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Colts at Bills expert picks, odds: Point spread, player props, total, betting trends for wild-card round – CBS Sports

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It’s been a year for the history books for the Buffalo Bills as they were able to win the AFC East for the first time since 1995 and are now set to host the Indianapolis Colts on Super Wild-Card Weekend. Prior to this season, Indy actually had a more recent AFC East title than Buffalo but now Josh Allen and his club are looking for the franchise’s first playoff victory since that 1995 season. As for the Colts, they are fresh off clinching a playoff spot in Week 17 and are now looking to possibly give veteran Philip Rivers one last kick at the can for that elusive Super Bowl

In this space, we’re going to cover all the betting angles that this game has to offer. On top of the analysis we’ll give you surrounding the spread and total, we’ll also dive into how the lines have shifted throughout the week as well as cover a few of our favorite player props in this head-to-head. 

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All NFL odds via William Hill Sportsbook. 

How to watch Colts at Bills

Date: Saturday, Jan. 9 | Time: 1:05 p.m. ET
Location: Bills Stadium (Orchard Park, New York)
TV: CBS | Stream: Free on CBSSports.com and the CBS Sports app, also through CBS All Access
Follow: CBS Sports App

Colts (11-5) at Bills (13-3)

Latest Odds:

Buffalo Bills
-6.5

This line opened at Buffalo -6.5 and has found its way back to that number on the eve of this matchup, but it’s hardly held firm. The Bills’ advantage jumped up to a full seven points on Monday and held until Tuesday afternoon before falling back to Buffalo -6.5. On Thursday, this spread fell to Buffalo -6 but has since risen back to where things opened. 

Buffalo could not be any hotter coming into the playoffs, covering eight straight matchups to end the year. That makes them just the fourth team in the last 40 years to enter the playoffs on an eight-game cover streak. Each of those previous three teams won by double-digits in their first playoff match. Buffalo is also a DeAndre Hopkins missed Hail Mary reception away from winning 10-straight entering the postseason. Meanwhile, the Colts have failed to cover in each of their last three games and are finally getting points for the first time this season. While Buffalo is white-hot right now, Philip Rivers does have a strong record against them. The veteran quarterback is 4-0 SU and ATS in his last four stars against the Bills and has thrown 10 touchdowns to zero interceptions over that stretch. Rivers is also 23-9 in his career playing on short rest, which is noteworthy with this game being played on Saturday. 

Ultimately, the Bills seem to be running too hot to fade right now and are beating teams at a clip that should have bettors not worry about the 6.5-point spread. Over their last six games, Buffalo has not only won their games but done so by double-digits. 

Projected score: Bills 33, Colts 24

Over/Under

Latest Odds:

Over 50.5

Bettors may not be expecting a huge display of offense between these teams as this total has been driven down throughout the week after opening at 52.5. By Monday, this total ticked down a half-point and has since fallen all the way to 51 as of Friday afternoon. Weather isn’t forecasted to be a huge factor in this contest, and isn’t likely to dilute the scoring. 

While this number has fallen, the Over has a strong mark between these two clubs, going 19-11-2 during the regular season. Over this six-game winning streak to end the season, Buffalo’s offense has been averaging over 38 points per game and Josh Allen looks like he’s playing at an MVP-caliber level. As for the Colts, they are also scoring at a high clip, averaging over 30 points per game over the last month. If both offenses can even come close to those totals again, this number is likely tipping over despite both defenses play well as of late. 

Projected total: 57

Player props

First touchdown scorer: Jonathan Taylor (+750). According to CBS Sports research analyst Stephen Oh’s projections, Taylor, who has scored seven touchdowns in his last four games, has good value to find the end zone first as he’s +730 in simulations, meaning you are getting better odds on the actual market. Oh’s projections also like Taylor’s Over for rushing yards at 74.5 (-115). 

Philip Rivers total passing yards: Under 263.5 yards (-115). Not only does Oh project Rivers to come under this number, the quarterback’s recent play would also suggest that he won’t be lighting it up through the air. He’s gone over this total just once over the last four weeks and is averaging 226.5 passing yards over that stretch. 

Devin Singletary total rushing yards: Over 30.5 yards (-115). Singletary has gone over this total in five of his last six games to end the regular season and should have a key role in Buffalo’s backfield after averaging nearly a dozen touches over the final six weeks.

Dawson Knox total receptions: Over 2.5 (-170). The Bills tight end has been heavily involved in the passing game over the last month, averaging nearly six targets per game from Allen. That volume could continue into the playoffs with the receiver unit a bit banged up, which gives Knox plenty of opportunities to hit the over on this prop. 

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Jays’ young arms give glimpse of future, Kluber shows what might have been – Sportsnet.ca

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TORONTO – As Corey Kluber gave the Toronto Blue Jays a glimpse of what might have been in the present, top pitching prospects Simeon Woods Richardson and Alek Manoah offered them an intriguing look at what might lie ahead in the future.

The juxtaposition between the two was front and centre in Wednesday night’s 4-1 Grapefruit League victory by the New York Yankees.

Kluber, the two-time Cy Young Award winner working his way back after consecutive seasons lost to injury, was an off-season target for the Blue Jays before he signed with the Yankees on a one-year, $11-million deal — a high-risk, high-reward add with the potential to impact the AL East landscape.

He struck out three batters over two perfect innings that he described as “pretty solid” afterward, pleased primarily to be getting game-reps in a competitive setting, while adding “obviously it was a bonus that it went well.”

That the outing came against an opponent that represented a path not taken over the winter didn’t seem to matter to the 34-year-old, who didn’t offer much about the level of consideration he gave to the Blue Jays.

“Any of the teams that were interested in me, I (don’t think) I closed the book on them by any means,” he said. “I listened to everybody and tried to gather all the information we could and came to the decision we did in the end. I don’t think that changes the way I would have approached tonight, whether they would or would not have been interested this off-season. Either way, you only play for one team and the other 29 of them are the opponents, so trying to go out there and do the best I can for my team and my teammates.”

The same went for Woods Richardson and Manoah on that latter part.

Even though neither has pitched above A-ball, both promising right-handers have fast-track repertoires, displayed over a combined four innings of one-hit, one-walk work against a regular-season-quality lineup.

Woods Richardson, a 20-year-old who served as part of the return for Marcus Stroman, got the start and as he listened to the Yankees lineup being announced – D.J. LeMahieu, Aaron Judge, Aaron Hicks, Giancarlo Stanton, Gleyber Torres, Brett Gardner, Gary Sanchez, Jay Bruce and Derek Dietrich – it struck him that, “they’re actually in the box, you’re not watching guys on TV no more, you’re actually facing them.”

Quickly he reset, throwing mostly a four-seamer that averaged 92.7 m.p.h. and topped out at 94.6, and a curveball that generated two whiffs, including a third strike on Stanton in the second. Not bad for his Grapefruit League debut.

“It was just don’t try to do too much and be myself on the mound, you know?” Woods Richardson said of his self-talk as he took the field. “You might have seen me head-bobbing and shaking my head. It was just trying to be myself as much as possible and be as comfortable as possible. And yet, even though the adrenaline is coming in, anticipation of the game is coming, I still had to take a deep breath, get on the mound, attack the strike zone and just be myself.”

Manoah, the 23-year-old first-rounder in 2019, picked up right from there.

After Bruce’s single to lead off the third, Manoah struck out Dietrich on a 97.8 m.p.h. fastball that was his hardest of the outing (he averaged 96.8) and then induced a LeMahieu double play. Manoah opened the fourth by hitting Judge, but then struck out the side by catching Hicks looking at a slider, freezing Stanton with a sinker and getting Torres on a slider in the dirt.

It was big boy stuff, something Manoah said he was prepared for after the Blue Jays “threw me into the sharks” during live batting practice by pitting him against George Springer, Marcus Semien, Bo Bichette and Rowdy Tellez.

“For me, that was a really exciting moment to be able to throw against a Silver Slugger, MVP finalist and guys who played in some big games,” he said. “When I went into that outing I was extremely amped up. The location of my pitches wasn’t as great. So tonight going in, I was able to use some of that adversity and some of that experience and, ‘Hey, we’re going to face a good lineup tonight, but stay within yourself, your stuff is good, your stuff plays, go out there and just compete, man. Just have a good time and whatever happens, happens. … That was the headspace.”

Similarly impressive is how both young pitchers weren’t content to simply soak in the atmosphere, instead trying to leverage every bit of the opportunity before them.

Even before taking the mound, Manoah closely watched the Yankees hitters, “looking for tendencies.”

“Are guys watching the ball all the way into the mitt? Are they swinging at first pitches? Are they biting on sliders? What what kind of approach are they having?” he continued. “That kind of will tell me how the day is going to go for me. If I got guys that are going to swing at first pitches, hey, we’re going to throw that sinker in there and let’s get some ground balls. If we’ve got guys [who] are going to spit a little bit, hey let’s get more of the plate, let’s get them in a count where we’ve got them handcuffed a little bit, 1-2, 0-2.”

Woods Richardson also made a point of watching Kluber dice up the Blue Jays, focusing on the way “he attacked the zone and the way he could (use) his pitch selection to control the strike zone, and get guys to miss, and just to see how a former Cy Young winner operates. It was cool to match up against him for my first outing.”

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Canadiens GM says Carey Price had no input in decision to fire coach – Montreal Gazette

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Marc Bergevin says he did consult with head coach Dominique Ducharme, but final decision to fire goalie coach Stéphane Waite was his alone.

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Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin says Carey Price had no input in his decision to fire goalie coach Stéphane Waite and that he didn’t ask the goalie for his opinion.

“The day that I work like that, I’m not the right guy for the job,” Bergevin said during a video conference Wednesday to explain his decision to fire Waite after the second period of Tuesday night’s 3-1 win over the Ottawa Senators, in which Price made 26 saves for his first win in his last four games.

Price now has a 6-4-3 record with a 2.96 goals-against average and a .893 save percentage.

Bergevin said he did consult with Dominique Ducharme about firing Waite, but added the new interim head coach didn’t ask for a new goalie coach. Bergevin said the decision was his and that Ducharme supported him.

As for Price, Bergevin said the goalie didn’t learn Waite had been fired until after he had done a video conference with reporters following Tuesday’s game. The Canadiens announced Waite’s firing an hour after the game ended.

“It’s surprising, obviously,” Price said Wednesday when asked about his goalie coach for the last eight years getting fired. “It’s an unfortunate part of the business.”

When asked what went wrong as far as working with Waite, Price said: “It’s an evolution of maybe small things that have led up to this point.”

When asked if he could pinpoint those small things and whether they were technical or mental aspects, Price said: “Both.”

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Price is a man of very few words and that was the case again Wednesday. When it was mentioned to Price that his answers in interviews can give some people the perception he doesn’t care enough about what he’s doing, Price said: “It doesn’t matter to me anymore.”

Waite’s firing comes a week after head coach Claude Julien and associate coach Kirk Muller were both fired.

“It’s just about moving forward,” Price said about all the coaching changes. “I’m grateful for the time that I spent with Steph. He’s been a hard-working, dedicated goalie coach and I really appreciate all that work that he’s done with us and right now it’s a quick turnaround. We don’t have a lot of time to dwell on things. So it’s all about regrouping and getting the work done and start bonding quickly.”

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Now it will be Sean Burke’s job to get Price back on track as the Canadiens’ new “director of goaltending.” But first Burke will have to observe a 14-day COVID-19 quarantine after arriving in Montreal from his home in Arizona. In the meantime, Price will work with Marco Marciano, the goalie coach for the AHL’s Laval Rocket.

“He’s a very enthusiastic guy,” Price said after working with Marciano at practice Wednesday. “He brings a lot of energy and it’s going to be fun.”

Not surprisingly, Bergevin said Waite took his firing hard, adding his work as a goalie coach is his passion.

“It wasn’t easy for him, not at all,” Bergevin said.

Price said he spoke with Waite Tuesday night after the firing was announced.

“Obviously, we’re thankful for our time spent together and I’m very grateful for his hard work,” Price said.

scowan@postmedia.com

twitter.com/StuCowan1

  1. Montreal Canadiens goalie coach Stéphane Waite talks with Montreal Canadiens goalie Carey Price during a workout at the Bell Sports Complex in Brossard on July 21, 2020.

    Stu Cowan: Survivor 2021 — Canadiens edition

  2. Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin says he still believes Carey Price is one of the best goalies in the NHL despite having a 2.96 goals-against average and a .893 save percentage.

    Canadiens Notebook: GM went with ‘gut feeling’ to fire Stéphane Waite

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Which Countries are Experiencing a Boom to Their Gaming Industries?

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gaming

Which countries around the globe are becoming popular destinations for gaming? They might not be quite where you think! Find out more here!

When we speak of the countries that are leading the way in game development, you will often see the same names coming up over and over. For example, Japan and the US are market leaders in game development and that is unlikely to change any time soon. However, we are also seeing some other countries experience a boom that could make the industry a more level playing field overall.

Spain

 

The Spanish gaming sector is rapidly increasing. In cities like Valencia, many companies are beginning to open shop and develop new and innovative titles for their audiences. This is proving to be a popular destination for new start ups for several reasons.

Spain has a much lower cost of living than other countries, even in some of the bigger cities like Madrid. This means that people are able to operate businesses here and enjoy a good quality of living all at the same time. Even the more expensive cities such as Barcelona can still be fantastic choices for the right people.

Start ups can choose to target English or Spanish-speaking European markets, but there is also the potential to appeal to the markets in Latin America. With new opportunities constantly emerging in the Spanish markets, this is a great place to watch the gaming industry grow.

Finland

Finland is another country that has proved that it has a fantastic market for gaming that is only going to be set to grow. The capital of Helsinki is bustling with start ups and plenty of opportunities are arising for people who want to make a living in this sector.

Gaming has been a long-standing tradition in Finland for years so it is unsurprising that they have seen a move towards the mobile market flourish. Though there have been many changes to the models of paid mobile gaming over the years – first with a one-payment download and then with the rise of the free-to-play model – the Finns have managed to stay with the trends while innovating and pushing even further.

In particular, the Finnish iGaming industry is booming and is only set to increase. Anyone who wants a clear picture of what the Finns are able to put out in terms of gaming expertise need only turn to the iGaming industry to see their power.

Singapore

The Asian gaming market is massive. Though big countries like China, Japan, and South Korea dominate the market, there is a lot of interest in some of the other smaller markets, such as that surrounding the city-state of Singapore.

eSports are huge across Asia and there is a lot of development being put forward to help establish teams and game developers across various countries. This is certainly true in Singapore where a lot of money has already been invested. The aim here is to set up not just credible game developers that can trade on an international level, but also several high-ranking eSports teams that can play in many of the big tournaments around the world.

These tournaments include ones within individual sports, such as the various Counter Strike: Global Offensive tournaments that take place, but also tournaments that would allow competitors to represent Singapore itself in competition. For example, the Southeast Asian Games added eSports to the sports included in the Southeast Asian Games. There have also been several discussions as to whether or not eSports should be added to the Olympics. With so many opportunities to compete arising, it is unsurprising that we are seeing investment pouring into places like Singapore in response.

A Global World of Gaming

It is clear that you no longer have to be based in one of the top countries for gaming in the world to be able to have any degree of success in creating games. There are so many opportunities for game developers all over. With high-speed internet and cloud solutions offering connectivity like never before, we are able to come together and work on games even if we were situated in remote destinations all over the world.

This high level of ease of interaction is likely to lead to some amazing opportunities for gaming in the future. If you are searching for some of the biggest and most exciting launches in the future, you are just as likely to find them emerging from a small developer as you are from one of the major players.

The world of gaming is definitely shifting, and it makes it an incredibly exciting place to keep up with. If you are interested in the gaming markets, make sure you check out what is happening in some of the smaller players as well as the big ones. We can never tell where the next internet-breaking game is going to come from!

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