Utter disaster for the New York Yankees in Boston as a ninth-inning implosion helps hand Red Sox a 4-0 series sweep. The Astros take two of three from the Dodgers. Plus Westgate releases NBA Regular Season Win Totals for the 2018-19 season. A new week is off and running in VSiN City!
MLB: Boston outclassed NYY so badly you wonder how it was ever a race
Though the Boston Red Sox had dominated the first three meetings in a four-game weekend series with the New York Yankees, it looked like the Bronx Bombers would salvage the finale.
An ill-timed Boston error in the top of the seventh inning Sunday night helped the Yanks plate four runs without any big blows. They still held that 4-1 lead with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning. With two Red Sox runners already on via walk…it went walk…two run single…throwing error…TIED AT 4!
Boston would finish the job against shell-shocked New York in the bottom of the tenth inning.
New York Yankees at Boston
Thursday: Boston wins 15-7, winning TB plus W by 41-22
Friday: Boston wins 4-1, winning TB plus W by 17-4
Saturday: Boston wins 4-1, winning TB plus W by 15-11
Sunday: Boston wins 5-4, winning TB plus W by 20-12
That’s a scoreboard victory of 28-13 for Boston, with an astounding TB plus W advantage of 93-49.
AL East Standings
NYY 68-42 (9.5 games back)
That’s a very tall hill to climb unless Boston stumbles into a long slump.
*Red Sox finish 25-24 (for 104-58)
*Yankees must finish 36-16 to catch them
It’s possible for a 79-34 team to limp home with a record near .500 over the last 50 or so games. But the Boston schedule isn’t exactly loaded with juggernauts the rest of the way. Let’s pick a slowdown that might be a bit more reasonable.
*Red Sox finish 29-20 (for 108-54)
*Yankees must finish 40-12 to catch them
Yanks are just 18-20 their last 38…which is below .500 within a sample lasting well over a month. Let’s see if this week’s futures prices across the market reflect the virtual certainty that the Yankees will have to win a Wildcard play-in game.
One other monster matchup this past weekend in MLB. How could Astros/Dodgers not have been a marquee TV spot on Saturday or Sunday’s schedule?! Quick recap in the same format as above.
Houston at Los Angeles Dodgers
Friday: Houston wins 2-1, tying TB plus W by 8-8
Saturday: Houston wins 14-0, winning TB plus W by 33-10
Sunday: Los Angeles wins 3-2, losing TB plus W by 15-12
Teams split nail biters. Houston won a rout. A huge compliment to Houston that it didn’t lose total bases plus walks a single time on the road despite missing offensive stars. Lousy weekend for the Dodgers’ bats. That’s 8-10-12 offensive bases over three very important games. Very much a passed test for Houston (almost a road sweep!), and a flunked test for LAD.
MLB: Only ONE team in our “Magnificent 7” is up money on the season
The recent demise of the New York Yankees has helped pull (or keep) six of the original “Magnificent 7” under water. Of the seven teams originally projected to win at least 90 games in Regular Season Win Totals back in March, only the Boston Red Sox are up betting units through August 5.
It’s hard to ride your favorite team to success unless you happen to love an off-the-radar team that shocks the market. Look at all the good-to-great won-lost records that haven’t been able to clear money line hurdles.
Current records entering the new week…
Boston 79-34…plus 28.5 units after a 5-1 week
Chicago Cubs 64-47…minus 1 unit after a 3-3 week
NY Yankees 68-42…minus 2.5 units after a 1-5 week
Houston 71-42…minus 4.5 units after a 4-2 week
Cleveland 61-49…minus 15 units after a 4-2 week
Washington 57-54…minus 17.5 units after a 5-1 week
LA Dodgers 62-51…minus 18.5 units after a 3-4 week
Dodgers back on the bottom. Washington picked up its pace, but still may not even make the playoffs.
Plenty of time for the three teams trailing Boston to get hot and climb back into the black. Unlikely that any would get SO hot that they’d close hard to earn a huge profit. Boston is something special this year. Great performance…while also being underrated by oddsmakers and the most important betting influences.
Only one head-to-head meeting within the M7 coming up this week. But, some very important matchups in the divisional races.
Magnificent 7 Head to Head:
Washington (57-54) at the Chicago Cubs (64-47) (Friday-Sunday)
Critical weekend for Washington, if the Nats want to be taken seriously down the stretch.
Early Week Series Matching Winning Teams (first three start Monday)
Pittsburgh (57-55) at Colorado (59-52)
Philadelphia (63-48) at Arizona (62-51)
Houston (71-42) at San Francisco (57-56)
Atlanta (60-48) at Washington (57-54) (starts Tuesday)
LA Dodgers (62-51) at Oakland (67-46) (starts Tuesday)
Wow…Dodgers-A’s could be special. Who would have guessed Oakland would have been five games better in the standings heading in? Atlanta at Washington looms very large over the NL East. What a week for the Nats.
Late Week Series Matching Winning Teams
LA Dodgers (62-51) at Colorado (59-52) (starts Thursday)
Seattle (64-48) at Houston (71-42) (starts Thursday)
Milwaukee (65-50) at Atlanta (60-48) (starts Friday)
Dodgers better get those bats going. NL West race has no margin for error. Seattle/Houston is obviously very important to the Mariners. They’re in danger of losing touch with Oakland for the second Wildcard spot.
NBA: Westgate posts 2018-19 Regular Season Win Totals
What had been a relatively quiet Sunday afternoon in Las Vegas…in advance of the first full week of NFL exhibition action and the PGA golf championship…exploded into headlines when the Westgate posted its Regular Season Win Totals for the coming NBA season.
NBA Twitter went crazy. In early August!
Formal rotation order lists teams alphabetically. (Here are the today's betting sheets, including from the Westgate.) We’d rather run them by conference so you can see how the playoff races shape up in each half of the brackets. Let’s start in the loaded West. Golden State is still a heavy favorite, but LeBron James now plays for the Los Angeles Lakers.
Western Conference at the Westgate
Golden State 62.5
Oklahoma City 50.5
LA Lakers 48.5
New Orleans 45.5
San Antonio 43.5
LA Clippers 35.5
Most immediate chatter was about whether or not Houston should be that low after winning 65 games last season. Golden State only won 58, but might not be as inclined to coast through so many weeks. Obviously, many eyes were drawn quickly to the Lakers with LeBron. His supporting cast may be questionable. It always is! Will be tougher to thrive in this brutal conference, particularly for a leader who does his share of conserving energy so he’s fresh when it matters most.
Eastern Conference at the Westgate
New York 29.5
Talk in this conference was about whether or not Kawhi Leonard was going to be a high impact player for Toronto…or a head case. Figure that out, and your bet makes itself. New York Knicks fans won’t be happy that the team ranks behind Brooklyn.
Note those add up to 1,240 wins. There are only 1,230 wins in an NBA regular season. So, 10 extra wins are in the mix as a kind of hidden vigorish against the public’s tendency to bet Overs. These all opened as 11/10 bets. If you tend to bet Overs, the hurdle is slightly higher than you were thinking. Look at little harder at Unders. That way, you’re getting a third of a win the best of it at the start.
WNBA: Las Vegas Aces cracked in Connecticut, Atlanta still enjoying Dream season
Four games on a busy Sunday in the WNBA. Let’s run the key stats in Nevada rotation order…
Connecticut (-8.5) 109, Las Vegas 88
2-point Pct: Las Vegas 49%, Connecticut 67%
3-pointers: Las Vegas 7/12, Connecticut 9/22
Free Throws: Las Vegas 11/14, Connecticut 8/12
Rebounds: Las Vegas 26, Connecticut 35
Turnovers: Las Vegas 14, Connecticut 10
You probably know all about the travel woes Las Vegas faced when trying to play in Washington late last week. They didn’t show up for the tip. No word yet on whether that’s going to be a forfeit, or just a flat cancellation. League may be waiting to see if the result is important in the final standings. Could be.
No excuses Sunday in Connecticut. Aces were rested, but not ready to play defense. Hard to allow 67% inside the arc this deep into the season. Only forced 10 turnovers too. That’s four straight blowout wins for Connecticut, who moves to 16-12 on the season. Las Vegas falls to 12-15.
Washington (-3.5) 76, Dallas 74
2-point Pct: Washington 52%, Dallas 47%
3-pointers: Washington 11/32, Dallas 7/19
Free Throws: Washington 9/13, Dallas 3/7
Rebounds: Washington 29 Dallas 44
Turnovers: Washington 8, Dallas 13
Fifth straight loss for Dallas, though this was a point spread cover. Dallas in trouble vs. anyone who has size defensively. Elizabeth Cambage was just 8 of 19 shooting…well below her recent standard (against teams who can’t guard her!). Wings fall to 14-14 on the season. Washington now 16-11.
The WNBA just stacks the league for playoff seeding rather than worrying about East/West. Dallas currently holds the #8 spot with that 14-14 mark. Las Vegas is 1.5 games back at 12-15…but with a possible forfeit looming. Each team is scheduled for 34 games, so time is obviously running out. Neither of those two would be a match for Seattle in the first round.
Atlanta (plus 5.5) 86, Minnesota 66
2-point Pct: Atlanta 53%, Minnesota 41%
3-pointers: Atlanta 12/30, Minnesota 3/13
Free Throws: Atlanta 8/10, Minnesota 11/15
Rebounds: Atlanta 36, Minnesota 30
Turnovers: Atlanta 13, Minnesota 11
We keep making this point. In these lesser followed sports, its possible for a great team to go overlooked by the market for weeks at a time. Atlanta is as legit as it gets. Dream are 10-1 ATS their last 11 games…with seven of those being double digit covers. They keep thumping other quality teams. Yet, here they are getting about double the value of home court advantage on the road against disappointing Minnesota. Win and cover weren’t long in doubt. What does Atlanta have to do to get market respect?
Atlanta moves to 18-10, second-best in the WNBA behind Seattle. Top two finishers earn a bye into the semifinal round. Minnesota is 15-13, still not yet safely into the playoffs with six games to go. Lynx are still virtual locks to get in. But, the playoff format makes it quite a chore for teams seeded 5-8 to go the distance.
Los Angeles (-7) 78, Phoenix 75
2-point Pct: Phoenix 46%, Los Angeles 56%
3-pointers: Phoenix 8/27, Los Angeles 3/15
Free Throws: Phoenix 15/16, Los Angeles 15/19
Rebounds: Phoenix 30, Los Angeles 36
Turnovers: Phoenix 4, Los Angeles 7
This ends LA’s recent run of alternating double-digit covers with double-digit misses. Poor long-range shooting from both, particularly the hosts. Neither defense seemed interested in trying to force turnovers. LA moves to 17-11 with the win, trying to chase down Atlanta for the #2 seed. Phoenix falls to 16-13.
Updated “market” Power Ratings based on Sunday’s point spreads. We use a standard three points for home court advantage.
84: Minnesota, Los Angeles
82: Atlanta, Connecticut, Washington
77: Dallas, Las Vegas
73: New York
Not sure what to do with New York and Indiana at the bottom. They played Saturday. New York was laying -7 at home despite being overrated for weeks. Indiana won 68-55, meaning it covered by 20 points. We keep talking about bad chemistry for New York. Liberty lost the fourth quarter…at home…to a team that was 4-23 entering the game…by a score of 17-2! Not even possible if you care.
Liberty now 7-20 on the season, 6-15 ATS their last 21 games against stubborn market prices. Indiana is 5-23 straight up. We’re just going to keep them one apart in the Power Ratings. Market should adjust some from Saturday’s result.
CFL: Johnny Manziel a disaster in Montreal debut
We’ll bust out of our normal rotation order recaps to start with the lead story. Everybody wanted to see Johnny Manziel’s CFL debut last Friday night on ESPN. It was a true debacle. He’s still too short to see well downfield. He’s a step or two slower than he used to be (though he still has scrambling instincts). His arm strength may have worsened given what happened when he tried to throw anything beyond dump offs. He kept forcing balls when he shouldn’t have.
His prior coaches at Hamilton were suggesting he was close to being NFL ready! Maybe that was to trick somebody in a trade. Look at the passing line and turnover counts here…
Hamilton (-7) 50, Montreal 11
Total Yardage: Hamilton 521, Montreal 283
Yards-per-Play: Hamilton 9.5, Montreal 5.9
Rushing Yards: Hamilton 169, Montreal 176
Passing Stats: Hamilton 20-29-2-352, Montreal 12-25-4-107
Turnovers: Hamilton 3, Montreal 6
Hamilton had been in a slump! Montreal still has issues in all facets of play. Defense is lousy. Special teams had a punt blocked and returned for a touchdown. So, this wasn’t all Johnny Football’s fault. Unready quarterback on an expansion-caliber team.
Hamilton moves to 3-4 with the win. Don’t trust them until they thrive again against a real team. Montreal is 1-6.
Two other games we haven’t touched on yet…
Edmonton (-6) 26, Saskatchewan 19
Total Yardage: Saskatchewan 351, Edmonton 363
Yards-per-Play: Saskatchewan 7.0, Edmonton 7.6
Rushing Yards: Saskatchewan 90, Edmonton 106
Passing Stats: Saskatchewan 22-34-0-261, Edmonton 13-27-0-257
Turnovers: Saskatchewan 1, Edmonton 2
Most important news here was that Zach Collaros was back at quarterback for Saskatchewan. He’d been out for several weeks. Competitive game landed close to the number. Edmonton moves to 5-2 with the win. Saskatchewan only 3-4 with its quarterback returning. Plenty of time to recover from his absence.
Calgary (-11.5) 27, British Columbia 18
Total Yardage: British Columbia 335, Calgary 442
Yards-per-Play: British Columbia 6.3, Calgary 7.8
Rushing Yards: British Columbia 54, Calgary 72
Passing Stats: British Columbia 25-39-1-281, Calgary 19-32-0-370
Turnovers: British Columbia 1, Calgary 0
As good as Calgary is, it’s tough to win by huge margins in this league unless you’re getting a lot of turnover help (or facing a laughingstock). BC did enough to hang within the number. Calgary still undefeated at 7-0…two games clear in the standings.
A quick review of our estimate of “market” Power Ratings based on this past weekend’s point spreads…
83: Edmonton, Winnipeg, Ottawa
78: British Columbia
Montreal might be a 65 with either Johnny Manziel or Vernon Adams at quarterback.
Subscribe to Point Spread Weekly, just $249.99 for a calendar year. Your subscription includes our College Betting Guide
Receive our VSiN City newsletter in your e-mailbox free every morning
Download our app
Follow us on twitter for programming bulletins and video/audio snippets
Purchase a T-shirt or baseball cap
Drop us a note with questions or comments about our broadcasts, VSiN City, or Point Spread Weekly