The Big Business of the NBA Goes to Africa

The Big Business of the NBA Goes to Africa

The NFL, MLB, and NHL all have international players and enjoy popularity in other countries. But none of them hold a candle to being an international and global phenomenon compared to the NBA. An NBA partnership with Africa is meant to be.

This season the NBA has 107 international players on its rosters from a total of 41 players, including a record-tying 14 players from African countries.

European players can trace their roots to the NBA through Hank Biassatti. The Italian-born Biassatti first played on an NBA team in 1946. But back then, it was a mere trickle of foreign-born players coming to the NBA.

The floodgates began to open in the 1980s when the first African made it to the NBA in the person of Hakeem Olajuwon. The dominating center became one of the best players in NBA history and a hero to Nigerians and the whole of Africa. 

There have now been 63 NBA players from the continent of Africa, with Nigeria and Senegal being the countries that produced the most. And that has meant big bucks for the NBA, including merchandise sales and media and licensing rights.

The formation of NBA Africa, with an initial value of $1 billion, was only natural. The sports betting market will open their arms to offer up wagering on the NBA in Africa.

Basketball Africa League

Along with NBA Africa and the business investment made jointly by African companies and the NBA, is a new league called Basketball Africa League. The BAL has already begun play with 12 teams from all over Africa. It’s a joint venture between the NBA and the International Basketball Federation, and for this first season, there will be 26 games, all played in Rwanda.

BAL president Amadou Gallo Fall said of the league, “Through the BAL, we will provide a platform for elite players from across the continent to showcase their talent and inspire fans of all ages, use basketball as an economic growth engine across Africa, and shine a light on Africa’s vibrant sporting culture.”

The 12 teams of the BAL first had to qualify by either winning their home country’s national league or by winning a qualifying tournament. The 12 teams are from Algeria, Angola, Cameroon, Egypt, Madagascar, Mali, Morocco, Mozambique, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, and Tunisia.

NBA Africa Modeled After NBA China

The business side of NBA Africa hopes to operate similarly to the way NBA China has worked since it was first created in 2008. Started with a $253 million investment from partners that included Disney, NBA China is now worth an estimated $5 billion and has given the league greater access to a market of 1.4 billion people.

The population of Africa is almost identical to China’s, with 1.396 billion people, according to the most recent United Nations estimate. Although unlike China, which was much later in coming to its appreciation of the NBA, in large part because of Yao Ming, who went to the league in 2002, Africans have a nearly forty-year history of NBA basketball stars.

One thing that will also differ between NBA Africa and NBA China is the running of the BAL. The NBA operates the Basketball Africa League, and the NBA has the full support of Africa. However, the Chinese Basketball Association is state-run. The relationship between the NBA and China remains strained following the dust-up in 2019 over tweets from an NBA executive that supported pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong.

The Investors

Giving NBA Africa instant credibility is investor Dikembe Mutombo, who is Congolese. He is joined by investors/former players Luol Deng (South Sudan), Grant Hill, Joakim Noah (his grandfather was a Cameroon soccer player), and Junior Bridgeman, and a former Milwaukee Buck turned business mogul estimated to be worth more than $600 million.

Joining the former NBA stars are two of Africa’s most influential business leaders, Tunde Folawiyo and Tope Lawani. Folawaiyo is CEO of the Yink and Folawiyo Group and is a Nigerian worth $650 million. Lawani is a Nigerian national and Harvard grad and is head of Helios Fairfax Partners, an investment group with capital valued at $3 billion.

Both Folawiyo and Lawani are on the NBA Africa board of directors. Along with NBA commissioner Adam Silver, NBA deputy commissioner Mark Tatum, and CEO of NBA Africa Victor Williams.

NBA Playoffs: Knicks vs Hawks Series Predictions and Game 1 Pick

Knicks vs Hawks Series Predictions and Game 1 Pick

When the NBA play-in games are over, it is time to focus on the first round of the playoffs. The New York Knicks are once again on center stage in the NBA playoffs. The schedule shows the Knicks will play on Sunday.

After a long drought of missing the playoffs and failing to meet expectations, the fans have something to cheer about again.  But this can fade quickly if the team fails to produce a series victory in the first-round against the Atlanta Hawks. The Knicks are red-hot, but before jumping to conclusions with your Knicks vs Hawks series predictions, look closely. This is going to be a very good series.

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New Look Knicks

The Knicks are back in the playoffs for the first time since 2013 due to a new mindset. Tom Thibodeau ushered in a physical brand of basketball that is a perfect fit for the current roster. The team has added five points to the offensive output and improved their defensive efficiency. Julius Randle has emerged as a leader and an MVP candidate. In short, the Knicks are relevant once again.

Hope for the Hawks?

If the Hawks have any chance of slowing down New York, they must stop Randle. The Knicks swept the season series (3-0) and Randle dominated. In the last three meetings, Randle has put up over 40 points twice. Randle is a big presence on the court and a match-up nightmare for just about everyone on the Hawks. Therefore, he had a 58 percent field goal percentage in the meetings this season. John Collins has struggled defensively but is an offensive force. If he can put forth a solid defensive effort, this series could be his coming-out party. Collins has the potential to be a superstar in this league, but this series is when he will need to shine.

Game 1 Pick

New York is the favorite in-game one mainly due to the excellent run to end the season. It helps that the Knicks are considered media darlings and a popular team in the league. The 45-26-1 ATS record is one of the best that they have seen in decades. In fact, the Knicks are 15-2 against the betting spread since early April. Fans and sports bettors pay attention to this. And it really grabs the attention of the fans when the Knicks are only a 1.5 favorite in the first game.

Atlanta is arguably just as hot to end the season winning seven of the last eight games. Trae Young has led an offense that ranks in the top 10 at +7.3 points scored per 100 possessions.

This leaves us with an inflated number and the value in the game is betting on Atlanta.

Game 1 Pick: Hawks +1.5

Knicks vs Hawks Series Predictions

The Hawks will win game one, but the Knicks will respond in what will turn out to be a very long series. The Knicks will win every game at Madison Square Garden as New York opens the doors for fans to return, but more importantly, they will wear Atlanta down. Physical play takes a toll on a team and the Knicks play tougher basketball. New York ranks fourth in the league defensively allowing just 107.8 points per 100 possessions. In the playoffs, defense wins games, and the Knicks have the edge.

Knicks vs Hawks Series Predictions: Knicks in seven games

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March Madness Odds 2021

March Madness Odds 2021: Pick a Winner

March is here and it is time to focus on the biggest tournament of the year. The NCAA Tournament is adored and loved by many. March Madness dominates the month as everyone joins the best bracket contests and they take a chance at winning millions. Another way to bet on the tourney is to take a shot at picking a winner and it all starts with a look at the March Madness Odds 2021.

Get your Printable March Madness Brackets 2021 for the NCAA Tournament and get ready to win!

Pick A Winner

The best part of March Madness is that any team can win. Often teams that are ranked highly during the season are not the ones that hoist the trophy at the end of the tournament. How the teams are ranked, the region that they play in, and the path to the championship are all things to consider.

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March Madness Odds 2021

Before picking a winner it is vital to look at the latest 2021 NCAA Tournament odds to win.

 

The Favorites 

The favorites to win the NCAA Tournament include teams like Gonzaga and Baylor instead of the usual names like Duke and Kentucky. This has been a unique season and it may be difficult to pick a winner. Betting on a team now will allow the smart college basketball bettor a chance to hedge during the NCAA Tournament and enjoy March Madness!

Marcus Mariota Odds

Marcus Mariota Odds: The Raiders are Ready to Trade

The quarterback carousel this offseason has been wild and it is only going to get better. Matthew Stafford is already on a new team and everyone is watching Deshaun Watson. But what about quarterbacks like Cam Newton, Sam Darnold, and Marcus Mariota? Stay tuned because the news is about to break.

This article is updated with the latest news, rumors, and information. Check back for the latest rumors, updates, and odds! 

Marcus Mariota Odds

Update Feb 23, 2021

Market Drying up?

At one point Mariota being traded was all but a guarantee, but now things have changed It’s all about his contract. Have you seen the odds on the Patriot’s next quarterback? I don’t believe it. 

Are you telling me that teams are just looking at his contract now? I would imagine that is the first thing that teams look at when they are going to trade for a player. Instead, I think that this news is being reported to get teams off of Mariota, and according to what I am hearing it is now a two-team race for his services between the Bears and the Patriots.

According to the odds on the Patriot’s next QB, they will get Mariota.

Update Feb 22, 2021

Raiders Keepin Carr?

Over the last few weeks, there is serious speculation on the quarterbacks playing for the Raiders. The team is receiving calls on both Derek Carr and Marcus Mariota, but according to the latest rumors, there is only one that they are willing to trade. They are keeping Carr.

That almost assures that the Raiders will part ways with Mariota. They want to get the value before it disappears.  The one team pushing for the deal to happen is the Chicago Bears. The Patriots are involved, but it’s Chicago that is pushing the hardest if you believe the odds. 

Here are the latest Marcus Mariota trade odds and where he will play next season

Marcus Mariota traded to the Patriots? (Odds +200, Bet here)

Everyone believes that Marcus Mariota will be headed to New England. The Cam Newton experiment is a failure, but that does not mean they are ready to pick up another QB. But a player like Mariota can be had for a relatively cheap price. So naturally, everyone believes he will be the next quarterback

 

Marcus Mariota traded to the Bears? (Odds +1200, Bet here)

But what about the Bears? After all, they need a QB and this will be a way to improve the position without spending too much. Believe it or not, the Bears have ties to Mariota and he may be the perfect fit for a team that desperately needs a quarterback.

.

 

Marcus Mariota traded to the Washington Football Team? (Odds +800, Bet here)

This is the trade that makes the most sense. Washington is moving on from Alex Smith and Mariota will thrive under a Ron Rivera system. He has had success with an offense that capitalizes on a mobile QB and this is a match made in heaven.


The contract and other details may be an issue, but if there is one team that can make this marriage work it is the Washington Football team.

Russell Wilson Odds

Russell Wilson Odds: Will the Seahawks Make a Trade?

The NFL off-season up to this point is wild. The Houston Texans are crumbling after releasing JJ Watt and the ongoing Deshaun Watson drama. The Eagles are trying to sell Carson Wentz to the highest bidder and a surprising name has entered the headlines. Recent interviews make it very clear that quarterback Russell Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks do not see eye-to-eye. But will the Seahawks make a trade? The Russell Wilson odds suggest that it can happen.

This article is updated with the latest news, rumors, and information. Check back daily for the latest rumors, updates, and odds! 

Update Feb 27, 2021

The Russell Wilson rumors are at a fever pitch. Everywhere you look there is news about a rift between head coach Pete Carroll and Wilson and other news suggesting Russ wants to leave. Fans, other players, and the media are latching on to this news and running with it.

Before you think Wilson to the Cowboys is far-fetched, look at the latest odds and how they have changed from just a few days ago.

Russell Wilsons Team At The Start Of 2021 Season – See the complete odds list

 

And do not count out teams like the Bears who have a realistic chance of bringing Wilson to the Windy City.

This story is only going to get more interesting as we get closer to the NFL Draft, stay tuned for more rumors, reports, and the latest odds.

Update Feb 25, 2021

The odds for Russell Wilson to switch teams are out.

Wilson Calls His Shot

Move over Deshaun Watson, there is another superstar that is on the market. In the past, it looked as though Seattle would never trade Wilson, but that has changed. Wilson recently gave Seattle a list of teams that he wants to be traded to. This doesn’t happen if trade talks are not possible.

So where will the Seahawks send Wilson?

Here are the odds (odds change every day, check back for the latest numbers)

■ Dolphins – the favorite – see the odds
■ Jets – not bad – see the odds
■ Saints – Longshot – see the odds
■ Raiders – don’t count out Gruden – see the odds

Update Feb 22, 2021

The Price for Wilson?

The Seahawks will never publically acknowledge that they will trade Russell Wilson, but everyone has a price. The odds are put up and removed on a regular basis, but no mistake about it, people are calling and Seattle is listening. Will anyone pull off the deal? After the Raiders extended Carr, there is another team pushing hard to get Russ.

Russell Wilson Odds

If Seattle does decide to shop Wilson, plenty of teams will be interested. This is why the odds show multiple teams in the running for the seven-time pro bowler.

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Russell Wilson’s next team odds [BET NOW]

Las Vegas Raiders +300
Dallas Cowboys +600
Jacksonville Jaguars +700
Washington Football Team +800
San Francisco 49ers +900
Denver Broncos +1000
Indianapolis Colts +1200
Miami Dolphins +1200
Carolina Panther +1600
Chicago Bears +1600
Houston Texans +1600
New England Patriots+1600
The New York Jets +1600
New Orleans Saints +2500
Philadelphia Eagles +2500
Cleveland Browns +4000
Minnesota Vikings +4000
Pittsburgh Steelers +4000
Atlanta Falcons +5000
Cincinnati Bengals +5000
New York Giants +5000
Tennessee Titans +5000

Media Meltdown

The back-and-forth media stories describing the face-off between Wilson and Seattle are catching the attention of many teams around the league. Wilson urges the team to give more help in protection and he has a right to complain.

In one interview Wilson indicates that he is not sure if he is available to play for another team. It is widely reported that Seahawks management is frustrated by that interview and the latest barrage of complaints about how Wilson is involved with the direction of the team.

Inside the Numbers

If Seattle will listen to trade offers from other teams the numbers are always an important part of any deal. Wilson recently had his $19 million base salary guaranteed for the 2021 season.

Wilson also has a no-trade clause, so he will have to approve the destination if he is moved. All of his numbers to include his cap hit for Seattle can be found here.

Where in the World Will Wilson go?

After the story of a supposed rift between Wilson and the Seahawks went public, the phone lines lit up. Seattle is receiving calls on Wilson and reports suggest they are not interested in trading Wilson, but they are listening.

According to the Russell Wilson odds, the Raiders and the Cowboys will be the first teams to make an offer that Seattle will not refuse. But with a talent like Wilson, the Colts, Broncos, Panthers, and the Patriots will also offer up a package deal. The only team that can be counted out is the San Francisco 349ers since they play Seattle twice a year.

It is not clear if Seattle will trade Wilson, but it is fun to speculate where he may play next season if they do.

 

Matthew Stafford Odds

Matthew Stafford Odds: What team will sign Stafford?

The NFL playoffs are the center of attention at the moment, but it is very clear this is going to be an incredible offseason. This could be the year of the quarterback as the NFL draft and the free-agent market will be loaded with talent. All eyes are currently on Deshaun Watson and where he will play next, but there is another quarterback that is worth watching. The Matthew Stafford odds are going to be worth the watch as the Lions partway with the veteran.

This article is updated daily with the latest news, rumors, and information. Check back daily! 

Win totals adjusted

Now that the Stafford trade is official, the future NFL win total for the Lions and the Rams have been adjusted accordingly.

Update Jan 31, 2021

Stafford traded to the Rams

Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford is heading to the Los Angeles Rams in exchange for quarterback Jared Goff and a multitude of draft picks, sources told ESPN’s Adam Schefter on Saturday night.

The Lions will receive a third-round pick in 2021, a first-round pick in 2022, and a first-round pick in 2023 in what is the first exchange of former No. 1 overall pick in the common draft era (since 1967). The deal cannot be made official until the start of the new league year on March 17.

At one point the Rams were +1000 to trade for Stafford. Following news of the trade, the Rams’ Super Bowl odds for the 2021 season moved from +1800 to +1500 at sportsbooks.

Sun, Feb 06, 2022 EST

Update Jan 30, 2021

Trade Coming Soon

The Lions are very active in trade talks with multiple teams and it’s going to happen sooner than later.

It may be as early as next week as many sources indicate the trade will go down before the Super Bowl.

New Team Seeking Stafford?

A few days ago the Colts were the favorite to get Matthew Stafford. Then the 49ers became the favorite and a few people suggested, it was a good bet.

Bookie Blitz on Twitter: “I agree 👇 Going to lock in the #49ers at +400 now. 👍” / Twitter

Then another team jumped into the mix and changed everything. To make matters worse for the 49ers that team is the LA Rams.

The source is Stafford! This may indicate that it is his preferred landing spot. That may make Colts and 49ers fans very nervous. The Rams rift with Jared Goff is very public, so it makes sense.

But what about the odds? It depends on where you look. When the odds opened, the Rams were set at +1000 (or 10-to-1) to get Stafford, but that has changed.

Some sportsbooks have adjusted the odds even lower.

But if you believe that the Rams will actually get Stafford, there is still one sportsbook that is offering those high odds that you will want to bet on now. 

Los Angeles Rams BET HERE +1000

Update Jan 29, 2021

The Colts are still hoping that they are in the race for the services of Matthew Stafford, but all signs are pointing to the 49ers becoming his new team. Yesterday the odds shifted dramatically to San Francisco and the news wire is heating up.

There are ways to bet on Stafford’s next destination and make money, even though the popular pick is San Francisco. One sportsbook still has the 49ers listed at +400 to join the team.

 

Or if you think he will still be on the Colts you can buy in here at a nice price.

Bet WHICH WILL BE THE STARTING COLTS QB ON 2021 SEASON WEEK 1? MONEYLINE
Bet Here Jacoby Brissett     +300
Bet Here Carson Wentz     +400
Bet Here Matthew Stafford     +300

Update Jan 28, 2021

The hot QB right now is not Deshaun Watson, it’s actually the Lions QB Matthew Stafford. Although there is plenty of speculation on where he will land. The latest odds show that he has picked his team. Detroit will have plenty of options.

Fans of the Colts are getting excited and they believe that it is only a matter of time before Stafford joins Indianapolis.

Unfortunately Indianapolis, Stafford is not going to play for the Colts. The latest odds suggest that he is heading West and joining the San Francisco 49ers. 

Bet WHERE WILL MATTHEW STAFFORD PLAY IN 2021 SEASON? MONEYLINE
Bet here Indianapolis Colts     +300
Bet here San Francisco 49ers     -110
Bet here Denver Broncos     +600
Bet here Washington Football Team     +700

Update Jan 27,2021

The quarterback market is evolving and changing almost every day with new names being added to the list. However, Stafford is getting some serious interest.

The 49ers are rising as contenders to bring Stafford to the bay area and at some sportsbooks, the odds are changing.

If you think the 49ers get Stafford the best return on your bet is +400 and that can be found right here. However, must sport betting sites still have the Colts as the favorite to get Stafford.

Bet NOW WHERE WILL MATTHEW STAFFORD PLAY IN 2021 SEASON? MONEYLINE
Bet here Indianapolis Colts     +250
Bet here San Francisco 49ers     +300
Bet here Denver Broncos     +350
Bet here Washington Football Team     +400

Update Jan 26, 2021

That didn’t take long. Once it was announced that the Lions and Stafford were parting ways, the 49ers jumped to the front of the line as favorites to get the QB. That has changed and it changed in a very big way.  The odds show that both the Colts and the Patriots are going after Stafford as the 49ers are falling back from the pack. [BET NOW]

Update Jan 25, 2001

The race for Stafford according to some, is down to just three teams. The sports betting odds on where Stafford will play next year tend to agree.

 

 

Why is Stafford so Valuable?

Matthew Stafford is unappreciated because he has played his entire career in Detroit. However, he is a talent and will be an incredible addition to any team. If you want to know why just watch this.


The Lions have agreed to part ways with Stafford, now it’s only a matter of what team will make the deal. Here are the details on his current contract.

Matthew Stafford Odds

So what team will get Stafford? If you look at the latest odds, the Colts are the favorites. This makes sense because Phillip Rivers retired and The Colts are ready to win now. Here are the latest odds on the next landing spot for Matthew Stafford.

49ers – +250 [BET NOW]

Colts +300 [BET NOW]

Broncos +350 [BET NOW]

Washington Football Team +500 [BET NOW]

Panthers +750 [BET NOW]

Saints +1500 [BET NOW]

Texans +2000 [BET NOW]

There are a few teams that did not make this list that may make some noise in the near future. Keep an eye on the LA Rams and the Atlanta Falcons.

Matthew Stafford Predictions

The Colts are the easy pick. Everywhere you look everyone believes that will be his preferred destination, but there is another team that is worth watching and that is the 49ers. They are the favorites and they are one-piece away from putting a Super Bowl team on the field. If I had to bet today, I would bet on the 49ers (+250) to sign Stafford.

Florida vs Oklahoma Picks

2020 Cotton Bowl: Florida vs Oklahoma Picks

The bowl season is about to get very interesting. The championship games are finished and the playoffs are set. The big-named teams take to the field and the games get much bigger. If you plan to watch and bet on the games, you have to see the College Football Bowl Game Odds and Schedule. Here is the betting breakdown for the 2020 Cotton Bowl and the Florida vs Oklahoma Pick Against the Spread.

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Betting Breakdown

The Florida Gators are 3 point favorites and that number bumped up from the opener of 2.5 points. This move is an indication that the smart money is on the Gators, considering that only 41 percent of the money is coming in on Florida. With the public backing the Sooners, but the spread is moving the other way, that’s a sign. But late news for this game is moving the spread towards the Sooners even more.

The Gators Jacob Copeland is expected to miss the Cotton Bowl due to a COVID-19 positive test and WR Kadarius Toney also opts out of Cotton Bowl to enter NFL Draft. Toney follows other top pass-catchers like WR Trevon Grimes and TE Kyle Pitts. This news is swaying the bettors in this primetime bowl game.

Florida vs Oklahoma Picks

Another thing to take note of is that the Gators are ranked No. 10 and the Sooners come in at No. 7. It is rare to see a team that is ranked higher that is a favorite in a head-to-head matchup. The player to watch in this game is Heisman Trophy candidate quarterback Kyle Trask, who is the best player on the field. With a compliment of pass-catchers in  Kyle Pitts and Kadarius Toney, this offense ranked as one of the best all season long. The Sooners have a good defense, but the strength of the unit is against the run. The Gators are 12-5 ATS in their last 17 neutral site games as a favorite and 7-3 ATS in the last ten bowl games.

My Bookie Betting BonusThe Sooners have a young offense anchored by redshirt freshman phenom Spencer Rattler who can run and throw the ball. For as good as he has been this season, he does have seven interceptions. Florida is prone to the big play, but the Gators are 4-1 ATS against a team with a winning record. The Gators play up to the opponent as they did in the SEC Championship game. The Gators get out early and hold on for the win, take the points as a late Christmas gift!

Free Pick: Gators +7 [BET NOW]

Where Can I Bet on College Football Bowl Games?

You can bet on college football bowl game odds at every online and casino sportsbook, including NCAA football point spreads, Over/Under totals, and prop plays as well. If you want the best bonuses and the best places to bet on the college football bowl season, you have come to the right place. 

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Oklahoma State vs Miami Picks

Cheez-It Bowl: Oklahoma State vs Miami Picks

The bowl season is about to get very interesting. The championship games are finished and the playoffs are set. The big-named teams take to the field and the games get much bigger. If you plan to watch and bet on the games, you have to see the College Football Bowl Game Odds and Schedule. Here is the betting breakdown for the Cheez-It Bowl and the best Oklahoma State vs Miami Picks.

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Betting Breakdown

Both of these teams have had respectable seasons, but it’s the Cowboys who get the tag as the favorite in this game. Oklahoma State started out as 3 point favorites and they have 56 percent of the betting action according to sportsbooks. However, the spread is starting to dip and the Hurricanes are just 2.5 point underdogs as we get closer to kickoff.

Oklahoma State vs Miami Picks

Oklahoma State looked as though they were going to be in the running for the conference title. But they lost three of its last five games to fall out of contention. Miami quarterback D’Eriq King announced Saturday that he will return to the team for the 2021 season. That will lift this team as they enter this bowl game. He has passed for 2,573 yards, 22 TDs, and just five interceptions this year while running for 520 yards and four touchdowns. The Canes want to end the season with a win to help to recruit to add talent around King.

My Bookie Betting BonusThe Cowboys will be without star running back Chuba Hubbard who opted out for the season and the Canes do not want to end the season on such an embarrassing loss. The Cowboys are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games as a favorite and just 1-5 ATS in the last 6 overall. The Hurricanes are 6-2 ATS in their last 8 games following a straight-up loss of more than 20 points. They rebound with a big win and send a message that they will be a team to watch next season.

Free Pick: Miami +3 [BET NOW]

Where Can I Bet on College Football Bowl Games?

You can bet on college football bowl game odds at every online and casino sportsbook, including NCAA football point spreads, Over/Under totals, and prop plays as well. If you want the best bonuses and the best places to bet on the college football bowl season, you have come to the right place. 

Do you want free picks for every football game? Follow us on Twitter and DM to get all of the picks for free, No Strings!

INDIANAPOLIS COLTS @ LAS VEGAS RAIDERS

NFL PREDICTION: INDIANAPOLIS COLTS @ LAS VEGAS RAIDERS

The Indianapolis Colts bring an 8-4 record to Las Vegas on Sunday as they take on the Raiders. The Colts have won three of their last four, splitting two with the Titans, beating the Packers in overtime, and edging the Texans down in Houston. They have the same record as Tennessee, but the Titans have a better record in the division, so they hold the tiebreaker for now. 

Get NFL Week 14 picks against the spread for every game. RIGHT HERE.

Las Vegas comes in at 7-5 and has dropped two of three; they won on Sunday in New York, but the Jets’ bizarre decision to rush eight in a Hail Mary situation led to an easy bomb from Derek Carr to Henry Ruggs III, giving the Raiders a three-point win (and leading to the firing of Jets defensive coordinator Gregg Williams). 

Can the Colts take care of business against a reeling Raiders team? Or will the Raiders get back the form they showed in earlier wins against Kansas City and Denver?

Indianapolis Colts at Las Vegas Raiders (Sunday, December 13)

When: Sunday, December 13, 2020, 4:05 pm ET

Where: Allegiant Stadium, Las Vegas

TV: CBS

Radio: WFNI 1070 AM Indianapolis / KOMP 92.3 FM Las Vegas

JAZZ Sports Odds: Colts -2.5, Total 51.5

 

Why the Colts Will Win

If you follow our NFL content regularly, you know that I suspect Philip Rivers will meltdown and throw an interception at exactly the wrong time for the Colts at some point, sending their season to an early conclusion. The Colts use a conservative approach, pounding the ball with Jonathan Taylor and trying to limit Rivers’ exposure, and he has a decent 18:9 TD: INT ratio, but that pick number is high for a veteran quarterback.

The Colts lead with their defense, which permits 319 yards and 22.8 points per game. Justin Houston has been a beast in the pass rush, tallying 7 ½ sacks, and Darius Leonard is the team’s leading tackler with 86. When the Colts have been a road favorite, they have covered in four straight games. They are also 4-1 against the spread in their last five games away from home. Also, in the Raiders-Colts rivalry, the road team has covered in four of the last five meetings.

 

Why the Raiders Will Win

After a strong start, the Raiders have started to melt down a bit, following up a big win over Kansas City and a tough win in Cleveland on a cold, rainy day with some tough losses. Derek Carr has made some poor decisions when under pressure, and the Raiders’ defense has been porous. However, Carr still has a 22:5 TD:INT ratio, and in eight of the team’s last 11 games, Carr has thrown at least two touchdown passes. He had four against the Chiefs when Kansas City came to town.

 The defense is taking on water, though, permitting almost 29 points per game. Ageless safety Jeff Heath still leads the team with three interceptions, but takedowns are way down in recent games. Las Vegas has lost three of four at Allegiant Stadium, and they face a Colts team that has done a lot of damage on the road.

 The Final Word: INDIANAPOLIS COLTS @ LAS VEGAS RAIDERS

Jon Gruden has brought a new toughness to the Raiders, but they’re still a year away from contending. The Colts grind with that defense. I see them eking out a win.

Free Pick: Raiders +2.5

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