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Win the Weekend: Fantasy football and betting tips

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Win the Weekend: Fantasy football and betting tips

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Want to know the latest trends, matchups and injury news in football? We’ve got you. Want to know where the public has money this week? We’ve got you. Want to know which teams to play, whom to roster in DFS or whom to pick in your Eliminator pool? We’ve got you there, too. Here’s everything you need to know as you prepare for your fantasy football matchups and potential bets on the games this weekend.

CFB: Action report | Analytics Edges | Confidence Pool picks

NFL: Injury update | Matchups to exploit | Eliminator Challenge | DFS plays | Analytics Edges | Action Report | ‘Dolan Out Winners’ | Confidence pool picks | Pigskin Pick’em

Sports Betting home | Fantasy Football home


College football

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Spikes reminisces on magnitude of rivalries in the SEC

Ahead of No. 3 Texas and No. 12 Oklahoma’s storied Red River Rivalry, the “SEC Now” crew discusses the importance of rivalry traditions as the teams move to the SEC.

David Purdum’s Action Report

  • The top-ranked Georgia Bulldogs are one of four FBS teams that have yet to cover the spread this season, and bettors are betting against the Bulldogs again this week when they host the underdog No. 20 Kentucky Wildcats. Georgia opened as high as a 16.5-point favorite at Caesars Sportsbook on Sunday but was bet down to -14.5 early in the week. “The money came for Kentucky early in the week,” Craig Mucklow, vice president of trading for Caesars Sportsbook, said on a company podcast. Only one team has ever won the national championship with a below .500 record against the spread (2017 Alabama), according to ESPN Stats & Information.

  • The No. 3 Texas Longhorns attracted the majority of the early money wagered on the annual showdown with the unbeaten No. 12 Oklahoma Sooners on Saturday. As of Thursday, DraftKings was reporting that 79% of the money bet on the game’s point spread was on the favored Longhorns. The line opened at Texas -5 and got as high as -6.5 on Tuesday, but it had settled back at Longhorns -5.5 on Thursday.

  • The line on the Alabama Crimson TideTexas A&M Aggies game had been dropping all week. The Crimson Tide opened as 3.5-point favorites but had been bet down to -1 as of Thursday. The line was moving the opposite way of the action. At PointsBet (Fanatics), more money had been bet on Alabama than had been bet on any other team as of Thursday. At DraftKings, 86% of the point spread bets were on the Crimson Tide as of Thursday.

  • Notable early line movements at influential sportsbook Circa Sports: The Colorado State Rams opened as a 4-point underdog against the Utah State Aggies, but the line quickly flipped with the Rams favored by 3 as of Thursday; the total on the Washington State CougarsUCLA Bruins game dropped from 67.6 to 59; the total on the North Texas Mean GreenNavy Midshipmen moved a full seven points. After opening at 54.5, it grew to as high as 61.5 by Thursday.

Seth Walder’s biggest edges from ESPN Analytics

  • No. 12 Oklahoma +5.5 vs. No. 3 Texas: This has been perhaps FPI’s most noticeable call all year — how much it likes Oklahoma relative to the betting market. It’s time to put it to the test. The Sooners rank fourth in total efficiency and the Longhorns rank ninth, even after accounting for the fact that OU has played a much easier schedule. We like the Sooners to win Saturday and also see them as a value in futures (win the Big 12 at +200).

  • No. 11 Alabama -1 at Texas A&M: Even this far into the season, priors — the information we believe at the start of the season — still play an important role in forecasting college football games. Even though the Crimson Tide haven’t lived up to expectations thus far, the fact that we went into the season thinking they were substantially better than the Aggies still should carry significant weight. Especially because Texas A&M only ranks 15th in total efficiency. FPI makes Alabama 6-point favorites here.

Joe Fortenbaugh’s Confidence picks

  • No. 3 Texas -5.5 vs. No. 12 Oklahoma: I’ve got no problem fading the Oklahoma steam in this spot. Let’s go back to last season, when both Texas and Oklahoma entered the Red River Showdown with identical 3-2 records and Texas laying 7.5 points. What has changed so much that the line has moved from -7.5 last year to -5.5 this year? Granted, Oklahoma is better. But the Sooners are 5-0 against teams whose opponents boast a combined record of just 13-12. If anything, Texas has made more progress since last season than Oklahoma, as evidenced by a road win at Alabama and a blowout victory over ranked Kansas last week. The Longhorns defense will be the difference in this one.

  • Colorado State at Utah State over 63.5 points: This is a low total for a showdown between two teams that rank in the top 15 nationally in plays per game, not to mention play to a lot of overs. Utah State is 4-1 to the over this season, with those four overs exceeding the closing total by the staggering average of 26.1 points per game! Meanwhile, Colorado State is 3-1 to the over, with the Rams’ three overs exceeding the closing total by an average of 13.1 points per game. This game has track meet written all over it.

  • Texas Tech Red Raiders -1.5 at Baylor Bears: This is a tremendous spot to fade Baylor. For those who haven’t been paying attention, the Bears got off to a horrific start this season with a 1-3 record that featured a minus-51 point differential in losses to Texas State, Utah and Texas, with the program’s lone victory coming against juggernaut Long Island. But last week was very different, as Dave Aranda’s team erased a 35-7 third-quarter deficit against Central Florida to win 36-35. Cue the celebrations in Waco that probably carried into Monday, setting this weekend up to be a sleepy start for Baylor. Remember, the Bears currently rank 114th in the country in run defense (194.3 yards per game), which is something that will be exposed against a Red Raiders offense that averages 167 rushing yards per game. Expect Texas Tech to set the tone early in this one.


NFL

Stephania Bell’s injury update

  • According to Indianapolis Colts RB Jonathan Taylor, he is “finally healthy” after rehabbing since January from surgery on his right ankle. Taylor, who practiced Thursday, said he believed it had been over 290 days since he last stepped on the field for play or practice, noting his “No. 1 goal is to attack this first practice.” While the Colts have not formally indicated whether Taylor will play Sunday, back-to-back full practices Thursday and Friday point in the right direction.

  • Get all the latest injury news here.

Matt Bowen’s matchups to exploit

  • Lamar Jackson in the red zone vs. the Pittsburgh Steelers: Jackson can create conflict for the Pittsburgh defense on designed carries in the low red zone. Over his past two games, Jackson has logged four touchdowns on rushing attempts inside the 20-yard line. And Baltimore’s QB run package is very multiple, with pre-snap movement and misdirection to get numbers on the play side.

  • Jalen Carter and Fletcher Cox vs. the Los Angeles Rams offensive line: The Eagles’ two defensive tackles have combined for 21 pressures through the first four weeks of the season, and I see a matchup advantage here against the interior of the Rams’ offensive front. Cox (if healthy) and Carter have the disruptive traits to take away Matthew Stafford‘s ability to climb the pocket.

  • For more breakdowns, check out Matt Bowen’s Film Room.

Mike Clay’s Eliminator Challenge advice

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Field Yates: De’Von Achane is a touchdown waiting to happen

Field Yates is full of De’Von Achane’s hot fantasy play for the Dolphins.

  • Miami Dolphins (vs. New York Giants): The Dolphins are set to host the 1-3 Giants, so their win probability (89%) is unsurprisingly second highest in the league this week. It’s also the highest remaining this season for Miami, though there are a few close ones, including next week (88% vs. Carolina) and Week 11 (88% vs. Las Vegas). If not Miami, the Detroit Lions (90% win probability vs. Carolina) are a viable option, though we will have several better opportunities to use them, including Week 11 (vs. Chicago) and Week 15 (vs. Denver).

  • Follow Clay’s Eliminator Challenge advice all season long and read more here for other tips for Week 5.

Al Zeidenfeld’s DFS plays

  • Running back is going to be an extremely important position in both game lineups and tournaments this weekend because of how many advantage plays exist on the main slate. It’s still a few days before lineups lock, and things could certainly change, but De’Von Achane ($6,100), Joe Mixon ($6,400) and Isiah Pacheco ($5,700) are extremely cheap, get tremendous volume and all project very well with positive matchups. The depth at the position with Bijan Robinson ($7,700) and David Montgomery ($6,600), who are both favored and at home, coupled with the possibility for extreme values like Jaleel McLaughlin ($5,000) and Chuba Hubbard ($4,500) because of injury concerns to the players ahead of them on their respective depth charts, provides solid value at all different price points.

  • More DFS plays here.

Seth Walder’s biggest edges from ESPN Analytics

  • Minnesota Vikings DE Danielle Hunter under 0.25 sacks (-120 at DraftKings): Hunter is off to a nice start to the season with five sacks, but this is a bet on Patrick Mahomes — the greatest sack evader in the league. His sack rate when pressured this season is 5%. If his sack rate on all dropbacks were 5%, that would still be better than average! I make the fair price here -198.

  • Giants QB Daniel Jones over 0.5 interceptions (-115): Even though Jones’ very high 3.5% interception rate this season will certainly come down (it was a league-low 0.9% last year), the reality is that the Giants probably will fall behind the potent Miami Dolphins offense and will need Jones to put the ball in the air. That’s when a pick is likely to come. I make the fair price -133.

David Purdum’s Action Report

  • The Dolphins are the biggest favorites on the board this week, laying 12.5 to the Giants. Bettors were not shying away from the big spread early in the week. As of Thursday at FanDuel, 90% of the bets and 94% of the money wagered was on the Dolphins to cover the spread.

  • The line on the Dallas CowboysSan Francisco 49ers Sunday night game held steady throughout the week, with San Francisco listed as a 3.5-point favorite. Bettors were siding with the 49ers early in the week. FanDuel reported Thursday that 80% of the bets on the spread were on San Francisco.

  • The Pittsburgh Steelers, Tennessee Titans and Las Vegas Raiders each attracted bets from professional bettors early this week at the SuperBook, according to executive director John Murray. The Steelers are 4-point home underdogs to the Ravens. The Titans opened as 1-point road underdogs to the Colts, but the line quickly moved toward Tennessee, which was listed as a 2.5-point favorite as of Thursday. The Raiders host the Packers on “Monday Night Football.” The line opened at pick ’em at the SuperBook but was back up to as high as Las Vegas -2 early in the week.

Erin Dolan’s ‘Dolan Out Winners’

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Is Dak Prescott a starting option in fantasy?

Field Yates doesn’t have Dak Prescott on his radar as a QB1 against the 49ers in Week 5.

  • Dak Prescott OVER .5 INTs (-129) at 49ers: Dak was a turnover machine last season but has only had one interception through the first four games of this season. Keep in mind he faced the Giants, Jets, Cardinals and Patriots defenses. Now he faces a top-5 defense. The 49ers have five defensive interceptions so far this season (T-4th), and Dak threw two picks the last time these two faced each other in the NFC Divisional playoffs. The 49ers are better at stopping the run than the pass, and I expect Dak to throw at least one pick in the Sunday Night Football matchup.

  • Matthew Stafford OVER 37.5 passing attempts (-125): Stafford is dealing with a hip contusion but is expected to play Sunday against the Eagles. This game features the second-highest total on the board (50), which leads me to believe it can be high scoring and fast paced. Cooper Kupp could be back in the lineup as well. The Rams are ranked 14th in designed pass rate (64%), but, they have the second-highest designed pass rate when the game is within 10 points (69%). Stafford is averaging 42 passing attempts per game and should be able to hit over this mark, given the Rams should be playing from behind against a good Eagles team.

Anita Marks’ NFL Confidence picks

Kansas City Chiefs -3.5 at Minnesota Vikings: KC is coming off one of its worst game this season, almost losing to the Jets — and needing a bad call to avoid it. This is a great bounce-back spot for Patrick Mahomes and company. The Vikings defense does not pressure quarterbacks (fourth worst in the NFL), and the Chiefs run game will have success in Minnesota as well.

Tennessee Titans -2.5 at Indianapolis Colts: The Titans own this series, with five straight wins straight up and against the spread. The Colts have lost seven straight at home. Even if Indy gets Jonathan Taylor back, Tennesse’s rush defense is only allowing 2.9 yards per carry, best in the NFL. The Colts’ secondary might have to roll with two rookies at corner, so Ryan Tannehill and DeAndre Hopkins could be in for big days.

Tyler Fulghum’s Pigskin Pick’em plays

Wow. The public got slaughtered in Week 4. The Dolphins got smoked by the Buffalo Bills. The Cincinnati Bengals no-showed against the Tennessee Titans. The Philadelphia Eagles and Kansas City Chiefs failed to cover large numbers and almost lost their games outright. While I’m not picking with the spread here, it still illustrates how volatile this league is week to week. Good luck in Week 5 of Pigskin Pick’em.

  • Commanders (Thursday)

  • Bills

  • Ravens

  • Lions

  • Colts

  • Dolphins

  • Patriots

  • Falcons

  • Cardinals

  • Eagles

  • Broncos

  • Chiefs

  • 49ers

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