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College football Week 14 opening odds and early action: Will Buckeyes bounce back ATS?

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College football Week 14 features rivalry clashes that could significantly impact the College Football Playoff picture. Covers checks in on the opening odds and early action for four games.

No. 5 Alabama Crimson Tide at No. 16 Auburn Tigers (+3.5)

Alabama won’t have Tua Tagovailoa the rest of the season, after a nasty hip injury suffered against Mississippi State, but Nick Saban’s troops are still certainly in the CFP discussion. In Week 13, Mac Jones and the Crimson Tide (10-1 SU, 6-5 ATS) practically had a bye, wiping out Western Carolina 66-3 as eye-popping 58.5-point home favorites.

Auburn’s CFP hopes fell by the wayside with three losses in a very difficult five-week stretch of Southeastern Conference play. Like ‘Bama, the Tigers (8-3 SU and ATS) also faced an FCS foe in Week 13, hammering Samford 52-0 as 45.5-point home faves.

“This line, which opened Alabama -3.5, would’ve likely been around 8 with a healthy Tua,” Chaprales said. “So a pretty sizable adjustment with Jones at the helm. The first move was to 4, though, so the market still seems to like ‘Bama in a road ‘dog spot.”

No. 2 Ohio State Buckeyes at No. 11 Michigan Wolverines (+9)

Ohio State was a spread-covering machine in Games 2-9, but hasn’t cashed the past two weeks, though it’s still right on track for a CFP bid. The Buckeyes (11-0 SU, 8-3 ATS) went off as 18-point home favorites against Penn State in Week 13, but let a 21-0 third-quarter lead tighten to 21-17 before going on to a 28-17 victory.

Michigan has no shot at the CFP, but would love to play spoiler against its archrival. The Wolverines (9-2 SU, 7-4 ATS) have won four in a row SU and five in a row ATS, downing Indiana 39-14 as 10-point road favorites in Week 13.

“The market appears to have finally caught up to Ohio State the past few weeks, while Michigan has been an ATM since around mid-October,” Chaprales said. “The first few bets have actually been on the Wolverines, pushing an opener of 9 down to 8, but it likely won’t be long before we see some Ohio State money start to come in.”

Indeed, the Buckeyes ticked up to -8.5 by Monday afternoon.

No. 7 Oklahoma Sooners at No. 21 Oklahoma State Cowboys (+12)

Oklahoma could still find its way into the CFP, but must keep winning and might need some help along the way. The Sooners (10-1 SU, 4-7 ATS) were tested in each of their last four games, beginning with a loss at Kansas State. Last weekend, Oklahoma blew a 21-0 second-quarter lead against Texas Christian, but escaped with a 28-24 home win laying 19 points.

Oklahoma State would love nothing more than to win the annual Bedlam game and foil the Sooners’ CFP hopes. The Cowboys (8-3 SU, 8-2-1 ATS) are the No. 2 spread-covering team in the nation, though they’re coming off a push as 7-point favorites in a 20-13 win at West Virginia.

“Another game, another double-digit number for the Sooners, who have seemingly flirted with disaster on a weekly basis in similar spots,” Chaprales said. “That said, the public has continued to ride them, so it will be interesting to see if last week’s result finally turns the tables.”

Early action pushed the Sooners up to -12.5.

No. 14 Wisconsin Badgers at No. 9 Minnesota Golden Gophers (+2)

Minnesota is not out of the CFP conversation yet, but surely needs to win this week as a home ‘dog, then beat Ohio State in the Big Ten title game. And even that might not be enough. The Golden Gophers (10-1 SU, 7-3-1 ATS) rebounded from a loss at Iowa by topping Northwestern 38-22 giving 15.5 points on the road.

Wisconsin can not only upend a rival and win Paul Bunyan’s Axe this week, but would also claim the Big Ten West and a spot in the conference title game. The Badgers (9-2 SU, 6-5 ATS) beat Purdue 45-24 in Week 13, falling short of the cash as 24.5-point home favorites.

“Wisconsin has been more of a bet-on team than Minnesota, and the first few bets have laid the short number,” Chaprales said of bettors playing Wisconsin -2. “So I wouldn’t be surprised if the line inches closer to 3.”

In fact, the number ticked up to Badgers -2.5 by Monday afternoon.

 

Verlander injury shuffles Astros’ MLB futures odds

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MLB betting got a shake-up Sunday afternoon, specifically on World Series odds and AL pennant odds, with news that Astros star pitcher Justin Verlander could miss the rest of the season – or at least a significant chunk of it – with an arm injury.

Initial reports suggested Verlander had an elbow ailment, but both he and manager Dusty Baker quickly denied that. Baker called it a forearm strain and said that Verlander would be re-evaluated in “a couple of weeks.” The reigning AL Cy Young winner pitched a solid six innings in an 8-2 Opening Day rout of the Seattle Mariners on Friday.

Verlander’s injury led oddsmakers to shuffle futures book odds on the defending AL champions. Covers checked in on the MLB odds moves with a couple of Las Vegas sportsbooks.

How does Verlander’s injury affect Astros’ World Series odds?

At CG Technology books, risk analyst Rich Zanco said the Astros quickly moved from +1,200 to +1,800 in World Series futures. The SuperBook at Westgate also had Houston pegged +1,200 prior to Sunday’s news and initially went to +1,600, then dialed it a little further to +1,800.

However, there were apparently buyers on the Astros at that point, prompting the SuperBook to reel the price in to +1,400.

How does Verlander’s injury affect Astros’ American League odds?

In AL pennant futures, the Astros initially moved from +600 to +800 at The SuperBook, then ticked back to +700.

World Series odds

Team Odds to win
Los Angeles Dodgers +350
New York Yankees +350
Houston Astros +600
Atlanta Braves +1,600
Minnesota Twins +1,600
Tampa Bay Rays +1,800
Washington Nationals +2,000
Cleveland Indians +2,000
New York Mets +2,000
Chicago Cubs +2,000
Oakland Athletics +2,000
St. Louis Cardinals +2,500
Cincinnati Reds +2,500
San Diego Padres +2,500
Philadelphia Phillies +3,000
Chicago White Sox +3,000
Los Angeles Angels +3,000
Milwaukee Brewers +4,000
Boston Red Sox +5,000
Arizona Diamondbacks +6,000
Colorado Rockies +8,000
Toronto Blue Jays +10,000
Texas Rangers +10,000
Pittsburgh Pirates +20,000
Detroit Tigers +20,000
San Francisco Giants +30,000
Seattle Mariners +30,000
Miami Marlins +30,000
Baltimore Orioles +30,000
Kansas City Royals +30,000

Odds courtesy The SuperBook

MLB picks and predictions for Opening Day

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It was a long and scary road, but we finally get MLB betting back on Thursday, July 23. Opening Day of the pandemic-shortened 60-game baseball schedule is headlined by a pair of matchups, with the New York Yankees visiting the Washington Nationals and the Los Angeles Dodgers rekindling their rivalry with the San Francisco Giants.

Like we do each MLB season (COVID-19 or not), we’ll be taking a swing at today’s baseball odds and giving our best MLB picks and predictions. Up first: Opening Day 2020.

MLB picks for today

New York Yankees vs Washington Nationals

Yankees slugger Aaron Judge was supposed to miss the start of the season back in the spring, but the delay to the 2020 campaign allowed the outfielder to heal up from broken ribs and return to his longball-launching self.

Judge looked great in New York’s warmup games, albeit for a limited number of at-bats. He went 3-for-7 with all three hits leaving the ballpark. And he wasn’t alone, with the Yankees’ other power bats providing plenty of pop around him in the order. He’ll get a chance to go yard again on Opening Day.

PREDICTION: Aaron Judge home run (+210)

San Francisco Giants at Los Angeles Dodgers

The Giants are no strangers to Clayton Kershaw, who has long dominated the Dodgers’ divisional foes. In 49 career appearances against San Francisco, The Claw is 23-12 with a 1.74 ERA and has allowed just 0.71 hits per innings pitched in those starts.

The Giants don’t pose much of an offensive threat, averaging 8.22 hits per game in 2019. San Francisco has managed 45 total hits in its last eight starts against Kershaw – an average of 0.86 hits per inning faced. Given the Dodgers’ ace looked ready for work in his tune-up efforts, we could see him go seven innings or more on Thursday, panning out to a little over six hits for San Fran.

PREDICTION: Giants between 6-7 total hits (+235)

Mookie Betts has reportedly landed a whale of a contract extension with the Dodgers after joining the ballclub this offseason via a trade with the Boston Red Sox. And what better way to lock down that deal than an impressive effort on Opening Day.

Betts recorded 313 total bases in 2019 (30th) and 353 in 2018 (fourth). He’s been swinging well in training sessions this offseason: in 27 at-bats during the spring/summer schedule, he has 13 total bases, including two doubles and a home run, while hitting leadoff during Summer Camp. We like that to continue into Opening Day.

PREDICTION: Mookie Betts two or more total bases (-182)

Top MLB consensus for today

Want to know who today’s biggest MLB betting and consensus bets are right now? Check out our top MLB consensus picks.

Opening Day betting card

  • Aaron Judge home run (+210)
  • Giants between 6-7 total hits (+235)
  • Mookie Betts two or more total bases (-182)