Submitted by Jim Hurley on Wednesday, June 1, 2016 at 11:50 AM
PLAY IT AGAIN, THE NBA FINALS PIT THE CAVS VS. WARRIORS ONE MO' TIME AND WE'VE GOT THE HOOP SCOOP AS SERIES STARTS THURSDAY NIGHT
THE BASEBALL REPORT: WHEN IT'S TIME TO JUMP ON (OR AGAINST) A STARTING PITCHER
Okay, so everyone pretty much was looking to put the exact period (or exclamation point, if you will) on just how the Golden State Warriors roared back to a second consecutive NBA Finals appearance after surging from down three games-to-one to beat the Oklahoma City Thunder in the just-completed Western Conference Finals:
Simply put, the Warriors followed a similar formula in both their Game 6 and Game 7 wins - despite being severely outplayed they didn't fall behind by too much and then just started to hit shots.
In short, OKC - up 13 points at 35-22 in Game 7 - entered halftime up 48-42 and it should have been a much larger lead considering G-State was ice cold from deep and not playing team basketball. Sure enough, the fact that OKC didn't put the Warriors away caught up to the bickering Thunder as Steph Curry finished with 36 points although it was once again Klay Thompson (21 points) who heated up from deep and really ignited the comeback.
The proverbial bottom line: That "never underestimate the heart of a champion" phrase coined two decades ago by then-Houston head coach Rudy Tomjanovich really got a workout the last three games of this series when Golden State became just the 10th team in league history (against 223 teams that had lost!) to storm back from down three games-to-one to cop a best-of-seven set.
Just to put the re-wind button on, here's how this Western Conference playoff series went down between the Thunder and the Warriors (all home teams are in CAPS below):
|5-16||Okla City||+ 7.5||GOLDEN ST||108-102|
|5-18||GOLDEN ST||- 9||Okla City||118-91|
|5-22||OKLA CITY||+ 2.5||Golden St.||133-105|
|5-24||OKLA CITY||+ 2||Golden St.||118-94|
|5-26||GOLDEN ST||- 7.5||Okla City||120-111|
|5-28||Golden St||+ 3.5||OKLA CITY||108-101|
|5-30||GOLDEN ST||- 7||Okla City||96-88|
Okay, so let's tie up some other loose ends here before we remind you that we'll have lots of NBA Finals coverage beginning with the next edition of Jim Sez.
Take note that as we head into Thursday's Game 1 of the NBA Finals, NBA Playoff Betting Favorites are 46-31-0 ATS (against the spread) with two pick 'em games tossed into the mix … so post-season chalk sides are winning at a .597 rate which is better than we can remember at any time in recent years.
Note that Golden State is 10-6 ATS when in the favorite's role this post-season - the Warriors, remember, were 3.5-point road underdogs for that 108-101 win in Game 6 at Oklahoma City last Saturday night;
On the flip side, the Cleveland Cavaliers are a collective 9-5 versus the vig as betting favorites this post-season … yes, the Cavs have been the betting favs for each/every one of their playoff games but that changes right out of the NBA Finals gate as Golden State's listed as a 5.5-point favorite here for Game 1.
Now, let's get you the up-to-date NBA Playoffs Pointspread Breakdown chart with the teams that played in the conference finals (thru games of Monday, May 30th):
Jim Hurley and his Network of Handicappers and Bloggers have been bashing the books right from the start of this year's NBA Playoffs and nothing's gonna change here as we head into the Finals on Thursday. We'll continue to rock-n-roll our way through the NBA post-season – and you can purchase Jim's NBA Post Season program right here at www.VegasSportsMasters.com or call 1-888-777-4155 each/every day and be sure that we'll send you straight into the winner's circle.
Plus, there's Winning Major-League Baseball on tap every day in either Jim's Hit and Run Baseball Club or the Highly Rated Blue Ribbon Baseball Club… Don't miss another opportunity to cash in big RIGHT NOW!
THE BASEBALL REPORT
No doubt there's a whole lot of ways to "skin a cat" in terms of wagering on or against Major-League Baseball starting pitchers … sometimes you ride 'em, sometimes you ask no questions and just go against 'em for a spell but what about pitchers that you need to jump on or go against?
Here's some hurlers we have in mind:
CHRIS SALE, Chicago White Sox - Once upon a time, this Chisox southpaw was 9-0 and riding high with dreams of a Denny McLain-like season ahead but the Pale Hose have dropped Sale's last two starts including last Sunday's blown late lead and something tells us this down-and-out Sox team (lost 15 of last 19 games while heading into Tuesday night's tilt at the New York Mets) will remain a go-against side in Sale's next few starts beginning with Friday's scheduled start in Detroit.
COLLIN McHUGH, Houston Astros - In his first start of this 2016 season, McHugh was destroyed in a 16-6 loss at the New York Yankees but ever since he's been trimming down the ERA and now the righty is 5-4 plus he has 26 Ks in his last 21.1 innings (or three starts) and gotta believe it'll be worth jumping on McHugh for another few starts.
ADAM CONLEY, Miami Marlins - Just a few starts back, this 26-year-old lefthander had a no-hitter going deep into a game in Milwaukee but in recent starts Conley's regressed as he threw 90 pitches in less than five full innings against Atlanta in his last start after surrendering seven walks in a prior start (and loss) against Washington. Let's put Conley on a short list of guys to go-against for a few more starts. The high pitch counts will work against Conley versus Pittsburgh later this week.
NOTE: Our NBA Finals Preview - that's Cavaliers at Warriors -- comes your way in tomorrow's Jim Sez plus catch all our MLB News & Notes too!