|Date||Match Up||Rating||Score||Result||Profit||Lead Time||Analysis|
|09-17-18||Rays -134 v. Rangers||3-0||Win||100||8 h 41 m||Show|
15* MLB Monday No-Doubt Rout on Tampa Bay Rays -134
The casual fan would look at the Rays being 7 games back in the wild card and think they are done. And many teams would think the same way. But the Rays clearly aren’t approaching it that way. They are making a big run, going 20-6 in their last 26 games overall. They still feel like they have a chance in that locker room, and that’s what matters.
Tyler Glasnow has shut down the Indians twice in his last three starts, giving up 3 earned runs in 14 innings in those two starts. He had a stinker against the Blue Jays where he couldn’t make it out of the first inning in between, but I think we get good Glasnow here Monday against the Rangers.
Adrian Sampson will be making just his second start as a Ranger tonight. He lost his first start against the Angels, though he did pitch pretty well. He has just been an average starter in the minors and cannot be trusted to go deep into this start.
The Rays are 17-4 in their last 21 games vs. a starer with a WHIP greater than 1.30. Tampa Bay is 21-6 in its last 27 games against a right-handed starter. The Rays are 8-1 in their last nine vs. AL West opponents. Tampa Bay is 14-3 in its last 17 Monday games. The Rangers are 1-8 in their last nine vs. a right-handed starter. Texas is 0-5 in its last five vs. a team with a winning record.
|09-16-18||Giants +3 v. Cowboys||Top||13-20||Loss||-102||47 h 48 m||Show|
20* Giants/Cowboys NBC Sunday Night BAILOUT on New York +3
The New York Giants are undervalued off their disastrous 3-13 season last year. They were hit as hard by injuries as any team in the league last year. Ben McAdoo was not fit for the job. But this is a team that made the playoffs in 2016, so there is still a lot 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 Solder 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 decimated this unit last last year and poor play by the offense had them gassed. This stop unit should come back energized and become 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.
The Giants actually played well against the Jaguars in Week 1 and should have won. They gained 324 yards on offense against arguably the best D in the NFL. Their defense only gave up 305 total yards and actually held the Jaguars’ offense to just 13 points because one of their touchdowns was a pick-six. The Giants should finally click offensively this week against a Dallas D that isn’t nearly as good as Jacksonville.
I still think the Cowboys have a decent D, but they are battling injuries right now. They have three DE’s who are hurt in Demarcus Lawrence, Tyrone Crawford, David Irving (suspension) and Randy Gregory. Both Irving and Gregory are out, while Lawrence and Crawford are expected to play. Also out is DT Datone Jones and FS Xavier Woods.
The real problem for the Cowboys is on offense. Dak Prescott regressed big-time last year, and now this year he has no weapons with Dez Bryant and Jason Witten gone. And the offensive line is missing starting center Travis Frederick right now. That offense was atrocious against Carolina last week. The Cowboys trailed 16-0 and finally got on the scoreboard in the 4th quarter, but it was too little, too late. They managed just 232 total yards against the Panthers.
Jason Garrett is 3-11 ATS as a home favorite of 3 points or less as the coach of Dallas. Garrett is 1-9 ATS in home games after scoring 14 points or less as the coach of the Cowboys. Dallas has been terrible in the home favorite role over the years. I think the Giants are the better of these two teams and they prove it on the field Sunday night. Bet the Giants Sunday.
|09-16-18||Dodgers v. Cardinals +138||0-5||Win||138||7 h 15 m||Show|
15* Dodgers/Cardinals ESPN Sunday Night BAILOUT on St. Louis +138
The St. Louis Cardinals should be highly motivated for a victory against the Los Angeles Dodgers tonight. They have lost the first three games of this series to fall behind the Dodgers by a game in the wild card race. They don’t want swept in four games here.
Veteran Adam Wainwright should come up big in this spot. I trust him more than Ross Stripling, who doesn’t have much big-game experience under his belt, and who just recently returned to the rotation.
Wainwright has posted a 3.08 ERA and 1.168 WHIP in 15 career starts against the Dodgers. Stripling has posted a 7.20 ERA and 2.200 WHIP in one career start against the Cardinals.
The Cardinals are 38-16 in Wainwright’s last 54 home starts. Getting him and the Cardinals are underdogs is a big-time line mistake from the oddsmakers tonight. Bet the Cardinals Sunday.
|09-16-18||Texans -2.5 v. Titans||17-20||Loss||-110||40 h 38 m||Show|
15* Texans/Titans AFC South ANNIHILATOR on Houston -2.5
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.
Fuller had 7 touchdown receptions on just 28 grabs last year. Well, Fuller missed Week 1’s 20-27 loss to the Patriots. But Fuller is expected back this week, giving Watson his full arsenal of weapons against the Titans this week. And Watson had a concussion that he has been cleared from this week.
Defensively, the Texans get their two best players back healthy as well. Both J.J. Watt and Whitney Mercilus return this season. Watt is a three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year. He, Jadeveon Clowney and Mercilus will wreak havoc on opposing offenses this season. Both LB’s Benardick McKinney and Zach Cunningham are coming off productive seasons, and this is one of the best front seven’s defensively in the NFL.
I’m way down on the Tennessee Titans this season. They were the worst team to make the playoffs last year and I just don’t trust them at all. They are due for some big-time regression. Marcus Mariota just isn’t progressing as he was supposed to, and he has limited weapons on offense. The defense has plenty of holes as well.
Tennessee lost 20-27 in Miami last week. It was a strange game because it was delayed by lightning, and actually took seven hours to complete. And by the 4th quarter, both teams looked so gas because they were out on the field for most of the day in the scorching heat. I question what the Titans have left in the tank this week.
The Titans came away with some serious injuries. Mariota was knocked out of the game with an elbow injury, and while he is likely to play this week, he is highly questionable and won’t be 100%. He lost his security blanket in TE Delanie Walker to a season-ending ankle injury. Top WR Corey Davis is battling a hamstring injury. Starting LB Derrick Morgan (knee) is questionable, starting SS Johnathan Cyprien (knee) is out for the season, and two offensive tackles in Taylor Lewan and Jack Conklin are out this week. Fellow offensive tackler Dennis Kelly is questionable.
It’s a laundry list of injuries for the Titans right now. The key injuries are those to Walker and the offensive tackles. Walker had caught at least 60 passes every year for the Titans since signing with them in 2013. And Watt, Clowney and company should be all over Mariota since the Titans are likely going with a pair of backup tackles this week.
Bill O’Brien is 17-8 ATS as a favorite as the coach of Houston. The Texans are winning in this spot by 7.6 points per game on average. The Texans are 8-2 ATS in their last 10 games in Week 2. The Titans are 15-40-4 ATS in their last 59 vs. AFC opponents. Tennessee is 8-26-3 ATS in its last 37 vs. a team with a losing record. Roll with the Texans Sunday.
|09-16-18||Browns v. Saints -9||18-21||Loss||-110||39 h 28 m||Show|
15* NFL Sunday No-Doubt Rout on New Orleans Saints -9
I think the Saints simply took the Bucs too lightly in Week 1. I was actually on the Bucs last week because I thought they came into the season undervalued. And it was a good move as the Bucs upset the Saints 48-40. I certainly don’t believe the Saints are this bad defensively because they were vastly improved last year. And their task gets much easier against the Browns this week.
I think that loss to the Bucs will serve as a wake-up call for the Saints. They won’t be taking the Browns lightly this week as they’ll be putting their best foot forward. Look for them to roll at home behind an offense that racked up 475 total yards and 40 points against the Bucs. I’m certainly not ready to write off their defense because they actually added more talent in the offseason.
Now the Saints are up against a weak Browns’ offense that just isn’t very explosive. The Browns trailed the Steelers 21-7 midway through the fourth quarter last week before tacking on two late touchdowns and forcing overtime. But the Browns deserves to lose that game. They gave up 472 total yards and managed just 322 themselves, getting outgained by 150 yards. They were +5 in turnovers and still couldn’t win! Drew Brees and the Saints won’t be giving away any gifts this week.
I certainly believe the Browns have an improved defense this year with some playmakers, but those 472 yards they gave up to the Steelers without Le’Veon Bell is concerning. And Cleveland’s offense doesn’t have the potential to keep up with the Saints in a shootout, which this is expected to be with a total set of 49.5 points. The Saints will get their points because they always do at home.
The Browns are 0-8 ATS in their last eight games vs. NFC opponents. Cleveland is 5-15-1 ATS in its last 21 road games. I think last week’s results are keeping this line lower than it should be. New Orleans should have no problem winning by double-digits. Take the Saints Sunday.
|09-15-18||USC v. Texas -3||Top||14-37||Win||100||103 h 42 m||Show|
20* USC/Texas FOX Saturday No-Brainer on Texas -3
I believe we are getting Texas at a great value here as only 3-point home favorites over the USC Trojans. They would be bigger favorites if not for a sluggish start to the season. They were clearly overvalued coming into the season, being asked to lay 12 points on the road at Maryland and 21 points at home to Tulsa.
They lost to Maryland 29-34 outright. That’s a Maryland team that I feel was underrated coming into the season. They also only beat Tulsa 28-21 at home, but that was a 21-0 game late in the 3rd quarter before the Longhorns let their foot off the gas. Those two scores now have the Longhorns undervalued.
Texas is still one of the best teams in the Big 12. They have 14 starters back in Tom Herman’s second season and should only get better as the season goes along. And they have had this game against USC circled all offseason after losing 24-27 (OT) at USC last season. It’s revenge time for the Longhorns as they get the Trojans at home this time around.
USC is a team that is due to regress this season after some key losses on offense and defense. They lost QB Sam Darnold (4,143 yards, 26 TD), leading rusher Ronald Jones (1,550 yards, 19 TD) and leading receiver Deontay Burnett (1,114 yards, 9 TD) to the NFL. They have clearly not been good through the first two games and will struggle against Texas as well.
USC only outgained UNLV by 96 yards in the opener in what was a closer game than the final 43-21 margin would suggest. Then they lost 3-17 at Stanford last week and couldn’t get anything going offensively. Freshman QB JT Daniels was put in his place by that Stanford defense, and he won’t have much more success here against Texas, either.
Daniels hit only 16 of 34 passes for 215 yards with two fourth quarter interceptions against Stanford last week. He sustained a bruise to his right (throwing) hand during the loss, which is obviously a concern for any quarterback. He will play this week, but he won’t be 100%.
USC is 0-6 ATS in September road games over the last three seasons. Texas is 6-0 ATS off a home game over the last two years. The Longhorns are 13-4 ATS in their last 17 games as a home favorite of 3 to 7 points. Clay Helton is 1-9 ATS as an underdog as the coach of USC, and his teams are losing by 16.9 points per game in this spot. Helton is 0-6 ATS as a road dog of 7 points or less as the coach of the Trojans. Roll with Texas Saturday.
|09-15-18||Missouri v. Purdue +7.5||40-37||Win||100||101 h 38 m||Show|
15* CFB Saturday UPSET SHOCKER on Purdue +7.5
This just feels like a ‘rally the troops’ game for Purdue. It’s a team that had high expectations following a bowl win in Jeff Brohm’s first season last year. But the Boilermakers are off to an 0-2 start with losses to Northwestern and Eastern Michigan by a combined 5 points. So they could easily be 2-0, and now they’ll be extra motivated for a win to save their season.
The Boilermakers have had 15-yard penalties to keep drives alive late in their losses to both Northwestern and Eastern Michigan. It’s something that Brohm has harped on all week leading up to the game. I believe Purdue will have an excellent week of practice and put their best foot forward against Missouri this week.
Purdue outgained Northwestern by 71 yards and Eastern Michigan by 60 yards and clearly should have won both games. But they lost the turnover battle 5-1 combined in those two games, which has also been a point of emphasis. The offense, which returned nine starters this year, has been explosive in averaging 474 yards per game and 6.9 yards per play. Avoid the turnovers and this is going to be a scary bunch.
While Purdue is undervalued right now due to its 0-2 start, Missouri is clearly overvalued due to its 2-0 start. They have blowout wins over Tennessee-Martin and Wyoming. Big deal. We saw Wyoming get blown out at home by Washington State the week prior to playing Missouri, and that’s a rebuilding Cougars team.
No question the Tigers have a good offense, but their defense was one of the worst in the country last year and won’t be much improved. It’s a Missouri team that went 7-0 against teams with losing records last year, but 0-6 against teams with winning records. Every time they stepped up in class they couldn’t win. And they’re stepping up in class here against a capable Big Ten foe.
Purdue went into Missouri and won 35-3 last year as 6-point underdogs. The Boilermakers gained 477 yards on offense and allowed just 203 yards on defense, outgaining the Tigers by 274 yards in a dominant effort. Now we are seeing basically the same spread here with Purdue as a touchdown underdog, but the Boilermakers are at home this time around. That clearly shows what public perception is doing here, and it’s working in our favor.
Sure, Missouri will want revenge, but Purdue will match or exceed their intensity after an 0-2 start. I’m not even sure Missouri is the better of these two teams, but I am certain they are not good enough to justify being a 7.5-point road favorite here.
Plays on underdogs of 3.5 to 10 points (Purdue) - in a game involving two dominant teams who outgain their opponents by 1.2-plus yards per play, after gaining 450 or more total yards in two consecutive games are 32-9 (78%) ATS over the last five seasons. The Boilermakers are 5-1 ATS in their last six non-conference games. Bet Purdue Saturday.
|09-15-18||Eastern Michigan v. Buffalo -3||28-35||Win||100||58 h 16 m||Show|
15* MAC PLAY OF THE DAY on Buffalo -3
The Buffalo Bulls are one of the better Group of 5 teams in the country this season. They went 6-6 last year in Lance Leipold’s third season and got better as the season went on, winning each of their fina three games. And all six of their losses came by 10 points or less, including a 10-point loss at Minnesota as 24-point dogs and a 4-point loss to Army as 15-point dogs. They went 8-2-2 ATS last season and were a very undervalued commodity.
The Bulls returned 14 starters this year, including eight on offense from a unit that average 432 yards per game last year. Tyree Jackson is back at QB after only starting half the games last year due to injury. He has stud WR Anthony Johnson back as well, and Johnson had 1,356 yards and 14 touchdowns last year. Leading rusher Emmanuel Reed (840 yards, 9 TD) is back as well.
This Buffalo offense is hitting on all cylinders with a 48-10 win over Delaware State in the opener and a 36-29 win at Temple as 4-point dogs in Week 2. The defense is only giving up 19.5 points and 315 yards per game and 4.5 per play while forcing seven turnovers thus far. This defense is solid again after allowing just 24.8 points per game last season.
No question Eastern Michigan has been an undervalued commodity as well over the past couple seasons. And they are off to a 2-0 SU & 2-0 ATS start this season, including their shocking 20-19 upset win at Purdue last week. However, its that win that has me liking Buffalo here. There’s no question Eastern Michigan is in line for a huge letdown after a road win over a Big Ten opponent. They won’t be on their ‘A’ game this week because of it.
The Eagles are 9-22 ATS in their last 31 games following a win. Eastern Michigan is 11-32 ATS in its last 43 games after allowing less than 20 points in its previous game. The Bulls are 11-4 ATS in their last 15 games overall, including 6-1 ATS in their last seven home games. Buffalo is 6-0 ATS in its last six home games vs. a team with a winning road record. Bet Buffalo Saturday.
|09-15-18||Ohio v. Virginia -3.5||31-45||Win||100||57 h 47 m||Show|
15* CFB Saturday No-Doubt Rout on Virginia -3.5
The Virginia Cavaliers are in Year 3 under Bronco Mendenhall. They went 6-7 last year and made a bowl game, already ahead of schedule. And they have 13 starters back this season, including eight on defense. This should be his best stop unit yet.
I’ve been impressed with this Virginia outfit thus far, especially defensively. They beat Richmond 42-13 in their opener as 14.5-point favorites and outgained them by 267 yards in a dominant effort. Then they only lost 16-20 at Indiana and covered as 5-point road underdogs against a solid Big Ten squad. It’s a team I believe to be flying under the radar.
Ohio has only played one game because they had an open date Week 2. They have that advantage plus this game has been moved from Virginia to Nashville, so it will essentially be a neutral site game. But I think that’s why we are getting a shorter price on Virginia than we should be here as only 3.5-point favorites.
And that opener by Ohio was shocking, and it’s a sign of things to come for this team this season. Ohio only beat Howard 38-32 as 30.5-point home favorites. The Bobcats were actually outgained by 220 yards by Howard! But they won’t the turnover battle 4-0, which is the only reason they were able to pull out the win.
The Bobcats gave up a whopping 645 total yards to Howard. It’s a defense that has problems because they only returned four starters on D this year. They have to replace six of seven starters along the front seven. And get this, Howard lost 14-54 at Kent State in Week 2! I don’t need to say it but Kent State is not very good.
Mendenhall is 8-1 ATS off a non-conference game as the coach of Virginia. Mendenhall is 6-0 ATS in road games in the first half of the season as the coach of the Cavaliers. The Cavaliers are 6-2 ATS in their last eight games vs. a team with a winning record. Roll with Virginia Saturday.
|09-15-18||Colorado State v. Florida -20||10-48||Win||100||98 h 26 m||Show|
15* CFB Saturday Big Chalk BLOWOUT on Florida -20
The Florida Gators are a team I’m very high on coming into the season. They had 19 returning starters and Dan Mullen is one of the most underrated head coaches in the country. And they looked the part in their season-opening 53-6 win over Southern. But they were upset 16-27 by Kentucky last week, ending their 31-game winning streak over the Wildcats.
I think because they were upset they are laying fewer points than they should be this week against Colorado State. And because Colorado State upset Arkansas at home last week, the Rams are getting too much respect from oddsmakers. It’s the perfect storm and a great situation to back the Gators this week. They’ll be motivated to bounce back, while the Rams could fall flat and will get beat up playing two SEC teams in consecutive weeks.
This is a Colorado State team that couldn’t look any worse in their first two games. They trailed Hawaii 37-7 and lost 34-43 as 17-point home favorites in their opener. They lost 13-45 to Colorado as 7-point underdogs on a neutral field in Week 2. And they were down 27-9 late against Arkansas before scoring 25 unanswered points to steal victory from the jaws of defeat. I still don’t believe this team is any good, and that will show this week as the Gators keep their foot on the gas for four quarters.
This Colorado State defense is giving up a whopping 38.3 points and 550 yards per game this season while yielding 7.7 yards per play. Florida should be able to score at will on them. And this Florida defense is one of the best in the country and has been one for years. Colorado State only managed 13 points against Colorado, and I’d be surprised if they top that total this weekend.
The Gators are 7-2 ATS in their last nine games following a double-digit home loss. The Rams are 1-9 ATS in their last 10 games overall. Off a rare cover against Arkansas last week in a miracle comeback, the Rams will get back to their losing ways against the number here. Take Florida Saturday.
|09-15-18||Dodgers v. Cardinals +123||17-4||Loss||-100||4 h 49 m||Show|
15* Dodgers/Cards MLB Early ANNIHILATOR on St. Louis +123
The St. Louis Cardinals will be highly motivated for a victory here Saturday. They have lost three straight, including the first two of this series to the Dodgers. They are now tied with the Dodgers for the 2nd wild card spot in the National League.
I believe the Cardinals have the advantage on the mound today and should not be underdogs because of it. John Cant is 5-5 with a 3.24 ERA and 1.198 WHIP in 16 starts this season, including 2-0 with a 1.08 ERA and 1.140 WHIP in his last three starts.
Rich Hill is 8-5 with a 3.91 ERA and 1.198 WHIP in 21 starts this season, but 2-1 with a 6.19 ERA in his last three outings. Hill is 2-1 with a 4.33 ERA and 1.370 WHIP in six career starts against the Cardinals. He is getting too much respect from oddsmakers today.
St. Louis is 18-4 after scoring and allowing 3 runs or less this season. The Cards are 36-15 in their last 51 games after losing the first two games of a series. Take the Cardinals Saturday.
|09-15-18||Georgia Tech v. Pittsburgh +4||19-24||Win||100||53 h 47 m||Show|
15* CFB Saturday Undervalued Underdog on Pittsburgh +4
I liked Pitt coming into the season and took their OVER 5.5 wins as part of my Top 10 NCAAF Season Win Totals bets. This was a game I expected the Panthers to win, and I still do. And I think it’s a great time to back them as they are undervalued off their misleading 6-51 loss to Penn State last week.
That was a 7-6 game against Penn State with only a few seconds left before halftime. The Nittany Lions scored right before half, and proceeded to roll in the second half. But Pitt was only outgained by 90 yards in that contest and held the Nittany Lions to 390 total yards, which is no small feat against that offense. I believe this is the best defense that Pat Narduzzi has fielded at Pitt with nine returning starters from last year.
Georgia Tech gave up a whopping 49 points in their loss to South Florida last week. That loss and defensive effort is a big concern considering USF lost most of their studs from last season and isn’t nearly as good as they have been over the past few years.
Georgia Tech has some key injuries heading into this one. For starters, QB TaQuan Marshall is nursing a toe injury that will slow him down. And the Yellow Jackets lost their stud B-Back in KirVonte Benson to a season-ending knee injury in the lost to USF. He rushed for 1,053 yards and six touchdowns last year. Their next leading back had 271 yards on the ground, so it’s a huge blown. And center Kenny Cooper has a foot injury as well and is questionable for this one. He made 11 starts last year and would be a big loss if he can’t go.
I simply feel that the wrong team is favored here Saturday. Georgia Tech is 0-7 SU & 0-7 ATS in its last seven games as a road favorite, including four losses by double-digits. The underdog is 4-1 ATS in the last five meetings. Take Pittsburgh Saturday.
|09-15-18||Florida State v. Syracuse +3||Top||7-30||Win||100||52 h 19 m||Show|
20* FSU/Syracuse ESPN Early ANNIHILATOR on Syracuse +3
The Syracuse Orange are in the 3rd year under Dino Babers. They have 14 returning starters including eight on an explosive offense that could hang with anyone when QB Eric Dungey was healthy last year. That showed by how they performed against their best competition last year.
Syracuse handed Clemson its only regular season loss last year in a 27-24 upset at home as 23-point dogs. The Orange hung with LSU for four quarters and only lost 26-35 on the road as 21-point dogs. They only lost at NC State 25-33 as 13-point dogs. They only lost at Miami 19-27 as 17-point dogs. And they nearly upset Florida State in a 24-27 road loss as 6-point dogs.
Once Dungey got hurt last year, the Orange folded in their final three games. Dungey is back healthy and has this Syracuse offense hitting on all cylinders. The Orange have averaged 58.5 points and 508 yards per game in wins over Western Michigan and Wagner. Dungey has a 7-to-1 TD/INT ratio while also rushing for 244 yards and a score on 9.4 per carry thus far through two games.
Florida State is a team in transition under first-year head coach Willie Taggart. It has been an ugly start for the Seminoles. They lost 3-24 at home to Virginia Tech as 7.5-point favorites in their opener and committed five turnovers. Even worse was their 36-26 home win over lowly Samford as 31-point favorites in Week 2. Samford actually gained 525 total yards on this suspect FSU defense and committed 5 turnovers, otherwise they probably would have pulled off the upset.
You can just imagine what Dungey and company will do against this FSU defense. And the Orange want revenge from that 27-24 loss at Florida State last year. I simply believe the wrong team is favored in this matchup as Syracuse has the better team this year.
The Seminoles are 0-7-2 ATS in their last nine conference games. Florida State is 0-6 ATS in the first half of the season over the last two seasons. Syracuse is 8-3-1 ATS in its last 12 games overall with its only non-covers coming without Dungey under center. Bet Syracuse Saturday.
|09-14-18||A's v. Rays -118||Top||2-1||Loss||-118||7 h 2 m||Show|
20* AL GAME OF THE MONTH on Tampa Bay Rays -118
The Tampa Bay Rays continue to fight to make the playoffs. They are 20-6 in their last 26 games overall. The Rays are also 38-13 in their last 51 home games. Now they get to face the team they are trailing in the wild card standings in the Oakland A’s with a chance to make up some serious ground with a sweep.
It starts with Game 1 tonight and starter Diego Castillo, who has posted a 3.85 ERA in his six starts this season, and a 1.93 ERA in three home starts. The Rays are a perfect 6-0 in Castillo’s six starts this season.
Edwin Jackson is having a solid year for the A’s at 5-3 with a 3.26 ERA in 14 starts. But he has come back down to reality a bit, going 1-0 with a 4.61 ERA in his last three starts. Jackson is 0-3 with a 7.94 ERA in his last three starts against the Rays.
The Rays are 6-0 in their last six against AL West opponents. Tampa Bay is 6-2 in its last eight meetings with Oakland. Bet the Rays Friday.
|09-13-18||Ravens +1 v. Bengals||Top||23-34||Loss||-107||54 h 36 m||Show|
20* Ravens/Bengals AFC North No-Brainer on Baltimore +1
The Baltimore Ravens are a legit playoff contender. It’s a team I was high on coming into the season due to several things that happened this offseason. For starters, Joe Flacco is more motivated than he’s ever been after the Ravens traded up to draft Lamar Jackson in the first round. And he finally has some weapons to work with on offense.
The Ravens added Michael Crabtree, Willie Snead and John Brown at receiver. Fittingly, all three receivers caught touchdown passes from Flacco in a 47-3 beat down of the Buffalo Bills in Week 1. And the defense limited the Bills to just 153 total yards as the Ravens outgained them by 216 yards in the game. This is one of the best defenses in the NFL.
The Ravens went 5-0 in the preseason and now are 1-0 in the regular season. They have outscored their six opponents by a total of 99 points, or by an average of 16.5 points per game. Their defense has held their six opponents to just an average of 12.5 points per game. This is a deep, talented defense that will give Andy Dalton and company fits this week.
The Bengals were fortunate to win 34-23 at Indianapolis in Week 1. They were outgained by 50 total yards and got an 83-yard fumble recovery for a TD with 24 seconds left as the Colts were driving deep in the red zone to win the game. And the Colts aren’t a very good team.
The Bengals were one of the worst offensive teams in the NFL last year. Things don’t look a whole lot better for them in 2018. They managed just 330 total yards against what was an awful Colts’ defense last year, and one that isn’t much better this year. And Andrew Luck threw for 319 yards as the Colts managed 380 total yards against what is just an average Bengals defense.
Cincinnati has some big injury concerns coming into this one. Starters that are questionable to play include DE Carlos Dunlap (calf), LG Clint Boling (foot), CB Darqueze Dennard (neck) and MLB Preston Brown (ankle). Not to mention, the Bengals are already playing without LB Vontaze Burfict due to a four-game suspension.
But what I really like about this game is the situation. Baltimore simply needed a win in Week 17 last year to make the playoffs. Instead, the Bengals upset them 31-27 in Baltimore as 8-point underdogs. The Bengals scored on a 49-yard TD Pass with just 44 seconds left to stun the Ravens. You can bet Baltimore has been thinking about that game all offseason. They have had this game circled, and they will get their revenge Thursday night in Cincinnati.
Baltimore won 20-0 in Cincinnati last year. The Ravens are 10-1 ATS in their last 11 games after scoring 40 points or more in their previous game. Baltimore is 12-3 ATS in its last 15 vs. AFC North opponents. The underdog is 7-1 ATS in the last eight meetings. Bet the Ravens Thursday.
|09-13-18||Boston College v. Wake Forest +7||41-34||Push||0||52 h 13 m||Show|
15* Boston College/Wake Forest ACC ANNIHILATOR on Wake Forest +7
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. They are well on their way to another bowl game after their 2-0 start in Clawson’s 5th season.
The Demon Deacons returned 14 starters this season. Eight starters are back on an offense that set a school record with 454 points last year while averaging 35.3 points and 466 yards per game. They were competitive in every single game last season due to the offense and did not get beat by more than 14 points all season.
All five starters and a whopping 132 career starts returned along the offensive line in what will be one of the ACC’s top O-Lines. Each of the top two receivers are back from last year in Greg 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 has helped ease the transition of highly touted freshman QB Sam Hartman.
The offense is in high gear already as the Demon Deacons have averaged 37 points and 565 yards per game in wins over Tulane and Towson. They beat Tulane 23-17 in a game that was a bigger blowout than the final score showed. They outgained Tulane by 112 yards, and that’s a Tulane team that went on to beat FCS power Nicholls State 42-17 the following week. Nicholls State upset Kansas on the road in Week 1. Wake Forest then handled Towson 51-20 in Week 2.
Hartman is completing 61.5% of his passes for 620 yards with four touchdowns and three interceptions, while also rushing for 128 yards and a score on 5.8 per carry. And he hasn’t even had the services of Washington yet, who missed the two games with a shoulder injury and is questionable tonight. Dortch leads the way with 19 receptions for 243 yards and Sage Surratt has 15 receptions for 213 yards.
Boston College is a team that everyone and their brother has jumped on this season as being a team that could contend in the ACC. While I agree they should be good, the love has gotten out of control, especially after a 2-0 start against weak competition in UMass and Holy Cross. Now the Eagles are being asked to go on the road and win by a touchdown or more to cover this spread this week, and I feel like it’s too much. I think Wake wins this game outright.
That’s precisely what happened last year as Wake Forest dominated Boston College 34-10 on the road. The Demon Deacons forced four turnovers and held Boston College to 305 total yards. Boston College has only beaten Wake Forest by more than 6 points on the road once in the last seven trips to Winston-Salem. That was a 10-point victory back in 2010.
Plays on underdogs of 3.5 to 10 points (Wake Forest) - in a game involving two dominant teams that are outgaining their opponents by 100-plus yards per game, after gaining 475 or more total yards in two consecutive games are 28-5 (84.8%) ATS over the last five seasons.
Wake Forest is 11-2 ATS in its last 13 games as an underdog. Clawson is 14-3 ATS off a win by 21 or more points in all games he has coached. Clawson is 9-1 ATS off two consecutive games with a turnover margin of -1 or worse in all games he has coached. They only had 13 turnovers all of last season, and now they have 5 already this season. It has been a point of emphasis in practice this week for Clawson. Look for a big effort from the Demon Deacons at home tonight. Take Wake Forest Thursday.
|09-13-18||Diamondbacks +130 v. Rockies||3-10||Push||0||5 h 12 m||Show|
15* MLB Thursday Undervalued Underdog on Arizona Diamondbacks +130
The Arizona Diamondbacks now sit in 3rd place in the NL West. They blew a save against the Rockies yesterday; I know because I had them and it was brutal. But I’m back on them tonight because they simply need this game more, and they have the advantage on the mound.
Clay Buchholz has been one of the most underrated starters in baseball this season. He is 7-2 with a 1.74 ERA and 1.037 WHIP in 16 starts, including 0-0 with a 0.98 ERA and 1.091 WHIP in his last three starts.
Kyle Freeland has been good himself at 14-7 with a 2.91 ERA and 1.236 WHIP in 29 starts. However, Freeland has not been able to figure out the Diamondbacks, going 1-2 with a 4.60 ERA and 1.568 WHIP in six career starts against them.
The Diamondbacks are 11-3 in their last 14 after allowing 5 runs or more in their previous game. Arizona is 10-4 in its last 14 meetings in Colorado. Roll with the Diamondbacks Thursday.
|09-12-18||Diamondbacks -108 v. Rockies||Top||4-5||Loss||-108||9 h 49 m||Show|
20* NL West GAME OF THE MONTH on Arizona Diamondbacks -108
The Diamondbacks are 2.5 games behind the Rockies in the NL West. They need a win here Wednesday to inch closer to them and post back-to-back victories for the first time since late August. I believe they get a win thanks to their big advantage on the mound.
Pat Corbin is 11-5 with a 2.96 ERA and 1.002 WHIP in 29 starts for the Diamondbacks this season, including 1-1 with a 1.50 ERA and 0.778 WHIP in his last three starts. Corbin has owned the Rockies of late, going 3-0 with a 2.45 ERA in his last four starts against them.
Jon Gray is 11-7 with a 4.63 ERA and 1.290 WHIP in 27 starts for the Rockies this season, including 1-0 with a 4.86 ERA and 1.440 WHIP in his last three starts. Gray is also 2-4 with a 5.80 ERA and 1.655 WHIP in seven career starts against Arizona.
The Diamondbacks are 14-3 in Corbin’s last 17 starts against the Rockies. Arizona is 10-3 in its last 13 meetings in Colorado. The Diamondbacks are 7-2 in Corbin’s last nine starts. Bet the Diamondbacks Wednesday.
|09-11-18||Pirates v. Cardinals -137||Top||5-11||Win||100||9 h 59 m||Show|
20* NL Central GAME OF THE MONTH on St. Louis Cardinals -137
The Cardinals are clinging on to the second wild card spot in the National League. They are also trying to chase down the Cubs and Brewers in the NL Central. Games are a lot more important to them right now than the Pirates, and they are playing like it.
The Cardinals have a big advantage on the mound today behind Miles Mikolas. The right-hander is 14-4 with a 3.06 ERA and 1.134 WHIP in 28 starts this season, including 6-4 with a 2.31 ERA and 1.037 WHIP in 14 home starts. Mikolas has also posted a 3.38 ERA and 1.167 WHIP in four starts against the Pirates in 2018.
Joe Musgrove is 6-8 with a 3.75 ERA in 17 starts for the Pirates this season, including 1-1 with a 6.06 ERA in his last three starts. Musgrove has made just one career start at St. Louis and it was only a few weeks ago on August 30th. He gave up 5 earned runs in 6 innings of a 5-0 loss to the Cardinals.
Musgrove is 1-11 (-9.8 units) as an underdog of +100 to +150 over the last two seasons. St. Louis is 20-4 (+15.5 units) off a game where it stranded three or less runners on base over the last two years. The Pirates are 17-43 in their last 60 road games vs. a team with a winning home record. The Cardinals are 10-2 in Mikolas’ last 12 starts vs. a team with a losing record. St. Louis is 38-15 in its last 53 home meetings with Pittsburgh. Bet the Cardinals Tuesday.
|09-10-18||Jets +7 v. Lions||Top||48-17||Win||100||127 h 36 m||Show|
20* Jets/Lions ESPN Monday No-Brainer on New York +7
The Detroit Lions have been nothing but mediocre for decades. They have not won a playoff game in 26 seasons. They are kind of starting over this year with a new head coach in Matt Patricia. I don’t expect them to come out Week 1 hitting on all cylinders with new systems and new personnel in place. They certainly shouldn’t be favored by a touchdown against anyone in this league, not even the Jets.
The problem for the Lions is always defense and the lack of a running game. They are trying to change that this year, but it won’t happen overnight. The Lions ranked 27th in total defense last year and 32nd in rushing offense, averaging just 76.3 yards per game. They’re expecting Patricia to magically improve the defense, and for LeGarrette Blount and company to improve the running game.
I like the chemistry the Jets have with Todd Bowles. He enters his 4th season with the franchise and is 20-28 overall, but has been trying to upgrade the talent since he got here. That’s not a bad record for the shortage of talent that he’s had to work with. They are starting to turn the corner in that department.
The Jets used their top pick on Sam Darnold, and he’s expected to start Week 1. The future of the offense is bright now that they finally found their QB. Jermaine Kerse (65 receptions, 810 yards, 5 TD last year) and Robby Anderson (63, 941, 7 TD) provide an underrated receiver duo, and Terrelle Pryor only adds to it. Isaiah Crowell was signed this offseason to be the workhorse after rushing for 853 yards in Cleveland last year. The offensive line should be improved with the addition of center Spencer Long from the Redskins.
New York is loaded with playmakers defensively. Leonard Williams had the third-most QB hits (25) in the AFC last season. Steve McLendon is a solid run-stuffing nose tackle. The Jets replaced Demario Davis with a younger version of him in LB Avery Williamson, who had 92 tackles and 3 sacks with the Titans last year. Darron Lee improved greatly in his second season and will take an even bigger step this year. Second-year safeties Jamal Adams and Marcus Maye are promising. The Jets signed former Rams No. 1 corner Tremaine Johnson to a five-year, $72 million deal. Morris Claiborne is a solid No. 2 corner opposite Johnson.
The fact of the matter is that there’s not much difference between the Lions and Jets talent-wise, so this spread should not be a touchdown. The Lions admittedly have the better offense, but the Jets clearly have the better defense. Detroit is 31-51 ATS in its last 82 games as a favorite of 3.5 to 9.5 points. The Jets are 9-4-1 ATS in their last 14 games overall and come into 2018 underrated as well. Bet the Jets Monday.
Note: I recommend buying the Jets to +7
|09-10-18||Dodgers -1.5 v. Reds||6-10||Loss||-115||7 h 21 m||Show|
15* MLB Monday No-Doubt Rout on Los Angeles Dodgers -1.5 (-115)
The Los Angeles Dodgers are fighting to make the playoffs right now. They are a half-game behind the Rockies for 1st place in the NL West and one game out of the wild card. They won’t be taking the Reds lightly because of it.
The Dodgers have a big advantage on the mound today behind Alex Wood, who is 8-6 with a 3.43 ERA in 26 starts this season, including 5-3 with a 3.22 ERA and 1.134 WHIP in 12 road starts. And Wood has been at his best of late, going 7-1 with a 2.39 ERA in his last 13 starts.
Cody Reed is getting a look here at the end of the season. It hasn’t gone well for him as he’s 0-1 with a 7.10 ERA and 1.736 WHIP in three starts this year while averaging just 4.2 innings per start. Reed is now 1-10 with a 6.22 ERA in 35 major league games.
The Dodgers were swept at home by the Reds in their last series against them and haven’t forgotten. Wood has never lost to the Reds, going 3-0 with a 2.80 ERA and 0.935 WHIP in four career starts against them. The Reds are 0-14 in Reed’s last 14 starts. Take the Dodgers on the Run Line Monday.
|09-09-18||Bears +7.5 v. Packers||Top||23-24||Win||100||104 h 48 m||Show|
20* Bears/Packers NBC Sunday Night BAILOUT on Chicago +7.5
I expect the Chicago Bears to be one of the most improved teams in the NFL this season. They went just 5-11 last year, but Mitchell Trubisky had nobody to throw to, and the coaching staff didn’t have a clue. Yet, they managed to beat three of the better teams in the NFL in the Steelers, Panthers and Ravens, and they took both the Falcons and Vikings down to the wire early in the season.
The Bears were competitive due to a defense that rank 9th in scoring and 10th in total defense. That defense will be very good again, especially with the addition of former NFL Defensive Player Khalil Mack via trade. They gave up a lot to get him with two first-round picks, but that won’t hurt them at all this season, only in the future.
Matt Nagy is the new head coach. He was the offensive coordinator for the Chiefs under Andy Reid, and he was the perfect hire for the Bears this offseason to inject some new life into the offense. Nagy will get the most out of Trubisky, who now has ample weapons to lead the offense. No team improved their playmakers this offseason more than Chicago.
The Bears added former Jacksonville No. 1 receiver Allen Robinson, who is primed for a bounce-back season after playing in just one game for the Jaguars before getting injured last year. New slot receiver Taylor Gabriel has 4.3-40 speed and will be missed in Atlanta. Trey Burton was stuck behind Zach Ertz in Philadelphia at tight end. But now he’ll have a chance to shine and take over the role that Travis Kelce played in Nagy’s offense in Kansas City. They used their second-round pick on Anthony Miller out of Memphis, and they still have former first-round pick Kevin White on their roster.
The Packers will be good as long as Aaron Rodgers is healthy, but they should not be favored by more than a touchdown here against the Bears. Rodgers voiced his frustration this offseason with the lack of focus out of the receiver group, and he clearly wasn’t healthy they let one of his best friends in Jordy Nelson walk. They are also shopping Randall Cobb.
Devante Adams and Jimmy Graham are good targets for Rodgers, but outside of those two, the talent is pretty weak at receiver. And the Packers have never had a consistent running game.
Green Bay ranked 26th in scoring defense (24.0 PPG) and 22nd in total defense (348.9 yards/game) last season. While they did add some pieces on defense to try and help out, they lost two key pieces in the secondary in CB Damarious Randall and S Morgan Burnett. The loss of Burnett is a big one because he was a leader in the secondary for eight seasons and made the defensive calls.
They’ll now be relying on first-round pick Jair Alexander and second-round pick Josh Jackson at cornerback this season. Both could struggle early on. They brought in corners Tramon Williams and Davon House, but both are just stopgaps. Second-year CB Kevin King is coming off labrum surgery. Ha Ha Clinton-Dix is the most experienced member of the secondary at safety, but he was dreadful last season. Second-year man Josh Jones and unproven Kentrell Brice are battling for the other safety position. There will be more holes in this secondary to say the least.
Plays against home favorites (Green Bay) who had a losing record last season, in conference games are 141-87 (61.8%) ATS since 1983. The Packers are 1-4 ATS in their last five home games. Don’t be surprised if the Bears win this game outright as they are a team on the rise this season. But we’ll certainly take the 7.5 points without hesitation. Take the Bears Sunday.
|09-09-18||Seahawks v. Broncos -2.5||24-27||Win||100||100 h 51 m||Show|
15* NFL Sunday No-Doubt Rout on Denver Broncos -2.5
The Denver Broncos should be one of the most improved teams in the NFL this season. They are coming off a 5-11 season that was mired with awful quarterback play. The trio of Trevor Siemian, Brock Osweiler and Paxton Lynch was about one of the worst quarterback situations in the NFL last season. That won’t be the case again.
Case Keenum parlayed his trip to the NFC Championship Game with the Vikings into a big contract with the Broncos this offseason. Keenum is better than he gets credit for, which was evident in Minnesota last year. And just like in Minnesota, Keenum has a great defense to fall back on, so he doesn’t have to do too much.
The Broncos wasted an elite defense last year. They ranked 3rd in total defense, giving up just 290.0 yards per game. And they will challenge for the top spot again in 2018. The Broncos got the steal of the draft when they nabbed Bradley Chubb from NC State with the No. 5 overall pick despite the fact that he was graded out as the best player in the draft.
Now the Von Miller-Chubb tandem at outside linebacker is as scary as it gets in the NFL. The “No Fly Zone” secondary features Pro Bowlers Chris Harris (CB) and Darian Stewart (S). The Broncos could afford to trade Aqib Talib because CB Bradley Roby is a future star and ready for a starting role. This is going to be a dynamite defense.
The Seahawks are a team in transition. The ‘Legion of Boom’ is no longer. Richard Sherman was traded to the 49ers, Earl Thomas is holding out and still looking to get traded, and Kam Chancellor is out for the season with a neck injury. Not to mention, DE Cliff Avril and DE Michael Bennett are both gone. This defense doesn’t look anything like the dominant unit it was a few years ago, and it will struggle.
The same problem remains for Seattle’s offense. They simply cannot run the football. Russell Wilson has a big season last year, but only because he had to. Wilson actually led the team in rushing, and by a wide margin. No Seattle running back had more than 240 yards last year. The offensive line is still a mess, and the options are limited at receiver, especially with the losses of Jimmy Graham and Paul Richardson. That duo combined for 16 TD receptions last year.
The Seahawks will struggle to reach .500 this season with all that they’ve lost. And they have some other injury concerns heading into Week 1. LB K.J. Wright is doubtful with a knee injury, DE Dion Jordan is questionable with a shin injury, CB Byron Maxwell is on IR with a hip injury, and WR Doug Baldwin is nursing a knee injury but expected to play.
Pete Carroll is 1-9 ATS in road games in the first two weeks of the season as the coach of Seattle. The Broncos are 7-1-1 ATS in their last nine September games. The Seahawks are 1-5 ATS in their last six September games. The key to this game will be the Broncos’ domination up front on defense against Seattle’s weak offensive line. Russell Wilson will be running for his life. Take the Broncos Sunday.
|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.