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Mr Fixit’s Top Tips: Liverpool to keep pressure on City
LIVERPOOL are determined to keep the Premier League title race going to the last day and should stay on track to do so tonight.
In fact it's more a case of how many they win by rather than if they win as relegated Huddersfield drop into Anfield.
Jurgen Klopp's men are of course a short price so some digging will need to be done to find value.
As always my time is limited at this time of the week but I'll have a closer look at the game in the afternoon when my Daily Record columns are finished. Grant Heaney has posted a Liverpool vs Huddersfield preview so check it out.
Other games to look at include Ross County v Queen of the South with the home men needing a point to clinch the Scottish Championship title – and they should pick up all three.
Augsburg v Bayer Leverkusen and Bordeaux v Lyon are the biggest games on the Continent and there are the usual lower-league games to look at for goals.
Last night my Dutch goals treble was completed by PSV for a 23-10 winner but the Top Treble lacked goals at Getafe v Real Madrid.
Well done to all the winners and good luck tonight.
Mr Fixit's April Super Singles Total: -3.5pts
Mr Fixit's April Accas Total: +41.4pts
Solskjaer cut to leave Man Utd in the summer
Wouldn’t this be something? After their midweek loss at home against rivals City in the Manchester derby, Manchester United’s miserable times continued. That was their fourth defeat in their last six league games and they haven’t claimed a clean sheet in twelve in all competitions.
Out of all cups and with not one player looking in any kind of form at the moment, there is a bit of a dark cloud hanging over Old Trafford. Now the markets are taking a turn with Ladbrokes announcing that they have cut the price on boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to be sacked at the end of the season.
Solskjaer came in on a big wave of optimism at the start of the year. He was their saviour after the depression of the Jose Mourinho era. He got the club going in the right direction. United won the first eight games under the eye of Solskjaer, a run which included a win over Spurs in the league and an FA Cup success out at Arsenal. It was all smiles at that point.
PSG the turning point
Strangely it was a big success in the Champions League which started their downfall. The Red Devils again benefited from the managerial prowess of their former striker as Solskjaer masterminded a 3-1 win at PSG in the second leg of their Champions League tie. That was after having been blown away at home in the first leg, United suffering a 2-0 home loss in that opening game .
Since that magical night in the City of Lights, albeit handed to them because of a late VAT penalty award, United are W2 L7 in their last nine games in all competitions. They crashed out of the FA Cup at Wolves, were smashed apart in a 4-0 aggregate loss in the Champions League by Barcelona and now a top-four finish in the Premier League is going to be hard work.
The Red Devils are 6/1 to claim a top-four finish this season in the EPL* (betting odds taken from Ladbrokes on April 24th, 2019 at 11:10 pm). Following their loss against Manchester City on Wednesday, United sit sixth in the league, three points behind fourth-placed Chelsea, with Arsenal two points above them in fifth.
Pressure mounts on Ole
It’s all added up to pressure coming on boss Solskjaer already. The problem with not reaching the top four in the summer will be atttracting the kind of players that the club needs to move forward. There is going to be a big transfer war chest available in the summer. Will Solskjaer be there to spend it?
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer NOT to be Man United manager on 1 January 2020 – 3/1
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer NOT to be Man United manager on opening day of next season – 10/1
* (betting odds taken from Ladbrokes on April 24th, 2019 at 11:10 pm)
Celtic v Kilmarnock Betting Preview – Scottish Premiership April 27
This could be the weekend that Celtic finally make mathematically certain of winning the Scottish Premiership title, though they will need Aberdeen to do them a favour at Rangers on Sunday even if they beat Kilmarnock in front of a packed Celtic Park in the Saturday lunchtime kick-off.
Celtic Form and Team News
It would be churlish to suggest that the Hoops have become complacent since they beat Rangers in the Old Firm derby to all but wrap up yet another league title but they have drawn a blank in two of their last three games. That said, they have kept a clean sheet in six of their last seven so goalkeeper Scott Bain and the defence have been doing their jobs. There are plans to honour club great Billy McNeill before and during their match against Killie and also in next month’s Scottish Cup Final. Neil Lennon will be asking his players to keep the lid on their emotions and get the job done against the current fourth-placed side but his hands may be tied as to making many changes as Ryan Christie is out for the season and Kieran Tierney has a hip injury. Tomas Rogic is fit again, however, and pressing for a start.
Kilmarnock Form and Team News
Kilmarnock have had a terrific season and have almost certainly exceeded expectations but they had three players sent off in last week’s home defeat by Aberdeen so could be missing key men at Celtic Park. Kirk Broadfoot, Rory Mackenzie and Stuart Findlay all saw red – Mackenzie had an appeal upheld on Thursday but the other pair will be missing against Celtic and that will have disrupted the plans of manager Steve Clarke. His team have only lost one of their last seven but have failed to score in two of their last three matches. Alex Bruce and Ross Millen would be the obvious replacements for Broadfoot and Findlay and Conor McAleney could be restored to the Killie attack but they’ll have to be at the top of their game to hold up the Hoops’ march.
Celtic v Kilmarnock Head-to-Heads
Kilmarnock have fared better than most in recent matches with Celtic. Both teams have won two of their last six meetings with two draws, though Killie haven’t won at Celtic Park since 2012. The same fixture in the Top Six play-offs last season ended 0-0.
Celtic v Kilmarnock Current Best Odds
Celtic 2/7, Draw 5/1, Kilmarnock 12/1 (Odds correct at 10.45pm April 25)
Celtic v Kilmarnock Predictions
Celtic are expected to win this, especially with Kilmarnock missing key defenders. But it will be an emotional day at Celtic Park and Killie are expected to make life a little tougher than the odds would suggest. Draw/Celtic in the Half Time/Full Time is 16/5 at 888Sport with Celtic to win by one goal at 11/4 with Boylesports in the Winning Margin. The home side to Win To Nil is 10/11 with Betvictor.
Sale Sharks v Bath Rugby Predictions & Betting Odds – 26th April 2019
Premiership Rugby Preview – 7.45 pm kick off
Bath and Sale are 7th and 8th in the Premiership table respectively. So this should be an interesting battle coming up from the AJ Bell Stadium. The interesting thing here is that they are five and six points respectively out of fourth place in the table. So both do still have an outside interest in a potential run at a top-four finish. It could be a tense evening.
Sale Sharks v Bath odds*
* (betting odds taken from *** on April 24th, 2019 at 11:10 pm)
Sale Sharks v Bath Preview
The Sharks on a three-match winning streak on home soil so have some momentum going at the moment. A win in this one would move them above Bath and keep them in the push for a top-four finish. Sale were in European action last weekend, narrowly losing out to La Rochelle in the semifinals of the Challenge Cup.
That was on the back of a league away loss at Worcester so that is back to back losses they have suffered. But then they have won their last three home games in all competition as mentioned, two of them in the Gallagher Premiership over Leicester and perhaps more notably, Harlequins.
The handicap line is small in this one with the Sharks -3 at 10/11 odds* (betting odds taken from *** on April 24th, 2019 at 11:10 pm). When the two met earlier this season there was a tense 7-7 draw played out. The meeting before that? A narrow 33-32 home win for Bath, so again, this could be a really closely fought thing.
Bath are W3 L2 in their last five against Sale in the top flight, but they have lost their last two visits to the AJ Bell Stadium. Each of their last four games have been won by the home side, so that’s not a particularly great stat for the visitors here. Actually, their big struggles have been on the road this season.
Bath have claimed just the one win, which was a victory at Wasps in round 10, out on the road across all competitions since back in September. So it is that which has really been hampering them in terms of having a better season behind them. This would be a pretty sweet time for them to shake that off that. In their last league game, they were 17-7 up at Kingsholm over Gloucester and still managed to lose.
Sale Sharks v Bath Prediction
The away form of Bath has to speak for itself in this one. The lead that they lost at Gloucester last time out was a hammer blow of a way to lose. Sale should have enough about them on home soil to collect the victory at 4/7 odds* (betting odds taken from *** on April 24th, 2019 at 11:10 pm)
Newcastle v Northampton Rugby Predictions & Betting Odds – 26th April 2019
Premiership Rugby Preview – 7.45 pm kick off
Newcastle’s position in the Premiership is really under threat now as they are rooted to the foot of the pile, seven points from safety. So not even a bonus point win and a loss for Worcester (who are directly above them) this weekend would get the Falcons safe. Northampton will be looking to make the most of the opportunity to keep their chance at a top-four finish alive.
Newcastle v Northampton odds*
* (betting odds taken from *** on April 24th, 2019 at 11:10 pm)
Newcastle v Northampton Preview
Newcastle will head back into action with a two-match losing streak going at the moment in the top flight. They have not found much relief at all at Kingston Park as they have only claimed the one victory there since last November. That is across all competitions as well. They have lost their last two league home games against Leicester and Sale.
However, the Falcons do have something going for them in this fixture at least. They are on a six-match winning streak over the Saints in Premiership meetings. How badly they need that to continue this weekend. The Falcons are +2 in the handicap market at 10/11 odds* (betting odds taken from *** on April 24th, 2019 at 11:10 pm)
Northampton have won their last two league games out on the road. Actually, the last four games that they have been involved in have been settled with an away win. If they were to collect a victory at Kingston Park on the weekend, that would be the first time that they have won three straight league away wins since late 2014.
In their last league outing, Northampton scored an important victory, a 20-19 road success at Harlequins to keep the door to a potential top-four finish open. That was a superb effort from them. Their away win previous to that was a victory at Leicester. The Saints suffered a 14-16 home defeat against the Falcons back at the start of December.
Newcastle v Northampton Prediction
This could be some game. Northampton are carrying away form and have shown some good character recently on their travels. That victory at Quins was an immense show of grit from them. They may have enough to raid Kingston Park and end their slump against the Falcons. Northampton to win at 4/6 odds* (betting odds taken from *** on April 24th, 2019 at 11:10 pm)
Bet365 Gold Cup Odds and Preview – Horse Racing Betting April 27
The *** Gold Cup at Sandown, formerly the Whitbread, traditionally brings down the curtain on the UK National Hunt season.
There have been many famous winners down the years, and some exciting finishes, and this year’s renewal looks well up to standard. The meeting also sees the crowning of the new champion jockey and champion trainer, though that has been cut and dried now for a number of weeks.
*** Gold Cup History and Trends
First run in 1957, this famous handicap was originally called the Whitbread Gold Cup. It made history as the first commercial sponsorship in British sport and was the longest-running partnership until it ended in 2001.
The great Desert Orchid won this tough staying race under 11st 11lb in 1988 and Life Of A Lord, in 1996, carried 11st 9lb to victory. Tidal Bay surpassed both when shouldering 11st 12lb in 2012 but they are the exceptions to the rule that suggests this is normally not a race for those at the top end of the handicap.
*** Gold Cup Chase Recent Winners
- Only six of the last 37 winners have carried more than 11st to success. Only one winner has carried more than 11st in the last 10 years.
- Two of the last 10 winners have started at 20/1 or bigger but four of the last 10 winners have started at single-figure odds.
- Those aged nine or younger have a better strike rate than older chasers when it comes to winners and placed horses.
- All recent winners had run at least once in the previous eight weeks.
- All but three of the last winners had won over at least 3m.
The 2016 winner The Young Master has been more like his old self this season and it would be no surprise to see the 10-year-old in the firing-line again – he is a best 10/1 with Ladbrokes. Last year’s first three – Step Back, Rock The Kasbah and Present Man – will all face the starter again. Mark Bradstock’s front-runner set a strong pace in the Grand National but jumped continually out to his right and was soon a spent force. He’ll enjoy going the other way round here and could be the pick of the trio again at a best 8/1.
Beware The Bear has won twice at Cheltenham this year and will stay the trip but his big weight may well thwart the hat-trick. Talkischeap finished behind Adrien Du Pont at Kempton in February and the latter got no sort of a run in the Topham at Aintree earlier this month but Alan King’s novice is expected to reverse the form over Saturday’s more suitable trip and he looks the type to excel in a race like the *** Gold Cup, though is only a best 8/1.
Newly-crowned champion trainer Paul Nicholls saddles Adrien Du Pont (a general 20/1) and also Present Man but Harry Cobden rides GIVE ME A COPPER and that may be significant.
The nine-year-old never looked like landing a blow in the Ultima at Cheltenham won by Beware The Bear with Flying Angel fifth and eventually fell. But he’d run a race full of promise at Sandown on his belated reappearance and should confirm that form with Rolling Dylan. He’s attractively weighted and can be backed at 12/1 with Coral.
Joe Farrell was pulled up at Aintree having found the fences more than he could cope with but he’s a former Scottish Grand National winner and could run well at a widely available 14/1.
*** Gold Cup Current Best Odds
Talkischeap and Step Back 8/1, The Young Master 10/1, Beware The Bear, Give Me A Copper and Just A Sting 12/1, Joe Farrell and Rock The Kasbah 14/1, Present Man and Rolling Dylan 16/1, Adrien Du Pont, West Approach, Ballydine and Le Reve 20/1, Captain Chaos, Flying Angel, Rathlin Rose, Yala Enki, Vyta Du Roc, Doing Fine and Prime Venture 25/1, Get On The Yager 33/1
(Odds correct at 10.30pm April 25)
MLS: Goal-laden league can lead to profit
MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCER expert Kyle Worthington (@SM_Kyle) analyses the action from the weekend's football from across the pond.
Toronto vs Portland | Saturday 27th April, 20:00
A red hot Toronto FC host a floundering Portland side this weekend and it’s all set up to be a great watch.
The betting angle I’m siding with in this fixture is all to do with goals. I’ll start with the hosts.
Toronto have been free scoring since day 1 this season, 18 goals scored which is second overall throughout MLS, only LAFC topping that tally. New signing Alejandro Pozuelo is proving to be an absolute world beater, he has 4 goals in 4 games for the Canadians and is showing no side of slowing down anytime soon.
Toronto sit in 3rd place in the Eastern conference having only played 6 games, 4 points behind DC United with 3 games in hand on the Capital club.
They really have been a joy to watch going forward and with all the big guns firing on all cylinders I can’t see that changing anytime soon.
It’s at the back where they’ve been quite the opposite picture. As mentioned, they have scored 18 in 6 games but have also conceded 11 in those matches so far, not a great return defensively and they have been fortunate that they’ve been able to rely on their talent up the top end of the pitch to save them.
Portland on the other hand have been massively disappointing so far this campaign. They find themselves sat way down in 11th in the Western conference, way off where they are excepted to be.
Their record so far this season speaks for itself, W1-D1-L5. Not good at all and as I previously mentioned, its a long way away from where a club like Portland should be.
The first positive in what has been a terrible start arrived last weekend when they travelled to Columbus and won 3-1. Their first 3 points of the season and a very impressive 3 points at that, not many teams can go to Ohio and win.
Before scoring 3 last weekend they had really struggled to find the net, just 9 goals scored this season so far whilst down the other end they’ve seen double that tally cross their own line, 18 conceded.
Overall I’m predicting a very open game, it really should be an end to end affair from the first whistle to the last. I don’t see Toronto changing their ways anytime soon, yes they’re shipping goals but they’re scoring freely and it’s working well for them. Meanwhile Portland are finally off the mark in the win column and will be fired up for their trip to Canada.
Over 2.5 and BTTS 4/5 (***)
Over 3.5 goals 11/10 (***)
BTTS in the 2nd half 7/4 (***)
Both Teams to score 2 or more goals 11/4 (Betfair)
Seattle Sounders vs LAFC | Sunday 28th April, 20:30
This one is easily the game of the weekend in my opinion as Seattle host a rampant LAFC. Again goals are on the cards.
Just 6 days after this fixture was played for the first time this season, Seattle and LAFC face off again. This time it’s LAFC’s turn to travel.
Monday nights match finished 4-1 to the black and gold in California in what was a thriller, LAFC were just good and quite frankly just blew Seattle away.
With that being said, travelling to Seattle will be a completely different prospect for the Californian’s and they’ll do well to repeat Monday’s success.
Let’s start will Seattle and I’ll get straight into why I’ve opted for the goals. Seattle find themselves 3rd in the West, 5 points behind LAFC who lead the conference although they do have a game in hand.
Seattle are another one of the sides so far this season who have conceded a few more goals than they would have liked, they shipped 11 in their 8 matches. Again like I said about Toronto in the last preview they’ve benefited massively from their offensive outfit being so good and despite conceding more goals than they would like they have managed to simply out score their opposition, 17 scored.
Over to LAFC and honestly I could sit here and praise them all day but I’ll try and keep it brief. Simply put they’ve been phenomenal, it would be wrong not to mention their marquee man Carlos Vela who is proving yet again how good he is, 10 goals in 9 games for the Mexican, simply outstanding.
LAFC boast the best defensive record in the entire league, joint with their rivals LA Galaxy, just the 7 goals conceded so far.
It’s down the other end where things get a little bit crazy, 9 games played for Bob Bradley’s side and in those games they’ve scored an astounding 25 goals. That’s 7 more than the next highest scorers Toronto. Ridiculous numbers to start the campaign and it’s showing no signs of slowing down, as previously mentioned they hosted Seattle and scored 4 earlier this week.
I’ll summarise and get to the bets, it’s a really hard one to call in terms of a final result, especially because the reverse fixture has only been played less than a week ago.
One thing I do know is that I’ll be massively shocked and surprised if we don’t see both sides giving their all for the 3 points and honestly we could see a basketball game rather than a football game in regards to how it will be played. I’ve chosen a fair few picks for this one, some being at valuable high odds.
Over 3.5 goals 11/8 (***)
Both teams to score in both halves 9/1 (***) – (small side bet)
Carlos Vela to score anytime 13/10 (Betfair)
LAFC to score Over 1.5 11/10 (***)
Both Teams to score 2 or more 11/4 (Betfair)
World Football: Backable Genk back-on-track for title success
WORLD football fanatic James O'Rourke (@JamesOR1) looks to continue his fabulous form with a selection of hand-picked best bets from across the planet on Saturday.
Gent v Genk | Saturday 27th April 2019, 19:30
We’re very much at the business end of most leagues at this time of year, and the Belgian top flight is no exception. Nothing has been decided yet, but Genk find themselves in quite a commanding position at the top of the standings. They sit six-points clear with only five matches remaining, with a trip to Gent to come this weekend. Gent, along with Anderlecht, have quite a sufficient gap to overcome to make the fourth and final European qualification spot. Therefore, those two could soon be having the ‘on their holidays’ mentality, with so little to play for. Genk have everything to gain on Saturday night.
Genk did have a wobbly spell a couple of months ago. This coincided with their loss to Slavia Prague, which saw them knocked out of the UEFA Europa League. They won two of their six league matches around that period. However, with full focus on winning the title for the first time since 2011, and only the fourth time in their history. It is three wins in succession for Blauw-Wit, suggesting that they’re fully back on track. Not only did that defeat Gent at home, but they defeated second place Club Brugge and then negotiated an always tricky trip to Standard Liege as well. They’ve got momentum at the perfect time.
Momentum is one thing that Gent certainly don’t have at this moment. They actually ended the regular league campaign very positively. They won their last four, meaning they could approach the Championship Group full of excitement. However, that excitement has soon ended as a record of played five, lost four and drew one has all but ended their campaign rather prematurely. An uninspiring 0-0 draw with Anderlecht last time out was a proper snooze-fest, with the players starting to accept European football won’t be coming back to the Ghelamco Arena.
Genk has very much had the better in this head-to-head battle for a little while now as well. They won the last three in a row, with Gent last tasting success in March 2018. That means Gent are winless in their previous five encounters. Quite interestingly, Gent has not won a home meeting between these two since August 2016. Gent have won just three of their last 12 versus Genk.
With everything to play for, we cannot look beyond Genk this weekend. Fingers crossed everything goes smoothly and we don’t suffer from a poor refereeing decision, red card or penalty, but they are a team on a mission and want to go one step closer to that precious Jupiler League crown.
Genk to win is available at 19/20 (Betway).
Extremadura v Tenerife | Saturday 27th April 2019, 19:30
I always find myself looking across at LaLiga2 every weekend to check on the scores. It is traditionally a very tight division and this season is no different. If goals are your thing then this probably is not the league for you! Only one team out of the 22, Cordoba, have an average goals to game ratio higher than 3.00. With only a handful of games remaining, it looks as though only one relegation spot is yet to be realistically decided. At least seven sides are fearful of dropping into that spot, with two of those being Extremadura and Tenerife, who meet on Saturday night.
Extremadura have most definitely turned the corner in recent times. It wasn’t that long ago that they were bottom of the table, but avoiding relegation is now very much on the cards. Whilst they’re only one place and two points above Lugo, who occupy 19th position, that is still a position they’d have gladly taken a few months ago. With momentum very much on their side, they’ll fancy their chances of staying in the division. They’ve won three in a row, and four of their previous five. In their last two, they’ve won away at Malaga and Deportivo, who were in La Liga last season and are battling it out to try and get back there.
Something I’ve always noticed about this league is how poor teams generally are away from home. Obviously teams will generally collect more points on home soil, but in this league there are several clubs who only have between one and five road wins. Granada has the best, but they’ve still won fewer than they haven’t away from home. Tenerife are one of those with quite an uninspiring record in this regard. They’ve just two wins away all campaign, but they are unbeaten in their last four officially (one being versus Reus Deportiu, who have been suspended from competing).
I remember earlier in the season I said that this wasn’t a league I like to get involved in too much considering it can be quite unpredictable. With there being so few goals, teams can struggle to come from behind and win if they maybe concede against the run of play for example. I certainly won’t be touching a side at odds-on in this league, but I’ve found a nice little selection for this weekend.
It is pretty straightforward, but Extremadura to win at 29/20 (William Hill) looks very appealing to me.
They’re just find a way to win matches at the moment and they’re touch to back against. It is a bit of a concern that they’re coming up against draw specialists Tenerife this weekend, a side who have drew 16 times so far, the joint-most alongside Las Palmas in the league. However, Extremadura have come out on top in several tight matches in recent times. We said they’re won three in a row; all by a one-goal margin. We like the look of them to get the job done, and for the price they should give us a good run.
Gent v Genk – Genk to win (19/20 Betway)
Extremadura v Tenerife – Extremadura to win (29/20 William Hill)
DraftKings MLB DFS Picks – April 25th
Last night’s DraftKings MLB DFS Picks failed to hit the profit line as we got too many dud performances from our lineup.
Once again Justin Verlander was worth the high price as he hurled eight frames of one-run ball to go along with eight strikeouts while earning the win in a blowout over the Twins.
Our first dud performance came from Jordan Lyles as the D-backs knocked Lyles around for eight hits and four earned runs in just five innings of work while he struck out only three.
After posting the lineup yesterday it was confirmed shortly after that Chris Davis was not in the starting lineup, so I added Rhys Hoskins over Andrew McCutchen in a Phillies mini-stack and threw Steve Wilkerson in for a value outfielder to replace McCutchen. The move turned out to be the best decision of my lineup as Hoskins tripled and homered as part of a massive night while Wilkerson delivered plenty of value with a homer of his own, but he came at high ownership. Jonathan Villar disappointed in a big way with a zero on the night while Dwight Smith Jr. was solid with a double and a run scored.
J.T. Realmuto was good as he doubled, walked, scored a run and was hit by a pitch.
Finally, our Pirates mini-stack didn’t do too much while was too bad as we got them at minuscule ownership. Cole Tucker was okay with a double on the night but Jason Martin was held to a zero at 0.9% ownership. If that mini-stack did damage we would have been profitable despite a bad outing from Lyles.
That’s how it goes sometimes and I will look to get right back on track with tonight’s DraftKings MLB DFS Picks!
P – Aaron Nola (PHI) – $9,100 vs. MIA
After finishing as the runner up to Jacob deGrom for the NL Cy Young award last season, Aaron Nola has struggled out of the gate so far in 2019. Entering tonight’s contest against the Marlins, Nola owns an ugly 6.84 ERA and a 6.07 FIP while he’s been brutalized by the long ball to the tune of a 2.52 HR/9 clip. That said, he still sports a real nice 10.08 K/9 clip and punched out nine in his most recent outing. I’m positive that the home run issues will subside as Nola posted a 0.72 HR/9 rate last season and a 0.96 HR/9 clip in the 2017 season, so it’s only a matter of time before the long ball issues subside. Tonight is a good opportunity for that number to begin to normalize as the Marlins have the league’s worst offense in terms of wOBA with a mark of just .265 while their 26.3% strikeout rate is the third-highest mark in the big leagues. The Phillies are listed as heavy -210 favorites to win this one tonight, so let’s look for Nola to post his highest scoring outing of the season here in this one.
P – Rick Porcello (BOS) – $7,800 vs. DET
The Tigers will face a familiar foe tonight in Rick Porcello who pitched for Detroit for many years to open his career. While Porcello has also struggled this season, he is coming off a nice outing and a meeting with his former club could be another step forward considering how bad the Tigers offense has been this season. Entering this one tonight, Detroit ranks 26th with a .288 wOBA on the season while their 26.4% strikeout rate is a hair worse than the Marlins and ranks them 29th in the league. Porcello has never been a high-strikeout guy but his upside in that area is certainly increased thanks to his opponent. He has posted an ugly 8.47 ERA and 6.88 FIP on the season, the latter of which matches his 6.88 BB/9 rate on the season while he too has been bitten by the home run bug with a mark of 2.12 HR/9 on the campaign. That said, he hurled 5.2 innings of two-run ball with just one walk and five punchouts against a very good Tampa Bay offense his last time out and I believe he can mow through this Tigers lineup tonight and give us nice value at a sub-$8K price.
C – Jonathan Lucroy (LAA) – $2,900 vs. NYY
I am going going to be rostering some high-priced bats in this lineup tonight and I needed to find value somewhere in this lineup and I’ve found just that with an Angels mini-stack beginning with Lucroy. He doesn’t hit for nearly as much power as he used to, but Lucroy clubbed his first homer of the season just two starts ago, so perhaps he is feeling it entering this one. He has a homer and a double to go along with two runs scored and three RBI over his last three starts and 16 plate appearances, so he’s actually been solid of late. There’s also little doubt that the matchup against Masahiro Tanaka will be tough. He owns a 2.76 ERA on the season, but he’s also allowed an .813 OPS and .500 SLG to right-handed betters on the season while all three of his homers and all nine of his earned runs allowed have come against righties such as Lucroy. It also doesn’t hurt that Lucroy is 3 for 6 in his career against the right-hander, so perhaps some more value from Lucroy is on its way tonight.
1B – Mitch Moreland (BOS) – $4,200 vs. DET
The pricey bats I referred to above will come from the Red Sox as they line up to take on Tigers right-hander Jordan Zimmermann who has been battered after a couple of strong outings to begin the season. Zimmermann allowed just one earned run over the first two starts and 13.2 innings of his season, but has allowed 14 earned runs over his last three starts and 13.2 innings and has surrendered five homers in that span. Enter Moreland who has long mashed righties in this league. Moreland enters play with a career .206 ISO against right-handed pitching but has absolutely unloaded on right-handers early in 2019 to the tune of a massive .393 ISO, .953 OPS and .389 wOBA. He has hit seven home runs on the season, all of which have come against righties, which makes sense considering he is rarely used against left-handed starters. Finally, Moreland has mashed Zimmermann in their history against one another as he’s gone 5 for 9 (.556) with a homer and a pair of doubles against the veteran. At a very reasonable price, Moreland should be able to deliver some value out of the three-hole tonight.
2B – Tommy La Stella (LAA) – $3,400 vs. NYY
We will complete our mini-stack early here with La Stella who has seen a power surge early this season and has been a factor in our lineups here on both occasions I have used him. Both times I have rostered La Stella this season he has hit a home run to deliver significant value at tiny ownership. I’ll look for him to give us some more value despite a tough matchup against Tanaka tonight. After homering just one time across 192 plate appearances with the Cubs last season and never exceeding five home runs in any big league season prior to 2019, La Stella has already mashed six long balls and actually has a pair of two-homer games under his belt through 76 plate appearances this season. As a result, La Stella has produced a massive .352 ISO and .921 OPS to go along with a .379 wOBA against right-handed pitching while all six homers and his lone double have come against righties. Also, five of his six homers have come at home where he will be tonight, so I love the confidence and value La Stella is going to bring to the table to cap this projected 7-8 in the lineup mini-stack tonight.
3B – Ryon Healy (SEA) – $4,100 vs. TEX
The Mariners are going to see some high ownership tonight as they are set to face a left-handed pitcher in Taylor Hearn who is making his big league debut in Seattle tonight. Given how powerful the Seattle bats have been this season, ownership is surely on its way, but I am looking for the Red Sox to outslug Seattle. Still, I want a piece of the Mariners pie and I will get that with Healy to kick off a mini-stack tonight. He is hitting just .216 on the season, but I am here for the power and the power only and he’s delivered plenty of that with five homers and 10 doubles on the young season. While all five of his homers have come against a right-handed pitcher as well as seven of his 10 doubles, Healy still owns a solid .176 ISO against lefties and he owns a powerful .189 ISO and .765 OPS against lefties for his career. I like the price we are getting him at against a pitcher with mediocre Triple-A numbers this season to kick off this mini-stack tonight.
SS – Tim Beckham (SEA) – $4,100 vs. TEX
We will complete the mini-stack right away with Beckham who also comes at a $4,100 price and is projected to hit in the six-hole tonight, right behind Healy. After a tough 2018 season with the Orioles a year ago, Beckham has bounced back in a huge way as he has already slugged five long balls and added seven doubles for a big-time .250 ISO and .919 OPS in the early going. The fantastic news with Beckham is that he has obliterated left-handed pitching in the early going. Across 14 at-bats against lefties, Beckham has hit .571 with two homers and a double, good for a .500 ISO and 1.696 OPS. Of course, these numbers aren’t going to last, but Beckham owns a very nice .196 ISO and .779 OPS against left-handers in his career, so I’m confident he knows how to hit opposite-handed pitching. We should get these bats at fairly low ownership compared to their Mariners teammates and I like the cost-efficiency to boot in a favorable matchup.
OF – Andrew Benintendi (BOS) – $4,500 vs. DET
We will complete this lineup and four-man Red Sox stack with a trio of outfielders and it’s not hard to realize who they will be. The Red Sox offense has actually struggled for the most part this season, but I love the fact that they exploded for 11 runs in last night’s game which should have them rolling into this one riding plenty of confidence. Benintendi has been one of few Red Sox bats to swing it early on as he is hitting .293 while he bring real nice power/speed upside into this one tonight. He’s homered twice and stolen two bases this season and should give the 20/20 club a good run again this year after doing so in 2017 and falling just short in 2018. He’s been fantastic against righties this season with a .186 ISO and a .861 OPS while both steals have come against a righty. He’s 4 for 9 with a double, two runs and an RBI over his last two games, so let’s look for him to unlock some of his cross-category upside out of that valuable leadoff spot tonight.
OF – Mookie Betts (BOS) – $4,700 vs. DET
Next up is Betts who is going to terrorize some pitching here in short order and unfortunately for Zimmermann he is a prime target. Betts, the reigning AL MVP is hitting just .250 on the season. Most of his other offensive numbers are solid, but he’s going to take another step soon. He’s homered four times and stolen a base as he brings some of the best cross-category upside in baseball along with the likes of Mike Trout. Betts has been particularly good against right-handed pitching this season despite some down overall numbers as all four of his homers and all five of his doubles have come at the expense of a right-handed pitcher. The end result so far against righties is a massive .270 ISO and .958 OPS, so he’s not struggling against righties at all. Zimmermann has already allowed four steals in five starts, so I am giving both Benintendi and Betts serious stolen base upside tonight on top of the power potential. Finally, Betts is 3 for 4 with two walks, a homer and two steals in his career against Zimmermann, so sign me up all day long here.
OF – J.D. Martinez (BOS) – $4,800 vs. DET
The biggest home run threat on the slate in my opinion is Martinez who is about to take off in that category as well. He has just one homer since April 4th, but Martinez enjoyed a three-hit night including a double in last night’s game, so there’s plenty of reason to believe he is going to play some long ball in this one. Martinez has blasted all four of those homers against a left-handed pitcher and therefore owns ridiculous numbers against lefties, but keep in mind he posted a massive .315 ISO and 1.051 OPS against right-handed pitchers last season. He has superior numbers against lefties for his career, but let’s make it clear that he mashes right-handers as well. He doesn’t bring more than a minuscule amount of stolen base upside to the table, but he is going to hit in the cleanup spot tonight at the end of our 1-4 four-man stack, so let’s look for these guys to get on base, cause some havoc and have Martinez clean them up with a long ball or two in this one tonight.
PLAY THIS LINEUP
DraftKings NHL DFS Picks – April 25th
As they say, it’s on to the next one.
An incredible first round of NHL Stanley Cup playoff hockey is in the books and the second round opens up tonight as the Bruins and Blue Jackets get together to kick off the second round while the Stars and Blues matchup in the Western Conference Semifinal later on in the evening.
The slates are going to be tiny from here on out but as long as they still exist we are going to take some swings at nailing some profits down, beginning with tonight’s two-game slate!
Let’s get to it and see if we can get the second round started on the right note!
C – Tyler Seguin (DAL) – $7,000 vs. STL
We need to get a foundation set in this lineup and while the St. Louis Blues have been one of the best defensive teams in the NHL since Jordan Binnington began his Cinderella story in early January, Seguin brings a solid floor whenever he hits a slate. Let’s also combine that with a fantastic first-round series against the defensively-stout Predators in which Seguin notched six points on a whopping 31 shots – even pounding 11 shots on goal in one of those games – and I have a real tough time avoiding the red-hot Stars top line tonight. I mean, Seguin also put 15 pucks on goal to go along with a goal and two assists over his last two games while skating more than 20:22 in five of the six games in the first round. The Stars are finally getting some secondary scoring from the likes of Roope Hintz and Mats Zuccarello, however I’m not about the fade the hot-hand of the shot-taking Seguin as the Stars open up their Western Conference Semifinal round against the Blues tonight.
C – Matt Duchene (CLS) – $5,700 vs. BOS
The Columbus Blue Jackets had no business advancing to the second round of the playoffs, only they did. The Blue Jackets were fantastic on both sides of the puck in their sweep of the Presidents’ Trophy winning Lightning, but what I am going to focus on tonight is the fact the Jackets averaged 4.75 goals per game and scored at least four goals in three of the four games and at least five goals in two of the four contests. That’s some serious damage and Matt Duchene led the way with seven points in the stunning sweep. He didn’t get off to a great start to his Blue Jackets tenure with just 12 points in 23 games, a far cry from the 58 points he posted with the Senators in 50 games prior to the trade deadline deal. That said, the dude is white-hot entering this series with three goals and seven points over his last three games after being held pointless in Game 1 of the first round. He will center the second line tonight as well as the Blue Jackets’ top power play unit.
W – Alexander Radulov (DAL) – $6,900 vs. STL
If I am going to roll with Seguin there is no way I am fading his linemates, especially Radulov who you could argue was the Stars’ best forward in the regular season. He doesn’t drive the offense like Seguin does, but he did put up a better points-per-game figure as he tallied 29 goals and 72 points in 70 games, the only Stars player to put up more than a point-per-game this season. Radulov also cracked the 200-shot barrier despite missing 12 games due to injury/benching with 209 shots on the campaign. Like Seguin, Radulov was fabulous in the Stars’ first-round series upset over Nashville has he too notched six points but he also led the team with four goals in that first round. He was also a shot-on-goal machine with 30 shots in the six-game series and at least five in each of the last four games. If the Stars’ big boys can put up big numbers against that Predators back end, they can certainly do so again this Blues group beginning tonight.
W – Jamie Benn (DAL) – $5,800 vs. STL
It might have been a subpar regular season for Benn by his standards, however he bounced back in a big way in the first round and looks as dangerous as ever moving forward. Subpar might not even tell the whole story for Benn’s regular season as the 53 points he put up was his lowest point total since posted a solid 41 in his rookie season way back in the 2009-10 campaign. He still managed 27 goals, but he also recorded only 189 shots, his lowest total in a non-lockout season since his sophomore 2010-2011 season and well under the 241 he posted in last year’s regular season. He actually started his regular season with four goals and four assists for eight points through four games, so he greatly struggled for most of the regular season. That said, Benn was part of a four-way tie for the team lead with six points in round one and posted 22 shots as well, good for 3.67 per game. He is coming off an eight-shot effort in the decisive Game 6 and is going to be super-dangerous alongside Seguin and Radulov in all situations tonight.
W – Ryan Dzingel (CLS) – $4,100 vs. BOS
His price is low, however I think we can perhaps get Dzingel at some very reasonable ownership tonight. Aside from the low price, Dzingel was one of only four Blue Jackets skaters who appeared in the first round to be held off the scoresheet. He too had just 12 points after being traded to Columbus from Ottawa in the regular season, so he has been off the DFS radar for much of the last couple of months. Still, I like the fact that he is projected to skate on the Blue Jackets’ second line alongside Duchene in this one tonight while the high-scoring Cam Atkinson is also projected to skate on that line. Let’s not forget that Dzingel brings plenty of upside to the table, especially at this price, as he notched 22 goals and 44 points in 57 games with Ottawa prior to the trade and had 26 goals overall in 78 regular season games. He doesn’t shoot the puck a ton with just 159 shots in those 78 contests, but with Duchene sporting a white-hot hand perhaps he can drag Dzingel to the scoresheet with him this evening.
D – Zach Werenski (CLS) – $5,000 vs. BOS
I thought I wanted Seth Jones in this spot given his cross-category upside and the high floor that he brings to the table, but considering Jones skates on the Blue Jackets’ second power play unit and Matt Duchene skates on the top unit with Werenski, it probably makes more sense to line up the power play mini-stack tonight. As a side note, Dzingel isn’t currently receiving power play time with the Jackets. Besides, Werenski was a beast in round one as he notched a goal and four assists for five points in the four-game series win while he recorded at least one point in every first-round game. He also logged a ton of ice time as he hovered right around the 26-minute mark in all four games, all of which were regulation minutes. He had three of those five points on the power play, which is why you should use him if rostering Duchene, and I’m looking forward to seeing what this stack can do against another tough assignment in the form of the Boston Bruins tonight.
D – Zdeno Chara (BOS) – $4,000 vs. CLS
Chara isn’t the same offensive threat he once was from the blueline and he is no longer getting power play minutes with the likes of Torey Krug and Charlie McAvoy around, however he could still give us some value tonight in Game 1 against the Blue Jackets. The Jackets were stout on the back end in their upset series win over Tampa as they allowed just one goal in two of the four games while goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky posted a .932 Sv% in that series. That said, the Bruins were the NHL’s sixth-highest scoring offense at home this season and Chara still posted a decent 14 points in 62 games this series, averaging about one point every four games. He notched a goal and an assist in round one and averaged one shot per game in the series. He also blocked nine shots in the series. He finished the regular season with 99 shots and 88 blocks in those 62 games, solid peripheral numbers for sure, and skated 24:37 in Game 7 on Tuesday. If he can get similar minutes tonight I like our chances of getting some value out of the big man tonight.
G – Ben Bishop (DAL) – $7,600 vs. STL
Until I am proved wrong, I am not fading Ben Bishop as long as he remains in the playoffs. I have written a ton both here with my DFS Picks as well as my blog articles about just how good Bishop has been, and he has somehow been better in the playoffs than he was in the regular season. Bishop put together a 1.90 GAA and .945 Sv% in the first round against the Predators and now hasn’t allowed more than three goals in an appearance dating back to February 4th, a span of 18 appearances. He allowed one goal in two of the last three games of the Nashville series and just one over his last 77 minutes as the Stars won that Game 6 in overtime. He was a tiny bit better at home this season, but Bishop posted a 2.09 GAA and .931 Sv% in 20 road appearances this season and put together an elite .935 Sv% across the three road games from round one. The Stars are +135 underdogs to win this one tonight and +145 underdogs to win the series, but sign me up for Bishop all day long with how well he and his defense have played all year and especially of late.
UTIL – Marcus Johansson (BOS) – $3,800 vs. CLS
We will complete this lineup and the Bruins mini-stack with Johansson who should skate on the Bruins’ third line tonight, but there’s one big reason why I like him in this one. While the third line was good against the Leafs, Johnsson is expect to skate on the Bruins top power play unit tonight alongside the Boston big boys. That is an extremely favorable spot to be as the Bruins were the NHL’s third-ranked regular season power play, the league’s top-ranked home power play at a whopping 31.8% and that power play sported a huge 43.8% clip in the first round against the Maple Leafs. Johansson played in just five of the seven first-round games, but he scored a big goal in the Game 7 win on Tuesday. He saw just 8:49 of ice time, but I can’t resist the spot on that top power play unit and I also believe we should get him at some low ownership despite the two-game slate. He won’t skate with Chara on the man advantage and perhaps their even strength ice time together will be limited, however on these two-game slates we need to find cost-efficient, valuable, low-owned mini-stacks and I believe we have one here with this Bruins duo tonight.
PLAY THIS LINEUP
Spurs v West Ham: Spurs can edge closer to top four finish
SPURS remain in pole position for a top four finish in the Premier League but can't afford any more slip-ups when West Ham visit on Saturday. We asked Tom Love (@TomLove_18) to source the best bets.
Tottenham Hotspur vs West Ham United | Saturday 27th April 2019, 12:30 | Sky Sports
Spurs’ pursuit of a top 4 spot can take another step to completion in the early kick off on Saturday as they host London rivals West Ham.
Spurs have won all four of their competitive games at their brand spanking new stadium, all without conceding. They made hard work of it against Brighton on Tuesday night but a superb late Christian Eriksen finish secured all 3 points.
That win put them four points clear of 5th place Arsenal and three points clear of Chelsea meaning a win here would all but seal Champions League football again. Such an achievement is testament to Mauricio Pochettino and his men, especially given the financial restraints at the club in comparison to other top six sides.
They do have a huge game on Tuesday in the Champions League semi-final against Ajax, therefore it will be interesting to see if Poch rests and rotates his relatively threadbare squad.
However, it could be to the North London sides benefit that they’re coming up against a West Ham side in no mans land with little to play for. What’s more, the Hammers have lost 7 of their last 8 league games on the road. It’s been their achilles heel all season and it makes it hard to put any faith in them to win this one.
Instead of backing the hosts at short quotes of 4/9 I’m more inclined to take the 10/11 on a home win alongside under 4.5 goals which is available at 10/11 (Ladbrokes).
All 16 games West Ham have lost in the league this season have seen fewer than five goals, therefore this already looks like a worthy boost. In addition, Manuel Pellegrini has seen his side draw a blank in seven of their last eight road trips. 20 of Spurs’ 23 wins in the league have come alongside under 4.5 goals too.
Given the stats, Spurs to win to nil could appeal to some at 9/5. However, backing the win and under 4.5 at near even money gives us a bit more insurance if the away side do notch as we still get 2-1 and 3-1 scorelines on our side.
I’m also going to have a dabble in the cards market, and I must stress, if you’re getting involved I’d advise small stakes as more of a fun bet than anything, but it looks simply too big to ignore in my eyes.
If you use ***’s handy ‘BetBuilder’ feature and back Kieran Trippier and Felipe Anderson both the be carded you manage to get a bulbous 66/1 quote.
It’s very rare that you can get just two players to be carded at anything over 33/1 never mind double that! I’ve got a bit of reasoning behind it too.
Firstly, should both play, they will be in direct competition with each other down the wing, this is always a benefit when looking at the player card doubles as it gives the potential of a fracas to ensue if the pair get into a personal battle.
What’s more, Felipe Anderson is one of the best dribblers in the division and is regularly fouled by opposition full backs who simply can’t cope with his ball carrying ability.
Having said that, the ex Lazio wide man does contribute defensively, averaging 2.4 tackles per game and 1.1 interceptions. With Spurs likely to take the game to the Hammers, he could be in line for another tracking back shift. On the flip side, that could mean more space for him to run into on the break and Trippier will then have to deal with him.
It’s a bit of a flyer but I was expecting half the price than what is on offer. Because the price is so big it has to be worth a small flutter for added interest in my opinion.
Tottenham to win and under 4.5 goals – 10/11 (Ladbrokes)
Kieran Trippier And Felipe Anderson to be carded – 66/1 (***)
Scottish Football: Hibees can make capital gains, says Dino Vita
SCOTTISH FOOTBALL EXPERT Dino Vita (@VitaDino) focuses on the Edinburgh Derby for his latest weekend NAP.
Hibernian v Hearts | Sunday 28th April 2019, 12:15
My selection this weekend comes from Sunday’s Edinburgh derby as in form Hibs host Hearts.
Hibs were eighth when Paul Heckingbottom took charge in February. They have risen to fifth, securing a top-six finish and moving three points clear of capital rivals Hearts who were 11 clear when the he arrived.
They come into this game on a nine game unbeaten run in the league, which includes a 2-1 victory over Hearts a few weeks ago.
Hearts season could still end on a high after reaching the Scottish cup final next month but in the league they’ve been in free fall since November dropping from top spot to sixth.
These games are always very tight but I think they contrast in both sides form points to another win for green half of the capital.
Hibs to win (6/5 ***)
Miami Marlins at Philadelphia Phillies MLB Pick – April 25th
The Philadelphia Phillies are headed back home after a disastrous road trip that not only saw them go 2-5, but they also lost several key players to injury. The Phillies have looked lost on offense without hard-hitting shortstop Jean Segura and center fielder Odubel Herrera. Philly managed just two runs in a three-game span before scoring six in the series finale against the Mets. The Phillies are hoping to take advantage of a soft matchup tonight against a Marlins team that is in last place.
Wins have been few and far between for Miami as they are in the early stages of what appears to be a multi-year rebuilding process. The Marlins are dead last in the majors in runs scored and are an abysmal 7-17 on the season.
Starting for Miami is Caleb Smith (2-0 2.35 ERA), and for the Phillies, it is Aaron Nola (2-0 6.84 ERA). The Phillies are -190 home favorites. The game total over-under is set at seven and a half runs. First pitch is scheduled for 4:05 PM PST from Citizens Bank Ballpark in Philadelphia.
Aaron Nola exploded onto the scene last year with a 17-6 record and a 2.37 ERA in thirty-three starts for Philadelphia. The young starter finished third in the Cy Young Award voting in the National League. Things have not started out well this season for Nola though as he has gotten hit hard in each of his last four starts. The Philly offense has managed to keep his record solid at 2-0, but his 6.84 ERA, is nearly double his career average of just under 3.50.
The one major issue that has plagued Nola this year is the long ball. Nola has gotten blasted for seven home runs already this year. Compare that to last year when he only allowed seventeen all season long, and you can see why Nola is struggling. But it hasn’t been all bad for the hard-throwing right-hander as he has shown flashes of greatness and has twenty-eight strikeouts in just twenty-five innings of work. Things should break Nola’s way tonight though as he faces a Miami team that just flat out cannot hit the baseball.
The Miami Marlins are clearly not overly interested in winning baseball games this year. They unloaded what little talent they did have in the offseason and this year has predictably gotten off to a rough start as Miami has the worst record in the major leagues. One guy that has had a nice start to the season though has been starter Caleb Smith.
Smith is in his first full year as a starter for Miami after making sixteen starts last season for the Marlins. Smith has really impressed as he is 2-0 with a 2.35 ERA in four starts. He faced this very same Philly team two starts ago and pitched six shutout innings, allowing just one hit while striking out six batters. The Marlins will need a huge effort tonight out of Smith if they want any chance to hang with the Phillies.
The Phillies are clearly not themselves right now on offense. And even when they were at full power two weeks ago, they couldn’t hit Caleb Smith. That makes me think that runs are going to be at a premium tonight for Philly. And when you look at Aaron Nola, he is way too good to struggle like this for much longer, and there is no better time for a breakout performance than tonight against a Marlins team that is really struggling at the dish.
Miami is currently ranked last in runs scored, 28th in on-base percentage, 29th in slugging, and 27th in both batting average and home runs. If they can even get a run off of Nola tonight, I will be impressed.
Normally I won’t touch an over-under that is this low. It is just too easy for a team to have one big inning and spoil what was otherwise a very low scoring game and go over a total like seven and a half. But I am going to make an exception tonight. Yeah, I know Nola has been struggling some, but this kid is elite, and he is going to get things turned around sooner rather than later, and I think that starts tonight.
And the fact that he has struggled as he has makes me think that he will stay in the game seven-plus innings if he is pitching well. And we have seen what Caleb Smith has been able to do this year. This game has 2-1 written all over it if you ask me. So, I will do something that I rarely do, and that is take the under on a low total like seven and a half. Give me the under seven and a half runs in what should be a low scoring, tightly contested affair.
The Bet: Under 7.5 runs at -110
PLACE YOUR BET!
April 25th, 2019 Betting Tips: MLB, NHL, MLB
Posted: April 25, 2019
(Photo credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports)
A crazy night in sports last night as the Golden State Warriors had the chance to close out the Los Angeles Clippers at home and got absolutely shellacked. The score at the half was 71-63 and the Clips were able to hold on for the win. This is what we have seen time and time again with the Warriors this season where they think they can just coast and win the game due to their immense talent, and then that blows up in their face. Great job by the Clippers though who played their perfect game and really took it to this team. Game six is Friday.
We saw the last of the NHL division winners lose as the Hurricanes beat the Capitals last night. All four of the division winners lost in the first round and we have the weirdest final eight that I can imagine. I often write about the NBA in these openings and this is exactly why. It’s impossible to know what’s going on in the NHL Playoffs. This was another double overtime thriller and the Canes got it done. They were one of the most fun teams in the regular season and it’s exciting to see them move on here.
Tonight we have the chance to see the Denver Nuggets finish off their series on the road against the San Antonio Spurs. After falling down 1-2, this team has really started to mature and figure out the playoffs right before our eyes.
We also have the first games of the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs as the Dallas Stars face the St. Louis Blues and the Columbus Blue Jackets head to face the Boston Bruins. Another great sports night is on it’s way.
NHL Playoffs Betting Tips:
Columbus Blue Jackets at Boston Bruins: The Jackets come in to this one very well rested as they finished off the Lightning easily in the first round. That is honestly still crazy to think about. While the Bruins played a game seven just two days ago. In these NHL Playoffs, it’s hard enough to take a favorite in a game like this and with the big rest advantage I am really interested to see how the Jackets do here. I feel like they are a great value here as they have looked like the most complete team in the playoffs thus far.
Bet Blue Jackets +125
NBA Playoffs Betting Tips:
Denver Nuggets at San Antonio Spurs: The Nuggets are growing up before our very eyes. They had some adjustments to the playoffs to make after game one and game three, but they adjusted well and have continued to get stronger as this series has gone on. Jamal Murray has really improved his consistency and the depth of the Nuggets has been huge for them. They also have a lot more cohesion and it shows, this group has been intact for a couple of years now and they play well together. I think the Nuggets close this one out here.
Bet Nuggets +2.5
MLB Betting Tips:
New York Yankees at Los Angeles Angels: The Yankees have absolutely been destroyed by injuries, but they have continued to perform. Luke Voit has been huge and last night saw a big performance from DJ LeMahieu that led to a comeback win. I like their match-up a lot against Trevor Cahill tonight and Masahiro Tanaka has been one of their most solid starters.
Bet Yankees -110
Bruins vs Blue Jackets, Stars vs Blues Series Betting Tips
Written by Graeme & Scott on Thursday, April 25th, 2019
And so ends another mundane first round in the NHL playoffs.
The Columbus Blue Jackets, New York Islanders, Colorado Avalanche and Carolina Hurricanes made it through to the next rount – just as everyone expected.
Seriously – what an insane opening round.
The sportsbooks now have the Boston Bruins as the favourites to take the Stanley Cup. Behind them are the Islanders and Sharks, followed by the Blue Jackets.
It’s going to be some interesting hockey.
One mistake people will make is immediately looking to bet the underdogs of each series, based on the first round series result. But don’t make that mistake.
Sometimes, freak things just happen. Other times, there are learning experiences from it. Most people had the Capitals to take the series and at their price it was still a good bet in retrospect. But looking back, it’s hard to ignore the workhorse capabilities of the Hurricanes, and that this one may have not been as big a shock as it seems.
Islanders/Pens is another where when you look at it in retrospect, Islanders got no respect. Penguins were plagued by issues throughout the season performance wise and it all came to a head in the playoffs.
As for the Flames and Lightning series? Man, sometimes shit just happens ha. That’s hockey.
As per usual we will analyze each series beginning with the two ones taking place today:
Blue Jackets vs Bruins Series Betting Tips:
Scott: The Jackets surprised everyone when the swept the Lightning who had one of the best regular seasons in NHL history. The Bruins are coming off of tough 7 game series against the Leafs.
The Jackets have had 8 days off, the Bruins only 1. You have to wonder if the extended time off will hurt the Jackets and the momentum they gained. The Bruins have had really no time off which although it sucks for them to not get any rest it allows them to get right back to business.
The Bruins will have home ice for this series and depending on how far they go, the rest of the playoffs. They are a strong team who can wear teams down
Bruins in 6
Graeme: My takeaway from the Bruins vs Leafs series? The Bruins didn’t win the series. The Leafs lost the series.
The Bruins best performance was in Game 2. I don’t think they came close to that the rest of the series. Rask made some insane stops in Game 7. And Leafs fans can point to about 10 different things their team or management did wrong. I’m not sure if Bruins fans can really point to much that actually won them the series. Even their top line – who DID perform – didn’t really feel as effective as they have been during the regular season. The depth stepping up was good for them though.
During the regular season, the Bruins were the better team but overall metric wise they were very close games. It’ll be interesting to see with a week off if Bobrovsky continues the magic or not. But I think I’ve got to go with the Jackets. They were a team that I can look at and say “they earned their spot” here and I just don’t feel that way with the Bruins.
I’d say Jackets in 6.
Everyone Else: Best odds for the Bruins to win the series are 1.69 at Intertops..
Americans: Best odds for the Jackets to win the series are +145 at GT Bets..
Everyone Else: Best odds for the Jackets to win the series are 2.45 at GT Bets..
Stars vs Blues Series Betting Tips:
Scott: Binnington has been great for the Blues but Bishop has been as good as him if not better during the playoffs.
This should be a good series and could be a long one. The Blues have home ice for this round.
The Stars top line of Seguin, Benn and Radulov are incredible and will give Binnington problems. During the regular season Binnington had a .879 save percentage against the Stars and if they can continue to have success against him then I like their chances.
Stars in 6
Graeme: I take my hat off to the Dallas Stars – they completely surprised me first by making the playoffs and then by progressing to the next round.
I’m not a big fan of the Preds as many know so I’m not surprised they lost. However I am surprised in the manner in which it happened as the Stars just seemed to go from strength to strength.
Now they take on the St Louis Blues who won the road games and then overcame that to win a home game as well.
After everything we said in the opening I really don’t want to be backing underdogs all the time ya know? It’s hard not to get swayed by the opening rounds. Stars dominated them result wise in the regular season 3-1-0 although advanced metric wise, Blues were overall the better team.
I’m going to be straight up here – I am going with the Blues, and I fully believe I am doing it due to the reasoning of “I dont want to back every underdog”. I find myself sitting here trying to convince myself to back the Blues – coming up with reasoning.
So I’ll go with the Blues. But mathematically, I think the Stars is an +EV bet. Just have to go with my original assessment that the Stars aren’t a playoff team.
Blues in 6
Everyone Else: Best odds for the Stars to win the series are 2.40 at Intertops..
Americans: Best odds for the Blues to win the series are -155 at GT Bets..
Everyone Else: Best odds for the Blues to win the series are at 1.65 at GT Bets. Canada has 1.66 at Sports Interaction + free $20 bet..
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