Articles

Big Al's Daily Angle: MLB and NBA Preview

by Big Al Staff

Tuesday, Sep 22, 2020

After a rare day off on Monday, the NBA playoffs return to action in the Orlando bubble on Tuesday for Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Denver Nuggets. The Lakers took a 2-0 lead in this series Sunday night with their dramatic 105-103 victory over the Nuggets when Anthony Davis connected on a buzzer-beating 3-point shot to win that game. All is not lost for Denver who has already rallied from 3-1 deficits twice in this postseason to defeat the Utah Jazz and then the Los Angeles Clippers to reach the conference finals. The core of Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray has played in four playoff series over the last two seasons. They went into Game 4 of each of those series with a 2-1 deficit so they should be confident that they can do the same in the third game of this series. After losing Game 1 by 12 points, the Nuggets demonstrated in Game 2 that they were not overmatched against the top seed in the Western Conference. Denver lost the free-throw battle by a 38 to 27 margin in Game 1 but they corrected this imbalance on Sunday by getting to the free-throw line 33 times giving them a 14 attempt edge at the charity stripe to the Lakers’ 19 free throw attempts. The Nuggets also forced 24 turnovers on Sunday while holding Los Angeles to only 45 points in the second half. Murray scored 15 of his 25 points in the second half to offer more scoring punch to complement Jokic who is averaging 25.5 PPG in this series on 17 of 34 shooting from the field and a 16 of 19 mark from the charity stripe.The Lakers have won six games in a row in the playoffs after losing the opening game of their Western Conference semifinals series with Houston. Sunday night’s game was the first time during this hot streak that they did not pay off winning tickets by covering the point spread along with the winning the game as the favorite. BookMaker lists Los Angeles as a 6.5-point favorite with the total set at 214.5. Tipoff is set for just after 9 PM ET on TNT.MLB has sixteen games on tap for Tuesday starting with the first game of the Philadelphia/Washington double-header at 3:05 PM ET. The Phillies send out Aaron Nola while the Nationals counter with Austin Voth.There are three games on national television on Tuesday. ESPN has the New York Yankees playing in Buffalo at the temporary residence for the Toronto Blue Jays. Their ace, Gerrit Cole, takes the ball while the Blue Jays send out the journeyman Tanner Roark. BookMaker has the Yankees as the favorite at -290 price behind Cole with the over/under set at 9.5 with the first pitch scheduled for 6:37 PM ET.FS1 televises the Texas Rangers playing at Chase Field against the Arizona Diamondbacks at 9:10 PM ET. Jordan Lyles takes the hill for the Rangers while the Diamondbacks will start Caleb Smith. Arizona is the favorite priced at -131 with the over/under installed at 9.5 according to BookMaker.The ESPN doubleheader concludes at 9:35 PM ET with the Oakland A’s traveling to Los Angeles to play the Dodgers. Frankie Montas is tonight’s starting pitcher for the A’s with Los Angeles turning to Dustin May. BookMaker has Los Angeles as the favorite at a -171 price with a total of 9.

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NBA Lakers/Nuggets Game 3 Preview

by Big Al Staff

Tuesday, Sep 22, 2020

After a rare day off on Monday, the NBA playoffs return to action in the Orlando bubble on Tuesday for Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Denver Nuggets. The Lakers took a 2-0 lead in this series Sunday night with their dramatic 105-103 victory over the Nuggets when Anthony Davis connected on a buzzer-beating 3-point shot to win that game. All is not lost for Denver who has already rallied from 3-1 deficits twice in this postseason to defeat the Utah Jazz and then the Los Angeles Clippers to reach the conference finals. The core of Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray has played in four playoff series over the last two seasons. They went into Game 4 of each time with a 2-1 deficit so they should be confident that they can do the same in the third game of this series. Bettors should also note that the Nuggets have covered the point spread in ten of their last eleven playoff games when trailing in the series. After losing Game 1 by 12 points, the Nuggets demonstrated in Game 2 that they were not overmatched against the top seed in the Western Conference. Denver lost the free-throw battle by a 38 to 27 margin in Game 1 but they corrected this imbalance on Sunday by getting to the free-throw line 33 times giving them a 14 attempt edge at the charity stripe to the Lakers’ 19 free throw attempts. The Nuggets also forced 24 turnovers on Sunday while holding Los Angeles to only 45 points in the second half. Murray scored 15 of his 25 points in the second half to offer more scoring punch to complement Jokic who is averaging 25.5 PPG in this series on 17 of 34 shooting from the field and a 16 of 19 mark from the charity stripe.The Lakers have won six games in a row in the playoffs after losing the opening game of their Western Conference semifinals series with Houston. Sunday night’s game was the first time during this hot streak that they did not pay off winning tickets by covering the point spread along with the winning the game as the favorite. Denver received plenty of criticism for allowing Davis open to making that game-winning 3-point shot. However, while Davis is making 39% of his 3-pointers in the postseason, he was only a 33% shooter from 3-point land in the regular season. The Lakers escaped with a victory on Sunday despite a significant decline in their shooting efficiency. Los Angeles shot 53.0% from the field in Game 1 of this series which included them making 44.6% of their 3-pointers. In Game 2, the Lakers made only 44.6% of their shots with a 36.1% clip from 3-point land. While their shooting marks on Sunday was going to be difficult to repeat, it will be interesting to observe if Los Angeles’ decline on Tuesday can be blamed on a bad shooting night or credited to improved defensive play from the Nuggets. BookMaker lists Los Angeles as a 6.5-point favorite with the total set at 214.5. Tipoff is set for just after 9 PM ET on TNT.

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Dan Quinn's Atlanta Falcons: Another Historic Defeat!

by Wayne Root

Monday, Sep 21, 2020

Did greed overcome proper betting or was this too foolish to wager upon?  Here’s the situation.The Atlanta vs Dallas game goes to a TV commercial leaving you too much extra time to think clearly. Some of your buddies at the MGM Sportsbook says, “Go for it”. “You can’t lose”. You may have been having a great day or maybe you just wanted to pick up a cool fast, free $1000. What should one do?  At the seven minute mark left on on that “Black Sunday II”, the Atlanta Falcons led the Dallas Cowboys 39-24. Their odds on the in-game line was -3333. Someone bet $35,000 to win $1,050 on the Falcons’ moneyline, according to BetMGM. Historic Note since 1939Teams were 440-0 when scoring 39 points or more and with no turnovers. This scenario fit the situation perfectly. In a nano-second, you flash back to the Patriots vs Falcons Super Bowl and tell your buddies, “hell, it will never happen again”, and to the betting window you go. You count out your cash, grab your betting ticket and return to celebrate your perceived winner with your boys.Patience my boy!!It’s doubtful the next seven minutes will be patient. Dallas scores at the 4:52 mark bringing the score to 39-30. Ugh but no problem! Dallas goes for two and misses. YES!!!  Start the celebration Celebrating begins as the Falcons will get the ball back and up by nine points. One good first down and then four more plays should run out the clock. Oh No! Atlanta goes nowhere and the Cowboys will get the ball back. Can Dallas score?Of course. They go down the field and Dak Prescott scores from one yard out bringing the score to 39-37 with just over a minute to play. You are reminded by a buddy that with the recent rule changes for the onside kick, it’s effective just 11% of the time. It almost never works. Even if Dallas does recover the ball, they still have to score. So what could go wrong? I’ll tell you!!The same thing that went wrong in the Super Bowl debacle.  Horrible coaching.  From Dan Quinn to his special teams coach. They actually made a case that they thought the ball had to go in excess of 10 yards. THAT’s FOR THE OFFENSE DUMMIES!  How do they hold their jobs? How do they not know the rules.  But that is for the Owner (Arthur Blank) of the Falcons to demand an answer. Here’s my answer. It was NOT greedy. It would normally be a smart wager. However, the same coaching staff is on the sideline. And they have made a plethora of mistakes running the show since that Super Bowl.  Dan Quinn is a defensive guy. Might not even be respected as their head coach. Being down 15 points when the bet was made would have been a smart bet for most teams involved. (Well at least 440). I wouldn’t even say it was a case of being greedy. You just cannot do it if it involves the Falcons. History will place an asterisk that Atlanta moved the needle to 440-1. The gambler at the MGM will need more than asterisks to be reminded to never repeat history if it involves the Atlanta Falcons. 

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NFL Monday Night Football: Raiders/Saints Preview

by Big Al Staff

Monday, Sep 21, 2020

NFL Monday Night Football Preview: New Orleans Saints at the Las Vegas RaidersThe second week of Monday Night Football features the debut of professional football in Las Vegas with the first-ever game to be played in the Raiders' new Allegiant Stadium. Located a block west of the Mandalay Bay and Delano hotels on Dean Martin Boulevard, the site ensures plenty of spectacular views of the Vegas strip for the televised audience.Las Vegas won their opening game of the season last week when they defeated Carolina on the road by a 34-30 score. The Raiders may be without their star wide receiver as well with rookie Henry Ruggs III questionable with the knee injury he incurred moments before the end of the first half last week.The Raiders will be one of the teams without any fans in the crowd with Governor Steve Sisolak decreeing that their home games will not allow attendees for the entire season. Head coach Jon Gruden has added that his team has only stepped in Allegiant Stadium twice so playing this game will be a new experience for them. With the absence a cheering home crowd, it will be interesting to see if the new representatives of Las Vegas will establish any home advantage this season. Gruden has commented on the need for his team to represent their new fans in Las Vegas in a building that has already been nicknamed the Death Star for its black exterior.New Orleans is the visiting team for this inaugural game with the Saints coming off a 34-23 victory at home against Tampa Bay last week. The Saints will be without Michael Thomas for this game with him being out a few weeks with a high ankle injury. The star wide receiver caught 149 passes last season for 1725 yards with nine touchdowns.  Despite these teams coming off victories last week, they were both outgained by their opponents. The Saints used three takeaways to overcome being outgained by 39 yards to the Buccaneers. The Panthers gained 388 yards against the Raiders' defense which was 16 yards fewer than the 372 yards Las Vegas gained on offense.Prior to the season, NFL teams were 8-8 straight-up when playing their first game in a new stadium. This record for home NFL teams debuting a new home stadium is now 9-9 after the two games played at the SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles in the last two weeks. The Rams defeated Dallas for the Sunday night game in Week 1 by a 20-17 score in their of their new digs. The Chargers lost in overtime to Kansas City on Sunday this week by a 23-20 score in their first opportunity to call SoFi Stadium their shared home.Raiders’ backers can point to the winning record of NFL teams playing their first home game after relocating from another city. These teams in the modern NFL era have a 6-3 winning record straight-up. Those six winners did have the advantage of a home crowd so playing in front of empty seats may detract from the possible edge Las Vegas would have in this game.BookMaker has New Orleans as a 5.5-point favorite with the total set at 48.5. Kickoff is set for 8:15 PM ET on ESPN.

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Big Al's Daily Angle: MLB, NHL and NFL Preview

by Big Al Staff

Monday, Sep 21, 2020

The Monday card features the debut of professional football in Las Vegas with the first-ever game to be played in the Raiders' new Allegiant Stadium. Located a block west of the Mandalay Bay and Delano hotels on Dean Martin Boulevard, the site ensures plenty of spectacular views of the Vegas strip for televised audiences. New Orleans is the visiting team for this inaugural game with the Saints coming off a 34-23 victory at home against Tampa Bay last week. The Saints will be without Michael Thomas for this game with him likely out a few weeks with a high ankle injury. The star wide receiver caught 149 passes last season for 1725 yards with nine touchdowns. Las Vegas won their opening game of the season last week when they defeated Carolina on the road by a 34-30 score. The Raiders may be without their star wide receiver as well with rookie Henry Ruggs III who is questionable with the knee injury he incurred moments before the end of the first half last week. Despite these teams coming off victories last week, they were both outgained in yardage by their opponents. The Saints used three takeaways to overcome them being outgained by 39 yards to the Buccaneers. The Panthers gained 388 yards against the Raiders' defense which was 16 more yards than Las Vegas’ 372 yards of offense in that game.BookMaker has New Orleans as a 5.5-point favorite with the total set at 48.5. Kickoff is set for 8:15 PM ET on ESPN.Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Finals in the NHL resumes on Monday. Dallas upset Tampa Bay in the opening game of this best-of-seven series on Saturday with their 4-1 victory. After an even first period, the Stars scored two unanswered goals in the second period to give them a 3-1 leading going into the final 20 minutes of regulation time. The Lightning dominated the final period with a 22 to 2 edge in shots but they could not get another goal past Dallas’ hot goaltender, Anton Khudobin. The Stars scored a late empty netter to cement the final score. Tampa Bay looks to even this series at a game apiece with BookMaker pricing them as a -153 favorite with a total of 5. The Lightning could be receiving good news for this game with the return of Steven Stamkos to the ice. Their star forward has not played since the restart with a lower-body injury. The puck drops at 8:05 PM ET on the NBC Sports Network. Major League Baseball begins its final week of the regular season with eleven games on the schedule. The Texas Rangers travel to Los Angeles to face the Angels with a 4:10 PM ET start for the only afternoon game on the card. The San Francisco Giants host the Colorado Rockies at 9:45 PM ET to close out the schedule

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Key Numbers in NFL Betting: Expert Handicapping Tips

by Doc's Sports

Monday, Sep 21, 2020

We are at the stage of the sports betting calendar where you constantly hear the phrase “good teamswin, but great teams cover”. For those of you new to sports betting -- and in particular betting onfootball -- that phrase may seem like an oxymoron, but it holds truer than ever. If you ask anyhandicapper who attempts to be successful while betting on the National Football League, you willquickly learn that it’s simply not the team that they believe will get them in the money; it’s the number(spread) they bet into. If you’re asking yourself why or how that’s even possible, you must firstunderstand the concept of key numbers in sports, specifically NFL spreads.Since the NFL scoring format is different than every other sport (two points, three points and six points +an extra point), the final results are bound to have some sort of relevant patter to them. Which brings inthe importance of “key numbers”. The most important key number in the NFL is three. What this meansis that the final result is a difference of three more often than any other number; whether it be 50-47,31-28, 17-14 or 24-21, etc. So many football games end on a game-winning field goal, which makesthree the most important number. The next “key” number in the NFL is seven, since that is thedifference in games decided by a touchdown and extra point. How Often Do Key Numbers Hit?Because the NFL is among the most popular betting sports in the world, the data available for it datesback quite some time, and thankfully there are people out there who have tracked the most commonmargin of victories in the NFL. Here is a quick look at the Top 10 NFL key numbers:3 points: 15.81 %7 points: 8.80 % 10 points: 6.06 % 4 points: 5.41 % 6 points: 5.41 % 14 points: 4.77 % 1 point: 3.93 % 17 points: 3.85 % 2 points: 3.58 % 5 points: 3.15 %As you can see, after the first trio of key numbers (three, seven, and 10), there is a huge drop off inoccurrence. However, that doesn’t mean that you should throw those numbers out the windowaltogether. You should be wary about these numbers and understand how line movement can affect –both positively and negatively – the line you are trying to wager on.Why It’s Important to Bet Key NumbersNothing in this life is free. That’s especially true when talking about sports betting as there are no “locks,guarantees or sure things”. If there was, we’d all be rich, and Vegas wouldn’t be the place it is today.Sportsbooks are 100% in the business of making money and putting out key numbers for you to bet onvery rarely (if ever) happens – without a price. In order to get off a key number, sportsbooks will chargeyou a premium for it.For starters, most sportsbooks offer their point spread lines at -110 each way. If you are in the market tobuy points and turn that -3 favorite into -2.5 or the underdog to +3.5, you’re going to have to payupwards of 20 cents just to turn a would-be push into a possible win. If you know even the slightest bitof bankroll management, it’s imperative that you understand the extra 10 cents here, or the extra 20cents there, will add up over time and a losing sport bettor (which 97 percent are) will burn theirbankroll quicker than ever. So, what does this mean? Well, for starters, it means you should be shoppingaround for lines and finding the best possible line to bet into. Some books will offer key numbers ofthree or seven without the option of buying points. Remember, the main goal of the sportsbook is tocreate equal action on both sides so that they mitigate their risk. With that said, it’s sometimes best topass on a game and save your bankroll if you are thinking about paying a premium for a point spreadthat may or may not even factor into the equation at the end of the game.

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Big Al's Daily Angle: NFL, MLB, and NBA Preview

by Big Al Staff

Sunday, Sep 20, 2020

The second week of the NFL season offers fourteen games on the Sunday schedule. Ten games kick things off at 1 PM ET. The national game on CBS in the first window of games showcases the New York Giants traveling Soldier Field in Chicago to play the Bears. The Giants look to rebound from their 26-14 loss on Monday Night Football while Chicago hopes to build off their 27-23 upset win at Detroit last Sunday. The Bears are 5.5-point favorites with the total set of 42.5 at (all odds are courtesy of BookMaker).The national game on Fox for the 1 PM ET slate of games sees the Atlanta Falcons travel to Dallas to play the Cowboys. Both of these teams will be desperate to avoid starting the season with an 0-2 record after Atlanta lost at home to Seattle by a 38-25 score while Dallas lost in Los Angeles to the Rams last Sunday night by a 20-17 score. The Cowboys are 3.5-point favorites with the total set at 54.The second window has three games on the schedule starting with Washington traveling to Arizona for a 4:05 PM ET kickoff. The Houston Texans host the Baltimore Ravens at 4:25 PM ET. The nationally televised game for this slate of games is on CBS with Kansas City traveling to Los Angeles to play the Chargers making their debut in their new SoFi Stadium home. The Chiefs opened the new NFL season two Thursdays ago when they defeated the Texans by a 34-20 score. The Chargers eked out a 16-13 win at Cincinnati by a 16-13 margin. Kansas City is a 6.5-point favorite with an over/under of 50.5. The matchup for Sunday Night Football on NBC sees the New England Patriots travel to Seattle in a prime-time showdown with the Seahawks. New England won their first game in the post-Tom Brady era with a 21-11 victory at home over Miami. Seattle comes off their 38-25 win on the road against the Falcons. The Seahawks are 3.5-point favorites with an over/under of 44.The Western Conference Finals continue in the NBA playoffs on Sunday with the Los Angeles Lakers taking the first game of this best-of-seven series on Friday with their 126-114 victory over the Denver Nuggets. The Lakers are -7.5-point favorites for Game 2 with the total set 215.5. TNT has the broadcast with the tipoff taking place just after 7:30 PM ET.MLB has sixteen games on the Sunday card with one doubleheader between Washington and Miami. TBS televises the final game of the Yankees/Red Sox series at Fenway Park at 1:07 PM ET with Deivi Garcia getting the start for New York against Boston’s former 1st round draft pick Tanner Houck. The Bronx Bombers are priced as a -180 money-line favorite with the over/under set at 9.5. ESPN has the San Francisco Giants on the road in Oakland against the A’s at 4:10 PM ET. The Giants give the ball to Tyler Anderson with the A’s countering with Mike Minor. Oakland is priced as a -155 favorite with a total of 8.5. The Sunday Night Baseball game on ESPN sees Minnesota Twins play the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field at 7:08 PM ET. Jose Berrios goes for the Twins with Yu Darvish on the mound for the Cubs in this pitching duel. Chicago is a -150 favorite with an over/under of 7.5.

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NCAA Football: Louisville/Miami-Fla Preview

by Big Al Staff

Saturday, Sep 19, 2020

The prime-time game on ABC TV on Saturday is an ACC clash between Miami and Louisville at 7:30 PM ET. The Hurricanes enter this clash ranked 17th in the nation while the Cardinals are just being them with their 18th national ranking.Miami won their opening game of the season on September 10th in a 31-14 victory at home against UAB where they were 15.5-point favorites. This was the debut of quarterback D’Eriq King for the Hurricanes after he transferred from Houston in the offseason. Second-year head coach Manny Diaz identified the Miami offense as the area that needed the most improvement after last year’s disappointing 6-7 campaign that ended in a 14-0 shutout loss to Louisiana Tech in the Independence Bowl. Upgrading the quarterback position was one step to address this problem. The second significant move that Diaz made was to hire Rhett Lashlee from SMU as the new offensive coordinator to install his up-tempo spread offense. Lashlee is a Gus Malzahn disciple who coached the high-scoring offense for the Mustangs in the last two seasons.Miami looked more prolific on offense last week against the Blazers as they generated 492 yards of offense in the victory. King completed 15 of 23 passes for 141 yards while adding another 83 yards on the ground from 12 carries. The Hurricanes rushed for an eye-popping 337 yards against UAB last week. The Miami faithful has to be encouraged how this new-look offense will gel with what appears to be another stout defensive unit. The boxscore reads that the Blazers managed only 295 yards. Going beyond the numbers, UAB had only drive that gained more than 34 yards. Louisville looks to build on their 8-5 record last season in the first year of head coach Scott Satterfield. The former Appalachian State head coach was awarded the ACC Coach of the Year by overseeing a six-win improvement over the Cardinals’ record in 2018.Louisville picked up where they left off last Saturday when they defeated Western Kentucky as a 13.5-point favorite in their opening game of the season. The Cardinals are also excited about the possibilities with their quarterback as Malik Cunningham completed 19 of 34 passes for 343 yards while leading an offense that gained 487 total yards. Louisville’s offense was explosive against the Hilltoppers with four plays that gained 40 or more yards. The final score indicates that the Cardinals allowed three touchdowns but a closer look beyond the 248 yards that Western Kentucky gained tells a better story for the Louisville defense. The Hilltoppers had two touchdown drives of one and four yards after the Cardinals had one punt blocked while another punt attempt ended with the snap dropped by the punter. Miami won the meeting between these two teams last year when they handed Louisville a 52-27 loss at Hard Rock Stadium on November 9th. The Hurricanes were 7-point favorites in that game with the total set at 50. BookMaker has the Cardinals installed as a 2.5-point favorite with an over/under of 64.5. 

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NBA Eastern Conference Finals: Celtics/Heat Game 3 Preview

by Big Al Staff

Saturday, Sep 19, 2020

The Boston Celtics look to avoid falling behind by a 3-0 margin in the Eastern Conference finals tonight. The Celtics raced out to a 17-point lead in the 2nd quarter in Game 2 of this series on Thursday. However, Miami responded by outscoring the Celtics by a 37-17 margin in the 3rd quarter to take the lead which propelled them to a 106-101 upset victory as a closing underdog at +2.5 points (with the total dropping to 207 in some locations after opening at 210. Head coach Brad Stevens has to be concerned with his team’s inability to maintain double-digit leads in this series. The Celtics could just as easily be the ones up 2-0 in this series. Boston had a 14-point lead in the 4th quarter of Game 1 in this series on Tuesday before letting the Heat rally to force overtime before they eventually pulled out a 117-114 victory. Frustrations mounted in the Celtics’ locker room after their second blown double-digit lead which led to their second-straight upset loss in this series. It was reported that Marcus Smart and Jaylen Brown got into a shouting match before things calmed down. Will these outbursts rally the team together for this critical third game? Or were the verbal altercations that took place after Game 3 evidence of a team imploding amidst two months of practice and playing every-other-day in the Orlando bubble?Help may be on the way for Boston with Gordon Hayward being upgraded from doubtful to questionable with the injured ankle that has kept him out of the playoffs since his injury in Game 1 of their opening-round series with Indiana. A Hayward return to the court could jumpstart the Celtics’ offensive attack that has struggled against Miami’s use of a 2-3 zone. However, how rusty will Hayward be with his shot if he can play tonight?Stevens will not have the services of Romeo Langford on his bench tonight as he has been ruled out with a hip injury. However, Javonte Green has been upgraded to probable after dealing with a knee. The Heat should have Andre Iguodala available tonight with him being upgraded to probable with his sore back.Game 3 is scheduled to start at 8:30 PM ET on ESPN. BetAnySports has the Celtics as a -3-point favorite which is interesting since Boston was -a 2.5-point favorite in most spots in the first two games of this series. BetAnySports has the over/under set at 207.5.Looking ahead, Game 4 of this series is set for Wednesday of next week with both Eastern Conference teams getting three days off to accommodate the Western Conference catching up with its Nuggets/Lakers series. ESPN has the game with the game time scheduled for 8:30 PM ET.

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Big Al's Daily Angle: NCAA Football, MLB, NHL and NBA Preview

by Big Al Staff

Saturday, Sep 19, 2020

The College Football slate features fifteen games between FBS opponents. Six games kick off the card at noon ET with Navy traveling to Tulane being nationally broadcast on ABC being the premier event. BetAnySports has the Green Wave as a 6.5-point favorite with the total set at 48.5. ESPN has Oklahoma State hosting Tulane with BetAnySports listing the Cowboys as a 23.5-point favorite with an over/under of 66. UL-Lafayette travels to Georgia State as a 15.5-point favorite at BetAnySports with the total set at 57.5 with ESPN2 getting the broadcast. ESPNU has the noon kickoff with Liberty traveling to Western Kentucky with BetAnySports posting the Hilltoppers as 14.5-point favorites with the over/under down to 52.Notre Dame hosts South Florida at 2:30 PM ET with the USA Network getting the rare telecast with NBC privileging their US Open coverage. BetAnySports has the Fighting Irish as a 25.5-point favorite with the total set at 48. Perhaps the highest-profile non-conference game of the rescheduled season takes place at 3:30 PM ET with Central Florida traveling to Atlanta to face Georgia Tech. BetAnySports has the Knights as a 7-point favorite with a total of 62.5. ABC has the broadcast. ESPN2 has Troy at Middle Tennessee at 3:30 PM ET with the Trojans being a 3.5-point favorite at BetAnySports with the over/under set at 65. Appalachian State travels to Marshall for another 3:30 PM ET kickoff on CBS. The Mountaineers are a 4.5-point favorite with an over/under of 59.5. The slate of games under the lights in college football tonight starts at 6 PM ET with SMU traveling to North Texas for a game that will be televised by the CBS Sports Network. The Mustangs are -13.5-point favorites at BetAnySports with the total listed at 68.5. The premier matchup this evening takes place in Louisville where the Cardinals host Miami (FL) in an ACC clash that is the ABC prime-time game at 7:30 PM ET. Louisville is a 2.5-point favorite at BetAnySports with an over/under of 64.5. Louisiana Tech travels to Southern Mississippi at 7:30 PM ET with this game being broadcast by ESPN2. The Golden Eagles are -5-point favorites at BetAnySports with an over/under of 58.5. ESPNU broadcasts the Texas State game at UL-Monroe at 7:30 PM ET with the Bobcats a -5.5-point favorite at BetAnySports with a total of 62.The NBA playoffs continue tonight with Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals. Miami took a 2-0 lead in this series on Thursday with their 106-101 upset victory over the Celtics. BetAnySports has Boston installed as a 3-point favorite with the over/under set at 207.5. Tip-off is scheduled for just after 8:30 PM ET on ESPN.Game 1 of the Stanley Cup finals begins tonight between the Dallas Stars and the Tampa Bay Lightning. BetAnySports has the Lightning as a -160 money-line favorite with the total set at 5. The puck drops at 7:40 PM ET on NBC TV.Fifteen games are on tap today in MLB with the one afternoon game of San Francisco playing at Oakland beginning the card at 4:10 PM ET. The nationally televised game on Fox TV tonight features the Atlanta Braves playing at the New York Mets at 7:15 PM ET. FS1 TV will broadcast the Tampa Bay/Baltimore AL East clash at 7:30 PM ET.

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Big Al's Daily Angle: NBA and MLB Preview

by Big Al Staff

Friday, Sep 18, 2020

The NBA and MLB offer the main attractions for the Friday card. The opening game of the NBA Western Conference finals begins tonight with the Denver Nuggets and the Los Angeles Lakers. Denver once again rallied from a 3-1 deficit in the Western Conference semifinals to upset the Los Angeles Clippers on Tuesday by a 104-89 score. For the third straight game, the Nuggets rallied from a deficit to upset the heavily-favored Los Angeles team. Denver outscored the Clippers in the second half by a 50-33 score to stun Doc Rivers team as a 7.5-point underdog. The victory did offer the Nuggets with their first two-day rest since play began for them in the bubble on August 1st. Denver also rallied from a 3-1 deficit to defeat Utah in the opening round of the playoffs.The Lakers have had five full days off to rest in the bubble since they closed out their series with Houston on Saturday. Los Angeles defeated the Rockets in Game 5 of the Western Conference semifinals by a 119-96 score. The Lakers lost the opening game of that series but outclassed Houston and their small-ball style when head coach Frank Vogel benched JaVale McGee and Dwight Howard to take advantage of the athleticism of Anthony Davis who could move over to play the center position. It will be interesting to watch if Vogel continues the smaller lineups with Davis playing at the 5 or if McGee and Howard get back on the court to defend the Nuggets’ Nikola Jokic. These two teams played four times in the regular season with the Lakers winning three of those games. The last meeting between these two teams was in the bubble on August 10th when Los Angeles outlasted Denver by a 124-121 score as a 5-point closing favorite. The game is set to start shortly after 9 PM ET on TNT. BookMaker lists Los Angeles as a 7.5-point favorite tonight with the total set at 210.5. Major League Baseball has an 18-game card on tap for Friday with three doubleheaders. St. Louis plays at Pittsburgh with that doubleheader starting at 4:05 PM ET which also begins the MLB slate of games. Toronto and Philadelphia pair of 7-inning games also start at 4:05 PM ET. The third doubleheader starts at 5:05 PM ET with Washington playing at Miami. FS1 will be televising both games. The opener sees Erick Fedde pitching for the Nationals against the Marlins rookie Sixto Sanchez. The Marlins’ phenom is 3-1 this season with a sparkling 1.69 ERA. Miami is one of the surprises in this shortened season as their 25-23 record would currently put them in the expanded National League playoffs. The defending World Series champions disappointed with an 18-29 record which puts them last in the NL East. Fedde has struggled with a 1-3 mark along with a 5.06 ERA. The nightcap is scheduled at 8:10 PM ET with Washington leaning on their bullpen with Will Crowe serving as their opener. Miami counters with Dan Castano.

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NFL Sunday Night Football: New England Patriots/Seattle Seahawks Preview

by Big Al Staff

Thursday, Sep 17, 2020

The Sunday Night Football matchup on NBC features two playoff teams coming off victories in the opening week of the season.New England unveiled their new offense under the direction of Cam Newton last Sunday. Bill Belichick and offensive coordinator Josh McDaniel threw out the Tom Brady offensive playbook while going back to their old Jacoby Brissett blueprints they had to use a few years ago when Brady was suspended for four games to conclude the Deflate-gate saga. Between a mix of quarterback options and designed running plays, Newton ran the ball 15 times for 75 yards while reaching the end zone two times. Newton also completed 15 of his 19 passes for 155 yards with no interceptions while showing no physical limitations to the multiple injuries he had suffered in his last few seasons in Carolina for the Panthers. The Patriots defeated AFC East rival Miami by a 21-11 score with their defense also flexing their muscles by holding the Dolphins to just 169 yards of offense. Seattle head coach Pete Carroll already has a book on Newton with the Seahawks having to contend with him and the Panthers a few times in the NFC playoffs over the years. The Seattle defensive coaching staff will have ideas as to how to slow down Newton’s running threat. Seattle traveled to Atlanta last week to defeat the Falcons by a 38-25 score as a small road favorite. Russell Wilson was spectacular as he completed 31 of 35 passes for 322 yards with four touchdown passes while gaining another 29 yards with his legs. The Seahawks surprised the Falcons’ defense by throwing the ball nine straight times at one point in the first quarter to catch Atlanta defensive coordinator Raheem Morris off-balance after he had coached the defense to prioritize stopping Chris Carson and the Seattle ground game. Did this opening game demonstrate that Carroll had decided to listen to his critics and “let Russ cook” by opening up the passing game early in that contest? Perhaps this was a gambit designed to stymie his former defensive coordinator, Dan Quinn, who may have assured Morris about what Carroll’s directives would be for his offensive coordinator, Brian Schottenheimer? Was Carroll thinking ahead to this Patriots game on deck with those opening game tactics working as misdirection for his game plan this week? Is a return to the Seahawks’ commitment to run the football with Carson and their new running back Carlos Hyde against the New England defense imminent?These two teams last played in November of 2016 when Seattle traveled to Foxboro to upset the Patriots by a 31-24 score as a 7.5-point underdog. That game was a rematch of their Super Bowl showdown the previous February which New England won by a 28-24 score when the Seahawks bypassed giving the ball to Marshawn Lynch for a quick inside slant pass by Russell Wilson that Malcolm Butler intercepted in the end zone.BetOnline listed Seattle as the favorite late in the week at home at CenturyLink Field laying 4.5 points with the over/under set at 44.5. The kickoff on NBC is scheduled for 8:20 PM ET Sunday night. 

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