UFC 197: Betting Odds and Predictions

Jon Jones

UFC 197 will feature two fights with belts on the line and severely one-sided odds. Jon Jones is a massive favorite in his return to the Octagon when he challenges Ovince Saint Preux for the interim Light Heavyweight Championship. The co-main event sees the seemingly unbeatable Demetrious Johnson defend his flyweight crown against the undefeated Henry Cejudo.


Blues Must Rely on Road Savvy in Game 6

Patrick Kane Chicago Blackhawks NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs

After mounting a sensational comeback to force extra hockey, the St. Louis Blues were left devastated as Patrick Kane scored in double overtime to give the Chicago Blackhawks a 4-3 win in Game 5. The Blues will look to wrap things up in Game 6 in Chicago and if their history on the road is any indication, there’s a strong possibility that it happens.

Shark Bites
  • The Blackhawks are 2-5 SU in their last seven games overall.
  • The Blues are 4-0 SU in their last four games following a loss.
  • The Blackhawks are 3-9 SU in their last 12 games versus teams with a winning record.

The Blues have won both games in Chicago in their opening round series and have actually gone 7-0 straight up in their previous seven road games dating back to the final days of the regular season. In fact, after the Blues took a 1-0 series lead with a 1-0 overtime win in the series opener at the Scottrade Center, the road team has gone 4-0 SU in the series.

The Blues have gotten balanced scoring from all positions as three players enter Saturday’s game with five points and three head into the weekend with four points.

The Hawks lead all postseason participants with 37.4 shots per game, which makes it all the more surprising that each of Patrick Kane and Marian Hossa recorded their first goals in Game 5 and captain Jonathan Toews has failed to get one past Brian Elliott.

It’s probably safe to assume that the Blues have the 2014 postseason niggling in the back of their minds now. They jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the opening round that season before the Blackhawks won four-straight to advance. If that’s the case, this series is already over.

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OKC Struggling to Win Two-Straight Games

Kevin Durant Oklahoma City Thunder NBA Playoffs

Kevin Durant made people quickly forget about his 7-for-33 shooting performance in the Thunder’s Game 2 loss with a 34-point explosion in OKC’s 131-102 drubbing of the Dallas Mavericks in Game 3 Thursday night. The Mavs will look to pull even with a win at home in Game 4 Saturday.

Shark Bites
  • OVER has gone 6-0 in OKC’s last six games in Dallas.
  • The Mavericks are 2-5 ATS in their last seven games as home underdogs.
  • The total has gone OVER in five of OKC’s last six games on the road.

Winning back-to-back games has not come easy to the Thunder of late, however, as they’ve gone 0-5 straight up in their last five contests following a victory in the previous game. That said, OKC couldn’t have asked for a better performance after such a dismal showing in Game 2 in front of their home fans.

The Thunder have scored the third-most points per game (107.7) and have given up the second-fewest (85.7) as of Friday afternoon so it took a freak-Durant performance in Game 2 for the Thunder to drop a game.

They’ve been a safe bet though as they’ve covered the number convincingly in games one and three. OKC hammered Dallas by 38 in Game 1 (108-70) and by 29 in Game 3 covering the spread by 26 and 19.5 points respectively.

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Can Maeda Cool COL-LAD OVER Trend?

Kenta Maeda Los Angeles Dodgers MLB

The Colorado Rockies trimmed the Los Angeles Dodgers’ lead in the National League West to a half-game with a 7-5 win Friday night. The story for bettors, however, is that the final score keeps alive an OVER trend that has been dominant at the betting window when the two foes meet.

Shark Bites
  • Dodgers are 0-4 SU in the previous four meetings with the Rockies.
  • Rockies are 5-1 SU in their last six games versus teams with a winning record.
  • Rockies are 4-1 SU in their last five versus teams from the NL West.

Last night’s OVER was the fifth in the previous six meetings between the two NL West clubs at Coors Field as well as the 19th in the previous 26 meetings overall.

Tasked with keep those Rockies bats at bay will be impressive rookie Kenta Maeda, who has put together a trio of excellent performances to get his MLB career off to a flying start.

Maeda enters Saturday’s meeting at Coors Field with a 2-0 record, microscopic 0.47 ERA and a 0.95 WHIP. All three of his starts have come against teams from within the division, so both he and the Dodgers will look to keep the quality starts chugging along.

Countering for the Rockies is expected to be Tyler Chatwood. The righty is 2-1 with a 2.79 ERA in three starts so far this season.

With the Rockies’ win Friday night, they extended their winning streak versus the Dodgers to five-straight games at Coors Field.

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Hornets Getting Burned by Heat in Charlotte

Dwyane Wade Miami Heat NBA Playoffs

The Hornets are likely very happy to return to Charlotte after suffering two double-digit defeats in South Beach in their first round series against the Heat. The funny thing is, the Miami Heat probably don’t mind the series shifting to North Carolina either as they’re 10-3 SU in their last 13 road games against the Hornets.

Shark Bites
  • The Hornets are 1-5 ATS in their last six games with two days off between games.
  • Miami is 8-2 ATS in its last 10 games in Charlotte.
  • Charlotte is 3-7 ATS in its last 10 games.

Buzz City opened as a favorite, but they’ve had a tough time covering as a home fave lately, going just 1-5 ATS in that spot. Despite the poor ATS record at home, Charlotte is 24-6 SU in their last 30 games as a home favorite.

As a road dog, the Heat have been a team to stay away from as they’re 0-5 SU and ATS in their last five. Another thing working against the Heat is their recent inability to string together three straight wins, as they’re 0-5 SU in their last five games after consecutive wins.

Perhaps this is the game that trend starts to reverse though, as Miami has owned Charlotte this decade, winning 26 of 30 games against them SU while going 18-10-2 ATS.

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Visitor Dominating in Ducks-Preds Series

Anaheim Ducks NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs

With the series knotted up at two games apiece, the Anaheim Ducks and Nashville Predators travel across the country to California as Game 5 goes at the Honda Center Saturday. The Ducks will be hoping to break the stranglehold the visiting team has had in the series thus far and become the first home team to win a game.

Shark Bites
  • The Ducks are 20-8 SU in their last 28 games after a win.
  • The Predators are 5-2 SU in their last seven games after consecutive losses.
  • The Predators are 2-6 SU in their last eight games with one day off between games.

The goaltending switch from John Gibson to Frederik Andersen has proved fruitful for the Ducks as the Dane has stopped 57 of the 58 shots he has faced in the two wins in Nashville. Gibson, who started games one and two at the Honda Center, allowed six goals as the Ducks lost the opening two games by identical 3-2 scorelines.

The two games in Tennessee painted a different picture as Anaheim was able to outscore its hosts 7-1 to pull things even before heading back to California.

Andrew Cogliano has paced the offense with four points (two goals, two assists) including a goal in Thursday’s 4-1 victory.

After allowing a power play goal in Game 2, the Ducks, owners of the NHL’s best penalty kill in the regular season (87.2 percent) killed off all 11 power plays the Pred had in games three and four.

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Raps Finding Their Groove Versus Indy

DeMar DeRozan Toronto Raptors NBA Playoffs

After suffering through an underwhelming opening game in their Eastern Conference first-round series with the Indiana Pacers, the Toronto Raptors looked like their normal selves in Games 2 and 3 and currently hold a 2-1 series lead. Toronto, which opened as a 1.5-point favorite, is traditionally an extremely solid play versus the Pacers, going 12-2 ATS in the last 14 meetings between the squads.

Shark Bites
  • UNDER is 3-0 in the opening three games in this series.
  • The Raptors are 4-0 SU in their last four games as road favorites.
  • The Pacers are 12-5 SU in their last 17 games after a loss.

The emergence of DeMar DeRozan is bad news for Indy. DeRozan was a non-factor in Games 1 and 2 but broke out in Game 3 for 21 points on 7-for-19 shooting. Fellow backcourt All-Star Kyle Lowry added 14 in the fourth quarter to thwart any comeback attempt by Paul George and company, finishing with 21 points and seven assists.

Perhaps the biggest reason for Toronto’s series lead is the big man in middle. Jonas Valanciunas has completed dominated the Pacers, as the Lithuanian is averaging a playoff-best 16 rebounds after grabbing 14 on Thursday.

The Raps have outrebounded the Pacers by an average of 10.7 in the series while outscoring them in the paint by 13.3 per game. Some bad news for Dinos backers: Toronto is just 1-7 ATS in its last eight after recording consecutive ATS wins.

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Penguins Tough to Beat at Home

Matt Murray Pittsburgh Penguins NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs

Game 5 of the first round series between the Pittsburgh Penguins and New York Rangers shifts to the Steel City as Pittsburgh looks to put the Rangers down and move on to the second round of the playoffs. The Pens have been rolling at home lately, posting a 15-5 SU record in their last 20 games at the Consol Energy Center. New York got the better of the Pens in Game 2 in Pittsburgh, but Sidney Crosby and company haven’t lost two games in a row at home since mid-December.

Shark Bites
  • The Rangers are 1-6 in their last seven games against the Penguins.
  • The total has gone over in the Penguins' last five games at home.
  • The Penguins are 11-1 in their last 12 games with one day off between games.

One thing Rangers backers have come to count on is the team’s bounce-back ability, as they’re now 18-5 in their last 23 games after a loss. Three straight losses is also a rarity lately for New York, as they’re 4-1 in their last five games after consecutive losses.

Penguins goalie Matt Murray is slowly becoming the story of this series after allowing just one goal off 48 shots in his two starts in net. The 21-year-old made his playoff debut in Game 3 at Madison Square Garden and has responded by chewing up the pressure of the playoffs and spitting it out.

It’s been a well-rounded effort for Pittsburgh so far throughout the series as nine different players have goals.

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Manchester City’s Top 3 Quest Continues

Sergio Aguero Manchester City Premier League

Manchester City will look to continue to put pressure on Arsenal for the third spot in the Premier League table with a win over visiting Stoke Saturday. The Citizens dropped points in their visit to Newcastle midweek and will look for a stronger performance against the struggling Potters.


Pistons Face Must-Win Game vs Cavs

The Cleveland Cavaliers have a 2-0 lead in their first-round Eastern Conference series with the Detroit Pistons, but the Pistons aren’t dead in the water just yet. The Palace of Auburn Hills is the scene for Game 3 Friday night, which is great news for Pistons backers. LeBron James-led teams are 20-0 in opening round playoff games since 2007.

Shark Bites
  • The Cavaliers are 10-1 SU in their last 11 games with one day off between games.
  • The total has gone OVER in five of the Pistons' last six games with a closing total of 200.5 or less.
  • The visiting team is 4-1 ATS in its last five games in this matchup.

The Pistons, who opened as 4-point underdogs, haven’t been very reliable in this spot. Detroit is 1-4 SU and ATS in its last five as home dogs. They have been great at bouncing back after a loss, however, as Stan Van Gundy’s crew are 5-1 SU in their previous six coming off a loss.

Detroit has outscored Cleveland by three in the first half, but the Cavs have turned it on when it really matters. Thanks to a record-tying 20 3-pointers, Cleveland ran away with Game 2 in a 107-90 victory.

Cavs point guard Kyrie Irving has been especially strong in this matchup. Irving has averaged 27.8 points in four games versus Detroit this season.

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