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Matchup Selection W/L
CFL  |  Jun 24, 2017
Edmonton vs BC
-3½ -120 at betonline
Play Type: Top Premium

8* British Columbia (10:00 ET): I've seen the Leos get some "Grey Cup love" this offseason. Were those prognostications to be anywhere near accurate, one would certainly have to think laying this short number. Last season was a big bounce back campaign in B.C. as HC Wally Bueno's return to the sidelines led to a big improvement in the team's win total from 7 (in 2015) to 12. The Lions' season officially ended in the Western Final w/ a loss to their rival, Calgary, by a lopsided score of 42-15. Of course, you don't need to ask B.C.'s Week 1 opponent, Edmonton, about how tough the Stampeders are. They were swept by the Stamps last season, part of a disappointing 10-8 SU regular season, after taking the Grey Cup home in 2015.

These Western Division rivals split LY's two meetings, the home team winning both times. They also have a history of close matchups w/ the last five meetings, again all won by the home team, decided by seven points or less (one in OT). But I've got reason to believe the Leos roll here in the season opener. The hype coming out of Western Canada certainly seems justified as QB Jonathon Jennings appears ready to break out. This will be his second year starting at the pivot position and he has possibly the best receiving duo in the league at his disposal, Emmanuel Arcenaux and Bryan Burnham, plus the team added Chris Williams via free agency. The Lions should have no problem scoring in 2017 and that should leave an Eskimos defense that regressed badly LY w/ a uneasy feeling. On their own defensive side of the ball, B.C. returns largely all of LY's top talent including a very talented secondary group.

Edmonton lost Derel Walker to the NFL and one of it's major FA signings this past offseason (LB Corey Greenwood) was lost to injury in training camp. This defense is simply nowhere near as stout as the group that brought home the Grey Cup in 2015. Greenwood was brought in to replace the already departed Deon Lacey. QB Mike Reilly admitted that the loss of his top receiver, Walker, will be tough. I expect the Esks to struggle in this one. 8* British Columbia

Matchup Selection W/L
MLB  |  Jun 24, 2017
Pirates vs Cardinals
OVER 8½ +105 Won
Play Type: Top Premium

10* Over Pirates/Cardinals (7:15 ET): Pittsburgh cashed for me yday (as a +110 ML dog), gaining a measure of revenge for a sweep that took place here in St. Louis, back in April. All four games played between these two NL Central rivals have two things in common. One is that all four have been decided by exactly one run. Last night saw the Bucs score the GW run in the top of the ninth on a John Jaso HR. The earlier series saw St. Louis prevail all three times by the identical score of 2-1. So the second thing the four games have in common is that they've all stayed Under. That's a trend I expect to change tonight as we have two somewhat struggling starters on the mound & the Cardinals have largely been an Over team this year. It's been two weeks since the last went Under in B2B games. 

Looking at the season-long numbers of Pirates' starter Gerritt Cole, it sure seems odd that his 14 starts have resulted in an 11-3 Under mark. Yes, he is off B2B quality starts where both times he allowed just one run on three hits in seven innings of work. But, for the year, his ERA and WHIP are still 4.28 and 1.251 respectively. That, right there, should clue you in as to how poorly he'd pitched previously. In the two starts prior, Cole had given up 7 ER both times. Especially curious is the fact the Under is 6-1 in his 7 road starts as his ERA and WHIP in those games are 5.01 and 1.350 respectively. One can probably conclude that a lack of offensive support has often doomed Cole this year and that conclusion would be correct. But I can see the Pirates, who have performed better on the road than their record indicates (4.7 rpg scored), doing better offensively in this one. 

Over the last week, St. Louis has both scored and allowed 6.1 runs per game. So last night was definitely a departure. The game featured only 11 hits total w/ Pittsburgh scoring four times on just five hits of their own. But, again, tonight should be different. Lance Lynn starts for the Redbirds and while he's working on a 12 inning scoreless streak vs. Pittsburgh (shut them out in last series), his career ERA against them is only 4.45. Lynn also comes in off a poor outing, one that saw him allow FOUR home runs. In total, he allowed seven runs in 4 2/3 IP, the fifth straight start where he failed to last longer than 5 1/3 innings. 10* Over Pirates/Cardinals

Matchup Selection W/L
MLB  |  Jun 24, 2017
Mets vs Giants
-105 at 5Dimes
Play Type: Top Premium

10* San Francisco (7:15 ET): Not even a return home could cure what ills the Giants, at least last night, as they dropped the series opener to the Mets by a score of 11-4. It marked San Fran's 9th loss in the past 10 games and as discussed in an analysis earlier in the week (when I played AGAINST them Weds @ Atlanta), they now own not only MLB's second worst record (ahead of only the Phillies), but also it's second worst run differential as well (ahead of only San Diego). A lot of that is owed to a disastrous 13-30 mark on the road where they've been outscored by an almost mind-numbing 1.8 runs per game. At home, save for last night, they've at least been more competitive. It should be pointed out that the Mets hardly arrived in "fine form" either as they'd dropped seven of eight before Friday's win. 

It's a strong-looking pitching matchup tonight, at least on paper, as Johnny Cueto faces off w/ Jacob deGrom. But while both currently sport winning team start records this year, the numbers are hardly representative of dominant pitching. deGrom is off B2B outstanding outings against the Nats & the Cubs, but both were at home. Previously, he'd actually been rocked in two straight showings, giving up 15 ER in just 8 IP. He has a 5.19 ERA on the road this year. The Mets have been giving up a ton of runs in general away from Citi Field as they allow 5.9 per game. Part of that is also due to a bullpen which has a 6.44 ERA and 1.69 WHIP outside of Citi Field. 

A huge second inning (scored six times) is what propelled to Mets to victory last night. They would finish the game w/ 20 hits, more than they had in the previous three games combined. It, in fact, matched a season-high and was just the sixth time this month they had double-digit hits in a game. I realize that Cueto appears to be regressing this season, but I'm calling for a quality outing here as he's allowed 3 ER or less in four of his five previous starts, including the last one where he held Atlanta to just two runs and five hits in seven innings of work. Who's behind the plate (umpire) is a key component of MLB handicapping these days and here we have an ump (Marvin Hudson) who Cueto has never lost with. In fact, Cueto is 4-0 in five career starts w/ Hudson behind the plate and a 2.45 ERA. Speaking of behind the plate, catcher Buster Posey will be back in the lineup tonight after basically being given Friday off (only came in to pinch hit). 10* San Francisco

Matchup Selection W/L
MLB  |  Jun 24, 2017
Rangers vs Yankees
-142 at 5Dimes
Play Type: Top Premium

8* NY Yankees (1:05 ET): It took an additional inning, but the Yankees did dispose of the Rangers in Friday's opener, 2-1. I was of the opinion that this weekend would be kind to the team wearing pinstripes as they are still trying to recover from last week's somewhat disastrous 1-6 West Coast road trip. A return to the Bronx didn't result an immediate bounce back to the start the week as the Yanks dropped two of three to the Halos. But having already escaped Texas' best pitcher (Yu Darvish) on Friday, you have to believe it could be "smooth sailing" for the rest of the series as the Rangers won't be able to throw out anyone close to that caliber on the mound. 

A quick turnaround after a crushing loss last night's does the road team no favors here. The offense managed only four hits Friday evening and their only run scored came on a passed ball. But that lone run came in the top of the ninth, breaking a scorless tie, so they had to still be feeling pretty good about themselves at the time. But not for long. With only two outs to go, reliever Matt Bush gave up a home run to Brett Gardner in the bottom half of the ninth, forcing extra innings. From there, they would go on to lose in the next frame. Darvish was able to counteract the Rangers' inept offense last night, but I would not expect the same from Austin Bibens-Dirkx today. Dirks has not only allowed a HR in all three starts this year, but was tagged for five runs his last time out, at home vs. Toronto. The Yankees lineup, led by Aaron Judge, will be his toughest task yet. 

The Yankees have been a strong team all year in the Bronx, going 24-11 overall. Going into yday's game, they had outscored their opponents here by an average of 2.3 runs per game (3rd best average in MLB). That's played a significant role in the team being #3 overall in MLB in run differential, behind only Houston and the Dodgers. Even after the bad road trip, it was a shock to see them drop two of three here to the Angels to start the week, especially considering they were north of -200 on the ML for all three games. By comparison, this price is a downright bargain. Now some of that has to do w/ Luis Cessa making just his second start of 2017. But I've got enough confidence in him facing a Rangers lineup which has barely cracked .220 for the season on the road. The Yankees' lineup is the one far less likely to be held in check for a second straight game. 8* NY Yankees


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