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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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Big Al's Daily Angle: MLB, NCAAF, NHL, CFL and EPL Previews and Odds - 10/16/2021

by Big Al Staff

Saturday, Oct 16, 2021

The Saturday sports card features action in NCAAF, MLB, NHL, CFL, and EPL.Week 7 in the college football season concludes with 44 games between FBS opponents. Fourteen games begin in the noon ET to 3 PM ET window. Seven games are on national television at noon ET. Texas hosts Oklahoma State on Fox as a 3.5-point favorite with the total set at 60.5. Cincinnati plays at home against Central Florida on ABC as a 21.5-point favorite with an over/under of 56.5 (all odds from DraftKings). Arkansas is at home against Auburn on CBS as a 4.5-point favorite with a total of 53.5. Florida visits LSU on ESPN as an 11.5-point road favorite with an over/under of 59.5. Nebraska travels to Minnesota on ESPN2 as a 4.5-point road favorite with a total of 48.5. Tulsa travels to South Florida on ESPNU as an 8.5-point road favorite with an over/under of 55.5. Michigan State plays at Indiana on FS1 as a 4.5-point favorite with a total of 48. Fifteen games between FBS opponents start from 3:30 PM ET to 6 PM ET. Seven games are on national television at 3:30 PM ET. Georgia hosts Kentucky on CBS as a 21.5-point favorite with an over/under of 44.5. Iowa plays at home against Purdue on ABC as an 11.5-point favorite with a total of 43. Baylor is at home against BYU on ESPN as a 5-point favorite with an over/under of 51. Pittsburgh visits Virginia Tech on ESPN2 as a 5-point road favorite with a total of 56. Western Michigan hosts Kent State on ESPNU as a 7-point favorite with a total of 67.5. Fresno State travels to Wyoming on FS2 as a 3.5-point road favorite with an over/under of 53.5. Toledo plays at Central Michigan on the CBS Sports Network as a 5-point road favorite with a total of 52.5. Fifteen games between FBS opponents conclude the college football card from 7 PM ET to 10:30 PM ET. Two games begin on national television at 7 PM ET. Alabama travels to Mississippi State on ESPN as a 17-point road favorite with an over/under of 58.5. Utah State visits UNLV on the CBS Sports Network as a 7-point road favorite with an over/under of 62.5. Three games are on national television at 7:30 PM ET. Oklahoma hosts TCU on ABC as a 13.5-point favorite with a total of 64. Iowa State plays at Kansas State on ESPN2 as a 7-point road favorite with an over/under of 51. Stanford is at Washington State on ESPNU as a 1-point road favorite with a total of 52.5. Washington plays at home against UCLA on Fox at 8:30 PM ET as a 1.5-point favorite with an over/under of 55. Boise State plays at home against Air Force on FS1 as a 3.5-point favorite with a total of 52. Utah hosts Arizona State on ESPN at 10 PM ET as a 1.5-point favorite with an over/under of 51.5. Nevada plays at home against Hawaii on the CBS Sports Network at 10:30 PM ET as a 14-point favorite with a total of 60.5. The MLB playoffs continue with two games in the League Championship Series. Houston hosts Boston on Fox and FS1 at 4:20 PM ET. The Astros won the opening game of this series on Friday with their 5-4 victory against the Red Sox. Houston pitches Luis Garcia against Boston’s Nathan Eovaldi. The Astros are a -140 money line favorite with an over/under of 8.5. The Los Angeles Dodgers play at Atlanta on TBS at 8:07 PM ET. Max Scherzer pitches for the Dodgers against Max Fried of the Braves. Los Angeles is a -135 money line favorite with a total of 8. Fourteen games are on the NHL docket. Buffalo hosts Arizona at 1 PM ET as a -120 money line favorite with an over/under of 5.5. Florida plays at home against the New York Islanders at 6 PM ET as a -135 money line favorite with a total of 5.5. Seven NHL games start at 7 PM ET. Pittsburgh plays at home against Chicago as a -175 money line favorite with an over/under of 6. Tampa Bay visits Washington as a -130 money line road favorite with a total of 6.5. Columbus is at home against Seattle as a -110 money line favorite with an over/under of 6. Boston hosts Dallas as a -110 money line favorite with a total of 6. Toronto is at home against Ottawa as a -260 money line favorite with an over/under of 6. Montreal plays at home against the New York Rangers as a -110 money line favorite with a total of 6. Vancouver travels to Detroit as a -125 money line road favorite with an over/under of 5.5. Carolina plays at Nashville at 8 PM ET as a -115 money line road favorite with a total of 6. Colorado hosts St. Louis at 9 PM ET as a -170 money line favorite with an over/under of 5.5. Two games start at 10 PM ET. Edmonton plays at home against Calgary as a -145 money line favorite with a total of 6.5. Winnipeg visits San Jose as a -135 money line road favorite with an over/under of 6. Minnesota visits the Los Angeles Kings at 10:30 PM ET as a -125 money line road favorite with a total of 5.5. Two games conclude Week 11 in the Canadian Football League on ESPN+. Montreal travels to Ottawa at 4 PM ET as a 5.5-point road favorite with an over/under of 46.5. British Columbia plays at home against Calgary at 7 PM ET as a 3-point favorite with a total of 44.Matchweek 8 of the English Premier League begins with seven matches. Liverpool visits Watford on Peacock at 7 AM ET as a 1.5-goal line road favorite with an over/under of 3. Five games begin at 10 AM ET. Aston Villa hosts Wolverhampton on the NBC Sports Network as a -0.5 goal line favorite with a total of 2.5. Manchester United travels to Leicester City on the USA Network as a -0.5 goal line road favorite with an over/under of 2.5. Manchester City hosts Burnley on Peacock as a -2.5 goal line favorite with a total of 3.5. Brighton and Hove Albion plays at Norwich City on Peacock as a -0.5 goal line road favorite with an over/under of 2.5. Leeds United visits Southampton on Peacock in a pick ‘em matchup with a total of 3. Chelsea travels to Brentford on NBC at 12:30 PM ET as a -1 goal line road favorite with an over/under of 2.5. 

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NBA Win Totals - Some Solid Value

by ASA, Inc.

Friday, Oct 15, 2021

If you are a sports fan, this is the absolute best time of year. For the next few weeks there will probably be too much to watch and no shortage of bets to hit on. The sweet spot where football season is in full swing, playoff baseball is on almost every night, the NHL just kicked off, and the NBA starts on Tuesday. Some of the best NBA season long bets we like look at the win totals of 3 teams that hold good value. Timberwolves over 34.5 winsMinnesota won 23 games last year in a shortened season of only 72 games. They were also gutted by injuries with their 4 leading scorers each missing an average of 22 games. A core of Karl-Anthony Towns, D’Angelo Russell, Anthony Edwards, and Malik Beasley is quite solid compared to the bottom teams in the West. All 4 of those players averaged over 19ppg last year and if they can simply stay healthy, over 34.5 seems easily reachable. Suns Under 51.5The Suns are coming off a magical run last season but we expect a bit of a Finals hangover. It is widely talked about how taxing a deep run to the Finals can be, adding an extra 3 months to the season that other teams use to rest. Phoenix still has a great mix of young talent (Booker, Ayton, Bridges, Johnson) along with veteran presence. Unfortunately, Chris Paul has had injury trouble before, and he is not getting any younger. The Jazz, Nuggets, Lakers, Warriors, Clippers will all have had longer off seasons and make up a loaded Western Conference. Rockets Under 27.5 This roster is terrible and they are in the middle of a full rebuild. Houston may even ship more assets mid-season in order to acquire picks moving forward. The Christian Wood led Rockets went 17-55 last year. Jalen Green will be the future here but will have plenty of growing pains in what will surely be an inefficient rookie season. Ranking 27th in both offensive and defensive efficiency a year ago, the 2021-2022 season will not be a fun once for Rockets fans.  Watch for all the NBA action daily from ASA here and good luck this season.

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Big Al's Daily Angle: NCAAF, MLB, NHL, WNBA and CFL Previews and Odds - 10/15/2021

by Big Al Staff

Friday, Oct 15, 2021

The Friday sports card features action in NCAAF, MLB, NHL, WNBA, and the CFL.Week 7 in the college football season continues with four games. Clemson visits Syracuse on ESPN at 7 PM ET. The Tigers come off a 19-13 win against Boston College as a 14.5-point favorite on October 2nd. The Orange lost in overtime at home to Wake Forest, 40-37, as a 5.5-point favorite on Saturday. Clemson is a 13.5-point road favorite with a total set at 45 (all odds from DraftKings). Marshall travels to North Texas on the CBS Sports Network at 7 PM ET. The Thundering Herd ended a three-game losing streak with a 20-13 win in overtime against Old Dominion as a 21.5-point favorite on Saturday. The Mean Green lost their fourth straight game with a 48-35 loss at Missouri as an 18.5-point underdog on Saturday. Marshall is an 11-point road favorite with an over/under of 66.5.Oregon hosts California on ESPN at 10:30 PM ET. The Ducks come off a 31-24 upset loss in overtime at Stanford as an 8.5-point favorite on October 2nd. The Golden Bears have lost two in a row after their 21-6 loss at Washington State as a 7.5-point favorite on October 2nd. Oregon is a 13.5-point favorite with a total of 54.San Diego State plays at San Jose State on the CBS Sports Network at 10:30 PM ET. The Aztecs won their fifth straight game to start the season with their 31-7 win against New Mexico as a 19.5-point favorite on Saturday. The Spartans have lost two of three with their 32-14 loss at Colorado State as a 3.5-point underdog on Saturday. San Diego State is a 9.5-point road favorite with an over/under of 45. The first game in the American League Championship Series begins at 8:07 PM ET, with Houston hosting Boston at 8:07 PM ET. The Astros have won five of their last six games after defeating the Chicago White Sox in four games with a 10-1 victory on the road on Tuesday. The Red Sox have won seven of their last eight games with their 6-5 victory against Tampa Bay to end their series in four games on Monday. Framber Valdez pitches for Houston against Chris Sale for Boston. The Astros are a -140 money line favorite with a total of 8.5. Three games are on the NHL docket. New Jersey hosts Chicago at 7 PM ET as a -125 money line favorite with 6. Phoenix plays at home against Vancouver at 7 PM ET as a -160 money line favorite with an over/under of 6. Minnesota plays at Anaheim at 10 PM ET as a -155 money line road favorite with a total of 5.5.Chicago plays at home against Phoenix on ESPN at 9 PM ET in the third game of the WNBA finals. The Mercury evened the series at 1-1 with their 91-86 victory as a 4.5-point favorite on Wednesday. The Sky are a 3-point home favorite with an over/under of 167.Week 11 in the Canadian Football League begins with Winnipeg traveling to Edmonton. The Blue Bombers won their sixth straight game after their 30-3 victory against Edmonton as a 9.5-point favorite last Friday. The Elks have lost in a row after a 30-3 loss at Winnipeg as a 9.5-point underdog on Friday. Winnipeg is a 12-point road favorite with a total of 43.

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Four 2021-22 NBA Win Total Projections

by Nelly's Sports

Thursday, Oct 14, 2021

The NBA season will officially start on Tuesday night and for the first time in two years the league will have an 82-game schedule as traditional win total assessments are back in order. Here are a handful of win total selections worthy of consideration ahead of the 2021-22 NBA season.  Toronto Raptors OVER 35.5 Toronto failed to make the playoffs last season going just 27-45 but the Raptors had a -0.4 average scoring differential, a figure that was better than three teams that did reach the play-in games. After going 53-19 in 2019-20 with one of the best home courts edges in the league, Toronto was only 16-20 at home last season but remember all those games were played in Florida, not in Toronto. The Raptors have clearance to play north of the border this season and stricter protocols and penalties in Canada could lead to some opponents being shorthanded when visiting.  While Kyle Lowry being traded this summer signals a rebuild, Nick Nurse is still regarded as one of the best coaches in the league in terms of adjustments and personnel management and the roster looks strong enough to compete in an Eastern Conference that has a few great teams but looks wide open after that. Pascal Siakam will miss several weeks to start the season, but Toronto played through multiple different rosters last season. OG Anunoby had a breakthrough season while midseason acquisition Gary Trent proved to be a nice fit. Malachi Flynn had a nice rookie season while Goran Dragic adds stability to an excellent backcourt alongside Fred VanVleet as this looks like a .500 caliber team that can climb back into the playoff race.  Chicago Bulls OVER 42.5 Not unlike Toronto, Chicago had a 31-41 record last season despite a -0.9 average scoring differential as this was a competitive team that likely deserved a slightly stronger record. The opportunity to move up in the Eastern Conference is there with Washington and Charlotte much worse scoring teams than the Bulls last season while the Knicks, Hawks, and Heat have metrics that suggest a regression is ahead this season after being solid playoff teams in the top six last year.  Not too much stock should be put on the NBA preseason, but the Bulls have been one of the more impressive teams this October. The pairing of Lonzo Ball and Zach LaVine in the backcourt has a lot of potential while having Nikola Vucevic for the entire season should pay dividends. Patrick Williams had a solid rookie season and acquiring DeMar DeRozan does add some experience to this team even if his impact may be overstated. The Bulls were a winning team from mid-April to the end of the season last year despite falling short of the play-in field. Billy Donovan’s only losing season as an NBA head coach was last year as his track record does deserve some respect as well.  Portland Trailblazers UNDER 44.5 The Western Conference is stacked with quality teams and the expectations from most expect that the Warriors and Lakers are going to jump back to being top tier contenders this season. Those wins will have to be taken from someone else in the West as a few of the teams that were in the middle of the playoff pack last season seem likely to tumble in the standings in 2021-22. Portland is a prime candidate for a slide after going 42-30 last season but with just a +1.8 average scoring differential. Portland was only 32-28 before a 10-2 run to close the regular season last year, passing up the Lakers for the #6 spot in the West and this team does not project to be much better than a .500 squad over 82 games.  Portland had a minimal home court edge last season at just 20-16 and this is a team with a first-time head coach in Chauncey Billups after Terry Stotts was let go despite eight straight playoff appearances and a trip to the conference finals in the last full season. It isn’t clear what Billups will offer in that role but the preseason returns for Portland have been poor so far. To what extent the rumblings about Damian Lillard seeking a trade in the offseason are true remain unknown but this does seem like a situation with more volatility than most. The Blazers are opening the season with a lengthy injury report right now and eight of the first 14 will be road games as a slow start in the transition seems likely.  Dallas Mavericks UNDER 48.5 With a matching 42-30 record to Portland last season and an average scoring differential of just +2.2 Dallas was a clear step below the top four in the Western Conference last season. Add improvement to the Lakers and Warriors this season and Dallas could lose some ground after being the only top six playoff team in the West last season that didn’t have a winning record in the Western Conference. Luka Doncic is a serious MVP threat that will post big numbers, but the roster does not look much different than last season with Reggie Bullock and Frank Ntilikina the only notable additions.  Josh Richardson and JJ Redick are notable departures from last season and Richardson was the team’s fifth leading scorer last season. While Dallas has plenty of quality outside shooters on the roster, the team looks thin up front and Kristaps Porzingas and Maxi Kleber both battled injuries much of last season. Dwight Powell is moving into a starting role despite mostly being a reserve in his career. A bigger issue may be the coaching change with Rick Carlisle owning a tremendous track record as the head coach of the Mavericks. Jason Kidd is a below .500 NBA coach in 373 games with two teams and his personal baggage will add extra pressure to question the hire if things don’t start smoothly. 

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NFL Week 6: Top 10 Teams

by Wayne Root

Thursday, Oct 14, 2021

1. Buffalo Bills, 4-1 There’s currently a gap between the Bills and everyone else. So it's only right to put the Bills at No. 1 after a convincing win in Kansas City. Josh Allen has the offense humming and this team looks like its the best in the AFC right now. Difficult MNF game this week.  2. Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 4-1 Remember Tom Brady's inexplicable loss on "Thursday Night Football" against the Bears last year? Yeah, he probably does too. However, Brady continues to play ridiculous football for his age and the Bucs' lock in at No. 2  3. Arizona Cardinals, 5-0  The last unbeaten team still has work to do to get to the very top of the list.The Cardinals weren’t great against the 49ers last week…but won. The defense has come around and was flying all over the field against the 49ers and if that's sustained, the Cardinals look like a legitimate threat in the NFC.  4. Los Angeles Rams, 4-1  Are the Rams even the best team in L.A? The gap is getting narrower. The Rams got a little bit of a break with Russell Wilson getting hurt, but anytime you leave Seattle with a win, it's a good thing. They’re a double digit favorite this week.   5. Los Angeles Chargers, 4-1 What a game against the Browns. Justin Herbert is crazy good and the Chargers are for real. They don’t like to punt or kick field goals and get huge smiles at any fourth and whatever. They”ll go for it from anywhere. They need to play a powerhouse team and win both sides of the ball to prove a few things.   6. Dallas Cowboys, 4-1  Putting up 44 on the Giants is good. Maybe not great but more than expected. The Cowboys have been enjoying a soft schedule the last few weeks and they have another game they should win Sunday at New England. Both sides of the ball are in harmony.   7. Baltimore Ravens, 4-1  The Ravens were awfully sleepy early against the Colts, but woke up in a big way. The Ravens discovered their passing game, by necessity. That could take the offense, and the team, to new heights. Lamar Jackson had an all-time performance.  8. Cleveland Browns, 3-2 They could be 5-0. After Sunday, they actually could be 3-3. The Browns tried to out score the Chargers and forgot about playing any kind of defense. They'll face a tough test this week against The Gunslinger from Arizona.   9. Green Bay Packers, 4-1  Their all-star kicker had three misses before getting lucky to even get another opportunity from the Bengals. It certainly wasn't pretty, but the Packers survived in Cincinnati. They can seize control of the NFC North with a win at Soldier Field Sunday.  10. Kansas City Chiefs, 2-3  The Chiefs are still very talented, but they seem stuck in the classic Super Bowl hangover. The good news is they have Patrick Mahomes and can probably get out of it. After Mahomes big payday, does KC have any money left for defense? Who would have predicted they’d be under .500 after five weeks.   —————— They’re coming after you!! 11. Cincinnati 12. Tennessee  13. New Orleans  14. Seattle  15. Denver

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Big Al's Daily Angle: MLB, NFL, NCAAF and NHL Previews and Odds - 10/14/2021

by Big Al Staff

Thursday, Oct 14, 2021

The Thursday sports card features action in the NFL, NCAAF, MLB, and the NHL.The sixth week of the NFL regular season kicks off with Tampa Bay visiting Philadelphia on Fox and the NFL Network at 8:20 PM ET. The Buccaneers improved their record to 4-1 with a 45-17 victory against Miami as an 11-point favorite last Sunday. The Eagles ended a three-game losing streak with a 21-18 upset win at Carolina as a 2.5-point underdog on Sunday. Philadelphia raised their record to 2-3. Tampa Bay is a 6.5-point road favorite with the total set at 52.5 (all odds from DraftKings).The seventh week in college football continues with two games. Memphis hosts Navy on ESPN at 7:30 PM ET. The Tigers dropped their third game in a row with a 35-29 loss at Tulsa as a 3-point underdog on Saturday. They are 3-3 on the season. The Midshipmen fell to 1-4 with a 31-24 loss to SMU as a 13.5-point underdog on Saturday. Memphis is a 10.5-point favorite with an over/under of 56. South Alabama plays at home against Georgia Southern on ESPNU at 7:30 PM ET. The Jaguars fell to 3-2 this season with their 33-31 upset loss in overtime at Texas State as a 4-point favorite last Saturday. The Eagles have lost four of five games after a 27-24 loss at Troy as a 5.5-point underdog on Saturday. Georgia Southern fired head coach Chad Lunsford before that game. They are 2-4 on the season. South Alabama is a 3-point favorite with a total of 50. The Divisional Series of the MLB playoffs conclude with Los Angeles Dodgers playing in San Francisco against the Giants on TBS at 9:07 PM ET. The Dodgers forced the final game of this best-of-five series with a 7-2 win at home on Tuesday. Los Angeles pitches Julio Urias against San Francisco’s Logan Webb. The Dodgers are a -110 money line road favorite with an over/under of 7. The winner hosts the Atlanta Braves in the first game of the National League Championship Series on Saturday. Nine games are on the National Hockey League docket. Six games drop the puck at 7 PM ET. Montreal visits Buffalo as a -140 money line road favorite with a total of 6. Toronto travels to Ottawa as a -175 money line road favorite with an over/under of 6. Florida plays at home against Pittsburgh as a -190 money line favorite with a total of 6. The New York Rangers are at home against Dallas as a -120 money line favorite with an over/under of 6. Carolina hosts the New York Islanders as a -125 money line favorite with a total of 5.5. Columbus is at home against Arizona as a -135 money line favorite with an over/under of 5.5. Tampa Bay travels to Detroit at 7:30 PM ET as a -250 money line road favorite with a total of 6. Nashville plays at home against Seattle at 8 PM ET as a -125 money line favorite with an over/under of 5.5. Vegas visits Los Angeles to play the Kings at 9:30 PM ET as a -155 money line road favorite with a total of 5.5. 

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NFL Week 6 Breakdown

by Will Rogers

Wednesday, Oct 13, 2021

BEST GAME – Los Angeles Chargers at Baltimore (-3)Los Angeles 4-1 SU, 4-1 ATSBaltimore 4-1 SU, 2-3 ATSIt might be time to start taking the Chargers seriously, and maybe get QB Justin Herbert involved in the MVP conversation. Going up against a more-than-decent Browns defense, Herbert merely tossed five touchdown passes and threw for 398 yards. He has zero turnovers in the last three games, and if he can make it four in a row in this battle of division leaders, the LAC will be knee deep in AFC East title talk. But the Ravens never make things easy for anyone in Baltimore, and figure to try to run the ball down the throats of a Charger defense that is ranked dead last against the run this season.WORST GAME – Miami at Jacksonville (+3.5)Miami 1-4 SU, 2-3 ATSJacksonville 0-5 SU, 1-4 ATSOK, if you were the coach of the winless Jags and were full steam ahead toward being the worst team in pro football for the second straight season, you’d want to pound a few and let loose in a bar, too. But the ice is cracking under the feet of Urban Meyer, and if any coach ever needed a win more than Meyer does this week, you name him. The only interesting thing about this game, other than that it will be played in London, is the possible return of Fins QB Tua Tagovailoa. London pub-goers will be ready with their cell phone cameras in case Meyer drops in to check out the local birds on Saturday night.BIGGEST SPREAD – Los Angeles Rams at New York Giants (+10.5)Los Angeles 4-1 SU, 3-2 ATSNew York 1-4 SU, 2-3 ATSThe Giants were hoping that QB Daniel Jones would take a big step in this, his third season. Instead, he was unable to walk without stumbling on Sunday after suffering a concession in a blowout loss to the Cowboys. Now the NYG will probably be without him in Week 6 as they limp through what is looking like yet another lost season. BTW, RB Saquon Barkley and WR Kenny Golladay were also knocked out of the Dallas game. Assuming that the Giants don’t put up much of a fight and use this week to get their key players semi-healthy, the Rams should still be able to cover double-digits as they try to keep pace with undefeated Arizona in the NFC West.SMALLEST SPREAD – Minnesota at Carolina (-1.5)Minnesota 2-3 SU, 2-3 ATSCarolina 3-2 SU, 3-2 ATSGreg Joseph’s field goal as time expired on Sunday saved Minnesota’s victory over winless Detroit, and might have also saved his coach’s job. That it came down to the wire, at home no less, is an indictment of the Vikings, who were roasted for conservative play-calling against the Lions. The Panthers, meanwhile, have their own problems – especially on the offensive line – and are in a fade pattern with two straight losses after a 3-0 start. Oddsmakers opened with this one a PK as both teams will spend this week trying to sort out their myriad issues.LARGEST TOTAL – Kansas City at Washington (55.5)Kansas City 2-3 SU, 1-4 ATSWashington 2-3 SU, 1-4 ATSThe WFT is giving up a ton of points this season – more than 31 a game. The Chiefs respond by saying “Hold my beer,” checking in with a D that has given up more than 33 per. It should all add up to an offensive show in Landover, with offenses dominating against laissez-faire defenders. Both the Chiefs and WFT have been lousy cover teams so far this season, and Washington is a 6-point home dog in this one.SMALLEST TOTAL – Seattle at Pittsburgh (42.5)Seattle 2-3 SU, 2-3 ATSPittsburgh 2-3 SU, 2-3 ATSWith Russell Wilson down for 4 to 8 weeks with an injured throwing hand, the Seattle offense has now been turned over to Gene Smith (he of butt fumble fame). Smith’s job now is to keep the Seahawks afloat until Wilson can return (the time frame is 4 to 8 weeks) for what is believed to be his final season in the Pacific Northwest. Meanwhile, in Pittsburgh talk of Ben Roethlisberger walking away mid-season was doused by the Steelers’ win over Denver. Five of 14 games in Week 6, BTW, have totals 50 points or higher. This game opened at Pittsburgh -3.5 before being bet up to 4.5.

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Big Al's Daily Angle: WNBA, NHL and Soccer Previews and Odds - 10/13/2021

by Big Al Staff

Wednesday, Oct 13, 2021

The Wednesday sports card features action in the WNBA, NHL, and World Cup qualifying matches. The second game of the WNBA finals takes place on ESPN at 9 PM ET. Chicago won the opener of this best-of-five series with their 91-77 upset victory at Phoenix as a 3-point underdog on Sunday. Kahleah Cooper led all scorers with 21 points, and she added ten rebounds for the Sky. Allie Quigley added 18 points, and former Finals Most Valuable Player Candace Parker contributed 16 points, eight rebounds, and three assists in the victory. The Mercury got 20 points and six rebounds from Brittney Griner. The backcourt of Diana Taurasi and Skylar Diggins-Smith combined for 32 points on 10 of 19 shooting. Phoenix is a 4-point favorite with the total set at 169 (all odds from DraftKings unless indicated otherwise). Five games are on the National Hockey League docket. Toronto hosts Montreal at 7:08 to begin the card. The Maple Leafs lost to the Canadiens in their seven-game opening-round playoff series last season after taking a 3-1 lead after the first four games. Auston Matthews is out for at least the first three games of the season with a wrist injury. Mitch Marner is questionable with an upper-body injury. Montreal lost to Tampa Bay in the Stanley Cup finals in five games. They lost Phillip Danault and Jesperi Kotkaniemi in free agency in the offseason but added forward Mike Hoffman from St. Louis. Goaltender Carey Price is not with the team after entering the league’s 30-day mental health leave program. Toronto is a -180 money line favorite with an over/under of 6.Washington plays at home against the New York Rangers on TNT at 7:38 PM ET. The Capitals lost in five games in the opening round of the playoffs last year to Boston. Nicklas Backstrom is out with a hip injury, and Alex Ovechkin is questionable with a lower-body injury. The Rangers begin their new era under head coach Gerard Gallant after missing the playoffs last season. The former Vegas Golden Knights coach will have former Tampa Bay Lightning forward Barclay Goodrow, who the team signed in free agency. Washington is a -130 money line favorite with a total of 6.Three games start at 10:08 PM ET. Winnipeg travels to Anaheim. The Jets got swept by Montreal in the second round of the playoffs last season. They will be without Mark Scheifele tonight, who continues to serve the suspension he incurred in that series. The Ducks missed the playoffs last year. Winnipeg is a -150 money line road favorite with an over/under of 5.5. Colorado is at home against Chicago on TNT. The Avalanche lost to Vegas in the West Division finals in six games. They lost goaltender Phillip Grubauer to the Seattle Kraken in free agency in the offseason. The Aves signed goalie Darcy Kuemper from Arizona to take his spot. Nathan MacKinnon is out for tonight after a positive COVID test. The Blackhawks acquired former Golden Knights goalie Marc-Andre Fleury in a trade with Vegas to become their new number one goaltender. Chicago also added defenseman Seth Jones from Columbus and forward Tyler Johnson from Tampa Bay. Colorado is a -210 money line favorite with a total of 6. Edmonton hosts Vancouver in a battle of Pacific Division foes. The Oilers got swept in the opening round of the playoffs against Winnipeg. They added forward depth in Zach Hyman, Warren Foegele, and Derek Ryan in free agency to support Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl. The Canucks missed the playoffs last year in a season racked by COVID postponements. They added defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson in the offseason. Forward Brock Boeser is out tonight with an injury. Edmonton is a -185 money line favorite with an over/under of 6.5.The World Cup qualification matches for CONCACAF teams continue on Wednesday with four games. The USMNT plays at Lower.com Field in Columbus, Ohio, against Costa Rica on ESPN2 at 7 PM ET. The Stars and Stripes are a -1 goal line favorite with a total of 2.5. (all soccer odds from Play MGM). Canada plays at home against Panama at 7:30 PM ET. Honduras is at home against Jamaica at 8:05 PM ET as a -0.5 goal line favorite with an over/under of 2. Mexico visits El Salvador at 10:10 PM ET as a -1 goal line road favored with a total of 2.5.

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Big Al's Daily Angle: NCAAF, MLB and NHL Previews and Odds - 10/12/2021

by Big Al Staff

Tuesday, Oct 12, 2021

The Tuesday sports card features action in the NCAAF, MLB, and the NHL.The seventh week of the college football regular season kicks off with Appalachian State traveling to Louisiana-Lafayette on ESPN2 in a showdown in the Sun Belt Conference. The Mountaineers improved their record to 4-1 with a 45-16 victory against Georgia State as a 10.5-point favorite on October 2nd. Appalachian State’s lone loss was at Miami (FL), 25-23, as a 7-point road underdog. They have victories against East Carolina, Elon, Marshall, and the Panthers to begin the month. The Ragin’ Cajuns have won four in a row after their 20-18 victory at South Alabama as a 12-point favorite on October 2nd. Louisiana opened their season with a 38-18 loss at Texas before rattling off four straight wins against Nicholls State, Ohio, Georgia Southern, and the Jaguars earlier this month. Louisiana upset Appalachian State last season with a 24-21 win in Boone as a 3-point underdog. The Ragin’ Cajuns were avenging two losses to the Mountaineers the previous year, including the Sun Belt championship game. Louisiana reached their third straight conference championship game last year before their opportunity for revenge against a Coastal Carolina team that beat them earlier in the year got canceled because of COVID.Appalachian State is a 5-point road favorite with the total set at 57 (all odds from DraftKings).The MLB playoffs continue with three games in the divisional series. The Chicago White Sox play at home against Houston on FS1 at 2:07 PM ET in make-up for the Monday afternoon game that got postponed because of rain. The White Sox avoided elimination in this best-of-five series on Saturday with a 12-6 victory against the Astros. Houston holds a 2-1 lead in the series. Carlos Rodon pitches for the White Sox against Lance McCullers of the Astros. Chicago is a -120 money line favorite with an over/under of 8.5. Atlanta is at home against Milwaukee on TBS at 5:15 PM ET. The Braves took a 2-1 lead in the series with a 3-0 victory against the Brewers on Monday. Los Angeles hosts San Francisco on TBS at 9:07 PM ET. The Giants have a 2-1 lead in the series after their 1-0 win on the road against the Dodgers on Monday. The 2021-22 season in the National Hockey League begins with two games on ESPN. Tampa Bay plays at home against Pittsburgh at 7:30 PM ET. The Lightning won their second straight Stanley Cup championship last season with their six-game victory against the Montreal Canadiens in the Stanley Cup finals. They return this season without their third forward line of Yanni Gourde, Barclay Goodrow, and Blake Coleman who all joined other teams in the offseason. Pittsburgh was beaten by the New York Islanders in six games in the playoffs last year. The Penguins will be without Sidney Crosby, Evgeny Malkin, and Jake Kuentzel for this game. Crosby is out a few games with a wrist injury, and Kuentzel is on the COVID list. Malkin is out until November or December with a knee injury. Tampa Bay is a -210 money line favorite with a total of 6.Vegas hosts Seattle at 10 PM ET. The Golden Knights lost in the semifinals of the playoffs last year in six games to Montreal. The team traded goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury to Chicago in the offseason, establishing Robin Lehner as their number one goalie. The Kraken make their NHL debut as an expansion team playing against the league's previous expansion club. Seattle appears to be a  quality defensive club with veteran goaltender Philipp Grubaur between the pipes and Mark Giordano and Adam Larsson as the top blue line pair. Jarod McCann, Jordan Eberle, and Jaden Schwartz are three of their experienced forwards. Vegas is a -260 money line favorite with an over/under of 5.5.

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