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Friday, February 16, 2018

Boxing Odds: George Groves vs. Chris Eubank Jr.

The World Boxing Super Series continues this Saturday with a super-middleweight semifinal in Manchester, England between WBA (Super) champion George Groves and IBO champ Chris Eubank Jr. At press time, Eubank is the –190 favorite, with Groves available at +155.

Eubank (26-1, 20 KOs) is the world’s No. 4-ranked super-middleweight according to The Ring, while Groves checks in at No. 2. This will be Eubank’s first crack at a major title, but he’s a rising star in the squared circle; Groves (27-3, 20 KOs) has been in five different title fights, and he’ll be defending the WBA strap for the second time after beating Fedor Chudinov (+300) for the vacant title last May.

Besides the moneyline, there are 13 other ways you can bet on Saturday’s fight – including the popular Method of Victory prop, where Eubank is +165 to win by KO/TKO/DQ. Groves is +300 to do the same. This bout is pegged at –145 not to go the distance; the official total is 9.5 rounds (Over –140), but you can also bet on totals anywhere from 2.5 rounds to 10.5 rounds. The most likely stoppage in Round Betting is Eubank winning in Round 6 or 7 at +1600 apiece.







Boxing Odds: Groves vs. Eubank Jr. for Super-Middleweight Gold

The title unification bouts in the World Boxing Super Series have been a big hit, and they’ll continue this Saturday in Manchester when WBA (Super) super-middleweight champion George Groves takes on IBO champion Chris Eubank Jr.


Eubank (26-1, 20 KOs) is the –190 favorite at press time despite this being his first shot at a major title. Groves (27-3, 20 KOs) is pegged at +155; he won the vacant WBA title last May against Fedor Chudinov (+300) and successfully defended against Jamie Cox (+330) in October. Saturday’s total is 9.5 rounds with the Over priced at –140.



NHL Odds: Kings on the Cusp in Pittsburgh

The Los Angeles Kings (30-20-5) are one of the best teams in the NHL, but if the playoffs started today, they’d be on the outside looking in. The Kings can take a step up the Pacific Division standings this Thursday with a road win over the 31-22-4 Pittsburgh Penguins; game time is 7 PM ET.


Although the Penguins are only one point ahead of Los Angeles in the overall standings – and the Kings have two games in hand – that’s still good enough for second place in the Metropolitan Division. Pittsburgh also has a goal differential of plus-5, compared to plus-26 for LA. That differential has the Kings 3.31 units in the black at 30-25 against the puck line. The Pens, on the other hand, are down 1.77 units at 31-26 ATS.
Pittsburgh fans might be wondering if their team made the right choice between the pipes last summer. Matt Murray (.906 save percentage) has had a difficult and injury-riddled season, while former starter Marc-Andre Fleury (.932 SV%) has excelled since getting scooped up by the Vegas Golden Knights in the expansion draft. Meanwhile, Jonathan Quick (.921 SV%) and Darcy Kuemper (.937 SV%) are both playing well for Los Angeles.







NHL Odds: Unlucky Kings Visit Fortunate Pens


The 31-22-4 Pittsburgh Penguins may be one point ahead of the 30-20-5 Los Angeles Kings in the overall standings, but the Kings have played better hockey thus far – and they can make a statement with a win Thursday night (7 PM ET) at PPG Paints Arena.

The Kings have a goal differential of plus-26 this year, well ahead of Pittsburgh at plus-5, and they’ve gotten much better goaltending from the tandem of Jonathan Quick (.921 save percentage) and Darcy Kuemper (.937 SV%). Matt Murray (.906 SV%) has struggled this year after historic back-to-back Stanley Cup wins as a rookie.




Monday, February 12, 2018

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NBA Odds: Well-Balanced Clippers Visit Boston

The Los Angeles Clippers may have traded Blake Griffin, but that doesn’t mean they’re giving up the ghost. The Clippers are 3-2 SU and 2-3 ATS since sending Griffin to Detroit; on Wednesday, they’ll play the Boston Celtics, who have lost three of their last four games straight up and against the spread. Tip-off is at 8 PM ET on ESPN.

Los Angeles (28-26 SU, 29-24-1 ATS) had a history of playing well whenever Griffin was out of the lineup, which happened quite a lot during his tenure. They now have a better-balanced and deeper lineup with Tobias Harris at small forward and Danilo Gallinari replacing Griffin at the 4-spot alongside defensive stalwart DeAndre Jordan. However, starting point guard Milos Teodosic has missed back-to-back games dealing with the sore right foot that has troubled him all season.

The Celtics (40-18 SU, 34-22-2 ATS) didn’t make any trades at last week’s deadline, but they did sign centre Greg Monroe for the remainder of 2017-18. Monroe played very well in 20 games for the Phoenix Suns before getting his contract bought out. Meanwhile, SG Marcus Smart (hand) is being shut down until after the All-Star break, giving more minutes to improving third-year guard Terry Rozier.






NBA Odds: Celtics Host New-Look Clippers


The Boston Celtics (40-18 SU, 34-22-2 ATS) will have their hands full this Wednesday when they host the Los Angeles Clippers (28-26 SU, 29-24-1 ATS), beginning at 8 PM ET on ESPN. The Clippers have won three of five games since trading Blake Griffin to Detroit; the Celtics are 1-3 SU and ATS in their last four.


Boston, now second in the Eastern Conference, has a new center in Greg Monroe, who was signed for the remainder of the season after Phoenix bought out his contract. However, SG Marcus Smart (hand) won’t be back until after the All-Star break.



NBA Odds: New-Look Cavaliers Visit Thunder on Tuesday

The Cleveland Cavaliers overhauled their team at the trade deadline. With their first game together a success, they’ll try to keep the momentum going when they head out on the road to visit the Oklahoma City Thunder on Tuesday. Tip-off is at 8 PM ET.

The Cavaliers thumped Boston 121-99 on Sunday. LeBron James put up 24 points, 10 assists and eight rebounds. Larry Nance Jr., Jordan Clarkson, George Hill and Rodney Hood made their debuts for Cleveland, and they all reached double figures for the Cavaliers (Hill 15, Clarkson 17 and Hood 15). Cleveland seems to have gotten the jolt of energy they needed and have now won three straight games.

The Thunder were 32-25 SU (24-33 ATS) after a win over Memphis on Sunday. That was a significant turning point, as the Thunder had lost five of six before that outing. They’ve been playing without Russell Westbrook and Carmelo Anthony due to ankle injuries, so keep an eye on their status.

The Cavaliers are 6-4 SU and 7-3 ATS in their last 10 meetings with the Thunder, who beat Cleveland 148-124 on the road on January 20.






NBA Odds: Rejuvenated Cavaliers Visit Thunder on Tuesday


The Cleveland Cavaliers were busy at the trade deadline, making wholesale changes to their roster in an attempt to try and stay in the championship conversation. They’ll travel to Oklahoma City to take on the banged-up Thunder on Tuesday.

The Cavaliers let go of Isaiah Thomas, Dwyane Wade, Channing Frye, Jae Crowder, Iman Shumpert and Derrick Rose, while bringing in Larry Nance Jr., Jordan Clarkson, George Hill and Rodney Hood. They routed Boston in their first game with their new team on Sunday and have now won three straight. Meanwhile, the Thunder have some injuries to worry about as Russell Westbrook and Carmelo Anthony have ailing ankles.


Friday, February 9, 2018

Winter Olympics Odds: “Russia” Expected to Win Hockey Gold

The 2018 Winter Olympics begin this Friday in Pyeongchang, South Korea, and this year’s festival will see 102 events spread across 15 different disciplines, with betting odds available right now at Bovada Sportsbook. Of the 92 nations participating, Norway is the +110 favorite to take home the most medals, followed by Germany at +150 and Team USA at +375.

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If those Olympic odds seem a bit strange, that’s because Russia is not included. However, a delegation of 169 athletes will be allowed to perform under the banner “Olympic Athletes of Russia,” and that delegation is favored at even money to win the men’s Ice Hockey gold medal. Canada and Sweden are tied for second at +450; Team USA trails at +1000, with no players from the NHL in attendance this year. Most professional leagues in Europe will take an Olympic break, including Russia’s Kontinental Hockey League.

Team USA is in much better shape at –130 to win the gold medal in women’s Ice Hockey. Canada (+110) took home the gold at each of the last four Games, beating the US in the finals on three occasions; however, Canada is vulnerable following the 2017 retirement of Hayley Wickenheiser.


Live odds and lines





Winter Olympics Odds: Can “Russia” Be Stopped?

They won’t be flying the Russian flag when the Pyeongchang Games get underway this Friday, but “Olympic Athletes of Russia” are still favored at even money to win the gold medal in men’s hockey. Canada and Sweden are a distant second at +450, with Team USA well behind at +1000.

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The Russian players have a big advantage this year. While the NHL has decided not to take a break for the 2018 Olympics, most European leagues will be – including the Kontinental Hockey League. Among the Russians participating: former NHL All-Stars Ilya Kovalchuk and Pavel Datsyuk.


NHL Odds: Canucks visit Tampa to Take on Top Team in NHL

This Thursday at 7:30 PM ET on Sportsnet, the NHL-leading Tampa Bay Lightning welcome the Vancouver Canucks to town in a rematch between teams that met less than a week ago. Vancouver will attempt to deliver some payback as a significant underdog on Lightning home ice.

Tampa Bay continues to impress. There are no better duos in the league than Tampa’s Nikita Kucherov and Steven Stamkos. The Lightning stars have combined for 126 points through 53 games so far this season; it’s by far the highest point total of two teammates. Those numbers have buttressed the Lightning to the top offense in the league, which scores an average of 3.53 goals per game.

At the other end of the ice, the Vancouver Canucks’ hopes at a playoff position are over. They’re currently 15 points behind the Minnesota Wild for the final Wild Card spot in the Western Conference, with five teams to leapfrog. It’s not all dark times in rainy Vancouver, however. Their rookie sensation, Brock Boeser (25 goals, 21 assists) is the early favourite to capture the Calder Trophy for rookie of the year. The future is bright for the Canucks, but they’ll be looking for payback in an upset over Tampa this Thursday.








NHL Odds: Kucherov and Stamkos Welcome the Canucks


The lethal offensive line of Nikita Kucherov, Steven Stamkos and Vladislav Namestnikov will be eagerly awaiting the arrival of the defensively porous Canucks this Thursday. Kucherov leads the league in points (27 goals, 39 assists), while Stamkos is a strong No. 2 on the team with 19 goals and 41 assists.

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Tampa Bay’s top offensive line will attempt to capitalize on a Canucks team that sits near the bottom of the league in goals against (3.2), and defeat Vancouver for the second time in a week. While the Canucks may be out of a playoff position, they’ll be embracing their status as underdogs and will attempt to topple the league’s best team.


Wednesday, February 7, 2018

NHL Odds: Can Rangers Stop Red-Hot Bruins?

Sports fans in Beantown may be sour at the moment, but they’ve still got the Boston Bruins. The hottest team in the NHL has lost just once in regulation since December 14, vaulting to second place in the Eastern Conference at 31-11-8. They’ll visit the slumping New York Rangers (25-23-5) this Wednesday, beginning at 8 PM ET on NBCSN.

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Boston’s turnaround can be traced to netminder Tuukka Rask. After a very poor start to the 2017-18 campaign, Rask has been on fire since the end of November, posting a personal win record of 17-0-2 and lifting his save percentage to .925. However, with the Bruins also playing Tuesday night in Detroit, back-up Anton Khudobin has already been confirmed to start Wednesday’s game. No problem: Khudobin has a .924 save percentage on the season.

The Rangers, meanwhile, have sunk to the bottom of the Metropolitan standings after losing eight of their last 11 games. They also lost No. 2 defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk (23 points in 46 games) to knee surgery in mid-January, and two of their top three left wingers are day-to-day with concussions: Chris Kreider (five power play goals in 37 games), and Jimmy Vesey (51.9% on faceoffs).


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NHL Odds: Bruins-Rangers at MSG

Wednesday’s Original Six matchup (8 PM ET, NBCSN) between the Boston Bruins and New York Rangers might turn into a blowout. The 31-11-8 Bruins have just one regulation loss since December 14, while the 25-23-5 Rangers have dropped nine of their last 12.

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The Rangers will have home-ice advantage, though, plus a day of rest after visiting Dallas on Monday. The Bruins will be playing the second of back-to-back road games after facing Detroit on Tuesday; back-up goaltender Anton Khudobin (.924 save percentage) has already been confirmed to start for Boston in place of the red-hot Tuukka Rask (.925 SV%).

Get your NHL odds at Bovada today.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

NBA Odds: Cavs Host Wolves on Eve of Trade Deadline

The Cleveland Cavaliers may have a new look by the time they host the Minnesota Timberwolves this Wednesday (8 PM ET, ESPN). With the team struggling and Kevin Love out six to eight weeks with a broken hand, there’s a very good chance the Cavaliers (30-21 SU, 14-36-1 ATS) will swing a deal or two before Thursday’s NBA trade deadline.

Despite Love’s absence, Cleveland’s biggest need may be at point guard, where Isaiah Thomas hasn’t played very well at all since making his season debut on January 2. There was talk that the Cavs would acquire George Hill from the Sacramento Kings, but that talk died down after Love went on the shelf. Cleveland may decide to stick with Thomas as he tries to get back on track following last year’s hip injury.

The Timberwolves (34-22 SU, 28-26-2 ATS) have played very well this year after picking up Jimmy Butler from Chicago during the offseason. There’s been some minor buzz around a possible trade with Charlotte that would package PG Jeff Teague to the Hornets in exchange for PG Kemba Walker; otherwise, Minnesota looks ready for their first playoff run since 2004. They hammered Cleveland 127-99 last month as 1.5-point home dogs.


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NBA Odds: Wolves-Cavs Could Get Nasty

When they met in Minneapolis last month, the Minnesota Timberwolves destroyed the Cleveland Cavaliers 127-99 as 1.5-point home dogs. They’ll meet again in Cleveland this Wednesday at 8 PM ET on ESPN.

Cavs PG Isaiah Thomas also hit Wolves SF Andrew Wiggins across the throat during that game, which resulted in a game ejection. Thomas has struggled to regain his All-Star form since missing the first 10 weeks of the season recovering from a hip injury; the Cavs may decide to pull off some trades before Thursday’s deadline, especially with PF Kevin Love (hand) on the shelf.


NBA Odds: Raptors Host Celtics in Eastern Conference Showdown

The top two teams in the Eastern Conference will meet on Tuesday, when the Toronto Raptors host the Boston Celtics. The Raptors, who are two games behind Boston for first place, will be looking to close ground with a win.

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The Celtics enter on a four-game winning streak, including a 97-96 win over the Portland Trail Blazers on Sunday. They’ve played their last three games without point guard Kyrie Irving, who has been dealing with a quad injury. Keep an eye on the injury news as he might be ready to return Tuesday.

As for the Raptors, they’ve won four of their last five games. Their offence has been on fire, averaging 116.4 points per game over their last five. Toronto has been especially tough to beat at home where they’ve won six of their last seven games and 21 of 25 overall this season. However, the Celtics’ 17 road wins are the most in the Eastern conference.

In terms of the meetings between the teams, the Raptors have played well in this series, winning 12 of the last 18 contests.


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NBA Odds: Irving Questionable as Celtics Visit Raptors

The Boston Celtics have won four straight and will be looking to keep that momentum going when they visit the Toronto Raptors Tuesday night. Tip-off is at 7:30 PM ET.

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The Celtics enter Tuesday’s affair as the top team in the Eastern Conference, leading the Raptors by just two games. Boston has played their last three contests without star Kyrie Irving, though. Keep an eye on his status as we get closer to game time. They could use his help as the Celtics have lost 12 of their last 18 games against Toronto.

Friday, February 2, 2018

UFC Odds: Lyoto Machida’s Last Stand?

Lyoto “The Dragon” Machida is one of the greatest fighters ever to step foot inside the Octagon. But the last time he fought in the UFC, Machida was knocked cold by Derek Brunson. Saturday’s main event at Fight Night 125 in Brazil could be the last time we see Machida in action; at press time, he’s a +220 underdog against Eryk Andrews (–280), who comes into this bout with a perfect 10-0 record.


Machida (22-8 lifetime, 14-8 UFC), the former Light Heavyweight champion back in 2009-10, has a 3-4 record since moving down to Middleweight, including three straight losses heading into Saturday’s matchup. Andrews is a former linebacker from the Alabama Crimson Tide with a 2-0 record inside the Octagon, knocking out Rafael Natal (–110) in the first round and defeating Markus Perez (+225) via unanimous decision.

Saturday’s co-main event is a Bantamweight fight between former TUF winner John Dodson (19-9 lifetime, 8-4 UFC) and Brazilian native Pedro Munhoz (15-2, 1 NC lifetime; 5-2, 1 NC UFC), who won and defended the RFA Bantamweight title before making his Octagon debut in 2014. Dodson is the –160 favorite despite losing two of four matches since moving up from Flyweight



Live odds and lines







UFC Odds: Machida-Andrews at Fight Night 125

After three straight losses via stoppage, Lyoto Machida’s last match could be this Saturday in his native Brazil, where he’ll take on Eryk Andrews in the main event at UFC Fight Night 125. Andrews (10-0 lifetime, 2-0 UFC) is the –280 favorite at press time.

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Machida (22-8 lifetime, 14-8 UFC) is a former Light Heavyweight champion and one of the greatest fighters in UFC history, but he appears to be out of gas at age 39. His most recent fight, also in Brazil, was a devastating first-round knockout at the hands of Derek Brunson (–175) this past October.


NHL Odds: Western Conference Elite Face Off Thursday

The Vegas Golden Knights head north this Thursday to take on their Western Conference foes, the Winnipeg Jets. Both teams are vying for top spot in the conference, and only two points separate them.

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In their second game following the All-Star break, the Jets and Golden Knights are looking to pick up where they left off. Led by likely Hart Trophy candidate, Blake Wheeler (14 goals, 42 assists), the Jets have been as solid as any team in the league this season. Through a strong balance between high-scoring offence, which ranks fifth in the NHL with 3.24 goals scored per game, and stingy defence, which sits seventh, allowing just 2.65 goals per game, the Jets have amassed an impressive +0.59 goal differential through 51 games.

At the opposite end of the ice is the surprise team of the NHL season. Vegas has captured the attention of hockey fans, as this group of castaway players has put together the second-best record in the entire league. Vegas has been the model of consistency this season with nine players tallying at more than 20 points, and ranking in the top six in the league in both goals for (3.39) and goals allowed (2.61). This is truly a battle between complete teams.






NHL Odds: Winnipeg Welcomes Vegas

This Thursday (8 PM ET), the top teams in the Western Conference clash in Winnipeg. Vegas will attempt to defend its lead for top spot in the conference. The Jets will need their sniper, Patrik Laine, to be on his game against a Vegas team that makes it difficult to find the back of the net, so all eyes will be on the Finnish sophomore.

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Marc-Andre Fleury, though injured for large portions of the season, has been Vegas’ best player when healthy. He’s coming off of a stellar All-Star Game appearance, and reminded people that he’s a three-time Stanley Cup winner. If he can continue his current play, he’ll be in the Vezina conversation come season’s end.

Thursday, February 1, 2018

NFL Odds: Patriots Slip From –6 to –4.5 vs. Eagles

The New England Patriots may be the defending champions, but the early action has been on the Philadelphia Eagles for Super Bowl LII, kicking off this Sunday (6:30 PM ET, NBC) from US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis. The Patriots opened as 6-point favorites, only to fall steadily to –4.5 at press time. The total has also moved since the open, but only slightly, from 48 to 48.5 points.

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The Super Bowl odds could start heading in the other direction this weekend. New England (15-3 SU, 12-6 ATS) is one of the most popular teams in the NFL, while the Eagles (15-3 SU, 12-6 ATS) have drawn less interest since Nick Foles replaced the injured Carson Wentz at quarterback. TE Rob Gronkowski is still in concussion protocol for the Patriots, but he should be available after practicing on Saturday and Sunday.
Meanwhile, hundreds of Super Bowl props have been posted for the Big Game, including the Super Bowl MVP prop, where New England QB Tom Brady is a –110 favorite over Foles (+325) and Gronkowski (+900). The over/under for the National Anthem prop is two minutes, with the Over pegged at –160; Pink will perform The Star-Spangled Banner this Sunday.


Live odds and lines


NFL Odds: Eagles-Patriots at Super Bowl LII

The biggest game in sports betting is this Sunday (6:30 PM ET, NBC) in Minneapolis, where the New England Patriots and Philadelphia Eagles will meet at Super Bowl LII. The defending champions from New England are 4.5-point favorites at press time after opening at –6.

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TE Rob Gronkowski remains in concussion protocol, but is expected to play after practicing over the weekend. QB Tom Brady (hand) appears to be healthy, as well; Brady is a –110 favorite on the NFL props market to earn Super Bowl MVP honors for the fifth time, ahead of Eagles QB Nick Foles at +325.



Tuesday, January 30, 2018

NBA Odds: Celtics Host Knicks in Battle of Ancient Rivals

One of the oldest rivalries in the NBA resumes Wednesday night (8 PM ET, ESPN) when the Boston Celtics host the New York Knicks. Boston has enjoyed the edge in this battle over the past three-plus seasons at 10-4 SU and 8-6 ATS, including 6-2 SU and 4-3 ATS at home. That includes a 110-89 victory on October 24 as 7.5-point favorites.

The Knicks (22-28 SU, 26-24 ATS) have done very well for themselves at Madison Square Garden, going 15-9 ATS at home, but they’ve fallen apart in away games at 11-15 ATS. However, New York appears to have adapted somewhat after playing a road-heavy schedule since the holidays. Fourteen of their last 17 games were away from Madison Square Garden; the Knicks are 7-7 ATS during this stretch.

New York also has a different lineup for their rematch with the Celtics (35-15 SU, 29-19-2 ATS). Jarrett Jack has taken over the starting point guard role from Ramon Sessions, who is no longer with the team. The Knicks also signed back-up point guard Trey Burke from the G-League two weeks ago, giving them a welcome scoring boost from the bench. The Over is 9-1 in New York’s last 10 games.
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NBA Odds: Knicks-Celtics at Boston Garden

The New York Knicks (22-28 SU, 26-24 ATS) haven’t played very well on the road this year, and they’ve got a difficult away game coming up Wednesday night against the Boston Celtics (35-15 SU, 29-19-2 ATS). Tip-off is 8 PM ET on ESPN.

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The Knicks are just 11-15 ATS on the road this year, although they have shown signs of improvement. They’ve played 14 of their last 17 games away from Madison Square Garden, splitting the bill at 7-7 ATS, and the Celtics won’t have SG Marcus Smart (lacerated hand) in the lineup on Wednesday.

NBA Odds: Home-Court Advantage Could be Key in Raptors-Timberwolves Game

The Toronto Raptors have moved within one game of first place in the Eastern Conference standings. On Tuesday, they’ll try to inch closer to the Boston Celtics and that top spot when they host the Minnesota Timberwolves.

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As the Cleveland Cavaliers and Boston Celtics stumble, the Raptors have made their move. They have won four of their last six games entering Tuesday’s affair. However, one of those recent losses was in Minnesota, where they lost 115-109 on January 20, so the Raptors will be looking for some revenge.

The T-Wolves play in Atlanta on Monday before visiting Toronto on Tuesday. They’ve been much stronger at home (20-6) than on the road (12-14) this season. They have dropped six of their last seven away games, scoring an average of 104.8 points per game in that span. That’s a significant drop-off from the 110.8 points per game they average at home.

Home-court advantage has been important in this series, as the home team has won each of the last three meetings. However, the Raptors are just 4-3 in their last seven home games overall.





NBA Odds: Raptors Looking for Revenge versus Timberwolves

For the second time in two weeks, the Toronto Raptors and Minnesota Timberwolves will square off. The Timberwolves won the first meeting 115-109 on January 20, giving the Raptors a reason to want to exact some revenge.

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Minnesota SF Jimmy Butler missed the first meeting between the teams, making space for Andrew Wiggins to step into the spotlight for Minnesota. Wiggins scored 29 points, and Karl-Anthony Towns added 22. The Timberwolves have been much stronger at home this season, going 20-6 compared to 12-14 in road games. Minnesota has lost six of their last seven away games.


Entertainment Odds: 60th Annual Grammy Awards

The Grammy Awards are usually held every February in Los Angeles, but not this year: Because of the Winter Olympics, they’ll be handing out the music industry’s top awards this Sunday (7:30 PM ET, CBS) at Madison Square Garden in New York. While Jay-Z leads the way with eight nominations, Kendrick Lamar (seven nominations) is the –275 favorite to win Album of the Year for DAMN., well ahead of Jay-Z at +1200 for 4:44.

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Both Jay-Z and Lamar will be taking a backseat to Alessia Cara. The breakout singer/songwriter from Brampton, Ontario is a –200 favorite to win Best New Artist; she also features in the smash hit by Logic, 1-800-273-8255, which is priced at –225 to win Song of the Year. The phone number in the title is the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.
There’s no question that Despatico by Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee (f. Justin Bieber) was the smash hit of the summer, setting YouTube records with 4.7 billion views and counting. Despatico is –300 to win Record of the Year and +200 to win Song of the Year; the latter award goes to the composer, while the former goes to the performer and production team.



Entertainment Odds: Jay-Z, Lamar Lead Grammy Pack

The 60th Annual Grammy Awards are this Sunday (7:30 PM ET, CBS) in New York, and odds for the “Big Four” awards are on the board at press time: Album of the Year, Song of the Year, Record of the Year, and Best New Artist.

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Jay-Z leads the pack with eight Grammy nominations, but he’s an underdog in the major categories. Kendrick Lamar’s DAMN. is –275 to win best Album honors, 1-800-273-8255 by Logic (f. Alessia Cara & Khalid) is –150 for best Song, and Despatico by Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee (f. Justin Bieber) is –300 for best Record.


NHL Odds: Minnesota Heads to Pittsburgh to Face the Pens

This Thursday at 7 PM ET, the Pittsburgh Penguins welcome the Minnesota Wild to town, with both teams looking to secure the final Wild Card position in their respective conferences. Both squads have grabbed hold of the New Year, and look poised to make a second-half run.

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The Pittsburgh Penguins (25-21-3) struggled with consistency throughout the first half of the season, but with the turn of the calendar to 2018, the Pens have hit a new level. They’re 7-3-0 in the month of January, and have drawn within a point of the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. Over that stretch, the Pens have surrendered just 2.33 goals per game, and have outscored their opponents 34-22. They’ll need to maintain that improved defensive play if they hope to top the Wild on Thursday.

Minnesota (26-17-5) has also thrived in 2018. They’ve gone 6-1-2 in the New Year, and have seen their star goaltender, Devan Dubnyk, take the team on his back. The Wild have allowed two or more goals just three times over their last nine, and Dubnyk’s already impressive stats have gotten stronger (2.59 goals against average, .919 save percentage). Dubnyk will need to be at his best against the high-scoring Pens. Don’t miss the action.





NHL Odds: West Versus East Showdown in Pittsburgh

The surging Minnesota Wild march into Pittsburgh this Thursday (7 PM ET) to take on Sidney Crosby and the Penguins. Minnesota has tallied points in eight of their last nine games, and now sit just one point out of the final Wild Card spot in the Western Conference. They’ll try to continue that momentum and stamp their name on a Western Conference playoff spot.

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Pittsburgh has benefitted from much improved play from their defense and goaltenders in recent games. A point of weakness through the first half of the season, the Pens’ defence have improved and have taken 12 of 18 points in January. They’ll need that play to continue this Thursday on home ice.



NHL Odds: First-Place Capitals Visit Florida

With the All-Star Game just around the corner, the 28-15-5 Washington Capitals find themselves in a familiar place: on top of the Metropolitan Division. Their last game before the break is Thursday night (7:30 PM ET) in Miami against the Florida Panthers, who are falling out of contention in the Atlantic at 19-20-6.

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When these two teams met in DC on October 21, it was the Panthers winning 4-1 as +120 underdogs on the moneyline. James Reimer (.910 save percentage) was in goal for Florida that day, and he’s projected to start Thursday’s game as well, with No. 1 goalie Roberto Luongo (.928 SV%) still recovering from an undisclosed lower-body injury. The Panthers are healthy otherwise.
Philipp Grubauer (.917 SV%) took the loss for Washington in their first meeting with the Cats. No. 1 starter Braden Holtby (.916 SV%) will likely get the nod on Thursday, and while his performance level hasn’t been much better than Grubauer’s, the Capitals will have enjoyed three days off before facing Florida. The Panthers will be in Dallas this Tuesday to play the Stars before coming back home. Washington also skates into Thursday’s matchup with zero injuries to report.





NHL Odds: Capitals-Panthers in Miami


The 28-15-5 Washington Capitals will skate into the All-Star break as the top team in the Metropolitan Division. But first, they’ll visit the 19-20-6 Florida Panthers on Thursday; the puck drops at 7:30 PM ET.

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Florida (+120 away) won this matchup 4-1 when they met on October 21, but it’s been tough sledding for the Cats since then. Back-up James Reimer (.910 save percentage) is projected to start for the home side, while No. 1 netminder Braden Holtby (.916 SV%) should play for Washington. The Capitals have three days off before this contest; Florida visits the Dallas Stars on Tuesday.


NBA Odds: Rockets-Mavs in Texas Showdown

The Houston Rockets (32-12 SU, 22-21-1 ATS) have the second-best record in the NBA, but they might be the league’s top team when both Chris Paul and James Harden are healthy. Both MVP candidates are expected to suit up for Wednesday’s road game against their in-state rivals, the Dallas Mavericks (15-31 SU, 23-22-1 ATS), beginning at 8 PM ET on ESPN.

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Harden recently missed seven games with a strained hamstring; the Rockets went 4-3 SU and ATS during his absence, but are 2-0 SU and ATS since his return on January 18. Earlier this year, Paul sat out 14 games with a bruised left knee, and Houston went 10-4 SU and 7-7 ATS. The two All-Star guards have otherwise worked very well in their first season together.
Meanwhile, this has been a difficult year for the Mavericks. Dirk Nowitzki has aged gracefully, but he’s merely competent now instead of a top player in the league, and center Nerlens Noel remains out until February after tearing a ligament in his left thumb. Assorted backcourt injuries have also put extra pressure on rookie point guard Dennis Smith Jr., although his performance level has improved dramatically as the season has progressed.






NBA Odds: Harden, Paul Lead Rockets into Dallas


The Houston Rockets (32-12 SU, 22-21-1 ATS) have been almost unbeatable when James Harden and Chris Paul are both healthy. That should be the case Wednesday night when Houston visits the Dallas Mavericks (15-31 SU, 23-22-1 ATS) at 8 PM ET on ESPN.

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Dallas hasn’t enjoyed very good health this year. Nerlens Noel is out until February with a torn thumb, and the Mavs backcourt hasn’t been as deep as in years past, leaving rookie Dennis Smith Jr. in a trial-by-fire situation. However, Smith’s level of play has improved, and Dallas is 8-4 ATS since the holidays.