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Alabama vs Virginia Tech betting odds pick

The Crimson Tide are 23-1 straight up and 15-6 against the spread in September under coach Nick Saban.

They were big 19 ½-point favorites over a Virginia Tech team that has taken a step back from its peak in the early 2000s. (That line has swelled to 21 at some sportsbooks as of Thursday). Alabama is 19-1 straight-up and 12-8 against the spread as a double-digit favorite over the last several years.

They are also 6-0 SU & ATS away from home as a favorite of 20 points or more since 2002.

The Hokies are 7-4 against the spread as double-digit underdogs. Hokie QB Logan Thomas needs to have the best game of his up-and-down career, if Virginia Tech is to have any chance against the Crimson Tide. The Hokies do have nine starters returning on defense.

They must contend with one of Saban’s best offenses at Alabama, led by senior QB A.J. McCarron, running back T.J. Yeldon and wide receiver Amari Cooper.

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Athletics face the Tigers, Verlander

The Detroit Tigers are expected to have Justin Verlander on the mound on Tuesday night as they continue their four-game MLB betting series at home against the Oakland Athletics.

Verlander is 12-9 with a 3.68 ERA on the season, and in his career against the Athletics the righthander is 8-5 with a 2.32 ERA over 14 starts. Verlander gave up six runs over seven innings against the Twins in his most recent outing.

The Athletics send Tom Milone (9-9) to the hill for Tuesday's game.

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Ole Miss vs Vandy Betting Preview

The Rebels of Ole Miss and the Commodores of Vanderbilt jump right into SEC play when they get together for a 2013 season opener Thursday night in Nashville (9:15 pm ET).

In the early betting Vandy, which has 13 starters back from a team that won nine games, including a bowl, last year, was getting three points as a home dog against the Rebs, who have 19 returning starters after going 7-6 last season.

Vandy is 10-2 ATS in its past 12 against Mississippi, dominating the Rebels like no other team in the SEC.

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LSU vs TCU betting preview, pick

LSU is supposedly rebuilding, but is there any doubt the Tigers still have more talent than TCU?

The Tigers return roughly 12 starters, including senior quarterback Zach Mettenberger. Top tailback Jeremy Hill is a question mark for the Tigers, his status undetermined due to an off-field arrest.

TCU gets senior quarterback Casey Pachall back. Pachall missed all of last season, while working through personal issues related to drug and alcohol abuse.

He’ll bolster an offense that returns seven starters. The Horned Frogs are just 1-8-1 ATS in the last two seasons in non-conference play and opened as small 4-point road favorites.

LSU is an impressive 10-1 SU in their past games 11 as a road favorite (-4.5 at Bovada).

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Wake Forest Betting Odds Preview

Although it almost seems like a dream now Wake Forest experienced a moment in the sun seven years ago, winning the ACC championship for the first time in almost 40 years and playing in the Orange Bowl.

Since then the Demon Deacons have struggled a bit, now with four losing seasons in a row. But with most of the team back for this season Wake stands a decent chance of snapping that streak and returning to a bowl.

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Virginia Betting Odds Preview

Virginia has done the yo-yo thing in its three seasons under head coach Mike London. The Cavaliers went 4-8 in his debut in Charlottesville in 2010, then jumped to 8-5 with a bowl berth in 2011. But last year UVA fell back to 4-8.

This year the Cavaliers have plenty of returning starters and can use the products of three straight top-25 recruiting classes to fill holes and upgrade overall talent. However, they'll also have to deal with a fairly nasty schedule, so a return to a bowl is by no means a good bet.

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Oklahoma State vs Mississippi State Pick

Is the best the Big 12 has to offer better than a middle-of-the-pack SEC team?

Oddsmakers certainly think so and have installed Oklahoma State as a 12 ½-point favorite over the Bulldogs in a neutral-field matchup to be played at Houston’s Reliant Stadium.

The Cowboys, picked to win the Big 12, are expected to put up huge offensive numbers once again. They averaged 45.7 points last season in coach Mike Gundy’s up-tempo, no-huddle scheme.

Mississippi State is picked to finish last in the SEC West and returns only five starters on defense. The Bulldogs have failed to cover in six straight games as underdogs away from home.

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Reds open key betting series in St. Louis

Battling for position in the NL Central division race, the Reds and the Cardinals will open up a three-game MLB betting series at Busch Stadium in St. Louis on Monday night.

St. Louis and Cincinnati have met a dozen times so far this season, with the Cardinals holding the big edge with eight victories in those 12 contests. The OVER has paid out for totals bettors in five of their six most recent matchups.

Mike Leake gets the ball in front of a hostile crowd for the Reds on this day; he's 11-5 on the season. The Cardinals, meanwhile, will counter with Tyler Lyons, who will be looking to improve on his 2-4 mark.

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Temple Betting Odds Preview

A few years back the Owls gained some level of success playing in the MAC that ended with a 9-4 straight-up record in 2011; however last season playing in the Big East was an eye opener. Temple only posted two conference wins against five losses and ended 2012 with an overall record of 4-7 SU. They closed out last year’s campaign with just one win in their last six contests.

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Tennis: 2013 U.S. Open Betting Preview

Novak Djokovic has advanced to the finals of the U.S. Open in each of the last three years, winning the event in 2011 and falling to Andy Murray in 2012 and Rafael Nadal in 2010.

Nadal and Murray have seemingly bridged the gap on Djokovic since 2011, but the world’s top-ranked player is still the man to beat at 2/1 to win the U.S. Open at Bovada.

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