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NFC Title Game: CAR Cruising at Home

Cardinals Panthers Newton Fitzgerald

The NFL’s Divisional Round is in the books, and now we know the road to Super Bowl 50 will go through Arizona or Carolina. While the signal-callers in the AFC semifinals will hog the headlines this week, football fans—and particularly bettors— shouldn’t overlook the potential classic matchup brewing in the NFC. 

<h5>Shark Bites</h5>

<ul class="content-list">
<li>The Panthers are 10-4 ATS in their last 14 games.</li>
<li>Carolina is 5-0 ATS in its last 5 games at hom.</li>
<li>The Cardinals are 1-6 ATS vs teams with winning records.</li>

The Carolina Panthers (16-1 SU, 12-5 ATS) will welcome the Arizona Cardinals (14-3 SU, 9-8 ATS) to town in what’s looking like an incredibly evenly matched affair. The Cards opened as 3-point underdogs, which shouldn’t be particularly surprising considering Carolina’s dominance at home. 

Arizona has been profitable in this spot, however, going 6-0 SU and ATS in its last six games when tabbed as an underdog of 3-points or less. Cam Newton and company have not lost at home since November 16, 2014—a streak that reached 12 in the wake of last weekend’s 31-24 victory over the Seattle Seahawks. Arizona went 7-1 SU and 6-2 ATS away from home in the regular season. 

Totals bettors, take note: the OVER is 6-2 in the Panthers’ last eight games heading into this one. Carolina was one of the top OVER teams in the NFL this year (10-5-1 O/U). Five of the Cards’ previous seven games in the month of January have also gone above the closing total. The OVER/UNDER opened at 47 at most shops. 

Another trend that favors bettors banking on high-scoring games: Carolina (31.2) and Arizona (30.3) were the only two teams in the NFL that averaged over 30 points per game this season. 

A date with either Tom Brady and the New England Patriots or Peyton Manning’s Denver Broncos is on the line for the right to represent the NFC in the Super Bowl. Considering how strong both teams are on defense, it’s looking like it’s going to come down to an old fashioned quarterback shootout between grizzled veteran Carson Palmer and young hot shot Cam Newton.

Who do you give the edge to in this game? Let us know who you’re backing in the comment section below.

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Syracuse Has Some Real ATS Road Woes

Inconsistencies has plagued the Syracuse Orange in pretty much every facet this season, but their failures to cover spreads on the road has been especially concerning for bettors. Syracuse is just 5-10-1 ATS in their past 11 road games, which includes a 2-4 record in true road games this season. The Orange will visit the ranked Virginia Cavaliers Sunday in a game that was originally scheduled on Saturday but moved following a blizzard that hammered the east coast this weekend.

Virginia comes into this ACC clash cold as they have gone just 2-3 SU un their past five games. Despite their recent struggle, the Cavaliers are still next to unbeatable at home as they have won 35 of the past 36 at John Paul Jones Arena. Malcolm Brogdon continues to be the top offensive weapon for the Cavaliers as the senior has scored double-digit points in all but one game this season and has eclipsed the 20-point plateau eight times.

The Orange enter this contest on a three-game winning streak thanks to the impressive play of Tyler Roberson. The junior has stepped his game up with three consecutive double-doubles while shooting 53 percent.

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Brady vs Manning Betting Trends

Tom Brady Peyton Manning NFL

Two of the greatest quarterbacks the game has ever seen will meet one more time as Tom Brady of the New England Patriots and Peyton Manning of the Denver Broncos square off for the AFC Championship in Denver Sunday afternoon.

Early odds at online book Bovada see Manning and the Broncos tabbed as 3.5-point home underdogs for the meeting. The total is currently off the board.


Arsenal Hosts Chelsea in London Clash

Gabriel Oscar Arsenal Chelsea Premier League

Normally when Arsenal and Chelsea meet in the Premier League it’s a battle at the top the of table. But with Chelsea’s poor form this season, the Blues find themselves fighting off relegation rather than competing for Champions League spots. The two London clubs meet at the Emirates Sunday with the Gunners sitting at EVEN odds, the Blues +275 and the Draw +245.


Hochuli Slated to Work Pats-Broncos

Ed Hochuli NFL

While there is barely any room for more subplots in the AFC Championship game between the New England Patriots and Denver Broncos this weekend, what with Tom Brady vs Peyton Manning set to dominate the narrative for the week, there is one note that will interest sports bettors and it involves referee Ed Hochuli.


Hammers Hope to Rebound Versus City

Dimitri Payet West Ham

West Ham had an eight-match unbeaten run end at Newcastle last weekend so the Hammers will look to bounce back with a positive showing against Manchester City at Upton Park in Premier League action Saturday. The Hammers are presently +385 in moneyline markets with City -150 and the Draw +295. Totals markets have OVER 2.5 goals -135 and UNDER 2.5 goals +110.


What Has Happened To Michigan State?

The Michigan State Spartans are not looking like the once No.1 ranked team as they dropped three straight games SU and ATS. Each of those three games ended with Michigan State has a pretty heavy favorite as well. It doesn’t get any easier for the Spartans as they take on the seventh ranked Maryland Terrapins Saturday. 

You can forgive losses to Iowa and Wisconsin on the road, but losing on home court to Nebraska is hard to fathom for Michigan State.  During their current three-game losing streak, the Spartans defense has gone missing as they have allowed an average of 75 points per game, nearly 12 more than their season average.

Maryland’s starting five has been one of the best in the nation as they have averaged a combined 61.9 points per game on 52.4 percent shooting. The depth has aided the Terrapins recently as star Melo Trimble has been held to single-digit points in three of the past five games.

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OU Struggling To Pay Out for Bettors

Despite being one of the best teams in the nation, the Oklahoma Sooners have been a money pit for bettors as they have gone just 2-8 ATS in their last 10 games. Those 10 games have seen the Sooners post an average scoring margin of plus-5.6 points per game, but have faced an average closing spread of -7.5. Oklahoma has a Big 12 battle on their hands Saturday when they visit the Baylor Bears.

Buddy Hield is having a phenomenal season, but he has somehow played even better against Big 12 opponents. The senior has averaged 28.2 points and 6.3 rebounds in seven conference games this season with the Sooners going 4-2 SU in that span.

Baylor is on a bit of a run as they have won five straight games while going 4-1 ATS for bettors. Ball movement is the key to success for Baylor as they are ranked second in the nation in assist rate, but in have registered an assist on less than half of their field goals in losses.

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Bulls Are On An Ugly ATS Streak

This season has been marred by inconsistent play for the Chicago Bulls as they have registered a winning streak of three or more games on just three occasions, but have hit three consecutive losses just as many times. This streaky play should worry bettors as the Bulls have only covered once in their past eight contests. Chicago will look to avoid another three game skid Saturday when they visit the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Cleveland comes into this game in a weird spot after the surprise firing of head coach David Blatt Friday. Despite holding a two-game lead in the Eastern Conference and a 6.5 game lead in the Central Division, general manager David Griffin said he was not pleased with the direction or atmosphere of the team. Tyronn Lue, who spent 11 years in the NBA as a point guard, was promoted from associate coach to head coach on a permanent basis in the wake of Blatt’s firing.

Shooting has been one of the biggest reasons for the Bulls streaky play this season as they are hitting 43.4 percent of their shots, good for the fifth-worst in the NBA, and are just 4-for-33 from beyond the arc in their past two games. Derrick Rose is rounding into fine offensive form however, with the oft-injured point guard averaging 25.3 points in the past three games.

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Habs Have Had Maple Leafs Number

The Montreal Canadiens have been limping through the past two months of the season and the All-Star break probably can’t come quick enough for the team, but they should take solace in their historical dominance over the Toronto Maple Leafs. The Habs have won the past eight games against the Leafs with the Canadiens outscoring their rivals 25-17. Another chapter in the historic rivalry between the Canadiens and Leafs will be written Saturday night in Toronto.

The Canadiens have been near unbearable to watch over the past two months with the team going 5-16-1 while averaging a mere 1.9 goals since December 1. No player has been immune from the scoring drought as Max Pacioretty, who entered the season as the trendy underrated player in the NHL, has seven goals and five assists while posting a plus/minus rating of -11 since the start of December.

The Leafs are not exactly booming coming into Saturday’s game as they are just 1-5-1 in their past seven contests. Somehow, Toronto’s offense has been even worse than Montreal’s as the Leafs have averaged just 1.1 goals over their past seven games.    

These two teams have met twice this season, though both contests came all the way back in October. The Canadiens attack scored eight in those contests thanks to Pacioretty’s three goals and P.K. Subban’s four points.

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