The Return of the Big Red Machine: Reds Handle D-Backs, Ties Best Record with Nats

After making the postseason a year ago, the Cincinnati Reds had high expectations coming into their 2012 campaign. Fans and players certainly thought the Reds could be good again with much of the same lineup and rotation returning, but it’s safe to say that everyone is surprised with just how much they’ve been able to accomplish this season. The Big Red Machine of old is back in Cincinnati, as the Reds completed a sweep of the Diamonds on Wednesday giving them an 80-52 record, which was the best in the league, until the Nationals won yesterday to tie.

Chris Heisey fueled the comeback with two home runs late

Cincinnati was held scoreless and trailed until the seventh inning 2-0 in the third game when Chris Heisey ended the offensive drought with a two-run homer to left that tied the game at 2-2. Dioner Navarro added a solo shot in the inning to give the Reds a 3-2 lead and they wouldn’t look back.

Brandon Phillips blasted a two-run bomb of his own in the eight followed by another homerun from Heisey, which made the score 6-2. J.J. Hoover and Jose Arredondo then pitched the eighth ninth innings respectively, shutting out the Diamondbacks to seal the 6-2 win.

Now the Reds have an eight and a half game lead in the NL Central, which is the largest of any division leader and they will likely be the first team to clinch its division and punch its ticket to the postseason in 2012.

How have they been able to do it? Well, it’s been a combination of a little bit of everything that has created a concoction of winning in Cincy. The well-balanced nature of the Reds has established a consistency that screams success and that’s the kind of thing they will need to achieve postseason glory as well. The Reds rank 13th in runs, 13th in batting average, 15th in on-base percentage and 4th in ERA. There are no weak points on this team, so what’s to stop them from winning it all?

Johnny Cueto has been one of many bright points on the Reds

There really isn’t a what, but more of a who is this case. The Reds are certainly capable of grabbing a World Series title this year, but there are some other teams that could get in the way.

First of course, is the Washington Nationals. Washington has been the best team in baseball for much of 2012 and is currently tied with Cincy. The Nats also have firepower in the lineup, but mostly on the mound, as Washington is 2nd in ERA, WHIP and batting average. The Nationals are so confident they are already postseason bound that they are contemplating sitting Stephen Strasburg, their ace, for the remainder of the season to ensure he avoids injury and is ready to go for playoff time.

The Giants and the Braves could also pose a threat to the Reds in the NL. These two teams have quietly put together great teams with veteran leadership. Tim Hudson and Chipper Jones are turning in solid seasons in their late 30s, while the Giants are getting plenty of production from Angel Pagan and Matt Cain, as well as youngster Buster Posey.

So will the Reds win the World Series? Obviously, there’s a lot of competition here. The Reds are behind the Yankees, the Rangers and the Nationals in terms of odds, but they are certainly a profitable pick at 8/1. Even if they don’t end the season with the best record in baseball, I would mark them down as one of the favorites to win the whole thing. So, keep an eye on the Reds as we come down the stretch and barring any big injuries, look for the Big Red Machine to make some noise come playoff time.

College Football Opening Game Previews

Finally! The long-awaited college football season is upon us as the first games of the year will get underway today. Of course, as there always are early in the schedule, many of the games should be fairly lopsided contests, but here are two games you certainly won’t want to miss out on watching or betting for Thursday.

#9 South Carolina at Vanderbilt

Expectations are high for the Gamecocks in 2012, as they enter the opening game with their highest preseason ranking in school history at number nine. South Carolina had its best season ever a year ago as it finished 11-2 and with Marcus Lattimore, arguably the nation’s best tailback returning, there’s no reason to think that the Gamecocks can’t compete for an SEC title this year.

If Lattimore stays healthy, he will likely be among the best backs in the country again

However, there is concern regarding Lattimore’s health. He missed the final six games of last season due to a knee injury, which is the kind you don’t want as a running back. To dismiss this concern, head coach Steve Spurrier told ESPN that Lattimore will be ready to go and he intends to get him the ball 25-30 times in the opener.

Vandy is coming off a 6-7 season and will be at home against South Carolina. The Commodores will be hungry for an early season upset and they know it’s possible because they’ve done it before. Vanderbilt beat the Gamecocks in both 2007 and 2008. South Carolina was ranked 6th in the country at the time of the 2007 loss.

I can see Vanderbilt hanging tough in this one during the first half, but South Carolina should pull away late and cover the -7 point spread. If Lattimore is back to top form, like Spurrier claims, then expect him to wear down the Commodore defense on the way to a double-digit Gamecock road win.

Washington State at BYU

Jeff Tuel will lead the new Wasu offense


BYU, a team that won 10 games last year, at home against a team that went 4-8 in 2011 seems like a pretty easy call, but not so fast. Washington State has been a team with a lot of buzz this summer and is on many people’s lists as a potential surprise team in 2012. With a new head coach with a history of success in Mike Leach, the WSU Cougars are expected to come into the opener with a new offensive philosophy focused on the air attack, a similar offense he employed as the head coach at Texas Tech.

The concerns for Wasu are pass protection and defense. Washington State gave up 38 sacks last year, so if it wants that air-raid offensive to be effective, that’s something it will have to reduce. The defense is also a question mark, as the Coug defenders allowed over 30 points per game in 2011.

That will be the side of the ball BYU will look to exploit with returning quarterback Riley Nelson. Nelson has 19 career touchdowns to seven INTS in 12 games as the starter for Brigham Young University. BYU’s other strength is in pass coverage, as the team only allowed 13 passing touchdowns (one per game) last season. If BYU can hold Wasu to only one TD toss today, that will spell trouble for the visiting team.

This isn’t the highest profile game of the day or the weekend, but it’s one that makes for juicy betting action. The spread currently favors BYU by 12 points and although I like BYU to win this one in a shootout, I think Washington State will make things closer than that. Look for Washington State to at least cover the +12 spread and possibly even win outright against the moneyline.

Angels Rally to Beat Red Sox 6-5

It’s no secret that the Angels have had a rough second half of the season. They are currently 10 games out of the AL West division lead and are 4.5 games back of an AL Wild Card spot. Despite their long shot odds to make the postseason, the Halos showed last night that they are not giving up just yet.

The Angels trailed 5-4 heading into the bottom of the ninth inning as they squared off against Boston’s closer, Alfredo Aceves. Aceves held the Halos scoreless in his first inning of work in the 8th, but couldn’t fend off LA in the ninth, giving up two runs and blowing his eighth save since joining the Red Sox. The win keeps LA alive in the Wild Card race, but the Angels know they still have a long way to go.

Angels celebrate the walk-off win

“We’ve got 30 more games, so we’re going out there every day and grinding. We didn’t give up tonight. They got the lead early, but we kept grinding and got it done,” said Torii Hunter in an article. Hunter drove in the winning run on a sacrifice fly.

The Angels actually grabbed a 2-0 lead in the first with a home run from Mike Trout and a sacrifice fly from Mark Trumbo that scored Hunter. Then the Red Sox got to Jared Weaver, scoring a run off a solo shot from Jarrod Saltalamacchia in the second, adding three more in the 4th and another in the 6th to make it 5-2 Boston.

The Angels looked like they were on their way to their third straight loss, but the power of the rally monkey kicked in during the bottom half of the 6th. Pujols started the inning with a solo homerun, his 29th of the season and then Howie Kendrick drove in Trumbo with a double to trim the deficit to one run, 5-4.

LA finally got Boston starter Clay Buchholz out of the game after seven innings and that’s when they went to work on Aceves.

Trout, who homered in the game, was instrumental in the win

Erick Aybar pinch-hit in the ninth and was hit by a pitch. He then stole second base, getting into scoring position. Alberto Callaspo walked, setting the stage for Mike Trout to do the damage. Trout came through with a broken-bat single that snuck through the infield, scoring Aybar and sending Callaspo to third with just one out. All Hunter needed to do was put the ball into the outfield and he did with a sac-fly to win it.

Pujols and Trout homering in a close game is a good sign for the Halos as they will need a lot more of it over the next month. However, LA’s ace Weaver uncharacteristically giving up five runs, four of them earned in seven innings was something the Angels didn’t want to see because LA will have to be pretty much perfect the rest of the way to have a shot at the postseason.

Their series with Boston continues tomorrow, as they will try to keep the momentum going after the clutch win last night. C.J. Wilson, who is 9-9 with a 3.83 ERA will get the start for the Angels and will go up against Boston’s Zach Stewart, who is making his first start for the Red Sox since coming over from the Chicago White Sox. He is 3-8 in his Major League career with a 5.92 ERA, so it appears that the Angels will have a good chance to keep things moving in the right direction. I like the Angels in this matchup. Look for their bats to heat up against the inexperienced Stewart and for them to cover the -1.5 runline.

Big MLB Arms to Bet On for 8/28

Tuesday sees some big hurlers take the hill who should be able to not only overwhelm their opponents, but also make you a little scratch if you are looking to play the runlines. Finding success in betting baseball is all about going with the best pitchers, as they are the ones who have the best opportunity to control the game. Here are three games where the starting pitcher makes betting the lines too hard to pass up.

Chicago White Sox at Baltimore Orioles

The Sox are 1.5 run favorites even though they are on the road. Why is this? Because Chris Sale is getting the ball for Chicago and he has been short of dominating this season. The O’s have been a pleasant surprise in the AL East this season, as they are currently in position to nab a Wild Card spot, but don’t expect them to do much against Sale, who brings a 2.65 ERA and a 15-4 record into Baltimore, not to mention straight-up nasty stuff. Baltimore’s probable starter Chris Tillman has respectable numbers in 2012 (3.71 ERA, 6-2 record), but his career numbers are less impressive (5.17, 13-17). The game may be low scoring, but Chicago’s homerun heavy lineup should be able to get at least four or five runs across in this one, which will be enough to cover -1.5 behind the arm of Sale.

Detroit Tigers at Kansas City Royals

Look for Verlander to keep the Royals' bats quiet

Justin Verlander (12-7, 2.50 ERA) hasn’t been getting the run support that he had last year when he won the AL Cy Young Award. However, the Tigers should be able to get hits off his opponent in this one, who is Luis Mendoza (7-9, 4.26 ERA). Verlander is one of those guys that capable of throwing a shutout every time he gets the ball, so it’s hard to bet against him anytime, especially against Kansas City. Another thing to think about is just how good Detroit has been against its AL Central foe KC. The Tigers are 7-1 against the Royals and are 3-0 at Kauffman Stadium. Verlander himself is 9-2 against the Royals at Kauffman, so being on the road certainly won’t rattle the right-hander. Miguel Cabrera will be a game-time decision after sitting out the last two games with a sore right ankle, but he should be available. It will be up to Jim Leyland to play him or not. Either way, Verlander should carry the Tigers, so take Detroit to cover the -1.5 runline here.

Boston Red Sox at Los Angeles Angels

Without Ortiz, Crawford and Gonzalez, the Red Sox will struggle against Weaver

While Verlander and Sale have been having great seasons, the 2012 Cy Young front-runner may be LA’s Jared Weaver and he just so happens to be getting the start on Tuesday as well. Weaver has enjoyed a little more run support, evidenced by his astounding 16-3 record and solid 2.74 ERA. Weaver’s competition tougher than the matchups I mentioned above, as he will square off against Clay Buchholz who is 11-4 with a 4.47 ERA this season. Although Buchholz may hold the Angels bats in check, Weaver will almost certainly be able to shut down the gutted Boston lineup, which is still trying to fill the void caused by the blockbuster trade that sent Carl Crawford and Adrian Gonzalez to the Dodgers. David Ortiz won’t be available either as the Sox put him back on the DL yesterday. Considering the Angels are at home, have their ace on the mound and are going against a Red Sox team that has been called the biggest disappointment in 2012, this should be an easy win for them and you as well if you pick them to cover the -1.5 runline.

NFL Preseason Week 4 Action Starts with 3 Thursday Night Match-ups

The NFL regular season is almost upon us, so right now is a perfect time for honing in on the best-looking teams in the NFL, as within the next few weeks we’ll be set for wagering on legitimate games with real-world stakes tied to them. Though the preseason as always presents a challenging task when wagering at one of the top online sportsbooks reviewed here, if you pick your bets carefully and avoid trying to cash in with big money in the preseason, there’s lots of fun to be had, and plenty to learn from the match-ups taking place right now. For Week 4 of the preseason, which starts off with 3 match-ups tonight, let’s take a look at the breakdown between the top match-ups, and spot the best wagering options at today’s featured online sportsbook at target=”_blank”>

Match-up #1 – Green Bay Packers at Cincinnati Bengals, 7:00 PM ET.

The Green Bay offense has yet to click on all it’s high-powered cylinders so far this preseason, dropping games to the Cleveland Browns and San Diego Chargers in the past two weeks. Tonight’s focus for the Pack will be set on getting synchronization happening on offense, which has turned the ball over 8 times already in just two games. Head coach Mike McCarthy has stated that he’ll look to play the first team offense for the whole first half, which should give Aaron Rodgers some time to show why he’s one of the best QBs in the league. Rodgers is just 8-for-19 for 75 yards in the preseason, but with his type of caliber behind the offensive line, it’s just a matter of time before he starts hitting his stride. A huge boost for the Packers tonight will be the additions of TE Jermichael Finley and WR Greg Jennings in the line-up, as neither player participated in the first two preseason games. Add in newly-acquired Cedric Benson the backfield, who is ready to go after quickly learning a new offense, and the Packers should be set to have a solid first half that could set the tone for the rest of the game tonight.

For Cincinnati the preseason has looked pretty good for them, with quarterback Andy Dalton splitting time with back-up Bruce Gradkowski, and the team coming off a solid 24-19 victory over Atlanta last week. One area of concern however lies with their secondary, which was torched for nearly 400 yards against the Falcons due mainly to some injury concerns there. They’ll likely not see much improvement in that area tonight as Green Bay gets it’s receiver talent back in play, and Cincinnati continues to sit Dre Kirkpatrick, Adam Jones, Jason Allen and defensive end tandem Carlos Dunlap and Robert Geathers. Though the Bengals own an 11-4-1 preseason record against Green Bay and haven’t lost to them ahead of the regular season since 1982, they may have to resort to a pass-first approach to their offense, with Ben Jarvus Green-Ellis sidelined from the backfield, and could be susceptible to a big opening half from Aaron Rodgers.

Betting Lines for Green Bay vs. Cincinnati:

Green Bay gets the slight favorite tonight at -135 odds straight up on the money line, while Cincinnati lingers as a +115 dog.

The bookmakers at Betonline sportsbook have the Packers as a 2 ½ point favorite tonight, giving -115 odds to take Green Bay with the points, and -105 odds taking the Bengals to beat the spread.

For the over/under, look out for some scoring tonight from the passing game, with a 44 point total line giving -110 odds for either over or under wagers. With a banged up Cincy secondary, and Green Bay looking to get it’s offense in rhythm, there’s a very good probability we’ll see a break out of the total points here.

Match-up #2 – Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Baltimore Ravens, 7:30 PM ET.

This should be a hard-nosed match-up tonight as the Ravens rematch the Jags after last season’s regular season battle ended in a 12-7 win for the Jags behind rookie quarterback Blaine Gabbert on a Monday Night stage. Moving into his second year at the helm of the Jacksonville offense, Gabbert has still yet to prove that he can become an accurate passer in the regular season, and that may be difficult to prove tonight with Baltimore putting in most of its starters for a dress rehearsal game that should feature the core defense for up to 3 quarters. However, it’s good to note that so far in this year’s preseason action, Blaine Gabbert has been solid with a 18-for-26, 174 yards, 3 touchdowns, no interceptions stats line.

Although Jacksonville will remain without the NFL’s leading rusher from last season, Maurice Jones-Drew, who is still locked in a contract dispute and hasn’t played in the preseason thus far, they’ll have the benefit of facing a Ravens D that was lit up for over 500 yards against Detroit last week, and fortunately for them, understudy running back Rashad Jennings has played very well, amassing 160+ yards in his first two preseason games, and along with first-round WR Justin Blackmon, could give the Jags plenty of offense to take on the strong-natured Baltimore D. Jacksonville is young, but with plenty of talent coming on, there’s definitely hope for the fans of northern Florida, and in tonight’s game expect to see another solid effort as the team locks in its final roster spots and gets ready for a big challenge from a playoff-contender like the Ravens.

Betting lines for Baltimore vs. Jacksonville:

The Ravens head into this home contest as 5 ½ point favorites, getting -110 odds for going with Baltimore to cover. For the Jags, who have been solid in two preseason wins so far, they’ll have an enticing 5 ½ points to play with in tonight’s game, which is where we’re siding our wagers.

On the money line, the Ravens are a heavy -250 favorite, as it’s expected they’ll start their key players for up to 3 quarters. That again makes Jacksonville a tasty choice for risk takers, who will look to ride on the success the Jags have had this preseason. Look for them at +215 odds to win straight up. Stranger things have happened before the regular season commences.

For the over/under, 40 ½ total points have been offered up by Betonline, with either wager getting -110 odds. With the way things have gone in this series, with defense playing the dominant role, it’s going to take some big marbles to choose the over wager, but if you’re feeling saucy and looking for Baltimore to continue to struggle on defense, a low-money wager could pay off nicely. That said, our money is seeking out the under total points line, hoping for a low-scoring first half, followed up with some tight play as both teams keep their starters in throughout the second half.

Short List of MLB Games, NFL Preseason Action for Betting on Sports

With the weekend rapidly approaching, more great options for online sports betting are in front of us for Thursday, with a small dose of Major League Baseball contests combined with some exciting NFL preseason games available at the best online sportsbooks reviewed right here at CR. Jumping straight into the betting lines today, we’re spotting the top options for NFL Football first and foremost, with a nationally-televised match-up taking place between the Tennessee Titans and the Arizona Cardinals, and further games between the Green Bay Packers and Cincinnati Bengals, as well as the Baltimore Ravens vs. Jacksonville Jaguars also on the line.

For placing your top sportsbook bets this afternoon and evening, join us in the journey to Betonline sportsbook, a long-standing member of our short list of the top sports betting destinations found on the web. The best options to kick off your day include taking the Jacksonville Jaguars (2-0 preseason) against the spread (+5 ½ underdogs at -110 odds), as the Jags typically excel in the preseason while their opponents (such as the better-positioned Ravens) look to keep starters healthy and try out their reserves. The Cincinnati Bengals, +2 ½ point underdogs, also have a favorable draw against the banged-up Green Bay Packers, and at home should be a good look to pick up a win straight up at +115 odds. The lone ESPN game of the night between the Arizona Cardinals and the Tennessee Titans may pose a bit of a tough options for wagering, but with a quarterback competition going strong between John Skelton and Kevin Kolb, we give the edge to the hosting Cardinals as the best possible wager at +165 underdogs.

Moving into the bulk of the Major League Baseball action for Thursday, there’s a few games underway including match-ups between the Toronto Blue Jays and Detroit Tigers, the Houston Astros and St. Louis Cardinals and the Colorado Rockies and the New York Mets, but with in-play betting options for these games, and full lines for the 6 other games on tap today, you’ll be certain to find something worth wagering on at Betonline for baseball. At the top of our sports betting list, we’re expecting a solid Game 1 between the Atlanta Braves and the San Francisco Giants, with us watching for how SF’s confidence carries over to Barry Zito, who will make a home start against the Braves’ Tommy Hanson. With the Giants sweeping through the Dodgers this week, led by outstanding starting pitching, will the trend continue with a shakier Zito on the mound? With two capable pitchers on the hill, we’ll take a bit of risk and go under on total runs at 7 ½ today. Make sure to also dig into a big Game 3 match-up in the series between the LA Angels and Boston Red Sox, as the Angels look for a sweep behind C.J. Wilson, expect a low-scoring battle between the Cincinnati Reds and the Philadelphia Phillies as Johnny Cueto duels with Cole Hamels, and an advantageous game for the Tampa Bay Rays, who host the Oakland Athletics tonight.

Check out all your betting options today at, with some great potential wagers to be had on NFL preseason football and Major League Baseball. Catch up with us again tomorrow for the push into the weekend of exciting sports activity, and also keep in mind that you can stay updated with all the sports news and get exclusive sportsbook bonus offers, by signing up for our sports betting newsletter!

Texas Rangers host Baltimore Orioles in Top AL Series Finale

The Texas Rangers (71-51, 37-23 home) have been comfortable at the top of the American League West for some time now, and with a 5-game cushion heading into tonight’s rubber match of a 3-game series with the Baltimore Orioles (67-56, 35-27 away), they’ll look to their powerful bats to help them maintain their grip on first place as they head into the final 40 games of the season. For the Baltimore Orioles, who sit tied for first in the Wild Card race with divisional rivals Tampa Bay, tonight’s match-up is a very important opportunity to pick up a win and stay on pace with the Rays and their top pitching rotation. With game time tonight starting just after 8:05 PM ET from the Rangers Ballpark at Arlington, we’ll get set for an exciting showdown between two powerful lineups and two pitchers prone to give up the long ball, which should make for some fun wagers at one of the best online sportsbooks reviewed at CR.

There is no one in Major League Baseball that gives up more home runs (29) than Baltimore’s starting pitcher tonight, Tommy Hunter (4-7, 5.49 ERA), and the fact that the Rangers Ballpark is one of the most hitter-friendly parks in the league should have sports bettors drooling on the over wager on total runs from the get-go. When you add in Derek Holland (7-6, 4.98 ERA) to that equation as well, who has given up at least one home run in his last six starts and multiple home runs in 4 of his last 6 games pitched, well, you have the making for an obvious high scoring affair tonight in Texas. With the Rangers and Orioles both ranking in the top 5 in home runs this season, it doesn’t look good for the ERAs of either pitcher, but at least one of them is likely to wind up with their first win in a months’ time, provided they get enough run support early on. The trouble is figuring out which pitcher will have the best start tonight, considering Holland has not fared well at home (3-4, 5.60 ERA), but Hunter is even worse when on the road (1-5, 5.80 ERA), and has given up a home run in 11 straight games coming into tonight. With big runs likely coming, you’ll have to factor in each team’s bullpen, which has to favor Baltimore with a 1.57 combined ERA in its last 18 games. Save leader Jim Johnson (38) has been near flawless for the Orioles, and a win tonight would give Baltimore 5 straight road series wins.

Texas however has had a serious ownership over Baltimore as of late, with last night’s Baltimore victory just the second one in 11 games, and getting to face a former Ranger pitcher this evening, they have to be considered as a huge favorite at home. Adding to that, Derek Holland has had some success against the O’s batting order, allowing no deep balls in his last two starts against them, both wins, while giving up just three runs over 12 innings and twice getting the win. With Baltimore only going yard once in this series, a game-deciding blast yesterday by Nate McClouth, key to their success is getting at Holland and making him spot his pitches. Holland has struggled to find his locations around the plate, and the more patient the O’s hitters are this evening, the more likely they’ll see a missed spot by Holland that gives them a big opportunity. However, Holland has pitched well against the O’s power section, with Adam Jones, J.J. Hardy, Chris Davis and Matt Wieters all hitting under .200 against him. If he can keep the ball down and avoid the big mistake to one of these hitters, Texas should have the advantage all around tonight.

For Tommy Hunter, it’s never fun to have to face your former team on the mound, especially when that team ranks 1st in the Majors in runs and batting average. Hunter has just one previous start against the Rangers, losing in a six-inning outing in which he allowed 4 runs. Josh Hamilton was the key figure in that game, going deep for a 2-run shot that helped push the Rangers to a win, but along with Hamilton, Hunter will need to look out for Adrian Beltre, who is hitting .455 against him. The Rangers as a whole are batting .297 vs. Hunter, but Ian Kinsler, Michael Young, David Murphy and Mitch Moreland are a combined 0-for-11 in their outings against him. While there hasn’t been much success yet for these guys, just one game’s worth of plate appearances isn’t quite enough to make us stoked on Hunter finding a way to get past the big Texas bats. Rather, with Holland holding the O’s to a combined .156 average, once again we see an advantage here for the Rangers from a starting pitching and hitting perspective.

Betting Lines for the Texas Rangers vs. Baltimore Orioles at Bookmaker sportsbook.

Interestingly enough, tonight’s trends for betting on the money line for this game favor the Baltimore Orioles, with big +176 odds to win as underdogs. 55 percent of wagers are taking the O’s to prevail tonight, while 45.1 percent is taking the Rangers to win with -201 odds. We’re not buying into good odds on a dog here, considering Hunter’s propensity for the deep ball, and considering Texas’ drive to earn back a win in this series to move to a season-high 22 games over .500.

Against the spread, Baltimore is getting -115 odds to cover +1 ½ runs as underdog, while Texas is favored with -1 ½ runs at -105 odds. With big-hitting offenses and struggling pitching on both sides, chances become highly likely that the spread is going to be beaten one way or another. With the Rangers at home however, and with Hunter struggling on the road, the best looking bet here has to be taking Texas to cover the runs as favorites.

For the over/under on total runs, 9 ½ will be the mark to stay under or push over. Neither game in this series so far has eclipsed 8 runs, and home runs have been few and far between, but with both teams putting out their shakiest pitchers, and both inclined to allow the big bomb, it’s just too tempting not to go with the over wager here, despite the fact that over 60 percent of wagers are taking the under side tonight due to the better odds (-105 under vs. -115 over). Don’t chase the better odds when the likelihood of a breakout in the over/under is this high, but you can play it safe with a smaller wager amount going with the over bet like we are.

Major League Baseball Key to Midweek Wagers at Bookmaker

We’ve reached the midway point in yet another long work week, but thankfully there’s plenty of opportunity to jump into the bevy of options for sportsbook betting today, with Major League Baseball furnishing 16 games for the betting calendar, and upcoming football contests in NFL preseason play gearing up for tomorrow and Friday. If you’re looking to get into all the best options for online sports betting on Major League Baseball, or any other available sport, Wednesday is a great day to do so, and Bookmaker sportsbook is a great place to get started! Our featured sportsbook of the day, Bookmaker provides us with an updated listing of all the betting opportunities day-in and day-out, so let’s jump down to this tried-and-tested sportsbook and take a look at your best options available right now.

Though there are already a few games underway this afternoon, with the Tampa vs. Kansas City series and Chicago Cubs vs. Milwaukee Brewers contest going on right now, 14 games still remain including a rare double-header between the Miami Marlins and Arizona Diamondbacks, as well as the continuation of key series like the New York Yankees vs. Chicago White Sox and the San Francisco Giants vs. Los Angeles Dodgers. Once again, we can’t resist jumping into the most exciting series match-ups on the day, and will look first and foremost to the betting options on the Yankees vs. White Sox series, which features a solid pitching duel in the final game of the 3-game set. Chicago has a good chance to sweep the AL East-leading Yankees out of town tonight as 23 year-old Chris Sale (14-4, 2.72 ERA)shoots for his 15th win in just his second season. His opponent tonight, Phil Hughes (12-10, 4.23 ERA), has struggled with consistency over his four August starts and therefore presents a good opportunity to side with the Sox to complete the sweep tonight. We’re jumping on the bandwagon taking Chicago to cover 1 ½ runs at +165 odds, as they’ve beaten the spread in both games in this series so far, and with 16 runs scored in two games, show no signs of struggling to hit Yankee pitching.

For our additional wagers today, we’re again taking a stab at the match-up between the San Francisco Giants and LA Dodgers, which concludes a critical 3-game series today. The Giants have been making progress in repaying the Dodgers for a 3-game sweep at AT&T Park last month, by winning two straight games in this week’s series. Giants’ pitching has been paramount to their success, holding LA to just 2 runs in 2 games, and once again tonight should prove a handful with Matt Cain (12-5, 2.90 ERA) on the hill against Chris Capuano (11-8, 3.14 ERA). With the over/under posted once again at 6 runs (to mirror the Game 1 match-up between Bumgarner and Kershaw), we’ll parlay our success in this series to again take the under bet, expecting pitching to dominate hitting with so few big bats available to either side. If you’re betting straight up on this match-up, go with the Giants on the winning trend as they look to take a 2.5 game lead over the Dodgers in the NL West (-115 odds).

Make sure to check out other teams on trends right now, including the Colorado Rockies, who despite being out of the playoffs have won 3 straight and 7 out of 10, and could be primed to steal yet another game away from the slumping Mets at home. After a tough loss for the Pittsburgh Pirates last night in extra innings, look for them to bounce back against San Diego today with James McDonald (11-5, 3.61 ERA) on the mound, watch out for Washington to earn a 4th straight victory at home tonight against Atlanta, and don’t miss out wagering on the Los Angles Angels vs. Boston Red Sox clash, as the AL’s top pitcher Jered Weaver (15-3, 2.74 ERA) gets another stab at win #16 as he takes on Clay Buchholz and the slipping BoSox.

There’s plenty of other options for betting on sports today, including wagers for tomorrow’s 3 NFL preseason games featuring the Green Bay Packers vs. Cincinnati Bengals, the Baltimore Ravens vs. Jacksonville Jaguars, and the Tennessee Titans vs. St. Louis Cardinals, so jump on down to Bookmaker sportsbook, take a look at the trending wagers, and find your niche bets across the exciting sports action available on Wednesday!

Also keep in mind that you can stay updated with all the sports news and get exclusive sportsbook bonus offers, by signing up for our sports betting newsletter. Have a great day of online sports betting at the Bookmaker sportsbook or any of the other top reviewed sportsbooks found here, and we hope to catch you around our site again soon!

Division Leaders Square off as Chicago White Sox Host New York Yankees

The Chicago White Sox (66-55, 33-26 home) will look to build upon last night’s series-opening win against the New York Yankees (72-50, 33-26 away) in Game 2 tonight at U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago, Illinois. With game time slated for 8:10 PM ET and both teams needing a crucial win to stave off advancing divisional rivals, we’re expecting a great match-up for online sports betting tonight, and a great opportunity to catch two of the top hitting teams in Major League Baseball slug it out in a favorable contest for each team’s set of big bats.

For the Yankees, finding some confidence in tonight’s starter Ivan Nova (11-6, 4.76 ERA) is key, as the young right-hander has struggled mightily since the All-Star break. While Nova has pitched very well against Chicago in his brief career to-date (2-0, 1.33 ERA in 4 starts against the White Sox), giving up just 1 run in each of the 4 outings he’s had against them, he’s in need of a solid performance tonight after getting just 1 win in his last 7 starts and posting an ERA of 7.02 since the break. Both the fact that he’s facing Chicago, and the fact that he’s on the road work in his favor tonight however, as he’s posted a 3.76 ERA with a 8-2 record while away from Yankee Stadium, but he’ll need to be careful against a hard-hitting line-up like the ChiSox have, which despite the lack of run production levied against him (1 home run, 3 RBIs), still have managed to produce a .284 batting average over 81 total at-bats. With Chicago showing their power last night in a 9-6 win in which they went deep 4 times courtesy of Dewayne Wise, Gordon Beckham, Alexei Ramirez and Adam Dunn, Nova better pick his head up and expect the Sox to be swinging for the fences once again, knowing there’s a struggling pitcher on the hill.

On the flip side for Chicago, Franciso Liriano (4-10, 5.22 ERA) gets his 4th start for his new club after earning his first win in a month and a half with a solid outing against Toronto last week. Despite one rough outing two weeks ago in which he gave up 6 runs in 3 1/3 innings against Oakland, Liriano has otherwise been a solid addition to the Chicago rotation, giving up no more than 2 runs in 3 out of 4 starts. His record against the Yankees however leaves something to be desired, as he’s been hammered once this season (5 runs on 7 hits in 2 1/3 innings), and is just 1-3 in 6 previous starts despite posting a 3.22 ERA against the Bronx Bombers. He’ll need to watch out for guys like Derek Jeter, coming off a 4-for-5 night (.316 against Liriano), and expect to get hit well against a Yankees team that is 26-17 against lefties this year. If he can stick to a routine of keeping the ball down and generate more ground balls than flies, he should be able to hang tough for 5 or 6 innings. However if Robinson Cano, Curtis Granderson or Mark Teixeira come through with retaliatory deep shots tonight, Liriano could once again be on the outs after just 2-3 innings. Expect the first half of the game to very much influence the outcome tonight, with both sides needing to come out strong and pick up a win in a critical match-up.

Betting Lines for the Chicago White Sox vs. New York Yankees at TopBet sportsbook.

The money line for tonight’s Game 2 clash is tight, with both sides earning -105 odds to win straight up. New York is now 6-4 in their last 10 games after last night’s loss to Chicago, while the Sox improved to 5-5 in their last 10 games. New York has traded wins and losses for the past 5 games, while Chicago has been up and down in the past week, winning the final 3 games of a 4-game set from Toronto before getting swept by Kansas City. Chicago looks to be on the upswing after a big outing last night, and with a couple of shaky pitchers on the mound, the home team in their home park seems to be a great bet to chase.

For the spread, the Yankees get + 1 ½ runs at -200 odds as a very slight underdog. In the Yankees’ last 5 losses, just once have they been within a run of their opposition, which may point to bettors looking for a better line to look into on this match-up. For the White Sox, who have to cover – 1 ½ runs to earn +170 odds, they beat the spread last night, but failed to do so in all games against Kansas City in the previous series. However, when the ChiSox do win, they’ve covered the spread in 7 out of the last 10 games.

Lastly for the over/under tonight, the bookmakers at TopBet have left some room for two questionable starters to work with, showing 9 runs as the over/under mark, with -110 odds going either way. In Chicago’s last 5 games, the total runs have gone over 3 times, whereas in New York’s last 5 games, the total runs have gone over just twice. With a 15-run Game 1 though consisting of better pitching than tonight’s match-up, our money is going with the over bet here, banking on some big, crooked numbers coming up for both teams.

15 MLB Games Scheduled for Sportsbook Bets at TopBet

We’re getting into the meat and potatoes of the Major League Baseball week today, with a full schedule of games lined up for the betting lines at the best online sportsbooks reviewed at CR. For Tuesday, a number of great series are continuing or just kicking off, with critical match-ups affecting Wild Card races in both the American and National Leagues, as well as divisional battles that will alter the landscape of the playoff picture as well. With so many good wagering options available today, let’s take a trip down to the top online sports betting site at TopBet sportsbook to find the best-looking betting lines on the most exciting match-ups today in Major League Baseball.

The top match-up of the day once again lies in the series between the San Francisco Giants and the Los Angeles Dodgers, which features a much different look than last night’s pitcher’s duel that saw the Giants win 2-1 and earn under total runs pickers (including us) a solid payout. For tonight, former Cy Young winner Tim Lincecum (6-13, 5.45 ERA) takes the ball for the Giants, in opposition of Joe Blanton (8-11, 4.96 ERA), another quality pitcher who’s struggling through a mediocre season. TopBet has the line on this game favoring the Dodgers once again at home, with -118 odds taking LA, and +108 going underdog on SF. The good money however may once again be on the over/under, with the over 7.5 runs looking attractive at even price. For us, we can’t help notice Lincecum’s awulf road statistics this season (7.50 ERA, 3-6 record), and with Blanton’s poor form lately, we’ll chase the over bet here for the first betting line of the day.

Moving along to other key match-ups, Check out the return of King Felix to the mound for the Seattle Mariners, one start removed from his perfect game last week. Against the flailing Cleveland Indians, who have fallen off the planet in terms of playoff potential, it’s going to be a wager on the over/under once again, as Seattle has difficulty scoring runs at home, and the Indians have trouble scoring period. Against King Felix it’ll be even harder, so look for the under 6.5 runs (-115 price) to be another solid option. Sticking with AL match-ups, make sure to check out the battle between division leaders as the New York Yankees try to bounce back against the Chicago White Sox, Texas looks to take a second straight game from the Baltimore Orioles at home, and Tampa Bay’s David Price shoots for an MLB-leading 17th win on the season as the Rays and their step-up pitching staff go head-to-head with the Kansas City Royals.

For other National League contests worth checking out at TopBet sportsbook today, we’ve had plenty of luck lately behind A.J. Burnett when he’s on the hill for the Pirates, and as he looks for his 16th win on the season against the San Diego Padres and Jason Marquis, the odds look great against the spread for Pittsburgh to cover as favorites (1 ½ runs at +130 odds). Though he comes off a rough start against SD just over a week ago (5 runs in 5 2/3 innings, 5-0 loss), look for Burnett to bounce back and earn his 6th win in 7 starts. Check out another key match-up as the Atlanta Braves take on Stephen Strasburg and the Nationals, watch for a good clash as the Cincinnati Reds’ Homer Bailey faces the Phillies’ Cliff Lee, and for a fun but risky bet, look for the Colorado Rockies on the road against the New York Mets, looking for a rare 3-game winning streak if they can squeeze past Chris Young tonight. All-in-all there’s plenty of favorable options for online sports betting on Major League Baseball today, so head down to TopBet Sportsbook and get your best wagers down right now!