FALCON POINTS

5 basic betting tips now that more sports have returned

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Now that the NBA and NHL have returned to join MLB, golf and NASCAR, among others, there is no shortage of sports to wager on. If you are going to dive in, we provide a few tips on how to approach these sports, which are all essentially being played under unique rules. That will impact games and wagers. As a general rule, I rarely bet baseball and the NBA, but if you spot some trends, there is money to be made:

1) Don't overdo it

The temptation is there to play everything, especially since we have not had much to bet on. But keep in mind there are lots of options every day now. Pick your spots and be patient. Don't bet just to have action.

2) Don't be afraid to bet on your teams

Sometimes, having an emotional involvement in a team can be a negative. But if you can look at it objectively, it makes sense to bet on the team you follow. It's simple reasoning; you will know more about that team than any other. Sometimes that knowledge will lead you to bet against them. Again, be objective and it can pay off.

3) Throw out the old trends

Treat each sport like it is a new season and you have to develop new trends and data. For instance, early in the real regular season, hockey overs were easy money. But in the re-start, defenses and goalies have been well ahead, and that trend has reversed. Keep in mind some hockey and basketball teams have players who were out when the season was paused and have returned now, so you are starting from scratch in many ways. In baseball, watch for struggling high profile pitchers and bet against them until it turns around. In hockey, keep an eye out for hot goalies. And in the NBA, some teams are more prepared. These are all things to look for.

4) Keep an eye on the bankroll

With so much action available, be smart with your money. One rule I always use is never bet more than 10 percent of your bankroll on a given game. So if you are playing with $100 in your account, your maximum bet should be $10 per game. It will help mitigate your losses and keep you from chasing lost money.

5) Where you bet is critical

Having more than one web site is always a good idea, so you can shop for value and bet where you have the best lines or totals. If you like an over in a baseball game, for instance, and it is 8 runs on Website A and 9 on Website B, clearly you will take the extra run. Also make sure you use sites that will actually pay you when you win. I use two sites - mybookie.ag and BUSR. Both have lots of deposit options, are very user friendly and actually pay you when you win.

Whatever sport you are into, try some of these basic tips and good luck with your wagers.

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Zack Greinke earned his 10th win of the season in Sunday's finale agains the Rangers. Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images

With the first two wins of the series under their belt, the Astros entered Sunday looking to take care of business before heading on the road. Despite the Rangers taking the first lead of the day, the Astros responded on offense and defense to erase the deficit to get the victory.

Final Score: Astros 3, Rangers 1

Astros' Record: 61-39, first in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Zack Greinke (10-3)

Losing Pitcher: Dennis Santana (0-1)

Greinke, with some help, notches a quality start

Zack Greinke was doing well in the early goings of Sunday's finale. Despite allowing back-to-back singles to start the game, he stranded both runners to finish the top of the first. He followed that by erasing two more runners in the second, starting a stretch of eight straight batters which he would retire to make it through one out in the top of the fifth without allowing a run.

Texas finally added a blemish to his day at that point, getting a solo homer to grab their first lead in weeks. Greinke rebounded from it, sitting down the next two batters to finish the frame, then posted a 1-2-3 sixth. He returned for the top of the seventh, but would end his day with a struggle, loading the bases with no outs on a single, hit batter, and walk. That prompted Dusty Baker to bring in Cristian Javier, who saved Greinke's stat line by getting a strikeout and double play to keep the Rangers from scoring. Greinke's line: 6.0 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 4 K, 1 HR, 86 P.

Houston grabs the lead

Houston's starter would leave in line for the win, thanks to the work of Cristian Javier, but also some timely offense in the two innings prior. With not much going for them in the first four innings, the Astros tried to take advantage of Chas McCormick being on base in the bottom of the fifth, sending him for a potential hit and run with Abraham Toro swinging.

That turned into two runs, with McCormick able to slow his run as Toro would launch a two-run go-ahead homer to erase the Rangers lead quickly. They extended the lead to two runs in the next inning, with Yordan Alvarez working a walk and then later scoring on an RBI single by Kyle Tucker, making it 3-1.

Astros finish the sweep

After cleaning up the inherited mess in the top of the seventh, Javier remained on the mound in the top of the eighth and made it through a 1-2-3 inning to give him six outs against five batters. With it still a two-run game in the top of the ninth, Ryan Pressly entered for the save opportunity. He notched it, sitting down the Rangers 1-2-3 to finish the sweep, handing Texas their twelfth straight loss.

Up Next: The Astros will head out west for an eight-game road trip starting with a three-game set with the Mariners kicking off at 9:10 PM Central on Monday. In the opener, Luis Garcia (7-5, 2.86 ERA) for Houston is slated to go opposite Darren McCaughan (0-0, 1.80 ERA), who will make his second career appearance and first start for Seattle.

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