By: Al Walsh – Follow him on Twitter @14AdotWalsh
* NBA PLAYOFFS *[9:00 p.m. EST] Under 210 – San Antonio Spurs at Denver Nuggets
The Spurs did their job and got the road win in Game 1, so they can basically take the night off for the sake of us bettors. After all, this is pretty much how a series goes if the underdog wins the opener on the road – The underdog usually gets rolled in Game 2 – See: Brooklyn Nets last night. And don’t let the score in that 76ers/Nets game fool you, because the Nuggets and Spurs simply don’t have that type of offensive firepower.
The best value play in this game is taking the under. Dating back to the regular season, 17 of San Antonio’s last 22 games have gone under the total, while Denver’s games also have a track record of not going over the total, suffering that fate in 22 of its last 32.
While it looks like the Spurs could very well get their doors blown off, SK has more confidence in this one going under the total. If you’re a fan of prop bets, taking the under of 101.5 points for the Spurs’ team total would also be a wise move.
[10:30 p.m. EST] Oklahoma City Thunder at Portland Trail Blazers (-114 ML)
The highest SK Trend Confidence (32%) on tonight’s NBA slate is Portland to win outright once again over OKC. Everyone figured the Thunder would easily win Game 1, considering they went 4-0 against the Trail Blazers during the regular season. Not to mention, Russell Westbrook has outplayed Damian Lillard in the head-to-head sense over the course of their careers.
However, the tide turned in the series opener, and that was with Portland not necessarily playing its best brand of basketball. Thankfully, the Trail Blazers had a 14-point lead at the end of the first quarter, and that allowed them to hold on for the five-point victory at the end.
OKC’s Westbrook (ankle) and Paul George (shoulder) are both a little banged up, and neither of them has completely dismissed the fact that these injuries will be an issue. If that truly is the case, the Thunder could be looking at an 0-2 hole heading back to OKC – and the SK Trend Confidence believes that will be the case.
* MLB REGULAR SEASON GAMES *
[7:10 p.m. EST] Baltimore Orioles at Tampa Bay Rays (-250 ML/-1.5)
BAL: Dylan Bundy – R (0-1, 8.76 ERA)
TB: Tyler Glasnow – R (3-0, 0.53)
Betting MLB games like this one is usually what we look for – pitchers trending in opposite directions. Tyler Glasnow of the Rays is off to an amazing start, allowing only one run in 17 innings, while striking out 21 batters and walking three. On the other side, Dylan Bundy goes for the Orioles, and he has been absolutely horrendous, allowing 12 runs in 12.1 innings. Bundy has racked up 17 strikeouts so far but that has been nullified by a massive 1.78 WHIP.
The Rays currently have the best winning percentage in all of MLB and are showing no signs of slowing down. Especially with a fantastic matchup against Bundy on the horizon.
Tampa Bay on the moneyline has a nice SK Trend Confidence rating of 30%. But it might make more sense to bet the Rays on the 1.5-run line (SK Trend Confidence rating of 26%) so you don’t have to risk as much money.
* Final Score Prediction: Tampa Bay Rays: 8 – Baltimore Orioles: 1 *
[10:07 p.m. EST] Houston Astros (-160 ML) at Oakland Athletics
HOU: Collin McHugh – R (2-1, 2.65 ERA)
OAK: Marco Estrada – R (0-1, 4.87 ERA)
The Astros will be looking to win their 10th consecutive game when they meet the A’s and if history is any indication, that shouldn’t be a problem. Collin McHugh has gone 9-1 with a 2.73 ERA in 18 appearances (12 starts) against Oakland over the course of his career. Not only that, but Houston’s bullpen has been outstanding at the onset, ranking third in all of MLB with a 2.70 ERA. The A’s bullpen has been responsible for five of the team’s losses, including four blown saves.
Houston’s offense is usually deadly, and this year is no different as it leads MLB with a collective .280 batting average. The Astros’ 32% SK Trend Confidence rating is the highest of any team on the moneyline tonight.
* Final Score Prediction: Houston Astros: 6 – Oakland Athletics: 4 *