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YESTERDAY'S PLAYS
Matchup Selection W/L
MLB  |  May 24, 2019
Braves vs Cardinals
OVER 9½ +102 Lost
$100.0
Play Type: Top Premium

10* Over Braves/Cardinals (8:15 ET): Needless to say, the Mike Foltynewicz we've seen so far in 2019 does not resemble the same effective starting pitcher we saw last season. The Braves have lost all five of Foltynewicz's starts and he has generally not pitched well, which is confirmed by a poor 6.91 ERA. While he did look better his last time out, even then he had to exit early due to dizziness. St. Louis has not been a good opponent for him in the past w/ a 9.33 ERA in six career starts, most recently allowing eight runs in just 4 2/3 IP on May 14th. The Over is 6-0 the L6 times he's faced them. 

The Braves lost that last game 14-3, which was also the opener of a three-game set. They would bounce back to take the next two and enter this series in St. Louis having won 7 of the last 9 games overall. As I said earlier, Foltynewicz's last start did go better as he gave up just two runs on three hits, but the Braves still lost 3-2. So two of their last three losses have been with him on the mound. He also allowed two home runs in that last start, raising his season total to 10 in five starts. The Cardinals are two days removed from hitting 4 HR's in a game and homered three times off Foltynewicz when they saw him 10 days ago. 

Pitching in an American League park (Texas) did not go well for Cardinals' starter Miles Mikolas his last time out. He surrendered seven runs in just 1 1/3 IP. He allowed nine hits, two of them home runs. Home has been far kinder to Mikolas w/ the Under cashing the last two times he's pitched here. But he also gave up three HR's in another Busch Stadium start. The Over is 17-4 the L21 meetings between these two clubs, including 7-1 the L8 here in St. Louis. 10* Over Braves/Cardinals

Matchup Selection W/L
MLB  |  May 24, 2019
Mariners vs A's
OVER 9½ -104 Lost
$104.0
Play Type: Top Premium

8* Over Mariners/A's (10:07 ET): Not to pat myself on the back or anything, but the sharp regression we've seen w/ the Mariners is something I predicted long ago. Last year's team completely overachieved in getting to 89 wins as they were outscored by 34 runs. So imagine my surprise when they began this year 13-2. But ever since, it's been all downhill as they are a MLB-worst 10-27 since late April and they've given up the most runs in all of baseball. They are also the top Over team (35-14-3 in all games), so coming off B2B Unders, I'm inclined to go Over here. 

The Mariners started the year unbelievably hot at the plate, homering in their first 20 games, which was a MLB record. The number of runs they were scoring simply wasn't sustainable, however. But what's offset that and kept them as the #1 Over team is how many runs they are now allowing. This month alone, there have been six times where they allowed 10+ runs in a game. They've allowed 57 in just the L7 games alone. Tonight's starter is Wade LeBlanc and he's unlikely to buck the trend seeing as he has a 7.36 ERA and 1.909 WHIP in four starts. He allowed seven runs his last time out, giving up 4 HR's, and lasted only 2 1/3 innings.

Seattle's opponent for this weekend is trending in a much different direction. Oakland has swept its last two series (Detroit, Cleveland) and looked dominant in doing so. They outscored the Tigers & Indians 46-15 and remember they had a game (that they were winning) called in Detroit. The only concern I have about the A's here is Daniel Mengden facing a Mariners lineup that can still rake (5.8 rpg scored away from home). Mengden has a 5.89 ERA in four career appearances vs. Seattle. One final thing worth noting is all four LeBlanc starts have gone Over w/ the final scores of those games being 4-18, 6-10, 12-5 and 10-8. 8* Over Mariners/A's

PICKS IN PROGRESS
Matchup Selection W/L
NBA  |  May 25, 2019
Bucks vs Raptors
OVER 212 +100 Lost
$100.0
Play Type: Top Premium

8* Over Bucks/Raptors (8:35 ET):  Though the Over cashed in Games 2-4, the Under was most certainly the correct call for Game 3 and would have cashed if not for TWO overtime periods. I was on the Under for Game 5 and that cashed easily w/ the Raptors pulling off a surprising 105-99 upset as 7-point road underdogs. One could make the case that - with the exception of Game 2 - Toronto has outplayed Milwaukee in this series as they led most of the way in Game 1 before relinquishing the lead (and cover) late. As they look to close the Bucks out tonight, I'm taking the Over.

There's a big difference in tonight's O/U line when you compare it to the closing number for Game 3, which is when it was at its series high point of 222. Yes, it took double overtime to send that one Over (game was tied at 96 at the end of regulation). But to me, tonight's O/U line looks like an over-adjustment by the linesmakers. It's at a series low point, basically a double digit difference from Game 3. That screams value to me. Toronto shot only 36.9% from the floor in the Game 5 upset and figures to be a lot sharper offensively tonight at home.

The Raptors' reserves were huge in Game 4, scoring 48 points in a 120-102 victory. I predicted that number would go down for Game 5 in Milwaukee and it did (down to 35 from the same three players). Bench play almost always improves for the home team and I expect that to be the case again here for Toronto. Meanwhile, we cannot discount a Bucks team that led the league in scoring during the regular season. The Over is 8-1 in their last nine road games and 6-2 their last eight visits to Toronto (2-0 in this series). 8* Over Bucks/Raptors

Matchup Selection W/L
MLB  |  May 25, 2019
Dodgers vs Pirates
Dodgers
-170 at 5Dimes
Play Type: Top Premium

7* LA Dodgers (7:15 ET): It was earlier this week that I wrote a rather sudden downfall was forthcoming for Pittsburgh. My reasoning was similar to the bleak projection I had for Detroit not long ago. In both cases, it was all about run differential. Detroit continues to have one of the worst in the sport (-95), so you should expect to see them continue to flounder the rest of the season. The case of the Pirates may be even more curious. While still two games above .500, the Bucs have actually been outscored by 50 runs this season! That's third worst in the entire National League! 

Pittsburgh did take three of four from San Diego last weekend, but this week is when I predicted things might start to "go South." They have w/ the team dropping three of four. It began Tuesday when I had a 10* release against them (on Colorado). After dropping two of three to the Rockies, the Pirates lost Friday's opener w/ the Dodgers by a score of 10-2. I don't see Saturday starter Joe Musgrove turning the tide as he has a 6.06 ERA his last three starts. That doesn't even include him allowing seven runs in just 2 2/3 innings against Oakland, his last start here at PNC Park. 

The Dodgers are obviously a very good team and they'll be sending a very good pitcher to the mound tonight in the form of Hyun-Jin Ryu. To say Ryu has been "lights out" of late would be putting it mildly. He hasn't allowed a single run in three consecutive outings and has allowed just 12 men on base in 24 IP. Ryu has yet to allow more than two runs in any start. If anything, he's underachieved w/ a 6-3 team start record as his ERA and WHIP are 1.52 and 0.741 respectively. He leads the NL in KW ratio (59-4) and opponents are hitting just .190 off him. By the way, Ryu is perfect all-time vs. Pittsburgh, going 5-0 in five starts w/ a 2.31 ERA. This is as one-sided as it gets. 7* LA Dodgers

Matchup Selection W/L
MLB  |  May 25, 2019
Marlins vs Nationals
OVER 8½ -109 Lost
$109.0
Play Type: Top Premium

10* Over Marlins/Nationals (4:05 ET): These NL East rivals played to a 12-10 final last night, which was a much needed result for the floundering Nationals (they won). Coming into this series, Washington had dropped five in a row and been one of the more disappointing teams in all of baseball. Strangely, Miami (who has the NL's worst record) came into the Nation's Capital on six-game win streak (B2B sweeps). While I do think this ends up being a profitable series for the Nats, the money line is a little "rich for my blood" this afternoon. Fortunately, I don't think it's an overreaction to yday to jump on the Over.

Miami has - by far - scored the fewest runs in all of baseball. The next closest team is Detroit (who they just swept) and the Tigers have scored 20 more runs than them. Every other team has scored at least 44 more runs. But they did manage to put 10 on the board last night and have averaged 5.6 rpg over the last week. They've scored at least five runs in five of the last seven games. Today they face Pat Corbin and while he's pitched pretty well in 2019, don't forget about the albatross that is the Nationals' bullpen, which has the worst ERA in the entire league. Bottom line is I expect the Marlins to score some runs today. 

The Nationals have gone Over in four straight. They've allowed five runs in 8 of their last 9 games. Corbin does have a 4.62 ERA in six previous starts vs. Miami, though the last one game in 2017. After breaking out last night for 12 runs and 4 HR's, I also expect the Nationals' lineup to have success against Miami starter Sandy Alcantara. Yes, Alcantara did go the distance his last time out in a two-hit shutout. But that was against the Mets. Alcantara had allowed 4+ runs in 4 of his previous 6 starts and has a 1.881 WHIP on the road. Two previous starts vs. Washington have yielded a 10.13 ERA. 10* Over Marlins/Nationals

Matchup Selection W/L
NBA  |  May 25, 2019
Bucks vs Raptors
Raptors
-2½ -104 at pinnacle
Won
$100
Play Type: Top Premium

10* Toronto (8:35 ET): The Raptors are now leading this series, three games to two, and quite frankly deserve to be up. Aside from a poor performance in Game 2 at Milwaukee, they have outplayed the Bucks. They easily could have won Game 1 (but blew the lead late). Games 3 & 4 here in Toronto were basically wire to wire victories (even though the former went to double overtime). Then in Game 5, they gave the Bucks a taste of their own medicine in rallying to steal a win. That upset was the 1st SU win by a road team in the ECF and now has Toronto knocking on the door of their first ever NBA Finals appearance. I'll lay the short number w/ them at home.

That the Raptors were able to win on the road - despite shooting only 36.9% from the floor - is a minor miracle. They came back from an early double digit deficit, led by Kawhi Leonard's 35 points, to win 105-99 as a 7.5-pt underdog. Now they're back home where they are 7-2 SU in the playoffs. But what's been most impressive of all about the Raptors has been their defense. They're allowing just 99.9 PPG in the playoffs, on 41.2% shooting. The last three games have seen them hold the Bucks, the league's top scoring team from the regular season, to 102 pts or less in regulation. 

Even more impressive is that no opponent has scored more than 104 in regulation here in Toronto during the playoffs. I had the Under in Game 5 and called for the Raptors' bench to cool significantly after the hot shooting from Game 4. Well, now that they're back "North of the Border," I expect the bench to be a factor again. Admittedly, it is tough to pick the Bucks' season to end, but the Game 5 loss was a crusher. That the Raptors have shot barely above 40% in the series and have a chance to close things out is a bad sign for Milwaukee. I expect another offensive game from Toronto similar to Game 4. 10* Toronto

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