There’s nothing like picking an over between two teams that have shown no ability to play defense and then watching them miss a combined 29 shots in a 0-0 tie. With luck like that out of Montenegro and Latvia, it’s amazing that we got two out of five on Tuesday and came a run short of a win for the day. We’ll try to get right today with a full slate of action as we get ready for the NFL to kick off tomorrow.
ITALY AND UNDER 3.5, +140
Italy shouldn’t have any issues with Lithuania, but something isn’t right with the Italians right now. They seem to be suffering some kind of hangover after winning Euro 2020(1), and this is a match they need to get right themselves. Lithuania has traditionally dug in and played them to respectable defeats, so a low-scoring Italian win appears in the cards. If you just want a win, taking Italy and under 4.5 at -165 is likely the safest play, but I think Italy will keep the scoring to three or less.
WALES AND OVER 2.5, -120
Estonia is the type of side that says, “We know we’re not going to the World Cup…so screw it, let’s try for goals and whatever happens on defense happens.” The Blueshirts have hemorrhaged goals so far in qualifying, giving up 15 markers in three matches, but they’ve also scored six of their own, notching two in every match. That might not continue against Wales, as the Dragons have held six of their past seven visitors scoreless, but Estonia’s caution to the wind style means this should be a wide-open match that lends itself to a lot of chances. If you want to be aggressive, I like Wales and O3.5 at +210.
BLUE JAYS ML, +100
No point denying it now: the Yankees are in trouble. With the Blue Jays having 14 of their final 25 games against Baltimore and Minnesota, the one thing New York could not afford to do was let Toronto back into the AL wild card race. That’s exactly what the Yankees have done, and the Blue Jays now smell blood in the water and have Alek Manoah going to the hill. A win here would close the Jays to 1.5 games back of the Yankees, who suddenly look very shaky and have just one run in their past 18 innings.
HONDURAS DOUBLE CHANCE, -105
I know, I know…nice patriotism. But here’s the hard reality: the United States has gone from expecting seven points from this week to hoping for five and likely getting three. The Americans have failed to win in their past two trips to Honduras, they look devoid of ideas and they’re going to San Pedro Sula down Gio Reyna (hamstring) and Weston McKinnie (sent home because of COVID protocol violation). A third straight draw for the U.S. is the most likely outcome, and I’m planning to play for a 1-1 draw at +525 here.
BUCS -8, -110
This is a Thursday game, but I want to get it in here. Dallas isn’t stopping Tampa Bay in Brady’s house. The Cowboys are better against the pass than the run, but this is still a team that gave up almost 30 points a game last season and isn’t likely to fare well in Brady’s first time actually playing in front of fans in Tampa. I don’t want to bet the over because the first game tends to be a bit sloppy as teams get their legs under them, but I can’t see the Cowboys keeping pace here.