Big Al's Daily Angle: NCAA Basketball, NBA, NFL, EPL and NCAA Football Preview

by Big Al Staff

The Saturday sports card offers a busy slate, including a triple-header in the NFL and college football, and games in the NBA, college basketball, and the English Premier League.

The NFL kicks off at 1 PM ET with Tampa Bay visiting Detroit. The Buccaneers have won two straight games to raise their record to a 9-5 mark with their 31-27 win at Atlanta as a 6-point favorite last week. The Lions have lost four of their last five games to fall to a 5-9 record this season after their 46-25 loss at Tennessee. Given COVID protocols requiring many of their coaches to be in quarantine, Detroit will rely on interim coaches who have never called NFL plays on offense and defense before today. Tampa Bay is a 10-point favorite with the total set at 54 (all odds from BetOnline). The game is on the NFL Network.

Arizona hosts San Francisco at 4:30 PM ET. The Cardinals have won two games in a row to improve their record to an 8-6 mark after their 33-26 win against Philadelphia last week as a 6.5-point favorite. The 49ers fell to 5-9 last Sunday when they suffered their third straight upset loss at Dallas by a 41-33 score as a 4-point favorite. Arizona is a 5-point favorite with an over/under of 48.5. Amazon Prime has the broadcast.

The nightcap has Miami visiting Las Vegas for an 8:15 PM ET kickoff. The Dolphins have won three of their last four games to improve to a 9-5 record with their 22-12 win against New England last week. Las Vegas has lost four of their last five games to fall to a 7-7 record on Thursday, December 17th in their 30-27 upset loss at home to the Los Angeles Chargers. Miami is a 3-point road favorite with the total at 48. The NFL Network has the broadcast. 

The first two college football bowl games are at 3:30 PM ET. Western Kentucky plays Georgia State in the LendingTree Bowl at Ladd-Peebles Stadium in Mobile, Alabama. The Hilltoppers are 5-6 after winning their final three regular-season games, culminating in a 37-19 victory at Charlotte on December 6th. The Panthers have won three of their last four games to earn their 5-4 record after their 30-24 win against Georgia Southern. Georgia State is a 3.5-point favorite with the over/under at 50. The game is on ESPN.

Louisiana-Lafayette plays the University of Texas-San Antonio in the First Responder Bowl at Gerald Ford Stadium in Dallas. The Ragin’ Cajuns earned a spot in the Sun Belt Conference championship game against Coastal Carolina before that game got canceled because of COVID issues. Louisiana last played on December 4th when they won at Appalachian State by a 24-21 as a 3.5-point underdog to raise their record to 9-1. UTSA is 7-4 after their 49-17 win against North Texas on November 28th as a 1.5-point favorite. The Ragin’ Cajuns are a 13.5-point favorite, with the total at 55.5. This game is on ABC.

Liberty plays Coastal Carolina at 7:30 PM ET in the Cure Bowl at Camping World Stadium in Orlando. The Flames improved their record to an 8-1 mark after they shutout UMass on November 27th by a 45-0 score. The Chanticleers last played on December 12th when they won at Troy by a 42-28 score to keep their perfect 11-0 record. Their showdown with Louisiana the next week in the Sun Belt Conference championship got canceled. Coastal Carolina is a 7-point favorite with the over/under at 59.5.

A light Saturday college basketball schedule has three nationally-televised games. At 1 PM ET, Louisville hosts Kentucky on ESPN. The Cardinals are 4.5-point favorites with the total set at 134. 

Houston visits Central Florida at 2 PM ET on ESPN2. The Cougars are ranked sixth in the nation by the Associated Press. They are 7.5-point favorites with an over/under of 136.

The marquee matchup in college basketball is on CBS at 4 PM ET, featuring two top-20 teams. Gonzaga is the number one team in the nation, while Virginia ranks 16th. These two teams will play on a neutral court at Dickies Arena in Fort Worth, Texas. The Bulldogs are 9-point favorites, with the total at 140.

The NBA has ten games scheduled for Saturday starting at 5 PM ET. No games are on national television.

Matchweek 15 in the English Premier League starts on Saturday with six matches. Four of these matches are on national television. At 7:30 AM ET, Manchester United visits Leicester City on the NBC Sports Network as a -0.25 goal line road favorite with the over/under at 2.75. Aston Villa hosts Crystal Palace at 10 AM ET on the NBC Sports Network as a -0.5 goal line favorite with the total set at 2.75. NBC has Chelsea playing at Arsenal at 12:30 PM ET as a -0.5 goal line road favorite with an over/under of 2.5. At 3 PM ET, Manchester City plays at home at the Etihad Stadium against Newcastle United on the NBC Sports Network as a -2.25 goal line favorite with the total at 3.25.

All photographic images used for editorial content have been licensed from the Associated Press.

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