Articles

PGA 3M Open Preview: TPC Twin Cities

by Big Al Staff

Thursday, Jul 22, 2021

PGA 3M Open Preview: TPC Twin CitiesThe PGA Tour moves to Blaine, Minnesota, this week for the third edition of the 3M Open at the TPC Twin Cities. This is an Arnold Palmer-designed course consisting of 7431 yards. The Par 71 track features water on 15 of the 18 holes. Matthew Wolff won the inaugural event in 2021 with a 19-under-par. Michael Thompson lifted the trophy last year with a 21-under-par score.Dustin Johnson is the favorite at +700 (all odds from DraftKings). The world’s number one player comes off his best performance in five months by finishing tied for eighth place at the British Open last week. Johnson opened with rounds of 65 and 67 before taking a step back by shooting 73 on Saturday. He rebounded with a two-under-par 68 on Sunday. He shot a 78 in his one round at this tournament last year before withdrawing. Tony Finau is the co-second favorite at +1400. He comes off a tie for 15th place at the British Open, where he finished tied for third for greens hit in regulation. He finished tied for 23rd place in the first 3M Open before improving to a third-place tie last summer.Louis Oosthuizen makes his debut at this event with +1400 odds. He comes off a tie for third place at the British Open last week, his 13th straight-made cut. The South African has a three-second place finishes this season. Patrick Reed is the fourth favorite at +1600 odds. Captain America missed the cut at the British Open last week after shooting three-over-par in the first two rounds. He won the Farmers Insurance Open earlier this year. He finished tied for 23rd place in his lone visit to this event two years ago.Cameron Tringale is priced at +2500 to win the tournament. Tringale finished tied for 26th at the British Open last week. He has two top threes this season at the RSM Classic and the Valspar Championship. After finishing in 42nd place at the 3M Open two years ago, he finished in third place last year. Robert MacIntyre is listed at +2800. He finished seven under par at the British Open, good for a tie for eighth place. MacIntyre has three top-ten finishes this season. He makes his debut at the 3M Open. Matthew Wolff is priced at +2800 odds. This is his first tournament since a tie for 58th place at the Rocket Mortgage in Detroit at the beginning of the month. Wolff won the inaugural event at TPC Twin Cities before finishing tied for 12th place last year. He has averaged a 66.63 score in his eight rounds. Keegan Bradley has +3500 odds to win. He missed the cut at the British Open last week after shooting two-over-par. His best result this season is second place at the Valspar Championship. He finished 46th at the 3M Open in 2019 in his only trip.Bubba Watson is at +3500. The lefty registered his fifth and sixth top-20 finishes in the last four months with a tie for 19th place at the Travelers Championship before a tie for sixth in Detroit at the Rocket Mortgage to begin the month. Watson missed the cut in his only appearance at the 3M Open last year. Emiliano Grillo has +3500 odds. He comes off a tie for 12th place at the British Open, where he led the field putts per green in regulation. Grillo has four top-10s this season, headlined by a tie for second place at the RBC Heritage Open. He finished tied for third place at the TPC Twin Cities in his lone trip last year. Sergio Garcia is listed at +3500. The Spaniard finished tied for 19th place at the British Open last week with a four-under-par score. That result was his ninth top-20 finish this season. He won the Sanderson  Farms Championship in October. This is his debut at the 3M Open.

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2021 CFL Preview: Saskatchewan Roughriders

by Sean Murphy

Wednesday, Jul 21, 2021

As the third installment in our series of 2021 CFL team previews, here's a look at perennial West Division contenders the Saskatchewan Roughriders.The Riders topped the West Division in 2019, posting a 13-5 record on the strength of a potent offensive attack led by dual-threat QB Cody Fajardo. He remains the focal point of the offense heading into 2021 but will need to adjust to a new offensive coordinator in former Edmonton head coach Jason Maas. There's little reason to anticipate any growing pains, however, as most of the key pieces at the skill positions are back including wide receiver Shaq Evans and RB William Powell. We will see a new-look Riders offensive line but that's not necessarily a bad thing as for every departure there was a solid addition. As long as that group can mesh together in short order, this offense has the potential to find its way among the league leaders in yards per game and scoring average with an aggressive play-caller like Maas at the helm. Defensively, the Riders boast studs all over the field with cornerback Ed Gainey (who signed a new contract earlier this year) serving as the anchor. The Riders are looking to build a 'no fly zone' of sorts in the secondary as they prepare to face some of the league's best quarterbacks who happen to reside in the West Division (Bo Levi Mitchell of the Stampeders and Mike Reilly of the Lions come to mind). It will be a different looking Saskatchewan defense, however, with Solomon Elimimian retiring and Charleston Hughes bolting for Toronto. All told, the Riders lose four starters on the defensive side of the football. Changes are really nothing new for the Riders though as they welcomed a new coordinator in Jason Shivers in 2019, taking over for mastermind Chris Jones. Not only that but the Riders were also forced to replace a number of key cogs on the field that year as well. All Shivers did was shape the defense into one of the league's most dominant units and I'm confident he can do the same with the 2021 edition. The Riders are currently priced around 6-1 to win the Grey Cup, slotting in between the Tiger-Cats and Stampeders in the league's projected top three teams.

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Big Al's Daily Angle: MLB Previews and Odds - 07/21/2021

by Big Al Staff

Wednesday, Jul 21, 2021

The Wednesday sports card features action in MLB. Fifteen games are on the MLB docket. Tampa Bay hosts Baltimore at 12:10 PM ET. The Rays have won two of their last three games after a 9-3 victory on Tuesday. The Orioles had their three-game winning streak end with the loss. Michael Wacha pitches for Tampa Bay against Keegan Akin of the Orioles. The Rays are a -165 money line favorite with a total of 8 (all odds from DraftKings). San Diego plays at Atlanta in the first game of their seven-inning doubleheader at 12:20 PM ET. The Braves have won two of their last three games with their 2-1 win on Tuesday. The Padres have lost four of their last six. San Diego pitches Chris Paddack against the Braves’ Kyle Muller. The Padres are a -160 money line road favorite with an over/under of 7.5. The New York Mets conclude their road trip to Cincinnati at 12:35 PM ET. The Reds ended a four-game losing streak with a 4-3 win on Tuesday. The Mets have lost four of their last six games. Chris Paddack pitches for the Mets against Jeff Hoffman of the Reds. New York is a -135 money line favorite with a total of 10.5. Milwaukee hosts Kansas City at 2:10 PM ET. The Royals ended a two-game losing streak with a 5-2 victory on Tuesday. The Brewers had their three-game winning streak end with the loss. Milwaukee pitches Eric Lauer against Kansas City’s Brad Keller. The Brewers are a -165 money line favorite with an over/under of 9.5. Seattle visits Colorado at 3:10 PM ET. The Mariners have won three of four after their 6-4 victory against the Rockies yesterday. Colorado has lost three of their last four games. The Rockies pitch Austin Gomber against a Seattle pitcher yet to be determined. The Mariners are a -135 money line road favorite with a total of 12.Pittsburgh visits Arizona at 3:40 PM ET. The Diamondbacks have won three in a row after an 11-6 win last night. The Pirates have lost three in a row. Arizona pitches Madison Bumgarner against a Pittsburgh starting pitcher yet to be named. The Diamondbacks are a -130 money line favorite with an over/under of 9.The second game of the Padres/Braves doubleheader takes place at 5:20 PM ET. Reiss Knehr pitches for San Diego against Bryse Wilson of Atlanta. The New York Yankees host Philadelphia at 7:05 PM ET. The Yankees have won three in a row after a 6-4 win against the Phillies on Tuesday. Philadelphia had their two-game winning streak end with the loss. Asher Wojciechowski takes the ball for New York against a starting pitcher yet to be determined for the Phillies. The Yankees are a -155 money line favorite. Washington plays at home against Miami at 7:05 PM ET. The Nationals won their third in a row with their 6-3 victory against the Marlins yesterday. Miami has lost four in a row. Washington pitches Erick Fedde against a starting pitcher yet to be named for the Marlins. The Nationals are a -115 money line favorite with a total of 8.5.Boston plays at Toronto at 7:07 PM ET. Their contest yesterday got postponed. The Red Sox’s Garrett Richards is expected to have his start pushed back against a rested Robbie Ray for the Blue Jays. Detroit plays at home against Texas at 7:10 PM ET. The Tigers have won five in a row after their 4-1 victory against the Rangers yesterday. Texas has lost seven straight. Matt Manning pitches for Detroit against Jordan Lyles of the Rangers. The Tigers are a -115 money line favorite with an over/under of 9.5.The Chicago White Sox are at home against Minnesota at 8:10 PM ET. The White Sox have won four of five with their 9-5 victory against the Twins Tuesday. Minnesota has lost five of their last six. Chicago pitches Dylan Cease against Minnesota’s Michael Pineda. The White Sox are a -145 money line favorite with a total of 9.Houston plays at home against Cleveland at 8:10 PM ET. The Astros have won four of their last six games after a 9-3 victory against the Indians yesterday. Cleveland has lost three of five. Lance McCullers pitches for Houston against Eli Morgan of the Indians. The Astros are a -250 money line favorite with an over/under of 9. St. Louis hosts the Chicago Cubs on ESPN at 8:15 PM ET. The Cardinals had their three-game winning streak end with a 7-6 loss to the Cubs on Tuesday. Chicago ended a two-game losing streak with the victory. The Cardinals pitch Adam Wainwright against the Cubs Kyle Hendricks. St. Louis is a -125 money line favorite with a total of 8.The Los Angeles Dodgers are at home against San Francisco at 10:10 PM ET. The Giants have won five of seven after their 6-5 victory over the Dodgers on Tuesday. Julio Urias pitches for Los Angeles against Logan Webb of San Francisco. The Dodgers are a -185 money line favorite with an over/under of 8.5.

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New England Patriots QB Duel: Cam Newton vs. Mac Jones

by Wayne Root

Tuesday, Jul 20, 2021

Cam Newton knows he’s on his way out. He’s not the face of a franchise; especially at New England. He’s not very likable either.   The New England Patriots will likely take the field in Week 1 with Cam Newton as the starting quarterback. But as training camp draws closer, fans in Foxborough are even more excited about Mac Jones and counting down the days until he takes over.  After making the pick, Belichick made it clear Newton remains the starter. It holds true thus far during voluntary practices as the former NFL MVP is taking first-team reps. But coming off a disappointing season, fans are hoping they don’t have to wait long to see Jones.  Newton is still expected to start in Week 1 against the Miami Dolphins, but he might not hold the gig for long. Newton ended the season with just an 82.9 passer rating and an ugly 8-10 TD-INT ratio.   Belichick won’t hand Jones the job until the rookie earns it. If the Patriots make it through the first six games of their schedule with a 4-2 record and this team is in the playoff hunt, Newton might keep the job until the wheels come off.  ———— Mac Jones  Meanwhile, rookie first-round pick Mac Jones has reportedly looked darn good during offseason programs after being selected No. 15 overall in late April.   The 22-year old out of Alabama was fast-tracked during the course of OTAs and mandatory minicamp, on a number of occasions getting more reps than the incumbent Newton and, up until the final day of minicamp, looking better than Cam…It’s not just the physical that stands out. The Pats have thrown everything at Jones, and his grasp of a playbook that’s over 20 years in the making has been impressive.   Jones is seen as the most pro-ready quarterback from the most-recent NFL Draft class. He dealt with a pro-style playbook at Alabama and dominated to the tune of 41 touchdowns compared to four interceptions while completing 77% of his passes.  An argument can clearly be made that Jones is already more accurate than Cam Newton. That’s a big thing in the Patriots’ timing-based offense under longtime coordinator Josh McDaniels and after the team added a ton of reinforcements at the skill positions during free agency. Much more will be discussed as camps are preparing to open up Football 2021 🏈🏈🏈  

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MLB Baseball: Boston Red Sox vs Toronto Blue Jays Prediction, Odds and Preview - 07/20/2021

by Al McMordie

Tuesday, Jul 20, 2021

Boston Red Sox vs Toronto Blue Jays Prediction, Odds and Preview - 07/20/2021Game Time: 7:07 pm ET, Tuesday, July 20, 2021Venue:  Sahlen Field, Buffalo, New YorkWhere to Watch:  SportsnetSeason-to-Date Record:Boston Red Sox:  56-38 (1st, American League East)Toronto Blue Jays:  48-42 (3rd, American League East)Opening Odds at USA Sportsbooks:DraftKings:  Moneyline odds:  Blue Jays -155; Over/Under:  10.5 runsBet365:  Moneyline odds:  Blue Jays -145; Over/Under 10.5 runsBetRivers:  Moneyline odds:  Blue Jays -150; Over/Under 10.5 runsKey Injuries:Boston:  Danny Santana (quad) Probable; Marwin Gonzalez (hamstring) Out; Christian Arroyo (hamstring) OutToronto:  Corey Dickerson (foot) OutRecent Lineups:Boston Red Sox:Hernandez (2B)Verdugo (LF)Martinez (DH)Bogaerts (SS)Devers (3B)Renfroe (RF)Duran (CF)Vazquez (C)Arroyo (1B)Toronto Blue Jays:Semien (2B)Bichette (SS)Guerrero, Jr. (1B)Springer (CF)Hernandez (LF)Grichuk (RF)Biggio (3B)Gurriel, Jr. (DH)McGuire (C)Statistical Leaders:Boston Red Sox:Batting Average:  Bogaerts (.321)Hits:  Bogaerts (105)Home Runs:  Devers (22)RBI:  Devers (74)Stolen Bases:  Vazquez (8)Wins:  Eovaldi (9)Saves:  Barnes (19)ERA:  Whitlock (1.38)Toronto Blue Jays:Batting Average:  Guerrero, Jr. (.332)Hits:  Guerrero, Jr. (108)Home Runs:  Guerrero, Jr. (31)RBI:  Guerrero, Jr. (78)Stolen Bases:  Bichette (12)Wins:  Ryu (9)Saves:  Romano (7)ERA:  Romano (1.93)Managers:Boston Red Sox:  Alex Cora (3rd season)Toronto Blue Jays:  Charlie Montoyo (3rd season)Recent Form:The Boston Red Sox lost two of three games last weekend at the New York Yankees, and have dropped six of eight, overall.  Still, Boston is 56-38 (+12.7 games on the moneyline) on the MLB season, and sits in first place in the AL East standings, with a half-game lead over the defending AL Champion Tampa Bay Rays.  If you've been betting on Boston this season, you've made a lot of money, especially given that the Red Sox odds to win the AL East coming into the season were long!  The Red Sox have a balanced home and away record this season, as they are 28-19 at Fenway Park, and also 28-19 on the road.  In the Red Sox’s 9-1 loss to the Yankees on Sunday, starter Martin Perez lasted just 4 innings, as he gave up 3 runs and 5 hits, including a home run to Gleyber Torres.  The Yankees’ starter, Jameson Taillon, went 5 1/3 innings to earn the win, and gave up just 4 hits.  For the game, Boston managed just five hits, and left 9 men on base.The Toronto Blue Jays swept the 3-game series vs. the Texas Rangers over the weekend, and extended their win streak to 4 games with a 10-0 shutout win on Sunday.  Steven Matz threw 5 scoreless innings, while the Blue Jays belted out 8 hits, including Lourdes Gurriel, Jr.’s 11th home run in the 1st inning, and Vladimir Guerrero, Jr.’s 31st round tripper in the 2nd.  The Blue Jays have won 15 of their last 22 games, and are 48-42 (+0.1 games on the moneyline) on the season.  Toronto is currently in 3rd place in the AL East, ahead of the Yankees by 1 game, and the Baltimore Orioles by 19 games.The Red Sox have played 6 unders and 3 overs (with 1 push) over their last 10 games.  And the Red Sox’s Over/Under record is 43-48-3 this season.The Blue Jays have played 4 of their last 6 games under the total, and their Over/Under record this season is 43-46-1. The two teams opened the series last night in a clash which pitted Boston's Nick Pivetta vs. Toronto's Ross Stripling.  The Blue Jays odds were -124 in that game, with a total of 10.5, and Boston won that affair in a blowout to snap their losing streak, and Toronto's winning streak.  After tonight's game, the AL East rivals will meet on Wednesday night to conclude this 3-game series.Series History:The Red Sox and Blue Jays have met 9 times since April, with Boston winning 5 of the 9 games (and 5 of the 9 going under the total).  Over the last 3 seasons, Boston is 21-17 vs the Blue Jays (including 10-6 at Toronto), and the Over/Under record is 20-17-1 (including 9-6-1 at Toronto).  Statistical Comparison:The Red Sox’s strength is on the offensive side, as they rank 5th in Major League Baseball with 5.0 runs per game; 4th in Batting Average (.257) -- with Xander Bogaerts leading the way at .321 -- and 11th in On Base Percentage (.321).  Boston’s pitching ranks 14th with an ERA of 4.11.  Similarly, the Blue Jays have one of the best slugging offenses in MLB.  Toronto is scoring 5.21 runs per game (3rd), while hitting .265 (2nd) and having an On Base Percentage of .328 (7th).  Like Boston, Toronto’s pitching is middle-of-the-pack, with a 3.89 ERA (12th).Red Sox vs Blue Jays Game Preview:The Red Sox will hand the ball to veteran RHP Garrett Richards on Tuesday.  Richards is 5-5 on the season, and comes into Tuesday's game off a win on July 9 vs. the Philadelphia Phillies.  The Red Sox won that game, 11-5, behind a 5-inning, 7-hit outing from Richards.  Richards has done his best work on the road this season, where he has a 3-2 record, with a 1.48 WHIP, which compares favorably to his overall marks of 4.91 and 1.68.  This will be the fourth time Richards has faced the Blue Jays in 2021, as he's 1-1 in those three prior games, and has given up 10 earned runs, 22 hits and 12 walks in 16 2/3 innings.  For his career, Richards' ERA vs. Toronto is 5.23, while his WHIP is a poor 1.76.Toronto will start rookie RHP Alek Manoah on Tuesday night here at Sahlen Field, in Buffalo (the Blue Jays' home games have been split between Buffalo and Dunedin thus far).  Manoah will be making his second career start vs. Boston.  In his first appearance vs the Red Sox, on June 14, he pitched very well, and gave up just one run, four hits and one walk over six innings.  The Red Sox won the game the last time he pitched against them, 2-1, so Manoah would like to avenge that defeat tonight.  After the Blue Jays won his first three career starts, they've alternated wins and losses since, including a 7-1 defeat at Tampa Bay on July 9.  Still, his numbers are impressive for a rookie, as he has a 2.90 ERA over eight starts, with a terrific 1.06 WHIP.  And he's also done his best work at home (2.20 ERA; 1.04 WHIP).Notable quotes:Alex Cora (after Sunday's 9-1 loss to the Yankees):  We haven't hit.  We've been chasing pitches.Charlie Montoya (after Sunday's 10-0 victory vs. Texas):  The only way you can get winning streaks is if your starters give you a chance....It's all about pitching and the starters were outstanding.Trends:Boston:The Red Sox are 21-11 (+15.3 games on the moneyline) as an underdog this season.The Red Sox are 14-5 in Garrett Richards' nighttime starts the past two years.The Red Sox are 22-12 (+9 games on the moneyline) vs. AL East division rivals this year.Toronto:The Blue Jays are 88-109 (minus 16.6 games on the moneyline) at night.The Blue Jays are 66-51 (minus 7.1 games on the moneyline) as a favorite.The Blue Jays are 37-27 (+8 games on the moneyline) vs. right-handed starters.Blue Jays Red Sox Prediction:  Our MLB Pick for Tuesday's game is Tor 6 Bos 3 Don't miss our champion handicappers free picks and expert baseball picks today.  Get off to a hot start this week, and get all of the daily expert picks on tonight's slate of MLB games.  And if you enjoyed this Boston Red Sox vs Toronto Blue Jays prediction, be sure to drop by every day for our daily MLB projections and previews.

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2021 CFL Preview: Edmonton Elks

by Sean Murphy

Tuesday, Jul 20, 2021

It's the start of a new era in Edmonton as the franchise formerly known as the Eskimos becomes the Elks. After managing only eight wins in 2019, they'll be looking to make their presence known in a crowded West Division this season. Here's a look at what to expect.Of course, the big change for the Elks comes on the sidelines with Jamie Elizondo replacing Jason Maas as head coach. Elizondo will also serve as the team's offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach as he looks to reignite an offense led by veteran QB Trevor Harris. Elizondo already has a good relationship with Harris from their years together in Ottawa. The Elks offense is well-positioned to put up big numbers this season with one of the league's best wide receiving corps' featuring Derel Walker, Greg Ellingson and Armanti Edwards, with the latter coming over from the Argos to add another level to this passing game. Replacing C.J. Gable at running back will be no easy feat but James Wilder is an experienced back capable of shouldering the load. He'll only be asked to do enough to keep opposing defenses honest and relieve some of the pressure on Harris. I certainly don't expect the Elks ground game to be among the league's best. Defensively, the Elks will have a new man in charge in coordinator Noel Thorpe. Again, there's plenty of continuity there as Thorpe worked with Elizondo the last two seasons in Ottawa. Standout defensive tackle Almando Sewell will need to replaced after he bolted for Montreal. There's plenty of returning talent, however, and pass-rusher Kwaku Boateng is a star in the making after serving as Edmonton's nominee for most outstanding defensive player in 2019. Edmonton has just one returning starter in the secondary, but that's not necessarily a bad thing as it brought in a number of key free agent acquisitions to bolster its pass defense. All indications are that the new-look secondary has been making life extremely difficult on the offense during training camp. If the new faces on defense can mesh in short order, the Elks could turn out to be one of the league's biggest surprises in 2021. Most books have the Elks priced around 9-1 to win the Grey Cup. 

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Big Al's Daily Angle: MLB, NBA and CONCACAF Gold Cup Previews and Odds - 07/20/2021

by Big Al Staff

Tuesday, Jul 20, 2021

The Tuesday sports card features action in the NBA, MLB, and the CONCACAF Gold Cup.The finals of the NBA playoffs continue, with Milwaukee hosting Phoenix on ABC at 9:05 PM ET. The Bucks took a 3-2 lead in this series with their 123-119 upset victory as a 3.5-point underdog on Saturday. The Suns have lost the last three games after winning Games 1 and 2 on their home court. Milwaukee is a 5-point favorite to win the NBA title tonight, with the total set at 222 (all odds from DraftKings unless indicated otherwise).Fifteen games are on the MLB docket. Oakland plays at home against the Los Angeles Angels at 3:37 PM ET as a -150 money line favorite with an over/under of 9. James Kaprielian pitches for the A’s against Jose Suarez of the Angels. Milwaukee is at home against Kansas City at 4:10 PM ET as a -165 money line favorite with a total of 9. The Brewers’ Brett Anderson pitches against the Royals’ Mike Minor.Two games start at 7:05 PM ET. Miami visits Washington as a -120 money line road favorite with an over/under of 9. Trevor Rogers pitches for the Marlins against Paolo Espino. Philadelphia plays at New York against the Yankees as a -125 money line road favorite with a total of 9. The Phillies’ Aaron Nola faces the Yankees’ Domingo German. Toronto is at home against Boston at 7:07 PM ET as a -155 money line favorite with an over/under of 10.5. Alek Manoah pitches for the Blue Jays against Garrett Richards of the Red Sox. Three games start at 7:10 PM ET. Detroit hosts Texas as a -155 money line favorite with a total of 10.5. The Tigers’ Tarik Skubal pitches against the Rangers Dane Dunning. Cincinnati plays at home against the New York Mets as a -140 money line favorite. Wade Miley of the Reds goes against Robert Stock of the Mets. Tampa Bay is at home against Baltimore as a -210 money line favorite with an over/under of 8. The Rays send out Shane McClanahan against the Orioles’ John Means. San Diego plays at Atlanta at 7:20 PM ET as a -140 money line road favorite with a total of 10. After last night’s game got postponed, Kyle Muller will have his start bumped to tonight. The Padres have yet to name their starter pitcher after Yu Darvish was scheduled to pitch yesterday. Two games start at 8:10 PM ET. Houston hosts Cleveland as a -180 money line favorite with an over/under of 9. Luke Garcia pitches for the Astros against Triston McKenzie of the Indians. The Chicago White Sox are at home against Minnesota as a -170 money line favorite with a total of 9. The White Sox’s Dallas Keuchel pitches against the Twins’ Bailey Ober. The Chicago Cubs play at St. Louis at 8:15 PM ET as a -115 money line road favorite with an over/under of 8.5. Trevor Williams pitches for the Cubs against a starting pitcher yet to be named for the Cardinals. Colorado plays at home against Seattle at 8:40 PM ET as a -180 money line favorite with a total of 10.5. The Rockies’ German Marquez pitches against the Mariners’ Marco Gonzales. Pittsburgh visits Arizona at 9:40 PM ET as a -110 money line favorite. Tyler Anderson pitches for the Pirates against a pitcher yet to be determined for the Diamondbacks. The Los Angeles Dodgers are at home against San Francisco at 10:10 PM ET as a -145 money line favorite with an over/under of 8.5. The Giants pitch Alex Wood against a pitcher yet to be named for the Dodgers. The CONCACAF Gold Cup concludes the group stage with four matches. Costa Rica plays Jamaica on FS1 at 7 PM ET as a -0.5 goal line favorite with a total of 2 (all Gold Cup odds from MGM). Suriname faces Guadeloupe on FS2 at 7 PM ET as a -1 goal line favorite with an over/under of 2.5.Qatar plays Honduras on FS1 at 9 PM ET in a pick ‘em match up with a total of 2.5. Panama is a -3 goal favorite against Grenada on FS2 at 9 PM ET with an over/under of 3.5.

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CONCACAF Gold Cup: Groups C and D Previews - 07/20/2021

by Big Al Staff

Tuesday, Jul 20, 2021

The group stage of the CONCACAF Gold Cup concludes on Tuesday with four matches in Groups C and D. First place for Group C is on the line in the match between Jamaica and Costa Rica on FS1 at 7 PM ET. Jamaica earned their second win in this tournament with a 2-1 victory against Guadeloupe on Friday. The Reggae Boyz surrendered an own goal in the fourth minute of the match before Cory Burke scored his fifth goal for the national team to level the score. The score remained deadlocked until the 87th minute when Junior Flemmings scored the game-winner for Jamaica. The Reggae Boyz opened this event with a 2-0 victory against Suriname.Costa Rica has also won their first two matches in Group C action after they defeated Suriname, 2-1, on Friday. The Ticos fell behind when the Natio scored the first goal in the 52nd minute of the second half. Joel Campbell evened the score six minutes later when he scored his second goal of the tournament for La Sele. Celso Borges gave Costa Rica the lead two minutes later with his second goal of the event. The Ticos played the final five minutes of the match with ten men after Francisco Calvo was issued a red card. He is suspended for this match. Costa Rica defeated Guadeloupe, 3-1, in their opening match in this tournament. With both teams tied with six points entering this game with booked tickets for the knockout stage, the winner takes first place in Group C and earns the higher seed in the quarterfinals bracket. Costa Rica takes first place if the match ends in a draw. In that instance, both sides would remain tied in goal differential. The second tie-breaker is goals scored which the Ticos hold a 5-4 edge. Costa Rica is a -0.5 goal line favorite with the total set at 2 (all odds from MGM). The match takes place at Exploria Stadium in Orlando. Guadeloupe plays Suriname on FS2 at 7 PM ET in a match where only pride is on the line. Both teams have been eliminated from the tournament with two losses in their first two matches. The Natio is a -1 goal line favorite with an over/under of 2.5. This game is at BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston.Both matches in Group D have repercussions for the knockout stage. Qatar plays Honduras on FS1 at 9:30 PM ET at the BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston. The Maroon defeated Grenada, 4-0, in their last match on Saturday. Qatar went into halftime with a 3-0 lead after Abdulaziz Hatem, Akram Afif, and Mohammed Muntari all scoring goals. Almdez Ali scored the final goal in the first minute of the second half. The Maroon opened the tournament with a 3-3 draw with Panama. Honduras won their second straight match in the tournament with a 3-2 victory against Panama on Saturday. Romell Quioto gave the Los Catrachos the lead in the 21st minute. The Canal Men evened the score on a penalty kick from Eric Davis 11 minutes later. Cesar Yanis gave Panama a 2-1 lead in the first minute of stoppage time to close out the first half. Alexander Lopez tied the score for Honduras in the 61st minute in the second half before Quioto secured his brace four minutes later in the winning goal. Los Catrachos opened the tournament with a 4-0 win against Grenada.The winner of this match takes first place in Group D and earns the higher seed in the quarterfinals bracket. Honduras has clinched a spot in the knockout stage. Qatar takes second place in the group with a draw. A loss by the Maroon puts their spot in the knockout stage in jeopardy. The match is a pick ‘em with the total set at 2.5. Panama plays Grenada on FS2 at 9:30 PM ET at Exploria Stadium in Orlando. The Canal Men are a -3 goal line favorite with an over/under of 3.5.Los Canaleros can take second place with a victory that either overcomes their -5 net goal differential with Qatar or ties that -5 goal differential while having them surpass the two-goal deficit in the goals scored tiebreaker. The third tie-breaker is the head-to-head result, which resulted in a 3-3 draw between Panama and Qatar. If a Panama win and a Qatar loss have them tied in both goal differential and goals scored, then the fair-play tie-breaker kicks in regarding the lower number of points accrued from issued yellow and red cards. CONCACAF draws lots if the fair-play tie-breaker does not determine a winner.

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2021 CFL Preview: B.C. Lions

by Sean Murphy

Monday, Jul 19, 2021

I'll be previewing all eight CFL teams in the lead-up to the long-awaited 2021 season. First up is the B.C. Lions, who will be looking to climb out of the West Division basement. The Leos are coming off a disastrous 2019 campaign that saw them win just five games and finish in last place in the West Division. That outcome was even more disappointing when you consider the splash the Lions made prior to that season, acquiring star quarterback Mike Reilly. Unfortunately the Lions couldn't keep Reilly upright with an offensive line that served as nothing more than a swinging door. The good news is B.C. made a concerted effort to upgrade its o-line this offseason, acquiring Ryker Mathews from the defending champion Tiger-Cats. Reilly is back under center with a new contract and has an opportunity for a 'do-over' of sorts after the 2020 campaign was wiped out by Covid-19.The pieces are in place for the Lions offense to take a big step forward with the addition of RB Shaq Cooper, who will be given the chance to take on a more substantial role in an offense after departing Edmonton, not to mention the presence of elite WR Bryan Burnham, who racked up career-highs in both receiving yards (1,492) and touchdowns (11) back in 2019. Burnham leads a talented group of wide receivers that didn't reach their full potential due to Reilly's inability to find time in the pocket two years ago. Keep an eye on the Lions special teams early in the season as that unit should make its presence known with Lucky Whitehead back to anchor a group that was among the league's best in 2019. Special teams is one area that I feel is rarely properly factored in when it comes to CFL odds. Kick return touchdowns became commonplace in the 2019 season and I would anticipate more of the same here in 2021. Defensively, B.C. needs some work but has the potential to be better should 2020 first overall draft pick Jordan Williams turn out to be the player (and leader) the Lions expect him to be. Unfortunately the Lions 'D' won't have the benefit of time as it tries to come together and contend with the likes of the Stampeders and Roughriders - two of the league's most potent offensive squads - which both reside in the West Division. The Lions are a longshot to win the Grey Cup, priced around 10-1 at most books. 

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Big Al's Daily Angle: MLB Previews and Odds - 07/19/2021

by Big Al Staff

Monday, Jul 19, 2021

The Monday sports card features action in MLB. Thirteen games are on the MLB docket. The Chicago White Sox host Minnesota in the opening game of their seven-inning doubleheader at 5:10 PM ET. The White Sox have seven of their last eight games after a 4-0 victory against Houston yesterday. Minnesota has lost three in a row after a 7-0 loss at Detroit on Sunday. The Twins are set to pitch Griffin Jax in the opener, according to DraftKings, although there are some reports that Jose Berrios will take the ball in the opening game. Lance Lynn will pitch the opener for the White Sox. Chicago is a -220 money line favorite with the total set at 7 (all odds from DraftKings). Miami visits Washington at 7:05 PM ET. The Marlins have lost five of their last seven games after a 7-4 loss at Philadelphia yesterday. The Nationals ended their five-game losing streak with an 8-7 victory against San Diego on Sunday. Neither starting pitcher has been named yet for this game. Toronto is at home against Boston at 7:07 PM ET. The Blue Jays won their third straight game in a 10-0 shutout victory against Texas yesterday. The Red Sox have lost four of five with their 9-1 loss in New York to the Yankees last night. Boston pitches Nick Pivetta against the Blue Jays Ross Stripling.Tampa Bay plays at home against Baltimore at 7:10 PM ET. The Rays won their second game in their last three with a 7-5 win at Atlanta yesterday. The Orioles has won two in a row after a 5-0 win in Kansas City on Sunday. Spenser Watkins pitches for Baltimore against Ryan Yarbrough of the Rays. Tampa Bay is a -225 money line favorite with a total of 8.5. Texas travels to Detroit at 7:10 PM ET. The Rangers have lost four in a row. The Tigers have won three straight games. Texas pitches Kyle Gibson against Detroit’s Casey Mize. The Rangers are a -115 money line road favorite with an over/under of 8.Cincinnati hosts the New York Mets at 7:10 PM ET. The Reds lost their third game in a row in an 8-0 loss to Milwaukee yesterday. The Mets ended a three-game losing streak with a 7-6 victory at Pittsburgh on Sunday. New York pitches Jared Eickhoff against the Reds Vladimir Gutierrez. Cincinnati is a -130 money line favorite with a total of 10.San Diego visits Atlanta at 7:20 PM ET. Both teams have lost three of their last four games after losing yesterday. Yu Darvish pitches for the Padres against Kyle Muller of the Braves. San Diego is a -135 money line favorite with an over/under of 9.Houston plays at home against Cleveland at 8:10 PM ET. The Astros have lost five of their last seven games. The Indians have won five of their last six games with their 4-2 victory against Oakland yesterday. Cleveland sends out Jean Carlos Mejia against the Astros Luke Zack Greinke. Houston is a -240 money line favorite with a total of 9. The Chicago Cubs visit St. Louis at 8:10 PM ET. The Cubs ended their two-game winning streak with a 6-4 loss at Arizona yesterday. The Cardinals have lost four of their last six games after a 2-1 loss to San Francisco on Sunday. Jake Woodford pitches for St. Louis against Alec Mills of Chicago. The Cubs are a -115 money line road favorite with an over/under of 9.The second game of the Twins/White Sox game is scheduled for 8:10 PM ET. Chicago is a -115 money line favorite with a total of 7.Arizona plays at home against Pittsburgh at 9:40 PM ET. The Diamondbacks ended a four-game losing streak with their win against the Cubs. The Pirates snapped their three-game losing streak with their loss to the Mets on Sunday. Pittsburgh pitches Chase De Jong against Arizona’s Caleb Smith. The Diamondbacks are a -135 money line favorite with an over/under of 9.5.The Los Angeles Angeles travel to Oakland at 9:40 PM ET. The Angels have lost four of their last six games after a 7-4 loss at Seattle yesterday. The A’s have dropped to games in a row. Cole Irvin pitches for Oakland against Shohei Ohtani of the Angels. Los Angeles is a -120 money line favorite with a total of 8.5.The Los Angeles Dodgers are at home against San Francisco at 10:10 PM ET. The Dodgers had their four-game winning streak end in a 6-5 loss in 10 innings at Colorado on Sunday. The Giants have lost two games in a row. Los Angeles pitches Tony Gonsolin against the Giants’ Kevin Gausman. The Dodgers are a -125 money line favorite with an over/under of 8.

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The Los Angeles Rams and the Matt Stafford Trade

by Wayne Root

Sunday, Jul 18, 2021

Matt Stafford heads to a ready-made contender in the Rams, who have had one of the NFL's best defenses for several seasons and had previously been one of the league's most explosive offenses before Goff's backslide over the past two years.   Jared Goff and head coach Sean McVay we’re at odds with each other so dumping Goff was an immediate success. Giving up draft picks is the only consideration on who won this trade. Detroit will have two first-round picks in 2022 and 2023.   Goff seemed to reach his peak when he threw for 4,688 yards, 32 touchdowns and 12 interceptions en route to a Super Bowl appearance during the 2018 season. Over the last two campaigns, he's thrown for 42 touchdowns and 29 interceptions.  Stafford got a one-way ticket out after 12 seasons with a franchise that hasn't won a playoff game since 1992. Although he's made three postseason trips with the club, Detroit hasn't been able to put a complete team around him.   This year, with two star defenders in cornerback Jalen Ramsey and defensive tackle Aaron Donald, Stafford probably won't have to score 30-plus points to win games. He'll have a complementary rushing attack and a decent defense. For the most part, Stafford had to put the offense on his shoulders. He's played with just one 1,000-yard rusher—Reggie Bush in 2013—and one defensive unit that ranked in the top 10 in scoring.   Stafford will get to work in an offensive system that has been friendly to quarterbacks, behind an offensive line that excels in pass protection, and with quality pass-catchers in Robert Woods, Cooper Kupp, Tyler Higbee, Gerald Everett, and Van Jefferson.   Financials:  The Rams signed Goff to a four-year, $130 million contract extension after his third NFL season, and will take a significant dead-money hit onto their books after making this deal. Goff will count for $22.2 million on LA's books in 2021 while he is playing for Detroit, while the Rams inherit the two years and $43 million remaining on Stafford's contract. One additional note to add about Stafford's contract with the Rams came from NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. The expectation is that Stafford will not require a contract extension as part of this deal. He will play out the remaining two years for $34 million on his contract with the Rams.  Similarly, Stafford will count for $17.8 million on the Lions' books in 2021, and Detroit will inherit the four years and $106.6 million remaining on Goff's deal. Crucially, though, there is no guaranteed money left on Goff's contract, so the Lions will be able to move on from him after this season if they so choose.   The Rams, after trading for Stafford, will go seven consecutive seasons without making a first-round pick. 

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2021 CONCACAF Gold Cup Group D Preview and Odds - 07/18/2021

by Big Al Staff

Sunday, Jul 18, 2021

CONCACAF Gold Cup 2021 Group D Preview: Grenada, Honduras, Panama, Qatar.The 2021 CONCACAF Gold Cup takes place from July 10th through August 1st, with the finals in Las Vegas. The United States hosts all the games in 10 stadiums throughout nine cities. Group D is the most wide-open of the four groups in this competition, with no clear pre-tournament favorite. Qatar has the shortest price of the four teams to win the event at +1700 (all odds from DraftKings). The Maroon was a guest to participate in this North American tournament as preparation for their squad when they compete and host the 2021 World Cup next November. Most of the roster consists of club-level players in Qatar. Manager Felix Sanchez’s squad is led by forward Akram Afif, who has scored 19 goals in 64 caps for the national team. Forward Hassan Al-Haydos is the all-time leader in caps with 141. The Maroon entered the event with four straight victories from friendlies and World Cup qualifying matches. FIFA ranks Qatar 58th in the world. The ELO ratings place them 45th in the world. Honduras began the tournament with +2500 odds to lift the trophy. Los Catrachos competed in the 2010 and 2014 World Cups before not qualifying for the 2018 World Cup in Russia. Honduras then finished last in their group in the 2019 Gold Cup with only three points. They finished in third place in the CONCACAF Nations League that concluded last month. The squad’s most recent victory in regulation time is in 2019.Los Catrachos have an experienced back line led by Houston Dynamo defender Maynor Figueroa. The 41-year-old captain is the national team’s all-time leader with 168 caps. Houston Dynamo midfielder Boniek Garcia has 128 caps for the squad. FIFA ranks Honduras 67th in the world. The ELO ratings place them 58th. Panama began the event at +4000 pre-tournament odds to win. The Canal Men competed in the 2018 World Cup, where they lost all three of their matches. Panama has reached the knockout stage of every Gold Cup since 2005. They reached the semifinals in 2011 and 2015. The squad lost to Jamaica in the quarterfinals of the 2019 Gold Cup. Manager Thomas Christiansen began his tenure last July. Only nine players remain from the 2018 World Cup roster. Former Toronto FC midfielder Armando Cooper has 114 caps for the national team. Defender Adolfo Machado plays in his fourth Gold Cup for the squad to add to his 90 caps. The Canal Men entered the tournament with eight international fixtures under their belt in 2021. They rank 78th in the world in the FIFA rankings and 70th in the ELO rating system. Grenada is the minnow of the group with +20000 pre-tournament odds. The Spice Boys have never won a group stage match in their two previous Gold Cup competitions, scoring just once in six games. Grenada failed to qualify for the last two Gold Cups. Manager Michael Findlay has an inexperienced squad with only two players in their thirties. Seven of the forwards are under the age of 25. Paradise’s Jamal Charles leads the attack with 14 goals in 25 career caps for the team. The Spice Boys rank 160th in the world by FIFA and 169th in the ELO ratings. 

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