In Between the Lines: Chapter 8
Football is zooming by, as the NFL wrapped up their longest week in history after a Wednesday afternoon matchup between the Baltimore Ravens and the Pittsburgh Steelers. The NFL is going into Week 13 and college football is going into Week 14. Additionally, college basketball is back in action! So, there is quite a lot going on in between the lines on the turf and the hardwood this weekend.
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 – Los Angeles Rams at Arizona Cardinals (12/6/20 at 4:05pm)
This NFC West matchup has some serious playoff implications on the line, as the Arizona Cardinals really need this win to stay in the playoff picture. But have faith in the Cardinals and Kyler Murray. Murray has rushed for a team-high 10 touchdowns in the first 11 games.
The Los Angeles Rams are currently sitting in second place of the NFC West behind the Seattle Seahawks. The Seahawks will take on the New York Giants this weekend, so there is really not much to worry about there. However, if the Rams lose against the Cardinals, the Cardinals will take the second-place spot in the NFC West.
The Rams are also currently the No. 5 seed in the NFC, which is a really good fantastic place to be right now. If you’re not going to win the division, you want that No. 5 spot because then you play the NFC East champion first as opposed to one of the better teams.
The Rams are currently a 2.5-point favorite and -155 on the moneyline. However, I like the Cardinals on the moneyline at +125 in this one, but I would not be surprised if the Rams pull out a win.
2. College Basketball – No. 1 Gonzaga Bulldogs at No. 2 Baylor Bears (12/5/20 at 1pm)
This is a rare matchup in Indianapolis that you will definitely not want to miss. No. 1 versus No. 2. Like for real! What’s not to like about this one? This is the ninth meeting between the top two teams in AP Top 25 since 2005. The Zags are currently 3.5-point favorites heading into Saturday afternoon’s game.
Keep an eye out for Gonzaga’s Drew Timme, Corey Kispert and Joel Ayayi, as they have accounted for 64 percent of the Bulldogs scoring so far this season. Both of these teams are undefeated at 3-0 so far this season. Gonzaga’s most recent win was against the West Virginia Mountaineers on Wednesday (87-82). Baylor defeated the Illinois Fighting Illini 82-69 on Wednesday.
I wouldn’t be shocked if Baylor upsets Gonzaga, but I do still like the Zags on the moneyline at -160. I think this game has the potential to be very close, so I don’t confidently want to say that I think the Zags will cover the 3.5-point spread. But again, I would not be surprised if they do cover. Regardless, this game is going to be an edge-of-your-seat thriller.
3. College Football – No. 12 Indiana Hoosiers at No. 16 Wisconsin Badgers (12/5/20 at 3:30pm)
The Wisconsin Badgers are a 14.5-point favorite going into Saturday’s game against the Indiana Hoosiers. The over/under is set at 44.5. Now, this game itself may not be as interesting with Indiana’s Michael Penix Jr. out due to an ACL injury. However, there are some neat betting trends that could be good to get on board with.
Indiana is a perfect 6-0 against the spread this season. They are also really good at covering the spread on the road when they aren't the favorite (6-0 against the spread as a road underdog in the past three seasons). And against ranked teams this season, the Hoosiers are 3-0 against the spread. If Indiana covers the spread in this one, they would be the first team to go perfect against the spread in four or more games since 2018 (Oklahoma State and Clemson).
I like Indiana covering in this one because of these trends. Yes, Penix is hurt. But I still have faith in the Hoosiers at least covering.
4. College Football – No. 1 Alabama Crimson Tide at LSU Tigers (12/5/20 at 8pm)
Yowza. LSU is usually good, but this is just not their season. Alabama is a 29.5-point favorite going into what would typically be an incredible rivalry game. The last time LSU has been at least a 28-point underdog was in 1991 against No. 1 Florida State.
Alabama has covered in five straight games. The Crimson Tide have not covered in six straight games with head coach Nick Saban. The last time Alabama did cover in six straight games or more was back in 1994. I like Alabama covering the spread. And hey, this would be the first time they do so with Saban.