|Date||Match Up||Rating||Score||Result||Profit||Lead Time||Analysis|
|10-05-13||North Carolina State v. Wake Forest +7.5||13-28||Win||100||37 h 29 m||Show|
15* ACC GAME OF THE WEEK on Wake Forest +7.5
While the Demon Deacons are off to just a 2-3 start in 2013, they did go into Army and beat the Black Knights 25-11 as a 1.5-point favorite. This is a team that returned 15 starters from last year and should continue to improve as the season goes on. I do like what I
|10-05-13||Ohio v. Akron +5||43-3||Loss||-109||36 h 58 m||Show|
15* CFB Saturday Upset Special Akron +5
The Akron Zips are one of the most underrated teams in the entire country due to their 1-4 start this season. That start can be attributed to a schedule that has seen the likes of UCF, Michigan and Bowling Green on the road, as well as LA Lafayette and FCS power James Madison at home. Remember, the Zips were just one play away from beating Michigan in the Big House, falling by a final of 24-28 as a 35-point underdog.
This Zips had their chances against Bowling Green and Louisiana Lafayette, too. They led Bowling Green 14-10 at halftime before eventually falling 14-31 on the road. They fell 30-35 at home to a very good Louisiana team as a 7.5-point underdog. They were only outgained 455-460 in that defeat. They have certainly played some great football this season and are hungry for that first conference victory Saturday when the Ohio Bobcats come into town.
Conversely, the Bobcats are way overrated due to their 3-1 start. All three of their victories came at home, and they easily could have lost two of them as they squeaked by both North Texas (27-21) and Marshall (34-31). In that win over the Thundering Herd, the Bobcats were thoroughly ouplayed, getting outgained by 147 total yards for the game. However, that win over Marshall is earning them a lot more respect than they deserve, because ultimately they should have lost. In its lone road game this season, Ohio was throttled 7-49 at Louisville.
Ohio has some huge injury problems heading into this game with Akron. While the betting public pays attention to injuries to skill players, they rarely factor in injuries along the offensive and defensive lines, even though those players can be just as important to a team. Well, Ohio is going to be without FOUR, count it, FOUR starting offensive linemen Saturday against Akron. The Bobcats will be a mess offensively because of it, and I look for Akron's improved defense to take advantage.
Akron only lost 28-34 at Ohio last year as an 18.5-point underdog. It actually outgained the Bobcats 456-441 for the game. Jawaan Chisolm rushed for 177 yards in the loss. I look for Chisolm and Kyle Pohl, who is completing 60.5 percent of his passes for 1,072 yards and eight touchdowns to six interceptions this year, to have huge games against this Ohio defense. The Bobcats are giving up 423.5 total yards per game against a much softer schedule than Akron has faced.
Ohio is 1-9 against the spread after scoring 37 or more points in its last game over the last three seasons. The Bobcats are 1-7 against the spread in their last eight conference games. Ohio is 1-6 against the number in its last seven road games. The Bobcats are 0-5 against the spread in their last five games following a SU win of more than 20 points. These four trends combine for a 27-3 system backing the Zips. Bet Akron Saturday.
|10-05-13||Texas Tech v. Kansas +17||54-16||Loss||-115||34 h 58 m||Show|
15* Big 12 GAME OF THE WEEK on Kansas +17
The Kansas Jayhawks are an improved team in 2013 under second-year head coach Charlie Weis. He did an excellent job of going out and nabbing numerous talented recruits from the JUCO level. It is paying off thus far as Kansas has doubled its win total from last season already. This is a team that lost five games last year by a touchdown or less, including a 34-41 road loss to Texas Tech in double-overtime as a 24-point underdog.
Texas Tech is overrated due to its 4-0 start that has featured wins over the likes of SMU, Stephen F Austin and Texas State. Even its 20-10 win over TCU doesn
|10-04-13||Detroit Tigers v. Oakland A's +113||3-2||Loss||-100||18 h 37 m||Show|
15* Tigers/A's AL Late-Night BAILOUT on Oakland +113
Just like they have been all season, the Oakland A's (96-66) are once again getting disrespected in Game 1 of this series against the Detroit Tigers. They are a home underdog despite winning 96 games and beating out Detroit (93-69) for the No. 2 seed in the American League.
I'll gladly take advantage and back the A's behind one of the most underrated starters in baseball. The ageless Bartolo Colon is quietly having a career year, going 18-6 with a 2.65 ERA and 1.166 WHIP in 30 starts. He is 8-3 with a 2.58 ERA and 1.165 WHIP in 16 home starts, and 3-0 with a 0.90 ERA and 0.900 WHIP in his last three outings.
Max Scherzer has been solid as well, but is getting too much respect from the books due to his 21-3 record. His ERA (2.90), while impressive, is higher than that of Colon (2.65). Plus, Scherzer was rocked the last time he faced Oakland on August 29, giving up six runs, five earned, and two homers over five innings.
In two starts against Detroit this season, Colon has only allowed four earned runs and 15 base runners over 12 innings for a solid 3.00 ERA. He will shut down a Detroit lineup that comes in with zero confidence. The Tigers scored a combined three runs while getting swept by the lowly Miami Marlins 0-3 to close out the season. In fact, they have been held to a combined 14 runs over their last seven contests, averaging just 2.0 runs/game. Miguel Cabrera isn't his old self as he continues to battle a groin injury.
Oakland is 14-1 (+13.6 Units) against the money line after 2 straight games with 5 or more extra base hits over the last 2 seasons. Detroit is 0-7 (-9.0 Units) against the money line in road games after a game with a combined score of 2 runs or less over the last 2 seasons. The Tigers are 0-4 in their last 4 playoff games as a favorite. Detroit is 0-4 in its last 4 games as a road favorite of -110 to -150. The A's are 8-0 in their last 8 games as an underdog of +110 to +150. These five trends combine for a 37-1 system backing Oakland. Roll with the A's in Game 1 Friday.
|10-04-13||BYU +6.5 v. Utah State||Top||31-14||Win||100||76 h 26 m||Show|
25* BYU/Utah State Instate Rivalry GAME OF THE YEAR on BYU +6.5
The Utah State Aggies are finally getting the respect they deserve from oddsmakers. Now, the books have over-adjusted in listing Utah State as a 6.5-point favorite in this instate rivalry. There is a ton of value with this line on the underdog BYU Cougars, who could easily be 4-0 right now as their two losses to Virginia (16-19) and Utah (13-20) came by a combined 10 points. In fact, the Cougars outgained both opponents despite losing those games and simply gave them away.
BYU has played a very tough schedule thus far as it has had no gimmes in games against Middle Tennessee, Texas, Utah and Virginia. It took care of business against Middle Tennessee (37-10) and Texas (40-21), outgaining those opponents by 274 and 234 total yards, respectively. Statistically, this is one of the best teams in the country. BYU ranks 22nd in the FBS in total offense at 492.5 yards per game, and 24th in total defense at 320.5 yards per game. Once again, you have to factor in the difficulty of their schedule thus far to appreciate how impressive those numbers really are.
A closer look at the numbers really shows how good they have performed. The four opponents that they have played have allowed an average of 404 yards per game on the season, and the Cougars have bested that by 88 yards (492). The four opponents that they have faced have averaged 418 yards of offense on the season, and they have bested that by 98 yards (320). Taysom Hill has thrown for 741 yards on the season, while also rushing for a team-high 565 yards and six touchdowns. He is going to be very difficult to stop Friday night.
Bronco Mendenhall is 8-0 against the spread in road games vesus good rushing teams that average at least 4.75 rushing yards/carry as the coach of BYU. BYU is 8-0 against the number in its last eight games as an underdog. The Cougars are 10-1 against the spread in their last 11 vs. Mountain West Conference opponents. The Cougars are 7-0 against the number in their last seven games after committing three or more turnovers in their previous game. These four trends combine for a 33-1 system backing the Cougars. Also, BYU has gone 22-2 straight up in its last 24 meetings with Utah State. Bet BYU Friday.
|10-04-13||Pittsburgh Pirates +125 v. St. Louis Cardinals||7-1||Win||125||9 h 8 m||Show|
15* Pirates/Cardinals NL Early ANNIHILATOR on Pittsburgh +125
After taking St. Louis in a 9-1 victory over Pittsburgh in Game 1 last night, I'm going to switch gears and back the Pirates to get Game 2 Friday. They know they can't afford to fall into an 0-2 hole if they want to win this series, so they'll be the more motivated team. Plus, I like their edge on the mound.
While Gerrit Cole is a rookie, he certainly hasn't pitched like it in 2013. Cole has gone 10-7 with a 3.22 ERA and 1.168 WHIP in 19 starts this season. The right-handed has been at his best on the road, going 4-2 with a 2.38 ERA and 0.949 WHIP in seven starts away from home. He was also clutch down the stretch when games mattered most, going 3-0 with a 1.89 ERA and 1.211 WHIP over his final three starts.
Lance Lynn is one of the weak links in St. Louis' rotation. The right-hander has gone 15-10 with a 3.97 ERA and 1.314 WHIP in 33 starts this season. Lynn has really struggled in his last two starts against Pittsburgh in 2013, going 0-1 with a 10.61 ERA while allowing 11 earned runs and 22 base runners over 9 1/3 innings. I look for the Pirates to get after him early and often in this one.
The Pirates are 4-0 in their last 4 games following a loss. Pittsburgh is 8-0 in its last 8 road games with a total set of 7.0-8.5 runs. The Pirates are 4-0 in their last 4 games vs. a starter with a WHIP greater than 1.30. Pittsburgh is 5-0 in Cole's last 5 starts overall. These four trends combine for a 21-0 system backing the Pirates. Take Pittsburgh in Game 2 Friday.
|10-03-13||Buffalo Bills v. Cleveland Browns -3||Top||24-37||Win||100||22 h 15 m||Show|
20* Bills/Browns AFC GAME OF THE WEEK on Cleveland -3
The Browns have looked like a much improved team over the last two weeks. They have beaten back-to-back playoff opponents in Minnesota and Cincinnati by showing that they are very versatile. The offense carried the load in a 31-27 victory at Minnesota by amassing 409 total yards. The defense played spectacularly last week in a 17-6 home victory over the Bengals, limiting them to just 266 total yards.
The biggest reason for the Browns
|10-03-13||Western Kentucky v. Louisiana Monroe OVER 48||Top||31-10||Loss||-110||21 h 20 m||Show|
20* CFB Thursday Total ANNIHILATOR on Western Kentucky/LA-Monroe OVER 48
The books have set the bar too low in this Sun Belt showdown between Western Kentucky and Louisiana-Monroe. Both teams are coming off low scoring games over the weekend which has kept this total way lower than it should be. WKU beat Navy 19-7, and LA-Monroe lost 14-31 to Tulane. This has created some very nice line value on the OVER in what has been a very high-scoring series between these teams of late.
Under the guidance of offensive mastermind Bobby Petrino, Western Kentucky has been putting up big numbers on the offensive side of the football all season. It is scoring 31.2 points and averaging 462.4 total yards per game to rank 44th in the country in total offense. Quarterback Brandon Doughty is completing 67.3 percent of his passes for 1,028 yards and five touchdowns. Antonio Andrews, arguably the most underrated player in the entire country, has rushed for 727 yards and eight scores already.
Look for Andrews to have a monster day on the ground against a Louisiana-Monroe defense that has allowed 305 rushing yards to Oklahoma, 311 rushing yards to Baylor, and 253 rushing yards to Tulane. I look for Western Kentucky to score at will because of its ability to move the ball on the ground with ease, and behind an underrated passing attack. LA-Monroe also gave up 470 yards passing to Baylor and 310 passing yards to Wake Forest, so it hasn't been good in any phase of the defense.
What may concern most is a Louisiana-Monroe offense that hasn't put up great numbers this year. However, it has played some very good defenses with the likes of Oklahoma and Baylor. It's not like Western Kentucky is shutting down everyone. It gave up 52 points to Tennessee, 31 to South Alabama and 26 to Kentucky. ULM, which returned eight starters on offense this season from a unit that put up 33.8 points and 433 total yards per game last year, will get untracked against Western Kentucky.
What I really like about the OVER is the high-scoring nature of this series. The last three meetings have seen 85, 59 and 65 combined points. That's an average of 69.7 points per game, which is 21.7 more than tonight's posted total of 48. Kolton Browning threw for 308 yards and four touchdowns, while also rushing for 69 yards and two scores in last year's 43-42 victory at Western Kentucky. Andrews rushed for 104 yards and a score, while quarterback Kawaun Jakes threw for 308 yards and four touchdowns in the loss for the Hilltoppers.
Bobby Petrino is 27-12 to the OVER in road games in all games he has coached. Petrino is 13-2 to the OVER off a two-game home stand in all games he has coached. Todd Berry is 6-0 to the OVER vs. excellent ball control teams that average 32 or more possession minutes per game as the coach of Louisiana-Monroe. The OVER is 23-7-1 in Warhawks last 31 vs. a team with a winning record. Take the OVER in this game Thursday.
|10-03-13||Pittsburgh Pirates v. St. Louis Cardinals -143||1-9||Win||100||6 h 20 m||Show|
15* NL Division Series PLAY OF THE DAY on St. Louis Cardinals -143
St. Louis is a sensational 54-27 at home this season. I believe this is a very reasonable price to back the Cardinals in Game 1 of this NL Division Series given the huge edge they have on the mound behind ace Adam Wainwright.
Wainwright returned to form this season, going 19-9 with a 2.94 ERA and 1.072 WHIP in 34 starts. He was even more dominant at Busch Stadium, going 3-0 with a 2.53 ERA and 0.942 WHIP in 17 home starts. In his last start against Pittsburgh on September 7, Wainwright pitched seven shutout innings of a 5-0 victory.
A.J. Burnett had a solid season for Pittsburgh as well, but he was much better at home than he was on the road. The right-handed went 5-7 with a 4.22 ERA and 1.365 WHIP in 16 road starts in 2013. In his last four starts at St. Louis, Burnett has gone 1-2 with a 13.50 ERA, allowing a whopping 24 earned runs over 16 innings.
Burnett is 7-26 (-16.6 Units) against the money line as a road underdog of +125 to +150 in his career. The Pirates are 6-14 in Burnett's last 20 road starts. The Cardinals are 6-0 in their last 6 vs. a team with a winning record. St. Louis is 6-0 in its last 6 home games vs. a team with a winning road record. The Cardinals are 5-0 in Wainwright's last 5 starts. St. Louis is 4-0 in Wainwright's last 4 starts as a home favorite. The Pirates are 0-4 in their last 4 trips to St. Louis. These five trends combine for a perfect 25-0 system backing St. Louis. Roll with the Cardinals Thursday.
|10-02-13||Tampa Bay Rays -113 v. Cleveland Indians||Top||4-0||Win||100||9 h 43 m||Show|
20* Rays/Indians AL Wild Card No-Brainer on Tampa Bay -113
Tampa Bay has already tasted a playoff victory with a 5-2 win at Texas in the play-in game. I believe that gives the Rays the edge mentally coming into this contest in Cleveland as they won't be intimidated on the road.
With the edge the Rays have on the mound tonight, this one was a no-brainer. Alex Cobb has been one of the best starters in baseball, going 11-3 with a 2.76 ERA and 1.151 WHIP over 22 starts.
Cobb has been virtually untouchable in his last three starts when it has mattered most. He has gone 3-0 with a 1.16 ERA and 0.814 WHIP in his last three outings, allowing just three earned runs and 19 base runners over 23 1/3 innings. In his lone start against Cleveland in 2013, Cobb pitched 7 1/3 shutout innings of a 6-0 Tampa Bay victory.
The Rays are 8-0 in their last 8 vs. a team with a winning record. Tampa is 8-2 in its last 10 games as a favorite. The Indians are 1-4 in their last 5 vs. a team with a winning record. Cleveland is 10-21 in its last 31 vs. AL East opponents. Bet the Rays Wednesday.
|10-01-13||Cincinnati Reds v. Pittsburgh Pirates -132||Top||2-6||Win||100||20 h 54 m||Show|
20* Reds/Pirates NL Wild Card ANNIHILATOR on Pittsburgh -132
The Pittsburgh swept the Reds in the final series of the season to earn home-field advantage for this NL Wild Card game. I look for them to utilize that home field for a victory Tuesday as they look to improve to 51-31 at home this season. Cincinnati is 41-40 on the road this year.
Francisco Liriano has been brilliant all season, going 16-8 with a 3.02 ERA and 1.224 WHIP over 26 starts. The left-hander has been untouchable at home, going 8-1 with a 1.47 ERA and 0.964 WHIP over 11 starts in Pittsburgh. The Pirates are 9-2 in his 11 home starts this year.
Johnny Cueto has been solid this season for Cincinnati as well, but like Liriano, he is a much better pitcher at home. Cueto is 3-2 with a 3.90 ERA in six road starts in 2013, averaging just 4.6 innings/start away from home this year.
Cincinnati is hitting just .242 and scoring 3.9 runs/game against left-handed starters in 2013. The Reds are 0-5 in their last five games overall. They have scored a combined 11 runs in their last six games overall, averaging just 1.8 runs/game over this span. They have no confidence coming into this one after the way they finished the season. The edge goes to Pittsburgh mentally, on the mound, and at the plate in this one. Bet the Pirates Tuesday.
|09-30-13||Miami Dolphins v. New Orleans Saints -6.5||Top||17-38||Win||100||99 h 57 m||Show|
20* Dolphins/Saints MNF GAME OF THE MONTH on New Orleans -6.5
The New Orleans Saints were very smart in hiring defensive coordinator Rob Ryan, who was the scapegoat in Dallas when everything went wrong last year. The fact of the matter is that he
|09-29-13||New England Patriots +2 v. Atlanta Falcons||30-23||Win||100||76 h 31 m||Show|
15* Patriots/Falcons NBC Sunday Night BAILOUT on New England +2
For what the Patriots have lacked offensively this season, they
|09-29-13||NY Jets +4 v. Tennessee Titans||13-38||Loss||-115||71 h 5 m||Show|
15* Jets/Titans AFC Late-Afternoon ANNIHILATOR on New York +4
The New York Jets are clearly one of the most improved teams in the league. They are a 10-13 loss at New England away from being 3-0 on the season, which was probably more promising than either of their two victories over the Buccaneers and Bills. Even more impressive is the fact that they are -6 in turnover differential on the season, so there
|09-29-13||San Diego Padres +105 v. San Francisco Giants||6-7||Loss||-100||7 h 45 m||Show|
15* MLB Sunday PLAY OF THE DAY on San Diego Padres +105
The San Francisco Giants (75-86) are guaranteed not to finish in last place in the NL West as they lead the Colorado Rockies (73-88) by two games. They could care less about finishing tied with the San Diego Padres (76-85) for third place in the NL West. Meanwhile, I have no doubt the Padres want to finish ahead of the Giants.
San Diego has finished strong over the last month, and it will be looking for one final victory to take some momentum into the offseason. They have gone 16-9 in their last 25 games overall and we're getting them at a great price this afternoon. That's especially the case when you consider the huge edge they have on the mound.
Tylson Ross is one of the most underrated starters in the league. He has posted a 3.10 ERA and 1.143 WHIP over 119 innings this season, including a 2.97 ERA and 1.080 WHIP in 15 outings as a starter. Guillermo Moscoso has posted a 4.21 ERA and 1.284 WHIP over 25 2/3 innings pitched this season. He will be making just his second start of the year.
The Padres are 5-2 in Ross' last 7 starts as a road underdog. San Diego is 5-1 in its last 6 games after scoring 5 or more runs in its previous game. The Padres are 11-5 in their last 16 vs. a team with a losing record. The Giants are 7-15 in their last 22 games as a home favorite. Bet the Padres Sunday.
|09-29-13||Seattle Seahawks -2 v. Houston Texans||Top||23-20||Win||100||68 h 1 m||Show|
25* NFL Non-Conference GAME OF THE YEAR on Seattle Seahawks -2
The Houston Texans are very fortunate to be 2-1 right now. They needed to erase a 21-point deficit to beat San Diego 31-28 in their opener, and they also had to come back late to beat Tennessee 30-24 in overtime. Against the best opponent they've face, they lost at Baltimore 9-30 last week. Now, Seattle becomes the best opponent that they've faced, and I look for a beat down at the hands of the Seahawks.
From what I've seen thus far, it's clear that Seattle is the best team in the league. It has opened the season with three straight victories, including blowouts over the 49ers (29-3) and Jaguars (45-17). With the leadership this team has in Russell Wilson and company, they won't let this fast start go to their heads. This team has far bigger goals that it wants to achieve. Beating a playoff team from last year like Houston will help them accomplish those goals.
Seattle has been dominant on both sides of the ball, ranking 8th in the league in total offense (379.7 yards/game) and 1st in total defense (238.3 yards/game). This is the best defense in the league, hands down, and it's the reason I look for the Seahawks to win Sunday. Houston has been shaky on offense, scoring just 23.3 points per game while Matt Shaub has already thrown two interceptions that have been returned for touchdowns.
Now, Schaub may be without one of the best receivers in the league in Andre Johnson, who is questionable to play Sunday with a shin injury. Johnson was forced out against the Ravens last week due to the shin injury, and he also suffered a concussion against Tennessee the week prior. Making matters worse is the fact that Schaub will be up against the league's top-ranked pass defense. Seattle is only giving up 52.8% completions and 146.7 passing yards per game on the season. Also, the Seahawks have forced 10 turnovers already.
Seattle is 8-0 ATS versus good rushing teams - averaging >=4.5 rushing yards/carry over the last 3 seasons. The Seahawks are 7-0 ATS hen playing against a team with a winning record over the last 2 seasons. Seattle is 8-0 ATS after gaining 6 or more yards/play in their previous game over the last 2 seasons. While the Seahawks are a tremendous home team, they are also 5-0 ATS in their last 5 road games. The Texans are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 games following a SU loss of more than 14 points. These five trends combine for a perfect 32-0 system backing Seattle. Bet the Seahawks Sunday.
|09-29-13||NY Giants +4.5 v. Kansas City Chiefs||Top||7-31||Loss||-105||68 h 0 m||Show|
20* NFL DOG OF THE MONTH on New York Giants +4.5
It's now or never for the New York Giants. Whatever they have to give, they will be laying on the field Sunday to get a win. This is already a must-win situation for them as only one team in the history of the NFL has started 0-4 and made the playoffs. I believe their effort will not only be good enough to cover this generous spread, but to likely win the game outright as well.
Kansas City is getting too much love from oddsmakers this week due to its 3-0 start. Sure, I was one of the biggest Chiefs backers coming into 2013, but I know when to turn away. This is one of those spots I'll choose to fade the Chiefs laying more than a field goal at home. This is a solid football team, but it's not one that deserves to be this heavily favored against a desperate New York team Sunday.
New York has simply beaten itself this season. It has already committed 13 turnovers, which stems from falling behind early in each of their first three losses to the Cowboys, Broncos and Panthers. I'm willing to throw out last week's loss to Carolina as New York simply could not have played any worse. However, a closer look at their games against the Cowboys and Broncos, and it's clear that this team can play with some of the best teams in the league.
The Giants only lost 31-36 at Dallas despite committing six turnovers. They gained 478 total yards in the loss, showing what their offense is really capable of. They were only trailing 16-17 against Denver late in the third quarter before turnovers did them in again. They committed four of them in the loss. Considering Denver has been rolling its opponents this year, the fact that the Giants kept it close for three quarters really shows what this team is capable of.
While the Giants are -9 in turnover differential through three games, the Chiefs are +9. These turnovers usually even themselves out in the long haul. That's the biggest reason why the Chiefs are overrated right now, and the Giants are way underrated. I look for the Giants to get back on track this week against a team they have dominated in the past. In fact, New York is 6-1 straight up and a perfect 7-0 against the spread in its last seven meetings with Kansas City.
Plays on road teams (NY GIANTS) - after being beaten by the spread by 35 or more points total in their last three games, terrible team, winning 25% or less of their games on the season are 33-11 (75%) ATS over the last 10 seasons.
The Giants are 6-0 ATS after allowing 175 or more rushing yards last game over the last 3 seasons. Kansas City is 0-6 ATS as a home favorite over the last 3 seasons. As mentioned before, the Giants are 7-0 ATS in their last 7 meetings with the Chiefs. These three trends combine for a perfect 19-0 system backing New York. Roll with the Giants Sunday.
|09-29-13||Cincinnati Bengals v. Cleveland Browns +5||6-17||Win||100||68 h 0 m||Show|
15* NFL Sunday Afternoon Line Mistake on Cleveland Browns +5
Many folks in the media are writing the Cleveland Browns off after the Trent Richardson trade. The people on the inside realize this team is not about to throw in the towel. That couldn't have been more evident than in a 31-27 road victory at Minnesota last week despite being a 7-point underdog. I picked the Browns in that game, and I'll ride them again this week as they simply aren't getting the respect they deserve from oddsmakers against the Cincinnati Bengals.
Emerging star Jordan Cameron caught three touchdown passes, including the go-ahead grab with 51 seconds remaining to help the Browns beat the Vikings last week. "We got together last week after the news about Trent and we kind of came closer as a team," said Cameron, who has 20 receptions for a career-high 269 yards and four scores. "The team leaders talked to us about trusting this organization and where we're going as a team."
I also wrote last week that the injury to Brandon Weeden was a blessing in disguise because I had more faith in Brian Hoyer. Well, Hoyer threw for a career-high 321 yards and three touchdowns in the win over the Vikings. I also wrote how Josh Gordon's return would make the offense much more explosive. That was spot-on as Gordon caught 10 balls for 146 yards and a touchdown. His big-play ability stretches the field for the offense, and the Browns are glad to have him back following his two-game suspension.
Cincinnati is in a big letdown spot here after a huge home win over the Green Bay Packers last week, and with an even bigger game against New England on deck. That win over Green Bay is the reason the Bengals are getting too much respect from oddsmakers in this one. The Packers essentially gave that game away by turning the ball over four times, including a fumble late in the game that was returned for a touchdown that gave the Bengals a lead they would never relinquish. In all reality, Cincinnati was dominated in that contest, getting outgained 297-399.
Now only does Cleveland have a revived offense, it also features the most underrated defense in the entire NFL. In fact, the Browns rank 6th in the league in total defense, allowing just 300.0 total yards per game. They are stout against the run (84.3 yards/game) and against the pass (215.7 yards/game). A key to this game will be the most underrated cornerback in the league in Joe Haden, who will be charged with defending Cincinnati star receiver A.J. Green.
Haden missed a 34-27 loss in Cincinnati last September 16 last year while serving a four-game suspension for violating the league policy on performance-enhancing substances. He returned in time for their October 14 showdown at home, recording an interception in Cleveland's 34-24 victory. Home-field advantage has been huge in this series to say the least as the home team has won six of the past seven meetings.
Plays against favorites (CINCINNATI) - off an upset win as a home underdog, with a winning record on the season are 70-33 (68%) ATS since 1983. The Browns are 13-3 ATS in their last 16 games after accumulating more than 250 yards passing in their previous game. Cleveland is 7-2 ATS in its last 9 games after scoring 30 or more points in its previous game. The underdog is 10-1-1 ATS in the last 12 meetings in this series. Roll with the Browns Sunday.
|09-28-13||Wisconsin +7 v. Ohio State||24-31||Push||0||67 h 31 m||Show|
15* Wisconsin/Ohio State ABC ANNIHILATOR on Wisconsin +7
The Wisconsin Badgers haven
|09-28-13||Arizona v. Washington -10||Top||13-31||Win||100||67 h 31 m||Show|
25* Pac-12 GAME OF THE YEAR on Washington -10
The Washington Huskies are clearly one of the most improved teams in the country in 2013. That should come as no surprise considering they returned 18 starters and 58 lettermen in Steve Sarkisian
|09-28-13||Florida -12 v. Kentucky||Top||24-7||Win||100||66 h 33 m||Show|
20* SEC GAME OF THE WEEK on Florida -12
The Gators have no margin for error if they want to contend for a BCS Title in 2013. They already lost at Miami despite thoroughly dominating that game, outgaining the Hurricanes by 201 total yards. This team really should be 3-0 right now with the way it has been owning its competition in the yardage battle. It outgained Toledo by 210 total yards and Tennessee by 162 total yards.
The injury to quarterback Jeff Driskel is a blessing in disguise. Backup Tyler Murphy replaced Driskel and looked very good against Tennessee. Murphy completed 8 of 14 passes for 134 yards with one touchdowns and no interceptions, while also rushing for 84 yards and a score. Driskel had already thrown an interception that was returned for a touchdown before leaving the game to put the Gators in the hole 7-0. Murphy did a great job of digging them out of it as Florida would outscore Tennessee 31-10 the rest of the way.
Kentucky is a team in rebuilding mode with a 1-2 start and its only victory coming against lowly Miami Ohio. It lost to Western Kentucky 26-35 on a neutral field while giving up 487 total yards. It also lost at home to Louisville 13-27 while allowing 492 total yards. It
|09-28-13||Ole Miss +15 v. Alabama||0-25||Loss||-110||65 h 1 m||Show|
15* Ole Miss/Alabama ESPN No-Brainer on Ole Miss +15
|09-28-13||Iowa -1 v. Minnesota||23-7||Win||100||62 h 58 m||Show|
15* CFB Saturday Big Ten Line Mistake on Iowa -1
The Iowa Hawkeyes have looked very sharp to start 2013 en route to a 3-1 start. Their only loss came against Northern Illinois on a last-second field goal, which is the same NIU team that played in a BCS Bowl last year. This team came into 2013 underrated off a 4-8 season last year in which the Hawkeyes lost five games by a combined 16 points.
Iowa is coming off its best game of the season in a 59-3 romp of Western Michigan, which is the same team that played Michigan State to a 13-26 game on the road. It held the Broncos to 209 total yards, forced four turnovers, and scored on special teams and defense. It was the kind of effort the Hawkeyes really needed as they head into Big Ten play this week.
Minnesota has yet to be really tested in the early going. Its four opponents have been UNLV, New Mexico State, Western Illinois and San Jose State. It was favored in all four games, and a double-digit favorite in three of them. Minnesota relies heavily on its running game as it is gaining 282 yards per game on the ground, and only 105 per game through the air. Iowa has the perfect antidote as it ranks 12th in the country against the run, allowing just 91.5 rushing yards per game and 3.7 per carry.
They Golden Gophers really don
|09-28-13||Oklahoma v. Notre Dame +3.5||35-21||Loss||-105||62 h 60 m||Show|
15* Oklahoma/Notre Dame NBC No-Brainer on Notre Dame +3.5
The Fighting Irish have already played a much tougher schedule than Oklahoma. They have faced the likes of both Michigan and Purdue on the road as well as Michigan State at home. Oklahoma
|09-28-13||Florida State -21.5 v. Boston College||Top||48-34||Loss||-104||62 h 2 m||Show|
20* ACC GAME OF THE WEEK on Florida State -21.5
The Seminoles came into the 2013 season underrated due to losing several starters to the NFL draft. The fact of the matter is that Jimbo Fisher doesn
|09-28-13||Toledo v. Ball State -2||24-31||Win||100||62 h 34 m||Show|
15* CFB Saturday No-Doubt Rout on Ball State -2
Ball State is a much-improved team in 2013 and a legitimate contender to win the MAC this season. It returned 13 starters, including seven on an offense that put up 33.6 points and 457 total yards per game a year ago en route to a 9-4 campaign. Quarterback Keith Wenning is back after completing 65.4 percent of his passes for 3,094 yards with 24 touchdowns and 10 interceptions a year ago.
Wenning has all of his top skill players back. Leading rusher Jahwan Edwards (1,410 yards, 14 TD) returns, as do each of the top five receivers from a year ago, including Willie Snead (89 receptions, 1,148 yards, 9 TD) and Jamill Smith (69, 706, 6 TD). Wenning and company have averaged 42.2 points and 474.7 total yards per game en route to a 3-1 start in 2013.
Wenning is completing 62.3 percent of his passes for 1,315 yards with nine touchdowns and two interceptions, while also rushing for two scores. Edwards has been held to 130 yards and four touchdowns, but Horactio Banks has picked up the slack, rushing for 300 yards and five touchdowns. Snead has 28 receptions for 480 yards and four touchdowns, while Smith has added 17 grabs for 298 yards and one touchdowns.
I like Ball State's chances of moving the ball and scoring points at will against a Toledo defense that returned just four starters from last year while losing four of its top five tacklers, including Dan Molls (166 tackles, and Robert Bell (100 tackles). I also don't believe Toledo's offense, which is averaging just 25.0 points and 385.0 total yards per game, has the firepower to keep up with the Cardinals in this one.
Both quarterbacks return from last year's 34-27 Ball State victory at Toledo. Wenning went 29 of 42 passing for 280 yards and three touchdowns in the win, while Terrance Owens was held to 14 of 27 passing for 215 yards and one touchdown in the loss. Ball State's only loss this season came at North Texas by a final of 27-34. Despite gaining 496 total yards, the Cardinals committed five turnovers, which did them in. Look for Wenning and company to take much better care of the football in a key game Saturday that could determine the West MAC Title.
The Cardinals are 6-1 at home over the last two seasons with their only loss coming last year to Northern Illinois (23-35), which went on to win the MAC and play in a BCS Bowl game. Ball State is 17-6 ATS in its last 23 games overall. The Cardinals are 21-7 ATS in their last 28 games after accumulating more than 280 yards passing in their previous game. Ball State is 5-1 ATS in its last six conference games. The Cardinals are 4-1 ATS in their last five home games. Ball State is 6-2 ATS in its last eight meetings with Toledo. Roll with Ball State Saturday.
|09-28-13||Tampa Bay Rays -155 v. Toronto Blue Jays||2-7||Loss||-155||12 h 33 m||Show|
15* AL Saturday No-Doubt Rout on Tampa Bay Rays -155
The Tampa Bay Rays (90-70) are tied with the Cleveland Indians for the two Wild Card spots in the American League. They both lead the Texas Rangers (89-71) by just one game. Needless to say, this is a must-win situation for the Rays.
Not only do the Rays have the motivational edge over Toronto (73-87) in this one, they also have a massive edge on the mound. Chris Archer has been a blessing to the starting rotation this season, going 9-7 with a 3.21 ERA and 1.100 WHIP over 22 starts.
J.A. Happ is a below-average starter in this league for the Blue Jays. The left-hander is 4-7 with a 4.85 ERA and 1.523 WHIP over 17 starts in 2013.
While Happ is 1-1 with an 8.44 ERA and 2.001 WHIP in four career starts against Tampa Bay, Archer is 1-0 with a 1.29 ERA and 0.929 WHIP in two career starts against Toronto, allowing two earned runs over 14 innings of work.
The Rays are 11-2 in their last 13 games as a road favorite of -151 to -200. Tampa Bay is 6-1 in Archer's last 7 starts as a favorite of -151 to -200. The Rays are 6-0 in Archer's last 6 starts vs. AL East opponents. The Blue Jays are 0-7 in Happ's last 7 home starts. Toronto is 0-6 in its last 6 games following a S.U. win. These last three trends combine for a perfect 19-0 system backing Tampa. Bet the Rays Saturday.
|09-28-13||Oklahoma State -18 v. West Virginia||21-30||Loss||-108||58 h 29 m||Show|
15* CFB Saturday Early ANNIHILATOR on Oklahoma State -18
This is an Oklahoma State Cowboys team that returned 15 starters from last season
|09-27-13||Oakland A's +105 v. Seattle Mariners||8-2||Win||105||11 h 48 m||Show|
15* A's/Mariners AL Late-Night BAILOUT on Oakland +105
The Oakland A's trail the the Boston Red Sox by two games for home-field advantage in the American League. They also lead Detroit by one game for home-field advantage in a possible Division Series matchup. I like their motivation coming into this one, and their starting pitcher.
Bartolo Colon is one of the most underrated starters in baseball and he should not be an underdog here. Colon is 17-6 with a 2.64 ERA and 1.183 WHIP in 29 starts, including 3-0 with a 0.45 ERA and 1.000 WHIP in his last three starts.
Felix Hernandez has essentially packed it in. Hernandez is 0-4 with a 6.93 ERA over his last five starts, allowing 19 earned runs over 24 2/3 innings. Colon is 3-0 with a 1.76 ERA in his last four starts against the Mariners.
Colon is 9-1 (+9.6 Units) against the money line in road games against division opponents over the last 2 seasons. The A's are 6-0 in Colon's last 6 road starts vs. a team with a losing record. Oakland is 8-1 in its last 9 games following a loss. The Mariners are 1-10 in Hernandez's last 11 home starts vs. a team with a winning record. Bet the A's Friday.
|09-27-13||Middle Tennessee State v. BYU UNDER 59.5||Top||10-37||Win||100||46 h 7 m||Show|
20* CFB Friday Night Total DOMINATOR on Middle Tennessee/BYU UNDER 59.5
I'm siding with the UNDER Friday night in this game between the Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders and BYU Cougars. I look for this to be a blowout as well, but mainly because BYU's defense shuts down Middle Tennessee, not because the Cougars pile on a ton of points. They have opened 1-2 this season and will be playing with a chip on their shoulder because of it.
BYU's defense has held its own against three very good offenses in Utah, Texas and Virginia. It is only allowing 20.0 points and 356.7 total yards per game against those teams, who combined to average 33.6 points and 452 total yards per game. That means they have held those three opponents to 13.6 points and nearly 100 total yards per game less than their season averages. This is a top-notch BYU defense that will shut down a Middle Tennessee team that hasn't faced a defense nearly as fierce as this one.
Another aspect that benefits the under is that BYU is primarily a running team and it will eat up clock as it puts together long, extended drives on the ground. The Cougars are rushing for 307 yards per game and only completing 34.8 percent of their passes on the season. You can bet they will be keeping it on the ground all game long in this one. Middle Tennessee also likes to run the football, averaging 196 rushing yards per game.
With both teams relying heavily on the run, it's imperative that each squad be good against the run. That has been the case for both teams in this season. In fact, Middle Tennessee is only yielding 3.7 yards per carry, while BYU is giving up just 3.2 yards per carry. This is strength versus strength ladies and gents, which clearly favors the UNDER.
BYU is 10-1 UNDER in home games when playing against a good team (Win Pct. 60% to 75%) since 1992. The Cougars are 22-5 UNDER vesus good rushing teams - averaging >=4.75 rushing yards/carry since 1992. BYU is 34-17 UNDER when the total is between 56.5 and 63 since 1992. Bronco Mendenhall is a perfect 8-0 UNDER in home games vs. good offensive teams - scoring 31 or more points/game as the coach of BYU. The UNDER is 10-1 in Cougars last 11 Friday games. The UNDER is 13-3 in Cougars last 16 vs. a team with a winning record. Bet the UNDER in this game Friday.
|09-26-13||San Francisco 49ers v. St. Louis Rams +3.5||35-11||Loss||-110||22 h 3 m||Show|
15* 49ers/Rams NFC West No-Brainer on St. Louis +3.5
The 49ers aren
|09-26-13||Los Angeles Angels +165 v. Texas Rangers||5-6||Loss||-100||9 h 31 m||Show|
15* MLB Thursday GAME OF THE NIGHT on Los Angeles Angels +165
The Los Angeles Angels are showing tremendous value as a huge road underdog to the Texas Rangers tonight. They want to play the role of spoiler and make sure that they are the reason that Texas does not make the playoffs. The Rangers trail the Indians by one game for the final wild card spot in the American League.
Los Angeles has not packed it in, fighting back to get withing two games of .500 at 78-80 on the season. The Angels are 23-9 in their last 32 games overall, including 16-4 in their last 20 road games.
Los Angeles is also 5-0 in Jerome Williams' last five starts overall. Williams has allowed three earned runs over less in six of his last seven starts overall. He is 2-0 with a 1.42 ERA in his last two starts, allowing two earned runs over 12 2/3 innings. Williams is also 1-1 with a 3.60 ERA in three career starts against Texas.
Matt Garza had gone 0-4 with a 5.83 ERA in his previous five starts before a solid outing against Kansas City last time out. This guy is way overvalued tonight. Garza is 0-2 with a 5.61 ERA and 1.477 WHIP in seven career starts against Los Angeles.
The Angels are 11-0 in their last 11 Thursday games. The Angels are 5-0 in Williams' last 5 starts. The Rangers are 0-6 in their last 6 games as a favorite of -151 to -200. The Rangers are 0-5 in their last 5 home games vs. a team with a winning road record. These three trends combine for a perfect 27-0 system backing Los Angeles. Roll with the Angels Thursday.
|09-26-13||Virginia Tech +7 v. Georgia Tech||Top||17-10||Win||100||31 h 8 m||Show|
20* VA Tech/GA Tech ACC on ESPN ANNIHILATOR on Virginia Tech +7
Rarely will you find Virginia Tech catching a touchdown or more against anyone. The fact of the matter is that this team has overcome some adversity to open 3-1 this season. It has played a much tougher schedule than Georgia Tech as Alabama, East Carolina and Marshall are all quality opponents. The best team Georgia Tech has faced is North Carolina, and it needed to erase a 20-7 deficit in that contest to win at home last week. Its other two opponents have been Elon and Duke.
Virginia Tech is coming into this game way undervalued due to the nature of its close victories the past two weeks against ECU and Marshall teams that are better than they get credit for. The Hokies are winning games with their defense, allowing just 17.2 points and 233.2 total yards per game. From what I
|09-25-13||Los Angeles Dodgers -135 v. San Francisco Giants||4-6||Loss||-135||11 h 20 m||Show|
15* Dodgers/Giants NL West BAILOUT on Los Angeles -135
The Los Angeles Dodgers still have something to play for. They trail the Atlanta Braves by two games for home-field advantage throughout the postseason. They also trail the St. Louis Cardinals by 1.5 games for the No. 2 seed, which would at least get them home-field advantage in the first round.
Adding to the motivation is the fact that the Dodgers haven't won the season series with the rival Giants since 2009. A win Wednesday would pull them even with San Francisco at nine games apiece with a chance to win the season series on Thursday.
Los Angeles has a huge edge on the mound in this one. Ricky Nolasco is 13-10 with a 3.55 ERA and 1.199 WHIP in 32 starts, including 6-3 with a 3.37 ERA and 1.184 WHIP in 17 home starts. Barry Zito is 4-11 with a 5.91 ERA and 1.742 WHIP on the season, including 0-3 with an 11.57 ERA and 2.228 WHIP in his last three starts.
Zito has not won a game since May 30. Nolasco is 5-4 with a 2.73 ERA and 1.182 WHIP in 10 career starts against San Francisco. Plays against home teams (SAN FRANCISCO) - with a cold starting pitcher- WHIP >= 2.000 over his last 3 starts, with an on base percentage of .260 or worse over their last 3 games are 49-18 (73.1%) over the last five seasons.
The Dodgers are 22-6 in their last 28 road games vs. a team with a losing record. Los Angeles is 61-24 in its last 85 games overall. The Dodgers are 10-2 in Nolasco's last 12 starts overall, including 7-1 in his last 8 road starts. The Giants are 0-8 in Zito's last 8 starts as an underdog of +110 to +150. Roll with the Dodgers Wednesday.
|09-25-13||Kansas City Royals v. Seattle Mariners -105||Top||0-6||Win||100||11 h 15 m||Show|
25* American League GAME OF THE YEAR on Seattle Mariners -105
The Kansas City Royals are deflated right now. They lost last night, while the Cleveland Indians, Tampa Bay Rays and Texas Rangers all won. Those are the three teams they are trailing for the two AL Wild Card spots.
They now sit four games back with five games to play and are essentially done for, and they finally realize it. That realization will have them not showing up at all tonight in Seattle. Making matters worse is that the Royals will be up against one of the best starters in baseball.
Hisashi Iwakuma is 13-6 with a 2.72 ERA and 1.016 WHIP over 32 starts this season. The right-hander is arguably the single-most underrated starter in the league. He has finished strong, pitching 15 shutout innings over his last two starts at Detroit and St. Louis. This will be his last start of the season, and he wants to end it the right way.
Seattle is 27-8 (+18.2 Units) against the money line at home with a money line of -100 to -125 over the last 2 seasons. The Royals are 0-5 in their last 5 games with the total set at 6.5 or lower. The Mariners are 16-7 in Iwakuma's last 23 home starts. Kansas City is 1-5 in its last 6 meetings in Seattle. Bet the Mariners Wednesday.
|09-25-13||Toronto Blue Jays +153 v. Baltimore Orioles||5-9||Loss||-100||8 h 10 m||Show|
15* AL Wednesday Undervalued Underdog on Toronto Blue Jays +153
The Baltimore Orioles have officially been eliminated from postseason contention. With that realization, they have no business being this heavily favored over the Toronto Blue Jays. The Orioles have already packed it in, losing six straight heading into this one.
Esmil Rogers has been at his best on the road this season, going 3-4 with a 3.51 ERA over 11 road starts. He is also 1-1 with a 2.81 ERA and 1.187 WHIP in his last three starts overall.
Bud Norris is 10-10 with a 4.08 ERA and 1.447 WHIP in 29 starts this season. He's getting way too much respect from oddsmakers in this one.
The Blue Jays are 4-0 in their last 4 road games vs. a right-handed starter. Toronto is 4-0 in Rogers' last 4 starts when their opponent scores two runs or less in their previous game. The Orioles are 0-6 in their last 6 games with the total set at 7.0-8.5. Baltimore is 0-6 in its last 6 games overall. These four trends combine for a 20-0 system backing Toronto. Take the Blue Jays Wednesday.
|09-24-13||Kansas City Royals -128 v. Seattle Mariners||Top||0-4||Loss||-128||11 h 46 m||Show|
20* AL Tuesday No-Doubt Rout on Kansas City Royals -128
The Kansas City Royals (83-73) are still alive for the postseason this late in the year for the first time in a long time. They trail the Cleveland Indians by three games for the final Wild Card spot in the American League and really need to win out to have a chance.
Back-to-back extra-inning victories have given the Royals a ton of confidence going forward. Now the Royals will turn to Bruce Chen, who is one of the most underrated starters in the league.
Chen has gone 8-3 with a 3.13 ERA and 1.153 WHIP over 109 1/3 innings pitched in 2013. The left-hander is 5-3 with a 3.45 ERA and 1.018 WHIP in 13 starts this season. Chen is 4-1 with a 2.63 ERA and 1.123 WHIP in 10 career starts against Seattle.
Kansas City is 9-0 (+9.5 Units) against the money line in road games vs. teams outscored by opponents by 0.5 or more runs/game in the second half of the season this season. The Royals are 9-0 (+9.0 Units) against the money line as a road favorite of -125 to -150 this season. These two trends combine for a perfect 18-0 system backing Kansas City. Bet the Royals Tuesday.
|09-23-13||Kansas City Royals -135 v. Seattle Mariners||6-5||Win||100||11 h 49 m||Show|
15* AL Monday Mound Mismatch on Kansas City Royals -135
The Kansas City Royals are 3.5 games back of the final Wild Card spot in the American League. Until they are mathematically eliminated, you can bet this team is going to fight until the end. Seattle (68-88) has nothing to play for.
Yordano Ventura gets the start after an impressive outing in his 2013 debut. He allowed just one earned run over 5 2/3 innings on 9/17 against the Cleveland Indians. He is clearly the better starter in this one.
Seattle's Brandon Maurer is one of the worst starters in the league. He has gone 4-8 with a 6.95 ERA and 1.660 WHIP in 12 starts and eight relief appearances this season.
Kansas City is a perfect 8-0 (+8.0 Units) against the money line as a road favorite of -125 to -150 this season. It is winning 5.4 to 1.9 in this spot, or by an average of 3.5 runs per game. Take the Royals Monday.
|09-23-13||Oakland Raiders v. Denver Broncos OVER 48.5||Top||21-37||Win||100||10 h 36 m||Show|
20* Raiders/Broncos MNF Total ANNIHILATOR on OVER 48.5
I expect a shootout tonight between the Oakland Raiders and Denver Broncos on ESPN's Monday Night Football. Denver should be able to score at will against this suspect Oakland defense. The Raiders will put up their fair share of points against this injury-and-suspension-plagued Broncos' defense.
Denver leads the league in scoring at 45.0 points per game. It is also averaging 463.0 total yards per game behind the great play of Peyton Manning. The four-time league MVP is completing 67.1 percent of his passes for 769 yards with nine touchdowns and no interceptions.
Terrell Pryor has given this Oakland offense new life with his dual-threat ability. In fact, the Raiders are averaging a very impressive 356.0 total yards per game through their first two contests. Pryor is completing 64.2 percent of his passes, while also rushing for 162 yards thus far.
Denver is giving up 25.0 points and 384.5 total yards per game. It remains without Von Miller, while Champ Bailey is questionable. Oakland is going to be without starting safety Tyvon Branch, which will make it even more difficult to defend Manning and company.
The Broncos are 9-1 OVER (+7.9 Units) in a home game where the total is between 42.5 and 49 points over the last 3 seasons. The OVER is 7-0-1 in Broncos last 8 games following a ATS win. The OVER is 6-0-1 in Broncos last 7 games following a SU win of more than 14 points. Denver is 6-0 OVER after gaining 400 or more total yards in their previous game over the last 2 seasons. These four trends combine for a 28-1 system backing the OVER. Bet the OVER in this game Monday.
|09-23-13||Milwaukee Brewers v. Atlanta Braves -121||5-0||Loss||-121||8 h 49 m||Show|
15* NL Monday No-Doubt Rout on Atlanta Braves -121
The Atlanta Braves (92-63) still have a lot to play for despite clinching the NL East. They lead the St. Louis Cardinals by 1.5 games for home-field advantage in the National League. Considering they are 52-22 at home in 2013, it's clear that home-field advantage matters to them quite a bit.
Mike Minor is having yet another solid year for Atlanta, going 13-7 with a 3.19 ERA and 1.080 WHIP in 30 starts. He'll be up against Marco Estrada, who is 6-4 with a 4.26 ERA over 19 starts for the Milwaukee Brewers, who have nothing to play for.
Minor is 1-1 with a 2.60 ERA and 1.039 WHIP in three career starts against Milwaukee. Estrada is 2-1 with a 5.50 ERA and 1.444 WHIP in three career starts against Atlanta.
The Brewers are 8-20 in their last 28 games vs. a starter with a WHIP less than 1.15. The Braves are 75-36 in their last 111 games as a home favorite of -110 to -150. The Braves are 5-0 in Minor's last 5 home starts with the total set at 7.0-8.5. Roll with the Braves Monday.
|09-22-13||Chicago Bears v. Pittsburgh Steelers +3||40-23||Loss||-125||50 h 42 m||Show|
15* Bears/Steelers NBC Sunday Night BAILOUT on Pittsburgh +3
The Steelers haven
|09-22-13||Jacksonville Jaguars +19.5 v. Seattle Seahawks||Top||17-45||Loss||-110||46 h 32 m||Show|
20* NFL Non-Conference GAME OF THE MONTH on Jacksonville Jaguars +19.5
This is a huge letdown spot for the Seahawks. They are coming off a blowout victory over their biggest rivals in the San Francisco 49ers. It
|09-22-13||Texas Rangers v. Kansas City Royals -125||0-4||Win||100||5 h 57 m||Show|
15* AL Sunday PLAY OF THE DAY on Kansas City Royals -125
This is an excellent price to get to back the Kansas City Royals and ace James Shields tonight. I'll gladly take advantage and lay the juice as the Royals make one final push at a playoff spot in the American League.
Shields is 12-9 with a 3.33 ERA and 1.268 WHIP in 32 starts this season. Shields is 7-5 with a 3.42 ERA and 0.956 WHIP in 14 career starts against Texas. In his last three starts against the Rangers, Shields has allowed only two earned runs and 13 base runners over 23 innings.
The Rangers are 0-6 in their last 6 games following a win. Texas is 3-10 in its last 13 vs. a team with a winning record. The Royals are 7-0 in their last 7 games following a loss. Kansas City is 21-5 in its last 26 games as a favorite of -110 to -150. The Royals are 7-0 in Shields' last 7 starts as a favorite of -110 to -150. Bet Kansas City Sunday.
|09-22-13||Cleveland Browns +7 v. Minnesota Vikings||31-27||Win||100||42 h 7 m||Show|
15* NFL Sunday Undervalued Underdog on Cleveland Browns +7
This line of 7 points is an overreaction to the trade of Trent Richardson and the loss of Brandon Weeden. The fact of the matter is that Richardson only averaged 3.6 yards per carry last season, and he was only averaging 3.4 yards per carry through the first two contests this year. Plus, a change at quarterback could do this team some good as Weeden simply hasn
|09-22-13||St. Louis Rams +4 v. Dallas Cowboys||7-31||Loss||-110||42 h 7 m||Show|
15* NFC GAME OF THE WEEK on St. Louis Rams +4
The St. Louis Rams are clearly a team on the rise. They went 7-8-1 last season in Jeff Fisher's first year on the job, which included a 1-0-1 record against the NFC champion San Francisco 49ers. They have made all the right moves this offseason. They already had one of the best young defenses in the NFL, so they shifted their focus to the offense, where Sam Bradford now has the weapons he needs to be successful.
St. Louis brought drafted Tavon Austin and Stedman Bailey, and it also signed one of the best tight ends in the league in Jared Cook. Both Austin and Cook are off to solid starts in 2013. The Rams made sure Bradford's blindside will be protected for years to come by bringing in left tackle Jake Long from Miami as well. So far, this offense is much-improved from a year ago.
The Rams are scoring 25.5 points and averaging 393.5 total yards per game in 2013. Bradford has certainly made use of his new weapons, completing 63.4 percent of his passes for 651 yards with five touchdowns and two interceptions through two games. Cook has caught eight balls for 151 yards and two touchdowns, while Austin has 12 receptions for 88 yards and two scores.
You just can't trust the Cowboys when laying points. This team simply has too many issues and that was evident in a 16-17 loss at Kansas City last week. They are lucky to be 1-1 as the Giants simply gave away the game in Week 1 by committing six turnovers, and still nearly won in a 31-36 loss. The offensive line is still having trouble protecting Romo because Dallas hasn't been able to establish a running game. It is only averaging 62 rushing yards per game and 3.2/carry. St. Louis has one of the best pass rushes in the league. It tied for the league lead in sacks (52.0) last season and has everyone back along the defensive line, including Chris Long (11.5) and Robert Quinn (10.5).
Dallas is just 4-13 against the spread in all home games over the last three seasons. The Cowboys are 3-11 against the number in their last 14 games as a home favorite. St. Louis is 6-1 against the spread in its last seven road games. The Rams are 10-2 ATS in their last 12 games after accumulating more than 350 total yards in their previous game. Jeff Fisher is 30-16 ATS after scoring 3 points or less in the first half last game in all games he has coached. Bet the Rams Sunday.
|09-22-13||San Diego Chargers +3 v. Tennessee Titans||17-20||Push||0||42 h 6 m||Show|
15* AFC GAME OF THE WEEK on San Diego Chargers +3
The San Diego Chargers should not be catching a field goal against the Tennessee Titans Sunday. The Chargers could easily be 2-0 had they not blown a 28-7 lead over the Texans in Week 1. They responded nicely with a 33-30 victory at Philadelphia in Week 2, racking up a whopping 539 yards in the win. Philip Rivers certainly looks comfortable in this offense.
He threw for 419 yards and three touchdowns in the win over the Eagles. Antonio Gates proved he still had plenty left in the tank, catching eight balls for 124 yards against Philadelphia. While there are many that don't believe the Chargers have enough weapons, newcomers Eddie Royal and Danny Woodhead would beg to differ. Royal caught seven balls for 90 yards and three touchdowns against Philly. Woodhead has 27 rushing yards and eight receptions for 37 yards in the win.
Tennessee is getting too much respect in the early going. It beat Pittsburgh on the road in the opener, which clearly has this team overvalued. Sure, it took Houston to overtime last week, but it was thoroughly outplayed in that contest. The Texans outgained the Titans 452-248, or by a total of 204 yards. Tennessee was gifted a touchdown on an interception return on a terrible pass from Matt Shaub, otherwise this would have been a blowout. I trust the Chargers as an improved team in 2013 much more than I trust the Titans to be.
The Titans still have one of the worst offenses in the league. In fact, they rank 30th in the league in total offense at 238.5 total yards per game. San Diego check in at No. 7 in total offense at 401.0 yards per game. The Jake Locker is completing just 56.0 percent of his passes for 273 yards thus far and hasn't developed into the franchise quarterback the Titans had hoped. San Diego, which has an underrated run defense, will be able to stack eight in the box to take away Chris Johnson and make Locker try to beat them. My money says he can't do it Sunday.
Plays on road teams where the line is +3 to -3 (SAN DIEGO) - after 2 consecutive games where they forced 1 or less turnovers against opponent after 2 consecutive games with a turnover margin of +1 or better are 23-4 (85.2%) ATS over the last 10 seasons. San Diego won't be giving the Titans the same gifts that the Steelers and Texans have through the first two games.
San Diego is 21-3 against the spread in its last 24 games vs. AFC South opponents. The Chargers are a perfect 9-0 S.U. in nine meetings with the Titans dating back to 1993. That includes a 38-10 home victory over Tennessee last season as San Diego outgained the Titans 416-212 in a dominant performance. This has been a one-sided series to say the least. Take the Chargers Sunday.
|09-21-13||Auburn +17 v. LSU||21-35||Win||100||43 h 26 m||Show|
15* Auburn/LSU ESPN Saturday Night BAILOUT on Auburn +17
This is a completely different Auburn team with the arrival of first-year head coach Gus Malzahn. The former offensive coordinator at Auburn for three years, including the 2010 season in which the Tigers went 14-0 and won the BCS Championship, Malzahn has brought a different mentality to this team. Remember, he took Arkansas State to a Sun Belt Title last season in his first year there, and he is making his mark on Auburn already.
The good news for Malzahn is that many of the players on this team were recruited to run his system before he bolted for Arkansas State. The offensive mastermind has this Auburn offense scoring 31.0 points and averaging 441.0 total yards per game en route to a 3-0 start. Those three victories came against the underrated trio of Washington State, Arkansas State and Mississippi State. I would certainly argue that Auburn has played a tougher schedule than LSU to this point.
This has been a very closely-contested series in recent years. In fact, seven of the last nine meetings have been decided by a touchdown or less. That includes a 12-10 road victory for LSU last season despite being an 18-point favorite in that contest. Now, as a 17.5-point favorite in the rematch in 2013, LSU is overvalued once again. This is an improved Auburn defense that has eight starters back from last season and is only allowing 17.7 points per game thus far, which is less than what LSU (19.0) is giving up.
Auburn is 4-0 against the spread in its last four games following an ATS loss. LSU is 5-17 against the number in its last 22 games as a home favorite of 14.5 to 21 points. LSU is 30-52 against the spread in home games against SEC opponents since 1992. Auburn is 6-0 against the number after a game where it forced no turnovers over the last three seasons. LSU is 14-28 against the spread in its last 28 home games vs. good team that is outscoring its opponents by 10 or more points per game. Roll with Auburn Saturday.
|09-21-13||Texas Rangers v. Kansas City Royals +100||3-1||Loss||-100||12 h 3 m||Show|
15* AL Saturday PLAY OF THE DAY on Kansas City Royals +100
The Kansas City Royals (81-72) are right in the thick of the AL Wild Card race. They trail the Cleveland Indians by just 2.5 games for the final Wild Card spot. I like them quite a bit as an underdog at home Saturday.
Kansas City actually has the edge on the mound in this one behind Jeremy Guthrie, who is 14-11 with a 4.08 ERA on the season. Guthrie is 4-3 with a 3.82 ERA in 11 career starts against Texas.
Matt Garza has really struggled of late for Texas. The right-hander is folding under the pressure, going 0-3 with an 8.22 ERA and 1.826 WHIP in his last three starts. Garza is also 1-5 with a 3.83 ERA and 1.378 WHIP in eight career starts against Kansas City.
The Royals are 13-1 in Guthrie's last 14 home starts vs. a team with a winning record. Kansas City is 18-4 in Guthrie's last 22 home starts overall. The Rangers are 1-9 in their last 10 games vs. a right-handed starter. The Royals are 13-3 in their last 16 home games vs. a team with a winning record. Bet the Royals Saturday.
|09-21-13||SMU +29.5 v. Texas A&M||13-42||Win||100||43 h 40 m||Show|
15* CFB Saturday Undervalued Underdog on SMU +29.5
This is a huge letdown spot for Texas A&M. The Aggies just lost on ESPN
|09-21-13||Arizona State +6.5 v. Stanford||Top||28-42||Loss||-110||43 h 45 m||Show|
20* ASU/Stanford Pac-12 GAME OF THE MONTH on Arizona State +6.5
I believe that the Sun Devils are a legitimate Pac-12 Title contender. They are certainly the best team in the South and should play in the Title game come season
|09-21-13||Louisiana-Lafayette -5.5 v. Akron||35-30||Loss||-110||42 h 39 m||Show|
15* CFB Saturday Under the Radar BLOWOUT on Louisiana-Lafayette -5.5
Akron nearly upset Michigan last week in Ann Arbor. As a result, it is getting way too much respect from oddsmakers against a superior Louisiana-Lafayette team Saturday. I look for the Zips to suffer a hangover from that defeat to the Wolverines. They were stopped at the 1-yard line in the closing seconds, which is how close they came to pulling off the upset. Akron's players won't be able to recover in time to face the Rajin' Cajuns Saturday.
Louisiana-Lafayette is underrated right now due to opener the season 0-2 with road losses to Arkansas and Kansas State. It would rebound with a 70-7 victory over Nicholls State last week, and now I look for it to roll the rest of the season after getting its two toughest games of the year out of the way. Remember, this team went 9-4 last season and returned 13 starters and 56 lettermen from that squad. This is arguably the best team in the Sun Belt.
Akron, meanwhile, is just 2-13 over the past two seasons. Its only two wins have come against FCS opponents in Morgan State and James Madison. It barely beat James Madison (35-33) at home in Week 2 while getting outgained 498-356 for the game. It was blown out 7-38 in the opener by UCF, which is much more indicative of the talent on this team. Michigan simply just went through the motions last week off a big win over Notre Dame the previous week, and it nearly cost the Wolverines. They committed four turnovers against the Zips.
Lafayette is 6-0 against the spread vs. poor passing defenses - allowing 250 or more passing yards/game over the last 3 seasons. The Rajin' Cajuns are 8-0 against the number after a playing a game where 70 total points or more were scored over the last 3 seasons. The Zips are 0-5 against the spread in their last five home games. Akron is 0-6 against the number in its last six home games off one or more consecutive overs. These four trends combine for a 25-0 system backing Louisiana-Lafayette. Plus, the Rajin' Cajuns are 20-7 ATS in their last 27 road games. Roll with Louisiana-Lafayette Saturday.
|09-21-13||Michigan State +4.5 v. Notre Dame||Top||13-17||Win||100||39 h 16 m||Show|
20* MSU/Notre Dame Rivalry GAME OF THE MONTH on Michigan State +4.5
Admittedly, the Spartans did not look sharp offensively in beating Western Michigan by 13 and South Florida by 15 in their first two games to open the season. It was no secret that this offense was going to struggle in the early going after last year. However, it was also no secret that Michigan State was going to possess one of the best defenses in the entire country. That has proven to be the case thus far due to seven starters and seven of the top nine tacklers back on that side of the ball.
Michigan State is only allowing 12.0 points and 177.0 total yards per game en route to a 3-0 start. It has also forced eight turnovers to this point. There
|09-21-13||West Virginia v. Maryland -4.5||Top||0-37||Win||100||39 h 14 m||Show|
20* CFB Saturday No-Doubt Rout on Maryland -4.5
The Maryland Terrapins are one of the most improved teams in the country this season. They went just 4-8 last year due to injuries at the quarterback position. They were down to their 6th-string QB due to a fluke of injuries, including the starter out of the spring in C.J. Brown. Now, in 2013, they have opened 3-0 with double-digit victories over Florida International (43-10), Old Dominion (47-10) and Connecticut (32-21).
A big reason for that start has been Brown's play. The senior is completing 67.1 percent of his passes for 833 yards with six touchdowns and one interception, while also rushing for 257 yards and five scores. Stefon Diggs, arguably the most underrated receiver in the entire country, has 16 receptions for 387 yards and three touchdowns already. Maryland is one of only three teams in the nation that has compiled 500 or more yards of total offense in each of their first three games this season.
West Virginia went just 7-6 last season despite having a plethora of talent on offense in QB Geno Smith and WR's Tavon Austin and Stedman Bailey. All three players were taken within the first three rounds of the NFL draft. Now, with only 10 starters back, including three on offense, the Mountaineers are clearly in rebuilding mode. They are off to an ugly start to 2013 as well.
The Mountaineers opened with a 24-17 victory over William & Mary despite being a 31.5-point favorite. They managed just one touchdown in a loss to Oklahoma the next week in a game that was a bigger blowout than the final score would indicate. They also failed to cover against Georgia State last week, which is a team that has lost to Samford (21-31) and Chattanooga (14-42) at home. The score was only 20-7 WVU before the Mountaineers scored 21 points in the fourth quarter to make the game appear to be a bigger blowout than it really was.
Maryland actually had a pretty strong defense last year in allowing just 337 total yards per game despite being on the field a ton due to inept quarterback play. It has been even stronger in 2013, allowing just 13.7 points and 296.3 total yards per game. In their 31-21 loss at West Virginia last season, the Terrapins were playing with their fourth-string quarterback. They easily covered as a 26-point underdog and were only outgained 363-351 for the game. There's no question that the Terrapins are the superior team in 2013, and they'll get revenge in blowout fashion Saturday.
West Virginia is 5-15 against the spread in its last 20 road games vs. ACC opponents. The Mountaineers are 0-5 against the spread in their last five non-conference games. The Terrapins are 5-0 against the number in their last five games overall. West Virginia is 5-16 against the spread in its last 21 road games versus good defensive teams that allow 4.5 yards per play or less. Take Maryland Saturday.
|09-21-13||Tennessee +16.5 v. Florida||17-31||Win||100||39 h 9 m||Show|
15* Tennessee/Florida CBS Saturday No-Brainer on Tennessee +16.5
The Volunteers are clearly on the rise under new head coach Butch Jones, who spent three years at Central Michigan and three years at Cincinnati before coming here. Jones is a proven winner, leading the Chippewas and Bearcats to at least a share of the conference championship four out of those six years. He inherited a Tennessee team with a lot of talent and 13 returning starters.
Tennessee opened the season 2-0 with blowout victories over Austin Peay (45-0) and Western Kentucky (52-20). I
|09-21-13||North Texas +34 v. Georgia||21-45||Win||100||36 h 0 m||Show|
15* CFB Saturday Non-Conference KNOCKOUT on North Texas +34
The North Texas Mean Green are a much improved team in 2013. Dan McCarney has done a fine job at this program in exceeding expectations in his first two years on the job. Now, in his third season here, McCarney easily has his best team yet. North Texas returned a whopping 17 starters this season, and that experience has led the program to a solid 2-1 start.
North Texas has beaten Idaho (40-6) and Ball State (34-27) at home for its two wins. Its only loss came at Ohio (21-27) against a very underrated Bobcats
|09-21-13||San Jose State +4 v. Minnesota||24-43||Loss||-115||36 h 40 m||Show|
15* CFB Saturday Upset Special on San Jose State +4
The Minnesota Golden Gophers are way overrated right now due to playing a very easy schedule to this point. UNLV and New Mexico State are two of the worst teams in the FBS. Also, Western Illinois is an FCS opponent, and the Gophers did not look sharp against them despite being a 24-point favorite and winning 29-12. In fact, Minnesota is only outgaining those three opponents by an average of 40.3 yards per game thus far.
San Jose State continues to be a covering machine, opening 2-0 against the number with a win over Sacramento State (24-0) as a 20-point favorite, and a loss at Stanford (13-34) as a 24-point underdog. This team does have plenty of talent back from last year
|09-20-13||Boise State v. Fresno State -3||Top||40-41||Loss||-120||44 h 31 m||Show|
20* Boise/Fresno MWC GAME OF THE MONTH on Fresno State -3
The Fresno State Bulldogs got their first conference title since 1989 last season under first-year head coach Tim DeRuyter. Many believe this is a sleeper team to crash the BCS due to returning 16 starters, including quarterback Derek Carr. They were +171.5 yards per game in Mountain West play last year which was 52 yards per game better than Boise State.
Carr is coming off a season in which he completed 67.3 percent of his passes for 4,104 yards with 37 touchdowns and seven interceptions. He has guided the Bulldogs to a 2-0 start this season while completing 71.2 percent of his passes for 661 yards with eight touchdowns and one interception thus far. The offense has averaged 46.5 points and 460.5 total yards per game in wins over Rutgers and Cal Poly.
Boise State is in rebuilding mode this season and is nowhere near as strong as it has been over the past decade. It returns only nine starters and was embarrassed 6-38 at Washington in its opener. It followed that up with unimpressive victories over cupcakes in Tennessee-Martin and Air Force at home. The Broncos gave up a ridiculous 592 total yards in the loss to Washington, so Carr and company could certainly have their way with this suspect defense as they look to get revenge and put a halt to a 7-game losing streak in the series.
The Broncos are just 3-11 against the spread after scoring 37 or more points in their last game over the past three seasons. Boise State is 3-12 against the number in its last 15 conference games. The Bulldogs are 5-0 against the number in their last five conference games. Fresno State is 12-4 against the spread in its last 16 games overall. The favorite is a perfect 11-0 against the spread in the last 11 meetings in this series. Bet Fresno State Friday.
Note: I recommend buying Fresno State to -3 if you have to.
|09-20-13||Baltimore Orioles +165 v. Tampa Bay Rays||4-5||Loss||-100||8 h 55 m||Show|
15* AL Friday Undervalued Underdog on Baltimore Orioles +165
The Baltimore Orioles (81-71) trail the Tampa Bay Rays (83-69) and Texas Rangers by exactly two games for the final two Wild Card spots in the American League. They have a chance to get within one game tonight with a win in Game 1 over the Rays, and I believe they get it done at a great price.
Jason Hamel has been at his best on the road this season, going 6-3 with a 4.34 ERA in 13 starts. The Orioles are 9-4 (+5.8 units) in those 13 contests. He'll be up against David Price, who is clearly being overvalued tonight.
Price is just 8-8 with a 3.42 ERA in 24 starts this season, and the Rays are 11-13 (-10.3 units) in those 24 contests. He's also 2-5 with a 3.61 ERA in 11 home starts, and 0-2 with a 4.22 ERA in his last three outings overall.
In his last two road starts at Tampa Bay, Hamel has gone 1-1 with a 3.55 ERA, allowing five earned runs and 12 base runners over 12 2/3 innings. In his last two starts against the Orioles, Price has posted a 5.73 ERA while allowing seven earned runs and 20 base runners over 11 innings.
Baltimore is a very profitable 95-80 (+42.4 Units) against the money line as an underdog of +100 or higher over the last 2 seasons. Hammel is a perfect 7-0 (+7.5 Units) against the money line in road games after a loss this season. Price is just 20-22 (-18.5 Units) against the money line as a home favorite of -110 or higher over the last 3 seasons. The Orioles are 6-1 in their last 7 games vs. a left-handed starter. Roll with Baltimore Friday.
|09-20-13||New York Mets +184 v. Philadelphia Phillies||6-4||Win||184||8 h 50 m||Show|
15* NL Friday Undervalued Underdog on New York Mets +184
Neither the New York Mets nor the Philadelphia Phillies have anything to play for right now. That's why I believe Philadelphia is being way overvalued in this contest as nearly a 2-to-1 favorite over the Mets.
I actually believe New York has more to play for, especially starter Daisuke Matsuzaka, who is playing for a job next year. Quietly, Matsuzaka has pitched very well in his last two starts, going 1-0 with a 1.42 ERA while allowing just two earned runs and nine base runners over 12 2/3 innings.
Cole Hamels is getting too much respect from the books considering he's just 8-13 with a 3.48 ERA over 31 starts this season. Hamels has struggled against the Mets, going 7-12 with a 4.29 ERA and 1.458 WHIP in 25 career starts.
Matsuzaka is 8-0 (+8.7 Units) against the money line in road games vs. teams whose hitters draw 3 walks or less/game in the second half of the season in his career. Hamels is 4-10 (-10.9 Units) against the money line when playing against a team with a losing record this season. The Mets are a very profitable 30-30 (+15.9 Units) against the money line as a road underdog of +100 or higher this season. Philadelphia is 1-5 in Hamels' last six starts as a home favorite of -151 to -200. Take the Mets Friday.
|09-19-13||Kansas City Chiefs +3.5 v. Philadelphia Eagles||Top||26-16||Win||100||19 h 11 m||Show|
20* Chiefs/Eagles NFL Thursday No-Brainer on Kansas City +3.5
Andy Reid has given this Kansas City franchise new life. It has already matched its win total from all of last year. The offense is in good hands with Alex Smith, who is completing 60.0 percent of his passes for 396 yards with four touchdowns and no interceptions thus far. In fact, the offense has yet to turn the ball over as the Chiefs are already +4 in turnover differential after finishing -24 last year. Smith simply takes care of the football and is the best quarterback this franchise has had in years.
|09-19-13||Clemson -13.5 v. North Carolina State||26-14||Loss||-110||18 h 15 m||Show|
15* Clemson/NC State ACC ANNIHILATOR on Clemson -13.5
The Tigers are a legitimate national title contender in 2013. They opened the season with an impressive 38-35 victory over Georgia after closing out their 2012 campaign with a win against LSU. After beating two of the top teams in the SEC, there
|09-19-13||Baltimore Orioles +125 v. Boston Red Sox||1-3||Loss||-100||8 h 48 m||Show|
15* MLB GAME OF THE NIGHT on Baltimore Orioles +125
The Baltimore Orioles (81-70) have a never-say-die attitude. They have won three straight to get within one game of Texas for the final Wild Card spot in the American League. I believe they'll sweep Boston tonight behind Chris Tillman.
Tillman is 16-6 with a 3.70 ERA and 1.217 WHIP in 30 starts this season, including 8-3 with a 3.30 ERA and 1.233 WHIP in 14 road starts. He'll be up against John Lackey, who is 1-1 with a 6.52 ERA and 1.345 WHIP in his last three starts.
Remarkably, Tillman is 4-1 with a 2.15 ERA and 1.172 WHIP in nine career starts against Boston. He simply loves facing this team. In his last six starts against Boston, Tillman has gone 4-0 with a 1.14 ERA, allowing just five earned runs over 39 1/3 innings.
Tillman is 7-0 (+8.2 Units) against the money line vs. teams outscoring opponents by 0.5 or more runs/game on the season this season. Tillman is 8-0 (+11.5 Units) against the money line as a road underdog of +125 to +175 over the last 2 seasons. The Orioles are 5-0 in Tillman's last 5 starts vs. Red Sox. These three trends combine for a 20-0 system backing Baltimore. Roll with the Orioles Thursday.
|09-18-13||Los Angeles Dodgers +111 v. Arizona Diamondbacks||4-9||Loss||-100||11 h 41 m||Show|
15* Dodgers/DBacks NL West BAILOUT on Los Angeles Dodgers +111
The Los Angeles Dodgers can clinch the NL West Title with a win tonight. With that motivation, and the edge they have on the mound in this one, I'll gladly back the Dodgers as an underdog to the Arizona Diamondbacks in this one.
Matt Kemp made his return to the lineup yesterday and went 4 for 4 with three RBIs in Tuesday's 9-3 victory. Hanley Ramirez scored three runs in his first game since Thursday. With these two superstars back, this is once again one of the most potent lineups in baseball.
Stephen Fife has gone 4-3 with a 2.47 ERA in nine starts this season, including 2-1 with a 0.54 ERA in his last three starts. He'll be up against Brandon McCarthy, who is 4-9 with a 4.58 ERA and 1.353 WHIP in 19 starts for Arizona.
The Dodgers are 25-8 in their last 33 road games. Los Angeles is 43-14 in its last 57 games vs. a right-handed starter. The Dodgers are 57-22 in their last 79 games overall. The Diamondbacks are 0-6 in McCarthy's last 6 starts vs. a team with a winning record. Take the Dodgers Wednesday.
|09-18-13||Baltimore Orioles +135 v. Boston Red Sox||5-3||Win||135||8 h 58 m||Show|
15* AL East PLAY OF THE DAY on Baltimore Orioles +135
The Baltimore Orioles (80-70) trail the Rangers and Rays by just two games for the two Wild Card spots in the American League. This is a much more important game for them than it is for Boston, which essentially already has the AL East wrapped up.
The Orioles showed their resiliency last night by coming from behind to win 3-2 against the Red Sox in the opener of this series. Buck Showalter's club never gives in. The Orioles have been extremely clutch late in the season for each of the past two seasons.
Wei-Yin Chen has been solid this season at 7-7 with a 4.00 ERA over 20 starts. He has put up numbers very similar to Boston's Jake Peavy, who is 11-5 with a 4.03 ERA in 21 starts this year. Given the price and situation, the Orioles are certainly the play here.
The Orioles are 7-2 in Chen's last 9 starts vs. a team with a winning record. Baltimore has owned this series, going 25-12 in its last 37 meetings with the Red Sox. In fact, the Orioles are 13-5 in their last 18 meetings in Boston. Roll with Baltimore Wednesday.
|09-18-13||Atlanta Braves v. Washington Nationals +100||Top||5-2||Loss||-100||8 h 53 m||Show|
20* NL East GAME OF THE WEEK on Washington Nationals +100
The Washington Nationals have made an impressive run of late to get within 4.5 games for the final Wild Card spot in the National League. The have won 10 of their last 11 games overall and are clearly looking to finish the season strong.
Given their situation and their edge on the mound tonight, they should not be an underdog to Atlanta. Ross Ohlendorf has gone 4-0 with a 3.15 ERA and 1.215 WHIP over 54 1/3 innings pitched this season. The Nationals are a perfect 6-0 in his six starts this year, including 4-0 in his four home starts where he has posted a 2.86 ERA.
Alex Wood has really struggled of late for Atlanta. The young left-hander is 0-1 with a 14.14 ERA in his last two starts, allowing 11 earned runs and 22 base runners over 7 innings of work. Those two starts have come against the Marlins and Phillies, which are two of the worst lineups in baseball.
The Braves are 1-7 in their last 8 road games vs. a team with a winning record. Atlanta is 0-5 in its last 5 during game 3 of a series. The Nationals are 6-0 in their last 6 during game 3 of a series. Dating back further, Washington is 21-6 in its last 27 games overall. The Nationals are 7-0 in their last 7 games vs. a starter with a WHIP greater than 1.30. Bet Washington Wednesday.
|09-17-13||Chicago Cubs +125 v. Milwaukee Brewers||3-4||Loss||-100||9 h 3 m||Show|
15* NL Central ANNIHILATOR on Chicago Cubs +125
The Chicago Cubs get the nod Tuesday as a nice-sized road underdog to the Milwaukee Brewers. Neither team has much to play for, so I'll side with the Cubs at a great price given the edge they have on the mound.
Jeff Samardzija has been at his best on the road this season, going 5-7 with a 3.87 ERA and 1.204 WHIP in 14 starts away from home. Marco Estrada has been at his worst at home for Milwaukee, going 2-2 with a 7.06 ERA and 1.616 WHIP in eight starts.
Samardzija has posted a 2.90 ERA and 0.968 WHIP in five career starts against Milwaukee. The right-hander pitched seven shutout innings in his last start against the Brewers on 7/29/2013.
Milwaukee is 16-24 (-14.0 Units) against the money line at home with a money line of -100 to -150 this season. The Brewers are 10-20 (-11.5 Units) against the money line when playing against a bad team (Win Pct. 38% to 46%) this season. The Cubs are 5-1 in Samardzija's last 6 starts as a road underdog. The Brewers are 0-4 in Estrada's last 4 starts as a favorite of -110 to -150. Roll with the Cubs Tuesday.
|09-17-13||Texas Rangers +125 v. Tampa Bay Rays||7-1||Win||125||8 h 3 m||Show|
15* AL Tuesday Undervalued Underdog on Texas Rangers +125
The Texas Rangers are highly motivated for a victory tonight. They have lost seven in a row to drop in a two-way tie with Tampa Bay for the final two Wild Card spots in the American League. They lead the Cleveland Indians by just 1.5 games.
Due to the edge the Rangers have on the mound tonight, I'll side with them at a great price here. Alexi Ogando has been brilliant this year, going 6-4 with a 3.23 ERA and 1.240 WHIP over 15 starts and four relief appearances. Ogando beat the Rays on 4/8/2013, giving up one earned run over 5 1/3 innings.
Jeremy Hellickson is getting way too much respect from oddsmakers tonight. The right-hander is 11-8 with a 5.04 ERA and 1.345 WHIP in 29 starts, including 1-1 with a 5.40 ERA and 1.650 WHIP in his last three starts. Hellickson has allowed six homers over 15 innings in his last three starts against Texas, losing two of them.
Texas is 16-6 (+14.9 Units) against the money line in road games after scoring 2 runs or less 3 straight games since 1997. The Rangers are 19-14 (+9.1 Units) against the money line as an underdog of +100 or higher this season. Texas is 5-1 in Ogando's last 6 road starts. The Rays are 1-5 in Hellickson's last 6 starts vs. a team with a winning record. Take the Rangers Tuesday.
|09-17-13||San Francisco Giants v. New York Mets +104||8-5||Loss||-100||8 h 2 m||Show|
15* NL Non-Divisional KNOCKOUT on New York Mets +104
The San Francisco Giants (69-81) are in a huge letdown spot tonight. They just took three out of four from their biggest rivals in the Los Angeles Dodgers, taking each of the final three games in that series. I look for them to pack it in the rest of the way as that was the highlight of their season.
I'll gladly back Zack Wheeler as a home underdog in this one. The right-hander has been one of the most underrated starters in the league, going 7-5 with a 3.22 ERA in 16 starts and one relief appearance.
In his lone start against San Francisco on 7/10/2013, Wheeler allowed just one earned run and six base runners over seven innings of a 7-2 Mets' victory.
Plays against road teams when the money line is +125 to -125 (SAN FRANCISCO) - revenging a loss vs opponent as a home favorite of -150 or more, a bad team (38% to 46%) playing a team with a losing record are 33-12 (73.3%) ATS since 1997. The Giants are 2-10 in their last 12 road games vs. a team with a losing home record. The Mets are 9-4 in Wheeler's last 13 starts as an underdog. Bet the Mets Tuesday.
|09-17-13||New York Yankees +103 v. Toronto Blue Jays||Top||0-2||Loss||-100||8 h 58 m||Show|
20* AL East GAME OF THE WEEK on New York Yankees +103
The New York Yankees (79-71) are fighting for their postseason lives. They trail both Texas and Tampa Bay by three games for the final Wild Card spot in the American League. Toronto (68-81) has nothing to play for the rest of the way.
I'll gladly back the Yankees tonight due to their motivation and the edge they have on the mound. Andy Pettite has been at his best on the road this season, going 6-5 with a 3.55 ERA and 1.286 WHIP In 14 starts. Pettite is 3-0 with a 1.77 ERA in three starts against Toronto this season, allowing just four earned runs over 20 1/3 innings.
R.A. Dickey has been at his worst at home this year, going 6-6 with a 5.29 ERA and 1.343 WHIP in 16 home starts. The knuckleballer has served up four home runs in three starts against the Yankees this season, losing two of them.
The Yankees are 8-2 in their last 10 vs. a team with a losing record. New York is 56-23 in Pettite's last 79 starts vs. a team with a losing record. The Blue Jays are 4-10 in their last 14 games as a favorite of -110 to -150. Toronto is 0-5 in its last 5 home games vs. a team with a losing road record. Bet the Yankees Tuesday.
|09-16-13||Los Angeles Angels +135 v. Oakland A's||12-1||Win||135||11 h 50 m||Show|
15* Angels/A's AL Late-Night BAILOUT on Los Angeles +135
The Oakland A's (88-61) are in a huge letdown spot tonight. They are coming off a 3-game sweep over the Texas Rangers to put themselves up 6.5 games in the AL West Division. After a six-game road trip, that first home game back for teams can be tough since they have family plans to deal with, Etc.
Los Angeles (72-77) has enjoyed some nice success on its current 10-game road trip. It has won five of its last six games overall while showing excellent value in the process. This team has not packed it in as it looks to get back to .500 on the season.
C.J. Wilson has been one positive on an otherwise forgetful season for the Angels thus far. The left-hander is 16-6 with a 3.44 ERA over 30 starts in 2013. Wilson is 9-4 with a 2.91 ERA and 1.187 WHIP in 16 career starts against Oakland. He is 3-0 with a 2.08 ERA in his last three starts against Oakland this season.
Wilson is 7-0 (+7.2 Units) against the money line in road games vs. teams whose hitters strike out 7 or more times/game in the second half of the season this season. The Angels are 11-1 in their last 12 road games vs. a right-handed starter. The Angels are 4-0 in Wilson's last 4 starts as a road underdog. These three trends combine for a 22-1 system backing Los Angeles. Bet the Angels Monday.
|09-16-13||Pittsburgh Steelers +7 v. Cincinnati Bengals||Top||10-20||Loss||-107||90 h 2 m||Show|
25* AFC North GAME OF THE YEAR on Pittsburgh +7
|09-16-13||Chicago Cubs +115 v. Milwaukee Brewers||1-6||Loss||-100||9 h 55 m||Show|
15* NL Monday GAME OF THE NIGHT on Chicago Cubs +115
The Chicago Cubs (63-86) and the Milwaukee Brewers (65-83) have officially been eliminated from the postseason. However, I believe there is value in backing the Cubs tonight as they try to finish out of the basement of the NL Central division.
I also believe the Cubs have the edge on the mound tonight behind Edwin Jackson, who has posted a 2.89 ERA in his last three starts overall. In his last start against Milwaukee, Jackson allowed just one earned run over eight innings to get the win in a 6-1 Chicago victory on July 31.
Wily Peralta has really struggled at home this year, going 5-8 with a 5.08 ERA and 1.548 WHIP in 15 starts in Milwaukee. Peralta is 0-2 in his last two starts against Chicago this season, yielding 11 runs, 6 earned, and three homers over 10 innings of work.
Milwaukee is 17-25 (-14.6 Units) against the money line as a home favorite of -110 or higher this season. The Brewers are 9-20 (-12.5 Units) against the money line when playing against a bad team (Win Pct. 38% to 46%) this season. Milwaukee is 1-5 in Peralta's last six starts as a home favorite. Take the Cubs Monday.
|09-15-13||San Francisco 49ers v. Seattle Seahawks UNDER 44.5||3-29||Win||100||66 h 4 m||Show|
15* 49ers/Seahawks NBC Sunday Night BAILOUT on UNDER 44.5
Oddsmakers have set the bar too high tonight in this showdown between the San Francisco 49ers and Seattle Seahawks. I look for a defensive battle between these two bitter NFC West rivals who are two of the favorites to win the Super Bowl because of their defenses.
Seattle finished 4th in the league in total defense (306.2 yards/game) and 1st in scoring defense (15.3 points/game) last season. San Francisco finished 3rd in the NFL in total defense (294.4 yards/game) and 2nd in in scoring defense (17.1 points/game) in 2012.
Both defenses have arguably gotten stronger this offseason with the additions they have made. Given their familiarity with the opposing offenses having played them twice each year, I have no doubt that points will be hard to come by in this one.
I look for a score similar to the 13-6 49ers' victory in the first meeting last season than the 42-13 Seahawks' victory in the second. Neither team gained more than 346 total yards in either meeting last year, so the offenses were held in check for the most part. Seattle just went off for 42 points in one of the meetings, which isn't even going to come close to happening again. The Seahawks were aided by a special teams touchdown in that one.
Russell Wilson and Colin Kaepernick had the element of surprise last year as each were in their first season as a starter. There is enough game tape out on both quarterbacks now that two top-notch defenses like these ones will be able to contain their respective opposing signal callers.
Plays on the UNDER on any team where the total is between 42.5 and 49 points (SAN FRANCISCO) - off a home win, in a game involving two teams that had winning records last season are 37-13 (74%) since 1983.
The UNDER is 7-0 in Seahawks last 7 September games. Their defense was in prime form last week in a 12-7 victory at Carolina. I look for a similar score in this Week 2 showdown as well. Take the UNDER in this game Sunday.
|09-15-13||Jacksonville Jaguars +6 v. Oakland Raiders||Top||9-19||Loss||-110||62 h 19 m||Show|
20* AFC Non-Divisional GAME OF THE MONTH on Jacksonville Jaguars +6
The Oakland Raiders should never be this heavily favored against any team in the league, even the Jacksonville Jaguars. This line is simply an overreaction from last week's performances as the Jaguars were blown out by the Chiefs, while the Raiders played the Colts tough.
There are explanations for both results. First, I believe the Chiefs are going to be one of the most improved teams in the league this season, and they showed that in Week 1. Second, I believe the Colts are one of the most overrated teams in the NFL after making the playoffs last year. You have to remember that Indianapolis was actually outscored on the season last year and won 10 games. It went 9-1 in games decided by a touchdown or less and was much worse than its record.
Oakland is still one of the worst teams in the league, if not the worst. Jacksonville is not a good team with Blaine Gabbert under center, but the good news is that he suffered a hand injury last week and will be out. That means that Chad Henne gets the start, and the Jaguars are much better with him under center. Henne threw for 2,084 yards and 11 touchdowns to 11 interceptions last season while giving Jacksonville a chance to win most weeks.
"If there's one good out of that now we have a guy that's seasoned, that's played a lot of football for us," Jacksonville head coach Gus Bradley said. "We have a lot of faith in Chad. I know that he's a guy we felt strongly about going through the whole process."
Jacksonville is 4-1 SU & 5-0 ATS in its last five meetings with Oakland. Its lone loss came last season by a final of 23-26 as a 6-point underdog. I look for this game to go right down to the wire as well and to likely be decided by a field goal either way, which means there is a ton of value in the Jaguars here.
Jacksonville is 13-3 ATS in its last 16 games after scoring six points or less in its previous game. The Jaguars are 16-6 ATS in their last 22 road games off a loss by 14 points or more. The Raiders are 20-43-1 ATS in their last 64 vs. a team with a losing record. Oakland is 1-5 ATS in its last six home games. The Raiders are 0-6 ATS in their last six games following a ATS win. Bet the Jaguars Sunday.
|09-15-13||Denver Broncos v. NY Giants +4.5||41-23||Loss||-105||62 h 6 m||Show|
15* Broncos/Giants "Manning Bowl" ANNIHILATOR on New York +4.5
It's amazing that the New York Giants actually had a chance to beat the Dallas Cowboys in the closing minutes last week despite turning the ball over a ridiculous six times. They would eventually lose 31-36, but that effort really shows a lot about the character and talent of this team. You can bet that Tom Coughlin will preach ball security as his team fights to avoid falling to 0-2 as the Giants welcome the Denver Broncos to town Sunday.
This line is an overreaction from the Broncos' 49-27 victory over the Baltimore Ravens in Week 1. Denver wanted that game badly after losing to the Ravens in double-overtime in the playoffs last year. That big win sets the Broncos up for a letdown spot this week. I certainly like the Giants' mental attitude heading into this one much better after falling in Week 1 and needing this victory more.
Denver has a plethora of injury/suspension issues heading into this one. All-Pro cornerback Champ Bailey is expected to miss this game with a sprained left foot. All-Pro linebacker Von Miller continues to serve his six-game suspension. Starting center Dan Koppen is out for the season, and backup center J.D. Walton could miss the entire year. Starting guard Chris Kuper is out indefinitely with an ankle injury.
This Denver offensive line will struggle against arguably the best defensive line in football in the Giants. It's the same defensive line that knocked Tony Romo out of the game last week and pressured him for four quarters. Peyton Manning will be under duress all game long.
Plays on home teams (NY GIANTS) - good team from last season - outscored opponents by 4 or more points/game, after scoring 30 points or more last game are 38-13 (74.5%) ATS since 1983.
The Giants are 9-1 ATS after gaining 6.5 or more yards/play in their previous game over the last 3 seasons. New York is 10-4-1 ATS in its last 15 vs. a team with a winning record. Tom Coughlin is 37-24 ATS as an underdog as the coach of New York. The home team has won five straight and seven of the last eight meetings in this series. Bet the Giants Sunday.
|09-15-13||Baltimore Orioles -104 v. Toronto Blue Jays||3-1||Win||100||3 h 41 m||Show|
15* AL Sunday No-Doubt Rout on Baltimore Orioles -104
The Baltimore Orioles (78-70) are in a must-win situation from here on out. They trail Texas and Tampa Bay by 3.5 games for the final Wild Card spot in the American League.
Getting them at nearly even money Sunday against a Toronto (68-80) team that has nothing to play for is simply a gift from the oddsmakers.
Miguel Gonzalez is 9-7 with a 4.00 ERA and 1.268 WHIP in 25 starts and two relief appearances in 2013. He'll be up against Mark Buehrle, who is 11-8 with a 4.18 ERA and 1.331 WHIP in 30 starts.
Gonzalez is 2-2 with a 3.90 ERA and 1.052 WHIP in five career starts against Toronto. In Buehrle's last start against Baltimore on 7/12, he allowed eight earned runs and three homers over six innings of a 5-8 loss. Bet the Orioles Sunday.
|09-15-13||Cleveland Browns +7 v. Baltimore Ravens||6-14||Loss||-115||59 h 55 m||Show|
15* NFL Sunday Undervalued Underdog on Cleveland Browns +7
|09-15-13||St Louis Rams +7 v. Atlanta Falcons||Top||24-31||Push||0||59 h 54 m||Show|
20* NFC Non-Divisional GAME OF THE MONTH on St. Louis Rams +7
The St. Louis Rams are showing excellent value as a touchdown underdog to the Atlanta Falcons Sunday. I believe the Rams will be one of the most improved teams in the league in 2013, and they are off to a nice start with a 24-21 home victory over Arizona in Week 1.
Off a 13-3 season last year where almost everything went right in close games, the Atlanta Falcons are sure to regress in 2013. That has been the case already with a 17-23 loss at New Orleans in Week 1. The Falcons went 7-2 in games decided by a touchdown or less last season. There's a very good chance this game will fall into that category with the final margin being by a touchdown or less either way.
Atlanta lost a lot on defense in the offseason, and it was a below-average defensive team last season. I look for the Falcons to have to try and win a lot of shootouts this year. Meanwhile, the Rams have one of the best young defenses in the league. Now, they have finally added a plethora of weapons for Sam Bradford offensively. That includes tight end Jared Cook, who had seven receptions for 141 yards and two touchdowns in his first game with St. Louis against Arizona.
St. Louis also upgraded its offensive line in the offseason after giving up a league-worst 55 sacks last year. They didn't allow any sacks against the Cardinals. "I can't say enough about those guys up front," Bradford said. "They played outstanding, and I think it shows that we've taken leaps and bounds from where we were last year."
Matt Ryan was sacked three times against the Saints last week. Some of these struggles are likely the result of the state of flux on the Falcons' offensive line. Left tackle Sam Baker and left guard Justin Blalock are the only holdovers from last year's starting unit, while Peter Konz has shifted from guard to center to replace the retired Todd McClure.
Atlanta's offense was held to just 17 points last week against a weak New Orleans defense. A big reason for that was the injury to Roddy White, who was simply used as a decoy. White had only two catches for 19 yards last week while playing injured. Both White (ankle) and Julio Jones (knee) are banged up but probable, and this offense is far less explosive without these two at 100%.
Jeff Fisher is 11-3 ATS as an underdog as the coach of St. Louis. The Rams are 6-0 ATS in their last six road games. Fisher is 23-9 ATS off a home win against a division rival in all games he has coached. Take the Rams Sunday.
Note: I recommend buying the Rams to +7
|09-14-13||Wisconsin v. Arizona State -5||Top||30-32||Loss||-110||52 h 17 m||Show|
20* Wisconsin/ASU ESPN Saturday Night BAILOUT on Arizona State -5
I fully expect the Sun Devils to compete for a Pac-12 Title in 2013. That
|09-14-13||Ole Miss +3 v. Texas||44-23||Win||100||50 h 46 m||Show|
15* Ole Miss/Texas SEC vs. Big 12 No-Brainer on Ole Miss +3
Hugh Freeze has the Ole Miss football program on the rise. After guiding Arkansas State to 10 wins and a Sun Belt Title in his first year there in 2011, Freeze came to Ole Miss and got the Rebels to their first bowl game since 2009 last season. Now, with 19 returning starters and 59 lettermen, this team is clearly a sleeper in the SEC West Division.
The defense is loaded with 10 returning starters. The offense welcomes back QB Bo Wallace, who completed 63.9 percent of his passes for 2,994 yards with 22 touchdowns and 17 interceptions, while also rushing for 390 yards and eight scores last year. Also back is leading rusher Jeff Scott as well as the top three receivers from 2012. Ole Miss is off to a solid 2-0 start, which included an impressive 39-35 victory at Vanderbilt in its opener.
Texas is in a world of hurt right now. It just gave up 679 total yards, including a ridiculous 550 rushing in a 21-40 loss at BYU last week. It will be changing defensive coordinators, but Greg Robinson cannot go out and play the game for his team. The fact of the matter is that Texas simply lacks good players on the defensive side of the football. Also, QB David Ash suffered a head injury in the loss and is expected to sit this week. Texas will have a hard time stopping an Ole Miss offense that is averaging 35.0 points and 510.5 total yards per game through its first two contests.
Don't underestimate the power of revenge. Sure, Texas will be motivated off its loss to BYU, but the Rebels want this one more after suffering their worst loss of the season to the Longhorns last year by a final of 66-31. Ole Miss is 15-5 in its last 20 non-conference games. The Rebels are 5-1 against the number in their last six road games. The Longhorns are 2-8 against the spread in their last 10 home games vs. a team with a winning road record. Freeze is 21-6 against the spread in all games he has coached. Freeze is 10-2 against the number in road games as a head coach. Take Ole Miss Saturday.
|09-14-13||Maryland v. Connecticut +7||32-21||Loss||-115||49 h 15 m||Show|
15* CFB Saturday Night Line Mistake on Connecticut +7
This line is an overreaction from the results in the early going. Maryland has had two blowout wins, while Connecticut has had an ugly home loss to an FCS opponent. That provides some nice line value here with the home underdog, especially when you consider the Huskies have had two weeks to steam over their loss to Towson, and to prepare for Maryland. They last played on Thursday, August 29, so it has actually been over two weeks since they last played.
|09-14-13||Florida Atlantic +13 v. South Florida||Top||28-10||Win||100||49 h 47 m||Show|
20* CFB Saturday Upset Special on Florida Atlantic +13
Despite being a covering machine, Florida Atlantic continues getting disrespected from oddsmakers. I'm 2-0 backing FAU this season with covers against Miami and East Carolina on the road. I'll back them again in Week 3 as they should not be a 13-point underdog to the lowly South Florida Bulls. I actually believe the Owls will win this game outright, but I'll take the points for some insurance.
FAU returned 15 starters from a team that was much better than its 3-9 record would indicate last season. It played a brutal schedule that included Alabama and Georgia, and the schedule hasn't been any easier in the early going with road games at ECU and Miami. It has handled itself well, and now it is battle-tested heading into this showdown with South Florida, which is by far its easiest game yet.
Carl Pelini's Owls returned 15 starters and 54 lettermen from last year's team, so this is a very experienced bunch. Meanwhile, South Florida is in rebuilding mode with just 13 starters and 43 lettermen back, and a new head coach in Willie Taggart. He takes over a USF program that has gone 8-16 over the past two seasons, including a 3-9 campaign last year.
South Florida has looked terrible in its 0-2 start. In fact, it lost to McNeese State 21-53 in its opener despite being a 20.5-point home favorite. While it did keep last week's game against Michigan State close, it still lost 6-21 and managed a mere 155 total yards. The offense has been atrocious for the Bulls, averaging just 13.5 points and 248.5 total yards per game. USF quarterbacks are completing just 37.9 percent of their passes on the season.
Florida Atlantic is 10-2 ATS in its last 12 games overall. The Owls are 6-0 ATS off a road loss over the last two seasons. USF is 0-6 ATS as a favorite over the last two years. South Florida is 0-7 ATS in its last 7 games after scoring less than 20 points in its previous game. FAU is 8-0 ATS in its last 8 road games. The Bulls are 0-6-1 ATS in their last 7 home games vs. a team with a losing road record. USF is 0-5 ATS in its last 5 games following an ATS win. These last six trends combine for a perfect 38-0 system backing the Owls. Take Florida Atlantic Saturday.
|09-14-13||Kent State +37 v. LSU||13-45||Win||100||49 h 46 m||Show|
15* CFB Saturday Undervalued Underdog on Kent State +37
With their SEC opener on deck against Auburn, this could be a big look-ahead spot for the LSU Tigers. They are getting a ton of love after covering the spread in their first two games against TCU and UAB. Asking them to win by more than 37 points against Kent State is asking a little too much in this one. I could easily see them just going through the motions here.
Remember, Kent State went 11-3 last season and was an overtime loss to Northern Illinois away from likely playing in a BCS game. The cupboard isn
|09-14-13||Memphis v. Middle Tenn State OVER 52||15-17||Loss||-111||49 h 46 m||Show|
15* CFB Saturday Total DOMINATOR on Memphis/Middle Tennessee OVER 52
I fully expect a shootout Saturday between Memphis and Middle Tennessee State. This has been a high-scoring series of late is one of the reasons I'm backing the OVER. Another is that both defenses are atrocious, so the offenses should have their ways in this one.
Memphis gave up 30.3 points per game last season. The defense is off to a poor start after allowing 470 total yards to Duke in the opener. Middle Tennessee gave up 28.0 points per game last year. It is off to a poor start as well, giving up averages of 32.0 points and 441.0 total yards per game while opening 1-1 against Western Carolina and North Carolina.
Both offenses should be improved this season. Memphis returned eight starters from an offense that put up 28, 37, 46 and 42 points over its final four games last season. Middle Tennessee has nine starters back from an offense that put up 31-plus points in six different games last year. The Blue Raiders are off to a hot start offensively, averaging 32.5 points and 438.0 total yards per game through two contests.
The last two meetings in this series have been shootouts. Middle Tennessee beat Memphis 38-31 at home in 2011 for 69 combined points. The Blue Raiders were also victorious on the road in 2012 by a final of 48-30 for 78 combined points. Given those recent meetings, plus the poor defenses and improved offenses, these two teams should have no problem combining for more than 52 points in this one.
The OVER is 4-0 in Tigers last 4 games following a S.U. loss. The OVER is 5-1 in Tigers last 6 vs. CUSA opponents. The OVER 13-4-2 in Blue Raiders last 19 games after allowing more than 450 total yards in their previous game. The OVER is 8-3-1 in Blue Raiders last 12 games following a S.U. loss. The OVER is 9-4-1 in Middle Tennessee's last 14 games vs. a team with a losing record. Roll with the OVER in this game Saturday.
|09-14-13||Washington -9.5 v. Illinois||34-24||Win||100||48 h 45 m||Show|
15* CFB Saturday No-Doubt Rout on Washington -9.5
The Huskies have put together identical 7-6 seasons in each of Steve Sarkisians last three years on the job. Now, Sarkisian finally has his best team yet with 18 starters and 58 lettermen returning in 2013. Washington is a real sleeper to win the Pac-12 this season, and it showed what it is capable of with a 38-6 season-opening victory over Boise State in Week 1.
Washington thoroughly dominated Boise State, outgaining it 592-346 for the game. To no surprise, this offense that returned 10 starters from last season was extremely explosive. Quarterback Keith Price completed 23 of 31 passes for 324 yards with two touchdowns and one interception. Bishop Sankey, who rushed for 1,439 yards and 16 touchdowns a year ago, picked up right where he left off. Sankey ran for 161 yards and two scores against Boise State.
The Huskies' offense put up those gaudy numbers against Boise State even without tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins. He was suspended due to an offseason DUI, but is expected to return this week against Illinois. That's a huge bonus considering Seferian-Jenkins caught 69 balls for 850 yards and seven touchdowns last year. He'll be a match-up nightmare for the Fighting Illini.
Illinois is coming off a 2-10 season in head coach Tim Bekman
|09-14-13||Baltimore Orioles -140 v. Toronto Blue Jays||3-4||Loss||-140||9 h 38 m||Show|
15* MLB Saturday PLAY OF THE DAY on Baltimore Orioles -140
The Baltimore Orioles (78-69) are fighting for their postseason lives as they trail the Tampa Bay Rays by just 2.5 games for the final Wild Card spot in the American League. The Toronto Blue Jays (67-80) are simply going through the motions as they play out their season.
I'll back Baltimore Saturday based on its motivational edge and the advantage it has on the mound. Chris Tillman is having a stellar season for the Orioles, going 16-5 with a 3.66 ERA in 29 starts, including 8-2 with a 3.18 ERA in 13 road starts. Baltimore is 10-3 in those road starts.
Esmil Rogers has gone 5-7 with a 4.46 ERA and 1.376 WHIP in 17 starts and 25 relief appearances for Toronto. The right-hander has been at his worst at home, going 1-2 with a 5.78 ERA and 1.473 WHIP in seven home starts in 2013.
Tillman is 11-1 (+10.7 Units) against the money line when the total is 9 to 9.5 this season. The Orioles are 5-0 in Tillman's last 5 starts vs. a team with a losing record. The Blue Jays are 0-5 in their last 5 home games. Toronto is 0-7 in Rogers' last 7 starts when its opponent scores 5 runs or more in its previous game. These four trends combine for a 28-1 system backing Baltimore. Take the Orioles Saturday.
|09-14-13||UCLA Bruins +4.5 v. Nebraska||41-21||Win||100||42 h 46 m||Show|
15* UCLA/Nebraska ABC Early ANNIHILATOR on UCLA +4.5
First and foremost, the Bruins are coming off a bye week following their 58-20 drubbing of Nevada in their opener. Getting two weeks to prepare for Nebraska is certainly a huge advantage heading into this one. UCLA pretty much dominated the Huskers in last year
|09-13-13||Air Force v. Boise State OVER 57||Top||20-42||Win||100||20 h 1 m||Show|
20* Air Force/Boise State ESPN Friday No-Brainer on OVER 57
From what I've seen from both defenses thus far, I have no doubt this is going to be a shootout tonight between Air Force and Boise State. These teams combined for 63 total points in a 37-26 Boise State victory in their most recent meeting in 2011, and I look for 63-plus in this one as well.
Air Force lost 20-52 at home to Utah State last week. It gave up 577 total yards in the defeat. I look for Boise State to approach 50 points against this soft Falcons' defense. The Broncos put up 63 points on Tennessee-Martin last week.
Boise State's opener showed how vulnerable its defense really is this year. The Broncos gave up 38 points and a ridiculous 592 total yards to Washington in Week 1. Boise State even allowed 357 total yards to Tennessee-Martin last week.
With the lack of experience each team has back on defense from last year, it's easy to see why both stop units are struggling in the early going. Boise State only returned four starters on defense and lost 10 of its top 16 tacklers from a year ago. Air Force only has six starters back on defense and loses each of its top three tacklers who had 128, 101 and 92 tackles, respectively.
Air Force is a running team that is averaging 285 rushing yards on 5.1/carry thus far. Boise State has been horrible against the run, giving up 207 rushing yards per game and 4.1 per carry. The Broncos gave up 268 rushing yards on 5.0/carry against Washington in Week 1.
The OVER is 6-1 in Falcons last 7 games in September. The OVER is 4-1 in Broncos last 5 games after accumulating more than 450 total yards in their previous game. Bet the OVER in this game Friday.
|09-13-13||Baltimore Orioles -120 v. Toronto Blue Jays||5-3||Win||100||8 h 49 m||Show|
15* AL Friday No-Doubt Rout on Baltimore Orioles -120
The Orioles simply need this one more. They are fighting for their postseason lives and I fully expect them to win. I'll back them at this price and fade Todd Redmond, who is 2-1 with a 7.71 ERA in his last three starts.
Note: Condensed analysis today
|09-12-13||San Francisco Giants +165 v. Los Angeles Dodgers||2-3||Loss||-100||11 h 46 m||Show|
15* Giants/Dodgers NL West BAILOUT on San Francisco +165
The San Francisco Giants always get up to play their NL West and instate rivals. That's why I'll back them at an excellent price Thursday to take down the Los Angeles Dodgers. San Francisco has won three of four coming in, so it hasn't packed it in just yet.
Ace Matt Cain gets the ball for the Giants. He has had an unlucky season thus far to say the least because in spite of an impressive 1.168 WHIP on the season, he sports a 4.37 ERA. Cain has been at his best on the road, going 4-2 with a 3.77 ERA and 1.054 WHIP in 11 starts.
Cain has all three earned runs or less in nine of his last 10 starts against the Dodgers. In fact, he has allowed two earned runs or fewer in seven of those 10 starts, and one earned run or less in five of them.
The Giants are an impressive 13-5 in Cain's last 18 starts as a road underdog. Cain is 19-7 (+12.8 Units) against the money line in road games in night games over the last 3 seasons. Los Angeles is 12-20 (-14.5 Units) against the money line off a loss to a division rival as a home favorite over the last 2 seasons. Take the Giants Thursday.
|09-12-13||NY Jets +13 v. New England Patriots||Top||10-13||Win||100||55 h 33 m||Show|
20* Jets/Patriots AFC East GAME OF THE MONTH on New York +13
The Jets actually played a very good game against the Buccaneers overall in what should have been a bigger blowout last week. They put up a respectable 304 total yards behind rookie quarterback Geno Smith, who completed 24 of 38 passes for 256 yards with one touchdown and one interception. He also showed some guts late in leading the Jets down the field to set up the game-winning field goal.
New York was even more impressive on the other side of the ball, holding a very solid Tampa Bay offense to just 250 total yards. It limited Josh Freeman to 15 of 31 passing for 210 yards with one touchdown and one interception. It also held the electric Doug Martin to only 65 rushing yards on 24 carries.
New England clearly had some chemistry issues against Buffalo, needing a last-second field goal to win 23-21 despite being a double-digit favorite. It will not be able solve those issues in less than a week
|09-12-13||Troy +7.5 v. Arkansas State||34-41||Win||100||54 h 54 m||Show|
15* Troy/Arkansas State Sun Belt ANNIHILATOR on Troy +7.5
The Trojans appear to have turned the corner in 2013. Remember, this is a team that has won or shared five straight Sun Belt Titles from 2006-
|09-12-13||Tulane +7.5 v. Louisiana Tech||Top||24-15||Win||100||54 h 39 m||Show|
20* Tulane/LA Tech Conference USA No-Brainer on Tulane +7.5
Louisiana Tech is clearly in rebuilding mode in head coach Skip Holtz
|09-12-13||Los Angeles Angels v. Toronto Blue Jays OVER 9||4-3||Loss||-105||8 h 42 m||Show|
15* AL Thursday Total DOMINATOR on Angels/Blue Jays OVER 9
The books have set the bar too low in this contest between the Los Angeles Angels and Toronto Blue Jays Thursday. I look for an absolute slug fest in this contest and wouldn't be surprised if one of these teams takes care of this OVER by themselves.
These are two of the most potent lineups in baseball as the Angels are averaging 4.6 runs/game, while the Blue Jays are putting up 4.5 runs/game. Both starting pitchers are below-average, too.
J.A. Happ is in line to get rocked. The left-hander is 4-5 with a 5.09 ERA and 1.507 WHIP in 14 starts this season. Garrett Richard has been decent at 6-6 with a 3.90 ERA and 1.300 WHIP on the season. However, he has been at his worst on the road, going 1-4 with a 4.46 ERA and 1.376 WHIP in six starts away from home.
The OVER is a perfect 10-0 in the last 10 meetings between these teams. There have been 9 runs or more scored in all 10 meetings, and 10 or more runs in nine of those. Enough said. Bet the OVER in this game Thursday.
|09-11-13||Arizona Diamondbacks v. Los Angeles Dodgers -120||Top||4-1||Loss||-120||11 h 5 m||Show|
20* DBacks/Dodgers NL West BAILOUT on Los Angeles -120
The Los Angeles Dodgers (85-59) are still fighting for home-field advantage in the National League even they they pretty much have the NL West wrapped up. I look for them to sweep the hapless Arizona Diamondbacks (72-72), who have lost three straight and realize their chances of making the postseason are out the window.
Getting Los Angeles starter Hyun-Jin Ryu at this price is an absolute gift from oddsmakers. The left-hander has gone 13-5 with a 3.02 ERA and 1.222 WHIP in 26 starts this season. Ryu has been nearly untouchable at home, going 7-2 with a 2.07 ERA and 1.092 WHIP over 13 starts.
Pat Corbin is having a very good season overall for Arizona. However, he is starting to wear down in his first season as a full-time starter. Corbin is 0-3 with a 7.86 ERA and 1.582 WHIP in his last three starts overall.
The Diamondbacks are 9-26 in their last 35 road games with the total set at 7.0-8.5. The Dodgers are 10-2 in Ryu's last 12 home starts. Los Angeles is 24-6 in its last 30 home games vs. a team with a losing road record. The Dodgers are 21-5 in their last 26 vs. NL West opponents. Los Angeles is 5-0 in its last 5 meetings with Arizona. Bet the Dodgers Wednesday.
|09-10-13||Colorado Rockies +114 v. San Francisco Giants||9-8||Win||114||12 h 15 m||Show|
15* Rockies/Giants NL Late-Night BAILOUT on Colorado +114
The Colorado Rockies get the call Tuesday as a road underdog to the San Francisco Giants. Both teams are out of the playoff race, which is why I like to side with the value and back the Rockies because I believe they have the edge on the mound here.
Jorge De La Rosa has quietly had a very good season for the Rockies. The left-hander is 16-6 with a 3.31 ERA in 29 starts this year. De La Rosa is also 8-4 with a 3.28 ERA and 1.168 WHIP in 15 career starts against San Francisco.
Ryan Vogelsong has had a nightmare season for the Giants. The right-hander is 3-5 with a 5.62 ERA and 1.592 WHIP in 15 starts this year. The Rockies are hitting .267 and scoring 4.4 runs/game against right-handed starters in 2013, while the Giants are hitting .268 and scoring 3.8 runs/game against left-handed starters.
The Rockies are 37-14 in De La Rosa's last 51 starts vs. a team with a losing record. De La Rosa is a perfect 13-0 (+14.5 Units) against the money line after a loss this season. The Giants are 1-6 in their last 7 games following a win. Take the Rockies Tuesday.
|09-10-13||Los Angeles Angels +130 v. Toronto Blue Jays||Top||12-6||Win||130||9 h 5 m||Show|
20* American League GAME OF THE WEEK on Los Angeles Angels +130
The Los Angeles Angeles are showing excellent value as a nice-sized road underdog to the Toronto Blue Jays. Both teams are 67-76 on the season with little to play for, so you have to look at pitching as the deciding factor.
I like Jerome Williams in this one. Williams has gone 1-1 with a 3.38 ERA in his last three starts to finish the season strong. The right-hander is 1-0 with a 1.38 ERA in two career starts against Toronto as well.
Mark Buehrle has been decent at 11-7 with a 3.89 ERA and 1.290 WHIP in 29 starts this season for Toronto. However, Buehrle is 3-7 with a 4.25 ERA and 1.313 WHIP in 21 career starts against Los Angeles. In his lone start against the Angels this season, Buehrle allowed five earned runs and two homers over six innings on August 4.
Los Angeles is 10-1 (+9.7 Units) against the money line when playing against a marginal losing team (Win Pct. 46% to 49%) this season. The Angels are 17-3 (+12.4 Units) against the money line when playing against a marginal losing team (Win Pct. 46% to 49%) in the second half of the season over the last 2 seasons.
The Angels are 7-1 in their last 8 games as a road underdog. Los Angeles is 7-1 in Williams' last 8 road starts vs. a team with a losing record. The Angels have won 12 of their last 17 games overall. Bet the Angels Tuesday.
|09-09-13||Colorado Rockies +116 v. San Francisco Giants||2-3||Loss||-100||12 h 5 m||Show|
15* Rockies/Giants NL West BAILOUT on Colorado +116
The Colorado Rockies and San Francisco Giants have little to play for at this point in the season. With that being said, I'll gladly back the dog in this spot considering the Rockies have the edge on the mound in this one.
Jhoulys Chacin has been the ace of Colorado's rotation all season. The right-hander is 13-8 with a 3.16 ERA and 1.202 WHIP in 27 starts, and 5-4 with a 2.19 ERA and 1.200 WHIP in 11 road starts.
Tim Lincecum is 9-13 with a 4.50 ERA and 1.341 WHIP in 28 starts this year. In three starts against Colorado this season, Lincecum has gone 0-2 with an 8.00 ERA, allowing 16 earned runs over 18 innings.
Meanwhile, Chacin is 2-0 with a 0.00 ERA in his last two starts against San Francisco this season, pitching 15 innings without allowing a single earned run. Chacin is 9-1 (+7.6 Units) against the money line vs. NL teams scoring 3.8 or less runs/game on the season this season.
San Francisco is 3-14 (-11.3 Units) against the money line vs. a starting pitcher whose throws more than 6.5 innings per start this season. The Giants are 0-6 in their last 6 games following a win. San Francisco is 6-14 in Lincecum's last 20 starts overall. Take the Rockies Monday.
|09-09-13||Houston Astros +150 v. Seattle Mariners||6-4||Win||150||12 h 60 m||Show|
15* Astros/Mariners AL West BAILOUT on Houston +150
The Houston Astros are showing solid value as a big road underdog to the Seattle Mariners. Essentially, neither of these teams have anything to play for. That's why I'll take my chances with Houston at this price considering the edge it had on the mound.
Jared Cosart is quietly having a tremendous rookie season for the Astros. The right-hander has gone 1-1 with a 2.13 ERA in nine starts this season, including 1-1 with a 1.38 ERA in six road starts.
Taijuan Walker has gone 1-0 with a 3.60 ERA in two starts this season for Seattle. He gave up four earned runs over 5 innings in his last start. Walker did beat Houston on August 30, but that gives the Astros an advantage having seen him just 10 days ago.
Seattle is 6-15 (-16.4 Units) against the money line as a home favorite of -125 to -175 this season. The Mariners are just 2-7 in their last 9 home games. Seattle is 1-7 in its last 8 games as a home favorite. Roll with the Astros Monday.
|09-09-13||Philadelphia Eagles v. Washington Redskins OVER 51.5||Top||33-27||Win||100||9 h 9 m||Show|
20* Eagles/Redskins MNF Total ANNIHILATOR on OVER 51.5
Chip Kelly is a big reason why I believe this game will go OVER the total. After holding back in the preseason, you can bet Kelly and company will unleash their new offense full throttle Monday, and Washington may not be ready for it because it really does not know what to expect. Look for the Eagles' offense to try and run a play every 12 seconds on average.
Washington was certainly vulnerable defensively last season. In fact, the Redskins finished 28th in the league in total defense, yielding 377.7 yards per game. It was also 22nd in scoring defense at 24.2 points per game allowed. Plus, Washington is missing some key pieces on defense once again as DE Jarvis Jenkins, LB Keenan Robinson, S Phillip Thomas, LB Rob Jackson, DE Adam Carriker and CB DeAngelo Hall are all expected to miss Monday