Happy May Day!
As we turn to the fifth month in 2023, so comes a new era for yours truly, as I usher in the VW Daily Recap, a quick synopsis of the previous day's action that encapsulates the entire card, points out the occasional bad beats, updates you on favorites and underdogs on the whole, and delivers an anecdote or two to take into the day with you.
Consider it a bit of a column, as there will be some opinionated thoughts here and there. But overall, some added insight for with daily nutritional value to whet your appetite for your sports investment diet.
Let's start this thing off in the postseason - both the NBA and NHL - where the road underdogs went a combined 4-0.
The Miami Heat (+4') stole Game 1 of their Eastern Conference semifinal with the New York Knicks with a 108-101 victory, led by 25 points from Jimmy Butler. Miami's defense continues to impress, ranking second in the league in allowing just 109.8 points while limiting opponents to 48.2% shooting. The Heat are now 5-1 ATS as an underdog in the postseason, and have covered seven of eight when catching points dating back to the regular season. The Knicks continue to struggle offensively, as they're averaging a mere 99.8 points per game through six playoff games while shooting 43.8% from the floor, including 26.8% from 3-point range.
The Golden State Warriors (+1') made a huge statement in Sacramento, trouncing the Sacramento Kings by 20. The betting market moved the number from Warriors -1 to the other side, and defending champs proved everyone wrong. Stephen Curry was as animated as he's ever been during a game en route to a playoff career-high 50 points in what was the most dominating performance of his career. The Warriors overcame an 0-2 series deficit to win four of the next five games - including two on the road - and snapped a three-game slide as an underdog by winning Sunday's game outright. Looking ahead to their next series, the Warriors have lost three straight to the Los Angeles Lakers - all in 2023.
A $100 two-team moneyline parlay in both NHL Game 7s would have netted $726.50 (based on closing numbers at Draft Kings), as the Florida Panthers stunned the Boston Bruins in overtime and the Seattle Kraken ousted the defending champion Colorado Avalanche. Just how we drew it up, right?
For the Panthers, who next meet Toronto, it was their offensive prowess throughout the series that sent them past the President's Trophy winner. Florida scored four or more goals in its four wins, averaging 5.2 goals per victory. It's their high-scoring ways to keep an eye on for their upcoming series with the Maple Leafs, as the Over is on a 10-4-1 run, including a 5-1-1 streak in Toronto. Make note, the home team has won 15 of the last 20 meetings.
The Kraken got incredible play from their inspired goaltender, Philip Grubauer, a castoff from the Avalanche. Gru was left out to dry when the Kraken came into the league, and Seattle gladly signed him as a free agent. The Kraken slowed the Avs to pedestrian outcomes throughout the series, holding them to less than four goals in five games. Overall, the Kraken limited Colorado to 2.7 goals per game. The second-year franchise is just 2-4 against the Dallas Stars, whom it'll face in the conference semifinals, but did win the most recent meeting 5-4 in overtime on March 21.
MLB DOG POUND - Sunday saw eight of 14 underdogs win. Betting $100 on each game, based on closing numbers at Draft Kings, an investor would have made $690. One of those underdogs, the Texas Rangers, handed the New York Yankees their third straight loss. The Pinstripes will try to right the ship as they return to the Bronx for a three-game series with the Cleveland Guardians before heading to Tampa to face the first-place Rays next weekend.
The Miami Marlins were a nice money grab, as they won their fourth straight with a 4-3 victory over the Chicago Cubs. The Fish have caught fire at the right time, as they get a day off before hosting the Atlanta Braves this week. We should see some value prices during that three-game set.
Though the Pittsburgh Pirates lost 7-2 to the Washington Nationals, they remain the most impressive investment with a 20-9 mark that would have profited more than $1,300 with a $100 wager on all 29 games. The Bucs have been an underdog in 20 of those games. They open a tough three-game set in Tampa on Tuesday, which will likely bring some high prices to pay attention to.
The dreaded Oakland Athletics pulled out a victory over the Cincinnati Reds on Sunday, and went over for the 19th time this season. The A's are tied for the league lead with 19 Overs. They're now 19-9-1 Over this season, tied with the Boston Red Sox, who are 19-10 Over this season. Flipside, the Yankees are 10-18 Under on the year, with the defending National League champion Philadelphia Phillies just behind with 17 Unders in their 29 games.
SEA DRAGONS ARE NO KRAKEN - In the XFL on Sunday, the Seattle Sea Dragons couldn't keep up with their NHL brethren, as they were stomped out of the postseason by the DC Defenders, who won 37-21 to easily cover the 1 1/2. Tied 9-9 at halftime, the Defenders scored 14 points in both the third and fourth quarters to cruise into the championship game, where they're laying -6 points to the Arlington Renegades. In their lone meeting during the regular season, the Defenders eked by the Renegades 28-26 in overtime on April 16, despite being outgained by Arlington on offense, 434-314. The total in the championship game is 46 1/2 points.