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Stephen Nover Stephen Nover
I have had only two losing season in pro football in my handicapping career. I have the best sources in the business thanks to more than 25 years as a sportswriter, handicapper and analyst.
Stephen Nover's NBA Sunday Bookie Basher - 49-28-1 NBA Streak!

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**2014 Basketball Champion!**
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Stephen Nover is one of the most respected NFL handicappers in North American with the record to back it up: 371-302 for 55 percent during the last eight years. All of Stephen's plays come with his trademark deep and unique analysis. Stephen is a multiple Rotisserie league football champion and was an award-winning sportswriter for the Las Vegas Review-Journal for 13 years. He also worked for the legendary linesmaker Roxy Roxbury, who was the top oddsmaker in North America before retiring. Don't miss out. Lock in now and get all of Stephen's plays at a top value price.

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YESTERDAY'S PLAYS
Matchup Selection W/L
NBA  |  Jan 16, 2021
Magic vs Nets
Magic
+9 -110 at BetCris
Won
$100
Play Type: Premium

There's not a lot to like about Orlando right now. The Magic have lost four in a row, losing by an average margin of 26 points during this span. 

 But I'm going to hold my nose and step in with the Magic taking this many points against what has to be a distracted Nets team. Between Kyrie Irving doing his space cadet routine again and James Harden's arrival, the Nets have been a major publicity item. Harden is expected to make his Nets debut here. He won't have Irving, who is out due to personal reasons. Harden won't know his new teammates, will be rusty and likely won't play a ton of minutes especially with the Nets hosting the Bucks in their next game on Monday.  Prices on the Nets are up with Harden joining the squad. Everything is about Harden, but the Nets lost two key pieces in the multi-team trade to acquire hime. Caris LeVert, their best bench player and a legitimate quality starter, was sent to the Pacers. Jarrett Allen, their starting center, was set to the Cavaliers. Allen was emerging as a force in the middle. Now the Nets' lone big man is over-the-hill DeAndre Jordan.  Orlando's strength is its two big men, Nikola Vucevic and Aaron Gordon. They can pound the Nets inside. The Magic have covered five of the last six times against the Nets and have been a money-maker on the road going 13-6-1 (68 percent) during their past 20 away contests.
  
Matchup Selection W/L
NCAA-B  |  Jan 16, 2021
Wofford vs Chattanooga
Chattanooga
+2 -105 at linepros
Lost
$105.0
Play Type: Premium

There are 13 teams in the country with 11 or more wins. UT Chattanooga is one of them. The Mocs have been a hot spread team going back to last season compiling a 14-5-1 ATS mark in their last 20 lined contests. This includes an 8-2-1 ATS record versus above .500 foes.

 Wofford relies heavily on freshmen in contrast to Chattanooga, which is senior dominated. That could prove telling for the Terriers in this road matchup. Wofford has allowed 78 or more points in three of its last four games. The Mocs are averaging 79 points in their five Southern Conference games. 
  
Matchup Selection W/L
NCAA-B  |  Jan 16, 2021
Army vs Boston University
Boston University
-119 at pinnacle
Lost
$119.0
Play Type: Premium
Boston University won the Patriot League last season. The Terriers swept Army last season, winning by 22 points at home and 14 on the road.  The Terriers have back their key player, Walter Whyte. He's the team's second-leading scorer and No. 1 rebounder.  Army lacks strong point guard play and is one of the worst free throw shooting teams in the nation at 59.6 percent.  
Matchup Selection W/L
NCAA-B  |  Jan 16, 2021
NJIT vs Albany
NJIT
+3 -115 at linepros
Lost
$115.0
Play Type: Premium
I find value in this America East Conference matchup of two weak offenses where even one point matters.  New Jersey Tech is 4-4. Albany is 1-5. The Great Danes haven't scored more than 66 points once this season. They also have covered only 28 percent of their past 42 home games. 
Matchup Selection W/L
NHL  |  Jan 16, 2021
Maple Leafs vs Senators
Maple Leafs
-1½ +121 at pinnacle
Lost
$100.0
Play Type: Free

The Senators finished 30th out of 31 teams last season. The Maple Leafs have the talent to seriously contend for the Stanley Cup. 

 Maturity, not talent, is the question regarding Toronto.  The Maple Leafs opened with a narrow home victory against Montreal in overtime, overcoming a two goal deficit lead. Toronto then took an early lead against the supposedly hapless Senators last night. The Maple Leafs, apparently overconfident and full of themselves, proceeded to get thoroughly outplayed giving up three goals during the final 10:30 of the second period in a 5-3 loss.  Fredrik Andersen didn't play well in net. Neither did defenseman Morgan Reilly, nor Auston Matthews who was minus three during his time of the ice. Now the specter of getting swept by the Senators during the opening weekend of the season lurks for the Maple Leafs. So expect a much more determined effort by the Maple Leafs - both physically and mentally. Andersen is likely to be replaced by Jack Campbell in net for this game. Reilly is primed for a big season and Matthews is in the argument for best player in the NHL.  Ottawa looks improved with nine new faces making their Senators debut last night, including former Penguins goalie Matt Murray. It's going to take the Senators a while to jell without a preseason for their many new teammates, though. They pulled their upset surprise Friday. I don't see it happening again today. Neither does the oddsmaker making the Maple Leafs such a heavy favorite. So I'm going with the puck line, laying 1 1/2 goals, to turn this line into a plus profit in the belief this is a kill spot for Toronto.  (Editor's note: Stephen Nover is 48-28-1 o his last 77 NBA premium plays, 160-108-5 on his college basketball plays the past three seasons and is on a 19-11-2 NFL run going for his 24th winning NFL season in 27 years. But Stephen also is a highly respected hockey handicapper. Stephen is going for his fifth straight winning NHL season. He is out of the gate fast this year going 4-1 the past two days, including cashing a plus $1.72 winner on the Avalanche on the puck line last night. There is tremendous value right now during the first week of the season - and Stephen is fully on top of it.)   

Matchup Selection W/L
NHL  |  Jan 16, 2021
Wild vs Kings
Kings
+118 at Draft Kings
Lost
$100.0
Play Type: Premium
I don't see rookie Kirill Kaprizov repeating his season-opening heroics of producing three points, including scoring an overtime goal, in leading the Wild past the Kings, 4-3, two days ago.  I look for the Kings, with their veteran players, to bounce back against the youthful Wild. Veteran defensemen Drew Doughty and Olli Maatta had terrible games. They should play much better for LA, whose blue line gets reinforced with Sean Walker and Kurtis MacDermid now available after missing Thursday's game because of COVID restrictions. 
Matchup Selection W/L
NHL  |  Jan 16, 2021
Canadiens vs Oilers
Canadiens
-108 at pinnacle
Won
$100
Play Type: Premium
The Canadiens are still kicking themselves for blowing a two-goal lead in their opener against the Maple Leafs, a 5-4 overtime defeat this past Wednesday. The rested Canadiens felt they were the better team. They catch the Oilers playing for the third time in four days. Edmonton got satisfying home revenge in its last game, beating Vancouver, 5-3, this past Thursday.  I expect the Canadiens to be better this season with a rejuvenated Carey Price, who did have several outstanding saves against the Maple Leafs. 
Matchup Selection W/L
NHL  |  Jan 16, 2021
Sharks vs Coyotes
Coyotes
-123 at pinnacle
Won
$100
Play Type: Premium
I'm playing the Zig/Zag here expecting the Coyotes to bounce back after losing to the Sharks, 4-3, in a shootout on Thursday.  San Jose goalie Martin Jones bailed his team out with several outstanding saves in that 4-3 win. Arizona had more shots on goal than San Jose.  Even with the victory, the Sharks have lost eight of the last 11 times as an underdog. 
Matchup Selection W/L
NFL  |  Jan 16, 2021
Ravens vs Bills
OVER 50 -110 Lost
$110.0
Play Type: Top Premium

Lamar Jackson is back in MVP form. Josh Allen has become a top-five caliber quarterback. Offense is going to trump defense in this matchup.

 Baltimore closed the regular-season averaging 37 points and 430 yards of total offense during its last five games. Jackson accounted for 15 TD's and 1,200 yards of total offense with a 110.6 passer rating during this span. The Ravens are the No. 1 rushing team in the NFL. J.K. Dobbins and Jackson will be the two best runners on the field. Buffalo ranked 17th in run defense.  The Bills gave up 472 yards to the Colts last week. Their defense was on the field for nearly 35 minutes. Buffalo was fortunate the Colts didn't produce more than 24 points. They were inches away from doing that. The Ravens average more points per game than the Colts. The last time the Bills faced a dual threat QB anywhere near the caliber of Jackson was against the Cardinals back in mid-November when Kyler Murray put up 32 points against them. Jackson is superior to Murray. It wouldn't surprise if the Bills defense melted down in the fourth quarter from constant pounding.  The Ravens' defense was highly impressive in dispatching the Titans, 20-13, last week. Baltimore's defensive strengths matched up well to Tennessee. It also was the third time Baltimore and Tennessee had met in one calendar year. So the Ravens had a great deal of familiarity with the Titans. Baltimore is not so well acquainted with Buffalo.  Allen isn't the inconsistent, inaccurate quarterback he was during his first two years in the league. He broke out in a major way during his third season accounting for 45 touchdowns while breaking many of Buffalo's team passing records. The Bills broke their franchise scoring record by 43 points producing 501 points. The Bills are the opposite of the Ravens in that they set up the run by passing - if they even want to bother running.  The Ravens like to blitz. They put a lot of trust in their cornerbacks. Buffalo is a dangerous matchup for them because of Allen's tremendous mobility and receiving targets - Stefon Diggs, Cole Beasley, John Brown and emerging Gabriel Davis. Each of these wideouts brings something to the table. Diggs has been unstoppable this season. Beasley is a reliable move-the-chains target. Brown is a deep threat. Davis has caught six passes for 192 yards during the last two games.  Buffalo weather in January can be tricky. But the forecast is calling for temperatures in the low 30s with 10-12 mph wind. So the weather shouldn't be a hindrance to the total.  
PICKS IN PROGRESS
Matchup Selection W/L
NHL  |  Jan 17, 2021
Blackhawks vs Panthers
Blackhawks
+138 at linepros
Play Type: Premium
I'm not going to be landing on the Blackhawks too often this season. But this is one of those exceptions. The Panthers finished last season losing nine of their past 11 home games.  The key, however, to this handicap to the Blackhawks is the situation. Chicago has played two games. Florida has yet to see action. This disadvantage for Florida is magnified because the Panthers are breaking in many new players and didn't have a preseason to work out the kinks. The Panthers don't have their leading goal scorer from last season, Mike Hoffman. He signed with the Blues. Florida also is likely to be minus veteran defenseman Keith Yandle, who is expected to be a healthy scratch due to issues with management. Starting goalie Sergei Bobrovsky won't be in net either. He's still working his way into shape. So the Blackhawks draw Florida backup goalie Chris Driedger.  The Blackhawks are stepping way down in class after unfortunately drawing reigning Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay in their first two games. Neither game against the Lightning was close, but the Blackhawks played better in the rematch, which was this past Friday.  Chicago has had a nice recent run in Florida beating the Panthers in six of its last eight visits. 
Matchup Selection W/L
NCAA-B  |  Jan 17, 2021
Memphis vs Tulsa
Tulsa
+2 -105 at pinnacle
Won
$100
Play Type: Premium
Tulsa destroyed Memphis, 80-40, last Jan. 22. The Tigers had their opportunity to gain revenge at home when they hosted the Golden Hurricane on Dec. 21 and lost again, 56-49.  Now the Tigers will try to beat Tulsa on the road having not played since Dec. 29 because of three straight games postponed due to COVID.  Tulsa had been playing well with six consecutive victories and covers in each of their last five lined games. But the Golden Hurricane couldn't overcome their road jinx against Wichita State in their last game, getting hammered, 72-53, this past Wednesday. I see the Golden Hurricane bouncing back at home against a foe that has not been able to beat them. Tulsa has covered 10 of its last 14 home games.
Matchup Selection W/L
NCAA-B  |  Jan 17, 2021
Western Kentucky vs Marshall
Western Kentucky
+2½ +100 at pinnacle
Won
$100
Play Type: Premium
Western Kentucky came through on Friday beating Marshall, 81-73, as 4 1/2-point home favorites. Now the Hilltoppers go on the road against Marshall and are now underdogs. I don't think Marshall is the better team. So I'll accept these points.  Western Kentucky surrenders fewer points per game than Marshall. The Hilltoppers rank sixth in the nation in free throw percentage at 80.5 percent. Free throws were the big story in Friday's game. The Hilltoppers made 19 of 21 while Marshall hit two of five. Why such a large free throw discrepancy? Did Marshall get homered? I don't know, but it's just another plus in the Hilltoppers' favor that they get to the free throw line far more than Marshall - and they rarely miss when they do get there. 
Matchup Selection W/L
NCAA-B  |  Jan 17, 2021
Hofstra vs Delaware
Delaware
+3 -109 at Draft Kings
Won
$100
Play Type: Premium
Delaware defeated Hofstra, 74-56, at home two days ago in a matchup of two middle-of-the-pack Colonial Athletic Association teams. I didn't find anything unusual in that victory. The Blue Hens have been playing better since conference play began. They outrebounded the Pride, 40-29. So I'll take points with them in a home 'dog role. The Blue Hens have given up just 64 points per game in four Colonial Athletic Association games.They rank first in the league in two-point defensive field goal percentage and No. 2 in overall defensive field goal percentage.  Hofstra didn't shoot well against Delaware on Friday. But that shouldn't be surprising as Delaware has limited foes to 40.9 percent field goal shooting during its past five games. The Pride rank 225th in the country in field goal percentage at 43 percent. 
Matchup Selection W/L
NFL  |  Jan 17, 2021
Bucs vs Saints
Saints
-3 -110 at Draft Kings
Play Type: Top Premium

I've never bought into that cliche of it's tough to beat a team three times in a season. New Orleans beat Tampa Bay, 34-20, opening week and defeated the Buccaneers far worse in Tampa, 38-3, in Week 9 when Tom Brady was more in sync with his new team. Brady had a 2-to-5 touchdown-to-interception ratio in those losses to the Saints. 

 Truth be told, Brady hasn't been that sharp when taking on strong defenses such as New Orleans. The Saints could have the hottest defense during the second half of the season. They've held seven of their last 10 foes to 16 points or fewer. New Orleans defense only had to be on the field for 21 minutes against the Bears last week. I like the Saints' defensive line, perhaps the deepest in the league, to win the battle of the trenches especially with the Buccaneers losing guard Alex Cappa to an ankle injury. Brady doesn't have the mobility to escape a strong pass rush, which the Saints can generate without blitzes.  Tampa Bay is 2-5 SU and ATS against playoff teams.  The Saints are the steadier team with a highly-efficient offense and the best playmaker on the field in Alvin Kamara. Drew Brees has his top wideouts healthy again, including Michael Thomas. New Orleans has home-field, far more postseason experience than Tampa Bay and the built-in confidence of two previous lopsided victories. 
  
SERVICE BIO

Sports gaming writer for Las Vegas Review-Journal 1984-1997. Professional handicapper since 1999. Author of three books - Las Vegas Sportsbeat, Sportsgaming Beat, Winning Fantasy Football. Taught sports betting at UNLV. Former co-host of the Sunday Night Stardust Line sports gaming radio show. Was part-time oddsmaker and analyst for Roxy Roxborough. Recognized NFL expert with 21 of 23 winning seasons.