cnotes Posts:34935 Followers:38
On 04/05/2012 05:30 PM in NBA

Cnotes Thursday's Best Bets NBA -MLB-NHL !

Orlando Magic In Revenge Mode Thursday Against Knicks

The NBA has just four games scheduled for Thursday night, but the TNT doubleheader promises to bring lots of excitement.

Let’s first do a quick recap of Tuesday with the Miami Heat beating the Philadelphia 76ers (99-93) behind 41 points from LeBron James. James’ dislocated left ring finger can’t be bothering him too much, although the Heat did fall short of covering the 7-point spread.

The Los Angeles Lakers are another team that failed to cover last night, winning 91-87 as 8-point home favorites over New Jersey. That makes them an awful 0-7 ATS in their last seven.

One of the marquee games on Wednesday is San Antonio visiting Boston and giving one point. The total is 193. The Spurs have won eight straight (7-1 ATS), while the Celtics’ great defense has spurred them to a 5-0 SU and ATS mark in the last five.

Some more trends for that contest have the Spurs 12-4-1 ATS in their last 17 on the road and the Celtics 9-3-1 to the ‘over’ in their last 13 at home. Both NBA analysts, Brian Blessing and Monte Scates, believe the total is a bit high. That’s despite Boston’s Ray Allen probable to return to the lineup from his ankle injury.

Also on Wednesday is Miami (-2½) hosting Oklahoma City with a total of 196 ½. The Heat have won their last 16 home games, but Oklahoma City has won its last two visits there. The dog in this matchup is 9-3 ATS in the last 12. Dwyane Wade (knee) is probable after sitting out last night.

The Lakers and Clippers cap a great night of action. The Lakers lead their rival by 1½-games in the Pacific Division, but are actually a 3-point underdog (total 188). Both Monte Scates and Brian Blessing are scratching their heads at this spread even with LA center Andrew Bynum (ankle) questionable.

Looking ahead to Thursday, the TNT nightcap is Boston visiting Chicago and playing in a back-to-back after hosting San Antonio. The rested Bulls last played Monday, but have been without injured point guard Derrick Rose (doubtful, groin). They are 7-4 SU and 6-5 ATS without him during this stretch.

New York at Orlando will kick things off on TNT. The Knicks are 9-3 SU in their last 12, while Orlando has lost 4-straight. The Knicks did struggle Tuesday at Indiana (112-104 loss), but are 10-3 ATS in their last 13 despite Jeremy Lin (knee) and Amare Stoudemire (back) missing games. Orlando is also listing Dwight Howard (back) as questionable for the clash.

This is a revenge game for Orlando with their losing streak starting in New York on March 28, a 108-86 blowout. There are some chemistry issues with the Magic, so this is a huge contest for them.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:34935 Followers:38
04/05/2012 05:33 PM

Cy Young Winners Accent Thursday MLB Betting

Finally, this prolonged dribble to the start of the 2012 Major League Baseball season comes to an end. Granted, we won't see a full card until Saturday when all 30 teams are scheduled to take the field, but Thursday's 7-game card is still a delicious sight for this ol' fan.

Real baseball fans will recognize Thursday as the official Opening Day, regardless of what Bud Selig and his gang have tried to sell us with the contests in Japan last week and Wednesday night's hoopla down in Miami. There's nothing quite like that first afternoon contest to get the season going, sending old-timers like myself into a nostalgic mode and thinking back to times we used to sneak our transistor radios into class to catch some of the action. Oh, how we would have loved to have streamed those games on smart phones back then!

The day begins in Detroit for a 1:00 p.m. (ET) ESPN2 broadcast of the matchup between the Tigers and Boston Red Sox, and concludes with a twilight affair out in San Diego between the Padres and Los Angeles Dodgers (7:05 p.m. ET). The good news is though it might be a bit cool in some locales, Mother Nature is otherwise cooperating for Thursday.

Verlander, Kershaw Lead Cy Young Parade

Four pitchers with six Cy Young Awards between them accent Thursday's slate, including one in each of the bookend games in Detroit and San Diego.

Justin Verlander will take the mound in Detroit to battle Jon Lester and the Red Sox. The Tigers are -140 favorites for the game with a 7-run total on the MLB odds board. Detroit starts the year as the chalkiest of division favorites, sitting -650 to win the AL Central after breezing to the division crown last year by 15 games. The Tigers have been dominated by the BoSox the past few years, with Boston 10-4 most recently in Motown and 5-1 last season overall vs. Detroit. The only Tigers victory over Boston in 2011 came with Verlander on the mound.

Bobby Valentine would love to get his managerial days in Boston off on a winning note by taking down the defending AL MVP and Cy Young winner. The Red Sox are shuffling their bullpen and rotation plans now with Andrew Bailey sidelined several months due to surgery on his right thumb.

Reigning NL Cy Young winner Clayton Kershaw and the Dodgers are priced at -150 for their season opener at the Padres. San Diego counters with Edinson Volquez, acquired from Cincinnati during the winter along with Yonder Alonso in the deal that sent Mat Latos to the Reds. Kershaw won all three of his starts last year vs. San Diego, and the Dodgers are 10-4 when their young southpaw has faced the Friars since his debut in 2008.

The other two Cy Young hurlers on tap for Thursday are Johan Santana of the Mets who host the Atlanta Braves in a 1:10 p.m. (ET) start, and Roy Halladay who gets the call for the Phillies in their 1:35 p.m. (ET) first pitch at Pittsburgh. It will be Santana's first appearance in a regular season game since Sept. 2, 2010 after the lefty missed all of 2011 due to shoulder surgery. The Braves and Mets split their 18 matchups last season, with Atlanta winning five of the nine at Citi Field.

The Phillies will be without the right side of their infield to begin the campaign; 1B Ryan Howard is out until at least late-May following an Achilles injury suffered last October in the playoffs, and 2B Chase Utley is battling some of his chronic knee problems. Halladay won both of his outings vs. the Bucs last season and is 165 chalk for this matchup against Pittsburgh lefty Erik Bedard.

Trio Of Tilts Round Out Thursday Slate

The Chicago Cubs begin their 97th season at Wrigley Field with a matchup against the Washington Nationals (2:20 p.m. ET). Ryan Dempster was tabbed the Opening Day starter for the Cubs by new manager Dale Sveum, while Davey Johnson, in his first full season as the Nationals skipper, sends young phenom Stephen Strasburg to the hill. The Nats are hefty 160 favorites for the matchup, with the total yet to be released.

The Miami Marlins make a quick trip to Cincinnati following their home opener Wednesday night. Mark Buehrle is scheduled to make his Marlins debut in the 4:05 p.m. (ET) first pitch to be carried by ESPN2. Johnny Cueto is Dusty Baker's choice to begin Cincy's season, and the Reds are laying -150 with a 7½-run total.

From Cincinnati, we make the short trek to Cleveland where the Indians are underdogs in their home opener against the Toronto Blue Jays. Left-hander Ricky Romero will start for the Jays who are priced at -125; Justin Masterson will go for the Tribe with a 7-run total. These two teams have played 374 games since they first met in April 1977, and the all-time series stands tied at 186 wins apiece with a pair of rainouts. Toronto won three of the four played in Cleveland last season.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:34935 Followers:38
04/05/2012 05:37 PM

MLB Update: World Series Odds And Best Bets

As we get ready for the MLB season to officially commence on the US mainland, it's time to take one last look at the available World Series prices to see if there might be some value in that market.

Following are looks at a few sides perhaps worthy of investments for the Fall Classic. World Series prices in parentheses next tot he name of the team.

NATIONAL LEAGUE BEST BET: Arizona Diamondbacks (23/1)

We continue to be a bit flummoxed why the D-Backs are getting so little respect entering the 2012 campaign. Not only is their season “win” total hovering between 7-8 fewer than what they achieved when winning the NL West a year ago, they’re the consensus sixth-rated side (behind the Phils, Giants, Reds, Marlins and Braves) to win the NL pennant. Something isn’t registering.

Perhaps the masses need more convincing after recalling how the Diamondbacks fell apart in 2008, the year following their last playoff appearance. But manager Kirk Gibson eradicated a lot of those bad habits last year, as Arizona was far more disciplined at the plate, ran the bases much better and was improved defensively.

A capable staff has been augmented by the addition of another proven arm, ex-A’s RHP Trevor Cahill, who along with previous trade acquisitions Daniel Hudson and Ian Kennedy forms the nucleus of potential powerhouse rotation. Adding ex-Twin Jason Kubel’s bat to the outfield mix should be a plus.

About the only concern we see is the recovery of SS Stephen Drew from last July’s broken ankle; Drew opens the season on the DL and isn’t expected back in action until sometime in May. But remember that Arizona went 47-27 with Willie Bloomquist and John McDonald filling in for Drew down the stretch. The team is playoff experienced after last October’s near miss in the NLDS vs. the Brewers. And Arizona plays in the NL West, hardly the deepest division in the bigs. We suspect this Series price will be dropping precipitously over the course of the season, so grab it now.

ANOTHER TO WATCH: Miami Marlins (15/1)

We don’t think the Marlins should be priced more strongly than Arizona, but there’s still some value in Miami in the 15/1 range. We suspect the Phils are about to head into a steep decline in the NL East, and suggest that the Marlins are better set to emerge as the successor in the division than either the Nats or Braves, both with numerous question marks.

Keep an eye on the Marlins out of the gate; remember, that’s when we had the first hint back in 2005 that Ozzie Guillen was brewing something special with the White Sox in Chicago. The dynamics are not too dissimilar in South Florida, where Ozzie seems to be pushing all of the right buttons with Hanley Ramirez, now moved to 3B with ex-Met Jose Reyes taking over at SS. Under the right circumstances, Ramirez has MVP potential, and Guillen has made Ramirez a personal project this spring. The presence of Reyes and underrated CF Emilio Bonifacio at the top of the batting order could potentially cause angst for opposing pitchers and catchers and should set the table nicely for Ramirez and OF Giancarlo (formerly known as Mike) Stanton.

Ozzie was at his best on the South Side when able to mix and match his bullpen to the proper situations, and therein lies our only significant concern for the Marlins; does Guillen have enough depth in his bullpen, beyond new closer Heath Bell, to make it work? If so, the Marlins make the playoffs and threaten the World Series in their first spin at the new ballpark on the former Orange Bowl site.

AMERICAN LEAGUE BEST BET: New York Yankees (6/1)

We are breaking ranks here from our recent past when shying away from the Yankees with such predictions. But with the Red Sox in a period of adjustment, and the Rays and Blue Jays unlikely to overtake the Bronx Bombers over the course of the regular season, we are relatively sure about the Yanks at least making the playoffs once again, likely as the AL East winner. And we suggest that their prices for the World Series would be less appealing as we get deeper into the season.

Why so bullish on the Yankees? By addressing their concerns in the offseason when adding capable starting pitchers Michael Pineda (ex-Seattle) and Hiroki Kuroda (ex-Dodgers) to a rotation that already included CC Sabathia at the top, what was the greatest weakness for Jor Girardi a year ago might now be a strength. Pineda did experience some shoulder tightness at the end of spring and will open the season on the DL, but is expected to return sometime in April to a now-deep staff that also added Andy Pettitte out of retirement over the winter.

And we know New York will score runs; is Robinson Cano ready to become the next Yankee MVP? For once, the 6/1 or thereabouts looks a very decent value on the World Series price for the Bronx Bombers.

ANOTHER TO WATCH: Tampa Bay Rays (20/1)

The Rays might be hard-pressed to leapfrog the Yankees in the East, but the extra wild card slot means that Joe Maddon’s squad has at least increased its chances to qualify for the postseason for the fourth time in five seasons. With plenty of playoff seasoning under its belt, the Rays are certainly not going to be spooked by the prospects of October baseball, even if they will have to participate in one of the inane, one-game wild card playoff matchups to advance to the ALDS.

We like the Rays because of their starting pitching, arguably the deepest in the AL. So deep, in fact, that one of last year’s capable starters, Wade Davis, starts the season in the bullpen, and has prompted Maddon to consider using a 6-man rotation. We saw the Giants ride to a World Series crown two years ago on the strength of this type of pitching, and suggest the Rays could do the same with James Shields, David Price, Jeremy Hellickson and last year’s rookie sensation Matt Moore leading the way. Davis’ move to the bullpen provide Maddon more depth in his relief corps and another option if closer Kyle Farnsworth should falter.

Meanwhile, Maddon expects the additions of 1B (and former Ray) Carlos Peña from the Cubs and DH Luke Scott from the Orioles to provide the sort of pop the batting order lacked a year ago. Once again, the Rays figure to be in the mix.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:34935 Followers:38
04/05/2012 05:41 PM

Inside the Paint - Thursday

April 5, 2012

The Association slows down the pace Thursday with a four-game set, which features another televised double-header on TNT between Eastern Conference playoff teams. The two other games aren’t exactly must-see but there are some betting angles to check out.
For Thursday’s edition, we reached out to pro basketball handicapper Antony Dinero, who is on a 20-4 (83%) run. Dinero’s handicapping style focuses on player analysis, in particular x-factors and key cogs for each squad. Check out his Picks!

Tonight, he gives us players to watch in each game.

New York at Orlando: Despite losing four straight games, the Magic opened as a three-point home favorite over New York. The Knicks have dropped two of three, which includes a collapse at Indiana (104-112) on Tuesday when they were outscored 40-17 in the fourth quarter. This series has seen the ‘over’ cash in nine straight, including the two meetings this season. New York is 9-17 straight up and 10-16 against the spread on the road, while Orlando has gone 18-10 SU and 15-13 ATS at home.

Dinero’s Player Analysis: If you're into signs and omens, Dwight Howard's future with the Magic is doomed. Since waiving his early termination option, the All-Star center has been criticized for skipping a team huddle in a blowout loss in New York and has experienced back spasms to keep a player that had missed eight games his entire career out the previous two. It will be an upset if he's not out there for this national showcase game at Amway Center against those same Knicks that humiliated his team 108-86 on Mar. 28. Tyson Chandler isn't going to punch Howard in the back like ex-teammate Brendan Haywood supposedly did to cause this back issue, but he's certainly one of the toughest defenders to try and come back against after a prolonged absence. With Ryan Anderson (ankle) out and Jameer Nelson (calf) expected to be a game-time call, you're putting yourself in Howard's hands if you're backing the Magic.

Washington at Detroit: The Pistons have gone 4-4 ATS this season as home favorites but the four losses came when they were giving up five or more points. Tonight, Detroit is laying eight to Washington, the highest number they gave all season. The visitor has gone 2-0 both SU and ATS in the two meetings this season, which includes a 98-77 win by the Wizards at The Palace. Both of those games went ‘under’ the number.

Dinero’s Player Analysis: Nene and Trevor Booker have sat the past few games with nagging foot injuries, so Kevin Seraphin has had to play major minutes over the last three. The 22-year old Frenchman topped out with last night's career-high 19-point night in the blowout loss to Indiana, but what stood out is how well he did defending Roy Hibbert one-on-one on the block. Despite giving up a few inches and loads of experience, he frustrated the Pacers All-Star in the gym he used to play in at Georgetown. Thursday's assignment yields Greg Monroe, who comes off a 22-point, 11-rebound night in a win over Dwight Howard-less Orlando. If Seraphin can complicate matters for Monroe with single coverage, he'll keep Washington's eager guards from helping off deadly shooters Ben Gordon and Brandon Knight, improving his team's chances of covering in their fourth game in five nights. Making a run at another career-high scoring effort also wouldn't hurt.

System Play: VI handicapper Kevin Rogers shared a nice angle that might make you lean Detroit here. The Wizards are in the middle of the infamous three games in three days. Teams have gone 13-20-1 ATS in the second game of the three-game set, which is a 60 percent fade play. Kevin dug deeper and he found out that underdogs are even worse, going 4-10 (29%), which gives you a 71% angle on the Pistons.

Boston at Chicago: The Celtics saw their five-game winning streak come to an end last night at home against a red-hot San Antonio (86-87) squad. Chicago lost to Houston (93-99) on Monday, which marked the first time this season that it dropped two consecutive games all season. The Bulls have won and covered two of the three meetings against Boston this season. The ‘under’ has gone 2-1.

Dinero’s Player Analysis: Welcome back, Derrick Rose? Rose hasn't played since Mar. 12 but went through an entire contact-filled practice on Wednesday and could play if there are no setbacks leading up to tipoff. If he does go, he says he's still not at top speed, so it may make more sense for him to hold off a few more days since Chicago won't play again until Sunday's stop in New York. You don't want to face fellow All-Star Rajon Rondo at less than 100 percent, but Rose is chomping at the bit to get back and is finally close enough to taste his return. Rose's decision will be a day-long issue to monitor and will obviously impact backups C.J. Watson and John Lucas, who have guided the team to a 7-4 mark in his absence. Rose has only played against Boston once this season, and the Bulls won 88-79 on the road.

System Play: Make a note that the Celtics are 7-8 SU and 5-10 ATS when playing on zero days rest this season. After delving into those numbers further, the road record in this situation for Boston is 1-9 both SU and ATS. And the one win came against the Clippers (94-85) at Staples Center. Guess who they played the night before? It was the other club from Los Angeles.

L.A. Clippers at Sacramento: The Clippers were humbled last night by the Lakers (108-113), which snapped their season-high six-game winning streak. Sacramento has alternated wins and losses both SU and ATS in its last four games. These teams only met once this season and the Clippers earned a 108-100 road win over the Kings as 3 ½-point favorites. The spread is in the same neighborhood tonight.

Dinero’s Player Analysis: Considering how easily Andrew Bynum pushed around the Clippers on Thursday night, you have to think the Kings’ DeMarcus Cousins is excited to tip this game off. After shooting 16-for-25 from the field and scoring 41 points in a loss to Phoenix on Tuesday, surging second-year center hopes to extend a seven-game stretch where he's averaged 27.6 points and 12.5 rebounds by avoiding foul trouble. The surly young big has avoided the whistle effectively in six of those games on this current run and has to keep from getting tangled with Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan on their dives to the rim. If he's on the floor, he'll certainly do damage against a Clips team he went for 23-and-10 against in the only meeting between the teams this season, a 108-100 loss on Mar. 1.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:34935 Followers:38
04/05/2012 05:44 PM

Hoop Trends - Thursday

April 5, 2012


The Celtics are 10-0 ATS (10.5 ppg) since November 29, 2004 on the road with at most one day of rest off a loss of four points or fewer as a dog in which they trailed by double digits.


The Wizards are 0-11 OU (-15.0 ppg) since December 14, 2009 on the road when they lost their last two games and both were at home.


The Clippers are 0-9-1 ATS (-6.6 ppg) since January 14, 2011 on the road after winning the previous matchup in which Blake Griffin was not the Clippers’ high scorer.


The Celtics are 9-0 ATS (13.1 ppg) since February 09, 1999 as a dog with no rest after a loss in which they had at least 12 steals.


The Magic are 0-8 ATS (-8.6 ppg) since March 04, 2011 after losing the previous matchup in which Jason Richardson scored fewer than 10 points.

The Bulls are 8-0 OU (14.9 ppg) since November 06, 2006 as a favorite when playing the second game of a two game homestand after losing the first.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:34935 Followers:38
04/05/2012 05:46 PM

Pitchers Report - April

April 5, 2012

Major League Baseball trades places with College Hoops as the sports flavor of the month in April. And as we usher in America's favorite pastime, let's open the season with one of our favorite handicapping angles – good month pitchers.

Listed below are hurlers that have enjoyed a two-to-one or better success ratio in team starts the last three seasons during the month of April. On the flip side, we've also listed pitchers that struggle in April team starts, winning 33% percent or less of their efforts. To qualify pitchers must have made a minimum of 10 starts, with at least one start each April over the last three years.

I'll be back next month with May's Good Month Pitchers.

Until then, enjoy…


Josh Beckett - 10-5
Notes - Classic drop and drive power pitcher who uses two-seam fastball and cutter. Had his pitching thumb examined right before the season began, but manager Bobby (The Brain) Valentine says the big right-hander is ready. Can be effective early in the year, especially when his back is right, where he can strikeout hitters with a hard curveball.

Chad Billingsley - 11-5
Notes - If the Dodgers right-hander can maintain command and properly move his thick lower body into right slots, he can fulfill the promise many have had for him. He tends to pitch good or bad in spurts and April tends to be among his better months.

Kevin Correia - 10-5
Notes - Correia was sensational last April and his ERA was worse each sequential month of 2011. Sound advice; take the Pirates right-hander early, not late.

Felix Hernandez - 13-3
Notes - With Michael Pineda in the Big Apple, its King Felix again and a staff full of court jesters. A very strong case can be made no pitcher in baseball has a combination of four betters pitches to get hitters out than Hernandez.

Josh Johnson - 11-5
Notes - All signs point to the 6-7 righty reclaiming his role as the Marlins No. 1 starter. Johnson has three dominate pitches he can throw for strikes and can dial up mid-to-upper 90’s fastball on the outside corner when a batter has two strikes.

Tim Lincecum - 10-5
Notes - An absolute marvel given his size (6-0, 160 pounds) and Lincecum is at his best before August the last two years. Fastball is no longer in the mid-90’s and has used the curveball more to miss bats. Some in the Giants organization would like to see more changeups like he threw earlier in his career. A joy to watch (and bet on) and amazed he doesn’t have shampoo commercial.

Justin Masterson - 8-3
Notes - Has excellent boring fastball with heavy sink action that has to feel like hitting a bowling ball down in the zone. Because of delivery, slider breaks laterally to righty hitters. Ace of the Cleveland staff.

Ricky Nolasco - 10-5
Notes - Nolasco has four good pitches he can throw for strikes and for the first time last year averaged less than one homer per nine innings. Not always a great focus guy and typically is a better bet on the road than at home.

James Shields - 11-5
Notes - Spent the 2010 off-season working on a more compact delivery and throwing more pitches for strikes and totaled an astonishing 11 complete games last year. Good sinking fastball, tight curve and wicked changeup as out pitch. At 30 years old, Shields is at the peak of his command and confidence.

Jered Weaver - 12-2
Notes - Beating Weaver in April is like trying to sneak a fastball by Albert Pujols with a 2-0 count, it does not happen often. In spite of long arms on his 6-7 frame, Weaver repeats throwing motion expertly and has four nasty pitches to baffle batters.

Carlos Zambrano - 10-5
Notes - Folks in Florida have never seen a volcano, but they might for the first time with Mt. Zambrano. The Cubs are paying 80 percent of Zambrano’s contract this season and Big Z has a skipper he trusts in Ozzie Guillen. Zambrano should be highly motivated to impress his new manager and teammates and just might get off to a good start in Miami, before regressing stuff catches up with him.

Dallas Braden - 9-4
Notes - Still recovering from shoulder surgery, will not pitch this month.

A. J. Burnett - 12-4
Notes - Burnett is back in the National League with Pittsburgh, but suffered a fractured right orbital bone early in spring training. Because of the nature of the injury and inability to get in enough pitching work, his return is listed as mid-May to mid-June for the Pirates.


Scott Baker - 3-10
Notes - On the Twins DL with elbow tendinitis, but has been making progress at Minnesota’s minor league camp. If all goes well, Baker could be recalled by mid-April when the Twins will need a fifth starter. When right, Baker throws fastball up and down the zone and can throw curve for a strike on any count.

Dave Bush - 3-7
Notes - Will start the season with Philadelphia’s Triple-A team Lehigh Valley.

Jeremy Guthrie - 4-11
Notes - After a 47-65 record in five years as a Baltimore starter, Guthrie was traded in early February to Colorado. He impressed manager Jim Tracy enough with his ability and work ethic to be the opening day starter. The Rocks new right-hander strikes out few batters and better not elevate the ball at Coors Field.

Matt Harrison - 4-9
Notes - Harrison showed significant improvement in his secondary pitches a year ago, accounting for career-high 14 wins and dramatically lower ERA (3.39) and WHIP (1.28). The 26-year old lefty might be able to remove his name from this list by next season, but has always struggled with quick loss of confidence when things go sour.

Joe Saunders - 5-10
Notes - Saunders is just filling a spot until somebody else can take over the fifth starter role for Arizona. Never a strong punch-out hurler, Saunders was last in the National League with qualified innings in strikeouts per nine innings.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:34935 Followers:38
04/05/2012 05:50 PM

Bulls host surging Celtics on Thursday night


at CHICAGO BULLS (42-13)

Tip-off: Thursday, 9:35 p.m. ET
Line: Chicago -7½, Total: 176½

The schedule-makers aren’t going the Celtics any favors, as one night after a tough home loss to San Antonio they fly to Chicago to take on a Bulls team that could have reigning MVP Derrick Rose back in the lineup on Thursday.

Boston came up just short against the Spurs at home on Wednesday night (87-86 loss), snapping a five-game SU and ATS winning streak. Chicago, meanwhile, has held its own without Rose, who has missed the past 11 games because of back problems. Chicago has gone 7-4 SU and 6-5 ATS during that span. Rose went through a full contact practice on Wednesday, meaning he’s a legitimate game-time call for Thursday. Can the Bulls win and cover the large spread here? For the answer, connect to the NBA Weekday Pass for ATS picks covering all the marquee NBA games each day. The NBA Pass is on a 13-8 ATS run (62%) over the past week.

The Celtics lost a heartbreaker on Tuesday, leading by two with two minutes left before falling 87-86. They had a tough time getting SG Ray Allen (14.4 PPG, 45.9% from three) going in his return to the lineup. After missing six games with an ankle injury, Allen had just five points on 2-for-6 shooting over 35 minutes on Tuesday. PF Kevin Garnett (15.6 PPG on 51.3% FG, 8.2 RPG) was also uncharacteristically off-the-mark against the Spurs, scoring 16 points but shooting just 7-for-19 from the field. SF Paul Pierce (19.0 PPG) had his string of seven 20-plus point games snapped, finishing with 15 points and 10 rebounds.

Boston continues to get outstanding play out of its point guards. Rajon Rondo (12.5 PPG, 11.0 APG) handed out double-digit assists for the 14th consecutive game, finishing with 17 points and 11 assists against San Antonio. Avery Bradley (5.7 PPG) shifted back to the bench with Allen’s return, but still scored 19 points on 9-for-16 shooting. He’s now averaging 15.3 PPG on 53.6% FG over his past six games. The FoxSheets provide a strong trend backing the Celtics:

Play On - Road underdogs of 3.5 to 9.5 points (BOSTON) - after going under the total by 48 or more points total in their last ten games, second half of the season. (98-54 over the last 5 seasons.) (64.5%, +38.6 units. Rating = 2*).

It could very well take the Bulls some time to readjust to Rose, but there’s little doubt he’ll be a massive upgrade over C.J. Watson right off the bat. Watson (10.1 PPG) has proven barely serviceable as a back-up in two seasons at Chicago, and since Rose went down Watson is averaging 10.8 PPG on 33.0% FG, 3.5 APG and 2.9 TOPG. Despite the Bulls’ 7-4 SU record, he has an average plus/minus of -4.5. Reserve PG John Lucas (7.0 PPG) has proven more effective than Watson, averaging 11.6 PPG on 42.4% FG, 3.2 APG and 0.9 TOPG in 11 games since the Rose injury, with an average plus/minus of +8.5.

SF Luol Deng (15.4 PPG) and PF Carlos Boozer (15.4 PPG, 8.4 RPG) have done a lot of the heavy lifting during Rose’s 11-game absence, with Deng averaging a team-high 15.7 PPG and Boozer adding 14.7 PPG on 56.9% FG and 9.5 RPG. Getting Rose back would be a huge boost, as he averaged 26.0 PPG on 47.9% FG and 6.8 APG in four games against Boston last season.

This strong FoxSheets trend supports the Bulls:

CHICAGO is 20-7 ATS (74.1%, +12.3 Units) off an upset loss as a favorite over the last 2 seasons. The average score was CHICAGO 100.9, OPPONENT 90.3 - (Rating = 2*).

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:34935 Followers:38
04/05/2012 05:51 PM

Clippers seek bounce-back win in Sacramento Thursday



Tip-off: Thursday, 10:05 p.m. ET
Line: L.A. Clippers -3½, Total: 206

Two teams that haven’t gotten much rest will meet in Sacramento on Thursday night when the Kings host the Clippers.

Despite losing to the Lakers Wednesday, the Clippers are 6-1 SU (5-2 ATS) in their past seven games, averaging 100.9 PPG on 50% FG (36% 3-pt FG). L.A. has won four of five meetings with Sacramento (3-1-1 ATS) and has allowed just 93.6 PPG with zero days rest. The Kings have tired legs too, as they will play their fifth game in seven days. Which tired team will pull out the victory on Thursday? For the answer, connect to the NBA Weekday Pass for ATS picks covering all the marquee NBA games each day. The NBA Pass is on a 13-8 ATS run (62%) over the past week.

The Clippers haven’t been great away from home, going 12-13 (12-11-2 ATS) and getting outscored (96.5 to 96.2) and outshot (45.3% FG to 43.7% FG). But the Chris Paul-Blake Griffin duo has been nearly unstoppable during the past seven games. Griffin (20.8 PPG on 54% FG, 11.0 RPG) is averaging 20.1 PPG on 62% FG and 11.7 RPG, while Paul (19.4 PPG, 9.0 APG) is scoring 19.3 PPG on 50% FG and handing out 12.0 APG. In his past 14 games, Paul has 151 assists and just 19 turnovers (7.9 A-to-TO ratio). Both players have also had their way with Sacramento. Griffin has 20.6 PPG and 12.2 RPG in five career meetings with the Kings, and in the past four seasons, Paul has lit them up for 22.5 PPG and 11.3 APG.

Los Angeles is also getting some strong play from its supporting cast. SF Caron Butler scored 28 points in the loss to the Lakers and has made at least half of his shots in each of the past five games (15.0 PPG, 52% FG, 43% 3-pt FG). SG Randy Foye (10.2 PPG) has four straight double-figure scoring outputs, averaging 19.0 PPG and hitting 17-of-39 threes (44%).

This two-star FoxSheets trend favors the Clippers:

Play On - Road favorites (L.A. CLIPPERS) - after going over the total by 18 or more points total in their last three games, winning between 51% and 60% of their games on the season. (53-24 over the last 5 seasons.) (68.8%, +26.6 units. Rating = 2*).

The Kings continue to struggle on the defensive end. They allow a league-high 104.1 PPG, and their 47.3% shooting defense is better than only the Nets (47.5% FG). The defense has been even worse in the past five games, as they have surrendered 109.6 PPG.

Sacramento could be missing leading scorer SG Marcus Thornton (18.7 PPG) who sat out Tuesday’s 109-100 loss to Phoenix with a calf injury and is listed as questionable for Thursday night. PF DeMarcus Cousins (18.2 PPG, 11.1 RPG) stepped up in a big way in his absence, posting a career-high 41 points and 12 rebounds against the Suns. Cousins has scored 20+ points in eight of his past nine games, averaging 26.4 PPG and 12.2 RPG in this span. Cousins scored 23 points with 10 boards in the lone meeting with the Clippers this year, a 108-100 home loss. PG Tyreke Evans (16.9 PPG, 4.8 APG, 5.1 RPG) scored 18 in that loss to L.A., but made just 7-of-21 FG. He also had a tough shooting night Tuesday against Phoenix, making just 4-of-13 FG and failing to make a free throw (0-for-1 FT). But he was the biggest reason the team beat Minnesota on Monday, scoring 24 points with 10 rebounds and seven assists. The FoxSheets provide this strong trend supporting the Kings to win on Thursday:

Play Against - Any team (L.A. CLIPPERS) - vs. division opponents, off an upset loss as a home favorite. (158-104 over the last 5 seasons.) (60.3%, +43.6 units. Rating = 2*).

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:34935 Followers:38
04/05/2012 05:54 PM

Knicks, Magic meet in battle of walking wounded


at ORLANDO MAGIC (32-22)

Tip-off: Thursday, 7:05 p.m. ET
Line: Orlando -3, Total: 188

The Knicks are a team on the brink as they look for a rare road win in Orlando on Thursday night.

New York imploded in a loss at Indiana on Tuesday, blowing a 17-point lead in a 112-104 loss. The Knicks were outscored 40-17 in the fourth quarter. They’ve dropped both of their road games SU and ATS (at Indiana and Atlanta) since PG Jeremy Lin went down with a season-ending knee injury and PF Amar’e Stoudemire went out with a back injury. But while the Knicks are just 1-7 SU and 3-5 ATS at Orlando over the past five seasons, Orlando has dropped four in a row (SU and ATS) and C Dwight Howard has missed two straight contests because of a sore back. PF Ryan Anderson (ankle) will definitely miss Thursday’s game, and PG Jameer Nelson is also questionable because of a calf injury. Which injury-riddled team will prevail on Thursday night? For the answer, connect to the NBA Weekday Pass for ATS picks covering all the marquee NBA games each day. The NBA Pass is on a 13-8 ATS run (62%) over the past week.

The Knicks haven’t struggled to score in the five games since losing Lin (14.6 PPG, 6.1 APG) and Stoudemire (17.6 PPG, 8.0 RPG), averaging 96.4 PPG, but they have struggled to defend on the road. They surrendered 100 points to Atlanta and 112 to Indiana, allowing a combined 49.1% FG from the two teams.

Offensively, SF Carmelo Anthony (21.0 PPG) has really emerged in the absence of the team’s two other stars, averaging 29.4 PPG on 50.0% FG over the past five games. Rookie SG Iman Shumpert (9.7 PPG) has added 15.2 PPG. Anthony had 25 points on 9-for-15 shooting and Shumpert set a season-high with 25 in the March 28 home win over Orlando.

C Tyson Chandler (11.2 PPG, 9.8 RPG) has averaged a double-double, 10.4 PPG and 10.6 RPG, over the past five, but starting in place of Lin the past five contests, PG Baron Davis (5.6 PPG, 5.0 APG) has averaged just 8.0 PPG on 31.7% FG and 5.0 APG. This strong FoxSheets trend supports the Knicks:

Play Against - Home teams where the line is +3 to -3 (ORLANDO) - in a game involving two average teams (+/- 3 PPG diff.) after 42 or more games, after allowing 100 points or more 2 straight games. (84-42 since 1996.) (66.7%, +37.8 units. Rating = 2*).

The Magic’s current losing streak actually started with an embarrassing 108-86 loss at New York on March 28. They had their full lineup intact for that game, while the Knicks were without Lin and Stoudemire. Howard had one of his worst games of the year, scoring 12 points while grabbing only five rebounds and turning it over six times. They’ve since lost tight home games to Dallas and Denver, and dropped a road game at Detroit on Tuesday. Howard (20.9 PPG on 58.0% FG, 48.8% FT, 14.5 RPG), Anderson (16.1 PPG, 41.3% from three) and Nelson (11.3 PPG, 5.3 APG) are their three best players, and all of them missed Tuesday’s 102-95 loss at Detroit.

The good news was that PF Glen Davis (8.2 PPG) has stepped up with two big games in Howard’s absence. “Big Baby” Davis had 18 points and 16 rebounds in the Denver loss, and a career-high 31 points and 10 rebounds against Detroit. Hedo Turkoglu (10.8 PPG) also had a solid game against the Pistons, going for 16 points on 6-for-7 shooting from the field and 3-for-4 from three. Starting in place of Nelson, PG Chris Duhon (4.0 PPG) had 13 points, hitting 3-of-4 threes, and five assists. This two-star FoxSheets trend sides with the Magic:

Play On - Home teams (ORLANDO) - in a game involving two average shooting teams (43.5-45.5%), good rebounding team (+3 to +5.5 Reb/G) vs. an average rebounding team (+/-3 Reb/G) after 42+ games. (106-64 since 1996.) (62.4%, +35.6 units. Rating = 2*).

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:34935 Followers:38
04/05/2012 05:56 PM


Boston at Detroit
The Red Sox look to build on their 5-0 record in Jon Lester's last 5 starts as an underdog. Boston is the pick (+125) according to Dunkel, which has the Red Sox favored by 1. Dunkel Pick: Boston (+125). Here are all of today's picks.


Game 901-902: Atlanta at NY Mets (1:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Atlanta (Hanson) 13.940; NY Mets (Santana) 14.575
Dunkel Line: NY Mets by 1/2; 6
Vegas Line: NY Mets (-110); 7
Dunkel Pick: NY Mets (-110); Under

Game 903-904: Philadelphia at Pittsburgh (1:35 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Philadelphia (Halladay) 15.363; Pittsburgh (Bedard) 14.151
Dunkel Line: Philadelphia by 1; 8
Vegas Line: Philadelphia (-170); 7
Dunkel Pick: Philadelphia (-170); Over

Game 905-906: Washington at Chicago Cubs (2:20 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Washington (Strasburg) 14.697; Cubs (Dempster) 16.382
Dunkel Line: Chicago Cubs by 1 1/2; 6 1/2
Vegas Line: Washington (-165); No Total
Dunkel Pick: Chicago Cubs (+145); N/A

Game 907-908: Miami at Cincinnati (4:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Miami (Buehrle) 15.306; Cincinnati (Cueto) 14.080
Dunkel Line: Miami by 1; 8 1/2
Vegas Line: Cincinnati (-155); 7 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Miami (+135); Over

Game 909-910: LA Dodgers at San Diego (7:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: LA Dodgers (Kershaw) 15.729; San Diego (Volquez) 16.748
Dunkel Line: San Diego by 1; 5
Vegas Line: LA Dodgers (-155); 6
Dunkel Pick: San Diego (+135); Under

Game 911-912: Boston at Detroit (1:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Boston (Lester) 15.806; Detroit (Verlander) 15.595
Dunkel Line: Boston by 1/2; 8
Vegas Line: Detroit (-145); 7
Dunkel Pick: Boston (+125); Over

Game 913-914: Toronto at Cleveland (3:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Toronto (Romero) 13.868; Cleveland (Masterson) 15.294
Dunkel Line: Cleveland by 1 1/2; 6 1/2
Vegas Line: Toronto (-125); 7
Dunkel Pick: Cleveland (+105); Under

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs: