Why the under is once again a lock in A’s vs. White Sox, plus other best bets for Tuesday

Written by on August 17, 2021

I do not follow the NBA’s Summer League closely, but I did see that the NBA is experimenting with a sudden death overtime format this year. The gist is that if the game is still tied after an overtime period, the second overtime becomes sudden death. First bucket wins.

It’s just as stupid as it sounds.

Thankfully, I have a much better idea. Instead of sudden death, the NBA can use overtime to implement The Elam Ending. The Elam Ending has been utilized in other basketball tournaments, and it’s simple. At a certain point of the game, the clock is stopped, and a target score is established. The first team to reach that point total wins.

Instead of having a five-minute overtime period, the NBA can change the rules to overtime being a race to score 10 points. Hell, it could be 15, it could be 20, the total itself doesn’t matter. What matters is that, in the long run, you’ll save everybody a whole lot of time, and it will make for much more exciting endings and game-winning shots.

Why the NBA hasn’t done this already baffles me.

Now let’s get this money.

All times Eastern, and all odds via Caesars Sportsbook


The Hot Ticket

Athletics at White Sox, 8:10 p.m. | TV: MLB.TV
The Pick: Under 8.5 (+105)
: Why mess with a good thing? We took the under in this game last night, and we’re doing it again because, even if the total has dropped slightly, there’s still value to be found here. The White Sox will hand the ball to Reynaldo Lopez again, who has been filling in for Carlos Rodon. Lopez came to Chicago in the same trade that brought Lucas Giolito, but unlike Giolito, he has failed to live up to the potential the team saw in him.

At least, until this season. It’s a small sample size, but so far in 20 innings since coming up from Triple-A, Lopez has posted an ERA of 1.35 with a strikeout rate of 30.1%. He’s still giving up some hard contact, but he’s missing a lot more bats overall, so the damage is limited.

Then there’s Oakland starter Chris Bassitt, who operates under the radar, where he’s been solid for the Athletics all season. His strikeout rate of 25.3% won’t blow anybody away, but he doesn’t walk guys, nor does he allow a lot of hard contact. Runs should be at a premium tonight.

Key Trend: The under is 6-2 in the last eight meetings.

Here’s what SportsLine is saying about the game: The Advanced Computer Model doesn’t have much to say about the total tonight, but it absolutely loves one side of the money line.


?The Picks


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⚾ MLB

Brewers at Cardinals, 7:45 p.m. | TV: MLB.TV
The Pick: Cardinals (+143) — 
Milwaukee has a 7.5-game lead in the NL Central, which is awesome because this newsletter has futures on the Brewers to make the playoffs (+170), win the division (+320) and win the World Series (+1200). The first two look like they’re going to hit, and the third is possible thanks to an electric starting rotation that includes tonight’s starter, Corbin Burnes.

Burnes is phenomenal, and while he’s lit the Cardinals up this season (18 strikeouts, no walks and one run allowed in 11 innings), overall Cardinals hitters have had some success against him in their careers. In 90 plate appearances against Burnes, Cardinals hitters have slugged .500 with a wOBA of .341. That’s not bad! And because of that, I think St. Louis is slightly undervalued.

Key Trend: St. Louis is 8-3 in its last 11 games against a righty starter.

Mets at Giants, 9:45 p.m. | TV: MLB.TV
The Pick: Under 8 (-105) — 
We’re going back out to San Francisco tonight, but instead of taking the Giants on the spread, we’re going to rely on Oracle Park’s ability to keep games low-scoring. Oracle Park is one of the pitcher-friendliest parks in baseball. At night, its ability to suppress scoring is matched only by the Oakland Coliseum on the other side of the bay and Tropicana Field in Tampa. There’s just something about bays that keeps the score low.

Anyway, given those conditions, the groundball tendencies of both of tonight’s starters, and the remarkable ineffectiveness of the Mets offense, the under seems like an obvious play.

Key Trend: The under is 5-2-1 in the last eight meetings in San Francisco.

? SportsLine Pick of the Day: The Advanced Computer Model’s favorite MLB play of the day can be found at Coors Field when the Rockies host the Padres tonight. The model has an A-graded play on the money line.


⚽ Serie A Future

The Serie A season begins this weekend with every match available on Paramount+, which is awesome because Serie A is one of the most entertaining soccer leagues in the world. So this week, I’m going to include Serie A futures for us to bet before the season begins.

The Pick: Napoli to finish top four (+110): I am a Napoli fan, but this is not a bet based on me wanting it to come true. Instead, it’s based on my knowledge of the team and knowing that its most significant weakness last season was a manager who could not make adjustments during matches. Napoli was one of the most talented teams in Serie A last season, but managerial ineffectiveness combined with injury saw it finish in fifth place, a point behind Juventus in fourth.

All of that talent is back this season, and Gennaro Gattuso has been replaced as manager by Luciano Spalletti. Spalletti has shown throughout his career the ability to get the most out of the roster he has, and this Napoli team might be the most talented squad he’s had since his Francesco Totti-led Roma teams he managed from 2005 to 2009. 

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