NBA Betting: Celtics Aim to Cool Off Heat in Boston


NBA OddsEven those who are online betting for Kentucky Derby odds are checking out the NBA playoffs, and in the series that everyone has been waiting for, Miami is showing why many picked them to win the title as soon as LeBron James and Chris Bosh joined forces with Dwyane Wade in South Beach, racing out to a 2-0 series lead against Boston. The Celtics return home to face the Heat on Saturday, in what is their game of the season.

Heat vs. Celtics Betting – Saturday, 8:00 PM ET

James poured in 35 points to lead the way in a 102-91 win for the Heat on Tuesday at home, while adding seven boards, while Wade followed up a 38-point performance in Game 1 with another 28 points. Bosh notched 17 points and 11 boards for the Heat, who outrebounded the Celtics 44-38, and they’ve dominated this series over the first two games. Those watching NBA scores may be a bit surprised to see the Heat not backing down from the physical play of the Celtics and in fact, they may even be embracing it. That being said, it’s going to be a different story when they go to Boston, and that is when we’ll see how good the Heat are.

Rajon Rondo led Boston with 20 points, 12 assists and six assists, while Kevin Garnett was next with 16 points and six rebounds for the Celtics, who got a combined 20 points from Paul Pierce and Ray Allen on 7-of-18 shooting. Boston looks very old compared to the athletic stars on the Heat, and the trio of Pierce (Achilles), Allen (chest) and Rondo (back) all suffered injuries, but continued to play. Outside of Rondo, age may finally be catching up to the Celtics, and those watching NBA scores will tell you that Father Time finds everyone at some point. They’re going to need all of their championship experience to gut one out on Saturday.

We’re not sure who will be favored in Game 3, which may continue the feeling of a WWE Raw episode, although Boston may get a slight edge at home as they won both games at the TD Banknorth Garden against the Heat during the regular season. Word is, the Celtics will be getting Shaquille O’Neal back in the lineup, but if Boston is hanging their hopes of winning in the postseason of an injured Shaq, they’re going to be in trouble. This is the Celtics’ last stand, and they have to be even more physical than they have been in the first two games, but they have to be disciplined as well. We think the crowd will be a factor for Boston, and we’re not sure that Bosh, in particular, will be able to handle the atmosphere in the Garden. Take Boston to grab a lifeline in your sports book.

NHL Playoff Preview: Western Conference Semifinals San Jose Sharks vs. Detroit Red Wings


NHL OddsSports Bet Overview

The 2011 Kentucky Derby betting is heating up just as the Detroit Red Wings are cooling down. Any sportsbook promo expert will tell you that this Red Wings team just does not look at all like the Cup wining teams in the Red Wings’ history. This team is either too old, or too young. By the time the youngsters reach their prime, the veterans will be gone. The 5dimes reviews of the first two games of this series show a Detroit team that cannot dominate the middle of the ice like they used to, and a Detroit team that is consistently losing races to the puck. The Detroit defense is old and slow, and none of the factors that have led to a Stanley Cup championship in the past are in place.

The San Jose Sharks are taking every opportunity to get under the Red Wings’ skin. From spraying snow at goaltender Jimmy Howard to pushes in the back after the whistle, the Sharks are showing signs of that confidence and swagger that the Red Wings used to be famous for. The Sharks are winning battles in the corners and keeping the Red Wings out from in front of the net. On the rare occasion that San Jose goaltender Antti Niemi is screened on a shot, he seems to be unaffected by it. This looks like a San Jose versus Detroit series, but the roles are reversed from previous years.

Detroit Red Wings

The Red Wings are relying too much on goaltender Jimmy Howard. The defensemen are so used to getting up into the offensive play, that they are leaving Howard exposed to odd-man rushes and breakaways. Howard is simply not that good. He is not Dominic Hasek or Chris Osgood, and he cannot hold down the defensive zone play by himself. The Red Wings are going to have to collapse in around Howard to have a chance at coming back in this series. But that is just not the way that this veteran team plays hockey, and you can’t teach an old dog new tricks this late in the game.

San Jose Sharks

When the season started, the Sharks looked disorganized and goaltender Antti Niemi looked like he was going to be the biggest bust in San Jose history. But Niemi is a playoff goaltender, just like Billy Smith and Grant Fuhr used to be. In the regular season, Niemi is an average goalie at best. But when the playoffs start, he is one of the best in the business. The Sharks are also helped by the fact that players like Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau are finally becoming factors in games. Even in the quarterfinals series against the Los Angeles Kings, it seemed like Marleau and Thornton were drifting around the ice. In this series, they are all business.

The Bottom Line

Things will be changing in Detroit after this season. Many of the remaining Stanley Cup players will retire, and the Red Wings will be left looking to rebuild. It will be interesting to see if the team can rebuild around a goaltender like Jimmy Howard. But, for now, the Red Wings are just no match for the Sharks.

Gambling Advisor blog Pick: San Jose Sharks


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