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5 Bets to Make This Week

This week’s 5 Bets are all about NASCAR, football and the NHL, with a little Italian Serie A League action for good measure.

Last week, I picked Denny Hamlin to advance in the NASCAR Cup Playoffs at Las Vegas, my fourth winning driver pick of the season. I’m going with Hamlin again this week at the YellaWood 500.

In football, I’m taking underdogs to cover in both college and the NFL. I bet against the double-digit favorites, who have a history of disappearing when they have to lay a lot of points.

The NHL season begins in less than two weeks. I’m making a prop bet on a Canadian team that won’t see as much success this season as some believe. I wrap up my five wagers with a bet on two Italian soccer teams in a Serie A League contest.

This Week’s 5 Bets:

  1. Rutgers +15.5 vs. Ohio State
  2. Toronto Maple Leafs -110 Under 106.5 Points
  3. Houston Texans +16.5 vs. Buffalo Bills
  4. Denny Hamlin +900 to Win YellaWood 500
  5. Torino-Juventus Draw +250

Rutgers Stays with Ohio State

The Ohio State Buckeyes haven’t impressed this season, especially when it comes to the spread. They pushed in their first game, a 45-31 victory over the Minnesota Golden Gophers, where they were 14-point picks.

In their next two games, with spreads of 15 and 24.5 points, the Buckeyes failed to cover again, and lost outright to the Oregon Ducks. Though they managed to cover last week—as 48-point picks at home over the Akron Zips—it was only by four points.

The Rutgers Scarlet Knights come in at 4-0 ATS, including last week’s 20-13 loss to the Michigan Wolverines on the road as 20.5 dogs.

The sharps believe this game is going to be closer than advertised. The line opened at 17 and quickly dropped to 15.5 at Circa. I’ll take the points and hope OSU struggles on the road before squeaking out a victory.

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Houston Covers Big Spread

Don’t get me wrong, the Houston Texans are a bad football team. But I don’t think they’re 16.5-points worse than the Buffalo Bills. Now Houston has to travel to Western New York and prove it.

The Texans are 2-1 ATS, failing to cover last week against the Carolina Panthers. But underdogs are 30-18 ATS so far this season. Houston is going with rookie QB Davis Mills for the second straight week, and if he can repeat his decent effort of last week, this game might be closer than a lot of people think. PointsBet opened the game at 16.5 and it stayed there, so I jumped on it.

I just don’t trust the Bills to cover the largest point spread so far this season. According to John Ewing at BetMGM, since 2003, favorites of 16 or more points have gone 47-3 SU and 23-25-2 ATS. That’s almost a 50-50 proposition. I’ll take Houston and the points.

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NHL: Maple Leafs Could Falter

One team that could struggle this NHL season is the Toronto Maple Leafs. I don’t think they will have the success the oddsmakers believe, and as a result, I am taking the team to finish under 106.5 points on the season. The odds for this wager are -110 at BetMGM.

The Maple Leafs played in the easier all-Canadian division last year because of Covid-19. They feasted on teams such as the Calgary Flames and the Ottawa Senators, playing each eight times.

Now they return to the Atlantic Division, to face tougher teams (true, the Buffalo Sabres, Detroit Red Wings and Senators are in that division, but they’ll only face them four times apiece. They’ll also have to battle defending Stanley Cup champions Tampa Bay Lightning five times and the Boston Bruins three times. The Florida Panthers should be improved this year as well. I don’t see the Maple Leafs reaching 106 points, so I’ll bank on the under coming through.

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Hamlin Stays Hot at Talladega

Denny Hamlin didn’t win a race for most of the year and suddenly the 40-year-old NASCAR driver has won two of his last four contests. It’s a nice time to be peaking.

The Joe Gibbs team member is closing in on Kyle Larson for the Cup Series lead, despite Larson winning six races to Hamlin’s two.

Hamlin won last week at +700 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and I’m going with the hot driver at the Yellawood 500 at Talladega Superspeedway, especially since BetRivers is offering +900 odds. Hamlin won this race last year, and I like his chances to repeat.

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Draw for Torino, Juventus

Torino FC and Juventus FC have started off sluggishly in the Serie A League. Both squads are 2-2-2 in their first six games, and will face off this Saturday in Turin.

Both clubs are besieged with injuries, and I believe that will put them at a scoring disadvantage. A tie for this game is listed at +250; I like this game to end in a draw.

Wager to win! Don’t fill out your bet slip without read John Reger’s 5 Bets, every week at iGamingPlayer.

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