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Sunday action yields shockers

Jeff Fogle  
VSiN City newsletter

Gooooooooool! Mexico shocks Germany Sunday in the World Cup. Throw an “f” on the end and Brooks Koepka shocks the U.S. Open field as only the second repeat champion since the early 1950s! But, not a surprise that the best sports coverage from a betting perspective comes to you direct from VSiN City.

U.S. Open Golf: Brooks Koepka bucks history to repeat as champ
Last week we ran the list of recent winners of the US Open. No repeat names on the list over the prior 15 years…let alone back-to-back winners. You had to go back to the late '80s for the most recent repeat winner, Curtis Strange. Nobody else had done it in decades. 

Brooks Koepka defied those odds, and market expectations to beat golf’s most popular wagering choices (Dustin Johnson, Rory McIlroy, Justin Rose and Jordan Spieth).

*Last Monday, we reported that Koepka was 20/1 (5% win likelihood) at the Westgate

*Last Thursday’s final look at “exchange” ranges overseas showed Koepka paying off at 33/1. Hopefully you didn’t lay 35/1 that he wouldn’t win!

The final leaderboard from Shinnecock Hills
Brooks Koepka plus 1 (final round 68)
Tommy Fleetwood plus 2 (63!!!)
Dustin Johnson plus 3 (70)
Patrick Reed plus 4 (68)
Tony Finau plus 5 (72)

After a stellar first two rounds, World #1 Dustin Johnson entered the weekend as a -150 favorite over the entire field. Shinnecock Hills got the better of him Saturday, enabling both Koepka and Fleetwood to chase DJ down from behind Sunday. 

The South Point, more bullish on Koepka than other locales, had Brooks as low as 12/1 before the tournament. Dustin Johnson was 7/1 pre-tourney at the South Point, Tommy Fleetwood 30/1, Patrick Reed 25/1, and Tony Finau was 80/1.

Next major will be the British Open July 19-22 at Carnoustie in Scotland. Sunday evening, Jeff Sherman of the Westgate tweeted these odds:

Dustin Johnson 12/1
Rory McIlroy 14/1
Jordan Spieth 14/1
Ricky Fowler 16/1
Justin Rose 16/1
Brooks Koepka 20/1
Tiger Woods 25/1

We cherry-picked some prominent names. You can follow Sherman on twitter (@golfodds) for a more complete rundown. We’ll pick up golf coverage again in VSiN City in advance of that next major. 

World Cup: Mexico shocks Germany; Switzerland and Iceland forge surprising ties with Brazil and Argentina 
Though upsets were relatively scarce in the first four days of World Cup action, surprises were not. 

*Portugal plus 0.4 goals tied Spain 3-3
*Iceland plus 1.4 goals tied Argentina 1-1
*Mexico plus 1.1 goals beat Germany 1-0
*Switzerland plus 1.2 goals tied Brazil 1-1

Another big surprise, the lack of goals! Though Russia opened with a 5-0 blowout of Saudi Arabia…and Portland and Spain played that shootout thriller…three games ended with exactly two goals, and five ended with exactly one goal. That in a stretch where penalty kicks weren’t uncommon. Tough to score from the flow of play so far. 

During the week we’ll run expanded box scores from the day before. When we have to play catch up on Mondays from the prior Friday-Saturday-Sunday, we’ll go with quick summaries. 

In the order they were played…

*Uruguay beat Egypt 1-0 with a late goal. The favorites dominated flow of play with a 14-8 edge in total shots, a 5-0 advantage in corner kicks earned, and a 57-43% possession advantage. 

*Iran beat Morocco 1-0 with a late goal put in by its opponent. Morocco won shot count 13-8, corner kicks earned 5-2, and possession percentage 63-37%. Heartbreaking loss for the slight market favorite.

*Portugal tied Spain 3-3 thanks to a hat trick from Ronaldo. Spain dominated possession 62-38% while winning shot count 12-8. Shots on goal were a tighter 5-3 for Spain (with all three of Portugal’s finding the net). 

*France beat Australia 2-1, with a 13-4 edge in shots (only one on goal for the Socceroos) and a 5-1 advantage in corner kicks earned. 

*Argentina tied Iceland 1-1, despite a huge shot advantage of 26-9, and 10-2 domination in corner kicks earned. Only seven of Argentina’s 26 shots were on goal though. A lot of desperation attempts as they tried to avoid the embarrassing tie. 

*Denmark beat Peru 1-0 in an up-tempo thriller. Peru won shot count 17-10 in desperation mode, but Denmark won corner kicks 7-3. 

*Croatia beat Nigeria 2-0 thanks to a penalty kick and an own goal from its opponent. Nigeria won shot count 14-11, Croatia corners 6-5. Each team could only manage two shots on goal. 

*Serbia beat Costa Rica 1-0, in a game with extremely even stats. Serbia did a slightly better job of creating opportunities. 

*Mexico beat Germany 1-0, though Germany won shot count 25-12 and earned corner kicks 8-1. Mexico was more competitive than those stats make it sound in terms of creating strong opportunities. “Expected Goals” actually went slightly toward Mexico 1.5 to 1.2 because the Germans were launching from so far away. 

*Brazil tied Switzerland 1-1, winning shot count 20-6 and corner kicks 7-2. Only four shots on goal for Brazil though…similar to Argentina and Germany in terms of the volume of low-chance desperation attempts. 

It was a common theme this past weekend that the “surprises” still saw fairly one-sided stats for the heavy favorites. That means it’s unlikely the market will make dramatic adjustments off those results. One way to express that is to simply add up “shots on goal” and “corner kicks.” You’ll see that these sums largely line up with how close or one-sided games were expected to be. We’ll rank the whole tournament to date by differential.

Shots on Goal Plus Corner Kicks (from ESPN box scores)
Argentina 17, Iceland 5
Germany 17, Mexico 5
Russia 13, Saudi Arabia 2
France 11, Australia 2
Brazil 11, Switzerland 4
Uruguay 9, Egypt 3
Morocco 8, Iran 4
Spain 10, Portugal 7
Denmark 10, Peru 9
Croatia 8, Nigeria 7
Costa Rica 8, Serbia 7

We’ll keep an eye on those daily to see if that stat combo continues to paint an accurate picture of play flow during group action. 

Don’t forget to watch “Russia 2018: The Tournament Show” on VSiN every afternoon this week for the latest from this huge global sports betting event!

MLB: Astros, Red Sox, and Yankees combine to go 15-4 last week to bring “Magnificent Seven” closer to break even
A very interesting dynamic has developed in recent days in the American League. The Yankees, Red Sox, and Astros are all loaded with talent AND super-motivated to win RIGHT NOW because none of them want to get stuck in a Wildcard play-in game come October. One of Boston and NYY is locked into that fate already in the AL East. If Seattle (not one of the preseason “Magnificent 7” teams projected to win at least 90 games) continues to play at a high level, the Astros will have to keep matching that pace. 

Houston, Boston, and the Yankees went 15-4 last week, which brought the M7 very close to break even for the season even against what have been very high market prices. Here’s the latest edition of our regular Monday look.

Current records entering the new week…
Boston 49-24…plus 13 units after a 5-2 week
NY Yankees 46-21…plus 11 units after a 4-2 week
Houston 48-25…plus 8 units after a 6-0 week
Chicago Cubs 40-28…even after a 3-3 week
Washington 37-31…minus 7 units after a 1-4 week
Cleveland 37-33…minus 11.5 units after a 3-4 week
LA Dodgers 37-33…minus 18.5 units after a 4-1 week

It’s no secret that these elites were loaded. Amazing that those AL powers are out-performing stiff vigorish on current paces to fly past 100 wins. Cleveland has no such sense of urgency, and is playing that way (unfortunately for backers). 

Magnificent 7 Head-to-Head This Week
LA Dodgers (37-33) at the Chicago Cubs (40-28) (Monday-Wednesday)
Just one head-to-head this week. But, it’s a fun one because both teams have been in improved form recently after disappointing starts. Good chance to see where both stand in challenge games right now. Cubs offense disappeared in Milwaukee last week. 

Teams with Winning Records Squaring Off
Early Week

St. Louis (36-32) at Philadelphia (37-32) (Monday-Wednesday)
Arizona (39-32) at LA Angels (38-34) (Monday-Tuesday)
Seattle (46-26) at the NY Yankees (46-21) (Tuesday-Thursday)

Very excited to see what happens in Seattle/NYY. We’ll provide some numbers on the Mariners in our New York Post entry Tuesday morning. Don’t forget that VSiN has formed a partnership with the Post to cover sports betting for those interested in placing legal bets in New Jersey. Seattle split on the road with Houston not too long ago…then did the same at home with Boston this past weekend. If Seattle continues to hold its own against the other powers…then it deserves to be in the October discussion as something beyond a spring fluke. By the way, if current rotations hold, it will be James Paxton vs. Luis Severino Thursday afternoon. 

Weekend 
St. Louis (36-32) at Milwaukee (42-39) (starts Thursday)
Philadelphia (37-32) at Washington (37-31) (starts Friday)
Seattle (46-26) at Boston (49-24) (starts Friday)

Semester exams continue for Seattle. Will Washington snap out of its funk? Other NL East foes smell blood. 

MLB: Finally, an “Over” Sunday, plus some bonus trends from Pauly Howard
Though it was only barely…we finally had a Sunday with more Overs than Unders for the first time since April. Sunday night’s Under in Cubs/Cardinals made it 8-7 for Overs. Let’s add that to our running total posted in recent Monday recaps…

Sunday Totals Records
May 6: 4-10-1 to the Under
May 13: 5-10 to the Under
May 20: 6-9 to the Under
May 27: 7-8 to the Under
June 3: 5-9 to the Under (one postponement)
June 10: 6-9 to the Under
June 17: 8-6 with 1 out

Adds up to 41-62-1 to the Under. Let’s see if warmer weather begins to counter-act what had been a dearth of Sunday scoring. 

VSiN’s Pauly Howard (from “Follow the Money” every weekday morning with Mitch Moss) tweeted these trends after afternoon play was completed Sunday. 

*The New York Yankees have now played 12 Unders in a row.

*The Chicago White Sox are 1-14-1 to the Under their last 16 games.

*Tampa Bay is 2-11 to the Under its last 13 on the road, as the Rays head to Houston to play in the one of the best pitchers’ parks in baseball.

We’ll keep an eye on those after Pauly put them on the VSiN radar. All three teams are on the Monday slate. The Yankees play a make-up with Washington Monday night (after finishing a suspended game first). The White Sox visit Cleveland. You already know Tampa Bay visits Houston.

Canadian Football League: Week 1 in the books
We’ll do our best to keep up with CFL action when the schedule allows. That’s a popular summer diversion for sports bettors until college football and the NFL get rolling. The 2018 season began this past weekend with these results (Ottawa had a bye).

Edmonton (-7) 33, Winnipeg 30
Total Yardage: Edmonton 487, Winnipeg 315
Yards-per-Play: Edmonton 7.4, Winnipeg 5.8
Rushing Yards: Edmonton 79, Winnipeg 137
Passing Stats: Edmonton 32-46-1-408, Winnipeg 15-29-2-178
Turnovers: Edmonton 2, Winnipeg 2

These teams will be close together in “market” Power Ratings when healthy. But Winnipeg will be without starting quarterback Matt Nichols for a few more weeks. CFL rookie Chris Streveler may be in over his head. That’s why Edmonton was laying a TD on the road…and why Edmonton owned stats. Scoreboard was closer because Winnipeg returned a missed field goal for a touchdown. Be careful when grabbing CFL stats from various websites. Even the league’s official website showed Streveler throwing two interceptions but his team only throwing one. Maybe the computer was struck by lightning during one of two weather delays.  

Saskatchewan (plus 2.5) 27, Toronto 19
Total Yardage: Toronto 289, Saskatchewan 314
Yards-per-Play: Toronto 5.7, Saskatchewan 6.0
Rushing Yards: Toronto 54, Saskatchewan 111
Passing Stats: Toronto 23-38-1-235, Saskatchewan 18-25-0-203 
Turnovers: Toronto 2, Saskatchewan 1

Hosts returned an interception for a touchdown, which is how a tight stat game blew up into a larger scoreboard win. Too much respect for the road favorite int his line. Saskatchewan played the cleaner game, enough to win a nailbiter even without the pick six. 

Calgary (-7.5) 28, Hamilton 14
Total Yardage: Hamilton 400, Calgary 429
Yards-per-Play: Hamilton 8.3, Calgary 7.7
Rushing Yards: Hamilton 56, Calgary 132
Passing Stats: Hamilton 25-36-1-344, Calgary 17-36-1-297
Turnovers: Hamilton 2, Calgary 1

Calgary is the current market favorite to win the CFL according to futures prices. Here they needed a very late touchdown to cover the spread. And, that score helped squeak out a yardage win (but not YPP). Hamilton moved the ball very well in the middle of the field, but could only turn large numbers into 14 points because of the two turnovers and other failures. Jeremiah Masoli is still the Hamilton quarterback as Johnny Manziel waits in the wings. ESPN is hoping the college star at Texas A&M gets a chance to boost summer TV ratings. 

British Columbia (-8) 22, Montreal 10
Total Yardage: Montreal 359, British Columbia 300
Yards-per-Play: Montreal 6.7, British Columbia 6.7
Rushing Yards: Montreal 78, British Columbia 117
Passing Stats: Montreal 25-35-1-281, British Columbia 20-24-0-183
Turnovers: Montreal 1, British Columbia 0

British Columbia is supposed to be a fairly distant also-ran in the West, while Montreal is the league doormat. In that context, a disappointing stat performance for the hosts, even though they covered  the point spread. BC quarterback Jonathan Jennings was very sharp at 20-24-0-183, which was enough to grind out what was needed. 

Here’s a look at composite odds offshore to win the Grey Cup from oddschecker…

Calgary 8/5
Edmonton 13/2
Winnipeg 13/2
Saskatchewan 13/2
Toronto 15/2
Hamilton 8/1
British Columbia 9/1
Ottawa 10/1
Montreal 18/1

Power is out West as usual, with the top four spots going to that division. Think about fading Ottawa next week…as they get stuck with the “rusty late starter” spot Thursday at home against Saskatchewan. 

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