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|Purdue vs Iowa||Purdue +11½ -107||Free||24-7||Win||100||Show|
|Rutgers vs Northwestern||Northwestern +2½ -109||Top Premium||7-21||Win||100||Show|
|UCLA vs Washington||Washington -1½ -110||Top Premium||24-17||Loss||-110||Show|
|Pittsburgh vs Virginia Tech||Virginia Tech +5 -110||Top Premium||28-7||Loss||-110||Show|
|Michigan State vs Indiana||Indiana +5 -110||Top Premium||20-15||Push||0||Show|
|Toledo vs Central Michigan||OVER 51½ -112||Top Premium||23-26||Loss||-112||Show|
|Colorado State vs New Mexico||New Mexico +11 -110||Top Premium||36-7||Loss||-110||Show|
PICKS IN PROGRESS
My 9* SNF Magic play is on the Pit Steelers at 8:20 ET.
Russell Wilson underwent surgery Oct 8 on his right middle finger because of an injury sustained the previous night in a 26-17 loss to the Los Angeles Rams. He had started all 165 games (regular season and playoffs) since arriving as a rookie in 2012 but suffered a ruptured tendon in what is often referred to as mallet finger and a fracture/dislocation of the joint at the top of the finger. Wilson is almost certain to miss the Sunday Night game at Pittsburgh, meaning Geno Smith will make his first start since 2017. Wilson was completing 72.0% with 10 TDs and a QB rating of 125.3. According to Pete Carroll, there's NOT much to worry about. "Everybody believes that (Smith is) going to come through and do a great job, just like he showed the other night," Carroll said. "So we need to support him and give him the help he needs by playing good ball around him and coaching real well around him and be really excited to see what the outcome is. I think there's a lot of things that change in a young guy's mind when he gets this opportunity, but (Smith has) been there a lot. It's just been awhile. ... He loves the fact that he's got this chance to help his team. That's why he's been here. He's been here for this opportunity when it does arise." OK, Pete. Smith has played in 42 NFL games, making 31 starts (teams are 12-19). He's completing just 57.9% (that's close to 72%, right) with a TD-to-INT ratio of 30/37 and a QB rating of 73.0 (just barely below 125.0, right?).
Wilson has led Seattle to playoff appearances in EIGHT of his first nine years in the league but at 2-3, the Seahawks are in some trouble here in 2021, as Arizona (5-0) is the NFL's lone unbeaten and the Rams are 4-1, having already beaten Seattle (Rams also have given Tampa Bay its lone loss). RB Carson had run for 232 yards on 4.3 YPC with three TDS but missed the previous game (neck injury). He has missed practice time this week, but Carroll said he was encouraged by Carson's progress. Have to give it to Pete, he's an optimist. WRs Lockett (15.6 YPC / 3 TDs and Metcalf (145.3 YPC / 5 TDs0 have each caught 25 passes but are they still "Lockett and Metcalf" without Wilson? Then there is the Seattle defense, which allows 145.2 YPG on the ground to rank 31st and 305.6 YPG through the air to rank 30th. Add it up and Seattle allows a league-high 450.8 YPG.
The Steelers are also 2-3 as they welcome Seattle to Heinz Field and also find some tough competition in their own division. Baltimore is 4-1, while Cincinnati and Cleveland are both 3-2. The Steelers outscored the Bills 17-6 in the 4th quarter of their season-opening 23-16 win in Buffalo but then lost THREE in a row. Pittsburgh may have 'saved' its season with last week's 27-19 home win over Denver. Alabama rookie RB Harris had a "breakout game," running for 122 yards on 5.3 YPC with a TD. He's got 307 yards on the season and is the team's leading receiver with 28 receptions. Big Ben is still around (63.6%, averaging 259.0 YPG with 6 TDs and 4 INTs) but he's NOT the same player these days. He had three very good WRs but JuJu Smith-Schuster sustained a dislocated shoulder last Sunday and underwent season-ending surgery Wednesday. Claypool has 20 catches on 17.0 YPC plus Johnson has 25 catches with three TDs. The Pittsburgh D is no longer called "The Steel Curtain" but it is allowing 22.4 PPG, which ranks 10th.
I see this as a fantastic opportunity for the Steelers to build off last week's 29-17 win over the Broncos. Pittsburgh will be able to "leave everything on the field" Sunday night, as it will go into its bye next weekend (followed by a very tough road game in Cleveland). A win here and Pittsburgh can reasonably think playoffs. A loss and I'm not so sure. I have found that sometimes a "common sense" approach to handicapping a game works best, and that's the case here for me with Seattle. No Wilson, BIG problem (sorry Geno!). Meanwhile, it's a great chance for Big Ben to "turn back the clock" against Seattle's sieve-like defense and keep his team in playoff contention (consideration, at least). I expect him to make the most of this opportunity and note that Seattle is just 2-7 ATS in its last nine road games and that's WITH Russell! Lay the points.
My 9* Situational Stunner is on the Was FB Team at 1:00 ET.
The KC Chiefs have won the AFC West each of the last FIVE seasons but here in Week 6, find themselves 2-3 and in last-place in the division they've recently dominated. Both the Broncos and Raiders are 3-2, while the Chargers sit atop the division at 4-1. KC is off a humbling 38-20 home loss to the Bills last Sunday night and will visit Washington on Sunday. Washington won the NFC East last season with a 7-9 record but here in 2021, the team will need to do MUCH better than that to keep pace with the Cowboys, who are 4-1 and their ATS record of 5-0 seems to prove this year's Dallas team is no fluke.
Mahomes has looked mortal so far but only by the impossible standards he's already established. Can we call it an 'off year' when he's completing 69.2% for 1,490 yards with 16 TDs and six INTs (QB rating of 106.1). RB Edwards-Helaire had gotten off to a solid start (304 yards rushing on 4.7 YPC) but has been placed on IR. WR Hill (37 catches / 4 TDs) and TE Kelce (30 catches / 4 TDs) make for a dangerous duo but Hill is banged up and is listed as questionable. Then there is the KC defense, which has allowed 30-plus points in every game this season. The Chiefs rank last in scoring defense (32.6 PPG) and 31st (of 32 teams) in total defense (437.4 YPG).
The Washington defense played well last season, especially down the stretch, and was the key to them reaching the playoffs. However, Washington is allowing 31.0 PPG (31st) on 407.8 YPG (27th) through five games this season. QB Taylor Heinicke has had his moments this season (64.2% for 1,298 yards with eight TDs and five INTs) but recently, his storyline of going from taking college classes online to becoming an NFL starter is over. RB Gibson (313 yards / 4.0 YPC / 3 TDs) is OK but neither him nor the team's leading receiver (McLaurin), are 'special.' McLaurin has 29 catches (13.8 YPC / 3 TDs).
On an interesting note, Kansas City has gone "over" its projected season win total seven years straight coming into the 2021/22 campaign, so to keep that streak alive it'll now have to "run the table." Hard to imagine the Chiefs falling to 2-4 with a loss here but the Chiefs continue to "play down" to the level of their competition, as evidenced by the fact that they're just 1-5 ATS in their last six vs teams with losing records. More notably, going back to the middle part of the 2020 season, KC is a money-burning 2-11 ATS their last 'unlucky' 13 games, meaning it's an 85% "go-against" in this game. Take the points.
My 10* "Signature" 38-Club Play is on the Cle Browns at 4:05 ET.
Kyler Murray and Baker Mayfield won the 2017 Heisman Trophy as Oklahoma's QB and was then the No. 1 pick in the 2018 draft. The following season, Kyler Murray stepped in as Oklahoma's QB and won the 2018 Heisman and then became the 2019 NFL Draft's No.1 pick. The former No. 1 overall draft picks and college teammates square off for the second time in three years when the 5-0 Arizona Cardinals visit Cleveland to take on the 3-2 Browns on Sunday. Murray's been the key to Arizona's first 5-0 start since 1974 (team was located in St Louis back then), while Mayfield led the browns into the playoffs last season (ending a 17-year drought) and has helped position them as a division contender again in 2021 in the AFC North.
Murray has completed 70 percent or better of his passes in his last four games, completing 75.2% on the season for 1,512 yards with 10 TDs and four INTs (113.0 QB rating). He's also a dangerous threat to run, with 110 yards on the ground, while adding three TDs. Edmonds (270 yards / 5.5 YPC) and Connor (201 yards on just 3.2 YPC but with five TDs) lead a running game averaging 128.0 YPG (8th). Murray is blessed with proven targets like DeAndre Hopkins (23 catches / 13.6 YPC / 4 TDs), Chris Kirk (21 catches / 13.5 YPC / 2 TDs) and A.J. Green (16 catches / 16.3 YPC / 2 TDs) plus rookie Rondale Moore (21 catches / 12.9 YPC / 1 TD). The Arizona D is allowing just 19.0 PPG (6th) and with the NFL's fourth-highest scoring offense (31.4 PPG), the Cards' point-differential of plus-12.4) trails only the Buffalo Bills ().
Mayfield is not the focus of the Cleveland offense, as Chubb (523 yards / 5.8 YPC / 4 TDs) and Hunt (295 yards / 5.4 YPC / 5 TDs) lead the NFL's best rushing offense at 187.6 YPG. Hunt is also the team's leading receiver with 17 catches but WR Njoku is rounding into form with 14 catches on 18.6 YPC with five TDs. OBJ has played the last three weeks and has nine catches (13.8 YPC) with one TD. Mayfield threw for a season-high 321 yards in Cleveland's season-opening 33-29 loss at KC but while Cleveland won its next three games, Mayfield averaged only 204.7 YPG passing. He had his best game of the season last week in completing 23 of 32 for 305 yards with two TDS and no INTs but it came in a 47-42 loss. The Cleveland defense is allowing 22.8 PPG (11th) on an impressive 298.8 YPG (that's 4th-best).
Mayfield's best two games in 2021 have come in losses. That NEEDS to change and I love the way this one sets up for Cleveland this weekend. The Cardinals are the NFL's lone unbeaten team (4-1 ATS) and travel cross-country for this non-conference game, before returning home for a 'cream puff' game against the Texans. I think Arizona finally has its letdown here. Cleveland HAS to be motivated, after last week's 47-42 loss at the Chargers. It was an amazing loss, as the Browns scored 42 points, had 532 total yards and zero turnovers. In fact, Cleveland is the first team in NFL history (including the playoffs) to lose when having either 40 points and zero turnovers OR 40 points, 500 yards and zero turnovers.
The Browns have won five of their last six home games, Mayfield would LOVE to beat Murray mano a mano and as I mentioned above, the Browns have to be in a foul mood off that loss last week.
My NFL 9* Featured Sunday O/U is on LV/Den Over at 4:25 ET.
Las Vegas opened the season with three straight victories, beating the Ravens 33-27 in overtime, the Steelers 26-17 and the Dolphins 31-28 in overtime as well. However, the Raiders then lost a Monday Nighter 28-14 at the LA Chargers, before last week's 20-9 home loss to the Bears. The Raiders travel to Denver on Sunday to take on the Broncos, who have had a similar start to the season. The Broncos also won their first three games, beating the Giants 27-13, the Jaguars 23-13, and the Jets 26-0. However, Denver has struggled the last two weeks, falling 23-7 to the Ravens and 27-19 to the Steelers. Both teams are 3-2, ONE game behind the 4-1 Chargers and ONE game up on the Chiefs 9KC has won the AFC West FIVE straight years!).
QB David Carr got off to an excellent start but had his worst effort of the season at home vs the Bears, throwing for just 206 yards without a TD and one INT. RB Jacobs, off back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons, has not been healthy and last week had just 48 yards on 15 carries. The Raiders are averaging only 78.6 YPG on the ground, ranking 29th. Carr had been playing VERY well before last Sunday, averaging around 350 YPG with eight TDs and three INTs. TE Waller is tied for the team lead (28 catches) with WR Renfro, while WRs Ruggs 17 catches / 20.5 YPC) and Edwards (13 catches / 18.2 YPC) can 'stretch' the field. The Las Vegas defense is allowing 24.0 PPG.
Denver has found a QB in Teddy Bridgewater, who is completing 68.8% for 1,180 yards with seven TDs and just one INT (QB rating of 106.1). Gordon (282 yards / 4.7 YPC / 2 TDs) and Williams (247 yards / 4.2 YPC / one TD) give Denver a decent running game (118.6 YPG ranks 12th), while WRs Sutton (25 catches / 15.1 YPC) and Patrick (22 catches / 13.7 YPC) are solid at WR. TE Fant adds 21 receptions and two TDs The Denver defense is much improved, holding opponents to 15.2 PPG (2nd) on 292.4 YPG (3rd0.
For a number of reasons, I think this posted O/U number is just a little too low here. I think this is a great situational play. Of course, 'the elephant in the room' is the resignation of Jon Gruden (you just MAY have heard!). The Raiders are having to deal with the fall out of that fiasco and I think the organization will rally on the field this weekend. These types of situations either go one of two ways, as the team will rally, or fall flat on its face. I believe Derek Carr will step up here, off not just one, but two subpar performances. He has passed for a total of 402 yards in the last two weeks, 33 yards fewer than he had in the season opener. The Broncos are in a similar slide after starting the year with three wins. They, too, have struggled to find consistency on offense, particularly on third downs where they have gone 5-for-26 over the past two games.
These teams combined to score 63 and 49 points in their two meetings last season and this mid-40s over/under sets up perfectly to go O-V-E-R! Finally, note that Las Vegas has seen the total go over in EIGHT of its last 11 off a straight-up and against-the-spread road loss after being held to 10 or fewer points as well.
My 9* Las Vegas Insider is on the Bal Ravens at 1:00 ET.
A pair of 4-1 teams square off in Baltimore on Sunday, as the Chargers take on the Ravens. It's no surprise that the Ravens are 4-1 and atop the AFC Central but the Chargers leading the AFC West IS a surprise. MUCH has happened in the AFC West since last Sunday, as while the Chargers outscored the Browns 47-42 (to get to 4-1), the Broncos and Raiders each lost for the second straight week (both are now 3-2), plus the five-time defending AFC West champs (KC) were humbled 38-20 by the Bills, falling into last-place at 2-3. Then earlier this week, Jon Gruden resigned as head coach of the Raiders to join the 'Mel Gibson Club!'
After just five games, Brandon Staley looks to be the best of all the first year head coaches in the NFL this season and is at least a HUGE upgrade from Anthony Lynn. QB Justin Herbert had a superb rookie season and has made the term 'sophomore jinx' irrelevant, completing 67.2% for 1,576 yards with 13 TDs and just three INTs. He enters off back-to-back games in which he's thrown five TD passes without an interception. RB Austin Ekeler has developed into a terrific all-purpose player, rushing for 349 yards on 5.2 YPC with four TDs, while adding 23 catches for three more TDs. Herbert has a duo of excellent WRs in Williams (31 catches on 15.2 YC with 6 TDs) and Allen, who has a team-high 34 catches (he has caught 403 passes the last four seasons!). TE Cook is solid, with 17 receptions and a 12.4 YPC average. LA's defensive numbers don't look too bad on paper (23.2 PPG allowed ranks 12th on 371.8 YPG that ranks 189th) but I'm not sold.
The Chargers D will have to try to slow down former MVP Lamar Jackson, who has completed 67.1% and thrown for almost as many yards as Herbert (1,519). He has an 8-3 TD/INT ratio plus adds a dimension no other QB can. He's run for 341 yards on 6.1 YPC with four TDs. Despite losing Dobbins and Edwards before the start of the season, Baltimore is still averaging 148.8 YPG (4th). TE Andrews leads the team with 29 catches (13.8 YPC / 2 TDs) and WR Brown has 28 (16.1 YPC and 5 TDs). Fellow WR Watkins (18 catches / 13.8 YPC / 2 TDs) did not practice on Wednesday, after leaving in the first half of Monday's game due to a thigh injury. The Baltimore D is not the dominant unit of years past but ranks 11th (not bad), allowing 23.4 PPG. and did not return.
No doubt that the Chargers are greatly improved and that Brandon Staley looks like a quality NFL head coach but it's not exactly John Harbaugh's 'first rodeo.' The Ravens 'gave away' their Week 1 game at Las Vegas (lost in OT to the Raiders) but Baltimore has won four in a row since, including wins over AFC West teams the Chiefs and Broncos.
While the Chargers were winning a 47-42 shootout with the Browns last Sunday, Jackson led the Ravens back from a 25-9 deficit against the Colts by directing two, 4th-quarter TD drives of 78 and 75 yards, converting BOTH two-point conversions. Jackson then led the Ravens on a 68-yard TD drive to win 31-25 in OT. I'm taking not only Jackson over Herbert but more importantly, Harbaugh over Staley. The Ravens are 20-6 SU at home under Jackson and at this price, a win VERY likely will earn a cover!
Our Sports Betting Handicapper Larry Ness Review
Larry Ness is a legend in Las Vegas. He’s been working in the business since the early 80s and that experience is a big reason why he’s one of the top sports handicappers in the world. He has won so many handicapping titles out in Las Vegas that it would take all day to list them.
He is also one of the most famous names in handicapping. Ness was on Proline and Sports Desk, two handicapping shows that aired on USA network. He had his own syndicated radio show called Sports Central that was aired in more than 100 markets.
With over 30+ years of looking at matchups Ness knows how to spot strengths and weaknesses. He then knows how teams will match up against one another to have an advantage. He doesn’t use a lot of trend analysis, just keeps a close eye on all the current players and teams.
He releases his plays fairly early, before noon on weekdays for basketball and baseball, but as early as Tuesday during football season so bettors can jump in on the soft opening lines and get their bets in before the numbers sharpen up.
It doesn’t matter what the sport, if you want to start winning more of your bets Larry can help you do so.