MLB Predictions, Oakland Athletics vs. Los Angeles Angels Picks

Oakland Athletics vs. Los Angeles Angels Series Betting Preview

 

By Kyle Markus

Oakland Athletics vs. Los Angeles Angels Betting

The Los Angeles Angels are coming off a sweeping of the Phillies earlier this week and will look to keep it rolling in a matchup with the Oakland Athletics. This is another series the Angels should win and they’ll need to take advantage of the week’s easy schedule. The Angels are currently in third place in the AL West, but sit just one game back from the Mariners.

The Oakland A’s are six games and two spots behind the Angels in the division and face a very different reality this year. The A’s traded star pitcher Sonny Gray to the Yankees this week, finishing off their multiple weeks of selling before the deadline.

This one should mean much more for the Angels and it’s good opportunity for Los Angeles to make up some ground in the wild card race.

Oakland Athletics vs. Los Angeles Angels

Dates: Friday, August 4, 2017 – Sunday, August 6, 2017

Location: Angel Stadium, Anaheim, CA

The Angels are 9-8 since the All-Star break and will look to push beyond the .500 mark they’ve been hovering around all season in this series.  The team made one move this week before the deadline, trading reliever David Hernandez to the Diamondbacks for a young prospect on the mound. The playoffs might be a longshot but they are still in sight for Los Angeles and while this week’s victories over the Phillies were expected, the sweep and the dominating way that they won were a welcomed result.

The A’ split a four-game series with the Giants this week. The team fell 11-2 in Thursday’s contest and come into Friday’s game with a record of 48-61. Since the break, the A’s are 9-11.

This is the fourth series between the two squads this season. The Angels lead the A’s 6-4 so far in head-to-head matchups.

Game 1 Probable Pitchers – Friday, August 3, 2017, 10:07 p.m. ET (Local TV)

Troy Scribner (Angels) vs. Jharel Cotton (Athletics)

In Scribner’s major league debut against the Blue Jays on July 29th, the 26-year-old rebounded from a rocky start to get the win and retire the last seven batters he faced. He’ll look for that kind of performance this time again, sans the rocky start perhaps. Scribner was called up from Triple-A last week and was elevated to a starting role after Jesse Chavez was sent to the bullpen.

After showing promise during a brief callup last year, Cotton’s first full rookie season isn’t exactly going as planned. He struggled on the mound early then missed most of July due to blisters on his hands. He returned to the rotation last Sunday and allowed five runs on five hits with five walks in the A’s win over the Twins. He has talent but has yet to put it together.

Game 2 Probable Pitchers – Saturday, August 4, 2017, 9:07 p.m. ET (Local TV)

Tyler Skaggs (Angels) vs. Paul Blackburn (Athletics)

Skaggs will return to the mound Saturday against the A’s after missing three months with a strained oblique. The left-hander only had five starts before the injury sidelined him this season. He has an ERA of 3.99 right now but also has the potential to make the Angels rotation much stronger if he can get back to top form.

Since making his major league debut with the A’s in early July, Blackburn has been decent but has struggled a bit with consistency. In six starts he is 2-1 with a 3.05 ERA and a 1.12 WHIP. In his most recent start against the Giants on Monday, the 26-year-old allowed five runs on eight hits with one walk in 6.1 innings pitched.

Game 3 Probable Pitchers – Sunday, August 6, 2017, 3:37 p.m. ET (Local TV)

Ricky Nolasco (Angels) vs. Sean Manaea (Athletics)

The Angels need Nolasco to pitch well if they are going to make a push in the wild card race. Despite his 5-12 record, the 34-year-old has had bright moments. The team just needs them to be more frequent from here on out. Nolasco has an ERA of 4.90 currently and has recorded 101 strikeouts this season.

Manaea will be eager to move on from his last performance. He allowed six runs on nine hits in just three innings against the Giants on Tuesday. The 25-year-old has still has an ERA of 3.88 on the season, but it’s been a tough stretch for him. He’s allowed 13 runs on 26 hits, including four home runs, in his last three outings. He will certainly be looking to turn things around on Sunday.

2017 CONCACAF Predictions, USA vs. Jamaica Gold Cup Final Odds

USA vs. Jamaica Soccer Picks

Gold Cup Predictions

By Andrew Ryan

The last time the United States’ Men’s National Team played against Jamaica in the Gold Cup, it was embarrassed in a 2-1 loss in Atlanta. The Yanks were flat, they were largely outplayed, and they bowed out of a tournament they were expected to win.

Now, these two teams are back in an even bigger spot in the Gold Cup final. The Americans will once again be expected to put the Reggae Boyz down, but with the remarkable run Jamaica has been on in this tournament, anything is possible.

USA vs. Jamaica
Date and Time: Wednesday, July 26, 9:30 p.m. ET
Location: Levi’s Stadium, Santa Clara, CA
Soccer Odds
USA vs. Jamaica TV Coverage: FOX Sports 1

There’s a good chance the Gold Cup final ends up being a bit of a disappointment when push comes to shove. The Reggae Boyz have surely earned their way here, especially with the way they consistently held their form against the Mexicans in the semifinal in a 1-0 victory.

But if we’re being honest, Jamaica is overmatched here in this one. The goal against Mexico came from Kemar Lawrence on a beautiful free kick. Sure, Jose Corona should have done much better with it, but credit goes out to Lawrence for putting the ball where the keeper wasn’t, yet still on the target.

The Americans have flat out been dominant in the knockout rounds of this tourney, though. Yes, it took 72 minutes to get on the board against Costa Rica, but the United States always looked the more threatening of the two sides. When Clint Dempsey came off of the bench in the second half, it was game on for the Yanks. Dempsey managed an assist on Jozy Altidore’s opening goal, then he scored the goal that put things away 10 minutes later.

In the team’s last three matches, the United States has managed three wins by an aggregate score of 7-0. If that’s the way this team is going to play here in the finale, there isn’t another club in CONCACAF that is going to beat it.

Key Factor

The bottom line is that the Yanks have looked a completely different side thanks to four players: Dempsey, Altidore, Darlington Nagbe and Michael Bradley. In the group stage, there was a tremendous lack of organization that we saw out of these Americans. That problem, particularly in the midfield, is no more. Possessions are longer and have more purpose, and the end results have been more fruitful.

There’s no doubt the U.S. is going to dominate the possession in this match. Jamaica hasn’t had even 40 percent of the ball in three of its last four fixtures dating back to the group stage.

It’s whether Andre Blake can figure out how to be flawless once again. Sure, the Jamaicans have scored a little bit along the way, but most of these goals have been against the run of play. This team is going to try to win this match on counters, and that typically hasn’t worked all that well against the United States recently.

USA vs. Jamaica Free Picks

The Americans are going to be big favorites in this match for a reason. Though it took a while for them to emerge as the favorites in the Gold Cup, the roster changes Bruce Arena has made deserve all the credit in the world. Arena has been the best manager in this tournament, and he has the best team in CONCACAF right now for our money.

Not only do we think the Stars and Stripes are going to get the job done and return the Gold Cup to American soil, but we think they’re going to do so with ease as well. They were blindsided by Jamaica two years ago in Atlanta, but you can bet that Arena will be reminding his team just how dangerous the Reggae Boyz are. The USA won’t make the same mistake twice.

USA vs. Jamaica Soccer Pick: USA on the Asian Handicap at BookMaker.eu
USA vs. Jamaica Score Prediction: USA 2, Jamaica 0

2017 San Francisco 49ers Season Betting Odds, NFL Picks

San Francisco 49ers 2017 Betting Preview

San Francisco 49ers Season Betting Odds

While the Cleveland Browns get the ridicule as the worst team in the NFL, the San Francisco 49ers could once again give them a run for that title in 2017. After several years of competing for a Super Bowl under coach Jim Harbaugh, it has been a swift descension for San Francisco, which is now in the midst of a major rebuild.

The team hired Kyle Shanahan as its coach and John Lynch as the general manager to right the ship. Brian Hoyer was added to play quarterback, but he is nothing more than a journeyman. Unless the 49ers get a ton of unexpected performances, they will likely only win a few games once again this season.

2016 Record: 2-14
2016 ATS Record: 4-11-1
Over/Under Total Record: 10-6
Current Super Bowl Odds: 300/1
Current Odds To Win NFC: 125/1
Current Odds To Win NFC North: 40/1

 

2017 San Francisco 49ers Season Preview

The 49ers finished the 2016 season 27th in the NFL in points scored and last in points allowed. Quarterback was an issue, as neither Colin Kaepernick or Blaine Gabbert could consistently lead the team.

Hoyer may not be much better unless the offensive line improves and some weapons emerge. Pierre Garcon was signed in free agency and he should be a reliable wide receiver, but the team is still short on impact skill players.

The defensive front has the potential to be good, headlined by DeForest Buckner and No. 3 overall draft pick Solomon Thomas. Lynch traded back in the draft from No. 2 knowing that it’s important to stockpile draft picks as the team continues to rebuild.

However, in doing so, it leaves the 49ers without a quarterback with high upside. San Francisco may be able to slowly turn it around but this season is expected to be another struggle. It would be a surprise if the 49ers win more than a handful of games in 2017.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers Season Preview Odds, 2017 Super Bowl Futures

Tampa Bay Buccaneers 2017 Betting Preview

Tampa Bay Buccaneers Betting Odds

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have been trending up the past couple of years, but didn’t do quite enough near the end of 2016 to make it to the postseason. They added some key pieces in free agency to help out star quarterback Jameis Winston and are feeling good about their chances in 2017.

While there is a lot of optimism, this is a team that plays in the tough NFC South and still hasn’t totally proven itself. Tampa Bay had a negative point-differential last season despite a winning record and it’s not a done deal that they will take another step forward. It will certainly be an intriguing year for the Buccaneers who hope to push for the playoffs.

2016 Record: 9-7
2016 ATS Record: 9-7
Over/Under Total Record: 7-8-1
Current Super Bowl Odds: 33/1
Current Odds To Win NFC: 16/1
Current Odds To Win NFC South: 13/4

 

2017 Tampa Bay Buccaneers Season Preview

Much of the Buccaneers’ fate will be on the right arm of Winston. He threw for 4,090 yards with 28 touchdowns and 18 interceptions a season ago and figures to improve on those numbers as he gets another season of experience under his belt.

Winston still has his main target in Mike Evans and the team made a big signing with the addition of speedster DeSean Jackson, who will take the top off defenses. Doug Martin had a bumpy year in 2016 but if he can return to form he should be a solid running back. The Bucs drafted star tight end O.J. Howard in the first round and he should be a nice addition both as a run blocker and receiver.

The defense was in the middle of the pack a season ago, giving up 23.2 points per game. The team has some standouts, led by Gerald McCoy, but it doesn’t seem likely to be dominant. However, if the offense can improve and the defense can play similarly to last year, this is a team that can get to 10 wins.

While everything has been trending up for Tampa Bay the past three seasons, it’s not an automatic that the playoffs will happen. Six games within the division against the Falcons, Saints and Panthers is tough, as are non-divisional games with the Patriots, Packers, Cardinals and Vikings.

Tampa Bay will only take the next step forward if Winston elevates his game to another level.

Washington Redskins 2017 Predictions, NFL Futures Odds

Washington Redskins 2017 Betting Preview

Washington Redskins Games Odds

The Washington Redskins made the playoffs in 2015 and started last season 6-3-1, but stumbled down the stretch and missed the postseason. Now the club is at a bit of a crossroads, as standout quarterback Kirk Cousins is not signed to a long-term deal and the team must decide which way it will go moving forward.

It’s possible Cousins signs a contract extension before the season, but if he doesn’t it will be interesting to see how everything plays out. The offense was solid a year ago but lost a pair of key receivers and must be sharp in order to duplicate last year’s showing.

Washington is in a tough NFC East and could face an uphill climb to make the postseason.

2016 Record: 8-7-1
2016 ATS Record: 10-6
Over/Under Total Record: 12-4
Current Super Bowl Odds: 66/1
Current Odds To Win NFC: 33/1
Current Odds To Win NFC East: 9/2

 

2017 Washington Redskins Season Preview

Cousins played well last year, throwing for 4,917 yards with 25 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. However, he was aided by one of the best pass-catching groups in the NFL, and both DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garcon left in free agency.

However, there is still some talent coming back, highlighted by star tight end Jordan Reed, and the Redskins signed the talented Terrelle Pryor in free agency. Cousins should still have enough players who can consistently beat defensive backs, but it could take some time to develop the chemistry with the new players.

The Redskins’ offense should be good, but the defense needs to improve after allowing 23.9 points per game a year ago. Jonathan Allen was drafted in the first round to add talent to the defensive line, while safety D.J. Swearinger was signed in free agency. Star cornerback Josh Norman and edge-rusher Ryan Kerrigan are still around, so there are pieces.

The Redskins don’t have the look of an elite team, but they do have some talent. If Cousins can continue to improve Washington should remain in playoff contention throughout 2017, and if it gets enough breaks, a return to the playoffs is a possibility.