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Saturday Slate: Best Bets for April 16

For the first time in 37 years, the United States Football League will kick off today, as the New Jersey Generals and the Birmingham Stallions match up in the inaugural game. I love spring football leagues, and with this one being televised, we’ve got plenty of options for the weekend.

Of course, there’s also baseball and soccer available today, so we’ve got plenty of action worth backing today. Here are my top plays for April 16.


Almost any time you have a spring football league, you come into it level pegging with the sportsbooks. They don’t know any better than we do what these teams will look like, so there’s a lot of guesswork that goes into these plays. One thing that has consistently hit in spring leagues’ first week is the under, as these teams have not been together for long and it’s much easier to get defenses on the same page than offenses. I expect these teams to be little different, and I think the lines will drop to the 30s next week.


Any time you can go against a team that’s traveling across the country, it’s usually a good idea. When both teams are traveling across the country, you probably want the under. Miami has to make the diagonal trip to Seattle, but the Sounders are coming from having played at New York City on Wednesday. Expect a poorly-played, low-scoring match in their first-ever meeting with each other.


St. Louis has proven an incredibly patient team, as it has the fewest strikeouts in the majors to date. Milwaukee has been feast or famine with its pitching staff, as the Brewers are second in the majors in strikeouts but also second in walks. I think patience will win out against the back half of the Brewers’ pitching staff.


The Timbers have done very well against Houston as of late, winning four of their past five meetings and scoring at least twice in all of them. However, they haven’t been the greatest on defense this season, and I think Houston is likely to find a goal or two out of this one. I think this ends in a draw with both finding the net, but I’m taking the insurance on a Portland win.


Atlanta’s shaky bullpen has an ERA of 4.21, and that should send this matchup to over territory in the back half of the game. Even in the early going, runs could be part of the equation, as Ian Anderson hasn’t shown great command of the strike zone and Nick Martinez will need to show more than one start before proving that he’s past the struggles he showed in Texas in 2017.

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