Submitted by Jim Hurley on Monday, July 8, 2019 at 12:00 AM
MLB ALL-STAR GAME BREAK - THE FIRST HALF''S BIGGEST MONEY-MAKERS ...
NFL TEAM-BY-TEAM GLANCES: IT''S THE RAVENS, CHIEFS & RAMS
Next stop ... Cleveland.
Tuesday night''s Major-League Baseball All-Star Game steals the spotlight even if the great sport continues to feature "too many" home runs and way "too many" strikeouts.
If you''re into All-Star Game prop plays, you might consider National League All-Star 3B Nolan Arenado (Colorado) as the first player to hit a home run; we''ll take C Gary Sanchez (New York Yankees) as the player to hit the first homer for the American League.
And - just for fun - our MVP picks will be Milwaukee''s Mike Moustakas for the NL; Cleveland''s own Francisco Lindor for the AL.
Meanwhile, let''s get caught up on who the biggest $$$ winners were as we hit the ASG break:
Strange but true, the Pittsburgh Pirates - plus $654 at the break - are the biggest money-makers in the NL based on $100 per-game wagers. The Buccos (44-45 overall) are 12-5 since June 19th and have bagged some big wins lately against the always-favored Chicago Cubs. The NL''s next biggest profit side: The Atlanta Braves who are + $645 and that major power surge from early June through this past weekend really has been the key to cashing a load of bets.
In the American League, hats off to the Texas Rangers who entered the break at + $1380 (note the Rangers are + $1539 at home this season). The Minnesota Twins (+ $1347), the surprising Chicago White Sox (+ $1050) and the AL East-leading New York Yankees (+ $1037) all have been major cash cows this unofficial first half of the ''19 season.
The single biggest cash loser the first half of this MLB campaign? How about the Kansas City and their - $1995 net loss. Egads!
Jim Hurley and his Network of Handicappers and Bloggers keep winning big with Major-League Baseball action every day of the week. Make sure you cash in on the All-Star Game tomorrow right here at 1-800-323-4453. Pile up the profits as we head towards another great NCAA Football / NFL season straight ahead! Remember that the NFL Hall of Fame Game is set for August 1st as the Denver Broncos battle the Atlanta Falcons.
NFL TEAM-BY-TEAM / SUMMERTIME LOOKS
We continue rollin'' along with our annual Jim Sez NFL team-by-team summer accounts right here - and every day here 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 Baltimore Ravens, the Kansas City Chiefs and the Los Angeles Rams. Next Up: The Buffalo Bills, the Detroit Lions and the New Orleans Saints.
BALTIMORE (10-6) - Okay, so don''t expect second-year QB Lamar Jackson to be airing it out 50 times a game but there will be a more balanced attack in Baltimore this year with first-round draft pick WR Marquise Brown (Oklahoma) and third-round pick WR Miles Boykin (Notre Dame) expected to be a major part of the aerial mix. The Ravens also believe that long-time New Orleans Saints RB Mark Ingram will be a vital part of the short passing game that''s expected to improve statistically after Baltimore ranked 23rd in the league last year while averaging just 231.8 yards per game.
Pointspread Notes - Since the start of the 2015 season, the Ravens are just 12-20-1 ATS (against the spread) as hosts for a .375 winning rate. Last year''s AFC North champions actually started off the year with back-to-back home spread wins and yet finished up 3-6 ATS at home ... ugh!
KANSAS CITY (13-5) - Take note that only the New Orleans Saints sported a better point differential (+ 151) than these KC Chiefs a year ago ... and both of ''em were their conference championship game losers. If Kansas City wishes to delve deep into this year''s post-season, then someone''s gonna have to make up for the 27 touchdowns scored by Tyreek Hill and Kareem Hunt. The latter is gone after getting suspended last year and the former probably will be out for the year (or else a long time) following domestic issues. Maybe third-year QB Patrick Mahomes (50 TD passes thrown in 2018) will hit it off immediately with second-round draftee WR Mecole Hardman (Georgia).
Pointspread Notes - Remember the Chiefs began last year with a spiffy 7-and-oh spread mark and eventually finished up the ''18 season at a more pedestrian 10-7-1 ATS record. Folks, the fact is the Chiefs have finished at or above .500 spreadwise in each of the past six years - since head coach Andy Reid took over for Romeo Crennel -- while compiling an overall pointspread record of 57-45-1 (a healthy .559 winning rate).
LOS ANGELES RAMS (15-4) - Maybe this NFC West crew will take solace in the fact that the last time an NFL team lost a Super Bowl and came back to play in another one the next year was the New England Patriots (see Super Bowl 52 loss to Philadelphia in 2017 and then last year''s SB 53 win against this Rams'' club). Okay, so the Rams didn''t have everything break their way as WR Cooper Kupp (knee) was greatly missed in the post-season and megastar RB Todd Gurley (arthritic knee) didn''t have that explosiveness late in the year either but WRs Brandin Cooks and Robert Woods are considered top 15-type receivers in the NFL these days and third-round draftee Darrell Henderson (Memphis) can be a 1,000-yard guy if Gurley''s troublesome knee keeps ''em sidelined for a stretch of games.
Pointspread Notes - Count us among the folks that believed a Rams'' appearance in the Super Bowl would have meant better than the team''s 9-8-2 ATS mark last year. The truth is the Rams went 2-7-2 versus the vig (all as betting favorites) between Week 4 and Week 16 and so nobody exactly got rich backing the Rams and anyone that "rode" them during the heart of the season really lost their shirt.
NOTE: More MLB News and NFL Team-by-Team reports in the next edition of Jim Sez. Plus, don''t forget we''ll have plenty of College Football News & Notes all summer long.