BlackJack’s Plays of the Day: Mile-High Picks

BlackJack’s Plays of the Day: Mile-High Picks article feature image

Credit: USA Today Sports. Pictured: Cole Hamels

Baby, I’m writing this thing right now at 7:30 a.m. Pacific Time more than 34,000 feet above the Earth. I’m headed back to the East Coast to cover the Belmont Stakes and Justify’s attempt to win the Triple Crown with the rest of the prodigious Action Network team. I’ll miss you, Las Vegas, but rest assured I’ll be home soon. Until then, we have to keep the winning ways going. Vegas was good to us, but the work doesn’t stop; it never stops. It doesn’t matter if we are on a plane, a train or sailing the seven seas; winning doesn’t sleep and it doesn’t take days off. And so this morning, soaring through the skies, I give you our winners for the day.



Minnesota Lynx (-5.5) at Washington Mystics

4 p.m. ET

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The Lynx have yet to cover a spread this season after winning the WNBA championship last year. They have struggled early on for some reason, but I think this is a good spot to back them. The Lynx are off an outright loss to LA on the road, but I feel like Washington sports fans have something else on their mind today. Elena Della Donne is out indefinitely for the Mystics, who will struggle to contain Maya Moore, Lindsay Whalen and Sylvia Fowles. I like the Lynx to win and cover.

THE PICK: Minnesota Lynx -5.5

Houston Astros (-166) at Texas Rangers

8:05 p.m. ET

Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

This one sets up to be interesting deep in the heart of Texas this evening. The Astros are sending Cy Young favorite Gerrit Cole to the mound, and the Rangers are countering with Cole Hamels. Hamels’ starts recently have leaned to the over, but some of that is on his bullpen. Hamels is still a workhorse who will absolutely get up for this matchup. There is nothing else that really needs to be said about Cole; he has been stellar all season. I think there is value in the total here with these two warriors on the mound.

THE PICK: Under 9 (-115)

Kansas City Royals at Oakland Athletics (-153)

10:05 p.m. ET

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Jason Hammel has not been good for the Royals, and he’s been even worse when he begins a series for KC, going 1-5 in those spots. The A’s have continued to surprise this season, largely because of their penchant for beating up on bad teams, which this Royals team most certainly is. I’ll lay the price with the home team here.

THE PICK: Oakland A’s ML

All right, brothers and sisters, let’s get out there today and get those wins.


I feel like I forgot something…

What could it be???

Washington Capitals at Vegas Golden Knights (-159)

8 p.m. ET

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

You didn’t really think I was leaving this off my board, did you? Hell. No. I don’t want to hear that I’m betting with my heart, not my head, because the last time Vegas lost three games straight was in March. You know the last time they lost four straight games? Never. This team has made us more money than any other team in any sport — if you expect me to jump ship and back the Caps tonight, you are outside of your ever-loving mind. Believe in something for me one time. The Knights have made history all year; it’s time to do it one more time. Let’s. Keep. Going.

THE PICK: Vegas Golden Knights ML

Editor’s note: The opinion on these games is from the individual writer and is based on his research, analysis and perspective. It is independent of, and may not always match with, the algorithm-driven Best Bets from Sports Insights.