The Breakfast Spread: NBA Playoffs Are Set, Golfers Tee Off At Augusta
The NBA playoff matchups are set after 22 teams played their season finales Wednesday night. The Nationals ran Phillies fans out of Citizens Bank Park on their way to a 14-1 rout. Today, the Detroit Tigers hope to maintain their AL Central lead over the Cleveland Indians. Most importantly, the Masters is here! Here’s a sports betting recap from Wednesday and a lookahead to Thursday.
NBA Playoffs Set
Heading into Wednesday, all eight Western Conference playoff teams had clinched their postseason bids for over week, but only two of those teams were locked into a specific seed.
Golden State had sealed home court and the No. 5 seed Utah Jazz, who were playing the LA Clippers, couldn’t catch up to the Houston Rockets with a win nor fall behind the San Antonio Spurs or Oklahoma City Thunder with a loss.
The most interesting games of the night involved the Houston Rockets, Denver Nuggets, Portland Trail Blazers, and Oklahoma City Thunder.
The Thunder beat the Milwaukee Bucks 127-116 to win outright as 4.5-point underdogs, clinching the sixth seed in the West, while Denver and Portland won their season finales to claim the second and third seeds, respectively. The NBA will be on break until Saturday when 8 of the 16 playoff teams face off. Here’s the full playoff picture:
Stat of the Day
The Trail Blazers needed a come-from-behind victory after allowing 87 points in the first half to the Sacramento Kings. Portland only played six players all game but were able to come back after Sacramento benched their starters for the second half.
Nats Rout Phillies
The Washington Nationals (+130) smashed Philadelphia Phillies’ right hander Nick Pivetta while Washington’s pitching staff allowed only three hits in a 14-1 win.
Amazingly, the Nats knocked in 14 without hitting a single home run. Third baseman Anthony Rendon contributed three RBIs, recording his tenth straight game with a hit.
At 6-5 the Nats are now one game back from the Phillies, Braves and Mets, who are tied at the top of the NL East with 7-4 records.
Lunch Date on the Diamond
Five baseball games will start by 1:15pm ET today, including a divisional game between the Detroit Tigers and Cleveland Indians.
At 8-4, the Tigers sit a half-game ahead of the Cleveland Indians (7-4) for first place in the AL Central after a 4-1 win against the Indians Wednesday.
Detroit has started off hot despite scoring the fewest runs in the league. Yesterday, Detroit closer Shane Greene became the first pitcher in MLB history to have eight saves in the first 12 games of the season.
The Indians will throw right hander Shane Bieber against Detroit’s Spencer Turnbull.
Turnbull (0-1, 4.09) wasn’t expected to be in Detroit’s starting rotation this season until starter Michael Fulmer injured himself during spring training. His first start didn’t go as planned, but he bounced back with a a 10-strikeout performance against the Kansas City Royals.
Bieber (0-0, 3.38 era) has one relief appearance and one start for the year. In his most recent outing, he struck out nine batters in six innings.
Both pitchers have shown potential, but Detroit can’t continue to simply rely on their pitching to win games. Cleveland will outscore them here while Detroit’s bats continue to struggle against 23-year-old Bieber. Breakfast Pick: Cleveland Indians -122.
Matt Wallace won Wednesday’s Par 3 contest in extra holes against Sandy Lyle. Wallace hopes to parlay that win into a green jacket this weekend, but the odds will be stacked against him. 170 of them, in fact. Jordan Spieth didn’t win, but he did pull off a nice trick shot.
Wallace joins five other golfers at +17000 odds on FanDuel Sportsbook, including Lucas Bjerregaard, Hao Tong Li, Tyrrell Hatton, and Charles Howell. Not far behind are notable golfers Keith Mitchell at +19000, Keegan Bradley, Alexander Noren and Shane Lowry at +20000. Remember, you can still bet on golf outrights even after the first golfers have tee’d off thanks to live betting features at BetStars, FanDuel Sportsbook DraftKings Sportsbook and PointsBet. Breakfast Leans: Jason Day +3000, Gary Woodland +10000 (odds subject to change)
Tony Finau did not dislocate his ankle in yesterday’s Par 3 contest.
Thomas Casale compares NFL draft props to mock drafts.
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