And we’re back at it after a week-long hiatus. With college football getting started, I spent a fair amount of time focused there instead of on our daily plays, but now that we’ve got that week under our belts, it’s time to return to the board. With European soccer and baseball on the docket today, we’ve got more than a few options available today. Here are my best plays for September 7.
MONTENEGRO-LATVIA OVER 2.5, +125
Defense has proven completely optional for Montenegro during this cycle of World Cup qualifying. The Brave Falcons have seen four goals land in each of their past three matches and have seen at least three goals scored in four out of five qualifiers. Latvia was traditionally one of the most conservative sides in Europe, but the Eleven Wolves have ditched that this time around and pressed the issue a bit more. The result is that Latvia has found the net in five of its past six matches. The Eleven Wolves even scored on Germany (granted, the Germans dropped seven on Latvia in that encounter), so the attack won’t fear anyone. This total has a great chance.
SLOVAKIA-CYPRUS UNDER 2.5, -120
At the other end of the spectrum is Cyprus, which has all of one goal to its name in these qualifiers. So far, the Cypriots’ strategy has been “defend, defend and hope the other side screws up”. So far, the only one who has is Slovenia, which is why Cyprus sits dead last in Group H. Slovakia probably tossed away any shot at qualifying when it fell 1-0 to Croatia on Saturday, and the Falcons couldn’t break down Cyprus in the group opener, as the teams played out a dull scoreless draw in Nicosia. This is probably a 1-0 or 0-0 match.
AUSTRIA OVER 1.5, +110
The Burschen are goal-scorers, and they’ll be looking for a big result after kicking away a result at Israel on Saturday. Austria basically has to run the table except for their trip to Denmark in order to get second place and a playoff slot, and the best way to do that is to put up a good number against a Scotland side that has been a bit suspect on defense. The Tartan Army conceded twice to Denmark and once to Israel, and there’s every reason to expect Austria can find two in this encounter.
WHITE SOX-ATHLETICS OVER 9, -110
James Kaprielian has seen the over cash in five of his past six starts, and with the White Sox sending Jimmy Lambert to the mound, this likely becomes a bullpen game from Chicago’s perspective. The runs have been coming in bunches in Oakland games as of late, and I don’t trust Kaprielian on the mound in the slightest. I think we see a fair amount of runs here.
MARLINS OVER 2.5, -140
Carlos Carrasco hasn’t really done that well so far, and Miami’s hitters should be able to get a few runs on the board against him. This is a low number, and I think it’s too low, given that Miami has topped it in four straight games. I think the Marlins can string together a couple decent innings to get three on the board.