We need to do something about athletes thinking that nobody believes in them. I understand it's a motivational thing, but Travis Kelce screaming after last night's Super Bowl win that nobody believed in the Chiefs was ridiculous. They were one of the favorites to win the Super Bowl all season. It comes on the heels of the Georgia Bulldogs yelling the same thing after beating TCU by a billion points in the College Football Playoff.
Last night, the point spread was 1.5. That's the oddsmakers' way of saying, "this is a coin flip." And it was. It was a close game between two evenly matched teams that couldn't pull away from one another, and it came down to which team made plays in the end.
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It was a great game, and not just because we hit a lot of the bets we put for it in Friday's newsletter (which, now that I think of it, we know Travis Kelce does not subscribe to). If he did, he'd know there was at least one person out there who believed in the Chiefs, just like I believe in these stories.
Before we get to the picks, apologies for only including one play tonight. From a gambling perspective, the slate stinks. Not a great sign for the first day after football season. We'll make do the best we can.
All times Eastern, and all odds via Caesars Sportsbook
🔥 The Hot Ticket
- Key Trend: Baylor is 4-1 ATS in its last five games at home while West Virginia is 2-5 ATS in its last seven on the road.
- The Pick: Baylor -6.5 (-110)
After West Virginia lost to Texas 94-60 on Saturday, Mountaineers coach Bob Huggins said something that some fans would dismiss as complaining but, in my opinion, was a valid point: "This has been a really hard run. This is a hard run for anybody. Playing as many games as we've played, travel the way we traveled, it's rough. The other teams in this league have no idea. They complain about coming to Morgantown - how about what we do."
Not only was Saturday's game West Virginia's third in seven days, but it had to travel the 1,400 miles to Austin to play the game. Two days later, West Virginia is in Waco to play another one of the best teams in the country. While I don't expect another 34-point blowout loss, it's hard to imagine the Mountaineers will be in better shape for this game than they were against Texas.
On the season, KenPom has West Virginia's offense ranked as the 17th most efficient in the country at 116.2. In conference play, that number has dropped to 102.2 and ranks seventh in the league. Defensively, the drop-off has only been seven points instead of the 14 on offense, but the story isn't good for either. Baylor's defense is a legitimate concern regarding their potential in the NCAA Tournament this season, but tonight, at home against an exhausted West Virginia squad, I don't expect it'll be a huge problem.
Here's what SportsLine is saying about the game: The Projection Model has a healthy lean toward Baylor tonight as well.
💰 Champions League picks
PSG vs. Bayern Munich, Tuesday, 3 p.m | TV: Paramount+
The Pick: Bayern Munich (+150) -- Of the eight quarterfinal matchups in the Champions League, this is your headliner. You have the first-place team in France, packed with the star power of Lionel Messi, Kylian Mbappe and Neymar, going against the German powerhouse and six-time Champions League/European Cup winner Bayern Munich. I'm unsure how much of PSG's star power will be available for this match.
Over the weekend, we took Monaco against PSG because PSG was without Messi and Mbappe. We do not know if either will start or how long they'll be available to play on Tuesday, if at all. Those injuries are why PSG has lost two straight, while Bayern hasn't lost since Sept. 17. It won't be easy to go to Les Parc de Princes and get the win, but I expect that's just what Bayern will do.
AC Milan vs. Tottenham Hotspur, Tuesday, 3 p.m. | TV: Paramount+
The Pick: Over 2.5 (+110) -- It's nearly impossible to figure these two teams out right now. One minute Tottenham is beating Manchester City 1-0, the next, it's blowing an early 1-0 lead against Leicester and losing 4-1. Then there's AC Milan, which has been horrific since returning from the World Cup break, but finally managed to pick up a win over the weekend against Torino.
There's some value on Milan to win, but there isn't enough worth betting. Instead, the better value is on the total because the primary reason these teams have struggled lately is defending. Don't be surprised to see blown assignments and players left with too much space in the box in this match.