The Daily Six Pack is a recap of what happened in the sports world the prior day. When betting analysis is required, it is given, but the Six Pack is designed to make sure that you are up to date on the latest news on the games and leagues that we love. It’s easy to get lost in the shuffle of the never-ending news cycle and miss something that could have important betting impact now or in the future.
With that, let’s take a look at the six top stories for Tuesday April 21:
Home Sweet Home
The Chicago Bulls and Golden State Warriors both jumped out to 2-0 leads in their respective best-of-seven NBA playoffs series. The Bulls were 91-82 victors, while the Warriors were held to 97 points in a 97-87 triumph. Let’s dig a little deeper into both games.
A slow start for both teams led to a 27-point first quarter at the United Center as the Bucks held a 16-11 lead at the first intermission. The final score was lacking excitement, but dig into the box score a little bit more and there are some very interesting things to take away from this game. For starters, the Bulls had 26 assists on 31 made shots. They did a good job of spreading the ball around and the difference in the game was the 12 three-pointers they hit compared to the four triples that the Bucks made. Another key to the game was rebounding. The Bulls pulled down 64 rebounds, including 14 offensive boards, and completely owned the glass.
For the Bucks, they can take some solace in the fact that they only committed four turnovers. It was an awful shooting night for Milwaukee, who ended the game 32-of-90 overall and 4-of-17 from deep. It was a particularly physical game with all of the missed shots and there were seven technical fouls assessed.
The biggest story to come out of this game, however, is the injury to Nikola Mirotic. Mirotic got tied up with Zaza Pachulia and left the game with what the Bulls have diagnosed as a strained quadriceps. Mirotic is an important depth player for the Bulls and any injury that could keep him out of action would be a blow to the Bulls.
As for the Warriors, they’re 97-87 win wouldn’t place in a beauty pageant, but that doesn’t matter at this stage of the game. The Warriors started slow, trailing 28-17 after the first quarter, but they scored 38 points in the second quarter to take a three-point lead into the break.
Monty Williams deserves a lot of credit. The Pelicans won the first quarter and the third quarter, when Williams had a gameplan in mind and had made halftime adjustments. The talent gap played out in the second and fourth quarters. The Pelicans are a scrappy team and a team on the rise, but they’re just not there yet.
This will still be a quick series, but New Orleans is earning a lot of respect from me and from bettors in this series.
Road teams won two of the three NHL playoff games last night as the New York Rangers and Anaheim Ducks were victorious in their games. An old adage about the playoffs is that “You’re not in trouble until you lose at home” and the Penguins and Jets are clearly in trouble.
The Rangers played the perfect road game on Monday night. They kept the game low-scoring, limited the opportunities for Pittsburgh’s star players, and stayed out of the penalty box. They also scored the first goal and played from in front from that point forward. Playing in front of the home fans, the Penguins amped up the physicality a little bit, especially late in the game, but the Rangers were undeterred. This was a big swing game in the series and the better team prevailed.
The other road team to win was the Anaheim Ducks. The Ducks have led for 11:21 of the series and have a 3-0 series lead. That means that the Jets have been in front for 65:53, including a lead into the third period of every game. In front of a phenomenal crowd of just over 15,000, the Jets gave it their all, but it wasn’t enough. Ryan Kesler’s game-tying goal with 2:14 left in the game deflated the building, even though the Jets had a power play just 25 seconds later that they failed to score on. It was another even game that didn’t go in Winnipeg’s favor. Don’t be surprised if the Jets rally for a Game 4 win before the series ends in Game 5.
The Minnesota Wild posted a 3-0 shutout to take a 2-1 series lead over the St. Louis Blues. The Wild frustrated the Blues all night long and held St. Louis to just 17 shots on goal. Devan Dubnyk’s first NHL playoff shutout was a relatively easy one and Minnesota now controls the series. Jake Allen played well for the Blues in the loss, which his team can take solace in. Game 4 will definitely be a big one on Wednesday night.
The Chicago Cubs have chambered another round and are ready to fire yet another bullet. Addison Russell, the prized piece in the Jeff Samardzija trade, has been called up to fix the gaping offensive hole at second base. The Cubs now have the future in the lineup every day with Jorge Soler, Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo, and Addison Russell all playing at the Major League level.
The Super Two deadline that serves as a guide for when teams can gain an extra year of player control has passed, so it’s refreshing to see a team that is willing to let its prospects learn at the big league level. They may fail more than they succeed, but they’re gaining important experience while being thrown right into the fire.
The Cubs will have an inflated perception with all this high upside talent in the lineup, but be careful backing them at high prices.
Around the Horn
A quick look around Major League Baseball following a day of action. The Detroit Tigers won yet again, backed by Alfredo Simon in a 2-1 triumph over CC Sabathia and the Yankees. The Tigers are now 11-2, though the Kansas City Royals won again in their quest to keep pace.
The Cleveland Indians suffered a horrible loss against the Chicago White Sox. Closer Cody Allen failed to protect a 3-0 lead and manager Terry Francona inexplicably left Mike Aviles in center field with Michael Bourn sitting on the bench after not being in the starting lineup.
Speaking of bad losses, the Milwaukee Brewers lost again, but they also lost Jonathan Lucroy to a fractured toe. Lucroy is the heart and soul of that team and one of the most valuable position players in all of baseball. I was on the Brewers fade train before and now I’m the conductor.
The San Diego Padres offense kept right on rolling as they hung 14 runs on Jorge de la Rosa and the Colorado Rockies. Their perception continues to rise and that’s going to be good for bettors that want to go against the Padres.
NFL Schedule Announced Tuesday
The NFL schedule is going to be released tonight. Teams already know their 16 opponents, but now they will know when they play those games. This is all leading up to Super Bowl 50 at Levi’s Stadium, home of the San Francisco 49ers. The NFL season begins on September 10 when the New England Patriots host the “NFL Kickoff Game” and commemorate their Super Bowl 49 victory.
In terms of scheduling situations we already know about, the New York Jets and Miami Dolphins play in London on October 4. The Buffalo Bills and Jacksonville Jaguars meet at Wembley Stadium on October 25. The Kansas City Chiefs and Detroit Lions wrap up the Wembley trifecta on November 1.
College Football Update
We’re just over four months away from the start of college football season. The Ohio State Buckeyes visited the White House on Monday to be honored for their win in the inaugural College Football Playoff.
The Auburn Tigers have tapped Jeremy Johnson as the replacement for departed quarterback Nick Marshall. Gus Malzahn made the announcement on Monday and the Tigers are poised to have another explosive offense with the offensive genius at the helm.
UCLA recruit Soso Jamabo, who famously tweeted that a selling point of UCLA was the Asian girls, was arrested in Texas for fleeing police. Jamabo was charged with all sorts of things ranging from evading arrest to consumption of alcohol as a minor. Bond was posted and Jamabo was released.
Jamabo is lucky that this situation didn’t have a worse end. He was driving with three other passengers in the car and alcohol was a factor in the dangerous chase.
Join us every weekday for the Daily Six Pack, covering six of the top stories from the sports world.