• 2017 Cotton Bowl Analyst Pick: USC vs Ohio State

    Written by Rohit Ghosh
    Follow @rohitghosh on Twitter

    Cotton Bowl: USC vs Ohio State

    This year's Cotton Bowl features a pair of 11-2 teams as Pac-12 champs USC take on Ohio State in what will be their eighth time playing each other in a bowl game. This is, however, the first time the two sides meet at this time of the year outside of Pasadena, CA, home of the Rose Bowl.

    The Trojans won 18-15 on the road the last time the two teams met in 2009.

    All of AccuScore's College Football picks
    Our computer has simulated every Bowl game 10,000 times based on trends, team and player statistics: College Football Bowl Picks

    Vegas Odds
    Ohio State opened as a 6.5-point favorite before settling in a point higher in most books. The total moved up a half-point since opening at 64.

    Betting Line: Ohio State -7.5
    Total: 64.5

    At the time of publication, 55 percent of the public were taking the points and picking USC.

    69 percent of the action on the total has been on the OVER.

    Betting Trend(s)
    • USC is just 3-8 against the spread (ATS) in its last 11 games.
    • The total has gone OVER in five of USC's last seven games.

    What to Watch For

    QB Matchup: Ohio State's J.T. Barrett vs USC's Sam Darnold -- all eyes will be on the QB matchup at this year's Cotton Bowl. Barrett is just 61 yards shy of a 3,000-yard season, but Ohio State coaches will be focusing on limiting his turnovers in this week's season finale. He has thrown 8 INTs in his last five games, including two in the Big Ten title game vs Wisconsin. USC's front seven has been great this year, led by LB Uchenna Nwosu.

    Barrett is projected to finish with 209 passing yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT, to go along with 76 rushing yards and 1 TD on the ground.

    Darnold is projected to finish with 290 passing yards, 1 TD and 1 INT.

    Runnin' Wild: Trojans RB Ronald Jones II has run for 120 or more yards in each of his last five games.

    Jones is projected to finish with 124 yards on 23 carries; he averages 0.8 TDs per sim.

    Analyst's Pick
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  • 2019 NFL Season Previews: AFC - Chiefs and Patriots Still Top

    Written by AccuScore Staff
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    NFL Season Preview: AFC

    In AFC week 1 includes a top level matchup as New England hosts Pittsburgh in the Sunday Night Football game. Accuscore predicts that regaining Super Bowl champion, the Patriots is the favorite in this match, but are they favorite to win the conference for the fourth time in a row?

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    AccuScore NFL Picks Review

    AccuScore's NFL Expert Picks (Spreads and Totals) are +11,480 with at least +2,000 returns in each of the last three seasons. In fact, AccuScore's expert NFL Picks (Spreads+Totals+Side Value+Moneyline) have only failed to return a profit in one of the past 10 years and have a net profit of +24,707 over the last decade. Join AccuScore today!

    AFC East

    AFC East 2019 Preview

    Once again, New England is the clear favorite to win the division, and the Patriots are looking for an 11th division title in a row. That is what we call dominance. This time, their division win probability is just over 65% as the New York Jets and the Buffalo Bills have improved with their respective second year QBs from the last season. New England has 80% probability to reach the playoffs, and another deep ride during the postseason won’t be a big surprise.

    The Bills and the Jets have better chances to playoffs than year ago. This time around, they are predicted to reach eight wins and have around 30% probability for the playoffs. They won’t be ready to challenge New England, but both will benefit the downward spiral of the Miami Dolphins. Given recent trades, the Dolphins appear to be tanking this season.

    Miami appears to have thrown in the towel before a single snap has been played. They have lost their top offensive linemen and the QB position is a fight between Ryan Fitzgerald, who starts for the the 6th team in his career, and John Rosen, who left Arizona after only one season. The most probable outcome is around 5 to 6 wins for rookie head coach Brian Flores, but fewer wins would not be shocking.

    All Week 1 NFL Expert Picks: Spreads & Totals

    AFC North

    AFC North 2019 Preview

    Traditionally, the AFC North has been one of the toughest divisions at the top, along with featuring the bottom of the barrel. The Cleveland Browns, however, took a big step forward last season. After being a laughing stock for so long, the Browns may even challenge for the division title in the future, but right now, it looks like Pittsburgh will return to the top after last season’s second place finish. The Steelers have over 70% probability to reach playoffs and over 60% chances for their third divisional title in four years.

    The Browns have generated good vibes around them and have added playmakers like Odell Beckham Jr. to their roster. This will give them a 30% chance to reach the playoffs, a feat they have not accomplished since 2002. A great deal depends on how well last year’s draft pick, Baker Mayfield, develops, but the team is clearly going in the right direction.

    Division winners from the last year, the Baltimore Ravens will face a new era, as their Super Bowl winning QB Joe Flacco moved to Denver after 11 years in Baltimore. Mobile new QB Lamar Jackson showed some flashes last year, but it looks like it will be a difficult task to repeat last year’s division title, as simulations project only 16% probability for the playoffs and even less for the NFC North title.

    The Cincinnati Bengals have won 6 or 7 games during the last three years. Their projected number of wins will again hover between these numbers, and probability to see the postseason is under 15%. This year is clearly a rebuilding year for the Bengals, but Cincinnati is trying to find some of the key components for the rebuild.

    AFC South

    AFC South 2019 Preview

    The sudden retirement of Andrew Luck has been the biggest news leading into the new NFL season, and has especially had an impact on the AFC North. The Indianapolis Colts were the favorite to win the division, but now they are predicted to finish second in the division, which may be higher than most external projections. After recent trades and the Luck retirement, Houston now highest probability to win the division, but that is only 35%.

    Despite the last minute QB change, Indianapolis is not far behind Houston. The Colts have just under 27% chance to win the division. Meanwhile, the Jacksonville Jaguars are stalking both teams. They have 29% probability to ensure a postseason berth by winning this division.

    The Tennessee Titans won 9 games last season, but at that time, it still wasn’t enough to the playoffs. Accuscore predicts them to get 7 wins this time and miss the playoffs for the second year in a row. Tennessee is a bit behind in the playoff probability and their chances to win the division is around 10%.

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    AFC West

    AFC West 2019 Preview

    The Kansas City Chiefs have improved step by step during the last few years. They have won the division three years in a row, and this time, they have over 61% probability to repeat as division champs. Their chances to reach the playoffs are one of the highest in the league: 81.5%.

    The Los Angeles Chargers were another playoff team last season. Their star running back Melvin Gordon has his own contract disputes and may sit out more than just the preseason. Simulations predict that they’ll reach the playoffs this time, as well, with nine wins. However, they are clearly second to the Chiefs, with the Chargers only given a 27% chance to win the division.

    The Denver Broncos have a new head coach in Vic Fangio and a new QB in Joe Flacco. This should be an improvement from 6 wins a year ago, but their chances of seeing the playoffs are only 24%. With a few surprises and Joe Flacco turning back the clock, the Broncos might have a shot at competing for the last wild card spot.

    The Oakland Raiders will play their last season in Oakland before moving to Las Vegas. They have stacked high value veterans like Antonio Brown and Clay Matthews, but based on simulations, it's not going to make much of a difference. Oakland’s chances for the playoffs are under 10%. It would be, frankly, shocking if the Raiders are challenging for the AFC West.

    Given the Chiefs and Patriots are the clear cream of the AFC crop, the conference is not seeing too much change at the upper crust. A Kansas City and New England rematch for the Super Bowl would not be surprising, and Pittsburgh is clearly chosen as the third horse in that race. The AFC South winner, however, is difficult to determine. Houston looks to be in the best position to take the division. The Chargers will be favorite to the wild card, and the Jaguars, Jets and Bills should be in the mix for the last wildcard spot in the AFC.

    NFL Season Preview: NFC

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  • Big 10 Football Predictions: College Football 2018 Previews

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    Written by Rohit Ghosh

    College Football Previews 2018: Big 10 Predictions

    The Winner: The Buckeyes have lost just eight regular season games in Urban Meyer's six seasons as head coach -- things don't project to change anytime soon. They have a tough road matchup at TCU this year, but the OVER on 10.5 wins is still a safe pick. Ohio State averages close to 12 wins in AccuScore sims.

    The OVER: This one somewhat depends on whether you got Michigan at 8.5 or 9 wins. It's going to be close but AccuScore is leaning on the OVER with Michigan averaging 9.24 wins in simulations. They kick off the season in South Bend, and have to get some tough wins on the road vs Michigan State and Ohio State, but the Wolverines have the talent and leadership to creep towards a 10-win season.

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    The UNDER: We're going with the UNDER on Penn State (9.5). They have some tough matchups vs Pitt, Iowa and Wisconcin that's nudging our data towards taking the UNDER. Penn State averages fewer than 8.5 wins in AccuScore simulations.

    Stay Away: Nebraska -- whose total is set at 6.5 -- should be better with Scott Frost leading the way. Their schedule, however, isn't as favorable with road trips to Michigan State and Colorado. There's just not enough confidence in this team getting to 7 wins.

    All of AccuScore's College Football Picks and Forecasts

    Other Previews:
    ACC Football Preview
    PAC 12 Football Preview
    Big 12 Football Preview
    SEC Football Preview

  • Oklahoma State vs USA: Analyst Pick

    Written by Rohit Ghosh
    Follow @rohitghosh on Twitter

    Oklahoma State vs. University of South Alabama

    The NCAA Football season marches forward as we head into Week 2 action with No. 10 Oklahoma Sate hitting the road for a matchup with University of South Alabama Friday night. It's a non-conference matchup that marks the very first time these two sides have met. South Alabama heads into this matchup after a 47-27 road loss at Ole Miss last Saturday; Oklahoma State dominated Tulsa 59-24 in their season opener.

    All of AccuScore’s latest College Football picks

    Oklahoma State is a 26.5-point favorite with the total set at 66.5. The spread opened at 27.5 points with the total at 64.5.

    What to Watch For

    South Alabama may have lost its season opener on the road, but going back to last season, they are 3-0 straight up and against the spread at home. QB Cole Garvin -- on average -- completes about 61 percent of his throws, finishing week 1 with 1 TD and no INTs. Garvin is projected to finish with 242 passing yards, 1 TD and 1 INT. He averages almost as many INTs per sim (0.9) as he does TDs (1.1).

    Oklahoma State's ground game is a monster to compete against, averaging over 330 yards per game. In Week 2, keep an eye on RB Justice Hall who finished Week 1 with 132 yards and 1 TD. He's projected to finish this week's matchup with 101 yards on 16 carries and 1 TD. He averages 1.2 TDs per sim, tied for the highest average among all players in this matchup other than Cowboys WR James Washington.

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    Vegas Odds vs AccuSore Simulation Data

    Whereas most books in Vegas have Oklahoma State favored by about 28 points -- give or take a half-point to a full point depending on when and where -- AccuScore sims actually have that spread 6 points lower. OK State is favored by 'just' 22 in the simulations, indicating a pick on the Jaguars to cover the 27-to-28-point spread. University of South Alabama covers a 28-point spread in about 59 percent of simulations, a three-star (out of four) AccuScore hot trend.

    The total doesn't have the same three-star hot trend alert assigned to it, but AccuScore sim data does have the total 2.5 points lower than what's listed in Vegas. The combined score stays below the total set in Vegas (66.5) in close to 56 percent of simulations, a two-star (out of four) AccuScore hot trend.

    Top Betting Trend

    -The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Oklahoma State's last 7 games on the road.

    Analyst's Pick

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    It's a Friday night matchup and college football doesn't exactly always go as planned on weeknights. South Alabama has a history of not getting blown out and Week 1 was proof of that -- they held their own against Ole Miss on the road and actually finished the game with more first downs than the opponent. Just seems like way too many points to lay on the road.

    The Jags covering, with the UNDER.