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Cardinals vs. Orioles Betting Line & Prediction from Will Rogers: August 9th 2014

St. Louis Cardinals vs. Baltimore Orioles
Prediction: St. Louis -105 betting line (August 9th 2014)

The Orioles won big at home on Friday night, chasing Justin Masterson from the game after just two innings. The Cardinals should be in better shape with John Lackey on the hill this afternoon.

Here are my keys to the game:

1. Pitching – The Cardinals hand the ball John Lackey (12-7, 3.55 ERA) who did well in his debut game for St. Louis, defeating the Brewers in a 3-2 win where the veteran conceded two runs on seven hits over seven innings. He left Boston with his head held high as well, and is 3-1 with a 2.33 ERA in his last four starts. The Orioles will counter with right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez (3-8, 4.52 ERA) who’s last game was over a month ago. He was then torched by the Red Sox surrendering four runs on five hits over just 3 2/3 innings. He has just recovered from a sprained ankle, and is only 1-6 with a 5.29 ERA over nine starts at home this season.

2. Hot on the road – The Cardinals may not have an overwhelming away record going 28-28. They have looked better recently though, and are 4-1 in their last five road games as a favorite.

3. X-factor – Jhonny Peralta is 9-for-26 lifetime versus Jimenez, and is 2-for-6 in his last two games.

Selection: This is a play on the St. Louis Cardinals (FREE)

Buffalo Bills vs. Carolina Panthers Preseason Pick & Odds: August 8th 2014

Preseason Pick: Buffalo Bills -1.5 -105 odds (August 8th 2014)

The Bills were able to get rid of all their preseason jitters in the “Hall of Fame” game, a contest in which they actually outplayed the Giants, despite losing. Buffalo is likely to be one of the surprise teams in the league this year, much like the Panthers were last year. How far the Bills go this year will largely depend on QB E.J. Manuel.

Manuel didn’t play well in the opener but expect a better effort from him in this situation. He’ll be looking to connect with the 4th overall pick in the draft, Sammy Watkins. In a draft that was very deep at the WR position, the Bills gave up a lot to secure Watkins, and in turn, there’s a lot of pressure on him. The stars won’t play much in this one, so look for C.J. Spiller and Fred Jackson to be on the sidelines for most of the game. Buffalo is very high on 3rd string RB Bryce Brown, who ran well in the HOF game. Brown will receive the bulk load of the carries in this one, as they want to see what he can do and possibly make a trade to get better at a different position.

You can expect a tremendous drop-off from the Panthers this season. This team got worse in pretty much every way possible. They lost their franchise receiver in Steve Smith, and didn’t bring much in, so lack of talent at the WR position will be very costly.

Newton will be throwing to all new faces, so his timing will definitely be off. He is also coming off of ankle surgery in the offseason, so he won’t be playing much at all in this one. The Panthers have holes at pretty much every position, especially on the offensive side. With the Bills having already played a game, along with the significant talent gap between these two squads, look for the Bills to cover the number in this one. Take the Bills.

White Sox vs. Mariners Betting Odds & Prediction from Ben Burns: August 8th 2014

Chicago White Sox vs. Seattle Mariners
Prediction: Seattle -162 odds (August 8th 2014)

I’m playing on SEATTLE. The Mariners were my free play yesterday. Not surprisingly, they won 13-3 over the struggling White Sox. With Hisashi Iwakuma on the mound tonight, I expect another easy win for the home team Friday.

In three of their last five games, Chicago has allowed at least 13 runs. One of those came when tonight’s starter Jose Quintana last pitched, although ironically he only allowed an unearned run in his five innings pitched before the bullpen imploded vs. Minnesota. But with an offense that’s scored all of seven runs its last four games (just 10 hits the last 2), Quintana’s margin for error is rather slim.

This is especially the case going up against Iwakuma, who has allowed two earned runs or less in every start but one since the beginning of July. He has a 2.15 ERA his last seven starts. He allowed only five hits in 7.2 innings pitched his last start, but was a hard luck 1-0 loser vs. Baltimore. But I don’t think lack of run support will be an issue today. Case in point, the White Sox have lost four in a row if their opponent scored at least five runs in its last game.

Look for the Mariners to have another big day. 1* free play.

Patriots vs. Redskins NFL Preseason Point Spread & Pick: August 7th 2014

PATRIOTS VS. REDSKINS PRESEASON POINT SPREADNew England Patriots vs. Washington Redskins
Preseason Pick: Washington +1 -110 odds (August 7th 2014)

Betting the NFL preseason is a completely different ballgame than the regular season. It can also be a great time for experienced bettors to capitalize. There is no other time of the year where coaches will tell you exactly what they’re going to do. We need to look at factors such as, how long will the starters be playing? Can we catch a team that will be playing their 1st string against the opponents 2nd or 3rd? How many snaps will the starting QB take? How good is his backup? Finding out the answers to all of these questions, along with many more, give a “sharp” bettor a distinct advantage in the preseason.

It’s a new year for the Washington Redskins under 1st year head coach Jay Gruden. Gruden is noted as an offensive minded coach who is considered largely responsible for the success of Andy Dalton. This is also a huge game for Robert Griffin III. All reports out of the Redskins camp are that things are going extremely well for RG3. He has a lot to prove and should play well in this one. The Skins also added WR DeSean Jackson, who will be a huge threat for opposing defenses.

Last year Tom Brady’s 60.5% completion percentage was his lowest in 10 years. That was due to lack of weapons, and will most likely improve this season will the health of Rob Gronkowski and addition of WR Brandon LaFell. Bill Belichick divulges pretty much nothing when it comes to game plan. We can assume that Brady won’t be around for too long in this one, as he’s an experienced and polished QB and there’s simply no reason to risk injury. The Patriots also lost goal line running back LeGarrette Blount. He came on strong last season and will be a huge loss for this team.

The Redskins come into this game with a little more urgency and a need to prove something. RG3 will come out in good form and put on a show for the home fans in their preseason opener. Take the Redskins.

Royals vs. Diamondbacks Odds & Prediction from Jimmy Adams: August 6th 2014

ROYALS VS. DIAMONDBACKS BETTINGKansas City Royals vs. Arizona Diamondbacks
Prediction: Royals -125 odds (August 6th 2014)

The Royals are quietly making a run at the wild card spot in the AL. They’ve won 10 of their last 13 and won 12-2 against the D’Backs yesterday. Offense has been the biggest struggle for this team all year long but they’ve put up 39 hits in their last 3 games. They’ve also been playing well on the road, so with the D’Backs having absolutely no home field advantage, this one sets up as a good “spot.” KC’s offense most likely won’t stay hot for a long period, but with the way they are hitting right now this team is definitely worth riding.

Pitching is one of the strong points of the Royals as a collective unit. Yordano Ventura is back to his dominant form after allowing only 1 earned run last start against the Twins. He’s put together a string of good starts and this is the first time that Arizona will have seen him, a sure advantage. The hard throwing flamethrower is dominant when his command is on, and things seem to be clicking for him right now.

The overrated Josh Collmenter takes the hill for the Snakes. Collmenter is a guy who throws straight as a line with low velocity. He’s been up and down the last couple of weeks, putting together a few quality outings with some poor ones. He’s not the worst pitcher in the world, but a significant advantage is directed towards Ventura. The Royals also have an offensive advantage with the way they are currently swinging the sticks. Throw in the fact that the D’Backs best player, Paul Goldschmidt, is on the shelf, and this price seems to be cheap. Take the Royals.

Marlins vs. Pirates MLB Betting Odds & Pick from Stephen Nover: August 6th 2014

MARLINS VS. PIRATES BETTING ODDS PICKMiami Marlins vs. Pittsburgh Pirates
Betting Pick: Miami +120 odds (August 6th 2014)

Let’s first point out that reigning NL MVP.Andrew McCutchen and Pedro Alvarez are out. They’ve combined to hit 32 percent of Pittsburgh’s home runs this season. McCutchen isn’t just the Pirates’ best offensive player. He’s also their top defensive outfielder, too.

Miami is a hot team winning 11 of its last 16. The Marlins have been winning on the road, too, going 7-1 in their past eight away matchups, including winning the last five.

The Marlins are at their best when facing southpaws going 16-9 on the season against them. They draw lefty Jeff Locke, who has been tagged for 12 runs (10 of which have been earned) in his last two starts spanning 12 innings.

It’s imperative to keep Giancarlo Stanton quiet if you’re going to beat Miami. Stanton, however, has owned Locke going 6-for-9 against him with two homers and a double. Locke has never beaten the Marlins in four career outings.

Miami starter Tom Koehler remains one of the more underrated pitchers in baseball. Koehler is better at home, but still he’s allowed three or fewer runs in seven of his last eight starts.

The Marlins’ confidence is way up believing they are very much in the NL East hunt 5 1/2 games behind Washington. The Pirates have lost four of their last six. They are distracted about McCutcheon’s status and their bullpen is much worse than last season. This isn’t 2013. Pittsburgh is worse and Miami is improved.

All this makes for a good underdog spot for the Marlins.

(Editor’s note: Long-time Vegas wise guy Stephen Nover has cashed 10 of his last 13 paid/free plays and has a 10-Dime top totals play also going today. Stephen has turned a profit in 18 of the last 20 years in the NFL, including cashing 69 percent in 2012, and has his NFL season package available for purchase at a top value price.)

Rays vs. Athletics Odds & Pick from Will Rogers: August 6th 2014

RAYS VS. ATHLETICS MLB PICK AUGUST 6TH 2014Tampa Bay Rays vs. Oakland Athletics
MLB Pick: Oakland -1.5 +110 odds (August 6th 2014)

The A’s can complete the sweep of this three game set versus the Rays tonight. I would say the pitching mismatch makes that scenario a near certainty, and they should win this one big.

Here are my keys to the game:

1. Pitching – Oakland hands the ball to 24 year old Sonny Gray who despite all the big names in the A’s rotation is holding his own. Gray (12-4, 2.59 ERA) lost his last game 1-0 versus the Royals, but allowed only one run on three hits with seven strike outs over seven innings. He rarely disappoints the crowd at Coliseum going 7-3 with a 2.74 ERA over 13 starts at home. The Rays will counter with Jeremy Hellickson (0-1, 3.29 ERA) who will make his fourth start for the season. He was abused by the Angels in a 5-3 loss his last time out, surrendering four runs on six hits over 4 2/3 innings.

2. Home cookin’ – The A’s have the second best home record in the major leagues and are 4-1 at home in Gray’s last five starts.

3. X-factor – Oakland’s newly acquired Jonny Gomes is 3-for-9 with a home run versus Hellickson.

Selection: This is play on the Oakland Athletics RL (Free)

2014 PGA Championship Betting Odds & Picks

2014 PGA CHAMPIONSHIP GOLF ODDS PICKS2014 PGA Championship Betting Odds & Picks
by Matt Fargo

This week we have the final Major of the season as the PGA Championship will be contested for the 96th time, this time from Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Kentucky. This is the third time Valhalla has hosted the PGA Championship, the last coming in 2000. That year, Tiger Woods defeated Bob May in a playoff and the previous time, Marks Brooks defeated hometown favorite Kenny Perry in a playoff as well. Valhalla has also hosted two Senior PGA Championships and the 2008 Ryder Cup.

Valhalla Golf Club is a par 71, 7,458-yard track that has seen some major renovations come through recently. Following the most recent Senior PGA held in 2011, every green was redone on the Jack Nicklaus design that is actually owned by the PGA of America. This is the ultimate shot makers course and by that it can reward or penalize many second shots along the way. Because of the lack of experience here for a lot of the players, it evens out the field so there are not many advantages from a history standpoint.

While the course itself is a challenge, parity remains constant in the majors as of the last 23 Majors, there have been 18 different winners with Rory McIlroy, Phil Mickelson, Bubba Watson and Martin Kaymer being the only multiple Major winners. Not since 2008 has there been a repeat major winner. Padraig Harrington is the last player to do so, winning The Open Championship and PGA Championship back-to-back. The challenge now sits with McIlroy following his win at the Open Championship.

Since 1993, there have been 17 different winners of the PGA Championship with only Tiger Woods (4) and Vijay Singh (2) being repeat winners which adds even more complication to the scenario. This tournament is known for its surprising winners even though there have been some big names at the top in recent years. It is interesting to note that the last 10 winners of the PGA Championship have had a top 25 finish in their last start so it has been a “who’s hot” event.

No one is hotter than McIlroy (+550 odds) who is the favorite this week following consecutive wins at the Open Championship and the Bridgestone Invitational last week. He is once again the top ranked player in the world and he is a PGA Champion when he won the Wannamaker Trophy in 2012 at the Ocean Course at Kiawah Island Golf Resort. Three in a row will be tough but he certainly has the game to do it.

Sergio Garcia (+2,000 odds) came painfully close once again last week but had to settle for his fifth top three in his last seven starts on the PGA Tour. His only missed cut this year was at the Masters and in his 11 cuts made, he has finished in the top 10 eight times. He has not won since 2012 when he won the Wyndham Championship which came after a missed cut at the PGA Championship.

We used Keegan Bradley (+3,500 odds) last week and while his T4 was nice, a bad Sunday back nine did him in. Still, he comes in playing very well as he also had a T4 at the Greenbrier sandwiched around a T19 at the Open Championship. He won the 2011 PGA Championship at Atlanta Athletic Club and followed that up with a T3 in 2012 and a T19 last year. His T4 at the U.S. Open doesn’t hurt.

Graeme McDowell (+4,500 odds) had his best ever finish at Firestone with a T8 thanks to a pair of 66’s over the weekend. That was his third top ten in his last three starts including a T9 at the Open Championship, his best finish in a Major since a T12 at the PGA Championship last year. He has experience here as he played in the 2008 Ryder Cup at Valhalla and was one of the top European performers.

Mark Leishman (+5,000 odds) is playing better than these odds indicate. He is coming off a solo third last week at Firestone which came after a T5 at the Open Championship. He has missed only one cut since April and has finished outside the top 23 only once in his last eight cuts made. Overall he six top tens and last year at the PGA Championship at Oak Hill, he finished T12.

Patrick Reed (+10,000 odds) is coming off a strong performance last week which fits the hot trend. He finished T4 as a Saturday 71 kept him out of contention. That was his best finish since winning the WGC-Cadillac Championship back in March which was his second win of the season. He had a rough three-month stretch after that but the birth of hid first child played into that.

Recommended Tournament Win Five Pack of Picks at the PGA Championship (all for One Unit)
Sergio Garcia (+2,000)
Keegan Bradley (+3,500)
Graeme McDowell (+4,500)
Mark Leishman (+5,000)
Patrick Reed (+10,000)

2014 Record to date after 29 events: -88 Units
Sony Open in Hawaii -5 Units
Humana Challenge -5 Units
Farmers Insurance Open -5 Units
Waste Management Phoenix Open -5 Units
AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am +22 Units
Northern Trust Open -5 Units
WGC – Accenture Match Play +23 Units
Honda Classic -5 Units
WGC-Cadillac Championship -5 Units
Valspar Championship -5 Units
Arnold Palmer Invitational -5 Units
Valero Texas Open -5 Units
Shell Houston Open -5 Units
The Masters -7 Units
Zurich Classic -5 Units
Wells Fargo Championship -5 Units
THE PLAYERS Championship -5 Units
HP Byron Nelson Championship -5 Units
Crowne Plaza Invitational -5 Units
Memorial Tournament -5 Units
FedEx St. Jude Classic -5 Units
U.S. Open -6 Units
Travelers Championship -5 Units
Quicken Loans National -5 Units
Greenbrier Classic -5 Units
John Deere Classic -5 Units
The Open Championship -5 Units
RBC Canadian Open -5 Units
WGC-Bridgestone Invitational -5 Units

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Orioles vs. Blue Jays Prediction & Odds from Brad Diamond: August 5th 2014

ORIOLES VS. BLUE JAYS PREDICTIONBaltimore Orioles vs. Toronto Blue Jays
Prediction: Toronto -115 odds (August 5th 2014)

The Orioles are coming off an impressive road win over Washington winning 7-3 as an underdog. Toronto shows off a day-of-rest after losing three straight to, hold your breath, Houston. The Blue Jays are 4 games behind Baltimore second place in the East. So, this is a bigger game and series for Toronto if they are to overtake or challenge the Orioles. Fortunately they have lefty Buehrle hitting the bump tonight. The veteran hurler has been supported by Toronto when listed as chalk hitting 14-of-18, 5-0 as home favorite. The veteran Buehrle (11-7, 3.11) shows off a solid 6-1/3 innings of work allowing just one earned run versus Boston. To help this evening one of Toronto’s injured Brett Lawrie returns to the lineup.

The Orioles are flying high after a 10-6 west coast road swing, while winning last night in Washington. Last week Bud Norris pitched well against the Angels allowing no earned runs in 7 innings of work. Norris has won 4 straight vs. the Blue Jays, but the Orioles are 2-5 L7 in Toronto. The Blue Jays won the last meeting between the clubs 5-2 on June 14th and field tonight with an outstanding 17-4 record in Tuesday encounters. Finally, feel the EMOTIONAL angle here is all with the Blue Birds, so play Toronto tonight.

Padres vs. Twins Betting Odds & Pick from Mike Lundin: August 5th 2014

San Diego Padres vs. Minnesota Twins
Betting Pick: San Diego Padres +110 odds (August 5th 2014)

The Padres and the Twins will open a two game set in Minnesota tonight. The home team has had the upper-hand so far this season, leading the season series 2-0. The Padres have three straight wins though, and are looking good as the underdog tonight when they send Jesse Hahn (7-2, 2.01 ERA) to the mound.

The 25 year old has impressed in his rookie season, especially on the road where he is 4-0 with a 1.50 ERA in four starts. His last outing away from home was in a 5-2 win at Atlanta, where he conceded only one run on three hits over six innings. The Twins hand the ball to Phil Hughes (10-8, 4.12 ERA) who is coming off three consecutive losses. He’s been poor at Target Field this season, going 3-5 with a 5.51 ERA in 11 starts. The Padres are 4-1 in their last five versus a team with a losing record, and the Twins fits the bill there with their 50-60 record this season.

San Diego Padres to win is the bet.