Game 2 Odds - Blue Jays vs Rangers

Marcus Stroman Blue Jays

Game 1 in their American League Division Series vs the Rangers wasn’t the worst possible outcome for the Blue Jays, but it was close. Their hired gun David Price underperformed on the mound, while their two best hitters, Josh Donaldson and Jose Bautista, left the game due to injuries. In a must win game, the Jays will send 24-year-old Marcus Stroman to hill. Stroman has been excellent since returning from a torn ACL on September 12, posting a 1.67 ERA and four wins in 27 innings pitched.

The Rangers will counter with their big trade deadline acquisition, Cole Hamels. Since coming over to the American League, Hamels has gone 7-1 in 12 starts for the Rangers. In 13 career playoff starts, Hamels has a 7-4 record with a 3.09 ERA. He’s been especially sharp in division series starts, allowing seven total runs in five starts while averaging 9.9 strikeouts over nine innings.

The current Rangers lineup doesn’t have a lot of experience vs Stroman, only combining for 21 total at bats. In those 21 at bats, Stroman has been dominant, only allowing two hits and no walks. The Blue Jays have fared much better vs Hamels. In 70 at bats they’ve combined for a .314 batting average.

Hamels is 0-4 in career vs Toronto in four starts, and he’s only been a larger underdog once in his career (+192), which came this summer in his last start as a member of the Phillies.

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NC State Riding Red Hot SU & ATS Streak

NC State has been dwarfing opponents dating back to last season, with the Wolfpack sporting a 7-1 record both SU and ATS in their past eight games. NC State will visit the struggling Virginia Tech Hokies on Friday night with a chance to rebound from last week’s loss to Louisville.

The consistency of quarterback Jacoby Brissett has gone a long way to NC State’s impressive play, with the senior signal caller throwing 11 touchdowns and no interceptions in the Wolfpack’s past eight contests. 

One of the Hokies biggest issues so far this season has been their rushing defense. Virginia Tech is allowing an average of 197.4 rushing yards per game, which has them ranked in the bottom fifth in the country. 

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Super Computer Week 5 Contest Picks

The nation’s biggest NFL picks contest is led with an 18-2 ATS record after four weeks, with a posse of nearly 2,000 other challengers pursuing them.

The Westgate Super Contest enters Week 5 and’s Super Computer (12-8 ATS so far) is giving a sneak peek to its selections, which they are confident will produce a 5-0 sweep.


Cardinals Have Had Lester's Number

The Chicago Cubs and St. Louis Cardinals are no strangers to each other and will square off once again at Friday in Game 1 of their National League Divisional Series at Busch Stadium. The Cubbies, fresh off topping Pittsburgh in the National League Wild Card Game, don’t appear to be intimidated when it comes to playing on the road. Chicago is 10-1 in their last 11 games away from Wrigley Field.

Shark Bites
  • The Over is 7-1-1 in their last nine meetings.
  • Yadier Molina is dealing with a thumb injury but is expected to play in Game 1.
  • Lester is 1-4 against St. Louis this season.

John Lester and John Lackey will take the bump for the Cards and Cubs, respectively. Lester has allowed two or fewer runs in five out of his last six starts to end the season, while Lackey has always historically played well in St. Louis (9-4, 1.93 ERA in 2015). The 36-year-old has faced the Cubs twice at home this season, allowing just three runs in 14 2/3 innings of work.

Despite their close records, both clubs couldn’t be more different when it comes to pitching in the postseason. The Cubs are playing in the playoffs for the first time since 2003, while the Cardinals are making their fifth-straight appearance.

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Kazmir vs Cueto - Game 2 ALDS Odds

Scott Kazmir Astors

The Astros will look to grab a commanding 2-0 lead in their five-game series vs the Royals when they send Scott Kazmir to the mound to take on Johnny Cueto. Kazmir has struggled in eight career playoff games, putting up a 1-2 record with a 5.20 ERA and has the same amount of strikeouts as he does walks, 28.

Cueto hasn’t fared much better in his limited playoff history. In 8.2 innings pitched as a member of the Reds, Cueto has allowed five runs with only three strikeouts. Cueto also hit a major rough patch in September, posting a 1-4 record with a 6.11 ERA.

As bad as Cueto was in September, Kazmir was surprisingly worse. In six September starts he allowed eight home runs and has a 6.52 ERA, allowing batters to hit .328 against him. He’s 1-6 in his last seven starts His first start as a member of the Astros came against the Royals, and it was a success. In seven innings of work he only limited the Royals to three hits, and allowed zero runs.

The Astros have been road warriors as of late, going 5-1 in their last six road games.

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Leafs' Babcock Set to Make Detroit Return

Red Wings Maple Leafs Jake Gardiner Mike Green

The Detroit Red Wings play host to the Toronto Maple Leafs to open the 2015/16 NHL season on Friday but instead of the players, it’s the man on the bench for the road squad that is making all the headlines. Maple Leafs head coach Mike Babcock, who departed Detroit in the offseason to sign a 8-year, $50 million with Toronto, has since become the highest-paid bench boss in the league.

Shark Bites
  • The Under is 5-0 in the last five meetings between the two clubs.
  • Howard will start Friday, but Mrazek will start Saturday against Carolina.
  • Toronto will have the same lineup as Thursday against the Canadiens.

Babcock will have his work cut out for him in the Big Smoke as the Leafs are coming off a forgettable season that saw the club finish second-last in the Eastern Conference at 30-44-8 SU. But unlike seasons past, the Buds decided to commit to a full rebuild in the offseason and have begun the long approach to building a contender from the ground up.

The ever-steady Detroit Red Wings extended their consecutive playoff streak to 22 years last season, extending the North American record in the process. Starting netminder Jimmy Howard stumbled down the home stretch last year and nearly lost his job to backup Petr Mrazek, but is expected to be between the pipes Friday evening. Jonathan Bernier is slated to counter for the Leafs.

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Nover: Niners Tomsula Dealt a Bad Hand

Few first-year NFL head coaches have been dealt a worse opening hand than Jim Tomsula at San Francisco.

Not only is Tomsula replacing the wildly successful Jim Harbaugh, who left the team in turmoil, but he's had to deal with a shocking number of departures via retirement, free agency, trade, or being kicked off the team in the case of star pass rusher Aldon Smith.


MLB Futures: 2015 World Series Odds

Toronto Blue Jays World Series Favorites

Now that the AL and NL Wild Card Games are in the books, the Houston Astros and Chicago Cubs have officially entered the dance and the stage is set for the MLB playoffs. Unsurprisingly, the red-hot Toronto Blue Jays remain as the chalk heading into the ALDS opposite the Texas Rangers at Bovada.


Cowboys Rare Double-Digit Home Dogs

The Dallas Cowboys are in unfamiliar territory for Sunday’s contest with the New England Patriots, being tabbed as double-digit home underdogs for the first time since 1990.

New England (3-0 SU, 2-0-1 ATS) will have some fresh legs thanks to a Week 4 bye, while the Cowboys (2-2 SU, 1-3 ATS) are badly banged up and are clearly missing two of their franchise players in star quarterback Tony Romo and talented wideout Dez Bryant.

Despite the rest, the Pats are historically poor performers after a bye week for bettors. Bill Belichick’s crew are just 1-4-1 ATS in the last six years following the bye.

Covering the spread hasn’t been an easy task for the Cowboys at AT&T Stadium. The ‘Boys are an ugly 1-6 ATS in their last seven home contests.

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Northwestern vs Michigan Betting Outlook

Both the Northwestern Wildcats and Michigan Wolverines enter their matchup this week with identical 5-0 UNDER streaks. The Big Ten rivals have always had tightly contested, defense oriented games with six of their past eight meetings going UNDER.

The Wildcats enter the contest sporting the best scoring defense in the country and have only allowed an average of 7.0 points per game. Specifically, Northwestern has excelled at stopping opponent’s passing games with the seventh best passing defense in the nation.

Not to be outdone, Michigan enters the game with the second best scoring defense (7.6 ppg) while allowing the second fewest offensive yards per game (184). 

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