Jaguars vs. Bengals NFL Week 4 Thursday Night Football Picks

Cincinnati Bengals celebrate a touchdown.  Joe Sargent/Getty Images/AFP

Cincinnati Bengals celebrate a touchdown. Joe Sargent/Getty Images/AFP

 

The Cincinnati Bengals welcome the Jacksonville Jaguars to Paul Brown Stadium for a Thursday night primetime showdown featuring the last two consecutive No.1 draft picks, Joe Burrow and Trevor Lawrence, going head-to-head. It’s the first of (hopefully) many meetings between these Next Gen quarterbacks in the NFL, and the public is all over it. However, it’s also their first meeting since Burrow led LSU to the win over Lawrence and the Clemson Tigers in the 2020 College Football Championship game.

These two young quarterbacks have plenty of history to draw from, and the NFL odds exemplify that history. Books opened the Bengals as the 6.5-point home chalk, but early betting pushed the NFL line up to -7.5 with several top-rated sportsbooks. The total opened on 45.5 points where it’s stayed put since.

 

Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Cincinnati Bengals

Thursday, September 30, 2021 – 8:20 PM EDT at Paul Brown Stadium

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Packers vs. 49ers NFL Week 3 Sunday Night Football Picks

Krys Barnes #51 of the Green Bay Packers celebrates. Wesley Hitt/Getty Images/AFP

Krys Barnes #51 of the Green Bay Packers celebrates. Wesley Hitt/Getty Images/AFP

 

The Packers invade the Bay Area on Sunday night after their win over the Lions while the 49ers are gunning for their third consecutive victory of the season. Let’s analyze this matchup and keep cashing our NFL picks!

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UFC 266 Pick’ Em: Fight Card Preview, Predictions and Best Bet

Alexander Volkanovski (L) punches UFC featherweight champion Max Holloway in their title fight during UFC 245. Steve Marcus/Getty Images/AFP

Alexander Volkanovski (L) punches Max Holloway during UFC 245. Steve Marcus/Getty Images/AFP

 

We’re back with our UFC 266 pay-per-view predictions. The UFC 266: Alexander Volkanovski vs. Brian Ortega main card UFC Odds are available. Read on for our complete betting guide and preview our favorite matchups, including updated odds and free expert betting predictions.

 

UFC 266 Main Event Prediction

 

Alexander Volkanovski vs. Brian Ortega

 

UFC Featherweight Championship Bout

 Saturday, September 25, 2021 – 11:05 PM EDT at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas

This weekend’s UFC pay-per-view will play host to an incredible line-up, including two championship bouts and the return of Nick Diaz. The available odds are gifting us in the featherweight title main event, with the champion Alexander Volkanovski continues to be underrated.

Alexander Volkanovski (22-1-0) has already earned respect; in my opinion, defeating Max Holloway in consecutive fights should’ve gifted the featherweight champion with limitless praise. However, it doesn’t seem to be the case when looking at this week’s available odds and Volkanovski’s media presence.

Brian Ortega (15-1-0) is the proud owner of a 1st degree Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt, and with 45% of his career wins stemming from a submission finish – now you know why.

Having already competed in a championship bout versus Max Holloway, it would seem that Ortega’s run at gold was postponed upon losing this contest. However, the Californian native made a quick turnaround when putting a stop to “The Korean Zombies” win streak – earning himself another championship fight.

 

Volkanovski vs. Ortega Fight Analysis

 

Martial arts enthusiasts have been waiting around for this matchup to take place, initially scheduled for March; Covid-19 forced us to be patient.

Now that it’s eventually arrived, I’ve had time to ponder on the skillset of each fighter, and I’m struggling to give Brian Ortega a significant chance of dethroning the champion.

Ortega will need to fight the perfect fight, and because his takedown setups are relatively weak, it’s hard to believe this contest will play out on the ground. This is where Ortega will find his best success, but taking and keeping Volkanovski down won’t be simple; a lack of offensive wrestling and elite takedowns leave Ortega little room outside of pulling guard on the champ.

Overall, Volkanovski is an ideal champion; he’s talented in all positions – defensively or on the attack. Ortega’s submission offense held a lot of significance in reaching the top of the division, but his submission rate has fizzled since getting here.

I anticipate Volkanovski outsmarting Ortega on the feet, alternating between calf kicks and outside leg kicks to match the switching of stance his opponent will most likely use. These attacks will be followed with boxing combinations, and when Volkanovski’s offense begins with punches, he’ll be sure to reverse the script and end them with low kicks.

 

UFC Pick: Alexander Volkanovski to Win ML (-170) at DraftKings [1.70u returns 1u profit]

 

 

UFC 266 Co-Main Event Prediction

 

Valentina Shevchenko vs. Lauren Murphy

 

UFC Women’s Flyweight Championship Bout

 Saturday, September 25, 2021 – 11:05 PM EDT at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas

 

The co-main event of the evening could be classed as bullying by the UFC matchmakers, simply because anybody in the women’s flyweight division is going to find themselves entirely outmatched by the champion.

Valentina Shevchenko (21-3-0) is the most talented martial artist in women’s MMA, and despite losing to Amanda Nunes, I genuinely believe her skillset is more refined, precise, and dangerous. A twenty-pound difference in weight is the sole reason I think Nunes found success, and if the third fight ever takes place – I’d expect Shevchenko to gain her revenge.

Lauren Murphy (15-3-0) is a fighter at heart, there isn’t much technicality to describe her skillset, but this flyweight contender knows how to scrap. With that said, she’s receiving a title opportunity because Shevchenko has already cleared out any other significant name from the top five rankings.

When analyzing this fight, the most challenging task is deciding how Shevchenko will win – whether by TKO or submission.

Incredible offensive and counter striking combinations, a tight technique with excellent fundamentals, an absolute sniper with the left straight that’s complemented by a grappling game that’s second to none. The clinch work of Shevchenko is phenomenal, headlock takedowns, inside trips, and then, of course, her top-control is near unstoppable.

Will she take a neck and choke, an arm and snap, or will she crucifix her opponent and TKO her way to victory? Perhaps a head kick knockout disguised with the initial body kick? Who knows, so I’m taking Valentina inside the distance.

 

UFC Pick: Shevchenko to Win Inside the Distance (-227) at Bet365 [2.27u returns 1u profit]

Notre Dame vs. Wisconsin College Football Week 4 Preview and Best Bet

 

Graham Mertz #5 of the Wisconsin Badgers throws a pass. John Fisher/Getty Images/AFP

Graham Mertz #5 of the Wisconsin Badgers throws a pass. John Fisher/Getty Images/AFP

 

The Wisconsin Badgers might belong in Saturday’s Week 4 NCAAF picks when they face the Notre Dame Fighting Irish at Soldier Field.

 

Notre Dame Fighting Irish vs. Wisconsin Badgers

at Soldier Field

 

Something is not quite right with the Notre Dame Fighting Irish (3-0 SU, 1-2 ATS). They’ve won all three of their games thus far, but it took some work; last week’s 27-13 win over the Purdue Boilermakers needed a fourth-quarter rally to earn Notre Dame their only cover of the season, cashing them in as 7.5-point home faves on the NCAAF odds board. And yet they somehow managed to hold onto the No. 12 spot on the AP poll. It hasn’t been a smooth start for the No. 18 Wisconsin Badgers (1-1 SU and ATS), either. But they should be the right choice for your Week 4 college football picks – if you can still get them as 4.5-point favorites at DraftKings by the time you read this. That’s a bargain price compared to most online sportsbooks, who have the Badgers laying up to 6.5 points at Soldier Field.

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Mariners vs. Athletics MLB Picks: Should We Put Our Faith in Gonzales?

 

Marco Gonzales #7 of the Seattle Mariners. Abbie Parr/Getty Images/AFP

Marco Gonzales #7 of the Seattle Mariners. Abbie Parr/Getty Images/AFP

The Seattle Mariners and Oakland Athletics have a must-win game on Tuesday night. Here’s a complete preview, including updated odds and MLB picks.

Seattle Mariners vs. Oakland Athletics

Tuesday, September 21, 2021 – 09:40 PM EDT at Oakland Coliseum

In Marco We Trust!

Time is running out and both teams need this victory. Oakland is two games behind Toronto for the second Wild Card spot in the American League while Seattle is three games out. The Mariners and A’s aren’t exactly mashing the ball and while the Athletics have better numbers in five of seven key categories over the last month, the Mariners have a higher walk rate and they’ve hit more home runs.

Stats over the last 30 days:

Athletics

.731 OPS, 16th-best

Mariners

.701 OPS, 22nd-best

Athletics

.316 wOBA, 15th-best

Mariners

.306 wOBA, 21st-best

Athletics

104 wRC+, 13th-best

Mariners

98 wRC+, 16th-best

Athletics

19.4 K%, 5th-lowest

Mariners

22.1 K%, 13th-lowest

Athletics

8.1 BB%, 17th-highest

Mariners

9.4 BB%, 6th-highest

Athletics

.158 ISO, 21st-highest

Mariners

.150 ISO, 21st-highest

Athletics

28 Home Runs, 22nd-best

Mariners

31 Home Runs, 20th-best

The Mariners will give the ball to Marco Gonzales (5.32 FIP), while Paul Blackburn (5.10 FIP) takes the hill for the A’s. On paper, the Mariners have a favorable matchup, as they’re 13-9 in Gonzales’ 22 starts, earning 4.8 units. The A’s on the other hand, are down 0.1 units on a 3-3 record in Blackburn’s six starts.

Marco Gonzales (8-5, 4.05 ERA, 1.21 WHIP) allowed three earned runs on three hits (one home run) with seven strikeouts and two walks over six innings to get a no-decision in a 9-4 loss against the Red Sox last Wednesday. He is 1-0 with a 3.45 ERA and an 0.99 WHIP in three starts against the Athletics this season. The current A’s lineup is 59-for-223 (.256) against Gonzales and Matt Olson is 10-for-36 (.278) with five home runs and seven RBIs against him.

Paul Blackburn (1-2, 4.94 ERA, 1.57 WHIP) is coming off his first win of the season last Thursday after giving up just two earned runs on six hits (one home run) with three strikeouts and two walks over five innings in a 7-2 victory against the Royals. Blackburn allowed two earned runs on five hits (one home run) with five strikeouts and zero walks over 5 2/3 innings to get a no-decision in a 5-3 loss against the Mariners on August 23rd. He has to be careful with Mitch Haniger, who is 3-for-6 with two home runs and three RBIs against him.

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