There are days where you have a strong slate, and there are days when the play of the day saves your bacon. Yesterday was the latter, as the Birmingham Stallions came up big for me by holding off Tampa Bay and improving to 4-0 in the USFL.
However, none of that mattered to me in the slightest, because Bristol Rovers pulled off the stunner of all time by coming up with a 7-0 win on the final day of the season to earn promotion back to League One. I expected we’d have to come through the playoffs given that Northampton won its match, but somehow, we did enough when it mattered most to clinch promotion to the third tier of English soccer. Given that I spent yesterday at a celebration of the life of my Uncle Gordon, I like to think he had something to do with that one.
There aren’t a ton of great spread options today, but we will do what we can. Here are my best plays for May 8.
HURRICANES +1.5/WILD +1.5 PARLAY, -110
These spreads are just terrible, but they fit the theme of the day well and I expect both of these plays will end up working. Minnesota took control of the series with St. Louis with a second straight strong performance, and I have to admit that I was wrong about the Blues being able to claim this one. Based off what we’ve seen from Minnesota, the Wild are the better side.
Meanwhile, Carolina started the third game against Boston well and should give a better performance this time around. I still think the Hurricanes are the stronger side and will show it in taking care of the Bruins in Game 4.
BREAKERS -4.5, -110
I don’t see Houston slowing down New Orleans, given how poor the Gamblers are on defense. Houston ranks dead last in the USFL against the pass and second-worst against the run, while New Orleans has a solid attack in both areas. The Breakers are in prime position to bounce back after getting beat by Birmingham, and Houston is likely the weakest team in the South Division, making this a manageable cover.
PIRATES +1.5, -185
The Reds finally got off the schneid in splitting a pair with the Pirates on Saturday, but I don’t think they’re going to keep that momentum going. Tyler Mahle has really struggled to get hitters out this year, posting an ERA of 7.01 on the season. Pittsburgh’s got slightly better pitching than Cincinnati and should be able to keep this game close against the Reds’ poor pitching.
AUSTIN FC ML, +140
It’s not a spread, but Austin has been playing very strong soccer this season and has won five straight matches, putting itself in the top two in the Western Conference. There’s a worry that the Oaks have played a very soft schedule, but they have outscored their opponents by 15-2 at Q2 Stadium this season, so this kind of value is worth riding.