38-39-4 in Hockey up 4.97 units
Predators -1.5 at +195 for 1 unit.
Predators ML at -150 for 2 units. Rinne and Nashville’s penalty kill looked so good last game. The Preds have already lost 2 games at home this series, they won’t lose 3. It is the first home Game 7 in Nashville’s history and I expect their crowd to give the players some extra energy. Forsberg was on point last game and the Preds will need that to continue. The Jets were not as sharp last game and now they go on the road. I like the Preds here.
39-33 on MLB in 2018 up 9.32 units
Kimbrel blew another save last night. He has two blown saves on the season and I bet the Red Sox in both those games. I don’t blame last night all on Kimbrel though, The Red Sox had a 1 run lead and runners on 2nd and 3rd with no outs in the top of the 8th. The Red Sox then went strikeout, strikeout, Betts intentional walk, then ground out. Gardner was the hero for the Yanks in the 8th, then Judge put the icing on the cake with a center field line drive homer. The Diamondbacks got up, but their bullpen blew it against the Dodgers. Diamondbacks just left too many runners stranded to get a win. Alex Wood did not pitch as well as the number suggest for the Dodgers.
Royals ML at -105 for 2 units. Chris Tillman fade. Tillman is 3-3 with a 5.37 ERA versus the Royals in his career. Tillman gave up 7 runs in 1 inning last time out vs the Angels. Ian Kennedy has pitched well for the Royals this season, but needs some more run support. I think he gets that support today.
Yankees ML at -140 for 2 units. Yankees are hot and have the better starter on the mound. Not going to overthink this one.
Braves ML at -109 for 2 units. Similar starting pitchers here, but the Braves have the better bullpen and the better bats. 21 year old Ozzie Albies leads the NL in runs scored and doubles in his rookie season. Caleb Smith has been pitching lights out for the Marlins, but I still like Foltynewicz and the Braves.
26-23-1 on NBA Playoffs up 7.88 units
No games today but wanted to talk about the Celtics series win over the 76ers. Marcus Smart had the most Marcus Smart string of events ever. Smart made a free throw he was trying to miss then intercepted the inbound pass with ball tracking skills that would make Revis Island proud. Smart or Rozier is a decision Ainge and the Celtics may have to make soon. Brad Stevens made the necessary adjustments after the Game 4 loss and is getting a ton of credit for his outstanding coaching this season. You can see Brad’s highlights of Game 5 here. Isaiah Thomas said “No way in hell Brad Stevens doesn’t win coach of the year. No disrespect to the other head coaches but he’s by far the best coach in the NBA.” Jayson Tatum and Donavon Mitchell are the first rookies to score 20+ points in 7 straight playoff games since Dr. J in 1972. They are pretty damn good.
Simmons and Embiid have a “bright future” in Joel’s words. Joel mentioned that KD and Russ did not even win 30 games in their first year with the Thunder. The 76ers went 52-30 this regular season. The Celtics were aggravated that Joel did not “man up” and accept his defeat right after the game, but that’s gonna happen when you are a trash talker. Hate him or love him, Joel is great for basketball.
11-10-3 on golf in 2018 up 11.62 units
Bias Warning: Plays here are influenced by Quail Hollow last week as it was the first tournament I watched since the Masters.
Henrik Stenson over Justin Rose at -110 for 3 units. The Swedish Stenson has been playing some excellent golf lately. Stenson has 3 straight top 10 finishes. Stenson has better odds to win the tournament. Driving accuracy is paramount at TPC Sawgrass and that may be Stenson’s greatest strength. The Swede is a past champ and this course plays to no style in particular, so I will take the player with better ball striking and that is in better form. In basketball, you gotta shoot well to win games. In golf, you gotta strike the ball well to win tournaments.
Jason Day over Justin Thomas at -110 for 2 units. Day has some course success here and won Wells Fargo without his best stuff. I expect him to keep it up.
Jason Day over Jordan Spieth at -105 for 2 units. Day has been at the tournament since early Monday morning working on all aspects of his game. I just expect him to keep rolling all the way to the U.S. Open. Also, Day won this tournament in 2016.
Ian Poulter over Tony Finau at +120 for 2 units. If you followed me back in March, you know I love betting Poulter. The Dell match play tournament was where I made a lot of money betting on Poulter (and against Finau). Both these guys are 55/1 to win this tournament, so I will take the hotter player at plus money. Finau has missed this cut twice as well.
9-6 on tennis up 2.43 units
Milos Raonic ML at -280 for 4 units. Canadian battle here. Raonic beat third seed Grigor Dimitrov 7-5, 3-6, 6-3 in the last round behind 12 aces. Raonic hadn’t beat Dimitrov since 2011 so I was surprised by that result. Raonic looked a lot better than I suspected coming off his most recent knee injury. Shapovalov is the younger Canadian, but he models his game more after Nadal (both left handed) than he does Raonic. Milos has the advantage at the net, on the serve, and with forehand volleys in my opinion. Shapovalov does have some speed and exciting groundstrokes, but I do not think it will be enough here.
Raonic – Shapovalov under 23 for 2 units. I just think Milos wins in straight sets because of everything I mentioned above and he has more experience.
Del Potro ML at -395 for 2 units. Just going to keep riding Del Potro. I think Del Potro is the 3rd best player in the world at the moment. Lajovic has impressed me in Madrid, but not enough to think he will beat an opponent of this quality.