Must Watch MLB Games This Week

Must Watch MLB Games This Week

Baseball’s 2020 season is off to a rocky start due to Covid mismanagement, but there are teams who are doing it right. Keep reading for the top MLB games for this upcoming week.

Must Watch MLB Games For Week of August 3-9

Monday, August 3

NY Mets at Atlanta at 7:10 PM ET

The Braves (7-3) and Mets (3-7) have polar opposite records heading into the new week and now Atlanta will look to complete a four-game sweep over their NL East rivals after winning Games 2 and 3 this weekend by the combined score of 11-1. 

Oakland at Seattle at 9:10 PM ET 

Despite dropping two straight after winning the opener in this four-game set, Oakland (5-4) is looking good to me with Frankie Montas (0-1, 3.00 ERA) opposite Seattle (4-6) reliever Justus Sheffield (12.00 ERA). 

Tuesday, August 4

Pittsburgh at Minnesota at 2:00 PM ET

The lowly Pirates (2-7) will look to snap a four-game skid, but it’s almost certainly not happening against a Minnesota Twins (7-2) team that ranks second in run differential at a stellar +22. 

Houston at Arizona at 9:10 PM ET

The defending AL-Champion Astros might be a modest 5-4, but they rank third to Atlanta (57) and the LA Dodgers (54) in runs scored (52). Houston will look for a better effort from Frambler Valdez and the same goes for former superstar Madison Bumgarner (0-1, 4.09 ERA). 

Wednesday, August 5

NY Yankees at Philadelphia at 7:05 PM ET

Philadelphia will return to play Monday night against the Yankees after being idle since Sunday when they finished a three-game series against the COVID-19-stricken Miami Marlins. The Phillies had seven games postponed out of an abundance of caution according to an MLB press release. Meanwhile, the Yankees are will enter this one after smacking Boston around on consecutive nights heading into Sunday’s finale of  their three-game set. 

Milwaukee at Chicago White Sox at 8:10 PM ET

Milwaukee right-hander Josh Lindblom will look to bounce back after giving up a pair of earned runs in 3.2 innings the last time out. 2015 AL Cy Young winner Dallas Keuchel (2-0, 3.38 ERA) is off to a solid start  in his first season in Chicago. 

Thursday, August 6

Houston at Arizona at 7:07 PM ET

Houston right-hander Lance McCullers (1-0, 5.40 ERA) has given up one home run in both starts and the same goes for Arizona right-hander Zac Gallen, although Gallen has allowed half as many run (three) as McCullers in an identical two starts. 

Chicago Cubs at Kansas City at 7:07 PM ET

The Cubs swept the Pirates in their three-game weekend series and the Cubs are one of just six teams to have scored at least 50 runs heading into the new week. Kansas City got swept by the ChiSox in their three-game set this weekend while giving up a combined 20 runs in the last two games. 

Friday, August 7

Atlanta at Philadelphia at 7:05 PM ET

The Braves were riding a five-game winning streak heading into the new week while leading all of baseball in runs scored (57). Philadelphia went 1-2 in three restart matchup before having the season out on hold. These NL East rivals split 10 meetings evenly a year ago, nut Philadelphia has won three of the last four. 

LA Angels at Texas at 9:05 PM ET

The Halos are off to an uninspiring 3-7 start, but Texas hasn’t been much better in going 3-5 through eight games, LA has dropped four of five heading into the new week while Texas has dropped five of their last seven, 

Saturday, August 8

Detroit at Pittsburgh at 4:05 PM ET 

The Tigers have lost two in a row against Cincinnati while getting outscored 8-3 over the weekend. Pittsburgh ha dropped four in a row and five of six while scoring three runs or less in each of their last four. 

Chicago Cubs at St. Louis at 8:15 PM ET

The Cubs are sitting atop the NL Central standings at 7-2 while looking very legitimate in the early going of the shortened season, 

The Cardinals have had multiple new positive test results for the coronavirus and have had their last four games postponed. 

Sunday, August 9

NY Yankees at Tampa Bay at 1:10 PM ET

New York swept Boston over the weekend to improve to a near-perfect 7-1 through eight games. Tampa Bay has lost five straight while giving up five runs or more in four of those contests. 

Cleveland at Chicago White Sox at 2:10 PM ET

The Indians have lost three straight while getting outscored 10-2 over the final three games of their four-game set against Minnesota. The ChiSox have won four straight while sweeping Kansas City over their last three. 

NBA Bubble Restart Top Games Aug 3-9

NBA Bubble Restart Top Games Aug 3-9

What an opening weekend of basketball from the NBA Orlando Bubble! Now that every team has a game or two under their belts, let’s take a look at this upcoming week’s top NBA restart games!

NBA Orlando Bubble Restart Top Games August 3-9

Monday, August 3

Memphis at New Orleans at 6:30 PM ET

This is a must-win game for both teams after the pair both dropped their first two restart contests. For me, Ja Morant and the young Grizzlies have been a bit more impressive than Zion and the Pelicans and I expect a special performance out of Memphis’ star floor leader in this one after he put up 25-10-9 against San Antonio the last time out. 

LA Lakers at Utah at 9:00 PM ET

LeBron and the Lakers will have the motivation they’ll need after getting humbled by Toronto on Saturday. On the flip side of the coin, the Jazz haven’t looked very good in splitting their two restart games while getting man-handled by Oklahoma City on Saturday. 

Tuesday, August 4

Boston at Miami at 6:30 PM ET

The C’s bounced back nicely from their restart-opening loss against Milwaukee to beat Portland on Saturday. Miami mauled Denver by 20 in their restart opener and will take on Toronto on Monday night before playing this one as part of a back-to-back. Boston’s deeper roster and pair of young stars (Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown) look primed to lead the Celtics to their third straight win in this series. 

Houston at Portland at 9:00 PM ET

The Rockets put a mind-boggling 153 points on the board in their restart opener against Dallas while the Blazers scored a combined 264 points against Memphis and Boston respectively. Unless that Over/Under in this clash of Western Conference rivals is a gazillion points, I’d bet high on the total in this meeting. Simply put, there just won’t be much defense being played in this affair. 

Wednesday, August 5

Oklahoma City at LA Lakers at 6:30 PM ET

The Thunder blitzed the Jazz to win their restart opener 110-94 on Saturday as six players scored in double figures. The Lakers had best be on guard against Oklahoma’s backcourt trio of CP3, SGA and Dennis Schroeder, which, by the way, I believe is the best backcourt threesome in the league. 

Brooklyn at Boston at 9:00 PM ET

The Nets won their restart opener against the lowly Wizards on Sunday, but they’ll find beating Boston a lot more difficult in this meeting. Then again, Brooklyn has surprisingly taken two of three regular season meetings. 

Thursday, August 6

LA Clippers at Dallas at 6:30 PM ET

The Clippers bounced back nicely from their narrow restart-opening loss against the Lakers to smack New Orleans senseless on Saturday as Kawhi Leonard and Paul George combined for 52 points. The Mavs put 149 points on the board in their restart opener against Houston on Friday, but they gave up 153 points while collapsing late. Dallas has lost both regular season meetings and LA is offering good value as they look to make it three straight in this clash. 

LA Lakers at Houston at 9:00 PM ET

The Lakers might be the top team out West, but I think Houston has a deeper and more productive collection of role players in this matchup.  If LA can’t stop James Harden and Russell Westbrook from getting to the paint, I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Rockets steal this one. 

Friday, August 7

Orlando at Philadelphia at 6:30 PM ET

The Magic put 128 points on the board in their restart opener against Brooklyn on Friday while Philadelphia gave up a whopping 127 points in their restart-opening loss against Indiana. After taking both regular season meetings in this rivalry, Orlando is looking good heading into this matchup. 

Boston at Toronto at 9:00 PM ET

The Celtics have won two of three in this rivalry, but the Raptors looked great in stunning the Lakers on Saturday. While each of the last two meetings in this series has been decided by an identical 16 points, I’m expecting this restart clash to literally come down to the last possession or two. 

Saturday, August 8

Utah at Denver at 3:30 PM ET

The Jazz were thoroughly outplayed in their restart opener against Oklahoma City on Saturday while Denver got similarly exposed in their humbling loss against Miami on Saturday. The Nuggets have won two straight against the Jazz this season, but both affairs went down to the wire, so I expect another thriller this time around as well. 

Milwaukee at Dallas at 8:30 PM ET

Both of these teams can put points on the board like nobody’s business, but only one team (Milwaukee) plays sound defense in this pairing (Milwaukee). Then there’s the fact that I was reminded on Friday night that Giannis Antetokounmpo is almost completely and utterly unstoppable. 

Sunday, August 9

Philadelphia at Portland at 6:30 PM ET

Philly gave up 53 points to Indiana’s T.J. Warren in their restart-opening loss while the Blazers looked dangerous in splitting their two restart games while averaging a stunning 132 points per contest coming into the new week. The Sixers better have an answer for Dame Lillard and CJ McCollum…or else. 

San Antonio at New Orleans at 3:00 PM ET

The Spurs have won both of their restart contests against Sacramento and Memphis and will get to take on a similarly young Pelicans squad that has lost both of their restart  games. Maybe it’s me, but I’m suddenly once again wary of any Gregg Popovich coached team! 

2020 NHL Playoffs Opening Weekend Betting Outlook

2020 NHL Playoffs Opening Weekend Betting Outlook

With the NHL making its return to action on Saturday, August 1, with 24 teams going all-out to reach the Stanley Cup playoffs with its 24-team qualifying tournament, it’s time to take a look at who’s in action during the first weekend of play. The opening qualifying contests will consist of, both, round robin and best-of-five series matchups. All games will take place in the NHL Bubbles in Toronto and Edmonton.

2020 NHL Playoffs Opening Weekend Betting Outlook

Saturday, August 1

NY Rangers at Carolina at 12:00 PM ET (NBCSN)

If you didn’t know before – now you do. New York has gone 5-1 in their last six road dates against Carolina, not to mention the fact that the Rangers were a blistering 44-26 ATS at the time the season was suspended while Carolina was just 32-36 ATS. Still, the Hurricane enter this affair with one more victory (38) than New York this season, though they lost all four regular season meetings while getting outscored 17-9 along the way. 

Chicago at Edmonton at 3:00 PM ET (NBC)

Edmonton recorded five more wins than Chicago during the regular season (37-32) while ranking an identical 15th in scoring (3.1 gpg) and goals allowed (3.0 gpg). The Blackhawks were putting up 3.0 goals per game at the break (30th) and tied with the Oilers in goals allowed (3.1 gpg). The favorite in this rivalry has gone 5-2 in the last seven meetings and Chicago took two of three during the regular season. 

Montreal at Pittsburgh at 8:00 PM ET (NBC)

Montreal might be in the postseason, but they were nine games under .500 at the hiatus and an identical nine wins behind Pittsburgh in the win column. The Canadiens are ranked an identical 19th in scoring (2.9 gpg) and goals allowed (3.1 gpg) while Pittsburgh ranks 10th in scoring (3.2 gpg) and 12th in goals allowed (2.8 gpg). The Penguins took two of three during the regular season and have won eight of the last 11 meetings overall. Yikes! 

Sunday, August 2

Arizona at Nashville at 2:00 PM ET (USA Network)

Arizona struggles to score in averaging a paltry 2.7 goals per game, but the Coyotes are elite defensively in limiting the opposition to just 2.6 goals per game (third). Nashville averages and allows 3.1 goals per game. These rivals split their two regular season meetings and have split the last 10 meetings evenly. 

Philadelphia at Boston at 3:00 PM ET (NBC)

Boston leads the NHL in fewest goals allowed per game (2.4) and they rank an encouraging 10th in scoring as well (3.2 gpg). Philadelphia however, ranks an identical seventh in scoring (3.3 gpg) and goals allowed (2.8 gpg) and hit the break as arguably the hottest team in all of hockey, though they dropped their last contest 2-0 against…you guessed it – Boston. Still, Philly won two of three regular season meetings and four of the last five meetings overall. 

St. Louis at Colorado at 6:30 PM ET (NBCSN)

These two title hopefuls hit the break with an identical 42 victories to sit atop the Western Conference standings. The defending champion Blues rank 14th in scoring, (3.1 gpg) but a stellar fifth in goals allowed (2.7 gpg). Colorado however, ranks a stupendous fourth in scoring (3.4 gpg) and equally impressive sixth in goals allowed (2.7 gpg). After dropping their first two regular season meetings, the Avs exploded in outscoring the Blues 12-6 in taking the next two. 

NBA Orlando Bubble Opening Weekend Betting Outlook

NBA Orlando Bubble Opening Weekend Betting Outlook

The 2020 NBA is set to restart in the Orlando bubble this weekend with a final eight game stretch before the playoffs. Keep reading for the top games you need to watch and bet on over the opening weekend of the NBA Orlando bubble restart.

NBA Orlando Bubble Opening Weekend Betting Outlook

Thursday, July 30

Utah at New Orleans at 6:30 PM ET (TNT) 

Will Jazz center Rudy Goebert lock the paint on Zion Williamson. Is there anyone on the Pelicans roster than can slow Jazz all-star ‘Spyda’ Mitchell? Can the young and desperate Pelicans pull off the big upset against a Jazz squad that is fourth out West, behind both LA powerhouses and Denver? Stay tuned!

LA Clippers at LA Lakers at 9:00 PM ET (TNT) 

The Clippers took the first two meetings before LeBron and company left an indelible impression by getting the win in their third meeting? Can the prohibitive favored Lakers get it done without defensive ace Avery Bradley or do the loaded Clippers simply possess to much talent?

Friday, July 31

Boston at Milwaukee at 6:30 PM ET (ESPN) 

Sue, the Celtics, like everyone else, might not be able to slow reigning league MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo, but they’ve got a quartet of players that can all put 20 points on the board in any contest, not to mention, their own blossoming superstar in sweet-shooting forward Jayson Tatum (23.6 ppg). 

Houston at Dallas at 9:00 PM ET (ESPN)

There should be offensive fireworks in this affair as James Harden and Russell Westbrook take a gazillion shots for the offensive-minded Rockets while Luka Doncic and the reemerging Kristaps Porzingis try to help the dangerous Mavs keep pace.

Saturday, August 1

Miami at Denver at 1:00 PM ET (ESPN)

Will Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo provide enough offense for Miami to keep up with a Nuggets team that has been knocking on the championship door for the last two seasons? Will a slimmed-down Nikola Jokic take his already prolific skillset to a whole new level after shedding several pounds during the break? 

Utah at Oklahoma City at 3:30 PM ET (ESPN) 

The Jazz will try to use their elite defense to get the win in this one, but the Thunder are quietly dangerous with their trio of talented point guards in Chris Paul, Dennis Schroeder and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander? 

Sunday, August 2

Portland at Boston at 3:30 PM ET (ABC) 

Can the desperate Blazers get their act together after floundering all season long or will Boston’s more cohesive roster of young talent simply be too much for Portland to keep up with? 

Milwaukee at Houston at 8:30 PM ET (ABC)

Will Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo make James Harden eat his disparaging words about the league’s reigning MVP? Will the Rockets play any defense in this matchup. Hell, maybe a better question is…can Houston play any sort of competent defense? 

Top MLB Games Of The Week

Top MLB Games Of The Week

With a mostly successful opening day across the MLB let’s take a look a the top must watch and must MLB games for the upcoming week of July 27th to August 2nd.

Must Watch & Bet MLB Games Of The Week

Monday, July 27

Arizona at San Diego at 4:10 PM ET (ESPN) 

The D-Backs dropped their first two games of their season-opening four-game set against the Padres by getting outscored by the combined score12-3 on Thursday and Friday. After Sunday’s game 3 meetings, the D-Backs will turn to right-hander Luke Weaver (4-3, 2.94 ERA) while San Diego is still undecided, though it may not matter much seeing as Arizona just looks like a team destined to struggle offensively in 2020. 

NY Mets at Boston at 7:30 PM ET (ESPN)

Heading into Sunday, Boston had put 15 runs on the board against Baltimore in splitting their opening two games while the Mets were outscored 4-5 by Atlanta despite going 1-1 in their first two. Veteran right-hander Michael Wacha (6-7, 4.76 ERA) will take the bump for New York in this one while Boston is still undecided. 

Tuesday, July 28

NY Yankees at Philadelphia at 6:05 PM ET (FS1)

New Yankees staff ace Gerrit Cole looked every bit the part by limiting Washington to one run in five innings in New York’s season opener on Thursday. Philadelphia will counter with right-hander Zach Eflin after he went 10-13 with a 413 ERA a year ago. Oh, Eflin also gave up eight earned runs over his last two starts in 2019, so there’s that as well.

LA Dodgers at Houston at 9:10 PM ET (FS1)

The Dodgers beat the Giants on Friday and Saturday by the combined score of 17-2 before falling to their division rivals 5-4 in Game 3 on Saturday. Now, the reigning NL West champs will turn to gifted right-hander Walker Buehler who will make his 2020 debut after going a fantastic 14-4 with a 3.26 ERA last season. Houston got off to a 2-0 start heading into Sunday by pounding Seattle by the combined score of 15-4. Houston will counter with their own young right-hander in Frambler Valdez, though he needs to live up to his talent after going an uninspiring 4-7 with a high, 5.86 ERA last season. 

Wednesday, July 29

Colorado at Oakland at 3:40 PM ET (ESPN)

The Rockies split a pair of one-run outcomes against Texas on Friday and Saturday and will will go with gifted young right-hander German Marquez (0-1, 1.56 ERA) after he limited the Rangers to one run in 5.2 innings in their regular season opener. Oakland split with the Angels in their first two while scoring eight total runs and allowing seven. The A’s will turn to right-hander Frankie Montas after he held the Halos to one run in four innings in their season-opening 7-3 win. 

Seattle at LA Angels at 10:10 PM ET (ESPN)

Seattle got smacked around in dropping their first two games of the season against Houston while getting outscored 15-2 over the pair of games. After dropping their opener against Oakland 7-3 on Friday, the Angels bounced back to pick up a 4-1 win the next day. Talented 24-year-old right-hander Justin Dunn takes the bump for the M’s after posting a fine, 2.05 ERA in four starts last season while L.A. counters with veteran right-hander Andrew Heaney after he limited Seattle to one run on two hits in 4.2 innings of their season-opening loss. 

Thursday, July 30

Cleveland at Minnesota at 7:07 PM ET (FOX)

While both of these ballclubs were off to identical 1-1-1 starts heading into Sunday, you should know Minnesota’s dangerous offense put 13 runs on the board while splitting with the White Sox. Cleveland managed to score just five total runs while splitting with the generally awful Kansas City Royals. Veteran right-hander Mike Clevinger gets the call after tossing seven solid innings against Kansas City and allowing two runs despite getting a no-decision. Minnesota right-hander Jose Berrios got pounded for five runs on seven hits and one home run in four innings in the Twins’ season opener. 

Boston at NY Mets at 7:07 PM ET (FOX)

Boston routed Baltimore 13-2 in their opener before falling the the O’s 7-2 on Saturday. The bad news is that left-hander Martin Perez got touched up for five runs (four earned) in five innings as he gets set for his second start of the season. The Mets got past Atlanta 1-0 in their opener before falling 5-3 against the Braves on Saturday, though right-hander Steven Matz gave up just one run on two hits in six innings of that defeat as he makes his second start in this one. 

Friday, July 31

Texas at San Francisco at 9:10 PM ET (ESPN2)

Texas split their first two games against Colorado in a pair of low-scoring, one-run outcomes while Frisco bounced back from consecutive blowout losses to get past LA 5-4 on Saturday. Veteran left-hander Mike Minor will make his second start after tossing five innings of three-hit ball and allowing just one run in the Rangers’ 3-2 Game 2 loss while San Francisco is still undecided on their starter. 

Oakland at Seattle at 9:40 PM ET (ESPN+)

After splitting with the Angels on Friday and Saturday, Oakland will be looking for a better outing from left-hander Sean Manaea after he gave up four runs on five hits, including one home run in 4.2 innings of the Rangers’ 4-1 Game 2 loss on Saturday. Seattle looked completely overmatched in dropping their first two games against Houston by the combined score of 15-4. Now, M’s right-hander Taijuan Walker will look to bounce back after getting touched up for five earned runs on seven hits, including one home run in Seattle’s 7-2 loss against the Astros on Saturday. 

Saturday, August 1

Houston at LA Angels at 7:15 PM ET (FOX)

Veteran right-hander Zack Greinke will make his 2020 debut in this one after posting a stellar 18-5 record with a 2.93 ERA. LA right-hander Griffin Canning will also make his first start of the season after going 5-6 with a 4.58 ERA last season. Houston won four of six against their AL West division rivals in 2019. 

Boston at NY Yankees at 7:15 PM ET (FOX)

After getting off to identical 1-1 starts heading into Sunday, Boston is undecided on who will start this game. The Yankees will hand the ball to veteran lefty J.A. Happ after he went 12-8 with a 4.91 ERA in 30 starts a year ago. New York dominated this historic rivalry by winning 14 of 19 meetings last season. 

Sunday, August 2

NY Mets at Atlanta at 1:10 PM ET

Heading into Sunday’s finale of their three-game set, the Mets and Braves split with New York picking up a hard-fought 1-0 win in their opener on Friday before the Braves recorded a 5-3 win in extra innings on Saturday. Atlanta will turn to young right-hander Kyle Wright while New York is undecided. The Mets won 12 of 19 meetings last season, but the Braves won their second straight NL East title while finishing 11 games ahead of the Mets. 

NBA Playoffs 8th Seed Odds

NBA Playoffs 8th Seed Odds

The 2020 NBA season continues July 30th with an eight game stretch to settle the playoff picture. With the top of both conferences almost settled let’s take a closer look at which teams will round out the 2020 NBA playoff’s at the eighth seed.

NBA Playoffs 8th Seed Odds

(odds FOR/AGAINST being the 8th seed)

Eastern Conference

Nets (-260/+180)

The Nets won’t have Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant, Spencer Dinwiddie, DeAndre Jordan, Wilson Chandler and Nic Claxton for the restart. While Brooklyn did sign sweet-shooting veteran Jamal Crawford, I wouldn’t necessarily go around expecting them to get the eighth and final spot in the Eastern Conference playoffs, particularly seeing as how they went 12-20 on the road during the pre-pandemic regular season. 

Magic (+180/-260)

While the Magic were a half-game behind Brooklyn and sitting in eighth place in the East, but more importantly, they’ll hit the restart at full strength aside from young center Jonathan Isaac. Orlando had the best offensive rating in the league (116.6) in the final month before COVID-19 brought the regular season to a halt – and they’ll have shooting guard Evan Fournier back – and that makes them a great bet to get the eight seed in the East. 

Wizards (+1050/-2150)

Wizards superstar shooting guard Bradley Beal will not participate in the NBA’s restart in Orlando because of an injury to his right rotator cuff and that’s a huge blow to a Wizards team that was sitting in ninth place at the time the season was halted. I love rookie forward Rui Hachimura (3.4 ppg), but the loss of Beal effectively cancels out any chance Washington would realistically have of getting the eighth seed.

Western Conference

Grizzlies (-120/-120)

Memphis was sitting in eighth place out West at the time of the break, three games ahead of Portland, New Orleans and Sacramento. The Grizzlies have a young stud in rookie point guard Ja Morant and a handful of other talented youngsters like forward Jaren Jackson and mid-season addition Justice Winslow. I’m expecting the Grizz to have a great shot to nail down the eighth and final spot in the Western Conference, seeing as how they’ve gone a decent, 14-18 on the road this season. 

“We’ve been motivated by the doubters all season long,” Morant said. “We’ll just go out and continue to play our game; don’t live and die by the game. Just play together and try to come out with the win. We’ve been doing that. We’re in the 8 position right now, so going into Orlando, it’s just more motivation, fuel to our fire.”

Pelicans (+190/-270)

The Pelicans will have rookie superstar Zion Williamson on the floor for the duration of the restart and their 15-17 road record bodes well heading into Orlando. . New Orleans also has a bunch of other gifted young players like swingman and leading scorer Brandon Ingram, point guard Lonzo Ball and swingman Josh Hart. The bad news is that New Orleans went an uninspiring 9-10 with Williamson on the floor and that just won’t be good enough to get the eighth seed unless they improve with their prized rookie on the floor.

Blazers (+360/-540)

Portland was floundering in mediocrity pretty much all season long before picking up the pace just before the season was suspended. Yes, the Blazers are just 11-23 on the road this season, but lest anyone forget, Portland has one of the game’s best floor leaders in Damian Lillard and another all-star caliber performer in backcourt make C.J. McCollum. The Blazers will also be healthier heading into Orlando than they’ve been all season long with Zach Collins and Jusuf Nurkic likely back in the starting lineup. Point blank…I believe Portland’s desperation makes them dangerous at the very least.

Kings (+1100/-2300)

De’Aaron Fox and Buddy Heild are averaging a combined 40 points per game, but Sacramento is young and doesn’t have any postseason experience they can truly rely on. The Kings have gone 14-19 on the road and that tells me Sacramento will at least put up a fight in Orlando, even if the deck is stacked against them.

Spurs (+5000/-20000)

The Spurs were in 12t place in the Western Conference standings at the time of the break, but their 11-222 road record doesn’t look very good at all no matter how much anyone tries to sugarcoat it. To make matters worse, San Antonio is giving up a generous 114.9 points per game, not to mention they just don’t have the offensive firepower necessary to get past some of the other teams in the chase for the eight and final spot in the Western Conference. Make no mistake about it, these are not the once perennially-powerful Spurs of Timmy, Manu and Tony Parker lore.

Suns (+10000/-50000)

The Suns have one of the game’s best shooters in Devin Booker and they have a talented big man in center DeAndre Ayton. Phoenix has recorded an identical 13 wins at home and on the road, but really, this team shouldn’t even be in the mix for the eight and final seed. The Suns are a serious long shot and not worth the wager if you ask me.

Mavs (+50000/-250000)

Dallas was firmly entrenched in seventh place out West, a solid seven games in front of eighth place Memphis. Not only do the Mavs have a flat-out superstar in forward Luka Doncic, but big man Kristaps Porzingis was starting to find his stride in a big way before the hiatus. If Seth Curry and Tim Hardaway Jr. play at a high level, the Mavs have a fantastic shot to win the eight and final seed out West!

Baseball's Back Top MLB Games July 20 - 26

Baseball’s Back Top MLB Games July 20 – 26

The 2020 MLB Exhibition season started this past weekend and the regular season starts later this week. Here are the top MLB games you need to watch this week to prepare for the start of 2020 MLB regular season that starts on July 23rd.

Baseball’s Back Top MLB Games July 20 – 26

Monday, July 20, 2020

Phillies at Yankees 6:05 PM ET (MLBN)

Former Yankees manager Joe Girardi is now in Philadelphia’s dugout, trying to get the Phillies to improve on their average 81-81 mark from a year ago. Even though this is a meaningless ‘spring training’ matchup, Philly just ‘looks’ overmatched in almost every way. 

Angels at Padres 9:10 PM ET (MLBN) 

If you like baseball, then you’ve got to love L Angels two-way star Shohei Ohtani. The Japanese import will pitch once a week in 2020 after playing solely as a DH in 2019 following Tommy John surgery. For San Diego, they’ll look to improve on what was supposed to be a breakout campaign a year ago, but one that never materialized. 

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Astros at Royals 2:05 PM ET (MLBN)

The Astros have won at least 100 games in each of the past three seasons while recording an MLB record total of 336 wins during the span. Conversely, the Royals have lost at least 103 games in each f the past two seasons. Yikes! 

Rockies at Rangers 8:05 PM ET (MLBN) 

And it’s not completely out of the realm of possibility, but Nolan Arenado likely will miss a chance at becoming the first third baseman to hit 35 home runs in six consecutive seasons.

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Twins at Cubs 7:05 PM ET (MLBN) 

Minnesota has some legitimate World Series hopes after winning 101 games in 2019. The biggest question surrounding the Cubs following their uninspiring 84-win season a year ago is how long will former NL MVP Kris Bryant be on the team? 

Thursday, July 23, 2020

Yankees at Nationals, 7:00 PM ET (ESPN)

Fans everywhere will get to see high-priced import Gerrit Cole go up against Nationals three-time Cy Young winner Max Scherzer in this huge regular season opener. Cole went 20-5 with a stellar 2.50 ERA for Houston last season. Scherzer though, has struck out at least 200 batters in eight consecutive seasons while helping the Nats to the 2019 World Series title. 

Giants at Dodgers, 10:00 PM ET (ESPN)

Two of baseball’s formerly most dominant pitchers will go at it when the Giants’ Johnny Cueto and Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw take the bump in this intriguing NL West division rivalry. The bad news is that Cueto made just four starts a year ago while Kershaw managed to go 16-5 with a solid 3.03 ERA, even though he’s clearly lost some MPH’s in recent years.  LA won 12 of 19 meetings a year ago. 

Friday, July 24, 2020

Braves at Mets, 4 (ESPN)

If you don’t know by now, Atlanta’s Ronald Acuna Jr. could very well be the best all-around player in baseball (sorry Mike Trout). Last year, Acuna Jr. hit 41 home runs in 2019 with 101 RBI and 37 stolen bases to become the first player to hit 40 homers and lead his league in stolen bases (37) in the same season. 

Now heading into his second season, Mets’ power hitting phenom Pete Alonso smacked a whopping 50 home runs to start his Major League career. Two-time reigning Cy Young winner Jacob deGrom recorded 250 strikeouts with an ERA below 2.50 in each of the past two seasons, to become one of just six pitchers to accomplish the feat. Atlanta took 11 of 19 meetings in this NL East rivalry in 2019. 

Brewers at Cubs, 7 (ESPN)

Brandon Woodruff takes the mound for Milwaukee while Kyle Hendricks will be on the hill for Chicago in this NL Central clash. The Brewers went 89-73 to finish second to St. Louis last season while the Cubs finished six games behind the Brew Crew at 84-78. The Brewers took the regular season series 10-9 a year ago. 

Angels at A’s, 10 (ESPN)

In 18 starts last season, the Halos’ Andrew Heaney went an uninspiring 4-6 with a 4.91 ERA. Conversely, A’s gifted youngster Frankie Montas went 9-2 with a fine, 2.63 ERA in a career-high 16 starts and looks ready for a breakout campaign. While LA added sweet-swinging Anthony Rendon in free agency, Oakland took 13 of 19 in this AL West rivalry a year ago. 

Saturday, July 25, 2020

Brewers at Cubs 1:05 PM ET (FOX)

While Milwaukee hasn’t named a starter for this matchup yet, Chicago will turn to veteran right-hander Yu Darvish who will look to improve on his uninspiring 6-8 mark from a year ago. These two NL Central rivals saw Milwaukee eke out a narrow 109 record in 19 meetings a year ago. 

Pirates at Cardinals 2:15 PM ET (MLBN)

Pittsburgh right-hander Trevor Williams will square off against St. Louis veteran hurler Adam Wainwright in this NL Central pairing.  Unfortunately, Williams went 7-9 with a high, 5.38 ERA in 26 starts last season. For his part, the aging Wainwright went 14-10 with a 4.19 ERA in 2019. St. Louis went 10-9 in this series a year ago. 

Sunday, July 26, 2020

Yankees at Nationals, 1:05 PM ET (TBS)

While these two World Series hopefuls have yet to name starters for this series finale and never faced one another last season, they did split four meetings in 2018. Overall, the Nats are 15-17 against the Yankees dating back to their first-ever meeting back in 1997. 

Angels at A’s 4:10 PM ET (MLBN) 

The Angels are still undecided who will start this affair, but the A’s will hand the ball to veteran right-hander Mike Fiers after he went a fantastic 15-4 with a 3.90 ERA last season. As previously mentioned, Oakland took 13 of 19 meetings last season while winning an impressive 97 games to finish second to Houston in the AL West. 

NHL Playoff Game 1 Lines

NHL Playoff Game 1 Lines

The Stanley Cup qualifying round will feature 16 teams all looking to win a best-of-five series in order to determine the eight teams that will advance to the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The restart campaign will kick off on Aug. 1 and will finish no later than Aug. 9. Now, let’s find out who’s in action in the opening restart games.

NHL Playoff Game 1 Lines

Eastern Conference Qualifying Game 1 Odds & Analysis

  • New York Rangers +125
  • Carolina Hurricanes -145

The Rangers (37-33-5) are in 10th place in the Eastern Conference standings while Carolina (38-30-5) hits the restart in sixth place in the East. New York ranks a stellar fifth in scoring (3.3 gpg), but uninspiring 23rd in goals allowed (3.1 gpg). The Hurricanes rank 11th in scoring (3.2 gpg) and an identical 11th in goals allowed (2.8 gpg). The Rangers have won five straight against the Canes this season while putting five goals on the board in each of the last two meetings. The Rangers are 41-14 in the last 55 meetings, but the underdog has gone a perfect 6-0 in the last six meetings. 

  • Florida Panthers +100
  • New York Islanders -120

The Panthers (35-34-8) are in 11th place in the Eastern Conference standings while the Islanders (35-33-10) are in ninth place in the East. Florida ranks sixth in scoring (3.3 gpg), but a dismal 29th in goals allowed. The Islanders rank an uninspiring 22nd in scoring (2.8 gpg) and ninth in goals allowed by giving up an identical 2.8 goals per game. New York has won all three regular season meetings against Florida including a 3-1 home win the last time they met on December 12. The Panthers are 0-4 in the last four meetings while the favorite in this rivalry have gone 5-1 in the last six meetings. 

  • Montreal Canadiens +170
  • Pittsburgh Penguins 100

Montreal (3140-9) is in 12th place in the Eastern Conference standings while Pittsburgh is in fifth place (40-29-6). The Canadiens rank 19th in scoring (2.9 gpg) and an identical 19th in goals allowed (3.1 gpg). Pittsburgh ranks 10th in scoring (3.2 gpg) and 12th in goals allowed (2.8 gpg). The Penguins have won two straight after dropping their first meeting against Montreal this season. The Canadiens are just 3-8 in the last 11 meetings in this rivalry while the underdog has gone 5-1 in the last six meetings. 

Western Conference Qualifying Game 1 Odds & Analysis

  • Chicago Blackhawks +145
  • Edmonton Oilers 165

The Blackhawks (32-38-8) are in 12th place in the Western Conference standings while the Oilers (37-34-9) are sitting in fourth place out West. Chicago ranks 18th in scoring (3.0 gpg) and 16th in goals allowed (3.1 gpg). Edmonton ranks a modest 15th in scoring (3.1 gpg) and an identical 15th in goals allowed (3.0 gpg). The Blackhawks have won three of four meetings in this rivalry this season while going 15-7 in the last 22 meetings overall. The favorite in this Western Conference series has gone 5-2 in the last seven meetings. 

  • Winnipeg Jets +125
  • Calgary Flames -145

The Jets (37-34-6) are in sixth place in the Western Conference standings while the Flames (36-34-7) are in seventh place in the standings (36-34-7). Winnipeg is ranked 17th in scoring (3.0 gpg) and 10th in goals allowed (2.8 gpg). Calgary ranks 20th in scoring (2.9 gpg) and 17th in goals allowed (3.1 gpg). The Flames took the first two meetings this season, but Winnipeg has won the last two meetings. The favorite in this rivalry has gone 10-4 in the last 14 meetings while the under has gone a near-perfect 5-1 in the last six meetings.

  • Minnesota Wild +100
  • Vancouver Canucks -120

The Wild (35-34-7) are sitting in 10th place in the Western Conference standings while the Canucks (36-33-6) are sitting in ninth place out West. Minnesota ranks 12th in scoring (3.2 gpg), but 24th in goals allowed (3.1 gpg). Vancouver ranks eighth in scoring (3.2 gpg) and 21st in goals allowed (3.1 gpg). The Wild have won two straight and three of four meetings this season while scoring at least three goals in each of their victories. The road team in this rivalry has gone 8-3 in the last 11 meetings while the Over has gone a consistent 12-4-3 in the last 19 meetings overall. 

UFC 251 Updated Odds & Fight Card

UFC 251 Updated Odds & Fight Card

Kamaru Usman, Jorge Masvidal officially set as main event for UFC 251 after George Burns tests positive for Covid-19.

UFC 251 has a new main event and it’s going to be great!

After Gilbert Burns withdrew from UFC 251’s main event title fight against current champ Kamaru Usman at the last minute, everyone assumed it would be the end of the event.

But not so.

Dana White pulled a Jorge Masvidal sized rabbit out of his hat to setup what could be the fight of the decade.

Masvidal was cleared for UFC 251 after passing a mandatory COVID-19 test. Now the man they call Street Jesus will step in on less than a week’s notice to face welterweight champion Kamaru Usman in Abu Dhabi on Sunday morning (Saturday night stateside).

UFC 251 Fight Island Odds & Card

  • Kamaru Usman -275 vs. Jorge Masvidal +215
  • Alexander Volkanovski -235 vs. Max Holloway +195
  • Petr Yan -245 vs. Jose Aldo +205
  • Jessica Andrade +175 vs. Rose Namajunas -210
  • Amanda Ribas -850 vs. Paige VanZant +575
  • Volkan Oezdemir -165 vs. Jiri Prochazka +145
  • Elizeu Zaleski +100 vs. Muslim Salikhov -120
  • Makwan Amirkhani -210 vs. Danny Henry +175
  • Leonardo Santos -175 vs. Roman Bogatov +155
  • Marcin Tybura -110 vs. Alexandr Romanov -110
  • Raulian Paiva -175 vs. Zhalgas Zhumagulov +155
  • Karol Rosa -235 vs. Vanessa Melo +195
  • Martin Day -190 vs. Davey Grant +165
2020 MLB Win Total Odds

2020 MLB Win Total Odds

With the shortened 2020 MLB season set to get underway on Thursday, July 23 and baseball teams in both leagues now having readjusted season win total odds for the upcoming MLB 60-game season, now is a perfect time to offer up some expert insight that could potentially help you cash in multiple times.

2020 MLB Win Total Odds

Whether you like top World Series favorites like the Yankees, Astros or Dodgers or whether you prefer making your win total picks on  more modest contenders like St. Louis or Arizona, this brief analysis of every team’s 2020 win total odds will help you identify the teams that are offering the best value against their season-long, win total odds. The 2020 MLB season is scheduled to end on Sept. 27. The World Series begins on Oct. 20 and a potential Game 7 would be held on Oct. 28.

Arizona – 31½

The Diamondbacks acquired all-star OF Starling Marte from the Pirates and signed longtime former Giants staff ace Madison Bumgarner after finishing eight games over .500 in the NL West a year ago. 32 wins looks quite doable for the D-Backs from where I’m sitting, although veteran starter Mike Leake has opted out of the restart.

Atlanta – 33½

The Braves won their second straight NL East title last season by going 97-65. More importantly, Atlanta brought in veteran left-hander Cole Hamels on a one-year, $18 million deal while also signing veteran outfielder Marcell Ozuna, former Giants reliever Will Smith, and catcher Travis d’Arnaud. The Braves did part ways with veteran third baseman Josh Donaldson, but this team is loaded with young talent – everywhere! 

Baltimore – 20½

Despite going a pitiful 54-108 a year ago, the lowly Orioles failed to make any significant changes to their roster and will almost certainly struggle to reach 21 wins in 60 games. 

Boston – 30½

The Red Sox traded 2018 AL MVP winner Mookie Betts and veteran lefty David Price to the Dodgers while acquiring veteran Alex Verdugo in a major cost-cutting move that won’t make them any better after finishing just six games over .500 last season. Boston will be without star lefty Chris Sale for the upcoming 2020 campaign. 

Chicago Cubs –  32

The Cubs are another team that finished six games over .500 last season and failed to upgrade their roster one iota. Chicago’s most pressing issue right now seems to be whether or not to trade former NL MVP Kris Bryant. 

Chicago White Sox –  31½

While the Cubs didn’t do much to improve their roster, the cross-town rival White Sox made some impressive moves after going 72-89 a year ago by adding veteran DH Edwin Encarnacion, catcher Yasmani Grandal, and outfielder Nomar Mazara, not to mention former Astros staff ace Dallas Keuchel. 

Cincinnati – 32 

The Reds signed veteran third baseman Mike Moustakas, outfielder  Nick Castellanos and Japanese import outfielder Shogo Akiyama. Cincinnati also added hurlers Pedro Strop and Wade Miley to address their needs in the bullpen and back end of the starting rotation after finishing 75-87 a year ago. 

Cleveland – 33½

The Indians traded former Cy Young Award winner Corey Kluber to the Rangers, but this is a team that has won at least 91 games in each of the last four seasons and five times in the seven seasons Terry Francona has been managing the ballclub. The Tribe may not be the legitimate title contenders they want to be, but topping the .500 mark in 60 games looks easily possible to me. 

Colorado –  27½

The Colorado Rockies didn’t do a single thing to improve their roster after going 71-91 a year ago to finish fourth in the NL West. Colorado’s biggest offseason news has been whether or not they’ll trade superstar third baseman Nolan Arenado before the July trade deadline (they will).

Detroit – 21½

The Tigers went a pitiful 47-114 to finish with the worst record in all of baseball. More importantly, they failed to upgrade their roster even in the slightest. 

Houston – 35

Love them or loathe them, the Houston Astros are absolutely loaded with elite talent as they look to move past the sign-stealing scandal that rocked their franchise and MLB in general following their 107-win season and run to the 2019 World Series. Still, I love their hiring of widely-respected manager Dusty Baker and this team has too much talent to not contend for it all. 

Kansas City –  24½

The Royals had a nice run from 2013 to 2017 including their World Series winning season in 2015. Unfortunately, Kansas City has been limited to 58 and 59 wins the last two seasons and has done nothing to improve their roster heading into 2020. 

LA Angels –  31½

The Angels signed former Nationals star Anthony Rendon to a seven-year $245 million contract and they’ll have superstar two-way superstar, Shohei Ohtani back at full strength after going 72-90 last season. Still, the Halos need more quality pitching in an AL West division that features Houston as the cream of the crop and Oakland somewhere just behind. 

LA Dodgers –  38½

The Dodgers were the biggest beneficiaries of a huge three-team mega-trade that saw them land 2018 AL MVP Mookie Betts and hard-throwing veteran lefty David Price. L.A. sent Alex Verdugo to Boston and Kenta Maeda to Minnesota as part of the blockbuster deal. The Dodgers have won an impressive seven straight NL West titles, but they’re still in search of their first World Series title since way back in 1988. 

Miami –  24½

The Marlins are coming off a 57-105 season in 2019 and although they have some nice young talent on their roster, their best offseason additions were Jonathan Villar, Corey Dickerson and Matt Kemp and that’s just not going to be good enough to compete with anyone. 

Milwaukee – 30½

The Brewers saw catcher Yasmani Grandal and infielder Mike Moustakas both bolt on the open market. Milwaukee did add outfielder Avisail Garcia, first baseman Justin Smoak and infielder Ryon Healy, but this team still doesn’t have a true staff ace, although they will be boosted by the return of 2019 NL MVP runner-up Christian Yelich. 

Minnesota –  34½

The Twins went a stunning 101-61 last season to win the AL Central by eight games over Cleveland. More importantly, the Twins added big bopping veteran third baseman Josh Donaldson and veteran right-hander Kent Maeda to go along with an already impressive array of talent that finished fourth in run scoring differential a year ago (+185).  Veteran hurler Michael Pineda will still have to serve the full 39 days remaining on his PED suspension.

NY Mets – 32½

The Mets made a nice addition to their bullpen by signing veteran hurler Dellin Betances away from the Yankees and took a chance of 2016 AL Cy Young winner Rick Porcello who was available after his uninspiring season with Boston in 2019. The Mets have a superstar staff ace in two-time reigning NL Cy Young Award winner Jacob deGrom, but hard-throwing right-hander Noah Syndergaard is out for the upcoming season and that’s a huge blow. 

NY Yankees – 37½

The Yankees landed star right-hander Gerrit Cole with a record-setting, nine-year, $324 million contract to go along with their loaded roster of stars. New York is coming off stellar 103-win campaign, but they’ve already got questions marks about Aaron Judge’s health as we get set for the upcoming 2020 season, not to mention the fact that star right-hander Luis Severino is out for the season. 

Oakland –  33½

The small-market A’s won an eye-opening 97 games to finish second behind Houston in the AL West last season. While Oakland failed to make any significant offseason upgrades, the A’s have won 97 games in two straight season while topping 94 wins in four of the last eight seasons overall. 

Philadelphia – 31

The Phillies signed promising Yankees former shortstop Didi Gregorious and talented, but oft-injured hurler Zack Wheeler while also naming former Yankees skipper Joe Girardi to lead them in a new direction after going a modest 81-81 last season. The bad news is that Philadelphia still lacks a true staff ace and has plenty of questions with their bullpen. 

Pittsburgh –  25½

The Pirates are coming off a dismal 69-win season that left them in the cellar in the NL Central a year ago. More importantly, the Pirates failed miserably in upgrading their roster with their most notable move being trading away Starling Marte to Arizona.

San Diego –  30½

The Padres have a ton of young talent that was supposed to challenge a year ago, so they could surprise in 2020 after going 70-92 a year ago. Still, San Diego looks like a team that is at least another year away from really challenging L.A. for division supremacy. 

Seattle –  24½

The Seattle Mariners went 68-94 in 2019 to finish in last place in the AL West. More importantly, the Mariners didn’t make a single move to improve their roster this coming campaign, making 25 wins in 60 games a bit of a longshot if you ask me. 

San Francisco –  24½

The once perennially-powerful Giants are coming off a 77-85 season that left them in third place in the NL West last season. Frisco’s best offseason moves were bringing back fan favorites in veteran outfielder Hunter Pence and overpaid infielder Pablo Sandoval.

St. Louis –  31½

St. Louis went 91-71 to win the NL Central last season. While the Cards didn’t make any real significant additions and lost outfielder Marcell Ozuna to free agency, topping .500 by two games in a 60-game season looks easily reachable. 

Tampa Bay –  34

Tampa Bay had a fantastic 96-win season in 2019 by leading the AL in team ERA (3.65). The Rays also made some nice additions to their batting order by trading for Jose Martinez, and Hunter Renfroe while signing Japanese slugger Yoshitomo Tsutsugo

Texas – 29½

Texas went 78-84 a year ago to finish third in the AL West. To improve their chances of reaching the postseason in 2020, the Rangers added veteran hurler Corey Kluber and first baseman Todd Frazier. Still, this team will have their work cut out trying to get past Houston and Oakland in the AL West. 

Toronto – 28

The Blue Jays have some seriously gifted young players like third baseman Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and shortstop Bo Bichette and they signed 2019 MLB ERA leader Hyun-Jin Ryu (2.32) in free agency while signing Japanese right-hander Shun Yamaguchi and veteran hurler Tanner Roark. 30 wins and a .500 finish look relatively realistic. 

Washington – 33

The Nationals re-signed World Series MVP Stephen Strasburg to a seven-year $245 million deal and they brought back 2019 NLCS MVP Howie Kendrick and closer Daniel Hudson. The bad news is that they lost the man that made them go a year ago in do-it-all superstar Anthony Rendon while veterans, Ryan Zimmerman and Joe Ross will sit out the restart season.