There’s no shortage of exciting betting options on this weekend’s slate.
In this edition of the Showstopper, we’re turning to the MLB® playoffs to break down all the angles for a historic Game 1 in the NLDS between the Dodgers and Giants. Believe it or not, they’ve never faced off in the postseason before.
Also, we’ll be taking a look at a pair of smashmouth pro football battles: Bills vs. Chiefs and Bears vs. Raiders!
Los Angeles Dodgers vs. San Francisco Giants
Friday, October 8 | TV: TBS
Seeing a 106-win team pitted against a 107-win team in their first-ever head-to-head playoff series is pretty surreal. The Dodgers capped off their incredible second-half run (43-13 after the start of August) with an NL wild-card walkoff victory over the Cardinals on Wednesday. Now they’ll face a Giants squad that sends Logan Webb (11-3, 3.03 ERA, 1.11 WHIP) to the mound to match up with Walker Buehler (16-4, 2.47 ERA, 0.97 WHIP). During the regular season, Webb had the Dodgers’ number, holding them to a .127 on-base average over 16 total innings of work. Buehler, on the other hand, limited the Giants to a .209 on-base average over 37 innings, but it’s worth noting that Buehler gave up 6 earned runs in his last start against Los Angeles in September.
The Giants will still be without one of their best power hitters in Brandon Belt, as the first baseman continues his recovery from a fractured left thumb. That’ll mean more pressure on third baseman Kris Bryant, who hit .237 with only one homer in the month of September. The Dodgers will also be without one of their biggest bats, since Max Muncy dislocated his left elbow in the regular-season finale. San Francisco was a remarkable 98-64 against the spread this season and will look to carry their strong track record into the postseason.
Buffalo Bills vs. Kansas City Chiefs
Sunday, October 10 | TV: NBC
The Bills and Chiefs clash Sunday night in a rematch of the AFC title game, which Kansas City won 38-24, led by Patrick Mahomes’ three touchdowns and a combined 290 receiving yards from Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce. The Bills (3-1) return to Arrowhead Stadium looking much better than the Chiefs (2-2) have performed so far this season. Despite a rough Week 1 loss to Pittsburgh, the Bills defense has given up just 21 total points over a 3-game winning streak, including two shutouts. This will undoubtedly be their toughest test, however, as the opening schedule has been a bit on the softer side, with those three wins coming against Miami, Washington, and Houston.
The Chiefs recently added yet another weapon to its arsenal with the signing of Josh Gordon, the oft-suspended but immensely talented wideout. Down to what is likely his final strike in the league, Gordon is reportedly in fantastic shape at a lean 230 pounds with 7 percent body fat. But unfortunately, Gordon doesn’t play defense, where the Chiefs have been especially vulnerable in the red zone and were smoked to the tune of 125 total points over their first four contests. Expect the Bills to target their opponent with a balanced offensive attack, as their rushing game, powered by Devin Singletary and Zack Moss, has really been clicking as of late.
Chicago Bears vs. Las Vegas Raiders
Sunday, October 10 | TV: CBS
The Raiders took a step back with a 28-14 loss to the Chargers last week, but they’ll head home to the friendly confines of Allegiant Stadium, where they’ve won two hard-fought overtime games against the Ravens and Dolphins. After Joey Bosa’s Chargers found success by harassing quarterback Derek Carr in the pocket last week, Khalil Mack and company will definitely follow the same formula on Sunday. It seemed that Bosa’s critical postgame comments got under Carr’s skin, so the signal-caller should be fired up to redeem himself in an easier matchup.
Chicago’s offense was dealt a big blow last week with the knee injury of star running back David Montgomery, who will likely miss 4-5 weeks, leaving Damien Williams to try to fill the void. On the flip side, Raiders running back Josh Jacobs practiced in full on Thursday, signaling he may be nearing a full recovery from his nagging ankle injury. Chicago’s two wins were against the Bengals and the Lions at home, but they’ve been far less impressive on the road, where they’ve lost 34-14 to the Rams and 26-6 to the Browns.