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Big Al's Daily Angle: MLB and CFL Previews and Odds - 08/06/2021

by Big Al Staff

Friday, Aug 06, 2021

The Friday sports card features action in MLB and the CFL. Fifteen games are on the MLB docket. One game starts in the afternoon. The Chicago White Sox travels the short drive north to Wrigleyville to play the Chicago Cubs at 2:20 PM ET in the opener of their three-game series. Lance Lynn pitches for the White Sox against Kyle Hendricks of the Cubs. The Southsiders are a -155 money line road favorite (all odds from DraftKings). Three MLB games begin at 7:05 PM ET. Philadelphia hosts the New York Mets on ESPN in the first game of their three-game series. The Phillies pitch Kyle Gibson against the Mets Marcus Stroman. Philadelphia is a -115 money line favorite with the total set at 9. Tampa Bay visits Baltimore for Game 1 of their three-game series. Ryan Yarbrough pitches for the Rays against John Means of the Orioles. Tampa Bay is a -145 money line road favorite with an over/under of 9.5. The New York Yankees are at home against Seattle in the second game of their four-game series. The Yankees are opening with Wandy Peralta against the Mariners’ starting pitcher Marco Gonzales. Toronto plays at home against Boston at 7:07 PM ET in the first game of their four-game series. Alek Manoah pitches for the Blue Jays against the Red Sox’s Nathan Eovaldi. Boston is a -145 money line favorite with a total of 9. Two games start at 7:10 PM ET. Cincinnati plays at home against Pittsburgh in the second game of their four-game series. The Reds pitch Wade Miley against the Pirates J.T. Brubaker. Cincinnati is a -210 money line favorite with an over/under of 9. Cleveland is at home against Detroit in the first game of their three-game series. Cal Quantrill pitches for the Indians against Matt Manning of the Tigers. Cleveland is a -155 money line favorite with a total of 9.5. Atlanta is at home against Washington at 7:20 PM ET in the opening game of their three-game series. The Braves pitch Kyle Muller against the Nationals Erick Fedde. Atlanta is a -200 money line favorite with an over/under of 10. Two MLB games start at 8:10 PM ET. Milwaukee plays at home against San Francisco in Game 1 of their three-game series. Corbin Burnes pitches for the Brewers against the Giants Logan Webb. Milwaukee is a -160 money line favorite with a total of 7.5. Houston hosts Minnesota in the second game of their four-game series. The Astros pitch Zack Greinke against the Twins Bailey Ober. Houston is a -225 money line favorite with an over/under of 9. St. Louis is at home against Kansas City at 8:15 PM ET in the first game of their three-game series. Adam Wainwright of the Cardinals pitches against Mike Minor of the Royals. St. Louis is a -160 money line favorite with a total of 8. Colorado plays at home against Miami at 8:40 PM ET in Game 1 of their three-game series. The Rockies pitch German Marquez against the Marlins Sandy Alcantara. Colorado is a -105 money line favorite with an over/under of 9.5. Oakland hosts Texas at 9:40 PM ET in the opening game of their three-game series. Chris Bassitt pitches for the A’s against Mike Foltynewicz of the Rangers. Oakland is a -275 money line favorite with a total of 8. Two games conclude the MLB card at 10:10 PM ET. The Los Angeles Dodgers are at home against the Los Angeles Angels in the first game of their three-game series. The Dodgers pitch David Price against the Angels Patrick Sandoval. The Dodgers are a -210 money line favorite with an over/under of 9. San Diego is at home against Arizona in Game 1 of their three-game series. Ryan Weathers pitches for the Padres against Caleb Smith of the Diamondbacks. San Diego is a -210 money line favorite with a total of 9.The Canadian Football League continues its opening week with the Saskatchewan Roughriders hosting the British Columbia Lions at 9:30 PM ET. ESPN+ has the broadcast.

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2021 NFL: Looking at the O/U Totals for the NFC

by Will Rogers

Thursday, Aug 05, 2021

NFC EASTJerry Jones must be tearing his hair out with the Cowboys failing every year to take advantage in the NFL’s weakest division. Even with six division games against the likes of Washington, the Giants and the Eagles, oddsmakers have set the Boys’ Over / Under total at just 9 (in a 17-game season). Winning double digits used to be ice cream for Dallas, but these days nothing is guaranteed in north Texas. At least the quarterback situation is settled after months of uncertainty, and Dak Prescott is probably the best of a mediocre lot in the division.***It’s entirely possible that both New York teams finish last in their divisions this season. Giants’ O / U is set at 7.5 in most places, and Over bettors would have to see lots go right before cashing. Daniel Jones needs a breakout season. It that doesn’t happen, there’s little chance of getting to 8 wins.***It looks like Washington will roll with Ryan Fitzpatrick at QB, and that – along with a solid defense – might be enough to get the Football Team to limp to another East title and a playoff berth. Getting to 9 wins (the O / U is set at 8) seems attainable.***Says a lot about your franchise when a soft schedule in a soft division is one of your top assets, and the O / U is still only 6.5. Then again, maybe last season (4-12, last place) was a one-off for the Birds. Carson Wentz is gone, and no one is really sure if Jalen Hurts is the QB of the future. He’ll have all of this season to establish himself.NFC NORTHGreen Bay fans are now able to sleep at night now that Aaron Rodgers didn’t follow through on his bluff to sit out the season, and oddsmakers have settled on 10 as the Pack’s O / U number. Whether they can get to the 11 needed to cash is another matter, and a lot depends on Rodgers’s frame of mind. Will he show management who’s boss by being a locker room diva, or will he drop the drama and produce the same numbers on the field that he has in the recent past? And what about NEXT year? Will the spring/summer of 2022 bring more of the same?***Minnesota (9) looked ready to pounce if things went south for GB, but then the Vikes developed a QB situation of its own when Kirk Cousins and two backups were sidelined due to Covid concerns. Now coach Mike Zimmer is beside himself, and bettors with Over tickets are wondering if they made a huge mistake.***The Lions (4.5) are the Lions, and it doesn’t appear that much is going to change. Except the quarterback (Matthew Stafford is gone, Kared Goff is in), the head coach (Matt Patricia is out, Dan Campbell is in) and a lot of other players.***The Bears (7.5) are saying that Justin Fields will not be thrown to the wolves right away and that Andy Dalton will start the season under center. One bad loss will probably change that.NFC SOUTHThe Super Bowl-champion Bucs will be running it back with the same cast of characters that flourished under Tom Brady, and if you like the Over you’ll have to swallow hard because the number is most places has been set at an aggressive 12. The uber-competitive Brady enters the season at 44 years old, but what’s lost in the talk about his age is that he has very good offensive players around him – and the Tampa Bay defense isn’t bad, either.***Drew Brees is gone, and while the Saints (9) still have talent, none one knows what’s going to happen under center. Jameis Winston has shown he can still play, but Taysom Hill could beat him out.***Atlanta (projected at 7.5) needs a re-boot, but will run Matt Ryan out for another season. The offense will be different, with Julio Jones gone and rookie TE Kyle Pitts now a primary focus.***Carolina is also at 7.5, and whether you think the Panthers can cover that number depends on how you feel about Jets reject Sam Darnold, who threw more interceptions (11) than TDs (9) last season.NFC WESTAfter all their draft shenanigans, the 49ers could be blowing smoke. But so far they say they REALLY like what they’re seeing in rookie QB Trey Lance, and maybe the plan to start vet Jimmy Garoppolo will be altered before it even gets going. As far as betting goes, can Lance get San Francisco to 11 wins (the O / U is 10.5) in his first season if he DOES get the job?***After last year’s .500 season Arizona is smack dab in the middle of the projection pack again at 8.5, and the feeling is that the Cardinals seem ready to kick things into high gear.***Russell Wilson has been a double-digit winner for Seattle in every year except 2017 (9 wins then), so the 10-win projection this time seems doable.***The Rams (10.5) went 10-6 last season and seem absolutely giddy about their prospects with Matthew Stafford replacing Jared Goff, and an easy schedule that includes the likes of Houston and the Giants makes LA backers smile even more.

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2021 CFL Preview: Ottawa RedBlacks

by Sean Murphy

Thursday, Aug 05, 2021

We've saved the worst for last? Few are expecting the RedBlacks to contend for a Grey Cup title in 2021 but there are also reasons for optimism in the nation's capital. Here's a quick look at what to expect from Ottawa this season.Paul LaPolice takes over head coaching duties after a successful term as offensive coordinator in Winnipeg. He'll be tasked with turning around a RedBlacks squad that lost 15 of their final 16 games in 2019. Gone are the days of an ultra-efficient RedBlacks offense led by Trevor Harris and Greg Ellingson. Veteran QB Matt Nichols hopes to provide some stability at the quarterback position. He obviously has a good rapport with new head coach LaPolice from their days together in Winnipeg. Nichols won't have all that high of a bar expectations-wise after Dominique Davis struggled mightily two years ago. Keep in mind, LaPolice was able to get a ton of production out of what was perhaps a mediocre offense, at least talent-wise, over the years in Winnipeg. No team boasts fewer household names on the offensive side of the football. The likes of RB Timothy Flanders and WRs Nate Behar and Terry Williams will be tasked with lifting the offense following a disastrous 2019 campaign. With that in mind, it's not difficult to understand why most are picking the RedBlacks to finish last in the East Division. The defense could turn out to be the strength of the team with some notable returning talent, keyed by DL Avery Ellis, but again, this is a unit lacking starpower and there are more questions than answers entering the new season. The RedBlacks will look to hit the ground running in their opener as they hit the road to face the Edmonton Elks.As I mentioned, Ottawa is a decided underdog when it comes to Grey Cup futures, currently priced around 13-1 at most books. 

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Big Al's Daily Angle: NFL, CFL and MLB Previews and Odds - 08/05/2021

by Big Al Staff

Thursday, Aug 05, 2021

The Thursday sports card features action in the NFL preseason, MLB, and the CFL. The kickoff of the NFL preseason takes place with the Pro Football Hall of Fame Game at the Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton, Ohio. The Pittsburgh Steelers play the Dallas Cowboys at 8 PM ET on Fox. The Steelers are a 1-point favorite with the total set at 33 (all odds from DraftKings). Twelve games are on the MLB docket. Six games start in the afternoon. The New York Mets conclude their four-game series at Miami at 12:10 PM ET. The Mets pitch Rich Hill against the Marlins Trevor Rogers. New York is a -130 money line road favorite with an over/under of 8. Boston plays at Detroit at 1:10 PM ET in the final game of their three-game series. Martin Perez pitches for the Red Sox against Tarik Skubal. Boston is a -135 money line road favorite with a total of 10. The Los Angeles Angels are at Texas in the fourth game of their four-game series. The Angels pitch Dylan Bundy against the Rangers Spencer Howard making his debut with the team. Los Angeles is a -120 money line road favorite with an over/under of 9. Colorado hosts the Chicago Cubs at 3:10 PM ET in the finale of their three-game series. Antonio Senzatela pitches for the Rockies against the Cubs Jake Arrieta. Colorado is a -165 money line favorite with a total of 11. San Francisco plays at Arizona at 3:40 PM ET in the finale of their four-game series. The Giants pitch Alex Wood against the Diamondbacks Merrill Kelly. San Francisco is a -165 money line road favorite with an over/under of 9. Philadelphia is at Washington at 4:05 PM ET in the fourth game of their four-game series. Aaron Nola pitches for the Phillies against Joe Ross of the Nationals. Philadelphia is a -160 money line road favorite with a total of 8.5. The New York Yankees host Seattle at 7:05 PM ET in the opener of their four-game series. The Yankees pitch Nestor Cortes, Jr. against the Mariners Tyler Anderson. New York is a -190 money line favorite with an over/under of 9.5. Toronto is at home against Cleveland at 7:07 PM ET in the final game of their four-game series. Ross Stripling pitches for the Blue Jays against the Triston McKenzie of the Indians. Toronto is a -195 money line favorite with a total of 9.5. Cincinnati plays at home against Pittsburgh at 7:10 PM ET in Game 1 of their four-game series. The Reds pitch Sonny Gray against the Pirates Wil Crowe. Cincinnati is a -250 money line favorite with an over/under of 9.5. The Chicago White Sox are at home against Kansas City at 8:10 PM ET in the third game of their three-game series. Dallas Keuchel pitches for the White Sox against Daniel Lynch of the Royals. Chicago is a -210 money line favorite with a total of 9.5. Houston hosts Minnesota at 8:10 PM ET in the opening game of their four-game series. The Astros pitch Framber Valdez against the Twins Griffin Jax. Houston is a -275 money line favorite with an over/under of .9.5. Atlanta concludes their three-game series at St. Louis on ESPN at 8:15 PM ET. Kyle Muller pitches for the Braves against Wade LeBlanc of the Cardinals. Atlanta is a -120 money line road favorite with a total of 9.The Canadien Football League returns for the first time since the Grey Cup in November of 2019 after last year's season was canceled due to COVID. The Hamilton Tiger-Cats visit the Winnipeg Blue Bombers on ESPN2 at 8:30 PM ET. The Tiger-Cats are a -3.5-point road favorite with an over/under of 52.5.

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CFL 2021: West Division Season Preview

by Scott Rickenbach

Wednesday, Aug 04, 2021

CFL 2021 Season Preview – West Division Quick HittersBC Lions – This team went only 5-13 last season (2019) and that included 0-10 in the division and no team in the division allowed more points than the Lions. This is another team, like Edmonton, that is testing out a rather inexperienced defensive line. How quickly units like this jell in a shortened 14-game season is going to be key. BC is talented on offense but this is still a team that pulled up the rear in the West in 2019 and appears to be poised to do the same this season. Also QB Michael Reilly will be playing his 2nd season in BC. Formerly he was with Edmonton and his ratio was a combined 58-25 in 2016-17 and then 50-33 in 2018-19. This includes a 20-15 TD-INT ratio in 2019 with the Lions. Calgary Stampeders – Off a 12-6 season and had best record within divisional games too as the Stampeders were 8-2 in divisional match-ups. Calgary, however, got bounced in the first round of the post-season by eventual 2019 Grey Cup Champion Winnipeg. The Stampeders could have some lingering hunger from the way 2019 ended after a solid regular season. However, Calgary has downgraded a bit in terms of overall talent level in recent seasons. Though well-coached, can they must enough to be the top team in the division this season? I just do not see them being quite as strong as they were in past seasons. Edmonton Elks – The Elks went 8-10 in the 2019 season but snuck into the playoffs where they did win one playoff game against an East Division team but then lost in the 2nd round. Edmonton had trouble in divisional games with a 3-7 record. The Elks have a revamped defense but will it take some time to jell? Yes they are talented but you have to play well together as a unit. The new look on defense could be a pleasant surprise but tough to trust them right out of the gate. The offense looks strong and QB Trevor Harris could have a huge season with all the weapons around him but the new head coach and defensive system will be important to watch early on. Saskatchewan Roughriders – Lost in the division finals to the eventual 2019 Grey Cup Champion Blue Bombers but had a 13-5 regular season including an 8-1 mark at home. The Roughriders are known for being tough to play against in Saskatchewan! In 2021, the Riders might be tough to play everywhere! Can the defense hold up though? Combo of solid QB in a good OC’s system should lead to big things on offense but some concerns about personnel losses on defense. If the D holds together and the offense has the dynamic edge it certainly could, then this team could end up on top in the division. Winnipeg Blue Bombers – Being 3rd best in the West did not stop the Blue Bombers from marching all the way through the post-season to win it all by defeating Edmonton, Saskatchewan, and then Hamilton. Winnipeg, like Saskatchewan was very tough to beat at home as they had an 8-1 record as a host. The Blue Bombers will have a target on their backs because they are trying to repeat but they do look solid again overall with many key pieces back from last year’s team. Even though they won the title with Zach Collaros at QB how will he perform for a full season which would be his first since 2018 with Saskatchewan? The Bombers could drop some. 

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2021 CFL Preview: Hamilton Tiger-Cats

by Sean Murphy

Wednesday, Aug 04, 2021

In our penultimate installment of CFL team previews, let's take a look at the Tiger-Cats, who have unfinished business to take care of after falling just short of a Grey Cup title in 2019.Jeremiah Masoli will get the nod as starting quarterback to open the season but he'll likely give up some snaps to capable backup (and potential future starter) Dane Evans. There are some questions on the offensive line with Ryker Matthews no longer anchoring the left side. Remember, it was the offensive line that got dominated in that 2019 Grey Cup loss to Winnipeg. With that being said, the offense remains largely unchanged at  the skill positions. This is likely to once again be one of the league's most explosive offenses. Wide receivers Bralon Addison and Brandon Banks make up one of the best 1-2 punches at that position in the entire league. Meanwhile, RB Don Jackson was brought over from Calgary to compliment Sean Thomas-Erlington, who returns from injury. Defensively, the Ti-Cats are once again loaded after allowing the league's fewest points per game in 2019. That doesn't mean there aren't departures to deal with, however, with cornerback Delvin Breaux Sr. electing to retire and linebacker Larry Dean moving on to Saskatchewan. Simoni Lawrence will be asked to do a lot and lead this defense back to the levels it reached two years ago and he's certainly proven capable of lifting the defense in the past. This is an extremely well-coached unit that shouldn't take long to come together, even with some new faces in the mix.Special teams doesn't get talked about enough in the CFL as it's a big facet of the game, particularly up north. The Ti-Cats might just have the best special teams in the league led by coach Jeff Reinebold. With an absolutely electric return game, Hamilton is always a threat to score on punts and kickoffs. No team boasts shorter odds to win the Grey Cup than Hamilton as it checks in priced at around 4-to-1 at most books. 

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Big Al's Daily Angle: MLB Previews and Odds - 08/04/2021

by Big Al Staff

Wednesday, Aug 04, 2021

The Wednesday sports card features action in MLB. Fifteen games are on the MLB slate.Four games take place in the afternoon. Cincinnati hosts Minnesota at 12:35 PM ET in the final game of their two-game series. The Reds pitch Luis Castillo against the Twins Charlie Barnes. Cincinnati is a -235 money line favorite with the total set at 9.5 (all odds from DraftKings). Tampa Bay is at home against Seattle at 1:10 PM ET in the final game of their three-game series. Josh Fleming pitches for the Rays against Logan Gilbert of the Mariners. Tampa Bay is a -160 money line favorite with an over/under of 8. Milwaukee is at home against Pittsburgh at 2:10 PM ET in the third game of their three-game series. The Brewers pitch Freddy Peralta against the Pirates Stephen Brault. Milwaukee is a -300 money line favorite with a total of 8.5. San Diego concludes their two-game series at Oakland at 3:37 PM ET. The Padres pitch Joe Musgrove against the A’s Frankie Montas. San Diego is a -115 money line road favorite with an over/under of 8.Two games begin the evening card at 7:05 PM ET. The New York Yankees host Baltimore in the final game of their three-game series. The Yankees pitch Jameson Taillon against the Orioles Matt Harvey. New York is a -280 money line favorite with a total of 9.5. Philadelphia is at Washington in the third game of their four-game series. Chase Anderson pitches for the Phillies against Paolo Espino of the Nationals. Philadelphia. Both teams are -110 money line favorites with an over/under of 9. Toronto is at home against Cleveland at 7:07 PM ET in the third game of their four-game series. The Blue Jays pitch Steven Matz against the Indians’ J.C. Mejia. Toronto is a -220 money line favorite with a total of 10. Two games start at 7:10 PM ET. The New York Mets are at Miami in the third game of their four-game series. Carlos Carrasco pitches for the Mets against the Marlins’ Zach Thompson. New York is a -160 money line road favorite with an over/under of 7.5. Boston plays at Detroit in Game 2 of their three-game series. Eduardo Rodriguez pitches for the Red Sox against Casey Mize of the Tigers. Boston is a -150 money line road favorite with a total of 9. The Los Angeles Angels are at Texas at 8:05 PM ET in the third game of their four-game series. The Angels pitch Shohei Ohtani against the Rangers Kolby Allard. Los Angeles is a -170 money line road favorite with an over/under of 8. The Chicago White Sox host Kansas City at 8:10 PM ET in the second game of their three-game series. Lucas Giolito pitches for the White Sox against Carlos Hernandez of the Royals. Chicago is a -275 money line favorite with a total of 8.5. Atlanta is at St. Louis at 8:15 PM ET in the second game of their three-game series. Drew Smyly pitches for the Braves against the recently acquired J.A. Happ for the Cardinals. Atlanta is a -120 money line road favorite with an over/under of 9. Colorado plays at home against the Chicago Cubs at 8:40 PM ET in the second game of their three-game series. The Rockies pitch Jon Gray against the Cubs Alec Mills. Colorado is a -150 money line favorite with a total of 11. The Los Angeles Dodgers conclude their two-game series with Houston at 9:40 PM ET. Max Scherzer makes his debut for the Dodgers against Jake Odorizzi of the Astros. Los Angeles is a -225 money line favorite with an over/under of 8.5. San Francisco plays at Arizona at 9:40 PM ET in the third game of their four-game series. The Giants pitch Kevin Gausman against the Diamondbacks Zac Gallen. San Francisco is a -195 money line road favorite with a total of 8.5. 

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2021 CFL Preview: Toronto Argonauts

by Sean Murphy

Wednesday, Aug 04, 2021

The last time we saw the Toronto Argonauts they were mired in a disappointing 4-14 campaign back in 2019. Here's a look at what to expect from the Argos in 2021.There's reason for optimism as far as the offense goes with two capable options at quarterback in McLeod Bethel-Thompson and Nick Arbuckle. New head coach Ryan Dinwiddie has a good rapport with Arbuckle in particular from the pair's days in Calgary. Arbuckle was of course pressed into action after Bo Levi Mitchell went down to injury in 2019. Improvement is expected from the Argos aerial attack with Eric Rogers coming over from Calgary and much-maligned but talented former NFL wide receiver Martavis Bryant in the mix as well. Running back John White was brought in to stabilize the backfield. He's coming off a 1,000-yard rushing season with the B.C. Lions in 2019 and will serve as a relief valve for whoever is under center thanks to his versatility as a pass-catcher.There are upgrades all over the field on defense, with perhaps none bigger than defensive lineman Charleston Hughes up front. The former Blue Bomber led the league with a whopping 16 sacks in 2019 and provides a veteran presence to anchor the defense. The Argos linebacking corps should be among the best in the league led by Henoc Muamba. The question is whether all of that talent and experience up front can make up for what could be a leaky secondary. With defensive back Alden Darby no longer in the mix, Toronto's pass defense could be a work in progress at least in the early stages of the season.While the Tiger-Cats are decided front-runners, the rest of the East Division is wide open with Toronto looking more than capable of settling into the second slot. Toronto is currently priced in the middle-of-the-pack at around 7-1 to win the Grey Cup. 

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Big Al's Daily Angle: MLB Previews and Odds - 08/03/2021

by Big Al Staff

Tuesday, Aug 03, 2021

The Tuesday sports card features action in MLB. Fifteen games are on the MLB slate.Two games begin the card at 7:05 PM ET. Philadelphia plays at Washington at 7:05 PM ET in the second game of their four-game series. Zack Wheeler pitches for the Phillies against Patrick Corbin of the Nationals. Philadelphia is a -165 money line road favorite with the total set at 8 (all odds from DraftKings). The New York Yankees host Baltimore in the second game of their three-game series. The Yankees pitch Nestor Cortes against the Orioles Alexander Wells. New York is a -350 money line favorite with an over/under of 9. Toronto plays at home against Cleveland at 7:07 PM ET. Hyun Jin Ryu pitches for the Blue Jays against Zach Plesac of the Indians. Toronto is a -200 money line favorite with a total of 8.5.Four games start at 7:10 PM ET. Tampa Bay hosts Seattle in the second game of their three-game series. The Rays pitch Luis Patino against the Mariners Yusei Kikuchi. Tampa Bay is a -160 money line favorite with an over/under of 8. The New York Mets play at Miami in the second game of their four-game series. Taijuan Walker pitches for the Mets against a starting pitcher yet to be determined. New York is a -170 money line road favorite with a total of 7.5. Boston travels to Detroit for the opening game of their three-game series. The Red Sox pitch Garrett Richards against Wily Peralta of the Tigers. Boston is a -140 money line road favorite with an over/under of 10. Cincinnati is at home against Minnesota in the first game of their two-game series. Tyler Mahle pitches for the Reds against Kenta Maeda of the Twins. Cincinnati is a -150 money line favorite with a total of 8.5. The Los Angeles Angels play at Texas at 8:05 PM ET in the second game of their four-game series. The Angels pitch Jose Suarez against the Rangers Jordan Lyles. Los Angeles is a -145 money line road favorite with an over/under of 8.5. Milwaukee plays at home against Pittsburgh in the second game of their three-game series. Adrian Houser pitches for the Brewers against Max Kranick of the Pirates. Milwaukee is a -225 money line favorite with a total of 9. The Chicago White Sox are at home against Kansas City in the opening game of their three-game series. The White Sox pitch Dylan Cease against the Royals Kris Bubic. Chicago is a -195 money line favorite with an over/under of 9. Atlanta travels to St. Louis at 8:15 PM ET in the opening game of their three-game series. Max Fried pitches for the Braves against Jon Lester making his first start for the Cardinals since they acquired him last week. Atlanta is a -130 money line road favorite with a total of 8.5. Colorado is at home against the Chicago Cubs at 8:40 PM ET in the first game in their three-game series. The Rockies pitch Kyle Freeland against the Cubs Zach Davies. Colorado is a -155 money line favorite with an over/under of 11.5. Two games start at 9:40 PM ET. San Francisco plays at Arizona in the second game of their four-game series. Johnny Cueto pitches for the Giants against Madison Bumgarner of the Diamondbacks. San Francisco is a -160 money line road favorite with a total of 9.5. Oakland is at home against San Diego in the first game of their two-game series. The Padres pitch Blake Snell against a starting pitcher yet to be named for the A’s. Oakland is a -190 money line favorite with a total of 8. The Los Angeles Dodgers are at home against Houston at 10:10 PM ET in the opening game of their two-game series. Walker Buehler pitches for the Dodgers against the Astros Lance McCullers. Los Angeles is a -180 money line favorite with an over/under of 7.5.

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NFL Thursday Night Football: Hall of Fame Game Preview

by Ben Burns

Monday, Aug 02, 2021

August is here and football is back! Last year, at this time, there was still a lot of uncertainty. Would they be able to play the whole season? There wasn't a Hall Of Fame Game at all. Thankfully, things seem considerably better this year and the H.O.F. Game goes Thursday, on FOX TV. While I'm always excited about the return of football, I often pass on the H.O.F. Game. However, when I do get involved, I've typically done pretty well. (Over the past seven years, I'm 3-0.) This year's game features a pair of classic franchises, the Dallas Cowboys and the Pittsburgh Steelers. Note that those were the same teams which would have played last year, if there had been a game. Let's take a closer look. As you're likely aware, the game is played at Canton, Ohio. They've been playing the game there since before I was born. With six appearances each, Dallas and Pittsburgh have been here more than any other franchises. The Steelers are the designated home team. As of this writing,  they're very slight favorites. The O/U line is in the low 30s. As per usual, the biggest stars will see little or no playing time. For Dallas, Dak Prescott is not expected to play. Neither are guys like Amari Cooper, DeMarcus Lawrence or kicker Greg Zuerlein. Same figures to be true on the Pittsburgh sideline. Tomlin noted: "We just want to see more of the other guys. Some of these guys we know a lot about and some of those guys we know a lot about might not play in the Hall of Fame game. And so we've got to get to know some others, we've got to prepare some others ..."The Steelers last played in the H.O.F Game in 2015. They lost 14-3 to the Vikings. Two years before that, the Cowboys beat Miami by a score of 24-20. Of the coaches, one could argue that McCarthy has more to prove than Tomlin. The Cowboys were 6-10 last year and there are reports that he's already on the "Hot Seat." Tomlin, on the other hand, is about as safe as an NFL coach can get. He's loved in Pittsburgh and has the Steelers off a 12-4 season. Over 14 years, he's 145-78-1. Both coaches have similar preseason records. McCarthy is 28-23 SU while Tomlin is 31-23 SU. Both, perhaps, have put a slightly bigger emphasis on winning in recent years. In McCarthy's last three preseasons, his teams were 8-4. Tomlin, meanwhile, has led the Steelers to a 9-3 record their past three exhibition campaigns. Enjoy the game and best of luck.

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Big Al's Daily Angle: MLB Previews and Odds - 08/02/2021

by Big Al Staff

Monday, Aug 02, 2021

The Monday sports card features action in MLB. Eight games are on the MLB slate.Toronto hosts Cleveland at 3:07 PM ET in the opening game of their four-game series. The Blue Jays have won four in a row after their 5-1 victory against Kansas City on Sunday. The Indians have lost two of three after a 2-1 loss in Chicago against the White Sox yesterday. Toronto pitches Robbie Ray against Cleveland’s Eli Morgan. The Blue Jays are a -310 money line favorite with the total set at 9.5.Philadelphia visits Washington on ESPN at 7:05 PM ET in the opening game of their four-game series. The Phillies ended a two-game losing streak with a 15-4 victory at Pittsburgh on Sunday. The Nationals won their fourth game in their last six with a 6-5 victory against the Chicago Cubs. Philadelphia pitches Ranger Suarez against the recently acquired Josiah Gray for Washington. The Phillies are a -125 money line road favorite with an over/under of 9.The New York Yankees are at home against Baltimore at 7:05 PM ET. The Yankees have won five of their last six games with their 3-1 win at Miami yesterday. The Orioles’ two-game winning streak ended with a 6-2 loss in Detroit. Andrew Headley makes his debut for the Yankees against Jorge Lopes for Baltimore. New York is a -240 money line favorite with a total of 9.5. The New York Mets travel to Miami at 7:10 PM ET in the opening game of their four-game series. The Mets have lost three of four games after a 7-1 loss to Cincinnati yesterday. The Marlins have lost four in a row after their loss to the Yankees yesterday. New York pitches Tylor McGill against a starting pitcher yet to be determined for Miami. The Mets are a -150 money line road favorite with an over/under of 7. Tampa Bay hosts Seattle at 7:10 PM ET in the first game of their three-game series. The Rays have won four in a row after their 3-2 victory against Boston yesterday. The Mariners lost their fourth game in five in a 4-3 loss at Texas on Sunday. Michael Wacha pitches Tampa Bay against Chris Flexen for Seattle. The Rays are a -155 money line favorite with a total of 8.5. The Los Angeles Angels visit Texas at 8:05 PM ET. The Angels lost their third game in their last four with an 8-3 loss to Oakland yesterday. The Rangers won their second in a row with a 4-3 victory against Seattle. Texas pitches Dane Dunning against a Mariners’ starting pitcher yet to be determined. Milwaukee plays at home against Pittsburgh at 8:10 PM ET. The Brewers won their fifth game in their last six contests with their 2-1 win at Atlanta on Sunday. The Pirates had their two-game winning streak end with a 15-4 loss to Philadelphia yesterday. Eric Lauer pitches for Milwaukee against Bryse Wilson for Pittsburgh. The Brewers are a -225 money line favorite with an over/under of 8.5. San Francisco visits Arizona at 9:40 PM ET in the first game of their four-game series. The Giants won their fifth game in their last seven in a 5-3 victory against Houston on Sunday. The Diamondbacks have lost two in a row after a 13-0 loss against the Los Angeles Dodgers yesterday. San Francisco pitches Anthony DeSclafani against Arizona’s Taylor Widener. The Giants are a -160 money line road favorite with a total of 8.5.

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2021 CFL Preview: Montreal Alouettes

by Sean Murphy

Monday, Aug 02, 2021

We continue our series of CFL team previews heading into the 2021 season with the Montreal Alouettes - the league's upstart team from 2019. Here's what to expect as they try to prove their surprising run to the '19 East Division Semi-Final was no fluke.On offense the Als are relatively set. Vernon Adams Jr. is back under center and one of the most dynamic offensive players in the entire league. He has plenty of support around him as well, with RB William Stanback poised for another big season after putting in time in the NFL. Stanback is a threat both on the ground and through the air and will be critical to the team's offensive success. At wide receiver, the Als added Naaman Roosevelt to a group that already boasted a lot of potential. Rashad Ross is another name to watch as he has impressed throughout training camp and would serve as the perfect compliment to Roosevelt and Geno Lewis.Defensively, the Als need some work. They got picked apart by the league's better offenses in 2019, allowing over 27 points per game, largely due to their inability to put pressure on opposing quarterbacks (they posted a league-low 27 sacks). A new-look defensive line should help their cause with the additions of Almondo Sewell and Nick Usher, who both come over from Edmonton. Michael Wakefield joins the line from Ottawa where he was a disruptive force for three seasons. Montreal's linebacking corps could serve as the strength of the defense with plenty of returning talent and a new coach in Mickey Donovan (he formerly led the Als special teams). The Alouettes will have to wait an extra week to start their season as they kick things off on August 14th against Edmonton. The betting marketplace isn't giving Montreal much respect as the Als boast the second-longest odds to win the Grey Cup, currently priced around 10-1 at most books. 

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