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Bet Baseball July 3rd-9th

4th of July Week MLB Picks

The biggest news this week is July 4. America’s Independence Day should be a wild one for those looking to take a day off in the middle of the week. For us MLB handicappers, the opportunities, at least for me, happen later in the week.

On Thursday, Arizona battles the Dodgers. Can AZ take it to LAD at Chavez-Ravine? Then, on Saturday, NL Central rivals Pittsburgh and Chicago throw down. Who wins when Pittsburgh ace Ivan Nova battles Chicago star pitcher Jake Arrieta? ESPN’s Sunday night game has Detroit taking on Cleveland in Cleveland. Can Corey Kluber show up for the Tribe?

Bet Baseball July 3rd-9th

Arizona at L.A. Dodgers
When:  Thursday, July 6, 2017 at 10:10 pm ET
Where: Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles, CA
Listed Pitchers: AZ-Zack Greinke vs LAD-Rich Hill

Analysis: The Dodgers have been en fuego. L.A. is a ridiculous 20-4 straight up in their last 24. The Dodgers are easily the best team in the NL right now.

But, that doesn’t mean they don’t find it tough versus Zack Greinke and the D’Backs on Thursday. Greinke turned in a fantastic performance in his most recent start. He gave up 2 earned runs off 3 hits in 7 innings while striking out 8. The D’Backs beat the Rockies 6-2.

The Dodgers do bat .269 versus Greinke. Plus, Greinke faces LAD on the road. Should that open the door for Rich Hill and the Dodgers?

I believe it might. Hill has pitched 14 combined innings in his last 2 starts. He’s allowed a total of 3 earned runs off 8 hits. He’s struck out 18. Hill has finally got onto somewhat of a roll this season.

I like the Dodgers as possible home dogs.

Pick: L.A. Dodgers moneyline

Pittsburgh at Chicago Cubs
When:  Saturday, July 8 at 7:15 pm ET
Where: Wrigley Field, Chicago, IL
Listed Pitchers: PIT-Ivan Nova vs CHC-Jake Arrieta

Analysis: Jake Arrieta has always pitched well versus the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Pirates only bat .221 versus Arrieta. He’s faced Pitt batters 226 times. So, the batting average is legit.

The problem with backing Arrieta is relying on the Cubs’ pitcher to throw great in 2 straight. That hasn’t happened often this year. He blanked Cincinnati this past Sunday.

Pittsburgh pitcher Ivan Nova has maintained an excellent 3.08 ERA. His WHIP is a terrific 1.11. The last time Nova faced the Cubs, he gave up 3 earned runs off 6 hits in 7 innings. He pitched well enough for Pitt to beat the Cubs 4 to 3.

Chicago should be the favorites on Saturday. I believe Pitt is the play. I don’t think Jake throws another great game while Nova has been solid all-season long.

I like the Pirates.

Pick:  Pittsburgh moneyline

Detroit at Cleveland
When:  Sunday, July 9 at 8:00 pm ET
Where: Progressive Field, Cleveland, OH
Listed Pitchers: DET-Michael Fulmer vs CLE-Corey Kluber

Analysis: Detroit pitcher Michael Fulmer has become the Tigers’ ace. His 3.19 ERA and 1.13 WHIP are better than Justin Verlander’s ERA and WHIP. Sunday is the first time this season Fulmer battles Cleveland.

I think Fulmer pitches a great game. Forget last season’s numbers versus his opponents. Fulmer has changed some things up this season to account for the excellent ERA and WHIP. He should be right as rain against the Tribe on Sunday.

The key on this game is how well the Tigers bat against Corey Kluber, Cleveland’s strike-out machine of a pitcher. Kluber’s ERA is 3.02. His WHIP is 1.00.

Surprisingly, Kluber, who should be a big favorite over Fulmer in this match up, allows the Tigers to bat .296 against him. That’s close to ridiculous.

I’m taking a shot on Detroit. I know the Tigers have been awful lately. But, I think this game sets up for Fulmer and the Tigers.

Pick: Detroit moneyline

2017 Belmont Stakes Trifecta Pick

2017 Belmont Stakes Trifecta Pick

The Belmont Stakes trifecta got much harder to bet. Before Belmont Stakes post positions were drawn and the Morning Line odds were set, Belmont Park announced that Classic Empire, the 3/2 future book favorite, would skip the race. Favoritism has now fallen to Irish War Cry. Classic Empire was an obvious key horse choice in the trifecta. Is Irish War Cry an obvious key horse choice? I don’t think so. Keep reading for my Belmont Stakes trifecta bet.

What is a Belmont Stakes Trifecta Bet?

A trifecta bet is a wager where you choose the first three finishers in a horse race in exact order. Here’s an example:

  • Win: 7-Irish War Cry
  • Place: 2-Tapwrit
  • Show:  10-Multiplier

If you placed a trifecta wager that had on it the above combination where 7 finishes first, 2 finishes second, and 10 finishes third, you’d win your trifecta bet. One thing to keep in mind is that a trifecta must be called a trifecta. Don’t bet Irish War Cry to win, Tapwrit to place, and Multiplier to show. That’s 3 separate bets.  

A trifecta is where you pick the exact order of finish for win, place, and show, on a single combination. Keep reading to see how I’m putting together my Belmont Stakes trifecta bet.

2017 Belmont Stakes Trifecta Pick

What: 2017 Belmont Stakes
When: June 10, 2017
Post Time: 6:48 PM ET
Where: Elmont, New York
Track: Belmont Park
Watch: NBC
Stream: NBC Sports Live

Key Horse:  11-Epicharis 4/1

The Japanese invader is the classiest animal in the race. He has the breeding to get the distance. He has the speed to stay close. He has the will to win as evidenced by his 4 wins, and 1-second place finish from 5-lifetime races. There isn’t a lot to dislike about Epicharis.

Horses to Use in Place Slot

2-Tapwrit 6/1 – It’s impossible to look past Todd Pletcher’s success with horses skipping the Preakness Stakes and running in the Belmont. I also expect that Tapwrit has grown up some since his 10-length loss in the Kentucky Derby. He’s got an excellent post, 2, which means jockey Jose Ortiz can save ground.  

3-Gormley 8/1 – I’ve got the feeling that the John Shirreff’s trainee is going to be on his toes come Saturday. Gormley has a lot of talent. He needed to mature physically, but his mind has always been right. Don’t leave him out of the trifecta. You’ll be sorry.

7-Irish War Cry 7/2 – If big boy Irish War Cry shows up, it’s over. He can flat out bury his competition when he wants to run. If throw in the towel Irish War Cry shows up, the one who gives up because he just doesn’t feel like running, forget it. He’ll finish near the back of the pack.

Horse to Use in Show Slot

1-Twisted Tom 20/1 – Chad Brown trains. Brown trained Cloud Computing to win the Preakness Stakes at over 14 to 1 odds. Enough said.

2-Tapwrit 6/1  

3-Gormley 8/1

4-J Boys Echo 15/1 – He goes into the Belmont Stakes under the radar. Why?  Two bad races in a row. I’ve seen horses like J Boys Echo run huge at Big Sandy after struggling in two straight. I can’t leave him out of the tri because of that.

5-Hollywood Handsome 30/1 – On paper, it doesn’t look like he’s good enough to finish in the Top 3. But, you never know which horses love the 1 ½ mile distance of the Belmont Stakes, and which horses hate it.

6-Lookin At Lee 5/1 – I sure wish I had enough funds to put this guy into the place slot for my trifecta bet. He always fires a decent shot. One of these days, the shot he fires is going to be better than anybody else’s shot.  

7-Irish War Cry 7/2

8-Senior Investment 12/1 – I didn’t think he was good enough to get into my Preakness Stakes trifecta. Yep. He blew me apart. Every ticket went up in flames. Senior Investment is definitely part of all my exotic bets!

9-Meantime 15/1 – No Classic Empire means that Meantime inherits the lead. He should have company with both Epicharis and Irish War Cry. If that doesn’t happen, if Meantime gets loose on the lead, watch out. Commendable and D’Tara are just two examples of huge front running longshots that won the Belmont Stakes.  

10-Multiplier 15/1 – If the pace is swift, I know he’ll have a shot to get into the tri. He’s talented enough to do it.

12-Patch 12/1 – He’d be in my place slot if I didn’t think Tapwrit was coming up to the race slightly better.

2017 Belmont Stakes Trifecta Pick

I’m using all 12 runners in the show slot in my trifecta bet. I’m keying Epicharis, the horse from Japan. In the place slot, I’m using Tapwrit, Gormley, and Irish War Cry. Check out how my trifecta bet’s going to look:
11 w/2,3,7 w/1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12

The w stand for with. If I were at the racetrack and made this wager, I’d tell the clerk, “I want a $1 trifecta 11 with 2,3,7 with 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12”. Instead of naming all the horses in the show slot, I could just say with all.

Total Bet Cost = $30

No. 11 Xavier Vs No. 1 Gonzaga Elite Eight Odds, Pick & How To Watch

2017 NCAA Basketball Tournament Round 1 Sleeper Picks

As always, Round 1 in the NCAA Tournament should produce plenty of against the spread betting upsets. While very few Cinderella teams actually have a shot winning the NCAA Basketball national title, they offer great betting value in the earlier rounds. Happy hunting!

2017 NCAA Basketball Tournament Round 1 Sleeper Picks

Why should you bet on underdogs in the NCAA Basketball tournament?

  • Since the tournament expanded to 64 teams in 1985, No. 1 seeds are 14-5 ATS against 16 seeds when the line is 19.5 or lower, including 7-1 over the past 10 seasons.
  • Over the past four NCAA tournaments, top seeds are only 6-10 against the spread in this round.
  • No. 14 seeds that are at least 12-point underdogs against No. 3 seeds are 6-2 ATS over the last three seasons.
  • Over the past three seasons, No. 4 seeds are 11-1 outright against No. 13 seeds but only 5-7 ATS. 
  • Since 2009, No. 12 seeds are just 11-21 ATS versus No. 5 seeds, including 5-11 since 2014.
  • Since 2009, No. 11 seeds are 19-13 ATS against No. 6 seeds, but not all of those games have come as an underdog. 
  • No. 7 seeds are 11-5 outright against No. 10 seeds since 2013, with favorites going 10-6. No. 7 seeds that were favored have been even more successful, going 10-1 outright and 7-4 ATS in that span. 
  • Since 2009, the No. 9 seed is 20-9-3 ATS against the No. 8 seed.

There are three games in Round 1 that I believe deserve upset status. What’s going to happen when Florida Gulf Coast battles Florida State on Thursday? Also on Thursday, is Xavier or Maryland going to come out on top? Then, on Friday, can Oregon keep Iona’s players from driving to the rim without their top enforcer?

#14 Florida Gulf Coast vs #3 Florida State
When:  Thursday, March 16
Where: Amway Center, Orlando, FL
Odds: Florida Gulf Coast +14

Analysis: Florida State is a good team. But, the Seminoles proved in their loss to Notre Dame that they can get sloppy with the basketball. Not only that, but Florida Gulf Coast can run with the Seminoles.

Florida Gulf Coast averages 79.4 points per game. They allow less than 69 points at 68.8 per. What it means is that FGC plays tough defense while running and gunning on offense. Florida State is used to being the team that presses the pace.

What’s going to happen when they meet a team that’s more than happy to oblige? Florida State should win outright. But, it won’t be easy.  

NCAA Tournament Round 1 Sleeper Pick: Florida Gulf Coast +14

#11 Xavier vs #6 Maryland
When:  Thursday, March 16
Where: Amway Center, Orlando, FL
Odds: Xavier +2

Analysis: Maryland could get hot. Melo Trimble is a terrific player while Damonte Dodd is a strong presence in the middle. But, I love how Xavier played in the Big East Tournament.

The Musketeers were a three-point shot away from tying the game versus Creighton in the semifinals. At one point during the season, early on, Xavier was ranked in the Top 10. They’re a talented bunch who got a chance to battle it out in the Big East.

Maryland’s conference, the Big Ten, was sort of down this season. Although the Big Ten sends plenty of teams to the NCAA Tournament, only two of those teams, Wisconsin and Purdue, were ranked in the Top 25 at the end of the regular season.

I think Xavier wins this outright.  

NCAA Tournament Round 1 Sleeper Pick: Xavier

#14 Iona vs #3 Oregon
When:  Friday, March 17
Where: Golden 1 Center, Sacramento, CA
Odds: Iona +14.5

Analysis: Oregon will be without top inside player Chris Boucher for the NCAA Tournament. The Ducks are loaded with talent, but Boucher was arguably their best inside player.

Does that mean Iona has a chance at upsetting Oregon straight up on Friday, March 17? Not at all. Iona isn’t good enough to beat Oregon straight up. But, the Gaels are good enough to keep the game close.
Iona averages over 80 points per game. Iona starts 4 guards and a 6’ 8” forward. All the guards can shoot and drive to the basket. Their 6’ 8” forward, Jordan Washington, averages 18 points and 7 boards per game.

The Gaels are a good small ball team. Oregon should win, but beating Iona by 15 points might be tough.

NCAA Tournament Round 1 Sleeper Pick: Iona