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Matt Youmans

Anti-Alabama action surprises oddsmakers

It’s seldom wise to bet against Nick Saban in a big game. But the line on the Peach Bowl has dipped to Alabama minus-13½ against Washington.

Cowboys rookie Ezekiel Elliott in running for MVP

Dallas (12-2) has clinched the top seed in the NFC. Detroit (9-5) can lock up at least a wild-card spot by beating the Cowboys on Monday night.

NBA betting: Warriors, Cavaliers reunited on Christmas Day

A rematch of the past two NBA Finals highlights Sunday’s five-game schedule. Kevin Durant and the Golden State Warriors are 2½-point favorites at Cleveland.

Future brighter for Steve Alford, UCLA basketball

UCLA, 13-0 and ranked No. 2, represents the biggest surprise of the college basketball season. The Bruins’ odds to win the national championship were posted at 50-1 in early November.

Patriots help punch Las Vegas books for another loss

Three popular favorites (New England, Oakland and Pittsburgh) and one trendy underdog (Tampa Bay) paid off the betting public in NFL Week 15.

Most factors favor Derek Carr, Raiders in Relocation Bowl

The Raiders, 10-3 and smelling a playoff spot for the first time in 14 years, are 3-point favorites at San Diego. Philip Rivers and the Chargers (5-8) are fading again.

Baltimore defense will be tough test for Tom Brady

Joe Flacco and the Ravens are 7-point underdogs at New England on Monday. Baltimore has won and covered four of its past five games.

Embrace the action of a bizarre college football bowl season

The most intriguing pre-Christmas matchup is in the Las Vegas Bowl, which pits Houston against San Diego State on Dec. 17. The Cougars lost their coach. The Aztecs have running back Donnel Pumphrey.

Raiders bettors cash in on Carr’s latest comeback

Derek Carr’s two touchdown passes in the second half rallied the Oakland Raiders, popular 3-point favorites, to a 38-24 victory over the Buffalo Bills.

Bruce Arians capable of raising Arizona

The Cardinals, who rank No. 1 in the NFL in total defense, can bounce back and cover Sunday as 2½-point favorites over the Washington Redskins.

Keep an eye on Clemson Tigers, Deshaun Watson

It’s a big weekend for quarterback Deshaun Watson, who can lead Clemson back to the College Football Playoff and make his case for the Heisman Trophy.

NFL favorites drop books for another loss

On a Sunday when favorites won 10 of 12 games, bookmakers needed the underdog New York Jets to cover against New England to avoid disaster.

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