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The first race on the card for this weekend’s Breeders Cup 28 million dollar horse racing event is the Longines Distaff which featured a classic battle between the 6-year-old, 3-time champion mare Beholder and then-unbeaten 3-year-old megastar Songbird in a mesmerizing duel to the end. Beholder won by a nose becoming a three-time Breeders Cup winner in the final start of a magnificent career. Beholder placed in 24 of her races winning 18 with two second-place finishes. This year’s event not as impressive it poses a wide open talented field. The fields include 1) Champagne Room, Jockey Mario Gutierrez, morning line odds of 15-1, 2) Stella Wind is the narrow favourite, Jockey Victor Espinoza, morning line odds at 5-2, 3.) Mopotism presents intrigue in that jockey Frankie Dettori gets the ride odds of 30-1, 4.) Abel Tasman a Bob Baffert trained filly, 4-1 Mike Smith the rider, Elate goes off at 3-1, the ride Jose Ortiz. Forever Unbridled is a 4-1 jockey, John L Velazquez. Next are Paradise Woods and rider Flavien Prat going off at 9-2? Finally, Romantic Vision with rider Brian Hernandez Junior goes off at 15-1
How to bet? This is the field is better than last year’s field. It would have been the strongest field ever but Songbird injured and most likely retired, and the grey super filly unique Bella is out. The field is still strong and I give the edge to the older mares over the fillies. My wager is Forever Unbridled and Stella Wind wins, place box coupled with Elate for show money. Paradise Woods will have an early lead and they need to watch her and the fractions she has stolen races before. That said I would bundle the top three win win-show bets win and place bets. It would not surprise me if Elate wins but she’ll need Stella Wind to run a hot pace with paradise Woo and have to worry about closer Forever Unbridled. I really like Elate I understand she may not be mature enough to bet the older mares.
The Juvenile Turf is an open race I expect the Europeans to lock up top two spots with a horse who has raced in Canada to possibly crack the top 4 spots. Masar is deserved of being the favourite I think he’ll finish first and you can couple Masar with Rajasinghe. I watched untamed money work out and race earlier in the year at the Summers stakes he a nice horse to rate and sit close to the pace and make a late run. My Masar to win.
The Dirt Mile is a tough race analyze. Accelerate and Mor Spirit has raced on the track and have the west coast edge. Sharp Azteca is the class of the field but unraced at Del Mar. This is going to be a speed duel between the big three and I expect a closer such as Iron fist to get a win, place show money. The big three I mentioned could easily win, Sharp Azteca, Accelerate or Mor Spirit. If we have a speed duel and jockey Ricardo Santana Jr rates Iron Fist just off the pace to come with the big run he could win. Best bet Iron win, place or show. Mor Spirit Sharp Azteca win-place box with iron fist show, another decent bet Accelerate win, place show.
The final race on Friday is the juvenile fillies turf. Happily trained by Aiden O’Brien is the favourite and class of the field. She is a multiple group one winner with exquisite breeding. Happily, wins the race on one leg coupled with any European horses from Ireland.
Later Friday night I will post Saturdays Breeders cup picks and college football picks.
The college football’s Week 10 menu features an intriguing menu of sudden death football in the major conferences and independent. It’s safe to say no small conference or mid-major team as a chance to qualify for the final four though Central Florida still unbeaten will see itself in a New Year’s Day bowl. We’ll look at the MAC conference where Ohio and Akron remain in the hunt for the MID American East regular-season championship. In the Western division of the MAC, the Toledo, Northern Illinois and Western Michigan remain in the hunt for the division title. Ohio host Kent State and a win assure them of the regular season title. Last time out Ohio defeated Kent State 48-3. Miami of Ohio covered a-3 spread by defeating a valiant Buffalo team 24-14. Miami of Ohio signature win is a week four trouncing of Central Michigan. Except for the Notre Dame fiasco where the Irish destroyed those 52-17 the red hawks as played everyone tough. Last year Ohio defeated the red hawks 17-7. I expect a tight game I’ll take the +10 and Miami of Ohio to cover. Ohio is maybe looking ahead to MAC championships since they have locked up the division. Final score Ohio 48-40 in OT or 45-42 OT Take Miami of Ohio to cover +10
The Central Michigan Chippewa’s and the Western Michigan Broncos will both be trying to pick up a win on Wednesday when they battle at Waldo Stadium. Western Michigan was a 20-17 winner in its last match on the road against Eagles. They covered the -2.5-point spread as a favourite. Last time out Central Michigan dismantled Ball State 56-9. Nonetheless, they do have a loss 30-10 loss to Toledo-one of the teams currently ahead of them for the division title. Western Michigan is still in the hunt for the division title in that they still have to play Northern Illinois and Toledo. I give Western Michigan the victory and the cover. Central Michigan is improving, and they play hard every week. I like Western Michigan because they are at home and focused on the task ahead.
In the other game of concern, Toledo and Northern Illinois see the winner in control of the Western Division title and a spot in the MAC championship game. Toledo defeated NIU 31-24 last season. I expect a bit of the same type of a game. NIU as injuries so I’m favouring Toledo to win the game 27-23, 30-20 or 19-10 ……I won’t wager on a cover Toledo -9
Akron holds a 4-1 record in the division and first place. Overall they are 5-4 with decent victories over Western Michigan and Toledo. I don’t expect Akron to look ahead to the big game with Ohio a game that will decide the Eastern Division regular season champion. Last time out Akron defeated Buffalo 21-20. Akron is idle this week, but the November 14th game with Ohio will decide the representative in the MAC championship game.
Other games of betting concerns before Big Saturday see Eastern Michigan at home to Ball State. Eastern Michigan is 2-6, but they have been more than respectable in losses to Ohio 20-27, Kentucky 20-24, Toledo 15-20, Army 27-28, Western Michigan 20-27 and Northern Illinois 27-30. I expect Eastern Michigan to blow out Ball State 49-13 and get the -24.5 cover. Navy visits Temple on Thursday. I like Navy to win this game early and often. The final score Navy gets a surprise win in Philadelphia 45-24. Take the money line be wild and gamble the points like me -9. Idaho has +18 to work with against a Troy team that is slipping. Give me Idaho on the road and points. Marshall always beats FAU; this year may be different with the new coach coming from Alabama. I like Marshall to cover the +9.5 points; I won’t wager any real money on the win except in a long shot bet parlayed with a group of DAWGS throughput the week. It’s funny because Tulsa played tough all year with nothing to show. Tulsa is one of the big disappointments along with UCLA, Texas AM, Florida, LSU to an extent and FSU and USC. That said you might see a big upset this Friday when they face Memphis. If the Tulsa players still have a fight I call for a cover at +12.5 the final score 51-41 or 47-38. UCLA faces Utah it won’t surprise me if UCLA gets the win that said I’m staying away. Utah is more than 4.5 favourites take the Bruins the final score 38-30 if UCLA can pull upset or 30-27 UTAH.
Those are my nibbles before the big games on Saturday come back to website Friday night early Saturday morning for Saturday picks.
|FRIDAY, SEPT. 22|
|SATURDAY, SEPT. 23|
|PENN STATE at IOWA…James Franklin on 12-1 spread run, five straight covers away from Happy Valley. .
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HOUSTON at CINCINNATI (NFL, 8:30 p.m. ET)
Cincinnati as a better O
Edge: BENGALS COVER 5.5.
SUNDAY, SEP. 17 TENNESSEE at JACKSONVILLE (CBS, 1:00 p.m. ET)
Jags “over” 15-8 since late 2015. Both vs. Titans “over” LY. Jags “over” 10-4 last 14 at home. Jags have won and covered last three at home vs. Titans. Edge: Jacksonville based on total trends to win and cover
CLEVELAND at BALTIMORE (CBS, 1:00 p.m. ET)
Cleveland improved at QB and D, Ravens win game Edge: Ravens win and cover.
BUFFALO at CAROLINA (CBS, 1:00 p.m. ET)
Bills were “over” 12-4 last season. Panthers 3-7-1 as chalk LY. Edge: to Carolina who wants the world to forget last season.
NEW ENGLAND at NEW ORLEANS (CBS, 1:00 p.m. ET)
Saints 9-2 last 11 as a dog and are 5-0 as home dog since 2015. New England bounces back with a big win but Saints cover the spread. Edge: Saints and “over,” based on team and “totals” trends.
ARIZONA at INDIANAPOLIS (FOX, 1:00 p.m. ET)
Arians 17-7 vs. line away his first three seasons with Cards but 3-6 since LY. Both teams in trouble I take Arizona to cover and win. Tech Edge: Cards and “over,” based on team and “totals” trends.
PHILADELPHIA at KANSAS CITY (FOX, 1:00 p.m. ET)
Birds only 2-6 vs. line away LY, and dropped both vs. line in second of back-to-backs away. Reid only 6-10 as Arrowhead chalk past two seasons, also “under” 8-16 last three seasons at home. If KC had Berry I give them a double digit win. Tech Edge: KC wins the game. I won’t wager on the spread but if forced Philly can cover.
MINNESOTA at PITTSBURGH (FOX, 1:00 p.m. ET)
Vikes were 1-5 vs. line last six away LY, also dipped to 3-3 as a dog after 7-1 mark in role previous year. Tomlin 23-16 0 at home. Edge to Minnesota wins on the road. Mild upset but to the rookies, it will be an epic upset.
CHICAGO at TAMPA BAY (FOX, 1:00 p.m. ET)
Bears 2-6 vs. line away LY after 5-2-1 for Fox in 2015, though Fox only 6-9-1 vs. line each of past two seasons. Bucs only 6-10 vs. line at home since 2015 and 2-8 as Raymond James chalk since 2014.
Edge: Tampa double digit win.
MIAMI at L.A. CHARGERS (CBS, 4:05 p.m. ET)
At Qualcomm, Bolts were just 8-16 vs. spread past three seasons and lost at home vs. Dolphins LY, 31-24. If Bolts chalk note 7-12 mark in role since 2014. Miami closed reg. season on 7-3-1 spread run Edge: Dolphins, and “over,” based on team and “totals” trends.
N.Y. JETS at OAKLAND (CBS, 4:05 p.m. ET)
Jets 4-8-2 vs. spread last 13 away. Also “under” 10-2 last 11 away. Tech Edge: Raiders blow out the Jets 38-14
WASHINGTON at L.A. RAMS (FOX, 4:25 p.m. ET)
Skins 9-2 vs. line last 11 on road, also “over” 17-4 last 21 since late 2015. Edge: Rams surprise playoff team. Double digit Rams win.
DALLAS at DENVER (FOX, 4:25 p.m. ET)
Dallas “under” 6-2 away LY and “under” 16-8-1 last 25 reg.-season games. Edge: Dallas gets the win a field goal game. Get it now odds might jump.
SAN FRANCISCO at SEATTLE (FOX, 4:25 p.m. ET)
Seattle has won last seven SU in series (6-1 vs. line) and has won and covered six straight at home vs. Niners. SF “over” 7-2 last nine away. Edge: Seahawks
GREEN BAY at ATLANTA (NBC, 8:30 p.m. ET)
Pack 4-2 as dog LY but just 1-8 in role previous three years. Falcons did not look good. Revenge game for GB Edge: “Over” and slight to Pack, based on “totals” and team trends.
MONDAY, SEP. 18 DETROIT at N.Y. GIANTS (ESPN, 8:30 p.m. ET)
Eli 8-3 vs. line last 11 in 2016, though lost opener, and Giants now “under” 13-4 in reg season since LY (5-3 at home LY). G-Men, however, just 2-9-1 vs. line in the game immediately follow Dallas. If Beckham plays NYG
Edge: “high scoring game and Detroit cover.
I’m Courtney Duncan handicapping the games such a handsome guy