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Submitted by Jim Hurley on Thursday, June 27, 2019 at 12:00 AM

THE BASEBALL NOTEBOOK - WE'RE (MORE OR LESS) AT THE MIDWAY POINT OF THIS 2019 SEASON AND HERE'S THREE BIG THINGS WE'VE LEARNED ...

NFL TEAM-BY-TEAM REPORT: CHECKIN' OUT THE JETS, PACKERS & FALCONS

Come Monday, we'll be flipping the calendar forward to read July ... and so that means right here / right now pretty much all of the 30 Major-League Baseball teams have played one-half of their 2019 schedule.

Sure, nobody expected the Minnesota Twins (52-27) to be playing .658 ball this late into a season and - on the flip side - who amongst us hard-core baseball fans believed that the Baltimore Orioles actually could be worse than last year's 47-115 team ... right now the O's are on pace to win only 44 or 45 games. Yikes!

The bottom line is the Los Angeles Dodgers (55-27) are the heavy-duty favorites in the National League to head back to a third consecutive World Series while the NL Central's not quite as good as originally advertised with the Chicago Cubs, Milwaukee Brewers and St. Louis Cardinals all playing just .538 ball, or worse.

Overall, there's been twists and turns throughout the season's give-or-take first 81 games for all the big-league squad but here's Three Things We've Learned when it comes to the wagering world:

#1 - The three MLB teams that play their home games on artificial turf have been major duds on the fake stuff: Note that the Tampa Bay Rays, the Toronto Blue Jays and the Arizona Diamondbacks are the only three MLB teams that play on turf at home and here's what we've learned ... better not to bet on any of 'em when playing in their own backyard as the TB Rays are $-457 at home, the Jays are $-1036 as hosts and the D-Backs are $-740 at home. Add it up and these turf teams are a collective minus $2233.

#2 - The defending Cy Young Award winners and /or their teams can't be trusted here in 2019: New York Mets' RHP Jacob deGrom surely deserves better than his current 4-6 record. Note that deGrom has pitched to a very decent 3.25 ERA through his first 16 starts this season with 86 hits allowed in 97 innings and a dizzying 121-20 K-to-BB ratio and yet the Metsies are usually toast when he starts and ditto for Tampa Bay LHP Blake Snell (4-7, 5.01 ERA) who is far more responsible for his woes ... and for bettors' bad fortunes.

#3 - Finally, believe it or not there are only three National League teams that sport winning records when facing lefthanded starting pitchers - that's the Atlanta Braves (12-6), the Los Angeles Dodgers (18-9) and the Arizona Diamondbacks (14-12).  Yes, just as we've written for years and that's most MLB teams sport losing records versus lefty starters as there are 19 teams that are playing .500-or-worse ball against southpaw starters.


Jim Hurley and his Network of Handicappers and Bloggers are winning big with Major League Baseball action every day. So, make sure you cash in big at 1-800-323-4453. Pile up the profits as we head towards another great NCAA Football / NFL season straight ahead!

 

NFL TEAM-BY-TEAM / SUMMERTIME LOOKS

We continue our annual NFL team-by-team summer accounts right here - and every day at Jim Sez we'll be posting two or three teams as we check out news/notes/reports while getting ready for camp. Plus, we get you some key pointspread info to boot and note a team's SU (straight-up) record is listed next to the team name. Today, we focus on the New York Jets, Green Bay Packers and Atlanta Falcons. So, here we go ...

NEW YORK JETS (4-12) - Okay, so it's been awhile since the J-E-T-S made the playoffs (see 2010) but brand-new GM Joe Douglas and first-year marionette head coach Adam Gase believe they already have gang green on the correct path even though second-year QB Sam Darnold needs plenty more reps to get on the same page with his wide receivers. Darnold welcomes free agent WR Jamison Crowder to the fold this season and no doubt that new RB Le'Veon Bell will be a major contributor in the passing game but a slew of drops stymied the Jets in camp earlier this month and there's more than a few NYJ folks not pleased that Bell has been MIA for most / all of the team's "voluntary" practices.
Pointspread Notes - Hard to believe but the J-E-T-S posted a respectable 11-11-2 spread mark against fellow AFC East squads during the failed Todd Bowles Era (see 2014-17) but overall note this Jersey-based gang went just 5-10-1 against the juice last year and that included a 2-4-1 ATS record whenever taking 7-or-more points. The Jets are 4-8 against the numbers when playing NFC teams these past three years.


GREEN BAY (6-9-1) - Plenty of microscopic looks already at the "relationship" that's gonna be between Packers' QB Aaron Rodgers and first-year / first-time head coach Matt LaFleur but all reports seem to signal that Green Bay will chuck it as much or more than it did last year when this NFC North crew attempted 40 passes per game (that ranked third in the NFL). Green Bay only dipped into the most recent NFL Draft for two "skilled position" players on offense: TE Jace Sternberger (Texas A&M) with a third-round choice and RB Dexter Williams (Notre Dame) with the team's second Round 6 pick.
Pointspread Notes - In an eight-year stretch between 2009 and 2016, the GB Packers sported winning spread marks seven times but last year everything that could go wrong, did go wrong en route to a 6-9-1 ATS campaign. Note this NFC North crew never once covered back-to-back games and wound up a rotten 2-4-1 spreadwise when in the point-grabbing role.


ATLANTA (7-9) - If the Falcons are gonna get back to the Super Bowl again (see 2016 season) then it needs do-it-all RB Devonta Freeman in good health. Last year Freeman suffered groin problems and back in 2017 it was a pair of concussions and a major knee issue. Plus, remember that former star RB Tevin Coleman is now a member of the San Francisco 49ers, so Freeman can expect a busy year as a rusher / receiver. One other note on the Falcons: Their first three games outta the starting gate are at Minnesota, home versus Philadelphia and at Indianapolis ... hey, the '19 season could be sunk even before Atlanta plays a divisional contest.
Pointspread Notes - Last year's Falcons produced a shabby 5-11 ATS (against the spread) record which marked the team's worst pointspread log in more than a decade. Note that the 2018 squad actually needed to cover two of its final three games just to get to that rotten mark and overall the Falcs finished 2-6 ATS away and 2-8 versus the vig when playing outside the NFC South. 

Editor's Note ... We'll continue with our annual NFL team-by-team summertime glances / looks in the next edition of Jim Sez. We'll highlight the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Washington Redskins next. Check it out!

NOTE: There's more MLB News / Notes plus NFL Team-by-Team accounts in the next Jim Sez.

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