In Between the Lines: Chapter 1
It’s the most wonderful time of the year (although it is still 2020). The Tampa Bay Lightning just won the 2020 Stanley Cup, the NBA Finals are in full swing, ALDS and NLDS MLB Postseason games are underway, it’s Week 5 of the NFL season and so much more.
With a stacked sports schedule comes fervent sports bettors. “In Between the Lines” gives avid fans and sports bettors exactly what they crave. Looking ahead to the upcoming week in sports, “In Between the Lines” offers inside analysis on line movements and key stats.
Here’s what you absolutely can’t miss this upcoming week in sports:
1. Game 5 of the NBA Finals – Los Angeles Lakers vs Miami Heat (10/9/20 at 9pm)
The Lakers lead the series 3-1, and Lebron James is ready to win his fourth NBA Finals. James is on the verge of handing the Lakers franchise their 17th NBA Finals win. With Goran Dragic still listed as doubtful for the Miami Heat with a torn plantar fascia in his left foot; Jimmy Butler, Tyler Herro and Bam Adebayo will need to rise to the occasion. Butler finished Game 3 of the NBA Finals with 40 points and a triple-double, giving the Heat their only Finals win.
The Lakers switched their uniforms for Friday night’s game to the Black Mamba jerseys. The jerseys, which they are undefeated while wearing, were originally supposed to be worn for Game 7. Although James is looking for his fourth NBA Finals win, Anthony Davis is still seeking his first. It’s safe to say that Friday night’s game will be nothing short of exciting.
2. Game 5 of the ALDS – New York Yankees vs Tampa Bay Rays (10/9/20 at 7:10pm)
It’s a winner-take-all game at Petco Park on Friday night. The Yankees are coming off a 5-1 Thursday victory against the Rays. On Friday night, they have their ace Gerrit Cole, starting on the mound. Cole has never pitched on short rest in his 216 career starts. In addition to Cole, the Rays’ Tyler Glasnow will also start on the mound on short rest. With the pair of pitchers both starting Game 5, it’s a rematch of the 2019 ALDS when Cole played for the Houston Astros.
Although needing to advance to the League Championship Series first, both the Rays and Yankees haven’t tasted the prospect of the World Series in quite some time. The Rays have never won a World Series, while the last time the Yankees won a World Series was back in 2009.
3. College Football – Oklahoma vs Texas (10/10/20 at 12pm)
It’s none other than the Red River Showdown college football rivalry game on Saturday. In years past, Oklahoma or Texas have been National Championship hopefuls. However, so far this season, both teams are simply trying to stay afloat. Oklahoma has lost two straight Big 12 games, which they have not done in 22 years. During last season’s Red River Showdown, OU sacked Texas quarterback, Sam Ehlinger nine times, finishing with a win. This season, the Oklahoma defense has only six sacks in their 1-2 start, four of those six coming in their only win over an FCS school.
Although Texas is coming into this showdown as underdogs, it’s not by much. But Texas is struggling after coming off a loss against TCU. The Longhorns have lost against TCU seven times in the past nine years. Essentially, the Red River Showdown will severely impact whichever team loses, as a spot in the Big 12 Championship Game is at stake.
4. NFL – Minnesota Vikings vs Seattle Seahawks (10/11/20 at 8:20pm)
The Seattle Seahawks have a chance to make history in this Sunday night prime time matchup. If the Seahawks can defeat the Minnesota Vikings, they will get to 5-0 for the first time in team history. Seattle head coach, Peter Carroll, is 6-0 against the Vikings since 2012.
The red zone has yielded fruit for both the Seahawks, as they have scored touchdowns on 13 of 15 drives inside the 20 (the best in the NFL). If the Seahawks win and score 30 or more points, they will be the fifth team in NFL history to do so in five straight games.
Seahawks quarterback, Russell Wilson, is tied with Peyton Manning for the most touchdown passes (16) through the first four games of a season ever.