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8/12/22

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It’s finally Friday! Only the most depraved will appreciate the NFL preseason parlay I’ve included in tonight’s extra-large newsletter. I’ve got a couple of MLB plays for tonight and three soccer picks to get you through the weekend if degeneracy isn’t your goal.

Before we get to the picks, let’s review everything you may have missed while you were stuck in the office counting down the hours until Friday.

Let’s finish the week stronger than we started it.

Caesars Sportsbook provides all times as Eastern and all odds.

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Blue Jays vs. Hot Ticket Protectors (Saturday, 7:07 pm, MLB Network)

Recent Odds: 8.5 or Less, Bet It Now

An Important Development: All five of Toronto’s recent home games have ended with a total under, while four of Cleveland’s last five have ended with a total under. In Cleveland’s last five games, the under is 4-0-1 while at home for Toronto it is 5-0. Prediction: 8.5 or less (-110)

While I’ve been experiencing my coldest MLB betting run of the season, the arrival of football and soccer couldn’t have come at a better time. It’s not completely out of the ordinary, as my model typically requires some time to fine-tune after the trade deadline. Because of this knowledge, I’ve been avoiding moneyline bets in favor of totals, which are less susceptible to changes in player availability.

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I may have lost this round, but I won’t continue to lose forever! Finally, I’m due to win!

This is the one Friday MLB game I feel confident betting on. Nobody seems to care about winning the American League Central, so the Guardians have emerged as the clear favorite. They’ve won five in a row and seven of their last 10, and it’s the same winning formula they’ve used all season: strong pitching and solid defense. Against the Jays tonight, that will be a huge help.

Although Cleveland’s starting pitcher Cal Quantrill doesn’t miss many bats (which is concerning when facing Toronto), he has great control and rarely walks batters. Jose Berrios will be pitching for Toronto, and while he is not striking out many batters this season, he is also not walking anyone. Against a Cleveland lineup that is 29th in MLB in home run rate, I’m not too concerned about his propensity for the long ball. Tonight in Toronto, we might get a glimpse of the postseason, and the game should play out like one.

Take a look at what SportsLine has to say about the matchup: However, SportsLine’s Matt Severance has a play on the moneyline, and he is up 28.53 units over his last 447 MLB picks, while the Projection Model doesn’t like anything here.

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The Predictions Major League Baseball, Dodgers vs. Royals, 8:10 p.m., MLB.TV

Current Odds: +9 Bet It Now

Prediction: 9+. (-115) — The Royals defeated the White Sox three games to four and have won eight of their last 12. Assuming the Dodgers can end the run this coming weekend, I’ll be betting against the over tonight. The pitching matchup tonight in Kansas City, as well as the weather forecast, both point toward a high scoring game.

Tony Gonsolin of Los Angeles has been great so far this season, posting a 2.30 ERA, but his peripherals point to the fact that he will likely experience a regression to the mean at some point. Since the weather is so bad tonight, his tendency to allow flyball contact could prove detrimental. Daniel Lynch, the pitcher that Kansas City is sending out there, walks too many batters and gives up too much hard contact. That’s not encouraging when going up against a Dodgers lineup that ranks third in MLB in wRC+ against lefties (117).

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Most Important Development: The total has gone over in eight of Kansas City’s last ten interleague games. That fad is pointless, but it cheers me up anyway.

Soccer

Saturday morning at 10 a.m. | Peacock Channel | Arsenal vs. Leicester City

Arsenal (-185) is the Winner! I assure you that this is not an exaggerated response to events of the past week. A reflection of my worry for Leicester City, if anything. The season hasn’t even started and I already have a future on Leicester being relegated. I don’t think I’ll actually win, but the odds seem better than they otherwise would.

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Leicester has done nothing so far in the transfer window besides lose players from last season’s team, and that number could rise before the window closes. I’m not ready to declare Arsenal a top-four team this year, but I do think it’s a much-improved team over what we saw last year, and I like its chances of winning its home-opener. While this is more of a long-term issue, it doesn’t help the Foxes in the short term.

Match time: Saturday, 2:45 p.m. EST | Network: Paramount+ | Track: Monza vs. Torino The Winner Is… Monza (+155) Teams that are promoted to Serie A rarely succeed, but Monza is not your typical promoted team. Former AC Milan owner and current Italian president Silvio Berlusconi owns the club and has invested enough money in it to propel it from Serie D to Serie A in just five seasons. Since being promoted, Berlusconi and Monza have brought in quality players like Stefano Sensi and Matteo Pessina, both of whom have extensive experience in Serie A. And soon we can anticipate the arrival of Andrea Petagna from Napoli.

Last season, Torino finished in the middle of the table in Serie A, but they lost Gleison Bremer, the league’s best defender, to Juventus. And the team’s all-time leading scorer, Andrea Belotti, who had led the team in goals for the previous six seasons in a row, has also left. Torino is not in danger of relegation in my opinion, but it is not a good idea to replace your team’s best defender and offensive leader in the same summer. It most certainly doesn’t at this time of year. In Serie A, Monza has the best chance of remaining in the top flight, and they could even win their opening game this weekend.

Match time for Chelsea vs. Tottenham on Sunday is 11:30 a.m. TV: USA Tottenham or a Draw (-160) is the Bet — Since it is still early in the season and we don’t have a ton of data to work with, I’m putting a lot more stock into my gut feelings, and I don’t like the feelings I’m getting from Chelsea. The club was recently purchased by Todd Boehly in May, and I’m not impressed. I can see why Chelsea would want to reassure fans after taking over the club from Roman Abramovich by showing that they, too, are willing to spend money, but I don’t get their summer plan. Chelsea swooped in at the last minute to sign Marc Cucurella after he had been linked to Manchester City all summer. While Cucurella is certainly a talented player, it’s unclear why Chelsea would pay $73 million for him when they can get Ben Chilwell for only $55 million in 2020.

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To me, Chelsea is currently channeling Manchester United in their approach to player acquisition, which can be summed up as “hey, I recognize that name, and other teams like him, so let’s buy him,” regardless of need or how the player fits. Meanwhile, since Antonio Conte took over as manager, Tottenham has been the third-best team in the league. This is because, unlike the previous coach, Conte knows exactly what he wants and makes Spurs get it for him. Though I anticipate Tottenham to be the superior team on Sunday, I’ll play it safe by betting on a tie.

Daily SportsLine Prediction: The NFL experts at SportsLine have analyzed all 32 teams to determine the best wagers on things like win totals, Super Bowl odds, and Week 1 matchups. And it’s all right here for you to access.

Total irresponsibility in putting together a parlay for the NFL preseason

Let’s be reckless, as such behavior is traditionally encouraged on Friday nights. If you’re feeling brave (or stupid), you can take a +384 parlay tonight.

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