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Biography

Vegas Writer is a journalist/social media influencer entrenched in Southern Nevada from every aspect when it comes to sports.

Active since: 1992

Location: Las Vegas, NV

Vegas Writer has racked up the accolades since joining in 2022.  He's 112-86-7 all-time in College Football for $18,060 (and cashed Michigan and Under in the 2024 Championship game).  And VW was 97-84-2 in the 2022-23 NHL season, finishing #1 in Net Profit with $16,430.  But beyond sports handicapping, VW is a famed writer.  If it comes to sports in Las Vegas, the Vegas Writer is probably writing about it, whether you can bet on it or not.

From the NFL to NHL, to NBA, to WNBA, to NFR, to AHL, to MiLB - you get the picture. There isn't a day of the week the Vegas Writer is not writing something about sports. Not a week goes by without the Vegas Writer wearing a credential to an event.

Satellite radio, national and local radio spots, and the occasional TV guest appearance - the Vegas Writer is everywhere his followers need him to be when it comes to covering sporting events.

And the one area Vegas Writer has thrived in since his first radio appearance in the 1990s is sports gambling. He has been on TV and radio. He has worked as a columnist for one of the leading Las Vegas-based sports-betting media outlets. He has written freelance betting articles for many of the sites you visit every single day.

Finally, the Vegas Writer has decided it's time for you to benefit from his travels around town, as he's transitioning into the world of handicapping due to the amount of work he puts into the articles he is currently producing. He is a numbers guy, using a heavy dose of analytics for the stories he writes for his sports-gaming beat for one particular media outlet. For others, he is constantly in touch with the local teams and their opponents, so he knows these games inside and out.

And what the Vegas Writer has come to learn is that neither a sports betting beat writer, nor a handicapper is a part-time worker. It takes a full-time effort to understand the teams, the games, and the numbers.  And one of his biggest advantages is that he knows the nuances of each team.

Another important thing to understand is that, just because the Vegas Writer talks to players and coaches on the field, and is around locker rooms every day during the season, there isn't any "Inside Info" here. You're simply getting an expert sports betting opinion from a veteran writer who knows the games inside-and-out.

That's the Vegas Writer's job, and has been since 1992.

Now, let's go make some money.

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NBA - n/a - Wed, Apr 24

VWs NBA 1ST RD CONF DOG OF THE YEAR (+1 XTRA)

Went 2-4 on Wednesday, including two of three in the NBA, and that included my 1st Round Western Conference Game of t...

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NHL - Moneyline - Wed, Apr 24

VWs NHL 1ST ROUND CONFERENCE GAME OF THE YEAR

Went 2-4 on Wednesday. Tonight we have more action to tend to, with the NBA and NHL playoffs underway, and MLB in ful...

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NBA Play-in Tournament Strengths, Weaknesses & ATS Looks

Monday, Apr 15, 2024

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

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Bueckers and Clark Will Make Semis a Classic

Friday, Apr 05, 2024

All year we've heard the Caitlin Clark hype, and how she's been the face of women's college basketball while starring for Iowa.Tonight, Paige Bueckers will look to end her longtime rival's college career, while extending her own and UConn's season one more game.Bueckers won National Player of the Year as a freshman, before enduring season-ending knee injuries and playing just 17 games combined over the last couple of seasons.Now she has the Huskies on the doorstep of the national championship.And when you think about Bueckers, obviously you look at her stats, averaging almost 20 points per game, almost nine rebounds per game, getting it done both as a facilitator on the defensive and doing a little bit of everything for the Huskies. But for me, what stands out most is the joy she's playing with. And she noted a few weeks ago that that was a little bit of a mental switch she had to make in the postseason.She said it was a bit of a difficult stretch: going through returning from injury, the mental side of things, the physical side of things. But she knows she plays her best basketball when she's playing free, when she's having fun with her teammates, and you're able to see that going back to the Big East tournament, and even now in the dance.She's having fun, she's playing her best basketball and she's gotten the Huskies back to the final weekend.As for Clark, we know her story because it's been plastered everywhere, everyday, since the start of the season. She continues to break records, it seems, with every jump shot she makes from Des Moines to Dubuque - the distance doesn't seem to matter.Their rivalry goes back to youth days, as Bueckers and Clark are two Midwest kids, they were on the AAU circuit going up against each other, they both won gold medals with USA Basketball youth teams, and then they went their respective paths - to UConn and Iowa, respectively. They met in the third round of their freshman year when Bueckers won the Player of the Year Award and was the face of the game.Though the two teams played last season, Bueckers was hurt and that was when Clark started to get herself going as a big star in this era of women's basketball.Now she's the face of the game.So here we are, watching both players after getting their teams to the national semifinals, both players wanting to win a national championship and both with the opportunity to do so this weekend.It starts tonight, and they have to go through each other to do it.One thing that Bueckers has stated, though, is even though UConn might be seen as the underdog going up against Clark and the Hawkeyes, that the Huskies being counted out almost makes them even hungrier to get the job done.Enjoy the show, as this will be a game to see.

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Numbers Don't Lie: Bet Against Oakland on Run-Line

Wednesday, Apr 03, 2024

We're about a week into Major League Baseball's schedule, and I'm already prepared to implement a new betting system.Who knows, maybe it isn't new.What I do know is that through six games, by betting against the Oakland Athletics on the run line, you'd be 4-2 thus far.Last year, of Oakland's 112 losses, 85 were by two or more runs. That means you would have gone 85-77 against the Athletics on the run line.I don't have the net profit on those games, but I do know per EV Analytics, you'd be down -15.0 units if you bet Oakland run line every game.Per Statfox, the margin is even greater, as you'd be down 28.7 units.Understandably, the numbers could be skewed in either direction, depending on the prices each database is using.So how would you start this system?Money management is key, obviously. As is discipline. You cannot press outside the designated range when you're winning, and you cannot scale too far back when you're losing. Stick to the program.Designate a specific amount toward this system only, and for the entire season. Let's use $1,000 as a base, for easy arithmetic.Bet 5% of your bankroll every single day on the team playing Oakland, and on the run line. So, your first bet is $50.This season, through Tuesday's 5-4 extra-inning loss to the Red Sox, I can tell you by betting Oakland's opposition on the run line would have brought back +2.79 units of your original starting point, based on closing numbers at DraftKings.If you started at the beginning of the season, your first bet would have been Cleveland -1.5, +125 and you would have won $62.50.Now your bankroll is $1,062.50, and the next bet would have been $53.12 on the Guardians -1.5, +124. You would have won $65.87, bringing your bankroll to $1,128.37.Your next bet would have been for $56.41 on the Guardians, -1.5, +130. You would have won $73.34, bringing your bankroll to $1,201.71.Your next bet would have been $60.08 on the Guardians -1.5, +130. You would have lost $60.08, dropping your bankroll to $1,141.63.Your next bet would have been $57.08 on the Red Sox -1.5, +102. You would have won $58.22, bringing your bankroll to $1,199.85.Finally, on Tuesday, your bet would have been $59.99 on the Red Sox -1.5, +102. You would have lost $59.99 and would have headed into Wednesday's action with your bankroll at $1,139.86.Fact is, the fans don't care because the team is abandoning Oakland for Las Vegas. The players hate the organization and how things have been handled, not to mention the sideshow that's come with it. The owner is a cheapskate who hasn't invested in a franchise player in years.How bad is this team? The collective base salary for the A's last year was $62,243,227. That's all things included, out the door.Shohei Ohtani's base salary with the Dodgers is $75 million this year alone.Believe me, the Athletics are pure value, like last season, when betting against them on the run line.

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Look Toward the Pac-12 For Your Women's Futures Bet

Thursday, Mar 21, 2024

Quick, without using Google, name five men's college basketball players off the top of your head.Now name five women.Something tells me you've seen names like Caitlin Clark, Cameron Brink, JuJu Watkins, Kamilla Cardoso and Angel Reese regularly more than you have any other college basketball names.And don't think for a moment bettors haven't taken an interest, particularly with Clark's Iowa Hawkeyes, any prop they can find on the WNBA-bound sharpshooter - once the NCAA Women's basketball tournament is over - and futures on who will win what might be the most popular season in history."We've had bettors coming into our property asking for lines on women's games all season," said one manager of an off-Strip property. "The interest in women's basketball, especially in this town with the rise of the Las Vegas Aces in the WNBA and the UNLV Lady Rebels, has been tremendous."Thus, I'm here to tell you that South Carolina, LSU and Iowa aside, there's good reason to invest in the overall best conference in women's basketball: the Pac-12.The league had its final conference tournament at the MGM Grand Garden, and now rests its hopes on one of seven teams to send the conference out in style, with a national championship before it's disbanded forever.No. 1 USC, No. 2 Stanford and No. 2 UCLA gives the league three teams seeded one or two, which is a Pac-12-era record.The Pac-12 leads all conferences with six ranked teams, including three in the top six of the latest Associated Press Top-25 poll: No. 3 USC, No. 5 Stanford, No. 6 UCLA, No. 12 Oregon State, No. 17 Colorado and No. 21 Utah.So which team can win it all?It's hard to argue against Stanford and Tara VanDerveer, the all-time winningest coach in college basketball history. The Cardinal has the talent with Cameron Brink, Kiki Iriafen and Hannah Jump. You give me a team like this 15-1 odds, and I'm going to be holding a ticket with hopes I can get it in the Final Four and hedge back.Then there's USC at 40-1, which is ludicrous, considering this is a Top 5 team, a No. 1 seed, and is bolstered by arguably the best overall player in the game. Clark can fire at free will, and Brink is a defensive power, but Watkins is the future. And after seeing what she did in the Pac-12 Tournament (outside of the title game), she will be on a mission here. When she did have an off game, in the Pac-12 championship, a group of grad-transfers and upperclasswomen who have been there led the way. Coach Lindsay Gottlieb has the coaching smarts to get this team to the final weekend, and with a 40-1 ticket, I'm a buyer.I also wouldn't mind holding a ticket with UCLA at 40-1. The Bruins' seeding and final ranking before the tournament would have been higher had they not lost to the Trojans in the semifinals. They're still dangerous, with Lauren Betts, Charisma Osborne and Kiki Rice. Coach Cori Close is an adjustment wizard and can get her girls to compete against any team in the nation.Take your pick among the other Pac-12 teams if you want longer odds: Oregon State (100-1), Utah (150-1), Colorado (250-1), Arizona (2000-1).Fact is, you'll have nothing but value in your hand with a futures ticket on Stanford, USC or UCLA - any of which can win the whole thing - and legitimate longshots with any of the other five, all of which give you presentable opportunities to hedge at some point.By the way, I'm betting you still haven't come up with five men's college basketball names.

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Selection Committee Choice of Virginia Should Open Our Eyes in NIT

Wednesday, Mar 20, 2024

Virginia's humiliating loss in the First Four was embarrassing to the ACC. It was also very embarrassing for the Selection Committee.You think about the end of the season, how Virginia played in those four games it didn't get to 50 points, and then the First Four game against a very good Colorado State team. I'm not taking anything away from the Rams, but that was an embarrassing loss for the Cavaliers.Only 14 points in the first half just does not make a league like the ACC look all that competitive. It also looks as if the Selection Committee dropped the ball.Anyone who says it's an indictment on Tony Bennett and the style of play he coaches, well, it is not. His style of play can still win by defending better and taking care of the basketball. Also, not giving up second shots, choosing the shots they want, not the shots your opponent wants you taking.And if you look at this roster, Virginia missed in recruiting. Some of the great Tony Bennett teams had really good players who bought in and executed at a ridiculously high level on offense and defense. This team was just not talented enough. And that is a reflection of some potential recruiting mistakes, and maybe even NIL issues.Tony Bennett hasn't forgotten how to coach, that system can work. But the game Tuesday night was definitely not a great reflection on both the Selection Committee and the ACC.Having said that, there are teams like Wake Forest, Indiana State, Oklahoma and St. John's - all of which were probably more deserving - look extremely attractive if still playing in the postseason. Two of them opted into the NIT, that being a very angry ACC-team in Wake Forest and Indiana State.Pay close attention, as the anger of both teams could be fueled by knowing they could have turned in a better showing than the Cavaliers.

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NHL Power Rankings: Is There a Clear-Cut Favorite, Yet?

Monday, Feb 19, 2024

The All-Star break is in the rearview mirror and the home stretch is upon us in the NHL season. There’s still so much left to be decided.This might be the first time in a long time that we’re entering the final third of the year without a clear indication of who is a contender for the Stanley Cup. We know who will likely end up in the field of 16, but we have no clue as to who actually stands out from the pack.Especially when you look at the Western Conference, a case can be made for all six teams that would guarantee a playoff spot. The two wild cards would just be happy to be there. The Eastern Conference, per usual, is a giant mess with a bunch of really good teams.The trade deadline is in about three weeks and we’ll have an idea then who wants to take the next leap. For now, we focus on the here and now. Your Top 10 for the week:5-minute major1) Vancouver Canucks (37-13-6)Are we in the territory of being the most underappreciated Presidents’ Trophy winner of the modern era? Because it’s still a shock that the Canucks are where they are in the standings. They have a chance to not only get back to the playoffs for the first time since the 2020 bubble season — and would play a home playoff game for the first time since 2015 — but can win the league’s top honor while doing so in the process. Vancouver did lose 4-2 on Saturday to Winnipeg to end a three-game winning streak, but Thatcher Demko was bound to run into a wall at some point. Demko is running away with the Vezina Trophy with a 30-10-1 mark and a 2.45 GAA. Whether he holds up in the playoffs is the other question.2) Florida Panthers (36-15-4)Don’t look now, but the Cats are red hot. Florida has won nine of its last 10 including a dominant 9-2 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning. I’m not sure if this game was more an indication of the changing of the guard in the state of Florida, but the defending conference champions are looking like the best team in the East by a country mile. The four-headed monster of Sam Reinhart, Matthew Tkachuk, Carter Verhaeghe and Sasha Barkov are willing this group to absurd heights. It’s hard to stop a wagon operating on diesel fuel. That’s what the Panthers are right now.3) Dallas Stars (34-14-7)Another case of I can’t believe them until they get to the playoffs, but there’s no denying that the Stars might be the best, most-proven team in the league. The fact we are here in February talking Matt Duchene being a leading scorer on this Dallas team is absurd. The fact they are winning games without Jason Robertson turning into a supernova is quite insane. And the fact they are still winning despite subpar goaltending from Jake Oettinger is ridiculous. If Dallas can figure out a consistent formula before the playoffs, who can beat them?4) New York Rangers (36-16-3)Watch out. New York is streaking again. Winners of seven straight after a stretch of four losses in five games have the Rangers back to playing solid hockey. The Rangers were heavy favorites in their last three games while taking care of business over the likes of Montreal and Chicago. The Rangers still have more to prove and they continue to win while still hoping to get Igor Shesterkin in a groove. Fortunately, Jonathan Quick has been great when called upon to give the Rangers a decent tandem.5) Winnipeg Jets (33-14-5)Speaking of streaky, the Jets are a weird bunch. After five straight losses, the Jets pulled off one of their best wins of the season with a 4-2 win in Vancouver behind a strong effort from Connor Hellebuyck. The Winnipeg offense has been hit or miss, so it’s up to Hellebuyck to steal some games. With three straight wins, maybe this is what is needed to get him going. But they need some production from the likes of Kyle Connor as he continues progress back from a lower-body injury. Winnipeg has a back-to-back this week in Calgary and home against Minnesota. In hindsight, two winnable games.2-minute minor6) Vegas Golden Knights (31-17-6)If the Golden Knights didn’t choke in the last two third periods, they’d be in the top five this week. Coming out of the break with a win over Edmonton was massive. They have hardly looked strong since. Vegas is also in dire need of a power play exorcism, now 4 of 33 in its last 13 games.7) Colorado Avalanche (34-18-4)Five losses in six games with 15 goals in that span. Colorado has a lot of issues that aren’t being talked about, like who can actually play goalie for this team? They are an all-gas, no-brakes team that can win a championship, but they need to be better defensively and in net.8) Carolina Hurricanes (32-17-5)Dare I say the Hurricanes are this year’s Golden Knights? They’re down to a goalie named Spencer Martin and he’s winning games against Vegas in T-Mobile Arena. I’m not sure if Martin is a playable character in NHL 24 but he has helped stabilize a shaky start in Carolina.9) Edmonton Oilers (32-18-1)It took well after the 16-game winning streak ended for the Oilers to beat a good team, but that win over Dallas on Saturday was very impressive. Not a bad way to rebound after a horrendous effort against St. Louis. I still don’t believe in the Oilers come playoff time, and you shouldn’t, either.Power play10) Los Angeles Kings (27-16-10)I don’t know if it’s a prisoner of the moment situation that has me thinking this, but the Kings are suddenly playing like they should have this whole time. All it took was firing Todd McLellan. Jim Hiller takes over behind the bench and the Kings have wins over Edmonton, New Jersey, Boston and Pittsburgh. Sandwiched is a 7-0 loss to Buffalo but every playoff team has an outlier at some point. The Kings are still talented to get back to the playoffs, but one has to wonder how far they can go if they are a wild card team. If they can somehow rally and get past Edmonton in the Pacific standings, no one would want to face them. It’s been a bad stretch for the Kings, but they have looked competent the last week. That’s a start.

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NHL Stadium Series: Inside the Numbers

Thursday, Feb 15, 2024

A huge weekend in the NHL this weekend, with the Stadium Series taking place with two games.Some stats provided by the league, others scraped together by yours truly, as we delve inside the numbers leading into the two big games.2 – This will be the second outdoor game for both the New Jersey Devils and New York Islanders. Both the Devils and Islanders lost their first outdoor matchups to the New York Rangers in the 2014 NHL Stadium Series (NYR 7, NJD 3; NYR 2, NYI 1).4 - The win streak the Flyers are on through Feb. 14, after notable wins over Florida, Winnipeg, Seattle and Arizona, outscoring those teams by a combined final of 14-7 - an impressive 2-to-1 ratio.5 - The win streak the Rangers are on through Feb. 14, including wins over playoff hopefuls Colorado, Tampa Bay and Calgary, while outscoring all five teams by a combined final of 18-7 - better than a 2-to-1 ratio.8 – Uniform number of Islanders defenseman Noah Dobson, who ranks second on the team in points (55) and third amongst all defensemen in the NHL scoring through games played on Feb. 14.9 - Number of losses by the Devils during a 6-7-2 skid since Jan. 6, and through Feb. 14.10 – Uniform number of Rangers forward Artemi Panarin, who leads the team in scoring with 68 points (31 goals, 37 assists) through games played on Feb. 14.11 – Uniform number of Flyers forward Travis Konecny, who ranks first on the team in scoring with 49 points (25 goals, 24 assists) through games played on Feb. 14.17 - The number of losses the Islanders have accrued during a disappointing 8-11-6 skid since Dec. 15. In that span, the Isles have been outscored, 87-68.63 – Uniform number of Devils forward Jesper Bratt, who leads the team in scoring with 56 points (20 goals, 36 assists) through games played on Feb. 14.

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NHL Power Rankings: All-Star Break Comes At Right Time

Thursday, Feb 01, 2024

Nothing like a bye week at the end of January to slow things down in the NHL. For some teams, the bye weeks and the All-Star Break couldn’t have come at a better time.There’s been a lot of hockey played over the first half of the season. Some teams have played 50 games, more than any team in the league. Others are slowly trekking their way up there and will have a loaded second half on the horizon.But it’s time to go through the Top 10 of the week and see how things look with All-Star Weekend upon us.5-minute major1) Vancouver Canucks (33-11-5)The Canucks aren’t slowing down any time soon. They’re 8-0-2 in their last 10 and on an 11-game point streak while going 2-0-1 this week. The top players are still playing absurdly. Brock Boeser is a 30-goal scorer. Everything is coming up Vancouver right now, but coming out of the break may be their toughest test; a five-game road trip starting at Carolina and Boston. The Canucks open the second half with eight out of their first 10 on the road.2) Boston Bruins (31-9-9)Remember when the Bruins were supposed to fall off? They keep getting back up. They’ve earned points in 11 of their last 12 and David Pastrnak deserves every bit of Hart Trophy conversation his way (72 points; 33 goals, 39 assists). The only blemish over the last month was a 3-2 loss at home to Carolina; other than that, it’s been wins stacked upon wins for this team. Now, they open the second half on a seven-game homestand with winnable games against Calgary, Washington and Los Angeles.3) Edmonton Oilers (29-15-1)If you go with the traditional coach-speak on how tough it is to win in the NHL, then the Oilers’ winning streak is incredible. Sixteen wins should be commemorated. But talk about the benefit of a soft schedule; a streaky Rangers team, the Sharks, the Kings, the Ducks, the Senators, Bedard-less Chicago twice, Calgary, Columbus. I will give them credit for this: That six-game road trip back in December with two back-to-backs was impressive. But they’ll need to have a big win at some point. Their first game on Feb. 6, in Vegas, will suffice.4) Winnipeg Jets (30-12-5)Winnipeg has cooled down since its 8-game winning streak by losing four of its last six going into the break, capped off with home-and-home losses to Toronto. The Jets’ offense went cold down the stretch with five goals in their last four games. If a team needs a break, it’s the Jets. And if there’s a player who could use a nap or two, it’s Connor Hellebuyck carrying the Jets on his back.5) Florida Panthers (31-14-4)It’s safe to say the Eastern Conference champions might be the hottest team in the conference at 13-2-2 in their last 17 games. Ironically enough, this run started with a win in the Stanley Cup Final rematch over Vegas — and then the Panthers beat Vegas again on Jan. 4. Leading the charge for the Panthers? Not Matthew Tkachuk (though he’s playing very well). It’s Sam Reinhart and his 37 goals. It’s not out of the realm of possibility that he could hit 60 in a contract year. Back up the Brinks truck.2-minute minor6) Vegas Golden Knights (29-15-6)The Golden Knights have rebounded well despite a third of their roster on injured reserve. They closed the first half going 7-3-1 in their last 11. Adin Hill is back, and William Karlsson might be as well. Think of how crazy things could get if they end Edmonton’s winning streak on Feb. 6.7) Colorado Avalanche (32-14-3)Colorado has won 11 of 14 and is looking every bit like the contender it should be. Goaltending is still an absolute crapshoot at the moment, but it always helps when Nathan MacKinnon (84 points) and Cale Makar (58 points) lead the way.8) Dallas Stars (30-13-6)Dallas ended the first half going 8-2-1. Considering how things looked three weeks ago, that’s an improvement. The timing is good to get Jake Oettinger some rest. The young goalie has fallen back to Earth hard, but the Stars keep finding ways to win.9) Carolina Hurricanes (28-15-5)The only thing you need to know about the Hurricanes: They are 12-3-2 in their last 17. Andrei Svechnikov has been a primary reason for that; 19 points (10 goals, nine assists) in that time. When Carolina is healthy, that forward group is tough to beat.Power play (surprise team)10) Detroit Red Wings (26-18-6)The state of Michigan is just riding the wave. Michigan won the National Championship, the Detroit Lions were 30 minutes away from the Super Bowl, and now the Red Wings are on pace to get back to the playoffs for the first time since 2016. Eminem is going to be a busy man. No one is blown away by Detroit’s star power, but they have a lot of really good players that have helped in the balance of this lineup. Dylan Larkin (46 points) and Alex DeBrincat (43) have been great. Patrick Kane, though injured, has 16 points in 19 games. He’s come as advertised for a team that’s needed it. Alex Lyon (13-6-1, .924 SV%) has assumed the No. 1 goalie role and is taking it by the horns. Detroit is firmly in the wild card race, and it’s good for the NHL if they get back.

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NHL Power Rankings: Canucks Keep Winning

Monday, Jan 22, 2024

We are closing in on the All-Star break in the NHL, and time is coming to start figuring out which teams are the best of the best. Others are just plummeting far down the chain with no sign of life on the horizon. We’re past the halfway mark of the season and contenders are starting to take form, and some teams are starting to play good hockey at the right time. Much like last year, the second half should provide a ton of intrigue. On this latest edition of NHL power rankings, I'm going to dive a little bit deeper into what teams are starting to separate themselves from the pack and who we should expect to be teams to watch in the second half. To do this, we're going to start with just 10 who are playing like true contenders: 5-minute major 1) Vancouver Canucks (31-11-4) They just keep winning. It’s still uncertain how that will translate come playoff time, but J.T. Miller, Elias Pettersson and Quinn Hughes remain spectacular. Brock Boeser (27 goals) has restored himself to his old form. There’s a lot left to prove, but the Canucks are fun to watch. 2) Edmonton Oilers (26-15-1) Reports of the Oilers’ demise have been greatly exaggerated. Edmonton has now reeled off 13 wins in a row and are suddenly back in the fold for a top spot in the Western Conference. There’s still some work to do, like passing the Canucks or even the Vegas Golden Knights. But they are a wagon. As long as Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl are healthy, and if this depth can continue to produce, they’re as dangerous a threat as anyone. 3) Boston Bruins (28-8-9) Remember when losing Patrice Bergeron was supposed to be a problem? The Bruins haven’t skipped a beat. David Pastrnak is making a strong Hart Trophy case with 66 points in 45 games, and Brad Marchand is still scoring goals as a toned-down captain. Boston is going to be tough so long as Jeremy Swayman and Linus Ullmark stay 4) Winnipeg Jets (30-10-4) I almost feel horrible for not giving the Jets enough credit, but it’s just the way of the world right now. Think of it this way: Three of the top four teams in this are from Canada. If that’s not a sign the times are changing, I don’t know what is. But think of the Jets in this capacity: Their leading scorer is Mark Scheifele with 41 points. They played the month-and–a-half without Kyle Connor but still managed to storm their way to the top of the Central. This is a balanced team with scoring up and down the lineup, and Connor Hellebuyck is once again an elite goalie. The Jets continue to be a surprise, but it won’t be long now for them to be where everyone expects. 5) Vegas Golden Knights (27-14-5) Don’t look now, but the defending Stanley Cup champs are back. Even if half of their roster has been called up from AHL Henderson, the Golden Knights are starting to find their game. Vegas has won three straight despite eight players on IR, including Jack Eichel, William Karlsson and Shea Theodore. They’ve found ways to win even when things haven’t gone right; especially with the latest win a 3-2 come-from-behind victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins. Brendan Brisson, the team’s top prospect, scored his first NHL goal in the win. Vegas is nowhere near to repeat-worthy material, but just like last year, if good health fortunes arise in the playoffs, who wants to face this team? 2-minute minor 6) Florida Panthers (27-14-4) The defending Eastern Conference champions aren’t getting talked about enough with what they’ve been able to do. Sam Reinhart might be the most off-the-board Hart Trophy contender who’s not getting love. His 57 points (33 goals) are a firm second in the Atlantic. So long as Sergei Bobrovsky doesn’t fall off a cliff, things are in good shape. 7) Dallas Stars (27-13-6) Dallas is still expected to compete in a tough Central. And I think they have the pedigree to make it happen. The key is the health of Jake Oettinger. If Pete DeBoer doesn’t run him into the ground, he’s bound to get it going at some point. 8) Colorado Avalanche (30-14-3) I’m still not sure what to think of Colorado. They still have Nathan MacKinnon, which makes them dangerous at all times. But the goaltending concerns me, and Alexandar Georgiev is nowhere near ready to be placed in the elite category. 9) New York Rangers (29-15-2) The Rangers have a strong attention to detail and it’s what’s made them more successful this year. And they’ll be a contender to watch out for. But the goaltending hasn’t been up to snuff, and Igor Shesterkin can only do so much. They’re going to need more out of Jonathan Quick going forward to spell Shesterkin. Power play (surprise team) 10) Philadelphia Flyers (25-16-6) How are they good? Why are they good? What about them makes them good? I still can’t figure out that exactly for the Flyers, but Travis Konecny is their leading scorer at just 40 points at 45 games. They’re getting goals from Owen Tippett (18), Joel Farabee (15) and Cam Atkinson (11). The biggest surprise? Sam Ersson. The 24-year-old from Sweden has taken claim of the No. 1 goalie spot in Philadelphia over Carter Hart. With Connor Bedard out, there might be an opening for him to be at the center of the Calder Trophy discussion. John Tortorella has this group playing ahead of schedule, which makes them an enticing pick at the moment.

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The Halfway Mark: NHL By The Numbers

Saturday, Jan 13, 2024

As the NHL reaches a middle point in its season, let's take a look at pertinent numbers you may be able to use in your handicapping, be it sides, totals, puck lines and even player props. The only player with more points than Nathan MacKinnon this season is Nikita Kucherov. Per NHL Edge, though, the only player to cover more distance than Kucherov is MacKinnon. Kucherov is averaging 1.6 points per game, while MacKinnon averages 1.5 goals per game.Connor McDavid returned to the upper echelon of the scoring race while helping resurrect the Oilers' playoff hopes after a dismal start to the season. A coaching change certainly helped. McDavid has only 16 goals this season, but don't be surprised to see a second-half surge this season.Some defensive names to watch for player props include Quinn Hughes, who has 11 goals and 40 assists in 42 games. He holds a three-point edge on Cale Makar (9 goals, 39 assists in 37 games) atop the scoring race among defensemen. Both blueliners are on pace to finish the season with a triple-digit total, which would mark the first season in NHL history to feature multiple defensemen with 100 points.Heads up, nine teams that did not qualify for the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs either occupy or are within three points of a playoff spot. Vancouver (28-11-3, 59 points) leads the Pacific Division, while Philadelphia (21-14-6, 48 points) and Nashville (22-18-1, 45 points) hold Wild Card spots in the Eastern and Western Conference, respectively, after all three clubs missed the playoffs last season. Six other teams that did not reach the postseason last year are within three points of a playoff spot: Pittsburgh, Detroit, Washington, St. Louis, Calgary and Arizona.The top money teams heading into the weekend include: Vancouver (+964), St. Louis (+788), Winnipeg (+659), Rangers (+570), Panthers (+568) and Red Wings (+359). Meanwhile, the Blues and Wild are the only teams to have a four-digit negative profit margin this season. St. Louis bettors have felt a mighty sting to the tune of -1,321, while the Wild are -1,065.Strange but true, the best home investment this season, despite its overall net loss, is St. Louis, which ranks No. 1 in the league at +736 when skating on home ice. The Kings have been the worst home investment (-709). The Canucks have been the road team to play this season, as they're +571 away from Vancouver. Meanwhile, show them the way to San Jose, please, as the Sharks are -1008 on the road this season.More than 4,000 goals have been scored so far this season, with scoring at 6.3 goals-per-game or higher in consecutive seasons for the first time in 30 years (6.4 through 650 GP in 2022-23). Games involving the Devils have certainly helped those numbers, as New Jersey is 23-8 to the over this season. Vancouver has also turned in plenty of high-scoring games, with 23 of 34 landing high. Surprisingly, the normally high-octane Golden Knights take the cake with low-scoring games, as 23 of 36 have stayed low. The Blues (11-22), Sharks (12-22) and Flyers 13-22) are not too far behind.For all of you in-game bettors, nearly half of all games have featured a team overcoming a deficit to win, with the 120 third-period comeback victories tying the most at this stage of a season in NHL history. The 25 third-period multi-goal comeback wins are tied for the third most through 650 games behind 2022-23 (34) and 2019-20 (33). Don't be afraid to invest in a team losing after two periods.

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NFL Week 18: VW's Power Rankings

Wednesday, Jan 03, 2024

It's the final week of the season, and all I ask is we have just as much excitement in Week 18 as we had in Week 17.Last week's action marked the first time in NFL history there was an offensive touchdown, defensive touchdown, kickoff-return touchdown, and punt-return touchdown each of at least 90 yards in the same week.The Dallas Cowboys saw wideout CeeDee Lamb with a 92-yard touchdown reception, Philadelphia Eagles safety Sydney Brown registered a 99-yard interception-return touchdown, New England Patriots return specialist Jalen Raegor turned in a 98-yard kickoff return for a score, and New York Giants returner Gunner Olszewski had a 94-yard punt-return touchdown.As we close out the regular season, make note of the best and worst five teams against the spread and teams involved in the five highest and lowest-scoring games:TOP 5 ATS: Ravens (11-5), Lions (11-5), Browns (11-5), Dolphins (10-6) and Buccaneers (10-6).BOTTOM 5 ATS: Chargers (5-10-1), Jets (5-10-1), Saints (5-10-1), Panthers (4-10-2) and Falcons (5-11).TOP 5 OVERS: Colts (11-5), Packers (10-6), Lions (10-6), Cardinals (9-6-1) and Browns (9-6-1).TOP 5 UNDERS: (six are tied at 5-11): Panthers, Saints, Chargers, Titans, Chiefs and Raiders.Okay, figured I'd get the important (betting) rankings out of th the way, now, let's get into this week's rankings:THE UPPER TIER1. Baltimore (13-3) - The Ravens crushed Miami, 56-19, to secure their first AFC North division title since 2019 and clinch the No. 1 seed, the AFC's only first-round bye and home-field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs. This is the team to beat. (Last week 1)2. San Francisco (12-4) - After being humiliated by the Ravens the week before, the 49ers scraped by to defeat the lower-tier Washington Commanders, 27-10. That said, they clinched the No. 1 seed, the NFC's lone first-round bye and home-field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs. (Last week 2)3. Dallas (11-5) - The referees won't be around every game to bail out the Cowboys. Nonetheless, this will still be a dangerous team if everything is clicking come playoff time. (Last week 4)4. Buffalo (10-6) - Chalk up more rushing for Josh Allen, who rushed for two touchdowns in the Bills' 27-21 win over New England. Allen has 15 rushing touchdowns this season, tied with Jalen Hurts (15 rushing touchdowns in 2023) for the most rushing touchdowns by a quarterback in a season in NFL history. (Last week 8)5. Miami (11-5) - Tyreek Hill had six catches for 76 yards last week Hill and now has a career-high and franchise-record 1,717 receiving yards this season. He also had 1,710 receiving yards last season and is now the first player in NFL history to record at least 1,700 receiving yards in multiple seasons. (Last week 3)6. Detroit (11-5) - Rookie tight end Sam LaPorta had seven receptions for 84 yards on Saturday, and now has 81 receptions this season, tied with Keith Jackson (81 receptions in 1988) for the most receptions by a rookie tight end in NFL history. (Last week 6)7. Kansas City (10-6) - The Chiefs defeated Cincinnati, 25-17, and clinched their eighth-consecutive AFC West division title. I'm still not convinced they're making it to the AFC Championship. (Last week 7)8. Cleveland (10-5) - The Browns defeated the New York Jets, 37-20, and clinched a playoff berth for the first time since 2020. (Last week 9)9. Philadelphia (11-5) - The plight and plummet continues for the Eagles. (Last week 5)10. Green Bay (8-8) - Jordan Love ranks third in the NFL in touchdown passes (30) and ninth in EPA per attempt (.19), this being his first season as the full-time starter. Take that haters! (Last week 12)11. Denver (8-8) - The Broncos are sure to drop now that Sean Payton threw the white flag. He made it official this week when he benched Russell Wilson in favor of Jarrett Stidham. (Last week 11)12. Jacksonville (9-7) - Linebacker Josh Allen recorded three sacks in the Jaguars' 26-0 win over Carolina. Allen – who had three sacks in Weeks 1, 4 and 17 and had 2.5 sacks in Week 12 – is the second player since 1982 with at least 2.5 sacks in four games within a season. (Last week 13)13. Houston (9-7) -  Rookie quarterback C.J. Stroud, last year's No. 2 pick, ranks fourth in the NFL with 274.57 passing yards per game, a surprise season that has Houston sitting eighth in the AFC. (Last week 14)14. Cincinnati (8-8) - Backup quarterback Jake Browning had his lowest-output game since replacing Joe Burrow, completing 57.6 percent of his passes for 197 yards. (Last week 10)15. Indianapolis (9-7) - Coach Shane Steichen has the Colts playing for a spot in the playoffs despite losing rookie quarterback Anthony Richardson. This weekend will be interesting. (Last week 15)16. Pittsburgh (9-7) - Coach Mike Tomlin has led the Steelers to a .500-or-better record in each of his 17 seasons under the headset and surpassed Pro Football Hall of Famer George Halas for the third-longest streak of consecutive .500-or-better seasons by a head coach in NFL history. (Last week 18)LOWER TIER17. L.A. Rams (8-8) - Los Angeles defeated the New York Giants, 26-25, and clinched a playoff berth for the third time in the past four seasons. (Last week 19)18. Tampa Bay (8-8) - If Baker Mayfield can lead the Bucs past the league-worst Panthers, he should get credit for guiding Tampa Bay to the playoffs by way of votes for Comeback Player of the Year. (Last week 20)19. Chicago (7-9) - The Bears will end up missing Justin Fields in the long run. (Last week 24)20. Atlanta (7-9) - This team has been doomed with one of the least efficient scoring offenses. (Last week 22)21. New Orleans (8-8) - The Saints head to the playoffs if they beat Atlanta and get a prayer answered with a Carolina win over Tampa Bay on Sunday. (Last week 26)22. Seattle (8-8) -  If the Seahawks make it to the postseason, it will be coach Pete Carroll’s 10th trip in his last 13 seasons as head coach. (Last week 16)23. Minnesota  (7-9) - The Vikings have cycled through quarterbacks Jaren Hall, Joshua Dobbs and Nick Mullens since losing Kirk Cousins to an Achilles injury. The Lions will feast this weekend. (Last week 17)24. Las Vegas (7-9) - The Raiders might be one of the best bets on the card this weekend, as they're non-meaningful game vs. the Broncos means the world to them. (Last week 21)25. N.Y. Jets (6-10) - After next week, Jets fans should be excited for next season with a new countdown to Aaron Rodgers. (Last week 23)26. New England (4-12) - Bill Belichick’s future remains a mystery. Will he stay, will he go? Where does he end up? (Last week 25)27. Tennessee (5-11) - The Titans had 187 yards of offense in last week's loss to the Texans. Who woulda thunk, they'd be the odd team out in Week 18 with a three-way tie atop the AFC South. (Last week 27)28. N.Y. Giants (5-11) - Will this team be able to unload Daniel Jones and that hefty contract? (Last week 28)29. L.A. Chargers (5-11) - The Chargers have lost four straight and seven of their last eight. Next up: the Chiefs. (Last week 29)30. Arizona (4-12) - The Cardinals overcame a 15-point halftime deficit to beat Philadelphia, 35-31, marking the first time a team defeated an opponent that entered the week with at least eight more wins in two years. (Last week 32)31. Washington (4-12) - Good news for the Commanders after this week, they should have a new coach and new quarterback come next season. (Last week 30)32. Carolina (2-14) - Owner Davide Tepper should have to buy Jaguars fans season tickets for next season for losing his temper. (Last week 31)

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NFL Week 17: VW's Power Rankings

Thursday, Dec 28, 2023

Two weeks left in the season and we have 10 NFL teams entering this week better than they were the year before, already compiling more wins than they had in all of 2022.In 18 of the last 20 seasons, at least one team has won its division the year after finishing last or tied for last.Will Houston join that worst-to-first group this season?Week 17 features eight matchups between teams in contention for Super Bowl LVIII, and five games between teams from the same division.Let's get into this week's rankings:THE UPPER TIER:1. Baltimore (12-3) - Back-to-back statement wins by the Ravens, both on the road in Jacksonville and San Francisco, the latter being the most impressive. And suddenly, the Ravens are the team to beat. (Last week 3)2. San Francisco (11-4) - The 49ers' six-game win streak was snapped by possibly the lone legitimate contender in seven games. Wait, are the 49ers imposters considering their opponents? (Last week 1)3. Miami (11-4) - Move over Tua and Tyreek. Dolphins RB Raheem Mostert now has 21 scrimmage TDs this season, the second-most TDs by an undrafted player in a season since 1967. (Last week 6)4. Dallas (10-5) - There go the Cowboys, doing Cowboysie things again. Two straight losses, albeit on the road to two very good AFC teams that could end up in Las Vegas in February. Nevertheless, beat someone worthwhile, would ya Pokes. (Last week 2)5. Philadelphia (11-4) - Yes, the Eagles finally secured a win and snapped their three-game losing skid. Yep, it was only against the Giants and they could have lost that game. I no longer know if they even get to the conference championship. (Last week 4)6. Detroit (11-4) - WR Amon-Ra St. Brown is heating up, as he had 12 receptions for 106 yards and one touchdown last week, and now has 302 receptions to become the fourth player in NFL history with at least 300 catches in his first three seasons. (Last week 7)7. Kansas City (9-6) - I can't tell you how interested I am to see the Chiefs lose the rest of the way and open the door for the Raiders to close the season strong and win the AFC West. Wait, never mind, they end the season on the road versus the Chargers. (Last week 5)8. Buffalo (9-6) - Josh Allen is reminding us just how dangerous he can be, as he totaled three touchdowns last week, including two on the ground. He now has 51 rushing TDs, joining Cam Newton as one of two QBs in NFL history with 50 or more. (Last week 9)9. Cleveland (10-5) - Just let anyone throw the ball at this point. I mean, we did just see WR Amari Cooper register a single-game franchise-record 265 yards and on 11 receptions, include two touchdowns, in the Browns' 36-22 win over Houston. (Last week 10)10. Cincinnati (8-7) - The Bengals travel to face the Chiefs, and this might be a great spot to bounce back from last week's loss in Pittsburgh. I mean, the Raiders did leave a blueprint on how it's done. (Last week 12)11. Denver (7-8) - And just like that, the injury clause in Russell Wilson's is under protection. Jarrett Stidham will now step in as quarterback to protect Denver's bankroll, the same way he did the final two games in Las Vegas last season. (Last week 8)12. Green Bay (7-8) - Alright Packers fans, riddle me this: has Jordan Love done enough for this organization and proved he is the franchise quarterback of the future? (Last week 14)13. Jacksonville (8-7) - Good news, they host the lowly Panthers this week. Bad news, they close the season with upset-minded Tennessee and could still miss the postseason. This is the team that will make the last two weeks in the AFC South fun. (Last week 11)14. Houston (8-7) - I'm holding out hope the Texans get C.J. Stroud back and close the season 2-0 and sneak into the playoffs. This is the team that will make the last two weeks in the AFC South fun. No wait, that sounds like déjà vu. (Last week 13)15. Indianapolis (8-7) - This is the team that will make the last two weeks in the AFC South fun. Wait a minute, I believe I just read that somewhere, twice. So, déjà vu vu?  (Last week 15)16. Seattle (8-7) - The Seahawks are learning how to win. They're the third team since 1970 with four game-winning touchdowns in the final two minutes of regulation or in overtime in a season. (Last week 19)THE LOWER TIER:17. Minnesota  (7-8) - I'm beginning to wonder if WR Justin Jefferson deserves better. (Last week 16)18. Pittsburgh (8-7) - Who will it be: Mason Rudolph or Kenny Pickett? (Last week 17)19. L.A. Rams (7-8) - If the Rams sneak into the postseason, Matthew Stafford better buy Puka Nacua a new watch, cause this dude is right on time. (Last week 24)20. Tampa Bay (8-7) - Mike Evans might be the MVP of this team. He has 13 TD receptions and is the fifth player in NFL history to record at least 12 TD catches in five or more seasons. (Last week 26)21. Las Vegas (7-8) - When will Mark Davis remove the interim tag from Antonio Pierce's title? (Last week 28)22. Atlanta (7-8) - The Falcons aren't dead yet. Plenty of work to do. (Last week 21)23. N.Y. Jets (6-9) - It's understandable why head coach Robert Saleh and general manager Joe Douglas will be back next season, as they deserve a chance with a healthy Aaron Rodgers. (Last week 23)24. Chicago (6-9) - I respect this team. How can you not after seeing a very respectable brand of football following a 0-4 start, having gone 6-5 since? (Last week 25)25. New England (4-11) - I have to wonder why Bill Belichick isn't as interested in the Patriots' draft position as the team may be. Oh yeah, cause he's got one foot out the door. (Last week 30)26. New Orleans (7-8) - Both Tampa Bay and Atlanta won last week, thus pushing the Saints into third place in the NFC South. This week versus the Bucs won't be pretty. (Last week 20)27. Tennessee (5-10) - Who needs a quarterback when you have a RB like Derrick Henry, who just had his third-career game with both a TD pass and rushing TD. (Last week 27)28. N.Y. Giants (5-10) - Fantasy people? RB Breece Hall became the second player in NFL history with at least 10 receptions, 95 rushing yards and 95 receiving yards and two rushing TDs in a game. (Last week 22)29. L.A. Chargers (5-10) - I feel bad for interim coach Giff Smith. Just two more weeks. (Last week 18)30. Washington (4-11) - A four-win team suddenly amid a quarterback controversy. (Last week 29)31. Carolina (2-13) - The Panthers have been more competitive of late, so they're back to being second-worst in the league. (Last week 32)32. Arizona (3-12) - Will Kyler Murray be on the roster next season? (Last week 31)

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NFL Week 15: VW's Power Rankings

Wednesday, Dec 13, 2023

Patrick Mahomes has been Kansas City's starting quarterback since 2018. In that span, the Chiefs have won five straight AFC West titles, three AFC Championships and two Super Bowl trophies.Yet here we are talking about a guy who has never played a road postseason game, and if you count the playoffs, has won 77.5% of his 107 career starts, but is in big trouble with four weeks left in the season.The Chiefs have lost five times with four games left, they're currently the third seed in the AFC, and now they have to worry about the hard-charging Broncos.Let's get into this week's rankings:THE UPPER TIER1. San Francisco (10-3) - As of right now, there isn't a team in the NFL that can beat the 49ers, and I'll anticipate their arrival in February for the Super Bowl. (Last week 2)2. Dallas (10-3) - As of right now, there isn't a team in the NFC that can challenge the 49ers, other than the Cowboys. They got over the hump, finally beating a solid team with last week's win over Philly. (Last week 4)3. Baltimore (10-3) - Resiliency will be needed in the AFC Playoffs, and the Ravens are a team that is finding way to win games even when it doesn't play well. (Last week 5)4. Philadelphia (10-3) - The Eagles take a dip here, to third-best in the NFC. And until they figure out the issues they have on defense a plummet could continue. Are they this year's Vikings? (Last week 1)5. Kansas City (8-5) - The bottom is dropping out, and now I have to wonder if the Chiefs will make it to the AFC Championship. The offense needs tweaking. (Last week 3)6. Miami (9-4) - It was an inexcusable performance against the Titans last week, blowing a 14-point lead late to a team in the bottom tier of the power rankings. I'll give them one break. (Last week 8)7. Detroit (9-4) - This team has problems. The defense isn't as stringent, and I don't know if I can trust Detroit's offensive line. If the Lions can't turn things around, they'll struggle early in the postseason. (Last week 7)8. Denver (7-6) - With a bullet, this team has shot up since a 1-5 start to the season. Last week's win in Inglewood, over the hapless Chargers, keeps the Broncos in the playoff hunt. A win in Detroit flops the teams in this poll. (Last week 9)9. Buffalo (7-6) - Off a bye, the Bills salvaged their season with a road win in Kansas City. Up next is Dallas, and I don't know if the Bills' defense can do what it did last week, against Dak and Co. (Last week 11)10. Cleveland (8-5) - Let's not forget Joe Flacco does have a Super Bowl ring in his jewelry box. He may not be elite, and may not have ever been, but he sparked the Browns' passing game. Let's see how this goes. (Last week 10)11. Jacksonville (8-5) - I had the Jaguars in my last top six, and now after a pair of losses, they're looking more like the team that should have been struggling earlier this season. Won't say fluke, yet. Bring on the Ravens. (Last week 6)12. Cincinnati (7-6) - Two straight wins, and suddenly I have to wonder if Joe Burrow's contract was even necessary. Can Jake Browning play the hero? (Last week 16)13. Houston (7-6) - I don't know how in the heck this team lost to the Jets on the road, but what I'm more concerned with is C.J. Stroud's injury. That will be a huge loss. (Last week 14)14. Green Bay (6-7) - I wanted to give the Packers the benefit of the doubt, and then they lost to the Giants and Tommy DeVito. And just like that, the Packers are no longer undefeated in December under Matt LaFleur. (Last week 15)15. Indianapolis (7-6) - The Colts had their winning streak snapped by the Bengals. This is an odd team to figure out, one that has solid pieces if it can put it together. (Last week 19)16. Minnesota  (7-6) - The Vikings' offense is a mess. Now, the defense on the other hand heads into Week 15 after shutting out the Raiders. I don't know if that's a good thing or a ho-hum thing. (Last week 17)THE LOWER TIER:17. Pittsburgh (7-6) - If Mike Tomlin doesn't last, which team will scoop: Chargers or Raiders? (Last week 13)18. L.A. Chargers (5-8) - I asked this last time, and will ask again: Is Brandon Staley still coach? (Last week 18)19. Seattle (6-7) - I was suckered in, I admit. Four straight losses and here come the angry Eagles. (Last week 12)20. New Orleans (6-7) - Yep, the Saints blew out the Panthers. Nope, not impressive. (Last week 20)21. Atlanta (6-7) - The Falcons can't sputter the way they have, and win the NFC South. Then again, that division is a mess. (Last week 21)22. N.Y. Giants (5-8) - I might be convinced to order a batch of "Tommy Cutlets." Next week I might feel different. (Last week 24)23. N.Y. Jets (5-8) - No one will convince me Zach Wilson is suddenly good. (Last week 22)24. L.A. Rams (6-7) - The Rams suffered a heartbreaking overtime loss to the Ravens on a punt return for a touchdown. How? (Last week 23)25. Chicago (5-8) - The Bears opened the season 0-4. Perspective: they're 5-4 since. Playoffs are a possibility, believe it or not. (Last week 26)26. Tampa Bay (6-7) - It's the Bucs' turn to sit atop the division, as they're currently the NFC's No. 4 seed. It can change. (Last week 29)27. Tennessee (5-8) - The Titans turned in an incredible comeback, trailing by 14 with 2:55 left in the game before scoring 15 points in the final 175 seconds to beat Miami. (Last week 27)28. Las Vegas (5-8) - Remember, the Raiders were on the short end of the lowest-scoring game ever played in a domed stadium and on turf. Their turf. Ouch! (Last week 25)29. Washington (4-9) - This defense is a quarterback's dream. Washington has allowed 19 touchdowns on vertical routes this season - eight more than any other team. (Last week 28)30. New England (3-10) -  The Patriots went into Pittsburgh and beat Steelers. Big deal. Bill Belichick, who improved to 10-3 against Mike Tomlin, is still leaving. (Last week 30)31. Arizona (3-10) - The Cardinals are clearly losing the overall top pick sweepstakes. (Last week 31)32. Carolina (1-12) - The Panthers are clearly winning the overall top pick sweepstakes. (Last week 32)

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NCAA Football: Mountain West Tiebreaker System Skewed

Tuesday, Nov 28, 2023

Fresh off their road win in Las Vegas, the San Jose State Spartans were left out of the title game despite tying the UNLV Rebels and Boise State Broncos atop the standings.Instead, after losing on its home field, UNLV will play host to Boise State this Saturday to determine the league champion.League officials used the average of four rankings - Anderson & Hester, Colley Matrix, Massey, and Wolfe - to break the tie, and UNLV had a 44.50 computer average to secure one spot while Boise State checked in at 55.75 and San Jose State finished with a 58.50.Only the Wolfe ranking system had SJSU ranked higher than Boise State.San Jose State is still going to a bowl game, but some believe it should be in this weekend's championship.The Mountain West, which abandoned divisions this season, couldn’t use the College Football Playoff rankings because none of the three teams are ranked. Head-to-head results became irrelevant because Boise State and UNLV did not meet this season.But here are some other factors to consider: Both SJSU and Boise State had significantly stronger strength of schedules. An analytical website, Team Rankings, ranked Boise State 70th and San Jose State 72nd in terms of strength of schedule. Also on Team Rankings, its Luck Rating scale has UNLV ranked the 36th luckiest team in the nation, in terms of wins above expected, San Jose State 82nd, and Boise State 106th. San Jose State hasn’t lost since Oct. 7, a 35-27 loss at Boise State, and the Spartans blew a 27-7 halftime lead. But they did beat UNLV on its own field.And what would have happened if the Mountain West used the same tiebreaking system as other leagues?Check it: AAC: Boise State at UNLV ACC: UNLV at Boise State Pac 12: UNLV at Boise State Big 12: UNLV at Boise State So, yes, in every other FBS conference similar to the MWC, San Jose State would've been eliminated, but 75% of them would have Boise State hosting the championship.I won't have a play on the game, but it is interesting the Broncos opened a road favorite in Las Vegas.Are the oddsmakers - along with the other conference tiebreakers and Team Rankings - telling us something?

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NFL Week 13: VW's Power Rankings

Tuesday, Nov 28, 2023

Back in action with NFL Power Rankings, and once again there's been a bit of a shake-up in the Top 10.Philadelphia is back on top of the rankings, followed by the resurging 49ers. The defending champs stumbled down to No. 3.From there it's muddled with new names.The biggest surprise? How about the suddenly improved Broncos?Let's get to it:THE UPPER TIER1. Philadelphia (10-1) - The Eagles are the clear leader in the NFC and in my power poll after registering their fourth straight comeback win. They’ve shown resiliency at the right time of the year while Jalen Hurts is playing at an MVP level. Philadelphia faces the 49ers and Cowboys in its next two games. (Last week 2)2. San Francisco (8-3) - The 49ers have gotten healthy at the right time and came out of the bye week better than before. They geared up for Sunday's NFC championship rematch against Philadelphia with a dominating 31-13 win at Seattle on Thanksgiving. (Last week 7)3. Kansas City (8-3) - The Chiefs rebounded from a home loss to Philadelphia, one laced by dropped balls, by rallying for a 31-17 win in Las Vegas. Though it took a quarter to get going against the Raiders, Patrick Mahomes completed two touchdown passes while Isiah Pacheco ran for two scores. (Last week 1)4. Dallas (8-3) - The Cowboys trounced the Commanders 45-10 on Thanksgiving, their seventh win by at least 23 points. Dak Prescott threw four touchdown passes, DaRon Bland set an NFL record with his fifth pick-six of the season and Micah Parsons added to his sack total. If only they could beat elite teams. (Last week 8)5. Baltimore (9-3) - The Ravens will spend this weekend watching Miami, Jacksonville and Kansas City try to pull even with them atop the AFC. Baltimore won its second straight after holding the Chargers to 279 yards of offense. (Last week 3)6. Jacksonville (8-3) - Trevor Lawrence threw for 364 yards and one touchdown and ran for a score to help the Jags stymie division-rival Houston, 24-21. Jacksonville now holds a two-game lead over the Texans (6-5) and Indianapolis Colts (6-5) in the AFC South. (Last week 5)7. Detroit (8-3) - The Lions were ascending in the overall NFC standings but took a major step back when they were outplayed on Thanksgiving in a 29-22 loss to the Green Bay Packers. And that was after needing to rally to beat the lowly Bears four days prior. Jared Goff, once again, has critics questioning his legitimacy. (Last week 6)8. Miami (8-3) - The Dolphins continue to win, somehow, and now have three straight opponents with a combined 12-22 mark. Then, however, the Dolphins finish with three tough games against Dallas, Baltimore and Buffalo. (Last week 11)9. Denver (6-5) - The hottest team in the league resides in the Mile High City, as the Broncos are relevant heading into December for the first time since 2016. It's hard to believe after they stumbled to a 1-5 start. (Last week 19)10. Cleveland (7-4) - First Deshaun Watson, and now Dorian Thompson-Robinson. The Browns continue to get bitten by the injury bug at the quarterback position. The Browns have a long road ahead the last six weeks. (Last week 9)11. Buffalo (6-6) - The Bills, who entered the season with Super Bowl expectations, collapsed in Philadelphia as they blew several leads, including one in overtime, before losing 37-34. The loss dropped them to 10th in the AFC. (Last week 10)12. Seattle (6-5) - The Seahawks were climbing, and even had a chance to regain the lead in the NFC West but were no match against the 49ers. They've lost two in a row and are scrambling. (Last week 12)13. Pittsburgh (7-4) - The Steelers fired then-offensive coordinator Matt Canada, and then went out and topped 400 yards for the first time in more than three years, moving the ball fluidly against the Bengals. Now they're atop the AFC wild-card race. (Last week 16)14. Houston (6-5) - The Texans' hard-to-swallow loss to the Jaguars could fuel their fire down the stretch. Matt Ammendola’s 58-yard field goal attempt bounced off the crossbar at the end, otherwise, this team might be in the Top 10. (Last week 20)15. Green Bay (5-6) - The Packers have made a statement with two straight wins, including the upset in Motown over the NFC North-leading Lions. They're within reach of a playoff spot in the NFC and fans are rejoicing knowing Aaron and Davante aren't even close. (Last week 18)16. Cincinnati (5-6) - The Bengals' demise continues without Joe Burrow, as they've lost three in a row and now travel to AFC South-leading Jacksonville. (Last week 4)THE LOWER TIER:17. Minnesota  (6-6) - Two straight losses, including Monday at home to the Bears. Maybe Joshua Dobbs isn't the answer. (Last week 14)18. L.A. Chargers (4-7) - Is Brandon Staley still coach? (Last week 13)19. Indianapolis (6-5) - One of the more confusing teams in the AFC, the Colts have the wild-card race muddled. (Last week 23)20. New Orleans (5-6) - The Saints have lost two in a row and do have three straight at home. They need a strong showing during the homestand. (Last week 15)21. Atlanta (5-6) - The Falcons come out of a bye week with a win over the Saints, snapping their three-game skid, and now have three winnable games in front of them. (Last week 24)22. N.Y. Jets (4-7) - Don't bother forcing a return Aaron, there's no reason to further damage your Achilles when this team isn't going anywhere. (Last week 17)23. L.A. Rams (5-6) - The Rams might be the NFC's version of the very strange and confusing Colts, as they've suddenly won two straight and are knocking on the wild-card door. (Last week 27)24. N.Y. Giants (4-8) - Not sure where the Giants' two-game win streak came from, and now they get a bye week before winnable games against Green Bay and New Orleans. (Last week 30)25. Las Vegas (5-7) - Four of the Raiders’ final five games are against teams with winning records. Interim coach Antonio Pierce needs to be competitive to be considered long-term. (Last week 22)26. Chicago (4-8) - The Bears beat the Vikings on Monday, but it also might be safe to say Minnesota keeps beating itself. (Last week 31)27. Tennessee (4-7) - The Titans will finally play at home for consecutive games, looking for a winning streak after a 17-10 win over Carolina. (Last week 25)28. Washington (4-8) - The Commanders should do Ron Rivera a favor and let him go somewhere he can utilize his coaching abilities. (Last week 21)29. Tampa Bay (4-7) - I can't believe I'm saying this, but the Buccaneers are still in a position to control their destiny considering how weak the NFC South is this year. (Last week 26)30. New England (2-9) - Once Staley is fired, Bill Belichick should make a move out West. (Last week 28)31. Arizona (2-10) - The Cardinals' rebuild won't be easy, but it may start with a fresh look at quarterback. (Last week 32)32. Carolina (1-10) - Frank Reich became the second in-season firing. The Panthers now may have their second straight No. 1 pick. (Last week 29)

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NFL Week 10: VW's Power Rankings

Wednesday, Nov 08, 2023

Back in action with NFL Power Rankings, and there's been a bit of a shake-up in the Top 10.Kansas City is still on top, Philly is back at No. 2, but from there, it's muddled with new names.By the way, I roll into Week 10 on a 39-18 run with ALL SPORTS since Oct. 25, for $19,140 NET$. Check the Leaderboard over the L7 Days, the L30 Days and the L60 Days. You'll see who is on all three lists. Listen, it would benefit you to get a subscription with me - be it 7 days or 30 days - so you can simply show up, login, and get my plays daily without trying to figure out which one to purchase - especially on a busy Saturday and Sunday, with so many sports going. GRAB A SUBSCRIPTION PACKAGE TODAY!Anyway, I won't waste your time with jibber-jabber and will get right to it with this week's rankings:THE UPPER TIER1. Kansas City (7-2) - The Chiefs rebounded from their loss in Denver on Oct. 29 with an AFC heavyweight championship win over the Dolphins in Germany last week. A bye came at the right time, as the Chiefs went from averaging 396.7 yards per game to 270.5 the last two. (Last week 1)2. Philadelphia (8-1) - Meanwhile, the Eagles won the NFC heavyweight championship against the Cowboys, and have now won three in a row to get back on track after their first loss of the season. They've taken over as the team to beat on the senior circuit. (Last week 4)3. Baltimore (7-2) - The Ravens are playing the best football in the NFL right now. The Ravens outgained the Seahawks 515-151 last week. They've won six times this season without ever trailing at any point in the game. (Last week 8)4. Cincinnati (5-3) - The Bengals lost their first two games and got off to a 1-3 start on Oct. 1 after a 27-3 rout at Tennessee. They won two more before their break, and have roared out of a bye with two more wins, including a victory over San Francisco. Complementary football is getting it done. (Last week 15)5. Jacksonville (6-2) - The Jags lead the NFL with 18 takeaways, a big reason their defense has allowed 24 or fewer points in each of the team’s five straight victories. Problem is they have committed 13 turnovers in eight games, including two or more five times. (Last week 9)6. Detroit (6-2) - The Lions need to clean up their act in the second half and red zone. They've also yielded 11 third-quarter touchdowns while scoring a mere three, and inside the 20, they’ve scored touchdowns 48.1% of the time (25th in the NFL), while ranking 27th on defense (65.4%). (Last week 7)7. San Francisco (5-3) - Let's see what happens with the defense out of their bye week, especially after trading for Chase Young. It should help a Niners pass rush that ranks 27th in the NFL by generating sacks on 5.5% of pass plays, a considerable drop from fifth over the last two seasons at 7.5%. (Last week 3)8. Dallas (5-3) - Dak Prescott has the passing attack looking good. After a sub-80 passer rating in three of the team's first five games, he's delivered three consecutive triple-digit performances, throwing eight touchdowns against just one interception and a 71% completion rate. (Last week 6)9. Cleveland (5-3) - The biggest factor taken from Deshaun Watson's return to the lineup was the Browns holding onto the ball after rolling into Week 8 with an NFL-high 17 giveaways through eight games. This week will be a test against Baltimore. (Last week 11)10. Buffalo (5-4) - The Bills have lost three of five and still have the likes of Philadelphia, Kansas City, Dallas and Miami on the schedule. Time to find a sense of urgency. (Last week 5)11. Miami (6-3) - The Dolphins are now 0-3 against teams that currently have winning records. They’re 6-0 against everyone else. That needs to change if they plan on getting over the hump. (Last week 2)12. Seattle (5-3) - Mistakes were costly in Sunday's loss to Baltimore. The Seahawks had won five of six and at one point allowed an average of 10.0 points per game. They've given up 28.5 over the last two. (Last week 10)13. L.A. Chargers (4-4) - The Bolts stifled the Jets to a pair of field goals while forcing three turnovers and sacking Zach Wilson eight times. They also limited New York to just three third-down conversions in 17 attempts. (Last week 12)14. Minnesota  (5-4) - New addition quarterback Joshua Dobba tallied three touchdowns (two passing, one rushing), including the game-winning strike with 22 seconds left in the fourth quarter. (Last week 18)15. New Orleans (5-4) - Be careful Derek Carr, quarterback Taysom Hill registered a touchdown pass and touchdown reception in the Saints' 24-17 win over Chicago. (Last week 19)16. Pittsburgh (5-3) - Can't believe the Steelers are two games above .500, then again, Mike Tomlin can get the best out of mediocrity. The Steelers are clearly overachieving, but it's enough to land in the upper tier. (Last week 17)THE LOWER TIER:17. N.Y. Jets (4-4) - The Jets are paying the price for not having a better Plan B than Zach Wilson. (Last week 14)18. Green Bay (3-5) - The Packers turned in their highest yards per play (5.8) and third-highest offensive success rate (40.5) of the season in snapping a two-game skid. (Last week 16)19. Denver (3-5) - The team needs to catch up to Russell Wilson, who has 16 touchdowns against four interceptions and ranks fifth in the league in passer rating (101.7). (Last week 26)20. Houston (4-4) - Running back Dare Ogunbowale converted a 29-yard field goal last week, becoming the first non-kicker or punter to make a field goal since 2004. (Last week 20)21. Washington (4-5) - Off a win, quarterback Sam Howell has more passing yards than anyone in the league spanning the last two weeks (722). (Last week 22)22. Las Vegas (4-5) - Stunned the Raiders are now one game shy of .500. But they beat up a very bad Giants team. Let's see how they perform against the Jets. (Last week 23)23. Indianapolis (4-5) - At 25.8 points per game, the Colts rank seventh in the league, 8.8 points better than last season. Was stunned to learn Indy is the only team to score at least 20 points in all nine games. (Last week 27)24. Atlanta (4-5) - Two straight losses thanks to a struggling defense that allowed four touchdown passes to Tennessee rookie Will Levis, and then two more to Minnesota newcomer Joshua Dobbs last week. (Last week 24)25. Tennessee (3-5) - Will Levis takes over as starting quarterback for a team that is 10-15 in its last 25 games. (Last week 28)26. Tampa Bay (3-5) - Four straight losses since a 3-1 start. At least Mike Evans is a bright spot, ranking 15th in the league in receiving yards (594) and 11th in yards per catch (16.1). (Last week 13)27. L.A. Rams (3-6) - A bright spot during a three-game skid, rookie wide receiver Puka Nacua recorded three receptions for 32 yards last week and  leads all rookies with 64 receptions. (Last week 21)28. New England (2-7) - The Patriots and Giants have the same record and sit near the bottom of most power rankings. Didn't those two once play in a couple of Super Bowls? (Last week 25)29. Carolina (1-7) - Rookie quarterback Bryce Young had his lowest passer rating of the season (48.3) against the Colts on Sunday. Indy had the NFL's 26th-ranked defense in yards allowed, but Young was dormant. (Last week 32)30. N.Y. Giants (2-7) - From bad to worse, as the Giants' inept offense lost Daniel Jones last week. Tommy DeVito looked rough in relief. (Last week 29)31. Chicago (2-7) - Good news for the Bears, they currently have the No. 2 and 3 picks in the 2024 NFL Draft. (Last week 31)32. Arizona (1-8) - Operation tank is underway, as the Cardinals sent Joshua Dobbs to Minnesota. (Last week 30)

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NFL Week 7: VW's Power Rankings

Thursday, Oct 19, 2023

Since we last spoke, most teams have played two games, 26 to be exact, with six others having a bye in Week 5 or 6. Of those who did play two, only seven enjoyed a 2-0 mark, and it's caused a bit of a ripple in the power rankings.I won't waste your time with jibber-jabber and will get right to it with this week's rankings:THE UPPER TIER1. Kansas City (5-1) - Back to the top for the Chiefs, who went 2-0 the last couple of weeks. And while we've yet to see the offense click, that's what makes this team so scary. Imagine when Patrick Mahomes and that offense does kick in. For now, the Chiefs' defense has them back at No. 1. (Last week 3)2. Miami (5-1) - The big test is Sunday night against Philly, but for now I still say the Dolphins could easily represent the AFC in February. They're averaging 6.5 yards per rushing attempt, which is hard to believe when Miami has neither a running quarterback nor a star running back. Run and win by committee. (Last week 6)3. San Francisco (5-1) - Not so invincible as everyone thought, eh? When the 49ers faced the No. 1 defense in the league, they had their bell rung convincingly. Then again, the Niners are a Jake Moody missed field goal away from a win. (Last week 1)4. Philadelphia (5-1) - Speaking of running into a staunch defense, like the 49ers, the Eagles hit a snag against the pesky Jets. Chalk it up for suffering through a bad day. Problem is, the blueprint may have been laid out. (Last week 2)5. Buffalo (4-2) - The Bills bounced back from their loss across the pond by knocking off the Giants. Of course, it took a fourth-quarter surge to get it done. Considering a split the last two weeks, and last week's lackluster performance, it's a one-spot dip. (Last week 4)6. Dallas (4-2) - After being humiliated by the 49ers two weeks back, the Cowboys responded with a resilient win Monday over the Bolts. Perfect timing for their bye week, as they'll have the right mindset while healing up. (Last week 5)7. Detroit (5-1) - This is the team that has my intrigue right now, especially after going to Tampa and limiting the Buccaneers to no touchdowns. Huge statement for their defense. Right now, the Lions might be the NFC's best. (Last week 9)8. Baltimore (4-2) - Dropping the Ravens one spot because I am perplexed with what looks to be a clunky offense. The Ravens may have found a way to hold on against the Titans in London, but they're not complete, yet. (Last week 7)9. Jacksonville (4-2) - Thursday will tell us a lot, especially if Trevor Lawrence doesn't play. The Jags have won three straight and now lead the AFC South. Let's see how they march out of New Orleans. (Last week 11)10. Seattle (3-2) - Off the bye, the Seahawks took an L. You can't blow that many scoring chances against a team like the Bengals and expect to win. Heck, you can't do that against the 32nd team in the league. (Last week 8)11. Cleveland (3-2) - Out of their bye, the Browns pull off the resounding upset of San Francisco. The Browns move up thanks to their defense, which everyone clearly knows about now, after shutting down the 49ers. Now they need to figure out the offense. (Last week 13)12. L.A. Chargers (2-3) - If Monday didn't define what Chargers fans annually experience, I'm not sure what else will. Blown chances result in close losses. It seems define the Bolts. Now they have to play the Chiefs and are in jeopardy of slipping down the AFC West. (Last week 10)13. Tampa Bay (3-2) - The Bucs ran into a wall, but I won't punish them that much. Detroit is a good team and it's an acceptable loss. Well, unless you ask Baker Mayfield, who ripped himself and the offense. They need to learn how to beat the league's elite. (Last week 12)14. N.Y. Jets (3-3) - From 1-3 to .500 with two wins, and suddenly those who thought the Jets could get it done with Aaron Rodgers, are becoming believers thanks to their defense. Don't sleep on the Fly Boys just yet. (Last week 16)15. Cincinnati (3-3) - Another team that started 1-3, but went 2-0 the last two weeks and now has a perfect spot to enjoy its bye week. Joe Burrow can get healthier, and that'll be dangerous for opponents. (Last week 17)16. Green Bay (2-3) - The Packers lost two weeks ago and now come into Week 7 off their bye much healthier. The loss to the Raiders could've been a win, had Jordan Love not thrown three picks. Let's see how they respond. (Last week 14)THE LOWER TIER:17. Pittsburgh (3-2) - The Steelers knocked off the Ravens and went into their bye week. Did they fix their offense? (Last week 18)18. Minnesota  (2-4) - Did last week's win over Chicago save the season? (Last week 15)19. New Orleans (3-3) - Losing on the road in Houston was not a good look. (Last week 19)20. Houston (3-3) - Beating the Saints the way the Texans did was a good look. (Last week 23)21. L.A. Rams (3-3) - All things considered, is McVay a Coach of the Year candidate? (Last week 24)22. Washington (3-3) - How did the Commanders get outgained by Atlanta, 402-193, and win? (Last week 25)23. Las Vegas (3-3) - The Raiders were left for dead two weeks ago. They've got life heading to Chicago this week. (Last week 30)24. Atlanta (3-3) - How did the Falcons outgain Washington, 402-193, and lose? (Last week 27)25. New England (1-5) - The Patriots' anemic offense should have Bobby Kraft thinking about making a coaching change. (Last week 20)26. Denver (1-5) - The Broncos' anemic offense should have Greg Penner thinking about making a coaching change. (Last week 21)27. Indianapolis (3-3) - No more Anthony Richardson isn't a bad thing. But Gardner Minshew might be. (Last week 28)28. Tennessee (2-4) - Two disappointing losses bring a bye at the right time. (Last week 22)29. N.Y. Giants (1-5) - We finally saw the Giants win a first half. Then they lost, again. (Last week 26)30. Arizona (1-5) - The Cardinals can't hang a win over Dallas over us that long. (Last week 29)31. Chicago (1-5) - The Bears could have two wins going into this one, but don't. Can they beat the Raiders? (Last week 32)32. Carolina (0-6) - Nobody in their right mind thought the Panthers would hold on to that 14-0 lead. (Last week 31)

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VW's Weekly Recap: Ho-Hum Two Weeks, Big Week Coming

Wednesday, Oct 18, 2023

My apologies, but I lost a week due to some intense travel and prior obligations last week.Plenty of college basketball media days to attend, both in and out of town, and I still missed some of the conferences I was hoping to attend.Nevertheless, I'm going to update you on the past couple of weeks, and zero in on this past weekend specifically.From last Tuesday, Oct. 3 through Monday, Oct. 16, I went 20-19-1 (51.3%) and lost $630.I finished 11-12-1 in both college and pro football during that stretch, as I split out in college football (6-6), and was 5-6-1 in pro football.Overall, College Football still continues to be impressive since Week 0, as I brought a 22-18-1 run for +$2,270 net profit since Aug. 31 into this week.Breaking down favorites and dogs in college football, I am 3-6 with the underdogs I've released and am 18-10-2 with favorites.Sitting at 19-14-3 in the NFL, I'm now 6-4 with underdogs - all six victories winning outright.Last week alone, I went 7-5 in both NFL and College Football, including a 6-2 mark on Saturday and Sunday.As for MLB action, I in that same two-week range (10/3-10/16), and brought a 66-56-1 run with $7,220 net profit into this week.I hit my A.L. West Total of the Year in Game 1 of the ALCS with the Astros-Rangers staying Under. Wednesday I have my ALCS Game of the Year.We're three games into the WNBA Finals, and the Las Vegas Aces face further adversity. They will be without Chelsea Gray and Kiah Stokes for Game 4, but this is a team that has dealt with - as Kelsey Plum puts it - injuries, lawsuits and arrests all season.I haven't released a WNBA play since Sept. 29, but have my WNBA Finals Game of the Year going Wednesday.Be sure to check out my College Football observations and my NFL Power Rankings.Let's gear up for a big week of action.

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Week 7 College FB Observations: Heisman Race Thickens

Wednesday, Oct 18, 2023

Who's atop your Heisman watch?Admittedly, my money was on reigning Heisman Trophy winner Caleb Williams coming into the season.But his Pac-12 rival Michael Penix Jr. has stolen the show for me, and is currently atop my Heisman watch list.As of Wednesday at 6 am pacific, here are the top six at DraftKings: Michael Penix Jr. (Washington) -130 J.J. McCarthy (Michigan) +1000 Dillon Gabriel (Oklahoma) +1000 Jordan Travis (Florida State) +1200 Jayden Daniels (LSU) +1400 Drake Maye (North Carolina) +1800 Bo Nix (Oregon) +2000 Caleb Williams (USC) +2000 The two questions you have to ask yourself are:1. Which name sitting between Penix and Williams is worth taking a shot with, considering the value being offered?2.  Is it worth it now to lay the -130 on Penix?It certainly is worth it to play Williams at this price, considering he's NFL-ready right now and can go off at any point and dominate any opponent on any given night. And we all know Heisman voters remember what players do in the second half of the season than they remember games from September and October. He's facing Utah this weekend and has revenge on the brain from last season's conference championship game. After Saturday, you may not see Williams at this price ever again.But let's start with Penix, who threw four touchdowns in the Huskies’ big win over Oregon on Saturday. He now has 20 TD completions through the first six games of the season. This dude has obnoxiously bullied his way to the favorite role in this race, as he's completing 72% of his passes and averages nearly 11 yards per attempt.Back to the voters' memory bank, Penix and the Huskies opened the season against five unranked opponents. But Saturday's win over Oregon was the first of four Washington opponents that currently reside in the Top 25, with No. 18 USC, No. 14 Utah, No. 12 Oregon State forthcoming. How Penix does against those teams will tell us a lot. Personally, it wouldn't surprise me to see the Huskies drop two games down the stretch, and that could turn into Penix returning a plus price in the Heisman race.As for the six names in between, here is who I'm keeping my eyes on:McCarthy might be worth the investment, considering Michigan hasn't been tested yet. Though the Wolverines might not face a team that can beat them, they will face defensive units that will challenge McCarthy. A couple of breakout performances could raise his stock, which would drop his price.Gabriel could steal the headlines from everyone, point blank. He already ranks in the top 10 nationally in many categories, including third in total offense (347.7 ypg), fourth in points responsible for per game (21.0), sixth in passing efficiency rating (178.2), seventh in passing offense (313.0 ypg), eighth in passing touchdowns (16) and ninth in pass completion percentage (.723). On the last state given, for perspective, the single-season record at OU is .709 by Baker Mayfield in 2016. Gabriel leads the Big 12 in all of those categories.Daniels is an interesting commodity, as he's sporting the nation's highest pass efficiency (197.7) and averages the most yards per attempt (11.0). He's thrown the second-most touchdowns (22) and is also getting it done with his feet, having rushed for 515 yards and four touchdowns. An upcoming game vs. Alabama could propel Daniels deeper into the race, which would drop his odds.Pick your poison as we hit the midway point of the college football season, but choose wisely, as the Heisman race is about to get interesting.Here are more College Football Observations heading into Week 6:BIG 10 BATTLE - All eyes will be on Columbus this weekend when the sixth-ranked Penn State Nittany Lions hope to prove themselves against No. 3 Ohio State.The Lions have won 17 of their last 19 - while covering 16 of those games - with the only losses coming against Ohio State and Michigan.Penn State is just 1-8 straight-up against the Buckeyes under coach James Franklin. The Lions are only 3-6 against Michigan with Franklin at the helm. As a matter of fact, they're a mere 3-15 against Top 10 foes under Franklin's watch.But if there were ever a chance to shed those horrific numbers, it's this season with a stifling defense. The Lions rank No. 1 overall in allowing 193.7 yards per game, including a paltry 72.5 on the ground. Penn State has allowed an average of 8.0 points per game this season, registering shutouts in two of its last three.There is no bigger game for the Lions than this Saturday in Columbus. That is, until Nov. 11, when Michigan comes to Happy Valley. Both are important this season, as Lions boast a viable defense that could lead them to wins in both.ATS BESTS - Three teams are perfect against the number, two of which aren't surprising as they hail from Power 5 conferences, but the third is a shocker. Penn State and Oklahoma are each 6-0 straight-up and at the window, the former using its aforementioned defense and the latter riding its Hesiman-candidate quarterback to fuel a high-powered offense. The shocker, however, is UNLV, which checks in at 5-1 SU and 6-0 ATS at this point.Only one other team still has a goose egg in the loss column, but Oregon, which is 5-1 SU, now has a tie against the books, after catching +3 last week at Washington in the 36-33 loss.MORE ATS OBSERVATIONS - The Vanderbilt Commodores are an interesting storyline when it comes to the betting window this season. They're 2-6 on the year, including a 0-4 record in SEC play. They're also 1-7 ATS after nabbing their first cover of the season in this past Saturday's 37-20 loss to top-ranked Georgia. The 'Dores caught +32.5 points and easily stayed inside the number. But the interesting part of this team is its 8-0 to the over when it comes to totals.Since winning its first two games, the Commodores have been outscored by an average margin of 15.6 points per game, while allowing 39.0 ppg. But where these totals are cashing in is with Vandy doing its part on offense, averaging 27.8 points per game.The average total on Vandy games is 54, ranging between 50.5 and 56.5. So if the Commodores are scoring 27.8 points per game - half of the average posted total - and they're being blown out most games, you can see how these games are landing north of the total by an average of 8.0 points per game.Vandy hosts Ole Miss this weekend, and go figure, the books are catching up as the total at DraftKings is sitting on 60 as of Wednesday morning.CHALK CHECK-IN - Since I missed last week due to some out-of-town commitments, that kept me in time restraints and away from my weekly research, let's catch up on how the favorites have been doing.Favorites that have ranged between 4 and 7.5 points have done the best the last two weeks, going a combined 19-14, including a 12-7 showing this past week.Bigger favorites have struggled the last two weeks, with teams laying 20 or more going 1-5 two weeks back, and haven't shown us a winning week since Week 1. Since then, those teams have a combined 22-32 ATS mark.Every week I'll update you with regular board games (no FCS or added), broken down into different point-spread ranges. There were a few pushes this week and a pk'em game to consider, but through Week 7, favorites are 188-173 with the following breakdown:1-3 1/2 ............ 42-404-7 1/2 ............ 53-408-10 1/2 ........... 16-1511-14 1/2 ....,..... 25-2415-19 1/2 .......... 19-1420 and up ...... 33-40

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NFL Week 5: VW's Power Rankings

Thursday, Oct 05, 2023

Through the quarter-pole of the season, there is only one team without an ATS loss.It's also the team that leapfrogged its way into the top spot this week.Per Stathead.com, the 49ers are 3-0-1 ATS.Nine other teams have three ATS wins. All at 3-1, we have the Buccaneers, Seahawks, Ravens, Titans, Dolphins, Lions, Cowboys, Cardinals and Bills.At the other end of the ATS standings, there are five teams that have not covered a game to date: Saints (0-2-2), Panthers (0-3-1), Bears (0-3-1), Broncos (0-3-1) and Giants (0-4).Let's get started with this week's rankings:THE UPPER TIER1. San Francisco (4-0) - Though the Cardinals made an early charge at the 49ers, the NFC West leaders were too much in the second half. I have them leapfrogging the Eagles and Chiefs for the top spot. Pressure is on boys. Sunday night's game against the Cowboys will tell us plenty about both teams. (Last week 3)2. Philadelphia (4-0) - I didn't mind dropping the Eagles one spot after seeing how they performed against the Commanders last week. I still think they might be the best of the NFC, but the Eagles have to show me much more now that they've faced quarterbacks  Mac Jones, Kirk Cousins, Baker Mayfield, and Sam Howell to start the season. (Last week 1)3. Kansas City (3-1) - I also didn't have an issue dropping the Chiefs down one after it struggled against the Jets. So much for what I thought was an improved defense, as the Chiefs allowed 245 yards and two touchdowns to Wilson and 6.8 yards per carry on the ground. The champs can redeem themselves with dominating performances when it goes to Minnesota and then host the Broncos. (Last week 2)4. Buffalo (3-1) - Since a brutal four-interception introduction to the season against the Jets in Week 1, quarterback Josh Allen has completed 76.6% of his passes for 812 yards (8.6 yards per attempt), eight touchdowns, and just one interception. Maybe, just maybe, the Bills are the team to beat in the AFC. (Last week 5)5. Dallas (3-1) - As I expected, the loss to the Cardinals was a brief mental collapse for the Cowboys, who responded impressively with a blowout home win over the Patriots. This Sunday will be their biggest game of the season when they travel to San Francisco for the primetime game on Sunday. How will the 30th-ranked Red Zone team fare? (Last week 7)6. Miami (3-1) - Maybe I jumped the gun on calling the Dolphins the best team in the NFL last week. They lost by 28 in Buffalo, and I have to wonder where the offensive swagger disappeared to, especially when they averaged 6.8 yards per play. Vic Fangio needs to shore up that defense, which has now allowed the Chargers to score 36 and the Bills to put up 48. (Last week 4)7. Baltimore (3-1) - I'll give the Ravens a bump after last week's 28-3 win in Cleveland, but I'll also keep in mind they played the Browns with Dorian Thompson-Robinson under center - not Deshaun Watson. How fortuitous, as they'll face the banged-up Steelers this week. (Last week 8)8. Seattle (3-1) - I still don't think the Seahawks would lose to the Rams if they replayed Week 1's clash. We saw Seattle's defense suffocate the Giants on Monday night, registering a whopping 11 sacks while allowing a mere three points. It's the type of defense we've become accustomed to with this team, not the unit we saw yield 30, 31, and 27 points to the Rams, Lions, and Panthers, respectively. (Last week 9)9. Detroit (3-1) - The Lions made a statement by going into Lambeau and dominating the Packers on Thursday night. I think it's clear at the quarter-pole of the season the NFC North, for now, is Detroit's to lose. Dan Campbell's D ranks fourth in yards per play allowed (4.5) and 12th in points per drive allowed (1.69). (Last week 10)10. L.A. Chargers (2-2) - The verdict remains out with the Bolts. They're on the fence of being a very good team or mediocre. And I can't tell if it's coaching or lack of direction. The latter, however, would indicate coaching. A bye week should help them get focused. (Last week 11)11. Jacksonville (2-2) - The Jags went across the pond and dismantled the Falcons in the Toy Story-themed game at Wembley. The Bills, on the other hand, are in London and there will be no toying around with that offense. (Last week 15)12. Tampa Bay (3-1) - The Buccaneers responded to their first loss of the season with an impressive win over the Saints. Quarterback Baker Mayfield can now use the bye week to tighten things up and improve from sixth among qualifying quarterbacks in EPA per play. (Last week 23)13. Cleveland (2-2) - Good thing for the Browns they have a bye week. Thompson-Robinson didn't get help from his offensive line, and was facing an upper-tier defense from Baltimore. The off week will help Watson get healthy. (Last week 12)14. Green Bay (2-2) - I thought the Packers might be more competitive against the Lions on Thursday, but to no avail. Jordan Love looks better each week, but the entire offense needs to gradually improve. Unfortunately, we're in the second quarter of the season and gradually may take too long. (Last week 13)15. Minnesota  (1-3) - The Vikings got their first win of the season, and the only reason they jump four spots is the teams around them have looked horrendous. If they can't get their running game going this week, it'll be back down the ladder after a loss to Kansas City. (Last week 19)16. N.Y. Jets (1-3) - Sinking quickly, I don't have anywhere to really put this team with the teams just behind also have losses. Thing is, it would be hard to punish this team after Zach Wilson completed 28-of-39 for 245 yards and two scores against a Kansas City defense that appeared to be stellar through Week 3. (Last week 14)THE LOWER TIER:17. Cincinnati (1-3) - Force the Bengals to beat you at this point, as I'm a bit in shock with this offense. (Last week 6)18. Pittsburgh (2-2) - With Kenny Pickett, this offense still needs help. Without Pickett, the offense is in big trouble. (Last week 16)19. New Orleans (2-2) - Once Alvin Kamara gets up to game speed and Derek Carr is 100 percent, I expect more from the Saints. (Last week 17)20. New England (1-3) - Is Bill Belichick still coach? (Last week 18)21. Denver (1-3) - Good, the Broncos earned their first win. Bad, the Broncos trailed No. 32 Chicago by 21 before doing so. (Last week 26)22. Tennessee (2-2) - The Titans should probably be higher, but they need to earn their ascension. We've seen two different Titans teams, at home and on the road. (Last week 27)23. Houston (2-2) - Okay, I see you C.J. Stroud. So you're the rookie who's going to make some noise. (Last week 28)24. L.A. Rams (2-2) - Another team I believe can be higher. Is Puka Nacua the most important player on the offense? (Last week 30)25. Washington (2-2) - The Eagles brought the Commanders down to earth last week. But they're still better than the Giants. (Last week 21)26. N.Y. Giants (1-3) - Speaking of which, things are looking awfully bleak with this team. (Last week 20)27. Atlanta (2-2) - On the fence where this team belongs after opening the season 2-0, and now 0-2 since. (Last week 22)28. Indianapolis (2-2) - Granted, the Colts were competitive against the Rams. But a loss in overtime drops Indy. (Last week 24)29. Arizona (1-3) - A loss to No. 1 San Francisco means the Cardinals will stay put at 29. They showed spunk early, but couldn't sustain. (Last week 29)30. Las Vegas (1-3) - They didn't make it a game in Inglewood, the Chargers took their foot off the gas. (Last week 25)31. Carolina (0-4) - Bryce Young returned to the offense. He shouldn't have. (Last week 31)32. Chicago (0-4) - The Bears found their offense, but couldn't hold on at home against Denver. Is this locker room unraveling? (Last week 32)

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Week 5 College FB Observations: Rebels to Reckon With

Thursday, Oct 05, 2023

I waited as long as I could to talk about UNLV, not wanting to turn to an easy subject for the lead of this column.But with all due respect to the rest of the nation - and smaller schools making headlines, such as James Madison or Jacksonville St. - the Rebels are becoming one of the best stories in college football.First-year coach Barry Odom has done a remarkable job in turning the program around, as UNLV is two games shy of becoming bowl-eligible with a 4-1 mark, the lone loss being a 35-7 defeat in Ann Arbor to second-ranked Michigan.In the four wins, however, the Rebels have scored 40 or more points in each, an average of 43.2 points per game.The high-scoring Rebs may have the 113th-ranked pass attack, but they've also played two quarterbacks after starter Doug Brumfield was injured early on. They've made up for it with a rushing game that averages 214 yards per game, 11th best in the nation, while averaging 5.19 yards per carry.Sure, last year's version of the Rebels was also 4-1, and went on to lose their next six games before winning the regular-season finale against Nevada, 27-22. Too little, too late, as coach Marcus Arroyo was shown the door and UNLV was left out of a bowl game for the ninth straight season and 21st time in 22 years.So what's different?Some have said it's Odom's demeanor with the players. Others have said his demeanor with those outside the program allows positivity to infiltrate his team as a whole. Many believe it's a combination of both.When you combine a massive culture change beginning with attitude and commitment, with an SEC-like atmosphere, and instill confidence, you're going to see change.Now, with a bye week upon them, the Rebels have time to decompress, soak up their success, and prepare for in-state rival Nevada on Oct. 14. Though the game is in Reno, their normally tough much-hated rival has been one of the worst teams in the nation.It's probably a good thing the Wolf Pack (0-5) are next on deck, as it'll reignite the Rebels out of their break for another trophy game - they just one the Pineapple Trophy with a win over Hawai'i - and will keep them focused rather than seeing them come out flat.The game to keep an eye on with this team is when it travels to Fresno State on Oct. 28. The Bulldogs are in the Top 25, and might normally see a cakewalk in UNLV. But the Rebels return home to play Colorado State after their game in Reno and could be heading to Fresno with a wealth of momentum. If I see double digits, I'm jumping on the dog.With seven games remaining, mark my words, the Rebels are going bowling under Odom.Here are more College Football Observations heading into Week 6:FOOTBALL GALORE - Beginning Wednesday, we can take solace in knowing there will be 49 consecutive days with either a college football or NFL game. That's FOURTY-NINE through Nov. 22. This week we got Conference USA, Big 12, and Big 10 weekday games, and the onslaught continues with C-USAction during the week until we get our annual dose of MACtion in November.RED RIVER FAREWELL - In the game of the week, we have a 5-0 Texas Longhorns team against a 5-0 Oklahoma Sooners squad in the teams' annual Red River Rivalry in Dallas. Only this year's version will meet for the final time as members of the Big 12. It's been the marquee matchup for the conference and dates to 1900. Yes, the rivalry will continue and will soon belong to the SEC, but Saturday will be historic considering both are undefeated in a year the complexion of the league will change after the season.Save for last year’s 49-0 win by Texas, the Red River Rivalry was decided by eight points or less in the eight previous meetings. Texas is currently -6 1/2 with a total of 60 1/2. Kickoff is scheduled for noon Eastern.ROUGH START - Speaking of the Big 12, it's been a rude welcoming for the four newcomers, who are a combined 1-7 in conference action. The lone win was by BYU, which topped Cincinnati last week, 35-28. But other than that, it hasn't been pretty. After BYU, which is 1-1 in conference play, Cincinnati, Houston and UCF are all 0-2.The Cougars, Cincinnati and Houston have byes this weekend, while UCF (3-2) travels to play at Kansas (4-1, 1-1) in a game the oddsmakers think might be a close one. The Knights are catching +1 1/2 from Kansas in the 4 p.m. eastern kick, with the total checking in at 65.CHALK CHECK-IN - Laying between 15 and 19 1/2 points paid off last week, as favorites in that range went 3-0. Across the regular board games, favorites got the best of the underdogs, going 29-22, with four pushes.Favorites dominated the low-chalk category, covering 15 of the 23 games with lines between 1 and 7 1/2, outside of a couple of pushes.Every week I'll update you with regular board games (no FCS or added), broken down into different point-spread ranges. There were a few pushes this week and a pk'em game to consider, but through Week 5, favorites are 134-126 with the following breakdown:1-3 1/2 ............. 25-254-7 1/2 ............ 34-288-10 1/2 .......;.... 12-1111-14 1/2 .......... 20-1915-19 1/2 ........... 13-920 and up ...... 30-34

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VW's Weekly Recap: College FB Flop, NFL Prevails

Thursday, Oct 05, 2023

Time for the weekly recap, as I take a look back at the week that was.From last Tuesday, through Monday, I went on an 8-8-1 roll in every sport and was down -700. Always transparent.I finished 5-6-1 in both college and pro football during that stretch, with a horrendous college football week, going 1-4-1, including 0-2 with my lone plays of the month, losing two dogs on Syracuse and Florida.Overall, College Football still continues to be impressive since Week 0, as I brought a 16-12-1 run for +$2,870 net profit since Aug. 31 into this week.Breaking down favorites and dogs in college football, I am 2-3 with the underdogs I've released and am 13-7-2 with favorites.Sitting at 14-8-2 in the NFL, I'm now 6-3 with underdogs - all six victories winning outright.As for MLB action, a 2-1 week brought in $900 of net profit. Dating back, I brought a 64-55-1 run with $6,340 net profit into the postseason.The WNBA is approaching the Finals. Unfortunately, I won't be able to attend the games in Las Vegas, as credentialing becomes extremely tight when requests run through the league. But I've had my eyes on things, and will certainly have some action coming up.Last week I went 1-1 in the WNBA and nailed my Player Prop of the Year on A'ja Wilson's points prop against Dallas.Looking forward to a big week, with plenty of action in baseball, basketball and football.Be sure to check out my College Football observations and my NFL Power Rankings.Let's gear up for a big week of action.

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NFL Week 4: VW's Power Rankings

Thursday, Sep 28, 2023

Who are these Miami Dolphins, and why are they the best team in football?I certainly think they can leapfrog the field, but I'm going to keep it tame for now and give them a respectful boost up the ladder.After their annihilation of the Denver Broncos last week, the Dolphins are the 12th team in the last 20 years to be 3-0 SU and against the spread (ATS), but be listed as an underdog in their fourth game. And those previous 11 teams in the same role, they went 2-9 SU and 3-8 ATS as an underdog.Miami is catching between 2 1/2 and 3 from the Bills in Buffalo this week.Let's get started with this week's rankings, which get quite the shake-up after last week's bottom-feeding teams winning:THE UPPER TIER1. Philadelphia (3-0) - The Eagles' 14-point road win in Tampa keeps the defending NFC champs atop the list. This week they host division-rival Washington in a game they have to be careful in not getting trapped. (Last week 1)2. Kansas City (2-1) - I'm not sure what the bigger story was last week, the Chiefs finally breaking out of their offensive shell, or a swarm of Swifties buying Travis Kelce jerseys. Heads-up, Taylor Swift is confirmed to attend this week's game at the Meadowlands. (Last week 2)3. San Francisco (3-0) - If you were to ask me who will be in the Super Bowl representing the NFC, I'd have to say I've been more impressed by the 49ers than the Eagles. This might be the most balanced team in the conference. (Last week 3)4. Miami (3-0) - And if you ask me to name an opponent for the 49ers from the AFC, I think the Dolphins have been the most impressive on the junior circuit with balance on both sides of the ball. This game in Buffalo will tell us plenty. (Last week 6)5. Buffalo (2-1) - The Bills didn't disappoint last week, following their blowout win over Las Vegas with another big showing against the Commanders. As I said above, this visit from the Dolphins will tell us plenty. (Last week 7)6. Cincinnati (1-2) - It was quite telling to see the Bengals respond Monday night, with quarterback Joe Burrow hobbling about. This team could become scary once the offense catches up to its defense. (Last week 8)7. Dallas (2-1) - The Cowboys were the fifth team in the Super Bowl era to score at least 70 points and allow 10 or fewer points through its first two games of a season. Then they lost 28-16 in Arizona. Ouch! (Last week 4)8. Baltimore (2-1) - How the Ravens lost at home to Indianapolis is beyond me. It drives them down a few slots on the rankings, and now they face a tough road test in Cleveland. (Last week 5)9. Seattle (2-1) - After losing the season opener at home, the Seahawks have won two in row, coming from behind to win in Detroit and then blasting Carolina in Seattle last week. A trip to the Meadowlands for a Monday night showdown against the Giants could reveal more. (Last week 11)10. Detroit (2-1) - The Lions responded to a disappointing home loss to the Seahawks by flexing their defensive muscles and shutting down Atlanta. If they plan on taking over the NFC North, the Lions better roar at Lambeau. (Last week 12)11. L.A. Chargers (1-2) - Los Angeles was lucky to come out of the Twin Cities. Some may say this team should be 0-3, but it's all about finding ways to come away with a win. This week should be easier against the hapless Raiders. (Last week 13)12. Cleveland (2-1) - The Browns took care of Tennesee quite easily last week, but this week's visit against Baltimore will be a different story. Something to be said about having one of the stingiest defenses in the league. (Last week 14)13. Green Bay (2-1) - Jordan Love had career highs in completions (22) passing yards (259), and had his first-career game with both a passing and rushing TD in Week 3. Love has a TD pass in each of his first 4 career starts. (Last week 15)14. N.Y. Jets (1-2) - Another loss by the Jets and it's quite clear how tough of a season this will be unless they bring someone in to quarterback the offense. Zach Wilson will make a great QB coach in Provo someday, but he's not the answer for the Jets. (Last week 9)15. Jacksonville (1-2) - Okay, so maybe the Jaguars aren't the next AFC South powerhouse. Shocked by what was one of the two worst teams in the league, the Jags now have to travel abroad. Will they be in the lower tier next week? (Last week 10)16. Pittsburgh (2-1) - The Steelers received an assist from Raiders coach Josh McDaniels last week, there's no doubt about it. But it's hard to argue how the Black and Gold is finding ways to win and could find themselves in first place after Sunday. (Last week 17)THE LOWER TIER: 17. New Orleans (2-1) - Let's see how this team performs while Derek Carr is sidelined. (Last week 16)18. New England (1-2) - The Pats got their first win over a tattered and torn Jets team. They face the angry Cowboys this week. (Last week 23)19. Minnesota  (0-3) - The Vikings' demise is no shock to me whatsoever. See what happens when you play a tough schedule? (Last week 18)20. N.Y. Giants (1-2) - Only dropping the Giants one slot considering they lost to the best team in the NFC. (Last week 19)21. Washington (2-1) - Last week I asked if the Eric Bienemy factor was kicking in with the Commanders? Then they couldn't find the end zone. (Last week 20)22. Atlanta (2-1) - I still don't know what to think of Desmond Ridder. This week's trip to London could reveal plenty. (Last week 21)23. Tampa Bay (2-1) - Only a one-slot drop for a team that lost to the defending NFC champs. (Last week 22)24. Indianapolis (2-1) - Anthony Richardson gets sidelined, and the Colts go into Baltimore and win outright. (Last week 28)25. Las Vegas (1-2) - The Raiders may or may not have the worst coach in the NFL. (Last week 24)26. Denver (0-3) - Winless under Sean Payton and the Broncos just allowed more points in one game than 18 other teams have allowed through three weeks. (Last week 25)27. Tennessee (1-2) - I knew the Titans' overtime win over the Chargers was a fluke. (Last week 27)28. Houston (1-2) - I told you last week the Texans were better than their 0-2 record and that they'd click at some point. They did. (Last week 31)29. Arizona (1-2) - Looks like the Cardinals learned their lesson about blowing a big lead. From disaster vs. the Giants to an upset of the Cowboys. (Last week 32)30. L.A. Rams (1-2) - A short week for the Rams, who travel to Indianapolis for what will be a tough test vs. a Colts team off a win. (Last week 29)31. Carolina (0-3) - The Panthers might find themselves at the bottom of this list within the next few weeks. Things are bad in Charlotte. (Last week 26)32. Chicago (0-3) - I was afraid this was going to happen. I do hope Justin Fields finds a better home. (Last week 30)

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Week 4 College FB Observations: Blue Bloods in Football, Now

Wednesday, Sep 27, 2023

Duke, Kansas, Kentucky and North Carolina.Just saying those school names brings out the Blue Blooded Basketball lover in me.That said, don't look now, but these may not be College Basketball-only schools any longer.The four schools with a combined 23 national championships on the hardwood, each with at least four titles, come into this weekend with a combined 16-0 mark in College Football.Let's start with North Carolina, which is 4-0 behind a steady offense that has scored no less than 31 points in each game this season. And that's come against the 18th-toughest schedule to date, per TeamRankings.com. After splitting their first four games of the season with two each at home and on the road, the Heels are in an advantageous situation of becoming bowl-eligible over the next month, as they'll play three straight in Chapel Hill after enjoying Saturday's bye.Kansas has also provided a steady diet of offense, scoring at least 31 points in all four games, thanks to a power rushing game that is rumbling for the nation's 12th-best 217.8 yards per game. The Jayhawks opened Big 12 play with a 38-27 win over conference newcomer BYU. They've been one of the more efficient teams with a third-down conversion that ranks No. 1 in the country (60.5%) and No. 11 with their Red Zone offense (95.0%).Kentucky has a tough sandwich home game this week, after opening SEC play last week in Tennessee against Vanderbilt. The Wildcats beat the Commodores, 45-28, and now come home to play arch-rival Florida before heading to Athens to play two-time defending champion Georgia next week. If there is an area concern with Kentucky, outside of its defensive efficiency up front, it'll have to clean things up with penalties. The 'Cats rank 116th with 8.0 penalties per game and 108th with 68 penalty yards per contest.Duke's 4-0 start to the season includes its impressive and still-talked-about season-opening win over Clemson, a 28-7 victory that is still reverberating. The Blue Devils' stifling defense could have its hands full this week, though, as it welcomes Notre Dame to town.Here are more College Football Observations heading into Week 5:DOWN TO FIVE - There are just five teams that remain 4-0 ATS this season, including a pair of surprises from Group of 5 conferences.Joining Oklahoma, Oregon and Penn State in the undefeated ranks at the betting window are Liberty and UNLV.It was unsure how Liberty was going to react with coach Huge Freeze leaving for Auburn, but the Flames haven't skipped a beat with an explosive offense that is scoring 40.0 points per game - 16th-highest in the nation. Their 11th-best offense is gaining 501.0 yards per game and now gets to rest before playing back-to-back games against reclassifying teams Sam Houston and Jacksonville State.UNLV is playing well under first-year coach Barry Odom, who has brought an SEC mentality to Rebel Park and produced a winning culture that has the 3-1 Rebels talking bowl eligibility. UNLV has already played two Power 5 teams in Michigan and Vanderbilt, and now opens Mountain West play against an underachieving Hawai'i team. The Rebels are laying -11 to the Rainbow Warriors this week.As for the powerhouses, we're talking about three of the top 15 scoring offenses in the nation. Oregon is scoring a nation's second-best 54.0 points per game, Oklahoma is checking in at No. 4 with 46.8 ppg., and Penn State is scoring 40.5 ppg.Oregon is laying -27 on the road at Stanford this week., Oklahoma is -20 at home against Iowa State, and Penn State is also laying -27 on the road, at Northwestern.RAM TOUGH? - After all that chatter to rile up Colorado, only to lose to the Buffaloes in overtime, the Colorado State Rams responded nicely with a 31-23 road win at Middle Tennessee. Problem is for the Rams and their inconsistent offense that returns to Fort Collins for a tough sandwich home game against Utah Tech is they could be without their top two running backs, Avery Morrow and Kobe Johnson. Bad enough the Rams rank 129th in the nation with 57.3 yards rushing per game, now they may have inexperience in the backfield when hosting the Utah Tech Thunderbirds this week.Utah Tech may be an FCS afterthought, but the T-Birds have had this game circled for weeks, and could prove to be more than a paycheck grab visit. If Utah Tech can get its passing game going against Colorado State's shaky pass defense, it might be wise to peep what should be a healthy underdog line from the extra board.RED ZONE - It's one thing to think about how teams perform in the Red Zone, as it's always important to consider efficiency when a team gets inside the 20-yard line. But it's equally important to see how defensive unis perform in the Red Zone.The Top 5 may shock some people, but it is no surprise if those on that list remain undefeated.The No. 1 Red Zone D is Syracuse, with opponents getting into the zone just four times in nine trips, a 44.4% conversion. The Orange's staunch effort on D should provide them with confidence when hosting Clemson this week.All tied at 50.0% are Power 5 schools Duke, Michigan and Texas. While Michigan has allowed opponents inside the 20 just six times, Duke and Texas have allowed teams to get into the Red Zone 10 times.Rounding out the first five is Sun Belt-member Georgia State, which has seen opponents get past its 20-yard line 13 times, and allowing only seven scores (five TDs, two FGs), a 53.8% clip.CHALK CHECK-IN - Laying between 11 and 14.5 points paid off last week, as favorites in that range went 6-2. Across the regular board games, underdogs edged out the favorites, going 31-29.Underdogs dominated the low-chalk category, covering eight of the 11 games that lines between 1 and 3.5, outside of a couple of pushes.Every week I'll update you with regular board games (no FCS or added), broken down into different point-spread ranges. There were a few pushes this week and a pk'em game to consider, but through Week 4, favorites are 105-103 with the following breakdown: 1-3 1/2 ............ 17-19 4-7 1/2 ........... 27-26 8-10 1/2 ........... 9-10 11-14 1/2 .......... 15-11 15-19 1/2 .......... 10-9 20 and up ...... 27-28

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VW's Weekly Recap: Bounce Back Week Starts With WNBA Top Prop

Tuesday, Sep 26, 2023

Time for the weekly recap, as I take a look back at the week that was.Since last Tuesday, I'm on a 5-7-2 roll in every sport and am down -$2,550. Complete transparency, right? It is what it is.That said, I went 5-4-2 in both college and pro football since last Tuesday, and even further, was 1-1 with a win on my NFL Game of the Month (Chiefs) and a loss on my NFL Total of the Month (Bills-Commanders Over).The latter was troubling for me, considering Eric Bienemy is the offensive coordinator for the Commanders and he couldn't get anything going when he'd done just fine with Kansas City's offense in years past against the Bills.I went 1-2 with College Conference Games of the Month, hitting Utah out of the Pac-12.Overall, College Football continues to be impressive since Week 0, as I'm enjoying a 15-8-1 run for +$6,220 net profit since Aug. 31. For the season (L30 days on the leaderboard), I'm ranked No. 1 in net profit ($4,240) and win percentage (65.2%).Breaking down favorites and dogs, I've hit two of the three underdogs I've released and am 12-5-1 with favorites.Sitting at 10-6-2 in the NFL, I'm now 4-1 with underdogs - all four victories winning outright.As for MLB action, a 0-1 week didn't help the profits I've built in football. Good news is, that losing streaks don't last and things are setting up nicely for a huge comeback this week - beginning with Tuesday's Interleague Monster Mismatch.The WNBA is in the semifinals, and while we have a pair of Game 2s tipping off tonight, I like one particular player prop for Tuesday night.Do yourselves a favor and grab my WNBA Player Prop of the Year.Be sure to check back Wednesday for my College Football observations and Thursday for my NFL Power Rankings.Let's gear up for a big week of action.

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NFL Week 3: VW's Power Rankings

Thursday, Sep 21, 2023

The San Francisco 49ers might be the best team in the NFL, in terms of all-around, complete package.We saw another solid effort Thursday night in their 30-12 win over the New York Giants.Unfortunately, I'm not moving them up until the Philadelphia Eagles or Kansas City Chiefs stumble.We're going to get a lot of NFL questions answered after Week 3, with some early pivotal matchups.Let's get started with this week's rankings.THE UPPER TIER1. Philadelphia (2-0) - The Eagles travel to Tampa Bay for a Monday Night Football showdown that features Week 4's only battle of unbeaten teams. Tampa Bay has won each of its last four against Philadelphia, including the postseason. Will Philly stay atop the rankings? A win is necessary. (Last week 1)2. Kansas City (1-1) - The tandem was back for Week 2, as Patrick Mahomes passed for 305 yards with two touchdowns while tight end Travis Kelce had four receptions and his first touchdown catch of the season in the Chiefs' 17-9 win at Jacksonville. (Last week 2)3. San Francisco (2-0) - Christian McCaffrey had 135 scrimmage yards. This week he gets a defense that has allowed a league seventh-highest 273 yards rushing. (Last week 3)4. Dallas (2-0) - The Cowboys are the fifth team in the Super Bowl era to score at least 70 points and allow 10 or fewer points through its first two games of a season. (Last week 4)5. Baltimore (2-0) - Lamar Jackson appears to be in MVP form, as he comes into Week 3 after totaling 291 yards (237 passing, 54 rushing) with two touchdown passes and no interceptions for a 112.8 rating in the Ravens' 27-24 win at Cincinnati. (Last week 6)6. Miami (2-0) - Have to like the way the offense has utilized tight end Durham Smythe, as he's been an efficient addition for this potent offense. On the other side of the ball, hard to ignore Andrew Van Ginkel's impact. (Last week 7)7. Buffalo (1-1) - The Bills' response to the opening-week disaster was impressive on one hand, as they looked competent all around, led by AFC Player of the Week Josh Allen, who threw for 274 yards and three TDs. On the other hand, it was against the Raiders. (Last week 8)8. Cincinnati (0-2) - From No. 3, to No. 5, to No. 8. This team's digression shouldn't come as a surprise. The one bright spot from Sunday was rookie wide receiver Charlie Jones returning a punt 81 yards for a touchdown. (Last week 5)9. N.Y. Jets (1-1) - A thumping by the Cowboys brought New York back down to reality after the Week 1 victory and the news Aaron Rodgers would miss the season. A visit from the winless Patriots should help this week. (Last week 9)10. Jacksonville (1-1) - A tough loss to the Chiefs last week, but just as I did after they won in Week 1, I'm leaving them where they're at after a loss in Week 2. This will be a telling week. (Last week 10)11. Seattle (1-1) - Now I'm really baffled with this team. How it came back to win in Detroit is beyond me, but let's move them higher in time for Week 3. The ascension should continue with the Panthers arriving. (Last week 15)12. Detroit (1-1) - Quite a collapse last week against the Seahawks. I'm still trying to figure out if the Seattle actually won that game, or if the Lions lost. Detroit has a chance to flex its muscles this week against Atlanta. (Last week 11)13. L.A. Chargers (0-2) - Justin Herbert continues to rack up the milestones, as he now has 23 career games with at least 300 passing yards, third-most by a player in his first four seasons. Now if only he could lead the Bolts to a win. (Last week 12)14. Cleveland (1-1) - Let's face it, the Browns should be 2-0. Let's face it, if you can't close out games, you're not going to last long. The Browns could have their hands full with the Titans this week. (Last week 13)15. Green Bay (1-1) - Jordan Love, in his third-career start, recorded three touchdown passes with no interceptions for a 113.5 rating on Sunday. A shame the way the Packers folded late. (Last week 14)16. New Orleans (2-0) - I'm giving the Saints the benefit of the doubt because they're 2-0. They get to move into the upper tier of the power rankings, but I'm quickly losing faith in this offense. I don't actually know if it's any good. (Last week 17)THE LOWER TIER: 17. Pittsburgh (1-1) - Never doubt Mike Tomlin. The Steelers with a much-needed win last week. (Last week 18)18. Minnesota  (0-2) - Is the absence of Shane Steichen being felt? (Last week 16)19. N.Y. Giants (1-1) - Incredible comeback in Glendale could provide boost. (Last week 19)20. Washington (2-0) - Is the Eric Bienemy factor kicking in with this team? (Last week 21)21. Atlanta (2-0) - I don't know what to think of Desmond Ridder. (Last week 22)22. Tampa Bay (2-0) - Who needs Tom Brady? (Last week 25)23. New England (0-2) - One of the least efficient offenses in the league with just 4.5 yards per play. (Last week 20)24. Las Vegas (1-1) - The Raiders open their home schedule Sunday night. Can they beat Tomlin and the Steelers? (Last week 23)25. Denver (0-2) - This is a major do-or-die week for the Broncos in Miami. (Last week 24)26. Carolina (0-2) - The Panthers will be on hiatus from young Bryce Young's growing pains as Andy Dalton gets the nod this week. (Last week 26)27. Tennessee (1-1) - Big win for the Titans last week, in OT against the Chargers. (Last week 29)28. Indianapolis (1-1) - Anthony Richardson continues to be a work in progress, unfortunately, the progress is on hold as he's in concussion protocol and will not start this week. (Last week 30)29. L.A. Rams (1-1) - The Rams face a tough back-to-back gauntlet the next two weeks, in Cincy and Indy. Is 1-3 in their future? (Last week 27)30. Chicago (0-2) - I don't want to give up faith in Justin Fields, but... (Last week 28)31. Houston (0-2) - The Texans are better than their record, and at some point it'll click. (Last week 31)32. Arizona (0-2) - How does a team blow a 20-0 halftime lead at home? Oh yeah, it's the worst team in the league. (Last week 32)

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Week 3 College FB Observations: Knights Shine Heading into Big 12 Play

Wednesday, Sep 20, 2023

Conference realignments and program shifts have the complexion of a couple of Power 5 leagues looking differently.Normally, however, it takes some time for teams to ascend in a conference and make some noise.Central Florida hasn't gotten into the rigors of Big 12 play, but as it approaches its first conference showdown this weekend at Kansas State, there's not much different than what we've come to expect with the Knights.UCF has the No. 1 offense in the nation, gaining 617.7 yards per game, backed by the country's second-best rushing attack that is rumbling for 299.3 yards per game. But it's not all ground-and-pound for the Knights, as they're also bringing the No. 16 passing game that nets 318.3 yards per game to Manhattan, Kansas.UCF has surpassed 500 or more yards in each game this season, including 723 yards in the season opener against Kent State, the most yards by any team in the country this year in a single game.On the other side of the ball, the Knights have yet to allow an opponent to score more than 16 points in a game - the only team in the Big 12 Conference to accomplish that feat this season.The Knights' scoring defense ranks 16th nationally and second in the Big 12 with 12.0 points per game.Now they're ready to prove they're not just any "new kid in school," as they've been down this road before.The Knights joined the Mid-American Conference in 2002 and remained in that league through the 2004 season for football only. UCF became a member of Conference USA from 2005-12 and most recently the American Athletic Conference.The Knights were 57-23 in conference games during its tenure in the American, the best mark of any team during that span. UCF was 40-21 in CUSA games and 8-16 versus opponents in the MAC.The Knights are catching either +4.5 or +5 points in Manhattan, as of Wednesday morning.Here are more College Football Observations heading into Week 4:WILY WOLVERINES - Second-ranked Michigan may have one of the more potent - and balanced - offenses in the nation, but it's the defense Big 10 opponents should fear.Michigan has allowed a mere 16 points combined after three games. That's just 5.3 per contest - tops in the nation, just ahead of Big Ten-rival Ohio State 6.7 points per game.The Wolverines boast the No. 7 pass defense (141.3 yards per game) and No. 17 run defense (81.0 yards per game), good enough rank+ them second in total defense (222.3 yards per game). Michigan has held all three of its opponents to less than 250 total yards each game.More impressively, Michigan's stingy stop unit has allowed the opposition to score just four times - three field goals and one touchdown - in 33 opposition drives.Michigan opens conference play at home Saturday against Rutgers, laying -24 points to the visiting Scarlet Knights.PANIC IN TUSCALOOSA - Alabama is out of the top 10 of The Associated Press college football poll for the first time in eight years, as it's dropped to No. 13 after barely getting by South Florida last week in an ugly 17-3 win. The Crimson Tide's streak of consecutive AP poll appearances ranked in the top 10 was snapped at 128.Coach Nick Saban and his troops shouldn't necessarily be worried about trivial things like a poll, though. Instead, one has to wonder if it's time to panic in Tuscaloosa, that not only the program is seeing slippage, but the intimidation factor was worn off.After all, Georgia is looking for its third straight title, aforementioned Michigan has people intrigued with a chance to dethrone the Bulldogs, Texas has made headlines especially after upsetting Alabama a couple of weeks back, and Deion Sanders has everyone wondering about Colorado.Nobody seems to be worried about Alabama.The Tide rank 82nd in the nation in total offense with a passing game that checks in at No. 100 with just 196.0 yards per game. The defense is in the upper half out of 130 teams, ranked 45th, but that's not the Alabama we've become used to over the year.Perspective: Alabama is -7 at home against Ole Miss on Saturday. Over the past 10 meetings, the average point spread has been 17.8. And when they've met in Tuscaloosa, the average spread has been 21.1.Beware in your investment on Alabama as SEC play begins.SECOND-HALF HOOK 'EM - If you're looking for a solid second-half team, look no further than third-ranked Texas.Out of the locker room, the Longhorns - with the nation's 47th-tying highest 34.0 points per game - have been most dominant in the final two quarters of their first three games.In the opener, Texas led Rice 16-9 at halftime. The 'Horns outscored the Owls 21-7 in the second half.Against Alabama the following week, Texas broke free from a 13-6 halftime lead by outscoring the Tide 21-18.And versus Wyoming last week, a slim 10-7 lead at the break sparked a 21-3 second half for a 21-point win.Overall, Texas has outscored its opponents 63-28 after intermission and rolls into this week's game at Baylor with a 2-0-1 ATS mark in the second half. The Longhorns are laying -15 in Waco, but for those tuning into the 7:30 pm eastern kick, a second-half play may be the smart move.CHALK CHECK-IN - Laying between 15 and 19.5 points paid off last week, as favorites in that range went 5-0. Across the regular board games, favorites and underdogs batted .500 with a 27-27 mark.In the other five point-spread ranges, favorites were either .500 or below, with underdogs challenging the number throughout.Every week I'll update you with regular board games (no FCS or added), broken down into different point-spread ranges. There were a few pushes this week and a pk'em game to consider, but through Week 3, favorites are 76-73 with the following breakdown: 1-3 1/2 .................. 14-11 4-7 1/2 ................ 15-19 8-10 1/2 ................. 6-8 11-14 1/2 ................. 9-9 15-19 1/2 ................ 9-4 20 and up .......... 23-22

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VW's Weekly Recap: Strong Start to Football Continues, 4-0 with NFL Dogs

Tuesday, Sep 19, 2023

Time for the weekly recap, as I take a look at the incredible run on the gridiron and a heartbreaking loss I'm still steamed about.Since last Tuesday, I'm on a 6-7-1 roll in every sport and am down -$1,900. Complete transparency, right? It is what it is.That said, I went 6-4-1 in both college and pro football since last Tuesday, and even further, was 3-0-1 with Games of the Month in that span.I delivered my College Football Game of the Month on North Carolina against Minnesota on Saturday.On Sunday, I hit my AFC South Dog of the Month with the Colts beating Houston outright. Then there was the dreaded NFC West Game of the Month, and the field goal heard 'round the world.Trailing 30-20 with four seconds left, and no hope of winning the game, Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford spiked the ball at the San Francisco 20-yard line, and a 38-yard field goal later, the final margin landed on -7. Some 49ers bettors pushed, others lost. Conversely, early Rams bettors got the win, and those who took +7.5 on Sunday also got the cover.Baffling.Nevertheless, College Football continues to be impressive since Week 0, as I've nailed 13 of 19 releases for +$6,420 net profit. For the season (L30 days on the leaderboard), I'm ranked third in net profit ($4,240) and fourth with a 61.9% win percentage.Breaking down favorites and dogs, I've hit two of the three underdogs I've released and 10 of the 15 favorites I've offered.Sitting at 7-4-1 in the NFL, I'm a perfect 4-0 with underdogs - all four winning outright. I gave you the Lions over Kansas City on opening night, the Browns over Cincinnati on Sept. 10, the Jets over Buffalo on Sept. 11, and the Colts over Houston on Sept. 17.As for MLB action, a 0-3 week didn't help the profits I've built in football. Good news is, that losing streaks don't last and things are setting up nicely for a huge comeback this week - beginning with Tuesday's One-and-Only MLB Underdog of the Year.Nothing doing in the WNBA, yet. Just waiting for the semifinals to be quite honest. Although there may be a value number coming up depending on tonight's results.Looking ahead, we begin with the postseason getting underway Wednesday.Be sure to check back Wednesday for my College Football observations and Thursday for my NFL Power Rankings.Let's gear up for a big week of action.

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NFL Week 2: VW's Power Rankings

Thursday, Sep 14, 2023

So, I've got questions before getting to this week's NFL Power Rankings.Like which team that won, and wasn't supposed to, surprised you the most.Did the Lions make a statement? Are the Browns ready to make a run at the AFC North? Are Baker Mayfield and the Buccaneers poised to contend in the NFC North? Are the Raiders seriously better on defense? And the Rams, I mean, are we ready to give them a serious look?And which of these teams that lost have a long climb back, or are simply going to need a tweak or two?The Bengals and Bills are supposed to be two of the top three teams in the AFC, but lost. The Vikings won 13 games last season and lost their season opener. Sean Payton's debut in Denver was as ho-hum as it gets. The Chargers lose at home because their defense fails, again. The Seahawks didn't just lose to the Rams in Seattle, there were humiliated. And finally, the Giants. They're the one team I think is better than the 40-point thumping it suffered at the hands of Dallas.Let's get started with this week's rankings.THE UPPER TIER1. Philadelphia - After going into Foxborough last week, its win couples with Kansas City's loss and deserves a jump in the rankings. But beware, the Eagles were outgained 382-251 and that can be a problem moving forward against better defensive units. (Last week 2)2. Kansas City - The defending champs struggled on third down (5 of 14, 36%) and couldn't establish their rushing game against Detroit's frontline. It doesn't get any easier on the road this week against another young, scrappy team in Jacksonville. (Last week 1)3. San Francisco - Last week I specifically said, "A healthy Brock Purdy will go a long way this season." It appears that elbow is just fine, as he completed 19 of 29 for 220 yards and threw two TDs. And if defense truly does win championships, the 'Niners are a legit contender.. (Last week 4)4. Dallas - Are the Cowboys as good as their 40-0 win over the Giants, and is New York as bad as it looked? Those were two burning questions after Sunday night's game. The answer is Yes, and No. Dallas made a statement in all three facets of its game. (Last week 6)5. Cincinnati - A drop two spots for the Bengals, as they barely looked competitive in Cleveland. A total of - gasp! - six first downs. The Bengals were 2 of 15 (13%) on third down, and they gained a mere 142 yards, an average of 2.6 yards per play. Hosting Baltimore will tell us a lot this week. (Last week 3)6. Baltimore - And if the Ravens win in Cincinnati, they'll move into the Top 5. Though the Ravens were outgained by Houston last week (268-265), it was a 3-for-5 showing in the Red Zone compared to Houston going 0 for 2 that made the difference. (Last week 7)7. Miami - The Dolphins jump a spot after going into Inglewood and outlasting the Chargers. The pressure of matching offensive wits, on the road, in a season opener is what stands out to me. Tua Tagovailoa looked plenty ready for the season with a 466-yard passing performance. (Last week 8)8. Buffalo - Quarterback Josh Allen not only looked inefficient with three interceptions and a lost fumble, but the Bills defense let a backup quarterback beat them on Monday night. Four snaps in Aaron Rodgers is lost for the season, and Zach Wilson plays the hero. Problematic. (Last week 5)9. N.Y. Jets - Last week I revealed this was the team I had the biggest struggle with, as I needed to see it in action. Chemistry was the biggest question. Even with the win over Buffalo, I'm keeping the Jets at No. 9 now that Rodgers is gone. Can the troops rally around Wilson? (Last week 9)10. Jacksonville - Another team that won, and remains where it was. The Jaguars probably deserve a promotion, but even a 10-point win on the road won't convince me just yet. The Jags were just 3 of 12 (25%) on third down and there was a bit of fumblitis that needs to be addressed. (Last week 10)11. Detroit - Last week I said an upset in Week 1 would catapult this team into the Top 10. Unfortunately, the Lions move up just one spot as it would be hard for me to leapfrog them and push a couple of winning teams down. A dominating win over Seattle will do the trick (Last week 12)12. L.A. Chargers - The Bolts drop after losing at home to the Dolphins. The Chargers could be walking into a trap this week, as I think they'd be a much bigger favorite at home against the Titans, but are only -3 in Tennessee. Don't be surprised if the Titans win outright. (Last week 11)13. Cleveland - Welcome back Deshaun Watson! Not a bad showing in the season opener, completing 16 of 29 for 154 yards and one TD. He did throw one pick, but I'm going to forgive that, all things considered. Instead, let's talk about a defense that held Joe Burrow to 82 yards passing. (Last week 14)14. Green Bay - Last week I said, "Jordan Love has been waiting for this moment. Will he make the most of it?" We got our answer in the form of 15 of 27 passing for 245 yards and three touchdowns. The Packers might have been one of the more pleasant surprises. (Last week 19)15. Seattle - This is a big drop for me, but I'm reserving their spot in the lower tier one more week. They head to Detroit this week, and I have to wonder if this is a trap for the Lions. Given how both teams performed last week, I want to know why the number is so low. Stay tuned. (Last week 13)16. Minnesota - I told you there was one team I could see facing a drastic decline, and it would be the Vikings, as their 13-win season was a facade behind a rather easy schedule last year. Their home loss to the Buccaneers might be the writing on the wall. (Last week 15)THE LOWER TIER: 17. New Orleans - Almost out of the weeds and into the upper tier. A win in Carolina is needed on Monday. (Last week 18)18. Pittsburgh - The Steelers also need a big answer at home on Monday, against Cleveland. (Last week 16)19. N.Y. Giants - The Giants lost 40-0 at home. Now they're laying points on the road. (Last week 17)20. New England - The Pats stay put in the same place, with credit for time served after losing to new-No. 1 Philadelphia. (Last week 20)21. Washington - A nice start to the season for the new owners. (Last week 22)22. Atlanta - The Falcons did what they were supposed to do in beating Carolina. Now they host an apparently good Packers team. (Last week 23)23. Las Vegas - Big test in Buffalo this week. Will the Raiders justify moving up three spots? (Last week 26)24. Denver - Down two after the Broncos' offense sputters their first game under Sean Payton. (Last week 21)25. Tampa Bay - A three-spot jump for the Buccaneers after they go into Minneapolis and win. (Last week 28)26. Carolina - Not a great start for rookie Bryce Young, who threw two picks in his debut. (Last week 24)27. L.A. Rams - An incredible performance in Seattle garners a two-spot jump. This week's home opener against San Francisco will be interesting. (Last week 29)28. Chicago - The Bears' defense was torched. Now they travel to Tampa. Ouch. (Last week 25)29. Tennessee - The Titans welcome the Chargers to town, and will either take advantage of a letdown spot, or drop to 0-2. (Last week 27)30. Indianapolis - The Colts let their season opener slip away. Anthony Richardson had more good spots than bad. (Last week 30)31. Houston - The good news is, the Texans still aren't the worst team in the league anymore. Bad news is they're still the second-worst. (Last week 31)32. Arizona - Will the Cardinals be able to move out of the bottom slot after facing the Giants? (Last week 32)

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College Football Observations from Week 2

Wednesday, Sep 13, 2023

The Notre Dame Fighting Irish have opened the season 3-0 both SU and ATS.But until they face a real opponent, the verdict remains out on whether or not they're worth entering the College Football Playoff (CFP) conversation.The Irish rank 20th in the nation in averaging 485.7 yards per game, and seventh in the country in allowing 223 ypg. But that's after dominating wins over Navy (by 39), Tennessee State (53) and North Carolina State (21).It's the last game that stands out. Was it a three-touchdown winner? Yes. But after blowouts of Navy and Tennessee State, that defense wilted a bit.This week it's another patsy in Mid-American Conference foe Central Michigan, but next week when the Irish welcome Ohio State to South Bend, that's when I'll be ready to consider the Irish as a national contender.After back-to-back road games at Duke and Louisville, and they welcome Caleb Williams and the USC Trojans to town, that's when I'll know more. Once they visit Clemson in November, the answers we will have.Here are more College Football Observations after Week 2:PRIMETIME BUFFS - It led my observations last week, and I'm not jumping off the money train with Colorado. After scoring six touchdowns in its season opener and four more against Nebraska, the Buffaloes have the 14th-best offense with 509.5 yards per game and the 27th-highest scoring offense with 40.5 points per contest.As opposed to Notre Dame, here we're talking about a bonafide national power - for now - after the Buffs knocked off the reigning national runner-up TCU Horned Frogs, and the Big 10 Cornhuskers.Quarterback Shedeur Sanders is leading a passing offense that ranks second in the nation with 453 yards passing per game.The Buffaloes were double-digit dogs to TCU in Week 0, they laid a field goal to the Huskers in Week 1, and now they're more than 3-TD favorites in laying 23 to in-state rival Colorado State. The Buffaloes are now 2-0 ATS the last two times they were a favorite: a 34-0 win over Arizona laying -6 in 2021, and last week vs. Nebraska.PAC 12 POWER - Talk about going out with a bang, the current make-up of the Pac-12 Conference has been quite impressive the last three weeks. Pac-12 members are now 20-3 in non-conference games, and we're not talking about a plethora of cupcake foes, either. How about teams like Baylor, Florida, Nebraska, TCU, Texas Tech and Wisconsin? At least three current members of the conference - all outgoing by the way - have CFP aspirations.USC, Washington and Oregon must be talked about when discussing the playoff, for now. And to be quite honest, why not throw in the aforementioned Buffaloes at this point, considering the way this team performs on both sides of the ball? And let's not forget about two-time defending PAC-12 champ Utah, which is 2-0 without starting quarterback Cam Rising.Now the important part, are the Pac-12 teams making us money? Well, to go along with an overall mark of 21-4 SU, teams from the Pac-12 are 18-5-2 ATS. As for the totals, are 10-15 with the under coming in more times than not.Every team is in action this week, except USC. And of the 11 teams in action, only one has been installed as an underdog, Arizona State (+3) at home against Fresno State.HOPSCOTCH - If you didn't read my College FB observations, I'll let you in on this weekly note, as I tag it after the old playground game of hopscotch. You remember, drawing a hopscotch court on the playground, right? Big pieces of chalk to create the court, and you had to make your way through the lined course without stepping on a line.Sort of feels the same way when maneuvering your way through college football's hopscotch course of favorites - ahem, chalk - without stepping out of bounds with any of the lines.Small-chalk teams got the money for bettors last week, as teams laying between 1 and 3 1/2 points went 7-3. But when the range climbed to 4 and 7 1/2 favorites were 5-8.Every week I'll update you with regular board games (no FCS or added), broken down into different point-spread ranges. There were a few pushes this week and a pk'em game to consider, but through Week 2, favorites are 49-45 with the following breakdown:1-3 1/2 ............ 10-64-7 1/2 ............ 9-128-10 1/2 ........... 4-411-14 1/2 ........... 7-615-19 1/2 ......... 4-420 and up ... 15-13

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VW's Weekly Recap: Strong Start to Football, WNBA Playoffs Set to Begin

Tuesday, Sep 12, 2023

Earlier this year I started a daily recap, but I felt it lacked in substance on some days, while providing solid insight on others.I abandoned it and wanted to perfect it in time for the football season, and vowed to bring you something weekly, every Tuesday in a different manner.So beginning today, every Tuesday I'll recap my week of picks, possibly review some minor tidbits that stood out in sports not played on a gridiron, and give you a little insight on the forthcoming week.The reason I'll avoid football on this recap? Because Wednesday you're getting my College Football observations and Thursday you're getting my NFL power rankings.So let's get started, by looking back.Since last Tuesday, I'm on a 12-6-1 roll in every sport, including an 8-3 run in college and pro football. And part of those eight winners was my Conference USA Game of the Month winner on Liberty on Saturday, and on Sunday, my NFC South Game of the Month winner on the Falcons and AFC North Dog of the Month winner on the Browns.The College Football run has been quite impressive since Week 0, as I've nailed six of my last seven releases on the campus gridiron. The lone loss? I fell well short with my College Football Total of the Week on SMU-Oklahoma over this past Saturday.Breaking down favorites and dogs, I've hit two of the three underdogs I've released and seven of the 11 favorites I've offered.Sitting at 4-2 in the NFL, I'm a perfect 3-0 with underdogs - all three winning outright. I gave you the Lions over Kansas City on opening night, the Browns over Cincinnati on Sunday, and the Jets over Buffalo on Monday.As for MLB action, a 3-3-1 week lost a little bit of money, but I did cash my two Games of the Year since last Tuesday, hitting the Yankees Run Line with my A.L. Game of the Year on Tuesday and my N.L. Dog of the Year on the Marlins (+130) on Wednesday.Only one paid release in the WNBA this past week, as I nailed my Eastern Conference Game of the Month on the Sky over Indiana last Tuesday.Looking ahead, we begin with the postseason getting underway Wednesday.The WNBA Playoffs are upon us, with last year's Finals participants tipping things off on opening night. Connecticut is laying -9 1/2 to Minnesota in what will be an intriguing 3 vs. 6 matchup, and defending champion Las Vegas is laying -16 to Chicago in the 1 vs. 8 matchup.Connecticut may have beaten the Lynx in three of the four meetings this season, but Minnesota has been one of the most competitive teams down the stretch. Since opening the season 0-6, the Lynx are 19-15. Connecticut rolls into the postseason having split its final 12 games. It's also on a blase-blase 5-4 run at home - including a home split with these same Lynx. Big numbers against Minnesota coach Cheryl Reeve are always dangerous.On Friday, in the other quarterfinal games, second-seeded New York is laying -9 to No. 7 seed Washington and in another very intriguing series, fourth-seeded Dallas is laying 6 1/2 to the No. 5 seed Atlanta.The Dream have the potential of upsetting Dallas in the opening round, led by former Wing Allisha Gray. She left the Wings in the offseason and has been a key component in Atlanta's lineup since arriving. Gray has scored in double digits in 35 of the 38 games she's played. And if there is one opponent she is hoping to find her game it's Dallas, which is 3-0 against the Dream this season. Gray and the Dream will be out for revenge, so beware of the big numbers in this series.On the MLB diamond, I'm going to have my eyes set on the A.L. East, specifically this weekend when the second-place Tampa Bay Rays visit the first-place Baltimore Orioles in a critical four-game series that could see a change at the top spot.From the National League, an East-division showdown between the Braves and Marlins in Miami piques my interest. Nobody is going to catch Atlanta, that's a given. But the Marlins are chasing an N.L. Wild-Card berth, as they enter the week 1 1/2 game off the pace. As of Tuesday, the Marlins are the hottest team in the division having won seven of 10. Problem for them is they've lost nine of their 10 meetings with Atlanta this season. This late in the season, though, every postseason contender can be dangerous.Let's get ready for a big week of action, as the football runs continue, and this overall success rolls into Tuesday night's MLB Game of the Month.

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NFL Week 1: VW's Power Rankings

Thursday, Sep 07, 2023

Football is back!And every week you'll be able to find my personal NFL Power Rankings, ranking the league from best to worst.I've scoured every media outlet, read most beat writers, and familiarized myself with every team after six weeks of practice and the few exhibition games we've seen.Where did it all leave me? Dazed and confused, of course.And if I thought the past several weeks were bad, wait, the league turns my rankings on its head and has me baffled every week.We have to start somewhere, and with the season getting underway Thursday, let's get to it:THE UPPER TIER1. Kansas City - Until I am proven otherwise, the reigning champs deserve the top spot in Week 1. The Chiefs addressed issues on the offensive line, they've bolstered the wide receivers' room and, in two words: Patrick Mahomes2. Philadelphia - The reigning runner-up Eagles made headlines with their draft selections, and figure to be better than last season. Everyone is excited to see Jalen Hurts, but I can't wait to see defensive lineman Jalen Carter.3. Cincinnati - I keep hearing chatter about Joe Burrow's extension and this being Tee Higgins' final year. But is anyone taking in consideration both those things in a positive light? Both will be at their best, proving their worth for obvious reasons.4. San Francisco - A healthy Brock Purdy will go a long way this season. The fact the 49ers felt comfortable in shipping Trey Lance to Dallas, not to mention them returning a stellar defensive unit now that Nick Bosa agreed to terms, tells me they're ready to overtake the NFC and return to the Super Bowl.5. Buffalo - The Bills will always get their respect because of Josh Allen, who has the offensive weapons to keep this team relevant. That said, I want to see Monday's game vs. the Jets and Aaron Rodgers, as it wouldn't shock me if I swapped these two next week.6. Dallas - It's now or never. If the Cowboys aren't in must-win mode this season, meaning "Super Bowl or Bust," owner Jerry Jones needs to be questioned. There is pressure on everyone to produce, and if Dak Prescott and Mike McCarthy can't deliver, it'll be time to move on.7. Baltimore - The only question I have with the Ravens is how long it'll take to move them up the ranks, since I fully expect Lamar Jackson to jell nicely with like Odell Beckham Jr. and Zay Flowers. If there's immediate chemistry, the rest of the AFC North will be contending to earn a wild-card berth.8. Miami - The Dolphins' season hinges on a healthy Tua Tagovailoa. If he plays the entire season, the Fins are a Top 10 team and will challenge for the AFC East title. We'll also need to see an immediate impact with Vic Fangio serving as defensive coordinator.9. N.Y. Jets - The team I had the biggest struggle with comes in ninth, as this is another team that I need to see in action, with chemistry the biggest question, before I turn in a firm verdict. Something tells me Rodgers will have things shaken up - in either a good way, or bad.10. Jacksonville - Remember when the Jaguars were the doormat of the league? Now they've crept into the Top 10, and they're a candidate to move up the rankings since they'll face the Colts and rookie quarterback Anthony Richardson in Week 1.11. L.A. Chargers - The only reason I'm giving the Bolts this much respect, this early on, is because they've finally bolstered their offensive line, which will help keep Justin Herbert upright. Since arriving in the NFL, Herbert ranks ninth in being sacked 101 times - one of nine quarterbacks who have been sacked at least 100 times.12. Detroit - An upset in Week 1 would catapult this team into the Top 10. Can the Lions pull off an upset of the Chiefs? Hey, anything is possible. And we're talking about one of the most anticipated teams in franchise history, all due respect to some talented teams that included Barry Sanders.13. Seattle - Were the Seahawks expected to make it to the postseason in 2022? Not by many. Yet there they were, creeping into the postseason thanks to Geno Smith's career revival. Coach Pete Carroll has a nice blend of experience and youthful exuberance making up a talented roster.14. Cleveland - Not the Browns sneaking in higher than the Steelers. But yes, I think this team has the potential to challenge for a playoff spot. If, and it's a big IF, quarterback Deshaun Watson can be better than we've ever seen from him. If not, disappointing quarterback play won't cut it and they may want to switch to Dorian Thompson-Robinson.15. Minnesota - If there is one team I think could see a drastic decline, it's the Vikings. Last year's 13-win season was a facade behind a rather easy schedule. This year's slate is much tougher, so this is another team the verdict remains out until I can see how competitive they are against tougher competition.16. Pittsburgh - I'm a big believer in Kenny Pickett, and with the right protection, I can see him and tight end Darnell Washington having immediate chemistry. Pickett showed poise last season, but with the blueprint out, any skittish moments can be calmed with Washington in his sights.THE LOWER TIER:17. N.Y. Giants - Two words: Darren Waller. Get him involved immediately.18. New Orleans - Is Derek Carr poised for a career year just to spite the Raiders?19. Green Bay - Jordan Love has been waiting for this moment. Will he make the most of it?20. New England - JuJu Smith-Schuster and Ezekiel Elliott are in Foxborough. Problem might be, so is Mac Jones.21. Denver - If Sean Payton can revive Russell Wilson, look out.22. Washington - The Commanders need to improve on the offensive line most of all.23. Atlanta - The Falcons did some good things in building their roster with stout offensive linemen and top defenders. Now if only Desmond Ridder proves critics wrong.24. Carolina - Bryce Young will either make or break this team.25. Chicago - It's a make-or-break season for Justin Fields. We need to see the kid who was highly regarded out of high school.26. Las Vegas - Poor Raiders fans, the last thing coach Josh McDaniels needed was media leaks that he's begun losing the locker room.27. Tennessee - The Titans ranked last in the league last season with their PFF pass-blocking grade (53.7) and allowed the fifth-most sacks in the league (33). That will be an issue.28. Tampa Bay - Baker Mayfield has thrown the most interceptions (64) in the NFL since 2018. Let's see how his tenure in Tampa starts out.29. L.A. Rams - Don't be surprised if Aaron Donald is shipped out at some point, to a contender that needs a defensive menace. The Rams aren't going anywhere they'll need him.30. Indianapolis - Let the Anthony Richardson era begin. May the growing pains be minimal.31. Houston - The good news is, the Texans aren't the worst team in the league anymore. That's it, there is no other news.32. Arizona - I actually feel bad for Kyler Murray. It'll be a long season in Glendale.

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College Football Observations from Week 1

Tuesday, Sep 05, 2023

Welcome to a new football season ladies and gentlemen, and a brand new content format from yours truly, as I unveil the weekly plan to bring you informative articles leading up to a new week of action.Starting next Tuesday there will be a weekly recap, giving you the digs on the plays I released the previous week - both winners and losers - with a brief discussion on some of the games that may have shocked me or some that provided no surprise at all. I won't go over every game, but more so the water-cooler conversational contests that deserve a follow-up.On Wednesdays, you'll get the same type of article you're seeing today, beneath this introduction to my new content schedule, with College Football Observations. Things that stood out to me the week prior - some betting-related, others not-so-related - but let's be real, everything is betting-related this time of year. Thursday we'll talk NFL, as you'll get my league rankings based on the previous week's observations, while I may add a few betting tidbits that might assist you with the upcoming week.Those are the articles you can count on, but don't be surprised if I throw something in here and there.For now, here are my College Football Observations after Weeks 0 and 1:PRIMETIME BUFFS - As if this wasn't everyone's observation, right? Colorado scored six touchdowns in its season opener at TCU, resulting in a 45-42 upset as a 21-point underdog. Make note with this reinvigorated offense, the Buffaloes didn't score their sixth touchdown until the fifth game of the season last year.Quarterback Shedeur Sanders, son of coach Deion, threw for 510 yards in the Buffs' season opener, and make note Colorado didn't reach 500 yards passing on the season until the second quarter of its fourth game last year.Also impressive for the Buffs was Travis Hunter who was in for more than 110 snaps, playing on both sides of the ball. He finished with 11 receptions, 119 yards receiving, one interception and three tackles.The Buffaloes, who are favored (-3) in their home opener against Nebraska, haven't been a favorite since Week of the 2021 season, when the laid -6 to Arizona and won, 34-0.HEISMAN REPEAT - Two games into the season for USC's Caleb Williams, and I'm ready to hand him the Heisman Trophy for a second straight year. At the Pac-12 Media Day, he vowed to come into this season with a chip on his shoulder, after the way 2022 turned out. He and the Trojans were destined to make the College Football Playoff, but a hamstring injury in the conference championship led to a loss to Utah.The revenge season is underway.After throwing for 278 yards and four touchdowns in a Week 0 win over San Jose State, the reigning Heisman winner fired more touchdown passes (five) than he did incompletions (four) during the first half of the Trojans' 66-14 demolition over Nevada. He finished the game by torching the Wolf Pack for 18-of-24 passing and 319 yards to go along with his five TD tosses.FLORIDA STATE DUDES - There's something to be said about having bonafide college football players, or having some downright dudes. If you know, you know. And what we saw during a dominating 45-24 win over LSU is Florida State chock full of talent that is laced with "them dudes" every roster should have.Rewarded for their outstanding performances, Florida State quarterback Jordan Travis, wide receiver Keon Coleman and offensive lineman Bless Harris were named ACC Players of the Week.Travis completed 23 of 31 passes for 342 yards and a career-high four touchdowns, including three to Coleman. Travis added a touchdown and 38 rushing yards on the ground to become the only quarterback in the country over the last 10 seasons with four passing and one rushing touchdown against a Top 5 team in the regular season. Thus far, he's the only quarterback with that stat line against an FBS opponent this season.Coleman caught nine passes for 122 yards and three touchdowns, the most for a Seminole in his FSU debut, and the most for any Nole since the 2017 Independence Bowl. What was most impressive, and what reverberated with immediacy, was when Coleman slipped a tackle on his first catch and darted 40 yards for a touchdown to give the Noles a 7-0 lead. He tacked on a 21-yard touchdown to tie the game in the second quarter, and extended Florida State's lead with a 7-yard score in the fourth quarter.Harris was impressive in his return from a season-ending injury against Duquesne in the 2022 season opener by playing 55 snaps off the bench. Harris was PFF's highest-graded offensive lineman for the Noles as FSU extended its streak of 35 points to seven games, the longest active streak in the country. Impressively, the Noles did not allow a sack against the Tigers for the second consecutive season.The Seminoles, who are -29.5 in this week's home opener vs. Southern Miss, are on a 4-0 ATS roll when laying 18 or more to FBS foes since Week 8 of the 2021 season.TOOTHLESS TIGERS - One of my best plays this past week came Monday night, when I loved Duke plus the big number against Clemson. Something tells me the Tigers have a long road ahead, after seeing their stagnant offense.The Tigers, who get quite the reprieve this week against Charleston Southern, fell 16 places from No. 9 to No. 25 after their 28-7 loss to the Blue Devils.I don't want to take anything away from Duke's defense, because it did stand tall against the Tigers when they pushed inside the 10-yard-line - as far as the 1 on two of those occasions - and held them scoreless.It was Clemson's first game under new offensive coordinator Garrett Riley, after coach Dabo Swinney fired close friend and former OC Brandon Streeter back in January after just one season. Riley was hired away from TCU, where he served in the same capacity through the Horned Frogs' embarrassing 65-7 loss to Georgia in the National Championship.It was a questionable move considering the Tigers improved from 5.2 yards per play, 26.3 points per game and 2.0 points per drive in 2021 to 5.6, 33.2 and 2.5, respectively, in 2022.Again, it's not to take away from an experienced Duke team that brought back a wealth of its starters, but could be alarming when the Tigers have a guy like Will Shipley in the backfield.HOPSCOTCH - Remember the days of drawing a hopscotch court on the playground? Big pieces of chalk to create the court, and you had to make your way through the lined course without stepping on a line.Sort of feels the same way when maneuvering your way through college football's hopscotch course of favorites - ahem, chalk - without stepping out of bounds with any of the lines.First of all, AP Top 25 results through Week 1 find teams 24-3 SU and 17-10 ATS, with the following breakdown:Week 0: 2-0 SU, 1-1 ATSWeek 1: 22-3 SU, 16-9 ATS (one game involved two Top 25 teams)As for point-spread breakdowns, every week I'll update you with regular board games (no FCS or added), broken down into different point-spread ranges.Through Week 1, favorites are 26-26 with the following breakdown:1-3 1/2 ............ 3-34-7 1/2 ........... 4-58-10 1/2 ......... 2-311-14 1/2 ........ 4-415-19 1/2 ........ 2-320 and up ... 11-8

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Five Observations Heading Into the College Football Season

Thursday, Aug 31, 2023

As the College Football season officially kicks off Thursday with four games, there are storylines dominating the sport, and some that may or may not be recognized.But there are certain teams with certain backstories that may help you when handicapping games.Here are five observations to consider:UKNIGHTED -- The Big 12 expands to 14, with the 2023 campaign being the swan song for Red River rivals Texas and Oklahoma. But the real story in this conference could end up being newcomer Central Florida. The Knights enjoyed varying levels of success before their arrival, and bring a wealth of talent with them to the Big 12. With the race for the conference title wide open, TCU coming off its national championship game appearance, and surprising Kansas State looking to feed off its Big 12 championship, the Knights have a very good opportunity to make some noise in their debut season.WHO'S NEXT -- Last year it was TCU making it to the national championship. The year prior, Cincinnati got to the semis. Before that, Notre Dame returned to prominence. Every year the question arises, who will be this year's team to jump in with the SEC, Big 10  and Big 12 stalwarts? Look no further than South Central Los Angeles, where the USC Trojans return the nation's top quarterback in reigning Heisman winner Caleb Williams. Remember, a hamstring injury hampered him in the Pac 12 title game last season, and the loss to Utah ruined USC's chances at a trip to the playoff series. This being the Trojans' final season in the Pac 12, it would make all the sense in the world to see them shock the world.MAC ATTACK -- Miami-Ohio's first three games could prove to be a catalyst in how the Redhawks play down the stretch. The Redhawks open with three straight road game - at Miami (FL), Massachusetts and Cincinnati - immediately putting their defense to the test. Coach Chuck Martin has done a good job in cultivating the culture in Oxford, and this year has an experienced defense that will be battle-tested by the time the Redhawks open conference play at Kent State on Sept. 30.SEC FREEZE -- Hugh Freeze did a remarkable job at Liberty, and after turning that program around, he returns to the SEC. Freeze is back in the West Division, as he takes over the Auburn program after leading Liberty to a 34-15 record and three straight bowl wins. Bryan Harsin didn't show us much in his two years at the helm, as he quickly learned Auburn is much different than Boise. With the experience he's had in the SEC, and knowing how to prepare for that type of schedule, Freeze will be an interesting coach to keep an eye on, especially before the conference schedule gets underway.REBELS WITH A CAUSE -- Yes, we have to include UNLV in this column, considering the culture has changed dramatically under first-year coach Barry Odom. The Rebels are looking to play like an SEC team considering that's where Odom has sewed his oats. Word out of camp is that practices, meetings and workouts feel much more like a big-time college program, than in past years under Marcus Arroyo and Tony Sanchez. UNLV opens with Bryant, but then faces a Michigan team that won't have Jim Harbaugh on the sidelines for that game. That'll be a fun line to see, and possibly jump on if the price is too high. The Rebels as an underdog will be something to watch.

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Time for NFL "Prisoner of the Moment" Win Total Takes

Monday, Aug 21, 2023

With the NFL preseason two weeks in, and the regular season only two weeks away, time for some "Prisoner of the Moment" insight on win totals.You know what I'm talking about, with teams you may have been on the fence about, but now after only two games, you've jumped from the top rope and are ready to make an investment.Happens to the best of us, as we get excited over players who may or may not make the final 53-man cut.Here are my "Prisoner of the Moment" takes through Week 2 (lines courtesy DraftKings):RAIDERS (Over 6 1/2 wins, +110) - Of course I'm going to start in my own backyard, where the Silver and Black is 2-0 after impressive preseason wins over last year's NFC semifinalist San Francisco 49ers and the Los Angeles Rams, two years removed from their Super Bowl title. Before we talk about a fluid offense that leads the league with 34.0 points per game, how good has projected QB3 Aidan O'Connell looked? O'Connell ranks No. 1 in the preseason with his 125.2 passer rating, having completed 26 of 36 attempts for 304 passing yards and three TDs. Brian Hoyer was brought in to backup Jimmy Grapppolo, but O'Connell continues to make his case as a poised rookie. Both Hoyer and Grappolo made their preseason debuts in Saturday's 34-17 win over the Rams. The Raiders have shown defensive tenacity in both wins, putting the ball back in the offensive unit's hands with efficient play.PRISONER OF THE MOMENT TAKE: Drink the Las Vegas Kool-Aid, as we're seeing improvement with preparation and execution, and should see at least 7 wins.JAGUARS (Over 9 1/2 wins, -140) - Jacksonville hasn't been favored to win the AFC South in quite some time, but it's looking more and more like their division to win with how well they've played this preseason. After winning their first two games, with Trevor Lawrence playing a couple of series (5 of 6 for 36 yards with 1 TD and 1 INT), it's been the rushing game that has shown some life. And while we don't know who will be in the running backs room come Week 1, what we do know is the offensive line has been exceptional. The Jags are averaging a league fifth-best 145.0 yards rushing per game, contributing to the league's No. 2 offense, which averages 406.5 yards per game overall. But this goes beyond the Jaguars, as one has to take in consideration the divisional opponents - Indianapolis, Tennessee and Houston. I can see Jacksonville going 5-1 or 4-2 against those three this season. Other wins should come at home Atlanta, San Francisco and Carolina, and on the road at Pittsburgh and Cleveland. We we would need a couple of wins from the other six games to get to 10.PRISONER OF THE MOMENT TAKE: The Jaguars went from three wins in 2021 to nine wins and a playoff berth under then-first-year coach Doug Pederson in 2022. This year a division title is at their finger tips, along with 10+ wins.VIKINGS (Under 8', -110) - There is a reason the Over/Under win total for Minnesota is a pick'em. Everyone became enamored by the Vikings last season, with nobody taking in consideration the rather weak schedule they played. Per Sharp Football Analysis dot com, the Vikings have the eighth-toughest schedule. Their projected tally for SKOL lands on 8.6 - basically right on the posted total. And keep in mind, of the 11 teams that actually had the hardest 2022 schedules, only three went over their 2022 win total (Bengals, Steelers and Jets). Even further, the Vikings have one of the five worst edges with prep and rest, gauging rest days vs. their opponents. For instance, the Vikings open the season at home against the Buccaneers, then has a game four days later at defending NFC champion Philadelphia. They have a short week in October, too, after playing at home vs. Frisco on a Monday, and then visiting rival-Green Bay the following Sunday. The second leg of short weeks on the road are never easy when you consider teams needing a mandatory off day, and a travel day.PRISONER OF THE MOMENT TAKE: The Vikings are going to take their lumps more than most think, and will find themselves struggling a lot more than they did last season, and will win no more than 8 games.PANTHERS (Under 7', -115) - I'm not convinced by any means that Carolina will be an improved team this season, and could be in the basement of the NFC South when it's all said and done. We've seen them shut out by the Jets in Week 1 of the preseason, and then fall short of a comeback in a 21-19 loss to the Giants in Week 2. Is Bryce Young the answer? Not this year, in my eyes. We haven't seen much of him in the preseason, but it's the rest of the roster that has me concerned for the rookie. Pass protection will be an ongoing issue. The Panthers have to figure out a way to become a solid wall across the frontline, even though Young showed poise against the Giants' random blitzing schemes. If there are any leaks, both Young and the rushing game will struggle for efficiency. On defense, the question is how this team has improved in the Red Zone. Last season it allowed league-tying ninth-highest 32 RZ TDs. The Panthers' stop unit also needs to improve on third down, having allowed a league 10th-highest 41.1% conversion rate.PRISONER OF THE MOMENT TAKE: The Panthers will have a frustrating season, especially in a division where I think every team has improved - except them. I don't think Carolina gets more than 7 wins.

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My Big Play Taken By Storm; Update on Daily Recap

Sunday, Aug 06, 2023

I planned on releasing my new and improved "Daily Recap" with the arrival of preseason football, giving you the template of what you can expect as we head into the best time of the year.But after the way the Phoenix Mercury lost to the Seattle Storm last night - my Western Conference Game of the Year - I felt I owed you a personal message.Honestly, I don't know what was more disappointing, watching USA bow out the way it did to Sweden in the World Cup, or seeing how the Mercury lost.I don't like to point fingers at teams or players, but the loss of Shey Peddy at the end of the second quarter was damn near fatal for the second half.You can not have one of your best playmakers off the court when you're trying to defend a lead against a team that is playing for as much pride as you are.When Peddy took an accidental elbow to the back of her head by Storm forward Jordan Horston at 1:34, the scene that unfolded had to be a bit traumatizing for Peddy's teammates, as she was taken off on a stretcher."Whenever you see someone go out in a stretcher, it’s terrifying. Especially Shey, who is such a warrior and always puts everything out there," Diana Taurasi said.Thus, the Storm turned back a nine-point halftime deficit and outscored the shaken Mercury 27-15 in the third quarter.You can't handicap injuries, and you certainly cannot handicap fluke injuries.Nobody take a loss harder than yours truly, so gear up for a big bounce back on Sunday, as I continue this incredible MLB run.I'm on an overall 52-39 roll since June 13, including a 45-26 MLB run for a net profit of $19,340.Over the last seven days, I'm No. 1 on the leaderboard with $5,450 net profit. And over the L30 days I'm No. 2 on the leaderboard with $6,000 net profit.In baseball the L60 Days, I'm No. 1 on the leaderboard with $16,310 net profit, No. 1 the L30 days with $7,850 net cash flow, and No. 2 the L7 days with $4,700.I hit the Minnesota Twins Run Line (+130) over the Diamondbacks on Saturday, and today I'll deliver the goods with another winning day on the diamond.Stay tuned this coming week, as I unveil my new-and-improved Daily Recap that will be a must read this football season.

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Vegas Writer's Daily Recap - July 10, 2023

Monday, Jul 10, 2023

In MLB on Sunday, we saw underdogs win six of 14 to close out the first half of the season. Yesterday's Big Dawg that barked loudest was once again the Washington Nationals (+185, Caesars) in a 7-2 upset of the Texas Rangers.With the win, the Nationals head into the All-Star Break on a two-game win streak. The Rangers, on the other hand, continue to struggle heading into the Break. Texas has lost 11 of 16 since June 24, despite a hitting spree that has led to a .286 batting average in that time frame. They've also smacked 23 home runs. It's been the pitching that has slipped terribly, with a 5.22 ERA over the 16-game stretch. There were five WNBA games on Sunday, and favorites went 3-2 on the day.In a battle of Eastern Conference powers, the Connecticut Sun (-4') won and covered in a 92-84 victory over the Washington Mystics.The Dallas Wings (-3') couldn't cover the number but did come away with a hard-fought 77-76 win over the Indiana Fever.The Phoenix Mercury (-1') continues to play better as they continue to get healthier. Phoenix knocked off the visiting - and struggling - Los Angeles Sparks, 78-72.The Las Vegas Aces (-11') rebounded from their second loss of the season by trouncing the Minnesota Lynx with a 113-89 road win.The Atlanta Dream (+2) won for the fifth straight time after going into Chicago and coming away with an 88-77 win over the Sky.

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Vegas Writer's Daily Recap - July 9, 2023

Sunday, Jul 09, 2023

In MLB on Saturday, we saw underdogs win four of 15 on the card. Yesterday's Big Dawg that barked loudest was easily the Washington Nationals (+175, DraftKings) in an 8-3 upset of the Texas Rangers.With the win, the Nationals snapped a five-game skid. But it's the Rangers who I'd rather discuss, as they've slipped into a bit of an abyss and will likely enjoy the upcoming break. Heading into Sunday, the Rangers have lost 10 of 15 since June 24, despite a hitting spree that has led to a .289 batting average in that time frame. They've also smacked 23 home runs. It's been the pitching that has slipped terribly, with a 5.05 ERA over the 15-game stretch. Thus, be wary if you're looking at today's game and very big price.I went 1-0 on Saturday with my A.L. West Game of the Month on the Astros cashing in for us. That made three straight Division Games of the Month in as many days. Now on an overall 31-22 roll since June 13, including a 28-14 MLB run for a net profit of $13,490. And over the L30 days, I'm No. 1 on the leaderboard with $12,460 NET$. Tonight I cash in with another rock-solid DIVISION DOG OF THE MONTH.The WNBA had just one game on Saturday, and the underdog Seattle Storm came very close to knocking off the New York Liberty.Laying 15 1/2 points, Breanna Stewart scored 25 points and Sabrina Ionescu added 20 to help the Liberty beat Seattle 80-76. The Liberty (13-4) have now won three games in a row, but have also lost three of four at the window.

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Vegas Writer's Daily Recap - July 8, 2023

Saturday, Jul 08, 2023

In MLB on Thursday, we saw underdogs win four of 12 with just three games being a pick. Yesterday's Big Dawg that barked loudest was the Colorado Rockies (+165, DraftKings) in a 5-2 upset of the San Francisco Giants.Seeing the Rockies win in Frisco was quite a shock, considering they were mired in a four-game skid and had lost 15 of their previous 19. Then again, maybe not, since the Giants have lost seven of nine and can't seem to find any offensive rhythm. Since June 28, the Giants are hitting a meager .198. Be wary of this series over the last two days before the All-Star Break.I went 1-0 on Friday with my N.L. East Game of the Month on the Phillies cashing in for us. That's two straight Division Games of the Month in as many days, as I gave you the Guardians Run Line on Thursday. Now on an overall 30-22 roll since June 13, including a 27-14 MLB run for a net profit of $12,490. And over the L30 days, I'm No. 1 on the leaderboard with $11,460 NET$. Tonight I cash in with another rock-solid DIVISION GAME OF THE MONTH.The WNBA had four games in action, with the favorites and dogs splitting the bill.The Washington Mystics (-1) covered the slim number with a 96-88 victory over the Indiana Fever. With the win, Washington halted a two-game skid both SU and ATS. The Mystics have covered six of their last eight.With my comp winner on Friday, the Dallas Wings (+10) beat the Las Vegas Aces outright, 80-78. The defending WNBA champion Aces, who lost for just the second time this season, has failed to cover four of their last six.The Atlanta Dream (+1) went into Chicago and beat the Sky outright, 82-68. The Dream has won and covered four in a row now.The Minnesota Lynx (-5) continued their climb back from the cellar by trouncing the Phoenix Mercury, 75-64. The Lynx, once in last place in the WNBA, have won and covered five in a row.The 11-day, 76-game NBA Summer League in Las Vegas got underway with No. 1 overall pick Victor Wembanyama making his long-anticipated debut. And while the lines can be tough to figure out with uncertainty in the lineups, there tends to be one or two games pop up with pure value. Stay tuned.The CFL will be something to keep an eye on now that the season is well underway.

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Vegas Writer's Daily Recap - July 7, 2023

Friday, Jul 07, 2023

In MLB on Thursday, we saw underdogs win five of 12 with just one game being a pick. Yesterday's Big Dawg that barked loudest was the Philadelphia Phillies (+118, Caesars) in a 3-1 upset of the Tampa Bay Rays.Though the price might not have been indicative of what I normally peg as a "big dog," it's more so about what the Phillies have been doing of late. Philadelphia has now won three in a row, and since June 3 is on a 22-7 run. Built inside the win streak is a 12-0 road win streak. During their impressive 29-game stretch, the Phils are hitting .269 and slugging .444 while averaging 5.3 runs per game. The Phils close out a six-game road trip with tonight's series opener in Miami.I'm on an overall 29-22 roll since June 13, including a 26-14 MLB run for a net profit of $11,490 after hitting my A.L. Central Game of the Year on the Cleveland Guardians, a 6-1 winner over the Kansas City Royals. I'm now on an overall 29-22 roll since June 13, including a 26-14 MLB run for a net profit of $11,490. Tonight I cash in with a rock-solid DIVISION GAME OF THE MONTH.The WNBA got back in action last night with one game, and it wasn't anything to write home about.The Connecticut Sun (-10') made quick work of the Seattle Storm, cruising to a 20-point win with a 93-73 decision. The total stayed under by a 1/2-point. The Sun outscored the Storm 29-6 in the first quarter leaving Seattle its largest first-quarter deficit in franchise history. Connecticut’s All-Stars, Alyssa Thomas and DeWanna Bonner led the Sun in scoring, combining for a total 32 points. The Sun snapped a two-game skid on the court and at the window. Connecticut has won seven of 10 straight-up while covering six of them.The 11-day, 76-game NBA Summer League in Las Vegas gets underway today, and while the lines can be tough to figure out with uncertainty in the lineups, there tends to be one or two games pop up with pure value. Stay tuned.The CFL will be something to keep an eye on now that the season is well underway.

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Vegas Writer's Daily Recap - July 6, 2023

Thursday, Jul 06, 2023

In MLB on Wednesday, we saw underdogs win three of 11 with just three games being a pick and another being postponed. Yesterday's Big Dawg that barked loudest was the Oakland Athletics (+192, Caesars) in a 12-3 upset of the Detroit Tigers.It marked the second-straight loss to the Athletics, as the Tigers continue their struggle since late June. Detroit has now lost eight of 14 with a lethargic offense that is hitting .223 while its pitching staff has been hammered for 20 home runs and has a 4.79 ERA in that stretch. Opposing teams are hitting .270 in those 14 games. Oakland has now won four of five against teams from the American League Central.I'm on an overall 28-22 roll since June 13, including a 25-14 MLB run for a net profit of $10,490. And tonight I have my strongest play of the entire campaign, to date. My FIRST GAME OF THE YEAR is ready to roll, as I've isolated one game on the card that garners DIVISION GAME OF THE YEAR status. This one gets there by at least four runs. Don't miss this blowout winner, as we cash in huge.The WNBA got back in action last night with eight teams playing in four games. Three of the four underdogs cashed in last night.The Phoenix Mercury (+15, Caesars) lost by only four to the Liberty in New York. The Mercury are slowly showing a different side of their team than we saw open the season losing 11 of 13. Since failing to cover six straight, the Mercury have covered two of their last three.The Minnesota Lynx (-2) were the lone favorite to cover, taking care of the visiting Indiana Fever in a 90-83 win. The Lynx won despite Rookie of the Month Aliyah Boston scoring 22 points on 89% shooting. The Lynx are on a 4-0 ATS roll.The Dallas Wings (+13) led by 10 in the third quarter, but couldn't maintain the lead as the Las Vegas Aces remained unbeaten at home this season thanks to an 89-82 come-from-behind win. Dallas has covered three straight.Finally, the Atlanta Dream (+1') were dominant in a 90-79 win over the Los Angeles Sparks, who continue to struggle with injuries, most notably Lexie Brown. The Dream have covered three in a row and gone over in five straight.The NBA Summer League has gotten started, but the value there is tough to figure out with uncertainty in the lineups.The CFL will be something to keep an eye on now that the season is well underway.

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Vegas Writer's Daily Recap - July 5, 2023

Wednesday, Jul 05, 2023

In MLB on Tuesday, we saw underdogs win five of 14 underdogs cover with just one game being a pick. Yesterday's Big Dawg that barked loudest was the Pittsburgh Pirates (+222, Caesars) in a 9-7 upset of the Los Angeles Dodgers.It hasn't just been recent, as the Dodgers' pitching staff has struggled since June 3, which is why they're 12-15 since then. Their pitching staff has a 4.70 ERA and teams are hitting .254 off of them. They're also allowing nearly a home run per game (26 in 27 games). It's no wonder they have to depend on the offense, and also no wonder they've gone over in six of their last seven.Went 0-1 on Tuesday. Nevertheless, I'm still on a 27-20 overall roll since June 13, including a 24-13 MLB run for a net profit of $10,370. Tonight I've got two Major League plays for you tonight, with TWO DOGS OF THE MONTH. I've got one from Interleague play and one from a specific division. Don't miss this potential two-team parlay if you're into those things, as I sweep the MLB board with my MLB DOG OF THE MONTH DUO.The WNBA was idle Tuesday and returns to action on tonight. I hit my WNBA Non-Conference Game of the Month on the New York Liberty blasting the Storm in Seattle on July 2. After taking a couple days off, the league is back in action tonight, and I'm looking to bank on a key conference showdown. To compliment my MLB Dog of the Month Duo, I have my WNBA CONFERENCE GAME OF THE MONTH. The NBA Summer League has gotten started, but the value there is tough to figure out with uncertainty in the lineups.The CFL will be something to keep an eye on now that the season is well underway.

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Vegas Writer's Daily Recap - July 4, 2023

Tuesday, Jul 04, 2023

In MLB on Monday, we saw underdogs win two of seven games with three games being a pick. Yesterday's Big Dawg that barked loudest was the Houston Astros (+125, DraftKings) in a 12-11 marathon win over the Texas Rangers.The Astros have now won five of six thanks to an offensive surge that has seen them hit .295 since June 28, and stroke 11 home runs and score an average of 8.0 runs per game in that span. Houston is also slugging .530. Toss out yesterday's run barrage, and the Astros' pitching staff had a 3.48 ERA in their previous five games.Went 1-0 on Monday with my lone baseball release, my NL Central Game of the Month on the Brewers. Now on an overall 27-19 roll since June 13, including a 24-12 MLB run for a net profit of $11,570. And tonight I put the money to work for us with a DIVISION TOTAL OF THE MONTH. I'm on a 7-3 run with MLB totals - all MLB Totals of the Month, including my Interleague Total of the Month on the Rockies/Tigers OV on July 2. Tonight I do it again with another DIVISION TOTAL OF THE MONTH.The WNBA was idle Monday and returns to action on WednesdayThe NBA Summer League has gotten started, but the value there is tough to figure out with uncertainty in the lineups.The CFL will be something to keep an eye on now that the season is well underway.

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Vegas Writer's Daily Recap - July 3, 2023

Monday, Jul 03, 2023

In MLB on Sunday, we saw seven underdogs turn in a profitable night with a 7-6 mark, and two games being a pick. Yesterday's Big Dawg that barked loudest was the Washington Nationals (+220, DraftKings) eking out a 5-4 win over the Philadelphia Phillies.The Nationals closed out a nine-game road trip by winning six of their last eight on the trek, with their offense averaging 4.5 runs per game in those games. Washington did a good job of manufacturing runs, with a batting average of .250 and OPS of .720. They also smacked 10 home runs along the way, making up for a pitching staff that turned in a 5.00 ERA in the same stretch of games.I went 2-0 on Sunday, hitting my MLB Interleague Total of the Month on the Tigers/Rockies soaring past the posted total, and my WNBA Non-Conference Game of the Month on the New York Liberty, who went into Seattle and weathered the Storm.  I'm now on a 26-19 overall run since June 13, including a 23-12 MLB roll for a net profit of $10,570. Today it's an EARLY rivalry clash, with the Cubs visiting Milwaukee, as I break down this pitching matchup to a tee. Don't miss my MLB DIVISION GAME OF THE MONTH.Speaking of a busy WNBA, the favorites wen 3-1 on Sunday.The Atlanta Dream (-4') destroyed the struggling Los Angeles Spark, 112-84, who are missing a key cog in the lineup with Lexie Brown still out. The Sparks have now lost three straight both SU and ATS.In Dallas, it was the Wings (-6') holding court against the visiting Washington Mystics with an 89-72 victory. The Wings will take a 2-0 SU and ATS win streak with them on the road when they visit the defending champion Las Vegas Aces on Wednesday.The Chicago Sky (+3) were the lone underdog winner, as they went into Indianapolis and pulled out an 89-87 win over the Indiana Fever. The young and scrappy Fever lost for the fourth straight time, and are still looking for their sixth win of the season, one more than they gathered all last season. Indiana is still on an 8-4-2 ATS run.The New York Liberty (-10') bounced back from an embarrassing loss to the Aces on Thursday by going into Seattle and weathering the Storm in an 81-66 victory. The Liberty are on winning runs of 11-3 SU and 6-3 ATS.

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Vegas Writer's Daily Recap - July 2, 2023

Sunday, Jul 02, 2023

In MLB on Saturday, we saw six underdogs turn in a profitable night with a 6-7 mark, and two games being a pick. Yesterday's Big Dawg that barked loudest was the Oakland Athletics (+195, DraftKings) eking out a 7-6 win over the Chicago White SoxIt was the second straight night the South Siders fell to the lowly Athletics, and could be something to keep an eye on as Chicago approaches the All-Star Break. Since a five-game win streak to open June, the White Sox have lost 14 of 22 with a bleak offense that is hitting only .235 in that span. Their pitching staff hasn't been any sort of model of consistency, either, with a 4.02 ERA in that same time frame. After today's series finale in Oakland, the Pale Hose return home for six games to close out the first half.I'm on a 7-4 run with MLB totals since May 29, and today I make it 8 of 12 with an Interleague cinch. And let's not forget about my 22-12 MLB run for a net profit of $9,570 since June 13. Let's put the profits to work with my MLB INTERLEAGUE TOTAL OF THE MONTH.The dogs split the evening in the WNBA.The Las Vegas Aces (-11) continued terrorizing teams by handing the Eastern Conference's top seed Connecticut a 102-84 beatdown. The total soared past 171. All five starters scored in double figures for the Aces, who topped the 100-point plateau for the third time this season. The Aces have gone over in four of their last five.The Minnesota Lynx (+1) went into Phoenix and defeated the Mercury by 10, an 86-76 decision that crept over the posted total (159'). Minnesota has won three straight both on the court and at the window, and all three have gone over.As part of today's slate, I'm coming out swinging for July with a non-conference clash that reeks of value with the number I'm catching. No reason to ignore this one, as the number is off, and I make the books pay. WNBA NON-CONFERENCE GAME OF THE MONTH goes today.

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Vegas Writer's Daily Recap - July 1, 2023

Saturday, Jul 01, 2023

In MLB on Friday, we saw eight underdogs turn in a profitable night with an 8-5 mark, and one game being a pick and another postponed. Yesterday's Big Dawg that barked loudest was the Washington Nationals (+160, DraftKings) eking out a 2-1 win over the Philadelphia Phillies.An extended road trip is clearly not taking a toll just yet on this squad, as the Nationals have won five of the first seven of their current trek that's gone through San Diego, Seattle, and now Philadelphia. Washington is hitting .250 on this road trip, powering through with eight home runs and 18 doubles for a slugging percentage of .419. In winning five of their last six, the Nationals also boast a rather stingy 2.78 ERA.Friday I hit my A.L. West Dog of the Month on the Astros. I finished June with a profitable 6-3 mark with my MLB Dogs of the Month, and continue this baseball roll I've been on since June 13. Since then, I'm 22-11 with my MLB selections for a net profit of $10,570. For Saturday, I start July with an incredible value in a division showdown, as I love another dog price. Let's grab the cash with another MLB DIVISION DOG OF THE MONTH.The dogs split the evening in the WNBA, with two home teams holding their ground.The Atlanta Dream (+1') rolled past the Washington Mystics, 94-89, and snapped a three-game slide on both the court and at the window. The loss snapped Washington's five-game ATS win streak, but extended their Over streak to three in a row.The Chicago Sky (-2) covered rather easily, dominating the visiting Los Angeles Sparks in an 86-78 victory. It was Chicago's second straight win and cover over the Sparks, who are now mired in a 2-5 skid both SU and ATS since June 16.

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Vegas Writer's Daily Recap - June 30, 2023

Friday, Jun 30, 2023

In MLB on Thursday, we saw seven underdogs turn in a profitable night with a 7-4 mark, and two games being a pick. Yesterday's Big Dawg that barked loudest was once again the Pittsburgh Pirates (+175, DraftKings) with their 5-4 win over the San Diego Padres.San Diego is in a dangerous spot as it opens a weekend set with the Reds. The Padres arrive in Cincinnati mired in a five-game skid, and their offense is damn-near non-existent. They're hitting just .223 since June 24 and averaging a mere 2.4 runs per game during the five-game slide. And for a power-packed lineup they're supposed to be proud of, they've hit just three homers the past five games - fifth-lowest the last seven days.Thursday I nailed my MLB Winner #21 of 30 on the Phillies over Chicago. I'm No. 2 on the Leaderboard the L7 days with $5,900 NET$. The winning continues tonight with THREE PLAYS OF THE MONTH, including two more winning totals! I'm on a 6-1 run with MLB Totals of the Month in June, and have two TOTALS OF THE MONTH. I also have a DIVISION DOG OF THE MONTH in this bundle. Easy 3-0 with this MLB TRIPLE PLAY.In the WNBA last night, the dogs had a profitbale night winning two of three outright.The Minnesota Lynx (+2 1/2) went into Seattle and beat the Storm 99-97 in overtime. It was Minnesota's second straight win over the Storm, after winning in Minneapolis on Wednesday. The Lynx have covered eight of 11 since failing to cover their first four games this season.The Phoenix Mercury (+2 1/2) were dominant in a wire-to-wire 85-63 victory over the Indiana Fever. The win snapped Phoenix's six-game slide both SU and ATS.In the premier matchup that was billed as the most anticipated game of the season, the Las Vegas Aces decimated the New York Liberty (-6'), 98-81. But while many are ready to crown the Aces their second-straight title, keep in mind the Liberty were playing their fourth game in seven nights - and third on the road. They went to overtime with Washington on Sunday, then beat Connecticut on Tuesday, traveled all day Wednesday and played the rested Aces, who were off Tuesday and Wednesday and were playing the fourth of a five-game homestand.

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Vegas Writer's Daily Recap - June 29, 2023

Thursday, Jun 29, 2023

A full slate of MLB games for Wednesday night, and we saw underdogs turn in a profitable night with a 7-7 mark, with one game being a pick. Last night's Big Dawg that barked loudest was once again the Washington Nationals (+230, DraftKings) with their 4-1 win at the Seattle Mariners.After a brutal 5-18 skid from May 28 to June 23, the Nationals have won four of five behind a steady offense that is hitting .249 and slugging .407. The Nationals have belted six home runs in the five-game stretch, and are averaging 5.0 runs per game. The pitching staff has an ERA of 3.13 in that same span. Washington heads to Philadelphia for a weekend set after taking today off, while the Phillies are closing out a series at Wrigley Field today. Could they be tired for the quick turnaround and a game against the suddenly hot Nationals tomorrow?In the WNBA, it was another clean sweep for the favorites, which went 2-0 SU and ATS.The Chicago Sky laid -2 1/2 to the Los Angeles Sparks and rolled to an 80-63 victory. The total stayed well under 156 1/2 points. With the win, the Sky snapped a six-game slide on the court and three-game slide at the window.The Washington Mystics (-4 1/2) didn't hold back in their 109-86 thrashing of the Atlanta Dream, while that total soared past 163. Washington bounced back from a disappointing 89-88 overtime loss at New York on Monday. The Mystics are enjoying a five-game win streak at the window.I went 2-0 on Wednesday. Tonight, as part of my lineup, I have my WNBA UNDERDOG OF THE MONTH with the best value on the entire card with this pup. I also love one of tonight's WNBA Totals. I'm on a 6-1 run with my Over/Unders, so you won't want to miss this gift. Let's close the month strong, as we have two days left in June, and I want you to make money along with me. Do not miss this WNBA UNDERDOG OF THE MONTH and TOTAL WINNER # 7 OF 8.

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Vegas Writer's Daily Recap - June 28, 2023

Wednesday, Jun 28, 2023

A full slate of MLB games for Tuesday night, and we saw underdogs turn in a 6-8 mark, with one game being a pick. Last night's Big Dawg that barked loudest was the Washington Nationals (+205, Caesars) with their 7-4 win at the Seattle Mariners.After a brutal 5-18 skid from May 28 to June 23, the Nationals have won three of four behind a steady offense that is hitting .248 and slugging .421. The Nationals have belted six home runs in the four-game stretch, and are averaging 5.2 runs per game. The pitching staff has an ERA of 3.65 in that same span. Washington is catching another big price today in Seattle, and be wary of laying the number with the M's, as the Nationals have won 15 of the last 21 meetings and seven of the last 10 at T-Mobile Park.In the WNBA, it was a clean sweep for the favorites, which went 3-0 SU and ATS.The New York Liberty geared up for their showdown in Las Vegas with the defending champion Aces by thumping defending Eastern Conference champion Connecticut, in an 89-81 decision over the Sun. New York laid -4 and the total crept over the 168 1/2.Despite missing a couple of players, the Minnesota Lynx (-4) led wire-to-wire at home in a 104-93 win over the Seattle Storm. The tally easily soared past the posted 161. The Lynx have now covered four of their last six, and seven of their last 10.In the nightcap, it was the Dallas Wings (-4) serving a road whooping on the Phoenix Mercury, 77-62. The total was 168 1/2 and fell well short of that, as Phoenix struggled in its first game under interim coach Nikkie Blue, who stepped in after Vanessa Nygaard was fired over the weekend.

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Vegas Writer's Daily Recap - June 27, 2023

Tuesday, Jun 27, 2023

Just six MLB games last night, and we saw underdogs turn in a 2-4 mark. Last night's Big Dawg that barked loudest was the Milwaukee Brewers (+150, DraftKings) with their 2-1 win over the New York Mets.The Brewers have now won seven of 10 since June 16, despite a futile offense that is hitting a bleak .198 and averaging only 4.0 runs per game. It's been a stellar effort on the hill, as Milwaukee's staff has a 3.20 ERA and has limited teams to a meager .217 batting average. The teams continue their series in Queens tonight, with the Brewers riding a 4-0 mark against National League East teams.Went 0-1 on Monday, as I dropped my lone play in a hard-to-swallow loss with the Rangers. Tonight I bounce back with TWO MLB WINNERS in one package. I'm No. 4 on the MLB Leaderboard the L7 days (8-4) with $3,850 NET$. Back further, during this 17-8 run, the profits are up to $8,170 since June 13. Don't miss this MLB DOUBLE PLAY, as I bounce back with a 2-0 SWEEP.In the WNBA, the lone underdog on the card got the cover, as the Indiana Fever kept things close in Las Vegas against the defending champion Aces.Indiana (+15) led late by one point late in the game, but the Aces used a 7-0 run to pull away and eventually secure an 88-80 win. The total (168') stayed under by one-half point.I'm on a 19-12 run since June 13, and tonight I put the profits to work in the WNBA. Got a Conference Dog of the Month ready to roll, and game in which you will not want to miss once you read the 11-1 edge we have. WNBA CONFERENCE DOG OF THE MONTH goes here.

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Vegas Writer's Daily Recap - June 26, 2023

Monday, Jun 26, 2023

Seven of the 13 underdogs won in MLB on Sunday, with two games a pick. Last night's Big Dawg that barked loudest was the Colorado Rockies (+135, DraftKings) with their 4-3 win over the Los Angeles Angels.It was quite a shock for me, considering how bad the Rockies have been since this month. Colorado has lost nine of 11 since June 14, and 15 of 20 since June 4. And while the team has gotten some timely hitting at times, its pitching has struggled over the 20-game span to the tune of a 7.13 ERA. Opponents are hitting a whopping .312 in that range, while they've blasted 38 home runs in those 20 games.I hit Sunday's Blank Check Winner on the Milwaukee Brewers over the Cleveland Guardians. I'm No. 1 on the MLB Leaderboard the L7 days (10-3) with $7,200 NET$. Back further, during this 17-7 run, the profits are up to $9,220 since June 13. Don't miss MLB WINNER # 18 OF 25, another BLANK CHECK WINNER.In the WNBA, two of three underdogs covered the number on Sunday, while all three games went over the posted total.Connecticut was the lone favorite to cover, as the Sun welcomed the Sky to town, and then booted them back to Chicago after a 96-72 win. The Sun have now won four in a row and while they're 6-1 SU and 5-2 ATS over their last seven games.The New York Liberty eked out an 89-88 win over the Washington Mystics and failed to cover the -7-point spread. The loss snapped Washington's three-game win streak. The Mystics have covered four in a row.Friday we saw a dramatic line shift with the Dallas Wings opening a 1-point underdog, closing a 2 1/2-point favorite and then saw the Los Angeles Sparks take an epic 76-74 outright victory. Yesterday, Dallas was a 2-1/2-point favorite the entire time leading up to tip off, and lost by 10 to the Sparks, 93-83. After losing three in a row on the court and at the window, the Sparks have won and covered two in a row.

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Vegas Writer's Daily Recap - June 24, 2023

Saturday, Jun 24, 2023

Five of the 11 underdogs won in MLB on Friday, with three games a pick. Last night's Big Dawg that barked loudest was undoubtedly the Oakland Athletics (+260, DraftKings) with their 5-4 win over the Toronto Blue Jays.Oakland recently reeled off seven straight wins, and the streak began on the road. The Athletics are somewhat showing their bravado by proving they're not going to be an automatic pushover. During a recent eight-game skid, five of the losses came by way of a one-run margin. Now they come into the weekend after their one-win shocker in Toronto. The Athletics have split their last 16 games, and make note they've won six of seven after a win.I'm on an overall 14-10 roll since June 13, including a 12-6 MLB run for a net profit of $5,270. And part of the four MLB plays I have on the docket for you, it includes this DIVISION GAME OF THE MONTH, backed by a starting pitcher who has a 77.3% winning edge in this particular matchup. Don't miss this easy winner tonight, as I make it 13 of 19 with MLB releases. MLB DIVISION GAME OF THE MONTH goes today. Also I've got three MLB Totals of the Month, as I'm on a 3-0 run with such plays in June. One Multi-Pack with three easy Over/Unders go 3-0 Saturday. MLB TOTAL OF THE MONTH TRIO.The WNBA had two games in action on Friday, and the underdogs split out.In Atlanta, it was the New York Liberty laying -7 points and covering the touchdown with a 30-point nightmare for the Dream. The Liberty improved to 8-3 SU on the year, and have now covered four of five. Four of their last six have gone over.The interesting thing about the nightcap was the dramatic line shift, as the Dallas Wings opened a 1-point underdog, and closed a 2 1/2-point favorite. Then the Los Angeles Sparks got an epic 76-74 outright victory. The Sparks snapped a three-game skid thanks to their defense, something that has helped keep their last five games under the posted total.

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Vegas Writer's Daily Recap - June 23, 2023

Friday, Jun 23, 2023

Two of the seven underdogs won in MLB on Thursday, with one game a pick. Last night's Big Dawg that barked loudest was undoubtedly the Kansas City Royals (+285, Caesars) with their 6-5 win over the Tampa Bay Rays.Kansas City is in the midst of a road trip, and has split the first four games (2-2) through Detroit and Tampa. In winning two of their last three, the Royals are hitting a modest .248, while their pitching staff has turned in a respectable 3.46. They're catching another big number today, and before you think the Rays could be out for revenge in this one, make note they've lost four of their last five games. And, Kansas City will trot veteran pitcher Zack Greinke to the hill tonight.The WNBA had three games in action on Thursday, and two of the favorites were dominant in their wins.Connecticut laid just -4 points in Minnesota, and had no trouble getting past the Lynx, 89-68. The Sun have now won three in a row and five six, while they've covered four of those games. Keep an eye on the total involved with Connecticut's games, as it's gone over in five of its last seven.The Washington Mystics laid just -1 point and trounced the Chicago Sky in an 80-59 road rout. The Mystics head into the weekend on a 3-0 run both SU and ATS. Since opening the season mired in a 1-6 ATS skid, the Mystics have covered four of five. They're also 1-10-1 under on the year.In the nightcap, rookie sensation Aliyah Boston continued to impress, as she led the Indiana Fever (+3) to an 80-68 road win over the Seattle Storm. The Fever went 5-31 last season, and are already 5-7 this year. They've won three of their last four, and head into the weekend on 6-2-2 ATS run.Two games on the card tonight, and I love the early game, as I'll deliver my first BLANK CHECK WNBA WINNER of the season.

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Vegas Writer's Daily Recap - June 21, 2023

Wednesday, Jun 21, 2023

Six of the 14 underdogs won in MLB on Tuesday, with one game a pick. Last night's Big Dawg that barked loudest had to be the Baltimore Orioles (+152, Caesars) getting it done in Tampa over the Rays.It was a battle of the American League East leaders, as the Rays are sitting atop the division by four games, but the Orioles are closing fast, having won two in a row and eight of 11 behind an offensive surge.The Orioles are hitting .299 and slugging .508 since June 8, hitting 18 home runs and averaging nearly six runs per game. But it's not just hitting getting it done, as the pitching staff has been respectable with a 3.71 ERA while keeping the ball inside the walls, allowing less than a home run per game (10 HRs in 11 games).I went 1-0 on Tuesday, hitting the Giants with my N.L. West Game of the Month. Now on a 10-4 run in baseball for $5,320 net profit. Tonight we keep the flow going with an easy Over/Under from the late card, as I love a pitching matchup and the total that comes with these guys. Get on board for another MLB Winner, my MLB LATE DIVISION TOTAL OF THE MONTH.The WNBA got back in action on Tuesday with three games, with two of three underdogs covering the number. The Dallas Wings were the lone favorite that covered, laying -3 (Caesars) at home to Atlanta and then beating the Dream by 12, 85-73.Connecticut went into Seattle laying -8 to the Storm, but the Sun only won by six, 85-79, failing to cover for the seventh time in 10 games after covering three straight to open the season. The Sun are now 4-3 ATS on the road this year.The Minnesota Lynx have just four wins this season, and three of the victories have come against the Los Angeles Sparks. The Sparks laid -6.5 to the Lynx, who went into L.A. and won outright 67-61. Minnesota improved to 6-3 ATS as an underdog this year.Only one game on the WNBA card today, a matinee, and it's my free pick of the day.

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Vegas Writer's Daily Recap - June 20, 2023

Tuesday, Jun 20, 2023

Three of the eight underdogs got it done in MLB on Monday, with two games a pick. Last night's Big Dawg that barked loudest once again was the Miami Marlins (+140 DraftKings), winning 11-0 at home against the Toronto Blue Jays.I went 2-0 on Monday with a pair of underdog winners, cashing my MLB Dog of the Month on the Boston Red Sox in a 9-3 win over the Minnesota Twins, and my N.L. West Dog of the Month on the San Francisco Giants in their 7-4 extra-innings win over the San Diego Padres. I'm now on a 9-4 MLB roll for $4,320 NET$ since June 13. Tonight I love ONE GAME from the diamond and it's the only game I like on the entire card. I make it 10 of 14 with MLB Releases, as I cash another top play for June, this very easy DIVISION GAME OF THE MONTH.It's been quite a month for the Marlins, who have now won five straight and 13 of 16 since June 2. During the 16-game stretch, Miami is hitting .273 and slugging .416, while boasting an OPS of .757. Over the 16 games, the Marlins have hit 15 homers and are averaging 5.6 runs per game.As for their pitching, the Marlins have a 2.99 ERA since June 2, while their pitchers have held teams to a .224 batting average and have limited opponents to just 12 home runs.

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Vegas Writer's Daily Recap - June 19, 2023

Monday, Jun 19, 2023

Three of the 12 underdogs got it done in MLB on Sunday, four games a pick. Last night's Big Dawg that barked loudest once again was the Detroit Tigers (+170 Caesars), winning on the road against the Minnesota Twins, 6-4.In the four-game series against the Twins, the Tigers won three games behind an offensive surge that saw them hit .265 and average 5.2 runs per game. They also had 16 extra-base hits, nearly 50% of their hits, and cranked five home runs. Now the Tigers return to Detroit for a six-game homestand, beginning tonight against the Kansas City Royals.It was a day for favorites in the WNBA on Sunday, as we saw four of the five covers. The fifth was an interesting dynamic, as there 1s on both sides of the ledger.Let's start there, as the Atlanta Dream caught +1.5 for much of the morning, and even closed a 1-point dog at DraftKings. But other properties closed the game a pick or Atlanta -1 against the Indiana Fever. The Dream were in control much of the game and won 100-94 in what might have been their most complete game.The New York Liberty opened -12.5 against the Phoenix Mercury, but when news came out that Brittney Griner and Diana Taurasi weren't going to play, the number jumped as high as 15. No problem, as the Liberty won 89-71.The Washington Mystics were an easy choice against a travel-weary Chicago Sky squad that could find itself in last place in the Eastern Conference if it can't get healthy. The Mystics covered the majority -4.5 with a 77-69 win.The Connecticut Sun went into Los Angeles and beat up the beat-up Sparks and former coach Curt Miller, 83-74. The Sun laid -4 on the road and covered with ease.In the nightcap, the Las Vegas Aces showed signs of sluggishness in the first quarter, and then boat raced the Minnesota Lynx to cover the -17.5 with a 93-62 win.

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Vegas Writer's Daily Recap - June 18 2023

Sunday, Jun 18, 2023

Six of the 12 underdogs got it done in MLB on Saturday, with two games a pick and another postponed. Last night's Big Dawg that barked loudest once again was the San Francisco Giants (+150 DraftKings), winning on the road against the Los Angeles Dodgers, 15-0. It was the biggest margin in a shutout win for the Giants.For the month of June, the Dodgers' pitching staff has struggled terribly, going 5-10 with a 5.43 ERA. In that stretch, they've allowed six or more runs in eight of the 15 games, while the pitchers have been smoked for 28 home runs in that stretch. Teams are hitting .256 against Los Angeles' staff this month, and of the 137 hits, 38.6% were extra basehits (53). The Dodgers and Giants close out their series tonight, before Los Angeles visits Anaheim for two games and then hosts the defending World Series champion Houston Astros next weekend.In the lone WNBA game on Saturday, another underdog won outright. Surprisingly, the Seattle Storm took the Dallas Wings to task, winning 109-103 outright. Just two days after being blasted in Las Vegas, the Storm buried 17 3-pointer in their six-point win. Jewell Loyd scored a career-high 39 points, helping the Storm overshadow a career-high 41-point performance by Arike Ogunbowale of the Wings.There are five games on the card for Sunday, and my top play tips at 4 pm eastern, as I love this near pick'em game between the Atlanta Dream and Indiana Fever - my WNBA Game of the Month.

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Vegas Writer's Daily Recap - June 17, 2023

Saturday, Jun 17, 2023

Four of the 13 underdogs got it done in MLB on Friday, with two games a pick. Last night's Big Dawg that barked loudest once again was the Detroit Tigers (+205 Caesars), winning on the road against the Minnesota Twins, 7-1.It was a shocker because the Tigers have lost 13 of 17 and are hitting a bleak .229 since May 29. They're also scoring only 3.5 runs per game in that span. Oddly enough over the 17-game stretch, for prop players, the Tigers have belted 19 home runs. Could be something to watch this weekend since the Twins have lost eight of 12 and their staff has a 4.54 ERA and has been tagged for 15 home runs, including three last night.Went 1-1 on Friday, after hitting my MLB BLANK CHECK REVENGE ROUT on the Red Sox, who devoured the Yankees, 15-5. Plenty of action to invest in today, including my TOP DOG for June. I'm on a 4-1 run with MLB action since Tuesday, and in addition to the other three MLB plays for Saturday, you'll be pleased with my MLB UNDERDOG OF THE MONTH.In the WNBA on Friday, the underdogs finished 1-1.The Washington Mystics took full advantage of a short-handed Phoenix Mercury squad that was without Brittney Griner. The Mystics, who laid -12 points, beat Phoenix 88-69. The total landed just over 156.The Minnesota Lynx made it two straight over the Los Angeles Sparks, this time winning in Southern California. The Sparks were without sharpshooting Lexie Brown, and the offense suffered, as the Lynx (+5.5) won 77-72. The tally fell 11 points short of the 160-point total.Again, plenty of action to invest in today, and part of that for me is the College World Series. Love one of today's underdogs, a play that you cannot miss out on, as the price is a dandy. Just one play with the college boys with metal bats, but it's a biggie. My COLLEGE WORLD SERIES DOG OF THE YEAR goes tonight.

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Vegas Writer's Daily Recap - June 16, 2023

Friday, Jun 16, 2023

In the WNBA on Thursday, underdogs finished 1-2, though early underdog bettors went 2-1.The Indiana Fever - my Eastern Conference Dog of the Month - opened a 3-point underdog and close a 1-point favorite. The Fever went into Chicago and beat the Sky, 92-90. Indiana is now on a 7-1 ATS tear since failing to cover its first two games this season.The Atlanta Dream went into Connecticut as a 9-point underdog and won outright, 92-88. Atlanta turned back a 10-point halftime deficit, and a 1-point deficit going into the fourth quarter, to force overtime, where it outscored the Sun, 12-8 to pull off the road upset. Atlanta has now covered two in a row - both outright wins, over New York and Connecticut.In the nightcap, the defending champion Las Vegas Aces destroyed the Seattle Storm, 96-63. It was tied early on, and then it wasn't. In the blink of an eye, the Aces built a double-digit lead and never looked back in improving to 9-1 on the year. The Aces, though, are 2-4 ATS since opening the season on a 3-1 ATS run.Went 1-1 on Thursday, and I'm now on a 5-1 run since Tuesday night. Last night I delivered my Eastern Conference Dog of the Month with the Indiana Fever winning outright in Chicago. Tonight I have another WNBA Game of the Month winner for you, as it's my top play on the hardwood for Friday. E-Z WINNER tonight, with my WNBA CONFERENCE GAME OF THE MONTH.Four of the 10 underdogs got it done in MLB on Thursday, with three games a pick. Last night's Big Dawg that barked loudest had to be the Detroit Tigers (+180 DraftKings), winning on the road against the Minnesota Twins, 8-4.It was a shocker because the Tigers have lost 11 of 13 and are hitting a bleak .224 since June 2. They're also only scoring 3.4 runs per game in that span. Oddly enough over the 13-game stretch, for prop players, the Tigers have belted 14 home runs. Could be something to watch this weekend since the Twins have lost seven of 11 and their staff has a 4.31 ERA and been tagged for 12 home runs.I've got one winner for you on the diamond tonight, and it's another BLANK CHECK WINNER. There is one game on the card involving a solid pitching matchup in our favor, and the whole thing reeks of REVENGE!! This team will be looking for revenge for a specific reason I reveal inside, and I don't want you to miss the BEST VALUE with tonight's MLB card. The check is blank and you can fill in the amount. MLB BLANK CHECK REVENGE ROUT!

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Vegas Writer's Daily Recap - June 15, 2023

Thursday, Jun 15, 2023

Four of the 13 underdogs got it done in MLB on Wednesday, with three games a pick. Last night's Big Dawg that barked loudest had to be the Chicago White Sox (+222 DraftKings), winning at on the road against the Los Angeles Dodgers, 8-4.The White Sox can be a dangerous dog when you can find the value, as they've won eight of their last 13 and 14 of their last 24 behind a sneaky offensive attack. Be aware the Pale Hose head into tonight's game at Chavez Ravine having won 16 of 22 on the Interleague road. Flipside, for those looking at the Dodgers as a value laying less than $2, be aware they've lost six of their last Game 3s of a series, and they're still mired in a 3-7 skid.Another 2-0 night, as I swept my board on Wednesday with a pair of MLB Totals of the Month. I hit the Yankees/Mets Under and the Pirates/Cubs Over. Tonight I've got one play from the abbreviated card, and it's another MLB Division Game of the Month winner. I'm on a 4-0 run the last two nights, as I also swept my board on Tuesday, including my AL East Dog of the Month on the Orioles. Tonight I make it four straight MLB Winners with this DIVISION GAME OF THE MONTH.In the WNBA on Wednesday, it was another dog-eat-dog world, as the Los Angeles Sparks went into Dallas and trounced the Wings, 79-61. It was arguably the Sparks' most dominant performance on the defensive end, as we saw Dearica Hamby and Jordin Canada terrorize Dallas in and out of the paint. Los Angeles won outright as a 5 1/2-point underdog, while the 140 points fell well short of the 169-point total.Tonight I've got one play from the WNBA card tonight, as we're staring down the barrel of three conference games, and only one has the value I'm looking for. There is a mispriced pup I've wagered on, and want you on board for this easy underdog winner. WNBA CONFERENCE DOG OF THE MONTH goes right here.

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Vegas Writer's Daily Recap - June 14, 2023

Wednesday, Jun 14, 2023

Five of the seven underdogs got it done in MLB on Monday, with two games a pick and one postponed. And the pup that barked loudest was once again the Oakland Athletics (+175 DraftKings) again, winning at home against the best team in baseball, a 2-1 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays.Oakland, which closed a three-game visit in Pittsburgh with two wins, has now won seven in a row behind an offense that is hitting .272 and has averaged nearly six runs per game during the win streak.Went 2-0 on Tuesday, hitting my Stanley Cup Final Game of the Year on the Golden Knights and my AL East Dog of the Year on the Orioles. Tonight I have two MLB winners available, with TWO TOTALS OF THE MONTH. I've got a Division Total of the Month and an Interleague Total of the Month. Best value for me tonight are a pair of Over/Unders on the diamond. Grab this MLB TOTAL OF THE MONTH DOUBLE PLAY.In the WNBA on Tuesday, all three underdogs grabbed the cash, with the Indiana Fever (+5, DraftKings) crushing the visiting and travel-weary Washington Mystics, 87-66, the Atlanta Dream (+10) going into New York and beating the Liberty outright, 86-79, and the Seattle Storm (+7) defeating the Phoenix Mercury, 83-69.In the final game of the NHL season, the Vegas Golden Knights left no doubt about the best team in hockey, as they denounced the banged-up Florida Panthers, 9-3. Vegas outscored the Panthers 26-12 in the five-game Cup Final, including a whopping 21-7 at home.Odds have surfaced for the 2024 Stanley Cup, and it's 2022 champion Colorado favored to win it all, at 8/1. Reigning champ Vegas, Edmonton, and Toronto are next at 10/1.Next in line, all at 12/1, are Boston, Carolina, New Jersey and the New York Rangers.Defending Eastern Conference champion Florida is 14-1.The rest of the field is as follows:Dallas (16/1)Tampa Bay (18/1)Los Angeles (25/1)Calgary, Minnesota, Winnipeg (30/1)Buffalo, New York Islanders, Ottawa, Pittsburgh, Seattle (40/1)Detroit, Nashville, St. Louis, Vancouver, Washington (60/1)Chicago, Montreal, Philadelphia (100/1)Anaheim, Arizona, Columbus, San Jose (200/1)

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Vegas Writer's Daily Recap - June 13, 2023

Tuesday, Jun 13, 2023

It's time for Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final. The Florida Panthers showed resiliency in the first round when they overcame a 3-1 deficit to the Boston Bruins and won three straight over the Presidents Trophy winner. Now, they face elimination again. The Vegas Golden Knights were up 3-0 on the Dallas Stars in the Western Conference Final and couldn't close until Game 6. There's something about one of these teams, however, that makes the difference for me. I've got my STANLEY CUP FINAL GAME OF THE YEAR going tonight. My NHL Notes: Road teams are 46-40 in the postseason. Underdogs are 40-44 in the postseason, with a $100 wager on the pups turning a profit of roughly $1200. The Over is 45-40-1, and the Under has cashed 31 of the last 56 games. There have been 24 overtime games, and road teams are 15-9 in those games. NHL favorites higher than -150 are 14-34 on the puck line this postseason. Stanley Cup Notes:FLORIDA The Panthers have won 12 of their last 15 road games. Florida heads to Game 5 of the SCF on a 12-4 win streak in the postseason. The Panthers check in at 10th in the postseason with 2.95 goals-for per game. Florida's goals-against average during the playoffs is 3.00, ranking sixth. VEGAS Despite the loss, Vegas has won 19 of 26 against Atlantic Division teams. The Golden Knights have won 20 of their last 26 at home. The Golden Knights rank second in the playoffs with 3.76 goals-for per game. Vegas is fourth in the postseason with a goals-against average of 2.57. SERIES The home team has won 12 of the last 14 meetings. The Golden Knights have won seven straight meetings in Las Vegas The Over is on a 6-1 run when the teams play at T-Mobile Arena Four of the five underdogs got it done in MLB on Monday, with three games a pick. And the pup that barked loudest was - GULP! - the Oakland Athletics (+220 DraftKings) again, winning at home against the best team in baseball, a 4-3 win over the Tampa Bay Rays.Oakland, which closed a three-game visit in Pittsburgh with two wins, has now won six in a row behind an offense that is hitting .279 and has averaged 6.5 runs per game during the win streak.I have my third DIVISION DOG OF THE MONTH winner, as I'm 2-2 with these pups in June. Clear value with this division pup here. Don't miss my third MLB DIVISION DOG OF THE MONTH winner for June.In the final game of the NBA season, the Denver Nuggets closed out the Finals with a 94-89 win over the Miami Heat.The Nuggets failed to cover the number, which opened -9 and closed -8 at most places. The total was 210, and fell well short in landing on 183.

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Vegas Writer's Daily Recap - June 12, 2023

Monday, Jun 12, 2023

Let's start in the WNBA, where a full slate of games were on tap for us, and ran throughout the day.Underdogs split Sunday, with three of them covering and a couple barely missing by a point. Nevertheless, the underdogs are now 17-10-3 over the past 10 game days.The day started with the New York Liberty (-8', DraftKings) covering by a half-point with a 102-93 win over the Dallas Wings. The Liberty have now won six of their last seven on the floor, have covered two in a row, and have gone over in three straight.In Las Vegas, the defending champion Aces (-13') were up by as many 24, but squandered their lead and beat the Chicago Sky 93-80, failing to cover. Some may have laid -13 at the closing, but most bettors likely lost. The champs might be 8-1 SU on the year, but they've failed to cover four of their last five. They've also gone over in three straight.They retired Sue Bird's jersey in Seattle, but the ceremony was washed away when the Washington Mystics (-4) silenced the Storm, 71-65. Money flooded in on the Storm, thinking they'd be able to play for ol' No. 10, but Washington got the cover and snapped a six-game ATS skid. The Mystics have also stayed under in five straight and seven of eight.The defending Eastern Conference champion Connecticut Sun (-3') continued their impressive start to the season, defying those who thought they'd be in rebuild mode, as they registered an 89-77 win in Atlanta, handing the Dream their third consecutive loss. Connecticut is now 8-2 SU on the year, but is mired in a 2-4-1 ATS slide after covering its first three. The Sun have gone over in three straight and five of six.The Phoenix Mercury (+3') shook off an off-day airport incident in Dallas and won outright 85-82 over the Indiana Fever. It was only the second win of the season for the Mercury (2-5), while they've alternated wins and losses at the window over the past six games.In the nightcap, the worst team in the league turned in a home treat for the fans, as the Minnesota Lynx (+1') beat the Los Angeles Sparks outright, 91-86. Though Minnesota is 2-7 SU on the year, it's covered four of its last five. The Sparks have gone over in five of eight this season after Sunday's affair in the Twin Cities ran high by 16 points.The WNBA is off tonight.Five of the 12 underdogs got it done in MLB on Sunday, with three games a pick. And the pup that barked loudest was - GULP! - the Oakland Athletics (+180 Caesars), winning in Milwaukee with an 8-6 victory over the Brewers.Oakland, which closed a three-game visit in Pittsburgh with two wins, has now won five in a row behind an offense that is hitting .290 and has averaged 7.0 runs per game during the win streak.The Stanley Cup gets back underway with Game 5 on Tuesday in Las Vegas.My NHL Notes: Road teams are 46-40 in the postseason. Underdogs are 40-44 in the postseason, with a $100 wager on the pups turning a profit of roughly $1200. The Over is 45-40-1, and the Under has cashed 31 of the last 56 games. There have been 24 overtime games, and road teams are 15-9 in those games. NHL favorites higher than -150 are 14-34 on the puck line this postseason. Stanley Cup Notes:FLORIDA The Panthers have won 12 of their last 15 road games. Florida heads to Game 5 of the SCF on a 12-4 win streak in the postseason. The Panthers check in at 10th in the postseason with 2.95 goals-for per game. Florida's goals-against average during the playoffs is 3.00, ranking sixth. VEGAS Despite the loss, Vegas has won 19 of 26 against Atlantic Division teams. The Golden Knights have won 20 of their last 26 at home. The Golden Knights rank second in the playoffs with 3.76 goals-for per game. Vegas is fourth in the postseason with a goals-against average of 2.57. SERIES The home team has won 12 of the last 14 meetings. The Golden Knights have won seven straight meetings in Las Vegas The Over is on a 6-1 run when the teams play at T-Mobile Arena

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Vegas Writer's Daily Recap - June 10, 2023

Saturday, Jun 10, 2023

I'm back in the NHL tonight, as the Stanley Cup Final resumes with Game 4 in Sunrise.I've hit five of the first six plays (sides and totals) in the Stanley Cup Final, including a 3-0 sweep with all the totals. Dating back, I've hit nine of 14 NHL totals, again, with a 3-0 sweep in the Stanley Cup Final. I'm 96-83-2 this season for $16,430 net profit, including a 20-15 mark in the postseason for $6,030. Tonight I make it 4 in a Row with Stanley Cup Totals with my STANLEY CUP FINAL TOTAL OF THE YEAR.My NHL Notes:Road teams are 46-40 in the postseason.Underdogs are 40-44 in the postseason, with a $100 wager on the pups turning a profit of roughly $1200.The Over is 45-40-1, and the Under has cashed 31 of the last 56 games.There have been 24 overtime games, and road teams are 15-9 in those games.NHL favorites higher than -150 are 14-34 on the puck line this postseason.Stanley Cup Notes:FLORIDA The Panthers have won 12 of 15 overall. Florida heads to Game 4 of the SCF on a 19-8 win streak. The Panthers check in at ninth in the postseason with 3.00 goals-for per game. Florida's goals-against average during the playoffs is 3.00, ranking sixth. VEGAS Despite the loss, Vegas has still won 19 of 27 against Atlantic Division teams. The Golden Knights have still won 15 of 21 on the road. The Golden Knights rank second in the playoffs with 3.80 goals-for per game. Vegas is fourth in the postseason with a goals-against average of 2.60. SERIES The home team has won 12 of the last 13 meetings. The Panthers have won five of the last six meetings in Sunrise. The Golden Knights have won seven of 10 in the series. In the WNBA, we finally saw some favorites do what they're supposed to, by going 3-2 on Friday. Underdogs are now 14-7-3 over the past nine game days.The New York Liberty (-7) got a career night from Sabrina Ionescu (37 points) during a 106-83 destruction of the Atlanta Dream.The Dallas Wings (-5') took care of the Phoenix Mercury with a 90-77 victory thanks to a 35-point night by Arike Ogunbowale.The Los Angeles Sparks (-3') continued their rebuild with an impressive 77-62 win over the Chicago Sky. Three players scored at least 16 points, including Nneka Ogwumike, who had 19.The dogs who covered were the Indiana Fever (+2') with a 71-69 outright win in Minnesota over the league-worst Lynx, and the Seattle Storm (+12), who erased a 13-point deficit with their star on the bench with a foot injury and covering the big number against the Washington Mystics, who won 73-66.The WNBA is off tonight.In MLB on Friday, four of 11 underdogs got it done, with four games a pick. And the pup that barked loudest was - GULP! - the Oakland Athletics (+222 Caesars) winning in Milwaukee with a 5-2 victory over the Brewers.Oakland, which closed a three-game visit in Pittsburgh with two wins, has now won three in a row behind an offense that is hitting .336 and has averaged 8.3 runs per game.As part of a big day for yours truly, one that includes my Stanley Cup Total of the Year, I have my AL East Game of the Month with the Red Sox in the Bronx to face the Yankees. I'm on 109-99-5 run for $3,940 since April 17, and tonight I pad the bankroll with a huge winner in the greatest rivalry on the diamond. MLB AL EAST GAME OF THE MONTH goes here. I also have an MLB Multi-Pack with my A.L. GAME OF THE MONTH and am throwing in a BONUS MLB DOG.

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Vegas Writer's Daily Recap - June 9, 2023

Friday, Jun 09, 2023

I'm back in the NBA tonight, as the NBA Finals resume action in Miami.Tonight I've got eight plays for you to consider, including the side and total in Game 4 of the NBA Finals. I'm on a 46-31-4 NBA Roll for $11,800 since the playoffs started. I've got NBA SIDE WINNER # 32 OF 52 and an NBA OVER/UNDER ODDSMAKERS ERROR.The Florida Panthers gave us reason to hope for a competitive Stanley Cup Final when they beat the Vegas Golden Knights 3-2 in overtime on Thursday.Carter Verhaeghe sniped a wrist shot from the slot high into the back of the net 4:27 into overtime as the Panthers rallied to beat Vegas. The Golden Knights still lead the series 2-1, but Florida now has life and after finding a way to improve to 7-0 in overtime during these playoffs.Game 4 is scheduled for Saturday.My NHL Notes: Road teams are 46-40 in the postseason. Underdogs are 40-44 in the postseason, with a $100 wager on the pups turning a profit of roughly $1200. The Over is 45-40-1, and the Under has cashed 31 of the last 56 games. There have been 24 overtime games, and road teams are 15-9 in those games. NHL favorites higher than -150 are 14-34 on the puck line this postseason. Stanley Cup Notes:FLORIDA The Panthers have won 12 of 15 overall. Florida heads to Game 4 of the SCF on a 19-8 win streak. The Panthers check in at ninth in the postseason with 3.00 goals-for per game. Florida's goals-against average during the playoffs is 3.00, ranking sixth. VEGAS Despite the loss, Vegas has still won 19 of 27 against Atlantic Division teams. The Golden Knights have still won 15 of 21 on the road. The Golden Knights rank second in the playoffs with 3.80 goals-for per game. Vegas is fourth in the postseason with a goals-against average of 2.60. SERIES The home team has won 12 of the last 13 meetings. The Panthers have won five of the last six meetings in Sunrise. The Golden Knights have won seven of 10 in the series. The WNBA continued to see underdogs stealing the spotlight on Thursday when the lone underdog won outright with the Connecticut Sun routing the Aces. Underdogs are now 12-4-3 over the past eight game days.I went 3-2 on Thursday, including my WNBA Oddsmakers Error winner on the Sun (+5) outright over the Aces. Tonight I look to go 3-0 with three winners from the five-game card. Let's make some money with my WNBA 3-0 TRIPLE PACK.In MLB on Thursday, only one of eight underdogs got it done, with three games a pick and one other postponed. And the pup that barked loudest was the Chicago White Sox (+125 DraftKings) winning in the Bronx with a 6-5 win over the New York Yankees in the first game of a doubleheader.Chicago has now won five of six thanks to a pitching staff that has an ERA of a little more than 1.25 during the win streak.Went 3-2 on Thursday, including my MLB Interleague Blank Check Winner on the Angels. Tonight I look to go 3-0 with three winners from the full slate. Let's make some money with my MLB 3-0 RUN LINE TRIPLE PLAY.

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Vegas Writer's Daily Recap - June 8, 2023

Thursday, Jun 08, 2023

I'm back in the NHL tonight, as the Stanley Cup Final resumes action in Sunrise, Florida.On Saturday and Monday, though, I delivered 2-0 Sweeps in Games 1 and 2 of the Stanley Cup Final, with Vegas and the Over in both games. Tonight I have STANLEY CUP POWER PLAY # 3 IN A ROW, with BOTH the SIDE and TOTAL from Game 3. I am on a 95-82-2 this season for $16,430 net profit, including $6,030 in the playoffs. Again, I swept Games 1 and 2 and tonight I have BOTH the SIDE and TOTAL for STANLEY CUP POWER PLAY # 3 IN A ROW.My NHL Notes: Road teams are 46-39 in the postseason. Underdogs are 40-43 in the postseason, with a $100 wager on the pups turning a profit of roughly $1300. The Over is 45-39-1, and the Under has cashed 30 of the last 55 games. There have been 23 overtime games, and road teams are 15-8 in those games. NHL favorites higher than -150 are 14-34 on the puck line this postseason. Stanley Cup Notes:FLORIDA The Panthers have won 11 of 14 overall, despite losing their last two. Florida heads to Game 3 of the SCF on an 18-8 win streak. The Panthers check in at ninth in the postseason with 3.00 goals-for per game. Florida's goals-against average during the playoffs is 3.06, ranking sixth. VEGAS Vegas has now won 19 of 26 against Atlantic Division teams. The Golden Knights are on a 7-2 roll at home The Golden Knights rank first in the playoffs with 3.89 goals-for per game. Vegas is fourth in the postseason with a goals-against average of 2.58. SERIES The home team has won 11 of the last 12 meetings. The Panthers have won four of the last five meetings in Sunrise. The Golden Knights have won seven of nine in the series. The WNBA continued to see underdogs stealing the spotlight on Wednesday when the lone underdog covered by a half-point. Underdogs are now 11-4-3 over the past seven game days.The Phoenix Mercury couldn't hold an early lead, as they fell to the Wings in Dallas, 84-79. The line opened -3 1/2 and closed at +5 1/2 at Caesars and many other places. Dallas dropped to 2-4-1 ATS on the year, while the Mercury improved to 2-3 at the window.For Thursday, I love the lone WNBA clash tonight, as Las Vegas and Connecticut reunite after last season's WNBA Finals. Nobody has been able to beat the Aces, including the Sun two nights back. This is the ONLY GAME on the board, and I'll tell you why the line is off with this WNBA ODDSMAKERS ERROR.In MLB on Wednesday, three of 11 underdogs got it done, with two games a pick and two others postponed. And the shocker once again was the Oakland Athletics (+162, Caesars) beating up on the Pittsburgh Pirates, 9-5. Oddly enough, the A's have lost five of their last nine, but they've found their offense at times. They're hitting a modest .251 since May 29, but they're averaging 4.5 runs per game and have sent six balls out of the yard. They close open a three-game weekend set in Milwaukee on Friday.For Thursday, there is plenty of action to look at, including my MLB INTERLEAGUE BLANK CHECK WINNER off the late card. It's travel day for some teams, the conclusion of some series, and the start of others. Today's selections include this bailout winner off the late MLB card. Don't miss my MLB INTERLEAGUE BLANK CHECK WINNER.

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Vegas Writer's Daily Recap - June 7, 2023

Wednesday, Jun 07, 2023

I'm back in the NBA tonight, and I'm ready to unload the bankroll. It's the biggest release of the postseason! I'm on a 46-29-4 NBA Roll for $14,000 since April 17. And tonight I lay it on the line with the No. 1 play of the playoffs. Miami stole homecourt advantage, and Denver wants it back. Will it be road chalk, or the home pup? I have your answer inside with my ONE-AND-ONLY NBA PLAYOFFS GAME OF YEAR.The WNBA continued to see underdogs stealing the spotlight on Tuesday, when the pups went 1-0-2.Not exactly an overwhelming record, but the fact the pups challenged numbers - and one won outright - is telling. Underdogs improved to 10-4-3 over the past six game days.I pushed my Non-Conference Game of the Month last night with the Connecticut Sun (+6) in a 90-84 loss to the Las Vegas Aces, in a rematch of the WNBA Finals.The scrappy Indiana Fever continue to play competitive basketball, forcing the Chicago Sky to overtime and losing 108-103. The Fever caught +5 points.The Seattle Storm overcame a 24-6 first-quarter deficit and used a second-half surge on the strength of Jewel Lloyd's perimeter game to beat the Los Angeles Sparks, 63-56. The Storm were +3 point underdogs.Two games on the card tonight, including my free winner from the Minnesota-New York game.In MLB on Tuesday, four of 10 underdogs got it done. And the shocker was the Oakland Athletics (+230, DraftKings) beating up on the Pittsburgh Pirates, 11-2.Oddly enough, the A's have lost five of their last eight, but they've found their offense at times. They're hitting a mere .225 since May 29, but they're averaging 4.0 runs per game and have sent five balls out of the yard. They close out their series in Pittsburgh in an early matinee and might be dangerous offensively again.The NHL is off until Thursday, when the Golden Knights and Panthers meet in Game 3 in Sunrise, Fla.My NHL Playoff Notes: Road teams are 46-39 in the postseason. Underdogs are 40-43 in the postseason, with a $100 wager on the pups turning a profit of roughly $1300. The Over is 45-39-1, and the Under has cashed 30 of the last 55 games. There have been 23 overtime games, and road teams are 15-8 in those games. NHL favorites higher than -150 are 14-34 on the puck line this postseason. Stanley Cup Notes:FLORIDA The Panthers have won 11 of 14 overall, despite losing their last two. Florida heads to Game 3 of the SCF on an 18-8 win streak. The Panthers check in at ninth in the postseason with 3.00 goals-for per game. Florida's goals-against average during the playoffs is 3.06, ranking sixth. VEGAS Vegas has now won 19 of 26 against Atlantic Division teams. The Golden Knights are on a 7-2 roll at home The Golden Knights rank first in the playoffs with 3.89 goals-for per game. Vegas is fourth in the postseason with a goals-against average of 2.58. SERIES The home team has won 11 of the last 12 meetings. The Panthers have won four of the last five meetings in Sunrise. The Golden Knights have won seven of nine in the series.

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Vegas Writer's Daily Recap - June 6, 2023

Tuesday, Jun 06, 2023

The road teams and underdogs have dominated the NHL Playoffs.But two games into the Stanley Cup Final, the home team favorite has opened the series 2-0.The Vegas Golden Knights routed the Florida Panthers 7-2 on Monday, and now take a two-game lead to Sunrise for Games 3 and 4.Proud to say I've delivered a 2-0 Sweep in both Games 1 and 2 of the Stanley Cup Final, with Vegas and the Over in both games.Game 3 is scheduled for Thursday.My NHL Notes: Road teams are 46-39 in the postseason. Underdogs are 40-43 in the postseason, with a $100 wager on the pups turning a profit of roughly $1300. The Over is 45-39-1, and the Under has cashed 30 of the last 55 games. There have been 23 overtime games, and road teams are 15-8 in those games. NHL favorites higher than -150 are 14-34 on the puck line this postseason. Stanley Cup Notes:FLORIDA The Panthers have won 11 of 14 overall, despite losing their last two. Florida heads to Game 3 of the SCF on an 18-8 win streak. The Panthers check in at ninth in the postseason with 3.00 goals-for per game. Florida's goals-against average during the playoffs is 3.06, ranking sixth. VEGAS Vegas has now won 19 of 26 against Atlantic Division teams. The Golden Knights are on a 7-2 roll at home The Golden Knights rank first in the playoffs with 3.89 goals-for per game. Vegas is fourth in the postseason with a goals-against average of 2.58. SERIES The home team has won 11 of the last 12 meetings. The Panthers have won four of the last five meetings in Sunrise. The Golden Knights have won seven of nine in the series. The WNBA was off on Monday, but is back in action tonight. Three games, and I love one of them.I went 3-0 Monday, once again sweeping the Stanley Cup Final side and total with Vegas and Over. I also hit my Interleague Game of the Month on the Rangers. I love one WNBA clash tonight, as Las Vegas and Connecticut reunite from last season's WNBA Finals. Nobody has been able to beat the Aces. Will the Sun shine tonight over glimmery Las Vegas? Or will the Aces be high? This is the ONLY GAME I LIKE TONIGHT. Find out with my WNBA NON-CONFERENCE GAME OF THE MONTH, backed by in-depth analysis.In MLB on Monday, on only one of eight underdogs got it done. That victory came from the Houston Astros, a slight pup in Toronto, where they beat the Blue Jays, 11-4.Returning to May 9, the Astros have won 19 of their last 25 behind an offense that is hitting .266 in that span, and have stroked 36 home runs along the way. During the stretch, they're scoring an average of 5.0 runs per game. Their pitching has also been stellar, with a 2.99 ERA over the 25 games, with teams hitting only .235.The NBA was off last night. Game 3 is scheduled for Wednesday night in Miami.

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Vegas Writer's Daily Recap - June 5, 2023

Monday, Jun 05, 2023

We have ourselves a series in the NBA Finals.I suppose we'll find out if we have one in the Stanley Cup Final, as Game 2 is scheduled for tonight.I delivered a 2-0 Sweep in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final, with Vegas and the Over. Tonight I have STANLEY CUP POWER PLAY # 2 IN A ROW, with BOTH the SIDE and TOTAL. I am on a 93-82-2 this season for $14,430 net profit, including $4,030 in the playoffs. Again, I swept Game 1 and tonight I have BOTH the SIDE and TOTAL for STANLEY CUP POWER PLAY # 2 IN A ROW.My NHL Notes:Road teams are 46-38 in the postseason. Underdogs are 40-42 in the postseason, with a $100 wager on the pups turning a profit of roughly $1400. The Over is 44-39-1, but the Under has cashed 30 of the last 54 games. There have been 23 overtime games, and road teams are 15-8 in those games. NHL favorites higher than -150 are 14-34 on the puck line this postseason. Stanley Cup Notes:FLORIDA The Panthers have won 16 of their last 22 road games. Florida heads to Game 2 of the SCF on an 18-7 win streak. The Panthers check in at seventh in the postseason with 3.13 goals-for per game. Florida's goals-against average during the playoffs is 2.69, ranking sixth. VEGAS Vegas has now won 14 of 18 against Atlantic Division teams. The Golden Knights are on a 19-6 roll at home. The Golden Knights rank third in the playoffs with 3.65 goals-for per game. Vegas is fourth in the postseason with a goals-against average of 2.65. SERIES The home team has won the last six meetings. The Golden Knights have won six straight meetings in Vegas. Vegas is on a 6-2 roll in the overall series. In the NBA last night, the Miami Heat proved they're no fluke with a 111-108 win at the Denver Nuggets.The Heat were catching about 8 points, and the total went over. This is a team that has learned to overcome big deficits, as it's now 7-6 when trailing by 12 or more this postseason.Yesterday it was a 15-point comeback to win Game 2 of the NBA Finals over Denver. Miami trailed the Nuggets 50-35 with five minutes left in the second quarter, and then outscored Denver 76-58 to even the series 1-all.Game 3 is scheduled for Wednesday night in Miami.In MLB on Sunday, seven of the 13 underdogs covered, while I saw two games at a pick. The standout victory for me was the New York Yankees (+145 DraftKings) with a 4-1 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers.The Pinstripes went 4-2 on their road trip, going 2-1 in both Seattle and Los Angeles. The Yankees have won six of their last eight, during which they've drilled 17 home runs and are averaging nearly 6 runs per game. Their pitching staff has a 3.13 ERA in that span, and is averaging 9 strikeouts per game.It's a quiet card in baseball, with only eight games on the card. But there is one that stands out, and I'm ready to unload with my third straight Interleague Game of the Month. I hit the Yankees over Frisco (4/2) and the Jays over Atlanta (5/14). Tonight I make it three straight INTERLEAGUE GAME OF THE MONTH winners, as I love one side and one value price.There were three WNBA games on Sunday, and we saw the underdogs go 2-0-1.The Connecticut Sun (-6) beat the Dallas Wings, 80-74. The Chicago Sky (+12) won outright at New York over the Liberty. And the visiting Las Vegas Aces (-15) barely covered in an 84-80 win over the Indiana Fever.The WNBA is off tonight.

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Vegas Writer's Daily Recap - June 4, 2023

Sunday, Jun 04, 2023

I went 4-2 on Saturday, including a 2-0 sweep with the Side and Total cashing in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final. And lest we forget I hit the Nuggets in Game 1 of the NBA Finals. Tonight we get back to the hardwood, where I've dominated all postseason. I'm on a 46-27-2 run in the NBA for $16,200 since April 17. And going back 60 Days, I'm No. 5 on the Moneyboard. Tonight we continue the series with both the SIDE and TOTAL, including NBA SIDE WINNER # 32 OF 50.The Stanley Cup Final got underway Saturday night, and it was the Vegas Golden Knights taking care of business with a 5-2 win over the Florida Panthers.Vegas got goals from Jonathan Marchessault, Shea Theodore, Zach Whitecloud, Mark Stone and Reilly Smith, as the Knights cashed out as a -130 favorite while the total went over by 1 1/2 goals.Game 2 is scheduled for Monday night.Updating my NHL Notes: Road teams are 46-38 in the postseason. Underdogs are 40-42 in the postseason, with a $100 wager on the pups turning a profit of roughly $1400. The Over is 44-39-1, but the Under has cashed 30 of the last 54 games. There have been 23 overtime games, and road teams are 15-8 in those games. NHL favorites higher than -150 are 14-34 on the puck line this postseason. Stanley Cup Notes:FLORIDA The Panthers have won 16 of their last 22 road games. Florida heads to Game 2 of the SCF on an 18-7 win streak. The Panthers check in at seventh in the postseason with 3.13 goals-for per game. Florida's goals-against average during the playoffs is 2.69, ranking sixth. VEGAS Vegas has now won 14 of 18 against Atlantic Division teams. The Golden Knights are on a 19-6 roll at home. The Golden Knights rank third in the playoffs with 3.65 goals-for per game. Vegas is fourth in the postseason with a goals-against average of 2.65. SERIES The home team has won the last six meetings. The Golden Knights have won six straight meetings in Vegas. Vegas is on a 6-2 roll in the overall series. Two WNBA games last night, and the underdogs split. I went 1-1, as I had both home favorites.The Minnesota Lynx nabbed their first win of the season with an 80-78 upset over the Washington Mystics, who were 8-point favorites. The total landed just shy of 160.The Los Angeles Sparks made it 2-for-2 in the second of back-to-back nights, as they beat the Seattle Storm, 92-85. The Sparks were -6 1/2-point favorites, while the total was 163.I'm passing in the WNBA. In MLB on Saturday, only three of the 10 underdogs covered, while I saw two games at a pick. The standout victory for me was the Colorado Rockies (+130 DraftKings) with a 6-4 victory over the Kansas City Royals. During the first six games of this current road trip, the Rockies snapped a four-game skid by winning the first two in Kansas City. The Rockies are hitting just .236 in the games, yet they're averaging 6.5 runs per game. They've gotten just 17 hits and only five have gone extra. The Rockies, who are 4-7 in Interleague play, finished their series in Kansas City on Sunday before heading home for three-game sets with the Giants and Padres.

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Vegas Writer's Daily Recap - June 3, 2023

Saturday, Jun 03, 2023

Four WNBA games last night, and all four underdogs cashed in.The New York Liberty laid a whopping -10 points in Chicago last night, but the Sky hung tough before losing by one point, 77-76.The Washington Mystics laid -7 1/2 to the Dallas Wings, and again, we had a tight affair. The Mystics, at home, needed to come from behind to thwart Dallas' upset bid with a 75-74 win.The Atlanta Dream used a late 20-4 run to put the scare into the defending champion Las Vegas Aces, who were laying -12 on the road. The Aces escaped with a 92-87 win.And in the nightcap, the Los Angeles Sparks went into Phoenix and stole an overtime victory from the Mercury, 99-93. The Sparks were 3 1/2 point underdogs.Tonight there is plenty of action to keep us busy, and that includes WNBA action. Two games on the card and I love both games. Tonight we play BOTH SIDES for a WNBA 2-0 ALLEY OOP SWEEP.Speaking of underdogs, MLB pups came up with a 6-6 mark on Friday, with two games a pick and another being postponed.. The standout victory for me was the Washington Nationals (+160 DraftKings) with an 8-7 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies. The Phillies have now lost five in a row, and 19 of 29. Their pitching staff has done them no favors, as we saw last night. Since April 30, the Phils have a lofty 4.98 ERA and have been bombed for 34 home runs.My biggest play of the night on Friday - my N.L. Dog of the Month - cashed in on Arizona (+112) over Atlanta. Tonight there is plenty of action to keep us busy, and that includes two more MLB GAMES OF THE MONTH. Two games on the MLB card have caught my eye, and I'm ready to deliver with my Division Game of the Month and a Division Dog of the Month. MLB GAME OF THE MONTH DOUBLE PLAYThe NHL is finally back after being off since Monday, as we have Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final. I went 91-82-2 this season for $12,430 net profit, including $2,030 in the playoffs. Tonight I have BOTH the SIDE and TOTAL for an NHL STANLEY CUP POWER PLAY.NHL Notes:Road teams are 46-37 in the postseason. Underdogs are 40-41 in the postseason, with a $100 wager on the pups turning a profit of roughly $1500. The Over is 43-39-1, but the Under has cashed 30 of the last 53 games. There have been 23 overtime games, and road teams are 15-8 in those games. NHL favorites higher than -150 are 14-34 on the puck line this postseason. Stanley Cup Notes:FLORIDA The Panthers have won 16 of their last 21 road games. Florida enters the SCF on an 18-6 win streak. The Panthers check in at seventh in the postseason with 3.11 goals-for per game. Florida's goals-against average during the playoffs is 2.69, ranking sixth. VEGAS Vegas has won 13 of 17 against Atlantic Division teams. The Golden Knights are on an 18-6 roll at home. The Golden Knights rank third in the playoffs with 3.65 goals-for per game. Vegas is fourth in the postseason with a goals-against average of 2.65. SERIES The home team has won the last five meetings. The Golden Knights have won five straight meetings in Vegas. Vegas is on a 5-2 roll in the overall series.

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Vegas Writer's Daily Recap - June 2, 2023

Friday, Jun 02, 2023

Not sure what the Miami Heat will blame it on, but they were anything but hot in Game 1 of the NBA Finals, and were blown off the court by the Denver Nuggets on Thursday night.After going 3-0 in openers during the NBA Playoffs, the Heat couldn't keep up with the Western Conference top-seeded Denver Nuggets, who got a triple-double from the should-have-been MVP Nikola Jokic.Jokic finished with 27 points, 14 assists and 10 rebounds. Aaron Gordon added 16 points and Michael Porter Jr. scored 14 for Denver, which led by as many as 24.Game 2 is Sunday, and make note the Heat have failed to cover 13 of their last 17 when playing on two days of rest.Denver improved to 8-3 ATS at home and 5-2 ATS overall.Just one WNBA game last night, and the underdog cashed in with the Minnesota Lynx. Defending Eastern Conference champion Connecticut laid -6 1/2 points to the Lynx, and ended up winning 89-84, the final tally soaring past the 160-point total.The NHL and NBA are on break, so I will focus on another BASKETBALL WINNER, as the WNBA take center stage for Friday night. Love one game that is off by at least 3 points. Don't miss tonight's WNBA LINE MISTAKE LOCK.The MLB underdogs came up with a goose egg on Thursday, with all seven failing to win. The standout victory for me was the San Diego Padres, who were a slight favorite, blowing out the Miami Marlins 10-1 on the road. The Friars have won six of 10, despite a brutal .218 batting average. Though the hits may not be coming, the home runs are, as they've smacked 16 homers in the 10-game stretch since May 21, and they're averaging 5.9 runs per game.The NHL and NBA are on break, so I have three MLB Winners for you tonight, including my National League Dog of the Month. One of tonight's pups on the senior circuit carries an incredible DOG PRICE I cannot ignore. My NATIONAL LEAGUE DOG OF THE MONTH goes here, with two bonus winners.Though the NHL won't start until Saturday with Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final, I will keep these notes handy for you.NHL Notes: Road teams are 46-37 in the postseason. Underdogs are 40-41 in the postseason, with a $100 wager on the pups turning a profit of roughly $1500. The Over is 43-39-1, but the Under has cashed 30 of the last 53 games. There have been 23 overtime games, and road teams are 15-8 in those games. NHL favorites higher than -150 are 14-34 on the puck line this postseason. Stanley Cup Notes:FLORIDA The Panthers have won 16 of their last 21 road games. Florida enters the SCF on an 18-6 win streak. The Panthers check in at seventh in the postseason with 3.11 goals-for per game. Florida's goals-against average during the playoffs is 2.69, ranking sixth. VEGAS Vegas has won 13 of 17 against Atlantic Division teams. The Golden Knights are on an 18-6 roll at home. The Golden Knights rank third in the playoffs with 3.65 goals-for per game. Vegas is fourth in the postseason with a goals-against average of 2.65. SERIES The home team has won the last five meetings. The Golden Knights have won five straight meetings in Vegas. Vegas is on a 5-2 roll in the overall series.

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Vegas Writer's Daily Recap - June 1, 2023

Thursday, Jun 01, 2023

Just MLB in action last night, Eight of the 12 underdogs won Tuesday on the MLB card, with two games a pick'em. The most notable underdog victory was undoubtedly the Washington Nationals (+195 DraftKings) in their 10-6 win at the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Nationals are just 24-32 and in 5th place in the National League East, but this offense can sometimes be dangerous. In three of their last seven wins they plated double-digit runs. They're off tonight, but return home for a weekend set with the Philadelphia Phillies after splitting six road games and hitting .256 while averaging 5.3 runs per game and stroking eight home runs.With the NBA Finals getting underway, I'm taking the night off in MLB.Tonight we're back on the hardwood, where I've dominated the postseason. I'm on a 45-26-2 run in the NBA for $16,350 since April 17. And going back 60 Days, I'm No .4 on the Moneyboard. Tonight I have both the Side and Total for Game 1, and I love this Over/Under. My ONE-AND-ONLY NBA PLAYOFFS TOTAL OF THE YEAR goes tonight. I also open the series with NBA SIDE WINNER # 31 OF 49.Though the NHL won't start until Saturday with Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final, I will keep these notes handy for you.NHL Notes: Road teams are 46-37 in the postseason. Underdogs are 40-41 in the postseason, with a $100 wager on the pups turning a profit of roughly $1500. The Over is 43-39-1, but the Under has cashed 30 of the last 53 games. There have been 23 overtime games, and road teams are 15-8 in those games. NHL favorites higher than -150 are 14-34 on the puck line this postseason. Stanley Cup Notes:FLORIDA The Panthers have won 16 of their last 21 road games. Florida enters the SCF on an 18-6 win streak. The Panthers check in at seventh in the postseason with 3.11 goals-for per game. Florida's goals-against average during the playoffs is 2.69, ranking sixth. VEGAS Vegas has won 13 of 17 against Atlantic Division teams. The Golden Knights are on an 18-6 roll at home. The Golden Knights rank third in the playoffs with 3.65 goals-for per game. Vegas is fourth in the postseason with a goals-against average of 2.65. SERIES The home team has won the last five meetings. The Golden Knights have won five straight meetings in Vegas. Vegas is on a 5-2 roll in the overall series.

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Vegas Writer's Daily Recap - May 31, 2023

Wednesday, May 31, 2023

The WNBA was back in action on Tuesday with four games.Underdogs went 3-1, including a pair of double-digit pups.For the season, underdogs are now 13-11. Also, totals are dead even with 12 overs and 12 unders.The Atlanta Dream made easy work of the Chicago Sky, who were the last undefeated ATS team until last night. Rhyne Howard scored 20 points, Allisha Gray and rookie Haley Jones each added 13 and the Dream rolled past Chicago, 83-65.The Indiana Fever was a formidable foe as a 12 1/2-point underdog at Connecticut before falling to the Sun, 81-78. Tiffany Hayes scored 22 points, Brionna Jones had 19 points and 11 rebounds, and the Sun held off a late charge by the Fever.The Dallas Wings slipped past the winless Minnesota Lynx, one of two teams without a victory this season. Natasha Howard scored 25 points, Satou Sabally had 23 points, 11 rebounds, five assists and three steals to lead the Wings. Western Conference Player of the Week Arike Ogunbowale finished with 21 points for Dallas.Finally, in the nightcap, it was the New York Liberty holding off the Seattle Storm, the other winless team in the league. It was Breanna Stewart's first game back in Seattle since going to the Liberty as a free agent during the offseason. Stewart had 25 points and 11 rebounds in her return and the Liberty beat Seattle 86-78. Seattle got within single digits early in the fourth before Sabrina Ionescu drained a 3-pointer, one of her six treys in the game. Ionescu finished with 20 points for New York.The WNBA is off on Wednesday.From the MLB card, six of the eight underdogs won Tuesday, with one game a pick'em. The most notable underdog victory was undoubtedly the Oakland Athletics (+215 DraftKings) in their 2-1 win over the Atlanta Braves. While it was only the second time Oakland has won consecutive games this season, perhaps the bigger story is the suddenly struggling Braves, who have lost six of their last nine despite their offense producing with a .254 batting average and 14 homers in the nine games. It's the pitching staff that's been struggling, as Atlanta's staff has a 4.76 ERA since May 22, and has been smacked around for 11 homers. Opponents are hitting .258 in the nine games.I delivered a winner on Tuesday in baseball with my National  League West Game of the Week on the Diamondbacks Run Line over the Colorado Rockies, a 5-1 victory. Tonight I have my final MLB Division Play of May - be it Game, Dog or Total - as I am ready to roll with an MLB DIVISION DOG OF THE MONTH.Though the NHL won't start until Saturday with Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final, I will keep these notes handy for you.NHL Playoff Notes: Road teams are 46-37 in the postseason. Underdogs are 40-41 in the postseason, with a $100 wager on the pups turning a profit of roughly $1500. The Over is 43-39-1, but the Under has cashed 30 of the last 53 games. There have been 23 overtime games, and road teams are 15-8 in those games. NHL favorites higher than -150 are 14-34 on the puck line this postseason. Stanley Cup Notes:FLORIDA The Panthers have won 16 of their last 21 road games. Florida enters the SCF on an 18-6 win streak. The Panthers check in at seventh in the postseason with 3.11 goals-for per game. Florida's goals-against average during the playoffs is 2.69, ranking sixth. VEGAS Vegas has won 13 of 17 against Atlantic Division teams. The Golden Knights are on an 18-6 roll at home. The Golden Knights rank third in the playoffs with 3.65 goals-for per game. Vegas is fourth in the postseason with a goals-against average of 2.65. SERIES The home team has won the last five meetings. The Golden Knights have won five straight meetings in Vegas. Vegas is on a 5-2 roll in the overall series.

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Vegas Writer's Daily Recap - May 30, 2023

Tuesday, May 30, 2023

The Miami Heat are headed to the NBA FinalsJimmy Butler scored 28 points, Caleb Martin had 26 points and 10 rebounds and the eighth-seeded Heat crushed the Boston Celtics 103-84 in Game 7 on Monday night.Miami, which recovered from blowing a 3-0 lead in the series and advanced to face the Western Conference champion Denver Nuggets, is in the NBA Finals for the second time in four seasons.Game 1 is Thursday night in Denver, where the Nuggets have been waiting since May 22.In the NHL, the Vegas Golden Knights are returning to the Stanley Cup Final for the second time in their first six seasons in the league.Paced by original members of the Golden Misfits who played in the inaugural season for Vegas, the Knights blanked the Dallas Stars 6-0 on Monday.William Karlsson scored twice, Jonathan Marchessault added his ninth goal of the season, and three others added a goal for the Western Conference's top seed.The Stanley Cup Final opens Saturday night in Vegas, where the Knights will host the eighth-seeded Florida Panthers in Game 1.NHL Notes: Road teams are 46-37 in the postseason. Underdogs are 40-41 in the postseason, with a $100 wager on the pups turning a profit of roughly $1500. The Over is 43-39-1, but the Under has cashed 30 of the last 53 games. There have been 23 overtime games, and road teams are 15-8 in those games. NHL favorites higher than -150 are 14-34 on the puck line this postseason. Seven of the 11 underdogs won Monday on the shortened MLB card. The most notable underdog victory was undoubtedly the Oakland Athletics (+205 DraftKings) in their 7-2 win over the Atlanta Braves. Perhaps something to watch is the Braves losing five of their last eight despite their offense producing with a .267 batting average and 13 homers. It's the pitching staff that's been struggling, as Atlanta's staff has a 5.20 ERA since May 22, and has been smacked around for 11 homers. Opponents are hitting .266 in the eight games.

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Vegas Writer's Daily Recap - May 29, 2023

Monday, May 29, 2023

With both the NBA and NHL off, it was all about the WNBA and Major League Baseball on Sunday, with some other sports sprinkled in.Before I hit the recap, make note for Memorial Day I have two plays, one on the MLB diamond and this one on the NBA hardwood. I'm on a 44-26-2 NBA run for $15,350 net profit since 4/17. I'm 4-2 in this series thus far, and I'm locked and loaded for Game 7 with NBA SIDE WINNER # 30 OF 48.The Indiana Fever - last year's worst team in the WNBA - snapped a 20-game losing skid dating back, with a 90-87 win over the Atlanta Dream. The Fever won outright as a 7-point underdog, and improved to 1-2 SU and ATS on the year. Atlanta is sporting the same records.The defensive-minded Chicago Sky had their best offensive performance of the season in a 94-88 win over the Dallas Wings. The Sky are tied atop the Eastern Conference with the Connecticut Sun, both at 3-1. Chicago is the only team in the league that has covered every game its played, sitting at 4-0 ATS. The Wings dropped to 2-1 SU and 1-2 ATS.The Las Vegas Aces continued to dominate the weaker teams in the league, and improved to 4-0 with a 94-73 blowout win over the Minnesota Lynx. The Aces are the league's only unbeaten team at 4-0 SU, while they're 3-1 ATS. The Lynx are now 0-4 both SU and ATS.The WNBA is off tonight, and returns Tuesday with four games.Five of the 12 underdogs won Sunday on the MLB diamond, while there were three games around a pick'em. The most notable underdog victory had to be the Cincinnati Reds (+140 DraftKings) in their 8-5 win over the Chicago Cubs. The Reds head into the week on a three-game win streak, during which they've scored an average of 8.3 runs per game while hitting .381 and slugging .593. They open an Interleague series in Boston before returning home for seven games.My best play for Memorial Day is a DIVISION TOTAL OF THE MONTH. It's the best Over/Under value on the entire card, and a play you cannot afford to miss. Let's build the bankroll for tonight with this MLB DIVISION TOTAL OF THE MONTH.NHL Notes: Road teams are 45-37 in the postseason. Underdogs are 39-41 in the postseason, with a $100 wager on the pups turning a profit of roughly $1400. The Over is 42-39-1, but the Under has cashed 30 of the last 52 games. There have been 23 overtime games, and road teams are 15-8 in those games. NHL favorites higher than -150 are 14-34 on the puck line this postseason.

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Vegas Writer's Daily Recap - May 28, 2023

Sunday, May 28, 2023

Suffice to say, neither the Miami Heat nor the Vegas Golden Knights want to play for a championship.The Heat were up 3-0 in the Eastern Conference Finals, and the series is now 3-3.An improbable putback at the buzzer gave the Boston Celtics a 104-103 victory, and now the series returns to Beantown for Game 7 on Monday.The Golden Knights were up 3-0 in the Western Conference Final, and the series is now 3-2.The Dallas Stars got two third-period goals to win 4-2 in Las Vegas, and now the series returns to Dallas for Game 6 on Monday.Buckle up!NHL Notes: Road teams are 45-37 in the postseason. Underdogs are 39-41 in the postseason, with a $100 wager on the pups turning a profit of roughly $1400. The Over is 42-39-1, but the Under has cashed 30 of the last 52 games. There have been 23 overtime games, and road teams are 15-8 in those games. NHL favorites higher than -150 are 14-34 on the puck line this postseason. With both the NBA and NHL off, let's talk WNBA.The New York Liberty pulled away late for a win and cover against the Connecticut Sun, an 81-65 victory. Since scoring 64 points on .343 shooting in the season opener, the Liberty are 2-0 and have averaged 85.5 points per game on .478 shooting.The Las Vegas Aces destroyed a majorly shorthanded Los Angeles Sparks squad, that needed a hardship contract signed before the game to avoid a fine. Las Vegas was up 31-13 after the first quarter, and went on to win 93-65. The Aces are 3-0 and scoring 97.3 points per game on .509 shooting.I am not attracted to anything on the MLB card, but do have my sights set on the Aces-Lynx in the WNBA tonight, in Las Vegas. I was at last night's home opener as a fan, sitting with season ticket holder friends, and what a spectacle. But it's not the game that intrigued me last night, and I'll further explain inside, why I'm unloading with this monster WNBA CONFERENCE GAME OF THE WEEK.Six of the 11 underdogs won Saturday on the MLB diamond, while there were four games around a pick'em. The most notable underdog victory had to be the Miami Marlins (+175 DraftKings) in their 8-5 win over the Los Angeles Angels. The Fish got the best of Shohei Ohtani, and continued to show signs of life with what at times is an impressive offense. The Marlins close their road trip tonight, and have won three of four while hitting .331 and averaging 7.5 runs per game. They've hit seven home runs in the four games.I am passing in baseball tonight.

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Vegas Writer's Daily Recap - May 27, 2023

Saturday, May 27, 2023

Limited action to recap for Friday, as there was baseball and WNBA.In the WNBA, the Washington Mystics barely snuck by the Chicago Sky, as the two battled to the end. The Mystics, who laid -5 1/2, won by just two points, 71-69. The final tally fell well below the posted 157.The Dallas Wings, meanwhile, had their hands full in Seattle, as the Storm kept things tight before falling 95-91. The Wings failed to cover the 4 1/2 points, and the final score soared past the 161 total.Two games on today's card, but I'm taking a pass.Six of the 13 underdogs won Friday on the MLB diamond, while there were a couple of pick'em games. The most notable underdog victory had to be the Pittsburgh Pirates (+140 DraftKings) in their 11-6 win over the Seattle Mariners. The Bucs registered their second double-digit output in seven games, and have quietly split their last eight games behind an offense that is hitting .286 and scoring an average of nearly six runs per game since May 17. They've also stroked 10 home runs in that span.A full slate of baseball and I have a top total from baseball. I'm still on an 89-77-4 run for $7,390 net profit since April 17. I'm also on a 23-19 run with ALL SPORTS TOTALS. Tonight I have my American League Total of the Month, the absolute best play I see on today's card.No NBA or NHL last night, but certainly are a pair of teams that are looking to get to the championship round next.The Miami Heat host the Boston Celtics tonight in Game 6 in the Eastern Conference Finals.I have Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals, where I have NBA Side Winner # 30 of 47. Despite yesterday's showing, I'm still on an 89-77-4 run for $7,390 net profit since April 17, including a 43-26-2 NBA roll for $14,350 net profit. Let's cash in with NBA SIDE WINNER # 30 OF 47.And the Vegas Golden Knights host the Dallas Stars in Game 5 of the Western Conference Final.NHL Notes: Road teams are 44-37 in the postseason. Underdogs are 38-41 in the postseason, with a $100 wager on the pups turning a profit of roughly $1200. The Over is 41-39-1, but the Under has cashed 30 of the last 51 games. There have been 23 overtime games, and road teams are 15-8 in those games. NHL favorites higher than -150 are 14-33 on the puck line this postseason.

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Vegas Writer's Daily Recap - May 26, 2023

Friday, May 26, 2023

The Boston Celtics not only stayed alive Thursday night, but they covered the number with a blowout win over the Miami Heat.And even though Jimmy Butler came out and basically said it's okay because the Heat weren't themselves in the past two games, the same could be said about the Celtics, in that they weren't the same in Games 1 through 3.Derrick White scored 24 points behind six 3-pointers, as Boston dominated the Heat 110-97 to extend the Eastern Conference finals. Marcus Smart added 23 points and five steals, and Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown each finished with 21 points as the Celtics trimmed Miami’s series lead to 3-2 and are now halfway to becoming the first team in history to overcome a 3-0 deficit and win a series. Teams that fell behind 3-0 are 0-150 all-time in series.Game 6 is scheduled for Saturday night.NHL Notes: Road teams are 44-37 in the postseason. Underdogs are 38-41 in the postseason, with a $100 wager on the pups turning a profit of roughly $1200. The Over is 41-39-1, but the Under has cashed 30 of the last 51 games. There have been 23 overtime games, and road teams are 15-8 in those games. NHL favorites higher than -150 are 14-33 on the puck line this postseason. It was a night of survival, apparently, as the Dallas Stars staved off elimination with a 3-2 overtime win over the Vegas Golden Knights on Thursday.The Stars showed plenty of character after being humiliated in a Game 3 loss at home, when the Golden Knights won 4-0. Thursday was the first of a two-game suspension for Stars captain Jamie Benn.Game 5 is scheduled for Saturday night in Las Vegas. In the WNBA, the Phoenix Mercury won and covered at home with a 90-81 victory over the Minnesota Lynx, while the defending champion Las Vegas Aces won 94-85 in Los Angeles. But it was the Sparks covering the +15 1/2 points on their own court. The Aces and Sparks complete the home-and-home series on Saturday.I'm on an 89-72-4 run since April 17, with $13,440 net profit and tonight we put the money to work with a WNBA LINE MISTAKE WINNER off one of tonight's games, as I see the number is off by at least 5 points.Two of the seven underdogs won Wednesday on the MLB diamond, while there was one game a pick'em. The most notable underdog victory had to be the Detroit Tigers (+130 DraftKings) in their 7-2 win over the Chicago White Sox. The Tigers have now won two straight and six of 10 despite hitting a rather bleak .237. They are scoring 4.5 runs per game and are averaging 1.0 HR per contest.A full slate of baseball and I have a total of four releases. And I've isolated a Blank Check Winner for Friday. I'm giving you full permission to fill in the amount with this one, as I think we have crazy value staring us in the eye with this Blank Check Winner backed by four key stats that provide us with a 19-1 advantage with this particular matchup. MLB BLANK CHECK WINNER # 6 OF 9.

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Vegas Writer's Daily Recap - May 25, 2023

Thursday, May 25, 2023

The Florida Panthers did it.It's been 27 years since they got to play for Lord Stanley's Cup. Next week, against either Vegas or Dallas, the Panthers will vie for the Cup.The Panthers got another clutch goal from their prize acquisition Matthew Tkachuk, who buried the puck with less than 5 seconds left in the game to lift Florida to a 4-3 win over the Carolina Hurricanes.The eighth-seeded Panthers completed the improbable sweep, thanks to Tkachuk, who had three game-winning goals against the Hurricanes.NHL Notes:Road teams are 44-36 in the postseason.Underdogs are 38-40 in the postseason, with a $100 wager on the pups turning a profit of roughly $1300.The Over is 41-38-1, but the Under has cashed 29 of the last 50 games.There have been 22 overtime games, and road teams are 15-7 in those games.NHL favorites higher than -150 are 14-33 on the puck line this postseason after Dallas' loss on Tuesday.With one hockey game on the board tonight, I'm ready to deliver the biggest release of the conference finals. The Stars were favored to win this series and will be playing for pride. The Knights are the No. 1 seed and hope to keep pace with Florida by completing the sweep. Check the long-time leaderboard: No. 1 in NET$ L60 Days. And, I'm on 91-81-2 the entire season for $13,430. I'm up $3,030 in the postseason. Tonight it's my NHL CONFERENCE FINAL GAME OF THE YEAR.Six of the 15 underdogs won Wednesday on the MLB diamond. The most notable underdog victory had to be the Cincinnati Reds (+135 DraftKings) in their 10-3 pasting of the St. Louis Cardinals. It was a shock considering the Reds have lost seven of 10 and have seen their pitching staff turn in a 5.56 ERA since May 14. The one thing to take from the Reds is the face they've gone over in four straight on the road, six of eight against N.L. Central teams and in 16 of 21 overall.Ten games on the card today, but I'm taking a pass.The NBA had the night off, and returns tonight for Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals in Boston.I'm ready to deliver the goods from Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals. The Celtics look to stay alive after winning Game 4, while the Heat hope to join the Nuggets in the NBA Finals. Check the leaderboard: No. 2 in the NBA in NET$ L30 Days. I'm also on a 43-25-2 run the entire postseason for $15,450. Part of that run includes a 29-16 roll with NBA SIDES. Tonight we keep the run going with my NBA SIDE WINNER # 30 OF 46.

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Vegas Writer's Daily Recap - May 24, 2023

Wednesday, May 24, 2023

The Vegas Golden Knights are on the brink of making the Stanley Cup Final for the second time in six seasons - their first six in the NHL - after dominating Game 3 on Tuesday in a 4-0 win over the Dallas Stars.The Golden Knights took an early 3-0 lead in the first period, made it 4-0 in the second, and never looked back as goaltender Adin Hill looked sharp in registering his first playoff shutout.Game 4 is on Thursday in Dallas, where the Knights can complete the sweep.Tonight it's the Panthers looking to advance to the Stanley Cup Final for the first time in 27 years, as they're holding a 3-0 series lead against the Carolina Hurricanes and host Game 4 tonight.Carolina has won 37 of its last 45 against Eastern Conference foes, but has also failed to win five of seven against Atlantic Division teams. The Panthers, meanwhile, have won 10 of 11 and are on a 17-5 roll in games that follow a victory.NHL Notes: Road teams are 44-35 in the postseason. Underdogs are 38-39 in the postseason, with a $100 wager on the pups turning a profit of roughly $1400. The Over is 40-38-1, but the Under has cashed 29 of the last 49 games. There have been 22 overtime games, and road teams are 15-7 in those games. NHL favorites higher than -150 are 14-33 on the puck line this postseason after Dallas' loss on Tuesday. On the MLB diamond, nine of the 15 underdogs won Tuesday, as the sun continued to shine on the pups this week. The most notable underdog victory had to be the Los Angeles Dodgers (+175 Caesars) in their 8-1 win over the Atlanta Braves. The Dodgers continue to look good, as they've won 18 of 24 since April 28, and are scoring an average of exactly 6.0 runs per game. During the 24-game span, the Dodgers have smacked 36 home runs - more than one per game. Also in that span, the Dodgers' staff has a 3.77 ERA.Last night my big DOG SHOCKER was my huge dog was on the Dodgers getting there easily. I'm now on an 88-68-4 roll since April 17 with $16,740 net profit. And over the L30 Days, I'm 2nd on the Leaderboard in NET$. On tonight's light card, I've got three baseball winners, including TWO UNDERDOGS, and they're bundled in one package. Don't miss this 3-0 SWEEP from the late card, my MLB TRIPLE PLAY.In the NBA, Jayson Tatum had 33 points and 11 rebounds, Jaylen Brown chipped in with 17 points and the Boston Celtics staved off elimination in the Eastern Conference Finals by dominating the second half to beat the Miami Heat 116-99 in Game 4 on Tuesday night.Balance was the name of the game last night, as Derrick White scored 16 points, Grant Williams had 14, Al Horford added 12 and Marcus Smart scored 11 for the Celtics.Game 5 is scheduled for Thursday in Boston.

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Vegas Writer's Daily Recap - May 23, 2023

Tuesday, May 23, 2023

Think about this, we're in the conference finals of the NBA and NHL, and the overall record for the series leaders is 12-0.The Denver Nuggets have swept the Los Angeles Lakers, 4-0.The Miami Heat are up on the Boston Celtics, 3-0The Florida Panthers are up on the Carolina Hurricanes, 3-0.And, the Vegas Golden Knights are up on the Dallas Stars, 2-0.I haven't decided if this is an amazing storyline, or if the fans have been hoodwinked by fraudulent semifinalists who aren't living up to expectations.Nikola Jokic had 30 points, 14 rebounds and 13 assists, to lead the Nuggets past the Lakers and into the NBA Finals for the first time in team history after Monday's 113-111 victory. It was Jokic's eighth triple-double of the playoffs. Jamal Murray scored 25 points for the top-seeded Nuggets, who overcame a 15-point halftime deficit.Looking ahead to the NBA Finals, make note, Denver hasn't trailed in any series, and is 8-0 at home in the playoffs - 10-0 since March. The Nuggets are 12-3 overall in the postseason.I had your NBA winner AGAIN last night, my NBA Side Winner # 29 of 44. I'm on a 43-24-3 NBA run for $16,550 since April 17. And part of that NBA win streak is a 29-15 run with side selections. Tonight I'm in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals with my NBA SIDE WINNER # 30 OF 45, and it's my CONFERENCE FINALS GAME OF THE YEAR.In the NHL, the mystique of Sergei Bobrovsky continued for the Panthers in their 1-0 win over the Carolina Hurricanes. Bobrovsky stopped 32 shots for his first playoff shutout, and pushed the Panthers to the brink of their first trip to the Stanley Cup Final in 27 years.The Golden Knights will look to match Florida's 3-0 series lead when they visit Dallas for Game 3 tonight.Vegas has won six straight vs. Central Division foes, and has won five of its last six on the road. The Golden Knights have also won 26 of their last 35, and are a remarkable 14-3 when limiting an opponent to two or fewer goals in their previous game.Dallas rolls into Game 3 on a 5-1 mark at home, and 11-3 when playing on one day of rest. Flipside of Vegas' record after a stingy allowance, the Stars have won seven of nine after scoring two or fewer thier last time out.The home team has won five of the last seven meetings.NHL Notes: Road teams are 43-35 in the postseason. Underdogs are 37-39 in the postseason, with a $100 wager on the pups turning a profit of roughly $1200. The Over is 40-37-1, but the Under has cashed 28 of the last 48 games. There have been 22 overtime games, and road teams are 15-7 in those games. NHL favorites higher than -150 are 14-32 on the puck line this postseason after Carolina's loss on Saturday. On the MLB diamond, nine of the 12 underdogs won Monday, as the sun was shining on the pups to start the week. The most notable underdog victory was the Arizona Diamondbacks (+185 DraftKings) in their 6-3 win over the Philadelphia Phillies. The Snakes have now won eight of 10 while averaging 5.5 runs per game since May 12. They're hitting .250 and slugging .445 in that span, and 42.5% of their basehits have gone extra (21 doubles, 1 triple, 15 home runs).Part of a 3-1 Monday was my fourth MLB side winner in six releases. I'm on an 86-66-4 overall run for $16,140 net profit since 4/17 and I'm No. 2 on the Leaderboard for NET$ the L30 Days. Tonight I have another DIVISION GAME OF THE MONTH, as I've zeroed in on a team looking for revenge after losing on Monday. I love the price I'm getting for another MLB SIDE WINNER # 5 OF 7 cashes in with this MLB DIVISION GAME OF THE MONTH.Also, I delivered my A.L. East Total of the Month on Saturday with the Orioles and Jays going Over the posted number. Last night it was my NL Central Total of the Month on the Reds-Cardinals Over. Tonight I have my NATIONAL LEAGUE TOTAL OF THE MONTH, as I've zeroed in on what might be the highest-scoring game of the night overall. I love the number I'm seeing for my NATIONAL LEAGUE TOTAL OF THE MONTH.

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Vegas Writer's Daily Recap - May 22, 2023

Monday, May 22, 2023

Let's start off the week by talking a little WNBA, as the first weekend came to a close.My immediate thoughts are that the Connecticut Sun and Chicago Sky have something to say about the New York Liberty and Washington Mystics being the Eastern Conference favorites this season.Both the Sun and Sky opened 2-0, while the Mystics and Liberty are both 1-1.While the Mystics knocked off the Liberty, the Sun then beat the Mystics on Sunday to send a statement.DeWanna Bonner scored 21 points, Alyssa Thomas had 14 points, 16 rebounds, six assists and three steals to lead the Sun back from a 12-point deficit to beat Washington 80-74.Bonner and Thomas are holdovers from last year's team that went to the WNBA Finals, and have looked just fine without Jonquel Jones and Courtney Williams. We're going to see just how good they are this week, as they now go to Washington for a return engagement with the Mystics, and then face the Liberty in New York on Saturday.The Sky, meanwhile, opened with an 11-point road win over Minnesota Lynx on Friday before going into Phoenix and ruining Brittney Griner's home debut with a six-point win over the Mercury on Sunday.The Sky and Sun are tied atop the league leaderboard with the No. 1 scoring defense among those teams who've played twice, allowing just 67.5 points per game.Chicago has been fueled on offense by Kahleah Cooper, Elizabeth Williams and Alanna Smith, while the addition of Williams has given the Sky a feasible replacement for Courtney Vandersloot, who is now in New York.No games on the card tonight, as the WNBA returns to action on Tuesday.In the NHL, the Vegas Golden Knights earned their eighth come-from-behind win of the postseason.Another overtime winner for Vegas, which is now 3-0 in OT games, as it beat the Dallas Stars 3-2.Dallas was pretty good for 50 minutes on Sunday, and led Vegas 2-1 in the final minutes. Then the Golden Knights remembered how good they can be.Goals from Jonathan Marchessault with 2:22 left in regulation and Chandler Stephenson 1:12 into overtime put Vegas in a superior position as the series heads to Dallas for Games 3 and 4.NHL Notes: Road teams are 43-34 in the postseason. Underdogs are 37-39 in the postseason, with a $100 wager on the pups turning a profit of roughly $1200. The Over is 40-36-1, but the Under has cashed 27 of the last 47 games. There have been 22 overtime games, and road teams are 15-7 in those games. NHL favorites higher than -150 are 14-32 on the puck line this postseason after Carolina's loss on Saturday. In the NBA, I went 1-0 with the Miami Heay pushing the Boston Celtics to the brink on Sunday.Gabe Vincent scored a career-high 29 points, Duncan Robinson chipped in with 22 and the eighth-seeded Heat cruised to a 128-102 win over Boston. Miami leads the series 3-0, and can finish off the sweep on Tuesday night at home in Game 4.The Celtics have failed to cover four of five Conference Finals games, and are now mired in a 2-5 ATS slide. Miami has covered 10 of its last 12 and seven of its last eight at home.The Heat were my NBA Side Winner # 29 of 44. I'm on an 83-65-4 overall run for $14,240 net profit since 4/17, including a 42-24-3 NBA run for $15,550. And part of that NBA win streak is a 29-15 run with side selections. Tonight I'm in Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals with my NBA SIDE WINNER # 30 of 45.On the MLB diamond, three of the 16 underdogs won Sunday, as the favorites dominated the day. No doubt about it the most notable was the Baltimore Orioles at +165 (DraftKings), as they crushed the Toronto Blue Jays, 8-3. The Blue Jays have lost four in a row, as they've averaged just 3.0 runs per game since Thursday, while the pitching staff has been tagged for 24 runs (6.0 per game) in that same stretch while allowing seven home runs. The staff ERA the last four days is 4.85 ERA while the opposition is hitting .263.On Saturday, I delivered my A.L. East Total of the Month, with the Orioles and Jays going Over the posted number. Tonight I have another DIVISION TOTAL OF THE MONTH, and I'm bundling it with TWO BONUS WINNERS. In addition to a very easy OVER in what might be the highest-scoring game of the night, I have a bonus total and a bonus side winner for you. Grab this DIVISION TOTAL OF THE MONTH with TWO BONUS WINNERS.

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Vegas Writer's Daily Recap - May 21, 2023

Sunday, May 21, 2023

Normally I would start with one of the daily sports we're watching, recapping the previous day's events, but Sunday I am going to have to start with boxing.Let's call it what it was - a shame. Vasiliy Lomachenko outclassed Devin Haney last night, but it was the younger undisputed lightweight champion who retained his belt with a unanimous decision.Unreal.Haney was about -260 when the fight started, but by mid-fight, DraftKings have shifted the in-fight line to Lomachenko -120.A shocking decision saw Lomachenko in tears in his dressing room, and Haney wearing sunglasses to hide his battered face and swollen eyes.Looking ahead, whenever it may be, mark my words that either Shakur Stevenson or Gervonta Davis will destroy Haney in a matchup of pound-for-pound contenders.Let's move on to the WNBA.The defending champion Las Vegas Aces destroyed the Seattle Storm, who showed signs of how things could be all season now that legend Sue Bird has retired, and with Breanna Stewart playing in New York.I'll be interested to see the number when the Aces face the Sparks in Los Angeles next week, because that will be a much better test.Also winning was the Dallas Wings, scoring the win and cover against the Atlanta Dream. It was a statement win, to be quite honest, as the Dream are on some peoples' bingo card for Eastern Conference contender.Another split for the home teams, while both games went over the posted number. Totals are 3-3 after the first two days fo the season.Three games on the card for Sunday and I love one of them. Friday I opened the season with my WNBA Western Conference Game of the Month winner on the Sparks. Today I am back with my Eastern Conference Game of the Month with a heavyweight battle between Washington and Connecticut. I'm on an 82-65-4 run for $14,340 net profit since April 17, and over the L30 Days I'm No. 2 in NET$. Today I add to the bankroll with my WNBA CONFERENCE GAME OF THE MONTH.In the NHL, it's becoming redundant so I'll just give you two words: Florida Panthers.Another overtime winner for the Cats, who will take a 2-0 series lead back to Sunrise, Florida after Matthew Tkachuk played the role of hero again, with the game-winner in the extra frame. He did the same in Game 1.Today, it's Game 2 between the Golden Knights and Stars, as puck drop is at 3 pm eastern, less than 48 hours after Vegas scored a 4-3 overtime win in Game 1.NHL Notes: Road teams are 43-33 in the postseason. Underdogs are 37-38 in the postseason, with a $100 wager on the pups turning a profit of roughly $1300. The Over is 40-35-1, but the Under has cashed 26 of the last 46 games. There have been 21 overtime games, and road teams are 15-6 in those games. NHL favorites higher than -150 are 14-32 on the puck line this postseason after Carolina's loss on Saturday. In the NBA, I went 1-0 with the Denver Nuggets pushed the Los Angeles Lakers to the brink on Saturday.Jamal Murray scored 37 points, Nikola Jokic added 24 points and eight assists and the Nuggets cruised to a 3-0 lead in the Western Conference Finals with a 119-108 victory over Los Angeles.Denver squandered a 14-point lead, but made up for it with a decisive 13-0 run in the fourth quarter en route to snapping the Lakers' nine-game home winning streak dating back to  March 26.The series continues Monday in Los Angeles, where the Nuggets can earn their first trip to the NBA Finals.The Nuggets were my NBA Side Winner # 28 of 43. I'm on an 82-64-4 overall run for $14,340 net profit since 4/17, including a 41-24-3 NBA run for $14,550. And part of that NBA win streak is a 28-15 run with side selections. Tonight I'm in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals with my NBA SIDE WINNER # 29 of 44.On the MLB diamond, six of the 14 underdogs won Friday, with one game being postponed. No doubt about it the most notable was the Miami Marlins at +140 (DraftKings), as they beat the San Francisco Giants, 1-0. The Marlins have now won five of six, and are hitting .255 during the win streak. They're averaging a mere 3.5 runs per game during the run, but they're getting stellar pitching via a 2.38 ERA.

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Vegas Writer's Daily Recap - May 20, 2023

Saturday, May 20, 2023

Let's tip off Saturday's Daily Recap with the WNBA.A split for the home and road teams, while three of the four games stayed under the posted number.Let's start with one of the league's preseason favorites, as the New York Liberty went into the nation's capital and got smacked around by the Washington Mystics in an 80-64 loss.Natasha Cloud and Ariel Atkins each scored 14 points in the win, while it seems New York coach Sandy Brondello has plenty of work to do in blending personalities with three new additions in Breanna Stewart, Jonquel Jones and Courtney Vandersloot. The Liberty started the game making just 5 of 23 shots and finished the first half shooting 27%. It was a clear sign that it'll take time before the Liberty can figure out who should get the offense flowing, especially with prolific scorer Sabrina Ionescu in the lineup.The defending Eastern Conference champion Connecticut Sun went into Indianapolis and beat the Fever by nine points, 70-61, spoiling the debut of No. 1 overall pick Aliyah Boston, who finished one rebound shy of a double-double (15 points, 9 rebounds). The Fever, last year's cellar dweller in the league, did some impressive things late and got as close as five points, but couldn't quite complete the comeback.The new-look Chicago Sky got the best of the Minnesota Lynx, 77-66. Kahleah Copper had 20 points, seven rebounds and five assists while Alanna Smith added 15 points to lead the Sky. Chicago outscored the Lynx 22-3 in the second quarter to take a 17-point lead into the locker room at the break.The Los Angeles Sparks spoiled the much-ballyhooed return of Brittney Griner, as crushed the Phoenix Mercury, 94-71. Nneka Ogwumike scored 17 points and rookie Zia Cooke chipped in 14, as the Sparks got the win and cover in my Western Conference Game of the Month.Two games on the card for Saturday, as the Atlanta Dream and Dallas Wings tip at 1 pm eastern, and the defending champion Las Vegas Aces open defense of their title in Seattle against a Storm team that will open their season without Sue Bird for the first time in 20 years.In the NHL, the Vegas Golden Knights took a 1-0 series lead over the Dallas Stars with a 4-3 overtime win, when Brett Howden's shot off the back of netminder Jake Oettinger found its way in the net just 1:35 into the extra period.The Golden Knights looked like the better team from the jump, skating furiously while the Stars lacked the energy coach Pete DeBoer hoped to see after being taken to seven games by the Seattle Kraken.The two resume their series Sunday at 3 pm eastern.Tonight, it's Game 2 between the Panthers and Hurricanes, as puck drop is at 8:05 pm eastern, less than 48 hours after that marathon 4OT thriller on Thursday.NHL Notes:Road teams are 42-33 in the postseason.Underdogs are 36-38 in the postseason, with a $100 wager on the pups turning a profit of roughly $1200.The Over is 40-34-1, but the Under has cashed 25 of the last 45 games.There have been 20 overtime games, and road teams are 14-6 in those games.NHL favorites higher than -150 are 14-31 on the puck line this postseason.In the NBA, I went 1-0-1 with the Miami Heat winning outright again, and the total finishing as a push.Boston's Grant Williams didn't do his team any favors by going forehead-to-forehead with Jimmy Butler in a short dust up. Butler hit back-to-back buckets to tie the game and give Miami the lead, finished with 27 points, and the eighth-seeded Heat left Boston with a 111-105 victory and a 2-0 lead in the Eastern Conference Finals.Butler contributed nine points during a 23-9 run that turned a nine-point deficit into a 105-100 lead, and the Heat never looked back.The series shifts for Games 3 and 4, to Miami, where the Heat have covered six of seven.Went 3-2-1 on Friday, including the Miami Heat outright. I'm on an 80-63-4 overall run for $13,790 net profit since 4/17, including a 40-24-3 NBA run for $13,550. And part of that NBA win streak is a 27-15 run with side selections. Tonight I'm in Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals with my NBA SIDE WINNER # 28 of 43.On the MLB diamond, five of the 14 underdogs won Friday, with one game a pick. No doubt about it the most notable was the Pittsburgh Pirates at +150 (DraftKings), as they devoured the Arizona Diamondbacks, 13-3. The Pirates have now won three of four behind an offense that is hitting .293 and averaging 6.2 runs per game since May 14.Friday, I hit my MLB Blank Check Winner # 5 of 7 on the Giants. I'm on an 80-63-4 overall run for $13,790 net profit since 4/17. And since the start of the MLB season, I've hit five of my first seven BLANK CHECK releases. Tonight I've isolated one specific game for you, and you have my permission to fill in the blank. Whatever you want to put on this game, feel free. It's my MLB BLANK CHECK WINNER # 6 OF 8.

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Vegas Writer's Daily Recap - May 19, 2023

Friday, May 19, 2023

How many of you were able to last the entire Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Final? Quite a marathon that lasted nearly a full four overtimes, save for about 15 seconds.Nevertheless, the Florida Panthers took a 1-0 lead in the series against the Carolina Hurricanes, when Matthew Tkachuk beat Frederik Andersen in the final seconds of the fourth overtime to deliver a 3-2 victory.It was the sixth-longest game in NHL history.Florida won its seventh straight road game in these playoffs and improved to 5-0 in overtime.Carolina, which is in the Eastern final for the second time in five years, its ninth straight game in the conference-final round dating to 2009. The Hurricanes' losing streak in the NHL semifinals dates to Pittsburgh’s sweep of the Hurricanes in 2009.NHL Notes: Road teams are 42-32 in the postseason, the most wins by visitors at this stage of a postseason (74 games played) in league history. Underdogs are 36-37 in the postseason, with a $100 wager on the pups turning a profit of roughly $1300. The Over is 39-34-1 after the first two rounds, but the Under has cashed 25 of the last 44 games. There have been 19 overtime games, and road teams are 14-5 in those games. NHL favorites higher than -150 are 14-31 on the puck line this postseason. Game 1 of the Western Conference Final between the Vegas Golden Knights and Dallas Stars is tonight, and I have the total available as part of a three-pack of totals that includes an MLB Division Total of the Month and Game 2 of the NBA's Eastern Conference Finals.In the NBA, I lost by a half-point when the Denver Nuggets managed just a five-point win over the Los Angeles Lakers in Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals.While everyone had their eyes peeled for Nikola Jokic, it was Jamal Murray scoring 23 of his 37 points in the fourth quarter, to lift the Nuggets to a 108-103 come-from-behind win over Los Angeles for a 2-0 lead in the series.Anthony Davis and LeBron James were a combined 13 of 36 from the floor.The series shifts for Games 3 and 4, to Los Angeles, where the Lakers have covered six in a row.Despite last night's setback by one-half point with the Nuggets, I'm on a 77-61-3 overall run for $12,890 net profit since 4/17, including a 39-24-3 NBA run for $12,550. I'm in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Final tonight with my NBA SIDE WINNER # 27 of 42.On the MLB diamond, five of the six underdogs won Thursday. No doubt about it the most notable was the St. Louis Cardinals at +130 (DraftKings), as they stroked seven home runs en route to a 16-8 victory over Los Angeles. The Redbirds have now won nine of 11 behind an offense that is hitting .281 and averaging 7.8 runs per game since May 7.Since the start of the MLB season, I've hit four of my first six BLANK CHECK releases. Tonight I've isolated one specific game for you, and you have my permission to fill in the blank. Whatever you want to put on this game, feel free. It's my MLB BLANK CHECK WINNER # 5 of 7.

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Vegas Writer's Daily Recap - May 19, 2023

Thursday, May 18, 2023

The NBA Playoffs continued last night, with Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals tipping off in Boston.And the Miami Heat certainly made the statement I thought they would, winning outright as an 8-point underdog.Jimmy Butler scored 35 points, including 20 after halftime, and Miami came from behind in the second half to upset the Celtics 123-116.Surprisingly, The betting market moved the number from -8 to -8.5, and the Heat made their backers happy with an outright win. Those cashing the moneyline were ecstatic with a +310 closing price at Draft Kings.Game 2 is scheduled for Friday.I'm now 77-57-3 for $16,090 since 4/17, including an NBA run of 39-23-2 for $13,600. Riding a 26-14-1 run with SIDE WINNERS in the NBA, and tonight I jump back into the Western Conference Finals between the Denver Nuggets and Los Angeles Lakers. My NBA LINE MISTAKE awaits.On the MLB diamond, only four of the 15 underdogs won Wednesday. No doubt about it the most notable was the Kansas City Royals at +230 (DraftKings), as they won in San Diego, 4-3. They've now won two straight after a four-game skid and have the day off before finishing their road trip playing at division-rival Chicago. And make note, KC just took three of four from the White Sox earlier this month (May 8-11).I'm offering is another DIVISION TOTAL OF THE MONTH. On Monday you got my NL East Total of the Month on the Mets-Nats OV. I'm on a 21-13-1 roll with ALL TOTALS from every sport. I make it 22 of 36 tonight with my DIVISION TOTAL OF THE MONTH.The NHL Playoffs are back tonight with Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Final starting in Raleigh, North Carolina.Numbers to keep in mind: Road teams are 41-32 in the postseason, the most wins by visitors at this stage of a postseason (73 games played) in league history. Eight of 12 series-clinching wins have been claimed on the road. Underdogs are 35-37 in the postseason, with a $100 wager on the pups turning a profit of roughly $1200. The 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs are averaging 6.4 goals-per-game, the highest rate at this stage of a postseason (73 GP) since 1995. The Over is 39-33-1 after the first two rounds, but the Under has cashed 24 of the last 43 games. There have been 18 overtime games, and road teams are 13-5 in those games. NHL favorites higher than -150 are 14-31 on the puck line this postseason. I couldn't be any happier about the conference finals getting started, as I've had my eye on this game since the TOTAL came out. I'm on a 91-79-2 roll in the NHL all season ($15,350), and 15-11 in the postseason ($5,130). I also come into Thursday on a 21-13-1 roll with ALL SPORTS TOTALS - including a 4-2 run with NHL Playoff totals. Tonight I make if 5 of 7 with NHL Playoff totals with my CONFERENCE FINAL TOTAL OF THE YEAR.

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Vegas Writer's Daily Recap - May 17, 2023

Wednesday, May 17, 2023

The NBA Playoffs resumed last night, with Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals tipping off in Denver.The Nuggets seemingly had the game in command, but the Los Angeles Lakers stormed back and turned a double-digit deficit into a 3-point nail-biter in the closing minutes.Nikola Jokic recorded his sixth triple-double of these playoffs with 34 points, 21 rebounds and 14 assists, powering the Nuggets to a 1-0 lead in the series after the 132-126 win.The point spread dipped as low as -5.5 in some places, while others sat on -6 for the push.Anthony Davis had 40 points and 10 rebounds, and LeBron James finished with 26 points, 12 boards and nine assists for the Lakers.Game 2 is scheduled for Thursday.I'm now 76-57-3 for $16,190 since 4/17, including an NBA run of 38-23-2 for $12,600. Riding a 25-14-1 run with SIDE WINNERS in the NBA, and tonight I jump head first into the Eastern Conference Final opener between the Boston Celtics and Miami Heat. My NBA LINE MISTAKE awaits.On the MLB diamond on Monday, nine of the 13 underdogs won. There were several notable underdog winners, including the Milwaukee Brewers (+155 DraftKings) in a 3-2 road win at the St. Louis Cardinals. The teams have split the first two of the series, and play the rubber match tonight.I hit two of three DOG OF THE MONTH winners in baseball on Tuesday. Scored with the Red Sox (AL Dog OTM) and Brewers (NL Central GOM), and tonight I'm focused on one division. The Yankees and Blue Jays are embroiled in an A.L. East clash and tonight is Game 3 of the 4-game set. Toronto looks for revenge after New York took the first two. Huge pitching showdown, and I'm going to point out the glaring difference for my side. E-Z WINNER right here with my AL EAST GAME OF THE MONTH.The NHL Playoffs are on hiatus until Thursday night, with Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Final starting in Raleigh, North Carolina.Numbers to keep in mind: Road teams are 41-32 in the postseason, the most wins by visitors at this stage of a postseason (73 games played) in league history. Eight of 12 series-clinching wins have been claimed on the road. Underdogs are 35-37 in the postseason, with a $100 wager on the pups turning a profit of roughly $1200. The 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs are averaging 6.4 goals per game, the highest rate at this stage of a postseason (73 GP) since 1995. The Over is 39-33-1 after the first two rounds, but the Under has cashed 24 of the last 43 games. There have been 18 overtime games, and road teams are 13-5. NHL favorites higher than -150 are 14-31 on the puck line this postseason.

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Vegas Writer's Daily Recap - May 16, 2023

Tuesday, May 16, 2023

The Dallas Stars held off the Seattle Kraken, and we have an interesting Western Conference Final on our hands.Dallas coach Peter DeBoer is in his first year as coach of the Stars, after being fired by the Vegas Golden Knights last April.Vegas coach Bruce Cassidy has the Golden Knights back in the playoffs after being fired by the Boston Bruins last April.Two skilled first-year coaches with entwined ties will lead their teams to the ice Friday for Game 1 in Vegas.With Dallas winning at home, road teams are now 41-32 in the postseason, while underdogs dropped to 35-37 in the postseason with a $100 wager on the pups turning a profit of roughly $1200.The Over was 26-23-1 in the first round, and after Monday's game stayed low, the run with Unders improved to 24-19. The record for Overs in the NHL postseason is now 39-33-1.The overall tally for overtime games sits at 18 this postseason. Road teams are 13-5 in those games.Now, for an interesting note, those who turn to the puck line when NHL favorites have gotten higher than -150 during the postseason may want to remember this.With Seattle making it a one-goal game with less than 30 seconds in the game, NHL favorites higher than -150 dropped to 14-31 on the puck line this postseason.The NBA had the night off but returns with Game 1 tonight in Denver, where the Nuggets host the Los Angeles Lakers.I'm rolling with another SIDE WINNER. I'm on a 74-56-2 run for $14,210 since April 17, including a 38-23-2 NBA run for $12,600. And part of the NBA win streak is a 25-14 roll with SIDE RELEASES. Tonight it's Game 1 between the Lakers and Nuggets and I have NBA SIDE WINNER # 26 of 40.On the MLB diamond on Monday, only four of the 12 underdogs won. The most impressive pup was easily the Washington Nationals (+140 DraftKings) in a 10-3 rout of the Miami Marlins. The Nats have now won five of eight behind stellar hitting, with a .299 batting average while scoring 5.3 runs per game.I hit my Interleague Total of the Month winner on the Mets-Nationals going over by 3.5 runs. Tonight in baseball I have three UNDERDOG WINNERS, all DOGS OF THE MONTH, including two DIVISION DOGS OF THE MONTH and one LEAGUE DOG OF THE MONTH. I'm on a 74-56-2 run for $14,210 since April 17, and that bankroll will grow quickly at these prices with my MLB DOG OF THE MONTH TRIPLE PLAY.

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Vegas Writer's Daily Recap - May 15, 2023

Monday, May 15, 2023

The Vegas Golden Knights continue to prove they are a true No. 1 seed, and they might be some of the very few who believe in the lore of Connor McDavid and the Edmonton Oilers.They didn't even need seven games, as they took the series in six after Jonathan Marchessault scored a natural hat trick on Sunday, and Adin Hill stopped 38 of the 40 shots he faced.Now, the league's second-newest franchise Knights will either face their former coach (Peter DeBoer) or the league's newest franchise in the Western Conference Final.Game 7 between the Dallas Stars and Seattle Kraken go tonight, and it should be a fantastic finish.The Kraken crushed Dallas on Saturday, when Jordan Eberle scored twice, Eeli Tolvanen had a goal and two assists and veteran netminder Philipp Grubauer stopped 20 shots in the 6-3 win.With Vegas winning in Edmonton, road teams are now 41-31 in the postseason, while underdogs improved to 35-36 in the postseason with a $100 wager on the pups turning a profit of roughly $1300.The Over was 26-23-1 in the first round, and after Sunday's game went high, the run with Unders dropped to 23-19. The record for Overs in the NHL postseason is now 39-32-1.The overall tally for overtime games sits at 18 this postseason. Road teams are 13-5 in those games.In the NHL, I'm 91-78-2 for $16,350 net profit for the entire season, including a 15-10 postseason roll for $6,130. Tonight I have your Game 7 winner between Dallas and Seattle.Quick look inside the NBA, the Boston Celtics devoured the Philadelphia 76ers in their Game 7 matchup, as the curse of Doc Rivers in decisive games continued.Jayson Tatum scored 51 points - the most in a Game 7 history - to lead the Celtics to a 112-88 victory, which was bad news for me, as I had Philly contending. That didn't happen.Now, we have an NBA Final Four that looks like the 2020 bubble, when the Nuggets faced the Lakers and the Celtics met the Heat. Los Angeles went on to defeat Miami in the NBA Finals.I'll have both of your Game 1 winners available on Tuesday.On the MLB diamond on Sunday, only three of the 15 underdogs won. The most impressive pup might have been the Colorado Rockies (+140 DraftKings) in a marathon 4-0 shutout win over the Philadelphia Phillies. Colorado has now won nine of 13 and is hitting .278 and averaging 5.6 runs per game during the run.I went 1-1 on Sunday, including my Interleague Game of the Month on the Blue Jays getting it done. I'm now on a 73-54-2 roll for $15,330 net profit since April 17. Tonight I deliver an easy total in a huge division showdown. MLB DIVISION TOTAL OF THE MONTH is one of today's early starts, and I'm also throwing in TWO BONUS SIDE WINNERS for a 3-0 Sweep in baseball. MLB DIVISION TOTAL OF MONTH goes tonight. 

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Vegas Writer's Daily Recap - May 14, 2023

Sunday, May 14, 2023

I've gotten a real kick out of hockey fans who are stunned at the Seattle Kraken and the run they've enjoyed.Fact is, when you have a red-hot goaltender who is a veteran, you can go a long way in the postseason.Thus, Game 7 awaits.We may or may not know who will be in one half of the Western Conference Final after Sunday's lone game, with the Vegas Golden Knights visiting the Edmonton Oilers.Thanks to the Kraken crushing the Dallas Stars on Saturday, we'll find out who emerges from that series on Monday in Game 7 - the second straight decisive seventh for the second-year franchise.Jordan Eberle scored twice, Eeli Tolvanen had a goal and two assists, and the Kraken beat the Stars 6-3 on Saturday night. Veteran netminder Philipp Grubauer stopped 20 shots for the win.Gru beat his former team, the Colorado Avalanche, in seven games in the opening round, with Game 7 played in Denver. Now he has a chance to send the Kraken into the West Final against the Golden Knights or Oilers.With Seattle winning at home, road teams are now 40-31 in the postseason, while underdogs improved to 34-36 in the postseason with a $100 wager on the pups turning a profit of roughly $1100.The Over was 26-23-1 in the first round, and after Saturday's game went high, the Under is now on a 23-18 run. The record for Overs in the NHL postseason is now 38-32-1.The overall tally for overtime games sits at 18 this postseason. Road teams are 13-5 in those games.Quick look inside the NBA... There were no games Saturday, as we have one final conference semi to finish, as Game 7 between the Philadelphia 76ers and Boston Celtics is today. The Sixers have covered six of seven on the road, and nine of 12 overall. Conversely, Boston has covered nine of 13 at home and 11 of 16 overall.Overall in this series, as we lead up to Game 7, the Celtics are on an 8-3 ATS run.Yesterday I hit my XFL Playoff Game of the Year on the Arlington Renegades winning the championship OUTRIGHT with my biggest play for the day. For Sunday, it's time for Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals, and I love this game between the Philadelphia 76ers and Boston Celtics. I've hit 25 of my last 38 NBA Side releases, and roll into Sunday on an overall run of 38-22-2 in the postseason for $13,700 NET$. One game, one play to focus on: my NBA SIDE WINNER # 26 of 39.On the MLB diamond on Saturday, four of the 14 underdogs won. One game was suspended. The most impressive pup might have been the New York Yankees (+125 DraftKings) in a marathon 9-8 win over the Tampa Bay Rays.I'm now 72-53-2 for $15,430 since April 17, including my Interleague Dog of the Month on May 2, when I delivered the Diamondbacks over the Rangers. Today, I've got my MLB INTERLEAGUE GAME OF THE MONTH.

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Vegas Writer's Daily Recap - May 13, 2023

Saturday, May 13, 2023

Two home teams nobody expected to win got it done in impressive fashion last night.And with that, the seventh-seeded Los Angeles Lakers are moving on to the Western Conference Finals in the NBA Playoffs, and the top-seeded Vegas Golden Knights lead their Western Conference semifinal with the Edmonton Oilers, 3-2.Then there's the South Beach storyline. Man, I can only imagine the parties taking place in Miami.The Heat knocked off the New York Knicks and advanced to the Eastern Conference Finals. At the same time, the Florida Panthers went into Toronto and finished off the Maple Leafs with a 3-2 overtime win to advance to the Eastern Conference Final.Impressive all-around night, with some incredible storylines in days to come.With Florida winning in Toronto, and Edmonton losing in Vegas, road teams are now 40-30 in the postseason. And, underdogs are now 33-36 in the postseason, with a $100 wager on the pups turning a profit of roughly $1000.The Over was 26-23-1 in the first round, and after Friday's totals split, the Under is now on a 23-17 run. The record for Overs in the NHL postseason is now 37-32-1.The overall tally for overtime games sits at 18 this postseason after Florida's victory came in an extra frame. Road teams are 13-5 in those games.Quick look inside the NBA, Important to note, there are no games today, as we have one final conference semi to finish, as Game 7 between the Philadelphia 76ers and Boston Celtics is tomorrow. The Sixers have covered six of seven on the road, and nine of 12 overall. Conversely, Boston has covered nine of 13 at home and 11 of 16 overall.Overall in this series, as we lead up to Game 7, the Celtics are on an 8-3 ATS run.On the MLB diamond last night, five of the 13 underdogs won. Two games were at pick'em prices. The most impressive pup might have been the Chicago Cubs (+140 at DraftKings), as they went into Minneapolis and beat the Twins, 6-2.I went 3-1 on Friday, including my Division Game of the Month on the Mets getting it done over Washington. I'm now on a 70-51-2 run with $15,580 NET$ since April 17. For Saturday, I have one MLB winner waiting for you, and it's the best value I see. It just happens to be a total. I'm on a 20-11 run with ALL SPORTS TOTALS, and tonight I make it 21 of 32 with my MLB INTERLEAGUE TOTAL OF THE MONTH.

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Vegas Writer's Daily Recap - May 12, 2023

Friday, May 12, 2023

Due to limited time for Friday, I have an abbreviated recap today.The NBA Playoffs saw both road teams win last night, with the Boston Celtics staying alive in the Eastern Conference semifinals, and the Denver Nuggets moving on to the Western Conference Finals.Conversely, the NHL Playoffs saw both home teams win, as the Carolina Hurricanes move on to the Eastern Conference Finals (a play I delivered with my NHL SIDE WINNER # 19 OF 31), and the Dallas Stars taking a 3-2 lead over the Seattle Kraken.Road teams dropped to 39-29 in the postseason. And, underdogs are now 31-36 in the postseason, with a $100 wager on the pups turning a profit of roughly $700.The Over was 26-23-1 in the first round, and after Thursday's totals split, the under is now on a 22-16 run. The record for Overs in the NHL postseason is now 36-31-1.The overall tally for overtime games sits at 17 this postseason after Carolina's victory came in an extra frame. Road teams are 12-5 in those games.I'm on a 19-12 run with my NHL sides. I'm also on a 68-48-2 run for $14,500 since April 17, including a 14-10 run in the postseason for$4,950 net profit. Since Day 1, I'm 90-78-2 for $15,350 NET$ in hockey. Do not miss my NHL SECOND ROUND DOG OF THE YEAR which happens to be my NHL SIDE WINNER # 20 OF 32.Quick look inside the NBA...While the West's No. 1 seed Denver awaits the winner of the Lakers-Warriors series, the Celtics forced a Game 7 back at home on Sunday.Important to note, the Sixers have covered six of seven on the road, and nine of 12 overall. Conversely, Boston has covered nine of 13 at home and 11 of 16 overall.Overall in this series as we lead up to Game 7, the Celtics are on an 8-3 ATS run.Tonight in the NBA I have ONE SIDE and ONE TOTAL, and have them bundled for you in one package. I'm on a 68-48-2 run for $14,500 since April 17, including a 37-21-2 roll in the NBA for $13,800 in the same span. Tonight I go 2-0 with my NBA PLAYOFF DOUBLE DIP.On the MLB diamond, there was an abbreviated card, and three of the five underdogs won. The sixth game was a pick'em. The most impressive pup was the Cincinnati Reds (+165 at DraftKings), as they beat the New York Mets 5-0. Keep an eye on the Reds for value numbers, as they're hitting a respectable .264 during a 9-6 stretch, and are averaging 4.6 runs per game in that span.Part of tonight's action includes a solid MLB DIVISION GAME OF THE MONTH, as I love the N.L. East showdown between the Nationals and Mets. Remember, I'm on a 68-48-2 run for $14,500 since April 17, including a 37-21-2 roll in the NBA for $13,800 in the same span. Tonight I cash my MLB DIVISION GAME OF THE MONTH.

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Vegas Writer's Daily Recap - May 11, 2023

Thursday, May 11, 2023

Watching last night's playoff action, two songs entered my head: "Wheels on the Bus" by an artist unknown, and "Back and Forth" by Cameo.Either one depicts what we're seeing in both the NBA and NHL conference semifinals.One night it's the road teams, the next it's home domination.Wednesday it was three home teams and only one road team getting it done, with three of them winning to stay alive in their respective playoff series.Let's start in the NHL, where the Toronto Maple Leafs went into Sunrise, Florida to defeat the Panthers and avoid being swept. Seemingly headed into another disappointing offseason, the Maple Leafs are indeed heading home, but for Game 5 on Friday.Joseph Woll stopped 24 shots in his first playoff start, and Mitch Marner and William Nylander scored for Toronto in a 2-1 victory.Then the Vegas Golden Knights and Edmonton Oilers took the ice, and things weren't as close as the early game.An angry group of Oilers skated through and around the Knights after losing Game 3, dominating Vegas in every facet in a 4-1 win.Ryan Nugent-Hopkins had a goal and an assist to lead the Oilers, who got additional goals from Nick Bjugstad, Evan Bouchard and Mattias Ekholm en route to a four-goal lead in the second period.Game 5 of the best-of-seven series is Friday night at Las Vegas, and Game 6 will be back in Edmonton on Sunday.Road teams improved to 39-27 in the postseason. And, underdogs are now 31-34 in the postseason, with a $100 wager on the pups turning a profit of roughly $900.The Over was 26-23-1 in the first round, and after Wednesday's totals both stayed under the posted numbers, the under is now on a 21-15 run. The record for Overs in the NHL postseason is now 35-30-1.The overall tally for overtime games sits at 16 this postseason. Road teams are 12-4 in those games.I'm on an 18-12 run with my NHL sides, and tonight I have one winner for you from hockey, as I zero in on the best value on ice. And remember, I'm on an 89-78-2 run the entire NHL season, for $14,350 net profit, and 13-10 in the postseason for $3,950 net profit.In the NBA, we had two games, with the New York Knicks scrapping their way to a 112-103 win over the Miami Heat to stay alive in their series, and the defending champion Golden State Warriors dominating the Los Angeles Lakers 121-106 to extend the series to six games.Stephen Curry scored 27 points and dished out eight assists, Andrew Wiggins added 25 points, seven rebounds and five assists, and the reigning champion Warriors are two steps away from negating a 3-1 series deficit. Rallying on the strength of this core group in the postseason is nothing new, which makes Game 6 in Los Angeles even more intriguing. The Lakers opened a 2-point favorite and quickly moved to 2-1/2 across the board. Problem for the Warriors is they're mired in ATS slides of 1-5 after a straight-up win and 0-5 after an ATS win. Flipside, the Lakers have covered five straight after SU and ATS setbacks.In the earlier game, Jalen Brunson erupted for 38 points, nine rebounds and seven assists and played all 48 minutes in a season-extending performance. The Heat were looking to become just the second No. 8 seed to reach the conference finals. They'll get their chance Friday night at home, as the series returns to Miami for Game 6. The Heat have covered seven of their last 10 meetings with the Knicks in Miami, and four of the five in this series.I'm on a 4-0-1 run with my Second Round Plays of the Year, and tonight I deliver my ONE AND ONLY NBA SECOND-ROUND GAME OF THE YEAR. Remember I'm on a 37-20-2 roll in the NBA since April 17, for $14,900 NET$. I'm also on a 23-12-1 run with NBA SIDES! And tonight I add to the bankroll with MY BEST PLAY from the Conference Semifinals. Jump on board now for my ONE AND ONLY NBA SECOND-ROUND GAME OF THE YEAR.On the MLB diamond, seven of the 12 underdogs cashed tickets, while there were a few pick'em games I won't add to the ledger. The Colorado Rockies (+120 at DraftKings) continued to impress with a plus-price on the road, as they defeated the Pirates in Pittsburgh, 4-3. One of the biggest underdogs was out of the American League West, where the Texas Rangers (+160 DKS) won in Seattle with a 4-3 win over the Mariners.I'm taking baseball off with a very short card. I'll be back Friday with MLB action.

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Vegas Writer's Daily Recap - May 10, 2023

Wednesday, May 10, 2023

Room service continues to serve postseason guests well in the NHL and NBA's respective postseasons. The road teams went 3-1 in four playoff games on Tuesday, splitting out in the NBA and sweeping the board in the NHL.Carolina was dominant in its Eastern Conference semifinal in New Jersey, pushing the Devils to the brink of elimination with Game 5 back in Raleigh.It's no shock to me, as the Hurricanes, who are now up 3-1, were the preseason favorites in the Eastern Conference, as I told you yesterday with my complimentary winner.It only took a five-minute span in the season period last night, for the Canes to establish their presence - and dominance - in the 6-1 win. The Dallas Stars also looked like their usual selves, as they dispatched the Seattle Kraken, 6-3. An empty-net goal provided the final margin, as the Kraken did look competitive during the final stretch of the third period.Joe Pavelski scored his sixth goal of the series as part of a four-goal second period for Dallas, which takes the series home with home ice tilted in its favor and this now a best-of-three set.With the two road wins in Tuesday's playoff games, road teams improved to 38-26 in the postseason. And, underdogs are now 31-33 in the postseason, with a $100 wager on the pups turning a profit of roughly $1000.The Over was 26-23-1 in the first round, and after Tuesday's totals both ran north of the posted numbers, the under is now on a 19-15 run. The record for Overs in the NHL postseason is now 35-28-1.The overall tally for overtime games sits at 16 this postseason. Road teams are 12-4 in those games.I've zeroed in on the TOP TOTAL for the SECOND ROUND OF THE NHL PLAYOFFS. I'm 3-0 with my Second Round Plays of the Year already, and tonight I have the BEST OVER/UNDER for the 2nd Round. Remember, I'm 89-77-2 for $15,350 NET$ since the start of the season. I'm 13-9 in the postseason for $4,950 NET$. Tonight I make it four straight Plays of the Year in the conference semifinals with my 2ND ROUND CONFERENCE TOTAL OF YEAR.In the NBA, we had two games, with the Philadelphia 76ers making a statement with a 115-103 win at the Boston Celtics, and the Denver Nuggets re-establishing its role in the West with a 118-102 win over the Phoenix Suns.Nikola Jokic was brilliant last night, scoring 29 points, 13 rebounds and 12 assists for his 10th career playoff triple-double in the 16-point win over the Suns. The Joker drained five 3-pointers. The home team is now 5-0 in this series. If we end up back in the Mile High City for Game 7 on Sunday, keep in mind the Nuggets own the NBA’s best home record at 39-7, including 5-0 in the playoffs.In the earlier game, Joel Embiid scored 33 points as Philadelphia made it look easy in taking a 3-2 lead in the East semifinals with its 12-point win in Beantown. The 76ers led by as many as 21 points in the fourth quarter, home fans booed the Celtics, and now the series can come to a close Thursday in Game 6 in Philly, where the Sixers have covered 27 of 40.I'm riding a 67-45-2 run for $16,700 NET$ since 4/17 into tonight. And part of that run is a 37-19-2 showing for $16,000 NET$. Huge game in the Big Apple tonight, as the Miami Heat and New York Knicks return to Madison Square Garden for Game 5. The Heat look to close things out, and the Knicks look to stay alive. BLANK CHECK WINNER # 31 OF 53 is an NBA LOCK.On the MLB diamond, seven of the 15 underdogs cashed tickets. The most impressive pups coming from the National League with the Colorado Rockies (+150 at DraftKings) crushing the Pirates in Pittsburgh, 10-1, and the Cincinnati Reds (+140 DKS) at home in a 7-6 win over the New York Mets.I'm taking baseball off with a slew day games highlighting the full card.

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Vegas Writer's Daily Recap - May 9, 2023

Tuesday, May 09, 2023

The Edmonton Oilers had the deadliest offensive threat going for them, as Leon Draisaitl scored six goals in the first two games of the Western Conference semifinal against the Vegas Golden Knights.It appeared Vegas could be doomed with the series heading to Edmonton, and all the momentum like oil in Draisaitl and his teammates' direction.As Lee Corso will soon say on College Gameday: "Not so fast my friend!"The Golden Knights skated through and around the Oilers on Monday, stealing back home ice, and making a statement with a 5-1 victory.Jonathan Marchessault scored his first goal of the postseason, and then added a second for good measure. Jack Eichel continued to impress during his first-ever postseason appearance, and suddenly the West's overall No. 1 seed has life.A scary moment occurred when starting netminder Laurent Brossoit was helped from the ice, but you could hear fans exhaling when Adin Hill stymied the Oilers by stopping all 25 shots he faced.With the win in Monday's playoff game, road teams improved to 36-26 in the postseason. And, uderdogs are now 30-32 in the postseason, with a $100 wager on the pups turning a profit of more than $900.The Over was 26-23-1 in the first round, and after Monday's total stayed south of the posted number, the Low choice is now on a 19-13 run. The record for Overs in the NHL postseason is now 33-28-1.The overall tally for overtime games sits at 16 this postseason. Road teams are 12-4 in those games.I'm passing in the NHL tonight, although I am offering a free play on the Hurricanes-Devils game to follow up on the complimentary winner I gave you on the Knights-Oilers Under on Monday.In the NBA, we had two games, including my Second Round Dog of the Year and took the push with Golden State (+3).It amazes me how the focus in the Eastern Conference has been on the Milwaukee Bucks, Philadelphia 76ers and Boston Celtics all season, but here we are staring down the barrel of another Miami Heat gauntlet.Jimmy Butler had 27 points and 10 assists, Bam Adebayo finished with 23 points and 13 rebounds as Miami moved one win away from its third trip to the Eastern Conference finals in the last four years. Can you imagine, this is the same Miami team that was roughly three minutes from being eliminated in the play-in tournament but is now one win from the conference finals? That's called experience, and the Knicks are feeling it. Miami has covered seven straight now, and will bring a 4-1 ATS road win streak into Madison Square Garden on Wednesday.In the late game, we're all still enamored by the Los Angeles Lakers, right? First they dominated the Memphis Grizzlies in the opening round. Now they have the defending NBA champs on the brink of elimination. And while LeBron James and Anthony Davis will always get the glory and immediate praise, this has been a win-by-committee effort with the Purple and Gold. Last night it was Lonnie Walker, who scored all of his 15 points in the fourth quarter to help the Lakers rally late to take a 3-1 second-round series lead. Los Angeles improved to 6-1 ATS in its last seven meetings with the Warriors, and will be playing for the series on Wednesday.I''m now on a 67-44-2 run since April 17 for $20,200 NET$, including a 37-17-2 roll ($18,200) in the NBA. Over the L7 Days, I'm No. 1 in NET$ with $6,200 in the bank thanks to a 16-9-2 run (64.0%) that has me No. 2 in WIN%. Tonight I'm ready to deliver NBA SIDE WINNER # 19 of 25, as I'm focused on the Eastern Conference. I'll add the Western Conference total as a bonus. Let's make some money with a 2-0 NBA SWEEP.On the MLB diamond, six of the 11 underdogs cashed tickets. The most impressive pup cashing a big ticket was the Washington Nationals (+190 at DraftKings) beating the Giants in San Francisco, 5-1.Speaking of underdogs, I delivered my A.L. West Dog of the Month with the Angels getting it done over Houston on Monday. Tonight I love ONE MLB GAME, and it's the biggest of the month from the junior circuit. Cash in right here with my  MLB AMERICAN LEAGUE GAME OF THE MONTH. A full slate of action in MLB tonight.

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Vegas Writer's Daily Recap - May 8, 2023

Monday, May 08, 2023

I'm not sure who made a bigger statement on Sunday, the New Jersey Devils, Florida Panthers or the Seattle Kraken.The Devils are suddenly alive in their Eastern Conference semifinal after smacking the Carolina Hurricanes in an 8-4 win, while the Panthers have the Toronto Maple Leafs on the brink of extinction for the summer after winning in overtime and taking a 3-0 series lead.The second-year Kraken, meanwhile, dominated the Dallas Stars and normally stalwart goaltender Jake Oettinger in the nightcap.Imagine the oddity in saying the home teams swept the card on Sunday, but it's true - all three hosts won on the ice.Road teams dropped to 35-26 in the NHL Playoffs, and considering how well the Edmonton Oilers played in Vegas on Saturday, I don't know if the Golden Knights can win on the road in tonight's lone game.With the Panthers and Kraken winning - I gave you both, by the way, along with a loss on Carolina - underdogs are now 29-32 in the postseason, with a $100 wager on the pups turning a profit of roughly $750.The Over was 26-23-1 in the first round, and after Sunday's totals finished 2-1 to the high, the Low choice remains on an 18-13 run. The record for Overs in the NHL postseason is now 33-27-1.The overall tally for overtime games is now at 16 this postseason. Road teams are 12-4 in those games.After hitting my Second Round Eastern Conference Dog of the Year on the Panthers on Sunday, I'm passing tonight. I do have a free play on the Knights-Oilers total available in the appropriate section of the site.In the NBA, we had two games and both home teams got it done, again.The Philadelphia 76ers and Boston Celtics battled to overtime in Game 4, and it as James Harden playing the role of hero. First it was Harden's floater with 16 seconds left in regulation to tie the game, and then it was his go-ahead 3-pointer with 18 seconds left in the extra period to lift the 76ers to a come-from-behind 116-115 victory over the Celtics. Philly has now covered eight of 10 overall and roll to Boston for Game 5 riding a 5-1 ATS road win streak.In the late game, it was the Phoenix Suns pulling even with the top-seeded Denver Nuggets behind the scoring prowess of Devin Booker and Kevin Durant. Both scored 36 points as the Suns registered a 129-124 victory, marking the fourth time in the last five meetings the teams have gone over this season. The series shifts to the Mile High City, where the Nuggets have covered six of their last seven.I'm on a 65-43-1 run ($19,080) since 4/17, including an NBA run of 36-17-1 ($17,200) in the same span. And when it's come to this second round, though, I'm a perfect 4-0 with my Conference Semifinal Plays of the Year after hitting my Second Round Conference Total of the Year on the Celtics-76ers Over. Tonight I have two winners from the NBA card, including my SECOND ROUND DOG OF THE YEAR, and it's bundled with a bonus winner from the other game.On the MLB diamond, eight of the 15 underdogs cashed tickets. The most impressive pup cashing a big ticket was the Colorado Rockies (+170 at DraftKings) beating the Mets in Queens, 13-6.Tonight I'm playing two baseball games, BOTH UNDERDOGS, including a DIVISION DOG OF THE MONTH.There's abbreviated action for baseball on Monday with 11 games on the card, including a huge National League showdown in Milwaukee, where the Brewers open their series with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

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Vegas Writer's Daily Recap - May 7, 2023

Sunday, May 07, 2023

After the Vegas Golden Knights beat the Edmonton Oilers in Game 1 and the way the Eastern Conference semifinals started out with both series, the betting market shifted quickly on the Stanley Cup favorite. Suddenly, the Knights were on everyone's radar.Now, after Saturday, the Oilers might be the team to watch from the West, as they're looking ready to roll with the series going back to Edmonton, with a potential collision course with the Carolina Hurricanes.The Oilers destroyed Vegas in Game 2, and it wasn't just the 5-1 final that was impressive, it was the way they dismantled the Knights on their ice, dictating the pace and creating opportunity after opportunity with every shift.Only one game last night, so road teams head into Sunday's slate on a 35-23 roll in the NHL Playoffs.With the Knights losing, underdogs are now 27-31 in the postseason, with a $100 wager on the pups turning a profit of roughly $600.The Over was 26-23-1 in the first round, and after the total stayed Under last night, the Low choice remains on a 17-11 run. The record for Overs in the NHL postseason is now 31-26-1.The overall tally for overtime games is still at 15 this postseason. Road teams are 12-3 in those games.I'm on a 61-40-1 run since April 17 for $18,680. Part of that run is an NHL Playoff mark of 11-8 for $3,600 NET$. It's been a profitable season, as I'm 87-76-2 overall with $14,000 NET$. I'm 2-0 with my 2nd Round Plays of the Year, hitting my EC Game of the Year (Carolina 5/2) and EC Total of the Year (Carolina/NJ OV 5/5). Part of a 3-0 SWEEP from every game today, I have my SECOND-ROUND CONFERENCE DOG OF THE YEAR.In the NBA, we had two games and both home teams got it done.The Miami Heat smacked the New York Knicks around in a 105-86 win, improving their current run to 7-3, during which their once-stagnant offense has turned in 116.9 points per game. Miami star Jimmy Butler is averaging 24.1 points during the 10-game stretch. Bam Adebayo continues to complement Butler, averaging 16.9 points, 8.9 rebounds and 4.1 assists for the Heat.Los Angeles negated all the Golden State Warriors talk, as the Lakers rolled with ease in a 127-97 blowout on Saturday night. All the conversation of Anthony Davis being a no-show in Game 2, and the veteran showed up with 25 points. The stars are aligning for the Lakers at the right time, as LeBron James is averaging 28.9 points, 8.3 rebounds and 6.8 assists while Davis is averaging 20.7 points over the last 10 games for Los Angeles. And suddenly, the Warriors are 7-9 against Pacific Division opponents.I'm on a 61-40-1 run ($18,680) since 4/17, including an NBA run of 33-16-1 ($15,300) since 4/18. And when it's come to this second round, though, I'm a perfect 3-0 with my Conference Semifinal Plays of the Year. You got my WC Total of the Year (Suns/Nuggets OV, 4/29), my EC Dog of the Year (Heat, 5/2), and my EC Game of the Year (Celtics, 5/5). Today I have my SECOND-ROUND EASTERN CONFERENCE TOTAL OF THE YEAR. I also have my NBA SIDE WINNER # 18 OF 24.On the MLB diamond, seven of the 14 underdogs cashed tickets, with one game being a pick'em. Once again, one of the biggest underdogs on the schedule cashed with the Tigers (+160 at DraftKings) beating San Francisco, 6-5.Tonight I'm playing two baseball games, bundled together or an MLB Double Play.Full slate of action for baseball on Saturday.

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Vegas Writer's Daily Recap - May 6, 2023

Saturday, May 06, 2023

Can we all agree if there is one team in hockey that's been doing what it's supposed to, it's the Carolina Hurricanes?They were favored to win the Eastern Conference when the season started, and they've been dominant this postseason in eliminating the New York Islanders and now taking a 2-0 lead on the New Jersey Devils.The Hurricanes won 6-1 last night, as Jesperi Kotkaniemi led Carolina with two goals.The problem they may encounter is that this is nothing new for the Devils, who fell behind the New York Rangers 0-2 in the opening round and responded by winning the series in seven games.This series is far from over, as New Jersey is 52-22-8 overall with a 22-11-2 record in Metropolitan Division games. The Devils have also gone 50-7-6 in games they score three or more goals, and I would think they'll get their offense going the next time out.Carolina is 52-21-9 overall and 25-8-1 against the Metropolitan Division. The Hurricanes have allowed 210 goals while scoring 262 for a +52 scoring differential.Only one game last night, so road teams head into Saturday on a 34-23 roll in the NHL Playoffs.With the Devils losing, underdogs are now 27-30 in the postseason, with a $100 wager on the pups turning a profit of roughly $700.The Over was 26-23-1 in the first round, and after the total went Over last night, the Under remains on a 16-11 run. The record for Overs in the NHL postseason is now 31-25-1.The overall tally for overtime games is still at 15 this postseason. Road teams are 12-3 in those games.In the NBA, only one game on the card and it was the Boston Celtics dismantling the Philadelphia 76ers for an easy win and cover as Jayson Tatum led the way with 27 points. Joel Embiid scored 30 points for the 76ers, but it wasn't enough.Boston's offense continues to be impressive, as it's now averaging 119.7 points, 44.6 rebounds, 27.4 assists, 6.2 steals and 6.5 blocks per game over its last 10 games. During that stretch, the Celtics are shooting 50.3% from the field while holding opponents to an average of 111.7 points.Went 3-1 on Friday, including a 2-0 sweep in the NBA with the Celtics smacking Philly and the Nuggets/Suns sailing Over. Now 60-38-1 since April 17, for a NET$ of $19,880, including a 32-15-1 NBA run for $15,400 of NET$. Check the leaderboard, not only the L7 Days, but the L60 Days to find consistency with NET$. You'll find yours truly. Tonight I have two more winners, the East SIDE and the West TOTAL. Another NBA PLAYOFF 2-0 SWEEP bundled in a 2-FOR-1 SPECIAL.On the MLB diamond, eight of the 15 underdogs cashed tickets, including the second-biggest on the schedule with the Tigers (+205 at Circa) beating San Francisco, 5-4.Tonight I'm playing just one baseball game, another DIVISION SHOWDOWN where we're getting off cheap with this pitching matchup. Part of a 5-0 day that includes NBA and XFL action to go along with tonight's MLB DIVISION GAME OF THE MONTH.Full slate of action for baseball on Saturday.

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Vegas Writer's Daily Recap - May 5, 2023

Friday, May 05, 2023

The Toronto Maple Leafs we've come to appreciate have reared their choking heads.After making the second round for the first time since the 2012-13 season, the Maple Leafs find themselves down 0-2 in their Conference Semifinal against the Florida Panthers, who took Game 2 with a come-from-behind 3-2 victory.Fact is, Florida goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky has been the better netminder in the series, and if the Maple Leafs can't solve him in Sunrise, Fla., this series isn't going back to Toronto.With Dallas beating Seattle 4-2 to knot their series 1-1, road teams head into Friday on a 34-22 roll in the NHL Playoffs.Florida has been one of the most impressive road teams in the postseason, including three victories at the Presidents' Trophy-winning Boston Bruins. Now 5-0 on the highway, the Panthers find themselves on the other side of the docket, having to defend home ice. Game 3 on Sunday. Game 4 is scheduled for Wednesday.With their win, the Panthers helped improve underdogs to a 27-29 mark in the postseason, with a $100 wager on the pups turning a profit of roughly $800.The Over was 26-23-1 in the first round, but after the totals split last night the Under is now on 16-10 run. The record for Overs in the NHL postseason is now at 30-25-1.Neither game on Thursday went into overtime, leaving the overall tally at 15 overtime games this postseason. Road teams are 12-3 in those games.In the NBA, only one game on the card and the defending champion Golden State Warriors made the Los Angeles Lakers look their age in a 127-100 victory to salvage the two-game set in San Francisco.The series now shifts to Los Angeles for the weekend, with the Lakers hoping to push the champs to the brink.Two games on the card today, with the Boston Celtics visiting the Philadelphia 76ers and the Denver Nuggets in the Valley of Sun to play the Phoenix Suns,.On the MLB diamond, six of the 10 underdogs cashed tickets, including one of the biggest on the schedule with the Red Sox completing the sweep of the Blue Jays.Boston's offense has come to life at the right time, as they head to Philadelphia to face the defending National League champion Phillies, who return after a West Coast road trip.Full slate of action for baseball on Friday.

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Vegas Writer's Daily Recap - May 4, 2023

Thursday, May 04, 2023

It's about time the home teams did their jobs in the postseason.The Boston Celtics, Carolina Hurricanes and Vegas Golden Knights restored faith in their hometown bases, all three winning decisively to cover their respective numbers.Road teams went into Wednesday on a 33-19 roll in the NHL Playoffs after they opened the second round 2-0 on Tuesday. But the Hurricanes and Golden Knights outclassed New Jersey and Edmonton, respectively.The most shocking element from last night's NHL action might have been in Las Vegas, where Edmonton's Leon Draisaitl scored four goals in the loss. It marked the second straight night a player on the losing playoff team scored four goals, as Joe Pavelski accomplished the feat for Dallas on Tuesday.The Over was 26-23-1 in the first round, but after the totals split Tuesday and the Under extended its run to 15-9, both NHL games went high last night. The record for Overs in the NHL postseason is now at 29-24-1.Meanwhile, Vegas helped improve underdogs to a 26-28 mark in the postseason, with a $100 wager on the pups turning a profit of more than $900 ($915 at DraftKings).Neither game went into overtime, leaving the overall tally at 15 overtime games this postseason. Road teams are 12-3 in those games.Went 3-0 on Wednesday, including a 2-0 sweep in Major League Baseball. And one of those two winners was my Interleague Dog of the Month on the Diamondbacks against Texas. Part of my lineup for Thursday is another MLB Dog Winner, as I have a DIVISION DOG that is wrongly priced and highly underrated. I'm on an overall run of 56-36 for $18,180 since 4/17, including a 15-10 MLB run since 4/19 for $4,530. Jump on board for this DIVISION DOG OF THE MONTH.In the NBA, only one game on the card, and the Boston Celtics destroyed the Philadelphia 76ers, who got the NBA MVP back in the lineup.Boston’s 121-87 win over Philadelphia last night was the 50th game of this year’s postseason, and it marked only the fourth contest to be decided by more than 20 points.Only one game on the card today, with the Los Angeles Lakers still in San Francisco for their Western Conference semifinals against defending NBA champion Golden State.And the Warriors are looking to avoid falling into a 2-0 hole for the second consecutive series, after doing so against the Sacramento Kings in the opening round.I have the SIDE and TOTAL for tonight's NBA game bundled in one package for you. Don't miss this 2-for-1 special, as I'm on a 29-15 NBA run for a net profit of $12,400 since 4/18.How wild was MLB action yesterday?Three pitchers made their MLB debuts as the starter on Wednesday, and all three teams won.Washington ushered Jake Irvin to the hill, and the Nats beat the Cubs, 2-1.Arizona handed the ball to Brandon Pfaadt for his career debut, and the Snakes beat the Rangers, 12-7.Finally, the Dodgers turned to young right-hander Gavin Stone, and what a marathon that was. Los Angeles fell behind early to the Phillies, 5-0. The Dodgers let the Phils tie it in the top of the ninth, 6-6. And in dramatic fashion in the most picturesque MLB stadium, Max Muncy delivered the first pitch he saw to the rightfield stands for a walk-off grand slam.Can't imagine being one who held a ticket on the Phils.On the contrary, I gave you both the Diamondbacks and Dodgers on Wednesday. Today it's just one MLB winner, and it goes early. Don't miss out.

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Vegas Writer's Daily Recap - May 3, 2023

Wednesday, May 03, 2023

The postseason road warriors continued to haunt home crowds Tuesday night.After road teams went 31-19 in the opening round, to set an NHL record for most wins by the visitors in any round, both guests won Tuesday.The Florida Panthers (+155) and Seattle Kraken (+180) shocked most by winning Game 1 of their second-round openers against the Toronto Maple Leafs and Dallas Stars, respectively.The Panthers, fresh off overcoming a 3-1 series deficit to eliminate the overall No. 1 seed Boston Bruins, took an early 2-0 lead in Toronto before pulling away from a 2-2 tie with goals from Carter Verhaeghe and Brandon Montour to take a 1-0 series lead.Florida has now won four straight road games in the postseason.Second-year franchise Seattle, fresh off their series win over the reigning Stanley Cup champion Colorado Avalanche, overcame two first-period deficits to take a 4-2 lead out of the opening stanza.Dallas' Joe Pavelski scored his third and fourth goals of the game in the third period to help send the game into overtime, but it was Yanni Gourde with an unassisted goal at the 12:17 mark in the extra period to give the Kraken a 1-0 series lead and home ice the rest of the way.The Over was 26-23-1 in the first round, but after the totals splitting Tuesday, we've now seen the Under cash in 15 of the last 24 playoff games.Underdogs improved to 25-27 in the postseason, with a $100 wager on the pups turning a profit of more than $900 ($915 at DraftKings).There have now been 15 overtime games played in the postseason, and road teams are 12-3 in those games.I'm on a 53-36 run since April 17, with a NET$ of $15,080 in all sports. That includes a 4-2 mark with my 1st Round Plays of the Year on ice. I'm on an 85-76-2 run in the NHL since the start of the season, with a NET$ of $11,850. Tonight I'm unloading on one of the two hockey games for my 2ND ROUND CONFERENCE GAME OF YEAR.In the NBA, after the New York Knicks avoided destruction by coming from behind at home to defeat the Miami Heat and tie the series at 1-1, the Los Angeles Lakers struck the first blow in their series opener against the defending champion Golden State Warriors.Both underdogs covered, as the Heat caught +10 points and lost 111-105, but the Lakers (+4) won outright in San Francisco, 117-112.Anthony Davis had 30 points, 23 rebounds, five assists and four blocked shots, while LeBron James added 22 points and 11 rebounds.Scary part for the Warriors is James’ 23 points were his third-fewest in 23 playoff games against the Warriors.James said it best, explaining how the Lakers have been in postseason mode."We’ve been playing playoff basketball for about 2 1/2 months now just to punch our clock to be able to play right now in the postseason," he told reporters after the game.One key takeaway that allowed the Lakers to cover for the fourth time in five games, was their paint dominance, outscoring Golden State in the area, 32-12.

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Vegas Writer's Daily Recap - May 2, 2023

Tuesday, May 02, 2023

Is Gerard Gallant going to get fired?It's the question many New York Rangers fans want to know after the New Jersey Devils thoroughly dominated the Blueshirts in a decisive 4-0 Game 7 win on Monday.A pick'em game, the Rangers saw a lot of the action to get the line -110 on each side, as the Devils opened a -120 favorite.On to the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, which begins tonight in Toronto and Dallas, but not before I send out of the first round with some things to chew on... The Panthers overcame a 3-1 series deficit to eliminate the team with the best regular-season record in NHL history. Seattle, a second-year franchise, dethroned the reigning Stanley Cup champions to win its first-ever playoff series Seven of eight teams advanced after facing a series deficit (tied for the most ever). Carolina is the only outlier. There was an average of 6.2 goals per game, trailing only 2022 (6.6) as the highest-scoring first-round in the past 28 years. The Over was 26-23-1 in the first round, but the Under cashed in 14 of the last 22 games. Road teams went 31-19 to set an NHL record for most wins by the visitors in any round. Underdogs went 23-27 in the first round, but a $100 wager on the underdog in all 50 games would have turned a profit of roughly $600. A total of 14 overtime games were played, and road teams went 11-3 in overtime. NBA WATCHWhile the Phoenix Suns may have fell in Denver by 10 to the Nuggets, dropping to 0-2 in the series, they may have lost even more with Chris Paul leaving the game with groin tightness. Could be over for the Suns, as the most consistent - and underestimated - team in the NBA continues to be the Nuggets. Nikola Jokic scored 39 points and pulled down 16 rebounds one night before we find out the NBA MVP. The Nuggets are now 5-2 ATS in the playoffs, including a 4-1 start in Denver. They're also on a 4-2-1 Over run in the postseason.In Monday's other game, Philadelphia stole homecourt advantage after James Harden hit a go-ahead, step-back 3-pointer over Al Horford with 8.7 seconds left to help the 76ers to a 119-115 victory over the Boston Celtics in Game 1 of their Eastern Conference semifinal matchup. No Joel Embiid? No problem. Tyrese Maxey and Tobias Harris combined to add 44 for the Sixers, who drained 17 3-pointers in the MVP finalist's absence. The Sixers are now 4-0-1 ATS in the postseason, while the Under remains 3-2 despite Game 1 soaring Over.Two games on the slate tonight, as the Heat and Knicks engage in Game 2, and the Lakers and Warriors open their series in San Francisco.MLB TEAMS IN OPPOSITE DIRECTIONSThe New York Yankees' demise continued, as they lost their fourth straight, dropping a 3-2 decision at home to the Cleveland Guardians. The Pinstripes are struggling terribly at the plate during a 3-8 skid since April 21, hitting just .214 while averaging less than three runs per game. The Yankees have plated three or fewer runs in nine o those 11 games, and two or fewer in eight. Their pitching staff has a 4.88 ERA during that 11-game stretch. We're also looking at a 3-7-1 mark to the Under in those games, with the Yankees failing to score runs.Flipside from the left coast, the Los Angeles Dodgers are back where they seemingly belong, on top of the NL West thanks to a four-game win streak after last night's 13-4 destruction of the defending NL champion Philadelphia Phillies. The Dodgers have jumpstarted their offensive a bit after averaging 5.0 runs per game over their first 21 outings, as they're averaging 6.0 runs per game during a current 7-2 win streak. They've 15 home runs in that span, since April 22. The Over has cashed in seven times during the nine-game stretch.All teams are in action Tuesday, with 15 games on the schedule.

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Vegas Writer's Daily Recap - May 1, 2023

Monday, May 01, 2023

Happy May Day!As we turn to the fifth month in 2023, so comes a new era for yours truly, as I usher in the VW Daily Recap, a quick synopsis of the previous day's action that encapsulates the entire card, points out the occasional bad beats, updates you on favorites and underdogs on the whole, and delivers an anecdote or two to take into the day with you.Consider it a bit of a column, as there will be some opinionated thoughts here and there. But overall, some added insight for with daily nutritional value to whet your appetite for your sports investment diet.Let's start this thing off in the postseason - both the NBA and NHL - where the road underdogs went a combined 4-0.The Miami Heat (+4') stole Game 1 of their Eastern Conference semifinal with the New York Knicks with a 108-101 victory, led by 25 points from Jimmy Butler. Miami's defense continues to impress, ranking second in the league in allowing just 109.8 points while limiting opponents to 48.2% shooting. The Heat are now 5-1 ATS as an underdog in the postseason, and have covered seven of eight when catching points dating back to the regular season. The Knicks continue to struggle offensively, as they're averaging a mere 99.8 points per game through six playoff games while shooting 43.8% from the floor, including 26.8% from 3-point range.The Golden State Warriors (+1') made a huge statement in Sacramento, trouncing the Sacramento Kings by 20. The betting market moved the number from Warriors -1 to the other side, and defending champs proved everyone wrong. Stephen Curry was as animated as he's ever been during a game en route to a playoff career-high 50 points in what was the most dominating performance of his career. The Warriors overcame an 0-2 series deficit to win four of the next five games - including two on the road - and snapped a three-game slide as an underdog by winning Sunday's game outright. Looking ahead to their next series, the Warriors have lost three straight to the Los Angeles Lakers - all in 2023.A $100 two-team moneyline parlay in both NHL Game 7s would have netted $726.50 (based on closing numbers at Draft Kings), as the Florida Panthers stunned the Boston Bruins in overtime and the Seattle Kraken ousted the defending champion Colorado Avalanche. Just how we drew it up, right?For the Panthers, who next meet Toronto, it was their offensive prowess throughout the series that sent them past the President's Trophy winner. Florida scored four or more goals in its four wins, averaging 5.2 goals per victory. It's their high-scoring ways to keep an eye on for their upcoming series with the Maple Leafs, as the Over is on a 10-4-1 run, including a 5-1-1 streak in Toronto. Make note, the home team has won 15 of the last 20 meetings.The Kraken got incredible play from their inspired goaltender, Philip Grubauer, a castoff from the Avalanche. Gru was left out to dry when the Kraken came into the league, and Seattle gladly signed him as a free agent. The Kraken slowed the Avs to pedestrian outcomes throughout the series, holding them to less than four goals in five games. Overall, the Kraken limited Colorado to 2.7 goals per game. The second-year franchise is just 2-4 against the Dallas Stars, whom it'll face in the conference semifinals, but did win the most recent meeting 5-4 in overtime on March 21.MLB DOG POUND - Sunday saw eight of 14 underdogs win. Betting $100 on each game, based on closing numbers at Draft Kings, an investor would have made $690. One of those underdogs, the Texas Rangers, handed the New York Yankees their third straight loss. The Pinstripes will try to right the ship as they return to the Bronx for a three-game series with the Cleveland Guardians before heading to Tampa to face the first-place Rays next weekend.The Miami Marlins were a nice money grab, as they won their fourth straight with a 4-3 victory over the Chicago Cubs. The Fish have caught fire at the right time, as they get a day off before hosting the Atlanta Braves this week. We should see some value prices during that three-game set.Though the Pittsburgh Pirates lost 7-2 to the Washington Nationals, they remain the most impressive investment with a 20-9 mark that would have profited more than $1,300 with a $100 wager on all 29 games. The Bucs have been an underdog in 20 of those games. They open a tough three-game set in Tampa on Tuesday, which will likely bring some high prices to pay attention to.The dreaded Oakland Athletics pulled out a victory over the Cincinnati Reds on Sunday, and went over for the 19th time this season. The A's are tied for the league lead with 19 Overs. They're now 19-9-1 Over this season, tied with the Boston Red Sox, who are 19-10 Over this season. Flipside, the Yankees are 10-18 Under on the year, with the defending National League champion Philadelphia Phillies just behind with 17 Unders in their 29 games.SEA DRAGONS ARE NO KRAKEN - In the XFL on Sunday, the Seattle Sea Dragons couldn't keep up with their NHL brethren, as they were stomped out of the postseason by the DC Defenders, who won 37-21 to easily cover the 1 1/2. Tied 9-9 at halftime, the Defenders scored 14 points in both the third and fourth quarters to cruise into the championship game, where they're laying -6 points to the Arlington Renegades. In their lone meeting during the regular season, the Defenders eked by the Renegades 28-26 in overtime on April 16, despite being outgained by Arlington on offense, 434-314. The total in the championship game is 46 1/2 points.

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A Little Q&A To Get You Ready For The NHL Playoffs

Monday, Apr 17, 2023

There are always questions before the playoffs begin, and as one of the winningest NHL handicappers this season, I wanted to answer any and all questions you may have.Thus, here is a Q&A with the Vegas Writer before the NHL Playoffs begin:Q: Is "home ice" an advantage in a seven-game series?VW: Don't get caught up in the home team/higher seed in hockey. Spanning the last 10 postseasons, the lower seed has stunned the higher-ranked seed in 45.3% of all seven-game series, including a 41.3% showing in the opening round. The biggest upsets have been in the conference final, where 13 of the past 20 series (65.0%) have been won by the lower seed.Q: How likely is it we'll see a wild-card team advance past the opening round?VW: Over seven postseasons with wild-card teams in the current format, wild-card entries are 10-18 in the opening round of the postseason. In 2018-19, we saw all four wild-card teams advance past the opening round. Two wild-card teams have won two or more rounds in a single postseason, with the Predators advancing to the Stanley Cup Final in 2017. The Hurricanes made it to the Eastern Conference Final in 2019.Q: How has the regular-season head-to-head series factored into postseason meetings?VW: Well, spanning the past 10 seasons, a team that won the season series vs. an opponent has a 71-51 series record when facing the same opponent in the ensuing Stanley Cup Playoffs.Q: The Bruins set an NHL record with 65 wins, making them one of four teams in league history to reach the 60-win plateau in a single season. Did any of the other three win the Stanley Cup?VW: The 1976-77 Montreal Canadiens (60-8-12) went 12-2 in the postseason en route to winning the Stanley Cup. The 1995-96 Detroit Red Wings (62-13-7) lost to eventual Stanley Cup champion Colorado. And, the 2018-19 Tampa Bay Lightning (62-16-4) fell in the opening round to Columbus.Q: Has the Presidents’ Trophy jinx become an annual plague for the team that finishes first in the overall League standings?VW: My favorite postseason trend, as the team that finished No. 1 in the overall NHL standings has gone on to win the Stanley Cup only 35% of the time (19 of 54), dating back to the first season of expansion (1967-68). Most recently, it has only happened four times since 1999-2000: Avalanche in 2001, Red Wings in 2002 & 2008, and the Blackhawks in 2013. The Bruins are hoping to become the first Presidents’ Trophy winner to advance to a Conference Finals in eight years, last done by the Rangers in 2014-15.Q: With Connor McDavid scoring 150 points this season, what are the chances he leads Edmonton to a Stanley Cup title?VW: Slim to none. Of the five previous skaters in NHL history to register 150+ points, Wayne Gretzky is the only player to accomplish the feat and win the Stanley Cup the same year. Gretzky did it on three occasions: in 1983-84, 1984-85, and 1986-87.

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NBA Playoffs Offer Attractive Choices in Opening Round

Wednesday, Apr 12, 2023

As the play-in round continues, it's time to look at two Opening Round series that look attractive for those hoping to secure future plays.Let's take a look at two of the series, with insight as to where my money would go:Eastern Conference 4/5 SeriesNo. 4 Cavaliers (-200, DKS) over No. 5 KnicksIt’s been five long years since the Cleveland Cavaliers have tasted playoff basketball, but they’ll finally get a sample of it when they play host to the fifth-seeded New York Knicks in the opening round of this postseason.The last time Cleveland won a playoff series was the 2017-18 season when it stunned the Boston Celtics 4-3 in the Eastern Conference Finals, and they have just as good a chance (if not better) of repeating that feat here against the Knicks.Despite posting just 112.3 points per game this season (25th), the one thing the fourth-seeded Cavaliers have going for themselves is their defense, which is tops in the NBA in points allowed at 106.9 ppg, while letting the opposition connect on just 46.8% of its shot attempts (8th).New York went through a postseason drought itself, missing the playoffs between the 2013-14 and 2019-20 seasons. It also missed out last year after getting bounced in the first round by the Atlanta Hawks in 2020-21.Though they faced their share of some ups and downs, the Knicks still managed to put together an impressive season, posting a 47-35 record compared to last year’s mark of 37-45. Their main concern heading into this initial series, though, will be the absence of their leading scorer (25.1 ppg) and rebounder (10 rpg.) Julius Randle, who is out for possibly the next two weeks with a severely sprained ankle.Though they lack depth, the Cavs are an explosive, young team with loads of potential moving forward, and with a poised Donovan Mitchell taking the lead role, they’ll ultimately out-duel New York in this series, and advance to the second round where they’ll face the winner of the Milwaukee/Play-in winner.Western Conference 3/6 SeriesNo. 6 Warriors (-286, DKS) over No. 3 KingsIf there were a Cinderella in this year’s NBA season it would undoubtedly have to be the Sacramento Kings. Locked in as the three-seed in the Western Conference, the Kings went from a 30-52 record a year ago to 49-33 this season, while also capturing the Pacific Division title. As rewarding as that may be, they now have the unenviable task of facing the defending champion Golden State Warriors when the postseason officially gets underway this weekend.Granted, Sacramento led the league in scoring at 121 points per game, but the playoffs are officiated differently, and physicality is almost rewarded, something they’re not accustomed to, having not played more than 82 games in a season for over a decade-and-a-half. In addition, the Kings rank a lowly 26th in scoring defense, allowing 118.2 ppg (26th) on a dismal 49.2% shooting (29th) and 37.4% from three-point territory (28th).Golden State, on the other hand, has more championship rings in the past decade (4) than Sacramento has playoff appearances (1). And even though the Kings will have homecourt advantage here, they’ll still struggle to dispose of the defending champions who’ve won at least one road playoff tilt in 24 consecutive postseason series, and 20 or more playoff games in five of the last six seasons overall.As good as Sacramento is playing, one cannot dismiss the fact that it hasn’t made a postseason appearance since 2006, and has only made the playoffs 28 times in its 74 years of existence. Experience is key when you reach postseason play, and the Kings simply don’t have it. This is precisely why the Warriors will advance to the second round by the time this series is in the books.

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Sour 16: Not Everything Sweet About Regionals

Wednesday, Mar 22, 2023

We all know the upcoming games on Thursday and Friday - the regional semifinals - are labeled with sweetness for the final 16 teams.And as sweet as it is to see 11 different conferences represented, and seeds ranging from two top seeds to as high as a 15 still playing in this year's dance, it's important to recognize intangibles that work against every single team before investing in either side.Leave it to me to point out the SOUR SIXTEEN, 16 focal points for the remaining teams that you may or may not know, but definitely should factor into your wagering before Thursday and Friday.EAST REGIONAL SEMIFINALS (Thursday)Florida Atlantic vs. TennesseeFAU - In playing a defensive-minded team like Tennessee, the aggressiveness could often send the Owls to the free-throw line in this one. Problem for them is they're not a good free-throw shooting team. Florida Atlantic ranks 206th in the country in making an average of 12.4 free throws per game, while they're 202nd in the country attempting 17.4 complimentary shots per contest.TENNESSEE - The Volunteers may be known for their defense, but their offensive efficiency leaves a lot to be desired. Against a balanced team like the Owls, it's a cause for concern when the Vols rank 232nd in the nation with a 43.6% shooting clip. Tennessee's effective field-goal percentage ranks 216th at 50.2%.Michigan State vs. Kansas StateMICHIGAN ST. - There are three important areas in basketball that help teams on offense, and the Spartans rank terribly in each category. First of all, their 9.94 forced turnovers per game rank 339th in the nation. If they can't get the ball away from the opportunistic Wildcats, it'll pose problems. They also struggle on the offensive glass, ranking 261st with 8.91 per game. Second-chance opportunities are a must by this point in the tournament. Finally, they average 11.6 made free throws per contest, which is 272nd. KANSAS STATE - The Wildcats rank in the lower half of the country when it comes to 3-point shooting, be it attempts or made treys per game. I don't have a problem with that, because it means they don't live or die by the three. But they went from averaging 20.2 3-pointers per game through their first 24 games, but there's been an uptick to 22.3 over their last nine games - including 24.3 per contest over their last three. And, they're hitting just 24.4% from 3-point range in the tournament.WEST REGIONAL SEMIFINALS (Thursday)Arkansas vs. ConnecticutARKANSAS - The Razorbacks struggle with their long-range game, ranking 305th in the nation in 3-point percentage (31.6). And while Arkansas draws fouls at a high rate, it fails to convert at the charity stripe, ranking 282nd in free-throw percentage (69.2%). Also, Arkansas ranks 236th in assist rate (48.7%). The biggest area of concern is depth, as the Razorbacks rank 293rd in bench minutes percentage (25.9%)CONNECTICUT - This might be one of the most complete teams left in the dance, statistically, as the Huskies check the boxes all around, at both ends of the court. The one area I see being a problem since Arkansas draws a lot of fouls, is where the Huskies rank 262nd with 18.0 fouls per game. While Razorbacks may not convert their free-throw opportunities well, the last thing UConn needs to do is give them so many chances.Gonzaga vs. UCLAGONZAGA - Is this the matchup where the Bulldogs' propensity for being lax on defense hurts them? The Zags’ defense is currently ranked the worst since 2006, as it's sometimes been rather soft, mainly because it answers the bell at the other end. If they don't defend the perimeter better, the Dogs will become vulnerable against a team like the Bruins, who can hit from long-range when given space.UCLA - The Bruins aren't aggressive enough on the defensive glass, and they cannot afford to give Gonzaga second-chance opportunities. It's one thing to rely on 15.67 turnovers forced per game (23rd nationally), and a +1.44 assist-to-turnover ratio (18th), but when you're snatching 24.17 defensive boards per game (233rd), a team like Gonzaga will hurt you. Guys like Timme and Strawther don't need second chances.MIDWEST REGIONAL SEMIFINALS (Friday)Miami, Florida vs. HoustonMIAMI, FL - When you're facing a team like Houston, you better hope your defense can be as strong. The Hurricanes will need their best effort at the defensive end of the floor, and I'm not so sure the efficiency will be there. The 'Canes ranked 222nd, allowing 71.6 points per game on 44.7% shooting (244th). Sure, that offense can score some points. But this is the best defense the Hurricanes will have faced, and they'll need their best effort to slow the Cougars.HOUSTON - The Cougars are a guard-oriented team, but if they want to get to the regional final, they're going to need to get elite play in the paint. The Cougars rank 190th with their 62.4% 2-point rate against fellow D-I teams. And as defensive as this team gets, you'd think the Cougars would score more on the break, but average only 11.08 per game.Xavier vs. TexasXAVIER - This one may seem odd, but I'm going to turn to chemistry. Two Xavier players got into an on-court shouting match during a comeback win over Kennesaw State in the opening round. Guards Souley Boum and Adam Kunkel appeared to yell at each other on the court before coaches got in between the two near the bench. This is the regional semifinal, and the Longhorns are going to cause frustration. The Musketeers need to keep it together.TEXAS - The Longhorns struggle beyond the arc, ranking 171st in 3-point percentage (34.1). They also do a terrible job in drawing fouls, as they rank 166th in foul rate (31.9%). Match those with being an undersized team - the 'Horns are 268th in average height and play smaller at times - and this could be trouble against the Musketeers, who ranked 11th in the nation with 81.2 points per game.SOUTH REGIONAL SEMIFINALS (Friday)San Diego State vs. AlabamaSAN DIEGO ST - The Aztecs have always had defensive prowess. They don't back down from anyone. Then there are times they meet their match, and they don't know how to react. In facing the overall No. 1 seed in the event, the Aztecs can't afford to be bullied and pushed around. When another team instills fear first, the Aztecs have been known to wilt. This could be one of those times.ALABAMA - Off-court distractions, aka the media. There aren't many flaws with this team. But with all talks over the off-court controversy surrounding this team, it falls on coach Nate Oats to keep his troops focused on the task. There will be plenty of trash-talking, and the Tide players have to block the outside noise and play their game.Princeton vs. CreightonPRINCETON - One of the biggest surprises to this point, the Tigers have a very good chance at knocking off Creighton. They just have to be better defensively. Princeton’s greatest weakness when you delve into metrics is forcing turnovers, with a defensive turnover percentage that ranks 349th out of 363 Division I teams in the country.CREIGHTON - Defensive rebounding and creating turnovers were two issues the Blue Jays needed to address during the off-season. They're now ranked seventh in the nation with 28.66 defensive boards per game. Problem is, they rank 296th with just 8.34 offensive rebounds per contest, and still only force 9.89 turnovers per game (340th). Against a scrappy Tigers team, you need to create more second-chance opportunities, and you need to force turnovers to move in transition.

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Who NOT to bet on to win the Tourney Title

Wednesday, Mar 15, 2023

Time for your Buyer Beware speech, as the dance that's big gets underway in full on Thursday.While many are on the prowl to identify the right team to invest in, the one with the right odds, and that can make a run at the title, I'm alerting you to the higher seeded teams I see bowing out sooner than expected so you don't make any financial mistakes.PURDUE (No. 1 seed, East Region)Of the No. 1 seeds in this year's event, the Boilermakers appear to be the most vulnerable, and one I don't think makes it into the national semifinals, let alone the East final. Sure, they won the Big Ten tournament, but they also were on the right side of the bracket, facing Rutgers (who lost in the first round of the NIT), sub-.500 Ohio State (which played its fourth game in as many days) and a weary Penn State team that wouldn't have been able to compete had it been rested.The draw isn't as easy in this event, with the potential opponents in Memphis and Duke or Tennessee just to get to the East final, where the likes of Kentucky, Kansas State, Michigan State, USC, and Marquette reside on the other side of the bracket.After outscoring opponents by nearly 14 points per game after a 22-1 start to the season, the Boilers closed the season and conference tourney going 7-4 and outscoring teams by just 3.3 per contest. This team won't be able to weather the storm.BAYLOR (No. 3 seed, South Region)It's amazing the difference a few years can make. From the Bears' championship run in 2020-21, to now, the depth and defense is a drastic change. Sure, the offense has been flowing with one of the best backcourts in the nation, but the Bears can't defend. And that simply won't cut it in this region, even in the opening round against Santa Barbara.If the Bears get past the Gauchos, I think they're destined to face Creighton, which has improved dramatically in the second half of the season. Second-seeded Arizona is bound to get to the South semis, and if Baylor can claw its way to the East final, sorry, but I'm guessing Alabama will be waiting, and I think the Tide can win it all.Baylor was lucky to grab a 3-seed in my eyes, after losing four of its last six games, including its regular-season home finale to Iowa State by 15, and then again in the Big 12 tournament to the same Cyclones, by six. The Bears gave up 69.0 over their first 26 games. During that final 2-4 slide, they allowed 75.5 points per contest. The Bears go into hibernation sooner than later.VIRGINIA (No. 4 seed, South Region)Another team from the same region as Baylor, I don't see how the Cavaliers make it through a rugged gauntlet when I see how they've underperformed lately. Though they won four of seven since Feb. 22, it's the lackluster offense that is alarming.This is a team that was outscoring teams by a respectable 9.0 points per game during a 21-4 start but fell off noticeably with its offense losing roughly six points per game and the scoring differential shrinking to +2.6 in that seven-game span.The Cavs tend to make life hard on themselves on the offensive end of the floor, failing to work for the easy buckets, and relying too much on the long ball. That'll be trouble at some point, as this top-four seed loses before the regional final.GONZAGA (No. 3 seed, West Region)I don't trust Mark Few, point blank. He cannot coach when things aren't going well and he's scrambling for answers. There's always too much dependence on one guy, and this year it's Drew Timme. Sure, he's not a bad choice. But when the Bulldogs run up against a team that can isolate on him, Few isn't always open to expanding his options.This affects things at both ends of the court, as the Bulldogs aren't necessarily a good defensive team in transition. So in potential opponents like UCLA, Kansas or UConn, Iona, or even West Coast-rival Saint Mary's, they may find themselves bottled up.The Bulldogs have failed to crack the Top 100 with their adjusted defensive efficiency the past month, and it's creating mass imbalance for what should be a much better team than we've seen all season. Another early exit for Few and company.CONNECTICUT (No. 4 seed, West Region)The Huskies were a four-seed in the Big East Conference. Suddenly they're a four-seed in the dance? I'm not convinced, especially when I think the team with the most potential from that league is Marquette. Connecticut won just six of 11 in true road games. Okay, these are neutral-court games, and the Huskies won four of five on neutral courts. But this team fails in key categories that are big intangibles in this tournament.The Huskies rank 124th with just 18.9 free throw attempts per game - they don't draw enough fouls. They're tied for 270th in committing 18.1 fouls per contest - they foul too much. And I'd feel better if they forced more than 13.2 turnovers per game.Some may say Connecticut is in the easiest bracket, but I wouldn't be shocked in the least if Rick Pitino and his 13th-seeded Iona Gaels win this opening-round matchup.Good luck with your choices on future wagers, just don't make any one of these five.

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Get Your Spikes Out and Head Into The Dugout

Sunday, Feb 26, 2023

The boys of summer have made it to training cap, and I couldn't be any more excited for the baseball season?From a betting standpoint, always remember it's rare you can invest in a season-long season, go 50-50 - or slightly worse for that matter - and make money. With value underdogs going daily, and age-old, fool-proof systems that produce said plus prices, I’m always excited for the six-month grind.The baseball season can be a long one, so I always suggest putting aside a bankroll for the entire campaign, and settling in with a long-term package for what can be a roller coaster ride. There isn't much in the way of a break other than the days in July for the All-Star Break. The season gets underway next month, and ends more than a month into the NFL season - and two months into College Football - with the World Series. And believe me, when late August rolls around, it becomes a battle between your mind and determination to make money.Whether you're a recreational bettor or serious investor, there is no time to think with no days off if you're going to invest in baseball.So you're prepared, my routine begins the afternoon before once the pitching matchup is listed. I immediately start making lines, and then compare to the overnights that start to trickle in. Remember that there is value in every single game, it’s a matter of finding it and applying it accordingly. Whether it's first-five sides or totals, or full-game sides and totals.And this is one of those sports certain trends are important to look at, others should be ignored. The aforementioned systems that are classic can apply to specific trends you have no choice by to apply. As the campaign approaches, I will explain further, especially in my analysis.Remember, winning and losing streaks, how a pitcher does against certain teams, and how teams do on the road across different time zones all should have something to do with your success. Weather can be a factor. Whether it’s still cold in Chicago and New York, blistering hot in Phoenix, or sticky humid in certain cities.The biggest thing to remember, if you want to win money in baseball, is you have to stick to your handicapping morals, and that takes discipline. There will be times you're asked to take a $2 underdog, and the consistency in following patterns you started betting in late March will always play in your favor with the law of averages working out. It doesn't matter the price or the dynamics of a game or pitching matchup. You follow your system, you follow your discipline, you follow your trend, you stick to your process.Proper money management begins with investing a percentage of the bankroll you start with, and increasing your wagers as your bankroll increases. That is important. You cannot go bust two months into the season because you overextended yourself while you're still growing a season-long bankroll.If you start with a $5,000 bankroll and bet one percent of it, you’re moving $50 per game. As the bankroll increases or decreases, so will your one-percent, per-game investment. You don’t change because you like a specific game more than the other. Those types of investments should come from an outside source of income - not your season-long investment.Get your spikes out and head into the dugout. It’s almost time to make money with the most profitable sport, and as we get closer, I'll spotlight sleepers and future wagers.

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Time to keep an eye on the XFL

Thursday, Feb 23, 2023

Now that the eight-team XFL has a week under its belt, it's time to start making a move on the weekly betting lines.The way I see it, this is a league that will be fueled by which the teams that can control possessions, the teams that can execute the speciality extra points, and those coaches who show aggressiveness with the 4th-and-15 onside kicks. Also keep in mind that travel shouldn't play too much into what you're thinking. The teams are centralized out of Arlington, Texas, and then fly to the cities they're playing in weekly. It'll take a few weeks to determine true homefield advantages for these teams.Truth is, there was no surprise Arlington was one of the favorites to win the league, considering the league is based there.I think after the first week, one overreaction from bettors will be that the teams are pretty evenly matches with three of the four games finishing as one-score games that could've very easily gone the opposite direction with different winners.Orlando was the only team to serve a beatdown, stomping Houston, 33-12.Favorites closed Week 1 with marks of 3-1 SU and 2-2 ATS, and the average margin of victory was 7.5 points. Toss out Houston's 19-point demolition, and the average margin of victory was 3.0 points per game.I can't say whether the edge goes to the underdogs or favorites just yet, but I do like the idea of investigating every Over until the books get a better handle on the defensive units.Overs went 3-1 in Week 1, and it's the defensive units that are going to have adjust weekly to those aggressive coaches with tricks up their sleeves. After Week 1, we've seen balanced offenses that can control the clock, but that can strike quick, too.There was an average of 40.0 points per game in Week 1, with the posted totals averaging 36.125 per game.and this week only one game hits the 40-point matk, the Sunday night game between Arlington and Houston. That's two Texas teams with little to no travel, again, with the teams based out of Arlington all week.Week 2 should be a bit more interesting, and I get things underway with my XFL NORTH DIVISION GAME OF THE MONTH, as St. Louis visits Seattle. I have a free winner on the total, but my big play from the North is Thursday's side winner.

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Regardless of Sunday's Results, an Epic Super Bowl Awaits

Saturday, Jan 28, 2023

Postseason emotions fuel motivation, and both work in strange ways.Regardless of sport - be it football, baseball, basketball, or hockey - it takes the players to feed off them. Whether in your favor or against your mojo, momentum is a commodity for every team participating.In Sunday's NFC Championship, we have the top two seeds battling it out, with the San Francisco 49ers visiting the Philadelphia Eagles. And it's hard to dispute the NFC's top seeds will be riding emotional highs into Sunday's 3 pm pacific kickoff.Then there's the AFC Championship, in Kansas City, where the Chiefs play host to the Bengals, who won the regular-season matchup, 27-24, in Cincinnati.I expect both games to take all four fanbases on emotional roller coasters, and no matter what happens in these conference championships, I know the Big Game on Feb. 12 will be epic.In the NFC, we're getting a pair of dominating defensive units that, per TeamRankings.com, faced two of the three easiest schedules this season. San Francisco ranks 30th and Philadelphia is dead last at 32nd, in terms of the schedule of strength.When you look at the divisions they hail from, the 49ers come out of the NFC West, which has an overall average ranking of 16.75. The Eagles rolled through the NFC East, which has an overall average ranking of 21.25.Edge to Frisco with a +4.5.So what will it mean Sunday?Both teams are eccentric on offense, with the 49ers bringing coach Kyle Shanahan's offensive gloss behind young Brock Purdy, and the Eagles' unpredictable ways keeping opposing defenses guessing.The answer to the NFC riddle is which defense will be able to limit the big plays and come up with the big stop at the right time.The Eagles had five players with at least 35 pressures, and they recorded 54 sacks when rushing four or fewer defenders. The 49ers led the NFL in total defense (300.6), scoring defense (16.3), and turnover margin (+13) while ranking second in rush defense (77.7).In the AFC, the storyline is glaring, with the Chiefs in triple-revenge since Joe Burrow entered the league.Back to TeamRankings.com, where the Bengals rank second in the strength of schedule and the Chiefs sit 13th.Again, looking at the divisions they hail from, the Bengals come out of the AFC North, which has an overall average ranking of 5.25. The Chiefs dominated the AFC West, which has an overall average ranking of 20.5.Edge to the Bengals with a +15.25.For this game, the question is whether or not Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes will be mobile enough to lead Kansas City's offense and keep up with a Bengals offensive unit that ranked fourth in the league with 378 yards per game.Cincinnati quarterback Joe Burrow has three touchdowns against no interceptions with a 100.8 rating this postseason and aims for his fourth straight playoff game with no picks. Burrow is 3-0 with nine touchdowns vs. one interception and a 121 rating in three career starts versus Kansas City.Mahomes, who led the NFL with 5,250 yards passing and 41 touchdown passes this season, has 32 touchdowns and only three interceptions with a 116.7 rating in 10 career home playoff starts, with two touchdown passes in each of his last five. Mahomes has a 90+ rating in each of four career starts versus Cincinnati, including the playoffs.One thing is for sure, no matter what happens in these conference championships, I know the Big Game on Feb. 12 will be epic.

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Final Four Quarterback Quick Hits

Wednesday, Jan 25, 2023

With the Conference Championships just four days away, here is a quick glance at the Final Four quarterbacks:San Francisco BROCK PURDY became the third rookie since 1970 (Joe Flacco & Mark Sanchez) to win two playoff games. Purdy can become the fifth rookie QB ever (Flacco, Shaun King, Ben Roethlisberger & Sanchez) to start a conference championship game. Purdy has completed 2+ touchdown passes in seven of his last eight games, tallying 16 TDs vs. just three interceptions. Of the final four quarterbacks, Purdy ranks No. 1 since Week 14 with a 116.0 passer rating, 14 TDs, and yards gained per attempt (9.0).PhiladelphiaJALEN HURTS had three touchdowns (2 passing, 1 rushing) vs. 0 interceptions for a 112.2 rating in the NFC Divisional game vs. the New York Giants. Hurts became the third quarterback ever with 3,500+ yards passing (3,701), 20+ TD passes (22), and 10+ rushing TDs (13) in a single season - the second-most rushing TDs by a QB in a single season in NFL history. Hurts also became the first quarterback all-time with 10+ rushing TDs in consecutive seasons. He ranked fourth among QBs with 760 yards rushing. Hurts had 272 yards (190 passing, 82 rushing) and a rushing touchdown in the last regular season meeting.CincinnatiJOE BURROW has three TDs vs. 0 interceptions with a 100.8 rating this postseason and is aiming for his fourth straight overall in the playoffs with 0 INTs. Burrow is 3-0 with nine TDs (8 passing, 1 rushing) vs. an interception and a 121 rating in three career starts vs. Kansas City, including the 2021 AFC Championship. Burrow can tie Russell Wilson (6 wins) for most playoff wins by a quarterback in his first three seasons during the Super Bowl era. Burrow ranked fifth in the NFL with 4,475 yards passing and tied for second with a career-high 35 TD passes this season.Kansas CityPATRICK MAHOMES has 32 touchdowns (28 passing, 4 rushing) vs. a mere three interceptions with a 116.7 rating in 10 career home playoff starts, with 2+ TD passes in each of his past five. Mahomes has a 90+ rating in each of his four career starts vs. Cincinnati, including the playoffs. Mahomes led the NFL with 5,250 yards passing and 41 TD passes this season, joining Drew Brees as the only players ever with two career seasons of 5,000+ yards passing and 40+ TD passes. Mahomes aims for his sixth in a row overall with 105+ rating.

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Have We Already Seen a Preview of the Super Bowl?

Tuesday, Dec 27, 2022

Ever heard someone say (or write), "a preview of the Super Bowl in a regular season game" when describing an upcoming game?During the Super Bowl era, it's happened 14 times, the last being during the 2020-21 season, when the Kansas City Chiefs won the regular season meeting 27-24 but were stymied by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in a 31–9 Super Bowl destruction.Prior to that, it happened during the 2011 season, when the New York Giants beat the New England Patriots in both the regular season and the Super Bowl.It's only happened three times this century, with New York and New England also meeting two times in 2007, and the Rams and Patriots playing twice in 2001.It's Week 17 of the NFL season, and every team has two games left. I don't believe there is one game over the last two weeks anyone would consider a Super Bowl preview, so I took a look at my top three teams in both the AFC and NFC, peeped their schedules to date, and tried to find a potential preview they may have already played.Ironically, five of those six rank one through five with their scoring offenses: Philadelphia, Kansas City, Dallas, Buffalo and Cincinnati. Two of them rank one and two with their scoring defenses: San Francisco and the Bills.The 49ERS and the CHIEFS met in Week 7 at Arrowhead Stadium, a game that turned out well for Kansas City in a 44-23 rout. While the Niners generated 444 yards of offense, it also committed three turnovers. Their defense allowed Kansas City to gain 529 yards, including 417 through the air. Since that game, though, the 49ers haven't allowed more than a total of 349 yards to eight different teams. To that point, Frisco had committed 12 turnovers, thrice committing three in one game. Since then, the Niners have committed only four turnovers. Kansas City has just one loss since then, at Cincinnati, a monster the Chiefs will have to solve if they face them in the AFC playoffs. The Chiefs' offense generated an average of 382.3 yards and 29.8 points per game through their first six contests; since the 49ers meeting, they've averaged a whopping 446.1 yards and 28.7 points per game.We got an early indication of just how good the COWBOYS' defense might be when they hosted the BENGALS in Week 2 and came away with a 20-17 victory. It was the second-lowest output for Cincinnati this season. It wouldn't shock me to see this reunion in February, as both have shown me something late in the season. The Bengals head into their Week 17 battle with Buffalo riding a seven-game win streak, and it's been their stifling defense that has me tuned in. That includes shutting down Kansas City's potent offense in Week 13, during a 27-24 win. If the Bengals knock off Buffalo this Sunday, I make them the favorite to win the AFC, hands down. Dallas clearly took the Jaguars for granted in Week 15, as we've seen Jacksonville emerge atop the AFC South, it's not that bad of a loss. The big win over Philadelphia spoke volumes about what that offense is capable of. The Cowboys rank third in the NFL with 28.9 points per game, behind Philly and Kansas City.The only realistic preview we've seen from the BILLS during the regular season would be a Week 10 home game against the Minnesota Vikings. Of course, I don't consider the Vikes to be a top 3 team, so I'll concentrate on what we saw in that game, and since, from the Bills. It was an epic overtime game the Vikings stole, 33-30. The Bills haven't lost since, and we'll see what they're made of this weekend in Cincinnati, where they'll face the defending conference champion Bengals. Buffalo has won six in a row behind its potent offense, averaging 28.3 points per game. But truth be told, albeit, against a rather shoddy slate, the Bills' defense has been rather impressive for the most part. The Bills allow the second-fewest points per game (17.5) while the opposition ends offensive drives with a score just 30.8% of the time, the third-lowest in the NFL. I'm not sold on Buffalo's schedule strength, so if it runs into a solid defense, things could end quickly for the Bills in the postseason.It doesn't surprise me that the odd team out is the EAGLES, who I feel have played the weakest schedule among the NFL contenders on the whole. Per teamrankings.com, Philly has played the fourth-weakest schedule, with Frisco two spots lower at 31st. But to the 49ers' credit, they've been as high as the ninth-toughest schedule on the scale, whereas Philly has never been higher as 15th, and has been as low as 32nd.So which of the matchups mentioned do I believe makes the most sense?Cincinnati vs. Dallas on Feb. 12, 2023.See you in Glendale.

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NFL Week 14: Superlatives to Chew On

Sunday, Dec 11, 2022

A quick glance at what took place Sunday: - The Philadelphia Eagles and the league's second-highest scoring offense defeated the New York Giants, 48-22, improved to 12-1, and became the first team to clinch a playoff berth this season.Philadelphia quarterback Jalen Hurts recorded 294 yards (217 passing, 77 rushing) and three touchdowns (two passing, one rushing) with a 109.2 rating.Hurts, who has 3,157 passing yards with 22 touchdown passes and 10 rushing touchdowns this season, is the fourth quarterback ever with at least 3,000 passing yards, 20 touchdown passes, and 10 rushing touchdowns in a single season. - Heading into the Sunday and Monday Night Football games, there were 91 games decided by a touchdown (six points) or less, the most such games through the first 14 weeks all-time.Seven of 11 games (63.6 percent) that were completed in Week 14 had been within one score (eight points) in the fourth quarter and there have been 156 games within one score (eight points) in the fourth quarter this season, the most such games through the first 14 weeks in NFL history.- Comebacks told the tale in two epic showdowns, as the Dallas Cowboys registered a 98-yard game-winning touchdown drive that culminated with an Ezekiel Elliott rushing touchdown with 41 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter of their 27-23 win over Houston, while the Los Angeles Rams drove 98 yards on Thursday Night Football for the game-winning touchdown pass from Baker Mayfield to Van Jefferson with 10 seconds remaining in regulation of their 17-16 win over Las Vegas.Week 14 of the 2022 season is the first week in the last 45 seasons in which there were multiple game-winning touchdown drives of at least 95 yards where the touchdown was scored inside the final two minutes of regulation.There have been 49 games this season decided by a game-winning score in the final two minutes of regulation or in overtime, trailing only 2015 (50) for the most such games through the first 14 weeks of a season all-time.- Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes passed for 352 yards and three touchdowns while tight end Travis Kelce registered 71 receiving yards in the Chiefs' 34-28 win at Denver.Mahomes recorded his 24th career game with at least 300 passing yards and three touchdown passes, the most such games by a player in his first six seasons in NFL history.Kelce, who has recorded at least 1,000 receiving yards in each of the past seven seasons (2016-22), is the first tight end in NFL history with seven career seasons of at least 1,000 receiving yards.The Chiefs improved to 10-3 on the season while head coach Andy Reid became the third head coach in NFL history to record at least 10 regular-season wins in eight consecutive seasons.- Jacksonville quarterback Trevor Lawrence threw for 368 yards and totaled four touchdowns (three passing, one rushing) while tight end Evan Engram had 11 receptions for 162 yards and two touchdowns in the Jaguars' 36-22 win at Tennessee.Lawrence became the youngest player in NFL history with at least 350 passing yards, three touchdown passes, and one rushing touchdown in a game. Engram is the sixth tight end in NFL history with at least 10 receptions for 150 yards and two touchdowns in a game.- Buffalo quarterback Josh Allen had one touchdown pass and one rushing touchdown in the Bills' 20-12 win over the New York Jets. Allen has six rushing touchdowns in 2022 and is the first quarterback with at least six rushing touchdowns in five consecutive seasons in NFL history.- Cincinnati wide receiver Ja'Marr Chase had 10 receptions for 119 yards and one touchdown in the Bengals' 23-10 win over Cleveland. Chase registered his eighth career game with at least 100 receiving yards and a touchdown reception.- Detroit quarterback Jared Goff threw for 330 yards and three touchdowns with no interceptions for a 120.7 rating. - San Francisco quarterback Brock Purdy completed 16 of 21 pass attempts (76.2%) for two touchdowns with no interceptions for a 134.0 rating and added a rushing touchdown in the 49ers' 35-7 win over Tampa Bay. Purdy became the first rookie in the Super Bowl era with at least two touchdown passes, one rushing touchdown, and a passer rating of 125 or higher in his first career start.- Minnesota wide receiver Justin Jefferson had 11 receptions for a career-high 223 receiving yards on Sunday. Jefferson has five career games with at least 175 receiving yards. Jefferson, who has 1,500 receiving yards this season, is the first player in NFL history with at least 1,400 receiving yards in each of his first three career seasons.

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Turkey Day Primer for Three NFL Games

Wednesday, Nov 23, 2022

BUFFALO (7-3) at DETROIT (4-6): Thursday’s matchup marks the third Thanksgiving Day meeting between the Bills and Lions, with Detroit winning each of the first two contests. Thursday marks the 11th regular-season meeting between the two franchises, with Buffalo holding a 6-4-1 series advantage. In their last meeting, Week 15 of the 2018 season, quarterback Josh Allen rushed for a touchdown and threw a go-ahead 42-yard touchdown pass in the fourth quarter of the Bills’ 14-13 victory.  Week 12 will mark Buffalo’s third appearance on Thanksgiving in the past four seasons. On November 28, 2019, the Bills defeated Dallas, 26-15, with two touchdowns (one passing, one rushing) from Allen. Last year on the holiday, Allen threw four touchdown passes in Buffalo’s 31-6 win at New Orleans.Buffalo will play its second straight game in Detroit after earning a 31-23 victory over Cleveland, as Allen threw his 21st touchdown pass of the season. Since entering the NFL in 2018, Allen has 159 career combined passing and rushing touchdowns (124 passing, 35 rushing), tied with Patrick Mahomes (159) for the third-most by a player in his first five seasons in NFL history.On defense, Buffalo linebacker Von Miller has six sacks in five road games this season and has 10.5 sacks in 12 career games on Thursday. Meanwhile, defensive tackle Ed Oliver had a career-high three tackles for loss last week and aims for his third in a row on Thanksgiving with at least half a sack and a pass defended. In Week 11, Detroit defeated the New York Giants, 31-18, for its third-consecutive win. Running back Jamaal Williams ran for three touchdowns and became the fourth player since 2000 with multiple rushing touchdowns in at least five of his team's first 10 games of a season.Last year on the holiday, quarterback Jared Goff completed 21 of 25 pass attempts (84%), the highest single-game completion percentage on Thanksgiving in NFL history. He has a passer rating of 100 or higher in three of his past four home starts and has two-or-more touchdown passes in eight of his past nine home games. Wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown led the team with seven receptions last week and has at least seven catches in six of his past seven home games.Defensively, rookie lineman Aidan Hutchinson registered an interception and fumble recovery and became the second player since 1982, when the individual sack became an official statistic, with at least five sacks (5.5) and two interceptions (two) in his first 10 career games. Rookie safety Kerby Joseph turned in his third interception of the season and is the only rookie with at least three interceptions (three) and two forced fumbles (two). NEW YORK GIANTS (7-3) at DALLAS (7-3): The Giants and Cowboys meet for the 121st time since 1960, with Dallas holding the all-time regular-season series advantage, 72-46-2, including wins in 10 of the past 11 meetings. The two clubs haven't met on Thanksgiving since 1992 when the Cowboys won 30-3. Thursday marks the second meeting this season between the NFC East rivals after Dallas defeated New York, 23-16, in Week 3 on Monday Night Football.Last week, Giants quarterback Daniel Jones passed for a season-high 341 yards and had two touchdowns (one passing, one rushing). He has a passer rating of 90 or higher in three of his past four road starts. Running back Saquon Barkley leads the NFC with 1,163 scrimmage yards this season and has three rushing touchdowns in four road games. He had 126 scrimmage yards (81 rushing, 45 receiving) and a rushing touchdown in the Week 3 meeting vs. Dallas and has at least 100 scrimmage yards in two of his three career games at Dallas.On the other side of the ball, defensive lineman Leonard Williams has at least five tackles in three of his past four on the road and has 3.5 sacks in his past three games against the Cowboys. Defensive lineman Dexter Lawrence turned in his sixth game of the season with at least five tackles, tied for the most such games among defensive linemen in 2022.Dallas had the biggest blowout win last week with a 40-3 defeat of the Minnesota Vikings. The Cowboys are the only NFC team to score at least 40 points twice this season. In five career starts on Thanksgiving, Dallas quarterback Dak Prescott has 1,393 yards passing and nine touchdowns (seven passing, two rushing) with a 98.4 rating. He has 21 touchdowns vs. just five interceptions for a 100.1 rating in 11 career starts against the Giants.Running back Tony Pollard continues to impress as he comes in after registering a career-high 189 scrimmage yards (109 receiving, 80 rushing) and two touchdown receptions in Week 11, becoming the fourth player since 1990 with at least 75 rushing yards, 100 receiving yards and two touchdown receptions in a single game. Last year on Thanksgiving, Pollard recorded a 100-yard kickoff return touchdown, the third-longest touchdown ever scored on the holiday.Running back Ezekiel Elliott was also active vs. Minnesota, recording his 14th-career game with two rushing touchdowns. He has 488 scrimmage yards (97.6 per game) and four rushing touchdowns in five career Thanksgiving games. Elliott has 10 touchdowns (nine rushing, one receiving) in 11 career games against the Giants and aims for his sixth in a row against New York with a touchdown.Dallas enters this week with the league’s top-ranked scoring defense, allowing just 16.7 points per game, and leads the NFL with 42 sacks this season. The Cowboys are the only team with four players each having at least five sacks in 2022: Micah Parsons (10), Dorance Armstrong (7), DeMarcus Lawrence (6), and Dante Fowler (5). Each of the four recorded at least one sack in Week 11.NEW ENGLAND (6-4) at MINNESOTA (8-2): New England leads the all-time series against Minnesota, 9-4, including wins in five consecutive matchups. The Patriots have scored at least 45 points in each of their past two Thanksgiving appearances (2010 and 2012) and are 3-1 on the holiday under coach Bill Belichick.New England defeated the New York Jets, 10-3, in Week 11 as rookie defensive back Marcus Jones turned in a game-winning 84-yard punt-return touchdown with five seconds left in the contest.Quarterback Mac Jones completed 23 of 27 pass attempts for a career-high 85.2 completion percentage last week, and has at least one touchdown pass in seven of his past eight road starts. Jones aims for his third straight without an interception. Running back Rhamondre Stevenson ranks tied for fifth among all running backs with a career-high 41 receptions this season and needs 73 scrimmage yards for his first-career 1,000-yard season.The Patriots are the only team in the league this season to allow three points or fewer multiple times. New England enters Week 12 allowing 16.9 points per game, the fewest among all AFC teams.Minnesota quarterback Kirk Cousins has 691 passing yards (345.5 per game) and five touchdowns against one interception for a 110.8 rating in two career Thanksgiving starts.Linebacker Za’Darius Smith has 22 sacks in 22 career primetime games while linebacker Danielle Hunter has 6.5 sacks in six career Thursday games. Cornerback Patrick Peterson ranks third in the NFL this season with 12 passes defended. Safety Harrison Smith has a pass defended in five of his past six games and aims for his third in a row with at least six tackles.

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Close Games Continue to Highlight NFL Campaign

Monday, Nov 21, 2022

More and more we're seeing one-score games this season, as it happened once again on Sunday.Ten of the first 13 games completed in Week 11 (excluding Monday's contest) were within one score (eight points) in the fourth quarter.There have been a total of 126 games within one score (eight points) in the fourth quarter this season - the most such games through the first 11 weeks in NFL history.There have been 71 games decided by a touchdown (six points) or less, tied with 2016 (71) for the most such games through the first 11 weeks all-time.It's an interesting observation as we head into one of the most popular weeks in an NFL season, as Thanksgiving approaches.There are 11 games on the Week 12 card that carry a point spread of 7 or less. Add in the Saints-49ers gme, and there are 12 games at 8 or less.There have been 35 games in which a team has overcome a deficit of at least 10 points to win or tie this season, the most such games through the first 11 weeks of a season all-time.There have been 38 games this season decided by a game-winning score in the final two minutes of regulation or in overtime, trailing only 2015 (39) and 2003 (39) for the most such games through the first 11 weeks of a season all-time.In terms of the point spread, there have been 142 games where the point spread fell between -1 and -8, and the underdog is 75-62-5 (via StatHead) in those games.

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Will the Bills/Chiefs Game be an Offensive Showcase?

Friday, Oct 14, 2022

As the Kansas City Chiefs are set to host the Buffalo Bills - a matchup of 4-1 teams and a rematch of last season’s divisional playoff clash - we have the top two scoring offenses in the league.Kansas City is averaging 31.8 points per game while Buffalo is averaging 30.4.But does that mean the offensive fireworks are bound to flare? The Bills come into Week 6 tied for the top-scoring defense in the league, allowing just 12.2 points allowed per game.Sure, this is the fifth time Josh Allen and Patrick Mahomes will face one another as opposing starting quarterbacks, including the postseason. And yes, Kansas City has won four of the first five meetings, during which Allen has totaled 12 touchdowns (11 passing, one rushing) and a 105.1 passer rating, while Mahomes has recorded 11 touchdowns (10 passing, one rushing) and a 108.1 passer rating.But we've seen other defensive units slow the Chiefs, and again, the Bills have the personnel to do the same.Kansas City's best chance to win this game is to step up defensively, not by getting into a shootout when Buffalo's stop unit thrives on the big play.Remember that Buffalo has stayed under in four of its last five, and Kansas City rolls in on a 6-2 under run in Week 6 of the season.Be wary when playing the side and total in this one, as there's more to seeing two explosive offenses.

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NFL Surprises Provide Intriguing Matchups for Week 5

Friday, Oct 07, 2022

We've hit the quarter pole of the NFL season, per se, with everyone outside of the Indianapolis Colts and Denver Broncos four games into their campaign.The Colts (2-2-1) beat the Broncos (2-3) 12-9 on Thursday in arguably the most boring and unimpressive game of the season.And everyone had the lone undefeated team the Philadelphia Eagles (4-0), right?The vaunted AFC West, we all knew it would be a combined 8-8 through four weeks, right along with the NFC West, correct?How about the New York Giants? We all knew they'd be 3-1, easy.The surprises have been plentiful, for sure, and a bigger picture is being painted with some crucial matchups in store for Week 5.As mentioned, the week officially started in Denver, blah. A better matchup kicks off Sunday in London, where the Giants face the Green Bay Packers, who are also 3-1. The Packers and Giants’ combined winning percentage of .750 (6-2) is the highest by two teams entering an international game in Week 4 or later all-time.Amazingly, we're talking about a Giants team (19.0) that is scoring more per game, albeit by fractions, than the Packers (18.8). Green Bay has the edge on defense, allowing 17.3 points per contest, while the Giants give up half a point more, at 17.8.But it's the Red Zone percentage I'm most intrigued by, as the Giants rank No. 2 after allowing just five touchdowns to opponents who made 14 trips inside the 20-yard line (35.7%).The Packers are laying -8 to the Giants, who have covered seven of their last 10 October-played games.The Las Vegas Raiders earned their first win of the season and can move out of the AFC West cellar with a win in Kansas City on Monday night. Easy, yeah? They'll need to slow reigning AFC Offensive Player of the Week Patrick Mahomes, who leads the NFL with 32 games with at least 300 passing yards since taking over as the Chiefs' full-time starter in 2018. Mahomes threw for 249 yards and three touchdowns in Kansas City’s win last week.Kansas City is -7 against the Raiders, who have failed to cover five of their last six in Kansas City.There's no arguing everyone knew the Buffalo Bills (3-1) would be in first place in the AFC East, although there may be some dispute with those who saw them being 4-0. This week they host the downtrodden Pittsburgh Steelers (1-3), as the Kenny Pickett era begins in Steeltown.Pickett may be ready in coach Mike Tomlin's eyes, but he'll have a tall task in matching the talents of Buffalo QB Josh Allen, who ranks second in the NFL with 12 combined passing and rushing touchdowns (10 passing, two rushing) this season and has 146 combined passing and rushing touchdowns since entering the NFL in 2018, fourth-most among all players over that span.The Bills are -14 at home against Pittsburgh, which has covered in Week 5 the last four seasons.In a huge road game in the NFC, the Eagles put their undefeated mark on the line in Glendale, where they'll visit the Arizona Cardinals (2-2).The Cards are 2-2 and Kyler Murray has shown better play the past few weeks. He just recorded his 10th career game with at least two touchdown passes and one rushing touchdown, the second-most such games by a quarterback since he entered the NFL in 2019. Since the 2020 season, Murray leads all quarterbacks with 18 rushing touchdowns, while Philly quarterback Jalen Hurts is tied for second with 17.The Eagles, who have covered seven of their last 10 in Week 5, are -5 in Arizona.Also from the NFC, there's a showdown in Inglewood brewing, as the defending Super Bowl champion Los Angeles Rams (2-2) host the Dallas Cowboys (3-1).The Cowboys, who have allowed the fourth-fewest yards (537) to wide receivers, have their hands full against L.A.'s Cooper Kupp, who leads the NFL with 42 receptions this season. Kupp, who registered a career-high 14 receptions in Week 4, has recorded at least 10 receptions in three of his first four games this season and has 11 career games with 10-or-more receptions since entering the NFL in 2017.The Rams are laying -5 to Dallas on Sunday, and it's the home team that boasts a 7-2 ATS streak the last nine meetings.I'm on a 7-3 run in the NFL, including my NFC East Game of the Year on the Cowboys last Sunday, and my Thursday Night AFC Total of the Year on the Colts-Broncos under.I'll have my fourth straight NFL Total Winner going Sunday and another Division Game of the Year.

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Thursday Night Football Primer

Wednesday, Sep 28, 2022

Intriguing Thursday night battle between the AFC's last undefeated team and the defending conference champion, as the Miami Dolphins (3-0) visit the Cincinnati Bengals (1-2).And it's Miami - which leads the all-time regular-season series (17-7) while the home team has won each of the past five meetings - that is catching the points from Cincy.The Bengals are -4 with a total of 47 points.Miami arrives after beating Buffalo, 21-19, in Week 3 to advance to 3-0 for the first time since 2018 and looks for its first 4-0 start to a season since 1995. Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa threw for 296 yards with one touchdown in the teams' last meeting against Cincinnati. Tagovailoa comes in ranked second in the NFL this season in passing yards (925) and tied for third in touchdown passes (eight). Now he aims for his third straight start with a completion percentage of 70 or higher and a passer rating of 120 or higher.His targets have done a good job in making this passing attack dangerous, as wide receivers Jaylen Waddle (342 receiving yards) and Tyreek Hill (317) rank second and third, respectively, in receiving yards this season. Last week, Waddle hauled in four passes and his third-career game with at least 100 receiving yards. He has 123 receptions in 19 career games, second-most by a player in his first 20 career games in league history. Hill had seven receptions for 78 yards and a touchdown the last time he faced the Bengals, which was the 2021 AFC Championship while he was with Kansas City, and happens to have a receiving touchdown in six of his seven career games on Thursday Night Football.On the other side of the ball, linebacker Melvin Ingram had two sacks, a forced fumble, and a fumble recovery last week, and registered a sack the last time he played Cincinnati, also in the 2021 AFC Championship when he was K.C. Ingram has 4 1/2 sacks and seven tackles for loss in eight career Thursday games.Dolphins cornerback Xavien Howard had two pass defenses on Sunday and will gun for his sixth straight with a pass defensed. He hauled in an interception in the teams' last meeting and has 27 interceptions since 2016, the most among all players. Also from the secondary, safety Jevon Holland set career highs in tackles (10) and sacks (1.5) and added two passes defensed and his first career forced fumble.The defending AFC champion Bengals got their first win of the season last Sunday when quarterback Joe Burrow threw for 275 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions for a 114.9 rating. Burrow has 4,467 passing yards (319.1 per game) and 30 total touchdowns (26 passing, four rushing) in 14 career home starts and will aim to become the first quarterback since Drew Brees with at least 300 passing yards and two touchdown passes in five consecutive home games. Burrow is also looking for his third straight on Thursday Night Football with at least 300 passing yards and two touchdown passes.From the same backfield, running back Joe Mixon has 13 touchdowns (11 rushing, two receiving) in his past 12 home games and tallied 115 scrimmage yards (93 rushing, 22 receiving) and a touchdown catch the last time he played at home against the Dolphins. Burrow's top target, wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase, recorded his 15th-career touchdown reception last week, tying for the second-most among all players since entering the league last season. Fellow wideout Tyler Boyd led the team with 105 receiving yards. Boyd registered a 72-yard touchdown reception the last time these teams played and he's gunning for his third in a row against Miami with a touchdown.From the stop unit, Miami defensive end Trey Hendrickson registered his first 2 1/2 sacks of the season and a career-high two forced fumbles against the Bills on Sunday. He is one of three AFC players - joining pretty good company in Myles Garrett and T.J. Watt - with at least 16 sacks (16 1/2) since 2021. Linebacker Logan Wilson has been a menace as he recorded his seventh-career interception last week, the most among linebackers since he entered the NFL in 2020. Safety Jessie Bates will be a ball hawk to watch after he registered his 11th-career interception against the Bills and recorded an interception against Miami in the teams’ last home game in Cincinnati/ Since 2018, Bates is one of two defensive backs with at least 400 tackles (414) and 10 interceptions (11).From a betting perspective:Miami has covered four straight since last season, and have also covered four in a row in the month of September.The Dolphins are on an 8-2 ATS win streak after notching a straight-up win. Be aware, however, Miami has stumbled at the window in Week 4 the past 17 years with a 3-14 ATS mark.The Bengals - who are on a 9-2 ATS roll since last season, including a cover in the Super Bowl - have covered seven in a row against winning teams, and are on an 8-1 ATS run against AFC foes.Unlike the Fins, the Bengals have found their footing in the fourth week of the campaign, having covered five of seven in Week 4.Miami has stayed Under in eight of 11 against AFC foes, and is on a 9-3 Under run in its last 12 September contests.The Bengals have stayed Under in six straight against AFC foes, and are on an 8-0 overall run in staying south of the total.These two have stayed under in five straight meetings in Cincinnati.

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Thursday Night Football Primer

Wednesday, Sep 14, 2022

THE SKINNYEarly battle of AFC West powers, as the six-time defending division champion Kansas City Chiefs host the preseason favorites to dethrone them, the Los Angeles Chargers.It's a pivotal, early-season showdown that could matter down the road considering how tight the division is this season.Both teams are in after Week 1 victories, as the Chiefs went into Arizona to spank the Cardinals, 44-21, as Patrick Mahomes threw for 360 yards and five touchdowns for a 144.2 rating. It marked his sixth-career game with at least five touchdown passes. Running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire hauled in a career-high two touchdown passes while rookie running back Isiah Pacheco ran for his first-career touchdown.On defense, tackle Chris Jones registered his 11th-career forced fumble, and make note, he's tallied four sacks in his past two Thursday games. Defensive end Carlos Dunlap had a sack in his Chiefs debut and boasts 5.5 sacks in six career games against the Chargers. Linebacker Nick Bolton picked up where he left off in 2021, when he led all rookies with 112 tackles, by recording a team-high 10 tackles.The Chargers knocked off division -rival Las Vegas, beating the Raiders in Inglewood last week, 24-19. Quarterback Justin Herbert threw for 297 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions for a 129.4 rating. It was his ninth career game with at least three touchdown passes and no interceptions, tied with Mahomes for the most-ever by a player in his first three seasons. In four career games against Kansas City, Herbert has 13 touchdowns (10 passing, three rushing) and a 108.3 rating.On the other side of the ball, linebacker Khalil Mack led the Bolts with three sacks and had a forced fumble in his Chargers debut. Since entering the league in 2014, Mack ranks tied for second among all players with 24 forced fumbles. Linebacker Joey Bosa also registered a forced fumble against the Raiders and added 1.5 sacks. He posted a sack and forced a fumble in the Chargers' last meeting with Kansas City and aims for his fifth straight in primetime with a sack. Safety Derwin James tied for the team lead with six tackles last week, and also posted a sack. Cornerback Asante Samuel Jr. snagged his third-career interception. One of those three was in last year's Week 3 meeting in Kansas City.  The Chiefs are looking to begin 2-0 for the fifth time in the past six years, while the Chargers are aiming to win their first two games of a season for the first time since 2012.BETTING WISEChargers have failed to cover seven of their last 10 vs. AFC foes, and are mired in a 1-4 ATS skid against winning teams. That said, the road team has covered 17 of the last 22 meetings, and the Bolts have cashed seven of their last 10 against division foes.The Chargers have covered nine of their last 13 on Thursdays, and four of their last five on the road on TNF.The Bolts have covered four of their last six against AFC West foes on Thursday.Kansas City has covered six of its last seven at home, and 13 of its last 18 in the month of September. The Chiefs have shown a knack for falling flat after an offensive burst, as they're 5-12 ATS in their last 17 games after scoring more than 30 points in their last time out.The Chiefs have covered five of their last seven on Thursdays, but have split their last four at home on TNF.Kansas City has failed to cover five of their last eight against AFC West foes on Thursday.

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Sunday Observations

Monday, Sep 12, 2022

Heading into Monday night, seven NFL games have been decided by one score or less (eight points) and 10 games have been within one score (eight points) in the fourth quarter.For the third time in the past four years, multiple Week 1 games went to overtime with Pittsburgh defeating Cincinnati, 23-20, and Indianapolis ending in a tie with Houston, 20-20. It was the fourth Week 1 tie since 1970.Four teams – Indianapolis (17-point deficit), New Orleans (16), the New York Giants (13) and Chicago (10) – overcame deficits of at least 10 points to win or tie in Week 1. We haven't seen more comebacks to win or tie on Week 1 in 20 years (five in 2002).Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes passed for 360 yards and five touchdowns with no interceptions for a 144.2 rating and tight end Travis Kelce had eight receptions for 121 yards and one touchdown in the Chiefs' 44-21 win over Arizona. The Chiefs became the sixth team in the Super Bowl era to win eight consecutive season-opening games.Mahomes recorded his sixth career game with at least five touchdown passes. Kelce recorded his 30th career game with at least 100 receiving yards, joining Rob Gronkowski (32 games) and Tony Gonzalez (31) as the only tight ends with at least 30 such games in NFL history.Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert threw for 279 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions for a 129.4 rating during a 24-19 win over the Las Vegas Raiders.Herbert now has 14 career games with at least three touchdown passes, surpassing Peyton Manning (13 games) and Kurt Warner (13) for the third-most such games by a player in his first three career seasons in NFL history. Herbert is chasing only Marino (18 games) and Mahomes (15). Herbert has nine career games with at least three touchdown passes and no interceptions, tied for most-ever with Mahomes (nine), by a player in his first three career seasons all-time.Minnesota wide receiver Justin Jefferson recorded nine receptions for a career-high 184 yards and two touchdowns in the Vikings' 23-7 win over Green Bay. Jefferson recorded his fifth career game with at least 150 receiving yards and a touchdown reception.In his 50th career start, Baltimore quarterback Lamar Jackson (38-12) recorded three touchdown passes in the Ravens' 24-9 win over the New York Jets. His 38 wins are tied with Tom Brady and Danny White for the third-most wins by a quarterback in his first 50 career starts since 1970. In his 20th career start, Philadelphia quarterback Jalen Hurts tallied 333 yards (243 passing, 90 rushing) and a rushing touchdown in the Eagles' 38-35 win over Detroit. Hurts scored his 14th career rushing touchdown, tied with Josh Allen and Steve Grogan for the second-most ever by a quarterback in his first 20 career starts.Detroit wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown hauled in eight passes to become the fifth player ever to record at least eight receptions in seven consecutive games.Cleveland defensive end Myles Garrett had two sacks and a forced fumble in the Browns' 26-24 win at Carolina. Garrett, who has now played in 69 career games, has 60.5 career sacks and became the fifth player since the individual sack became an official statistic (1982) with at least 60 sacks in his first 70 NFL gamesCincinnati quarterback Joe Burrow threw for 338 yards in Week 1, improving to 7,637 passing yards in 27 career games. He tied Kurt Warner as the third-fastest player to reach 7,500 career passing yards in NFL history.Indianapolis quarterback Matt Ryan passed for 352 yards with one touchdown in the Colts' 20-20 tie at Houston. Ryan ranks eighth in league history with 60,087 passing yards in 223 games. He has 74 career games with at least 300 passing yards.

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WNBA Semifinal Observations After Road Teams Win Game 1

Monday, Aug 29, 2022

The top four seeds are in the WNBA Final Four, and we're underway with the top-seeded Las Vegas Aces facing the fourth-seeded Seattle Storm, and the second-seeded and defending champion Chicago Sky taking on third-seeded Connecticut Sun.As we saw in both Game 1s, nobody is invincible at this point, as both road teams opened their series with wins.Here's a breakdown after the first game, looking at what needs to be done.No. 4 SEATTLE at No. 1 LAS VEGASSeattleBIGGEST STRENGTH: Breanna Stewart is phenomenal. It's no wonder the Associated Press made her the MVP this season, over Wilson. Her fundamentals are outstanding, and the mid-season addition of Tina Charles has helped form what might be the most formidable frontcourt left in the playoffs. Wilson is arguably the best defender in the league, but she cannot defend both Stewart and Charles. All due respect to Las Vegas' Kiah Stokes, she can't handle either Charles or Stewart for a full game.NEEDS SOME WORK: The Storm may have won on Sunday, but they did so despite their offense. The Aces held Seattle to 76 points. After Seattle opened a 26-15 lead in the first quarter, it scored just 17, 17, and 16 over the next three quarters. If it wasn't for Jewell Loyd's heroics, the Aces come back to win that game. Stewart was dominating in the first half but finished 9 of 17. Charles was just 6 of 18. Sue Bird was 1 for 6.X-FACTOR: The Storm might have the best bench left in the playoffs. Though it only provided four points on Sunday, what won't show up on the scoreboard is the defensive efforts from Briann January, Ezi Magbegor, or Epiphanny Prince. Seattle has to put its bench to work if it wants to steal Game 2.ATS FACTS: The Storm have now covered five of their last six on the road and seven of their last 10 overall. Flipside, when they play on two days rest they've failed to cover seven of their last 10. Long term, Seattle is mired in an 8-22 ATS slide against Western Conference foes. Despite a low-scoring Game 1, the Storm remain on a 7-1 over run, and have gone high in nine of their last 12 road games.Las VegasBIGGEST STRENGTH: Some would think otherwise, specifically when you have A'ja Wilson and Kelsey Plum in the lineup, but Chelsea Gray is the key component for this team. Gray is a seasoned veteran who knows how to run a championship offense. She won a title in Los Angeles, and there have been several times we've seen her close games for the Aces, with big fourth quarters whether it's scoring or dishing dimes.NEEDS SOME WORK: The first quarter doldrums. Though the Aces went 21-14-1 in the first quarter during the regular season, it's their tenacity or lack thereof, that has hindered them at times. Sunday's series opener saw the Storm smack the Aces around, both offensively and defensively. And when you're playing a championship-caliber team like the Storm, you cannot make mistakes early on and open the door.X-FACTOR: Wilson needs more touches, and coach Becky Hammon has to make adjustments when Seattle's switches leave mismatches in certain spots. At many times, Wilson was left without a lane to the paint or was defended well enough to limit her attempts. The MVP candidate took 0 shots in the first quarter and finished 3 of 10 from the field. This falls on Hammon to correct.ATS FACTS: The Aces will roll into Wednesday's second game riding a 6-1 ATS streak on two days rest, and a 4-1 ATS streak off an ATS loss. Problem for them is they've failed to cover 11 of their last 15 in Vegas. The Aces may boast the highest scoring offense in the league, but they've stayed under in 11 of their last 16.No. 3 CONNECTICUT at No. 2 CHICAGOConnecticutBIGGEST STRENGTH: Everybody raves about the starting lineup in Vegas, as they should. But let's not forget what the Sun bring to the floor for the opening tip. I mean, DeWanna Bonner, Alyssa Thomas, Courtney Williams, Jonquel Jones, Natisha Hiedeman ... right now, that's the best starting five in the playoffs. The attitude and chemistry that flow through this lineup are exactly what coach Curt Miller wants when making a run to the championship game.NEEDS SOME WORK: Miller mentioned postgame how much the Sun struggled to get Jones the ball due to how the Sky played her. Much like I said about the Hammon finding a way to get Wilson more touches and more shot attempts, the Sun would benefit greatly in Game 2, knowing Chicago will make adjustments if they find ways to free Jones for better shot attempts.X-FACTOR: Williams is a straight Dawg. One of the biggest moments in the game came with 5:13 to go when she and Chicago's Kahleah Copper received double technical fouls for refusing to let go of a called jump ball. It clearly set the tone for the rest of the game, as Williams wasn't about to be intimidated in Chicago. That 11-second tug-of-war was the key that reminded Connecticut to ride it out with a Dawg Mentality. Williams might be one of the littlest players on the Sun, but she's nasty when she's in game mode and will take you out of your game both mentally and physically.ATS FACTS: With Sunday's outright win, the Sun head into Game 2 on an 8-0 ATS run, and a 14-3 spread streak overall. It marked just their second cover in seven games against teams with a better than .500 record. Connecticut's games have run high in five of its last seven.ChicagoBIGGEST STRENGTH: Offensive efficiency is the Sky's specialty, but it seemed to be non-existent on Sunday. We saw Connecticut outscore Chicago 20-12 in the third quarter, and that might have been acceptable in the first quarter. But by the third, the most efficient offense in the league has to be better. The Sky simply couldn't find the consistency they've enjoyed all season, and they need to get back to their strengths with Allie Quigley, Courtney Vandersloot, and Candace Parker leading the charge.NEEDS SOME WORK: If there is one thing Chicago was able to boast this season, it was balanced with the right effort on both ends of the floor. But the Sky's defense was also inconsistent, and that is troublesome when you consider they went 4-0 against the Sun during the regular season. Connecticut was able to build an eight-point first-quarter lead by scoring 11 points off six Chicago turnovers, which couples with the Sky's offensive inconsistencies. If anything coach James Wade wants his team running the floor, and moving fast-paced, rather than getting into a tussle.X-FACTOR: Vandersloot didn't have her first assist until late in the fourth quarter and finished with only two. She had several good set-up passes her teammates couldn't knock down, but she was also defended well with limited space to operate. If Chicago wants to find its efficiency, it starts with Vandersloot.ATS FACTS: The Sky have answered losses quite well, having covered four of their last five after a SU loss. But, they've also failed to cover four of their last five at home. Chicago has eclipsed the number in 12 of its last 17 at home.

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How will Juan Soto's big bat help the Padres the rest of the way?

Tuesday, Aug 02, 2022

It's about time!The Juan Soto sweepstakes landed in San Diego, as the Padres came away with the slugger, joining Fernando Tatis and Manny Machado.The interesting thing will be to see if the Padres blow another opportunity to make a deep run into the playoffs with yet another talented lineup. I mean, they still have a tough road ahead of them. They're locked into a wild-card slot and potentially won't see a home game in that wild-card series. The road goes through the likes of Atlanta, Queens, and Los Angeles.Nevertheless, the odds have dropped now that San Diego won the Soto Sweepstakes.At the Westgate in Las Vegas, the Padres were 18/1 for the World Series and 9/1 for the National League pennant before rumors began circulating about landing Soto, which dropped the odds to 14/1 and 7/1. After Tuesday's trade, the Padres have settled in at +475 to win the N.L. and 10/1 to win it all.A quick glance at what landing Soto means to the Padres, with consideration to the remaining 18 series they have, after finishing their current five-game series with the Colorado Rockies in San Diego.Of those series, 10 of them are against National League West foes, including four with the division-leading Los Angeles Dodgers, who landed Joey Gallo from the New York Yankees at the deadline.So what does Soto bring to the lineup, based on his history against those teams? With the Padres' current season record against each remaining opponent in parenthesis, here are some tidbits on Soto vs. those teams:N.L. WEST OPPONENTS Dodgers (2-5) - In 19 games against Los Angeles, he is hitting a mere .213 and has struck out 13 times. ... He's drawn 13 walks from L.A. pitchers, matching the number of hits he has against them. Giants (6-4) - The 16 strikeouts Soto has against Frisco are second highest among N.L. West teams. ... He strikes out once every 5.6 plate appearances against the Giants and is hitting .230 in 22 games against them. Diamondbacks (9-3) - Surprisingly, Soto has been snakebitten against Arizona. He's hitting just .187 and has struck out 11 times in 21 games against the Snakes. Rockies (4-8) - If there's one N.L. West foe he's had success against, it's Colorado. He has a career .241 batting average against the Rockies, including a .244 clip in Denver. ... Four of the six home runs he's hit against the Rockies have been in the Mile High City. OUTSIDE THE WEST Nationals (0-0) - Soto returns to D.C. for a three-game weekend set from Aug. 12-14. ... The Padres haven't faced the Nats yet, and obviously, Soto has never faced them. ... He is hitting .241 and slugging .500 at Nationals Park this season, and has slugged 11 of his 21 home runs there. ... He has a career .293 batting average in the only stadium he's called home until Tuesday's trade. Marlins (3-1) - A familiar foe from the N.L. East, he's had some success against the Fish, with a .310 batting average and .567 slugging percentage against them. He's also stroked 13 home runs against Miami pitchers. Cardinals (0-3) - Soto has had his struggles against St. Louis, too, hitting only .226 while striking out 16 times. He has only one home run against the Redbirds while striking out once every 5.1 plate appearances. INTERLEAGUE PLAY Guardians (1-1), Royals (0-0), Mariners (0-2), White Sox (0-0) - I'll wrap up the Interleague in one shot, with the Padres sporting a 4-6 mark against teams from the American League thus far. Soto has a career .293 mark against all A.L. teams while slugging .521 with 16 home runs. Of the four A.L. opponents he'll see with the Padres, he's had the most success against the Sox, with a .467 batting average and .533 slugging percentage.

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Tracking Starting Pitchers' Success During Final Stretch is Important

Tuesday, Jul 26, 2022

As we approach the final stretch of the MLB season, it's important to zero in on pitchers who can give us the best bang for our buck.I'm not a huge advocate of listing pitchers on every wager. I've always been of the opinion when specific systems leave pitchers out of the equation, you have to insist on "action only."Other times, it makes sense to list the pitchers. But who are the right ones?I researched starting pitchers during a 30-day span (June 26-July 25), honing in on starters with an ERA below 2.50 combined with an opponent's batting average less than .200, provided the pitchers have thrown a minimum of 20 innings.Chicago White Sox's Dylan Cease, Miami's Sandy Alcantara, Arizona's Merrill Kelly, Cleveland's Triston McKenzie, and Houston's Jose Urquidy have been the stingiest starting pitchers in that span, with a combined 1.64 ERA and an opponent's batting average of .170.And allow me to point out, these guys are lasting an average of 6 2/3 innings per outing, which is imperative to also apply to your handicapping when looking at these pitchers. After all, it's important to know a heavily priced team has a starting pitcher with the durability to last late into games so they can neutralize lineups.Here is a closer look at each one (L30 Days): Cease (5-1, 0.74 ERA, .182 OBA) - Forget 30 days, over his last 11 starts, the right-hander is 6-2 with a grubby 0.42 ERA, while the White Sox are 9-2 in those games. Teams are hitting a meager .179 against him and he's registered strikes with 61% of his pitches. He also has a 2.7-to-1 strikeout ratio, with 83 strikeouts vs. 30 walks. BE WARY: if he faces the Red Sox, as he's 0-1 in two starts with a 9.00 ERA against them this season. Alcantara (2-1, 1.42 ERA, .164 OBA) - The Miami right-hander has allowed more than two earned runs just twice this season and is sporting a ridiculous 1.81 ERA in 20 starts this season. Teams have a paltry .187 batting average against him, while he has a very stingy 3.6-to-1 strikeout ratio, with 133 strikeouts vs. 36 walks. BE WARY: in Interleague play, as he's 1-1 with a 3.29 ERA in two starts this season and 4-7 with a 3.33 ERA lifetime in 16 career starts. Kelly (4-0, 1.57 ERA, .175 OBA) - After rough months in May and June, the Snakes' right-hander has been lights out in July with a 4-0 mark in five starts and a 1.57 ERA. He's limiting lineups to a .175 batting average and a .214 on-base percentage. He's also done a good job of keeping the ball in the park, allowing just two home runs. BE WARY: against the Dodgers, who have beaten him in all three of his starts against them (0-3, 9.69). McKenzie (3-0, 2.20 ERA, .184 OBA) - After an atrocious June that saw the Guardians' righty hammered to the tune of a 6.44 ERA, McKenzie has allowed just one earned run in July and is 3-0 with a 0.34 ERA. He's shut down the Yankees, Royals, Tigers, and Chisox, holding them to a combined .146 batting average and allowed 0 HRs. BE WARY: when he faces the Twins, as he's 0-2 with an 8.31 ERA in three starts against them. Urquidy (3-0, 2.43 ERA, .149 OBA) - Houston's right-hander has been spotty at times, but he's durable and has a decent lineup backing him up. Since June 21, spanning his last six starts, he is 4-1 with a 2.29 ERA and has quieted hitters to a .153 batting average and .210 on-base percentage. BE WARY: when he faces the Mariners, as he's 1-3 with a 7.58 ERA against them.

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WNBA Midseason Report Numbers

Monday, Jul 11, 2022

If balance and defense win championships, the Seattle Storm should be atop everyone's list to win the WNBA title.Whether or not Sue Bird can ride off into the Pacific Northwest sunset with another ring in the final season of her illustrious career remains to be seen, but it wouldn't shock me.The Las Vegas Aces started out with guns blazing but fizzled down the stretch of the first half, and suddenly look like a defensive casualty that allows any offense to look good.They're the top two teams in the Western Conference, no bones about it, as one-half game separates the Storm from first-place Las Vegas.From the Eastern Conference, Sky's the limit for defending champion Chicago, which leads Connecticut by two games. But I wouldn't count the Sun out so easily with reigning MVP Jonquel Jones leading the charge.Then there are the wild cards from each conference.The West is suddenly clogged in the middle of the standings with Dallas, Los Angeles, and Phoenix all sitting on 10 wins, while last-place Minnesota was one of the better performing teams heading into the All-Star Break.From the East, it's Washington with the No. 1 scoring defense sitting in third place, while Atlanta could be dangerous if it gets back to the way it started the season. Since winning seven of their first 11, the Dream are 3-8. There's also hard-charging New York, which has won eight of 13 since a 1-7 start.Here is a quick glance at some ATS and O/U numbers heading into the start of the second half of the season:WESTERN CONFERENCE Las Vegas' fast start saw it win nine of its first 10 and cover eight of those games. Since then, the Aces are 6-6 SU and 2-10 ATS. They're on a 5-2-2 over run coming out of the Break.After Seattle's sluggish start to the campaign, splitting its first 10 on the hardwood and failing to cover 10 of its first 15, it has won 10 of 13 SU and six of eight at the window. Dallas opened the season by covering eight of its first 12 but is just 4-5-1 ATS since. The Wings stayed under in five of their last six. Phoenix is doing its best to keep things together and has been relying on its defense to stay close in games. Four of the Mercury's last six have stayed under. Los Angeles finished the first half competitive against some heavy competition, covering five of its last six games. Minnesota opened the season 3-13 but won five of its final seven before the Break. More importantly, the Lynx come into the second half of the season on an 8-1 ATS run. EASTERN CONFERENCE Chicago might be 16-6 on the year, and it might be proving it's not about to relinquish its title so easily, but don't be so quick to lay points with the Sky. They're 6-11 ATS as a favorite. Incidentally, the defending champs are 4-1 ATS as an underdog. Connecticut stumbled a bit to close the first half, losing four of six on the floor. The Suns also dropped five of their last six to the books. Connecticut stayed low in eight of its last 10. Washington has been the more consistent cover this season, having cashed out a WNBA best 15 of 24 games. The Mystics have also stayed under in 16 of their 24 outings. Atlanta won six of its first nine games but has lost nine of 13. The Dream tend to go over, with seven of their last 10 soaring past the number. New York opened the season 1-7 SU and 2-6 ATS; since then the Liberty have won eight of 14 while covering 10 of those contests. New York has covered eight of its last 11 as an underdog. Indiana is the worst team in the league, with a 5-19 SU mark. The Fever are 8-16 ATS on the year. When catching +7 or more, the Fever are 4-9 ATS.

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Lucrative NHL Futures attractive with four teams

Thursday, Jun 30, 2022

The Colorado Avalanche hadn't been champions of the National Hockey League for 24 hours when the conversation about next season was underway.Moments after the final horn sounded and the Avalanche polished off the two-time champion Tampa Bay Lightning, the newly crowned champs were installed as the favorite to repeat in 2023.The Toronto Maple Leafs, Carolina Hurricanes and Florida Panthers are next in line, followed by the Lightning.None of the aforementioned were higher than 10-1 to win it, which automatically disqualifies them from my window of opportunity when talking about value.For me, no matter the league, if I'm playing a future price, I want the biggest number I can get with a team I think can get into the playoffs and challenge.But when it comes to the NHL, the team can sneak its way into the postseason, and I'll be just fine with a big futures ticket. After all, the No. 1 overall seed hasn't won the title in more than 10 years. And when it comes to hockey, it's generally about the hot team, with the right coach and the best goaltender.That's why I've assembled a quartet of teams for you to consider if you're feeling froggy about the 2023 Stanley Cup and some awfully big numbers on teams that could quite possibly sneak into the postseason next spring.NEW YORK RANGERS (20-1, courtesy DraftKings) - This is a team that got to the Eastern Conference Final under first-year coach Gerard Gallant, and left plenty on the table for them to eat next season.It really doesn't get much better than Vezina Trophy winner Igor Shesterkin, who finished the season with a league-leading 2.07 goals-against average (among goalies with a minimum of 42 starts). Shesterkin will undoubtedly come into next season with a chip on his shoulder after being outdueled by Tampa Bay's Andrei Vasilevskiy in the ECF.The Rangers also boast high-end forwards Mika Zibanejad, Artemi Panarin and Chris Kreider, a trio that combined for 254 points last season. Kreider ranked third in the league with 52 goals.Norris Trophy winner Adam Fox leads the defensive corps, while up-and-coming talent Alexis Lafreniere, Kaapo Kaako, and K'Andre Miller are all capable of breakout seasons.VANCOUVER CANUCKS (45-1, DK) - There may not have been a more dangerous sleeper down the stretch than the Canucks, in terms of playing the spoiler against playoff-bubble teams. After firing Travis Green, the Canucks were 32-15-10 with Bruce Boudreau as bench boss. Vancouver's .649 points percentage ranked 11th in the NHL during that span, while its 2.67 goals-against average was fifth-lowest in the league. Also in that span, the Canucks had the second-best power play (26.7%) and 11th-best penalty kill (80.5%).Star forward Elias Pettersson was a point-per-game player after the coaching change. The former Calder Memorial Trophy (top rookie) winner could very easily vie for the Hart Trophy (MVP) on any given year as he continues to improve.The Canucks are expected to make personnel changes during the offseason, the biggest being J.T. Miller getting traded. Considering we're talking about a top-tier center who tied for ninth in the NHL with 76 points once Boudreau took over, Vancouver is in position to demand someone decent in return.With Thatcher Demko in goal, the Canucks have a legitimate No. 1 netminder who ranked sixth with his .918 save percentage during Boudreau's tenure.Now roll all of that into the fact Vancouver plays in arguably the worst division in the NHL, and this is most certainly a sneak-into-the-postseason squad.DALLAS STARS (45-1, DK) - There's a new bench boss in Dallas, as ousted coach Peter DeBoer leaves Las Vegas and heads to Big D with his defensive mind and tactical style of coaching.If there is one thing we can take from DeBoer's past, it's that his teams always seem to do well during his first season at the helm (see: New Jersey Devils, San Jose Sharks and Vegas Golden Knights, to some extent). He's been to two Stanley Cup Finals, and he knows how to establish chemistry immediately.The Stars head into next season with a No. 1 center in Roope Hintz, who was third on the team with 72 points; a budding star in winger Jason Robertson, who was second with 79 points, including a team-high 41 goals; and an elite defenseman with Miro Heiskanen, who was fifth on the team with 31 assists and led the Stars with an average on-ice time of 24:53.In net, the Stars will have to make a decision, one that shouldn't be hard when potential franchise goalie Jake Oettinger. He played in 48 games last season and finished with a 2.53 goals-against average and .914 save percentage.PHILADELPHIA FLYERS (60-1, DK) - There's no doubt the Flyers are rebuilding, and I'm well aware they'll do so without Claude Giroux. But incoming bench boss John Tortorella is like DeBoer, someone who can rile his players the first season and who will get the most out of his troops. Again, especially at this price, I just want to sneak them into the postseason with a big ticket and hedge my way from there.One of the biggest offseason storylines will be whether or not the Flyers can fix Carter Hart, who is a potential No. 1 goalie. Hart will have competition in camp, as I expect Felix Sandstrom to get a chance in training camp. There's also towering Ivan Fedotov, who stands 6-foot-7 and is 205 pounds, and who could push both for playing time with a strong camp.With plenty of time for rest and recovery since the season ended, and leading into training camp, I would think the Flyers will have Sean Couturier back healthy, along with possibly Ryan Ellis, too.Is there a checklist for the Flyers' offseason, to even contend in their division? Absolutely. But with a new voice on the bench, and a lively vibe in a rowdy sports town, I like the odds on Philly and believe it could be another sneak-into-the-postseason squad.

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