Betting On The Tigers This Weekend Gets Tricky
Wasn’t it me that predicted that Twins manager Ron Gardenhire would be the first baseball manager to be shown the door in 2006? Yes I also think that Barry Bonds is being unfairly accused of using performance enhancing drugs? No Gardenhire is doing just fine these days as he and his troops prepare for a crucial three game set in the Twin Cities tonight.
Minnesota (59-41) has won 34 of 42 since June 8 to cut what was an 11-game deficit in the wild card to a half-game.
"We’re just playing really good baseball," said manager Ron Gardenhire, whose team was 25-33 nearly seven weeks ago. "People keep talking about the streak we’re on, but streaks don’t last two months or a month and a half."
The Twins caught the struggling Chicago White Sox, who have led the wild-card race for most of the season, by completing a three-game sweep with a 7-4 victory Wednesday. Minnesota and Chicago are right behind the New York Yankees, who open a three-game home set against Tampa Bay on Friday night.
The Tigers under veteran skipper Jim Leyland have maintained their composure and now must deal with the newest phenom in the American League and that would be none other then rookie pitcher Francisco Liariano. The Twins look to keep rolling Friday behind Liriano (12-2, 1.93 ERA), who pitched poorly against the Tigers in two relief outings this season, allowing seven runs and 11 hits in 3 2-3 innings for a 17.18 ERA.
Since being moved into the rotation, though, the rookie left-hander has become a leading contender for the CY Young Award, going 11-2 with a 1.59 ERA in 13 starts. Minnesota is 2-7 this season against Detroit and has been outscored 64-25. In a three-game sweep from April 28-30 at Comerica Park, the Twins were outscored 33-1. The Tigers (68-33) have the best record in the major leagues, and their 30-13 mark against divisional opponents is also tops in baseball. Detroit leads the AL Central by 8 1/2 games over Minnesota and Chicago.
The question mark for all contending teams is the starting pitching and the Tigers send a struggling Zach Miner to the hill tonight. Miner has lasted only 6 2-3 combined innings and given up 10 earned runs in losing both of his starts since the break. In his first seven starts after being recalled in early June, the right-hander was 6-1 with a 2.57 ERA and didn’t allow more than three runs in a game.
Detroit gave Miner a five-run lead after one inning Saturday against Oakland, but he surrendered five runs in the top of the second and was pulled after a season-low 2 1-3 innings of a 9-5 loss.
Detroit has lost 9 of the past 12 in Minnesota and will be a dog tonight!
College Football Betting
College football has been called a pure game. The players are out there on the field playing for glory and school pride. They don’t get paid and many of them are hoping to get a shot at the NFL. College football has no salary cap and there’s nothing stopping a school from signing many top recruits in the country. In fact, a recent report showing the top high school possible recruits revealed that a strong majority had USC and Texas on their list of college choices. Good players want to play at a good school. As a result good schools get better and poor schools get worse.
Year in and year out we hear the names of top programs like Ohio State over and over. College football is a freer game than the NFL. Coaches are not afraid to try trick plays and run the option. As a result, the points can really add up. One trap that many college football bettors that also bet the NFL fall into is handicapping the game as if it was the NFL. In the NFL, each and every player—no matter how bad they seem—is one of the top players in the entire football world. In college football, there are handfuls of NFL type players with scores of just average players.
In the NFL, you would never see a spread between two teams in the 40s. However, it’s a common occurrence each week in college football. Yes, those favorite teams cover too. One aspect of the game that must be on any bettors mind is motivation. If the game features two bitter rivals, the game could be a hot contest no matter what the talent level. If nothing else, the worse team could remain closer to the favorite. It’s important to analyze the coaches as well. What type of coach does each team have? Does the coach like to run often? Does the coach like to fire away even when the game is won?
Here’s an example. For years Air Force was a team that would run the ball 80% of the time—effectively too. If they were playing a team that’s soft on the run, look out. By knowing the team’s game plan, you can forecast the outcome better. If Air Force were playing a poorer team, record wise, that had a really solid run defense, what would you do? If you were simply a college football handicapper that looks at wins/loses, you would most likely fail.
In the pros, teams are more apt to adapt. If the run is not working, they go to the air. However, in college football, some programs are built a certain way and they stick to their game plan for the most part. If the team is built as a running powerhouse, they are going to keep at the run, because that’s all they can really do. The grand lesson here is to not look at college football like you would the NFL. While it’s football, it really is not the same game.
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