All quiet on the NBA Playoff front for line moves. We actually have quite a few in baseball and we took what should be the most interesting ones. Plus, we have line movement in the Stanley Cup playoffs, which is a bit stunning. Take a minute to review all the betting trends and our free picks (96-58, 63.6% of late), to see what we are thinking. See you back Friday.
NHL – (55) WASHINGTON at (56) PITTSBURGH 7:35 ET NBCSN
With no Sidney Crosby, seeing the total lifted from 5 to 5.5 caught this handicapper off guard. It was 2-0 late into Game 3 until Pittsburgh scored twice in the final three minutes of regulation to even the score. While I completely understand the Penguins are 14-5 OVER revenging a same season loss, my guess is that Crosby was played in the vast majority of those contests.
Betting Trend – 55% backing Under
Doug’s VPID Take – Lean Under
MLB – (953) PITTSBURGH at (954) CINCINNATI 7:10 ET RTPT, FSOH
These NL Central rivals have split the first two of their four-game series. Those betting baseball are giving the edge to Pittsburgh to take the lead in the series, elevating them from -117 to -133 on the money line. As for why, look no further than the starting pitchers where the Pirates will start Jameson Taillon (2-0, 2.08 ERA) against Rookie (literally) Davis (0-1, 11.17). Taillon is 1-0 with a 3.18 ERA with six runs allowed in 17 innings. With the total listed at 8.5, the right-hander and the Bucs are 11-1 when the total is 8 to 8.5.
Betting Trend – 82% backing Pittsburgh
Doug’s VPID Take – Pittsburgh wins
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MLB – (973) OAKLAND at (974) MINNESOTA 8:10 ET CSCA, FSNO (side and total)
By far the most fascinating line moves on the MLB docket today. With Oakland having dropped seven of eight and Minnesota winners of five of six and the past three in a row, the Twins tumbling from -140 to -110 is perplexing as Boston pitchers still throwing behind Manny Machado. Sure, the Athletics Kendall Gravemen (2-1, 2.25) has been sharp and beaten Minnesota twice, but Hector Santiago (2-1, 2.43) has hardly been a pauper and the teams he pitched for are 8-3 in his starts versus Oakland. Next, look the ERA’s of both starting pitchers and let me know why the total jumped from 8.5 to 9? I will admit both hurlers do not go deep into games and each bullpen has an ERA over 4. In addition, I found this gem: Road teams with the total is 9 to 9.5, with a slugging percentage of .390 or worse over their last 20 games, with a struggling bullpen whose ERA is over 6.00 the last 10 outings, are 37-10 since 2013.
Betting Trend – 73% backing Oakland and 91% on Under
Doug’s VPID Take – Minnesota wins and Over
MLB – (979) MIAMI at (980) TAMPA BAY 7:10 ET SUN
With Miami having lost two at home to Tampa Bay, the scene shifts to Clearwater in this Panhandle State scuffle. The Rays won both as underdogs and are a falling favorite against the Marlins, down from -146 to -130 or less depending on the sportsbook. Both starters Adam Conley (1-2, 6.86) and Blake Snell (0-2, 3.41) walk too many batters to be truly efficient, however, impossible to ignore the Fish are 3-12 revenging two straight losses as a home favorite.
Betting Trend – 64% backing Miami
Doug’s VPID Take – Tampa Bay wins
Public Consensus Record (2017) – 51% to 79% – 102-111-4 ATS
Public Consensus Record (2017) – 80% or Higher – 51-55-1 ATS
Line Movement Direction Record (2017) – 145-163-5 ATS