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Italian rewards sharps' backing in British Open

Jeff Fogle  
VSiN City newsletter

July 23, 2018 12:08 AM

USATSI_10979859
Francesco Molinari shows off the Claret Jug.
© USA Today Sports Images

Market sleeper Francesco Molinari wins the British Open and becomes first Italian golfer to win a major. Plus New York baseball all-wet…Manziel an Alouette…and we’ve got all of it in VSiN City.

British Open: Thrilling championship goes down to the wire
Last week here in the newsletter and on “A Numbers Game” we talked about how much respect Italian golfer Francesco Molinari was getting from sharp bettors. He was priced better than his world ranking in futures prices and on exchanges. The South Point here in Las Vegas had him with elite favorites at just 12/1. 

Many big names were either at the top of the leaderboard (including Tiger Woods!) or within striking distance all day Sunday. Molinari parred the first 13 holes, then birded #14 and #18 to earn a two-stroke win over the field. 

1…Francesco Molinari -8
2…Justin Rose, Rory McIlroy and 2 others -6
6…Tiger Woods and 2 others -5
9…Jordan Spieth and 2 others -4

Golf continues to catch on as a popular betting sport in the US. Hard to imagine a better advertisement for the excitement of in-tournament betting that this topsy-turvy final round that showcased many stars and longshots. 

Among some of the Sunday matchup winners at the South Point (victors listed first)…

Francesco Molinari (pick-em) 69, Tiger Woods 71
Xander Schauffele (plus 160) 75, Jordan Spieth 76
Tommy Fleetwood (-140) 73, Zach Johnson 74
Eddie Pepperell (plus 125) 67, Phil Mickelson 71

Congrats to those of you who got the best of it. The next major is the PGA, scheduled for Aug. 9-12 at Bellerive near St. Louis. 

MLB: Twinbill Trend now 17-4!
Sam Panayotovich of VSiN recently alerted viewers/listeners, twitter followers, and New York Post readers to a doubleheader trend in the Majors. That trend SWEPT this weekend, extending the season-to-date record to 17-4.

If you’re new to VSiN, that trend is very simple. In any doubleheader, take the loser of Game 1 to win Game 2. Splits are very common this year. You almost get the sense that the players have a gentleman’s agreement to call the day a draw and head home.

Whatever the influences, it’s been a big moneymaker because several underdogs have cashed nightcaps. Another of those Saturday at Wrigley. Here’s a look at the weekend scoreboard. 

Saturday
Game 1: Chicago (pick-em) beat St. Louis 7-2
Game 2: St. Louis (plus 135) beat Chicago 6-3

Sunday
Game 1: San Diego (plus 150) beat Philadelphia 10-2
Game 2: Philadelphia (-190) beat San Diego 5-0

Keep an eye out for more DHs on the daily schedules. 

MLB: No losing weekends for the Magnificent 7 out of the All-Star Break
Sunday night’s rain out in New York (Mets/Yankees) guaranteed that there’d be no losing records for any of the Magnificent 7 (the teams projected to win 90 or more games in Regular Season Win totals before the 2018 season began) in this first weekend after the All-Star Break.

What was most notable is that the Chicago Cubs played FIVE games in the relaunch, while weather held the Yankees and Nationals to only two. 

Current records entering the new week…
Boston 70-31…plus 22.5 units after a 2-1 week
NY Yankees 63-34…plus 7.5 units after a 1-1 week
Chicago Cubs 58-40…plus 2 units after a 3-2 week
Houston 66-36…plus 1.5 units after a 2-1 week
Cleveland 54-44…minus 12 units after a 2-1 week
LA Dodgers 55-44…minus 16 units after a 2-1 week
Washington 49-49…minus 18.5 units after a 1-1 week

No time for any major developments to occur. Though, NYY’s series opening loss to the Mets was a reminder that the Bronx Bombers are having trouble staying focused for soft spots on the schedule. And the Dodgers taking two of three in Milwaukee had a big impact in two different divisions. 

No head-to-heads for the M7 this week. But A LOT of games matching teams with winning records. 

Magnificent 7 Head to Head: no games this week

Early Week Series Matching Winning Teams (first four start Monday)
LA Dodgers (55-44) at Philadelphia (55-43) 
Arizona (54-46) at the Chicago Cubs (58-40)
NY Yankees (63-34) at Tampa Bay (50-49)
Pittsburgh (51-49) at Cleveland (54-44)
Houston (66-36) at Colorado (53-46) (starts Tuesday)

All three National League divisions currently have exciting races. And all there will be in the spotlight right out of the gate this week. Also worth remembering that the Yankees were swept the last time they were in Tampa Bay. And that Houston/Colorado series could be fun because the best road offense in baseball gets to play a couple of games in the best hitters’ park. 

Late Week Series Matching Winning Teams
LA Dodgers (55-44) at Atlanta (53-43) (starts Thursday)
Milwaukee (56-45) at San Francisco (51-50) (starts Thursday)
Chicago Cubs (58-40) at St. Louis (50-49) (starts Friday)
Oakland (57-43) at Colorado (53-46) starts Friday

How about that? Oakland is right on the heels of the Astros a mile high. Oakland has also been explosive offensively away from their home stat anvil. Great tests for a few NL contenders. Cubs and Cards must be getting sick of each other. 

Key stats of major matchups throughout the week here in VSiN City. 

Sunday WNBA: Atlanta stays hot, Las Vegas covers again vs. an Eastern foe
Not all tendencies hold true forever. But some recent developments continued to cash tickets Sunday in the NBA. Let’s run through the four-game slate in rotation order…

Atlanta (plus 2.5) 87, Seattle 74
2-point Pct: Seattle 47%, Atlanta 55%
3-pointers: Seattle 9/28, Atlanta 2/11
Free Throws: Seattle 7/9, Atlanta 15/23
Rebounds: Seattle 35, Atlanta 41
Turnovers: Seattle 13, Atlanta 10

Atlanta covered its seventh game in a row with a double-digit win as an underdog over powerful Seattle. All of those covers were also straight up wins, FIVE as underdogs. Victims include Seattle, Phoenix, and Washington twice. Fantastic run for the Dream, who are also 9-1 ATS their last 10 games. 

Important to note that Atlanta won by 13 points despite losing the three-point battle by 21 points! Utter domination inside the arc, with Atlanta winning that count 81-47.

Atlanta moves to 15-9 on the season. Seattle falls to 18-7, though is still 7-2-1 ATS its last 10 outings. Two teams in very good form right now. 

Connecticut (plus 4.5) 92, Dallas 75
2-point Pct: Connecticut 50%, Dallas 56%
3-pointers: Connecticut 10/20, Dallas 5/21
Free Throws: Connecticut 8/13, Dallas 10/14
Rebounds: Connecticut 35, Dallas 29
Turnovers: Connecticut 8, Dallas 12

This was a trend buster, as struggling Connecticut shot lights out from long range to slow down rampaging Dallas. Liz Cambage was denied cheap points from the free throw line with only six attempts. She still scored 25 points and grabbed 10 rebounds in a losing effort. 

Connecticut is back over the .500 mark at 13-12. Dallas falls to 14-11. 

Probably a good indicator to bet Dallas when facing soft inside defenses, because Cambage is relentless. Defenses who can at least get in her way without fouling have a chance to win, though. 

Las Vegas (-8.5) 88, Indiana 74
2-point Pct: Indiana 40%, Las Vegas 47%
3-pointers: Indiana 5/13, Las Vegas 4/11
Free Throws: Indiana 13/19, Las Vegas 18/24
Rebounds: Indiana 29, Las Vegas 47
Turnovers: Indiana 12, Las Vegas 11
 
We won’t have room to run the full list today. But Las Vegas continues to dominate the East to a degree not anticipated by betting markets. Look at that rebounding advantage! That’s now 7-1 ATS the last eight vs. the weaker conference. And the only miss was by half a point. 

Vegas is 12-13 straight up for the season, which is a lot better than many skeptics were expecting. Indiana falls to 3-22. The Fever might really be sick, with a 2-10 point spread record their last dozen games. 

Los Angeles (-3) 93, Chicago 76
2-point Pct: Los Angeles 57%, Chicago 53%
3-pointers: Los Angeles 9/22, Chicago 7/24
Free Throws: Los Angeles 8/9, Chicago 7/11
Rebounds: Los Angeles 37, Chicago 32
Turnovers: Los Angeles 9, Chicago 13
 
LA has been on a nuclear yo-yo the past four games, alternating double-digit covers with double-digit non-covers. Easy blowout here to move to 15-10 on the season, three games behind Seattle in the West. Chicago is 8-17. Sky now 1-5 ATS their last six.

Box score shows a win in every category for the inexpensive favorite.   

Our latest update of estimated “market” Power Ratings for the WNBA…

85: Minnesota, Seattle 
84: Los Angeles (home)
82: Los Angeles (road), Phoenix, Dallas
81: Washington
80: Atlanta
79: Connecticut
78: Las Vegas
76: Chicago
74: New York
73: Indiana

TV ratings and betting interest are up for the WNBA this season. We’ll stay on top of developments for you.

CFL: Johnny Manziel traded to the Montreal Alouettes!
“Frere Johnny, frere Johnny, where play vouz? Where play vouz? Soon in Montreal…soon in Montreal…won’t be long…won’t be long.”

(Yeah, well, putting new words to “Alouette” would have been too obvious a lark.)

Johnny Football could see his first Canadian Football League very soon after being traded from the Hamilton Tiger-Cats to the Montreal Alouettes Sunday. Hamilton has been happy with Jeremiah Masoli early in this 2018 season, while the lowly Alouettes continue to play expansion-caliber football. 

TV cameras and betting interest follow Manziel wherever he goes. We’ll monitor the sports betting side of this story as it develops through the week. Montreal’s next scheduled game is Thursday vs. Edmonton. 

Let’s run numbers from the last three CFL games from this past weekend. We covered Thursday night football (Saskatchewan’s upset of Hamilton) in Friday’s report. Games are presented in schedule order. 

Ottawa (-7) 29, British Columbia 25 
Total Yardage: B. Columbia 444, Ottawa 430
Yards-per-Play: B. Columbia 7.8, Ottawa 6.6
Rushing Yards: B. Columbia 119, Ottawa 67
Passing Stats: B. Columbia 19-32-0-325, Ottawa 30-44-0-363
Turnovers: B. Columbia 2, Ottawa 1

Second straight cover for BC since getting an experienced quarterback back on the field. Not enough from Travis Lulay to get the outright win though. High scoring shootout. Both quarterbacks topped 300 yards without throwing an interception. 

Ottawa is in first place in the East with a 3-2 record. British Columbia is in last place in the tougher West with a 2-3 record. 

Winnipeg (-3.5) 38, Toronto 20 
Total Yardage: Winnipeg 429, Toronto 173
Yards-per-Play: Winnipeg 7.3, Toronto 3.8
Rushing Yards: Winnipeg 184, Toronto 22
Passing Stats: Winnipeg 19-27-0-245, Toronto 21-36-1-151
Turnovers: Winnipeg 4, Toronto 4

Extremely sloppy game with four turnovers apiece. Toronto was lucky to stay close on the scoreboard, needing a fumble return TD and a punt return TD to keep it from being a slaughter. Reminiscent of Calgary winning 41-7 on this field a few weeks back if you take those cheap TDS out of the mix. 

Argos a huge disappointment at 1-4 out of the gate. Winnipeg is 3-3, the only CFL team not to enjoy a bye week yet. 

Calgary (-19) 25 Montreal 8 
Total Yardage: Montreal 239, Calgary 361
Yards-per-Play: Montreal 5.6, Calgary 6.2
Rushing Yards: Montreal 62, Calgary 69
Passing Stats: Montreal 19-29-2-177, Calgary 25-34-1-292
Turnovers: Montreal 4, Calgary 1

You can see why Montreal was anxious to make a trade. Two more interceptions and less than 200 passing yards despite playing from behind all night. Alouettes trailed 19-1 at halftime. Calgary remains undefeated at 5-0. Montreal is 1-4, catching flat Saskatchewan after a QB injury. 

Here’s our latest estimate of “market” Power Ratings based on this past weekend’s point spreads…

86: Calgary
84: Hamilton
83: Edmonton, Winnipeg
82: Ottawa
78: British Columbia
77: Saskatchewan
76: Toronto 
70: Montreal

Let’s see how much of a hit Hamilton takes after that bad home loss to Saskatchewan. 

VSiN Notes: Thanks to JVT and Jorge Mondaca for hosting VSiN City on “A Numbers Game”
Had a great time last week on set riding shotgun with host Jonathan Von Tobel, racing through the course set by producer Jorge Mondaca. Regular host Gill Alexander was on vacation. Who says there’s nothing to bet during the All-Star Break?!

Very busy week flew by. It’s easy to lose sight of how much work goes into putting together two hours of numbers-based sports betting programming every day. Hours of advance preparation from the producer, host, and the team behind the glass. Then, along comes VSiN City wanting to compile NFL “market” Power Ratings, check on the global golf exchange, and throw xFIP by every pitcher’s name. 

We’re grateful JVT and Jorge were so enthusiastic and accommodating in adding a taste of the newsletter to last week’s broadcasts. Thanks to all of you who joined us. If you missed out, the replays can be viewed if you dig through the back pages on our videos page

Back to our normal format and length here in VSiN City this week. See you again Tuesday morning. 

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