|Date||Match Up||Rating||Score||Result||Profit||Lead Time||Analysis|
|09-29-12||Florida International +7 v. Louisiana-Lafayette||20-48||Loss||-110||68 h 48 m||Show|
15* Sun Belt GAME OF THE WEEK on Florida International +7
Florida International should not be catching a touchdown against Louisiana-Lafayette Saturday. I picked FIU to win the Sun Belt, and after a slow start, this team is clearly going under the radar. The Panthers returned 17 starters from a team that went 8-5 last year. There's still no doubt in my mind that this is the most talented team in the conference, and that will show on the field this weekend.
Florida International has opened 1-3, but it is due to a very tough schedule. All three of their losses have been as an underdog at Duke, at UCF and home against Louisville. Those aren't bad losses, and they even covered the spread in two of those games against UCF and Louisville.
FIU wants revenge from a 31-36 home loss to Louisiana-Lafayette as a 16.5-point favorite last year. The Panthers still have all of their goals in front of them as this will be their Sun Belt opener, and after playing a tough non-conference schedule, they are battle-tested coming in.
The Panthers lost starting quarterback Jake Medlock in the second quarter of a 21-28 loss to Louisville last week. That may have been a blessing in disguise considering talented freshman E.J. Hilliard got a chance to take his place. Hilliard played like a seasoned vet, completing 9 of 10 passes for 82 yards and a touchdown. He is the quarterback of the future here, and he's ready now.
Lafayette is a quality team, but it clearly has some holes after a 24-65 loss at Oklahoma State last time out. The Cowboys racked up a ridiculous 742 total yards on the Rajin' Cajuns while limiting them to 376. Their two wins came against Troy and Lamar, which is unimpressive to say the least.
The Ragin' Cajuns are 3-7 ATS in their last 10 home games. Lafayette is 2-6 ATS in its last 8 home games vs. a team with a losing road record. The Rajin' Cajuns are 3-13 ATS in their last 16 home games when playing against a terrible team (Win Pct. <=25%). The road team is 5-1 ATS in the last 6 meetings in this series. Take Florida International.
|09-29-12||Toledo v. Western Michigan +1||37-17||Loss||-110||68 h 48 m||Show|
15* CFB Saturday Undervalued Underdog on Western Michigan +1
The Toledo Rockets have no business being favored at Western Michigan Saturday. I know that the Broncos will be without starting quarterback Alex Carder, but as you'll see if you keep reading, it won't matter.
Western Michigan is hungry to avenge its 63-66 loss at Toledo last season. I picked the Broncos to win the MAC this season, and I still believe they are the best team in this conference. That will show on the field Saturday as they destroy the Rockets with revenge in mind.
The Broncos came into the season with 14 returning starters, while the Rockets came in as one of the most inexperienced teams in the country with only eight starters back. The Broncos have been tested early, which will only help them entering conference play.
WMU has already played the likes of Illinois and Minnesota, as well as Connecticut at home. They have gotten through that brutal schedule at 2-2. Carder went out with an injury in their 30-24 win over UConn last week, and junior Tyler VanTubbergen took his place while helping the Broncos hold onto the victory.
VanTubbergen will be dominant next season as a senior, but he has been given a great opportunity to lead the team with Carder out for at least the next few games. VanTubbergen started in place of an injured Carder against Akron last season, and he completed 19 of 21 passes (90%) for 252 yards with a whopping six touchdowns! It's safe to say that WMU is in good hands with this guy under center against the Rockets Saturday.
Toledo has opened 3-1 this season against a pretty soft schedule, and it is getting too much respect because of it. The Rockets lost at Toledo 17-24 in their opener, then followed that up with three lackluster victories over Wyoming (34-31), Bowling Green 27-15, and Coastal Carolina (38-28).
VanTubbergen is in line for a monster game against a Toledo defense that ranks 116th in the country against the pass (325.3 yards/game). The Rockets are giving up 483 yards/game against a weak schedule thus far, while the Broncos are yielding a respectable 353.5 yards/game against a tougher schedule. Coastal Carolina even threw for 356 yards on Toledo last week.
Toledo is 11-25 ATS in its last 25 road games vs. good passing teams with a completion pct. of 58% or better. The Rockets are 4-14 ATS in their last 18 road games after 3 or more consecutive straight up wins. The Broncos are 7-1 ATS in their last 8 home games. The underdog is 6-0 ATS in the last 6 meetings in this series. Bet Western Michigan Saturday.
|09-29-12||Arizona State v. California -1||27-17||Loss||-110||65 h 49 m||Show|
15* Pac-12 GAME OF THE WEEK on California -1
California is one of the best home teams in the country. In fact, they have the second-best home-field advantage of all teams in the six BCS conferences dating back to 1989. The Bears should be a much heavier favorite Saturday against the Arizona State Sun Devils.
Cal is going under the radar right now because of its 1-3 start. But when you look at the schedule, it's easy to see why the Bears don't have more wins through three games. They lost to a very good Nevada team in their opener, and their last two games have come on the road against Ohio State and USC.
The Bears actually played both teams tough, losing 28-35 at Ohio State, and 9-27 at USC. It's safe to say that this team is battle-tested and hungry for a win when they return home Saturday for face an overrated Sun Devils team.
ASU is off to a 3-1 start, but it has played a much easier schedule. All three of their wins have come at home against Northern Arizona, Illinois and Utah. Their lone loss came on the road 20-24 at Missouri against a Tigers team that was playing without their starting quarterback.
Cal has won four straight and eight of its last nine meetings with Arizona State. The Bears won 50-17, 24-14, 49-21 and 27-0 in their last four home meetings with the Sun Devils. It's safe to say that Cal has ASU's number in this series, especially at home.
The Bears are 21-10 ATS in their last 31 home games. The Sun Devils are 0-4-1 ATS in their last 5 road games. The home team is 6-1 ATS in the last 7 meetings. The Sun Devils are 0-6 ATS in their last 6 meetings in California dating back to 1997. Bet the Bears Saturday.
|09-29-12||Tennessee v. Georgia UNDER 61.5||Top||44-51||Loss||-110||96 h 47 m||Show|
25* SEC TOTAL OF THE YEAR on Tennessee/Georgia UNDER 61.5
Georgia beat Tennessee 20-12 on the road last season for 32 combined points. The Bulldogs put up 366 total yards, while the Vols were held to 284 yards. I look for a similar low-scoring affair in the rematch in 2012 as both teams return a ton of starters from last season.
Georgia remains one of the best defensive teams in the country. They are giving up just 16.5 points and 343.2 yards/game despite playing without several starters on defense at different times this season. Both safety Bacarri Rambo (55 tackles, 8 INT in 2011) and linebacker Alec Ogletree (52 tackles, 7.5 for loss in 2011) are expected to return Saturday.
Georgia's defense has steadily improved as the season has wore on, and it gave up only a field goal in a 48-3 victory over Vanderbilt last week. Tennessee has nine starters back on defense from last year's team, and there's no question this is an improved unit.
The UNDER is 33-12-1 in Bulldogs last 46 games following a SU win of more than 20 points. Tennessee is 40-22 to the UNDER after a game where they forced 3 or more turnovers since 1992. The UNDER is 6-2 in the last 8 meetings in Georgia.
All you have to do is look at the history of this series to realize this total has been inflated. 15 of the last 17 meetings in this series have seen 57 or less combined points. That makes for a 15-2 (88%) system backing the UNDER. Bet the UNDER in this game Saturday.
|09-29-12||Minnesota v. Iowa -7||13-31||Win||100||61 h 50 m||Show|
15* Big Ten GAME OF THE WEEK on Iowa -7
The Iowa Hawkeyes have not gotten off to the start they wanted to this season. However, even at 2-2, they still have all of their goals ahead of them. They open their Big Ten schedule Saturday looking for revenge against a Minnesota team that has beaten them each of the last two years.
This is a huge rivalry between these schools, and there's no question that if Iowa had a better record right now, it would be a much bigger favorite. The Hawkeyes blew a 21-10 fourth quarter lead to the Gophers last season to lose 21-22 as a 14.5-point favorite.
There's no question these players have a sour taste in their mouths from that loss, and after blowing a 31-23 lead against Central Michigan over the final 45 seconds to lose 31-32. They allowed a touchdown, and then after the Chippewas recovered an onside kick, they marched down and kicked a game-winning 47-yard field goal.
Iowa will be giving its best effort of the season in front of a rowdy crowd at Kinnick Stadium. I believe the Gophers come in overrated after their 4-0 start because they really haven't played a worthy opponent yet. Their lone road win came in overtime against a terrible UNLV team by a final of 30-27. Because of these two team's records, this is a very soft line coming in and we're going to capitalize.
The home team has won six of the last seven meetings in this series. The Hawkeyes are 35-15-1 ATS in their last 51 games following a S.U. loss, so this has been a very resilient team through the years. Iowa is 6-2 ATS in its last 8 home meetings with Minnesota. The Gophers are 1-9 ATS in their last 10 games as a road underdog of 7 to 10 points. Take Iowa Saturday.
|09-28-12||Colorado Rockies v. Los Angeles Dodgers -1.5||0-8||Win||100||11 h 3 m||Show|
15* NL Friday No-Doubt Rout on Los Angeles Dodgers -1.5 (-123)
The Los Angeles Dodgers have won two straight to get within three games of the St. Louis Cardinals for the final wild-card spot in the National League. They have scored a combined 16 runs over the past two days, and I look for them to stay hot at the plate tonight in Game 1 of this series with Colorado.
Ace Clayton Kershaw won't need much run support to win this game by 2 runs or more. The 2011 NL Cy Young winner has been dominant once again in 2012. He is 12-9 with a 2.68 ERA and 1.039 WHIP in 31 starts, 7-5 with a 2.25 ERA in 17 home starts, and he has posted a 0.95 ERA in his last three outings.
Colorado's Jeff Francis is no match for Kershaw. The left-hander is 5-6 with a 5.54 ERA and 1.481 WHIP in 22 starts this season, including 0-2 with a 6.75 ERA and 1.583 WHIP in his last three.
Kershaw is 15-2 against the money line when playing against a bad team (Win Pct. 38% to 46%) over the last 2 seasons. The Dodgers are winning by an average of 2.3 runs/game in this spot. Take the Dodgers on the Run Line Friday.
|09-28-12||Los Angeles Angels +100 v. Texas Rangers||7-4||Win||100||9 h 57 m||Show|
15* Angels/Rangers AL Friday No-Brainer on Los Angeles +100
This is a must-win for the Los Angeles Angels as they trail the Oakland A's by two games for the final wild-card spot in the American League. The Angels have won five of their last six, and I believe they have a huge edge on the mound in this one.
Ace Jered Weaver gets the ball for the Angels. The Cy Young contender is 19-4 with a 2.74 ERA and 1.002 WHIP in 28 starts this season, including 3-0 with a 1.77 ERA and 0.787 WHIP in his last three starts when the stakes have been at the highest.
Ryan Dempster has not been nearly as good in the American League since he was traded to the Rangers from the Chicago Cubs before the deadline. He has posted a 4.76 ERA and 1.412 WHIP in his last three starts. Dempster has really struggled in two starts against Los Angeles, going 0-1 with a 14.63 ERA and 2.625 WHIP while allowing 13 earned runs and 21 base runners over 8 innings.
Weaver is 14-2 against the money line when playing against a good team (Win Pct. 54% to 62%) over the last 2 seasons. The Angels are 8-1 in Weaver's last 9 road starts. Los Angeles is 21-6 in its last 27 during game 1 of a series. The Angels are 9-3 in Weaver's last 12 starts vs. Rangers. Roll with the Angels Friday.
|09-28-12||Hawaii v. BYU -27.5||Top||0-47||Win||100||53 h 56 m||Show|
20* Hawaii/BYU Non-Conference GAME OF THE WEEK on BYU -27.5
This game simply screams blowout. BYU is pissed about losing two straight heartbreakers to Utah and Boise State on the road by a combined 4 points. I look for the Cougars to take out their frustration on National TV against a hapless Hawaii team when they return home Friday.
Hawaii is clearly down this season as evidenced by its 10-49 loss at USC, and its 24-69 home loss to Nevada last Saturday. The Warriors gave up 575 total yards to the Wolf Pack, including 355 on the ground.
BYU is a team that prefers to run the football, and it should have similar success on the ground that Nevada did last week. After committing five turnovers last week in a 6-7 loss at Boise State, including three interceptions, I look for the Cougars to get back to ground and pound and run it right down Hawaii's throats.
I've seen BYU play a couple times this season, and there's no question in my mind that it has one of the best defenses in the land. Despite playing a tough schedule, the Cougars rank 7th in the country in total defense, giving up 68.8 yards on the ground and 177.3 yards through the air. This stop unit won't give an inch Friday.
The Cougars won at Hawaii 41-20 last year in their regular season finale, outgaining the Warriors 530-299 for the game. I believe the Warriors have taken a step back this season, and I expect an even bigger blowout at home this time around. Hawaii doesn't travel well, and it will be working on two less days' rest considering the Cougars played last Thursday, and the Warriors played on Saturday.
BYU is 6-0 ATS after allowing 125 or less rushing yards in 3 straight games over the last 3 seasons. Hawaii is 0-6 ATS after playing a conference game over the last 2 seasons. The Cougars are 6-0 ATS in their last 6 vs. MWC opponents. These three trends combine for a perfect 18-0 system backing the Cougars. Bet BYU Friday.
|09-27-12||Los Angeles Dodgers -115 v. San Diego Padres||8-4||Win||100||10 h 34 m||Show|
15* Dodgers/Padres NL Late-Night BAILOUT on Los Angeles -115
It's now or never for the Los Angeles Dodgers. After winning 8-2 last night over the Padres, they now trail the St. Louis Cardinals by 3.5 games for the final wild-card spot in the National League with seven games to play. They have a chance to pull within 3 with a victory tonight as the Cardinals have the day off.
I like the Dodgers' chances of beating San Diego again with Chris Capuano on the mound. The left-hander is 11-11 with a 3.74 ERA and 1.200 WHIP over 31 starts this season. Capuano has posted a 3.86 ERA in 10 career starts against the Padres, and he pitched 6 2/3 innings without allowing an earned run in his last start against them on July 15th.
San Diego's Casey Kelly is no match for Capuano in this one. The right-hander is 2-2 with a 5.55 ERA and 1.687 WHIP in five starts this season. Kelly has really struggled of late, going 1-2 with a 7.11 ERA and 2.054 WHIP in his last three starts while allowing 10 earned runs and 26 base runners over 12 2/3 innings.
The Dodgers are 6-0 in Capuano's last 6 starts when their opponent scores 2 runs or less in their previous game. Los Angeles is 4-0 in Capuano's last 4 starts as a favorite of -110 to -150. The Padres are 2-8 in their last 10 after scoring 2 runs or less in their previous game. Roll with the Dodgers Thursday.
|09-27-12||Stanford -6 v. Washington||13-17||Loss||-110||30 h 56 m||Show|
15* Stanford/Washington ESPN Thursday No-Brainer on Stanford -6
The Stanford Cardinal continue to go under the radar after the departure of Heisman Trophy winner Andrew Luck. What most folks don't realize is that Stanford still has a lot of talent, as evidenced by the fact that head coach David Shaw brought in the fifth-best recruiting class in 2012.
This team had a ton of talent left over from last year's team that went 11-2 and made it to the Fiesta Bowl. Shaw welcomed back 13 starters and 61 lettermen from that squad, and the Cardinal have opened 3-0 this season.
After beating San Jose State and Duke, the Cardinal proved they were for real with a 21-14 victory over then-No. 2 USC as a 9.5-point underdog. Their defense limited the high-powered Trojans offense to just 380 total yards, including 26 on the ground on 28 carries. The offense put up 417 yards on a very good USC defense, too.
Quarterback Josh Nunes has filled in nicely for Luck, throwing for 615 yards with six touchdowns and three interceptions through three games. Don't forget, the Cardinal have 2011 leading rusher Stepfan Taylor back, and he has rushed for 338 yards and three scores.
Stanford has one of the best defenses in the country. It ranks 26th in the land in total defense, including 1st against the run (41.7 yards/game). The Cardinal have one of the best front 7's in the land and it will cause Washington fits all game.
The Huskies are 2-1 this season, but their two wins came at home against San Diego State 21-12 and Portland State 52-13. Washington's true colors showed in a 3-41 loss at LSU in Week 2. It managed just 183 total yards against the Tigers, and it won't be able to move the ball with any consistency against this Stanford defense, either.
Washington's defense is in for a long day. It has had injuries to several starters this season, especially along the front seven. That's a big reason why the Huskies rank 80th in the country in run defense, allowing 174.7 yards/game despite playing a pretty soft schedule.
Stanford simply owns Washington, winning four straight and six of the last seven meetings. The Cardinal won 65-21, 41-0, 34-14 and 35-28 in the last four meetings, respectively. While I don't expect another 40-plus point victory for a third straight year, I do believe the Cardinal easily cover this small number tonight.
The Cardinal are 5-0-1 ATS in their last 6 road games vs. a team with a winning home record. The Huskies are 0-5 ATS in their last 5 games after scoring more than 40 points in their previous game. Washington is 0-4 ATS in its last 4 games following a win. The Huskies are 0-5 ATS in their last 5 vs. a team with a winning record. The Cardinal are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 meetings. Stanford is 4-0 ATS in its last 4 meetings at Washington. The Cardinal are 8-0 ATS in September games over the last 3 seasons. Stanford is 9-0 ATS after allowing 125 or less rushing yards in 2 straight games over the last 3 seasons. These eight trends combine for a 44-0 system backing the Cardinal. Take Stanford Thursday.
|09-27-12||Cleveland Browns +12 v. Baltimore Ravens||Top||16-23||Win||100||30 h 33 m||Show|
20* AFC North GAME OF THE MONTH on Cleveland Browns +12
The Cleveland Browns have opened the season 0-3 with three straight losses by 10 points or less. This is a must-win for Cleveland, and I fully expect it to brings its best effort for the field Thursday against the Baltimore Ravens.
Baltimore is coming off a huge 31-30 home victory over the New England Patriots on NBC's Sunday Night Football in Week 3. That win sets the Ravens up for a big letdown spot tonight against the Browns. The Ravens have been prone to letdowns over the years, and this is the perfect spot for one. They are 1-6 ATS in their last 7 home games vs. a team with a losing road record.
In their final meeting last season, Cleveland went into Baltimore as a 12.5-point underdog and lost by a final of 14-20. This was a very evenly matched game as the Browns totaled 256 yards, while the Ravens had 284.
Seneca Wallace was the starter for Cleveland in that one, and the Browns have certainly upgraded this offseason with Brandon Weeden as their new starting quarterback. Cleveland's defense limited Joe Flacco to 11 of 24 passing for 132 yards last season in that 14-20 loss.
With an underrated defense and an improved offense, the Browns are going to be much more competitive as the year goes on. Like I said, their first three losses have come by 10 points or less, and they are getting no love from oddsmakers in this contest.
Baltimore's defense gets way too much credit. The Ravens are clearly getting older, and they miss 2011 NFL Defensive Player of the Year Terrell Suggs. They rank 27th in the league in total defense, allowing 401.3 yards/game through three contests.
This play falls into a system that is 54-23 (70.1%) ATS since 1983. It tells us to bet against home favorites of 10.5 or more points (BALTIMORE) - after covering the spread in 2 out of their last 3 games, a good team (60% to 75%) playing a team with a losing record.
The Browns are 6-0 ATS in their last 6 games after scoring less than 15 points in their previous game. Cleveland is 4-0-1 ATS in their last 5 road games. The Browns are 3-0-1 ATS in their last 4 vs. AFC North opponents. The road team is 5-0 ATS in the last 5 meetings in this series. These four trends combine for a perfect 18-0 system backing the Browns. Bet Cleveland Thursday.
|09-26-12||Seattle Mariners v. Los Angeles Angels -134||Top||3-4||Win||100||10 h 9 m||Show|
20* Mariners/Angels AL Late-Night BAILOUT on Los Angeles -134
The Los Angeles Angels sit just two games behind Oakland and 2.5 games behind Baltimore for the two wild-card spots in the American League. They have won four straight and 19 of their last 26 to put themselves in great position with only eight games to play.
Seattle has lost six of its last eight and has nothing to play for. It will send Felix Hernandez to the mound tonight. The right-hander is 0-2 with a 7.02 ERA and 1.800 WHIP in his last three starts. Hernandez is 0-2 with a 5.75 ERA in three starts against the Angels in 2012, allowing five runs in each of those outings.
C.J. Wilson is 12-10 with a 3.82 ERA in 32 starts this season, including 1-1 with a 3.52 ERA in his last three starts. The left-hander is 5-3 with a 3.34 ERA and 1.262 WHIP in 11 career starts against Seattle. Wilson is 2-1 with a 1.40 ERA in his last three starts against the Mariners, allowing just three earned runs over 19 1/3 innings.
Los Angeles is 15-3 after allowing 4 runs or less 5 straight games this season. The Angels are 18-2 when playing against a marginal losing team (Win Pct. 46% to 49%) in the second half of the season over the last 2 seasons. Los Angeles is 6-0 in its last 6 home games vs. a team with a losing record. The Mariners are 0-4 in Hernandez's last 4 starts. Seattle is 1-7 in Hernandez's last 8 road starts vs. Angels. Bet the Angels Wednesday.
|09-26-12||St. Louis Cardinals v. Houston Astros +1.5||0-2||Win||110||8 h 9 m||Show|
15* NL Run Line PLAY OF THE DAY on Houston Astros +1.5 (+110)
I know the Houston Astros own the worst record in baseball. However, I fully expect them to try and play the role of spoiler tonight against St. Louis. I like their chances of staying within one run or winning the game outright with Bud Norris on the mound.
Norris has been spectacular at home, going 3-1 with a 1.90 ERA and 1.040 WHIP with 75 strikeouts over 66 1/3 innings in 10 home starts this year. He also has St. Louis' number, going 7-5 with a 2.97 ERA and 1.216 WHIP in 14 career starts against the Cardinals.
Chris Carpenter just recently returned from the disabled list after missing all of the season up to this point. He wants to try and help the Cardinals down the stretch and into the postseason, but he's simply cannot be his old self just yet. Carpenter lasted just five innings of a 4-5 loss to Chicago on September 21st in his 2012 debut.
St. Louis is 1-7 after 4 or more consecutive wins this season. Carpenter is 1-8 against the money line as a favorite of -175 to -250 over the last 2 seasons, and the Cards are losing in this spot 2.6 to 4.6 on average. Carpenter is 0-6 against the money line after 3 or more consecutive team wins over the last 2 seasons. Roll with the Astros on the Run Line Wednesday.
|09-26-12||Miami Marlins +135 v. Atlanta Braves||0-3||Loss||-100||7 h 13 m||Show|
15* NL Wednesday Undervalued Underdog on Miami Marlins +135
The Atlanta Braves just clinched a playoff spot last night with a 2-run walk-off home run from Freddie Freeman for a 4-3 victory over the Marlins. After achieving their goal, the Braves are in a huge letdown spot tonight against Miami. I believe the Marlins are showing great value because of it.
Ace Josh Johnson gets the ball for the Marlins. He has posted a 3.84 ERA and 1.273 WHIP in 30 starts this season, including a 3.60 ERA and 1.100 WHIP in his last three. Johnson is 6-5 with a 2.37 ERA in 18 career starts against Atlanta, so he certainly loves facing this team.
Paul Maholm has posted a 3.87 ERA in 29 starts this season, including a 6.55 ERA in his last two which resulted in Atlanta losses to the Brewers and Marlins. Maholm is 4-5 with a 4.89 ERA in 10 career starts against Miami.
Miami is 14-6 in Johnson's last 20 starts as an underdog of +110 to +150. Atlanta is 2-7 in home games after having won 8 or more of their last 10 games this season. The Marlins are 8-3 in their last 11 games as a road underdog of +110 to +150. Take the Marlins Wednesday.
|09-25-12||Seattle Mariners v. Los Angeles Angels -1.5||Top||4-5||Loss||-105||10 h 6 m||Show|
20* AL Tuesday No-Doubt Rout on Los Angeles Angels -1.5 (-105)
The Los Angeles Angels (84-69) have won three straight and seven of 10 to pull within two games over the Oakland A's for the AL's final wild-card spot. Six of those seven victories have come by 2 runs or more, and I fully expect Los Angeles to win by multiple runs in Game 1 of this series against Seattle (72-81) Tuesday.
Zach Greinke gets the ball for the Angels, and he's 14-5 with a 3.46 ERA and 1.185 WHIP in 32 starts this season. The right-hander is 7-2 with a 3.04 ERA and 1.014 WHIP in 14 home starts, and 1-0 with a 1.54 ERA and 0.772 ERA in his last three outings.
Greinke is 4-1 with a 1.97 ERA and 0.875 WHIP in nine career starts against Seattle. This guy loves facing the Mariners, and he has been unstoppable at home, which you will see with the following trends.
Greinke is 27-4 against the money line in home games over the last 2 seasons, and his teams are winning by 2.3 runs/game in this spot. Greinke is 17-1 against the money line at home when the total is 7 to 7.5 over the last 2 seasons, and his teams are winning by 2.7 runs/game in this situation. Greinke is 17-0 against the money line in home games when playing against a team with a losing record over the last 2 seasons, and his teams have won by 3.1 runs/game on average. Bet the Angels on the Run Line Tuesday.
|09-24-12||Green Bay Packers -3.5 v. Seattle Seahawks||Top||12-14||Loss||-100||170 h 4 m||Show|
25* NFL West Coast GAME OF THE YEAR on Green Bay Packers -3.5
The Seattle Seahawks are getting way too much credit for their home field in this one. If the Cowboys were favored by 3.5 at Seattle last week, the Packers should be at least a 6 to 7-point favorite in Week 2.
There's no question the Seahawks have great fans, but the fact of the matter is that the Packers are simply the better team, and that will show on the field Monday. Green Bay knows it cannot afford to fall to 1-2, so it won't be taking the Seahawks lightly.
The Packers are simply the better team on both sides of the ball. Their defense answered the bell last week in a 23-10 victory over the Bears. They allowed only 168 total yards, forced four interceptions of Jay Cutler, and sacked him seven times. This stop unit will have its way with a Seattle offense that is only putting up 284 total yards per game.
Green Bay has won six of the last seven meetings in this series, scoring 23 or more points in all seven contests. The last three have been blowout victories by Green Bay by finals of 48-10, 27-17, an 42-20. They have outscored the Seahawks 117-47 in those three contests, averaging 39 points while giving up 15.7 points.
This play falls into a system that is 53-20 (72.6%) ATS since 1983. It tells us to bet on favorites (GREEN BAY) - off a win against a division rival, when playing on Monday night.
The Packers are 23-10 ATS in their last 33 games overall. The Seahawks are 15-33-3 ATS in their last 51 games following a SU win of more than 14 points. Seattle is 9-21-1 ATS in its last 31 games following a S.U. win. The Packers are 3-0-2 ATS in their last 5 meetings. Head coach Mike McCarthy is 9-1 ATS in road games after a 2 game home stand as the coach of Green Bay. Bet the Packers Monday.
|09-24-12||St. Louis Cardinals -1.5 v. Houston Astros||6-1||Win||100||8 h 55 m||Show|
15* NL Monday No-Doubt Rout on St. Louis Cardinals -1.5 (-124)
The St. Louis Cardinals sit 2.5 games ahead of the Milwaukee Brewers for the final wild-card spot in the National League. They want to clinch that spot as soon as possible, and they'll have an excellent chance of doing that starting with Game 1 of this series against the lowly Houston Astros.
St. Louis (82-71) is closing out strong against this season, just as it did last year en route to winning the World Series. The Cardinals have won six of their last seven games overall. Houston (50-103) owns the worst record in baseball and I'll gladly fade the Astros here Monday.
The Cards have a huge edge on the mound behind Lance Lynn, who is 16-7 with a 3.79 ERA this season, including 2-0 with a 0.73 ERA in his last two starts. Lynn has allowed just one earned runs over 12 1/3 innings in those two outings. He is 3-0 with a 1.56 ERA in three career starts against Houston, and the Cards have won by finals of 9-2, 14-2 and 5-0 in those three contests.
Fernando Abad is one of the worst starters in baseball. He has gone 0-5 with a 5.11 ERA and 1.682 WHIP in five starts and 30 relief appearances. In those five starts, Abad is 0-5 with a 6.53 ERA and 1.982 WHIP. In two home starts, he's 0-2 with an 8.22 ERA and 2.350 WHIP.
Lynn is 12-1 against the money line against division opponents this season, and the Cards are winning by an average of 4.1 runs/game in this spot. Houston is 7-37 against the money line as an underdog of +175 to +250 this season, losing by an average of 3.2 runs/game. Take the Cardinals on the Run Line Monday.
|09-24-12||Kansas City Royals v. Detroit Tigers -1.5||2-6||Win||100||7 h 55 m||Show|
15* AL Central PLAY OF THE DAY on Detroit Tigers -1.5 (-115)
After losing two games of a double-header against Minnesota yesterday, the Tigers now find themselves one game behind the Chicago White Sox for the AL Central lead with 10 games to play. With ace Justin Verlander on the mound tonight, I have them bouncing back to win by multiple runs over the Kansas City Royals in Game 1 of this series.
Verlander, the 2011 AL Cy Young and AL MVP winner, won't let his team down with what's at stake. The right-hander is 15-8 with a 2.74 ERA and 1.061 WHIP in 31 starts this season, including 8-2 with a 1.60 ERA and 0.928 WHIP in 14 home starts. Verlander is 14-2 with a 2.76 ERA and 1.118 WHIP in 22 career starts against Kansas City.
He'll be opposed by Luke Hochevar, who is one of the worst starters in the league. The right-hander is 8-14 with a 5.40 ERA and 1.373 WHIP in 30 starts this season. Hochevar is 4-5 with a 6.35 ERA and 1.652 WHIP in 11 career starts against Detroit. In his lone start against the Tigers this season, Hochevar gave up nine earned runs and 15 base runners over four innings of a 3-9 loss at Detroit on May 1st.
Verlander is 20-3 against the money line in home games in the second half of the season over the last 3 seasons, and the Tigers are winning by 3.0 runs/game in this spot. Roll with Detroit on the Run Line Monday.
|09-23-12||New England Patriots +3 v. Baltimore Ravens||30-31||Win||100||146 h 49 m||Show|
15* Pats/Ravens NBC Sunday Night BAILOUT on New England +3
Rarely will you ever get the New England Patriots as an underdog, and it's time to take advantage Sunday night. That's especially the case when they are coming off a loss. There's no question New England is going to be highly motivated in this one after a poor performance at home against the Cardinals.
I know Baltimore is going to want revenge after losing in the AFC Championship game last year, but it simply should not be the favorite in this one. I have no doubt that the Patriots have the stronger team, and the numbers certainly show that through the first two weeks.
New England is averaging 388 total yards per game to Baltimore's 377. The biggest advantage the Patriots have is on defense. They have allowed only 264 total yards per game as they are clearly improved on this side of the ball in 2012. Meanwhile, the Ravens have yielded 404 total yards per game, and there's no question they are missing 2011 NFL Defensive Player of the Year Terrell Suggs.
New England has simply dominated this series, winning eight of the last nine meetings between these teams. That includes a 4-1 record in five meetings since 2007.
The Patriots are 7-0 ATS in a road game where the total is between 45.5 and 49 points over the last 3 seasons. They are winning in this spot by an average of 17.8 points/game.
The Patriots are 34-16-1 ATS in their last 51 games following a S.U. loss. New England is 50-24-3 ATS in its last 77 road games. Roll with the Patriots Sunday.
|09-23-12||Pittsburgh Steelers -4.5 v. Oakland Raiders||31-34||Loss||-100||142 h 48 m||Show|
15* Steelers/Raiders AFC Late-Afternoon ANNIHILATOR on Pittsburgh -4.5
The Oakland Raiders are one of the worst teams in the league in 2012. They lost at home 14-22 to the San Diego Chargers, then went on the road and lost to the Miami Dolphins by a final of 13-35. I look for the Steelers to dominate the Raiders in this one as well.
The Dolphins racked up 452 total yards on the Raiders. Darren McFadden has done nothing thus far for Oakland. The Raiders rank 31st in the league in rushing at 34 yards per game and 2.0/carry. If they couldn't run on San Diego and Miami, they definitely won't be able to run on Pittsburgh.
The Steelers bounced back nicely with a 27-10 victory over the New York Jets last week. They know they cannot afford to drop to 1-2, so they will not be taking the Raiders lightly. Pittsburgh finished No. 1 in the league in total defense last season, and it has only given up 276 total yards per game through two contests this season.
This play falls into a system that is 43-16 (72.9%) ATS over the last 10 seasons. It tells us to bet on favorites of 3.5 to 10 points (PITTSBURGH) - after allowing 99 or less rushing yards in 2 straight games against opponent after gaining 99 or less rushing yards in 2 straight games.
Pittsburgh won the last meeting between these teams 35-3 at home in 2010. It outgained the Raiders 431-182 for the game in a dominant effort on both sides of the ball. I expect a similar result in this one.
The Raiders are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 games after scoring less than 15 points in their previous game. Oakland is 0-4 ATS in its last 4 games after accumulating less than 90 yards rushing in their previous game. The Raiders are 1-5-1 ATS in their last 7 games following a SU loss of more than 14 points. Take the Steelers Sunday.
|09-23-12||Cincinnati Bengals v. Washington Redskins -3.5||Top||38-31||Loss||-110||138 h 24 m||Show|
20* NFL Sunday No-Doubt Rout on Washington Redskins -3.5
The Washington Redskins are showing great value as a small home favorite over the Cincinnati Bengals. After blowout a 21-6 lead to St. Louis last week, the Redskins are going to be highly motivated when they head back to Washington for their first home game of the season.
Robert Griffin III is clearly the real deal, and Washington fans will pack the seats as he makes his home debut Sunday. He'll be up against a Cincinnati team that has been atrocious defensively this season.
The Browns gave up 44 points to the Ravens in Week 1, then 27 points to the lowly Cleveland Browns in Week 2. They also gave up 439 total yards to Cleveland. They have given up 35.5 points and 434 yards per game through two contests.
The Bengals are 1-7-3 ATS in their last 11 games overall. Cincinnati is 0-3-2 ATS in its last 5 road games. The Bengals are 0-4-3 ATS in their last 7 games following a ATS loss. The Redskins are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games following a S.U. loss. Bet the Redskins Sunday.
|09-22-12||Clemson v. Florida State -14||37-49||Loss||-102||98 h 33 m||Show|
15* Clemson/Florida State ABC Saturday No-Brainer on Florida State -14
I picked Florida State to be the 2012-13 national champion in college football. The Seminoles have done nothing to sway my opinion. They have outscored their first three opponents 176-3, which includes a 52-0 victory over ACC foe Wake Forest last week.
Sure, Clemson presents a much tougher challenge, but the Seminoles will be hungry for revenge after falling to the Tigers on the road 30-35 last season. Remember, starting QB E.J. Manuel did not play in that game, which was probably the difference.
With 17 starters, 68 lettermen, and arguably the most talented roster in the entire country back, I fully expect the Seminoles to roll by two-plus touchdowns in the rematch at home this time around.
There's no doubt that Clemson has an explosive offense, but so does Florida State. The Seminoles are averaging 58.7 points and 544 total yards per game, and that's even with resting their starters in the second half of each of their first three contests.
The difference in this game is going to be defense. FSU is giving up 1.0 points/game and 103 total yards/game, and this is the best defense in the country in my opinion. Clemson has plenty of holes defensively as it is giving up 369 total yards/game. The Tigers have been extremely vulnerable on the ground, yielding 181 yards/game and 4.8/carry.
Ball State put up 380 total yards against Clemson two weeks ago, and Furman finished with 352 total yards last week. I know FSU has played a soft schedule, but Ball State and Furman aren't exactly powerhouses! E.J. Manuel being healthy this time around, FSU having by far the more dominant defense, and the revenge factor will lead to a blowout victory for the Seminoles at home.
This play falls into a system that is 42-12 (77.8%) ATS over the last 10 seasons. It tells us to bet against a road team (CLEMSON) - after gaining 475 or more total yards in their previous game against opponent after gaining 6.75 or more yards/play in 2 consecutive games. The Tigers are 0-5 ATS in their last 5 games following a S.U. win. Take Florida State Saturday.
|09-22-12||Kansas State v. Oklahoma -14||24-19||Loss||-108||97 h 22 m||Show|
15* CFB Saturday No-Doubt Rout on Oklahoma -14
This is a complete mismatch in every sense of the word. That was on display last year as Oklahoma won at Kansas State 58-17 as a 13-point favorite. The Sooners outgained the Wildcats 690-240 for the game, and I expect a similar blowout at home this time around in 2012.
Both teams return a similar amount of talent. I believe the Wildcats are overrated, while the Sooners are a legitimate national title contender. Oklahoma has a big advantage as it comes in with an extra week to prepare after having last week off. Meanwhile, Kansas State is coming off a lackluster 35-21 home win over North Texas as a 27-point favorite. The Wildcats only outgained the Mean Green by 20 yards in that contest.
Collin Klein is an excellent leader for Kansas State, but he's simply asked to do too much. He was very ineffective against Oklahoma last season, and that will be the case again in this rematch. Klein was held to 8 of 16 passing for 58 yards, and 92 rushing yards on 26 carries in their 17-58 loss to the Sooners last season.
Landry Jones had his way with the Kansas State secondary last season, throwing for 505 yards and five touchdowns. Expect Jones to have another big day against this soft K-State secondary, while Klein once again struggles against an Oklahoma defense that is giving up just 10.0 points and 245 total yards per game.
Opposing quarterbacks from the likes of North Texas, Miami, and Missouri State are completing 67.3 percent of their passes for an average of 251 yards per game through the air against the Wildcats' secondary. You can only imagine what a Heisman Trophy candidate like Jones is going to do to this K-State defensive backfield.
Oklahoma is 62-8 in its last 70 meetings with Kansas State dating back to 1935. It has won five straight in this series all by double-digits. The Sooners are 10-4 ATS in their last 14 home games. Bet Oklahoma Saturday.
|09-22-12||Michigan v. Notre Dame -5.5||Top||6-13||Win||100||97 h 6 m||Show|
20* Michigan/Notre Dame Rivalry GAME OF THE WEEK on Notre Dame -5.5
The Notre Dame Fighting Irish badly want revenge from their 31-35 road loss to Michigan last year. The Irish led 24-7 going into the fourth quarter, but they simply unraveled. The Wolverines scored 28 points in the fourth quarter, including a game-winning 16-yard touchdown pass from Denard Robinson to Roy Roundree with only 2 seconds left.
There's no question that the Irish have had this game circled on their calendars all offseason, and you can bet they'll give 100% effort for four quarters while not letting off the gas. Notre Dame gets Michigan at home this time around, only adding to their advantage.
I have been really impressed with Notre Dame en route to a 3-0 start. They just beat a good Michigan State team on the road last week 20-3, and I expect a similar blowout against a Michigan team that is not as good as it was a year ago.
The Wolverines were overmatched in a 14-41 loss to Alabama in their opener, and they were equally unimpressive in a 31-25 home victory over Air Force in Week 2 as a 21.5-point favorite. Sure, they beat UMass 63-13 last week, but both UConn and Indiana pulled off similar blowouts over the Minutemen, so that's not saying much.
Notre Dame's biggest advantage here is a run defense that has only allowed 96 yards/game and 3.0/carry on the ground. That's impressive considering they've played three very good rushing teams in Navy, Purdue and Michigan State. There's no question Michigan is going to try to run it with Denard Robinson and Fitzgerald Touissant, but I believe the Irish will be up to the task.
The Wolverines haven't been able to stop anyone on the ground, giving up 211 rushing yards/game and 4.3/carry. I look for Notre Dame's Cierre Wood, who returned from a two-game suspension last week, to have a huge day on the ground against this soft Michigan run defense.
Michigan is 1-10 ATS off 1 or more straight overs over the last 3 seasons. Notre Dame is 6-0 ATS after allowing 17 points or less in 2 straight games over the last 3 seasons. The Wolverines are 0-6 ATS vs. excellent teams - outscoring opponents by 17+ PPG on the season over the last 3 seasons. Bet Notre Dame Saturday.
|09-22-12||Miami (Fla) v. Georgia Tech -14||42-36||Loss||-110||64 h 25 m||Show|
15* ACC GAME OF THE WEEK on Georgia Tech -14
After losing three straight to Miami in this series, the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets want revenge Saturday. I believe they get it and roll by two-plus touchdowns at home to really make a statement and erase three years of frustration in this series.
Georgia Tech is one of the most underrated teams in the country. I was really impressed with the Yellow Jackets in a 17-20 loss in overtime at Virginia Tech in their opener. They responded with a 59-3 home victory over Presbyterian, then followed that up with an emphatic 56-20 home win over Virginia as a 10-point favorite.
The Yellow Jackets have been running wild on teams, averaging 374 yards on the ground and 6.9/carry. They are also a better passing team these days, averaging 157 yards per game through the air and 11.2/attempt. They have the best offensive line they've ever had in the Paul Johnson era, and almost all of their key skill players are back from last year. This offense is explosive to say the least.
I really like the improvement I've seen from Georgia Tech's defense, and I believe this is the best stop unit that Johnson has ever had. The Yellow Jackets are giving up just 14.3 points per game and 289 total yards per game. They'll have their way with this Miami offense.
The Hurricanes are clearly in rebuilding mode, and that was evident with their 13-52 loss at Kansas State in Week 2. They managed just 262 total yards of offense in that contest, and they gave up 498 total yards to the Wildcats. They yielded 542 total yards against Boston College the week before, but found a way to win 41-32.
This soft Miami run defense going up against the best rushing team in the country is my biggest reason for this pick. The Hurricanes are yielding 207 yards per game on the ground this season. They gave up 233 rushing yards to Bethune-Cookman at home last week if that tells you anything about how poor their run defense is.
Georgia Tech is 7-0 ATS in September games over the last 2 seasons. The Yellow Jackets are 7-0 ATS after scoring 42 points or more in 2 straight games since 1992. The favorite is 4-0 ATS in the last 4 meetings in this series. Roll with Georgia Tech Saturday.
|09-22-12||Massachusetts Minutemen +26 v. Miami (OH)||16-27||Win||100||61 h 24 m||Show|
15* CFB Saturday Undervalued Underdog on UMass +26
The UMass Minutemen have clearly been one of the worst teams in college football through the first three weeks. As a result, they are showing excellent value against the spread in Week 4 against the Miami (Ohio) Redhawks. I'll gladly take advantage of this inflated line and back the big dog despite how poorly they've played.
This is UMass's first season as a member of the FBS. It has not gone well early as they've failed to cover the spread in each of their first three games, losing at UConn 37-0, at Michigan 13-63, and at home against Indiana 6-45. The one thing that you can say is that they are battle-tested having faced three BCS schools.
Now, they finally get a bit of a break against a Miami (Ohio) team that isn't nearly as strong as their first three opponents. The Redhawks are 1-2 this season, getting blown out at Ohio State 10-56 and at Boise State 12-39. Their lone win came at home against Southern Illinois 30-14, but they were actually outgained in that contest 349-336. I have no doubt that UMass is a stronger team than Southern Illinois, thus it should have no problem staying within the number Saturday.
The Redhawks are getting outgained 292-495 on the season. They simply have no business being this heavily favored with how poorly they have played. UMass scored two touchdowns on Michigan's first-team defense, and I look for their offense to put up 20-plus points against this soft Redhawks defense. That will be more than enough to cover this inflated number.
The Redhawks are 0-5 ATS in their last 5 games in September. Miami (Ohio) is 1-4 ATS in its last 5 games following a SU loss of more than 20 points. The Redhawks are 3-7 ATS in their last 10 games after allowing more than 450 total yards in their previous game. Take UMass Saturday.
|09-21-12||San Diego Padres v. San Francisco Giants -143||1-5||Win||100||10 h 4 m||Show|
15* Padres/Giants NL Late-Night BAILOUT on San Francisco -143
San Francisco (87-63) continued its blistering pace with a 9-2 victory over Colorado on Thursday to complete a four-game sweep. Pablo Sandoval homered from both sides of the plate and Buster Posey also connected as the Giants won for the eighth time in nine games and reduced their magic number for the NL West crown to three.
With a 10-game lead over Los Angeles, San Francisco could wrap up the division as early as Saturday. The Giants are 24 games above .500 for the first time since ending the 2003 season 100-61. San Diego (72-78) has played pretty well over the last month, but it really doesn't have anything to play for heading into this series with the Giants.
Ryan Vogelsong has been off his game of late, but I look for him to get back on track against this weak Padres' line-up. Vogelsong is 12-9 with a 3.65 ERA and 1.263 WHIP in 28 starts this season, including 6-4 with a 2.95 ERA and 1.211 WHIP in 14 home starts.
There's no question that Vogelsong is the better starter in this one, and he'll be highly motivated heading in. San Diego counters with Casey Kelly, who is 2-1 with a 5.85 ERA and 1.500 WHIP in four starts this season, including 1-1 with an 8.36 ERA and 1.786 WHIP in his last three.
San Francisco is a perfect 11-0 in home games vs. a starting pitcher who lasts less than 5 innings per start over the last 3 seasons. It is winning in this spot 5.7 to 2.5, or by an average of 3.2 runs per game. Roll with the Giants Friday.
|09-21-12||Baylor v. Louisiana-Monroe +7.5||Top||47-42||Win||100||97 h 38 m||Show|
20* Baylor/ULM ESPN Friday No-Brainer on Louisiana-Monroe +7.5
The Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks have been one of the most impressive non-BCS schools in the country in the early going. They beat Arkansas on the road 34-31 in overtime in their opener as a 30-point dog, then took Auburn to overtime on the road as a 14.5-point dog before losing 28-31.
This team has proven that it can hang with the big boys. Now they get a chance to prove it on National TV at home against a Baylor team that you could argue is not strong as the two teams that it has already taken to overtime. I look for UL-Monroe to easily stay within this spread, and I wouldn't be surprised to see the Warhawks pull off another upset.
ULM quarterback Kolton Browning deserves to be in the Heisman conversation. He has completed 61.9 percent of his passes for 649 yards with six touchdowns and one interception against two SEC defenses. Browning also has a team-high 127 rushing yards and two scores, and he'll give this weak Baylor defense a lot of problems Friday.
ULM is loaded with weapons outside as they already have four players that have double-digit receptions through only two games. Brent Leonard has led the way with 18 receptions for 165 yards and a touchdown, while Je'Rom Hamm has caught 11 balls for 149 yards. Tavarese Maye (13, 121) and Colby Harper (11, 101, one TD) can beat you as well.
Baylor is in a huge letdown spot here with their Big 12 opener at West Virginia on deck. The Bears have a soft defense once again this year, allowing 23.5 points and 459 total yards per game against the likes of SMU and Sam Houston State in two home games to open the season. This will be their first road games of the year, which is always tough.
The Bears are 0-5 ATS in their last 5 road games. The Warhawks are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games overall. La-Monroe is 15-6 ATS in its last 21 games after allowing less than 170 yards passing in their previous game. The Warhawks have outgained Arkansas and Auburn 480-397.5 in their two games. Bet Louisiana-Monroe Friday.
|09-21-12||Baltimore Orioles +110 v. Boston Red Sox||4-2||Win||110||7 h 59 m||Show|
15* AL Friday Undervalued Underdog on Baltimore Orioles +110
The Baltimore Orioles should not be an underdog to the hapless Boston Red Sox tonight. Boston is in a free fall right now, and it blew a 4-1 lead in the 9th yesterday to lose to the Tampa Bay Rays. At 68-83 on the season, the Red Sox have clearly packed it in.
Baltimore is surging, winners of four straight to get to 85-64 on the season. The Orioles trail the Yankees by just one game for the AL East lead, and they are tied with Oakland for the two wild-card spots in the American League, 4.5 games clear of Los Angeles.
They have the edge on the mound tonight behind Miguel Gonzalez, who is one of the most underrated starters in the league. The right-hander is 6-4 with a 3.57 ERA and 1.272 WHIP in 12 starts and three relief appearances, including 4-2 with a 3.15 ERA and 1.073 WHIP in seven road starts.
Jon Lester has been off his game all season, and that hasn't changed here late in the year. The left-hander is 9-12 with a 4.95 ERA and 1.383 WHIP in 30 starts this season. Lester has been atrocious at home, going 3-8 with a 6.51 ERA and 1.638 WHIP in 16 home starts this year.
The Orioles are 4-0 in their last 4 road games. Baltimore is 7-2 in its last 9 games as an underdog. The Red Sox are 1-7 in their last 8 home games vs. a team with a winning record. Boston is 3-13 in Lester's last 16 home starts vs. a team with a winning record. The Red Sox are 1-5 in Lester's last 6 starts as a home favorite. Take the Orioles Friday.
|09-20-12||Texas Rangers v. Los Angeles Angels -118||3-1||Loss||-118||11 h 2 m||Show|
15* Rangers/Angels AL West GAME OF THE WEEK on Los Angeles -118
Despite their loss last night, the Los Angeles Angels still trail the Oakland A's by just 3.5 games for the final wild-card spot in the American League. This is a much more important game for them tonight than it is for the Rangers, who are all but guaranteed to make the postseason.
I like Los Angeles' chances of getting a win tonight behind Zach Greinke, who is 14-5 with a 3.56 ERA and 1.208 WHIP in 31 starts this season, 7-2 with a 3.22 ERA and 1.050 WHIP n 13 home starts, and 2-0 with a 1.61 ERA and 0.851 WHIP in his last three. Greinke has also posted a 2.90 ERA and 1.194 WHIP in 10 career starts against Texas.
Greinke is 27-2 (+23.9 Units) against the money line as a home favorite of -110 or higher over the last 2 seasons. Greinke is 17-0 (+17.0 Units) against the money line at home when the total is 7 to 7.5 over the last 2 seasons. This guy simply does not lose at home. Roll with the Angels Thursday.
|09-20-12||BYU +8 v. Boise State||6-7||Win||100||74 h 37 m||Show|
15* BYU/Boise State Non-Conference GAME OF THE WEEK on BYU +8
The BYU Cougars are showing solid value as an 8-point underdog to the Boise State Broncos Thursday. Boise State is down this season with only seven starters back from last year. BYU is a team that is one the rise with 14 starts from last season.
BYU has won 12 of its last 14 games dating back to last season. Coming off a heartbreaking 3-point loss at Utah last week, the Cougars will be highly motivated heading into this showdown with the Broncos. Boise State did not look good against Michigan State in its opener, getting outgained 206-461 in a game that was a much bigger blowout than the final score of 13-17 would indicate.
I know the Broncos bounced back with a 39-12 home victory over Miami (Ohio), but the Redhawks are down this year and Boise State was coming off a bye with two weeks to prepare. The fact of the matter is that the Broncos are in rebuilding mode this year and should not be this heavily favored against an underrated BYU team capable of beating almost anyone.
BYU has one of the best defenses in the country, which is going to keep them in this game. They have given up just 14.3 points and 241 total yards per game through three contests. Their run defense is absolutely dominant as they've yielded a mere 53 rushing yards per game and 1.7/carry. Boise State only managed 37 rushing yards on 24 carries against Michigan State, and it will struggle against BYU's run defense as well.
The Cougars are 8-0 ATS after allowing 75 or less rushing yards last game over the last 3 seasons. Boise State is 0-6 ATS in home games after a win by 17 or more points over the last 2 seasons. The Broncos are 0-6 ATS in home games after 1 or more consecutive straight up wins over the last 2 seasons. BYU is 5-0 ATS in it last 5 vs. MWC opponents. These four trends combine for a perfect 25-0 system backing the Cougars. Take BYU Thursday.
|09-20-12||NY Giants v. Carolina Panthers +1.5||Top||36-7||Loss||-110||74 h 40 m||Show|
20* Giants/Panthers NFL Thursday No-Doubt Rout on Carolina +1.5
Note: I got this line early in the week, and I still like Carolina at -2.5 if that's the line you get.
The Carolina Panthers were my surprise pick to win the NFC South and make the playoffs this year. I did not like what I saw from them in a Week 1 loss at Tampa Bay 10-16, but they played up to their potential last Sunday, beating the New Orleans Saints 35-27 at home.
Cam Newton was efficient, completing 14 of 20 passes for 253 yards and a touchdown, while also rushing for a career-high 71 yards and a score. Against a good New York Giants' defensive line, teams need a mobile quarterback like Newton to be successful. Also, the Panthers have my top-rated offensive line in the league, so they'll be able to handle that defensive line just fine.
I was down on the New York Giants coming into the season, and they have done nothing to change my opinion. After losing at home 17-24 to the Dallas Cowboys, they needed 25 fourth quarter points from Eli Manning and company to beat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at home 41-34 last week. They spent a lot of energy coming from 14 points down to win that game in the second half, which will really test their stamina on a short week.
New York is also going to be without several key players heading into this one. Starting receiver Hakeem Nicks, who had 10 catches for 199 yards and a touchdown against the Bucs last week, is out with a foot injury. The team will also be without running back Ahmad Bradshaw, offensive tackle David Diehl, and wide receiver Domenik Hixon. That leaves the Giants without two of their top three receivers against a much-improved Carolina defense.
The Panthers are 7-3 ATS in their last 10 home games. I just feel this team is ready to make a statement against the defending Super Bowl champions. They certainly have a lot of confidence coming in after beating New Orleans last week. Also, they are in much better shape health-wise and will be the fresher team given what happened last week. Bet Carolina Thursday.
|09-19-12||Texas Rangers v. Los Angeles Angels -121||6-2||Loss||-121||11 h 27 m||Show|
15* Rangers/Angels AL Late-Night BAILOUT on Los Angeles -121
The Los Angeles Angels have won 19 of their last 26 games to get to 81-67 on the season. This red hot team is now just three games behind the Baltimore Orioles for the final wild-card spot in the American League. Texas is in pretty good shape to make the postseason, so this is a much more important game for the Angels.
I like their chances of getting a win at home tonight behind C.J. Wilson, who is 12-9 with a 3.73 ERA in 31 starts, 5-5 with a 3.48 ERA in 13 home starts, and 2-0 with a 2.55 ERA in his last three outings. In his lone home start against Texas this season, Wilson pitched six shutout innings of a 3-2 Angels' victory on June 2nd.
I'll gladly fade Texas' Derek Holland, who is 10-6 with a 4.50 ERA this season. The left-hander is 4-5 with a 5.40 ERA in 11 career starts against Los Angeles. In his last two starts against the Angels, Holland has allowed 12 earned runs and five homers in 13 1/3 innings while going 0-2 with an 8.10 ERA.
The Rangers are 1-6 in their last 7 games as an underdog. Texas is 3-14 in Holland's last 17 starts as an underdog of +110 to +150. The Rangers are 0-5 in Holland's last 5 starts as a road underdog of +110 to +150. The Angels are 5-0 in their last 5 games vs. a left-handed starter. Los Angeles is 5-0 in Wilson's last 5 starts. These last three trends combine for a perfect 15-0 system backing the home team. Roll with the Angels Wednesday.
|09-19-12||Houston Astros v. St. Louis Cardinals -1.5||0-5||Win||101||10 h 37 m||Show|
15* NL Wednesday No-Doubt Rout on St. Louis Cardinals -1.5 (+101)
The St. Louis Cardinals should have no problem disposing of the lowly Houston Astros by 2 runs or more tonight. St. Louis has a lot to play for right now as it sits just 1.5 games ahead of the Los Angeles Dodgers for the final wild-card spot in the National League. At 48-100 on the season, the Astros have nothing to play for.
I'll gladly back Lance Lynn tonight. The right-hander has been at his best at home, going 6-3 with a 3.38 ERA in 10 starts this season. Lynn is 2-0 with a 2.45 ERA in two career starts against Houston with the Cardinals winning by finals of 14-2 and 9-2 in those two outings.
Lucas Harrell has been at his worst on the road for Houston, going 4-7 with a 5.06 ERA in 17 starts away from home this season. Harrell has posted a 6.61 ERA and 1.715 WHIP in three career starts against the Cardinals. In his lone start at St. Louis, the left-hander gave up six runs and 11 base runners over five innings of a 0-7 loss on August 21st.
Lynn is 11-1 against the money line vs. an NL team with a team batting average of .250 or worse this season, and the Cardinals are winning 5.8 to 2.9 in this spot, or by an average of 2.9 runs/game. Take the Cardinals on the Run Line Wednesday.
|09-19-12||Kent State v. Buffalo -3||Top||23-7||Loss||-109||52 h 18 m||Show|
20* Kent State/Buffalo MAC GAME OF THE WEEK on Buffalo -3
I fully expected the Buffalo Bulls to be one of the most improved teams in the MAC this season. They returned 15 starters from last season, including most of their key players offensively. From what I've seen so far, they have not disappointed.
The biggest two returnees offensively are running back Brandon Oliver (1,395 yards, 13 TD) and wide receiver Alex Neutz (43 receptions, 641 yards, four TD). Plus, four starters and 72 career starts return along the offensive line. The Bulls also have eight starters back defensively.
Buffalo gave Georgia a tough Week 1 test, but eventually fell 23-45 on the road as a 38-point underdog. The Bulls came back with a 56-34 victory in Week 2 over Morgan State, outgaining the Bears 571-366 in the process.
Alex Zordich has stepped in and owned the starting QB role, completing 66.7 percent of his passes for 385 yards with five touchdowns and one interception. Oliver has been a beast on the ground, rushing for 349 yards (6.3/carry) and three touchdowns. Neutz leads all Buffalo receivers with 13 receptions for 206 yards and five touchdowns.
Kent State has played two games as well, and after taking a look at the box scores, it's clear to me that Buffalo is the better team in this one. The Golden Flashes beat Towson 41-21 at home in their opener, but they were actually outgained 267-316 in a contest that was much closer than the final score would indicate. Towson turned the ball over a whopping six times!
It was the Flashes' 14-47 loss at Kentucky in Week 2 that really shows me how weak this team really is. Kentucky is one of the worst teams in the BCS, and that was evident when they lost at home to Western Kentucky last week. The Wildcats racked up 539 yards of offense on Kent State, including 354 passing and four touchdowns from QB Maxwell Smith.
Spencer Keith has yet to throw a touchdown pass in two games for Kent State. Leading rusher Trayion Durham is only averaging 3.9 yards per carry. Buffalo clearly has the more explosive offense in this one, and the Flashes will have a real hard time keeping up with the Bulls on the scoreboard.
The Golden Flashes are 3-9 ATS in their last 12 road games. Kent State is 1-5 ATS in its last 6 games following a S.U. loss. The Golden Flashes are 0-6 ATS in their last 6 games in September. The Bulls are 3-1-1 ATS in the last 5 meetings in this series. Bet Buffalo Wednesday.
|09-18-12||Baltimore Orioles -122 v. Seattle Mariners||Top||4-2||Win||100||11 h 54 m||Show|
20* AL Tuesday No-Doubt Rout on Baltimore Orioles -122
Once again, the Baltimore Orioles should be a heavier favorite against the lowly Seattle Mariners Tuesday night. I had the Orioles last night in a 10-4 victory, and I'll back them again tonight.
Baltimore (83-64) simply has too much to play for to let down. The Orioles trail the Yankees by one-half game for the AL East lead, and they are three games ahead of the Angels for the final wild-card spot in the American League.
At 12-9 with a 4.00 ERA and 1.241 WHIP in 29 starts this season, Baltimore's Wei-Yin Chen is one of the most underrated starters in the league. He faced the Mariners on July 3rd, giving up just two earned runs and two base runners over 7 2/3 innings while striking out nine in a 5-4 Orioles' victory at Seattle.
The Orioles are 7-0 in their last 7 Tuesday games. Baltimore is 4-0 in Chen's last 4 road starts vs. a team with a losing record, and 4-0 in his last 4 starts with the total set at 7.0-8.5. The Mariners are 0-7 in their last 7 games as a home underdog of +110 to +150. Seattle is 0-4 in its last 4 home games vs. a team with a winning record. Baltimore is 6-0 in the last 6 meetings. These six trends combine for a perfect 32-0 system backing the Orioles. Bet Baltimore Tuesday.
|09-18-12||San Diego Padres +136 v. Arizona Diamondbacks||2-3||Loss||-100||10 h 24 m||Show|
15* NL Tuesday Undervalued Underdog on San Diego Padres +136
The San Diego Padres are showing great value tonight as a nice-sized road underdog to the Arizona Diamondbacks. Neither of these teams really have much to play for at this point, but San Diego is the team that's clearly playing out its season.
The Padres have won 19 of their last 25 games overall to pull within five games of .500 on the season. I'll gladly back San Diego starter Eric Stults, who is one of the most underrated hurlers in the league.
Stults is 6-2 with a 2.54 ERA and 1.131 WHIP in 12 starts and three relief appearances, including -1 with a 1.89 ERA and 1.000 WHIP in six road starts. He'll be up against Ian Kennedy, who sports a 4.70 ERA in 12 home starts this year.
Stults is 3-1 with a 2.22 ERA and 1.069 WHIP in four career starts against Arizona. Kennedy has struggled against San Diego recently, going 0-1 with a 7.30 ERA in his last two starts against the Padres, yielding 10 earned runs and three homers over 12 1/3 innings.
Stults is 6-0 against the money line vs. teams whose hitters strike out 7 or more times/game in the second half of the season this season. The Padres are 4-0 in their last 4 games as a road underdog of +110 to +150. San Diego is 5-0 in Stults' last 5 starts as an underdog. These three trends make for a 15-0 system backing the Padres. Take San Diego Tuesday.
|09-18-12||Chicago White Sox +101 v. Kansas City Royals||3-2||Win||101||9 h 54 m||Show|
15* AL Tuesday Undervalued Underdog on Chicago White Sox +101
With what's at stake for the Chicago White Sox, they should not be an underdog to the Kansas City Royals Tuesday. Chicago leads Detroit by three games in the AL Central division, and it comes in with a lot of confidence and momentum after coming from behind to beat the Tigers 5-4 yesterday.
Gavin Floyd has been dominant in his last two starts against Kansas City, posting a 1.15 ERA while allowing just two earned runs and 12 base runners with 15 strikeouts over 15 2/3 innings. He pitched 7 2/3 shutout innings in a 5-0 Chicago victory in his lone start against the Royals this season on May 11th.
I'll gladly fade Kansas City's Luke Hochever, who is one of the worst starters in the league at 8-13 with a 5.47 ERA and 1.389 WHIP in 29 starts this season. Hochevar has really struggled of late, going 1-1 with an 11.77 ERA and 2.154 WHIP in his last three starts.
The White Sox are 4-0 in their last 4 overall. Chicago is 5-0 in Floyd's last 5 starts vs. a team with a losing record. The Royals are 8-20 in Hochevar's last 28 starts during game 1 of a series. Kansas City is 1-5 in Hochevar's last 6 home starts with the total set at 7.0-8.5. Roll with the White Sox Tuesday.
|09-17-12||Baltimore Orioles -120 v. Seattle Mariners||10-4||Win||100||10 h 4 m||Show|
15* Orioles/Mariners AL Late-Night BAILOUT on Baltimore -120
The Baltimore Orioles should be a much heavier favorite tonight against the Seattle Mariners. At 82-64 on the season, this team is just one game back of the AL East lead, and 2.5 games ahead of the Angels for the final wild-card spot in the American League.
Manager Buck Showalter has not allowed his team to relax, and he is easily the manager of the year at this point. I look for the Orioles to make easy work of a Mariners team in Game 1 tonight that has lost six of their last nine overall.
Chris Tillman is one of the most underrated starters in the league. The right-hander is 7-2 with a 3.39 ERA and 1.197 WHIP in 11 starts this season, including 2-0 with a 2.70 ERA and 0.960 WHIP in his last three starts. Tillman has never lost to Seattle, going 3-0 with a 0.83 ERA and 0.739 WHIP in three career starts against the Mariners.
Hector Noesi is no match for Tillman in this one. The right-hander is 2-11 with a 5.77 ERA and 1.324 WHIP in 17 starts this season, including 0-3 with a 6.19 ERA and 1.562 WHIP in his last three. Noesi is 0-1 with a 7.20 ERA in his lone career start against Baltimore. He gave up four earned runs in five innings of a 2-4 home loss to the Orioles on July 4th.
The Orioles are 4-0 in Tillman's last 4 road starts. The Mariners are 0-6 in their last 6 games as a home underdog of +110 to +150. Seattle is 0-4 in Noesi's last 4 starts as an underdog. Seattle is 0-5 in Noesi's last 5 home starts. The Orioles are 5-0 in the last 5 meetings in this series. These five trends make for a perfect 24-0 system backing Baltimore. Take the Orioles Monday.
|09-17-12||Denver Broncos +3 v. Atlanta Falcons||Top||21-27||Loss||-100||121 h 17 m||Show|
20* Broncos/Falcons ESPN Monday No-Brainer on Denver +3
The Denver Broncos should not be an underdog on ESPN's Monday Night Football against the Atlanta Falcons. This team is way undervalued in the early going as they were just a 1-point home favorite over Pittsburgh last week. Any time you can get Peyton Manning as an underdog, I look at is as a gift from oddsmakers.
After Manning's performance against the Steelers, there's no question he is back and probably as good as ever. Denver went to the no-huddle after a slow start, and Manning certainly looked like his old self operating it. He completed 19 of 26 passes for 253 yards and two touchdowns to lead Denver to a 31-19 victory in Week 1.
Overlooked in the win was the fact that Denver's defense, which improved as the season went on last year, really shut down Pittsburgh. The Steelers managed just 284 total yards, Ben Roethlisberger completed just 22 of 40 passes, and the Broncos sacked Big Ben five times.
Atlanta is getting way too much respect from oddsmakers after its 40-24 victory over Kansas City last week. This was a 20-17 game at halftime, and the Falcons were actually outgained 376-393 in a contest that was much closer than the final score would indicate. Plus, Atlanta put up 40 points on a Kansas City defense that was playing without four of its best players in LB Tamba Hali, S Kendrick Lewis, CB Brandon Flowers and DT Anthony Toribio.
The Falcons won't have nearly as much offensive success as they did last week against this stingy Denver defense. While the offenses are pretty evenly matched in this one, the edge certainly goes to the Broncos defensively. Atlanta is soft on this side of the ball, and that was evident when they gave up 393 total yards to a weak Chiefs' offense last week. Plus, they let defensive leader and top tackler Curtis Lofton (147 tackles, 8 for loss, nine passes defended) leave for New Orleans, and top CB Brent Grimes is out for the season after tearing his Achilles' against Kansas City.
The Falcons are 0-5 ATS in their last 5 vs. a team with a winning record. Atlanta is 0-5 ATS in its last 5 games following a SU win of more than 14 points, and 6-18 ATS in home games after a win by 14 or more points since 1992. Bet the Broncos Monday.
|09-16-12||Detroit Lions +7 v. San Francisco 49ers||19-27||Loss||-110||97 h 8 m||Show|
15* Lions/49ers NBC Sunday Night BAILOUT on Detroit +7
The Detroit Lions want revenge from a 19-24 home loss to the San Francisco 49ers. Jim Harbaugh shook Jim Schwartz's hand overenthusiastically after the game, and these Lions' players will have their coache's back Sunday night as they bring great effort to the field to try and pull off the upset.
This line is clearly an overreaction from Week 1's results. There's no doubt San Francisco looked good in beating Green Bay 30-22 on the road, and public perception says they are a great team now. Public perception on the Lions says they are a bad team after needing a last-second touchdown to beat the St. Louis Rams 27-23 at home.
A closer look at the Lions' game against the Rams indicates it should have been a huge blowout in Detroit's favor, but mistakes kept it close. Detroit actually outgained St. Louis 429-255 for the game, which is a differential that would normally produce a 14-plus point blowout. However, three interceptions by Matthew Stafford, including one that was returned for a touchdown, kept the game close.
Stafford will come back with a much better effort against a 49ers defense that is vulnerable against the pass. Stafford has thrown for 350-plus yards in six straight games, and I expect him to make it seven straight Sunday. Aaron Rodgers threw for 303 yards on the 49ers last week. In the Lions' loss to the 49ers last year, Stafford threw for 293 yards and two scores.
The Lions are 5-1-1 ATS in their last 7 games after accumulating more than 350 total yards in their previous game. The underdog is 3-1-2 ATS in their last 6 meetings. The road team is also 3-1-2 ATS in the last 6 meetings. Take the Lions Sunday.
|09-16-12||Baltimore Ravens v. Philadelphia Eagles -1||Top||23-24||Push||0||90 h 45 m||Show|
25* NFL Non-Conference GAME OF THE YEAR on Philadelphia Eagles -1
If I would have set this line before Week 1, I would have installed Philadelphia as up to a 6-point home favorite over Baltimore. Because the Eagles were not sharp against the Browns in Week 1, and the Ravens blew out the Bengals, oddsmakers have decided to install the Eagles as only a 1-point favorite.
The clear line value in this game is with Philadelphia due to an overreaction from oddsmakers and the betting public after Week 1. I still strongly believe the Eagles are Super Bowl contenders, and after getting bashed in the media all week for their performance against Cleveland, they are going to be looking to make a statement at home Sunday.
I know the Eagles beat the Browns just 17-16, but that game was really a bigger blowout than the final score would indicate. Philadelphia outgained Cleveland 456-210 for the game, but committed five turnovers to keep the Browns in it. Philly has one of the most underrated defenses in the league, limiting Brandon Weeden to just 12 of 35 passing for 118 yards with four interceptions.
Baltimore beat Cincinnati 44-13, but that game was a lot closer than the final score would indicate. This was a 17-13 game in the third quarter before mistakes by Cincinnati and big plays by Baltimore turned it into a blowout late. The Ravens are getting way too much respect from oddsmakers after that misleading result.
The Ravens are on a short week, and they are just 2-8 ATS in their last 10 games when playing on Sunday following a Monday night game. The Eagles are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games overall, and I look for Michael Vick and company to make a statement Sunday with a big home win over the Ravens. Bet the Eagles Sunday.
|09-16-12||Cleveland Browns +7 v. Cincinnati Bengals||27-34||Push||0||90 h 44 m||Show|
15* AFC GAME OF THE WEEK on Cleveland Browns +7
The Cleveland Browns should not be a touchdown underdog to the Cincinnati Bengals in a game that I believe is very evenly-matched. This is a division rivalry game, and I look for it to go right down to the wire Sunday.
Cincinnati is one of the most overrated teams in the league heading into 2012. It made the playoffs last year despite beating only one team that finished with a winning record all season. After a 13-44 road loss to Baltimore in Week 1, there's no question this is an overrated team. Plus, the Bengals will be on a short week after playing on Monday Night Football, which is always a disadvantage.
The Browns nearly pulled off a huge upset in Week 1, falling to the Eagles 17-16 on a last-second touchdown by Philly. Brandon Weeden single-handedly gave that game away, throwing four interceptions. After shaking off their nerves in Week 1, rookies Weeden and running back Trent Richardson will come back with much better performances in Week 2.
I know Cincinnati has won five of the last six meetings in this series, but that gives the Browns all the more motivation to want revenge Sunday. Plus, four of those six meetings were decided by 3 points or less, so this has clearly been a tight series over the last three years. The value is with the road dog in this one folks.
The Browns are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 games following a S.U. loss. Cleveland is 5-0 ATS in its last 5 games overall. The Browns are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 road games. The Bengals are 0-7-1 ATS in their last 8 vs. AFC. Cincinnati is 0-5-1 ATS in their last 6 vs. AFC North. The Bengals are 0-6 ATS in their last 6 games after allowing more than 30 points in their previous game. These six trends combine for a 32-0 system backing Cleveland. Take the Browns Sunday.
|09-16-12||Tampa Bay Buccaneers +8 v. NY Giants||34-41||Win||100||90 h 44 m||Show|
15* NFC GAME OF THE WEEK on Tampa Bay Buccaneers +8
I believe the Tampa Bay Bucs are going to be one of the most improved teams in the league this season with the moves they made this offseason. They brought in guard Carl Nicks, CB Eric Wright, TE Dallas Clark and WR Vincent Jackson. They also drafted RB Doug Martin and SS Mark Barron in the first round.
Both Martin and Barron played great in their opener as rookies. The Bucs led Carolina 13-0 midway through the third quarter, and settled for a 16-10 victory. Martin rushed for 94 yards, Barron had six tackles and two huge pass break-ups, and Jackson led the team in receiving with four receptions for 47 yards.
The Bucs held Cam Newton and a potent Carolina offense to just 301 total yards for the game. Newton was intercepted twice, and he rushed just four times for five yards. In fact, the Bucs held the Panthers to the lowest rushing total in Week 1 with 10 yards on 13 carries.
The Giants are one of the most overrated teams coming into the season. Remember, this was just a 9-7 team last year when they got into the playoffs, and they simply got hot at the right time. I believe New York is having a hard time staying motivated after winning the Super Bowl, and that showed with their 17-24 home loss to the Dallas Cowboys in Week 1. The Giants should not be this heavily favored over an improved Tampa Bay team Sunday.
New York is also extremely banged up right now defensively, which was a big reason the Cowboys put up 433 total yards on them last week. The Buccaneers are 13-3 ATS in their last 16 games on fieldturf. Tampa is 4-1 ATS in its last 5 games in Week 2. The road team is 3-1-1 ATS in the last 5 meetings in this series. Roll with the Bucs Sunday.
|09-16-12||Minnesota Vikings v. Indianapolis Colts +1||20-23||Win||104||90 h 43 m||Show|
15* NFL Sunday Undervalued Underdog on Indianapolis Colts +1
The Indianapolis Colts should not be an underdog at home to the Minnesota Vikings Sunday. Lucas Oil Stadium is going to be rocking with the anticipation of rookie Andrew Luck's home debut. I believe Luck and company will feed off of their crowd and come away with a victory in a much more comfortable environment than they saw in Week 1.
I know the Colts were beaten 21-41 at Chicago, and Luck threw three interceptions, but he also threw for 309 yards and a score. It wasn't a great debut, but after shaking off the nerves, Luck is going to be much more sharp in Week 2 against a weak Minnesota defense.
The Vikings are coming off a 26-23 overtime victory at home over the Jacksonville Jaguars, and they are getting way too much credit for that win. The Jaguars remain one of the worst teams in the league, and they really gave that game away. Jacksonville put up 362 total yards on Minnesota after finishing last in the league in total offense last season.
I do not believe the Vikings did enough to upgrade their team this offseason to become more competitive. They have no business being favored on the road against anyone this early in the season after a 3-13 campaign last year. Meanwhile, I love what Indy has done this offseason, especially with the hiring of former Baltimore defensive coordinator Chuck Pagano, and former Pittsburgh offensive coordinator Bruce Arian. The roster has certainly been upgraded as well.
The Colts are 18-6-2 ATS in their last 26 vs. a team with a winning record. Minnesota is 4-16 ATS in road games after a win by 3 or less points since 1992. The Vikings are 1-8 ATS after 1 or more consecutive wins over the last 3 seasons, getting outscored 15.7 to 26.7 in the process. Bet the Colts Sunday.
|09-15-12||Notre Dame +6 v. Michigan State||20-3||Win||100||93 h 57 m||Show|
15* Notre Dame/Michigan State ABC Saturday Night BAILOUT on Notre Dame +6
I had the Michigan State Spartans as one of the most overrated teams in the country heading into 2012. I still believe that's the case after they needed a late touchdown to beat Boise State 17-13 at home in their opener. They were playing a Broncos' team that returned just seven starters from last year.
I have been pretty impressed with Notre Dame so far, which goes along the lines of my thinking that the Irish were one of the most underrated teams in the land coming into the year. After topping Navy 50-10, the Irish got out to a 17-7 lead through three quarters against Purdue last week. They would settle for a 20-17 victory after a bad fourth quarter, but they still outgained the Boilermakers 376-288 in a game that was a bigger blowout than the final score would indicate.
Notre Dame QB Everrett Golson was also knocked out of that game against Purdue for precautionary reasons, but he is expected to start against MSU. He has been superb so far, completing 67.3 percent of his passes for 433 yards with two touchdowns and one interceptions. If for whatever reason Golson doesn't go, the Irish have a backup with a lot of starting experience in Tommy Rees.
The Irish get a big boost with the return of RB Cierre Wood, who has served his 2-game suspension. Wood led the team in rushing in 2011 with 1,102 yards and nine touchdowns while averaging 5.1 yards/carry. His return is huge for this offense.
A big reason I like Notre Dame to cover this spread is their rush defense. Michigan State features star RB Le'Veon Bell, who has already carried 62 times for 280 yards while averaging 4.5/carry through their first two games. QB Andrew Maxwell has been shaky, already throwing just two touchdowns and three interceptions.
That's why I expect the Spartans to try and rely on Bell to carry their offense again Saturday. He won't have much success against a Notre Dame defense that is only allowing 119 yards/game and 3.4/carry on the ground this season. That's impressive considering the Irish have played Navy, which features a triple-option rushing attack and almost exclusively runs the ball.
This play falls into a system that is 31-6 (83.8%) ATS since 1992. It tells us to bet on road underdogs of 3.5 to 10 points (NOTRE DAME) - in the first month of the season, after closing out last season with 2 or more straight losses, team that had a winning record last season. Also, the road team is 9-2 ATS in the last 11 meetings in this series. Bet Notre Dame Saturday.
|09-15-12||North Texas +28.5 v. Kansas State||21-35||Win||100||92 h 58 m||Show|
15* CFB Saturday Undervalued Underdog on North Texas +28.5
The Kansas State Wildcats are in a huge letdown spot Saturday, and I cannot see them possibly beating an underrated North Texas team by more than four touchdowns. The Wildcats have been covering machines over the last two seasons, and oddsmakers have finally adjusted Saturday. The clear value in this game is with the big road underdog.
Kansas State is coming off a huge 52-13 home victory over the Miami Hurricanes. With their Big 12 opener at Oklahoma on deck, there's no question the Wildcats will be overlooking North Texas and looking ahead to the Sooners. They may win this game, but certainly not by more than four touchdowns given the situation.
North Texas impressed me by not getting completely blown out on the road by LSU in their opener. The Mean Green lost 14-41, or by 27 points, as a 42-point underdog. If they can stay within 27 of No. 3 LSU, they can certainly stay within 28 of Kansas State.
The Mean Green bounced back with a 34-7 victory over Texas Southern last week, outgaining the opposition 497-185 in the process. North Texas is battle-tested having already played LSU, so it will not be intimidated at Kansas State Saturday. Head coach Dan McCarney is also underrated. He got the most out of his players when he was head coach at Iowa State, and he's doing the same at North Texas.
The Mean Green are 11-3 ATS in their last 14 games after accumulating more than 450 total yards in their previous game. North Texas is 4-1 ATS in its last 5 non-conference games. The Mean Green are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games following a ATS loss. Take North Texas Saturday.
|09-15-12||Florida v. Tennessee -2.5||Top||37-20||Loss||-110||93 h 45 m||Show|
25* SEC East GAME OF THE YEAR on Tennessee -2.5
The Tennessee Vols remain one of the most underrated teams in the country. With 18 starters and 49 lettermen back, I had this team picked as one of my most improved teams in the land. So far, so good.
The Vols are off to a 2-0 start in dominant fashion. They beat NC State 35-21 while outgaining the Wolfpack 524-407 and forcing four turnovers in the process. They followed that up with a 51-13 beat down of Georgia State and outgained the opposition by 295 total yards in that contest.
I have Tyler Bray pegged as the best quarterback in the SEC, and he has not disappointed. Bray is completing 73.8 percent of his passes for 643 yards with six touchdowns and zero interceptions. He has two studs at receiver in Justin Hunter (17 receptions, 219 yards, three TD) and Cordarrelle Patterson (9, 164, one TD).
Florida has not looked very impressive at all through its first two games. The Gators are 2-0 despite only outgaining their first two opponents by a total of 11 yards. Florida led Bowling Green at home 17-14 heading into the fourth quarter and narrowly escaped with a 27-14 victory. This is one of the most overrated teams in the country, and that will show Saturday when the Vols put a beat down on them.
Tennessee has had this game circled all offseason. The Vols have lost seven straight to the Gators, and for them to prove to the country that they are back, they must win this contest Saturday. That emotion at home, coupled with the fact that the Vols are the more talented team, will lead to a victory.
Florida is 0-7 ATS as an underdog over the last 3 seasons, losing in this spot by an average of 18.6 points per game. The Gators are 0-6 ATS in their last 6 vs. a team with a winning record. Bet Tennessee Saturday.
|09-15-12||Boston College v. Northwestern -3||13-22||Win||100||90 h 16 m||Show|
15* CFB Saturday No-Doubt Rout on Northwestern -3
The Northwestern Wildcats continue to go under the radar as only a 3-point favorite against Boston College Saturday. The Wildcats are a sleeper in the Big Ten, and they've shown it by opening 2-0 against some stiff competition.
Northwestern opened its season with a 42-41 victory at Syracuse, which is the same Orange team that lost by a final of just 29-42 to No. 2 USC last week. The Wildcats then beat Vanderbilt 23-13 last Saturday, which is the same Commodores' team that nearly beat South Carolina in their opener.
Boston College lost to Miami 32-41 at home in its opener, which is the same Hurricanes' team that was beaten by Kansas State 13-52 last week. The Eagles then beat up on FCS opponent Maine 34-3 last week, which is far from an impressive win. Battle-tested and ready to prove they are for real, the Wildcats will roll at home Saturday.
The Eagles are 2-7 ATS in their last 9 games following a SU win of more than 20 points. The Wildcats are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 non-conference games. Take Northwestern Saturday.
|09-15-12||Texas A&M -13 v. SMU||48-3||Win||100||90 h 47 m||Show|
15* CFB Saturday Line Mistake on Texas A&M -13
The Texas A&M Aggies are by far the more talented team in this match-up with the SMU Mustangs. That will show on the field Saturday as the Aggies roll by two touchdowns or more. Texas A&M may even have more fans at SMU than the Mustangs, so this isn't really a road game for them, either.
The Aggies are coming off a disappointing 17-20 loss to Florida last week in their first game of the season. They blew a 17-10 lead in the second half after dominating the first two quarters. Motivated to make that loss a distant memory, the Aggies will be ready to go Saturday and won't let up on SMU.
The Mustangs are off to a 1-1 start this season. SMU was thoroughly beaten by Baylor 24-59 in its opener, and I believe the Aggies actually have more talent than the Bears, and will be a better team this season. Then, SMU beat Stephen F. Austin 52-0 last week, but that game was one of the most misleading scores I've ever seen. SMU was actually outgained by SFA 328-466, but took advantage of a whopping ten turnovers by SFA.
SMU only has 10 starters back from last season, including three on offense. It's defense is clearly terrible after surrendering 539.5 total yards per game through their first two contests. Texas A&M has 13 starters and 53 lettermen back from a team that should have went 12-1 last year had it not blown five double-digit leads in the second half. This is a squad that is ready to take out its frustration on the Mustangs.
Freshman quarterback Johnny Manziel lived up to the hype in the opener, completing 23 of 30 passes for 173 yards, while also rushing for 60 yards and a score. This dual-threat QB is in line for a monster game against this soft SMU defense.
SMU is 0-7 ATS in home games after allowing 9 points or less last game since 1992. The Mustangs are 0-9 ATS in a home game where the total is between 56.5 and 63 since 1992. The Aggies are 7-0 ATS in their last 7 vs. Conference USA opponents. These three trends make for a combined 23-0 system backing the road team. Roll with Texas A&M Saturday.
|09-14-12||Washington State v. UNLV OVER 54.5||Top||35-27||Win||100||70 h 53 m||Show|
20* Washington State/UNLV ESPN Friday Total ANNIHILATOR on OVER 54.5
This game should see plenty of offensive fireworks to push the final combined score OVER the number. Washington State beat UNLV 59-7 last year for 66 combined points, and I expect a similar combined total by game's end tonight.
After facing BYU and Eastern Washington, an FCS power, the Cougars are ready for a breakout performance offensively under first-year head coach Mike Leach. These players should have his system down by now, and they will be going up against one of the worst teams in the FBS Friday.
I know Washington State could be without starting QB Jeff Tuel, but redshirt sophomore Connor Halliday has experience as a starter. In his only college start, Halliday passed for 289 yards, two touchdowns and four interceptions against Utah last November. A week earlier, he was national quarterback of the week after passing for 494 yards and four touchdowns in a win over Arizona State.
UNLV has opened the season 0-2 with a 27-30 loss to Minnesota and a 14-17 loss to Northern Arizona. The Rebels managed 428 total yards against Northern Arizona, and should not have lost that game. They also gave up 478 total yards to Minnesota in a game they should have lost by more.
The Rebels gave up 40.4 points and 443 total yards per game last season, and their defense doesn't appear to be improved at all with just five starters back on this side of the ball. The Cougars yielded 31.8 points and 410 total yards per game last season, and after giving up 447 yards per game in their first two contests, their stop unit doesn't seem improved, either.
UNLV is 7-0 to the OVER after a loss by 3 or less points since 1992. The OVER is 4-0 in Cougars last 4 games after allowing less than 100 yards rushing in their previous game. These two trends make for an 11-0 system backing the OVER tonight. Bet the OVER in this game Friday.
|09-14-12||New York Mets v. Milwaukee Brewers -148||7-3||Loss||-148||9 h 45 m||Show|
15* NL Friday No-Doubt Rout on Milwaukee Brewers -148
Considering where they stood four weeks ago, the Milwaukee Brewers making the playoffs would be a historic achievement. The surging Brewers have a chance to match a 33-year-old franchise record for their longest home winning streak as they face the sliding New York Mets.
Milwaukee's only losses in its last 19 games at Miller Park came to Philadelphia on Aug. 18 and 19. After that pair of defeats, the Brewers were 12 games under .500 and 12 1/2 back of the NL's second wild-card spot. Milwaukee has gone on an 18-5 tear to get in the thick of the playoff race. That run includes victories in all nine home games, one shy of the club record set July 8-29, 1979.
The latest victory moved the Brewers (72-71) above .500 for the first time since April 12. It also gave them a three-game sweep of the wild card-leading Braves at Miller Park, where they've averaged 6.4 runs during the home win streak.
In his last seven home outings, Brewers' right-hander Mike Friers is 4-2 with a 1.77 ERA and 50 strikeouts in 45 2/3 innings. This will be Fiers' first start against New York (65-78), and this might be a good time for it. The Mets are coming off an 0-6 homestand, totaling nine runs and batting .210 while matching their worst overall losing streak of the season.
The Brewers are 52-16 in their last 68 home games vs. a team with a losing record. Milwaukee is 9-1 in home games after allowing 3 runs or less 2 straight games this season. The Brewers are 44-13 as a home favorite of -150 to -200 over the last 2 seasons. Take the Brewers Friday.
|09-13-12||Chicago Bears v. Green Bay Packers -5||Top||10-23||Win||100||94 h 33 m||Show|
20* Bears/Packers NFL Thursday No-Brainer on Green Bay -5
The Green Bay Packers are going to be highly motivated Thursday following just their second regular season loss in the last two years. They were beaten 30-22 by one of the most underrated teams in the league coming into the season in the San Francisco 49ers last Sunday.
I look for the Packers to get back on track in blowout fashion with a home victory in Week 2 over the Chicago Bears. While Chicago is an improved team, its was over-hyped coming into the season. The Bears are especially overvalued now after beating the lowly Indianapolis Colts 41-21 at home last Sunday.
Green Bay has owned Chicago, winning four straight meetings all by 7 points or more. In fact, the Packers have won six of the last seven meetings by 6 points or more. Their lone loss was a fluke in 2010 as they were beaten 20-17 on the road despite outgaining the Bears 379-276 for the game. Devin Hester's 62-yard punt return for a touchdown was the difference in that contest.
In two meetings with the Bears last season, Aaron Rodgers threw eight touchdown and only one interception while beat Chicago by double-digits both times. Rodgers is 4-0 in four career home starts against Chicago. Jay Cutler has thrown six touchdowns and a whopping 12 interceptions while losing five of his six career starts against Green Bay.
This play falls into a system that is 27-7 (79.4%) ATS since 1983. It tells us to bet on home favorites of 3.5 to 10 points (GREEN BAY) - good team from last season - outscored opponents by 4 or more points/game, after a playing a game where 50 total points or more were scored.
The Packers are 9-0 ATS in their last 9 games following a ATS loss. Green Bay is 5-0 ATS in its last 5 games following a S.U. loss. The Packers are 9-0 ATS in their last 9 games after allowing more than 150 yards rushing in their previous game. Green Bay is 4-0 ATS in its last 4 vs. NFC North opponents. These four trends make for a perfect 27-0 system backing Green Bay. Bet the Packers Thursday.
|09-13-12||Rutgers v. South Florida -8||23-13||Loss||-105||50 h 12 m||Show|
15* Rutgers/USF Big East GAME OF THE WEEK on South Florida -8
South Florida is my pick to win the Big East this season, and for good reason. They returned 15 starters this season, including eight from an offene that put up 29.3 points and 432 total yards per game a year ago.
USF is off to a solid start in 2012, beating Chattanooga 34-13 before going on the road to knock off a very good Nevada team 32-31. The Bulls racked up 572 total yards against the Wolfpack, including 363 through the air and 209 on the ground.
Rutgers is really going to miss head coach Greg Schiano, who always got the most out of his teams, but has moved on to coach the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the NFL. Rutgers is 2-0, but it hasn't looked nearly as sharp as the Bulls.
The Scarlet Knights managed just 309 total yards in a 24-12 win at Tulane as a 19.5-point favorite, and just 321 yards in a 26-0 home victory over Howard as a 42-point favorite. This team is clearly hurting offensively if that's all they could do against those two lowly schools. Simply put, Rutgers won't be able to keep up with USF on the scoreboard tonight.
This play falls into a system that is 29-9 (76.3%) ATS since 1992. It tells us to bet on favorites of 3.5 to 10 points (S FLORIDA) - in the first month of the season, after closing out last season with 2 or more straight losses against opponent first month of the season, after closing out last season strong with 4 or more wins in last 5 games. Take South Florida Thursday
|09-12-12||Atlanta Braves v. Milwaukee Brewers -136||Top||2-8||Win||100||9 h 38 m||Show|
20* NL Non-Divisional GAME OF THE WEEK on Milwaukee Brewers -136
The Brewers will try to win a ninth consecutive game with Yovani Gallardo on the mound and complete a three-game sweep of the Braves on Wednesday night. Milwaukee (71-71) has won 17 of 22 to revive its season and become a factor for the second wild-card position. It is only four games back now.
The Brewers seem to be playing especially well when Gallardo (14-8, 3.76 ERA) takes the mound. They've won each of his last eight starts - averaging 7.43 runs - while he's 6-0 with a 3.04 ERA. Gallardo is 3-1 with a 1.91 ERA in six starts against Atlanta, going 2-0 with a 0.81 ERA in three at home.
Paul Maholm is 1-10 with a 5.37 ERA in his last 18 starts against the Brewers, including five straight losing decisions over his past seven matchups. He made two starts against Milwaukee while with the Chicago Cubs this season and went 0-2 with an 11.25 ERA. The left-hander will be facing an offense that is averaging 6.0 runs and batting .287 with 35 homers over the last 22 games.
Gallardo is 11-0 against the money line in home games vs. an NL team with a batting average of .255 or worse in the second half of the season over the last 2 seasons. The Brewers are winning in this spot 5.2 to 2.1 on average. Gallardo is 21-4 against the money line in home games in night games over the last 3 seasons. Bet the Brewers Wednesday.
|09-11-12||Detroit Tigers v. Chicago White Sox -101||Top||5-3||Loss||-101||10 h 52 m||Show|
20* AL Central GAME OF THE WEEK on Chicago White Sox -101
The Chicago White Sox should be a favorite against the Detroit Tigers tonight. Chicago (76-64) has shown some amazing resiliency while holding onto a 3-game lead oveer Detroit (73-67) this season. It will get the best of the Tigers at home again tonight.
Jake Peavy has been nothing short of dominant all season for the White Sox. The former NL Cy Young winner has returned to his old self, going 10-10 with a 3.22 ERA and 1.112 WHIP in 27 starts, including 6-3 with a 3.05 ERA and 1.015 WHIP in 13 home starts.
This guy is the ultimate competitor, and one Ace that you would certainly want to back at this time of year when the stakes are at their highest. I'll gladly fade Detroit's Doug Fister, who is 1-1 with a 5.74 ERA and 1.532 WHIP in his last three starts.
The Tigers are 0-7 in their last 7 road games. Detroit is 0-6 in its last 6 road games vs. a team with a winning record. The White Sox are 6-0 in their last 6 games as a home underdog. Chicago is 5-0 in Peavy's last 5 home starts vs. a team with a winning record. These four trends make for a perfect 24-0 system backing the home team tonight. Bet the White Sox Tuesday.
|09-10-12||San Diego Chargers +1.5 v. Oakland Raiders||Top||22-14||Win||100||147 h 54 m||Show|
20* Chargers/Raiders ESPN Late-Night BAILOUT on San Diego +1.5
The San Diego Chargers should not be an underdog to the Oakland Raiders on ESPN's Monday Night Football. I believe the Raiders will be one of the worst teams in the NFL this season, and that will show in their opener against an underrated Chargers' squad.
After back-to-back 8-8 seasons, the Raiders shockingly fired head coach Hue Jackson, who clearly had this team headed in the right direction. Dennis Allen, the youngest head coach in the NFL today, takes over an Oakland team that has gotten worse over the offseason.
The offense loses leading rusher Michael Bush (977 yards, seven TD), who also caught 37 balls for 418 yards and a score. He will be missed because the Raiders no longer have that 1-2 punch with he and McFadden. Carson Palmer is far past his prime and has limited weapons. He threw 13 touchdowns to 16 interceptions last year.
The biggest losses come on defense for the Raiders. They part ways with sack master Kamerion Wimbley (63 tackles, 7.5 for loss, 7 sacks). They also lose their top corner in Stanford Rout (49 tackles, 15 pass break-ups, four INT) to the Kansas City Chiefs a year after losing top corner Nnamdi Asomough to the Philadelphia Eagles.
Philip Rivers will pick apart what I believe is the weakest secondary in the NFL. Rivers threw for 4,624 yards and 27 touchdowns with 20 interceptions last season. The Chargers went 8-8 last year, but they have some momentum heading into 2012 after winning four of their final five games last season, scoring 34 or more points in their four victories.
San Diego will be just as strong offensively, and its defense will be improved. San Diego brings back all of their key players from last season, including LB Tadeo Spikes (106 tackles), LB Donald Butler (96 tackles, 8.5 for loss), FS Eric Weddle (88 tackles, 12 pass break-ups, seven INT), CB Antoine Cason (53 tackles, 17 pass break-ups, two INT) and LB Antwan Barnes (41 tackles, 11 sacks).
The Chargers have made some nice upgrades this offseason. They've added WR's Eddie Royal and Robert Meachem to make up for the loss of Vincent Jackson. OG Rex Hadnot started 16 games for Arizona last year and adds solid depth along the O-line. Defensively, they have added LB Jarrett Johnson, who made 16 starts for Baltimore last year. They used their first three draft picks on defense, selecting LB Melvin Ingram (South Carolina) in the first round, along with DE DKendall Reyes (UConn) in the second and S Brandon Taylor (LSU) in the thrid.
San Diego has won 14 of its last 17 meetings with Oakland. The Chargers are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 vs. AFC. The Raiders are 2-7 ATS in their last 9 Monday games. The Chargers are 8-2 ATS in their last 10 meetings in Oakland. The underdog is 6-0 ATS in the last 6 meetings. Bet San Diego Monday.
|09-10-12||St Louis: J Garcia -113 v. San Diego: E Stults||3-11||Loss||-113||12 h 44 m||Show|
15* Cards/Padres NL Late-Night BAILOUT on St. Louis -113
The St. Louis Cardinals get the nod Monday as a small road favorite over the lowly San Diego Padres. St. Louis (75-65) has a lost more to play for than San Diego (66-75) right now.
This is certainly one team that St. Louis starter Jaime Garcia loves facing. Garcia is 1-0 with a 1.67 ERA and 1.000 WHIP in four career starts against San Diego.
The Cardinals are 7-2 in their last 9 games vs. a starter with a WHIP less than 1.15. St. Louis is 12-4 in its last 16 games vs. a left-handed starter. The Cardinals are 70-27 in the last 97 meetings. Roll with St. Louis Monday.
|09-10-12||Atlanta Braves -112 v. Milwaukee Brewers||1-4||Loss||-112||10 h 59 m||Show|
15* NL Monday No-Doubt Rout on Atlanta Braves -112
The Atlanta Braves (81-60) have a lost more to play for than the Milwaukee Brewers (69-71). We are getting the Braves at a great price here Monday night given the situation.
Mike Minor has stepped up his game to come through huge for Atlanta of late. The left-hander is 2-0 with a 3.37 ERA and 00.911 WHIP in his last three starts.
Wily Peralta has struggled in two outings for the Brewers, posting a 5.14 ERA and 1.1714 WHIP while giving up four earned runs and 12 base runners over seven innings.
Atlanta is 19-3 vs. a poor bullpen whose ERA is 4.50 or worse this season. The Braves are 5-0 in their last 5 games overall. Atlanta is 7-0 in its last 7 meetings with Milwaukee. Take the Braves Monday.
|09-09-12||Pittsburgh Steelers v. Denver Broncos -1||19-31||Win||100||121 h 5 m||Show|
15* Steelers/Broncos NBC Late-Night BAILOUT on Denver -1
The Denver Broncos should be a bigger favorite against the Pittsburgh Steelers on NBC's Sunday Night Football in Week 1. Denver is going to be a contender in the AFC this season, and it proves it tonight with a victory over a solid Steelers team.
Four-time MVP Peyton Manning takes over at quarterback, and he has a huge chip on his shoulder heading into 2012. After Indianapolis let him go, he wants to prove to the world that he's still one of the best quarterbacks in the game.
Unlike in Indianapolis, Manning actually has a running game in Denver. The Broncos averaged a league-best 165 rushing yards per game on the ground, led by Willis McGahee (1,199 yards). But they are four deep at running back and will be able to move the ball on the ground again in 2012. Eric Decker and Damaryius Thomas are two very talented receivers that just haven't had the chance to shine with Tebow at quarterback. They will look like two of the best receivers in the league in 2012 with Manning throwing them the ball.
Defensively, the Broncos really bucked down in the second half of the season last year. They have two absolute studs in OLB Von Miller (64 tackles, 11.5 sacks) and DE Elvis Dumervil (42 tackles, 9.5 sacks), who will be applying pressure on Ben Roethlisberger all game long.
Pittsburgh is battling some injuries that could lead to a slow start this season. Leading rusher Rashard Mendenhall likely won't play Sunday as he recovers from a torn ACL. James Harrison (knee) is questionable, starting guard David DeCastro is out, and free safety Ryan Clark won't play due to his struggles with higher elevations.
The Steelers' biggest weakness over the year has been a secondary that struggles against good passing attacks. Without Clark back their leading the secondary, it could get ugly. Tim Tebow threw for 316 yards and two touchdowns in Denver's 29-23 playoff victory over Pittsburgh last season, so you can just imagine what kind of success Manning is going to have against this secondary Sunday night.
The Steelers are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 road games. Pittsburgh is 0-6 ATS in road games in games played on a grass field over the last 2 seasons. The Steelers are losing by an average score of 11.5 to 19.8 in this spot. Bet the Broncos Sunday.
|09-09-12||New England Patriots -5.5 v. Tennessee Titans||Top||34-13||Win||100||114 h 41 m||Show|
25* NFL Season-Opening GAME OF THE YEAR on New England Patriots -5.5
The New England Patriots should be a much heavier favorite against the Tennessee Titans. This line continues to move down, and there's no good reason for it. I know the Patriots didn't look good in the preseason, but this is when it counts, and they'll be on their game Sunday.
New England put up 32.1 points and 428 total yards per game last season to finish second in the league in total offense. It brings basically everyone back from last season, and adds WR Brandon Lloyd, who quietly led the entire NFL in receiving in 2010. This offense is going to be even more potent with Lloyd outside.
I know the Patriots struggled defensively last season giving up a lot of yards, but they only gave up 21.4 points per game as they were stingy as teams approached their end zone. The defense is a question mark for the Patriots again, but their offense can more than carry the load.
Tennessee is not a potent offensive team and won't have what it takes to keep up with the Pats on the scoreboard. It will be going with Jake Locker at quarterback, who will make his first career start. The Titans put up just 20.3 points per game last year, and they still lack superior weapons on offense. Plus, top receiver Kenny Britt has been suspended for the opener.
New England is 6-0 ATS in a road game where the total is between 45.5 and 49 points over the last 3 seasons. It is winning in this spot 35.4 to 18.1 on average, or by a whopping 17.3 points per game. The Patriots are 49-24-3 ATS in their last 76 road games. Bet New England Sunday.
|09-09-12||Buffalo Bills v. NY Jets -1.5||28-48||Win||100||114 h 41 m||Show|
15* AFC Sunday No-Doubt Rout on New York Jets -1.5
The New York Jets are way undervalued coming into the season. This team has made it to the AFC Championship two of the last three years. They were well on their way to the playoffs again last season with an 8-5 start, but an 0-3 finish had them missing the postseason.
New York comes back highly motivated this season to make up for last year's collapse at the end. The Jets went 0-4 in the preseason, which has made them undervalued heading into Week 1. This team will be ready for their opener against the Bills, and I believe they play a great game this afternoon.
Buffalo is getting way too much love. It did have a good offseason in bringing in DE's Mark Anderson and Mario Williams to help out the defense, but this team is still at least another year or two away from seriously competing for a playoff spot.
The Jets still have one of the best defenses in the league. They finished No. 5 in the NFL in total defense last season at 312 total yards/game. Offensively, I look for New York to get back to ground and pound, which was their formula for success in 2009 and 2010. The addition of Tim Tebow makes them a more physical, dominant running team, which is just what Rex Ryan wants. Ball control and defense wins in the NFL.
New York is 5-0 in its last five meetings with Buffalo. The Bills have scored an average of just 13.8 points per game over those five contests, so the Jets certainly have their offense figured out. Meanwhile, New York has averaged 30 points during its five-game winning streak over the Bills. Buffalo is 1-5-1 ATS in its last 7 road games. Take the Jets Sunday.
|09-09-12||Miami Dolphins v. Houston Texans UNDER 43||10-30||Win||100||114 h 40 m||Show|
15* AFC Sunday Total ANNIHILATOR on Dolphins/Texans UNDER 43
The Miami Dolphins and Houston Texans will play part in a defensive battle Sunday in Houston. Oddsmakers have clearly set the bar too high in this one, and now it's time to take advantage by siding with the UNDER.
Miami managed just 20.6 points and 317 total yards per game last season. Its offense has actually gotten worse this offseason. The Dolphins will be going with a rookie at quarterback in Ryan Tannehill, and he'll be working with the worst receiving corps in the league, hands down.
The Dolphins were actually pretty solid defensively last season, yielding 19.6 points per game. They were extremely stingy against the run, finishing third in the league in rushing defense (96 yards/game) while allowing just 3.7/carry. That's huge considering Houston was one of the best rushing teams in the league last year.
The Texans have a solid offense, but the reason they made the playoffs last season was their defense. Houston finished No. 2 in the league in total defense (286 yards/game) and No. 4 in scoring defense (17.4 points/game). I look for Houston to hold Miami to 14 points or less in this one, which will pave the way for the UNDER.
Miami is 8-0 to the UNDER in road games in the first half of the season over the last 3 seasons. I'm seeing an average combined score of 33.7 points per game in this situation. The UNDER is 11-3-1 in Dolphins last 15 games overall. The UNDER is 21-8 in Dolphins last 29 road games. The UNDER is 3-1-1 in the last 5 meetings. Roll with the UNDER in this game Sunday.
|09-08-12||North Carolina -8 v. Wake Forest||Top||27-28||Loss||-105||94 h 8 m||Show|
20* CFB Saturday No-Doubt Rout on North Carolina -8
*Note* - I put this play out on Tuesday when the line was -8. I see it has moved up to -10 or higher in a few places. I still like the Tar Heels to win by two touchdowns or more.
The Tar Heels are going under the radar in 2012 because they are ineligible for postseason play. However, this team is clearly going to play hard this season, and they could easily win the ACC Coastal division, though they won't be able to play in the ACC title game.
UNC returns 13 starters from a team that won seven games a year ago. That includes QB Bryn Renner, who completed 68.3 percent of his passes for 3,086 yards with 26 touchdowns and 13 interceptions a year ago. Also back is leading rusher Giovani Bernard (1,253 yards, 13 TD). Both Renner and Bernard are two of the most underrated players in the country.
The offenive line also returns four starters and 93 career starts, making it one of the ACC's best. The defense has six starters back, led by senior MLB Kevin Reddick (71 tackles, 6 for loss) and senior DT Sylvester Williams (54 tackles, 7 for loss).
UNC made easy work of Elon in its opener, winning by a final of 62-0. The Tar Heels scored all 62 points within the first three quarters. Renner finished with 236 yards and three touchdowns, Bernard had 93 yards and a score on only nine carries, and the defense forced four turnovers.
Wake Forest is clearly in rebuilding mode with just 11 starters back from a team that went 6-7 last year. That was evident in their 20-17 home victory over lowly Liberty last Saturday. Wake was outgained 363-293 for the game in a contest that went right down to the wire. The Demon Deacon are clearly no match for the Tar Heels Saturday.
UNC won last year's meeting 49-24 at home, and you can expect a similar blowout on the road in 2012. It outgained Wake Forest 562-331 for the game as well.
This play falls into a system that is 28-5 (84.8%) ATS over the last 10 seasons. It tells us to bet on road favorites of 10.5 to 21 points (N CAROLINA) - good passing team from last season - averaged 8 or more passing yards/attempt. Bet the Tar Heels Saturday.
|09-08-12||Rice v. Kansas -9.5||25-24||Loss||-105||93 h 12 m||Show|
15* CFB Saturday Big Chalk BLOWOUT on Kansas -9.5
Sure, the Kansas Jayhawks are picked to finish last in the Big 12 this season, but they should have no problem beating the lowly Rice Owls by double-digits at home Saturday. This team is showing great value early in the season, especially today.
New head coach Charlie Weis inherits a team that went just 2-10 last season. But the Jayhawks bring back 14 starters and 51 lettermen, making them one of the most experienced teams in college football. Plus, Weis has brought in senior QB Dayne Crist, who he coached in his last two years at Notre Dame.
Top receivers DJ Beshears (40, 437, three TD) and Kale Pick (34, 44, two TD), and three starters and 75 career starts return along the offensive line. The Jayhawks return seven starters on defense, including six of their top eight tacklers.
Kansas dominated the first three quarters against South Dakote State in the opener. The Jayhawks were up 24-7 after three before letting up in the final period to win 31-17. Tony Pierson led the way on the ground, rushing for 124 yards and two touchdowns. Kansas' defense forced four interceptions in a solid performance.
The Jayhawks rushed for 263 yards against SDSU, and they should have no problem running the ball on a Rice team that gave up 343 rushing yards in a 49-24 home loss to UCLA in their opener. In fact, the Bruins also threw for 303 yards, racking up 646 total yards on the Owls. This is a Rice team that brings back just 10 starters from a squad that went 4-8 a year ago.
Rice is 0-6 ATS in road games after allowing 37 points or more last game over the last 3 seasons. It is losing in this spot by an average score of 51.8 to 27.3. The Owls are 2-9 ATS in their last 11 road games. Rice is 2-10 ATS in its last 12 vs. Big 12 opponents. The Jayhawks are 16-5 ATS vs. a team with a losing record. Roll with Kansas Saturday.
|09-08-12||Michigan State v. Central Michigan +22.5||41-7||Loss||-105||93 h 11 m||Show|
15* Instate Rivalry PLAY OF THE DAY on Central Michigan +22.5
I believe the Central Michigan Chippewas are going to be one of the most improved teams in the country in 2012. They went just 3-9 last season, but head coach Dan Enos enters his third year on the job and finally has his recruits in place. The Chippewas return a whopping 16 starters from last year's team.
They return eight starters on offense, including senior QB Ryan Radcliff. He's primed for a big year after completing 56.7 percent of his passes for 3,286 yards with 25 touchdowns and 16 interceptions last season. He has his top two receivers back in Titus Davis (40, 751, eight TD) and Cody Wilson (48, 526, three TD). Also, four starters and 94 career starts return along the offensive line.
The defense will be much better with eight returning starters. That includes its top two tacklers in first-team All-MAC SS Jahleel Addae (107 tackles, four INT) and junior FS Avery Cunningham (79 tackles).
Central Michigan got off to a solid start this year with a 38-27 victory over SE Missouri State in a game that was more of a blowout than the score would indicate. The Chippewas outgained SEMS 496-308 for the game. Zurlon Tipton had a monster day on the ground, rushing for 180 yards and three scores. Anthony Garland added 102 yards and a touchdown.
I was not big on Michigan State coming into the season, and in their opener they looked like a team that is down this year. The Spartans were down heading into the 4th quarter in their opener against a Boise State team that returned just seven starters. They got a touchdown to win 17-13, but this team clearly misses the departed Kirk Cousins at quarterback.
The Spartans bring back just five starters on offense. They lose Cousins and their top four receivers from last season, including BJ Cunningham (79, 1,306, 12 TD). New QB Andrew Maxwell was horrible against Boise State, completing 22 of 38 passes for 248 yards with three interceptions. The Spartans are going to be too predictable this season without a proven QB under center. I look for CMU to put eight in the box to try and shut down RB Le'Veon Bell.
Central Michigan always seems to play Michigan State tough, and they upset the Spartans on the road 29-27 in 2009. The Chippewas are 8-2 ATS in their last 10 meetings with the Spartans, only losing twice by more than 17 points in those 10 contests.
This play falls into a system that is 30-7 (81.1%) ATS since 1992. It tells us to bet on a home team (C MICHIGAN) - poor defense from last season - allowed 400 or more total yards/game, with 16 total starters returning, in the first two weeks of the season. Bet Central Michigan Saturday.
|09-08-12||Ball State +27.5 v. Clemson||27-52||Win||100||90 h 12 m||Show|
15* CFB Letdown GAME OF THE WEEK on Ball State +27.5
The Clemson Tigers are way overvalued Saturday after beating Auburn 26-19 in their opener. After a huge rivalry game, this is definitely a letdown spot for the Tigers. As we saw last year, Clemson was prone to letdowns late in the season.
The Tigers have excellent skill players offensively which "wows" bettors. But they have a lot of weaknesses along the offensive line and on defense. I can't see them blowing out this underrated Ball State team by four touchdowns or more.
Ball State went a respectable 6-6 last season. It brings back 13 starters from that team, including many of its best players. QB Keith Wenning returns after completing 63.9 percent of his passes for 2,786 yards with 19 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. Leading rusher Jahwan Edwards (786 yards, 11 TD) returns, as do four starters and 115 career starts along the offensive line.
The defense welcomes back wo of its best players in senior LB Travis Freeman (#1 tackler, 134 tackles, 6 for loss) and junior DT Nathan Ollie (42 tackles, 6 sacks). This is going to be one of the most improved stop units in the entire country.
Ball State was impressive in its opener, beating an underrated Eastern Michigan team 37-26 at home. This game was a bigger blowout than the score would indicate considering the Cardinals outgained the Eagles 596-366 for the game. Wenning threw for 267 yards, while Edwards rushed for 200 yards and three touchdowns. This offense can come close to keeping pace with Clemson.
The Cardinals are 31-11 ATS in their last 42 road games. Ball State is 6-1 ATS in its last 7 games overall. The Tigers are 1-4 ATS vs. a team with a winning record. Take Ball State Saturday.
|09-08-12||Auburn v. Mississippi State -3||10-28||Win||100||90 h 33 m||Show|
15* Auburn/Mississippi State ESPN Early ANNIHILATOR on Mississippi State -3
The Mississippi State Bulldogs should be a much heavier favorite at home over the Auburn Tigers Saturday. The Bulldogs want revenge from a 41-34 road loss to the Tigers last season in a game in which Mississippi State outgained Auburn 531-381 and clearly should have won that contest.
Mississippi State will have its revenge in a big way at home this time around. It returns 12 starters and most of its top players from last season. Junior QB Tyler Russell threw for 1,034 yards with eight touchdowns and four interceptions over four starts and nine games last season. He has his top three receivers back and should be better in 2012.
The defense returns seven starters from a stop unit that yielded just 19.7 points and 351 total yards per game against a brutal schedule a year ago. Leading the way in 2012 will be senior LB Cameron Lawrence (#1 tackler, 123 tackles, 6 for loss, two INT), senior CB Johnthan Banks (71 tackles, eight for loss, five INT), junior LB Deontae Skinner (69 tackles, 9 for loss) and senior DT Josh Boyd (51 tackles, 4.5 sacks).
Mississippi State looked great in its opener, beating Jackson State 56-9 at home. The same cannot be said for Auburn, which lost 19-26 to Clemson in a game that should have been a much bigger blowout. The Tigers were outgained 528-374 for the game, giving up huge chunks of yardage defensively. Auburn QB Kiehl Frazier was awful, completing just 11 of 27 passes for 194 yards with one touchdown an one interception against a weak Clemson defense. The Bulldogs have a much stronger defense than Clemson, which is not good news for Frazier.
The Tigers are 2-9 ATS in their last 11 games after allowing more than 200 yards rushing in their previous game. The Bulldogs are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 home games. The favorite is 7-3 ATS in the last 10 meetings. Take Mississippi State Saturday.
|09-08-12||Penn State +10 v. Virginia||16-17||Win||100||90 h 33 m||Show|
15* CFB Saturday Undervalued Underdog on Penn State +10
After losing 14-24 to Ohio in their opener, the Penn State Nittany Lions are showing tremendous value at Virginia Saturday. Penn State led 14-3 in that game, but a fluke Ohio pass that went off a defenders' hands and ended up in a long touchdown by the Bobcats really swung the momentum the other way. With what these players have been through this offseason, they are resilient and will bounce back Saturday.
Virginia is one of the most overrated teams in the country this season. It went 8-5 last year, but with just 12 starters back, the Cavaliers are not going to be as good. They lose five of their top eight tacklers on defense and will be very vulnerable on that side of the ball.
While Penn State played a solid Ohio team in its opener, Virgina played Richmond and didn't really look all that sharp. The Cavaliers won 43-19 and won't be as battle-tested as the Nittany Lions coming into this one. Virginia is clearly getting too much respect from oddsmakers here.
This play falls into a system that is 30-6 (83.3%) ATS since 1992. It tells us to bet on road underdogs of 3.5 to 10 points (PENN ST) - in the first month of the season, after closing out last season with 2 or more straight losses, team that had a winning record last season. Roll with Penn State Saturday.
|09-08-12||Maryland +10 v. Temple||36-27||Win||100||90 h 32 m||Show|
15* CFB Revenge GAME OF THE WEEK on Maryland +10
The Maryland Terrapins are one of the most underrated teams in the country heading into 2012. Head coach Randy Edsall turned Connecticut into a winner, and he's going to do the same at Maryland. He enters his second season with the program and brings back a lot of talent from last year's team.
The Terrapins return 15 starters this season. Defensively, they bring back nine starters and 11 of their top 13 tacklers. Behind a solid defensive effort Saturday, the Terrapins will have no problem staying within this inflated number.
Maryland wants revenge from a 38-7 home loss to Temple as an 8-point favorite last season. That motivation alone will have them giving it all, plus they want to redeem themselves from a poor effort in a 7-6 victory over William & Mary in their opener.
Temple is coming off a 9-4 season, but it loses a ton of players from last year's team. The Owls only have eight starters back. They lose leading rusher Bernard Pierce (1,481 yards, 27 TD), their top three receivers, and four starters on the offensive line. The defense loses its top four tacklers as well.
Temple's 41-10 victory over Villanova was way misleading, which is a big reason they are overvalued here. The Owls were actually outgained by the Wildcats 365-362, and they gave up a whopping 212 rushing yards to Villanova.
This play falls into a system that is 48-16 (75%) ATS since 1992. It tells us to bet on underdogs of 3.5 to 10 points (MARYLAND) - with 6+ more total starters returning than opponent, in the first month of the season. Plus, the road team is 5-0 ATS in the last 5 meetings. Bet Maryland Saturday.
|09-07-12||Utah -7 v. Utah State||Top||20-27||Loss||-101||101 h 38 m||Show|
25* Instate Rivalry GAME OF THE YEAR on Utah -7
The Utah Utes brought back 16 starters from a team that went 8-5 last season. I really think this is one of the most underrated teams in the country heading into 2012. They got their 2012 campaign off to a solid start with a 41-0 victory over Northern Colorado on Saturday. Their defense was dominant, limiting the Bears to 114 total yards and while not allowing them to cross midfield once.
This game was scoreless after the first quarter, but Utah would score three touchdowns in the second to take a 21-0 lead into halftime. Senior RB John White, who set a single-season record with 1,519 yards and 15 touchdowns last season, finished with 119 yards and a score on 24 carries.
Junior quarterback Jordan Wynn was sharp, completing 19 of 27 passes for 200 yards with two touchdowns and one interception. He led a 21-play, 91-yard drive that consumed 10:42 an ended in a Wynn to Jake Murphy touchdown early in the fourth quarter. It was Murphy
|09-07-12||Atlanta Braves +105 v. New York Mets||3-0||Win||105||7 h 24 m||Show|
15* NL Friday Undervalued Underdog on Atlanta Braves +105
The Atlanta Braves should not be an underdog to the New York Mets tonight. Atlanta (78-60) is still playing to earn one of the Wildcard sports in the National League, while New York (65-72) has nothing to play for.
Paul Maholm is quietly having a solid season for Atlanta, going 11-9 with a 3.82 ERA and 1.215 WHIP in 26 starts this year. He'll be motivated to match the efforts of Mike Minor and Tim Hudson the last two days. Atlanta beat Colorado by finals of 1-0 on Wednesday AND Thursday behind dominant outings from both starters.
The Braves are 24-11 in their last 35 games following a win. The Mets are 1-10 in their last 11 home games vs. a team with a winning record. New York is 0-5 in Niese's last 5 starts as a favorite. Take the Braves Friday.
|09-07-12||Miami: J Turner v. Washington: Strasburg -1.5||9-7||Loss||-121||7 h 15 m||Show|
15* NL Friday No-Doubt Rout on Washington Nationals -1.5 (-121)
Stephen Strasburg knows he's going to get shut down after two more starts. That's why he will be throwing everything he has at Miami tonight in his second-to-last start. I have the Nationals winning this game by two-plus runs Friday.
Strasburg is 15-6 with a 2.94 ERA and 1.119 WHIP over 27 starts with 195 strikeouts in 156 1/3 innings. He is also 4-2 with a 2.38 ERA and 1.059 WHIP in eight career starts against the Marlins.
He'll be opposed by Jacob Turner, who is 1-3 with a 7.33 ERA and 1.457 WHIP over five starts this season. Turner is also 0-1 with a 9.00 ERA in one career start against Washington.
The Nationals are rolling right now, winning five straight games heading into this one. They have scored a combined 29 runs in their last three contests, so they are feeling really good at the plate. Roll with Washington Friday.
|09-06-12||Pittsburgh v. Cincinnati -3.5||Top||10-34||Win||100||76 h 28 m||Show|
20* Pittsburgh/Cincinnati ESPN ANNIHILATOR on Cincinnati -3.5
*Note* - I locked this line in at -3.5 on Tuesday. I see it's up to 5.5 in a lot of places. I still expect Cincinnati to win by a touchdown or more.
The Bearcats finished in a three-way tie for the Big East title in 2011. They went 10-3 overall after beating Vanderbilt 31-24 in the Liberty Bowl. Third-year head coach Butch Jones brings back 11 starters and 43 lettermen from last year
|09-05-12||San Diego: C Richard v. Los Angeles: A Harang -134||4-3||Loss||-134||11 h 8 m||Show|
15* Padres/Dodgers NL Late-Night BAILOUT on Los Angeles -134
The Los Angeles Dodgers (73-64) are still very much alive in the NL West and NL Wildcard races. The San Diego Padres (63-74) have nothing to play for the rest of the way. Los Angeles is showing solid value as a small home favorite tonight.
Aaron Harang has been pretty consistent all season, going 9-8 with a 3.76 ERA over 26 starts. San Diego's Clayton Richard has not been very effective away from home, going 5-8 with a 4.51 ERA in 16 road starts this year.
Harang is 1-0 with a 1.93 ERA in his last two starts against San Diego this season, yielding just three earned runs and nine base runners over 14 innings. It's safe to say that he loves facing this weak Padres' line-up.
The Padres are 1-7 in Richard's last 8 starts as a road underdog of +110 to +150. San Diego is 1-7 in Richard's last 8 road starts vs. a team with a winning record. The Padres are 1-12 in Richard's last 13 road starts with the total set at 7.0-8.5. Los Angeles is 19-7 in its last 26 meetings with San Diego, including 11-3 in its last 14 home meetings. Roll with the Dodgers Wednesday.
|09-05-12||Dallas Cowboys +4 v. NY Giants||Top||24-17||Win||100||53 h 7 m||Show|
20* Cowboys/Giants NFL Season Opener on Dallas +4
After losing five of their last six meetings with the Giants, including both contests last year, the Dallas Cowboys have big-time revenge in mind Wednesday. I believe they get that revenge and win this game outright, but I'll take the 4 points for some insurance.
Dallas has made some great additions this offseason. They signed CB Brandon Carr (45 tackles, 15 pass break-ups, four INT) from Kansas City. They also used their first-round pick on CB Morris Claiborne (LSU). These two shutdown corners will allow defensive coordinator Rob Ryan to be much more aggressive with his blitz schemes.
The New York Giants went just 9-7 last season, and that was good enough to win the NFC East. We all know what they did after that, but I still believe this team has some gaping holes. The Cowboys will likely be without Jason Witten tonight, but the Giants are way more banged up and will be without several key players due to injury.
The Cowboys are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games in Week 1. The Underdog is 5-1 ATS in their last 6 meetings. Bet Dallas Wednesday.
|09-05-12||Baltimore: M Gonzalez +104 v. Toronto: B Morrow||4-6||Loss||-100||8 h 3 m||Show|
15* AL Wednesday Undervalued Underdog on Baltimore Orioles +104
The Baltimore Orioles should not be an underdog to the Toronto Blue Jays tonight. After winning nine of its last 11 games, Baltimore (76-59) now sits tied atop the AL East division standings with the New York Yankees.
Toronto (60-75) has nothing to play for the rest of the way. They have been playing like that's the case of late, losing four straight while getting outscored 8-32 in the process. Baltimore has shut out Toronto twice while winning the first two games of this series, outscoring the Blue Jays 16-0.
Miguel Gonzales is one of the most underrated starters in the league. The right-hander is 6-3 with a 3.31 ERA and 1.241 WHIP in 10 starts and three relief appearances, including 4-1 with a 2.52 ERA and 1.068 WHIP in six road starts. Gonzalez has held the Yankees, Rangers and Red Sox to six earned runs in 18 innings over his last three outings for a 3.00 ERA.
The 4-0 in Gonzalez's last 4 starts vs. American League East. Baltimore is 4-0 in its last 4 vs. a team with a losing record. The Blue Jays are 0-4 in their last 4 home games. These three trends make for a 12-0 system backing Baltimore. Take the Orioles Wednesday.
|09-04-12||Texas Rangers -151 v. Kansas City Royals||Top||3-6||Loss||-151||9 h 43 m||Show|
20* AL Tuesday No-Doubt Rout on Texas Rangers -151
The Texas Rangers are worth laying this price over Tuesday night against the Kansas City Royals. Texas (80-54) owns the best record in the American League and its four games clear of Oakland in the AL West race. Kansas City (60-74) has nothing to play for at this point.
The Rangers have a big edge on the mound with Matt Harrison, who is 15-8 with a 3.30 ERA and 1.262 WHIP in 26 starts this season. The left-hander is 10-4 with a 3.05 ERA and 1.200 WHIP in 15 road starts. Harrison is also 2-0 with a 1.42 ERA in his last two starts against Kansas City, yielding two earned runs in 12 2/3 innings.
Jeremy Guthrie has been one of the worst starters in baseball in 2012. The right-hander is 6-11 with a 5.58 ERA and 1.547 WHIP in 23 starts this year, including 3-6 with a 6.16 ERA and 1.500 WHIP in 12 home starts. Guthrie is 0-2 with a 7.36 ERA in his last two starts against Texas, giving up nine earned runs in 11 innings.
Harrison is 14-1 (+12.9 Units) against the money line when playing against a team with a losing record in the second half of the season over the last 2 seasons. The Rangers are 11-0 in Harrison's last 11 road starts vs. a team with a losing record. Bet Texas Tuesday.
|09-03-12||Georgia Tech v. Virginia Tech UNDER 48.5||Top||17-20||Win||100||99 h 52 m||Show|
20* Georgia Tech/Virginia Tech ESPN Total DOMINATOR on UNDER 48.5
The Virginia Tech Hokies have one of the best defenses in the entire country. They return nine starters from a stop unit that yielded just 17.5 points per game last season. They only have three starters back on offense, so points will be hard to come by in the early going for the Hokies.
Georgia Tech has six starters back on defense, which is about average. But the Yellow Jackets return seven of their top nine tacklers, so this is going to be a good stop unit in 2012.
These two teams are very familiar with each other having played one another for eight straight years. Virginia Tech is ready for Georgia Tech's triple-option attack, and it will shut it down Monday.
This play falls into a system that is 28-6 (82.4%) to the UNDER since 1992. It tells us to bet the UNDER on all teams where the total is between 42.5 and 49 (VIRGINIA TECH) - in the first week of the season, after closing out last season with 2 or more straight losses against opponent first 2 weeks of the year, after closing out last season with 2 or more straight losses. Bet the UNDER in this game Monday.
|09-03-12||LA Anaheim: C Wilson -105 v. Oakland: T Milone||8-3||Win||100||5 h 52 m||Show|
15* AL Monday No-Doubt Rout on Los Angeles Angels -105
The Los Angeles Angels realize that this is their biggest series of the season. They trail Oakland by 5.5 games, so winning this series is a must. It starts with Game 1 Monday with C.J. Wilson on the mound.
Wilson is 10-9 with a 3.86 ERA this season. The left-hander is 5-4 with a 2.85 ERA and 1.170 WHIP in 11 career starts against Oakland.
Los Angeles is 15-3 after allowing 4 runs or less 5 straight games over the last 2 seasons. The Angels are 8-1 in their last 9 games as a favorite. Los Angeles is 8-2 in Wilson's last 10 starts as a road favorite. Bet the Angels Monday.
|09-02-12||SMU v. Baylor -10||Top||24-59||Win||100||74 h 32 m||Show|
20* SMU/Baylor CFB Sunday ATS ANNIHILATOR on Baylor -10
The Baylor Bears are going under the radar in 2012 because the lost Heisman Trophy winning QB Robert Griffin III, leading rusher Terrance Ganaway and leading receiver Kendall Wright. But the fact of the matter is that Baylor returns 14 starters and 54 lettermen.
This team won 10 games last season, and while those losses are big, they can still have a very good season. Baylor send senior QB Nick Florence out to lead the offense, and he'll be handing the ball off to Oregon transfer Lache Seastrunk, who is every bit as good as Ganaway.
Baylor was terrible defensively last season, giving up 37.2 points and 488 total yards per game. This is going to be one of the most improved teams in the country on defense with eight starters and 11 of their top 13 tacklers back.
SMU will be one of the worst teams in the country this season with just 10 starters back from last year's team. The offense is in a world of hurt with only three starters returnining, and they lose their starting QB from last year too. The biggest reason why SMU will get rolled in this one is the fact that it has to break in five new starters along the offensive line.
SMU is 2-14 ATS (-13.4 Units) when the total is between 56.5 and 63 since 1992. Baylor is 8-0 ATS in its last eight home games. Bet the Bears Sunday.
|09-01-12||Chicago (A): F Liriano +143 v. Detroit: M Scherzer||1-5||Loss||-100||8 h 19 m||Show|
15* AL Central PLAY OF THE DAY on Chicago White Sox +143
The Chicago White Sox sit two games ahead of the Detroit Tigers in the AL Central division. After losing Game 1 yesterday, I have the White Sox bouncing back with a victory in Game 2 tonight.
Francisco Liriano has been an excellent addition to Chicago's staff before the trade deadline. The left-hander is 2-0 with a 3.12 ERA in his last three starts, allowing exactly two earned runs in each.
With a 4.13 ERA and 1.351 WHIP over 26 starts for Detroit this season, Max Scherzer is overvalued today. Scherzer is 0-1 with a 4.76 ERA in three starts against Chicago this year.
The White Sox are 4-0 in Liriano's last 4 starts after allowing 5 runs or more in their previous game. Bet Chicago Saturday.
|09-01-12||Clemson v. Auburn +3.5||26-19||Loss||-109||64 h 26 m||Show|
15* Auburn/Clemson ESPN Saturday Night BAILOUT on Auburn +3.5
The Auburn Tigers managed an 8-5 season last year despite losing almost everyone from their 2010-11 National Championship team. With 15 returning starters and another Top-5 recruiting class, Gene Chizik and the Tigers are primed to surprise again in 2012.
Sophomore QB Kiehl Frazier got his feet wet last season, and now he's ready to shine as a starter. Onterio McCalebb (641 yards, 5.7/carry, five TD) is one of the most explosive players in the SEC. The Tigers return their top four pass catchers from last season, including WR Emory Blake (36 receptions, 613 yards, five TD) and TE Philip Lutzenkirchen (24, 238, seven TD).
With nine starters back on defense, this is going to be one of the most improved stop units in the country. Senior SLB Daren Bates (104 tackles, 8.5 for loss), junior SS Demetruce McNeal (74 tackles, two INT), junior DE Corey Lemonier (47 tackles, 9.5 sacks), senior CB T'Sharvan Bell (45 tackles, two INT) and junior MLB Jake Holland (43 tackles, two INT) all return.
Clemson has that 'wow' factor that bettors fall in love with. The Tigers shockingly won the ACC last season, and as a result they are way overvalued coming into 2012. They should not be favored against a more talented SEC team on a neutral field Saturday.
Sure, QB Tajh Boyd, WR Sammy Watkins, RB Andre Ellington and almost all of Clemson's top skill players are back on offense. However, Watkins has been suspended for the first two games, and there are glaring weaknesses throughout the rest of their team.
The offensive line loses three starters and has just 48 career starts returning up front. The defense loses arguably its four best players in Andre Branch (85 tackles, 10.5 sacks), Brandon Thompson (77 tackles, 8 for loss), Rennie Moore (58 tackles, 10 for loss) and Coty Sensabaugh (40 tackles, 14 passes defended).
Auburn is 14-1 in its last 15 meetings with Clemson. Clemson has not won back-to-back games against Auburn since the 1950-'51 seasons. Bet Auburn Saturday.
|09-01-12||Florida International v. Duke -3||26-46||Win||100||64 h 26 m||Show|
15* CFB Saturday No-Doubt Rout on Duke -3
I'm not going to say that Saturday's match-up with Florida International is a gimme for Duke, but getting the Blue Devils as only a 3-point home favorite is a gift from oddsmakers. They beat FIU on the road last season 31-27, and should be able to handle the Panthers at home in 2012.
Head coach David Cutcliffe enters his 5th year at Duke and he has clearly made this football program competitive. This will be Cutcliffe's best team yet considering the Blue Devils return 17 starters from last year's team.
The offense brings back eight starters, including QB Sean Renfree, who completed 65.0 percent of his passes for 2,891 yards with 14 touchdowns and 14 interceptions last season. Also back are the top three rushers, leading receiver Conner Vernon (70 receptions, 956 yards, six TD), and four starters and 90 career starts along the offensive line.
The defense has an excellent chance to improve with nine starters returning. Nine of Duke's top 10 tacklers are back, and I believe this is going to be the most improved stop unit in the ACC.
Like Duke, FIU returns 17 starters. This is a talented team that is likely going to be the class of the Sun Belt Conference. However, there's no question in my mind that the Blue Devils have the better talent at almost every position, and that will show on the field Saturday.
FIU is 2-8 in its last 10 road openers. The Blue Devils are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 home games. The Golden Panthers are 2-5-1 ATS in their last 8 non-conference games. Take Duke Saturday.
|09-01-12||LA Anaheim: E Santana +131 v. Seattle: F Hernandz||5-2||Win||131||5 h 18 m||Show|
15* AL West PLAY OF THE DAY on Los Angeles Angels +131
The Los Angeles Angels are rolling right now, winners of eight of their last 10 overall. This team still has a shot at an AL Wildcard spot and they have been playing like it.
Ervin Santana has pitched well of late, going 2-1 with a 3.10 ERA and 0.984 WHIP in his last three starts.
I know Felix Hernandez has been dominant of late for Seattle, but he's 0-1 with a 6.23 ERA in two starts against Los Angeles this season, allowing nine earned runs and three homers in 13 innings.
The Angels are 16-1 when playing against a marginal losing team (Win Pct. 46% to 49%) in the second half of the season over the last 2 seasons. Roll with Los Angeles Saturday.
|09-01-12||Tulsa v. Iowa State +1.5||Top||23-38||Win||100||61 h 7 m||Show|
25* College Football Season-Opening GAME OF THE YEAR on Iowa State +1.5
The Iowa State Cyclones represent my favorite bet for Week 1 college football Saturday. They should not be an underdog at home to Tulsa in this one.
Iowa State has been underrated in each of Paul Rhoads' first three years as head coach, making a bowl game in two of them. The Cyclones even pulled off the upset of the season last year when they beat then-No. 2 Oklahoma State 37-31 (2 OT) at home. They are clearly underrated again in 2012.
Iowa State has just 12 starters back, but that includes most of its top plays from a year ago. Leading rusher James White (743 yards, eight TD) is back, and QB Steele Jantz is primed for a big senior year after making seven starts last season. Three of ISU's top four receivers are back as well.
The defense only has five starters back, but the stop unit returns its top three tacklers in LB AJ Klein (116 tackles), LB Jake Knott (115 tackles) and FS Jacques Washington (90 tackles, nine passes defened). Klein earned second-team All-American honors, while Knott was first-team All-Big 12. These are two of the best linebackers in the entire country.
Tulsa is in rebuilding mode now under second-year head coach Bill Blankenship. This is the year where it is going to realize it misses former head coach Todd Graham. QB GJ Kinne, who threw for 3,090 yards and 28 touchdowns and rushed for 405 yards and three scores in 2011, has departed.
The Golden Hurricane also have just two starters back on the offenive line, and new QB Cody Green won't be able to come close to matching Kinne's numbers. The defense loses leading tackler Curnelius Arnick (159 tackles) and leading sacker Tyrunn Walker (41 tackles, 8 sacks).
Tulsa is 4-18 in its last 22 road openers, 1-17 since 1997 on the road vs. BCS schools, and 1-31 over the last 12 years against BCS schools home or away. The Golden Hurricane are 0-5 ATS in their last 5 vs. Big 12. The Cyclones are 21-10 ATS in their last 31 games in September. Bet Iowa State Saturday.
|09-01-12||Ohio v. Penn State -6||24-14||Loss||-110||58 h 37 m||Show|
15* CFB Saturday Early ANNIHILATOR on Penn State -6
The Penn State Nittany Lions are way undervalued coming into their 2012 campaign due to all of the poor coverage they have been receiving from the Jerry Sandusky scandal. These players cannot wait to hit the field Saturday and put all of it behind them.
The Nittany Lions' fans will rally around these players in a a very emotional game Saturday afternoon. The fact of the matter is that Penn State is still among the top-half of the teams in the Big Ten, and it has a lot more talent on the field than Ohio.
The Nittany Lions gave up just 16.8 points and 324 total yards per game last season, and they still have one of the best defenses in the country. They return leading tackler Gerald Hodges (106 tackles, 10 for loss) at linebacker. Also back is junior LB Glenn Carson (74 tackles) and senior DT Jordan Hill (59 tackles, 8 for loss).
The offense brings back starting quarterback Matt McGloin (,571 yards, eight TD, five INT), as well as three of his top four receivers from last season. Junior RB Curtis Dukes, who averaged 5.8 yards/carry last season, returns as well.
Ohio is a solid team and is one of the favorites to win the MAC this season with 14 starters back. But the fact of the matter is the Bobcats are out-classed in talent all over the field, and that will show Saturday when an inspired Penn State team overmatches them.
The Nittany Lions have won 10 straight home openers by an average of 29 points per game. Penn State is 5-0 all-time against Ohio, winning by an average of 39-13.
This play falls into a system that is 29-7 (80.6%) ATS since 1992. It tells us to bet on favorites of 3.5 to 10 points (PENN ST) - in the first month of the season, after closing out last season with 2 or more straight losses against opponent first month of the season, after closing out last season strong with 4 or more wins in last 5 games. Take Penn State Saturday.
|09-01-12||Western Michigan +10.5 v. Illinois||7-24||Loss||-110||58 h 37 m||Show|
15* CFB Saturday Undervalued Underdog on Western Michigan +10.5
The Western Michigan Broncos are my pick to win the MAC this season. They have 14 starters back, including senior QB Alex Carder, who completed 65.7 percent of his passes for 3,873 yards with 31 touchdowns and 14 interceptions. He is one of the most underrated signal callers in the country.
Western Michigan gave then-No. 24 Illinois all it could handle on the road in 2011. The Broncos lost 20-23 as a 14-point underdog, and Carder threw for 306 yards against their defense. I look for this one to go right down to the wire as well.
The Broncos have nine of their top 10 back along the offensive line. They have four starters returning, including first-team All-MAC RT Dann O'Neill. Leading rusher Tevin Drake (586 yards, 5.6/carry, five TD) is back as well.
The defense returns seven starters, including second-team All-MAC Rover Johnnie Simon (114 tackles, 10.5 for loss, nine passes defended) and second-team All-MAC DE Freddie Bishop (51 tackles, 6.5 for loss, 5.5 sacks).
I am really not high on Illinois at all this season. They lose too many studs, including top running back Jason Ford and top receiver AJ Jenkins (90 receptions, 1,276 yards, eight TD). Their second-leading receiver was Spencer Harris (26, 226, one TD), so they are certainly going to miss Jenkins.
Defensively, the Illini lose two of their top three tacklers in Ian Thomas and Tavon Wilson. They also part ways with the nation's leading sacker in Whitney Mercilus (57 tackles, 16 sacks).
The Fighting Illini are 0-7 ATS in their last 7 vs. MAC. They are consistently overvalued against MAC schools, and the Broncos are the best the MAC has to offer in 2012 in my opinion. Roll with Western Michigan Saturday.
|08-31-12||Arizona Diamondbacks v. Los Angeles Dodgers -110||4-3||Loss||-110||12 h 48 m||Show|
15* DBacks/Dodgers NL Late-Night BAILOUT on Los Angeles -110
The Los Angeles Dodgers should be a much heavier favorite at home tonight. After losing four out of their last five, the Dodgers realize that they need to kick it in gear right now to make a push in the NL West and NL Wildcard races.
Arizona has no shot at making the postseason after losing six of their last seven to drop to 65-67 on the year. They will be starting Trevor Cahill, who is 0-1 with a 5.40 ERA and 1.667 WHIP in his last three starts. He has given up eight earned runs over 9 innings in his last two outings.
Aaron Harang has been pretty solid all season for Los Angeles, going 9-8 with a 3.70 ERA over 25 starts. The right-hander is 2-1 with a 3.00 ERA in his last three outings as well. Harang sports a 3.01 ERA and 1.193 WHIP in 14 career starts against Arizona.
The Diamondbacks are 0-4 in their last 4 games vs. a right-handed starter. Arizona is 1-4 in Cahill's last 5 starts overall. The Dodgers are 36-17 in their last 53 Friday games. After losing seven straight to Arizona, Los Angeles gets is hungry for revenge tonight. Roll with the Dodgers Friday.
|08-31-12||Pittsburgh Pirates +115 v. Milwaukee Brewers||3-9||Loss||-100||10 h 49 m||Show|
15* NL Friday Undervalued Underdog on Pittsburgh Pirates +115
The Pittsburgh Pirates are showing great value Friday as an underdog to the Milwaukee Brewers. Pittsburgh still has a lot to play for with an NL Wildcard spot on the line over the last month. Milwaukee has nothing to play for at this point.
The Pirates also have the edge on the mound tonight. Jeff Karstens is 5-3 with a 3.47 ERA and 1.120 WHIP in 14 starts, including 1-1 with a 2.57 ERA and 0.857 WHIP in his last three.
Mark Rogers is 2-1 with a 4.28 ERA in six starts this season for Milwaukee. Karstens has been solid when facing Milwaukee, posting a 3.67 ERA and 1.167 WHIP in nine career starts against the Brewers.
The Pirates are 6-0 in Karstens' last 6 starts vs. National League Central. Pittsburgh is 4-0 in Karstens' last 4 starts vs. a team with a losing record. Take the Pirates Friday.
|08-31-12||Tennessee -3 v. NC State||Top||35-21||Win||100||93 h 17 m||Show|
20* Tennessee/NC State ESPNU Friday No-Brainer on Tennessee -3
After a 5-7 campaign in 2011 with arguably the toughest schedule in the entire country, the Tennessee Volunteers head into 2012 way underrated. That's because they return 18 starters and 48 lettermen from last year's squad.
The offense has nine starters back, led by junior QB Tyler Bray, who missed five starters last season due to injury. Bray still managed to complete 59.5 percent of his passes for 1,983 yards with 17 touchdowns and six interceptions in seven starts.
WR Justin Hunter had 17 receptions for 314 yards and two touchdowns in three starts last year before going out for the season with an injury. He returns healthy and will be the go-to guy after Da'Rick Rogers decided to leave the team. The offensive line returns five starters and 105 career starts from a unit that gave up only 18 sacks a year ago.
Defensively, the Vols held their own last season, giving up 22.6 points and 341 total yards per game against a brutal schedule. Nine starters return, and 2010's No. 2 tackler in senior MLB Herman Lathers is back after missing all of 2011 due to injury.
NC State is getting a lot of love after winning three straight games to close out last season to finish 8-5. But this team isn't nearly as talented as Tennessee with 13 starters and a mere 31 lettermen returning.
The Wolfpack lose three of their top four receivers, including TJ Graham (46 receptions, 757 yards, seven TD). Defensively, only six starters are back, and they lose three of their top players from 2011 in leading tackler Audie Cole (132 tackles, 13.5 for loss), Terrell Manning (82 tackles, 14 for loss, three INT) and Markus Kuhn (50 tackles, 9.5 for loss).
The Vols clearly have the better talent across the board, and on a neutral field Friday, they should roll against the overmatched Wolfpack. Tennessee is 7-2-1 ATS in its last 10 games as a favorite, and 4-1 ATS in its last 5 non-conference games. Bet the Volunteers Friday.
|08-30-12||Washington State +13.5 v. BYU||6-30||Loss||-110||72 h 5 m||Show|
15* Washington State/BYU ESPN Late-Night BAILOUT on Washington State +13.5
The Washington State Cougars were much better than their 4-8 record would indicate last season. They actually outgained opponents 422 to 410 on average, which is more like a 7-5 team. The breaks did not go their way, but now they have a proven head coach in Mike Leach to try and turn things around.
Leach put together an 84-43 record in 10 seasons at Texas Tech. He will be working with 14 returning starters and 44 lettermen this season.
The offense returns seven starters, including senior QB Jeff Tuel, who was lost after three games last season with an injury. He made all 12 starts in 2010 and is one of the most underrated signal callers in the country. Also back is leading receiver Marquess Wilson (82 receptions, 1,388 yards, 12 TD) and leading rusher Ricky Galvin (602 yards, 5.3/carry, five TD). Three starters return along the offensive line as well.
The defense has seven starters back, including all four starters in the secondary, led by junior SS Deone Bucannon (80 tackles, three INT) and senior FS Tyree Toomer (60 tackles). Senior OLB Travis Long (42 tackles, 8 for loss, 4 sacks) is their best returning starter among the front seven.
BYU is getting a lot of love from oddsmakers after winning its final four games last season to finish 10-3. Like WSU, the Cougars have 14 returning starters back. This is going to be a solid team, but they are certainly overrated heading into 2012, and not two touchdowns better than Washington State.
Washington State is 8-2 ATS in its last 10 games as an underdog of 10.5 or greater. Bet Washington State Thursday.
|08-30-12||Detroit Tigers -118 v. KAN ROYALS||1-2||Loss||-118||19 h 56 m||Show|
15* MLB Thursday No-Doubt Rout on Detroit Tigers -118
After two straight one-run losses to open this series with the Kansas City Royals, the Detroit Tigers will be highly motivated to avoid the sweep in Game 3 tonight. I believe they get the job done and get back in the win column as they look to make their push for the postseason.
Rick Porcello is not having the best season at 9-9 with a 4.60 ERA in 25 starts. However, he's 5-2 with a 4.56 ERA and 1.254 WHIP in 12 career starts against Kansas City, and he has been much better than his opponent.
Jeremy Guthrie has been one of the worst starters in all of baseball in 2012. The right-hander is 5-11 with a 5.85 ERA and 1.558 WHIP in 22 starts this season, including 2-6 with a 6.75 ERA and 1.516 WHIP in 11 home starts.
Porcello is 11-1 (+9.8 Units) against the money line on the road with a money line of -100 to -150 over the last 2 seasons. Porcello is 9-0 (+9.3 Units) against the money line in road games vs. teams whose hitters draw 3 walks or less/game over the last 2 seasons. He has simply been money in the bank in these two spots. Bet the Tigers Thursday.
|08-30-12||UMass +24.5 v. Connecticut||0-37||Loss||-110||25 h 18 m||Show|
15* CFB Thursday Undervalued Underdog on UMass +24.5
The UMass Minutemen enter their first season as an FBC school in 2012. Because of this fact, I believe they are coming into 2012 obviously underrated. The betting public does not want to back them, but this is a great spot to against the overrated Connecticut Huskies.
Redshirt freshman QB Mike Wegzyn has earned the starting job by clearly outplaying the competition throughout camp. Many bettors are seeing that last year's starter, Kellen Pagel, is out with post-concussion symptoms. But I believe that Wegzyn is the better starter anyway, and even when Pagel returns, he likely will still keep his job.
The Minutemen return 14 starters in all, so this is an experienced bunch. Wegzyn will be working behind an offensive line that returns four starters and 85 career starts. Their starting five up front averages 308 pounds, so they certainly have good size. Michigan transfer Michael Cox takes over at running back and is primed for a big year running behind this line.
The defense has a whopping nine starters back, led by senior MLB Perry McIntyre (116 tackles, 6.5 sacks). Junior OLB Tim Brandt (33 tackles, 3 sacks) and senior OLB Chad Hunte (58 tackles) combine with McIntyre to form one of the most underrated LB corps in the MAC.
Connecticut really misses former head coach Randy Edsall, who always got the most out of his teams. That showed last season as the Huskies stumbled to a 5-7 finish. They do have 14 starters back, but only 31 lettermen returning. I'm just not sold on this team, and there's no way they should be a 24-point favorite in their opener.
The Huskies are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games as a home favorite, and 1-4 ATS in their last 5 non-conference games. Roll with UMass Thursday.
|08-30-12||South Carolina v. Vanderbilt +7||Top||17-13||Win||100||69 h 53 m||Show|
20* South Carolina/Vanderbilt ESPN Thursday No-Brainer on Vanderbilt +7
Vanderbilt was much better than its 6-7 record would indicate last season. The Commodores lost five games to Georgia, Arkansas, Florida, Tennessee and Cincinnati all by 7 points or less. Five of their six wins came by 23 points or more.
The Commodores are one of the most underrated teams in the country heading into 2012. They have 15 starters and 43 lettermen returning, so there's a lot of talent back from last year's squad.
The offense welcomes back eight starters, including QB Jordan Rodgers, brother of Green Bay QB Aaron Rodgers. They were a much better team when Rodgers took over for the final seven starts of the season. He threw for 1,524 yards and nine touchdowns, while also rushing for 420 yards and four scores.
Leading rusher Zac Stacy (1,193 yards, 5.9/carry, 14 TD) returns to lead the offense, and he'll be running behind an offensive line that returns three starters and 60 career starts. Also back are the top two receivers from 2011 in junior Jordan Mathews (41 receptions, 778 yards, five TD) and sophomore Chris Boyd (31, 473, eight TD).
The defense welcomes back seven starters and should come close to matching its solid 2011 numbers. The Commodores gave up just 21.6 points and 323 total yards per game in head coach James Franklin's first year on the job. He has this team headed in the right direction.
After a setting a school record with 11 wins last year, the No. 9 South Carolina Gamecocks come into the 2012 season overrated. They have just 11 starters back from that squad and several key losses. Leading receiver Alshon Jeffery (49 receptions, 762 yards, eight TD) has moved on to the NFL. DE Melvin Ingram (48 tackles, 10 sacks) and CB Stephon Gilmore (46 tackles, four INT) were each selected in the first round of the NFL Draft. LB Antonio Allen (#1 tackler) was taken in the 7th round as well.
Vanderbilt is a scrappy team that will give South Carolina a run for its money in the opener. The Commodores don't go down easy at home, going a perfect 7-0 ATS in their last 7 home games. Vanderbilt is 4-0 ATS in its last 4 games as an underdog as well. Take the Commodores Thursday.
|08-29-12||Washington Nationals -128 v. Miami Marlins||Top||8-4||Win||100||8 h 14 m||Show|
20* NL East GAME OF THE WEEK on Washington Nationals -128
The Washington Nationals have lost five straight games. There's no question they are motivated to get back in the win column Wednesday to put an end to this skid. I have them doing just that against the Miami Marlins tonight.
Ross Detwiler has been one of the most underrated starters in the league this season. The right-hander is 7-6 with a 3.25 ERA and 1.178 WHIP in 20 starts and six relief appearances in 2012. He faced Miami on 4/20 this season, pitching six shutout innings in a 2-0 Washington victory.
Detwiler will be opposed by Jacob Turner, who is 1-2 with a 6.87 ERA and 1.528 WHIP in four starts this season. Turner has been at his worst at home, going 1-1 with an 8.03 ERA and 1.946 WHIP in three starts.
Miami is 1-12 as a home underdog of +125 to +150 over the last 2 seasons. Washington is 9-1 after scoring 3 runs or less 5 straight games over the last 3 seasons. Detwiler is 8-1 against the money line against division opponents this season. These three trends make for a combined 29-3 (91%) system backing Washington. Bet the Nationals Wednesday.
|08-29-12||New England Patriots -120 v. NY Giants||3-6||Loss||-120||8 h 57 m||Show|
15* Patriots/Giants NFL Preseason BLOWOUT on New England -120
No Write-ups for NFL Preseason.
|08-29-12||Atlanta Braves -124 v. San Diego Padres||2-8||Loss||-124||8 h 39 m||Show|
15* NL Wednesday No-Doubt Rout on Atlanta Braves -124
The Atlanta Braves are showing solid value as a small road favorite over the San Diego Padres tonight. Atlanta has a lot to play for, while San Diego does not. The Padres had their eight-game winning streak come to an end last night, and now their momentum has been stopped.
Tommy Hanson is 12-6 with a 4.40 ERA this season, including 8-3 with a 4.05 ERA on the road. Hanson has never lost to San Diego, going 4-0 with a 2.01 ERA and 1.085 WHIP in five career starts against the Padres.
The Braves are 22-7 in their last 29 vs. a team with a losing record. Atlanta is 17-5 in Hanson's last 22 road starts. The Braves are 4-1 in the last 5 meetings. Roll with Atlanta Wednesday.
|08-28-12||Oakland: T Milone -117 v. Cleveland: Mcallister||Top||7-0||Win||100||8 h 49 m||Show|
20* AL Tuesday No-Doubt Rout on Oakland A's -117
The Oakland A's should be a much heavier favorite tonight in this match-up with the Cleveland Indians. Oakland (70-57) still has a lot to play for, while Cleveland (55-73) does not.
Tom Milone is having a solid season this year for the A's, going 10-9 with a 3.87 ERA and 1.187 WHIP over 24 starts.
Cleveland has clearly packed it in, going 1-11 in its last 12 games, and 5-24 in its last 29 games overall.
The A's are 7-1 in their last 8 vs. a team with a losing record. The Indians are 0-9 in their last 9 vs. American League West. Oakland is 7-1 in its last 8 vs. American League Central. Bet the A's Tuesday.
|08-27-12||Los Angeles: J Beckett -152 v. Colorado: J Francis||Top||0-10||Loss||-152||9 h 55 m||Show|
20* NL Monday No-Doubt Rout on Los Angeles Dodgers -152
The Los Angeles Dodgers bounce back from a loss Sunday and beat the Colorado Rockies in Game 1 of this series Monday. Los Angeles (69-59) still has a lot to play for, while Colorado (51-75) has plenty of reason to pack it in.
I know Josh Beckett hasn't been his old self this season, but a switch to the National League could be just what the doctor ordered. Beckett is 5-1 with a 3.48 ERA in seven career starts against Colorado.
He'll be opposed by Jeff Francis, who is 4-4 with a 5.79 ERA and 1.468 WHIP in 16 starts this season. The left-hander has been at his worst at home, going 2-3 with a 6.99 ERA and 1.527 WHIP while averaging just 4.7 innings/start over eight starts.
The Dodgers are 8-0 in their last 8 road games vs. a left-handed starter. Francis is 5-20 against the money line vs. division opponents over the last 3 seasons. The Rockies are 11-29 in their last 40 games as a home underdog. Colorado is 26-57 in its last 83 vs. a team with a winning record. The Rockies are 0-4 in Francis' last 4 starts vs. Dodgers. Bet Los Angeles Monday.