Articles

NFL Stock Rising and Falling: Week 4

by Sean Murphy

Tuesday, Sep 28, 2021

Another week of NFL action is in the books, providing us with a little more clarity regarding which teams are contenders and which are pretenders as we approach the quarter-pole of the season.Here's a look at two teams on the rise and two on their way down in this week's edition of 'Stock Rising and Falling'.Stock risingCincinnati BengalsThere's wasn't a lot of optimism around the Bengals entering the season with most figuring that second-year quarterback Joe Burrow would be eased back into the offense after suffering a devastating season-ending injury in the back half of 2020. Burrow has exceeded expectations, however, throwing for seven touchdown passes in guiding the Bengals to a 2-1 start. Now the schedule eases up with a Thursday night home game against the reeling Jaguars and a trip to Detroit to face the lowly Lions sandwiched around a home game against the Packers. The Cincinnati offense is going to thrive with all the young talent on hand. It's the Bengals defense that was thought to be the weak link but so far, so good having allowed just 54 points through three games. Now comes an opportunity to feast on Jags struggling rookie quarterback Trevor Lawrence.Buffalo BillsThe Bills are back. Did they every really go anywhere? There were plenty of critics following an ugly season-opening home loss to the Steelers - a Steelers team that has turned out to be far worse than advertised but they've been silenced following consecutive blowout wins over the Dolphins and Washington Football team, by a combined 78-21 margin. Buffalo will get another layup at home against the Texans this Sunday before a tough primetime road game in Kansas City in Week 6. Now that Josh Allen has shaken off the rust, the sky is the limit for Buffalo's offense. The defense will simply be asked to hold serve, much like it did last Sunday against Washington. Stock fallingPittsburgh SteelersThe Steelers are in an extremely sticky situation, off to a 1-2 start with their offense appearing punchless under the guidance of possibly-washed veteran quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. The issue is, there's really no 'plan B' when it comes to the quarterback position. Mason Rudolph and Dwayne Haskins aren't better options than Big Ben as hard as that is to believe. With a cluster of key injuries on the defensive side of the football, Pittsburgh now has to limp into Lambeau Field to face the red hot Packers. It doesn't get much easier from there as the Steelers host the currently undefeated Broncos in Week 5 before facing the Seahawks in Week 6. If they don't find a way to turn things around by then the season may already be circling the drain by the time their bye rolls around in Week 7. Philadelphia EaglesWe'll stick in the state of Pennsylvania for our other 'stock falling' team this week. Monday night's game in Dallas couldn't have gone much worse. I'm not sure the Eagles have ever been completely sold on moving forward with Jalen Hurts as their long-term answer at quarterback. The fact that they went out and acquired former Jaguars starter Gardner Minshew Jr. in August was telling in my opinion. While injuries have certainly played a role, the Eagles defense hasn't been nearly good enough. Just as we saw last year, the defense has proven to be a pass-funnel unit once again and that's simply not a winning strategy in today's pass-happy NFL. Now comes an extremely difficult home date this Sunday against a Chiefs squad that will undoubtedly be in a sour mood following rare consecutive losses. 

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Big Al's Daily Angle - MLB, CFL, UEFA Champions League, and WNBA Previews and Odds - 09/28/2021

by Big Al Staff

Tuesday, Sep 28, 2021

The Tuesday sports card features action in the MLB, CFL, WNBA, and UEFA Champions League.Sixteen games are on the MLB docket. The New York Mets host Miami at 4:10 PM ET in the first game of their seven-inning doubleheader. Marcus Stroman pitches for the Mets against Zack Thompson of the Marlins. New York is a -200 money line favorite with the total set at 5.5 (all odds from DraftKings unless indicated otherwise). The Chicago Cubs play at Pittsburgh at 6:35 PM ET in the opener of their three-game series. The Pirates pitch Mitch Keller against the Cubs’ Alec Mills. Both teams are a -110 money line favorite with an over/under of 8.5. Boston visits Baltimore at 7:05 PM ET in Game 1 of their three games series. Chris Sale pitches for the Red Sox against Bruce Zimmermann of the Orioles. Boston is a -265 money line road favorite with a total of 9.5. Toronto plays at home against the New York Yankees at 7:07 PM ET in the first game of their three-game series. The Blue Jays pitch Hyun-Jin Ryu against the Yankees’ Jameson Taillon. Toronto is a -130 money line favorite with an over/under of 9. The Mets are at home against the Marlins at 7:10 PM ET in the second game of their doubleheader. New York pitches Noah Syndergaard against Miami’s Trevor Rogers. The Mets are a -145 money line favorite with the total at 6 at Play MGM. Atlanta is at home against Philadelphia on FS1 at 7:20 PM ET in the opener of their three-game series. Charlie Morton pitches for the Braves against Zack Wheeler of the Phillies. Atlanta is a -125 money line favorite with a total of 7.5. Minnesota hosts Detroit at 7:40 PM ET in Game 1 of their three-game series. The Tigers pitch Tyler Alexander against a Twins pitcher that has yet to be determined. Minnesota is a -190 money line favorite with an over/under of 9.5. Milwaukee visits St. Louis at 7:45 PM ET in the first game of their three-game series. Brandon Woodruff pitches for the Brewers against Adam Wainwright of the Cardinals. Milwaukee is a -125 money line road favorite with a total of 7.The Los Angeles Angels travel to Texas in the opener of their three-game series at 8:05 PM ET. The Angels pitch Packy Naughton against the Rangers’ A.J. Alex. Los Angeles is a -115 money line road favorite with an over/under of 9. Three games begin at 8:10 PM ET. Kansas City hosts Cleveland in Game 1 of their three-game series. Brady Singer pitches for the Royals against Aaron Civale of the Indians. Kansas City is a -125 money line favorite with a total of 9. Houston plays at home against Tampa Bay in the first game of their three-game series. The Astros pitch Jose Urquidy against the Rays’ Michael Wacha. Houston is a -135 money line favorite with an over/under of 9. The Chicago White Sox are at home against Cincinnati in the first game of their two-game series. Reynaldo Lopez pitches for the White Sox against Riley O’Brien of the Reds. Chicago is a -190 money line favorite with a total of 9. Colorado plays at home against Washington at 8:40 PM ET in the second game of their three-game series. The Rockies pitch Kyle Freeland against the Nationals’ Patrick Corbin. Colorado is a -135 money line favorite with an over/under of 11.5. San Francisco hosts Arizona at 9:45 PM ET in the opener of their three-game series. Logan Webb pitches for the Giants against Luke Weaver of the Diamondbacks. San Francisco is a -275 money line favorite with a total of 8. Two games conclude the card at 10:10 PM ET. The Los Angeles Dodgers play at home against San Diego on ESPN in Game 1 of their three-game series. The Dodgers pitch Walker Buehler against the Padres’ Yu Darvish. Los Angeles is a -190 money line favorite with an over/under of 7.5. Oakland visits Seattle in the first game in their three-game series. Chris Bassitt pitches for the A’s against Tyler Anderson of the Mariners. Oakland is a -115 money line road favorite with a total of 8.The ninth week in the Canadian Football League kicks off with Edmonton traveling to Ottawa at 7:30 PM ET on ESPN+. The Elks are an 8-point road favorite with an over/under of 44. The opening games of the semifinals in the WNBA playoffs tips off with a doubleheader on ESPN2. Connecticut hosts Chicago at 8 PM ET as an 8-point favorite at Play MGM with a total of 154. Las Vegas plays at home against Phoenix at 10 PM ET as a 7-point favorite with an over/under of 169.5.Matchday 2 in the group stage of the UEFA Champions League begins with eight matches. Two games start at 12:45 PM ET. Ajax hosts Besiktas as a -2.5 goal line favorite with a total of 3.5. Inter Milan visits Shakhtar Donetsk as a -1 goal line road favorite with an over/under of 2.75. Six matches begin at 3 PM ET. Manchester City visits Paris Saint-Germain as a -0.25 goal line road favorite with a total of 2.75. RB Leipzig hosts Club Brugge as a -1.25 goal line favorite with an over/under of 3. Liverpool travels to FC Porto as a -0.75 goal line road favorite with an over/under of 2.75. Atletico Madrid visits AC Milan in a pick ‘em match with a total of 2.25. Borussia Dortmund plays at home against Sporting CP as a -1.25 goal line favorite with an over/under of 3. Real Madrid is at home against Sheriff as a -2.5 goal line favorite with a total of 3.5. All eight Champions League matches are available on Paramount+. The CBS Sports Network’s “The Golazo Show” is an NFL Red Zone-inspired show that presents live updated highlights of all eight games.

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Big Al's NFL, MLB and EPL Previews and Odds - 09/27/2021

by Big Al Staff

Monday, Sep 27, 2021

The Monday sports card features action in the NFL, MLB, and EPL.The third week of the NFL regular season concludes with the Dallas Cowboys hosting the Philadelphia Eagles on ESPN and ESPN2 (the Manning broadcast) at 8:15 PM ET. The Cowboys improved to 1-1 with their 20-17 upset victory in Los Angeles against the Chargers as a 3-point favorite last week. The Eagles lost at home to San Francisco as a 3-point underdog on Sunday. Dallas is a 3.5-point favorite with the total set at 52 (all odds from DraftKings).Five games are on the MLB docket. Three games start at 1:10 PM ET. The Chicago White Sox visit Detroit in a makeup of an earlier postponed game. The White Sox have won two of three after their 5-2 win at Cleveland on Sunday. The Tigers have lost two of three with their 2-1 loss at home to Kansas City. Chicago pitches Dallas Keuchel against Detroit’s Matt Manning. The White Sox are a -160 money line road favorite with an over/under of 9.5. Cincinnati hosts Pittsburgh in a one-off makeup game from a previously postponed game. The Reds have won three in a row after their 9-2 victory against Washington on Sunday. The Pirates ended a three-game losing streak with their 6-0 win at Philadelphia yesterday. Cincinnati pitches Reiver Sanmartin against a Pittsburgh starting pitcher yet to be determined. Cincinnati is a -260 money line favorite with a total of 9. Cleveland plays at home against Kansas City in a makeup game from earlier in the season. The Indians have lost two of their last three games after a 5-2 loss to the White Sox yesterday. The Royals have won two of three games after a 2-1 victory against Detroit on Sunday. Cleveland pitches Cal Quantrill against Kansas City’s Jackson Kowar. The Indians are a -160 money line favorite with an over/under of 9.5. Colorado is at home against Washington at 8:40 PM ET in the opening game of their three-game series. The Rockies have lost four in a row after their 6-2 loss at San Francisco. The Nationals have lost there in a row with their 9-2 loss at Cincinnati. German Marquez pitches for Colorado against Josiah Gray for Washington. The Rockies are a -180 money line favorite with a total of 11.5.Seattle hosts Oakland at 10:10 PM ET in the opener of their three-game series. The Mariners have won seven of their last eight games after their 5-1 win in Los Angeles against the Angels yesterday. The A’s have won three in a row with their 4-3 win against Houston. Seattle pitches Chris Flexen against Oakland’s Cole Irvin. Both teams are priced at -110 with an over/under of 8.5. Matchweek 6 of the English Premier League concludes with Brighton and Hove Albion visiting Crystal Palace on the NBC Sports Network at 3 PM ET. The Seagulls defeated Leicester City, 2-1, last Sunday. The Eagles come off a 3-0 loss at Liverpool last Saturday. Brighton is a 0.25 goal line road favorite with a total of 2.25.

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Big Al's Daily Angle: MLB, EPL, NFL and WNBA Previews and Odds - 09/26/2021

by Big Al Staff

Sunday, Sep 26, 2021

The Sunday sports card features action in the NFL, MLB, WNBA, and EPL.The third week of the NFL regular season continues with 14 games. Nine games kick off at 1 PM ET. The primary televised game on Fox has Cleveland hosting Chicago as a 7.5-point favorite with the total set at 44 (all odds from DraftKings). Kansas City plays at home against the Los Angeles Chargers in the primary game on CBS as a 6.5-point favorite with an over/under of 54.5. Buffalo is at home against Washington as a 7-point favorite with a total of 45.5. Tennessee plays at home against Indianapolis as a 4.5-point favorite with an over/under of 47.5. The New York Giants are at home against Atlanta as a 3-point favorite with a total of 47.5. Arizona travels to Indianapolis as an 8-point road favorite with an over/under of 51.5. Baltimore visits Detroit as a 7.5-point road favorite with a total of 50.5. New England hosts New Orleans as a 3-point favorite with an over/under of 43. Pittsburgh plays at home against Cincinnati as a 3-point favorite with a total of 43. Four games take place in the second-afternoon window. Two games start at 4:05 PM ET. Denver plays at home against the New York Jets as a 10.5-point favorite with an over/under of 42. Las Vegas hosts Miami as a 3.5-point favorite with a total of 43.5. Two games begin at 4:25 PM ET. Seattle visits Minnesota as a 2-point road favorite with an over/under of 55. Tampa Bay travels to Los Angeles to play the Rams for the national broadcast on Fox as a 1-point road favorite with a total of 55. San Francisco plays at home against Green Bay for Sunday Night Football on NBC at 8:20 PM ET. The 49ers are a 3-point favorite with an over/under of 50.5. Fifteen games are on the MLB docket. Kansas City plays at Detroit at 12:10 PM ET in a game where both teams are priced at -110 with a total of 9. Two games start at 1:05 PM ET. Philadelphia is at home against Pittsburgh as a -200 money line favorite with an over/under of 9.5. Baltimore hosts Texas as a -130 money line favorite with a total of 8.5. Three games begin at 1:10 PM ET. Tampa Bay plays at home against Miami as a -280 money line favorite with an over/under of 8. The Chicago White Sox are at Cleveland as a -170 money line road favorite with a total of 8. Cincinnati is at home against Washington as a -180 money line favorite with an over/under of 9.5. Two games start at 2:10 PM ET. Milwaukee hosts the New York Mets on TBS as a -190 money line favorite with a total of 8. Toronto is at Minnesota as a -190 money line road favorite with an over/under of 9. St. Louis plays at Chicago against the Cubs at 2:20 PM ET as a -160 money line road favorite. San Francisco is at Colorado at 3:10 PM ET as a -180 money line road favorite with a total of 11.5. Two games begin at 4:07 PM ET. Houston is at Oakland as a -120 money line road favorite with an over/under of 9. The Los Angeles Angels are at home against Seattle as a -145 money line favorite with a total of 8.5. Two more games start at 4:10 PM ET. San Diego is at home against Atlanta as a -155 money line favorite with an over/under of 8.5. The Los Angeles Dodgers play at Arizona as a -290 money line road favorite with a total of 9. Boston hosts the New York Yankees for Sunday Night Baseball on ESPN at 7:08 PM ET. The Red Sox are a -120 money line favorite with an over/under of 10. The WNBA playoffs continue with two single-elimination games. Phoenix visits Seattle on ABC at 3 PM ET as a 3.5-point road favorite with a total of 163. Minnesota plays at home against Chicago on ESPN at 6 PM ET as a 4-point favorite with an over/under of 165. Matchweek 6 in the English Premier League continues with two matches on the NBC Sports Network. Southampton plays at home against Wolverhampton at 9 AM ET in a pick ‘em match with a total of 2.5. Arsenal hosts Tottenham at 11:30 AM ET as a -0.25 goal line favorite with an over/under of 2.25.

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Big Al's Daily Angle: NCAAF, MLB and EPL Previews and Odds - 09/25/2021

by Big Al Staff

Saturday, Sep 25, 2021

The Saturday sports card features action in NCAAF, MLB, and the EPL.The fourth week of the college football season concludes with 55 games between FBS opponents. Sixteen of these games kick off the card in the noon-2:30 PM ET opening window. Eight games are on national television at noon. Notre Dame plays Wisconsin on a neutral field at Soldier Field in Chicago on Fox. The Badgers are a 6.5-point favorite with the total set at 45 (all odds from DraftKings unless indicated otherwise). Texas hosts Texas Tech on ABC as a 9.5-point favorite with an over/under of 62. Boise State visits Utah State on CBS as a 9-point road favorite with a total of 70. LSU travels to Mississippi State as a 2.5-point road favorite with an over/under of 55.5. Missouri plays at Boston College on ESPN2 as a 1.5-point road favorite with a total of 58. TCU is at home against SMU on FS1 as a 9.5-point favorite with a total of 66. Army plays at home against Miami (OH) on the CBS Sports Network as a 7.5-point favorite with an over/under of 48. Minnesota hosts Bowling Green as a 31-point favorite with a total of 51. Sixteen games start from 3:30 PM ET to 6 PM ET. Eight games are on national television at 3:30 PM ET. Michigan hosts Rutgers on ABC as a 20.5-point favorite at William Hill with an over/under of 50. Texas A&M plays Arkansas at AT&T Stadium in Arlington on CBS as a 5.5-point favorite with a total of 47. Clemson visits North Carolina State on ESPN as a 10.5-point road favorite with an over/under of 48. Louisville travels to Florida State on ESPN2 as a 1.5-point road favorite with a total of 61.5. Iowa State plays at Baylor on Fox as a 7-point road favorite with an over/under of 45.5. Iowa plays at home against Colorado State on FS1 as a 23.5-point favorite with a total of 44.5. Vanderbilt is at Connecticut on the CBS Sports Network as a 30-point road favorite with an over/under of 53. Memphis hosts UTSA on ESPNU as a 3-point favorite with a total of 66.5. Fifteen games begin in the 7 PM ET to 8 PM ET window. Four games kickoff on national television at 7 PM ET. Florida plays at home against Tennessee on ESPN as a 20-point favorite with an over/under of 65.5. Kentucky visits South Carolina on ESPN2 as a 4.5-point road favorite with a total of 49.5. Houston is at home against Navy on ESPNU as a 19-point favorite with an over/under of 47.5. Michigan State hosts Nebraska on FS1 as a 4-point favorite with a total of 53.5. Oklahoma is at home against West Virginia on ABC at 7:30 PM ET as a 17-point favorite with an over/under of 56.5. Two games are on national television at 8 PM ET. Air Force plays at home against FAU on FS2 as a 4-point favorite with a total of 54. Indiana travels to Western Kentucky on the CBS Sports Network as a 9-point road favorite with an over/under of 63.5. Six games conclude the college football card starting at 9 PM ET. BYU plays at home against South Florida on ESPN2 at 10:15 PM ET as a 23-point favorite with a total of 54. USC hosts Oregon State on FS1 at 10:30 PM ET as an 11-point favorite with an over/under of 61.5. Oregon plays at home against Arizona on ESPN at 10:30 PM ET as a 29.5-point favorite with a total of 58.5. Arizona State is at home against Colorado on ESPNU at 10:30 PM ET as a 14-point favorite with an over/under of 45. Fifteen games are on the MLB docket. Six games start in the afternoon. St. Louis is at Chicago to play the Cubs at 2:20 PM ET as a -165 money line road favorite. Philadelphia hosts Pittsburgh at 4:05 PM ET as a -275 money line favorite with an over/under of 9. Houston plays at Oakland at 4:07 PM ET as a -125 money line road favorite. Boston is at home against the New York Yankees at 4:10 PM ET as a -120 money line favorite with a total of 10. Two games begin at 6:10 PM ET. Tampa Bay plays at home against Miami as a -210 money line favorite with an over/under of 7. Detroit hosts Kansas City as a -135 money line favorite with a total of 9.Baltimore plays at home against Texas at 7:05 PM ET as a -145 money line favorite with an over/under of 8.5. Three games begin at 7:10 PM ET. Milwaukee hosts the New York Mets as a -260 money line favorite with a total of 7.5. Toronto is at Minnesota as a -195 money line road favorite with an over/under of 9. Cincinnati is at home against Washington as a -150 money line favorite with a total of 9.5. Fox features two games for its regional coverage for their national broadcast at 7:15 PM ET. San Diego hosts Atlanta as a -140 money line favorite with an over/under of 8.5. The Chicago White Sox are on the road at Cleveland as a -190 money line road favorite with a total of 8.5. Two games start at 8:10 PM ET. San Francisco plays at Colorado as a -145 money line road favorite with an over/under of 11.5. The Los Angeles Dodgers are at Arizona as a -240 money line road favorite with a total of 8.5. The MLB card concludes at 9:07 PM ET with Seattle playing in Los Angeles as a -155 money line road favorite with an over/under of 8.5. Matchweek 6 of the English Premier League begins with seven matches. Two games begin at 7:30 AM ET. Manchester City visits Chelsea in a showdown on the NBC Sports Network with both teams a pick ‘em with a total of 2.5. Manchester United hosts Aston Villa as a -1.25 goal line favorite with an over/under of 3. Four games start at 10 AM ET. Everton plays at home against Norwich City as a -0.75 goal line favorite with a total of 2.5. West Ham United travels to Leeds United as a -0.25 goal line road favorite with an over/under of 3. Leicester City hosts Burnley on the NBC Sports Network as a -1 goal line favorite with a total of 2.75. Watford plays at home against Newcastle United as a -0.25 goal line favorite with an over/under of 2.5. Liverpool visits Brentford on the NBS Sports Network at 12:30 PM ET as a -1 goal line road favorite with a total of 2.5. 

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NFL's Early Season Division Tank Job

by Tom Stryker

Friday, Sep 24, 2021

With our System of the Week checking in off a tough loss on the War Eagle in college football last Saturday, we’ll flip over to the NFL on Sunday armed with a September situation that has been money in the bank over the years. As stated before, with the help of my pro football database, the same one that was featured in the December 13th, 2010, issue of the ESPN Insider magazine, I’ve been able to isolate and profit from a number of early season technical sets that have performed very well. This particular situation was discovered when I was researching how well teams did in their first NFL division game.  There’s not much to it.  But it certainly packs a nice financial punch.  Take a look at what I like to call the NFL’s Early Season Division Tank Job. Since 1980, PLAY AGAINST any game three division favorite or underdog of +6.5 or less provided they check in off a straight up road loss and opened the regular season with back-to-back non-division games.  41-Year ATS Record = 33-8 ATS for 80.4 percent  This Week’s Play’s = LA CHARGERS & PITTSBURGH  Off a pair of non-division battles and a straight up road loss, the knee-jerk reaction would likely be to play on this specific team thinking they would be motivated to bounce back especially if they are lined up against a division opponent.  In reality, the exact opposite happens.   Kansas City enters its game against Los Angeles off a non-division home win over Cleveland and a non-division road loss at Baltimore.  Meanwhile, Cincinnati checks into its battle against Pittsburgh off a non-division home win over Minnesota and a non-division road loss at Chicago.  The means the Chiefs and Bengals fit this negative wagering situation perfectly. There is one tighener that can be added to the general system that really makes it pop.  As long as out “play against” side did not lose to the Las Vegas pointspread by double-digits in their last game – so a line differential of -9 or less – this situation drops to a jaw-dropping 2-24 ATS!  Both Kansas City and Cincinnati apply. Good luck with the Bolts and Men of Steel on Sunday! 

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NFL Week 3 System: Schedule Surprises

by Al McMordie

Friday, Sep 24, 2021

The NFL schedule maker generally gives each of the teams one home game and one road game to start the season.  But, every so often, a team will start out with multiple road games, or multiple home games.We are currently in Week 3 of the 2021 NFL schedule, and there are four teams playing their first game at home:Denver Broncos (home) vs. New York JetsMinnesota Vikings (home) vs. Seattle SeahawksSan Francisco 49ers (home) vs. Green Bay PackersDallas Cowboys (home) vs. Philadelphia EaglesAnd there are three teams playing their first game on the road:Indianapolis Colts (road) vs. Tennessee TitansWashington Football Team (road) vs. Buffalo BillsTampa Bay Buccaneers (road) vs. Los Angeles RamsThe knee-jerk reaction by many gamblers is to play on these home teams playing a "later" home opener, as they assume they'll be psyched to finally be at home.  And gamblers also tend to go against the road teams playing a later "road" opener, as they assume they'll not be ready for a hostile environment after opening with multiple home games.But do the data bear out these assumptions?Not surprisingly, they absolutely do not.First, let's look at how home teams do at Game 3 forward in their home opener.  Since 1980, our home teams are a dreadful 54-82-4 (39.7%), including 7-18 ATS vs. opponents playing their first road game, and 26-51-2 ATS vs. non-division opponents.  That's some serious pain inflicted by these teams in front of their home faithful.  This upcoming week, each of Denver, MInnesota and San Francisco fall into our negative 26-51-2 ATS subset, as they're matched up against non-division foes.Now, let's flip it around, and review how our road teams have fared in their first road game, at Game 3 forward.  Since 1980, our virgin roadies are 76-60-4 ATS (55.8%), including 58-34 ATS as underdogs of +11 or less points, and 34-20-2 ATS vs. division rivals.  Indianapolis and Washington fall into our 58-34 ATS subset, as they've been installed as underdogs vs. their respective opponents.  And the Colts additionally fall into the 34-20-2 ATS subset, as they're playing a division opponent.Good luck, as always...Al McMordie

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Big Al's Daily Angle: NCAAF, MLB and CFL Previews and Odds - 09/24/2021

by Big Al Staff

Friday, Sep 24, 2021

The Friday sports card features action in NCAAF, MLB, and the CFL.The fourth week of the college football season continues with four games between FBS opponents. Charlotte hosts Middle Tennessee on the CBS Sports Network at 6:30 PM ET. The 49ers dropped to 2-1 this season with their 20-9 loss at Georgia State as a 4.5-point underdog on Saturday. The Blue Raiders lost their second contest in three games this year with their 27-13 loss at UTSA as an 11.5-point underdog last Saturday. Charlotte is a 3-point favorite, with the total set at 56 (all odds from DraftKings). Virginia plays at home against Wake Forest on ESPN2 at 7 PM ET. The Cavaliers fell to 2-1 on the season after a 59-39 loss at North Carolina as a 7.5-point underdog on Saturday. The Demon Deacons improved to 3-0 with their 35-14 victory against Florida State as a 4.5-point favorite on Saturday. Virginia is a 3.5-point favorite with an over/under of 68.5. Liberty visits Syracuse at 8 PM ET. The Flames improved to 3-0 with a 45-17 win against Old Dominion as a 26.5-point favorite on Saturday. The Orange improved to 2-1 with a 62-24 victory against Albany as a 21.5-point favorite last week. Liberty is a 6.5-point road favorite with a total of 54. Fresno State is at home against UNLV on the CBS Sports Network at 10 PM ET. The Bulldogs upset UCLA, 40-37, as an 11-point underdog last Saturday. The Rebels lost at home to Iowa State, 48-3, as a 32-point underdog last week. Fresno State is a 30-point favorite with an over/under of 59.5. Sixteen games are on the MLB docket. St. Louis visits Chicago to play the Cubs at 2:20 PM ET on ESPN in the opener of their seven-inning doubleheader. The Cardinals are a -160 money line road favorite. Two games start at 7:05 PM ET. Texas plays at Baltimore in a game where both teams are -110 money line favorites with a total of 9.5. Philadelphia plays at home against Pittsburgh as a -220 money line favorite with an over/under of 8.5. Five MLB games begin at 7:10 PM ET. The Chicago White Sox visit Cleveland as a -145 money line road favorite with a total of 7. Cincinnati plays at home against Washington as a -180 money line favorite with an over/under of 9. Detroit hosts Kansas City as a -115 money line favorite with a total of 9. Tampa Bay is at home against Miami as a -305 money line favorite with an over/under of 8.5. The New York Yankees travel to Boston on ESPN as a -120 money line road favorite with a total of 9. St. Louis plays at Chicago against the Cubs at 8:05 PM ET in the second game of their doubleheader. The Cardinals are a -180 money line road favorite. Three games start at 8:10 PM ET. Toronto visits Minnesota as a -160 money line road favorite with an over/under of 9. Milwaukee hosts the New York Mets as a -150 money line favorite with a total of 8. San Francisco travels to Colorado as a -195 money line road favorite with an over/under of 11.5. Seattle plays at Los Angeles against the Angels at 9:38 PM ET as a -120 money line road favorite with a total of 8. Two games start at 9:40 PM ET. Oakland is at home against Houston as a -115 money line favorite with an over/under of 8. The Los Angeles Dodgers play at Arizona as a -225 money line road favorite with an over/under of 9.5. San Diego is at home against Atlanta at 10:10 PM ET as a -125 money line favorite with a total of 8.Two games conclude Week 8 in the Canadian Football League. Toronto hosts Montreal on ESPN+ at 7:30 PM ET. The Argonauts have lost two of three after their 30-16 loss at Saskatchewan as a 4.5-point underdog last Friday. The Alouettes have lost three of their last four games after their 27-18 upset loss against British Columbia as a 3-point favorite on Saturday. Toronto is a 2.5-point favorite with an over/under of 48.5. Saskatchewan visits British Columbia on ESPN2 at 10:30 PM ET. The Roughriders ended their two-game losing streak with their victory against the Argonauts last week. The Lions have won three in a row with their victory against Montreal. Saskatchewan is a 1-point road favorite with a total of 47.

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The Best of the 0-3 NCAA Teams

by Nelly's Sports

Thursday, Sep 23, 2021

The Best of the 0-3 NCAA Teams  Ahead of the final weekend of September there are nine winless teams in college football. Some of those squads are going to be tough to back in any circumstance this season even with elevated underdog spreads. There are three 0-3 squads that look worthy of consideration in upcoming weeks however and the poor starts in the win column may lead to attractive pricing in the conference season.  TULSA  (17-19 loss to UC-Davis, 23-28 loss at Oklahoma State, 20-41 loss at Ohio State)  Tulsa went 6-0 in American play in the regular season last season before falling by three points vs. Cincinnati in the AAC championship game. The other two losses in a 6-3 season came on the road at Oklahoma State and in bowl action vs. Mississippi State in close games. A similar path of success in conference play is possible again this season for the Golden Hurricane.  The past two weeks Tulsa has not looked out of place on the road against high-quality major conference teams. Two weeks ago, Tulsa lost 28-23 at Oklahoma State in a game they led 14-7 through three quarters and 17-14 later in the final quarter. Tulsa had more yardage in the game and missed on several opportunities as they reached Oklahoma State territory in each of the first four drives of the game without scoring.  Last week Tulsa lost by 21 in Columbus, but it was a seven-point game in the fourth quarter until Ohio State scored twice in the final four minutes. Tulsa put up 501 yards of offense on the road against the Buckeyes while producing several big plays in the passing game.  Tulsa’s overall profile will be downgraded from the two-point loss to UC-Davis at home in the opening week, but Tulsa had 448 yards in that game but lost the turnover battle 3-0. Davis is an FCS team but one of the top-rated FCS teams, and a team that would be favored over about half of the power five teams according to recent power ratings.  Close losses have been common in now the seventh season under Philip Montgomery, as the former Houston and Baylor offensive coordinator has been given more time than most coaches these days even with his record now at 31-43. Tulsa should pick up its first win this week vs. Arkansas State but 1-4 seems like a possibility with a difficult AAC opener against Houston.  From there Tulsa could find some momentum with a winnable home game vs. Memphis and two favorable opportunities to close out October. The team may still be underrated in the final month when they could see underdog spreads with road games in November at Cincinnati, at Tulane, and at SMU. A winning season may be a long shot with the tough start, but Tulsa should be considered a much stronger team than its record.  FLORIDA STATE (38-41 loss vs. Notre Dame, 17-20 loss vs. Jacksonville State, 14-35 loss at Wake Forest) The Seminoles have been an easy team to ridicule and Jay Norvell may have a tough time surviving a 3-9 start to his career in Tallahassee. The valuation of Florida State may be at rock bottom in the coming weeks however and this is a group that could surprise in the ACC season with a few upsets or competitive results as a significant underdog. Last season Florida State won only three times but one of those wins was against an undefeated North Carolina team that had climbed to #5 in the polls.  There was a great build-up for the opening game vs. Notre Dame and Florida State competed well, staging a great comeback bid before losing in overtime against a highly regarded team that remains undefeated and was in the CFP last season. Florida State’s loss to Jacksonville State was inexcusable but it was on a short week following the Sunday night primetime opener and the Seminoles did enough to win that game with a 17-7 lead with five minutes to go before the miracle finish.  The 21-point loss to Wake Forest in the ACC opener can be pinned on six turnovers as Florida State did move the ball effectively in the passing game. The quarterback situation is a concern as Jordan Travis played most of the Notre Dame game, but McKenzie Milton provided a spark in the comeback. Milton has been given the lead role the past two games even though Travis has performed better and adds depth to the playbook with his rushing ability.  Florida State will face several suspect defenses in the next few weeks as the offense has the potential to keep pace in contests with Louisville, Syracuse, and North Carolina. The final five games are all difficult and Florida State will likely take a losing record into games with Clemson, NC State, Miami, Boston College, and Florida to close the season. The points may be alluring for a Seminoles team that has the potential to be the team that competed well in the opener on the national stage, yet this will be a team that may get minimal marketplace support with all the negative headlines.  RICE (17-38 loss at Arkansas, 7-44 loss vs. Houston, 0-58 loss at Texas)  The numbers are terrible for Rice, but the Owls have faced one of the most difficult schedules in the nation facing three high-quality teams. Rice finished just 2-3 last season in five Conference USA games, but they delivered a stunning 20-0 shutout at Marshall and played within five points against UAB in two impressive December performances. Coming into the season the defense graded very well relative to its conference peers and the offense appeared to have the potential for improvement with a few playmakers added to the roster, notably Nebraska transfer Luke McCaffrey.  Rice should find the win column this week hosting an FCS squad Texas Southern but could remain an underrated group in difficult future conference road games vs. UTSA, UAB, and Charlotte in the coming weeks. The home schedule for Rice is quite favorable this season as the Owls have the potential to turn into a winning team by season’s end even with the terrible start through a path in which most teams in the nation would have also gone 0-3 through.  The opener vs. Arkansas was also one of the more misleading scores of the season so far as Rice had a 17-7 lead in the third quarter in Fayetteville and was tied 17-17 in the fourth quarter. Arkansas added two late scores to push the final margin to 21 points, but Rice held a formidable Razorbacks offense to just 373 yards and the Owls stayed in the game despite being -2 in turnovers. The blowout losses the past two weeks came in tough situations with the opposing team entering the game off a humiliating loss in each instance. Houston had blown a 14-point lead with a four-interception game in a loss to Texas Tech in the opening week and was very sharp against Rice in a critical game. Texas meanwhile played Rice after being embarrassed in a 40-21 defeat against Arkansas the previous week as Rice saw the best from both of those teams.  At -116 in scoring so far this season the statistics are not going to look favorable for Rice in the coming weeks but the opportunities on the schedule will improve dramatically. Most may still look at Rice as a similar team to the squad that posted a combined 8-34 record from 2017 to 2020 but Mike Bloomgren’s turnaround plan is still on schedule now in his fourth season with the program. This is a team that should compete well and produce several wins in the Conference USA season yet may rarely be favored.  Considering the other winless teams Connecticut, Ohio, UNLV, and Arizona will be difficult to support as they appear to be a long way off and are battling through recent coaching changes, though the prices may hit a tipping point in some matchups. Massachusetts has been scoring the past two weeks since a quarterback change and may have some potential for underdog covers as the Minutemen may provide some opportunities against the spread even if S/U wins are not going to be common on the horizon. Navy has looked horrible in two games, but Ken Niumatalolo’s solid past track record may leave the Midshipmen with some potential for support later this season. 

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Big Al's Daily Angle: NFL, NCAAF, MLB and WNBA Previews and Odds - 09/23/2021

by Big Al Staff

Thursday, Sep 23, 2021

The Thursday sports card features action in the NFL, NCAAF, MLB, and the WNBA.Week 3 of the NFL regular kicks off with Carolina visiting Houston on the NFL Network at 8:20 PM ET. The Panthers improved to 2-0 with their 26-7 upset victory against New Orleans as a 3-point home underdog on Sunday. The Texans dropped to 1-1 after a 31-21 loss at Cleveland as a 13.5-point underdog last week. Carolina is an 8-point road favorite with the total set at 43 (all odds from DraftKings). The fourth week of the college football season begins with Appalachian State hosting Marshall on ESPN at 7:30 PM ET. The Mountaineers improved their record to 2-1 with a 44-18 victory against Elon University as a 35.5-point favorite on Saturday. The Thundering Herd got upset last week, 42-38, at home against East Carolina as an 11.5-point favorite. Appalachian State is a 7-point favorite with an over/under of 59.5.Twelve games are on the MLB docket. Six games begin in the afternoon. The Chicago White Sox play at Cleveland at 1:10 PM ET in the first game of their seven-inning doubleheader after their game on Wednesday got postponed because of rain. The White Sox pitch Reynaldo Lopez against the Indians’ Aaron Civale. Milwaukee plays at home against St. Louis at 2:10 in the fourth game of their four-game series. Adrian Houser pitches for the Brewers against Adam Wainwright of the Cardinals. Milwaukee is a -120 money line favorite with an over/under of 8. The Los Angeles Dodgers play at Colorado at 3:10 PM ET in the final game of their three-game series. The Dodgers pitch Max Scherzer against the Rockies’ Kyle Freeland. Los Angeles is a -255 money line road favorite with a total of 10.5. Oakland hosts Seattle at 3:37 PM ET in Game 4 of their four-game series. Chris Bassitt pitches for the A’s against Yusei Kikuchi of the Mariners. Oakland is a -150 money line favorite with an over/under of 8.5. Atlanta plays at Arizona at 3:40 PM ET in the fourth game of their four-game series. The Braves pitch Charlie Morton against the Diamondbacks’ Madison Bumgarner. Atlanta is a -190 money line road favorite with a total of 8.5. San Diego is at home against San Francisco at 4:10 PM ET in the final game of their three-game series. Yu Darvish for the Padres pitches against Logan Webb for the Giants. San Diego is a -115 money line favorite with an over/under of 8.The White Sox play the Indians in the second game of their doubleheader at 6:10 PM ET. Zach Plesac pitches for Cleveland against a starting pitcher yet to be determined for Chicago. The White Sox are a -130 money line road favorite with a total of 6.5. Cincinnati plays at home against Washington at 6:40 PM ET in the final game of their three-game series. The Reds pitch Luis Castillo against the Nationals’ Patrick Corbin. Cincinnati is a -195 money line favorite with an over/under of 8. Two games start at 7:05 PM ET. Philadelphia hosts Pittsburgh in the opener of their four-game weekend series. Aaron Nola pitches for the Phillies against Connor Overton of the Pirates. Philadelphia is a -250 money line favorite with a total of 8.5. Baltimore plays at home against Texas in Game 1 of their four-game series. Zac Lowther pitches for the Orioles against the Rangers’ Glenn Otto. Baltimore is a -135 money line favorite with an over/under of 9. Toronto travels to Minnesota at 7:40 PM ET in the first game of their four-game series. The Blue Jays pitch Steven Matz against the Twins’ Michael Pineda. Toronto is a -150 money line road favorite with a total of 9.5. Houston plays at Los Angeles against the Angels at 9:38 PM ET in the fourth game of their four-game series. Lance McCullers pitches for the Astros against Alex Cobb of the Angels. Houston is a -180 money line road favorite with an over/under of 8.5.The WNBA playoffs begin with two single-elimination games on ESPN2. Dallas plays at Chicago at 8 PM ET. New York travels to Phoenix at 10 PM ET. 

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NFL Week 3: Top 10 Teams

by Wayne Root

Wednesday, Sep 22, 2021

10. Seattle Seahawks (1-1): The Seahawks are never not going to Seahawks. Disappointing that they couldn’t close it out after having a 14-point lead at home early in the fourth quarter. The Seahawks squandered a 24-9 lead to a Titans team that is allergic to covering wide receivers past 10 yards. That’s a loss that could haunt Seattle two months from now. That was a brutal home loss to the Titans as the defense just fell apart in the second half.  9. Denver Broncos (2-0): Playing the Jags is basically a free win for a lot of teams. Through two games, Teddy Bridgewater is 54-for-70 for 592 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions, and the Broncos are 2-0. That’s why Steady Teddy is under center and Drew Lock is holding a clipboard. Teddy Bridgewater has played well in winning two on the road. They now get the Jets at home in a game they should win to get to 3-0.  8. Baltimore Ravens (1-1): The Ravens hung tough and John Harbaugh’s aggressiveness gave his team an edge to squeak out a very big victory. Jackson finally got the “can’t beat Mahomes” monkey off his back. Well done. Lamar Jackson rebounded after a disastrous start and finally got that win against Patrick Mahomes. Jackson and the Ravens’ running game bulldozed the Chiefs’ defense to keep them from falling into an 0-2 hole. Don’t complain if Jackson and Mahomes meet again in January. That was an impressive victory over the Chiefs, a team that had their number in recent years. The offense looked great, but the defense needs to be better.  7. Cleveland Browns (1-1): Baker Mayfield failed to complete just two of his 21 attempts in Week 2. One was a pick, which caused him to unwisely put his body at risk. Will be worth monitoring if his shoulder injury impacts him moving forward. Baker Mayfield is 40-fo-49 so far on the season. If it walks like a franchise QB and talks like a franchise QB, it’s probably a franchise QB. They found a way against the Texans, but it was clunky at times. They were in a close game until Tyrod Taylor went out. Losing Jarvis Landry for a bit will hurt the offense.  6. Arizona Cardinals (2-0): Kyler Murray is balling out right now. He’s helped the Cards reach 72 points in two games, which ranks only behind the Bucs. Murray is in the MVP conversation early on. Kyler Murray (400 passing yards, four total touchdowns) is an early-season MVP candidate. They are 2-0, but they looked bad on defense in beating Minnesota. The offense bailed them out in a big way. Along with a missed field goal.   5. Las Vegas Raiders (2-0): Beating Baltimore at home before going to get a two-possession win in Pittsburgh is pretty legit. With Miami up next, the Raiders have a real chance to make it three wins in a row to open up the season. Derek Carr and Jon Gruden are firing on all cylinders, and Gus Bradley’s defense has looked competent through two weeks. It’s the first time the Raiders have opened 2-0 with wins over teams that were playoff teams in the previous season during the Super Bowl era. Hard to imagine a better start for the Silver and Black.  At 2-0, they are one of the surprise teams of the NFL. Derek Carr for MVP? He's off to a fast start.  4. San Francisco 49ers (2-0): The 49ers are 2-0 but they didn’t look overly impressive in their Week 2 win over the Eagles. Jimmy Garoppolo left a lot of plays on the field and Philly suffered from self-inflicted wounds. It’s going to be time to go to Trey Lance at some point. Through two weeks, the 49ers have played 2.5 good quarters against a bad Lions team and have otherwise looked mediocre at best. Still, they head back to the Bay at 2-0 and have a lot of room for growth. But the improvement has to come quick with the Packers and Seahawks on deck. The defense did some good things, but it will be really challenged this week against the Packers.  3. Kansas City Chiefs (1-1): The Chiefs only lost by one point and they had a chance to win it at the end before a fumble cost them. They’ll be fine since they have Patrick Mahomes but the defense is an issue with 65 points allowed. Only four teams have surrendered more. Patrick Mahomes finally threw an interception and lost a game in September. So, he can bleed. The Chiefs’ defense has some real issues, especially in the red zone, that can plague them in postseason. The defense has to be better than what it showed against the Ravens in the second half. Even Patrick Mahomes can't rescue them from that all the time. Now they get Justin Herbert this week.  2. Los Angeles Rams (2-0): So far, so good with Stafford ranking third in the league in passer rating at 127.0. The clear second team in the NFC behind the Bucs. The Rams have taken care of Andy Dalton and Carson Wentz to open the season. Want to prove you’re for real? Here comes Tom Brady and the Bucs in Week 3. They are 2-0 after beating the Colts on the road, but now face a huge home game with the Bucs. This will be the first major test for Matt Stafford as quarterback of the Rams.  1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-0): With nine touchdowns through his first two games, more records are not impossible. His 113.3 passer rating is currently only behind his career high of 117.2 from 2007. Gronk catch. Gronk score. Gronk spike. Gronk party with Tom. Tale as old as time. Gronk was asked about watching game film and he said; “I have Brady watch it for me and then he tells me who to block”. Tom Brady is on pace for 76 touchdown passes, an outrageous number that he won't sniff. The Tampa Bay offense is special right now. Great game this week against the LA Rams.  —————-Teams knocking at the Top 10 door.  11. Dallas Cowboys 12. Los Angeles Chargers 13. Buffalo Bills14. Pittsburgh Steelers 15. Tennessee Titans

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Big Al's Daily Angle: MLB and CFL Previews and Odds - 09/22/2021

by Big Al Staff

Wednesday, Sep 22, 2021

The Wednesday sports card features action in MLB and the CFL.Fifteen games are on the MLB docket. Three games take place in the afternoon. Pittsburgh plays at Cincinnati at 12:35 PM ET in the final game of their three-game series. Connor Overton pitches for the Pirates against Luis Castillo of the Reds. The Chicago White Sox are at Detroit at 1:10 PM ET in the third game of their three-game series. The White Sox pitch Reynaldo Lopez against the Tigers’ Casey Mize. Chicago is a -170 money line road favorite with the total set at 9 (all odds from DraftKings). Tampa Bay hosts Toronto at 3:10 PM ET in Game 3 of their three-game series. Luis Patino pitches for the Rays against a starting pitcher yet to be determined for the Blue Jays. Tampa Bay is a -115 money line favorite with an over/under of 9.Kansas City plays at Cleveland at 6:10 PM ET in the fourth game of their four-game series. The Royals pitch Carlos Hernandez against the Indians’ Logan Allen. Both teams are -110 money line favorites with a total of 9. Miami plays at home against Washington at 6:40 PM ET in the final game of their three-game series. Elieser Hernandez pitches for the Marling against Josiah Gray of the Nationals. Miami is a -130 money line favorite with an over/under of 8. Two games begin at 7:05 PM ET. The New York Yankees host Texas in the third game of their three-game series. The Yankees pitch Corey Kluber against the Rangers’ Taylor Hearn. New York is a -290 money line favorite with a total of 9. Philadelphia plays at home against Baltimore in Game 3 of their three-game series. Zach Wheeler pitches for the Phillies against Keegan Akin of the Orioles. Philadelphia is a -320 money line favorite with an over/under of 8.5. The New York Mets are at Boston on ESPN at 7:10 PM ET in the second game of their two-game series. The Mets pitch Taijuan Walker against the Red Sox’s Chris Sale. Two games start at 7:40 PM ET. Milwaukee is at home against St. Louis in the third game of their four-game series. Brett Anderson pitches for the Brewers against Miles Mikolas of the Cardinals. Milwaukee is a -120 money line favorite. Minnesota plays at Chicago against the Cubs in the final game of their two-game series. The Twins pitch Joe Ryan against the Cubs’ Kyle Hendricks. Minnesota is a -115 money line road favorite. The Los Angeles Dodgers are at Colorado at 8:40 PM ET in the second game of their three-game series. Walker Buehler pitches for the Dodgers against German Marquez of the Rockies. Los Angeles is a -220 money line road favorite with a total of 11. Houston plays at Los Angeles against the Angels at 9:38 PM ET in the third game of their four-game series. The Astros pitch Luis Garcia against the Angels’ Janson Junk. Houston is a -200 money line road favorite with an over/under of 9.5. Two games start at 9:40 PM ET. Atlanta is at Arizona in Game 3 of their four-game series. Ian Anderson pitches for the Braves against the Diamondbacks’ Merrill Kelly. Atlanta is a -195 money line road favorite with a total of 9.5. Oakland plays at home against Seattle in the third game of their four-game series. The A’s pitch Cole Irvin against the Mariners’ Chris Flexen. Oakland is a -145 money line favorite with an over/under of 8.5. San Francisco plays at San Diego on ESPN at 10:10 PM ET in the second game of their three-game series. Scott Kazmir pitches for the Giants against Vince Velasquez of the Padres. Week 8 of the Canadian Football League kicks off with Hamilton visiting Ottawa on ESPN+ at 7:30 PM ET. The Tiger-Cats improved their record to 3-3 after a 23-17 win against Calgary as a 2-point favorite last Friday. The Redblacks fell to 1-4 on the season after a 45-13 loss at British Columbia as an 8.5-point underdog on September 11th. 

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