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Big Al's NFL, MLB, NHL, and EPL Previews and Odds - 10/18/2021

by Big Al Staff

Monday, Oct 18, 2021

The Monday sports card features action in the NFL, MLB, NHL, and EPL.Week 6 in the National Football League regular season concludes with Buffalo visiting Tennessee on ESPN at 8:15 PM ET. The Bills have won four in a row with their 38-20 upset victory at Kansas City as a 2.5-point underdog last Sunday night. The Titans have won three of four after their 37-19 upset win at Jacksonville as a 4-point favorite last week. This is a rematch of their encounter last season on October 13th which was won by Tennessee, 42-16, as a 3-point home favorite. Buffalo is a 6-point road favorite with the total set at 53 (all odds from DraftKings unless indicated otherwise).The playoffs in Major League Baseball continue with Game 3 in the American League Championship Series. Boston hosts Houston on FS1 at 8:07 PM ET. The Red Sox evened this best of seven series at 1-1 with their 9-5 win on the road on Saturday. Boston pitches Eduardo Rodriguez against the Astros’ Jose Urquidy. The Red Sox are a -125 money line favorite with an over/under of 9.Four games are on the National Hockey League docket. Two games drop the puck at 7:08 PM ET. Toronto plays at home against the New York Rangers. The Maple Leafs have won two of their first three games with their 3-1 win against Ottawa on Saturday. The Rangers ended a two-game winning streak with their 3-1 win at Montreal on Saturday. Toronto is a -195 money line favorite with a total of 6. Philadelphia is at home against Seattle. The Flyers lost their opening game on Friday in a 5-4 loss at home to Vancouver in overtime. The Kraken has lost two of their first three games after a 2-1 defeat at Columbus on Saturday. Philadelphia is a -140 money line favorite with an over/under of 6. Calgary hosts Anaheim at 9:38 PM ET. The Flames lost their first game of the season, 5-2, at Edmonton on Saturday. The Ducks have split their opening two games after a 2-1 loss at home to Minnesota on Friday. Calgary is a -200 money line favorite with a total of 5.5. St. Louis visits Arizona at 10:08 PM ET. The Coyotes have lost their first two games of the season with their 2-1 loss at Buffalo on Saturday. The Blues won their opening game of the season with a 5-3 victory at Colorado on Saturday. St. Louis is a -170 money line road favorite with an over/under of 5.5. Matchweek 8 in the English Premier League concludes with one match. Arsenal plays at home against Crystal Palace on Peacock at 3 PM ET. The Gunners come off a 0-0 draw at Brighton and Hove Albion on October 2nd. They are tied in 10th place in the table with 10 points. The Eagles' last EPL match was on October 3rd when they earned a 2-2 draw against Leicester City. They are in 14th place with 7 points. Arsenal is a -1 goal-line favorite with a total of 2.5. 

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NBA Futures Wager: Brooklyn Nets to Win the 2022 NBA Championship

by Al McMordie

Monday, Oct 18, 2021

The 2021-22 NBA season starts tomorrow.  So, without further ado, it's time for my annual preseason prediction of the eventual NBA champion.  Last season, I nailed both my NBA (Milwaukee Bucks @ 13-2 odds) and College Basketball (Baylor @ 12-1 odds) futures bets to carry on what has been an unparalleled successful run on futures predictions.  That was the 2nd straight NCAA Basketball season I hit my preseason ticket, as I forecast Virginia (at 22-1 odds) in the 2018-19 preseason!  Also in 2019, I hit another huge longshot on the Washington Nationals (at 18-1 odds), and followed that up in 2020 with the Los Angeles Dodgers (at 4-1 odds).  Among my other recent winners were the Houston Astros in 2017 (at 10-1 odds), Tampa Bay Lightning in 2020 (at 7-1 odds), San Antonio Spurs (2014, 14-1 odds; 1999, 11-2 odds), Golden State Warriors (2016, 5-1 odds; 2018, -160 odds), and Green Bay Packers (2011, 10-1 odds).For this season, I'm going to turn to the team which Milwaukee ousted by two inches (the distance Kevin Durant was inside the 3-point arc) in the NBA quarterfinals:  the Brooklyn Nets.  The current odds on Brooklyn are +260 (at BetOnline), and they've remained largely unchanged throughout the current Kyrie Irving turmoil.  It's undeniable that the Nets are a better team with Irving at point guard.  His ability to break down a defense through dribble penetration allows both Kevin Durant and James Harden to operate more freely on the offensive end.  But it's also undeniable that the Nets will be hugely competitive without him (as they were last season in his absence).  I firmly believe the situation will eventually resolve itself one way or the other.  Either Irving will get vaccinated, which will allow him to fully participate with Brooklyn, or he will remain intransigent.  In that instance, no matter what Irving says today about being traded (he says he would retire), I believe cooler heads would prevail and GM Sean Marks would work out a trade to bring back pieces to Brooklyn.  So, I'm more than comfortable taking the Brooklyn Nets, as currently constituted, to win the NBA Championship at +260.Last season, even though an injury-riddled Brooklyn team lost the series to the eventual NBA champion Bucks, it outscored them in the 7-game playoff series by 2.86 ppg.  And it also throttled Boston in the first round series by 11.2 ppg.  I don't see anything -- not even Irving's principles -- getting in the way of Durant, Harden, and the rest of the Nets hoisting the Larry O'Brien NBA Championship Trophy in June.  Take Brooklyn.Good luck, as always,Al McMordie

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Big Al's Daily Angle: NFL, MLB, NHL, WNBA and EPL Previews and Odds - 10/17/2021

by Big Al Staff

Sunday, Oct 17, 2021

The Sunday sports card features action in the NFL, MLB, NHL, WNBA, and EPL.Week 6 in the National Football League regular season continues with 12 games. Miami plays Jacksonville on CBS at 9:30 AM ET at Tottenham Hotspurs Stadium in London. The Dolphins are a 3-point favorite as the technical road team, with the total set at 47 (all odds from DraftKings unless indicated otherwise). Seven games kick off at 1 PM ET. Minnesota visits Carolina as a 2.5-point road favorite with an over/under of 45. Green Bay travels to Chicago to play the Bears as a 5.5-point road favorite with a total of 44. Indianapolis plays at home against Houston as a 10-point favorite with an over/under of 43. The Los Angeles Rams are at New York to play the Giants as a 9-point road favorite with a total of 48.5. Kansas City is at Washington as a 6.5-point road favorite with an over/under of 54. Cincinnati visits Detroit as a 3.5-point road favorite with a total of 46.5. Baltimore hosts the Los Angeles Chargers as a 2.5-point favorite with an over/under of 51. Three games begin in the second-afternoon window of games. Cleveland plays at home against Arizona at 4:05 PM ET as a 3.5-point favorite with a total of 48.5. Two games kickoff at 4:25 PM ET. Dallas visits New England as a 3.5-point road favorite with an over/under of 50. Denver is at home against Las Vegas as a 4-point favorite with a total of 43.5. The Sunday Night Football game on NBC has Pittsburgh hosting Seattle at 8:20 PM ET. The Steelers are a 5-point favorite with an over/under of 42.5. The playoffs in Major League Baseball continue with Game 2 in the National League Championship Series. Atlanta took a 1-0 lead in this best-of-seven series with a 3-2 victory against Los Angeles on Saturday. Ian Anderson is the starting pitcher for the Braves. Max Scherzer is the planned starter for the Dodgers after manager Dave Roberts decided to give him an extra day of rest from his expected start on Saturday after he pitched the 9th inning to get the save in Game 5 of the NLDS against the San Francisco Giants on Thursday. One game takes place in the National Hockey League. Dallas visits Ottawa with a puck drop at 5:11 PM ET as a -160 money line road favorite and a total of 5.5. The finals of the WNBA continue with Game 4 of the best-of-five series between the Phoenix Mercury and the Chicago Sky. Chicago took a 2-1 lead in the series with their 86-50 victory at home as a 3-point favorite. The Sky are a 4-point favorite to win the WNBA championship this afternoon with an over/under of 164.5. Matchweek 8 in the English Premier League continues with two matches. West Ham United visits Everton on the NBC Sports Network at 9 AM ET in a pick ‘em match with the total set at 2.5 (all soccer odds from Play MGM). Tottenham visits Newcastle United on the NBC Sports Network at 11:30 AM ET as a -0.5 goal line road favorite with an over/under of 2.5. 

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