I was back in my MLB comfort zone last week, losing yet another pick on the Phillies game. This season can’t end soon enough. I’m now 5-10-1 betting on baseball, and I just don’t seem to have a good feel for it.
Even though NCAA football has started this week, and the NFL starts next week, I’ll still provide my insight into the Phillies’ betting lines for the rest of the season. My goal, of course, is to win out and finish the season as close to .500 as possible.
Can it be done? Let’s take a look.
The Background: The Phillies start a three-game series against the division-rival Atlanta Braves tonight after dropping two out of three games against the New York Mets in the last series. The Braves, well entrenched in the playoff stretch run, dropped two out of three in their last series against the San Diego Padres.
The projected pitching matchups for the series are Roy Halladay vs. Mike Minor tonight, Cliff Lee vs. Tim Hudson tomorrow, and a pitcher TBD vs. Paul Maholm on Sunday.
The Line: Phillies -105; Braves -105; O/U 7
My Take: In two starts against the Phillies this year (on August 7 and July 28), Mike Minor has done a heck of a job. He’s thrown 15 innings and allowed 4 earned runs on 11 hits and 2 walks with 14 strikeouts. Roy Halladay, meanwhile, has been just the opposite. In his two starts against the Braves (July 29 and May 2), he’s thrown 11.1 innings and allowed 11 earned runs on 18 hits and 1 walk with 12 strikeouts.
The Braves seem to have Halladay’s number, at least this year, and Minor has done very well against the Phillies. I think that will continue tonight, so I’m playing the hosting Braves, and I’m happy the line is so short.
Here are some quick hitters for the first weekend of college football:
• Tennessee -3 vs. NC State (Friday): Tennessee head coach Derek Dooley could be on the hot seat if his Volunteers don’t have a solid season. Luckily for him, he has loads of experience returning from last year on both sides of the ball. NC State is always tough to bet against, especially when laying points, but I like Tennessee in this one.
• Clemson vs. Auburn Over 55.5 (Saturday): This game features two pretty good offenses – especially Clemson – and two porous defenses playing on an indoor turf field at a neutral site. That usually means a lot of points. Last season, these two teams played to a 38-24 final score (a Clemson victory), and I expect more of the same on Saturday night.
• Georgia Tech +7 @ Virginia Tech (Monday): This is one game that I’ve been going back and forth on all week. In the end, I’m convinced that Georgia Tech is a good play here. Yes, Virginia Tech is the much more talented team on paper, but they lack experience, especially on the offensive side of the ball. And since they’re playing the option-running attack of Georgia Tech, this game could end up being low scoring, which would favor the team getting a touchdown. Go Yellow Jackets!