A big announcement and a weekend recap from the NBA, NHL, and MLB as we start the new week in VSiN City.
VSiN announces 4-hour live NFL draft special Thursday night
If you missed the news, VSiN announced over the weekend that it will be extending its broadcast day FOUR HOURS on Thursday April 27 to provide live market-based coverage of the 2017 NFL Draft.
What do we mean by “market-based” coverage. We’d love to explain because it’s something you’ve never seen before.
Brent Musburger and the crew he calls “My Guys in the Desert” will discuss the pick-by-pick impact of each selection on:
*the many draft props that are available for the first time ever in Las Vegas
*how each team’s Power Rating might be influenced
*how each team’s Futures prices might be influenced
*how each team’s projected Regular Season Win Totals might be affected
*how Fantasy Football players can exploit new rosters
You might be thinking that no individual NFL rookie will have much of an impact in the market. While it’s generally true that no newcomer by himself is likely to be worth a win or more (though don’t tell that to Dallas Cowboys fans), there can definitely be meaningful impact when an NFL team shores up a weakness.
That’s how a bad team can become competitive. That’s how slightly below average teams can become average. That’s how .500 caliber teams can become wildcard contenders. That’s how a 10-11 win team can suddenly become a Super Bowl contender. Get that deep threat who can spread the field…or that possession receiver who can move the chains. Get the talented offensive lineman who can protect the quarterback’s blind side. Or, find a defensive gamebreaker who plugs a hole in a team’s only glaring weakness.
Even if you’re not betting props, the draft DOES matter to the marketplace. And, if you are betting props…VSiN will cover those on the fly as they’re won or lost. How many members of the Crimson Tide will go in the first round? We’ll have the running count? Will a fourth quarterback be taken in the first round? That’s still an underdog. Should it be?
For years you’ve been able to watch the draft on TV. But, you’ve never been able to watch the draft like this. Even if you tune into ESPN or the NFL Network Thursday night, put your computer on vsin.com or dial us up on Sirius radio to hear what our men in the marketplace (oddsmakers and bettors) have to say pick-by-pick, minute-by-minute, and hour by hour.
This is why we’re here. This is who we are. Listen first hand to the continuing evolution of sports betting coverage, starting at 8 ET/5 PT on Thursday night.
NBA weekend review in bracket order
All eight pro hoop playoff series saw action Saturday or Sunday. Let’s mix it up a bit today by reviewing the matchups in bracket order. This will help you start thinking about how you’re going to handicap and bet the second round.
Cleveland eliminates Indiana 4-0
None of the four wins was a blowout. But, Cleveland knows how to lift its game when it matters against inferior opposition. LeBron James reminded everyone that he’s still The King of the postseason until somebody takes away the scepter. When you only win a series by 16 combined points, there won’t be huge differentials in many stats. Cleveland’s most important edge might have been in made three-pointers (54-45) because it was a reminder that defenses just can’t focus on stopping LeBron’s attacks on the rim. They were 27 points from behind the arc in a series they only won by 16. (Possession counts by game: 89-97-96-98, suggesting that the Cavs were getting comfortable at faster playoff paces)
Toronto and Milwaukee are tied 2-2
This winner gets Cleveland in the second round. Both are capable of giving the Cavs a series. But, the survivor will be battle-weary while the Cavs are already resting. Toronto’s defense looks to be a linchpin factor.
Milwaukee shot 50% on two-pointers with only 18 turnovers in its two wins
Milwaukee shot 40% on two-pointers with 31 turnovers in its two losses
When Toronto is disrupting Milwaukee’s attack, there’s less fear of the deer.
Game Five is Monday Night north of the border. Toronto is -6 with an Over/Under of 192.
(Possession counts by game: 88-92-90-95, oddly the fastest game was the lowest scoring with only 163 points…as that pace inflation was caused by more Milwaukee turnovers and more misses on rushed three-pointers. Totals have landed on 180, 206, 181, and 163. As we mentioned at the time, that game two explosion was caused by a combined 25 of 52 mark on three-pointers. We’re at 181 and below when the bombs aren’t falling.)
Boston and Chicago are tied 2-2
The fractured thumb injury to Rajon Rondo really turned things around. It’s not like he’s worth THAT many points all by himself (the scoreboard flipped from plus 18 points to minus 26 points with despite a site switch). But, he was the key offensive instigator in Chicago’s wins because he made sure the Bulls were shooting in good spots. With that element gone, Chicago’s shooting percentage fell from 51% to 47% on two-pointers, and 36% to 24% on three-pointers despite moving from road games to home games.
Game 5 won’t be played until Wednesday, with Game 6 Friday, and Game 7 if necessary Sunday. (Possession counts by game: 95-93-92-90, so things have slowed down a bit without Rondo too.)
Washington leads Atlanta 2-1
The straggler of the first round on this side of the brackets. Both teams have held serve. Turnovers were a huge problem for the Hawks on the road, as they lost the category 19-12 and 18-11 in the first two games. They won it 11-15 in their home victory, while also having their best shooting game of the series.
Game 4 is Monday night in Atlanta. The Hawks are -2.5, with an Over/Under of 211.5. (Possession counts by game: 100-99-104, to this point a faster series than OKC/Houston! Totals have landed on 221, 210, and 214, with an average above tonight’s price.)
Golden State leads Portland 3 games to 0
The Western straggler is a series many were expecting to be a sweep. Golden State has won two of the three games without Kevin Durant. Everyone talks about three-point shooting with the Warriors. But they’re only up six points behind the arc thus far in a series they lead by 47 on the scoreboard. Golden State has won two-point shooting 59-46%, 51-41%, and 51-45%.
Game 4 is Monday night in Portland. The Warriors are -7 with an Over/Under of 220. (Possession counts by game: 101-104-105, making it the fastest series of the first round. Totals have landed on 230, 191, and 232.)
LA Clippers and Utah are tied 2-2
This series is having trouble settling in. Blake Griffin suffered a serious injury that has knocked him out of the rest of the postseason. Rudy Gobert missed all but a few seconds of the first three games but was able to come back to play 24 minutes in Game 4. Gordon Hayward could only play nine minutes of Game 4 because of illness.
Moving forward…the most cogent development of the past few days might be that, without Griffin’s presence in the paint, the Clippers let Utah shoot 63% on two-pointers in Game Three (22 of 35) and 58% on two-pointers in Game Four (30 of 52). It’s very difficult to string together victories when you’re that vulnerable inside. Your own offense has to shoot lights out to win. The Clippers did that in G3, but not G4.
Game 5 will be Tuesday. (Possession counts by game: 92, 89, 87, and 88. A very slow series, but the last two games landed on 217 and 203 while going Over anyway thanks to all of those easy inside buckets.)
San Antonio at Memphis are tied 2-2
Yes, you casual fans, Kawhi Leonard really DID get this good while you were busy watching football and March Madness. (Same with the Greek Freak in Milwaukee.) That Saturday night showdown was a thriller, with high level basketball coming from both sides. Possibly an important story that Memphis finally won the free throw category in Game Four. They “won” attempts 24-17, after losing 25-17, 32-15, and 28-20 in the first three games. Maybe that fine the coach inspired was worth it after all.
Game 5 is Tuesday. (Possession counts by game: 86-85-83-95, with the finale pro-rated to 48 minutes because of overtime…so that jump wasn’t caused by the extra five minutes. Slowest series, but three of the four went Over in regulation because of generally good shooting and mostly low turnover counts.)
Houston leads Oklahoma City 3-1
The biggest surprise here is that Houston is beating OKC on the boards. Houston only ranked #14 in the league in rebound rate during the regular season, while OKC was best in the NBA. Yet, Houston is plus 11 through four games, having won the category in three out of four tries.
A key factor that isn’t really a surprise is how poorly the Thunder are playing when Westbrook has to sit. Russell doesn’t want to hear about it…but how could the media ignore this from the last three nailbiters?
- Game 2: plus-11 with Westbrook, -15 when he sat
- Game 3: plus-3 with Westbrook, -1 when he sat
- Game 4: plus-14 with Westbrook, -18 when he sat
That’s plus-28 when he was on the floor, -34 when he needed a breather. Game 5 will be played Tuesday, which doesn’t provide much time for rest. (Possession counts by game: 98-97-97-103.)
NHL first-round summaries
Since we were last with you, the first round of the 2017 NHL Playoffs wrapped up with dramatic series-enders all over the map. A quick recap matchup-by-matchup (series prices in parenthesis)
Pittsburgh (-170) beat Columbus 4 games to 1
Washington (-400) beat Toronto 4 games to 2
Pittsburgh will face Washington in the second round
Ottawa (plus-160) beat Boston 4 games to 2
NY Rangers (plus-120) beat Montreal 4 games to 2
Ottawa will face the NY Rangers in the second round
Nashville (plus-175) beat Chicago 4 games to 0
St. Louis (plus-130) beat Minnesota 4 games to 1
Nashville will face St. Louis in the second round
Anaheim (-170) beat Calgary 4 games to 0
Edmonton (-135) beat San Jose 4 games to 2
Anaheim will face Edmonton in the second round
Dogs and favorites split four apiece. But, that’s a nice profit for dog bettors because of the superior payouts. Anyone betting favorites lost money. A 4-4 won-lost record for favorites turns into 4 wins and 6.7 losses with the prices on Boston (-180), Montreal (-140), Chicago (-200) and Minnesota (-150). Betting favorites in playoff hockey is risky business.
We’ll have deeper second round previews and market coverage through the week, as well as recaps and summaries once they drop the puck again.
MLB: Rockies, O’s early $$$ winners, while Jays and Giants are biggest wallet drains
Three weeks into the new season. Time to take a quick peek at the biggest market surprises on both ends of the spectrum. We’ll start with the good news…which is really good news to those of you who followed Gill Alexander’s preseason Over bet on the team from the Rocky Mountains. The records are from the standings page at covers.com.
Biggest Money Makers (rounding to nearest unit)
Colorado 8 units
Baltimore 7 units
Arizona 6 units
Washington 5 units
Houston 4 units
Cincinnati 4 units
Colorado has a record of 13-6, but has cashed enough underdog payoffs to add an extra betting unit to their profit. Baltimore is the surprise leader of the AL East, and the only team in that league to be playing over .700 ball out of the gate. Washington has the best winning percentage in the majors at .722, but has lost enough as favorites to ding their profit.
Biggest Money Losers
Toronto -11 units
San Francisco -10 units
NY Mets -7 units
LA Dodgers -6 units
Atlanta -5 units
LA Angels -5 units
San Francisco was having trouble before Madison Bumgarner put himself on the Disabled List with a reckless accident. The Giants and Blue Jays are down more than a combined 20 units between them. The LA Dodgers are the biggest market disappointment among the teams projected to win their divisions.
(Yes, we had to squeeze in some baseball notes just so we could update this developing parenthetical. All three of the Houston Astros road games went Over in Tampa Bay. So, the updated numbers are now 2-9 to the Under vs. opening totals in home games, compared to 7-1 to the Over on the road. The home average is still at a very low 5.8 combined runs per game. The road average is 10.8. Minute Maid Park remains the best pitcher’s park in MLB a few weeks into the 2017 season, after earning that label during the full 2016 campaign.)
That wraps up Monday. See you again tomorrow morning.
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