NFL Week 2 odds are out after an amazing first Sunday of football action. Here’s a quick look at the games that are worth betting on early!
NFL Week 2 Early Betting Outlook
Detroit Lions at Green Bay Packers
The Lions were on the wrong end of a narrow 27-23 road loss at Chicago in their opener, despite getting 93 rushing yard from ageless future Hall of Fame running back Adrian Peterson. The Packers jumped all over the Vikings in their opener as Aaron Rodgers passed for 364 yards and four touchdowns. Green Bay will look to make it three straight over their NFC North division rivals after sweeping Detroit in 2019. The Lions are a perfect 6-0 ATS in the last six meetings.
Minnesota Vikings at Indianapolis Colts
Minnesota’s defense never showed up in their humbling 43-34 season-opening loss against Green Bay. Indianapolis got 363 passing from veteran Philip Rivers in their opener, but the veteran gunslinger tossed a pair of costly interceptions in their stunning 27-20 season-opening loss against Jacksonville. The Vikings are 1-4 ATS in the last 5 meetings.
Carolina Panthers at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Panthers allowed Josh Jacobs to rush for three scores in their narrow, 34-30 season-opening loss at home against Las Vegas. Tom Brady and the new-look Buccaneers got humbled in their 34-23 season-opening loss at New Orleans as Brady tossed two costly interceptions. The Bucs will look to avoid falling into an 0-2 hole, but the road team won both times a year ago in this matchup of NFC South division rivals. The road team has gone 9-3 ATS in the last 12 meetings.
Baltimore Ravens at Houston Texans
Baltimore throttled Cleveland 38-6 in their opener as reigning league MVP Lamar Jackson passed for 275 yards and three scores while adding 45 rushing yards. Houston got beat from start to finish in their 34-20 season-opening loss against the Super Bowl champion Chiefs on Thursday. The Ravens have won two straight in this rivalry, including an emphatic 41-7 home win last season. Baltimore has gone a bankroll-boosting 9-2 ATS in their last 11 games while Houston has gone 3-7 ATS in their last 10 home games.
New England Patriots at Seattle Seahawks
The Patriots shut down Miami’s offense and got a pair of touchdown runs from new starting quarterback Cam Newton in their convincing 21-11 season-opening win over Miami. Seattle looked even better in smacking Atlanta around en route to a commanding 38-25 season-opening road win over Atlanta as Russell Wilson passed for 322 yards and four touchdowns. The Patriots are 1-5-1 ATS in their last 7 games while Seattle has gone 3-1-1 ATS in their last 5 games as a favorite.
The first “full” Saturday of college football was one for the books. Week 3 gets only bigger with 11 ranked teams in action, two of which go head-to-head as No. 18 Louisville and No. 17 Miami square off in a contest that opens the road for the winner into contending status in the ACC.
College Football Week 3 Must Watch Games
No. 11 Oklahoma State vs. Tulsa:
Tulsa has some decent players, but Oklahoma State is loaded. The Cowboys boast one of the top offenses in college football. Led by legit Heisman Trophy candidate running back Chuba Hubbard, Oklahoma State should score at will. This will get ugly in a hurry.
Houston at Baylor
The Cougars were scheduled to take on the Memphis Tigers on Friday, Sep. 18. They canceled that game because Memphis has a coronavirus issue. No problem. Baylor is ready to welcome Houston to Waco for their opener. The Bears have turned into a solid Power 5 Conference squad. There’s an emphasis on defense at Baylor. The Bears allowed just 19.3 points per last season. That should work in their favor on Saturday.
Boston College at Duke
Duke hung with Notre Dame for a long time on Sep. 12. Eventually, the better team got the victory. Make no mistake, though, the Duke Blue Devils are a decent football team. Boston College’s usually stout defense fell off a cliff last season. The Eagles allow 31.7 points per. That’s not good heading into a game versus a team with a solid offense.
Navy at Tulane
In Week 2, Tulane barely escaped South Alabama in a 27-24 win. Brigham Young blasted Navy 55-3 in Week 1, though. We must assume Navy plays better on Saturday. The Midshipmen beat the Green Wave 41-38 last season. Navy should turn it around. They’re much better than the BYU pasting implies.
South Florida at No. 7 Notre Dame
The Bulls hired Clemson’s wide receivers and co-offensive coordinator Jeff Scott. South Florida’s offensive line returns three starters while the defense will be okay. Notre Dame was overvalued in Week 2. They figure to be overvalued in Week 3. South Florida looks like the play while Brian Kelly’s defense takes time to gel.
No. 14 UCF at Georgia Tech
If the Big Ten and Pac 12 don’t decide to play football in October, this could be the season where the Central Florida Knights notch a spot in the College Football Playoff. Central Florida is strong across the board. They bring back three players along the offensive line, four of five starters in the secondary, and a proven defensive line. Georgia Tech’s 16-13 win over Florida State impressed, but it didn’t impress enough to consider backing them against the Knights.
No. 17 Miami at No. 18 Louisville
After a strange first half, the Hurricanes broke the game open in a 31-14 win over UAB in Week 2. The Cardinals are a decent team on both sides of the football. Louisville beat Western Kentucky 35-21 in their first game. The Canes beat the Cards 52-27 last season. Louisville can turn the tables on Sep. 18.
Wake Forest at NC State
Yes, Clemson dominated Wake Forest 37-13 in the Demon Deacons’ first game of the season. But Wake Forest entered that game a -33 ½ underdog. Wake dominated NC State 44-10 last season. There’s no reason to believe the Deacons don’t perform another beat down and cover on Saturday.
Green Bay Packers +125 at Minnesota Vikings -2½, 45½
Miami Dolphins +245 at New England Patriots -6½, 42½
Chicago Bears +135 at Detroit Lions -3, 44½
Seattle Seahawks -1½ at Atlanta Falcons +103, 49
Philadelphia Eagles -6 at Washington Football Team +220, 43
Indianapolis Colts -8½ at Jacksonville Jaguars +335, 45
Cleveland Browns +305 at Baltimore Ravens -7½, 48½
New York Jets +240 at Buffalo Bills -6½, 39½
Las Vegas Raiders -3½ at Carolina Panthers +155, 48
Los Angeles Chargers -3½ at Cincinnati Bengals +155, 43
Arizona Cardinals +255 at San Francisco 49ers -7, 47½
Tampa Bay Buccaneers +165 at New Orleans Saints -3½, 49
Dallas Cowboys -3 at Los Angeles Rams +140, 52
Monday, Sept. 14
Pittsburgh Steelers -6 at New York Giants +205, 48
Tennessee Titans at Denver Broncos pk, 41
Week 1 TV Schedule (All times ET)
Thursday, September 10
Houston Texans @ Kansas City Chiefs – 8:20 PM, NBC
Sunday, September 13
Philadelphia Eagles @ Washington – 1 PM, FOX Miami Dolphins @ New England Patriots – 1 PM, CBS Green Bay Packers @ Minnesota Vikings – 1 PM, FOX Indianapolis Colts @ Jacksonville Jaguars – 1 PM, CBS Chicago Bears @ Detroit Lions – 1 PM FOX Las Vegas Raiders @ Carolina Panthers – 1 PM CBS New York Jets @ Buffalo Bills – 1 PM CBS Cleveland Browns @ Baltimore Ravens – 1 PM CBS Seattle Seahawks @ Atlanta Falcons – 1 PM FOX Los Angeles Chargers @ Cincinnati Bengals – 4:05 PM CBS Arizona Cardinals @ San Francisco 49ers – 4:25 PM FOX Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ New Orleans Saints – 9:25 PM FOX Dallas Cowboys @ Los Angeles Rams – 8:20 PM, NBC
Monday, September 14
Pittsburgh Steelers @ New York Giants – 7:15 PM, ESPN Tennessee Titans @ Denver Broncos – 10:10 PM, ESPN
The upcoming season, the NFL’s 101st, is the seventh year under the current broadcast contract with ESPN, CBS, FOX and NBC.
Tune into NBC for the season opener and will broadcast the opening game on September 10, as well as every Sunday Night Football game all season. ESPN gets Monday Night Football, while FOX will air Thursday Night Football, which will also be broadcast on NFL Network and Amazon Prime. FOX and CBS will also carry the Sunday afternoon games as usual. CBS also gets Super Bowl LV.
Live streams will be available through the four broadcasters’ digital platforms, which include apps on Apple and Android devices as well as via connected TVs. Similarly, NFL Network’s game pass will be available via connected TVs and on mobile devices.
A live stream will also be available via fuboTV and DirecTV, with Amazon Prime carrying a live stream of each Thursday Night Football game.
Usually baseball has August to itself, but this year it has to share the spotlight with both NBA and NHL playoffs. But don’t sleep on the following MLB games of the week.
Must Watch MLB Games Week Of August 17-23
Monday, August 17
Washington at Atlanta at 7:10 PM ET
Yikes! Nats right-hander Anibal Sanchez (0-3, 9.69 ERA) has been pounded for five earned runs in two straight starts – after giving up four homers in his season-opening start prior to that. Braves reliever Touki Toussaint (7.27 ERA) also got smacked around for five earned runs the last time he took the mound. Again…Yikes!
San Diego at Texas at 9:05 PM ET
Padres right-hander Zach Davies (2-2, 2.78 ERA) has allowed just two earned runs over his last two starts spanning 122 innings. Rangers right-hander Jordan Lyles (1-1, 6.06 ERA) got touched up for four earned runs in his last start. The best reason to watch this game though is to witness the greatness of 21-year-old Padres shortstop Fernando Tatis who is batting .310 with nine homers and 21 RBI in 22 games.
Tuesday, August 18
San Francisco at LA Angels at 4:0 PM ET
Giants right-hander Trevor Cahill (0-0, 0.00 ERA) will make his second start of the season after walking four in 1.2 innings of a 5-1 loss against Houston on Wednesday. Halos right-hander Dylan Bundy (3-1, 1.57 ERA) tossed seven shutout innings against Oakland on Tuesday following his complete game masterpiece against Seattle in his previous start. The former fourth overall pick in the 2011 draft has limited the opposition to one run or less in three of four starts this season.
Tampa Bay at NY Yankees at 7:00 PM ET
Rays right-hander Blake Snell (1-0, 2.08 ERA) is looking good right now after tossing 8.0 shutout innings over his last two starts, but Yankees right-hander Masahiro Tanaka (0-0, 2.31 ERA) is probably due for a win after limiting the opposition to just three earned runs over three starts, spanning 11.2 innings this season despite failing to record a decision.
Wednesday, August 19
LA Dodgers at Seattle at 9:40 PM ET
Things aren’t looking good for Seattle on Wednesday. Mariners right-hander Taijuan Walker (1-2, 4.05 ERA) has been alternately good and awful over four starts this season. After limiting Texas to one unearned run in 6.0 innings on Wednesday, Walker is due for another poor outing if form holds true. Then, there’s the fact that Dodgers left-hander Julio Urias (2.53 ERA) has been fantastic all season in limiting the opposition to two runs or less in all four of his starts spanning 21.1 innings.
LA Angels at San Francisco at 9:45 PM ET
Giants veteran right-hander Johnny Cueto (1-0, 4.62 ERA) may not be the dominant hurler he once was in his prime, but he’s limited the opposition to two earned runs in two of his last three starts. Angels left-hander Patrick Sandoval (0-2, 3.94 ERA) gave up four earned runs against the Dodgers on Friday. Oh yeah…Frisco is 3-5 at home heading into the new week and Sandoval has given up one long ball in each of his three starts this season.
Thursday, August 20
Detroit at Chicago at 2:00 PM ET
Tigers right-hander Spencer Turnbull (2-1, 2.78 ERA) has been rock-solid this season despite allowing three earned runs in 4.2 innings against Cleveland on Saturday after not giving up more than two runs in his first three starts this season. White Sox right-hander Lucas Giolito (1-2, 4.88 ERA) gave up four earned run in his last start against St. Louis on Saturday after consecutive outings of allowing two earned runs. Keep in mind, Chicago is 3-8 at home while Detroit has gone a near-perfect 5-1 on the road.
Milwaukee at Minnesota at 7:10 PM ET
Brewers right-hander Brandon Woodruff (1-1, 3.16 ERA) has given up two runs or more in three of his four starts this season while allowing thee runs in just 4.1 innings against the Cubs on Friday. Twins right-hander Jake Odorizzi (0-0, 5.14 ERA) has given up two runs and one home run in both of his starts this season while lasting a meager 7.0 combined innings.
Friday, August 21
NY Yankees at NY Mets at 7:00 PM ET
Yankees left-hander J.A. Happ (0-1, 10.29 ERA) has been a complete mess in allowing four earned runs in both of his starts this season while giving up three combined homers along the way. Conversely, Mets right-hander Rick Porcello (1-3, 5.76 ERA) has been solid in each of his last two starts after giving up nine combined runs in his first two starts of the shortened season.
Philadelphia at Atlanta at 7:10 PM ET
Phillies right-hander Zack Wheeler (3-0, 2.81 ERA) has been excellent in limiting the opposition to three earned runs or less in all three of his starts this season, but 26-year-old Braves southpaw Max Fried (3-0, 1.24 ERA) has looked like one of the game’s best hurlers this season. Fried has limited the opposition to one earned run or less in each of his last four starts after giving up two runs in his debut. Fried comes into this one fresh of of consecutive shutout outings and has tossed at least five innings in every start.
Saturday, August 22
Minnesota at Kansas City at 7:05 PM E
Minnesota right-handed reliever-turned-starter Randy Dobnak (3-1, 1.42 ERA) has been brilliant in not allowing more than one earned run in all four of his starts this season. He’s given up just four earned runs over 25.1 innings, with his last three starts resulting in wins for the Twins. Royals right-hander Brady Singer (1-2, 4.56 ERA) has given up at least two earned runs in each of his four starts this season, all of which lasted an identical five innings. Singer also gave up a pair of homers in two starts while Dobnak has not allowed a long ball all season.
Colorado at LA Dodgers at 9:10 PM ET
Rockies lefty Kyle Freeland (2-0, 2.45 ERA) has been outstanding all season in limiting the opposition to two runs or less in three of his four starts while tossing at least 6.0 innings each time out. Dodgers right-hander Dustin May (1-1, 2.75 ERA) has also been very good in not allowing more than two earned runs in all four of his starts this year. May has allowed six earned runs in 19.2 innings while Freeland has given up seven earned runs in 25.2 innings. LA has won four straight heading into the new week, but Colorado is only two games back of the NL West leaders.
The NBA Orlando restart has been a huge success with zero positive Coronavirus tests. Now with a final stretch of bubble games, including the first ever NBA play-in game, here are the top games that will decide the playoff seeding.
NBA Closing Week Must Bet Games
Monday, August 10
Toronto at Milwaukee at 6:30 PM ET
The Raptors bounced back from their blowout loss against Boston on Friday to subdue Memphis 108-99 on Sunday as Pascal Siakim led the way to victory. Milwaukee couldn’t stop Luka Doncic late and succumbed to the high-scoring Mavs 136-132 in overtime on Saturday. Giannis Antetokounmpo and the top-seeded Bucks have won two straight in this rivalry after losing the previous four. While the Under is 4-0 in the last four meetings, Milwaukee hasn’t been playing very good defense since the restart in allowing 119 points or more in dropping three of four.
Denver at LA Lakers at 9:00 PM ET
The Nuggets have won three of their last four after dropping their restart opener, including a high-scoring 134-132 overtime win over Utah on Saturday. The Lakers have lost three straight while getting humbled by Indiana 116-111 on Saturday. With some of the shine off their luster and Denver having won two of the last four in this rivalry, it’s no wonder 69 percent of public bettors are backing Denver to get it done as somewhere near a 5.5-point road dog in this meeting.
Tuesday, August 11
Portland at Dallas at 6:30 PM ET
The Blazers have won three of their last four after dropping their restart opener while Dallas has won two of three after dropping their first two restart contests. Still, while Dallas put on a show against Milwaukee on Saturday, Portland has been more impressive to me in taking out Houston, Denver and Philly over their last four. While Luka Doncic is an unadulterated star, he definitely doesn’t have the postseason experience of Damian Lillard who went off against the Sixers for 51 points on Sunday night after missing some costly free throws in Portland’s narrow loss against the Clippers on Saturday. While the Mavs have won two straight in this series, Portland is clearly a better – and more dangerous team – now that they are completely healthy for the first time all season.
New Orleans at Sacramento at 9:00 PM ET
Zion Williamson and the Pelicans came up small in their 122-113 loss against San Antonio on Sunday, but Sacramento has lost three of their last four and four of vie restart games overall. Still, after recording an emphatic 140-125 win over New Orleans on Thursday, to snap a three-game skid in this series, Sacramento looks like a solid pick to get it done again, although the Over might be the best pick here, seeing as how neither one of these teams plays much defense and the Over has gone 6-0 in the last six meetings and 9-1 in the last 10 meetings overall.
Wednesday, August 12
Toronto at Philadelphia at 6:30 PM ET
With Sixers all-star center Joel Embiid potentially out of the lineup for this one after spraining his ankle on Sunday and Toronto taking three of the last four meetings in this rivalry, the defending champion Raptors clearly have an edge in this meeting even if these two have split their last six evenly against the spread. I’ve got to believe that Toronto wants to make a statement in this one should they meeting Philly in the postseason.
LA Clippers at Denver at 9:00 PM ET
After talking a ton of trash following their narrow (lucky?) win over Portland on Saturday, the Clippers looked mostly awful in their 129-120 loss against lowly Brooklyn on Sunday. Denver has won three of four while putting at least 121 points on the board in all three victories. While LA recorded an emphatic 132-103 blowout win at home the last time these western conference rivals met in February, Denver took each of the previous three meetings, although all three victories came on their home floor. More importantly, since the restart, the Nuggets have found out that first round draft pick Michael Porter Jr. is clearly going to be a big-time star in this league.
Thursday, August 13
Washington at Boston at TBD
The Wizards have lost all five of their restart contests and have nothing left to play for in this matchup. Conversely, Boston has won three straight and four of five and is clearly starting to resemble the dangerous title contenders they looked like before the league suspension. This one could be over by halftime.
Portland at Brooklyn at TBD
The Blazers have won three of four and have the look of a dangerous team that could definitely pull off a huge upset if they get into the playoffs. However, Brooklyn simple hasn’t rolled over despite losing their top three players and comes into this affair having won two straight and four of five while beating the likes of the Bucks and Clippers along the way. With the Nets putting up at least 115 points in all of their restart contests and the Blazers scoring 117 or more in five of their six restart games, the Over looks like a solid selection in this matchup if you ask me.
Friday, August 14
Philadelphia at Houston at TBD
Philly had their three-game winning streak snapped in their narrow 124-121 loss against Philadelphia on Sunday and they could be without Joel Embiid in this matchup after the versatile big man injured his ankle this weekend. High-scoring Houston has won four of five restart games while putting 113 points or more on the board in each of their victories. Will Philly have enough offensive firepower to keep up with Houston in this one? I think not!
Miami at Indiana at TBD
The Heat have lost two straight and three of four while giving up 119 points or more in each of their last two games. Indiana has won four of five while watching sweet-shooting forward T.J. Warren become the hottest player in the league since the restart. Indy’s 116-111 win over LeBron and the Lakers on Saturday was impressive to say the least and right now, no one can stop Warren.
Racing fans get ready! NASCAR is set to return to live action on Sunday, May 17 at Darlington Raceway in Darlington, South Carolina. Click here for live NASCAR odds.
NASCAR Cup Series Race at Darlington Raceway Odds
The 400-mile May 17 race is set to get underway at 3:30 PM ET, live on FOX, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. This event represents the first of three races at the track, including a second Cup Series race held midweek under the lights three days later and the Coca-Cola 600 in its traditional Memorial Day weekend gathering for the 60th consecutive season.
Kyle Busch +650 The prohibitive favorite in this race and reigning NASCAR champion was winless through the first six races of the season and he’s only got one career win at Darlington, which came at the Dodge Challenger 500 in the spring race back in 2008.
Kevin Harvick +700 Harvick is also winless so far this season, but the veteran driver won at Darlington by taking the checkered flag at the 2014 Bojangles’ Southern 500.
Denny Hamlin +750 Hamlin won this year’s Daytona 500 and he’s won on this track twice in his career, most recently at the 2017 Bojangles’ Southern 500.
Martin Truex Jr +800 Truex Jr., the 2017 NASCAR champ, has just one career win at Darlington and it came in the 2016 Bojangles’ Southern 500.
Joey Logano +850 The 2018 NASCAR champ got his 2020 off to a red-hot start by finding his way into the winner’s circle three-time and twice over the last three races prior to the season being suspended. Unfortunately, Logano has never won at Darlington in his career.
Brad Keselowski +950 Keselowski, the 2012 NASCAR champ won the 2018 VFW Sport Clips Help A Hero 400 to record his only career victory at Darlington.
Chase Elliott +1100 Elliott is also winless to start the season, but he also took the checkered flag at Darlington to win the 2014 VFW Sport Clips Help A Hero 400.
Erik Jones +1375 Jones won the Clash at Daytona to start the year, but he enters this event as the last driver to win at Darlington by claiming the 2019 Bojangles’ Southern 500 last September.
Alex Bowman +1400 Bowman took the checkered flag in California just two races prior to the season being suspended, although he’s never won at Darlington raceway.
Kurt Busch +2500 Busch is winless this year and he’s never ever won at Darlington. Enough said!
Love him or hate him, Dana White is finally getting UFC 249 off the ground after failing to launch twice. Click here for updated UFC 249 odds. Last Friday the UFC announced that UFC 249 will take place on Saturday, May 9th at the VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Florida. And Dana White isn’t planning on disappointing. He has lined up a stacked card headlined by an interim lightweight title fight between Tony Ferguson and Justin Gaethje.
COVID-19 forced UFC 249 to be postponed twice. First with Khabib Nurmagomedov defending his lightweight title against Ferguson in Brooklyn. The second after Gaethje stepped in for Khabib UFC and the event was set for Lemoore, California. The state governor went above White’s head to Disney, ESPN’s parent company, and asked UFC 249 not to be broadcast.
Now with Florida starting to open up with the state governor’s blessing, there is little standing in the way of UFC 249. You can watch the main card via ESPN+ Pay-Per-View. The preliminaries will be on both ESPN and streamed on ESPN+.
UFC 249 Betting Odds & Analysis
Charles Rosa +155 Bryce Mitchell -175
33-year-old featherweight Charles Rosa (12-3) has won two of his last three and comes into this bout off a verbal submission (armbar) win over Manny Bermudez in October. 25-year-old Bryce Mitchell (12-0) remained unbeaten in a dozen bouts by putting away Matt Sayles via submission (twister) in December following a trio of decision wins.
Niko Price +240 Vicente Luque -280
30-year-old welterweight Niko Price (14-3, 1 NC) has alternated wins and losses over his last five fights but managed to put away James Vick via a stunning first-round KO (up kick) in October. 28-year-old Vicente Luque (17-7) will be looking to get back in the win column after having his impressive six-fight winning streak snapped in his unanimous decision loss against Stephen ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson in November.
Uriah Hall +110 Ronaldo Souza -130
No. 10 middleweight Uriah Hall (16-9) has won two straight including a split decision win over Antonio Carlos Junior in September. No. 14 middleweight Ronaldo Souza (26-8) has lost two straight and a discouraging four of his last six fights overall including a split decision loss against Jan Blachowicz in November.
Michelle Waterson +125 Carla Esparza -145
34-year-old former Invicta Atomweight champ Michelle Waterson (17-7) will be looking to get back in the win column after having her three-fight winning streak snapped in her unanimous decision loss against Joanna Jedrzejzcykinn October. 32-year-old Carla Esparza (15-6) won the inaugural UFC women’s strawweight title back in 2014 by beating Rose Namajunas. She’s won two straight including a majority decision win over Alexa Grasso in September.
Alexey Oleinik +260 Fabricio Werdum -320
No. 12 ranked heavyweight 42-year-old Alexey Oleinik (58-13-1) snapped a two-fight skid by getting past Maurice Greene via second-round submission (armbar) at UFC 246 in January. 42-year-old former heavyweight champ Fabricio Werdum (23-7-1) had his two-fight winning streak snapped in his fourth-round KO (punches) loss to Alexander Volkov in March of 2018.
Yorgan De Castro +155 Greg Hardy -175
Former NFL defensive lineman turned MMA fighter Greg Hardy (5-1-0, 1 NC) will be looking to get back in the win column following his third-round unanimous decision loss against Alexander Volkov in November. It was the 31-year-old Hardy’s second loss in eight career fights, though his first defeat came by way of DQ for an illegal knee. 32-year-old Yorgan De Castro (6-0) has had his meeting against Hardy canceled twice after beating Justin Tafa via first-round KO (punch) in October.
Donald Cerrone +110 Anthony Pettis -130
The preliminary bouts are headlined by a welterweight fight between Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone (36-14) and Anthony “Showtime” Pettis (22-10). The 36-year-old Cerrone is still the No. 6 ranked welterweight and he holds the UFC record for victories with 22. However, he’s also lost three straight fights in horrific fashion. First, he fell to Tony Ferguson via second-round TKO (punches) in June. Then, he suffered a first-round TKO (head kick and punches) against Justin Gaethje in September before getting destroyed by Conor McGregor via 40-second TKO (head kick and punches) at UFC 246 in January.
Former lightweight champion Anthony Pettis is 33-years-old and is also looking to rejuvenate his career after suffering two straight losses and three in his last four fights overall. Pettis was on the wrong end of a second-round submission (rear-naked choke) loss against Carlos Diego Ferreira in January.
Jeremy Stephens +210 Calvin Kattar -250
No. 7 ranked featherweight Jeremy Stephens (28-17) has lost three of his last four bouts with one no-contest along the way. He’s also lost five of his last eight overall including a third-round unanimous decision defeat against Yair Rodriguez in October. No. 9 ranked Calvin Kattar (20-4) has split his last four bouts and comes into this affair off a unanimous decision loss against Zabit Magomedsharipov in November. Prior to his last four bouts, Kattar won 10 straight from March of 2010 until April of 2018.
Jairzinho Rozenstruik +240 Francis N’Gannou -280
No. 4 ranked heavyweight Jairzinho Rozenstruik is making a name for himself. He’s 10-0 in his career and 4-0 in a quartet of UFC bouts. The 33-year-old from Suriname stands 6’2” with a 78-inch reach and comes into this bout off a thrilling fifth-round KO (punch) win over Alistair Overeem in December. No. 2 ranked heavyweight Francis Ngannou stands 6’4” with an 83-inch reach. The Cameroon native has won three straight fights including the first-round destruction of former heavyweight champ Junior dos Santos in June. Ngannou has won each of his last three bouts by way of first-round knockouts – and for comparison’s sake, he also beat Overeem in 2017 – by way of first-round KO.
Dominick Cruz +200 Henry Cejudo -240
The co-headline bout on the UFC 249 card is a bantamweight title fight between champion Henry Cejudo (15-2) and Dominick Cruz (22-2). The 35-year-old Cruz stands 5’8” with a 69-inch reach. He’s won eight fights via KO, one by way of submission and 13 via decision while suffering one submission loss and one by way of decision. Cruz had his 13-fight winning streak snapped in his unanimous decision loss to Cody Garbrandt at UFC 207 in December.
The 33-year-old Cejudo stands a modest 5’4” with a 64-inch reach. The champ has won seven bouts by way of KO and eight via decision while suffering one KO loss and one decision defeat. Cejudo has won five straight fights including a third-round TKO (punches) win over Marlon Moraes at UFC 238 in June.
Justin Gaethje +150 Tony Ferguson -170
The headline bout of UFC 249 is an interim lightweight championship fight between Tony Ferguson (25-3) and Justin Gaethje (21-2). The 31-year-old Gaethje stands 5’11” with a 70-inch reach. The No. 4 lightweight in the UFC rankings has recorded 18 wins via KO, one by way of submission and two via decision. He’s also suffered four KO losses, 2 by way of submission and one via decision. Gaethje comes into this bout riding the wave of a three-fight winning streak that includes a two of KO finishes including a first-round demolition of Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone in September.
The 36-year-old Ferguson is the No. 1 ranked lightweight in the UFC rankings. He stands 5’11” with a 76½-inch reach. Ferguson has recorded a dozen wins by way of knockout, eight via submission and five via decision while suffering one submission loss and a pair of decision defeats. Ferguson has won 12 straight fights dating back to 2013 and comes into this bout off a second-round TKO (doctor stoppage) win over ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone in June.
Can Tiger Woods and Peyton Manning Win The Match: Champions for Charity?
Not only did the now, 44-year-old Tiger Woods stun the world of professional golf by winning his fifth Masters championship, but the superstar also finished off the 2019 calendar year in style by finishing T2 at the MGM Resorts Challenge in October and backing that up with a win at the ZOZO Championships later that month. Woods closed out the 2019 calendar year by finishing fourth at the Hero World Challenge and came into the new year with some high hopes. However, in two tournaments since the start of 2020, Woods has had some mixed results by finishing T9 at the Farmers Insurance Open in January before recording a last place 68th finish at the Genesis Invitational in February. Shortly thereafter Woods announced has wasn’t at full health, though there was nothing serious hindering him outside of the age-old sore back and other minor maladies. Still, Tiger and Manning look like a good bet for a couple of reasons. First, Woods is the best golfer in this event and it’s not even close anymore. Second, Woods has had ample time to rest his body and practice and he should be feeling fitter than ever with so much time off.
Can Phil Mickelson and Tom Brady Win The Match: Champions for Charity?
Make no mistake about it, Phil Mickelson will go down in golf history as one of the best Americans to ever tee it up. However, the now, the 49-year-old lefty has not won a major since 2013 when he took home the hardware at the Open Championship. Mickelson did record one win in 2019 at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am and he won once in 2018 by taking the title at the WGC Mexico Championship. However, those are his only two victories since 2013 and that doesn’t bode well going up against a rejuvenated Tiger Woods. Still, he and Brady might be the better bet with Woods likely being rusty and maybe not taking the outcome of this event as seriously as he would a regular PGA Tour event. Manning and Brady are both 6-8 handicap golfers, so there’s no real edge for either quarterback. With Mickelson already beating Woods once in a made-for-TV event, it could happen again!
iRacing is an online motorsports simulation platform that was created in 2004 by Dave Kaemmer, the co-founder of Papyrus Design Group and John Henry, the majority owner of the Boston Red Sox and Liverpool Football Club as well as co-owner of NASCAR’s Roush Fenway Racing. Now, almost a decade later, iRacing.com has formed several high profile partnerships with NASCAR, IndyCar, McLaren Racing, Williams F1, Audi, BMW, Ferrari, Ford, Mercedes-Benz, and Porsche, to name a few.
If you think of iRacing as more of a fun-filled video game experience, think again. It’s more of a simulation that allows everyday Joe’s to register for a race, though there are system requirements you’ll need in order to compete.
“First of all, it is extremely realistic,” current NASCAR Cup Series driver Clint Bowyer said this week after competing in the first NASCAR iRacing Pro invitational Series event. “You’re using the same mechanics, the same forces, the same movements as you use in real life to make your car go fast; and that is your hand-eye coordination, your feet.
“You drive these things so much with the pedals, with the gas, the brake, the steering input. All of those inputs in your mind are the exact same thing, and the same tools we use to put your car to the front of the field on any given Sunday.”
“iRacing has been perfected,” Bowyer said. “The production is good. The camera angles are good. I mean, they have their own series, there are serious races each and every week, just like ours does.”
Each driver has a screen, a steering wheel, and pedals. Most drivers utilize crew chiefs to help with tire and fuel strategy just as they would in a real race.
What is the NASCAR iRacing Pro invitational Series?
The series was created shortly after the outbreak of the novel coronavirus that has disrupted life across the globe as we know it. With all three of NASCAR’s racing series on hold, the iRacing series features drivers from its headline MonsterEnergy Cup as well as the Xfinity and Truck platforms.
“Until we have cars back on track, the entire NASCAR community has aligned to provide our passionate fans with a unique, fun and competitive experience on race day,” said NASCAR vice president of racing development Ben Kennedy. “Our long-time partners at iRacing offer an incredible product, and we are excited to see how many of our best drivers will stack up in the virtual domain of competitive racing.”
The NASCAR iRacing series kicked off on Sunday, March 22 with a race at the virtual Homestead-Miami Speedway and it far surpassed expectations as nearly a million viewers (903,000), tuned in for the inaugural race.
“We’re overwhelmed by the positive feedback and encouragement sent by industry stakeholders, drivers, partners, media and most importantly, our fans,’’ said NASCAR senior vice president and chief digital officer. Tim Clark. “We are committed to running these eNASCAR iRacing events as long as necessary.”
While you’re going to see many of the familiar names of some of NASCAR’s best drivers, you shouldn’t be stunned if you’re not consistently seeing their names in the winner’s circle.
“If you think we’re good? We’re terrible,” Clint Bowyer said. “You ought to watch some of these iRacing guys that do this each and every week.”
Current schedule for the eNASCAR iRacing Pro invitational Series through May 3
Postponed NASCAR Cup race
Dixie Vodka 400 (Homestead)
Dixie Vodka 125 (Homestead)
O’Reilly Auto Parts 500 (Texas)
O’Reilly Auto Parts 125 (Texas)
Food City 500 (Bristol)
Toyota Owners 400 (Richmond)
Geico 500 (Talladega)
Cup race at Dover (Dover)
The debut NASCAR iRacing event was limited to 35 drivers. The 26 regular Cup Series drivers who entered the race (plus Dale Earnhardt. Jr., Parker Kligerman and Bobby Labonte) were given spots, and the final six spots were given to Xfinity and Trucks Series drivers based on the results of a qualifying race.
Here is a look at some of the notable drivers that will be competing in iRacing.
Drivers with guaranteed spots:
#1 Kurt Busch
#3 Austin Dillon
#6 Ross Chastain
#8 Dale Earnhardt Jr
#9 Chase Elliott
#11 Denny Hamlin
#12 Ryan Blaney
#13 Ty Dillon
#14 Clint Bowyer
#16 Greg Biffle
#17 Chris Buescher
#18 Kyle Busch
The beloved Dale Earnhardt Jr. has been one of the driving forces behind iRacing.
“I would say the force behind it all, and he doesn’t want any recognition, but it would be Dale Jr.,” Bowyer said. “He’s been the voice behind this the whole time. He’s the one that literally each and every night jumps on and runs around and asks people, ‘Hey, do you want to follow me and get the hang of it?’ So many different things. After a race he’s calling and asking if anybody needs any help or what they can do. I would definitely say that Dale Jr. was probably, if anybody deserves credit, it would probably be him.”
Now, here is a look at the odds for this coming weekend’s next NASCAR iRacing event.
While no team has managed to win consecutive Super Bowls since New England did so back in 2003 and 2004, you had better believe that Kansas City is looking great as the prohibitive favorites to win Super Bowl 55. The Chiefs have an unadulterated superstar in quarterback Patrick Mahomes that has already won one league MVP and one Super Bowl MVP in just his third season. It’s bad news for the rest of the league, but Mahomes is just 24-years-old. Not only that, but the Chiefs will be back with the same boatload of talented skill position players that helped them win it all this season, not to mention the fact that they’ll now have a newfound confidence knowing exactly what it takes to become Super Bowl champs.
While Baltimore came up short of their Super Bowl 54 hopes, the Ravens are also looking great in the immediate future thanks, first and foremost to the eye-opening play of unanimous league MVP Lamar Jackson. Baltimore will almost certainly be elite on the defensive side of the ball and the experience they got this season could easily help them in their quest for Super Bowl success next season. While recent Super Bowl losers have had a tough time even getting back to the big dance the following year, San Francisco will undeniably have another good chance next season based on their astounding defense and powerful rushing attack, although I’m still not the biggest believer in Jimmy Garoppolo.
Despite a trio of heartbreaking playoff losses the last three years, New Orleans will be right back in the Super Bowl mix as long as Drew Brees and Sean Payton are still joined at the hip. Last, but not least, rounding out my group of top tier title contenders is Russell Wilson and the Seahawks. Seattle might have come up short of their own Super Bowl hopes this season, but the Seahawks have an MVP-caliber superstar in Wilson and one of the league’s most player-friendly head coaches in Pete Carroll. If Seattle’s defense takes another step forward next season, then I can see Seattle beating out their NFC rivals, even if they aren’t conference favorites right now.
They Need A Piece Or Two To Win Super Bowl LV
New England Patriots +1200
Pittsburgh Steelers +2000
Los Angeles Rams +3000
Minnesota Vikings +3000
Philadelphia Eagles +2800
Buffalo Bills +4000
Tennessee Titans +3500
Houston Texans +3500
Los Angeles Chargers
Dallas Cowboys +2000
Green Bay Packers +2500
Okay, let’s get to the top contenders just outside of my top tier. I know it might seem strange not seeing New England as one of the top challengers to win it all, but this decision was based on the fact that Tom Brady might not be coming back to Foxborough, combined with the fact that, even if the future Hall of Famer does return, the Patriots were almost bereft of talent at the skill positions.
Whether Brady returns or not, the Pittsburgh Steelers will almost certainly be better next season as Ben Roethlisberger returns after missing the entire 2019 campaign. Mike Tomlin as completely masterful without his franchise quarterback this past season and Roethlisberger’s return should put them back into Super Bowl contention at the very least.
The Rams have been a winning organization ever since head coach Sean McVay took over and despite their Super Bowl hangover this past season, the explosive Rams could very well make their second Super Bowl appearance in three years in 2021. Minnesota has an elite defense and a no-nonsense head coach in Mike Zimmer, but yeah…they still have Kirk Cousins under center and that’s just not going to cut it for a team with legitimate Super Bowl hopes. In Philly, all eyes are on franchise quarterback Carson Wentz. If Philly’s main man can stay upright and healthy, the Birds will soar and it could be to Super Bowl heights.
If Brady doesn’t return to New England, the Buffalo Bills will be the biggest benefactors after going an impressive 10-6 in 2019. Sure, strong-armed quarterback Josh Allen still needs to improve as a passer, but the Bills have an elite defense and they go all-out for head coach Sean McDermott each and every game. Tennessee could also challenge for a Super Bowl berth after their stunning run to the AFC title game this season. Houston still has a bunch of star power in Deshaun Watson and J.J. watt, but I’m sick and tired of seeing the Texans underachieve under head coach Bill O’Brien and fully believe it’s time for Houston to move on.
Veteran signal-caller Phillip Rivers might not be back with the Chargers next season, but the Bolts could become the landing spot for Brady next season. Even if Tom Terrific doesn’t end up in L.A., the Chargers could still field a competitive team next season, though getting past Kansas City in the AFC West looks virtually impossible right now.
Green Bay had a fantastic campaign that saw them reach the NFC Championship, but I don’t see the Pack getting past their NFC counterparts with Aaron Rodgers clearly taking a step backwards as he ages. For Dallas, the Boys might have made a decent hire to get former Packers coach Mike McCarthy, but as long as Jerry Jones is running things in the Big D, I wouldn’t expect much of anything next season, except more headline-making drama.
Not Too Crazy
Chicago Bears +4000
Atlanta Falcons +4000
Chicago took a huge step backwards after winning 12 games in 2018, but the Bears looked a lot better down the stretch run than they did for the vast majority of the regular season and I believe their powerful defense could at least help them contend again next season. Likewise, Atlanta could rebound in a big way after playing some really solid football over the second half of the 2019 campaign following a horrendous start.
No Andrew Luck means no Super Bowl hopes in Indianapolis, even though Jacoby Brissett is one of my favorite players in the NFL. Baker Mayfield is to immature and unfocused to lead the Browns to anything of consequence in 2020, not to mention I’m not real fond of Cleveland’s hiring of former Vikings offensive coordinator Kevin Stefanski as their new head coach. The Broncos are hoping (praying?) that young quarterback Drew Lock is the answer to their longstanding issues under center. In Oakland (dammit…Las Vegas) the Raiders are hoping to field a Super Bowl-worthy team as they move into their new home, but the Jon Gruden era has been rocky, to put it mildly, in the two years he’s been there and no one knows if Derek Carr will be the starting quarterback after this offseason. While I’ve got Carolina and Arizona listed as long shots to win Super Bowl 55, both franchise are well on their way to future success. I love the Panthers hire of Vern Rhule as their new head coach and his subsequent hiring of Joe Brady as offensive coordinator. In Arizona, the Cardinals clearly got it right by hiring Kliff Kingsbury and drafting Kyler Murray with the top overall pick in this year’s draft. Last, but not least in this group I have the Washington Redskins as a team that could take a big step forward after their really smart hiring of Ron Rivera and his subsequent hire of Jack Del Rio as defensive coordinator.
Only If You Have A Time Machine
New York Giants +6600
Detroit Lions +8000
New York Jets +8000
Cincinnati Bengals +10000
Jacksonville Jaguars +10000
Please, save you cash and save your a$$ some grief by avoiding even remotely thinking about placing a ‘super long shot ‘wager on one of these teams. The Giants just made one of the most foolish head coach hires in ages. Detroit has a great defensive mind in former Patriots coordinator Matt Patricia, but for the third straight year, I remain convinced that the Lions blew it by not hiring an offensive-minded head coach that could help Matt Stafford finally unlock all of his potential.
The New York Jets are complete and utter fools for hiring overmatched Adam Gase while the Cincinnati Bengals look like a team that is at least 3-5 years away from challenging anyone – for anything. Last, but not least, Jacksonville now has problems t quarterback one year after signing veteran Nick Foles to become their heir apparent. The high-priced Foles struggled mightily in his first year with the Jags and the team actually looked more competitive under rookie Gardner Minshew II.