For decades Major League Baseball’s annual World Series was the most wagered on sporting event of the year. Way before the first TV sets showed up in American homes, local bookies enjoyed unprecedented action during the World Series each year.

Instead of big screen TVs everywhere, the local pub would always have a good quality radio turned up loud so that patrons could listen to the baseball games, on which most of them had wagers with their local bookie, who was probably seated down at the end of the bar by the pay phone.

Never mind that these days it’s the Super Bowl which has taken over as the most wagered on sports event of the year, the MLB seven game World Series is still one of the greatest sporting events of the year and a huge wagering opportunity for bettors everywhere, especially for baseball fans.

Team and individual props abound on wagering menus ranging from the number of home runs hit to how many pitches that the starting pitchers will throw. The list goes on and on and bettors across the land all have their personal favorites to lay down wagers on.

The 2019 World Series will open at Minute Maid Park in Houston when the Astros host the Washington Nationals to kick off this year’s Fall Classic.  Houston begins the World Series at -235 to the Nationals +195 as a price for the whole best of seven game series.

For the opening contest on October 22, the Astros will start their ace pitcher Garrit Cole and are still favored at -200 to Washington’s +170, even with one of the toughest pitchers in the game today on in mound in Max Scherzer for the Nationals. The over and under for the first game set at 6.5 runs and with these to first class pitchers going up against some world class hitters, that bet could go either way.

The Houston Astros, fresh off of their game six walk off victory supplied off the bat of Jose Altuve in the bottom of the ninth inning over the New York Yankees, will be back home among their faithful fans to take on the Washington Nationals, who should be well rested after taking care of the St. Louis Cardinals in a four game sweep in the NCLS.

The Astros, who are probably still buzzing from their victory over the Yankees, won a franchise record 107 games this year with 55 losses while the Nationals came in as the National League Wild Card team with a record of 93-69.  On paper the Astros look like the better team, after all they were World Series Champions just year before last when they defeated the Dodgers.

So the Washington Nationals are going into the 2019 World Series as underdogs, but historically, lots of underdogs have ended up winning the World Series over teams who looked better on paper.  It’s what’s in the heart that counts, not what’s on the paper when the World Series rolls around this time of the year.

But the coveted ‘home field advantage’ also goes to the Astros by virtue of their impressive 107 games won this year so that the first two games will be played in Houston, then a day off for travel, then three games will be played at Nationals Park in Washington D.C. in a much different, outdoors and colder, environment from the enclosed park down in Texas.

If the best of four games is still not decided, the whole show will move back to Minute Maid Park in Houston to decide the final outcome and the winners of the 2019 World Series.

Bettors everywhere will have good reasons to consider betting the under seeing as the starting pitching matchups listed for the first three games will be featuring six of the best major league pitchers on the planet today.

After Sherzer and Cole go at it on Tuesday we will get Stephen Strasburg and Justin Verlander on Wednesday and then Zack Greinke vs. Partick Corbin when the series moves up to Washington D.C. on Friday.  That line up has already won 5 Cy Young Awards and is eye candy for true pitching fans.

This is looking like it has to potential to be one of the best MLB World Series in recent memory.


talladega 2TALLADEGA

NASCAR these days runs on all kinds of tracks from the half mile short tracks at Dover and Martinsville to the big two mile plus tracks at Daytona and Kansas.  But the biggest, the baddest and the most anticipated track of them all is down in Alabama at Talladega.

They have been racing, and trading paint, at Talladega for the past 50 years and the 2.66 mile tri-oval track has undergone some drastic improvements over the years; which is a good thing, because Talladega is still one of the fastest venues on the NASCAR schedule each and every year.

So much so that Talladega runs under what NASCAR calls restrictor-plate-racing. This means that all entries are restricted by a handicapper device installed on the engine of the car to restrict its top speed from being achieved.

What that works out to on race day is that all of the cars participating in the race at Talladega will be running at almost the exact same top speed, which is known to be a contributing factor in those spectacular multi car crashes we see so much of on TV.  It’s one of the major attractions of NASCAR racing.

NASCAR’s big wrecks seem to be the most interesting part of the race for the guys presenting the clips for Sports Center etc.! That’s often all we see on TV.  Thankfully the technology for protecting the drivers in these often horrific pileups has advanced to the point that it is seldom that the drivers are actually injured, even though it often seems like no one could have survived the 200 mile an hour crashing and flipping and smoking and burning mess we see on TV.

The grandstands at Talladega will hold about 80,000 avid race car fans with room for an additional 95,000 or so in the infield where campers and trailers of every description are parked for the duration of the festivities in what ends up being one huge tailgate party every year at the annual Talladega race.

The tri-oval track was built in 1969 on the site of the former Anniston Air Force Base, which is actually located in the small city of Lincoln, Alabama, just outside of Talladega by the France Family and their International Speedway Corporation. NASCAR founder Bill France Sr. wanted to fulfill his dreams of building a track for USA stock cars to compete on that was longer than the big one at Daytona, which is 2.5 miles around.

The big track at Talladega turned out to be a 2.66 miles, or 4.28 kilometers, long oval track which has become one of the mainstays of American Stock Car Racing.  It was known as the ‘Alabama International Motor Speedway’ up until 1989 when the facilities name was changed to the ‘Talladega Superspeedway’, which sounds much cooler anyway.

With its banked turns and three long straightaways, speeds of over 200 miles per hour are regularly achieved at Talladega with NASCAR driver Rusty Wallace holding the track record of over 216 mph back in 2004, before the restrictor plates were used at Talladega.

For 2019 the pole sitting favorites to win at Talladega are Kevin Harvick and Kyle Busch, both listed at 9-2 going into the weekend. However, this years’ NASCR points leaders Martin Truex Jr., Brad Keselowski, Kyle Larson and Joey Logano are right on their heels at 6-1 with only six races to go in the 2019 NASCAR Playoffs.

The stakes are high at Talladega!



The Washington Nationals are for real.  Just ask the Los Angeles Dodgers and the St. Louis Cardinals. Just ask anyone who had a wager on the Nationals to win the NLCS this year, or all those folks who had picked the Dodgers for the National League Championship Series. They all believe it now!

So with the Dodgers and the Cardinals sitting at home watching the whole pageant on TV, the Washington Nationals will go forth and represent the National League against the winners of the ongoing series between the New York Yankees and the Houston Astros.

Many will be lamenting the fact that the seemingly undeniable Dodgers are out of the playoffs for this year, but hey, the three teams that are left are pretty darned good themselves. These things always seem to work themselves out during the baseball season each year making early wagering on teams to win the NL and AL Pennants very difficult indeed.

The Nationals will now have the luxury of resting up and healing up while the Yankees and Astros have at least 2 and as many as 4 very taxing games left to determine the winners of the American League Pennant this year. As the World Series is scheduled to start on October 22nd, the ALCS champs will have little rest going into the fall classic.

However, the first game of the World Series is scheduled to be played in an American League Ball Park no mater be it in the Bronx at Yankee Stadium or down in Houston at Minute Maid Park, the home of the Astros.

Currently the Astros hold a 2 game to 1 edge on the Yankees and are listed at -320 with the Yankees at +250 to win the ALCS for 2019. But the next two games will be played in Yankee Stadium in front of one of the most raucous crowds in MLB before they go back to Houston to decide the best 4 out of 7 series winners of the American League Pennant.

Game four of the ALCS was postponed due to heavy rain forecast in the area. Both teams will get to rest up on Wednesday, however, this means that they will only get one day of rest before the start of the World Series if the ALCS goes the full seven games.

As they will be facing a Washington pitching staff featuring Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg and Anibal Sanchez, the AL hitters had better bring their A game from the very beginning to stand a chance against these excellent starters and the potent Nationals’ Bull Pen featuring Sean Doolittle and Patrick Corbin, the designated winning pitcher of game 3 in D.C.

This year marks the first year that the Nationals have ever even won a playoff series, much less a National League Pennant. So, this will also be the first time that the Nationals have ever been in the World Series.

Ironically the Washington Nationals are the only team in MLB to never have participated in the World Series.  That will be remedied on October 22 when the Nats take on either the Yanks or the ‘Stros in the 2019 World Series.



The formally number five LSU Tigers football team has jumped up to the number two spot on the latest AP Poll by defeating the number 7 Florida Gators by a final score of 42-28, which hit the 14 point spread right on the head, but went over by 15 points in a hard fought contest in Baton Rouge.

LSU quarterback Joe Burrow, who was already way up there on the Heisman Trophy hopeful list, passed for 293 yards and three touchdowns completing 21 of 24 passes and rushing for an additional 43 yards on the ground. Running Back Clyde Edwards-Helaire racked up 134 yards of his own and scored 2 touchdowns in the winning effort by LSU at homecoming.

The ‘Bayou Bengal’ Tigers have now moved past Georgia, Ohio State and Clemson, for three very different reasons. Ohio State was idle this week but lost ground anyway.

Coach Will Muschamp brought his South Carolina Gamecocks down to Athens, Georgia with his team believing they could actually pull off an upset win against the number three ranked Georgia Bull Dogs last Saturday, and they did it!  Anyone having the foresight to bet the Gamecocks came out big time!  South Carolina led most of the game but it got very tight there at the end.

The ‘Dawgs’ were only 21.5 point favorites going into the game with the over and  under set at 53 points.  In the end only 37 points were scored in a tight game that went into double overtime before South Carolinas’ place kicker Parker White knocked in a 23 yard field goal during the second overtime period to send the Gamecocks up by three at 20-17.

The tenacious Bulldogs got the ball back for their turn from the 25 yard line and but failed to advance the ball any further on the first three downs.  Out comes the now famous Roberto Blankenship in his black horn rimmed glass to ice another game for Georgia from 42 yards out.  This guy just does not miss, right?  Not until last Saturday anyway, the football sailed wide left off of his flat toed shoe and the South Carolina Gamecocks had defeated the mighty Georgia Bulldogs.

So Georgia has dropped all the way down to number 10 in both the AP and Coaches Poll this week and LSU has been vaulted up to number two right behind their good ole buddies from Alabama.  That matchup is coming up on November the 9th when the Tigers travel to Tuscaloosa to take on Nick Saban and his perennially strong Crimson Tide team.

The voters for the AP poll didn’t seem to think much of Clemson beating up on an already wounded Florida State team this week.  The game was not pretty to watch and the victory was unimpressive. Nobody likes a bully but Clemson has been making a living beating up on their weaker ‘compadres’ in the ACC for years now…. wonder how they would fair in the SEC?

The annual Red River Rivalry was held at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas this year with the highly ranked Oklahoma Sooners traveling down to meet the Long Horns of Texas for the yearly collection of rodeos and livestock shows that also includes a really big football game.

The Sooners came in as 10.5 point favorites and statistically outgunned the boys from Texas who had only lost one game to LSU in the first game of the season. Both quarterbacks were borderline sensational during the game with Heisman candidate Jalen Hurts completing 16 of 28 passes for 235 yards and scoring 3 touchdowns.

The Sooners won 34-27; however, they did not cover the 10.5 point spread or come very close to the highly ambitious 78 point over and under set for the game.  Oklahoma now holds on to the number 5 spot in the AP poll while Texas, now at 4-2, only fell to 15th.

Back to the SEC and the number one team in the land with Tua Tagovailoa and his Alabama Crimson Tide who seem unstoppable so far this year, as if that is anything  new!  The Tide went down to College Station, Texas to take on Jimbo Fisher and the Aggies of Texas A&M as 17 point favorites and every expectation of coming out on top in the contest. And, as usual, they did, easily covering the 17 points and surpassing the 62 point over and under.

These rankings are not likely to change very much after the upcoming week of NCAA action as there are no really significant matchups between highly ranked teams scheduled over the weekend.

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