Red-Hot Red Sox Looking to Extend Dominance Over Detroit, End Streaking Tigers’ Winning Ways

May 27, 2011

After putting up five runs in the eighth inning to take a commanding 14-1 lead, the Boston Red Sox were just an inning away from completing an emphatic road win over the Detroit Tigers when rain struck on Thursday afternoon.

Nevertheless, the red-hot BoSox look like they’ll have a solid chance to really cool off the Tigers when the two teams resume their four-game set on Friday.

Thanks to my always in-depth research and expert MLB betting analysis, baseball diamond bettors everywhere will get the insight they’ll need in order to make a trio of wise wagers over the final three games of their AL showdown.  

Let’s start with Friday’s matchup between the two teams, who are both currently in second place in their respective divisions.

Boston Red Sox at Detroit Tigers

Friday, May 27, 2011
On Friday, the Red Sox will hand the ball to veteran knuckle-baller Tim Wakefield (1-1, 4.50 ERA) while the Tigers counter with underrated right-hander Rick Porcello (4-2, 3.08 ERA).

Boston’s ageless 44-yeard-old right-hander came through for the BoSox in a big way the last time he took the mound. Wakefield was called on to make just his third start of the season on Sunday and looked downright fantastic in limiting the Chicago Cubs to one earned run on just fur hits in 6.2 strong innings.

Beating Porcello however, won’t be any small task as the 22-year-old has not allowed more than two earned runs in any of his last half-dozen starts while tossing at least five innings each time out. This will be Porcello’s first start against Boston since his mound fracas with Kevin Youkilis two years ago at Fenway Park.
Edge: Detroit

Saturday, May 28, 2011
The Red Sox will turn to right-hander Clay Buchholz and they’ll be looking for another strong outing after the 26-year-old tossed 7.1 solid innings against the impressive Cleveland Indians on Monday while giving up just two earned runs in a no-decision.

The good news for BoSox betting backers is the fact that Buchholz has allowed an identical two runs in three of his last five starts while not giving up a single run in the other two starts.

The Tigers will call up Andrew Oliver (0-0, 0.00 ERA) from Triple-A Toledo for his highly-anticipated return to the Tigers after showing some signs he could succeed late last summer. The hard-throwing southpaw went 4-3 with a 3.31 ERA at Toledo.
Edge: Boston

Sunday, May 29, 2011
BetOnline baseball fanatics will be treated to the best pitching matchup of the series on Sunday when Boston’s Josh Beckett (4-1, 1.69 ERA) looks to outdo counterpart Justin Verlander (4-3, 3.42 ERA).

Beckett has pitched as well as any pitcher in the AL this season and limited Cleveland to one run on five hits in 6.2 innings of a 4-2 win over the Indians on Tuesday. Beckett has gone 2-0 in two career starts at Comerica Park – with an unbelievable 0.61 ERA.

Justin Verlander gets another shot at Beckett and the Red Sox after allowing three earned runs on six hits in eight strong innings of what turned out to be a narrow 4-3 loss to Boston on May, 19.

The edge in this contest clearly goes to Beckett and Boston.
Edge: Boston

French Open Futures – Odds on who will win the 2011 French Open

May 27, 2011

As the French Open or Roland Garros gets underway sports betting markets are hopping as tennis enthusiasts weigh in on who will win this year’s instalment of the French Open.

For many seasons, Rafael Nadal was installed as the runaway juggernaut to win the title. After all, the World No1 is a five-time French Open champion and this year, he goes into the event as the defending champion bidding for a record sixth French Open title – something no other player has accomplished in the Open Era.

He’s already accomplished such a feat at the Monte Carlo Masters, winning six in a row. Now he has his sights set on Paris but despite his intent, underscored by a widely acknowledged status as the King of Clay, the market is not firmly cornered in his camp. This, in no uncertain terms, has something to do with the emergence of Novak Djokovic as a force to be reckoned with this season.

Rafael Nadal to win a sixth French Open

Rafael Nadal may not be the runaway favorite in the market to win the French Open but he’s still smart money as far as this tournament goes for several reasons, not the least of which, he’s won this tournament five times, for heaven’s sake.

Now, Nadal has lost the last two clay finals to Novak Djokovic – Madrid and Rome Masters – but both those tournaments were the best of three-set scenarios. The French Open is a best of five-set scenario and to this date, he’s only lost once in such a scenario; in 2009, he lost to Robin Soderling in four sets in the R16 of the French Open. Taken against an untouchable winning record on clay with over 120 matches and just seven losses in five years and that lone defeat becomes rather insignificant. Another way to look at it is that he has a 38-1 win/loss record in Paris.

Novak Djokovic to win a first French Open

The way Novak Djokovic is playing this season is frankly freaking me out. I mean 38-0 on the season and still going. Anybody that claims he can’t win the French Open when he’s clearly forgotten how to lose is frankly out of his/her mind.

I am not about to make such a claim. What I will say is this: winning a Grand Slam is a grind and the effort it requires puts untold pressure on a player both physically and mentally.

Now, Djokovic has been smart with his schedule this season and so far he’s been up for the task of winning. Undoubtedly, he’s with a great chance to do something that he’s never done before – win a slam other than the Australian Open, which he’s now done twice. And in a perfect world, he’ll come up against Nadal in the final – the two best players this season: Nadal with six final appearances and Djokovic with seven – but in such an instance, I cannot say that he’s a sure bet to beat Nadal. Two reasons: the Spaniard’s beloved clay and a best of five set scenario. If he does, it would be singularly his best and most memorable achievement this season, as nobody has been able to wrestle the title from Nadal’s grip when he’s reached the final since he was but a 17-year-old pup.   

Roger Federer can win a second French Open title

Old habits die hard. True to form, Federer is in the mix. Discounting him from the proceedings would be foolish because although he’s a far cry from his dominating form of yester years he’s only the GOAT in game. And by virtue of his legendary status, which will remain even during hard times, which he’s most certainly experiencing right now, he’s always in with a shot.  But admittedly, he’s the longest shot of this trio, what is a first for the Swiss maestro in a long time of playing second fiddle to Nadal.

Anybody else out there?

Other deceivingly attractive players in the market that are hyped up ahead of any Grand Slam are as follows: Andy Murray, Robin Soderling, David Ferrer, Fernando Verdasco and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, to name a few. On these names, all I have to say is this: not a single Grand Slam title can be found amongst them.  Need I say more?

French Open Predictions: Rafael Nadal to win a historic sixth title (that said if Djokovic wins I can’t feign surprise, now can I?).

Boys of Summer – Watch Out as These MLB Ball Clubs Heat up Along With Summer Temperatures

May 18, 2011

With extremely tight races taking place in every division in the majors, except the AL Central where the Cleveland Indians have gone absolutely bonkers, baseball bettors everywhere know the 2011 MLB regular season is about to warm up in a big way along with the approaching summer temperatures.

With that thought in mind, MLB gamblers everywhere need to know which teams start to play at an even higher level than normal when the summer temps start to make fly balls carry just a bit further than normal.

Thanks to my always in-depth research, MLB gamblers everywhere will get a good idea of what the approaching summer months may bring as far as on-field play is concerned.

With the month of June just around the corner, let’s take a look back at which teams went on a torrid run during June of 2010.

Last season, the Texas Rangers recorded the best record in all of baseball in June (21-6) en route to its first American League Pennant in franchise history.

The Boston Red Sox, Chicago White Sox and Los Angeles Angels all went 18-9 in the month of June while the New York Mets went 18-8 and Atlanta 17-11 during the month.

After going 16-10 in June of 2010, the New York Yankees posted an incendiary 21-7 record in the month of July, with the San Francisco Giants being the only other team to win 20 games in the month (20-8).

The Tampa Bay Rays went 19-7 last July while the ChiSox and their impressive 18-8 mark makes them the only team in all of baseball to make the June and July ‘hottest teams’ list.

MLB gamblers saw the Cincinnati Reds post a neckbreaking 19-8 record in August of 2010 en route to their surprising – but well-deserved NL Central Pennant.

Two more of last season’s playoff teams, the Philadelphia Phillies and Minnesota Twins both went 18-10 while the Atlanta Braves join the ChiSox as another team that burned up the books in two summer months a year ago by going 18-11.

The Baltimore Orioles went on a 17-11 run last August after getting jolted awake by the hiring of veteran manager Buck Showalter while the lowly Houston Astros went 17-12 in the month.

Last but not least, the Tampa Bay Rays join the White Sox and Braves as the only three teams to win at least 17 games in two of the three summer months.

Recent history says watch the Rays, ChiSox and Braves and I think all three ballclubs will have solid summer months, but there are a few other teams that I think will heat up as the summer arrives. In the American League, I like the Red Sox, Yankees, Rangers, Angels to make a move up the standings this summer while Philadelphia, Cincinnati, Colorado and San Francisco make a move to do the same in the National League.

Can Vancouver Carry the Hopes of a Nation?

May 18, 2011

We’re down to the NHL’s version of the final four as Vancouver battles San Jose in the West in a meeting of perennial underachievers, while Boston clashes with Tampa Bay in the East without their best players. It has been a phenomenal Stanley Cup playoffs so far, and you can expect the drama and skill levels to increase as players get closer to the grand prize. Here is a look at how the odds are breaking it down.

Vancouver (+115): It should be no surprise that the Presidents’ Trophy winners are the favorites after defeating Chicago and Nashville, and they’re off to a good start after coming back to beat the Sharks in Game 1 at home. Still, how confident can you be in goaltender Roberto Luongo, especially after he gifted a goal to San Jose’s Joe Thornton in the series opener?

Boston (+325): The Bruins got run out of their building in Game 1, but they bounced back in a big way with a 6-5 win in Game 2. While you can’t underestimate the loss of Patrice Bergeron to a concussion, which robs the Bruins of their best player, rookie forward Tyler Seguin exploded in Game 2 with four points (two goals, two assists). Bergeron is one of the best two-way players in the NHL, he’s arguably the best faceoff player left in the postseason, and you can put him out in any situation. He says he is recovering nicely, and if he can get back in the lineup, the Bruins will have an even stronger opportunity to advance to the Stanley Cup finals and win it. 

Tampa Bay (+350): The Lightning are no joke, and after dismantling the Bruins in Game 1 on the road they had won eight straight games, spanning matchups with Pittsburgh and Washington as well. Goaltender Dwayne Roloson is a frontrunner for the Conn Smythe, and while we all know about Martin St. Louis, Vincent Lecavalier and Steven Stamkos, the Lightning have been getting goals from a number of different sources, notably Sean Bergenheim, who has eight.

San Jose (+475): The Sharks were badly outplayed in the third period of their 3-2 loss in Game 1 as they were outshot 13-7 and allowed two goals in a span of 1:19, but all is not lost in San Jose, who got good games from Thornton, Patrick Marleau and Logan Couture. Goaltender Antti Niemi kept the Sharks in the game, and he has experience against the Canucks from his time in Chicago, a team that was (and likely still is) Vancouver’s nemesis for the past two years in the playoffs, and he outplayed Luongo in Game 1. They’re a very good team at home, so if they can manage to go back to San Jose with a split after Game 2, it’s going to be a very tight series.

NBA Playoff Betting – Do or Die Time for the Boston Celtics on May 7

May 17, 2011

The Eastern Conference defending champion Boston Celtics are 0 and 2 in their semi-final series versus the Miami Heat, but they still show up as 3 point favorites in the online NBA sportsbook.

Boston has to win on Saturday. Because of that, most hoops handicappers, 55% are backing the Men in Green to cover the spread. The other game that I preview below pits the tough Memphis Grizzlies against the Oklahoma City Thunder. OKC will be looking to take back home court advantage in their series against the Grizzlies on May 7.

NBA Playoffs – May 7 Games

Oklahoma City Thunder at Memphis Grizzlies

Where: FedExForum, Memphis, Tennessee

When: 5:00 pm EST

NBA Odds: Memphis -3

Analysis: I’m backing the NBA Playoff odds betting chalk in this contest on Saturday because I just don’t feel that Oklahoma City has the inside game that can keep Memphis from covering the spread. Memphis’s Zac Randolph and Marc Gasol weren’t as effective in Game 2 versus the Thunder, Randolph only had 15 points and 9 boards while Gasol only had 13 points and 10 boards, but the pair takes on Kevin Durant and Co. at home on May 7. Randolph should go back to his dominating ways. Gasol should do the same. If guard Mike Conley continues to be effective at the point, then the Thunder could be in some trouble in the series. On Saturday, I expect Memphis to come out firing and to dominate in the middle. Oklahoma City ran the Grizzlies out of their building in Game 2 when putting up 11 points to Memphis’s 102. The Grizzlies will slow things down on Saturday, and Durant and Russell Westbrook for OKC will start to push, allowing Memphis to build a close to 10 point lead in this contest. I like Memphis to cover the spread.

Miami Heat at Boston Celtics

Where: TD Garden, Boston, Massachusetts

When: 8:00 pm EST

NBA Odds: Boston -3

Analysis: The online NBA Playoff sports betting odds makers expect Boston to get back into the series against the Miami Heat on Saturday and I’m not arguing with them. Boston has looked absolutely horrible against LeBron, D-Wade and Co. so far. The Men in Green got their butts handed to them in Game 1 in a 90 to 99 loss. Then, in Game 2, the Celtics blew it 91 to 102. Boston is better than what they’ve shown so far. At least Rajon Rondo appeared to be back on track in Game 2 with 12 assists and 20 points. Ray Allen and Paul Pierce both need to get into gear. Time is running out. My belief is that Pierce and Allen do exactly that on May 7 with huge 20 points or more games. If Jeff Green can continue to play well off of the bench, then the Celtics should give themselves a fighting chance in the series with a victory by at least 7 points in Game 3. Dwayne Wade and LeBron James both figure to cool off in this contest. The Heat has been phenomenal, especially Wade, in the first two games, but they can’t possibly keep it going, can they? If they do, then, well, the dynasty that Boston GM Danny Ainge was trying to create in Massachusetts may be coming to an end.

NBA Basketball Betting – Wager on a Pair of Game 3’s Saturday

May 17, 2011

After a long, four day break, two crucial series are back and headlining Saturday’s NBA Basketball Betting.

Starting in Memphis, can the Grizzlies continue their improbable run toward the Western Conference Finals? And just as importantly, can Miami once again beat down Boston in the East?

Western Conference Semifinals Game 3

No. 4 Oklahoma City Thunder at No. 8 Memphis Grizzlies

Series Tied 1-1 (Both Teams 1-1 ATS)

Saturday, May 7: 5:00 p.m. ESPN, Live from FedEx Forum, Memphis, TN

Betting Odds:

Oklahoma City: +3

Memphis: -3

Total: 200

Before we get to that crucial Game 3 in Boston, we must first head down to Memphis for an equally exciting Game 3 between the Grizzlies and Thunder. After splitting in Oklahoma City, who’ll have the edge with the series shifting back to FedEx Forum?

At first glance, it certainly does seem like it’s the Grizzlies, especially when you look at what they’ve done at home. This club won all three games they played against the Spurs in Round 1 in Memphis, and covered all three of those point spreads too. As a matter of fact, it needs to be noted that the Grizzlies are 6-1-1 against the spread in these playoffs.

And honestly, we don’t expect much to change, not Saturday at least.

The truth is, despite an Oklahoma City win in Game 2, the advantages here all fall in line for Memphis. In the paint, the Thunder simply have no one to match up with the Grizzlies Zach Randolph, who went off for 34 points and 10 rebounds in Game 1 of this series. As for Oklahoma City, well, we still can’t figure out why forward Kevin Durant isn’t getting more shots. The two-time league scoring champ took just 18 in Game 2. While it was enough to win there, if Durant doesn’t get more touches, Oklahoma City won’t be so lucky on the road.

Either way, as we break down this NBA Basketball Betting matchup, it’s clear that at home Memphis will come out on top. Make them your Saturday pick.

NBA basketball Betting Pick: Memphis -3

Eastern Conference Semifinals Game 3

No. 2 Miami Heat at No. 3 Boston Celtics

Miami Leads Series 2-0 (Miami 2-0 ATS)

Saturday, May 7: 8:00 p.m. ABC, Live from TD Bank North Garden, Boston, MA

Betting Odds:

Miami: +3

Boston: -3

Total: 183

Next, let’s head to Boston, where the Celtics dynasty as we know it could be one game away from ending with a loss on Saturday night. Can Boston possibly pull out an NBA Basketball Betting win here?
Honestly, we just don’t see it.

Understand it’s nothing personal against the Celtics, but right now, the Heat are playing absolutely out of their minds. In the two games of this series, guard Dwyane Wade is scoring 33 points, while two-time MVP LeBron James is coming off an epic 35 point performance in Game 2.

As for Boston? Well entering this NBA Basketball Betting matchup, they’ve simply looked old. Through two games, Paul Pierce has shot just 11 for 25 from the field, and Kevin Garnett is averaging a meager 11 points. And to add complication to this whole situation is that coach Doc Rivers announced that center Shaquille O’Neal might play Saturday night. O’Neal has played in just one game since the first week of February, so how he will perform is anyone’s guess.

The sign of a true championship contender is the ability to not only win at home, but to do the same on the road as well. Expect Miami to go into Boston and shock the Celtics with a Game 3 win.

They’re the NBA Basketball Betting pick to make.

NBA Basketball Betting Pick: Miami +3 

Four Key Plays That Changed The Outcome Of Super Bowl Odds

May 17, 2011

The Green Bay Packers were favored by just three points on the Super Bowl odds but they were never really in a position that they weren’t covering. Here are four keep plays as to why they won:

Super Bowl Odds Factor No. 1: Nick Collins’ Pick-Six

There are certain kinds of plays that cast a longer and larger shadow over a championship football game than others. A pick-six is certainly one such play. Nick Collins didn’t just give Green Bay a 14-0 lead over Pittsburgh with his first-quarter interception return for a touchdown. Collins gave the Packers momentum and an ever-increasing belief that they could win against a team that had won two of the previous five Super Bowls while registering a 6-1 mark in seven prior Super Bowl appearances. If Collins’ teammates, Charles Woodson and Sam Shields, had not gotten injured, it would have been hard to see how Pittsburgh could have made a comeback. At any rate, Collins powerfully propelled the Packers forward on a day when they needed to start strong a lot more than the experienced Steelers did. Pittsburgh knew it could come back against Green Bay, but the Packers didn’t expect to be able to come back from a big deficit against the Steelers’ powerful ground game. When Collins made his move, Green Bay ensured that Pittsburg would have to play catch-up throughout Sunday’s contest.

Super Bowl Odds Factor No. 2: Rashard Mendenhall’s Fumble

Pittsburgh had trimmed a 21-3 deficit to 21-17. The Steelers shut down the Packers in the third quarter, barely allowing any yards at all to the same Green Bay offense that began to flourish in the second quarter. Pittsburgh’s offensive front was beginning to lean on Green Bay’s defensive line with success. The Steelers were inside the Green Bay 35 with a full head of steam. The AFC champions were poised to take the lead and finish off the greatest comeback in Super Bowl history.

And then it all unraveled.

Pittsburgh running back Rashard Mendenhall, who was generally very impressive in this contest, made his only mistake of the night, but it was a costly one. The Illinois product put the ball on the turf at Cowboys Stadium, and the Packers recovered. Pittsburgh never came as close to taking the lead as it did on that fateful possession early in the fourth quarter. This was, simply, the play of the game.

Super Bowl Odds Factor No. 3: Rodgers To Nelson On 3rd and 10

While Mendenhall’s fumble was the night’s most important play, a very close second was the dart Aaron Rodgers threw to receiver Jordy Nelson on a 3rd-and-10 snap for Green Bay near the Pittsburgh 40 early in the fourth quarter. On the previous play, Nelson dropped an easy first-down-gaining pass on a crossing route, injecting fresh waves of anxiety into the veins of the Packer coaching staff, not to mention Green Bay’s fans. Everyone in the ballpark wondered if Nelson was ever going to be able to bounce back from his crippling mistake.

The wait wasn’t very long.

On the very next snap, Nelson once again got free in the same area of the field on a crossing route. He had the same open pastures that emerged on the previous play. This time, though, he held onto Aaron Rodgers’ pass and took the ball to the Pittsburgh 2, setting up the touchdown that gave Green Bay its decisive score of Super Bowl XLV. By wiping out a big mistake with an even bigger catch, Jordy Nelson redeemed himself by the time the evening was over.

Super Bowl Odds Factor No. 4: Pittsburgh’s Personal Foul

This wasn’t a backbreaker, but it didn’t exactly help Pittsburgh’s cause. On the final kickoff of the game, following Green Bay’s field goal with 2:07 left, the Steelers – trailing by six points – needed good field position. The kickoff took eight seconds, running the clock to the 1:59 mark and the two-minute warning, thereby robbing Pittsburgh of an extra play. (Had the kickoff return ended at, let’s say, the 2:02 mark, the Steelers would have gotten another snap.) However, something much worse happened to the AFC champions on the play. A dead-ball personal foul penalty, a clear two-handed shove well after the whistle, created a half-the-distance-to-the-goal mark-off of 13 yards. Pittsburgh, in need of a touchdown and nothing else, started at its own 13-yard line. The Steelers’ odds of winning were reduced at that point, and Green Bay’s defense promptly snuffed out Ben Roethlisberger’s last-ditch drive.

NHL Playoffs Preview – Vancouver Canucks at Nashville Predators, Game 3

May 17, 2011

The Nashville Predators levelled the series 1-1 at Rogers Arena on the weekend and thus, they return to Nashville firmly in the race with the Vancouver Canucks for a spot in the Western Conference final and with reasonable confidence that they could move ahead in the series now that they have home advantage in the next two games. 

In spite of the equal footing, the bookies remain adamant in casting the Vancouver Canucks in the starring role of the series. Even going a step further as to tip Game 3 the way of the Canucks and that is telling, indeed. Typically, the bookies give the nod to the home team but not in this case as the Vancouver Canucks are listed as the significant faves at -130 while the Predators are at the significant disadvantage at +110.
So the question must be asked: Will the Canucks rise to the market call? Or will they fall, as the case may be?

NHL Betting Line:

Vancouver Canucks  -1½  +250   -130   5  O +115   U -135    2½  O -115   U -125  

Nashville Predators  +1½  -300   +110  5  O +115   U -135     2½  O +105   U -145 

Game Time: 09:05 PM Eastern Time (06:05 PM Pacific Time) Tuesday 3 May, 2011

NHL Betting Verdict: The Vancouver Canucks go into this game as the hot favourites to win outright, listed at -130. This overwhelming vote of confidence is reflected across all platforms and in just about every single market. This should tickle your fancy if you are a Canucks fan.

Still, it is hard to look past Game 2 and the gritty performance by the Predators as they preserved through regular time and almost two overtimes to snatch a road game at the expense of the market favourites, Canucks. Love or hate the style of game they play, you have to admit that the Predators are a tough team to overcome and the deeper this series goes, the tougher it’ll get.

Somewhere during the playoffs, the Canucks have misplaced their offence and its continued absence is starting to be a tad worrying. Without the offence rolling, it’s hard to see how they’ll survive this series, frankly. Takeaway: who’s to say that Luongo won’t mentally checkout again? Don’t expect Pekka Rinne will.

In fact, one could argue that the signs his veneer might be cracking were visible in Game 2, when he allowed a late goal by the Predators to trickle by him, thereby tying the game and forcing the issue in overtime.
Another observation (from the last three Canucks’ games) is the way the Canucks have been playing around Luongo: it’s as if they don’t trust him and are doing anything and everything possible to keep the puck from him (and vice versa) as much as possible.

This is not the way to play in the playoffs and certainly, it’s not the markings of a Stanley Cup winning team. But you already knew that.

To put it bluntly, the Canucks need to make significant changes in order to win Game 3, namely shaking up their lines to generate offense. Word is that such changes are being made and therefore I would recommend a bet on the Canuck; having said that, I can’t say that I would be surprised if the Predators stunned the Canucks tonight.

NHL Free Picks: Vancouver Canucks -130 | Under 5 -135

Can Garnett, Aging Celtics Cool off Heat and Wade, Cover Online NBA Betting Odds

May 17, 2011

They’ve looked every bit their age and a step slow in falling into an eye-opening 2-0 hole BetOnline online NBA betting fanatics!

Still, the Boston Celtics (60-28 SU, 40-46-2 ATS, 40-47-1 O/U) will have a legitimate chance to bounce back and win Game 3 when they hit their home floor for the first time in their second round series against the Miami Heat (64-25 SU, 44-44-1 ATS, 45-43-1 O/U).

Miami at Boston 8:00 PM ET

TD Garden


NBA Odds

Boston -3

Over/Under 182.5

Key Head-to-Head Trends

• Home team is 4-0 ATS in the last 4 meetings.

• Under is 15-5-1 in the last 21 meetings in Boston.

• Favorite is 15-6 ATS in the last 21 meetings.

• Heat are 0-5 ATS in the last 5 meetings in Boston.

Analysis: Boston has not looked very good at all in falling into an 0-2 hole against the Heat while not scoring more than 91 points in either contest. The aging Celtics are a bit banged up as well with Paul Pierce, Ray Allen and Rajon Rondo all battling injuries.

First, the Celtics got torched by Dwyane Wade for a game-high 38 points in Game 1, before allowing LeBron James to do likewise in putting up 35 points in Game 2.

Miami has now won three straight over Boston dating back to the regular season and they’ve looked increasingly more dominant with each meeting.

The good news for Celtics online NBA betting backers is the fact that Boston has gone 5-0 against the online NBA betting odds in their L/5 home games against Miami and will undoubtedly get a boost of energy from the fired-up home crowd.

Prediction: I’m going to get right down to the matter at hand by saying that Boston’s sheer desperation should help them to find a way to win this game while narrowly covering the BetOnline Bet NBA basketball sportsbook spread.

Miami has lost 10 in a row in Boston and suffered their only loss of the postseason away from home in the first round.

The Celtics will need to get some up tempo play from point guard Rajon Rondo, but that could be questionable with the split personality point guard looking mostly like a nervous rookie these days.

Boston has compiled a blistering 35-8 SU mark on its home floor this season and I expect them to improve on that mark by keeping LeBron James and Dwyane Wade from ‘going off’ in this contest.

If Boston can do a better defensive job on Wade and James, then they could win easily. Unfortunately, I don’t see a blowout win coming in this contest as I expect Boston’s pitiful offense will prevent them from putting some real distance between themselves and Miami.

Still, with the Favorite in this rivalry going a consistent 15-6 against the online NBA betting odds in the L/21 meetings and the Home team going 4-0 ATS in the L/4 meetings, I like the Celtics to bounce back and get the SU and narrow ATS cover.

Keep it simple here BetOnline online NBA betting members and play the Boston Celtics, to get the narrow SU and ATS win in what is the biggest game of the season for them.

NBA Picks: Boston Celtics -3 Points

NFL Betting – Four Reasons The Packers Won The Super Bowl

May 17, 2011

The Green Bay Packers are atop the NFL betting world after a win at Super Bowl XLV! They’ll bring home Lombardi’s Trophy and here are four reasons why it happened:

NFL Betting Reason No. 1: Aaron Rodgers

Championship games in the world of professional football have generally been decided by quarterbacks, but they’re even more reliant on quarterback play now that the NFL’s rules are geared to promote the passing game and high-scoring offenses. Green Bay defensive coordinator Dom Capers, coaching in his first-ever Super Bowl, said he’d focus on stopping Pittsburgh’s passing game, not its running game, and he generally succeeded in that endeavor. However, things were different on the other side of the divide. The Packers’ passing game torched Pittsburgh’s blitz packages and laid waste to the Steelers’ outflanked secondary. Rodgers, playing in his first Super Bowl, threw frozen ropes on a consistent basis and left Pittsburgh’s back line of defense scrambling for most of the evening. Had Green Bay receivers James Jones and Jordy Nelson not dropped several passes (Jones dropped a touchdown pass and Nelson dropped multiple balls in key situations), Rodgers would have eclipsed 400 passing yards on Sunday. As it was, he still kept sticking passes between the numbers of his receivers; Rodgers’ consistency was the biggest key to Green Bay’s winning performance.

NFL Betting Reason No. 2: Greg Jennings

On a night when Jones and Nelson had the dropsies and fellow receiver Donald Driver got injured, Jennings – the Packers’ best remaining receiver – carried the workload. Jennings made two terrific touchdown catches, one of them after taking a huge hit from Steeler safety Troy Polamalu. It was Jennings who repeatedly rose to the occasion precisely when Green Bay desperately needed a big play. Rodgers needed a reliable target when his third and fourth receivers couldn’t do the job. Jennings provided that boost to his quarterback, and Green Bay couldn’t have won Super Bowl XLV without it.

NFL Betting Reason No. 3: Tramon Williams

While Charles Woodson got knocked out of the game with an injury in the second quarter and Sam Shields got injured to the point that his physical capabilities were diminished (Shields still played, but he got smoked by Pittsburgh’s Mike Wallace on a fourth-quarter touchdown pass that sliced Green Bay’s lead to 28-23), there was still one anchor in the Packer secondary during the second half of Super Bowl XLV. Williams played a horrible game on special teams; he muffed one punt (though he recovered the muff), allowed a second punt to bounce 20 yards, and committed a personal foul after allowing that second punt to bounce 20 yards. Williams robbed his team of ample field position, but he more than made up the difference with his stellar play as a cover corner. Williams broke up multiple passes from his spot on the field, repeatedly limiting options for Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. Williams broke up Roethlisberger’s final fourth-and-five pass to seal the Packers’ win in the final minute. At a time when Green Bay’s secondary was alarmingly thin, Williams produced the huge plays that enabled the Packers to hang on for the win.

NFL Betting Reason No. 4: Charles Woodson

Before Pittsburgh nearly erased an 18-point deficit, the Steelers had to fall behind by 18 points in the first place. Woodson was at the center of Green Bay’s 21-3 surge in the game’s first 28 minutes. Woodson completely shut down Pittsburgh’s prime playmaker, Hines Ward, the MVP of Super Bowl XL in 2006. It was only when Woodson left the game with an injury late in the first half that Pittsburgh began to move the ball with regularity. He wasn’t around for the finish, but Woodson helped Green Bay gain the upper hand and limit Pittsburgh’s margin for error the rest

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