Keep betting those NFL preseason unders, plus there’s a clear trend in the Astros’ last 16 wins

Listen, nobody likes Mondays, but this is a special Monday. Sure, the weekend is over, and we’ve got a long way to go until the next one, but it was an important milestone we just passed.

We just got through the last weekend of the year without meaningful football games. That’s right, games that will count in the standings begin this Saturday with college football‘s Week Zero. OK, fine, so it’s not the greatest slate of games, but they are games! And we do get a Big Ten conference matchup between Illinois and Nebraska, and that’s a lot better than nothing.

We’ll also get UConn taking on Fresno State on CBS Sports Network, and, while maybe that game doesn’t excite you, that’s just because you’ve forgotten that the New York Times declared UConn last season’s national champions since it canceled its season and didn’t try to play through a pandemic.

So show the Huskies a little more respect, will you? And show the writers of these stories some respect by reading them. I mean, they wrote them for you. It’s the least you can do.

Let’s get wagering.

All times Eastern, and all odds via Caesars Sportsbook

🔥 The Hot Ticket

🏈 Jaguars at Saints, 8 p.m. | TV: ESPN
The Pick: Under 39.5 (-110)
: Am I addicted to betting preseason unders? Maybe. I’m betting preseason unders because I want to, and, considering how often they’re winning, I can’t say it’s been bad for me. So I view it as a profitable hobby more than an addiction. However you view it, we’re back at it tonight.

Much of the country will get its first chance to see Trevor Lawrence in a Jaguars uniform tonight, and there’s also the QB battle between Jameis Winston and Taysom Hill with the Saints. None of that matters much to me, just as long as nobody gets crazy and scores too many points.

If you weren’t with us last week and didn’t know, the under has gone 23-8-1 in NFL preseason games this season. It’s simple: teams aren’t interested in showing opponents anything of value, which often leads to boring games.

Key Trend: The under is 23-8-1 in NFL preseason games this year.

Here’s what SportsLine is saying about the game: If you’re more interested in betting the spread, Mike Tierney, who is 23-12 with his last 35 against-the-spread picks involving the Jaguars, has released his pick for tonight’s game.

💰 The Picks


Royals at Astros, 8:10 p.m. | TV: MLB.TV
The Pick: Astros -1.5 (-125) — 
This pick goes along with another theme that’s been prevalent and profitable in this newsletter in recent weeks: betting on the good teams against the bad teams. It’s a revolutionary idea sure to turn the world on its head!

Houston has a 3.5-game lead over Oakland in the AL West and if it wants to hold onto it, beating bad teams like Kansas City is a great way to go about it. The Royals enter tonight’s game having won three straight, but I have concerns about their starter tonight. Daniel Lynch has an ERA of 5.12 and a walk rate of 9.5%. He gives up a lot of solid contact, and tonight he’ll face a Houston offense that ranks fourth in MLB in wOBA against lefties.

Key Trend: Each of Houston’s last 16 wins have come by at least two runs.

Mariners at Athletics, 9:40 p.m. | TV: MLB.TV
The Pick: Under 8.5 (+100) — 
A lot of my favorite under factors will be in play here tonight. First of all, there’s the Oakland Coliseum. Already cavernous, it rates as the least hitter-friendly park in baseball at night, according to Statcast’s Park Factors metric. That helps alleviate some of my fears about tonight’s starting pitching matchup, as neither Seattle’s Marco Gonzales nor Oakland’s Paul Blackburn rack up strikeouts. Gonzales’ flyball tendencies aren’t as problematic in Oakland, while Blackburn’s reason for being in MLB is his ability to get groundballs.

Also, we can’t ignore the stakes. Oakland trails Houston by 3.5 games in the West, and as I write this, it’s tied with Boston for the second wild card spot. Three games behind them, we find the Mariners, so this is a crucial series for Seattle. If it loses this series, its playoff hopes will dwindle further, while a few wins will boost their odds. So both teams will be treating this series like the postseason, which means managers will be more aggressive with their bullpens, which will depress the scoring.

Key Trend: The under is 4-1 in the last five meetings.

🔒 SportsLine Pick of the Day: The Advanced Computer Model has an A-graded play on the spread in tonight’s game between the Toronto Blue Jays and Chicago White Sox.

⚾ Same Game Parlay

A coordinated parlay here, as I think that if one happens, both happen. It pays +257.

  • Cubs (-121)
  • Cubs/Rockies Under 8.5 (-105)

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