Alabama vs. Florida College Football Week 3 Preview and Best Bet


 Emory Jones #5 of the Florida Gators rushes for a touchdown. Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images/AFP

Emory Jones #5 of the Florida Gators rushes for a touchdown. Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images/AFP


They rolled in Week 1, but the Alabama Crimson Tide are the wrong NCAAF pick for Saturday’s game against the Florida Gators.


Alabama Crimson Tide vs. Florida Gators

at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium


Well, here we go again. Fading the Alabama Crimson Tide can seem like an exercise in futility; they were giving up 20 points in their season opener against the Miami Hurricanes, who were ranked No. 14 in the nation heading into Week 1, and Alabama ended up winning 44-13. The Tide were up 41-3 in the middle of the third quarter before they took their foot off the gas. Epic. But then Alabama came up a bit short in their 48-14 drubbing of the Mercer Bears, who were 54-point road dogs on the NCAAF odds board. Maybe they just need a better opponent to motivate them – like the No. 11 Florida Gators, who welcome ‘Bama to the Swamp this Saturday. Once again, it seems the Tide are giving up way too many points as 15.5-point road faves at Caesars Sportsbook. It will take even more intestinal fortitude to fade them after what they did to the Hurricanes, but fade them I shall.

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Oregon vs. Ohio State College Football Week 2 Preview and Best Bet

Defensive tackle Brandon Dorlus #3 of the Oregon Ducks reacts. Steve Dykes/Getty Images/AFP

Defensive tackle Brandon Dorlus #3 of the Oregon Ducks reacts. Steve Dykes/Getty Images/AFP


The Ohio State Buckeyes need some help if they’re going to beat the Oregon Ducks and the NCAAF odds this Saturday.

Oregon Ducks vs. Ohio State

at Ohio Stadium

This is the Year of the New Quarterback in college football. With so many talented pivots making their way to the NFL in 2021, there were plenty of job openings among the top contenders on the NCAAF odds board. Some teams have done better than others at filling those positions; the defending champion Alabama Crimson Tide, for example, ruined my Week 1 college football picks when Bryce Young threw four touchdowns passes in a 44-13 romp over the Miami Hurricanes (+19.5).

He’ll be a fine replacement for Mac Jones. The Ohio State Buckeyes, on the other hand, have to be concerned about last week’s 45-31 victory over the Wisconsin Badgers (+14 at home). C.J. Stroud looked a bit nervous in his first start for the Bucks after backing up Justin Fields (now with the Chicago Bears) last year. Stroud eventually found his footing and threw four TD passes of his own, but he’ll have to do better this Saturday versus the No. 12 Oregon Ducks if Ohio State want to cover that massive 14.5-point spread at Caesars Sportsbook.

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No. 1 Alabama vs. No. 14 Miami College Football Week 1 Picks: Hurricane Season

D' Eriq King #1 of the Miami Hurricanes. Andy Lyons/Getty Images/AFP

D’ Eriq King #1 of the Miami Hurricanes. Andy Lyons/Getty Images/AFP


The No. 1 Alabama Crimson Tide are way too chalky to be the right NCAAF pick for Saturday’s matchup with the No. 14 Miami Hurricanes.

No. 1 Alabama Crimson Tide vs. No. 14 Miami Hurricanes

 Saturday 4th September 2021 (3:30 p.m. ET, ABC) at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta

There’s only one alpha dog in college football: the No. 1 Alabama Crimson Tide. They’re the defending national champions, and they’ve won six times since Nick Saban took over the program in 2007. That’s insane when you consider there are 130 teams in the FBS. Naturally, Alabama are favored to make it seven titles this year, checking in at +300 on the NCAAF odds board at Unibet. Everyone else is playing catch-up.

That includes the No. 14 Miami Hurricanes (+8000). However, when it comes to Saturday’s season-opener in Atlanta, there’s no question the Hurricanes belong in your college football picks. They’re getting 20 points at BetMGM, which is a lot of points for a Top 25 team that’s poised to challenge for the ACC title. And this is a neutral-site game, too, even if there will be plenty of ‘Bama fans in attendance.

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Dodgers vs. Padres: A Farewell To Arms

David Price #33 of the Los Angeles Dodgers throws. Ronald Martinez/Getty Images/AFP

David Price #33 of the Los Angeles Dodgers throws. Ronald Martinez/Getty Images/AFP

The L.A. Dodgers and San Diego Padres have multiple holes in their rotations. Who will beat the MLB odds when they meet this Tuesday?


 Los Angeles Dodgers vs. San Diego Padres

Tuesday, August 24,  2021 at 10:00 PM EDT at Petco Park


There’s only one right way to throw a baseball: sidearm, with your elbow tucked in. Everything else puts unnatural strain on your body, and the more you pitch, the sooner you’re going to break down. For example, check out the starting rotation for the Los Angeles Dodgers, where Clayton Kershaw (forearm), Dustin May (elbow), Danny Duffy (elbow), Tony Gonsolin (shoulder) and Cole Hamels (arm) are all on the injured list as we go to press. That’s not good, especially with Trevor Bauer still on administrative leave. The San Diego Padres haven’t escaped unscathed, either. Their list of missing starters includes Yu Darvish (back), Dinelson Lamet (forearm), Mike Clevinger (elbow), Chris Paddack (oblique) and Jake Arrieta (hamstring). Add it all up, and you’ve got two teams who are struggling to fill out their rotations for Tuesday’s matchup at Petco Park – even though both L.A. and San Diego were off Monday. Does either team belong in your MLB picks?

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Mets vs. Giants: It’s A Miracle

Logan Webb #62 of the San Francisco Giants on August 12, 2021 in San Francisco, California.   Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images/AFP

Logan Webb #62 of the San Francisco Giants on August 12, 2021 in San Francisco, California. Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images/AFP


While the New York Mets have struggled, they still have some value for your Tuesday MLB picks when they visit the San Francisco Giants.


New York Mets vs. San Francisco Giants


Tuesday, August 17, 2021 – 9:45 PM ET at Oracle Park



Let’s welcome the New York Mets back to Earth. After loading up on talent during the offseason, the Mets were a fashionable MLB pick for the 2021 World Series – and they continued to rake in the action after leading the National League East for most of the early season. But anyone who knows baseball knows this team was due for a fall. And so it came to pass; at press time, the Mets are third in the East at 59-58, dropping 9.96 betting units along the way.


So why am I recommending New York for Tuesday’s road game versus the San Francisco Giants (76-42, plus-26.35 units)? Because they have value as +135 underdogs on the MLB lines at Casears Sportsbook. It’s only a smidge of value, but at this price, the Mets are worth a small wager against the team with the best record in the majors.


Boston Common


You may recall that last week in this space, we faded the Boston Red Sox (–120 at home on the closing line) in their matchup with the Tampa Bay Rays, based on the wide gap between Boston’s Pythagorean record – their expected won-loss record based on run differential – and their actual won-loss record. Final score: Rays 8, Red Sox 4.


It’s easy enough to poke holes in the Mets using the same method. Their minus-25 run differential works out to a Pythagorean record of 55-62, still four games better than New York’s actual record despite their recent three-game sweep at the hands of the Los Angeles Dodgers. However, in this particular matchup, the Mets should have the advantage on the mound with Marcus Stroman (3.45 FIP), their best remaining starter now that Jacob deGrom (1.25 FIP) is on the 10-day IL.


Webb Slinger


It’s a small advantage, mind you. The Giants will respond with Logan Webb (3.23 FIP), whose overall profile looks a bit better than Stroman’s – especially versus the MLB odds, where Webb has compiled 7.79 units in earnings on a team record of 12-4. That’s a mountain of money compared to Stroman, who’s down 3.73 units on a team record of 10-13.


This isn’t just about Stroman and Webb, though. The bullpens are likely to get involved at some point, and the Mets have the better relievers of the two combatants. Plus, while New York’s hitting leaves something to be desired, they’ve enjoyed better results at shortstop from Jonathan Villar (.745 OPS) than they’ve gotten from their marquee offseason signing, Francisco Lindor (.702 OPS), who’s on the injured list with a strained oblique. Even better, J.D. Davis (.877 OPS) has rediscovered the form he had during his breakout 2019 campaign. It’s not pretty, but it’s enough to make the Mets the right call at these odds.


MLB Pick: Mets +135 at Caesars