What's going on everyone? It's Chris Bengel back with you after a glorious holiday weekend. I hope everyone was able to enjoy some time with their families while also cashing a few tickets from the opening weekend of college football.

One thing I was reminded of this weekend is that parlays are the devil. Look, it's always a risk if you're throwing any type of parley together, but that large payout is so tempting. I had an eight-leg parlay just for fun and honestly didn't expect it to hit. However, seven of the eight legs hit with the only blemish being the over of Texas/Louisiana failing to cash. What may have been the most frustrating part was that it only failed to hit by two points. 

As college football and the NFL seasons begin, let me give you some advice: Just say no when it comes to parlays (besides the ones Tom Fornelli and I tell you to bet in this newsletter!) If there's a few games that you like on the slate, place them all as straight bets. You never know what can happen on the gridiron and this way, you're going to win a few of the bets most likely. If they all hit, that's phenomenal. But if they don't, you'll be kicking yourself.

Let's see if I can take my own advice starting this weekend! Anyway, let's dive into tonight's picks on the diamond.

All times Eastern, and all odds via Caesars Sportsbook

🔥 The Hot Ticket

 Reds at Cubs, 7:40 p.m. | TV: MLB.TV
The Pick: Reds (-153)
: It may seem crazy to fade a team that has won seven consecutive games, but I'm very confident in riding with the Reds tonight. First of all, the Cubs haven't exactly faced banner competition over the course of this winning streak. Four of those games came against the Pittsburgh Pirates, a team that the sports betting community has made a great deal of money off of this season. The Cubs also faced the Minnesota Twins.

One of the biggest reasons I'm on the Reds tonight is starting pitcher Wade Miley. Miley has had a phenomenal year in which he's gone 11-5 with a 2.97 ERA and even tossed a no-hitter earlier in the season. The veteran left-hander hasn't had many bad outings to speak of. In fact, Miley has only surrendered four or more runs in five of his starts this season. In his last start against the Cubs, Miley threw seven shutout innings and only surrendered four hits in a 14-5 Reds victory.

Key Trend: Cubs are 2-7 in their last 9 games vs. a left-handed starter

💰 The Picks



Rangers at Diamondbacks, 9:40 p.m. | TV: MLB.TV
The Pick: Diamondbacks (-157) --
This is a battle between two bad teams, to say the least. But I'm very confident in what way you should be leaning in this one. The Diamondbacks might be a surprise team to back considering the fact that they've really struggled at home as of late, but I don't expect us to have to sweat this out.

As a Philadelphia Phillies, I've gotten an up-close and personal look at Spencer Howard over the last few years. Since joining the Rangers following the trade deadline, Howard has served as the opener for the team in his three starts. In those three starts, he's surrendered eight earned runs -- and that includes five runs in just two innings in his last start against the Seattle Mariners

Even if Howard doesn't last too long in this contest, I'm expecting the Diamondbacks to be able to jump all over him. Even if they don't, the Rangers are the second-worst hitting team in all of baseball, so I'd be shocked if the Diamondbacks don't take this one.

Key Trend: The Diamondbacks are 5-2 in their last seven games as a favorite

Tigers at Pirates, 6:35 p.m. | TV: MLB.TV
The Pick: Tigers (+101) --
This is a game where it almost seems like the wrong team is favored. Prior to Monday's win, the Pirates had lost six consecutive games. They are one of the more depressing teams in baseball and have been all season. 

On the other side, Tigers starter Wily Peralta has been tremendous as of late. In four of his last five starts, Peralta has surrendered two or fewer runs and really given the Tigers some quality innings. On the contrary, Pirates starter Dillon Peters is the owner of a career 5.56 ERA and has only registered 10 strikeouts in his three starts this year. I'm willing to bet the Tigers will be putting the ball in play quite a bit in Monday's contest.

I'm not wagering the majority of my bankroll on this game, but it's definitely worth a few units. You're getting some positive juice with the Tigers moneyline and this is an offense that is extremely underrated. In fact, the Tigers rank 13th in all of Major League Baseball in batting. Bank on the offense to get to Peters a few times in this one.

Key Trend: Tigers are 12-4 in their last 16 games when their opponent scores five or more runs in their previous game