FOX sports betting analyst
Pa Panayotavich himself
It was a cold October in these parts.
However, our best bets (19-15 YTD) are still in the black, and I’ll be doing five games over the next few days. This space is also not the place for a million picks or a five-team competition. These are the games I love the most.
Let’s get down to business with the odds courtesy of FOX Bet.
Toledo Rockets in Eastern Michigan Eagles (Noon ET Saturday, ESPN U)
I don’t expect Toledo quarterback Dequan Finn to play.
Finn took a shot to the head late in last Saturday’s game, and Rockets head coach Jason Candle was tight-lipped about his status. As we’ve learned over the last few years, concussions are a very serious problem at the collegiate level, and it would be more than fair to think that Finn won’t be going.
Finn is easily one of the best defensemen in the MAC, and the odds tell me he’s worth about four points to the betting line. And even that sounds conservative considering freshman Tucker Gleason is likely to start.
Assuming Finn doesn’t get the clearance, that line will be out of order, so I’m more than fine with almost landing the home team right now.
CHOICE: Eastern Michigan (+6.5 at FOX Bet) to lose by less than 6.5 points (or win outright)
No. 2 Ohio State in No. 13 Pension state (Saturday at noon EST, FOX and the FOX Sports App)
That the odds have opened the Buckeyes as more than two touchdown favorites in Happy Valley speaks volumes. That’s a lot of respect for Ohio State behind the counter.
OSU’s offense has been clueless the last five games, averaging over 56 points over that span. Heisman Trophy frontrunner CJ Stroud & Co. are the top power-ranked team in the country according to several oddsmakers, and there’s no stopping this scoring attack when it’s firing on all cylinders.
And don’t look now, but the Buckeyes’ defensive line is also getting in shape. These young underclassmen in the trenches are getting better and better by the minute, making life easier for the linebackers and secondary.
I like the Buckeyes for three touchdowns.
CHOICE: Ohio State (-15.5 on FOX Bet) to win by more than 15.5 points
No. 8 Oregon in California (3:30 p.m. ET Saturday, FS1 and FOX Sports App)
The scalding ducks are rolling, but it won’t be easy.
California’s defense is no joke, and the Golden Bears will do everything they can to put the heat on Oregon quarterback Beau Nix. Justin Wilcox’s defense is also very stingy against the run, allowing just over 100 yards per game.
My concern is that Oregon will be playing on the road a lot of times against an opponent that wants to slow down the pace. Cal absolutely does not want to be in a shootout because the Bears don’t have an offensive personnel that can run the game down the field. Playing the outfield position favors Cal.
Give me all these points in a game with a total score of 58.
CHOICE: Cal (+17 at FOX Bet) to lose by less than 17 points (or win outright)
Giants in Sea hawks (4:25 p.m. ET, Sunday, FOX and the FOX Sports App)
How long can my Giants keep it up?
As a ticket holder for 7+ wins in the regular season, I can’t believe they’ve won six of their first seven football games. However, the betting market is still not sold on New York on a weekly basis, with FOX Bet giving them 16-1 to win the NFC and 40-1 to win Super Bowl LVII.
Eventually there will be a regression, and I’m willing to bet it will happen this Sunday when the Giants travel across the continental United States to face the Seahawks in the Emerald City. Seattle’s surprisingly explosive offense should jump forward and force Daniel Jones & Co. play behind. Advantage: Hawks.
Place the dots.
CHOICE: Seahawks (-3 at FOX Bet) to win by more than 3 points
Cardinals in Vikings (1 p.m. ET Sunday, FOX and the FOX Sports App)
I hate how much I love Arizona in this place.
The Cardinals are insanely successful as an underdog on the road under Kliff Kingsbury. In accordance with Joe Osborne of Vegas Insider, the Birds are 15-3-2 against the spread (ATS) as a pup on the road at Kingsbury, and they’ve won eight straight on the money line. Shish.
I’m not a big fan of trends, but I circled it with a red sharpie.
Minnesota’s defense has struggled with shifty linebackers — Jalen Hurts, Justin Fields, etc. — and Kyler Murray needs to be able to move the ball with his hands and feet. Arizona’s offense is also starting to take shape, with DeAndre Hopkins back from suspension.
I think you should take points with a very lively road dog.
CHOICE: Cardinals (+3.5 at FOX Bet) to lose by less than 3.5 points (or win outright)
Sam Panajotovic is a sports betting analyst for FOX Sports and NESN. He previously worked for WGN Radio, NBC Sports and VSiN. He will probably play against your favorite team. Follow him on Twitter @spshoot.
Download the FOX Super 6 app for your chance to win thousands of dollars on the biggest sporting events every week! Just make your choice and you could win the grand prize. Download and play today!
Get more from the National Football League Follow your favorites to stay updated on games, news and more