THE GAMBLING GUIDE

Bookie Busters: NBA Playoffs, Messi vs Ronaldo and more

Ronaldo vs. Messi highlights a busy betting weekend. Photo courtesy of Nike, Inc.

Bookie Busters continues the winning-streak, busting the book again going 10-3 this week.

Last two weeks we are 17-5-2 ATS.

El Clasico          Sunday

Barcelona vs. Real Madrid

Bittersweet can be best used to describe Sunday's fixture. A glorious farewell to a soccer legend expects the fans of the Barca to be electric come Sunday.

Andres Iniesta will take the pitch for his final El Clasico, and what better way to do it than in front of the home crowd. Barcelona to the bone, Iniesta played with the Barca youth since the age of 12. He would go on to captain the under 15 team to a Victory in the 1999 Nike Cup final, netting a goal in the final minutes. It was then that he caught the eye of the former Captain Pep Guardiola, who said Iniesta would retire him. Guardiola would ultimately play a big role in Iniesta's career as a coach, and someone the midfielder looked up to as a father figure.

In a perfect world, Iniesta rides off into the sunset, after three more matches, winning his last El Clasico appearance making it a fairytale ending to a supernatural career.

Every good story has a villain, and the spoiler to this film, will be none other than Cristiano Ronaldo. With  the La Liga title wrapped up for Barcelona after Messi's hat trick last weekend, the teams will be playing for pride more than anything. With Madrid having played midweek in a crucial Champions League match, how much legs will they have to run around with the ultra passing Barcelona? Another factor will be that they qualified for the Champions League Final later this month and avoiding injuries will be the priority.

The match has somewhat of a laid-back feeling to it, and I expect an open game with teams looking to put on a show, with neither having anything to lose. Madrid just played an excruciating 90-minute match, and the defense will be feeling the quick turn around.

The Pick

Barcelona is undefeated this season and will be looking to complete the feat with four matches left in the season. At Camp Nou, they have 14 wins and 2 draws. While playing on home soil, they averaged 2.8 goals a game, while their counterpart nets two goals a game on average this season when playing as visitors. Barca is 4-1-2 in the last seven in this rivalry, and I see them continuing their dominance as remaining undefeated and the Iniesta factor will ultimately pull them through. Expect end to end action

Barcelona money line 3x

Game Total Over 3.5

Match Result and Both Teams to Score: Barca and Yes   +185

Will a goal be scored in both halves? YES

Messi scores a goal 2x

Both team to score in 2nd half   +130

Barca and 2.5    EVEN

Plays of the week

Germany

RB Leipzig vs. Wolfsburg

Over 2.5   -144

Over 3 +112

Mainz 05 vs. Dortmund

Over 3

NBA Playoffs     Friday 5/4

Pelicans vs. Warriors

Warriors over 30 1st quarter

Warriors Team total  1st half over 60

Over 119.5 First Half

For any questions or comments reach me @JerryBoKnowz on twitter

 

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Houston goes up 1-0 in the series

Altuve, Correa help lift Astros to ALCS Game 1 win over Red Sox

Carlos Correa's go-ahead homer in the seventh inning of ALCS Game 1 helped lift the Astros to a 1-0 series lead. Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

Despite one rough loss to the White Sox in the ALDS, the Astros looked like the dominant team they are capable of being, taking that series 3-1 to advance and taking ownership of home-field advantage in the ALCS against the Red Sox, who upset the Rays. In Game 1, despite trailing for the middle portions of the game, Houston would get more highlight moments from the faces of the franchise to start the series with a win.

Final Score: Astros 5, Red Sox 4

ALCS Series (Best of Seven): Houston leads 1-0

Winning Pitcher: Ryne Stanek

Losing Pitcher: Hansel Robles

Houston strikes first, but Boston sends Valdez to an early exit

Both starting pitchers worked in and out of trouble in the early goings of ALCS Game 1, starting with Framber Valdez in the top of the first. After erasing a leadoff single by inducing a double play, he went on to load the bases on a single and two walks but would strand all three runners to keep Boston off the board. The Astros jumped in front in the bottom half, with Jose Altuve working a leadoff walk, moving to second on a one-out single by Alex Bregman, advancing to third on a wild pitch, then ultimately scoring on a sac fly by Yordan Alvarez to put Houston ahead 1-0 after one frame.

They had a chance to extend their lead in the bottom of the second, taking advantage of a shaky inning by Chris Sale, who loaded the bases with one out as Houston would get two singles and a hit-by-pitch. That flipped the order over to the top, but a great diving catch by former Astro Kiké Hernández would end the inning. Hernández led off the top of the third against Valdez, and he would tie things up with a solo homer.

Things went downhill from there for Valdez and the Astros, as a one-out walk followed by a single gave the Red Sox the go-ahead run in scoring position. On a groundball that likely should have been a double play to end the inning, it would get through Altuve's legs, scoring a run and keeping the inning alive for Boston. They took advantage, getting an RBI double to extend their new lead to 3-1. Valdez would get one more out before Dusty Baker would give him the early hook, bringing in Yimi Garcia, who finished the frame.

A battle of the bullpens, Altuve ties it up

Like Valdez, Sale would also not make it through three innings, getting two outs while putting two on base before Boston would start their bullpen's night as well. Both sets of relievers settled the game down, with the Red Sox stranding two of Houston's runners in the third as well as the fifth, maintaining their two-run lead. After Garcia finished the third, Cristian Javier entered to eat up a couple of innings, and he would do just that by getting through two frames with just one hit, four strikeouts, and no runs.

Next, Phil Maton took over in the top of the sixth and erased a leadoff walk to keep things in striking distance for the home team. In the bottom of the sixth, Houston put another runner on base, getting a one-out single by Chas McCormick. Two batters later, with two outs, Jose Altuve provided yet another career postseason highlight, tying the game 3-3 with a two-run home to re-energize the Minute Maid Park crowd.

Astros take ALCS Game 1

Now a brand new ballgame in the top of the seventh, Brooks Raley came in to face three batters, getting two strikeouts while allowing a single before Dusty Baker would move on to Ryne Stanek, who would get the third out. With two outs in the bottom of the seventh, Carlos Correa continued his march to a monster off-season contract, putting Houston back on top with a solo homer, making it 4-3.

Houston kept the script after Stanek with the new lead in hand, going to Kendall Graveman as the setup man in the top of the eighth. Despite a two-out single, he would get out of the inning with the lead intact, putting Houston three outs away from the victory. After a walk, single, and hit by pitch to start the bottom of the eighth with the bases loaded, Altuve would drive in his third run of the game, getting a sac fly to extend the lead to two runs at 5-3.

That insurance run proved pivotal, as closer Ryan Pressly was met with a leadoff solo home run by Hernandez, his second of the night for Boston, to make it 5-4. Pressly refocused and was able to get the next three batters in order, though, wrapping up the win to start Houston off with a 1-0 series lead and putting them three wins away from advancing to the World Series.

Up Next: The two teams will have a moderately quick turnaround, with ALCS Game 2 scheduled to start at 3:20 PM Central on Saturday ahead of NLCS Game 1 between the Dodgers and Braves getting the night slot. The pitching matchup is expected to be Nathan Eovaldi for Boston, who is 1-0 with a 2.61 ERA in his two starts this postseason, going opposite Luis Garcia, who had a rough outing in the ALDS for Houston, giving up five runs without completing three innings in Chicago.

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