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WHAT’S ON TAP IN SPORTS FOR FRIDAY, OCTOBER 4, 2019:
There are plenty of interesting events around the country Friday night including College Football, Major League Baseball, and National Hockey League. Hereof, let’s check out what’s on tap along with our free betting picks of the day:
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American League Division Series Game 1:
Rays +190 at Astros -210
Twins +170 at Yankees -200
National League Division Series Game 2:
Cardinals at Braves
Nationals at Dodgers
Blackhawks +100 at Flyers -120
Maple Leafs -150 at Blue Jackets +130
Capitals +100 at Islanders -120
Jets +111 at Devils -138
Golden Knights -127 at Sharks -106
UCF at Cincinnati (+3.5)
New Mexico at San Jose State (-6.5)
FREE MLB BETTING PICK OF THE DAY
- Tampa Bay Rays vs. Houston Astros
The Rays survived the wild-card game, outlasting the Oakland A’s 5-1 on the road this past Wednesday. Now, they take on the Houston Astros in Game 1 of the American League Division Series. The Astros finished the regular season with the best record in baseball (107-55).
However, the Rays won four of their seven encounters with the Astros this season and are 11-6 in the previous 17 head-to-head duels. Likewise, the Rays won six of their previous 11 visits to Minute Maid Park. Still, the Astros are the strongest favorites to win the World Series, according to all relevant sportsbooks.
Justin Verlander is the reason why I’m backing the Astros to win the opener. Verlander showed some stellar pitching during the regular season including his third career no-hitter. The right-hander went 21-6 in 34 starts, tallying a 2.58 ERA and a 0.80 WHIP.
Likewise, Verlander is 10-4 in 20 starts against the Rays in his career. He’s 6-2 in the previous nine starts in the postseason. The 2017 World Series champ has a 3.19 ERA in 152.1 innings of work in the postseason, allowing 110 hits and 54 earned runs while striking out 167.
On the other side, Tyler Glasnow will get the starting nod for the Rays. The right-hander is 6-1 in 12 starts this season, recording a 1.78 ERA and a 0.89 WHIP. For most of the 2019 season, Glasnow was sidelined with a forearm injury.
Glasnow will have a debut in the playoffs, while he’s won his lone start against the Astros in a career. Even if he doesn’t last too long, the Rays have a deep bullpen. However, I don’t think the Rays have enough offensive weapons to beat the Astros with Verlander on the mound.
The Rays are scoring 4.75 runs per game (18th in the MLB) on a .254 batting average (12th). The Astros are tallying 5.68 runs per contest (3rd) on a .274 batting average (1st). In 11 of their last 13 home games, the Astros covered the spread, so consider taking them to beat the Rays by two or more runs at bigger odds.
- Houston Astros +100 over Tampa Bay Rays by two or more runs
FREE NHL BETTING PICK OF THE DAY
- Washington Capitals vs. New York Islanders
The Metropolitan Division showdown from Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale, New York, will see the Washington Capitals facing off against the Washington Capitals. It’s the season opener for the hosts, while the Capitals opened with a 3-2 victory at the reigning champs St. Louis Blues on Tuesday.
The Capitals won the 2018-19 regular-season series with the Islanders 2-1. They won both encounters in Uniondale (4-1 and 3-1) while losing 2-0 at home. The Capitals are 13-7 in their last 20 meetings with the Islanders and 6-3 in the previous nine matchups at Nassau Veteran Memorial Coliseum.
The Islanders finished the previous season at the second spot of the Metropolitan Division one point behind the Capitals. They were a pleasant surprise in the Eastern Conference, reaching the second round of the playoffs.
However, I’m backing the Capitals to upset the odds here. They overcame a two-goal deficit at St. Louis and nail the winner in overtime, so the Capitals’ confidence should be sky-high.
- Washington Capitals +100 over New York Islanders
FREE CFB BETTING PICK OF THE DAY
- UCF Knights vs. Cincinnati Bearcats
The Knights owned the Bearcats over the last three years, going 3-0 straight up and ATS. Likewise, the Knights outscored the Bearcats 113-39 in that span. No. 18 UCF is 4-1 SU and 3-2 ATS on the season, while Cincinnati is 3-1 SU and ATS.
The Knights are coming off an easy 56-21 win to UConn. They are scoring 49.0 points per game (6th in the country) while surrendering 19.4 in a return (33rd). Freshman QB Dillon Gabriel is leading the way for Central Florida, tossing for 1338 yards, 14 touchdowns, and a pair of interceptions.
On the other side, the Bearcats routed Marshall 52-14 on the road last weekend. Still, they are scoring 27.8 points per contest (80th). The Bearcats are allowing 20.8 points in a return (35th).
The bookies expect to see a tight game. However, the Knights’ offense should be too much for the Bearcats who lack offensive firepower despite those 52 points at Marshall. UCF is a much better team than Marshall, and I think they will grab a win and cover the spread along the way.
- UCF Knights -3.5 at -110