Thursday, February 23, 2017

Canadiens Welcome Islanders on Thursday

Canadiens Hockey


Habs Look to Continue Winning Streak

After winning only their second game in the past eight on Tuesday versus the Rangers, the Montreal Canadiens (32-20-8) hope to build on their recent victory against the other New York hockey club. Since firing head coach Michel Therrien and hiring Claude Julien, the Habs are 1-1.

Carey Price (2.44 goals against average, .918 save percentage), who had been in slump since mid-December, has returned to form in the last two games, posting a .936 save percentage. The Habs will rely on Price’s resurgence going forward, as the Canadiens have dropped to 12th in team offense (2.8 goals per game) and have scored more than two goals only twice in their last eight games.

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The New York Islanders (28-21-10), meanwhile, have found their own resurgence since firing head coach Jack Capuano and replacing him with assistant general manager Doug Weight. Since the move, the Islanders have pulled themselves out of last place in the Eastern Conference, and have gone 11-4-2. They’re now tied with Florida and Boston for the final wildcard position in the East. Look for team captain John Tavares (22 goals, 28 assists) to lead his team offensively against the Canadiens (7:30 PM ET on SNE).

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Warriors Host Clippers in “Second Half” Tip-Off

Golden State Warriors


GSW Playing at Higher Level than Record Season

The Golden State Warriors went into the All-Star break as –170 favorites to regain the NBA championship. They’ll start the unofficial second half of the regular season this Thursday when they host the Los Angeles Clippers, tipping off at 10:30 PM ET.

Oddsmakers have the Warriors as 13-point favorites. The total is sitting at 230 now.

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This year’s Warriors team (47-9 SU, 27-27-2 ATS) is performing at an even higher level than last year’s 73-game winners. Kevin Durant (+8.1 BPM) alongside Stephen Curry (+6.5 BPM) has taken away from each former MVP’s raw stats. They have added addition by subtraction as it’s made the Dubs tougher overall. Zaza Pachulia (+3.2 BPM) has also proved to be a capable  replacement for departed center Andrew Bogut.

Health hasn’t been very kind to the Clippers (35-21 SU, 29-27 ATS). Chris Paul (+9.8 BPM), is targeting a March 1 return after having surgery on his torn left thumb. Los Angeles is 6-7 SU and 7-6 ATS since Paul went on the shelf, although they did win their last four games straight up and against the spread after moving Ray Felton (–0.4 BPM) to the bench and putting Luc Mbah a Moute (+0.6 BPM) back in the starting lineup.
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New-Look New Orleans Pelicans Host Rockets on Thursday

New Orleans Pelicans Basketball


Can Cousins Make Difference for Pelicans

The New Orleans Pelicans just hosted the All-Star Game and saw their very own Anthony Davis win the MVP. But the celebration was brief because the next day, the Pelicans made a huge trade, acquiring DeMarcus Cousins from the Sacramento Kings. Cousins is expected to play his first game on Thursday when the Pelicans host the Houston Rockets.

Oddsmakers have the Rockets as 4-point favorites and the total is 228.

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The Rockets are sitting fourth in the Western Conference, with James Harden among the front-runners for the MVP award. Harden is third in the league in scoring, first in assists and is averaging over eight rebounds a game. The Rockets rank behind only Golden State in scoring.

The Pelicans are 11th place in the West and only two games out of eighth. The trade for Cousins will hopefully push them into the postseason. Cousins and Davis are fourth and fifth in the league, respectively, in scoring, while Davis is sixth in rebounding and Cousins is 11th. They both played at the University of Kentucky, and the Pelicans are hoping that connection pays off.

Houston is 6-1 SU and 5-2 ATS in their last seven meetings with the Pelicans, who lost 122-100 to the Rockets at home on December 16. Harden had a triple-double with 29 points, 13 assists and 11 rebounds.

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Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Villanova Can Clinch Big East With Win Against Butler

Villanova Athletics


Nova' Has Won 48 in a Row at Home

The fans at Villanova Pavilion will be pumped for a win as the Villanova Wildcats host the Butler Bulldogs on Wednesday.

Oddsmakers opened the Wildcats as -9.5-point favorites versus the Bulldogs, while the game's total opened at 140.

In their last action, Villanova was a 92-70 winner on the road against Pirates. They covered the -6.5-point spread as favorites. Villanova has won a program-record 48 in a row at home. The Bulldogs defeated Villanova 66-58 on Jan. 4 at Hinkle Fieldhouse. It snapped a school record 20-game win streak.

In their last action, Butler was a 82-66 winner at home against Blue Demons. They failed to cover the -17-point spread as favorites. The Bulldogs have registered five wins over ranked teams this season and now has a rare chance to sweep the defending national champions.

Betting Odds Trends


Next up:
Butler at Xavier Sunday, February 26
Nova home to Creighton Saturday, February 25

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Tar Heels Host Louisville With 1-Game ACC Lead

Tar Heels Sports


Track Meet Expected With Up-Tempo Styles

The fans at Dean Smith Center will witness the Louisville Cardinals and the North Carolina Tar Heels run up and down the court they take their seats on Wednesday. The up-tempo style of both teams should lead to an entertaining game. Even with the 65-41 romp past Virginia on Saturday night the Tar Heels rank fifth nationally in scoring with 86.9 points per game.

North Carolina holds a one-game lead on Louisville (22-5, 10-4) and Duke in ACC regular season play. Duke will be wrapping up its contest at Syracuse at about the time of tip-off in Chapel Hill.  Under Roy Williams, the Tar Heels are 10-2 at the Smith Center in Top 10 matchups. This is the first matchup against an ACC opponent since a game with Duke five years ago.

Oddsmakers opened the Tar Heels as -4.5-point favorites versus the Cardinals, while the game's total opened at 153.

Louisville was a 94-90 winner in their most recent outing at home against Hokies. They failed to cover the -12.5-point spread as favorites. Louisville often loves a faster tempo by playing a full-court defense. It is something that might feed into North Carolina's preferences. The Cardinals haven't reached the level defensively that Pitino would like to see on a regular basis.

Betting Odds Trends


Next up:
Louisville home to Syracuse Sunday, February 26
North Carolina at Pittsburgh Saturday, February 25

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Duke Faces Syracuse Tonight on the Road in ACC Action

Duke Basketball


Duke Has Won 7 Straight

The Duke Blue Devils and the Syracuse Orange will make history on Wednesday when they meet at Carrier Dome. It will be the first time in D-1 history two coaches with 1,000 career wins face each other.  Mike Krzyzewski is the leader with 1,065 wins. Jim Boeheim is 2nd with 1,001 wins with an asterisk. That total includes 101 wins vacated by the NCAA because the Orange violated NCAA rules from 2004-07 and 2010-12.

Oddsmakers opened the Blue Devils as -4-point favorites versus the Orange, while the game's total opened at 149.

Syracuse was a 71-65 loser in its last match on the road against Yellow Jackets. They failed to cover the -4-point spread as favorites. Tonights game is also huge for Syracuse. The team is reeling with three consecutive losses that have put them on the NCAA Tournament bubble. They have played far better at home than on the road. They are 14-3 at the Dome and 2-9 on road or neutral courts. Duke is Syracuse's last best chance to notch a quality win for its tournament resume unless it makes a run in the ACC Tournament.

Duke was a 99-94 winner in their most recent outing at home against Demon Deacons. They failed to cover the -11.5-point spread as favorites. The Blue Devils have won seven straight games. They are 5-0 since Coach K returned after missing most of January following back surgery. Duke has overcome several obstacles this season. The list includes injuries to key players, Krzyzewski's absence, and the ongoing scrutiny of guard Grayson Allen's absurd conduct. The Dukies have pulled within one game of North Carolina in the ACC standings.

Betting Odds Trends


Next up:
Duke at Miami Saturday, February 25
Syracuse at Louisville Sunday, February 26

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Tuesday, February 21, 2017

NCAAB Tuesday Pick- South Carolina at Florida Gators

Florida Gators Athletics

Cocks' Lost 3 of Last 4 Games

The South Carolina Gamecocks and the Florida Gators help get Tuesday’s college basketball betting action underway at BetAnySports with a 7 p.m. (ET) tip at Exactech Arena. As one of ESPN’s featured matchups of the night, Florida comes into this SEC tilt as a 8-point favorite. Oddsmakers opened the Gators at 10-point favorites. The total is down to 138 after opening at 142.

The Gamecocks have now lost three of their last four games straight-up. They got upended by Vanderbilt 71-62 this past Saturday as two-point road favorites. The Cocks' have failed to cover against the spread in their last five games. This makes them fall to 10-14 ATS on the year. South Carolina is now 10-4 in SEC play,  and have an overall record of 20-7. The total stayed UNDER BetAnySports’ 137-point line in Saturday’s loss. The total went OVER in the Gamecocks’ previous five outings.

South Carolina has built a reputation this season as being one of the better defensive teams in the nation. With a points-allowed average of 64.1 going into this bad stretch, that average has ballooned all the way to 78.4 points over its last five games. Offensively, Sindarius Thornwell leads the team in scoring with 20.2 PPG and he ended Saturday’s loss with 21 points and six rebounds. South Carolina is averaging 73 points a game this year.

Gators have won 8-Straight Games Straight Up and are 6-2 ATS

The Gators were able to extend their current SU winning streak to eight games with Saturday’s 57-52 victory on the road against Mississippi State. Florida could not cover BetAnySports’ closing 10-point spread as a favorite, but it is still a very profitable 6-2 ATS during this winning streak. The total stayed UNDER the closing 147-point line and it has stayed UNDER in five of its last seven games. The Gators return to Gainesville with a 6-4 record ATS in 10 previous home games.

Defense was the name of the game this past Saturday, but Florida lit things up on the scoreboard last Tuesday with a 114-95 victory against Auburn as a 10-point favorite on the road. The Gators are averaging 79.5 points this season led by a trio of players scoring at least 11 PPG. Chris Chiozza and KeVaughn combined for 25 points in Saturday’s win and senior guard Canyon Berry, who leads the team with 13.2 PPG, posted 30 points in last Tuesday’s romp.

Both of these teams are among the best in the SEC this season, but I have to go with Florida both SU and ATS this Tuesday night given its current form.

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Saturday, February 18, 2017

NHL Odds: Oilers-Blackhawks at the United Center

Blackhawks Hockey

Oilers Looking for First Playoff Spot in Decade

Two of the better teams in the Western Conference will meet this Saturday (7 PM ET, WGN) when the Chicago Blackhawks host the Edmonton Oilers. The Blackhawks sit comfortably in second place in the Central Division, while the Oilers are in good shape for an automatic playoff berth in the Pacific – their first playoffs in over a decade.

Oddsmakers have the

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The Hawks are no strangers to the postseason. They’ve won three Stanley Cups since Joel Quenneville took over as head coach in 2008; this year’s team is third on the Cup futures market at +700, featuring the 1-2 goaltending punch of Corey Crawford (.918 save percentage) and Scott Darling (.927 SV%). However, Chicago could be overvalued in this spot, with mediocre results in the Corsi and Fenwick advanced stats.

Edmonton is a Top-10 team in both those categories. The Oilers (+2000) have been playing in relative anonymity ever since losing Game 7 of the 2006 Stanley Cup Final to the Carolina Hurricanes, but their collection of high draft picks is finally paying off. The first overall pick in 2015, center Connor McDavid, is already an All-Star. But even with his help, there’s a chance that goalie Cam Talbot (.920 SV%) could burn out after starting nearly every game.
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Thursday, February 16, 2017

NHL Odds: Sens Visit the Devils this Thursday

Betting on Ottawa Hockey

Blackhawks Look to Hold off Senators

Sitting second in the Atlantic Division, the Ottawa Senators (29-19-6) will look to capitalize on a Devils team that finds themselves in 12th place in the East. The Senators are eight points out of a playoff spot. The Sens are coming off of a 3-2 loss to the Buffalo Sabers on Tuesday night. But following the return of their starting goalie, Craig Anderson (2.37 goals against average, .926 save percentage) and another dominating offensive season from defenseman Erik Karlsson (8 goals, 38 assists), Ottawa will lean on their stars as they attempt to regain their winning stride against the Devils.

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The New Jersey Devils (24-22-10) are coming off of a 3-2 win against the last-place Colorado Avalanche. The Devils are 1-1 following their league-mandated bye week and sport a 5-4-1 record over their last 10 games. New Jersey has been mediocre this season. As they’re currently 29th in team offense (2.27 goals scored per game). They 17th in team defense (2.82 goals against per game). They’ll depend heavily on goaltender Cory Schneider (2.66 goals against average, .912 save percentage) to keep the Sens off the board and give their offense a chance to score.

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NCAAB Odds: Wisconsin Visits Michigan in Big Ten Battle

Michigan Big Ten Sports

Michigan is a 2-Point Fave over Wisky at Home

The Big Ten has seen better times on the hardcourt, but the top team in the conference will be in action Thursday night (7 PM ET, ESPN) when the Wisconsin Badgers visit the Michigan Wolverines. The No. 11-ranked Badgers lead the way at 21-4 SU and 11-11 ATS; the Wolverines are in the middle of the pack at 16-9 SU and 9-13 ATS.

Oddsmakers have the unranked Wolverines listed as a 2-point favorite and the total is at 125.

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Although Michigan has fallen to +20000 on the March Madness futures market, this program has some things going for them – especially on offense, where senior guard Derrick Walton (+9.6 BPM) is putting up 17.6 points and 4.4 assists per 40 minutes while hitting 44.2% of his 3-point attempts. Walton was 3-of-5 from behind the arc in last month’s 68-64 loss to Wisconsin (–11.5) at the Kohl Center.

The Badgers (+3300 to win March Madness) may be the best the Big Ten has to offer, but they’re 2-6 ATS in their last eight games, starting with that narrow victory over Michigan. They’re also coming off a 66-59 loss to the Northwestern Wildcats, once again coughing up the cash as 11.5-point home favourites. Shooting just 66.6% from the free-throw line hasn’t helped their cause.
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