The World Series is back in action on Friday night, with Game 3 between the Dodgers and Rays on tap. Tampa Bay evened the series at a game apiece on Wednesday, and Friday’s tilt features an awesome pitching matchup between Walker Buehler and Charlie Morton.
Things are otherwise quiet on the sports betting front for Friday, but we do have four college football games on the schedule, as well. That includes No. 14 Wisconsin hosting Illinois in a rare Friday night Big Ten matchup, so football bettors can get in on a little action before this weekend’s smorgasbord of college and pro action.
BetOnline.ag has just two boosters on the board ahead of Friday’s games. Let’s try to uncover some value, shall we?
Tulsa will be on the road taking on South Florida in an American Athletic Conference matchup. Tulsa is off to a 1-1 start, with their win coming last week over No. 11 UCF in one of the weekend’s biggest upsets. The Golden Hurricane were beaten by Oklahoma State, then also ranked 11th, back in their first game. It’s been a tough schedule for Tulsa thus far, and they still have a couple of games against ranked opponents (SMU, Cincinnati) on the docket.
South Florida, meanwhile, is off to a miserable start.
They beat The Citadel 27-6 in their opener, but they have since dropped four straight. That includes a 52-0 whipping at the hands of Notre Dame, followed by losses to Cincinnati, East Carolina, and Temple. Their loss to the Owls last week was by just two points, but over other loss came by at least three touchdowns.
Tulsa is a sizable 10.5-point favorite on the road tonight, and with good reason. The Bulls haven’t really been all that competitive. As we saw last week, Tulsa is a team capable of taking down anyone. 62 percent of the bets and 68 percent of the money has come in on the Golden Hurricane to cover.
Wisconsin is favored by nearly three scores tonight at home over Illinois. The Big Ten is kicking off this weekend after suspending the beginning of the season, so we could see some early-season wonkiness. Oddsmakers aren’t expecting an upset here, though, against a Fighting Illini team that hasn’t finished with a record of .500 or better since 2011.
The Badgers are starting a redshirt freshman QB tonight with Graham Mertz set to fill in for the injured Jack Coan. We’ll see how Wisconsin’s rushing attack fares now that Jonathan Taylor has moved on to the NFL. That won’t be an easy task, but the Badgers are returning four experience offensive linemen. That should help.
Back on Wednesday, BetOnline offered boosted odds on the Dodgers sweeping the series. Later that night, the Rays evened things up at a game apiece. Now, BetOnline is giving you the chance to wager on the Dodgers finishing this series with a gentleman’s sweep. Can LA reel off three straight wins to win the series in five?
They’re in a good spot tonight with Buehler on the hill. The right-hander shut out the Braves in six dominant innings in Game 6 of the NLCS, but Morton on the other side is no slouch. The Dodgers are still solid -145 moneyline favorites here because they’re the best team in baseball, but this isn’t a lopsided pitching matchup in their favor by any means.
In Game 4, the Dodgers will throw lefty Julio Urias to the mound. The Rays haven’t yet announced their Game 4 starter, but left-hander Ryan Yarbrough seems to be a logical choice. Yarbrough started Game 3 of the ALCS against Houston. He pitched in relief of Tyler Glasnow in Game 1 of this series, but he only threw 19 pitches. One would imagine he’s fine to start Game 4, assuming we don’t see him tonight. Regardless, Tampa Bay will likely take a bullpen-heavy approach on Saturday night. That tips the scales in favor of Urias and LA.
Sunday’s Game 5 will likely be a rematch of the Game 1 matchup between Glasnow and Clayton Kershaw. Both starters will be on full rest. Kershaw vastly outpitched Glasnow in Game 1, but the Dodger lefty has rarely had as much success in his second start of a postseason series. The Dodgers will still be favored, as usual, but in terms of raw ability, this pitching matchup is another toss-up.
Would the Dodgers winning the World Series in five games be a surprise? Of course not. While I would give them the edge in Game 3 with Buehler on the mound, the Dodgers’ offense isn’t in an overly advantageous spot against a quality starter like Morton. Tampa Bay does have a great chance to steal another game on Friday night, so I’m a bit leery of going in on the Dodgers to take each of the next three games and close things out.
I think you’re getting better value on the two-way college football result. Tulsa is going on the road, but South Florida isn’t the toughest place to play. The Bulls also look like one of the worst teams in the AAC. If their effort against a ranked Notre Dame was any indication, they clearly don’t have enough talent to hang with a halfway decent team. Tulsa looks solid, so I have faith in the Golden Hurricane covering the sizable spread.
I have more questions about a more inexperienced Wisconsin team winning by at least 20 tonight. A redshirt freshman QB combined with an unproven running game makes this dicey, but the Badgers do project to have one of the best defenses in the nation this season. Illinois should continue to improve after qualifying for a bowl game last year, but at +310 I’m willing to take a stab at the Badgers covering at home tonight.
Bet on Tulsa and Wisconsin both to cover on Friday.
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