Oklahoma City Thunder Vs San Antonio Spurs NBA Playoff Best-Of-Seven Series Expert Pick

Oklahoma City Vs San Antonio NBA Playoff Best-Of-7 Series Expert Pick

While Golden State continues its first round playoff battle with Houston, the Oklahoma City Thunder and San Antonio Spurs have already moved on. In one of the most anticipated playoff series of the 2016 NBA Season, San Antonio battles Oklahoma City starting this Saturday, April 30.

The Spurs looked great when dispatching of a beat-up and overmatched Memphis team 4 to 0 in Round 1. Oklahoma City looked equally great when taking care of Dallas 4 to 1 in their first round playoff series. Who will win in what’s expected to be the most competitive series of the 2016 NBA Playoffs?  Keep reading to find out my take!

Oklahoma City Thunder Vs San Antonio Spurs NBA Playoff Best-Of-Seven Series Expert Pick

Why Bet On The Oklahoma City Thunder To Beat The Spurs

The key takeaway from Oklahoma City’s 4 to 1 series win over Dallas is that the Thunder didn’t need both Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook to dominate. One or the other had to dominate in each win, but both didn’t have to dominate for OKC to beat Dallas. That’s important because other players on Oklahoma City’s team will have to really step it up if the Thunder hopes to have any shot of upsetting the Spurs in 7 games.

In the Thunder’s 118 to 109 win over the Mavericks on April 23, Enes Kanter scored 28 points and grabbed 3 boards. Dion Waiters scored 12 points grabbed 4 boards and dished 4 assists. Steve Adams had 14 points, 8 rebounds and 2 assists. Serge Ibaka, who was great throughout the series save for Game 5, scored 15 points and grabbed 5 rebounds. If Oklahoma City can continue to get great production from players like Kanter, Ibaka, Adams and Waiters, they’ll have a shot to take down San Antonio

Why Bet On The San Antonio Spurs To Beat The Thunder

The Spurs have won 6 games in a row. They are 4 and 2 ATS in those 6 games. San Antonio dominated Memphis on the defensive end in every single one of their wins over the Grizzlies in Round 1. If the Spurs are going to beat Oklahoma City, they’ll have to be great defensively again. San Antonio is ranked first in the NBA in points per game at 92.9. They are ranked first in the NBA in 3-point percentage allowed at 33.1%.

Those numbers are great. Unfortunately for the Spurs, they haven’t been able to shut down Oklahoma City’s offense. San Antonio lost 106 to 112 to Oklahoma City on Oct. 28 last year. In game 2 against the Thunder, San Antonio held OKC to 85 points in a 93 to 85 win. But in the third game between the 2 teams, Oklahoma City beat San Antonio 111 to 92.

My Thunder Vs Spurs Best-Of-Seven Series Pick

San Antonio, as I expected, sort of played possum throughout the regular season. In the 111 to 92 loss to the Thunder, LaMarcus Aldridge, Kawhi Leonard, Tony Parker, Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili sat on the bench. That won’t happen in this series.

When the 2 teams played each other straight up, both at full strength, San Antonio easily handled OKC 93 to 85. In that game, the Spurs held the Thunder to 38.3% from the field and 11.1% from three. At least 4 of the first 6 games during this series should go that way with San Antonio’s defense frustrating Oklahoma City’s offense.

San Antonio will give legitimate minutes to 10 to 12 players on their team while OKC is likely to go only 6 to 7 deep. The Spurs have a chance of tiring out Westbrook and Durant in the series. I like the Spurs to win it.

Pick: San Antonio in 6 games  

Posted in NBA
NHL Playoff 2nd Round Series Picks

NHL Playoff 2nd Round Series Picks

At the time of writing 3 of the 4 NHL Playoff Second Round matchups are set. The New York Islanders beat the Florida Panthers 2 to 1 in overtime on April 24 to march into Round 2. The Islanders battle last year’s Eastern Conference Champion Tampa Bay in the second round.

Dallas takes on St. Louis in Round 2. St. Louis ended Chicago’s dream of back to back titles. The third matchup might be the most intriguing when the Pittsburgh Penguins take on the top team in the NHL this season, the Washington Capitals.

A Closer Look At My NHL Stanley Cup Playoff Second Round Series Picks

New York Islanders vs Tampa Bay Lightning

Even without Steven Stamkos, their best player, Tampa Bay has been terrific during the playoffs. They dominated the Detroit Red Wings 4 to 1 in the first round. The Lightning has turned it up big time. Someone different seems to step it up for Tampa Bay in every game. On April 19 Nikita Kucherov dominated with 2 goals and an assist in the Lightning’s 3 to 2 win. On April 21, goalie Ben Bishop made 34 saves while Alex Killorn is the man who scored the goal in Tampa’s 1 to 0 win over Detroit.

The Islanders played well in the first round. The difference is that New York won 3 of their 4 games versus Florida in overtime. The Islanders should be a great team in the future. But, it’s difficult to see them beating Tampa Bay in a 7-game series this season. I have to go with the team with experience. The Lightning takes it.

Pick: Tampa Bay in 6 games

Dallas Stars vs St. Louis Blues

I like how Dallas stuck with their game plan in order to beat Minnesota 4 to 2 in Round 1. The Stars leaned on an offense that averages 3.2 goals per game, tops in NHL, and 32 shots per game, ranked third in NHL. If they have the offense clicking versus the Blues, they’ll make the series close against St. Louis.

But St. Louis finally got over the hump. The defending champion Chicago Blackhawks were one of the favorites to win the Stanley Cup in 2016. St. Louis started the playoffs as an 8 to 1 underdog to take home Lord Stanley’s hardware. Beating Chicago is a huge step for a team like St. Louis who has added a decent offense to go along with their usually stellar defense. I think that the Blues carry the momentum from beating the Blackhawks into Round 2. I like St. Louis to take the series against Dallas.

Pick:  St. Louis in 7 games

Washington Capitals vs Pittsburgh Penguins

The Penguins have been hot. No doubt about that. But we have to put Pittsburgh’s 4 to 2 Round 1 series win against the New York Rangers in perspective. Henrik Lundqvist, the Rangers’ future hall of fame goalie, wasn’t 100% for the series. Try as he might, he just couldn’t be effective enough to help the Rangers stave off Pitt’s great offense.

Things are going to be different versus the Caps. Washington is the most complete team in NHL. The Caps are ranked second in NHL in both goals per game at 3.0 and goals allowed per game at 2.3. They are ranked in the Top 10 in goals shot and goals shot against.

Pitt has to win this series with their offense. Washington can win the series with either their offense or their defense. It won’t be easy, but the Capitals should take it.

Pick:  Washington in 7 games

Posted in NHL
10 Biggest NFL Betting Spreads Of 2016

10 Biggest NFL Betting Spreads Of 2016

The Las Vegas NFL oddsmakers have already come out with betting spreads for every regular season NFL game. Some of the spreads are absolutely massive. Here are the 10 biggest opening spreads of the season and if you should put your hard earned betting bucks on either side. Click here for more NFL ATS analysis. Happy Hunting!

Which Of 10 Biggest NFL Spreads Of 2016 Should You Bet?

  • Week 3 – San Francisco 49’ers at Seattle Seahawks (-14)
    Although giving up 2 touchdowns is a lot, I’m not sure that the Seahawks don’t win by 3 touchdowns versus San Francisco on Citi Field. Seattle has to figure out a way to fix their offensive line. If they do, they’ll destroy the spread in this. If not, SF will have a shot to cover.
  • Week 2 – San Francisco 49’ers at Carolina Panthers (-11.5)
    Carolina is the play. I think that the Panthers are hungrier in 2016 than 2015 after the defeat to Denver in the Super Bowl. The Panthers will overpower the 49’ers from the opening kickoff. San Francisco is in trouble in Week 2.
  • Week 7 – Cleveland Browns at Cincinnati Bengals (-11.5)
    The Bengals should cover the spread against a Browns team that is not favored in a single game this season. But unlike so many other people, I think that Cleveland has done a good job reworking their team. They don’t seem to have the players. Then again, they’ll have a clean slate going into this Thursday’s draft. The Browns could surprise Cincinnati with a tough battle in Week 7.
  • Week 10 – San Francisco 49’ers at Arizona Cardinals (-10.5)
    If Arizona drafts a player to give them depth in their secondary on Thursday, there’s a chance they end up as my pick to win the Super Bowl. Arizona is on the cusp of being a great team. San Francisco is rebuilding without a lot of pieces to rebuild with. The Desert Birds roll.
  • Week 5 – Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Carolina Panthers (-10)
    This spread seems like a lot of points to me. I think that Tampa Bay is going to be much improved on both sides of the ball in 2016. The defense is a pass rusher away from being very good. Carolina could be in tough in Week 5.
  • Week 6 – Atlanta Falcons at Seattle Seahawks (-10)
    This is another spread that makes me scratch my head. Dan Quinn is the philosophical mastermind behind Seattle’s defense. He’s a linebacker away from having the same type of defense in Atlanta. I can’t imagine Atlanta’s offense being as one-dimensional this season as it was last season. I’m taking the points.
  • Week 9 – Buffalo Bills at Seattle Seahawks (-10)
    A no brainer. Buffalo just isn’t strong enough mentally to keep this game close. Again, the Seahawks offensive line needs some work, but Buffalo might be out of the playoff chase by Week 9. Also, I have no faith in Rex Ryan getting his team ready to battle the Seahawks on the road.
  • Week 11 – New Orleans Saints at Carolina Panthers (-10)
    The odds makers think that the Panthers are getting a lot of love this season, don’t they?  10 point favoritism over a team that up until last season owned them on the gridiron? New Orleans offense was a Top 5 unit last season. The defense will be much improved under Dennis Allen and they signed LB James Laurinaitis. New Orleans is the play.
  • Week 14 – San Diego Chargers at Carolina Panthers (-10)
    I don’t understand how the San Diego Chargers, who signed WR Travis Benjamin and have the third pick in the NFL Draft, are giving 10 points to the Carolina Panthers on the road. Yes, Carolina is a very good team. But, San Diego won’t be a bad team. I like the Bolts.
  • Week 15 – Los Angeles Rams at Seattle Seahawks (-10)
    The Rams could be a good team or really bad team this season. There’s just no way to tell. Since there’s no way to tell at this point, I have to roll the dice and expect the Rams to keep the game close in Week 15.
Posted in NFL