Articles

State of the Bundesliga Entering the Final Weekend

by Power Sports

Tuesday, May 10, 2022

Entering the final weekend of the 2021/22 Bundesliga season, three Champions League spots have been clinched while the fourth is very much up for grabs as are the other European places. The relegation battle has also gotten quite interesting.Bayern Munich clinched their 10th consecutive Bundesliga title a few weeks ago. Borussia Dortmund (clinched 2nd) and Bayer Leverkusen (clinched 3rd) will join Bayern in next season’s Champions League. The fourth spot will go to either RB Leipzig (57 points) or Freiburg (55). Leipzig is a monster favorite (as high as -400 in some shops) this weekend at relegation-threatened Arminia Bielefeld. Freiburg, who will travel to face a Leverkusen side that has nothing to play for, will need to win AND have Leipzig lose to move into fourth. Leipzig would clinch fourth with a draw as they will finish with a better goal differential than Freiburg.Leipzig and Freiburg will also meet next weekend in the DFB Pokal Final. The winner of that competition is automatically assured a place in next year’s Europa League, but since both of this year’s finalists are already assured of European football next season, a second Europa League spot has opened up to the Bundesliga.Assuming Leipzig and Freiburg finish in fourth and fifth place in the German top flight, it won’t matter who wins the Pokal, aside from the actual hardware up for grabs. Leipzig, who was just eliminated from this year’s Europa League (semifinal loss to the Rangers last week), is already assured of no “worse” than being back in that competition for 2022/23. But of course their main goal right now is to finish fourth in the Bundesliga standings (thus earning a spot in the Champions League) and then win the Pokal.If Freiburg does not win this weekend, that opens the door for Union Berlin (54 points) to pass them. Union’s final opponent is Bochum, who has nothing to play for. The seventh Bundesliga team that has clinched European football next season is FC Koln (52 points). They are likely headed to the Europa Conference League unless they can pass Union into sixth, which would mean the Europa League. Koln faces relegation-threatened Stuttgart this weekend.  Note that if Freiburg loses to Leverkusen this weekend and is passed by BOTH Union Berlin and Koln, a slight possibility depending on how goal differential plays out, then there would be the possibility of three Bundesliga teams in the Europa League. That’s if Freiburg ends up seventh in the Bundesliga table and wins the Pokal. If that happens, then there would be no Bundesliga side in the Europa Conference League next season.The bottom two Bundesliga sides are automatically relegated. We already know one of them (Greuther Furth), who was assured of a last place finish long ago. Arminia Bielefeld currently sits second from the bottom (27 points) and can do no worse than the relegation playoff, which is where the third worst finisher ends up. Currently third from the bottom is Stuttgart (30 points). To avoid automatic relegation, Bielefeld must win this weekend (against Leipzig!), have Stuttgart lose (to Koln) AND somehow finish with a better goal differential. Bielefeld’s GD is currently -26 while Stuttgart’s is -19.Assuming that unlikely scenario does not play out, then the team that ends up in the relegation playoff will be either Stuttgart or Hertha Berlin (33 points). The latter blew an opportunity to clinch safety when it lost to Mainz last weekend. All Hertha would need this week is a draw vs. Dortmund (who will be saying goodbye to Erling Haaland) to avoid the relegation playoff. But if they lose and Stuttgart wins, then Stuttgart will finish with a better goal differential and move past.  The relegation playoff is between the third worst finisher in the Bundesliga (will be either Hertha/Stuttgart/Bielefeld) and the third place team in the 2, who is still to be determined. We already know current second division leader Schalke 04 is assured of promotion and will replace Greuther Furth in the top flight next season. The second automatic promotion is also up for grabs on the final weekend.But perhaps the biggest story this week in the Bundesliga is the impending departure of Dortmund star Erling Haaland to the Premier League (Manchester City). So much has been written about the state of the Bundesliga and how it’s almost becoming a “feeder” league for the EPL. It is likely that Bayern Munich may be saying goodbye to Robert Lewandowski. The league losing its two best players would be such a blow to German football fans next season.

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Big Al's Daily Angle: NBA, NHL, MLB and EPL Previews and Odds - 05/10/2022

by Big Al Staff

Tuesday, May 10, 2022

The Tuesday sports card features NBA, NHL, MLB, and EPL action.The National Basketball Association continues the conference semifinals with two playoff games on TNT. Miami hosts Philadelphia at 7:30 PM ET. The 76ers evened this series at 2-2 with their 116-108 victory as a 2-point favorite on Sunday. The Heat are a 3-point favorite with the total set at 209.5 (all odds from DraftKings unless indicated otherwise).Phoenix is at home against Dallas at 10 PM ET. The Mavericks evened this series at 2-2 with their 111-101 upset victory as a 3-point underdog on Sunday. The Suns are a 6-point favorite with an over/under of 213.Four games are on the slate in the first round of the National Hockey League playoffs. Carolina plays at home against Boston on ESPN at 7:07 PM ET. The Bruins evened this series at 2-2 with their 5-2 win against the Hurricanes on Sunday. Carolina is a -150 money line favorite with a total of 6. Toronto is at home against Tampa Bay on ESPN2 at 7:37 PM ET. The Lightning made this a 2-2 series with their 7-3 victory at home on Sunday. The Maple Leafs are a -130 money line favorite with an over/under of 6.5. Minnesota plays at home against St. Louis on ESPN at 9:37 PM ET. The Blues evened this series at 2-2 with their 5-2 victory on Sunday. The Wild are a -145 money line favorite with a total of 6.5. Edmonton hosts Los Angeles on ESPN2 at 10:07 PM ET. The Kings beat the Oilers, 4-0, on Sunday to pull even in this series at 2-2. Edmonton is a -225 money line favorite with an over/under of 6.5. The Tuesday card in Major League Baseball has 16 games on the schedule. Detroit is at home against Oakland in the first game of their afternoon doubleheader at 1:10 PM ET as a -115 money line road favorite with a total of 6.5. The A’s will bat last in the opener as the technical home team in a scheduling quirk to accommodate the late start to the season after the labor agreement. The Tigers will bat last as the home team in the nightcap at 4:10 PM ET. The Los Angeles Dodgers visit Pittsburgh at 6:35 PM ET as a -235 money line road favorite with an over/under of 8. Milwaukee plays at Cincinnati at 6:40 PM ET as a -200 money line road favorite with a total of 8.5. Two more MLB games begin at 7:05 PM ET. Washington is at home against the New York Mets. The New York Yankees are at home against Toronto as a -160 money line favorite with an over/under of 7.5. Atlanta hosts Boston at 7:20 PM ET as a -130 money line favorite with a total of 7.5. Houston visits Minnesota at 7:40 PM ET as a -135 money line road favorite with an over/under of 6.5. Baltimore plays at St. Louis at 7:45 PM ET.Texas is at home against Kansas City at 8:05 PM ET as a -135 money line favorite with a total of 8. The Chicago White Sox are at home against Cleveland at 8:10 PM ET as a -190 money line favorite with an over/under of 7.5. Tampa Bay travels to Los Angeles to play the Angels at 9:38 PM ET as a -120 money line road favorite with a total of 8. Three MLB games start at 9:40 PM ET. The Chicago Cubs play at San Diego. Miami travels to Arizona as a -140 money line road favorite with an over/under of 8.5. Philadelphia is at Seattle as a -120 money line road favorite with a total of 7. San Francisco hosts Colorado at 9:45 PM ET as a -195 money line favorite with an over/under of 7.Matchweek 36 in the English Premier League continues with one match on the USA Network at 3 PM ET. Liverpool plays at Aston Villa as a -1.5 goal line road favorite at DraftKings with a total of 2.5.

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MLB - Where the Heck has the Offense Gone?

by ASA, Inc.

Monday, May 09, 2022

For those of you consistently playing Unders in MLB this season you’ve most likely taken home a nice profit thus far.  Prior to the games being played on May 9th the UNDERS in non-extra inning games have cashed at a rate of over 57% on the season – 197 Unders and 149 Overs (excluding ties).  As of May 9th, there are only 5 teams with an above .500 record on Overs and 22 teams with a below .500 record on Overs.  This year teams are averaging just 4.04 RPG thus far for an average run total of 8.08 per game.  We obviously are only a month into the season and things can change dramatically, however if the season did end today the 4.04 RPG per team average would be the lowest since 1981 when teams averaged only 4.00 RPG.  Along those same lines, the average hits per game and league batting average is way down as well.  The 7.64 hits per game (per team) and the league wide team batting average of .232 are BOTH on pace to be the lowest EVER dating back to 1900!  Let’s not forget the league average OPS (on base + slugging percentage) of .676 which is below the .700 mark (year-end numbers) for the first time since 1989.   The oddsmakers have made some big adjustments on their totals as the season has worn on dropping the average total set each week since the beginning of the season. WEEK 1 (Starting on Thurs, April 7 – April 10) – 49 TOTAL GAMES with an 8.75 AVERAGE TOTAL SET BY ODDSMAKERS  WEEK 2 – (April 11 – April 17) - 94 TOTAL GAMES with an 8.54 AVERAGE TOTAL SET WEEK 3 – (April 18 – April 24) – 95 TOTAL GAMES with an 8.10 AVERAGE TOTAL SET WEEK 4 (April 24 – May 1) –95 TOTAL GAMES with a 7.8 AVERAGE TOTAL SET WEEK 5 (May 2 – May 8) –91 TOTAL GAMES with a 7.6 AVERAGE TOTAL SET Why the big drop-off from MLB offenses? The pitching in the Majors is getting better with multiple hurlers on each staff hitting high 90’s and even hit triple digits on the gun which was almost unheard of not all that long ago.  There has also been talk about a “dead ball” and that’s a legitimate concern as MLB made a point in early 2021 to change the baseball moving forward in an attempt to limit home runs which were at their highest point ever in the 2019 and 2020 seasons.  That change seems to have worked with teams averaging 0.91 HR’s per game this season after averaging 1.15 or higher per game in each of the previous 6 years.  Will the low scoring, poor offense trend continue?  There is hope for those that are looking for more runs.  April has always been a poor month for offense with early season struggles and poor weather factoring in.  The good news is MLB RPG, batting average, and OPS have been at their lowest point of the season in April in each of the last 6 years so an upward trend in offense can be expected.  

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Big Al's Daily Angle: NBA, NHL and MLB Previews and Odds - 05/09/2022

by Big Al Staff

Monday, May 09, 2022

The Monday sports card features NBA, NHL, and MLB action.The National Basketball Association continues the conference semifinals with two playoff games on TNT. Milwaukee hosts Boston at 7:30 PM ET. The Bucks took a 2-1 lead in this series with a 103-101 victory against the Celtics as a 2-point favorite on Saturday. Milwaukee is a 1-point favorite with the total set at 212 (all odds from DraftKings).Golden State plays at home against Memphis at 10 PM ET. The Warriors have a 2-1 series lead after beating the Grizzlies, 142-112, as a 7-point favorite on Saturday. Golden State is a 10-point favorite with an over/under of 224. Four games are on the slate in the first round of the National Hockey League playoffs. The New York Rangers visit Pittsburgh in the first game of a doubleheader on ESPN at 7:07 PM ET. The Penguins won Game 3, 7-4, to take a 2-1 series lead on Saturday. Both teams are priced as a -110 money line favorite with a total of 6. Florida plays at Washington on TBS at 7:07 PM ET. The Capitals took a 2-1 series lead on Saturday with their 6-1 victory. The Panthers are a -180 money line road favored with an over/under of 6.5. The two other NHL playoff games drops the puck at 9:37 PM ET. Colorado travels to Nashville on ESPN. The Avalanche took a 3-0 series lead with a 7-3 victory against the Predators on Saturday. Colorado is a -255 money line road favorite with a total of 6.5.Calgary is at Dallas on TBS at 9:37 PM ET. The Stars have a 2-1 lead in this series after beating the Flames, 4-2, on Saturday night. Calgary is a -165 money line favored with a total of 5.5. The Monday card in Major League Baseball has 11 games on its schedule. Two games start in the afternoon. Baltimore hosts Kansas City at 12:05 PM ET as a -125 money line favorite with an over/under of 7.5. The New York Yankees are at home against Texas at 1:05 PM ET as a -220 money line favorite with a total of 7. The Los Angeles Dodgers travel to Pittsburgh at 6:35 PM ET as a -235 money line road favorite with an over/under of 7.5. Milwaukee plays at Cincinnati at 6:40 PM ET as a -165 money line road favorite with a total of 7.5. Detroit is at home against Oakland at 7:10 PM ET as a -130 money line favorite with an over/under of 7. The Chicago White Sox host Cleveland at 8:10 PM ET as a -180 money line favorite with a total of 7.5. The Los Angeles Angels are at home against Tampa Bay at 9:38 PM ET. Three MLB games throw out the first pitch at 9:40 PM ET. Seattle plays at home against Philadelphia as a -115 money line favorite with an over/under of 7.5. The Chicago Cubs visit San Diego. Miami plays at Arizona as a -120 money line road favorite with a total of 8. San Francisco plays at home against Colorado at 9:45 PM ET as a -235 money line favorite with an over/under of 6.5.

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Big Al's Daily Angle: NBA, NHL, MLB and EPL Previews and Odds - 05/08/2022

by Big Al Staff

Sunday, May 08, 2022

The Sunday sports card features NBA, NHL, MLB, and EPL action.The National Basketball Association continues the conference semifinals with two playoff games. Phoenix plays at Dallas on ESPN at 3:30 PM ET. The Mavericks took Game 3 of this series with their 103-94 victory at home against the Suns as a 1.5-point favorite on Friday. Phoenix holds a 2-1 lead in this series. The Suns are a 2-point road favorite with the total set at 215 (all odds from DraftKings unless indicated otherwise). Philadelphia hosts Miami on TNT at 8 PM ET. The 76ers upset the Heat, 99-79, as a 1.5-point underdog on Friday. The Heat retains a 2-1 lead in this series. Philadelphia is a 2-point favorite with an over/under of 207.5.Four games are on the slate in the first round of the National Hockey League playoffs. Boston plays at home against Carolina on ESPN at 12:37 PM ET. The Bruins won Game 3 of this series by a 4-2 score on Friday. The Hurricanes have a 2-1 lead in this series. Boston is a -125 money line favorite with a total of 6.St. Louis hosts Minnesota in the first game of a triple-header on TBS at 4:37 PM ET. The Wild took a 2-1 lead in this series with their 5-1 win on Friday. St. Louis is a -105 money line favorite with an over/under of 6.5. Tampa Bay is at home against Toronto on TBS at 7:07 PM ET. The Maple Leafs have a 2-1 lead in this series after their 5-2 victory on Thursday. Tampa Bay is a -130 money line favorite with a total of 6.5. Edmonton visits Los Angeles on TBS at 10:07 PM ET. The Oilers took a 2-1 lead in this series with their 8-2 victory on Friday. Edmonton is a -155 money line road favorite with an over/under of 6.5. The Sunday card in Major League Baseball has 18 games on the schedule. Boston hosts the Chicago White Sox on NBC at 11:35 AM ET as a -150 money line favorite with a total of 8.5. The New York Mets visit Philadelphia in the opening game of their doubleheader at 12:35 PM ET. The Mets are a -115 money line road favorite with an over/under of 7. Three MLB games begin at 1:35 PM ET. Atlanta plays at home against Milwaukee as a -120 money line favorite with a total of 8. The New York Yankees host Texas in the opening game of their double-header as a -230 money line at William Hill with an over/under of 7. Baltimore is at home against Kansas City in their opening game of a doubleheader as a -107 money line favorite with a total of 7.5. Two MLB games start at 1:40 PM ET. Cincinnati plays at home against Pittsburgh as a -130 money line favorite with an over/under of 8. Toronto travels to Cleveland as a -157 money line road favorite with a total of 7.5. Two more games begin at 2:10 PM ET. Minnesota is at home against Oakland as a -180 money line favorite with an over/under of 7. Houston is at home against Detroit as a -170 money line favorite with a total of 8.5. The Mets play on the road against the Phillies in the second game of their doubleheader at 3:35 PM ET. St. Louis plays at San Francisco at 4:05 PM ET. The Los Angeles Angels are at home against Washington at 4:07 PM ET as a -195 money line favorite with an over/under of 8.5.Three MLB games start at 4:10 PM ET. Tampa Bay visits Seattle. Arizona hosts Colorado as a -155 money line favorite with a total of 8. San Diego is at home against Miami as a -165 money line favorite with a total of 6.5. Two MLB games begin at 4:35 PM ET. The Yankees are at home against the Rangers in the second game of their doubleheader as a -178 money line favorite at William Hill with an over/under of 7.5. Kansas City plays at Baltimore with both teams priced at -110 money line favorite with a total of 7. Sunday Night Baseball on ESPN at 7:08 PM ET has the Los Angeles Dodgers playing at Chicago against the Cubs as a -200 money line road favorite.Matchwek 36 continues with four matches. Three games start at 9 AM ET. Arsenal hosts Leeds United on Peacock as a -1 goal line favorite with an over/under of 3. Everton visits Leicester City on the USA Network in a pick ‘em matchup with a total of 2.5. West Ham United travels to Norwich City on Peacock as a -0.5 goal line road favorite with an over/under of 2.5. Manchester City plays at home against Newcastle United on the USA Network at 11:30 AM ET as a -2 goal line favorite with a total of 3.

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Big Al's Daily Angle: NBA, MLB, NHL and EPL Previews and Odds - 05/07/2022

by Big Al Staff

Saturday, May 07, 2022

The Saturday sports card features NBA, NHL, MLB, and EPL action.The 148th running of the Kentucky Derby headlines the sporting events of the day. The Run for the Roses is the 12th race at Churchill Downs with a start time of 6:57 PM ET.The National Basketball Association continues the conference semifinals with two playoff games on ABC. Milwaukee hosts Boston at 3:30 PM ET. The Celtics evened this series at 1-1 with a 109-86 victory as a 4-point favorite on Tuesday. The Bucks are a 2-point favorite with the total set at 212.5 (all odds from DraftKings unless indicated otherwise).Golden State plays at home against Memphis at 8:30 PM ET. The Grizzlies made this a 1-1 series with their 106-101 upset win against the Warriors as a 2-point home underdog on Tuesday. Golden State is a 7-point favorite with an over/under of 225.5.Four games are on the slate in the first round of the National Hockey League playoffs. Florida visits Washington on ESPN at 1:07 PM ET. The Panthers evened this series at 1-1 with a 5-1 victory at home on Thursday. Florida is a -190 money line road favorite with a total of 6.5. Colorado is at Nashville in the first game of a tripleheader on TNT at 4:37 PM ET. The Avalanche has a 2-0 lead in this series after a 2-1 victory in overtime against the Predators on Thursday. Colorado is a -245 money line road favorite with an over/under of 6.5. The New York Rangers travel to Pittsburgh on TNT at 7:07 PM ET. The Rangers made this a 1-1 series with a 5-2 victory against the Penguins on Thursday. New York is a -120 money line road favorite with a total of 6.Calgary plays at Dallas in the nightcap on TNT at 9:37 PM ET. The Stars shut out the Flames, 2-0, on Thursday to even this series 1-1. Calgary is a -155 money line road favorite with an over/under of 5.5. The Saturday card in Major League Baseball has 18 games on its schedule. Pittsburgh plays at Cincinnati at 12:35 PM ET in the first game of their doubleheader. Two MLB games throw out the first pitch at 1:05 PM ET. The New York Yankees host Texas as a -165 money line favorite with a total of 6.5. The Los Angeles Dodgers are at Chicago to play the Cubs in the opening game of their doubleheader as a -215 money line road favorite at William Hill. Two more MLB games start at 2:10 PM ET. Toronto is at Cleveland in the first game of their doubleheader as a -135 money line road favorite at William Hill with an over/under of 6.5. Minnesota is at home against Oakland as a -175 money line favorite at William Hill with a total of 8. Two MLB games begin at 4:05 PM ET. The New York Mets visit Philadelphia as a -153 money line road favorite at William Hill with an over/under of 7. Houston hosts Detroit in the first of two games on FS1 as a -195 money line favorite with a total of 8. The Chicago White Sox plays at Boston at 4:10 PM ET. The Blue Jays face the Indians in the second game of their doubleheader at 5:10 PM ET as a -130 money line road favorite with an over/under of 7.5. The Reds play at home against the Pirates in the second half of their doubleheader at 6:40 PM ET as a -145 money line favorite with a total of 7. Baltimore is at home against Kansas City at 7:05 PM ET as a -120 money line favorite with an over/under of 8. San Francisco hosts St. Louis in the nightcap on FS1 at 7:15 PM ET as a -155 money line favorite with a total of 6.5. Milwaukee plays at Atlanta at 7:20 PM ET as a -115 money line road favorite with an over/under of 6.5. The Dodgers play their second game at Wrigley Field against the Cubs at 7:40 PM ET as a -195 money line road favorite at William Hill.Colorado visits Arizona at 8:10 PM ET, with both teams priced at -110 with a total of 8. San Diego plays at home against Miami at 8:40 PM ET as a -135 money line favorite with an over/under of 5.5. Washington travels to Los Angels to play the Angels at 9:07 PM ET. Tampa Bay is at Seattle at 9:10 PM ET as a -125 money line road favorite with a total of 7.Matchweek 38 of the English Premier League begins with six matches. Four games start at 10 AM ET. Brentford hosts Southampton on Peacock as a -0.5 goal line favorite with an over/under of 2.5 (all soccer odds from PlayMGM). Aston Villa plays at Burnley on Peacock in a pick ‘em matchup with a total of 2.5. Chelsea is at home against Wolverhampton on the USA Network as a -1.5 goal line favorite with an over/under of 2.5. Crystal Palace plays at home against Watford on Peacock as a -1 goal line favorite with a total of 2.5. Manchester United visits Brighton and Hove Albion on NBC at 12:30 PM ET in a pick ‘em match with an over/under of 2.5. Liverpool hosts Tottenham on the USA Network at 2:45 PM ET as a -1 goal line favorite with an over/under of 3. 

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2022 Kentucky Derby Preview

by Al McMordie

Friday, May 06, 2022

This year's Kentucky Derby would seem to have something for everyone.  Everyone, that is, unless you like betting on Bob Baffert horses.  But even though the superstar trainer -- whose horse crossed the finish line first last year but was later disqualified for a banned substance -- isn't allowed to be running horses at Churchill Downs, two of his horses are still represented in the big race.  So even for Baffert fans, there are opportunities in this latest edition of the Run for the Roses.  But there are also so many other angles to pursue.  So here is a preview of the some of the field for the most exciting two minutes in sports -- including the contenders, pretenders, likely over-bet favorites, and live longshots  Contenders:#3 - Epicenter.  Steve Asmussen's brilliant runner has done little wrong in his career winning four of his six races.  Yet the son of Not This Time is not likely to be the favorite, and may even go off at odds of 4-1 or higher (especially if Mattress Mack puts down several million dollars on Zandon, and doesn't bet on Epicenter).  Asmussen was something like 0 for his last 72 starts in the State of Kentucky but with a couple of wins on Oaks Saturday, he has removed that monkey from his back.  Some people are saying the #3 post position is a bad one, but with Epicenter's forward running style, it really shouldn't matter.  Top Jockey Joel Rosario will ride as he did in Epicenter's dominant victory in the Louisiana Derby.#10 - Zandon.  The Chad Brown trainee is likely to go off as a strong favorite - perhaps even as low as 2-1.  Like Epicenter, the son of Upstart has done little wrong in his career and there are few reasons to knock him.  The 10 post position is thought to be ideal for a horse with his running style.  Look for Flavien Pratt to sit chilly and look for that opportunity at the top of the stretch to unleash Zandon's deadly kick down the lane.  The only potential hiccup will be if he has nowhere to go behind a wall of horses.  He won't be facing 10 other runners like he was in the Blue Grass Stakes, but 19 others and most of them will be in front of him for most of the race. Pretenders:#15 - White Abarrio.  Saffie Joseph has come out of nowhere in less than 10 years to become the king of trainers in South Florida.  White Abarrio is just his second Derby runner.  And while he comes in with an impressive resume that includes wins in the Florida Derby and Holy Bull, there are giant question marks as to how his form will translate outside of the Sunshine State.  Indeed, in his only previous start shipping from Florida, White Abarrio was a well-beaten third right here at Churchill Downs in last year's Kentucky Jockey Club.  You will want at least 20-1 on this runner and you're not likely to get it.   #1 - Mo Donegal.  Like White Abarrio, Todd Pletcher's Mo Donegal is a homeboy trying to win the biggest race outside of his home state.  But instead of Florida, the son of Uncle Mo has been calling New York home.  Yes, Mo Donegal was impressive in winning the Wood Memorial at Aqueduct race track, but he only beat seven other runners, and won just barely (by a neck).  He drew the dreaded #1 post position for the Derby and although folks are saying it doesn't matter because he's just going to drop back anyway (he's not a front-running horse) one could easily see a scenario where he is hopelessly boxed in around the first turn getting dirt and mud kicked in his face before the race is even half over.  His late charge was barely enough against a weak field in New York -- it's unlikely it will get him to the winners circle here.  Like White Abarrio you will need 20 or 30-1 to make it worth your while and you won't get it.  Over-bet Favorites:  #6 Messier and #12 Taiba - Yes, we're going to put both of the former Bob Baffert horses -- now both trained by Tim Yakteen -- in this category.  Though neither will be the favorite in the Derby, both Messier and Taiba will likely be bet below their morning line odds of 8-1 and 12-1, respectively.  The recent success of California horses in the Derby will guarantee that you won't get fair odds on either of these horses.  They are the 1-2 finishers in the Santa Anita Derby, but what did they beat?  There were six horses in the field and the heavy favorite, Forbidden Kingdom, threw in a complete clunker and finished off the board.  Taiba especially should be avoided with just two lifetime starts to his credit.  He may end up being a superstar and future Breeders Cup winner, but this is just too tall of a mountain for a horse with so little experience.     Live Longshots:  #16 Cyberknife, #18 Tawny Port, #19 Zozos - Brad Cox has been arguably the best trainer in the country the last couple of years.  He trained Breeders Cup Classic winner Knicks Go and won the Eclipse Award for best trainer in 2021.  Oh, yeah, Cox also won last year's Derby after Medina Spirit was disqualified and his Mandaloun was declared the Champion (Mandaloun was my Kentucky Derby pick last year, and we cashed our across-the-board wager).  And unlike Bob Baffert (CA) and Chad Brown (NY) Cox is from right here in Louisville.  And yet he will have three runners in the Derby who are all likely to be 20-1 and higher.  The most obvious of the three -- from a betting perspective -- is Cyberknife.  The son of red-hot sire Gun Runner won the Arkansas Derby and will be piloted by Florent Giroux and is still being completely overlooked in the big race.  If Cyberknife is flying under the radar, then Cox's other two runners, Tawny Port and Zozos are in an underground bunker.  You will likely get 40-1 or higher on those runners.  #8 Charge It - No discussion of Derby longshots would be complete without a mention of Todd Pletcher.  The Hall of Fame trainer sends out three runners today.  And while one of them will be overbet from a poor post-position (Mo Donegal) and the other one (Pioneer of Medina) just looks too slow, Charge It offers some intriguing value.  The son of super sire Tapit hit the gate at the start of the Florida Derby and then came running late to finish second to White Abarrio.  He's been all the rage on the race track in the mornings with many saying that no horse looks better coming up to the big race.  Top Jockey Luis Saez won the Kentucky Oaks aboard Secret Oath so he knows how to win big races here.Good luck, as always,Al McMordie

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Big Al's Daily Angle: NBA, NHL and MLB Previews and Odds - 05/06/2022

by Big Al Staff

Friday, May 06, 2022

The Friday sports card features NBA, NHL, and MLB action.The National Basketball Association continues the conference semifinals with two playoff games on ESPN. Miami travels to Philadelphia at 7 PM ET. The Heat took a 2-0 lead in this series with a 119-103 victory as a 7.5-point favorite on Wednesday. Miami is a 3-point road favorite with the total set at 210 (all odds from DraftKings).Phoenix plays at Dallas at 9:30 PM ET. The Suns have a 2-0 series lead after being the Mavericks, 129-109, as a 6-point favorite on Wednesday. Phoenix is a 1-point road favorite with an over/under of 219.5. Four games are on the slate in the first round of the National Hockey League playoffs. Boston hosts Carolina on TNT at 7:07 PM ET. The Hurricanes took a 2-0 lead in this series with their 5-2 victory at home on Wednesday. The Bruins are a -135 money line favorite with a total of 5.5. Tampa Bay plays at home against Toronto on TBS at 7:37 PM ET. The Lightning evened this series at 1-1 with a 5-3 win on the road in Game 2 on Wednesday. Tampa Bay is a -120 money line favorite with an over/under of 6.5. St. Louis is at home against Minnesota on TNT at 9:37 PM ET. The Wild made this a 1-1 series with their 6-2 victory on the road in Game 2 on Wednesday. St. Louis is a -120 money line favorite with a total of 6.5. Edmonton visits Los Angeles on TBS at 10:07 PM ET. The Oilers evened this series at 1-1 with their 6-0 victory on Wednesday. Edmonton is a -140 money line road favorite with an over/under of 6.5. The Friday card in Major League Baseball has 15 games on its schedule. The Los Angeles Dodgers play in Chicago against the Cubs at 2:20 PM ET. Pittsburgh travels to Cincinnati at 6:40 PM ET as a -120 money line road favorite with a total of 8.5. Three MLB games throw out the first pitch at 7:05 PM ET. Baltimore hosts Kansas City as a -115 money line favorite with an over/under of 8. The New York Mets play at Philadelphia as a -140 money line road favorite with a total of 7. The New York Yankees are at home against Texas as a -225 money line favorite with an over/under of 7. Two MLB games start at 7:10 PM ET. Boston plays at home against the Chicago White Sox as a -165 money line favorite. Toronto is at Cleveland as a -140 money line road favorite with a total of 6.5. Milwaukee travels to Atlanta at 7:20 PM ET. Two more MLB games begin at 8:10 PM ET. Minnesota hosts Oakland as a -180 money line favorite with an over/under of 7.5. Houston is at home against Detroit as a -195 money line favorite with a total of 8. Washington plays at Los Angeles against the Angels at 9:38 PM ET. Three more MLB games start at 9:40 PM ET. Arizona hosts Colorado as a -145 money line favorite with an over/under of 8.5. Seattle plays at home against Tampa Bay as a -125 money line favorite with a total of 7. San Diego is at home against Miami as a -130 money line favorite with an over/under of 6.5. St. Louis visits San Francisco at 10:15 PM ET.

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2022 WNBA Season Preview: Part Two

by Sean Murphy

Thursday, May 05, 2022

Last week we took a look at how six of the WNBA's 12 teams shape up entering the 2022 season. We conclude our season preview here, with the regular season set to tip off on Friday night.Odds to win WNBA title are courtesy BetOnline.Las Vegas Aces (+375)The Aces might just be the flashiest team in the WNBA, led by superstar A'ja Wilson. The problem in recent years has been that the Aces roster has been somewhat top-heavy in terms of talent - often lacking the depth needed to go all the way in the postseason. Las Vegas' biggest offseason move was landing Becky Hammon to take over the head coaching reins. Hammon is a proven winner in this league and Aces fans should be confident she'll be able to get the most out of the Aces already explosive offense. If they can figure out a way to put it together on defense as well, they could turn out to be a front-runner for most of the season. Seattle Storm (+550)This season could serve as a victory lap for Storm veteran leader Sue Bird and fans in Seattle are hoping she has one more championship run left. With Breanna Stewart and Jewell Loyd back to lead the charge, the Storm certainly appear to be championship-caliber once again. Like the aforementioned Aces, a lack of depth down the roster could ultimately be Seattle's downfall but they've proven the ability to stay relevant year in, year out and we should expect nothing different in 2022.Indiana Fever (+8000)It only seems like the Fever have been in rebuild mode forever. You would have to go all the way back to 2015 to find the last time they posted a winning record and they're a longshot to do so this year as well. They'll once again be looking to flip the script with a boatload of young talent on board, noting that the Fever had a whopping seven picks in this year's draft. Number two overall pick NaLyssa Smith will lead the charge and the hope is she'll become the face of the franchise moving forward. Dallas Wings (+5000)After reaching the playoffs for the first time since 2018 last year (albeit with a losing record of 14-18), there's reason for optimism in Dallas. The rebuild is essentially over, with the Wings making just a couple of offseason moves. Most notably, they locked up super scorer Arike Ogunbowale with a long-term contract extension. When in sync, the Wings can have one of the most dynamic offenses in the league but the consistency hasn't always been there. Teaira McCowan joins the fold this year to provide some much-needed stability at the center position. While not likely a championship contender, the Wings could prove to be a 'tough out' on most nights.Minnesota Lynx (+900)Led by reigning Defensive Player of the Year Sylvia Fowles, who like Sue Bird is likely in her final WNBA season, the Lynx are hopeful they can make another run at a WNBA championship in 2022. Angel McCoughtry was a key offseason acquisition but there's reason to doubt how much she can contribute having not played a full season since 2018 due to various injuries. Napheesa Collier's scoring will be missed as she's pregnant and won't return to the floor for some time. Minnesota is hopeful that key cogs such as Natalie Ochonwa and Kayla McBride can pick up the slack offensively with Collier on the sidelines. Los Angeles Sparks (+2500)The Sparks had a disastrous 2021 campaign, finishing with a below .500 record and missing the playoffs entirely. Not surprisingly, the offseason brought changes, most notably acquiring Liz Cambage from the Las Vegas Aces. The thought is that the Sparks were missing a true anchor last season after Candace Parker's departure. Cambage was brought in to hopefully fill that role. This is a veteran-laden squad led by the Ogwumike sisters and Kristi Tolliver. The addition of guard Chennedy Carter could prove to be key as well as she enters her third season following two solid campaigns with the Atlanta Dream. Finding offense shouldn't be a problem for head coach Derek Fisher but the defense will be a work-in-progress for much of the season, hence the lofty championship odds. 

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Big Al's Daily Angle: NHL and MLB Previews and Odds - 05/05/2022

by Big Al Staff

Thursday, May 05, 2022

The Thursday sports card features NHL and MLB action.Four games are on the slate in the National Hockey League. The New York Rangers are at home against Pittsburgh on TNT at 7:07 PM ET. The Penguins took the first game of this series with a 4-3 victory on Tuesday. The Rangers are a -160 money line favorite with the total set at 5.5 (all odds from DraftKings). Florida plays at home against Washington on TBS at 7:37 PM ET. The Capitals own a 1-0 lead in this series with their 4-2 victory in Game 1 of this series on Tuesday. The Panthers are a -255 money line favorite with an over/under of 6.5. Colorado is at home against Nashville on TNT at 9:37 PM ET. The Avalanche come off a 7-2 victory in the first game of this series on Tuesday. Colorado is a -400 money line favorite with a total of 6.5. Calgary hosts Dallas on TBS at 10:07 PM ET. The Flames won Game 1 of this series, 1-0, on Tuesday. The Flames are a -240 money line favorite with an over/under of 5.5. The Thursday card in Major League Baseball has ten games on the schedule. The Los Angeles Angels visit Boston at 1:35 PM ET. Shohei Ohtani pitches for the Angels against the Red Sox Rich Hill. Los Angeles is a -150 money line road favorite with a total of 8. Milwaukee hosts Cincinnati at 1:40 PM ET. The Brewers pitch Adrian Houser against the Reds Hunter Greene. Milwaukee is a -240 money line favorite with an over/under of 7.5. Colorado plays at home against Washington at 3:10 PM ET. Antonio Senzatela pitches for the Rockies against the Nationals’ Aaron Sanches. The Rockies are a -135 money line favorite with a total of 10.5. Toronto travels to Cleveland at 6:10 PM ET. The Blue Jays pitch Jose Berrios against the Indians’ Aaron Civale. Toronto is a -150 money line road favorite with an over/under of 8. Philadelphia hosts the New York Mets at 6:45 PM ET. Aaron Nola pitches for the Phillies against the Mets’ Taijuan Walker. Philadelphia is a -145 money line favorite with a total of 8. Baltimore plays at home against Minnesota at 7:05 PM ET. The Orioles pitch Spenser Watkins against the Twins’ Chris Archer. Houston is at home against Detroit at 8:10 PM ET. The Astros send out Jose Urquidy to face off against Tarik Skubal of the Tigers. Houston is a -165 money line favorite with an over/under of 8.5.Two MLB games throw out the first pitch at 9:40 PM ET. San Diego hosts Miami. Nick Martinez pitches for the Padres against the Marlins’ Jesus Luzardo. San Diego is a -115 money line favorite with a total of 7. Tampa Bay travels to Seattle. Shane McClanahan of the Rays battles Robbie Ray of the Mariners. Tampa Bay is a -135 money line road favorite with an over/under of 7. St. Louis visits San Francisco at 9:45 PM ET. Miles Mikolas pitches for the Cardinals against a Giants’ starting pitcher yet to be named.

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Big Al's Daily Angle: NBA, NHL, MLB and UEFA Champions League Previews and Odds - 05/04/2022

by Big Al Staff

Wednesday, May 04, 2022

The Wednesday sports card features NBA, NHL, MLB, and UEFA Champions League action.The National Basketball Association continues the conference semifinals with two playoff games on TNT. Miami plays at home against Philadelphia at 7:30 PM ET. The Heat took a 1-0 lead in this series with a 106-92 victory against the 76ers as a 7.5-point favorite on Monday. Miami is an 8.5-point favorite with the total set at 207.5 (all odds from DraftKings unless indicated otherwise).Phoenix hosts Dallas at 10 PM ET. The Suns took Game 1 in this series with a 121-114 victory as a 5.5-point favorite on Monday. Phoenix is a 6-point favorite with an over/under of 216.Four games are on the slate in the first round of the National Hockey League playoffs. Carolina is at home against Boston on ESPN at 7:07 PM ET. The Hurricanes come off a 5-1 victory in the opening game of this seven-game series on Monday. Carolina is a -115 money line favorite with a total of 5.5. Toronto plays at home against Tampa Bay on ESPN2 at 7:37 PM ET. The Maple Leafs are on a four-game winning streak after winning the opening game of this series, 5-0, on Monday. Toronto is a -120 money line favorite with an over/under of 6.5. Minnesota hosts St. Louis on ESPN at 9:37 PM ET. The Blues upset the Wild in the opening game of this series, 4-0, on Monday. Minnesota is a -125 money line favorite with a total of 6. Edmonton is at home against Los Angeles on ESPN2 at 10:07 PM ET. The Kings upset the Oilers in Game 1 of this series, 4-3, on Monday. Edmonton is a -185 money line favorite with an over/under of 6.5.The Wednesday card in Major League Baseball has 17 games on its schedule. Miami plays at home against Arizona at 12:40 PM ET as a -155 money line favorite with a total of 7.5. Four MLB games start at 1:10 PM ET. Detroit hosts Pittsburgh as a -155 money line favorite with an over/under of 7.5 in the opening game of their afternoon doubleheader. St. Louis visits Kansas City as a -140 money line road favorite with a total of 7.5. San Diego plays at Cleveland in the opening game of their afternoon doubleheader. The New York Mets are at home against Atlanta as a -135 money line favorite with an over/under of 7. Houston hosts Seattle at 2:10 PM ET as a -195 money line favorite with a total of 7.5. Tampa Bay travels to Oakland at 3:37 PM ET as a -125 money line road favorite with an over/under of 7. Two more MLB games begin at 4:10 PM ET. The Pirates play on the road against the Tigers in the second game of their doubleheader. The Padres are at Cleveland in the second game of their doubleheader. Philadelphia plays at home against Texas at 6:45 PM ET as a -165 money line favorite with a total of 8. Minnesota is at Baltimore at 7:05 PM ET as a -135 money line road favorite with an over/under of 7.5. The New York Yankees visit Toronto at 7:07 PM ET as a -140 money line road favorite with a total of 8. The Los Angeles Angels are at Boston at 7:10 PM ET. Two MLB games begin at 7:40 PM ET. The Chicago White Sox plays on the road against the Chicago Cubs as a -140 money line road favorite. Milwaukee hosts Cincinnati as a -265 money line favorite with an over/under of 8. Colorado is at home against Washington at 8:40 PM ET as a -150 money line favorite with a total of 10.5. San Francisco plays at Los Angeles against the Dodgers at 10:10 PM ET. The semifinals of the UEFA Champions League conclude with the second leg between Manchester City and Real Madrid on CBS at 3 PM ET. Man City is a -0.5 goal line road favorite with an over/under of 3.

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Big Al's NBA, NHL, MLB and UEFA Champions League Previews and Odds - 05/03/2022

by Big Al Staff

Tuesday, May 03, 2022

The Tuesday sports card features NBA, NHL, MLB, and UEFA Champions League action.The National Basketball Association continues the conference semifinals with two playoff games on TNT. Boston hosts Milwaukee at 7 PM ET. The Bucks took the opening game of this best-of-seven series with a 101-89 upset victory as a 5-point underdog on Sunday. The Celtics are a 4.5-point favorite with the total set at 215.5 (all odds from DraftKings unless indicated otherwise). Golden State plays at Memphis at 9:30 PM ET. The Warriors have a 1-0 lead in this series after their 117-115 victory against the Grizzlies in Game 1 as a 3-point road favorite with an over/under of 224. Golden State is a 2-point road favorite with an over/under of 227.5. Four games are on the slate in the first round of the National Hockey League playoffs. The New York Rangers play at home against Pittsburgh on ESPN at 7:07 PM ET. The Rangers ended a three-game losing streak with their 3-2 victory against Washington on Friday. The Penguins ended a two-game losing streak with a 5-3 win against Columbus on Friday. New York is a -140 money line favorite with a total of 5.5. Florida is at home against Washington on ESPN2 at 7:37 PM ET. The Panthers lost their third game in their last four with their 10-2 loss at Montreal on Friday. The Capitals are on a four-game losing streak after their 3-2 loss on the road against the Rangers on Friday. Florida is a -230 money line favorite with an over/under of 6.5. Colorado hosts Nashville on ESPN at 9:37 PM ET. The Avalanche won their sixth game in their last seven with a 4-1 win at Minnesota on Friday. The Predators lost their fourth game in their last five in a 5-4 loss at Arizona on Friday. Colorado is a -340 money line favorite with a total of 6.5. Calgary plays at home against Dallas on ESPN2 at 10:07 PM ET. The Flames are on a two-game losing streak after a 3-1 loss at Winnipeg on Friday. The Stars won their third game in their last four with a 4-2 victory against Anaheim on Friday. Calgary is a -225 money line favorite with an over/under of 5.5.The Tuesday card in Major League Baseball has 16 games. Atlanta plays at New York against the Mets at 3:10 PM ET in the opening game of a doubleheader. Two games start at 6:10 PM ET including the second game between the Braves and Mets. San Diego travels to Cleveland as a -140 money line road favorite with a total of 8. Arizona plays at Miami at 6:40 PM ET. Philadelphia plays at home against Texas at 6:45 PM ET as a -155 money line favorite with an over/under of 8.5. Minnesota visits Baltimore at 7:05 PM ET as a -160 money line road favorite with a total of 7. Toronto is at home against the New York Yankees at 7:07 PM ET as a -130 money line favorite with an over/under of 8. Two more MLB games begin at 7:10 PM ET. Detroit hosts Pittsburgh as a -145 money line favorite with a total of 8. The Los Angeles Angels are at Boston as a -125 money line road favorite with an over/under of 8.5. Two MLB games throw out the first pitch at 7:40 PM ET. The Chicago White Sox play in Chicago against the Cubs as a -145 money line road favorite. Milwaukee is at home against Cincinnati as a -275 money line favorite. Two MLB games start at 8:10 PM ET. Houston plays at home against Seattle as a -150 money line favorite with a total of 8.5. St. Louis visits Kansas City as a -115 money line road favorite with an over/under of 7.5. Colorado hosts Washington at 8:40 PM ET as a -155 money line favorite with a total of 10.5. Tampa Bay travels to Oakland at 9:40 PM ET. The Los Angeles Dodgers are at home against San Francisco at 10:10 PM ET as a -135 money line favorite with an over/under of 6.5.The UEFA Champions League semifinals continue at 3 PM ET. Liverpool plays at Villarreal in the second leg after the Reds won the first match last Wednesday, 2-0. Liverpool is a -0.5 goal line road favorite at PlayMGM with a total of 3. Paramount+ and fuboTV televise the match.

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