|Date||Match Up||Rating||Score||Result||Profit||Lead Time||Analysis|
|09-09-18||Cardinals -119 v. Tigers||5-2||Win||100||2 h 36 m||Show|
15* Interleague PLAY OF THE DAY on St. Louis Cardinals -119
The St. Louis Cardinals will be highly motivated for a victory Sunday after getting upset in each of the first two games of this series against the Detroit Tigers. I’m very confident they’ll avoid the sweep today and get a win in Game 3 Sunday.
John Gant has been rock-solid for the Cardinals, going 4-5 with a 3.29 ERA in 15 starts, 1-1 with a 3.11 ERA in seven road starts, and 1-0 with a 0.53 ERA in his last three starts. Michael Fulmer is 3-10 with a 4.57 ERA in 22 starts for the Tigers, including 0-1 with a 5.14 ERA in his last three outings.
The Cardinals are 16-3 following a one-run loss this season. St. Louis is 10-2 in its last 12 road games against a right-handed starter. The Cardinals are 37-16 in their last 53 games after losing the first two games of a series. The Tigers are 6-23 in Fulmer’s last 29 starts, including 1-7 in his last eight home starts. Bet the Cardinals Sunday.
|09-09-18||Jaguars v. Giants +3||Top||20-15||Loss||-100||96 h 28 m||Show|
20* NFL Non-Conference GAME OF THE WEEK on New York Giants +3
I believe the Jacksonville Jaguars come in overrated after making the AFC Championship Game last year. They came out of nowhere to do it. They finished 10-6 in the regular season before barely getting by the Bills and Steelers, and almost upset the Patriots. Now they will be the hunted, not the hunters in 2018. And it’s clearly they are overvalued because they are opening as 3-point road favorites at the Giants.
New York, on the other hand, comes in undervalued off a disastrous 3-13 season. They were hit as hard by injuries as any team in the league last year. And head coach Ben McAdoo was not fit for the job. But this was a team that made the playoffs in 2016, so there is still a ton of talent on this squad. And they got even better in the offseason.
The Giants have improved most in the trenches. They nabbed four new starters along the offensive line, including LT Nate Soldier from the Patriots. They will have a running game now with that improved O-Line and the addition of first-round pick RB Saquon Barkley, who is sure to be a star in the NFL for years to come. Odell Beckham Jr. got his big contract, and now he’s back healthy this season. Eli Manning has everything he needs to succeed.
The Giants had one of the best defenses in the NFL in 2016. But injuries and poor play by the offense had the defense gassed last year. That stop unit should come back energized and get back to being one of the better defenses in the NFL in 2018. I love the addition of LB Alec Ogletree, who will become the QB of the defense after serving the same role with the Rams previously.
There’s no question the Jaguars have one of the best defenses in the NFL. But it’s not complemented well by the offense. Blake Bortles is still one of the worst quarterbacks in the league. And his job got much tougher with the fact that the Jaguars lost last year’s leading receiver Marquise Lee in the preseason to a knee injury. Their third-leading receiver, Allen Hurns, is gone to the Cowboys. And former top receiver Allen Robinson is gone to the Bears. The Jaguars are going to be so predictable on offense this year. Teams will be able to stack eight in the box to stop Leonard Fournette, and that will be the game plan every week.
The home team is a perfect 6-0 straight up in the last six meetings between these teams. Jacksonville is 15-31 ATS in its last 46 non-conference road games. The Jaguars are 7-19 ATS in their last 26 September games. Bet the Giants Sunday.
|09-09-18||Bucs +10 v. Saints||48-40||Win||100||96 h 27 m||Show|
15* NFL Sunday Undervalued Underdog on Tampa Bay Bucs +10
Public perception couldn’t be any worse on the Bucs right now. At the same time, public perception couldn’t be much higher on the New Orleans Saints. So this is essentially the perfect storm here and we’re getting max value on the Bucs as 10-point road underdogs to the Saints in the opener.
The Bucs are coming off a 5-11 season. Jameis Winston has been suspended for the first three games of the season. Not much is expected from the Bucs, who play in a very tough division. But I think they’ve been hearing all offseason about how bad they are going to be. No question them head into Week 1 with a massive chip on their shoulder.
And I actually like the talent on this Bucs’ roster. Their defense had three stars in DT Gerald McCoy and LB’s Lavonte David and Kwon Alexander. They added two productive DE’s in Vinny Curry from the Eagles and Jason Pierre-Paul from the Giants. I expect this to be one of the most improved defenses in the league.
Ryan Fitzpatrick has ample weapons on the outside to be productive, and he’s one of the best backups in the NFL. Mike Evans, DeSean Jackson and the combination of OJ Howard and Cameron Brate at tight end give the Bucs some great receiving options. Peyton Barber came on strong at running back late last year, and they added talented rookie RB Ronald Jones II in the second round. I expect the Bucs to be a lot more competitive than the general public does this season.
The Saints are getting a lot of hype after going 11-5 last year and losing on the Minnesota miracle in the playoffs. Their defense improved greatly last year, but it’s still just a mediocre unit. And the offense is more run-heavy now than it has ever been, but Mark Ingram is out to start the season due to a four-game suspension. No question the Saints will still be good this year and a playoff contender, but I think they are getting way too much respect from the books in Week 1 here. The Saints are 0-4 ATS in their last four Week 1 games. Roll with the Bucs Sunday.
|09-09-18||Texans +7 v. Patriots||20-27||Push||0||96 h 27 m||Show|
15* Texans/Patriots AFC ANNIHILATOR on Houston +7
There is a lot to like about the Houston Texans heading into 2018. For starters, Deshaun Watson is fully healthy now. He was on pace for 43 touchdowns as a rookie before suffering a season-ending knee injury. Watson led an offense that averaged 39 points per game from Week 3 to Week 8 in a five-game span. It’s scary how good this offense was when he was healthy, and when WR Will Fuller was on the field. He had 7 touchdown receptions on 28 grabs last year.
So on offense, they have Watson and Fuller back healthy, and on defense they get their two best players back healthy as well. J.J. Watt and Whitney Mercilus both return. Watt is a three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year. He and Jadeveon Clowney will wreak havoc on opposing offenses. Whitney Mercilus returns from a torn pectoral muscle. Mercilus joins a talented LB group that features leading tackler Benardick McKinney and the versatile Zach Cunningham, who are both coming off productive seasons.
The Patriots are notorious slow starters. We saw them lose 27-42 to the Chiefs at home in Week 1 last year, and in their next home game they barely beat Watson and the Texans 36-33 in Week 3. The Patriots needed a 25-yard touchdown pass with 23 seconds left to escape with victory as 13.5-point favorites.
Tom Brady is a year older, and he just doesn’t have the kind of weapons he used to. His best receiver this year is Chris Hogan (34 receptions, 439 yards, 5 TD Last year). Julian Edelman is serving a four-game suspension, and Danny Amendola left for the Dolphins. Brandon Cooks left for the Rams as well. Outside Rob Gronkowski, this is a very underwhelming receiver group. The offensive line is a question mark with LT Nate Solder leaving in free agency.
New England lost defensive coordinator Matt Patricia, who is now the head coach of the Detroit Lions. And this Patriots’ defense fell apart late last year. They also ranked just 29th in total defense during the regular season, surrendering 366.0 yards per game. Then they gave up 41 points to the Eagles in the Super Bowl and couldn’t stop backup QB Nick Foles, who was dreadful prior to the Super Bowl. There’s more questions than answers surrounding this defense heading into 2018.
The Patriots are 1-4 ATS in their last five Week 1 games. This number is simply too high with the Texans catching a touchdown. I actually think they have the better all-around team this year and will be one of the best teams in the NFL if all of the stars stay healthy that were injured last year. They are at least healthy for Week 1, and that’s the key here. Bet the Texans Sunday.
Note: I recommend buying the Texans to +7
|09-08-18||Fresno State v. Minnesota -1.5||14-21||Win||100||34 h 34 m||Show|
15* CFB Saturday Non-Conference KNOCKOUT on Minnesota -1.5
I’m buying Minnesota being vastly improved this season in Year 2 under P.J. Fleck, who is one of the most underrated head coaches in the country. What he did at Western Michigan two years ago goes without saying. And now he’s trying to rebuild Minnesota football into a Big Ten contender.
Fleck now has more of his players in place after a 5-7 campaign in his first season. He has 14 returning starters to work with. The Gophers can only be better offensively as they return seven starters, their leading rusher, top two receivers and four starters along the offensive line. That makes life on freshman QB Zack Annexstad much easier.
Fleck turned an inexperienced defense that returned just five starters last year into one of the Big Ten’s best units. The Gophers only allowed 22.8 points and 347 yards per game in 2017. Now they return seven starters, led by leading tackler Thomas Barber (115 tackles, 10.5 for loss last year) at linebacker. This is an experienced unit that has nine junior and senior starters. One of the sophomores is Antoine Winfield, who got a medical redshirt and will be one of the best safeties in the Big Ten.
Minnesota was sharp in its 48-10 season-opening victory over New Mexico State as 21.5-point favorites, covering the spread by 16.5 points. Annexstad threw for 220 yards and two touchdowns in his first career start. The Gophers rushed for 300 yards and 6.5 per carry. Winfield made his presence felt with a 76-yard punt return TD that blew the game wide open.
I backed Fresno State several times last season. I saw the improvement coming from Jeff Tedford, the former Cal coach, and he did a remarkable job. The Bulldogs finished 10-4 and lost to Boise State by only a field goal in the Mountain West Championship Game. They went on to beat Houston 33-27 in their bowl game.
Now Fresno State returns 15 starters and is on everyone’s radar. The betting public is quick to back this team, but I think the love for them is too much right now. That’s especially the case off a 79-13 win over FCS bottom feeder Idaho. That game was much closer than the final score as the Bulldogs only outgained them by 181 yards but shockingly won the turnover battle 7-0.
Now Fresno State is basically being asked to go into enemy territory against a quality Big Ten opponent and win the game straight up just to cover. I’m not buying it. I’ll gladly take Minnesota at this price and watch the Golden Gophers steamroll this Group of 5 squad.
Minnesota is 9-1 ATS in its last 10 games after allowing 40 or less rushing yards last game. Fleck is 17-6 ATS in non-conference games as a head coach. Tedford is 10-23 ATS when the line is +3 to -3 in all games as a head coach. Bet Minnesota Saturday.
|09-08-18||Kentucky v. Florida -13.5||27-16||Loss||-107||33 h 24 m||Show|
15* SEC PLAY OF THE DAY on Florida -13.5
Florida should be one of the most improved teams in the country in 2018. The Gators are coming off a 4-7 disaster. They lost their starting RB, top WR and eight other players to suspension prior to the season. None of those suspended players returning. They were also decimated by injuries and had no depth. They were without 28 scholarship players and their head coach by the end of the season.
Now Dan Mullen steps into a great situation. Florida has 19 returning starters and gets some of those suspended players back. Mullen did an underrated job at Mississippi State, taking the Bulldogs to seven bowl games in his nine seasons. He was the perfect hire for Florida and exactly the guy that can get them back into SEC title contention.
Florida owns the longest series win streak in the nation with 31 consecutive wins over Kentucky. That streak was in jeopardy last year as the Gators trailed 24-14, but Felipe Franks took over for an injured Luke Del Rio at that point. Franks led two touchdown drives in the final eight minutes and Kentucky missed a potential game-winning field goal, with the Gators prevailing 28-27.
Last time in Gainesville, Florida rolled Kentucky 45-7. The Gators led 45-0 until garbage time and outgained the Wildcats 564-149. I think we get back to seeing the kind of dominance we expect from Florida in this rivalry in 2018.
Kentucky is just 2-10 in its last 12 SEC road openers. Kentucky lost their left tackle Landon Young in the season opener and don’t have much of a veteran presence this season. The Wildcats are only the 102nd-most experienced team in the country, so this is a young roster. Dan Mullen went 8-1 against Kentucky while at Mississippi State, playing them every year.
Kentucky wasn’t very impressive in its opener, failing to cover as 17.5-point favorites in a 35-20 home win over an inexperienced, rebuilding Central Michigan team. The quarterback play was very shaky as the Wildcats break in a new QB this year. The combo of Terry Wilson and Gunnar Hoak went 15-of-27 passing for just 128 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions in the win. They have more questions than answers heading into Week 2 at QB. Whoever is under center is going to have to make plays with their arm to hang with Florida, and I just don’t think they are capable.
Conversely, Florida handled its business, winning 53-6 as 43-point favorites against Charleston Southern. Franks threw for 219 yards and 5 touchdowns in the win. He suddenly looks like a star in the making as a sophomore. Charleston Southern QB’s went just 5-of-16 passing for 3 yards against Florida.
Kentucky is 2-8 ATS in its last 10 games overall. The Gators are 9-2 ATS in the last 11 meetings. Plays on favorites of 10.5 to 21 points (Florida) - after gaining 6.25 or more yards per play in their previous game, with 9 or more offensive starters returning are 57-25 (69.5%) ATS over the last five seasons. Roll with Florida Saturday.
|09-08-18||Baylor -16 v. UTSA||37-20||Win||100||33 h 55 m||Show|
15* CFB Saturday Big Chalk BLOWOUT on Baylor -16
Baylor should be one of the most improved teams in the country in 2018. Matt Rhule enters his second season and is another year removed from the tumultuous offseason from 2016. Rhule loves a challenge, and I think he starts seeing some of the fruits of his labor in 2018.
Baylor went just 1-11 last season, but took both Oklahoma (41-49) and West Virginia (34-38) to the wire. The Bears were more competitive than their record showed. Now they have a whopping 17 starters and 52 lettermen returning this season, while losing just 15 lettermen. Rhule has cleaned house and now has his players in place moving forward.
Baylor rolled Abilene Christian 55-27 in its opener. The Bears racked up 606 total yards, including 295 rushing and 8.2 per carry. QB Charlie Brewer, who completed 68.4% of his passes with an 11-to-4 TD/INT ratio last season, got banged up in the win. They took him out for precautionary reasons, but he is expected back healthy this week.
UTSA had a solid team the last two years, going 6-7 in 2016 and 6-5 in 2017. But they lose a lot of players from those teams as they have just 10 returning starters this season. They had to replace a ton of seniors from last year and are actually just the 128th-most experienced team in the country this season.
I think we saw that inexperience in the opener. UTSA was blitzed 7-49 by Arizona State. They managed just 220 total yards and committed three turnovers in the loss. And that was an Arizona State team going through change and a new head coach in Herm Edwards. I think Baylor is better than Arizona State this season, and the Bears should be much bigger than 16-point favorites in this matchup.
Plays on road favorites (Baylor) - after gaining 275 or more rushing yards last game against an opponent that was outrushed by 125 or more yards last game are 42-13 (76.4%) ATS over the last five seasons. Rhule is a perfect 7-0 ATS all-time after leading in their previous game by 17 points or more at the half in all games as a head coach. Take Baylor Saturday.
|09-08-18||Cardinals -1.5 v. Tigers||3-4||Loss||-105||7 h 51 m||Show|
15* MLB Saturday PLAY OF THE DAY on St. Louis Cardinals -1.5 (-105)
I expect the Cardinals to win by two runs or more today against the Detroit Tigers. The Cardinals are trying to get a wild card and stay alive in the NL Central. They need wins more than the Tigers do right now, and after an upset loss yesterday to them I expect them to bounce back in a big way.
Jack Flaherty has been the ace of the Cardinals’ staff this season. He is 8-6 with a 2.83 ERA and 1.04 WHIP in 23 starts, including 1-0 with a 1.50 ERA and 0.83 WHIP in his last three starts. Matt Boyd is 9-12 with a 4.24 ERA in 27 starts for the Tigers.
Flaherty has allowed a total of 5 earned runs in 37 innings while going 5-1 with a 1.22 ERA. The Cardinals are 12-3 in their last 15 road games. The Tigers are 20-53 in their last 73 vs. a team with a winning record. Detroit is 1-10 in Boyd’s last 11 starts after scoring 5 runs or more in their previous game. Take the Cardinals on the Run Line.
|09-08-18||Ball State +34.5 v. Notre Dame||Top||16-24||Win||100||30 h 35 m||Show|
25* CFB Non-Conference GAME OF THE YEAR on Ball State +34.5
Ball State has the makings of one of the most improved teams in the country. They went just 2-10 last season with 11 starters back, but now they have 16 starters back in 2018 and should challenge for a bowl game.
The biggest problem for Ball State last year was that QB Riley Neal started the first three games but then was knocked out with a season-ending injury. And the Cardinals opened 2-1 with their only loss coming 21-24 at Illinois as 6-point underdogs. They also lost RB James Gilbert after two games. Well, Neal and Gilbert are both back healthy to guide the offense this season.
Both players were on their game in their season-opening 42-6 victory over Central Connecticut State as 19.5-point favorites, covering by 16.5 points. Neal went 23-of-30 passing for 259 yards and two touchdowns, while also rushing for 37 yards and a score. Gilbert had 100 yards rushing and a touchdown on 14 carries. This is certainly a team to look out for this season.
This is an awful spot for Notre Dame. The Fighting Irish opened the season with arguably their biggest game of the year, and they beat Michigan 24-17. Now they are primed for a letdown the falling week as they will have been patted on the back all week leading up to this game. They won’t have 100% focus for Ball State.
But the Fighting Irish only managed 302 total yards in the win, and their offense is going to hold them back again this year. They don’t have the kind of offense that is built to cover massive numbers like this 34.5-point spread. They are a power-running team that needs to control time of possession because Brandon Wimbush isn’t a very good passer. He only completed 49.5% of his passes last season for 1,870 yards despite making 12 starts. He managed just 12-of-22 completions against Michigan.
The Cardinals are 8-1 ATS in their last nine non-conference games. Ball State is 7-1 ATS in its last eight vs. Independent opponents. The Cardinals are 54-26 ATS in their last 80 road games. The Fighting Irish are 1-4 ATS in their last five vs. a team with a winning record.
Plays on underdogs of 31.5 or more points (Ball State) - after outgunning their opponent by 175 or more total yards in their previous game are 32-7 (82.1%) ATS since 1992. This is way too many points. Bet Ball State Saturday.
|09-08-18||Rutgers +35.5 v. Ohio State||Top||3-52||Loss||-110||29 h 30 m||Show|
20* Big Ten GAME OF THE WEEK on Rutgers +35.5
Rutgers is a team I’m looking to back early and often. In fact, when I did my Top 10 season win total bets, Rutgers OVER 3.5 was high up on my list. I won with them last week as 16-point favorites in a 35-7 win over Texas State. I’m back on them for many of the same reasons this week.
Rutgers went 4-8 last year, but was more competitive and now enters Year 3 under head coach Chris Ash, which is when teams usually make their biggest improvements. The Scarlet Knights return 15 starters this season. They have seven back on offense and will be better, simply because freshman QB Artur Sitkowski is one of the top recruits in the country. He ran away with he job this fall and is one of the better young QB’s that not many folks know about.
The defense improved a ton last year, going from allowing 37.5 points per game in 2016 to 28.3 points per game in 2017. Now the defense returns eight starts and five of the six tacklers. Not only will this be Ash’s best defense yet, it will also be one of the better units in the Big Ten.
Rutgers outgained Texas State 423 to 169, or by 254 total yards. Sitkowski threw for 205 yards and a touchdown, but he was also picked off three times. Now that he has a game under his belt, he should be much more comfortable in Week 2. And the Scarlet Knights ran for 218 yards as a team, led by Boston College transfer Jon Hillman, who had 60 yards and two scores and adds a punch to this rushing attack.
I think Ohio State comes in overvalued off its 77-31 victory over Oregon State as 40-point favorites. Well, Oregon State is the worst team in the Power 5 outside of perhaps Kansas. And they managed to hang 31 points on the Buckeyes. Ohio State isn’t going to score 77 on Rutgers in this one. I’m anticipating Rutgers is good enough to hold the Buckeyes below 50, which will make it very difficult for them to cover this massive 35.5-point spread.
Ohio State is also in a big lookahead spot. The Buckeyes have a huge game at TCU on deck in their biggest non-conference game this season. I think they’ll be more than happy to get a win and pull the starters early in this one. They won’t be looking to run up the score like they were against Oregon State, especially since defensive coordinator Greg Schiano owes Rutgers a big thanks for getting his coaching career kick-started. Schiano and company will call off the dogs if necessary.
Ash is 6-0 ATS off a win as the coach of Rutgers. Urban Meyer teams are 4-12 ATS as a favorite of 31 or more points as the coach of Ohio State. Plays against home favorites of 31.5 or more points (Ohio State) who outgained their opponents by 1.5 or more yards per play, with 5 defensive starters returning are 23-5 (82.1%) ATS since 1992. Plays on underdogs of 31.5 or more points (Rutgers) - after outgaining their last opponent by 175 or more total yards are 32-7 (82.1%) ATS since 1992. Take Rutgers Saturday.
|09-08-18||Arkansas State +36.5 v. Alabama||7-57||Loss||-110||29 h 25 m||Show|
15* CFB Saturday Undervalued Underdog on Arkansas State +36.5
This is a situational play for me. Alabama just doesn’t cover these kinds of game. Since 2011, in their last 13 games as a favorite of at least 28 points against non-conference FBS opponents, Alabama just just 1-10-2 ATS.
I have cashed going against the Crimson Tide several times in this same scenario. I was also against them the one time they actually did cover two years ago as 43-point favorites in a 48-0 win over Kent State. But Kent State had a TD overturned on review late, otherwise they wouldn’t have covered that game, either.
The reason for their struggles in this spot is because they are usually in a letdown situation or a lookahead spot. In this case, it’s a letdown situation after their big win over Louisville last week, and they could be looking ahead to Ole Miss. Plus, Nick Saban just isn’t the type of coach to run it up on an opponent. He shows mercy, unless it’s an SEC rival.
Arkansas State is one of the better Group of 5 programs in the country. The Red Wolves have won five Sun Belt titles in the past seven seasons. They fell just short last year with a 25-32 loss to Troy. In fact, they went 7-5 last year and four of those five losses came by 7 points or fewer. They were in every game they played.
Now the Red Wolves welcome back 12 starters, and they biggest key is that they get their top three playmakers back on offense. Leading rusher Warren Wand and leading receiver Justin Mcinnis both return. But the key is getting senior QB Justice Hansen back. He threw for 3,967 yards and 37 touchdowns last year, while also rushing for 422 yards and seven scores. He will give Alabama some problems.
Arkansas State’s 48-21 win over SE Missouri State last week was a bigger blowout than the final score showed. The Red Wolves outgained them by 400 yards. They racked up 685 yards on offense, including 423 passing yards and six touchdowns from Hansen. They also gave up just 285 yards on defense. But they lost the turnover battle 3-0 to keep the score closer than it was, and gave up a meaningless TD with only 37 seconds left.
Plays on underdogs of 31.5 or more points (Arkansas State) - after outgaining opponent by 175 or more total yards in their previous game are 32-7 (82.1%) ATS since 1992. The Red Wolves are 14-6 ATS in their last 20 vs. a team with a winning record. The Crimson Tide are 0-5 ATS in their last five vs. Sun Belt opponents. Bet Arkansas State Saturday.
|09-08-18||Nevada v. Vanderbilt -8.5||10-41||Win||100||26 h 54 m||Show|
15* CFB Saturday No-Doubt Rout on Vanderbilt -8.5
The Vanderbilt Commodores just get no love every season, especially early in the year. They opened this season as only 3-point favorites over Middle Tennessee. They proceeded to crush the Blue Raiders 35-7, covering the spread by 25 points.
The Commodores held what was supposed to be an explosive MTSU offense to just one touchdown and 294 total yards. Now they’re up against another supposed high-powered Nevada offense, and I expect them to shut them down, too.
I like what Jay Norvell is doing at Nevada, making them a fun program to watch. It’s an offense that put up 28 points per game last season and got better as the season went on. But the defensive deficiencies are still there after allowing 34 points per game and 471 total yards per game last year.
I think Nevada is getting too much credit for its 72-19 shellacking of Portland State last week. Well, Portland State went 0-11 last season and is one of the worst teams in the FCS. Now Nevada will have to go up against SEC talent, and I believe Vanderbilt will have the talent edge at every position on the field.
Nevada is 0-4 against current SEC members all-time. The Wolf Pack are just 1-11 SU in true road games over the last two seasons. Vanderbilt is 15-2 SU when hosting non-conference opponents since 2011, and 10-2 SU when hosting Group of 5 teams since 2008.
Derek Mason is a perfect 6-0 ATS off a game with a turnover margin of +2 or better as the coach of the Commodores. The Wolf Pack are 1-5 ATS in their last six vs. a team with a winning record. Roll with Vanderbilt Saturday.
|09-07-18||TCU -22 v. SMU||Top||42-12||Win||100||12 h 56 m||Show|
20* TCU/SMU ESPN 2 Friday No-Brainer on TCU -22
The TCU Horned Frogs have one of the most underrated programs in the country. Gary Patterson just gets the most out of his players. What the Horned Frogs lack in talent, they make up for in guts and smarts. They have won at least 10 games three of the past four seasons.
The Horned Frogs have a stout defense every year, and that is the case again this season. They have six starters back on D from a unit that gave up just 19.0 points per game last season, which is mighty impressive in the Big 12. They should have the best defense in this conference once again.
I thought Kenny Hill was an erratic quarterback last year and held their offense back. But talented sophomore Shawn Robinson will be the signal caller this season and should be better than Hill was. The leading rusher (Darius Anderson) and leading receiver (Jalen Reagor) are both back this season to help out Robinson.
TCU beat Southern 55-7 in its opener. Robinson threw for 182 yards and three touchdowns, while also rushing for 45 yards and two scores on two carries before giving way to backup quarterbacks. They had 55 points by the end of the 3rd quarter before calling off the dogs.
SMU was a team I was high on under Chad Morris. He did a great job of getting them to a bowl last season and a 7-6 record overall. Now Morris is gone to Arkansas, a much-deserved promotion for him. SMU hired Sonny Dykes in the offseason, and Dykes is a coach I have no problem going against because he simply isn’t that good. He has a career record of 41-46. LA Tech got better once he left, and Cal got better once he left, too.
Dykes was on the sidelines for SMU’s 10-51 loss to Louisiana Tech in the bowl game. And Dykes’ 2018 debut was a rough one as well. SMU lost 23-46 at North Texas, giving up 461 passing yards to the Mean Green. Their offense only managed 256 yards against a terrible North Texas defense, and they were outgained by 273 yards in the game.
That’s a sign of things to come about how much this SMU program has fallen with the loss of Morris and the hiring of Dykes. The thing is Dykes is known for having an offensive mind, and he has a good QB in Ben Hicks back from lsat season. So to only managed 256 yards against that North Texas defense is atrocious. And SMU has never been good defensively as they gave up 36.7 points and 477 yards per game last season. They could be even worse on that side of the ball this year.
I think TCU can name its number on offense, and the defense is going to limit SMU to fewer than 20 points. TCU has really owned SMU, going 5-0 SU & 3-2 ATS in the five meetings over the past five seasons. The Horned Frogs have outscored the Mustangs by an average of 31.2 points per game in those five meetings. I expect them to win by 30-plus in this one as well, and they only need to win by more than 22 to get us a cover. Bet TCU Friday.
|09-07-18||Cardinals -133 v. Tigers||3-5||Loss||-133||7 h 57 m||Show|
15* MLB Friday PLAY OF THE DAY on St. Louis Cardinals -133
I’m shocked the St. Louis Cardinals (78-62) aren’t bigger favorites over the Detroit Tigers today. The Cardinals are right in the thick of the wild card and NL Central races. Games are a lot more important to them than the Tigers, who are 57-83 on the season.
Austin Gomber continues to get no respect from oddsmakers. Gomber is 4-0 with a 2.52 ERA in seven starts this season, and the Cardinals are a perfect 7-0 in his seven starts.
Daniel Norris is 0-2 with a 4.77 ERA in three starts for the Tigers. He is only averaging 3.8 innings per start. He just recently joined the rotation again after starting the season in the rotation. He pitched 4 1/3 innings in a loss to the Yankees on September 1st.
The Cardinals are 14-3 in their last 17 road games. St. Louis is 13-3 in its last 16 games vs. a left-handed starter. The Tigers are 19-53 in their last 72 vs. a team with a winning record. Detroit is 1-7 in Norris’ last eight starts, including 0-4 in his last four home starts. Take the Cardinals Friday.
|09-06-18||Falcons +2 v. Eagles||12-18||Loss||-110||32 h 48 m||Show|
15* Falcons/Eagles 2018 NFL Season Opener on Atlanta +2
The Philadelphia Eagles had a remarkable run to the Super Bowl with their backup quarterback. But now it’s time for the Super Bowl hangover in 2018, and I’m predicting it starts in Week 1 with a loss to the Atlanta Falcons in a playoff rematch from Philly’s 15-10 victory in January.
The Eagles stunk up the preseason (0-4), especially Nick Foles, so their hangover has already started. They lost all four preseason games by double-digits, and their offense was particularly bad, averaging just 6.8 points per game.
Now Foles will have to start again in the opener because Carson Wentz isn’t quite ready to go. And he’ll be without his top receiver in Alshon Jeffery, who is still recovering from offseason shoulder surgery. There’s just not a lot to like about this offense to start the season.
The Eagles were able to get by due to a great defense that gave up just 18.2 points per game last season. But that defense won’t be nearly as good in 2018. They lost DE Vinny Curry, LB Mychal Kendrick and CB Patrick Robinson in the offseason. And now they are without DT Timmy Jernigan (back) and LB Nigel Bradham (suspension) in Week 1.
Many overlooked the Falcons last season, but they still went 10-6 and had another great shot at getting back to the Super Bowl before that 5-point loss to the Eagles in the NFC Divisional Round. Now they have basically their entire team back and will be ready for another Super Bowl Run in 2018.
The offense is loaded with weapons for Matt Ryan this season. The usuals are back in Julio Jones, Mohamed Sanu and the 1-2 punch of Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman in the backfield. But they used an early draft pick on WR Calvin Ridley, who may turn out to be the best receiver in the draft. This will help take some pressure away from Jones in the passing game and open it up more for both he and Sanu.
What got overlooked was the improvement of the Falcons’ defense last season. They only surrendered 19.1 points per game in their 18 games including playoffs. They finished in the Top 10 in scoring defense and total defense last year. The only significant loss was DT Dontari Poe. They have 10 starters back on D and will have one of the best stop units in the league once again.
Plus, the Falcons are fully healthy entering 2018 because they basically rested their starters the entire preseason. They should come out guns-a-blazing in Week 1, while the Eagles are behind the eight ball due to all their injuries and suspensions. Atlanta is 7-1 ATS in its last eight Thursday games. Bet the Falcons Thursday.
|09-06-18||Cubs v. Nationals UNDER 8.5||Top||6-4||Loss||-103||9 h 36 m||Show|
20* MLB TOTAL OF THE WEEK on Cubs/Nationals UNDER 8.5
Two great starters go head-to-head tonight when the Cubs visit the Nationals for Game 1 of this series in Washington. I expect a pitcher’s duel between Kyle Hendricks and Stephen Strasburg in this one.
Hendricks is 11-10 with a 3.77 ERA and 1.208 WHIP in 28 starts this season, including 2-1 with a 1.35 ERA and 1.100 WHIP in his last three starts. Hendricks is also 3-2 with a 2.85 ERA and 1.183 WHIP in eight career starts against Washington.
Strasburg hasn’t had his best season, but he has battled injury, so he can be excused. He is 7-7 with a 4.09 ERA and 1.194 WHIP in 17 starts this year. Strasburg has owned the Cubs, going 2-2 with a 1.48 ERA and 0.884 WHIP in seven career starts against them.
The UNDER is 36-16 in Hendricks’ last 52 starts overall. The UNDER is 7-1 in Hendricks’ last eight starts vs. a team with a losing record. The UNDER is 9-2 in Cubs last 11 games after scoring 5 runs or more in their previous game. The UNDER is 5-1 in Hendricks’ last six starts vs. Nationals. Bet the UNDER in this game Thursday.
|09-05-18||Rays -128 v. Blue Jays||Top||3-10||Loss||-128||8 h 3 m||Show|
20* MLB Wednesday No-Doubt Rout on Tampa Bay Rays -128
The Tampa Bay Rays have won four in a row and 13 of their past 15 games overall to get to a season-best 12 games above .500. They continue to play to win, while the Toronto Blue Jays seem content on just playing out the string with a 2-7 record in their last nine games.
Tyler Glasnow was the prize in the Chris Archer trade. He has performed well, posting a 3.23 ERA and 0.848 WHIP in six starts this season, including a 2.89 ERA and 0.696 WHIP in three road starts. Glasnow faced the Blue Jays on August 12th, giving up just one earned run and four base runners in 5 innings for a 1.80 ERA.
Aaron Sanchez has had a rough go of it this season due to injury. He is 3-5 with a 5.22 ERA and 1.614 WHIP in 17 starts. In two starts since returning from a two-month stint on the disabled list, Sanchez has given up 11 earned runs and 23 base runners in 8 1/3 innings for an 11.88 ERA. Those two starts came against the light-hitting Marlins and Phillies.
The Rays are 22-7 in their last 29 during Game 3 of a series. Tampa Bay is 6-0 in its last six vs. AL East opponents. The Blue Jays are 0-5 in their last five vs. AL East foes. The Rays are 7-1 in the last eight meetings in this series. Bet the Rays Wednesday.
|09-04-18||Mets v. Dodgers -1.5||Top||4-11||Win||100||10 h 55 m||Show|
20* MLB Run Line GAME OF THE WEEK on Los Angeles Dodgers -1.5 (-110)
I expect the Los Angeles Dodgers to win by multiple runs over the New York Mets tonight. The Dodgers are 8-2 in their last 10 games overall. But they are coming off a loss to Jacob DeGrom and the Mets last night, so look for them to bounce back with a victory in Game 2 thanks to their big advantage on the mound.
Rich Hill is 6-5 with a 3.63 ERA and 1.210 WHIP in 19 starts this season. He’ll be opposed by Jason Vargas, who is 5-8 with a 6.56 ERA and 1.572 WHIP in 16 starts this season, including 3-4 with a 7.37 ERA and 1.659 WHIP in 10 road starts.
The Mets are 5-12 in Vargas’ last 17 starts. New York is 3-8 in Vargas’ last 11 road starts. The Dodgers are 60-29 in their last 89 vs. NL East opponents. Los Angeles is 66-31 in its last 97 games vs. a left-handed starter. The Dodgers are 77-30 in their last 107 home games vs. a team with a losing record. Los Angeles is 14-3 in its last 17 meetings with New York. Bet the Dodgers on the Run Line Tuesday.
|09-03-18||Virginia Tech v. Florida State OVER 54.5||24-3||Loss||-110||106 h 4 m||Show|
15* VA Tech/FSU ESPN Monday Total DOMINATOR on OVER 54.5
Willie Taggart steps into a great situation at Florida State, especially from an offensive perspective. He is known for coaching up high-octane offenses, and he will love the talent he has to work with here. Florida State returns 8 starters on offense, including QB Deondre Francois, who was lost to a season-ending injury in the opener against Alabama last year. That injury derailed their season.
Francois has the luxury of having each of his top two rushers back, including the electric Came Akers, who rushed for 1,024 yards and seven touchdowns last year as a freshman. He also had leading receiver Nyqwan Murray back, along with four starters and 90 career starts on the offensive line. This should be one of the best offenses in the country.
The problem for the Seminoles this year is going to be defense. They go from having 9 returning starters on D last year to only 4 returning starters this year. They lost six of their top seven tacklers. This unit is certainly going to be a mystery, and I’m banking on this being one of the worse defenses in recent memory at FSU.
VA Tech coach Justin Fuente earned his stripes at Memphis for what he did on the offensive side of the football. And he’s doing it again at Virginia Tech. The Hokies averaged 35.0 points per game in his first season in 2016. They did slip to 28.2 points per game last year, but they only had 5 returning starters and were breaking in a freshman quarterback. Now the Hokies have 7 returning starters on offense, including QB Josh Jackson, who is now a sophomore. He completed 60% of his passes for 2,991 yards and a 20-to-9 TD/INT ratio, while also rushing for 324 yards and 6 scores as a freshman. He should take this offense to new heights this year.
Like Florida State, VA Tech’s biggest questions coming into the season are on the defensive side of the football. The Hokies return just 5 starters on defense and lose several players to the NFL. Gone to the NFL are CB Greg Stroman, LB Tremaine Edmunds, and DT Tim Settle. This is going to be one of the youngest defenses in the country. Bud Foster will have to work his magic on this group. They won’t come close to matching last year’s impressive numbers.
Taggart is 19-7 OVER as a home favorite in all games he has coached. The OVER is 5-0 in the last five meetings in this series. Bet the OVER in this game Monday.
|09-03-18||Cubs -118 v. Brewers||Top||3-4||Loss||-118||2 h 3 m||Show|
20* Cubs/Brewers NL Central No-Brainer on Chicago -118
The Chicago Cubs have won 12 of their last 17 and are playing great baseball here down the stretch. I trust them more than the Milwaukee Brewers at this point to win these big games, and I certainly believe they have the advantage on the mound today.
Cole Hamels is 4-0 with a 0.96 ERA in his six starts since being traded to Chicago while allowing just 3 earned runs in 39 innings. The change of scenery and the insertion into a pennant race has certainly rejuvenated Hamels. The left-hander is 8-3 with a 3.35 ERA and 1.078 WHIP in 15 career starts against Milwaukee.
Zach Davies is sure to be rusty. It will be his first start since May 29th, when a shoulder injury landed him on the disabled list for the second time this season. He is 2-5 with a 5.23 ERA and 1.442 WHIP in eight starts for the Brewers this year.
The Cubs are 10-2 in their last 12 games overall. Chicago is a perfect 6-0 in Hamels’ six starts this season. The Cubs are 39-15 in their last 54 games vs. a starter with a WHIP greater than 1.30. The Brewers are 2-9 in Davies’ last 11 home starts vs. a team with a winning record. Milwaukee is 0-5 in Davies’ last five starts vs. a team with a winning record. The Brewers are 0-5 in Daves’ last five home starts vs. Chicago. Bet the Cubs Monday.
|09-02-18||Miami-FL v. LSU UNDER 47||Top||17-33||Loss||-110||81 h 29 m||Show|
20* Miami/LSU ABC Sunday No-Brainer on UNDER 47
The Miami Hurricanes take on the LSU Tigers on Sunday in one of the most anticipated Week 1 games on the board. They will meet in Arlington, and I’m expecting a defensive battle in this one between two teams whose strengths are their defenses.
Miami gave up 18.5 points per game in 2016 and 21.0 points per game last season. Those were Mark Richt’s first two years on the job. Now they have 7 starters and each of their top 5 tacklers back from last year’s squad, making this likely Richt’s best defense yet.
Inconsistent quarterback play held Miami back down the stretch last season. Malik Rosier threw for 3,120 yards and 26 touchdowns, but he also threw 14 interceptions and completed just 54% of his passes. And now he’ll be without each of his top two receivers from last year in Braxton Berrios and Christopher Herndon.
Ed Oregon is on the hotseat already at LSU because he still hasn’t developed an offense. That was especially the case last year when the Tigers went up against some similar defenses to Miami. They managed beat Florida 17-16, lost to Alabama 10-24, and lost to Notre Dame 17-21. As you can see, their defense played well enough to win those games, but their offense didn’t get the job done.
Now LSU has just 5 returning starters on offense. They lose QB Danny Etling, who had a 16-to-2 TD/INT ratio, so he will be tougher to replace than most expect. The new QB is Joe Burrow. Derrius Guide and Darrell Williams, who combined for over 2,000 rushing yards and 20 touchdowns last year, have departed. And each of the top three pass catchers from last year are gone. This offense is going to struggle again.
But you can count on LSU to have a great defense, which they have for over a decade and that has been the case again with Orgeron running the show and defensive coordinator Dave Aranda calling the shots. LSU gave up just 15.8 points per game in 2016 and 18.9 points per game in 2017. While they only have 5 starters back this season, that happens almost every year as they had just 5 starters back on D last season as well. They do have three of their top four tacklers back, including the best LB in the country in Devin White (133 tackles, 14 for loss last year). This will be one of the best stop units in the country.
Orgeron is 34-18 UNDER in all games he has been a head coach. The UNDER is 9-2 in Hurricanes last 11 games overall. The UNDER is 20-8-2 in Tigers last 30 games overall. The UNDER is 6-0 in Hurricanes last six neutral site games. The UNDER is 4-0 in Tigers last four neutral site games. Bet the UNDER in this game Sunday.
|09-02-18||Rockies -139 v. Padres||7-3||Win||100||5 h 44 m||Show|
15* MLB Sunday PLAY OF THE DAY on Colorado Rockies -139
I’m backing the Colorado Rockies again Sunday. They are in the middle of a pennant race and cannot afford to lose this series to the Padres. Down 2-1 in the series, I’m banking on them getting a split here in Game 4 thanks to their huge advantage on the mound today.
Kyle Freeland has been remarkable for the Rockies this season. He is 12-7 with a 2.90 ERA in 27 starts, including 2-0 with a 1.96 ERA in his last three starts. Having a sub-3.00 ERA when making half your starts at Coors Field is nearly impossible these days. In his last two starts against the Padres in 2018, Freeland has allowed just 2 earned runs in 13 1/3 innings for a 1.35 ERA.
Jacob Nix is 2-2 with a 4.05 ERA and 1.350 WHIP in four starts for the Padres this season. One of those starts came against the Rockies on August 22nd as Nix allowed 3 earned runs in 5 innings to take the loss in a 2-6 defeat.
Freeland is 10-1 (+10.7 units) against the money line vs. teams whose hitters strike out 7 or more times per game in the second half of the season this season. San Diego is 1-12 in home games off a loss by 2 runs or less this season. Colorado is 7-0 after batting .175 or worse over a 3-game span this season. Take the Rockies Sunday.
|09-01-18||Rockies -137 v. Padres||4-2||Win||100||12 h 42 m||Show|
15* MLB Saturday PLAY OF THE DAY on Colorado Rockies -137
The Colorado Rockies will be highly motivated for a victory today against the San Diego Padres. They have lost the first two games of this series and will want to avoid dropping three in a row, especially in the middle of a pennant race.
Jon Gray has been superb. He was 4-0 with a 3.02 ERA in nine starts and the Rockies won all nine of those starts before a 10-7 loss to the Angels. But Gray was good in that game outside of 2 homers. He gave up just 7 hits without a walk in 6 2/3 innings. Gray is 7-3 with a 2.67 ERA and 0.961 WHIP in 14 career starts against San Diego.
Robbie Erlin is 2-3 with a 6.06 ERA and 1.469 WHIP in seven starts for the Padres this season. Erlin is 2-2 with a 7.89 ERA and 1.800 WHIP in five career starts against Colorado as well. It’s clear the Rockies have a huge advantage on the mound in this one.
Colorado is 0-15 with runners in scoring position in the first two games of this series. That trend can’t continue. The Rockies are 6-0 after batting .175 or worse over a 3-game span this season. Roll with the Rockies Saturday.
|09-01-18||Marshall v. Miami-OH +2.5||35-28||Loss||-100||74 h 41 m||Show|
15* CFB Saturday UPSET SHOCKER on Miami Ohio +2.5
Miami Ohio remarkably opened 0-6 in 2016 and finished 6-0 to make a bowl game, where they would lose by a single points 16-17 to Mississippi State as 14-point underdogs. Many expected them to be real good last year because they had 17 returning starters. But the Redhawks lost QB Gus Ragland for three games, and they lost two starting offensively linemen for the first four games. Miami suffered four losses by 5 points or less to finish 5-7 in 2017.
Now, the Redhawks have 16 returning starters and will be one of the most improved teams in the country. Miami Ohio is expected to have 15 senior starters among the 22 on offense and defense. This is a team I’m going to be looking to back early and often.
Offensively, the Redhawks have eight returning starters, including QB Gus Ragland, who had a 39-to-8 TD/INT ratio in three years with the program. He has stud receiver James Gardner (47 receptions, 927 yards, 11 TD) back as his disposal. Each of the top two rushers are back from last year. They have seven offensive linemen with starting experience and 100 career starts back.
Defensively, the Redhawks have eight returning starters from a unit that gave up just 24.1 points per game last season. This will be one of the best units in the MAC this season.
Marshall made a big jump last year from 3-9 in 2016 to 8-5 in 2017. And now they have 18 returning starters, so they will be pretty good again. But they lose their most important player in QB Chase Litton, who threw for 3,115 yards and 25 touchdowns a year ago. Their defense will be good again, but their offense only managed 26.7 points per game last year even with good QB play, and they likely won’t get the kind of production they had from Litton last year.
Marshall still hasn’t announced its starting QB yet and likely won’t until gamely. Alex Thomson is likely the new QB, and the grad transfer from Wagner has made 20 starts in his career, but he has completed just 55% of his passes. It will either be Thomson or redshirt freshman Isaiah Green, and whoever starts will be making their first start at the FBS level.
What really stood out to me about this game is that this is a rematch from last year. Marshall beat Miami Ohio 31-26 as 3.5-point home underdogs. But that final score doesn’t even tell half the story. Miami outgained Marshall 429 to 267 for the game, or by 162 total yards. Marshall got three non-offensive touchdowns in the game with a 99-yard KO return, a 97-yard kickoff return and a 72-yard interception return. It’s amazing Miami only lost by 5.
Now the Redhawks will be out for revenge and get the Thundering Herd at home this time around. They are fully healthy coming into this matchup and should get the job done. The home team is a perfect 6-0 ATS in the last six meetings. Take Miami Ohio Saturday.
|09-01-18||North Carolina v. California -7||Top||17-24||Push||0||72 h 12 m||Show|
25* CFB Week 1 GAME OF THE YEAR on California -7
Justin Wilcox did a good job in his first season at Cal head coach last year. The Golden Bears went just 5-7, but they had three losses by a combined 7 points. This was an inexperienced team last year, but that won’t be the case in 2018.
The Golden Bears return 18 starters this season and go from being #110 in experience last year all the way up to #18 this year. They also faced the 2nd-toughest schedule in the country last year, and this year they only face the 49th toughest. This could be one of the most improved teams in the land.
The offense returns 10 starters after having just 5 starters back on offense last year. Junior QB Ross Bowers is back after throwing for 3,039 yards and 18 touchdowns a year ago. Leading rusher Patrick Laird (1,127 yards, 8 TD, 5.9/carry) and each of the top two receivers in Vic Wharton and Kanawai Noa (123 receptions, 1,659 yards, 9 TD between them) are back. All five starters and seven who have started return along the offensive line.
Wilcox is known for defense, and he improved this group dramatically last year. Cal gave up 42.6 points and 518 yards per game in 2016, but those numbers dropped to 28.4 points and 430 yards per game in 2017 under Wilcox. Now he has 8 starts back on defense and the numbers should improve once again.
UNC is an absolute mess right now. The Tar Heels are coming off a 3-9 season and return a modest 13 starters this year. Their three wins last year came against Old Dominion, Western Carolina and Pitt. While they can’t be any worse, they aren’t going to be much better, either.
That’s because they had 13 players suspended for at least one game and as many as four games for selling team-issued shoes. Nine of the 13 suspended players will miss the first four games, the most notable being QB Chazz Surratt, the team leader last season in passing yards, yards per attempt and completion percentage.
Not to mention, projected starting RB Michael Carter (558 yards, 8 TD, 5.8 YPC LY) is out until late September with a wrist injury. Starting DT Aaron Crawford (29 tackles, 3 sacks LY) is out with a knee injury. The Tar Heels are going to be short-handed for the opener and for the first month of the season for that matter. Cal went on the road and beat UNC 35-30 in the opener last season. Now they get the Tar Heels at home this time around and the Golden Bears are vastly improved.
This is the longest road trip (2,800 miles) in school history for the Tar Heels. California is 5-0 ATS in its last five home games. The Golden Bears are 5-1 ATS in their last six games overall. North Carolina is 1-5 ATS in its last six September games. Bet California Saturday.
|09-01-18||Appalachian State +24 v. Penn State||38-45||Win||100||72 h 1 m||Show|
15* CFB Saturday Undervalued Underdog on Appalachian State +24
The Appalachian State Mountaineers have cemented themselves as one of the better Group of 5 teams in the country over the past decade. It all started when they upset Michigan in the Big House back in 2007. But they have since taken some other Power 5 teams right down to the wire.
The Mountaineers won 11 games in 2015, 10 games in 2016 and 9 games in 2017. They have won at least 10 games five times over the past decade. They only lost 13-20 as 20-point underdogs in Week 1 against Tennessee two years ago. They lost 10-31 at Georgia in the opener last year, and we all know how good Georgia turned out to be. They also lost 19-20 as 5-point home dogs to an 8-win Wake Forest team last year.
I was impressed with the way the Mountaineers finished the season last year. They won their final four games by 21, 21, 49 and 34 points, including their 34-0 beat down of Toledo in the Dollar General Bowl. That gives them a ton of momentum heading into 2018.
Appalachian State returns only 11 starters but 59 lettermen, so while they may be a little young, they have plenty of depth. The loss of four-year starting QB Taylor Lamb is tough, but sophomore Zac Thomas is ready to be the next great QB here. Reports are he’s actually a better runner and has a better arm than Lamb did, so the future is bright for him.
The good news for Thomas is that he’ll be able to lean on an offensive line that returns five players with starting experience, including 1st-Team All-Sun Belt LT Victor Johnson. And they’ll be blocking for the best RB in the Sun Belt in Jalin Moore, who has delivered back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons.
The bread and butter of the Mountaineers has been defense under head coach Scott Satterfield. They allowed just 19.1 points per game in 2015, 17.8 in 2016 and 20.2 in 2017. They return 14 of their top 20 tacklers from a year ago and should be good again. It’s this defense that will give them a chance to hang with Penn State Saturday.
I think the Nittany Lions are one of the most overrated teams in the country heading into 2018. They shocked everyone by winning 11 game each of the last two seasons, but now they lose a ton of talent from those two teams. The Nittany Lions have just 10 returning starters in 2018.
While they have seven starters back on offense, including QB Trace McSorley, they lose their top three playmakers in RB Saquon Barkley (1,903 scrimmage yards, 21 total TD LY), WR DaeSean Hamilton (857 yards, 9 TD LY) and TE Mike Gesicki (57 receptions, 563 yards, 9 TD LY). That trio is simply irreplaceable.
The losses are just as big on defense as the Nittany Lions return only 3 starters this year. They lost seven of their top eight tacklers from a year ago, so it will basically be all new faces for them on this side of the ball. There’s no way they even come close to last year’s 16.5 points per game allowed. They gave up 25.4 points per game in 2016 and will likely be closer to that number this year.
Penn State opens the 2018 season with expectations it simply cannot live up to from a point spread perspective. They should not be 24-point favorites over pesky Appalachian State in the opener. The Mountaineers are 4-0 ATS in their last four games overall. Roll with Appalachian State Saturday.
|09-01-18||Texas State v. Rutgers -16||Top||7-35||Win||100||68 h 22 m||Show|
20* CFB Saturday No-Doubt Rout on Rutgers -16
Rutgers is a team I’ll be looking to back early and often. In fact, when I did my Top 10 season win total bets, the Rutgers Over 3.5 made my list. It’s a team that went 4-8 last year and now enters year 3 under head coach Chris Ash, which is when teams usually make their biggest improvements.
The Scarlet Knights return 15 starters this season. Freshman QB Artur Sitkowski is one of the top recruits in the country, and he ran away with the job in fall camp and has been named the starter. He is a big reason why I’m so high on this team because he has all the tools to be one of the better quarterbacks in the country that most don’t know much about.
The offense has seven starters back and can only improve after averaging just 18 points per game a year ago. They brought in a new coordinator in John McNulty, who has spent the past nine years in the NFL with four teams, and he was the former offensive coordinator at Rutgers from 2004-2008. There is a lot of talent at receiver, three starters return on the offensive line that allowed just 18 sacks last year, and Jon Hillman is a grad transfer from Boston College at running back who should inject life into the running game.
The defense improved a ton last year, going from allowing 37.5 points per game in 2016 to 28.3 points per game in 2017. Now that unit returns eight starters and five of the top six tacklers. This will be one of the most underrated stop units in the Big Ten this season.
Texas State was one of the worst teams in the country last season. The Bobcats went just 2-10 and were outscored by an average of 16.3 points per game on the season. Their two wins came against Houston Baptist and Coastal Carolina, an FCS team and a team that was in their first season at the FBS level.
The Bobcats do have 14 starters back this year, but they won’t be any good. They lose their starting QB in Damian Williams and their most explosive playmakers in WR Elijah King (750 yards, 3 TD). Sophomore Willie Lee Jones is expected to step in at QB, but he completed just 48.6% of his 37 attempts last year in the backup role.
Texas State is expected to be the worst team in the Sun Belt, which is the worst conference in the country. The Scarlet Knights from the Big Ten should have no problem waxing them by 17-plus points to get the win and cover in this one. Take Rutgers Saturday.
|09-01-18||Costal Carolina +29.5 v. South Carolina||15-49||Loss||-106||68 h 11 m||Show|
15* CFB Saturday Line Mistake on Coastal Carolina +29.5
The Coastal Carolina Chanticleers will be playing their first season as an official FBS member after dominating in FCS over the past five years. They won 12, 12, 9 and 10 games from 2013-2016. Last year they played a schedule that featured 11 FBS teams to get them prepared for this season.
They went just 3-9 last year, but there were some highlights, and evidence that they were better than their record would suggest. They went 1-5 in games decided by 8 points or less. But they won their final two games against Idaho and Georgia Southern outright as underdogs to give them some momentum heading into 2018.
Now they have 12 returning starters after having just 9 back last year. And one huge factor is that head coach Joe Moglia, the former FCS Coach of the Year, missed the entire season last year with a lung infection. He’s back healthy now and will be on the sidelines coaching this team up.
Perhaps Coastal Carolina’s most impressive effort last season was in a loss. The Chanticleers went on the road as 23-point underdogs and nearly upset SEC foe Arkansas 38-39. That effort showed that they could play with the big boys, which is a big reason why I think they can hang with South Carolina, or at least stay within this 29.5-point spread.
South Carolina overachieved last year by going 9-4. They were opposite of Coastal Carolina in terms of luck in close games. The Gamecocks went 6-1 in games decided by 8 points or less. They didn’t beat anyone by more than 26 points. They only beat Wofford 31-10 as 27-point home favorites, and they only beat Louisiana Tech 17-16 as 9-point home favorites.
So now expectations are high for the Gamecocks heading into 2018 when they really shouldn’t be because they simply were lucky in close games last year and were really closer to a 6-7 or 7-6 team rather than a 9-4 one. They do have 14 starters back and return some key playmakers, but they should not be 29.5-point favorites here in the opener.
That’s especially the case when you consider South Carolina won’t be able to help but overlook Coastal Carolina. They have their ‘game of the year’ on deck next week hosting Georgia. They will want to make sure that everyone is healthy for that game, which means they will likely pull the starters or limit their snaps at the first opportunity they get. They are just looking to win this game, not win it by margin. Bet Coastal Carolina Saturday.
|08-31-18||Rockies -120 v. Padres||0-7||Loss||-120||11 h 24 m||Show|
15* MLB Friday Late-Night BAILOUT on Colorado Rockies -120
After a tough 3-2 loss in extra innings last night, I look for the Rockies to bounce back with the victory over the San Diego Padres Friday in Game 2 of this series. They’re in the middle of a pennant race and are certainly the more motivated team in this matchup.
Antonio Senzatela is 2-3 with a 4.81 ERA and 1.322 WHIP in seven starts for the Rockies this season. While not great, he is still clearly the better starter here. And Senzatela has never lost to the Padres, going 3-0 with a 3.50 ERA and 1.111 WHIP in three career starts against them.
Brett Kennedy is getting a chance to start here down the stretch for the Padres. It hasn’t gone well for him at all. Kennedy is 0-2 with a 7.58 ERA and 1.949 WHIP in four starts this season, giving up 16 earned runs and 6 homers in 19 innings.
San Diego is 3-15 off three or more consecutive wins over the last two seasons. The Rockies are 14-3 in their last 17 during Game 2 of a series. Colorado is 5-1 in its last six games following a loss. The Rockies are 8-2 in Senzatela’s last 10 starts vs. NL West opponents. The Padres are 0-4 in Kennedy’s last four starts. San Diego is 19-45 in its last 64 games overall, including 8-22 in its last 30 home games. Roll with the Rockies Friday.
|08-31-18||Colorado State v. Colorado -7.5||Top||13-45||Win||100||84 h 50 m||Show|
20* Colorado State/Colorado CFB Late-Night BAILOUT on Colorado -7.5
The Colorado Buffaloes won the Pac-12 South in 2016 despite being picked by most outlets to finish last. Head coach Mike MacIntyre always gets the most out of his teams. They were due for some regression last year, and they did at 5-7, but still came within one win of making a bowl but lost their final three games. They had just 12 returning starters last year, including only 3 on defense.
I realize they only have 10 returning starters in 2018, but this is actually a better team than the ’17 version. I love the offense led by Steven Montez, a junior who threw for 2,975 yards and 18 touchdowns with nine interceptions, while also rushing for 338 yards and three scores. The offense boasts nine junior and senior starters and will be better than what you would expect for having just four returning starters.
Improvement will come from a defense that returns six starters, including each of the top three tacklers from a year ago. This unit slipped big-time last year going from nine returning starters in ’16 to just three in ’17. But they still only allowing 28.2 points per game, a respectable number considering all they had to replace. This should now be one of the better stop units in the Pac-12 again.
Colorado State is one of the single-least experienced team in FBS, ranking #130 in terms of returning experience. They have just nine starters and 39 lettermen returning. They lost QB Nick Stevens (3,799 yards, 29 TD), leading rusher Dalyn Dawkins (1,399 yards, 8 TD) and leading receiver Michael Gallup (100 receptions, 1,413 yards, 7 TD) on offense. Defensively, they have just five starters back.
I think you saw everything you needed to know about how bad Colorado State is going to be this season in their opener against Hawaii on Saturday. They were favored by 17 over a Hawaii team that brought back just 9 starters this season. They trailed 37-7 as their offense couldn’t get anything going against an awful Hawaii defense. And by the time they did get their offense going, it was too late as they lost 34-43. Their defense gave up 617 total yards to the Warriors.
Colorado is 8-2 in its last 10 meetings with Colorado State in Denver. Those eight wins have come by an average of 16 points per game. The Rams were better the last two seasons than they will be this season, yet the Buffaloes crushed them 44-7 in 2016 and 17-3 in 2017.
Colorado State is at a disadvantage here having to play on a short week after facing Hawaii on Saturday, Meanwhile, the Buffaloes had all offseason to prepare for this one, and now have some actual game film to do so all week. The Rams are 0-8 ATS in their last eight games overall. Colorado State is 0-6-1 ATS in its last seven neutral site games. Bet Colorado Friday.
|08-31-18||Utah State v. Michigan State UNDER 51.5||31-38||Loss||-107||81 h 25 m||Show|
15* CFB Friday Total DOMINATOR on Utah State/Michigan State UNDER 51.5
I expect a defensive battle tonight between Utah State and Michigan State in the season opener for both teams. Both squads have experienced defenses returning, which will be the strength of both teams in 2018.
Michigan State went 10-3 last year despite averaging just 24.5 points per game. That’s because they won a lot of close games and their defense was tremendous, giving up just 20.0 points and 298 yards per game despite having just four starters back on D last year. Now the Spartans have 9 starters and 10 of their top 11 tacklers back on defense and will have one of the best stop units in the country.
Utah State gave up 26.9 points per game last season with just 5 starters back on defense. Now they have 9 starters and 19 of their top 21 tacklers back on defense and will have one of the best stop units in the Mountain West. This should be one of Matt Wells’ best defenses yet as he enters his 6th season wit the Aggies. In his first three years, they surrendered just 339.6 yards per game. It’s the most returning experience he’s had on any defense yet.
Utah State’s offense isn’t anything special, either. The Aggies played two Power 5 teams last year and managed just 10 points against Wisconsin and 10 points against Wake Forest. Both teams have a lot of experience returning on offense as well, but that’s not necessarily a good thing considering both offenses were sub-par a year ago.
Plays on the UNDER on all teams where the total is between 49.5 and 56 in a game that features both teams having 8 or more defensive starters returning, in the first month of the season are 42-12 (77.8%) over the last five seasons. Michigan State is 9-1 to the UNDER as a home favorite over the last three seasons. Take the UNDER in this game Friday.
|08-30-18||Rockies -140 v. Padres||Top||2-3||Loss||-140||11 h 59 m||Show|
20* MLB Thursday No-Doubt Rout on Colorado Rockies -140
The Colorado Rockies are trying to keep pace with the Diamondbacks and Dodgers in the NL West. They are 0.5 games behind the Diamondbacks and 0.5 games ahead of the Dodgers. They need wins right now, and this four-game series against the Padres is a great opportunity for them.
German Marquez has been at his best on the road this season. He is 7-3 with a 3.00 ERA and 1.000 WHIP in 13 road starts. Marquez has allowed 2 earned runs or fewer in eight of his last 10 starts coming in. He is 6-1 with a 3.02 ERA in his last 10 starts, giving up 19 earned runs in 56 2/3 innings with 76 K’s. Marquez is 2-1 with a 3.20 ERA in his last four starts against the Padres.
Eric Lauer is one of the worst starters in baseball. He is 5-7 with a 5.30 ERA and 1.708 WHIP in 18 starts this season while averaging just 4.8 innings per start. He is 0-2 with an 11.45 ERA and 2.182 WHIP in his last three starts. Lauer is 0-1 with an 18.00 ERA and 3.333 WHIP in one career start against Colorado, giving up 6 earned runs and 10 base runners in 3 innings of an 8-0 loss to them back on April 24th.
Colorado is 9-2 in its last 11 games vs. a left-handed starter. The Rockies are 8-2 in Marquez’s last 10 starts, including 5-1 in his last six road starts. The Padres are 18-45 in their last 63 games overall. San Diego is 1-7 in Lauer’s last eight starts during game 1 of a series. Bet the Rockies Thursday.
|08-30-18||Wake Forest -6.5 v. Tulane||Top||23-17||Loss||-110||79 h 48 m||Show|
20* Wake Forest/Tulane Non-Conference KNOCKOUT on Wake Forest -6.5
The Wake Forest Demon Deacons just get no respect. They went 8-5 last season and 8-3-2 ATS in their 13 games. Dave Clawson has now gotten the Demon Deacons to back-to-back bowl games and enters his 5th season in Winston-Salem.
Clawson has 14 returning starters this season. He has eight starters back from an offense that set a school record with 454 points last year and averaged 35.3 points and 466 yards per game. They were competitive in every game last season due to the offense and did not get beat by more than 14 points once all season.
The offense is led by an offensive line that returns all five starters and a whopping 132 career starts. This will be one of the best units in the ACC. Each of the top two receivers are back from last year in Great Dortch (53 receptions, 722 yards, 9 TD) and Scotty Washington (45, 711, 3 TD), as is leading rusher Matt Colburn (904 yards, 7 TD). That will help ease the transition of the new quarterback.
Wake Forest does have only six starters back on defense, but should be improved from a unit that gave up 28.3 points per game last season with just five starters back. Their weakness last year was against the pass as they gave up 272 yards per game through the air. But that won’t be a problem against Tulane, which runs an option attack. And the Demon Deacons have a huge advantage getting to prepare all offseason for the option.
I like what Willie Fritz is doing at Tulane. He enters his 3rd season here from a team that went 5-7 last year and fell just a few yards shy of beating SMU in the season finale and making a bowl game. Fritz has 14 starters back and the Green Wave should be competitive again against most AAC teams, but this is a different story here against one of the most underrated teams in the ACC.
With nine starters back on offense, the Green Wave should be able to match or exceed last year’s 27.5 PPG in which they had eight starters back. But they do lose leading rusher Montreal Hilliard (1,091 yards, 12 TD). QB Jonathan Banks is back to run the offense and should be able to have a decent senior season, though he competed just 56.6% of his passes last year and accuracy will always be an issue for him.
The reason I really love Wake Forest is because I believe their high-powered offense will score at will against this suspect Tulane defense. The Green Wave return just 5 starters on defense from a unit that gave up 29.2 points and 436 yards per game last season. This defense is clearly worse off than it was a year ago as they lose their top three playmakers in Rae Juan Marbley, Jarrod Franklin and Parry Nickerson (6 INT). The lose 3.5 defensive line starters and 7 of their top 12 tacklers.
The Demon Deacons are 10-4 ATS in their last 14 road games. Wake Forest is 12-5-1 ATS in its last 18 games overall. The Demon Deacons are 8-2-1 ATS in their last 11 games on fieldturf. Tulane is 2-11 ATS in its last 13 vs. ACC opponents. They are losing by 27.7 points per game in this situation. The last time Tulane hosted a Power 5 team to open the season they lost to ACC opponent Duke 37-7 back in 2015. Bet Wake Forest Thursday.
|08-30-18||New Mexico State v. Minnesota -20||10-48||Win||100||78 h 22 m||Show|
15* NMSU/Minnesota BTN No-Brainer on Minnesota -20
Unfortunately, I took New Mexico State +4 against Wyoming in their opener. I couldn’t have been more wrong. But I’m willing to realize my mistakes and correct them. After watching just how ugly New Mexico State looked against a mediocre Wyoming squad, I have no doubt they are going to have many of the same issues against Minnesota Thursday night.
New Mexico State had negative yards on offense in the first half against Wyoming last week and themselves trailing 15-0. It didn’t get much better in the second half as they trailed 29-0 before getting a garbage TD in the final seconds to lose 29-7. They were outgained 450 to 135 for the game, or by 315 total yards.
Wyoming ran wild on the NMSU defense for 313 rushing yards and 5.6 yards per carry. Now the Aggies must play on a short week having just four days to prepare for Minnesota, another team that loves to run the football as they averaged 182 rushing yards per game last season. The Gophers should be able to move the ball on the ground at will on a tired NMSU defense.
PJ Fleck enters his second season at Minnesota. He has more of his players in place to take on bigger roles this season. He has 14 returning starters as well and this should be one of the most improved teams in the Big Ten after a 5-7 campaign in his first season.
The Gophers can only be better offensively as they return seven starters, their leading rusher, top two receivers and four starters along the offensive line. The problem last year was QB play as it was atrocious. That means it can only get better, and Fleck true freshman recruit Zack Annexstad will get the first crack at the job. He beat out fellow freshman Tanner Morgan, who many expected to win the job.
Fleck turned an inexperienced defense that returned just five starters last year into one of the Big Ten’s best units. The Gophers only allowed 22.8 points and 347 yards per game. Now they return seven starters, led by leading tackler Thomas Barber (115 tackles, 10.5 for loss) at linebacker. This is an experienced unit that is expected to have nine junior or senior starters. One of the sophomores is Antoine Winfield, who got a medical redshirt and will be one of the best safeties in the Big Ten.
Minnesota should be able to shut down a New Mexico State offense that lost its top three playmakers from a year ago. They lost the school’s second all-time leading passer in Tyler Rogers from a passing offense that ranked 3rd in the country last season. They also lost 1,000-yard receiver Jaleel Scott (1,079 yards, 9 TD) and star RB Larry Rose, who accounted for 1,471 yards and 12 touchdowns from scrimmage last year. It was clear NMSU misses this trio when they managed just 7 points and 135 total yards against Wyoming last week.
New Mexico State is 10-30-1 ATS in its last 41 games following a double-digit home loss. The Aggies are 3-15 in their last 18 road openers, and 0-12 in their last 12 against Power 5 schools. The Gophers have won 19 of their last 23 home openers, and five of their last six with their only loss coming to #2 TCU 17-23 as 16-point underdogs in 2015.
NMSU having to play on a short week off a very physical game and against another physical opponent here is such a huge schedule disadvantage for them. That’s why I’m willing to lay this many points with the Gophers. Doug Martin is 0-11 ATS after gaining 225 or less total yards in their previous game in all games he has coached. Take Minnesota Thursday.
|08-29-18||Nationals v. Phillies -120||Top||6-8||Win||100||7 h 57 m||Show|
25* NL East GAME OF THE YEAR on Philadelphia Phillies -120
The Philadelphia Phillies will be highly motivated for a victory Wednesday night. They have lost eight of their last 10, including the first two games of this series against the Nationals by a combined three runs. They will be looking to avoid the sweep here tonight.
I like their chances with gritty veteran Jake Arrieta on the mound. That’s why they signed him this offseason to pitch in games like this. Arrieta is 4-3 with a 2.88 ERA and 1.136 WHIP in 12 home starts this year. Arrieta has posted a 1.80 ERA in his last three starts against the Nationals while giving up just 3 earned runs in 15 innings.
Gio Gonzalez is 7-11 with a 4.35 ERA and 1.521 WHIP in 26 starts this season for the Nationals. Gonzalez comes in really scuffling, going 0-3 with an 8.04 ERA and 1.851 WHIP in his last three starts while allowing 14 earned runs in 15 2/3 innings. Two of those starts were against the Mets and Marlins.
Gonzalez is 0-8 (-10.3 units) against the money line in road games vs. an NL team with an OBP of .325 or worse this season. Philadelphia is 12-1 following a one-run loss this season. The Phillies are 15-3 in their last 18 after losing the first two games of a series. Philadelphia is 19-7 in its last 26 home games vs. a left-handed starter. The Nationals are 1-7 in Gonzalez’s last eight starts. Washington is 0-8 in Gonzalez’s last eight road starts. Bet the Phillies Wednesday.
|08-28-18||Rockies -127 v. Angels||Top||3-2||Win||100||8 h 28 m||Show|
20* MLB Tuesday Late-Night BAILOUT on Colorado Rockies -127
The Colorado Rockies blew a pair of two-run leads, including one in the 8th inning, against the Angels last night. Look for them to come back motivated for a victory here tonight in Game 2 of this Interleague series.
I’ll gladly back Kyle Freeland, who is 11-7 with a 2.96 ERA in 26 starts this season, including 5-1 with a 2.25 ERA in 14 starts since June 16th. He has been the most consistent starter for the Rockies and will get the job done tonight.
After 102 major league relief appearances, Angels’ right-hander Noe Ramirez will make his first career start on Tuesday. Ramirez, who is 4-4 with a 4.76 ERA this season, earned his first career save Monday night. Now he’ll be tasked with just one or two innings here for the Angels as this will be a bullpen game for them.
The Rockies are 9-1 in Freeland’s last 10 starts. Colorado is 13-3 in its last 16 during Game 2 of a series. The Angels are 1-6 in their last seven games overall. Los Angeles is 22-46 in its last 68 vs. a team with a winning record. Bet the Rockies Tuesday.
|08-27-18||Rockies -135 v. Angels||Top||7-10||Loss||-135||10 h 30 m||Show|
20* MLB Monday No-Doubt Rout on Colorado Rockies -135
The Colorado Rockies are right in the thick of the NL West race. They are just one game back of the Diamondbacks for first place. The Angels are 0-6 in their last six games overall and have completely fallen out of playoff contention. I’ll back the more motivated team in Game 1 of this series tonight.
Colorado starter Jon Gray has been on a tear since his last loss on June 12th. Gray is 4-0 with a 3.48 ERA in his last 10 starts. Colorado is providing him with plenty of support, averaging 6.6 runs in those 10 starts.
Look for the Rockies to hang a big number on Odrisamer Despaigne, who has been called up here late in the season and has struggled mightily. Despaigne is 0-2 with an 8.31 ERA and 1.692 WHIP in three starts this season, all of which have come in the month of August.
The Rockies are 9-0 in Gray’s last nine starts. Colorado is 4-0 in its last four road games. The Angels are 21-46 in their last 67 vs. a team with a winning record. Los Angeles is 0-6 in its last six games overall. Bet the Rockies Monday.
|08-26-18||Cardinals -2.5 v. Cowboys||Top||27-3||Win||100||13 h 56 m||Show|
20* Cardinals/Cowboys NBC Sunday No-Brainer on Arizona -2.5
No Analysis for Preseason.
|08-26-18||Red Sox v. Rays -108||Top||1-9||Win||100||6 h 40 m||Show|
20* AL East GAME OF THE MONTH on Tampa Bay Rays -108
The Tampa Bay Rays have now reeled off seven straight victories after beating the Red Sox in both games of this series by a combined 15-4 margin. The Red Sox are just 2-5 in their last seven games overall and coasting to the finish line.
Blake Snell is the best-kept secret in baseball. He should be receiving serious Cy Young consideration, but he’s not. Snell is 15-5 with a 2.07 ERA and 1.007 WHIP in 24 starts this season, including 7-1 with a 1.02 ERA and 0.892 WHIP In 10 home starts. Snell is 2-0 with a 0.95 ERA in three starts against the Red Sox in 2018, allowing just 2 earned runs in 19 innings.
Nathan Eovaldi has struggled since being traded to the Red Sox. He is 0-1 with a 6.23 ERA and 2.308 WHIP in his last three starts coming in. Eovaldi is 2-4 with a 5.29 ERA and 1.301 WHIP in nine road starts this season as well.
The Rays are 7-0 in their last seven games overall. Tampa Bay is 11-1 in its last 12 games vs. a right-handed starter. The Rays are 13-3 in Snell’s last 16 home starts vs. a team with a winning record. Tampa Bay is 38-17 in its last 55 home games. Bet the Rays Sunday.
|08-26-18||Phillies -108 v. Blue Jays||8-3||Win||100||5 h 19 m||Show|
15* Interleague PLAY OF THE DAY on Philadelphia Phillies -108
The Philadelphia Phillies are in contention to win the NL East. But they have gone just 1-6 in their last seven games overall. They’ll be highly motivated for a victory here Sunday to turn this thing around and to avoid the sweep after losing the first two games of this series to the Blue Jays.
Vincent Velasquez is having a solid season at 7-9 with a 4.10 EAR and 135 K’s in 123 innings across 24 starts. Velasquez has been at his best on the road this season, going 2-4 with a 2.97 ERA in 11 starts away from home.
Marco Estrada has mostly struggled this year for the Blue Jays. He is 7-9 with a 4.88 ERA in 22 starts this season, 3-5 with a 4.91 ERA in 11 home starts, and 2-1 with a 6.23 ERA in his last three starts overall. Estrada has posted a 5.40 ERA and 1.575 WHIP in five career starts against Philadelphia.
The Phillies are 14-3 in their last 17 games after losing the first two games of a series, so they have been great at avoiding sweeps when in this situation. The Blue Jays are 2-9 in Estrada’s last 11 starts vs. a team with a winning record. Take the Phillies Sunday.
|08-25-18||Wyoming v. New Mexico State +4||Top||29-7||Loss||-105||11 h 29 m||Show|
20* Wyoming/New Mexico State ESPN 2 Late-Night BAILOUT on New Mexico State +4
New Mexico State went to a bowl game for the first time since 1960 last year. Not only did the Aggies get to a bowl, they actually upset Utah State 26-20 in overtime. Head coach Doug Martin has done a tremendous job of turning this program around as he enters his 6th season here.
Now the Aggies return 15 starters and 49 lettermen in 2018 while losing only 13 lettermen. The strength of this team will be a defense that gave up their fewest points per game since 2003 last year. They have nine starters and 10 of their top 11 tacklers back on D. They were an attacking D last year that set a school record with 43 sacks. Frank Spaziani, the former Boston College head coach, is a big reason for the turnaround. He enters his second season running the defense.
There are questions for the Aggies offensively as they return 6 starts and lose their top three playmakers. However, they have a junior back in Jason Huntley that is ready to take over for Larry Rose. Huntley averaged 6.0 YPC last season compared to 5.1 for Rose. Four of their top five receivers are back, so that helps soften the loss of 1,000-yard receiver Jaleel Scott.
The biggest loss is QB Tyler Rogers, who was third in the country at 334.7 passing yards per game last season. However, the Aggies signed JUCO transfer Matt Romero in the offseason. He threw for 5,873 yards and 49 touchdowns over two seasons at Palomar College in California. It’s a great fit for Romero, who ran the exact same offense at Palomar. And six offensive linemen with starting experience return this season, helping ease Romero’s transition.
Wyoming does have a lot of experience back as well with 17 returning starters, but many of those players are hurt. Two projected starters along the offensive line will be out with injuries. WR CJ Johnson, who led the team with 7 TD receptions last year, is out. LB Cassh Mauluia (74 tackles last year) is also out. So technically, they have just 13 healthy starters for Game 1 from last year.
And the biggest loss is QB Josh Allen, who was taken as a first-round draft pick of the Buffalo Bills. They even traded up to get him. I know his numbers weren’t great last year, but he’s the biggest reason the Cowboys were able to make bowl games each of the past two seasons. You simply don’t replace a talent like Allen at a school as small as Wyoming. The Cowboys will now be starting a freshman QB this year.
New Mexico State is 5-0 ATS in its last five games vs. MWC opponents. The Aggies are 18-9 ATS in all games over the past two seasons. Bets on home underdogs of 3.5 to 10 points (New Mexico State) - team that had a winning record last season, in non-conference game are 67-27 (71.3%) ATS since 1992. Wyoming is 10-22 ATS in its last 32 games as a road favorite. The Aggies are 8-1 ATS in their last nine non-conference games. Bet New Mexico State Saturday.
|08-25-18||Saints v. Chargers +1||36-7||Loss||-105||9 h 42 m||Show|
15* Saints/Chargers CBS Saturday No-Brainer on Los Angeles +1
No Analysis for Preseason.
|08-25-18||A's -150 v. Twins||6-2||Win||100||8 h 18 m||Show|
15* MLB PLAY OF THE DAY on Oakland A’s -150
The Oakland A’s are worth the price of -150 today against the Minnesota Twins. The A’s are in a pennant race thanks to going 43-16 in their last 59 games overall. Look for them to make easy work of the Minnesota Twins tonight.
Miek Fiers has been one of the most profitable starters in baseball. He is 9-6 with a 3.21 ERA and 1.158 WHIP in 24 starts this season between Detroit and Oakland. He has shined in an A’s uniform, going 2-0 with a 1.47 ERA in three starts since his acquisition. Fiers is also 5-1 with a 3.26 ERA in eight career starts against Minnesota with his teams going 7-1 in those matchups.
Stephen Gonsalves is getting a chance here down the stretch for the Twins. His MLB debut was a nightmare last time out as he allowed 4 runs and 8 base runners while needing 55 pitches just to get through 1 1/3 innings Monday against the Chicago White Sox. I don’t trust him against the A’s today, either.
The A’s are 9-1 in their last 10 Saturday games. Oakland is 40-12 in its last 52 vs. a team with a losing record. The A’s are 28-13 in the last 41 meetings. Take the A’s Saturday.
|08-25-18||Ravens -1 v. Dolphins||Top||27-10||Win||100||8 h 29 m||Show|
20* NFLX Saturday No-Doubt Rout on Baltimore Ravens -1
No Analysis for Preseason.
|08-24-18||Broncos v. Redskins UNDER 43.5||Top||29-17||Loss||-109||8 h 37 m||Show|
25* NFLX TOTAL OF THE YEAR on Broncos/Redskins UNDER 43.5
No Analysis for Preseason.
|08-24-18||Braves -1.5 v. Marlins||Top||0-1||Loss||-115||7 h 16 m||Show|
20* NL East GAME OF THE MONTH on Atlanta Braves -1.5 (-115)
The Atlanta Braves have it out for the Miami Marlins. The Marlins plunked Acuna Jr. on August 15th and now they have their shot at revenge this series. Game 1 was heated with more hit batters, but the Braves prevailed 5-0. I expect them to win by two runs or more once again tonight in Game 2.
Mike Foltynewicz is having a stellar season that will continue tonight. He is 10-7 with a 2.72 ERA and 1.151 WHIP in 24 starts, including 2-0 with a 0.87 ERA and 0.968 WHIP in his last three. One of those starts was against Miami on August 13th as he pitched 8 innings while allowing just one earned run in a 6-1 victory. Folty is 5-1 with a 3.08 ERA in nine career starts against Miami, and his teams are 8-1 in those games.
Daniel Straily is 4-6 with a 4.60 ERA and 1.408 WHIP in 20 starts for the Marlins this season, including 2-1 with a 4.94 ERA in nine home starts. He is also 0-1 with a 5.62 ERA in his last three starts. Straily has posted a 5.00 ERA and 1.511 WHIP in nine career starts against Atlanta. In his last start against the Braves on July 31st, Straily gave up 8 runs, 5 earned and 12 base runners in 3 2/3 innings of a 6-11 loss.
The Braves are 5-0 in Folty’s last five starts on 5 days’ rest. Atlanta is 4-0 in its last four games overall. The Braves are 37-15 in their last 52 vs. NL East opponents. The Marlins are 3-14 in their last 17 vs. a team with a. Winning record. Miami is 1-6 in Straily’s last seven starts vs. NL East foes. Bet the Braves on the Run Line Friday.
|08-23-18||A's -157 v. Twins||Top||4-6||Loss||-157||10 h 56 m||Show|
20* MLB Thursday No-Doubt Rout on Oakland A’s -157
The Oakland A’s have been the best teams in baseball over the past two months. They are 42-15 in their last 57 games overall and now neck-and-neck with the Houston Astros for first place in the AL West. Look for them to handle the Minnesota Twins tonight.
Trevor Cahill has come up huge down the stretch for the A’s. He is 5-2 with a 3.11 ERA and 1.038 WHIP in 15 starts this season. Cahill is also 1-1 with a 2.67 ERA and 1.222 WHIP in four career starts against Minnesota.
Kohl Stewart has been given a test run here down the stretch. It has not gone well for him as he has gone 0-1 with a 7.71 ERA and 2.286 WHIP in two starts while allowing 6 earned runs and 16 base runners in 7 innings. Both starts came against the light-hitting Detroit Tigers.
Oakland is 15-1 in its last 16 games vs. a team with a losing record. It is winning by 4.0 runs per game in this spot. The A’s are 7-0 in Cahill’s last seven starts. Bet the A’s Thursday.
|08-23-18||Eagles v. Browns -3||0-5||Win||100||11 h 35 m||Show|
15* Eagles/Browns FOX Thursday No-Brainer on Cleveland -3
No Analysis for Preseason.
|08-22-18||Padres v. Rockies -1.5||Top||2-6||Win||100||9 h 37 m||Show|
20* MLB Wednesday No-Doubt Rout on Colorado Rockies -1.5 (-115)
The Colorado Rockies should come back highly motivated for a victory Wednesday after getting upset by the San Diego Padres last night. Look for them to win this game by two runs or more thanks to their big advantage on the mound.
Jon Gray is back healthy and pitching well for the Rockies. He has 157 K’s in 134 1/3 innings this season so the stuff is clearly there. Gray is also 6-3 with a 2.65 ERA and 0.962 WHIP in 13 career starts against San Diego, so he owns the Padres.
The Padres are so far out of contention that they are looking to give their prospects a look here down the stretch. Jacob Nix has made two starts, going 1-1 with a 6.75 ERA and 1.949 WHIP. He has allowed 5 earned runs and 13 base runners in 6 2/3 innings. Now he has the daunting task of making a start at Coors Field.
The Rockies are 8-0 in Gray’s last eight starts, in which he has gone 3-0 with a 3.04 ERA, 11 walks and 57 K’s in 53 1/3 innings. Opponents have hit just .214 with a .624 OPS against Gray during this stretch. They’ll win his 9th straight start tonight. Bet the Rockies on the Run Line Wednesday.
|08-21-18||Padres v. Rockies -1.5||Top||4-3||Loss||-100||10 h 1 m||Show|
20* MLB Run Line GAME OF THE WEEK on Colorado Rockies -1.5 (+106)
The Colorado Rockies are rolling right now. They have gone 8-1 in their last nine games overall with their only loss coming on the road to Houston. This run has come against the Dodgers, Astros and Braves. They just swept the Braves in Atlanta.
Look for the Rockies to win by two runs or more tonight thanks to their advantage on the mound. Tyler Anderson is 2-3 with a 3.47 ERA and 1.225 WHIP in 12 home starts this season. What he’s done at Coors Field is nothing short of remarkable. Anderson is also 2-1 with a 2.27 ERA and 1.065 WHIP in six career starts against San Diego.
The Padres are just 1-6 in their last seven games overall. Robbie Erlin won’t be able to stop the bleeding. Erlin is 1-2 with a 5.87 ERA and 1.478 WHIP in five starts this season. He is 1-2 with an 8.64 ERA and 2.040 WHIP in four career starts against Colorado as well.
The Padres are 15-40 in their last 55 games overall. San Diego is 3-9 in Erlin’s last 12 starts. The Rockies are 12-2 in their last 14 games vs. a left-handed starter, including 5-0 in their last five home games against a southpaw. Colorado is 20-7 in its last 27 home games. Bet the Rockies on the Run Line Tuesday.
|08-20-18||Reds v. Brewers -1.5||2-5||Win||100||7 h 55 m||Show|
15* MLB Monday No-Doubt Rout on Milwaukee Brewers -1.5 (-110)
The Brewers picked up a gutsy 2-1 win over the Cardinals yesterday. They are fighting for their lives to make the wild card and to stay alive in the NL Central race. They need wins right now a lot more than the Cincinnati Reds, who are simply playing for pride.
The Brewers should be able to win by at least two runs tonight thanks to their huge advantage on the mound. Chase Anderson is 7-7 with a 3.97 ERA and 1.199 WHIP in 24 starts this season. Anderson is 4-1 with a 2.98 ERA and 1.138 WHIP in nine career starts against Cincinnati.
Homer Bailey has been one of the worst starters in baseball over the last handful of years. He is 1-10 with a 6.33 ERA and 1.629 WHIP in 16 starts this season. Bailey is also 7-10 with a 4.79 ERA and 1.367 WHIP in 27 career starts against Milwaukee.
Bailey is 0-9 vs. a team with a winning record this season, and the Reds are losing by 2.8 runs per game in this spot. Bailey is 1-15 in all games this season with the Reds losing by 2.6 runs per game on average. Bet the Brewers on the Run Line Monday.
|08-20-18||Ravens -1.5 v. Colts||Top||20-19||Loss||-105||7 h 33 m||Show|
20* Ravens/Colts ESPN Monday No-Brainer on Baltimore -1.5
No Analysis for Preseason.
|08-19-18||Brewers v. Cardinals -105||Top||2-1||Loss||-105||3 h 56 m||Show|
20* MLB Sunday No-Doubt Rout on St. Louis Cardinals -105
I’m back on the Cardinals again today. Oddsmakers just haven’t adjusted to the fact that this has been the best team in the National League since the All-Star Break. We’re getting the Cardinals again at nearly even money here Sunday. They have gone 10-1 in their last 11 games overall.
John Gant is 3-4 with a 4.04 ERA and 1.173 WHIP in 11 starts this season. He is 2-0 with a 1.59 ERA in his last two starts, allowing just 2 earned runs in 11 1/3 innings. I expect him to shut down the Brewers this afternoon.
Jhoulys Chacin is getting way too much respect from oddsmakers today. This guy has never beaten the Cardinals, going 0-7 with a 6.54 ERA and 1.711 WHIP in eight career starts against them. He has given up 17 runs, 14 earned, in 14 2/3 innings across three starts against the Cardinals in 2018.
The Brewers are 4-15 in Sunday games this season. Milwaukee is 3-14 in its last 17 during Game 3 of a series. The Brewers are 1-10 in their last 11 vs. NL Central opponents. The Cardinals are 10-1 in their last 11 after scoring 5 runs or more in their previous game. St. Louis is 7-1 in its last eight home games. Bet the Cardinals Sunday.
|08-18-18||Brewers v. Cardinals -139||Top||2-7||Win||100||10 h 4 m||Show|
20* MLB Saturday No-Doubt Rout on St. Louis Cardinals -139
The St. Louis Cardinals are rolling right now. They have gone 9-1 in their last 10 games overall to pull within a 0.5-game of the Brewers for the 2nd wild card spot. They can overtake the Brewers with a win today, so it’s safe to say that they’ll be highly motivated.
The Cardinals are worth the heavier price today with Miles Mikolas on the mound. Mikolas is 12-3 with a 2.85 ERA and 1.051 WHIP in 24 starts this season, including 5-3 with a 2.29 ERA and 1.004 WHIP in 12 home starts. He has won two of his three starts against the Brewers this season with the other being a no-decision.
Certainly Wade Miley has solid numbers this season at 2-1 with a 2.23 ERA and 1.240 WHIP in eight starts. But it has been a small sample size. Miley has never been able to figure out the Cardinals, going 2-2 with a 4.85 ERA and 1.819 WHIP in five career starts against them. The Cardinals are scoring 5.1 runs per game against left-handed starters this season.
The Brewers are 1-9 in their last 10 vs. NL Central opponents. The Cardinals are 9-0 in their last nine after scoring 5 runs or more in their previous game. St. Louis is 4-0 in Mikolas’ last four starts and 4-0 in his last four home starts. Bet the Cardinals Saturday.
|08-18-18||Bengals +3.5 v. Cowboys||21-13||Win||100||10 h 55 m||Show|
15* Bengals/Cowboys NFL Network No-Brainer on Cincinnati +3.5
No Analysis for Preseason.
|08-18-18||Raiders +100 v. Rams||Top||15-19||Loss||-100||7 h 56 m||Show|
20* NFLX GAME OF THE WEEK on Oakland Raiders ML +100
No Analysis for Preseason.
|08-17-18||Brewers v. Cardinals -114||Top||2-5||Win||100||8 h 34 m||Show|
20* NL Central GAME OF THE MONTH on St. Louis Cardinals -114
The St. Louis Cardinals are surging right now trying to make the playoffs. They have gone 8-1 in their last nine games overall and now are in position to not only win a wild card spot, but to also chase down the Cubs and Brewers in the NL Central. They are just 1.5 games behind the Brewers, and they host Milwaukee in this three-game series starting with Game 1 Friday.
I like the Cardinals’ chances to win Game 1 tonight with Jack Flaherty on the mound. He is 6-6 with a 3.14 ERA and 1.074 WHIP in 19 starts this season with 127 K’s in 103 1/3 innings. He has won each of his last two starts while allowing just 2 earned runs in 13 innings with 16 K’s. Flaherty is 0-0 with a 1.50 ERA in two starts against the Brewers this season, giving up just 2 earned runs and 10 base runners in 12 innings with a whopping 22 K’s.
Freddy Peralta got off to a fast start for the Brewers this season, but teams are certainly catching on to him now. Peralta is 1-2 with a 7.94 ERA in his last five starts. He has allowed a whopping 20 earned runs in 22 2/3 innings during this stretch. Look for the Cardinals to jump on him early and often in this one.
St. Louis is 13-3 following a one-run loss this season. The Brewers are 1-8 in their last nine vs. NL Central opponents. The Cardinals are 13-3 in their last 16 games following a loss. Bet the Cardinals Friday.
|08-17-18||Chiefs -125 v. Falcons||28-14||Win||100||6 h 58 m||Show|
15* NFLX Friday No-Doubt Rout on Kansas City Chiefs ML -125
No Analysis for Preseason.
|08-16-18||Jets +1 v. Redskins||Top||13-15||Loss||-106||8 h 18 m||Show|
20* Jets/Redskins ESPN No-Brianer on New York +1
No analysis for preseason.
|08-16-18||Cubs v. Pirates +115||1-0||Loss||-100||8 h 38 m||Show|
15* MLB Thursday Undervalued Underdog on Pittsburgh Pirates +115
The Pittsburgh Pirates should not be home underdogs to the Chicago Cubs tonight. This is their time to make a stand at 61-60 on the season and fighting to stay alive for the playoffs. Look for them to take this series with the Cubs very seriously, starting with Game 1 tonight.
Jone Lester has been rocked of late and seems to have lost it. He is 0-2 with an 11.19 ERA and 2.268 WHIP in his last three starts, which have come against the Pirates, Padres & Nationals. He has given up 17 earned runs and 6 homers in 13 2/3 innings during this stretch. Lester has allowed at least 4 earned runs in 5 of his last 7 starts against the Pirates.
Ivan Nova is 7-6 with a 4.41 ERA in 22 starts this season, including 2-3 with a 3.55 ERA in 10 home starts. Nova is 4-1 with a 3.63 ERA and 1.010 WHIP in five career starts against the Cubs. He has won both of his starts against the Cubs this season while allowing just 4 earned runs in 12 2/3 innings as +175 and +140 road underdogs.
The Pirates are 7-1 in their last eight home games vs. a team with a winning road record. Pittsburgh is 5-0 in Nova’s last five starts during Game 1 of a series. The Pirates are 5-1 in Nova’s last six starts. Pittsburgh is 4-1 in Nova’s last five starts against Chicago. Bet the Pirates Thursday.
|08-15-18||Nationals v. Cardinals -107||Top||2-4||Win||100||9 h 43 m||Show|
20* MLB Wednesday No-Doubt Rout on St. Louis Cardinals -107
The Cardinals will be seeking their eighth straight win tonight against the Washington Nationals. Their offense has come to life by scoring at least 6 runs in six straight games. And now we’re getting them at basically even money again tonight, which is a great value.
Austin Gomber will make his home debut tonight for the Cardinals. He has pitched well in his three road starts, going 1-0 with a 3.52 ERA and 1.239 WHIP. He fired 5 shutout innings in a 7-0 victory in Kansas City last time out on August 10th.
Jeremy Hellickson is getting way too much respect from oddsmakers tonight. Hellickson is 5-2 with a 3.54 ERA in 17 starts this season. But he is only averaging 4.9 innings per start, which means the Cardinals are likely to get into Washington’s suspect bullpen once again. The Nationals have so many injuries at the back end of their ‘pen that they cannot be trusted to close out games.
St. Louis is 11-1 in home games off two or more consecutive overs this season. The Nationals are 0-4 in Hellickson’s last four starts vs. a team with a winning record. Washington is 8-20 in its last 28 road games. The Cardinals are 8-0 in their last eight games after scoring 5 runs or more in their previous game. Bet the Cardinals Wednesday.
|08-14-18||White Sox v. Tigers -126||Top||6-3||Loss||-126||8 h 48 m||Show|
20* AL Central GAME OF THE MONTH on Detroit Tigers -126
The Detroit Tigers have won three of their last four coming in and continue to play for pride. The Chicago White Sox have gone just 1-6 in their last seven games and lost five of those by two runs or more. I think the Tigers get the job done tonight at a very generous price considering their big advantage on the mound.
Blaine Hardy has held his own this season, going 4-3 with a 3.96 ERA and 1.194 WHIP in 12 starts. He is also 3-1 with a 3.82 ERA in seven home starts. Hardy has shut down the White Sox twice this season already, going 2-0 with a 1.46 ERA and 0.811 WHIP while allowing just 2 earned runs and 10 base runners in 12 1/3 innings.
Lucas Giolito has been one of the worst starters in baseball this season. He is 7-9 with a 6.23 ERA and 1.496 WHIP in 23 starts with a whopping 71 walks and only 84 K's in 125 2/3 innings. Giolito has been rocked in his two starts against the Tigers in 2018, going 0-1 with an 8.18 ERA while allowing 10 earned runs in 11 innings.
The White Sox are 39-84 in their last 123 road games. Chicago is 15-38 in its last 53 games vs. a left-handed starters. The Tigers are 5-1 in their last six home games. Detroit is 52-21 in its last 73 home meetings with Chicago, and 10-1 in its last 11 meetings with the White Sox overall. Bet the Tigers Tuesday.
|08-13-18||Nationals v. Cardinals -131||Top||6-7||Win||100||10 h 26 m||Show|
20* NL GAME OF THE WEEK on St. Louis Cardinals -131
The St. Louis Cardinals (63-55) are on an absolute tear right now. They have won five straight series and have the best record (12-4) in the National League since July 27th. They have scored at least 7 runs in four consecutive games and now sit just 2.5 games back in the wild card, and 5.5 games back of the Cubs for first place in the NL Central. They cannot afford to let off the gas.
The Cardinals have a big advantage on the mound tonight behind Miles Mikolas. He is 12-3 with a 2.74 ERA and 1.067 WHIP in 23 starts this season, including 5-3 with a 2.01 ERA and 1.033 WHIP in 11 home starts. This will be his first career start against the Nationals, who had to play on Sunday Night Baseball last night against the Cubs and won’t be fresh.
Tom Milone is getting way too much respect from oddsmakers tonight. He has made just three starts this season, going 1-1 with a 5.50 ERA. His first two were decent against the Mets and Marlins, but he was rocked for 7 earned runs and 3 homers in 6 innings of a 3-8 loss to the Braves last time out. Look for the Cardinals to stay hot at the plate and touch up Milone as well.
The Nationals are 6-16 in their last 22 road games vs. a right-handed starter. Washington is 0-5 in its last five Monday games. The Cardinals are 5-0 in their last five games overall. St. Louis is 6-1 in Mikolas’ last seven starts. The Nationals are 8-23 in their last 31 meetings in St. Louis. Bet the Cardinals Monday.
|08-12-18||Diamondbacks -125 v. Reds||Top||9-2||Win||100||3 h 32 m||Show|
20* MLB Sunday No-Doubt Rout on Arizona Diamondbacks -125
The Arizona Diamondbacks will be highly motivated for a victory here Sunday. They have lost the first two games of this series to the lowly Cincinnati Reds and will be looking to avoid the sweep with a win in Game 3. Considering they are tied for first place in the NL West, every game is important here on out.
Zack Godley has really turned his season around. He has allowed 2 earned runs or fewer in eight of his last 11 starts coming in. He has struck out at least 6 batters in six consecutive starts. He is 3-0 with a 2.68 ERA in his last six starts coming in.
Luis Castillo has been overrated for most of the season. He has gone 6-9 with a 4.91 ERA and 1.330 WHIP in 23 starts this year. In his last two starts against the Diamondbacks, Castillo is 0-2 with a 6.55 ERA, allowing 8 earned runs in 11 innings.
The Diamondbacks are 5-0 in Godley’s last five starts vs. a team with a losing record. Arizona is 7-1 in Godley’s last eight starts when working on 5 days’ rest. The Reds are 1-6 in their last seven games vs. a right-handed starter. Bet the Diamondbacks Sunday.
|08-11-18||Diamondbacks -139 v. Reds||Top||3-6||Loss||-139||12 h 3 m||Show|
20* MLB Saturday No-Doubt Rout on Arizona Diamondbacks -139
After losing via shutout to the Cincinnati Reds yesterday, the Arizona Diamondbacks should come back highly motivated for a victory here Saturday. They should win in blowout fashion thanks to their advantage on the mound.
Robbie Ray has been a machine on the road over the past couple seasons. That has been the case again in 2018 as Ray is 2-1 with a 2.57 ERA and 1.171 WHIP in seven road starts this year. He is also 1-2 with a 4.24 ERA and 1.176 WHIP in three career starts against Cincinnati.
Matt Harvey is now 5-7 with a 5.05 ERA and 1.306 WHIP in 19 starts this season. He has been lit up in his last three starts, going 0-2 with a 10.66 ERA and 1.815 WHIP while allowing 15 earned runs and 6 homers in 12 2/3 innings.
Ray is 10-1 (+9.6 units) against the money line in road games vs. a team with a slugging percentage of .400 or worse over the last two seasons. The Diamondbacks are 5-0 in their last five games following a loss. Arizona is 10-2 in Ray’s last 12 road starts vs. a team with a losing record. Bet the Diamondbacks Saturday.
|08-10-18||Falcons +4 v. Jets||0-17||Loss||-108||12 h 23 m||Show|
15* Falcons/Jets NFLX No-Brainer on Atlanta +4
No Analysis for Preseason.
|08-10-18||Diamondbacks -119 v. Reds||Top||0-3||Loss||-119||12 h 48 m||Show|
25* NL GAME OF THE YEAR on Arizona Diamondbacks -119
The Arizona Diamondbacks are tied with the Los Angeles Dodgers for first place in the NL West heading into Friday’s action. Wins are of utmost importance to them, while the Reds (50-65) are simply playing out the string at this point, going 2-7 in their last nine games overall.
Clay Buchholz has been one of the most underrated starters in the big leagues over the past couple months. He is finally healthy this season and it’s showing. Buchholz is 5-1 with a 2.21 ERA and 1.105 WHIP in 10 starts this season, including 3-1 with a 2.10 ERA and 0.932 WHIP in six road starts.
Anthony DeSclafini is 5-3 with a 4.98 ERA and 1.308 WHIP in 11 starts this season. He is 2-2 with a 5.65 ERA and 1.473 WHIP in seven home starts as well. DeSclafini is no match for Buchholz in this one tonight folks.
The Diamondbacks are 10-1 in their last 11 road games vs. a team with a losing record. Arizona is 4-0 in Buchholz’s last four starts. The Reds are 0-6 in their last six games vs. a right-handed starter. Bet the Diamondbacks Friday.
|08-09-18||Colts v. Seahawks -1||19-17||Loss||-110||12 h 53 m||Show|
15* Colts/Seahawks NFLX Late-Night BAILOUT on Seattle -1
No analysis for preseason.
|08-09-18||Rangers v. Yankees -1.5||Top||3-7||Win||100||9 h 9 m||Show|
20* MLB Thursday No-Doubt Rout on New York Yankees -1.5 (-110)
The New York Yankees should have no problem winning by two runs or more tonight. They have a big advantage on the mound and are motivated fighting for a wild card spot in the American League.
J.A. Happ has been excellent in his first few starts in a Yankee uniform. Happ is 1-1 with a 1.23 ERA and 0.954 WHIP in his last three starts. Happ has owned the Rangers, going 5-2 with a 2.83 ERA and 1.161 WHIP in seven career starts against them.
Ariel Jurado will be making just his fourth start of the season tonight. He is 2-1 with a 4.02 ERA through his first three starts. However, this will be his toughest test yet at hitter-friendly Yankee Stadium.
Happy is 26-7 after giving up one or fewer earned runs last outing over the past three seasons. His teams are winning by 1.8 runs per game in this spot. The Yankees are 57-19 in their last 76 home games. New York is 6-1 in its last seven vs. a team with a losing record. Texas is 7-19 in its last 26 vs. a team with a winning record. Bet the Yankees on the Run Line Thursday.
|08-08-18||Cardinals -111 v. Marlins||Top||7-1||Win||100||7 h 35 m||Show|
20* MLB Wednesday No-Doubt Rout on St. Louis Cardinals -111
The St. Louis Cardinals are showing great value at basically even money against the lowly Miami Marlins tonight. The Cardinals are trying to stay alive for a playoff spot and have gone 8-4 in their last 12 games overall.
John Gant was coming off two straight great starts against the Cubs in limiting them to 2 earned runs in 9 1/3 innings. But he was rocked for 6 runs in 4 innings against the Pirates last time out, and I think he’s being undervalued now because of it. Look for him to bounce back against the light-hitting Marlins today.
There’s no question Trevor Richards has pitched well of late for the Marlins, but he’s being overvalued because of it. He’s still just 3-6 with a 3.92 ERA and 1.394 WHIP in 16 starts this season.
St. Louis is a perfect 9-0 after scoring 3 runs or less in three straight games this season, and 13-2 when scoring 4 runs or less in three straight games. The Marlins are 1-7 in their last eight games overall. Bet the Cardinals Wednesday.
|08-07-18||Mariners -105 v. Rangers||Top||4-11||Loss||-105||9 h 8 m||Show|
20* AL West GAME OF THE MONTH on Seattle Mariners -105
Getting the Mariners at basically even money against the Rangers is a gift from oddsmakers tonight. The Mariners are right in the thick of wild card and AL West races, while the Rangers are 49-65 and playing for pride only.
Bartolo Colon certainly doesn’t deserve this kind of respect from oddsmakers. Colon is 5-10 with a 5.32 ERA in 20 starts this season, 2-4 with a 6.10 ERA in nine home starts, and 0-3 with an 8.64 ERA and 1.740 WHIP in his last three starts.
Felix Hernandez is the better starter in this matchup. He gave up just two earned runs in his last start against the Blue Jays. He has posted a 4.07 ERA and 1.266 WHIP in 56 career starts against Texas.
The Mariners are 23-7 in their last 30 vs. a team with a losing record. Seattle is 37-18 in Hernandez’s last 55 starts vs. a team with a losing record. The Rangers are 19-46 in their last 65 home games vs. a team with a winning record. Texas is 0-5 in Colon’s last five starts. The Mariners are 6-1 in their last seven meetings in Texas. Seattle is 10-4 in Hernandez’s last 14 starts vs. Texas. Bet the Mariners Tuesday.
|08-06-18||Pirates v. Rockies -138||Top||0-2||Win||100||8 h 57 m||Show|
20* NL GAME OF THE MONTH on Colorado Rockies -138
The Colorado Rockies have lost four of their last five and come into this game highly motivated for a victory. They return home after a tough seven-game road trip and should take care the Pittsburgh Pirates in Game 1 tonight.
Ace Kyle Freeland is having a tremendous season for the Rockies. He is 9-7 with a 3.20 ERA in 22 starts this season. What he has done at home has been nothing short of remarkable.
Freeland is 6-2 with a 2.45 ERA in nine starts at hitter-friendly Coors Field. He’ll be opposed by Joe Musgrove, who is 4-5 with a 3.63 ERA and 1.284 WHIP in 11 starts for the Pirates this season.
The Pirates are 6-22 in their last 28 road games vs. a left-handed starter. Pittsburgh is 18-44 in its last 62 road games vs. a team with a winning home record. The Rockies are 12-2 in their last 14 home games vs. a team with a winning record. Colorado is 16-5 in its last 21 home games. The Rockies are 4-0 in Freeland’s last four home starts. Bet the Rockies Monday.
|08-05-18||Braves -127 v. Mets||Top||5-4||Win||100||4 h 45 m||Show|
20* MLB Sunday No-Doubt Rout on Atlanta Braves -127
The Atlanta Braves have won five of their last six coming in. They are showing excellent value as small road favorites over the hapless New York Mets, who are just 2-6 in their last eight games overall.
Julio Teheran has done his best work on the road over the past few seasons. He has also owned the Mets, going 9-6 with a 2.12 ERA and 1.019 WHIP in 22 career starts against them.
Corey Oswalt is 1-2 with a 5.56 ERA in five starts for the Mets this season. He is only averaging 4.5 innings per start, so the Braves should be able to get into the Mets’ bullpen early in this one.
Teheran has allowed just 2 earned runs over 21 innings in his last three starts against the Mets this season. The Braves are 20-7 in Teheran’s last 27 Sunday starts. The Mets are 20-42 in their last 62 games overall. New York is 35-77 in its last 112 vs. a team with a winning record. The Mets are 9-25 in their last 34 games following a win. Bet the Braves Sunday.
|08-04-18||Astros v. Dodgers -115||Top||14-0||Loss||-115||20 h 48 m||Show|
20* Astros/Dodgers Interleague No-Brainer on Los Angeles -115
The Los Angeles Dodgers lost Game 1 of this series to the Houston Astros. This is a World Series rematch, so the Dodgers obviously will be highly motivated for revenge in Game 2 tonight. I think they get a win thanks to their big advantage on the mound.
Kenta Maeda is 6-6 with a 3.52 ERA in 18 starts this season with 116 K’s in 97 innings. He has been at his best at home, where he’s 3-5 with a 3.22 ERA in 10 starts. Maeda has the luxury of facing a banged-up Astros’ lineup that is missing Jose Altuve and Carlos Correa, while George Springer is nursing a shoulder injury but may play.
Lance McCullers has really been victimized of late. He is 0-3 with a 9.22 ERA and 1.903 WHIP in his last three starts, giving up 14 earned runs and 26 base runners in 13 2/3 innings. McCullers has always had big home/road splits, and that has been the case again this season. He has posted a 4.67 ERA in 11 road starts in 2018.
McCullers is 0-6 (-8.7 units) when playing against a good team (winning 54% to 62%) over the last two seasons. McCullers is 1-9 (-9.1 units) with a money line of +125 to -125 over the last two years. Los Angeles is 8-1 in its last nine home games vs. a right-handed starter. Bet the Dodgers Saturday.
|08-03-18||Blue Jays v. Mariners -165||Top||7-2||Loss||-165||9 h 17 m||Show|
20* AL GAME OF THE WEEK on Seattle Mariners -165
The Mariners have been in the playoffs for 2.5 months. But after losing three straight, they now trail the A’s by a half-game for the AL’s final wild-card berth. It’s safe to say they’ll be highly motivated for a victory tonight at home against the Toronto Blue Jays to try and turn things around.
Marco Gonzales is just the man to get the job done. He has been the most consistent starter for the Mariners this season. He is 12-5 with a 3.15 ERA and 1.154 WHIP in 21 starts, including 3-0 with a 1.86 ERA and 0.828 WHIP in his last three. Gonzales is also 5-1 with a 2.43 ERA and 1.163 WHIP in 10 home starts this year.
Toronto is stuck in no-man’s land at 49-59 on the season. They are out of contention and will be doing nothing but playing spoiler the rest of the way. Ryan Borucki has only made six starts this season. He has been roughed up on the road, going 0-1 with a 4.80 ERA and 1.933 WHIP in three starts away from home.
Gonzales is 9-0 (+9.2 units) against the money line after giving up 2 earned runs or fewer in each of his last two outings this season. The Blue Jays are 2-8 in their last 10 games following a win. Toronto is 7-25 in its last 32 games vs. a left-handed starter. The Mariners are 6-0 in Gonzales’ last six home starts. Seattle is 21-5 in its last 26 vs. a team with a losing record. Bet the Mariners Friday.
|08-02-18||Bears v. Ravens -2.5||16-17||Loss||-112||10 h 17 m||Show|
15* Bears/Ravens HOF Game No-Braner on Baltimore -2.5
No analysis for preseason.
|08-02-18||Reds v. Nationals -1.5||Top||4-10||Win||100||9 h 1 m||Show|
20* MLB Thursday No-Doubt Rout on Washington Nationals -1.5 (-130)
The Washington Nationals are looking to make a serious push in August to chase down the NL East leaders. They have won five of their last seven and have scored a combined 30 runs in winning their last two games. Now they get to host the lowly Cincinnati Reds for a four-game series and will be looking to take advantage.
Ace Max Scherzer gets the ball for Game 1 tonight. Scherzer is 14-5 with a 2.30 ERA and 0.901 WHIP in 22 starts this season with 200 K’s in 148 2/3 innings. Scherzer owns the Reds, going 3-1 with a 2.05 ERA and 0.978 WHIP in five career starts against them.
Tyler Mahle is 7-8 with a 4.53 ERA and 1.519 WHIP in 21 starts for the Reds this season. He has really struggled of late, going 0-2 with a 14.00 ERA and 2.889 WHIP in his last three starts, allowing 14 earned runs, 5 homers and 26 base runners in 9 innings pitched.
The Nationals are 50-20 in Scherzer’s last 70 starts, 18-6 in his last 24 home starts, and 9-1 in his last 10 starts during Game 1 of a series. Washington is 6-1 in its last seven home games vs. a team with a losing road record. The Nationals are 13-3 in the last 16 meetings. Bet the Nationals on the Run Line Thursday.
|08-01-18||Brewers v. Dodgers -156||Top||4-6||Win||100||11 h 5 m||Show|
20* MLB Wednesday No-Doubt Rout on Los Angeles Dodgers -156
After losing the first two games of this series to the Brewers and three straight overall, the Los Angeles Dodgers come into this game highly motivated for a victory tonight. That’s why I’ll lay the price with them as big home favorites Wednesday.
It also helps that Rich Hill has been lights out in his last two starts, including one against Milwaukee. Hill has gone 2-0 with a 0.69 ERA in his last two starts, giving up just one earned run in 13 innings while striking out 17 batters. Hill improved to 3-1 with a 3.98 ERA and 1.180 WHIP in seven career starts against the Brewers in which his teams have gone 6-1.
Chase Anderson is having a fine season for the Brewers at 7-7 with a 3.69 ERA and 1.169 WHIP in 21 starts. However, Anderson has never been able to figure out the Dodgers. He is 1-4 with a 5.36 ERA and 1.439 WHIP in 10 career starts against Los Angeles, and his teams have gone 3-7 in those outings.
Plays on favorites of -150 or more (LA Dodgers) - starting a pitcher who gave up one or less earned runs in two straight outings, a cold hitting team batting .190 or worse in their last three games are 47-8 (85.5%, +33.5 units) over the last five seasons. Bet the Dodgers Wednesday.
|07-31-18||Rangers v. Diamondbacks OVER 9||Top||0-6||Loss||-105||9 h 43 m||Show|
25* Interleague TOTAL OF THE YEAR on Rangers/Diamondbacks OVER 9
Oddsmakers have set the bar too low tonight in this contest between the Diamondbacks and Rangers. The OVER is 9-3 in Rangers last 12 games overall, and they have combined with their opponents for 10 runs or more 10 times during this stretch.
Bartolo Colon will get rocked tonight. He is 5-9 with a 5.16 ERA in 19 starts this season, including 0-3 with a 7.13 ERA and 1.754 WHIP in his last three starts.
Zack Godley hasn’t been much better, going 11-6 with a 4.77 ERA and 1.530 WHIP in 21 starts this season. Walks have been Godley’s problem as he has 57 on the season, while home runs have been Colon’s problem as he has allowed 23 already.
The Rangers have scored at least 5 runs in six of their last seven coming in. The OVER is 5-0 in Diamondbacks last five games overall and they have combined for 9 or more runs four times while scoring at least 5 runs in all five games. Bet the OVER in this game Tuesday.
|07-30-18||Brewers v. Dodgers -145||Top||5-2||Loss||-145||9 h 16 m||Show|
20* NL GAME OF THE WEEK on Los Angeles Dodgers -145
Manny Machado finally gets to make his home debut for the Los Angeles Dodgers tonight. He’ll get a warm welcome here as the Dodgers get a home game for the first time since July 15th. Look for them to take down the Milwaukee Brewers tonight.
Kenta Maeda is having a great season. He is 6-5 with a 3.31 ERA and 1.191 WHIP in 17 starts with 112 K’s in 92 2/3 innings. He has posted a 2.76 ERA in nine home starts as well. Maeda has owned the Brewers, going 2-1 with a 2.02 ERA and 0.985 WHIP In four career starts against them.
Freddy Peralta was great through his first six starts this season. But opponents are starting to catch on to him. Peralta has gone 0-1 with a 9.31 ERA in his last two starts, giving up 10 earned runs and 3 homers in 9 2/3 innings to Washington and Miami.
The Dodgers are 43-21 in their last 64 games overall. Los Angeles is 6-0 in its last six home games vs. a right-handed starter. The Dodgers are 17-4 in their last 21 games following a loss. Los Angeles is 13-6 in Maeda’s last 19 home starts. Bet the Dodgers Monday.
|07-29-18||Diamondbacks -115 v. Padres||Top||5-4||Win||100||4 h 3 m||Show|
20* MLB Sunday No-Doubt Rout on Arizona Diamondbacks -115
The Arizona Diamondbacks will sweep the San Diego Padres Sunday. They have a big advantage on the mound in this one and are swinging a hot bat. The Diamondbacks have scored 5 or more runs in eight of their last nine games coming in.
Clay Buchholz continues to lack the respect he deserves from oddsmakers today. Buchholz is healthy for the first time, and it’s showing as he’s gone 3-1 with a 1.79 ERA and 0.993 WHIP in eight starts this season, including 2-1 with a 1.57 ERA and 0.802 WHIP in five road starts.
Joey Lucchesi is a nice young starter for the Padres, but he’s no match for Buchholz. He is 3-2 with a 3.43 ERA and 1.262 WHIP in nine home starts this year. Lucchesi has lost both of his start against the Diamondbacks this season, going 0-2 with a 5.23 ERA and 1.258 WHIP.
The Diamondbacks are 18-7 in their last 25 road games. Arizona is 5-0 in its last five road games vs. a team with a home winning % of less than .400. The Padres are 3-13 in their last 16 home games, and 8-27 in their last 35 games overall. San Diego is 0-9 in its last nine during Game 3 of a series. Bet the Diamondbacks Sunday.
|07-28-18||Cubs v. Cardinals -106||Top||2-6||Win||100||5 h 12 m||Show|
20* Cubs/Cards NL Central ANNIHILATOR on St. Louis -106
The Cardinals have the advantage on the mound today over the Cubs and thus we are getting them at a good value at basically even money this afternoon. Look for the Cards to take Game 2 of this series Saturday after winning Game 1 5-2 Friday.
Miles Mikolas is 10-3 with a 2.82 ERA and 1.070 WHIP in 20 starts this season, including 4-3 with a 1.99 ERA and 0.989 WHIP in nine home starts. Mikolas is also 1-0 with a 1.50 ERA in two starts against the Cubs this season, giving up just 2 earned runs in 12 innings of work.
Jose Quintana is having a solid season as well, but he hasn’t been nearly as effective at Mikolas. Quintana is 9-6 with a 3.87 ERA and 1.376 WHIP in 19 starts this year. He has given up 14 homers and 49 walks in 104 2/3 innings, while MIkolas has only allowed 8 homers and 22 walks in 124 1/3 innings.
The Cubs are 2-8 in their last 10 road games vs. a right-handed starter. The Cardinals are 6-2 in Mikolas’ last eight starts when working on 5 days’ rest. The Cubs are 2-5 in their last seven meetings in St. Louis. Bet the Cardinals Saturday.
|07-27-18||Brewers v. Giants -118||Top||3-1||Loss||-118||11 h 1 m||Show|
20* Brewers/Giants NL Late-Night BAILOUT on San Francisco -118
Getting ace Madison Bumgarner and the San Francisco Giants as this small of home favorites is a gift from oddsmakers tonight. Look for the Giants to bounce back from a Game 1 loss to the Brewers behind Bumgarner Friday.
Bumgarner is 3-3 with a 3.19 ERA and 1.230 WHIP in nine starts this season. He has been dynamite at home, going 3-1 with a 1.95 ERA and 0.990 WHIP in five starts. The left-hander has also owned the Brewers, going 7-2 with a 2.25 ERA and 1.059 WHIP in 10 career starts against them.
Chase Anderson is having an average season at 6-7 with a 3.81 ERA and 1.197 WHIP in 20 starts for the Brewers this season. Anderson certainly hasn’t enjoyed success against the Giants in the past, going 2-2 with a 5.68 ERA in five career starts against them.
Anderson is 4-18 (-13.7 units) against the money line in road games after giving up 2 earned runs or fewer in his last two outings in his career. The Giants are 11-1 (+13.1 units) after having lost six or seven of their last eight games this season. The Brewers are 1-6 in their last seven road games. The Giants are 17-6 in the last 23 meetings, including 4-0 in Bumgarner’s last four starts against Milwaukee. Bet the Giants Friday.
|07-26-18||A's -130 v. Rangers||Top||7-6||Win||100||8 h 35 m||Show|
20* MLB Thursday No-Doubt Rout on Oakland A’s -130
The Oakland A’s have delivered comeback victories for me each of the last two days. They are as confident as they’ve been all season thanks to going 26-7 in their last 33 games overall. That includes five straight victories, and they have now scored a combined 34 runs in winning each of the first three games of this series with Texas.
The A’s should stay hot at the plate tonight against Texas’ Bartolo Colon. The ageless wonder is starting to wear down. He is 5-8 with a 4.99 ERA in 18 starts this season, including 2-3 with a 5.84 ERA in eight home starts. He is also 0-3 with a 5.30 ERA in his last three starts overall.
Trevor Cahill has performed very well for the A’s this season. He is 1-2 with a 2.95 ERA and 1.017 WHIP in 10 starts. Cahill has also owned the Rangers, going 10-4 with a 2.81 ERA and 1.179 WHIP in 18 career starts against them. His teams are 14-4 in those games.
The Rangers are 1-7 in their last eight games overall. Texas is 21-47 in its last 68 vs. a team with a winning record. The Rangers are 0-8 in their last eight after scoring 5 runs or more in their previous game. Texas is 13-33 in its last 46 home games vs. a right-handed starter. The A’s are 6-1 in Cahill’s last seven road starts at Texas. Bet the A’s Thursday.
|07-25-18||A's -115 v. Rangers||Top||6-5||Win||100||10 h 40 m||Show|
20* MLB Wednesday No-Doubt Rout on Oakland A’s -115
The Oakland A’s are on a tear right now. They are 25-7 in their last 32 games overall and are threatening the Mariners for the final wild card spot. They feel invincible right now, especially after coming back from a 10-2 deficit to win yesterday in extra for their fourth straight victory. They have now scored 28 runs in two games against the Rangers in this series.
Edwin Jackson is back from the grave and pitching remarkably well for the A’s thus far. He has gone 1-2 with a 2.93 ERA and 0.946 WHIP in five starts this season. While I don’t expect he’ll be able to keep up that pace, he’s certainly the better starter in this matchup tonight.
Martin Perez is one of the worst starters in baseball and has been for the last several years. He is 2-4 with an 8.05 ERA and 2.077 WHIP in seven starts this season, including 1-1 with a 10.05 ERA and 2.303 WHIP in three home starts. He has no chance of slowing down this red-hot A’s lineup. Perez is 8-7 with a 5.23 ERA and 1.527 WHIP in 17 career starts against Oakland.
The A’s are 23-8 in their last 31 road games. Oakland is 10-2 when playing against a bad team winning 38% to 46% of their games this season. The Rangers are 1-7 in their last eight home games. Texas is 1-5 in Perez’s last six starts. Bet the A’s Wednesday.
|07-24-18||A's -101 v. Rangers||Top||13-10||Win||100||8 h 8 m||Show|
20* AL West GAME OF THE MONTH on Oakland A’s -101
The Oakland A’s are on an absolute tear right now and flying under the radar. They have gone 24-7 in their last 31 games overall and are now in position to make a run at a playoff spot. They are only 2.5 games back in the wild card at 58-43 on the season.
Frankie Montas has pitched well for the A’s this season, going 5-2 with a 3.35 ERA in eight starts. Montas has been at his best on the road, going 3-0 with a 2.66 ERA in four starts away from home.
Mike Minor is 6-6 with a 4.89 ERA in 18 starts this season for the Rangers. He has struggled a lot of late, going 0-2 with a 6.43 ERA and 1.571 WHIP in his last three starts.
The A’s are 5-0 in their last five road games vs. a team with a losing record. Oakland is 38-16 in its last 54 vs. a team with a losing record. The A’s are 4-0 in Montas’ last four road starts. Oakland is 4-0 in Montas’ last four starts vs. a team with a. Losing record. The Rangers are 21-45 in their last 66 vs. a team with a winning record. Texas is 1-6 in its last seven home games. The Rangers are 0-5 in Minor’s last five starts vs. a team with a winning record. Bet the A’s Tuesday.
|07-23-18||Braves -115 v. Marlins||Top||12-1||Win||100||7 h 27 m||Show|
20* NL East GAME OF THE MONTH on Atlanta Braves -115
The Atlanta Braves find themselves in a battle with the Philadelphia Phillies for first place in the NL East. I like their focus the rest of the way as long as this race is so close. And I certainly like backing them as a small favorite over the lowly Marlins in Game 1 of this series Monday considering they have the advantage on the mound.
Left-hander Sean Newcomb is having a fine season. He has gone 8-5 with a 3.51 ERA and 1.276 WHIP in 19 starts this year. Newcomb has owned the Marlins, going 2-1 with a 2.74 ERA in four career starts against them.
Jose Urena is 2-9 with a 4.39 ERA in 19 starts this season. He is still in search of his first home win, going 0-7 with a 4.26 ERA in 12 starts in Miami. Urena is 2-4 with a 5.05 ERA in nine career starts against the Braves as well.
Urena is 2-13 (-14 units) against the money line in home games vs. division opponents over the last three seasons. The Braves are 4-0 in Newcomb’s last four starts vs. NL East opponents. The Marlins are 3-10 in Urena’s last 13 home starts. Miami is 0-4 in Urena’s last four home starts vs. Atlanta. Bet the Braves Monday.
|07-22-18||Dodgers -118 v. Brewers||Top||11-2||Win||100||4 h 35 m||Show|
20* NL GAME OF THE WEEK on Los Angeles Dodgers -118
The Dodgers have put themselves in position to win the NL West with a great run over the last few months. Now they’ve added Manny Machado and are really a scary team moving forward. The Brewers are starting to feel the pressure of trying to win the NL Central, going 1-7 in their last eight games overall.
The Dodgers should be bigger favorites today considering their advantage on the mound. Alex Wood is 5-5 with a 4.00 ERA and 1.173 WHIP in 19 starts this season. Wood is also 1-0 with a 1.29 ERA and 1.143 WHIP in one career start against Milwaukee.
Brent Suter is 7-6 with a 4.52 ERA in 17 starts his season for the Brewers. He has been at his worst at home, going 4-3 with a 5.15 ERA in nine home starts. He is also 0-2 with a 5.62 ERA in his last three starts this season.
The Dodgers are 38-18 in their last 56 games overall. Los Angeles is 15-3 in its last 18 games following a loss. The Dodgers are 29-14 in Wood’s last 43 starts, including 7-1 in his last eight starts vs. NL Central opponents. Bet the Dodgers Sunday.
|07-21-18||White Sox v. Mariners -1.5||Top||5-0||Loss||-105||11 h 19 m||Show|
20* MLB Saturday No-Doubt Rout on Seattle Mariners -1.5 (-105)
I backed the Mariners with success on the Run Line yesterday and I’m back on them again Saturday. It’s a team I knew would be motivated coming out of the All-Star Break after entering the break with four straight losses. I look for them to win by two runs or more once again today against the lowly Chicago White Sox (33-63).
The Mariners have a big advantage on the mound with Felix Hernandez. The right-hander is 4-4 with a 4.10 ERA and 1.247 WHIP in 10 home starts this season. Hernandez is 7-6 with a 3.90 ERA and 1.276 WHIP in 20 career starts against Chicago.
Dylan Covey has been one of the worst starters in baseball this season. He is 3-5 with a 5.21 ERA and 1.627 WHIP in 11 starts this season, including 0-3 with a 14.73 ERA and 2.545 WHIP in his last three. He’s also 1-4 with a 6.92 ERA and 1.793 WHIP in six road starts, and 0-0 with a 6.00 ERA in one career start against Seattle.
Seattle is 21-6 as a home favorite of -110 or higher this season. The White Sox are 1-12 in Covey’s last 13 road starts. Chicago is 14-44 in its last 58 vs. a team with a winning record. The Marines are 7-0 in Hernandez’s last seven starts vs. AL Central opponents. Seattle is 4-0 in Hernandez’s last four starts against the White Sox, and 6-1 in his last seven home starts against them. Bet the Mariners on the Run Line Saturday.
|07-20-18||White Sox v. Mariners -1.5||Top||1-3||Win||105||11 h 56 m||Show|
20* MLB Friday No-Doubt Rout on Seattle Mariners -1.5 (+105)
The Seattle Mariners come out of the All-Star Break highly motivated for a victory. They lost four straight on the road heading into the break to let the Astros distance themselves from them a bit in the AL West race. Now they get to host the lowly White Sox to get back on track in this series, and I expect them to win Game 1 by two runs or more.
Wade LeBlanc has been great for the Mariners this season. He is 5-1 with a 3.45 ERA and 1.123 WHIP in 14 starts, including a perfect 5-0 with a 2.35 ERA and 0.891 WHIP in eight home starts. LeBlanc has posted a 3.86 ERA in one career starts against Chicago.
James Shields is 4-9 with a 4.38 ERA in 20 starts this season, including 1-4 with a 6.02 ERA in seven road starts. Shields has been awful in his last three starts against the Mariners, going 0-3 with an 11.04 ERA while allowing 18 earned runs in 14 2/3 innings.
LeBlanc is 9-0 in home games vs. AL teams with an on base percentage of .330 or worse over the last three seasons. His teams are winning by 2.0 runs per game on average in this spot. LeBlanc is 10-0 at home when the total is 8 to 8.5 over the last three seasons, and his teams are winning by 2.2 runs per game. The Mariners are 8-0 in LeBlanc’s eight home starts this season and winning by 2.2 runs per game. Bet the Mariners on the Run Line Friday.
|07-15-18||Angels v. Dodgers -1.5||Top||3-5||Win||100||5 h 7 m||Show|
20* MLB Sunday No-Doubt Rout on Los Angeles Dodgers -1.5 (-110)
The Los Angeles Dodgers have battled to get to within 0.5 games of the Arizona Diamondbacks for first place in the NL West. Look for them to win their final game before the All-Star Break over the Angels thanks to a huge advantage on the mound.
Clayton Kershaw looks healthy and his numbers are showing it. He is now 3-4 with a 2.61 ERA and 1.043 WHIP in 12 starts this season, including 2-0 with a 1.59 ERA and 0.647 WHIP in his last three starts. Kershaw is 6-2 with a 2.42 ERA and 0.962 WHIP in 10 career starts against the Angels.
Deck McGuire is no more than a fill-in starter for the Angels. And his two starts this season have not gone well as he’s 0-1 with a 7.11 ERA and 1.580 WHIP while averaging just 3.2 innings per start. The Dodgers will get into the Angels’ bullpen early in this one.
Kershaw is 35-5 vs. teams who strand 6.9 or less base runners per game over the last three seasons. The Dodgers are winning by 2.4 runs per game on average in this spot. The Angels are 2-12 in their last 14 games vs. a starter with a WHIP less than 1.15. The Dodgers are 14-3 in their last 17 games following a loss. Los Angeles is 9-1 in Kershaw’s last 10 interleague starts. Bet the Dodgers on the Run Line Sunday.
|07-14-18||Reds v. Cardinals -139||Top||8-2||Loss||-139||10 h 3 m||Show|
20* MLB Saturday No-Doubt Rout on St. Louis Cardinals -139
The St. Louis Cardinals were embarrassed 9-1 at home by the Reds last night. They will come back highly motivated for a win in Game 2 this afternoon, and they should get it due to their advantage on the mound.
Jack Flaherty is having an outstanding rookie season. He has gone 3-4 with a 3.34 ERA and 1.100 WHIP in 13 starts this year with 82 K’s in 70 innings.
Luis Castillo is 5-8 with a 5.58 ERA and 1.403 WHIP in 19 starts for the Reds, including 2-5 with a 6.71 ERA and 1.567 WHIP in 11 road starts. Castillo has never beaten the Cardinals, going 0-3 with a 5.71 ERA and 1.500 WHIP in three career starts against them.
The Reds are 1-4 in Castillo’s last five road starts, and 1-6 in his last seven Saturday starts. St. Louis is 4-1 in its last five games following a loss. The Cardinals are 17-5 in the last 22 meetings, and 35-17 in the last 52 meetings in St. Louis. Bet the Cardinals Saturday.
|07-13-18||Reds v. Cardinals -148||Top||9-1||Loss||-148||8 h 12 m||Show|
20* NL Central GAME OF THE MONTH on St. Louis Cardinals -148
The St. Louis Cardinals need this series against the Reds before the All-Star Break. They need to try and keep pace with the Brewers and Cubs in the NL Central and cannot afford a series loss here. It starts with Game 1 of this series against the lowly Cincinnati Reds tonight.
The Cardinals have the clear advantage on the mound, which is why I’m willing to lay this kind of juice. Carlos Martinez is 6-4 with a 3.05 ERA in 15 starts this season, including 2-1 with a 2.38 ERA in eight home starts. Martinez is also 5-3 with a 3.78 ERA in 11 career starts against Cincinnati.
Matt Harvey is 4-5 with a 4.37 ERA in 15 starts this season, including 1-4 with a 5.21 ERA in nine road starts. Have gave up 5 earned runs and 3 homers in 6 innings of a 6-7 loss to the Cardinals in his only start against them this season on June 8th.
The Reds are 1-4 in Harvey’s last five road starts. The Cardinals are 4-0 in their last four games following a loss. St. Louis is 7-3 in Martinez’s last 10 home starts. The Cardinals are 34-16 in Martinez’s last 50 starts vs. a team with a losing record. The Reds are 4-17 in the last 21 meetings. St. Louis is 8-3 in Martinez’s last 11 starts vs. Cincinnati. Bet the Cardinals Friday.
|07-12-18||Dodgers -1.5 v. Padres||Top||3-2||Loss||-111||11 h 4 m||Show|
20* MLB Thursday No-Doubt Rout on Los Angeles Dodgers -1.5 (-111)
The Los Angeles Dodgers should have no problem beating the San Diego Padres by two runs or more tonight. The Dodgers have been playing well for weeks now and are just 0.5 games behind the Diamondbacks for first place in the NL West. They’re looking to close strong before the All-Star Break.
Los Angeles starter Ross Stripling has earned his way onto the All-Star team. He is 7-2 with a 2.55 ERA and 1.054 WHIP in 13 starts this season with 86 K’s in 74 innings. Stripling has been dominant in his two starts against San Diego, going 2-0 with a 0.00 ERA while pitching 10 2/3 innings with 15 K’s without allowing an earned run.
Tyson Ross is really faltering of late. He has gone 0-2 with a 19.29 ERA in his last two starts, giving up 15 earned runs and 4 homers in 7 innings. Ross was awful in his last start against the Dodgers giving up 8 runs and 10 base runners in 5 1/3 innings of a 15-0 loss.
San Diego is 6-20 as a home underdog of +100 or higher this season. It is losing by 3.1 runs per game on average in this spot. The Dodgers are 12-2 in their last 14 road games vs. a right-handed starter. Los Angeles is 8-2 in Stripling’s last 10 starts overall. The Padres are 1-7 in Ross’ last eight starts against the Dodgers, including 0-4 in his last four home starts against them. Bet the Dodgers on the Run Line Thursday.
|07-11-18||Diamondbacks v. Rockies -122||2-19||Win||100||9 h 22 m||Show|
15* NL PLAY OF THE DAY on Colorado Rockies -122
The Colorado Rockies need to start piling up wins if they want to hang with the Diamondbacks and Dodgers in the NL West race. They lost Game 1 of this series to the Diamondbacks, but I expect them to bounce back with a victory in Game 2 at home tonight.
Shelby Miller has been one of the worst starters in baseball since joining the Diamondbacks. He is off to a shaky start since returning from injury this season, going 0-3 with a 9.00 ERA and 1.786 WHIP in three starts. Those three have come against the Padres, Giants and Marlins, three of the worst lineups in the National League.
German Marquez hasn’t been great at 7-8 with a 5.01 ERA in 18 starts. But he has pitched well of late, going 2-1 with a 3.64 ERA and 1.096 WHIP in his last three starts. He is clearly the better starter in this matchup.
Miller is 2-4 with a 6.30 ERA and 1.580 WHIP in nine career starts against Colorado. He has allowed 16 earned runs in 14 2/3 innings in his last three starts against the Rockies. The Diamondbacks are 2-10 in Miller’s last 10 starts vs. a team with a winning record. Roll with the Rockies Wednesday.
|07-11-18||Reds v. Indians -1.5||4-19||Win||104||8 h 52 m||Show|
15* Interleague PLAY OF THE DAY on Cleveland Indians -1.5 (+104)
I had the Indians on the Run Line yesterday in one of the sickest beats I’ve taken all season. They were up 4-0 going into the 9th and lost 7-4. Now the Indians have lost four straight, and they are looking to avoid the sweep at the hands of in-state rival Cincinnati. Look for them to be playing with an extra chip on their shoulder tonight.
Carlos Carrasco has some of the best stuff in baseball. He has gone 9-5 with a 4.28 ERA and 1.179 WHIP in 16 starts this season. The Indians are 4-0 in Carrasco’s four career starts against the Reds, having never lost, and winning three of them by 2 runs or more.
Tyler Mahle has been respectable for the Reds this season at 7-6 with a 3.66 ERA and 1.393 WHIP in 18 starts. But he’ll be up against it here against a motivated Indians lineup that will continue to pour it on after letting off the gas yesterday after taking a quick 4-0 lead.
The Reds are 2-8 in their last 10 interleague road games vs. a team with a winning record. The Indians are 40-12 in their last 52 home games vs. a team with a losing road record. Cleveland is 5-0 in its last five after losing the first two games of a series. The Indians are 15-3 off three or more consecutive losses over the last three seasons. Cleveland is 9-1 in Carrasco’s last 10 starts vs. a team with a losing record. Take the Indians on the Run Line Wednesday.
|07-11-18||Rangers v. Red Sox -1.5||Top||2-4||Win||100||7 h 22 m||Show|
20* MLB Wednesday No-Doubt Rout on Boston Red Sox -1.5 (-165)
The Boston Red Sox have such a big advantage on the mound tonight that it’s worth laying the juice with them on the Run Line. They should have no problem winning by two runs or more. The Red Sox are 8-0 in their last eight games overall with seven of those wins coming by 3 runs or more.
Ace Chris Sale gets the ball Wednesday. He is 9-4 with a 2.36 ERA and 0.893 WHIP in 19 starts this season, including 3-0 with a 0.45 ERA and 0.650 WHIP in his last three starts. Sale is 6-2 with a 3.14 ERA and 0.873 WHIP in nine career starts against Texas. Better yet, Sale is 3-0 with a 1.23 ERA in his last three starts against the Rangers, allowing just 4 earned runs in 29 1/3 innings.
The 45-year-old Bartolo Colon is overmatched here. He is 5-6 with a 4.80 ERA in 16 starts this season. Colon is 9-12 with a 4.06 ERA and 1.435 WHIP in 32 career starts against Boston. He allowed 4 homers in 7 innings in his last start against the Red Sox on May 4th of this season, a 1-5 loss.
The Rangers are 20-41 in their last 61 vs. a team with a winning record. The Red Sox are 51-18 in their last 69 games vs. a right-handed starter. Boston is 10-1 in Sale’s last 11 starts during Game 3 of a series. The Red Sox are 5-0 in their last five meetings with the Rangers. Boston is 6-0 in its last six home meetings with Texas. Bet the Red Sox on the Run Line Wednesday.
|07-10-18||Reds v. Indians -1.5||Top||7-4||Loss||-115||6 h 23 m||Show|
25* Interleague GAME OF THE YEAR on Cleveland Indians -1.5 (-115)
The Cleveland Indians will be highly motivated for a victory Tuesday after losing three straight games coming in, including their 6-0 shutout loss to the Reds yesterday. But due to the massive advantage the Indians have on the mound tonight, they should have no problem getting revenge and beating the Reds by two runs or more to cover the Run Line.
Trevor Bauer has been outstanding this season. He has gone 8-6 with a 2.45 ERA and 1.088 WHIP in 18 starts, 4-1 with a 2.52 ERA and 1.118 WHIP in eight home starts, and 2-1 with a 2.18 ERA and 1.064 WHIP in his last three outings. He has 156 K’s in 121 1/3 innings this season. Bauer has allowed just 3 earned runs in 13 innings in his two career home starts against the Reds for a 2.08 ERA.
Sal Romano has been one of the worst starters in baseball this season for the Reds. He is 5-8 with a 5.31 ERA and 1.463 WHIP in 18 starts, 1-4 with a 6.11 ERA and 1.585 WHIP in seven road starts, and 1-1 with a 6.60 ERA and 1.600 WHIP in his last three outings.
Cleveland is 15-2 off three or more consecutive losses over the last three seasons. It is coming back to win by 3.5 runs per game on average in this spot. The Reds are 16-43 in their last 59 interleague road games. The Indians are 6-1 in Bauer’s last seven home starts. Cleveland is 40-11 in its last 51 home games vs. a team with a losing road record. Bet the Indians on the Run Line Tuesday.
|07-09-18||Dodgers -1.5 v. Padres||Top||8-2||Win||100||9 h 42 m||Show|
20* NL GAME OF THE WEEK on Los Angeles Dodgers -1.5 (-150)
The Los Angeles Dodgers should make easy work of the San Diego Padres tonight and win this game by two runs or more. They are focused as they approach the All-Star Break to try and grab first place in the NL West, while the Padres are just going through the motions right now.
The Dodgers have a massive advantage on the mound tonight behind Clayton Kershaw, who is 2-4 with a 2.86 ERA and 1.095 WHIP in 11 starts this season. Kershaw is 17-6 with a 1.94 ERA and 0.992 WHIP in 32 career starts against San Diego. Kershaw has allowed one earned run or fewer in 11 of his last 12 starts against the Padres, which is absolutely remarkable.
Luis Perdomo is 1-2 with a 6.86 ERA and 2.186 WHIP in five starts this season, including 0-2 with a 15.43 ERA and 3.286 HWIP in two home starts. Perdomo is also 1-4 with an 8.31 ERA and 1.692 WHIP in five career starts against the Dodgers. He gave up 7 earned runs and 12 base runners in 3 innings in his only start against the Dodgers this season back on April 18th.
Kershaw is 34-5 against teams that strand 6.9 or less runners on base per game over the last two seasons. The Dodgers are winning by 2.3 runs per game in this spot. San Diego is 5-18 as a home dog of +100 or more this season, losing by 3.3 runs per game on average. Los Angeles is 46-11 in Kershaw’s last 57 starts vs. NL West opponents, including 5-0 in his last five starts in San Diego. Bet the Dodgers on the Run Line Monday.
|07-09-18||A's v. Astros -1.5||2-0||Loss||-115||7 h 41 m||Show|
15* MLB Monday No-Doubt Rout on Houston Astros -1.5 (-115)
The Houston Astros have won six straight to improve to 61-31 on the season and get a little breathing room on the Seattle Mariners atop the AL West standings. Look for them to win their seventh straight game tonight, and to do so by two runs or more.
Gerrit Cole is having the best season of his career. He has gone 9-2 with a 2.70 ERA and 0.969 WHIP in 18 starts this season with 158 K’s in 116 2/3 innings. The Astros are 15-3 in those starts. Cole is also 2-1 with a 3.51 ERA and 1.091 WHIP in four career starts against Oakland. The Astros are 3-0 in Cole’s three starts against the A’s this season alone, winning by 4, 3 and 8 runs.
Frankie Montas is 4-2 with a 3.83 ERA and 1.464 WHIP in seven starts for the A’s this season, but 0-1 with a 9.34 ERA in his last two starts, giving up 9 earned runs and 20 base runners in 8 2/3 innings to the Tigers and Indians. Montas’ worst start this season came against the Astros on June 14th when he allowed 7 runs and 15 base runners in 5 1/3 innings of a 3-7 loss.
Cole is 20-3 as a favorite of -150 or more over the last two seasons. His teams are winning by 3.2 runs per game on average in this spot. Roll with the Astros on the Run Line Monday.