NBA Betting – Miami Heat @ Boston Celtics Game One Preview


NBA PlayoffsThe Boston Celtics are a couple of seasons removed from their NBA Finals run in 2008, and with a core group of players that isn’t going to get any younger, the time is now if the Celtics want to make another run for the title. Ray Allen will be a free agent this summer, Kevin Garnett has struggled with injuries much more than he has in the past, and head coach Doc Rivers has cited personal family matters as the reason why he is leaning towards leaving the team after this season. Should Boston go on another run, it will need its big three of Allen, Garnett, and Paul Pierce to be healthy and consistent, while getting greater contributions from guard Rajon Rondo and center Rasheed Wallace. The first opponent in the way of the Celtics’ NBA championship odds title ambitions is the Miami Heat.

Miami Heat @ Boston Celtics

Saturday April 17, 2010

Best Online Sports Book Odds: Celtics -300

On the playoff bubble with just over a month to go in the NBA regular season, Miami heated up over its final 22 games, going 18-4 down the stretch to finish fifth in the Eastern conference. The Heat came together as a unit, and put forth a much more concerted effort as a defensive unit, which they feel is the biggest reason for the turnaround, although a soft schedule was also a big part of it. Still, Miami had to win the games, and that is something that the Celtics didn’t do much of down the stretch. After starting the season 18 games above .500, Boston went just 27-27 after the Christmas break to hold rank in the fourth playoff spot.

Home-court advantage all but disappeared during that time, and the Celtics finished with the 15th best home record in the association. Boston has won 18 of its past 22 at home however, and after sweeping the Heat with three wins in the season series, will look to continue its home dominance in the postseason. While Dwayne Wade was responsible for 40-percent of Miami’s points, the Celtics have the weapons to spread the ball around and play both down low, and shoot the long ball. With a bench that includes key weapons in Wallace and trade-acquisition Nate Robinson, Boston is a deeper sports betting team that has more playoff experience, and will re-establish home court advantage immediately with a Game One win.

Pick: Celtics – 300

Over/Under NBA Betting Lines: O/U – 190

For all of the offensive talent that they boast, the Celtics actually finished the season ranked 19 in points per game with an average of 99.22. Miami’s average number was actually less than that at 96.51, an indication of how these teams won games this season. While the playoffs are different, the number is a little high for teams that haven’t scored much during this season, which is why this game will stay under.

Pick: Under - 190

Stanley Cup Betting – Could we see Penguins-Red Wings III?


NHL BettingIf you’re into Stanley Cup betting, you’re probably praying to avoid a third straight season of Pittsburgh and Detroit in the Stanley Cup finals. One of those teams should get back to the finals, but who will it be?

Washington is the overall favorite to lift the Stanley Cup at +200, but we can’t put any faith in their shaky goaltending situation. We know that the offense, led by Alex Ovchekin and friends, can light the lamp, but can they stop anyone consistently? Pittsburgh is next at +500 in your best online sportsbook, and the defending Stanley Cup champions are probably the best bet to represent the East. Sidney Crosby has been phenomenal all season, even taking out time to score the winning goal in the gold-medal game for Canada in the Olympics, but he needs help, and it appears as though Evgeni Malkin is finally healthy after a subpar season by his standards. If anyone is going to upset the top two, it would be New Jersey at +1000, and Buffalo at +1200. The Devils have Martin Brodeur in goal, and the duo of Ilya Kovalchuk and Zach Parise can score with the best of them. Meanwhile, the Sabres have Miller, the probable Vezina Trophy winner who has had a brilliant season, along with the MVP award in the Olympics in a losing cause.

In the West, it’s okay for hockey betting players to be skeptical over San Jose, who has NHL odds of +500. The Sharks have built up a deserved reputation as an underachiever in the playoffs, and we’re not sure that the addition of Dany Heatley is enough to put San Jose over the top. Chicago is up there at +500 as well, but the young Blackhawks, like Washington, have questions at the back on defense and in goal. The Red Wings are listed at +600 after a torrid post-Olympic stretch, and with their veteran experience and leadership, it would be foolish to count them out. However, Vancouver is the most balanced of all these teams and with odds of +1000, the Canucks offer decent value. However, this isn’t just a value pick: the Canucks can really win it all. Roberto Luongo should be boosted by his gold-medal performance in the Olympics, and they have the NHL’s leading scorer in Henrik Sedin. Their defense was a bit banged up down the stretch, but all in all, the Canucks are in good shape.

In the finals, we’re taking Pittsburgh to reach the finals for a third consecutive year, and win their second straight Stanley Cup behind big performances from Crosby and Malkin, but the matchup of Marc-Andre Fleury and Luongo in goal will be the key. Fleury has been up and down during the stretch run, but he’ll show up in the postseason. Go with the Penguins in your sportsbetting picks.

Baseball Betting - Tampa Bay Rays sign Leslie Anderson


Baseball Betting OddsTampa Bay Rays sign the Cuban prospect Leslie Anderson for four years and a minimum of $ 1,725,000.

Outfielder-first baseman hit .381 with 13 homers and 61 RBIs in Camaguey in the 2008-09 season of Cuban baseball. He played for Cuba in the World Classic in 2006 and 2009.

Anderson was sent to the team's training camps.

"Anderson is a professional hitter," said the director of international operations for the Rays, Carlos Alfonso. "We also drew attention for his athletic ability."

The left-handed hitter will receive a bonus of $ 500,000 to sign the contract and $ 125,000 in the minors this year or at least $ 400,000 in the majors odds. Wages will also have 200,000 in the minors or 450,000 in the majors in 2011, 400,000 in the minors or 500,000 in the majors in 2012 and 500,000 in 2013.

Anderson could earn another $ 350,000 per year in the majors according to how much you accumulate at-bats.

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