The NBA Playoffs got under way and while some might argue this is the worst group of first round matchups ever, the oddsmakers evened things up with the spread and the underdog was 5-3 ATS (3-5 SU). Also, the OVER was 5-3 for those doing sports betting.
Interesting to note, that the smallest spread was 5.5, which tells you about the sportsbooks thoughts on the disparity. If I’m a Boston Celtics fan, I’m worried because Chicago sure looks like it has more star power than Boston and the Bulls had a +17 rebound margin, which included 20 offensive rebounds.
On Saturday, how could you not be impressed by Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo. The Greek Freak seems to do something better each time you seems him play and on the surface, Toronto does not have anyone to guard him. The Bucks have a nice mixture of emerging stars and role players and what they lack from time to time defensively in terms of concept, they have incredible wingspan length to compensate.
If you did not read my article about betting underdogs in the first round, you missed something. Dogs are 11-9 SU and have picked up +7.6 units of profit. Low scoring defensive games have also been the norm with the UNDER 12-4-4.
Top-seeded Chicago season is on the brink tonight, down 2-0 and having two games in Nashville. The Blackhawks have a six-game losing streak and have been outscored 20-7 in the process and been shutout three times in the process.
Washington fans feeling less comfortable being tied with Toronto and the youthful Maple Leafs are playing without fear. The Capitals need to win Game 3 or as we have seen in the past, Washington does not handle pressure well.
Boston has lost four defensemen in the last four games and 40-year old Zdeno Chara is being forced to play half the game. Ottawa’s strategy of dumping the puck into his side to make him turn around and play it each time is paying off. The Bruins are going to have to score to win this series.
A look at today’s standings finds Toronto, Texas, Cleveland, St. Louis and San Francisco are in last place in their divisions after two weeks. Collectively they are -36.2 units. Most will still expected they will turn it around as the season progresses, but I would be a little concerned if I was a Blue Jays or Cardinals backer.
Being the hunted is not nearly as much fun as the Cubs found out. The Chicago offense is only averaging 3.9 RPG and over the weekend the bullpen had three blown saves and in the NL, they went from the 2nd best ERA as a group to 9th. The Cubs would now have to win 19 in a row to match last year’s 25-6 start.