Saturday, Nov. 18, 2023 | 12:50 p.m.
Thanks to the Las Vegas Aces. No thanks to the Atlanta Braves.
I went through a long-awaited grading sweep of the pending future wagers — displayed weekly at the bottom of the page — placed throughout the year in the Weekend Wagers column and those were the two biggest takeaways.
A pair of big wagers on the Braves to win the National League and World Series, obviously, didn’t come through but an even larger one on the Aces to win the WNBA Finals was money.
It was more bad news than good news, however, as all the expired futures added up to a $400 loss. That will be reflected in the weekend betting column annual and overall records — also available weekly at the bottom of the page — as they were all placed before the start of the Sunday Sweats at the start of the NFL season.
Next week will have an even bigger effect when college football win totals are finalized. Stay tuned to see how that turns out, but in the meantime, I’ll replenish the futures portfolio with a couple basketball wagers this week in addition to all the usual NFL bets.
Read below to find bets in all seven of Sunday Sweats’ usual categories. Lines are the best currently available at publication time in Las Vegas with the sports book noted. Plays from other betting columns will be linked and tracked here at the bottom of the page. Check back Sunday for an additional prop in the Raiders’ gameday preview that will also be tracked as part of the Sunday Sweats.
Tasty Total (7-3, $744): Tennessee Titans at Jacksonville Jaguars over 40 points (Circa Sports)
$220 to win $200
The Jaguars’ passing offense is scuffling, but there’s nothing to get it going like facing one of the NFL’s worst pass defenses in the Titans. Jacksonville should threaten 30 points here, and it’s not impractical to expect Tennessee to keep up for at least a while. The Jaguars’ defense has been one of the biggest revelations of the season, but personnel-wise, they still have some limitations up front. Titans running back Derrick Henry has usually taken advantage of those limitations in the past, having rushed for at least 100 yards in his four previous meetings against the Jaguars. Tennessee wants to run the ball, and they should be able to do so against Jacksonville. The final score should fall at least in to the mid 40s.
Two- (Or Three-Team) Teaser (4-6, -$520): Detroit Lions -2 & Minnesota Vikings +8 at -125 (Caesars/William Hill)
$250 to win $200
The Bears have taken action all week in the betting market with the return of quarterback Justin Fields, but I just don’t see it. The Lions are significantly better and have been too sharp this year to trip up against an outmatched opponent. The opening line of Detroit -10 was fairer to me than the current price of -8, so taking them down through the 3 and 7 is a profitable teaser leg. I didn’t have to go far to find a mate. Vikings at Broncos should be a low-scoring slugfest. I’d lean towards the home Broncos finding a way to win in the end, but not by more than a touchdown. The Sunday Night Football game has something like a 20-17 final written all over it, meaning teasers are the way to go above the point spread.
Moneyline Parlay (3-7, $1,047): Buffalo Bills & Kansas City Chiefs at +121 (Circa Sports)
$200 to win $242
Let’s go conservative this week because most of the moneylines seem to have shifted in the right place. These two favorites are left as the most mispriced on the board, and Circa conveniently has the best odds on both. Buffalo is -335 (i.e. risking $335 to win $100) as opposed to -350 in virtually all other shops. Kansas City is a more modest -142 as opposed to at least -145 everywhere else. This is a buy low on the Bills, whose perception couldn’t go any lower after losing for the third time in four games to the Broncos on Monday Night Football. They can still at least score, which is more than can be said for a Jets’ team with no touchdowns in 36 straight drives. The defending Super Bowl champion Chiefs, on the other hand, should just be a little bigger favorite at home against the Eagles. It will probably be an extremely close game, but I’d make the Chiefs a juiced -3 favorite instead of -2.5 and therefore about a -165 moneyline favorite instead of -142.
Player Prop (12-8, $722): Dorian Thompson-Robinson anytime touchdown 5-to-1 (Caesars/William Hill)
$100 to win $500
Let the Bishop Gorman High graduate in the open field and he’ll make the Steelers’ defense look like local opponents from eight or nine years ago. That’s a bit of an exaggeration, but Thompson-Robinson should be set up for more success than he’s being given credit. He struggled in his first NFL start but he was thrust into the role at the last minute against the only defense that’s been as stingy as the Browns’ own throughout the season in the Ravens. The Steelers’ defense is no joke but it’s not on that level — especially not against the run where they’re 17th in the league by the DVOA ratings. Thompson-Robinson can be even more lethal on the ground than through the air. With a week to install an offensive gameplan around him this week, former NFL Coach of the Year Kevin Stefanski should have Thompson-Robinson set up for more success. He should be considered one of the Browns’ likeliest scorers, leaving this line far too high.
Lookahead Line (3-6, -$580): Denver Broncos -1.5 vs. Cleveland Browns in Week 12 (SuperBook at Westgate Las Vegas)
$220 to win $200
As relatively bullish as I am on Thompson-Robinson, I’m not this bullish. Asking the rookie out of UCLA to go on the road next week against one of the hottest teams in the NFL and pull out a victory is a little much. I make this number Denver -3, leaving room for a wager a week ahead of time. It’s not as large of an edge as I feel like I’ve found in this category earlier in the year but it will have to do this time around. Week 12 looks lined-tightly at the moment, so let’s hope for some wild results this Sunday to shake things up and create new betting opportunities in the aftermath.
Future Finding (1-3, $500): Rudy Gobert to win NBA Defensive Player of the Year award at 5-to-1 (BetMGM)
$300 to win $1,500
Once again, I’ll try to use this category for football-related bets but sometimes there are better opportunities elsewhere. This is one of those cases, as these odds should probably be chopped in half. No one in the NBA has made nearly as much of a defensive impact as Gobert early in the season, and there’s no reason to believe “the Stifle Tower” will trail off. He’s already a three-time winner of this award after all. DPOY often goes to the best defensive player on the best defensive team, and neither of those two things seem to be changing — It’s Gobert and the Timberwolves, respectively. He’s been durable throughout his career too so injury isn’t as large of a concern to lay this relatively short number.
Non-football Play (8-2, $2,550): Iowa State to win ESPN Invitational at 4-to-1 (Caesars/William Hill)
$250 to win $1,000
Sunday Sweats was struggling a year ago, and these multi-team events around Thanskgiving helped pull the column out of the doldrums. I cashed two futures to get into the black and then took off for the rest of the season through the playoffs. It would therefore feel foolish not to include the don’t have as many tournaments open as possible. This was the best opportunity available, namely because of the draw. Texas A&M and Florida Atlantic might be the two best teams but they’re both in the upper half of the bracket in this Orlando-based tournament. Iowa State is just as strong as both of them anyway — especially on defense where it might be the best team in the event — and gets an easier path by facing VCU in the first round followed by either Boise State or Virginia Tech. The Cyclones should be a decent-sized favorite in each of the first two games and then near a pick’em against either the Aggies or Owls. Do the math, and that makes +400 too high.
Sunday Sweats year to date: 38-35, $4,403
Weekend betting column year to date: 137-148-3, $13,102
Weekend betting column all-time: 615-652-10, $31,631
Previous pending wagers: Texas to win the College Football Playoff at 30-to-1 ($100 to win $3,000); Tanner Mordecai to win the Heisman Trophy at 200-to-1 ($30 to win $6,000); LSU to win the College Football Playoff at 20-to-1 ($150 to win $3,000); Philadelphia Eagles to win Super Bowl 58 at 9-to-1 ($300 to win $2,700); Nolan Smith to win NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year at 20-to-1 ($100 to win $2,000); Kansas to win 2024 NCAA Tournament at 14-to-1 ($200 to win $2,800); Buffalo Bills at 10-to-1 to win Super Bowl 58 ($100 to win $1,000); Lamar Jackson to win NFL MVP ($150 to win $2,700); Ohio State to win the College Football Playoff at 8-to-1 ($350 to win $2,800); Carson Beck to win the Heisman Trophy at 30-to-1 ($100 to win $3,000) Edmonton Oilers to win 2024 Stanley Cup Final at 12-to-1 ($250 to win $3,000); Mississippi State under 6.5 wins at -145 ($435 to win $300) Colorado under 3.5 wins at -130 ($260 to win $200); Miami over 7.5 wins at +125 ($200 to win $250); Myles Garrett to win NFL Defensive Player of the Year ($300 to win $2,400); Florida over 5.5 wins at -120 ($240 to win $200); Kentucky over 7 wins at +110 ($200 to win $220); Mississippi State under 6 wins at Even money ($100 to win $100); Oklahoma State over 6 wins at -140 ($280 to win $200); Texas Tech under 7.5 wins at -120 ($240 to win $200); UCF over 7 wins at Even money ($200 to win $200); West Virginia under 5.5 wins at -180 ($360 to win $200); Air Force to win the Mountain West at 5-to-1 ($200 to win $1,000); Colorado under 3.5 wins at -120 ($120 to win $100); Oregon State under 8.5 wins at -135 ($135 to win $100); USC under 10 wins at Even money ($150 to win $150); Washington over 9 wins at -120 ($180 to win $150); Ohio State over 10.5 wins at Even money ($150 to win $150); Penn State under 9.5 wins at +130 ($150 to win $215); Iowa under 8.5 wins at -115 ($230 to win $200); Nebraska under 6.5 wins at -110 ($220 to win $200); Purdue over 4.5 wins at -140 ($210 to win $150); Duke under 6 wins at +125 ($200 to win $250); Miami over 7.5 wins at +116 ($200 to win $232); North Carolina under 8.5 wins at -150 ($300 to win $200); Syracuse over 6 wins at +105 ($200 to win $210); Boise State under 8.5 wins at -130 ($260 to win $200); New Mexico over 3 wins at -130 ($260 to win $200); Fresno State under 8.5 wins at -150 ($300 to win $200); Hawaii over 3.5 wins at -130 ($260 to win $200); Anthony Richardson to win Offensive Rookie of the Year at 9-to-1 ($200 to win $1,800); Zay Flowers to win Offensive Rookie of the Year at 30-to-1 ($65 to win $1,950); Miami Dolphins to not make the playoffs at +105 ($300 to win $315); Cleveland Cavaliers to win Central division at 3-to-1 ($300 to win $900); Derrick Henry to lead the NFL in rushing yards at +850 ($200 to win $1,950); Justin Herbert to lead the NFL in passing yards at +550 ($200 to win $1,100); San Francisco 49ers to win the NFC West at -165 ($660 to win $400); Western Kentucky to win Conference USA at +110 ($500 to win $550); Jacksonville Jaguars to win the AFC South at -190 ($570 to win $300); Tampa Bay Buccaneers NOT to make the playoffs at +120 ($200 to win $240); Boston Celtics to win the NBA in-season tournament at +950 ($200 to win $1,900); Victor Wembanyama to win NBA Rookie of the Year at +125 ($400 to win $500); AJ Brown to win Offensive Player of the Year at 18-to-1 ($100 to win $1,800); Los Angeles Rams +3 -115 vs. Seattle Seahawks in Week 11 ($230 to win $200)