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Euro 2020: Italy vs. England Preview and Odds - 07/11/2021

by Big Al Staff

Sunday, Jul 11, 2021

Euro 2020 Finals Preview: Italy versus England.The finals of the Euro 2020 has Italy playing England on ESPN at 3 PM ET at Wembley Stadium in London. England earned the opportunity to play for the European championship with their 2-1 victory over Denmark at Wembley Stadium on Wednesday. The Three Lions got on the board first with Buyako Saka’s crossing pass to Raheem Sterling was intercepted by the Danes’ Simon Kjaer, who inadvertently scored on his own goal in the desperate effort. Mikkel Damsgaard leveled the score for the Red and Whites in the 30th minute. The match went into the 30-minute extra time session with the score knotted at 1-1 when Harry Kane scored the game-winner for England in the 104th minute. The Three Lions advanced to the semifinals with a 4-0 victory against Ukraine in Rome last Saturday. Kane scored in the fourth minute of the match. Harry Maguire added a second goal in the first minute of the second half. Kane scored again for his brace to give his team a three-goal lead four minutes later. Jordan Henderson added the final goal in the 63rd minute.   England reached the quarterfinals with their 2-0 victory against Germany on Tuesday. After a scoreless first half, Sterling broke the deadlock at the 75th-minute mark. Kane added the second goal 11 minutes later. The Three Lions won Group D with their 1-0 victory against the Czech Republic. Sterling’s goal in the 12th minute proved to be all the Three Lions needed to defeat a Czech team that they could meet in a rematch in the semifinals. England opened their tournament with a 1-0 win against Croatia. They then settled for a scoreless draw with Scotland. Manager Garreth Southgate’s team has scored ten times in the event. They conceded their first goal of the tournament against Denmark in the semifinals. Since a loss to Belgium on November 15, England has won all their matches except for the draw with the Scots in the group stage. The Three Lions have never won the European championship, and they have not won a major international title since the 1966 World Cup. England won that World Cup at Wembley Stadium as the host nation of that event, so the English faithful hope that another championship is “coming home.”Italy advanced to the Euro final with a 4-2 victory via penalty kicks against Spain after that match remained tied at 1-1 after 120 minutes of play. Federico Chiesa scored the opening goal for Azzurri in the 60th minute. Alvaro Morata leveled the score for La Furia Roja 20 minutes later. La Nazionale reached the semifinals with a 2-1 victory over Belgium in Munich on Friday. The Azzurri scored first in the match, with Nicolo Barella’s goal in the 31st minute. Lorenzo Insigne added their section goal 13 minutes later. Belgium got on the board just before halftime when Romelu Lukaku converted a penalty kick two minutes into stoppage time. The second half would go scoreless to secure the win for the Italians against a Red Devils team ranked number one in the world by FIFA. Belgium was without Eden Hazard for the match due to a leg injury. Kevin DeBruyne did play despite being a doubt for the game after leaving early in the second half in their quarterfinals match against Portugal. The Italians advanced to the quarterfinals with their 2-1 victory against Austria. The match was scoreless after regulation time before the Azzurri scored twice in the first 15 minutes of the extra period. The Austrians pulled within one goal at the 114th mark but could not force a penalty kick shootout with a second goal. Austria’s score did end Italy’s 11-game streak of clean sheets that had lasted over 1000 minutes in international play. The Azzurri opened this event with a 2-0 victory against Turkey. They followed that up with a 3-0 victory against Switzerland. Manager Roberto Mancini’s side concluded the group stage with a 1-0 win against Wales using many of his bench players. They have scored 12 times in their six games. They have conceded three goals. The Italians are unbeaten in their last 33 matches across all competitions. Their most recent loss was in September 2018 to Portugal in a UEFA Nations League contest. They will be without Leonardo Spinazzola, who ruptured his Achilles’ tendon in the Belgium match that will sideline him for 12 months. The Azzurri last won the European title in 1968. Italy’s last major international championship came in 2006 when they won the World Cup.Draft Kings lists England as a -0.25 goal line favorite with the total set at 2.

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Big Al's Daily Angle: MLB, WNBA, Copa America, and CONCACAF Gold Cup Previews and Odds - 07/10/2021

by Big Al Staff

Saturday, Jul 10, 2021

The Saturday sports card features games in MLB, WNBA, Copa America, and CONCACAF Gold Cup. UFC 264 takes place at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Dustin Poirier fights Conor McGregor in the headlining match, tentatively scheduled for 12:45 AM ET. Poirier is a -134 money line favorite, with the total set at 2.5 for this five-round fight (all odds from DraftKings unless indicated otherwise).The MLB schedule has 16 games on the docket. Tampa Bay hosts Toronto at 1:10 PM ET as a -122 money line favorite with an over/under of 8.5. The Rays pitch Ryan Yarbrough against the Blue Jays' Ross Stripling. Detroit visits Minnesota at 2:10 PM ET with Kyle Funkhouser of the Tigers pitching against Bailey Ober of the Twins. Oakland travels to Texas on FS1-TV at 4:05 PM ET as a -143 money-line road favorite with a total of 9.5. James Kaprielian pitches for the A’s against Mike Foltynewicz of the Rangers. San Francisco hosts Washington as a -220 money line favorite with an over/under of 8.5. The Giants send out Anthony DeSclafani against the Nationals’ Jon Lester. The Chicago White Sox plays at Baltimore as a -200 money line road favorite with a total of 10. Lucas Giolito pitches for the White Sox against Thomas Eshelman of the Orioles. Atlanta visits Miami at 4:10 PM ET as a -115 money line road favorite with an over/under of 7. The Braves’ Max Fried pitches against the Marlins’ Trevor Rogers. Boston is at home against Philadelphia as a -148 money line favorite with a total of 11. Martin Perez pitches for the Red Sox against Matt Moore of the Phillies. The New York Mets play at home against Pittsburgh in the opening game of their seven-inning doubleheader as a -195 money line favorite with an over/under of 5.5. The Mets’ send out Marcus Stroman to face the Pirates Tyler Anderson. Cleveland hosts Kansas City at 6:10 PM ET as a -122 money line favorite with a total of 9. Cal Quantrill pitches for the Indians against Mike Minor of the Royals. Fox broadcasts three games with regional coverage at 7:15 PM ET. Houston plays at home against the New York Yankees as a -109 money line favorite with an over/under of 8.5. The Astros’ Zack Greinke pitches against the Yankees’ Gerrit Cole. The Chicago Cubs are at home against St. Louis as a -117 money line favorite. Zach Davies pitches for the Cubs against Kwang Hyun Kim. Milwaukee hosts Cincinnati as a -195 money line favorite with a total of 8. The Brewers pitch Freddy Peralta against Vladimir Gutierrez of the Reds. The Mets play at home against the Pirates in the second game of their seven-inning doubleheader as a -182 money line favorite with an over/under of 6.5. Tylor Megill pitches for New York against a starter yet to be named for Pittsburgh.San Diego is at home against Colorado at 10:10 PM ET as a -195 money line favorite with a total of 7.5. The Padres pitch Joe Musgrove against the Rockies’ German Marquez. The Los Angeles Angels visit Seattle as a -118 money line road favorite with an over/under of 8.5. Patrick Sandoval pitches for the Angels against Chris Flexen of the Mariners. The Los Angeles Dodgers are at home against Arizona as a -286 money line favorite with a total of 8. The Dodgers pitch Walker Buehler against the Diamondbacks’ Caleb Smith. One game is on the WNBA slate. Washington visits Chicago at 8 PM ET.The finals of the Copa America take place on FS1 at 8 PM ET at Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro. Brazil plays Argentina as a -0.25 goal line favorite with an over/under of 2. The CONCACAF Gold Cup begins with two matches. El Salvador plays Curacao on FS2 at 5:20 PM ET at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas. BetOnline lists El Salvador as a -0.25 goal line favorite with a total of 2. Mexico plays Trinidad and Tobago on FS1 at 10:30 PM ET at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. El Tri is a -2.75 goal line favorite with an over/under of 3.

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Saturday MLB FOX Television Previews and Odds - 07/10/2021

by Big Al Staff

Saturday, Jul 10, 2021

Fox Television has three games for its regional coverage for its Saturday night national broadcast at 7:15 PM ET. The New York Yankees visit Houston as a -110 money line road favorite with the total set at 8.5 (all odds from DraftKings). The Yankees have won four of their last five games after winning the opening game of this series last night, 4-0. New York’s 45-42 record places them tied for third place in the American League East division, nine games behind Boston. Gerrit Cole is their starting pitcher with his 8-4 record, 2.91 ERA, and 0.96 WHIP. The right-hander last pitched on Sunday when he allowed four runs in just 3 1/3 innings in a home start against the New York Mets. The Astros had been on a six-game winning streak before losing their last two games. They remain 4 1/2 games up in first place in the AL West with a 54-35 record. Zack Greinke starts for Houston with his 8-2 record, 3.64 ERA, and 1.12 WHIP. The right-hander scattered three runs in 7 2/3 innings of work at Cleveland in his last start on Sunday. Milwaukee hosts Cincinnati as a -200 money line favorite with an over/under of 8.5. The Brewers pitch Freddy Peralta against Vladimir Gutierrez of the Reds. Milwaukee has lost four of their last six games after dropping the second game of this series last night, 2-0. They remain in first place in the National League Central with a 53-37 record. Peralta has a 7-3 record, a 2.23 ERA, and 0.90 WHIP. The right-hander was issued a loss in his last start at Pittsburgh, where he allowed two runs in six innings of work last Sunday. The Reds have won seven of their last nine games to pull within six games behind Milwaukee in second place in the division. Gutierrez has a 4-3 record with a 4.67 ERA and a 1.38 WHIP. The rookie right-hander got the win in his start on Monday after giving up two runs in six innings of work at Kansas City. The Chicago Cubs play at home against St. Louis as a -117 money line favorite with a total of 7.5. Zack Davies pitches for the Cubs against Kwang Hyun Kim of the Cardinals. Chicago has won two of their last three games after winning Game 1 of this series, 10-5, last night. The Cubs are in third place in the NL Central with a 44-45 record, 8 1/2 games behind the Brewers. Davies has a 5-5 record with a 4.28 ERA and 1.42 WHIP. The right-hander pitched five innings and allowed two runs at home against Pittsburgh on Monday. The Cardinals have dropped two straight games and four of their last six. They are in fourth place in the NL Central with a 43-46 record, 9 1/2 games behind Milwaukee. Kim carries a 3-5 record, a 3.39 ERA, and a 1.28 WHIP. The right-hander earned a victory in his last start after holding the Giants scoreless in seven innings of work at San Francisco on Monday.

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Big Al's Friday Angle: MLB, WNBA, and Copa America Previews and Odds - 07/09/2021

by Big Al Staff

Friday, Jul 09, 2021

The Friday sports card features games in MLB, WNBA, and the Copa America.The MLB schedule has 15 games on the docket. One game is in the afternoon with St. Louis playing in Chicago against the Cubs at 2:20 PM ET. Wade LeBlanc pitches for the Cardinals against Kyle Hendricks of the Cubs. The Chicago White Sox play at Baltimore at 7:05 PM ET as a -137 money line road favorite with the total set at 10.5 (all odds from DraftKings unless otherwise indicated). The White Sox sends out Dallas Keuchel to pitch against the Orioles’ Jorge Lopez. Atlanta visits Miami at 7:10 PM ET as a -136 money line road favorite with an over/under of 7.5. Charlie Morton pitches for the Braves against Zach Thompson of the Marlins. Toronto travels to Tampa Bay with Alek Manoah pitching for the Blue Jays against the Rays’ Shane McClanahan. Cleveland hosts Kansas City as a -141 money line favorite with a total of 9.5. Pittsburgh is in New York to play the Mets with J.T. Brubaker pitching for the Pirates against the Mets’ Marcus Stroman. Boston plays at home against Philadelphia as a -139 money line favorite with the over/under at 11. Garrett Richards pitches for the Red Sox against Vince Velasquez of the Phillies. Oakland travels to Texas at 8:05 PM ET as a -137 money line road favorite with an over/under of 8.5. The A’s pitch Cole Irvin against Jordan Lyles of the Rangers. Minnesota hosts Detroit at 8:10 PM ET as a -220 money line favorite with a total of 9. The New York Yankees play at Houston with Nestor Cortes starting for the Yankees against Jake Odorizzi for the Astros. Cincinnati plays at Milwaukee, with both teams listed at -108 with an over/under of 8.5. Wade Miley pitches for the Reds against Eric Lauer of the Brewers. Washington visits San Francisco at 9:45 PM ET with Paolo Espino pitching for the Nationals against Logan Webb of the Giants. The Los Angeles Angels play at Seattle at 10:10 PM ET as a -125 money line road favorite with a total of 8.5. Arizona travels to Los Angeles to play the Dodgers with the Diamondbacks pitching Taylor Widener against David Price for Los Angeles. San Diego hosts Colorado as a -240 money line road favorite with an over/under of 8.5. The Padres’ send out Blake Snell to pitch against the Rockies’ Kyle Freeland. Four games are on the WNBA slate. Connecticut plays at home against Atlanta on the CBS Sports Network at 7 PM ET as a 15.5-point favorite with the total at 158 (all WNBA lines from BetOnline). New York plays at Indiana as a -1.5 point road favorite with an over/under of 159.5. Seattle visits Phoenix on ESPN at 9 PM ET as a 5-point road favorite with the total at 169. Minnesota travels to Las Vegas at 10:30 PM ET.The third-place consolation contest in the Copa America takes place on FS2 at 8 PM ET at the Estadio Nacional de Brasilia in Brasilia, Brazil. Colombia lost their semifinals match to Argentina by a 3-2 margin in the penalty kick shootout after that game remained tied 1-1 after regulation on Tuesday. Peru was beaten by Brazil, 1-0, in their semifinals contest on Monday. Columbia is a -0.5 goal line favorite with an over/under of 2.25.

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MLB World Series Futures Picks

by Sean Murphy

Thursday, Jul 08, 2021

With the MLB All-Star break just days away, now is an ideal time to consider locking in some MLB World Series futures as we've had ample time to dissect the 2021 season. Here's a look at one longshot (relatively speaking) pick from each league as the dog days of Summer approach.(Odds courtesy BetOnline)American LeagueToronto Blue Jays +2500This is one of the most generous prices I've seen for the Blue Jays who despite all of their young talent, go largely overlooked by most in the futures market (perhaps apart from those of us that reside here in the Great White North). It's easy to forget that the young Jays actually gained some valuable postseason experience, albeit in a unique 2020 Covid-tinged format. We've already seen that the Jays are buyers leading up to the trade deadline and a couple of savvy moves could very well put this team over the top and back into serious contention in the A.L. East. While the management team is different, this is the same club that went 'all in' back in 2015 when it acquired the likes of David Price and Troy Tulowitzki prior to the trade deadline and fell just short of a World Series berth, succumbing to the eventual champion Royals that year. Having already made a couple of minor tweaks with the addition of Corey Dickerson and Trevor Richards, bigger moves could be on the way post-All Star break. Toronto's offense is without question among the best in baseball with Vladimir Guerrero Jr. putting it all together in his third season to anchor the lineup. If George Springer can stay healthy and perhaps with the addition of one more bat, the Jays order should strike fear in any American League pitching staff. It's on the mound where there are questions and the prime reason we're being offered such a healthy return to back the Birds to win it all. I believe it's all worth the risk right now.National LeagueSan Francisco Giants +1400The Giants of course have the pesky Dodgers to deal with in the N.L. West but they currently own a 1.5-game edge and should at the very least earn a Wild Card spot to punch their ticket to October. I like the make-up of this Giants club. I think there are actually a lot of similarities to the World Champion Giants teams from earlier this decade. There's not a lot of star-power but plenty of talent. In contrast to the Blue Jays, the Giants don't have the most potent lineup but do possess a rock solid pitching staff with an A+ starting rotation and bullpen. The emergence of Kevin Gausman and Anthony DeSclafani as true rotation anchors this season has been a real difference-maker in San Fran. Outside of the Dodgers, no other National League team really has much of an intimidation factor. For the Giants, it will likely come down to whether they can make a couple of key moves to perhaps bolster their offense and give them a real shot at hanging with the likes of L.A. in a seven-game series. Right now, that's a question mark as the Dodgers have taken six of nine meetings so far this season. Nevertheless, I don't see the Giants fading any time soon and this is likely as good as it gets price-wise. 

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Big Al's Daily Angle: NBA and MLB Previews and Odds - 07/08/2021

by Big Al Staff

Thursday, Jul 08, 2021

The Thursday sports card features games in the NBA and MLB.The NBA finals continue with Game 2 of the series between the Milwaukee Bucks and the Phoenix Suns on ABC at 9:05 PM ET. Phoenix took the opening game of this series with their 118-105 victory as a 5-point favorite on Tuesday. Milwaukee has still won four of their last six games. Phoenix is a -5.5-point favorite with a total set at 219.5 (all odds from DraftKings unless indicated otherwise). The MLB schedule has 11 games on the docket. The Los Angeles Dodgers play at Miami at 12:10 PM ET as a -165 money line road favorite with an over/under of 7.5. Julio Urias pitches for the Dodgers against Sandy Alcantara of the Marlins. Houston hosts the Oakland A’s at 2:10 PM ET as a -167 money line favorite with an over/under of 9. The Astros send out Lance McCullers against the A’s Frankie Montas. Arizona plays at home against Colorado at 3:40 PM ET as a -143 money line favorite with a total of 9. Jake Faria pitches for the Diamondbacks against the Rockies’ Chi Chi Gonzalez. The New York Yankees play at Seattle at 4:10 PM ET as a -143 money line road favorite with an over/under of 8.5. The Yankees send out Jordan Montgomery pitches against Logan Gilbert of the Mariners. Toronto plays at Baltimore at 7:05 PM ET as a -215 money line road favorite with a total of 11. Alec Manoah of the Blue Jays pitches against Keegan Akin of the Orioles. The New York Mets play at home against Pittsburgh at 7:10 PM ET as a -185 money line favorite with an over/under of 7.5. The Mets send out Taijuan Walker against the Pirates’ Steven Brault. Cleveland hosts Kansas City as a -141 money line favorite with a total of 8.5. Zach Plesac pitches for the Indians against Danny Duffy of the Royals. The Chicago Cubs play at home against Philadelphia on ESPN at 8:05 PM ET. The Cubs ended their 11-game losing streak last night with their 8-3 victory in the third game of this National League series. Chicago sends out Adbert Alzlolay, with his 4-8 record with a  4.48 ERA and a 1.08 WHIP. The Phillies have still won four of their last six games. Zach Eflin pitches for Philadelphia with a 3-6 record, along with a 4.13 ERA and a 1.23 WHIP. The Cubs are a -113 money line favorite. Milwaukee hosts Cincinnati at 8:10 PM ET as a -117 money line favorite with a total of 8. Adrian Houser of the Brewers pitches against Tyler Mahle of the Reds. Minnesota is at home against Detroit as a -141 money line favorite with an over/under of 9.5. The Twins send out J.A. Happ against Takir Skubal of the Tigers. San Diego hosts Washington at 9:10 PM ET as a -143 money line favorite with a total of 7. Yu Darvish pitches for the Padres against Max Scherzer of the Nationals. 

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Big Al's Daily Angle: NHL, MLB, Euro 2020 and WNBA Previews and Odds - 07/07/2021

by Big Al Staff

Wednesday, Jul 07, 2021

The Wednesday sports card features games in the NHL, MLB, WNBA, and Euro 2020.The Stanley Cup finals continue with Game 5 on NBC with a puck drop at 8:08 PM ET. Montreal won their first game of the series with a 3-2 victory in overtime on Monday. The series moves to Tampa Bay with the Lightning holding a 3-1 lead. Tampa Bay is a -230 money lien favorite with the total set at 5 (all odds from DraftKings). Seventeen games are on the MLB docket. Cleveland plays at Tampa Bay at 12:10 PM ET in the first game of their seven-inning doubleheader after their game on Tuesday got postponed due to Hurricane Elsa. The Rays will pitch Michael Wacha while the Indians’ starting pitcher is undecided. Atlanta travels to Pittsburgh at 12:35 PM ET as a -162 money line road favorite with an over/under of 9. Drew Smyly pitches for the Braves against Wil Crowe of the Pirates. The Chicago White Sox plays at Minnesota at 1:10 PM ET. The White Sox pitch Lance Lynn against the Twins’ Michael Pineda. Texas is at home against Detroit at 2:05 PM ET as a -152 money line favorite with a total of 8. Kyle Gibson of the Rangers pitches against Casey Mize of the Tigers. Cincinnati visits Kansas City at 2:10 PM ET as a -148 money line road favorite with an over/under of 9.5. The Reds pitch Sonny Gray against Brady Singer of the Royals. Milwaukee plays at New York against the Mets in the first game of their seven-inning doubleheader after their rainout from Tuesday. The Brewers’ Corbin Burnes was scheduled to start against the Mets’ Jacob DeGrom, but it has yet to be determined which game they will pitch. Cleveland plays at Tampa Bay at 3:10 PM ET in the second game of their seven-inning doubleheader. Boston plays at Los Angeles against the Angels at 4:07 PM ET as a -125 money line road favorite with a total of 9.5. Eduardo Rodriguez pitches for the Red Sox against Andrew Heaney of the Angels.Toronto visits Baltimore at 7:05 PM ET as a -225 money line road favorite with an over/under of 10.5. The Blue Jays pitch Hyun Jin Ryu against the Orioles’ Matt Harvey. The Los Angeles Dodgers visit Miami on ESPN at 7:10 PM ET. Milwaukee plays at New York against the Mets in the second game of their doubleheader. Philadelphia travels to Chicago to play the Cubs at 8:05 PM ET as a -150 money line road favorite. Zack Wheeler pitches for the Phillies against Alec Mills of the Cubs. Houston hosts Oakland at 8:10 PM ET as a -148 money line favorite with a total of 9. The Astros pitch Luis Garcia against the A’s Sean Manaea. Colorado visits Arizona at 9:40 PM ET. Antonio Senzatela pitches for the Rockies against a Diamondbacks pitcher yet to be named. San Francisco is at home against St. Louis at 9:45 PM ET as a -182 money line favorite with an over/under of 8.5. Alex Wood makes the start for the Giants against Johan Oviedo. The New York Yankees play at Seattle at 10:10 PM ET as a -121 money line road favorite with a total of 8.5. San Diego hosts Washington as a -186 money line favorite with an over/under of 8.5. The Padres pitch Chris Paddack against Patrick Corbin of the Nationals. Three games are on the WNBA slate. Dallas plays at Minnesota on ESPN2 at 8 PM ET. Phoenix visits Las Vegas at 10 PM ET. Los Angeles travels to Seattle on the CBS Sports Network.The second semifinals match of the Euro 2020 is on ESPN at 3 PM ET at Wembley Stadium in London. England is a -0.75 goal line favorite against Denmark, with the total set at 2.25.

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Big Al's Daily Angle: NBA, MLB, Euro 2020 and Copa America Previews and Odds - 07/06/2021

by Big Al Staff

Tuesday, Jul 06, 2021

The Tuesday sports card features games in the NBA, MLB, Euro 2020, and the Copa America.The NBA Finals tip-off with Game 1 of the series between the Phoenix Suns and the Milwaukee Bucks. Phoenix advanced to the finals with their 130-103 win in Los Angeles against the Clippers as a 1-point road favorite last Wednesday. The Suns won that series in six games. Milwaukee upset Atlanta, 118-107, as a 3.5-point underdog on Saturday to win the Eastern Conference finals in six games. Phoenix is a 6-point favorite with the total set at 218.5 (all odds from DraftKings). Tip-off is at 9:05 PM ET on ABC.Fourteen games are on the MLB docket. Atlanta plays at Pittsburgh at 7:05 PM ET as a -182 money line road favorite with an over/under of 8.5. Ian Anderson pitches for the Braves against Chad Kohl of the Pirates. Toronto plays at Baltimore. Steven Matz will pitch for the Blue Jays against a starting pitcher the Orioles have yet to name. The Los Angeles Dodgers play at Miami at 7:10 PM ET as a -129 money line road favorite with a total of 7.5. The Dodgers send out Tony Gonsolin against the Marlins’ Pablo Lopez. The New York Mets play at home against Milwaukee on ESPN as a -278 money line favorite with an over/under of 6.5. Jacob DeGrom pitches for the Mets against Brett Anderson of the Brewers. The Cleveland Indians/Tampa Bay game got postponed due to Tropical Storm Elsa.Philadelphia plays at Chicago against the Cubs at 8:05 PM ET as -129 money line road favorite. Aaron Nola pitches for the Phillies against the Cubs’ Jake Arrieta. Texas plays at home as a -195 money line favorite with a total of 9. The Rangers pitches Dane Dunning against the Tigers’ Jose Urena. Houston hosts Oakland at 8:10 PM ET as a -157 money line favorite with an over/under of 8.5. Framber Valdez pitches for the Astros against the A’s Chris Bassitt. Cincinnati plays at Kansas City with the Reds pitching Luis Castillo against the Royals’ Kris Bubic. The Chicago White Sox visit Minnesota as a -117 money line road favorite with a total of 8.5. Carlos Rodon pitches for the White Sox against Jose Berrios of the Twins. The Los Angeles Angels play at home against Boston at 9:38 PM ET as a -109 money line favorite with an over/under of 9. The Angels send out Shohei Ohtani to pitch against the Red Sox’s Nathan Eovaldi. Arizona hosts Colorado at 9:40 PM ET as a -127 money line favorite with a total of 8.5. Merrill Kelly pitches for the Diamondbacks against the Rockies’ Jon Gray. The New York Yankees visit Seattle on ESPN at 10:10 PM ET as a -150 money line road favorite with an over/under of 9. Jameson Taillon pitches for the Yankees against Justus Sheffield of the Seahawks. Washington plays at San Diego. Ryan Weathers pitches for the Padres against a Nationals’ starting pitcher yet to be determined.The semifinals of Euro 2020 start with Italy playing Spain on ESPN at 3 PM ET. The Italians are a -0.25 goal line favorite with a total of 2.25. The match is at Wembley Stadium in London. The semifinals of Copa America concludes with Argentina playing Colombia on FS1 at 9 PM ET. The Argentines are a -0.75 goal line favorite with an over/under of 2. The site is the Estadio Nacional de Brasilia in Brasilia, Brazil.

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NBA Finals 1991 Thru 2020 - A Point Spread Review

by Al McMordie

Monday, Jul 05, 2021

The 2021 NBA Finals are upon us, and will feature an intriguing match-up between the Eastern conference's Milwaukee Bucks and the Western conference's Phoenix Suns.After compiling the league's #1 record in each of 2019 and 2020, the Bucks took a step backwards this season and "only" went 46-26 to earn the East's #3 seed.  The Suns were five games better, at 51-21, and garnered the #2 seed in the West.Phoenix has been installed as a 5.5-point favorite for Game 1, and are -190 to win the series at William Hill (Milwaukee is +170).  The key story line is the health of Giannis Antetokounmpo, who sustained an injury in Game 4 of Milwaukee's semifinal series vs. Atlanta.  He won't be fully healthy in this Finals, and is listed as "day-to-day" on the injury report.Let's take a look at the previous 30 years of NBA Finals games to see what history can teach us.Please note that six of the 169 previous games were played on a neutral court (2020).Home teams:  72-88-3 ATS (10-16-1 ATS as dog; 61-70-2 ATS as fave; 1-2 ATS as pk'em)Away teams:  88-72-3 ATS (70-61-2 ATS as dog; 16-10-1 ATS as fave; 2-1 ATS as pk'em)Underdogs:  84-79-3 ATS (36-41-2 ATS off win; 48-38-1 ATS off loss)Favorites:  79-84-3 ATS (58-58-1 ATS off win; 21-26-2 ATS off loss)Off back-to-back losses:  20-23-1 ATS (10-18-1 ATS at home; 9-5 ATS on road; 1-0 ATS on neutral court)Off double-digit loss:  31-30-2 ATS (9-14-2 ATS at home; 20-15 ATS on road; 2-1 ATS on neutral court; 24-19-1 ATS as dog; 7-11-1 ATS as fave)Game 1:  Home teams 19-10 ATS; Favorites 20-10 ATSGame 2:  Home teams 12-16-1 ATS; Favorites 11-18-1 ATS; Teams off losses 16-13-1 ATSGame 3: Home teams 10-18-1 ATS; Favorites 12-15-1 ATS; Teams off losses 17-12-1 ATS; Teams off back-to-back losses 8-7-1 ATSGame 4: Home teams 12-16-1 ATS; Favorites 15-14-1 ATS; Teams off losses 14-15-1 ATS; Teams off back-to-back losses 5-6 ATSGame 5: Home teams 11-14 ATS; Favorites 11-14 ATS; Teams off losses 13-13 ATS; Teams off back-to-back losses 5-5 ATSGame 6: Home teams 5-12 ATS; Favorites 7-11 ATS; Teams off losses 10-8 ATS; Teams off back-to-back losses 2-4 ATSGame 7: Home teams 3-2 ATS; Favorites 3-2 ATS; Teams off losses 2-3 ATS; Teams off back-to-back losses 1-0 ATSOver/Unders:Game 1:  11 overs, 18 unders, 1 pushGame 2: 13 overs, 15 unders, 2 pushesGame 3: 15 overs, 15 undersGame 4: 10 overs, 20 undersGame 5: 14 overs, 11 unders, 1 pushGame 6: 8 overs, 10 undersGame 7: 0 overs, 5 underscombined:  71 overs, 94 unders, 4 pushesGood luck, as always...Al McMordie

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NHL Hockey: Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Montreal Canadiens Game 4 Preview, Odds and Prediction - 07/05/2021

by Big Al Staff

Monday, Jul 05, 2021

NHL Monday NBC Preview: Tampa Bay Lightning at the Montreal Canadiens.Tampa Bay has the opportunity to become the first team since the 1998 Detroit Red Wings to win the Stanley Cup in a four-game sweep. They play at Montreal in Game 4 on NBC at 8:08 PM ET.The Lightning took Game 3 by a 6-3 score. Tampa Bay got on the board at the 1:52 minute mark of the first period on a goal from Jan Rutta. They are 15-2 in these playoffs when scoring first. The Canadiens are 11-2 when they score first in the postseason, but they are 1-6 when their opponent scores first. Victor Hedman made it a 2-0 lead for the Lightning just over a minute and a half later with a power-play goal. Phillip Danault got Montreal on the scoreboard at 11:16 of the first period. Nikita Kucherov gave Tampa Bay a 3-1 lead at 1:40 of the second period. Tyler Johnson gave the Lightning a three-goal lead just under two minutes later. Nick Suzuki pulled the Canadiens to within two goals with his score at 18:04 of the second period. Tyler Johnson extended Tampa Bay’s lead to three goals, with his goal at 15:19 of the third period. Corey Perry scored the third goal for Montreal at 15:58 of the final period. Blake Coleman added an empty netter at 16:38 to cement the 6-3 victory for the Lightning. Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped 32 of the 35 shots he faced. Vasilevskiy has a .948 save percentage in this series with 92 saves on the 97 shots he has faced. The runner-up to Marc-Andre Fleury for the Vezina Trophy, awarded to the top goaltender of the season, has a 15-6 record in the postseason, with a 1.94 goals-against-average, a .938 save percentage, and four shutouts. He had a 31-10-1 record in the regular season, with a 2.21 goals-against-average and a .925 save percentage. Vasilevskiy previously won the Vezina Trophy in 2019.The Lightning have won four straight games and seven of their last nine. They aspire to become the eighth team in NHL history to win back-to-back Stanley Cup championships. Tampa Bay won their first Stanley Cup in the 2003-04 season before winning the title again last season. The Pittsburgh Penguins are the only team to win back-to-back Stanley Cups in the salary cap era when they repeated as champions in the 2015-16 and 2016-17 seasons. They are 15-6 in this postseason, but two of their losses were in series-clinching games. The Lightning lost Game 5 in their opening-round series against Florida before losing Game 6 in the semifinals with the New York Islanders.Brayden Point leads the NHL with 14 goals in the postseason. Kucherov leads the league with 32 points in the playoffs coming from eight goals and 24 assists. Steven Stamkos and Hedman are third on the team with 18 points. Carey Price stopped 24 of the 29 shots he faced on Friday. The 2015 Vezina Trophy winner has a 12-8 record in the playoffs this season, with a 2.36 goals-against-average and a .921 save percentage. He has allowed 13 goals on the 79 shots he has faced in this series for a .835 save percentage. Montreal outshot Tampa Bay by a 35-29 margin in Game 3, after outshooting the Lightning, 43-23, in Game 2. Suzuki leads the Canadiens with seven goals and 15 points in the playoffs. Tyler Toffoli has 14 points coming from five goals and nine assists. Cole Caufield and Corey Perry both have nine points, tied for third-most on the team. Montreal defeated the Vegas Golden Knights in six games to reach the Stanley Cup finals. The Canadiens opened their postseason run by defeating the heavily-favored Toronto Maple Leafs in seven games. Montreal then swept Winnipeg in four games in the North Division finals before upsetting Vegas in six games. The Canadiens have won 11 of their last 16 games since trailing the Maple Leafs, 3-1, in that first-round series. They have won the Stanley Cup championship 22 times. They last won the Cup in 1993 in their most recent appearance in the finals.  After the Canadiens’ streak of 13 straight games without allowing a power-play goal ended in Game 1 on Monday, Montreal stopped all three of Tampa Bay’s three chances with the man advantage in Game 2. In Game 3, the Lightning were on the power play just once, and they did score from the Hedman goal. The Canadiens have thwarted 35 of the last 37 power plays they have defended. The Lightning have scored 22 power plays in the playoffs with a 36.7% success rate from their 60 opportunities with the man advantage. They have scored twice in their seven power plays in the Stanley Cup finals.The Canadiens got their head coach back on the bench for Game 3 with Dominique Ducharme cleared from COVID quarantine. Left wing Tomas Tatar remains questionable with the injury that kept him sidelined since Game 5 of the opening-round series with Toronto.Alex Killorn is questionable for Tampa Bay after not playing on Friday from the lower-body injury he incurred from taking a shot from the Canadiens’ Jeff Petry in the second period in Game 1. He usually plays on the second line with Steven Stamkos and Anthony Cirelli, and he plays on the power play and power play kill units.DraftKings lists Tampa Bay as a -150 money line road favorite for Game 4, with the total set at 5.Computer prediction:  Montreal Canadiens 3 Tampa Bay Lightning 1

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Big Al's Daily Angle: NHL, MLB, WNBA and Copa America Previews and Odds - 07/05/2021

by Big Al Staff

Monday, Jul 05, 2021

The Monday sports card features games in the NHL, MLB, WNBA, and the Copa America.The finals of the Stanley Cup playoffs continue with Game 4 on NBC with a puck drop at 8:08 PM ET. Tampa Bay took a 3-0 lead in this series with their 6-3 victory on Friday. Montreal hosts Game 4 in their Bell Centre. The Lightning are a -150 money line road favorite with the total set at 5 (all odds from DraftKings).Eleven games are on the MLB docket. St. Louis plays at San Francisco at 6:05 PM ET. Kwang Hyun Kim pitches for the Cardinals, and the Giants have yet to declare their starting pitcher. The Los Angeles Dodgers visit Miami at 6:40 PM ET as a -167 money line road favorite with an over/under of 7. The Dodgers send out Trevor Bauer to pitch against Trevor Rogers of the Marlins. Atlanta travels to Pittsburgh at 7:05 PM ET as a -195 money line road favorite with a total of 8.5. Max Fried of the Braves pitches against Chase De Jong of the Pirates. Tampa Bay is at home against Cleveland at 7:10 PM ET as a -205 money line favorite with an over/under of 9. The Rays pitch Rich Hill against the Indians’ Logan Allen. Milwaukee plays at the New York Mets as a -162 money line road favorite with a total of 7. Brandon Woodruff pitches for the Brewers against the Mets’ Tylor Megill. The Chicago White Sox are in Minnesota in the first game of a doubleheader on ESPN as a -117 money line road favorite with an over/under of 10. The White Sox pitch Dylan Cease against the Twins’ Bailey Ober. Texas hosts Detroit at 8:05 PM ET as a -150 money line favorite with a total of 9. Kolby Allard pitches for the Rangers against Wily Peralta of the Tigers. Philadelphia plays in Chicago against the Cubs. The Phillies pitch Matt Moore against Zach Davies of the Cubs. Kansas City is at home against Cincinnati at 8:10 PM ET as a -121 money line favorite with an over/under of 9.5. Mike Minor of the Royals pitches against Vladimir Gutierrez of the Reds. The Los Angeles Angeles play at home against Boston in the nightcap on ESPN at 9:38 PM ET as a -109 money line favorite with a total of 10. Jose Suarez pitches for the Angels against Martin Perez of the Red Sox. Washington plays at San Diego at 10:10 PM ET with the starting pitchers yet to be named. One game is on the WNBA schedule. Dallas plays at Houston at 7 PM ET. The semifinals of Copa America take place on FS1 at 7 PM ET. Peru reached the semifinals after defeating Paraguay by a 4-3 margin in a shootout after a 3-3 score could not be resolved after regulation in the quarterfinals on Friday. Brazil advanced to the semifinals with a 1-0 victory against Chile on Friday. The Brazilians are a -1.75 goal line favorite with an over/under of 2.75. Olympic Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, is the site for this game.

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Who Will be the Worst NFL Team in 2021? One Team Might Surprise You!

by ASA, Inc.

Sunday, Jul 04, 2021

It is always hard to win in the NFL but some teams are already doomed going into the 2021 season. Sitting at the bottom of the NFL win total odds are the Detroit Lions and Houston Texans. Detroit’s win total is set at 5 games while Houston’s is at 4.5 games. Both of these teams are in obvious rebuild mode with new head coaches along with horrid quarterback issues.  The Lions were at least able to bring in some help during the draft and seem to be heading in the right direction. Penei Sewell fell to them in the draft and they followed him by going DT in the second round and DT, CB in the third. Suring up the trenches is never a bad option when rebuilding with a defensive minded head coach in Dan Campbell. They do play the 6th toughest schedule which is a big reason why they could still finish dead last in the NFL.  Meanwhile Bill O’Brien should still be locked up for what he did to the Texans future. After a 4-12 year in 2020, Houston did not have a first or second round pick in this year’s draft. Desean Watson looks to be out for the foreseeable future, and even if he did get cleared to play the roster looks like something Shane Falco couldn’t even win with. The only saving grace is that MAYBE they can get a win against the Jaguars who they play twice, or the Jets in week 12. However, the NFL is a crazy league and there is a reason even bad teams suit up week in and week out. The Eagles, Jets, Bengals, and Jaguars will all struggle in 2021 and could contend for the league’s worst record.  However, Philadelphia does have the easiest strength of schedule in the whole league while the others at least all have promising young quarterbacks to turn to.  So who is the surprise team that might fall toward the bottom of the league in 2021?  We feel that team could be the Las Vegas Raiders. That may catch some off guard with Vegas coming off an 8-8 record.  However, they ranked 30th in points allowed last season and despite their .500 record Las Vegas was just 11th in the AFC in point differential.  The defensive struggles didn’t end there as they allowed 6.0 YPP and their opponents converted on nearly 49% of their 3rd down attempts which ranked them 30th in the NFL.  They appear to be running in place under Jon Gruden who has not produced a winning record during his 3 years in Vegas. In a difficult division it is not hard to see the wheels falling off all together. With only 1 winning record since 2002 the Raiders don’t be surprised if they sit near or at the bottom of the league when all is said and done.

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