Plus, Phillies-Astros World Series preview, fantasy football prep and college football spreads.
Two legitimate contenders meet on Thursday Night Football to begin another week of NFL action, though their records might say otherwise.
It’s been an underwhelming start for the Ravens and a wholly disappointing year for the Buccaneers. This matchup presents an opportunity to score a big win at an important juncture in the season. Neither team can really afford to lose.
In today’s Winners Club you’ll find:
- BAL-TB betting preview
- SI Sportsbook’s Perfect 10 contest
- World Series betting preview
- Fantasy football Week 8 prep
- CFB Week 9 spreads
Buccaneers Host Ravens Coming off Back-to-Back Losses
Ravens vs. Buccaneers (-1.5)
8:15 p.m. ET (Prime Video)
Tampa Bay returns home this week after two shocking road losses in a row as a heavy favorite against the Steelers and Panthers. The Buccaneers are a narrow favorite against Baltimore, which is coming off a division win against the Browns. The Ravens have one of the best offenses in the league, which is almost counteracted by its poor defense. Meanwhile, the Buccaneers have a top-five defense but their offense has been a major point of concern, especially after it managed just three points against the Panthers.
Frankie Taddeo has the betting breakdown for Thursday Night Football and four player props to target in the game as well. Albert Breer, Michael Fabiano and Jen Piacenti each touched on a different storyline in their game preview video for Ravens-Buccaneers.
Some things you should know:
- Baltimore was originally a 1.5-point road favorite in this contest before the line flipped.
- Ravens DT Calais Campbell (illness) has been ruled out. The Buccaneers will also be without DT Akiem Hicks (foot)
- Tampa Bay’s secondary will be without cornerbacks Sean Murphy-Bunting (quad) and Carlton Davis (hip), as well as safety Antoine Winfield Jr. (concussion).
- Neither team has performed well against the spread lately. The Ravens are 1-4-1 over their last six and the Buccaneers are 0-5 over their last five.
- Tampa Bay averages an NFL-low 64.4 rushing yards per game..
Participate in SI Sportsbook’s Perfect 10 contest this week for a shot at a $10,000 prize. Make 10 picks against the spread to enter, and even if you don’t win the grand prize, you could still earn free picks! Taddeo broke down each of the games for your convenience before you make your pick. There’s a fair amount of divisional games this week, and I have my eyes on Patriots-Jets.
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Phillies-Astros World Series Begins Friday in Houston
Philadelphia and Houston got this far by taking very different routes. The Phillies entered the playoffs through the wild card as the 6-seed. The Astros were the top seed in the American League.
But now that they’re here, on baseball’s biggest stage, all that matters is which team can get to four wins first.
Houston is a -200 favorite to win the series and Philadelphia has +150 odds at SI Sportsbook. The most likely series score is a 4-3 or 4-2 Astros win. As for World Series MVP odds, Bryce Harper and Yordan Alvarez are tied at +600.
Piacenti has the series betting breakdown as well as bets for Game 1, the MLB team each made their series picks and Will Laws made the case for a Phillies upset.
8:03 p.m. ET (Fox): Phillies vs. Astros (-167) | World Series Game 1
8:03 p.m. ET (Fox): Phillies vs. Astros | World Series Game 2
Fantasy Football Week 8 Prep
Only two teams are on bye this week, but fantasy managers everywhere are hurting with their Chiefs and Chargers players unavailable. Check out the weekly rankings, start/sit recommendations and projections from Michael Fabiano and Shawn Childs below to get your roster ready for victory.
And remember to take your Thursday night players out of your flex!
Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em
Quarterbacks: Plug dual-threat Daniel Jones into your lineup against Seattle.
Running backs: Even against a tough Broncos’ defense, start Travis Etienne with confidence.
Wide receivers: Trust in DJ Moore against Atlanta coming off his best game of the year.
Tight ends: Keep Kyle Pitts on the bench up against the Panthers.
Kickers and defenses: Coming off a bye, the Eagles should be started against the Steelers.
Quarterbacks: Joe Burrow continues to be one of the best options at the position this week.
Running back: Christian McCaffrey is a mid-tier RB1 in his second game as a 49er.
Wide Receivers: Even against the 49ers, Cooper Kupp is the No. 1 receiver option.
Tight ends: See who the top tight ends are with Travis Kelce on bye.
Flex: Three players in the CIN-CLE Monday Night Football matchup are top-13 plays.
Kickers: Tyler Bass should be busy Sunday night against the Packers.
Defenses: Don’t discount the Dolphins’ defense on the road against Detroit.
Quarterbacks: Tua Tagovailoa is projected to score nearly 30 points against the Lions.
Running backs: Josh Jacobs is in for another big outing against the Saints.
Wide receivers: Saints’ rookie Chris Olave is one of 10 receivers projected to score 20 or more.
Tight ends: Count on Cade Otton against the Ravens.
OSU-PSU Big Ten Bout is Biggest Matchup of Week 9
Compared with the rest of October, this is a light week as far as top-25 matchups go. Still, there’s important games going on that will affect the conference title races in the Big Ten, Big 12 and SEC.
Robin Lundberg and I broke down two of those matchups—Ohio State-Penn State and Oklahoma State-Kansas State—and SI’s college football team made their straight-up picks for the week.
12 p.m. ET (Fox): No. 2 Ohio State (-15.5) vs. No. 13 Penn State
3:30 p.m. ET (Fox): No. 9 Oklahoma State vs. No. 22 Kansas State (-1.5)
7 p.m. ET (ESPN): No. 19 Kentucky vs. No. 3 Tennessee (-12)
Other Games for Your Consideration
3:30 p.m. ET (ACC Network): No. 10 Wake Forest (-3.5) vs. Louisville
3:30 p.m. ET (ESPN): No. 20 Cincinnati vs. UCF (-1.5)
National Championship Odds Watch
No upsets altered the hierarchy of the title race, but top-ranked Georgia is now tied with Ohio State (+188) for the best national championship odds at SI Sportsbook. Alabama’s odds shortened slightly to +350 and Tennessee, Clemson and Michigan are all tied for the fourth-best odds at +950. The next closest team is Oregon at a distant +3300 odds.
In Other News
Thursday Night NBA Betting Breakdown: Get the odds and breakdown for the Grizzlies-Kings game and Mavericks-Nets matchup and see what other games are on the schedule.
Kadarius Toney Traded to Chiefs: Kansas City sent New York a conditional third-round pick and a sixth for the former first-round receiver. The Chiefs are on bye, so his debut will have to wait till Week 9 at least.
Eagles Trade for Robert Quinn: Philadelphia sent Chicago a fourth-round pick for its Pro Bowl defensive end to bolster the pass rush of the NFL’s only remaining undefeated team.
Damian Lillard Injured Calf vs. Heat: Lillard left Wednesday’s game against Miami in the third quarter and did not return. It was the first loss of the season for the Trail Blazers.
Thanks for reading Winners Club! Enjoy your weekend—I’ll be back in your inbox bright and early Sunday morning for yet another London game.