Vegas Sports Masters Blog

MLB Notebook: Blown Saves

Tuesday, July 16, 2019 at 12:00 AM

 THE BASEBALL NOTEBOOK –TALKIN’ BLOWN SAVES …THE COLLEGE FOOTBALL REPORT:POINTSPREAD HISTORY (THE LAST 4 YEARS)FOR BOTH ALABAMA & CLEMSON Hey, nobody’s perfect. We all know that.But on Monday night there was New York Yankees’ closer LHP Aroldis Chapman surrendering an opposite-field, three-run home run with two outs and two strikes against Tampa Bay catcher Travis d’Arnaud to propel the Rays to a 5-4 win in The Bronx.Forget the “big picture” look here: The fact the Rays trimmed the Yankees’ lead in the American League East to just five games … what grabbed us is it actually marked the 16th blown save…

MLB’s Bustin’ Out of the Break Squads

Monday, July 15, 2019 at 12:00 AM

THE MLB REPORT - FOUR TEAMS THAT WERE BUSTIN' OUT OF THE BREAK ...COLLEGE FOOTBALL NOTEBOOK: DON'T SLEEP ON NATIONAL TITLE LONG-SHOTS LSU, NOTRE DAME AND WASHINGTONAs we like to say here at Jim Sez ... "hats off" to the Atlanta Braves, Chicago Cubs, Los Angeles Angels and Oakland A's for charging right outta the post-All-Star Game break with clean three-game sweeps over their respective opponents.In fact, you'll note that all three series that were played in the great state of California this past weekend all resulted in clean sweeps (see Braves over the host San Diego Padres, Angels over…

NFL Preseason Handicapping

Saturday, July 13, 2019 at 12:00 AM

THE NFL PRESEASON REPORT - SOME QUICKIE INSIGHTS ON THESE SUMMER-TIME GAMESOkay, so here's the reality, folks:We're now just 17 or 18 days away from the start of the 2019 NFL Preseason with the Hall of Fame Game in Canton set for Thursday, August 1st between the Denver Broncos and the Atlanta Falcons … and be sure there will be plenty of "bettable" preseason games on this summertime gridiron docket.If you've read all the opinions over the years, you know that many folks like to wager on teams with new head coaches / new coaching staffs in these exhibition games…

MLB’’s Out-of-the-Break Key Series

Friday, July 12, 2019 at 12:00 AM

THE MLB REPORT: HERE'S SOME KEY WEEKEND SERIESHey, everyone, Baseball's Back! The All-Star Game break is in the rear-view mirror for all 30 Major-League Baseball teams as of today, Friday, July 12th and so we're gonna take a few minutes to examine a batch of key weekend series but first this important reminder:Jim Hurley and his Network of Handicappers and Bloggers keep winning big with MLB action each and every day. Get the winners here at 1-800-323-4453 and remember that the NFL Hall of Fame Game is set for Thursday, August 1st as the Denver Broncos battle the Atlanta Falcons…

Our AL Report Card Grades

Wednesday, July 10, 2019 at 12:00 AM

NOW, HERE'S OUR AMERICAN LEAGUE REPORT CARD GRADES! ...PLUS, THERE'S NFL TEAM-BY-TEAM UPDATES: IT'S THE COLTS, RAIDERS & EAGLESLadies and gents, let's round out our All-Star break with a look at the American League Report Card Grades ... so here goes: AMERICAN LEAGUE Grade: A+ MINNESOTA (56-33) - Let's remind one-and-all that the Twins' win projection this year was 84.5 games, so Minny cashes if it goes just 29-44 the rest of the way! Wow, Minnesota's been bashing the long ball right from season's start and so no shocker that the Twins have 166 round-trippers this year and are "on pace"…

NL Report Card Grades Are In!

Tuesday, July 9, 2019 at 12:00 AM

OUR NATIONAL LEAGUE REPORT CARD GRADES ARE IN! ...MORE NFL TEAM-BY-TEAM UPDATES: IT'S THE BILLS, LIONS & SAINTSSchool may be out for summer ... But Major-League Baseball's Report Card Grades are in and so we'll get you the National League's team-by-team grades in today's Jim Sez and our next column will feature the American League team grades:NATIONAL LEAGUE Grade: A+ LOS ANGELES DODGERS (60-32) - Baseball's best team at the break, the Dodgers have won a batch of "walk-offs" and every night there's a different hero. MVP frontrunner OF Cody Bellinger (.336 batting average, 30 HR, 71 RBI and 107…

MLB’s All-Star Game Break

Monday, July 8, 2019 at 12:00 AM

MLB ALL-STAR GAME BREAK - THE FIRST HALF''S BIGGEST MONEY-MAKERS ... NFL TEAM-BY-TEAM GLANCES: IT''S THE RAVENS, CHIEFS & RAMS Next stop ... Cleveland. Tuesday night''s Major-League Baseball All-Star Game steals the spotlight even if the great sport continues to feature "too many" home runs and way "too many" strikeouts. If you''re into All-Star Game prop plays, you might consider National League All-Star 3B Nolan Arenado (Colorado) as the first player to hit a home run; we''ll take C Gary Sanchez (New York Yankees) as the player to hit the first homer for the American League. And - just for…

Baseball’s Diff-Makers Plus More NFL Coverage

Saturday, July 6, 2019 at 12:00 AM

THE BASEBALL REPORT: TOP THREE UNSUNG POSITION PLAYERS (SO FAR) IN '19 ...NFL TEAM-BY-TEAM NOTES - CHECKIN' OUT THE TEXANS AND VIKINGSThe 2019 Major-League Baseball season will take a little hiatus next week - Tuesday's All-Game Game in Cleveland allows 28 of the 30 MLB teams a four-day break from the regular-season grind (Houston at Texas begins a four-game set on Thursday) - and so let's take a few moments to uncover our Jim Hurley Top 3 Unsung Positional Players as they've been real difference-makers for their teams.Folks, these are a trio of guys that have swung the won/loss pendulum…

MLB’s 4th of July Key Winners

Friday, July 5, 2019 at 12:00 AM

  EXTRA, EXTRA:THE POST-4TH OF JULY MLB NOTEBOOK …NFL TEAM-BY-TEAM GLANCES –HERE’S THE PATRIOTS, BUCS & COWBOYS In case you were wondering, the Oakland A’s – who have won seven of their last 10 games and now have climbed to within one full game back of Cleveland for that second wild-card berth in the American League – were the only real significant underdog to cash on the Fourth of July with a 7-2 triumph over the visiting Minnesota Twins (- 130).Otherwise, most of the other fireworks on this festive holiday were reserved for betting favorites such as the Los Angeles Dodgers (-…

Happy 4th of July, Baseball Fans!

Wednesday, July 3, 2019 at 12:00 AM

HAPPY 4TH OF JULY!!!NOW, HERE'S THE HOLIDAY MENU IN MLB PLUS MORE NFL TEAM ACCOUNTS AS WE TACKLE THE BENGALS & 49ERSHappy 4th of July to one and all ... and make sure to go "over" 73.5 hot dogs eaten by Nathan's champ Joey Chestnut (we're kidding, we're kidding!).It's the summertime's best holiday and all the Major-League Baseball action gets cranked up good and early with the now-traditional 11 a.m. Eastern time start in the nation's capital - today it's the Miami Marlins at the Washington Nationals (44-41) and, don't look now, but the Nats are 25-10 since May 24th…

MLB Report: Red Sox in Need of Pre-Break Wins

Tuesday, July 2, 2019 at 12:00 AM

 THE BASEBALL REPORT:WHY THIS WEEK-BEFORE-THE-ALL-STAR GAMEIS ESPECIALLY IMPORTANT TO THE RED SOX …NFL TEAM-BY-TEAM ACCOUNTS:WE TRACK THE DOLPHINS, TITANS & GIANTS … Let’s set the record straight:The defending World Series champion Boston Red Sox (44-40) didn’t exactly enjoy their time last weekend in jolly old England as the Bosox were trashed by the archrival New York Yankees 17-13 and then 12-8.The setbacks dropped the Red Sox a whopping 11 games back of the front-running Yankees in the American League East and – for all of you thinking about those AL wild cards – note that Boston is running behind Tampa Bay,…

Durant, Irving Take the $$$ and Run ... to Brooklyn!

Monday, July 1, 2019 at 12:00 AM

NBA FREE AGENCY OFF-AND-RUNNIN' ...MLB NEWS & NOTES ...MORE NFL TEAM-BY-TEAM UPDATESWho knew? Brooklyn - at least for right now - has become the epicenter of the NBA world, thanks to yesterday's free-agent signings of Kevin Durant (said to be four years for $164 million, but could be bit less) and Kyrie Irving (said to be for $142 million) and three cheers for the Nets for adding C De'Andre Jordan ($10 million a year for the next four years) to the mix.But don't expect us to pile on the praise for the Nets - a/k/a New York City's "other team"…

NFL Team-by-Team Reports: Steelers, Cards & Bears

Saturday, June 29, 2019 at 12:00 AM

THE JIM HURLEY WEEKEND UPDATE: MORE NFL TEAM-BY-TEAM REPORTSHey, what's the buzz? There's NBA Free Agency hitting the fan this weekend plus a whole lot of key Major-League Baseball - all eyes on London for New York Yankees versus Boston Red Sox but don't sleep on the Texas Rangers versus Tampa Bay series either! In today's quickie Jim Sez column, it's more from the NFL ranks.Jim Hurley and his Network of Handicappers and Bloggers are winning big with Major League Baseball action each and every day. So, make sure you cash in big at 1-800-323-4453. Pile up the profits as…

MLB’s Top 5 Managing Jobs This Season

Friday, June 28, 2019 at 12:00 AM

THE MLB REPORT: TOP 5 MANAGERIAL JOBS DONE SO FAR - AND WHAT THEY''VE BEEN WORTH HERE IN THIS 2019 SEASON ... NFL NOTEBOOK: MORE TEAM-BY-TEAM ACCOUNTS AS WE BRING YOU THE JAGUARS AND ''SKINSOkay, so it seems that everyone is into "rankings" these days ... so let''s get into the mix and get you our Top 5 Managerial Jobs done so far here in the 2019 season and we''ll let y''all know what these skippers have been worth in terms of wins: 5 - BUD BLACK, Colorado Rockies (42-39, second place in the National League West) ... Remember back…

MLB 2019: Things We’ve Learned So Far

Thursday, June 27, 2019 at 12:00 AM

THE BASEBALL NOTEBOOK - WE'RE (MORE OR LESS) AT THE MIDWAY POINT OF THIS 2019 SEASON AND HERE'S THREE BIG THINGS WE'VE LEARNED ...NFL TEAM-BY-TEAM REPORT: CHECKIN' OUT THE JETS, PACKERS & FALCONSCome Monday, we'll be flipping the calendar forward to read July ... and so that means right here / right now pretty much all of the 30 Major-League Baseball teams have played one-half of their 2019 schedule.Sure, nobody expected the Minnesota Twins (52-27) to be playing .658 ball this late into a season and - on the flip side - who amongst us hard-core baseball fans believed that…

Our NFL Team-by-Team Looks Starts Today!

Tuesday, June 25, 2019 at 12:00 AM

BASEBALL NEWS & NOTES ...OUR NFL TEAM-BY-TEAM SUMMERTIME LOOKS BEGINS TODAY WITH THE BROWNS, CHARGERS & SEAHAWKSOkay, so we've all been hearing the same names in terms of "trade chips" when it comes to pitchers in Major-League Baseball: Everywhere you turn there's talk that San Francisco's LHP Madison Bumgarner, Toronto's RHP Marcus Stroman and New York Mets' RHP Zack Wheeler will be dealt to contenders and so they all could be getting sent "change-of-address" slips any day now. Let's list the names /odds on them getting dealt prior to the July 31st trade deadline:MADISON BUMGARNER, San Francisco ... Keep hearing…

MLB Notebook: Can Dodgers, Rangers Keep Reeling in the Profits?

Monday, June 24, 2019 at 12:00 AM

THE BASEBALL NOTEBOOK: ARE "BETTER-THAN-YOU-THINK" DODGERS AND RANGERS STILL GONNA BE MONEY-MAKERS THE REST OF THE WAY? ...NFL '19 - THE FIRST LOOK AT THE ODDS TO WIN IT ALL IN SUPER BOWL LIVGo ahead ...Tell us that this doesn't "feel" like it's the Los Angeles Dodgers' year?The National League West leaders are fresh off back-to-back-to-back ninth-inning walk-off wins against Colorado - and with three different rookies delivering the game-winning home runs - and so Davey Roberts' crew comes into tonight's game in Arizona with a resounding 54-25 record (a .684 winning percentage).Now, go ahead and think about it: The…

NBA Draft and MLB Notes This First Summer Weekend

Saturday, June 22, 2019 at 12:00 AM

There's a whole lot brewin' in the sports world as we slide into the first full weekend of summer, so let's get to it all ...NBAThere's no doubt that many NBA teams drafted the way they did with free agency on their minds - for example, the NBA Draft "host" Brooklyn Nets traded away two different first-round Picks (#17 and #27) in order to clear additional cap space so the franchise could make a major run at both injured F Kevin Durant and PG Kyrie Irving - but if you're just basing a team's success on how they drafted then…

NBA Draft Stuff Plus Baseball Notes

Friday, June 21, 2019 at 12:00 AM

NBA DRAFT RE-CAPS - ZION GETS ALL THE LOVE AND WHO CAN KEEP UP WITH ALL THOSE TRADES? ...THE BASEBALL REPORTFolks, if you didn't know any better than you might have thought last night's NBA Draft was a paid informercial for #1 pick Zion Williamson:Okay, so the one-and-done Duke megastar surely captivated the country this past 2018-19 campaign - even though he missed a batch of games after "blowing out" his Nike shoe against North Carolina - but the lovefest ESPN displayed toward Williamson was way over the top. Geez, the all-sports network practically followed his every move and we…

NBA Mock Draft -- Jim Hurley Network Style

Thursday, June 20, 2019 at 12:00 AM

NBA MOCK DRAFT!Okay, so by now you've seen all the names splashed across your big-screen TV or you've eyeballed 'em on the internet:In any event, everyone seems to know the 1-2-3 order when it comes to tonight's NBA Draft being held in Brooklyn but something's telling us this is gonna be one crazy night soon after the New Orleans Pelicans select Duke's 6-foot-6, 272-pound Zion Williamson with the numero uno pick in this year's draft, Memphis grabs Murray State point guard Ja Morant with the second overall pick and the New York Knicks grab Duke's RJ Barrett at number three.Enjoy…

NBA Draft Talk Plus MLB’s Home Losers

Tuesday, June 18, 2019 at 12:00 AM

NBA DRAFT NEWS & NOTES: IS NEW ORLEANS GONNA MAKE MORE SWAPS? ...THE BASEBALL REPORT - AMERICAN LEAGUE'S WORST HOME BETS IN 2019Let's face it ... The city of New Orleans remains the epicenter of this week's NBA Draft. After all, we've already seen the blockbuster deal involving one-time Pelicans' star Anthony Davis headed to the Los Angeles Lakers with N'Orleans nabbing three different first-round draft picks as part of that huge haul.Now, the Pels are set to select Duke's Zion Williamson with the first pick in this year's draft come Thursday night in Brooklyn plus they could be movers-and-shakers…

MLB Teams to Watch in the next Few Weeks

Monday, June 17, 2019 at 12:00 AM

THE BASEBALL REPORT -  IS THERE ANYONE FROM "BACK-IN-THE-PACK" THAT CAN MAKE SOME NOISE BEFORE WE GET TO THE ALL-STAR GAME? ...NBA NEWS & NOTES: THE WAGERING POINT OF VIEW FROM THE ANTHONY DAVIS-TO-LA LAKERS DEALHere's the lowdown, we're three weeks out from this year's Major-League Baseball All-Star Game (in Cleveland) and the thought has crossed our minds as to what teams from "back-in-the-pack" might be able to make up some significant ground between now and July 8th.If you digested all the weekend results, you saw that Boston and Cleveland swept weekend sets on the road at Baltimore and at…

Baseball’s Key Stats Plus NBA Win it All Odds Too

Saturday, June 15, 2019 at 12:00 AM

THE MLB REPORT - HERE'S SOME "CATCH-YOUR-EYE" STATS ...THE NBA UPDATE: RAPTORS REIGN SUPREME BUT WHO'S THE EARLY-BIRD FAVORITE TO WIN IT ALL IN 2019-2020? ...NBA DRAFT NEWS / NOTES INCLUDES A FORECAST OF MANY 1ST-ROUND DEALS In another 10 days-or-so, we'll have reached the halfway point of this here-and-now 2019 Major-League Baseball season - really, time is flying by - and so it's a good time to catch up on some of what we'll call "catch-your-eye" stats:In the American League ...The Tampa Bay Rays are an AL-best 23-10 away this year - that's a sizzling .697 winning rate -…

Hats Off To The Raptors!

Friday, June 14, 2019 at 12:00 AM

THE NBA FINALSHISTORY-MAKING RAPTORS WIN FIRST-EVER TITLE (AND THEY FINISH THE YEAR ON A SPIFFY 8-2 POINTSPREAD RUN!) ...THE BASEBALL UPDATE: DODGERS, RED SOX ON DIFFERENT MONEY TRAILS THIS YEARGo figure. The NBA's one-and-only team that hails from Canada now is in possession of the "LOB" - as in Larry O'Brien Trophy - and nobody's talkin' about dynasties today.The Golden State Warriors - who may or may not be finished in terms of runs to the NBA Finals after making five straight trips to the ultimate playoff round - were worn out, short-handed and generally beaten down by the time…

NBA Finals -- Dubs Try to Stay Alive in Oracle Finale

Thursday, June 13, 2019 at 12:00 AM

THE NBA FINALS - ARE WE HEADED TOWARDS A GAME 7 OR WILL THE RAPTORS WRAP IT UP TONITE? ...THE BASEBALL REPORT - TRACKING A TRIO OF BIG-TIME 4-GAME SERIES THAT BEGIN THIS EVENINGThis 2019 NBA Finals has been full of major twists and turns ... and it ain't over yet!In tonight's Game 6 in soon-to-be finished Oracle Arena we'll find out whether there's more bounce in the legs of the Toronto Raptors or the host Golden State Warriors - both teams comin' off "bounce-back games" (if you will) as Toronto attempts to bounce back from that painful 106-105 loss…

Warriors Still Have a Pulse with Game 5 Win

Tuesday, June 11, 2019 at 12:00 AM

THE NBA FINALS REPORT - WARRIORS STAY ALIVE WITH GUTTY 106-105 GAME 5 WINGo ahead ... tell us an NBA Finals game in your lifetime that's been dissected more than this Game 5 clash between the Golden State Warriors and the Toronto Raptors.Heck, this one's a "Monday morning quarterback" special for sure considering the season-ending injury to G-State's Kevin Durant - we told you it was an Achilles Heel injury for weeks now, right? - the faux time out called in the game's final three-plus minutes by Toronto's first-year head coach Nick Nurse and the epic comeback by the two-time…

Will Raptors Win the NBA Crown Tonight?

Sunday, June 9, 2019 at 12:00 AM

THE NBA FINALS - WILL RAPTORS BE CROWNED THE NEW CHAMPS (AND WILL THEY COVER THE 2-POINT PRICE TONIGHT)? ...THE BASEBALL REPORT: THE BLUE JAYS - YES, THAT OTHER TEAM IN TORONTO PLAYING THESE DAYS - ARE REAL MONEY BURNERS IN 2019It's been one of the really great sports stories in years, even if it's happened outside the continental U.S.A.:A Toronto Raptors' franchise - one that's in its 24th year of existence, no less - is sitting here just one win away from its first-ever NBA championship.Better yet, the Raptors have overcome being down in all of their Eastern Conference…

NBA Finals: Raptors Bang Out Game 4 Upset Win

Saturday, June 8, 2019 at 12:00 AM

NBA FINALS - RAPTORS WHIP WARRIORS 105-92 TO SNAG THREE-GAMES-TO-ONE SERIES LEAD ... Jim Hurley Wins with Raptors, loses the OVER.OUR NBA DRAFT REPORT - KEEP YOUR EYES ON THESE RISERSThere's a new "D" word in / around the Bay Area ... and it ain't "Dynasty"!Nope, following Friday night's rock-solid 105-92 win by the 5-point underdog Toronto Raptors over the two-time defending champion Golden State Warriors, the "D" word in these parts stands for "disaster".Remember the Warriors entered this best-of-seven NBA Finals as a monster betting favorite - most books had the Dubs at - 300 (you took back +…

Our NBA Finals Game 4 Preview ... and More

Friday, June 7, 2019 at 12:00 AM

NBA FINALS GAME 4 PREVIEW – NO K.D. TONITE BUT WARRIORS SAY THOMPSON'S GOOD-TO-GO ...Okay, so are you thinking that the Golden State Warriors are a "lock" to win / cover here in tonight's Game 4 of the NBA Finals just because the two-time defending champions are coming off a Game 3 SU (straight-up) loss?True, Golden State bounced back from a Game 1 loss in this year's NBA Finals to beat Toronto 109-104 as 2-point road underdogs – all hail the famed zig-zag theory there – but the bottom line is the Warriors are just 3-2 ATS (against the spread)…

Raptors Rock On With Game 3 Win in Oakland

Thursday, June 6, 2019 at 12:00 AM

NBA FINALS GAME 3 RE-CAP - RAPTORS RIP SHORT-HANDED DUBS 123-109 ... ANOTHER WINNER FOR JIM HURLEY!HERE'S TO WEDNESDAY NIGHT'S MLB STARSWant to know one of the real dangers in making a series play? We'll spell it out for you:The Golden State Warriors entered this year's NBA Finals as - 300 betting favorites ... gotta lay $300 to every $100 you're gonna win with the Dubs; the Toronto Raptors were + 280 for these NBA Finals, win $280 for every $100 you risk with the North-of-the-Border crew.So, you go in hoping that the Warriors will return injured megastar Kevin Durant…

Game 3 Preview: NBA Finals Heatin’ Up

Tuesday, June 4, 2019 at 12:00 AM

THE NBA FINALS - IT'S RAPTORS VS. WARRIORS IN GAME 3 BUT WHO'S GONNA PLAY FOR G-STATE? ...THE BASEBALL REPORT: KEY STATS FROM SOME RELATIVE "UNKNOWN" STARTING PITCHERSIt's interesting to see that the Las Vegas numbers-posters all - for now, at least - have the Golden State Warriors as either 5.5-point or 6-point home betting favorites for Wednesday's Game 3 tilt of these NBA Finals.Do they know whether or not Kevin Durant (calf strain or Achilles) is gonna play for the Dubs?How about smooth-shooting Klay Thompson (hamstring) who missed the final several minutes of Golden State's 109-104 win in Game…

Warriors Even Up NBA Finals -- Jim Hurley Cashed in!

Monday, June 3, 2019 at 12:00 AM

NBA FINALS REPORT - THE WARRIORS GET EVEN WITH "HEART OF A CHAMPION" 109-104 GAME 2 WIN NORTH OF THE BORDER ...THE BASEBALL NOTEBOOK: THE WEEKEND'S REALLY BIG WINNERForgive us for often dragging out the 20-plus-year quote by then-Houston Rockets head coach Rudy Tomjanovich as he proclaimed his two-time NBA Finals winners (see 1994 and '95) had the "heart of a champion".Say the same for the Golden State Warriors.No Kevin Durant - for a seventh consecutive post-season game - with a calf sprain (or maybe it is an Achilles injury?) - for starters plus in-game injuries suffered by F Kevon…

Here’s the NBA Finals Game 2 Preview

Saturday, June 1, 2019 at 12:00 AM

  THE NBA FINALS GAME 2 –CAN THE WARRIORS BEAT ARAPTORS TEAM THAT’S COVERING73 PERCENT OF THE TIMEAT HOME THIS POST-SEASON? …BASEBALL’S WEEKEND NOTEBOOK Okay, Golden State Warriors’ fans / backers, what was the most distressing part of Thursday’s 118-109 loss in Game 1 of this year’s NBA Finals in Toronto?Was it the shabby transition defense that truly irked Dubs’ head coach Steve Kerr?Was it the 16 turnovers?Or maybe it was the fourth-quarter hamstring re-injury suffered by “glue guy” Andre Iguodala?Or, perhaps, all of the above.It’s 99.9 percent certain that Kevin Durant won’t be part of this Warriors’ lineup here in Sunday…

Raptors Score Game 1 Win / Cover in NBA Finals

Friday, May 31, 2019 at 12:00 AM

THE 2019 NBA FINALSRAPTORS ROCK-N-ROLL TO GAME 1 WIN AS 118-109 TRIUMPH MARKS TORONTO'S FIFTH STRAIGHT WIN /COVER THIS POST-SEASONOh, Canada!Okay, so hockey will always be the national sport North of the Border but a whole country tuned in and was turned on by Game 1 of the NBA Finals with last night's electrifying 118-109 win / cover by the Toronto Raptors (- 1.5) over the two-time defending league champion Golden State Warriors.Hey, who needs pucks, anyway?The bottom line is the Raptors - who entered this best-of-seven series at + 240 to win it all (the Warriors were - 300)…

It’s NBA Finals Game 1 Preview Plus MLB Notes

Wednesday, May 29, 2019 at 12:00 AM

THE NBA FINALS - IT'S WARRIORS VS. RAPTORS IN GAME 1 NORTH OF THE BORDER ...MLB NEWS & NOTES: BULLPEN BLOWUPS AND WHY 'CAPPING RELIEVERS IS KEY THESE DAYSLet's first dial things back to June of 2018: The Golden State Warriors were coming off a second straight NBA championship (three in the past four years) and the oddsmakers had 'em priced at Even Money (some folks had 'em at 4-to-5) for the 2018-19 campaign; the early price tag on the Toronto Raptors was 40-to-1.In case you were wondering, the likes of Philadelphia (7-2), Boston (8-1), Miami (20-1) and Cleveland (30-1)…

NBA Finals Chatter Plus Holiday Baseball Too

Tuesday, May 28, 2019 at 12:00 AM

THE NBA FINALS PREVIEW - WARRIORS GO FOR THREE IN A ROW BUT CAN UNDERDOG RAPTORS PULL ANOTHER POST-SEASON SHOCKER? ...THE BASEBALL REPORT: HITS AND MISSES FROM A BUSY MEMORIAL DAYImagine that. The Golden State Warriors - NBA champions for the past two straight years and in three of the last four years - are nearly a 3-to-1 betting favorite to win the NBA Finals that begin Thursday night against the Toronto Raptors even though A) megastar Kevin Durant isn't likely to play either of the first two games of this series for the Dubs (and they're being played in…

MLB’s Memorial Day Divisional Updates

Sunday, May 26, 2019 at 12:00 AM

  IT’S MEMORIAL DAYAND SO, IT’S TIME TO WEIGHIN ON ALL SIX DIVISIONAL “RACES” …THE NBA PLAYOFF REPORT –RAPTORS ARE NEW BEASTS OF THE EAST(AND KINGS OF THE NORTH, FOR THAT MATTER)AS WE PUT A WRAP ON THE SERIES WIN VS THE BUCKS Major-League Baseball historians love to find date/time landmarks in the schedule to take inventory of things.Case in point, Memorial Day.It’s always been fun to examine how MLB divisional races are shaping up when we get to the final Monday in May and so this holiday gives folks a time to check in on all three divisions in the National…

NBA Playoff Update Plus MLB Notebook Too on Memorial Day Weekend

Saturday, May 25, 2019 at 12:00 AM

THE NBA PLAYOFFS - BUCKS NEED TO WIN HERE TO FORCE A GAME 7 COME MONDAY, BUT HOW DO THEY TURN THIS THING AROUND? ...THE HOLIDAY WEEKEND BASEBALL REPORT: ODDS & ENDS FROM THE DIAMONDThere's gonna be some hoops history served up on this Memorial Day weekend, one way or the other:Either the Toronto Raptors - up three games-to-two in their best-of-seven NBA Eastern Conference Finals against the Milwaukee Bucks - are gonna win in either Saturday's Game 6 or Monday's Game 7 and thus make it to the franchise's first NBA Finals (the Raptors were born in 1995, remember)…

Raptors Pull Off Stunning Game 5 Upset

Friday, May 24, 2019 at 12:00 AM

  RAPTORS STUN BUCKS 105-99IN A PIVOTAL GAME 5 OF NBA’SEASTERN CONFERENCE FINALS,BUT IS THIS SERIES NOW A “DONE DEAL”? …PLUS, HIGHLIGHTING THE MEMORIAL DAYWEEKEND’S BEST MLB SERIES Fear the Deer?Heck no, the Toronto Raptors showed zero fear last night en route to a come-from-way-behind 105-99 win as 7.5-point road underdogs and thus here’s the North-of-the-Border crew in need of just one more win to nail down a berth in next week’s NBA Finals.Toronto’s now won/covered three in a row in this Eastern Conference Finals after Milwaukee scratched out “W’s” in Games 1 and 2 and so “Jurassic Park” will be rockin’…

It’s a Key Game 5 in the NBA Eastern Conference Finals -- and Jim Hurley Will be Cashin’

Wednesday, May 22, 2019 at 12:00 AM

 THE NBA PLAYOFFS –IT’S RAPTORS-BUCKS IN A MONSTROUS GAME 5 …THE BASEBALL REPORT:A PRE-MEMORIAL DAY WEEKENDLOOK AT TWO OF MLB’S BEST BETS SO FAR Well, the NBA is super-happy ‘cause there is gonna be hoops this Memorial Day Weekend, after all.We know that a Game 6 is now guaranteed for Saturday night in Toronto and we could even get a winner-take-all Game 7 come Memorial Day evening in Milwaukee and who saw that coming when you consider the Bucks (a – 280 betting favorite for this Eastern Conference Finals series prior to Game 1) dashed out to a 2-zip series lead…

It’s Bucks vs. Raptors in Pivotal Game 4 Tonite

Tuesday, May 21, 2019 at 12:00 AM

  NBA CONFERENCE FINALS –CAN RAPTORS “GET EVEN” TONIGHTIN THIS NORTH-OF-THE-BORDER GAME 4 TILT? …WE SALUTE THE WARRIORS FOLLOWINGTHEIR SPECTACULAR FOUR-GAME SWEEP VERSUS THE T-BLAZERS Funny how the NBA universe works:The Golden State Warriors – fresh off Monday night’s 119-117 overtime win against the Portland Trail Blazers – now are headed to a fifth consecutive NBA Finals appearance.On the other hand, the Milwaukee Bucks – up two games-to-one against Toronto while going into this evening’s game in Canada – have not been to an NBA Finals since 1974 (where they lost a Game 7 to Boston, we might add) and the Raptors…

Warriors in Line for Clean Sweep Tonight?

Monday, May 20, 2019 at 12:00 AM

  THE NBA PLAYOFFS –PUT THE BROOMS AWAY INTHE EAST AS RAPTORS SNAG GAME 3IN DOUBLE-OVERTIMEPLUS, HERE’S A LOOK AT TONIGHT’SPOSSIBLE CLINCHER OUT WEST FOR THE WARRIORS …MLB’S TOP 10 TEAMS RIGHT NOW In TV parlance, the NBA partners sure needed some “inventory” – after all, the two-time defending champion Golden State Warriors are looking to go clean sweep tonight in the Western Conference Finals against the Portland Trail Blazers and it was entirely possible that the Milwaukee Bucks were gonna make short work of the Toronto Raptors in the Eastern Conference Finals too prior to last night’s twin-overtime win by the…

NBA’s Conference Finals -- Are Sweeps Ahead for Warriors, Bucks?

Saturday, May 18, 2019 at 12:00 AM

THE NBA PLAYOFF WEEKEND UPDATE -BOTH WARRIORS, BUCKS ARE SHOOTIN' TO GO UP THREE GAMES-TO-NONE IN THEIR CONFERENCE FINALSHere's a little statistical ditty we'll be happy to lay on you: Since 2003, there's only been three sweeps in NBA Conference Finals - that's three broom jobs in 32 conference finals overall - and yet we enter this May weekend with both the Golden State Warriors and the Milwaukee Bucks seeking three-games-to-none leads in their respective Western /Eastern Conference Finals?Will they be needing their dust pans in a couple of days?Jim Hurley's Network of Handicappers and Bloggers get you all the…

It’s Raptors vs. Bucks Tonight Plus a Warriors’ Game 2 Recap

Friday, May 17, 2019 at 12:00 AM

 NBA PLAYOFFS –WE PREVIEW RAPTORS VS. BUCKSIN TONIGHT’S GAME 2 OF EASTERN CONFERENCE FINALSPLUS, THE WARRIORS GALLOP OUT TO 2-O SERIESLEAD AGAINST THE T-BLAZERS (AND JIM HURLEY CASHES THE “OVER”!) …THE MLB WEEKEND AHEAD –SHOWDOWN IN FENWAY AS THE ASTROS-SOX COLLIDE No ands, ifs or buts about it … this year’s Milwaukee Bucks have been a real “margin” team when it comes to this here-and-now post-season.In Round I, the Bucks smothered the overmatched Detroit Pistons four straight while smashing out victories by 35, 21, 16 and 23 points and while carving out a perfect 4-and-oh ATS (against the spread) record. We’ll…

It’s Game 2 of Blazers-Warriors Plus More NBA Lottery Stuff

Thursday, May 16, 2019 at 12:00 AM

  THE NBA LOTTERY –HERE’S THE FALLOUT FROMN’ORLEANS SNAGGING THE TOP PICK …PLUS, NBA CONFERENCE FINALS ACTION Don’t even think twice about it …The truth is the NBA is none too happy with the results of Tuesday’s Lottery in which New Orleans and Memphis grabbed the first two picks while New York – picking third -- fell out of the Zion Williamson Sweepstakes.Okay, so maybe it was a case of “message sent” for any/all future NBA teams not to “tank” their seasons as New York, Cleveland and Phoenix – the league’s worst three teams in 2018-19 – were all excluded from grabbing…

NBA Conference Finals Swing into Action

Tuesday, May 14, 2019 at 12:00 AM

  IT’S TIME FOR THE NBA CONFERENCE FINALS –BLAZERS-WARRIORS IN GAME 1 OF THEWESTERN CONFERENCE FINALS TONITEAND RAPTORS-BUCKS IN EASTERN FINALS TOMORROW …OUR UP-TO-DATE NBA PLAYOFF POINTSREAD CHART …AND A FEW WORDS ON TONIGHT’S NBA LOTTERY Here’s the lowdown on these here-and-now NBA Playoffs:There’s been 66 post-season games played so far – they started back on April 13th and figure to go another month (or more) – and the Betting Favorites sport a modest 34-31-1 ATS (against the spread) mark for a .523 winning rate. Funny thing is the four remaining teams – that’s Portland, Golden State, Toronto and Milwaukee – own…

NBA’s Game 7 Recaps Plus MLB Too

Monday, May 13, 2019 at 12:00 AM

THE NBA PLAYOFFS - CONFERENCE FINALS ARE SET FOLLOWING A PAIR OF EPIC GAME 7's THE BASEBALL REPORT: CHISOX'S GIOLITO A SUNDAY STARDon't you just love when folks talk about the "bounce of the ball" in terms of hoops luck? Well, the real bounce of the ball - to be exact, four bounces off the rim before going in - is all that separated the Eastern Conference Finals-bound Toronto Raptors from the Philadelphia 76ers on Sunday night that capped off a wild Mother's Day in the NBA.Say what you will about Toronto megastar Kawhi Leonard hoisting up a grand total…

All Hail the Warriors (Again) Plus a Couple of Game 7’s

Saturday, May 11, 2019 at 12:00 AM

THE NBA PLAYOFFSWARRIORS STUN ROCKETS 118-113 TO WRAP UP WESTERN CONFERENCE SEMI SERIES IN 6 …PLUS, THERE’S A PAIR OF GAME 7’s ON SUNDAY FROM DENVER & TORONTOGo ahead and say it …The Golden State Warriors are one bad-ass team, right?In Friday night’s epic 118-113 outright upset win at 7.5-point favorite Houston – a monster winner by Jim Hurley’s Network!!! -- not only did the Warriors charge back from a seven-point fourth-quarter deficit to get “mission accomplished” but they did so without injured megastar Kevin Durant who has averaged a rollicking 34.2 points per game this post-season (that’s in 11…

Can No-Durant Warriors Win in Houston Tonite?

Friday, May 10, 2019 at 12:00 AM

CAN KEVIN DURANT-LESS WARRIORS WRAP IT UP ON THE ROAD TONITE? ...MEANWHILE, SIXERS, BLAZERS FORCE A PAIR OF GAME 7'S ...THE MLB REPORT: CHECKIN' OUT SOME HOME / AWAY SPLITSThe first round of this year's NBA Playoffs featured only one seven-game series (see Denver over San Antonio) but we could have three different go-the-distance sets this weekend providing the Houston Rockets (a 7-point favorite this evening) can KO the Kevin Durant-less Golden State Warriors and thus force a Game 7 in that emotional series.Last night both the Philadelphia 76ers and the Portland Trail Blazers "held serve" in Game 6 home…

NBA Update: Durant Hurt Plus Tonight’s Big Game 6 Tilts

Thursday, May 9, 2019 at 12:00 AM

THE NBA PLAYOFFS - WARRIORS' DURANT HURT IN 104-99 NON-COVER WIN PLUS, HERE ARE TONIGHT'S DO-OR-DIE SHOWDOWNS AS PHILLY, PORTLAND FACE ELIMINATION TIME ...THE BASEBALL REPORT: A SHORT LIST OF POTENTIAL ALL-STAR GAME STARTERSThe NBA Playoffs - more than likely - will be entering new territory today:And that's because Golden State megastar Kevin Durant (a two-time NBA Finals MVP) - more than likely - will be gone for the remainder of the post-season as that sure looked like a blown Achilles suffered with two-plus minutes remaining in the third quarter of last night's Game 5 bash between the Warriors and…

More NBA Second-Round Playoff Goodies

Tuesday, May 7, 2019 at 12:00 AM

 NBA PLAYOFFS –THE FAVS VS. DOGS UPDATE PLUSHERE’S A LOOK AHEADAT CELTICS-BUCKS, ROCKETS-WARRIORSIN WEDNESDAY’S GAME 5’s Have you been paying close attention to the Favorites vs. Underdogs “battle” in this year’s NBA Playoffs?Well, entering play here on this Tuesday, May 7th, NBA Playoff Betting Favs are 30-26-1 ATS (against the spread) overall for a .536 winning rate … but dig a little bit deeper and you’ll discover that Underdogs are a nifty 11-5 versus the vig in this “second round” of play and that included dog wins in both of Monday night’s games as Milwaukee (+ 1) crushed Boston 113-101 and…

NBA Playoffs: Checkin’ Out All 4 Series

Monday, May 6, 2019 at 12:00 AM

  HERE’S YOUR NBA PLAYOFFS UPDATE –WE SIZE UP THE FOUR SERIES …THE MLB REPORT –THAT’S A LUCKY 7 WINS IN A ROW FOR THE CUBBIES Folks, think back to the first round of this year’s NBA Playoffs … and then remember there was only one best-of-seven series that “went the distance” (see Denver over San Antonio).Now, if the pro hoops world and its fans get lucky, we might get all four of the on-going playoff series go a full seven games – and wouldn’t that be a blast!We’ll lay it all out for you in today’s edition of Jim Sez as…

MLB Notes Plus Warriors-Rockets Preview for Game 3

Saturday, May 4, 2019 at 12:00 AM

  THE WEEKEND BASEBALL REPORT –SHOULD AL CENTRAL DIVISION-LEADING TWINSBE GETTING MORE RESPECT FROM ODDSMAKERS? …MORE NBA PLAYOFFS –WILL THERE BE LIFE AFTER GAME 3IN THIS WARRIORS-ROCKETS SERIES? This first weekend in May is chock full of solid head-to-head matchups in Major-League Baseball whether you’re checking out the National League and the likes of the St. Louis Cardinals at the Chicago Cubs or the NL West set between the Los Angeles Dodgers at the San Diego Padres (sellouts in all three games there!) or in the American League where the AL Central-leading Minnesota Twins are at the New York Yankees.Okay, so even…

Bucks, Nuggets Gun For Game 3 Road Wins Tonite

Friday, May 3, 2019 at 12:00 AM

  NBA PLAYOFFS UPDATE –THERE’S A PAIR OF GAME 3’S TONITEPLUS, HERE’S A LOOK BACKAT RAPTORS-76ERS LAST NITE Here’s the real $64,000 question when it comes to the here-and-now NBA:Is everyone out there chasing some silly dream when it appears the two-time defending champion Golden State are all set to three-peat this June?No question that Golden State – up already two games-to-love heading into Saturday night’s Game 3 tilt in Houston – is in the proverbial driver’s seat to win that best-of-seven series and undoubtedly the “Dubs” will be heavy-duty betting favorites when/if they make it the NBA Western Conference Finals and…

It’s Game 3 for Raptors-76ers Tonite

Thursday, May 2, 2019 at 12:00 AM

  THE NBA PLAYOFFS –RAPTORS-SIXERS IN PIVOTAL GAME 3TONITE PLUS BLAZERS-NUGGETS GAME 2 IN REVIEW …THE BASEBALL NOTEBOOK:BIGGEST SURPRISE TEAM /BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT SO FAR Here’s the straight facts:You have to go all the way back to the spring of 2001 to find the last time the Philadelphia 76ers played in an Eastern Conference Finals – remember the Allen Iverson-led Sixers bested the Milwaukee Bucks in a seven-game series way back when – and you can look all you want but the Toronto Raptors have never won an Eastern Conference Finals (they lost in the 2016 Eastern Finals to the LeBron James-led Cleveland…

NBA Playoffs: Rockets Shoot For Game 2 Upset in GS

Tuesday, April 30, 2019 at 12:00 AM

 NBA PLAYOFF REPORT –WILL BUCKS, ROCKETS GET EVEN TONIGHT? …OUR NBA PLAYOFF POINTSREAD CHART …PLUS, MLB NOTEBOOK If you happen to be a long-time proponent of the famed “zig-zag theory” where you wager on the team that lost the previous game SU (straight-up) in the NBA Playoffs, then take note that in Game #2’s in Round I of this year’s post-season the first-game loser bagged a 4-3-1 ATS (against the spread) mark … okay, good but nothing to write home about. Chuck in last night’s result in Toronto and you can add another “W” as Game 1 loser Philadelphia roared back…

Richie Baccellieri: How Sharps are Betting Western NBA Matchups

Monday, April 29, 2019 at 11:00 AM

Last Friday, I talked about how sharps (professional bettors) had been attacking the matchups in the Eastern Conference semifinals of the NBA Playoffs. Today, I’ll look at the West. MONDAY: PORTLAND AT DENVERThis is the last series to get started because the Nuggets had to go seven games to take out the San Antonio Spurs. (And, no, I have no idea why the Spurs didn’t call a time out at the end of Game Seven! High school kids know they’re supposed to do that.) Portland is well-rested after eliminating the disappointing Oklahoma City Thunder in five games.Monday night’s game went up…

NBA Playoff Report -- Second Round in Full Bloom

Sunday, April 28, 2019 at 12:00 AM

  THE NBA PLAYOFFS –SECOND-ROUND SLUGFESTSON TAP ALL WEEK LONG …THE BASEBALL UPDATE:YANKEES WRITING A REAL DOOZY SCRIPT You had better believe this is a different type of NBA Playoffs than any we’ve seen the past decade or so:After all, LeBron James is nowhere to be found after he marched his way to eight consecutive NBA Finals as a member of the Miami Heat and the Cleveland Cavaliers – that’s four NBA Finals appearances with each team and three total titles for The King – and so these days it’s a mad scramble to win the Eastern Conference while it could well…

NBA’s Second Rounds in Action

Saturday, April 27, 2019 at 12:00 AM

NBA PLAYOFFS - GEARING UP FOR ROUND II IN TORONTO, MILWAUKEE & OAKLAND PLUS, A GAME 7 IN DENVERIt''s getting down to the nitty-gritty in these NBA Playoffs - second-round series set to begin in three locales this weekend - and a footnote that NBA Playoff Betting Favorites are 25-14-1 ATS (against the spread) overall for a shiny .641 winning rate.Jim Hurley''s Network of Handicappers and Bloggers keep banging out loads of winners in this year''s NBA Playoffs with action each/every night this week, so make sure you''re cashin'' all post-season long plus get all the daily Major-League Baseball action…

Richie Baccellieri: How Sharps are Betting Eastern NBA Matchups

Friday, April 26, 2019 at 3:00 PM

Sharps have made their intent clear in the NBA Eastern Conference second round matchups that begin this weekend. Let’s take them in the order they tip off. SATURDAY: PHILADELPHIA AT TORONTOAn opener of Toronto -5 was quickly bet up to -5.5 or -6 depending on where you shop. That’s a lot of respect for the Raptors considering it’s a #2 vs. #3 matchup. Home court advantage is usually worth at least three points in the NBA Playoffs. Sometimes four in certain situations. Clearly the sharps think Toronto is the much superior “neutral court” side, even with Joel Embiid of the Sixers…

Kelso’s Advanced Sports Betting: NBA Second Round

Friday, April 26, 2019 at 11:00 AM

The first round of the 2019 NBA Playoffs isn’t quite complete as we meet today in my College of Advanced Sports Betting and Handicapping. Golden State plays the LA Clippers tonight in the sixth game of their series. San Antonio and Denver play their seventh game Saturday. But, the second round begins in the East Saturday…and I wanted to make sure all of you were ready to go for what’s shaping up as a tough handicapping challenge.Once we’re in the second round, there are no more pretenders left in the brackets. Everyone from Indiana down in the East looked like…

NFL Draft; Warriors-Clips Tonight

Friday, April 26, 2019 at 12:00 AM

NFL DRAFT ROUND I WRAPUP ... PLUS, WARRIORS LOOK TO (FINALLY) KO THE CLIPS TONIGHT ...Gotta hand it to the National Football League - year-after-year the NFL Draft produces some of the wildest drama around even though the whole world knew that QB Kyler Murray (to the Arizona Cardinals) and DE Nick Bosa (headed to the San Francisco 49ers) would be the top two selections as they were lead-pipe cinch picks.But Duke QB Daniel Jones to the New York Giants at #6? Keep in mind he was rated the 39th best prospect in this man's draft.And there were between 10-to-12…

Our NFL Mock Draft is Here!

Thursday, April 25, 2019 at 12:00 AM

OUR 2019 NFL MOCK DRAFTGET READY FOR A REALLY WILD RIDE THROUGHOUT ROUND I WITH DOUBLE-DIGIT DEALS ON TAPWe'll dust off our crystal ball and take you right throughout the first round of tonight's draft from beautiful Nashville.1. ARIZONA - Kyler Murray, QB, Oklahoma ... Play it again, Sam, as for a second consecutive year a Heisman Trophy-winning slinger from the Oklahoma Sooners goes first in the NFL Draft and, yes, the Cardinals will reject any/all offers for this pick coming their way via Oakland/Las Vegas.2. SAN FRANCISCO - Nick Bosa, DE, Ohio State ... True, this cat-quick pass rusher…

Network Notebook: Who Will Be the Beast of the East?

Wednesday, April 24, 2019 at 9:00 AM

Though the Western Conference still has some work to do, the first round of the 2019 NBA Playoffs is complete in the East.There were no surprises, beyond the fact that Toronto and Philadelphia suffered massive brain farts in their series openers vs. Orlando and Brooklyn respectively. Toronto would win its next four games by margins of 29, 5, 22, and 19 points. Philadelphia would win by margins of 22, 16, 4, and 22. The “big four” (which also includes Milwaukee and Boston) would go 16-2 straight up in the first round, 15-3 against the spread.Think about that for a second.…

NFL Draft: Could Round I Be Chock Full of Big Trades?

Tuesday, April 23, 2019 at 12:00 AM

 THE NFL UPDATE –WHO’S LOOKING TO MOVE UP(OR ELSE TRADE DOWN) IN THURSDAY’S DRAFT …NBA NEWS / NOTES:WE CHECK IN ON TONIGHT’S SPURS-NUGGETS TILT Okay, so we’ll admit:When it comes to the NFL Draft – and this goes for each and every year – we pray for absolute chaos.Lots of first-round trades, lots of names both rising and falling on the big draft board and such.The thing is this year – come Thursday night – we believe there’s a real good chance that chaos might well reign supreme. Nope, we agree with the general premise that Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Kyler Murray…

Richie Baccellieri: NBA Playoff Point Spreads Very Volatile

Monday, April 22, 2019 at 12:00 PM

Last Friday we talked about the challenges oddsmakers face when putting a number on Game Four of an NBA Playoff series. Then you saw some truly wild extremes.*Boston was +2.5 at Indiana in Game Three of their series, but -3.5 in Game Four! That’s a six-point adjustment with the same teams playing at the exact same location. Clearly, smart oddsmakers and informed money knew that Indiana would draw a lot of interest in a “must-win” spot in their home opener…but then Boston would be the preferred side once Indiana had dropped further into throw-in-the-towel territory. Boston won by four against…

Road Teams Rev it Up in NBA Playoffs

Monday, April 22, 2019 at 12:00 AM

THE NBA PLAYOFFS - CHECKIN' IN ON THE BUCKS, ROCKETS AS THEY LOOK FOR SERIES SWEEPS...OUR NFL DRAFT REPORT: IT'S THE QB CLASS OF '19NBA road teams registered a perfect 8-and-oh SU (straight-up) record this past Saturday / Sunday - okay, so they "only" went 7-1 ATS (against the spread) - and now we're getting closer and closer to a batch of teams bringing down the curtain on their first-round series.In fact, by the time the clock strikes 1am in the East come early Wednesday morning, there conceivably could be six opening-round series in these NBA Playoffs that'll be over…

Holiday Weekend Hoops -- The NBA Playoffs in Full Swing

Saturday, April 20, 2019 at 12:00 AM

 THE HOLIDAY WEEKEND’S NBA SHOWDOWNS –WE EXAMINE ALL EIGHT MATCHUPS …MORE NFL DRAFT COVERAGE:THE TOP DEFENSIVE LINEMEN Here’s the holiday weekend menu when it comes to the ongoing first round of these NBA Playoffs – get a load of these stats: On Saturday, it’s …PHILADELPHIA at BROOKLYN 3 p.m. ET, TNT / 76ers leads series 2-1No way the host Nets are gonna even this series if shooting just 8-of-39 from beyond the three-point arc, right? Plus, toss into the mix the fact Philly’s Game 3 numbers featured 26 assists (including nine by do-it-all star Ben Simmons). Spiffy stuff! DENVER at SAN ANTONIO –…

Richie Baccellieri: Oddsmakers Challenged by NBA “Fourth Games”

Friday, April 19, 2019 at 4:00 PM

One of the trickiest challenges for oddsmakers is figuring out how to price the fourth game of an NBA playoff series.Everyone knows that the market is going to respect the home team in Game Three, particularly if that squad is down 2-0. Sharps that emphasize historical trends know this is often a peak outing for the host. Recreational bettors like taking teams in a must-win situation as long as they can walk and chew gum (squares will avoid home dogs in a 1-8 type matchup, but they like taking “cheap favorites” who should be fired up).That Game Three phenomenon is…

Kelso’s Advanced Sports Betting: Motivation!

Friday, April 19, 2019 at 11:00 AM

You longtime students here in my College of Advanced Sports Betting and Handicapping have heard me talk about THE MOTIVATION FACTOR for years. There’s been no greater evidence of its importance than in the first week of the 2019 NBA Playoffs. Just remember to keep your mind open to ALL the causes of motivation.Case in point…Golden State didn’t just beat the LA Clippers 132-105 in Thursday night’s third game of that Western Conference series. The Warriors…in their mind… beat the Clippers AND the refs. Golden State, particularly Kevin Durant, had such a big chip on their shoulder that they weren’t…

NBA Playoff Chalk Killin’ It So Far

Friday, April 19, 2019 at 12:00 AM

NBA PLAYOFFS UPDATE - GUESS WHAT? MORE CHALK LAST NIGHT AS SIXERS, SPURS & WARRIORS ROLL ...OUR NFL DRAFT REPORT: LBs AND EDGE RUSHERS ON THE MENUExactly what is going on here with this year's NBA Playoffs?Rewind to the first full day of the post-season - that was Saturday, April 13th - and there were three outright upsets among the four games on that menu:Brooklyn (+ 8) downed Philadelphia 111-102;Orlando (+ 9.5) toppled Toronto 104-101;And San Antonio (+ 6) downed Denver 101-96.Surely, this was gonna be a boon post-season for the underdog sides based on this opening day, right?Ever since,…

Checkin’ Out Tonight’s Key Game 3’s in Brooklyn and LA

Thursday, April 18, 2019 at 12:00 AM

THE NBA PLAYOFFS UPDATE - CAN 76ERS, WARRIORS GRAB BACK THE HOME-COURT "ADVANTAGE" TONIGHT?OUR NFL DRAFT REPORT: HERE'S THE BEST O-LINEMENThe NBA Playoffs have been downright chalky so far with Betting Favorites at 11-4-1 (against the spread) for a sizzling .733 winning percentage through Wednesday night's action - even though we witnessed outright upsets by Brooklyn, Orlando and San Antonio (in their Game 1's) and the Los Angeles Clippers (in Game 2).The bottom line is both Milwaukee - while laying 15 and then 15.5 points and Houston (favs of 6.5 points twice) -- have bagged easy covers so far in…

Network Notebook: Inconsistency Plaguing NBA Powers

Wednesday, April 17, 2019 at 12:00 PM

Is anybody ready to win the NBA Championship? Milwaukee is unblemished, but they’ve only played one game…and it came against a Detroit team that was nowhere near playoff caliber over the past few weeks. For other media-hyped contenders…*Golden State is bothered my chemistry issues and arrogance. It’s like they already started partying at their championship parade before bothering to win a series. The Warriors still have the best collection of talent in the league, even after the injury to DeMarcus Cousins. No longer hungry, are they going to play to that potential? Particularly when faced with tougher opposition than the…

Here’s Some NBA Playoff Game 2 Showdowns

Tuesday, April 16, 2019 at 12:00 AM

  THE NBA PLAYOFFS –CHECKING OUT SOME GAME #2 TILTSBOTH TONIGHT & TOMORROW …NFL DRAFT REPORT:HERE’S THE BEST CORNERS & SAFETIES Among the past weekend’s bigger Game #1 surprises in the NBA Playoffs were Orlando’s stunning win North of the Border along with San Antonio’s stirring upset win in the Mile High City and so now the $64,000 question is this …Will the Toronto Raptors and/or Denver Nuggets “get even” tonight?We’ll examine those best-of-seven series along with Wednesday’s Utah at Houston Game #2 showdown but first this key reminder … Jim Hurley’s Network of Handicappers and Bloggers are revving things up with this…

Richie Baccellieri: NBA Markets Adjust to Game One Unders

Monday, April 15, 2019 at 1:00 PM

It’s not often you see a postseason start with EIGHT STRAIGHT UNDERS. That’s what happened Saturday and Sunday in the NBA Playoffs. Every single game went Under. Some by a lot. One by more than 50 points. Eastern ConferenceIndiana/Boston stayed Under by 52 pointsBrooklyn/Philadelphia stayed Under by 16 pointsDetroit/Milwaukee stayed Under by 12 pointsOrlando/Toronto stayed Under by 8 points Western ConferenceOklahoma City/Portland stayed Under by 20 pointsSan Antonio/Denver stayed Under by 14 pointsLA Clippers/Golden State stayed Under by 7 pointsUtah/Houston stayed Under by 0.5 pointsOne close call…but five double digits misses including that whopper in Boston. What happened? Is this just a…

NBA Playoffs Plus First Look at the NFL Draft

Monday, April 15, 2019 at 12:00 AM

NETWORK TIPS OFF THE PLAYOFFS 4-1!!Nets (+5.5) upset 76ers 111-102 WWarriors (-13.5) beat Clippers 121-104 WSpurs / Nuggets (UNDER 211) WPistons (+13) Bucks 86-121 LPacers / Celtics (UNDER 209) W PLAYOFFS UPDATE - BETTING FAVORITES CRANK OUT 4-AND-0 SPREAD SUNDAYOUR 2019 NFL DRAFT REPORT STARTS OFF WITH A LOOK AT THE TOP WR/RB/TEIt sure seemed as if this year's NBA Playoffs were gonna be a point-grabbing party the way things started out this past Saturday:Brooklyn (+8), Orlando (+9.5) and San Antonio (+6) all won outright in their respective Game #1's versus Philadelphia, Toronto and Denver as only two-time defending champ…

More NBA Playoff First-Round Previews

Saturday, April 13, 2019 at 12:00 AM

HERE'S THE NBA PLAYOFFS - SUNDAY'S GAMESThe first round of the NBA Playoffs is just startin' this April weekend in Boston, in Milwaukee, in Portland and in Houston ... there are Game #1s all around the Sunday schedule.Our quick-hitter previews along with "Series Price" and regular-season "game-by-game" notes are also included right below but first this key reminder ....Editor's Note -- Jim Hurley's Network of Handicappers and Bloggers are revving things up with this year's NBA Playoffs - as we said, they tip off Saturday / Sunday this weekend with all eight post-season series on tap and make sure you're…

Kelso’s Advanced Sports Betting: Handicapping the NBA Playoffs

Friday, April 12, 2019 at 12:00 PM

I would argue that the most extreme adjustment for handicappers between any sport’s regular season and its playoff occurs in the NBA. It’s not a totally different game. Players still have to throw a ball through a hoop. But, the strategies and energy behind how that gets accomplished are much different.Bill Belichick and Tom Brady have been winning Super Bowls forever. Big money franchises still rule Major League Baseball by accumulating all the pitching and hitting talent. College basketball teams don’t coast through their conference schedules to save themselves for postseason tournaments.The NBA goes from being a travelling circus to…

NBA Playoffs: Saturday’s Sked

Friday, April 12, 2019 at 12:00 AM

THE NBA PLAYOFFS - THE TWO-MONTH GRIND TOWARDS A CHAMPIONSHIP STARTS HERE WITH FOUR SERIES OPENING ON SATURDAYGo ahead and raise your hand if you think the Golden State Warriors are NOT going to win the NBA championship.Hmmm, the back-to-back defending champs - and winners of three of the last four NBA crowns - remain the odds-on betting favorites to win it all in June even though the Warriors have resembled a dysfunctional family for much of this 2018-19 campaign.Now it's up to everyone else standing in G-State's way to take their best shot at Steve Kerr's club ... go…

How three bookies produced Las Vegas’ fastest NCAA spreads

Thursday, April 11, 2019 at 2:06 PM

ODDSFELLOWS! LINES IN THE SAND: Quick work by Vinny Magliulo (left), Richie Baccellieri (center) and Chris Andrews enabled the South Point to be the first sportsbook in Las Vegas to post point spreads on the opening round of the NCAA Tournament.LAS VEGAS - Three wise men huddled in the back room of a casino. There were countless numbers to crunch and the clock was ticking. None of the three men cared that Tom Izzo was ticked off.Izzo had a right to be irritated Sunday after the NCAA Tournament bracket was unveiled. Michigan State drew the second seed in the same…

NBA Playoffs Comin’ Your Way

Thursday, April 11, 2019 at 12:00 AM

THE NBA PLAYOFFS ARE SET - THUMB-NAIL SKETCHES ON ALL 8 SERIES ...WE PUT A FINAL WRAP ON THE COLLEGE B-BALL SEASON WITH KEY SPREAD STATS AND MORE ...PLUS, MLB NEWS & NOTESAs they say in the business, the dust has settled ... finally.And we have eight truly interesting NBA Playoff matchups that begin this Saturday after a rather wild final night of regular-season play that saw icons Dwyane Wade (Miami) and Dirk Nowitzki (Dallas) say their final goodbyes while the final post-season berth was gobbled up by Detroit in the East.Here's a batch of one-liners on what's to come…

Network Notebook: Tips for the NBA Playoffs

Wednesday, April 10, 2019 at 12:00 PM

With March Madness behind us, it’s time to focus on the NBA Playoffs that begin this weekend across the Eastern and Western Conferences.Here are the key stats you should be looking at throughout the postseason according to the statheads at JIM HURLEY’S NETWORK. *DEFENSIVE EFFICIENCYYou just saw how important defense was in the NCAA Tournament. Playing great defense always gives you a chance to win…a chance to rally from behind…a chance to win the final seconds of a close game.Defensive efficiency is points allowed per possession rather than just a raw total of points allowed per game. This is important because…

We Hit the Rewind Button on Virginia’s OT Win

Tuesday, April 9, 2019 at 12:00 AM

  NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP GAME RECAP –VIRGINIA WINS 85-77 IN OTAS THE CAVS COME FULL CIRCLE …PLUS, WE’RE CHECKING OUT THE NBA’S FINALTWO REGULAR-SEASON EVENINGS It’s official.We have our first-ever College B-ball national champ from the great state of Virginia … but who could ever have predicted the Cavaliers would need four consecutive skin-of-their-teeth wins to garner the hoops title?Last night’s classic – and we do mean classic – 85-77 overtime win by 2-point betting favorite Virginia (35-3) over Texas Tech not only erased those NCAA Tourney demons from a year ago but set up the Wahoos as one of the greatest stories…

Richie Baccellieri: How Sharps are Betting the National Championship

Monday, April 8, 2019 at 11:00 AM

It’s our final college basketball report of the season, as Virginia and Texas Tech play for the National Championship Monday night in Minneapolis.Sharps aren’t particularly excited about the matchup, except for the quants betting the Under. Everybody’s Power Ratings have lined up…so that odddsmakers and the Wise Guys are in agreement about there the team side number should be. NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP (in Minneapolis)9 p.m. ET: Texas Tech vs. Virginia (-1)The first number up offshore was Virginia -1.5. That drew interest from sharps on underdog Texas Tech. Later stores opened at Virginia -1. We’ve been see-sawing back and forth ever since. Differing…

Kelso’s Advanced Sports Betting: Handicapping Virginia/Texas Tech

Monday, April 8, 2019 at 8:00 AM

It wasn’t the most exciting action in terms of up-and-down-the-floor basketball. But, Saturday’s compelling Final Four games showed you why the two finalists deserve to be playing for the college basketball national championship Monday Night in Minneapolis.Virginia and Texas Tech both…*Play great DEFENSE. You really have to work hard to good looks against these teams. Occasionally you can beat them down court, or sneak through the maze for a layup. But, Tech held Michigan State to just 51 points while allowing less than 40% shooting and forcing 11 turnovers in a very slow game. Virginia held explosive Auburn to 62…

The NCAA Hoops Crown Is on the Line Tonight!

Monday, April 8, 2019 at 12:00 AM

 NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP GAME –IT’S TEXAS TECH VS. VIRGINIAFOR THE COVETED COLLEGE HOOPS CROWN(AND, FOLKS, IT’S A REAL TOSS-UP AFFAIR!) …PLUS, THERE’S KEY TITLE GAME-RELATED CHARTS Let’s dial things back a bit before we go forward with a look at tonight’s NCAA Championship Game between Texas Tech versus Virginia:The preseason Associated Press Top 25 listed the Virginia Cavaliers as the #8 team in the country (behind Kansas, Kentucky, Gonzaga, Duke, Villanova, Nevada and Tennessee … and none of them made it to this year’s Final Four in Minneapolis!) – while Texas Tech was nowhere to be found in the original AP Top…

Final Four Plus Whole Lot More This Weekend

Saturday, April 6, 2019 at 12:00 AM

THE FINAL FOUR TAKES CENTER STAGE THIS SPRING WEEKEND BUT THERE'S A WHOLE LOT MORE GOIN' ON IN THE NBA, MLB & NFLMake no mistake about it: The center of the sports universe this weekend is in Minneapolis where a Final Four -- that none of you had in your brackets, by the way! - takes place that could crown an unlikely champion and one that shows defense is still king in a sport where high-flying / high-octane offenses are the norm.In any event, let's repeat one bit of news we've presented to you good folks during the course of…

Richie Baccellieri: How Sharps are Betting the Final 4

Friday, April 5, 2019 at 2:00 PM

Back as promised to look at how sharps (professional bettors) have been attacking the Final Four. Before getting into that, a quick review of the tournament so far.*Sharps have done VERY well this year, building a large profit by riding value bets on underdogs through the event. Even when favorites were winning a lot of games straight up back in the round of 32…enough “sharp” dogs were cashing to keep the Wise Guys afloat. Then, underdogs then went 8-4 against the spread during the Sweet 16 and Elite 8, and it would have been 9-3 if not for Purdue backers…

Kelso’s Advanced Sports Betting: Thoughts on the Final Four

Friday, April 5, 2019 at 9:00 AM

College basketball fans and bettors have been treated to a terrific championship tournament this season. Maybe there weren’t as many upsets as you wanted early in the event. But, when it was all said and done, only one out of four #1 seeds was able to make it to Minneapolis. And, that was a Virginia team that many pundits had ruled out because they supposedly lacked “tournament toughness.”Handicappers are left with a challenging Final Four featuring teams with varying levels of talent, experience, and coaching moxy. Nothing that happens Saturday and Monday would truly surprise me.*Auburn is a relative longshot…

Final Four Previews Ahead

Friday, April 5, 2019 at 12:00 AM

 THE NCAA TOURNAMENT REPORT –HERE’S THE FINAL FOUR PREVIEWS Here’s the lowdown when it comes to some Final Four history:Since 2000, the ACC has copped a grand total of seven national championships in men’s basketball (Duke in 2001, 2010 and 2015, North Carolina in 2005, ’09 and 2017 and Maryland in 2002);The Southeastern Conference has gobbled up three national championships (Florida in 2006 and ’07, Kentucky in 2012);The Big 12 has nabbed one national crown (Kansas in 2008);And the Big 10 owns one national title since 2000 (that was Michigan State in ’00).Heck, Michigan State’s a regular in Final Fours but…

Inside the Final Four Plus Tonight’s NIT Title Tilt

Thursday, April 4, 2019 at 12:00 AM

  THE NCAA TOURNAMENT REPORT –LOOKING AHEAD TO THE FINAL FOUR ASWE TRACK THE GAME-BY-GAME BIG DANCE JOURNEY …PLUS, OUR NIT TITLE GAME PREVIEWAS LIPSCOMB VS. TEXAS TAKES NYC BY STORM The Final Four’s set – and the power conferences are well-represented once again with Virginia (ACC), Michigan State (Big 10), Texas Tech (Big 12) and Auburn (SEC) the betting favorites listed in exact order here. Heck, that’s par-for-the-course stuff considering that 17 of the last 20 teams that have been part of the Final Four these past five years have hailed from the power conferences.The $64,000 question this year in a…

Network Notebook: Handicapping the Final Four

Wednesday, April 3, 2019 at 12:00 PM

And, then there were four!After a few weeks of basketball warfare, only Virginia, Auburn, Michigan State, and Texas Tech have a shot to win the 2019 college basketball national championship.You can make a case that each of them are lucky to be there. That’s not a slam. There were so many dead even teams in the upper half of the brackets this season that it was going to take some lucky breaks to survive and advance. In the four games last weekend comprising the Elite Eight, two games went overtime…while another was decided by one point! A couple of calls…

More Final Four Talk and Bad Baseball Too

Tuesday, April 2, 2019 at 12:00 AM

 NCAA TOURNAMENT FINAL FOUR UPDATE –WIN-IT-ALL ODDS, POINTSPREAD CHART PLUS MORE …NIT SEMIFINALS IN NYC TONIGHT …THE MLB’S OPENING WEEK SENDING SHOCK WAVES TOYANKEES, RED SOX & CUBS BETTORS Here’s a little conversation held a week or so prior to the start of this year’s NCAA Tournament:We asked a long-time friend (and a big-time bettor) whether he would take Duke (at + 225) or “The Field” if he was gonna make a win-it-all play in this year’s tourney.Our friend said he’d take “The Field” … and he turned out to be right after the Dookies lost their Elite 8 tilt against…

Kelso’s Advanced Sports Betting: Handicapping Baseball

Monday, April 1, 2019 at 10:00 AM

I have to admit that many traditional betting strategies in Major League Baseball don’t really apply any more. Though all sports are seeing evolution during this era of analytics, it’s arguably more extreme in baseball than anywhere else:*Managers are pulling starting pitchers faster than ever, and are even finding success using relief pitchers as starters.*More pitchers are throwing HARD. There have always been a few flamethrowers across the Majors…but now franchises are looking for heat at the expense of anything else. Pitch speeds you used to see only from closers in the ninth inning are now common throughout a game.*Hitters…

The Final Four!!!

Monday, April 1, 2019 at 12:00 AM

 THE NCAA TOURNAMENT’SFINAL FOUR IS SET –AUBURN VS. VIRGINIA,TEXAS TECH VS. MICHIGAN STATEMAKE UP A REAL LUNCH-PAILQUARTET IN MINNESOTA Let’s take this whole NCAA Tournament Final 4 thing from a completely different angle:Consider the monster name programs that were knocked out of this year’s tourney the past four days … they include the likes of Tennessee, Michigan, North Carolina, Gonzaga, Kentucky and Duke.Wowie – no wonder this rather strange blend of teams that will be making up this week’s Final Four in Minneapolis can’t be found on anyone’s original bracket.Hey, it’s not as if Texas Tech, Virginia, Auburn and Michigan State…

Richie Baccellieri: How Sharps are Betting the NCAA Elite 8

Saturday, March 30, 2019 at 11:00 AM

Sweet 16 action Thursday and Friday nights had hearts racing and hearts breaking. Eight survivors will battle for a spot in the Final Four today and Sunday. Let’s see how sharps (professional bettors) have been attacking these marquee matchups that all of you will be watching on TV. SATURDAY’S GAMESIN ANAHEIM6:09 p.m. ET: Texas Tech vs. Gonzaga (-4.5)The first number up offshore was Gonzaga -4.5. That was quickly bet down to a solid four. You regulars know that’s a huge half-point because it went AGAINST the #1 seed, and against the public’s tendency to bet great teams at affordable prices. Sharps…

NCAA Tourney: Elite 8 Takes Center Stage

Saturday, March 30, 2019 at 12:00 AM

  IT’S THE ELITE 8 WEEKEND – HOOPS HEAVENThe NCAA Tournament’s down to the regional finals – just eight teams left to fight it out for the right to cut down the nets in Minneapolis on the evening of April 8th. And now hear this …Jim Hurley’s Network brings you all the winners in the NCAA Tournament Elite 8 this weekend along with all the other College Basketball Tournies, the NBA, MLB and the AAF … get all the winners right here at www.jimhurley.com or via our toll-free telephone # of 1-800-323-4453.  THE NCAA TOURNAMENT – ELITE 8On Saturday, it’s … WEST – at…

Kelso’s Advanced Sports Betting: Don’t Listen to Announcers on Pace!

Friday, March 29, 2019 at 10:00 AM

During this long week of NCAA Tournament chatter, one thing has become very clear to me. There are a lot of pundits who think they’re experts on basketball “pace” who have no idea what they’re talking about.Friday night’s schedule features a game that many are expecting to be a track meet. North Carolina loves to run the ball. Auburn’s first step on offense is always to try to race down for a basket. What’s less well-understood is:*If the break isn’t there, Auburn then pulls the ball back out and runs a very slow, methodical attack.*Auburn’s defense does a great job…

Tonight’s Sweet 16 Previews

Friday, March 29, 2019 at 12:00 AM

 HERE’S THE FRIDAY NCAA TOURNAMENTSWEET 16 MENU … SO, ENJOY! Okay, so much of last night’s NCAA Tourney Sweet 16 action wasn’t very pretty but the proverbial bottom line is #1 seeds Gonzaga and Virginia survived and advanced (#2 seeds Tennessee and Michigan weren’t so fortunate!) … now will #1 seeds North Carolina and Duke get into Sunday’s Elite 8 games?We’ll all be checking it out this evening.Now hear this …Jim Hurley’s Network brings you all the winners in the NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 and Elite 8 this week/ weekend along with all the other College Basketball Tournies, the NBA and…

Richie Baccellieri: How Sharps are Betting the NCAA Sweet 16

Thursday, March 28, 2019 at 12:00 PM

Sharps have had several days to make their intentions known in Sweet 16 showdowns scheduled for Thursday and Friday. Let’s run through all eight marquee matchups. Games are presented in order of tipoffs at each site. THURSDAY’S GAMESLOUISVILLE7:29 p.m. ET: Purdue vs. Tennessee (-1.5)9:57 p.m. ET: Oregon vs. Virginia (-8.5)There’s not much love for either side in the opener. Generally speaking, some sharps like Tennessee at -1, particularly the math-based quants. Others like Purdue when +2 comes into play, particularly those who don’t trust Tennessee head coach Rich Barnes in the NCAA Tournament. The line spent much of the week at…

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