What’s up fellow gamblers, it’s Chris Bengel back with you on this beautiful Tuesday.
I’m so excited for college basketball to return next week. Don’t get me wrong, I love all sports and there’s few better times throughout the year than football season. However, there’s something so lovely about betting on mid-major schools that you’ve barely heard of and have no idea where their campuses are.
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I can’t count the number of times that I bet the spread for SIU-Edwardsville last season. More often than not, SIU-Edwardsville, which is located in Edwardsville, Illi. for those wondering, ended up covering the number. The team returns three of their top five leading scorers from last season, so it’s fairly likely that I’ll be going back to that well once again throughout the 2021-22 season.
It’ll be great to have college arenas buzzing again with raucous student sections and loud fans.
But until then, let’s focus on making money on the following picks.
All times Eastern, and all odds via Caesars Sportsbook
🔥 The Hot Ticket
The Pick: Astros (-130): The Astros kept their World Series hopes alive despite surrendering a grand slam early in Game 5. It’s very likely that the roles were be reversed in Game 6. Braves starter Max Fried was absolutely shelled in Game 2 to the tune of six earned runs on seven hits in just five innings. The Astros will just need to take pitches and pick their spots again, like they did in the last game they played at Minute Maid Park. If they do that, I feel great about Houston forcing a Game 7.
The pitching matchup definitely favors the Astros in this one as well, especially if the Astros lineup gets to Fried early again. After surrendering 10 runs in his first two postseason appearances, Luis Garcia has really settled in and pitched well over his last two outings. Garcia has allowed just one earned run on four hits over his last 9.1 innings. The right-hander has also registered 13 strikeouts for Houston over those last two games.
Key Trend: The Astros are 7-2 in their last nine playoff home games
💰 The Picks
🏀 Bucks at Pistons, 7 p.m. | TV: NBA.TV
The Pick: Under 210.5 (-110) — I’ve never been a huge under guy, but there’s definitely a good amount of value with this play. It’s no secret that the Bucks are one of the most talented teams that the NBA has to offer despite getting off to a 3-4 start this season. Part of the reason for that is because point guard Jrue Holiday has missed five of Milwaukee’s seven games this season. Holiday will still be out on Tuesday as he continues to deal with a sprained ankle.
On the other hand, the Pistons are one of four teams with just one win on the season. There really aren’t many bright spots for the Pistons aside from Jerami Grant and Saddiq Bey right now. Top pick Cade Cunningham made his season debut in the team’s last game, but scored just 2 points on 1-of-8 shooting in 19 minutes. This is a game that I expect the Bucks to hold a comfortable lead in, which could mean that Giannis Antetokounmpo isn’t playing in the fourth quarter. The under should cash with ease in this one.
Key Trend: The under is 6-1 in the Pistons last seven games as a home underdog
🏒 Golden Knights vs. Maple Leafs, 7 p.m. | TV: NHL.TV
The Pick: Maple Leafs (-200) — This is a large amount of juice, but it could end up being free money at this point. The injury bug has hit the Golden Knights harder than any team this season, without a doubt. Vegas was already without the services of star forward Max Pacioretty and Mark Stone for multiple weeks … and things have gotten even worse. On Tuesday, Golden Knights head coach Pete DeBoer announced that forward William Karlsson will miss four-to-six weeks with a lower-body injury.
The scoring depth has become extremely thin for the Golden Knights and the Maple Leafs have more than enough firepower to flex their muscles. Now, the Maple Leafs have struggled out of the gate as they’ve accumulated just a 4-4-1 record so far this season. Star center Auston Matthews has registered just two points in six games, but I believe that Matthews is way too talented to keep their struggles going for too much longer.
Toronto also has a strong presence in net in the form of goaltender Jack Campbell. Campbell has given up two goals or less in five of his seven starts this season. A deep forward group combined with stellar goaltending should lead to the Maple Leafs earning a win over a shorthanded Golden Knights team.
Key Trend: The Maple Leafs are 14-6 in their last 20 games following a win