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Thunder Rounding into Playoff Form

Russell Westbrook Oklahoma City Thunder NBA

Momentum can play a large factor in a team’s success in the early rounds of the NBA postseason and there is no hotter team than the Oklahoma City Thunder. Five of OKC’s final six games come on the road and that begins with a visit to the Houston Rockets Sunday afternoon.

Shark Bites
  • The Thunder are 4-1 SU in their last five road games.
  • The total has gone UNDER in six of Houston’s last seven games.
  • UNDER is 11-5 in the last 16 meetings between these two teams.

The Thunder have won nine of their past 10 games entering Sunday’s action and have covered the number in six of those contests. The only slip up was an 88-82 loss at the Detroit Pistons back on March 29.

That game was the only time the Thunder failed to post a score in the 100s as they have averaged a whopping 117.4 points per game in their previous nine wins.

Tasked with stopping the Thunder’s fantastic run is the Houston Rockets. The Rockets are on the outside looking in when it comes to the Western Conference playoff picture as they sit one-game back of the Utah Jazz for the No. 8 seed.

The Rockets have lost two of their previous six games heading into Sunday, including a 111-107 loss at OKC back on March 22.

From a betting perspective, this is a series that has been dominated by the Rockets of late. Houston heads into Sunday’s meeting with a five-game ATS winning streak versus OKC.

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Great Pitcher’s Duel in Jays-Rays Game

Marcus Stroman Toronto Blue Jays MLB

As always, the American League East will be one of the most watched divisions in the bigs in 2016. The battle for division supremacy gets underway Sunday afternoon and you couldn’t really ask for a more anticipated pitching matchup as Marcus Stroman gets the ball for the Toronto Blue Jays while the Tampa Bay Rays counter with Chris Archer.

Shark Bites
  • The Jays have gone 10-7 SU in the last 17 Opening Day games.
  • Stroman has a 5.73 ERA in two career starts versus the Rays.
  • Josh Donaldson has just two hits in 17 at-bats (.118) versus Archer.

Online shop Bovada is currently offering the Blue Jays as slight faves at -115 in moneyline markets while the Rays come in at -105. The total is set at 7 with both OVER and UNDER that number priced at -115.

Marcus Stroman was injured for the majority of the regular season but returned in memorable fashion down the stretch to help the Jays reach the American League Championship Series.

Chris Archer, however, made six starts versus the Jays last year and the Rays won four of those games. Archer himself posted a 3-2 record with a 3.11 ERA and sensational 1.009 WHIP in those starts.

The season series was just about split down the middle with the Rays holding the slight edge at 10-9 SU. These are two clubs that will battle it out through much of the season for bragging rights in the highly-competitive American League East and with the rivalry getting underway with a pair of aces toeing the slab, it couldn’t be a better start.

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Bruins Struggling Down the Stretch

Tuukka Rask Boston Bruins NHL

Only two teams have clinched a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference and one of those teams on the outside looking in is in action Sunday afternoon. The way the Boston Bruins have played of late, they are lucky to even be in the conversation. They have a pivotal game in the Windy City as they visit the Chicago Blackhawks in what is just about a must-win situation.

Shark Bites
  • The total has gone UNDER in six of Boston’s last eight road games.
  • Chicago has gone 1-4 SU in its last five home games.
  • UNDER has hit in four of the previous six between these two in Chicago.

Online shop Bovada is presently offering the Blackhawks at -140 in moneyline markets while the Bruins are +110. The total is tabbed at 5 goals with OVER at -145 and UNDER presently +115.

A five-game losing skid in the latter half of March has really put the Bruins behind the eight ball with just four games remaining. Luckily, they’ve rebounded with two wins in their previous three games and are coming off a 6-5 win over the St. Louis Blues.

The B’s are one point back of the Detroit Red Wings in the Atlantic Division and have one game in hand, which makes Sunday’s tilt with the Blackhawks of the utmost importance.

The Blackhawks are not entering the postseason the way they would have hoped either, however. Chicago went just 5-8 SU in 13 March games and are seriously jeopardizing home ice in the playoffs.

The Hawks are coming off a 5-4 overtime win versus the Winnipeg Jets on Friday but lost the other meeting with the Bruins this season by a score of 4-2 back on March 3.

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NASCAR: STP 500 Race Odds

The STP 500 goes down this Sunday from the Martinsville Speedway in Ridgeway Virginia, and a multiple time winner enters the race as the favorite.

Jimmie Johnson, who won the race in 2013, 2009 and 2007 is second on the odds board at +500 at online sportsbook Bovada. It’s been a strong start to the season for Johnson who has two wins under his belt — most recently winning the Auto Club 400 in California on March 20.


2016 Bahrain Grand Prix Odds

Lewis Hamilton Mercedes Bahrain Grand Prix

Following a 1-2 finish by Mercedes at the Australian Grand Prix in the opening race of the 2016 season, Formula 1 now moves on to the second race of the calendar, which takes place in Bahrain on April 3.


Syracuse Looking To Exorcise Demons

Syracuse UNC March Madness Final Four

Syracuse is the Cinderella this season, but if they don’t want the clock to hit midnight in the Final Four they will need to reverse history. The Orange faceoff against their ACC rivals in North Carolina in Houston Saturday, a team they have gone 0-3 SU against since the start of 2014. Despite being sizable dogs in each of those three affairs, Syracuse is 1-1-1 ATS and has an average scoring margin of -8 points against UNC, so they are able to keep it tight.

In the two games the Tar Heels and Orange faced one another this season it was the depth of UNC that ultimately made the biggest difference. UNC’s bench outscored their Syracuse counterparts 82-18 in those two contests.

Syracuse’s trip to the Final Four is mind-boggling. The Orange made it through the first three rounds of the NCAA Tournament without facing a seed higher than seventh and was given little chance to get past No.1 seeded Virginia. But a ridiculous second-half comeback/implosion by Virginia has Syracuse travelling to Houston. It was freshman Malachi Richardson who came up big in the Elite Eight as the Trenton, New Jersey-native scored a game-high 23 points.

Ultimately, UNC has yet to face much of a challenge so far in March Madness. The Tar Heels have won six of their eight games in the month of March by double-digits while posting an average winning percentage of +16.0 points through the tourney so far. Brice Johnson continues to be a legitimate Most Outstanding Player recipient with the senior averaging 21 points and 9.8 rebounds while shooting 63 percent from the floor.

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Betting Numbers For The Final Four

Here's a look at some numbers, betting trends and key statistics to help you quickly handicap the Final Four: 

-Oklahoma’s “Core Four” — seniors Buddy Hield, Isaiah Cousins and Ryan Spangler and junior Jordan Woodard— are starting their 105th consecutive game together on Saturday.

-Villanova has faced the highest possible seed in every round—a No. 15 (UNC Asheville), a No. 7 (Iowa), a No. 3 (Miami) and the No. 1 overall seed (Kansas


Possible Finals Preview in San Antonio

Kawhi Leonard San Antonio Spurs Patrick Patterson Toronto Raptors NBA

A potential NBA Finals preview is on display when the San Antonio Spurs host the Toronto Raptors Saturday night. In the wake of the Golden State Warriors losing their first home game of the season Friday, all eyes will be on the Spurs to see if they can improve their pristine home record to 39-0.

Shark Bites
  • Home team is 4-0 ATS in the previous four meetings.
  • Raptors are 1-5 ATS in their last six versus the Western Conference.
  • OVER is 4-1 in the previous five meetings.

The Raptors enter Saturday’s slate 2.5 games back of the Eastern Conference-leading Cleveland Cavaliers. They played a hard-fought game Friday night, escaping the Memphis Grizzlies with a 99-95 win, but just missed covering the number as 5.5-point chalk.

Don’t let the second of back-to-backs scare you, though. The Raps have gone 6-0 straight up and 5-1 against the spread in their last six games with zero days off and have covered the spread in four straight in that situation.

The Spurs enter Saturday’s game off of back-to-back wins but failed to cover the whopping 19-point chalk in their 100-92 victory over the New Orleans Pelicans their last time out. The Spurs currently have 63 wins and one more would establish a new franchise record.

The two played back on December 9 and it was the Raptors who came out on top with a 97-94 win as 6-point home dogs.

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Pistons Cashing Bets in Trips to Chicago

Reggie Jackson Detroit Pistons NBA

Two teams fighting for a postseason ticket in the Eastern Conference meet as the Detroit Pistons visit the Chicago Bulls Saturday evening. The Pistons, currently No. 7 in the East, are just one game up on the Bulls, who enter Saturday’s game in the No. 9 spot. When it comes to betting numbers, the Pistons have had the edge in recent meetings.

Shark Bites
  • Underdog is 13-3 ATS in the previous 16 meetings.
  • The Bulls are 5-0 ATS in their last five games versus the Central Division.
  • The total has gone UNDER in the Bulls’ last five games.

Detroit has gone 6-1 against the spread in its previous seven trips to Chicago and has gone 5-1 ATS in the past six meetings with the Bulls overall. The Pistons won the first two meetings this season 98-94 and 147-144, covering the spread in both, but dropped the most recent contest 111-101 as 3-point faves.

The Pistons have posted just a 1-2 SU record since they had a five-game winning streak snapped on March 26. They lost 98-89 to the Dallas Mavericks in their last contest and have four of their last six regular season games away from home starting tonight in Chicago.

The Bulls rebounded from a four-game losing skid with back-to-back wins entering Saturday’s action. They have an edge in that they have seven games remaining compared to Detroit’s six, but a win versus their Central Division rival will go a long way toward playoff hopes.

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Wings Awful in Second of Back-to-Backs

Dylan Larkin Detroit Red Wings NHL

With just four games left in the NHL’s regular season, the pressure is mounting for teams battling for precious playoff spots. The Detroit Red Wings are one such team and will look to strengthen their case for a ticket to the postseason with a win at the Toronto Maple Leafs Saturday night. Trouble is, the Wings find themselves in a spot where they haven’t exactly excelled this season.

Shark Bites
  • UNDER is 9-1-1 in the previous 11 meetings between these two teams.
  • Red Wings are 4-11 SU in their last 15 road games.
  • OVER is 5-0-1 in the Red Wings’ last 6 games overall.

At online shop Bovada, the Wings are priced at -150 for their visit to Toronto while the home team is +120. The total is tabbed at 5.5 with OVER priced at +115 and UNDER at -145.

The Wings posted a 3-2 victory over the Minnesota Wild Friday night but have been abysmal in the second game of back-to-back situations. Detroit has gone just 1-10 in its previous 11 games in this spot and has lost nine-straight in their last nine games with zero days of rest in between contests.

Detroit is just one point back of the Boston Bruins for third place in the Atlantic Division and are even with the Philadelphia Flyers for the final playoff spot, but the nod for that currently goes to the Flyers.

These two teams have played three times thus far with the Wings holding a 2-1 SU edge. The Buds prevailed the last time the two met as they skated to a 1-0 victory back on March 13.

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