Watching last night's playoff action, two songs entered my head: "Wheels on the Bus" by an artist unknown, and "Back and Forth" by Cameo.
Either one depicts what we're seeing in both the NBA and NHL conference semifinals.
One night it's the road teams, the next it's home domination.
Wednesday it was three home teams and only one road team getting it done, with three of them winning to stay alive in their respective playoff series.
Let's start in the NHL, where the Toronto Maple Leafs went into Sunrise, Florida to defeat the Panthers and avoid being swept. Seemingly headed into another disappointing offseason, the Maple Leafs are indeed heading home, but for Game 5 on Friday.
Joseph Woll stopped 24 shots in his first playoff start, and Mitch Marner and William Nylander scored for Toronto in a 2-1 victory.
Then the Vegas Golden Knights and Edmonton Oilers took the ice, and things weren't as close as the early game.
An angry group of Oilers skated through and around the Knights after losing Game 3, dominating Vegas in every facet in a 4-1 win.
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins had a goal and an assist to lead the Oilers, who got additional goals from Nick Bjugstad, Evan Bouchard and Mattias Ekholm en route to a four-goal lead in the second period.
Game 5 of the best-of-seven series is Friday night at Las Vegas, and Game 6 will be back in Edmonton on Sunday.
Road teams improved to 39-27 in the postseason. And, underdogs are now 31-34 in the postseason, with a $100 wager on the pups turning a profit of roughly $900.
The Over was 26-23-1 in the first round, and after Wednesday's totals both stayed under the posted numbers, the under is now on a 21-15 run. The record for Overs in the NHL postseason is now 35-30-1.
The overall tally for overtime games sits at 16 this postseason. Road teams are 12-4 in those games.
I'm on an 18-12 run with my NHL sides, and tonight I have one winner for you from hockey, as I zero in on the best value on ice. And remember, I'm on an 89-78-2 run the entire NHL season, for $14,350 net profit, and 13-10 in the postseason for $3,950 net profit.
In the NBA, we had two games, with the New York Knicks scrapping their way to a 112-103 win over the Miami Heat to stay alive in their series, and the defending champion Golden State Warriors dominating the Los Angeles Lakers 121-106 to extend the series to six games.
Stephen Curry scored 27 points and dished out eight assists, Andrew Wiggins added 25 points, seven rebounds and five assists, and the reigning champion Warriors are two steps away from negating a 3-1 series deficit. Rallying on the strength of this core group in the postseason is nothing new, which makes Game 6 in Los Angeles even more intriguing. The Lakers opened a 2-point favorite and quickly moved to 2-1/2 across the board. Problem for the Warriors is they're mired in ATS slides of 1-5 after a straight-up win and 0-5 after an ATS win. Flipside, the Lakers have covered five straight after SU and ATS setbacks.
In the earlier game, Jalen Brunson erupted for 38 points, nine rebounds and seven assists and played all 48 minutes in a season-extending performance. The Heat were looking to become just the second No. 8 seed to reach the conference finals. They'll get their chance Friday night at home, as the series returns to Miami for Game 6. The Heat have covered seven of their last 10 meetings with the Knicks in Miami, and four of the five in this series.
I'm on a 4-0-1 run with my Second Round Plays of the Year, and tonight I deliver my ONE AND ONLY NBA SECOND-ROUND GAME OF THE YEAR. Remember I'm on a 37-20-2 roll in the NBA since April 17, for $14,900 NET$. I'm also on a 23-12-1 run with NBA SIDES! And tonight I add to the bankroll with MY BEST PLAY from the Conference Semifinals. Jump on board now for my ONE AND ONLY NBA SECOND-ROUND GAME OF THE YEAR.
On the MLB diamond, seven of the 12 underdogs cashed tickets, while there were a few pick'em games I won't add to the ledger. The Colorado Rockies (+120 at DraftKings) continued to impress with a plus-price on the road, as they defeated the Pirates in Pittsburgh, 4-3. One of the biggest underdogs was out of the American League West, where the Texas Rangers (+160 DKS) won in Seattle with a 4-3 win over the Mariners.
I'm taking baseball off with a very short card. I'll be back Friday with MLB action.