Royals royalty…

This upcoming weekend my dad and I were all set to attend a few Spring Training games in Surprise, AZ. As all of you have probably heard, these games are not going to take place across both the Cactus and Grapefruit League’s. A mixture of sadness and angry flow through my body as I have yet to attend an MLB spring training game in my 28 year old lifetime. As an avid baseball fan, coach, and guru one would have to assume that this little trip has been on my bucket list for quite sometime – and you’d be correct. With no baseball on the horizon I decided to come up with my hometown team’s “all-time” stating lineup. The Kansas City Royals have won two World Series titles and a good portion of this list and lineup helped bring those championships back to Kansas City.

For this evaluation I chose the best Royals player of all time for each position along with three starting pitchers and a relief pitcher. If the MLB lockout persists, I plan to post more where other teams are featured. My all-time Royals starting pitchers compiled 552 wins with a combined career ERA of 3.52 (Paul Splittorff, Zack Greinke, and Bret Saberhagen). Coming out the bullpens as the career saves leader for Kansas City with 304 career saves is Jeff Montgomery. The catcher for the Royals hold the single season homerun record for the club and holds a career batting average of .270. He is a fan favorite and brings a smile to everyone’s faces, especially children (Salvador Perez – 7x All Star, 5x Gold Glove, 4x Silver Slugger, World Series MVP). At 1st base, this player possesses a career .297 average while being the one bright spot for the Royals franchise during its darkest period in the late 90’s and early 2000’s (Mike Sweeney – 5x All Star). The second basemen for the Kansas City Royals dream team lead the MLB twice in number of hits and is a two time All Star (Whit Merrifield). Standing at the hot corner is a player who many would argue to be the greatest Royal of all time. This ball-player holds a career batting average of .305, leads the Royals franchise is number of base-hits along with many other statistical categories (George Brett – AL MVP, 13x All Star, 1x Gold Glove, 3x Silver Slugger, 3x Batting Title, ALCS MVP). The shortstop for this squad number is retired by the Royals and is now seen on television as a commercial spokesman and MLB Network analyst. He is a speedster and a muscle man with 160 career homeruns and 178 stolen bases (Frank White – 5x All Star, 8x Gold Glove, 1x Silver Slugger, ALCS MVP). Originally a third basemen in college, the quote-un-quote “hometown kid” was the Royal’s first round pick in 2005 out of the Nebraska University.

This player was one of three crucial pieces to winning the 2015 World Series against the New York Mets; your left fielder, Alex Gordon (3x All Star, 8x Gold Glove, 2x Platinum Glove). To Alex Gordon’s left, the center fielder for the all-time Royals was a late round draft pick out of a junior college in Florida. This outfielder was the third pivotal piece for the Royals World Series success in 2015 (Lorenzo Cain – 2x All Star, 1x Gold Glove, ALCS MVP). Our final player for the Royals all-time franchise team is not only our right fielder, but the oldest Royal in this particular line-up. This batting is a career .290 hitter while playing for the Royals for 15 seasons (Hal McRae – 3x All Star, 1x Silver Slugger).

Click through the slideshow to take a look at each of the “all-time” Royals to put a face to the name and all of the achievements that each of them has tallied up throughout their great careers. Tonight in NCAAB I like the Cornhuskers on Senior Night over the Hawkeyes as 12.5 point dogs and the UNDER on this game of 161.5 as Iowa shot lights out the other night against Michigan St. I do not foresee them shooting this well in back-to-back games; hence, siding with the lower TOTAL margin.

Layups & lockouts…

It has been since 1995 since the MLB and its stakeholders have entered a work stoppage otherwise known as a lockout. With many free agents scrambling, and for good reason, to sign new deals with current or new franchises before the work stoppage began; we have seen record setting dollar figures hit the air-waves as this MLB lockout was predicted. Since the conclusion of the World Series, their has been a total of $1.7 billion worth of contracts signed between teams and free agent players. It should come to no surprise that everyone and their mom wanted to have continuous money flowing into their bank accounts before the much anticipated lockout was set in motion.

Two key dates to keep in mind moving forward are a: February 22nd, the date that pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training and b: March 31st, Opening Day around the Major League. An agreement needs to be reached between the Player’s Union and the MLB Staff before these dates in order for a full 2022 season to transpire. While we are the subject of baseball, once again the Los Angeles Dodgers are the preseason betting favorites in terms of World Series odds currently listed at +500.

2022-03-31T12:00:00

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MLB Opening Day


The college basketball season can seem overwhelming with the amount of games taking place day in and day out. To put it into perspective, there are 353 D1 NCAAB teams that compete in about 33 games a year (give or take). That comes out to a whopping 5,824 games per season; not including the March Madness tournament. Point being, it can become very difficult when it comes time to make your NCAAB plays. Thus far in the 2021-22 NCAAB campaign, there is no evident value that stems from blinding siding with the road, home, favorite, underdog, over, or under plays – bummer, right? However, from a historical perspective we will notice that taking first half UNDERS in games that present relatively high total margins are profitable. Second, it has been detected that conference games are typically closer in margin than the initial point spread might indicate. In short, taking the points in conference competitions is generally never a bad bet.

Saturday NCAAB Picks:

YALE @ AUBURN (T: 70.5) – PICK: 1H UNDER

WAKE FOREST (+10) @ VIRGINIA TECH – PICK: WAKE FOREST

Week 8, time to be great…

By this point in the NFL season, we have a very good sample size for each team’s strengths, weaknesses, and identities. A handful of teams currently find themselves in the midst of some rather surprising W-L records nearing the halfway point of the 2021 – 22 campaign; some good, and some not so good. This year’s NFL over-achieving awards go out to the Bengals of the AFC and the Cardinals of the NFC. Interestingly enough, both of these squads are lead by recent Heisman Trophy QB’s that were number one overall draft picks in back-to-back years (2018-19). With it now being Week 8 around the NFL, we can rely on not only our eyes, but also the numbers that each team has accumulated thus far. Stats may be a bit skewed in the early weeks due to several factors; a few being a team’s strength of schedule (or lack thereof), or a couple of poor performances that would rather be anomalies for a particular team. You could fill in the blank with whatever variable you’d like; the point is that by this point in the season we can certainly rely on the statistics to paint a clear picture of league wide trends and each team’s performance(s) moving forward. Up to this point, Away Underdogs have been the most profitable teams to bet on ATS, covering at a 57% clip. As far as the totals are concerned, the UNDER has been the more favorable play covering in 56% of the games. Week 8 presents nine match-ups where the road team will serve as the underdog. Last year was the first year that the NFL saw road teams with a better winning percentage outright, not ATS. This year is not only trending in a similar direction but the road teams are once again winning at an alarming rate when having to pack their bags. Although it is by a slight margin, road teams are currently 54-53 overall.

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Last night the Houston Astros evened up the the World Series tying the Atlanta Braves one game apiece. A quick and blind play that might be worth taking note of is the total based on the where each game is being played. Minute Maid Park is home to the Astros where left field is only 315ft from home plate; Truist park, where the Braves call home, is a much larger park as far as dimensions are concerned. I believe that we can blindly take the OVER when the Astros are at home and the UNDER when the Braves are at home. The homerun ball is so prevalent and such a crucial factor in today’s game leaving me to purchase stock in the fact that ballparks dimensions can have that much of an influence on the outcome/total for each game. Let’s also not forget to take advantage of the National League vacant DH spot while it still exists (that debate is for a different time as far as the universal designated hitter is concerned). With the Braves having a larger ballpark and the DH being substituted for the pitcher makes me lean towards the UNDERS when these World Series games are held in Atlanta, vice-versa when Houston is hosting. So, if you are lost on which way to lean on your World Series plays and just want some action on the game because, well… just because it’s fun, then I recommend leaning towards the game totals depending on which city each World Series game is played in. Game 3 of the World Series will take place in Atlanta tomorrow night at 7:10 CST on FOX where the O/U is currently set at 8.5.

It’s never too early to utter Joe Lunardi’s name…

With college football being well underway, I cannot help but to begin to get antsy for the return of college basketball and all of the drama that comes with it! Currently, I am in the middle of much anticipated read for myself written by Gonzaga Head Coach, Mark Few. Few’s novel encompasses the national obsession that has become Bracketology and March Madness. While this book relates to college basketball annual tournament, it mainly details the mastermind behind Bracketeering, Joe Lunardi.

Click HERE to order a copy!

College basketball officially tips off on November 9th with Kansas vs. Michigan St. and Duke vs. Kentucky as two of the marquee match-ups on day one. Since I’ve mention both Joe Lunardi and Kansas, Lunardi’s preseason bracketology projections are published with all 72 invitees. Obviously his weekly brackets are fluid throughout the season as games are played and team’s identites begin to become more and more transparent as the season plays out. Currently, the four #1 seeds are Gonzaga, Kansas, Texas, and UCLA. Does Joe think that the Big12 is going to be that good this season? Also, is he putting too much stock into UCLA’s Cinderella run last year to the Final Four as an #11 seed to now make them a #1 seed? The beauty about it is, “who knows?!” However I can honestly tell you that no one knows better than one Joe Lunardi. Watch it all shake out as the final bracket comes to fruition for the arrival of the 2022 March Madness tournament come March 15th. As the season commences, look to make your early plays on the UNDER when match-ups occur on a neutral court as players are equipped with early season fresh legs, foreign court = different shooting backdrop, and first game jitters are all variables for early season neutral court games to result in the UNDER.

Click HERE to views CBS’s Preseason Top 25 NCAAB Rankings

Shifting gears a bit, the National League portion of the MLB postseason is set in stone. The top overall NL seed are the San Francisco Giants whereas the NL Wildcard match-up will be played in Los Angeles between the Dodgers and Cardinals on October 6th. As of yesterday, the Cardinals 17-game winning

streak came to an end thanks to the Brewers. Now that the Cardinals have clinched an NL Wildcard birth, look for the baseball universe to level itself out providing the Cardinals with some “L’s” on the horizon along with their motivation factor being poor to weak at best as their postseason spot is already locked up. In lieu of these factors, I believe that there could be some significant value in the Cardinals opponents for the remainder of the 2021 MLB regular season.

Being the NFL junky that I am, I need to get in my NFL two cents for the sake of the post. We are amid Week 4 of the NFL 2021-22 campaign. My Chiefs are 1-2 and the world seems to be ending but I will spare you as the reader on those additional thoughts and emotions. My Week 4 NFL picks reside in San Francisco, Denver, and Los Angeles. This week, I love the 49ers (-2.5) over the Seahawks, the Ravens (+1.5) visiting the Broncos, and the Raiders (+3.5) on the road against the Chargers. You’re welcome, and I digress. I was doing some research the other day on the NFL team’s turnover margin based on their playoff appearance. Last season there were 14 playoff spots available, of those 14 spots 11 of them landed in the top 14 of turnover margin. Is it a coincidence that the majority of the playoff spots go to teams that possess a positive turnover margin? Lets check the 2019 turnover margin stats… The 2019-20 playoffs displayed 10 of the top 12 franchises in turnover margin during that season. Point being, teams with is the upper tier of turnover margin tend to earn a spot in the NFL

Playoffs. We can take this edge and/or stat and make it into a microcosm for the regular season and just simply infer that a team with a greater turnover margin will have value in each and every match-up throughout any given season. For example, this upcoming Week 4 exhibits the Browns visiting the Vikings. The Vikings are 2 point dogs at home; however, they are +3 in turnover margin against the Browns. Here we have a road favorite that has a worse turnover margin than the home dog. You already know which way I am leaning! I believe that their is significant value on the Vikings over the Browns in this Week 4 showdown.


Weekend Football Picks:

BROWNS @ VIKINGS (+2) – PICK = VIKINGS

ARKANSAS @ GEORGIA (O/U 48.5) – PICK = UNDER

KANSAS (+34) @ IOWA ST. – PICK = KANSAS

ARIZONA ST. @ UCLA (-3) – PICK = UCLA

*above are my other three NFL plays for Week 4

As one door closes, another one opens…


As the MLB regular season begins to wind down, a lot of our attention will shift focus over to the NFL. Until the MLB postseason is underway, the majority of America will be dialed in to the NFL after the annual long-awaited start that is Week 1 of the NFL season. To catch everyone up to speed, the San Diego Padres are vastly under performing based on preseason expectations whereas the San Francisco Giants are out doing themselves based on preseason oddsmakers. The preseason Giant’s win total was set at a whopping 75.5 games won with a 0.1% chance to win this year’s World Series. The Giants eclipsed this total on August 15th against the Rockies. They went OVER their win total with almost two months left in the season; let that one sink in. I digress… listed below are the current World Series winner odds for the 2021 MLB Postseason.

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Currently, the Dodgers are set as the leading favorites with the addition of future Hall of Fame pitcher Max Scherzer. Odds aside, come postseason time it is in we as sports gamblers best interest to make our plays on teams that are so called HOT; or at the very least, not bet against them.

As we approach the postseason, it is important to pay attention to the forecasted weather in each participating city since it in fact will be October. Obviously the month of October is absolutely irrelevant to Tampa Bay’s dome stadium when it comes to weather having a potential affect on the game and its outcome. However, weather might be an important factor to consider when making plays on games in New York or Boston. Coming from personal experience, cold weather situations grant the pitcher with the competitive advantage over the hitter 100% of the time. Why? You might ask. When temperatures are considered “cold” the batter is at a disadvantage because of two reasons: first, hitting is a very technical and exact science that is very difficult to master. This already very difficult “art” becomes much more difficult when the batter is having a tough time feeling his bat, body movements, etc. Second, typically the pitcher has been going at it for a handful of innings by this point allowing him to be both in a rhythm and relatively warm. On the other hand, the batter only gets to step in the batters box every ninth hitter and they may not see the ball hit to them for an inning or so. These factors make it difficult for the batter to get their bodies primed to hit a 95 MPH fastball. Think about it – it would be like racing someone of equal speed as yourself but they get to warm up and you do not, you and I both know who is winning that race. The same goes for the pitcher and batter match-up’s. This was the long version of how cold weather gives the pitcher the advantage while the batter is at a disadvantage throughout cold weather MLB games. One last note on postseason baseball; the odds makers and public gamblers tend to overvalue the home team. During the dog-days of summer travel and jet-lag are genuine factors. However, come postseason baseball for these guys the travel factors are much more minute based on the importance of each game, allowing adrenaline to take care of this void.

Making my NCAAF plays the other day, a theory dawned on me that I would like to think could give me a competitive gambling edge that I am eager to share with all of you. We’ll call it the NCAAF Chain Reaction Theory. Note: This theory/edge only works for NCAAF, not NFL. I believe that NFL teams are much more consistent than NCAAF players/teams making the “regression” portion of the theory less significant. In short, the chain reaction theory strives to predict a NCAAF O/U outcome. My inspiration behind this proposition ties into the regression theory and/or linear regression (famously noted from the film Moneyball). The regression theory explains how a player and/or teams immaculate or faulty performance(s) typically come in the form of luck or chance.

Hence, previous outcomes will balance themselves out and be followed up by a performance or trend that differs from one(s) of the past. My theory is somewhat similar (but obviously different). The regression theory applies to all sports whereas mine (as previously stated) applies only to NCAAF. The easiest way to explain this assumption is by taking both teams’ past performances as opposed to a singular team/player’s past performance that the regression theory attempts to explain. Week in and week out there are countless of examples to back this theory up. If we take Team A and Team B Week 2 O/U totals and notice that both teams scores fell under the same OVER or UNDER category, then one would assume that the opposite would be much more likely to occur for Team A and Team B as they both faced off the very next week. Let me give you a real life example: Buffalo @ Nebraska (54.5 O/U) went UNDER. Both teams’ previous match-up’s ended with the total going OVER. I believe that this could be the theory of regression’s “big brother,” if you will. Take a look for these kind of “spots” in your Week 3 NCAAF plays.


My Week 3 NCAAF Picks:

VIRGINIA TECH (+3) @ WEST VIRGINIA – PICK = VIRGINIA TECH

NEVADA @ KANSAS ST. (+2) – PICK = KANSAS ST.

MISSISSIPPI ST. (-165) @ MEMPHIS – PICK = MISSISSIPPI ST. (ml)

SOUTH CAROLINA @ GEORGIA O/U 48.5 – PICK = UNDER

AUBURN @ PENN ST. (O/U 53) – PICK = UNDER

Keep betting! Save the MLB…

America’s past time very well could become just that in the distant future. Once America’s most beloved sport is beginning to trend downward in ratings and viewership; which is… well, everything! Last month the MLB gifted its fans with a nostalgic experience in Dyersville, Iowa. The Yankees and White Sox squared off on a replica field/stadium from the film Field of Dreams starring Kevin Costner. The 2022 MLB campaign is set to continue the Field of Dreams game that will feature the Cubs and Reds. Gladly, this clear PR stunt was quite the success for the MLB and Rob Manfred. I hope and believe that games, ideas, endeavors, etc of this nature will rectify the MLB and all that it represents so that its downward spiral changes its course. To put the MLB and its shortcomings into perspective, last year’s World Series match-up of the Dodgers and Rays captured just 9.8 million views. The 1978 World Series drew an outstanding 44.2 million views! (P. Saunders, 2021) I understand that comparing 2020 and 1978 is like comparing apples and oranges; there is much, much more to occupy us as humans today as opposed to the 70’s. However, if we compare this stat to the very comparable NFL’s Super Bowl than we would see that the NFL is thriving and the MLB is not. In 1978 (Super Bowl XII) the Broncos and Cowboys captivated 78.9 million viewers. Compare this to the most recent Super Bowl between the Bucs and Chiefs that was seen by 96.4 million viewers.

Obviously you and I do not have a crystal ball at our disposal and cannot tell the future of the of the MLB and its entirety. Though, I believe that the MLB and its partners should construct more business proposals of the like of the Field of Dreams ploy that was a clear victory for the MLB and its fans. As far as the here-and-now are concerned, the 2021 MLB crusade has presented us with more than enough of a sample size to make educated plays when gambling on MLB games. Some ordinary statistics that we should be familiar with that have accumulated over the course of the season are as follows: AWAY S/U – 46%, HOME S/U – 54%. FAVORITES – 60%, UNDERDOGS: 40%. However, the real value has came from the AWAY UNDERDOGS on the run line (+1.5); these teams are covering 57% of the time.

These are great plays when you can get these teams at +100 or better even getting +1.5 runs. As for the 2021 O/U trends, they are teeter-tottering at a 50.6% win/loss rate. Hence, those O/U lines have been very sharp all season long; thanks, but I’ll stay away for now. If we are truly itching to make an O/U play then I would advise making them when a home-favorite situation arises with that play being UNDER. One aspect of this angle that has potential for possessing value is the simple fact that the home-favorite has a better than not chance of not batting in the bottom of the 9th inning. Unlike other sports, it is in our best interests to bet against the grain when a “streak” is in occurrence. Baseball is a game of averages; averages tend to even out over time and eventually show their true self/face. As sports gamblers, we should bet against an MLB club that is riding a relatively long winning-streak. Typically, these teams will be favored in each of their current winning-streak games allowing for some value to succumb.

Enjoy this upcoming weekend that is filled with NCAAF galore! Pay attention to a school/program and the amount of seniors that they may have lost from last season. That notation is more important than the name on the front of a programs jersey. For what it is worth, from what I have seen thus far, take FAVORITES in the first half; and if they are down/not covering after the first half then take them in the 2nd half. i.e. UCF over Boise St. (2nd half cover ATS). An example of a favorite that covered the first half already in Week 1 is App St. over E. Carolina. Best of luck! As always, go dogs!!!

Is the MLB behind? Or just in its infancy…

MLB Opening Day is just over a month away and Spring Training is just two days away. Although 2021 MLB Spring Training will have limited fans, the path to normalcy is headed in the right direction. Within the past couple of seasons, a lot of new “stars” have emerged onto the scene; some have even taken the league by storm. To name a few, Juan Soto, Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Fernando Tatis Jr., and Cody Bellinger. Not only are these star studded athletes “up-and-coming” but they too are becoming the face of MLB. Soto is set to make $8.5 million in just this season alone, Tatis Jr. is now a $340 million man over the span of 14 years. That’s a sweet $24.3 million per year, and Bellinger is set to earn $16.1 million this year. NOT TOO SHABBY! Considering that they are 25 (Bellinger) and 22 years old (Soto/Tatis Jr.)

Although Spring Training games technically don’t count towards a team’s regular season W-L record, there still lies some significant value that unfolds during these 33 games. Obviously these athletes too understand that these games are irrelevant in terms of their own personal stats/accolades. However, this is not to say that they are not invested or putting forth full effort. With that being said, if a player and/or team seems to be struggling during their Spring Training games then there is a good chance that this trend could persist and role over into the regular season. Whether that struggle comes from three or four batters in a line-up barely batting their weight or a couple of starting pitchers and a couple of relief pitcher’s ERA’s skyrocketing; it is probably in your best interests to stay away from those athletes and their teams come early season MLB plays. Seems pretty straight-forward, right? In addition, early in the MLB season (Spring Training and regular) look to take the dogs when the total is 9 or higher and the favorite when the total is 7 or lower. Typically when a lot of runs are projected to be scored, the odds makers expect the underdog to score a good amount of runs as well. Hence, you can find good value if we assume that an underdog can outscore the favorite once both starting pitchers nights are done and becomes a game of the bullpens. On the flip side, I would advise leaning towards the favorites when the total is on the lower side because this scenario typically means that either one or both starting pitchers are elite. When this situation arises, whose batting line-up can fail fewer times than the opposing line-up against dominant and/or momentous pitchers. More times than not, the favorite possesses a superior line-up than that of the underdog; meaning that their may be some value in the favorite, despite being the “favorite.” Thus far, it has been a wild off-season for both the MLB and

NFL. Recent MLB transaction have consisted of Elvis Andrus to the A’s for Khris Davis to the Rangers, Trevor Bauer to the Dodgers (highest paid player in 2021), Nolan Arenado to the Cardinals, George Springer to the Blue Jays, Jon Lester to the Nationals, and Blake Snell & Yu Darvish to the Padres (just to name a few). Here is the complete list of all recent MLB transactions/trades. WARNING: There’s a lot! On the flip side, the NLF has also encountered numerous trades that involve a bit of a QB carousel phenomena. In the young NFL off season, we have already seen Goff and Stafford swapping wives placing Jared in Detroit and Matthew in LA. Both Deshaun Watson and Russel Wilson are unhappy with their current franchises and want out! Deshaun wanted the Texans to hire a different head coach whereas Russell wants to run more of a West Coast style offense. To top it all off, the Colts acquire not only Carson Wentz, but his $25.4 million 2021 contract. The real winner and loser in that acquisition is a different story for a different day.

During this continuous global pandemic, what is Major League Baseball doing to “keep up with the Jones’s”? During the odd 2020 MLB season, the organization experimented with a few adjusted rules like a batter beginning on second base at the start of games needing extra innings. It did cut down on the longevity of games, but is it real baseball? Several other minuit rules were tested, including the universal DH rule. From what I have gathered, opinions are split about whether baseball should change their rules or not. Speaking of rule changes, the NFL (football in general) has been in the vast market of experimenting with new and unique leagues with new and unique rules. The NFL has birthed, if you will, the United States Football League, Arena Football League, Xtreme Football League, and Canadian Football League, etc. If there weren’t enough leagues that have tried and failed over the years, I now present to you the FCF (Fan Called Football.) Yes, you the fan get to call the plays for these squads. By the way, one of these squads is

QB’d by Johnny Manziel. A few of the rules that the FCF have implemented include: 7 vs. 7, 50 yard fields, and NO special teams. You can view the next FCF match-up tomorrow night where the Zappers face-off against the Wild Aces, only on Twitch. Although the NFL and their partners have had many failed attempts to construct “one-off” NFL leagues, they have still been profitable, entertaining (somewhat), and competitive (also somewhat). So why hasn’t the MLB tried to incorporate these “one-off” leagues? Is it because they already have the Minor Leagues and that is plenty in their minds? Baseball could easily create a league that has completed different rules that go against typical baseball rules that might encapsulate a whole new fandom market. Not to mention, it could also be a league that is utilized as a portal for experimenting with newly proposed rules that could eventually be implemented into the MLB game.

Hoping for a bit more Madness come March…

Is it just me, or does it seem like we have not been given college basketball in quite some time? Luckily for us, the wait is just about over! The college basketball season officially tips off November 30th with the Maui Invitational. DISCLAIMER: The Maui Invitational will not be held in Maui, Hawaii; but rather in Asheville, North Carolina. Regardless, we get college basketball! I just feel slightly bad for those kids during their recruiting visit that were told they would have the opportunity to play in Hawaii this upcoming season… sorry bud, better luck next year. Nevertheless, basketball is basketball and a season is a season; at least for the time being. Stay up to date with Joe Leonardi’s Bracketology projections and this preseason Top 25 video below…

Joe Leonardi’s current Bracketology projections

Similar to any other NCAAB season tip-off, many teams compete in non-conference tournaments (i.e “Maui” Invitational reference above) early in their respective seasons. Many of these games feature schools that are not accustomed to the “bright lights” of ESPN coverage. Hence, nerves are inevitably a bit higher being the beginning of the season and playing games that of which are nationally televised. This can be very daunting for young athletes, especially from those smaller, non Power 5 conference program players. Think about it – when you were 19 years old, would your performance alter (for better or for worse) if you knew that you would be watched by millions of viewers. Point being, this “altered” performance is typically in the negative direction. I understand that the “bright lights” can bring out the best in some athletes; however, the latter is more frequently exuded. In recent years, these early, non-conference match-ups tend to lean towards the UNDER; especially when point spreads are in the 20’s and 30’s meaning that a “power-house” is facing off against a small MEAC school, for example.

Now, while I’ve got you, we have to talk about this unusual 2020 MLB Postseason. Hell, who am I kidding, this whole year has been unusual, to say the least. Currently, the MLB Postseason is in the midst of both the American and National League Championships. Thus far the Rays are on top of the Astros (3 games to 2) in the American League and the Braves are leading the Dodgers (3 games to 1) in the National League. Once these match-ups have concluded, we will begin the 2020 MLB World Series. Although this season, postseason, and eventually World Series will differ than all others before; nevertheless, we can still use similar tactics, principles, and trends when gambling on this year’s World Series. Teams that are able to win the ALCS/NLCS in five or fewer games have an advantage if their World Series opponent went six or more games in their series. Why is this? Well besides the obvious answer of more rest, these teams now have the opportunity to map out and set their starting rotations to their preference; whereas their opponent that just got done with a hard fought seven game series may have to just go with the next man up approach. Over the past twelve years, the World Series favorite (once WS match-up is established) has gone 5-7. That’s an alarming stat, right?! Clearly, over recent years the underdog in World Series match-ups provides us (the bettor) with incredible value. Not only are you more likely to win, but your rate of return will be greater than that of which you wagered!

If the 2020 World Series does, in fact, consists of the Rays and Braves than I beg of you to please take the UNDER in each and every game. These two franchises have elite pitching staff’s with flame throwers left and right (see what I did there?) Also in my opinion, both of these teams have very average line-ups that I believe will not be able to keep up with one another’s pitching staff’s. UNDER UNDER UNDER if our 2020 World Series match-up consists of the Rays and Braves.

Weekend Football Picks:

SOUTH FLORIDA (+11) @ TEMPLE – Pick = SOUTH FLORIDA

FALCONS @ VIKINGS (-4) – Pick = VIKINGS

Early trends: COVID-19’s impact on sports…

 

 

 

 

For better or for worse, sports are in full swing. Sure, basketball should have been wrapped up by now and baseball should have about 120 games under its belt. Nevertheless, these sports are trying during a time where there are no right answer’s. I cannot even begin to imagine the behind-the-scenes operations that are taking place among each of these respective leagues. In terms of sports gambling, obviously some of the typically do’s and dont’s of gambling differ in these unique forms of sports and their play. For instance, an obvious example includes a runner beginning on second base in the event of extra innings in baseball. This scenario may influence your decision(s) on how to make a play in these particular games.

Aside from the obvious adjustments that we have recently seen in sports, let’s take a look at some of the early trends that “altered-sports” have presented. In the MLB, with little to no Spring Training for players, an increase in injury has been a noticeable early trend. Three previous Cy Young Award winning pitchers are currently on IR (not related to COVID-19) Clayton Kershaw, Justin Verlander, and Corey Kluber. To make matters worse, the pitchers that are healthy are not pitching well. In fact, base-on-balls are up 8.9% in relation to last season. Okay, so what about the hitters? How are they doing compared to the 2019 campaign? Currently, hitters are batting at a .233 clip as a league. If this statistic holds true, it will be the lowest league batting average ever posted. However, home-runs continue to remain plentiful. According to their stats, it is apparent that our MLB athletes are not in prime “baseball” form. If we look at these trends and statistics through a sports gambling lens than we can compute that increased walks (base-runners) + increased home-runs = more total runs. Right? Hence, I highly recommend hammering those OVER’s while the lines are still relatively low/off. Speaking of poor defense, baseball is not the only major sport “in season” at the moment. We must certainly not forget about the NBA and its (surprisingly effective) bubble.

In the bubble, the NBA and its match-ups have been very cryptic in terms of where to put your money. Thus far, motivation has played the most influential determining factor of not only actually wins and losses, but gambling wins and losses as well. Even before arriving in Orlando, Florida some teams already have their playoff birth’s locked in. One would have to assume that a team fighting to be apart of the playoff picture would unconditionally put forth greater effort on the floor. Motivation alone can become quite the chess match for gamblers and even the average spectator for that matter. When you lump all of the other factors that go into a typical game it can become very frustrating and may even seem a bit random. For these reasons, I have shied away from NBA plays; at least for the time being, come playoffs: different story. If this information isn’t enough to shy you away, take into account that favorites in the bubble are 18-18-1 ATS (50%), and the game total sits at 19-17 O/U (53%). Point being, maybe the regular season bubble match-ups are too random to place any action on. I would recommend waiting until the playoffs are underway to begin risking your hard earned money.

Current MLB and NBA Champion Odds (by OddShark):

Yankees +350

Dodgers +375

Astros +1100

Braves +1200

Twins +1200

Rays +1600

Athletics +2000

Lakers +210

Bucks +270

Clippers +333

Raptors +900

Rockets +1400

Celtics +1500

76ers +2500

 

 

WE’RE BACK! Hopefully…

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Sport (/spôrt/): noun – an activity involving physical exertion and skill in which an individual or team competes against another or others for entertainment. I am providing you all with the proper definition just in case you forgot what this term is. If you are reading this blog post than you are obviously among the many who are yearning for some form of live sports entertainment. We are all desperate to once again be able to watch our favorite sports, teams, and athletes back in action. And no, watching your favorite team from 1998 does not count. Rest assure, we have real life dates put in place for the continuation of some of our favorite sports!

The NBA and Adam Silver were basically the first major sports league to: A. come to an agreement on salaries while working/playing and B. implement a concrete plan with specific dates for NBA resumption. Laid out is the current NBA timeline for the continuation of their season, at least for now…

July 7-9: Teams arrive in Orlando, FL

July 9-29: Negative tested athletes participate in scrimmages/practices

July 30: Season resumes

August 15-16: Play-in-games for playoff seeding

August 17: Playoffs begin

September 30: NBA Finals begin

So there ya have it. Adam Silver and company catch a lot flack from time-to-time; however, I believe that they worked very hard to provide the masses with essentially the same product that we are accustomed to viewing all the while taking every safety precaution along the way.

Here are the current NBA Finals odds…

Los Angeles Lakers +185

Milwaukee Bucks +275

Los Angeles Clippers +300

Boston Celtics +1200

Toronto Raptors +1400

Houston Rockets +1500

Denver Nuggets +2200

Philadelphia 76ers +2200

Believe it or not, the NBA is not scheduled to be the first major sport’s league to begin. The NBA is scheduled to resume on July 30th. However, the MLB is scheduled to resume on the 23rd of July. Obviously both will be without fans, but nevertheless I could not be more excited. The only aspect of my life that I am looking more forward to is marrying my beautiful fiance. Oh, and by the way, that was hindered by COVID-19 also. The MLBPA (Major League Baseball Player’s Association) finally agreed to terms on a deal consisting of a 60 games schedule while earning 80% of their annual salaries.

Here are the current MLB championship odds:

New York Yankees +325

Los Angeles Dodgers +325

Houston Astros +775

Atlanta Braves +1500

Minnesota Twins +1800

Washington Nationals +1800

New York Mets +2000

St. Louis Cardinals +2200

If you’re like me, I was super bummed that we were not able to have the 2020 March Madness tournament. For whatever it’s worth, I did a simulated bracket with game-by-game results. And no, each match-up was not a flip of a coin each time, but the results were still very surprising. Anyways, the simulated Final Four consisted of Duke, Michigan St, Ohio St, and Arizona St. The national title game was a BIG10 match-up between the Spartans facing off against the Buckeyes with Michigan St. coming out as the 2020 March Madness victors. How do you think the infamous blank 2020 bracket would have shaped out?

blank march madness bracket 2020 blogs