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Mark Franco Mark Franco

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YESTERDAY'S PLAYS
Matchup Selection W/L
NBA  |  Nov 18, 2017
Jazz vs Magic
Magic
-6½ -105 at 5Dimes
Lost
$105.0
Play Type: Top Premium

Magic

Somebody's three-game losing streak is coming to an end on Saturday, when the road-challenged Utah Jazz visit the Orlando Magic. Utah is the only winless road team in the NBA after losing in Brooklyn on Friday to fall to 0-6 away from home.

The Jazz have lost seven of their last eight overall games, and coach Quin Snyder was disappointed with a defensive performance in which his squad allowed Brooklyn to make 17-of-37 3-point attempts in the 118-107 setback.

Orlando, which has lost five of its last seven contests, is returning from a four-game road trip for two at home before beginning another four-game trek and isn't overly concerned with Utah's road woes.

Point guard Ricky Rubio missed the loss to the Nets with a sore right Achilles and may not be available against the Magic.

The stretch of five losses in seven games began after backup point guard D.J. Augustin was lost to a hamstring injury, and there's a chance he will be able to return to action Saturday.

Magic SF Evan Fournier has recorded 10 20-point efforts while averaging 19.7 on 50.9 percent shooting.

Jazz are 1-10 ATS in their last 11 after allowing 100 points or more in their previous game. Magic are 6-1-1 ATS in their last 8 games following a straight up loss and  are 5-1-1 ATS in their last 7 vs. Western Conference.

Matchup Selection W/L
NBA  |  Nov 18, 2017
Warriors vs 76ers
76ers
+9 -115 at Bovada
Won
$100
Play Type: Top Premium

76ers

The Philadelphia 76ers seem to be getting better with each game and just finished up a west coast trip strong with a pair of wins in Los Angeles. The 76ers went 3-2 on that trip, with one of the losses coming at Golden State, and they will try to avenge that setback when they host the Warriors on Saturday.

Just over a month into the regular season and it's clear that Philadelphia has two of the best building blocks in the NBA in center Joel Embiid and point guard Ben Simmons, and the former is coming off a career-high 46-point effort in a 115-109 win over the Lakers on Wednesday.

Embiid and Philadelphia will be taking on a Warriors squad that had a seven-game winning streak snapped and scored a season low in a 92-88 loss at Boston on Thursday.

Simmons nearly pulled off his third triple-double with 18 points, 10 assists and nine rebounds to go with five steals on Wednesday, but Embiid was the star of the L.A. stage. The 23-year-old center went 14-of-20 from the floor and added 15 rebounds, seven assists and seven blocked shots, becoming the first player to reach those totals in the same game since blocks began being kept as a statistic in 1973.

Curry sat out a win on Monday over Orlando with a thigh bruise and was just 3-of-14 from the floor in his first game back.

Warriors are 1-7 ATS in their last 8 vs. NBA Atlantic. 76ers are 6-0 ATS in their last 6 games playing on 2 days rest. Warriors are 1-9 ATS in the last 10 meetings in Philadelphia.

Matchup Selection W/L
NCAA-F  |  Nov 18, 2017
Missouri vs Vanderbilt
Missouri
-7½ -110 at BMaker
Won
$100
Play Type: Top Premium

Missouri

Two teams fighting to gain bowl eligibility square off Saturday, when Vanderbilt hosts Missouri for a Southeastern Conference clash. The Tigers are looking for their fifth straight victory, while the Commodores hope to break through for their first win in SEC play.

Missouri’s season appeared to be in shambles when it lost five straight to fall to 1-5, but Barry Odom’s team has rallied for four consecutive blowout wins – including lopsided home victories over Florida and Tennessee over the last two weeks – and needs just one more triumph to be eligible for a bowl.

The odds are longer for the Commodores, who have dropped six of seven since a 3-0 start and need to close out the regular season with wins over Missouri and at Tennessee to become bowl-eligible. The Tigers beat the Commodores 26-17 last season for the first of their two SEC wins.

Missouri is trying to become the 13th team in FBS history and the second ever in the SEC to become bowl-eligible after starting 1-5. Missouri has scored 45 or more points in four straight games for the first time in program history.

Tigers are 6-0 ATS vs. a team with a losing record. Commodores are 0-6 ATS in their last 6 games after accumulating less than 100 yards rushing in their previous game.

Matchup Selection W/L
NCAA-F  |  Nov 18, 2017
Iowa State vs Baylor
Iowa State
-9 -115 at betonline
Won
$100
Play Type: Top Premium

Iowa State

Iowa State controlled its own destiny for a spot in the Big 12 championship game before dropping tight games the last two weeks and cannot afford to surrender anymore ground. The Cyclones will try to avoid a third consecutive setback when they visit Baylor on Saturday.

Iowa State is going through the week of practice without a firm handle on the quarterback situation after starter Kyle Kempt went down with an injury to his throwing shoulder last week and freshman Zeb Noland came on strong in relief. Kempt is considered day-to-day by the Cyclones staff and was back at practice on Sunday, though he was not making any throws. Whoever gets under center for Iowa State on Saturday should not have too many problems against a Bears secondary surrendering an average of 269.9 yards passing - 113th out of 129 FBS teams. Baylor's lone win this season was a 38-9 romp over winless Kansas on Nov. 4, but it followed that up by dropping a 38-24 decision to Texas Tech last week to mark the sixth time in as many Big 12 losses that it surrendered at least 33 points.

Cyclones are 8-0 ATS in their last 8 games after allowing more than 40 points in their previous game. Bears are 1-6 ATS in their last 7 games in November.

Matchup Selection W/L
NCAA-F  |  Nov 18, 2017
Arizona State vs Oregon State
Arizona State
-7 -115 at BMaker
Won
$100
Play Type: Top Premium

Arizona State

Arizona State needs to win one of its two remaining games to become bowl eligible. The first – and clearly best – shot for the Sun Devils will be Saturday afternoon when they visit 1-9 Oregon State.

Last Saturday night in Los Angeles, Arizona State fell short in a 44-37 shootout versus UCLA to fall to .500 and now needs to beat either the Beavers or rival Arizona (7-3) the following Saturday to become postseason eligible for the sixth time in the last seven seasons. A win also would at least clinch a .500 regular-season record for the seventh time in the last eight years for the Sun Devils – a stretch that would be the program’s longest since an eight-in-nine-year run from 1985-93. Oregon State, meanwhile, wrapped up its fourth straight losing season more than a month ago and now is trying to avoid a second winless Pac-12 campaign in the last three years.

The Sun Devils had won three of four entering the UCLA game but fell short against the Bruins despite racking up advantages in total (584-573) and rushing yards (294-192).

Sun Devils are 7-3 ATS in their last 10 games following a ATS loss. Beavers are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games following a ATS loss.

Matchup Selection W/L
NCAA-F  |  Nov 18, 2017
Minnesota vs Northwestern
Northwestern
-7 -109 at BMaker
Won
$100
Play Type: Top Premium

Northwestern

Northwestern will try to match its longest winning streak in 21 years when the Wildcats host Minnesota in a Big Ten game on Saturday. Northwestern has won six in a row in the same season for the first time since a seven-game winning streak in 1996, the only year the Wildcats repeated as Big Ten champions.

Northwestern and Minnesota each feature quarterbacks who can do damage on the ground and through the air. Minnesota quarterback Demry Croft ran for 183 yards and three touchdowns in a 54-21 victory Saturday against Nebraska, the most points scored for the Golden Gophers since a 63-26 win against Indiana in 2006. Northwestern quarterback Clayton Thorson has eight rushing touchdowns this season and 18 in his career, tying him for third among quarterbacks in school history. When he needs to throw, Thorson has a dependable receiver in Bennett Skowronek, who caught seven passes for 117 yards and a touchdown in a 23-13 win against Purdue on Saturday.

The Wildcats have the second-best run defense in the Big Ten at 109.6 rushing yards allowed per game, and they're led by one of the top middle linebackers in the nation in Paddy Fisher, who comes in second in the conference at 9.5 tackles a game.

Golden Gophers are 1-6-1 ATS in their last 8 games following a ATS win. Wildcats are 21-5 ATS in their last 26 games after allowing less than 100 yards rushing in their previous game.

Matchup Selection W/L
NCAA-F  |  Nov 18, 2017
NC State vs Wake Forest
Wake Forest
-1½ -110 at GTBets
Won
$100
Play Type: Top Premium

Wake Forest

Wake Forest hopes to parlay a record-setting offensive performance into its third win in four games when it hosts No. 22 North Carolina State on Saturday. The Demon Deacons racked up a school-record 734 yards of offense, erasing a 14-point halftime deficit and routing Syracuse 64-43 last Saturday, becoming bowl-eligible for the second straight season after not reaching one since 2011.

Demon Deacons senior quarterback John Wolford is also playing at a high level, accounting for a school record-tying six touchdowns last week to give him a school-record 69 for his career, eclipsing the old mark of 65 set by Riley Skinner in 2009. The Wolfpack edged Boston College 17-14 last week after back-to-back losses to No. 9 Notre Dame 35-14 and No. 3 Clemson 38-31.

Demon Deacons are 9-2-1 ATS in their last 12 conference games and are 8-2-1 ATS in their last 11 games overall. Wolfpack are 1-9 ATS in their last 10 meetings in Wake Forest and Home team is 17-4 ATS in their last 21 meetings.

PICKS IN PROGRESS
Matchup Selection W/L
NFL  |  Nov 19, 2017
Bills vs Chargers
Chargers
-5½ -105 at BMaker
Won
$100
Play Type: Top Premium

Chargers

Philip Rivers never has missed a start since becoming a first-string NFL quarterback, and he hopes to stretch the streak to 186 in a row when the Los Angeles Chargers host the Buffalo Bills on Sunday. Rivers self-reported a concussion on Monday but is rapidly improving, and the expectation is that he will be on the field against the Bills.

Buffalo has a new starting signal-caller as rookie Nathan Peterman was elevated over running threat Tyrod Taylor despite the team's 5-4 record.

Buffalo ranks just 28th in total offense (292 yards per game) and 30th in passing offense (180.4), and coach Sean McDermott is hoping that punching up the attack will lead to more victories. But starting a rookie QB does not make sense to me.

The pass rush has been superb with 29 sacks (tied for second in the NFL), and stars Joey Bosa (9.5) and Melvin Ingram (8.5) likely are salivating at the thought of pressuring a rookie who is making his first start. Safety Tre Boston (career-best three interceptions) recorded his first multi-interception effort in last Sunday's loss to Jacksonville and has been a solid surprise for a unit that ranks ninth in scoring defense (19.1 points). Rivers has passed for seven touchdowns in his last three meetings with the Bills and became the eighth quarterback in history to surpass 4,000 career completions last week, reaching 4,005.

Bills are 1-11 ATS in their last 12 games following a double-digit loss at home. Chargers are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games overall. Home team is 5-1 ATS in their last 6 meetings.

Matchup Selection W/L
NFL  |  Nov 19, 2017
Rams vs Vikings
Vikings
-2 -110 at Bovada
Won
$100
Play Type: Top Premium

Vikings

Two teams that have streaked to the top of their divisions collide on Sunday, when the Minnesota Vikings host the Los Angeles Rams. Minnesota owns a two-game lead in the NFC North on the strength of a winning stretch that reached five games with last week's 38-30 triumph over Washington.

Case Keenum, who made nine starts for the Rams last season, will be making his eighth for the Vikings as they aim to produce at least 33 points for the third consecutive contest. Los Angeles already has reached or eclipsed that amount in three straight games and leads the NFL with an average of 32.9. The Rams are coming off their fourth consecutive victory, a 33-7 triumph over Houston in which Jared Goff became the first player in franchise history to throw for 300-plus yards (career-high 355) with three touchdowns and no interceptions in back-to-back games. Los Angeles, which is one game ahead of Seattle in the NFC west, is 4-0 on the road this season but has lost four straight meetings with the Vikings.

Keenum has filled in more than admirably for the injured Sam Bradford, throwing for 1,774 yards with 10 TDs and five interceptions in seven starts, and hopes to keep a now-healthy Teddy Bridgewater on the bench with another strong performance on Sunday. Adam Thielen is Keenum's favorite target as he ranks third in the league with 793 receiving yards, including a season-high 166 on eight catches last week.

Rams are 2-8 ATS in their last 10 games after accumulating more than 350 total yards in their previous game. Vikings are 10-1 ATS in their last 11 home games vs. a team with a winning road record and are 21-6 ATS in their last 27 home games. Rams are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 meetings.

Matchup Selection W/L
NFL  |  Nov 19, 2017
Bucs vs Dolphins
Dolphins
+1 -110 at Bovada
Lost
$110.0
Play Type: Top Premium

Dolphins

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Miami Dolphins sure look weathered after an unexpected bye in Week 1 forced the teams to navigate their way through the season without any semblance of a break. With injuries accumulating at a rapid pace, the beleaguered Buccaneers and Dolphins look to get back on track at the other's expense Sunday in Miami.

The Buccaneers had dropped five in a row before Ryan Fitzpatrick stepped in for an injured Jameis Winston (shoulder) and engineered two long scoring drives in Sunday's 15-10 win over his former team, the New York Jets.

While Miami's defense has come under fire of late, its pedestrian offense is scoring an NFL-worst 15.2 points per game while averaging a second-worst 275.0 yards per contest. "There is a lot of football left. The pieces are in the locker room, I truly believe that," said Jay Cutler, who has tossed nine touchdown passes over his last four games. Familiar target Jarvis Landry (NFL-best 61 receptions) has found the end zone in five of his last six. The 34-year-old Cutler has utilized his running backs in the passing game a bit more since Jay Ajayi was traded to Philadelphia earlier this month, with Kenyan Drake rolling up 196 scrimmage yards in the past two games.

Buccaneers are 1-6-1 ATS in their last 8 games overall and  are 0-4-1 ATS in their last 5 road games. Dolphins are 8-3-2 ATS in their last 13 games after allowing more than 350 total yards in their previous game.

Matchup Selection W/L
NFL  |  Nov 19, 2017
Chiefs vs Giants
Chiefs
-10 -113 at BMaker
Lost
$113.0
Play Type: Top Premium

Chiefs

After limping into their bye week, the AFC West-leading Kansas City Chiefs hope to take advantage of a soft second-half schedule and pull away from the pack. That stretch begins with a trip to face the struggling New York Giants on Sunday.

Kansas City was the best team in the NFL during a dominant 5-0 start, but it has stumbled to three losses in its last four games - including a 28-17 defeat at Dallas last time out.

The Giants have plenty of areas in which they can improve – they’ve been outscored by 88 points during a 1-8 start and are coming off a 31-21 loss at previously winless San Francisco.

Kansas City still boasts the No. 5 offense in the league, but the unit has slowed down some after a hot start led by Alex Smith and rookie running back Kareem Hunt. They will be better vs this Giants defense.

Eli Manning will make his 209th consecutive start at quarterback, but it seems more and more likely that his tenure in New York is winding down. The Giants have the 28th-ranked scoring offense in the league, and they’ve been even worse on the other side of the ball. New York ranks 31st in total defense and has surrendered at least 400 total yards in four straight games and five of the last six.

Reid’s teams are 16-2 in games following a week off. Chiefs are 7-1 ATS in their last 8 games following a ATS loss and are 9-2 ATS in their last 11 road games. Giants are 2-6 ATS in their last 8 games after accumulating more than 350 total yards in their previous game and are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games in Week 11.

SERVICE BIO

Mark Franco help start Vegas Insider in 1997 and worked under some of the most well respected handicappers in the Nation including Russ Culver, Mike Lee and Ken White. Mark said "I learned so much valuable information from those guys on how to do your research and how to have money management skills. Learning how to be selective and not play every game." Mark's career took him to the great city of Las Vegas back in 2000 and he has made a great name for himself ever since in the eyes of other handicappers and sportsbook directors. Mark Franco beat the books in the 2003 NFL season on his way to a fifth-place finish in the Hilton SuperContest the most respected and prestigious football contest in the country. For the year, Franco had a 76-57 record for a 57 percent clip, netting "dime players" with $13,500 of profit. Franco writes for several print and online gaming publications including the Las Vegas Review Journal, covering line moves and value in the lines. He views as many games as he can from his Las Vegas office and also relies on the Internet to break down every game. Mark makes his own lines for pro sports and has an eye for finding value in and between the lines. Franco is a regular participant in many of Las Vegas' handicapping contests. He was one of 16 ' handicappers who participated in the invitation only 2004 Stardust Invitational. He has hosted his own daily radio handicapping show and frequently appears on many local and national shows where his expertise is eagerly sought.