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 couldn't keep up

Astros fall to Blue Jays as Toronto gets homer-happy

Houston's bats couldn't keep up with Toronto's Saturday night. Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

With an offensive clinic in the opener on Friday night, which helped them handily defeat the Blue Jays, the Astros returned to Minute Maid Park Saturday with a chance to secure another series. Toronto had other plans, though, reversing roles with Houston by getting big home runs to even the series.

Final Score: Blue Jays 8, Astros 4

Astros' Record: 17-16, third in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Steven Matz (5-2)

Losing Pitcher: Cristian Javier (3-1)

Toronto flips the script and turns on their offense against Javier

Toronto flipped the script from the night before early in this middle game of the series, dealing damage to Cristian Javier, who so far in 2021 had been able to limit his amount of earned runs. After retiring the first four batters he faced, a one-out walk in the top of the second set up the Blue Jays' first hit of the night, a two-run home run by Cavan Biggio, giving them a 2-0 lead over Houston.

After a leadoff home run made it a 3-0 score, Javier would deal with the fallout of more walks in the top of the third, issuing two to set up a two-out two-RBI double to give the Jays a commanding 5-0 advantage. Javier would battle back and complete five full innings, getting one out into the sixth before a walk would prompt Dusty Baker to make the call to the bullpen. His final line: 5.1 IP, 4 H, 5 ER, 4 BB, 8 K, 2 HR, 91 P.

Alvarez keeps mashing as Houston tries to claw back into it

Javier would exit with at least some runs on the board in support of him, with Yordan Alvarez hitting a two-run opposite-field homer in the bottom of the fourth to cut the lead to three runs. Alvarez accounted for another run in the next inning, coming through with an RBI-single to make it 5-3, which is where the game stood as Andre Scrubb would take over in the top of the sixth.

Scrubb finished that inning for Javier and returned for a 1-2-3 seventh to keep it a two-run game. Bryan Abreu was the next reliever, and he, too, was able to retire the Blue Jays in order in the top of the eighth. The Astros continued to chip away at Toronto's lead, getting another run in the bottom of the inning on an RBI by Yuli Gurriel to make it 5-4 heading to the ninth.

Toronto evens the series

Brooks Raley entered to try and keep it a one-run game with a clean inning, but instead, two runners would reach on a walk and error before Joe Smith would enter to try and strand them. Instead, a two-out home run put the game back out of reach at 8-4, with Houston coming up empty in the bottom of the inning, setting up a rubber match in the finale.

Up Next: This series's third and final game will be an afternoon start of 1:10 PM Central on Sunday. Zack Greinke (2-1, 3.76 ERA) will try to add more wins to his record for Houston, while Nate Pearson will be making his 2021 debut for Toronto.

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