Happy Wednesday, everybody. If you're like me, as this email hits your inbox, you're immersed in the second leg of the Champions League semifinal between Chelsea and Real Madrid (on Paramount+!), and you have a secondary screen going with a baseball game. It's a great sports day, and it's also a busy day, so I'm not going to take up too much of your time here.
I will say that I believe I speak on behalf of all of us when I say I hope that Jacob deGrom's injury is a minor one and that he's back on the mound soon. Mostly because baseball is better with Jacob deGrom pitching, and, for selfish reasons, there's #OperationFadeGrom.
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Also, I mentioned last week that I would start tracking underdogs in NL East divisional games because the whole division stinks, and no one deserves to be favored over the other. Well, I've dug in, and heading into today's games, NL East underdogs are 15-15 in divisional games, for a return of roughly 6.3 units. So there does seem to be something to it, and I will continue to monitor the situation.
You can always count on me. And you can also count on these stories to fill your mind with knowledge.
- Aaron Rodgers definitely enjoyed "The Last Dance" last year.
- Ranking every RB drafted in the 1st round since 2000.
- The Blue Jays will migrate to Buffalo in June.
- Our post-spring top 25 college football rankings.
OK, let's make some money.
All times Eastern, and all odds via William Hill Sportsbook
🔥 The Hot Ticket
Wizards at Bucks, 8 p.m. | TV: NBA League Pass
The Pick: Russell Westbrook to not record a triple-double (+165): You might remember early in the NBA season, there were a few times I told you to take Russell Westbrook to record a triple-double because we were getting it at plus odds, and Russell Westbrook finishes seasons averaging triple-doubles. It was tremendous value that paid handsomely for us. Well, if you follow the NBA, you've likely heard that factoid that even if Russell Westbrook puts up nothing but zeroes in the box score from now until the end of the regular season, he'll still finish the year averaging a triple-double.
So now it's time to fade the public sentiment.
We used to get Russell Westbrook triple-doubles at +130, but for today's game, it's at -200. All that value is gone, so we're going the other way and saying he won't get one tonight. And it's a good time for it! Milwaukee is one of the better defenses in the league, and it is third overall in the NBA in rebounding rate and 11th in opponent's assist rate. It's capable of limiting Russ' chances at filling the box score. Plus, in two games against Milwaukee this season (both in Washington), Russ got a triple-double in one, but not the other. Furthermore, he barely managed to get the triple-double in the first game, finishing with 10 rebounds.
Key Trend: In two games against the Bucks this season, Westbrook is averaging 32.5 points, 14.5 assists and 7.5 rebounds.
Here's what SportsLine is saying about the game: The Advanced Computer Model is agnostic on Russell Westbrook's triple-double chances, but it does have a healthy lean on the spread in tonight's game.
💰 The Picks
Tigers at Red Sox, 7:10 p.m. | TV: MLB.TV
The Pick: Under 9 (-105) -- There's a chance this game could be rained out tonight, which would stink after losing the Mets-Cardinals game last night, but the same weather providing the threat of postponement provides us value on the total here. The cool temperatures and wind blowing in from left field tend to make Fenway Park more pitcher-friendly.
It also doesn't hurt that Martin Perez is starting for Boston, and while he's not incredible, the Tigers are terrible against lefties. They rank last in MLB in wOBA (.215), HR rate (0.88%) and wRC+ (35! 100 is average!). That's why I don't hate the idea of taking Boston on the money line, but there's a lot more value on the total.
Key Trend: The under is 6-2 in Boston's last eight games.
🏈 College Football
The Pick: These four teams to win the national title: Alabama (+300), Clemson (+400), Ohio State (+700), Oklahoma (+800) -- All right, so this probably seems weird and out of nowhere. It is. I came across this while perusing William Hill Sportsbook for Cover 3 Podcast research. Basically, we're hedging some national title futures. You see, college football is somewhat predictable. The four teams we're betting on are responsible for 71.4% of the entries in the College Football Playoff and have won six of the seven titles (LSU in 2019 is the only exception).
So, if we bet all four of these futures, we break even if Alabama repeats as national champion. However, if either of the other three wins it all, we'll make a profit. Considering how rare it is for a surprise national champion, it feels like a safe play. The biggest threat is likely Georgia.
Key Trend: These four teams are responsible for 20 of the 28 College Football Playoff berths in history.
🔒 SportsLine Pick of the Day: The SportsLine Projection Model is off to a fast start in 2021, going 36-28 on all top-rated MLB picks. See its four-leg parlay that would pay more than 14-1 on Wednesday.
💸 The DFS Rundown
Full lineup advice
Get winning NBA DFS picks from SportsLine pros Mike McClure and Jacob Gibbs. McClure has won almost $2 million in daily Fantasy, while Gibbs crushed the NBA last season, cashing around 65 percent of the time in cash games and nearly 45 percent of the time in tournaments. See their DraftKings advice and FanDuel lineups here.
🏌 Wells Fargo Championship Top 20s
Betting on each of the following golfers to finish in the top 20 this weekend.
- Brian Harman +200
- Stewart Cink +250
- Kevin Streelman +350
- Harris English +400
- Harold Varner +400
- Talor Gooch +400
- Zach Johnson +600
- Tom Hoge +600
- James Hahn +600
- Adam Long +800