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Dearest reader, I hope you're ready for a rough night from the sports-viewing perspective. We've got an NFL game between two disappointing teams racked by injuries, as well as a lot of preseason hockey and basketball. I've got a bet for the NFL game, but I'm not touching any preseason action.

We don't have any baseball to choose from as the regular season ended Wednesday and the playoffs don't start until tomorrow. But don't worry, just because there aren't any baseball games to watch tonight doesn't mean there isn't any baseball we can bet on.

So I've got two MLB futures for you today and a prop for the NFL game. Still, if you're looking to gain some credit with a loved one by spending more time with them than you have, tonight seems like a great night to do it. But before you do that, read these stories and place these bets. Then go out to dinner afterward. Hopefully, you'll be able to pay the tab with tonight's winnings.

OK, let's get it on. Figuratively speaking, of course.

All times Eastern, and all odds via Caesars Sportsbook

🔥 The Hot Ticket

Colts at Broncos, 8:15 p.m. | TV: Amazon

  • Key Trend: The Colts pass defense ranks 27th in passing efficiency against
  • The Pick: Russell Wilson Over 235.5 Passing Yards (-137)

I don't think anybody within the Broncos organization would say the Russell Wilson trade has worked out as hoped. Denver is 2-2 and have had Russ hand the ball off 42.1% of the time. That's the 13th-highest rushing rate of any NFL offense. For context, the Seahawks, who wouldn't let Russ cook, have run the ball less often at only 39% (19th). It's a passing attack that hasn't gotten off the ground much, but Denver might not have a choice tonight.

Javonte Williams is out for the year with a torn ACL, and that means the Broncos can't rely on the tandem of Williams and Melvin Gordon to melt the clock and salt away games. Gordon has had problems holding onto the ball, so the Broncos probably don't have a high level of trust in him at the moment. 

So, tonight is the night the Broncos should let Russ do the thing they traded all those picks for and the thing they paid him all that money to do: throw the dang ball. While there's been plenty of focus on Indianapolis' offensive struggles (and not having Jonathan Taylor tonight won't help matters), the defense has struggled too. Shaquille "Don't Call Me Darius" Leonard has been out and won't play tonight, either. The Colts' defense ranks 27th in passing efficiency, 27th in completion rate against, 25th in touchdown rate against and 21st in sack rate. Patrick Mahomes, Trevor Lawrence and Davis Mills have all had big days against it. Ryan Tannehill would've, too, except he only threw 21 passes (and completed 17 of them).

If ever there was a night for the Broncos to get what they paid for, this is it.

Here's what SportsLine is saying about the game: Seven SportsLine experts have picks on the board for this game, but while there's some disagreement on the spread, four agree on which side of the total to bet.

💰 MLB Playoff Futures

MLB: OCT 04 Yankees at Rangers
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The Pick: Dodgers to win the World Series (+300) -- The MLB Playoffs start Friday, so now is the perfect time to get in a couple of futures for the postseason. Those who followed all my preseason MLB futures made money this year, and we still have one going. In July, I told you to take the Dodgers to win the World Series (+450). Well, we're doubling down on it here.

I don't understand why the Dodgers aren't heavier favorites. They've been the best team in baseball all year. They can withstand injuries better than any of the other teams in the postseason and have an excellent offense, good starting pitching, and a good bullpen. While the Braves or Mets could beat them, the Mets have an extra series to get through, and a part of me wonders if the Braves have already burned themselves out after fighting so hard to win the NL East.

The Pick: Yankees to win the American League (+225) -- Yankees fans were panicking during the second half of the season when the team finally began coming back down to Earth following a scorching hot start to the season that was unsustainable. The Aaron Judge home run chase helped divert attention to their record for a while, but by the time the dust settled on the regular season, the Yankees won 99 games and finished seven games ahead of their closest challenger (Toronto).

They enter the postseason as the second-favorite to win the American League pennant behind the 106-win Houston Astros. The Astros do deserve to be the favorites, but also benefited from playing in a division with three teams that finished with 73 wins or fewer. Nobody in the AL East won fewer than 78 games. In other words, the records might not be as different as they look on paper. The Yankees could've won 106 games playing the Angels, Rangers and Athletics instead of the Rays, Orioles and Red Sox, too. The gap between the Yankees and the Astros isn't as wide as the odds suggest, and I like the value on the Yankees.

🔒 SportsLine Pick of the Day: Get a head start on the MLB Playoffs with this parlay for Friday's games paying 10-to-1.