Kentucky Derby contenders, updated odds, trainers and jockeys to get you set for the first leg of this year’s Triple Crown!
Bred by Hall of Fame trainer Ron McAnally, Rock Your World is running out of the 15-slot on Saturday at 5-1 odds
The field is set for the 147th running of the Kentucky Derby, one of the most difficult races to handicap. During this first leg of the Triple Crown, there is a huge field and for most bettors, it’s their first real look at these thoroughbreds. When the odds move during the week, it’s often based more on the trainer and rider than the horse itself. By Saturday, once the heavy action starts pouring in, having a game plan in place is critical. That’s where I come in.
I’ll have a special sheet ready for you on Friday with my top predictions from several races. In the 2020 edition, I called Authentic (8-1) and Tiz the Law (6-5) as two of my top three selections, the Exacta box paying back $41 on a $2 bet.
Today I’m showcasing the top Kentucky Derby contenders with handicapping tips and updated odds for the entire field. I’ll have picks for each leg of the Triple Crown so get in on the action.
The prize pool in last year’s race ended up at $20,546,159. John Velazquez rode to a win from the outside, and he’ll start from the 9-slot this year. Odds opened at 15-1 and will shorten by race day. While winning the race is a longshot, Velazquez and Medina Spirit will get plenty of looks in exotic wagering.
Post positions, trainers, jockey’s and this year’s total earnings for each horse are shown. Line moves and capping tips for the Kentucky Derby contenders are noted.
1. Known Agenda (6-1) Trainer: Todd Pletcher Jockey: Irad Ortiz Jr. Earnings: $467,100
Finished first in Florida, one of three wins in six career starts. This colt has an Equibase Speed Figure of 112, which is the best of all 2021 Kentucky Derby contenders. Best Beyer speed figure is 94 and since 1992, 26 of 29 Derby winners hit 95 or higher with this metric.
2. Like the King (50-1) Trainer: Wesley Ward Jockey: Drayden Van Dyke Earnings: $161,300
Value play at a 50-1 in a decent position with a good start. Winner of the Jeff Ruby and Van Dyke has a fourth place finish at the Derby on his resume.
First Derby for Louisville-native Cox, who won the Eclipse Award for Outstanding Trainer in 2020. Mandaloun was sixth at the Louisiana Derby but first in February at Risen Star Stakes. Also had two first-place finishes in 2020 out of three races.
8. Medina Spirit (15-1) Trainer: Bob Baffert Jockey: John Velazquez Earnings: $290,000
Single entry for Baffert this year after an injury to Life is Good. The mile-and-a-quarter distance could pose a problem. Failed to win at Santa Anita but registered four races in second.
9. Hot Rod Charlie (8-1) Trainer: Doug O’Neill Jockey: Flavien Prat Earnings: $962,000
Owned by five university pals from Brown, Hot Rod Charlie is one of the clear favorites. As a 94-1 dog in the outside lane, “Chuck” as the owners call him, finished second at the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. Winner at the Louisiana Derby, Chuck set a track record in the process.
10. Midnight Bourbon (20-1) Trainer: Steve Asmussen Jockey: Mike Smith Earnings: $430,000
Front-runner in a good spot to challenge. Well worth a look in Exotic pairings. In seven career starts, son of Tiznow hasn’t finished worse than third. Ran second in Louisiana with a best Beyer of 96.
Winning pedigree and top ranked favorite, Essential Quality was first at the Blue Grass Stakes with a strong finish. Best Beyer of 97 and also won at Southwest Stakes. Perfect 5-0 record.
Jockey Saez didn’t race in the Derby last year but was first in 2019 until Maximum Security was disqualified.
15. Rock Your World (5-1) Trainer: John Sadler Jockey: Joel Rosario Earnings: $510,000
Easy winner at the Santa Anita Derby, this horse didn’t race as a two-year-old. The only concern here is the larger field. Action has already moved this line from 6-1 down to +500.
16. King Fury (20-1) Trainer: Kenneth McPeek Jockey: Brian Hernandez Jr. Earnings: $207,595
Hernandez Jr. won the Breeders’ Cup in 2012 but his top finish in two runs at the Derby was eighth.
17. Highly Motivated (10-1) Trainer: Chad Brown Jockey: Javier Castellano Earnings: $271,000
Second in Blue Grass with his top Beyer of 97. Challenged Essential Quality and has an Equibase Speed Rating of 108. Hall of Famer Cantellano has a third place finish in 14 Derby mounts.
18. Super Stock (30-1) Trainer: Steve Asmussen Jockey: Ricardo Santana Jr. Earnings: $709,000
Arkansas Derby upset winner with an E-speed of 106. Asmussen has six wins at the Breeders Cup, two Preakness and one at Belmont, but his top Derby finish is second. He’d like to complete the cycle.
19. Soup and Sandwich (30-1) Trainer: Mark Casse Jockey: Tyler Gaffalione Earnings: $161,000
Best finish here for Casse is fourth in eight tries. Winner of the 2019 Preakness and Belmont with War of Will and Sir Winston. Gaffalione was the rider with War of Will in 2019’s win, which was Casse’s first major.
NFL Season Win Total odds ahead of next week’s draft, plus Draft Capital rankings and handicapping tips for each team.
The NFL Draft is just around the corner. Once complete, the chess match between bookmakers and handicappers begins, as bettors scour for value while the juice slowly rises. Matchups for all 32 teams are determined and the 2021 schedule will go public on Wednesday, May 12. There is no way to determine exactly how training camps will roll out this year but with vaccinations climbing, it’ll surely be an improvement over last season.
This is a first look for you at NFL season win total odds, recent form and free agency. I also included each team’s win percentage during the 16-game era as well as their draft capital ranking. I’ll revisit these topics throughout the summer, tracking line movement. When it comes to season win total odds, patience can be a virtue but when the window for certain bets does open, it usually doesn’t stay for long. One way or the other, tracking odds provides a big advantage.
2021 NFL Season Win Total Odds: 11 OV -125 2020 Record: 11-5 Average Wins 2018-20: 11.7 Win Percentage (1978-2020): .564 (5th highest overall) Draft Capital Rank: 24th
The Ravens have reached double-digit wins seven times in the past 11 years but they fell from 14 in 2019, to 11 in 2020. Baltimore added WR Sammy Watkins in free agency, but the oft-injured Watkins can’t be relied on for a grueling 17-game schedule. HC John Harbaugh alluded to the fact that he has his sights set on another target, and the Ravens will pick 27th in the first round, but they also added another first round pick (31st) on Friday, trading OT Orlando Brown Jr. to Kansas City.
2021 NFL Season Win Total Odds: 10.5 OV -120 2020 Record: 13-3 Average Wins 2018-20: 9.7 Win Percentage (1978-2020): .491 Draft Capital Rank: 30th
Buffalo will wear the bullseye this year as the defending AFC East champs. All three division rivals have made improvements but the Bills are poised to maintain their swagger. Current odds favor Josh Allen’s squad to win the East at -150, with Miami (+325) and New England (+350) in a battle for second.
2021 NFL Season Win Total Odds: 6.5 OV -110 2020 Record: 4-11-1 Average Wins 2018-20: 4 Win Percentage (1978-2020): .429 Draft Capital Rank: 7th
Joe Burrow had a good first season and all reports indicate he’ll be back on the field for Week 1. The problem for Cinci is that the competition in the North is as fierce as ever, with Cleveland entering the ring. Six games vs. the division, not to mention matchups against Green Bay and Kansas City, make this look like another small step in the rebuild process for HC Zac Taylor.
2021 NFL Season Win Total Odds: 9.5 OV -150 2020 Record: 11-5 Average Wins 2018-20: 8 Win Percentage (1978-2020): .399 (2nd lowest) Draft Capital Rank: 16th
Cleveland had an epic off-season and comes into this year as the No. 2 team in the North, according to oddsmakers. They’ve listed the Browns at +175 to win the division, sandwiched between the Ravens (+110) and Steelers (+350). With an O-Line and front seven that can compete against anyone, double-digit wins is a high probability.
2021 NFL Season Win Total Odds: 7.5 UN -120 2020 Record: 5-11 Average Wins 2018-20: 6 Win Percentage (1978-2020): .580 (3rd highest) Draft Capital Rank: 9th
Denver started and finished last season with three-game losing streaks. A soft schedule could see them eliminate those slumps and the defense will be a strength. Once again, the offense is a question mark, especially at quarterback.
2021 NFL Season Win Total Odds: 4.5 OV -110 2020 Record: 4-12 Average Wins 2018-20: 8.3 Win Percentage (1978-2020): .444 Draft Capital Rank: 30th
The Texans off-season has been marred by controversy and with so much uncertainty still surrounding this team, they earned the distinction of having the lowest win total in the conference. The rebuild has begun, and it’s going to be a long road.
2021 NFL Season Win Total Odds: 10 UN -135 2020 Record: 11-5 Average Wins 2018-20: 9.3 Win Percentage (1978-2020): .498 Draft Capital Rank: 29th
The Colts are currently favored to win the South at even money. Tennessee (+125) is not far behind. Carson Wentz is reunited with Frank Reich and the two combined to go 18-11 in Philadelphia, but Wentz was 3-8 SU last year and he’s 13-26-1 ATS the past three seasons. The possibility of 8-9 wins is here but 10 is optimistic and 11 is high.
2021 NFL Season Win Total Odds: 6.5 UN -120 2020 Record: 1-15 Average Wins 2018-20: 4 Win Percentage (1978-2020): .425 (5th lowest) Draft Capital Rank: 1st
It’s all about looking forward in Jacksonville, and Trevor Lawrence is the future. The consensus No. 1 pick won 34 of 36 starts with Clemson, rushing and passing for 108 touchdowns while throwing just 17 picks. It won’t end with Lawrence as the Jags also landed picks No. 25, 33, 45 and 65 overall. Doubters are calling seven wins a stretch right now but by the time August hits, it won’t surprise me one bit to see this SWT posted at 7 OV -120.
2021 NFL Season Win Total Odds: 12 OV -115 2020 Record: 14-2 Average Wins 2018-20: 12.7 Win Percentage (1978-2020): .529 Draft Capital Rank: 22nd
To no surprise, the Chiefs opened with the highest win total in the AFC. Kansas City has a difficult schedule but we’ve seen what Patrick Mahomes and Andy Reid can do. The Chiefs have won double-digit games six-straight seasons, hitting 12 or more four times in that span. The OVER might not scream value here but remember, there are 17 games this year.
Las Vegas Raiders
2021 NFL Season Win Total Odds: 7.5 OV -110 2020 Record: 8-8 Average Wins 2018-20: 6.3 Win Percentage (1978-2020): .474 Draft Capital Rank: 20th
The Raiders need help in a lot of places and if they can shore up the front seven, the offense could match last year’s output. With Jon Gruden, you have to pick your spots. His all-time record as a divisional road dog is 26-18 ATS (59%) and the past three years, he’s 8-5 ATS in that role.
Los Angeles Chargers
2021 NFL Season Win Total Odds: 9 UN -115 2020 Record: 7-9 Average Wins 2018-20: 8 Win Percentage (1978-2020): .494 Draft Capital Rank: 12th
Justin Herbert is poised for another strong season when it comes to fantasy football but with this defense, a lot of weeks will come down to ‘last team with the ball wins’. Former Rams defensive coordinator Brandon Staley is a notable improvement over Anthony Lynn, but that could take at least a year of trial and error.
2021 NFL Season Win Total Odds: 9 OV -120 2020 Record: 10-6 Average Wins 2018-20: 7.3 Win Percentage (1978-2020): .543 Draft Capital Rank: 3rd
To no surprise, the Dolphins are the highest ranked win-percentage during the 16-game era amongst teams without a Super Bowl. Miami’s last Super Bowl win was in 1973 (14-game regular season).
New England Patriots
2021 NFL Season Win Total Odds: 9 OV -145 2020 Record: 7-9 Average Wins 2018-20: 10 Win Percentage (1978-2020): .603 (2nd highest) Draft Capital Rank: 14th
The 7-9 still doesn’t look right with the Patriots after what we saw them do during the previous 17 seasons. The O-Line looks good for 2021 but a lack of offensive playmakers is a concern. Bill Belichick has done wonders with worse, but he always had a GOAT to rely on. Heading into the draft, 8-8 seems like a best case scenario for New England.
New York Jets
2021 NFL Season Win Total Odds: 6.5 UN -150 2020 Record: 2-14 Average Wins 2018-20: 4.3 Win Percentage (1978-2020): .449 Draft Capital Rank: 2nd
First-year HC Robert Saleh takes over and is highly expected to draft QB Zach Wilson with the No. 2 overall pick. The Jets are rolling in capital, with three picks inside the first 36. New York also ranks third in most overall picks (10). Circle the home date against Jacksonville for a potential battle between the first and second overall draft picks.
2021 NFL Season Win Total Odds: 8.5 OV -120 2020 Record: 12-4 Average Wins 2018-20: 9.7 Win Percentage (1978-2020): .609 (1st overall) Draft Capital Rank: 21st
The Steelers won 11-straight games to start last season before a wave of Covid and wacky scheduling led to three consecutive losses. Pittsburgh lost back-to-back games against Cleveland in Week 17 and the Wild Card round, adding spice to those two divisional meetings in 2021. This is the lowest win total for Pittsburgh since 2015. The past three times HC Mike Tomlin was faced with a sub-9 win total, he answered with 10, 11 and 12 straight up wins.
2021 NFL Season Win Total Odds: 9.5 UN -150 2020 Record: 11-5 Average Wins 2018-20: 9.7 Win Percentage (1978-2020): .503 Draft Capital Rank: 17th
At some point it would seem that Derrick Henry has to slow down but after beating 2019’s impressive numbers (303 carries, 1,540 yards) last year (378 carries, 2,027) yards, there’s no telling when. Tennessee was 10-3-3 OVER last year, winning double-digits for the first time since 2007. They were 5-4 SU vs. winning teams and 7-2 SU in one-score games. In this day of parity, that’s a caution flag for anyone considering the win total OVER.
My MLB picks are in the midst of a 18-3 run (86%), bringing in +$17,030 for dime bettors. I’ve posted four winning days in a row (100%).
2021 NFL Season Win Total Odds: 8 OV -110 2020 Record: 8-8 Average Wins 2018-20: 5.3 Win Percentage (1978-2020): .409 (4th lowest) Draft Capital Rank: 25th
This was a difficult team to bet on last year. After going 10-6 ATS in 2019, the Cards fell to 7-9 ATS, including a 2-7 ATS record in the back-half. It’s to be expected while HC Kliff Kingsbury and QB Kyler Murray find their groove, but after going 5-10-1 SU and 8-8 SU, getting to nine wins this year is optimistic. Softer matchups against Detroit and Houston are offset by a fierce divisional slate, not to mention games against the Packers, Colts and Titans. JJ Watt brings a needed boost to the defense.
2021 NFL Season Win Total Odds: 7 OV -145 2020 Record: 4-12 Average Wins 2018-20: 6 Win Percentage (1978-2020): .460 Draft Capital Rank: 5th
The new ways Atlanta found to lose games in 2020 was comical for outsiders, and just as equally painful for Arthur Blank and HC Dan Quinn. On the heels of three-straight losing seasons, Quinn was shown the door and a new era in Atlanta began with former Titans O-Co Arthur Smith.
2021 NFL Season Win Total Odds: 7.5 UN -115 2020 Record: 5-11 Average Wins 2018-20: 5.7 Win Percentage (1978-2020): .482 Draft Capital Rank: 10th
Jets QB Sam Darnold was traded to the Panthers, leaving them with two underachievers at the most important position in football. Carolina is expected to bolster its O-Line in the draft and they do not have the look of a contender.
2021 NFL Season Win Total Odds: 7 OV -110 2020 Record: 8-8 Average Wins 2018-20: 9.3 Win Percentage (1978-2020): .510 Draft Capital Rank: 23rd
Andy Dalton was a bailout plan for Chicago and if he can get the team to buy in, seven wins is a possibility. The majority will have to come at home, as the Bears’ non-divisional road schedule is exhausting. They’ll travel to face the Bucs, Rams, Hawks, Browns, Steelers and Raiders this year.
2021 NFL Season Win Total Odds: 9.5 UN -135 2020 Record: 6-10 Average Wins 2018-20: 8 Win Percentage (1978-2020): .554 Draft Capital Rank: 6th
Dallas had so much potential last year and ended up with their lowest straight up win total since 2015, when they were 4-12. The Cowboys (+110) are heavy favorites to win the NFC East this season and with Dak Prescott under center, their offense can hum but they’ll need to bolster that offensive line. Prescott signed a $240 million deal with a no-trade clause, so both he and Jerry are all in. The Boys have a decent looking home schedule but road games in Kansas City and Tampa Bay will be tough. They’ll also travel to Minnesota, HC Mike McCarthy’s experience with the North could come in handy.
2021 NFL Season Win Total Odds: 5 UN -120 2020 Record: 5-11 Average Wins 2018-20: 4.7 Win Percentage (1978-2020): .396 (lowest overall) Draft Capital Rank: 8th
Life after Matthew Stafford immediately plops Detroit with the shortest win total in the conference. With Stafford around, .500 seemed like a realistic opportunity. Detroit even posted 10 wins in 2011, 11 in `14 and back-to-back 9-win seasons in 2016-17. They’ll face a difficult schedule this year and with a rookie head coach (Dan Campbell), it’s looking like a long year for Lions fans.
Green Bay Packers
2021 NFL Season Win Total Odds: 10.5 OV -145 2020 Record: 13-3 Average Wins 2018-20: 10.7 Win Percentage (1978-2020): .565 (4th highest) Draft Capital Rank: 19th
The Packers (-250) opened as favorites to continue their reign atop the North and will remain there all summer. They have one of the most elite rosters in the NFL and during the draft, will look to add a top wide receiver and a defensive back.
The Packers are accustomed to high win totals and they’ve hit double-digit straight up wins eight of 11 times since 2010. After a couple down years in 2017-18, Green Bay has reached 13 wins in back-to-back years under HC Matt LaFleur.
Los Angeles Rams
2021 NFL Season Win Total Odds: 10.5 UN -150 2020 Record: 10-6 Average Wins 2018-20: 10.7 Win Percentage (1978-2020): .470 Draft Capital Rank: 31st
The Rams had played UNDER their win total four straight years before 2017, and they are 3-1 OVER since then. QB Stafford is going to get his shot with a contender and recent charges against Aaron Donald have been dropped. Look for a strategic draft out of HC Sean McVey, especially on Day 2, when the Rams have three picks lined up.
2021 NFL Season Win Total Odds: 8.5 OV -145 2020 Record: 7-9 Average Wins 2018-20: 8.3 Win Percentage (1978-2020): .530 Draft Capital Rank: 11th
Minnesota has flip-flopped between eight-or-less win seasons and double-digit wins since Mike Zimmer took over in 2014. The Vikings were 7-9 SU last year and 6-10 ATS, their worst betting record of Zimmer’s tenure. Minny faces a difficult schedule this year, drawing the NFC West and AFC North in the rotation, but nine wins is manageable.
New Orleans Saints
2021 NFL Season Win Total Odds: 9 OV -110 2020 Record: 12-4 Average Wins 2018-20: 12.7 Win Percentage (1978-2020): .512 Draft Capital Rank: 26th
No other team in the NFC averaged more wins than the Saints the past three seasons and realistically, their dominance stretches back much further. Drew Brees hung up his cleats this off-season, though, and the Saints must move onto life without one of the NFL’s all-time greatest QBs. Jameis Winston and Taysom Hill take over and eight to nine wins is a realistic range. Note that the OVER was also 10-6 (63%) last year, and Sean Payton has hit double-digit wins ATS in four of the past five.
New York Giants
2021 NFL Season Win Total Odds: 7 OV -110 2020 Record: 6-10 Average Wins 2018-20: 5 Win Percentage (1978-2020): .501 Draft Capital Rank: 18th
New York had a good off-season on paper, and general manager Dave Gettleman’s press conferences make it sound as if he knows how to assemble an offense. New York has a reasonable slate of home games but things get tougher on the road with stops in New Orleans, Tampa Bay and Kansas City. Hitting .500 this year is optimistic and it for it, the entire first team offense would need to stay healthy and take a step forward. Long shots to say the least.
2021 NFL Season Win Total Odds: 6.5 OV -135 2020 Record: 4-11-1 Average Wins 2018-20: 7.3 Win Percentage (1978-2020): .548 Draft Capital Rank: 4th
Nick Sirianni knows offense but he needs to learn a thing or two about holding press conferences. Earlier this week, he told reporters he had played rock paper scissors with potential draft picks, to evaluate competitiveness. Even in Philly, you might get away with this but things will get real the first time Sirianni pulls a bonehead move in September. The bar is set low for the Eagles and with home games against the Chiefs, Bucs, Niners and Saints on tap, 6.5 seems fitting.
San Francisco 49ers
2021 NFL Season Win Total Odds: 10.5 UN -150 2020 Record: 6-10 Average Wins 2018-20: 7.7 Win Percentage (1978-2020): .553 Draft Capital Rank: 13th
Niners QB Jimmy Garoppolo has missed 23 games over the past three years and that prompted a serious move this off-season. San Francisco secured the No. 3 spot in the draft, but had to give up three first rounders to get it. John Lynch and HC Kyle Shanahan understand the kind of potential they have with this defense. All in.
2021 NFL Season Win Total Odds: 9.5 OV -135 2020 Record: 12-4 Average Wins 2018-20: 11 Win Percentage (1978-2020): .530 Draft Capital Rank: 32nd
Google ‘lowest draft capital’ and the Seahawks will break the internet. Seattle’s only pick in the first three rounds is 56th overall, and they have just three draft picks in total. They do have a new offensive coordinator, though, so we’ll see if Shane Waldron has any new recipes to help Russell Wilson cook.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
2021 NFL Season Win Total Odds: 11.5 OV -125 2020 Record: 11-5 Average Wins 2018-20: 7.7 Win Percentage (1978-2020): .407 (3rd lowest) Draft Capital Rank: 27th
All-time rankings don’t mean anything to this team right now. They got their Lombardi Trophy and every starter on offense and defense is returning. Things are good in Tampa these days.
Washington Football Team
2021 NFL Season Win Total Odds: 8 OV -135 2020 Record: 7-9 Average Wins 2018-20: 5.7 Win Percentage (1978-2020): .491 Draft Capital Rank: 15th
Alex Smith was the feel good story of last season and although he has retired, Ryan Fitzpatrick will surely give the Team something to cheer about. Washington also added WR Curtis Samuel and CB William Jackson. HC Ron Rivera has finished with seven straight up wins or fewer in four of the past five years, and he’ll settle for nothing less than .500 this season. This team will go as far as their defense will carry them, and the win total of 8 OV -135 is worth circling.
Dime bettors banked +$6,040 Friday night, my ninth winning day of the past 12 (75%). During this incredible run, I’ve added +$26,090 to my bankroll, hitting 60% across all sports (90-59).
As the NHL playoff picture tightens up, we are starting to get a clear picture of which teams will contend for the title, and who will be scrapping for the final spots down the stretch.
2021 Playoff Odds and Probabilities
When the Vancouver Canucks took to the ice Sunday for their first of back-to-back games against first place Toronto, bettors were skeptical, and rightly so. The Canucks hadn’t played since March 24, and their form going into the unplanned break was uninspiring to say the least. Three-straight losses – two of them at home – and a pitiful scoring margin of 14-5.
Vancouver had sunk to the depths of the North division standings. Of course, it was due in large part to the lengthy layoff incurred when 25 players and coaches were placed in COVID protocol. But no matter what the reason, the likelihood of this squad snapping back into midseason form against the division leader was doubtful.
Moneyline odds for Toronto winning in Vancouver April 18 went from -280 up to -400.
Not only did the Canucks fight back from a 2-0 deficit, they won the game 3-2 in overtime on captain Bo Horvat’s second of the night. For an encore, the `Nucks doubled up the Leafs 6-3 on Tuesday, saving their best for last. Trailing 3-2, Vancouver scored four times in a 15-minute span. It was a statement game and it served notice to the rest of the North. This team is not going away without a fight.
Montreal chalked up a huge win over Edmonton on Wednesday, giving them an eight-point lead over the Flames and 10-point advantage on the Canucks. Vancouver has five games in hand against the Habs but with a grueling schedule that was adjusted to cram their remaining games in by mid-May, maintaining the high level of intensity we saw against Toronto will be a challenge.
My NHL picks won again last night (2-1, 67%), cashing with the Knights and Wild. Since April 9, I am 23-9 (72%) on the ice for +$7,180.Full season, dime bettors are up +$20,890 with these picks. Grab my NHL picks and get in on the winning!
No sixth-place team with a wafer-thin bench is really striking fear into the hearts of another squad currently inside the playoff bubble, but there are several other races worth keeping tabs on. Take the Central, for example. Dallas currently owns a .556 points-percentage and the Stars have won four in a row. They’re in the midst of an ultra soft scheduling spot with six games against the Jackets and Wings, and taking full advantage.
Nashville and Chicago played a three-point game on Wednesday night. With Tampa Bay trailing the two front runners, Carolina and Florida, it is safe to call this NHL playoff picture a three-team race for fourth. And there can be only one winner.
Since 2017, the Stars have a 129-36 (78%) record when the score at least three goals. Dallas has scored 4-5-3-5 goals during their current win streak and Detroit will have a hard time snuffing out their momentum. Puck line, Over/Under and team total bets are worth considering, but there is conflict here between league trends and team trends
NHL road teams like Dallas are 25-7 OVER (78%) off a home win by three of more, when facing a team that’s been on the road for two-plus.
Only the Bruins (60%), Jackets (58%) and Islanders (57%) have posted a greater UNDER percentage than Dallas since 2019.
Dallas is 48-17 UNDER in road games with a total of 5.5 the past three years.
The odds for Thursday’s game favor Dallas -185 with a total of 5.5 UN -130. The Stars power play ranks sixth overall at 23.9% and Detroit is 30th at 11.1%. In net penalty kill, the Wings are only 29th, too. Look the Stars to pin their ears back in both games of this doubleheader.
Odds to Win the Stanley Cup
The Colorado Avalanche are a NHL consensus favorite to win the Stanley Cup, despite the fact Vegas leads the West by four points. Colorado has three games in hand against the Knights and before the one-week shutdown, the Avs had won four-straight and nine of their past 10.
Colorado will play three games against the Blues starting tonight (April 22), and the Avs hold a 4-1 edge in that series. Next up, the Avs travel to Sin City for a showdown with the Knights.
Coming off a previous shutdown, the Avs lost 1-0 to Vegas but responded with back-to-back wins.
Since losing to San Jose on March 1, Colorado is on a 19-2-3 run.
Carolina, Tampa Bay, Toronto and Washington are next on the list of Cup favorites and the Hurricanes have a tough match on-deck vs. Florida tonight.
First place in the Central is on the line and each team is coming off a decisive victory. Carolina took down Tampa Bay 4-1 on Tuesday, while Florida dismantled the Jackets 5-1. Panthers rookie Spencer Knight earned the win during his NHL debut and the depth Florida has between the pipes is giving this club a ton of confidence as the prep for the stretch run.
Carolina’s power play ranks second in the NHL at 27.4% and their penalty kill is fifth (84%). Each of these teams ranks Top 5 for shots on goal, so look for the Over/Under odds to increase throughout the day. The main reason bookmakers even opened this line at 5.5 is that the Hurricanes are riding a streak of five consecutive unders. Holding Nashville to one goal in back-to-back games is one thing. When you stifle the Lightning’s top playmakers, though, bookies take notice.
Off a win by two or more, home teams are 518-357 UNDER (59%) when playing their fourth game in seven days.
Carolina is 14-5 (74%) this season against teams with a winning record, including a 9-1 record in their past 10.
Florida is 13-20 (39%) at home against teams with a strong power play.
The Panthers are 84-53 OVER (61%) against teams that average more than 29.5 shots per game.
Carolina has won five-straight games between these teams and the past four, Florida scored two goals or less each time. The Panthers offense is averaging 3.2 goals per game on the year, and their past three games, Florida has tallied 14 goals. This should be a great game.
Get my NHL picks today for just $30 or book a weekly package and find out why Wunderdog is the nation’s top NHL handicapper (+$215,090 profit in the past 12 years)!
Two more NHL winners on Friday improved my recent record in Hockey to 15-4 (79%). I’ve posted six winning days out of the past nine, raking in +$5,760 for dime bettors in the process. Today there are 11 games on the board and I have trends, updated odds and betting tips to help set the table.
Early Action in the East
The New Jersey Devils are taking on the New York Rangers at 12:30 pm ET, while Alex Ovechkin and the Capitals face off against Philadelphia. The Rangers and Flyers are both in desperate need of a win. While the Rangers are 6-2-2 in their past 10, the 4th place Bruins show little sign of slowing down. Boston shut out the Islanders 3-0 last night, improving Boston’s win streak to three-straight.
New York is listed as a -235 moneyline favorite and they have already beaten the Devils twice this week by lopsided scores of 4-0 and 3-0.
During a current four-game win streak against New Jersey, the Rangers have outscored their rival 19-4.
NHL home favorites that have won four-straight against an opponent are 65% likely to win the fifth game as well, but the bookmaker washes out this advantage by charging an average line close to -200. At that rate, you need a 67% record just to break even (implied probability).
When teams meet in a back-to-back, the home favorites record before this season was 29-17 (63%). So far in 2021, the year of the divisional rivalry, the favorite is 8-4 SU, including a record of 7-2 when favored by -200 or more.
New Jersey is 9-23 when playing its third game in five days.
The Rangers are 36-26 when playing a four-in-seven.
The Devils are in a 1-8 spiral since March 30. New Jersey is 4-14 after losing four of five, and will be hard pressed to mount any sort of attack here.
My NHL winners keep coming this season, as last night’s +$1,210 profit boosted by season-long bankroll to +$16,920. There is less than a month left in the regular season and I’m up +46 games over .500 thus far. Don’t miss my next winner!
The St. Louis Blues looked lost in March, losing five-straight in the first half before hitting a seven-game skid (0-6-1) from March 22 to April 5. Jordan Binnington then made 50 saves in a 3-1 win over Vegas on April 7. Suddenly the Blues offense sparked to life, scoring 12 goals in back-to-back wins over the Wild. The revival coincided perfectly with Arizona’s current losing streak and today, these teams meet with the fourth and final playoff spot in the West on the line.
St. Louis at Arizona Saturday, 04/17, 6 PM ET Line: Blues -135 and 5.5 UN -120
Notorious with close margin games, the Blues have recorded 45 wins by exactly one goal in the past three seasons, tied for ninth-most in the league. This year, however, St. Louis is only 11-13 in games decided by a one-goal margin. Three of those losses were against Colorado, which wouldn’t surprise anyone. But three more came against these Coyotes, and as they get set for their first battle since Feb. 15, St. Louis will look to Binnington to help regain that edge.
Good offensive teams that average more than 29.5 shots are 132-97 (58%) on the road after recording 30-plus shots in each of their past five games.
St. Louis has notched 30-plus shots in five-straight games. They’ve climbed into 12th spot with 30.0 shots per game on the season, and the Coyotes rank dead last with 26.5 shots per game. The last time these teams faced off, Arizona won 1-0 but the Blues outshot the Yotes 24-19.
Home teams off a divisional road loss (Arizona), are 253-157 (62%) against opponents coming off a game where both teams scored 3 or more goals.
The Coyotes are in the midst of their fourth winning season in a row against the Blues. They went 2-1 in three-straight years before 2021, and are now up 4-3 in the series. These two squads are identical in traditional power play stats, but the Blues have a notable edge in net power play, which takes into account the number of short handed goals a team allows.
When the total was greater than 5, the UNDER is 24-11 (69%) between these two teams.
St. Louis is also 5-0 UNDER with revenge in 2021, and 12-4 UNDER after allowing more than three goals the previous game.
My NHL Max Plays are 10-3 (77%) this season for a bankroll profit of +$6,170. I’m also hitting 60% with Over/Under picks, going 36-24. Grab my next set of NHL picks today and check out my NBA, MLB and MLS picks as well. I’m 19-10 (66%) with Soccer this month for +$7,670 and dime bettors added +$13,580 with my MLS picks last season!
No-hitter stats and post no-hitter stats for today’s Cleveland at Chicago game. Plus, a look at the series opener between Arizona and Washington.
Rodon, White Sox no-hit AL Central Rival
The MLB Baseball season is a long one, but we are already seeing glimpses of greatness through the first few weeks. White Sox left-hander Carlos Rodon is the latest starting pitcher to blow everyone’s mind, tossing a no-hitter Wednesday night in a 8-0 win over the Cleveland Indians.
Rodon is already the second pitcher to throw a no-no in 2021, after Padres righty Joe Musgrave notched the first-ever no-hit gem in Friars history last Friday. It took San Diego 8,206 games to join the no-hit club. Meanwhile, the White Sox have now logged 20 in the book, second only to the Los Angeles Dodgers.
All-Time MLB Leaders in No-Hitters
Los Angeles Dodgers: 26 Chicago White Sox: 20 Boston Red Sox: 18 Chicago Cubs: 16 Cincinnati Reds: 16
Salt in the Wound
It’s bad enough being shut out, it’s worse getting no-hit. The salt in the wounds for Cleveland is that after San Diego’s no-hitter drought was ended, the Indians now hold the distinction as the team that has gone longest since throwing its last no-no. It’s been 39 years and 11 months for Cleveland (May 15, 1981).
The no-hitter stats are stacked against Cleveland, but they’ll get a chance to redeem themselves today with Aaron Civale on the hill against Lance Lynn.
Civale (2-0, 2.45 ERA) has two wins under his belt against the Tigers. That sounds like a punchline, but keep in mind the Tigers (6-6) have won three in a row and they scored 20 runs in those three wins. Lynn (1-0, 0.00 ERA) is getting love from the bookmakers here after his complete game shutout vs. Kansas City April 8. In Lynn’s first start at Los Angeles, he only lasted 4 and 2/3 innings, but neither run scored against him was earned. In all, he’s given up 11 hits in 13 2/3 innings with 17 strikeouts.
These no-hitter stats look at every scenario from the past 17 years, regular season and playoffs included.
Since 2004, MLB teams are 19-33 (37%) after being held to zero hits.
The more recent record since 2019 is 1-6 straight up, and only one of the six losing teams stayed within a run.
Away teams that were no-hit in their last outing are 7-18 SU (28%), with a current losing streak of nine-straight.
These road teams have been outscored 4.2 to 3.0 and the last one to stay within a run was Cincinnati on May 8, 2019. Cleveland was last held to zero hits in 2011 and they responded the next day with a 12-0 blowout loss to Kansas City. Cleveland was a -134 favorite in that contest.
I’m coming off my third winning day in a row, with dime bettors banking +$11,240. My picks are 19-7 (73%) and I have another set of winning picks lined up for you today. Grab my MLB Baseball picks and follow @Wunderdog for free picks daily!
Two teams in need of a change of scenery, the Diamondbacks (4-8) head on the road after back-to-back home losses to Oakland. Washington (3-6), meanwhile, comes off a 6-0 win at St. Louis but they were just 2-4 on a road trip that included a sweep at the hands of the Dodgers.
Merrill Kelly (0-2, 8.10 ERA) will start for the D-backs, his first time getting the nod against Washington. Like so many other pitchers before him, Kelly was pounded in Colorado his last outing. The right-hander gave up six earned runs through six innings including four in the first two innings. He’s thrown 90-plus pitches in two tough matchups (Padres), and received little run support.
Arizona is 15-4 UNDER the past two seasons when the total is 8.5 to 10.
Patrick Corbin (0-1, 12.46 ERA) has only made one start after starting the season on the Covid list. It’s one he would like to forget, as the two-time All-Star surrendered six runs in 4 1/3 innings leading to a 9-5 loss. The nine-year vet spent his first six seasons with Arizona going 56-54 in 154 starts with a 3.91 ERA.
Corbin is 14-4 UNDER at home with a total in the 8.5 to 10 range.
The D-backs have done well with a day off, going 33-15 (69%) since 2018. As a road dog, they are 11-5 with rest, scoring 6.2 runs per game. The OVER is 12-3-1 in those 16 games and 2-1 when Kelly started, but his career mark with extra rest is 4-11 UNDER.
Corbin has led his team to a 29-17 record as a home favorite of -125 to -175. He is also 33-14 as a favorite of -150 or more, and the early Consensus Data shows the Nats at 64%.
Arizona went 5-11 against left-handed starters in 2020 and they are off to a 0-2 start in 2021. Washington has excelled the past 10 years when opening a home stand, going 50-30 (63%) as the favorite. During the first half of the year, that win percentage expands to 67% (32-16).
My MLB picks made +$1,550 yesterday and I’m up +171 games above .500 the past three years combined. Daily, weekly and monthly packages available now!
MLB baseball systems for top starting pitchers, an underdog betting angle plus trends for today’s games.
Major League Baseball is a game of numbers, and MLB systems and trends are at the root of baseball betting for thousands of talented handicappers. The approach that each bettor takes has more variations than Salvador Perez, calling for a slider with a runner on second. The ability to develop and adapt a quality baseball system, however, is a rewarding feeling.
With this week’s MLB baseball systems segment, I’m looking at a few of the elements used to create a winning system. I also have a couple of trends that are live on today’s card. My MLB picks are up +175 games over .500 since 2018, and I’ve made well over a thousand plays in that span. Systems and trends are just a small part of the equation, but if you can learn to understand some of these concepts, you too can win at baseball betting.
In moneyline betting, the juice will often reflect a variance in win/loss percentage between the two clubs. With baseball, a starting pitcher that’s shown a penchant for big time performances against winning teams can provide the advantage you need to beat the line.
Take Clayton Kershaw for example. The perennial Dodgers’ ace has posted a phenomenal 176-77 career record in the regular season, good for a .696 win percentage. When Kershaw was at home against teams that were .600 or better, though, his career record jumped to 21-6 (.778), good enough to beat the bookmaker’s inflated lines, year after year.
From 2014-18, Kershaw won 13-straight home starts as against elite teams, netting dime bettors +$13,000 in profit.
In 2021, keep an eye out for these five starting pitchers at home against winning teams:
Antonio Senzatela, Rockies: 16-6 (.727) Dime bettors are up +$13,910 backing Senzatela in this role.
Kershaw (see above)
Mike Fiers, Athletics: 18-9 (.667) Like so many others on Oakland this season, Fiers is currently out with an injury (back). The latest is that he plans to throw on Monday, and could return to the rotation by the end of April. Overall, Fiers has a 26-9 record since joining Oakland in 2018.
Blake Snell, Padres: 19-6 (.760) Snell has earned +$11,980 against elite opponents, actually leading the American League in 2018 with a 1.89 ERA. In two starts with the Padres, he’s allowed just two runs on six hits, holding hitters to a miniscule .162 average. Once Snell starts stretching out to six-plus innings of work, he’ll be worth a look against any team. Consider betting him in the first five innings, as well.
Max Fried, Braves: 12-1 (.923) Fried’s last home loss against a winning team was July 28, 2018. He’s won 11 in a row since then, and after his two road starts in 2021, there could be great value when he takes the hill for his next home start. Check his status, as Fried was hit in the leg by a comebacker on Wednesday in Washington. He’s projected to start Monday against the visiting Marlins and if he’s good to go, this would be a great matchup.
One situation to look for early in the season is a scrappy road dog that chased the starter yesterday, gaining a good look at the bullpen. For one, we’re getting plus-money on these teams which is always nice. Second, the home team’s pitching staff has been thinned out. Even if the relievers in Game 2 or 3 of this series are fresh, their depth has already been compromised from the first game, activating this system.
April road dogs against a thinned out pen (same series), have added +$22,550 in bankroll profit on an average moneyline of +130.
Trends with Benefits
I posted MLB betting trends last week, for every team in the league. This weekend, I’ve circled two high-percentage angles that are live right now.
The top two teams in the AL East hookup here, Boston coming off a 7-3 win in the opener on Thursday. The Red Sox have now won four in a row after opening with a pitiful string of losses to start the campaign. The O’s have given up seven runs in three of their past four, all losses.
Boston is 89-50 OVER (64%) the past three seasons against American League teams hitting less than .260.
Baltimore (4-3) is currently 17th in the majors, hitting .217 through seven games. I should point out that Boston is also on a 24-12 OVER run vs. teams with a winning record. Garrett Richards is starting against Bruce Zimmerman. Richards is 0-4 lifetime against the O’s, posting a bloated 7.33 ERA and 1.519 WHIP.
Don’t miss my next set of winning MLB picks. Weekly, Monthly & Full Season packages available now!