Vegas Sports Masters Blog

Baseball: First Half Roundup

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Tuesday, June 27, 2017 at 12:00 AM

by Jim Feist     162 games is a long season. Every year teams sprint out of the gate in April and May with October dreams, only to come back to the pack by July. It's not a sprint, of course, but a marathon, where a strong balance of pitching, defense and offense carries the best teams into the postseason. Injuries, too, are key, as well as trades made before the July deadline. Teams have figured out their strengths and weaknesses now and are beginning to look for pieces to add before the deadline, while others are figuring out whom to dump.…

Wayne Root: Dodgers, Angels Both Worth Watching

Monday, June 26, 2017 at 12:00 PM

The Los Angeles Dodgers and Los Angeles Angels begin their annual four-game Interleague series Monday at Chavez Ravine. The first two games will be played there in Dodgers country. The final two Wednesday and Thursday will be played in Anaheim.Everyone’s been talking about the Dodgers lately. Justifiably! For the past few weeks they’ve ruled the baseball world. They’re just crushing everybody night after night, with both great offense and great defense. The media used to talk about how the Dodgers were winning every time Kershaw took the mound. Now, it’s basically every time ANYBODY takes the mound. The team is…

Jim Sez Baseball Notebook Plus NBA

Monday, June 26, 2017 at 10:48 AM

THE BASEBALL NOTEBOOK: "FREEWAY SERIES" WILL BE LOTS OF FUN IN LA-LA LAND ALL WEEK LONG (AND WE'LL HAVE PLENTY OF WINNERS!)PLUS NBA FREE AGENCY CHATTER: PAUL, HAYWARD & LOWRY ALL LIKELY TO BE ON THE MOVE COME EARLY JULYThis doesn't exactly qualify as a news flash but the two Los Angeles-area Major-League Baseball teams have won a grand total of one World Series championship in the past 29 years (see then-Anaheim Angels, 2002) - but better believe it'll be a whole lot of fun all this week when the surging-hot LA Dodgers (51-26, won 10 in a row) battle…

Network Notebook: Cubs/Nationals Series Preview

Monday, June 26, 2017 at 7:00 AM

While the Los Angeles Dodgers have been grabbing all the headlines in recent weeks, the Chicago Cubs and Washington Nationals are still intent on winning their own respective National League divisions and doing whatever it takes to reach the World Series from the National League.The Cubs were there last year, and are long overdue this summer to “remember” what it takes to play championship caliber baseball. Washington is long overdue to play to its talent level in the postseason! Both are still market favorites with the Dodgers to win the NL. The guys behind “Futures” prices know that anything can…

Network Notebook: Orioles Tie Dubious Record

Saturday, June 24, 2017 at 1:00 PM

Friday night the Baltimore Orioles got waxed by the Tampa Bay Rays by a score of 15-5. You’ve probably heard by now that this was the twentieth straight time that the Orioles had allowed at least five runs in a game. That ties a Major League record that goes back decades.In handicapping terms, that streak of woeful pitching up and down the rotation and bullpen has yielded:*A 6-14 straight up record for the Orioles*A 13-6-1 record to the OVER on totals betsSo, betting on Baltimore’s opponents and the Over is 27-12-1 during that 20-game stretch. A fairly simple strategy that…

Wayne Root: Preparing for College Football

Friday, June 23, 2017 at 4:00 PM

Las Vegas sportsbooks have realized that football fans will bet at any time of the year…even during the brutal heat of summer! And, let me tell you, we’re experiencing one of the hottest June’s on record already here in the sports betting capital of the world. At least it prepared us for July and August!A few sportsbooks have already posted many “Game of the Year” college football matchups for live betting. Depending on the store, you can bet as many as 100 games right now (at lower limits than you’ll see during the regular season). You don’t have to wait…

Network Notebook: Rockies/Dodgers Series Preview

Friday, June 23, 2017 at 1:00 PM

This was a series baseball fans had circled awhile ago. The Colorado Rockies have been playing excellent baseball all season, seemingly establishing their bona fides as a playoff caliber team. The Los Angeles Dodgers have been co-favorites to win the National League along with the Chicago Cubs and Washington Nationals, despite only starting the season 22-18.Well, the Dodgers are 26-8 since that slow start (including 13 of their last 14), and look to be playing on a whole different level than the rest of the senior circuit. Colorado is still in the driver’s seat to at least reach the playoffs…

Jim Sez NBA Draft Likes and Dislikes

Friday, June 23, 2017 at 11:54 AM

THE NBA DRAFT: WHAT WE LIKED, WHAT WE DON'T LIKE ABOUT LAST NIGHT'S ACTIVITIES ...THE MLB REPORT: ROCKIES-DODGERS IS WEEKEND'S NUMERO UNO SERIESLet all those other sports web sites and newspaper columnists declare who are the "winners" and "losers" when it comes to this NBA Draft ... how can anyone really know for sure until we're at least a couple of years beyond draft night, right?However, we will go on record in today's jam-packed Jim Sez column to state what we "liked" and "did not like" when it came to all the draft-related festivities at Barclays Center in Brooklyn ...…

Richie Baccellieri: MLB Markets Still Slow to React

Thursday, June 22, 2017 at 3:00 PM

I wanted to pop in to talk some baseball before the month of June got away from us. Thanks so much to all of you who read the NBA Playoff reports. To me, the biggest story right now in the baseball markets involves how slow oddsmakers and sharps have been to recognize new levels of performance.I’m currently on a 12-6 run in baseball. The team I’ve won most often with in that stretch is the Colorado Rockies. This is a very good team that has significantly improved its pitching staff. The market keeps pricing them like a .500 caliber team…

Jim Sez NBA Mock Draft

Thursday, June 22, 2017 at 10:30 AM

OUR NBA MOCK DRAFT IS HERE!!Welcome to the modern-day world of the NBA where the "one-and-done" players continue to flood their way into the league ... in fact, most of the top 10 projected picks here were one-year collegians but will any/many of them be big hits right from the start?Now, our Jim Sez NBA Mock Draft lets you know who's going where and we've sprinkled in a couple of potential deals to further liven up the evening in Brooklyn:Jim Hurley and his Network of Handicappers and Bloggers will be banging out loads of Side & Totals MLB winners all…

Wayne Root: Will 2017 World Series Champ Come From the NL West?

Wednesday, June 21, 2017 at 2:00 PM

There’s been more than the usual buzz in Las Vegas about baseball this summer. The regulars are still betting the sport like always. But, we have a lot of excitement right now regarding three relatively “local’ teams.*The Los Angeles Dodgers are playing great, and winning in exciting fashion. Bettors really love POWER teams, and the Dodgers are able to overpower many opponents in their current form. I’ve always reminded you that Las Vegas is basically a suburb of Los Angeles for sports betting purposes. That’s really coming into play with the Dodgers playing so well.*The Arizona Diamondbacks are off to…

NBA Draft Notes and Baseball Midweek Update

Wednesday, June 21, 2017 at 10:55 AM

OUR NBA MOCK DRAFT IS COMIN' YOUR WAY IN TOMORROW'S JIM SEZ!!! ...THERE'S LAST-MINUTE NBA DRAFT DAY CHAT, TRADE RUMORS AND MORE ...PLUS MLB MIDWEEK NEWS & NOTESOkay, so is this a case of "where there's smoke, there's fire" ... or not?The trade rumors are making their way 'round the NBA here in the lead-up to Thursday's NBA Draft at Barclays Center in Brooklyn - there was a semi-blockbuster deal on Tuesday where the Los Angeles Lakers traded G D'Angelo Russell and F/C Timofey Mozgov to Brooklyn for C Brook Lopez and the 27th overall pick in Thursday's draft --…

Baseball Injuries, Soft Lines and Biting Dogs!

Tuesday, June 20, 2017 at 12:00 AM

Baseball has a long regular season, almost twice as many games as pro basketball, and ten times more games than the NFL regular season. Baseball athletes have to play just about every day and sometimes even have to play twice in a day during double-headers. This is why it's essential to keep up on injuries. In football, if a starting quarterback or star running back is injured and expected to miss a game, that injury will be reflected in the betting line.   NFL QBs Tom Manning and Drew Brees might be a 10-point home favorite over a below-average team, but…

Network Notebook: Diamondbacks/Rockies Series Preview

Monday, June 19, 2017 at 7:00 PM

It was assumed before the 2017 Major League Baseball season started that the Los Angeles Dodgers were going to run away with the NL West. San Francisco would have a chance to make things interesting. But, it’s been so long since either the Colorado Rockies or Arizona Diamondbacks mattered, nobody was thinking about THOSE two teams as potential playoff threats.Heading into Tuesday’s action…Colorado: 46-26…first place in the NL WestArizona: 44-26…just one game behind themColorado enters the series 20 games over .500 just 72 games into their season. Arizona can get that high if they pull off a road sweep. So,…

Alabama Football Aims High Again

Saturday, June 17, 2017 at 11:00 AM

Alabama has won 11 games or more every year since 2010 under the leadership of Nick Saban. The only other time they were below 11 was in Saban’s first year, way back in 2007. Why is this important? Because Las Vegas has posted Alabama’s Over/Under for wins at 10.5, and charges just a modest (-120) price if you bet the Over.It isn’t that the market is down on Alabama—to the contrary, they’re a 4-1 favorite to win the national championship in Atlanta this coming January. No other team has an Over/Under higher and Ohio State is the only other team…

Jim Sez Baseball Report

Friday, June 16, 2017 at 11:54 AM

THE BASEBALL REPORT - TESTING OUT SOME KEY HOME/AWAY NUMBERS THIS FATHERS' DAY WEEKEND ...NBA DRAFT NOTEBOOK: THREE PLAYERS LOOKING TO CLIMB THE FIRST-ROUND LADDERGive or take, we're about 40 percent or so through this here-and-now 2017 Major-League Baseball season ... that means there is still plenty of time for teams/players to "get their act together" but it's also a good enough time frame to examine what's happened so far:For example, did you realize that the defending World Series champion Chicago Cubs are playing .400 ball on the road this year (that's 12 wins, 18 losses) after going a rock-solid…

Network Notebook: Red Sox/Astros Series Preview

Friday, June 16, 2017 at 7:00 AM

While this weekend’s huge Major League Baseball series matching the Boston Red Sox and Houston Astros could technically be a 2017 playoff preview, it’s not going to FEEL like the playoffs because neither Dallas Keuchel, nor Lance McCullers, nor Chris Sale will be on the mound.Playoff offenses! In a ballpark that will surely host postseason games given Houston’s big lead in the AL West. But, not a true sneak preview of the playoffs unless the back end of Houston’s rotation takes a big step forward between now and October.Matchups this big are rare these days because there are so many…

Wayne Root: MLB Markets Not “Catching Down” to 2017 Disappointments

Thursday, June 15, 2017 at 1:00 PM

One of the best ways to make money as a sports bettor is to ride a hot team before the market “catches up” to how good they are. But, you can make just as much money fading disappointing teams before the market “catches down” to their new level of play.Wednesday’s results in Major League Baseball are a great example of that. A few teams who have been burning money all season continued to do so at prices that shouldn’t have discouraged any faders.*The Chicago Cubs won the World Series last year, but are having trouble staying above the .500 mark…

Jim Sez: NBA Odds To Win it All Next Year - MLB Notebook

Thursday, June 15, 2017 at 12:28 PM

NOW THAT THE NBA SEASON IS IN THE REAR VIEW MIRROR, WHAT'S THE ODDS TO WIN IT ALL IN 2017-18?THE MLB REPORT: WE CHECK OUT A FEW OF THE "OVER" UPDATES, PLUS THERE'S NEWS/NOTES TOOLet the Golden State Warriors have their non-stop party - heck, they deserve it even if many folks believe they truly sealed their championship deal way back last July 4th when the franchise famously inked megastar then-free agent Kevin Durant.And therein lies the rub when you take an early sneak peek at what's ahead for the 2017-18 NBA season ... are the Cleveland Cavaliers (or perhaps…

Jim Sez: Warriors Grab The NBA Title

Wednesday, June 14, 2017 at 10:49 AM

THE NBA FINALS - WARRIORS NAB THE TITLE IN 5 GAMES, BUT NOW WHAT'S NEXT FOR G-STATE AND CLEVELAND LOOKING AHEAD TO THE 2017-18 SEASON?So "Ol' Larry" is back home in the Bay Area.That's the Larry O'Brien Championship Trophy, that is.Maybe you didn't hear Golden State Warriors megastar G Stephen Curry following Monday night's king-sized 129-120 win against the Cleveland Cavaliers as he talked up "ol' Larry" ... sure seemed as if all the Warriors were uber-joyous upon capturing their second championship within the past three years while following that old axiom that "you don't know what you're missing until…

Kelso: Youth Must Be Served With The Pitt Panthers

Wednesday, June 14, 2017 at 6:44 AM

The Pitt Panthers were as interesting as any team in college football last year. On a good day they could be the only team to beat eventual national champion Clemson. Or to knock off Penn State, a game that ultimately cost the Nittany Lions a Playoff berth. On other days...well, they could lose to Northwestern in a bowl game and end up 8-5. What does 2017 hold for Pitt football?A lot of change is where it starts. Third-year head coach Pat Narduzzi must replace quarterback Nathan Peterman, running back James Connor and an elite pass-rushing defensive end in Ejaun Price.…

MLB Betting: Give Me Some Relief!

Tuesday, June 13, 2017 at 12:00 AM

by Jim FeistStarting pitchers in baseball get much of the attention (and money) thrown their way. The average starter is asked to go 6-7 innings, while aces are expected to give 7-8 quality innings. Many games are decided in the last three innings, however, making relief pitchers an extremely important, and often overlooked, element.  How valuable? Just look at the Cubs last season, loaded with pitching depth but still moving to add hard throwing reliever Aroldis Chapman at the trading deadline. Look at the Kansas City Royals the previous two years. A deep, dominant hard throwing relief staff helped them…

Modest Expectations For Michigan Football

Monday, June 12, 2017 at 4:52 PM

Michigan football comes into the 2017 season with expectations a bit tempered. The Wolverines lost their final two games of last year in crushing fashion—first the double-OT heartbreak at Ohio State that cost Jim Harbaugh’s team a shot at the College Football Playoff. Then a narrow Orange Bowl defeat at the hands of Florida State. More important for this season, the Wolverines also lost 17 starters.Nevertheless, we know that college football is a coach’s game and we know that Harbaugh is a good coach. As such, whenever a chance to invest in a good coach at a potential value price…

Jim Sez NBA Finals Report: Game 5 Preview

Monday, June 12, 2017 at 10:44 AM

THE NBA FINALS REPORT: IS THIS THE NIGHT GOLDEN STATE PULLS DOWN THE CURTAIN ON THE '16-'17 SEASON? ...OUR CAVS-WARRIORS GAME 5 PREVIEW IS STRAIGHT AHEAD ...THE BASEBALL WEEKEND IN REVIEWMake no mistake about it: The two full days off between last Friday night's Game 4 and tonight's Game 5 tilt in Oakland may have been good for the down-three-games-to-one Cleveland Cavaliers - those four starters that played 34-or-more minutes in the Game 4 victory got in some serious R&R - but it also allowed the Golden State Warriors ample time to digest (swallow?) everything the mass media threw their…

Network Notebook: Can Cavs Stay Alive in Game 5?

Sunday, June 11, 2017 at 5:00 PM

Many of you are surprised that Monday Night’s fifth game of the 2017 NBA Finals is even being played! Golden State was in position to finish off a historic 16-0 sweep through the whole playoffs late last week. LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers had something so say about that. They spoke very emphatically with a 49-point first quarter on the way to a 137-116 win.But, that was just one game. An all-or-nothing “you’re not winning this on our home court” explosion that caught Golden State flat-footed and unprepared to respond. In Oakland…in front of a huge Warriors crowd…and facing…

Richie Baccellieri: How Sharps are Betting Game 5 of NBA Finals

Sunday, June 11, 2017 at 1:00 PM

So much for the sweep!A very interesting set of circumstances arose late in the day Friday. Sharp money started hitting the board hard on the Cleveland Cavaliers in the hours right before tip off of Game Four of the NBA Finals. That included a lot of very big bets on the Cavs to win the game outright.Then, it the first quarter of the game against the Golden State Warriors, the Cavs were sent to the free throw line an amazing 22 times! That would be about normal for a full game, not a first quarter. That helped launch the Cavaliers…

Jim Sez NBA Finals Update: Game 4 Recap

Saturday, June 10, 2017 at 11:54 AM

THE NBA FINALS UPDATE: HEY, NOBODY'S PERFECT AS WARRIORS HAVE THEIR 16-AND-O POST-SEASON DREAM GO UP IN SMOKE AS CAVS ROAR IN 137-116 WIN IN GAME 4BASEBALL'S WEEKEND NEWS & NOTES Put away those king-sized brooms and all that bubbly champagne too - at least for now - as there will be no sweep in this year's NBA Finals but we do wonder aloud why the Golden State Warriors never did arrive for the Game 4 party on Friday night.Now, let's get something straight: The Warriors - who entered that Game 4 with that ridiculous 15-0 SU (straight-up) playoff record…

Kelso: The Arizona Diamondbacks Take Aim In The NL West

Friday, June 9, 2017 at 4:18 PM

In a sizzling NL West race, the Arizona Diamondbacks are the team you might be tempted to overlook. They’re not in first place, like the Colorado Rockies are. They’re not a preseason favorite with a load of high-priced talent like the Los Angeles Dodgers are. The Diamondbacks are just the team that’s gone 37-25 and is only two games out of the division lead.Actually, for smart baseball bettors, Arizona has been a lot more than that. The market’s overlooking of the Diamondbacks has turned them into a cash cow. The (+$970) they’ve generated on game-by-game moneyline wagers is the third-best…

Jim Sez NBA Finals Game 4 Preview

Friday, June 9, 2017 at 3:43 PM

THE NBA FINALS UPDATE: WARRIORS SHOOT FOR HISTORIC WIN TONIGHT IN GAME 4... IS THERE ANYTHING AT ALL LEFT IN THE CAVALIERS' TANK? ...THE BASEBALL REPORT: WHAT TO WATCH FOR THIS JUNE WEEKEND Let's really put things into pointspread perspective as we head into tonight's Game 4 of the 2017 NBA Finals:The Golden State Warriors - now ready/willing/quite able to complete their 16-and-oh SU (straight-up) post-season - are an electric 11-4 ATS (against the spread) during these playoffs, good for a spiffy .733 winning rate.Now consider that the Las Vegas oddsmakers seemingly might not be able to go high enough…

Richie Baccellieri: How Sharps are Betting Game 4 of NBA Finals

Friday, June 9, 2017 at 11:00 AM

We may be hours away from the last game of the 2017 NBA Finals. The market is certainly reacting that way, as only Golden State support has shown so far. Money that had been interested in taking shots on the Cavaliers in this series may already be tapped out!Cavs bettors lost Game 1Cavs bettors lost Game 2Cavs bettors lost Game 3 (with a true punch to the gut late)Cavs series bettors have no chance, even if they got a great priceEven if somebody just picked a spot for one or two of those (a lot of spot pickers late in…

Network Notebook: Rockies/Cubs Series Preview

Thursday, June 8, 2017 at 1:00 PM

Before the season began, who would have thought baseball fans would be so intrigued by the Colorado Rockies visiting the Chicago Cubs for four games in Wrigley Field in early June?!It was assumed the Cubs would be running away with the National League by now…at least their easy-to-win division. Colorado? Maybe a .500 caliber team if their young talent produced…but only a Wildcard contender at best.Instead, it’s the Rockies who’ve spent most of the 2017 season so far playing like they’re the new Cubs. While, Chicago has been stumbling around, kicking things over, only looking good when weak opponents come…

Jim Sez NBA Finals Game 3 Recap

Thursday, June 8, 2017 at 11:57 AM

THE NBA FINALS - WE'RE HITTIN' THE REWIND BUTTON ON GOLDEN STATE'S DRAMATIC GAME 3 WIN IN CLEVELAND ...PLUS MLB'S WEDNESDAY NIGHT NEWSMAKERS/NOISEMAKERSYou hear it all the time: The NBA is a "make-or-miss" league and that was quite apparent in the final three-plus minutes of Golden State's 118-113 win/cover over Cleveland in Game 3 of the NBA Finals on Wednesday night.The host Cavaliers - once-upon-a-time up 113-107 with just 3:08 remaining in the final quarter - missed their final nine field-goal attempts but it was that three-point corner miss by sharpshooter Kyle Korver (that would have put Cleveland up by…

Jim Sez NBA Finals Game 3 Preview

Wednesday, June 7, 2017 at 11:36 AM

THE NBA FINALS - HERE'S THE GAME 3 PREVIEW AS CAVS LOOK TO REPEAT (2016) HISTORY ...PLUS SOME DIZZYING MLB POWER STATSMaybe the best thing the Golden State Warriors have going for 'em here in Wednesday night's Game 3 of the NBA Finals is the unpleasant memory of having blown a 2-0 (and 3-1) series lead in last year's NBA Finals.Wait a second. Who are we kidding?The best thing the Warriors have going for 'em is they have Kevin Durant playing at the highest possible level these days - he's the runaway Finals MVP after the first two games of…

Richie Baccellieri: How Sharps are Betting Game 3 of NBA Finals

Tuesday, June 6, 2017 at 4:00 PM

What are you going to believe? History, or your own eyes?That’s the issue at the heart of handicapping Wednesday night’s Game 3 of the 2017 NBA Finals. We have two fairly obvious one-sided factors going head-to-head in a way that will challenge sharps and squares.*To the naked eye, the Golden State Warriors are obviously a lot better than the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Cavs just don’t have any workable defensive options other than hoping the Warriors go cold from the field. Golden State just won by 22 and 19 points at home, without it feeling like they were playing very far…

Can The Cleveland Cavaliers Turn It Around?

Tuesday, June 6, 2017 at 3:09 PM

If you say the Cleveland Cavaliers have underperformed in the first two games of the NBA Finals, you have a dramatic capability for understatement. Even with Las Vegas bettors flocking to Golden State, to the point that in this most hyped of Finals the pointspreads for Games 1 & 2 were (-8) and (-9) respectively—even given that, the Cavs still never came close to covering, much less winning. Now the question becomes if they’re still worth investing in as the series returns to Cleveland on Wednesday night (9 PM ET, ABC).The market will make it worth your while if you…

Network Notebook: NBA Finals Game 3 Preview

Tuesday, June 6, 2017 at 12:00 PM

All the margin for error is gone. Cleveland absolutely must win Game Three of the 2017 NBA Finals Wednesday night or their season is as good as over. Honestly, it already feels that way NOW! But, we all remember that it felt that way last year at this time too…and the Cavs mounted a historic comeback that will never be forgotten.The first two games this series? They can mostly be forgotten! Look at how poorly Cleveland played Sunday night in what was supposed to be a classic zig-zag bounce-back spot. GOLDEN STATE 132, CLEVELAND 1132-point shooting: Cleveland 52%, Golden State 61%3-point…

Baseball Pitchers: A Different Breed

Tuesday, June 6, 2017 at 12:00 AM

Baseball Pitchers: A Different Breedby Jim FeistBaseball is very much a thinking man's game, be it the battle between the pitcher and the hitter or managers making adjustments in the field and utilizing their bullpens, to sports bettors trying to beat the oddsmakers each day. This is an age of specialization for baseball pitchers. You have starters, closers, middle relievers, long relief, set-up men and lefty specialists. Some pitchers feel more comfortable and excel in the role of set-up man than closer, for example.   It can all seem overwhelming and even silly at times. I recall an interview with a…

Wayne Root: Golden State Crushing Cleveland So Far

Monday, June 5, 2017 at 5:00 PM

We’ve talked for weeks about how dominant the Golden State Warriors can be when the key stars are healthy and everything is clicking. Even though WAYNE ALLYN ROOT is widely known as THE KING OF UNDERDOGS, my clients and I have been on the Warriors as favorites in the first two games of the 2017 NBA Finals. We’ve also swept the totals! Game OnePerfect Play: Golden State (-7) over Cleveland 113-91Millionaire’s Club: Under 225 (wins by 21) Game TwoPerfect Play: Golden State (-9) over Cleveland 132-113No Limit Club: Over 221 (wins by 24)That’s not just 4-0 against the spread, but 4-0 with…

Jim Sez NBA Finals Update: Game 2 Recap

Monday, June 5, 2017 at 10:46 AM

THE NBA FINALS UPDATE: THERE'S NO STOPPIN' THE WARRIORS AS 132-113 WIN IN GAME 2 KEEPS GOLDEN STATE PERFECTO THIS POST-SEASON ...THE BASEBALL REPORT: ALL HAIL MR. PUJOLS (AND HIS 600 HOME RUNS) BUT WHERE DOES HE RANK AMONG ALL-TIME GREATS?Okay, so what struck you the most about the Golden State Warriors' emphatic 132-113 win in Game 2 of Sunday night's NBA Finals?Was it the dribble-circles-'round LeBron James move by two-time league MVP Stephen Curry - maybe the single-most played highlight of this post-season, we might add - that occurred some five-plus minutes into the game-changing third quarter? ...Or perhaps…

Network Notebook: Nationals/Dodgers Series Preview

Sunday, June 4, 2017 at 8:00 PM

With all due respect to Chicago Cubs fans, the two clear favorites right now to win the National League pennant are the Washington Nationals and the Los Angeles Dodgers.There’s still plenty of time for the Cubs to right their ship and start playing championship caliber ball again. About a third of the way through the season, the Nats and Dodgers are already playing championship caliber ball. Plus, Washington’s in such a horrible division that they can coast the rest of the summer and enter the postseason rarin’ to go. The Dodgers may have a tougher battle in the surprisingly competitive…

Kelso: Examining The NFL Win Props

Sunday, June 4, 2017 at 3:12 PM

If you want to start betting football then the NFL win props require attention. Below are each team’s Over/Under, segmented by division with an area for further study noted...NFC EASTDallas: 9.5NY Giants: 9Philadelphia: 8.5Washington: 7.5Comment: The number on the Redskins begs further investigation. If the losses of Pierre Garcon and DeSean Jackson have a debilitating effect on the passing game, then even a modest 7.5 is going to be laughably optimistic. If, however, the coaching of Jay Gruden and the play of Kirk Cousins are the real keys than this number is terrific value for a team that’s exceeded 7.5…

Kelso: Four World Series Darkhorses

Sunday, June 4, 2017 at 10:59 AM

With over two months of baseball under our belts, it’s no longer reasonable to dismiss surprise results, be they good or bad. But we’ve also watched enough baseball to know that over the next four months there’s still a lot that can change. That means there’s betting value on the futures market and there are four teams whose World Series betting odds are healthy enough to at least merit further investigation…Arizona Diamondbacks (18-1): The Diamondbacks have a “Dodgers problem” in that winning the NL West over the long haul is going to be tough, especially with the bullpen problems manager…

Richie Baccellieri: How Sharps are Betting Game 2 of NBA Finals

Saturday, June 3, 2017 at 2:00 PM

Golden State’s utter dominance of the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 1 of the 2017 NBA Finals has created quite a conundrum for sharps and squares alike. Historically, there’s been value on backing the loser of Game 1 in Game 2 because of the traditional bounce back tendency shown by teams who have to make adjustments against a potentially complacent component. But, in THIS case,*We may have an underdog with no true defensive options*We may have a favorite who’s so dominant they can do whatever they want*We may have a point spread that hasn’t yet captured those first two points!The line…

Jim Sez: NBA Finals Game 2 Preview

Saturday, June 3, 2017 at 12:14 PM

 THE NBA FINALS: NOW HERE'S OUR GAME 2 PREVIEW PLUS MLB & NFL NEWS/NOTESNo doubt following on the heels of the NBA Finals Game 1 that a whole lot was made of the fact the Golden State Warriors hurled up 20 more field-goal attempts than the Cleveland Cavaliers in that resounding 113-91 triumph by the "Dubs".Okay, that was significant as G-State canned 45-of-106 FG tries (.424 shooting) while Cleveland nailed just 30-of-86 floor shots (that's .349) - but it's worth noting that the quality of shots came into play too. The Warriors' underrated defense contested the majority of Cav shots…

Kelso: The College Football National Championship Odds

Friday, June 2, 2017 at 4:53 PM

Summer is upon us and the opening of college football season on August 26 suddenly isn’t so far away. The prospect of football is enough to get any handicapper’s mouth watering. Why don’t we set the table with a look at the national championship futures market.THE FAVORITESAlabama: 4-1Ohio State: 5-1Florida State: 15-2USC: 15-2Comment: Alabama and Ohio State are just the usual suspects, between their annual great recruiting classes and outstanding head coaches. There’s no reason to expect this season to be any different...and also no value to be found, at least not yet.USC is drawing a lot of love after…

Jim Sez: NBA Finals Game 1 Recap

Friday, June 2, 2017 at 11:40 AM

THE WARRIORS ROCK-N-ROLL TO EASY 113-91 WIN OVER THE CAVS IN GAME 1 OF THE NBA FINALS ...PLUS THE BASEBALL WEEKEND AHEAD AS CARDS-CUBS TANGLE AT WRIGLEYHey, after all it is the 2017 playoffs:So, of course, you should not be surprised that we had a Game 1 blowout last night in these NBA Finals!As we told you good folks in an earlier-week Jim Sez column, we entered this championship round having seen 44 of the 74 previous post-season games being decided by twin-figure margins and so why shouldn't Game 1 of these much-hyped Finals not follow that script?The Golden State…

Network Notebook: Cavs Need a Solution for Game 2

Friday, June 2, 2017 at 10:00 AM

As handicappers prepare for Sunday’s second game of the 2017 NBA Finals, they’ll have to deal with the stark possibility that nobody’s going to get in the way of the Golden State Warriors…and the budding reality that Las Vegas just can’t make pointspreads high enough to deal with the NBA’s new superpower.Golden State keeps winning easily. Are we to the point that they should be -15 in their home games vs. other elite NBA squads, and -10 on the road? This is a team that just beat fresh, rested, and PEAKING Cleveland by 22 points Thursday in Game 1, after…

Jim Sez NBA Finals Game One Preview

Thursday, June 1, 2017 at 1:23 PM

IT'S HERE, IT'S FINALLY HERE - THE NBA FINALS TIPS OFF TONIGHT WITH CAVALIERS, WARRIORS IN THEIR LATEST ON-COURT SQUABBLE, AND WE HAVE A GAME 1 PREVIEWPLUS, THE MLB REPORT ASKS: CAN ANYONE OUT THERE BEAT THE ASTROS?When we last saw the NBA, it was way back on May 25th and the Cleveland Cavaliers were busy putting on the finishing touches of their Eastern Conference Playoff Series triumph against the Boston Celtics ... now, that was a long time ago, wasn't it?So, we welcome back the "association" beginning with tonight's series opener in the latest installment of Cleveland versus the…

100-Unit NBA Championship Round Game Of Year Gets It All Underway Tonight

Thursday, June 1, 2017 at 1:10 PM

100-Unit NBA Championship Round Game Of Year Gets It All Underway TonightCleveland And Golden State Meet For 3rd Straight Year For NBA Championship With Warriors So-So -260 Favorite To Win It AllGolden State 7-Point Favorite In Game #1 But The Cover Truly Remains Up In The AirBy Kelso SturgeonThe two best teams in the National Basketball Association (NBA)—the defending champion Cleveland Cavaliers (63-32) and the 2015-16 champion Golden State Warriors (79-15)—meet for the third-straight year in the championship series that most certainly will challenge bettors. Either team has the talent to win it all. The fact Golden State is the…

Network Notebook: NBA Championship Preview

Thursday, June 1, 2017 at 7:00 AM

It’s the rubber match, as the defending World Champion Cleveland Cavaliers prepare to take on the Golden State Warriors in the 2017 NBA Finals for the third straight year. But, in a sense, it’s really just the “first” meeting between THESE respective collections of talent with so much on the line.*Golden State was already great, then added Kevin Durant!*Cleveland was already great, but tweaked their offense to include more dynamic three-point shooting.This year’s Warriors team would beat last year’s Warriors team…and that’s not even accounting for the fact that Golden State was banged up in the finals in a way…

Richie Baccellieri: How Sharps are Betting the NBA Finals

Wednesday, May 31, 2017 at 5:00 PM

As promised, I’m back to take a look at how professional wagerers have been betting the 2017 NBA Finals featuring the Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors. Game One is Thursday night on ABC. We could see some interesting developments in Nevada sportsbooks between now and then. This is a series people WANT to bet!To this point, sharp action is laying out this way:*Sharps who like GOLDEN STATE have already bet the Warriors to win the series (current price -250). Many did so earlier in the regular season or postseason at more affordable prices. Whether you’re an old school guy…

Wayne Root: More on the Surging LA Dodgers

Wednesday, May 31, 2017 at 2:00 PM

A couple of weeks ago, I told you to keep an eye on the Los Angeles Dodgers. They had the pieces in place to make a statement in the National League pennant race. Since then, they’ve made a few statements!*The Dodgers swept the defending World Champion Chicago Cubs in a series that never even felt competitive. LA won by final scores of 4-0, 5-0, and 9-4! The Cubs are reeling of late, and the Dodgers are already in championship form.*The Dodgers impressed in two series vs. the St. Louis Cardinals, a team that’s at least Wildcard caliber right now…and might…

The Jim Sez NBA Finals Preview

Wednesday, May 31, 2017 at 11:17 AM

CAVS VS. WARRIORS PLAY IT AGAIN BUT IT'S DEFENDING CHAMPS THAT ARE HEAVY-DUTY DOGS It's a fact: Even in the halcyon NBA days of Boston Celtics versus Los Angeles (seemingly) every year, we've never before experienced a "trilogy" when it comes to the NBA Finals.Lots of championship round repeat matchup series (there's actually been 13 in all!), including this here-and-now Cleveland Cavaliers versus Golden State Warriors rivalry the past two years but this is hoops history and - better yet - it's the "rubber match" with the defending champ Cavs actually a major underdog priced at + 220; the Warriors…

NBA Finals Fever: Bring on the Stars!

Wednesday, May 31, 2017 at 12:00 AM

by Jim Feist For the third straight year LeBron James and the Cavaliers battle Steph Curry and the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals. If you had doubts about star power being the difference in the NBA Playoffs you can forget it. Both teams are loaded with stars leaving everyone else far behind....again.   Two years ago Golden State exploded with a historical season, tops in the NBA in field goal shooting and three-point shooting, plus No. 1 in FG defense allowing just 42% shooting on the way to topping the depleted Cavs in six games, coming back from a 2-1…

Wayne Root: Can Cavaliers Shock Warriors in NBA Finals…AGAIN?!

Monday, May 29, 2017 at 5:00 PM

Last year it seemed impossible…but then LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers rallied from a 3-1 series deficit to beat the Golden State Warriors for the 2016 NBA crown.This year, it seems just as impossible! Golden State is currently a -250 favorite to win the series. But, the Warriors are a perfect 12-0 so far in the playoffs, and are talking about making a 16-0 run at history. How can Cleveland score their second straight Final Round upset if they’re going to be lucky to make it past five games?As you know, WAYNE ALLYN ROOT is THE KING OF UPSETS.…

Richie Baccellieri: Be Wary of Betting Streaks in Baseball

Monday, May 29, 2017 at 11:00 AM

You often run into gamblers in Las Vegas who say they love betting “streaks” in baseball. They remind you that if you’re riding a streak, you only lose one time at the end. If you’re trying to bet when a streak is going to end, you may lose a lot of times to win just once.While all that is true, and can be put to good use for smart wagerers, this kind of mindset typically makes some mistakes that hurt the bottom line.*First, these bettors really only want to bet a winning streak when one of the BEST teams is…

Network Notebook: Yankees/Orioles Series Preview

Monday, May 29, 2017 at 7:00 AM

Once again, the Baltimore Orioles were off to one of those hot runs that had everyone raving about Buck Showalter. But, a recent slump keyed by poor starting pitching has seen the O’s sinking fast in the AL East standings. Baltimore has lost seven straight, and is a woeful 3-13 its last 16 games. The first-place Yankees come to town for a three-game series that begins Monday afternoon. Great…struggling Baltimore had to fly in all the way from Houston for a DAY game!Can the Orioles get things turned around against the surprising Yankees? Is it the Yanks turn to hit…

Network Notebook: Time to Start College Football Prep

Sunday, May 28, 2017 at 1:00 PM

If you walked by a newsstand within the past few days, you probably noticed that the Athlon annual and other publications were already out. That’s the signal for YOU to start getting ready for the 2017 college football season.And, with Las Vegas and offshore sportsbooks already posting early futures prices and Week One lines, you now have additional motivation! You can bet your edges now if you live in the right places. Or, you can at least use those lines to help you pin down your own ratings for all the board teams.Where to start?As much as we love Athlon,…

Jim Sez Memorial Day Weekend Baseball Report

Saturday, May 27, 2017 at 12:01 PM

THE MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND BASEBALL REPORT - WE CHECK OUT PERSONAL WISH LISTS FOR ONE TEAM IN EACH OF THE SIX DIVISIONSCheck it out: The 2017 Major-League Baseball season is not even one-third through its 162-game-per-team schedule and yet there's major panic setting in all 'round the bigs as we'll soon point out.Sure, the Houston Astros and the Washington Nationals still sport bloated leads in the American League West and National League East, respectively, and it's been a renaissance season for the likes of the New York Yank Yankees, Minnesota Twins and the Colorado (just to name a few!) but…

Wayne Root: Vegas Slow to React to NBA Over Trends

Saturday, May 27, 2017 at 8:00 AM

One of the big stories out here in Las Vegas this week involves the bath sportsbooks have been taking because “Favorite and Over” has been coming through so often in games involving the Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA Playoffs. Oddsmakers are calling it one of their worst months of May ever.It’s not hard to see why:*The public loves betting favorites*The public REALLY loves betting dominant franchises*The public loves betting OversBut, it’s even worse than that makes it sound.*The public loves betting PARLAYS with Favorite and Over*The public loves sticking favorites together in parlays*The public keeps betting…

Network Notebook: Cubs/Dodgers Series Preview

Friday, May 26, 2017 at 3:00 PM

Even though both the defending World Champion Chicago Cubs and resource-rich Los Angeles Dodgers have gotten off to relatively slow starts in 2017 compared to expectations…you know that this weekend’s three-game series matching the two will feature playoff caliber baseball. These teams met in the playoffs last year. Both are expected to shake off early divisional threats through the summer to line up again in October.And, great news for baseball fans, we will have marquee names on the mound. This isn’t one of those three-game sets where Cy Young candidates are spectators just like the rest of us because it…

An Early Look At The NFL Super Bowl Odds

Friday, May 26, 2017 at 11:44 AM

It’s never too early to talk a little football and it’s never too early to think about betting football, with the futures market in swing as we move closer to the summer months. Below is a general outline of the NFL Super Bowl odds with pertinent thoughts on each group of teams.Keep in mind that these prices tell us more than just what meets the eye—they’re also indicators of how teams will be treated by Las Vegas in the early weeks of the season and where value may lie on a game-to-game basis.THE FAVORITENew England Patriots: 18-5In addition to the…

Jim Sez: Cavs Bounce Back and Warriors 12-0

Wednesday, May 24, 2017 at 10:35 AM

THE NBA PLAYOFF REPORT: CAVALIERS' COMEBACK GETS 'EM GAME 4 WIN PLUS ALL HAIL THE "PERFECT" WARRIORS AS WE BREAK DOWN THE 12-AND-OH RUN THIS POST-SEASON IN POINTSPREAD STYLEBASEBALL NEWS & NOTESIf the Cleveland Cavaliers are gonna look back at a second consecutive NBA championship - we said "if" - then they'll happily look back at last night's 112-99 come-from-behind win in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals.The Boston Celtics were up 16 points; the Cavs were without star LeBron James for the final 6:45 of the first half because of four fouls; and all seemed doom-and-gloom inside "The…

Baseball Bettors Don’t Chew Big Chalk

Tuesday, May 23, 2017 at 12:00 AM

by Jim FeistApril and May means that many novice sports bettors may look at the matchups and lean toward ace pitchers and lay the big price. But let me give you three words of advice: Don't do it. Baseball is unique from football and basketball in that there is no point spread. Instead you bet merely on which team will win the game and this translates into a money-line wager.   When betting baseball, most professional handicappers look for prices that are close to even money (for example, -120, -135 favorites or +105, +130 underdogs).  Or bettors will play baseball totals…

Network Notebook: Cardinals/Dodgers Series Preview

Monday, May 22, 2017 at 4:00 PM

There are enough quality teams this season in Major League Baseball that there’s almost always a great series on the ledger for fans and handicappers to study. This week, that showcase series is obviously the St. Louis Cardinals visiting the Los Angeles Dodgers. Futures prices to win the National League pennant currently have these two teams just behind the Chicago Cubs and Washington Nationals.Yes, St. Louis trails Milwaukee in the NL Central at the moment…and the Dodgers are behind the surprisingly hot starts of Colorado and Arizona. But, respected betting markets see these as two of the top four teams…

Cleveland Cracks First

Monday, May 22, 2017 at 2:00 PM

In the cross-country battle that’s being waged by the Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors as they head towards the NBA Finals, it was the Cavaliers who cracked first. With both teams having won their first ten games of the postseason, Golden State held serve on the road in Game 3 at San Antonio, but Cleveland could not do the same on their home floor against Boston last night. The Cavs coughed up a 21-point lead and lost 111-108, a game they were a (-16.5) favorite.No one is under any illusion that this is going to slow Cleveland’s march to…

Wayne Root: MLB Current Cinderella’s May be Pretenders

Monday, May 22, 2017 at 12:00 PM

There are several interesting stories developing right now in the 2017 Major League Baseball season. Among them are the number of potential “Cinderella” stories across the divisions where surprise teams are in contention.Will we see some darkhorses or Cinderellas in the postseason brackets come October? WAYNE ALLYN ROOT is THE KING OF UPSETS because I know how to spot true value teams worth betting rather than short term flukes who are about to fall apart.Let’s look at a few of these surprise contenders. NL Central: MILWAUKEE BREWERSThe Brewers enter the new week with a 1.5-game lead over the St. Louis Cardinals,…

Jim Sez Conference Finals Previews

Monday, May 22, 2017 at 11:53 AM

THERE'S LIFE IN THESE NBA PLAYOFFS AFTER ALL!!!CELTICS SHOCK CAVS IN GAME 3 OF EASTERN FINALS (A BIG JIM HURLEY WINNER!) AND SO TUESDAY'S GAME 4 IS "MUST-SEE TV"PLUS WESTERN CONFERENCE FINALS COULD BE FINIS TONIGHT IN THE ALAMO CITY AS WARRIORS SHOOT TO STAY PERFECT THIS POST-SEASON ...BASEBALL'S "UNDER-THE-RADAR" TEAMS WHILE HEADING INTO MEMORIAL DAY WEEKENDHere's something you might well have been wondering following Sunday night's uber-dramatic 111-108 last-second win by the Boston Celtics over the Cleveland Cavaliers ... was there even a "money line" made available to the wagering folks of the world?Well, according to our sources, three…

Kelso: The Colorado Rockies Are Crushing It

Saturday, May 20, 2017 at 3:21 PM

The Colorado Rockies are crushing it right now, on the field and more importantly, for bettors. If you simply bet the Rockies each game this season you’d be showing a profit of (+$1446), a figure that’s the best in the majors with more than a couple hundred bucks to spare.Just as noteworthy is that Colorado has handled the favorite’s role, an important factor for betting this team as the surprise factor wears off and sportsbooks adjust to their 27-16 record and two-game lead in the NL West. The Rockies are 11-6 as a favorite. They’ve also handled the road, earning…

Jim Sez Weekend NBA Previews

Saturday, May 20, 2017 at 12:37 PM

 IT'S A MONSTER NBA WEEKEND - WARRIORS, CAVS SHOOT TO STAY PERFECT IN THE POST-SEASON ...PLUS PRE-MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND BASEBALL NEWS/NOTESJust had to love that TNT animation of a cartoon figure of Cleveland's LeBron James spanking the Boston Celtics' famed leprechaun ... it was some levity following Friday's 130-86 Cavs' beat down of the C's and now the $64,000 question is should they even bother to play Games 3 and 4 of this Eastern Conference Finals?Heck, you might be wondering the same out West where - heading into Saturday night - the Golden State Warriors were (just like Cleveland) looking…

Richie Baccellieri: Sportsbooks Helped by Slow Starts for Cubs, Indians

Friday, May 19, 2017 at 6:00 PM

There have been a few Major League Baseball teams in the 2017 season that have caught Las Vegas oddsmakers by surprise. But, sportsbooks are more than holding their own so far thanks to all of the following…*The defending World Champion Chicago Cubs are off to a very slow start. Everyone loves betting the Cubs in this town. Chicago was down almost 10 units for the season before embarrassing an overmatched Cincinnati Reds team the past few days.*The defending runner-up Cleveland Indians are almost down 10 units entering their weekend series with Houston despite having a winning record at 20-19. This…

Network Notebook: Are the Houston Astros for Real?

Friday, May 19, 2017 at 3:00 PM

So far, it’s been a fantastic 2017 season for the Houston Astros. They were a sharp choice to win the AL West before the campaign even began. They’ve become the sharp choice to represent the American League in the World Series based on their 29-12 record about a fourth of the way through the season.Are the Astros for real? Or, an illusion waiting to be exposed?JIM HURLEY’S most trusted indicator stats suggest the Astros are the real deal.*They haven’t been lucky in one-run games. Their 6-4 record is in line with what you’d expect from a great team (maybe a…

Wayne Root: Dodgers Could Surpass Cubs in NL Championship Chase

Friday, May 19, 2017 at 11:00 AM

There’s a lot to like about how the Los Angeles Dodgers are playing at the moment. Sure, they’re not in first place in their own division thanks to Colorado’s hot start. But, when you look at the key stats that winning handicappers use, things look a lot better.NL Run DifferentialLA Dodgers +60Washington +46Arizona +34Milwaukee +31St. Louis +15Colorado +13Chicago Cubs +12The Dodgers have the best run differential in the National League by a good bit, and enter the weekend only trailing the Houston Astros by one run across the whole Major Leagues. Most importantly to me, the Dodgers are WAY ahead…

Richie Baccellieri: How Sharps have been Betting NBA Conference Finals

Wednesday, May 17, 2017 at 10:00 AM

Normally when “public” teams are involved, the sports betting marketplace shapes up very firmly in a “sharps vs. squares” divide that results in something resembling a “tug-of-war” once a number settles. Oddsmakers try to shade against what they expect the public to do, then hope to either be positioned against the public enjoying the right end of 11/10 odds, or enjoy split action that guarantees a profit in that one game.So far in both the Western Conference Finals, and the Eastern Conference Finals, the marketplace is dealing with the reality that sharps don’t want to bet on these underdogs unless…

NBA Playoffs: Beware of the Blowout

Wednesday, May 17, 2017 at 12:00 AM

by Jim Feist     The NBA playoffs are in full swing, which means overall the better teams are battling each other. This is different from the regular season when many nights great teams are playing bad teams, and bad teams are playing worse teams! One thing astute sports bettors should pay very careful attention to is blowouts.    Blowout games are less expected this time of the year, but they still happen as one team can have a bad game on any night. The Celtics began the playoffs losing the first two games at home, including a 111-97 embarrassment to Chicago,…

Network Notebook: Eastern Conference Finals Preview

Tuesday, May 16, 2017 at 4:00 PM

If the Cleveland Cavaliers keep playing like they have been, then the 2017 Eastern Conference Finals are already over. It’s been so long since they played…it’s easy to forget that they swept a Toronto Raptors team that was better suited to compete with them than the surviving Boston Celtics are.Cleveland beat Toronto by 11, 22, 21, and 7 points (the last two on the road). Toronto was a better offensive team than Cleveland in terms of per-possession efficiency during the regular season, a better defensive team, and a much better rebounding team. Boston will have to shoot lights out from…

Wayne Root: Can Celtics Shock the Cavaliers in Eastern Finals?

Tuesday, May 16, 2017 at 11:00 AM

You longtime readers know that WAYNE ALLYN ROOT is always looking to make a dramatic upset call. I have a real eye for sensing when a shocker is about to happen. And, of course, it makes my clients and I a fortune when I’m right. Furthermore…even though we can’t win ‘em all…being right with underdogs “most” of the time is the way professional wagerers make their living. It’s the best of all worlds. Focusing on underdogs helps you grind out a profit while also setting you up for occasional lottery payoffs.But, the 2017 NBA Playoffs really haven’t been a great…

Time For Cavs-Celtics to Get it On -- Plus Spurs-Warriors and More

Tuesday, May 16, 2017 at 12:00 AM

THE NBA PLAYOFF UPDATE: HEY, THE CAVALIERS FINALLY GET BACK INTO ACTION AS #1 SEED CELTICS SET TO HOST ‘EM WEDNESDAY IN GAME 1 OF EASTERN CONFERENCE FINALS…PLUS IT’S GAME 2 OUT WEST / SPURS VS. WARRIORS AND VEGAS HAS G-ST A FULL “2-TD” FAVORITE…THE BASEBALL REPORT: THE WORST PITCHING STAFFS IN THE BIGSMaybe there are some “ghosts” still lingering around Boston Garden … in any event, the Celtics improved to 19-4 SU (straight-up) in playoff Game 7s at home and that includes (of course) the “old” and the “new” Garden in Beantown.Now, should the defending champion Cleveland Cavaliers have…

Kelso: The Underachieving Boston Red Sox & Chicago Cubs

Monday, May 15, 2017 at 8:00 PM

The Chicago Cubs and the Boston Red Sox have several things in common—they’re big-market teams, they have passionate fan bases and both had high expectations coming into the 2017 baseball season. As of mid-May, they have something else in common—both are underachieving between the lines.The Red Sox are 19-18 with the Cubs at 18-19, the very definition of mediocrity. It’s not what was expected from a Chicago team that was a top-heavy favorite to win another World Series and Boston, priced as a co-favorite with Cleveland in the American League.Market belief in both teams is unshaken. The Cubs remain the…

Jim Sez Game 7 Eastern Preview and West Game 2

Monday, May 15, 2017 at 11:20 AM

READY OR NOT, HERE COMES GAME 7 AS WIZARDS-CELTICS COLLIDE IN BOSTON TONIGHT ...PLUS WE PREVIEW GAME 2 OF NBA'S WESTERN FINALS AS WARRIORS SHOOT FOR THE 2-0 SERIES LEAD ...THE BASEBALL REPORT: CHECKIN' OUT THE 10 GAMES-OVER-.500 SQUADSHey, let's hurry this thing up ... after all, the defending NBA champion Cleveland Cavaliers are waiting for the winner of this now seven-game series between the Washington Wizards versus the Boston Celtics and we remind y'all that the Cavs have played just eight games in the past 30 calendar days!First things first and that's tonight Game 7 in Beantown where the…

Network Notebook: MLB Divisional Breakdowns

Monday, May 15, 2017 at 7:00 AM

You longtime readers know we like to periodically check in on divisional breakdowns to see if we can find overrated or underrated divisions (or leagues!) in Major League Baseball.This exercise has helped us for many years, largely because the sports betting marketplace remains very stubborn about accepting that the American League is much better than the National League. It’s been true for more than a decade. After a slow regression toward more equality, early results in 2017 are suggesting the sports is bouncing back more toward a stronger American League.Let’s start by looking at the AL divisions, and you’ll see…

Kelso: Betting The NBA Western Conference Finals

Saturday, May 13, 2017 at 1:28 PM

The NBA Western Conference Finals begin on Sunday (3:30 PM ET, ABC) when the San Antonio Spurs visit the Golden State Warriors. This is a matchup that’s been highly anticipated for several months, with these teams considered the two best in basketball.Some of the gloss has come off the anticipation in light of the events of the past several weeks. It started on March 29 when the Warriors went into San Antonio and won 110-98—in spite of playing in Houston the previous night and in spite of spotting the Spurs the game’s first 15 points. It was a statement win…

Jim Sez NBA Playoff Weekend

Saturday, May 13, 2017 at 12:13 PM

THE NBA PLAYOFFS:HOPE "MOM" LIKES HER PRO HOOPS 'CAUSE SPURS-WARRIORS ARE SET TO TANGLE IN GAME 1 OF WESTERN FINALS ON SUNDAY...PLUS WE REVIEW CELTICS-WIZARDS GAME 6THE BASEBALL REPORT: YANKEES HOPING "DEREK JETER WEEKEND" ISN'T A LOST CAUSEGot some sound/free advice for you good folks that are hoping to spend Mother's Day with your favorite mom ... make early plans or hold off till dinner hour 'cause odds are you're gonna be busy between 3:30 p.m. ET and 6 p.m. ET.Hey, it's Game 1 of the NBA Western Conference Finals - and that's must-see TV as the Warriors look to…

Jim Sez NBA Playoff Report - What Happened To Rockets

Friday, May 12, 2017 at 2:44 PM

THE NBA PLAYOFF UPDATE: SO, WHAT DID HAPPEN TO HOUSTON'S JAMES HARDEN IN THAT GAME 6 BLOWOUT LOSS TO THE SAN ANT SPURS? ...THE BASEBALL REPORT: SHOULD THE ROYALS REALLY BE THINKING ABOUT BREAKING UP THAT OLD GANG OF MINE?If nothing else, it made for some great late-night talk show fodder on cable television as in ...What did happen in Game 6 to Houston Rockets' megastar James Harden?No doubt the fact the Rockets were lambasted 114-75 by a banged-up San Antonio Spurs team (no Tony Parker, no Kawhi Leonard) was a major story in itself but Harden's mysterious disappearance in…

Network Notebook: Western Conference Finals Preview

Friday, May 12, 2017 at 2:00 PM

When news broke late Thursday that Kawhi Leonard would miss Game 6 of San Antonio’s second round series with the Houston Rockets, it was assumed that the Western Finals would be delayed until The Battle of Texas went the full seven games.Not so fast!The Spurs played great shorthanded, reminding everyone of the power of team basketball when it’s played by smart well-coached athletes. James Harden reminded everyone that carrying a team on your shoulders can be too exhausting to pull off vs. great opponents! It’s like head coach Mike D’Antoni had Harden run a marathon at a full sprint all…

Wayne Root: Vegas Asks, Can Golden State Go 16-0?!

Friday, May 12, 2017 at 8:00 AM

As big a fan as I am of the Golden State Warriors and how they play professional basketball, even WAYNE ALLYN ROOT isn’t ready to make the case that they’ll run the table for a perfect 16-0 record in the 2017 NBA Playoffs.Stores in Las Vegas are putting up that prop. You can either bet the Warriors will do it…or that either the Warriors or Cavs will do it. Obviously Golden State has the best Power Rating in the league by a good bit right now. And, they’re already a double-digit favorite in Game One of the Western Finals against…

Major Bounceback For NBA Betting Favorites - Wizards-Celtics Game 6

Thursday, May 11, 2017 at 3:20 PM

IT'S BEEN A MAJOR BOUNCEBACK FOR NBA PLAYOFF BETTING FAVORITES (AND WE'LL CLUE YOU IN!) ...PLUS IT'S CELTICS-WIZARDS IN A GAME 6 ...BASEBALL NEWS/NOTES: CHECKING OUT THE MOST HOME RUN FRIENDLY PARKSDo you recall way back when during the early stages of this year's NBA Playoffs when Betting Favorites stumbled out of the post-season gate at 4-9 ATS (against the spread)?Sure you do, but talk about the winds of change!Following Wednesday's action - see Boston (- 4) blasting Washington 123-101 in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Semifinal Round - there were NBA Playoff Betting Favorites sittin' pretty overall at…

Kelso: Orioles, Rockies, Yankees Winning Big Money

Wednesday, May 10, 2017 at 5:15 PM

Orioles, Rockies, Yankees Winning Big Money For Bettors, Giants, Blue Jays Breaking ThemBookies On Winning Triple Crown...No -500, Yes +400What Else Is New?...Alabama 5-2 Favorite To Win 5th National Championship In Past 8 YearsBy Kelso SturgeonI made my daily round of several Las Vegas sports books this morning and found the betting gentry quite out of sorts for whatever the reason (long ago learned not to ask "why"). Grumpy, eyes starring blankly at nothingness, obviously pissed off, mad at the world bettors - everything negative. I wanted to pull the fire alarm and send these people running for the exit…

The Jim Sez Midweek Update

Wednesday, May 10, 2017 at 1:10 PM

THE JIM SEZ MID-WEEK UPDATE:CAN SPURS CLOSE IT OUT IN HOUSTON WITH A DINGED-UP KAWHI LEONARD?THE BASEBALL REPORT: DISASTROUS DAYS CONTINUE FOR THE LOWLY JINTSMaybe it all is just a bit of NBA window dressing:After all, while they battle it out in the playoff series involving San Antonio versus Houston (see our Game 6 preview below) and in the one pitting Boston versus Washington, there's the matter of the two major heavy-duty favorites expected to play in next month's NBA Finals who these days are merely just twiddling their thumbs.The defending champion Cleveland Cavaliers have tacked together back-to-back playoff sweeps…

Kelso: Can The Cleveland Cavaliers Keep Covering?

Wednesday, May 10, 2017 at 9:47 AM

The Cleveland Cavaliers might not have been impressive in their first-round sweep of the Indiana Pacers (to the extent that a sweep can ever be unimpressive), covering only one spread in the four games. Facing a better opponent in the Toronto Raptors, one with playoff experience, the Cavs kicked it up a notch—the result was another four-game sweep and this one with a 3-0-1 ATS performance. What are we to make of this?*Let’s start with the way Cleveland opened games in the Raptors series. The Cavs set the tone in Games 1 & 2 by getting out to double-digit leads…

Network Notebook: Looking Ahead to Warriors/Cavs

Tuesday, May 9, 2017 at 4:00 PM

Yes, there’s a lot of basketball yet to be played in the second round of the NBA Playoffs. But, that only involves teams who won’t have much of a chance to win in their conference finals!Whoever survives Houston/San Antonio is clearly good enough to be “championship caliber” in most seasons based on their production and Power Ratings. But, that survivor will be a prohibitive underdog to a well-rested and healthy Golden State Warriors squad.Whoever survives Boston/Washington will be a physically drained team that’s lucky to be in the inferior conference! Would Washington have even made the playoffs if they had…

Wayne Root: The Yankees are No Longer a Secret

Tuesday, May 9, 2017 at 12:00 PM

The last time we were together I talked about the issues that the New York Mets would likely be enduring through the rest of the season. Today, it’s time to move crosstown to talk about the red hot New York Yankees.I had planned on holding off on the Yankees for a bit, hoping their improved play would set up some value spots for my clients. But, the team has taken the baseball world by storm the last several days, dashing any hopes of that. If anything, the team is likely to be overpriced moving forward because there’s no way any…

NBA Playoffs: Keep Up on Adjustments

Tuesday, May 9, 2017 at 12:00 AM

by Jim Feist    Playoff basketball pits the best against the best, which gets even more heated the deeper we get to June. The star players and the better teams usually find themselves advancing. This is why it’s essential to keep close tabs on coaching adjustments and strategic shifts that take place from game to game.   Coaches can earn their money this time of the season – or hurt their team by doing nothing, or the wrong thing. The first round series between the Celtics and Bulls was a fascinating chess match of coaching strategy. Chicago stunned the green by winning…

Wayne Root: Vegas Slow to React to NBA Over Trends

Saturday, May 6, 2017 at 8:00 AM

One of the big stories out here in Las Vegas this week involves the bath sportsbooks have been taking because “Favorite and Over” has been coming through so often in games involving the Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA Playoffs. Oddsmakers are calling it one of their worst months of May ever.It’s not hard to see why:*The public loves betting favorites*The public REALLY loves betting dominant franchises*The public loves betting OversBut, it’s even worse than that makes it sound.*The public loves betting PARLAYS with Favorite and Over*The public loves sticking favorites together in parlays*The public keeps betting…

Network Notebook: Is the “Defense and Rebounding” Era Over?

Friday, May 5, 2017 at 9:00 AM

We’ve been talking to you here in JIM HURLEY’S HANDICAPPING NOTEBOOK pretty much since the internet was invented. And, one of our themes in terms of picking basketball winners during the postseason has always been “defense and rebounding wins championships.”We told you that in the 1990’s…in the 2000’s…and every year up until this year. And, it was TRUE! Even the teams with great offensive weapons generally won championships (in both college and pro hoops) because they thrived defensively and on the glass as well as having a star scorer (or two). You couldn’t go the distance with a mediocre or…

Richie Baccellieri: Oddsmakers Face New World in NBA Playoff Over/Unders

Thursday, May 4, 2017 at 4:00 PM

It’s been a long, long time since oddsmakers had to even think about NBA series all over the map scoring in the 220’s on a nightly basis. Maybe a series here or there involving a fast break team. And, even if you go back to that past era when less defense was played, the high point totals weren’t keyed by the fickle-ness of three-point shooting. How can oddsmakers balance the market around such an inconsistent stat?Houston might score 125 one night with the help of 20 treys, but struggle to get past 100 the next time out when they make…

Wayne Root: The Mets are in Trouble

Thursday, May 4, 2017 at 12:00 PM

You longtime readers know that I follow the New York sports teams very closely even though I’ve lived out here in Las Vegas for many years. I was born in Mt. Vernon, New York, and grew up a true S.O.B. (son of a butcher!). I still have great sources in the Big Apple who find me winning information year-round in all sports.Right now, those sources are convinced that the NY Mets are going to have a disappointing season. You know that the Mets are having trouble keeping pitchers healthy. That’s one of the dangers of trying to acquire flame throwers…

NBA Playoff Previews

Wednesday, May 3, 2017 at 4:48 PM

THE NBA PLAYOFF UPDATE - WHAT ARE THE SPURS THINKING AFTER TAKING A POUNDING IN GAME 1?...PLUS IT'S A GAME 2 BASH FOR RAPTORS VS. CAVS ...AND MLB NEWS/NOTES: ALL HAIL THE ORIOLESIt's one of the greatest questions in NBA handicapping history: What do you do after the road underdog pummeled the home favorite in Game 1 of a best-of-seven series?Some folks will tell you that laying the price with the Game 2 home favorite is close to "automatic" and, of course, fans of the always-popular "zig-zag theory" which states you wager on the team that is coming off a…

Jim Feist: Baseball Hot and Cold Starts

Tuesday, May 2, 2017 at 12:00 AM

by Jim FeistMore than any other sport, baseball is a game of patience. It's not how you start, but where you finish, and with a 162-game regular season, there is a LOT of baseball left. Did your team get off to a bad start? Well don't panic. There is plenty of time to make adjustments and turn things around. Did your team get off to a hot start? Don't start making World Series reservations just yet.  A year ago this month the Tampa Bay Rays enjoyed a pair of four-game win streaks, each time giving them a winning record. But…

The Jim Sez NBA Playoff Round Two Notebook

Monday, May 1, 2017 at 1:58 PM

HEY, IT'S MAY, AND WE'VE GOT LOTS TO SAY ABOUT THE NBA PLAYOFFS / ROUND II-STYLEWe know what you're thinking: The NBA Playoffs have been fun so far but are we merely "killing time" till we get to what appears to be an inevitable NBA Finals showdown - Part III - between the defending champion Cleveland Cavaliers and the heavy-duty-favorite-to-win-it-all Golden State Warriors?Hey, that could be, but as we open up the merry month of May there's some NBA teams with an eye on the prize not named the Cavs and Warriors and they are part of the mix here…

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