Friday was mostly a day running some errands and doing chores around the house since I won’t be doing much of those the next 5 months!
I had high hopes by the time Friday’s action rolled around late in the afternoon here in Vegas, but was disappointed as I lost my Best Bet on Illinois + 1.5 at Indiana as I felt Illinois should have just continued to pound the ball (the Illini outrushed the Hoosiers 216 yards to 32) and should have been in control, but let Indiana stick around and lost 23-20. I did a bet on Old Dominion + 7 vs. Virginia Tech that I posted in these daily columns on Thursday and hope some readers took my advice to bet the Monarchs ASAP even though I dropped it as a Best Bet in Friday’s column when the line dropped to 6.
I was also feeling good early with my two MLB 1st 5 plays; however, the 4th inning was where those bets went to die as the Yankees were tied 0-0 with the Rays until allowing an unearned run in the bottom of the 4th to trail 1-0 after the first 5 innings while the Marlins were actually winning 1-0 heading into the bottom of the 4th and allowed the Braves to score 4 runs to lead 4-1 after the 5th.
Let’s recap the rest of Friday’s (full-game) betting results and then look for more plays on Saturday, including the “real” opening day of the college football season with a full schedule.
CFB: Faves went 3-1 SU and 2-1-1 ATS on Friday’s main betting board. Indiana rallied to beat Illinois 23-20 in game that closed pick-'em (so no fave or dog); The lone upset was by Old Dominion (+ 6 in 20-17 win vs. Virginia Tech). Michigan State (-22) pushed in 35-13 win vs. Western Michigan. Home teams went 4-1 SU and 3-1-1 ATS. Unders swept 5-0.
MLB: Faves went 12-3 Friday with only upsets by the Padres (+ 150 in 7-1 win at Dodgers), White Sox (+ 120 in 4-3 win vs. Twins) and Diamondbacks (-102 in 2-1 win vs. Brewers). Home teams went 11-4 (the subset of home faves went 9-1). Unders went 7-6-2 with the pushes in STL-CHC (8) and SD-LAD (8).
More MLB: Faves lead 1,171-772 SU (60.3 percent) on the season with 30 pick-'ems (faves usually win around 59 percent; still ahead of pace; gap had been narrowing but now back over 60 percent). Home teams lead 1,043-928 (52.9 percent, usually closer to 54 percent but on the rise). Unders lead 970-896-104 (52 percent).
Boise State + 2.5 at Oregon State: I’m not sure the right team is favored here, so I’m taking the points. Oregon State surprised a lot of people last year by going 7-5 and accepting a bowl bid, but Boise is still the more consistent program and I’m more confident in the Broncos, especially with their defense that allowed just 19 points a game last year and returns nine starters. QB Hank Bachmeier seems like he's been at Boise forever (it's just been since 2019) and his experience should lead the Broncos to the small upset.
Other CFB Week 1 dogs I like on Saturday:
Middle Tennessee State + 5 at James Madison, though liked it better at + 6
Army + 2 at Coastal Carolina
Memphis + 16.5 at Mississippi State (some books at + 17, so shop around)
Giants 1st 5 + 105 vs. Phillies: The Giants snapped a 7-game losing streak with a 13-1 rout of the Phillies on Friday night, so they’re a “swagger play” in my book as the pressure is off to stop that skid. I also like San Fran starter Jakob Junis (4-4, 4.04 ERA, 1.15 WHIP) vs. Noah Syndergaard (3-1, 4.40 ERA, 1.37 WHIP in his return to the NL).
Astros 1st 5 + 105 at Angels: Shohei Ohtani (11-8, 2.67 ERA, 1.06 WHIP) is starting for the Angels, so that’s why they’re favored. However, Luis Garcia (11-8, 4.14 ERA, 1.18 WHIP) has stats that are very similar to Ohtani, plus he has the better offense behind him. In fact, despite their personal W-L records, the Astros are 15-8 overall in Garcia’s starts while the Angels are just 11-11 in Ohtani’s starts.
Good luck today (and every day!).