You don’t have to be a lunatic to bet on fringe sports. Just ask Covers Experts Ted Sevransky and Sean Murphy, who regularly cash football tickets of the Arena and Canadian variety.
With books distracted by the end of the NFL lockout, and scrambling to post futures odds, you can bet they haven’t put in the time to create hard lines for niche sports on the weekend wagering board. Here are four betting tips from the freaks of the sports world.Hitting the Lynx (WNBA)
Like their feline namesake, the Minnesota Lynx love to get out and run. They are averaging 90.9 points over the last seven games, where they’ve won and covered four straight and six of seven.
The Lynx are coming off an 85-72 victory over the LA Sparks Tuesday, where they won the fast-break battle 18-4.
"You’ve got Maya Moore on one wing and you’ve got Seimone (Augustus) on the other. That’s like D-Wade and Kobe Bryant coming down on the wing. Who’re you going to guard?” Sparks head coach Joe Bryant said.
During its recent ATS run, Minnesota won by 10 and eight points on the road as a 4.5-point pup against two of the league's better teams -- Indiana and Phoenix. The average margin of victory in the last six wins is 15.2 ppg and the average margin of cover is 11.6 ppg.
Head coach Cheryl Reeve said the team is having fun because it has “genuine chemistry.” The Lynx play Seattle at home Friday, San Antonio on the road Sunday and host Phoenix Tuesday. Home favorites in the WNBA are 25-14-1 ATS the last 30 days.Air it out (CFL)
It didn’t appear the B.C. Lions had any intention of featuring a balanced offensive attack this season.
Through the first four games, the Leos ran the ball 47 times for 267 yards – by far the lowest marks in the CFL. In Thursday’s 25-20 loss to the Blue Bombers, which dropped the team to 0-5 on the year, B.C. tested the ground game, running 24 times for a total of 145 rushing yards – 74 on those gains from running back Tim Brown.
Quarterback Travis Lulay hadn’t attempted fewer than 38 passes in the first four games of 2011, and threw 31 pass attempts (connecting on 16 on them for 195 yards and no touchdowns) in the Week 5 defeat.
British Columbia lost the time of possession battle in the first four weeks, finally edging Winnipeg 30:39 to 29:21 Thursday. With the defense on the field for long stretches, opposing offenses have taken advantage this season.
The Lions were surrendering a league-worst 451.8 yards per game before Week 5 and hadn’t allowed fewer than 30 points all season, until budging for 25 Thursday night.
It should be no surprise B.C. has played to the over in three of its five games. Also, the Lions have surrendered 86 first-half points during their five-game skid and first-half totals are available at most books.Battle-tested (MLS)
The last time the Philadelphia Union played a league match was July 17. They defeated the New England Revolution 3-0 that night and cashed +105 underdog odds.
Since then, the Union have been competing in the World Football Challenge. They upset Everton of the Premier League, 1-0, in their first match of the tournament, prompting the Toffees manager to say their opponent was “quite impressive”.
That wasn’t the only international praise Philly garnered last week. The club battled Spanish juggernaut Real Madrid Saturday and nearly came up with a massive upset, but lost 2-1. Madrid midfielder Kaká said the game “wasn’t easy”.
Foreign clubs usually come to the States and whip MLS teams, so these outings by the Union shouldn’t be ignored. Philadelphia boasts a 0.67 scoring defense at PPL Park where they haven’t lost all year. The team hosts Colorado Friday and has moneyline odds of -105.No love lost (AFL)
The Spokane Shock won the ArenaBowl last year without a few key players from the previous season, namely All-Arena quarterback Nick Davila. Head coach Rob Keefe claimed that Arizona head coach Kevin Guy used “recruiting violations” to lure Spokane’s star players to his team.
After the first meeting between the teams, Guy and Keefe nearly came to blows on the field. A few weeks later, Guy reported to the league office that Spokane offensive coordinator Matt Sauk was attending practices while he was suspended. This led to an extended suspension.
The hatred between these coaches, and teams, has expanded. The Rattlers have only defeated Spokane once in five meetings all-time (2-3 ATS), but that was a 68-46 blowout three weeks ago as 9.5-point home chalk.
These mortal enemies square off in the opening round of the AFL playoffs Friday night. You can bet the Rats won’t let off the gas even if they’re up three touchdowns.
--Betting matchups, news and trends for the WNBA, AFL, CFL and MLS can be found in the more sports section of Covers.com.