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YESTERDAY'S PLAYS
Matchup Selection W/L
MLB  |  May 20, 2019
A's vs Indians
Indians
-173 at pinnacle
Lost
$173.0
Play Type: Top Premium

7* Cleveland (6:10 ET): Despite a lack of hitting and some injuries, the Indians have stayed viable in the American League and would actually be a Wild Card if the playoffs started today. Obviously, we're a longways away from October, but I don't think the Tribe should be that discouraged at all about their current position. As hot as Minnesota has been, it's only a 4.5 game deficit in the division. I still project Cleveland to win 90+ games this season. They just took care of business over the weekend, taking three of four from lowly Baltimore, and now have another ideal matchup on the docket. There's some revenge at play here too as the Indians dropped 2 of 3 out in Oakland earlier in the month. 

The A's come to Cleveland on a three-game win streak. It should have been four, but Sunday's game in Detroit was suspended due to rain. Before that, they had completely emasculated the Tigers, outscoring them 28-6 in the first three games. But Detroit is also really bad. Before that series, the A's dropped a pair of games to a Seattle team that has the worst record in baseball since April 27th. The three-game series w/ Cleveland was before that and note both Oakland victories came in the final at-bat. 

I like Carlos Carrasco starting for the Indians here as he has a 1.83 ERA and 0.763 WHIP his L3 starts. He hasn't given up any runs in four of his previous six starts and has a 2.49 ERA and 0.831 WHIP pitching at home this year. The team has won each of his last three starts as he's working on a 12-inning scoreless streak. Carrasco has also pitched well in the past vs. Oakland, going 4-1 w/ a 2.89 ERA and 0.84 WHIP. The same can be said for Brett Anderson against Cleveland (0.82 ERA, 0.76 WHIP in 5 appearances), but Monday's starter for the A's is also 1-3 in his L5 starts and has allowed 4 ER in B2B outings. 7* Cleveland

Matchup Selection W/L
MLB  |  May 20, 2019
Yankees vs Orioles
OVER 9 -125 Won
$100
Play Type: Top Premium

10* Over Yankees/Orioles (7:05 ET): When the Orioles pitching staff is involved, plenty of runs are to be expected. They just made a Cleveland offense - that had previously been scuffling - look great over the weekend. Twice the Indians put 10+ runs on the board, including a 10-0 shutout Sunday. For a Yankees team that just put 13 on the board yday - against a Rays pitching staff that is among the best in baseball - they should have little difficulty scoring in this series, this game in particular. They come in averaging 5.7 runs per game on the road. Take the Over tonight. 

Baltimore is giving up an unthinkable 6.7 rpg at Camden Yards this season. Only one team is allowing a higher number of runs per game at home and as per usual it's Colorado at the bottom. Baltimore is also 29th overall in runs allowed, so it's not like the poor pitching at home is anything unique. But home games have been higher scoring overall. Early in the year, the O's hosted the Yankees in a three-game set and all three games went Over. The Over is now 35-11 in the L46 meetings between these AL East rivals and that's after the last two both went Under.

Starting here for the Yanks will be J.A. Happ, who has pitched well on the road. But a) the Yankees figure to score enough here that even if Happ is good, it won't matter and b) Happ's overall numbers indicate that his YTD road performance may be a mirage. He has a 4.44 ERA in nine starts overall and two starts against Baltimore both went Over w/ neither seeing Happ make it out of the 5th inning. The Orioles will counter w/ Andrew Cashner, who did pitch well at Yankee Stadium last week (part of a doubleheader). But he also gave up six runs to the Yankees when he faced them on Opening Day. The Over is 20-5-1 in the Yankees' last 26 road games. 10* Over Yankees/Orioles

Matchup Selection W/L
NBA  |  May 20, 2019
Warriors vs Blazers
OVER 219½ -101 Won
$100
Play Type: Top Premium

8* Over Warriors/Blazers (9:05 ET): It's all come down to this for the Blazers, who must win tonight or their season is over. Obviously, their chances of coming back to take this series currently rank somewhere between slim and none. But considering they've led each of the last two games by double digits at halftime, I don't see them simply "rolling over" here. They average 118 PPG at home for the year and scored 66 in the first half here in Game 3. A second consecutive 2nd half meltdown cost them the cash (and an Over), but I definitely see them scoring more points tonight. 

The problem for Portland is that Golden State can score too. Despite not having Kevin Durant, the Warriors have scored at least 110 pts in the last four games, averaging 114.5 PPG overall. They average 117.6 PPG for the season. As you might expect, Steph Curry has picked up the slack in Durant's absence, scoring at least 33 points in all four games. That's the luxury Golden State has with five All Stars and two former MVP's on its roster. The Over is 11-3 in their L14 trips to Portland and 20-9 their L29 overall meetings w/ the Blazers.

Remember what I wrote in my Game 2 analysis about the total and the O/U line relative to the regular season. None of the four regular season matchups between the Warriors & Blazers saw fewer than 219 total pts scored. For the final regular season meeting, the O/U line was set at 235.5 points and the game still went Over! Portland should shoot better than 40% from the field tonight (that was their FG% in Gm 3) and three-point shooting in particular should improve. The Over is also 4-0 the L4 times the Blazers have been off an ATS loss.  8* Over Warriors/Blazers 

Matchup Selection W/L
NBA  |  May 20, 2019
Warriors vs Blazers
Blazers
+4 -110 at 5Dimes
Won
$100
Play Type: Top Premium

10* Portland (9:05 ET): It's all come down to this for the Blazers, who must win tonight or their season is over. Obviously, their chances of coming back to take this series currently rank somewhere between slim and none. But considering they've led each of the last two games by double digits at halftime, I won't hesitate in backing them at home. Especially now that they are an underdog, which was not the case for Game 3. Also, Portland is 12-1 ATS at home the L2 seasons when playing w/ revenge for a double digit loss (lost Game 3 by 11 points). Take the points here. 

Coming into this series, no team in NBA history had ever won B2B playoff games in which it trailed by more than 13 points. That's changed now w/ the Warriors doing just that in both Games 2 and 3. Game 2 was bad enough as Portland blew an eight-point lead w/ just over four minutes to go (and they led by 15 at half). But Game 3 may have been even worse as the Blazers led that game by as many as 18 in the first half, at home, and not only didn't win, but they didn't cover either. It was a double digit loss (110-99) where they were held to a measly 33 points after halftime. 

Portland averages 118 PPG at home for the year, so we should a bounce back performance offensively tonight, at least relative to the second half disaster from Saturday. They scored 66 points in the first half, so they're certainly capable of scoring against this Warriors team, which by the way remains w/o both Kevin Durant and DeMarcus Cousins. Sure, the Warriors still have three other All Stars on the roster, a luxury almost unheard of in the history of this league. But they are also 1-7 ATS their L8 games following an ATS win and also 19-42-2 ATS when off a double digit victory. 10* Portland

PICKS IN PROGRESS
Matchup Selection W/L
NHL  |  May 21, 2019
Sharks vs Blues
Blues
-156 at pinnacle
Play Type: Top Premium

10* St. Louis (8:05 ET): The Blues turned in a completely dominant performance in Game 5, battering and blanking the Sharks, 5-0. Having followed them throughout the playoffs, this is a little reminiscent of the last round where they picked up a huge road win in Dallas (won 4-1) before getting to close the series out at home in Game 7. St. Louis has closed out both previous series here on home ice, so while they may actually have a losing record here at the Enterprise Center in the postseason, they've won when it matters most. That trend continues tonight as I'll call for them to close out San Jose and move onto their 1st Stanley Cup Finals since 1970 (never won).

The Game 5 loss was quite costly to the Sharks. Not only are they now down 3-2 in the series, but they are likely w/o three key players as their season is on the line tonight. Tomas Hertl and Joe Pavelski both suffered in-game injuries, the latter's coming on a big hit in the third period. Hertl was not only 2nd on the team in goals scored this postseason, but 3rd overall in the league. Then you have defenseman Erik Karlsson, who aggravated a groin injury that limited him in the regular season. Neither he nor Hertl played in the third period Sunday. All three injured players may miss tonight's game. Game 5 was a completely one-sided affair w/ the Blues outshooting the Sharks 40-21. 

Incredibly, the Blues were last in the league in points back on January 2nd. They are now one win away from their 1st SCF appearance in 49 years after making each of their first three years of existence (playoff rules were weird back then). While the Blues were the only team in the league to make the playoffs every year in the 1990's, they are also the oldest existing franchise never to win the Cup. So tonight's game definitely means a lot. I've written previously on how San Jose's scoring dips dramatically on the road. In the playoffs, they've scored just 18 goals in eight road games (been shut out twice). At home, they've scored 39 goals in 10 games. 10* St. Louis

Matchup Selection W/L
NBA  |  May 21, 2019
Bucks vs Raptors
UNDER 216½ -110
Play Type: Top Premium

10* Under Bucks/Raptors (8:35 ET): My condolences to anyone who may have had the Under in Game 3, which was an all-time bad beat as it took not one, but TWO overtimes to send the game Over the total. Toronto was definitely happy w/ the result, however, as the 118-112 win enabled them to "get back" in the series. Considering the game was 96-96 at the end of regulation (both teams shot below 40% from the field), coming back here w/ the Under seems pretty logical, especially given the kind of defense we've seen from both teams throughout the playoffs. 

Had it not been for OT, Game 3 would have marked the seventh straight home game that Toronto held its opponent below 100 pts. That's a pretty remarkable accomplishment in the modern NBA. For the entire playoffs, they are holding teams to 99.8 points per game on 41.2% shooting. At home, the PPG allowed average drops to 95.3. The most pts they've allowed in regulation for any home playoff game is 104. Coming into this series, they'd allowed 100+ pts in just 3 of 12 playoff games and two of those were on the road. The Under is 5-2 the L7 times the Raptors have been off a game where they allowed 100+ pts. 

Milwaukee led the league in defensive efficiency during the regular season and has been just as excellent as Toronto has on that end of the floor in the playoffs. Only one time (Game 1 vs. Boston) have the Bucks allowed a FG% above 43.2. That's pretty incredible. For the entire playoffs, opponents are shooting below 40% from the field! Toronto's last five games have seen them shoot below 40% overall and at the same time Milwaukee has finished below 40% in two of the three games in this series. The Under is 13-5 the L18 times the Bucks have been off a SU loss. 10* Under Bucks/Raptors

Matchup Selection W/L
NBA  |  May 21, 2019
Bucks vs Raptors
Raptors
+2½ +102 at pinnacle
Play Type: Top Premium

8* Toronto (8:35 ET): My condolences to anyone who may have had the Under in Game 3, which was an all-time bad beat as it took not one, but TWO overtimes to send the game Over the total. Toronto was definitely happy w/ the result, however, as the 118-112 win enabled them to "get back" in the series. Now only down 2-1 in the series (as opposed to the 3-0 "death knell"), a win here by the Raptors would reduce this Eastern Conference Finals to a best of three affair. I cashed the home dog last night in a "must-win" scenario and while they didn't win, they were covering virtually wire to wire. I'll take the points again tonight. 

Had it not been for OT, Game 3 would have marked the seventh straight home game that Toronto held its opponent below 100 pts. That's a pretty remarkable accomplishment in the modern NBA. For the entire playoffs, they are holding teams to 99.8 points per game on 41.2% shooting. At home, the PPG allowed average drops to 95.3. The most pts they've allowed in regulation for any home playoff game is 104. Coming into this series, they'd allowed 100+ pts in just 3 of 12 playoff games and two of those were on the road. 

The Raptors were definitely outclassed in Game 2 at Milwaukee, but led most of the way in both Games 1 and 3. Game 1 was an infamous chokejob, similar to what we saw from Portland throughout the Western Conference Finals. Toronto led that game by as many as 13 and was up seven entering the 4th quarter. Game 3 did see them outscored in each of the final three quarters, however, the Bucks led just twice in the entire game: 2-0 and then 105-103 in double overtime. I feel the Raptors should be favored in this game (as they were in Game 3). 8* Toronto 

Matchup Selection W/L
MLB  |  May 21, 2019
Rockies vs Pirates
Rockies
-116 at pinnacle
Play Type: Top Premium

10* Colorado (7:05 ET): So I've had an eye on this matchup for the last several days. The reason being is that Pittsburgh is a team I'll be looking to fade more and more. This is because they have overachieved greatly in getting to 24-20 on the season. Despite being above .500, the Pirates have actually been outscored this season by 39 runs, which is easily the worst differential in their division and third worst overall in the National League. The gap between their actual and expected win total (+7) is the largest in all of MLB right now. Considering they just won three in a row, it's "high time" they "paid the piper." 

Colorado comes into PNC Park on a four-game losing skid. They were just swept in Philadelphia, though every game was close and two of the three losses were one-run games. The Rockies excelled in one-run games LY (going 21-14), but as is often the case, things go "sideways" the following year and they are just 5-9 in such games in 2019. But help is on the way Monday in the form of starter German Marquez, who has been outstanding outside of Coors Field this season. In five road starts, Marquez has a 2.55 ERA and 0.793 WHIP. 

Marquez has won both of his previous starts here at PNC Park, posting a 2.45 ERA. Even if he didn't have those career marks - or a strong resume on the road - this still shapes up as a strong fade on Pittsburgh. Mark my words that the Pirates are a team set to regress heavily, much in the same way I predicted Seattle would a month ago, or even Detroit more recently. The starting rotation is NOT in good shape and tonight's starter Chris Archer happens to be 0-3 his L3 starts w/ a 10.66 ERA and 1.973 WHIP. By the way, Colorado only allows 3.9 rpg on the road, which is 6th best in all of MLB. 10* Colorado

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