Elite Sports Picks: Thursday's Best Bets Across The Board

Swinging Johnson

Thursday, November 19, 2015 7:32 PM UTC

Thursday, Nov. 19, 2015 7:32 PM UTC

Today we feature our top college football picks, NFL picks, NHL picks and NBA picks. There’s plenty of action to be had and money to be made so let’s get to it and sweep the board!

NFL –Titans vs. Jaguars
My daddy told me when I was young never to throw good money on bad teams. Unfortunately, in this game either side you bet on will break his golden rule. But that doesn’t mean that we can’t cash in our NFL picks Thursday night as I have found the ticket to our financial freedom and it comes in the form of the Jacksonville Jaguars.

The Jags are coming off a 22-20 road win over the Ravens while the Titans were dominated by the Carolina Panthers 27-10. Tennessee now holds a 2-7 mark and ranks in the bottom third in points scored, passing yards and rushing yards. Rookie quarterback Marcus Mariota looks like he will be a good one but when your leading receiver is a tight end (Delanie Walker), you’ve got issues. On the other hand we have another burgeoning young signal caller in Blake Bortles who has the chops to do some pretty nifty things and does have weapons in the form of the Allen Twins, Mssrs. Robinson and Hurns, who are legitimate threats every time they are targeted.

One could argue that the Titans are proficient defending the pass, currently ranking third in that category, but when you go behind the numbers you will find that Tennessee ranks 27th in yards per pass allowed. The reason the aggregate number is so low is because teams get a comfortable lead and go into ground-and-pound mode thus limiting the passing attempts. Neither club does much damage on the ground so this contest will be all about the receivers and that is exactly where the Jags hold an edge, not to mention home field advantage. The NFL odds makers are installing Jacksonville as three-point home chalk and as difficult as it may seem to lay the points with a team like the Jaguars, it’s the right thing to do.

NFL Pick: Jaguars -3 (-105) at BetOnline

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College Football – East Carolina vs. UCF 
The public will be swarming East Carolina as they must win out the string to get a bowl nod while UCF is winless on the season. The motivation would clearly be in East Carolina’s favor but the college football odds makers are making it too tempting not to include UCF in our college football picks. The fact of the matter is that the Pirates’ quarterback Blake Kemp has tossed only one touchdown pass in his last three games while Knights’ QB Justin Holman has three over his last three contests.  

The East Carolina defense is allowing close to 29 points per game and is surrendering over 413 yards per game. These are not stats that are indicative of a better than two touchdown favorite even against a team as seemingly inept as the Knights. Of course you will find no solace in UCF’s defensive numbers either as the team is giving up 36.4 PPG and 449.2 total yards on average. But the disparity between the two clubs is not as wide as the point spread would indicate. There are times when you have to bet a side based on value and we feel that the East Carolina Pirates are highly overvalued in this one.  Below are a few stats to bear out UCF as the play.

UCF is 4-0 ATS in their last four games in November.

UCF is 7-1 ATS in their last eight Thursday games.

East Carolina is 1-5 ATS in their last six games following a straight up loss.

East Carolina is 0-6 ATS in their last six Thursday games.

East Carolina is 1-6 ATS in their last seven games as a favorite of 10.5 or greater.

College Football Pick: Central Florida +14 at Pinnacle

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NBA – Warriors vs. Clippers
Everyone loves a winner and that is exactly why the NBA odds makers have tagged the visiting Golden State Warriors with a seven to eight point impost. The Warriors are shooting for their 17th consecutive regular season victory dating back to the 2014/2015 campaign and are a formidable opponent whether they are at home or on the highway, as they are this evening. Golden State is tops in the league in scoring, averaging over 114 points per game and first in assists with 29.6 per contest. Defensively the team has allowed an average of 98.8 PPG and tied for 14th in rebounds with 45.1 per contest.

However, the Clippers have been a scoring juggernaut of their own averaging 105.1 points per game which places them 3rd in the NBA while allowing 104.2 PPG which ranks them 24th. The Clips have had since Saturday to revel in their 101-96 victory over the Detroit Pistons and those who backed them as 2 ½ point home chalk were rewarded in their NBA picks.

The teams met earlier this month at Golden State and the Warriors won a close contest 112-108 as 7 ½ point home favorites. Now the teams meet in LA and the point spread is pretty much the same which is due in large part to Chris Paul most likely missing this contest for Los Angeles. Even without the services of the talented point guard I believe this will still be a hotly contested game and I will be happy to grab the points that the home team is getting particularly when you consider that Golden State played just two nights ago while the Clips have had plenty of time to rest.

NBA Pick: Clippers +7.5 at Heritage

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NHL – Sharks vs. Flyers
The Flyers have gone stone cold dropping nine of their last 11 games while the Sharks are looking to stay red hot on the highway picking up three wins in their first three contests of their current six-game road swing. Tonight they will skate into the City of Brotherly Love and come out with yet another victory. The NHL odds makers have installed them as -125 favorites and it is with good reason. The Flyers are 0-5 in their last five home games and have dropped seven consecutive meetings to the Sharks in Philadelphia. San Jose is a stunning 14-2-2 versus Philadelphia over the course of their last 18 meetings.

Philly goalie Steve Mason is between the pipes tonight and he looked razor sharp in the lost to the Kings on Tuesday night stopping 38-of-40 shots in a 3-2 shootout loss at home. However, Mason has struggled at times this season and he will be opposed by a Sharks team that he has not been successful against, registering a 1-3-2 record which equates to Philly cashing only once if you backed them against the Sharks in your NHL picks.

The Sharks are coming off the heels of a 5-4 victory over Boston and they have been road warriors this season compiling a 7-3 mark good for +4.4 units. I like them in this spot tonight against a goaltender in Steve Mason that has had difficulty with this team throughout his career. Let’s back the traveling chalk in this one.

NHL Pick: Sharks -125 at 5Dimes

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