Both teams enter this game at 2-3 but we would say there is quite a bit of difference in class between them. Neither school has quality wins but we believe the Yellow Jackets have shown better in their losses as aside from a blowout loss to Clemson, the Yellow Jackets were competitive against South Florida, leading in the 4th quarter and just couldn't mount the comeback against a highly motivated Pittsburgh team, falling behind 21-0 before losing 24-19. The Cardinals showed up last week and probably should have won against a flawed Florida St team but lost in heartbreaking fashion to follow up their dreadful 27-3 loss to Virginia. Georgia Tech are one of the few schools in Division I that runs the triple option offense and this provides an advantage as teams generally do not prepare well for them and even less so on a short week. In any case, this is still a Louisville team that's been dreadful against the run and their success against Florida St last week, holding the Seminoles to just 76 yards on the ground, was only due to a mismatch in the trenches which will not only not be the case tonight but also be reversed in our opinion against the Yellow Jackets offensive line. It did appear the Cardinals put forth extra preparation and effort in to last week's game and we wonder if they just decide to go through the motions here against a team with an offense notoriously difficult to prepare for. The Cardinals' QB Jawon Pass showed some ability against the Seminoles but he was much too inconsistent and made a dreadfully bad decision in the final minute that likely cost his team the win. We have the visitors with the advantage in all 3 phases of the game and this shouldn't be close by our estimation!
Starting pitchers are Clayton Kershaw for the hosts and Anibal Sanchez for the visitors. Game 1 couldn't have gone worse for the Braves as they fell behind 3 pitches in and starter Mike Foltynewicz seemed to wither after his bulldog mentality carried him throughout much of the season. Questionable managerial decisions along with baserunning blunders showed that perhaps the young team just weren't ready for the postseason but on the bright side, their bullpen was largely effective after struggling for much of the season. They face a Herculean task tonight facing the most dominant pitcher of the last decade in Clayton Kershaw and an offense that seems to be clicking on all cylinders. Nevertheless, there are some factors here that we believe favour the visitors again. With Kershaw, it's hard to find fault with a 2.73 ERA and 3.19 xFIP but there have been some signs of aging and decline for the 3 time Cy Young award winner. Kershaw's fastball velocity has noticeably ticked down by more than a couple mph and he posted the lowest strikeout rate of his career since his rookie season with 8.65 K/9. Kershaw has also had persistent back issues that have landed him on the DL 3 years running and he does appear to worsen quite a bit by the time the playoffs arrive. And on top of it all, Kershaw struggled down the stretch and had the worst start of the season in his final regular season start against the Giants last Saturday. Perhaps the Braves just didn't handle the pressure well but it's worth mentioning that they actually out-hit the Dodgers last night 6-5 and with a few at-bats handled differently, could certainly have made a better game of it in our opinion. They will have a difficult assignment even against a slightly worse version of Kershaw but this is still a team that southpaws well with a 107 wRC+, best mark in the NL and 3rd highest in the majors behind the Astros and Yankees. The Braves send out Anibal Sanchez and he might be the ideal starter for them tonight after yesterday as Sanchez brings with him some veteran leadership with playoff experience that we believe will make him better equipped to deal with the moment than Foltynewicz. Sanchez turned in one of the more surprising seasons this year with a 2.83 ERA over 136.2 innings and while some of it was smoke and mirrors as reflected in his 3.81 xFIP, his HR rate was a significant improvement over recent years as he allowed less than a home run per 9 innings. We believe this should suit him well against a power hitting Dodgers team that clubbed 3 just yesterday but Sanchez should also benefit from the game being played mostly at night where the ball doesn't carry quite like it does during the daytime. This is beneficial to the Braves generally speaking as they weren't much of a home run hitting team ranking in the bottom half of the league in that regard. Both sides have bullpen issues but based on yesterday's performances, we may actually say the Braves have the slight edge though the difference is minute at best. Kershaw has historically been reliable in lasting deep into games but that hasn't been the case this season and with postseason struggles, we believe these odds are based a bit too much on reputation! Visitors worth a punt at these odds!
Starting pitchers are Jhoulys Chacin for the hosts and Tyler Anderson for the visitors. Jhoulys Chacin came through for us nicely in the division tiebreaker game against the Cubs, throwing 5.2 innings allowing just 1 ER on 1 solo home run by Anthony Rizzo. Truthfully, however, Chacin wasn't particularly sharp in our opinion as he managed just 3 strikeouts to 2 walks and had a perfect .000 BABIP. Chacin's groundball rate was also just 30.8% which underscores his entire season that saw him induce groundballs on just 42.2% of balls in play compared to 49.1% last season. The Rockies generally struggle to hit on the road and have played a lot of baseball over the last 2 weeks but we believe Chacin's 4.47 xFIP indicates this won't be such an easy assignment for the veteran right hander. On the other side, Tyler Anderson compiled an ERA over a run higher than Chacin on the season but his 4.21 xFIP is an improvement and Anderson pitched extremely well down the stretch. The southpaw should have a bit easier time against a left handed heavy Brewers lineup in our opinion who will be forced to make some decisions regarding a few of their left handed starters. The hosts own the edge in the bullpen but the Rockies' relievers were quietly one of the best group in the 2nd half of the season. The Brewers relied heavily on their best relievers yesterday in what amounted to a bullpen day and Jeremy Jeffress struggled in the 9th, blowing the save. We believe the matchup is fairly even given the circumstances and so the visitors are a must bet at these odds!
Starting pitchers are Justin Verlander for the hosts and Corey Kluber for the visitors. Justin Verlander had perhaps his best season ever as he posted a sub 3.00 ERA for just the 3rd time in his career and had a strikeout rate of 12.20 K/9 which was over 2 strikeouts per 9 innings better than his 2nd best full season rate. We're not here to speculate on how he arrived at these numbers at the age of 35 when most pitchers have already begun to decline but we do feel it's necessary to point out that he fared worse in the 2nd half of the season especially with regards to home runs. We believe the long ball will play a key role in this game as the Indians boast a power hitting lineup from top to bottom and hit mostly from the left side of which Verlander has a slightly worse home run rate against. Verlander's home run rate is also noticeably worse at home at 1.46 HR/9 compared to 0.84 HR/9 on the road. Against right handed pitching, the Indians clubbed 167 home runs to the Astros' 142 and held the advantage in wRC+ as well at 107 to 104. In addition, the Tribe added Josh Donaldson for even more pop behind MVP candidates Jose Ramirez and Francisco Lindor. On the other side, Corey Kluber had another Cy Young calibre season and while his strikeout numbers were down, he still posted a sub 3.00 ERA and faces a predominantly right handed hitting Astros lineup who put up gaudy offensive numbers as well but we would rate them a notch below the Indians. The margins are razor thin between these 2 teams but we believe the Indians have the slight edge with their lineup and with their starter while the Astros own the advantage in the bullpen. Nevertheless, we believe Kluber is more than capable of lasting deep into the game to limit any small advantage late the hosts may have. We're going to go with a slightly unconventional bet and take the +1 handicap which means a 1 run win for the Astros results in a push. If this isn't available at your shop, it's possible to simply make your own bet by betting to win 1 unit on the run line and risking 1 unit on the moneyline though scaling down is necessary to risk the proper amount overall. At any rate, we believe the visitors are the right side so a moneyline bet is also fine for the slightly less risk averse!
Looks to be some good bets today, lets give this one for free ———— In form runner CARNTOP has a double penalty to contend with. And, while Page Fuller will take off five pounds from that, it won’t be easy giving hurdling debutant NORMAL NORMAN so much weight. Afterall, this fella was very good in bumpers, and two recent runs on the flat should have put him right. His trainer John Ryan is in good form (2-10), and Paddy Brennan is a good booking. TOTTERDOWN might be next best, but we are not wavering on who we will support.
Another 4-1 yesterday ------ THIS IS A PREMIUM BET - Krasnador won their last six games in all competitions. At the weekend the hosts beat Dynamo Moscow by a very easy 3-0, and that has taken the Byki to second in the league. The other thing that has been impressing us with Murad Musayev’s players, they have been winning by big margins. In fact, they are 13-0 (goals) over the past five games. Not many teams get much change when they play at the Krasnodar stadium, and a 0-1 in Akhisar set them up nicely for this group match. Sevilla steamrolled St Liege (5-1) in the first round, and they clearly do very well in this competition. On that note, the visitors won the Europa league three times in succession from 2014 to 2016, so it’s clear that they will be prioritising doing well again. On a positive note, Pablo Machin’s side are third in La Liga, and at the weekend they won in Eibar (1-3). We should also mention Sevilla won their last four games by an aggregate of 17-4. However, on a less satisfactory note, the visitors have half their defence missing and travelling to Krasnodar is an altogether harder task.
At last weeks Wuhan, Qiang Wang beat Karolina Pliskova following following three sets. The Chinese girl then made it to the semi final of that tournament, but retired against Anett Kontaveit citing a thigh injury. It should be noted that at the time of ''quitting'', Wang was well and truly on the back foot and heading for defeat. For us, it's somewhat ironic that the 26 year old can show up at the next tournament and beat Ostapenko (6-0 6-0) in the first round here. Pliskova won their only other meeting, and it should be noted she shot herself in the foot in Wuhan. Afterall, the Czech girl made eleven double faults and just two aces. What we should mention is that Pliskova won their only other meeting (6-2 6-1), and she won't find conditions so tough here. Suffice to say, we see a lot of value in taking the world number seven!
We want to stress that this is NOT a premium bet. We actually have two of those going tonight in college football so be sure to subscribe to our American Football package to get all of our NCAA and NFL bets! Inquire at firstname.lastname@example.org The Patriots silenced the doubters (and us as well) on Sunday as they dominated their divisional foe Miami Dolphins 38-7 and showed their demise was highly exaggerated. Nevertheless, we felt that the Patriots weren't as dominant as the scoreline would indicate and it had as much to do with the pitiful play of the Dolphins who simply didn't look ready for the moment. The Patriots are still a flawed team in our opinion and aside from an elite quarterback and tight end, who may not be available for this game, have very little quality anywhere else. As mentioned, TE Rob Gronkowski is questionable tonight and at best, we believe he will be available on a limited basis with an ankle injury. WR Julian Edelman makes his return after serving a 4 game PED suspension but he also missed the entirety of the 2017 season with an ACL tear and we believe he is also limited at best tonight while he kicks off the rust and eases back from injury. WR Josh Gordon made his debut on Sunday with 2 catches for 32 yards but he is also questionable with a lingering hamstring issue and while he continues to learn the playbook. We still don't see too many options for the Patriots to stretch the field and the Colts defense has been surprisingly resilient in defending the short to intermediate throws. As for the Colts themselves, they have some major injury concerns as well as Luck's number one wideout target TY Hilton is out with a hamstring injury and reliable pass catching TE Jack Doyle will miss his 2nd consecutive game. Starting tackle Denzelle Good has also been ruled out and two other starting offensive linemen are questionable in T Anthony Castonzo and C Ryan Kelly. As abysmal as the Patriots defense has been, they have been able to get some pressure on opposing quarterbacks and we believe the Colts will run the ball a bit more than expected to take some of the pressure off of QB Andrew Luck. On a short week for both sides with limited offensive options, we don't see either team going overboard here and this is largely the reason for the number to drop nearly 3 points from open. Nevertheless, we believe there's still some value at the current number!
FOR FREE - MASTEROFDECEPTION ran well on his chase debut, but he’s gone up two pounds for that and lacks scope. WANDRIN STAR was an improver when last seen, but he’s up three pounds and hasn’t run for 151 days. REDEMPTION SONG should run his race, but I’M ALWAYS TRYING is very interesting. Dan Skelton’s five year old should prove much better at this game, and he’s given a chance to bounce back!
We are off to a conference, so we won’t be processing new subscriptions today. Drop a message to email@example.com if you want to subscribe for the up and coming weekend! ——— Following back to back defeats in the league to Watford (2-1) and Liverpool (1-2), Tottenham at least hit back with two wins. However, the opposition they faced in Brighton (1-2) and Huddersfield (0-2) wasn’t what you would call testing, and Mauricio Pochettino’s men would have been expected to win. The one thing that stands against Tottenham this year is they didn’t acquire any players during the summer. And, while they have some decent youngsters coming through, Daniel Levi being in charge of the purse strings could be a real stopper. The Lilywhites blew a lead in the first leg against Inter, and that level of opposition is considerably easier than tonights opponent Barcelona. The visitors are joint top of La Liga, albeit they dropped points against Athletic (1-1) at the weekend. In fact, Barca needed an 82nd minute equaliser, and even more worrying is it was their only goal from 20 attempts. With that said, coach Valverde was clearly holding players back for todays game and they have already beaten PSV 4-0 in this competition. Umtiti is suspended for Barcelona and Roberto is out, other than that it’s a full squad! Surely Barca will win this, Tottenham are simply too open and should be picked apart.
Sloane Stephens has a poor record from October onwards, so it will be interesting to see if that luck changes in 2018. The American did at least beat Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in the first round, but that might not be worth a lot. Nevertheless, we should take the world number 9 seriously, albeit we want to punt against her with Dominika Cibulkova. The Slovakian is a player who needs plenty of practice, so having done well in Wuhan and following with two wins here augers well.To be honest, we thought she handled tough conditions really well against Gavrilova, and she’s one of the most competitive players on tour when in the zone. Take Dominika with a start!
We have five premium bets for tonight, and this Champions league match is one of them! - If you would like to sign up to paid subscription and start betting like a pro, the price for football PREMIUM is €250 firstname.lastname@example.org . If you AS Roma started the season poorly, and they have already had a 3-0 defeat in this competition. However, that match was in Real Madrid, so it’s not a time to panic. At the weekend, the hosts came up with their most impressive performance of the weekend has they easily brushed aside Lazio in a Rome derby. Eusebio Di Francesco’s side have now won back to back in Serie A, and they are beginning to look back to their best. If you think back to last season, I Giallorossi sent Barcelona packing from this tournament. And, they managed that by turning a 4-1 deficit from the first leg, and winning 3-0 at the Olimpico. Di Francesco’s men also beat finalist Liverpool (4-2) here, and they made it all the way to the semi final. Plzen have done a great job to make this stage, and they were excellent for the first 45 minutes against CSKA. However, things turned in the second, and from what we saw they wouldn’t be good enough to stop todays opponent. PS - Roma are without De Rossi, Pastore and Perotti, the first two picked up injuries at the weekend. Nevertheless, the hosts have a deep squad and are good to go!