First, let me introduce myself to the blog. My name is Rich Ryan, and I’m a senior staff writer and producer for PokerNews.com. I’ve covered the World Series of Poker for two years running, and I will be back in Vegas in late May for my third stint. Whether you like it or not, casinos, book-keepers and online gambling sites are major players in professional sports, and will continue to be because sports betting is immeasurably popular. In this daily (fingers crossed) post, I will take a look at five bets I like that day. I’m not a seer nor am I a wise-guy, rather I am an informed fan making educated guesses. Take it or leave it.
I’m personally taking these to the betting window. Strong.
My pick is on the left, unless it’s an over/under.
1. @Atlanta Hawks (+6.5) vs. Miami Heat
Sports betting rule numero uno: it’s always good to fade the public. The Heat are coming off of a 23-point win on the road against the Celtics last night, and the Hawks are in the middle of four-game losing streak. Seems like a no-brainer, right? Before you take your wager to South Beach, remember that the Heat played much harder yesterday than the would during any other regular season game. I also think the Hawks terrible loss to the Wizards yesterday gave them an extra point or two.
Still not sure if that's Chris Bosh or a Squirtle
2. Oklahoma City Thunder (-5.5) @Sacramento Kings
Before you ask, no these games are not the same. The Kings are not a playoff team and the Thunder, unlike the Heat, don’t take games off. I’d be a little more comfortable if this was 4.5, but I still love this team against mediocre/bad opponents.
3. Golden State Warriors @ Denver Nuggets (UNDER 218)
The Nuggets lead the league in points scored at 107/game, but if you multiply that by two you still don’t make the over. These two teams have met twice already this season and the totals were 195 and 230 – an average of 212.5. Add in the fact that Danilo Gallinari (ankle) may not play, and the under feels like a good play.
4. @Boston Red Sox (Matsuzaka) (-155) vs. Tampa Bay Rays (Hellickson)
Get used to betting against the Rays, especially when they play good teams. You can’t win many games in the American League with poor hitting.
The Rays have a punchers chance - if they can connect.
5. Cleveland Indians (Talbot) (+118) vs. @Los Angeles Angels (Chatwood)
The Indians are riding a seven-game winning streak into Anaheim, while the Angels scratched Dan Haren and will send Tyler Chatwood to the mound for his MLB debut tonight. Love the way Asdrubal Cabrera’s been hitting and love betting against rookie pitchers in their debut.
Betting lines are provided by Bodog and are accurate at the time of this post.