The Phive - 5 Daily Sports Bets (8/5)
A couple of big things happened yesterday. First of all, the Nets not only covered against the Bucks, but they won the game! As 18.5 point dogs, they pulled it off. Vegas clearly wasn't looking at who the Bucks were planning to play and instead focused on the Nets roster. This also means I hit my first future! It wasn't exactly a longshot (-250) but it sure was nice to get that Bucks bet out of the way especially in just three games.
Speaking of getting a bet out of the way in just three games, the Rangers are going home without a victory. They thoroughly outplayed the Hurricanes for two periods yesterday yet they still managed to lose by three goals. The worst team in the NHL playoff is on their way home.
And while two futures are closed, two more remain open, and they're looking a lot better today than they were yesterday. The Trail Blazers picked up a huge victory over the Rockets and are now two wins away from going over the 3.5 win future, and are just 1.5 games behind the Memphis Grizzlies for the eighth seed. Add to that, the Grizzlies just learned that Jaren Jackson Jr. will be out for the rest of the season. There's a very good chance that the Blazers not only end up in the play-in series for the final playoff spot, but that they are the team that only needs to win one game.
Jaylen Brown's loss was an absolute killer. He had 18 for pretty much the whole fourth quarter and with time dwindling missed two wide-open three-pointers and two free throws. We had a chance. It was a good read. If only he had his legs under him. Exhaustion in the NBA bubble is a real thing.
That means bets that cashed out yesterday came out to a record of 4-3. Here's where things stand at the moment.
Bucks under 6.5 wins (W)
Nets +18.5 (W)
CLE/CIN under 8.5 (W)
Jusuf Nurkic over 17.5 (W)
CAL/WIN under 5.5 (L)
Jaylen Brown over 19.5 (L)
Rangers Series (+110) (L)
Record to this point:
Total 17-11 (1-4)
NBA 13-5 (0-1)
NHL 2-3 (0-2)
MLS 1-1 (1-1)
Futures in the mix:
Trail Blazers over 3.5 wins (+120) - 2 wins, 5 games left
Trail Blazers 8-seed (+400) - 9th place, 1.5 games back of Memphis
As for today:
THE MLS IS BACK!
Who scrolled? Not you. Everyone else did though. Trust me on that. But you're smart. You didn't scroll because you know I actually have pretty good reads on this league. Tonight's first semifinal matchup features the Philadelphia Union and the Portland Timbers. Did you get chills reading that? I got chills typing it. Anyway, the Union are actually dogs here, and I think that is ridiculous. I'd argue the Union are the second-best team in the entire 16-team bracket, and I do not trust Portland at all despite their most recent victory. Now, I don't trust either of these teams enough to assume that one is going to beat the other in regulation, so I'll take slightly worse odds and go with the better team.
BET: Philadelphia Union to advance (-106)
But I'm not done!
I think it's worth looking at one more bet here. Neither one of these teams is particularly fond of the corner kick. In their first five games, the Union have taken a total of 15. In one game they had six. That means nine across four other games. That's how infrequently they take corners. Another thing to keep in mind is that they have yet to take more corners than their opponent in this tournament. Meanwhile, Portland has taken a total of 20 corners. Now, in one game they went for 10 (10!), so their number is a bit inflated. However, I expect both teams to play this game pretty slow and feel each other out. There will be chances taken, but I don't think either team is going to put a crazy amount of pressure on the other defense or keeper.
There are a few ways you could go with this. The Philadelphia under 4.5 is at +102, the Portland under 5.5 is at -127, and the total under of 10.5 is set at -125. But the bet I'm going to go with is the Timbers to take more than the Union. The Union haven't even tied their opponents yet. While the game could get sloppy at the end if one team is down by a goal late, I like the Union to win this game and the Timbers to be that desperate team. Let's stick with trends and go with the Timbers for a fair price.
BET: Most Corners Portland Timbers (-125)
Did I mention I got my first MLB win?
Somehow, I didn't. Take a moment for a round of applause. Shane Bieber is really good. If you listened to "On The Card", you know I liked the first five under 4.5 and the full game under as low as 7. Final score: 4-2. The Reds bullpen is terrible but we escaped. And I'm not done with the MLB just yet.
I'm looking at this Twins vs Pirates game. Trevor Williams is getting the start for the Pirates, and he has been far from great this season. He's gone just 8.1 innings in two starts and has given up five earned runs. Not only do they have a bad pitcher going, but the Pirates are really bad right now. The Twins are on a five game winning streak, and while I don't know what to expect from Randy Dobnak against the Pirates, I do expect the Twins to score early and score often. Give me their team over. I'd take this up to 5.5.
BET: Twins over 4.5 runs
Back to the NBA
A 13-5 start is pretty damn good. If you've bet 100 on all of my bets so far in the NBA then you're up close to $800. That's a pretty solid return on investment. If you've also placed the bets that I said to place "On The Card" then you're up even more.
Today, I love the Raptors at -6.5 over the Magic. The Magic are without Jonathan Isaac, and are about to play a back to back. While back to backs haven't always made a difference so far (the Heat did just knock off the Celtics), the Raptors are so much better than the Magic right now that I'd like this all the way up to -7.5. Some may be fearful that the Raptors are looking ahead now that the two seed is all but locked up, but I still like the Raptors to continue their hot play and try to ride it straight through their first playoff series. The Bucks gave in yesterday, but I don't expect the Raptors to do the same. Even if they do, they have a serious edge here.
BET: Raptors -6.5
For my last bet, I'm going with something a little bit different. Kyle Kuzma has looked good so far in the bubble, and I like him to continue to play well. In each of his first two games, he scored 16 points, and then he turned around and scored 9 in the last game. However, in each game he has made at least two three-pointers, and there is no doubt that he likes to shoot them. In each of the first two contests, he hoisted up seven, and in the last one he shot three. I like him to shoot enough to make two three-pointers, and even if the Lakers bench some players because they have the one-seed locked up, it's unlikely Kuzma will be someone they're looking to protect.
BET: Kyle Kuzma over 1.5 3-pointers
That's it for today's edition of The Phive. I'll be back again tomorrow with five more of my favorite bets. Until then, be sure to follow me on Twitter @Phil_Wood_Jr, and feel free to reach out with any questions.