Do you ever feel like you're drowning in sports? When you do, do you want somebody to save you, or are you cool with drowning? I'm the latter. The last few days have been insane. With the baseball postseason raging, and European soccer cramming as many matches in before the World Cup as possible, every day this week has featured sports from the early afternoon until the early morning. I love it.
Tuesday was the first real day off I've had in months, and I spent it planted on my couch watching sports the entire day. I was betting on everything. If it was a sport, and it was on television, I was watching it, and I had money riding on the outcome.
I don't want to say it was the best day of my life, but it was solidly in the top 20. Maybe even the top 10. Let's see if we can add today to the list by going 3-0 in our bets for tonight. Before we get to them, though, let's catch up on all the latest happenings and what not.
- Travis Kelce is either dropping hints or making subtle demands.
- College football's second half storylines.
- The CBS Sports Preseason College Basketball All-America Teams are out.
OK, let's have ourselves a day.
All times Eastern, and all odds via Caesars Sportsbook
🔥 The Hot Ticket
Saints at Cardinals, 8:15 p.m. | TV: Amazon
- Key Trend: The under has cashed in five straight Cardinals games
- The Pick: Under 43.5 (-110)
I regret to inform you that we could be in for another ugly Thursday night game. It's possible Al Michaels could decide to retire mid-game after having to deal with a boring snoozer for what seems like the 100th consecutive week. Arizona gets DeAndre Hopkins back from suspension, which is excellent news for an offense in need of good news. Unfortunately, the injury report for both teams on a short week is not promising.
The Cardinals will be likely be without top running backs James Conner and Darrel Williams. Marquis Brown is out for at least a month following a foot injury, and the Cards will be missing their starting left guard and center. New Orleans isn't much better off. There's some question as to whether it'll be Andy Dalton or Jameis Winston at QB tonight. I'd bet on Dalton. Whoever it is won't have Michael Thomas, Jarvis Landry or tight end Adam Trautman available. Nor will they have the team's starting left guard Andrus Peat.
So the Saints are likely to lean on the run game, and the Cardinals will, well, I don't know exactly what the Cardinals will do. It probably won't be pretty -- even Kliff Kingsbury has publicly considered the option of giving up play-calling, which is seldom a good sign. I have more faith in both the defenses tonight, and you should too.
Here's what SportsLine is saying about the game: If you want to bet the spread, the Projection Model has a healthy lean to one side.
💰 The Picks
Yankees at Astros, 7:37 p.m | TV: TBS
The Pick: Under 7 (-110) -- There's been plenty made of Houston's dominance in this rivalry, as the Astros have had the better of the Yankees in October and won five straight against them in Houston. People don't pay as close attention to the fact that the under has been a reliable play when they meet. It's gone 5-2 in the last seven meetings, and my numbers tell me there's a strong chance it'll move to 6-2 after tonight.
Aaron Boone avoided some of his better relievers last night in a move that infuriated a lot of the Yankees fans I know, but could pay off tonight. They were exhausted and needed a day off. With Luis Severino going tonight, odds are the better bullpen arms will be needed, as he hasn't been pitching deep into games since returning in September. Meanwhile, the Astros have Framber Valdez going, and he's an excellent pitcher to have against the Yankees because he keeps the ball on the ground and in the park. The Yankees aren't nearly as effective if you force them to go station to station.
Key Trend: The under is 5-2 in the last seven meetings.
🏈 College Football
Virginia at Georgia Tech, 7:30 p.m | TV: ESPN
The Pick: Virginia +3 (-110) -- I've had a firm stance on fading Virginia this season, but I'm forced to reconsider tonight. This is a matchup the Cavaliers can take advantage of. There are questions about whether or not Georgia Tech QB Jeff Sims will play after getting banged up last weekend. If he doesn't, it only means we're getting more value on Virginia. Either way, while the Cavaliers have struggled offensively, they've been better at running the ball, ranking 38th nationally in success rate. Georgia Tech's defense ranks 76th nationally in success rate against the run.
Furthermore, like Virginia, the Yellow Jackets are better on the ground. For all of Virginia's faults offensively, it's been pretty solid defensively and is much better against the run. The Yellow Jackets have one of the worst passing attacks in the country and won't be able to exploit Virginia's defense. Virginia can exploit Tech's. In a game that should be close, those little margins matter.
Key Trend: Georgia Tech is 7-19 ATS in its last 26 home games.
🔒 SportsLine Pick of the Day: It's the Battle for Los Angeles tonight as the Lakers and Clippers go at it. The Projection Model has a strong lean toward one side of the total you should check out.