C vs the Odds #3: Weekend

Alright so this is bet #6. I’m 0-5. The Jays just offered me a contract. I’m feeling like Semyon Varlamov’s road record (0-14-2). Why do I still have a job?

Alright the self-hating is over and it’s a great day to end the playoff race in the NHL Western Conference. Here’s my thoughts: 3 teams (Minnesota, Detroit, and Columbus) are fighting for the final 2 playoff spots. I’m gonna bet all 3 games correctly. Here we go:

The Bet: NHL Detroit Red Wings (1.85) (T6.15) @ Dallas Stars (2.30)

Oh, Detroit. You never cease to amaze me. Just when I thought they were down and out, the Wings rallied together for 3 straight victories and need to win tonight to secure their 22nd straight playoff bid. Dallas on the other hand has been as bad as expected. Losers of their last 2 ,don’t expect too much of a fight from the Stars tonight going against a Wings team who are playing like one of best teams in the league over the last 3 games. Detroit’s veterans will be huge tonight upfront tonight in securing the win, but I expect a big game from Jimmy Howard, who’s looking for his 21st win of the season.

Minnesota Wild (1.75) (T6.20) @ Colorado Avalanche (2.40)

Minnesota is a team who makes no sense to me. This week they went out and pulled out a beautiful 2-1 victory over the L.A. Kings, but then somehow found a way to lose 6-1 to an Edmonton team who is more concerned with the World Championships than the NHL playoffs. Baffles me how a team can play so inconsistent while chasing one of the last 2 available playoff spots. I went with Colorado here not because I expect them to beat the Wild, but because I expect the Wild to beat themselves. 4-5-1 in their last 10 is a terrible record for a team hoping to make the playoffs. Here’s to hoping the Avalanche don’t head to Las Vegas too soon.

Nashville Predators(3.5) (T6.75) @ Columbus Blue Jackets (1.40)

Here’s the bet that makes the most sense for me. Columbus is hot, Nashville is really, really, cold. A 7-3-0 record in their last 10 has helped the Blue Jackets late season push, but they will need a win some help from either Minnesota or Detroit to make the playoffs. It all starts with a taking care of the lowly Predators at home tonight. Nashville is looking like a team already headed to the golf course and I expect no different tonight.

$5 pays $31.15 I’m so confident I might even put down a little extra 😉

C

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Quick Hits

1) NHL playoffs are only 3 days away. Easily my favourite time of the year. March Madness rivals the Stanley Cup Playoffs for excitement, but I enjoy the 7 game series aspect of the playoffs. The schedule is relentless, usually 4 games every night during the first round gives the sports fan a chance to sit on the couch for 6 straight hours. Can’t wait to see how things play out.

2)NHL Eastern Conference: The top 8 teams are in, but many positions in the standings remain uncertain. The New York Islanders are the only team finished their schedule while the Sens and Bruins hold the advantage with 1 game in hand on the rest of the field. Winnipeg stands as the only Canadian team in the East not to make the playoffs with Montreal, Ottawa, and Toronto all hoping to bring the cup north of the border for the first time since the Habs did it in 1993. The road to the Finals will, as expected, be exceptionally physical, but rarely do you see teams fight in the NHL playoffs. That leaves me wondering how many fights the Leafs will be able to coax their opponents into? I think Pittsburgh wins the East (no shit, sherlock) but I’m picking the Rangers as my wildcard team. They remind me of L.A. last season, did just enough to get into the playoffs and have the potential to ride a hot goalie and gritty play all the way to the Finals.

3)NHL Western Conference: Chicago wins. Lets move on.

4) Ok, so maybe its not as obvious as I’m stating but the Blackhawks enter the playoffs a team on fire. They locked up the Presidents trophy this week and are 8-1-1 in their last 10 games heading into their finale with the St Louis Blues tonight. They will be a force in the playoffs. The only Canadian team to make the playoffs in the West is also the second hottest team heading into first round. The Vancouver Canucks, with the exception of the Schneider injury, are getting healthy and hot at the right time and look to win that elusive 16th game in the Stanley Cup playoffs. The bottom 3 teams are yet to be determined with Detroit and Minnesota facing “win and you’re in” scenarios, while Columbus needs to win and hope one of the other 2 falter in their games. I’m picking Chicago to win the West with L.A as my wildcard. I feel like I’m cheating by picking the defending Cup champs as my wild card.

5) Tough loss for the Oklahoma City Thunder yesterday when PG Russell Westbrook had surgery on his knee and will miss extended time. They unfortunately lose one of the top 10 players in the NBA, but I’m not sure it will hurt the Thunder as much as people think.  Two things need to happen. 1) Serge Ibaka needs to play lights out for the rest of the playoffs. 2) Kevin Durant needs distribute the ball like he’s Chris Paul. Westbrook is often a very selfish point guard who always looks for his own shot. If Durant can accept the role of best scorer and great passer like Lebron James has in Miami we could expect big things from the 3 time scoring champ in this years playoffs. If not, I doubt the Thunder make it past the veteran Spurs.

6) Very interesting first round of the 2013 NFL Draft with 9 offensive linemen taken and only 1 quarterback. Shows how much the the draft can change each year with only 3 offensive linemen taken in the first round of last years draft along with 4 quarterbacks.

7) Great amount of sports on TV with the NHL regular season finishing for all but 2 teams tonight, 16 baseballs games today, 4 NBA playoff games and UFC 159. Can’t wait to do nothing!

C

C Vs. the Odds #3: Midweek

I’ve gone officially crazy. I’ve decided to bet on the Toronto Maple Leafs. For those who know me, I’ll start writing your eulogy as that heart attack you’re having seems pretty severe. For those who don’t know me, you may just think I’ve finally figured how to put my feelings aside and just bet on a game. I’m the biggest Maple Buds hater around. If the Leafs and Bruins are scheduled for a game I’m praying for a rain delay. Let’s call today the “Connor’s lost it! I’m finding a new sports guy” ticket. Enjoy!

The Bet: MLB Pittsburgh Pirates (2.65) (T2.85) @ Philadelphia Phillies (2.20)

Betting on baseball might be the trickiest sport of all. Pitchers and their match ups create many variables and with lineups changing every night its almost impossible to predict. Tonight I’ve decided to take the Pirates to win at Philly. Doc Halladay takes to the mound f0r Philly against a good Pirates team that he has owned recently. Why go with the Pirates then? Doc hasn’t quite been Doc so far this season and the Pirates hitters will be itching to return the favour his way. Wandy Rodriguez starts for the Pirates and he has been phenomenal this season. I don’t expect him to keep up his torrid pace all season long, but the Phillies are struggling and he will take advantage.

NHL Toronto Maple Leafs (1.95) (T6.05) @ Tampa Bay Lightning (2.15)

My first bet for the Maple Leafs… Ever!  I really hope to earn my first winning ticket of the season. Here’s my logic: the Leafs need home ice advantage and need to win their next 3 to have a shot (and hope Montreal continues to plummet from space). The Leafs aren’t a drastically different team away from the Air Canada Centre but if they could play their first playoff game in 9 years at home, they would gain the advantage of having some crazy hockey fans propelling them forward throughout the playoffs. I fear for the Leafs if they have to start a series on the road, go down 2-0 then come back to the ACC for game 3 with fans already counting them out. Tonights game stands as a very important potential W for the Leafs against a Tampa Bay team who is sending their young players back to Syracuse for a Calder Cup run. I expect an unmotivated Lightning team with very few fans to cheer them on in this one. Leafs win big.

Los Angeles Kings (2.25) (T6.05) @ Detroit Red Wings (2.20)

No one wants the Detroit Red Wings in the playoffs. 21 straight seasons is enough. Ok I’d like to see the streak continue but I’m not a Western Conference team that will have to play Detroit. The Wings team has struggled to this point of the season but let me take you back to this time last season when the L.A Kings went 3-0-3 to end their season and just snuck into the playoffs. They were a veteran roster with a hot goalie and they ran all the way to a Stanley Cup win. This year Detroit, who is currently 1 pt out of 8th in the West, will have to play their hearts out to have any shot of doing what the Kings did last season. L.A. is surely on the “no Wings” side and would love to deal them a crushing blow to their bid for 22 straight playoff seasons. Gonna be an awesome game tonight with a great playoff atmosphere inside Joe Louis Arena. Can’t wait to see who comes out on top but I expect L.A. to reign supreme by games end.

$5 pays 53.11

C

C vs the Odds #2: Weekend

I feel like this is the point in the season where pundits begin to point out that I have yet to win a ticket. True, but here comes the momentum baby! Earlier this week I made the massive mistake of betting on the Blue Jays. I was chatting with some friends and we felt things were turning around for the Jays and then J.A. Happ gets rocked and Toronto loses 7-0. Ruined my night and my ticket. Here we go again tonight and I swear this time I made no bets with my heart.

The Bet: NBA Los Angeles Lakers (6.6) (T 3.4) @ San Antonio Spurs (1.45)

Last Sunday the Lakers played their first game after seeing star player Kobe Bryant sidelined for 6-9 months. At that point it looked like the Lakers season was doomed and we wouldn’t be seeing the purple and gold in the post season. The Lakers revamped their offence and now focus on the two towers, Dwight Howard and Pau Gasol, to run their offence and in the end they beat the Spurs by 5 in a crucial game in their late season playoff push. I don’t expect L.A. to play that sort of game this afternoon but I do expect them to play the Spurs very closely. This may be the least exciting brand of basketball going into the postseason but expect to see a great battle between two veteran squads.

NHL Columbus Blue Jackets (2.75) (T6.5) @ San Jose Sharks (1.60)

So I had a thought recently, imagine if the Columbus Blue Jackets make the playoffs and the New York Rangers didn’t. Rick Nash would be the saddest man on the planet. I’ve caught a few Columbus games lately and it’s a really funny brand of hockey to watch. It doesn’t seem like they do anything extremely well (outside of goaltending but I’ll get to that) but they are a very hard working team and never seem to go away. Oh yeah, and they have the Vezina Trophy frontrunner Sergei Bobrovsky carrying them into the playoffs. So far this season the Jackets have beaten the Sharks by a combined 10-2 in 2 games and I’m willing to put my money on that trend continuing.

New Jersey Devils (1.25) @ New York Rangers (2.10) HS -1.5

For reasons stated above, I really wanted to be against the Rangers here, but they look like a team to be reckoned with late in the season and heading to the postseason (which they will make). Jersey on the other hand has been a disappointment rebounding from last years Stanley Cup Finals loss and are now suffering from “too little too late” syndrome and won’t have the stuff to handle a motivated Rangers squad today. I can’t wait to watch this one though, two teams who really don’t like each other, whose coaches hate one another, and are historic rivals, sounds like a great Sunday afternoon to me. Rangers by 2 goals.

St. Louis Blues (1.65) (T6.35) @ Colorado Avalanche (2.65)

A really good team vs. a really bad team, seems like a no-brainer to me. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good underdog, over achiever, Hollywood-esque story line but this one is the complete opposite. Sometimes, bad teams love to play spoiler at this time of year but the Avalanche are just praying for the season to be over. A very rocky road has led the Avalanche to second last place in the entire NHL, meanwhile the Blues are just getting tuned for the playoffs. Winners of their last 3 and 8 of their last 10 games, St. Louis will be a very tough team come playoff time and don’t expect Colorado to be anything but that same team this evening.

$5 pays $162.oo

C

 

Connor Vs. the Odds #2: Midweek

It’s been a pretty terrible start to my season so far. 0-2 last week with hitting only 3 of my 6 bets correctly. Pretty soft I gotta say. However, this is a new week and the sun is shining, summer is upon us and I’m feeling good. Let’s see if I can turn these wins into a winning ticket!

The Bet: NHL Montreal Canadiens (1.10) @ Pittsburgh Penguins (2.60) (-1.5 HS)

I hate to say that tonight I am betting against my own team. Here’s the thing, since Montreal lost Alexei Emelin to a knee injury and Colby Armstrong to a concussion, they just haven’t been the same team. Both players brought a certain grit to the lineup that Montreal can’t replace when they are out. Ryan White replaces Armstrong’s minutes and does nothing but take dumb penalties. Andrei Markov is a better defensemen when Emelin is on the ice. Peter Budaj gets the start for Montreal tonight. He’s been a great backup goalie this season, but Montreal isn’t playing well enough as a team to be saved by goaltending. Oh yeah, and their playing Pittsburgh. These guys have been awesome all season and this veteran squad is tuning up for a long playoff run. Two really fun teams to watch; can’t wait to check this one out.

MLB Chicago White Sox (2.80) (T2.85) @ Toronto Blue Jays (2.15)

J.A. Happ (2-0) takes to the mound tonight vs. Jose Quintana (0-0). This has been a very well played series so far by both teams and I expect more of the same tonight. The Jay’s defence got a boost yesterday with the return of 3B Brett Lawrie. I expect Lawrie, who didn’t have a hit in his first start of the season, to get his bat going tonight and propel the Jays to at least a 2 run victory for the Moneyline win. No news yet on whether or not Jose Bautista will be in the lineup tonight but with several Blue Jay bats heating up I fully expect them to have a good outing at the Rogers Centre tonight.

NBA Houston Rockets (1.75) @ Los Angeles Lakers (1.65) (-2.5 HS)

Win and you’re in, Lakers fans. This one will be close but I think the Lakers edge the Rockets by at least 3. The Lakers offence without Kobe Bryant has shifted it’s focus to the 2 towers technique. Two very capable offensive big men working together down low for rebounds, second chances, and trips to the charity stripe. Only problem facing the Lakers tonight is the fact that they are missing a couple of the best guards in the league and will struggle to get the ball to Dwight Howard or Pau Gasol. The Rockets run and gun offence and may have a tough time getting things moving this evening against a very big Lakers lineup. I think it comes down to free throws at the end of the game and the Lakers come out on top. James Harden will go off tonight. If you feel like making a side bet take Harden. L.A’s guards can’t touch his athleticism and mentality to take over a game offensively.

Total bet: $5 pays @42.10

That’s all for today.

C

 

Connor vs the Odds: Debrief

Ok so not my best showing.

I ended up only getting one of my picks right last night, Denver  beat San Antonio by 10. I missed on my 2 Hockey picks but that figures so far in this whirlwind season.

Debrief: Picks in bold

NBA: San Antonio Spurs 86 @ Denver Nuggets 96 

Denver showed last night that they are a team to be feared come playoff time. They looked athletic and confidant on their home court and extended their winning streak there to 21 games. It is tough to think of a team that would benefit more from home court advantage in the playoffs than the Nuggets. Winners of their last 5 makes me want to think about betting them a bit more often. San Antonio is now tied with Oklahoma city atop the Western conference and are 5-5 in their last 10 games.

NHL: Phoenix Coyotes 3 @ Edmonton Oilers 1

Man, oh man did the Oilers ever look rough in this one. The biggest thing I notice when I watch Oiler games is that they have a ton of fire power on offence but  never have the puck. The Coyotes forecheck made Edmonton’s terrible defence struggle to move the puck out of the zone. The Oilers aren’t mathematically eliminated from the playoffs but really can’t afford any more performances like last night if they hope to sneak into 8th. Phoenix now sits only 1 pt behind Detroit for that last playoff spot.

Toronto Maple Leafs 2 @ New York Rangers 3 (Shootout)

Ah the worst kind of loss, call the right team but not the right bet. This was a weird game to watch. Both teams had moments of complete control then would fall into a lull and get dominated by the other team. At one point the Leafs couldn’t muster a shot on goal for almost 25 minutes and then turned right around and scored the goal to tie the game at 2 and force overtime. Last night was the first time I really got to watch the Rangers new lineup and I was quite impressed. They look tougher and with Henrik Lundqvist playing like well, Henrik Lundqvist, the Rangers are going to be a challenge for any team if they can hold onto the 8th spot in the Eastern conference.

Hopefully my weekend fairs better! Look for a Saturday ticket with a bunch of good hockey games and a few interesting basketball games to check out.

C

 

 

Connor vs The Odds #1: Midweek

Here’s the scoop. I’ve decided to finally put myself at risk to become addicted to gambling and keep it very well documented.

The Plan: Bet 2 tickets a week. 3 games on $5 per ticket. Just win baby.

This isn’t so much about winning a bunch of money and becoming Floyd Mayweather, but who doesn’t love money. This is my version of a fun little challenge. Check the odds, bet the games, explain my logic and watch my giant vault fill with enough gold coins to make it a swimming pool. Soon enough me, Scrooge McDuck and Floyd will be best buds.

I’ve started betting on Pro-Line for the convenience and will be looking into a few betting sites in the near future. Tonight I bet on Moneyline which is Pro-Lines odds vs their rules. Baseball wins are by 2 runs and basketball wins are by 6 pts. Hockey games won in regulation or overtime are considered wins. So here we go. Picks in bold.

The Mid Week Bet: 

NBA: San Antonio Spurs (3.5)  (T2.6) @ Denver Nuggets (2.05)

Thoughts: Battle of 2 teams looking to solidify their playoff foothold. Neither team is even thinking of missing the playoffs but both have teams chasing them up the standings. I went with Denver on this one because they are a team looking to prove a point and no better team to do that against than an NBA giant like the Spurs. The Nuggets lost Danilo Gallinari this week but that has only made them a more athletic team with Eric Brewer and Andre Igoudala getting more minutes. The Spurs are a great team but can sometimes struggle with aggresive, athletic teams like the Nuggets.

NHL: Phoenix Coyotes (2.2) (T6.6) @ Edmonton Oilers (1.9)

 

Thoughts: The Chase for 8th in the Western Conference is heating up and I expect the Oilers make a strong late season push. Looking to sweep the season series vs the Coyotes tonight hopefully gives the Oilers the fight they need to pull this one out. This could be one of the better games of the night with Edmonton’s recently hot offence matching up against Phoenix’s tough D and solid goaltending. Look for Taylor Hall to continue his stellar play tonight.

Toronto Maple Leafs (2.65) (T6.35) @ New York Rangers (1.65)

Thoughts: Gonna admit I hate betting on a John Tortorella team. I think he’s lost the locker room in New York but they are a veteran team and understand how to make a playoff push. I think the moves they made at the deadline have made them a tougher team and much harder to play against. The Rangers look to rebound from a bad loss to the Leafs on Monday and if they want any shot of holding onto the 8th spot in the East they can’t drop 2 in a row. The Leafs aren’t as good of a team without Joffery Lupol and will miss him terribly if his “undisclosed” injury turns out to be serious; like James Reimer’s “undisclosed” injury last season. Look for Rick Nash to propel his team in this one, its been awhile since he’s seen the playoffs and he would hate to let this chance slip away.

Total Odds: 6.43 x $5 = $32.15 with all 3 games correct.

Ok so I won’t be joining McDuck and Mayweather at this rate but you gotta start somewhere. Wish me luck!!

C