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49ers and 15 other bets to make this weekend (44-23 for season)

Updated November 9, 2023 - 9:56 pm

The hottest team in the NFL isn’t the Bengals or Ravens, who have each won four straight.

It’s the Jaguars, who will try to extend their five-game winning streak Sunday at home against the 49ers in a matchup of top-10 Super Bowl favorites following their bye weeks.

San Francisco, which has lost and failed to cover three straight, is a 3-point favorite. Westgate SuperBook vice president Jay Kornegay, who is 8-2 against the spread the last two weeks and leads the Review-Journal NFL Challenge with a 28-15-2 record (65.1 percent), made the 49ers his best bet.

“The Niners are coming off a much-needed reset,” Kornegay said. “On the other side, the Jaguars own one of the worst pass-blocking lines in the league. With the addition of (Chase) Young, the 49ers just got stronger in that area. That is not a good matchup for the Jaguars.

“Despite the three losses, I still consider the Niners to be one of the top three or four teams in the league. I love their coaching staff. I think they’re going to make some adjustments.”

I asked pro bettors and handicappers for their football best bets and bookmakers for their sharp plays.

The picks in this column went 10-7 ATS last week and are 44-23 (65.7 percent) this season.

Sharp plays

South Point sportsbook director Chris Andrews said he took sharp bets on the Ravens -6 (now -6½), Texans +7 (now +6½), Saints -2½ (now -3) and Lions -2½ (now -3).

SuperBook vice president of risk Ed Salmons said the Westgate also took sharp wagers on the Lions, as well as the Steelers -3 (still -3) and Cardinals +2½ (now +1½).

The SuperBook also took sharp college football bets on North Carolina -11 to -13½ (now -14½), Temple +7½ (now +7), Illinois -6 (now -6½) and Pittsburgh -2 (now -3).

NFL best bet

Pro handicapper Kelly Stewart is 14-5-1 ATS the last three weeks in the RJ NFL Challenge and tied for second at 25-19-1. Her best bet is the Broncos (+7½) over the Bills on “Monday Night Football.”

“This is a perfect game to try and middle on Monday night. Tie the Bills -1½ into teasers and come back with the Broncos getting over a touchdown,” said Stewart (@kellyinvegas). “Prior to their bye, the Broncos quietly upset the Chiefs and squeaked out a win over the Packers. Has this team turned a corner? Maybe. But this isn’t a bet on them. This is a bet against the broken and battered Bills.

“This team tends to win games after a loss. But by slim margins, and against teams like Denver and the Bucs and Giants. With Buffalo’s defense decimated, look for Russell Wilson to dink and dunk his way to an ATS victory.”

College best bets

Pro handicapper Dana Lane leads the RJ College Challenge with a 27-21-2 ATS mark. He likes Kentucky (+11) over Alabama.

“This number feels like a trap. I anticipated that Alabama would be in the two-touchdown range,” said Lane (@DanaLaneSports). “I think we’re going to see the Wildcats run the ball, which they do effectively even though they’re a little heavier with the pass. If (running back) Ray Davis is a factor, the Cats will cover this number.”

Texas-based pro bettor Paul Stone likes Colorado to cover against Arizona as a 10½-point home underdog.

Arizona, led by redshirt freshman quarterback Noah Fifita, has won three consecutive games as the betting underdog — all over ranked opponents.

The Wildcats now travel to Boulder as double-digit road favorites to face coach Deion Sanders and the reeling Buffaloes, who have lost five of six.

“Arizona is red hot, but now changes roles and bears the burden of being a double-digit favorite on the road,” said Stone (@PaulStoneSports). “Colorado has certainly cooled, but it’s gotten backdoor covers with late touchdowns in its last two games. This game would have been around pick just three weeks ago, so the points are simply too attractive in my opinion.”

Salmons bet on Appalachian State +3 (now +2) over Georgia State.

“Appalachian State is a team I liked to start the year, but they just seemed to underachieve,” he said. “They finally put together a good game last week. Georgia State seems like its going in the opposite direction. It’s a series App State has been favored in every time in forever. Getting points, I thought that was a decent bet.”

Salmons also played Navy +4 (now +2½) over Alabama-Birmingham.

“If you lined this game two weeks ago, it probably would’ve been Navy -1 or -2,” he said. “UAB never played Navy before. All the other teams in the conference are used to Navy.”

Contact reporter Todd Dewey at tdewey@reviewjournal.com. Follow @tdewey33 on X.

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