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  1. #1261
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    Armadillo: Wednesday's six-pack

    Odds to win the Match Play championship this week:

    6-1— Rory McIlroy

    7-1— Dustin Johnson

    10-1— Jordan Spieth

    13-1— Jason Day

    20-1— Hideki Matsuyama

    22-1– Jon Rahm

    **********

    Armadillo: Wednesday's List of 13: Mid-week musings………

    13) Cam Newton is having rotator cuff surgery next Thursday; not sure of the recovery timeframe, or why the operation is happening now and not two months ago, but question is: Will he be ready for the regular season? Big question for the Panthers.

    12) If I owned a major league baseball team, all my coaches would know both English and Spanish; have to be able to communicate with players. Would also want our players to know English; how the hell can you live in a country and not know at least some of the language?

    Sometimes, players know more of the language than they let on, so they can avoid talking to the media. Being bilingual is a big advantage in today’s baseball.

    11) Oklahoma State’s star guard Juwan Evans is leaving school for the NBA; at 6-1, he is a marginal prospect who could wind up in the D-League. He helped us some this year when we picked the Cowboys; we wish him well, but wish he was coming back for another season in Stillwater.

    10) Will Wade leaves VCU for LSU and everyone on Twitter asks why; is it a better basketball job? Money is (surprisingly) similar, they care more about basketball at VCU, since there is no football and he had a top 20 recruiting class coming to VCU in September.

    I’ve said this before here; sometimes big fish/smaller pond works better.

    9) UMass hires Winthrop coach Pat Kelsey to take over its hoop program; Kelsey went 102-59 at Winthrop, 56-30 in Big South games- he replaced Gregg Marshall there.

    8) New Jersey Jets have drafted six QB’s since 2009, yet still paid 37-year old Josh McCown $6M to come in and play for one year. This is called mismanagement; not the McCown part, but draft one guy who can play, will ya?

    7) Went into a LIDS store in the **** the other day; had good talk with young person who works there, who happens to be a fellow A’s fan. Major league fitted caps are now $35; caps for the World Baseball Classic are $37. Glad my hat collection is already too big- no thanks.

    6) They were talking on the Padres’ spring training game the other night how sometimes guys go down to the minor league camp and play in B games to get extra at-bats. A major leaguer would play in one of those games and lead off every inning, just to get more AB’s. Minor leaguers are not necessarily fond of that, since it costs them some AB’s, but thats how it works.

    5) Cincinnati Reds’ announcers are different than most local baseball announcers- they’ll rip the home team if they deserve it. “Boy, this is like a circus.” moaned Thom Brennaman during a bad inning by the Reds in their game with the Angels Tuesday.

    Two oddities from this Reds-Angels game:
    a) Both teams wore red jerseys; it is 2017, we can’t get different color jerseys?
    b) Angels used a DH, Reds did not. People bet on these games. Wonder how many people bet on this game not knowing that little nugget?

    4) RIP Jerry Krause, 77— he was GM of the Jordan-era Bulls who later became a baseball scout after leaving the NBA. Krause brought Toni Kukoc over from Europe to join Jordan/Pippen, which didn’t go over well with his two stars. Krause probably didn’t get enough credit for the Bulls’ success.

    3) Fans sitting behind the announcers at the Bakersfield-Colorado State NIT game Monday nite weren’t very happy with the officiating and were letting the refs know it— the mikes picked up some of their R-rated criticisms. I’m thinking someone with ESPN must’ve asked them to cool it, since they weren’t as vocal near the end of the game

    2) Nicole Auerbach reports that of the 351 Division I basketball teams, only five haven’t had a kid transfer out in the last two years. North Carolina hasn’t lost a transfer since 2011.

    1— The night the Knicks beat the Lakers to win the 1970 NBA title, when Willis Reed limped out and inspired the Knicks to win by scoring the first two hoops of the game on basically one leg, one of the ballboys that night was Steve Albert, now the Phoenix Suns’ play-by-play guy on TV.

    1a) One of my heroes passed away late Tuesday night; Chuck Barris, the wacky host of The Gong Show, died at age 87. Creator of game shows like The Dating Game and Newlywed Game, Barris was a creative genius with a bizarre sense of humor. He made me laugh more than just about anyone other than Steve Martin. RIP, sir, you will be missed.
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

  2. #1262
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    NBA
    Long Sheet

    Wednesday, March 22


    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    CHARLOTTE (31 - 39) at ORLANDO (26 - 45) - 3/22/2017, 7:05 PM
    Top Trends for this game.
    CHARLOTTE is 11-21 ATS (-12.1 Units) when playing against a team with a losing record this season.
    CHARLOTTE is 3-11 ATS (-9.1 Units) when playing against a team with a losing record - 2nd half of the season this season.
    CHARLOTTE is 6-14 ATS (-9.4 Units) versus poor defensive teams - allowing 106+ points/game this season.
    ORLANDO is 29-41 ATS (-16.1 Units) in all games this season.
    ORLANDO is 11-23 ATS (-14.3 Units) in home games this season.

    Head-to-Head Series History
    CHARLOTTE is 7-4 against the spread versus ORLANDO over the last 3 seasons
    CHARLOTTE is 8-3 straight up against ORLANDO over the last 3 seasons
    7 of 11 games in this series have gone OVER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    INDIANA (36 - 34) at BOSTON (45 - 26) - 3/22/2017, 7:35 PM
    Top Trends for this game.
    INDIANA is 43-29 ATS (+11.1 Units) when playing against a team with a winning record over the last 2 seasons.

    Head-to-Head Series History
    BOSTON is 6-4 against the spread versus INDIANA over the last 3 seasons
    BOSTON is 6-4 straight up against INDIANA over the last 3 seasons
    7 of 10 games in this series have gone UNDER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    DETROIT (34 - 36) at CHICAGO (33 - 37) - 3/22/2017, 8:05 PM
    Top Trends for this game.
    DETROIT is 12-21 ATS (-11.1 Units) as an underdog this season.
    DETROIT is 12-21 ATS (-11.1 Units) in road games this season.
    CHICAGO is 12-21 ATS (-11.1 Units) when playing against a team with a losing record this season.

    Head-to-Head Series History
    DETROIT is 8-3 against the spread versus CHICAGO over the last 3 seasons
    DETROIT is 7-4 straight up against CHICAGO over the last 3 seasons
    7 of 11 games in this series have gone UNDER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    ATLANTA (37 - 33) at WASHINGTON (42 - 28) - 3/22/2017, 8:05 PM
    Top Trends for this game.
    ATLANTA is 31-39 ATS (-11.9 Units) in all games this season.
    ATLANTA is 7-15 ATS (-9.5 Units) in the second half of the season this season.
    ATLANTA is 3-11 ATS (-9.1 Units) vs. division opponents this season.
    ATLANTA is 12-3 ATS (+8.7 Units) in road games after a division game over the last 2 seasons.

    Head-to-Head Series History
    ATLANTA is 9-7 against the spread versus WASHINGTON over the last 3 seasons
    ATLANTA is 10-7 straight up against WASHINGTON over the last 3 seasons
    11 of 17 games in this series have gone OVER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    PHILADELPHIA (26 - 44) at OKLAHOMA CITY (40 - 30) - 3/22/2017, 8:05 PM
    Top Trends for this game.
    OKLAHOMA CITY is 39-30 ATS (+6.0 Units) in all games this season.
    OKLAHOMA CITY is 27-14 ATS (+11.6 Units) as a favorite this season.
    OKLAHOMA CITY is 24-11 ATS (+11.9 Units) in home games this season.
    OKLAHOMA CITY is 22-12 ATS (+8.8 Units) when playing against a team with a losing record this season.
    PHILADELPHIA is 45-24 ATS (+18.6 Units) in all games this season.
    PHILADELPHIA is 45-22 ATS (+20.8 Units) as an underdog this season.
    PHILADELPHIA is 17-6 ATS (+10.4 Units) in the second half of the season this season.
    PHILADELPHIA is 20-8 ATS (+11.2 Units) against Northwest division opponents over the last 3 seasons.
    PHILADELPHIA is 20-9 ATS (+10.1 Units) in non-conference games this season.
    PHILADELPHIA is 20-6 ATS (+13.4 Units) revenging a home loss vs opponent this season.
    PHILADELPHIA is 36-16 ATS (+18.4 Units) revenging a loss vs opponent this season.
    PHILADELPHIA is 20-10 ATS (+9.0 Units) when playing against a team with a winning record this season.
    PHILADELPHIA is 10-0 ATS (+10.0 Units) when playing against a team with a winning record - 2nd half of the season this season.
    PHILADELPHIA is 7-0 ATS (+7.0 Units) versus poor defensive teams - allowing 106+ points/game - 2nd half of the season this season.
    PHILADELPHIA is 21-7 ATS (+13.3 Units) versus good offensive teams - scoring 106+ points/game this season.
    PHILADELPHIA is 13-0 ATS (+13.0 Units) versus good offensive teams - scoring 106+ points/game - 2nd half of the season this season.

    Head-to-Head Series History
    PHILADELPHIA is 4-1 against the spread versus OKLAHOMA CITY over the last 3 seasons
    OKLAHOMA CITY is 5-0 straight up against PHILADELPHIA over the last 3 seasons
    4 of 5 games in this series have gone UNDER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    CLEVELAND (46 - 23) at DENVER (33 - 37) - 3/22/2017, 9:05 PM
    There are no Top Trends with records of significance that apply to this game.

    Head-to-Head Series History
    CLEVELAND is 3-1 against the spread versus DENVER over the last 3 seasons
    CLEVELAND is 4-1 straight up against DENVER over the last 3 seasons
    2 of 4 games in this series have gone OVER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    MILWAUKEE (34 - 35) at SACRAMENTO (27 - 43) - 3/22/2017, 10:35 PM
    Top Trends for this game.
    MILWAUKEE is 30-39 ATS (-12.9 Units) in all games this season.
    MILWAUKEE is 12-21 ATS (-11.1 Units) in road games this season.
    MILWAUKEE is 354-426 ATS (-114.6 Units) in the second half of the season since 1996.
    MILWAUKEE is 250-308 ATS (-88.8 Units) in non-conference games since 1996.
    MILWAUKEE is 13-23 ATS (-12.3 Units) when playing against a team with a losing record this season.
    SACRAMENTO is 6-20 ATS (-16.0 Units) when playing with 2 days rest over the last 3 seasons.

    Head-to-Head Series History
    SACRAMENTO is 3-2 against the spread versus MILWAUKEE over the last 3 seasons
    MILWAUKEE is 3-2 straight up against SACRAMENTO over the last 3 seasons
    5 of 5 games in this series have gone OVER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    NEW YORK (27 - 43) at UTAH (43 - 28) - 3/22/2017, 10:35 PM
    Top Trends for this game.
    NEW YORK is 34-21 ATS (+10.9 Units) after a non-conference game over the last 2 seasons.
    NEW YORK is 211-168 ATS (+26.2 Units) revenging a home loss vs opponent since 1996.
    UTAH is 8-17 ATS (-10.7 Units) after a non-conference game this season.

    Head-to-Head Series History
    UTAH is 3-2 against the spread versus NEW YORK over the last 3 seasons
    UTAH is 4-1 straight up against NEW YORK over the last 3 seasons
    3 of 5 games in this series have gone OVER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    NBA
    Armadillo's Write-Up

    Wednesday, March 22


    Hornets won last two games, both at home; they lost three of last four on road, are 6-4 vs spread in last 10 road games- their last three games stayed under. Magic won last two games, are 4-10 vs spread in last 14 home games. Four of their last five home games went over total. Charlotte won its last six games with Orlando (5-1 vs spread); Hornets won/covered four of their last five visits here- four of those five games went over total.

    Pacers lost its last four road games (0-4 vs spread); they’re 6-6 SU since All-Star break. Under is 12-3 in their last 15 games. Boston won four of last five games; they’re 4-0 vs spread in last four home games. Under is 12-1-2 in their last fifteen games. Celtics won three of last four games with Indiana; under is 7-1 in last eight series games. Pacers lost three of last four visits to Boston.

    Detroit lost four of last five games; they’re 0-5 vs spread in last five road games. Six of their last seven games stayed under. Bulls lost eight of last ten games; they blew a 15-point lead in 4th quarter in Toronto last nite. Under is 8-3 in their last eleven games. Pistons won seven of last ten games with Chicago; teams split last four series games played here. Six of last eight series games stayed under.

    Hawks lost their last four games; they’re 5-8 against the spread in last 13 road games. Four of their last five games stayed under total. Washington lost four of last five games; they’re 1-5 vs spread in last six home games. Over is 9-2 in their last eleven games. Wizards won three of their last four games with Atlanta (under 3-1). Hawks lost by 11-3 points in last two visits to Washington.

    76ers are 4-9 in their last 13 games, but 16-3 vs spread in their last 19 games, covering last five games on foreign soil. Three of their last four games stayed under. OKC won five of last six games; they’re 10-3 vs spread in last 13 home games. Over is 8-4 in their last twelve games. Thunder won their last ten games with Philly but 76ers covered four of last five; Sixers lost three of last four visits here (1-3 vs spread). Seven of last eight series games stayed under.

    Cleveland won three of its last four games; they’re 4-6 vs spread in last ten road tilts. Under is 11-4 in their last fifteen games. Nuggets won three of last four home games; they’re 8-3 vs spread in last 11 games overall. Under is 7-3 in their last ten games. Cavaliers won six of last seven games with Denver; Cavaliers won last three games here (2-0-1 vs spread). Under is 6-3-1 in last ten series games.

    Milwaukee won nine of its last 11 games; they’re 6-4 vs spread in last ten road games. Under is 12-1-1 in their last 14 games. Sacramento lost 10 of last 12 games; they’re 2-4-1 vs spread in last seven home games. Under is 11-5 in their last sixteen games. Bucks-Kings split their last ten games; Milwaukee lost three of last five visits to Sacramento. Last eight series games went over total.

    New York lost five of last six games; they’re 3-6 vs spread in last nine road games. Three of their last four games went over. Jazz lost their last three games, all on road; they’re 4-8 vs spread in last 12 home games. Three of last four Utah games stayed under. Knicks lost four of last five games with Utah; they lost by 5-21 points in last two visits here. Last four series games played here stayed under.
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

  3. #1263
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    NBA

    Wednesday, March 22


    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Trend Report
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    7:00 PM
    CHARLOTTE vs. ORLANDO
    Charlotte is 8-17 SU in its last 25 games
    The total has gone UNDER in 13 of Charlotte's last 19 games
    Orlando is 17-8 SU in its last 25 games when playing at home against Charlotte
    Orlando is 1-4 SU in its last 5 games when playing at home against Charlotte

    7:30 PM
    INDIANA vs. BOSTON
    The total has gone UNDER in 12 of Indiana's last 15 games
    Indiana is 2-4 ATS in its last 6 games
    The total has gone UNDER in 8 of Boston's last 11 games when playing at home against Indiana
    The total has gone UNDER in 11 of Boston's last 15 games

    8:00 PM
    ATLANTA vs. WASHINGTON
    The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Atlanta's last 7 games on the road
    The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Atlanta's last 5 games
    Washington is 4-2 SU in its last 6 games when playing Atlanta
    The total has gone OVER in 9 of Washington's last 11 games

    8:00 PM
    PHILADELPHIA vs. OKLAHOMA CITY
    Philadelphia is 0-5 SU in its last 5 games when playing Oklahoma City
    The total has gone UNDER in 7 of Philadelphia's last 8 games when playing Oklahoma City
    Oklahoma City is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games when playing at home against Philadelphia
    The total has gone UNDER in 7 of Oklahoma City's last 10 games when playing at home against Philadelphia

    8:00 PM
    DETROIT vs. CHICAGO
    Detroit is 1-5 SU in its last 6 games on the road
    Detroit is 1-5 ATS in its last 6 games on the road
    Chicago is 2-4 SU in its last 6 games at home
    The total has gone UNDER in 8 of Chicago's last 11 games

    9:00 PM
    CLEVELAND vs. DENVER
    Cleveland is 2-4 SU in its last 6 games on the road
    The total has gone OVER in 9 of Cleveland's last 13 games on the road
    Denver is 1-4 SU in its last 5 games when playing at home against Cleveland
    Denver is 1-5-1 ATS in its last 7 games when playing Cleveland

    10:30 PM
    NEW YORK vs. UTAH
    New York is 2-7 SU in its last 9 games when playing on the road against Utah
    The total has gone UNDER in 5 of New York's last 6 games when playing on the road against Utah
    Utah is 4-7-1 ATS in its last 12 games at home
    Utah is 2-4 SU in its last 6 games

    10:30 PM
    MILWAUKEE vs. SACRAMENTO
    The total has gone UNDER in 9 of Milwaukee's last 10 games
    Milwaukee is 2-5 ATS in its last 7 games when playing Sacramento
    The total has gone OVER in 5 of Sacramento's last 5 games when playing Milwaukee
    The total has gone UNDER in 6 of Sacramento's last 9 games at home


    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


    NCAAB
    Dunkel

    Wednesday, March 22



    New York @ Utah

    Game 765-766
    March 22, 2017 @ 10:30 pm

    Dunkel Rating:
    New York
    114.318
    Utah
    128.701
    Dunkel Team:
    Dunkel Line:
    Dunkel Total:
    Utah
    by 14 1/2
    197
    Vegas Team:
    Vegas Line:
    Vegas Total:
    Utah
    by 10 1/2
    203 1/2
    Dunkel Pick:
    Utah
    (-10 1/2); Under

    Milwaukee @ Sacramento


    Game 763-764
    March 22, 2017 @ 10:30 pm

    Dunkel Rating:
    Milwaukee
    116.434
    Sacramento
    117.211
    Dunkel Team:
    Dunkel Line:
    Dunkel Total:
    Sacramento
    by 1
    196
    Vegas Team:
    Vegas Line:
    Vegas Total:
    Milwaukee
    by 4
    204 1/2
    Dunkel Pick:
    Sacramento
    (+4); Under

    Cleveland @ Denver


    Game 761-762
    March 22, 2017 @ 9:00 pm

    Dunkel Rating:
    Cleveland
    118.509
    Denver
    127.141
    Dunkel Team:
    Dunkel Line:
    Dunkel Total:
    Denver
    by 8 1/2
    236
    Vegas Team:
    Vegas Line:
    Vegas Total:
    Cleveland
    by 3 1/2
    228 1/2
    Dunkel Pick:
    Denver
    (+3 1/2); Over

    Philadelphia @ Oklahoma City


    Game 759-760
    March 22, 2017 @ 8:00 pm

    Dunkel Rating:
    Philadelphia
    114.591
    Oklahoma City
    125.077
    Dunkel Team:
    Dunkel Line:
    Dunkel Total:
    Oklahoma City
    by 8 1/2
    225
    Vegas Team:
    Vegas Line:
    Vegas Total:
    Oklahoma City
    by 11
    218
    Dunkel Pick:
    Philadelphia
    (+11); Over

    Atlanta @ Washington


    Game 757-758
    March 22, 2017 @ 8:00 pm

    Dunkel Rating:
    Atlanta
    114.138
    Washington
    123.920
    Dunkel Team:
    Dunkel Line:
    Dunkel Total:
    Washington
    by 10
    218
    Vegas Team:
    Vegas Line:
    Vegas Total:
    Washington
    by 7
    213 1/2
    Dunkel Pick:
    Washington
    (-7); Over

    Detroit @ Chicago


    Game 755-756
    March 22, 2017 @ 8:00 pm

    Dunkel Rating:
    Detroit
    119.271
    Chicago
    113.196
    Dunkel Team:
    Dunkel Line:
    Dunkel Total:
    Detroit
    by 6
    204
    Vegas Team:
    Vegas Line:
    Vegas Total:
    Chicago
    by 1
    198 1/2
    Dunkel Pick:
    Detroit
    (+1); Over

    Indiana @ Boston


    Game 753-754
    March 22, 2017 @ 7:30 pm

    Dunkel Rating:
    Indiana
    117.852
    Boston
    123.460
    Dunkel Team:
    Dunkel Line:
    Dunkel Total:
    Boston
    by 5 1/2
    204
    Vegas Team:
    Vegas Line:
    Vegas Total:
    Boston
    by 7 1/2
    208 1/2
    Dunkel Pick:
    Indiana
    (+7 1/2); Under

    Charlotte @ Orlando


    Game 751-752
    March 22, 2017 @ 8:00 pm

    Dunkel Rating:
    Charlotte
    117.935
    Orlando
    119.473
    Dunkel Team:
    Dunkel Line:
    Dunkel Total:
    Orlando
    by 1 1/2
    202
    Vegas Team:
    Vegas Line:
    Vegas Total:
    Charlotte
    by 5
    208
    Dunkel Pick:
    Orlando
    (+5); Under
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

  4. #1264
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    Wednesday's NBA Essentials
    March 22, 2017


    Game of the Night - Cleveland at Denver, (FS Ohio, 9:05 ET)

    After beating the Jazz in Kevin Love's return, the Cavs punted on being competitive against the Clippers and instead played all their regulars against the tanking Lakers, pulling out a comeback win. Up just 1.5 games on Boston for the top spot in the Eastern Conference, Cleveland faces a challenging final few weeks of the regular season. Tonight's visit to Denver will be one of its final seven road games, with stops still left in Charlotte, San Antonio, Chicago, Boston, Atlanta and Miami after this one.

    None of those games will be easy, and there are even four back-to-backs remaining, so not letting this one slip away is important. The Cavs are 6-7 since Feb. 25, which includes losing five of eight on the road. This current stretch they're in has them playing six of seven in opposing arenas, so how they fare over the next week will dictate how much room for error they have between now and January.

    A lack of practice time was considered a culprit when the Cavs lost six of eight in January as they struggled to successfully blend Kyle Korver into the mix upon his acquisition from Atlanta, so the past few days have been a blessing in trying to get Love back up to speed. For just the second time since the All-Star break, the Cavs have had two days between games. They spent them out in L.A., working out at UCLA, Love's alma mater, before flying into Denver yesterday.

    Cleveland is 12-2 with multiple days of rest between games, so it will be interesting to see how they respond here. Love scored 21 points and grabbed 15 boards in just 26 minutes against the Lakers on Sunday night, coming up with his first double-double since Feb. 9. The Cavs went 7-6 as he recovered from a knee injury and although he'll likely not play in this week's back-to-back and is probably still on a minutes restriction that won't let him play more than 25-30 minutes, he's already proven he'll give this group a significant boost they badly needed.

    Korver has been out since March 9 with a foot injury, but was a participant in practice on Tuesday and is likely to return. He shot 59 percent from 3-point range in February after settling in some and should be the x-factor the team envisioned he'd become going forward so long as there are no setbacks.

    Having a few days off also allowed Deron Williams (thumb), Iman Shumpert (knee) and Tristan Thompson (mouth) opportunities to heal up, so it will be interesting to see how Cleveland responds now that it is working its way back to full strength. James will likely take another game or two off, but has worked his way into the MVP conversation. Despite the tremendous runs Russell Westbrook and James Harden have enjoyed, James has put together career-highs in rebounds (8.4) and assists (8.8) and authored one of his most efficient seasons. A strong finish would definitely make him a factor in the final vote.

    Denver is coming off perhaps its most frustrating loss of the season, falling 125-124 after a botched late offensive possession that helped Harden secure a game-winning layup in the final seconds. They're still up on Portland for the final Western Conference playoff spot, but have been working short-handed without key forwards Danilo Gallinari (knee) and Wilson Chandler (groin), who could return for this game.

    The Nuggets are viewing this one as a game they need to have, not only because they don't want the Rockets loss to linger, but because they're down to just four home games among their remaining 12. Cleveland beat Denver 125-109 on Feb. 11, getting 27 points a piece from James and Irving. Gallinari was absent, and the team had yet to acquire Mason Plumlee, who has become a key member of the rotation. Nikola Jokic led the way with 27.

    Cleveland hasn't lost in Denver since James returned to the franchise and has won four of five there. The Cavs are 6-1 in their last seven meetings against the Nuggets and registered their highest scoring output in the series since 1990 last month. They scored 124 in the final meeting of the 2015-16 season.

    Injury Concerns

    Charlotte has won consecutive games and is making one last push to try and salvage a season that has gotten a way from them, so it's a relief to see Michael Kidd-Gilchrist set to play after he left Monday's over Atlanta with an ankle injury. The Hornets are in Orlando to play their only road game in a six-game stretch, so it's now or never for them.

    Andre Drummond left Detroit's loss to Brooklyn with 13 points and 17 rebounds, so he wasn't on the floor for Brook Lopez's game-winner, limping off with a knee injury. He's expected to play in Chicago, where it's unlikely he'll see the other Lopez, Robin, who is expected to be suspended after fighting with Serge Ibaka in Tuesday's OT loss against Toronto.

    The Kings have been without all three of their veteran wings of late, but should get a couple of them back for tonight's home date with Milwaukee. Buddy Hield has gotten major minutes, while Malachi Richardson has unfortunately been banged up. Ben McLemore hadn't been part of the rotation before paternity leave, but will be available tonight. Arron Afflalo (personal) and Tyreke Evans (knee) have also been out, so McLemore could be in for some minutes if they remain sidelined.

    Head-head Trends

    The Celtics and Pacers may wind up meeting in a playoff series, although the Pacers are hoping to end the season successfully enough to grab the No. 6 seed and avoid Cleveland and Boston. The Celtics have won five of the last eight in the series, with the under 7-1 in those games. Boston is up 2-0 this season, winning in November and December as a 1.5-point road favorite.

    The Wizards have a five-game lead on Atlanta in the Southeast Division with just a dozen left to play, so they'll look to improve on a 27-10 home record against a potential playoff opponent. Paul Millsap will remain out with a knee injury which has contributed to the Hawks' four-game losing streak. Washington lost the season opener in Atlanta but has won the last two meetings.

    Oklahoma City had its five-game winning streak snapped by Golden State on Monday, but have an opportunity to get back on track against a team they've beaten 15 consecutive times. The 76ers last beat OKC on Nov. 15, 2008 in one of the franchise's first games at the Thunder. Philadelphia has never won in Oklahoma City, last winning a road game in this series back on New Year's Eve of 2007, when the Supersonics played their final season in Seattle.

    Utah will look to sweep the Knicks for the second time in three years, improving to 5-1 in the last six meetings against New York. The Jazz are just 15-18 against the number at home, while the Knicks are 17-19 ATS in road games.
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

  5. #1265
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    Identifying NBA Cinderellas
    March 21, 2017


    Even with the first two rounds of the NCAA Tournament producing such few upsets, we've got Cinderella stories. South Carolina hadn't won an NCAA Tournament game since 1973 and have reached the Sweet 16 for the first time ever. They've got Alex English riding shotgun, just eliminated a Duke team that most love to hate and have a likeable head coach in Miami's Frank Martin, the tough guy with the heart of gold.

    Michigan, survivors of a plane accident that could have been a lot worse, could end up wearing a slipper. The Wolverines were 14-9, 4-6 in the Big Ten, after opening February with a home loss to the worst Ohio State team in years. They're 12-2 since.

    Xavier lost standout point guard Edmund Sumner in February. Butler and Gonzaga are still often thought of as little guys due to their past. Wisconsin is a big boy, but took out a No. 1. There isn't a UNC-Wilmington or Florida Gulf Coast in the group, but that falls in line with what this column is about.

    There won't be a Cinderella to come out of nowhere in the NBA posteseason. If we get one, we should be able to see them coming. They won't be a No. 8 seed. The three top contenders for the NBA's realistic Cinderella have to be able to reach a Final Four, er conference finals, which knocks out this regular season's prime example, Miami (20/1 East, 60/1 title).

    Reigning Eastern Conference Player of the Week Hassan Whiteside has led the Heat to six wins in the last eight games this month entering Tuesday's game with the depleted Suns. With a push that needs to continue this week, Miami may sneak into the playoffs, but unless they really thrive down the stretch against a tough schedule filled with East heavyweights, they're unlikely to get up to No. 6 to truly become a threat this postseason. It will be fun to see whether LeBron James and the Cavs rest in South Florida in an April 10 game that could be vital to the Heat's playoff hopes.

    Cleveland is resting players now so that it can steamroll whoever ends up becoming the sub-.500 team that takes up the No. 8 seed against them since they're likely to outlast Boston for the top spot now that Kevin Love is back. The Celtics and Wizards don't qualify to be Cinderellas because both are now at 6-to-1 odds to get out of the Eastern Conference in the latest WestgateLV Superbook odds release.

    That's more preferred uppity stepsister than Cinderella, if we're taking the comparison literally.

    Damian Lillard earned the West's Player of the Week nod after scoring a season-high 49 points in Miami to snap the Heat's home winning streak at seven games on Sunday, leading the Blazers to a 3-1 week. Denver and Portland have gained a little separation in the race for the Western Conference's final playoff berth, but neither is beating out the Warriors or Spurs in a first-round series.

    The Rockets are 10-to-1 to get out of the West, so they're not a true outsider. Instead, we'll go with the Clippers (15/1 West, 30/1 title), Raptors (12/1 East, 40/1 title), Grizzlies (50/1, 100/1) and Pacers (80/1, 200/1) as the best bets.

    L.A. has been through the grinder. We've seen the Clippers' act fail for five straight years before they've even gotten to the conference finals. Outside of Dallas and Golden State, every franchise that has been really good in the West within that span has eliminated them in a series. Their brand is at an all-time low. Of course, they're also the only team that can say they've beaten both the Spurs and Warriors in a Game 7, which has to count for something.

    With Chris Paul back from his injury and Blake Griffin also settled back in, it's time to make a move. Prior to the Cavs lying down on Saturday night, the Clips had dropped three straight, including a frustrating home loss to Milwaukee. This week's games against the Knicks, Lakers and Mavericks are games they'll be favored in and must take care of business in before a huge Saturday afternoon home date against Utah that could ultimately help decide homecourt advantage in a potential 4-5 series between the two. If you believe that this is the season everyone stays healthy and L.A. finally breaks through out West, now is the time to buy. Maybe they'll be this year's Wisconsin Badgers, taking out a No. 1 of their own.

    The Raptors have seen their odds take a hit due to an inability to persevere without point guard Kyle Lowry, who won't be back any time soon. It's unlikely that they wind up faring better than the No. 4 seed in the East, which will put them in Cleveland's path early. Still, Lowry will return, and GM Masai Ujiri did upgrade their defense at the trade deadline, so they're still a team that could surprise before all is said and done. Their odds may continue to slip, although they showed signs of life in trouncing Indiana 116-91 on Sunday to post consecutive wins for the first time all month. Their schedule between now and the beginning of April looks pretty favorable too.

    The final two candidates on the list are longshots, teams to retire on if everyone gets lucky enough. Memphis carries that South Carolina vibe, a defense-oriented team that struggled before the lights came on but is now fully engaged. They've won four straight, including upsets of the Hawks and Spurs and hit the road for a four-game stretch beginning Tuesday in New Orleans. Indiana has been absolutely dreadful, but in Paul George, they have the Eastern Conference's best player not on the Cavaliers. If they can avoid the No. 8 seed, the Pacers will be dangerous.
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

  6. #1266
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    WEDNESDAY, MARCH 22

    GAME TIME(ET) PICK UNITS

    CHA at ORL 07:00 PM

    CHA -4.5

    O 206.5

    IND at BOS 07:30 PM

    BOS -6.5

    U 207.5


    ATL at WAS 08:00 PM

    ATL +7.5

    O 215.0

    PHI at OKC 08:00 PM

    PHI +12.0

    U 218.5 ***********


    DET at CHI 08:00 PM

    CHI +1.0

    U 199.0

    CLE at DEN 09:00 PM

    DEN +3.0 **********

    O 227.0 **********


    NY at UTA 10:30 PM

    UTA -11.5

    U 202.5

    MIL at SAC 10:30 PM

    MIL -5.0

    U 202.0 ***********
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

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