The weekend’s getting closer and that means a triple dose of sporting action Thursday night. A full slate of baseball action is scheduled whilst Thursday Night Football kick starts the NFL’s Week 3. Then it’s a time for some Top 25 NCAA football as #24 Boise State hosts Brigham Young, a team on the fringe of the polls. That’s plenty of betting action making its way to you.
MLB: Oakland Athletics @ Detroit Tigers
(1:05 PM ET)
Baseball gets an early start – and a rare 13-game Thursday schedule – with no fewer than seven games starting before 4:05 PM ET. The pick of the early games is Oakland (64-64, 40-33 road) at Detroit (79-69, 45-28 home).
Detroit has taken the first two games of the series, leaving Oakland on a three-game losing streak, and having won only two of the past six. The mini-slump has seen the A’s overtaken by the Orioles for the first Wild Card place. Oakland remains 3.5 games up on Los Angeles.
Detroit lost a golden opportunity to put the pressure on Chicago (White Sox) when the two met in a game rescheduled earlier this week. Detroit’s wins over Oakland has the Tigers two games behind the South Siders in the race for the AL Central.
The Tigers are favorites. Detroit’s moneyline is -140, while Oakland is +120. The over/under is 8.5. With Tom Millone (OAK) and Anibal Sanchez (DET) on the mound, take the over. Take Oakland to avoid the sweep.
MLB: Los Angeles Dodgers @ Washington Nationals
(7:05 PM ET)
The pick of the evening games sees Los Angeles (77-72, 37-37 road) try to prize another win from the NL East-leading Washington Nationals (90-58, 45-28 home).
The two teams split a day/night doubleheader on Wednesday, making up for Tuesday’s rained off fixture. Washington is one game from securing a postseason berth, while Los Angeles is desperately looking to pass St. Louis – currently two games to the good – in the race for the final Wild Card position.
Washington is the bookie’s pick with the moneyline set at -140, and will rely on Ross Detwiler to see them into the postseason for the first time since the franchise exited Montreal. Chris Capuano goes for the Dodgers, and gives the team a good chance of winning. The over/under is set at 8.
Take Los Angeles to spoil the party tonight, before Washington secures postseason play against Milwaukee on Friday.
NFL: New York Giants @ Carolina Panthers
(8:20 PM ET)
Week 3 in the NFL kicks off with the New York Giants (1-1, 0-0 road) heading to Charlotte to take on the Carolina Panthers (1-1, 1-0 home).
The Giants beat the Buccaneers in a shootout on Sunday, making up for an opening day loss to Dallas. Carolina upset New Orleans over the weekend after losing to Tampa Bay in Week 1.
This has the potential to be another high-scoring affair. Eli Manning has averaged 361.5 yards through the air in his two previous starts while Can Newton is a threat both through the air and on the ground. The second-year QB leads the Panthers in rushing. Expect this one to go over the 50 points set in the over/under.
New York has won three of the last four encounters, including a 31-18 win last time around (2010). The Giants have not played in Charlotte since 2006.
Oddsmakers have Carolina as three-point favorites. That’s a little surprising, although a win over New Orleans probably does grant some favoritism. Take New York though, both straight up and to beat the spread. Tom Coughlin is a wily vet and will have the answer for Cam Newton’s athleticism.
NCAAF: Brigham Young @ #24 Boise State
(9:00 PM ET)
To close out the night, we get our second helping of Week 4 NCAA action. Kent State took down Buffalo last night in a MAC showdown. Tonight, #24 Boise State (1-1, 1-0 home) looks to do the same to Brigham Young (2-1, 0-1 road).
Brigham Young’s loss to Utah last weekend say the IA independent drop out of the polls, while the Broncos’ win over Miami (OH) elevated them back into the rankings after dropping out after Week 1 for the first time in four years.
Boise State, playing at home, is one-touchdown favorites over the Cougars. The Broncos haven’t lost a home game in September since a 41-20 loss to Washington State in 2001. That’s 18 games ago!
BYU is no slouch though. Bar last week’s missed field goals at the end of the game, the Cougars would have been entering this game 3-0 and ranked.
Still, Boise State edges out BYU in this one. Take the Broncos to win outright and to beat the spread.
Then, get ready for football action all weekend.