The Breakfast Spread: Road Dogs Steal the Show, Masters Final Round, Sunday Baseball
The Nets and Magic wasted little time shaking up the NBA playoff bracket. The field went low again on moving day at The Masters. The NBA playoffs continue and the MLB provides a full slate of games on a busy Sunday. Here’s a sports betting recap from yesterday and a look ahead to today’s action.
NBA Playoffs Open With Upsets
A chorus of boos filled the Wells Fargo Center as the Brookyln Nets ran the 7.5-point home favorite 76ers out of the building on Saturday afternoon. The trio of D’Angelo Russell, Caris LeVert, and Spencer Dinwiddie were too much for the Sixers on Saturday — scoring 67 points in the Nets 111-102 victory.
Russell scored 26 points while Caris LeVert added 23 off the bench. Jimmy Butler was the lone bright spot for the battered home team — scoring 36 points in a losing effort. Joel Embiid was able to play but looked extremely immobile throughout the game — often needing treatment in between text messages . The two teams will meet again on Monday night in Philadelphia.
While the Nets game was not overly dramatic, Orlando provided NBA fans with a little bit of late-game Magic in their series opener.
D.J. Augustin stole a victory for the Magic on the road with his game-clinching three pointer with a few seconds remaining. The underdogs crushed a 9.5-point spread with a 104-101 outright victory — mainly fueled by Augustin’s 25 points. In the loss, Kyle Lowry perpetuated his negative playoff narrative — going scoreless on seven attempts. Kawhi Leonard scored 25 points in the losing effort but could not tie the game with his three-point attempt as time expired. The series continues on Tuesday night in Toronto for Game 2.
The Warriors ended the upset party with a 121-104 victory over the visiting Clippers. The Warriors cruised to a cover of the 13.5 closing number thanks to Stephen Curry’s 38 points and 15 rebounds. Curry shot 8 for 12 from long range.
Kevin Durant and Patrick Beverly were ejected with 4:40 remaining after an altercation at the scorer’s table led to double-technicals. Lou Williams added 25 points in the loss. The two teams will play again on Monday night.
Just when NBA fans thought the Warriors extinguished the flames of the road dogs, the Spurs upset the Nuggets in the nightcap 101-96. The veteran Spurs were led by 18 points from DeMar DeRozan but received double-digit contributions from five players.
Experience covered the 5.5-point spread with an outright victory and youth will need to wait until Tuesday night to be served. In the loss, Nikola Jokic became the fourth player in NBA history to record a triple-double in his playoff debut.
Golfers Make Moves at The Masters
The Masters did not disappoint on moving day with golfers taking advantage of the soft conditions throughout the third round. Tony Finau tied a record with a six-under front nine while Webb Simpson matched Finau and Patrick Cantlay with an eight-under Saturday. One would think these performances would be the story. Instead…
Tiger Woods went five under par on Saturday to get to -11 for the tournament. Woods is deadlocked with Finau for the second position but will still be in the final grouping because of potential torrential weather headed for Augusta on Sunday. Woods and Finau will join Francesco Molinari who sits atop the leaderboard at -13 after a six-under performance on Saturday.
Molinari birdied holes 12 through 15 on Saturday and seems poised for his second major victory on the PGA Tour. FanDuel Sportsbook positions Molinari at +185 to adorn the famed green jacket on Sunday afternoon. Tiger rests at +400 to capture his fourteenth major and fifth victory at Augusta. Brooks Koepka surged with a late eagle on Saturday to position him at +700 while Dustin Johnson is in the mix at +2400.
The Masters will tee off on Sunday at 7:30 AM with groups going out as threesomes throughout the round. The final group will tee off at 9:20 AM hoping to avoid the incoming bad weather.
As per Bloomberg, sportsbooks will be clamoring for anyone but Tiger to win with Woods representing a massive liability to oddsmakers. The likely monstrous gallery following the final group will certainly welcome Vegas’ misfortune.
Prop Shop: Top US Player on FanDuel Sportsbook
If you are looking for an interesting way to bet today’s culmination of The Masters, look no further than FanDuel Sportsbook’s Top US Player Prop bets for Sunday. Instead of betting on an outright winner, bettors can wager on Tiger Woods at +160 to finish with the best score from a US player or Tony Finau at +300. Big Game Hunter Brooks Koepka rests at +380 while Dustin Johnson sits further back at +1100.
Remaining NBA Series Tip Off
The NBA playoffs continue today with the first games of the remaining four playoff series. Action tips off at 1:10 PM EST in Boston for a matchup between two familiar foes.
The Celtics host the Indiana Pacers as seven-point favorites in a projected low-scoring affair. FanDuel Sportsbook posts a 209.5 O/U at the time of this writing in a matchup of two of the NBA’s top-rated defenses. The Pacers vacated home court advantage for this series by going 4-9 down the stretch with the Celtics finishing a pedestrian 7-6 to jump up one spot.
The Celtics were victorious in the final two meetings against the Pacers this season with Gordon Hayward serving as a big difference maker with 32 points on 13-for-16 shooting. Hayward will likely shoulder a larger load with Jaylen Brown nursing a bad back and Marcus Smart out for a month with a torn oblique muscle.
Out West, the Trail Blazers host the Oklahoma City Thunder as 3.5-point favorites with a much more robust 225-point O/U on FanDuel Sportsbook. Despite being an underdog in the first game, the Thunder are positioned as a -172 favorite to win the series — likely due to their 4-0 sweep of the Blazers during the regular season.
The Blazers will turn to Damian Lillard and his 34.8-point scoring average against the Thunder throughout the regular season meetings. On the other side, Russell Westbrook matched Lillard’s efforts with 29.5 points, 10.0 rebounds, and 8.8 assists per games against Portland in the four matchups. Lillard hopes to silence pundits who did not pick the Blazers as a playoff team during the preseason.
The Blazers will also need to contain Paul George — who averaged 38.0 points per game against the Blazers in the regular season. George should be ready to go after missing the Thunder’s win against Milwaukee on Wednesday.
Closing out the Eastern Conference openers, the Milwaukee Bucks are heavily favored against the Pistons The Bucks are 12.5-point favorites today and -4000 to win the series against the eighth-seeded Detroit Pistons.
The Bucks aim to end a drought dating back to the 2000-2001 season by finally advancing in the playoffs with a series victory. After watching the Raptors and Sixers stumble on Saturday, Milwaukee seems even more formidable as the top seed in the East.
The Pistons will potentially be without star forward Blake Griffin who is questionable with a sore left knee. The Pistons needed a victory on the final night of the NBA season against the Knicks to lock in the final seed in the East. Overwhelming underdogs, the Pistons will need to overcome getting swept by the Bucks this season by an average of 14.8 points.
Finally, the late night affair will see the Houston Rockets welcome the Utah Jazz in the first game of the Western Conference series. The Rockets open the series as a 6.5-point favorite and a -300 favorite to move on to the next round.
The Rockets ousted the Jazz last season in the Western Conference semi-finals in five games. After the All-Star break, the Rockets posted the best record in the NBA (20-5) and ranked second in both offensive and defensive rating. The 10.7 net rating paced the NBA in the second half finishing ahead of second place: the Utah Jazz.
Led by MVP-candidate James Harden, Houston will rely on a reinvigorated, physical defense that repositioned them as threats in the second half. The Jazz are also known for stingy defense — with centerpiece Rudy Gobert dawning the monacre “The Stifle Tower.” Gobert averaged 12.9 rebounds and 2.3 blocks per game during the regular season.
If betting the under is your bag, then you were in store for a nice Saturday. The under went 8-4-2 on Saturday — with the weather seeming to hold offenses at bay throughout the course of the day. Surely, a game in Estadio Monterrey Park in Mexico would provide plenty of runs.
Baseball is certainly a funny game. Cincinnati’s 5-2 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals stayed below the 11 O/U inserted by bookmakers — with Reds bettors cashing +101 tickets for the victory. Derek Dietrich drove in three runs in victory.
Speaking of unders, Justin Verlander stymied the white-hot Seattle Mariners on Saturday night — pitching 6 innings of one-run ball while striking out 11 Mariners. The heavily-favored Astros (-188) won 3-1 with a pair of home runs from Jose Altuve and Robinson Chirinos.
Today, bettors will have plenty of baseball to watch along with the NBA playoffs and final round of The Masters. Masahiro Tanaka takes the bump at home for the Yankees (-190) in the final game of a three-game set versus the White Sox. The Nationals (-190) host the Pirates with Max Scherzer getting the nod versus Jameson Taillon. Finally, Sunday Night Baseball features the Jacob deGrom and the New York Mets visiting the Atlanta Braves as a -160 favorite.
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