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Friday, December 29, 2017

Soccer Odds: Liverpool Get Ready for Leicester – and Beyond

Liverpool F.C. have seen their fortunes rise and fall in the English Premier League, but everything looks rosy heading into Saturday’s match with Leicester City. The Reds (10W, 8D, 2L) are fourth on the EPL table at press time, and they’re –350 home favorites to beat eighth-place Leicester, with the Foxes (7W, 6D, 7L) at +850 and the draw in regulation at +475.

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Supporters at Anfield have been spoiled by the high-flying LFC offense, second in the Premiership with 46 goals after 20 matches. Now the Reds are looking to shore up their back end and secure their spot in the Top 4; Liverpool have signed CB Virgil van Dijk away from Southampton, although van Dijk won’t officially join the squad until the transfer window opens on New Year’s Day.

Leicester haven’t been nearly as productive as the side that came from nowhere to win the Premier League two years ago. But they’ve stabilized their place in the Premiership after finishing 12th last year, and they’ve still got striker Jamie Vardy, who’s tied for ninth in the league with eight goals. Saturday’s total of 3.5 goals (UNDER –130) is the biggest on the betting board for this weekend’s matches.

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Soccer Odds: Goals Aplenty in Liverpool-Leicester

Offense will be on display this Saturday at Anfield when Liverpool F.C. (10W, 8D, 2L) meet Leicester City (7W, 6D, 7L) in the English Premier League. The fourth-place Reds are –350 favorites, with the No. 8 Foxes at +850 and the draw pegged at +475.

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There’s also a total of 3.5 goals (UNDER –130) on the board for this matchup – the biggest total for the weekend. Three of the league’s Top-10 scorers will be in action: Mohamed Salah (15 goals) and Roberto Firmino (nine goals) for Liverpool, plus Jamie Vardy (eight goals) for Leicester.

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Thursday, December 28, 2017

NHL Odds: Chicago Visits Vancouver Thursday Night

Only four points separate the Vancouver Canucks (15-17-5) and the Chicago Blackhawks (17-13-5) coming out of the Christmas break. Both teams will have an opportunity to bolster their positions in the Western Conference standings Thursday night (10 PM ET on SN360) when the Blackhawks visit Vancouver.

At only two games below .500 nearly half-way through the season, most Canucks fans have to be pleasantly surprised with their team’s success. They’re only five points out of the final Wildcard spot in the West, and have Calder Trophy candidate, Brock Boeser, firing on all cylinders. The rookie has proven to be among the league’s best shooters, averaging a point per game through 34 contests (20 goals, 14 assists). Look for him to lead the Canucks once again against a veteran Blackhawks club.

Chicago, though only one point back of the Anaheim Ducks for the final Wildcard spot in the West, expects to be in the playoffs this season. The Blackhawks are in one of the most competitive divisions in the NHL this season, and they’ve struggled against their division foes. Now in the midst of a mini two-game losing streak, Chicago enters Thursday’s contest in need of a win against a team that they should beat. Don’t miss the drama of this Western Conference showdown.

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NHL Odds: Boeser faces Kane in Vancouver

Thursday night’s matchup between the Chicago Blackhawks and the Vancouver Canucks pits two of the league’s most dangerous scorers against one another. The Blackhawks’ Patrick Kane has once again set a point per game pace through 35 games (15 goals, 20 assists) to lead his team in both categories.

The Canucks’ Brock Boeser, in his first year in the league, has proven that he belongs in the NHL. The 20-year-old is averaging a point per game (20 goals, 14 assists), and ranks fifth in the league in goals scored. These two snipers should entertain fans of both teams with their slick hands and deadly shots.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

NHL Odds: Metropolitan Division Rivals Face Off in New Jersey

The New York Rangers will take the short trip south to Newark to take on the division-leading New Jersey Devils this Thursday (7 PM ET on MSG).

The New York Rangers have struggled to find consistency through the first 34 games of the regular season. They’ve been streaky throughout, putting up several good games back-to-back, only to lose three or four games in a row the following week. The result has been an 19-12-3 record to start the season. They’ve played much better of late, however, going 6-2-1 in their last nine games. With Rangers’ RW Mats Zuccarello putting together a near point-per-game pace so far this season (8 goals, 20 assists), including three game-winning-goals, he has quickly become a fan favourite in the Big Apple, and a threat every time he’s on the ice.

The New Jersey Devils (19-9-5) will look to keep Zuccarello off the scoresheet, as they attempt to keep the momentum from their strong start to the season going on home ice. Opening the year with the reputation of a young team looking to build for success in years to come, not much was expected of the 2017-18 Devils. But with emergence of LW Taylor Hall (11 goals, 20 assists), and a solid core of supporting scorers, including first overall pick Nico Hischier (5 goals, 15 assists), the Devils have proven to be more than a team on the rebuild.

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NHL Odds: Schneider Faces Lundqvist in Goaltending Battle

When the Devils and Rangers hit the ice on Thursday (7 PM ET on MSG), so too will two of the league’s top netminders. After a slow start to the season, Henrik Lundqvist has returned to his form of old. Through 29 games, he’s posted a 2.59 goals against average, and a .920 save percentage.

Corey Schneider has posted an impressive 2.60 goals against average and .920 save percentage in 2017-18. He’s the backbone of the Devils, and as he goes, so do the Devils. It’ll be critical for both ‘tenders to be on their game if they hope to come away with a win against a division rival.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

NFL Odds: Season on the Line in Seahawks-Cowboys Tilt

The 2017 NFL season is coming down to an end for both the Seattle Seahawks (8-6 SU, 5-8-1 ATS) and the Dallas Cowboys (8-6 SU, 7-6-1 ATS). Sunday’s matchup in Arlington should decide who stays in the NFC Wild Card hunt and who gets eliminated from playoff contention. At press time, it’s the Cowboys looking good as 5-point home favorites. Kick-off is at 4:25 PM ET on FOX.

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Sunday also marks the return of Dallas RB Ezekiel Elliott from his six-game suspension. The Cowboys’ running game hasn’t suffered that much during Elliott’s absence, with Alfred Morris (4.8 yards per carry) picking up the slack; the greater concern might be the health of LT Tyron Smith, who left last week’s game against the Oakland Raiders with a sprained right knee. His chances of playing Sunday are iffy at best.

The Seahawks are teetering on the verge of collapse after losing back-to-back games SU and ATS, including last week’s 42-7 pasting at the horns of the Los Angeles Rams (PK away). Linebacker KJ Wright missed that game with a concussion, but should be able to play against Dallas this week; LB Bobby Wagner (hamstring) is also likely to face the Cowboys.

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NFL Odds: Seahawks-Cowboys in Must-Win

Someone’s playoff hopes will likely end this Sunday when the Dallas Cowboys (8-6 SU, 7-6-1 ATS) host the Seattle Seahawks (8-6 SU, 5-8-1 ATS), beginning at 4:25 PM ET on FOX. Dallas appears more likely to stay in the Wild Card hunt as 5-point home favorites.

The Cowboys will also welcome RB Ezekiel Elliott back into the fold now that he’s finished serving his six-game suspension. However, LT Tyron Smith is questionable for Dallas after spraining his right knee in last week’s win over the Oakland Raiders. The Cowboys got smoked in both games Smith sat out earlier this year.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Bovada casino pays big on A Night With Cleo slot game

Bovada Player Triggers $145K Progressive Jackpot

A Night With Cleo slot game has made another lucky Bovada player rich. On Friday, December 15, Aage L. from Iowa was playing the Egyptian-themed 5-reel slot when luck struck; he triggered the game’s progressive jackpot – a hefty $145,662. He’s the third player to make it onto Bovada’s Recent Winners list by playing A Night With Cleo, and he managed to do it with a $100 wager. The jackpot has since been reset and is climbing up again quickly.

Released in 2016, A Night With Cleo slot game takes you to Cleopatra’s palace in Egypt, where you collect payouts for landing matching icons. With every payout, you get the opportunity to try doubling the payout up to five times through a scintillating Double Up feature. The game’s a big hit, and a portion of all the bets staked are added to the random progressive jackpot – until it lands randomly in a player’s lap at the end of a spin. You can read my review of A Night With Cleo slot to know more about it.

 Caesars Triumph slot machine game

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NBA Odds: Lakers Visit Streaking Rockets in Houston

Is there any stopping the Houston Rockets (24-4 SU, 15-12-1 ATS)? They’ve won 13 straight games at 7-5-1 ATS since Chris Paul made his return to the lineup, and the Rockets have another winnable game coming up Wednesday night against the visiting Los Angeles Lakers (10-17 SU, 13-14 ATS), tipping off at 8 PM ET on NBA-TV.

Paul and the Rockets have already defeated Los Angeles once during this hot streak. Back at Staples Center on December 3, Paul (21 points and six assists) was one of three Houston players to top the 20-point mark as they beat the Lakers 118-95, easily covering the 12.5-point spread. James Harden led all scorers with 36 points, while reigning Sixth Man of the Year Eric Gordon contributed 22 points off the bench.

The Lakers were close to full strength for that game, but they’ll be missing one of their key starters for the rematch. SG Kentavious Caldwell-Pope isn’t allowed to leave the state of California because of a legal matter; the 3-and-D specialist has been one of LA’s better players this year, and he scored 16 points in the first game against Houston, connecting on four of his seven 3-point attempts.

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NBA Odds: No KCP for Lakers in Houston

A tough rebuilding year for the Los Angeles Lakers (10-17 SU, 13-14 ATS) is about to get a lot tougher. The Lakers will visit the Houston Rockets (24-4 SU, 15-12-1 ATS) on Wednesday, beginning at 8 PM ET on NBA-TV, and they’ll be without one of their most important players.

SG Kentavious Caldwell-Pope won’t be in Houston this week; the 3-and-D stalwart isn’t allowed to leave the state of California for 25 days after pleading guilty to a misdemeanor offense. Even with Caldwell-Pope in the lineup, LA lost 118-95 to the Rockets earlier this month as 12.5-point home dogs.

NBA Odds: Bucks Host Cavaliers Tuesday

After some early season troubles, the Cleveland Cavaliers have gotten their act together and are rolling. They’ll be on the road Tuesday to take on the Milwaukee Bucks, one of their toughest division rivals.

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Including their win in Washington Sunday night, the Cavaliers have won 18 of their last 19 games. LeBron James had 20 points, 15 assists and 12 rebounds for his sixth triple-double of the season and the 61st of his career, which puts him sixth on the all-time list. Going into Monday’s games, Cleveland is second in the East, two games behind Boston.

The Bucks, meanwhile, lost 115-111 Saturday night in Houston, making it their third loss in a row. Giannis Antetokounmpo put up 28 points, nine rebounds, five assists and four steals, but it wasn’t enough to carry the Bucks to victory. They’re now just two games above .500.

The Cavaliers are 8-2 SU (including five straight wins) and 5-4-1 ATS in their last 10 meetings with the Bucks, with eight games going over the posted total. Cleveland has won both meetings this season, covering in one game and coming up with a push in the other.

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NBA Odds: Cavaliers Look to Continue Dominance Over Bucks on Tuesday

The Cleveland Cavaliers have won both meetings with the Milwaukee Bucks so far this season. The Bucks will look to snap that streak when they host the Cavaliers on Tuesday.

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The Cavaliers have won five in a row over the Bucks overall, with LeBron James averaging 27.0 points, 8.5 assists and 6.5 rebounds in two wins. Giannis Antetokounmpo has countered with 37.0 points, 8.5 boards and 5.5 assists in two losing efforts for the Bucks, who have lost three in a row coming into this game. The Cavaliers have won 18 of their last 19 games overall.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Ignition Casino made a new millionaire

Ignition Casino Player Triggers $1.5 Million Jackpot

Saturday was a big night at Ignition Casino: A Texas resident by the name of Omar S. hit a major jackpot on a mobile slot. The game was Jackpot Piñatas – a festive 5-reel slot that uses its progressive jackpot as the top payout. To be eligible, you need to use coin denominations of at least $0.25.

The jackpot was a massive $1,557,193 when Omar was playing. He was up around $7,000 when luck struck in the form of free spins. The first of five free spins resulted in a payline with five Bull Piñatas – the top icon. The $1.5 million progressive jackpot was added to Omar’s wins.

Jackpot Piñatas isn’t the only slot with a progressive jackpot. There’s $4.4 million in jackpot funds available at Ignition Casino right now, with $2.8 million coming from a game called Shopping Spree. Check it out for yourselves.

Ignition Casino Player Triggers $1.5 Million Jackpot

NHL Odds: Ducks Face Blues in Thursday Night Matchup

When the puck drops at 8 PM ET in St. Louis this Thursday, both the Ducks and Blues will be without prominent players in their respective lineups. Will the depth of each team keep them afloat, or will the personnel losses be too much to overcome?

Entering game day, the St. Louis Blues (21-9-2) sit first in the Western Conference’s Central Division. They haven’t cooled off since the first game of the season. They rank sixth in team offense, fourth in team defense, and have two players who occupy top-ten positions in the league in points. But on Saturday, they were dealt two significant blows; their second leading scorer, Jaden Schwartz, and their top defenseman, Alex Peitrangelo, were placed on the injured reserve list with lower body injuries.

Of all teams, Anaheim will take no pity on the Blues. Just when it seemed the Ducks were getting healthy with the return of their captain, Ryan Getzlaf, Anaheim lost their leading scorer, Corey Perry, to a long-term injury. Now sitting only two games above .500 and underperforming thus far this season, the Ducks will look to strike while the opportunity presents itself, and upset the injured Blues on the road.

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NHL Odds: Getzlaf Looks to Step in for Perry

After losing their leading scorer, Corey Perry, to injury last Friday, Anaheim will turn to team captain Ryan Getzlaf to carry the load. Getzlaf is just returning from his own injury, so he’ll need support from secondary scorers if the Ducks hope to take advantage of the injury-riddled Blues.

Sitting in first in the Central Division, the Blues haven’t faced much adversity this season. But they were dealt a blow last week and will be forced to play without offensive standout Jaden Schwartz, and their top minute-logger, Alex Pietrangelo, as both went down with lower body injuries and are expected to miss time. This game will be a matchup of injured squads and will test the depth of both clubs.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

NHL Odds: Predators Ready to Invade Vancouver

After barely missing out on their first Stanley Cup, the Nashville Predators haven’t skipped a beat. They have one of the best records in the NHL at 18-7-4, and they’ve won eight of their last 11 games heading into Wednesday’s West-Coast date with the Vancouver Canucks (14-13-4), beginning at 10 PM ET.

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Nashville got off to a slow start this year, but everything fell into place when they acquired center Kyle Turris from the Ottawa Senators on November 5. Turris has three goals and 10 assists in 14 games for the Preds, playing on the No. 2 line between LW Kevin Fiala and RW Craig Smith; top center Ryan Johansen (three goals, 14 assists in 23 games) may be able to play Wednesday after missing three games with an upper-body injury.

The Canucks were expected to be bottom-feeders this year in the Pacific Division, but while their level of play is still sub-standard, it hasn’t been a total disaster in Year One under rookie head coach Travis Green. Unfortunately for Vancouver, two of their top three scorers will miss Wednesday’s game and might not return until February: center Bo Horvat (broken ankle) and LW Sven Baertschi (broken jaw).

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NHL Odds: Predators Visit Short-Handed Canucks

They lost in six games last year, but the Nashville Predators (18-7-4) look like they’re ready to make another run at the Stanley Cup. Their quest continues Wednesday night at 10 PM ET when they play the Vancouver Canucks (14-13-4) at Rogers Arena.
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While the Predators have been red-hot since adding center Kyle Turris (three goals, 10 assists in 14 games for Nashville) in early November, the Canucks will be without two of their top scorers for the next month or so; center Bo Horvat is out with a broken ankle, and LW Sven Baertschi has a fractured jaw.

Monday, December 11, 2017

NBA Odds: Will George Make Indiana Return in Thunder-Pacers Game?

Paul George was the star attraction at the Fieldhouse for five years. He returns Wednesday night (7 PM ET, ESPN) for the first time as a member of the Oklahoma City Thunder – but will George suit up against his former team, the Indiana Pacers? He missed the past two games with a right calf contusion and is considered day-to-day at press time.

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So far, it looks like the Pacers (15-11 SU, 16-10 ATS) have “won” the offseason trade that sent George to Oklahoma City (12-13 SU, 8-17 ATS) in exchange for Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis. But it was the Thunder beating Indiana 114-96 as 13-point favorites when they met October 25 in OKC. Sabonis started at center and shot 1-for-9; he’s been moved into a reserve role at power forward, and the Pacers are 10-5 SU and ATS with Sabonis at the 4-spot.

The Thunder have had disappointing results this year with George and Carmelo Anthony alongside reigning league MVP Russell Westbrook. Neither addition is playing like an All-Star, especially Anthony, and the wheels may be coming off: Oklahoma City has dropped the cash in eight straight games, going 4-4 SU as medium favorites on the NBA lines.

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NBA Odds: George, Thunder Visit Pacers

This Wednesday night in Indianapolis, Paul George is due to play his first game at the Fieldhouse as a member of the Oklahoma City Thunder (12-13 SU, 8-17 ATS). But George might not face the Indiana Pacers (15-11 SU, 16-10 ATS); he’s listed as day-to-day with a right calf contusion. Tip-off is at 7 PM ET on ESPN.

Both teams were healthy when the Thunder (–13 at home) beat Indiana 114-96 on October 25. The Pacers adjusted; they’re 10-5 SU and ATS with Domantas Sabonis as a reserve 4, while Oklahoma City is on an eight-game ATS losing streak.

NBA Odds: 76ers Travel to Minnesota to Face Timberwolves

The Philadelphia 76ers and the Minnesota Timberwolves have some of the best young talent in the NBA. That talent will be on display Tuesday night in Minnesota.

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The 76ers have had a relatively positive start to the season, but they’re slumping as they enter Tuesday’s affair. Their once efficient defense has let them down, leading to four back to back losses. They’ve allowed an average of 114.5 points per game during this losing streak.

Meanwhile, the Timberwolves have won three of their last four games. Karl-Anthony Towns leads the team with a 20.1 PPG average, along with 11.6 rebounds. Andrew Wiggins is putting up 18.2 points, and Jimmy Butler adds a veteran presence with a 19.0 PPG in addition to 5.5 rebounds and 4.8 assists. However, the Timberwolves are still just 25th in defensive efficiency.
The 76ers are 6-4 SU and ATS in their last 10 meetings with the Timberwolves, with six going under the posted total along with a push.

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NBA Odds: Young Stars Look to Shine in Minnesota

The Minnesota Timberwolves and the Philadelphia 76ers are loaded with former early picks that are blossoming into All-Stars. The two teams will meet in Minnesota Tuesday night at 9:30 PM ET.

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The 76ers and Timberwolves have been heading in opposite directions over the last couple of weeks. The 76ers have lost four straight games, while the Timberwolves have won three of their last four. The T-Wolves are 9-4 SU at home, while the 76ers have lost three straight on the road.

Friday, December 8, 2017

Soccer Odds: Toronto-Seattle in MLS Cup Rematch

One year ago at BMO Field in Toronto, the Seattle Sounders beat Toronto 5-4 on penalties to win the MLS Cup, after playing to a scoreless draw. The same two teams will meet again this Saturday at BMO Field, beginning at 4 PM ET on ESPN; Toronto FC are –125 favorites at press time, with the Sounders at +345 and the draw in regulation at +245.

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Both sides are considerably stronger than they were last year. Toronto FC (20 wins, nine draws and five losses) were easily the best team in Major League Soccer during the regular season, while Seattle (14W, 11D, 9L) finished second in the Western Conference, tied with the Portland Timbers at 53 points. The Sounders swept the Vancouver Whitecaps and Houston Dynamo to reach the MLS Cup final, while Toronto had a bit more trouble getting past the New York Red Bulls and Columbus Crew SC in the East.

Toronto FC supporters are waiting with bated breath to see if striker Jozy Altidore will recover in time for Saturday’s game after aggravating a right ankle injury during the second leg of their series against Columbus. The Sounders, meanwhile, are relatively healthy going into this contest.

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Soccer Odds: Seattle Defends MLS Cup in Toronto

Saturday’s MLS Cup final (4 PM ET, ESPN) in Toronto is a rematch of last year’s final between the Seattle Sounders and Toronto FC. The Sounders won that match 5-4 on penalties, but they’re +345 underdogs on Saturday, with Toronto at –125 and the draw in regulation priced at +245.

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Toronto (20W, 9D, 5L) had the best record in the MLS during the regular season, but they’re waiting to see if striker Jozy Altidore will face the Sounders (14W, 11D, 9L) after aggravating an ankle injury during the Eastern Conference finals against Columbus Crew SC.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

NHL Odds: Winnipeg Jets at Florida Panthers on Thursday

On Thursday, the second-best team in the league, the Winnipeg Jets, will try to pick up a couple of easy points against the struggling Florida Panthers.

Not many teams in the NHL are hotter than the Jets right now. They’ve won nine of their last 13 games, and are No. 4 in the league with 38 points. The Jets have two players that rank in the top five in the league in points, and Winnipeg sits fifth in goals scored per game (3.36). They’ll look to continue that output against the defensively-challenged Florida Panthers this Thursday.

Florida has let in the third-most goals in the league so far this season, with 91. Needless to say, they’re a defensive nightmare, and their record reflects that. They’re 10-13-4 through 27 games and are a -14 in goal differential. Somehow their goaltender, Roberto Luongo, has maintained decent stats (2.62 goals against average, .928 save percentage), but after suffering an apparent injury on Monday against the Islanders, Florida may have to turn to their second-string netminder, James Reimer.

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NHL Odds: Wheeler and the Jets fly to Florida to take on the Panthers

Jets’ Captain, Blake Wheeler, has been as dangerous as they come in the NHL this season. He ranks third in points (7 goals, 29 assists), and sits only four points behind Nikita Kucherov for first in the league. He’ll look to pad those stats against the Florida Panthers on Thursday.

The Panthers have struggled mightily this season. They’re currently third last in the NHL with 24 points, and have lost six of their last 10 games. The lone bright spot on the team has been the strong play of their veteran goalie, Roberto Luongo. Unfortunately, Luongo had to be helped off the ice in Monday’s game against the Islanders, and may miss Thursday’s matchup.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

NFL Odds: New Coach for Giants With Cowboys in Town

The New York Giants (2-10 SU, 5-7 ATS) have fired head coach Ben McAdoo – and GM Jerry Reese, too. But will it help them beat the visiting Dallas Cowboys (6-6 SU and ATS) this Sunday? New York can help spoil the Cowboys’ playoff chances with a win; kick-off is at 1 PM ET on FOX, and the NFL lines are locked at press time with Dallas laying six points.

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Defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo has been named interim head coach for the Giants, and with this promotion, QB Eli Manning is expected to get his starting job back after McAdoo went with Geno Smith in last week’s loss to the Oakland Raiders. However, there are a number of other personnel questions for both teams that have the lines for Sunday’s game in lockdown.

The most important of these questions: Will QB Dak Prescott start for the Cowboys? It’s believed Prescott will play Sunday after injuring his throwing hand during last week’s win over Washington; that was a Thursday nighter, so Prescott has extra time to heal before facing the G-Men. Thursday’s victory was Dallas’ first in four games since RB Ezekiel Elliott began serving his six-game suspension.

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NFL Odds: Who Will QB Sunday’s Cowboys-Giants Game?

Now that the New York Giants (2-10 SU, 5-7 ATS) have fired head coach Ben McAdoo, it looks like Eli Manning will start Sunday’s game against the Dallas Cowboys (6-6 SU and ATS), kicking off at 1 PM ET on FOX. But will Dak Prescott start for Dallas? The NFL lines are locked with the Cowboys at –6 until more is known about Prescott’s status.

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Prescott injured his throwing hand during last Thursday’s victory over Washington – their first in four games since RB Ezekiel Elliott went on suspension. It’s believed Prescott will start Sunday after X-rays came up negative.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

NBA Odds: Warriors at Charlotte on Wednesday

It hasn’t always been smooth sailing for the defending champions this year. The Golden State Warriors (18-6 SU, 11-13 ATS) find themselves second overall in the NBA standings, but they’ve won five of their last six games at 4-2 ATS, and they’ll visit the slumping Charlotte Hornets (8-13 SU, 9-11-1 ATS) on Wednesday. Tip-off is at 8 PM ET on ESPN.

After some early-season injury concerns with Kevin Durant, the Dubs have all their players back in action – although at varying levels of health. Rest days are being handed out liberally; Andre Iguodala (sore left knee) was given Sunday off, while Shaun Livingston (rest) was expected to sit out Monday in a back-to-back situation.

The Hornets should also be at full capacity once Kemba Walker (bruised left shoulder) returns Monday from a two-game absence. However, this team has deeper issues. Dwight Howard can still play defense, but the former eight-time NBA All-Star has become a black hole on offense as he prepares to turn 32 on Friday. This problem is compounded by having Howard and defensive specialist Michael Kidd-Gilchrist on the floor together. Second-round pick Dwyane Bacon has also played heavy, yet ineffective minutes for Charlotte.

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NBA Odds: Hornets Welcome Dubs to The Hive

The Charlotte Hornets (8-13 SU, 9-11-1 ATS) can’t seem to get their engines going. They’ll need  some kind of boost heading into Wednesday’s home game against the Golden State Warriors (18-6 SU, 11-13 ATS), tipping off at 8 PM ET on ESPN.

That boost could come from Kemba Walker, who was due back in action Monday after missing two games with a bruised left shoulder. But even with Walker, Charlotte’s offense has been mediocre at best. And Dwight Howard, who turns 32 Friday, is having arguably the worst season of his career at both ends of the court.

NBA Odds: Thunder Aim to Get on Track Against Jazz

The struggles of the Oklahoma City Thunder have been one of the biggest storylines in the NBA this season. On Tuesday, they’ll host the Utah Jazz as they try to put something together.

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The Jazz play Monday night at home against the Washington Wizards. Going into that game, Utah had won five in a row, averaging 115.4 points per game. This surge in production has boosted them to 23rd in points per game (103.1 points per game on the season). A portion of the production is coming from rookie Donovan Mitchell, who put up an average of 21.8 points per game over his last five games.

The Thunder acquired Paul George and Carmelo Anthony in the offseason, and were perceived to be one of the top teams in the Western Conference. It hasn’t played out that way as they are below .500. They are 24th in the NBA in points per game at 102.7 as the team is still working out how to mesh Russell Westbrook, George and Anthony together.

The Thunder are 7-3 SU and 6-4 ATS in their last 10 meetings, with seven going under the posted total. The Jazz won 96-87 at home on October 21.

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NBA Odds: Can Thunder Cool Off Streaking Jazz?

The Utah Jazz had won five in a row before Monday’s game against Washington. On Tuesday, they’ll be on the road in Oklahoma City facing a Thunder team that hasn’t really figured out how to get their Big Three to mesh just yet.

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The Jazz’ five-game winning streak has been fueled by rookie Donovan Mitchell, who has been incredible of late. He had a 41-point outing on Saturday and is leading the team in scoring over the last 10 games. Overall, the Thunder have won seven of their last 10 against the Jazz.

Friday, December 1, 2017

UFC 218 Odds: Holloway-Aldo 2 at UFC 218

When they last met in June, Max Holloway (ic) defeated Jose Aldo (c) to unify the UFC Featherweight Championship at UFC 212. Holloway was a +120 underdog in that bout; at press time, he’s a heavy –305 favorite for the Saturday main-event rematch at UFC 218, live on pay-per-view from Little Caesars Arena in Detroit. Aldo is now in the underdog role at +235.

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It wasn’t that long ago when Aldo (26-3 lifetime, 8-2 UFC) was considered one of the best fighters in the sport. Nothing was the same after Conor McGregor knocked him out in 13 seconds at UFC 194 and took the Featherweight title Aldo had held since it was created in 2010. Aldo beat Frankie Edgar (–145) for the interim title last year, then was promoted to undisputed champion after McGregor won the Lightweight belt and left the division.

Holloway (18-3 lifetime, 14-3 UFC) earned the interim Featherweight title after scoring a third-round TKO win over Anthony Pettis (+200) at UFC 206, then did the same to Aldo (–195) after appearing to lose the first two rounds. Volume striking was the key to Holloway’s success, eventually wearing down Aldo’s once-impregnable defense and landing with power.
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UFC Odds: Will Aldo Get His Revenge at UFC 218?

Jose Aldo will try to recapture the Featherweight title this Saturday in Detroit when he faces Max Holloway (–305) in the main event of UFC 218. Aldo lost the title to Holloway (+120) via third-round TKO last June at UFC 212.

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Aldo is a late replacement for Frankie Edgar, who pulled out of this fight on November 11 citing injury. In his title unification bout with Holloway, the interim champion at the time, Aldo appeared to win the first two rounds before Holloway’s volume striking finally broke down his defenses in the third.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

NHL Odds: Lightning-Bruins on NBCSN

After rocketing to the top of the Stanley Cup futures market, the 16-5-2 Tampa Bay Lightning (+700) wrap up a four-game road trip this Wednesday against the 10-8-4 Boston Bruins (+3300). NBCSN has the coverage from the Garden beginning at 7:30 PM ET.

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The Lightning missed the playoffs last year, but having All-Star center Steven Stamkos (10 goals, 26 assists in 23 games) back in the lineup has made a world of difference. Tampa Bay has been blessed by good health thus far; the Bruins, on the other hand, have six players on the shelf at press time, including last year’s top scorer, LW Brad Marchand (eight goals, seven assists in 14 games). He’s iffy for Wednesday after missing over two weeks with an undisclosed upper-body injury.

Boston will have the advantage of rest in this matchup, as the Lightning also have to play Tuesday in Buffalo. Andrei Vasilevskiy (.930 save percentage) is projected to play both games for Tampa Bay, while veteran netminder Tuukka Rask (.899 SV%) is expected to suit up for the Bruins. Rask, a former Vezina winner, is having the worst season of his career, and could lose his job to Anton Khudobin (.932 SV%).

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NHL Odds: Will Lightning Crash in Boston?

The 16-5-2 Tampa Bay Lightning might be the best team in the NHL right now. But they’ve lost the first two games of their current four-game road trip, which ends Wednesday night (7:30 PM ET, NBCSN) at the Garden against the 10-8-4 Boston Bruins.

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While the Lightning have enjoyed good health this year, the Bruins have six players who could miss Wednesday’s game, including LW Brad Marchand, their leading scorer in 2016-17. Marchand (eight goals, seven assists in 14 games) has missed the last two weeks with an upper-body injury; his status for Wednesday remains uncertain at press time.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

NBA Odds: Heat Meet LeBron in Cleveland

The Miami Heat (9-9 SU, 7-9-2 ATS) just haven’t been the same since LeBron James went back to Cleveland. But they can gain a little revenge this Tuesday when they visit James and the Cavaliers (12-7 SU, 6-12-1 ATS), beginning at 7 PM ET on NBA-TV. The Heat are 7-4 SU and 6-5 ATS in this series since James returned to the Cavs in 2014.

This is easily the worst the Cavaliers have looked during that span. Although they’ve won seven straight games, Cleveland is only 3-4 ATS during this streak, beating up on inferior competition along the way. They’re very thin at point guard with both Isaiah Thomas (hip) and Derrick Rose (ankle) on the shelf, and big man Tristan Thompson (calf) isn’t due back until December.

Miami, meanwhile, will be at close to full strength after Hassan Whiteside shook off a sore left knee and played in Sunday’s 100-93 win over the Chicago Bulls – not quite enough to cash in as 7.5-point road favorites, though. Whiteside and the Heat are idle Monday, while James and the Cavs visit the Philadelphia 76ers. Cleveland is 0-9-1 ATS at home this year and 0-3 ATS on zero days of rest.

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NBA Odds: Heat Can Burn Cavaliers in Cleveland

The Cleveland Cavaliers (12-7 SU, 6-12-1 ATS) may have turned their season around, but they’ve got a challenging matchup this Tuesday against the Miami Heat (9-9 SU, 7-9-2 ATS), tipping off at 7 PM ET on NBA-TV. Miami is 7-4 SU and 6-5 ATS against the Cavs since LeBron James went back to Cleveland in 2014.

The Cavs are also 0-9-1 ATS at home this year. Point guards Isaiah Thomas (hip) and Derrick Rose (ankle) are both injured, as is center Tristan Thompson (calf). And this is the second of back-to-back games for Cleveland, while the Heat are off Monday.

NBA Odds: Heat Travel to Cleveland to Face Cavaliers on Tuesday

LeBron James and Dwayne Wade played four years together for the Miami Heat, winning two championships in the process. Tuesday night, the two will play against Miami for the first time since joining the Cleveland Cavaliers. Tip-off is at 7 PM ET in Cleveland.

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For the Miami Heat, this will be their third game of a four-game road trip. The first two contests on that trip have resulted in wins, including a 109-97 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Friday and a 100-93 win over the Chicago Bulls on Sunday. The Heat have won three straight overall and four of their last five.

The Cavaliers, who’ve been red-hot of late, are 12-7 going into a Monday road game in Philadelphia. Their winning streak was extended to seven games when they edged the Charlotte Hornets 100-99 at home on Friday. James posted a triple-double with 27 points, 16 boards and 13 assists, while Wade put up 10 points off the bench for the Cavaliers.

The Heat are 6-4 SU (including three wins in a row) and 5-5 ATS in their last 10 meetings with the Cavaliers, with half of the games going over the posted total.

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NBA Odds: Red-Hot Cleveland Hosts Miami on Tuesday

The Cleveland Cavaliers were riding a seven-game winning streak into a Monday game in Philadelphia. On Tuesday, they’ll welcome the Miami Heat to town.

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LeBron James is having another MVP-type season for the Cavaliers, ranking third in points and fourth in assists. However, the Heat have outplayed Cleveland lately, winning six of their last 10 meetings and covering in half those games. The Heat have won three straight and four of their last five overall. They’re eighth in the NBA in points allowed as they like to slow things down. The Cavs, meanwhile, like to run and gun, and their 110.8 points per game is the third-best mark in the NBA.

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Entertainment Odds: Miss Universe 2017

Beauty pageants have been big business for over 60 years now, and one of the industry’s “Big Four” will be on display this Sunday when Miss Universe 2017 is crowned at Planet Hollywood on the Las Vegas Strip. A record 92 women are competing in this year’s contest; at press time, Miss Thailand is the +400 favorite to win, just ahead of Miss South Africa (+450) and Miss Colombia (+500).

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As history has shown, anything can happen at Miss Universe, and the field is favored over any one participant on the odds list at +300. Miss United States (+1200) has won this contest a record eight times, followed by Miss Venezuela (+1000). The pageant has changed formats multiple times over the years; a panel of six judges will decide who wins Miss Universe 2017.

Miss Thailand in this case is Maria Lynn Ehren, a 25-year-old Swedish-Thai model and singer who stands six feet tall and earned her master’s degree in international business commerce at Stockholm University. Ehren has advocated for gender equality and care for the homeless; her presentation on Sunday is expected to feature traditional Thai dance and Hun Kra Bok puppetry.

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Entertainment Odds: Thailand Favored at Miss Universe 2017

The Miss Universe 2017 pageant is this Sunday at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas, and Miss Thailand, Maria Lynn Ehren, is the +400 favorite at press time. Ehren is a 6-foot tall, 25-year-old Swedish-Thai model and singer with a master’s degree in international business commerce.

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The second favorite to win Miss Universe 2017 is Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters, representing South Africa (+450). Nel-Peters is 21 years old and a business management student. Miss Colombia, 22-year-old Laura Gonzalez, is the third favorite at +500; she’s a model and actress who appeared in the 2017 telenovela La Cacica, which aired in Venezuela.

NHL Odds: Winnipeg Jets vs. Los Angeles Kings Today

The Los Angeles Kings welcome the high-flying Winnipeg Jets to town today (10:30 PM ET on TSN3) in a battle between top-tier Western Conference clubs. Winnipeg has put together a 12-3-3 record over their past 18 games, and has climbed to second place in the West. For the first time since returning to Winnipeg in 2011, fans feel they have a team that could do damage come the post-season.

Goaltender Connor Hellebuyck has been the primary driver of the Jets’ success. He has outperformed projected number one, Steve Mason, to overtake the starter’s job, and has paced the Jets with an 11-2-2 record with a 2.45 goals against average and a .925 save percentage. Look for the netminder to be a difference maker in LA tonight.

The Los Angeles Kings (12-7-2) are having a rebound season in their own right. After finishing fifth in a Pacific and failing to make the playoffs last season, the Kings shed their defense-first mentality and have elevated their offensive production to 3.00 goals scored per game. While they’ve struggled of late, losing six of their last eight games, the Kings are an experienced team and should challenge the Jets.

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NHL Odds: Kings Welcome Jets Tonight

Centre Mark Scheifele and right wing Blake Wheeler make up two-thirds of one of the best lines in hockey of late. The two offensive stars have combined for 50 points through 20 games played, and are a threat every time they step on the ice. They’ll be looking to give Kings’ goaltender, Jonathan Quick, all he can handle this Friday.

The Kings have struggled of late. After losing six of their last eight games, they’ll be looking to rebound at home against a Winnipeg Jets squad that they’ve owned historically. Since the Jets re-entered the league in 2011, the Kings have a 14-5-7 record against them, so the Kings have history on their side in this one.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

NFL Odds: Cowboys Host Chargers on Turkey Day

The Dallas Cowboys (5-5 SU and ATS) will resume their traditional role as Thanksgiving Day hosts when they welcome the Los Angeles Chargers (4-6 SU, 5-4-1 ATS) to Arlington this Thursday, kicking off at 4:30 PM ET on CBS. The game opened as a pick ‘em with a total of 48 points.

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Dallas has lost back-to-back games SU and ATS in ugly fashion since RB Ezekiel Elliott began serving his six-game suspension. Running hasn’t been a problem, though; without LT Tyron Smith (groin), Cowboys QB Dak Prescott has taken a lot of punishment, with zero touchdown passes to show for it. Smith is listed as week-to-week, as is LB Sean Lee (hamstring), although Lee is expected to miss the next two games.

The Chargers are scrambling to stay relevant in the AFC, winning four of their last six games at 5-1 ATS despite suffering multiple injuries on the offensive line. RT Joe Barksdale (foot) is considered week-to-week, while LG Matt Slauson (biceps), OT Chris Hairston (blood clots) and RG Forrest Lamp (knee) are out for the season. QB Philip Rivers has only been sacked 12 times this year; Prescott was sacked 12 times the past two games for Dallas.

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NFL Odds: Chargers-Cowboys on Thanksgiving Day

As is tradition, the Dallas Cowboys (5-5 SU and ATS) will host a Thanksgiving Day game this Thursday, with the Los Angeles Chargers (4-6 SU, 5-4-1 ATS) supplying the opposition. CBS has the coverage starting at 4:30 PM ET; this game is a pick ‘em with a total of 48.

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The Cowboys are on the ropes after dropping back-to-back games SU and ATS. Injuries to LT Tyron Smith (groin) and LB Sean Lee (hamstring) have been problematic for Dallas. The Chargers, meanwhile, are on something of a roll at 4-2 SU and 5-1 ATS in their last six games.

NBA Odds: Enigmatic Warriors in Oklahoma City

One month into the regular season, and the Golden State Warriors (13-4 SU, 7-10 ATS) are playing at an even higher level than last year’s championship team. But the Warriors haven’t been consistent with their greatness. They ride a 0-4 ATS losing streak against the NBA lines into Wednesday’s marquee matchup with the Oklahoma City Thunder (7-8 SU and ATS), live on ESPN at 8 PM ET.

Although Golden State has largely figured things out after starting the year at 4-3 SU and 1-6 ATS, they find themselves vulnerable with Kevin Durant hobbled by a sprained left ankle. It’s believed Durant hurt himself during Saturday’s win in Philadelphia; the reigning league MVP sat out Sunday’s victory in Brooklyn, and remains listed as day-to-day.

The Thunder hope they’re on the right track after winning three of their last four games straight up and against the spread. Carmelo Anthony is scoring 20.1 points per game, but at age 33, his level of play has regressed to where it was during his least impressive seasons with the Denver Nuggets. And while they’re healthy, the Thunder have issues when it comes to bench strength – due in part to the Anthony trade with the New York Knicks.

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NBA Odds: Warriors Without Durant in OKC?

The Golden State Warriors (13-4 SU, 7-10 ATS) take a 0-4 ATS losing streak into Wednesday’s game against the Oklahoma City Thunder (7-8 SU and ATS), tipping off from the Thunderdome at 8 PM ET on ESPN. Oklahoma City have won three of their last four SU and ATS.

Kevin Durant (sprained left ankle) may have to sit this one out for Golden State. Durant appeared to hurt himself Saturday in Philadelphia, then took the night off in Sunday’s win over Brooklyn. He’ll have two more days to heal; the Thunder play in New Orleans Monday night before returning home.

NBA Odds: Lakers Host Bulls on Tuesday

The Los Angeles Lakers and the Chicago Bulls are storied NBA franchises, but both have fallen on hard times. The two will meet in Los Angeles on Tuesday at 10:30 PM ET in the lone NBA game on the schedule.

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The Bulls are 3-11 following a loss in Phoenix Sunday night. This season, they’ve struggled at both ends of the court, ranking 29th in points per game, 13th in points allowed per game and 29th in point differential. They’re the only team in the Eastern Conference scoring fewer than 103 points per game (95.5).

The Lakers, meanwhile, played the third game of a four-game home stretch Sunday night, beating the Denver Nuggets 127-109. The Lakers have been much better at home, going 5-5 at the Staples Center compared to 2-5 on the road.

The Bulls are 7-3 SU and 6-4 ATS in their last 10 meetings with the Lakers, and five of the games went over the posted total; there was one push.

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NBA Odds: Young Teams Meet in Los Angeles on Tuesday

The Los Angeles Lakers and the Chicago Bulls are two of the younger teams in the NBA, averaging around 25 years old in age as a team. They’ll meet in Los Angeles on Tuesday in the only game on the NBA slate.

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The Lakers and Bulls both rank in the bottom third of the NBA in point differential at 21st and 29th, respectively. As young teams, they make a lot of mistakes. Home court advantage figures to be a big factor here, as the Lakers are 5-5 at home while the Bulls are just 1-7 on the road.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Boxing Odds: Ancajas-Conlan for IBF Gold

Saturday’s big boxing card in Belfast is being hailed as the return of local hero Carl Frampton, but he’s an overwhelming –10000 favorite over Horacio Garcia. The co-main event promises to be a lot more competitive; Jamie Conlan, also from Belfast, will challenge Jerwin “Pretty Boy” Ancajas for the IBF Super Flyweight title. Ancajas is the –650 favorite at press time after opening at –360.

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Conlan (19-0, 11 KOs) has won a number of secondary belts at 115 pounds, but he’ll be facing his toughest opponent yet in Ancajas (27-1-1, 18 KOs), the No. 6-ranked super flyweight at The Ring. The Filipino southpaw is six years younger at age 25, and has successfully defended this belt twice as a heavy favorite.

There are currently five different ways to bet Saturday’s fight at Bovada, including the total of 9.5 rounds, where the Under is priced at –170 on the boxing props board. The most likely Method of Victory is Ancajas by KO/TKO/DQ at –275. If you want to bet on Conlan to win, he’s the +425 underdog for a straight bet; you can also get him at +600 to win by decision or +1000 to win via stoppage.

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Boxing Odds: Ancajas Takes on Conlan in Belfast

Boxing fans are looking forward to Saturday’s big card in Belfast, which includes an intriguing title fight in the co-main event: Local hero Jamie Conlan (+425) will try to take the IBF Super Flyweight strap from Jerwin “Pretty Boy” Ancajas.

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After opening at –360, Ancajas (27-1-1, 18 KOs) has moved up to –650 on the boxing lines at press time. He’s the No. 6-ranked fighter at 115 pounds according to The Ring. Conlan (19-0, 11 KOs) holds two secondary belts in this division; he’s available at +600 to win by decision and +1000 to win by KO/TKO/DQ.

Reign of Gnomes slot game

New All Ways Pay Slot: Reign of Gnomes

A 243-ways pay slot has hit the shelves and it’s a big hit with the fantasy crowd. Turn back the clock to medieval times, and you’ll find a kingdom of gnomes intent on taking over the world. Gain the trust of these quirky characters and you could benefit from their deep pockets.

Reign of Gnomes slot game

Reign of Gnomes slot game

Reign of Gnomes is a 3D slot with five reels and no paylines. Instead of paylines, the game runs on the 243-ways-to-win format that has become popular with slots players. If you’ve yet to try an “All Ways Pay” slot, now’s the time. With no paylines, you simply hope that matching icons land on consecutive reels. They could be at the top of the reel, in the middle, or at the bottom – the position doesn’t matter. Without complicated paylines, you’ll be able to recognize wins instantly, and you’ll find that they happen more often, especially with the game’s wild.

Keep an eye on reels No. 2, 3 and 4. That’s wild territory in Reign of Gnomes. The wild substitutes for all other symbols except the Bonus scatter symbol. And with no paylines, the wild is free to create lots of winning lines.

Another handy feature is the game’s Free Spins Mode. Land three or more scatter symbols, and you’ll receive a pack of free spins. Expect to collect 5, 10, or 20, and each spin is amped up with the Golden Amulet Bonus.

You’re probably wondering exactly what a Golden Amulet Bonus is. This feature accompanies each free spin and triggers one of three bonuses: a random wild, a multiplier, the “Spin ‘Til You Win” feature, or the Diamond Bonus. See below for an explanation of each bonus.

Random Wild: Random symbols are turned into wilds.

Multiplier: The payout triggered is multiplied by either 3X, 5X, or 6X.

Spin ‘Til You Win: Keep spinning the reels until you trigger a payout.

Diamond Bonus: Go on a journey to a new screen, where you’ll select items and pocket their coin values. The bonus round continues until you collect all eight available diamonds or two items without diamonds.

Your bankroll benefits from one of these bonuses with each free spin, so you’ll find Free Spins Mode more lucrative than ever.

Next time you’re looking for a slot to play, try Reign of Gnomes. The unique bonuses featured in this game makes it extra appealing, especially if you also like fantasy themed slots. Bonus points if you can stop the gnomes from taking over the world.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

NHL Odds: New Jersey Devils vs. Toronto Maple Leafs on Thursday

The Toronto Maple Leafs (12-7 SU, 9-10 ATS) are waiting to hear if their star centre Auston Matthews will suit up Thursday when they host the surging New Jersey Devils. Matthews has been dealing with an upper body injury since November 6, but despite his absence, the Leafs have won all four games they’ve played without their leading scorer. Toronto will need all the offensive support they can get on Thursday, as they’ll face a Devils’ team that ranks fifth in goals scored per game (3.47).

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The Devils have surprised the hockey world through the first 17 games of the season. They’re tied for third in the league with 24 points and rank fourth in goals scored (61). They’ve missed the playoffs in each of their previous five seasons, and seemed to be on the verge of a total rebuild at the end of 2016.

Instead, LW Taylor Hall (6 goals, 13 assists) has grabbed the role of elite point producer by the horns, and first overall draft pick in the 2017 NHL Draft, Nico Hischier (3 goals, 11 assists), has lived up to expectations thus far. The result has been a youthful Devils’ squad which features team speed that few can match in the league. With C Travis Zajac likely to return for Thursday’s game against the Leafs, an already lethal offense is about to become even more dangerous.

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NHL Odds: Devils visit Maple Leafs in Toronto

Cory Schneider and the second-ranked New Jersey Devils fly into Toronto to face the Maple Leafs at the Air Canada Centre (7:00 PM ET on TSN4). The Devils (11-4-2) have won two straight games, including a wild 7-5 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks on Sunday. They’ll be looking to extend that streak on the road against an offensively-gifted Maple Leafs team.

Toronto has gotten back on track over their last four games, after losing six of their previous eight games. Now on a four-game winning streak, Toronto sits tied with the Devils at 24 points, though New Jersey has played two fewer games. Don’t miss this showdown between two of the most lethal offenses in the NHL.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

NHL Odds: Rangers-Hawks Renew Original Six Rivalry

Hockey is always a little bit better when two of the NHL’s Original Six take the ice. This Wednesday (8 PM ET, NBCSN), it’ll be the Chicago Blackhawks hosting the New York Rangers, as both teams try to move up the standings after getting off to a slow start this year. The Rangers (9-7-2 after 18 games) have already turned things around with six straight wins; the Hawks (8-8-2) are stuck in neutral at 3-3 over the same span.

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Thanks to their recent form, New York has produced strong results on the NHL odds board, ranking third in the league at 8.01 betting units on a record of 11-7 against the puck line. Chicago is 1.42 units in the red at 8-10 ATS after teasing bettors with four wins in their first six games. Injuries haven’t helped their cause; the Hawks have been playing without veteran forward Marian Hossa, who will miss the entire season with a progressive skin disorder.

Despite their struggles, the Blackhawks still find themselves in the third tier of Stanley Cup contenders at +1800 on the NHL futures market. The Rangers, who have a clean bill of health, are +2800 outsiders with room for improvement.

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NHL Odds: Rangers-Hawks in the Windy City

The Chicago Blackhawks (8-8-2) will try to get their season on track this Wednesday when they host the surging New York Rangers (9-7-2) in an Original Six showdown. NBCSN has the coverage beginning at 8 PM ET.

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After a hot start, the Blackhawks (8-10 ATS) are in the red at –1.42 units against the puck line, while the Rangers (11-7 ATS) have won six straight to move to 8.01 units, third overall in the league. Chicago is having some trouble generating offense without Marian Hossa, who will miss the entire season with a skin disorder.

Monday, November 13, 2017

NBA Odds: Much-Improved Sixers Visit La-La Land

The Process is working out marvelously for the Philadelphia 76ers (6-6 SU, 8-4 ATS). Their collection of high draft picks has turned into one of the most profitable teams in the NBA, and they’ll be on national television this Wednesday when they visit the Los Angeles Lakers (5-8 SU, 6-7 ATS), tipping off at 10:30 PM ET on ESPN.

After years of tanking, the Sixers have assembled a roster of talented players, led by center Joel Embiid and 6-foot-10 point guard Ben Simmons. Robert Covington and new arrival JJ Redick are also providing some offensive punch. Philadelphia still has room to grow, but they’re playing above market expectation as they try to make the playoffs for the first time since 2012.

The Lakers, meanwhile, could be on their way to their fifth-straight year outside the postseason, an unprecedented drought for this storied franchise. No. 2 overall pick Lonzo Ball lacks offensive polish, Larry Nance Jr. is out with a broken hand, and Brandon Ingram has made slow progress in his sophomore campaign. But at least the Lakers are playing sound defense and getting good results from veteran center Brook Lopez, who came over from the Brooklyn Nets in the offseason.

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NBA Odds: Can Lonzo Ball Solve the Sixers?

The Los Angeles Lakers (5-8 SU, 6-7 ATS) can see the potential in point guard Lonzo Ball, but can this year’s No. 2 overall pick help them beat the rising Philadelphia 76ers (6-6 SU, 8-4 ATS) this Wednesday? Game time is 10:30 PM ET on ESPN.

Ball has played solid defense for the Lakers, and the 20-year-old UCLA product recently became the youngest NBA player to register a triple-double. But his shooting form needs work, and Los Angeles will be without power forward Larry Nance Jr. for the next month or so due to a broken hand.

NBA Odds: Raptors Visit Rockets on Tuesday

James Harden of the Houston Rockets has been playing like an MVP candidate all season. With an average of 30.2 points per game, he ranks third in the NBA in scoring. Tuesday night, Harden and the Rockets host the Toronto Raptors.

The Raptors are 7-5 SU (6-6 ATS) after a disappointing loss to the Boston Celtics Sunday night. The Celtics were without PG Kyrie Irving, and yet Toronto still couldn’t get the job done. Toronto’s SG DeMar DeRozan is 10th in the league in scoring, averaging 24.7 points per game.

The Rockets’ last game was also on Sunday; they took care of business in Indiana against the Pacers, extending their win streak to six games, and improving their already impressive season record to 11-3 SU (8-6 ATS). And they did it without PG Chris Paul. Who’s still out with a bruised knee.

The Rockets are 6-4 SU in their last 10 meetings with the Raptors, who have covered in half of those games. Seven of the last 10 meetings have gone over the posted total, and both teams are ranked in the top 10 in the NBA in points per game.

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NBA Odds: Raptors Visit Rockets in Houston

The Houston Rockets and the Toronto Raptors are two of the highest-scoring teams in the NBA. They’ll meet in Houston on Tuesday in what should be an entertaining affair.

The Rockets are third in the league in points per game, led by James Harden, who’s third in the NBA with 30.5 points per game to go with 9.8 assists. The Raptors are just five spots back in eighth, led by DeMar DeRozan, who’s averaging 24.7 points per game. The Rockets have won six of their last 10 against the Raptors, who have managed to cover five times during that period.

Soccer Odds: FIFA 2018 World Cup Qualifying

The second round of 2018 World Cup qualifiers begins this Thursday for the UEFA conference, with eight teams fighting over the remaining four spots. The soccer world will be watching Friday’s first leg (2:45 PM ET) between Sweden and Italy; at press time, Italy are +130 favorites at Friends Arena in Stockholm, with Sweden at +240 and the draw at +200.

It would be classic Azzurri form to play for the draw and take the second leg at home on Monday. Italy are the superior team at No. 7 on the World Football Elo Ratings, well ahead of Sweden at No. 22. These European teams don’t meet very often, but Italy have four wins and a draw since 2000, including three 1-0 victories. Friday’s match has a total of two goals with Underpriced at even money.
There are more than 40 other ways to bet Friday’s match at Bovada. The popular Correct Score prop has the goalless draw at +600, and the 1-1 draw favored over any other score at +475. The First Goal Scorer is neck-and-neck at +450 between Italy’s Ciro Immobile and Sweden’s Marcus Berg, but “No Goal” is an added bargain in this case at +650.

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Soccer Odds: Sweden-Italy in World Cup Qualifying

If Italy are going to make it back to the World Cup in 2018, they’d better put in a strong performance this Friday (2:45 PM ET) in the first leg of their second-round qualifier against Sweden. The Azzurri are +130 road favorites at press time with Sweden at +240 and the draw very much in play at +200.

You can also bet on more than 40 different soccer props for Friday’s match, including Correct Score, where the 1-1 draw leads the way at +475, and First Goal Scorer, where Italy’s Ciro Immobile and Sweden’s Marcus Berg are tied at +450.

Royal Flush Strikes at Bovada Casino

The elusive royal flush made an appearance at Bovada Casino over the weekend. It doesn’t happen often, but when it does, it makes a splash.

The lucky recipient at Bovada Casino was Douglas P, a player from Georgia. His game of choice was Let ‘Em Ride, which is a one-person poker game that offers payouts for any hand comprising at least a pair of 10s. Luck struck with his three hole cards; he had the makings of a royal flush. After making a $10 raise, one community card added to his royal flush, and after the second round of betting, the final community card completed his royal flush. Not only did he win the 1000:1 payout on his Raise bets, he also scooped up 100% of the $91,859 progressive jackpot for a mind-boggling $111,879 payout. Suffice to say, drinks are on Douglas P. for the next little while.

The progressive jackpot for Let ‘Em Ride has crept back up to $13,000 and continues to expand.

Royal Flush Strikes at Bovada Casino

Café Casino Player Triggers $75K Win on Mobile Slot

Café Casino’s mobile slot, Achilles, paid out in a big way over the weekend. A player from Pennsylvania, Rob J., triggered the game’s free spins mode by landing three scatters.
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Thursday, November 9, 2017

NHL Odds: Chicago Blackhawks vs. Philadelphia Flyers on Thursday

On Thursday, the Philadelphia Flyers (7-6-1-1 SU, 8-7 ATS) welcome the Chicago Blackhawks (7-6-2 SU, 7-8 ATS) to town. Both teams are in sixth-place in their respective divisions and have collected a meager 16 points through their first 15 games.

Chicago has been a consistent bet this season, with 1.36 betting units against the puck line. But Chicago bettors took a hit last game when the ‘Hawks were shut out for the first time this season by the Montreal Canadiens (+120) at home. Despite Chicago outshooting the Canadiens 38-35, Corey Crawford (.945 SV%) let two slip by, which broke his eight-plus period shutout streak. Crawford will likely be between the pipes again on Thursday to face Claude Giroux and the Flyers (7 PM ET).

Philadelphia (1.49 units against the puck line) is coming off a loss of their own. Last Saturday, in a game against the Colorado Avalanche (+155), the Flyers went to a shootout after a 4-4 tie through regulation. Colorado’s Mikko Rantanen scored the game winner against Michal Neuvirth (.928 SV%). It’ll likely be Brian Elliott (.892 SV%) in net when the Flyers host the Blackhawks, however.

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NHL Odds: Philadelphia Hosts Chicago in Thursday Matchup

The Philadelphia Flyers’ offense will be put to the test on Thursday when they host the Chicago Blackhawks at the Wells Fargo Center at 7 PM ET. Fueled by RW Jakub Voracek (3 goals, 15 assists), the Flyers are averaging 3.1 goals per game, which is good enough for 14th overall in the league.

The Blackhawks, meanwhile, have been less productive offensively, but have made up for it with solid goaltending and defense, as they average 2.4 goals against per game (4th in the league). Goaltender Corey Crawford is on pace to set new career highs with a .945 save percentage and a 1.77 goals against average so far in 2017-18. We’ll see if he can extend his record to 8-5 on Thursday.

NFL Odds: Patriots-Broncos at Mile High

Two years ago, Brock Osweiler led the Denver Broncos to victory over the New England Patriots on Sunday Night Football, handing them their first loss and earning a big contract with the Houston Texans during the offseason. Now the circle is complete; Osweiler is back under center for the Broncos, and is going to start against New England this Sunday night (8:30 PM ET, NBC).

Things have changed since 2015. Osweiler’s Broncos (3-5 SU, 2-5-1 ATS) aren’t nearly as strong as the team that went on to win Super Bowl 50 with Peyton Manning at the controls. Denver was a 2.5-point home dog when Osweiler upset New England in overtime; this Sunday at Mile High, they’re getting 7.5 points against a Patriots team (6-2 SU, 4-4 ATS) that has won four straight at 3-1 ATS. The Broncos are on a four-game SU and ATS losing streak.

The weather should be different on Sunday, too. It was a cold and snowy night when Osweiler beat the Patriots two years ago, but this weekend’s forecast calls for partly cloudy skies and temperatures in the mid-40s at kick-off.
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NFL Odds: Osweiler to Start Against the Patriots

The Denver Broncos (3-5 SU, 2-5-1 ATS) gave QB Brock Osweiler the start last week, and it didn’t work out. He’ll get another chance this Sunday when the New England Patriots (6-2 SU, 4-4 ATS) come to Mile High.

The Broncos are 7.5-point home dogs against the defending champions after dropping four straight SU and ATS. Kick-off is at 8:30 PM ET on NBC. Two years ago, Osweiler led Denver to a 30-24 overtime win over the visiting Patriots as 2.5-point underdogs, also on Sunday Night Football.

Monday, November 6, 2017

NBA Odds: Reeling Cavaliers Host Bucks

The 2017-18 NBA season has not been kind to the Cleveland Cavaliers. Multiple injuries and a strange mix of personnel have LeBron James and the reigning Eastern Conference champions in a bind at 4-6 SU and 2-8 ATS. They’ll try to break free this Tuesday when they host one of the rising forces in the East, the Milwaukee Bucks (4-5 SU, 3-5-1 ATS). Tip-off is at 7 p.m. Eastern on NBA-TV.

The Cavaliers have missed Kyrie Irving at point guard; Isaiah Thomas (hip), who came over from Boston in the Irving trade, isn’t expected to debut until after the holidays. But the Cavs have also lost big man Tristan Thompson (calf) until December, while fellow big Kevin Love came down with an undisclosed illness during Sunday’s loss to Atlanta and had to go to hospital.

If there’s any good news for the Cavaliers, it’s the timing of Tuesday’s meeting with Milwaukee. This is expected to be a break-out year for the Bucks, but only if they make the postseason – PF Jabari Parker (knee) is still recovering from surgery and isn’t likely to play until February. Center Greg Monroe is also out until late November with a sore left calf.

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NBA Odds: Bucks-Cavs at The Q

LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers (4-6 SU, 2-8 ATS) are off to a horrible start this year, but at least they’ll meet another struggling team when they host the Milwaukee Bucks (4-5 SU, 3-5-1 ATS) this Tuesday, beginning at 7 p.m. Eastern on NBA-TV.

Both these Central Division rivals are going through some tough times with injuries. The Cavs are missing multiple players, including PG Isaiah Thomas (hip) and center Tristan Thompson (calf), while the Bucks are without PF Jabari Parker (knee) and center Greg Monroe (calf). Kevin Love could also miss time for Cleveland after falling ill Sunday.

Friday, November 3, 2017

UFC Odds: St-Pierre Returns at UFC 217

Four years after his last fight, Georges St-Pierre returns to the Octagon this Saturday in the main event of UFC 217, live on pay-per-view from Madison Square Garden in New York. St-Pierre will challenge Michael Bisping for the Middleweight title; at press time, both St-Pierre and Bisping are –115 pick ‘ems on the MMA odds board.

St-Pierre (25-2 lifetime, 19-2 UFC) is stepping up to 185 pounds after a lengthy reign as Welterweight champion. Bisping (30-7 lifetime, 20-7 UFC) is defending the Middleweight belt for the second time; in June 2016, he scored a stunning upset over Luke Rockhold via first-round knockout, then worked hard for a decision in his first defense against Dan Henderson four months later at UFC 204, in front of a partisan crowd in Manchester.

There are two more title matches coming up Saturday, starting with Women’s Strawweight champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk as the biggest favorite on the UFC 217 odds board at –600 over challenger Rose Namajunas. Then Cody Garbrandt (–185) will put his Bantamweight strap on the line against former champ TJ Dillashaw in the co-main event. Also appearing on the main card at MSG: Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson vs. Jorge Masvidal, and Johny Hendricks vs. Paulo Borrachinha.

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UFC Odds: St-Pierre and Bisping Pick ‘em at UFC 217

It’s been four years since Georges St-Pierre last stepped into the Octagon. The former No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter in the world returns Saturday at UFC 217 to challenge Michael Bisping for the Middleweight belt; St-Pierre, the former long-time Welterweight champion has dropped from a –125 favorite to – 115, with Bisping also checking in at –115.

Two more titles will be decided at New York’s Madison Square Garden. Joanna Jedrzejczyk (–600) will defend her Women’s Strawweight belt against Rose Namajunas, and Cody Garbrandt (–185) will put his Bantamweight strap up against former champion TJ Dillashaw.

NFL Odds: Cowboys Waiting on Elliott Appeal

The Dallas Cowboys have two things to be concerned about this week: the Kansas City Chiefs, who visit Arlington this Sunday (4:25 PM ET, CBS), and RB Ezekiel Elliott, who might not be there to play. Elliott is trying to hold off serving his six-game suspension over domestic abuse allegations, and with his status for Week 9 in doubt, the odds for Sunday’s game are on hold at press time.

After a slow start, Elliott has turned on the jets in recent weeks, helping the Cowboys (4-3 SU and ATS) stay in the playoff picture with back-to-back road wins straight up and against the spread. The NFLPA has filed an appeal on Elliott’s behalf to the 2nd US Circuit after their most recent injunction requests were denied; for now, Elliott is officially ineligible to play Sunday.

Kansas City (6-2 SU and ATS) has one of the worst rush defenses in the NFL so far this season, so the latest Elliott decision should have a big impact on Sunday’s result. But the Chiefs have an amazing young tailback of their own in Kareem Hunt, who’s been good for 5.2 yards per carry, and Dallas has been even worse than KC at stuffing the run.

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NFL Odds: Will Elliott Play For Cowboys vs. Kansas City?

The Dallas Cowboys (4-3 SU and ATS) have won back-to-back games straight up and against the spread with RB Ezekiel Elliott catching fire, but Elliott might not be available for Sunday’s matchup with the visiting Kansas City Chiefs (6-2 SU and ATS), kicking off at 4:30 PM ET on CBS.

Odds on Sunday’s game are pending until a decision has been made about Elliott’s status. He’s currently ineligible to play, but the NFLPA is appealing Elliott’s six-game suspension over domestic abuse allegations. If Elliott plays, he and Kansas City RB Kareem Hunt will operate against two of the league’s worst run defenses.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

MLB Odds: Weary Dodgers Return Home for Game 6

After five hours of baseball insanity, the Los Angeles Dodgers are heading home down 3-2 in the 2017 World Series. The Houston Astros delivered the final blow in Sunday night’s 13-12 extra-innings victory, cashing in as +110 road dogs on the MLB lines and setting up Game 6 at Chavez Ravine tonight. FOX has the coverage beginning at 8:20 PM ET.

Houston will send Justin Verlander (3.84 FIP) to the mound on Tuesday, as they try to nail down the first World Series championship in franchise history. The Dodgers hit two home runs off Verlander in Game 2, but the Astros came back to win 7-6 as –122 road favorites, also in extra innings. That put Houston’s overall record behind Verlander at a perfect 9-0 for nine betting units in earnings.

Rich Hill (3.72 FIP) will get the nod for Los Angeles after pitching reasonably well in Game 2, giving up just one earned run in four innings before getting the quick hook. Hill only threw 60 pitches in that game, and the Dodgers might need to stretch him a lot further Tuesday night after using up nearly their entire bullpen in Game 5.

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MLB Odds: Verlander Can Clinch for Astros in Game 6

The Houston Astros have yet to lose a game with Justin Verlander (3.84 FIP) on the mound. If that trend continues Tuesday night, the Astros will be World Series champions for the first time in franchise history. They’ll face Rich Hill (3.72 FIP) and the Los Angeles Dodgers tonight in Game 6 at Chavez Ravine, starting at 8:20 PM ET on FOX.

Neither pitcher got the win when they met in Game 2. After the Dodgers hit two home runs off Verlander, Houston came from behind to beat LA 7-6 in 11 innings, cashing in as –122 road favorites.

Monday, October 30, 2017

MLB Odds: Verlander, Hill Square Off in World Series on Tuesday

Tuesday night will be an elimination game in the World Series, as the Los Angeles Dodgers host the Houston Astros for Game 6.

Justin Verlander (4-0, 2.05 ERA) took a no-decision in a 7-6 11-inning win for the Astros in Game 2. Over six innings, he allowed three runs on two hits, striking out five and walking two. So far this postseason, Verlander has given up seven runs over 30.2 innings, striking out 29 and walking eight. Over 8.2 innings on the road, Verlander has given up four runs on seven hits and allowed three homeruns.

Rich Hill (0-0, 2.77 ERA) took his third no-decision of the postseason in Game 2, allowing a run on three hits over four innings; he struck out seven and walked three. All three of Hill’s previous starts in this postseason have come at home where he was 7-5 in 14 starts with an ERA of 2.77 during the regular season.

Through the first four games of the World Series, the Astros and the Dodgers have gone under the posted total twice along with a push. The home team and the away team have been favored twice each.

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MLB Odds: Dodgers Host Astros in Game 6 of the World Series

The 3-2 Houston Astros could end the World Series Tuesday night, as the Los Angeles Dodgers host Game 6.

Justin Verlander (4-0, 2.05 ERA) and Rich Hill (0-0, 2.77 ERA) will meet for the second time in the World Series as they both took no-decisions in a 7-6 win for the Astros in 11 innings. Verlander lasted six innings, giving up three runs on two hits (both homeruns). Hill lasted four innings, giving up an earned run on three hits while striking out seven and walking three. The Astros hit four homeruns from the ninth inning on to win Game 2.

NHL Odds: Winnipeg Jets vs Minnesota Wild on Tuesday

This Halloween, Central Division rivals will look to send a fright into one another, as the Minnesota Wild welcome the Winnipeg Jets to town. Both clubs have started the season well, and neither team will be willing to concede an important two points to a Western Conference foe. Put down the candy bag and tune in to TSN3 at 8 PM ET to catch all of the action.

The 5-3-2 Jets have taken at least one point in four straight games, and are coming off of a 7-1 drubbing of the defending Stanley Cup Champion Pittsburgh Penguins. Jets’ RW Blake Wheeler sniped a hat trick and added an assist for a four-point night against the Pens; Wheeler leads Winnipeg in points (4 goals, 8 assists) so far this season. After a 4-3 victory over the Wild earlier this month, the Jets will be brimming with confidence heading into Minnesota.

The Wild (4-3-2) have won three of their last four games. They currently sit last in the Central Division, but that’s largely due to having played in only nine games. All-star goaltender Devan Dubnyk has had a slow start to the season, winning only three of seven games started, while posting a goals against average above three and a save percentage of .905. Though still early, the Wild will need their cornerstone player to be better, starting with Tuesday’s game against Winnipeg.

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NHL Odds: Jets Fly to Minnesota for Halloween Showdown

Blake Wheeler and the Winnipeg Jets will attempt to get two points closer to the Central Division lead on Tuesday, as they take on the Minnesota Wild on the road. The Jets have started strong, and sit in second place in their division. Led by RW Blake Wheeler, the Jets look like a team that could make some noise in the West this season.

The Minnesota Wild, though last in the Central, have won three of their last four games, and seem to be settling into their game. Now a month into the season, the Wild hope that Devan Dubnyk will return to form and lead his team once again. Don’t miss this Western Conference matchup Tuesday (8:00 PM ET on TSN 3).

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Entertainment Odds: Time Person of the Year

It’s just about time for Time to name their Person of the Year for 2017. Who will it be this year? Emmanuel Macron, who was elected President of France in May, is favored over the field at –150. The 2016 Person of the Year, Donald Trump, is the second-favorite to repeat at +375, followed by currently unemployed quarterback Colin Kaepernick at +450.

The Time Person of the Year goes to the person, place or thing, as decided by the magazine’s editors, that “wielded the most influence” over the past 12 months. It’s rare for anyone to be honored more than once, but it’s happened 14 times since this tradition began in 1927, and once in back-to-back years when Richard Nixon won in 1971-72. Trump would be a strong double-up candidate from a news standpoint, but his influence over US and global policy is in question, while Nixon was at the height of his powers.

Macron shocked Europe’s political establishment by winning the presidency under the En Marche! banner, a loose centrist party he formed in 2016. He is France’s youngest-ever president at age 39, but while he was popular during the election, his polling numbers have dropped off considerably since then.

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Entertainment Odds: Macron Favored for Time Person of the Year

French President Emmanuel Macron may not be as popular as he was when he won that country’s election in May, but he’s still the –150 favorite at press time to win Time Person of the Year honors for 2017. Donald Trump is next at +375, followed by Colin Kaepernick at +450.

The editors at Time choose their honoree based on who (or what) “wielded the most influence” that year. Only one person has been on the cover back-to-back years since the first award in 1927: US President Richard Nixon in 1971 and 1972, before the Watergate scandal brought him down.