Tag: Sports

2018 NBA Draft: Projected Top 10 Picks

The 2018 NBA draft is just three weeks away and because there are so few players on a roster, no league’s draft impacts the teams more than the NBA one does. Draft night is always a wild affair with trades, movement, and rights flying from one team to the next, which makes projecting the actual draft very difficult. As a result, a big board will review who might be the top 10 picks without regard for individual team needs or preference.

#1 DeAndre Ayton – Arizona

Ayton is a physically imposing figure who is over 7 feet tall and pure muscle. He fits in today’s NBA because he can shoot threes and defend every position. Ayton answers the question, ‘What would happen if you combined Shaq and Al Horford,” c combination which makes him the top prospect in the draft.

#2 Luka Doncic – Spain

Doncic has already played basketball professionally, and he has demonstrated an outstanding feel for the game. He is a 6 foot 8 point guard with elite passing skills, but a limited shot. In other words, he is Spanish League Ben Simmons or Oversized Ricky Rubio depending on the level of optimism one has for his outlook.

#3 Marvin Bagley – Duke

Bagley was one of the most productive players in the nation last season, averaging 20+ points and over 10 rebounds a game. The Duke product is a pure athlete, who can score basically at will. The obvious comparison is Justice Winslow because of their school, left-handedness, and even their hair. Bagley’s ceiling is higher than Winslow’s, but he is currently less skilled.

#4 Michael Porter – Missouri

If Porter had not gotten hurt, he would probably have been the first pick in the draft. Teams have to worry about Porter’s back, but the all-around talent is obvious. For a team with depth and a bonus lottery pick (think Philadelphia) a guy like Porter is absolutely worth the risk. Other organization may not want to take a leap of faith on Porter, but based off of talent alone he will be intriguing to many teams.

#5 Mo Bamba – Texas

Bamba is an elite defender and projects as the best rim protector in the draft. Known for his intelligence and length, Bamba could evolve into a captain and leader reminiscent of a player like Robert Parrish. It is unclear what his offensive game will look like down the road, but he can definitely play a Clint Capela-like lob game right now.

#6 Jaren Jackson – Michigan State

Many scouts feel that Jackson can easily be one of the top 3 players in the draft class because of his shooting ability combined with his size. Jackson needs to show more before being placed that highly on the big board. He only averaged 10 and 6 at Michigan State this year and he is not so athletic that he jumps off of the screen. Anyone taking Jackson this high is assuming a bit of a risk because he may not develop in the way that the team hopes he will.

#7 Colin Sexton – Alabama

Sexton plays a bombs-away style suited for today’s NBA game. He is athletic and fearless when it comes to attacking or taking a long 3. Sexton is a shoot-first point guard which will not fit in every system, so whichever NBA team drafts Sexton they need to have alignment between coach and player or it could go south quickly.

#8 Kevin Knox – Kentucky

Knox is a prototypical NBA 3 from about 6 years ago. He is long and slender with athleticism and a strong shot. In today’s NBA with more switching and position-less basketball, he will get taken advantage of in the post until he can get a little bit bigger. Right now he is a more slender Otto Porter, but an NBA diet, workout plan, and aging will help Knox physically.

#9 Wendell Carter – Duke

Just about every draft expert has Carter a few places higher, but he does not really have a position. NBA teams are more likely to draft someone with athleticism and upside like Sexton or Knox than grab a steady, but limited player like Carter. Carter is like Elton Brand and would have been a much more desirable player in an older era of the NBA. A fall outside of the top 10 would not be a shock.

#10 Trae Young – Oklahoma

NBA teams will love Young’s range and guts, but he clearly needs better coaching and a shorter leash than he had at OU. Many people compare him to Steph Curry, but the concern is that he will have a career more like fellow Oklahoma alum Buddy Hield. Young will probably go higher than 10th, but at only 180 pounds he is likely to become a defensive liability. His shooting skills are intriguing, but his one-dimensional nature is a concern.

The NBA draft is coming up on June 21st and teams will have to decide if they want to grab the guy with upside or the more NBA-ready talent. If a franchise wants shooting, the class of 18 has that and there are rim protectors as well. Tune in to see all of the draft day craziness as the future of the NBA is picked in three weeks.

NBA Playoffs Second Round Series with Best Chance to Go 7 Games

The NBA Playoffs second round is set to begin this week. There are some very intriguing matchups set to take place, with some familiar teams in the mix. The Western Conference appears to feature two dominant teams, Houston Rockets and Golden State Warriors. The Eastern Conference meanwhile appears to be wide open. The Boston Celtics will take on the Philadelphia 76ers in what should be a very competitive series, but won’t last 7 games. The Toronto Raptors and the Cleveland Cavaliers are set to square off in a series that is almost certain to go the distance.

LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers

The Cleveland Cavaliers almost didn’t make it to the second round, but were able to hold off the Indiana Pacers in game 7 to advance. The Cavaliers were able to survive thanks to a historic performance from LeBron. James averaged over 33 points and 10 rebounds per game in that 7 game series. LeBron was even better in game 7, scoring 45 points to lead the Cavs to the series win.

The problem for Cleveland is that they have yet to find anyone who will consistently step up to support James. Kevin Love is the only other player who averaged double figures in round 1, and he only averaged 11.0 points per game. In round 2, the Cavaliers must find more scoring options if they want to advance.

Toronto’s Depth Carries Them

The Toronto Raptors are once again led by DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry, but they have plenty of help behind them. DeRozan led the Raptors in round 1 by averaging 26.7 points per game. Lowry, meanwhile, averaged 8.3 assists per game and is great at putting his teammates in a great position to score.

The Raptors have plenty of star power, but it has been their depth that has powered them so far in the playoffs. Toronto had 11 different players average over 10 minutes per game in round 1, and head coach Dwane Casey has a variety of different options that he can use. Casey is a top candidate for Coach of the Year Award in the NBA this season.

Season Series:

The Cleveland Cavaliers and the Toronto Raptors faced off three times during the regular season, with the Cavaliers winning two of those games. The Raptors blew out the Cavaliers on January 11, beating them 133-99. This game took place before the trade deadline, and the Cavs roster was a lot different at the time. After the roster overhaul, the Cavs defeated the Raptors in both of their meetings. Cleveland beat the Raptors on March 31, 132-129, and on April 3, 112-106. All three games were extremely high scoring affairs, and this playoff series should be no different.

Recent Playoff History

This is the third straight season that these two teams will square off in the Eastern Conference Playoffs. The Cavaliers have had the upper hand in recent years, and own an 8-2 overall playoff record against the Raptors. In 2016, Toronto gave the Cavs a battle in the Eastern Conference Finals before ultimately falling, 4 games to 2. Last year, the Cavaliers swept the Raptors in the Eastern Conference Semifinals en route to another NBA Finals appearance. The Raptors constructed their roster in a way to challenge the Cavs, and they feel they are more ready to compete this season. LeBron James doesn’t seem ready to give up his throne as Eastern Conference champion.

Team Comparison

The Toronto Raptors and the Cleveland Cavaliers were both top 5 scoring teams during the regular season. The Raptors however were much better than the Cavaliers in points allowed. The Raptors were tied for the top spot in opponent’s scoring average and also finished 2nd in the NBA in scoring margin. The Cavaliers have not been a very good defensive team all season, and that trend continued in round 1 of the playoffs.

Why the Series Will Go 7 Games

On paper it appears that the Toronto Raptors are the much better team, but they don’t have LeBron James on their roster. LeBron is the best player on the planet, and he proved in round 1 that he will not let the Cavaliers get knocked out easily. Toronto knows that the depth of their roster is much better than that of the Cavs, but they don’t have that one player that can win them a game if needed. Toronto is tired of getting eliminated by the Cavaliers, and they appear to be primed and ready to exact some revenge this season. LeBron James appears ready to deliver whatever is needed of him in order to stay atop the Eastern Conference. The Raptors are good enough to push the Cavaliers to the brink, but must prove it can deliver the knock out blow. This will be a series that will be talked about for a long time.

2018 NCAA Final Four in San Antonio

The Final Four has finally arrived after providing us with 62 March Madness games to watch, cheer, and most importantly gamble upon.

There are only the three Final Four games left on the NCAA Men’s College Basketball Schedule. Let’s look at how the games might play out and how to best gamble upon them.

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Gambling tip: Before we get to the specifics of any of the games, it is important to note how spreads tend to move, especially prior to big events like the Final Four. In general, the professionals (called sharps) tend to bet on the underdog right away and the closer the game is to starting, the more the betting public (squares) tend to bet the favorite.

Why do we care that sharp money goes on the underdogs first and square on the favorite later? It dictates when you should place your bet depending on how you think the game will go. Michigan and Villanova both opened as bigger favorites than they are right now.

In other words, if you think Michigan or Villanova will cover, bet them now while they are 5 point favorites. By game time, they might be more like 5.5 or 6. Conversely, if you like Loyola or Kansas, try to place your bets close to the time in which the game starts because they will pick up the extra half point or two.

Michigan vs Loyola
Spread: Michigan -5
Over/Under 129.5

Michigan has been outstanding during the last two postseason runs, posting a 16-1 record and winning two Big Ten championships in a row. Michigan haters will say that they did not beat any top teams during their march to San Antonio, but they did defeat Michigan State and Purdue en route to their Big 10 championship win in New York.
Loyola has been balanced offensively and has the highest rated defensive efficiency of the four remaining teams. (They were second in the Elite Eight in that metric.) The Ramblers have also demonstrated late game toughness and proven they can win close games.

Both teams are well-coached and take care of the ball. They also use efficient offenses that are slower paced compared to most of the NCAA teams. Loyola is fantastic around the rim offensively and Michigan has big men who can shoot threes.

The two teams have similar profiles, but Michigan is bigger, faster, stronger, and therefore should be able to win. The question of course, is by how much.

Michigan does not shoot free throws all that well, which is being kind as they were the 321st ranked team in the country from the line. If Michigan gets a late lead, they may not be able to salt the game away, which can be exceptionally frustrating for Michigan backers.

Picks: Betting over 129.5 is the play in this one because both coaches will look to extend by fouling to the bitter end. Consider taking the under in the first half and the over in the second if you are able to find betting lines by each half.
In terms of the outcome, the Michigan moneyline is safer than the point spread because of the nature of the two teams and UM’s inability to knock down free throws. Forced to choose a side, there is a slight lean toward Loyola, but not with conviction.

Villanova vs. Kansas
Spread: Villanova -5
Over/Under: 155

Villanova has been printing money for Wildcat backers this tournament. Each game they seem to ride a scoring wave that drowns the opponent, and they play a disciplined brand of basketball that does not allow their opponents to get back in the game.

Villanova has also demonstrated an ability to win by knocking down threes, or going inside, or playing fast, or playing slow, or breaking the press, or winning with a half-court offense. Whichever way Kansas tries to play Nova, the Cats will be ready.

One of the biggest challenges for KU will be figuring out how to use Azubuike defensively because in man-to-man the Villanova big men will pull him 25 feet from the net. If he fails to step out, they can all knock down long shots, which may force KU into a zone.

On the other hand, Kansas has shooters that can hit from anywhere on the floor, which can be a great equalizer. There are not many ways to stop a team if they are knocking 3s down from 30 feet away, and KU is one of few teams that can consistently do so.

Kansas has senior leaders at the guard position, which provide invaluable leadership. Bill Self’s team demonstrated more poise on Sunday, and Kansas was ready for a Duke zone that had wreaked havoc on multiple good offensive teams this season.

Picks: Grab Villanova now before the line gets closer to 6 or even 7. Kansas was buoyed by what amounted to a home crowd in Omaha, which is generally worth 2.5 to 3 points to bettors. San Antonio may lean Kansas’ way, but it will not be as heavily partisan for the Jayhawks as it was last round.

The Final Four gives bettors three more games to wager upon. Take the over in the Michigan-Loyola game and Villanova in the Villanova-Kansas one. One last wager to consider: parlay the Michigan and Villanova moneylines and cash the tickets.

Make sure you check out our US sports betting sites for all the best odds!

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Odds to win NCAA Tournament – 2018

We love College Basketball, and we love the NCAA Tournament. The end of the regular season is right around the corner, and there are going to be some fantastic regular season games, and then conference tournament action. But, one thing that we want to get to you is future bets to win the NCAA Basketball National Title. Let’s take a look at the best odds to win the 2018 NCAA title.

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Michigan State Spartans 9/2:

The Michigan State Spartans are still one of the favorites to win the NCAA Basketball tournament. Tom Izzo has been under fire for a couple weeks with some issues going on at the University. This team is still really good, and have one of the most talented players in all of College Basketball. The Spartans have Miles Bridges, and they have some great pieces around him. The Spartans are contending at the top of the Big Ten, and have always been a tough team to beat in the tournament.

Villanova Wildcats 9/2:

This is a team that has emerged into a great power this season. The Wildcats are a year removed from winning a national title, and have several pieces involved with that team. The Wildcats have just one loss this season, and hte offense are tough to defend. Look for Villanova to shoot lights out in the tournament, and be quite a tough team to take down, as possibly the top overall seed in the tournament.

Duke Blue Devils 6/1:

Despite some of their struggles, Duke is third in the odds to win the national title. The Blue Devils are ahead of Virginia, who beat them earlier this season. The Blue Devils have question marks on the defensive side, and are still young. The talent is there. If the NCAA Tournament was won on talent alone, the Blue Devils would be the run away champions.

Purdue Boilermakers 7/1:

Matt Painter and his Boilermakers are absolutely on fire, and are a win over Ohio State away from taking down the regular season crown in the Big Ten. The Boilermakers can shoot the outside shot, and can also pound the basketball in the pain. Purdue is a great defensive team, which makes them a great candidate to go all the way when the tournament arrives.

Virginia Cavaliers 7/1:

Just like the Duke Blue Devils had some question marks on the defensive side, the Virginia Cavaliers have the same questions on the offensive side. So far this season, Tony Bennett and his team have gotten through that without too much of a problem. The Cavaliers are going to be battle tested, but when you struggle to score, your chances go down in a win or go home type situation.

Arizona Wildcats 16/1:

One of the teams that were favorites at the beginning of the season are still around. Sean Miller and his Wildcats started a little slow, but they have been red hot since. The Wildcats are the best team out of the Pac-12, and can move the basketball up and down the court nearly as quick as any team in the nation. The Wildcats have decent value on their odds to win it all.

Kansas Jayhawks 16/1:

It’s not the best team that Bill Self has coached at Kansas, but they are still right there. This is a team that can shoot the basketball as well as anyone. Guards win big games, and the Jayhawks guards are talented. It will be interesting to see if Kansas can take down their 14th straight Big 12 title before the tournament begins.

Oklahoma Sooners 18/1:

Trae Young is really good. The guy can shoot, the guy can pass, and he is likely the player of the year in College Basketball. But, do the Sooners have enough around Young to go take down 6 wins in the NCAA Tournament?

Kentucky Wildcats 20/1:

The Kentucky Wildcats are young – again. But, this is a talented basketball team. Coach John Calipari has said he thinks his team has the most upside of any team in the nation. The Wildcats are likely not going to win the SEC, but this is a team that can emerge with several tournament wins come March.

There is a look at the 2018 NCAA Basketball Title. We look forward to the NCAA Basketball tournament, and the action within March Madness. Best of luck with all your College Basketball betting for future bets, and individual games. Enjoy all your US sports betting.

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Teams Look to Clinch Playoff Spot in NFL Week 16

The National Football League is down to it’s final two weeks of the regular season. Three teams out of the AFC and 2 out of the NFC have already sealed their spot into the postseason. Many other teams are looking to clinch their spot in Week 16. There are other teams that need to win to stay alive for the postseason. Let’s take a look at some of the best games in the National Football League for Week 16:

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Carolina Panthers -10 over Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are not a very good team, and now they are coming into this game on a short week. The Buccaneers lost in a tough game on Monday Night Football. They do not have a ton to play for, and Cam Newton and the Panthers need a win to seal their spot. Look for Newton to have a monster game against the poor passing defense of Tampa Bay. Carolina wins this game with a ton of Cam Newton and Christian McCaffrey on Sunday afternoon, and the 2015 NFC Champions are back in the postseason.

Buffalo Bills +12 over New England Patriots

There is no doubt who the better team is in this AFC East battle, but their is one team that is more desperate than the other. LeSean McCoy and the Buffalo Bills are in a three way tie for the final wildcard spot in the AFC. Buffalo is at New England – the team that is the top seed in the AFC right now. Look for McCoy to have a pretty solid game, and keep the Bills into the game. In the end, Tom Brady takes care of business, but not before the Bills cover this spread on Sunday.

New Orleans Saints -5 over Atlanta Falcons

Two teams out of the NFC South that are looking to get into the postseason will get together. Both teams need just one win to get into the playoffs. New Orleans holds a game lead, along with Carolina over the Falcons. Drew Brees and company lost on Thursday Night Football in Atlanta in Week 14. There is no doubt they are thinking revenge in this game. The Saints put a bunch of points on the board against a tired Atlanta defense and win this game going away, leaving the Falcons and Panthers in Week 17 as a huge game.

New York Jets +7 over Los Angeles Chargers

Sure – it’s tough to think that Bryce Petty can actually win a National Football League game – but if they are going to do it – it will be over the Los Angeles Chargers. The Chargers look deflated following their loss to Kansas City in Week 15. Look for the Jets to control the tempo of this game with their ground game. The Jets come away with a massive home upset over the Chargers eliminating them from postseason play. Take the Jets to cover the spread and win this game on Sunday.

Los Angeles Rams -6 over Tennessee Titans

NFL Bets

Both teams could use a win, but with a Rams win, they are in the postseason as the winners of the NFC South. For the Titans – they need a win as they are in the mix for the wildcard. The Bills and Ravens are the other two teams in the mix. The Rams ground game has been fantastic, and Jared Goff is doing what he can to take care of the football for Los Angeles. The Rams are looking forward to the postseason after a long drought. Look for Sean McVay and the Rams to go to Nashville and beat the Titans on Sunday.

Dallas Cowboys -5 over Seattle Seahawks

The Sunday afternoon game of the Week features two teams that are on life support. Both teams have to win their final two games, and get help from other teams in the league. The Cowboys have Ezekiel Elliott back, and they are going against a brutal Seattle defense right now. The Seahawks are banged up, and the run defense is just brutally bad right now. The Cowboys stay alive with a home win over the Seahawks sending Pete Carroll’s crew home.

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Oakland Raiders +10 over Philadelphia Eagles

The Eagles have the #1 seed in the NFC, but are vulnerable to a loss before the postseason starts. Oakland lost in a crushing game last week. Look for Christmas Night to give Derek Carr and the Raiders an opportunity to come away with a win. Unfortunately, it’s probably going to be too little for the Raiders, as the best they can do is finish 8-8 on the season. But, on Christmas Night the Raiders +10 is a great bet over the Philadelphia Eagles.

Best of luck with all your National Football League betting and Merry Christmas!

Thanksgiving Games Featured in NFL Week 12 Action

The National Football League has turned the page to Week 12 of the season. Typically, we would see the Thursday Night Football game on the schedule, but with Thanksgiving this week – we get treated to a trio of games in the National Football League. Those three games headline the schedule for Week 12 of the season, but do not stand alone. Let’s take a look at the National Football League schedule for Week 12, and give a few of our favorite picks of the Week!

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Detroit Lions +3 over Minnesota Vikings 

The Detroit Lions can get right back into the NFC North race with a win in this game. Matthew Stafford and the Detroit Lions great passing offense gets a chance to battle the tough Minnesota defense. The Vikings have allowed just 172 points, which is the fewest in the NFC. This should be a great battle, and despite the injuries for Minnesota – they are faring well with the second best record in the NFC. Look for Stafford and the passing offense to get after it and torch the Minnesota defense. The Lions get their 7th win of the season and win on Thanksgiving Day over the Vikings.

Los Angeles Chargers pick’em over Dallas Cowboys

The Dallas Cowboys just have too many injuries. It’s odd to think about it – but the Los Angeles Chargers have a better chance of reaching the postseason than the Dallas Cowboys. The Chargers at 4-6 on the season are in the dumpster fire known as the AFC. They have a chance to reach the postseason, at just a game back. Look for the Chargers to continue scoring points, after dumping 52 on the Buffalo Bills. The Cowboys are going to lose their third straight game and basically be eliminated from a chance to get to the postseason. The Chargers score 30+ points in this game and down the Dallas Cowboys on Thanksgiving Day!

Washington Redskins -7 over New York Giants

Sure – the New York Giants won last week – but was it more about the Giants being good or the Chiefs being bad? Regardless – the Giants pulled the upset of the season, downing the Kansas City Chiefs. Now, New York will look to all but eliminate the Washington Redskins on Thanksgiving Night. The problem is – the Redskins have done enough damage to themselves, with a blown lead and loss to the Saints last weekend. But, the Redskins are going to bounce back. The New York Giants cannot keep up with the Redskins on the offensive end in this game. Look for a big game from Kirk Cousins as the Redskins win their 5th of the season on Thanksgiving Night!

Carolina Panthers -5 over New York Jets

On Sunday – an intriguing game as the Carolina Panthers are hot right now. They have won three straight games, and are looking to keep pace or catch the New Orleans Saints in the NFC South. This has a huge game for Cam Newton written all over it. The Jets are at home, but their defense has not been known as a defense to shut down a good offense. Carolina has been a pretty good offense more than not, and they are going to be well rested coming off their bye week. Look for the Panthers to get by the Jets, and just enough to cover the spread. Carolina Panthers beat the New York Jets on Sunday.

Philadelphia Eagles -13 over Chicago Bears 

We have the best team in the National Football League going up against one of the worst teams in the National Football League. Turn out the lights – this party is over. If this game was in Chicago, the Bears may be able to stick around – but in Philadelphia – Mitch Trubisky and the Bears are dead ducks. The Eagles are lighting up the scoreboard against any and every team they play. Look for that to not be any different against John Fox and his Bears. On Sunday – the Philadelphia Eagles beat the Chicago Bears by likely 3 touchdowns or more.

Pittsburgh Steelers -14 over Green Bay Packers

This was probably circled on the schedule at the beginning of the season as one of the best games of the season. Both teams were probably projected to be fighting for a divisional championship, and maybe heading for Super Bowl rematch. But – then Aaron Rodgers got hurt. The Green Bay Packers are all but dead. Brett Hundley and the Packers offense is unable to move the ball, and now they get a really good Steelers defense, and a Steelers offense that is starting to hit their stride. This has the potential of getting pretty ugly in Pittsburgh on Sunday Night Football. Look for another Antonio Brown big game and the Steelers win big over the Packers.

There is a look at the National Football League showcase of games for Week 12 of the season. Best of luck with all your National Football League betting, and enjoy the action on Thanksgiving. These games and much more are part of the great selection of games when participating in US sports betting.


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