Updated October 8, 2020 - 10:48 am
Four baseball teams could be going home, and two football games are on tap.
Here’s the sports betting menu for Thursday (odds from the Westgate, updated at 10:45 a.m.):
Tampa Bay (-3 -120, 44½, -170) at Chicago (+150), 5:20 p.m. (KVVU-5, NFL Network)
Tom Brady and the Buccaneers (3-1) have won three straight, but this line has dropped steadily after opening as high as Tampa Bay -6. The Bucs rallied from a 24-7 deficit to beat the Los Angeles Chargers 38-31 last week. The Bears (3-1) lost their first game last week in the first game with Nick Foles as the starting quarterback. Chicago struggled mightily in a 19-11 loss to Indianapolis that wasn’t as close as the score indicated.
Line movement: Tampa Bay down from -3½.
Tulane (+220) at Houston (-6½, 59½, -260), 4:30 p.m. (ESPN)
After a series of postponements because of the coronavirus pandemic, the host Cougars finally open their season against the Green Wave. Tulane (2-1) has had extra time to prepare after a 66-24 win over Southern Mississippi on Sept. 26. The Green Wave have won two of the last three meetings in the series, both in New Orleans.
(Pitchers subject to change)
(Note: xFIP is an advanced stat that is a more accurate measure of a pitcher’s performance than ERA.)
Oakland (-105) vs. Houston (-105, 9½ under -120), Game 4, 12:35 p.m. at Los Angeles (TBS)
Probable pitchers: Oakland’s Frankie Montas (RHP, 3-5, 5.60 ERA, 4.36 xFIP) vs. Houston’s Zack Greinke (RHP, 3-3, 4.03 ERA, 3.51 xFIP)
Notes: Oakland (-110) stayed alive with a 9-7 victory to cut the Astros’ series lead to 2-1. The game went over 9. Houston took a 7-4 lead with a five-run fifth, but Chad Pinder answered with a tying three-run home run in the seventh. Oakland got two sacrifice flies in the eighth, and closer Liam Hendriks stretched out to pitch the final three innings (scoreless) to earn the win. Montas allowed one run in two innings in his first postseason appearance, in relief against the Chicago White Sox in the Wild Card Series. The veteran Greinke will start despite being scratched with arm soreness earlier in the series.
Tampa Bay (+126) vs. New York Yankees (-136, 9 under -120), Game 4, 4:10 p.m. at San Diego (TBS)
Probable pitchers: Tampa Bay’s Ryan Thompson (RHP, 1-2, 4.44 ERA, 3.75 xFIP) vs. New York’s Jordan Montgomery (LHP, 2-3, 5.11 ERA, 3.65 xFIP)
Notes: Tampa Bay (+125) defeated New York 8-4 to take a 2-1 series lead. The game went over 9. The Rays got to Yankees starter Masahiro Tanaka for five runs in four innings, including Kevin Kiermaier’s three-run homer. Randy Arozarena also homered for the third straight day for Tampa Bay. Yankees slugger Giancarlo Stanton set a record by hitting a home for the fifth straight game to open a postseason. Thompson, a rookie, will serve as an opener for Game 4. He has pitched 3⅓ scoreless innings in two playoff appearances. The Yankees will try to stay alive with Montgomery, who will be making his postseason debut. Look for more analysis and a handicapper’s pick on the game below.
Line movement: New York up from -130. Total down from 9½ under -115.
Atlanta (-131, 9 under -115) vs. Miami (+121), Game 3, 11:08 a.m. at Houston (FS1)
Probable pitchers: Atlanta’s Kyle Wright (RHP, 2-4, 5.21 ERA, 5.33 xFIP) vs. Miami’s Sixto Sanchez (RHP, 3-2, 3.46 ERA, 4.08 xFIP)
Notes: Atlanta (-200) shut down Miami in a 2-0 victory to take a 2-0 lead in the series. The game stayed easily under 8½. Ian Anderson allowed three hits in 5⅔ innings, then four relievers didn’t allow a hit the rest of the way. The Braves’ runs came on solo shots from Dansby Swanson and Travis d’Arnaud. The Braves will try to earn their first trip to the NL Championship Series since 2001 behind Wright, who will make his postseason debut. Sanchez, a rookie, pitched five scoreless innings in his playoff debut in the Wild Card Series.
Line movement: Atlanta down slightly from -135. Total up from 8½ over -115.
Los Angeles Dodgers (-170, 9 over -120) vs. San Diego (+160), Game 3, 6:08 p.m. at Arlington, Texas (MLB Network)
Probable pitchers: Los Angeles’ Dustin May (RHP, 3-1, 2.57 ERA, 3.98 xFIP) vs. San Diego’s Adrian Morejon (LHP, 2-2, 4.66 ERA, 3.02 xFIP)
Notes: Los Angeles (-220) held on for a 6-5 victory to take a 2-0 lead in the series. The game went over 8½. Trailing 6-3 in the ninth, the Padres scored two runs off Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen. Joe Kelly came on in relief and walked Fernando Tatis Jr. and Manny Machado to load the bases before Eric Hosmer grounded out to end the game. Cody Bellinger hit a solo home run in the fourth inning and robbed Tatis of a go-ahead two-run shot in the seventh for Los Angeles. Clayton Kershaw allowed three runs on six hits in six innings for the Dodgers. The Padres will turn to Morejon with their season on the line. He has thrown three scoreless innings in two relief appearances in his first postseason. May threw two perfect innings in relief in Game 1 in his playoff debut.
What happened Wednesday
Favorites went 2-1 with one game closing pick’em. Totals went 3-1 to the over. Notes on the games are included above.
Hot Corner handicapper selection
Under 9½ Rays-Yankees (-115)
Dana Lane (@DanaLaneSports, 8-9, -1.47 units): Aaron Judge, Luke Voit and Gio Urshela are a combined 5-for-37 in the ALDS. When your 2-4-6 hitters are hitting .135 it’s hard to put up big innings — unless Giancarlo Stanton is hitting homers. Outside of Stanton, the Yanks were just 5-for-31 against Rays pitching in Game 3.
Ryan Thompson gets the ball for the Rays in Game 4 and has yet to allow a run in 3⅓ postseason innings. If Yankees starter Jordan Montgomery can find some success, the Rays’ bullpen will be effective enough to keep this game under the total.