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YESTERDAY'S PLAYS
Matchup Selection W/L
NHL  |  Nov 17, 2018
Blues vs Sharks
Blues
+1½ -150 at sportsbook
Lost
$150.0
Play Type: Top Premium

8* Puck Line St. Louis (10:35 ET): Please note that this is a Puck Line play only where I am backing St. Louis at +1.5. The Blues played last night and they're certainly hoping that what happens in Vegas does NOT have to stay in Vegas as they beat the Golden Knights 4-1. It was a dominant performance w/ a three-goal second period. It was their third time scoring 4 goals in the last five games and their only losses during that stretch both came by one goal each. Speaking of dominant performances, the Blues shutout the Sharks 4-0 back on November 9th. 

The Sharks are looking to rebound from a 5-3 loss to Toronto that occurred here at home Thursday. There's no shame in losing to a team as good as the Maple Leafs, but San Jose has to feel like they let one slip away given they scored three times in the 1st period and had 45 shots on goal for the game. One positive sign for the Sharks tonight is that they're 4-0 SU this season when off a loss by two or more goals. But I don't see them winning by multiple goals tonight. In fact, five of San Jose's last six wins have been by exactly one goal. Three of their last five losses have also been by one goal. I'll take either result here (or another Blues' blowout, obviously!). 

It would be easy to look at this matchup simply through the prism of the division standings. San Jose is in first place in the Pacific while St. Louis resides in the basement of the Central. However, the six point difference between the teams is a result of the Sharks having played three more games and they have three more wins. Also, I should point out that despite where they are in the standings, the Blues actually have the better season goal differential as they've outscored opponents while the Sharks have allowed the same exact number of goals (64) that they have scored. Since Jake Allen was in goal last night, that probably means Chad Johnson will start tonight and he was the one who authored the 4-0 shutout in the last meeting. Take the +1.5. 8* Puck Line St. Louis (+1.5) 

Matchup Selection W/L
NBA  |  Nov 17, 2018
76ers vs Hornets
Hornets
-2½ -106 at pinnacle
Lost
$106.0
Play Type: Top Premium

10* Charlotte (7:05 ET): These teams squared off last Friday in Philly. Despite falling behind by as many as 21 pts in the 1st half, the Hornets covered easily - and probably should have won the game outright. They led by five w/ just over a minute to go in regulation, but let the Sixers force OT. The final score was 133-132, but at least Charlotte was +6.5. The Hornets have had terrible luck in close games the L3 seasons and five of their seven losses this season have come by four points or fewer. But tonight, they'll be looking to rebound from a truly embarrassing defeat, one that saw them go down by 24 to an undermanned Cleveland team that they had just blown out the previous week. It was just Cleveland's second win of the season.

Charlotte is favored for this rematch and for good reason. They've had three days off to sit and stew about what happened in Cleveland. They should be highly motivated. Meanwhile, the Sixers will have had very little time to recoup from last night's hard fought 113-107 win over the Jazz. That was the home debut for the newly acquired Jimmy Butler, so there was a lot of emotion going into that game. Butler scored 28 pts to lead the team, but the real key was Utah shooting only 18.2% from behind the three-point arc (4 of 22). The Jazz also missed 16 of 37 free throw attempts in a six-point game. So the Sixers were both somewhat lucky to cover and win. This is a tough back to back as it's also Philly's third game in four nights and sixth in nine nights.

It'll also be the fourth road game in the last week for a Sixers team that is just 2-7 SU away from home (8-0 SU at home). The last time they took their act on the road, they lost SU as a favorite to Orlando. They're giving up nearly 116 PPG on the road this season. Charlotte is playing at home for the 1st time in 11 days and should be very motivated off a bad loss and playing w/ revenge. Note Charlotte has lost twice to Philly this season w/ the two losses coming by a total of three points. They've lost to them eight times in a row. If they can't break through tonight, then I don't know when they will as the spot is more than ideal. The Sixers are 0-4 SU/ATS in the second game of a back to back this year, all those games taking place on the road, and the four losses have come by an average of nearly 16 PPG. 10* Charlotte

Matchup Selection W/L
NCAA-B  |  Nov 17, 2018
Montana State vs UC-Santa Barbara
UC-Santa Barbara
-9 -112 at BMaker
Won
$100
Play Type: Top Premium

10* Cal Santa Barbara (5:00 ET): The Gauchos have already treated me well this season. I took them in the season opener when they went to Wyoming and came away w/ an outright 76-66 victory as 6.5-pt dogs. Now, we know Wyoming isn't very good as we faded them again last night and came away w/ another outright winner, this time on Niagara getting 6.5 points. UCSB losing its second game, 82-63 at North Dakota State, has created a ton of value on this pick. Note the Gauchos were w/o Max Heidegger in that game as he was out w/ a concussion. He is expected back today as the team plays its second home game. They successfully rebounded from that loss to North Dakota State by thrashing D-III Cal Lutheran 88-32 on Tuesday. Lay the points here.

Montana State is a team we tried fading Wednesday, but they surprised me w/ a strong effort in covering at Colorado State. They still lost, mind you, 81-77 as 12.5-pt chalk. The Bobcats had not fared well at all in their first two games (more on that in a second), but were able to keep pace in Ft. Collins due to outshooting CSU from behind the three-point arc. Montana State made a season-best 14 three-pointers in that game while CSU went just 6 of 30 from behin the arc. I think I should reiterate the fact that the Bobcats first two games of the season saw them lose by 30 to Utah State (at home) and then by 45 at Indiana. This isn't a good team. Their one win came against non-board team Presentation College. 

These teams played last year w/ UCSB winning in a rout, 91-69. That game was Bozeman (on the road) and the Gauchos were actually slight dogs going in. I expect a somewhat similar result here today. The likely return of Heidegger, an All-Big West selection last year, will have the Gauchos going 12 deep for this game. This is an underrated team by the oddsmakers right now, so keep an eye on them moving forward. Montana State is playing its second road game in four days and I don't believe they're capable of playing as well as they did Wednesday at Colorado State (who was a little short-handed). Lay the points. 10* Cal Santa Barbara

Matchup Selection W/L
NCAA-F  |  Nov 17, 2018
Arizona State vs Oregon
Oregon
-3½ +100 at 5Dimes
Lost
$100.0
Play Type: Top Premium

8* Oregon (10:30 ET): The Ducks are off a bad loss last week as they lost to Utah. It's not like a seven-point loss in Salt Lake City is bad on face value. But when you consider the Utes were w/o their starting QB AND RB, then it's pretty shocking Oregon came up short. It was the third loss in four games for UO, although all three losses took place away from Eugene. This is the final game of the year at Autzen and the home team should be highly motivated. Last year, their 10-game win streak over Arizona State got snapped when the Sun Devils kicked a last second field goal. So that's even more motivation. The Ducks are 11-2 SU at home the L2 years, have a NFL QB and this is a really good price on them. Lay the short number. 

No one is laughing at the Herm Edwards hire anymore. He has Arizona State in position to win the Pac 12 South! If the Sun Devils win out, which would require victories here and in the Territorial Cup (at Arizona), they are going to Los Angeles. All four losses this year have come by exactly a touchdown. But three of six wins have also come by a field goal. So that's a lot of close games. Last week, they outlasted UCLA 31-28 as 12.5-pt chalk. It was only the second Pac 12 game where ASU was favored, so clearly they've beaten expectations. But the road has been a bit of a challenge for them. They're 1-3 SU away from Tempe w/ the only win coming by a field goal over USC. They've lost at San Diego State, Washington and Colorado. This may be the toughest trip of the season.

Making this game even more difficult than it needed to be for Arizona State is the fact that Merlin Robertson will miss the 1st half due to an ejection for targeting last week. That makes stopping Justin Herbert and the rest of the Oregon offense even more daunting. I'd also worry about this Sun Devils offense being able to keep pace. Sure, they average 29.9 PPG for the year. But that number comes slightly down on the road and Oregon also averages 43.0 PPG at home. The ASU defense has allowed a 70% completion percentage to four of their last five opponents. Herbert has thrown only one interception his L6 games. One final key trend worth mentioning is that Arizona State is 1-6 ATS when off B2B wins the L3 seasons. They've overachieved already this season, but won't here. 8* Oregon 

Matchup Selection W/L
NCAA-F  |  Nov 17, 2018
Air Force vs Wyoming
Air Force
+2½ -105 at BMaker
Lost
$105.0
Play Type: Top Premium

10* Air Force (4:00 ET): I think there are a lot of people (myself included) that think proud Wyoming alum Josh Allen is going to be a bust in the NFL (he was a 1st rd draft choice of the Bills). But don't tell that to the alma mater, who misses its old QB dearly. Coming into the season, I thought Wyoming was as likely to regress (in terms of record) as any team in the entire country. They only went 8-5 SU w/ Allen at the helm last year and that came w/ a +24 turnover margin (easily tops in the country). Points off turnovers accounted for roughly 40% of all Cowboys' scoring last year. The team was actually outgained by 52 YPG in MWC play. So what I'm saying is that it was a minor miracle that team won eight games even w/ Allen. Without him, they have indeed nosedived down to 4-6 SU. I don't think they should be favored here and will fade them instead. 

When Wyoming's schedule came out, it was known that five opponents would be looking for revenge against them. They've played three of the five so far and only Colorado State (who has fallen even harder that the Cowboys have) failed to exact that revenge. Both Hawaii and Utah State did and now it's Air Force's turn. The Flyboys lost to the Pokes last year in Colorado Springs, 28-14. despite being three-point home favorites and having a +149 edge in total yards. Now its time for payback. Both of these teams need to win out in order to become bowl eligible, but obviously only one can. I'll side w/ the 4-6 SU team that has both outscored and outgained opponents this season as opposed to the one that's done neither. 

Wyoming has won B2B weeks, but those wins were against two of the MWC's weaker teams: Colorado State and San Jose State. The offense in Laramie is downright putrid as it averages only 18.2 PPG. The defense is still missing standout Youhanna Ghaifan, a key cog in the defensive line. His absence is especially problematic when facing an AFA offense that goes for 265 yards rushing per game and just went for a season-high 478 in a 42-24 win over New Mexico last week. The Pokes do have the benefit of being off a bye, but I just don't see their offense being able to score enough to get the job done. Air Force is better than its record as four of its six losses have been by six points or less. I expect them to win a relatively close game Saturday afternoon, but take the points anyway. 10* Air Force

Matchup Selection W/L
NCAA-F  |  Nov 17, 2018
Bowling Green vs Akron
Akron
-7 -100 at pinnacle
Lost
$100.0
Play Type: Top Premium

10* Akron (3:30 ET): On their way to an eventual MAC Title Game appearance, the Zips ended an eight-game SU/ATS losing streak to Bowling Green last season. They beat them 34-23 as 2-pt road chalk, which was also their 1st win @ BG since '05. Given the current state of the Bowling Green program, you would think that Akron is perhaps about to start their own win streak in this MAC East rivalry. BG is just dreadful, having already fired HC Mike Jinks midseason. They've got zero to play for moving forward as their record is 2-8 SU. I do think it helps Akron that BG won last week (24-13 @ Centgral Michigan), meaning the Falcons now won't go winless in conference play. Avoiding that distinction was the only real thing they had left to play for. I believe this spread should be closer to two touchdowns. Lay the points. 

Akron wasn't the best team in the MAC East last year, but won the division anyway thanks to pulling a couple upsets. Neither the MAC Championship nor the Boca Raton Bowl went well for them, but right now the Zips are looking at a situation where they need to win two of their final three games to get back to the postseason. Winning this game is a must as the two final regular season games are at Ohio and South Carolina and they'll be a big dog in each. Last week's game @ Eastern Michigan could not possibly have gone worse as QB Kato Nelson was out w/ an ankle injury. They turned it over four times, including three straight possessions w/ an INT, and gained less than 100 total yds. They should be eager to atone for that performance in this final home game. 

Thankfully, BG should more than oblige to Akron's need for victory. The Falcons remain a bottom 10 team in the country as they've been outscored by more than 17 PPG over the course of the season. I was truly shocked to see them win last week as 7.5-pt road dogs as they were down 13-0 at the half to Central Michigan (who ended up gaining only 166 yds for the game). How shocking was that defensive performance by BG? Consider that they still allow 469.2 YPG. Prior to last week, they had not beaten a single FBS team all season w/ the lone win coming at home over Eastern Kentucky where they had to rally late. Remember that this Akron team holds a win over Northwestern, who will be playing in the Big 10 Championship Game! This is - on paper - the Zips' easiest FBS game of the season. I'll keep my fingers crossed that QB Nelson returns, but even if he doesn't, this is still a play w/ the backup Ramart under center. 10* Akron

Matchup Selection W/L
NCAA-F  |  Nov 17, 2018
Pittsburgh vs Wake Forest
Wake Forest
+6 -108 at pinnacle
Lost
$108.0
Play Type: Top Premium

8* Wake Forest (12:00 ET): The Demon Deacons treated me nicely last week as they rallied back from a 13-3 halftime deficit and beat #14 NC State 27-23 as 17.5-pt road dogs. Perhaps you may recall my analysis for that Thursday night matchup. A lot of it was based on the notion that NC State being called the 14th best team in the country was utter nonsense. But I've always been impressed w/ how Wake "shows up" for HC Dave Clawson. While the Demon Deacons are a little bit "down" this year, bowl eligibility is still on the table for a team that's 5-5 SU overall. This is also the final home game in Winston-Salem and it comes w/ two extra days to prepare. With the regular season finale being at Duke, I think a motivated Demon Deacons squad comes up big here. Take the points. 

Pitt also has something to play for, that being the ACC Coastal, a race for which they are in the driver's seat. A win here would send them to Charlotte to face Clemson for the Conference Championship. So the Panthers shouldn't be lacking for motivation themselves. But they are road favorites for just the second time all year. The first time, I played against them and they lost outright to a North Carolina team that hasn't beaten anybody else all season. Overall, the Panthers are just 1-3 SU on the road this season. After a 1-3 overall start to the season, they've kind of come from nowhere to win four of their last five, the only loss coming at Notre Dame. But of note is the fact they've been favored only once in those L5 games, that coming in LW's 52-22 demolition of Va Tech. 

Believe it or not, despite being in the same conference, these teams have NEVER met. So Winston-Salem is foreign territory for the favorites. I think the sense of urgency is far greater for the home dog, which is seeking to go bowling for a third straight year, something that has only happened ONE time in the history of the program! Pitt doesn't even need a win here to clinch the division; they can have Virginia lose at Ga Tech as well. Or just beat struggling Miami next week. The big question here surrounds Wake Forest's ability to stop a Pitt run game that has gone for 484+ yds twice in the last three weeks. I think they can as this Demon Deacons' stop unit has improved ever since a midseason change at defensive coordinator. Last week, they allowed only 47 yds rushing to NC State. To me, the biggest mismatch in this game is Wake Forest's receivers going against a Pitt pass defense that is shaky at best. The Panthers' dream of being the 6th difference school to represent the ACC Coastal in the Conf Champ Game may have to be put on hold for another week. 8* Wake Forest

PICKS IN PROGRESS
Matchup Selection W/L
NCAA-B  |  Nov 18, 2018
Wake Forest vs Valparaiso
Valparaiso
+1½ -105 at 5Dimes
Lost
$105.0
Play Type: Top Premium

8* Valparaiso (10:30 AM ET): The Myrtle Beach Invitational wraps up Sunday. This is a consolation game as both Wake and Valpo lost their first game. The team that Valpo lost to - Western Kentucky - will be playing in the Championship Game later tonight. There was not shame in losing to the Hilltoppers considering Valpo was a seven-point dog. WKU would also go on to upset West Virginia on Friday. Wake Forest lost its first game to a St. Joe's team that would go on to get blown out by UCF. The Demon Deacons did gain a measure of redemption Friday by beating CS-Fullerton in spite of shooting 33.9% for the game. Valpo beat Monmouth 64-53 as a six-point favorite. 

Wake lost 20 games last season, the fourth under HC Danny Manning. The season started well enough w/ a 90-pt effort over North Carolina A&T, but even then they only won by 12 as 21.5-pt favorites. Then came the St. Joe's loss where they fell victim to 16 three-pointers. Given that kind of shooting, the Demon Deacons had little chance and lost by 20. They did bounce back w/ a 66-59 win over CS-Fullerton. But even then, they needed to score the game's final seven points. To win here, they'll either need to shoot better than they did vs. CS-Fullerton or defend better than they did vs. St. Joes. Maybe both. Regardless, my numbers indicate the wrong team is favored this morning. 

Valpo was outshot badly by Western Kentucky in the first game here, but as I said earlier, that's no longer looking like a bad loss. They bounced back w/ a nice shooting night against Monmouth, also holding the Hawks to just 53 points. Over three games, the Crusaders are shooting 53%. At the same time, they're allowing just 39.7% shooting. Again, in my opinion, they're the better team here and I'll take the points. 8* Valparaiso 

Matchup Selection W/L
NFL  |  Nov 18, 2018
Steelers vs Jaguars
Jaguars
+7 -140 at 5Dimes
Play Type: Top Premium

8* Jacksonville (1:00 ET): What is heaven's name has gone wrong with the Jaguars? After Week 2, this team was perceived as a legit threat to win the AFC as they'd just avenged LY's Championship Game loss to New England, beating the Patriots pretty handily, 31-20. But as you know, Week 2 was a LONG time ago. Since then, the Jags have lost six of seven, including five straight. Their only win during that time was against the lowly Jets. Last week saw them get knocked off by the division rival Colts, 29-26, a game where the once-proud defense was torched for all 29 pts in the first half. The task gets no tougher this week as the Jags play Pittsburgh. But the game is at home and the number is inflated. I'm going to take a "flier" on the dog here as they look to salvage their season.

Salvaging the season is still a possibility for Jacksonville, mind you. Their next two games are: at Buffalo and a rematch w/ Indy at home. So if they were to win here, they could easily be back at .500 after 12 games. I have no idea what went wrong w/ the defense in the 1H last week, though it isn't exactly refreshing to hear the personnel refer to the mistakes as "brain farts". What I do know is they shut the Colts out in the 2H. Maybe this defense isn't what it was a year ago, but it's a prideful bunch and I think they'll bounce back. Of course, we also need the offense to get back on track as well with QB Blake Bortles being the biggest offender. The good news is RB Leonard Fournette is back in the lineup and prior to last week's loss, the team was 2-0 SU w/ him on the field and 1-5 SU without.

For Pittsburgh, this is obviously a double revenge game. They lost twice to the Jaguars last year, including at home in the Divisional Round of the playoffs. If you recall, I had a sizable play on Jacksonville in that playoff meeting. Pittsburgh is definitely hot right now and with the double revenge angle, figures to be a popular side this week. They've won and covered five straight games following a 1-2-1 SU start. But, as noted earlier, this line is inflated. The Steelers have not won a road game this year by more than seven points and under HC Tomlin they are just 7-18 ATS all-time as a road favorite of six or more points. Take the points here with a desperate dog. 8* Jacksonville

Matchup Selection W/L
NFL  |  Nov 18, 2018
Panthers vs Lions
Lions
+4 -105 at Bovada
Play Type: Top Premium

10* Detroit (1:00 ET): Both of these teams would just as soon burn the Week 10 film as Carolina got hammered 52-21 in Pittsburgh Thursday night while the Lions lost in Chicago, 34-22. For the Lions that final score was actually a bit misleading considering they were down 26-0 midway through the second quarter. Either way, it was still a third straight double digit loss for Matt Patricia's team, whose season is basically on the brink this week as the team is 3-6 SU overall. Even after losing by 31, the Panthers are still in okay shape at 6-3 SU, but I've had my doubts about just how good this team is. On the road, they're now just 1-3 SU/ATS and averaging 20.7 PPG. That one win was a come from behind effort in Philadelphia, a game where they trailed 17-0 in the 4Q.

It wasn't the Carolina offense that had the problem in Pittsburgh, though their 21 pts scored were the lowest in a game since the last time they played on the road. In fact, they haven't scored more than 24 all season on the road. Rather, it was the defense getting torched for 52 points and 457 total yards. Excluding the Steelers running out the clock to end the 1st half, they scored on each of their first seven drives. Now, whether or not the Detroit offense can have a big day remains to be seen. But one thing that would certainly help the Lions here is protecting the football. Twice in the last three weeks, they've finished w/ a -3 TO ratio.

Keep in mind that the Lions have been a home dog to only one other team all season. That would be New England back in Week 3, a Sunday night game where they pulled a massive 26-10 upset as seven-point chalk. Few saw that one coming. The Lions' last two road games have been on the road. The last time they were at home, I actually played against them and they lost 28-14 to Seattle. But that game saw them turn the ball over TWICE in the end zone. Again, protecting the football is paramount here (as it is for any NFL game). Carolina has won a lot of close games the L2 seasons and has only outscored their opponents by seven points for the year. Take the points. 10* Detroit.

SERVICE BIO

The time has come for Bryan Power to EXPAND! Having achieved a tremendous amount of success, Power is expanding his reach in 2015 as he proudly announces the formation of Power Sports Picks (that's "PSP" for short). Power Sports Picks promises to deliver the same quality analysis (and same amount of winning) as before, only now with a FULL TEAM assembled, the SKY IS THE LIMIT!