Isles can Complete Upset with Home Win

Thomas Greiss New York Islanders NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs

The opening round series between the Florida Panthers and New York Islanders was always going to be an interesting one and while many expected a Panthers win, it is the Isles that can wrap things up in Brooklyn Sunday. Should the Isles win and finish the series, it will be the first time the franchise has advanced to the second round of the playoffs in 23 years.

Shark Bites
  • The Panthers are 5-2 SU in their last seven road games.
  • OVER is 6-1-1 in the last eight meetings in New York.
  • OVER is 4-1 in the Islanders last five games on home ice.

Both the Panthers and Islanders are currently -110 in moneyline markets at online shop Bovada. As for the total, OVER 5 goals is -115 while UNDER 5 goals is presently -105.

The Islanders took a 3-2 series lead thanks to an overtime winner from Alan Quine; a perfect time for the 23-year-old to record his first goal of the postseason.

Netminder Thomas Greiss has been excellent with regular No. 1 Jaroslav Halak out due to injury. The German stopped 47 of the 48 shots he faced in Friday’s double-overtime victory. In five games thus far, Greiss has stopped 180 of 192 shots and has posted a 2.09 goals against average and .938 save percentage.

Reports have surfaced that Nick Bjugstad did not travel with the team to Brooklyn for Game 6. Bjugstad suffered a head injury in Game 5 after falling and receiving treatment. He has recorded four points in the postseason thus far, which is tied for second most behind Reilly Smith’s eight.

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Celtics Desperate to Pull Even With ATL

Isaiah Thomas Boston Celtics NBA Playoffs

After just missing in Game 1 and then being thoroughly outplayed in Game 2 in the opening two games of their Eastern Conference playoff series against the Atlanta Hawks, the Boston Celtics put together a solid performance in Game 3 with a 111-103 victory on their own floor. The C’s will look to keep the momentum going and even things up in Game 4 at the TD Garden Sunday.

Shark Bites
  • The Hawks are 0-5 ATS in their last five road games.
  • The home team is 6-2 ATS in the previous eight meetings.
  • UNDER is 10-1 in the Celtics last 11 games following an ATS win.

The Celtics are currently pegged as 2-point home favorites at online shop Bovada. The total is presently set at 204 with OVER -105 and UNDER -115.

Isaiah Thomas came out possessed and looked assured that the Celtics would not fall to 3-0. The diminutive point guard was 12-24 from the field and 13-15 from the charity stripe as he finished with an electric 42 points in the win.

The former Washington Husky is actually lucky to be playing in Game 4 after an altercation with Dennis Schroder, however. The two were slapped with double techs with Thomas having to be restrained. Thomas actually delivered a forearm to Schroder that was reviewed after the game and decided that further punishment was not warranted. If anything the heated battle between the two guards does add a spicy layer to an already-competitive series.

The C’s have covered the number in two of the three games thus far but it was the Hawks who dominated in the regular season. Atlanta had gone 3-1 straight up and against the spread in the four regular season meetings.

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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.



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