Articles

NBA Playoffs System of the Week

by Al McMordie

Thursday, May 09, 2024

The second round of the 2024 NBA Playoffs is underway, with the Celtics, Knicks, Timberwolves and Thunder in the lead in their respective series.  Certainly, Boston rates as the favorite, given its 64-18 regular season record.  But each of Oklahoma City (5-0) and Minnesota (6-0) has yet to taste defeat in the post-season.For our NBA Playoffs System of the Week, we are going to focus on #1-seeded teams.  The Celtics and Thunder each earned #1 seeds, and are up 1-game-to-none heading into tonight's action.Boston has been installed as a 13.5-point favorite vs. Cleveland, while Oklahoma City is a 5-point favorite vs. Dallas.One of the things I like to do is fade #1 seeds that are up 1-0 in a Playoff series.  Dating back to 1991, our top seeds have underperformed in Game 2 off a win in Game 1, going 62-82-7 ATS.And although there's nothing wrong with cashing 56.9%, we can improve our win percentage to 69.3% (34-15-1 ATS) by solely focusing on #1 seeds that are favored by double-digits.  Tonight, only one team fits this 69.3% tightener:  the Boston Celtics.Consider backing the Cavaliers on Thursday night.Good luck, as always,Al McMordie

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Betting the WNBA: Rule Differences

by Sean Murphy

Wednesday, May 08, 2024

After a brief hiatus in 2023, I'll be back covering the WNBA extensively this season. The regular season tips off on May 14th with Caitlin Clark making her much-awaited debut with the Indiana Fever. It promises to be one of the most intriguing WNBA campaigns to date, noting that the teams will take a break for the Olympics from July 18th to August 14th. Here's a look at a number of rule differences between the WNBA and NBA, for those not familiar with the women's game. Game Duration: WNBA games consist of four quarters, each lasting 10 minutes, while NBA games have four quarters of 12 minutes each.Ball Size: The WNBA uses a slightly smaller basketball compared to the NBA. The circumference of the WNBA ball is 28.5 inches, while the NBA ball has a circumference of 29.5 inches.Three-Point Line Distance: The distance of the three-point line in the WNBA is shorter than in the NBA. In the WNBA, the three-point line is approximately 22 feet 1.75 inches (6.75 meters) at the top of the key and 21 feet 8.25 inches (6.6 meters) in the corners, while in the NBA, it's 23 feet 9 inches (7.24 meters) at the top of the key and 22 feet (6.7 meters) in the corners. Shot Clock: The WNBA uses a 24-second shot clock, the same as the NBA, but in the WNBA, the shot clock resets to 14 seconds after an offensive rebound, while in the NBA, it resets to 14 seconds only if the offensive team gains possession of the ball after a missed shot. Foul Limit: Players in the WNBA are allowed six personal fouls before fouling out of the game, while in the NBA, players are allowed only six personal fouls. Restricted Area: The restricted area, also known as the "charge circle," is slightly smaller in the WNBA compared to the NBA. In the WNBA, it has a 4-foot radius from the center of the basket, while in the NBA, it has a 4-foot radius from the center of the basket. Technical Fouls: Technical fouls in the WNBA result in one free throw for the opposing team, while in the NBA, they result in one free throw and possession of the ball. Timeouts: WNBA teams have four timeouts per game (three 30-second timeouts and one 60-second timeout), while NBA teams have six timeouts per game (four 75-second and two 20-second timeouts).

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Big Al's Daily Angle: NBA, NHL, MLB and UCL Previews and Odds - 05/08/2024

by Big Al Staff

Wednesday, May 08, 2024

The Wednesday sports card features NBA, NHL, MLB, and UCL action.The National Basketball Association continues the playoff season with one game on TNT and truTV. The New York Knicks host the Indiana Pacers at 8:05 p.m. ET in the second game of the Eastern Conference semifinals. The Knicks are a 4.5-point favorite, with the total set at 222.5 (all odds from DraftKings unless indicated otherwise).The National Hockey League playoffs continue with two games on ESPN. The Florida Panthers play at home against the Boston Bruins at 7:40 p.m. ET in Game 2 of their Eastern Conference semifinals series. Florida is a -180 money-line favorite with an over/under of 5.5.The Edmonton Oilers travel to Vancouver to play the Canucks at 10:10 p.m. ET in the opening game of their Western Conference quarterfinals series. The Oilers are a -130 money-line road favorite with a total of 6. The Wednesday card in Major League Baseball has 16 games on its schedule. The Pittsburgh Pirates are at home against the Los Angeles Angels at 12:35 p.m. ET as a -135 money-line favorite with an over/under of 8.5. The Philadelphia Phillies host the Toronto Blue Jays at 1:05 p.m. ET as a -155 money-line favorite with a total of 8.5. The Cleveland Guardians play at home against the Detroit Tigers at 1:10 p.m. ET as a -142 money-line favorite with an over/under of 8. The St. Louis Cardinals are at home against the New York Mets at 1:15 p.m. ET as a -170 money-line favorite with a total of 7.5. The Kansas City Royals host the Milwaukee Brewers at 2:10 p.m. ET as a -130 money-line favorite with an over/under of 8.5. The San Diego Padres play in Chicago against the Cubs at 2:20 p.m. ET as a -122 money-line road favorite. The Los Angeles Dodgers play at home against the Miami Marlins at 3:10 p.m. ET as a -278 money-line favorite with a total of 9. The Texas Rangers are in Oakland to play the A’s at 3:37 p.m. ET, with the Rangers a -125 money-line road favorite at BetMGM with an over/under of 7.5 in the first game of their doubleheader. The second game of their doubleheader starts at 6:37 p.m. ET, with Texas a -125 money-line road favorite at BetMGM with a total of 8. The Arizona Diamondbacks visit Cincinnati to play the Reds on FS1 at 6:40 p.m. ET as a -115 money-line favorite with an over/under of 9. The Baltimore Orioles play in Washington against the Nationals at 6:45 p.m. ET as a -175 money-line road favorite with a total of 9. The Tampa Bay Rays are at home against the Chicago White Sox at 6:50 p.m. ET as a -230 money-line favorite with an over/under of 8. The New York Yankees host the Houston Astros at 7:05 p.m. ET as a -142 money-line favorite with a total of 8.5. The Atlanta Braves play at home against the Boston Red Sox at 7:20 p.m. ET as a -190 money-line favorite with an over/under of 9. The Seattle Mariners are in Minnesota to play the Twins at 7:40 p.m. ET as a -118 money-line road favorite with a total of 7.5. The San Francisco Giants travel to Colorado to play the Rockies at 8:40 p.m. ET as a -175 money-line road favorite with an over/under of 10.The second leg of the semifinals of the UEFA Champions League concludes on CBS at 3 PM ET. Real Madrid is at home against Bayern Munich as a -0.5 goal-line favorite at BetMGM with a total of 3.

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Big Al's Daily Angle: NBA, NHL, MLB and UCL Previews and Odds - 05/07/2024

by Big Al Staff

Tuesday, May 07, 2024

The Tuesday sports card features NBA, NHL, MLB, and UCL action.The National Basketball Association continues the playoff season with two games on TNT and truTV. The Boston Celtics host the Cleveland Cavaliers at 7:10 p.m. ET in Game 1 of their Eastern Conference semifinal series. The Celtics are an 11.5-point favorite, with the total set at 208.5 (all odds from DraftKings unless indicated otherwise).The Oklahoma City Thunder play at home against the Dallas Mavericks at 9:40 p.m. ET in Game 1 of their Western Conference semifinal series. The Thunder are a 3.5-point favorite with an over/under of 218.The National Hockey League playoffs continue with two games on ESPN. The Carolina Hurricanes travel to New York to play the Rangers at 7:10 p.m. ET in Game 2 of their Eastern Conference semifinal series. The Hurricanes are a -125 money-line road favorite with a total of 5.5. The Dallas Stars are at home against the Colorado Avalanche at 9:40 p.m. ET in Game 1 of their Western Conference semifinal series. Dallas is a -125 money-line favorite with an over/under of 6.The Tuesday card in Major League Baseball has 15 games on its schedule. The Texas Rangers play in Oakland against the A’s at 3:37 p.m. ET. The Cleveland Guardians host the Detroit Tigers at 6:10 p.m. ET as a -130 money-line favorite with a total of 8.5. Three more MLB games throw out the first pitch at 6:40 p.m. ET. The Pittsburgh Pirates play at home against the Los Angeles Angels as a -135 money-line favorite with an over/under of 8.5. The Philadelphia Phillies are at home against the Toronto Blue Jays as a -135 money-line favorite with a total of 8.5. The Arizona Diamondbacks are in Cincinnati against the Reds as a -130 money-line road favorite with an over/under of 9. The Baltimore Orioles visit the Washington Nationals at 6:45 p.m. ET as a -205 money-line road favorite with a total of 8.5. The Tampa Bay Rays host the Chicago White Sox at 6:50 p.m. ET as a -245 money-line favorite with a total of 8. The New York Yankees play at home against the Houston Astros on TBS at 7:05 p.m. ET as a -115 money-line favorite with an over/under of 8. The Atlanta Braves are at home against the Boston Red Sox at 7:20 p.m. ET as a -175 money-line favorite with a total of 9. Three more MLB games start at 7:40 p.m. ET. The Chicago Cubs host the San Diego Padres as a -148 money-line favorite with an over/under of 8.5. The Minnesota Twins play at home against the Seattle Mariners as a -148 money-line favorite with a total of 8. The Kansas City Royals are at home against the Milwaukee Brewers as a -135 money-line favorite with an over/under of 9. The St. Louis Cardinals host the New York Mets at 7:45 p.m. ET as a -120 money-line favorite with a total of 8.The San Francisco Giants play in Colorado against the Rockies at 8:40 p.m. ET as a -155 money-line road favorite with an over/under of 10.5. The Los Angeles Dodgers play at home against the Miami Marlins at 10:10 p.m. ET as a -325 money-line favorite with a total of 8.The second leg of the semifinals of the UEFA Champions League begins on Paramount+ at 3 PM ET. Paris Saint-Germain is at home against Borussia Dortmund as a -1 goal-line favorite at BetMGM with an over/under of 3. 

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American League Report

by Will Rogers

Monday, May 06, 2024

Earlier, I took a look at how things were shaping up in the National League. Now, I'll do the same for the American League. I've paid some extra attention to Seattle and Baltimore, a pair of teams which I discussed before the season. I've also included a long-shot Cy Young Award pick you might want to take a look at.  Orioles FlyingPrior to the start of the season, I stated that I was high on the Baltimore Orioles. At the time, they were 12-1 to win the World Series. (They're down to 9-1 now.) The Orioles have a 23-11 record and are currently battling the Yankees for the top spot in the American League East. There's a whole lot of baseball still to be played but they're currently looking in pretty good shape to make the playoffs. The offseason pickup of Corbin Burnes (see Cy Young odds below) has paid early dividends.  Mariner ReportSeattle was another team which I was big on prior to the season. I said that I thought that the Mariners would finish with more than their projected total of 86 wins. I also said that that I thought they had a solid shot at winning the division. At the time, the line was +300 for them to do so. So far, so good. The Mariners 19-15 record is fairy underwhelming. The best news, however, is that Houston is just 12-22. It's too early to count out the Astros but it sure is nice to have an early 7-game lead on them. The Seattle pitching remains excellent. Check out the Cy Young odds below and you'll find three of the Mariner starters currently in the running for the best pitcher in the American League.  Playoff PictureThings are less clear in the American League than they are in the National League. At least, that's the way that I see it. Either the Yankees or the Orioles should win the East. The one which doesn't will likely earn a Wildcard spot. Loaded as always, the other three teams in the division, Toronto, Boston and Tampa all also remain hopeful for a Wildcard spot. The Central and the West are up for grabs. The Guardians and Twins are the front-runners in the Central but the Royals and Tigers aren't far behind. The only thing for certain is that the White Sox are out of the running. They're terrible. The Mariners and Rangers are fighting for first in the West. The Astros got off to a terrible start but they've still got the talent to turn things around. The A's have been surprisingly competitive but won't be able to keep it up. The Angels are lousy. So, we've got the Yankees and Orioles likely to make it and 10 other teams who will be fighting it out for the other four playoff spots. That should make for an exciting summer! Cy Young OddsThe American League Cy Young field is wide open. Burnes and Skubal are the front-runners for a reason. But if looking for a long-shot, at +2200, Berrios looks pretty good. He's 4-2 with a 1.44 ERA and 1.01 WHIP. That's the best ERA in baseball, entering his start on Tuesday May 7th. The Jays haven't really played up to their potential yet either. If they start swinging the bats better, Berrios may benefit. Here are the current top 10 candidates, the odds courtesy of Draft Kings. Skubal +250 Burnes +400Ragans +900Lopez +1500Gilbert +1500Kirby +1600Castillo +1800Ryan +2000Berrios +2200Gausman +2500

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N.L. Playoff Picture + World Series Longshot Future

by Will Rogers

Monday, May 06, 2024

Most teams have now played around 35 of 162 games. Obviously, there's still a long way to go. Yet, we're already getting a good idea about which teams are likely to contend for the postseason and which ones aren't. The playoff picture in the National League is particularly clear for this point of the season. I've taken a closer look below. I've also included a long-shot team which I feel has a good chance at sneaking into the postseason and potentially making some noise when it gets there. Understanding the FormatTwelve teams make the playoffs, six from each league. That includes the three division winners and three Wildcard teams, non-divisional winners with the three best records. Once the postseason starts, the #1 and #2 seeds receive a bye in the Wildcard Round. The #3 seed, the division winner with the worst record, hosts the #6 seed. The #4 seed hosts the #5 seed. The Wildcard Round consists of a 3-game series. To ensure that the top team doesn't face another division winner, in the Division Round, the #1 seed faces the winner of the #4 vs. #5 series. The #2 sees faces the winner of the #3 vs. #6 series. Can A Wildcard Team Win The World Series?Last year, the Texas Rangers defeated Arizona in the World Series. Both teams were Wildcard entrants. Texas was the #5 seed in the American League while Arizona was the #6 seed in the National League. That wasn't the first time that a Wildcard team won it all. In fact, it happens with relative regularity. The Marlins won out of a Wildcard spot  in 1997 and 2003. The Angels did so in 2002. The Red Sox accomplished the feat in 2004; the Cardinals, in 2011; the Giants, in 2014 and the Nationals, in 2019. Current NL Playoff ProjectionsThe Dodgers, Braves and Phillies are all very likely to make the playoffs. It currently appears probable that either the Cubs or the Brewers will win the NL Central. There's a good chance that the other will earn a Wildcard spot. So, that's five of the six NL playoff teams right here. The final spot figures to include one of the following six teams: St. Louis, San Diego, New York, Cincinnati, Arizona or San Francisco. Of the six, the Padres currently have the best chance of making the playoffs. FanGraphs has them at 48%. The other five are all less than 30%. San Diego at 70-1 To Win the World SeriesLoaded with high-priced talent, the Padres were a popular pick to win the World Series last year. Things didn't go as planned. They lost a few pieces this season. Most assume that they missed their chance. However, the team and lineup is still stacked. Dylan Cease was a great offseason acquisition and the recent trade for Luis Arraez immediately made them better. They could use another top level starter but should be able to acquire one at the trade deadline. Draft Kings currently has the Padres at +7000 to win the World Series. I've explained that they have a reasonably good chance to make the playoffs. I've also demonstrated that teams can go the distance out of the WC spot. If you're looking for a long-shot to back for the World Series, take a look at the San Diego Padres!

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Big Al's Daily Angle: NBA, NHL, MLB and EPL Previews and Odds - 05/06/2024

by Big Al Staff

Monday, May 06, 2024

The Monday sports card features NBA, NHL, MLB, and EPL action.The National Basketball Association continues the playoff season with two games on TNT and truTV. The New York Knicks host the Indiana Pacers at 7:40 p.m. ET in Game 1 of their Eastern Conference semifinals series. The Knicks defeated Philadelphia in six games in the first round of the playoffs after a 118-115 upset victory as a 3-point underdog on the road against the 76ers on Thursday. The Pacers advanced past Milwaukee in the opening round of the playoffs with their 120-98 victory at home as a 6-point favorite in Game 5 of that series on Thursday. New York is a 6-point favorite, with the total set at 217. The Denver Nuggets play at home against the Minnesota Timberwolves at 10:10 p.m. ET in Game 2 of their Western Conference semifinals series. The Nuggets lost the opening game of this series, 106-99, as a 4-point home favorite on Saturday. The Timberwolves are on a five-game winning streak after that victory. Denver is a 5.5-point favorite with an over/under of 205. The National Hockey League playoffs continue with one game. The Florida Panthers are at home against the Boston Bruins in the opening game of their Eastern Conference semifinal series. The Panthers won for the eighth time in their last nine games after their 6-1 victory against Tampa Bay on Monday to end their series with the Lightning in five games. The Bruins beat Toronto, 2-1 in overtime, at home on Saturday to win that series in seven games. Florida is a -175 money-line favorite with a total of 5.5.The Monday card in Major League Baseball has 10 games on its schedule. The Philadelphia Phillies host the San Francisco Giants at 4:05 p.m. ET as a -190 money-line favorite at BetMGM with an over/under of 8. The Cleveland Guardians play at home against the Detroit Tigers on FS1 at 6:10 p.m. ET as a -122 money-line favorite with a total of 7.5. The Pittsburgh Pirates are at home against the Los Angeles Angels at 6:40 p.m. ET as a -148 money-line favorite with an over/under of 8. The Tampa Bay Rays host the Chicago White Sox at 6:50 p.m. ET. Three MLB games throw out the first pitch at 7:40 p.m. ET. The Chicago Cubs play at home against the San Diego Padres as a -118 money-line favorite. The Seattle Mariners travel to Minnesota to play the Twins as a -135 money-line road favorite with a total of 7.5. The Kansas City Royals are at home against the Milwaukee Brewers as a -142 money-line favorite with an over/under of 8. The St. Louis Cardinals host the New York Mets at 7:45 p.m. ET as a -125 money-line favorite with a total of 8. The Texas Rangers play in Oakland against the A’s at 9:40 p.m. ET as a -135 money-line road favorite with an over/under of 8. The Los Angeles Dodgers play at home against the Miami Marlins at 10:10 p.m. ET as a -270 money-line favorite with a total of 8.5. Matchweek 36 in the English Premier League concludes with one match on the USA Network at 3 p.m. ET. Manchester United is at Crystal Palace in a pick ‘em match with an over/under of 3.

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Big Al's Daily Angle: NBA, NHL, MLB and EPL Previews and Odds - 05/05/2024

by Big Al Staff

Sunday, May 05, 2024

The Sunday sports card features NBA, NHL, MLB, and EPL action.The National Basketball Association continues the playoff season with one game. The Cleveland Cavaliers host the Orlando Magic on ABC at 1:10 p.m. ET in the seventh game of their Eastern Conference quarterfinals series. The Cavaliers are a 3.5-point favorite, with the total set at 194.5 (all odds from DraftKings unless indicated otherwise). The National Hockey League playoffs continue with two games. The Carolina Hurricanes travel to New York to play the Rangers on ESPN at 4:10 p.m. ET in Game 1 of their Eastern Conference semifinal series. The Hurricanes are a -115 money-line road favorite with an over/under of 5.5. The Dallas Stars play at home against the Vegas Golden Knights on TBS at 7:40 p.m. ET in the seventh game of their Western Conference quarterfinal series. The Stars are a -155 money-line favorite with a total of 5.5. The Sunday card in Major League Baseball has 15 games on its schedule. Three MLB games throw out the first pitch at 1:35 p.m. ET. The New York Yankees are home against the Detroit Tigers as a -125 money-line favorite with an over/under of 6.5. The Pittsburgh Pirates host the Colorado Rockies as a -155 money-line favorite with a total of 7.5. The Toronto Blue Jays play in Washington against the Nationals as a -115 money-line road favorite at BetMGM with an over/under of 8. Two more MLB games start at 1:40 p.m. ET. The Tampa Bay Rays host the New York Mets as a -125 money-line favorite with a total of 7. The Cleveland Guardians play at home against the Los Angeles Angels as a -130 money-line favorite with an over/under of 9. Three MLB games begin at 2:10 p.m. ET. The Houston Astros are at home against the Seattle Mariners as a -122 money-line favorite with a total of 8.5. The Texas Rangers are in Kansas to play the Royals. The Minnesota Twins host the Boston Red Sox as a -175 money-line favorite with an over/under of 8. The Chicago White Sox visit St. Louis to play the Cardinals at 2:15 p.m. ET. The Milwaukee Brewers play in Chicago against the Cubs at 2:20 p.m. ET as a -125 money-line road favorite. The Oakland A’s play at home against the Miami Marlins at 4:07 p.m. ET as a -125 money-line favorite with a total of 7.5. Three more MLB games begin at 4:10 p.m. ET. The Cincinnati Reds are at home against the Baltimore Orioles as a -115 money-line favorite with an over/under of 9. The Arizona Diamondbacks host the San Diego Padres as a -118 money-line favorite with a total of 9.5. The Atlanta Braves are in Los Angeles to play the Dodgers as a -142 money-line road favorite with an over/under of 9. Sunday Night Baseball on ESPN has the San Francisco Giants traveling to Philadelphia to play the Phillies at 7:10 p.m. ET. The Giants are a -120 money-line road favorite with a total of 7.5.Matchweek 36 in the English Premier League continues with three matches. Two matches begin at 9:00 a.m. ET. Aston Villa plays at Brighton and Hove Albion on the USA Network in a pick ‘em match with an over/under of 3. Chelsea plays at home against West Ham United as a -1 goal-line favorite with a total of 3.5. Liverpool is at home against Tottenham at 11:30 a.m. ET as a -1.5 goal-line favorite with an over/under of 4.

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Big Al's Daily Angle: NBA, NHL, MLB, and EPL Previews and Odds - 05/04/2024

by Big Al Staff

Saturday, May 04, 2024

The Saturday sports card features NBA, NHL, MLB, and EPL action.The 150th running of the Kentucky Derby headlines the sporting events of the day. The Run for the Roses is the 12th race at Churchill Downs and has a start time of 6:57 PM ET.The National Basketball Association continues the playoff season with one game. The Denver Nuggets host the Minnesota Timberwolves in Game 1 of their Western Conference semifinals series on TNT and truTV at 7:10 p.m. ET. The Nuggets are a 4.5-point favorite, with the total set at 207.5 (all odds from DraftKings unless indicated otherwise).The National Hockey League playoffs continue with one game. The Boston Bruins play at home against the Toronto Maple Leafs in Game 7 of their Eastern Conference semifinals series on ABC at 8:10 p.m. ET. The Bruins are a -142 money-line favorite with an over/under of 5.5. The Saturday card in Major League Baseball has 15 games on its schedule. The New York Yankees are at home against the Detroit Tigers at 1:05 p.m. ET as a -155 money-line favorite with a total of 7.5. The Minnesota Twins host the Boston Red Sox at 2:10 p.m. ET as a -166 money-line favorite. The St. Louis Cardinals play at home against the Chicago White Sox at 2:15 p.m. ET as a -180 money-line favorite with an over/under of 8. The Chicago Cubs are at home against the Milwaukee Brewers at 2:20 p.m. ET as a -125 money-line favorite. Two MLB games throw out the first pitch at 4:05 p.m. ET. The Toronto Blue Jays travel to Washington to play the Nationals as a -162 money-line road favorite with a total of 8. The Pittsburgh Pirates host the Colorado Rockies as a -205 money-line favorite with an over/under of 7.5. The Oakland A’s play at home against the Miami Marlins at 4:07 p.m. ET as a -122 money-line favorite with a total of 7.5. The Philadelphia Phillies are at home against the San Francisco Giants at 6:05 p.m. ET as a -175 money-line favorite with an over/under of 7.5. The Cleveland Guardians host the Los Angeles Angels at 6:10 p.m. ET as a -148 money-line favorite with a total of 8. The Baltimore Orioles play in Cincinnati against the Reds at 6:40 p.m. ET as a -120 money-line road favorite with an over/under of 8.5.The Texas Rangers are in Kansas City to play the Royals at 7:10 p.m. ET as a -112 money-line road favorite with a total of 8.5. Two MLB games start at 7:15 p.m. ET in regional coverage on Fox. The Tampa Bay Rays play at home against the New York Mets as a -115 money-line favorite with an over/under of 8. The Houston Astros are at home against the Seattle Mariners as a -142 money-line favorite with a total of 7.5. The Arizona Diamondbacks host the San Diego Padres at 8:10 p.m. ET as a -125 money-line favorite with an over/under of 9. The Los Angeles Dodgers play at home against the Atlanta Braves at 9:10 p.m. ET as a -170 money-line favor with a total of 9.Matchweek 36 in the English Premier League continues with five matches. Arsenal is at home against Bournemouth on the USA Network at 7:30 a.m. ET as a -2 goal-line favorite with an over/under of 3.5 (all soccer odds from BetMGM). Three more EPL matches begin at 10:10 a.m. ET. Brentford hosts Fulham as a -0.5 goal-line favorite with a total of 3. Newcastle United visits Burnley as a -0.5 goal-line road favorite with an over/under of 3. Nottingham Forest plays at Sheffield United as a -1 goal-line road favorite with a total of 3. Manchester City hosts Wolverhampton on NBC as a -2.5 goal-line favorite with an over/under of 3.5.

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Stanley Cup Playoffs: Betting the Second Round

by Sean Murphy

Friday, May 03, 2024

Betting on the second round of the NHL playoffs requires a mix of strategy, analysis and a bit of luck. Following a trusted professional handicapper can help you filter out the noise and identify positive expected value on a daily basis. Here are some tips to consider as the field narrows to eight teams vying for Lord Stanley's Cup. Analyze Team Form: Look beyond just the win-loss record in the first round. Consider factors such as goal differentials, shots on goal, time of possession and overall performance. Teams that dominated statistically in the first round are likely to carry that momentum into the second round.Evaluate Head-to-Head Matchups: Look at how teams matched up against each other during the regular season. Pay attention to trends such as which team has had success against the other and why. Certain teams may have specific strengths or weaknesses that could be exploited in the playoffs.Assess Goaltending: Goaltending is often the most crucial position in hockey, especially in the playoffs. Look at statistics such as save percentage, goals-against average and performance under pressure. Also, consider the depth of each team's goaltending roster in case of injuries or poor performance.Special Teams Performance: Analyze power play and penalty kill percentages for each team. A strong power play can capitalize on opportunities and swing the momentum of a game, while a solid penalty kill can shut down opponents' scoring chances.Home Ice Advantage: Take into account each team's performance at home versus on the road during the regular season. Some teams thrive in front of their home crowd and have a distinct advantage, while others may struggle away from home. Also, consider the impact of travel and fatigue on teams playing on the road.Injuries and Lineup Changes: Stay updated on injuries and lineup changes leading up to and during the series. A key player being sidelined or returning from injury can significantly impact a team's performance and strategy. Also, consider how teams adjust their line combinations and defensive pairings due to injuries or matchups.Look Beyond Statistics: While statistics are essential, don't rely solely on them. Consider intangible factors such as team chemistry, leadership and playoff experience. Teams with veteran players who have been through deep playoff runs may have a mental edge over younger, less experienced teams.Manage Your Bankroll: Set a specific budget for your betting activities and stick to it. Avoid chasing losses by betting more than you can afford to lose. Consider using strategies such as unit betting, where you wager a consistent percentage of your bankroll on each bet, to minimize risk.Shop for the Best Odds: Compare odds from multiple sportsbooks to ensure you're getting the best value for your bets. Even small differences in odds can have a significant impact on your overall profits, especially over the course of a long playoff series.Trust Your Instincts: While it's essential to do your research and analysis, don't discount your gut instincts. If something doesn't feel right about a particular bet or matchup, it's okay to pass or look for alternative betting opportunities. Trusting your instincts can help you avoid making rash decisions based solely on statistics or trends.Best of luck in round two!

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Big Al's Daily Angle: NBA, NHL, MLB and EPL Previews and Odds - 05/03/2024

by Big Al Staff

Friday, May 03, 2024

The Friday sports card features NBA, NHL, MLB, and EPL action.The National Basketball Association continues the playoff season with two games on ESPN. The Orlando Magic host the Cleveland Cavaliers on ESPN at 7:10 p.m. ET as a 4-point favorite, with the total set at 200 (all odds from DraftKings unless indicated otherwise). The Dallas Mavericks play at home against the Los Angeles Clippers at 9:40 p.m. ET as an 8-point favorite with an over/under of 206.5.  The National Hockey League playoffs continue with two games on TNT. The Nashville Predators are at home against the Vancouver Canucks at 7:10 p.m. ET as a -130 money-line favorite with a total of 5.5. The Dallas Stars travel to Vegas to play the Golden Knights at 10:10 p.m. ET as a -115 money-line road favored with an over/under of 5.5.The Friday card in Major League Baseball has 15 games on its schedule. The Chicago Cubs host the Milwaukee Brewers at 2:20 p.m. ET as a -135 money-line favorite at BetMGM with a total of 7.5. The Baltimore Orioles play in Cincinnati against the Reds at 6:10 p.m. ET as a -118 money-line road favorite with an over/under of 9. Two MLB games throw out the first pitch at 6:40 p.m. ET The Pittsburgh Pirates play at home against the Colorado Rockies as a -185 money-line favorite with a total of 8.5. The Philadelphia Phillies are home against the San Francisco Giants on Apple TV+ as a -155 money-line favorite with an over/under of 7.5. The Toronto Blue Jays are in Washington to play the Nationals on Apple TV+ at 6:45 p.m. ET as a -180 money-line road favorite with a total of 9. The Tampa Bay Rays host the New York Mets at 6:50 p.m. ET as a -135 money-line favorite with an over/under of 8. The New York Yankees play at home against the Detroit Tigers at 7:05 p.m. ET as a -162 money-line favorite with a total of 8. The Cleveland Guardians are at home against the Los Angeles Angels at 7:10 p.m. ET as a -190 money-line favorite at BetMGM with an over/under of 8. The Kansas City Royals host the Texas Rangers at 7:40 p.m. ET as a -118 money-line favorite with a total of 9. Two MLB games start at 8:10 p.m. ET. The Minnesota Twins play at home against the Boston Red Sox as a -112 money-line favorite with an over/under of 8. The Houston Astros are at home against the Seattle Mariners as a -112 money-line favorite with a total of 8.5. The St. Louis Cardinals host the Chicago White Sox at 8:15 p.m. ET as a -265 money-line favorite with an over/under of 7.5. Two MLB games begin at 9:40 p.m. ET. The Oakland A’s play at home against the Miami Marlins as a -135 money-line favorite with a total of 8. The Arizona Diamondbacks are home against the San Diego Padres as a -115 money-line favorite with an over/under of 8.5. The Los Angeles Dodgers host the Atlanta Braves at 10:10 p.m. ET as a -118 money-line favorite with a total of 9.Matchweek 36 in the English Premier League starts with one match. Everton visits Luton Town at 3:00 p.m. ET in a pick ‘em match with an over/under of 2.5.

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Big Al's Daily Angle: NBA, NHL and MLB Previews and Odds - 05/02/2024

by Big Al Staff

Thursday, May 02, 2024

The Thursday sports card features NBA, NHL, and MLB action.The National Basketball Association continues the playoff season with two games on TNT. The Indiana Pacers host the Milwaukee Bucks at 6:40 PM ET. The Pacers had won three games in a row in this series before their 115-92 upset loss on the road as a 5-point favorite on Tuesday. The Bucks still trail in the series by a 3-2 margin and need to win this game to force a decisive Game 7 back in Milwaukee. Indiana is an 8-point favorite, with the total set at 212.5 (all odds from DraftKings). The Philadelphia 76ers play at home against the New York Knicks at 9:10 p.m. ET. The 76ers have won two of the last three games in this series after their 112-106 upset victory on the road as a 4-point underdog on Tuesday. The Knicks hold a 3-2 lead in the series and can advance to the Eastern Conference semifinals with an upset victory. Philadelphia is a 3-point favorite with an over/under of 198.5. The National Hockey League playoffs continue with one game on ESPN. The Toronto Maple Leafs are at home against the Boston Bruins on TBS at 8:10 p.m. ET. The Maple Leafs ended a two-game losing streak in this series with a 2-1 victory on the road on Tuesday. The Bruins hold a 3-2 lead in the series and can close things out and advance to the Eastern Conference semifinals with a victory. Toronto is a -112 money-line favorite with a total of 5.5.The Thursday card in Major League Baseball has six games on its schedule. The Miami Marlins host the Colorado Rockies at 12:10 p.m. ET. The Marlins have won two games in a row after their 4-1 victory against the Rockies yesterday. Miami turn to Edward Cabrera as their starting pitcher to face Colorado’s Peter Lambert. The Marlins are a -170 money-line favorite with an over/under of 7.5. The New York Yankees travel to Baltimore to play the Orioles at 1:05 p.m. ET. The Yankees ended a two-game losing streak with a 2-0 victory against the Orioles on Wednesday. Carlos Rodon takes the mound of New York to battle against a starting pitcher yet to be named for Baltimore. The New York Mets play at home against the Chicago Cubs at 1:10 p.m. ET. The Mets lost for the second time in their last three games in a 1-0 loss to the Cubs yesterday. New York sends out Adrian Houser to face Chicago’s Ben Brown. The Mets are a -112 money-line favorite with a total of 8.5. The Boston Red Sox are at home against the San Francisco Giants at 1:35 p.m. ET. The Red Sox are on a four-game winning streak after a 6-2 victory against the Giants on Wednesday. Josh Winckowski takes the hill for Boston to go against Kyle Harrison for the Giants. The Red Sox are a -118 money-line favorite with an over/under of 9.5. The Texas Rangers host the Washington Nationals at 2:35 p.m. ET. The Rangers had won two games in a row before a 1-0 loss to the Nationals yesterday. Texas turns to Nathan Eovaldi to duel against Mitchell Parker for the Nationals. The Rangers are a -205 money-line favorite with a total of 8. The Houston Astros play at home against the Cleveland Guardians at 8:10 p.m. ET. The Astros had won three games in a row before a 3-2 loss in ten innings to the Guardians on Wednesday. Spencer Arrighetti gets the start for Houston to pitch against Cleveland’s Logan Allen. The Astros are a -130 money-line favorite with an over/under of 9.5.

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