We poked a lot of fun at Nebraska after that season-opening loss to Illinois. But if we could take out the 15-minute stretch in which all hell broke loose for a 28-0 run by the Illini, the Cornhuskers would look like a solid team. They easily handled both Fordham and Buffalo, and they gave Oklahoma a run for its money in Norman.
Translation: They could absolutely waltz into East Lansing and come away with their first win over a ranked opponent since beating No. 22 Oregon in September 2016.
So bet the mortgage on Nebraska +5.5? Not so fast. Here's the problem, though - Nebraska's run defense has been just OK thus far, while the Spartans' ground game has been excellent. And Michigan State just proved it can cause problems for a dual-threat guy like Adrian Martinez by holding D'Eriq King to seven rushing yards with two lost fumbles and two interceptions.
Nebraska could surprise here and "could" might be a close one, but getting Michigan State at less than a TD is the right side here. I like the Spartans to improve to 4-0 and get the cover.
German cuts me everytime I fade him, but give me Boston +108 here home. Yankees are hot, winning seven of their last nine, but Boston has the much better bats and I give the slight edge on the mound to Martin Perez.
The Bucks had it all their way on Monday, but they are just 1-4 ATS in their last five road games and Iâ€™m expecting the Heatâ€™s role players to play better at home. Fading the Bucks is a spooky proposition but I'm playing Miami at home to avoid going down 3 games.
These two teams just faced off Sunday and the Heat won 130-124. The Celtics have been handed a big blow with it being announced that Jaylen Brown is now out for the season. Even without Brown in this game, I expect Boston make a game of it, but I'll lay the bucket with the healthier Heat.
The Celtics lost to the Trail Blazers on Sunday 129-119. The Magic defeated the Pistons 119-112 Monday. The Celtics defense seemed to have finally figured it out but the last few games it hasnâ€™t been as good. The lack of defense is going to keep the Magic in this game, 10.5 points is just too many to lay.
Trevor Cahill is the projected starting pitcher for the Pirates. Cahill held a hot-hitting San Diego Padres club to 1 run with 8 Kâ€™s in 5 IP on Monday.
Brett Anderson is the projected starter for the Brewers. Over 12 starts the last two years, Anderson is 5-5 with a 4.26 ERA.
The Pirates won Fridayâ€™s series opener, 6-1. They are 5-2 over their last 7 games. Through two starts, Cahill has exhibited a downshift in velocity and an uptick in hard contact allowed. Andersonâ€™s velocity is also down a tick. Going with the OVER 8 here - based on starters ERA we should see some runs here and 8 feels a tad low.
Zack Greinke is the projected starting pitcher for the Astros. He is 1-1 with a 4.08 ERA. Greinke allowed just two earned runs with eight hits and one walk across his first two road starts over 13 innings.
Chris Flexen is the projected starting pitcher for the Mariners. He is 1-0 with a 4.50 ERA. Flexen will be making his first start against a divisional opponent. He allowed four hits and two walks with six strikeouts in five scoreless innings April 3 against the Giants in a win in his only previous home start.
The Stros will look to bounce back after dropping the opening game by a score of 6-5 and also without star 2B Jose Altuve and 3B Alex Bregman. Even without Altuve and Bregman, I like the Stros to bounce back here behind Greinke.
The Hawks have won five of their past six games while also going 5-1 against the spread across the span. Atlantaâ€™s offense has come alive, too, posting 108 or more points in seven in a row, and 10 of the past 11 games.
Charlotte won 113-105 on Jan. 9 as 5-point underdogs, and the Hornets won in Atlanta on Jan. 6 by a 102-94 count as a 6-point â€˜dog.
The third time wonâ€™t be the charm for the Hawks, as the Hornets will win again. Bucking the trends and rolling with Charlotte at home...they just have Atlantaâ€™s number.
Cole Irvine starting for Oakland - Irvin faced the Astros his last time out and pitched with heavy traffic throughout his 4 1/3 innings. The left-hander got roughed up and allowed four runs on seven hits in a loss.
Christian Javier on the hill for Houston - Javier allowed two runs on three hits while striking out four batters in his first start of the season Friday against Oakland. He was unbeaten at Minute Maid Park last year, going 3-0 with a 2.17 ERA in six games (five starts).
Reminder that Minnesota is going to have 20+ players out in this game because of COVID protocols, and PJ Fleck doesn't tell the media who is in, or out, so it'll be finding out on Saturday morning while counting the players on the field. I expect multiple starters out, and it's likely that Minnesota will down into the 50's for scholarship players available. Reminder that the Gophers have 85 players on scholarship.
I'll say that Minnesota keeps in close, but I don't have nearly enough confidence in the Gopher defense to keep things in check while the offense figures out how to move the ball without Rashod Bateman. Not enough bodies for Minnesota and the Huskers get their third victory of the season but fall short of covering. Nebraska 31 Minnesota 23.
Sucker bet and betting opposite here of the average Joe and laying the big number. Clemson can name their score and will be playing backups by the fourth quarter, if not earlier. Prediction: Clemson 61, Syracuse 13
This line opened as high as 23.5 in some places, but has quickly been bet down to Illinois +18 to +19. Itâ€™s an intriguing line, especially if you were able to get it early as you could essentially have bet Illinois +23 and then also bet Wisconsin -19 later and hoped to find a middle at 21. I think the Vegas odds makers probably had this line right at 23.5 to begin with and while Illini have a lot of their core team back from last year, I think there is just too much of a talent game between these two programs, so would lean Wisconsin to win by 3 TD's and cover the number.
OVER UNDER 51.5??? The over/under for this game opened at 54, but has since dropped to 51 over the course of the week. For me, I see Wisconsin looking to the ground game early and often to get the likes of Nakia Watson and Garrett Groshek in a rhythm. I also expect them to get Mertz some early easy completions, so I think the clock can really melt off in this one.
I have a hard time seeing the dodgers losing this series. Tampa may have the advantage when it comes to bullpens (although not by much), but the dodgers lineup will work the rays starters into high pitch counts early (something that several raysâ€™ starters struggle with). The longer the series goes, the more likely that Tampaâ€™s bullpen will eventually crack.
The value is with the total here, UNDER 142, both teams defenses are fantastic, 21st and 35th best defenses in the country. Both semi-fast paced teams but the projected total for this one was 137, the Unders are the play at this windown.