We here at Vegas Whispers hope you had a very merry Christmas and are planning the New Year’s party of a lifetime. But before 2019 arrives, we have one more weekend of epic football action. The College Football Playoff games have arrived and the NFL finishes out the regular season this weekend.
What should you watch? Here are just a few of the top games you can sample.
Florida vs. Michigan
It’s not often that you refer to a matchup of two top-10 teams as the perfect “appetizer” for what’s to come later in the day, but that’s exactly what this Peach Bowl matchup is. The Wolverines fell just short of their CFP hopes after losing to Ohio State, while the Gators are looking to get revenge after being demolished by Michigan in the Citrus Bowl three years ago and in the 2017 season opener. Which team will finish the season ranked in the top 10?
Trend to know: Over is 7-0 in Michigan’s last 7 vs. SEC
Notre Dame vs. Clemson
The first game of the College Football Playoff goes down at the Cotton Bowl in a matchup of two undefeated teams. The Fighting Irish are known for their ability to pull out close games. They’ve won six games this season by 10 points are fewer are would be more than happy to do it again. Clemson is looking to continue its recent dominance by making it back to the CFP championship game for the third time in four seasons.
Trend to know: Clemson is 0-5 ATS in their last 5 non-conference games
Bruins vs. Sabres
The premier NHL matchup this weekend is a battle between two Atlantic Division foes in playoff position. The Bruins are chasing the surprisingly strong Sabres in the standings and are hoping to cut into their three-point deficit. The Sabres are looking to improve on their sterling home record while putting some distance between themselves and the Eastern Conference’s wild card teams.
Trend to know: Bruins are 8-1 in the last 9 meetings in Buffalo
Oklahoma vs. Alabama
Not everyone believes Oklahoma should be in this game, but for purely aesthetic purposes we’re glad they are. Heisman Trophy winner Kyler Murray is one of the most dynamic players in college football, and the Oklahoma offense is always a treat to watch. On the other side, Big Bad ‘Bama is looking to waltz into the CFP national championship game for a fourth year in a row. The one thing that could stand in their way is their trouble against Heisman-caliber QBs in the Nick Saban era. Alabama is 3-4 against Heisman-nominated QBs in that time, allowing more than 31 points per game.
Trend to know: Oklahoma is 4-1 ATS in their last 5 vs. SEC
Bears vs. Vikings
The Bears enter this game with the faint hope of a playoff bye still alive. The Vikings enter with a simple goal: win and you’re in. This divisional matchup has certainly added some juice this season and for this game. We don’t know how much the Bears’ starters will play, but it should be a good matchup nevertheless. Also, there’s a strong chance that this is a playoff matchup on wild card weekend. A preview of what’s to come maybe?
Trend to know: Bears are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 meetings
Browns vs. Ravens
The Browns can’t make the playoffs, but finishing above .500 would be the closest they’ve been to reaching that goal in quite some time. Cleveland is fun now thanks to Baker Mayfield and the exile of former head coach Hue Jackson. Finishing with a winning record for the first time since 2007 would be quite the accomplishment. For Baltimore, there’s just a division championship on the line. No biggie. Win, and they’re AFC North champions. Lose, and the Steelers could jump them and knock Baltimore out of the playoffs entirely.
Trend to know: Under is 4-0 in the last 4 meetings
76ers vs. Trail Blazers
The top NBA matchup of the weekend is an inter-conference battle between Philadelphia and Portland. The 76ers are still in the top four in the Eastern Conference standings, but have leveled off a bit lately compared to the teams above them. The Trail Blazers are looking to stay in the playoff picture in a very tight Western Conference.
Colts vs. Titans
The NFL game of the weekend is the Sunday Night Football matchup and the final game of the regular season. The concept is very simple: winner goes to the playoffs as the 6-seed in the AFC and the loser goes home. There are few teams in the NFL hotter than the Colts. Can they get back to the postseason in Andrew Luck’s comeback-player-of-the-year-type season? Can the Titans continue to overachieve and make it to the playoffs with Blaine Gabbert throwing passes? We shall see.
Trend to know: Favorite is 4-0 ATS in their last 4 meetings