In Between the Lines: Chapter 13
Time flies when you’re having fun. We are already into 2021 (thankfully) and it’s already Wild Card weekend in the NFL. It’s kind of a bittersweet time. Your favorite team may be done for the season. Or, your favorite team may be in it to win it with hopes of going to the Super Bowl. Either way, the 2020-2021 NFL season is coming closer and closer to an end.
With a stacked sports schedule comes fervent sports bettors. “In Between the Lines” gives avid fans and sports bettors exactly what they want. Looking ahead to the upcoming week in sports, “In Between the Lines” offers inside analysis on line movements and key stats.
Here’s what you absolutely can’t miss this upcoming week in sports:
1. NFL – Baltimore Ravens at Tennessee Titans (Wild Card Round 1/10/21 at 1:05pm)
This Wild Card weekend matchup should be a good one. The Baltimore Ravens are currently a 3.5-point favorite against the Tennessee Titans. The Titans play well against the Ravens. Last postseason, the Titans upset the Ravens as 10-point underdogs, making it the only time the Ravens ever lost a game as a double-digit favorite. Ouch.
But let’s talk about this year. The Ravens and Titans have already met once this season. As a 6-point underdog, the Titans defeated the Ravens. Not only are the Titans good at winning outright against the Ravens, but they are also good at making the over hit. All five times the Titans were an underdog this season, the game went over the total points.
That being said, I like Tennessee +3.5 and on the moneyline at +145. The over/under is set at 54.5, and if I had to bet on the total points, I would bet the over.
2. NFL – Cleveland Browns at Pittsburgh Steelers (Wild Card Round 1/10/21 at 8:15pm)
Let’s just start out by saying that the Pittsburgh Steelers have won 17 straight meetings at home against the Cleveland Browns. Their last loss was in 2003. That’s a long time. Currently, the Steelers are a 5.5-point favorite. But they haven’t been so hot covering the spread, as they are 0-3 against the spread in their past three games as a favorite. On the other hand, the Browns are the only team to make the playoffs this season with a negative cover margin (-2.75 points per game).
The over/under is set at 47.5. The Steelers and their quarterback Ben Roethlisberger like the over, as the over is 9-1 in his home playoff starts. I also like the over 47.5 points as well as the Steelers on the moneyline at -250.
3. College Basketball – No. 16 Minnesota Golden Gophers at No. 5 Iowa Hawkeyes (1/10/21 at 2:30pm)
Iowa and Minnesota have already met once this season, and it was quite an unfortunate loss for the Iowa Hawkeyes. To make matters worse, Iowa was up by seven points with just 44 seconds left in regulation. With five seconds left in the second half, Minnesota’s Marcus nailed a three and tied it up at 83, sending the game into overtime. Minnesota dominated in overtime, and the Golden Gophers won 102-95.
This was only one of two losses for Iowa so far this season, the other one came against the Gonzaga Bulldogs. I like the Hawkeyes moneyline in this one.