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.
Arizona went 85-77 a year ago but finished a distant 21 games behind the Dodgers in the NL West. Still, the Diamondbacks signed free agent Madison Bumgarner to a five-year, $85 million deal while also adding veteran right-hander Junior Guerra.
Atlanta Braves: 91½
After winning 97 games to claim the NL East title last season, the Braves added veteran southpaw starter Cole Hamels for one year and $18 million while also adding former Giants reliever Will Smith for $39 million over three years and catcher Travis d’Arnaud for two years. The Over is looking good in the ATL!
Baltimore Orioles: 55½
The O’s suffered 108 losses last season, and they could again in 2020. Baltimore’s only offseason moves of consequence if you can call it that, was a trade of Jonathan Villar to Miami and a Rule 5 draft of right-hander Brandon Bailey. Ugh!
Boston Red Sox: 88½
The BoSox went 84-78 last season after winning it all in 2018. Boston added infielder Jose Peraza to a one-year, $3 million deal. Still, rumors persist they could move lefty David Price, among others. Oh yeah, and then there’s that thing where the red Sox now have to find a new manager because of Alex Cora’s cheating ways.
Chicago Cubs: 86½
Chicago underachieved by recording a modest 84 wins a year ago, and the Cubbies didn’t do much of anything this offseason. However, rumors persist that they could move former NL MVP Kris Bryant.
Chicago White Sox: 83½
After winning just 72 games a year ago, the White Sox added catcher Yasmani Grandal on a four-year deal while also acquiring outfielder Nomar Mazara from the Rangers for prospect Steele Walker.
Cincinnati Reds: 83½
Cincy went 75-87 last season but added veteran first baseman Mike Moustakas to the largest free-agent deal in franchise history while selecting 28-year-old outfielder Mark Payton (.334/.400/.653) as the No. 12 pick in the Rule 5 Draft.
Cleveland Indians: 87½
93 wins weren’t enough to overcome Minnesota’s 101 wins in the AL Central last season. The Tribe parted ways with former superstar hurler Corey Kluber and rumors persist that they could move Francisco Lindor.
Colorado Rockies: 74½
The Rockies took a huge step backward from their beautiful 2018 season by going a dismal 71-91 a year ago. To make matters worse, Colorado didn’t do much of anything this offseason except listen to offers for superstar Nolan Arenado.
Detroit Tigers: 56½
Detroit went an awful 47-114 last season but had a great offseason by selecting right-hander Rony Garcia with the No. 1 pick in the Rule 5 draft while signing veteran catcher Austin Romine to a one-year deal.
Houston Astros – No Odds
Since losing to Washington in the 2019 World Series, Houston has been absolutely rocked by the sign-stealing scandal that cost them their GM, manager, and a pair of first and second-round draft picks over the next two MLB drafts. Still, the ‘Stros are stacked, and they could easily contend to win it all again in 2020.
Kansas City Royals: 65½
Kansas City went 59-103 in 2019 but drafted gifted, but oft-injured right-hander Stephen Woods Jr. with the No. 4 pick in the Rule 5 Draft.
Los Angeles Angels: 85½
After winning just 72 games a year ago, the Angels signed former Nats star Anthony Rendon to a $245 million contract over seven years to go along with AL MVP Mike Trout. That addition alone means LA should be better in 2020, though I’m not feeling 86 wins.
Los Angeles Dodgers: 98½
The Dodgers won 106 games last season, but their big offseason moves consisted of signing the unheralded Blake Treinen to a one-year deal. Still, LA is looking good in the watered-down NL west.
Miami Marlins: 64½
Fresh off a 105-loss season, Miami’s big offseason moves were the selection of right-hander Sterling Sharp with the No. 3 pick in the Rule 5 Draft, the signing second baseman Gosuke Katoh to a minor-league deal and the addition of right-handed relief pitcher Yimi Garcia.
Milwaukee Brewers: 83½
The Brewers went 89-73 to finish two games in back of St. Louis in the NL Central last season but made a solid if low-key addition of hurler Josh Lindblom to a three-year deal after he spent the previous two seasons pitching in Korea.
Minnesota Twins: 91½
The Twins won 101 games a year ago to claim the AL Central crown. Minnesota retained veteran right-hander Jake Odorizzi and fellow right-hander Michael Pineda while giving veteran big Bopper Jose Abreu a new, three-year extension.
New York Mets: 86½
New York went 86-76 last season and lost Zack Wheeler to the division-rival Phillies this offseason. The good news is that the Mets signed veteran hurlers Rick Porcello and Michael Wacha in free agency.
New York Yankees: 101½
After winning 103 games to claim the AL East title a year ago, the Yankees made the biggest splash that could be made this offseason by signing superstar right-hander Gerrit Cole away from the Houston Astros.
Oakland Athletics: 89½
The A’s won 97 games last season. Still, their big offseason move was to acquire former Phillies second baseman, Vimael Machin – for cash!
Philadelphia Phillies: 85½
Philly failed to live up to their playoff hopes by going a mediocre 81-81 after signing Bryce Harper to a ridiculous 10-year, $330 million deal, the Phillies signed talented, but oft-injured veteran right-hander Zack Wheeler to a five-year, $118 million deal while also adding former Yankees shortstop Didi Gregorious for one year and $14 million.
Pittsburgh Pirates: 71½
The Pirates went 69-93 last year, and you can expect more of the same after the NL Central cellar-dwellers failed to make a single significant move this offseason.
San Diego Padres: 83½
After going 70-92 to finish last in the NL West, the Padres signed Drew Pomeranz to a four-year deal while acquiring outfielder Trent Grisham and right-hander Zach Davies in a trade with Milwaukee.
San Francisco Giants: 71½
The Giants are coming off an uninspiring 77-85 campaign in 2019, but they added former Angels outfielder Zack Cozart while getting shortstop Will Wilson in the deal. San Francisco also added right-hander Kevin Gausman on a one-year deal worth $9 million even though they saw former staff ace Madison Bumgarner bolt in free agency.
Seattle Mariners: 67½
Seattle’s 68 wins landed them in last place in the NL West last season, and they failed to make any significant moves that could help them surpass that figure in 2020.
St. Louis Cardinals: 88½
St. Louis went 91-71 a year ago to win the NL Central last season. Although they failed to make any real additions this offseason, the Cards did manage to re-sign veteran right-hander Adam Wainwright.
Tampa Bay Rays: 90½
The Rays won a fantastic 96 games to finish second to the Yankees in the AL East. Still, Tampa Bay did add Japanese outfielder Yoshitomo Tsutsugo, veteran Hunter Renfroe and free-agent outfielder Avisail Garcia.
Texas Rangers: 78½
The Rangers went 78-94 last season to finish third in the AL West. Texas added veteran hurler Corey Kluber while signing left-handed reliever Joely Rodriguez to a two-year, $5.5 million deal. The Rangers also added starters Kyle Gibson and Jordan Lyles in free agency.
Toronto Blue Jays: 75½
After going 67-95 to finish fourth in the NL East, the Jays added veteran right-hander Tanner Roark on a two-year, $24 million deal, although they lost starter Rick Porcello.
Washington Nationals: 89½
Despite losing the talented Anthony Tendon, the Nationals re-signed World Series MVP Stephen Strasburg to a seven-year deal worth $245 million while also retaining NLCS MVP Howie Kendrick.
The an Francisco 49ers and Kansas City Chiefs will both be going all-out to win Super Bowl 54 when they square live from Hard Rock Stadium in sunny Miami, Florida on Sunday, February 2 at 6:30 PM ET. 5Dimes oddsmakers opened the Chiefs as 1-point favorites on the opening Super LIV spread betting board. An upset A win by the 49ers would pay out -102 on the Super Bowl LIV moneyline. The game total opened at 51½. Click here for live Super Bowl LIV odds.
Super Bowl LIV Odds Analysis
Before the season started the odds of a 49ers vs Chiefs Super Bowl were +6850. While Kansas City was on top of a lot of people’s lists to make a championship run, San Francisco was a question mark with an unproven roster. Now a Chiefs versus 49ers could very well be the most entertaining and competitive in decades.
Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs managed to reach their first Super Bowl in five decades based largely on the strength of an explosive offense that finished the regular season ranked fifth in passing and an identical fifth in scoring (28.2 ppg). However, while it is KC’s star-studded offense that gets the lion’s share of the national media attention, the Chiefs also have a defense that closed out the regular season ranked an encouraging seventh in points allowed (19.3 ppg). The Chiefs will hit the field in Super Bowl 54 having covered the spread in both of their playoff games this postseason while riding the wave of a 7-1 ATS mark in their last seven games overall.
Kansas City’s first Super Bowl appearance in 50 years ends the third-longest drought in the NFL after the Detroit Lions (62) and New York Jets (51). The Chiefs defeated the Vikings, 23-7, in Super Bowl IV and have reached the AFC Championship game just twice during the span in losing to Buffalo in 1993 and New England last season.
On the other side of the field, the San Francisco 49ers will make their first Super Bowl appearance since 2012, based largely on a stingy defense that finished the regular season ranked first against the pass and eighth in points allowed (19.4 ppg), although the Niners also have an offense that somehow managed to finish second in scoring (29.9 ppg) thanks to well-balanced offense led by quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. San Francisco ranked second in rushing during the regular season while the Chiefs finished a dismal 26th against the run (128.2 ypg).
Kansas City and San Francisco both won seven of their eight road dates in the regular season while the Chiefs went 10-5-1 ATS and the 49ers went 9-6-1 ATS. The Super Bowl hopefuls last met in Week 3 of the 2018 campaign with Kansas City recording a convincing 38-27 win that day. The Niners lost Jimmy Garoppolo for the remainder of the regular season after suffering a torn ACL in that matchup, but t should be noted that Kansas City led 35-10 at the half before Jimmy G was injured while scoring touchdowns on each of their first five possessions. Kansas City head coach Andy Reid is the winningest head coach in NFL history without a Super Bowl victory.
Not only did 5Dimes oddsmakers drop the Wild Card weekend and Super Bowl odds yesterday but the odds AGAINST winning Super Bowl LIV as well. Now keep reading to find out why your team won’t win the Super Bowl.
Odds AGAINST Wining Super Bowl LIV
Baltimore Ravens -275
Kansas City Chiefs -490
San Francisco 49ers -500
New Orleans Saints -1050
Green Bay Packers -1300
New England Patriots -3000
Seattle Seahawks -4700
Philadelphia Eagles -7500
Minnesota Vikings -9000
Tennessee Titans -10300
Buffalo Bills -10300
Houston Texans -10300
Why Your Team Won’t Win The Super Bowl
Baltimore Ravens -275
Lamar Jackson might be the runaway MVP winner this season, but veteran running back Mark Ingram II was injured in Week 16. If the underrated vet isn’t back to full health by the time the postseason rolls around, maybe finding a way to slow the unstoppable Jackson is actually possible…maybe.
The Chiefs might be firing on all cylinders heading into the postseason by reigning MVP Patrick Mahomes, but the lack of a complimentary rushing attack could derail Kansas City’s Super Bowl hopes.
San Francisco 49ers -500
The Niners have an elite defense and they finished a stellar second in scoring, but the 49ers has struggled defensively in ranking 24th in points allowed since Week 9 and oh yeah…there’s the fact that I’m still not going with Jimmy G over any of the conferences other elite quarterbacks, like Drew Brees.
New Orleans Saints -1050
The Saints might be red-hot heading into the postseason and they finished the regular season third in scoring (28.6 ppg), but the Saints are heavily reliant on superstar wide receiver Michael Thomas and the lack of another competent wideout could prove problematic against one of the conference’s elite defenses if anyone figures out a way to neutralize Thomas.
Green Bay Packers -1300
Sure, the Packers won 13 games to lock down the No. 2 seed in the NFC, but Green Bay betting backers should know that Aaron Rodgers has been completely pedestrian this season in ranking 12th in quarterback rating during the regular season. Rodgers will enter the playoffs 10th in passer rating, ranking ahead of only, Tom Brady and Buffalo’s Josh Allen.
New England Patriots -3000
Speaking of passing troubles and Tom Brady is in the midst of his biggest struggles ever. New England’s sure-fire future Hall of Famers finished the regular season ranked 16th in QBR, behind guys like Ryan Fitzpatrick and Derek Carr and that just doesn’t look good for a Patriots team that is looking to go back-to-back.
Seattle Seahawks -4700
The Seahawks have a perennial MVP candidate in superstar quarterback Russell Wilson, but the Seahawks lost their starting left tackle and their top two running backs to injury in December, not to mention the fact that Seattle ranks an uninspiring 22nd in points allowed (24.9 ppg).
Philadelphia Eagles -7500
Carson Wentz and company got hot late to win the NFC East, but the Birds are still dealing with a bunch of injuries and they recorded five of their nine wins this season over the lowly Giants, Redskins and mediocre Cowboys and that just doesn’t inspire a lot of faith in the team I believe has the toughest way to go in the NFC playoffs.
Minnesota Vikings -9000
The Vikings have an elite defense and a superstar in running back Dalvin Cook. The bad news it that the oft-injured Cook was injured in Week 6 with a chest injury and may not be back to full strength by the time the playoffs get underway. Plus, Minnesota hasn’t won a road playoff games since Prince was in his heyday.
Tennessee Titans -10300
The Titans have the look of a dangerous team entering the postseason behind red-hot Ryan Tannehill, but there are some reasons for concern in Tennessee, starting with the fact that it’s going to take a monumental effort to get past Tom Brady and a New England Patriots team that is virtually unbeatable at home in the playoffs.
Buffalo Bills -10300
The Bills have an elite defense and I believe they are the biggest bunch of overachievers in the playoffs. Unfortunately, Buffalo ranks an uninspiring 23rd in scoring and young quarterback Josh Allen is the lowest-ranked quarterback in the AFC playoffs.
Houston Texans -10300
Houston has one of the game’s best young quarterbacks in Deshaun Watson, but the Texans have a ton of issues on the defensive side of the ball in ranking 28th overall, 29th against the pass and 19th in points allowed (24.1 ppg). Will the return of JJ Watt help?
Baltimore (14-2) will hit the playoffs as the hottest team in the league, having won 12 straight games and star quarterback Lamar Jackson is this year’s runaway MVP winner. With the highest scoring offense in the league (33.2 ppg) and a defense that ranks fourth overall and third in points allowed, the Ravens have the look of a conference finalist at the very least this season and one of the very best Super Bowl picks on the board.
Kansas City Chiefs +400
Not only did the Chiefs manage to go 12-4 for the second consecutive season behind reigning league MVP Patrick Mahomes, but more importantly, the Chiefs are playing their best football of the season at just the right time, having won six straight to close out the regular season. Kansas City’s defense has improved dramatically over the last month and a half by not allowing more than 21 points in each of their last six while limiting three of those opponents to nine points or less. Right now, I believe the Chiefs, who rank fifth in scoring (28.2 ppg) and seventh in points allowed (19.3 ppg), are the only team in the AFC capable of beating Baltimore.
San Francisco 49ers +410
While I’m still not overly fond of quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, the fact of the matter is that San Francisco (13-3) has an elite defense that ranks eighth in points allowed (19.3 ppg) and can shut down even the most high-powered offenses. Despite Jimmy G’s shortcoming, Frisco still managed t rank a stupendous second in scoring (30.2 ppg). The Niners might not be back to their Joe Montana and Jerry Rice-led heyday, but San Francisco will definitely be difficult for anyone to beat this coming postseason.
New Orleans Saints +700
Drew Brees and company are on fire, having won seven straight games to close out the regular season. The Saints (13-3) ranked a decent 13th in points allowed (21.3 ppg), but it is their high-powered, third-ranked offense (28.6 ppg) that should put fear in the hearts of their NFC counterparts this postseason. After coming up agonizingly short of reaching each of the last two Super Bowls, I think it’s quite possible the Saints could not only win the NFC, but make my preseason pick of a Super Bowl title come true this time around.
The Packers (13-3) might have won a stellar 13 games this season and they might have won the NFC North while securing a first round playoff bye. Still, I’m not really high on Green Bay’s Super Bowl hopes seeing as how they rank a solid ninth in points allowed (19.6 ppg), but an uninspiring 15th in scoring (23.5 ppg). Believe it or not, Aaron Rodgers is no longer the best quarterback in the league, or hell, the best signal-caller in the NFC playoffs.
New England Patriots +1600
The perennially-powerful Patriots (12-4) might be one of the top contenders to go back-to-back this season, but clearly, Tom Brady and company aren’t as good as we’ve seen in the past. While the Patriots still have an elite defense that leads the league in fewest points allowed (14.1 ppg), New England hits the playoffs having lost three of five including a season-ending 27-24 loss at home against Miami that cost them a first round playoff bye. Right now, I’m thinking New England is the third best team in the AFC postseason, if that!
Seattle Seahawks +2500
I love superstar signal-caller Russell Wilson, but Seattle (11-5) has had too many head-scratching moments for my taste this season and the Seahawks are clearly too reliant on Wilson to make plays through the air and with his legs. While Seattle ranks an encouraging eighth in scoring, they also finished the regular season ranked an uninspiring 21st in points allowed (24.8 ppg). If any of Seattle’s playoff counterparts can keep Wilson in check, not even the return of beloved running back Marshawn Lynch will be enough to put them over the top.
Philadelphia Eagles +3500
Philadelphia (9-7) battled a ton of injuries this season, but the Birds are playing well at the right time, having won four straight to win the NFC East and reach the playoffs. The Eagles rank 12th in scoring (24.1 ppg) and 15th in points allowed (22.1 ppg), but you should know that Philly has held seven of their last nine opponents to 17 points or less, including New England, Seattle and Dallas. Despite their struggles, Philly entered the 2019 regular season as one of the top Super Bowl contenders in the NFC and I believe they could pull off at least one upset this postseason.
Minnesota Vikings +4000
If superstar running back Dalvin Cook isn’t back to full health by the start of the playoffs, Minnesota’s Super Bowl hopes won’t go very far. The Vikings (10-6) might have finished the regular season ranked ninth in scoring (25.4 ppg) and sixth in points allowed (18.9 ppg), but without Cook in the backfield, Minnesota clearly isn’t the same team and one that certainly won’t go far if they’re forced to depend on mediocre veteran signal-caller Kirk Cousins.
Tennessee Titans +4500
Tennessee has gone a red-hot 7-3 since naming veteran Ryan Tannehill their starter in Week 7. More importantly, the Titans rank an impressive 10th in scoring (25.1 ppg) stellar third in rushing (138.9 ypg) and solid 12th in points allowed (20.7 ppg). Tennessee has scored more points than any team in the league since Week 9 while topping the 30-point mark six times and the 40-point plateau twice during the span. Believe it or not, I can imagine the Titans pulling off a playoff upset, if not two.
Buffalo Bills +4500
Josh Allen and the Bills (10-6) have been arguably the biggest bunch of overachievers in the league this season. Buffalo finished the regular season ranked second in points allowed (16.2 ppg) and even though they rank just 23rd in scoring (19.6 ppg) I think the Bills are capable of getting past anyone in the AFC outside of Baltimore and Kansas City.
Houston Texans +5000
The Texans (10-6) might not have been the most consistent team around, but they do have a superstar in quarterback Deshaun Watson and a bunch of talent on the defensive side of the ball. Still, Houston has been wildly inconsistent this season despite winning 10 games and I just can’t see the Texans doing much if they get out of their wild card matchup.
NFL Week 12 betting spreads dropped last night even with Monday Night Football still in the sights. Here are all of the early betting spreads you need to target ASAP.
NFL ATS Betting Analysis Week 12
Indianapolis at Houston
8:20 PM ET
Deshaun Watson might be the ‘bigger’ name quarterback in this Week 13 AFC South divisional battle, but the Indianapolis Colts just keep finding ways to win with the unheralded Jacoby Brissett under center. Maybe it’s me, but I’m thinking Bill O’Brien’s time is about to come to an end in Houston.
Pittsburgh at Cincinnati
1:00 PM ET
The Steelers and Mason Rudolph might have looked mostly inept in their nationally-televised loss to Cleveland, but there’s nothing like a date against the pitiful Bengals to get a team back on track!
Seattle at Philadelphia
1:00 PM ET
With losses, this season against the lowly Falcon and Lions, not to mention three defeats in their last five games, Philadelphia is facing a tall order in getting past MVP contender Russell Wilson and a Seattle Seahawks team whose only losses this season have come against two legitimate Super Bowl contenders (New Orleans and Baltimore).
Tampa Bay at Atlanta
1:00 PM ET
The Falcons have jumped all over New Orleans and Carolina the last two weeks while allowing just 12 combined points along the way. Now, heading into week 13, taking out the interception-tossing Jameis Winston and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers looks like a walk in the park.
Miami at Cleveland
1:00 PM ET
The Browns may have won two straight, but Baker Mayfield and company haven’t exactly looked overpowering in subduing the Bills and beat-up Steelers the last two weeks. Miami is actually looking relatively competent the last three weeks and an ATS cover as a double-digit road dog looks quite possible for the rebuilding Fins.
Carolina at New Orleans
1:00 PM ET
New Orleans -6.5
At this points of the season, Kyle Allen has been anointed as Carolina’s future starter while rumors suggest Cam Newton’s time has come to an end with the Panthers. The bad news though, is that Allen has looked completely and utterly pedestrian as Carolina has dropped two straight and three of four while getting held to 16 points or less in each loss.
Jacksonville at Tennessee
4:05 PM ET
The return of veteran Nick Foles didn’t help Jacksonville at all as they got blown out by Indianapolis on Sunday. Still, I’m going with the Super Bowl-winning signal-caller to outplay Ryan Tannehill or whoever starts under center for the mediocre Titans in this AFC South divisional battle.
Dallas at New England
4:25 PM ET
New England -7
The Cowboys picked up a big win against the lowly Lions on Sunday to give their playoff hopes a big boost, but Dallas underachieves at the worst possible time and I don’t see them challenging New England in Week 13 no matter how many rose-colored glasses I put on.
Green Bay at San Francisco
8:20 PM ET
San Francisco -4
The Niners are playing at home in a ‘Game of the week’ kind of matchup, but I’m expecting the difference in this matchup of legitimate NFC title contenders to be the fact that the Packers have an MVP-caliber superstar under center in Aaron Rodgers while the Niners have what everyone now knows is a good, but certainly not great, Jimmy G leading the way.
Baltimore at LA Rams
8:15 PM ET
Well, it looks like everyone else has finally figured out how to stop Sean McVay’s potent offense. Jared Goff is completely mediocre while Baltimore’s Lamar Jackson suddenly looks like one of, if not the, best young signal-callers in all of football. Despite being on the road, the Ravens add to the Super Bowl legitimacy!