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UFC Fight Night 67

CE Manager 15 hours, 11 minutes ago
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Ultimate Fighting Championships (UFC) is back once more with a big event event on Fox Sports 1 tonight (Saturday, May 30th, 2015) in Goiania, Brazil, which is headlined by a welterweight bout between a former interim champion and a former title challenger.

Here's the outline for tonight's show:

*Main Card*
170 lbs: Carlos Condit (29-8) vs. Thiago Alves (21-9)
145 lbs: Nik Lentz (27-6-2, 1 NC) vs. Charles Oliveira (19-4, 1 NC)
170 lbs: K.J. Noons (13-7) vs. Alex Oliveira (11-2-1, 1 NC)
205 lbs: Francimar Barroso (16-4) vs. Ryan Jimmo (19-4)
155 lbs: Francisco Trinaldo (16-4) vs. Norman Parke (20-3-1)
170 lbs: Wendell Oliveira (24-8) vs. Darren Till (12-0)

*Preliminary Card*
145 lbs: Rony Jason (14-5) vs. Damon Jackson (9-1)
125 lbs: Jussier Formiga (17-3) vs. Wilson Reis (19-5)
170 lbs: Elizeu Zaleski (14-4) vs. Nicolas Dalby (13-0)
145 lbs: Lucas Martins (15-2) vs. Mirsad Bektic (9-0)
115 lbs: Juliana Lima (7-2) vs. Ericka Almeida (7-0)
170 lbs: Luiz Dutra (11-3) vs. Tom Breese (7-0)

This event is special because of the main event of the evening, which features two of the most exciting and dangerous welterweight veterans onthe roster. Carlos Condit is a former WEC champion and the former UFC interim welterweight champion while Thiago Alves fought for the belt at thefamed UFC 100 show. Both men have been fighting for a long time, but are still in their primes, with both possessing very powerful striking ability. This fight could come down to the intangibles as Condit has competed in more five round fights but he's also coming off a lengthy layoff due to a knee injury suffered in March of 2014. Condit is the betting favorite but those knees could be vulnerable to Alves' patented leg kicks.

Another fight to keep an eye on is the featherweight contest on the preliminary card between Mirsad Bektik and Lucas Martins. Martins is thehometown fighter from Brazil, but Bektik is the super-hyped Bosnian out of American Top Team. Bektik is the biggest favorite on the entire card and it's primarily due to the massive weight surrounding him as one of the best prospects on the UFC roster. If Bektik can pass this test, he could be on his way to competing with more established names in the featherweight division.

The flyweight contest between Wilson Reis and Jussier Formiga also has title implications as Formiga is currently ranked in the top five at 125pounds and he's one of the only top contenders to have not already fought champion Demetrious Johnson. Reis is a former EliteXT bantamweight championin his own right and he's looked terrific since dropping down to flyweight. The winner of this bout will be in the mix among the top contenders andcould earn a title shot by early 2016.

Our UFC Fight Night 67 plays are now available. Good luck!

Who's The Hottest?!

CE Manager 18 hours, 37 minutes ago
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Don’t be mistaken this is not a competition of looks, rather we will be looking at all the Covers Experts handicappers and determining who’s performing the best on a weekly basis. This marks our 3rd edition of ‘Who’s the Hottest?!’ Has someone taken down the mighty Ben Burns?

In this week’s edition of ‘Who’s the Hottest?!’ we will look at all sports during the time period May 22nd up until today, May 29th.

We would like to congratulate red hot Power Sports who tops the list in 3/4 catagories this week: All Sports (25-9) +11,078, MLB (16-4) +8,330, NBA (7-2) +4200. That’s a 74% win percentage! Power Sports is an outstanding +$11,078 in the last week and there doesn’t seem to be any end in sight.

With plays today in all mentioned sports, Power Sports look to keep you winning big with an MLB 3 Pack, A side play in NHL ECF, and a 5-Game All Access Pass. Be sure to get these hot plays here.

Honorable mention to Expert Consensus! That's right, our Consensus here at Covers has been red hot coming into today on an 8-2 streak, winning at a 80% Clip. be sure to check in daily to see who the Experts line up on!

Another honorable mention goes out to Doc Sport's for being our #1 NHL capper for the week, going 4-1 with +1,960. Be sure you to keep your eye on Doc as the Stanley Cup Finals begin next week.

We’ll be back next week for another edition of ‘Who’s the Hottest!?’, until then take it to the books!


This Week in the American League

CE Manager May 29, 2015
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Covers Expert, Power Sports, takes a look at the American League for the week of May 28th.

Not that much has changed since the last time we discussed the American League, 17 days ago.  The same three teams are in first place, although there is a tie in one division and the new challenger is one you would not have expected. More on them in a bit though; for now, the Junior Circuit remains as muddled and parity-ridden as ever with all but five teams separated by just four games.

In a parity-ridden league, the AL East was supposed to be the most parity-ridden division. So far, that notion has held “true to form.”  However, I wanted to single out two teams, neither of which is the Yankees or Rays, who just traded possession of first place. Instead, I wanted to make mention of the team I feel is clearly the worst in the East right now and one that could very well make a move up in the standings.

Boston (21-26) is currently in last place (entering Thursday) & they deserve to be as they are the only team in the division to have a negative run differential for the year. In fact, at -40, they have one of the four worst run differentials in all of baseball.  This does not bode well for their future.  At -9.6 units for the year, predictably they are big money burners as before the season started most were calling for them to win the division. That’s not going to happen unless they can get the starting pitching turned around.  Clay Buchholz has been the biggest disappointment of the lot, with a 2-8 TSR and down 8.25 units.  There’s no one situation that the Red Sox are truly awful in, so it’s a case of a team clearly falling well below preseason projections.  Note that the offense really hasn’t done its job either, scoring two runs or less in nine of the last 15 games. With the next two series against the two hottest teams in the league right now (Texas, Minnesota) things aren't looking up in Beantown.

Right above the Red Sox in the standings is Toronto at 22-27 (-6.85 units). But the Blue Jays deserve a far better fate as their run differential of +25 is the division’s best.  It’s not hard to identify the culprit in the disappointing record as it’s a 3-10 record in one run games.  Only Oakland has been worse in such affairs and while the A’s don’t seem to be getting any better, there is hope for these Jays.   They have – by far – scored the most runs in all of baseball (255).  Like Boston, pitching is a concern though. Only Milwaukee and Colorado have given up more runs. Their next three series, all on the road, are against Minnesota, Washington and Houston. Yikes.  If you’re thinking that you can make a profit betting the Over on Toronto games though, then think again.  It’s just 24-23-2 due to the fact that since May 3rd, the total for their games has always been in the 8.5 to 9.5 range. The Over is 14-8-1 in Jays’ road games.

In our previous look at the American League, I told you that it was time to “sell high” on the Minnesota Twins. Clearly I was wrong. At the time of this writing, they have been the best bet in baseball at +16.0 units for the year.  With their sweep of Boston combined with the Royals getting swept by the Yankees, Minnesota is tied for first place in the Central, which is shocking.  But I’m fairly adamant that this won’t last even though their offense is averaging a league leading 5.3 runs per game. Sure, they’ve won 8 of 10 series, but can their hitters really continue to be this “clutch” with runners in scoring position? The answer is no.  I also have my questions about the defense.  The pitching staff does a great job at limiting walks, but they also own the lowest strikeout rate in all of baseball. Led by Glen Perkins (18 for 18 in save opportunities), the team has not lost a game this year in which in entered the ninth inning with a lead. In fact, they’ve lost only once when leading after five, including a 24-1 record when leading after eight.  That record is due to regress.

Taking a brief look out West, all I’ll say is Houston could be the real deal.  Not only does the offense lead baseball in home runs, with seven of the nine regulars contributing at least five, but the starting pitching is strong at the top as well.  Dallas Keuchel’s ground ball rate is 63.3 percent, third best in MLB, and Colin McHugh is pretty good as well.  The Astros still strikeout too much, but I think that they key is that they’re 6.5 games clear of everyone else in the division and none of those four are inspiring a ton of confidence right now.  I don't see any reason why Houston shouldn't dominate a seven-game homestand against the White Sox and Orioles.

Until next week!



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Top 5 "Jekyll & Hyde" Pitchers

CE Manager May 28, 2015
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If you're betting on Major League Baseball, paying attention to split stats is an absolute must. Even the best players in the game have their weaknesses, and there may be situations when the overall numbers are misleading. For example, certain pitchers are better at night than they are in the day, or vice versa. While it's more common for pitchers to have better numbers at home, there are some that have proven to be far better on the road. Today we will take a look at some of the most dramatic splits for pitchers over the last three seasons.

1. Best Bet At Home - Jorge De La Rosa, Colorado Rockies:  20-3, 2.98 ERA at Coors Field

The 34 year old southpaw has below average numbers on the road over the last three seasons (10-16, 4.90 ERA), but his numbers in Colorado during that span are nothing short of incredible. Perhaps what makes his numbers even more impressive is the fact that more runs were scored at Coors Field than any other park in the majors during these three seasons. Few pitchers can say that actually like pitching in Denver, but for some reason De La Rosa seems to have figured out how to be successful in the most notorious hitter's park in baseball.

2. Best Bet In Day Games - Johnny Cueto, Cincinnati Reds: 21-4, 1.78 ERA in the day
The Reds ace also owns dramatic home/away splits, but his record in early games over the last three seasons is what stands out the most. His numbers at night are rather average, going just 19-16 with a 3.28 ERA under the lights. Cueto has had trouble staying healthy over the last few years, but when healthy there's nobody better in matinees.

3. Best Bet On The Road - Cole Hamels, Philadelphia Phillies: 21-16, 2.76 ERA on the road
While he might not have the best road record in baseball over the last three seasons, the fact that he's been able to win 21 games playing for one of the worst teams is pretty impressive. He was just .500 (13-13, 3.36 ERA) at home during that span. Hamels has been the subject of trade rumors in recent seasons, and he's unlikely to finish this season with the Phillies. He would likely be a good bet at home in a more pitcher friendly park if he stays in the National League.

4. Best Bet At Night - Gio Gonzalez, Washington Nationals: 31-14, 2.78 ERA under the lights

The southpaw won 21 games in 2012, and 15 of those victories came at night. He hasn't had much success in day games over the last three seasons, posting a losing record with a rather swollen .415 ERA. After having a career year in 2012 he was linked to the Biogenesis scandal, and there were rumors of a possible suspension. His numbers have dropped off since, which may or may not be a coincidence.

5. Worst Bet vs The New York Yankees - Mark Buehrle, Toronto Blue Jays: 0-6, 5.98 ERA in nine starts vs NYY

The veteran recently ended his long losing streak versus the Yankees with a 5-1 win at home in Toronto on May 6, 2015. He came into the 2015 season with a career record of 1-14, and had not won in 12 consecutive starts against the Bronx Bombers. That .067 winning percentage, was the lowest by any active pitcher with at least 10 decisions against a club.
By: Jesse Schule

This Week's Best Spot Bets

CE Manager May 28, 2015
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See spot. See spot bet: This week's best spot bets

Spot bets are classic handicapping practices that have proven profitable no matter what sport you're betting. Whether it's a team looking past this week's opponent, one coming off a hard-fought victory, or a rough patch of schedule, bettors can find value picking their spots. Covers Expert Ben Burns points out his favorites:

Lookahead spot

The Chicago White Sox and Baltimore Orioles will play two on Thursday after the riots in Baltimore forced two of their games to be postponed last month. That’s a rare spot for MLB teams, with only a handful of doubleheaders scheduled on the 2015 calendar.

The Orioles are at home already, so they only have to show up. But the White Sox could get caught looking ahead to a busy Thursday when they wrap up a road set against the Toronto Blue Jays Wednesday afternoon. With two games on deck Thursday, the ChiSox may let Wednesday's expected starter Jeff Samardzija go a bit deeper – even if he gets in trouble – as to not deplete their bullpen before the double dip in Baltimore.

Schedule spot

The Baltimore Ravens have one of the more daunting schedules to begin the 2015 NFL season, playing three of their first four games away from home. Baltimore opens the year with two cross-country trips to Denver and Oakland before coming home in Week 3 to host Cincinnati.

This tough stretch of sked hits a peak with a road trip to Pittsburgh in Week 4 on Thursday Night Football. So, not only are the Ravens on the road for a huge divisional game under the national spotlight, but they’re playing on a short week after that grueling itinerary in the first three weeks of the seasons. Early odds have Baltimore as a 3-point road underdog in Week 4.

Letdown spot

The Seattle Mariners are on the other side of the continent, wrapping up a nine-game road trip in Tampa Bay this week. The M’s have gone 4-3 in the first seven games of this trek, heading into Tuesday’s Game 2 with the Rays, and could find themselves in letdown mode in their first game back in Safeco Thursday.

Seattle travels back home to host the Cleveland Indians Friday. Often times, teams returning from a long away stretch can suffer a letdown in that first game home with the focus not entirely on baseball. The Mariners have been gone since May 19 and missed being at home over the Memorial Day Weekend. With little time between games and travel, beware of the Mariners in a letdown spot Friday.


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