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NFL Close Calls – Week 2

NFL Close Calls – Week 2

09/22/2020

Glancing at the scoreboard won’t tell you the whole story in most games. Here are some of the games that went down to the wire relative to the spread and total in the fourth quarter in Week 2 of the NFL regular season.

Cleveland Browns (-5½) 35, Cincinnati Bengals 30 (44½): A 24-point 2nd quarter put the Thursday night game on a clear ‘over’ pace but the Browns were barely past the favorite spread with an eight-point edge at halftime. Cincinnati seemed to a get huge swing of momentum stuffing the Browns on 4th-and-goal on the opening drive of the 2nd half but rookie QB Joe Burrow would fumble on a sack a few plays later, handing the Browns another red zone chance and this time Cleveland delivered. Cincinnati would add a field goal to trail by 12 and the defense again delivered with an interception when it looked like Cleveland would add points. Burrow led a 14-play drive to put the Bengals within five with just under six minutes remaining. The underdog cover position was short-lived however as it took Cleveland just two minutes to answer, effectively putting the game away up by 12 at the 3:55 mark. Burrow impressed on another long drive that included two 4th down conversions, eventually connecting for a touchdown inside the final minute on a 3rd-and-long play to take back the spread result for the underdog.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-8) 31, Carolina Panthers 17 (47): The 0-2 Panthers are proving to have a lot of fourth quarter life losing in Week 1 in a back-and-forth final frame and also rallying vs. Tampa Bay after falling behind 21-0. Christian McCaffrey added two touchdowns before getting hurt to cut the score to 21-14 early in the fourth. The Panthers got the ball right back but Teddy Bridgewater had an interception across midfield. Tampa Bay only added three points off the turnover however and Carolina cut the margin back to seven just after the two-minute warning with its own field goal, which was enough to sit within the underdog spread. The onside kick attempt failed and Leonard Fournette rushed for 46 yards and a score on 1st down, putting the Buccaneers up by 14 and clearing the closing total that opened as high as 48½ before sliding to 47. Those laying the points with the Buccaneers didn’t have an easy viewing the rest of the way as Bridgewater had quick completions of 22 and 14 yards to cross midfield with still more than a minute to go. Carolina eventually reached the Tampa Bay 18 and the game’s final play didn’t quite get there with a 14-yard gain stopped around the 4-yard-line to keep the Panthers from stealing the cover.

Pittsburgh Steelers (-6½) 26, Denver Broncos 21 (40½): The Steelers led 17-3 at halftime and Denver was down to Jeff Driskel at quarterback. The Broncos added 11 points in the third quarter and to stay in the game but the Steelers had a strong start to the fourth, completing a touchdown drive and getting a safety to lead by 12 with about 10 minutes to go. Getting the ball back after the safety, Pittsburgh fumbled on first down however and the Broncos delivered with a Melvin Gordon touchdown about halfway through the final quarter. Down by five, Denver’s defense held for a quick punt and Driskel appeared poised to deliver a game-winning drive for the Broncos, getting a big completion to the Pittsburgh 23-yard-line that withstood a replay challenge. Facing 4th-and-2 Driskel was sacked to thwart the upset and those on the favorite had a fleeting opportunity for a late cover with James Conner breaking a 59-yard rush to the Denver 10. Denver only had two timeouts remaining and the Steelers were able to run out the clock, eventually taking a knee at the 6-yard-line.

Dallas Cowboys (-3) 40, Atlanta Falcons 39 (53½): The fourth quarter didn’t change the spread or total results in this NFC clash but it is worth reminding everyone that the same team that recently lost the Super Bowl with a 28-3 lead was leading 39-24 with five minutes to go in a NFL game and lost. Those taking Atlanta plus the points watched in horror after the incredible onside kick recovery as the prospect of a Dallas win and cover was back in play as Dallas had a healthy 1:49 to work with down two. After the big 2nd down gain the Cowboys played for the field goal and successfully pulled off one of the most improbable comebacks in NFL history.

Buffalo Bills (-5½) 31, Miami Dolphins 28 (42): Buffalo jumped out to a 17-7 lead but Miami took control in the middle of the game, delivering 13 consecutive points on three scoring drives, each of fewer than 50 yards, to take a 20-17 lead with about 10 minutes remaining. Over two drives surrounding a punt Josh Allen needed only 12 combined plays for two touchdown drives of more than 70 yards as the Bulls were up by 11 with just three minutes remaining. Miami didn’t even face a 3rd down against a relaxed defense and connected in the final minute to spoil the spread result, getting the two-point conversion for good measure in the three-point final result.

Chicago Bears (-5) 17, New York Giants 13 (42½): After needing a big comeback in Week 1 the Bears took a 17-0 lead over the Giants at halftime. Even with significant injuries for New York, the Bears weren’t able to coast for a win as four second half drives ended in a pair of interceptions, a punt, and a missed field goal. New York was down 17-10 before Mitchell Trubisky’s second interception set the Giants up in decent field position. With about 10 minutes remaining Chicago almost put the game away with a pick-6 but it was called back for pass interference. The Giants would stall at the Chicago 19 and kicked a field goal with still more than seven minutes remaining to trail by four. Chicago had a chance to push the margin back to seven points to go back in position to cover but Cairo Santos missed the field goal try. New York had a great opportunity to steal the win, converting two fourth downs along the way but eventually ended the game on the 10-yard-line as the Bears moved to 2-0 with a second straight narrow escape.

Tennessee Titans (-7½) 33, Jacksonville Jaguars 30 (44½): The Jaguars trailed 30-17 through three quarters but completed a 75-yard drive early in the fourth and forced a quick three-and-out. Jacksonville went 86 yards to tie the game halfway through the final frame with another big performance from Gardner Minshew. A pair of punts followed, and getting the ball back in good field position with just over three minutes to go the Titans were able to add three points to go in front, aided greatly with a big 3rd down conversion via penalty. Minshew was intercepted on a short pass on a 2nd-and-1 play in the final minute as the Titans held on but Jacksonville did enough for a second straight underdog win to start the season.

Seattle Seahawks (-4) 35, New England Patriots 30 (45): The Patriots opened the game with an early pick-6 but Russell Wilson rebounded nicely ultimately posting five touchdown passes even though the Seahawks only twice entered the red zone in the game. Seattle pulled away in the third quarter with back-to-back scores around a Cam Newton interception to lead by 11 but the Patriots answered early in the fourth quarter. Down five, New England went for two and came up short in a key play relative to the spread outcome. With just over four minutes remaining Seattle seemed to put the game away with a big 3rd down conversion and two plays later a touchdown to lead by 12. The Patriots answered quickly however and were able to get the ball back after the Seahawks tried to throw deep on 3rd-and-1. The Patriots put together a great final drive but opted not to call their final timeout after a connection to the Seattle 13-yard-line, leaving only 12 seconds on the clock by the time they got the ball snapped. After Julian Edelman couldn’t haul in a throw to the end zone, the Patriots reached the 1-yard-line on the next play and used the final timeout setting up the expected final play. Newton’s charge to the goal line was blown up as Seattle came away with the win and narrow cover in another entertaining edition between these teams and Hall of Fame coaches.

Las Vegas Raiders (+4) 34, New Orleans Saints 24 (48): The line on the Monday night game shot downward Monday afternoon but the Saints opened up a 10-0 lead looking to move to 2-0 again considered by many a top NFC contender. Opening its new stadium in Las Vegas, the Raiders rallied for a tie score by halftime and took the lead early in the 3rd quarter. The Saints punted on their first two possessions of the second half while the Raiders lost a fumble to keep the scoring at 41 well into the fourth quarter as the only drama that remained was on the total. The Saints would find the end zone with about four minutes remaining to trail by seven and the scoring hit 48, the closing total but with most sitting with tickets slightly above that with the number gradually sliding from an opening price of 50½. A pass interference penalty converted a big 3rd down for the Raiders just ahead of the two-minute warning and the Raiders would face a decision up by seven with just over a minute to go on 4th-and-long. They opted for a risky 54-yard field goal attempt and Daniel Carlson delivered to seal the upset, as well as hitting the ‘over’.

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Monday All-In Opportunity

The Big Dog Bobby Dalton is on a 24-14 MLB run since Sep. 1, he’s won 66.7% of his football selections, and he is coming off a 2-0 NHL night to close the conference Finals.

Win in a unique all-sport ALL-IN Monday Opportunity with picks in NFL, NHL, and MLB action – including two 10* Best Bets! Get all three picks for $25 in a special offer from the Big Dog Bobby Dalton!

Nelly’s is 7-2 in rated picks and 10-2 overall in football recommendations so far – don’t miss our next possible selections next week. Nelly’s does have a baseball Profit Machine pick for Monday coming off a Sunday winner and a 20-12 run on the diamond since mid-August.

Maximum Sports has posted a huge start to the NFL season at 8-3, including 4-0 in higher rated 5* picks. Don’t miss his MNF selection for Saints/Raiders for $20!

Green Sheet Issue #10 will be sent out by Wednesday afternoon – Rating 5 & 4 Keys are 2-0 this season!

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NFL Week 2 Sunday – Great Results so far!

Nelly’s added another winner yesterday to keep our perfect football start going at 6-0 for our phone service. Last week’s NFL 2/3 offer went 3-0 with three underdogs all winning outright – get our Week 2 picks for just $25 2/3 Guaranteed!

Nelly’s Baseball is on an excellent 19-12 run and we have a great DAYTIME TOTAL for Sunday only $15! We’ll also hope to deliver in the NBA Playoffs Sunday as well on a busy sports day!

Considering joining Nelly’s for our FULL SEASON PACKAGE or our SEP/OCT OFFER for the Football Season!

The Big Dog Bobby Dalton is also off to a perfect 3-0 start in the NFL and he added a 7star winner in NCAA action yesterday. Get his TRIPS-2-WIN Sunday NFL 2/3 featuring 10, 7, and 5-star picks in his Sunday Set for $29!

Dalton is also releasing regular selections in MLB & NBA action, riding a current 23-12 run in MLB picks since Sep. 1!

Point Train has released its first big play of the season with a NFL GAME OF THE MONTH for $29.97!

Maximum Sports turned in a 5-1 Week 1 in the NFL – get his 60% GUARANTEE in his Week 2 5-Game Offer for $30!

The Big E is 1-0 in his 20* picks with an ACC winner on Saturday and he is 10-6 overall this season – check out today’s NFL BIGGIE!

FREE NFL PICK SUNDAY FROM THIS WEEK’s GREEN SHEET:

#280 Tennessee Titans -7.5 over Jacksonville Jaguars 12:00 PM CT

The Jaguars dealt several stars in the weeks before the season but wound up victors in Week 1. Gardner Minshew had just one incomplete pass while throwing three touchdowns to lead a comeback for the Jaguars. Jacksonville was outgained 445-241 as it was a fortunate result but catching an extra day on the turnaround while the Titans are in Denver late Monday night is a favorable set-up. Tennessee barely won that game with four missed kicks from veteran Stephen Gostkowski to leave 10 points on the field. Derrick Henry compiled solid numbers as Tennessee moved the ball conservatively, posting only 4.8 yards per play. This is a rare favorite price for the Titans but Tennessee did produce several lopsided wins after Ryan Tannehill took over last season. Posting 26 first downs against a top tier defense last week was a solid result and the Titans will be less dependent on the passing game than the Colts had to be last week.

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Free Pick Saturday

#127 Texas State -3 over UL-Monroe 6:30 PM CT

Texas State went just 3-9 last season in a major transition season for Jake Spatival. The Bobcats are 0-2 already this season and the roster has faced challenges, needing to use two different quarterbacks already while also getting several players ruled out each week. Texas State is playing a third game in three weeks and this is the first road game of the season for the Bobcats who have impressed with improvement on offense despite still being winless. Losing by just seven vs. SMU Texas State put up 416 yards and were in a tight one-score game almost the entire way vs. a top AAC threat with a veteran quarterback. The Bobcats posted nearly 500 yards last week but lost in overtime with a 2-0 turnover deficit.

Either Tyler Vitt or Brady McBride is capable of leading this offense and Brock Sturges and Calvin Hill have offered early promise in the backfield. UL-Monroe lost 37-7 last week and it could have been worse with only one scoring drive allowed in the fourth quarter vs. Army. The defense was expected to struggle but the offense provided minimal production posting 1.9 yards per rush and completing only 16 passes. The Warhawks won by 10 in San Marcos last season but it was a three-point game until the final two minutes and Monroe no longer can lean on long-time starter Caleb Evans at QB.

In three seasons Colby Suits has a combined total of only 28 completions as he has limited live game experience in this offense. Texas State was a significant favorite last week and will again be laying points this week at a similar number, this time on the road. The Bobcats are actually 6-3-1 ATS in the past 10 road games despite few S/U wins while Matt Viator’s team has nine S/U home losses in his four seasons with Monroe, going 5-16 ATS since taking over in 2016.

Nelly’s Football is off to a perfect start to the season with our rated picks at 5-0. Don’t miss our NFL 2/3 Offer for $25, a 3-0 sweep in Week 1 with three underdogs that each won outright. You can join Nelly’s for the next seven weeks of football service for $279. 


Check out our preview of one of the big games this weekend in the ACC as Louisville hosts Miami. The Big E is featuring his first 20* Conference GOY this week in the ACC – check it out for $20.94 pay after you win!


The Big Dog Bobby Dalton will be ready for another big week in the NFL this weekend having gone 3-0 in NFL Week 1. Dalton has posted a 7star for college football Saturday night!

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ACC Spotlight – Miami at Louisville

Saturday College Football – Miami, FL at Louisville

After getting a taste of college football the past two weeks, things will heat up in conference play in the final two weeks of September. One of the biggest games of the weekend is a contest in the ACC between Miami and Louisville. Both teams had some positives in their first seasons under new coaches last year and the victor of this game could emerge as a sleeper in the ACC race.

Match-up: Miami, FL Hurricanes at Louisville Cardinals

Venue: At Cardinal Stadium in Louisville, Kentucky ~30% Capacity Open ~18,000)

Time/TV: Saturday, September 19, 7:30 PM ET ABC

Line: Louisville -2½ Over/Under 64½

Last Meeting: November 2019 @Miami (-7) 52, Louisville 27

Miami and Louisville both are 1-0 with wins vs. Conference USA teams ahead of this ACC opener with the Hurricanes winning against UAB last Thursday and Louisville pulling away from Western Kentucky. Miami won convincingly in this series last season, which was the first meeting since 2014. These teams are both former Big East programs though their time in the league did not coincide.

Manny Diaz was born in Miami but attended Florida State, where he also started his coaching career. He has bounced around several schools in the past two decades before landing at Miami as Mark Richt’s defensive coordinator for three seasons starting in 2016. He accepted the Temple head coaching job following Miami’s 2018 season but after Richt retired he returned to the Hurricanes. His first season was an inconsistent journey to 6-7; delivering quality wins over Virginia, Pittsburgh, and in this matchup but also suffering losses to Georgia Tech, Florida International, and a shutout bowl loss to Louisiana Tech.

Diaz lured two high profile transfers to Miami this off-season with former Houston quarterback D’Eriq King and Temple DE Quincy Roche though the headlines were negative on that front this week as CB Christian Williams announced his departure out of Miami after last week’s win. Quarterback play was quite erratic for Miami last season and King was productive in the opener in the air and on the ground while Roche also made several impact plays for a defensive front that expects to be highly regarded in the ACC.

Miami led just 14-7 at halftime in the opener but pulled away with three touchdowns in the third quarter for a 31-14 win, posting a yardage edge of 495-285. Miami ran the ball effectively with 83 yards from King but also 134 on just 17 carries from Cam’Ron Harris with Miami compiling 337 rushing yards against one of the better Conference USA defenses. The Miami defense also played well against the run after a few sloppy plays early in the game, holding UAB to 3.1 yards per rush. There were some holes in the pass defense however and UAB likely would have had better numbers if not for an injury to their veteran quarterback.  

Playing on Thursday offers Miami a longer turnaround ahead of the ACC opener as Louisville’s opening win came last Saturday night. Hosting Western Kentucky as a nearly two-touchdown favorite, the Cardinals lost an early fumble and were down 7-0 not even three minutes into the game. Four unanswered touchdowns on mostly long drives put Louisville up 28-7 by halftime and the production edges were more substantial than the 35-21 final score with Louisville not adding points in the final 23 minutes of the game while comfortably ahead.

Scott Satterfield went 51-24 at Appalachian State leading the team in a successful move up to the FBS level while claiming three Sun Belt titles. He wasn’t the first choice with the opening at Louisville, but he turned in a solid season of improvement going 8-5 last season with a Music City Bowl win. Louisville finished second behind Clemson in the ACC Atlantic, though a 45-10 home loss to the Tigers painted a significant gap in the standings.

Micale Cunningham had an efficient season in 2019 with only five interceptions and over 2,000 yards passing as the Louisville quarterback. He did throw an interception in the opener but also had a career high of 343 passing yards as Western Kentucky’s defense is effective stopping the run. Satterfield’s offenses usually are run-heavy but being held to 3.8 yards per rush, Louisville took some shots downfield in the opener and hit a few big plays.

Louisville also had a good defensive showing after an inconsistent campaign in 2019. Louisville was among the worst run defenses in the nation last season allowing 5.6 yards per carry and eight times last season the Cardinals allowed 34 or more points. All five Louisville losses came by double-digits last season and the Cardinals didn’t deliver many quality wins with the best results at Wake Forest, home vs. Virginia, and in bowl action vs. Mississippi State.

The result Saturday will likely boil down to who performs better among the two star quarterbacks with both King and Cunningham deserving mention as Heisman candidates. King opened as low as 30/1 while Cunningham was around 100/1 this spring. King is now down to 9/1 at some outlets while Cunningham’s price has hit as low as 20/1. Both teams have a shot to produce a strong enough record to keep either in the conversation with a possible edge to Cunningham as Louisville doesn’t have to play Clemson in this season’s ACC free-for-all race.

HISTORICALLY SPEAKING:

Louisville is 5-2 S/U and ATS at home under Satterfield though the program is 23-38 ATS as a home favorite since 2007, only fitting that role three times last season coming off a 2-win 2018 campaign. Miami is just 9-14 ATS as an underdog since 2013 though going 3-0 ATS with two S/U wins last season under Diaz. Miami is 10-3-1 S/U all-time in this series since 1933 but just 1-6 ATS in this series with spread data back to 1984. Louisville had won and covered in three straight meetings before last season’s 52-27 win for Miami.

LAST SEASON:

Louisville played Clemson and Virginia in back-to-back weeks in late October, splitting those games before a bye week and the road trip to Miami. That situation seemed to favor the rested Cardinals as Miami was riding back-to-back road wins including defeating rival Florida State the previous week. Both teams had long scoring drives early in the game but Miami kept its offense going with a 35-14 lead by halftime. The final yardage favored Louisville 496-449 but the Cardinals lost three turnovers. Miami QB Jarren Williams threw six touchdowns while Miami rushed for 6.2 yards per carry in a convincing result. After scoring 52 vs. Louisville in what was the home finale, the Hurricanes would score only 41 points in the next three games combined, all losses to lesser teams than the Cardinals.

UP NEXT:

Miami has Florida State at home next Saturday in another Saturday night ABC game. Louisville’s next three games are spaced out over four weeks but will all be road games, at Pittsburgh, at Georgia Tech, and then at Notre Dame.

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Week 2 NFL starts Tonight!

Get our picks for this week in pro and college football in Green Sheet Issue #9 for just $12.

Nelly’s will look to build on a perfect start (5-0 in rated picks) for our phone service with our next update Friday – considering joining us for our September/October Package the next seven weeks.

Nelly’s Baseball is on a steady 17-11 run – join us for a TOTAL Thursday!

The Big is 4-2 in his 1U Biggie plays this season and he is involved in tonight’s AFC NORTH GAME – $9.94.

Bobby Dalton has a 10* and 7* in NHL Playoff Hockey tonight as well!

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Huge start to Football!

Nelly’s has turned in a perfect 5-0 football weekend with rated picks, going 2-0 in college and 3-0 in the NFL this weekend, coming off winning both unrated recommendations in the small opening schedule last week for a great start to the football season! We hit a double-digit underdog that won outright on Saturday and had three 2* NFL underdogs and all three also won outright!

Consider joining us for the FULL SEASON for the incredibly low price of only $500, which includes a full season Green Sheet subscription ($149 on its own). Or take advantage of a special offer for all picks now through November 2 for just $279 featuring SEVEN football weekends in our Sep/Oct Package.

Bobby Dalton went 2-0 in the NFL on Sunday including a 10* Best Bet winner and he is ready for Monday Night Football with a guaranteed 10* BEST BET offer to close down Week 1. Dalton also won a 10* in MLB action yesterday for a second straight winning week on the diamond and he has a BEST BET for Daytime Baseball Monday! Dalton is also keeping up with the NHL PLAYOFFS!

The Big E moved to 3-1 in NCAA Biggie plays while Maximum won 4 of 5 in his NFL Week 1 Card.

Nelly’s hasn’t been able to keep up our outstanding over 63% NBA regular season pace in the unique format of the postseason this year but we’ll hope for a few more wins in the Conference Finals and NBA Finals, having gone 4-1 in the NBA Finals last season. We are on a strong MLB run the past four weeks with a 16-9 run since Aug. 18, mainly playing over/under picks.

We are having some challenges with updating our website – if you are unable to complete an order on the site, please email us at nelly@nellysports.com or call 1-800-33-NELLY.

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First Big Football Weekend

NFL Week 1 got underway last night and a big weekend is ahead with college football Saturday, the NFL Sunday, plus NBA, NHL, and MLB games throughout the week.

Nelly’s has our first NFL 2/3 available for Sunday and we’ll look to stay perfect in college with a daytime pick on Saturday!

Bobby Dalton opened his football season with a winner on Thursday and should have his next picks up Saturday AM.

Big E is 2-1 in his football Biggies so far and has guaranteed Biggies for $9.94 Saturday & Sunday, plus his first edition of the Top 5 Ticket.

Maximum Sports has a 3/5 offer in the NFL with a guarantee to hit 60%!

We unfortunately are having some technical issues on our website and the updates are not yet completed. If you are interested in any of the available picks or subscriptions from Nelly’s or our featured handicappers and are having trouble purchasing on the site, please email us at nelly@nellysports.com or call 1-800-336-3559 to complete your order.

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The NFL Returns

Tonight is the highly anticipated first game of the 2020 NFL season. While tonight’s game features the biggest spread of Week 1, it provides a compelling storyline with a AFC Playoff rematch of one of the wildest games in recent memory.

Keep posted for possible selections for Football tonight as well as MLB, NBA, and NHL action.

We are in the process of some maintenance on our website, if you don’t see a product or have trouble ordering on the site please email us at nelly@nellysports.com or call us at 1-800-336-3559.

Issue #8 of the Green Sheet coverall all of this week’s college and pro football games was posted on Wednesday, join us for the full season subscription.

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Happy Labor Day

We hope everyone enjoys a safe and pleasant holiday – while Labor Day generally means the start of football the unique 2020 sports calendar is in the thick of the NBA & NHL playoffs while the MLB Postseason race is heating up with only a few weeks left in the regular season. College football is officially underway and next week some of the heavyweights will be in action with opening games for several ACC & Big XII teams.

This Wednesday’s Green Sheet (Issue #8) will cover those upcoming college games as well as Week 1 in the NFL, starting Thursday night with a rematch of a memorable playoff game in the AFC Playoffs last season. If you aren’t already subscribed, now is a great time to join in as this could be the longest Green Sheet season ever if there is winter and spring college football. Sign up here for the full season subscription.

Nelly’s hit over 63% in the NBA regular season and while the playoffs have been a back-and-forth affair for us so far we have had a nice second round including going 3-1 in the Eastern Conference Semifinals. We have a pick in today’s huge Game 5 between Boston and Toronto for just $15!

We’ve also had a hot streak in baseball following back-to-back winning months to start the shortened 2020 season. We are on a 13-5 run in our last 18 picks and we have a Holiday Pick for MLB action Monday for $15 pay after you win!

The Big Dog Bobby Dalton hit 2 out of 3 in MLB action yesterday and he owns a 13-10 NBA Playoff record. Don’t miss Big Dog selections in NBA, MLB, and possibly the NHL Monday.

The Big E is 2-0 in college football with Thursday & Saturday winners – check out daily selections for $9.94 or join for an extended subscription with the B.E.S.T.