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NFL: Green Bay is 11-4 against the spread in its last 15 games in September.
NCAAF: Oklahoma State is 9-3 against the spread in its last 12.
MLB: The Los Angeles Dodgers have won 12 of their last 15.
MLB: The New York Yankees have won 22 of their last 30 games in Baltimore.
NFL: The under is 3-9 in New Orleans’ last 12 Week 1 games.
NCAAF: The under is 2-6 in Arizona’s last eight games.
MLB: Milwaukee is 3-7 in its last 10 meetings with Philadelphia.
MLB: San Diego is 0-9 in its last nine games as an underdog.
61.6 – The Green Bay Packers and New Orleans Saints have combined for 61.6 points per game over their last five meetings – all of which have played over the total. Oddsmakers have the total for Thursday’s matchup pegged at 47.5 points.
Injury that shouldn’t be overlooked
Lance Moore, New Orleans Saints – The Saints ruled wide receiver Lance Moore out of Thursday night’s season-opener at Green Bay on Tuesday. Moore, who has 66 catches and 763 receiving yards last season, has been battling a groin issue for the last few weeks. Green Bay is set as a 4-point favorite.
Game of the day
New Orleans Saints at Green Bay Packers (-4, 47.5)
“I feel good about our offense. I think we have a lot of weapons and we have enough depth to really play fast. We can even play with more tempo than we did (Saturday) night. There’s always room for improvement ... but I’m comfortable with where we’re at. I’m comfortable with the number of guys that we have that can make plays, I think we have some offensive linemen that can roll in and keep in some of our guys fresh.” – Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy on his offense after the Cowboys put 66 points on the board in Sunday’s win over Louisiana-Lafayette. The Cowboys are now set as big 13-point home favorites Thursday against Arizona on the short week.
Notes and tips
The Green Bay Packers opened around -4.5 or -5 at most books for Thursday’s game against the New Orleans Saints, but dropped to as low as -3.5 at a few books over the last week. Now that kickoff is closing in, Packers supporters are weighing in, moving Green Bay back to around -4. Right now about 55 percent of Covers.com Consensus bettors are backing the Cheeseheads.
Arizona wide receiver Juron Criner missed his second practice in a row Tuesday with an undisclosed illness, leaving his status for Thursday night’s big showdown with Oklahoma State. Criner went crazy last weekend by hauling in six catches for 151 yards against Northern Arizona.
The Los Angeles Dodgers and Washington Nationals will play a doubleheader Thursday after rain forced MLB officals to call off Wednesday's game. Dave Eveland is expected to get the call for L.A. against Chien-Ming Wang in the matinee, while Chad Billingsley will square off against Ross Detwiler in the nightcap.
Ian Kennedy, Arizona Diamondbacks (18-4, 2.96 ERA)
If nothing else, Kennedy deserves some consideration for the NL Cy Young award. He’s allowed only two runs over his last three starts and the rest of his numbers obviously speak for themselves.
"If he had a different name on his back - if he was known throughout baseball like the Roy Halladays and Cliff Lees and all those guys - if they were doing what (Kennedy) is doing, they'd be jumping on their back and saying how good they are,” teammate Chris Young told reporters. I think he deserves the same recognition."
Ivan Nova, New York Yankees (15-4, 3.89 ERA)
There will be good reason why the Yanks are big road favorites again Thursday. Nova hasn’t lost a game since June 4 and has allowed more than four runs in an outing only twice this season. He has given up five earned runs over his last three trips to the hill and hasn’t yielded a home run over that span. New York has won each of his last 12 outings.
“I’m not surprised,” Nova said. “I know what I can do. It don’t stop here. I got like four more starts, I think. I have to keep hungry.”
Jason Vargas, Seattle Mariners (7-13, 4.59 ERA)
This year can’t end fast enough for the 28-year-old Vargas. He is just 1-7 with a 6.49 ERA in his last 11 starts and allowed the A’s to bat around in the third inning of his last start. Vargas ended up allowing four earned runs in five innings while walking five in a 9-2 loss.
"The big inning has been killing me, it's been killing the team," said Vargas. "The fact of the matter is I haven't been very good. The season's kind of winding down and I gotta figure it out pretty quick."
Chad Billingsley, Los Angeles Dodgers (10-10, 4.15 ERA)
Billingsley hasn’t recorded a win in a month, but the Dodgers have bailed him out of his last two starts. He gave up three earned runs on nine hits over four
innings, while also walking four in an 8-6 win over Atlanta last Friday. Billingsley recently said he’s having problems with his mechanics and isn’t sure what the problem is yet.