Gambling guide

Bookie Busters: NBA Playoffs and soccer plays

Lebron was great in Game 2, but the Pacers have been a good bet all year. Gregory Shamus

Pacers vs. Cavaliers Game 3

Indiana returns home with an added dash after stealing home court in Game 1. Another boost in the belief of the Pacers will be the fact that LeBron practically had to put the team on his back in Game 2, dropping 46 points, and still, the Pacers were able to hang tough while taking the Cavs best punch. The Cavaliers outscored the Pacers by 15 in the first quarter but failed to carry the momentum into the rest of the game. Indiana was able to outscore the Cavaliers in the remaining three quarters and have now outperformed Cleveland in five of the eight quarters played in this series.

Listed as -700 favorites, I'm not convinced the Cavs are the better team overall.  Indiana is now 2-0 ATS in the series, and it comes as no surprise for a team that covered the spread 58.3 percent of the time in the regular season. This season, Indiana has rewarded backers when playing at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, where they were 24-17 ATS. Indiana flew under the radar this year, but this has been a team that has over-exceeded expectations in every way. A revealing sign of a good team is one that knows how to learn from its losses, and the Pacers have done just that covering the line in 21 of their 34 contests following a loss (61.8 percent).

The Pick

Although Im slightly worried about LeBron going bezerk again, knowing that’s really the only way this team can contend, I lean with the team playing better at the moment. The Pacers' Victor Oladipo has been carrying the team on his back, and playing at home will add to his confidence leading the Pacers to a 2-1 series lead.

Pacers PK

Pacers Team Total over 104.5

SATURDAY

Timberwolves vs. Rockets Game 3

Saturday evening we travel to Minneapolis in a pivotal matchup for the home team. After giving the Rockets all they could handle in Game 1, the grudge match saw Houston dominate for three quarters, never leaving the spread in question down the stretch, An abysmal shooting performance by James Harden was washed away by the efforts of Chris Paul, the opposite of Game 1. When listed as an away favorite, the Rockets are 23-13 ATS (63.9 percent) winning by an average margin of 9 points per game. Both teams struggle covering the number off 2-3 days rest where the Timberwolves are 7-8 and the Rockets 8-11.

The Pick

I expect the Timberwolves to be more efficient at home and play much better at home. The only problem is in both games either Harden or Paul were off their game, and sooner or later both will be on the same wavelength. If the Wolves want to make this series competitive, this is a must win. The over in Wolves games at home was profitable during the regular season as they saw the total clear the number in 60% of those games. This might be the lone game Minnesota wins this series, and to do that they must score plenty. With the Rockets finally starting to hit shots, and Minnesota playing with he crowd behind them, look for this game to go Over.

Over 214

Saturday soccer

England

Tottenham vs. Manchester United

Both teams to score

Germany

Borussia Dortmund vs. Bayer Leverkusen

Over 3

France

Bordeaux vs. PSG

Over 3

Sunday

England

Swansea  vs. Manchester City

over 3.5

For any questions or comments reach me at @JerryBoKnowz on twitter

 

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Houston's offense had another strong day at the plate in Seattle against the Mariners on Wednesday. Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images

After striking a deal with the Mariners before Tuesday's game, along with a reported deal with the Marlins on Wednesday before the finale, the Astros continued to try and bolster their bullpen with fresh arms while also focusing on this series against Seattle. Having won the night prior to even it up, it came down to the rubber game on Wednesday afternoon to decide the series.

Final Score: Astros 11, Mariners 4

Astros' Record: 63-40, first in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Jake Odorizzi (4-5)

Losing Pitcher: Yusei Kikuchi (6-6)

Astros continue to score runs in Seattle

Just like in the earlier games in this series, the Astros had no problems offensively. They strung together four consecutive one-run innings, starting in the top of the second when they loaded the bases, then got an RBI groundout by Myles Straw to go up 1-0. In the top of the third, Yuli Gurriel drove one in on a two-out RBI double, bringing in Jose Altuve, who led the inning off with a double of his own. Chas McCormick led off with a single in the fourth, then later scored on an RBI single by Aledmys Diaz.

The fourth run in as many innings came in the top of the fifth, as Gurriel would notch his second RBI with a solo homer to start that inning, pushing the lead to 4-0. They didn't stop there, and neither did Gurriel, as he would get RBI number three on the day as part of a four-run top of the sixth, with RBI hits him, Altuve, Diaz, and Carlos Correa, doubling the lead to 8-0.

Odorizzi gets to the sixth before allowing two homers

The run support gave Jake Odorizzi plenty of leeway, which he didn't need until the bottom of the sixth. He held Seattle scoreless over the first five frames, allowing just four baserunners on a hit by pitch, a walk, and two singles, all peppered over that span and erased in each inning. Kyle Seager would get the Mariners on the board in the bottom of the sixth, blasting a one-out solo homer to cut the lead to seven runs at 8-1. After a single in the next at-bat, recently traded Abraham Toro made it four games in a row with a homer, this one a two-run shot to cut the lead to 8-3 and end Odorizzi's day. His final line: 5.1 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 3 K, 2 HR, 95 P.

Houston wins the series

Houston brought in Brooks Raley to finish the sixth, issuing two walks but stranding them to keep it a five-run lead. Myles Straw helped push that back to six in the top of the seventh, reaching on a single to start the innings, then stealing both second and third to get in position for Diaz's third RBI of the day, a groundout to make it 9-3. Cristian Javier was the next reliever out for the Astros, but he would not make it through the bottom of the seventh, allowing a single and three walks, the third with the bases loaded to bring in a run.

Bryan Abreu was brought in to get out of the jam, getting a strikeout to end the seventh. Then, in the top of the eighth, Kyle Tucker would put two more runs on the board with a two-run homer making the lead seven runs at 11-4. Abreu remained in for the bottom of the eighth, erasing two one-out singles to get through the frame. Brandon Bielak took over in the bottom of the ninth to close things out, posting a 1-2-3 inning to wrap up the win and give Houston the series victory.

Up Next: Houston will travel down the coast to San Fransisco before getting a day off on Thursday. They'll pick up an exciting three-game series with the Giants on Friday, with the opener slated to start at 8:45 PM Central. Framber Valdez (6-2, 2.97 ERA) will take the mound for the Astros, while San Fransisco's starter is TBD.

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