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DeAndre Hopkins


Tennessee Titans wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins (10) celebrates a touchdown against the Indianapolis Colts during the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Dec. 3, 2023, in Nashville, Tenn.

Avoiding prolonged losing streaks is a big reason why this has been the most profitable year in the history of the weekend betting column.

It would be an unfitting shame if I signed off on the year riding the exact type of slump I’ve been able to evade for the first 11 months. That’s what’s at stake in the final Sunday Sweats of 2023.

I’ve taken big losses in back-to-back weeks. If not for cashing a pair of player props — one below and one in the Raiders’ gameday section — the Week 16 column would have gone winless.

Instead, I went 2-5 for a $423 loss.

I want to flip that around, at minimum, for the New Year’s Eve edition.

Happy New Year. Time to hit some 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 for a Raiders’ prop bet in the gameday preview piece. 

Tasty Total (12-4, $1,424): Miami Dolphins at Baltimore Ravens under 47 (Golden Nugget)

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Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Aidan O’Connell (4) is sacked by Miami Dolphins linebackers Bradley Chubb (2) and Jaelan Phillips (15) during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 19, 2023, in Miami Gardens, Fla.

$220 to win $200

Most still think of offense when they think of the Dolphins, but that’s no longer their identity. They’ve been more defensively-driven down the stretch, ever since cornerback Jalen Ramsey settled in after his return from injury and defensive coordinator Vic Fangio’s scheme began sticking. Miami is up to seventh in the league on defense by weighted DVOA — which counts recent performances for more — and is capable of slowing any offense, including Baltimore’s. The Ravens’ defense, meanwhile, has been the best in the league all season. Just because this game has the highest stakes on Sunday doesn’t mean it’s going to bring the most fireworks. On the contrary, it makes it more likely that the game will be stingy with both sides careful not to surrender much. The final score should be somewhere in the low 40s instead of the high 40s.

Two-(Or Three-) Team Teaser (6-10, -$920): New Orleans Saints +8.5 & Atlanta Falcons +8.5 at -125 (Caesars/William Hill)

$250 to win $200

Yes, this might be the most obvious teaser on the board as the only two sides currently available to pull through the 3 and the 7 but it’s one I like regardless. Not that confidence has played much of a factor in this category over the season, and certainly not recently. I’ve been losing teasers both I love and ones that I force for the sake of the column. But the Saints are an obvious anchor here, as they’ve been better than the Buccaneers by just about any advanced metric on the year. They shouldn’t be at risk of losing by more than a touchdown. The Falcons feel a little sketchier, as recent returns would indicate the Bears are the better team. But it’s pretty close and this should be one of the lowest-scoring games of the week, so let’s hope getting this many points in a reasonably even-matched game helps breaks me out of a teaser funk.

Moneyline Parlay (4-12, $1,008): New Orleans Saints and Green Bay Packers at +350 (STN Sports)

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New Orleans Saints running back Alvin Kamara (41) runs through drills at the team’s NFL football minicamp in Metairie, La., Thursday, June 15, 2023.

$150 to win $525

The teaser alone isn’t enough exposure on the Saints. Same with New Orleans being my top play of the week in the pick’em. I want more, especially at sports books that have it +125 on the moneyline. There are a lot of options to pair the Saints with but let’s go with the final game of the week against a completely unproven rookie quarterback. The Packers’ defense has played poorly of late but their pass rush should be enough to fluster Vikings quarterback Jaren Hall. Green Bay is currently a 1-point underdog, but it’s a better bet just to take Even money on it to win outright over paying -110 to lay a point.    

Player Prop (19-12, $1,462): DeAndre Hopkins over 59.5 receiving yards at -115 (BetMGM)

$230 to win $200

The Texans prevented their former star receiver from coming back to haunt them two weeks ago by holding him to two catches for 21 yards in a 19-16 victory, but that seems like a fluke more than anything else. Houston is in the bottom 10 of the league in defending No. 1 receivers and deep passes on the season by the DVOA ratings. If there’s one good thing Titans quarterback Will Levis has demonstrated he’s capable of doing, it’s throwing downfield. And his success throwing downfield has come almost exclusively to Hopkins. This number is as high as over/under 64.5 yards, which is a more reasonable line but one that still might be too low.   

Lookahead Line (8-7, $75): Indianapolis Colts -1.5 vs. Houston Texans in Week 18 (Caesars/William Hill)

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Houston Texans quarterback C.J. Stroud looks to pass against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 5, 2023, in Houston.

$165 to win $150

Speaking of the Texans, might as well fade them in back-to-back weeks to end the season. I didn’t set out to be a Houston hater, especially not in this category. It just worked out that way because there were so few lookahead lines available for Week 18. This game and Buffalo at Miami were the only options. The Dolphins are a 1.5-point favorite over the Bills, and that was more in line with my spreads than this game where I had the Colts pushing a 3-point favorite. The Colts are looking healthier than the Texans and already beat them 30-21 on the road earlier in the season. The betting market’s expectation seems to be that the return of rookie phenom C.J. Stroud is going to fix all of the Texans’ problems, but I’m not quite so sure.

Future Finding (1-5, $335): A.J. Brown to lead Sunday games in receiving yards at 20-to-1 (Caesars/William Hill)

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Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver A.J. Brown (11) makes the touchdown catch against Kansas City Chiefs cornerback Trent McDuffie (21) during the first half of the NFL Super Bowl 57 football game between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Philadelphia Eagles, Sunday, Feb. 12, 2023, in Glendale, Ariz.

$60 to win $1,200

Brown was at the very top of this weekly pool for a large stretch earlier this season, rarely available at a higher than 10-to-1. That’s where he should still sit despite a recent downturn — especially this week. Brown’s decline in production mostly has to do with taking on a better slate of defenses in recent weeks. That trend breaks against the Cardinals, which have one of the worst secondaries in the NFL. They have no one who should be able to match up with Brown effectively. My biggest concern with this bet is the Eagles get out to too big of a lead and stop throwing sometime in the second half. Even in that scenario, perhaps Brown can pour it on early. These are extremely difficult to hit, but the best path to long-term success is picking off bad numbers. Brown at 20-to-1 is a bad number.  

Non-football Play (10-6, $1,974): Utah -8 vs. Washington in college basketball (Caesars/William Hill)

$220 to win $200

Playing two straight road games in the mountains has sunk numerous Pac-12 teams’ fortunes over the last decade. Washington is the latest team in the unenviable position. The Huskies played at Colorado on Friday night, and actually played well despite a 73-69 loss where they covered as 9-point underdogs. The Huskies are more beaten-up now though and the Utes represent a tougher challenge. Utah is one of the biggest teams in the nation and play at an above-average pace too. They’re used to running and bruising in the elevation multiple times per week; the Huskies are not. I appreciate Washington coming through for me a few weeks ago against Gonzaga in this category, but now it’s time to turn my back.     

Sunday Sweats year to date: 60-57, $4,773

Weekend betting column year to date: 174-184-4, $13,192 

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); Edmonton Oilers to win 2024 Stanley Cup Final at 12-to-1 ($250 to win $3,000); 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); 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); Rudy Gobert to win NBA Defensive Player of the Year at 5-to-1 ($300 to win $1,500); Tyreek Hill to win Offensive Player of the Year at Even money ($500 to win $500); South Carolina women’s basketball to win NCAA Tournament at +450 ($400 to win $1,800); Baltimore Ravens -3 vs. Miami Dolphins in Week 17 ($220 to win $200)

Case Keefer can be reached at 702-948-2790 or [email protected]. Follow Case on Twitter at Keefer can be reached at 702-948-2790 or

Article written by #LasVegasSun