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Big Al's Daily Angle: NBA, NHL, MLB and UCL Previews and Odds - 04/17/2024

by Big Al Staff

Wednesday, Apr 17, 2024

The Wednesday sports card features NBA, NHL, MLB, and UCL action.The National Basketball Association continues its Play-In Tournament with two games on ESPN. The Philadelphia 76ers host the Miami Heat at 7:10 p.m. ET as a 5-point favorite, with the total set at 207.5 (all odds from DraftKings unless indicated otherwise). The Chicago Bulls play at home against the Atlanta Hawks at 9:40 p.m. ET as a 3-point favorite with an over/under of 221.5. The National Hockey League has four games on its slate. Two NHL games drop the puck at 7:07 p.m. ET. The Pittsburgh Penguins travel to New York to play the Islanders as a -130 money-line road favorite with a total of 5.5. The Tampa Bay Lightning are home against the Toronto Maple Leafs as a -130 money-line favorite with an over/under of 6.5. The Dallas Stars host the St. Louis Blues on TNT at 9:37 p.m. ET as a -225 money-line favorite with a total of 6. The Edmonton Oilers play in Arizona against the Coyotes at 10:07 p.m. ET as a -205 money-line road favorite with an over/under of 6.5. The Wednesday card in Major League Baseball has 15 games on its schedule. The San Francisco Giants are in Miami to play the Marlins at 12:10 p.m. ET as a -115 money-line road favorite with a total of 8.5. The Minnesota Twins visit Baltimore to play the Orioles at 1:05 p.m. ET as a -120 money-line road favorite with an over/under of 8. Three more MLB games throw out the first pitch at 1:10 p.m. ET. The New York Mets play at home against the Pittsburgh Pirates as a -142 money-line favorite with a total of 8. The San Diego Padres play in Milwaukee against the Brewers. The Detroit Tigers are at home against the Texas Rangers as a -148 money-line favorite with an over/under of 7.5. Two MLB games start at 2:10 p.m. ET. The Atlanta Braves play in Houston against the Astros as a -148 money-line road favorite with a total of 9. The Kansas City Royals are in Chicago to play the White Sox in the opening game of their doubleheader as a -192 money-line road favorite with an over/under of 8.5. The New York Yankees travel to Toronto to play the Blue Jays at 3:07 p.m. ET as a -112 money-line road favorite with a total of 8.5. The Los Angeles Dodgers host the St. Louis Cardinals at 3:10 p.m. ET. The Arizona Diamondbacks play at home against the Chicago Cubs at 3:40 p.m. ET as a -125 money-line favorite with an over/under of 9.5. The Seattle Mariners are at home against the Cincinnati Reds at 4:10 p.m. ET as a -135 money-line favorite with a total of 8. The White Sox host the Royals in the second game of their doubleheader at 5:10 p.m. ET. The Philadelphia Phillies play at home against the Colorado Rockies at 6:05 p.m. ET as a -225 money-line favorite with an over/under of 8. The Tampa Bay Rays are at home against the Los Angeles Angels at 6:50 p.m. ET as a -130 money-line favorite with a total of 8. The Boston Red Sox host the Cleveland Guardians at 7:10 p.m. ET as a -142 money-line favorite with an over/under of 9.5.The knockout stage of the UEFA Champions League continues with the final pair of second-leg matches of the quarterfinals at 3 p.m. ET. Manchester City plays at home against Real Madrid on CBS as a -0.5 goal-line favorite with a total of 3. Bayern Munich is at home against Arsenal in a pick ‘em match with an over/under of 3. 

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Big Al's Daily Angle: NBA, NHL, MLB and UCL Previews and Odds - 04/16/2024

by Big Al Staff

Tuesday, Apr 16, 2024

The Tuesday sports card features NBA, NHL, MLB, and UCL action.The National Basketball Association begins its Play-In Tournament with two games on the docket on TNT. The New Orleans Pelicans host the Los Angeles Lakers at 7:40 p.m. ET as a 1-point favorite, with the total set at 223.5 (all odds from DraftKings unless indicated otherwise). The Golden State Warriors travel to Sacramento to play the Kings at 10:10 p.m. ET as a 2.5-point road favorite, with an over/under of 224. The National Hockey League has eight games on its slate. Four NHL games drop the puck at 7:07 p.m. ET. The Detroit Red Wings play in Montreal against the Canadiens as a -162 money-line road favorite with a total of 6.5. The Philadelphia Flyers play at home against the Washington Capitals as a -135 money-line favorite with an over/under of 5.5. The Boston Bruins are at home against the Ottawa Senators as a -225 money-line favorite with a total of 6. The Carolina Hurricanes are in Columbus to play the Blue Jackets as a -285 money-line road favorite with an over/under of 6.5. The Florida Panthers host the Toronto Maple Leafs on ESPN at 7:37 p.m. ET as a -135 money-line favorite with a total of 6.5. The Winnipeg Jets play at home against the Seattle Kraken at 8:07 p.m. ET as a -205 money-line favorite with an over/under of 5.5. Two more NHL games drop the puck at 10:07 p.m. ET. The Vegas Golden Knights are at home against the Chicago Blackhawks as a -345 money-line favorite with a total of 6. The Vancouver Canucks host the Calgary Flames as a -205 money-line favorite with an over/under of 6.5.The Tuesday card in Major League Baseball has 15 games on its schedule. The Texas Rangers visit Detroit to play the Tigers at 1:10 p.m. ET as a -122 money-line road favorite with a total of 8.5. The Baltimore Orioles play at home against the Minnesota Twins at 6:35 p.m. ET as a -170 money-line favorite with an over/under of 8.5. Two more MLB games throw out the first pitch at 6:40 p.m. ET. The Philadelphia Phillies are at home against the Colorado Rockies as a -238 money-line favorite with a total of 8.5. The San Francisco Giants play in Miami against the Marlins as a -135 money-line road favorite with an over/under of 8. The Tampa Bay Rays host the Los Angeles Angels at 6:50 p.m. ET as a -155 money-line favorite with a total of 8. The New York Yankees are in Toronto to play the Blue Jays at 7:07 p.m. ET as a -115 money-line road favorite with an over/under of 8.5. Two more MLB games start at 7:10 p.m. ET. The Boston Red Sox play at home against the Cleveland Guardians as a -115 money-line favorite with an over/under of 8.5. The New York Mets are at home against the Pittsburgh Pirates as a -130 money-line favorite with a total of 7.5. Two more MLB games begin at 7:40 p.m. ET. The Kansas City Royals travel to Chicago to play the White Sox as a -175 money-in road favorite with an over/under of 8. The San Diego Padres play in Milwaukee to play the Brewers as a -125 money-line road favorite with a total of 8.5. The Atlanta Braves are in Houston to play the Astros on TBS at 8:10 p.m. ET as a -115 money-line road favorite with an over/under of 10. Three MLB games start at 9:40 p.m. ET. The Arizona Diamondbacks host the Chicago Cubs as a -130 money-line favorite with a total of 10. The Seattle Mariners play at home against the Cincinnati Reds as a -130 money-line favorite with an over/under of 7. The St. Louis Cardinals visit Oakland to play the A’s as a -148 money-line road favorite with a total of 8. The Los Angeles Dodgers are at home against the Washington Nationals at 10:10 p.m. ET. The knockout stage of the UEFA Champions League continues with the first two legs in the second round of the quarterfinals at 3 p.m. ET. Barcelona hosts Paris Saint-Germain on CBS as a -0.5 goal-line favorite with an over/under of 3 (all soccer odds from BetMGM). Borussia Dortmund plays at home against Atletico Madrid as a -0.5 goal-line favorite with a total of 3.

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NBA Play-in Tournament Strengths, Weaknesses & ATS Looks

by Vegas Writer

Monday, Apr 15, 2024

With the 2024 NBA Play-In Tournament upon us, let's take a look at the eight teams involved:WESTERN CONFERENCE(7) PelicansSTRENGTH: While the Pelicans were in the play-in tournament previously, they were without Zion Williamson. So of course, this being the first postseason action for Williamson, I'd have to think this is their biggest strength. Williamson averaged 22.9 points, 5.8 rebounds and 5 assists in the regular season while playing a career-high 70 games. His presence will be felt.WEAKNESS: The Pels struggle to bring a standout player off the bench. Some may believe Jose Alvarado's defense makes him the go-to guy, but his lack of offensive prowess leaves New Orleans without a scoring punch off the bench. Trey Murphy III can answer the call at times, but their lack of offensive depth is concerning.ATS WATCH: The Pelicans failed to cover eight of their last 12 to close the regular season.(8) LakersSTRENGTH: No question about it, the strength is the combination of LeBron James and A.D. And when they’re on, they rank among the best duos in the league, combining for 50.2 points, 19.9 rebounds, and 11.7 assists per game. In opening against a very familiar foe, especially LeBron from his days in Cleveland, the King could very well hold court in New Orleans in the opener.WEAKNESS: An ever-changing and inconsistent backcourt. A lot of that has to do with the fact that James has his hands on the ball for the majority of the possessions. The Lakers are also known to be injury prone which has also led to lineup and rotation inconsistencies. Chemistry, or lack thereof, could work against them.ATS WATCH: The Lakers were the exact opposite of the Warriors, with a 38-44 ATS mark during the regular season, one of the bottom eight records in the NBA.(9) KingsSTRENGTH: Sacramento is a very energetic bunch with an extremely quick backcourt of De’Aaron Fox and Malik Monk. That duo has a nice chemistry and knows each other's nuances, which is why we see them play hard on both sides of the court, spurring the efficiency Sacramento tends to enjoy.WEAKNESS: As hard as we've seen them play, the Kings rank next-to-last in 3-point defense, allowing the opposition to hit 39.1% from long range. Opposing offenses know it, too, as teams challenge them every game, attempting a league eighth-highest 33.7 3-pointers per game.ATS WATCH: The Kings closed the season on an 8-5 ATS roll.(10) WarriorsSTRENGTH: Steph Curry is all I should have to say, but we know there's much more to this team. Once again, surrounding the experience coach Steve Kerr has on board, there is a young and trustworthy bench consisting of Brandin Podziemski, Moses Moody, Trayce Jackson-Davis, and Jonathan Kuminga. Coming out of the play-in round with a team like this should have the higher seeds on alert.WEAKNESS: The Warriors are severely undersized. Jackson-Davis (6-9) and Dario Saric (6-10) are their tallest players. And often, we'll see them with Kuminga (6-7) or Draymond Green (6-6) playing the center position. Dealing with A.D. in the first game of the play-in round isn't going to be easy. Plus, as big of a strength as he can be, keep an eye on Green’s antics which often are momentum killers and a weakness for Golden State.ATS WATCH: The Warriors were a top-10 team at the window, as they were 44-38 ATS this season.EASTERN CONFERENCE(7) 76ersSTRENGTH: One thing we know about the Sixers, expectations in Philly are certainly bigger than Allen Iverson's recently unveiled statue. After all, the Sixers were a top-10 team in both adjusted offensive and defensive efficiency when Joel Embiid was healthy earlier in the season. Through Jan. 30, Philly was shooting 47.6% from the floor while holding teams to 46.8%. But from Feb. 1 through March 31, the Sixers shot 44.6% from the field while the opposition was shooting 48%. With Embiid back for Philadelphia, and his supporting cast healthy, this team looks like it can make a deep run in the playoffs.WEAKNESS: The 76ers' ho-hum pace could pose a problem against a seasoned Heat team from last year's NBA Finals. Sitting 18th in the NBA with 97.5 possessions per 48 minutes, Philly will have to keep up with Miami when it pushes the tempo, looking to make scoring runs. Philly averaged just 107.7 points per game in its last 20 games, well below the 116.8 ppg. it was scoring over the first 62 games.ATS WATCH: The 76ers were a covering machine, ranking second in the league with a 49-33 ATS mark.(8) HeatSTRENGTH: Jimmy Butler. Point blank, period. He's Miami's biggest strength and the obstacle the 76ers have to worry about. Butler closed the campaign averaging 18.8 points per game on 49.1% shooting, including 41.7% from 3-point range. Remarkably, his career average against the 76ers is 18.8 points per game, on 47.9% shooting, including 35.3% from beyond the arc. Butler can single-handedly lead Miami to the next round.WEAKNESS: If Butler isn't on point, this isn't an offense that can afford to have an off night. The Heat finished the season ranked 21st with 114.4 points per 100 possessions in non-garbage time. That number did improve the final two weeks of the season, but that doesn't mean it will translate into the play-in round against Philly's defense. Miami will have to do a better job.ATS WATCH: The Heat closed the season on a 7-4 ATS roll.(9) BullsSTRENGTH: Homecourt is a big edge for the Bulls, who won the season series with the Hawks, 2-1. Strange as it was, Atlanta won the one meeting Trae Young missed. Chicago boasts all-defense stalwart Alex Caruso, whose number will be called upon to neutralize Young or Dejounte Murray. WEAKNESS: Overcoming injuries will be tough, with the Bulls missing Zach LaVine and Patrick Williams. LaVine was the team's No. 2 scorer with 19.5 points per game, but he also played just 25 games. It was actually a bit shocking they made it in with LaVine missing as many games as he did. Williams played 43 games, and he wasn't a scoring machine with just 10.0 points per game, but he provided 27.3 minutes per game and could have been pivotal with timely shots or assists.ATS WATCH: While the Bulls covered their last three, make note they failed to cover 11 of their last 19.(10) HawksSTRENGTH: Despite finishing 10th in the Eastern Conference, this was an elite offensive team that finished fifth in the league with 118.3 points per game during the regular season. It helps that the Hawks clean the glass on the offensive end of the floor, ranking third with 12.5 offensive boards per game. The second-chance opportunities are crucial, especially with the number of possessions you can expect. Atlanta is tied for fifth in the NBA with 100.1 possessions per 48 minutes.WEAKNESS: Sure, it's easy to point out the injuries as their weakness, as I did with the Bulls, but I'm baffled elsewhere. Can someone justify not converting two-way wing Vít Krejčí to a roster contract? The Hawks should have done this after he proved himself with an average of 15 minutes in 19 of the final 20 regular season games, including starts in 11 of them. Instead, he's ineligible for the postseason and the Hawks' rotation is even thinner.ATS WATCH: The Hawks were the worst team to bet on this season, finishing a league-worst 29-53 at the window.

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Breaking Down The Play In

by AAA Sports

Monday, Apr 15, 2024

This year’s NBA Play In tournament features plenty of star power – LeBron James, Steph Curry, MVP Joel Embiid, Zion Williamson. And the potential exists for four marquee franchises (Lakers, Warriors, Heat, 76ers) to make it into the playoff proper in what looks like a wide-open post-season for the Association. A look at the Play In:WESTLos Angeles Lakers (8) at New Orleans (7)Tuesday, 7:30 p.m. ETPelicans -1The only thing that prevented a Lakers-Warriors elimination game was Sacramento’s late-season slump – 6 losses in their final 10 games dropped them to the 9 seed in the West. LA has been forced to play LeBron James big minutes in the last week, and that will continue for one (or two) Play In games. But that’s a must if the Lakers are going to make another long playoff run. Had the Pelicans been able to take care of business against lowly San Antonio (111-109 loss) a few weeks ago, they would have been the 6 seed and avoided this play-in business. And getting spanked by the Lakers at home after four straight wins has to make them question things.Golden State (10) at Sacramento (9)Tuesday, 10 p.m. ETWarriors -1.5One last bite of the apple for the NBA’s most recent dynasty? It’s probably too much to expect Steph Curry and Klay Thompson to turn back the clock through the Play In and two or three 7-game series. But for one game, sure. Especially since Sacramento seems to be treading water at best. The teams have seen a lot of each other in the post-season. They met last year in the first round, with Golden State winning in seven. Sacramento, which seems to be on the receiving end of tough officials calls in big games, will no doubt be wary of bad whistles in this one.EASTMiami (8) at Philadelphia (7)Wednesday, 7 p.m. ET76ers -4.5Catching a Sixers team with a returning (from injury) Joel Embiid was a nightmare for several Eastern Conference teams, and the Heat have drawn the short straw. Embiid will have had four days of rest when he attempts to wreak havoc on Miami’s front line. The winner gets the 7 seed and some rest before facing New York in the first round. Philly has plenty of momentum, winning 8 of its last 10, and Embiid has only 39 regular season games on his legs entering the post-season. Whether he has the wind to play 35 minutes a game in the playoffs is the question, as he has been gassed late in playoff games in the recent past. As for Miami, can the Heat make a second straight run to the Finals after embarrassing Boston in the Eastern finals a year ago? And will we see Playoff Jimmy Butler again, at age 34?Atlanta (10) at Chicago (9)Wednesday, 9 p.m. ETBulls -3.5Chicago started the season 5-14 and was left for dead before rallying somewhat and settling into the No. 9 spot in the East, which is where they’ve been since mid-January. The most notable thing about the Bulls’ season was the injury to Zach Lavine, which made it impossible to trade him and his contract. Other than that, few highlights. This is Trae Young’s third straight trip to the Play In, and could be his second straight first-round battle against the Celtics. Last year Atlanta played Boston tough in a 6-game first-round series, which no doubt affected the Celtics when they lost to Miami in the EC finals. The loser of this game is no doubt headed for a rebuild.

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Big Al's Daily Angle: NHL, MLB, and EPL Previews and Odds - 04/15/2024

by Big Al Staff

Monday, Apr 15, 2024

The Monday sports card features NHL, MLB, and EPL action. The National Hockey League has eight games on its slate. Five NHL games drop the puck at 7:07 p.m. ET. The Detroit Red Wings host the Montreal Canadiens as a -205 money-line favorite, with the total set at 6.5 (all odds from DraftKings unless indicated otherwise). The New York Islanders travel to New Jersey to play the Devils as a -112 money-line road favorite with an over/under of 6. The Pittsburgh Penguins play at home against the Nashville Predators as a -130 money-line favorite with a total of 6. The Tampa Bay Lightning are at home against the Buffalo Sabres as a -170 money-line favorite with an over/under of 6. The Boston Bruins play in Washington against the Capitals as a -155 money-line road favorite with a total of 5.5.    The New York Rangers host the Ottawa Senators at 7:37 p.m. ET as a -238 money-line favorite with an over/under of 6. Two more games conclude the NHL card at 9:37 p.m. ET. The Los Angeles Kings play at home against the Minnesota Wild on ESPN as a -170 money-line favorite with a total of 5.5. The Edmonton Oilers are at home against the San Jose Sharks as a -455 money-line favorite with an over/under of 6. The Monday card in Major League Baseball has 15 games on its schedule. The Boston Red Sox host the Cleveland Guardians at 11:10 a.m. ET as a -130 money-line favorite with a total of 9. The Baltimore Orioles play at home against the Minnesota Twins at 6:35 p.m. ET as a -155 money-line favorite with an over/under of 9. Three MLB games throw out the first pitch at 6:40 p.m. ET. The Philadelphia Phillies are at home against the Colorado Rockies as a -205 money-line favorite with a total of 8.5. The San Francisco Giants are in Miami to play the Marlins as a -120 money-line road favorite with an over/under of 8. The Texas Rangers visit Detroit to play the Tigers as a -120 money-line road favorite with a total of 9. The Tampa Bay Rays host the Los Angeles Angels at 6:50 p.m. ET as a -162 money-line favorite with an over/under of 8. The Toronto Blue Jays play at home against the New York Yankees at 7:07 p.m. ET as a -115 money-line favorite with a total of 8.5. The New York Mets are at home against the Pittsburgh Pirates at 7:10 p.m. ET as a -125 money-line favorite with an over/under of 8.5. Two more MLB games start at 7:40 p.m. ET. The Kansas City Royals play in Chicago against the White Sox as a -192 money-line road favorite with a total of 9. The San Diego Padres are in Milwaukee to play the Brewers as a -125 money-line road favorite with an over/under of 8.5.  The Atlanta Braves travel to Houston to play the Astros at 8:10 p.m. ET as a -165 money-line road favorite at BetMGM with a total of 9.5. Two MLB games begin at 9:40 p.m. ET. The Arizona Diamondbacks host the Chicago Cubs as a -142 money-line favorite with an over/under of 8.5. The St. Louis Cardinals play in Oakland against the A’s as a -175 money-line road favorite with a total of 8. The Seattle Mariners play at home against the Cincinnati Reds at 9:42 p.m. ET as a -148 money-line favorite with an over/under of 7.5. The Los Angeles Dodgers are at home against the Washington Nationals at 10:10 p.m. ET as a -360 money-line favorite with a total of 8.5.Matchweek 33 in the English Premier League concludes with one match. Chelsea hosts Everton on the USA Network at 3:00 p.m. ET as a -0.5 goal-line favorite at BetMGM with an over/under of 3.

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NBA "Last Home Game" System of the Week

by Al McMordie

Sunday, Apr 14, 2024

Today is the final day of what has been an exciting NBA season.  Although we know which 20 teams are still left in contention, we don't yet know which teams will be in the Play-In games, nor which team will earn the #1 seed in the Western Conference.  I love handicapping the final days of the regular season because there are generally some very good situations that pop up.  And many of those involve taking teams in their final home game of the season.  For our NBA System of the Week, we're going to look at certain teams playing their final home game of the season.  What we want to do is play on any revenge-minded team, if it was favored by more than 5 points, and was playing its final home game.  Dating back to 1990, our trusty system has gone 95-58-6 (62.0% ATS), including 1-1 ATS earlier this week, with a win on the Denver Nuggets -7.5 over Minnesota, and a loss on the Phoenix Suns -9.5 over the LA Clippers.Today, we have three plays out of this angle (and possibly a fourth).  The three certain plays are all double-digit favorites:  Philadelphia over Brooklyn, Cleveland over Charlotte, and Sacramento over Portland.  And, then, one play is possible, depending on the closing number.  Orlando is currently favored by 4.5 points over Milwaukee.  So, if it moves a point higher, it would qualify.  Each of our home teams plays with revenge from a road defeat, so look for some 'home cooking' in their final home game of the season.[Editor's Note:  Orlando did close at -5.5, and qualified as a play.]Good luck, as always....Al McMordie

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Big Al's NBA, NHL, MLB and EPL Previews and Odds - 04/14/2024

by Big Al Staff

Sunday, Apr 14, 2024

The Sunday sports card features NBA, NHL, MLB, and EPL action.The National Basketball Association has 15 games on its docket for the last day of its regular season. Seven NBA games tip off at 1:10 p.m. ET. The Boston Celtics host the Washington Wizards as a 9.5-point favorite, with the total set at 223.5 (all odds from DraftKings unless indicated otherwise). The Cleveland Cavaliers play at home against the Charlotte Hornets as a 13-point favorite with an over/under of 207.5. The Indiana Pacers are at home against the Atlanta Hawks as a 14-point favorite with a total of 237.5. The Miami Heat host the Toronto Raptors as a 15.5-point favorite with an over/under of 220.5. The New York Knicks play at home against the Chicago Bulls on ESPN as a 15-point favorite with a total of 215. The Orlando Magic are at home against the Milwaukee Bucks as a 4.5-point favorite with an over/under of 214.5. The Philadelphia 76ers host the Brooklyn Nets as a 15.5-point favorite with a total of 213. Eight games conclude the NBA regular season at 3:40 p.m. ET. The Denver Nuggets travel to Memphis to play the Grizzlies as a 13.5-point road favorite with an over/under of 220. The Minnesota Timberwolves play at home against the Phoenix Suns as a 2-point favorite with a total of 217.5. The New Orleans Pelicans are at home against the Los Angeles Lakers on ESPN as a 3.5-point favorite with an over/under of 228.5. The Oklahoma City Thunder are a 19-point favorite with a total of 223.5. The San Antonio Spurs host the Detroit Pistons as a 5.5-point favorite with an over/under of 213. The Golden State Warriors play at home against the Utah Jazz as an 8-point favorite with a total of 222.5. The Houston Rockets play in Los Angeles against the Clippers as a 2-point road favorite with an over/under of 220. The Sacramento Kings are at home against the Portland Trail Blazers as a 16.5-point favorite with a total of 212.5. The National Hockey League has four games on its slate. The St. Louis Blues host the Seattle Kraken on TNT at 1:07 p.m. ET as a -130 money-line favorite with an over/under of 5.5. The Vegas Golden Knights play at home against the Colorado Avalanche on TNT at 3:37 p.m. ET as a -115 money-line favorite with a total of 6.5. The Carolina Hurricanes are in Chicago to play the Blackhawks at 6:07 p.m. ET as a -345 money-line road favorite with an over/under of 5.5. The Calgary Flames are at home against the Arizona Coyotes at 8:07 p.m. ET as a -142 money-line favorite with a total of 6.The Sunday card in Major League Baseball has 15 games on its schedule. Three MLB games throw out the first pitch at 1:35 p.m. ET. The Boston Red Sox host the Los Angeles Angels as a -130 money-line favor with an over/under of 9.5. The Baltimore Orioles play at home against the Milwaukee Brewers as a -192 money-line favorite with a total of 8. The Philadelphia Phillies are at home against the Pittsburgh Pirates as a -185 money-line favorite with an over/under of 8.5. The Toronto Blue Jays host the Colorado Rockies at 1:37 p.m. ET as a -250 money-line favorite with a total of 8.5. Five MLB games begin at 1:40 p.m. ET. The Detroit Tigers play at home against the Minnesota Twins as a -112 money-line favorite with an over/under of 8.5. The Kansas City Royals visit New York to play the Mets as a -130 money-line road favorite with a total of 8. The San Francisco Giants play in Tampa Bay against the Rays as a -130 money-line road favorite with an over/under of 8. The Atlanta Braves are in Miami against the Marlins as a -155 money-line road favorite with a total of 8.5. The New York Yankees travel to Cleveland to play the Guardians as a -130 money-line road favorite with an over/under of 8.5. Two MLB games start at 2:10 p.m. ET. The Houston Astros are at home against the Texas Rangers as a -120 money-line favorite with a total of 8.5. The Cincinnati Reds play in Chicago against the White Sox as a -166 money-line road favorite with an over/under of 9. The Oakland A’s host the Washington Nationals at 4:07 p.m. ET as a -130 money-line favorite with a total of 8.5. Two more MLB games throw out the first pitch at 4:10 p.m. ET. The Seattle Mariners play at home against the Chicago Cubs as a -135 money-line favorite with an over/under of 8. The Arizona Diamondbacks are at home against the St. Louis Cardinals as a -155 money-line favorite with a total of 8.5. Sunday Night Baseball on ESPN has the Los Angeles Dodgers host the San Diego Padres at 7:10 p.m. ET. The Dodgers are a -162 money-line favorite with an over/under of 9. Matchweek 33 in the English Premier League continues with three matches. Two EPL matches start at 9 a.m. ET. Liverpool plays at home against Crystal Palace on the USA Network as a -2 goal-line favorite with a total of 3.5 (all soccer odds from BetMGM). Fulham visits West Ham United in a pick ‘em match with an over/under of 3. Arsenal is at home against Aston Villa on the USA Network at 11:30 a.m. ET as a -1.5 goal-line favorite with a total of 3.

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What's Wrong with the Houston Astros?

by William Burns

Saturday, Apr 13, 2024

Houston has been one of the most successful teams over the past decade. Baseball fans around the world have watched the Astros play in the ALCS for seven consecutive seasons now. It’s two weeks into the 2024 MLB season & the AL juggernauts have simply played horribly. With their 4-11 record, is it time to start worrying? Let’s break it all down. THE PITCHING: Through 15 games, the pitching numbers have been embarrassing. Currently ranked 29th out of 30, the team owns an alarming 5.56 ERA. Those aren’t the only statistics that the Astros are struggling in right now. They’ve allowed an average of 8.9 hits per game, a batting average of .263 and a 7.35 K/9 ratio. Unsurprisingly, all of those numbers rank 26th or worse at the moment. Improvement is critical if they want to make noise again this season. Yes, the Astros are dealing with injuries right now. They started the season without Luis Garcia as well as Justin Verlander. Now, Framber Valdez is out for at least two weeks on the 15 day IL. Of course, getting those guys back will help, but will it be too little too late? THE BATTING: Hitting hasn’t necessarily been the issue for Houston to date. They are averaging a plentiful amount of baserunners per game. What’s the issue then? Leaving runners on base is definitely it. They currently stand as the second worst team in baseball in that category. Alex Bregman is a guy that needs to wake up as well. He’s hitting just .241 and has yet to hit a single home run this season. That’s a shock since he’s hit at least 20 in each of the last four seasons that he’s played at least 155 games in.  IS THE DEPARTURE OF DUSTY BAKER THE PROBLEM?One of the most highly respected managers in recent MLB history stepped down after last season. He’s gotten them to four of those seven ALCS and helped bring Houston home a world series. Having said that, the Dusty Baker departure effect might be something that’s caused some of these problems. New manager Joe Espada has never been the head guy of a team before. Of course he’s been around the sport. But, is he up for the job? Well, if judged by his record, he hasn’t done a very good job so far. Yes, it’s early, but time is ticking and soon enough they’ll be out of the playoffs, if things don’t start to change.  CURRENT ODDS TO MAKE THE PLAYOFFS, WIN THE AL WEST, WIN THE ENTIRE AL, & WIN THE WORLD SERIES (odds via. DraftKings:) To Make The Playoffs: -170 To Win The AL West: +165 To Win The AL: +550 To Win The World Series: +1100 (up from +800) ARE THEY GOOD ENOUGH TO COME BACK FROM THE EARLY STRUGGLES? Of course the Astros are good enough to come back from this. It’s the beginning of the season and this is the time to be at their lowest. The oddsmakers aren’t budging with future odds quite yet, and for a reason. When healthy, this team can be, and is one of the scariest teams to face in all of baseball. Now, baseball is a very long season. Everything can change with one swing. Don’t let the early season record of the Houston Astros deceive you. They are still very much alive and well. It’s just a matter of time for this stacked lineup to start capitalizing with runners on base. I have yet to play on (or against) the Astros but will be looking to play on them in favorable spots going forward.  BEST HOUSTON ASTROS FUTURE BET: It’s hard to think that the Astros aren’t going to make the playoffs after how many years that they’ve dominated the American League. Yes, it’s been a bad start. But, you’ve got to remember. This is a 162 game season and we are not even close to the halfway point yet. Expect Houston to still make the playoffs. The best Futures bet on the Astros is currently (-170 To Make the Playoffs.) --------------*Houston is currently about to win their fifth game of the season today against the Texas Rangers. The comeback is on!

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Big Al's Daily Angle: NHL, MLB, and EPL Previews and Odds - 04/13/2024

by Big Al Staff

Saturday, Apr 13, 2024

The Saturday sports card features NHL, MLB, and EPL action.The National Hockey League has 13 games on its slate. The New York Rangers host the New York Islanders on ABC at 12:37 p.m. ET as a -166 money-line favorite, with the total set at 5.5 (all odds from DraftKings unless indicated otherwise). The Dallas Stars play at home against the Seattle Kraken on ABC at 3:07 p.m. ET as a -238 money-line favorite with an over/under of 6. The Colorado Avalanche are at home against the Winnipeg Jets at 4:07 p.m. ET as a -155 money-line favorite with a total of 6. Two NHL games drop the puck at 5:07 p.m. ET. The Florida Panthers host the Buffalo Sabres as a -218 money-line favorite with an over/under of 5.5. The Philadelphia Flyers play at home against the New Jersey Devils as a -122 money-line favorite with a total of 6. The Tampa Bay Rays travel to Washington to play the Capitals at 5:37 p.m. ET as a -135 money-line road favorite with an over/under of 6. Two NHL games start at 7:07 p.m. ET. The Ottawa Senators are at home against the Montreal Canadiens as a -162 money-line favorite with a total of 6.5. The Toronto Maple Leafs host the Detroit Red Wings as a -180 money-line favorite with an over/under of 6.5. Two more NHL games begin at 8:07 p.m. ET. The Nashville Predators play at home against the Columbus Blue Jackets as a -305 money-line favorite with a total of 6.5. The Boston Bruins play in Pittsburgh against the Penguins on ABC as a -135 money-line road favorite with an over/under of 6. The Edmonton Oilers are at home against the Vancouver Canucks at 10:07 p.m. ET as a -135 money-line favorite with a total of 6.5. Two more games conclude the NHL card at 10:37 p.m. ET. The Los Angeles Kings host the Anaheim Ducks as a -340 money-line favorite with an over/under of 5.5. The Minnesota Timberwolves are in San Jose against the Sharks as a -238 money-line road favorite with a total of 6.The Saturday card in Major League Baseball has 17 games on its schedule. The New York Yankees visit Cleveland to play the Guardians at 12:10 p.m. ET. The Minnesota Twins play in Detroit against the Tigers at 1:10 p.m. in the opening game of their doubleheader as a -135 money-line road favorite with an over/under of 8. The New York Mets play at home against the Kansas City Royals at 1:40 p.m. Et as a -166 money-line favorite with a total of 8.5. The Cincinnati Reds are in Chicago to play the White Sox at 2:10 p.m. ET as a -130 money-line road favorite with an over/under of 8.5. The Toronto Blue Jays are at home against the Colorado Rockies at 3:07 p.m. ET as a -192 money-line favorite with a total of 9. Three MLB games throw out the first pitch at 4:05 p.m. ET. The Baltimore Orioles host the Milwaukee Brewers as a -148 money-line favorite with an over/under of 8.5. The Houston Astros play at home against the Texas Rangers as a -142 money-line favorite with a total of 9.5. The Philadelphia Phillies are at home against the Pittsburgh Pirates as a -155 money-line favorite with an over/under of 9. The Washington Nationals travel to Oakland to play the A’s at 4:07 p.m. ET as a -130 money-line road favorite with a total of 8. Four MLB games start at 4:10 p.m. ET. The Twins play the Tigers in the second game of their doubleheader. The Atlanta Braves play in Miami against the Marlins as a -198 money-line road favorite with an over/under of 8.5. The San Francisco Giants are in Tampa Bay to play the Rays, with both teams priced at -110 with an over/under of 7.5. The Los Angeles Angels travel to Boston to play the Red Sox.The New York Yankees play in Cleveland against the Guardians at 6:10 p.m. ET as a -155 money-line road favorite with a total of 8.5. The Arizona Diamondbacks host the St. Louis Cardinals at 8:10 p.m. ET, with both teams priced at -110 with an over/under of 9.5. The Los Angeles Dodgers play at home against the San Diego Padres at 9:10 p.m. ET as a -192 money-line favorite with a total of 9. The Chicago Cubs are in Seattle to play the Mariners at 9:40 p.m. ET as a -142 money-line road favorite with an over/under of 8. Matchweek 33 in the English Premier League begins with six matches. Tottenham visits Newcastle United on the USA Network at 7:30 a.m. ET in a pick ‘em match with a total of 3.5 (all soccer odds from DraftKings). Four matches start at 10:00 a.m. ET. Brentford is at home against Sheffield United as a -1.5 goal-line favorite with an over/under of 3. Brighton and Hove Albion play at Burnley as a -0.5 goal-line road favorite with a total of 3. Manchester City hosts Luton Town as a -2.5 goal-line favorite with an over/under of 4. Nottingham Forest plays at home against Wolverhampton on the USA Network as a -0.5 goal-line favorite with a total of 2.5. Manchester United plays at Bournemouth on NBC at 12:30 p.m. ET in a pick ‘em match with an over/under of 3.5. 

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Big Al's Daily Angle: NBA, NHL and MLB Previews and Odds - 04/12/2024

by Big Al Staff

Friday, Apr 12, 2024

The Friday sports card features NBA, NHL, and MLB action.The National Basketball Association has 15 games on its docket. Two NBA games tip off at 7:10 p.m. ET. The Philadelphia 76ers host the Orlando Magic as a 7-point favorite, with the total set at 211 (all odds from DraftKings). The Chicago Bulls travel to Washington to play the Wizards. Three more NBA games start at 7:40 p.m. ET. The Charlotte Hornets play in Boston against the Celtics. The Cleveland Cavaliers play at home against the Indiana Pacers as a 3-point favorite with an over/under of 233. The New York Knicks are at home against the Brooklyn Nets as an 11-point favorite with a total of 210.5. Five NBA games begin at 8:10 p.m. ET. The Toronto Raptors are in Miami to play the Heat. The Memphis Grizzlies host the Los Angeles Lakers. The Atlanta Hawks visit Minnesota to play the Timberwolves. The Oklahoma City Thunder play at home against the Milwaukee Bucks as a 14.5-point favorite with an over/under of 223.5. The San Antonio Spurs are at home against the Denver Nuggets. The Detroit Pistons play in Dallas against the Mavericks. Two NBA games start at 10:10 p.m. ET. The Golden State Warriors host the New Orleans Pelicans. The Portland Trail Blazers play at home against the Houston Rockets. Two more NBA games begin at 10:40 p.m. ET. The Utah Jazz are in Los Angeles to play the Clippers. The Phoenix Suns travel to Sacramento to play the Kings as a 5-point road favorite with a total of 225.5. The National Hockey League has five games on its slate. The Carolina Hurricanes play in St. Louis against the Blues at 8:07 p.m. ET as a -198 money-line road favorite with an over/under of 6. The Nashville Predators are in Chicago to play the Blackhawks as a -250 money-line road favorite with an over/under of 6. The Edmonton Oilers are at home against the Arizona Coyotes at 9:07 p.m. ET as a -285 money-line favorite with a total of 6. Two games conclude the NHL card at 10:07 p.m. ET. The Calgary Flames visit Anaheim to play the Ducks as a -155 money-line road favorite with a total of 6. The Vegas Golden Knights host the Minnesota Wild as a -170 money-line favorite with an over/under of 6.The Friday card in Major League Baseball has 15 games on its schedule. Two MLB games throw out the first pitch at 6:40 p.m. ET. The Detroit Tigers play at home against the Minnesota Twins as a -130 money-line favorite with a total of 7. The Philadelphia Phillies are at home against the Pittsburgh Pirates as a -162 money-line favorite with an over/under of 9. The San Francisco Giants play in Tampa Bay against the Rays. The Baltimore Orioles host the Milwaukee Brewers at 7:05 p.m. ET as a -120 money-line favorite with a total of 8. The Toronto Blue Jays play at home against the Colorado Rockies at 7:07 p.m. ET as a -250 money-line favorite with an over/under of 8.  Four MLB games start at 7:10 p.m. ET. The Boston Red Sox are at home against the Los Angeles Angels as a -115 money-line favorite with a total of 9.5. The New York Mets host the Kansas City Royals as a -135 money-line favorite with an over/under of 8. The Atlanta Braves are in Miami to play the Marlins as a -185 money-line road favorite with a total of 8.5. The New York Yankees visit Cleveland to play the Guardians as a -148 money-line road favorite with an over/under of 8.5. The Cincinnati Reds play in Chicago against the White Sox at 7:40 p.m. ET as a -175 money-line road favorite with a total of 9. The Houston Astros play at home against the Texas Rangers at 8:10 p.m. ET as a -135 money-line favored with an over/under of 9.5. Three more MLB games begin at 9:40 p.m. ET. The Oakland A’s are at home against the Washington Nationals as a -135 money-line favorite with a total of 8. The Seattle Mariners host the Chicago Cubs as a -125 money-line favorite with an over/under of 8. The Arizona Diamondbacks play at home against the St. Louis Cardinals as a -185 money-line favorite with a total of 9. The Los Angeles Dodgers are at home against the San Diego Padres at 10:10 p.m. ET as a -185 money-line favorite with an over/under of 8. 

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Big Al's Daily Angle: NBA, NHL and MLB Previews and Odds - 04/11/2024

by Big Al Staff

Thursday, Apr 11, 2024

The Thursday sports card features NBA, NHL, and MLB action.The National Basketball Association has five games on its docket. The Chicago Bulls travel to Detroit to play the Pistons at 7:10 p.m. ET as a 9.5-point road favorite with the total set at 217.5. The New York Knicks play in Boston against the Celtics on TNT at 7:30 p.m. ET as a 1-point road favorite, with an over/under of 215. The Houston Rockets are in Utah to play the Jazz at 9:10 p.m. ET as a 9.5-point road favorite with a total of 228. The Sacramento Kings host the New Orleans Pelicans on TNT at 10 p.m. ET as a 1-point favorite with an over/under of 217.5. The Golden State Warriors visit Portland to play the Trail Blazers at 10:10 p.m. ET as a 14-point road favorite with a total of 222.5. The National Hockey League has ten games on its slate. Six NHL games drop the puck at 7:07 p.m. ET. The Buffalo Sabres play at home against the Washington Capitals as a -135 money-line favorite with an over/under of 6. The Florida Panthers are at home against the Columbus Blue Jackets as a -380 money-line favorite with a total of 6.5. The New York Rangers host the Philadelphia Flyers as a -148 money-line favorite with an over/under of 6. The Pittsburgh Penguins play at home against the Detroit Red Wings as a -148 money-line favorite with a total of 6. The Tampa Bay Lightning are at home against the Ottawa Senators as a -205 money-line favorite with an over/under of 6.5. The Toronto Maple Leafs host the New Jersey Devils as a -198 money-line favorite with a total of 6.5. The New York Islanders play at home against the Montreal Canadiens at 7:37 p.m. ET as a -218 money-line favorite with an over/under of 6. The Dallas Stars are at home against the Winnipeg Jets at 8:07 p.m. ET as a -155 money-line favorite with a total of 6. The Seattle Kraken host the San Jose Sharks at 10:07 p.m. ET as a -250 money-line favorite with an over/under of 6. Lastly, the Los Angeles Kings play at home against the Calgary Flames at 10:37 p.m. ET as a -192 money-line favorite with a total of 6.The Thursday card in Major League Baseball has seven games on its schedule. The Atlanta Braves are at home against the New York Mets at 12:20 p.m. ET as a -170 money-line favorite with an over/under of 9.5. Two more MLB games throw out the first pitch at 1:10 p.m. ET. The Milwaukee Brewers play in Cincinnati against the Reds at 1:10 p.m. ET as a -125 money-line road favorite with a total of 8.5. The Detroit Tigers host the Minnesota Twins as a -130 money-line favorite with an over/under of 7. The Houston Astros are in Kansas City to play the Royals at 2:10 p.m. ET as a -135 money-line road favorite with a total of 9. The Texas Rangers play at home against the Oakland A’s at 2:35 p.m. ET as a -180 money-line favorite with an over/under of 9.5. The Philadelphia Phillies are at home against the Pittsburgh Pirates at 6:40 p.m. ET as a -148 money-line favorite with a total of 9. Lastly, the Baltimore Orioles travel to Boston to play the Red Sox at 7:10 p.m. ET as a -122 money-line road favorite with an over/under of 8.5.

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Brasileirão Série A Futures (2024 Season)

by Amedeus Mastrangelo

Wednesday, Apr 10, 2024

The start of the Brasileirão 2024 season is right around the corner with the first match kicking off on Saturday, April 13. Palmeiras is the defending champion from last season as they beat out the 2nd place Gremio by 2 points, and Palmeiras has also won the last 2 straight league titles as well. The last team other than Palmeiras to win the league title was Atletico Mineiro back in 2021. Any team can go on a run in the league but it takes a team with a lot of talent and depth to stay consistent throughout an entire season in this league, as is evident by the fact that the same 3 clubs have won the league title over the last 6 seasons. Any of the 20 teams can win this title but realistically, there are only 4 teams this year that have a real chance at winning, and even then, this league has really been a 2 horse race over the last few years. Now it is time to see who really has the best chance at winning this league and taking home the Brasileirão Série A Title for the 2024 season. To Win Outright Flamengo +250: Flamengo is coming into this season as the team with the best chance at winning the league title this year according to the oddsmakers. Flamengo is also the favorite to win the Copa Libertadores this season and from a talent standpoint, they have the best team in all of South America this year by far. They have dominated the Carioca over the last few months as they were 8-3-0, the only team to not lose a match during the campaign. They have also had a very good attack that has been averaging over 2 goals scored per match, and they have the best defense in the country right now as they allowed just 1 goal in their 11 matches. Flamengo has been a dominant team in the country for years but they have not won many trophies recently and that is going to light a fire in them this season as they try to take back the league. They have come close a few times, but they have not won this competition since the 2020 season and they are going to have the drive to do it this year. They have always had the talent to be a threat, but now they have the depth to stay consistent all season while also making a deep run in Copa Libertadores. They picked up some solid defenders in Leo Ortiz and Matias Vina while also adding some great talent in the midfield with Allan and Nicolas de la Cruz. Flamengo is going to be a threat in all competitions this year and they really do have the best team in Brasil. Flamengo has the best chance at winning the league title this season.  Palmeiras +300: Palmeiras is coming into this season as the team with the next best chance at winning the league title this year according to the oddsmakers. Palmeiras has been a dominant club in South America over the last few years as they have won multiple Copa Libertadores Titles as well as being the defending champions of this league for the last 2 straight seasons. They have had great success in this league and they were also very good in the Paulista Serie A1 this year as they finished 8-4-0 and were the only team in that league to have no losses, but this is still going to be a very different season for them. They are also a club that is going to be focused on making a deep run in Copa Libertadores but they simply do not have the talent this year to handle both competitions. They have brought in some depth but they have not really made any big splashes in talent, and the big story for them this season is that they are going to lose their star wonder kid Endrick in July as he makes the transfer to Real Madrid. Endrick is going to be a huge loss for them in the summer and there is no guarantee they will be able to bring in a player to replace that kind of talent. Also, if it comes down to it, Palmeiras will be more focused on going deep into Copa Libertadores since they have not won that competition in a few years and considering how they are the B2B defending champions of this league, they will actually prioritize the Copa Libertadores over this league if needed. Regardless, they may have a strong start to the season but at some point in the season, the loss of talent along with the toll of the extra midweek matches will be too much for them to handle and they will drop out of the race to win this title, leaving it to a stronger and more consistent team. Palmeiras may be the B2B defending champions but they have no real value at this price to win the league title this season.  Atlético Mineiro +550: Atlético Mineiro is coming into this season as the team with the next best chance at winning the league title this year according to the oddsmakers. Atletico Mineiro was the last team to win the league title other than Palmeiras back in 2021. They have not done much in the league over the last few years since then, but they are certainly starting to turn the corner again. They already have a solid core group of talent to lean on, but now they have boosted their squad by bringing in a number of different players at many different positions to provide some much needed depth for these starters. So far, it has paid off for them as they were very good in the Mineiro Modulo I, finishing at the top of their group at 4-2-2, but their form could have been much better considering how they were playing against much weaker competition than some of the other leagues. A lot of the talent they brought in has also been very attack heavy which is great since they have struggled to score goals over the last 2 seasons and that is no longer an issue, but their defense has not been nearly as good as it used to be either. One reason for that is that they also brought in a lot of younger talent and that young talent is going to make mistakes. Atletico Mineiro is also a club that has the talent to go deep into Copa Libertadores and that could affect their form late in the season since Copa Libertadores is always a priority over the league. Atletico Mineiro is not in the position to take back the league title this season, but this is certainly a team that is on the rise and expect a top 4 finish from them at least as their younger talent will grow into their roles as the season goes on. It is just not their year to win the league title this season.  Internacional +1000: Internacional is coming into this season as the team with the next best chance at winning the league title this year according to the oddsmakers. Internacional has not been a dominant team in the league over the last few years, but they did have 1 season where they led for a while before finishing in 2nd place. They have been turning things around recently as they made a big splash to bring in Enner Valencia last season from Fenerbahce, and now they have made a lot of other moves to bring in talent and depth for this team to improve. The results have been evident as they were dominant in the Gaucho, finishing 9-1-1 as they were the only team in that league with just 1 loss. They were also averaging close to 2 goals scored per match with 21 goals in their 11 matches, and their defense was also great as they allowed 7 goals in their 11 matches. They are going to be a threat in this league this year as they also have a plethora of young talented players to complement their few experienced players who are north of 30 years old. Internacional also has a huge advantage down the stretch since they are only playing in Copa Sudamericana this season and will see much weaker clubs in that competition than they would in Copa Libertadores. They would love to win Copa Sudamericana this season, but Copa Sudamericana is no Copa Libertadores for these Brasilian squads and if put in the position to do so, Internacional will be more focused on winning the league title than the Copa Sudamericana. Internacional does not have the best chance at winning the league title this season, but they definitely have some value here as a dark horse.  RecommendationThere are many good teams in this league as Brasil has one of the if not the strongest league in all of South America with their talent, but in reality, there is only a few teams that have a real chance at winning this title. Of these teams, Flamengo at +250 has the most value since they do have the best team in Brasil by far and they are going to be motivated after seeing many trophies slip away from them the last few seasons. If there is going to be a team this year that comes out of the woodwork to make a strong impression on the league, then that team is going to be Internacional so there is some good value in Internacional at +1000 to win the league title as a dark horse. 

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