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Submitted by Jim Hurley on 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 YANKEES

Ladies 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 (+ 165) in a best-of-seven series that gets underway on Monday night.

Hmm, ask us and both chalk sides seem a little "high" but - then again - who's really gonna bet against a Cavaliers-Warriors Part IV in next month's NBA Finals, right?

Hey, while we're tossing 'round numbers and odds and the like, here's some goodies as it pertains to this year's NBA Playoffs and the teams that are still alive:
NBA Playoff Betting Favorites will enter the conference finals at 36-26-1 ATS (against the spread) with one Pick 'Em in the mix, so that means post-season chalk sides have covered .581 of the time - that's pretty solid stuff. Dig a little deeper and here's the ATS records as Betting Favorites of the still-alive foursome:

Boston is a perfect 4-0 versus the vig as favorites this post-season;
Cleveland is a shabby 2-5 spreadwise as playoff chalk this year;
Golden State is a dead-even but vig-losing 5-5 against the odds as playoff favorites;
And Houston is 6-4 ATS as betting favorites in the post-season.
Add 'em all up and this quartet is a collective 17-14 ATS as playoff favorites - a .548 winning rate that's actually a tad lower than overall playoff favorites. Hmm.

Jim Hurley and his Network of Handicappers and Bloggers continue to rock with NBA Playoff and MLB winners each and every day, so make sure you cash in big right here online or 1-800-323-4453.

NBA PLAYOFF POINTSPREAD CHART
Here's the pointspread breakdown this post-season - note we've only included the four teams that will be playing in the conference finals:

TEAM WON LOST PCT
Boston93.750
Houston64.600
Golden St.55.500
Cleveland47.364

Okay, so let's round out our little numbers segment on the NBA Playoffs with a reminder that Home Teams are a collective 34-29-1 ATS this post-season (a .540 winning rate). In short, if someone had wagered $100 per play on all home teams this playoff season, then he/she would be up $210 ... just thought you'd like to know.

Hey, we'll get into the meat-and-potatoes look at the NBA Conference Finals soon enough: We'll preview Cleveland vs. Boston in the next edition of Jim Sez tomorrow and then on Monday we'll dive into Golden State vs. Houston. Got it?


THE BASEBALL REPORT

Maybe it's only appropriate the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees concluded their three-game series in The Bronx deadlocked atop the American League East with identical 26-11 records. The Yankees - laying prices of -230 and then -145 - swiped the first two games of that key divisional set before the Bosox broke through with last night's 5-4 win, thanks to J.D. Martinez's opposite-field solo dinger that snapped a 4-all tie in the top of the eighth inning.

Hey, what we witnessed this week was Boston's bullpen remains a weakness (closer Craig Kimbrel earned his 10th save of the season on Thursday night but remember he was pummeled in Wednesday's 9-6 loss) and Yankees' SS Didi Gregorius is in the throes of an 0-for-24 slump - that's what he gets for taking a "curtain call" in Anaheim a couple of weeks ago! Last night Gregorius bounced into a 4-6 force out that knocked in a run in the Yankees' four-run seventh inning but the Bombers needed better than that and moments later Martinez swatted his go-ahead home run.

The weekend schedule that has Boston traveling North of the Border for a three-game set against the Toronto Blue Jays where ace LHP Chris Sale (63 Ks, 0.94 WHIP) gets it all started while the Yankees host the Oakland A's with former hurler Sonny Gray getting the Friday night start after back-to-back solid six-inning performances. Still, Gray enters this start with a bloated 6.00 ERA and a 1.76 WHIP.

The Red Sox and Yankees actually enter the weekend with nearly identical run differential margins - Boston's a plus 64 while NYY is a plus 65 - and nothing worse for wear after New York copped two-of-three at home.

In other words, no blood.

Let's now see if there's any hangover for these weekend games that won't quite match the Red Sox-Yankees hype - but still has plenty of meaning.

NOTE: Catch more NBA Playoff and MLB action in the next edition of Jim Sez.

 

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