Submitted by Jim Hurley on Saturday, April 23, 2016 at 9:19 AM
THE JIM SEZ WEEKEND UPDATE: NBA PLAYOFF NOTES, MLB NEWS, AND OUR LATEST NFL DRAFT REPORT
Now here's the facts, jack:
We headed into Friday night's NBA Playoff action with Betting Favorites a dizzying 13-5-0 ATS (against the spread) with one pick 'em game tossed into the mix ... folks, that's a .722 winning percentage for the chalk sides and far better than anything we've seen a week into the post-season in a long, long time.
Will it stand up?
Probably not but, then again, what were the odds at the start of the playoffs that Betting Favorites would be cashing nearly three-quarters of the bets out there?
The problem - as we see - so far for the oddsmakers is that they can't make some of these first-round favorites "big enough" as looking back San Antonio now appears underpriced as 17- and 17.5-point home favorites for the Spurs' Game 1 and Game 2 romps against undermanned Memphis and ditto for the Miami Heat who easily covered the pair of 4.5-point numbers in Game 1 and Game 2 home wins/covers against Charlotte as Miami won those games by 32 and 12 points, respectively.
As far as the action on the court this April weekend, all eyes - of course - will be on whether or not the Golden State Warriors have G Steph Curry in their lineup come Sunday afternoon's Game 4 road tilt at Houston with the Rockets now "back" in the series down two games-to-one following Thursday's wild 97-96 home win.
Go ahead and wonder aloud why Golden State head coach Steve Kerr didn't have Houston's go-to- guy James Harden (game-high 35 points) "doubled" on that final game-winning jumper ... nope, we don't know either! - but remember the Warriors did roar back from a 31-18 deficit following the first quarter without Curry who now will have a full week of rest after injuring his ankle last Saturday in Oakland. If he's not a go in Game 4, we'll be shocked.
Jim Hurley and his Network of Handicappers/Bloggers are all geared up for the NBA Playoffs that continue to roll on this week/this month - so just go online right here or call our exclusive toll-free telephone # of 1-800-323-4453 each/every day during these NBA Playoffs and we'll send you straight into the winner's circle. Plus, there's Major-League Baseball on tap every day including exciting weekend action here such as the Texas Rangers at the born-again Chicago White Sox and a key AL West weekend series between the Seattle Mariners at the Los Angeles Angels. Get 'em while we're hot!
Have you checked out some of the rotten offensive stats by a couple of the game's stars the first three weeks of this here-and-now MLB 2016 season?
In New York, much is being made of the rotten start by Yankees' DH Alex Rodriguez who entered the weekend with just seven hits in 45 at-bats for a .156 batting average with two home runs and 15 Ks. An early-season slump or is the 40-plus-year-old finally finished?
And in the National League what about San Francisco RF Hunter Pence who stepped into his team's weekend home series against Miami hitting just .230 (that's 14-for-61) with two homers and no other extra-base hits. Hey, we're not gonna hang the Giants' four-game series sweep loss to Arizona this past week on Pence's doorstep but he didn't help matters!
THE NFL DRAFT REPORT
Our extensive Jim Sez NFL Draft coverage rolls on with a look at the top incoming Offensive Guards and Centers. Keep in mind we'll analyze the top Linebackers in next Monday's Jim Sez and then we'll finish out our position-by-position look with the Quarterbacks before we get you our Jim Sez Mock Draft in our Thursday edition, so don't miss out:
RYAN KELLY, C, Alabama - This former Crimson Tide stud stands 6-foot-4, 313 pounds and is destined to be a top 20 pick in Thursday's draft after nabbing the Rimington Award last year given to the country's top college center. Kelly is highly athletic and - according to the numbers kept at 'Bama - didn't allow a single sack the past two years. Could go as high as #14 to Oakland or dip as low to #22 to Houston.
CODY WHITEHAIR, G, Kansas State - This 6-foot-4, 300-pounder is the best of the guard lot but still likely not a first-round pick come Thursday's NFL Draft. Whitehair started 50 games in his four-year career in l'il Manhattan and he's been at times compared to Dallas Cowboys stud Zach Martin. Maybe will be a second-round fit with Baltimore.
JOSHUA GARNETT, G, Stanford - Last year's Outland Trophy winner sports great size and power standing 6-feet-4, 315 pounds but some scouts believe he doesn't get to the "second level" well. Should get snapped up late in Round II with Carolina said to be interested.
CHRISTIAN WESTERMAN, G, Arizona State - A weight-room demon, the 6-foot-3, 300-pounder utilizes his length to fend off tacklers and was a major force in the Pac-12 after starting 25 games the past two years.
NICK MARTIN, C, Notre Dame - This 6-foot-4, 300-pounder is a likely late second-round selection and the younger brother of aforementioned Zack. Some NFL scouts wish he played the position with more physicality but high football IQ could have 'em zipping up a few spots on the draft board.
NOTE: Get more NFL Draft updates plus NBA Playoff and MLB Notes in the next edition of Jim Sez.