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Submitted by Jim Hurley on Thursday, July 19, 2018 at 12:00 AM

Jim Hurley Wins Side & Total of All Star Game with American League & OVER!

THE 2018 BASEBALL SEASON – WE’RE BAAAACK! …CHECKIN’ OUT SOME UNDER THE RADAR STORIES …

COLLEGE FOOTBALL’S POINTSPREAD GOODIES

The “Boys of Summer” are back after that little All-Star break respite – yes, the St. Louis Cardinals at the Chicago Cubs (Thursday, 7:05 p.m. ET) get shorted the extra vacation day but all’s good in the world of Major-League Baseball – and so we resume the epic Boston Red Sox / New York Yankees race in the American League and the what-could-be-epic four-team donnybrook race for first place in the National League West where the Los Angeles Dodgers / Arizona Diamondbacks / Colorado Rockies / San Francisco .

Keep in mind when we entered the All-Star Game break there were a handful of streaking teams including the aforementioned Red Sox who’ve won nine of their last 10 games; the Minnesota Twins who’ve copped eight of their last 10 games; the Pittsburgh Pirates who’ve won their last six straight (including a sweep of that five-game home series against Milwaukee); and the Rockies who’ve snagged five in a row and eight of their last 10 tilts.

The $64,000 question is what teams are gonna have a mid-to-late July hot streak that’ll push ‘em back into the playoff chase … can we / should we expect any sort of surge by the Los Angeles Angels (49-48) who could be either “buyers” or “sellers” at the July 31st Trade Deadline. And what about the All-Star Game host Washington Nationals (48-48): Are the Nats gonna get healthier (see pending return of RHP Stephen Strasburg) and make a real run at the NL East crown as they currently sit 5.5 games back of front-running Philadelphia (53-42) and a full 5 games back of Atlanta (52-42)?

Meanwhile, some of the “under the radar” stories we’ll be checking out in the days/weeks ahead in this here-and-now 2018 MLB season include …

Will the always under-the-radar Oakland A’s (55-42) hang in there in the AL West? The A’s entered the break having won 21 of their last 27 games since mid-June and yet nary a word is heard about this Bay Area bunch from the national media. Hey, what would the odds have been that the A’s would sport the best winning percentage (.567) among all five California-based team teams in the bigs? …

Are the Miami Marlins (41-57) gonna start piecing things together quicker than anyone might have thought in this Derek Jeter Era? Hey, the Fish have held their own in one-run games (11-12) and have been downright competitive on a game-to-game basis while heading towards their 100th game played and anything better than a last-place finish in the NL East this year would be a major boost – right now Miami sports an .003 lead over the New York Mets …

Finally, the axe fell on sixth-year St. Louis Cardinals’ manager Mike Matheny last Saturday night following an 8-2 home loss versus the Cincinnati Reds. Now, you’ve left to wonder what other MLB managers are gonna get fired even before we get to the proverbial finish line with Baltimore’s Buck Showalter and New York Mets rookie flop Mickey Callaway allegedly “spared” but what about Toronto’s John Gibbons and Kansas City’s Ned Yost? Stay tuned.

  

Jim Hurley and his Network of Handicappers and Bloggers keep winning big with Major League Baseball action every day – get all the MLB winners this week/weekend including Thursday’s stand-alone St. Louis Cardinals at Chicago Cubs showdown from Wrigley Field here online or 1-800-323-4453.

 

COLLEGE FOOTBALL’S POINTSPREAD GOODIES

The countdown is on for the start of the 2018 NCAA Football season – again, mark your calendar for August 25th – as we presented the Odds to Win it All in our previous Jim Sez column and now we’re headed towards a look at “poiintspread goodies” involving many of these squads listed as the leading favorites to cop this year’s national championship:

ALABAMA – Go back to the very start of the Nick Saban Era in 2007 and you’ll see the ‘Bama Crimson Tide is a collective 79-63-1 ATS (against the spread) for a .556 winning rate … pretty good considering all those hefty multi-TD type prices. However, last year this SEC crew – despite winning its fifth national title in 11 years under Saban – registered a 6-8 ATS log that included a shabby 4-6 ATS mark whenever laying double-digit points. And how’s this for a “pointspread goodie”: Alabama is a rollicking 17-9 against the odds when playing road / neutral site games while dating back to the middle of the 2014 campaign. The Tide’s listed at 12-5 to win it all again this season.

CLEMSON – The Tigers have been in the national title game in two of the last three years (see 2016 national champs) and are priced at 6-1 to win it all this season; spreadwise this ACC club is 22-18-2 ATS the past three seasons (a .550 winning rate) and that includes first a three- and then later a four-game ATS winning streak last year. Note that Clemson’s covered seven of its last nine games when placed in the underdog role although the last time the Tigers were gobbling up points was the 24-6 loss to 3.5-point fav Alabama in last year’s playoffs.

GEORGIA – If you happened to plunk down a few bob on the Dawgs every game last year then you made a proverbial pretty penny: The team from Athens covered 11-of-15 games last season including a slick 7-3 ATS log when playing SEC teams and note that featured the 28-7 win/cover against 1.5-point pup Auburn in the SEC Championship Game and then the 26-23 overtime loss-but-cover against 3.5-point favorite Alabama in the national title tilt. P.S., this year the Bulldogs are priced at 15-2 to win it all this season.

OHIO STATE -- You might be surprised to find out the Buckeyes are just 41-38-1 (a .519 winning rate) in the six-year Urban Meyer Era. Hey, last year’s 7-7 spread split was pretty underwhelming stuff when you consider O-State failed to cover three of its four non-league games and did you know that the ‘Eyes are a collective 27-25-1 ATS in Big 10 games since 2012? Not great, eh! Ohio State is listed as a 15-2 favorite to win it all this season.

MICHIGAN -- The fact is nobody’s gotten rich in the Jim Harbaugh Era that started three years ago as the maize-and-blue is just 18-20-1 ATS overall (a .474 winning rate) since the start of the 2015 campaign and the Las Vegas sharpies currently list the Wolverines at 14-1 to win it all.

NOTE: It’s a big Baseball weekend ahead in our next edition of Jim Sez.

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