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The Daily Sweat: MLB playoffs heating up with 3 possible series-deciding games

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The Major League Baseball playoffs are really heating up with three more games on Tuesday.

There were three games on Monday, including the Boston Red Sox beating the Tampa Bay Rays in dramatic fashion to move onto the ALCS. The Red Sox could learn their ALCS opponent Tuesday when the Chicago White Sox host the Houston Astros in Game 4 of their ALDS series.

The Astros have a 2-1 lead in the series and are slight underdogs at BetMGM at +100. The White Sox are the -120 favorites. The over-under is set at 8.5 runs. Lance McCullers Jr. is on the mound for Houston after tossing 6.2 scoreless innings in Game 1 of the series. The White Sox will counter with lefty Carlos Rodon. Lance Lynn, who started Game 1, will also be available for the White Sox, manager Tony La Russa said.

Over in the National League, the Atlanta Braves have the chance to get back to the NLCS and do so on their home field. The Braves took a 2-1 series edge over the Milwaukee Brewers on Monday with a 3-0 victory. All three of the game’s runs came courtesy of a fifth-inning three-run home run by Joc Pederson.

Will the Brewers be able to force a deciding Game 5? The Brewers are slight underdogs at +120. The Braves are listed at -145 with the over-under set at 8.5 runs. Starters have yet to be announced.

San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Anthony DeSclafani works against the Atlanta Braves during the third inning of baseball game, Sunday, Sept. 19, 2021, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/D. Ross Cameron)
The San Francisco Giants are going with Anthony DeSclafani as their NLDS Game 4 starter against the Los Angeles Dodgers. (AP Photo/D. Ross Cameron)

In the other NL matchup, the San Francisco Giants are a game away from putting the Los Angeles Dodgers away for good for the 2021 season. The Giants surprised the baseball world by holding off the defending World Series champion Dodgers and winning the NL West by a single game. The Giants finished the regular season with a 107-55 record — the best in baseball. The Dodgers were just one game back at 106-56.

So far in the postseason, the Giants have maintained that one-game edge. The teams split Games 1 and 2 in San Francisco before the Giants pulled out a 1-0 nail-biter at windy Dodger Stadium on Monday night. Will the Giants close it out? The club has already announced that it will go with Anthony DeSclafani on the mound for his postseason debut. The 31-year-old had an excellent season, posting a 3.17 ERA, but struggled in his six starts against the Dodgers.

The Dodgers have not yet announced who will start opposite DeSclafani. Nonetheless, they are -160 favorites to force a deciding Game 5. The Giants are +130 road underdogs and the total is set at 7.5 runs.

A Tuesday night college football game

We’re at the midway point of the college football season, so that's when midweek games start popping up in the Sun Belt and MAC. We’ve got a good one in the Sun Belt on tap for Tuesday night when two 4-1 teams square off: Appalachian State and Louisiana.

App State is currently a 5-point road favorite at BetMGM with the total set at 57. The line has been moving toward App State over the past few days, creeping up two points from -3. That’s likely because bettors are noticing how underwhelming Louisiana has been this season despite its record.

The Ragin’ Cajuns started the season in the Top 25, but lost to Texas in Week 1. They’ve won four straight since, but only one was a convincing victory. ULL beat Nicholls, an FCS team, by three points as a 26-point favorite. They were also a double-digit favorite over Georgia Southern (-14.5) and won by eight and South Alabama (-12) and won by just two. ULL is 1-4 ATS this season.

App State’s lone loss is also to a Power Five team – a 25-23 road loss to Miami back in Week 2. The Mountaineers also had a close call at Marshall, but handled East Carolina, Elon and Georgia State with ease. Overall, App State is 3-2 against the spread.

Appalachian State quarterback Chase Brice (7) celebrates after throwing a touchdown pass against East Carolina during the second half of an NCAA football game on Thursday, Sept. 2, 2021, in Charlotte, N.C. (AP Photo/Nell Redmond)
Appalachian State quarterback Chase Brice (7) celebrates after throwing a touchdown pass against East Carolina during the second half of an NCAA football game on Thursday, Sept. 2, 2021, in Charlotte, N.C. (AP Photo/Nell Redmond)

NHL season begins, NBA preseason continues

If you’re not into the MLB playoffs or college football, the NHL season begins on Tuesday night with two fun matchups.

The defending Stanley Cup champions, the Tampa Bay Lightning, host the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Lightning are big favorites at -250 with the total set at six. The Penguins are +190.

Elsewhere, the Seattle Kraken will play their first-ever NHL game on the road against the Vegas Golden Knights. Vegas is a -250 favorite. Seattle, which has several players out due to COVID-19 protocol, is listed at +200. The over-under for this matchup is 5.5.

And if you’re more of an NBA person, there are two preseason games scheduled for Tuesday night. The Washington Wizards will host the Toronto Raptors and the Los Angeles Lakers will host the Golden State Warriors.

Both the home teams are favored by 4.5 points. The total in Washington is currently 223.5 points. In the Lakers-Warriors game, it’s listed at 227.5 points.

Who cashed tickets on Tuesday?

As previously mentioned, the Braves beat the Brewers, the Red Sox eliminated the Rays and the Giants held off the Dodgers in the MLB playoffs.

Oh, and there was also a wild Monday Night Football Game.

The Baltimore Ravens trailed the Indianapolis Colts 25-9 early in the fourth quarter, but Lamar Jackson and the Ravens managed to storm back and win 31-25 in overtime. The Ravens were 7.5-point home favorites, so the Colts still covered the spread. However, it was a brutal beat for anyone on the under 46.5.

Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson (8) throws the ball before an NFL football game against the Indianapolis Colts, Monday, Oct. 11, 2021, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson (8) throws the ball before an NFL football game against the Indianapolis Colts, Monday, Oct. 11, 2021, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

The Colts led 10-3 at halftime and were barely hanging on to a 25-17 lead for the final 10 minutes of regulation, but the defense could not stop Jackson. The former MVP threw two fourth-quarter touchdown passes to Mark Andrews, including one with 39 seconds remaining. A subsequent two-point conversion to Andrews (and a missed Colts field goal) sent the game to overtime.

Jackson then sent the Colts home with a touchdown pass to Marquise Brown in overtime. Jackson finished the night 37-of-43 for 442 yards and four touchdowns.

What's the best bet?

I obviously liked it better when it was -3, but l am going with Appalachian State -5 at Louisiana. 

I'm confident in this App State offense and I'm not sure ULL will be able to keep up over four quarters. The Ragin' Cajuns are 13-2 in their last 15 games overall, but are just 6-9 ATS in that stretch. That includes an 0-3 ATS mark as an underdog.