Multisport Monday is back! With all the issues surrounding COVID, its great to even have one sport to watch much less two to start the week. Tonight we’re betting Game 1 of the NLCS between the Braves and Dodgers along with Monday Night Football: Chargers vs Saints.
NLCS Game 1
Braves (Max Fried | 7-0, 2.25) vs. Dodgers (Walker Buehler | 1-0, 3.44 ERA)
So far this season, despite some major injuries, the Atlanta Braves have been very good to me in the betting market, Be it H2H betting, hitting their season win total and possibly even winning the pennant as I predicted.
There does, however, lay a problem in the road.
The Los Angeles Dodgers are good. Like, really good. They lead the league in a number of important metrics including total wins. They won 43 games in this shortened season and while that is hard to put into context, consider this. The Detroit Tigers won a mere 47 games in 2019, playing a full 162 games. That also goes to show just how awful the Tigers are but that’s a rant for another article.
The point is, while my faith in the Braves securing their first NL pennant of the 21st century has not evaporated, it’s taken a hit.
The Braves have exceeded my expectation so far in the playoffs and even the regular season after Soroko went down early. Luckily, guys like Max Fried, Ian Anderson, and more recently, Kyle Wright has stepped up. The trio got it done in the NLDS and swept the Marlins in three relatively drama-free games. The Rays were shut out twice and scored just five runs in the series.
Meanwhile, the Dodgers have been favorites to win the World Series since the end of last year and even more of a ‘lock’ to win the NL Pennant.
The acquisition of Mookie Betts really put them over the top in terms of skill even though their WS odds were about neck and neck with the Yankees. Let’s not forget they also have David Price who decided not to play this season.
This series will be played at Globe Life Fied in Arlington which is considered a neutral site but I think the Dodgers have a leg up as their NLDS series was also played here.
LA has yet to lose a game this postseason thanks to their combination of elite pitching and deadly hitting.
Clayton Kershaw, Walker Buehler, and Dustin May have been phenomenal this year with the former being the biggest story.
Kershaw is no doubt a future Hall of Famer and one of the best pitchers this game has ever seen. But, he has always struggled in the postseason with an 11-11 record and 4.23 ERA.
So far, in two games this year, Kershaw is 2-0 with a 1.93 ERA in 14.0 innings.
In-game 1, Fried and Buehler will be dueling on the mound.
Despite his odd statline and a single win in the regular season, Buehler finished the year very strong and has carried that momentum into the playoffs. While he hasn’t exactly been lights out (3.38 ERA, 1.38 WHIP) the Dodgers have yet to lose a game he’s started this postseason.
On the flipside, Fried has seen his issues as well in these playoffs. He got knocked around by the Marlins last week, surrendering four runs in four innings. They still won but it was not an encouraging sign for the Braves’ ace heading into this difficult matchup.
It should be noted that the Dodgers were facing a much tougher offensive opponent in the Padres and kept their bats in check for the most part. They did have to survive a few late-game pushes, but they did survive.
So, what would make me think that the Braves offense can do much better against this squad?
Well, nothing at the moment to be honest.
Buehler has not been as dominant the last two weeks but he’s still a stud and a few hiccups is not enough for me to justify fading him here. And, after Fried’s last starts, I want to see if he can bounce back before betting such a big underdog in a game one. My only real concern here in taking the Dodgers is that Buehler has yet to throw more than 95 pitches in any game this season and has pitched just eight innings in his two postseason starts.
But, the Dodgers have a very good bullpen and I expect them to be able to keep it together when Buehler makes his early exit.
I’m not confident that the Braves’ series against the Marlins prepared them in any way for the NLCS and the sharp step up in competition the Dodgers present. Let’s be real, in a regular-season the Marlins probably don’t even make the playoffs.
This seems like an obvious spot to back the Dodgers, especially at the price. Unibet has LA to win outright at -140 as of this writing and that will be the first leg of our Monday night parlay.
Best Bet: Los Angeles Dodgers (-140) at Unibet
Monday Night Football
Los Angeles Chargers vs. New Orleans Saints -7
Another LA team will look to earn a win Monday night when the Saints host the Chargers at the Mercedes Benz-Superdome in New Orleans.
Hopefully, it will be a better game than last week’s snoozefest between the Packers and Falcons. A game so dull it cost Dan Quinn his job.
The Saints got back into the win column last week, even if it was against the lowly Lions. And, even if they did by only six points. A win is a win and the Saints really needed one after back to back losses to the Packers and Raiders.
Now, New Orleans’ offense has the luxury of facing a Chargers defense that has been decimated by injuries and is averaging 23.8 points allowed per game.
This is a perfect spot for QB Drew Brees to continue his upswing after last week’s win over Detroit, going for 246 yards and a pair of TDs. Alvin Kamara should also enjoy a big night again to back up his last effort (83 yards, 1 TD) along with Latavius Murray (64 yards, 2 TDs).
The Chargers have proven they are incapable of stopping even a mediocre offense. They allowed the Bucs the biggest offensive day so far in the league and have dropped three straight since their opening week victory. LA has been hemmorging yards to the tune of 401 average in their losses and tonight will be no different.
The Chargers have the weapons to hang on offense, maybe. But, their defense is going to get shredded by Brees and cannot be trusted to even sniff an upset.
Take the Saints on the spread, which is currently 7 at Unibet with very attractive -107 odds, and watch NO continue to cover for another week.