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Wednesday, May 24, 2017

NBA : Warriors Win the West; NBA Finals Next

The Golden State Warriors are one step closer to reclaiming their NBA championship. The Warriors beat the San Antonio Spurs 129-115 Monday night, cashing in as 12-point road favourites and sweeping San Antonio out of the Western Conference Finals. Golden State came into the 2016-17 season as –250 favorites to win the West.

Their chances against the Spurs weren’t looking too good early on – San Antonio was up big in Game 1 when Kawhi Leonard sprained his ankle. Without their best player, and with Tony Parker already out for the year, the Spurs just couldn’t compete with Golden State. Losing David Lee to a partially torn patella in Game 3 made matters even worse.

The Warriors will have until June 1 to rest for the NBA Finals. That should give ample time for Zaza Pachulia to recover from the right heel contusion he suffered in Game 2 against San Antonio. In his absence, Patrick McCaw started at center for the Dubs Monday night, after JaVale McGee drew the assignment in Game 3. Andre Iguodala played 22 minutes off the bench despite a sore left knee; Kevon Looney (hip) is the only longer-term injury concern for Golden State going forward.

NBA : Warriors Win the West

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NBA Odds: Warriors Sweep Spurs, Advance to NBA Finals

The Golden State Warriors will play in their third-straight NBA Finals. They completed their sweep of the San Antonio Spurs Monday night, rolling to a 129-115 victory as 12-point road favourites; Golden State opened the season as a –250 chalk to win the Western Conference.

The Warriors have between now and June 1 to heal up for the Finals. Zaza Pachulia (right heel contusion) didn’t play Monday night after sitting out Game 3, but there’s been no indication he’ll miss the next round. Second-year center Kevon Looney remains out indefinitely for Golden State with a hip injury.

MLB : Rangers-Red Sox at Fenway Park

The Boston Red Sox had designs on winning another World Series this year. They’re still among the top contenders at +800 on the MLB futures market, but the Red Sox have started off slowly at 22-21, shedding 3.62 betting units in the process. They’ll host the Texas Rangers (24-21, +3.09 units) this week for a three-game set at Fenway Park, with Thursday’s finale beginning at 7:10 PM ET on NESN and the MLB Network.

The Rangers (+2500 to win the World Series) didn’t have a good start to the 2017 campaign, either, but they’ve taken advantage of a soft schedule to win 11 of their last 12 games. Texas swept both the Oakland Athletics and the Philadelphia Phillies, and took three of four from the San Diego Padres; all those opponents are below .500. Boston’s schedule has been much more difficult, but they still dropped three of four in Oakland before coming home to face the Rangers.

Southpaw Drew Pomeranz (4.33 FIP) is scheduled to start for Boston against right-hander Nick Martinez (5.22 FIP). The Red Sox are 4-4 behind Pomeranz for a loss of 1.11 units, while Texas is 3-3 and +0.45 units with Martinez on the mound.

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MLB Odds: Red Sox Host Red-Hot Rangers

The Texas Rangers (24-21, +3.09 betting units) have won 11 of their last 12 games, but that was against relatively weak opposition. They’ll be tested this week when they visit the Boston Red Sox (22-21, –3.62 units); Thursday’s finale is at 7:10 PM ET on NESN.

The Rangers catch something of a break Thursday with Drew Pomeranz (4.33 FIP) scheduled to start for Boston. However, Nick Martinez (5.22 FIP) will have to elevate his game for Texas. Martinez has allowed a rather fortunate .261 BABIP (Batting Average on Balls In Play), while Pomeranz has been saddled with a .327 BABIP.
Get your baseball odds at Bovada today.

Casino Player Lands Top Hand Playing Let ‘Em Ride

A online casino player from British Columbia hit a home run with the newest addition to their Table Games section, Let ‘Em Ride. The game is a simplified version of five card stud, with no opponents.

To win, you need to get a pair of Tens or better. Jerry K., however, got a much higher hand than the minimum; he pocketed $397,879 after landing the game’s best possible hand: a royal flush.

The initial three-card hand set the tone. After placing a $5 Ante bet, Jerry was dealt an Ace, King, and Queen – all clubs. The two community cards completed the royal flush, with a jack of clubs and 10 of clubs.

 Jerry’s $1 progressive jackpot side bet got him the entire jackpot on top of the standard 1000-1 payout for a royal flush. What a night for Jerry. For information on how Let ‘Em Ride works, check out the Game Guide at Bodog Casino.

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Thursday, May 18, 2017

Play Let ‘Em Ride on Mobile or Desktop

Play poker in a quick and easy table game format on either desktop or mobile. Let ‘Em Ride starts with an ante bet and ends with a payout – if you get at least a pair of Tens. If not, hit Rebet and play another round. This is a fun way to play poker without the pressure of opponents.

 Let Em Ride online game

An ante bet kicks off each round. Using the casino chips found at the bottom of the screen, place a wager between $1 and $500 onto the felt. Then, hit Deal to receive your three-card hand. Two community cards will be placed face down on the virtual felt. If you like your odds, hit Raise to add a second bet equal to your ante on the board. The first of the two community cards will be revealed. If you’re unsure about the strength of your cards, let ‘em ride by clicking Continue. You still get to see the community card, even without adding a Raise bet.

After seeing the first community card, you get another opportunity to raise the stakes, or let ‘em ride. Choose between the two options, and then the second and final community card is revealed. If you snagged pair of Tens of higher, you’ll get paid. If not, better luck next round.

Let ‘Em Ride offers a side bet called the Progressive Jackpot. Toss a chip on it to bolster payouts for top tiered hands like a royal flush, or full house. A percentage of the jackpot goes to these wins, making landing top hands even more memorable, and profitable, too.

This slick new version can be played anywhere you’ve got an internet connection. Its mobile capabilities are astounding, allowing you to play in portrait or landscape mode from your phone or tablet. The screen has a minimalist look, focusing on ease of navigation even on small screens.

Next time you’ve got a bit of time to kill, and get the urge to play a few rounds of poker, try Let ‘Em Ride. If you’re unsure, test it with Practice Play before playing with real money. But if you’re a poker enthusiast, we’re pretty confident you’re going to like this game. It’s got the same features that people like about poker, without the nuisance of having to wait for opponents. It’s just you and the cards in this game. Go get ‘em.

Horse Racing Odds: Always Dreaming Favored at Preakness

Always Dreaming already has the first jewel on the Triple Crown trail: the 2017 Kentucky Derby. At press time, he’s the 10/11 favorite to earn the second at Saturday’s Preakness Stakes, with Classic Empire at 15/4 and nobody else better than 10/1. Post time at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore is 7:35 PM ET on NBC.

The Preakness odds will change somewhat after Wednesday’s post-position draw, but Always Dreaming should go into this race as the clear favorite. Trainer Todd Pletcher says the dark bay has been gaining in energy since winning the Derby on May 6. There were some concerns on Sunday when Always Dreaming stumbled at the beginning of a gallop around the track at Pimlico, but everything appears to be in order for the big race.

Unfortunately, Royal Mo had to be taken off the Preakness list Sunday after suffering a fractured sesamoid in his right foreleg. His racing career is over after successful surgery on Monday, leaving a field of 11 potential horses – including five “shooters” who didn’t race on May 6. Conquest Mo Money has the shortest odds of this group at +1600; the last shooter to win the Preakness was Bernardini in 2006.

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Horse Racing Odds: Will Always Dreaming Take Down the Preakness?

Kentucky Derby winner Always Dreaming is the 10/11 favorite at press time to go back-to-back at Saturday’s Preakness Stakes, the second jewel in thoroughbred racing’s Triple Crown. Post time at Pimilco is 7:35 PM ET on NBC.

A field of 11 horses is expected after Wednesday’s post-position draw, with Classic Empire 15/4 the only obvious competition for the Kentucky Derby champion. Lancaster Bomber, the third-favorite at 10/1, wasn’t certain to appear after finishing fourth in the 2000 Guineas on May 6, the same day as the Derby, but it looks like he’ll be in the mix for Saturday.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

NBA : Will Cavaliers Be Rusty in Game 1?

The Cleveland Cavaliers haven’t played since eliminating the Toronto Raptors on May 7. They’ll get their first taste of action in 10 days when they visit the Boston Celtics this Wednesday, tipping off at 8:30 PM ET on TNT. Will the Cavaliers be too rusty to compete at a high level? Or will this extended vacation help them?

It didn’t seem to bother them in the first round. The Cavaliers had a full week off after sweeping the Indiana Pacers, and they played even better against the Raptors, taking that series 4-0 SU and 3-0-1 ATS. The time off is incredibly valuable for James. He’s been to the NBA Finals in each of the past six seasons, and his Cavaliers are widely expected to make it seven in a row.

Boston might have betting value here despite going the full seven games against the Washington Wizards. That series wrapped up Monday night at the Garden with the Celtics winning 115-105 as 5.5-point favourites. It was the C’s who finished first in the Eastern Conference this year, although the Cavs had the better point differential at plus-3.2, a half-point better than Boston.

NBA : Will Cavaliers Be Rusty in Game 1?

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NBA Odds: Celtics Host Cavs in Eastern Finals Opener

The Boston Celtics needed seven games to get past the Washington Wizards, but they got the job done Monday night, winning 115-105 as 5.5-point home favourites. Next up: the defending champion Cleveland Cavaliers, who visit the Garden Wednesday night at 8:30 PM ET on TNT.

The Cavs have been idle since eliminating the Toronto Raptors on May 7. They’re 8-0 SU and 5-2-1 ATS after two rounds, and all that time off should help keep LeBron James and his teammates fresh for Game 1. Cleveland swept the C’s from the first round of the 2015 NBA playoffs at 3-1 ATS.

NBA : Cavaliers Head to Boston to Take on Celtics

The top two seeds in the Eastern Conference square off Wednesday night, with the Boston Celtics hosting the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 1.

The Cavaliers have been off since May 7, when they completed a sweep of the Toronto Raptors. Against the Celtics this season, LeBron James averaged 29.3 points, 9.5 rebounds and 9.8 assists in four games, while Kyrie Irving was next with 25.5 points and 6.0 assists. They also shot 46.9% from the field and 34.8% from three-point land

The Celtics had to battle to beat Washington in seven tough games, giving them just two days off before facing Cleveland. In meetings with the Cavaliers this season, Isaiah Thomas led the way with 29.5 points and 6.5 assists. Meanwhile, Avery Bradley put up 16.0 points and 5.5 boards. The Celtics shot 46% from the field, and 37% from long distance.

Cleveland is 8-2 SU in their last 10 meetings with Boston, including 3-1 SU in the regular season. However, they’re only 3-6-1 ATS. In Boston, the Cavaliers split their two meetings, losing 103-99 on March 1 and rebounding for a 114-91 win on April 5.

NBA : Cavaliers Head to Boston to Take on Celtics

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NBA Odds: Celtics, Cavaliers Meet in Game 1

The Boston Celtics beat the Cleveland Cavaliers for the top seed in the Eastern Conference. They’ll look to make that home-court advantage count when they host the Cavaliers in Game 1 on Wednesday.

The Cavaliers won three of four against the Celtics this season, so they have had plenty of success against them. However, Cleveland slumped down the stretch of the regular season and instead of making a push for the top seed, they rested their stars. We’ll see just how much that home court advantage factors in on Wednesday.

NHL : Game Four of Eastern Conference Final in Ottawa

Coming into the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs, hockey fans expected to see last year’s champs, the Pittsburgh Penguins, make a deep run again this spring. What they didn’t expect was that the Pens would be facing an eighth-seeded Ottawa Senators team in the Eastern Conference Finals. Now the only Canadian team remaining in the playoffs, the Senators have an entire country rooting for them to make their first Cup appearance since 2006-07, where they lost to the Anaheim Ducks in five games. The Sens seem to have captured the kind of magic necessary to be successful in the playoffs, having won seven games in overtime through the first three rounds, including two games in double overtime.

The Penguins have been impressive thus far despite a plethora of injuries to key players. They defeated the Columbus Blue Jackets in five games and beat the league’s top team, the Washington Capitals, in seven games. However, the offensively-gifted Pens have had difficulties scoring against a defensively-minded Ottawa team, managing to post only two goals in the first two games at home. Pittsburgh will need more out of their star-studded lineup on the road if they hope to crack the defensive wall that Ottawa has created around goaltender Craig Anderson. Game time is 8 PM ET.

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NHL Odds: Defense versus Offense in Eastern Final

“Stingy” is a word that many have used to describe the Ottawa Senators in Round Three. The Sens know that they’re overmatched against a Pens lineup that features the likes of Sidney Crosby, Evengi Malkin and Phil Kessel, but with determined defensive play, Ottawa managed to frustrate the Penguins on their home ice, stealing one of two games.

With Game 4 being played in Ottawa, the Senators have an opportunity to capitalize on the adrenaline that comes from playing on home ice. Goaltender Craig Anderson has been terrific thus far, and he’ll need to continue that play if Ottawa hopes to keep pace with the defending champs.

Ignition Casino Player Triggers $158K Progressive Jackpot

Ignition Casino’s hugely popular game, Five Times Wins, paid out in a big way on Thursday, May 11. Jon A. from Texas, made the right choice when he chose to play Ignition’s Five Times Wins, the prequel to Ten Times Wins. Jon put in a $2.25 bet, spun the reels, and on one of the game’s three paylines, he landed the top combo: three 5X symbols. The 5X symbol is wild and also offers the highest payout. Jon A. received the progressive jackpot, a massive $158,000, for his efforts. The jackpot has been reset but is building quickly; it’s up to $3,000.

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Thursday, May 11, 2017

UFC : Two Titles on the Line at UFC 211

The UFC returns to Dallas with a vengeance this Saturday for a major PPV event: UFC 211, featuring two championship bouts at the top of the card. First, Joanna Jedrzejczyk (–165) will defend her Women’s Strawweight title against Jessica Andrade. Then Stipe Miocic (–140) will try to fend off Heavyweight challenger and former champ Junior dos Santos in the main event.

Jedrzejczyk (13-0 lifetime, 7-0 UFC) has yet to taste defeat in the Octagon, but she’ll face one of her toughest opponents yet in Andrade (16-5 lifetime, 7-3 UFC), who has won three straight fights since dropping down from Bantamweight last June. The Brazilian native earned performance bonuses for her last two bouts, a submission win over Joanne Calderwood (+105) and a unanimous decision over Angela Hill (+350).

The main event between Miocic (16-2 lifetime, 10-2 UFC) and dos Santos (18-4 lifetime, 12-3 UFC) is a rematch of their 2014 bout, where dos Santos prevailed in a unanimous, but close decision that saw both fighters earn performance bonuses. Since then, Miocic has won four straight fights and the Heavyweight belt, while dos Santos is 1-1 after taking a year off from active competition.

UFC : Two Titles on the Line at UFC 211

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UFC Odds: Loaded Card for UFC 211 in Dallas

Two titles will be on the line this Saturday when UFC 211 touches down in Dallas. Joanna Jedrzejczyk is –165 to defend her Women’s Strawweight title against Jessica Andrade, then Stipe Miocic (–140) will face former Heavyweight champ Junior dos Santos in the main event.

Dos Santos was the winner the last time he faced Miocic (+300) in 2014, but it was a close fight that earned both men performance bonuses; Miocic has won all of his four appearances since then, taking the Heavyweight strap from Fabricio Werdum (–200) and defending it successfully against Alistair Overeem (–115).

NHL : Predators Make Team History with First Ever Conference Finals Appearance

Following a 3-1 win over the St. Louis Blues on May 7, the Nashville Predators officially entered uncharted territory: the NHL Conference Finals. It seems as though the gutsy moves that General Manager David Poile made over the past two seasons, namely trading away prized young defenseman Seth Jones to the Columbus Blue Jackets for Center Ryan Johansen and trading team captain Shea Weber to the Montreal Canadiens for offensively-gifted PK Subban, are bearing fruit. Despite qualifying for the 2016-17 Playoffs as the final wildcard team in the West, the Preds lost just one game through the first two series.

To understand Nashville’s playoff success, look no further than their blueline. Through the first nine games of the playoffs, their defensive corps has amassed a staggering nine goals and 16 assists. Defenseman Ryan Ellis leads the team with nine points (4 goals, 5 assists), while both Roman Josi and PK Subban have contributed eight points apiece. While their offensive numbers are off the charts, their defensive stats are equally impressive. They’ve given up three goals in a game only once this post season and have held their opponents to one goal or less in six of nine playoff games. Although it’ll be hard to maintain this pace going forward, don’t be surprised if you see the yellow and blue come June.

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NHL Odds: Defense Winning Games in Tennessee

With three of the team’s top four point scorers residing on the blueline, the Nashville Predators have found a strategy that frustrates even the best in the West. After qualifying as the lowest-seeded Western Conference team, the Predators made quick work of the Chicago Blackhawks (4-0) and St. Louis Blues (4-1) in the first two rounds.

By getting goals from a league-best 14 different players, including 25 points from their defensive corps, Nashville hasn’t allowed their opponents to key in on a specific line or player. Instead, teams are left trying to adjust to Nashville’s diverse attack and balanced offense, which will no doubt continue in the Conference Finals.


MLB : Best of the Best Collide in Astros-Yankees Tilt

The Houston Astros (21-11, +6.05 betting units) were expected to do big things this season, and the New York Yankees (20-9, +10.06 units) were supposed to be a year or two away from contending. But it’s the Yankees who lead the American League at press time, and they can build on their momentum when they welcome Houston to the Bronx for a four-game series, starting Thursday at 7:05 PM ET on YES and the MLB Network.

This should be a tremendous pitching duel between Houston’s Dallas Keuchel (3.72 FIP) and New York’s Michael Pineda (3.66 FIP). The Astros have won six of Keuchel’s seven starts for 4.09 units in profit, supporting their former Cy Young winner with 5.14 runs per game. Pineda’s work for the Yankees hasn’t gone unrewarded, either – they’re 5-1 (+3.94 units) in his six starts, providing 7.33 runs per game and driving the over to a 4-2 record.

One small problem for the Astros: OF Marwin Gonzalez (1.067 OPS) was struck on the left foot by a pitch on Saturday and had to skip Sunday’s 5-3 win over the Los Angeles Angels (+103 at home). Gonzalez already has nine home runs this year; his career high is 13.

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MLB Odds: Astros-Yankees Fight for First in AL

It’s been an outstanding start to the 2017 season for both the New York Yankees (20-9, +10.06 betting units) and the Houston Astros (21-11, +6.05 units). They’ll play a four-game series at New Yankee Stadium beginning this Thursday. YES and the MLB Network have the coverage starting at 7:05 PM ET.

Expect a low-scoring game with Michael Pineda (3.66 FIP) taking the mound for New York and Dallas Keuchel (3.72 FIP) responding for Houston. They’ve led their teams to a combined 11-2 record and 8.03 units in profit, but only one can win when they meet Thursday in the Bronx.

Monday, May 8, 2017

NBA : Wizards, Celtics Face Off in Crucial Game 5 in Boston

The Boston Celtics and Washington Wizards have been led by their point guards all season long, and the guards should have a major say in Game 5’s result in Boston on Wednesday.

John Wall has steered the ship for the Wizards throughout the playoffs and has been excellent against Boston. Through the first four games of the series, Wall put up 27.8 points, 12.3 assists, 2.8 steals and 1.8 blocks. The Celtics don’t seem to have an answer for him – at least on the defensive end of the floor.

However, offensively, the Celtics have Isaiah Thomas, who chided the referees after Game 4, claiming they’re letting the Wizards get away with a lot of grabbing. Thomas averaged 33.0 points and 5.7 assists in three games over the Wizards. He also had an impressive 53-point performance in Game 2 against the Wizards.

The Celtics won the first two games of the series at home, but the Wizards held serve in their two home games. Boston is 8-2 SU and ATS in their last 10 games against the Wizards in Boston.

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NBA Odds: Point Guards Could Decide Game 5 in Boston

John Wall of the Washington Wizards and Isaiah Thomas of the Boston Celtics have been two of the best point guards in the NBA all season. Those two face off in Game 5 in Boston on Wednesday, with the Eastern Conference Semifinal tied at two games.

Both Wall and Thomas made the Eastern Conference All-Star team and they’ve both been fantastic in the playoffs so far. Through the first four games of this series, Thomas has the scoring edge with 29.5 points per game to 27.8 for Wall. Their performance will be key in the critical Game 5.

NBA : Replenished Wiz Visit Celtics

For a while, it looked like the Boston Celtics were going to have their way with the Washington Wizards. Then the Wizards welcomed Ian Mahinmi back into the lineup and won both their games in Washington to even this second-round series at 2-2. Game 5 is back in Boston Wednesday night (8 PM ET, TNT).

Mahinmi gives the Wizards their full complement of big men, a welcome relief considering the earlier injuries to both Markieff Morris and Jason Smith in these playoffs. The Wiz destroyed Boston on the boards Sunday, out-rebounding the Celtics 45-31 and going on to win 121-102 as   5-point favourites; this was despite the insertion of Amir Johnson into the C’s starting five. He grabbed just two rebounds in 12 minutes.

All those extra shot opportunities allowed the Wiz to absorb a 14-for-31 Boston barrage (45.2%) from behind the arc. That included a 5-of-6 performance from Isaiah Thomas, who still finished the day at minus-30 after going to the foul line zero times in a game filled with clutching and grabbing. Thomas voiced his displeasure afterwards at the level of officiating, and he might get those whistles Wednesday night with this series heading back to the Garden.

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NBA Odds: Wizards-Celtics at the Garden

The Washington Wizards are making this a series. They’ve won back-to-back games against the Boston Celtics to knot this second-round matchup at 2-2 with Game 5 at the Garden on Wednesday. TNT has the coverage starting at 8 PM ET.

Washington’s comeback coincides with the return of top defender Ian Mahinmi from the injured list. Although Mahinmi’s role has been limited, now that the Wizards have all their big men available, they’ve had their way with Boston on the glass. However, Washington is still 1-4 ATS on the road during these playoffs. The Celtics are 3-2 ATS at home.

A Night With Cleo slot Pays $180K Progressive Jackpot

We’d like to give a shout out to Juan S. from Texas for joining Bovada on a high note on Thursday May 4. After setting up an account, Juan deposited $50, and received a $50 match bonus.

With the bonus cash, he browsed the casino, played a bit of blackjack and eventually moved on to A Night With Cleo – a popular slot with a progressive jackpot. After spinning the reels six times for $1 a spin, luck struck, and the progressive jackpot, which was a massive $180,000, landed in his lap. This was four hours after setting up his account. Well done, Juan.

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The big win reset A Night With Cleo Slot game’s progressive jackpot, and it’s at $16,000 as we go to press. Will you be the next one to win it?

Friday, May 5, 2017

New and Improved Single-Deck Blackjack

Single-Deck Blackjack is the most sought after blackjack game. Immortalized in movies like 21, it offers solid odds in a quick and easy format. The newest version offers the same great features you’d expect in standard Single-Deck Blackjack, with a modern minimalistic look.

New and Improved Single-Deck Blackjack

If you’ve played The Workshop’s Multi-Hand Blackjack, you’ll be familiar with the sleek blue background – but you can only play one hand at a time in this single deck version. You’ll find $1, $5, $25 and $100 chips at the bottom of the screen for your betting purposes; each round costs at least $25 and at the most $300. To place your bet, either drag the chips and drop them in the betting rectangle, or tap the chips and then tap the rectangle. Hit “Deal” to start a round.

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For a more interactive basic gameplay tutorial, click the “Learn More” option in the menu. This will take you through all the steps in a round. But if you’ve played blackjack before, you’ll likely be able to apply the same steps you’re familiar with to this user-friendly version

For those just learning the art of 21, the round starts with you and the dealer each receiving two-card hands; one of the dealer’s cards is visible. If the dealer’s up-card is an Ace, you’ll be offered insurance, which pays 2:1. It’s not compulsory, but it’s a nice way to offset the dealer getting a natural. The dealer must hit on soft 17, so any hand with an 11-point Ace that equals 17 points will result in the dealer hitting. For a full set of rules, check out the “Rules” section in the game’s collapsible menu.

The actions you can take include: Hit, Stand, Split, and Double. Clicking “Hit” gets you another card, “Stand” means you’re happy with your hand as it is, “Split” divides your two cards (they must be matching cards) into two individual hands, and “Double” doubles your wager and gets you one last card. Try a couple rounds on Practice Play until you get familiar with these actions.

Once you’re ready for Real Money play, you can expect to land a payout every time you get a hand closer to 21 than the dealer, without going over. The standard payouts are 1:1 for everything except landing a blackjack, which pays 3:2, and insurance, which pays 2:1. Now that you’ve got the basics covered, go conquer the virtual felt on your mobile or tablet.

Boxing : Canelo Expected to Thump Chavez

It might be one of the biggest boxing matches of the year, but it doesn’t look very competitive. Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (48-1-1, 34 KO) is a –650 favorite at press time to beat Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. (50-2-1, 32 KO) this Saturday in Las Vegas. There won’t even be any titles on the line in this catchweight bout – just the commemorative Cinco de Mayo belt the WBC made for the winner.

It’s the catchweight that’s threatening to turn this fight into a laugher. According to their contract, both gentlemen have to make weight at 164.5 pounds; that’s going to be very taxing for the 6-foot-1 Chavez, who fought at 168 pounds this past December. It won’t be a problem for Canelo at 5-foot-9. He’s bulked up for this bout, with an eye on moving up to the middleweight division full-time.
Most boxing insiders expect Chavez to come up short. That includes Gennady Golovkin, who holds almost all the major titles at middleweight. Golovkin, who expects to fight the winner, says Chavez will run out of gas after two or three rounds because of the weight cut.

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Boxing Odds: Canelo-Chavez in “Civil War”

It’ll have all the glitz and glamour of Cinco de Mayo weekend, but Saturday’s big PPV fight in Las Vegas between Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (48-1-1, 34 KO) and Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. (50-2-1, 32 KO) looks like a mismatch. Canelo is the –650 favorite at press time.

This non-title bout is being held at a catchweight of 164.5 pounds, well below the 168 pounds Chavez fought at in December – and that was already a difficult weight cut for him. Canelo, on the other hand, has been bulking up since taking the WBO light middleweight strap off Liam Smith last September.

NHL : Pivotal Game 5 Matchup on Tap in Anaheim

In the fifth game of a best-of-seven series, the Edmonton Oilers will look to capitalize on their recent success in the First Round against the San Jose Sharks and the first two games against the Anaheim Ducks. After winning the first two games on the road, the Oilers dropped Game 3 by a wide margin, 6-3. Game 3 was never close, and much like the 7-0 drubbing against the Sharks in Game 4, Oilers Head Coach Todd McLellan responded by mixing up his top two lines. The result was that Edmonton won the next two games, and closed out the First Round series.

The Anaheim Ducks have been inconsistent so far in the Second Round. They’ve managed to hold Hart Trophy nominee Connor McDavid to only one goal and one assist thus far, but have looked overwhelmed at times by Edmonton’s speed and physicality. With the home advantage, the Ducks will look to force a Game 6 in Edmonton, which could swing the series back to Anaheim’s favour. However, that will all depend on the outcome of a must-win game for the Ducks on Friday. Catch the game at 10:30 PM ET on NBCSN.

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NHL Odds: Pacific Division Foes Face Off in Anaheim

After sweeping the Calgary Flames in their First Round series, the Anaheim Ducks have run into a confident and youthful Edmonton Oilers squad in the Second Round. Goals have been plentiful so far, with 20 scored over the first three games alone.

It looked like the Oilers were going to run away with things after two games, but after a dominant 6-3 win on the road, the Ducks pulled themselves back into the series and put the pressure on the Oilers as the series shifts back to Anaheim for Game 5 (10:30 PM ET on NBCSN).

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

NBA : Raptors, Cavaliers Meet in Game 2 on Wednesday

The Cleveland Cavaliers have been the overwhelming favorites in the Eastern Conference all season, but the Toronto Raptors may give them some trouble. The two face off in Cleveland on Wednesday in their second-round series.

The Raptors had to battle hard to take out the Milwaukee Bucks in six games. SG DeMar DeRozan put up an average of 23.5 points per game, while PG Kyle Lowry put up 14.3 points and 5.2 assists. But Toronto’s biggest asset was their defense. The Raptors allowed 93.2 points per game, which was the best in the postseason so far.

Meanwhile, the Cavaliers swept the Indiana Pacers in four straight games. SF LeBron James averaged 32.8 points, 9.8 rebounds and 9.0 assists for the series. The Cavaliers averaged 112.8 points for the first round, which put them with Houston in second place behind Golden State. Their defense has been poor, but so has Toronto’s offense.

The Cavs are 7-3 SU and 6-4 ATS in their last 10 meetings with the Raptors prior to Game 1 of this series. In last season’s Eastern Conference finals, Cleveland beat Toronto in six games.

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NBA : Raptors, Cavaliers Meet in Game 2

NBA Odds: Raptors’ Defense Aims to Hold Cleveland’s Offense

The Cleveland Cavaliers rested down the stretch of the regular season, giving up the top seed in the Eastern Conference. They didn’t mind facing the Toronto Raptors in the second round.

The Raptors will have to prove the Cavs wrong after a less-than-impressive first round series with the Milwaukee Bucks. But it won’t be easy; Cleveland has won seven of the last 10 meetings between the teams. The Raptors and Cavaliers face off on Wednesday in Cleveland at 7 PM ET.

MLB : Baltimore-Boston at Fenway Park

The Baltimore Orioles are off to another hot start in the American League East. But they’ll be tested this week when they take on the Boston Red Sox in a four-game series at Fenway Park. The finale is Thursday night at 7:10 PM ET on NESN and the MLB Network. Ubaldo Jimenez (6.98 FIP) is scheduled to throw for Baltimore against knuckleballer Steven Wright (7.69 FIP).

Both of these pitchers have stumbled out of the gate in 2017. Jimenez has delivered only one quality start in five appearances, but the Orioles’ bats have bailed him out for a 4-1 team record and 3.40 betting units in profit. Baltimore manager Buck Showalter says Jimenez will take his regular turn in the rotation Thursday, but this could be his last chance to avoid getting demoted to the bullpen.

Wright also just has one quality start in five games, but the Red Sox haven’t given him the same support, leaving them with a team record of 1-4 and 3.38 units in debt. One of those games was a 4-2 loss to Baltimore on April 22; Wright allowed all four runs in 3.2 innings, dropping the cash as a slim –104 road dog.

Live odds and lines

 MLB Odds: Struggling Pitchers Collide in O’s-Sox Tilt
The scoreboard at Fenway Park could get a workout Thursday night (7:10 PM ET, NESN) when the Boston Red Sox host the Baltimore Orioles. Projected starters Steven Wright (7.69 FIP) and Ubaldo Jimenez (6.98 FIP) have both pitched very poorly, sending the over to a combined 7-3 record.

Jimenez has been the more fortunate of the two. Baltimore’s bats have bailed him out this year, winning four of his five starts, while the Red Sox have gone 1-4 with Wright on the mound. He doesn’t appear to have recovered from the shoulder issues that derailed last year’s All-Star campaign.