By Dan Behringer, LVSportsBiz.com Sportsbook Author
Cue the laugh track.
The stumbling, stumbling, unsteady, “fire the damn coach” Las Vegas Raiders are preferred in their game against the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday. And aided by 4.5 points, a generous line in the normally competitive NFL.
The total has been reduced from 43 to 40.5.
Of course it’s the Colts. who have problems of their own. After being drilled 26-3 by the New England Patriots, the Colts fired five-year coach Frank Reich and replaced him with interim coach Jeff Saturday. As noted by Field Level Media, the Low Colts rank last in points per game (14.7) and 30th in yards per game (4.8) and yards per rush (3.7).
Still, they own a 3-5-1 record and are second in the AFC South behind the Tennessee Titans.
On the other hand, the 2-6 Raiders have lost three of their last four and are dead last in the AFC West, four games behind the first-placed Chiefs (6-2).
“I’m definitely not going to go in there and panic and say we have to undo everything we’ve done. That’s not really the right thing to do,” Raiders first-year coach Josh McDaniels told reporters. “There are things we do very well, there are things we need to do better. And I think that we should try to find out what that is and then address them and address them in the right way.
Thus, a first-year coach, McDaniels, who has already drawn the ire of many in Raider Nation after the team’s dismal start, will meet an interim coach named Saturday who is tasked with rescuing a team that fell into a game on Sunday falters in the Allegiant Stage.
It’s a big drama in the NFL. Or low comedy. Maybe both.
Kick-off is at 1:05 p.m
– Back home: The Vegas Golden Knights return to T-Mobile Arena on Saturday after winning all five games after a hugely successful road swing in Canada and the East. Their journey ended Thursday with a 7-4 win for the Buffalo Sabers.
“It was a back and forth game. Give them lots of credit. They have a lot of great players and they’ve got us on our heels,” the Golden Knights’ Jack Eichel, who scored a hat-trick for the game, told reporters in the post-game broadcast. “We were away for eleven days and it’s nice to round that off with a nice win.”
They return home to host the St. Louis Blues (4-8) at T-Mobile Arena on Saturday. No line-up for this game yet, but expect the VGK (13-2) to be around -285 favorites with around 6 overall.
Puck throw is at 7 p.m
The Golden Knights, who were +1400 at the start of the season to win the Stanley Cup, are now +900 at BetMGM.
— Trying to go bowling: Not long ago, the UNLV Football Rebels were 4-1 and entertaining dreams of a breakthrough season. Now they are 4-5 and those dreams are a foggy memory.
During their four-game losing streak, the Rebels’ offense has only managed 45 points.
“You’re not going to get a bowl (game),” coach Marcus Arroyo said of the Rebels, who need to win two of their remaining three games to qualify for the bowl. “You have to earn it. You have to earn everything in this game.”
The Rebels are +9.5 against Fresno State (5-4) on Friday night. Ironically, the Bulldogs are 3-6 ATS while the Rebels are 6-3 against the spread.
The total is 60.5, up from 58.
Kick-off is at 7:30 p.m
— Fading the Lakers: Betting against the Los Angeles Lakers continues to be an extremely profitable game in the NBA. The Purple and Gold have lost their last four ATS games – all by double-digit margins. They are 2-8 ATS on the season.
The Lakers (2-8) are +3.5, down from +2 when they host the Sacramento Kings (4-6) Friday night. The Kings are 7-3 ATS on the season.
— Not even close: If you thought last week’s soccer game between SMU and Houston ended in an over, you were right. The Ponies scored 77 points and the Cougars were relatively close at 63 in a scoring more akin to a college basketball game. Officially, the total of 65.5 was exceeded by 74.5 points.
— Game of the week (7-3): Lady Luck smiled at us last week and let us beat the Alabama-LSU game by 56.5 when the game went into overtime. That put us at 7:3 for the season. This weekend we’re at Auburn -1.5 vs. Texas A&M.