Another strong wagering weekend engulfs West Virginia online sports bettors. This is one of the best slates of the entire year.
UFC 252 features a heavyweight championship rematch Saturday night.
Major League Baseball offers an abundance of games.
NASCAR unfurls another championship race on Sunday at 3 p.m.
The NHL‘s Columbus Blue Jackets, a popular franchise among Mountain State bettors, have already engaged in an epic multi-overtime battle in the first game of their playoff series with the Tampa Bay Lightning.
And Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races continues to provide payouts that read like telephone numbers. Charles Town (Thursday-Sunday) and Mountaineer (Sunday-Wednesday) make West Virginia the only state to conduct live thoroughbred horse racing every night. This year, they’ve become magnets for winning bets.
MLB: Bettors View Regional, Individual Matchups
There will be a slew of interesting battles this weekend, as the Boston Red Sox visit the New York Yankees, the New York Mets invade the Philadelphia Phillies, and the Pittsburgh Pirates visit the Cincinnati Reds.
This week’s best pitching matchup occurs Thursday night, when San Diego Padres starter Chris Paddack duels Clayton Kershaw of the Los Angeles Dodgers. Kershaw was touched for three home runs by the San Francisco Giants in his last outing. Although Kershaw remains an exceptional pitcher, Father Time appears to be catching up with the three-time Cy Young Award winner.
The best teams against the spread in MLB entering this week were the Yankees at 11-4, the Kansas City Royals and Colorado Rockies at 11-5 and the Padres at 11-6. This is computed according to the line in which a team is either giving or getting 1.5 runs.
Keep an eye on the Cleveland Indians’ over-under totals. They were a good team at 10-7, but are just 2-14 for the over on the over-under line entering the week. Bettors may soon see runs reduced in over-under props being offered. Given the law of averages, the Tribe should start going over the projected total at some point. Maybe in binges.
Run totals have been going up for the last couple of years to begin with and an average game is often in the 9.5-10 runs range.
And then there were the two launching-pad matchups involving the Pirates and Detroit Tigers last weekend. It was champagne for over bettors by the middle of both the Friday and Saturday games.
Last week’s Friday matchup, a 17-13 Detroit victory, set this year’s MLB record of 30 runs. The second was a more pedestrian 16.
Go figure; on Sunday, after combining for 46 runs in their two prior games, the Pirates and Tigers combined for three. Another unexpected development: The Pirates were swept in the series.
UFC: Split Betting Support Expected for Miocic-Cormier III
UFC 252 roars into Las Vegas on Saturday with a high-profile trilogy title fight between heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic and top contender Daniel Cormier. The midweek DraftKings odds of -110 apiece reflects the fact each fighter has a knockout victory over the other.
Main Card Odds
- Stipe Miocic vs Daniel Cormier, both -110, heavyweight title bout
- Sean O’Malley -315 vs Marlon Vera +240
- Jairzinho Rozenstruik-150 vs Junior dos Santos +120
- Merab Dvalishvili -200 vs John Dodson +160
- Magomed Ankaleav -315 vs Ion Cutelaba +240
If odds change drastically from here, you will know where the late money is going.
UFC Betting Considerations
Cormier won the first fight versus Miocic, dropping the Cleveland native with a short right hand and following up with relentless ground and pound, forcing a first-round stoppage.
Miocic adjusted in the second battle, using an eight-inch reach advantage to pepper Cormier with left hooks to the body and head. He dropped Cormier and won in a similar fashion.
This could be a one-break-decides-it-all fight. Both are sudden opportunists and they are not kids. Miocic is 37 years old, Cormier 41.
NASCAR: The Kevin Harvick Show
Can Kevin Harvick author a three-peat at the GoBowling 235 on Sunday from Daytona, Florida?
We spoke here last weekend about the rare back-to-back NASCAR events.
What’s even more unusual? Harvick won both the Firekeepers Casino 400 and the Consumers Energy 400, on consecutive days, at the Michigan International Speedway.
He became the first NASCAR driver to win back-to-back events this season.
The experts say he can’t bag a three-peat as DraftKings has Harvick as the third choice for Sunday, +700.
Chase Elliott is the favorite at +375 and Martin Truex Jr. stands at +400.
After Harvick at +700 come Ryan Blaney, Kyle Busch and Denny Hamlin at +800.
Here’s a big number. Brad Keselowski, a multiple-event winner on the circuit this year, is at +1400. He won as recently as Aug. 2.
FanDuel projects the same sentiment.
Elliott is the pre-race favorite at +400 and Truex is second at +600. Harvick, at +650, is third, along with Hamlin. Blaney is +900. Keselowski is +1000.
Both books display excellent returns for seasoned drivers. The NASCAR events’ value often lie in the prop for Top 5 and Top 10 finishes, but a stab at one of these drivers to win outright is tempting this week.
Season Driving Standings:
- Harvick – 916 points
- Keselowski – 779
- Hamlin – 776
- Elliott – 721
- Joey Logano – 717
- Ford – 828 points
- Toyota – 770
- Chevrolet – 725
West Virginia Horse Racing: Another Huge Win
Chalk up another monster payout for Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races. We salute one every week here, and while the fields have trimmed down to six and seven in many races, the large fields still create some magic.
They did again last Thursday in the fourth race. The $2 superfecta returned a whopping $124,433.80 amid conditions we’ve cited as breeding grounds for a bonanza: 10 horses in a maiden-claiming race.
When spotting these conditions, knowing that none of the horses have ever won, you are flirting with a large payment if the betting favorite does not triumph.
Brilliant Ideas, at 50-1, nudged 1-5 favorite Indian Wildfire at the wire of a 4 1/2-furlong race. The third-place horse was Modern Cowpoke, at 50-1, and Mr. Snap was fourth at 50-1.
This race payout was more attainable than some matchups at this level because the 1-5 favorite probably made sense to run in the money. Putting Indian Wildfire in the first and second spot with five other long shots in the 10-cent superfecta would have cost only $12. And the return, in this case, would have been more than $6,000.
Yes, these races are quite difficult to hit, but the right logic and the right long shot stab pays off when you do manage to nail it.
NHL: Exciting Columbus Blue Jackets
It’s already bonus time for the Blue Jackets, who are just a two-hour drive from Wheeling-based hockey bettors. Columbus, which began the NHL playoffs as a +180 series underdog at FanDuel against the Tampa Bay Lightning for this best-of-seven, already has a post-season series triumph over the Toronto Maple Leafs.
And on Tuesday, they played a game for the ages, one of the most electrifying battles in NHL history. The Blue Jackets dropped a five-overtime heartbreaker against Tampa Bay, who they swept in the playoffs last year.
You read that right. Five overtimes. Seven-and-a-half periods. More than halfway into a third full game. An NHL record of 151 combined shots, the most since the league began tabulating them in the 1955-56 season. Blue Jackets goalie Joonas Korpisalo set an all-time record of 85 saves. Eighty-five.
The game went so long that the Boston Bruins and Carolina Hurricanes were postponed until Wednesday, as they were going to play next.
The game was thrilling and highly unusual except for one thing. FanDuel and DraftKings had the over-under goal total of 5.5, right on the mark. If you had the under, you waited nearly eight hours to cash it. But at least you cashed.
Game two is Thursday at 3 p.m. and game three is Saturday at 8:15 p.m. The next matchup might provide a good in-game wagering opportunity. See how fresh the players’ legs are early in the next game and it could give a hint about who to favor or whether to make an over-under bet.