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Submitted by Jim Hurley on Thursday, September 8, 2011 at 12:12 AM

Oddsmaker Nick Bogdanovich continued his hot run in Major League Baseball Wednesday Night with a 5-4 winner on the Pittsburgh Pirates over the Houston Astros. His other pick was rained out (the LA Dodgers in Washington). So, it was a 1-0 card…bringing Nick’s record to 7-1 in baseball this week. He also won Monday Night in football with Maryland over Miami.

Wayne Root just missed a 3-0 board sweep Wednesday, settling for a 2-1 performance.

  • Oakland (-140) beat Kansas City 7-0
  • St. Louis (-115) beat Milwaukee 2-0
  • Boston (-105) lost to Toronto 11-10

Guillermo Moscoso had a no-hitter for Oakland until Kansas City got a hit with two outs in the eighth inning. Chris Carpenter threw a four-hit shutout for the Cardinals. Wayne liked those pitchers in those spots and got gems from both. Boston held an 8-5 lead through five innings, and an 8-6 lead into the bottom of the eighth inning until the bullpen imploded at the worst possible time. Tough beat with a great team in a must-win spot.

Congrats to all of you who won along with our VSM experts.

In pennant race action…

*You already know that Boston’s timing was very bad. Their loss in Toronto followed an afternoon loss by the New York Yankees at home against Baltimore. New York’s lead in the AL East remains at 2.5 games. The Yankees have a tough itinerary on tap. They play a make-up game in Baltimore that was lost to hurricane Irene on Thursday, then play way out West against the LA Angels Friday Night. Boston finishes its series in Toronto Thursday before jetting to Tampa Bay for a weekend set. Tough challenges the next few days for the AL East contenders.

*Late finishers out West will impact the Western divisions. The LA Angels hope to pick up ground on Texas, who lost Thursday afternoon at Tampa Bay. Arizona can extend its lead to seven games in the NL West with a win at Colorado. Second place San Francisco lost this afternoon at San Diego. (Late Bulletin: as we were posting this, the Angels went final with a 3-1 win over Seattle. The Halos are now just 2.5 games out of first in the AL West)

Yes…The Yankees, Red Sox, Rangers, and Giants all LOST important games today!

Detroit is not in much of a pennant race any more because they’ve gotten so hot in recent days. But, it’s worth mentioning that Justin Verlander won his 22nd game of the year this afternoon against Cleveland. That coupled with the White Sox loss tonight in Minnesota put the Tigers nine games clear of the field in the AL Central.

Notes on Arizona/Oklahoma State

Thursday Night’s college football game on ESPN is a rematch from last year’s Alamo Bowl. You probably remember that Oklahoma State won that game handily. Do you remember how it happened? You might be surprised at the game stats.

2010 ALAMO BOWL

OKLAHOMA STATE 36, ARIZONA 10

  • Total Yardage: Arizona 370, Oklahoma State 312
  • Rushing Yardage: Arizona 90, Oklahoma State 72
  • Passing Stats: Arizona 32-50-3-280, Oklahoma State 25-41-0-240
  • Third Downs: Arizona 43%, Oklahoma State 31%
  • Turnovers: Arizona 4, Oklahoma State 0
  • Yards-Per-Play: Arizona 4.2, Oklahoma State 5.1
  • Vegas Line: Oklahoma State by 4.5, total of 68.5

Did you recall that Arizona won most of the game stats, but got killed on turnovers? Obviously Oklahoma State’s defense deserves credit for forcing takeaways and limiting the Wildcats to just 4.2 yards-per-play. But, this would clearly have been a much closer game had the turnover category evened out. Something to think about as you handicap Thursday’s rematch in Stillwater.

Oklahoma State is favored by 13.5 points as we go to press, with a total of 66. More turnovers from Arizona…and the pointspread may not matter. A cleaner performance from Nick Foles and company…and things could get very interesting.

You’ll be able to purchase selections in Arizona-Oklahoma State and the NFL season opener matching New Orleans and Green Bay from our VSM experts Thursday afternoon here at the website. We’ll talk more about the NFL tomorrow here in the blog…including a comparison between the 2009 New Orleans Saints and the 2010 Green Bay Packers (both Super Bowl champs) in the Thursday edition of the Network Notebook.

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