’s goalkeeper.

PICK #2: Ottawa Senators -120 (decimal 1.83) vs Montreal Canadiens

Al Montoya will make his second start of the season for the Habs. In his only start this year, he lost 5-1 at Los Angeles. He appeared in two periods at Washington, where he allowed 2 goals on 9 shots. As bad as Carey Price as looked like this year, Montoya has done even worse by stopping only 86% of the shots he faced. He proved to be an adequate backup last season, but he still only won 8 of his 18 starts (44.4%).

The Sens will be missing two important pieces of their offense, though. Kyle Turris has been ruled out because of a viral infection, while Bobby Ryan broke a finger about 10 days ago.

Montreal has won the last three meetings, but Ottawa had won the previous three.

A -120 line in favor of the home team implies that both teams are of equal strength. Although I don’t believe the Habs are as bad as their record shows, they remain a below-average team, in my opinion. Meanwhile, Ottawa has won 5 of their first 11 games, but don’t get misled by those numbers since their 5 of their 6 losses occurred in extra time! In other words, the Sens have only lost a single game in regulation!

PICK #3: Columbus Blue Jackets -137 (decimal 1.73) vs Boston Bruins

The Bruins are coming off a very disappointing overtime loss. With 0.9 second left a faceoff was taking place in Boston’s zone, but that was enough time for Kopitar to win it clean while Tyler Toffoli slapped it past goalie Tukka Rask for the game-winner in a game that appeared to be headed for a shootout.

Boston will be missing their third leading scorer in 2016-2017, David Krejci, and also defenseman Adam McQuaid. Meanwhile, Cam Atkinson is questionable for the Jackets. He suffered a lower-body injury last Saturday and only placed 1:32 in the third period.

The Bruins are 1-2 on the road, with their only win happening in Arizona. After winning 6 out of 8 games, Columbus dropped its last game by a 4-1 score in St. Louis. They will be looking to rebound in front of their home crowd, where they were 28-12-1 last year.

Enjoy the games and good luck on your bets!

Professor MJ

Good Monday NBA fans! Following my research and statistical analyses on all nine games from tonight, I was disappointed to discover so few good plays. I’ve got three bets to recommend, but none gets a higher grade than 2 stars.

PICK #1: Orlando Magic +7.5 at New Orleans Pelicans (rated 2 stars)

Prior to the start of the season, Orlando was projected to have a .402 record (based on Vegas’ lines); based on their 4-2 record so far, including impressive wins against Cleveland, San Antonio and Miami, I have adjusted their projected record to .450. As for the Pelicans, it was estimated they would finish the season with a .482, which seems reasonable to me. Based on these pieces of information, I am getting a 38.6% chance of winning by the Magic tonight.

That being said, more adjustments needed to be made. Elfrid Payton will miss tonight’s match for Orlando, while Rondo is still out for New Orleans (although they did pick up Jameer Nelson). I have decided to penalize Orlando by 1.5% for that. Finally, the Magic will be more tired since they will be on the second leg of back-to-back games. My final estimate winds up being 30.8%, which corresponds to a 5.7 spread. Since the actual line is 7.5, I’m taking Orlando.

I also like the fact that New Orleans is coming off a big 123-101 win against LeBron James and the Cavs; they might letdown a little bit tonight when facing a less “sexy” team. Too bad Elfrid Payton is not playing tonight for the Magic because he is a New Orleans native and would have been pretty motivated for this game.

PICK #2: Denver Nuggets -4 at New York Knicks (rated 1 star)

Both teams will be playing a second game in as many nights, and neither has injuries worth of note. It’s interesting to note that the Nuggets have beaten the Knicks in the last five meetings, not only straight up but also against the spread. Let me also make an identical statement to the first pick above: the Knicks are coming off one of their biggest wins in recent history, a surprising 114-95 victory against Cleveland. They could relax a little bit tonight.

One thing that worries me in this game is how Denver’s three wins occurred against weak teams: Sacramento, Atlanta and Brooklyn. The team has not lived up to expectations thus far, so I’m taking advantage of the public not perceiving them as good as they truly are (in my humble opinion).

PICK #3: Miami Heat +3.5 vs Minnesota Timberwolves (rated 1 star)

The bad news is Hassan Whiteside is still very doubtful to play because of a knee injury. He would have been very helpful in defending Karl-Anthony Towns. However, I do believe the Heat have more depth than Minnesota.

I like two things about this pick: 1) Miami is 8-2 against the spread over the past 10 meetings with the T-Wolves; 2) the Heat held a team meeting following two straight losses and pointed out to a lack of physical play and effort. I expect them to come out very strong. As a matter of fact, I suggest grabbing the Heat +1 (or +0.5) for the first quarter.

A few notes on a couple of games, in case you were considering betting them:

• At first sight, I was going to bet the Spurs in Boston for many reasons. First, they have won 11 straight meetings with the Celtics (8-2 against the spread over the past 10). Secondly, they are coming off two bad losses and will be plenty motivated, while Boston has won four straight. Both teams are missing key pieces (Leonard + Parker for the Spurs, Hayward + Morris for the Celtics). However, San Antonio will be more tired because of back-to-back games (also 3 games in 4 nights, and 4 games in 6 nights). My projected lines turned out to be Spurs +5.2 vs Celtics -5.2, so with a 3.5 spread I cannot take San Antonio under such circumstances. I’m staying away from this one, but I thought you would appreciate getting more insight into this interesting matchup.
• You might have heard about the Rockets winning the previous eight meetings with the Sixers. Be aware that Houston is 3-5 against the spread against Philly in these games, though (3-7 over the past 10) so don’t pull the trigger too fast.

I hope you fund this report insightful; I appreciate you taking the time to read it!

Professor MJ

All good things must come to an end. After four straight weeks without a losing record, we went 1-3-1 last week. It was bound to happen eventually. Still 16-8-2 over the past five weeks, so no need to panic. Let’s roll up our sleeves and get back on the winning track as soon as possible!

I’ve got 2 picks for Week #8 in the NFL and also a slight lean for the Raiders-Bills game, as well as the Thursday night game.

PICK #1: Detroit Lions +3 vs Pittsburgh Steelers

This is without a doubt my top play of the week, as my level of confidence takes a drop after that. The Steelers are coming off two very impressive wins at the Chiefs and against their archrivals from Cincinnati. Le’Veon Bell looked almost unstoppable last week! Playing a non-conference road game against a weaker opponent after such a couple of emotional games is a big red flag to me. The Steelers may not come out very strong in Detroit, while the Lions desperately need a win sitting on their 3-3 record.

You may have heard the following stat: Pittsburgh is 8-1 over the past 9 meetings with the Lions. But don’t let that number mislead you because the Steelers were actually 4-5 against the spread (ATS) in those games!

Another key factor in favor of Detroit is the fact they are coming off their bye week. They’ve had two full weeks to prepare for this matchup, while the Steelers were focusing on one of their worst enemies, the Bengals.

Bad news for Lions’ fans though: wide receiver Golden Tate is expected to miss the game. As a consequence, Marvin Jones, Eric Ebron and Theo Reddick might see an increased workload. I’m also concerned about the status of free safety Glover Quinn who suffered a concussion last week. His status is unknown at the moment, but it doesn’t look good. At least the Lions might have left guard T.J. Lang back from an injury, which is good news for Matthew Stafford who has been sacked 23 times this season.

PICK #2: Carolina Panthers +2 at Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Carolina was off to a great start to the 2017 season with a 4-1 record, including a stellar 33-30 win in New England. They looked like a dominant force again. And then they went on to lose two straight games. A 28-23 loss against the Eagles was acceptable, but a 17-3 setback in Chicago is inexcusable.

The numbers from that game are mind-boggling. The Bears only attempted 7 passes and still won! Carolina dominated every statistical category. They made 20 first downs compared to only 5 for Chicago. Total yardage went 293 to 153 in favor of Carolina. I think it’s an understatement to say that turnovers killed the Panthers since both Chicago touchdowns were scored by rookie safety Eddie Jackson. If you had this guy in your fantasy league, congratulations!

Meanwhile, the Bucs haven’t fared much better lately, dropping their three most recent matches. Their only two wins came against the Giants and the Bears, which is not spectacular.

The Panthers will look to avenge a series sweep from last year, as they lost 17-14 at home and 17-16 in Tampa. Despite those two losses straight up, the Panthers are 6-2 against the spread over their past 8 meetings with the Bucs.

The only thing I don’t like so much about this game is how Carolina will be playing a fourth road game in their last five matches. That’s a lot of traveling, and I’m hoping they won’t be too tired.

After missing last week’s game in Chicago, 4-time Pro Bowler Luke Kuechly is on pace to return following a concussion he suffered earlier.

LEAN #1 (unofficial pick): Buffalo Bills -2.5 vs Oakland Raiders

Let’s start with the factors favoring Buffalo. First, the Raiders will be traveling three time zones and playing an early 1pm Eastern Time game, which is the equivalent of 10am on the West Coast. That’s always a bit disruptive for teams coming from the west. Also, Oakland may not experience a high level of motivation following two key matchups against divisional opponents that both ended by a one-point deficit. Indeed, they lost 17-16 to the Chargers before beating the Chiefs 31-30. Finally, the Bills will be looking for revenge after a 38-24 loss in Oakland last season.

However, I’m not betting on Buffalo for a couple of reasons. Those who have been following me for a while know how much I value rest in the NFL, considering it is such a physical sport. The Raiders will benefit from three additional days of rest since they played last Thursday night. Also, the Raiders have beaten the spread on five straight occasions when facing Buffalo; they are 7-1 ATS over the past eight meetings. That’s enough to get me worried and is one of the main reasons I’m staying away. Just thought I’d let you know.

LEAN #2 (unofficial pick): Baltimore Ravens -3 vs Miami Dolphins

Whenever a team who has been playing pretty badly recently faces a team who is on the rise, the public tends to overreact and pound the latter. Under such circumstances, I will almost always go with the team who has been struggling, taking advantage of an inflated line. That may be the case here.

The Dolphins have won three consecutive games, while the Ravens have dropped four of their last five matches. It’s no surprise that more than 60% of the bets have gone on Miami, and I wouldn’t be surprised if the line goes from 3 to 2.5 before kickoff (or maybe we’ll get -3 points at +100 in American format or 2.0 in decimal format).

Here is an interesting stat with respect to this game: over the last seven meetings between these two teams, the Ravens are 6-1 straight up, and 7-0 against the spread. Wow! That definitely grabs my attention! If the line improves, I may very well bet Baltimore in this one.

Thanks for reading and enjoy the games!!!

Professor MJ

Hello guys, I’m pretty excited because I’ve got a 5-star play tonight (only our second of the season). Before moving on with my picks for Wednesday, let’s update our record:

5 star bets = 1-0
3 star bets = 3-1
2 star bets = 1-2-1
1 star bets = 1-0

TOTAL: 6-3-1

Let’s now have a look at 3 bets that I believe are profitable!

PICK #1: Dallas Mavericks +4.5 vs Memphis Grizzlies (rated 5 stars)

I like many things about this play. First of all, it is not surprising that 83% of the bets are going on Memphis since they are 3-0, while Dallas is posting a 0-4 record. And yet, the spread opened at 5 with Pinnacle, and has gone down to 4.5 since then. That’s a good indication that sharp money is backing Dallas.

Before the season began, Vegas lines were implying that Memphis would finish the season with a .457 record compared to .427 for Dallas. Under such circumstances, if the line for tonight’s game had been set prior to the start of the season it would have been something like Grizzlies +2 vs Mavericks -2. I’m fully aware that these two teams have gone in complete opposite directions thus far, but I’m not the type of person that will overreact to recent results, so my personal opinion is that a 6.5-point swing (the Mavs are 4.5-point dogs rather than 2-point favorites) based on just a few games is too much.

Recent meetings between these two teams have been going well for the Mavs, as they have posted a 5-2 record against the spread over the past 7 matchups.

Injuries are not playing a significant role in this match. JaMychal Green and Ben McLemore are out for Memphis, while Dallas will be without Seth Curry, Josh McRoberts and maybe Devin Harris. These injuries are a wash, basically.

The Grizzlies are coming off two huge victories: at home against the Warriors and at Houston, perhaps the two strongest teams in the NBA. A letdown is highly likely tonight.

PICK #2: Philadelphia 76ers +4 vs Houston Rockets (rated 3 stars)

Don’t be misled by Houston’s seven-game winning streak over Philadelphia; they are actually 3-4 against the spread in those games. As a matter of fact, the Sixers have beaten the spread on 6 of the past 9 meetings against the Rockets.

Injuries are also a fairly big factor in this game since Houston will be missing star guard Chris Paul, Trevor Ariza (he is leading his team in minutes per game, and finished second last year) and Nene Hilario.

There’s only one thing I don’t like too much about this game, and is why it is not rated higher: Houston is coming off a home loss to Memphis, so they are not likely to take this game lightly. Meanwhile, the 76ers put in a strong effort in Detroit which gave them their first win of the season. Joel Embiid was pretty upset about being forced to rest the previous game in Toronto and he responded well with a 30-point performance against the Pistons. Ben Simmons had a triple-double in his fourth career game (the former #1 pick in the 2016 draft that missed the entire season last year).

82% of spread bets have gone on Houston with the line moving half a point. I like it.

PICK #3: Los Angeles Lakers +7 vs Washington Wizards

Why not go for one more play where the public strongly disagrees with me? Only 20% of spread bets are backing LA.

The only injury worth of note is Markieff Morris; I have penalized Washington 5% on their final estimated win probability because of that. The Wizards will be playing on one day of rest, compared to two for the Lakers, which is another small edge in favor of Los Angeles.

What may be underestimated here is the potential letdown by Washington, thanks to a “sandwich” game. Indeed, they have just played in Denver and could be looking ahead to a huge game in Golden State this upcoming Friday.

However, I don’t like how comfortable the Wizards have been playing at the Lakers; they have won the past 5 meetings over there (4-1 against the spread in those games).

I really want to thank you for taking the time to read this report, I appreciate a lot!

Professor MJ