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YESTERDAY'S PLAYS
Matchup Selection W/L
NHL  |  May 21, 2019
Sharks vs Blues
Blues
-156 at pinnacle
Won
$100
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 Lost
$110.0
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
Won
$102
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
Won
$100
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

PICKS IN PROGRESS
Matchup Selection W/L
MLB  |  May 22, 2019
Diamondbacks vs Padres
UNDER 8 -105 Won
$100
Play Type: Top Premium

8* Under D'backs/Padres (3:45 ET): The first two games of this series both stayed Under as the home team (San Diego) won a pair of low-scoring games, 2-1 and 3-2. The Padres are now tied (w/ the Giants) for the most one-run victories in all of MLB at 13. That's really helped them keep afloat as they've actually been outscored on the season, primarily due to an anemic offense that ranks near the bottom in runs scored (25th). But as we've seen the last two days, Arizona isn't doing much at the plate either right now. So for a third straight day, this series produces an Under. 

San Diego had actually dropped six of seven coming into this series. They still have not scored more than four runs in any of the previous eight games and are batting a collective .194 in the past seven. On the pitching front, they'll send Eric Lauer to the bump for Getaway Day. Save for one bad outing (which came at Coors Field, so that's excusable), Lauer has pitched very well of late. He's given up 3 ER or fewer in five of his last six starts. Last time out, he held the Pirates to just two runs (one unearned) in 5 2/3 IP. This will be his third time facing Arizona this season, so he's familiar w/ the lineup. 

The D'backs counter w/ Merrill Kelly, who tossed 5 2/3 scoreless frames his last time out. Again, like Lauer, Kelly had one bad outing this year. But other than that, he's been quite effective. He's allowed 3 ER or less in seven of his nine starts, so to me the ERA & WHIP are misleading (same thing for Lauer). Arizona has only scored five runs total in its last three games (only 13 hits), so they certainly aren't hitting either. In fact, over the last seven games, they're batting a collective .227. The Under has hit in San Diego's last seven Wednesday games. 8* Under D'backs/Padres

Matchup Selection W/L
MLB  |  May 22, 2019
Reds vs Brewers
Reds
-105 at betonline
Lost
$105.0
Play Type: Top Premium

10* Cincinnati (1:10 ET): This play sets up very similar to yday's 10* SUPER POWER winner on Colorado over Pittsburgh. The only difference being is this time we're playing ON a team who, according to run differential, has underachieved (in terms of wins & losses) so far this season. Yesterday, it was playing AGAINST an overachiever in Pittsburgh, who has somehow managed to stay above .500 despite a very poor YTD run differential. Today we're looking at a Reds team that is far better than its record shows as despite being four games below .500, they've actually outscored their opponents by 27 runs over the course of the season! 

To put the Reds' YTD run differential in its proper perspective, note that it's second best in the division and fourth best overall in the National League! But perhaps yday was the start of a long overdue surge. They shut Milwaukee out 3-0, the MLB-leading 7th time they've shut an opponent out this season. The number of shutouts obviously has a somewhat drastic effect on the run differential as the Reds' staff has given up the second fewest runs in all of baseball (#1 in NL). Milwaukee did not have its best hitter (Christian Yelich) in the lineup Tuesday and as as result they managed only three hits and never got a runner past second base. Yelich is being reevaluated for today, but probably won't play given it's a day game. He's already missed a number of games due to the back issues. 

Today's starting pitching matchup brings two of the top four pitchers in ERA against one another. Luis Castillo has a 1.90 ERA (and 0.957 WHIP) in 10 starts while Milwaukee's Zach Davies has a 1.54 ERA (and 1.177 WHIP). So this shapes up as another pitchers duel, which is probably the way the Reds want it. Without Yelich, you have to wonder about the Brewers' offense. Let's also go back to the subject of run differential as the Reds are +27 while Milwaukee is only +11. This Reds team is vastly underrated right now. 10* Cincinnati

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