GAMBLING GUIDE

Bookie Busters: In the zone

Bookie Busters: In the zone
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Who doesn't like a Hot Pocket? But these are filled with dollars and cents, and a little cheese. Let's stay hot, this is the perfect time of the season. I have some nice spots this weekend, let's make some money.

New Plays

Coming soon

12/26 548

Washington Wizards at Detroit Pistons over 228.5 5U MAX BOMB

First Q Over 59 1U

FH over 117.5 2U


Memphis Grizzlies at Oklahoma City Thunder

First Q over 55 4U

FH over 109 4U

Game over 224 5U MAX

Parlay 2u

Wash/Det over 228.5

Mem/OKC over 224

NCAAF Pitt TT over 30.5

12/25

Houston Rockets at Golden State Warriors Rockets first Q -3.5

2U First Q TT over 31.5

2U First Q over 59.5 4U

Rockets TT over 119 5U MAX

338 12/23 

Central Florida-7 2nd half 5U MAX

1146 CST 12/21

Texans -3 MAX BOMB 5U

711 CST

TORONTO RAPTORS @ DETROIT PISTONS 3rd Q over 53.5 5U MAX


CHICAGO BULLS @ WASHINGTON WIZARDS 2nd half over 112 5U MAX BOMB

7 CST

Memphis Grizzlies at Oklahoma City Thunder First Q over 54 3U

652 CST

New Orleans Pelicans at Minnesota Timberwolves FH over 117.5 5U MAX

Game over 230 5U MAX

1255 cst 12-18

Barcelona/Real Madrid Both teams score and over 2.5 5U MAX

Suarez goal 1U
Barca TT over 2 3U

557 CSt

Orlando Magic at Utah Jazz Jazz -2 first Q 5U MAX

Phoenix Suns at Los Angeles Clippers

Clippers FH TT over 58.5 5U MAX

Game over 224 3U

Clippers FH -7.5 3U

Clippers -13.5 2U


12/17  550 CST

Nets Player prop S.Dinwiddie Over 24.5 points 3U

assist over 6.5 4U


Los Angeles Lakers at Indiana Pacers Pacers FH +1.5 2U

Game Under 211 3U


12/15 253

Parlay 1U

Buffalo ML

Raiders-6.5

Browns ML

Falcons/Niners over 49

Parlay 1U

Browns/Cards over 49

Atl +11

Raiders-6.5


Teaser 7 point 5U MAX

Raiders +.5

Bills +7

Saturday 12-14  123

UCLA/NOTRE DAME over 138 5U MAX

Previous Plays

Goff over 1.5 passing TD 3U

Rams TT over 23.5 5U MAX TOTAL of the week

813 CST

‪WASHINGTON WIZARDS @ MIAMI ‬

‪2nd half Over 111 5U MAX ‬‪3rd Q over 55.5 5U MAX ‬

Bears TT over 9.5 3U 2nd half

SACRAMENTO KINGS @ PORTLAND TRAIL BLAZERS

2nd half over 107.5 5U MAX

For any questions or comments reach me @Jerryboknowz Twitter.

Be sure to check out my show MoneyLine with Josh Jordan on ESPN 97.5. We're on every Sunday from 10-noon, and we'll talk a lot of fantasy football and NFL gambling. Also, be sure to follow us @Moneyline975 on Twitter.

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What does the future hold for Justin Verlander and Kyle Tucker? Composite Getty Image.

It doesn’t quite equate to scaling Mount Everest, but from their shockingly inept 7-19 start to this season and being twelve games under .500 most recently at 12-24, the Astros reaching the break-even mark one game short of the exact midpoint of the regular season schedule is a fine accomplishment. Since 12-24 they have gone 28-16. Of course, that becomes a hollow accomplishment if it's not built upon in the direction the Astros expected to be from the jump.

Less than a week and a half ago, the Seattle Mariners held a 10 game lead over the Astros in the American League West. The gap is now four and a half games. On July 4, 1979 the Astros beat the Cincinnati Reds to build their National League West lead to ten and a half games. The Astros were on pace to win 101 games, the Reds were at .500. Unimpressed Reds’ pitcher Tom Seaver predicted the Astros would “fall like a lead balloon.” He was right. The rest of the way the Astros went 37-42 and the Reds roared from behind to snatch the division by a game and a half. The Astros would have to wait until the following year to make their first ever postseason appearance. Now here they are very reasonably positioned to make a run at an eighth consecutive postseason appearance.

The same night the Astros went to sleep ten games back of the Mariners, they sat seven and a half games out of the third AL Wild Card spot. That gap is now three games. Given how far the Astros are behind the Yankees, Orioles, and Guardians, it's unlikely that the Astros wind up with one of the two best records in the AL and secure a bye past the best-of-three Wild Card round. As such, whether it's winning the West or nabbing any of the three Wild Cards, the point is to make the tournament and take their shot. Remember, last season both the World Series winning Texas Rangers and runners-up Arizona Diamondbacks were Wild Cards. The Diamondbacks squeaked into the postseason with an 84-78 record.

Start spreading the news!

This weekend, the Astros are in New York for three games against the Mets. Like the Astros the Mets have overcome a lousy start to sit smack-dab at .500 (39-39). Since their bottom of 24-35 the Mets are 15-4. While the Astros have the good fortune of the AL West being the worst division in the Majors, this season and being just four and a half games off the lead, the Mets National League East location means it's pretty much Wild Card or nothing with them 13 games behind the high-flying Phillies.

There will be no Justin Verlander pitching for either team. It's moving toward done deal status that neither the Astros nor Mets will be on the hook for the 17 and a half million dollars each would owe him if Verlander's 2025 35 million dollar option became guaranteed by him reaching 140 innings pitched this season. At just 57 innings banked as the first half wraps up, he's 83 innings short. Verlander's sore neck seems likely to keep him in moth balls until at least the All-Star break. With perfect health from day one after the break, the absolute maximum number of starts Verlander could get is 14.

Other collateral damage with Verlander's repeated physical breakdowns in his 40s: his chance at getting to 300 career wins is fading. Only 24 pitchers in Major League history have reached 300. There will likely never be a 25th member of the club. With just three victories in 2024 Verlander is presently stalled at 260. Squeezing out 40 more seems a Herculean task. The next pitcher on the winningest active list is Max Scherzer with 215, he's followed by Clayton Kershaw with 210. It then drops off a cliff to Gerrit Cole with only 145. Zero chance at 300 for any of them. “J.V.” finished his 20s with 124 wins. Larry Dierker booked all but two of his 139 career wins before turning 30. Roy Oswalt put up 111 wins pre-30. The current win leader yet to turn 30 is German Marquez with a mere 65 victories.

Astros winning despite Kyle Tucker's absence

Before fouling the ball off his shin June 3 that (eventually) put him on the injured list, Kyle Tucker was the Astros' best everyday player this season. In fact, no one else was even close. In the 19 (and counting) games Tucker has missed, the Astros are 13-6. While “Tuck” need not familiarize himself with Wally Pipp, this is the latest example that one player, no matter how great, can only lift a baseball team so far. It probably isn't making Jim Crane think that eight years 240 million or the like is the way to go in a contract extension for Tucker. Crane's dream Astros' outfield in 2026 could have Jacob Melton in center flanked by Luis Baez on one side and Joey Loperfido on the other, with Yordan Alvarez in left of course when not DHing. Melton and Baez may be the Astros' top two minor league prospects. They'll be 25 and 22 years old opening day 2026. Add Loperfido with them and the Astros could pay their whole outfield under two and a half million dollars for the season.

*Catch our weekly Stone Cold ‘Stros podcast. Brandon Strange, Josh Jordan, and I discuss varied Astros topics. The first post for the week generally goes up Monday afternoon (second part released Tuesday) via The SportsMap HOU YouTube channel or listen to episodes in their entirety at Apple, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts.

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