|Date||Match Up||Rating||Score||Result||Profit||Lead Time||Analysis|
|09-23-21||Panthers v. Texans +8||24-9||Loss||-108||13 h 6 m||Show|
Carolina Panthers @ Houston Texans
Off back to back wins to open up the year, the Panthers are now one of the last 7 teams with an undefeated record. Having said that, they are battling some injuries. McCaffrey, who is going to play, is dealing with a minor calf injrury. Youngsters, Yetor Gross Matos and Troy Pride are going to miss this one though.
Off a loss to the Browns, the Texans also saw their QB Tyrod Taylor get hurt. Now, the rookie Davis Mills steps in the starting role and looks to prove himself. They looked very sharp in week 1 and I believe that they'll bounce back in a huge way this week.
Although Carolina is the better team, 8.5 points is a lot, considering Houston is the home team. I'll gladly take the points here.
|09-23-21||Marshall v. Appalachian State -7||30-31||Loss||-110||36 h 3 m||Show|
Marshall @ Appalachian State
Off a tough loss to Eastern Carolina last weekend, Marshall now travels to North Carolina where they'll take on the always dangerous Mountaineers. Although they are 2-1, the Thundering Hurd are 1-2 ATS on the season, 1-4 dating back to last year. They've also lost 5 of their last 7 games as an underdog.
For Appalachian State, they've looked very sharp, despite losing a tough one to Miami. They are now a dominant 19-1 in thier last 20 games played at home. They are aksi 8-1 in their last 9 games against opponents from the Conference USA.
Having said that, I think Marshall will be very shy/unconfident after that shocking loss last week. Expect the Mountaineers to jump all over that and make them pay. Take App State.
|09-22-21||Orioles v. Phillies -1.5||3-4||Loss||-139||8 h 56 m||Show|
Orioles (Akin, 2-10, 6.93) vs Phillies (Wheeler, 14-9, 2.83)
Just 2 games back of the Braves for top spot in their division, the Phillies need to take this series vs Baltimore to stay in the running. Their ace, Zack Wheeler is on the mound on Wednesday. Wheeler had a rough month in August, but it was probably fatigue. He has already pitched 200+ innings and had very long starts. In September, his starts seem to have been limited to around 6 innings and he has returned to form, allowing only 2 runs in three outings.
Keegan Akin has had a dismal season and is worse on the road. He did pitch 6 scoreless innings against the Jays, only to be smacked around in the 7th. Otherwise, his latest starts have been short and poor. Both bullpens have been poor and overused, but the Orioles’ is most likely to have more work with Akin on the mound.
It is hard to find a positive stat for the Orioles. They are 2-8 in their last 10 games and 25-52 away. They are 26-51 vs. right-handed pitching. The Phillies’ bats are very solid lately. They can struggle vs lefties but are better lately in this regard. With Wheeler on the mound, they are a huge favorite, but are worth the extra runs in this game. Take the Phillies -1.5.
|09-21-21||Astros -1.5 v. Angels||10-5||Win||100||12 h 16 m||Show|
Astros (Urquidy, 7-3, 3.38) vs Angels (Naughton, 0-2, 4.32)
Astros starter Jose Urquidy seems to have returned from a long stint on the IL unscathed. In is his third start back, he allowed 1 run over 6 innings. This bodes well for the play-off bound Astros.
The Angels are not going to the playoffs and their young starter is hardly a household name. In three starts since a call-up, Packy Naughton has had 1 premium outing sandwiched by a couple of short poor ones. The Astros’ bats are very sharp right now so I don’t fancy his chances. The Angels’ bullpen has been effective lately. Their issue at the moment is scoring runs; they are in the bottom 10% in MLB offense. The Angels have had little luck against Urquidy this season, and are 46-54 against righties.
The Astros offense is ticking over just fine, thank you very much. Their bullpen has been extra sharp of late with an ERA of 1.87 in their last 7 games. The A’s and Mariners are just close enough to keep them honest.
It is no surprise that I favor the Astros or that they are a heavy favorite. Take the extra runs today. Astros to win -1.5.
|09-19-21||Chiefs -3.5 v. Ravens||Top||35-36||Loss||-108||25 h 22 m||Show|
Kansas City Chiefs @ Baltimore Ravens
The Chiefs are 1-0 after coming from behind to knock off the Browns 33-29 at home in Week 1. The Browns had a half time lead and a ten-point lead going into the fourth-quarter, but Patrick Mahomes took over and KC now comes to Baltimore sitting at 1-0.
The Ravens on the other hand looked bad in their 33-27 OT loss at Las Vegas, giving up a huge lead late to lose in extra time.
These teams are loaded with offensive talent. Each struggled defensively in Week 1. Despite being on the road though, I say this one favors KC. The Ravens are just 3-8 ATS in their last 11 following a SU loss, while KC is 6-2 ATS in its last eight games after having 350-plus yards of offense in its previous outing.
I think Baltimore continues to struggle. Lay the points.
|09-19-21||Falcons v. Bucs -12.5||25-48||Win||100||9 h 36 m||Show|
Atlanta Falcons @ Tampa Bay Bucs
Both teams have veteran quarterbacks. That's where the similarities stop. The Buccaneers are stacked. The Falcons are not. Tampa scored 31 against Dallas. Atlanta allowed 32 against Philadelphia.
The Buccaneers limited Elliott and the Dallas running game in the opener. They're 6-0 ATS the last six times that they were off a game where they allowed 90 or fewer rushing yards.
The Super Bowl champs play with some extra rest, due to their game having been played on a Thursday. The Falcons fell to 1-7 straight-up and 2-6 against the spread in their last eight September games. Last meeting was a 17-point Tampa win. Take the Bucs
|09-19-21||Raiders v. Steelers -6||26-17||Loss||-104||6 h 34 m||Show|
Las Vegas Raiders @ Pittsburgh Steelers
Off a "roller coaster ride" Monday Nighter in week 1, the Raiders will have to go up against one of the best, if not the best defenses in the league without thier star running back in Josh Jacobs. Vegas hasn't had much success against Pittsburgh either as they are only 1-4 in their last five games played on the road at Heinz Field.
For the Steelers, they made Josh Alllen look human and took it to Buffalo in week 1. That win made them 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games played in the month of September. I expect RB Najee Harris to run right through this Raiders defense that is experiencing a lot of injuries as of late.
Both off wins, both teams will be looking for that 2-0 start. But I believe that this stacked Steelers team will be too much to handle for the Raiders without Jacobs on Sunday. Take PITT.
|09-18-21||White Sox -1.5 v. Rangers||1-2||Loss||-131||13 h 33 m||Show|
White Sox (Lynn, 10-4, 2.50) vs Rangers (Howard, 0-4, 7.09)
It is out of the MLB frying pan and into the fire for the Rangers, losing 3 of 4 to the Astros, before facing the White Sox in Chicago. The Sox haven’t been their usual first-place selves of late at only 5-5, but they do have Lance Lynn on the mound on Saturday. Lynn missed a start, but came back just as ever, pitching five strong innings of 2 hit shut-out ball. He might be on a shorter leash as innings-count goes. He is backed by a very strong White Sox pen, with a 2.01 ERA in the last three weeks.
Spenser Howard, the Rangers starter, is more of an opener/long relief pitcher, whether by plan or ineffectiveness. He has not had much of a season, as his ERA might suggest, and his outings are very short. It could be a long day for the Texas bullpen. The Rangers relievers are worse than usual in their last 7 games, at a collective 4.81 ERA.
Texas has been light-hitting all season and at the moment, sits 26th in batting in MLB. They are 32 -40 at home and a remarkably poor 30-61 versus right-handers. This does not bode well against Lance Lynn.
The White Sox are a decent road team, good vs right-handers, hitting just about as expected, and a very strong road favorite team.
I like the White Sox in this situation. The are a heavy favorite but I think they are worth the extra runs today. Take the White Sox -1.5.
|09-18-21||Arkansas State v. Washington -17||3-52||Win||100||10 h 38 m||Show|
Arakansas State @ Washington
Off a heartbreaking loss in Week 2 against Memphis, Arkansas St falls to 1-1. That makes them only 2-6 in their last 8 games dating back to last season. Even worse, they are only 1-7 L8 games played on the road.
The Huskies have not looked good this season either. It's obvious that they are struggling. But, they've domianted the Sun Belt Conference in the past and I expect that to continue here. They are also 16-4 in their last 20 games played at home.
While this will be a wet/rainy game in Washington, I believe that the bigger name school will show the country that they aren't the joke everyone thinks they are here. Also, look for TE Cade Otton to have a big game here. Take Washington.
|09-17-21||Maryland -7.5 v. Illinois||20-17||Loss||-110||110 h 11 m||Show|
Maryland @ Illinois
After upsetting Nebraska out of the gate, it seemed Illinois might be poised for a fast start. The Fighting Illini lost their next two games though. This is a team with a new coach essentially in a rebuilding year. The Illini are 1-5 ATS their last six games.
The Terrapins beat West Virginia and then won their next game by a score of 62-0. No rebuilding for them. Their coach is in his third year here and they've got big plans for the season.
In the only previous meeting, the Terrapins outgained Illinois by a 712-493 margin, crushing them 63-33. The Terrapins ran for more than 400 yards. That was in 2018 but 2021 looks like another big win. Lay the points with Maryland.
|09-17-21||Cubs v. Brewers -1.5||Top||5-8||Win||100||12 h 51 m||Show|
Cubs (Davies, 6-11, 5.40) vs Brewers (Houser, 9-6, 3.25)
The Brewers are comfortably aligned for the post-season, with very good starting pitching and a very sharp bullpen. All they need now is to jump-start their recently sluggish bats. Today’s game might be that opportunity.
The Cubs’ bats have been hot lately, but that hasn’t translated into wins. At 4-6, and 20 games out, they are just playing out the season at this point. Cubs starter, Zack Davies has been a workhorse this season and had a couple of quality starts in August, but has since struggled. He is 0-3 with an ERA of 7.76 in his last three starts. Supported, or not supported by a bullpen with an ERA of 6.00, pitching an unsustainable 4.25 innings per game of late, this does not bode well for their chances today. Add to this a 27-44 road record.
Brewers starter Adrian Houser is on the mound today for the Brewers. Houser, a real success story for the Brewers, had a rough start three outings ago, but in his last two starts has given up 0 runs over 15 innings. He has had great support this season with a team record of 16-7 with him on the mound. I mentioned that the brewers’ pen was sharp. How does an ERA of 0.67 L7 sound? The Brewers are a solid home team and 71-42 vs right-handers.
The odds for the Brewers are very favorable.Take the Brewers, - 1 1/2. They are worth the extra runs today.
|09-12-21||Brewers -1.5 v. Indians||11-1||Win||100||6 h 49 m||Show|
Brewers (Lauer, 5-5,3.18) vs. Indians (Civale, 10-3, 3.25)
At 7-3 in their last 10, and now well ahead in the NL Central, the Brewers are in a good place. Eric Lauer is starting on Sunday and he has been in a good place as well. He is 2-1 with an ERA of 2.06 in his last 7 outings and has only allowed 1 run over 14 innings in his last pair of starts.
His mound opponent, Aaron Civale is back with his 2nd start after a lengthy absence on the DL. He was very sharp before injury and was effective in his first start back. Don’t look for a long outing from him at this point.
Lauer’s ability to pitch late into the game is important as the Brewer’s bullpen is an eye-popping 7.77 in their last 7 starts. This figure is somewhat skewed by two terrible efforts; most of their last games have been acceptable. The Indians’ usually stingy bullpen has been worse than usual, at 4.50 ERA.
The Brewers have not put themselves well into first place with their run production. They are middle of the pack usually, and slightly better in the last two weeks. The Indians, also relatively light hitting, have the worst offense in the league of late. The Brewers are a very dominant road and road underdog team, and solid vs right-handers. The Indians are only 4-13 as a home underdog. Civale should pitch well on Sunday but his innings will likely be limited. I like Milwaukee’s chances and considering Cleveland’s struggling offense, I think it is safe to give the extra runs. Take the Brewers -1.5.
|09-12-21||Seahawks +2.5 v. Colts||28-16||Win||100||317 h 23 m||Show|
Seattle Seahawks @ Indianapolis Colts
Off a wildcard loss to theur divisional rival Rams, the Seahawks are coming back stronger than ever this season. Always dangerous Russell Wilson threw for 40+ TDs last season as well as rushing for a few. This year, look for Metcalf and Lockett to both reach the 1000 yard mark once again.
The Colts have been all over the place this offseason. Trading for Carson Wentz. Wentz then gets hurt and has to go through surgery. Not only that, but when he was at the end of his recovery he tested positive for Covid. Even through all of that, he was named starter and I expect him to be a bit rusty in this one. Don't forget, offensvie lineman Quenton Nelson also had to undergo surgery this offseason. The Colts are also a terrible 0-7 in their L7 games played in Week 1.
Having said all that, the Seahawks are by far the healthier team and I expect another great season from them. Look for them to involve Chris Carson a lot this season as well. Take the Seahawks +2.5 with ease.
|09-11-21||Western Kentucky v. Army -6.5||35-38||Loss||-116||100 h 18 m||Show|
Western Kentucky @ Army
Western Kentucky comes into this game off a week 1 win against a not so good Tennessee-Martin team. The Hiltoppers may have won that game, but I expect a completely different outcome here. The Hilltoppers are only 2-9-1 ATS in their L12 games played on Saturday.
The Black Nights looked absolutely dominant in week 1 against Georgia State (as an underdog) making it look easy. Army only threw the ball 4 times total, but when you can run the ball 67 times and average 4 yards per carry it's going to be tough for any team to compete against that. Army is also a perfect 9-0 in their last 9 games played at home.
Although both teams are off a win, the Black Nights looked like they could beat some of the best teams in the league with their unique play-style. Look for Army to dominate from the opening kickoff. Tale Army
|09-10-21||Reds v. Cardinals +1.5||4-2||Loss||-140||10 h 30 m||Show|
Reds (Mahle, 11-5, 3.76) vs. Cards (Lester, 5-6, 4.89)
At 3-7 in their last 10, The Reds are in real danger of playing themselves out of contention, and have given the Cards some slight hope for their own play-off aspirations. This series is critical for both teams. Mahle has been consistent for the Reds. His last start was substandard, and he is known for the odd poor outing but for most of the season he has delivered. He is 1-1 in his last 3 games and regularly pitches into the 6th. He is 7-2 with an ERA of 1.90 on the road. The Cards Jon Lester is not the pitcher he once was, but a change of scenery seems to have done him a world of good. In 4 of 5 of his last starts with St. Louis, he has allowed only I ER per game. His last outing against the Reds was a 3-1 effort.
The Reds’ misfortunes lately can’t just be blamed on their struggling bullpen. Their offense is down considerably in average and run production. In fact, the relatively light-hitting Cards are outperforming them in recent weeks. The Cards’ bullpen is 3.51 in their last seven, which is much better than usual.
I have lost on Lester this year but his recent performance has been eye-opening. Between the Reds’ power outage and lackluster bullpen,I am wagering on the underdog Cardinals today, I think they may require the extra runs. Take the Cards + 1 ½.
|09-10-21||Kansas v. Coastal Carolina -25||22-49||Win||100||84 h 25 m||Show|
Kansas @ Coastal Carolina
What? A team from the Sun Belt laying this many points against a Big 12 team? It must be some kind of joke. That's the reaction some might have if they didn't know the real story.
Kansas isn't just any Big 12 team. The Jayhawks are the single worst Big 12 team. Coastal Carolina isn't just any Sun Belt team. The Chanticleers are the best SBC team. They won 11 games last year and brought back 19 starters. Week 1 saw them deliver a 52-14 blowout.
The Jayhawks kept things reasonably close against Coastal Carolina the past two years. This is the first time they meet in Conway though and its going to get ugly. Lay the points with Coastal Carolina.
|09-09-21||Cowboys +8 v. Bucs||29-31||Win||100||61 h 12 m||Show|
Dallas Cowboys @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Cowboys are a different team with Prescott behind center. They can trade punches with any team on offense, even the defending Super Bowl Champions.
The Buccaneers were clearly peaking at the right time in January/February. We're into September now. They can't be expected to immediately perform at the level they were.
It's possible that one team could pull away late in the second half but I expect this game to remain close most of the way. The line is generous. Take the points with the Cowboys (1st Half)
|09-07-21||Nationals v. Braves -1.5||5-8||Win||100||12 h 19 m||Show|
Nationals (Espino, 4-4, 4.08) vs. Braves (Fried, 11-7, 3.51)
Atlanta was swept by the Dodgers, lost two of three vs the Rockies and has seen their momentum evaporate. Back home and with an offday, they will be looking to regroup and get back to the win column. The Nationals won in the ninth on Monday, (much to my surprise and dismay) but are only 2-8 in their last 10 games. Paulo Espino starts for the Nationals. He was very sharp in his starts mid season, but has slipped slightly in August with a record of 1-2, 7.45 ERA. Espino’s starts are 4 to 5 innings only, which leaves too much time with the Nationals’ sub-par bullpen (6.68 era/last 7) to win very many games. The Nationals are only 5-9 when Espino starts.
His mound opponent, Max Fried, has delivered in all categories this year. In his last 7 games he is 4-1 with a shining 1.76 ERA. He has only allowed 5 runs over 21 innings in his last 3 starts. The Braves’ relievers have also been very good lately.
Washington is 24- 41 on the road, 16-26 against left-handed pitching, and will be a significant underdog on Tuesday. I think between Fried, Espino’s short starts and the Nationals’ poor relievers, Atlanta will be good for the extra runs. Take the Braves to win – 1.5.
|09-06-21||Louisville v. Ole Miss -9||24-43||Win||100||11 h 22 m||Show|
Louisville vs. Ole Miss
The underdog came back to cover in last night's game. The Rebels will make sure it doesn't happen twice in a row.
The Cardinals aren't a bad team. The problem is that Ole Miss is a lot better than they even realize. The Rebels were tied 42-42 in a game against Alabama last season and they return 17 starters from that team. The offense is among the best in the country and the defense will be much better than last year.
The Rebels are 13-5 last 18, against the spread in neutral site games. Last time they opened the season at a neutral site, they beat Texas Tech 47-27. This one should play out similarly. Lay the points with Ole Miss.
|09-05-21||Twins v. Rays -1.5||6-5||Loss||-108||2 h 17 m||Show|
Twins (Jax, 3-3, 6.71) vs. Rays (Patino, 4-3, 4.24)
This season has been a trial for Griffin Jax and the Twins. Jax has given up a lot of runs in his last three starts, has been poor away, and has an ERA of 7.0 in August. Youngster Luis Patino has fared better. He has had some quality starts and is pulled early when struggling. He has been very sharp at home and in day games this season.
The Twins have a decent offense but have given up a ton of runs this season. Tampa has the most potent offense in the league, feast on the right, are 63-31 as a favorite and of course, a huge favorite today. Looking at the spread, Jax has given up 17 runs in his last three starts, and is often left in a game longer than is wise. While the Twins’ pen has been good lately, it has not been dependable over the season. Patino has not given up more than 2 runs in his last three starts, and is seldom hung out to dry.
Take the Rays -1.5 today.
|09-04-21||Northwestern State v. North Texas -20||14-44||Win||100||12 h 49 m||Show|
Northwestern State @ North Texas
Big class difference between these schools, as evidenced by the pointspread. North Texas has a big game at SMU next and will use this game to build confidence for that one. They haven't won at SMU since 1933 but with an experienced team, this could be the year they have a shot. Blowing out Northwestern State will help prepare for that possibility.
Mean Green bring back 19 starters, 9 on offense, 10 on defense. Those 19 returning players began last year with a 57-31 beating of another outmatched team.
Coach Littrell is 5-0 in his games against FCS schools, winning by nearly 30 points per game. Lay the points with North Texas.
|09-04-21||Penn State +5.5 v. Wisconsin||16-10||Win||100||5 h 42 m||Show|
Penn State @ Wisconsin
Two quality teams here, making this a very big game. Wisconsin has plans to win the West. Penn State hopes to challenge Ohio State in the East. The Nittany Lions outgained Big Ten opponents by +102 yards per game last season and they're going to be better this year.
Nittany Lions are 4-0 ATS their last four and 6-1 ATS their last seven in September.
Badgers are 1-4 ATS last five overall, 0-4 ATS last four Big Ten games.
Wisconsin is always tough but Penn State has still won the last four meetings. Three were decided by 7 or less. Grab the points with Penn St.
|09-03-21||Cardinals +1.5 v. Brewers||15-4||Win||100||12 h 10 m||Show|
Cardinals (Wainwright, 13-7, 2.97) /Brewers F. Peralta, 9-3, 2.45)
Two premier starters face each other on Friday. The Cards’ Adam Wainwright at aged 40 is pitching as well as he ever has. He is 6-2 on the road and has given up 2 earned runs in 21 innings pitched over his last three starts. He is very good against right handed batters. It is Freddy Peralta for the Brewers on Friday. Peralta’s stats are excellent for the year, but he has been on the disabled list for a couple of weeks and this will be his first game back. His outings are shorter, around five innings, but he has the support of the Brewers’ bullpen which has been very good, if well used lately. The Cardinals’ bullpen, usually dependable, has been poor in their last 7 games, but when Wainwright is on his game, he hasn’t needed much relief.
There is no doubt that the Brewers have the superior offense, but I am riding on Wainwright and the Cards. After a few weeks absence it may take Peralta a few innings to settle in and Wainwright has been almost unhittable lately. Cards are a pretty good underdog, so take the Cards +1 ½. If you are feeling bold, well then it is up to you.
|09-03-21||Old Dominion v. Wake Forest -32.5||10-42||Loss||-109||633 h 27 m||Show|
Old Dominion Monarchs @ Wake Forest Demon Deacons
The Monarchs haven't played a game since 2019 and in that season, they were an awful 1-11, including losing each of their last 10. Because of their year off, they have lost some key players and will lack experience out there this campaign. Even the coach is new and hasn't coached a single NCAAFB game as HC in his life. Entering this game against the Demon Deacons, the Monarchs are a sad 1-5 ATS in their L6 week 1 games. Expect another dreadful year from there guys.
Wake Forest is bringing back 20 of thier 22 starters from last season, including every offensive starter. Although they ended the season 4-5, they beat teams like Virginia Tech on the road when they were ranked #19th in the country. Dating back to 2019, the Demon Deacons are a perfect 6-0 ATS at home in their last 6 games. This year I expect a much stronger group of guys with much more experience to bring home a bowl game.
With Wake Forest as the much better team, I expect a blowout here in North Carolina. -32 is a lot, but this one should be easier than people think. Take the Demon Deacons!
|09-02-21||East Carolina v. Appalachian State -9.5||Top||19-33||Win||100||12 h 49 m||Show|
East Carolina vs. Appalachian State
The Mountaineers are loaded on both sides of the ball. Appalachian State averaged better than 34 points last season, as well as more than 450 yards. Many of the skill players that put up those numbers are back. The secondary was already the best in the Sun Belt and the Mountaineers bring back 10 defensive starters.
The Pirates are a bad defensive team. They will have trouble stopping the balanced Mountaineer attack. Thursday night football has not been kind to ECU. The Pirates are 5-12 ATS their last 17 Thursday games. They are also 4-11 ATS their last 15 outside of their own conference.
The Mountaineers are better on both sides of the ball. They won't be stopped in this one. Lay the points with Appalachian State.
|08-30-21||Astros v. Mariners +1.5||4-3||Win||100||11 h 6 m||Show|
Astros (Garcia: 10-6, 3.21) vs Mariners (Flexen: 11-5)
The Mariners, 5 -5 in their last 10 starts have lost ground against the Astros. They need wins against the hard hitting Houston club, and Flexen is their most likely candidate. He has allowed 4 runs in his last 3 games while averaging just under 7 innings pitched. He is very good at home. He is supported by a Seattle bullpen that is generally good but lights out in their last 7 games.
The Astros’ starter, Luis Garcia has been equally effective in his last three starts, allowing 5 runs total in 16+ innings pitched. If he has struggled this year, it was on the road. While he is supported by the vaunted Houston hitters, the Astros relievers have not been dependable, to a tune of 7.55 ERA in their last 7 games.
It is hard to fault the Astros offense. They score more runs and have much higher OB% than the Mariners. They are dominant vs. right-handed pitching. The Mariners haven’t the same offense, but are a very good home team. Their home underdog record of 13-7 is significant.
I favor Flexen and the Mariners, but they will need the extra runs. Take Seattle +1.5.
|08-30-21||Phillies v. Nationals +1.5||7-4||Loss||-105||11 h 23 m||Show|
Phillies (Wheeler:10-9, 2.90) vs Nationals (Jos. Gray: 0-1 3.75)
The Phillies off a win, have been sub-par and losing ground against the Braves. Zach Wheeler, once a sure thing for a quality start, has struggled in August at 0-3, and has allowed 15 runs in 20 innings.. Rookie Josiah Gray is on the mound for the Nationals. As far as shades of Gray, there has really been only one on view in his last 7 starts and that is Bright. He has worked his way up to 6 innings per game and has allowed only two runs in each of his last three starts. He held the Phillies to 1 run over 5 innings when he faced them at the beginning of August, Washington gutted their bullpen, but theirs has been outperforming the Phillies’ at least in their last 7 games.
The Nationals are significantly better in all batting categories than the Phillies. They have done well against Wheeler in past meetings. They do not have much of a home record. The Phillies are 27- 36 on the road but have a solid record against right-handed batters.
I favor Gray and the underdog Nationals against Wheeler and the Phillies. Wheeler just hasn’t been himself since his 9 inning shutout five starts back, and Gray is a comer. Take the Nationals +1.5.
|08-28-21||UTEP -9 v. New Mexico State||30-3||Win||100||324 h 58 m||Show|
UTEP Miners @ New Mexico State Aggies
Although having a rough 3-5 2020 campaign, the Miners have high expectations for this season. With every offensive starter returning, they'll have all the chemistry in the world. Dating back to last season, UTEP is 4-1 ATS thier L5 games AND, going back even further, they are 4-2 SU in their L6 games played in August. In the past, Texas El Paso has owned this series as they are a dominant 8-3 the past 11 games against the Aggies.
New Mexico State is coming off a 2020 where they played 0 games. They did play 2 spring games this year though and that might of helped a little bit. But the Aggies are returning just 3 of 22 starters from 2019 and I expect that to be a problem this season. In the 2 games this spring QB Jonah Johnson only threw for 358 yards, with 1TD and 3INTs. They did have some success running the ball but I believe that UTEP will be able to shut that down for most of the game. NMSU is also a sad 0-6 in their last 6 season openers.
Having said all that, the Miners are the far better side and has played with each other for a long time. I expect a dominant win here for them. Take UTEP with ease.
|08-24-21||Mariners +1.5 v. A's||5-1||Win||100||5 h 9 m||Show|
Mariners (Flexen) vs. A’s (Irvin)
At 7-3 in their last ten games and the Athletics the opposite, the Mariners are reeling in the A’s. This is a critical series if either team is to make a run for the postseason. Both Flexen (10-5, 3.65) and Irvin (9-11, 3.57) have been effective starters for their clubs. Flexen had some success vs Oakland the last time he faced them, allowing 2 runs over 6 innings. He is a good road pitcher, with a 2.20 ERA in his last 4 starts. Irvin has been equally sharp. Over his last three starts he has averaged 6 innings per outing and given up 8 earned runs. Irwin is 0-2 against the Mariners this year, allowing 4 run in each start.
Oakland is a middling hitting team, and relies on starting pitching and pen for success. Right now their bullpen is struggling and their record with it. It is hard to get a read on the Mariners at the moment. They have had some wild losses but not involving Flexen. They have had success against Irwin. Their bullpen has also struggled considerably of late. Based on Flexen’s past results and the A’s woes of late, I am wagering on Seattle in this game. They may need the extra runs, so take the Mariners + 1.5 today.
|08-23-21||Jaguars v. Saints -4||Top||21-23||Loss||-106||8 h 36 m||Show|
Jacksonville Jaguars at New Orleans Saints
It's great to have some Monday night football. Much of the buzz around tonight's game surrounds Jacksonville quarterback Trevor Lawrence. Exciting, yes. Keep in mind that the #1 pick will be facing a formidable Saints defense though. New Orleans ranked in the top five of most defensive categories last year.
Lawrence should get the Week 1 start for Jacksonville. The Saints have a QB controversy of their own though. Hill and Winston both have their eyes on the job. Both are going to be going all out tonight. Expect them to enjoy success on offense.
The Saints turned the ball over six times in Week 1. That's not going to happen again. Peyton will make sure of it. He's not going to want Trevor Lawrence and Urban Meyer to stroll into his team's home and beat them either. Preseason or not. The number is reasonable. I'm laying the points with the Saints on Monday night.
|08-21-21||Diamondbacks v. Rockies -1.5||2-5||Win||127||5 h 44 m||Show|
Diamondbacks (Gallen) vs Rockies (Freeland)
Here are two underachieving teams who have made good recently. Arizona and Colorado face each other in the second game of their series. The D-backs’ recent success hasn’t included any Zac Gallen starts. He is 0-4 in his last 7 starts and is running dangerously close to the ignoble run per inning stat. He has a paltry 3-12 team record and struggles both on the road and vs right handed batters. Starting for Colorado, Freeland (4-6, 4.40) has improved dramatically since the start of the season. He is 3-0 with an ERA of 3.94 in August, very good at home, and has really only had one bad outing since the beginning of July.
Both bullpens have been poor this season, but Colorado’s has shown marked improvement with a collective ERA of 2.94 in their last 7 starts.
Probably the most significant stat regarding this game are the Diamondbacks’ road woes. They are 9-24 on the road, and their recent success has come at home. They are also a startling 9-24 against left handed pitching. The Rockies are surprisingly good at home in Coors Field, and a very good home favorite at 42-21 this year.
I haven’t had much success with the spread lately but this is one game where the extra runs are justified. Take the Rockies -1.5.
|08-14-21||Dodgers -1.5 v. Mets||2-1||Loss||-112||9 h 49 m||Show|
Dodgers (Beuhler) vs Mets (Walker)
Out in the NL West, the Dodgers have lost ground on the Giants, and aren’t even that secure vs. San Diego. A couple of wins against the Mets would help things along. The Mets have their own woes. At 4-6 in their last ten games, they are in danger of falling out of contention in the NL East. At one point in this season, Taijuan Walker was just the pitcher they would want on the mound today, but ever since the all-star break he has struggled mightily. He is 1-4 in that period and his ERA has ballooned to 7.67.
He faces the mighty Walker Beuhler, (12-2, 2.13) a consistent force for the Dodgers all season long. He is very good at home, in fact there really are no negatives in his season, other than, at a team record of 15-8, the Dodgers haven’t always given him the run support he deserves.
Earlier in the season, the Mets’ mantra seemed to be score few runs, allow fewer. This has changed of late; after struggles with both starting pitching and relief and no significant improvements in offense, the Mets now allow more runs than they score. In the Dodgers they face a team with a fine bullpen (1.59 collective ERA in their last 7 games) and one of the premier offenses in the league. Everything points to a Dodgers’ win, even the day of the week. The Dodgers are 15-4 when playing on Saturdays!
The Dodgers are a favorite today but the odds are not that onerous. I think they are good for a couple of runs vs. New York. Considering the Mets’ soft hitting and Taijuan Walker’s woes, take the Dodgers at -1.5.
|08-14-21||Reds -1.5 v. Phillies||1-6||Loss||-100||7 h 56 m||Show|
Reds (Castillo) vs. Philadelphia (M. Moore)
The Reds are just out of the NL East frying pan (Braves) and into a series with the fire (Philadelphia), but are holding their own. They are 7-3 and well in the frame for a wildcard spot. Luis Castillo (6-11, 4.53 ERA) is starting. Castillo started very poorly this season and then turned things around through June and July. His last start was a reversion to the dark side, but he is 3-1, 3.32 ERA in his last seven starts.
Matt Moore is a shadow of his former self at 1-3 and 6.79 ERA. He was extremely poor in his last start, has been poor at home and very poor against right-handers. Not good against a powerhouse left-handed eating offense like the Reds. Even when Moore is on, you can’t expect more than 4 innings.
The Reds’ new improved bullpen will likely have much less work than the indifferent Phillies relief corp as Castillo will generally give 6 innings per start.
Motivation is not an issue with either team. Cincinnati is a decent road team. The Phillies are good at home but poor vs the NL Central league. The Phillies are definately outgunned by the Reds. I am wagering that Castillo reverts to form, and the Reds win the second game of the series. Based on Moore’s record, I think that the Reds are good for a couple of runs. Take the Reds -1.5
|08-13-21||Reds +1.5 v. Phillies||6-1||Win||100||9 h 19 m||Show|
Reds (Mahle) vs Phillies (Wheeler)
Off a pair of losses, the Phillies solved the Dodger problem, winning by the slimmest of margins on Thursday. Thanks to an 8-2 record they now lead the NL East by a half a game. The Reds broke out against the Braves in a big way, and come to Philadelphia in the hunt for a wild card spot.
Zack Wheeler is starting on Friday, and has he been hot! Off a 2 hit complete game shutout and a pair of 7 inning efforts vs the Nationals, he is 4-2 and an ERA of 2.90 in his last 7 starts. He has been sharp all year and especially solid at home.
Tyler Mahle might not have quite the ERA at 3.78 but he has an enviable record of 9-3. He averages 5+ innings a start and has won 2 of 3, giving up 6 ER in that time. While his ERA has slipped a bit since the break, he is 6-1 on the road.
By the stats, the Phillies have had the superior pen, but the Reds have reloaded and have been very sharp with a collective relief ERA of 2.22 last 7.The Phillies can’t match that record, and in the last three games, their pen has been outright poor and heavily overused.
The Reds are a very good road team. They have a potent offense and handle right- handed pitching very well. They have a 9-5 record as a road underdog. Phillies are a great home team, and it is hard to bet agaisnt Wheeler, but the Philadelphia bullpen really concerns me. The Reds are a significant underdog and I like Mahle in this situation, but applying the ‘Zack” factor, I’m wagering on the Reds +1.5.
|08-10-21||White Sox v. Twins +1.5||3-4||Win||100||12 h 3 m||Show|
White Sox (Keuchel) vs Twins (Jax)
The Twins, pounded by the White Sox on Monday, are a team that is treading water, far in the distance in the White Sox’ rear view mirror. After losing Berrioz at the trade deadline, they are likely looking for some starting pitching. Based on Griffin Jax’s recent performance, the rookie’s travels to and from
triple A may be over. He has been very solid in his last three starts, posting a 1.88 ERA since the all-star break, and lasting 5 innings on average.
His mound opponent is veteran Dallas Keuchel (7-5, 4.44). Keuchel is 3 -3 in away starts this year and has an ERA of 5.24 since the All-star break. He is backed by a very sharp White Sox pen, and a solid offense.
The Twins were sellers at the trade deadline but even missing Cruz, still have a very powerful offense and can score a ton of runs. Losing 11-1 smarts, even when you are a cellar dweller, and I am looking for some bounce-back on Tuesday. Their bullpen has been very good in their last seven games, not always the norm.
Keuchel is not quite the pitcher he once was, and hasn’t been especially sharp lately. I like Griffin Jax in this postion. The Twins are at home, off a loss, and still have firepower. Take the Twins with the spread at +1.5.
|08-09-21||Reds -1.5 v. Indians||3-9||Loss||-113||7 h 24 m||Show|
Reds (Castillo) vs Indians (Hentges)
The hard-charging and hard hitting Reds, 8-2 in their last ten games are in Cleveland today. The Indians are off a win, but at 4-6, just treading water at the moment. With solid management the Indians always seem to me to be a team that hits above its weight, but with Hentges on the mound they will have to get the bats to work. Hentges is a rookie ‘sometimes-starter’ with poor stats (0-4, 7.86). He won’t stay long in the game and will need support from a bullpen that has been very good in their last seven games.
The Reds have Castillo on the mound. Looking at his record (6-10, 4.09) he doesn’t look impressive but in this case, the numbers don’t tell the true picture. Castillo has been solid through July and August, and 3-0 with 19 innings pitched and 5 runs allowed in his last 3 starts. The Reds bullpen did receive a bit of support at the deadline but is still very unimpressive. They do have a very good road record and are very effective against left-handed starters. The Reds, as a team, score a lot of runs but they also allow allow a lot of runs as well. The Indians haven’t been high scoring of late but may have success against the Reds’ relievers.
Cincinnati is a large favorite, but taking the spread, only a small one. I think they are good for the extra runs. Take the Reds -1.5.
|08-08-21||Nationals v. Braves -1.5||4-5||Loss||-112||5 h 17 m||Show|
Nationals (Corbin) vs Braves (Fried)
Since the trade deadline, the Nationals have fallen off the map, winning only three of ten games. With Patrick Corbin on the mound today there is no guarantee that this trend will change. Corbin is 6-10, with an ERA of 5.74, and has lost his last 4 starts. He has struggled against right-handers and has been poor on the road.
After losing to the Nationals last night, the Braves, in the thick of a tight fight for a spot in the playoffs, must win this series to even stay close. Max Fried (8-7, 4.05 ERA) is his opponent today. Fried was very good in his last start, pitching 6 innings of shutout ball against St Louis. He is 2 and 2 since the all-star break with an era of 2.16, and has given up only 6 runs in his last three starts.
Perhaps the greatest expression of what has changed since the trade deadline for these two clubs can be seen in reliever performance. Pre-trade deadline these two teams’ pens were roughly equal. In the last seven games, the Braves’ has a 1.88 era while the Nationals’ has plummeted to 5.70 era. The Nationals have done no favors for their offensive production either.
Look for Fried to continue his fine performance, and the Braves to win this game handily, making up for their tight loss on Saturday. Take Atlanta -1.5.
|08-08-21||Red Sox v. Blue Jays -1.5||8-9||Loss||-101||1 h 16 m||Show|
Red Sox (Richards) vs Blue Jays (Ryu)
Off a close loss last night, the Jays are riding a hot home stretch and have taken 2 of 3 from the Red Sox in a vital series for both teams. Today it is Ryu, arguably Toronto’s ace, on the mound facing Garrett Richards. Ryu (11-5, 3.22) has been masterful with the slow stuff in August and July with an ERA of 1.85 since the break. The Red Sox haven’t had much success against him, but nor has anyone else.
His opponent Garrett Richards has been not so masterful. In his last two starts vs Toronto he has given up 8 runs while pitching only 4 innings per start. With an ERA of 7.24 since the break, he has struggled against right handed hatters. This is not who you want to struggle with facing the red hot Jays.
As far as bullpens go, the Red Sox’s has regressed somewhat and the Jays’ has been fortified, so call it a draw. Offense? Boston’s has been potent but the Jays’ lineup is a monster.
Motivation is not an issue here. Both teams need to win. Boston has struggled of late and the Jays have ground to make up. I am wagering that the Jays’ offense, held back by some very good starters in the last two games are prepped to tee off on Richards. The Blue Jays are a favorite, but should be good on the spread. Take the Jays -1.5.
|08-07-21||Mariners +1.5 v. Yankees||4-5||Win||100||2 h 20 m||Show|
Mariners (Flexen) vs Yankees (Heaney)
Since the trade deadline, the Yankees are on a prolonged winning streak. Their latest victims have been the Seattle Mariners, winning the opening two games of their home series. Seattle has been touring the hot teams in the American East and hasn’t fared well. Pitching for Seattle is Chris Flexen (10-5, 3.75). Aside from his start against Houston, Flexen has been as good as anyone this season, with wins, start length and ERA. I am looking for him to continue his rebound against the Yankees.
Andrew Heaney, new to the Yankees, lost his first start with his new team. He has not been that impressive this season at 6-8 with an ERA of 5.42. He is poor against right-handed batters, and has pitched only 9 innings in his last three starts. He does have the Yankees potent bullpen to back him up, although it has been well-used, with a bullpen day yesterday and some short starts from the Yankees’ starters lately.
As far as offense goes, the Yanks have brought in hired guns for the stretch, adding two huge bats, and are a definite favorite over the Mariners. The Mariners added to their pen, losing a closer, then adding two bullpen pieces. The Mariners’ pen has been more than respectable of late.
The Yankees are a heavy favorite, but the combination of Heaney, a poor starter, Flexen, an elite starter who the Yanks are not familiar with, and Seattle’s success against lefties, makes me lean towards Seattle. The Yankees are a heavy favorite, so take the Mariners +1.5.
|08-03-21||Pirates v. Brewers -1.5||8-5||Loss||-110||11 h 10 m||Show|
Pirates (Kranick) vs Brewers (Houser)
The Pirates’ starter, Max Kranick, must know the route from Indianapolis to Pittsburgh pretty well by now. He has been back a forth a good number of times in the last couple of months. In between, he has made four starts, has a record of 1-2, and an ugly ERA of 7.31. His first start was terrific, a five inning no hit shutout, but it has been downhill from there. He has averaged less than 4 innings a start, and has been very poor against right handed batters.
His mound opponent for Milwaukee is Adrian Houser (7-5, 3.69). Houser had a very productive July and has had very good team support (13-5). His starts average around 5 innings and he has only given up 4 runs in his last three assignments.
Kranick’s short starts could become a real issue today as Pittsburgh’s bullpen has been horrid of late AND they just lost their very effective closer at the trade deadline. Milwaukee’s relief corps has been very good at home and in the last 7 games. The Brewers have added a couple of good relief pieces and supplemented their already potent offense via trade.
Pittsburgh is one of a number of teams who will struggle down the stretch after the trade deadline, but it will get players like Kranick into the bigs. What this does to the Pirates already suspect performance remains to be seen. At 40-65 against right handed pitching and 17-35 in road games, I can suggest where the game against Milwaukee will go today. Likely straight downhill. Milwaukee is 63-43 at home and 52- 32 vs right handed starters. At this point Kranick is a very average right-hander. I am picking Houser to continue his strong season and the Brewers to win. Take Milwaukee -1.5.
|08-03-21||Phillies -1.5 v. Nationals||5-4||Loss||-102||10 h 57 m||Show|
Philadelphia Phillies (Wheeler) vs. Washington Nationals (Corbin)
Facing the Nationals last night, the Phillies blew the game open in the 9th for the win. Since the trade deadline, the Nationals are a tad shy in the reliever department, and can expect this to become a regular occurrence. With Patrick Corbin (6-9, 5.78) up against Zack Wheeler (8-6, 2.45) today, the Nationals will be lucky to have a lead to protect. Corbin has struggled this season. In his last three starts, he is 0-2 , has averaged 5 innings per start, and given up 14 runs. He has struggled against right handed batters and had a 7.18 ERA for July.
Lefty Zack Wheeler has been strong all season. Philadelphia, in games he has started, is 12-9. His three last starts were 6 or 7 innings each, giving up a total of 8 runs. The Phillies have added to the pen to the point that they were able to have one of their closers start yesterday. Their bullpen which has been an issue, has been excellent of late. The Nationals relievers have been very poor lately and completely bombed last night.
The offenses are roughly equal in average and run production. One Nationals stat does stand out; the Nationals are poor against lefthanders, but only 17-34 as an underdog! While they split their last series vs. the Phillies, I doubt that the Nationals will do as well this go-round. Take the Phillies to win -1.5.
|08-02-21||Giants -1.5 v. Diamondbacks||11-8||Win||100||11 h 33 m||Show|
SF Giants (DeSclafani) vs Arizona Diamondbacks (Widener)
Firmly in the cellar with an abysmal record, and a covid-riddled lineup, things look bleak for the D-backs. Today, Giants starter DeSclafani (10-5, 3.10) faces youngster Taylor Widener (1-1, 4.42). He has 8 starts this season, spending considerable time on the IL. His last two starts have been poor, resulting in a bloated 7.82 ERA for July. He struggles against left handed hitting.
DeSclafani has pitched well this season, and has had plenty of support from his team-mates. The Giants are 14-7 with him on the mound. He can’t manage the Dodgers, resulting in a very poor start last time out, lasting only 2 plus innings and giving up 4 runs.
Arizona has not fared well against DeSclafani. They have a poor home record and are very poor vs right handed pitching. Their bullpen has been, you guessed it, poor and losing Soria at the deadline won’t help. The Giants, winners of two straight vs the powerhouse Astros added all-star Kris Bryant to their already effective lineup and will look to pad their lead over the Dodgers in this series against the D-backs. They are a heavy favorite but the spread is palatable. Take the Giants -1.5.
|07-31-21||Royals v. Blue Jays -1.5||0-4||Win||100||4 h 27 m||Show|
KC (Minor) vs BlueJays (Menoah)
After a long stretch of hapless baseball, the Royals have turned things around. They took 3 of 4 against the White Sox, swept Detroit, and took both games vs. Milwaukee in their last 3 series. The majority of these wins were at home. With the loss of Duffy and Soler at the trade deadline, a significant chunk out of their offense and starting pitching, is it even conceivable that KC can make a run for a wildcard spot now?
The Jays are a number of games out and in a much tougher division, but have gone all in at the trade deadline, buoying up their starting pitching and adding significantly to their bullpen in the last days and weeks. They are obviously in a win now mode.
It is a bit of an up-in-the-air match up on Saturday. Minor for the Royals (8-8, 5.33) has had some indifferent stretches this season, but his last two starts have been excellent; 6 innings per start, allowing 1 and 2 earned runs respectively.
Manoah, the Jays’ highly touted rookie right-hander struggled his last outing but was lights out in his two previous starts. Of the first 8 starts in his career, 5 have been of excellent quality. He is just off the ten day disabled list in time for Saturday’s start.
It would appear that Toronto has made great strides in improving their bullpen, which has been a large stumbling block this season. Their bullpen is showing the results of this improvement in the last few games. They are finally back to a “real” home stadium in Toronto; a point to consider.
Kansas city’s bullpen has been slightly better of late. They have a poor road record, and have been very poor vs right handed pitching.
I am wagering that Manoah will be back in form. Noting KC’s struggles on the road and vs. right-handers, I believe that the Jays’ big bats will be too much for Minor. Take the Jays -1.5 today.
|07-30-21||Dodgers -1.5 v. Diamondbacks||5-6||Loss||-110||11 h 31 m||Show|
La Dodgers (Gonsolin) vs Arizona Diamondbacks (Gallen)
It is hard to imagine two teams with less in common than the Diamondbacks and the Dodgers at this moment. The Dodgers have just completed a massive trade with a look to another pennant race. The Diamondbacks are just sitting and waiting for the ax to fall. On the mound for the Dodgers is a fine young starter, Tony Gonsolin(1-1, 2.32). He beat the DB’s the last time he faced them, allowing 1 ER over 4 innings. Dodgers are 6-2 with him pitching, and his starts are getting longer in duration. In his last start against the Rockies, he pitched into the sixth, allowing 0 ER.
Righty Zac Gallen (1-5, 4.79) gets less support than Marcus Stroman! Arizona is a lowly 2-9 with him on the hill. He hasn’t pitched as badly as his record but does have some control issues.
Off a 5-zip win against the rival Giants, the Dodgers must be buoyed up with all of the additions, not to mention the return of Crawford and Seager. Their pen did have some struggles, but must be thrilled with the addition of two new starters, and has returned to form of late. Of note, they are 62-40 as a favorite, and strong vs right-handers. About all that can be said positively about the Diamondbacks is that they did sweep the Pirates, and their underachieving bullpen has been slightly better of late. Against right-handed starters, they are 26-52, at home they are 19-30 and, here is an odd stat, on Fridays they are only 2-15!
Of course the Dodgers are a large favorite, but the spread is palatable. I’m wagering on the Dodgers -1.5.
|07-29-21||Brewers -1.5 v. Pirates||12-0||Win||100||8 h 19 m||Show|
Brewers (Peralta) vs. Pirates (Kuhl)
Losers of three straight games, the Buc’s lost a key piece of their offense when they traded Adam Frazier. It can’t be very comfortable in the Pirates dugout, wondering who is next to fall. Meanwhile Milwaukee has bolstered their already potent hitting lineup. The Brewers have taken 2 straight against the Pirates and could bring out the Brooms tonight.
It is Freddy Peralta (7-3, 2.34) for the Brewers vs. Bucs’ Chad Kuhl (3-5, 4.38). Kuhl has pitched well in his last three starts, allowing only 4 runs over 16+ innings. He outpitched Peralta in their last meeting. Peralta has been a mainstay in the Brewers’ lineup this year. He has fared well against the Pirates in previous meetings and has been excellent on the road.
Looking at the bullpens, Milwaukee’s usually effective relief corp has been even better lately. The Pirates’ pen has been so-so, and their closer Rodriguez’s star has plummeted of late. He is another candidate before the trade deadline.
The Brewers have an excellent road record of 30-18. They have won 4 of 5, and look to be the class of their division. The Pirates are going nowhere fast, and look to be gutted by the trade deadline. They are 8-16 as home underdogs and struggle against right-handed starters. I like Kuhl as a starter, but you can’t win if your lineup can’t score. Milwaukee is a firm favorite today. I am wagering on Peralta and Milwaukee -1.5.
|07-28-21||Tigers +1.5 v. Twins||17-14||Win||100||3 h 46 m||Show|
Tigers (Peralta) vs. Twins (Happ)
The Tigers and Twins have been working overtime the last two games, and split the results.
The Tigers send out Wily Peralta today. Peralta is a good news story for the Tigers this season. Signed to a minor league contract last winter, he is 3-2 with an ERA of 2.54. This season he has held right handed batters off the board to a remarkable degree. Peralta has faced Happ and the Twins in July and emerged with a shutout. His last start was less than spectacular and he has been having some control issues.
Facing Peralta is another veteran, J.A. Happ. At 5-5 and with an ERA over 6.00, it hasn’t been
Happ’s finest season, and while his home record has been good, he has really struggled against right handed batters.
Both pens have well well used this series and are nothing to brag about. Detroit relief has been better of late. The weak hitting Tigers have had good success against Happ in the past. The almost-as-weak-hitting Twins are 24-28 at home this year and have fared poorly against Peralta. The Tigers really struggle on the road, but the fact is both these teams struggle anywhere they play.
I am wagering that Happ will continue his losing ways and Peralta will rebound. The Tigers are an underdog. Taking the Tigers’ poor road record in context, I am saying take the Tigers +1.5.
|07-27-21||Astros v. Mariners +1.5||8-6||Loss||-115||12 h 59 m||Show|
Astros (McCullers Jr.) vs. Mariners (Flexen)
Last night the Mariners came back to win against the Astros, making that 4 straight wins for Seattle. They are now 13 – 7. It doesn’t get any easier tonight for Houston with Chris Flexen on the mound. He is 4-1, 1.60 in his last seven starts, with 20 innings pitched in his last three starts, allowing only three runs. The Mariners are 13- 5 with him on the mound and are a good home team.
Houston runs out Lance McCullers Junior (7-2, 3.04) His last start was not his sharpest, but he really has been impressive this year, and I am not looking for the Mariners to score many runs against him. I go back to a stat I mentioned previously, and that is the Astros bullpen W/L on the road (6-12 now).
Combining this with the Mariner’s steady bullpen, I’d suggest that this game could be decided in the later innings and that the Mariners have a definite advantage here.
The Astros are a strong favorite tonight. The spread with Seattle is very affordable. Take the Mariners +1.5.
|07-24-21||Rockies v. Dodgers -1.5||0-1||Loss||-104||11 h 7 m||Show|
Colorado Rockies (Freeland) vs. LA Dodgers (Gonsolin)
After a tough series with San Francisco, the Dodgers meet up with the Rockies. This should have given them the opportunity to regroup and get back to business, but they were embarrassed by the Rockies last night. Gonsolin (1-1, 2.67) is on the mound for the Dodgers. His last start was his worst, giving up 3 runs in the first, which were the only runs he did give up. While he hasn’t been going deep into his starts, he has been consistently good, as his ERA shows.
The Rockies’ Freeland is 1-4 with an ERA of 5.36. While he hasn’t pitched badly in July, some his stats are downright scary, in particular an ERA of 9.45 vs left handed batters. When you combine this with the Dodgers’ ability against lefties (18-11), it is something to consider.
Much has been made of the Dodgers’ Kenley Jansen’s 3 blown save meltdown and last night’s relief debacle, but the Dodgers still have a much superior relief corps. Much superior offense. 10-3 as a home favorite. Plus, their bats are on fire for the past two weeks. Compare to the Rockies: 2-14 as a road underdog, 27-40 against a right handed starter, and of all things, 5-13 on Saturdays. Which leads one to wonder what they get up to on Friday nights..
The Dodgers are a huge favorite and have something to prove this evening, but taking them with the spread is a good value. Dodgers to win -1.5.
|07-22-21||A's v. Mariners +1.5||4-1||Loss||-133||12 h 19 m||Show|
Athletics (Manaea) vs. Mariners (Flexen)
The Athletics and Mariners start an important 4 games series in Seattle. Third in their division and behind Oakland, if Seattle is to make any kind of a run at a wild card spot now is the time. Off a loss last night, the M’s send Chris Flexen to the hill. Not to jinx him, but Flexen has been nothing short of remarkable this season. He is 9-4 with an ERA of 3.35. The Mariners are 13- 4 with him pitching. You want more? How about a 1.77 ERA, 0.94 WHIP last seven starts, or 20 innings pitched last three starts, allowing only two runs.
Sean Manaea is no slouch on the mound. He is 6-6 with an ERA of 3.28. He is 0-2 last three, and 2-4 on the road. More to the point, he is poor against left handed batters. Add to this a Seattle team that is 20-13 against left handed pitchers gives pause for thought.
Neither team is what you might call a powerhouse, but here are a couple of points to note. Seattle is 29-20 at home. Oakland’s bullpen has been very sharp last seven games with an ERA of 1.66. Seattle’s relief; so-so.
Seattle is an underdog here, but I like Flexen and the Mariners in this situation. My only concern is the Seattle bullpen, who have struggled of late. Take the Mariners on the run line, +1.5.
|07-22-21||Braves v. Phillies +1.5||7-2||Loss||-127||8 h 46 m||Show|
Atlanta (Morton) vs. Philadelphia (Moore)
Here is a tale of two pitchers. One, Charlie Morton, has pitched well through the season with a record of 8-3 and an ERA of 3.60, and yet his team is only 10-9 with him pitching. The other, Matt Moore, is 0-1, with an ERA of 5.65, yet his team is 6-1 with Moore on the mound. Go figure.. For Moore, this issue is start length; for example, none of his last three starts lasted more than 4.1 innings. These positive team outcomes? Chalk it up to good pitcher management.
Atlanta lost a tight one last night. The Phillies are coming off a pair of losses to the Yankees. Motivation should not be an issue. A wild card spot is a potential for one of these teams. The Phillies have a very strong home record. Atlanta has been good in past meetings vs. Moore, Philadelphia only so-so against Morton.
Moore is coming off a 9 strikeout game and has only allowed 2 runs in each of his last three (albeit short)starts. Atlanta has that nagging history of not giving Morton much support. Philadelphia’s relief core has been strong. Fatigue may play a roll here, as Atlanta had a home double-header yesterday, and is away today. Atlanta’s pen has not been sharp. Take the Phillies with the spread +1.5.
|07-21-21||Indians v. Astros -1.5||5-4||Loss||-118||10 h 22 m||Show|
Indians (Morgan) vs. Astros (McCullers Jr.)
Houston, off a 9-3 thumping of the Indians, runs out Lance McCullers to try for the sweep. Junior is having a fine season and handled the Indians to the tune of 1 ER last time he faced them. He has given up only 5 ER over 19 innings in his last three starts.
Eli Morgan is starting for the Indians. He is 1-3 with an ERA of 7.86, and is averaging only 4 + innings a start. He has been particularly poor vs right-handed batters. Cleveland does have and will need a good bullpen today, but it has been heavily taxed in the Indians’ last few starts.
The Astros have been terrific both at home and against right-handers. Their potent offense really outclasses the Indians’ more meager production.
Houston is a heavy favorite and, I think, rightly so. I am taking Houston to win -1.5.
|07-18-21||Mets -1.5 v. Pirates||Top||7-6||Loss||-100||3 h 57 m||Show|
New York Mets (Walker) vs Pittsburgh Pirates (Brubaker)
The Pirates are winners of two straight against the Mets. In Sundays match-up, Taijuan Walker (7-3, 2.50) faces off against J.T. Brubaker (4-9, 4.47) and hopes to stop the bleeding for the Mets. Walker has been very sharp, giving up only 5 earned runs in his last three starts. He has been particularly strong against right-handed batters, with an ERA of 2.16.
Brubaker has been spiraling in the wrong direction. The loser of three straight, the Pirates are only 4-12 when he is on the mound. Adding to this is a Pirates bull pen, average at best, and very poor over the last seven games.
Both teams are light-hitting, but the Mets have thrived on right handed pitching (38-25) while the Pirates have struggled (28-41). The Pirates’ home record is nothing to brag about either.
I think the buck stops with Walker. He has been as dominant as any pitcher of late, and has had plenty of run support. Brubaker is heading sideways, and the Pirates‘ relievers cannot be counted on to back him up. Take the Mets -1.5.
|07-17-21||Bucks v. Suns -3.5||123-119||Loss||-108||11 h 53 m||Show|
The home team has won each game so far, and I believe that it will continue here in Game 5. The Bucks have been excellent the past two games, especially 2-time MVP and DPOY Giannis Antetokoumnpo. The Greek Freak had 41, 13 and 6 in Game 3 in that crucial game. He followed that up with another stellar performance last time out where he dropped 26 while having 14 rebounds and 8 assists. Now, we head back to Phoenix, Arizona where the Suns have looked nearly unstoppable this postseason. Phoenix point guard, Chris Paul, was definitely not his best in Game 4, as he struggled with his ball-handling and his shooting. CP3 is one of the best players in the league to have not won a championship. Every single time he would reach the playoffs, an injury got in the way of his success. Finally, the Suns provided that opportunity and I expect him to have one of his best games of his career this next game as he's also one of the clutchest performers in the NBA. Don't forget, the Suns also have Devin Booker, one of the newest Superstars of the league, who just dropped a 42-piece, as well as former #1 ovr pick Deandre Ayton. Bridges, Cam Payne, and Crowder have been huge as well. Look for Phoenix to take it to the Bucks from the opening Tip-Off and keep the pressure on them the entire game. Take phoenix - 3 1/2.
|07-16-21||Rangers +1.5 v. Blue Jays||2-10||Loss||-100||9 h 11 m||Show|
Rangers (Lyles) vs. Blue Jays (Ray)
The Jays are at home to start the second half of the season, facing the Rangers. Off a win against Tampa, they send Robbie Ray to the mound. Ray lost a no hitter in the seventh, last start, which is fairly representative of his abilities of late. In three starts he has averaged 7 innings and given up only 5 earned runs. He has a 4-2 home record and has been exceptional against left handed batters.
Jordan Lyles (5-5 4.86 ERA) is pitching for the Rangers. Lyles is much better in June and July than his record would indicate, and has allowed less than 2 ER in each of his last starts. Few of the Jays hitters have faced Lyles, which is a bonus. The young Jays hitters still struggle against an unfamiliar pitcher.
Texas’s bullpen is nothing to cheer about and the Jays’ pen is probably what keeps them out of a playoff spot, but both are at least well rested after the break.
Both starters look to have long outings. The Jays are much the superior offense, but may not show it the first time against Lyles. Toronto is a heavy favorite but I believe this will be closer than the odds suggest. Take the Rangers +1.5.
|07-08-21||A's v. Astros -1.5||2-1||Loss||-100||4 h 42 m||Show|
Oakland A’s (Montas) vs. Houston Astros (McCullers Jr.)
The hard hitting Astros have owned the A’s to the tune of 9-3, and with some very lopsided wins, at that. They have a great home field record and eat up right handed pitching.
It doesn’t look promising for Frankie Montas. He is 7-7 with an ERA of 4.63. He hasn’t won a game in three starts, giving up 12 runs in 15+ innings pitched.
The same cannot be said about Lance McCullers Jr. (6-1, 2.97). He is 3-0 in his last three starts, giving up only 2 earned runs per game. He faced the A’s in April, but won 9-1 in that start.
At 3 and 7, the A’s can’t get any traction at this critical moment in the season, and are sinking in the standings. Will they continue on their woeful path?
Lance McCullers Jr. is the real thing. I am not so sure about Frankie Montas. Take the Astros to win, -1.5.
|07-05-21||Braves -1.5 v. Pirates||1-11||Loss||-113||9 h 50 m||Show|
Atlanta Braves (Max Fried) vs. Pittsburgh Pirates ( Chase De Jong)
The Pirates won last night (2-0) for the first time in seven games. I don’t expect this will become a trend. The Pirates are the worst in the league in runs-scored and they have done little to help that stat, scoring a total of 10 earned runs in this period.
Pittsburgh starter Chase De Jong has not fared well this season. He is 0-3, and averaging only 4-5 innings per start. His ERA in June was an eye-popping 6.46. He really struggles against right hand batters.
The Braves are 4-1, winning in ten innings last night. Max Fried is on the hill. After a dismal April, Fried has returned to his All-Star form. He was 3-2, in June and has only given up 7 ER in four starts.
You want run support? Atlanta has scored 29 runs in Fried’s last two starts!
Bullpen success for the two teams has been night and day. The Braves' pen stumbled a little last night but has been very good the previous 7. Pirates’ pen was good last night but absolutely brutal the previous seven. Imagine the Pirates pen if Richard Rodriguez is traded at the deadline..
I can see nothing that doesn’t suggest a Braves win. Take Atlanta to win -1 1/2.
|07-04-21||Mets +1.5 v. Yankees||10-5||Win||100||4 h 11 m||Show|
New York Mets (Stroman) vs. New York Yankees (Cole)
Gerrit Cole is pitching for the Yankees, so a win is guaranteed, right? While he is 8-4, the Yankees record with Cole on the mound is 8-8. His record in his last three starts is 1-0-1, with an ERA of 5.22.
And he is coming off his worst start of the season.
For the Mets, Stroman has been a paragon of success and consistency. At 6-6, with an ERA of 2.45, his biggest concern has been the lack of run support that has plagued him for years. He has struggled in his last 3 starts with hip soreness, limiting the length of his starts. He has also just returned from bereavement leave.
On Saturday, the Yankees lost their sixth of seven games, the Mets scored more than 4 runs for the first time in 8 games (and cost me the Under), and hallelujah, Lindor went 2 for 4.
Two very good starters, though it is possible neither is at his best. I am betting on the Mets. A word to the Mets. Score some runs for Stroman for a change; the man just lost his Grandma.. Take the Mets +1 1/2.
|07-01-21||Rangers v. A's -1.5||8-3||Loss||-100||6 h 38 m||Show|
Texas Rangers (Dunning) vs Oakland A’s (Manaea)
The A’s struggled mightily on their last road trip. They are 4-6 in their last ten games and have split the first two game of a home series with Texas. The A’s need to win this series to stay within reach of the Astros for 1st place in the division.
Sean Manaea is on the hill for the A’s. He pitched very well in June, with an ERA of1.13, giving up only four runs and one home run for the month. He is also 4-1 in home games for the season.
Facing Manaea is Dane Dunning, who is 1-2 in June and hasn’t lasted more than5 innings in his last 6 starts. He has been very poor (0-4, 7.45 ERA) in away games this season.
Neither builpen has been effective of late, but the A’s will likely see more of Texas's pen against Dunning.
I believe Manaea will build on Bassit’s fine start on Wednesday. Take the A’s (-1 ½).
|06-29-21||Giants +1.5 v. Dodgers||Top||1-3||Loss||-156||12 h 23 m||Show|
The set-up: The Dodgers won this game here last night by a score of 3-2 and I expect another really tight affair here as well. In a contest which I envision being decided late or even in extra frames, I'm going to lay what I feel to be a very reasonable mid-sized price for the extra 1.5 runs of insurance. For me, the starting pitchers are completely even. Honestly, it wouldn't be too difficult to write a convincing argument for either of these starters to win here. Kevin Gausman is 8-1 with a 1.49 ERA for San Fran, while Walker Buehler is 7-1 with a 2.51 ERA for LA.
The pick: San Francisco is 7-1 in its last eight in trying to revenge a one run road loss to an opponent. I think the outright win is absolutely possible, but in the end I'm going to hammer the Giants on the run-line.
This is a 10* RUN-LINE COACHES CORNER on the Giants.
|06-28-21||Clippers +6 v. Suns||Top||116-102||Win||100||29 h 6 m||Show|
The set-up: The Suns are in the cusp of punching their ticket to the NBA Finals. I think Phoenix will win this series, but it could have its hands full here in Game 5 in trying to put away this desperate Clippers team. LA lost 84-80 in Game 4, and it now has its back against the wall in this elimination contest.
The pick: I think LA is going to show up and play well defensively and after a poor shooting game last time out, I also expect Paul George to be much more efficient here. The Suns are the better team, but I think this one will come down to whichever team has its hands on the ball last. I'm grabbing the points.
This is a 10* GAME OF THE WEEK on the Clippers.
|06-28-21||Orioles +1.5 v. Astros||Top||9-7||Win||142||11 h 5 m||Show|
The set-up: Obviously, the Astros are the better team. However, I think the stage is set for a closer game than what this insane moneyline price would suggest. I'll stop short in calling for the outright upset, but I do think the hungry Orioles can keep it competitive. The visiting side goes with Tom Eshelman (0-1, 7.27 ERA) who was crushed by these very Astros last week for six runs and striking out only one over four innings. Previous to that in his debut he looked good in holding the hard-hitting Jays to one run over five innings. I think Eshelman settles down here, and actually benefits in having already seen the Astros line-up.
The pick: Zack Greinke (8-2, 3.56), gave up one run and struck out four over 7.1 innings in a victory over these very Orioles last Tuesday. Greinke's been great this year, but note, while he's 5-0 with a 2.07 ERA on the road, he's just 3-2 with a 5.27 ERA at home. This one is going to be decided late, so let's take the visitors on the spread option tonight.
This is a 10* RUN-LINE BEST OF THE BEST on the Orioles.
|06-28-21||Canadiens +1.5 v. Lightning||Top||1-5||Loss||-163||28 h 60 m||Show|
The set-up: I've had a lot of success playing on Montreal so far in the playoffs. I think that the Habs have been completely underrated. The Lightning are probably the better team in this series, but they've been less the dominant, needing seven games to get past the Islanders. I think Montreal is better than New York.
The pick: This is going to be a tight series. I think Game 1 will see Montreal try to do what it's done so often in this playoffs, and that's steal Game 1. In a contest which I envision being decided late or even in extra time, I'm going to lay the price for the extra 1.5 goals of insurance.
This is a 10* PUCK-LINE GAME OF THE WEEK on the Canadiens.
|06-24-21||Suns v. Clippers -1||Top||92-106||Win||100||31 h 32 m||Show|
The set-up: I just think the Clippers are going to dig deep and deliver the goods in this Game 3. They won't be panicking, as they've already been here in their two previous series, going down 0-2, only to then rally for a series victory. I got down early and have an unfavorable line, and while the Clippers are now the slight home dog, I still think that the change in venue is just what Paul George and this veteran-laden Clippers team needs to get back into this series.
The pick: Game 2 was tight, and the Clippers had their chances at the end. I say Game 3 is controlled start to finish by the home side. Chris Paul won't be at 100% health and I think LA's competent guards can slow him down even further. For all the reasons listed above, the play is LA.
This is a 10* ELITE OF THE ELITE on the Clippers.
|06-24-21||Pirates +1.5 v. Cardinals||Top||8-2||Win||100||13 h 55 m||Show|
The set-up: I think the Pirates have much more than just a "punchers chance" in this one. That said, I'll lay the very reasonable price for the extra 1.5 runs on the "run line" option. The Cards have lost three straight and they face Chad Kuhl (1-4, 5.66 ERA), who comes in off his best start of the season, allowing one run over six innings and striking out four in a victory over the Indians.
The pick: Kuhl has struggled, but I think he can build off his last performance and get the better of his counterpart Carlos Martinez (3-8, 6.62), who most recently got shelled for eight runs over three innings in a loss to the Braves. Martinez has now been rocked for at least five runs in three of his last four outings. I think Kuhl on the RUN LINE is the correct call here.
This is a 10* RUN-LINE DESTRUCTION on the Pirates.
|06-23-21||Hawks v. Bucks -7||Top||116-113||Loss||-110||26 h 0 m||Show|
The set-up: The Atlanta Hawks are averaging 106.3 points on 44.4 percent shooting and allowing 105 points in the playoffs, while the Milwaukee Bucks are averaging 107.9 points on 45.1 percent shooting and allowing 102.3 points so far in the post-season. The Bucks were one of the favorites to advance in the East before the season started, but the Hawks rise to this point is nothing short of spectacular. Clearly, Atlanta has already exceeded expectations to this point.
The pick: I think Milwaukee is going to win this series. I don't think it'll sweep Atlanta though. That said, I do think that the Bucks' Giannis Antetokounmpo is a major matchup issue for the Hawks and I believe that Atlanta is going to struggle down the stretch of this opener. I'm laying points and expecting a comfortable cover for the home side in Game 1.
This is a 10* COACHES CORNER on the Bucks.
|06-22-21||Rockies +1.5 v. Mariners||Top||1-2||Win||100||13 h 51 m||Show|
The set-up: Kyle Freeland (0-2, 9.58 ERA) gave up five runs over four innings against San Diego on Wednesday. Over 20.2 innnings, he has a poor 2.27 WHIP and 12/11 K/W. Clearly, the only way Freeland can go is "up" from here. That said, the sample size is still way too small at this point and he draws a favorable matchup here against this poor Seattle offense.
The pick: Chris Flexen (6-3, 4.12) comes in off a great start, going eight scoreless against the Twins. Of concern though is that he has just 44 strikeouts over 67.2 innings of work. I don't trust either starter, but believe that Freeland's "upside" is where the value lies here.
This is a 10* RUN-LINE DESTRUCTION on the Rockies.
|06-22-21||Clippers +5.5 v. Suns||Top||103-104||Win||100||12 h 49 m||Show|
The set-up: The Clippers ran out of gas in the fourth quarter, but despite only shooting 45 percent from the floor, they still had a shot at upsetting the Suns in Game 1. Phoenix didn't look overly impressive and I believe the Clippers can make the necessary adjustments to not only make Game 2 even more competitive, but possibly even pull off the straight-up upset here.
The pick: The continued absence of Chris Paul won't help this Suns team over the long-term. He'll likely return soon, but he's out again tonight. So is Kawhi Leonard for the Clippers, but LA is deep and experienced and I believe it throws it best shot at the Suns tonight. That said, grab the points.
This is a 10* COACHES CORNER on the Clippers.
|06-21-21||Islanders +1.5 v. Lightning||0-8||Loss||-171||13 h 8 m||Show|
The set-up: The same reasoning behind why I laid the price for Montreal on the puck-line last night, is the same reasoning that I'm using here for the Islanders. Game 5, tied 2-2. This series has been incredibly even. Both series have. For the most part, they've been very defensive affairs and that should once again be the case here.
The pick: I just can't see the Lightning running up the score here even if they do get the lead. In a contest which I see being decided late, or even in extra time, I'm laying the price for the extra 1.5 goals.
This is an 8* PUCK-LINE DESTRUCTION on the Islanders.
|06-20-21||Golden Knights v. Canadiens +1.5||2-1||Win||100||30 h 13 m||Show|
The set-up: These teams are evenly matched. If you check out their year long stats, Las Vegas has the superior numbers, but since the playoffs have started, these teams are in fact evenly matched up and down the line.
The pick: The mighty Las Vegas offense has for the most part been cold in this series and I don't expect anything to change here either in Game 4. The Canadiens have the blue-print to success, and everything points to this one coming down to the wire once again.
This is an 8* DESTRUCTION on the Montreal Canadiens on the PUCKLINE.
|06-20-21||Hawks +7.5 v. 76ers||Top||103-96||Win||100||30 h 5 m||Show|
The set-up: Some cappers put a lot of stock into where the public money is going. Most sharps are contrarian by nature. When there's just a few games remaining though, those percentages of public money become skewed. I think they're much more accurate during the regular season. Most of the public money is on the Hawks, but in this case I think the public is correct.
The pick: This is going to be a battle. It has been all series. Very back and forth and very close. Nothing's going to change here. Note though that the Hawks are 7-2 ATS in their last nine in trying to revenge a home loss against an opponent in which they were held to 100 points or less in. This one comes down the final moments, so grab as many points as you can.
This is a 10* COACHES CORNER on the Hawks.
|06-19-21||Bucks +1 v. Nets||Top||115-111||Win||100||30 h 56 m||Show|
The set-up: The Nets would have easily won this series if not for injuries to James Harden and Kyrie Irving. I don't think that Kevin Durant is the best basketball player of all time, but he's clearly been the best players in this series. Even better than the Bucks Giannis, who has played very well himself. But KD is going to be exhausted at this point and after the Game 6 collapse, I think the Bucks can smell the blood in the water.
The pick: Further, note that Milwaukee is 7-1 ATS in its last eight after holding its previous opponent to 90 points or less in a SU/ATS home victory. Milwaukee's depth will prove to be the difference here vs. this wounded and undermanned Nets side.
This is a 10* COACHES CORNER on the Bucks.
|06-19-21||Germany v. Portugal +0.5||Top||4-2||Loss||-155||21 h 38 m||Show|
The set-up: Germany looked less than impressive in its loss to France, while Portugal rolled to a 3-0 win over Hungary. The Portugese won't be taking the foot off the gas here in this difficult group, and the pressure really is on the Germans here (especially with an own goal from Mats Hummels deciding the contest in Munich.)
The pick: Joachim Low's team struggled to create opportunities, and I think that'll again be the case here vs. Portugal. Germany will be desperate to avoid defeat, as a draw today wouldn't be the end of its chances. I'm laying the price and grabbing the spread on Portugal here.
This is a 10* BLOOD-BATH on Portugal +0.5.
|06-18-21||Golden Knights v. Canadiens +1.5||2-3||Win||100||28 h 3 m||Show|
The set-up: Both opening games of this series have been competitive and I expect that to again be the case here as it shifts to Montreal. These teams are very evenly matched. On both ends of the ice. Goaltending is a "wash," and the Knights perceived advantage on the offensive end is also a "wash" here on the road in the Habs' own building.
The pick: Montreal though is 7-2 in its last nine as a home underdog in the +125 to +145 range. I lay chalk when I think that the situation calls for it and while I do think Montreal has what it takes to take Game 3 outright, I'll lay the price and grab the insurance.
This is an 8* PUCK-LINE DESTRUCTION on the Canadiens.
|06-18-21||76ers v. Hawks +3||Top||104-99||Loss||-107||28 h 43 m||Show|
The set-up: With a chance to end this series here and now, I like the Hawks chances to do just that. This is a well-coached team that continues to get underestimated, both by its opponents, and the bookmakers. It's Atlanta that is controlling the pace and flow of this series and I say nothing changes here in this crucial contest. Philadelphia has the best player on the floor in Joel Embiid, but the Hawks counter with the second best player in this series in Trae Young.
The pick: The bottom line here though is that Atlanta's defense has been the difference-maker for it during the playoffs and I like the Hawks to continue that run here in this crucial Game 6. Outright win is completely possible obviously, but let's grab the points just in case.
This is a 10* PLAY-BOOK on the Hawks.
|06-17-21||Diamondbacks v. Giants -1.5||Top||3-10||Win||110||7 h 54 m||Show|
The set-up: I think the Giants will not only win this game, but win by a significant margin. The visitors hand the ball to Zac Gallen (1-1, 3.04 ERA), who returns from a stint on the injured list. Gallen struggled with control before landing on the IL, but he's now been given the green light to go here. He'll be on a short leash though, which definitely swings the odds in favor of Kevin Gausman today.
The pick: Gausman (7-1, 1.43) is coming off his first loss of the season, giving up only two runs over four innings to the Nationals. To go along with his minuscule 0.78 WHIP, he also owns a sharp 97:18 K:BB over 81.2 innings of work. Look for Gausman to go deep, for Gallen to the get the hook early, and for the home side to post a big winning victory.
This is a 10* RUN-LINE DESTRUCTION on the Giants.
|06-16-21||Canadiens +1.5 v. Golden Knights||Top||3-2||Win||100||28 h 5 m||Show|
The set-up: Yes, the Golden Knights looked fantastic in Game 1, but I believe that Montreal can make adjustments to be much more competitive in Game 2. The Habs won't be panicking. Montreal has played extremely well, as it had to battle back from a 3-1 deficit to beat high-powered Toronto in seven games, before then sweeping the high-powered Jets in four.
The pick: The Habs are also 7-2 in their last nine in trying to revenge a two-goals or greater loss to an opponent. Look for Montreal to at the very least, take this one into extras.
This is a 10* PUCK-LINE ELITE OF THE ELITE on the Canadiens.
|06-15-21||Bucks v. Nets +3||Top||108-114||Win||100||31 h 42 m||Show|
The set-up: Despite both Kyrie Irving and James Harden sitting this one out, I think Kevin Durant and his cast of role players can take this inconsistent Bucks team down to the wire.
The pick: I think that Blake Griffin, Jeff Green and Joe Harris will have significantly better games at home. The Bucks are just 2-5 ATS in their last seven on the road. Clearly, the outright win isn't out of the question, but also note that Brooklyn is 13-3 ATS in its last 16 at home. I'm grabbing the points.
This is a 10* PLAY-BOOK on the Nets.
|06-14-21||Canadiens +1.5 v. Golden Knights||Top||1-4||Loss||-124||30 h 0 m||Show|
The set-up: I think the extra time off here benefits the underdog. The Habs are going to try and win this game by a "war of attrition." Montreal is red hot and I think it has the unit to upset the Golden Knights at their own game.
The pick: I had a play on the Islanders on the PUCK-LINE last night as well, but didn't even need the extra goal and a half. Here though, we very well could. In a contest which I see being decided late or in extra time, I'm laying the price for the extra 1.5 goals.
This is a 10* PUCK-LINE DESTRUCTION on the Canadiens.
|06-14-21||76ers v. Hawks +3.5||Top||100-103||Win||100||28 h 28 m||Show|
The set-up: The Hawks have been fantastic at making game-to-game adjustments since Nate McMillan took over as head coach. I think that happens again here. Atlanta is now desperate to avoid an 0-3 hole and I like the Hawks to at the very least, take this one right down to the wire. Note that Philly is just 2-7 ATS in its last nine after back-to-back SU/ATS victories in a row as well.
The pick: ATL on the other hand is 7-3 ATS in its last ten in trying to revenge a 15 points or greater SU/ATS home loss to an opponent. Look for Trae Young to have a monster game for the Hawks' defense to finally show up as well. Outright is obviously possible, but grab the points.
This is a 10* COACHES CORNER on the Hawks.
|06-13-21||Islanders +1.5 v. Lightning||Top||2-1||Win||100||23 h 18 m||Show|
The set-up: Up and down the line, these clubs are very evenly matched. The Islanders have the lockdown defense to push the Lightning to the brink in this series. I also like New York to push the Bolts in Game 1. Note that the Isles are 7-1 in their last eight when playing with three or more days of rest.
The pick: Conversely, the Lightning are only 2-6 in their last eight when playing with five or more days of rest. I'm banking on the defensive-minded visiting side, to at the very least, take this one into extra time.
This is a 10* PUCK-LINE DESTRUCTION on the Islanders.
|06-13-21||Nets v. Bucks +2||Top||96-107||Win||100||23 h 14 m||Show|
The set-up: Brooklyn looked like it was going to roll over the Bucks in this series, but then it shifted to Milwaukee and the Bucks somehow managed to hold on for the 86-83 victory. It was a back and forth game and really, Milwaukee did not win that one by very much obviously. But I think that Game 4 finally sets up as a great spot for the Bucks to bounce back with a convincing win.
The pick: Brooklyn's role players aren't contributing and it's two super stars are now worn out, as the continued absence of "The Beard" is now taking its toll on the Nets. I like Giannis and company to lay the hammer down here. Outright win is obvious, but let's grab the points anyways.
This is a 10* COACHES CORNER on the Bucks.
|06-12-21||Rangers v. Dodgers -1.5||12-1||Loss||-126||12 h 53 m||Show|
The set-up: No need to overthink this one in my opinion. The massive talent discrepancy on the mound absolutely justifies in laying the 1.5 runs for near pick-em price.
The pick: Trevor Bauer is 6-4 with a 2.40 ERA this year and he's been better at home than on the road for the Dodgers. Kolby Allard is 1-2 with a 3.41 ERA for the Rangers, but he's a poor 0-1 with a 5.51 ERA on the road. Lay the RUN LINE here on the home side and expect a blowout.
This is an 8* RUN-LINE DESTRUCTION on the Dodgers.
|06-10-21||Clippers +3 v. Jazz||Top||111-117||Loss||-104||31 h 4 m||Show|
The set-up: I think the Clippers have a legitimate shot at taking Game 2 outright. LA let a lead slip away in Game 1, and it had a shot at sending it to OT late, but ultimately while LA covered in Game 1, it lost outright. Kawhi Leonard and Paul George continue to play well though and the Clippers have the defensive toughness to make adjustments and play better against Donovan Mitchell and the Jazz.
The pick: LA is also 7-2 ATS in its last nine in trying to revenge a road loss against an opponent in which it allowed 110 or more points in. I say that this one comes right down to the wire (at the very least) as well, and that's why I'm recommending to grab as many points as you can.
This is a 10* COACHES CORNER on the LA Clippers.
|06-08-21||Blue Jays +1.5 v. White Sox||1-6||Loss||-149||9 h 8 m||Show|
The set-up: I'm going to lay the reasonable mid-sized price for the extra run-and-a-half of insurance. Robbie Ray (3-2, 3.57 ERA) enters off a strong start over the Marlins on Tuesday, allowing one run and striking out nine over six innings. I like Ray to carry that momentum over here.
The pick: Carlos Rodon (5-2, 1.98) has been excellent for the White Sox this year, but his early numbers are already taking a hit, as he comes in off his worst start of the year after allowing five runs over six innings. I think Ray can match Rodon inning for inning (at the least), and in a situation like that, I think the value swings to the undervalued underdog.
This is an 8* RUN-LINE DESTRUCTION on the Blue Jays.
|06-08-21||Hawks +5.5 v. 76ers||Top||102-118||Loss||-107||27 h 8 m||Show|
The set-up: The Hawks destroyed the 76ers in Game 1. Well, they did for three quarters anyways, and then they took the foot off the gas and allowed Philly to make a game of it. Atlanta never trailed though and I think the Hawks have a legimtate shot at taking Game 2 as well. Atlanta looked especially good on the defensive side for three quarters.
The pick: Is 76ers big man Joel Embiid back to 100% health? He wasn't in top form in Game 1 and the uncertainty in Game 2 is definitely not going to help this 76ers offense. When Embiid is in the line-up, the offense is run through him, but his injury makes it awkward and difficult to game-plan in the short-term. The Hawks are 100% healthy, hungry and Nate McMillan has been brilliant in making adjustments from game to game and I expect him to have another masterpiece planned tonight. Grab the points.
This is a 10* COACHES CORNER on the Hawks.
|06-08-21||Lightning -1.5 v. Hurricanes||Top||2-0||Win||220||26 h 1 m||Show|
The set-up: With a chance to eliminate the dangerous Hurricanes, I think the defending champs will not only win Game 5, but I expect them to win big, getting a couple extra emtpy netters in the process. Carolina is on the ropes and I don't think it has the heart left in it to compete from a 1-3 hole.
The pick: Carolina got out of its normal game-plan in Game 4, having to push the pace to try and avoid the 1-3 hole, and it'll have to abandon its normally tight defensive game-plan here as well. And that I think is not going to work against the Champs, who are versatile and can adapt. Great value, expect Tampa to move on with a decisive victory.
This is a 10* PUCK-LINE BEST OF THE BEST on the Lightning.
|06-06-21||Mavs +6.5 v. Clippers||Top||111-126||Loss||-106||24 h 18 m||Show|
The set-up: I'm expecting an absolute war until the final horn. In fact, this game could even go to extra's, that's how competitive it's been. LA's only averaed 108 points here during the playoffs, while Dallas has averaged 115 on the road.
The pick: The Mavericks are also 7-2 ATS in their last nine in trying to revenge a home loss against an opponent in which they were held to 100 points or less in. Outright victory? Of course. Dallas has already proven it can win here. In the end though, let's grab the points.
This is a 10* COACHES CORNER on the Dallas Mavericks.
|06-05-21||Bucks v. Nets -3.5||Top||107-115||Win||100||30 h 58 m||Show|
The set-up: We haven't yet really witnessed the true power of these Brooklyn Nets. Kyrie Irving, KD and James Harden only played in eight regular seaosn games together, and Brooklyn still finished No. 2 in scoring behind the Bucks. Both teams rolled through their first round opponents, but was most impressive to me was how well the Nets played defensively against the Celtics.
The pick: The Heat were completely pathetic. I think Boston could have beaten Miami if they played in the first round. I expect the Nets' Big 3 to take this personally and to send an early message. A great "situational" play here, so lay the points.
This is a 10* ELITE OF THE ELITE on the Nets.
|06-03-21||Nuggets +5 v. Blazers||Top||126-115||Win||100||28 h 38 m||Show|
The set-up: These teams are evenly matched, but this is the biggest spread so far in the series. I think the outright upset is very possible here, but in the end I'm going to grab the points. The Nuggets have a chance to close out this series here and now after their 147-140 OT win. Damian Lillard had a truly monster game for the Blazers, and Portland still couldn't pull off the upset. I don't see the Blazers being able to push this one to a Game 7.
The pick: Nikola Jokic continues to put up impressive numbers and Denver's depth and experience is paying huge dividends right now. The Nuggets are also 7-2 ATS in their last nine as a road dog in the +4.5 to +6.5 points range. In a contest which I see being decided late, I'm grabbing the points.
This is a 10* COACHES CORNER on the Nuggets.
|06-01-21||Lakers +5 v. Suns||Top||85-115||Loss||-107||15 h 32 m||Show|
The set-up: I think LeBron James and the Lakers have more than enough fight in them to at the very least, take this one right down to the wire. AD can still return to this series, and LA will be looking great heading home to Game 6 if it can somehow pull off an upset. I don't see much of a drop off here with Andre Drummond ready step and fill the void left by Davis.
The pick: Chris Paul and Devon Booker are going to have their hands full with LA's elite defense. The Lakers are one of the best in defending the perimeter and I believe the visiting side will double down on that end of the court tonight. I'm not counting out King James in this big game situation. While the outright victory is possible, in the end let's grab the points.
This is a 10* PLAY-BOOK on the Lakers.
|05-31-21||76ers v. Wizards +8.5||Top||114-122||Win||100||10 h 0 m||Show|
The set-up: I say the Wizards don't go down without a fight here. Note that Philadelphia is just 2-7 ATS in its last nine after three or more straight SU/ATS victories in a row.
The pick: Washington is also 8-3 ATS in its last 11 in a "double revenge" spot against an opponent, so the fact that this is a "triple revenge" spot makes this play even stronger. I think the outright win is a possibiity as well. I say Washington fights until the final moments. Grab the points.
This is a 10* GAME OF THE WEEK on the Wizards.
|05-30-21||Nets v. Celtics +6.5||Top||141-126||Loss||-104||27 h 1 m||Show|
The set-up: The Nets suddenly are facing some adversity. The Celtics finally made some adjustments and combined with a little "home cooking" Jayson Tatum and company looked much better in their upset Game 3 victory. And now I believe Boston will keep the foot on the gas here to try and even things up.
The pick: The Nets have all the talent in the World, but dominating in the regular season and doing well in the playoffs are two entirely different things. Brooklyn's weakness all year has been on the defensive end and I expect it to regress here in this now pressure situation. While the outright is possible, in the end I'll recommend to grab as many points as you can.
This is a 10* PLAY-BOOK on the Boston Celtics.
|05-29-21||76ers v. Wizards +6||Top||132-103||Loss||-103||26 h 6 m||Show|
The set-up: Philadelphia won the first two games at home, but I expect a minor letdown here in its first game away from friendly confines. Russell Westbrook is listed as questionable for this game, and while I do expect him to play, whether he does or not I still love Bradley Beal and the revenge-minded Wizards to claw tooth and nail at home, and at the very least, take this one right down to the wire.
The pick: Note that the Wizards are also 7-2 ATS in their last nine in trying to revenge back-to-back losses to an opponent. With their backs against the wall, look for the Wizards to put forth their best effort so far in this series and in the process, easily cover this spread. Grab the points.
This is a 10* COACHES CORNER on the Wizards.
|05-28-21||Wild +1.5 v. Golden Knights||2-6||Loss||-190||28 h 49 m||Show|
The set-up: "Momentum" is a very real, tangible factor in sports. Minnesota has won back-to-back games, and I'm not buying into any "fatigue factor" here in Game 7. The Wild dominated on both ends of the ice in their 3-0 win in Game 6 and I expect another battle until the end here as well.
The pick: Las Vegas is on the ropes, all the pressure is now on the Knights to perform in this spot. Minnesota though is 7-2 in its last nine after shutting out its previous opponent at home. Throw the seasonal stats and averages out the window here. The momentum that Minnesota has created is REAL. Outright victory is possible, but let's lay the price for the extra 1.5 goals of insurance.
This is an 8* DESTRUCTION on the Wild PUCK-LINE.
|05-28-21||Nets v. Celtics +7.5||Top||119-125||Win||100||27 h 21 m||Show|
The set-up: So far Brooklyn has clearly been the better team. I knew the Nets could score, but it's been their defensive play which has been the suprising thing over their first two victories in this series. I didn't think though that the Celtics would win this series, but I also don't expect it go get swept. This is it, do or die for Boston, as clearly an 0-3 hole would be just too big for it to climb out of.
The pick: Boston is 7-2 ATS in its last nine in trying to avenge back-to-back SU/ATS losses to an opponent. The Nets somehow managed to hold Boston star Jayson Tatum to just nine points in Game 2, but I expect an entirely different effort from the All Star at home. Expect a much grittier effort from Boston today (and grab as many points as you can!)
This is a 10* TOTAL PLAY-BOOK on the Celtics.
|05-27-21||Canadiens +1.5 v. Maple Leafs||4-3||Win||100||30 h 12 m||Show|
The set-up: Montreal took Game 1, but since then it's been all Toronto. The Leafs are the better team in this series, but I don't expect the Habs to go down without a fight here. Montreal has the defense and goaltending to steal this one outright, but in a contest which I envision being decided late or even in extra time, I'm going to lay the small price for the 1.5 goals in my back pocket.
The pick: Note as well that Montreal is 7-2 in its last nine in trying to avenge a shutout loss of three or more goals to an opponent as well.
This is an 8* DESTRUCTION on the Montreal Canadiens.
|05-25-21||Mavs +6.5 v. Clippers||Top||127-121||Win||100||14 h 40 m||Show|
The set-up: The Clippers are clearly getting too much respect here after their 113-103 Game 1 loss. Dallas has a golden opportunity to take a commanding series lead here and I think the pressure is fully on the home side. Note that Dallas is 7-2 ATS in its last nine off a ten points or greater SU/ATS road victory.
The pick: The Clippers actually lost the last two games of the regular season on purpose to avoid playing the Lakers, and now they're going to pay the price. Note that the Mavericks are 5-2 ATS in their last seven on the road, while the Clippers are just 1-4 ATS in their last five at home. Outright is possible, but let's grab the points.
This is a 10* COACHES CORNER on the Mavericks.
|05-24-21||Wild +1.5 v. Golden Knights||4-2||Win||100||29 h 46 m||Show|
The set-up: Down 3-1, I like the Wild to fight tooth and nail here and at the very least, take this one to extra periods. Minnesota managed the Game 1 upset victory here on the road, but since then it's been all Las Vegas. These teams actually have very similar numbers on both ends of the ice, so the 4-0 shutout loss in Game 4 is a bit surprising really.
The pick: Note as well that Minnesota is 7-2 in its last nine in trying to revenge a shutout home loss vs. an opponent. I think the Knights have a small letdown here as well after three straight victories. Lay the price, get the extra insurance.
This is an 8* FAN APPRECIATION PUCK-LINE DESTRUCTION on the Wild.
|05-24-21||Heat +5 v. Bucks||Top||98-132||Loss||-114||26 h 57 m||Show|
The set-up: The Heat lost Game 1 by a score of 109-107. I say that's a moral victory for the Heat, as both Jimmy Butler and Bam Abedayo had horrible games. And despite that, Miami took the mighty Bucks to OT on their own floor and even had a shot at the outright victory. Last year the Heat took out the Bucks in the Eastern Conference Finals. Miami coach Eric Spolestra was masterful with his adjustments from game-to-game last year, and with a fully healthy club to draw upon here, I expect him to do just that.
The pick: The Bucks have to get a huge game every night from Giannis. I'm positive the Milwaukee star will deliver with another big performance here, but I think Miami's depth and experience can at the very least, once again keep this one close until the final moments. Grab the points.
This is a 10* COACHES CORNER on the Heat.
|05-23-21||Hawks +1.5 v. Knicks||Top||107-105||Win||100||26 h 30 m||Show|
The set-up: The Hawks and Knicks in the playoffs. Who'd have thought? New York was consistent all season, but a great second half push has it in the drivers seat in this series. Atlanta's entire season changed when it hired Nate McMillan as head coach. Both teams avoided having to play in the "play in" tournament, and each got here using different styles of play. The Hawks push the pace and use their incredible shooting efficiency to stretch defenses, while the Knicks are better on the defensive end, wearing teams down and then also using efficient shooting themselves. It's an interesting confilct in styles, but I think the Hawks offer great value here to pull off the slight upset in Game 1.
The pick: The Knicks are going to have difficulties keeping pace with Trae Young and company in my opinion. Also note that the Knicks are just 2-7 ATS in their last nine when playing with three or more days of rest. The staget is set for a big upset in the opener.
This is a 10* FIRST ROUND GAME OF THE YEAR on the Hawks.