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The Daily Sweat: Can the Astros hold off elimination or will the Braves finally celebrate?

·6 min read
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  • Atlanta Braves
    Atlanta Braves
  • Houston Astros
    Houston Astros

When the Atlanta Braves jumped out to an early 4-0 lead in Game 5 of the World Series, it looked like Sunday night would be a long-awaited night of celebration for Braves fans.

But the Astros had other ideas. 

Houston fought back from the early deficit and fended off elimination with a 9-5 win, sending the series back to Houston for Game 6. Will the Astros be able to force a Game 7? Or will the Braves end their 26-year World Series title drought on the road?

The Astros are listed as -120 favorites at BetMGM for Tuesday night’s showdown with the Braves at +100. The total is set at nine runs. According to BetMGM, 69% of the bets are on the Braves, but 66% of the money is on the Astros. With the total, 51% of the bets are on the over but 64% of the money is on the under. 

The Astros are going with Luis Garcia on the mound. Garcia lasted just 3.2 innings in Game 3, though he allowed just three hits and one earned run while striking out six in an eventual 2-0 loss.

The Braves will counter with lefty Max Fried. Fried got lit up for six runs in Game 2, a 7-2 win for Houston. Fried allowed just two runs over 12 innings in his first two postseason starts but has allowed a combined 11 runs over his last 9.2 innings.

Will Fried be able to bounce back with the World Series on the line?

Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Max Fried throws during the first inning in Game 2 of baseball's World Series between the Houston Astros and the Atlanta Braves Wednesday, Oct. 27, 2021, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Max Fried throws during the first inning in Game 2 of the World Series between the Houston Astros and the Atlanta Braves on Oct. 27, 2021, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

MACtion is back!

Week 10 of the college football season marks the triumphant return of midweek MACtion, the Mid-American Conference's time in the spotlight. There are three MAC games on tap for Tuesday night, so here’s a brief overview of each.

Ball State (-20.5) at Akron | Total: 58

Ball State is a 20.5-point road favorite over Akron in the first game of the night. Akron beat Bowling Green outright as a 14-point underdog a few weeks ago and then covered as a 20-point underdog against Miami (Ohio). Last week, though, the Zips got blown out 45-10 as a 13.5-point dog. Ball State opened the year 1-3 but has won (and covered in) three of its last four games.

This game marks just the second time this year that Ball State is favored vs. an FBS opponent and frankly it feels like too many points despite the fact that Akron is one of the MAC’s worst teams.

Miami, Ohio (-7.5) at Ohio | Total: 52

Ohio has had a rough go without Frank Solich. Entering this season, the Bobcats had a winning record in 11 of the last 12 seasons. So far in 2021 they are 1-7, but their games have been much closer lately. Ohio has covered the spread in three of its last four games and the last three games have been decided by seven points or less.

Miami is 4-4 overall and 3-1 in conference play. The RedHawks have won three of their last four games and most recently beat Ball State 24-17 as 3.5-point underdogs. And from a total perspective, both teams have skewed toward the under. The under is 3-1 in Miami’s four MAC games and 4-0 in Ohio’s four conference games.

Eastern Michigan at Toledo (-8.5) | Total: 52

Toledo entered the year as a pretty significant favorite in the MAC but has disappointed so far, posting a 4-4 overall record with a 2-2 mark in conference play. The Rockets lost close games to both Northern Illinois and Central Michigan before knocking off Western Michigan 34-15 last week. Overall, Toledo is 5-3 ATS this season but two of those ATS losses came vs. MAC teams.

Eastern Michigan is 5-3 overall with a 2-2 MAC record. The Eagles are 2-2 ATS in MAC play, covering as a 2.5-point underdog against Miami and as a 4.5-point favorite over Bowling Green. Four of EMU’s last six games have gone over the total while Toledo’s last six games have all been unders.

AKRON, OH - DECEMBER 05: The Mid-American Conference logo on one of the yard markers during the fourth quarter of the college football game between the Bowling Green Falcons and Akron Zips on December 5, 2020, at Summa Field at InfoCision Stadium in Akron, OH. (Photo by Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
#MACtion is back, baby. (Photo by Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

What’s the best NBA game of the night?

Tuesday has a relatively light NBA card with only five games. The headliner is definitely the Miami Heat traveling to Texas to face the Dallas Mavericks. The Heat are 2-point road favorites and the total is set at 211. 

The Heat, with Kyle Lowry now in the fold alongside Jimmy Butler, are off to a 5-1 start and have won four straight games by double-digits. The Mavs, meanwhile, are 4-2 and have won four of their last five games.

Miami is 5-1 against the spread this season, tied with three others (Chicago, Utah and Washington) for the best ATS mark in the NBA. Dallas, despite the 4-2 record straight-up, is just 2-4 against the spread.

Additionally, the under is 6-0 in Mavs games this year and 4-2 in Heat games. Will that trend continue?

Who cashed tickets on Monday Night Football?

If you've consistently faded the Kansas City Chiefs against the spread since the middle of last season, you've won a lot of money. Since Week 9 of the 2020 season, the Chiefs are 3-15-1 against the spread, including Monday night's narrow 20-17 victory over the New York Giants. 

The Chiefs were 10.5-point favorites and the total closed at 53. The Giants covered the spread comfortably, and it was a carefree evening for under bettors. 

The Chiefs are now 2-6 ATS this season. Only the Washington Football Team (1-7) has been worse. The Giants, meanwhile, are now 4-4 ATS

What's the best bet for Tuesday night?

I've got my eye on a few MAC underdogs. I'll likely wait around on the Ball State vs. Akron game and hope that spread ticks up to 21 where I will play the Zips +21. I know Akron's a bad team but I don't think Ball State should be a 21-point road favorite against anybody. 

An underdog I've already taken is Ohio +7.5 at home against Miami (Ohio). The Bobcats just keep playing close games and should be able to keep this within a touchdown. I wouldn't be surprised by an outright victory, either.