For line moves on Thursday we have three baseball contests and one from the NBA playoffs. The total on the big Nationals and Cubs will be on MLB fans radar. Take a minute to review all the betting trends and our free picks (41-32 of late) to see what we are thinking. See you back here on tomorrow.
NBA – (513) MIAMI at (514) TORONTO 8:05 ET ESPN
Though Toronto had their best shooting game of the playoffs on Tuesday at 44.9 percent, they still lost to Miami. The Raptors Kyle Lowry has been struggling the entire postseason and his miracle shot to send the game in OT in Game 1 did not take away his 3 for 13 night. While it is only one point, the total did sink from 189.5 to 188.5 with Toronto needing production from Lowry and his teammate DeMar DeRozan, who has been rather mediocre as well. The last contest only went to an Over because of the extra five minutes played. This has – no play – written all over based on the facts for both clubs, Nonetheless, just the slightest of leans on the Over at this number, figuring the Raptors are not as tight.
Betting Trend – 82% backing Over
Doug’s VPID Take – Slight lean Over
MLB – (907) WASHINGTON at (908) CHIC. CUBS 8:05 ET MASN2, CSN+
With a light breeze off Lake Michigan and the way Washington’s Joe Ross has been pitching, the total has been decreased from 8 to 7.5. Ross has permitted two runs in 22 2/3 innings (0.79 ERA) and just pounds the strike zone with low 90’s sinker. Though both offenses have been out of the oven hot, Ross has been really hard to hit and Kyle Hendricks (1-2, 3.91) is usually better at Wrigley for Chicago. With two exceptional bullpens, inclined to support the move.
Betting Trend – 71% backing Under
Doug’s VPID Take – Lean Under
MLB – (917) TEXAS at (918) TORONTO 7:07 ET FSSW, RSN1
Derek Holland’s (3-1, 2.48) career numbers against Toronto are at least partially why the Blue Jays have flown from -150 to -175 favorites with a 5.44 ERA. This and Toronto’s J.A. Happ (3-0, 2.76) is pitching as well as any time over his major league career with an 11-3 record and 3.20 ERA over his last 21 starts. Add in Happ is 2-1 with a 1.83 ERA in his previous three starts against Texas. However, at this price, let’s not given up on Holland entirely, since he has a 3.18 ERA the past four times he’s faced the Jays. Granted, Happ and Toronto have won five straight at home versus winning teams, yet the Rangers are better than respectable 16-6 when Holland is on normal rest.
Betting Trend – 87% backing Toronto
Doug’s VPID Take – Lean Texas
MLB – (919) SEATTLE at (920) HOUSTON 8:10 ET ROOT-NW, ROOT-SW
If these AL West rivals switched records at this point of the season, nobody would bat an eye. But that is not the case, as Seattle leads the division while Houston resides in the basement. Though the Mariners Wade Miley (2-2, 5.06) is hardly an ideal option, Chris Devenski taking over for Scott Feldman as the No.5 starter comes with questions, especially for an Astros team which has lost five consecutive series openers. Houston has gone from -120 to -110 or lower and is 1-8 after a victory.
Betting Trend – 93% backing Seattle
Doug’s VPID Take – Lean Seattle
Public Consensus Record – 51% to 79% – 79-86-1
Public Consensus Record – 80% or Higher – 57-48-1
Line Movement Direction Record – 136-131-2