UFC 253 comes packed with fireworks from both inside the octagon and the betting lines as middleweight king Israel Adesanya settles his grudge with the unbeaten destroyer, Paulo Costa. Both fighters are explosive strikers and with ill will all but guaranteeing heated exchanges. Co-headlining are red-hot fighters Dominick Reyes and Jan Blachowicz facing off for the vacant light heavyweight title. Let's break down these fights and see which bets we can cash.
2016 NL East Outright Betting Lines And Prediction
Having reached the All-Star break in the 2016 MLB season now, bettors are using this downtime to handicap MLB future prices to try and capitalize on some profitable angles come the end of September. MLB division winners are a popular future wager to look in in that regard and today we look at the three-team race in the NL East.
NL East Outright Betting Lines
Heading into the 2016 season, the NL East Division was projected to be a two-team race between Washington and the Mets, but one of the more surprising stories of the first half has been just how well the Miami Marlins have played. Miami enters the break with the exact same record (47-41 SU) as the Mets – the 2015 National League champions – as both franchises aim to close the six-game deficit they face at the hands of Washington. All three of those teams are not without faults, but the Nationals have shown to be the better of the three, at least so far, as the organization looks to make another run at a World Series appearance.
The current NL East outright betting lines offered at Sports Interaction have those Washington Nationals as a healthy favourite (-1667) to eventually win the NL East, with the Miami Marlins at (+1000), and the New York Mets at (+1200). Given the identical records the Marlins and Mets share at the break, seeing that disparity in odds for both sides is a little intriguing, especially to 'underdog' bettors looking for that big payout, but Washington has established themselves as the team to beat, and after taking three of four from the Mets in New York to close out the first half of the year, the NL East should be claimed by the Nationals in 2016.
NL East Outright Betting Pick
Take the Washington Nationals to win the NL East Division @-1667
Laying significant “chalk” like -275 on futures can be troubling at times, especially for newer bettors, because any type of losing streak that team will endure down the stretch only amps up the nervousness for the bettor. Yet, Washington has already experienced quite a few ups and downs in 2016 and they've always managed to come out on the good side of things when the dust settles.
Washington has endured questions about their rotation, a Bryce Harper slump when opponents weren't pitching to him, and questions about whether or not the Nationals offense were simply a “one-man show” with Harper.
Well, Washington enters the All-Star break with the lowest ERA of any staring rotation in MLB at 3.30, and their bullpen ranks 3rd in that regard at 3.11 and has allowed the fewest earned runs of any bullpen in the league at 87. Having a strong pitching staff from top to bottom is how championship teams are built, and while the Nationals will always judge how successful 2016 was based on their playoff results, getting to October baseball as a division winner shouldn't be a problem. The starting rotation and bullpen the Nationals have will take this team a long way in the final few months of the season, and barring significant injuries to the likes of Scherzer or Strasburg, we should see Washington's rotation maintain a similar level of success in the second half.
Offensively, the others around Harper really picked up their play over the last month or so. Guys like Jayson Werth, Daniel Murphy, Danny Espinosa, and Anthony Rendon really upped their production numbers during that time and forced opponents to pitch to Harper in critical situations when those guys weren't knocking in runs themselves. The Nationals enter the break with a +105 run differential that is 2nd in the majors behind the Chicago Cubs. That number in itself should tell you that many more wins will be coming down the pipeline for Washington in the second half as they hope to leave the Mets and Marlins in their wake.
As far as those other two contenders go, it's tough to consider either one of them when you did deep into the numbers. Both have a positive run differential, but with the Mets being +20 and the Marlins being +1, there is an argument to be made that both squads have actually overperformed a bit in the first half.
New York also lost P Matt Harvey for the year, and while some bettors/fans out there will reference last year's run made by New York in the second half, the 2016 version of the Mets is quite different. Their pitching staff took a significant loss with Harvey gone and the Mets lineup isn't nearly as deep and productive as they were a year ago. New York has scored nearly 40 fewer runs than Miami and almost 100 fewer than Washington, so unless they acquire a few big bats to bolster their lineup and increase its depth, we could see the Mets be a little better than a .500 team in the second half.
Miami has a better offence than New York, but their pitching staff is basically a one-man army with Jose Fernandez and they'll need more than that to catch the Nationals. The Marlins are a team on the upswing though and it will be good for the young guys growth to be playing meaningful baseball in September, but when it's all said and done, Washington should claim the NL East by 8+ games over both of these rivals.
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