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MLB Season Opens July 23

Baseball is finally ready to start its season on Thursday night!

We posted our usual MLB Preview Guide a few weeks ago with the below win total predictions for the abbreviated MLB season. We are ready to go and could have our first pick on opening night!

Daily updates via email and/or text are included with our 2020 MLB Season Subscription available for only $199 – with the season from late July to the end of October that is just ~$60 a month!

Bobby Dalton also expects to post regular MLB updates and has his season package available with a great history of success on the diamond.

Here are the win totals we posted in early July:

NL EAST

BEST BET: UNDER 31½ – Philadelphia Phillies: A third of the games for the Phillies will be against the Nats and the Braves, clear NL contenders. Add in 10 more games with a formidable Mets rotation and wins will be tough to come by for a limited offensive team. The Marlins pitching staff even offers some promise while the AL East draw won’t do the Phillies any favors. New acquisition Zack Wheeler has already questioned being able to finish the season with his first child on the way while putting the DH in the NL isn’t likely to benefit the Philadelphia lineup as much as other teams in the division with better offensive depth. Aaron Nola regressed last season and returning to his 2018 form isn’t likely in a short season as he has been a very slow starter with a 5.68 ERA in March/April in his career. Rookie Spencer Howard is likely the leading candidate for the fifth spot in the rotation with Jake Arrieta and Zach Eflin at best average options after Nola. The Philadelphia bullpen is already littered with injuries for a unit that had limited promise to start with. 31½ doesn’t sound like an overwhelming figure, but the Phillies were just a .500 team in 2019 and haven’t topped .500 in a season since the 2011 campaign.  

NL CENTRAL

BEST BET: OVER 30½ Wins – Milwaukee Brewers: The Brewers don’t have many household names in the rotation following rising star Brandon Woodruff but the Brewers should be well-suited for a short campaign as they can lean on the deep and versatile bullpen. Milwaukee is 55 games above .500 the past three years combined and last season made its great late season run without Christian Yelich. The Cubs and Pirates are surely candidates to decline in 2020 compared to last season while drawing a third of the schedule against the AL Central while completely avoiding the NL East and NL West teams is a huge plus for Milwaukee’s chances at returning to the playoffs for a third straight season. While Craig Counsell’s creativity may take a hit with the implementation of the DH in the NL this season, the Brewers have viable DH candidates in an aging Ryan Braun and defensively challenged Keston Hiura, while sluggers Ryon Healy and Logan Morrison are also in camp looking to possibly earn a spot behind new addition Justin Smoak. Another newcomer Avisail Garcia also could reemerge as a major contributor after battling injuries the past two seasons in Chicago and Tampa Bay.

NL WEST

BEST BET: OVER 31 – Arizona Diamondbacks: The Dodgers are certainly the favorites in the West but Arizona held its own in that series last season and went 39-32 after the All Star break in 2019 despite falling out of the playoff race with a mid-September slide. Madison Bumgarner is the high-profile addition to lead the staff but Robbie Ray, Zac Gallen, and Luke Weaver give the Diamondbacks a solid rotation top-to-bottom. The schedule will also work out well for Arizona with 30 games ahead vs. the Rockies, Padres, and Giants, division foes that Arizona could have done much better against last season. Houston and Oakland will be difficult draws from the AL but that division crossover will also bring four games with Seattle and will mean much lesser travel than the team is accustomed to. Arizona has had three consecutive winning seasons, even in years dealing with a historically great Dodgers team and a more formidable Colorado team than is expected this season. The Rockies have a bit of rebound potential this season but the Giants aren’t as likely to hang around as long this season, while San Diego remains a team with many question marks. The Dodgers will also lean on three ultra-young starters behind Clayton Kershaw which could mean some inconsistency and more work for the bullpen.

AL EAST

BEST BET: UNDER 31½ – Boston Red Sox: The 2018 Red Sox were a historically great team with 108 wins and a World Series title. Last season Boston dropped to just 84 wins and the climb downward could continue in the abbreviated 2020 season. New York and Tampa Bay look like perhaps the top two AL contenders and those two teams will fill a third of Boston’s schedule, teams the Red Sox combined to go 12-26 against last season. Last season’s #5 starter for the Red Sox Eduardo Rodriguez is now the staff ace by default while Nathan Eovaldi and Collin McHugh back from injuries and an aging Martin Perez off a season overachievement will need to fill out the rotation. Subtracting Mookie Betts isn’t going to spell improvement as the lineup is much less intimidating and will also draw 20 games against the pitching-rich NL East as well, with Boston only 10-10 in interleague play last season. Boston went 21-11 vs. the AL Central last season and had a winning record against four of five AL West teams and now has all of those opponents erased. 31½ sounds low for a popular Red Sox team accustomed to being in contention but winning 32 games means a 53.3% winning percentage for at team that won at a 51.9% clip last season. 

AL CENTRAL

BEST BET: UNDER 34 – Minnesota Twins: Given that the Twins will play the Royals and Tigers 20 times and capable but not overly formidable Cleveland and Chicago squads 20 times, many will call for a great season in Minnesota. The Twins were clear overachievers last season with 101 wins however in a historically great home run season. Minnesota got unexpected starting pitching last season and now is turning to three veterans that have battled injuries and inconsistency in recent years to replace much of that success. Jose Berrios and Jake Odorizzi also are regression candidates at the top of the rotation and the short summer camp will likely mean more reliance on a bullpen that lacked quality depth last season. The NL Central draw is a tricky one with likely four quality teams in that group and the Twins were just 8-12 in interleague games last season. Minnesota still lost its season series with the Indians last year and was a fortunate team in one-run games with a 23-12 record. A huge 21-8 May buoyed the season with Minnesota a more average performer in the mid-summer months before another embarrassing playoff sweep. Josh Donaldson is a high profile addition but several returnees might struggle to match their 2019 pace.

AL WEST

BEST BET: OVER 28½ – Texas Rangers: The new ballpark will be an unknown factor but there remains a lot to like about the Texas lineup. Adding Corey Kluber gives the Rangers a potential ace to match with the quality results Lance Lynn and Mike Minor have provided while Kyle Gibson remains a pitcher with a tantalizing upside. The rotation is high on experience which could help to offset some of the uncertainty in the bullpen. The case for the Rangers also hinges on clear paths to decline from Houston and Oakland. The Astros will remain formidable but two expected starters in the rotation haven’t even reported yet and everyone will be looking to spoil Houston’s season. Oakland also has some regression potential after back-to-back 97-win seasons. The five projected starters for Oakland won a combined 30 games last season and while the bullpen can carry the team it may be a tougher path. Seattle looks like one of the worst teams in baseball this season as Texas could produce a much better record in that series this season. The NL West interleague draw also offers some matchup and travel benefits to the Rangers as this team that was 48-42 at the All Star break last season has the potential to be a sleeper in the AL playoff race. Texas should at least have a good shot for a .500 campaign following three straight losing seasons.

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Green Sheet Issue #6 is posted

Don’t miss this week’s issue of the Green Sheet with an in-depth look at the 2020-21 football season in the Big XII.

Can Oklahoma continue its reign in the conference or can a team like Texas or Oklahoma State rise to the top. Four head coaches will be looking to take a step forward in their second seasons while Dave Aranda joins the conference as one of the most accomplished first time head coaches in recent memory.

Get this week’s issue for only $12 or join for the entire season subscription for only $99!

That season price includes all five past issues and works out to just over $3 per issue for the season! That rate goes up to $149 soon, don’t wait any longer!

Baseball and Basketball are just around the corner – email us at nelly@nellysports.com if you’d like our MLB Preview or our NBA Restart Guide!

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Sports will be returning soon!

The NBA is set to return on July 31, MLB is continuing its discussions, the NFL remains on schedule. It also appears that college football is looking promising as well, our first college football content for the Green Sheet will be out in Issue #4 around June 24.

Get the full season subscription to the 2020-21 Green Sheet football newsletter for just $99 until June 30, the subscription price goes up to $149 after that!

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Green Sheet Early Look

Check our a short preview of our first off-season issue of the 2020-21 Green Sheet.

Click Here for a Green Sheet Early Look

The Green Sheet for the 2020-21 season and that will be an online only subscription released in the middle of each week. The subscription will start with several off-season issues in early to mid-April. We’ll have a $99.00 season subscription rate available until the first issue comes out in April.

Support us in this lean period of the calendar by signing up in advance for next season at a greatly discounted rate.

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Free NCAA Pick Tuesday

#625 Davidson +6 over Richmond 6:00 PM CT

Richmond has won seven of the past eight games to stay relevant in the NCAA Tournament bubble chase. The Spiders turned in an emphatic 96-71 win over UMass at home on Saturday but this team has lost a pair of A-10 home games and this will be a huge game for Davidson who had a miserable shooting game in a home loss vs. Richmond earlier in the season. Coached by offensive genius Bob McKillop, Davidson can post big numbers but is reliant on hitting outside shots. On the season Davidson is among the nation’s best with a 37 percent 3-point percentage while even stronger than that in A-10 play as the top team in the conference beyond the arc. Richmond has good numbers defending the 3-point shot but the Spiders have also played one of the weakest schedules in the conference. Davidson was humbled by Dayton in its last game on Friday but has had a nice turnaround to prepare for this opportunity and the Wildcats are 8-4 since losing the first meeting against Richmond. In that span are a 4OT defeat and a one-point road loss as Davidson could easily be a few games higher in the standings. Davidson has several recent wins in this building and with good size the Wildcats are an attractive underdog with the ability to put together big scoring runs. Seven of the past nine meetings between these teams have been decided by single-digit margins as the underdog points are appealing.

Nelly’s is on a 43-24, 64% 6-Week run in our basketball selections. Join us for a huge opportunity Tuesday night.

Bobby Dalton went 2-0 last night and has a great 2/3 offer tonight with 10*, 7* , and 5* picks, riding a 14-4 run since Jan. 22 on 10* basketball selections. Also don’t miss XFL action this weekend with an 8-0 start to the season for the Big Dog!

Big E is 12-7 in his 20* Conference Game of the Year picks – don’t miss his next big play!

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Free NCAA Pick Friday

#877 Illinois-Chicago +11 over Wright State 8:00 PM CT

Illinois-Chicago owns an ugly 12-14 overall record but the Flames have found some rhythm in Horizon play with a 6-2 run with one of those losses coming by just a single point. On the run of solid play Illinois-Chicago has been on the road a lot with five consecutive road games at one point but as it stands the Flames have won four of seven road games in league play with only one loss coming by more than two points with that being the first conference road game of the season. Illinois-Chicago stunned Wright State at home in mid-January with a 76-72 win despite a sloppy effort with 19 turnovers and a deficit at the free throw line. Illinois-Chicago scored inside with ease with a front court with three starters 6’8” or taller as Michael Diggins, Jordan Blount, and Braelen Bridges combined to make 19 of 28 shots. Wright State shot just 36 percent in that game as the interior points were very difficult to find. The small Raiders lineup is likely to have problems again in this matchup and this is a hefty home favorite price in Dayton. Wright State has lost two home games this season and while the team is 7-0 at home in conference play there have been some close calls along the way with six of those games decided by 13 or fewer points. Scott Nagy’s team has drawn the second weakest schedule in the league so far and Illinois-Chicago grades as the second best defense in the conference though a tougher schedule despite sitting in the middle of the pack. Turnovers are a concern for UIC in this matchup but the Flames look likely to hold their own on the boards while scoring inside with success against a lineup that is the worst in the conference defending 2-point shots. Illinois-Chicago has won three in a row in this series and Wright State has just one win in by more than seven points in the past seven meetings.

Nelly’s is on a 26-13 run for 66.7% the past 24 days. Don’t miss Saturday’s selections or consider joining for March Madness or the rest of February. Nelly’s is on a 178-123 6-year run in March and April college picks including three straight huge March runs. We are 34-18 in the NCAA Tournament the past three seasons including 13-5 in the Round of 64!

Bobby Dalton is 2-0 in XFL action and his first 10* of the season is ahead for Saturday! Counting the NFL, Dalton is on an 11-0 football streak in sides and totals after a big finish to the playoffs. Dalton has also gone 10-1 in his basketball 10* Best Bets since January 22!

Big E is back on track posting 20* winners Wednesday and Thursday, now 11-5 on the season in 15* and higher picks. Don’t miss a 20* in the Big Ten on Saturday or check out Friday’s 10* Biggie!

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Free NCAA Pick Tuesday

#618 Rutgers +1.5 over Penn State 6:00 PM CT

Rutgers needs to be taken seriously in the Big Ten race. The Scarlet Knights are already 2-1 in league play with the only defeat in East Lansing while this team also has a non-conference win over Seton Hall. The overall schedule hasn’t been overly difficult but Rutgers won a Big Ten road game last week and is 10-0 at home this season with seven of those wins coming by double-digits. Losing Geo Baker to a thumb injury is a big blow for the long term hopes for the Knights but Rutgers won convincingly at Nebraska Friday and could still remain a competitive team against the middle tier teams in the conference. The interior scoring should remain strong and Steve Pikiell’s team has delivered nationally elite defensive numbers so far in his fourth season. Penn State has seven top 100 wins this season but only two would counts as high of quality as Rutgers and both of those games were in favorable close-to-home or home venues. Saturday’s three-point win in Philadelphia over Iowa featured great fortune as they trailed nearly the entire second half before watching the Hawkeyes falter at the line. Penn State only has one true road win all season and that game was nearly two months ago as this is a dangerous spot on the schedule for a team that has had several narrow wins on the season to boost the record. Penn State lost at home in this series last season while winning by only one in the road meeting and while both teams are clearly improved the Lions haven’t proven they can win Big Ten road games yet.

Nelly’s has turned in back-to-back college winners the past two days including an underdog that won by double-digits last night. We’ve hit over 60% this season and are on a 16-6 run in college basketball while plus nearly 100 stars the past three basketball regular seasons combined!

Bobby Dalton is on an 8-0 run with a perfect start in 2020 while 10-0 conference game picks so far this basketball season!

Big E is riding an 11-5 run in basketball Biggies and has 15* and 20* picks planned this week:

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Free NCAA Pick Friday

#622 Virginia Tech +7.5 over Duke 6:00 PM CT

As usual Duke looks like one of the most talented teams in the nation and the 8-1 record through nine games features a pair of very impressive wins at the bookends, beating Kansas in the opener and besting Michigan State on Tuesday with both of those games away from home. Going from Tuesday’s huge win in East Lansing vs. the preseason #1 to facing the ACC opener on the road will be a difficult turnaround for the young Blue Devils who have struggled with turnovers and free throw shooting. Virginia Tech also beat Michigan State and is already 1-0 in ACC play for new head coach Mike Young who took over after Buzz Williams left for Texas A&M. The longtime Wofford coach won 30 games last season including a NCAA Tournament win over Seton Hall last March. A 6-0 start with the Hokies has spoiled to 6-2 but the team has had a long layoff of more than a week to prepare for one of the biggest games of the season. The Hokies lost only twice at home last season including beating Duke 77-72 before ultimately ending its season with a two-point Sweet 16 loss to the Blue Devils as there will be no shortage of motivation even if the roster has turned over considerably. The Hokies are starting three freshman but Young’s impact has been instant with some of the best numbers in the nation shooting and taking care of the ball, including an over 43 percent 3-point shooting clip so far. Cassius Stanley is out of action for Duke to take out a possible matchup edge against a smaller Hokies team and at +7 one of the best shooting teams in the country is worth a look at home with Duke coming off a huge win on the national stage.

Nelly’s hit 62% in November basketball and we cashed with Furman in college hoops last night, nearly upsetting Auburn in overtime as a massive underdog. We’ve hit 64 percent in the NBA this season already – join us for a Friday night side play or consider signing up for an extended subscription as we are well on our way to a third huge season in basketball in a row.

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Eliminator Final 3

The 2019 Eliminator Contest is down to the FINAL 3 contestants!

Will Weekly Wizard claim his record 4th title with a back-to-back title run? Can long-time Nelly’s featured handicapper Bobby Dalton deliver the championship? Will Rocketman claim his first title? Don’t miss this week’s picks!

Each handicapper submits two selections each week, a single 1-point play and a double 2-point play. Each contestant is awarded points for losses and eliminated at 10 points.

The 2019 ELIMINATOR CONTEST IS UNDERWAY WITH WEEK 10 SELECTIONS FOR GAMES NOV. 16-18

CLICK HERE for the Week 10 Contest Single Plays

The Double Plays can be purchased for just $9 each week, or for $50 for the duration of the contest

DOWN TO THE FINAL 3 CONTESTANTS!

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Eliminator Week 4 Picks

Each handicapper submits two selections each week, a single 1-point play and a double 2-point play in the 2019 Nelly’s Eliminator Contest. Each contestant is awarded points for losses and eliminated at 10 points.

The 2019 ELIMINATOR CONTEST IS UNDERWAY WITH WEEK 4 SELECTIONS FOR GAMES OCT. 5-7

CLICK HERE for the Week 4 Contest Single Plays

The Double Plays can be purchased for just $9 each week, or for $50 for the duration of the contest

DOUBLE PLAYS WENT 15-5 IN WEEK 2 OF THE CONTEST & 13-7 IN WEEK 3 FOR 70% 2-WEEK RUN!