Vegas Sports Masters Blog

Weekend Notebook from MLB / NFL / NBA

Saturday, June 23, 2018 at 12:00 AM

THE JIM SEZ WEEKEND REPORT - MLB, NFL & NBA QUICK-HITTER NOTESIt's officially the first full weekend of summer - but we'll put down the ice-cold beverage long enough to get you up to speed on some big happenings in MLB, NFL and the NBA too!MLBLooking for an under-the-radar type team to make a little run here in the next few days? Then try the Minnesota Twins (33-38) on for size. The American League Central squad - a major underachiever the first half of this here-and-now Major-League Baseball season - is in the midst of a three-game home series against…

Richie Baccellieri: Sharps Bet Prices, Not Teams

Friday, June 22, 2018 at 4:00 PM

I’ve mentioned this periodically through my time posting articles here at this website. But, I don’t think I’ve ever devoted a full article to it. This is very important to remember if you’re a day-to-day baseball handicapper, or just devoting the summer to getting ready for football.Sharps bet PRICES, not teams. You’ll often hear the mainstream media talking about “the so-called sharps” who keep betting on certain bad teams and losing. This was true with the Cleveland Browns last season. Somebody was saying about the Cincinnati Reds a few days ago (then the Reds started winning).It can also happen on…

Kelso’s Advanced Sports Betting: Team Won-Lost Records by Pitcher

Friday, June 22, 2018 at 1:00 PM

In past years, I wouldn’t have recommended the strategy I’m going to outline for you today here in my College of Advanced Sports Betting and Handicapping. It didn’t work then, though some people swore by it as they threw their money away. In certain situations, it’s going to work very well in 2018.What’s the strategy?Focus on team won-lost records by pitcher. What’s the team’s record with their best starting pitcher on the mound. What’s the team’s record with the second-best, and so on down the line. In past years, this record was way too polluted by run support. An average…

NBA Draft Re-Caps

Friday, June 22, 2018 at 12:00 AM

THE NBA DRAFT REPORT - HERE'S THE REAL STORYLINES FROM LAST NIGHT'S BASH IN BROOKLYN ...THE MLB UPDATE: IT'S MARINERS AT RED SOX AS WEEKEND'S BEST SETGo ahead and raise your hand if you've fully digested all the trades and all the picks made last night at the 2018 NBA Draft .... yeah, right! Now, go ahead and raise your hand if you believe that ESPN analysts Jay Bilas and Chauncey Billups - and we happen to like both of these gents - made it sound as if every single dude selected inside the Barclays Center in Brooklyn on Thursday…

Our NBA Mock Draft

Thursday, June 21, 2018 at 12:00 AM

HERE'S OUR NBA MOCK DRAFT AS A SLEW OF ONE-AND-DONES WILL DOMINATE ROUND ONEEverybody's heading to Brooklyn for tonight's NBA Draft - but are we gonna get some shockers along the way and will there be some deals sprinkled in involving veteran/name players? Will we see any of the "power teams" move up into the top five picks of this year's draft ... and what teams holding more than one first-round choice are gonna be active in trying to trade up? Ahh, plenty of answers are ahead as here's our Jim Sez NBA Mock Draft:1. PHOENIX - Deandre Ayton, C,…

Network Notebook: Orioles Reach the Minus 30-Unit Threshold

Wednesday, June 20, 2018 at 1:00 PM

IT SHOULDN'T BE POSSIBLE IN MODERN MARKETS, BUT ORIOLES ARE DOWN 30 UNITS BEFORE ALL-STAR BREAKYou've often heard that point spreads and money lines are "the great equalizer." In betting terms, it doesn't matter what a team's won-lost record is because the markets will find an equilibrium. Betting all the good teams won't make money because high lines will counter-act any advantages. Fading bad teams won't make money because it will be too expensive to lay high point spreads or money lines against them.Let us introduce you to the 2018 Baltimore Orioles!After Tuesday night's "fall from ahead" loss to the…

The NBA Draft Is Coming!

Tuesday, June 19, 2018 at 12:00 AM

THE NBA DRAFT - TRADE TALK ALL AROUND PLUS ARE THERE ANY REAL "FRANCHISE PLAYERS" ON THIS YEAR'S BIG BOARD? ...BASEBALL NEWS & NOTES: THE BEST THREE POSITION PLAYERS YOU'RE NOT HEARING ANYTHING ABOUT Hey, before you even ask ...Our Jim Sez NBA Mock Draft is ready to roll come Thursday morning, so don't miss out on that "must read" column and remember we'll follow it all up on Friday with a draft re-cap!Now, let's get down to business here in the immediate hours leading up to Thursday night's NBA Draft from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn:There's loads of trade…

Kelso’s Advanced Sports Betting: Baseball Betting Way Up

Monday, June 18, 2018 at 4:00 PM

Betting handle is WAY up this year in Las Vegas for Major League Baseball. That’s a bit of a surprise because TV ratings are down, and in-game attendance is down. The media is writing “baseball is slowly dying” stories at a time when gamblers are embracing the sport like never before.What gives?From my spot out here in the sports betting capital of the world, I think the answers are pretty obvious.*First, sports books have really upgraded their experience for bettors. Competition drove them all to put up much larger TV screens and install more comfortable seating. It was no longer…

Richie Baccellieri: Don’t Bet the Due Theory

Monday, June 18, 2018 at 1:00 PM

Word was making the rounds in sports books this past weekend that the Yankees had played a bunch of Unders in a row. Many gamblers couldn’t believe it…because the team has a great offense, and many of its starting pitchers ae just kind of there rather than being all-star material (Severino is all-star material, the others inconsistent). Of course, we’ve all seen games where home runs fly out of Yankee Stadium too…and the Yanks were at home against Tampa Bay.Final ScoresThursday: New York Yankees 4, Tampa Bay 3Friday: New York Yankees 5, Tampa Bay 0Saturday: New York Yankees 4, Tampa…

The Astros Playing Out-of-Orbit Baseball Lately

Monday, June 18, 2018 at 12:00 AM

 THE BASEBALL REPORT –WHAT’S STRAIGHT AHEAD FOR THE STREAKING ‘STROS …NFL NEWS & NOTES:THINK WORST-TO-FIRST TEAMS …PLUS, NBA DRAFT BREAKDOWN:WHO’S RISING, WHO’S FALLING AS WEHEAD TOWARDS THURSDAY NIGHT Hey, don’t look now but the defending World Series champion Houston Astros are just now “hitting their stride” on this here-and-now 2018 Major-League Baseball season.The ‘Stros zoom into the new week riding an MLB-best 11-game winning streak and how about the fact they just swept a weekend series in Kansas City -- and Houston was a better-than-2-to-1 betting favorite in each of those games! Here’s how last weekend’s action looked (home team in CAPS)…

Don’t Forget these MLB All-Stars Next Month

Saturday, June 16, 2018 at 12:00 AM

 THE JIM SEZ WEEKEND UPDATE –MLB & NFL NEWS/NOTES True, the Major-League Baseball All-Star Game is still a month away (July 17th at National Park in Washington) but we’re sure hoping that the powers-that-be in the bigs find a place on the respective National League and American League rosters for the following under-the-radar and oft-underappreciated players/pitchers: NICHOLAS CASTELLANOS, OF, Detroit – The Tigers may wind up being happy with a near-.500 record this year but their star rightfielder is putting up superior numbers: Castellanos is hitting .305 with 34 RBI and 32 runs scored and this dude just “gets it” as we…

Kelso’s Advanced Sports Betting: You Don’t Get Rich Betting Losing Teams

Friday, June 15, 2018 at 4:00 PM

You’ll still hear old-timers in Las Vegas saying things that were said back in the 1980’s, during the first big “media boom” in sports betting coverage. They’ll say you can’t make money betting favorites in Major League Baseball. You have to focus on grinding out money with “value” bets on underdogs. Wrong!While, it IS possible to find occasional value with teams the public doesn’t want to touch. Generally speaking, you won’t make money, let alone get rich by betting on losing teams.So far in the 2018 Major League season, there are quite a few teams with losing straight up records.…

Richie Baccellieri: Will Legalized Betting Change the Markets?

Friday, June 15, 2018 at 12:00 PM

Since the last time we were together, the state of New Jersey has started taking legal sports bets. Quite the crowd showed up Thursday at the locales that had been approved to write tickets. Imagine what a mess it’s going to be once football seasons starts! They had long lines for soccer, golf, and baseball. Of course, the addition of online access and apps will help alleviate congestion by then.Many have been asking me if the markets are going to change at all now that more people will be betting legally. Will lines become “easier” to beat because more squares…

Yankees Fans, Red Sox Backers Fearful of a Wild Card game

Friday, June 15, 2018 at 12:00 AM

THE BASEBALL NOTEBOOK: TACKLING ALL THE HOT TOPICS OF THE DAYTHE NFL REPORT: SHOULD WE EXPECT BOUNCE BACK SEASONS FROM THE NY GIANTS AND OAKLAND RAIDERS? Folks, if we've heard it once, then we've heard it a thousand times already: The New York Yankees (44-20) and the Boston Red Sox (48-22) figure to be engaged in a monster head-to-head battle all year long for first place in the American League East. But all fans - of both teams - seem to talk about lately is the fear factor of finishing in second place with 100-plus wins and then having to…

Batters Up: Three Hitters that Could Be Changing Places

Thursday, June 14, 2018 at 12:00 AM

In an earlier-week column right here at Jim Sez, we mentioned three Major-League Baseball starting pitchers who could really shake up the scene if dealt away - they were Tampa Bay RHP Chris Archer, Texas LHP Cole Hamels and San Diego RHP Tyson Ross - and so in keeping with this "trade" theme we'll now take a look at three MLB hitters that could well shake things up if dealt away in the coming weeks. Here's the lowdown ...MIKE MOUSTAKAS, 3B, Kansas City - At this very moment, "The Moose" leads the woe-be-gone Royals in home runs (13), RBI (42),…

Network Notebook: Remember When NY Mets were 11-1?!

Wednesday, June 13, 2018 at 1:00 PM

It took a long time for betting markets to figure out the New York Mets. It was assumed that they wouldn't compete for a divisional title, given their uncertain roster containing many injury prone players. Yet, they started the season like gangbusters.*2-1 against St. Louis, who's turned out to be pretty good*2-0 against Philadelphia, who's been surprisingly good*3-0 at Washington, sweeping a projected league power*3-0 at Miami, another sweep, though against a loser*2-1 against Milwaukee, who's been playoff caliber thus farThat adds up to 12-2, as the Mets 11-1 start ran into a split in the last two games of…

MLB’s Starting Pitchers on the Trade Mart

Tuesday, June 12, 2018 at 12:00 AM

  THE BASEBALL REPORT –THE THREE STARTING PITCHERSTHAT ALL THE CONTENDERS ARE CHASIN’ AFTER …NFL NEWS & NOTES:TAKING A POINTSPREAD LOOK BACKAND A LOOK AHEAD AT LAST YEAR’S SUPER BOWL TEAMS Folks, it wasn’t all that long ago that the Major-League Baseball Trade Deadline fell on June 15th of each year – imagine the onslaught of big deals we’d have this week if that was still the case!Nowadays – as everyone knows – the MLB Trade Deadline is July 31st but as we’ve been saying in recent Jim Sez columns the fact of the matter is there figures to be a slew…

Richie Baccellieri: Do Sharps Lay -1.5 on the Run Line?

Monday, June 11, 2018 at 4:00 PM

Whenever we have a big difference between have’s and have not’s in Major League Baseball, which is true again this year and evolving even into a wider split, many bettors start to look at laying -1.5 runs on the run line with big favorites.They do that because:*It feels “cheaper” because the juice is much lower*The favorite is going to “kill” the dog anyway, so one run won’t matter*They HAVE to bet favorites, you can’t make them stop betting favorites!Unfortunately, taking big money line favorites down to what seem like more reasonable prices is often a trap. Sometimes it works out…

Kelso’s Advanced Sports Betting: Time to Focus on Interleague Play

Monday, June 11, 2018 at 12:00 PM

I haven’t talked yet about Interleague Play this season. The schedule has been light. And, frankly, in recent seasons the betting markets have caught up to reality. Several years back, you could make a fortune simply betting all the AL teams over the NL teams. Oddsmakers (many of who were stubborn veterans even then) just couldn’t accept that the AL was not only superior, but VASTLY superior at the time.  The NL was basically “quadruple A” while the AL was Major League caliber for a few seasons.The line eventually did catch up. Even though the AL continues to win the…

Betting Baseball the Only Game in Town Now

Monday, June 11, 2018 at 12:00 AM

THE BASEBALL NOTEBOOK - AMERICA'S PASTIME HAS CENTER STAGE ALL TO ITSELF THESE DAYS ...NBA ODDS TO WIN IT ALL, 2018-19 SEASON ...NFL QUICK-HITTER ITEMS: CAN WE EXPECT SOME BIG DEALS?Hey, Major-League Baseball ... it's your ball game!The NBA Playoffs are in the rear-view mirror - happy, happy, joy-joy for the Golden State Warriors and their three championships the past four years - and the NHL's Stanley Cup is the property of the wild-partying Washington Capitals ... and horse racing has its second Triple Crown winner in the past four years with a super-duper pony named Justify.So, MLB has the…

Game/Set/Match for the Warriors

Saturday, June 9, 2018 at 12:00 AM

 THE NBA FINALS REPORT –WARRIORS DELIVER KO BLOWWITH RESOUNDING GAME 4 SWEEPEROO WIN …WEEKEND EDITION OF BASEBALL NEWS & NOTES Folks, this here hoops dynasty is far from over and done with!The Golden State Warriors – who put a bold-faced exclamation point on this year’s NBA Finals (and this 2017-18 season) with Friday night’s easy-as-pie 108-85 win/cover against the 4.5-point home underdog Cleveland Cavaliers – may just be in the middle of one of the great championship runs in league history. The Dubs have won back-to-back and three of the last four NBA crowns and – get this – right now…

Richie Baccellieri: Sharps Still Adjusting to Current-Day MLB

Friday, June 8, 2018 at 4:00 PM

We haven’t had a chance to talk too much about baseball yet in these articles. The one thing that jumps out to me so far in the 2018 season is how much everyone in Las Vegas is complaining! Major League baseball really has changed dramatically these past couple of seasons. As a result:*Bettors are mad starting pitchers are getting pulled so early*Bettors are mad most hitters are just swinging for the fences*Bettors are mad the games are so boring to watchIf you sit in a sports book, you’ll hear public bettors complaining about this stuff around the clock (day games…

Kelso’s Advanced Sports Betting: Use Run Differential to Evaluate MLB Teams

Friday, June 8, 2018 at 1:00 PM

If you’ve been following the divisional races lately, you may have inadvertently gotten too excited about some new contenders. In terms of pure entertainment, it’s great to have some surprising faces in the mix for awhile. But, as sports bettors, you need to have a clear read on true talent. With that in mind, memorize the following.It’s a lot easier to create a misleading won-lost record than it is to create a misleading run differential.History has shown that run differential is better correlated to performance in the immediate future than won-lost record is (leaving out cases where a major injury…

The NBA Finals: Dubs Go For Clean Sweep

Friday, June 8, 2018 at 12:00 AM

 THE NBA FINALS UPDATE –WARRIORS SHOOT FOR SWEEP TONIGHTPLUS, WE GETCHA IMPORTANT POINTSPREAD INFO …THE BASEBALL WEEKEND:BREWERS-PHILLIES HEADLINESTHE DIAMOND ACTION Okay, so they’ve been playing for NBA championships since the all the way back to 1947 – that’s 71 years now, folks -- and yet we’ve only had eight sweeps in the NBA Finals … and here they are: NBA FINALS SWEEPS –YEAR                               WINNING TEAM                           LOSING TEAM1959                               Boston Celtics                               Minneapolis Lakers1971                               Milwaukee Bucks                         Baltimore Bullets1975                               Golden State Warriors                Washington Bullets1983                               Philadelphia 76ers                       Los Angeles Lakers1989                               Detroit Pistons                             Los Angeles Lakers1995                               Houston Rockets                          Orlando Magic2002                               Los Angeles Lakers                      New Jersey Nets2007                               San…

Warriors Inch Closer to Another Crown With Game 3 Win

Thursday, June 7, 2018 at 12:00 AM

THE NBA FINALS GAME 3 RE-CAP: WARRIORS GO UP 3-ZIP AFTER 110-102 WIN IN CLEVELANDTHE BASEBALL NOTEBOOK: OVERACHIEVERS & UNDERACHIEVERS Think about it: In the past three years of NBA Finals play, the Golden State Warriors have owned 3-1, 3-0 and (again) 3-0 series leads against the Cleveland Cavaliers.Okay, so everyone remembers the "Dubs" blew it back in 2016 as the Cavs stormed back to win Games 5, 6 and 7 in that set and then last year G-State stubbed its toe in Game 4 while searching out a sweep and thus needed a Game 5 to wrap up the…

Network Notebook: AL West is Baseball’s Best Division

Wednesday, June 6, 2018 at 12:00 PM

Now that we’re deep enough into the 2018 season to get a meaningful sample size, it’s time to check in on divisional strength in Major League Baseball. You longtime regulars know this is an angle JIM HURLEY has been studying for fun and profit for years. Focusing on divisional records helps you find some hidden gems worth betting on, and some money-burners that should be avoided or faded.This year, it’s the AL West that’s been the big winner against outsiders. That’s a bit of a surprise, because this was supposed to be Houston and the Four Dwarfs entering the season,…

Its’ Warriors-Cavs in NBA Finals Game 3

Tuesday, June 5, 2018 at 12:00 AM

  NBA FINALS –HERE’S THE GAME 3 PREVIEW …MID-WEEK BASEBALL UPDATE:THE CURRENT WIN-IT-ALL ODDS If you’re a believer in this here-and-now Cleveland Cavaliers team than it’s a glass-half-full approach to Wednesday night’s Game 3 of this year’s NBA Finals:True, the Cavs are down two games-to-none but – you might reason – all the Golden State Warriors have done so far is “hold serve” with Game 1 and Game 2 wins at home and there’s little debate that Cleveland was the superior team for most of Game 1. Also, Cleveland did manage to get within six points of the Warriors in the second…

Kelso’s Advanced Sports Betting: What’s Happening With the Seattle Mariners?

Monday, June 4, 2018 at 4:00 PM

You students here in my Advanced College of Sports Betting and Handicapping have surely noticed that the Seattle Mariners have been on a tear lately. The mainstream media has mostly been oblivious to this run. As we speak, Seattle leads defending World Champion Houston in the AL West. I would guess that it was a 100% consensus that there was NO WAY something like this would happen 60 games into the 2018 season.It’s not like Houston has fallen apart! The Astros are still a popular choice to defend their title. Justin Verlander is having a historic season. Yet, somehow, SEATTLE…

Richie Baccellieri: Sharps Not Giving Up on Cleveland Yet

Monday, June 4, 2018 at 1:00 PM

Though the mainstream media is already acting like Golden State sweeping Cleveland is very likely, and another championship for the Warriors is almost 100% certain…sharps (professional wagerers) are still looking for ways to bet the Cavs.Why is that?Because betting value on point spreads comes from how many points you’re getting, not whether you can win straight up. Cleveland will be getting about 5 points (maybe more by tip off) in Wednesday’s Game Three…and possibly six in Friday’s fourth game.And, it’s obviously possible for Cleveland to win a game at home straight up to extend the series. Five-point underdogs do that…

Warriors Hold Serve With NBA Finals Game 2 Win

Monday, June 4, 2018 at 12:00 AM

 THE NBA FINALS GAME 2 RE-CAP –WARRIORS CRUSH CAVS 122-103AS CURRY’S 3’s LIGHT UP THE SKY …CHECKIN’ OUT THE NL WESTWHERE DODGERS, GIANTS VERY MUCH ALIVEFOLLOWING WEEKEND SWEEPS Two wins down, two wins to go for yet another NBA championship for the Golden State Warriors.Surprised?Hardly, as Golden State followed up the uber-controversial Game 1 of this year’s NBA Finals with a slick 122-103 never-in-doubt win/cover on Sunday night against the 11.5-point underdog Cleveland Cavaliers and so Game 2 was easy money for anyone that backed the “Dubs” … but who out there thought Golden State would drain 10 of its first…

Cavs-Warriors Slug it Out in Game 2

Saturday, June 2, 2018 at 12:00 AM

Hey, the NBA big-wigs really know how to kick someone when they're already down, eh?The latest to come from that NBA Finals Game 1 fiasco - see Golden State 124, Cleveland 114 in overtime - is now the league's head honchos say there should have been a "lane violation" assessed to Warriors' F Draymond Green on that missed free throw by Cavaliers' G George Hill with 4.7 seconds remaining in regulation play (we just watched the replay again and sure enough Green stepped into the lane prematurely) but a whole lot of good that's gonna do the Cavs right now!Let's…

NBA Finals Game 1 -- Warriors Win in OT But That Ain’t the Story

Friday, June 1, 2018 at 12:00 AM

THE NBA FINALS GAME 1 REPORT - CAVS GET SCREWED ROYALLY IN  124-114 OVERTIME LOSS TO WARRIORS ...MLB'S WHAT-TO-WATCH WEEKENDShame on you, NBA.Shame on the fact that - straight up - the league "punked" the heavy underdog Cleveland Cavaliers in more ways than one in last night's Game 1 of this year's NBA Finals.The Golden State Warriors' eventual 124-114 overtime non-cover win - and talk about what would have been one of the worst "beats" in major sports history had the Dubs won this game by more than the 13-point betting line! - came after one of the worst calls/worst…

Kelso’s Advanced Sports Betting: How to Analyze the NBA Finals

Thursday, May 31, 2018 at 1:00 PM

While the Golden State Warriors are heavy favorites over the Cleveland Cavaliers to win the 2018 NBA Championship, sports bettors like you and me are more worried about who's going to be covering point spreads...whether it's a four-game laugher or a seven-game thriller.How do we go about doing that? You students here in my College of Advanced Sports Betting and Handicapping have already done intensive work throughout the regular season and playoffs to get ready. I'm sure you have some ideas about Game One. What I want to talk to you today about involves the ability to read and react…

Richie Baccellieri: How Sharps are Betting the NBA Finals

Thursday, May 31, 2018 at 10:00 AM

As promised, I’m back on Thursday instead of Friday because the NBA Finals matching the Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers begins Thursday Night in Oracle Arena. I wanted to report to all of you how sharps (professional wagerers) have been betting Thursday’s Game One and the full series thus far.Unfortunately, the status of Kevin Love is dampening enthusiasm for early bettors. At least for those who are looking to bet Cleveland. Love suffered a concussion in the Eastern Conference Finals against Boston, and still hasn’t been cleared from protocol as I write this early Thursday morning Las Vegas time.…

It’s Cavs vs. Warriors in NBA Finals ... Again!

Thursday, May 31, 2018 at 12:00 AM

THE NBA FINALS - WARRIORS ARE MONSTROUS FAVORITES TO REPEAT BUT HERE WE TRY TO MAKE A CASE FOR THE CAVS ...BASEBALL NEWS & NOTES: TRIBE'S ON THE RISE (FINALLY!)You heard right: The Golden State Warriors - the NBA's defending champion and winners of two of the last three crowns - are a - 1200 favorite to cop this here-and-now NBA Finals against the Cleveland Cavaliers (+ 750) and the fact of the matter is the price tag's been going up, up, up and away since the matchup was established this past Monday night (we reported the Warriors as -1000…

Network Notebook: Garbage Time Might be Key in NBA Finals

Wednesday, May 30, 2018 at 12:00 PM

Normally, in the hours leading up to a major sporting event like the NBA Finals matching the Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers that begins Thursday night, JIM HURLEY'S HANDICAPPING NOTEBOOK would provide a comprehensive stat preview.This time around, there's not much point!*Golden State has the much better offense, with a variety of weapons that can score inside or out. Cleveland has LeBron James, and a bunch of guys who blow hot and cold…mostly cold when the pressure is on. One guy has to carry the Cavs. Any of a few can carry the Warriors.*Golden State has the much better…

NBA Finals Are Set -- Play it Again, Sam!

Tuesday, May 29, 2018 at 12:00 AM

THE NBA FINALS - GUESS WHAT, IT'S CAVS-WARRIORS ONE MO' TIME AFTER GOLDEN STATE OVERPOWERS NO-PAUL ROCKETS IN GAME 7 ...PLUS, IT'S OUR BASEBALL NEWS & NOTES: THE BEST/WORST IN RUN DIFFERENTIALJust think about it: The Golden State Warriors - owners of two of the last three NBA championships and seemingly headed to yet another crown sometime in these next two weeks - actually outscored the Houston Rockets by 59 points in the second halves of Game 6 / Game 7.Yes, the cream really did rise to the top in those 115-86 and 101-92 win/covers the last two games of…

Kelso’s Advanced Sports Betting: Pay Attention to Current Form in Baseball

Monday, May 28, 2018 at 4:00 PM

Last time we were talking about the importance of avoiding old perceptions when handicapping. That’s an important theme to think about right now in Major League Baseball for those of you here in my Advanced College of Sports Betting and Handicapping. There are a handful of teams on both ends of the spectrum who have “changed their stripes” over the past month. Too many of you aren’t noticing!Let’s start at the top. Here are won-lost records over the last 30 games for the hottest teams in baseball right now. Most of the list isn’t all that surprising compared to pre-season…

Richie Baccellieri: How Sharps are Betting Game 7 of Rockets/Warriors

Monday, May 28, 2018 at 1:00 PM

There’s not much mystery to how the Wise Guys are betting Game Seven of the Western Conference Finals Monday Night, nor much mystery about who they expect to win the NBA Finals that begin Thursday.Ever since Chris Paul limped off the floor with a hamstring injury last Thursday night, it was assumed by serious bettors that the series was over. Even though Houston led 3-2 at the time…the Rockets were going to be huge dogs on the road in Game Six without Paul. No expectation yet that Paul will be able to return and contribute much in Game Seven.*The opener…

The Cavs Are NBA Finals-Bound ... Who’s Gonna Join ’Em?

Monday, May 28, 2018 at 12:00 AM

THE NBA CONFERENCE FINALS REPORT - THE KING AND THE CAVALIERS ARE MOVIN' ON (AGAIN) TO ANOTHER NBA FINALS ...PLUS, WE PREVIEW TONIGHT'S GAME 7 OF THE WESTERN FINALS BETWEEN WARRIORS VS. ROCKETS ...BASEBALL'S MEMORIAL DAY NOTEBOOK: IT'S ASTROS-YANKEES IN CENTER STAGEBeen there, done that?Heck, as everyone knows, LeBron James has made it his personal rite of spring to play in the NBA Finals and so maybe it doesn't come as any great surprise that "The King" is headed back to a fourth consecutive championship round after going to four straight NBA Finals while wearing the uniform colors of the…

NBA Conference Monster Matchups Galore

Saturday, May 26, 2018 at 12:00 AM

THE JIM SEZ MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND UPDATE:NBA CONFERENCE FINALS REPORT FEATURES GAME 6 PREVIEW OF ROCKETS-WARRIORS ... PLUS, IT'S ON TO GAME 7 AS CAVS-CELTICS GO THE DISTANCE IN THE EASTIn what's known in the business, the Houston Rockets are playing with "house money" in their Game 6 bash at Golden State on this Saturday night of Memorial Day Weekend: No point guard Chris Paul (hamstring) for the Rockets and thus the defending champion Warriors are heavy-duty 12-point betting favorites here and everyone expects there's gonna be a decisive Game 7 come Monday night in Houston ... right?WESTERN CONFERENCE FINALSHOUSTON…

Kelso’s Advanced Sports Betting: Beware Falling Victim to Old Perceptions

Friday, May 25, 2018 at 3:00 PM

As we get together for this edition of coursework in my College of Advanced Sports Betting and Handicapping, two recent NBA dynasties are both trailing three games to two in their respective conference championship series, even though both were big favorites before the battles started. The defending National League Champion Los Angeles Dodgers have cost their backers a fortune this season. No projected divisional winners in the Senior Circuit currently lead their divisions. And, an expansion team is getting ready to play a longshot from the other conference for the NHL Championship.Assumptions that Cleveland and Golden State would breeze through…

Richie Baccellieri: How Many Points is Chris Paul Worth?

Friday, May 25, 2018 at 12:00 PM

If you saw Chris Paul walk gingerly off the court Thursday night after his Houston Rockets beat the Golden State Warriors to take a 3-2 series lead in the Western Conference Finals, you knew that evaluating his true worth was going to become very important for Saturday’s Game Six, and then again in Game Seven if he can’t go the rest of the way.Oddsmakers and sharps immediately assumed he would either miss Game Six, or play at such a reduced level of effectiveness that it was going to hurt the Rockets badly. Golden State opened at -10.5 and was bet…

Cavs, Warriors Both in Deep Trouble

Friday, May 25, 2018 at 12:00 AM

THE NBA CONFERENCE FINALS UPDATE:ROCKETS PUSH DUBS TO BRINK OF ELIMINATION IN THE WEST; CELTICS LOOK TO CLOSE OUT CAVS IN THE EAST TONIGHTJust consider this factoid for just a moment: If we are to have a Cleveland Cavaliers versus Golden State Warriors Part IV in this year's NBA Finals, then the Cavs and Dubs must go a combined 4-and-oh SU (straight-up) the rest of this way in these ongoing NBA Conference Finals.Impossible? Nah.But gotta say it's a major hurdle for the two teams that have combined to win the league's last three titles and so desperation time has hit…

Warriors-Rockets Get it On in Game 5 Tonight

Thursday, May 24, 2018 at 1:55 AM

THE NBA POST-SEASON REPORT:CELTICS CRUSH CAVS 96-83 IN GAME 5 TILT (AND JIM HURLEY WINS THE SIDE AND ANOTHER "UNDER" PLAY!) ...PLUS, WE PEEK AHEAD AT TONIGHT'S MONSTROUS GAME 5 IN HOUSTON AS WARRIORS-ROCKETS COLLIDELet's get this straight as we head into Thursday's Game 5 bash between the Golden State Warriors and the Houston Rockets in the NBA's Western Conference Finals:It's the Rockets that come off a dizzying defensive display the other night when holding G-State to just a mere dozen points in the fourth/final quarter and Houston head coach Mike D'Antoni - and not know-it-all Warriors' boss-man Steve Kerr…

Network Notebook: Will 75% Under Trend in NBA Continue?

Wednesday, May 23, 2018 at 12:00 PM

Lost in the shuffle amidst all the media complaining about blowouts, and how some teams look great one night but horrible the next...is the reality that the market has been overpricing Over/Unders so far in both the Eastern and Western Conference championships in the NBA.EASTERN CONFERENCEGame One stayed Under 204 with a scoring sum of 191Game Two stayed Under 205.5 with a scoring sum of 201Game Three stayed Under 207 with a scoring sum of 202Game Four went Over 204 with a scoring sum of 213WESTERN CONFERENCEGame One stayed Under 225.5 with a scoring sum of 225Game Two went Over…

The Rockets Rev Up the Defense in Game 4 Shocker

Wednesday, May 23, 2018 at 12:00 AM

THE NBA PLAYOFF REPORT: ROCKETS STUN WARRIORS WITH 95-92 WIN ON TUESDAY NIGHT TO EVEN WESTERN SET AT 2 GAMES APIECE ...AND IT'S GAME 5 IN BOSTON TONIGHT BETWEEN CAVS-CELTICS BUT WILL HOME COURT BE THE DIFFERENCE (AGAIN)? ...MLB NEWS & NOTES: STAT STUFF AHEADDon't even dare say that you "saw this one coming"! Jim Hurley DID, taking the Rockets plus the points!The Houston Rockets' come-from-behind 95-92 victory at 8-point favorite Golden State last night was a hoop shocker for the ages - whether it's the fact the Warriors blew a third-quarter/double-digit lead or because G-State really panicked late with…

Kelso’s Advanced Sports Betting: Are Tampa Bay Rays Crazy or Brilliant?

Monday, May 21, 2018 at 4:00 PM

You’ve probably heard that the Tampa Bay Rays did something bizarre this past weekend in Anaheim. They started relief pitcher Sergio Romo both Saturday and Sunday. Even with all the cutting-edge stuff going on in baseball right now involving pitch counts, bullpen usage, defensive shifts, and adjusted swing planes, THAT seemed borderline crazy.Maybe crazy like a fox.You see, what Tampa Bay was doing just might be the next big thing in major league baseball strategy. At least for mid-level teams who can’t afford to stockpile ace-caliber starting pitchers. It’s the new money-ball. Maybe you can call it “lineup ball.”What Tampa…

Richie Baccellieri: Some Expensive MLB Favorites do Offer Value

Monday, May 21, 2018 at 1:00 PM

I’m always surprised by how many public bettors never really noticed that the most expensive money line prices in Major League Baseball come in games with low Over/Unders. You almost never see a -300 favorite in a game that’s expected to see 9.5 runs or more. Why is that?The most obvious reason is that high prices are usually tagged to an elite starting pitcher. And, any game involving an elite starting pitcher isn’t going to have a high total. But, it’s also because it’s much harder for any team to dominate a game that’s projected to be high scoring compared…

NBA Playoffs: Where Are the Close Games?

Monday, May 21, 2018 at 12:00 AM

THE NBA CONFERENCE FINALS UPDATE: CAVS LOOK TO GET EVEN TONIGHT IN GAME 4 WHILE DUBS NATION WHIPS THE ROCKETS IN GAME 3 ... BASEBALL NEWS & NOTES:Don't look now but the first three games in the NBA's Eastern Conference Finals and first three games in the league's Western Conference Finals have been won by a per-game average of -- get this - 24 points! Jim Hurley is 3-1 in the Eastern Finals and 2-1 in the West after winning with the Warriors Sunday.Geez, we've had a pair of 13-point games (see Game 1 in Houston and Game 2 in…

All Eyes on Rockets-Warriors in Game 3

Saturday, May 19, 2018 at 12:00 AM

HERE'S THE GAME 3 SUNDAY NITE PREVIEW OF ROCKETS AT WARRIORS ...PLUS, MORE WEEKEND MLB NEWS/NOTESFolks, there are three major questions being asked when it comes to this NBA Western Conference Finals best-of-seven series between the wanna-be champion Houston Rockets and the defending champion Golden State Warriors:Number one ... Did Houston's resounding 127-105 win/cover in Game 2 versus the 2-point road underdog Warriors restore the Rockets' own confidence and maybe even erode some of G-State's overall confidence?Number two ... Has Golden State's superstar guard Stephen Curry actually become a "liability" between his poor shooting (see 7-of-19 field-goal shooting in Game…

Richie Baccellieri: How Sharps Will Likely Bet Weekend NBA

Friday, May 18, 2018 at 1:00 PM

We’ve come to the annual spot in the NBA Playoff schedule where the league gives championship contenders extra time off to set up a blockbuster TV weekend. The Boston/Cleveland series resumes Saturday night in Ohio with the pre-series underdog Celtics leading 2-0. The Houston/Golden State series gets back on the floor Sunday night in California all tied at one apiece.Lines for those matchups have already settled after initial betting. We may not see any dramatic changes until game day. Here’s how I expect the sharps to bet those games this weekend.BOSTON AT CLEVELAND (Saturday night): An opener of Cleveland -5.5…

Kelso’s Advanced Sports Betting: Isolating Indicator Stats in NBA Playoffs

Friday, May 18, 2018 at 7:00 AM

As promised, I'm back at the end of the week to talk about the NBA Playoffs. Our normal schedule was disrupted this past Monday by the most important news in the sports betting industry for decades! It will be months before all that works itself out. Hopefully many of you will be betting legally in your home state by the time football season rolls around. I've been doing that since before many of you were even born right here in Las Vegas.Today, our coursework is going to focus on "indicator" stats. To me, that means the numbers in the key…

NBA East Game 3 - Top Baseball Weekend Series and More!

Friday, May 18, 2018 at 12:00 AM

NBA PLAYOFF UPDATE:LET'S LOOK AHEAD TO SATURDAY'S GAME 3 BASH BETWEEN BOSTON AT CLEVELAND ...PLUS, BASEBALL NEWS & NOTES WITH KEY NL AND AL WEEKEND SERIESSay what you will about these here-and-now Boston Celtics, but the fact remains they've been a bit Jekyl-and-Hyde-ish when it comes to home and away play this playoff season. The Celtics are 9-0 both SU (straight-up) and ATS (against the spread) at home this post-season while the green gang is just 1-4 SU and 2-3 versus the vig away in prior playoff series against Milwaukee and Philadelphia.So, should that "comfort" a desperate Cavaliers team as…

Blastoff! The Rockets Get Even

Thursday, May 17, 2018 at 12:00 AM

THE NBA PLAYOFFS: ROCKETS BLAST WARRIORS 127-105 TO SQUARE WESTERN FINALS AT A GAME APIECEPLUS, THE NEXT BATCH OF NBA LOTTERY PICKSFor most of the 2017-18 NBA season, the Houston Rockets kept everyone at "arm's length" while winning a league-best 65 games.In Game 2 of the NBA Western Conference Finals last night, "arm's length" was the key phrase again:After all, the Rockets - who displayed superior ball movement and didn't allow the shot clock to get whittled down before hurling up their shots (as was the case for much of Game 1) - led by 14 points at intermission while…

Network Notebook: Celtics are a Horrible Matchup for Cavaliers

Wednesday, May 16, 2018 at 1:00 PM

It’s not just that the Cleveland Cavaliers are trailing 2-0 in their Eastern Conference Championship series against the Boston Celtics. That’s not the end of the world. Boston has only “held serve” to this point, meaning Cleveland can still win its home games and win one of two remaining market coin flips in Boston to reach the NBA Finals. The problem for LeBron James and company is that Boston is a HORRIBLE matchup them.Among the reasons…*Boston is younger and much more energetic. Though Cleveland did a good job of pacing themselves to be fresh for the playoffs, that only worked…

Call it a Must Win Game 2 for Houston

Wednesday, May 16, 2018 at 12:00 AM

THE NBA PLAYOFFS: CAN ROCKETS BOUNCE BACK TO EVEN SERIES WITH THE DUBS? ... PLUS, WE RE-CAP BOSTON'S 107-94 GAME 2 WIN OVER CLEVELAND ... PLUS NBA LOTTERY NEWS ...THE BASEBALL REPORT: IS HISTORY ON THE YANKEES' SIDE IN 2018?Hey Houston, you do have a problem.The NBA's best regular-season team in the 2017-18 season - 65 wins in all - kissed away (at least for now) the home-court advantage in this best-of-seven set against the defending champion Golden State Warriors with a 119-106 loss in Game 1. Safe to say if the Rockets - a 1.5-point betting favorite here in…

Richie Baccellieri: How Sharps will Attack “Legal” Sports Betting

Monday, May 14, 2018 at 4:00 PM

Las Vegas woke up to news that rocked its world Monday. Remember that a 10 a.m. announcement on the East Coast from the Supreme Court is a 7 a.m. announcement out here. Our world just got a whole lot more complicated. If you LIVE in Nevada, you already had it pretty good. Now, Las Vegas sports books must ponder the possibilities of:*Offering phone our app accounts nationally*Partnering with companies in other states to run their sports books*Advertising nationally during live sports events to promote their enterprisesRunning a sports book was already complicated enough. Then, who knows what will happen if…

Kelso’s Advanced Sports Betting: Federal Ban on Sports Betting Lifted

Monday, May 14, 2018 at 11:00 AM

Huge news Monday morning in the world of sports betting. The United States Supreme Court has ruled that the federal ban on the activity is unconstitutional. Congress or individual states are now free to legalize sports betting and offer it through local entities.I can’t tell you how long I’ve been waiting for this day to arrive. Many decades ago, I thought it was just a matter of time. After years (and YEARS) of waiting, I gave up hope. Our government, regardless of whichever party is in charge, has never been accused of having common sense. The 1992 law that barred…

Finally, It’s Warriors vs. Rockets in Best-of-West Series

Sunday, May 13, 2018 at 12:00 AM

IT'S FINALLY HERE: NBA WESTERN CONFERENCE FINALS MOVES CENTER STAGE AS WARRIORS-ROCKETS COLLIDE IN MONSTER MATCHUP PLUS, WE RE-CAP BOSTON'S BLOWOUT WIN IN GAME 1 OF THE EASTERN CONFERENCE FINALS ... JIM HURLEY WINS SIDE & TOTAL IN GAME ONE!BASEBALL'S 10+ GAMES-OVER-.500 SQUADSNow, who says that "you can't always get what you want"?Everybody in hoops-land wanted a Golden State Warriors versus Houston Rockets showdown - and wanted it badly! -- in the NBA's Western Conference Finals and it's finally here and you just know the good folks at TNT want a go-the-distance set. After all, in that last round of…

Cavs-Celtics Get It On in NBA Eastern Finals

Saturday, May 12, 2018 at 12:00 AM

THE NBA EASTERN CONFERENCE FINALS PREVIEW - THE KING AND HIS CAVS ARE MONSTER-SIZED FAVORITES (- 285) ...BASEBALL NEWS & NOTESIt's true. You have to go all the way back to the 2009-2010 season to find the last time a LeBron James-led team didn't make it to an NBA Finals and now here's "The King" and his court buddies a whopping nearly 3-to-1 betting favorite (- 285) for this year's NBA Eastern Conference Finals duel against the Boston Celtics beginning Sunday afternoon in Beantown.In each of the last three years, James' Cavs have marched their way straight to the NBA…

Richie Baccellieri: How Sharps are Betting the NBA Conference Finals

Friday, May 11, 2018 at 4:00 PM

We’re down to the final four in the NBA Playoffs. In the East, the Cleveland Cavaliers visit the Boston Celtics Sunday afternoon in Game One. In the West, the Golden State Cavaliers visit the Houston Rockets Monday night to tip that one off.We have a unique circumstance in that the ROAD teams, meaning the two teams that enter the matchups without home court advantage, are the favorites to advance. That’s could create some interesting betting opportunities. Both Cleveland and Golden State HAVE to win a road game to advance…and both will likely be near pick-em in road games. Yet, both…

Kelso’s Advanced Sports Betting: What Happened to Home Field Advantage in MLB?

Friday, May 11, 2018 at 12:00 PM

We’re approaching 40 games for all Major League Baseball teams this season here in the second week of May. I don’t think I’ve ever seen something quite like this before. All of the following teams have better ROAD records than home recordsBostonKansas CityChicago White Sox (3-15 at home!)LA AngelsHoustonSeattleTexasAtlantaWashingtonNY MetsMilwaukeeCincinnatiColoradoA couple of other teams are right near break-even. That means HALF THE MAJORS hasn’t been enjoying home field advantage this season?Sure, you expect it with a handful of teams over a small sample size. But, it’s becoming NORMAL. How can this many teams be playing better on the road than…

NBA Playoffs -- Key Spread Stats and More

Friday, May 11, 2018 at 12:00 AM

NBA PLAYOFFS - LET'S JUST SIT TIGHT TILL SUNDAY WHEN CAVS-CELTICS TIP OFF THE EASTERN CONFERENCE FINALS ...THE BASEBALL REPORT - WHAT'S ON TAP THIS MOTHERS DAY WEEKEND FOR RED SOX AND YANKEESLadies and gentlemen, the oddsmakers have spoken:The experts in the desert say the Cleveland Cavaliers are nearly a 3-to-1 betting favorite (- 290) over the Boston Celtics (+ 240) in the upcoming NBA Eastern Conference Finals that will begin this Sunday;In the uber-anticipated NBA Western Conference Finals, the defending champion Golden State Warriors are nearly a 2-to-1 betting fav (- 190) over the conference's top-seeded Houston Rockets (+…

Celtics are Movin On With Thriller Win over Phila

Thursday, May 10, 2018 at 12:00 AM

NBA POST-SEASON UPDATES: CELTICS (+ 320 SERIES UNDERDOG) CLOSE OUT THE SIXERS IN FIVE, PLUS, IT'S TIME TO GEAR UP FOR WARRIORS-ROCKETSTHE BASEBALL REPORT: IT'S STAT CENTRALThe good folks at TNT didn't say a thing about the Boston Celtics cashing as a better-than-3-to-1 underdog for their just-completed five-game series win against the Philadelphia 76ers but now hear this: Last night's rousing 114-112 win/cover by the 1.5-point favored Celtics over the Sixers was the single-biggest series upset we've had in this year's NBA Playoffs – note that prior to the start of the series Philadelphia was priced at – 400 and…

Network Notebook: Golden State is NOT Who You Think They Are

Wednesday, May 9, 2018 at 12:00 PM

Impressions tend to linger with fans (and the media) much longer than is reasonable. Once a narrative sticks to a professional or college sports team…THAT’S their narrative regardless of what’s actually happening on the football field, baseball field, or basketball court.We’ve talked often in the past about how the Golden State Warriors don’t get enough credit for their defense. They play at a fast pace, which makes it hard to hold teams in the 70’s or 80’s on the scoreboard because there are too many possessions. But, when you account for pace, Golden State always has one of the best…

Cavs Get Their Sweep; Rockets, Warriors in Action in Game 5’s

Tuesday, May 8, 2018 at 12:00 AM

THE NBA PLAYOFF PICTURE - ROCKETS, WARRIORS ARE BIG-TIME BETTING FAVORITES IN CLOSE-OUT GAME 5'S TONIGHT PLUS, A LOOK BACK AT CAVS' SIXERS' STAY-ALIVE WIN ...MLB NOTEBOOK: THE BEST THREE STARTING PITCHERS THAT MEDIA FOLKS AIN'T TALKIN' ABOUT!It will come as absolutely no surprise at all when - not if - the Houston Rockets (the NBA's top seed in the Western Conference) squares off with the #2 seed Golden State Warriors after those two superpowers get past their second-round playoff foes.And - in case you had not noticed - at last check both the Rockets and the Warriors were priced…

Richie Baccellieri: The Power of Betting Early

Monday, May 7, 2018 at 4:00 PM

Sports results from this past weekend really emphasize how important it is to bet EARLY when you believe you’ve spotted an edge. The longer you wait, the lower your payoff.Las Vegas is really buzzing right now about the Vegas Golden Knights’ run in the NHL Playoffs. If you’ve ever been in a city “the first time” it’s going deep in the playoffs, you know how exciting it is. That’s never happened in this town to a pro team. UNLV generated high energy in the Jerry Tarkanian years. But, that was a LONG time ago, and it was in the colleges.Sportsbooks…

Kelso’s Advanced Sports Betting: A Head Start on NBA Conference Finals

Monday, May 7, 2018 at 12:00 PM

As I write this, none of the second round series in the 2018 NBA Playoffs have come to an end. But, it’s a virtual lock who the four advancing teams will be. Golden State and Houston will play for the Western crown. Both have 3-1 series leads, and were prohibitive favorites to survive their battles with New Orleans and Utah before they even started. Cleveland and Boston enjoy 3-0 series leads over Toronto and Philadelphia respectively, and no NBA team has ever rallied from 3-0 down to win a series.That means, it’s fairly safe to start handicapping the final four.…

Celtics, Cavs Look for KO Wins Tonight

Monday, May 7, 2018 at 7:00 AM

 THE NBA PLAYOFFS:IS IT BROOM TIME TONIGHTIN PHILLY, CLEVELAND? …THE BASEBALL REPORT:GEARING UP FOR MONSTER-SIZEDRED SOX AT YANKEES SET IN THE BRONX If truth be told, the first round of this year’s NBA Playoffs really featured just one big-time upset – see New Orleans (+ 180) dusting off Portland in four straight games – while Utah’s six-game series win against dysfunctional Oklahoma City (a -135 betting favorite) was a mild surprise but here we head into Monday’s NBA Playoff Eastern Conference action on the hardwood and both the #2 seed Boston Celtics and #4 seed Cleveland Cavaliers each are a mere…

Weekend News/Notes from NBA, MLB and NFL Too

Saturday, May 5, 2018 at 11:53 AM

 THE JIM SEZ WEEKEND REPORT –NBA, MLB & NFL NOTES GALORE! Better believe it’s a super-busy sports weekend from the Kentucky Derby to the NBA Playoffs to some great Major-League Baseball action to some NFL chatter just one week after the completion of the ’18 draft.But let’s get started with some off-the-court NBA news where the New York Knicks – not exactly the most stable hoops franchise the past 15-or-so years – just hired one-time Memphis Grizzlies head coach David Fizdale as their new court general.Hey, we fully realize the Knicks’ management folks believe hiring Fizdale will be an “in” to…

Weekend Notes from NBA, MLB and NFL

Saturday, May 5, 2018 at 11:52 AM

 THE JIM SEZ WEEKEND REPORT –NBA, MLB & NFL NOTES GALORE! Better believe it’s a super-busy sports weekend from the Kentucky Derby to the NBA Playoffs to some great Major-League Baseball action to some NFL chatter just one week after the completion of the ’18 draft.But let’s get started with some off-the-court NBA news where the New York Knicks – not exactly the most stable hoops franchise the past 15-or-so years – just hired one-time Memphis Grizzlies head coach David Fizdale as their new court general.Hey, we fully realize the Knicks’ management folks believe hiring Fizdale will be an “in” to…

NBA Playoffs, Major-League Baseball What to Watch Items This Weekend

Saturday, May 5, 2018 at 12:00 AM

THE JIM SEZ WEEKEND REPORT -NBA, MLB & NFL NOTES GALORE!Better believe it's a super-busy sports weekend from the Kentucky Derby to the NBA Playoffs to some great Major-League Baseball action to some NFL chatter just one week after the completion of the '18 draft.But let's get started with some off-the-court NBA news where the New York Knicks - not exactly the most stable hoops franchise the past 15-or-so years - just hired one-time Memphis Grizzlies head coach David Fizdale as their new court general.Hey, we fully realize the Knicks' management folks believe hiring Fizdale will be an "in" to…

Richie Baccellieri: Biggest MLB Money Makers and Money Losers One Month Into the Season

Friday, May 4, 2018 at 4:00 PM

We’re about one month into the 2018 Major League Baseball season, which makes this a great time to check in on the biggest market surprises. Several teams have performed much better than expected, including a couple who were thought to have little chance to compete for their divisions. We’ve had some surprising collapses as well, with one projected World Championship contender costing its fans a fortune in Las Vegas.Let’s start with the good news. Here’s a list of the biggest money makers so far as we head into the first weekend of May (oh, good luck in Saturday’s Kentucky Derby!)Biggest…

Kelso’s Advanced Sports Betting: Market Mis-reading the NBA East

Friday, May 4, 2018 at 12:00 PM

Even though I’ve been handicapping sports for decades, The Dean of Sports Handicapping still runs into things I’ve never seen before on a regular basis. That’s certainly the case right now in the NBA Playoffs, particularly the Eastern Conference. Oddsmakers, many so-called “sharps,” many math guys, and many in the general wagering public have completely misread the second round series featuring Cleveland vs. Toronto and Boston vs. Philadelphia.*Toronto was favored by anywhere from -200 to -240 to advance past Cleveland. The Raptors were around -7 at home in the first two games of that series. Cleveland won them both OUTRIGHT,…

Analyzing the NFL Draft, Part 1 by Jim Feist

Friday, May 4, 2018 at 12:00 AM

Arizona Cardinals:  They did not do much to give me hope as this does not look to be a good season for the Cards. HC Bruce Arians is gone and replaced by Steve Wilks. QB Carson Palmer has departed as well. Sam Bradford and Josh Rosen will be under center. The Cardinals drafted Rosen, who is a top prospect, but Bradford will be under center as long as he stays healthy.  Rosen is a big QB at 6’4” and 226, but he does bring some off-field baggage with him.  I give the Cardinals a “B+” in their draft.  John Brown…

Is it Panic Time for Raptors, Sixers? Plus Tonight’s NBA West Games

Friday, May 4, 2018 at 12:00 AM

THE NBA PLAYOFF UPDATE: CAVALIERS, CELTICS SNAG 2-AND-OH SERIES LEADS IN THE EAST WHILE THE WEST TAKES CENTER STAGE THIS EVENING AS N'ORLEANS, UTAH HOST GAME 3 TILTS ...THE BASEBALL REPORT: WEEKEND'S BEST SERIES TO WATCHSo much for the "getting even" in the NBA's Eastern Conference playoff picture!Right, TNT's Charles Barkley "guaranteed" wins by both the Toronto Raptors and the Philadelphia 76ers last night and ole "Chuckster" fell flat on his chubby face with both guarantees - okay, so everyone had a good laugh about that - but wake up this morning and "We The North" and "Trust The Process"…

Raptors, Sixers in Heap of Trouble Heading to Game 2 Tilts

Wednesday, May 2, 2018 at 1:31 PM

THE NBA PLAYOFF REPORT - SURPRISE, SURPRISE AS BOTH EASTERN CONFERENCE FAVS IN A HOLE HEADING INTO THURSDAY'S GAME 2'S ...THE BASEBALL NOTEBOOK: WHY "HAVE-NOT" TEAMS WILL BE BUSY TRADING THEIR STARS EARLY THIS SEASONIt's one of our favorite all-time quotes used in a sports setting and it goes back two-plus decades to when then-Houston Rockets' head coach Rudy Tomjanovich stated, "Don't ever underestimate the heart of a champion".Ole' "Rudy T" was getting emotional right after his Rockets had just wrapped up their second consecutive NBA crown with a clean sweep of the Orlando Magic (remember?) and now fast forward…

Network Notebook: Can LeBron’s Cavs Win East From #4 Seed?

Wednesday, May 2, 2018 at 11:00 AM

Many in the sports world were shocked Tuesday night when LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers upset the Toronto Raptors to win Game One of their second round Eastern Conference series. Now, James and his teams have been winning playoff games forever. It’s not the victory that was a shock…but rather the inability for up-and-coming challengers to maintain their composure when it’s time to take the torch.Toronto had double digit leads on multiple occasions, and never actually trailed in regulation. Yet, the Raptors clearly shrunk in the moment, seemingly TERRIFIED of having to execute when the game was on the…

The NBA Report: Raptors, 76ers Gotta Win Their Game 2’s

Wednesday, May 2, 2018 at 12:00 AM

 THE NBA PLAYOFF REPORT –SURPRISE, SURPRISE AS BOTHEASTERN CONFERENCE FAVS INA HOLE HEADING INTO THURSDAY’S GAME 2’S …THE BASEBALL NOTEBOOK:WHY “HAVE-NOT” TEAMS WILL BE BUSYTRADING THEIR STARS EARLY THIS SEASON It’s one of our favorite all-time quotes used in a sports setting and it goes back two-plus decades to when then-Houston Rockets’ head coach Rudy Tomjanovich stated, “Don’t ever underestimate the heart of a champion”.Ole’ “Rudy T” was getting emotional right after his Rockets had just wrapped up their second consecutive NBA crown with a clean sweep of the Orlando Magic (remember?) and now fast forward to this past Tuesday night…

NBA Second-Round Playoff Gigs

Monday, April 30, 2018 at 11:22 PM

THE NBA PLAYOFF REPORT - A SERIES-BY-SERIES LOOK AT WHAT'S STRAIGHT AHEAD ...PLUS, IT'S OUR UP-TO-DATE NBA PLAYOFF POINTSPREAD CHART AND THE THE MLB UPDATEJust so happened to check in with one off-shore source at the very start of this week and we learned the Golden State Warriors were priced at "even money" to repeat as NBA champions while the Houston Rockets were listed at + 150 to win it all ... in case you were wondering, the three-time defending Eastern Conference champion Cleveland Cavaliers were + 1100. Hmmm.In fact, the shortest-priced squad from the Eastern Conference is the Toronto…

Richie Baccellieri: What Sharps Think About the Second Round of NBA Playoffs

Monday, April 30, 2018 at 4:00 PM

We’re down to the final eight teams in the NBA Playoffs. Frankly, sharps see it more like the final four or five. There are three underdogs that aren’t being given much of a chance to advance past the second round. Let’s take a quick look at what sharps are thinking about each of the current matchups. NEW ORLEANS VS. GOLDEN STATEThis was the first second round series to get started because both teams advanced quickly. New Orleans swept Portland. Golden State took five games to send San Antonio home. The market priced Golden State at -9 or -9.5 in Saturday’s first…

Kelso’s Advanced Sports Betting: What’s Wrong With the Dodgers?

Monday, April 30, 2018 at 12:00 PM

That’s your homework assignment for today. Do your best to find out what’s wrong with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Last year’s National League champions are down almost 15 units one month into the new season. That’s with a record of 12-15, which shows you how overpriced the team has been from the get-go. The Dodgers were supposed to be so dominant in 2018, that being three games under .500 in the standings is the same as being almost 15 games Under on the money line.Obviously being three games under .500 in late April isn’t the end of the world in…

NBA Eastern Conference 2nd Round Series Ready to Roll

Sunday, April 29, 2018 at 11:39 PM

HERE'S YOUR NBA PLAYOFF REPORT: SIXERS-CELTICS, CAVS-RAPTORS GET EASTERN CONFERENCE SEMIS JUMP-STARTED ...BASEBALL NEWS & NOTES: IT'S A YANKEE DOODLE DANDY AS BOMBERS WIN NINTH STRAIGHTOkay, we know it's early but from the look of things the NBA Western Conference Finals might be all set faster than you can say "jump ball".This past weekend both the West's #1 seed Houston and #2 seed Golden State spanked their overmatched opponents by a grand total of 36 points.Heck, the Rockets' 110-96 win/cover on Sunday afternoon against 11.5-point underdog Utah was never/ever close as MVP-to-be G James Harden poured in a game-high 41…

It’s a Wall-to-Wall Great NBA Playoff Weekend

Saturday, April 28, 2018 at 1:43 AM

THE NBA WEEKEND REPORT - PELICANS-WARRIORS, JAZZ-ROCKETS OPEN UP ROUND II PLAY, PLUS THERE'S A PAIR OF GAME 7'S TOOJust call it a case of NBA "seventh heaven" ... times two!But there's even more: This end-of-April, wall-to-wall pro hoops card features a pair of Game 7 duels with Milwaukee at 4.5-point favorite Boston (that's Saturday at 8:05 p.m. Eastern time) and Indiana at 5.5-point fav Cleveland (Sunday at 1 p.m. ET) in a couple of gritty survive-and-advance battles and we also have Western Conference series openers between New Orleans at Golden State (Saturday at 10:35 p.m.) and then it's Utah…

Kelso’s Advanced Sports Betting: Using the “Motivation Factor” in the NBA Playoffs

Friday, April 27, 2018 at 3:00 PM

While it’s true that all teams should be motivated in the playoffs. It’s not hard at all to find situations where one team is more motivated than the other to win THAT night. Often that’s tied to a “bounce back” situation…where the previous loser is going to find peak intensity while the previous winner takes its foot off the gas (the key to why the zig-zag worked for so many years). But, the later you get in an early-round series, it could also be because the superior team is ready to close things out why the lesser team is ready…

Richie Baccellieri: How Sharps are Betting the NBA Playoffs

Friday, April 27, 2018 at 11:00 AM

We have five big NBA Playoff games Friday and Saturday. Studying the market in those matchups will help get you in the right mindset for evaluating the second round. Let’s see how sharps (professional wagerers) have been betting these so far. FRIDAYToronto at Washington: Washington opened at -2 in most spots. It’s either sitting there, or at Washington -1.5 right now depending on where you shop. That sets up a likely tug-of-war between now and tip-off between Washington -1.5 and Toronto +2. In the past, Washington would be an auto-pick for bettors who like zig-zagging in the NBA Playoffs. But, in…

NFL Draft Round I ReCap

Friday, April 27, 2018 at 2:15 AM

THE NFL DRAFT - THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THEN THE TRULY AWFUL MOVES FROM A WILD & WACKY FIRST ROUND ... NBA'S FRIDAY NITE LITES - THREE BIG PLAYOFF GAMES ON TAPThe National Football League Draft's opening round was high on drama ... but, if you ask us, rather low on gridiron IQ.Sure, as we forecasted in our JMock Draft, there were plenty of first-round/draft-night trades (five of 'em in all) and we had the predictable run on quarterbacks as a record four slingers went in the top 10 selections and overall there were five signal-callers picked in Round…

It’s Game 5 in Warriors-Rockets Tonight

Thursday, April 26, 2018 at 1:55 AM

 THE NBA POST-SEASON REPORT:CELTICS CRUSH CAVS 96-83 IN GAME 5 TILT(AND JIM HURLEY WINS ANOTHER “UNDER” PLAY!) …PLUS, WE PEEK AHEAD AT TONIGHT’SMONSTROUS GAME 5 IN HOUSTONAS WARRIORS-ROCKETS COLLIDE Let’s get this straight as we head into Thursday’s Game 5 bash between the Golden State Warriors and the Houston Rockets in the NBA’s Western Conference Finals:It’s the Rockets that come off a dizzying defensive display the other night when holding G-State to just a mere dozen points in the fourth/final quarter and Houston head coach Mike D’Antoni – and not know-it-all Warriors’ boss-man Steve Kerr – whose (so far) looking like…

It’s the NFL Mock Draft -- And There are Surprises Galore

Wednesday, April 25, 2018 at 11:41 PM

THE 2018 NFL MOCK DRAFT - JIM HURLEY FORECASTS ROUND ILadies and gents, it's finally here: The 2018 NFL Draft - yes, the most anticipated draft in the last three-and-a-half decades - has arrived and we'll take you through a wild Round I with trades, shockers and all the rest in this jam-packed edition of Jim Sez.Hey, don't forget that many online sites allow you to wager on some first-round prop plays - such as over/under on how many quarterbacks or offensive linemen, etc. get selected or how many players from the SEC or Pac-12 get picked; you may wish…

Network Notebook: Personnel Matchups Matter in NBA Playoffs

Wednesday, April 25, 2018 at 10:00 AM

KEY TO ADVANCING IN NBA PLAYOFFS: CAN YOU STOP WHAT THE OTHER GUY DOES WELL?Early in the 2018 NBA Playoffs, it's clear that the fundamentals still hold true. Yes, three-point shooting is more important than ever. And, defensive rotations are evolving to stop more aggressive ball movement strategies on offense. But, the most basic fundamental is still ruling these opening round matchups.Can you stop what the other guy does well?Handicappers who focus on THAT will pick more winners than losers. Bettors who get distracted by other issues may run into some trouble. Here are some on-the-fly examples.*Portland could not. Even…

Jim Hurley Position-by-Position NFL Draft Preview

Wednesday, April 25, 2018 at 9:59 AM

NFL DRAFT PREVIEWIt's our annual position-by-position look at the top players as we close in on the NFL Draft set for Thursday, April 26.Quarterbacks:SAM DARNOLD, QB, USC - Truth of the matter is this 6-foot-3, 222-pounder played better in 2016 than he did a year ago as last year the Trojans' slinger committed 22 turnovers while throwing for 4,143 yards and 26 TDs. Cerebral type player who throws well on the run - and apparently in bad weather too as evidenced by his pro workout day in the rain - and throwing on the run and in bad weather may…

The NFL Draft: Ranking the Top Rookie QBs

Tuesday, April 24, 2018 at 1:33 PM

THE NFL DRAFT REPORT - FINALLY, WE ZOOM IN ON THE TOP INCOMING QUARTERBACKS AS WE INCH CLOSER TO THURSDAY NITE ...NBA PLAYOFF NEWS & NOTES: GETTING UP-CLOSE AND PERSONAL WITH JAZZ-THUNDERHow close are we finally getting to the NFL Draft?Well, let's just say we know there's plenty of folks in the Dallas area that have been warming up their vocal chords getting ready to boo NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell ...and we hear they're in top form!Yes, the 2018 NFL Draft - no doubt the most anticipated draft in the past 35 years (see that quarterback-driven 1983 draft) - has…

Richie Baccellieri: Sharps Have Their Eyes on Sixers

Monday, April 23, 2018 at 3:00 PM

Everybody knew that the Philadelphia 76ers were a team of the future in the NBA. Many sharps I’m talking to are now seeing them as a team of the present. The Wise Guys have been confidently backing Philadelphia in its series with Miami (2-1-1 ATS so far). Philadelphia is also getting respect in futures prices (though sharps tend not to bet those preferring to roll over parlays at series prices for a bigger return).How far can Philadelphia go this season?*They’re already up 3-1 on Miami, and a virtual lock to advance with two more home games if needed. Philadelphia had…

Kelso’s Advanced Sports Betting: Tough to Win $$$ in MLB with Good or Bad Teams

Monday, April 23, 2018 at 1:00 PM

Though many handicappers and professional bettors were bracing for this, it’s still amazing how quickly bad teams have sunk to the bottom of the standings just a few weeks into the 2018 season.Through the weekend…Cincinnati 3-18Miami 5-16Baltimore 6-16Kansas City 6-15Chicago White Sox 4-14Texas 8-15San Diego 8-15There has been some talk of “tanking” in baseball. That’s not the right word in terms of the players. It’s not like they’re going out trying to lose. Pitchers want to get outs. Hitters want to post good numbers so they can stay in the league and make big money. But, at the team level…franchises…

NBA’s Eastern Playoff Series Just Getting Wilder

Monday, April 23, 2018 at 1:55 AM

THE NBA PLAYOFF UPDATE: CAVS GET EVEN WITH THE PACERS PLUS, THERE'S MORE WILD STUFF FROM 'ROUND THE EASTERN CONFERENCE ...NFL DRAFT NOTEBOOK: TRACKING THE TOP D-BACKSLet us ask you this important NBA Playoffs-related question:Are you beginning to see a pattern developing in three of the four Eastern Conference first-round playoff sets where we'll head to Game 5's with series tied at two games apiece? It has to do with getting out to big leads in these games - and whether or not clubs can hang on right to the finish line.Naturally, the most spell-binding of them all continues to…

The Cavs & LeBron Facing Round I Troubles

Saturday, April 21, 2018 at 12:37 AM

 THE JIM SEZ WEEKEND UPDATE –NBA PLAYOFF NOTES PLUSNFL DRAFT REPORT AS WECHECK OUT THE TOP O-LINEMEN Wait a second …Is this actually gonna be the year that LeBron James doesn’t make it to an NBA Finals?Heck, “The King” has been part of the championship round for the past eight consecutive post-seasons but right now his Cleveland Cavaliers are facing a first-round problem of sorts following Friday night’s 92-90 meltdown loss to the 1.5-point home favorite Indiana Pacers. The Cavs – as you’re all well aware by now – blew a 57-40 halftime lead in the important “swing game” and so…

Richie Baccellieri: Why Sharps are Usually on Dogs in NBA Playoffs

Friday, April 20, 2018 at 1:00 PM

If you’ve been paying attention to early betting in the NBA Playoffs so far, you’ve already noticed a continuation of the general “Pros vs. Joes” tendency in other sports. The public loves betting favorites. Sharps prefer backing underdogs.While it’s obviously true that a big part of the reason for that is that public money drives lines higher than they should be…creating an additional half-point to a point (or more) of value, there are other reasons why sharps prefer fading the chalk. I wanted to discuss those with you today.First of all, it’s a common phenomenon in ALL sports for dominant…

NBA Playoffs: Cavs-Pacers Game 3 Plus NFL Draft Talk

Friday, April 20, 2018 at 10:53 AM

 OUR FRIDAY JIM SEZIS CHOCK FULL O’GOODIESWITH THE NBA PLAYOFFS / NFL DRAFT / MLB Step aside, NBA Western Conference:Tonight’s all about the folks in the East as there are three NBA playoff series on this Friday night and the games are being played in Indiana, Washington and Milwaukee.Obviously, the most intriguing game of the night is that Cleveland Cavaliers versus Indiana Pacers Game 3 showdown with that series even at a game apiece and you see that the gritty Pacers are the 1-point betting favorites at last check … hmm.Consider that Cleveland – fresh off Wednesday night’s 100-97 non-cover win…

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