The NBA Playoffs are here and we have the two biggest line moves this far to talk about. Plus, a pair of Friday baseball games and series wagering. Take a minute to review all the betting trends and our free picks (138-108-4 run) to see what we are thinking today. See you back here next week
MLB – (959) PITTSBURGH at (960) MIAMI 7:10 ET FSFL (side and total)
Pittsburgh is one of the big early surprises in the early season with a 9-3 record and atop the NL Central. That’s why it is puzzling to see them as a falling favorite at Miami or should I say the Virgin Islands’ Marlins. (Google it) The Pirates opened at -150 and are down to at least -135 or lower depending on the sportsbook. The total has also gone the same way, down a full run to 8. Chad Kuhl (1-0, 5.06 ERA) has been nothing special for the Bucs but neither has the Fish’s Dillon Peters (1-1, 9.35). I have to go with the better team here and like the OVER because of poor bullpen pitching.
Betting Trend – 56% backing Pittsburgh and 86% on Over
Doug’s VPID Take – Leans Pittsburgh and Over
MLB – (975) L.A.A. ANGELS at (976) KANSAS CITY 8:15 ET FSW, FSKC (side and total)
The Angels are off to their best start in 36 years at 11-3 and are mashing the horsehide. The Halos lead the majors in runs scored at 6.6 RPG and have won their last five contests by at least five RPG. Little wonder the Angels flew from -120 to -150. With how great their offense has produced, the total is also up from 9 to 9.5. The OVER seems like an easy choice and teams that have outscored their opponents by four or more runs in four straight games are 33-11. Take Trout’s troops.
Betting Trend – 88% backing L.A.A. Angels and 74% on Under
Doug’s VPID Take – L.A.A. Angels win and Over
MLB – PHILADELPHIA (-120) at TAMPA BAY (+100) (Series Betting)
Based on the odds, this should be the most competitive series of the weekend. Philadelphia has the better record, but both teams are coming off series wins. The first game features two starting pitchers who could be solid or horrible, leaving no clear edge. The middle game has Jake Arrieta facing Chris Archer, which is an excellent matchup and another that is tough to call. In the series finale, I prefer Blake Snell at home over Ben Lively. If the Rays swing the bats with the same purpose they just did against the White Sox, they can win this series.
Betting Trend – 55% backing Philadelphia
Doug’s VPID Take – Tampa Bay wins
NBA – Saturday – (505) MIAMI at (506) PHILADELPHIA 8:05 ET ESPN
Philadelphia is far and awayhttp://www.statfox.com/nba/gamematchup.asp the hottest team entering the postseason with a 16-game winning streak (11-5 ATS). In particular, their offense has been scintillating, averaging 121 PPG over their last five outings. Basketball bettors are thinking that continues and bumped the total from 210 to 212. The Miami defense finished third in points allowed, but I agree that the Sixers are on fire right now and will back the OVER.
Betting Trend – 62% backing Over
Doug’s VPID Take – Lean Over
NBA – Sunday – (509) MILWAUKEE at (510) BOSTON 1:05 ET TNT
Boston would seem to be a vulnerable seed, not having close to their full roster. However, the Celtics can still play defense and the total has crumbled from 203 to 201.5. I’m not convinced this is the right direction as these teams are 7-3 OVER in recent meetings. Plus, Milwaukee was a no-show defensively in permitting 135 points to Philly on Wednesday and is 16-5 OVER after allowing 115 points or more this season.
Betting Trend – 85% backing Under
Doug’s VPID Take – Play Over
Public Consensus Record (2018) – 51% to 79% – 52-52 ATS
Public Consensus Record (2018) – 80% or Higher – 25-33-1 ATS
Line Movement Direction Record (2018) – 77-81-3 ATS