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Big Al's Daily Angle: MLB Previews and Odds - 08/16/2022

by Big Al Staff

Tuesday, Aug 16, 2022

The Tuesday sports card features MLB action.Major League Baseball has 15 games on its schedule. Two games throw out the first pitch at 6:40 PM ET. San Diego visits Miami with Sean Manaea taking the ball for the Padres to pitch against Edward Cabrera for the Marlins. The Padres are a -150 money line road favorite with the total set at 7.5. Philadelphia plays at Cincinnati with the Phillies turning to Kyle Gibson in their starting rotation to pitch against the Reds’ T.J. Zeuch. The Phillies are a -180 money line road favorite with an over/under of 9.5. Three MLB games start at 7:05 PM ET. New York hosts Tampa Bay on TBS, with Nestor Cortes taking the mound for the Yankees to battle against Jeffrey Springs for the Rays. The Yankees are a -170 money line favorite with a total of 7.5. Chicago travels to Washington with the Cubs tapping Justin Steele to duel against the Nationals’ Patrick Corbin. The Cubs are a -155 money line road favorite with an over/under of 8.5. Boston plays at Pittsburgh with Nick Pivetta getting the start for the Red Sox to pitch against Mitch Keller for the Pirates. The Red Sox are a -135 money line road favorite with an over/under of 8.5. The Toronto Blue Jays are at home against the Baltimore Orioles at 7:07 PM ET. The Blue Jays turn to Alek Manoah in their starting rotation against the Orioles’ Dean Kremer. Toronto is a -225 money line favorite with a total of 9. The Cleveland Guardians host the Detroit Tigers at 7:10 PM ET. Zach Plesac takes the hill for the Guardians to pitch against the Tigers Garrett Hill. Cleveland is a -210 money line favorite with an over/under of 8.5. The Atlanta Braves play at home against the New York Mets at 7:20 PM ET. The Braves tap Charlie Morton as their starting pitcher go against the Mets’ Taijuan Walker. Atlanta is a -150 money line favorite with a total of 8.5. The Minnesota Twins are at home against Kansas City at 7:40 PM ET. Sonny Gray gets the start for the Twins to duel against Zack Greinke for the Royals. Minnesota is a -190 money line favorite with an over/under of 8.5. The St. Louis Cardinals play at home against the Colorado Rockies at 7:45 PM ET. The Cardinals turn to Jose Quintana to pitch against the Rockies’ Kyle Freeland. St. Louis is a -230 money line favorite with a total of 7.5. The Oakland A’s visit Texas to play the Rangers at 8:05 PM ET. J.P. Sears gets the pitching assignment for the A’s against Kohei Arihara for the Rangers. Two more MLB games begin at 8:10 PM ET. Milwaukee plays at home against Los Angeles with the Brewers tapping Brandon Woodruff to pitch against the Dodgers’ Ryan Pepiot. The Brewers are a -125 money line favorite with an over/under of 8. Houston plays at Chicago with Justin Verlander taking the mound for the Astros’ to pitch against Dylan Cease for the White Sox. The Astros are a -125 money line road favorite with a total of 7.The Seattle Mariners travel to Los Angeles to play the Angels at 9:38 PM ET. The Mariners have Robbie Ray take the mound to battle against the Angels’ Jose Suarez. Seattle is a -175 money line road favorite with an over/under of 7.5. The San Francisco Giants host the Arizona Diamondbacks at 9:45 PM ET. Jakob Junis takes the ball for the Giants to pitch against Merrill Kelly for the Diamondbacks. San Francisco is a -115 money line favorite with a total of 8.

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2022 Texas Tech Red Raiders Preview

by Matt Fargo

Monday, Aug 15, 2022

Texas Tech Red Raiders2021-22 Season Record 7-6 (3-6 Big 12) - 7-5-1 ATS - 5-8-0 O/UReturning StartersOffense - 6Defense - 6OverviewNot since the days of Mike Leach has Texas Tech been prominent in the Big 12 Conference, let alone nationally. The last winning record in the conference came in 2009 which was his last year on the sidelines and the Red Raiders have maxed out at four wins, which they have done three times, over the past 12 seasons. Tommy Tuberville got them to two bowl games in three years, Kliff Kingsbury got them to three bowl games in six years and most recently, Matt Wells was partially responsible for one bowl game in just over two and a half seasons before leaving after eight games last year. Joey McGuire takes over this season after spending the last two years at Baylor working with the defense and this is his first crack as a collegiate head coach and first time being higher than a position coach. He was a renowned high school coach in Texas so he will be able to recruit but will that be enough?  OffenseThe offense slipped in all three years under Wells and last season, the Red Raiders finished No. 61 in total offense and No. 53 in scoring offense and they need to get some of that offensive groove back. McGuire hired Zach Kittley as offensive coordinator, the same position he held at Western Kentucky last season and he was a GA for three seasons at Texas Tech under Kingsbury so he knows his offense and the culture here. The quarterback situation remains unclear but it is not a bad situation as Tyler Shough, Donovan Smith and Behren Morton are all fighting for the spot and all are capable of running this offense. The two top receivers are gone but there is depth from a group that will make plays. Running backs SaRodorick Thompson and Tajh Brooksrushed for over 1,000 yards and 17 touchdowns so they will get theirs. Only two starters are back on the offensive line where pass protection will be key. DefenseUnlike the offense, the defense improved over the last two seasons but it was certainly nothing special as last year, Texas Tech finished No. 91 in total defense and No. 104 in scoring defense. McGuire brought in Tim DeRuyter to run the unit where he has had some success in his previous stops and they will be a lot more aggressive. The defensive line was good at getting to the quarterback as Tyree Wilson, Jaylon Hutchings and Tony Bradford, Jr. combined for 14 sacks and all three are back to anchor the front. The linebackers took a hit losing two of the top four tacklers on the team and they are going to rely upon veterans Krishon Merriweather and Jesiah Pierre while bringing in transfer help. Four seniors will start in the secondary led by safeties Dadrion Taylor-Demerson and Reggie Pearson, Jr. who combined for 116 tackles but corners Rayshad Williams and Adrian Frye need to make plays. 2022 Season OutlookThis will be an interesting season in Lubbock as the program hired a defensive coach, a position that is not uttered around there often, to lead the team to take pressure off of the offense that will be learning a brand new system but one that has the potential to explode. On paper, both units should be a lot better but it could take some time and the early part of the schedule does not give them a lot of leeway. The Red Raiders host Murray St. in the opener which is a good game to get the feet wet but then they host Houston, are at NC State and then welcome Texas for the Big 12 opener and if things do not gel quick, a 1-3 start is very possible. The remainder of the conference slate has four games both at home and on the road, each dotted with tough matchups in a wide open Big 12. The O/U win total is set at 5.5 and this looks to be a pass with too many new parts to decipher so early. 

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2022 Texas St. Bobcats Preview

by Matt Fargo

Monday, Aug 15, 2022

Texas St. Bobcats2021-22 Season Record 4-8 (3-5 SBC West) - 7-5-0 ATS -5-7-0 O/UReturning StartersOffense - 10Defense - 6OverviewTexas St. joined the FBS ranks in 2012 under head coach Dennis Franchione for a one year stint in the WAC before going to the Sun Belt Conference in 2013 where it posted a 13-11 record in the first two years but it has been all downhill since. The Bobcats have endured seven straight losing seasons, compiling a 19-65 record over that stretch and is still seeking the first bowl game for the program. Current head coach Jake Spavital is entering his fourth season and while a 4-8 record last year is hardly a big move, it was the best record over the past seven years and can provide some necessary confidence to a team in dire need of something positive. Texas St. returns 16 starters and has a No. 23 returning production ranking including No. 7 on offense where some big steps forward are expected. This could be the make or break year for Spavital as he leans on a veteran group. OffenseThe offense regressed slightly from 2020 which really did not make a difference as it was terrible to begin with and finished No. 104 in total offense and No. 101 in scoring offense. The running game was inconsistent, the passing game was nonexistent but they did avoid turning the ball over too much with 19 giveaways including just one over the last four games. Quarterback Brady McBride was not the answer and he left for Appalachian St. and it will be up to a trio of potential starters to take hold of the job led by Arkansas St. transfer Layne Hatcher who was not very good on a very bad team last season but this offense can fit his style. The backup from last season Ty Evans is also in the mix. The receiving corps is solidified with Javan Banks and Marcell Barbee combining for 1,068 yards and 10 touchdowns. The running game will have to step up and an experienced offensive line will help.  DefenseThe defense improved by over 60 ypg and five ppg but it was still bad as the Bobcats finished No. 106 in total defense and No. 109 in scoring defense. There are good core pieces in place but nothing stands out to provide any glimpse of significant improvement heading into the season. The Bobcats finished with only 18 sacks which was tied for No. 112 in the nation so a stronger pass rush is vital. Issiah Nixon led the team with four sacks and he returns in a hybrid role which means the defensive ends will have to step up and create pressure. The linebackers are the strength of the defense with Sione Tupou and London Harris combining for 108 tackles but need to do more behind the line. Texas St. had only 11 takeaways, which was No. 118 in the country, and that included just three interceptions, second fewest in the nation so the secondary needs to make plays happen. 2022 Season OutlookThere has been progress made in San Marcos but it has been very little and with so many teams in the Sun Belt Conference having taken a step up at some point over the last decade, the Bobcats have been unable to do so after a promising start in their first two seasons here. However, this is the first time in a while that there are expectations to improve even more and if things can go their way, the first ever bowl game is within reach. The nonconference schedule is in their favor as aside from a trip to Baylor, the three other games against Nevada, Florida International and Houston Baptist are all winnable. Conference action starts on the road at newcomer James Madison which is part of a tame road slate as they get Appalachian St. and UL-Lafayette at home. The O/U win total is set at 5 and playing seven teams that had losing records, avoiding any devastating losses is paramount.  

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2022 Texas A&M Aggies Preview

by Matt Fargo

Monday, Aug 15, 2022

Texas A&M Aggies2021-22 Season Record 8-4 (4-4 SEC West) - 7-5-0 ATS -5-7-0 O/UReturning StartersOffense - 7Defense - 5OverviewGood things are happening at Texas A&M where head coach Jimbo Fisher has firmly put his plan into place in the program and has compiled a 34-14 record in his first four seasons with the best yet to come, or at least that is the hope. It was supposed to start last season as the Aggies were the preseason No. 6 team in the country and crept up to No. 5 before opening 0-2 in the SEC. Instead of folding, they went out and defeated Alabama, as a new heated rivalry is being born, which sparked a four-game winning streak but losing the final two conference games left them out of the final top 25 poll. Only 12 starters are back but the Aggies are getting a lot of help via the transfer portal and they brought in the No. 1 recruiting class in the country amid controversy from Nick Saban of course so this should be the start of great things as long as they can navigate a tough schedule. OffenseThe offense was very inconsistent last season, scoring 34 or more points six times but putting up 24 or fewer points in the other six games including a pair of 10 spots. The Aggies finished No. 71 in total offense and No. 60 in scoring offense as the passing offense could never get going behind Zach Calzada but they are in a good position this year. Quarterback Max Johnson transfers in from LSU where he was great last season, passing for 2,815 yards with 27 touchdowns and just six interceptions while Haynes King, who opened last season as the starter before getting hurt in the second game, is back fully healthy so there is a good battle. The receiving corps needs to break out as they are loaded with speed but still young. Leading rusher Isaiah Spiller is gone but Devon Achane ran for 910 yards and nine touchdowns and will be behind a strong and experienced offensive line. DefenseStrong defense has been the steady force for Texas A&M and last year was no exception as it finished No. 20 in total defense and No. 3 in scoring defense but there are just five starters back that has a No. 91 returning production ranking. The defensive line took the biggest hit but it also has the biggest promise as this is where the majority of the top recruits are stationed and they will be thrown right into the proverbial fire to keep the unit afloat. The veteran linebackers will ease some of that transition as Edgerrin Cooper and Andre White, Jr. combined for 115 tackles and need to get more involved in the pass rush that loses 17 sacks from DeMarvin Leal and Tyree Johnson, both of which are with the Pittsburgh Steelers. The secondary is also loaded with prized recruits but nickel back Antonio Johnson and safety Demani Richardson headline the group after 144 combined tackles. 2022 Season OutlookBringing in the best recruiting class in the history of the program is a massive haul but it has to live up to expectations which starts right away. The Aggies are ranked No. 7 in the preseason coaches poll with Alabama and Georgia joining them from the SEC inside that ranking so hopes are high in College Station for the plan to take effect immediately. The nonconference schedule provides a good test early in the season as Texas A&M welcomes Sam Houston, the No. 1 seed in the FCS playoffs last year, Appalachian St. and Miami Fla. before the schedule really ramps up. Four consecutive games away from home are up next with a neutral game against Arkansas and road games at Mississippi St., Alabama and South Carolina before four of the final five games being at home. The O/U win total is set at 8.5 and there are a ton of early roadblocks that can prevent them getting to that number.  

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2022 Texas Longhorns Preview

by Matt Fargo

Monday, Aug 15, 2022

Texas Longhorns2021-22 Season Record 5-7 (3-6 Big 12) - 5-7-0 ATS -5-7-0 O/UReturning StartersOffense - 7Defense - 7OverviewAfter years of mediocrity in the 90s, former head coach Mack Brown got Texas back to the top, stringing together nine straight double-digit win seasons including a National Championship in 2005, part of six seasons where it was ranked No. 6 or better in the final AP Poll. Then the slide began as Brown was around for only four more seasons and Charlie Strong failed to produce a winning record in his three years and while Tom Herman posted four winning seasons in his four years including four bowl wins, it was not good enough. Current head coach Steve Sarkisian came in last season as the next savior and failed to put up a winning record as the Longhorns suffered a six-game losing streak that included an embarrassing home loss to Kansas as a 31-point favorite. Texas has good experience, welcome an incoming recruiting class ranked No. 5 and will rely on transfers in a pivotal year. OffenseThe offense took a step back from the two previous seasons but it was far from horrible as the Longhorns were ranked No. 49 in total offense and No. 20 in scoring offense but they came up small down the stretch and could not carry a poor defense during that losing streak. The rushing offense led the way, which was ranked No. 26 in nation, headed by running back Bijan Johnson who ran for 1,127 yards and 11 touchdowns at a 5.8 ypc clip and he will once again play a big part in the offense. Taking over at quarterback will be either Ohio St. transfer Quinn Ewers who is a former five-star recruit, or the back up from last season Hudson Card as neither is giving in during camp. Whoever wins the job, they will have Xavier Worthy to throw to after his 981 yards and 12 touchdowns last season. The makeshift offensive line that allowed 26 sacks received an upgrade and will be better. DefenseThe defense also regressed down the stretch, allowing 30 or more points in each of those six games of that losing streak including giving up 57 points in that Kansas game. Texas was ranked No. 100 in total defense and No. 97 in scoring defense and the defensive line took the most heat. They could not stop the run as they allowed 202.4 ypg on 5.2 ypc which was No. 115 in the country and they could not get to the opposing quarterback as they registered only 20 sacks, tied for No. 98 in the nation. A year of experience will do wonders for this unit. The linebackers led the way last season and should do so again behind DeMarvion Overshown and Luke Brockermeyer who were the top two tacklers with a combined 144 stops. Safeties Anthony Cook and Jerrin Thompson had 88 tackles between them and head an experienced secondary that will benefit from a bigger pass rush. 2022 Season OutlookTexas is off to the SEC either next season or in 2024 with the top ranked quarterback recruit in the country in Arch Manning but first things first, Texas has to do better now. There is talent all over the place, especially on offense where playmakers are prevalent and while the quarterback situation is muddy, it is a good problem to have with Ewers and Card having excellent camps. The Longhorns open at home against Louisiana-Monroe and then Sarkisian gets a shot at his former team as they face Alabama and while it is at home, it will be a tough ask to win. Facing every conference team keeps the playing field level for all teams and the Texas schedule is in its favor with the biggest true road test at Oklahoma St. and getting Iowa St. and Baylor at home. The O/U win total is set at 8 which is a fair number and it can go over by taking care of business at home and winning the road games it needs to.  

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Big Al's Daily Angle: MLB and EPL Previews and Odds - 08/15/2022

by Big Al Staff

Monday, Aug 15, 2022

The Monday sports card features MLB and EPL action.Major League Baseball has 14 games on its schedule. The Cleveland Guardians host the Detroit Tigers in the first game of their doubleheader at 3:10 PM. Aaron Civil gets the ball for the Guardians to pitch against Drew Hutchison for the Tigers. Cleveland is a -205 money line favorite with the total set at 8.5 (all odds from DraftKings unless indicated otherwise). The second game throws out the first pitch at 6:10 PM ET, with Detroit sending out Rony Garcia to go against a starting pitcher yet to be named for the Guardians. Two MLB games start at 6:40 PM ET. Philadelphia visits Cincinnati with the Phillies tapping the newly acquired Noah Syndergaard to make the start against the Reds’ Mike Minor. The Phillies are a -175 money line road favorite with an over/under of 9. San Diego plays at Miami with Joe Musgrove taking the mound for the Padres to duel against Sandy Alcantara for the Marlins. The Padres are a -135 money line road favorite with a total of 6.5. The MLB games begin at 7:05 PM ET. Chicago travels to Washington with the Cubs turning to Marcus Stroman to face the Nationals’ Josiah Gray. The Cubs are a -140 money line road favorite with an over/under of 8.5. Tampa Bay is at New York with Gerrit Cole pitching for the Yankees against a starting pitcher yet to be determined for the Rays. The Toronto Blue Jays host the Baltimore Orioles at 7:07 PM ET. Yusei Kikuchi takes the hill for the Blue Jays to battle against Kyle Bradish for the Orioles. Toronto is a -165 money line favorite with a total of 9. The Atlanta Braves are at home against the New York Mets at 7:20 PM ET. The Braves tap Spencer Strider to take the mound to pitch against the Mets’ Carlos Carrasco. Atlanta is a -150 money line favorite with an over/under of 8. The Minnesota Twins play at home against the Kansas City Royals at 7:40 PM ET. Joe Ryan gets the start for the Twins to duel against Kris Bubic for the Royals. Minnesota is a -190 money line favorite with a total of 8.5. The Texas Rangers are at home against the Oakland A’s at 8:05 PM ET. The Rangers tap Glenn Otto to pitch against the A’s James Kaprielian. Texas is a -155 money line favorite with an over/under of 8. Two MLB games begin at 8:10 PM ET. Houston visits Chicago with Jose Urquidy taking the mound for the Astros to battle the White Sox’s Johnny Cueto. Los Angeles plays at Milwaukee, with the Dodgers turning to Julio Urias to pitch against the Brewers’ Freddy Peralta. The Dodgers are a -155 money line road favorite with a total of 8. The Los Angeles Angels host the Seattle Mariners at 9:38 PM ET. Shohei Ohtani gets his next start for the Angels pitching against Luis Castillo for the Reds. Los Angeles is a -150 money line favorite with an over/under of 6.5. The Arizona Diamondbacks play at San Francisco against the Giants at 9:45 PM ET. Neither starting pitcher has been announced as of this writing. Week 2 in the English Premier League concludes with one match on the USA Network at 3 PM ET. Liverpool is at home against Crystal Palace as a -2 goal line favorite at BetMGM with a total of 3.

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Big Al's NFL, MLB and EPL Previews and Odds - 08/14/2022

by Big Al Staff

Sunday, Aug 14, 2022

The Sunday sports card features NFLX, MLB, and EPL action.The first full week of the NFL preseason concludes with one game. The Las Vegas Raiders host the Minnesota Vikings on the NFL Network at 4:25 PM ET. The Raiders are a 4-point favorite, with the total set at 36.5 (all odds from DraftKings unless indicated otherwise). Major League Baseball has 15 games on its schedule. The San Diego Padres visit the Washington Nationals on Peacock at 12:05 PM ET. Blake Snell takes the ball for the Padres pitching against Paolo Espino for the Nationals. San Diego is a -115 money line road favorite with an over/under of 9. The Toronto Blue Jays host the Cleveland Guardians at 1:37 PM ET. The Blue Jays tap Kevin Gausman to take the mound against the Guardians’ Shane Bieber. Toronto is a -140 money line favorite with a total of 7.5. Four MLB games throw out the first pitch at 1:40 PM ET. New York hosts Philadelphia with Chris Bassitt pitching for the Mets against Zack Wheeler for the Phillies. The Mets are a -135 money line favorite with an over/under of 7. Tampa Bay is at home against Baltimore with the Rays tapping Drew Rasmussen to battle against the Orioles’ Jordan Lyles. The Rays are a -165 money line favorite with a total of 7.5. Atlanta plays at Miami with Bryce Elder pitching for the Braves against Braxton Garrett for the Marlins. Chicago travels to Cincinnati with the Cubs turning to Keegan Thompson to pitch against the Reds’ Justin Dunn. The Cubs are a -145 money line road favorite with an over/under of 9. Three MLB games start at 2:10 PM ET. Los Angeles plays at Kansas City with Tyler Anderson taking the mound for the Dodgers against Brady Singer for the Royals. The Dodgers are a -240 money line road favorite with a total of 9. Houston hosts Oakland with the Astros’ turning to Cristian Javier to duel against the A’s Cole Irvin. The Astros are a -255 money line favorite with an over/under of 8. Chicago is at home against Detroit, with Lance Lynn taking the hill for the White Sox against Tyler Alexander for the Tigers. The White Sox is a -200 money line favorite with a total of 8. The St. Louis Cardinals play at home against the Milwaukee Brewers at 2:15 PM ET. The Cardinals tap Miles Mikolas in their starting rotation to go against the Brewers' Aaron Ashby. St. Louis is a -150 money line favorite with an over/under of 8. The Seattle Mariners travel to Texas to play the Rangers at 2:35 PM ET. Logan Gilbert takes the mound for the Mariners to duel against Martin Perez for the Rangers. Seattle is a -120 money line road favorite with a total of 7.5. The Colorado Rockies host the Arizona Diamondbacks at 3:10 PM ET. The Rockies send Ryan Feltner to pitch against the Diamondbacks’ Tommy Henry. Colorado is a -125 money line favorite with an over/under of 12.5. The San Francisco Giants are at home against the Pittsburgh Pirates at 4:05 PM ET. Alex Wood takes the mound for the Giants to pitch against Zach Thompson for the Pirates. San Francisco is a -230 money line favorite with a total of 8. The Minnesota Twins visit Los Angeles to play the Angels at 4:07 PM ET. The Twins turn to Chris Archer to battle against the Angels’ Tucker Davidson. Minnesota is a -140 money line road favorite with an over/under of 9. Sunday Night Baseball on ESPN has the New York Yankees playing in Boston against the Red Sox. Jameson Taillon takes the ball for the Yankees against Michael Wacha for the Red Sox. Matchweek 2 in the English Premier League continues with two matches on the USA Network. West Ham United travels to Nottingham Forest at 9 AM ET as a -0.5 goal line road favorite at BetMGM with a total of 2.5. Chelsea hosts Tottenham at 11:30 AM ET as a -0.5 goal line favorite with an over/under of 2.5. 

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Who Wins this Year's Heisman Trophy?

by ASA, Inc.

Saturday, Aug 13, 2022

Heisman Trophy Picks - 3 picks from us (one favorite, one mid range, and one long shot)Favorite- Bryce Young (+350) Alabama Young is the feature player on the most notable program in the Nation. No matter how many first round players that Alabama produces, the Tide reload each and every year. With plenty of surrounding talent, Young should only excel in his second year as a starter. Currently, it is a two man race between C.J Stroud (+200) and Young, and with better odds, it seems like a no brainer to lean in favor of the Alabama quarterback. Mid Range- D.J. Uiagalelei (+3500) ClemsonClemson and Ohio State have been the only non-SEC teams to compete for National Championships in the past seven years. In order to win the Heisman, Uiagalelei will need to return the Tigers to a CFP berth. A former five-star recruit, D.J. has the talent to carry Clemson back to the promised land, and Dabo Swinney is too good of a coach to have another year struggling in the ACC. Long Shot- KJ Jefferson (+7000) Arkansas Watching Jefferson in 2021, he had flashes of Cam Newton in his game. The ability to carve teams up with his legs is electric, but he also showed great decision making throwing for 21 TDs and only 4 INTs. This combo will give him the star power to burst onto the Hiesman watch with a couple big wins in a loaded SEC. The Arkansas QB had 326 yards and 3 TDs in a close loss to Alabama last year, showing the potential he has.  

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La Liga Futures

by Amedeus Mastrangelo

Saturday, Aug 13, 2022

The La Liga season has started and it is time to discuss possible futures in this league and see who has the best chance to win this title. A lot of these teams have been making big moves to get back in contention and the title race is not very clear cut here, despite Real Madrid being the defending title champions and the Champions League champions from last season. There are a few teams that have made big moves to challenge Real Madrid for that title this season and it is time to see who really has the best chance. To Win Outright Real Madrid +120: Real Madrid is coming off of a very successful season, not only winning the La Liga title but also winning the Champions League title as well. They won the league handedly last season, leading the 2nd place team by 13 points, but they have also won the league title 2 times in the last 3 seasons, and they have finished in the top 3 of the league for well over the past decade. Their team did not change much over the transfer window and why would they make any big changes when they are league champions and champions of Europe. Their biggest losses of the summer were left-back Marcelo who has been aging, right winger Garreth Bale who rarely played for the club over the last few years, and attacking midfield Isco who left on a free transfer to Sevilla. Isco was probably their biggest loss as he actually contributed to the team in providing depth for the midfield but this is still a very deep team with tons of talent and they did add centre-back Antonio Rudiger as well to add to this already stacked defense. Real Madrid has shown with their consistency in the league that they are always a threat to win the title and it is not often you will see them at this plus money price considering they are the best team in Europe right now.  Barcelona +125: Barcelona is coming into this season off of 3 straight seasons where they have not won the title. They have been a very successful team in La Liga for a while now though, finishing in the top 3 every year over the last decade with 5 titles in that span. They have not won a title since Messi left the team a few years ago but they have made some big moves in this transfer window and are clearly making a big push for the title this season after 3 straight seasons where they have not won it. They did lose some good players in the transfer window, losing centre-forward Luuk de Jong and right winger Adama Traore at the end of their loans as they were bought out, and they also lost left winger Philippe Coutinho to Aston Villa. Their defense also lost some players such as centre-back Clement Lenglet who is out on loan and right-back Dani Alves who left on a free transfer. They made a great effort to replace these losses though and did so with even higher quality players. Their 3 big signings this summer were right winger Raphinha from Leeds, centre-back Jules Kounde from Sevilla, and centre-forward Robert Lewandowski from Bayern Munich. They also picked up central midfield Franck Kessie from AC Milan and centre-back Andreas Christensen from Chelsea on free transfers. This team is much improved from last season, they already had a lot of depth in their midfield but added to it even more while also strengthening both their defense and attack with upgrades at most positions. They have always been a good team even in their down years but they are making that big push with these signings and they are truly a real contender this season.  Atletico Madrid +600: Atletico Madrid is a team that has been very successful in La Liga for many years as they have finished in the top 3 every year over the last decade, winning 2 titles in that span. They usually finish in 3rd place though behind Barcelona and Real Madrid, and they did not make many good moves to help their team get better for this season. Their transfer window was looking good as there were rumors of swapping Griezman for Ronaldo but Man Utd has shut down those hopes and that leaves Atletico Madrid in a funny place. They ended up losing centre-forward Luis Suarez in a free transfer to Nacional and the loss of central midfield Daniel Wass was not that great for them either. They did pick up defensive midfield Axel Witsel but he is not getting any younger as he nears the end of his career, and they also got centre-forward Alvaro Morata back from loan but there are even rumors of him leaving for Man Utd still. Other than that, their biggest signings of the summer were right-back Nahuel Molina from Udinese and left winger Samuel Lino from Gil Vicente, and those do not even do much to help boost their squad much here. What was shaping up to be a great summer for them has turned into one giant dud and with Barcelona signing all the players they can, also competing in the same league as the Champions League champions, there is just too much competition in this league for Atletico to be a real contender this season. RecommendationsEvery other team in this league is priced at more than +2000 to win the league title and for good reason as these three are the only 3 teams that really have a chance to win, and no other team other than these 3 has won the title in well over a decade as well. Atletico Madrid is certainly not much of a contender this season with the moves they have been making and that leaves us with just the 2 giants in Barcelona and Real Madrid. Real Madrid does look tempting as they are both the defending La Liga and Champions League title champions, but they could be in for a down year here after so much success last season, and they did not make many moves to change their squad either. Barcelona knows the team they have to beat and they went out this transfer window to upgrade every position to give themselves the best chance at winning the title and beating out Real Madrid. Barcelona is going to have a very good team this season and after 3 straight seasons of not winning the La Liga title, they will be hungry for one here and will do whatever it takes to make it happen. The only play here is Barcelona to win the title this season at +125.

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Why Bettors Should Take Advantage of Betting First-Half NFL Lines

by Oskeim Sports

Saturday, Aug 13, 2022

NFL bettors looking for new ways to slay the betting dragon should look at the advantages offered by betting first-half NFL lines. Instead of betting the entire game, the second half is eliminated. There are advantages to betting just the first half and a few strategies bettors can use to exploit these advantages.It starts with a clear understanding of exactly what you are doing.The First Half NFL MarketFirst-half NFL bets are offered prior to a game starting and include the more common bet types – moneyline, point spread, and totals. When you wager on a first-half line, only the first half of the game matters. All bets are scored based on the halftime score.These bets are popular among bettors who are able to recognize certain first-half trends. These trends offer bettors an edge. Bettors can find first-half lines at most sportsbooks.What is the “Dead Heat Rule?”There is the possibility that an NFL game can be tied at halftime. That creates a great question for bettors. What happens when you bet the first half and the score is tied? Most sportsbooks use something called the Dead Heat rule.With the tie not offered as a betting choice, sportsbooks offer half of the original odds to the bettor. It works like this.The bettor places a $100 bet on a moneyline underdog of +220 to win the first half. If the underdog was to win the first half, the bettor would receive a payout of $220. If the score is tied at the half, according to the Dead Heat rule the bettor would receive $110 instead.Some sportsbooks will create a three-way market for the first half. Bettors can choose the tie as an option and the Dead Heat rule would not apply.First Half Bet TypesAs mentioned, bettors can find similar bets in the first half that are similar to those for a full game. The first half point spread bet is effectively the same as betting the full game point spread. The difference is that just the first half counts.It’s the same for first-half totals. The NFL's first-half totals market mirrors the full-game totals market, but only the first-half scoring counts. Bettors are faced with determining which half will have more scoring.First Half Betting StrategiesWhen betting the NFL first half, one strategy is to look for heavy favorites that are playoff-caliber teams. Teams that lay a bunch of points do so for a reason. The favorite often jumps out to a big lead so they can rest their starters in the second half.The heavy favorite covering the first half spread is more likely than covering the game spread. The junk time at the end of the game is too unpredictable.Bettors can also look for favorites that tend to start games slowly. There are a number of reasons why a team may do that. One of the biggest reasons is the NFL schedule. The league’s schedule is a tough one. Games are physical and players need time to recover.Oftentimes in an NFL season, a team will play a game with limited rest. Teams can play a late afternoon game on a Sunday and then play on a Thursday night. Add in that the team may have had to travel and you may have a situation where you would consider betting the Under.

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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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