Daily public money update: Bettors hammering Hawks on Friday

Atlanta Hawks guard Kevin Huerter (3) dribbles against the Washington Wizards in the second quarter at State Farm Arena
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Andrew Ortenberg


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I'm an NFL handicapper here at Pickswise who was raised in a household full of sports fanatics. Since I unfortunately never had LeBron James' jumping ability I wasn't able to make it to the NBA, and chose writing about sports as the next best thing. An avid sports bettor myself, I'm excited to get to write about the industry as it gets set to take off across the country. Buckle up. For Andrew Ortenberg media enquiries, please email contact@pickswise.com.

It’s that special time of year when most of the major sports are in action. It’s a lot, and we’re grateful for it. There are plenty of crucial contests coming up, which always attract some big public sides. Let’s take a look at where the public money is going as bettors once again try to beat the ‘books, with the Hawks leading the way on Friday.

NBA: Hawks -1 vs 76ers

One of the best games of Friday’s NBA slate will take place here in Atlanta. And the public knows who they like. It’s a rematch from last year’s playoffs, and there’s no love lost between these teams. The Hawks have been on a roll lately, and bettors are expecting them to keep it going. A total of 75 percent of the bets and 77 percent of the public money are on the Hawks as the shortest of favorites here, per DraftKings’ internal numbers shared with us.

Atlanta has won eight of their past nine games, while the 76ers are slumping at the moment. Joel Embiid is back from COVID-19 but he’s been very rusty, and just shot 3-of-17 in his most recent game. I like the Hawks as well here, and I have them as part of our Friday NBA mega parlay (+1305 odds!)

NCAAF: Utah -2.5 vs Oregon

We’ve got a couple of college football conference championship games on Friday. The big one is the PAC 12 title game as Oregon takes on Utah. The Utes dominated by a score of 38-7 when these teams played just a couple weeks back, and clearly that’s what is freshest in the public’s mind. A total of 65 percent of the bets and 68 percent of the public money are on Utah as a modest favorite here.

Oregon’s College Football Playoff hopes were dashed with that ugly loss, now will they be able to get their revenge? Our college football expert doesn’t think so, he’s rolling with the public and backing Utah.

NCAAF: Western Kentucky -3.5 @ UTSA

The PAC 12 isn’t the only conference with a championship on Friday night. Western Kentucky is also doing battle with UTSA in the Conference USA title game. UTSA had a magical run this year, rattling off 11 straight wins and capturing plenty of hearts before getting smoked by North Texas in their regular season finale. In the wake of that beatdown, recreational bettors have hopped off the bandwagon.

64 percent of the bets and 83 percent of the public money are laying the points with Western Kentucky. The gap in those two percentages indicates the large volume bets are on the Hilltoppers as well, which is why this number has ballooned out past a field goal. Pickswise expert Caleb Wilfinger made WKU -1 a three-star best bet early in the week before the line shifted dramatically, so it pays to check Pickswise early and often!

NHL: Oilers -130 @ Kraken

Looking at the NHL slate now. At the beginning of the year it looked like the expansion Kraken team were going to be public darlings, but not anymore. On Friday, bettors are lining up to fade Seattle. The Oilers have been one of the best teams in the league this season, so this one isn’t too surprising. A total of 91 percent of the bets and 70 percent of the public money are on the Oilers as a modest road favorite here.

Edmonton is coming off a big 5-2 win over the Penguins, and the offense is humming right now. Seattle hasn’t been awful, but it also hasn’t been good. We’re on the Oilers in this spot, as well.

NFL: Rams -12.5 vs Jaguars

Let’s wrap things up with some NFL. This one I found especially interesting, since usually the public likes to chase momentum. It’s rare to see bettors start pounding a team in the middle of a losing streak. But the Rams’ recent struggles aren’t enough to generate any interest on Trevor Lawrence and the Jags. A total of 78 percent of the bets and 90 percent of the public money are laying double digits with Los Angeles in Week 13.

But the Rams have very real issues, and they’ve completely fizzled as the schedule has toughened up. The Jags haven’t been great by any means, but it’s hard to want to lay nearly two touchdowns with the Rams given how Matthew Stafford has looked lately. We’re fading the public and backing the under.

Pickswise is the home of free MLB predictions, NBA predictions , NHL predictions, and college basketball predictions.

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