It is Tax Day in the U.S.A. and the reason most people file today is because they have to pay the government. However, this could also be the day to start building next year’s nest egg by surveying the betting odds. Several others have done just that and we have five line moves of note. The NBA has quite a few with its 14-game schedule, however, we honed in on the ones in which something was at stake. Plus, we have the biggest line move for the opening of the Stanley Cup chase. Like we say every day, understanding line moves can build your bankroll. (489-430 L174D)
NBA – (509) UTAH at (510) HOUSTON 8:05 ET ROOT-NW, ROOT-SW
Houston is one of three teams with 55 wins in the West and they could finish anywhere from second to sixth (not 4th, Portland has that locked up) in the conference. The best case scenario is a Rockets win and a San Antonio loss, giving them the second seed and a Southwest Division title. Those constructing NBA picks like their chances against the sportsbooks, lifting them two points to -11.5 versus a Utah squad that is dangerous, having won seven of nine and is 7-1-1 ATS down the stretch. This seems like a lot of lumber to lay against a Jazz club that is 14-3 ATS away after two or more consecutive Over’s. Doug’s Choice – Utah covers
NBA – (511) SAN ANTONIO at (512) NEW ORLEANS 8:05 ET FSN-SW, FSN-NO
There is quite a bit at stake for both these Western Conference squads. The Spurs are attempting to wrap up the Southwest Division and the No. 2 seed and New Orleans is trying to earn their way into the playoff fray for the first time in four years. The stakes are high for both with a loss, San Antonio possibly slipping to the sixth seed and the Pelicans done for the season. The NBA odds have been reshaped by those assembling sports picks, dropping the total three points to 193. New Orleans is 5-1-1 UNDER in past seven contests while the Tim Duncan gang is 7-3 UNDER in their last 10 triumphs. In some ways I could support the Over at the new price; however, San Antonio is 12-3 UNDER as road favorite of six or less. Doug’s Choice – Play Under
MLB – (953) PHILADELPHIA at (954) N.Y. METS 7:10 ET TCN-P, SNY
MLB baseball handicappers universally forecasted a long campaign for the Phillies this season and if they continue to average 2.6 runs per game, the defeats will start mounting even quicker than anticipated. Philadelphia starter Jerome Williams is not going to change many wagers placed one way or another, yet Mets starter Jon Niese is not instilling confidence, especially with David Wright out of the lineup. New York has tumbled from -165 to -145 on the money line and when Niese is pitching at home after permitting one or less earned runs, his teammates are 7-18. I’m not sure I have the “onions” (Bill Raftery reference) to back the Phils, but get this, Williams was 8-2 (team’s record) when starting after a team loss last season among the trio of clubs he played for in 2014. If Williams hold up, Phils have a shot. Doug’s Choice – Slight lean Philadelphia
MLB – (969) N.Y. YANKEES at (970) BALTIMORE 7:05 ET YES, MASN
Bud Norris has been among the best home pitchers in baseball during his career and though he was pathetic in his initial start at Camden Yards (8 runs, 3 innings), he can be a part of history tonight. Norris is trying to become only the third pitcher in baseball history (that is 101 years) to win his first five starts against the Yankees. He has a 2.74 ERA against New York, but baseball bettors are not impressed with his track record and have sent the Orioles from -130 to under -115. Hard to make a case against Norris who is 18-6 versus an AL team with an on-base percentage .330 or worse since last season. (O’s record) Doug’s Choice – Baltimore wins
NHL – (3) N.Y. ISLANDERS at (4) WASHINGTON 7:05 ET USA
The home team won all four meetings between these playoffs teams this season, however three went to OT. At last glance, Washington was the smallest odds favorite to win the series with the home ice edge (Nashville is an underdog) at -130 and these games have two of the Top 7 offenses in the NHL, with the Islanders at 3.1 (3rd) and the Capitols seventh at 3.0 goals per game. Being the first game of the series, often anything is possible, which is why Washington is down from -150 to -135. The Caps do have an edge in goal with Braden Holtby and for the third consecutive year, they had the top power play in the league while the Isles were 26th in penalty kills. Doug’s Choice – Washington wins
Vegas Pro Insiders Daily Trends
NBA ATS Trend
Milwaukee is 9-0 ATS playing against a marginal losing team (Win Pct. 40% to 49%) this season.
MLB Money Line Trend
Milwaukee is 8-0 as a road underdog of +150 or more the last two seasons.
MLB Totals Trend
Oakland is 31-13 OVER away after two straight games where they committed no errors the last two seasons.
NHL Money Line Trend
Montreal is 8-0 when playing three or less games in 10 days this season.