The Breakfast Spread: Tiger Roars at Masters, NBA Playoffs Continue, Red Sox At Lunch
It was a historic Sunday at the Masters, as Tiger Woods won his first major championship in 11 years. Favorites cashed during the second day of NBA playoffs, and the Red Sox try to capture their first series victory of the year with an early start today. Here’s a sports betting recap from Sunday and a lookahead to Monday.
Tiger is Back
They said he was done. That the Greatest Ever would never win again. We laughed and we mocked. We sent his mug shot in emails and text messages. In hindsight, we should have known better.
On Sunday, the world watched and cheered as Tiger roared to win his first major championship in 11 years, reminding sports fans what greatness truly is.
There was no hole more important in Tiger’s historic victory Sunday than the par 3 on No. 12. Francesco Molinari had a two stroke lead at the time, but left his tee shot short. His ball was lost in the water, and so was his lead. Meanwhile, Tiger played the hole conservatively to set up a par. Tony Finau followed up with an aggressive play of his own, leaving his ball in the same place Molinari’s was.
Molinari double-bogeyed the par-5 15th hole, finishing two-over for the day and -11 for the tournament. It’s Molinari’s third straight major with a top 6 finish.
Like hole No. 12, Finau finished where Molinari did Sunday, – 11-under and tied for fifth. What would the conversation be today had just one of Tiger’s playing partners hit the green instead of the water on No. 12? Thankfully, for golf’s sake, we’ll never know.
Other notable performances included a 12-under finish for Brooks Koepka, tying him for second place. Koepka had most recently gotten the best of Tiger at the PGA Championship, but the putts wouldn’t fall for him down the stretch on Sunday. Xander Schauffele tied with Koepka and Dustin Johnson and dropped 25 birdies along the way — the second-most birdies in Masters tournament history.
In fact, eight of the top 15 golfers in the world finished in the top 10. Tiger beat the best by playing his best against an era of golfers that grew up trying to emulate none other than Tiger himself.
Scott Van Pelt, who has been covering the Masters since Tiger put on his first green jack in 1997, said that he had never seen Augusta National that loud for that long. For the first time in 14 years, sports fans everywhere are sending text messages and emails with Tiger in a green jacket.
From wondering if Tiger would ever win again, to asking if he’d ever win a major. Now, were back to asking the same question we were years ago: Can Tiger catch Jack?
Tiger is back.
Stat of the Day
The 14-year drought between Masters wins is the longest in golf history. It’s Tiger’s fifth green jacket and 15th career major. He’s now only one green jacket behind Nicklaus’ six, and three behind Nicklaus’ all-time record of 18 major wins.
NBA Playoffs Continue
The NBA playoffs got off to an interesting start Saturday with three underdogs winning on the road. Sunday was less interesting as three of the top seeds covered the spread by winning by double digits.
The Boston Celtics began the day by proving they can shut down offensives without their best defensive player, Marcus Smart. The Celtics defense held the Pacers to 8 points in third quarter and 74 total points, beating Indiana 84-74.
Blake Griffin was ruled out for the Detroit Pistons, making the task of beating the East’s No.1 seed and likely MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo even more daunting. With Griffin out, the Milwaukee Bucks moved from -11.5 to -15 by tip-off. Even that proved to be too little for Pistons backers.
In only 23 minutes Antetokounmpo led the Bucks with 24 points and 17 rebounds, and Milwaukee won 121-86.
The most competitive game was played in Portland, as the Trail Blazers — three-point favorites — beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 104-99.
Starting Enes Kanter in place of injured Jusuf Nurkic, Kanter stepped up to score 20 points against his former team.
What was most impressive wasn’t Kanter’s offense, though. Kanter surprisingly outperformed Thunder big man Steven Adams on the glass. The center, who is wanted by the Turkish government, grabbed 18 total rebounds, 11 of those on the defensive end.
It didn’t help that the Thunder shot 15 percent from three, the worst in NBA postseason history (minimum 30 attempts). Paul George, who continues to battle with a lingering shoulder injury, was just 4-for-15 from three, telling reporters after the game that it was his first time to shoot the ball in three days.
The most interesting thing about this series is that the Trail Blazers opened as +140 underdogs to advance past the first round, but as the team with home court advantage, they’ll likely be favored in more games during the best-of-seven series.
The Thunder won’t shoot as bad as they did yesterday, so Thunder fans shouldn’t freak out yet, but George’s shoulder is a concern going forward.
The Rockets ended the night by outscoring the Utah Jazz by 20 points in the fourth quarter to win 122-90.
Houston covered the 6.5-point spread by 25.5 points, helping favorites go 4-0 on the day. The total was spot on, closing at 212.5. Falling 5 points after opening at 217.5, all Unders bets cashed out.
Sixers, Nets Game 2
The Sixers hope to bounce back Monday night after dropping their first game against the six-seed Brooklyn Nets. Oddsmakers opened the Sixers as 7.5-point favorites (Over/Under 225) despite Saturday’s deficiencies.
The Nets will need their excellent guard play to continue if they want to head back to Brooklyn with a 2-0 lead, while the Sixers will need more minutes from Joel Embiid and more offensive production from Ben Simmons if they want to avoid another upset.
Embiid only played 24 minutes in game 1 due to a bummed knee that has kept the big man in and out of games through the last part of the regular season. Though he was able to put up a double-double in just 24 minutes, Embiid was only 5-for-15 from the field, missing all five of his 3-point attempts.
With 65 percent of early money backing the Nets, the public seems to be optimistic that Brooklyn’s guard play will continue. I’m less sure. Embiid should be more comfortable on the court tonight and Brooklyn won’t match their 42 percent 3-point performance from Saturday. Breakfast Spread: Philadelphia Sixers -7.5
Lunch Date on the Diamond
A day after snapping the longest hitless streak in major league history, Chris Davis went 0-for-4 and struck out twice in the Orioles’ 0-4 loss to the Boston Red Sox Sunday.
Winning three of their last four, the Red Sox have a chance to win their first series of the year in an early 11:05 AM ET game against Baltimore today.
The potential series victory has been led by shortstop Xander Bogaerts, who had all four RBIs Sunday.
Today, the Orioles will start right-hander Dan Straily after giving up five runs in two short outings (19.29 ERA).
Boston’s Hector Velasquez will try to get his first win of the year as the Red Sox give ace Chris Sale an extra day’s rest before starting a two-game series with the Yankees tomorrow. Velasquez has been solid so far this year giving up a 2.79 ERA.
I like the Red Sox to win this one, but a -260 moneyline is too much for my blood. With Straily on the mound again, this one could get out of hand. Breakfast Pick: Red Sox -1.5 Runs (-144).
2019 NFL win totals are out! Check out Thomas Casale’s breakdown.