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YESTERDAY'S PLAYS
Matchup Selection W/L
NBA  |  May 18, 2019
Warriors vs Blazers
Blazers
-2 -113 at betonline
Lost
$113.0
Play Type: Top Premium

10* Portland (9:05 ET): Needless to say, the Blazers have to have this game. They blew a "golden" (pun intended!) opportunity to steal one on the road, losing Game 2 114-111 after leading almost the whole way. It was in many ways reminiscent of what happened to Toronto in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals. Now we know how the follow-up for the Raptors went (they were blown out), but I think it'll be different for Portland as they are at home for Game 3 and in a virtual "must-win" situation. The Blazers are 4-1 ATS following a SU loss in the playoffs, including covering Game 2. Lay the short number here.

Portland was up 15 at halftime in Game 2 and looked well on their way to pulling the outright upset. Even w/ just over four minutes to go in the game, they were up eight and that was after the Warriors came back to tie things up after three quarters. But that's when the wheels came off as Golden State ended the game on a 14-3 run. As disappointing a loss as it was, I fully expect the Blazers to play better here at home. They didn't really shoot the ball well in either of the first two games w/ Damian Lillard being the biggest offender at just 10 of 28 overall from the field. At home, the Blazers average 118.1 PPG, which is well up from the 109.9 PPG they average on the road.

When Kevin Durant was lost to injury, I said you should expect Steph Curry to pick up the scoring load for the Warriors. That's exactly what has happened w/ the former league MVP scoring 30+ points in each of the L3 games. But now that they're playing on the road, don't be surprised to see Golden State struggle a bit more to score. By the way, Portland has not lost three straight games since early December. Since that time, they are 6-0 SU off B2B losses, covering the spread five times. Lillard is going to play better here and the Blazers will win.  10* Portland

Matchup Selection W/L
MLB  |  May 18, 2019
Cubs vs Nationals
OVER 8½ +100 Lost
$100.0
Play Type: Top Premium

8* Over Cubs/Nationals (7:15 ET): The Cubs came out and crushed the Nationals last night, winning by a score of 14-6. They jumped on the home team early, scoring three runs in the first two innings, then poured it on late w/ 11 runs over the final three frames to put the game away for good. In a rare ocurrence, Kris Bryant became just the 12th player in MLB history to homer in three consecutive innings. Obviously, we don't need nearly that many runs to be scored for an Over. With both teams having suspect bullpens, this total looks very low. Take the Over.

The Cubs needed a game like yday after they'd lost each of the previous two days to the (underrated) Reds. Tonight they send Jon Lester to the mound and he's admittedly been red hot of late w/ a 0.00 ERA and 1.017 WHIP his L3 starts. He's working on a 19 2/3 scoreless inning streak, but has given up 18 hits during that time. So I think some regression may be in store for Mr. Lester Saturday night. Then there is the Cubs' bullpen, which has a 5.74 ERA and a 1.71 WHIP on the road. Speaking of the road, Cubs' away games this year have been very high scoring (Over is 14-6). They are averaging 6.6 rpg (#1 in MLB) while giving up 5.2. This is a stark contrast to the games at Wrigley where they are allowing the FEWEST runs per game in all of baseball. 

Speaking of bad bullpens, it doesn't get any worse than the Nationals, whose relivers have posted a gaudy 7.48 ERA and 1.80 WHIP at home this season. Last night was a bad effort even by this pen's low standard. The Cubs homered six times yesterday off Nationals' pitching. Stephen Strasburg will be leaned on heavily here and he's just hoping his teammates can score some runs, something that hasn't happened in his last two outings (both 6-0 losses). I think Strasburg will get some run support this time around, but like Lester, look for him to also struggle more than usual here. 8* Over Cubs/Nationals

Matchup Selection W/L
MLB  |  May 18, 2019
Rockies vs Phillies
OVER 9½ +103 Lost
$100.0
Play Type: Top Premium

10* Over Rockies/Phillies (4:05 ET): This series opened w/ the Phillies winning 5-4 yesterday, a nice reprieve for them as they'd just dropped three in a row here at home to Milwaukee. Colorado had the benefit of an off-day going into yday, but showed little life w/ only five hits, so in some ways they were fortunate to score four runs. Last night was the first time in over two weeks that the Rockies didn't get to enjoy the hitter-friendly confines of Coors Field or the use of the DH (played two games in Boston). But note their previous two road games in a NL park (Milwaukee) yielded an impressive 22 runs scored. They've scored 10 or more runs five times in the L13 games overall. 

We've got two struggling starters on the bump for Saturday. Colorado's Antonio Senzatela has posted a 7.04 ERA and 1.434 WHIP his L3 starts, upping those numbers to 5.34 and 1.395 respectively for the season. Obviously, he's got to deal w/ the Coors effect too (works both ways for the Rockies!), but lately it hasn't mattered where Senzatela has pitched, the game has ended up high scoring. The last five Senzatela starts have all gone Over w/ a average of 15 total runs scored per game. This is right line w/ recent team results as the Over is 11-1-1 the L13 times the Rockies have take the field. 

The Phillies counter w/ Aaron Nola, who is somehow unbeaten (3-0) in his nine starts (5-4 TSR) despite a 5.34 ERA and 1.395 WHIP. Like Senzatela, we've gotten mostly Overs out of Nola starts. The Over is 8-1 in his nine starts, including 3-0 the L3. Nola lasted only three innings his last time out. The Over has gone 8-2-1 the L11 times these teams have met at Citizens Bank Park (last night was the push). All signs point to this being a high-scoring game. 10* Over Rockies/Phillies

Matchup Selection W/L
Boxing  |  May 18, 2019
Megan Anderson vs Felicia Spencer
Megan Anderson
-199 at pinnacle
Lost
$199.0
Play Type: Top Premium

6* Megan Anderson (10:00 ET): When discussing the UFC's deepest divisions, Women's Featherweight (145 lbs) isn't likely to come up, nor should it. The division nearly became extinct when Bantamweight Champ Amanda Nunes stepped up a weight class and destroyed Cris Cyborg late last year. Nunes is a double champ now (holds title in two divisions) and w/ her next fight scheduled at 135 lbs vs. Holly Holm on July 6, featherweight almost became an afterthought. Enter Megan Anderson. 

Now it's not as if Anderson is some prized prospect nor is she immune from defeat. But w/ Cyborg out of the picture, she was the one "true" featherweight left on the roster, until some recent signings. The major weakness in her game, takedown defense, was exposed badly by Holm in a loss last summer. Then she got a little lucky to be awarded a TKO victory over Cat Zigano (eye injury) in December (same card Nunes KO's Cyborg). But by being a true featherweight, she's going to have a pretty significant edge over most opponents moving forward, including this one. 

Felicia Spencer is unbeaten at 6-0, but her getting this opportunity speaks to the dearth of talent in this division. This will be her UFC debut after, ironically enough, succeeding Anderson as Invicta's Featherweight Champ. While her last fight did show she's willing to go to the ground, I think it's going to be harder to do that here than she realizes, even w/ takedown defense admittedly being a weak spot in Anderson's game. I think there's a good chance Spencer gets caught here and this fight ends rather quickly. Anderson has three first round TKO's in her career in addition to a massive edge in height and reach. 6* Megan Anderson

Matchup Selection W/L
Soccer  |  May 18, 2019
Cagliari vs Genoa
Genoa
-167 at GTBets
Lost
$167.0
Play Type: Top Premium

8* Genoa FC (12:00 ET): With two matches left, Genoa is hoping to avoid relegation. They're one point clear currently and do not exactly have the most challenging remaining schedule. But in order to feel better about their chances of survival, they'll need to do something they have not done since March 17th and that's win. They are 0-5-3 the L8 matches, including a 2-1 loss last week to an Atalanta side that was hungry for securing a Champions League spot. I feel this play sets up very similar to our play in the Bundesliga two weeks ago (on Bayer Leverkusen) in that we will have the far more motivated side. 

Currently 12th in the table, Cagliari has essentially nothing to play for these next two weeks, which is a dangerous place to be in. Recently, they were in the news for all the wrong reasons as their fans were caught making racist chants at several Juventus players. This is not exactly a side in fine form either as they've won just twice in their last seven matches, including three consecutive losses. With no fear of relegation and no hope of Champions League qualification, I see no reason to expect much from Cagliari on Saturday. 

Adding to the motivation on the Genoa side is that they'll be taking the pitch w/ some revenge on their mind for a 1-0 defeat back on December 26th. The lone goal was scored in stoppage time, right before halftime. I mentioned earlier that Genoa has not won since March 17th. Well, the side they beat that day was Juventus, who happens to be atop the Serie A table. Since then, there's been some bad luck, such as missing a stoppage time PK two weeks ago vs. AS Roma. But the bottom line here is Genoa has a very similar goal differential to Cagliari, so don't be fooled by the respective positions in the table. 8* Genoa FC

PICKS IN PROGRESS
Matchup Selection W/L
MLB  |  May 19, 2019
Twins vs Mariners
Mariners
-101 at YouWager
Play Type: Top Premium

10* Seattle (4:10 ET): Surprise, surprise. I have been intensly critical of Seattle over the last month and feel I was "early" on the bandwagon pointing out that a massive decline was due to set in. The Mariners won 13 of their first 15 games, but since that time are just 9-24. They massively overachieved last year in getting to just 89 wins, so for me, a sub-.500 finish this year was all but assured. They're now well on their way to that, but I feel we can now grab them at a great "buy low" spot as yesterday may have been their nadir of the season. Look for the M's to avoid the four-game sweep at home.

This series has been as one-sided as it gets w/ the Twins outscoring the Mariners 36-11. They've won every game by at least five runs and yesterday was a beatdown of epic proportions as the final score was 18-4. Minnesota homered six times in the game, the fifth time they've hit 5+ HR in a game this year, which is the first time a team has ever done that before June. Having homered in 13 straight games, the Twins are now tied for the MLB lead in home runs, ironically w/ Seattle. I'm 2-0 in this series by the way, having cashed the Over Thursday and the Under Friday.

But as bad as things have gone the L3 days for Seattle, I think they're a great value today. Rarely do home teams get swept in a four-game series.  They send Yusei Kikuchi to the mound this afternoon and he has a 2.18 ERA and 0.726 WHIP his L3 starts. That's even after allowing three solo home runs in his last time out. I still have my suspicions about Twins starter Kyle Gibson, despite a good start to the season, record-wise. Gibson may have a 6-2 TSR, but he has an ERA north of 4.00.  10* Seattle

Matchup Selection W/L
NHL  |  May 19, 2019
Blues vs Sharks
OVER 5½ -102 Lost
$102.0
Play Type: Top Premium

10* Over Blues/Sharks (3:05 ET): I'm 2-1 in this series and quite frankly should be 3-0. Were it not for the Blues getting jobbed in overtime in Game 3, the record would be perfect. I came back w/ the Blues in Game 4 and they delivered a 2-1 win to tie the series up at 2-2. Of course, the easier winner was Game 1 where I had the Over and that was a winner midway through the second period as San Jose was able to take advantage of numerous defensive lapses by St. Louis and wound up winning 6-3. Game 4 is the only game in this series not to go Over so far. 

The first three games of the series saw 9, 6 and 9 total goals scored. I can't say that I'm surprised that the first two games went Over as San Jose home games have a habit of doing that. They are 31-18-2 Over this season, including 13-3 the L16. A big key in that is that the Sharks' scoring goes up dramatically at home to 3.7 goals per game. That's something we've noted numerous times throughout the playoffs whether playing on them or the Over here at home. 

Maybe Blues goalie Jordan Binnington has hit a rookie wall as his save percentage has dropped to .884 in this series. San Jose's Martin Jones is right around that number as well at .882. Jones had a sub-.900 save percentage in the regular season anyway. San Jose is going to be tough to stop here at home, but I also feel St. Louis is going to score a few goals as well. The Over is 4-0-1 the Blues' last five games as an underdog. 10* Over Blues/Sharks

Matchup Selection W/L
MLB  |  May 19, 2019
Pirates vs Padres
UNDER 8 -125
Play Type: Top Premium

8* Under Pirates/Padres (4:10 ET):  Pittsburgh, like Detroit, is a team that has a troubling run differential. They've been outscored by 41 runs this season. While not nearly as bad as Detroit's run differential, what's perhaps more strange about the Bucs' is they actually have a winning record in spite of that negative run differential! This is a team I'll probably look to fade in the coming weeks, but for now let's look at the Under as they wrap up a four-game set w/ San Diego Sunday afternoon. The Padres are looking to earn a split here after losing each of the L2 days.

The last two games, again both Pirates' wins, have gone Over. Pittsburgh put seven on the board last night, but I wouldn't go looking for a repeat of that as they are second to last in the National League in runs scored (Miami). There's a pretty sizable gap between them and most of the other teams in the division. Note every other team in the Central, besides Pittsburgh, has a positive run differential this season. One thing that is keeping them afloat is that they are a respectable 6th in the NL in runs allowed. Today's starter Joe Musgrove was able to shake off a couple bad starts to throw seven innings of one-hit ball his last time out. That was in Arizona. Opponents are hitting just .209 off him for the season. 

One of the teams ahead of Pittsburgh in the National League, in terms of fewest runs allowed, is San Diego. But they too have an issue scoring runs as they are third from the bottom in the Senior Circuit. So, as you can see, this is a matchup tailor-made for an Under. The Padres go w/ Cal Quantrill in this spot as he's looking to earn a permanent spot in the rotation. He's allowed just four runs in 10 IP so far as a starter. The Pirates homered four times yesterday, but Quantrill has yet to give up any. The Padres are hotting just .223 at home this year. 8* Under Pirates/Padres

Matchup Selection W/L
MLB  |  May 19, 2019
A's vs Tigers
OVER 10 -102
Play Type: Top Premium

8* Over A's/Tigers (1:10 ET): Oakland has continued its complete emasculation of the Tigers by taking the first three games of this series by a combined score of 28-6. They've now taken 15 straight from Detroit going back to 2017. The horizon doesn't exactly look bright for Detroit right now as they've lost six in a row and send the struggling Gregory Soto the bump on Sunday. In two previous starts, Soto has a 13.50 ERA and 2.667 WHIP, which are obviously just dreadful numbers. The Tigers have been giving up a ton of runs lately and I'm afraid that trend will continue today. 

I'd be more apt to take Oakland to finish the sweep here were it not for Michael Fiers starting. This may seem odd considering Fiers' recent numbers, which include a no-hitter on May 7th against Cincinnati. But I feel those recent numbers (1.89 ERA, 0.684 WHIP L3 starts) are a little misleading when you look at "the big picture."  For the season, Fiers has a 5.12 ERA and 1.216 WHP, which is below par. He really tends to struggle on the road with a 7.76 ERA and 1.575 WHIP.

I had the A's Thursday when they won 17-3. In my analysis for that game, I noted the Tigers' terrible YTD run differential, which has obviously only gotten worse. They've now surpassed Baltimore for the worst run differential in the American League and are "hot on the heels" of Miami for the worst in the sport. In 44 games, the Tigers have now been outscored by 89 runs. At home, they are giving up 6.1 runs per game for the year and during the six-game losing streak (all at home), they've allowed a total of 52 runs (8.5 per game). Oakland road games average 11 runs per contest. 8* Over A's/Tigers

Matchup Selection W/L
MLB  |  May 19, 2019
Rockies vs Phillies
OVER 10 -106 Won
$100
Play Type: Top Premium

8* Over Rockies/Phillies (1:05 ET): These teams failed to go Over for me yesterday, but I'll try again today, noting recent form for both starters isn't exactly inspiring stuff. Kyle Freeland of Colorado has a 7.41 ERA and 1.588 WHIP his L3 starts, all of which have gone Over. He's also been tagged for at least five runs in four of nine starts this year. He'll be opposed by Jerad Eickhoff, who has seen all five starts this year stay Under, but the last one saw him give up five runs in only four innings. Take the Over. 

Colorado now has lost three straight one-run games. They haven't managed much at the plate in this series, scoring only five runs on 14 hits in the two games. Prior to this visit to the City of Brotherly Love, the Rockies had seen the Over go 11-1 their L12 games. Now that comes w/ a bit of a caveat as all 12 games were either played w/ a DH or in the hitter-friendly confines of Coors Field. Still, they managed to score 10+ runs five times. They are more than capable of producing a big day at the plate on Sunday. 

The Phillies haven't had much offense in this series, but they haven't needed it either. I think they're in for a big day today against Freeland, who has had major problems with the long ball recently. He allowed three solo HR's in his last outing, upping the total # of HR's allowed to nine over the previous four starts. Eickhoff had been pitching well previous to the last outing, but he also has a 7.50 ERA in five previous games against the Rockies. 8* Over Rockies/Phillies

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