GAMBLING GUIDE

Bookie Busters weekend edition: NBA playoffs and soccer plays

Look for Brad Stevens to have an answer in Game 1. Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

5-2 last Week  v 29-12 in the Last month (70%)

Celtics -1   WIN

Chelsea -1.5     -155 LOSS

Leicester vs. Arsenal

Over 3    WIN

Barcelona vs. Villarreal

Over 3.5  WIN

Barcelona Team Total over 2.5  WIN

Sevilla  vs. Real Madrid

Sevilla Pk WIN

Predators vs. Jets

Preds Moneyline LOSS

Celtics vs. Cavaliers

The matchup we all thought would happen, well at least when Boston was able to acquire the highly sought out free agent Gordon Hayward. At the time of the trade, the Celtics could have been bought at 12-1 to win the NBA Championship. Things were looking bright for the Celtic faithful, and fans couldn't wait for the season to tip-off.

Five minutes and 15 seconds into the enchanting journey that was to be, a gruesome ankle injury that nauseated the world, left things somewhat in question for a team who still had plenty of talent and was led by one of the league's top head coaches. Vegas quickly reacted and dropped the odds to the 20-1 range after the Hayward loss, and pundits still thought the number was high on a team led by Kyrie Irving and a plethora of young talent.

Then the headline read...

#NEBHInjuryReport: Kyrie Irving will undergo a procedure this Saturday to remove two screws implanted in his patella from an injury suffered during the 2015 NBA Finals.

He is expected to make a full recovery in 4-5 months.

Again, Boston was left looking for answers after news broke of the star point guard set to miss the remainder of the season. The good ol' guys down in the Desert reacted quickly and boosted the Celtic's future odds to the 80-1 Range.

Fast forward to the Conference finals, and the current odds are:

Warriors -130

Rockets   +245

Cavaliers +615

Celtics  +2800

Lines courtesy of 5dimes as of 5/10/18

Things have changed drastically, but with only four teams left, the 28-1 payout the books are offering lets us know exactly what the man thinks about this team's chances to take the title.

The Pick

This year's recent history between the two teams leaves us nothing as they lineups are highly altered. In the first game, the season opened with Boston's Kyrie Irving matched up vs. Derrick Rose, while Hayward was on LeBron James and, well, let's not touch that subject again for the sake of the uneasy stomach.

The second matchup featured a team that had welcomed back Isaiah Thomas the night before but wasn't featured against his former team after easing his way back into the team's lineup. The Celtics would dominate the Cavaliers beating them 102-88, and the loss would lead Cleveland on a skid that would ultimately lead to their debacle.

The Final matchup finally gave us a revamped Cleveland roster on a Sunday afternoon, and the new nucleus shined under the national microscope. Jordan Clarkson riddled his way to 17 points followed by Rodney Hood's 15 point performance, leaving us with reason to believe that LeBron once again had life. Cleveland dominated 121-99 on that Sunday Bloody Sunday in Beantown, that was supposed to be a night that Paul Pierce was remembered.

These two franchises have plenty of postseason history, and this will be their 40th encounter through seven playoff series. Things have been pretty evenly split with the Cavaliers leading the way 20-19. Boston will reap the benefits of their hard efforts by opening with home court advantage, something that plays well for them in this series. In the previous 39 postseason matchups, the Cavs have struggled as visitors and are 7-13 while playing in Boston. The Celtics were 34-14 on their home floor this season and remain undefeated at the TD Garden in these playoffs. I believe the home team is better coached and overall better contracted. Brad Stevens will make sure LeBron isn't the reason his team loses, so it will be on one of the role players to step up with a big game. The Cavaliers will need a few games to adjust to the looks he will be getting from the league's top-rated defense in points allowed. Give me the Celtics in Game 1, in a statement game, letting the world know; this won't be a pushover. Take Big Green on a festive Sunday, Word to your Mother.

Celtics +1

Soccer

Dynamo vs. Whitecaps

Over 2.5

RB Leipzig vs. Hertha Berlin

Over 3

Levante vs. Barcelona

Over 3.5

Both Teams to score

Lines courtesy of 5dimes as of 5/10/18

For any questions or comments reach me @JerryBoknowz on twitter


 

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Houston now focused on postseason

Altuve and Correa homer, Astros drop final regular-season game

Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images

With no playoff impact at stake if the Astros won or lost the game, Houston took Sunday's final regular-season game as a chance to get their lineup a few more at-bats before shifting focus to Tuesday's first game of the post-season. Here is a quick recap of the game against the Rangers:

Final Score: Rangers 8, Astros 4.

Record: 29-31, second in the AL West.

Winning pitcher: Wes Benjamin (2-1, 4.84 ERA).

Losing pitcher: Chase De Jong (0-1, 14.73 ERA).

Houston's main bats get a final tune-up

Knowing they'd only have a couple of at-bats to work with, some of Houston's big bats took advantage, starting with Jose Altuve. He crushed a pitch in the top of the first, a solo homer to put the Astros in front 1-0. After the Rangers tied the game 1-1 in the bottom of the second, Altuve started the third with a walk before moving to third base on a Michael Brantley single, which improved Brantley's season average to .300.

Aledmys Diaz would pick up the RBI on a groundout to score Altuve, putting Houston back in front 2-1. In Correa's last at-bat in the top of the fourth, he extended the lead to 3-1 with a solo home run of his own.

Rangers hand Astros a loss to end the regular season

After getting the early run against Chase De Jong, the Rangers would put together a big inning against him in the fourth. After two one-out singles, Rougned Odor would give Texas their first lead of the day on a three-run homer to make it 4-3.

De Jong would continue to struggle in the inning, getting just one more out while loading the bases, prompting a move to the bullpen to bring in Nivaldo Rodriguez to try and eat up more innings. The Rangers greeted him with a two-RBI single to extend their lead to 6-3 before ending the fourth. Odor would hit his second home run of the game in the bottom of the fifth, a solo shot to make it a four-run lead at 7-3.

Rodriguez allowed another run in the bottom of the seventh, making it 8-3. Diaz, who drove in a run earlier, would account for another RBI in the top of the eighth, getting Houston's third solo homer of the day. That would make it an 8-4 game, which would go final as the Rangers would win the regular season's last game.

Up Next: Houston's first game of the playoffs will be on Tuesday, with the start time and opponent TBD while the rest of today's games wrap up, and the schedule is announced. Regardless, the Astros are expected to begin that best-of-three series with Zack Greinke (3-3, 4.03 ERA).

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