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Wednesday, April 18, 2018

NHL Odds: Leafs Look to Draw Even in Game 4

The Toronto Maple Leafs avoided slipping into a 3-0 series deficit Monday night with an enormous 4-2 victory over the Boston Bruins. Instead of being on the brink of elimination entering Game 4, Toronto has the opportunity to pull even with the favoured Bruins.

Entering the Stanley Cup Playoffs, hockey fans expected this Original Six matchup to be one of the closer series of the First Round. But after two games on the road, Toronto looked to be in a different league than Boston. They surrendered 12 goals and were overmatched in every facet of the game. It turns out that returning home was just what the doctor ordered.

Game 3 showed what Toronto is capable of: timely scoring, disciplined defense and superb goaltending. The result was a convincing win and the opportunity to even the series 2-2 on Thursday night. To do so, the Leafs will need to keep Boston’s first line off of the scoresheet. The threesome of Patrice Bergeron, David Pastrnak and Brad Marchand have combined for a ridiculous 20 points through three games. The Leafs won’t be able to count on goaltender Frederik Andersen to steal every game, so they’ll need to recapture their defensive prowess in Game 4.

NHL Odds: Boston and Toronto Square Off in Game 4

Patrick Marleau showed up for the Toronto Maple Leafs in Game 3. The 38-year-old scored two goals and paced the Leafs to a 4-2 victory over the Bruins. Marleau was complimented by a sensational performance from Frederik Andersen, who stopped 40 shots, including several highlight reel saves in the dying minutes of the game.

The Leafs had been outscored 12-4 in the first two games, and Boston appeared to be running away with the series. Those lopsided performances were largely because Toronto was unable to contain Boston’s first line in the first two games. They found a way in Game 3 and will need to do so once again on Thursday if they hope to head back to Boston with the series tied.

NHL Odds: Caps Playing Catch-Up With Columbus

Things have not gone according to plan for the Washington Capitals. They lost the first two games of their first-round playoff series with the Columbus Blue Jackets, both in overtime, and they’ll need to right the ship if they want to tie this series by winning Thursday’s Game 4 (7:30 PM ET, USA). Columbus was –400 to win this series heading into Game 3 on Tuesday.

At press time, it appears Washington will hand the reins to Braden Holtby (.907 save percentage) the rest of the way after Philipp Grubauer (.923 SV%) struggled in goal during the first two games. Grubauer allowed eight goals on 49 shots before being replaced by Holtby in the third period of Game 2; Holtby stopped seven shots before allowing Matt Calvert to score the game-winner in overtime.
The Blue Jackets were one of the league’s hottest teams at the end of the regular season, winning 13 of their last 17 games to eke out a Wild Card spot in the Eastern Conference. They took advantage of Grubauer by scoring two power play goals in Game 1 and two more in Game 2, erasing a Washington lead on both occasions.

NHL Odds: Man Advantage Leaves Caps Scrambling in Columbus

The Washington Capitals may have won the Metropolitan Division, but they’ve lost the first two games of their opening-round series against the Columbus Blue Jackets. Game 4 is Thursday at 7:30 PM ET on the USA Network.

Braden Holtby has replaced Philipp Grubauer in net for Washington, after Grubauer (.923 save percentage) surrendered eight goals to the Blue Jackets on 49 shots. However, four of those Columbus goals were on the power play, and Holtby (.907 SV%) allowed the overtime winner by Matt Calvert after taking over for Grubauer during the third period of Game 2.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Kentucky Derby Odds: Justify Holds On

The prep schedule for the 2018 Kentucky Derby has come to a close, and after last week’s results, Justify remains the 4/1 favourite for this year’s big race on May 5. But he’s got plenty of company at the top of the horse racing futures market. The latest contender to state his case: Magnum Moon (8/1), who took down the Grade 1 Arkansas Derby on Saturday. The Todd Pletcher-trained colt heads into Churchill Downs as the No. 1 horse on the 2018 Road to the Kentucky Derby standings.

Despite Magnum Moon’s undefeated 4-0 record, including the G2 Rebel Stakes in March, the relative lack of competition at Oaklawn Park is enough to leave him fourth on the Kentucky Derby odds list. Justify, also undefeated at 3-0, put away former Derby favorite Bolt d’Oro (now 10/1) by three lengths earlier this month at the G1 Santa Anita Derby.
Among the other top favorites with victories on the Road to the Kentucky Derby: Mendelssohn (9/2), who won the G2 UAE Derby, Audible (11/2), who prevailed at the G1 Florida Derby, and Vino Rosso (16/1), making his debut on the odds board after taking down the G2 Wood Memorial.

Kentucky Derby Odds: Justify Stays in Front

With all the races on the Road to the Kentucky Derby complete, Justify is still on top of the odds list at 4/1. But he’s got company: Mendelssohn (9/2), Audible (11/2) and Magnum Moon (8/1) are all very much in contention for the big race on May 5.

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Magnum Moon joined the top favorites after taking down Saturday’s Grade 1 Arkansas Derby, running his career record to 4-0 and securing top spot in the points standings. However, Justify remains the favourite based on his three-length victory over Bolt d’Oro (10/1) at the G1 Santa Anita Derby.

Kentucky Derby Odds: Justify Makes the Leap

Another week, another new favorite on the 2018 Kentucky Derby futures market. Justify, who only broke his maiden in February, has taken the lead at 4/1 after winning Saturday’s Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby – his first-ever graded stakes race. The Bob-Baffert trained colt won by three lengths over Bolt d’Oro, the former Kentucky Derby favorite, who slipped to 10/1 after Saturday’s result.

Justify wasn’t the only big winner this past weekend. Good Magic took over first place on the Road to the Kentucky Derby standings after winning the G2 Blue Grass Stakes; at press time, the reigning Breeders’ Cup Juvenile champion is fifth on the Derby odds list at 12/1. And it was Vino Rosso crossing the wire first at the G2 Wood Memorial, earning his first graded-stakes victory – although not enough of a breakthrough to generate any odds for the big race on May 5.
There’s still time for other horses to make an impression. The G1 Arkansas Derby at Oaklawn Park and the G3 Lexington Stakes at Keeneland are this Saturday, the last two prep races on the schedule; Magnum Moon and Solomini, both 16/1, are expected to duke it out at Oaklawn.

Kentucky Derby Odds: Justify Standing Tall

With only one week of prep races left before the Kentucky Derby on May 5, Justify has taken the lead at 4/1 on the odds board. He defeated former favorite Bolt d’Oro (now 10/1) by three lengths at Saturday’s Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby.
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Other prep winners over the weekend include Good Magic (12/1), who took down the G2 Blue Grass Stakes, and Vino Rosso (NL), who earned his first graded-stakes victory at the G2 Wood Memorial. The final Kentucky Derby preps are this Saturday: the G1 Arkansas Derby at Oaklawn Park and the G3 Lexington Stakes at Keeneland.

NBA Odds: Raptors Aim For 2-0 Series Lead on Wizards

The Toronto Raptors ended a longtime Game 1 playoff drought with a win over the Washington Wizards on Saturday. They’ll go for Game 2 on Tuesday in Toronto. The Wizards, meanwhile, will look to tie up this Eastern Conference series.

The Wizards were led by John Wall, who had 23 points and 15 assists in a 114-106 loss on the road to open up the playoffs. Markieff Morris added 22 points, 11 rebounds and six assists. The Wizards couldn’t hold on to a four-point halftime lead, as they were outscored 59-47 after the break. They also couldn’t take advantage of 17 Toronto turnovers.

Serge Ibaka powered the Raptors with 23 points and 12 rebounds, while DeMar DeRozan had 19 points and six assists. The Raptors got a big boost from Delon Wright, who came off the bench to score 18 points. It was the first win in a series Game 1 in 17 years for the Raptors, who had dropped their previous 10 Game 1’s.

The Raptors are 7-3 SU and ATS in their last 10 meetings with the Wizards. Six of those games have come in under the posted total.

NBA Odds: Raptors Host Wizards for Game 2 on Tuesday

The Toronto Raptors won their first Game 1 in 17 years against the Washington Wizards Saturday night. They’ll look to take a 2-0 series lead when they host the Wizards on Tuesday in Toronto.

The Raptors outscored the Wizards 59-47 after halftime in a 114-106 win in Game 1 to end their ugly drought. They had lost their previous 10 Game 1 matchups. Serge Ibaka was huge for the Raptors, as he led the way with 23 points and 12 rebounds. John Wall was playing against the Raptors for the first time this season, and he led the Wizards with 23 points and 15 assists.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Kentucky Derby Odds: Good Magic, Justify State Their Case

With only one week of prep races left to run, the potential field for the 2018 Kentucky Derby is beginning to take shape. The latest horses to make an impression are Good Magic, who leads the Road to the Kentucky Derby standings after winning the Grade 2 Blue Grass Stakes, and Justify, who took down the G1 Santa Anita Derby. Their odds for the Kentucky Derby are pending at press time.

Justify may have made the biggest splash over the weekend, defeating former Kentucky Derby favorite Bolt d’Oro by three lengths at Santa Anita Park. The Bob Baffert-trained colt was a 3/5 chalk in the field of seven, and posted an impressive 107 Beyer Speed Figure; Bolt d’Oro, who was 6/5 on the morning line, came up with a bloodied right front hoof – although it doesn’t appear to be a major issue.

Good Magic, the reigning Breeders’ Cup Juvenile champion, won the Blue Grass Stakes by 1-1/2 lengths over Flameaway, cashing in as the 8/5 favorite at Keeneland. The G2 Wood Memorial also went off Saturday, with Vino Rosso (4/1) beating Enticed by three lengths at Aqueduct in a breakthrough performance.

Kentucky Derby Odds: Good Magic Takes the Lead

It’s been a quiet year for the reigning Breeders’ Cup Juvenile champion, but Good Magic is back  in the Kentucky Derby spotlight after taking down the Grade 2 Blue Grass Stakes on Saturday. The Chad Brown-trained colt is now first on the Road to the Kentucky Derby standings with only one week of prep races remaining.

Justify was also a big winner over the weekend, defeating Bolt d’Oro by three lengths at the G1 Santa Anita Derby. And it was Vino Rosso winning the G2 Wood Memorial on Saturday for his first graded stakes victory.

Casino Player Triggers $250K Jackpot

A slot player from Pennsylvania is the recipient of a quarter-million dollar win last weekend. Laura L. was playing A Night With Cleo at Casino and wagering the default $2 bet per round. The game is equipped with a Double Or Nothing feature, free spins, and a progressive jackpot. At the end of a round, a message popped up on the screen to alert Laura that she’d be taking home the game’s progressive jackpot, which was at $251,385 at that time. That’s a big haul for a small stake.

Now that the jackpot in A Night With Cleo has been claimed, it has been re-set and is hovering around $16K. It won’t take long for the jackpot to shoot back up again. Because of the game’s popularity, it grows fast. There are also many games at Casino that offer their own progressive jackpots, but none are as scintillating as A Night With Cleo. See if you can induce the pharaoh’s generosity the way Laura did.

Ohio Player Wins $82K Jackpot at Bovada Casino

With so many slot games paying out recently, it’s nice to see a table game make it to the list of Recent Winners. On Wednesday, April 4, Bovada Casino celebrated a massive win with a Table Game player from Ohio. James S. was playing Caribbean Stud Poker, a table game version of poker with no flop. Luck struck in a split second. After staking $4 on the round and $1 on the progressive jackpot side bet, he got a Royal Flush, earning 100% of the $82,180-jackpot. Cheers James.

The progressive jackpot offered in Caribbean Stud Poker at Bovada Casino is shared with another popular table game, Caribbean Hold’Em. Both games require a Royal Flush to trigger 100% of the jackpot and a Straight Flush to get 10% of it. Fortunately for James, he had bet on the jackpot side bet when he was dealt an epic Royal Flush. Now the only question is, what will James do with the money? 

Café Casino Player Hits $61K Jackpot

Café Casino celebrated a big win on Sunday, March 25. Just to prove that big bets aren’t always required to trigger big payouts, an online slot player from Indianapolis turned $0.25 into $61,145 by playing the right game at the right time. What drew Johnny V. to the 5-reel underwater slot game, Whale O’ Winnings, we can’t say for sure, but he must have been pleased with his selection when a round ended with a five-figure payout.

Whale O’ Winnings is a less-known slot at Café Casino, but it boasts exceptional bonus features capable of doubling people’s bankrolls. Landing five free spin scatters triggers 50 games with double the payouts, and landing a paying line that includes a wild symbol triggers triple the cash. Everything is whale-sized in this 3D animated slot game, and fully customizable. Play 1 to 10 coins and choose how many of the game’s 50 paylines you want active – all while an orca hovers beside the reels to cheer you on. There are plenty of treasures in the sea, try to reel them in with this cheery slot game.

Kentucky Derby Odds: Mendelssohn Surges Ahead

There’s a new favorite on the 2018 Kentucky Derby futures odds. Mendelssohn, the winner of last year’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf, took the lead at 5/1 after a magnificent display at Saturday’s Grade 2 UAE Derby. Bolt d’Oro, who won the G2 San Felipe Stakes last month, is holding firm at 7/1.

Mendelssohn is on a three-race winning streak for trainer Aidan O’Brien, who took the Kentucky-bred bay off the European Road with one race left and opted for the UAE Derby instead. That move paid off when Mendelssohn beat the track record and won by 18-1/2 lengths, also a record. However, jockey Ryan Moore might choose to ride Saxon Warrior at the 2,000 Guineas on May 5, rather than make the trip to Churchill Downs.

After Audible at third (13/2), there’s a tie for fourth place at 8/1, with McKinzie and Justify – although McKinzie might have to bow out after developing an issue with his hind leg. Audible is in fine form after taking down the G1 Florida Derby over the weekend; Justify is expected to face Bolt d’Oro this Saturday at the G1 Santa Anita Derby, in their last prep race before the Kentucky Derby.

Kentucky Derby Odds: Mendelssohn Looking Good

After taking down the Grade 2 UAE Derby by 18 1/2 lengths, Mendelssohn has surged to the front of the 2018 Kentucky Derby odds list at 5/1. The Aidan O’Brien-trained bay broke the track record at Meydan to lock down a spot in the 20-horse field at Churchill Downs.

Bolt d’Oro remains at 7/1 with his final prep race coming up this Saturday at the G1 Santa Anita Derby. Audible is third at 13/2, and McKinzie and Justify are tied for fourth at 8/1, although McKinzie might be taken off the Triple Crown trail with a hind leg ailment.

NHL Odds: First Round Matchup Between Original Six Foes

It’s the first game of the 2017-18 NHL Playoffs for the Boston Bruins and Toronto Maple Leafs this Thursday night. The Original Six matchup is arguably the hardest to predict as well. Both teams have elite goaltending and the offensive explosiveness needed to take them to the promised land. Game 1 will set the stage for an exciting series between these two long-time rivals.

Despite finishing seven points behind the Bruins in the regular season standings, the Toronto Maple Leafs won their season series against Boston 3-1-0 and pose a real threat to a team that seemed unbeatable at times this year. Now that the playoffs have begun, the regular season is history, and the offensively-gifted Leafs could take the next step.

Toronto may be catching Boston at an ideal time with forwards Rick Nash, Riley Nash and Sean Kuraly all questionable for Game 1. In addition, the talented Brandon Carlo will miss the entirety of the playoffs due to a fractured ankle suffered late in the season. While the Bruins still have Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron to make life difficult for the Leafs, Boston will need to rely on their depth players to shut down the second and third lines of the Leafs. Puck drop is at 7 PM ET on this series, so don’t miss a second of the action.

NHL Odds: Leafs Head to Boston for Game 1

After losing the final game of the regular season and missing a chance to secure home ice advantage through to the Stanley Cup Finals, the Boston Bruins find themselves matched up against the Toronto Maple Leafs. The Leafs ranked third in team offense during the regular season, averaging 3.29 goals scored per game, and seem to be able to score at will.

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If any team can slow down the Leafs, however, it’s the Boston Bruins. They finished the regular season ranked fourth in the NHL in goals allowed per game (2.57) and have one of the most defensively-sound lineups in the league. Boston will need to rely on their young defensive corps and star goaltender, Tukka Rask, to make it past the Leafs.

NHL Odds: Bruins Host Leafs in First Round Opener

The Boston Bruins just missed out on the top seed in the Eastern Conference – and they could end up paying for it. Boston will face the Toronto Maple Leafs in the first round of the playoffs, starting this Thursday at the Garden. NBCSN has the coverage at 7 PM ET; the B’s have opened as –155 home favorites for Game 1, or –1.5 (+190) on the puck line.

The Bruins (50-20-12) were on fire during the second half of the regular season, vaulting themselves into second place on the Stanley Cup futures market at +550. However, by losing their last game and finishing one point behind the Tampa Bay Lightning in the East, Boston wound up playing the Leafs (+1100) instead of a Wild Card team. Toronto finished the regular season with a goal differential of plus-45, fifth overall in the NHL. The Bruins tied with the Nashville Predators for third at plus-56.
Toronto (49-26-7) also goes into this series with a distinct health advantage. Everyone who started the regular season for the Leafs is available for the playoffs, while the B’s have five players on the injured list – although LW Rick Nash (concussion) is expected to play Thursday.

NHL Odds: Bruins Draw Leafs in Difficult Opening Round

After losing the last game of the regular season, the Boston Bruins (50-20-12) find themselves in a tough first-round matchup with the Toronto Maple Leafs (49-26-7). Game I is Thursday at 7 PM ET on NBCSN, with Boston pegged as a –155 home favorite.

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Boston would have faced an easier opponent had they won Sunday’s finale against the Florida Panthers; instead, they finished the regular season one point behind Tampa Bay for first in the Eastern Conference. The B’s also have several injured players, but LW Rick Nash (concussion) is expected to play Thursday after missing the last dozen games.

NBA Odds: Warriors Wrap Up Regular Season in Utah

The Golden State Warriors are headed to the playoffs, while the Utah Jazz are still fighting to stay in the hunt in a tight Western Conference. The two will meet in Utah on Tuesday; tip-off is at 9 PM ET.

After losing 126-120 at home to the New Orleans Pelicans on Saturday, the Warriors (58-23 SU, 34-46-1 ATS) bounced back with a 117-100 win in Phoenix on Sunday. Kevin Durant scored 17 points with four rebounds and nine assists for the Warriors, who will wrap up the regular season against the Jazz. They could rest a few players for this game as they are locked into the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference.

The Jazz won on Sunday in Los Angeles against the Lakers, which means they’ll enter Tuesday’s affair on a five-game winning streak. They’ve been one of the hottest teams in the NBA since late January, going 27-5 in their last 32 games. They’re currently the No. 4 team in the Western Conference and are not an opponent many teams will be eager to face in the postseason.

The Warriors are 7-3 SU and 4-6 ATS in their 10 meetings with the Jazz, who have won two of three meetings with Golden State this season. Half of the meetings have gone over the posted total.


NBA Odds: Red-Hot Jazz Host Warriors Tuesday Night

The Utah Jazz have won two of three meetings with the Golden State Warriors this season. They’ll look to make it three of four Tuesday night at home in Utah. Game time is 9 PM ET.

The Warriors beat the Jazz 126-101 at home on December 27 in a game that saw Kevin Durant drop 21 points. The Jazz routed the Warriors 129-99 at home on January 30. Ricky Rubio contributed to the Jazz victory by putting up 23 points and making 11 assists. The Jazz have been on a hot streak since that second meeting, as they’ve won 27 of their last 32 games overall. They enter Tuesday’s contest on a five-game winning streak.

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

NHL Odds: Stanley Cup Favourite, Nashville, Takes on Capitals

The top team in the Metropolitan division will face off against the top team in the Central division on Thursday when the Nashville Predators (51-18-11) conclude their three-game road trip in Washington (48-25-7). Both teams will be playing free of pressure, as they’ve clinched playoff spots and have their sights set on the postseason.

Nashville gets a day of rest after facing the Florida Panthers on Tuesday, a game in which Nashville scored a game-tying goal in the last second – only for it to be waived off due to goalie interference. November 14 was the last time they played against Washington, and the game ended well for the Preds. Left winger Kevin Fiala contributed one goal and one assist in the 6-3 victory. This was before Nashville’s epic late season push that propelled them to the top of the futures market (+350). Since February 19, they’ve won 17 of 23, and have all but locked down top spot in the NHL. Pekka Rinne (.927 SV%, 2.32 GAA) has been a big part of the success.

As for the Capitals, they’ve strung together 13 wins in their last 17 games and are coming off two days of rest following a 4-2 victory over the St. Louis Blues on Monday. They may not have the same goaltending prowess as Nashville (2.90 GAA vs. 2.50 GAA), but they have left winger Alex Ovechkin to compensate. The Russian has amassed 84 points this season.

NHL Odds: Capitals Host Predators in Division Leaders Show Down

Two NHL heavyweights will do battle on Thursday when the Washington Capitals welcome the Nashville Predators in the second game of their season series. Nashville has secured top spot in their division and the Western Conference after winning 17 of 23 games. Only two teams in the league have a better goal differential than Nashville’s +54: the Boston Bruins (+56) and Tampa Bay Lightning (+55).

With a goal differential of +17, Washington has relied heavily on their offense to win games. Braden Holtby (2.99 GAA, .908 save percetage) has had an off season this year and was benched in favour of backup Philipp Grubauer late in the season. The Caps will need reliable goaltending if they hope to come away with a victory over Nashville.

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

NHL Odds: Preds, Caps in Possible Stanley Cup Preview

The Nashville Predators have taken over first place in the NHL standings – and on the Stanley Cup futures market at +350. They’ll play their final road game of the regular season this Thursday when they visit the Washington Capitals (+1600), who have already clinched the Metropolitan Division. The puck drops at 7 PM ET on NBCSN.

Nashville has turned it on during this playoff drive, winning 17 of their last 22 games behind the stellar goaltending of Pekka Rinne (.927 save percentage), this year’s leading Vezina Trophy candidate. The Capitals have found a new gear since handing Philipp Grubauer (.925 SV%) the reins, winning seven of his last eight starts to lock down the division title; however, former starter Braden Holtby (.907 SV%) is projected to start Thursday’s game.

While the Capitals (47-25-7) have little to play for in this matchup, Nashville (51-17-11) has yet to clinch first place in the Central at press time, although that could change before they arrive in DC. Washington is fully healthy skating into Thursday’s contest, but the Predators might be missing their leading scorer, LW Viktor Arvidsson (29 goals, 31 assists), who’s listed as day-to-day with an unspecified lower-body injury.

NHL Odds: Penultimate Game for Preds, Caps

The Washington Capitals (47-25-7) have already clinched the Metropolitan Division. The Nashville Predators (51-17-11) are on the cusp of doing the same in the Central. They’ll meet Thursday night at the Capital One Arena, beginning at 7 PM ET on NBCSN.

Nashville have taken over the top spot on the Stanley Cup futures market at +350, although the Capitals (+1600) can’t be overlooked after making Philipp Grubauer (.925 save percentage) their No. 1 netminder. However, with nothing left to play for, former starter Braden Holtby (.907 SV%) is pencilled in for Thursday’s game opposite leading Vezina candidate Pekka Rinne (.927 SV%).

NBA Odds: Raptors, Cavaliers Lock Horns in Cleveland on Tuesday

The Toronto Raptors might have the best record in the Eastern Conference, but the Cleveland Cavaliers are still +130 favourites to win it. The two teams meet in Cleveland on Tuesday.

The Raptors (55-21) still have a two-game lead in the Eastern Conference after suffering a 110-99 loss in Boston Saturday night. DeMar DeRozan had 32 points, seven rebounds and seven assists for the Raptors, who were outscored 28-15 by the Celtics in the final quarter. It was the first time in 17 games that the Raptors failed to make at least 10 three-pointers in a game.

The Cavaliers earned a 98-87 win over the Dallas Mavericks on Sunday, with LeBron James notching his 17th triple-double of the season. The Cavs have now won three straight games and hold a slight half-game lead over the Philadelphia 76ers for the third spot in the conference.

The Cavaliers are 8-2 SU and 7-2-1 ATS in their 10 meetings with the Raptors, who have split both meetings with Cleveland this season. Seven of the meetings have gone over the posted total.

NBA Odds: Cavaliers Host Raptors Tuesday Night

The Toronto Raptors and the Cleveland Cavaliers have split their two meetings this season. They’ll have the rubber match on Tuesday in Cleveland.

The Raptors routed the Cavaliers 133-99 at home on January 11, with Fred VanVleet adding 22 points for Toronto. He was one of six players in double figures. That was before the Cavaliers overhauled their roster. In the second meeting of the season on March 21 in Cleveland, the Raptors were up by 15 at halftime, but the Cavaliers stormed back for a 132-129 win. LeBron James had 35 points and 17 assists for the Cavaliers.

Kentucky Derby Odds: Mendelssohn Gamble Pays Off

Following his dominant win at Saturday’s Grade 2 UAE Derby, Mendelssohn has surged to the top of the Kentucky Derby futures odds. The Aidan O’Brien-trained bay is 5/1 at press time, collecting 100 points on the Road to the Kentucky Derby and assuring an invitation to the 144th Run for the Roses on May 5.

O’Brien had the option to keep Mendelssohn on the new European Road and qualify through Friday’s Burradon Stakes, but he chose the Main Road and the UAE Derby instead. Mendelssohn rewarded him by breaking the track record at Meydan Racecourse and winning by 18-1/2 lengths. Gronkowski took down the Burradon to finish first on the European Road ahead of Mendelssohn.

Moving up to second on the Kentucky Derby odds list: Audible, who improved to 13/2 after winning Saturday’s G1 Florida Derby. Trained by Todd Pletcher, the New York-bred colt stalked from a distance and made his move around the far turn, blowing past a talented field and beating Hofburg by three lengths. Bolt d’Oro (7/1) will race this Saturday at the G1 Santa Anita Derby, but he won’t face McKinzie (8/1), who has a hind leg issue and may be taken off the Triple Crown trail.

Kentucky Derby Odds: Mendelssohn Takes the Lead

With his searing victory at Saturday’s Grade 2 UAE Derby, Mendelssohn is the new favorite at 5/1 to win the Kentucky Derby on May 5. Mendelssohn broke the track record at Meydan and won by 18-1/2 lengths to secure an invitation to Churchill Downs.

Audible (13/2) moved into second on the Kentucky Derby futures market after taking down the G1 Florida Derby on Saturday. Former favorite Bolt d’Oro (7/1) runs his final prep this Saturday at the G1 Santa Anita Derby; McKinzie (8/1) is out with a mysterious hind leg issue and might not make it to Louisville.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

NHL Odds: Stars Come Home as Dallas Visits Minnesota

The Dallas Stars need a miracle if they’re going to make the playoffs. They might not get the points they desperately need this Thursday when they return to their old stomping grounds to face the Minnesota Wild, who are hanging tough in third place in the Central Division. Game time is 8 PM ET on NBCSN.

The Stars (38-30-8), who began life in 1967 as the Minnesota North Stars, find themselves nine points behind the Wild (42-24-9) in the Central standings, and five points back in the Wild Card race with just six games left to play. Dallas is also on an untimely nine-game winless streak. No. 1 netminder Ben Bishop (.916 save percentage) is out with a knee injury, and back-up Kari Lehtonen (.911 SV%) has struggled to replace him.

Minnesota has kept pace in the Central at 6-2-2 in their last 10 games, but they’ll be missing one of their best blueliners after Jared Spurgeon (37 points in 61 games) suffered a partially torn right hamstring two weeks ago. Spurgeon isn’t expected to return until the playoffs; the eight-year veteran has been a regular fixture in the Wild’s top defensive tandem alongside Ryan Suter.

NHL Odds: Last Chance for Stars in Minnesota

The Dallas Stars (38-30-8) are winless in their last nine games, and their playoff hopes are fading fast as they prepare for a home-and-home series with the Minnesota Wild (42-24-9). They’ll play the front end in St. Paul this Thursday; NBCSN has the coverage beginning at 8 PM ET.

The Wild have gone 6-2-2 in their last 10 games to hang on to third place in the Central Division standings, nine points ahead of Dallas with a game in hand. However, top defenseman Jared Spurgeon (hamstring) is expected to miss the rest of the regular season.

NHL Odds: Kings Continue Playoff Push Versus Coyotes

The Los Angeles Kings (42-28-7) are on the cusp of making the playoffs. The Arizona Coyotes (26-39-11) are near the bottom of the NHL standings. They’ll meet Thursday night at Staples Center with two very different agendas; the puck drops at 10:30 PM ET, with regional coverage on Fox Sports.

This is obviously an important game for the Kings, who will play Arizona on two days of rest. LA is fighting with the Anaheim Ducks for third in the Pacific Division, and they’re in the thick of the heated Wild Card race in the Western Conference. But Thursday’s result also matters to the Coyotes. They’re second-last in the standings, perhaps with an eye on improving their lottery prospects at the 2018 NHL Draft.

Arizona will have to face the Kings immediately after visiting the Vegas Golden Knights on Wednesday. For now, Antti Raanta (.927 save percentage) is projected to start both games for the ‘Yotes, while Jonathan Quick (.923 SV%) is penciled in for Los Angeles. There’s only one man down for the Kings: No. 2 blueliner Jake Muzzin (eight goals, 34 assists) is listed as week-to-week with an upper-body injury that he sustained on Monday.

NHL Odds: Coyotes-Kings at Staples Center

The Los Angeles Kings (42-28-7) will continue their playoff push this Thursday when they host the Arizona Coyotes (26-39-11), who have nothing left to play for except pride – and lottery position at the NHL Draft. Game time is 10:30 PM ET on regional Fox Sports affiliates.

This will be the second of back-to-back games for Arizona, while the Kings will be playing on two days of rest. Antti Raanta (.927 save percentage) is projected to start for the Coyotes opposite Jonathan Quick (.923 SV%); defenseman Jake Muzzin (eight goals, 34 assists) is week-to-week for LA with an upper-body injury.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Kentucky Derby Odds: Bolt d’Oro Stays on Top

The field for the 2018 Kentucky Derby is starting to take shape. With just over a month before the big race at Churchill Downs on May 5, Bolt d’Oro has grabbed the early lead at +700 on the Kentucky Derby futures market. Audible and McKinzie are tied for second at +1000.

Bolt d’Oro, a dark bay trained by Mick Ruis and ridden by Javier Castellano, was on top of the Road to the Kentucky Derby standings after taking down the Grade 2 San Felipe Stakes on March 10 – although he won after McKinzie was penalized for drifting into Bolt d’Oro’s path. However, it’s Noble Indy (+2000) with the points lead at press time, following his victory at the G1 Louisiana Derby on March 24.

There are seven more prep races on the “main” road to the Derby, plus the Burradon Stakes at Newcastle Racecourse in England, so there’s ample time for other horses to punch their tickets for Louisville. That includes Good Magic (+1400), the reigning Breeders’ Cup Juvenile champion. The Chad Brown-trained chestnut colt had to settle for third place behind Promises Fulfilled (+1600) and Strike Power (+2000) at the G2 Fountain of Youth Stakes on March 3.
Get your Kentucky Derby odds at Bodog today.

Kentucky Derby Odds: Bolt d’Oro the Early Favorite

Following his exciting and controversial win at the Grade 2 San Felipe Stakes, Bolt d’Oro is the early +700 favorite to win the 2018 Kentucky Derby on May 5 at Churchill Downs. The horse he defeated, McKinizie, is tied for second at +1000 with Audible.

At the San Felipe Stakes, McKinize crossed the finish line in front of Bolt d’Oro by a head, but was penalized for drifting and relegated to second place. They’re expected to do battle again at the G1 Santa Anita Derby on April 7; Audible is pointed at the G1 Florida Derby on March 31.