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Big Al's Daily Angle: NFL, MLB, CFL and EPL Previews and Odds - 08/13/2022

by Big Al Staff

Saturday, Aug 13, 2022

The Saturday sports card features NFLX, MLB, CFL, and EPL action.The first full week of the NFL preseason continues with eight games. Two exhibition games kick off at 1 PM ET. The Kansas City Chiefs visit the Chicago Bears on the NFL Network in a pick ‘em matchup with the total set at 38 (all odds from DraftKings unless indicated otherwise). The Washington Commanders host the Carolina Panthers, with the Commanders a 2.5-point favorite with an over/under of 37. The Indianapolis Colts travel to Buffalo to play the Bills on the NFL Network at 4 PM ET. The Colts are a 1.5-point road favorite with a total of 38. The Pittsburgh Steelers play at home against the Seattle Seahawks on the NFL Network at 7 PM ET. The Steelers are a 3.5-point favorite with an over/under of 36.5. The Miami Dolphins are at Tampa Bay to play the Buccaneers at 7:30 PM ET. The Dolphins are a 1-point road favorite with a total of 32.5. The New Orleans Saints travel to Houston to play the Texans at 8 PM ET. The Saints are a 1-point road favorite with an over/under of 35. The Denver Broncos host the Dallas Cowboys on the NFL Network at 9 PM ET. The Broncos are a 4-point favorite with a total of 33.5. The Los Angeles Chargers are the technical home team at SoFi Stadium against the Los Angeles Rams at 10 PM ET. The Chargers are a 3-point favorite with an over/under of 32. Major League Baseball has 16 games on its schedule. The Atlanta Braves visits Miami to play the Marlins in the opening game of their doubleheader at 1:10 PM ET. The Braves are a -118 money line road favorite at Caesars with a total of 7. The Toronto Blue Jays are at home against the Cleveland Guardians at 3:07 PM ET. The Blue Jays are a -125 money line favorite at Caesars with an over/under of 8. The Tampa Bay Rays host the Baltimore Orioles at 4:10 PM ET. The Rays are a -180 money line favorite with a total of 7. The Cincinnati Reds are at home against the Chicago Cubs at 6:40 PM ET. The Reds are a -120 money line favorite with an over/under of 9.5. The San Diego Padres play at Washington against the Nationals at 7:05 PM ET. The Padres are a -280 money line road favorite with a total of 9.Five MLB games throw out the first pitch at 7:10 PM ET. The Los Angeles Dodgers travel to play the Kansas City Royals as a -240 money line road favorite with an over/under of 9.5. The Braves play the Marlins in the second game of their doubleheader. The Oakland A’s play at Houston against the Astros. Chicago hosts the Detroit Tigers with the White Sox a -210 money line favorite with a total of 8. New York plays at home against Philadelphia with the Mets a -190 money line favorite with an over/under of 6.5. Three MLB games start at 7:15 PM ET. Milwaukee travels to St. Louis to play the Cardinals with the Brewers a -135 money line road favorite with a total of 7. Two MLB games are featured on Fox’s regional coverage. New York plays at Boston against the Red Sox with the Yankees a -145 money line road favorite with an over/under of 9.5. Texas plays at home against the Seattle Mariners, with the Rangers a -115 money line favorite with a total of 8.5. The Arizona Diamondbacks visit Colorado to play the Rockies at 8:10 PM ET. The Diamondbacks are a -145 money line road favorite with an over/under of 11.5. The Pittsburgh Pirates travel to San Francisco to play the Giants at 9:05 PM ET. Minnesota visits Los Angeles to play the Angels with the Twins a -115 money line road favorite with a total of 8.Week 10 in the Canadian Football League concludes with two games. British Columbia plays at Calgary against the Stampeders at 7 PM ET with the Lions a 2.5-point road favorite with an over/under of 53.5. Saskatchewan travels to Edmonton to play the Elks with the Roughriders a 6-point road favorite with a total of 48.5. Matchweek 2 in the English Premier League begins with seven matches. Aston Villa hosts Everton on the USA Network at 7:30 AM ET as a -0.5 goal line favorite with over/under of 2.5 (all EPL odds from BetMGM unless indicated otherwise). Six matches start at 10 AM ET. Arsenal hosts Leicester City as a -1 goal line favorite with a total of 2.5. Newcastle United plays at Brighton and Hove Albion in a pick ‘em match with an over/under of 2.5. Manchester City hosts Bournemouth on the USA Network as a -3.5 goal line favorite at DraftKings with an over/under of 3.5. Southampton is at home against Leeds United as a -0.5 goal line favorite with a total of 2.5. Fulham visits Wolverhampton in a pick ‘em match with an over/under of 2.5. Manchester United travels to Brentford on NBC at 12:30 PM ET as a -0.5 goal line road favorite with a total of 2.5. 

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2022 Tennessee Volunteers Preview

by Matt Fargo

Friday, Aug 12, 2022

Tennessee Volunteers2021-22 Season Record 7-6 (4-4 SEC East) - 5-8-0 ATS - 10-3-0 O/UReturning StartersOffense - 8Defense - 7OverviewIt has been a coaching carousel in Knoxville since head coach Phillip Fulmer was let go back in 2008, the year after Tennessee had its last double-digit winning season. Those were commonplace for the Volunteers as Fulmer was involved in a stretch of 16 straight bowl games but have been sporadic of late with just five appearances over the last 11 years. Josh Heupel took over last season for Jeremy Pruit who was fired for recruiting violations and got them back into the postseason following a 3-7 season in 2020. Tennessee did not exactly light the SEC on fire but blew out the teams they were supposed to and losing to Alabama, Georgia and Mississippi is nothing to get down about but the Volunteers have been waiting a long time to get back in that mix. It might not be this season but Heupel did an outstanding job at Central Florida and he could be just the right guy here. OffenseAfter plodding along for a few years, the Tennessee offense got rolling last season as it finished No. 16 overall and No. 9 in scoring. The Volunteers did have troubles against the big boys but that was expected and they were still able to increase their output by 140 ypg and 17 ppg from the previous season. Give credit to quarterback Hendon Hooker, who was not even the starter and the beginning of the season, as he ran an efficient offense, throwing for 2,945 yards with 31 touchdowns and just three interceptions while completing close to 70 percent of his passes. His favorite targets are back led by Cedric Tillman who had over 1,000 yards receiving and 12 touchdowns. The running game will be fine with leading rusher Jabari Small returning after rushing for 792 yards. The offensive line opened holes but needs to pass protect better as they allowed 44 sacks, No. 123 in the nation. DefenseThe defense was not very good last season, putting up roughly the same numbers from 2020 as it had just five starters returning and struggled in both areas but should improve in year two of the system. They finished No. 85 in total defense and No. 79 in scoring defense and while they did have some really solid efforts, they were bludgeoned in others and a happy medium would be just fine. Tennessee plays a scheme with two linebackers and both are outstanding as Jeremy Banks and Aaron Beasley combined for 212 tackles and seven sacks with plenty of depth behind them. The defensive line is huge and the rushing defense was better than the passing defense and should continue to get better. Despite the Volunteers applying excellent pressure, the secondary struggled but has two good safeties in Trevon Flowers and Jaylen McCollough that combined for 131 tackles and five picks. 2022 Season OutlookThere is a buzz again in Tennessee even though it was just one season that resulted in a one game over .500 record but it just felt different. Offense makes people excited and this offense did that and will likely create more enthusiasm. Hooker is ranked No. 3 in the SEC among quarterbacks and the sky is the limit but getting through the conference schedule will be a challenge. The nonconference schedule features three cupcakes at home with Ball St., Akron and UT-Martin with a road game at Pittsburgh also included. As for the SEC, the bad news is road games at LSU, Georgia and South Carolina but they do get Florida and Alabama at home although that really does not constitute as good news. Vanderbilt, Missouri and Kentucky are also mixed in. The O/U win total is set at 7.5 and with the looks of seven wins on paper, it is going to take a couple upsets to get to the over. 

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2022 NFC South Division Preview

by Scott Rickenbach

Friday, Aug 12, 2022

NFC South Division Win Total / Preview for 2022 NFLAtlanta Falcons – Current odds are 5 with heavy juice on the under. Hard to peg this team. This article is not necessarily about projecting win totals but more so just a quick preview of each team. That said, the Falcons do look to be the worst team in the division and the fact their win total is actually quite likely to end up in the 4 to 5 range makes this one a tough call. Falcons seem to be in a rebuild mode with the QB situation as now they turn things over to Marcus Mariota and his back-up is rookie Desmond Ridder. Atlanta not known for strong offensive lines and Mariota has been injury prone. That coupled with a bad defense and it is going to be a rough season for Falcons fans as wins will be few and far between. Carolina Panthers – Current odds are 6.5 flat. The scoring defense of the Panthers last season looks not so hot but the yardage allowed actually placed them as one of the top defenses in the league. It was the offense that was a problem for Carolina last season. Will this continue to be the case this season and this team would be a good one to look at for unders on a regular basis? Getting running back McCaffrey back will help the offense but the QB position is still a question mark even with Baker Mayfield entering the picture. If he is a pleasant surprise than yes things could change but that is a big “if” because he is not exactly walking into a great situation with the offense around him and working with a new playbook on offense and not exactly a ton of WR talent. Carolina started last year 3-0 then went 2-12 the rest of the way. New Orleans Saints – Current odds are 8 with heavy juice on the over. I like the Saints as good enough to threaten the Bucs for the top spot in the division. Jameis Winston needs to stay healthy but people forget he had 14 TDs and only 3 INTs before he got hurt last season. Also, WR Michael Thomas is back and has looked strong in camp already. New Orleans is very strong defensively and former defensive coordinator Dennis Allen is now the head coach and I expect continued success on that side of the ball. The Saints did beat the Buccaneers in both meetings last season and this team, if Winston stays healthy, can have a huge year. If Winston gets hurt and back-up QB Andy Dalton pulls some magic from the past that would also lead to a big season. Remember Dalton was solid with a 14-8 TD-INT ratio in Dallas two years ago before playing on a bad Bears team last season. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Current odds are 11.5 with some juice on the under. I am leaning toward under here on Bucs and over on the Saints above as you can see. The Buccaneers lost head coach Arians and long-time Brady target Gronkowski to retirement. So even though Brady is back things look a little different in Tampa Bay heading into this season. Also some changes to the offensive line in front of Brady but the defense does still look solid again. I know new head coach Todd Bowles has been the defensive coordinator in TB the last 3 seasons so he has that going for him. But his last 3 seasons as a head coach, of course with lesser talent on the Jets, he compiled a 14-34 record! Again, much better team to work with here and a solid defense but some of the changes on the offense and the fact Tom Brady is now 45…I really believe this is the year we start to see a significant regression in Tampa. 

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