The Phive - Free Daily Sports Bets (8/23)
When you're cold, you're cold. And when you're cold, there is nothing more infuriating than missing a bet by barely anything. That's why this loss with the Bucks and Magic is just so devastating. We had it. Literally the entire game. The entire time. The opening was phenomenal. The Magic were ice cold, the Bucks had a huge lead. All we needed was for the two teams to play average basketball in the second half and we had it locked up. Even with two minutes left we had 10 points to give. And what do both teams do? They proceed to nail four straight threes just to rub our faces in it. Pointless, useless, meaningless threes. Four of them. Then they don't even shoot the last two possessions. Once they hit the over, they just stopped.
But don't worry, the NBA isn't the only area I've been struggling with. Even Matthew Boyd couldn't save my day today. Matthew Boyd... The worst starting pitcher in baseball. The Indians had scored 11 runs on him in their last 18 innings. How many did they score against him on Saturday? Zero.
It took until the 6th inning for the Indians to get going, and luckily when they did, they really hammered it home. That gave us a nice underdog winner, but it stinks to get it after losing a big favorite in the same game.
And then there was the Rockets game. That would set everything right. A 120 point first half had me feeling good. All we needed was 104 points in the second half to push. We got 88.
Lucky for me, the betting gods shined down on us, and we got overtime. It was a lock again. And then it wasn't. The Rockets scored a whopping three points in OT! 3! And yet somehow, someway, the Thunder carried the torch and got us the over by a measly two points. Is this what is finally going to switch the juju?
Side note: the Thunder have made this a series now. Since Dort started covering Harden, the whole momentum offensively has shifted for the Rockets. The longer this series goes on, the more exhausted they're going to get. Playing every other day doesn't bode well for their style. The Rockets scored 44 points in the second half, including overtime. 44.
Today, I'm placing my futures bets on the NHL and that's it. I need a day to adjust and not test what just went down with that over. The record today wasn't bad, but the reads that are right seem to have something always go wrong, while the reads that are wrong are very wrong. Let's give it a day.
Also, I went 2-3 today. It coulda been a lot worse.
Closed Bets: Vancouver Canucks (+165) (W)
HOU/OKC over 224 (W)
Cleveland Indians -1.5 (+105) (W)
Colorado Avalanche (-162) (L)
Cleveland Indians F5 (-157) (L)
MIL/ORL under 226.5 (L)
VAN/STL over 6.5 games (+205) (L)
Record to this point:
Total 57-41 (14-9)
NBA 24-18 (2-1)
MLB 9-6 (2-1)
NHL 21-13 (9-6)
MLS 3-4 (1-1)
NHL Playoff Futures
Series Winners: 7-1
Colorado Avalanche (-215)
Colorado Avalance -1.5 games (-106) - Stars lead 1-0
NBA Playoff Futures
Series Winners: 0-0
Bucks (-10000) - Bucks lead 2-1
Raptors 4-1 (+170) - Raptors lead 3-0
Celtics 4-1 (+300) - Celtics lead 3-0
Over 5.5 games (-129) - Heat lead 3-0
Lakers 4-1 (+240) - Lakers lead 2-1
Clippers -2.5 games (+120) - Clippers lead 2-1
Nuggets 4-2 (+350) - Jazz lead 2-1
Thunder 4-3 (+500) - Rockets lead 2-1
The rest of the NHL
I had a great go of it in round one. I correctly called the winner of seven of the eight series, with the only miss coming with the Carolina Hurricanes, and I went 3-5 on series props, including a massive +525 winner on the Dallas Stars to win the series 4-2.
I already gave my take on the Stars and Avalanche, so it's now time to take a look at the other three series set to face off.
First, I'll take a look at the Eastern Conference. The top-seeded Flyers are taking on the sixth-seeded Islanders, and while many might give the edge to the Flyers, I actually really like the Islanders here. The Flyers are a very good team, but they're inconsistent. If Carter Hart is off, the Flyers lose. There are no ifs, ands, or buts about it. This could be a very serious problem for them as the Islanders are much better offensively than the Canadiens but also play a similarly strong defensive style. The Flyers offense was hit or miss, and it was definitely their defense that won them the first series.
Meanwhile, the Islanders dominated the Capitals in every single game except for game 4, and one could argue they looked like the better team in that game, too. I'm waiting to see a game where the Islanders actually look like a lesser team because I still haven't seen it during the entire bubble. I think the Flyers will still snag a game or two just because they have too much talent to get swept, but this is a series of an overachieving team taking on an underachieving team. The only problem is, the underachieving team has hit their stride.
BET: New York Islanders (+118)
Series Prop: Islanders -1.5 games (+200)
In the other Eastern Conference series, we have a matchup that feels like it should have been saved for the Eastern Conference Final. The Lightning and Bruins came into the bubble as the two best teams in the conference but only one can advance. This is a really tough series to get a read on because both teams looked really good in their first series. The Lightning ground out a victory over the Blue Jackets and exorcised some demons along the way. Meanwhile, the Bruins finally started clicking as a team and found their way through a series where they trailed in more than one game that they ultimately ended up winning.
Before the season began, I said the Tampa Bay Lightning were going to win the Stanley Cup. With how the Avalanche look right now, it's difficult to know if that prediction will come true or not, but I do like the Lightning to make things very interesting in the East and come out of this series with a victory. It's going to be close though and my prop will reflect that.
BET: Tampa Bay Lightning (-109)
Series Prop: Series over 5.5 games (-177)
In the final series, the Canucks are taking on the Golden Knights, and I am very bravely going to go with the Canucks as I look for them to keep their Cinderella story alive. The Golden Knights can score with anyone, but they also showed a lot of weakness in their first series despite coming away with a 4-1 series win. They struggled in quite a few games to beat Corey Crawford, and their defensive play can be shakey.
Then there are the Canucks. They're coming off a series where they knocked off the defending Stanley Cup champions in six games, and in all of their games, I think they've looked like the second-best team int he West only behind the Avs. They have a resiliency that a lot of the other teams in this tournament don't have. They got out to a 2-0 series lead over the Blues, then dropped the next two and found themselves behind in game 5. It looked like the Canucks had lost all momentum, and yet, they found a way to get it done and take back momentum. They did a similar thing in their first series against the Wild, and I like them to continue to battle their way through the postseason as they keep hope alive for a Canadien Stanley Cup champion.
BET: Vancouver Canucks (+220)
Series Prop: Canucks +1.5 games (+110)
That's all I have for today. If you want a lean on a game feel free to DM me @Phil_Wood_Jr.