The Phive - 5 Daily Bets (8/2)
If you've been betting the NBA with me, I'll just say two simple words. You're welcome. The Clippers spread was never in doubt, because the Pelicans just aren't a good basketball team right now. As for the total. I have no idea how I hit that. The Pelicans played like a high school team for three quarters but luckily scored enough in the fourth to give us an epic backdoor cover. Also, thank you Terance Mann for that three with 7 seconds left. Oh, and not only did the Raptors cover at +3.5, they also pulled away from the Lakers entirely and won the game with a great fourth quarter. The Raptors are serious title contenders, and with fresh legs were just too much for a tired Lakers team.
How did I do elsewhere? Well, maybe the NHL isn't my thing. My Oilers take was one of the worst I've had in a very, very long time. The Blackhawks absolutely dominated every aspect of the game. So much for playing close to home mattering. I guess that's only important if you play in Orlando.
Then there were the Rangers. Wow, their power play is absolutely, positively atrocious. Atrocious may not even be strong enough of a word. They were 0/7 on the power play, and if you watched the game, every single time they were on the power play you would have thought they were shorthanded. They never set anything up. Never looked even remotely competent. Good news though. I took the series line. The Rangers are the more physical team, and they really started to wake up in the second 30 minutes. Maybe they just needed a warmup game.
And how about my MLS knowledge, eh? If you can stick it out and watch this sport you'll get at least some bets right. Minnesota United jumped out to an early lead and never relinquished it, giving us a nice winner on a slight underdog at +120. The game was never in doubt and I'm starting to wonder if a future bet on Minnesota to win the whole tournament might not have been a bad idea heading into the Round of 16.
Here's an update of my record. For reference, the parentheses show my record when choosing an underdog (anything with +100 or higher odds). I figured it'd be good to keep track of this so you know whether or not to take my dog bets seriously.
Minnesota United to advance (+120) (W)
LAC/NOP over 227 (W)
LAC -5 (W)
TOR +3.5 (W)
Oilers -1.5 +165 (L)
Record to this point:
Total 8-3 (1-2)
NHL 0-1 (0-1)
MLS 1-1 (1-1)
Futures in the mix:
Trail Blazers over 3.5 wins (+120) - 1 win
Trail Blazers 8-seed (+400) - 9th place, 2.5 games back of Memphis
Bucks under 6.5 wins (-250) - 1 win
Rangers Series Line (+110) - Down 1-0 to Carolina
One more NHL bet...
I think this is the last NHL bet I'm making for a few days, but I honestly believe I have a good read on this one despite what happened with Edmonton. The Bruins are taking on the Flyers in the first game of the seeding round-robin. Both of these teams can score, as they were in the top 10 in goals per game before the pause happened. However, both teams are great on the defensive side as well. The Bruins have the best goals-against average in the NHL, giving up an impressive 2.39 per game. Second-best is Dallas at 2.52. A pretty large gap. The Flyers are also solid and are tied for seventh with 2.77 goals against per game. These teams met three times in the regular season. One game saw 10 goals in regulation, but the other two saw just four and two goals. I think the defenses step up and keep this one low scoring.
BET: PHI/BOS under 5.5
Keep doing the NBA!
Hey, if it ain't broke, don't fix it. And right now, my NBA betting ain't broken. In fact, I'm putting an undefeated streak on the line for your entertainment. My heat check comes in the form of four bets, one of which is a parlay.
Don't get distracted by the ugly; go with good teams!
That's the motto for these four bets, because as sad as it is, my eyes are really drawn to this Wizards vs Nets game. I'm going to stay away, but it's such a hideous game I can't stop looking. However, while Jarrett Allen's point total jumped out to me at 13.5, I actually found another big man that I like a lot better in a much more meaningful game.
Yeah, we're going back to Portland to see the Trail Blazers take on the Celtics in what could be a must-win for my futures (the Blazers' schedule is tough). Nurk looked solid in his first game back for Portland even though he was in foul trouble from the start. The matchup against Enes Kanter isn't alarming, and it seems like the Blazers want to use him more if he stays out of foul trouble. He had 18 in his debut and the number for this game is currently at 14, likely because of the Celtics defense, and maybe because Vegas is thinking that he will see fewer minutes as he works his way into shape. However, I think Nurk is really back, and if you want to take a player prop, this is the best one of the day.
BET: Jusuf Nurkic over 14 points
So I said to stay away from the ugly, and now I'm going to take two bets in a game between the seventh seed in the West and the team with the second-worst record in the bubble. I'm looking at the Suns vs Mavericks, and I'm not even apologizing for it. Kelly Oubre is still out for the Suns, but the Suns actually looked good against the Wizards in the opener even without him. Granted that was the Wizards, but they weathered every blow and managed to keep them at arm's length for most of the game.
Meanwhile, the Mavericks just played an insane overtime contest against the Rockets, and I worry that they aren't going to be over the mental or physical toll of that contest. As I'm going to discuss in just a moment, I think fatigue is going to play a serious role throughout this tournament. Players just aren't in midseason form yet and are going to need some games in order to get into shape.
The Mavs are clearly better than the Suns who probably shouldn't have even been invited to the tournament, but the Suns managed to pick up a win and need to win pretty much every game in this tournament in order to get the ninth spot and force a play-in series. Ultimately, they won't and I like the Mavericks to win this game, but I like the Suns to keep it close because their season is on the line. 5.5 feels like a lot. And I think the public is going to drive this up even higher because of how much the Mavs scored the other night.
BET: Suns +5.5
But I'm not done with this game yet. This is probably the more popular, and more sure-thing, of the two choices. The total is currently set at 237, and I have to imagine this is just going to keep going up. Neither team plays any sort of defense as was evident in each of their first games. But they do know how to score. Will this be like the Mavericks-Rockets game? No, but 237 still doesn't feel high enough. Don't be surprised if this hits 240 before tip-off.
BET: PHO/DAL over 237
My first parlay!
And finally, I'm going to end with a parlay of my two favorite moneylines of the day. You could get away with doing either of these and feel good about it since neither one is going to break your bank to win a little, but I'm confident enough to parlay this one.
I'm looking at Grizzlies at -162 against the Spurs and the Bucks at -176 against the Rockets. It will give you a line of +154 on FanDuel, and I'm assuming you will be able to get between +145 and +160 throughout the day across various books. Shop around to find the number you like best.
If you're curious why I like these games, I think the Bucks are self-explanatory. The Rockets just went through an absolute marathon of a game Friday night against the Mavericks, and though they looked very impressive in their comeback, the team didn't play great throughout. The Bucks can wrap up the one seed with a win here and then can turn their attention to the actual playoffs. I like them to get it done.
As for the Grizzlies, they fell apart against the Trail Blazers, and though the Spurs were able to take care of the Kings, Memphis is a much better team than the Spurs and are loaded with young talent hungry to prove their worth as the eighth seed. They currently have the Trail Blazers, Spurs, and Kings breathing down their neck and will need this game in order to make it a little bit harder for other teams to catch them. A win here puts them one step closer to possibly avoiding an 8/9 series altogether.
BET: PARLAY (+154) of Bucks (-176) + Grizzlies (-162)
And that does it for today's edition of The Phive. Hopefully, when I come back tomorrow I'll still have my undefeated NBA record on the line. If you like what you're seeing, make sure to tune in tomorrow morning at 9 am PT on the TRHS Sports YouTube channel for my second episode of "On The Card". We're burning hot over there too.
I'll be back with another episode of The Phive tomorrow. If you like what you're seeing, be sure to tweet at me @Phil_Wood_Jr.