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Big Al's Daily Angle: NFL and MLB Previews and Odds - 09/25/2022

by Big Al Staff

Sunday, Sep 25, 2022

The Sunday sports card features action in the NFL and MLB.The second week in the National Football League continues with 14 games. Nine games kick off at 1 PM ET. The New Orleans Saints travel to Carolina to play the Panthers as a 2.5-point road favorite with the total set at 41 (all odds from DraftKings). The Chicago Bears play at home against the Houston Texans as a 3-point favorite with an over/under of 39. The Kansas City Chiefs are at Indianapolis against the Colts as a 5.5-point road favorite with a total of 50.5. The Buffalo Bills play in Miami against the Dolphins as a 4.5-point road favorite with an over/under of 53.5. The Minnesota Vikings host the Detroit Lions as a 6-point favorite with a total of 52.5. The Baltimore Ravens visit New England to play the Patriots as a 2.5-point road favorite with an over/under of 44. The Cincinnati Bengals are in New York against the Jets as a 6-point road favorite with a total of 45. The Las Vegas Raiders play at Tennessee against the Titans as a 2-point road favorite with an over/under of 45.5. Philadelphia is at Washington as a 6.5-point road favorite with a total of 47.5. The Los Angeles Chargers host the Jacksonville Jaguars at 4:05 PM ET as a 3-point favorite with an over/under of 42.5. Three more NFL games kick off at 4:25 PM ET. The Los Angeles Rams visit Arizona to play the Rams as a 3.5-point road favorite with a total of 48.5. The Seattle Seahawks play at home against the Atlanta Falcons as a 1-point favorite with an over/under of 42. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are at home against the Green Bay Packers as a 1.5-point favorite with a total of 42. The San Francisco 49ers travel to Denver to play the Broncos on NBC and Peacock at 8:20 PM ET for Sunday Night Football. The 49ers are a 1.5-point road favorite with an over/under of 44.5. Major League Baseball has 15 games on its schedule. Two MLB games throw out the first pitch at 1:05 PM ET. The Houston Astros play at Baltimore against the Orioles as a -165 money line road favorite with a total of 7.5. The Atlanta Braves are at Philadelphia against the Phillies as a -125 money line road favorite with an over/under of 8.5. The Tampa Bay Rays play at home against the Toronto Blue Jays at 1:10 PM ET as a -140 money line favorite with a total of 6.5. The Chicago Cubs visit the Pittsburgh Pirates at 1:35 PM ET with both teams priced at -110 with an over/under of 8. Two MLB games start at 1:40 PM ET. The Miami Marlins host the Washington Nationals as a -175 money line favorite with a total of 7.5. The Milwaukee Brewers are at Cincinnati against the Reds as a -145 money line road favorite with an over/under of 8. Three more MLB games begin at 2:10 PM ET. The Chicago White Sox play at home against the Detroit Tigers as a -250 money line favorite with a total of 7.5. The Minnesota Twins are at home against the Los Angeles Angels as a -115 money line favorite with an over/under of 8. The Seattle Mariners travel to Kansas City to play the Royals as a -180 money line road favorite with a total of 7.5. The Cleveland Guardians play at Texas against the Rangers at 2:35 PM ET as a -135 money line road favorite with an over/under of 8. The San Diego Padres are at Colorado against the Rockies at 3:10 PM ET as a -150 money line road favorite with a total of 11. The San Francisco Giants visit Arizona to play the Diamondbacks at 3:40 PM ET. The New York Mets play at Oakland against the A’s at 4:07 PM ET as a -315 money line road favorite with an over/under of 7. The Los Angeles Dodgers are at home against the St. Louis Cardinals at 4:10 PM ET as a -150 money line favorite with a total of 9. The New York Yankees host the Boston Red Sox on ESPN at 7:08 PM ET for Sunday Night Baseball. The Yankees are a -175 money line favorite with an over/under of 8.5.

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NFL Sunday Player Props

by ASA, Inc.

Saturday, Sep 24, 2022

Tua Tagovailoa Over .5 INTS (-115)After an insane comeback last week where Tua went nuclear for 469 yards and 6 TDs, he gets Bills Mafia coming to Hard Rock in week 3. Josh Allen looks unstoppable, giving us hopes of a righteous shootout (52.5 o/u) with some of the best WRs in football. Tua threw 2 picks last week and will likely be asked to air it out all afternoon once again. Buffalo has arguably the best safety combo in the league with Micah Hyde and Jordan Poyer patrolling the deep shots. More passing volume means more opportunity for picks. Justin Fields Under 176.5 Pass Yards (-114)Fields has been terrible throwing the football so far in 2022. Yes, he has played two solid defenses in SF and GB but he has completed just 15 passes through two games. The Bears have very few weapons and they have leaned heavily on the run to keep the ball out of their QBs hands. While playing from behind against GB, Fields amounted just 11 pass attempts. In the lowest point total for Sunday (39.5), expect a slow pace with few chunk plays.  AJ Dillion Over 11.5 Rush Att (-110)Aaron Jones was the star of Sunday night last week, amassing 15 carries for 132 yards. Even so, AJ Dillion still led the back field with 18 rush attempts. Aaron Rodgers has struggled against Tampa Bay’s physical defense in the past, throwing for 160 yards and 2 INTs the last time he traveled to Raymond James Stadium. Look for the Packers to stay on schedule as much as possible and use their RBs to stay ahead of the chains. Green Bay realizes that Dillons touches may not be as explosive as Jones’ but are completely necessary to grind opposing defenses. 

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NFL Game Three Home Chalk That Doesn't Walk

by Tom Stryker

Saturday, Sep 24, 2022

Now that the NFL is off and running and each team has a couple of games under their belt, there is hope that things will settle down in the league.  There are always surprises early in the season and we’ve been treated to a few major upsets and a couple of incredible comebacks.  There will likely be more. Thankfully, with the help of my pro football database, the same one that was featured in the December 13th, 2010, issue of the ESPN Insider magazine, I’ve been able to isolate and profit from a number of early season technical situations that have performed very well.  My “NFL Game Three Home Chalk That Doesn’t Walk” system is one that has made my clients and I a great deal of profit over the years. The research I did on this particular situation was pretty basic and simple.  I wanted to see how a 1-1 SU team did at home checking in off a straight up loss.  My gut told me that these teams probably did pretty well.  I couldn’t have been more wrong.  Take a peek at this handicapping gem:   Since 1986, PLAY AGAINST any game three NFL home favorite that owns a 1-1 SU record provided they take the field off a straight up non-division road loss, if they are battling a foe that is competing in their third regular season game.  36-Year ATS Record = 40-11-2 ATS for 78.4 percent  This Week’s Play = DETROIT LIONS The knee-jerk reaction would be to side with that 1-1 SU host thinking they would bounce back of a road loss.  That simply doesn’t happen.  Last week, after knocking off Green Bay at home in its season opener, Minnesota traveled to Philadelphia on Monday night and dropped a 24-7 decision to the Eagles.  Now, the Purple People Eaters are back in the Twin Cities laying points to a Lions bunch that arrives with steam off a home win and cover over the Commanders.  Our Game Three Home Chalk That Doesn’t Walk system demands that we fade the Vikes in this spot. Good luck with the Lions on Sunday in this huge NFC North battle!

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Big Al's Daily Angle: NCAAF, MLB and CFL Previews and Odds - 09/24/2022

by Big Al Staff

Saturday, Sep 24, 2022

The Saturday sports card features action in NCAAF, MLB, and CFL.The fourth week of the college football regular season continues with 55 games between FBS opponents. Seven nationally-televised NCAAF games kick off at noon ET. Michigan host Maryland on Fox as a 17-point favorite with the total set at 64.5 (all odds from DraftKings). Auburn plays at home against Missouri on ESPN as a 7-point favorite with an over/under of 51.5. TCU travels to SMU on ESPNU as a 2.5-point road favorite with a total of 71. Kansas is at home against Duke on FS1 as a 7-point favorite with an over/under of 63.5. Iowa State plays at home against Baylor on ESPN2 as a 2-point favorite with a total of 45.5. Clemson visits Wake Forest on ABC as an 8-point road favorite with an over/under of 55.5. Eastern Michigan is at home against Buffalo on the CBS Sports Network as a 6-point favorite with a total of 59. Five NCAAF games on national television at 3:30 PM ET. Tennessee hosts Florida on CBS as an 11-point favorite with an over/under of 63. Texas plays at Texas Tech on ESPN as a 7-point road favorite with a total of 61. North Carolina is at home against Notre Dame on ABC as a 2.5-point favorite with an over/under of 55.5. Cincinnati plays at home against Indiana on ESPN2 as a 16.5-point favorite with an over/under of 57. Toledo travels to San Diego State on FS1 as a 3-point road favorite with a total of 45. Two nationally-televised NCAAF games begin at 4 PM ET. Oregon visits Washington State on Fox as a 6.5-point road favorite with an over/under of 57.5. Central Florida is at home against Georgia Tech on ESPNU as a 21-point favorite with a total of 57. Five NCAAF games on national television start at 7 PM ET. UNLV travels to Utah State on the CBS Sports Network as a 3-point road favorite with an over/under of 62. Kentucky hosts Northern Illinois on ESPN2 as a 27-point favorite with a total of 54. Iowa plays at Rutgers on FS1 as an 8-point road favorite with an over/under of 34. Texas plays Arkansas at AT&T Stadium in Dallas on ESPN as a 2-point favorite with a total of 50. Marshall is at Troy on the NFL Network as a 3-point road favorite with an over/under of 51.5. Two more nationally-televised NCAAF games begin at 7:30 PM ET. Ohio State plays at home against Wisconsin on ABC as a 19.5-point favorite with a total of 57. South Carolina is at home against Charlotte on ESPNU as a 23.5-point favorite with an over/under of 66.5. Oklahoma hosts Kansas State on Fox at 8 PM ET as a 13.5-point favorite with a total of 53. BYU plays at home against Wyoming on ESPN2 as a 21.5-point favorite with an over/under of 50. San Jose State is at home against Western Michigan on the CBS Sports Network as a 6.5-point favorite with a total of 49. Utah visits Arizona State on ESPN at 10:30 PM ET as a 16-point road favorite with an over/under of 54. Washington hosts Stanford on FS1 at 10:30 PM ET as a 13.5-point favorite with a  total of 62. Major League Baseball has 15 games on its schedule. The New York Yankees play at home against the Boston Red Sox at 1:05 PM ET as a -165 money line favorite with an over/under of 8.5. The Atlanta Braves travel to Philadelphia to play the Phillies at 4:05 PM ET as a -135 money line road favorite with a total of 8. The New York Mets play at Oakland against the A’s at 4:07 PM ET as a -380 money line road favorite with an over/under of 7. Two MLB games throw out the first pitch at 6:10 PM ET. The Miami Marlins host the Washington Nationals as a -225 money line favorite with a total of 6.5. The Tampa Bay Rays are at home against the Toronto Blue Jays as a -115 money line favorite with an over/under of 6.5. The Chicago Cubs travel to Pittsburgh to play the Pirates at 6:35 PM ET with both teams priced at -110 with a total of 7.5. The Milwaukee Brewers are at Cincinnati to play the Reds at 6:40 PM ET as a -215 money line road favorite with an over/under of 8.Two MLB games start at 7:05 PM ET. The Houston Astros play at Baltimore against the Orioles as a -195 money line road favorite with a total of 7.5. The Cleveland Guardians are at Texas to play the Rangers as a -125 money line road favorite with an over/under of 8. Three more MLB games begin at 7:10 PM ET. The Seattle Mariners visit Kansas City to play the Royals as a -175 money line road favorite with a total of 8. The Chicago White Sox host the Detroit Tigers as a -180 money line favorite with an over/under of 8.5. The Minnesota Twins are at home against the Los Angeles Angels as a -135 money line favorite with a total of 7. Two MLB games start at 8:10 PM ET. The Arizona Diamondbacks play at home against the San Francisco Giants as a -125 money line favorite with an over/under of 7.5. The San Diego Padres are at Colorado as a -200 money line road favorite with a total of 10.5. The Los Angeles Dodgers host the St. Louis Cardinals at 9:10 PM ET as a -180 money line favorite with an over/under of 7.5. Week 16 in the Canadian Football League concludes with two games. The Toronto Argonauts play at Ottawa against the Redblacks as a 2.5-point road favorite with a total of 46.5. The British Columbia Lions are at home against the Calgary Stampeders as a 1-point favorite with an over/under of 54.5.

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Big Al's Daily Angle: NCAAF, MLB and CFL Previews and Odds - 09/23/2022

by Big Al Staff

Friday, Sep 23, 2022

The Friday sports card features action in NCAAF, MLB, and CFL.The fourth week of the college football regular season continues with three games between FBS opponents. Syracuse hosts Virginia on ESPN at 7 PM ET. The Orange won their third straight game this season with a 32-39 victory against Purdue as a 1.5-point favorite on Saturday. The Cavaliers come off a 16-14 victory against Old Dominion as a 9-point underdog last Saturday. Syracuse is a 10-point favorite, with the total set at 54 (all odds from DraftKings).Air Force hosts Nevada on FS1 at 8 PM ET. The Falcons come off a 17-14 upset loss to Nevada as a 16.5-point favorite on Friday. The Wolf Pack got beat, 24-0, against Iowa last Saturday as a 24-point underdog. Air Force is a 24.5-point favorite with an over/under of 46.5. Boise State plays at UTEP on the CBS Sports Network at 9 PM ET. The Broncos won their second straight game this season with a 30-7 victory against Tennessee-Martin on Saturday. The Miners got upset, 27-10, as a 2-point favorite last Saturday. Boise State is a 16-point road favorite with a total of 45.5.Major League Baseball has 15 games on its schedule. The Chicago Cubs play at the Pittsburgh Pirates at 6:35 PM ET as a -115 money line road favorite with an over/under of 8.5. Two more games throw out the first pitch at 6:40 PM ET. The Washington Nationals play at Miami against the Marlins. Milwaukee is at Cincinnati against the Reds with the Brewers a -155 money line road favorite with a total of 8.5.Three MLB games start at 7:05 PM ET. The New York Yankees host the Boston Red Sox as a -205 money line favorite on Apple TV+ as a -205 money line favorite with an over/under of 7.5. The Houston Astros play at Baltimore against the Orioles as a -145 money line road favorite with a total of 7.5. The Philadelphia Phillies are at home against the Atlanta Braves as a -155 money line favorite with an over/under of 7.5. The Tampa Bay Rays are at home against the Toronto Blue Jays at 7:10 PM ET as a -120 money line favorite with a total of 7. The Texas Rangers play at home against the Cleveland Guardians at 8:05 PM ET as a -120 money line favorite with an over/under of 7.5. Four more MLB games start at 8:10 PM ET. The Chicago White Sox play at home against the Detroit Tigers as a -180 money line favorite with a total of 7.5. The Los Angeles Angels play at Minnesota against the Twins. The San Diego Padres are at Colorado against the Rockies as a -155 money line road favorite with an over/under of 11.5. The Seattle Mariners play at Kansas City against the Royals. The San Francisco Giants are at Arizona against the Diamondbacks at 9:40 PM ET as a -130 money line road favorite with a total of 7.5. The New York Mets are at Oakland against the A’s as a -225 money line road favorite with an over/under of 7. The Seattle Mariners travel to Los Angeles to play the Dodgers on Apple TV+ at 10:10 PM ET as a -165 money line favorite with a total of 8.5. Week 16 in the Canadian Football League kicks off with one game. The Montreal Alouettes host the Hamilton Tiger-Cats as a 2.5-point favorite with an over/under of 52.

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The Preseason Denver Broncos Hype Train Was Always Shaky

by Hollywood Sports

Thursday, Sep 22, 2022

Prior to the start of the NFL regular season, many pundits considered the Denver Broncos a Super Bowl favorite after their heavy investment in Russell Wilson as their franchise quarterback. Yet these observers failed to appreciate that the Broncos were a flawed football team that had endured five-straight losing seasons. Denver was not a football team that was simply a plug-and-play quarterback away from instantly being on the same level as the Kansas City Chiefs and the Buffalo Bills. There are depth concerns at wide receiver after Tim Patrick suffered a season-ending injury in the preseason. Wilson was already getting a downgrade at wide receiver after enjoying the talents of Tyler Lockett and D.K. Metcalf. Jerry Jeudy did not have a touchdown pass last year and Courtland Sutton has failed to seize the mantle as a number one receiver for this team. The Denver defense was overrated from a season ago with good frontline numbers bolstered by a ball control offense. The Broncos' offense under head coach Vic Fangio ranked 5th in the league by averaging 29.45 seconds per play last year. Their opponent’s average starting position was on the 26.0-yard line, the second-best mark in the league. Denver ranked 3rd in the NFL by allowing only 18.9 Points-Per-Game but they also lead the league by holding their opponents to just 16.2 drives per game. They ranked 8th in total defense — but the DVOA metrics at Football Outsiders ranked their defense as 20th in the league which is probably a more accurate measure as to what to expect this season. Now a rookie head coach takes over the team with first-time offensive and defensive coordinators. Maybe this team makes a deep playoff run — but at the very least I expected some growing pains. Boy, did I get that one right with Nathaniel Hackett now being torched nationwide for his decision-making and clock management skills. At this point, I think the avalanche against him is overblown. The Hot Take sports media always wants to find a whipping boy. That said, his hire perplexed me at the time. Why was he the boy genius as the Green Bay offensive coordinator who gets none of the blame for the Packers' postseason issues while all the blame goes to Aaron Rodgers and head coach Matt LaFleur? It seemed a pretty convenient rationalization at the time — along with Sutton and Jeudy being innocent victims of bad quarterback play. And, of course, Russell Wilson is the only reason why Seattle enjoyed nine-straight winning seasons with Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll holding him back from even more success because he simply would not “let him cook.” To buy into the Denver preseason hype, one seemed too willing to assess all blame elsewhere. I was skeptical that such extremism was that simple. The Wilson acquisition could still elevate this franchise into AFC Super Bowl contenders. But if Wilson has lost a step with his mobility and has to rely more on his dropback skills, he may not be quite as good as he was in the past. His size prohibits him from making certain throws on the field. That is not a death knell — Drew Brees was quite effective even in the latter years of his career. But Wilson does not have Brees’ accuracy. Wilson tends to not see open receivers and can be too “all-or-nothing.” Maybe that changes with a better offensive line — but he is adjusting to a new system. Yes, Wilson had input in the offense to have it tailored to his expectations — but that was exactly what we heard last year when Carroll hired Shane Waldron as his offensive coordinator from the Los Angeles Rams (Sean McVay! Sean McVay!). NFL Films guru Greg Cosell commented this week that Wilson is failing to identify open receivers and responded too slow to defensive coverages. These are fixable issues, as are the game management problems that Hackett has dealt with in the first two regular season games of the season. And as the pendulum of the fickle betting market swings the other way, the Broncos may offer value with where their number lies. Remember, we bet numbers, not teams. But the reasons for early-season skepticism regarding the Denver Broncos appear to have had merit with the benefit of hindsight. Best of luck — Frank.

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Big Al's Daily Angle: NFL, NCAAF and MLB Previews and Odds - 09/22/2022

by Big Al Staff

Thursday, Sep 22, 2022

The Thursday sports card features action in the NFL, NCAAF, and MLB.Week 3 in the National Football League kicks off with the Cleveland Browns hosting the Pittsburgh Steelers on Amazon Prime at 8:15 PM ET. The Browns lost at home to the New York Jets last week, 31-30, as a 6.5-point favorite. The Steelers were losers at home to New England, 17-14, as a 3-point underdog. Cleveland is a 4-point favorite, with the total set at 38 (all odds from DraftKings).The fourth week of the college football regular season begins with two games that start at 7:30 PM ET. West Virginia travels to Virginia Tech on ESPN. The Mountaineers ended a two-game losing streak with a 65-7 victory against Towson State as a 41-point favorite on Saturday. The Hokies are on a two-game winning streak after a 27-7 victory against Wofford as a 38-point favorite on Saturday. West Virginia is a 2-point road favorite with an over/under of 50.5. Coastal Carolina plays at Georgia State at 7:30 PM ET. The Chanticleers won their third straight game to start the season with a 38-26 victory at home against Buffalo as a 12-point favorite on Saturday. The Panthers are winless in their first three games after  42-41 upset loss to Charlotte as a 20-point favorite on Saturday. Coastal Carolina is a 2-point road favorite with a total of 62.Major League Baseball has 13 games on its schedule. The Texas Rangers are at home against the Los Angeles Angels at 2:05 PM ET as a -140 money line favorite with an over/under of 8.5. The Minnesota Twins visit Kansas City to play the Royals at 2:10 PM ET as a -130 money line road favorite with a total of 8. The San Francisco Giants play at Colorado against the Rockies at 3:10 PM ET. The Seattle Mariners are at Oakland against the A’s at 3:37 PM ET as a -230 money line road favorite with an over/under of 7. The San Diego Padres host the St. Louis Cardinals at 4:10 PM ET as a -145 money line favorite with a total of 8. The Chicago Cubs travel to Pittsburgh to play the Pirates at 6:35 PM ET. Two more MLB games throw out the first pitch at 6:40 PM ET. The Toronto Blue Jays play at Tampa Bay against the Rays. The Milwaukee Brewers are at Cincinnati against the Reds. The Houston Astros visit the Baltimore Orioles at 7:05 PM ET. Two more MLB games start at 7:15 PM ET. The New York Yankees host the Boston Red Sox on Fox as a -170 money line favorite with an over/under of 8.5. The Atlanta Braves play at Philadelphia against the Phillies as a -155 money line road favorite with a total of 8.The Cleveland Guardians are at Chicago to play the White Sox at 8:10 PM ET as a -135 money line road favorite with an over/under of 7. The Los Angeles Dodgers play at home against the Arizona Diamondbacks at 10:10 PM ET as a -215 money line favorite with a total of 7.

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2022-23 NHL Preview: Atlantic Division

by Sean Murphy

Thursday, Sep 22, 2022

The puck drops on the 2022-23 NHL season with a pair of games between the Sharks and Predators in Czechia beginning on October 7th. Before that, I'll run through quick previews of all 32 teams, beginning with the Atlantic Division.Odds to win division in parentheses.Toronto Maple Leafs (+210)Ah, what could have been. It seems like we've been saying that about the Leafs every year for the last decade-plus. Following another first round playoff exit, hopes are once again high in Leaf Nation. In fact, most have them pegged to win the division and they've been clustered with the Panthers and Lightning as a trio of favorites to grab top spot. There are few changes to discuss personnel-wise. Jack Campbell's tortured tenure between the pipes is over as he's on to Edmonton. Replacing him, presumably as the starter, will be Matt Murray. It's tough to envision Toronto improving on their poor defensive track record given all of the tread on Murray's tires. The bulk of the pressure will once again be placed on the shoulders of Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner as the Leafs look to outscore rather than out-defend the rest of the division.Florida Panthers (+230)Only time will tell whether the decision to send heart-and-soul players Jonathan Huberdeau and Mackenzie Weegar to Calgary in exchange for Matthew Tkachuk will ultimately work in the Panthers favor. Some would say there's nowhere to go but down for Florida's 'other' team after it took down the President's Trophy last season. Getting over the hump (the hump being the rival Tampa Bay Lightning) has proved to be an arduous task with last year's trade deadline acquisitions of Claude Giroux and Ben Chiarot failing to do the trick. Perhaps Tkachuk will breathe new life into the franchise but it seems to be that the dynamic duo of Huberdeau and Barkov will be tough to replace. Tampa Bay Lightning (+240)There's remarkably no rebuild in sight for the Lightning as they continue on as one of the favorites to hoist Lord Stanley's Cup on an annual basis. The usual suspects are all back in the fold, save for Ondrej Palat who perhaps became expendable with last season's underrated acquisition of Nick Paul from the Senators. As long as the likes of Stamkos and Kucherov up front and Sergachev and Hedman at the back are healthy, this team will be in contention atop the Atlantic Division and the Eastern Conference. Perhaps last Spring's Stanley Cup Final drubbing at the hands of the overpowering Avalanche will light a brand new fire in Jon Cooper's squad.Boston Bruins (+1000)One of the biggest surprises of the offseason was the Bruins retaining the services of Patrice Bergeron for at least one more year. Bergeron appeared likely to test the free agent waters and perhaps even head back to his home province in Montreal but instead he's back in Beantown for perhaps one last run at the Cup. David Krejci is another veteran drawing back in while Pavel Zacha was the team's biggest trade acquisition. With a new head coach in Jim Montgomery and an aging roster it seems expectations should be tempered somewhat but tell that to the 'Black and Gold' faithful. Pastrnak, Marchand and Bergeron will ensure the B's are a player in the Eastern Conference playoff race but expecting much more than that will likely be a bridge too far.Ottawa Senators (+2600)The Senators ultimately exceeded expectations last season, doing much more than just avoiding the Atlantic Division basement - they actually finished ahead of three teams including the Bruins. Now the pieces are in place to do even more with Alex DeBrincat and Claude Giroux joining the fold. The latter should provide some much-needed leadership to this young squad that is brimming with talent. While the Sens defensive corps leaves a lot to be desired, Thomas Chabot is undoubtedly a stud. The addition of veteran goaltender Cam Talbot should provide some stability between the pipes but I'm not convinced he's that big of an upgrade over Matt Murray. While unlikely to make the jump to division contender, knocking on the door to the playoffs should represent Ottawa's ceiling in 22-23.Detroit Red Wings (+2800)Don't sleep on the Red Wings offseason addition of former Nashville Predator goaltender Ville Husso. That was certainly an area where Detroit was in desperate need of an upgrade and Husso represents just that over Alex Nedelkovic. General manager Steve Yzerman is quietly building a deep, talented roster in the Motor City, with the likes of Andrew Copp, Dominik Kubalik and Ben Chiarot joining the fold, among others. While scoring might still be a bit of a problem, there's a ton of grit up front - the Wings should be the very definition of a 'tough out' in that regard. On the blue line, Chiarot will be a likely pairing for last year's standout rookie Moritz Seider. It's apparent that Detroit is attempting to build a defense corps capable of contending with other high-powered offensive teams in the Atlantic and that strategy might just work wonders in time.Buffalo Sabres (+5700)Perhaps the most interesting thing about the Sabres this season will be the return of the 'goat head' logo along with the black and red color scheme as an alternate look. Apart from that there's just not much to get excited about in Buffalo as it made little noise in the offseason, content to stick with last year's roster that produced a second-to-last place finish in the Atlantic. There are some solid young pieces in place, including Victor Olofsson and Tage Thompson, who are both back in the fold for at least a couple more seasons. Last year's acquisition of Alex Tuch from the Golden Knights in the Jack Eichel trade produced an immediate spark offensively but it didn't seem to be sustainable. This is a team that is likely a number of missing parts away from being a top-four team in a crowded division.Montreal Canadiens (+13600)Nick Suzuki was recently named the Canadiens captain, a clear indication of the direction this rebuilding franchise is headed in. Last year we saw the Habs gain some late season traction under the guidance of first-time head coach Martin St. Louis and there's nowhere to go but up after finishing last place in the division. Montreal is hoping a change of scenery will provide a spark for former Blackhawk and once highly-touted prospect Kirby Dach. The Habs used their lottery pick to select Juraj Slafkovsky but it remains to be seen how much of an immediate impact he can make. The hope is that he pans out better than former high draft pick Jesperi Kotkaniemi, who never really made his mark in Montreal before being snatched up by Carolina last year. There are still far too many holes in the roster to expect the Habs to make a considerable jump this season. 

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Big Al's Daily Angle: MLB Previews and Odds - 09/21/2022

by Big Al Staff

Wednesday, Sep 21, 2022

The Wednesday sports card features action in MLB.Major League Baseball has 15 games on its schedule. The Washington Nationals visit Atlanta to play the Braves at 12:20 PM ET. Paulo Espino takes the ball for the Nationals to pitch against the Braves Bryce Elder. The New York Mets play at Milwaukee against the Brewers at 2:10 PM ET. The Mets turn to Taijuan Walker to pitch against the Brewers’ Adrian Houser. New York is a -130 money line road favorite with an over/under of 8.5 (all odds from DraftKings).Three MLB games throw out the first pitch at 6:40 PM ET. Miami hosts Chicago with Jesus Luzardo pitching for the Marlins against Drew Smyly for the Cubs. The Marlins are a -120 money line favorite with a total of 6.5. Boston is at Cincinnati with the Red Sox tapping Connor Seabold to battle against the Reds’ Chase Anderson. The Red Sox are a -170 money line road favorite with an over/under of 9.5. Houston travels to Tampa Bay with Lance McCullers pitching for the Astros against Corey Kluber for the Rays. The Astros are a -130 money line road favorite with a total of 7. The Philadelphia Phillies play at home against the Toronto Blue Jays at 6:45 PM ET. The Phillies send Zack Wheeler to the mound to pitch against the Blue Jays Kevin Gausman. Philadelphia is a -115 money line favorite with an over/under of 8. Two MLB games start at 7:05 PM ET. New York plays at home against Pittsburgh with Luis Severino pitching for the Yankees against Roansey Contreras. The Yankees are a -300 money line favorite with a total of 8. Baltimore is at home against Detroit, with the Orioles tapping Jordan Lyles to pitch against the Tigers’ Matt Manning. The Orioles are a -170 money line favorite with an over/under of 8. The Texas Rangers host the Los Angeles Angels at 8:05 PM ET. Dane Dunning takes the hill for the Rangers to battle against Patrick Sandoval for the Angels. Texas is a -145 money line favorite with a total of 8.5. Two MLB games begin at 8:10 PM ET. Minnesota plays at Kansas City, with the Twins turning to Bailey Ober to pitch against the Royals’ Daniel Lynch. The Twins is a -140 money line road favorite with an over/under of 8.5. Chicago is at home against Cleveland, with Lance Lynn pitching for the White Sox against Triston McKenzie for the Guardians. The White Sox are a -125 money line favorite with a total of 7.5. The San Francisco Giants travel to Colorado to play the Rockies at 8:40 PM ET. Logan Webb takes the ball for the Giants to pitch against German Marquez for the Rockies. San Francisco is a -135 money line road favorite with an over/under of 10.Two MLB games start at 9:40 PM ET. San Diego hosts St. Louis, with the Padres tapping Blake Snell to pitch against the Cardinals’ Miles Mikolas. San Diego is a -125 money line favorite with a total of 7.5. Seattle plays at Oakland with Robbie Ray pitching for the Mariners to duel against James Kaprielian for the A’s. The Mariners are a -210 money line road favorite with an over/under of 7. The Los Angeles Dodgers play at home against the Arizona Diamondbacks at 10:10 PM ET. The Dodgers send out Dustin May to pitch against the Diamondbacks’ Madison Bumgarner. Los Angeles is a -295 money line favorite with a total of 8.5. 

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NCAAF Inside the Boxscores Week 3 (Part 2)

by Matt Fargo

Tuesday, Sep 20, 2022

Inside the Boxscores is a weekly feature from Matt Fargo that has been widely recognized as one of the best summations in college football. He takes an in-depth look at each game and pulls out the most pertinent information that will help you handicap games in the future. College football is filled with quirky plays, misleading scores and surprise endings. Fargo takes you inside the action. Vanderbilt 38, Northern Illinois 28Northern Illinois took control of this game early but the loss of starting quarterback Rocky Lombardi in the second quarter was too much to overcome down the stretch. Vanderbilt took the opening kickoff and went 80 yards in 12 plays to take a 7-0 lead and eventually stretched that to 14-7 but the Huskies scored twice in the final five minutes of the second quarter and then opened the second half with a 75-yard drive in three plays to take a two-touchdown lead. Vanderbilt scored the final 24 points as the defense forced three punts, had two fourth down stops and an interception over the final six Huskies possessions. The Commodores outgained Northern Illinois 428-354 on 10 more plays. Alabama 63, UL-Monroe 7Alabama dominated in all three areas as it scored on offense, defense and special teams for its first three touchdowns and jumped out to a 28-0 lead after the first quarter. The Tide scored three non-offensive touchdowns as it ran an interception back 25 yards for a touchdown, blocked a punt for a scoop and score and returned a punt 68 yards for another touchdown. The offense did stall after its opening touchdown as they were forced to punt, turned it over on downs and threw an interception in three of the next four possessions. Still, Alabama outgained UL-Monroe 509-169 despite having the ball for over 12 minutes less as the defense allowed only 11 first downs and forced 12 punts. Kansas 48, Houston 30Kansas pulled off another road upset as it was able to come from behind yet again. The Jayhawks spotted Houston a 14-0 lead as the Cougars forced Kansas to punt in its first two possessions and turned both of those into touchdown drives but then the Jayhawks offense took over. They scored touchdowns on six of their next seven possessions, with the lone exception being a drive ended only by halftime, and carried a 28-14 lead into the break. The Cougars cut it to within seven points but Kansas pulled away with another pair of touchdowns. Houston actually outgained Kansas but was hurt by 10 penalties for 73 yards while its two turnovers turned into 14 points for the Jayhawks, two drives totaling 31 yards. Washington St. 38, Colorado St. 7The Cougars started fast as they scored touchdowns on their first four possessions to take a 28-0 lead into halftime. Washington St. cooled off the jets in the second half on offense as it had a field goal, two punts, a turnover on downs and an interception in its first five drives of the second half before scoring a late touchdown. The defense was the real story as Colorado St. could muster nothing early in the game as in their first nine possessions, they had no drive more than 48 yards as they punted five times, had two turnovers, were stopped on downs and missed a field goal. The Cougars won the yardage battle 442-249 including allowing 37 yards rushing on 31 carries (1.2 ypc) and had seven sacks. Bowling Green 34, Marshall 31There was no letdown for Marshall early as it jumped out to a 14-0 lead after only 2:32 of the game, going 75 yards in four plays in its opening possession, forcing a punt and then going 79 yards in two plays for its second touchdown. Bowling Green punted in its first five possessions, all three and outs, before the offense finally got going as the Thundering Herd scored touchdowns on three straight drives to tie the game at 21-21 and tied it again late in the fourth quarter to send it to overtime. After forcing a field goal, the Falcons scored the winning touchdown two plays later in overtime. Marshall outgained the Falcons 547-377 but it had three turnovers that led to 14 points for Bowling Green. Wake Forest 37, Liberty 36Wake Forest looked as though it would pull away comfortably as it built early leads of 10-0 and 20-5 before Liberty ran off 18 consecutive points to take a 23-20 lead in the third quarter before a wild final 15 minutes. After tying the game with a field goal, Wake Forest regained the lead before Liberty came back to tie three minutes later but the Demon Deacons responded again two minutes later with another touchdown. The Flames got it back with over three minutes left and went 80 yards for a touchdown, elected to go for two points and missed. Liberty outgained the Demon Deacons 437-346 but had four costly turnovers that led to 14 points. Wake Forest rushed for only 21 yards on 26 carries (0.8 ypc). LSU 31, Mississippi St. 16Mississippi St. forced a punt on its first defensive possession and went 87 yards on nine plays to grab a 6-0 lead after a missed extra point. The Tigers could not get nothing going on offense as in the next five possessions, they punted four times and lost a fumble and the Bulldogs were able to extend the lead to 13-0 late in the second quarter. LSU finally put a drive together as it went 75 yards in seven plays in 1:28 to cut the lead to 13-7 at halftime. After trading field goals in the third quarter, LSU scored three fourth quarter touchdowns to pull away, the first one aided by a muffed punt recovered at the nine-yard line. LSU outgained Mississippi St. 420-287 as it held the Bulldogs to 73 yards rushing on 23 carries (3.2 ypc). Tennessee 63, Akron 6It was a small stumble for Tennessee early in the game as it missed a field goal on its first drive but then scored touchdowns on its next six possessions to easily take control of the game. The first five touchdown drives were all 74 yards or more and the offense was forced to punt only twice all game. The Volunteers racked up 676 total yards with the passing game being explosive, going 20-25 with four touchdown passes and a massive 21.9 yards per completion average. The Zips were held to 276 yards of total offense, including just 35 yards rushing on 24 carries (1.5 ypc) and they were held to going just 1-13 on third down. The Volunteers outgained Akron 9.7 to 3.9 in yards per play. Memphis 44, Arkansas St. 32This was a back and forth game throughout the afternoon that the Tigers ultimately survived. Arkansas St. forced a punt on its first defensive possession and went 80 yards in six plays to take a 7-0 lead but Memphis responded with a 75-yard drive in eight plays to force a tie after the first quarter. Back-to-back touchdowns started the second quarter and the Tigers eventually took a 21-17 lead into halftime. Memphis grabbed an 11-point lead early in the fourth and after the Red Wolves regained the lead, the Tigers took it right back shortly thereafter and then recovered a fumble, setting up its final touchdown. Memphis outgained Arkansas St. 547-370 in total yardage and 7.5 to 5.6 yards per play. NC State 27, Texas Tech 14After a punt to open the game, NC State kicked field goals on its next two possessions and scored its first touchdown of the game two possessions later and on the ensuing kickoff, Texas Tech was driving but the Wolfpack intercepted a pass and returned in 84 yards for a touchdown to take a 20-0 lead. The Red Raiders were able to find the endzone prior to the half but the Wolfpack defense allowed only one touchdown in the second half as well as they forced a punt, a turnover on downs and intercepted two more passes. NC State was outgained 353-270 but Texas Tech was only 3-16 on third and fourth down while four turnovers also did them in. The teams combined for just 165 yards rushing. Charlotte 42, Georgia St. 41After opening the season with three bad losses, Charlotte picked up the surprising road win. Georgia St. went 73 yards in 12 plays to open the game with a touchdown drive but the 49ers responded on the next possession by going 75 yards in nine plays to tie the game and the Panthers took a 14-7 lead after the first quarter after another long drive. Charlotte returned a fumble 58 yards for a touchdown and then put up another offensive touchdown to take it first lead that it would hold until 1:43 left but went 69 yards in 1:16 to score the game winner. Georgia St. won the yardage battle 602-501 but ran 23 more plays and was on the wrong side of the yards per play average at 7.6 to 6.8. Iowa 27, Nevada 0The Iowa offense finally got going but it was far from great against a bad defense as the Hawkeyes managed only 337 yards of total offense on just 5.5 yards per play. After punting on its first two possessions, Iowa was able to score on its next three drives with a pair of touchdowns and a field goal but those touchdown drives were only 40 and 41 yards. The offense did sputter the rest of the way as in their last seven possessions, the Hawkeyes punted five times while scoring only twice. The defense made up for it as they allowed only 151 total yards on 2.4 yards per play including 69 yards rushing on 36 carries (1.9 ypc). Nevada never got closer to the endzone than the Hawkeyes 39-yard line. Maryland 34, SMU 27The Maryland offense came up clutch when it was needed but it was the defense that decided this game. There were five lead changes and three ties and the Terrapins rallied from down one touchdown in the second half to score two fourth quarter touchdowns. In total, Maryland forced two interceptions, one fumble, three turnovers on downs and one missed field goal and those led to 20 of its 34 points. The Mustangs outgained Maryland 520-439 but ran 35 more plays and finished at a 7.2 to 5.4 disadvantage in yards per play. The Terrapins were well balanced on offense but finished 5-13 on third down and a couple miscues hurt two drives yet what really hurt them were 15 penalties for 141 yards. UCF 40, Florida Atlantic 14Florida Atlantic controlled most of the first half as it opened the game with an 87-yard touchdown drive in six plays to strike first and after going into the second quarter down 14-7, the Knights put up a touchdown and a field goal to take a 16-14 lead into the break and the defense would allow nothing else the rest of the game. The offense scored the final 33 points of the game and ended it on the Florida Atlantic five-yard line so there could have been more and over the last eight Owls possessions not counting the end of the half, UCF forced six punts, a turnover and a missed field goal. The Knights outgained Florida Atlantic 653-296 as they ran 33 more plays and had over a 12-minute edge in time of possession. Pittsburgh 34, Western Michigan 13Pittsburgh was able to hold off Western Michigan with a big fourth quarter as the Panthers won with their fourth string quarterback starting under center. Pittsburgh jumped out to a 10-0 lead and never allowed the Broncos to get within fewer than seven points which they did at the end of the third quarter following a 75-yard, three-play drive to get to within 20-13. The Panthers took the ensuing kickoff and went 74 yards in 12 plays in 7:07 and then tacked on a late score after forcing the Broncos to punt twice in the fourth quarter. Pittsburgh outgained Western Michigan 417-180 and allowed just 50 yards rushing on 29 carries (1.7 ypc), gave up just 11 first downs and had the ball for over 17 more minutes. Florida 31, South Florida 28Florida had its hands full the entire game as it went ahead early 3-0 but the Bulls drove 81 yards in 12 plays on its next possession to take a 7-3 lead which the Gators quickly took back on a three-play, 75-yard touchdown drive. South Florida cut the lead to 24-13 at halftime and then scored two additional touchdowns, the first one following an interception leading to an 18-yard drive. The Gators tossed another pick but intercepted it back three plays later and went 28 yards for the go ahead score. The Bulls were driving but had a bad snap to force a long third down and another bad snap prevented a tying field goal. The Bulls outyarded Florida 402-329 but ran 26 more plays and were outgained 6.9 to 5.4 yards per play. Rice 33, Louisiana 21Rice snapped the Louisiana 15-game winning streak in dominating fashion even though the score did not reflect that although it did not start out very good. In four first quarter possessions, the Owls punted, kicked a short field goal and threw two interceptions, one which was returned 54 yards for a touchdown before the offense settled down. Rice scored in five of its final seven possessions and after trailing 14-10, it outscored the Cajuns 23-7 the rest of the way. The Owls outgained Louisiana 449-175 and they were able to control the clock for over 24 more minutes, ran 37 more plays (80-43) and had 27 first downs compared to just nine for the Cajuns. Louisiana did not help itself as it had 11 penalties for 85 yards. Washington 39, Michigan St. 28Washington received the opening kickoff and went 77 yards in seven plays for a touchdown and never looked back. The Huskies did fail on fourth down at the Michigan St. two-yard line on their next possession but scored touchdowns in their next four possessions on drives of 50, 60, 65 and 70 yards while also scoring on a safety to build a 29-8 lead at halftime. Washington got the lead to 25 points early in the fourth quarter before the Spartans tacked on a pair of garbage touchdowns. The Huskies outgained Michigan St. 503-365 with 173 of those 365 yards allowed coming in the fourth quarter. The Spartans passing game was solid but they rushed for only 42 yards on 29 carries (1.4 ypc). New Mexico 27, UTEP 10It was a big first half for New Mexico as after exchanging punts on the opening possessions, the Lobos went 62 yards to kick a field goal for a 3-0 lead and then picked off a pass two plays later and returned it 22 yards for a touchdown. UTEP put up a field goal near the end of the first quarter but Mexico scored 10 more unanswered points to take a 20-3 lead into the break. Overall, the Lobos offense was very average as they managed only 299 total yards on a 4.7 yards per play average but were able to hold the ball for over 13 more minutes. A large reason was because of the defense that allowed 353 yards but included only 54 yards rushing on 21 carries (2.6 ypc) while forcing seven turnovers. Clemson 48, Louisiana Tech 20The Tigers had their best offensive performance of the young season as they racked up 521 total yards after a slow start. Clemson never trailed but the first half could have gone either way as the Tigers were held to a 22-yard field goal on their first possession and after going up 10-0, Louisiana Tech was able to keep it tight and closed the half with a field goal to trail only 13-6 at the break. Clemson broke it open in the third quarter with three consecutive touchdowns which came after a pair of interceptions and a turnover on downs that accumulated only 152 yards and then scored its last touchdown on a 12-yard drive. The Bulldogs had only 317 yards of offense including six yards rushing on 20 carries (0.3 ypc). Texas 41, UTSA 20UTSA caught the Longhorns in early letdown mode as it forced a punt on the opening possession and went the other way for a field goal to take a 3-0 lead and after Texas countered with a touchdown, the Roadrunners went 65 yards in 10 plays to take a 10-7 lead. A surprising onsides kick was recovered by UTSA and it went 52 yards in two plays to take a 10-point lead before the Longhorns took over. Texas outscored the Roadrunners 34-3 the rest of the way as the defense forced four punts, stopped a pair of fourth downs and had an interception over the last eight possessions. Texas won the yardage battle 459-408 but on 25 fewer plays as it had a 7.8 to 4.9 yards per play advantage. Texas A&M 17, Miami Fla. 9The quarterback change for the Aggies did not help the offense very much but the defense carried them. Texas A&M and Miami traded field goals to open the game then the Aggies forced a fumble which led to a 28-yard touchdown drive toward the end of the first quarter. The offense lagged for the majority of the remainder of the game as Texas A&M punted in five of their final seven possessions while scoring just one touchdown and ended the first half at their own 44-yard line. The Hurricanes could muster only two more field goals despite outgaining the Aggies 392-264 but ran 25 more plays and the yards per play average was identical at 5.1. The three field goal drives totaled 219 yards of the Miami offense. Utah 35, San Diego St. 7After a scoreless first quarter, Utah opened the scoring in the second quarter on a 77-yard touchdown drive and then forced a punt and went another 82 yards on the next possession to take a 14-0 lead. On the ensuing kickoff, the Utes forced a fumble and went 27 yards to take a 21-0 lead into the break. Utah scored all five touchdowns on consecutive drives between the second and third quarters and the defense was strong throughout the entire game. In 11 defensive possessions, the Utes forced eight punts, had a turnover on downs and an interception and the only touchdown allowed came on a 25-yard drive with four minutes left as they held the Aztecs to 173 yards and nine first downs. USC 45, Fresno St. 17The USC offense was extremely efficient to start the game as it scored on its first three possessions on long touchdown drives that consisted of 12, 12 and 15 plays as the Trojans built a 21-3 lead before the Bulldogs got into the endzone late in the first half to cut the lead to 11 points at halftime. The second half started like the first half as USC scored touchdowns on its first three possessions while Fresno St. was ineffective in getting points as it had 252 yards in five second half possessions but scored only one touchdown as it fumbled, missed a field goal and turned it over on downs twice. USC outgained Fresno St. 517-421 but yards per play were even at 6.8 as the Trojans ran 13 more plays. Eastern Michigan 30, Arizona St. 21The Herm Edwards era came to an end following a loss to Eastern Michigan as the Sun Devils were dominated from the start. Eastern Michigan jumped out to a 10-0 lead after the first quarter and after both teams traded a pair of touchdowns in the second quarter, the Eagles retained that lead heading into halftime. Both teams had only four second half possessions and neither looked good on offense with the Eagles coming away with a pair of field goals and Arizona St. scoring a touchdown but also turned it over on downs, punted, and fumbled on its last drive. Eastern Michigan outgained the Sun Devils 458-352 but needed 18 more plays to do so as it was outgained 6.4 to 6.3 yards per play. 

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Big Al's Daily Angle: MLB Previews and Odds - 09/20/2022

by Big Al Staff

Tuesday, Sep 20, 2022

The Tuesday sports card features action in MLB.Major League Baseball has 16 games on its schedule. The Arizona Diamondbacks play at Los Angeles against the Dodgers at 3:10 PM ET in the opening game of their doubleheader. Three more MLB games throw out the first pitch at 6:40 PM ET. The Miami Marlins are at home against the Chicago Cubs. Pablo Lopez takes the ball for the Marlins to pitch against Zach Davies for the Cubs. Miami is a -150 money line favorite, with the total set at 7 (all odds from DraftKings). The Boston Red Sox travel to Cincinnati to play the Reds. The Red Sox turn to Brayan Bello to pitch against the Reds’ Nick Lodolo. Boston is a -120 money line road favorite with an over/under of 8.5. The Tampa Bay Rays host the Houston Astros on TBS. Shane McClanahan takes the ball for the Rays to battle against Cristian Javier for the Astros. Tampa Bay is a -135 money line favorite with a total of 6.5. The Toronto Blue Jays visit Philadelphia to play the Phillies at 6:45 PM ET. The Blue Jays turn to Ross Stripling to pitch against the Phillies’ Kyle Gibson. Toronto is a -120 money line road favorite with an over/under of 8.5. The New York Yankees host the Pittsburgh Pirates at 7:05 PM ET. Nestor Cortes, Jr. takes the ball for the Yankees against a starting pitcher yet to be named by the Pirates. The Baltimore Orioles play at home against the Detroit Tigers. The Orioles turn to Austin Voth in their starting rotation to pitch against the Tigers’ Joey Wentz. Baltimore is a -200 money line favorite with a total of 8.5. The Atlanta Braves are at home against the Washington Nationals at 7:20 PM ET. Charlie Morton takes the mound for the Braves to battle against the Nationals’ Patrick Corbin. Atlanta is a -315 money line favorite with an over/under of 8.5. The New York Mets travel to Milwaukee to play the Brewers at 7:40 PM ET. The Mets tap Jacob DeGrom to pitch against the Brewers’ Aaron Ashby. The Los Angeles Angels play at Texas against the Rangers at 8:05 PM ET. Patrick Sandoval takes the ball for the Angels to pitch against Cole Ragans for the Rangers. Los Angeles is a -115 money line road favorite with a total of 9. Two games start at 8:10 PM ET. The Minnesota Twins visit the Kansas City Royals. The Twins tap Dylan Bundy to pitch against the Royals’ Zack Greinke. Minnesota is a -135 money line road favorite with a total of 9. The Cleveland Guardians play in Chicago against the White Sox. Aaron Civale pitches for the Guardians against a starting pitcher yet to be named for the White Sox. The San Francisco Giants travel to Colorado against the Rockies at 8:40 PM ET. The Giants turn to Carlos Rodon to pitch against the Rockies’ Kyle Freeland. San Francisco is a -150 money line road favorite with an over/under of 10. Two MLB games begin at 9:40 PM ET. The San Diego Padres host the St. Louis Cardinals. Mike Clevinger takes the ball for the Padres against Adam Wainwright for the Cardinals. San Diego is a -120 money line favorite with a total of 7.5. The Seattle Mariners play at Oakland against the A’s. The Mariners turn to Luis Castillo in their starting rotation against the A’s J.P. Sears. Seattle is a -210 money line road favorite with an over/under of 7. The Arizona Diamondbacks play in Los Angeles against the Dodgers in the second game of their doubleheader at 10:10 PM ET. Drey Jameson pitches for the Diamondbacks against Tyler Anderson for the Dodgers. 

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NCAAF Inside the Boxscores Week 3 (Part 1)

by Matt Fargo

Monday, Sep 19, 2022

Inside the Boxscores is a weekly feature from Matt Fargo that has been widely recognized as one of the best summations in college football. He takes an in-depth look at each game and pulls out the most pertinent information that will help you handicap games in the future. College football is filled with quirky plays, misleading scores and surprise endings. Fargo takes you inside the action. Florida St. 35, Louisville 31Florida St. made a quarterback change after an injury to Jordan Travis in the second quarter and after a slow start Tate Rodemaker was clutch late. He managed just 12 yards of offense in two series and threw an interception in the first half but in the second half, he led them on three touchdown drives of 75 yards. The Seminoles opened the scoring after forcing a punt and going 61 yards for a touchdown and after spotting Louisville a pair of touchdowns, the Seminoles tied the game and eventually fell down another touchdown at halftime. The defense came on strong in the second half also as Florida St. held Louisville to 10 points and just 1-6 on third down. Louisville outgained Florida St. 495-455 but ran 14 more plays. Wyoming 17, Air Force 14Wyoming pulled off the upset as it was able to keep the Air Force rushing game in check. The Falcons entered the game ranked No. 1 in rushing offense with 508.5 ypg but were held to just 171 yards on 40 carries (4.3 ypc). Overall, the Cowboys outgained Air Force 342-272 and they were at their best in the first half as they held to Falcons to only 87 total yards while putting up 183 yards of offense to take a 10-0 lead. Air Force took the second half opening kickoff and drove 75 yards to pull to within three points and after forcing a punt, took the lead following an 80-yard touchdown drive. The Cowboys took the ensuing kickoff and went 75 yards for the game-winning score. Air Force had 0 penalties while Wyoming had only 3. Michigan 59, Connecticut 0Michigan dominated throughout the entire game as it outgained the Huskies 465-110 and it scored its first touchdown after only two minutes and never looked back. The Wolverines scored on nine of their first 12 possessions as they were forced to punt only twice while also missing a field goal. Connecticut did not cross midfield until late in the second quarter as it got to the Michigan 43-yard line but turned it over on downs and it never got into Wolverines territory again the rest of the game. Michigan had 26 first downs compared to only 6 for the Huskies and won the yards per play average 6.7 to 2.1 thanks mostly to an efficient passing game where they were 21-26 and averaged 13.0 yards per completion. Cincinnati 38, Miami Ohio 17Miami Ohio took the opening kickoff and went 75 yards to take a 7-0 lead and then the defense forced a fumble which set up a short field that resulted in a field goal. Cincinnati cut it to three points following an 80-yard touchdown drive but Miami was able to force another fumble and recovered it at the Bearcats 20-yard line to set up a three-play touchdown drive. Cincinnati scored on three of its next four possessions to take a lead into halftime as the defense continued its strong play. Miami did not score the rest of the way as it had only 83 total yards in its final nine possessions and was outgained 478-183. The RedHawks did not convert a third down until the fourth quarter and went 1-11 overall. Baylor 42, Texas St. 7The Bears went down the field 75 yards on the first possession of the game to take a 7-0 lead and then after Texas St. went down to the Baylor 31-yardline, the Bears came up with a fourth down stop and went 69 yards to take a two-touchdown lead. The Bobcats were again stuffed on fourth down, this time at the Baylor four-yard line but did string together a 54-yard, five-play drive to cut it to 14-7 but the Bears took over for good. Texas St. had just 116 total yards over its final eight possessions while the Baylor offense scored in four of its last eight possessions but committed three turnovers as well. The Bears outgained Texas St. 501-268 including 293 (7.9 ypc) to 82 (2.4 ypc) on the ground. Oklahoma 49, Nebraska 14The post Scott Frost era got off to a good start early for Nebraska as it forced a three-and-out to open the game and went 77 yards in six plays to take a 7-0 lead but the Sooners took the ensuing kickoff 75 yards in five plays to tie the game. That was the first of seven unanswered touchdowns for Oklahoma before the Huskers scored a garbage touchdown late. Both teams were balanced on offense but the Sooners were more explosive in both facets as they outgained Nebraska 580-327 and won the yard per play average 6.9 to 4.3. Oklahoma rushed for 312 yards on 54 carries (5.8 ypc) while holding the Huskers to 163 yards on 45 carries (3.6 ypc) and the defense held Nebraska to 6-19 on third and fourth down. Georgia 48, South Carolina 7South Carolina was forced to punt on its first possession and Georgia went 82 yards in 10 plays to take a 7-0 lead and the rout was on. The Bulldogs scored in eight of its first nine possessions as they were forced to punt midway through the second quarter and punted only twice the entire game. Georgia outgained the Gamecocks 547-306 while having an 8.4 to 4.8 yards per play advantage. South Carolina entered Bulldogs territory four times in its first 10 possessions but threw two interceptions, punted once and turned it over on downs in the other one. The Gamecocks only score came with 53 seconds left in the game as over 35 percent of their total offense came in garbage time in the fourth quarter. Indiana 33, Western Kentucky 30Indiana opened the scoring with a field goal and eventually took a 10-7 lead but Western Kentucky went ahead early in the second quarter and took a 17-10 lead into halftime. The Hoosiers had to play catchup the rest of the way as they never led until the final gun. Down 30-22 with 3:46 left in regulation, Indiana went 75 yards in seven plays and scored with 47 second left while tacking on the two-point conversion to send the game into overtime where the Hoosiers blocked a field goal and made the winning kick from 51 yards four plays later. The Hilltoppers outgained Indiana 545-484 but had two costly turnovers, one deep in Indiana territory and one deep in their own territory that led to 10 Hoosiers points. Syracuse 32, Purdue 29A defensive battle flipped in the fourth quarter as after there were 12 points combined in the first half, Syracuse and Purdue combined for 42 points in the final 15 minutes. The Boilermakers took a six-point lead into halftime as they held the Syracuse offense to just 134 total yards and a field goal in the first half. There were five lead changes in the second half and the Orange looked to have to themselves in position to win the game following an interception return for a touchdown for a 25-15 lead with just over eight minutes left in the game but Purdue put together two touchdown drives to take the lead before Syracuse won the game with seven seconds left. Purdue outgained Syracuse 485-306 and went 10-17 on third down. Coastal Carolina 38, Buffalo 26Buffalo recovered a fumble on the first play of the game but had to settle for a 36-yard field goal. The Bulls forced another fumble four plays later but they fumbled it right back after three plays and Coastal Carolina went 43 yards in four plays to take a 7-3 lead. Buffalo was able to get into Chanticleers territory in its next three possessions but had to settle for two field goals and after giving the lead back again, the Bulls went 80 yards right before the half to take a two-point lead into the break. Coastal Carolina retook the lead for a good on a fumble recovery for a touchdown as it outscored Buffalo 21-7 in the fourth quarter. The Chanticleers outgained the Bulls 504-337 including 221-59 on the ground (7.9 ypc to 1.3 ypc). UCLA 32, South Alabama 31UCLA survived a home scare as it won by a point on a field goal as time expired. The Bruins picked off a pass four plays into the game but had to settle for a field goal and despite 129 yards in its first three possessions, UCLA managed only two field goals and eventually fell behind 17-6. A late first half touchdown and an early second half touchdown gave the Bruins a 23-17 lead but the Jaguars countered with a pair of touchdowns to regain the lead. They had a chance to extend the lead but did not convert a fake field goal and the Bruins went 61 yards in 10 plays for the game-winning score. UCLA outgained the Jaguars 407-399 as it ran only three more plays and had just one more first down. Rutgers 16, Temple 14After both teams punted on their opening possessions, Temple took its second possession 73 yards to take a 7-0 lead. Rutgers got onto the scoreboard late in the first quarter with a field goal and then took its first lead after retuning an interception 43 yards for a touchdown. The Scarlet Knights tacked on a pair of field goals to take a nine-point lead into the fourth quarter before the Owls got to within two points just two plays later after a 47-yard touchdown pass with 14:15 remaining but they got the ball back only one other time and failed on fourth down. Rutgers was outgained 264-201 and it averaged only 3.5 yards per play as the only turnover of the game proved to be the difference. Iowa St. 43, Ohio 10Iowa St. started the game by going 69 yards in 11 plays and scored the first 24 points of the game as it was never contested. The Cyclones eventually built a 37-3 lead as the defense held the Bobcats to a field goal, three turnovers and four punts in their first eight possessions. Iowa St. outgained Ohio 463-233 including 163 yards rushing on 32 carries (5.1 ypc) to 24 rushing yards on 22 carries (1.1 ypc). Overall, the Cyclones forced four turnovers that led to 20 points with the four drives needing only 75 total yards. Ohio was just 2-13 on third down and had only 12 first downs while getting sacked four times. The Iowa St. offense did have to settle four three field goals as it went only 5-14 on third down. Virginia 16, Old Dominion 14Old Dominion took its first lead of the game on an 80-yard touchdown drive with just 1:01 remaining in the game but a long kickoff return led to a 56-yard drive that set up the game-winning 26-yard field goal for Virginia as time expired. The Cavaliers jumped out to a 10-0 lead before Old Dominion forced two straight fumbles and turned the second one into a touchdown following a 64-yard drive. Virginia tacked on another field goal for a six-point lead and missed another one before the game winner. Virginia outgained the Monarchs 513-324 but managed only 16 points despite getting into Old Dominion territory nine times as they fumbled three times with 173 yards of offense lost with those. Notre Dame 24, California 17After a scoreless first quarter, California forced a fumble early in the second quarter and went 33 yards in four plays to take a 7-0 lead. Notre Dame returned the ensuing kickoff 40 yards and went 60 yards in in 10 plays to tie the game at 7-7 but the Golden Bears got the lead back with a field goal to take a three-point lead into the half. The Irish opened the second half with another 60-yard touchdown drive before California once again flipped the score and after a field goal, the Irish took the lead for good with 9:16 left. Notre Dame recovered a fumble and took it the distance for a possible 14-point lead but was called back. Notre Dame outgained the Golden Bears 297-296 with California having an 18-17 first down edge. UNLV 58, North Texas 27UNLV went 65 yards on its first possession to take a 7-0 lead but the Mean Green returned the ensuing kickoff 99 yards to knot the game at 7-7. The Rebels blocked a punt on the first North Texas offensive possession which rolled out of the endzone for a safety and after North Texas took the lead with a field goal, UNLV scored a pair of touchdowns on consecutive drives to take a 13-point lead. North Texas scored the final 10 points of the first half and then the two teams exchanged touchdowns before the Rebels took over, outscoring the Mean Green 28-0 the rest of the way. UNLV outgained North Texas 576-474 but had the ball for over 17 minutes more and ran nine more plays. Tulane 17, Kansas St. 10Tulane took its third possession 91 yards in nine plays to take a 7-0 lead but the Wildcats were able to take a 10-7 lead into halftime as the defense forced four punts and grabbed an interception in the other Five Green Wave possessions. The Tulane defense ruled in the second half as it shut out the Wildcats, forcing four punts and stopping Kansas St. on fourth down three times. The Green Wave had two scoring drives of 53 and 52 yards after two of those fourth down stops to score the final 10 points. Both teams had 336 total yards, Tulane had an 18-15 first down edge and both punted seven times as third down conversions were hard to come by as Tulane was 1-12 while Kansas St. was 2-15. UAB 35, Georgia Southern 21The Blazers scored touchdowns in three of their first four possessions but Georgia Southern would not go away lightly as it scored a late first half touchdown and added a late third quarter touchdown to cut the deficit to seven points. UAB opened the fourth quarter with a 71-yard touchdown drive but the Eagles countered with a 75-yard drive for a touchdown on their next possession. Georgia Southern then forced a three and out but threw an interception four plays into the drive in their own territory and the Blazers capped it with a 33-yard touchdown drive. The Eagles won the yardage battle 418-413 but ran 20 more plays including 30 more passes and were outgained 6.6 to 5.0 yards per play. Appalachian St. 32, Troy 28It was another wild game for Appalachian St. and it was a back-and-forth battle all day. The Mountaineers opened the scoring after grabbing a Troy interception on the first play of the game from scrimmage and went 33 yards in three plays to take a 7-0 lead. The Trojans came back on their next possession as they went 75 yards to tie the game and then took a touchdown lead on two different occasions and took a 21-14 lead into halftime. The Mountaineers took a three-point lead but Troy retook the lead and then took a safety in its own end zone to keep a two-point lead but Appalachian St. tossed a 53-yard Hail Mary as time expired to win the game. The Mountaineers outgained the Trojans 456-359.  Oregon 41, BYU 20The Ducks defense opened the game with a fourth down stop at their own 36-yard line and took the ball 64 yards in four plays to take an early 7-0 lead. Trailing 10-0, BYU closed the first quarter with a 75-yard, 10-play drive and then Oregon took over. The Ducks scored touchdowns on the next four possession, adding to six scoring drives in the first six possessions of the game, to go ahead 38-7 midway through the third quarter. The Cougars added a pair of touchdowns in the final quarter to make it more respectable. Oregon only outgained BYU 439-366 but the defense made four stops on fourth down, taking away 145 yards of Cougars offense that resulted in nothing. Conversely, Oregon was 3-3 on fourth down. Minnesota 49, Colorado 7Minnesota closed non-conference action with a third straight blowout as the Gophers scored early and often, building a 35-0 lead at halftime that was extended to 49-0 with most of the starters coming out midway through the second half. Minnesota outgained the Buffaloes 500-226 that included a 420-90 yardage edge through the first three quarters so it was a complete domination when the starters went against each other. The Gophers passing offense was the only below average aspect of the game for them as they were only 12-20 with an interception but did have three passing touchdowns to make it a little more respectable and overall Minnesota was 13-15 on third down while Colorado was 1-12. Penn St. 41, Auburn 12It was a competitive game early on as Auburn got on the board first with a field goal midway through the first quarter but Penn St. responded with a 75-yard touchdown drive to take a lead it would never give up. The Tigers closed to within one point on another field goal and Penn St. responded again with another long touchdown drive to take an eight-point lead into halftime. The Nittany Lions took over in the second half as they outscored Auburn 17-0 in the third quarter and 27-6 in the entire second half, allowing a garbage touchdown in the fourth quarter. Penn St. outgained the Tigers 477-415 as it allowed 296 yards passing but the defense stepped up by forcing four turnovers and sacking Auburn six times. Mississippi 42, Georgia Tech 0It was not a deceiving final score as Mississippi dominated from start to finish, opening the game with a five-play, 74-yard scoring drive that only took 1:21 off the clock. The Rebels scored a rushing touchdown in six of nine possessions through three quarters to build its 42-0 lead with the only blemishes being one punt, a missed field goal and an interception, the latter two resulting in 104 yards of their 547 yards of total offense and getting nothing. The defense pitched a shutout for the first time in eight years as Mississippi allowed only 214 yards and registered seven sacks. The Rebels outgained Georgia Tech on the ground with 316 yards on 62 carries (5.1 ypc) to 53 yards on 34 carries (1.6 ypc). Wisconsin 66, New Mexico St. 7Wisconsin bounced back from a home loss last week as it dominated the Aggies, outgaining them 595-242 and more than double the yards per play average at 9.0 to 3.7. The Badgers allowed only 92 total yards in the first half with 82 of those coming on one drive that resulted in a missed field goal by New Mexico St. right before the half. 112 of the Aggies yards came on their final two possessions so there was nowhere to go besides those three positive drives. Wisconsin punted only three times and of its nine touchdown drives, seven were on five plays or less as it faced only six third downs, converting two of those, while New Mexico St. was only 4-15 on its third down conversion attempts. 

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