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Hot Streaks and Achievements

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Biography

Nelly’s Sportsline has been at the forefront of the handicapping world since the 1990 football season, Joe Nelson has been the lead handicapper since 2003.

Active since: 1990

Location: Madison, Wisconsin

Widely known for the Nelly’s Sportsline Green Sheet weekly newsletter in the football season, Nelly’s Sportsline has provided consistent returns for scores of clients nationwide for more than three decades. In the lead role for nearly two decades, Joe Nelson has earned significant acclaim for contest wins, top rankings on national leaderboards, impressive win percentages, as well as being recognized for providing outstanding content and analysis showcasing an intimate understanding of the workings and cycles of the three major American sports and the active wagering marketplace.

Some recent highlights:

2020-21 Football: In the atypical 2020-21 football season Nelly’s Sportsline delivered an impressive showing in both college and NFL football, posting an incredible closing run through the bowls and NFL Playoffs. Nelly’s finished at exactly 60.0% in the 2020-21 NFL season including a 10-1 run through the playoffs and the Super Bowl, backing Tampa Bay and turning in a perfect card on a handful of Super Bowl props. Nelly’s finished the 2020-21 college football season with a winning selection on Alabama in the championship game to complete the college season with a 62.5% winning percentage, closing the season on an epic 75.0% run from November 7 on, including a 77.8% winning percentage in bowl releases.

2020-21 Basketball: Nelly’s finished the NBA regular season winning at a 62.0% pace, for a fourth consecutive NBA regular season above a 60.0% winning percentage. Nelly’s finished the 2020-21 college basketball regular season at 62.7%.

2020 Baseball: Nelly’s turned in a profitable MLB season for the fifth time in the previous six years in the abbreviated 2020 baseball season. Totals were a standout with a 61.1% winning percentage on MLB over/under selections in the 2020 regular season.

2019-20 Basketball: Nelly’s hit 62.9% in the 2019-20 NBA regular season before the pause in March. Nelly’s added a 63.6% winning percentage in the NBA restart to complete a 63.1% regular season. Nelly’s was also profitable in college basketball before the season was cancelled at 54.5%.

2018-19 Football: Nelly’s had winning records and slightly profitable results in both the NFL and NCAA seasons.

2018-19 Basketball: Nelly’s finished at 57.7% in the 2018-19 college basketball season including a 62.5% winning percentage in the 2019 NCAA Tournament capped off by selecting Virginia for the championship. Nelly’s had a historically great NBA regular season finishing at 66.1% in 2018-19 including an 84.2% run in December 2018 that included an 11-game winning streak while also posting a 14-game winning streak late in the season.  

2018 Baseball: Nelly’s grinded out a profitable MLB regular season at 52.7% with the vast majority of those selections being underdogs or totals. Nelly’s had a 62.2% winning percentage in the 2018 MLB postseason including hitting 77.8% in postseason totals.

2017-18 Football: Nelly’s turned in an incredibly profitable 2017-18 NFL season hitting 60.7% in the regular season and 71.4% in the NFL playoffs, backing the Eagles in all three of their playoff games through the Super Bowl upset. Nelly’s also hit 63.6% in the 2017-18 college bowl season.

2017-18 Basketball: Nelly’s hit 61.1% in the 2017-18 college basketball season including a 68.8% winning percentage in the 2018 NCAA Tournament after backing Villanova in both Final Four games. That season included a 73.5% pace in February 2018 college basketball. Nelly’s hit 63.1% in the 2017-18 NBA regular season including a 66.7% mark in the first half before the All-Star break, while posting a winning record in every single month of that NBA regular season.

2017 Baseball: Nelly’s turned in a third straight profitable MLB season in 2017 including a 66.7% mark in the World Series. In that season Nelly’s posted two separate eight-game winning streaks with solely underdog selections.

2016-17 Football: Nelly’s closed the season on a strong note with a 69.4% mark in the 2016-17 college bowl season.

2016-17 Basketball: Nelly’s turned in a phenomenal March Madness run hitting 65.0% in NCAA Tournament selections and a 62.2% winning percentage from March 1 through backing North Carolina in early April for the championship. Nelly’s also turned in a 60.0% record in the NBA Playoffs in 2017.

2016 Baseball: Nelly’s hit 54.6% in the 2016 MLB regular season with almost exclusively underdogs and totals for a massive profit return, including hitting 60.5% on totals in the regular season and 66.7% on totals in the 2016 MLB postseason.

2015-16 Football: Nelly’s hit 61.9% in the 2015-16 NFL season including posting an 85.7% winning clip in the NFL playoffs, while backing the Broncos to blast the Panthers in the Super Bowl. Nelly’s hit 71.4% in the 2015-16 college bowl season including riding Clemson as an underdog in their narrow loss to Alabama for the playoff title.  

2015-16 Basketball: Nelly’s hit 61.9% in the 2015-16 college basketball regular season including three huge months with an 87.5% November 2015, a 65.8% January 2016, and a 61.9% February 2016. Nelly’s also had a profitable NBA regular season in 2015-16.

2015 Baseball: A 63.6% month of April with almost exclusively underdogs buoyed a profitable MLB season in 2015, a season finished off by backing the Royals as an underdog in each of their four World Series wins.

2014-15 Football: Nelly’s had an 85.7% winning percentage in the 2014-15 NFL playoffs for a great closing run.

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NCAAF - Sat, Sep 18

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National League MVP Odds and Arguments

Tuesday, Aug 17, 2021

National League MVP Odds and Arguments  The return of Fernando Tatis has caused his MVP odds to jump from around -110 early in August to -300 currently. He is the overwhelming favorite, but the current price shift has greatly increased the plus-money figures on everyone else to create a window of opportunity for those looking for a sizable score. In-and-out of the lineup much of the season, Tatis has a great risk to miss more time down the stretch to leave the door open in this vote, while the Padres now also look like they will be in danger of missing the playoffs. Here are the top candidates in the MVP race including a few that may be worth considering for a long shot wager in case Tatis falls back out of the lineup.  Fernando Tatis, San Diego, -300 Tatis remains the clear favorite in the NL MVP race as the NL home run leader. He has missed 31 games however and while he returned with two home runs last Sunday after sitting for two weeks, his shoulder issue is a lingering concern that could open the door for another candidate in the final seven weeks of the regular season. Tatis isn’t even a qualified hitter right and he is playing for a 3rd place team that may be losing its grip on a playoff position that was assumed most of the season. Those are things that could matter to some of the older block of BBWAA voters who may already begrudge Tatis for the flair he plays with. Priced at around -300 it is his award to lose but there a few candidates that could warrant a look, banking on Tatis missing time and the Padres continuing to slide in the coming weeks.  Bryce Harper, Philadelphia, +475 A past MVP and one of the most recognized players in the game Harper is fourth in the NL in wRC+ thanks to his high walk rate. His rather pedestrian home run and RBI counts will need to grow substantially in September and most importantly his candidacy will hinge entirely on the narrative that he carries the Phillies to the NL East title. While Atlanta leads the division currently and has looked like the much better team overall, the race is close and a rise to the top fueled by Harper is still in the realm of possibility. Unlike the other candidates on this list Harper won’t face a threat of losing votes to his teammates as he has been the clear top performer on the Phillies.  Max Muncy, Los Angeles, +900 Perhaps the best candidate to catch Tatis in home runs is Muncy who has 26 but also has the potential for a big closing run to reach close to 40 home runs as he often has been a streaky performer. Muncy also is a threat to hit conventional benchmarks of 100 runs and/or 100 RBI to bolster his case. His WAR is also currently the highest in the NL among qualified candidates. He doesn’t play a premium defensive position however and he has plenty of competition within his own locker room as emerging as the clear choice among several standouts for the Dodgers will be a challenge.  Trea Turner, Washington/Los Angeles, +1700 The best value on the board might be Turner, who like Muncy will face the challenge of splitting votes with his teammates. Turner also has not hit quite as well since joining the Dodgers as his season line over 96 games in Washington puts him on this list. Turner has been a valuable defender at an important position, and he has a chance to win a batting title while also a possibly a NL stolen base title with Starling Marte now in the AL. A 30/30 performance is not out of the question for Turner but the problem in that argument is that Tatis has a chance to do that as well. It would take quite a finish but hitting leadoff in a highly productive Los Angeles lineup will afford Turner an opportunity to compile great statistics down the stretch.  Freddie Freeman, Atlanta, +1700 The case for Freeman to take a second straight MVP crown does not currently have much traction but a big final month that clinches an NL East title for Atlanta in the absence of the early season MVP frontrunner Ronald Acuna does offer a compelling argument that could resonate with voters. In contrast to Tatis and Harper, Freeman is beloved by the press and his numbers are not too far off what will be the required pace. A subpar defensive performance is hurting his WAR while he also offers little on the basepaths. If he can match the September that he delivered in 2020, hitting .375 with 32 RBI in the final month, it is not an impossible outcome.  Nick Castellanos, Cincinnati, +5000 Joey Votto, Cincinnati, +5000 These Reds stars have matching odds as both continue to push Cincinnati closer to a playoff spot that seemed highly improbable just a few weeks ago. Jesse Winker is not much further down the list as well as Cincinnati has received great production from the lineup. Castellanos is a serious threat to win the NL batting title while Votto is charging in the home run leaderboard. Both have high strikeout counts with not enough walks to support their case, but both are still in the NL’s top seven in wRC+, while top 10 OPS performers, though neither is close enough on the WAR leaderboard for serious candidacy. If one stands head-and-shoulder over the other to carry the Reds past the Padres for the second NL wild card spot there is a chance, but it is not overly realistic as the pricing suggests.  Manny Machado, San Diego, +6000 While much of this article centers on the possibility of the Padres losing Tatis and crashing out of the playoffs, what if they lose Tatis and still finish strong? That scenario would boost Manny Machado’s case and he has rather quietly produced a great season line in the shadow of his teammate. He could reach the 100 run and 100 RBI benchmarks, and a big final month could get him to 30 home runs and close to a .300 batting average. Climbing into the top 10 for WAR and wRC+ would not take a herculean performance down the stretch and Machado has one of the stronger defensive ratings on this list at a valuable position. Winning the comparison case with his teammate will however require Tatis effectively shutting down for the rest of the season.  Juan Soto, Washington, +7000 Given that Washington has faded out of playoff contention Soto’s case will need to overcome a significant hurdle, but he has taken the most walks in all off baseball even in just 107 games and he could hit over .300 with 30 home runs while getting close to 100 runs and RBI for an MVP caliber traditional line. He is certainly one of the best players in baseball even if he is not a serious threat in this discussion barring significant setbacks for most of the other players on this list. Giancarlo Stanton won the 2017 NL MVP and Harper unanimously won the 2015 NL MVP on non-playoff teams as the playoffs may not be as much of a requirement as it is presumed. In 2017 Stanton only received 10 first place votes in a year where six different players received 1st place votes, a scenario that is possible this year.  Brandon Crawford, San Francisco, +7000 15th in the NL in wRC+ and 5th in WAR, Crawford’s case might be better than this pricing represents. The Giants after all have baseball’s best record and Crawford is a good story as a veteran having a career season. He is only two home runs away from a career high and has a chance to reach 100 RBI for the first time in his career. Crawford could also make a charge to the batting title currently only sitting about a dozen points back. His excellent defensive rating at a premium position adds to the intrigue of his candidacy but Crawford has missed 21 games to keep his counting statistics a notch below where they likely need to be. San Francisco has been the surprise story of the season and voters will be looking for someone to reward as he has a chance to garner some votes, though 1st place votes do not currently seem likely.  Justin Turner, Los Angeles, +9000 Turner’s season line could wind up looking somewhat like the lines of his two teammates on this list with a big final month. He hit .394 in September 2020 before the Dodgers went on to win the World Series and for his career, September has been his best hitting month in terms of batting average. Missing significant time in August has bumped his case down on this list but if he surpasses his teammates in the coming weeks as the Dodgers pass up the Giants for the top spot in the NL, the argument would be clear. Turner is a long shot, but the gap in his odds compared to Muncy and Trea Turner should perhaps not be quite so large as he is the face of the team in Clayton Kershaw’s absence. 

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2021 NCAA Impact Transfer Quarterbacks

Saturday, Aug 14, 2021

2021 NCAA Impact Transfer Quarterbacks  After uninspiring results in three years at NC State, Russell Wilson transferred to Wisconsin for the 2011 season and delivered tremendous results. His success set the tone for a new era of college football with transfer acquisitions being a critical component in recruiting. Coming off the abbreviated 2020 season and with relaxed transfer rules in place, there are several proven quarterbacks that changed schools this off-season. Here are a handful of quarterback transfers for the 2021 college football season that could have a big impact in the 2021 season.   Charlie Brewer (From Baylor to Utah) Brewer is one of the most experienced quarterbacks in the nation having been the starter for the better part of four seasons at Baylor. He should eclipse 10,000 career passing yards in September and has a career completion rate of 63.5%. His numbers dropped last season in a chaotic season for the Bears with a major Covid pause and a coaching transition, but he should step into a good situation to be successful at Utah. Kyle Whittingham’s program has won consistently riding seven consecutive seasons above .500 and the roster has a significant amount of returning experience. Given his size Brewer isn’t much of an NFL prospect, but he has a chance to end his college career on a high note with a potential Pac-12 contender.  Jack Coan (From Wisconsin to Notre Dame) A steady presence for the Badgers in 2018 and 2019, Coan was named the starter in 2020 ahead of super prospect Graham Mertz before suffering an injury ahead of the season. Coan has good size and is quicker than he appears, though he is not in the mold of Ian Book, the long-time Notre Dame quarterback that was a serious rushing threat. Brian Kelly has not officially named Coan the starter for an Irish team coming off a College Football Playoff appearance, but it would be a surprise if sophomore Drew Pyne beat out Coan. It will be difficult to replicate last season’s success but being Notre Dame’s quarterback is still a high-profile gig and Coan has the potential to have good numbers on a nationally relevant team and will also get a chance to face his former team in Chicago as well.  Grant Gunnell (From Arizona to Memphis)  Gunnell isn’t a household name after being an off-and-on starter for marginal Arizona teams the past two seasons, but he could be by season’s end. He has 15 career touchdowns against only three interceptions however and at 6’6” he will stand out now playing in the American. Ryan Silverfield’s offense should remain a high-scoring unit and Gunnell can go from relative anonymity to being an NFL draft pick like Paxton Lynch was out of Memphis in 2016. Defense has not often been a strength for the Memphis program as Gunnell could produce big numbers in many high-scoring shootout style games with last year’s Memphis quarterback Brady White posting the sixth most passing yards in the nation in 2020.  McKenzie Milton (From UCF to Florida State) A star for UCF from 2016 to 2018 including the undefeated 2017 season, Milton suffered a terrible injury late in the 2018 season. There were questions on whether he would ever play again given the nature of the injury and the subsequent surgeries, but his knee has been rebuilt and he has been cleared to play. He ultimately has won the last 23 games he has started but there are major questions to whether he can return to being the dynamic playmaker he was for the Knights and he will face significantly upgraded opposition in the ACC. Florida State has been a mess in recent years now led by Mike Norvell with the Seminoles going just 3-6 last year. A storybook finish for Milton doesn’t seem likely but it is certainly worth rooting for.  Tyler Shough (From Oregon to Texas Tech)  While Texas Tech has changed coaches and isn’t quite the Air Raid squad of the past, being the Red Raiders quarterback remains a coveted position, especially when the face of the NFL is an alum. Shough was one of the most sought-after recruits after a stellar high school campaign as he has an NFL build and great athleticism. After redshirting behind Justin Herbert, Shough carried high expectations into 2020 at Oregon but ultimately did not have a great statistical season despite a Pac-12 Championship. Texas Tech is not expected to be a Big XII contender but the opportunity to post big numbers in high-profile games will be there.     Terry Wilson (From Kentucky to New Mexico)  An electric playmaker for the 2018 Wildcats team that beat Penn State in the Citrus Bowl, Wilson suffered a season-ending injury early in the 2019 season. He didn’t capture the same level of success last season and with Kentucky having several promising young options at quarterback Wilson found a new opportunity leaving the SEC. His mobility should play well in the Mountain West and while he is heading to a program that has 10 wins combined the past four seasons, he could immediately be among the conference’s top quarterbacks as well as a formidable rusher.  Logan Bonner (From Arkansas State to Utah State)  A two-year starter and quarterback that has played in each of the past four seasons at Arkansas State, Bonner followed coach Blake Anderson to Utah State. That should allow him to have much more comfort and the potential for more immediate success than most transfer quarterbacks. Utah State went just 1-5 last season, but the season had all sorts of challenges with internal Covid issues forcing the cancellation of a game while another game was cancelled due to a player protest. Head coach Gary Andersen left the team after three games as well as not much went right and it showed in the results. Anderson has a 51-37 career record and with Bonner in tow the Aggies could be a mild surprise, as this was an 11-2 team in 2018 and has generally been an above average Mountain West team in the last decade.  Bailey Zappe (From Houston Baptist to Western Kentucky)  Zappe has generated a big buzz now leading Tyson Helton’s offense at Western Kentucky. Zappe set all sorts of records at Houston Baptist, averaging 458 passing yards per game in an Air Raid style offense. The Hilltoppers had a slow start last season but won their final three Conference USA games and they line up as a possible team on the rise in the conference for 2021. Zappe could quickly emerge on the national passing leaderboards if he lives up to the hype and the Hilltoppers have a pair of Big Ten non-conference tests early in the year for showcase opportunities. In Conference USA the Hilltoppers are also a serious contender in the East division and the schedule is favorable for a strong bowl season.  Here are a few other transfer quarterbacks that are worth watching, all of which have a likely path to a starting role at their new school:  Ryan Hilinski (From South Carolina to Northwestern) Tanner Mordecai (From Oklahoma to SMU)  N’Kosi Perry (From Miami, FL to Florida Atlantic)  Chase Brice (From Duke to Appalachian State)  Jacob Sirmon (From Washington to Central Michigan)  D’Wan Mathis (From Georgia to Temple)  Bailey Hockman (From NC State to Middle Tennessee State)  Also worth mentioning is that notable transfers will be fighting for starting roles at several major conference programs including Tennessee, Kentucky, Michigan, Michigan State, and Arizona. It is too soon to say whether those jobs will be won however. 

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