We surely hope our readers have been along on this winning streak with the Cardinals. With the 8-5 win in the first game of Friday’s doubleheader, I still can’t believe we’ve cashed the past five days on them at plus-prices (underdogs in each game of the four-game sweep in Milwaukee and then on the run line on Friday).
I passed on the Cards in the second game of the doubleheader, but I’m sure some of you also bet them in the nightcap as they blew out the Cubs 12-4.
We also hit our CFB pick on Wake Forest + 3.5 in a 37-17 rout of Virginia. However, it wasn’t a perfect day as we lost with the Angels falling 6-5 to the Mariners as a swagger play.
You can’t win ‘em all -- though we try.
Anyway, let’s get to the general recaps from Friday night, and then I’ll go over my Best Bets over the weekend. These will almost always be the same as the Best Bets that I gave out in Point Spread Weekly on Wednesday (so check this week’s issue for more details of why I chose my picks), but we mostly updated here based on how the lines have been moving (or anticipating how they’ll move before kickoff).
Friday’s betting recaps
MLB: Cardinals (-140 and -175) swept Cubs in a Friday doubleheader for their 13th and 14th straight wins. Favorites dominated at 14-1 on the day with Rangers-Orioles closing at a consensus pick-’em. The day’s only clear-cut upset was by the Twins (+ 135) in 3-1 win vs. the Blue Jays). Faves lead 1,324-907 (59.3 percent) on the season w/ 54 PKs. Over/Unders split 8-8 on Friday. Unders’ slim lead is at 1,091-1,087-101 (50.1 percent).
CFB: No. 22 Fresno State rallied to beat UNLV 38-30 late Friday. The Bulldogs never came close to covering as 30-point home favorites after trailing 14-9 at halftime and 21-9 early in the third quarter. The game went Over the betting total of 59 points. UNLV (+ 3000 on the money line, or odds of 30-1) also led 30-29 late before Fresno State finally took control. Earlier Friday, Syracuse (+ 6.5, + 215 ML) upset Liberty 24-21 and Wake Forest (+ 3.5, + 140 ML) upset Virginia 37-17. The only favorite to cover on Friday's main betting board was Charlotte (-2.5) in a 42-39 win vs. Middle Tennessee State.
Saturday’s CFB (and MLB) Takes
St. Louis Cardinals (-1.5 -102 run line) at Chicago Cubs: We’ve won five straight days on the Cards -- and all at plus-prices -- so we have no problem risking another unit on them. Former Cub Jon Lester (7-6, 4.59 ERA) starts against Adrian Sampson (1-2, 2.84 ERA).
San Jose State (+ 3) at Western Michigan:
There are 3’s still available as of late Friday night, though some books have gone to 2.5. Regardless, just like our upset winner on Wake Forest on Friday night, we’re not sure the right team is favored here, but obviously get as many points as you can.
Florida Atlantic (+ 5) at Air Force: This line is down to 4 at most books, but just like the others we feel the money is on the right side and is playable at 3.5 and above.
Colorado (+ 14.5) at Arizona State: We’re not as confident in an outright upset here, but the line shouldn’t be more than double digits. Most books are down to 14, but that’s still playable, I just wouldn’t take less than 13.
Nebraska (+ 5) at Michigan State: We have this at much closer to pick-’em or a virtual toss-up, so again anything over a FG is acceptable.
New Mexico (+ 1.5) at UTEP: This is my one best bet from earlier in the week that I still wouldn’t bet now at the current price. New Mexico has been bet to 2-point favoritism. I’m glad I got in early (and another reason to make sure to check out Point Spread Weekly every Wednesday). I guess some of you without my chalk allergy might lay under a field goal.
Sunday’s NFL Takes
Jaguars (+ 7.5) vs. Cardinals: We’re waiting to bet this ugly home dog as it’s up to 8 at the Westgate SuperBook, DraftKings and Bovada. Hopefully the public bets it even higher before kickoff.
Lions (+ 8.5) vs. Ravens: This line is holding more steady, though I would expect some books to move to 9 to discourage teaser plays on the Ravens. Unless you want that added insurance at + 9 (which is considered a “dead” number), it’s probably better to take the 8.5 ASAP as some books have gone the other direction to 8 and even 7.5.
Saints (+ 3) at Patriots: If you haven’t bet this yet, you probably want to grab the 3 ASAP as we’re seeing a lot of books adding juice of -120 on the underdogs Saints and some have already dropped to 2.5.
Falcons (+ 3) at Giants: Same thing as the Saints game, grab the Falcons now before the line dips below a field goal.
Bengals (+ 4) at Steelers: Well, that 4 is long gone since Ben Roethlisberger was reported as being banged up and nursing a pectoral injury on Tuesday. I still consider the Bengals as a very live dog and would still take the + 3, but please don’t wait in case it goes to 2.5.
Jets (+ 10.5) at Broncos: I know this is another ugly pick, but I can’t pass up a double-digit dog in the NFL. The Broncos are 2-0, but let’s not get carried away. The 10.5 looks pretty solid, though some books have dipped to 10.
Buccaneers-Rams Under 55.5: The Game of the Week is on Sunday afternoon. Yes, both offenses are on a roll, but this should be a tough battle, so I’m expecting both of these stellar defenses to step up and keep it Under this high total.
Good luck today (and every day!).