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Submitted by Kelso Sturgeon on Monday, June 4, 2012 at 3:05 PM

It was simply a bad weekend. Little good happened and I have only myself to blame. Each time I came to a fork in the road, I went the wrong direction 80% of the time and paid the price for it. That is history and it is right back to the challenge of beating the man, and I am up to that. Been here before and bounced into the winner's circle.

Tonight's baseball schedule offers but seven games, with one of them meriting 50-units of play, and the NBA Western Conference extremely competitive championship round between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San Antonio Spurs continues in Texas tonight with the best-of-series tied 2-2. The Spurs are -5 in this one and I am releasing the game as a 25-unit play.

One could write a book about all the elements that have the potential to determine the outcome of this game but to me it boils down to two key elements-the home court bias in San Antonio, where the Spurs are 34-5 this season and where they have not lost since April 4, and the real enemy of bettors, the number. While the series stands 2-2, Oklahoma City stands 3-1 against the spread (ATS).

There is no question Oklahoma City and San Antonio are evenly matched and that those making the NBA playoff betting lines are near-perfect in their analysis of these two teams. Numbers are rock hard.

San Antonio opened at home as a 5 ½-point favorite over the Thunder and won by 3, 101-98. The Spurs came back in the next game, going for their 21st straight win, were 4 ½-point favorites and won by 9, 120-111, on the strength of hitting 55.1% from the floor.

The series then shifted to Oklahoma City, with the Thunder favored by 4 points, and they went onto win this one in blowout fashion by 20, 102-82, as the Spurs bounced downward off that aforementioned 55.1% number and hit 39.5% from the floor. In game two O.C. was a 3 ½-point favorite and won by 6 points, 109-103, and had to hit 56.4% from the floor to do it.

Nobody ever said this game was easy.

Tigers' Verlander Goes On Watch List?

I made a fortune betting on Detroit Tigers' right-hander Justin Verlander last season and continued with him this season. That may change, however, after the 2011 American League Cy Young winner lost his third straight. Some say there is no cause for concern, that the numbers are there (5-4, with an earned run average of 2.67), but are they. It is of note to me that Verlander, who I have bet in those three losses, gave up 25 hits and 10 earned runs. In the three starts before that, it was all wins as Verlander gave up but 10 hits and four earned runs.

More than that I just cannot get off my mind Sunday's game, where the New York Yankees Derek Jeter hit Verlander's first pitch out of the park and then walked Curtis Granderson on four pitches and then later in the inning giving up another walk.
Something does not calculate here and I am going to put Verlander on my watch list until this argument is settled. For certain this is not last year's pitcher who won the baseball's Triple Crown, leading the American League in wins (24-5), in strikeouts (250) and in ERA (2.45).

Unlucky, or simply a struggling pitcher on the downside of his form? We will let time answer that question. In the meantime, this handicapper will just duck and run.

Handicapping Today's Baseball

  • The Chicago Cubs (18-35) have become an embarrassment to Major League Baseball, standing 2-14 in their last 16 games and with those two wins coming over the hapless San Diego Padres (18-37). The Cubs are at San Francisco today to close out a three-game series against the Giants who are 6-1 in their last seven games.

  • The slumping Los Angeles Dodgers (33-21) are -120 road favorites over the Philadelphia Phillies despite the fact they are 1-6 in their last seven games. The Phillies (28-27) are the only team in baseball with a winning record that has a losing mark at home (12-15)

  • The Colorado Rockies are 6-1 in their last seven games and are a +113 underdog tonight at Arizona.

Tonight's Betting Menu

50-Unit Baseball Power Play Wins Big Money Again Tonight
My Chairman's Baseball Club is absolutely on fire with its big-game plays and Sunday added another winner to its current record when the underdog Minnesota Twins (+132) knocked off the Cleveland Indians, 6-3, and I intend to take down the money again today with a 50-unit power play, releasing a team that has better than a 90% chance to get it done. We have all the edges here and you do not want to miss this golden opportunity. You can win this one with me for just $25, charged to your major credit card.

25-Unit NBA Showdown Play Wins
Thunder at Spurs
I stubbed my toe in the NBA playoffs over the weekend but intend to bounce right back tonight and find the winner's circle once again with a 25-unit wager on the nationally televised (TNT) Oklahoma City game. This series is tied 2-2 and the number (San Antonio -5) makes it quite a challenge for bettors but I have found two elements that should give one of these teams a rather easy cover. Win with me tonight with this 25-unit play for just $15, charged to your major credit card.

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