The weekend is finally here and that means we can all sit back and enjoy the wide world of sports just a little bit more than usual. More playoff games are on tap in the NBA and the NHL, including elimination games for the Pittsburgh Penguins and Ottawa Senators. In the NBA, the road teams from Games 1 and 2 return home to play in front of their fans. Only the San Antonio Spurs managed to steal one of the first two games in their series against the Los Angeles Clippers among Western Conference teams. With another full day of MLB action on tap, the forecast looks good for making money with the help of these betting trends.
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Here are the top sports betting trends for April 24:
NBA: Los Angeles Clippers at San Antonio Spurs (9:30 p.m. ET)
Trend: Play on San Antonio using the money line in home games in the second half of the season. The Spurs are 12-1 (+10.95 units) this season.
This is why it was so important for the Spurs to steal that game away from the Clippers in Game 2. The Spurs are a four-point favorite across the market, though there are some injury concerns with Tony Parker and Tiago Splitter. The Spurs got hot at the right time, as they always seem to, and they did a lot of their damage at home. This is a reasonable money line price to pay on San Antonio if you wish to do so.
NBA: Toronto Raptors at Washington Wizards (8:00 p.m. ET)
Trend: Play against Toronto using the money line in games after a loss by 10 or more points. The Raptors are 18-22 (-30.05 units) over the last three seasons.
Bettors are backing the Wizards without reserve in this game. After winning both games at the Air Canada Centre, the Wizards are hoping to avoid a return trip. Toronto has not bounced back well to lopsided losses during the regular season and they don’t look like a team capable of winning in the playoffs. They have struggled defensively and have no answer for John Wall. The Wizards are favored by four.
NBA: Houston Rockets at Dallas Mavericks (7:00 p.m. ET)
Trend: Play on Houston using the money line in all games with two days rest. The Rockets are 19-4 (+14.3 units) over the last two seasons.
It would not be a big surprise if the Rockets wind up closing as road chalk or as a pick ‘em in Game 3 at Dallas. The Mavericks have major problems, both from a player perspective and a coaching perspective. The Mavericks have had no answer for James Harden or Dwight Howard and there is some tension once again between Rick Carlisle and Rajon Rondo. The Rockets are just a one-point underdog at most books right now, but bettors should expect that to change.
MLB: St. Louis Cardinals at Milwaukee Brewers (8:10 p.m. ET)
Trend: Play against Milwaukee using the money line in all games played on a grass field. The Brewers are 3-13 (-11.2 units) for the season.
The extra language in this trend seems a bit unnecessary. Simply play against Milwaukee everywhere. The Brewers managed to snag a rare win on Thursday afternoon over the Cincinnati Reds by a 4-2 final. Carlos Martinez is a sizable favorite against Matt Garza for Friday night’s series opener between the two NL Central rivals. Watch this number, though. After a big series against the Nationals, bettors may side with the Brewers here.
NHL: Pittsburgh Penguins at New York Rangers (7:00 p.m. ET)
Trend: Play on New York using the money line in all games versus division opponents. The Rangers are 26-8 (+17.15 units) this season.
The Rangers have the chance to send the Penguins home in this game. You know that the Rangers have no interest in going back to Pittsburgh and the oddsmakers agree given the -190 line. The Rangers have controlled three of the first four games of the series, holding the Penguins to one goal in their three wins. The Rangers have dominated Metropolitan Division foes this season and are heavily favored to do so again.
MLB: Boston Red Sox at Baltimore Orioles (7:05 p.m. ET)
Trend: Play on Baltimore using the money line in home night games. The Orioles are 45-19 (+24.1 units) over the last two seasons.
After a tough series in Toronto, Baltimore is looking to bounce back right away against the Red Sox. The Red Sox and Orioles played last weekend in Boston and split a four-game set as the Orioles won the two middle games of the series. Rick Porcello has gotten some support in the betting market against Miguel Gonzalez in this one.
MLB: Kansas City Royals at Chicago White Sox (8:10 p.m. ET)
Trend: Play on Kansas City using the money line in road night games. The Royals are 41-21 (+22.45 units) over the last two seasons.
The Kansas City Royals and Chicago White Sox played deep into the night on Thursday with a 13-inning marathon and a bench-clearing brawl. The Royals have been very good away from home over the last two seasons and they are 5-2 overall on the season away from Kauffman Stadium. The Royals send Danny Duffy to the hill against Jose Quintana in this one.
NHL: Minnesota Wild at St. Louis Blues (9:30 p.m. ET)
Trend: Play on Minnesota using the money line in road games against a team with a winning record in the second half of the season. The Wild are 11-4 (+9 units) this season.
This has been an interesting series. Both of St. Louis’s wins have been of the blowout variety, while Minnesota’s wins have been balanced and one was a shutout. The Wild hit the road for Game 5 in a series tied 2-2 that could go either one. Minnesota played tremendous hockey in the second half of the season to get into this position and a lot of their good work was done against playoff teams. This is a pretty significant trend and a good reason to back the Wild in the +120 to +125 range.
MLB: Toronto Blue Jays at Tampa Bay Rays (7:10 p.m. ET)
Trend: Play against Tampa Bay using the money line in all home games. The Rays are 38-51 (-30.55 units) over the last two seasons.
The Rays walked off a winner on the Boston Red Sox yesterday to slightly improve this trend, but the Rays are just 3-6 at home this season. The Blue Jays knocked around Baltimore pitching for a sweep of the Birds and take that momentum with them down to Tampa. Drew Smyly is making his 2015 season debut for the Rays.
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