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MLB: The Yankees are 18-6 in Ivan Nova’s last 24 starts as a favorite.
NCAAF: Oregon is 9-3 against the spread after its bye week.
NCAAF: Western Kentucky is 7-3 against the spread vs. teams with a losing record.
NHL: Pittsburgh was 5-1 in preseason play, allowing just 11 total goals.
MLB: The Detroit Tigers are just 8-17 in their last 25 games with umpire Ted Barrett behind the plate.
NCAAF: Middle Tennessee State is 2-6 against the spread in its last eight home games.
NCAAF: Cal is 7-19 against the spread in its last 26 road games.
NHL: Montreal was 2-6 in preseason play, allowing 29 goals.
62 – Tiger Woods shot a course-record 62 last week at Medalist Golf Club in Juniper, Fla. Woods, who has just has just 10 tournaments under his belt in 2011 is set as a +550 favorite to win the Frys.com Open which begins Thursday.
Injury that shouldn’t be overlooked
Tim Connolly, Toronto Maple Leafs – Toronto placed its prized offseason acquisition on the injured reserve Wednesday after Connolly suffered an upper-body injury in practice last week. Connolly made the move retroactively, meaning he could suit up Saturday night. The club hopes Connolly, who scored 13 goals and 29 assists in 68 games with Buffalo last season, will be a good fit on its top line with sniper Phil Kessell.
Game of the day
Detroit Tigers at New York Yankees (-165, 9)
“Middle Tennessee does not like us, and we do not like them, and that is good for our conference. It is good to have that rivalry, and to be able to get excited to go out and take care of our business. But we have to make it a rivalry. They have beaten us the last three games, and we have to make it a rivalry by beating them. Here is our opportunity on Thursday night to see if we can go do that.” – Western Kentucky head coach Willie Taggart about his Thursday evening matchup with Middle Tennessee State. Western Kentucky is currently set as a 11.5-point road underdog.
Notes and tips
Boston Bruins coach Claude Julien said Tuesday that the Bruins have two No. 1 goalies and will start the season with Tim Thomas and Tuukka Rask splitting time between the pipes. Julien also said the team will ride the hot hand if one of the goalies is having a superior campaign. Thomas had a storybook campaign last year, winning the Vezina Trophy, the Conn Smythe Trophy and the Stanley Cup despite opening the season second on the depth chart. Thomas posted 35 wins in 55 starts with a 2.00 goals-against average and .938 save percentage. He then posted four playoff shutouts, including two against Vancouver in the finals. The Bruins haven’t announced their starting goalie for Thursday’s game against Philly, but you have to figure Thomas gets the call. Boston is set as a -145 favorite at home to Philly.
Detroit Tigers ace Justin Verlander will not be available to pitch out of the bullpen in Thursday's decisive Game 5 of the American League Division Series. Tigers manager Jim Leyland said he would not consider using his straight righthander, who threw 120 pitches and struck out 11 in Monday's victory over the Yankees. New York’s CC Sabathia is expected to be available out of the pen after also starting Monday.
The Cal Golden Bears held the Oregon Ducks’ high-scoring attack to just 15 points in a two-point loss last season and spent their bye week trying to get ready for Oregon’s offense again this time around. "We did a lot of up-tempo stuff,” Cal head coach Jeff Tedford told reporters. “The only thing they haven't seen is the speed at which it happens. That's why it's important (to get) as close as you can to simulating it. Last year, I thought we did a good job of simulating it." The Ducks are averaging 52 points per game, ranking second nationally. The Golden Bears are set as 24-point underdogs after they came within two points of upsetting Oregon last season as 18.5-point underdogs, which was the fourth time in five meetings that Cal covered the number.