Stars Hope to Finish Wild in Game 6

Mikko Koivu Minnesota Wild NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs

The Dallas Stars were cruising through the opening two games of their Western Conference series versus the Minnesota Wild but things have taken an interesting turn. The Wild can force a Game 7 with a win on home ice Sunday afternoon.

Shark Bites
  • The Stars are 4-1 SU in the previous five meetings in Minnesota.
  • OVER is 16-7-2 in Dallas last 25 road games.
  • The Wild are 2-8 SU in their last 10 games overall.

Online shop Bovada is currently offering the Stars at -130 in moneyline markets while the Wild are +110 on home ice. As far as the total is concerned, OVER 5 goals is -120 while UNDER 5 is presently EVEN odds.

The Stars were sharp in taking games one and two by scores of 4-0 and 2-1 respectively. They switched from Kari Lehtonen to Antti Niemi in the crease after losing Game 3 by a score of 5-3 and may contemplate another switch following the 5-4 loss in Game 5.

Mikko Koivu has really stepped things up with Zach Parise and Tomas Vanek out due to injury. Koivu scored the equalizer as well as the overtime winner in the Wild’s Game 5 victory.

OVER bettors will be thinking hard about about Sunday’s Game 6 contest. OVER has gone 5-0-1 in the previous six meetings between the Stars and Wild in Minnesota.

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Curry Expected to Return for Game 4

Stephen Curry Golden State Warriors NBA Playoffs

James Harden and the Houston Rockets did what many assumed impossible: defeat the Golden State Warriors in an opening round playoff game. Sure, Stephen Curry did not play due to that ankle injury, but let’s not take anything away from the completely dysfunctional Rockets. While there is no doubt that they hope Curry misses Game 4, that does not look likely as the probable MVP looks set to return Sunday.

Shark Bites
  • UNDER is 11-5 in the previous 16 meetings in Houston.
  • The Rockets are 7-1 ATS in their last eight Sunday games.
  • UNDER is 6-0 in the Warriors’ last six road games.

Online book Bovada currently has the Warriors tabbed as 9.5-point road favorites for their Game 4 showdown. As far as the total is concerned, the shop is offering OVER 217 at -115 and UNDER 217 at -105.

Curry tweaked his ankle in Game 1 and missed games two and three but the Warriors bring a 2-1 series lead into Sunday’s showdown. Reports have emerged that Steph will indeed be back on the floor Sunday after he had stated that he was feeling game-ready after practice.

"I think I can play through a little bit of discomfort and whatnot, especially in a playoff situation," Curry said.

The Warriors had gone 5-0 straight up and 4-1 against the spread in the first five meetings (three regular season, two playoff) between the two teams entering Game 3.

It took a late James Harden winner for the Rockets to prevail 97-96 in Thursday’s Game 3, but that should give the team some optimism and renewed confidence ahead of Game 4.

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Spurs Go for Sweep Versus Grizz Sunday

Kawhi Leonard San Antonio Spurs NBA Playoffs

Due to an injury list as long as it is depressing, the Memphis Grizzlies have been a patchwork squad that hobbled their way into the postseason riding minutes from the likes of Jordan Farmar and Matt Barnes. Mercifully, the Grizz can be put out of the misery when the San Antonio Spurs look to complete the sweep in Game 4 of their opening round playoff series Sunday.

Shark Bites
  • The favorite is 7-2 ATS in the previous nine meetings.
  • UNDER is 5-1 in the Grizzlies’ last six games overall.
  • The Spurs are just 1-4 ATS in their last five road games.

Online book Bovada is presently offering the Spurs as 13-point road favorites for Sunday’s contest. The total is pegged at 183 with both OVER and UNDER priced at -110.

All three games of this series have finished UNDER the closing total with that number decreasing with each outing. The two teams have combined to average a paltry 175 points per game in the opening three contests of the series.

The Grizzlies’ injuries have been glaring this series as the team just can’t get points with the likes of Mike Conley and Marc Gasol sidelined. Through three games, Memphis has averaged just 76.3 points per outing, but were much better at home in Game 3 as they put up 87 points.

Healthy or not, the Grizzlies have always had a hard time with the Spurs. Memphis had lost five straight meetings with San Antonio entering this series and now that that has been extended to eight, it will take nothing short of a miracle to end it Sunday.

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Neuvirth Giving New Life to Flyers

Michal Neuvirth Philadelphia Flyers NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs

Down 3-0 in the opening round of their Eastern Conference playoff series against the Washington Capitals, Philadelphia Flyers coach Dave Hakstol made a goaltending change from Steve Mason to former Capitals goaltender Michal Neuvirth. In the next two games, Neuvirth stopped 75 of 76 shots faced to lead his team to consecutive wins and get right back into the series.

Shark Bites
  • The Flyers are 11-4 SU in their last 15 games at home.
  • The Flyers are 6-2 SU in their last eight games versus the Capitals at home.
  • OVER is 7-3-2 in the Capitals last 7 games playing on one day’s rest.

Online shop Bovada is presently offering the Capitals at -180 in moneyline markets while the Flyers come in at +160. The total is presently tabbed at 5 with OVER +105 and UNDER -125.

Despite winning 2-0 in Game 5, traffic was completely one way as Neuvirth was asked to make a whopping 44 saves while the Flyers mustered a dismal 11.

The Caps dominated virtually every statistical category in Game 5 except the one that matters; the scoreboard. One of those categories was hits as the Caps plastered the Flyers all over the ice, out hitting them 35 to 17, led by Alex Ovechkin’s eight.

Speaking of the Russian sniper, I’m sure the Caps would trade the bulk of those hits for some points. Ovi has failed to register a point in back-to-back games and has been held off the scoresheet in three of the five games this series.

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NASCAR Odds: Toyota Owners 400

Kyle Busch followed up two straight wins with a disappointing 38th place finish in last week’s Sprint Cup Series race at Bristol, but oddsmakers like him to return to his winning ways in this weekend’s Toyota Owners 400 race at the Richmond International Raceway.


Consider The 5.5-Goal Total In NHL Betting

If Salt 'n' Pepa’s 1986 hit song-turned-ear worm “Push It” is ringing in your ears, it might be a sign you are playing a lot of NHL totals these playoffs. 

That jam kept echoing in my ears as we continue to watch the pushes rack up through 34 games so far. The OVER/UNDER record is 10-14-10 in the Stanley Cup playoffs with the latest push coming Thursday night when the Pittsburgh Penguins bowled over the New York Rangers 5-0 at Madison Square Garden.     


Clips Keeping Blazers in Check Out West

Chris Paul Los Angeles Clippers NBA Playoffs

Some pundits around the Association predicted a potential upset in Portland’s first-round playoff series with Los Angeles, but the Clippers are making them eat their words through two games. Owning a 2-0 series lead heading into Saturday’s contest, L.A. has limited the Blazers to 88 points per game – well below their season average of 105.1. Portland has shot a mere 36.8 percent from the field in two games at Staples Center.

Shark Bites
  • The Clippers are 9-21 SU in their last 30 games on the road against the Blazers.
  • The Trail Blazers are 5-1 SU in their last six games after a loss.
  • The Clippers are 3-0 SU in their last three games with two days off between games.

Favored teams in this series continue to cash tickets, as they have gone 5-0 SU and 4-1 ATS in its last five matchups between the Western Conference foes.

The total, which opened at 207.5, will appeal to UNDER bettors in this one. L.A. has gone UNDER in eight of the Clippers’ last nine with a number of 207.5 or less. The battle of the point guards has been extremely one sided so far.

Chris Paul’s veteran experience has shown, as the 30-year-old is shutting down Damian Lillard with ease. Paul has notched 43 points and 16 assists in two games, and he’s limited Lillard to 17 points on 6-of-14 shooting.

Portland has fared considerably better at home, however. The Trail Blazers are a sizzling 18-3 since January 23, tied for the third-best mark in the league behind powerhouses San Antonio and Golden State.

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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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