The early NFL window was a big success on Sunday for us, as all four games turned out to be winners. The last one proved not, as the Browns completely failed to get out of their own way and allowed Arizona to make a statement in getting to 6-0. But a 4-1 showing is a pretty solid outing, and we’ll try to keep the momentum going with another strong performance on Monday. Here are my best bets for October 18.
Fading Arsenal was the thing to do at the start of the Premier League season, but the Gunners have slowly gotten things going 3-0-1 in their past four matches. Two of those were against weak opposition in Burnley and Norwich City, but there was also a home win over Tottenham Hotspur in there, which suggests that Arsenal is on track to get back to being a contender for European places. They should keep things rolling at home against a Crystal Palace side that doesn’t travel well.
Tired legs are going to catch up with the Kraken eventually, but I think they can hold out for one more game. This game is huge for Seattle, because it’s the return of former UND and Flyers coach Dave Hakstol to Philadelphia, which means the Kraken are likely going to be hyped to try to get a win. I think the schedule loss is coming Tuesday in Newark for Seattle, but I’ll ride with them tonight.
MAPLE LEAFS, -180
Don’t read too much into the Leafs taking only a split with the Senators. Ottawa almost always plays well against Toronto because Senators coach D.J. Smith was once Toronto’s top assistant and probably knows more about the Maple Leafs than most people who still work for them. The Rangers have no such advantage and are coming off a road win, which is a bad sign for New York bettors. The Rangers are just 10-21 in their past 31 after a road win, as streaks are hard for this team to manufacture. The Buds should be the play here.
Taking the Astros to bounce back makes sense, especially because they have played well in Fenway and their offense continues to whack the ball against Boston pitching. The Astros are the better team and even though the Red Sox have won six playoff games in a row at Fenway, I think Houston gets ahead in the series in this one.
This isn’t so much a letdown spot as it is an acknowledgement of Buffalo’s biggest weakness: its run defense. Yes, Buffalo statistically has the No. 2 run defense, but let’s take a look at that. The Bills have faced two tire fires in Miami and Houston, two teams that can’t run the ball in Washington and Pittsburgh and a Chiefs squad that only gave Clyde Edwards-Helaire seven touches. Tennessee can run the ball and will run it, and I don’t think Buffalo can stop Derrick Henry.