Ben Queen-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Matt Harvey
Chicago Cubs vs. Cincinnati Reds, 7:10 p.m. ET
- Cubs -160
- Reds +145
- Total 9.5
Bet to Watch
Hello, Cincinnati nation … guess what today is? Welcome to the eighth installment of Harvey day!
Through seven starts for the Reds, Harvey has been less than stellar (5.09 ERA). But the “Dark Knight” has improved since leaving New York after, and there’s some value in a few angles for the Reds tonight.
Opposing Matt Harvey for the Cubs is Kyle Hendricks, who comes in with postseason experience and a pretty consistent “favorite tag” on his head given Chicago’s record and lineup. Including Thursday against the Reds, Hendricks has been listed as a favorite in 16 consecutive starts dating back to the playoffs. Chicago is 6-10 in those games, losing bettors 5.9 units. Not to mention, Hendricks has made at least three road starts in 10 different ballparks, including Wrigley, and his 5.65 ERA at Great American Ball Park is his highest among any of those venues.
The Cubs enter their four-game set against the divisional cellar-dwelling Reds after Jon Lester threw seven innings of five-hit ball against the Dodgers on Wednesday, allowing no runs in the 4-0 shutout. Over the last decade, road favorites coming off a shutout are winning 51.4% of total games (almost a 500-game sample size). But because those teams’ average moneyline sits above -130, bettors have lost a whopping 45 units. The Cubs are currently above -160 at various books, showing the value in the number.
Writer’s note: Because I have no faith in bullpens, especially Cincinnati’s, which is bottom 10 in ERA, allowing the fifth-most walks, yet have fewer blown saves than the Cubs this year — throw the first five on there, please.
The picks: Reds +145, Reds First 5 Innings +140
Editor’s note: The opinion on this game 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.