GAMBLING GUIDE

Bookie Busters: The Astros, NBA, UFC and soccer

Lance McCullers (left) and the Astros should be easy money. Elsa/Getty Images

This weekend is jam-packed with action. Let's cash some tickets!

MLB

Astros vs. Padres
Date: Friday, April 6, 2018
Time: 7:10 PM
Minute Maid Park, Houston Texas
Projected Pitchers: Luis Perdomo vs.Lance McCullers

The DEFENDING, REIGNING, CHAMPIONS of the world Astros, start a three-game series with the Padres with Lance McCullers taking the mound in the opener. The visitors come into this game looking for a change after starting the season an abysmal 1-6. San Diego was hoping for a better start to the 2018 campaign and a seven-game homestand to begin the season was the perfect antidote. Instead, the team only managed to claim one victory, while possessing a -9 run differential. In five of the six Padres losses this year, they were defeated by 2+ runs, leading them to a 2-4 Run line record.

Houston has done the exact opposite this year and started scorching hot and sit 6-1 atop the AL West, and 5-2 on the run line. In all but one of the Astros wins, they have managed to pull away and win by +2 runs. The Astros come into this game averaging 5.8 runs per game, while the Padres are surrendering 5.5 runs a game. Another thing working in favor of the Astros is that although they strike out 9.43 times a game, San Diego's pitchers have been struggling with striking out batters this year (6.83).

The Pick

Friday Night we get a pitching duel, with two pitchers that started the season in different directions. McCullers was able to put together a quality performance fanning 10 batters while allowing two earned runs on four hits. McCullers was able to shake off a ball that hit him on the ankle, giving a scare to the hometown faithful. The pitcher said he was fine, just slightly sore and "lucky" the ball hit the muscle part in between the shin and ankle. His counterpart had a less than stellar first start and got knocked around for five runs on seven hits and four walks. He was taken out after 96 pitches in only four innings of work after struggling all game. A solid start at home and some wins is what San Deigo was hoping for as they are 28-59 in their last 87 games as visitors attached to a  3-10 record in Perdomo's last 13 road starts. McCullers ankle soreness is somewhat of a scare, but I think he will be fine and the Astros offense should be enough to get the win. TGIF because the Champs love playing Friday nights, and are 21-8 in the last 29 games doing so.

Astros-1.5
Astros Total Runs over 5

NBA

Pelicans vs. Suns        Pelicans -10.5 O/U 220

The Pelicans are in the middle of a dogfight for the final playoff spots and will be needing this game like blood. With no room for error, New Orleans will be focused after finally getting a win, following a treacherous four-game skid. With their final three games being vs. the Warriors, Clippers and the Spurs, this is a must win if they want to stay in the race. In both matchups this season, the Pelicans scored 115+ points and won decisively,  going into both fouth quarters with double-digit leads. In those contests, New Orleans lit up the scoreboard in the first halves, and we will look for more of the same in a "must-win" for the Anthony Davis led squad.

Picks:

New Orleans Team Total Over 115
New Orleans 1st half -6
New Orleans  First quarter -3
*Projected Lines

UFC 223

Rose Namajunas vs. Joanna Jedrzejczyk    
Pick: Joanna Jedrzejczyk -112

Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Max Holloway
Pick: Under 3.5  -135

Soccer

Sunday 4/8
Manchester Utd vs. Manchester City
Pick: Over 2.5 goals -120

Real Madrid vs  Atletico Madrid
Pick: Under 3 -152


Tuesday 4/10
Champions League
Roma vs. Barcelona
Over 3 -118

For any questions or comments reach me at @JerryBoKnowz on Twitter.









 


 

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The Texans didn't have an answer for Derrick Henry. Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images

Romeo Crennel made a valorous call that might have costed the Houston Texans from winning their second consecutive game on Sunday. Up by seven with 1:50 left in the fourth quarter, Crennel decided to call a two-point conversion following Deshaun Watson's one-yard touchdown pass to Brandin Cooks.

During the two-point conversion, Watson had a look at an open Randall Cobb, but Titans' defensive tackle Jeffery Simmons got a hand on the ball to deflect the pass. The failed conversion allowed the Titans to take a 42-36 victory over the Texans inside Nissan Stadium. Tennessee scored 13 unanswered points, which included a seven-yard touchdown pass from Ryan Tannehill to A.J. Brown to send the game into overtime.

"I think I would do it again," Crennel said during his media availability on Monday. "You are on the road against a divisional opponent who is undefeated, and if you could get that two-point conversion — you shut the door on them. We had a guy open, but unfortunately, the ball got tipped and we did not make it. I would do it again because it was a good choice."

The decision to not kick the field goal caused somewhat of an uproar, but it is understandable why Crennel made the call. Crennel had faith in Watson to put the Texans in a position to close the game, similar to his 4th-and-4 call during last week's victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars.

In the end, Crennel's risky decisions could stem from the lack of faith he has in the Texans' depleted defense.

Houston's defense hit an all-time low against the Titans. They gave up a franchise-worst 601 total yards — with Derrick Henry accounting for 212 yards on 22 carries. But despite their struggles against the run, the Texans' secondary were just as faulty. They gave up a total of 338 yards through the air and allowed Tannehill to go 8-for-9 down the field during the Titans' final drive of regulation.

Had Houston's defense made a stop during the closing seconds of the fourth quarter, the Texans could have ended the game 2-0 under their interim head coach.

"I wanted to go ahead and get the two points — I felt like that would have put the game out of reach for them," Crennel said. "If we had gotten it, we would have been in much better shape. But we did not get it. We did not perform well in overtime, and they [Titans] won the game."

Following Sunday's heartbreaking loss, Texans safety Justin Reid said it best, "Had we converted on the two-point conversion, this would be a totally different conversation. So it is what it is."

Up next, the 1-5 Texans will look to bounce back from defeat against the 4-1 Green Bay Packers, inside NRG Stadium on Sunday. Kick-off is at 12:00 PM CT.

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