Saturday, Oct. 28, 2023 | 10 a.m.
I’m still waiting to see if Matthew Stafford can take his team 61 yards on a two-minute drill to potentially force overtime.
That’s the opportunity Stafford and the Los Angeles Rams earned last week against the Pittsburgh Steelers but were denied when the officials made an errant spot on a fourth-and-1 quarterback sneak by Kenny Pickett at the end of the game. Rams coach Sean McVay had no timeouts remaining, so he couldn’t challenge the call on the field and was left to accept a 24-17 loss.
The result put a damper on an otherwise outstanding Week 7 for the column. Sunday Sweats hit all but a pair of props among bets placed last week — one in the column and one in the Raiders’ gameday preview — but a lookahead-line wager on the Rams -3 from Week 6 was the biggest play of all.
Mark it as a loss. It’s not an all-time bad beat or anything, but it did sting a little worse knowing that the Rams didn’t get the chance at an ultra-late cover that they deserved.
Those are the types of things that are going to swing for or against you a time or two throughout the NFL season. I’ll hope the next instance benefits the column instead of hurting it.
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 (4-3, $144): Baltimore Ravens at Arizona Cardinals over 44.5 (STN Sports)
$220 to win $200
The Baltimore offense is blooming, and the Arizona defense is ripe for the taking. The Cardinals’ offense has shown it can hold its own too, or at least put up enough points to play high-scoring games. That’s why the Cardinals’ had four straight games go over the point total at one point until their pace and efficiency crashed the last two weeks. The market has over-corrected on the last couple results. The Cardinals remain a dead over team. Employing an ultra-conservative offensive game plan isn’t going to work this week for the Cardinals because the Ravens are going to score in bulk. This one should fly over.
Two- (Or Three-) Team Teaser (4-3, $230): Green Bay Packers +7.5 & Los Angeles Chargers -2.5 at -125 (Caesars/William Hill)
$250 to win $200
There are a ton of appealing teaser options this week, and there were even more earlier in the week before the Bills beat the Buccaneers 24-18 as opening 7.5-point favorites on Thursday Night Football and the Ravens’ line moved out of range. Out of the remaining options of sides to go through the 3 and 7, I landed on these two over the likes of the Lions -2 and Titans +8.5 for different reasons. The Chargers might be the most likely blowout winner of the week with the Bears’ undrafted rookie free agent quarterback Tyson Bagent being asked to start his first career game on the road. As for Vikings at Packers, I expect a low-scoring game that comes down to the end. The NFC North rivals know each other too well for either team to run away with a lopsided victory.
Moneyline Parlay (2-5, $532): New Orleans Saints, Denver Broncos at Seattle Seahawks at +1039 (Circa Sports)
$65 to win $675
Here’s the usual disclaimer that this is a reckless wager and unlikely to win. I just think it might be a bit more likely than the roughly 8.75% these odds imply. Circa is the only sports book that still has Denver +300 for its game hosting Kansas City, and that’s my target price. The Broncos probably won’t beat the Chiefs, of course, but their defensive improvement makes it possible. I couldn’t decide which favorite to pair the Broncos’ longshot bet with for this category, so I ended up going with my top two. New Orleans is healthier and had extra time to prepare for Indianapolis, meaning it should be higher than a -118 favorite. Cleveland doesn’t figure to have enough offense to match Seattle, and given the movement all week, this moneyline may be more likely to close around -200 than the -185 where it currently sits. Again, this bet probably won’t hit, but it sure would be fun if it did.
Player Prop (8-6, $338): Dameon Pierce over 54.5 rushing yards at -108 (Caesars/William Hill)
$216 to win $200
The Texans already run Pierce too liberally considering he’s 10th in the NFL with 97 carries despite having played one fewer game than six of the players ahead of him because of the bye week. Now what are they going to do against a rush defense that the DVOA ratings rank as the worst in the league? Pierce is set up for success against the Panthers, and success is only going to embolden Texans offensive coordinator Bobby Slowik to run him more. I personally like Carolina in this game — having already used last week’s lookahead-line to place a wager on it — but the market has weighed in heavily on Houston with the line having moved in its direction all week. If the steam is right and the Texans roll, they’ll be giving Pierce the ball repeatedly to drain the clock.
Lookahead Line (1-5, -$960): New Orleans Saints -5.5 vs. Chicago Bears in Week 9 (Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook)
$275 to win $250
Sorry Bagent. The Division II Shepherd University product makes for a terrific story but the betting market giving him a chance in a second straight road game across the country next week seems like a stretch. The Saints’ defense is a whole lot better than the Raiders’ defense that Bagent found enough holes against to lead the Bears to a 30-12 victory last week. It’s a lot better than the Chargers’ one he’ll face this week too. The Saints are more talented, and have better underlying metrics, than their 3-4 record indicates and they’re entering a part of the schedule where they can show as much.
Future Finding (1-1, $700): AJ Brown to win Offensive Player of the Year at 18-to-1 (Circa Sports)
$100 to win $1,800
This award traditionally goes to a record-breaking performer, and the Eagles’ top receiver could break an NFL record this week against the Commanders. Brown is going for a sixth consecutive 125-yard receiving game after tying Calvin Johnson and Pat Studstill with five straight last week. There’s still a long way to go for him to win this award after that, but maybe not quite as long as these odds imply. Current OPOY favorite Tyreek Hill has only 93 more receiving yards than Brown on the year. Both Hill, who’s dealing with a sore hip, and running back Christian McCaffrey are arguably more injury-prone than Brown. The latter two are the rightful current favorites, but the gap shouldn’t be this large in front of Brown. And it won’t be again if he hits the 125-yard bar this weekend, so jump on this now.
Non-football Play (6-1, $900): Ryan Blaney to win Xfinity 500 at 16-to-1 (South Point)
$100 to win $1,600
Blaney has been way too fast at Martinsville Speedway historically to be available at this long of odds in the penultimate NASCAR Cup race of the year. Blaney has a chance to secure his place in the NASCAR Cup championship race next weekend in Phoenix. Even without that extra motivation and assurance that he’s the focus of Ford and Team Penske, few drivers would be better set up for success than Blaney here. He hasn’t finished worse than 11th in his last nine trips to the short track in central Virginia. Ford has been behind the other two manufacturers (Chevrolet and Toyota) for most of the year but not at short flat tracks where it’s been as fast as anyone. That’s good news for Blaney, who has a better chance to win Team Penske’s second straight NASCAR Cup championship than the odds indicate.
Sunday Sweats year to gate: 26-24, $2,124
Weekend betting columns year to date: 124-134-3, $11,223
Weekend betting column all-time: 602-639-10, $29,552
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); Atlanta Braves at 5-to-1 to win the National League ($300 to win $1,500; Atlanta Braves at 10-to-1 to win the World Series ($300 to win $3,000); Buffalo Bills at 9-to-1 to win Super Bowl 58 ($300 to win $2,700); 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) Las Vegas Aces to win WNBA Championship at -115 ($575 to win $500); William Byron to win NASCAR Cup Series championship at +750 ($300 to win $2,250); 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); Carolina Panthers +3 vs. Houston Texans in Week 8 ($275 to win $200)