Cardinals vs Braves Picks and Predictions: Value Is With the Road Dogs

The Cardinals have good value as a big +168 underdog for Thursday's series opener against the Braves. But can St. Louis righty John Gant be trusted against Atlanta's powerful lineup? Find out with our Cardinals vs. Braves betting picks and predictions.

Zachary Cohen
Posted: Jun 17, 2021 9:54 AM ET Updated: Jun 17, 2021 4:15 PM ET Est Time: 4 min
Nolan Arenado St. Louis Cardinals MLB
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

The St. Louis Cardinals and Atlanta Braves kick off a four-game set at Truist Park in Atlanta on Thursday. The Braves are fresh off two losses in a row to the Red Sox, so they’ll be hungry to return to the win column when they take the field at 7:20 p.m. ET. 

Will Atlanta get back on track with a win tonight? Find out with free MLB betting picks and predictions for Cardinals vs. Braves on June 17.

Cardinals vs Braves game info

Location: Truist Park, Atlanta, GA
Date: Thursday, June 17, 2021
Time: 7:20 p.m. ET
TV: Bally Sports Midwest, Bally Sports Southeast

Cardinals vs Braves odds

Odds via the Covers Line, an average comprised of odds from multiple sportsbooks.

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MLB sharp money and line movement report

By Patrick Everson

Atlanta opened a -165 favorite at TwinSpires and quicky moved straight to -180 on the way to -195, where the price stands at 4:15 p.m. ET. The Braves are attracting 60 percent of bets and 78 percent of cash on the moneyline. The total moved from 8.5 to 9, though not on overwhelming action, with 52 percent of bets/63 percent of money on the Over.

Check out the full line movement for this game

Cardinals vs Braves betting preview

Starting pitchers

John Gant (4-4, 3.36 ERA): Gant started this year by giving the Cardinals a bunch of solid outings and was extremely consistent until very recently. However, the righty has given up 12 earned runs over his last two starts, and he has done so in a total of 5 2-3 innings pitched. One thing that’s worth factoring in is that Gant has been a reliever for each of the past two seasons. He could be a bit fatigued right now, as he has pitched almost as many innings through 12 starts this year as he did in a full year as a reliever in 2019. 

Charlie Morton (5-3, 4.50 ERA): Morton had a couple of seasons in which he was one of the best pitchers in baseball, but he is beginning to show signs of slowing down. Last year, the righty had a 4.74 ERA in nine starts with Tampa Bay, and he’s up to 4.50 in 13 starts this season. Over the last few weeks, Morton hasn’t been working deep in games, and he has given up nine earned runs in his last 14 innings of work. With how he’s throwing, Atlanta would be ecstatic with a quality start here. 

Weather

Be sure to monitor the gametime conditions with our MLB weather info.

Key injuries

Cardinals: Nolan Arenado 3B (Questionable), Jordan Hicks RP (Out).
Braves: Marcell Ozuna OF (Out), Travis d’Arnaud C (Out).
Find our latest MLB injury reports.

Betting trend to know

The Cardinals are 6-2 in their last eight games against NL East opponents. Find more MLB betting trends for Cardinals vs. Braves.

Moneyline pick

There isn’t all that much value in taking the Braves to win this game, so the right move is probably to go with the Cardinals to either win or cover the +1.5 runline.

While Gant has been struggling to get it going in his last few trips to the mound, he has shown that he's more than capable of keeping this St. Louis team in games. The righty has given up a homer to Freddie Freeman before, so he’ll need to find a way to avoid making mistakes against the Braves star. But if he can do that, it wouldn’t be too surprising if he can give the Cardinals six solid innings in this game. 

St. Louis also happens to have a few guys that have beaten up on Morton in their careers. Matt Carpenter, Paul Goldschmidt, and Yadier Molina are a combined 20 for 61 with seven doubles and eight RBI against Morton, and the three have also combined to draw eight walks against him. With that type of success, it’s odd that none of them have taken him yard, but don’t be surprised if any of them come out and change that here.

Of course, the Cardinals also have Dylan Carlson in the lineup, and he’s extremely dangerous at the plate. And Nolan Arenado is as good as it gets up there.

Take the Cards as big underdogs for the series opener.

PREDICTION: Cardinals (+168)

Over/Under pick

The Cardinals have a couple of bats that should be able to give them enough runs to beat this Braves team, but don’t be surprised if this game isn’t a high-scoring game.

Before turning in back-to-back duds in his last two starts, Gant had allowed two or fewer earned runs in eight starts in a row.

Morton, meanwhile, has a 4-1 record when pitching in Atlanta this season, and his ERA is a bit better in night games than it is during day games. He’ll likely make a few mistakes against this St. Louis lineup, but he’s good enough to turn in a respectable performance here. 

PREDICTION: Under 9 (-114)

Cardinals vs Braves betting card

  • Cardinals (+168)
  • Under 9 (-114)

Picks made on 6/17/2021 at 9:36 a.m. ET

MLB parlays

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