All the best buys with none of the waiting in line. How can you beat that?
While intrepid shoppers brave the elements for whatever bargains they can find on the day after Thanksgiving, bettors will also be seeking out the best deals available. Fortunately, there are plenty of hot-ticket items to choose from in the wagering world, as a handful of teams continue to reward bettors by providing maximum value on a consistent basis.
Here's a list of the top six hot buys heading into Black Friday:
Philadelphia may have been exposed as an overachiever following its shocking 3-0 start to the season, but those Sixers are still piling up the points. The 76ers enter Friday night's action second in the Eastern Conference at 103.1 points per game - and combined with their league-worst defense (109.1 points against), they've been the early-season "over" darlings, compiling an 11-5-0 O/U mark. Even with numbers adjusted to account for Philadelphia's surprisingly potent offense - and truly dreadful defense - the 76ers should remain a popular "over" play.
The rebuilding Suns were expected to be one of the worst teams in the Western Conference. Through the opening month of the season, they've managed to not only avoid the cellar, but remain a .500 team. This has made them a strong ATS play, entering Friday with an 11-3-1 mark. Even more unexpected than the strong start is how the Suns have done it - primarily through a solid defense allowing the 11th-fewest points per game in the league (98.8). If they can stay healthy, bettors should expect the wins to continue.
Betting against Houston has been the deal of the century this season. No team has been worse ATS than the Texans, who have dropped nine straight games while generally looking like a team overloaded on turkey and stuffing. The defense, riddled with key injuries, looks a step behind against opposing pass attacks while the offense hasn't been in sync all season. That, along with a season-ending injury to workhorse running back Arian Foster, has led to an abysmal 2-9-0 mark ATS - and isn't likely to get any better, with games against New England and Denver coming up in the next month.
Two teams find themselves 9-2-0 in O/U so far this season. The first won't surprise anyone - it's the Peyton Manning-led Denver Broncos, who remain on pace to approach the single-season points record. The second is far more unexpected; the Vikings have the second-worst SU record in the NFC, but have been on the high end of the scoreboard more often than not. Yet, unlike the Broncos, the Minnesota offense deserves little credit for this trend. No one expected the Vikings' once-vaunted defense to allow a league-worst 346 points through the first 11 games of the year.
CSU Northridge Matadors
There's a lot to like about CSU Northridge - the nickname (everyone loves matadors), the location (San Fernando Valley represent) and the always-popular Botanic Garden, which is home to more than 1,200 plant species. But what will strike bettors' collective fancies the most is the Matadors' 0-6-0 ATS record through the first two weeks of the NCAA hoops season. CSU Northridge has had an underwhelming start, with all four of its losses coming by double digits and its two victories coming by a combined total of four points.
Eastern Michigan Eagles
Rare is the team that provides lock-caliber value on a weekly basis in two categories, which is what makes the Eagles the ultimate Black Friday find. Eastern Michigan has had a truly terrible season - going 2-9 both SU and ATS - but has been a source of great entertainment for fans and bettors alike with a stunning 10-1 mark O/U. Surrendering more than 50 points in six of the previous eight games certainly helps - and even though the Eagles average fewer than 20 points per game, they managed to score enough in their two victories to send those "over", as well. Double value alert!