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Kentucky Derby Week picks up today with draw for post positions

Jeff Fogle  
VSiN City newsletter

Kentucky Derby Week continues with Tuesday morning’s draw for post position. Plus, the Celtics shock the Sixers thanks to a 17-5 edge in treys, and the Vegas Golden Knights win in OT at San Jose. You’ll always stay atop sports betting developments when you ride the rail with VSiN City! 

2018 Kentucky Derby: Watch the draw for post position live Tuesday at 11 a.m. ET, 8 a.m. PT
As The Run for the Roses draws nearer, Tuesday bring the much-anticipated drawing for post position. You can watch live at this link courtesy of the Louisville Courier-Journal.

There are currently 20 horses scheduled to compete in Saturday’s renewal of one of America’s most treasured traditions. The majority will be market longshots on race day. Let’s take a look at the seven horses drawing the most betting attention thus far. We’ve gathered a composite of odds from offshore via Oddschecker, along with odds posted on twitter from the Wynn and Westgate. 

Composite odds from Oddschecker (Wynn and Westgate in parenthesis)
Justify: 4/1 or 9/2 (5/2 at the Wynn, 3/1 at Westgate)
Mendelssohn: 4/1 (6/1 at the Wynn and Westgate)
Audible: 6/1 (8/1 at the Wynn and Westgate)
Magnum Moon: 8/1 (6/1 at the Wynn, 7/1 at Westgate)
Bolt D’Oro: 9/1 (8/1 at the Wynn and Westgate)
Good Magic: 11/1 (5/1 at the Wynn and Westgate)
Vino Rosso: 16/1 (14/1 at the Wynn, 12/1 a Westgate)
All other horses currently 20/1 or higher

Remember that Tuesday’s draw could impact the betting odds if any of these relative favorites suffer good or bad luck in positioning. We’ll keep an eye on price changes through the week. Be sure you watch VSiN programming every day for the latest, and follow Ron Flatter on twitter (@ronflatter). Ron is already in Kentucky to file broadcast and twitter reports.

Don’t forget that our Kentucky Derby guide “Inside the Derby,” produced in conjunction with horse racing TV network TVG, will be available Wednesday. This electronic publication can be purchased online for just $19.99 by clicking here. You can also purchase the full Triple Crown preview trio for $39.99 (a 33% savings!). 

If you’re already a subscriber to Point Spread Weekly, the Kentucky Derby Guide will be mailed to you during the day Wednesday. You’ll get…

*Analysis and picks from Brent Musburger, Ron Flatter, Dave Tuley, Vinny Magliulo, Pauly Howard, and many more (including TVG personalities).

*In-depth profiles of every entry, so you can make the most of your win, place, and show betting strategies on race day. 

You won’t find a more comprehensive handicapping source anywhere on the planet!

NBA Monday: Tired Boston beats rested Philadelphia from long range to stun the betting markets
So much for tired legs. Boston looked fresh as a daisy on its way to a sparkling 17 of 36 performance on three-pointers, while Philadelphia looked several steps slow…seemingly from complacency and overconfidence. Let’s run the numbers, then talk about how “sustainable” this these performances were. 

Boston (plus 4.5) 117, Philadelphia 101
2-point Pct: Philadelphia 53%, Boston 49%
3-pointers: Philadelphia 5/26, Boston 17/36
Free Throws: Philadelphia 26/35, Boston 18/19
Rebounds: Philadelphia 45, Boston 36
Turnovers: Philadelphia 12, Boston 10
Pace: 96.1 

If you watched the game, 3-point shooting was the main story all night. Philadelphia never got anything going, partly because Boston does such a great job of guarding the arc (a hallmark of head coach Brad Stevens’ winning philosophy), and partly because the Sixers started rushing anything that opened up in the fourth quarter. The Celtics patiently passed the ball around to get open looks out of their set offense, but occasionally sprinted the ball up court when Philly defenders were sitting on the floor, bugging the refs for calls, or otherwise posing for selfies. 

This wasn’t a “lucky” win keyed by three-point fortunes. More like an “earned” win where the victory margin blew up because of extremes. 

Can Boston keep shooting like this from long range? NOBODY can keep shooting like this from long range! That’s not a sustainable percentage (or volume), particularly in the playoffs. But the Celtics can definitely “get the best of it” in terms of quality looks and smart decision-making. They don’t need to win every game by 36 outside points to advance. They just need to win three more games with a meaningful edge. 

Can Philadelphia keep shooting this poorly? Sure! They had three lousy long-range games in the Miami series. The game announcers talked about how “great” Philadelphia shot on three-pointers vs. the Heat. As we talked about yesterday, it was two great games and three bad ones. Philly shot 7 of 28, 7 of 31, and 7 of 35 in three of those first round games. That’s not “great” three-point shooting. That’s ERRATIC three-point shooting. Five of 26 isn’t out of line. Boston’s defense will at least have the chance to disrupt Philly’s three-point attack three more times. 

What needs to be said is that Boston MUST win the long-range battle because the Celtics will probably get crushed inside. Philadelphia won scoring on “1’s and 2’s” by a whopping 86-66 count. You can see the big free throw edge (though plus eight makes isn’t great on plus 16 attempts). Sixers won the battle of the boards 45-36. Pencil in 11 made treys for both and the Sixers win. Aggressive series pricing was based on that reality. Boston broke the pencils in Game One. 

Game 2 won’t be until Thursday night in Boston. That will give Philadelphia a chance to make some tactical adjustments, and otherwise prepare its players for the reality that this is going to be a series rather than a cakewalk. Boston has a chance to freshen up and get healthy. It will be interesting to watch the battle of pace here. Game 1 projected to 96.1 according to the widgets that turn box scores into advanced box scores. That’s slower than what Philadelphia was accustomed to vs. Miami (98.4, 99.9, 98.7, 107.8, and 98.9). Boston keeping pace in check helps neutralize Philadelphia’s athleticism while exposing its lack of postseason experience. 

NBA Tuesday Previews: Cleveland/Toronto begins, then Golden State goes for a 2-0 lead over New Orleans
We haven’t had a chance to run our series preview indicator stats for either of the matchups on the Tuesday card. Let’s take care of that right now. 

Cleveland at Toronto (8 p.m. ET Tuesday on TNT)
Defensive Efficiency: Cleveland #29, Toronto #5
Rebound Rate: Cleveland #22, Toronto #8
Made Treys/Game: Cleveland 12.0, Toronto 11.8
Series Price: Toronto -200, Cleveland plus 160
Game One Price: Toronto -6.5, total of 215

Cleveland will probably play better than those lousy defense and rebounding rankings suggest in this series. But they aren’t likely to match #1 seed Toronto in those areas. Cleveland’s “playoff gear” only snuck them past relatively un-dynamic Indiana. As we discussed yesterday in our recap of Game One, Cleveland’s defense was still disappointing vs. Indiana when you adjusted for pace. Rebounding? Cleveland was minus 10 in rebound differential for the series, winning the stat in just three of seven games. 

For its part, Toronto managed to get the job done vs. Washington while not looking very impressive for long stretches. An edge of plus 18 on made treys (plus 54 points) helped hide some flaws. Though, as Indiana showed, if you can at least contain LeBron James, nobody else is likely to hurt you with any consistency. 

New Orleans at Golden State (10:30 p.m. ET Tuesday on TNT)
Defensive Efficiency: New Orleans #12, Golden State #8
Rebound Rate: New Orleans #20, Golden State #11
Made Treys/Game: New Orleans 10.2, Golden State 11.3
Game Two Price: Golden State -11, total of 226.5

Let’s start with the news that Steph Curry is very likely to play Game Two. Of course, everybody thought he was going to play Game One! The line is Golden State -11 as we go to press because Curry’s supposed to be there. If he’s a late scratch, we’ll likely see a late fall to -9. 

While Golden State gets the best of the stat rankings, those aren’t exactly the differentials you’d expect to see in a projected squash. What gives? Golden State does have a more intense gear when it comes to defense and rebounding in the playoffs. They are likely to play something closer to championship caliber moving forward. And, the return of Curry gives them a chance to own the three-point category by more than those regular season averages would suggest. 

A quick note on Anthony Davis. If you only casually follow the NBA, you may not be aware that the defense and rebounding stats of New Orleans aren’t nearly as impressive as you might think with a force like Unibrow on the floor. While he can be a terror on defense, he often takes himself out of position going for blocks. The same issue hurts rebounding. Davis’ teams have never been as good as media hype in those key stat areas. He can make amazing defensive plays…but his teams aren’t defensive forces possession to possession. 

We promised to run the Game 1 boxscore…

Saturday: Golden State (-7) 123, New Orleans 101
2-point Pct: New Orleans 48%, Golden State 52%
3-pointers: New Orleans 8/25, Golden State 11/27
Free Throws: New Orleans 9/11, Golden State 24/32
Rebounds: New Orleans 42, Golden State 57
Turnovers: New Orleans 12, Golden State 13
Pace: 104.3 

New Orleans had great success running on Portland, sweeping a series with pace factors of 97.5, 95.5, 101.5, and 100.4. Pelicans scored 119 and 131 points in those last two relative track meets (by playoff standards). Well, running on Golden State isn’t going to work. The Warriors will kill you with easy buckets and open treys before racing back to block your shots. 

Golden State owned all the stats but turnovers. And, the Warriors gladly punt that category much of the time because aggression gets them so many easy points otherwise. Huge edge on the boards. Huge edge at earning free throw attempts. Warriors didn’t even need those three extra treys to cover. 

Tough matchup for New Orleans in terms of getting straight up wins. They are in a price range, though, where bettors have a chance to exploit Golden State complacency, Curry rustiness, or garbage time rallies with dog bets on the Pelicans. 

NHL Playoffs: Tampa Bay ties it up with Boston, Vegas/San Jose go OT again
Some quick stats from Monday mayhem in the Stanley Cup chase…

Tampa Bay (-165) 4, Boston 2 (series now tied at 1-1)
Shots: Boston 20, Tampa Bay 31
Power Plays: Boston 0/3, Tampa Bay 1/4

You can see that Tampa Bay never let up after dropping the opener. Shot count is now 67-44 for the Lightning in two games. TB must still break serve at least once in Boston to advance. Game Three will be Wednesday in Beantown.

Vegas (plus 110) 4, San Jose 3 in overtime (VGK now leads series 2-1)
Shots: Vegas 33, San Jose 42
Power Plays: Vegas 2 of 6, San Jose 1 of 4

A tightly played affair broke open in the second period. San Jose took a 1-0 lead at 6:59. Vegas exploded at 9:40, 13:09, and 14:26. The first two for VGK were power play goals. San Jose would rally with two third period goals, including a heartstopper with just under two minutes to go in regulation. William Karlsson netted the game winner at 8:17 of overtime. Game 4 will be Wednesday in San Jose. 

Two-a-nights continue Tuesday with the other elite eight matchups. A quick reminder of where we stand in those two showdowns…

Washington at Pittsburgh (7:35 p.m. ET on NBC Sports, series tied 1-1)
Game 1: Pittsburgh (plus 110) 3, Washington 2 (Shots: Washington 34-25)
Game 2: Washington (-140) 4, Pittsburgh 1 (Shots: Pittsburgh 33-32)
Game 3: Pittsburgh -145, total of 5.5

Pittsburgh was the series favorite initially despite not having home ice. Now the Penguins have it, and are prohibitive favorites to advance. No sure things in hockey!

Nashville at Winnipeg (8:05 p.m. ET on CNBC, series tied 1-1)
Game 1: Winnipeg (plus 150) 4, Nashville 1 (Shots: Nashville 48-19)
Game 2: Nashville (-175) 4, Winnipeg 3 in OT (Shots: Winnipeg 50-41)
Game 3: Winnipeg -130, total of 5.5 

Nashville hasn’t looked like the team that was supposed to steamroll the West on the way back to the Stanley Cup finals. Two losses to Colorado as monster favorites. Then, 0-1-1 in regulation at home vs. impressive Winnipeg before netting the game winner in double overtime Sunday evening. 

Winnipeg has earned market respect given that late Monday price of -130. 

MLB News: LA Dodgers shortstop Corey Seager lost for the season to Tommy John surgery
Horrible news for the slumping Los Angeles Dodgers. Two-time all-star and 2016 NL Rookie of the Year Corey Seager will miss the rest of the season because of surgery to repair a ligament in his throwing arm

You’ve probably heard the baseball cliché about the importance of being “strong up the middle.” That’s very true because catcher, shortstop, second base, and center field have a larger skew due to the emphasis on defense at those positions. If you have an all-star first baseman, it’s less difficult to find a replacement after an injury because relatively slow sluggers aren’t hard to find. A shortstop who hit 48 home runs in his age 22 and 23 seasons? You don’t replace that!

LAD continued its recent struggles with an 8-5 loss at Arizona Monday night. The Dodgers are now 12-16 for the season, down about 15.5 betting units. Arizona extends its lead over the Dodgers to EIGHT games, sitting at 20-8 for the season…about plus 13.5 betting units. 

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