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NBA betting picks and odds: Profit from this Chris Paul prop versus Pelicans

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The final night of NBA betting before the All-Star break has only two games in action. Thankfully, both matchups are great and there is never a shortage of NBA odds to attack.

Analyst Monique Vag breaks down Clippers at Celtics and Thunder at Pelicans, giving her best NBA picks for the pointspreads, totals, and props.

 

LOS ANGELES CLIPPERS AT BOSTON CELTICS

STARTING SLOW

The Celtics have won 22 of their first 27 home games this season (16-10-1 ATS), including six straight heading into Thursday night. Boston welcomes the Clippers, who average 114 points per game away from home.

The Celtics have struggled to get out to a good start over their last three games, averaging only 25 first-quarter points (ranked 30th overall in that span), and were recently held to 19 points in the opening frame versus the Thunder.

The Clippers defense has been stingy out of the gate as a visitor, holding host teams to just 45.1 percent shooting in the first quarter this season. After falling behind early to Philadelphia on Tuesday, expect L.A. to put an emphasis on defense in the opening 12 minutes of this game. Bet Under the first quarter game total of 59.

BOSTON BEAT DOWNS

The last three meetings between Clippers and Celtics have each been won by Los Angeles, posting an average score of 123-110 (2-1 ATS). The Clippers shot above 50 percent from the floor in those three meetings while the Celtics struggled, shooting just over 42 percent.

With Los Angeles winning five of the last six in the head-to-head versus Boston and nine of the last 10 versus Atlantic Division opponents, taking the points with a very capable road dog is never a bad idea. Go with Los Angeles +2.

 

OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER AT NEW ORLEANS PELICANS

FLYING HIGH

The Pelicans are 2.5-point home favorites hosting the Thunder. New Orleans is fresh off a 138-117 blowout victory versus the Blazers Tuesday night and is averaging a league-high 129 points over its last three outings.

The Pelicans are really cooking at home in recent weeks, averaging 123 points on 45.5 percent shooting over their last five contests inside the Smoothie King Center. They’ve topped the total in nine of their last dozen home games and are 7-3 Over/Under in their last 10 matchups with OKC in the Big Easy. We like the Pelicans to play Over their team total of 117.5.

OPEN WITH A BANG

Along with their hot shooting the Pelicans have gotten out to very quick starts in recent games, averaging 65 points per first 24 minutes over their last three contests. The Thunder, however, have been on the opposite side of this stat, averaging just 53 first-half points on the road this season.

With Oklahoma City managing only 41 first-half points versus a porous Spurs defense at home Tuesday, we like New Orleans to be leading at the break. Take its first-half moneyline at -130.

POINT OF WEAKNESS

As good as the Pelicans have been offensively, they have needed those big numbers to overcome a weak defense, which is surrendering 117.2 points per game on the year. New Orleans been particularly vulnerable versus opposing point guards, allowing 24.9 points and nine assists per contest to the position.

Thunder veteran PG Chris Paul has dished out seven or more assists six times in his last nine game, including 10 assists in three of those performances. Expect Paul to be a factor in orchestrating the Thunder offense. Bet Over his assists total of 6.5.

Canucks vs Golden Knights picks and predictions for Game 1

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Perhaps no team has been more fun to follow during the NHL playoffs than the Vancouver Canucks, and hockey bettors can still get the Canucks at +1,300 to hoist Lord Stanley’s cup. Vancouver is coming off a thrilling series win against the defending champion St. Louis Blues, but now a much more difficult challenge awaits. The Vegas Golden Knights are +350 favorites to win it all, and they’ve certainly looked the part while dropping only one playoff contest.

Game 1 of this series gets underway Sunday, so we’re here to bring you our NHL picks and predictions in this Western Conference semifinal showdown.

Vancouver Canucks vs Vegas Golden Knights betting preview

Starting Goalies

Canucks: Jacob Markstrom – playoffs – 7-3, 2.44 GAA, .929 SV% (season – 23-16, 2.75 GAA, .918 SV%)

Golden Knights: Robin Lehner – playoffs – 5-1, 2.44 GAA, .904 SV% (season – 19-10, 2.89, .920 SV%)

If this game was actually played in Las Vegas, then Markstrom could easily spend a few hours performing with Cirque du Soleil. The 30-year-old dazzled against Blues with an eye-opening array of acrobatic saves and an impressive 7-3 record. He’ll need to provide more of the same against a dangerous Vegas squad.

The Knights will likely roll with Robin Lehner, who has taken over the spot as Vegas’s starter in the crease—and rightfully so. Still, the Knights have the luxury of having Marc-Andre Fleury as their “backup.” The five-time All-Star matched an NHL record this season with his 14th consecutive playoff appearance.

Injuries

Vancouver: Tyler Myers D (out), Tyler Toffoli RW (out), Micheal Ferland LW (out), Josh Leivo LW (out)

Vegas: Tomas Nosek LW (out)

Betting Trend to Know

Canucks are 0-6 in their last six Sunday games. Find the latest NHL betting trends for Canucks vs. Golden Knights.

MONEYLINE PICK

The Canucks have been a force with the extra man during the postseason, converting 26.2% of their power plays. While the Knights are known for their offensive firepower, it’s their stingy defense that allows them to suffocate opponents—as evidenced by an 86.4% penalty kill during their playoff run. Vancouver is the only team in the league to never beat Vegas in regulation, going 0-11 all time. That’s something I just can’t ignore.

PREDICTION: Vegas ML (-175)

OVER/UNDER PICK

Each team is filled with loads of offensive talent. Vancouver’s Bo Horvat and J.T. Miller have combined for 11 goals thus far. Elias Pettersson has racked up 13 points, tied with Colorado’s Nathan MacKinnon for the playoff lead.

The Knights can match Vancouver’s scorers, but they’re more balanced—Shea Theodore, Alex Tuch and Mark Stone have each lit the lamp four times during the postseason. The difference is on defense, where Vancouver has allowed the most high-danger chances of all remaining playoff teams.

PREDICTION: Over 5.5 (-110)

PROP PICK

Though I like Vegas to win, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Canucks kept it close and continued their offensive success. I’ll take a flyer on Vancouver scoring at least three goals.

PREDICTION: Canucks total goals Over 2.5 (-100)

Canucks vs Golden Knights Betting Card

  • Vegas ML (-175)
  • Over 5.5 (-110)
  • Canucks total goals Over 2.5 (-100)
NHL Parlays

Did you know that if you parlayed today’s NHL Canucks vs Golden Knights picks, you could win $104.93 on a $10 bet?

Use our NHL parlay calculator to create your own parlays and see their potential payouts.

Verlander injury shuffles Astros’ MLB futures odds

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MLB betting got a shake-up Sunday afternoon, specifically on World Series odds and AL pennant odds, with news that Astros star pitcher Justin Verlander could miss the rest of the season – or at least a significant chunk of it – with an arm injury.

Initial reports suggested Verlander had an elbow ailment, but both he and manager Dusty Baker quickly denied that. Baker called it a forearm strain and said that Verlander would be re-evaluated in “a couple of weeks.” The reigning AL Cy Young winner pitched a solid six innings in an 8-2 Opening Day rout of the Seattle Mariners on Friday.

Verlander’s injury led oddsmakers to shuffle futures book odds on the defending AL champions. Covers checked in on the MLB odds moves with a couple of Las Vegas sportsbooks.

How does Verlander’s injury affect Astros’ World Series odds?

At CG Technology books, risk analyst Rich Zanco said the Astros quickly moved from +1,200 to +1,800 in World Series futures. The SuperBook at Westgate also had Houston pegged +1,200 prior to Sunday’s news and initially went to +1,600, then dialed it a little further to +1,800.

However, there were apparently buyers on the Astros at that point, prompting the SuperBook to reel the price in to +1,400.

How does Verlander’s injury affect Astros’ American League odds?

In AL pennant futures, the Astros initially moved from +600 to +800 at The SuperBook, then ticked back to +700.

World Series odds

Team Odds to win
Los Angeles Dodgers +350
New York Yankees +350
Houston Astros +600
Atlanta Braves +1,600
Minnesota Twins +1,600
Tampa Bay Rays +1,800
Washington Nationals +2,000
Cleveland Indians +2,000
New York Mets +2,000
Chicago Cubs +2,000
Oakland Athletics +2,000
St. Louis Cardinals +2,500
Cincinnati Reds +2,500
San Diego Padres +2,500
Philadelphia Phillies +3,000
Chicago White Sox +3,000
Los Angeles Angels +3,000
Milwaukee Brewers +4,000
Boston Red Sox +5,000
Arizona Diamondbacks +6,000
Colorado Rockies +8,000
Toronto Blue Jays +10,000
Texas Rangers +10,000
Pittsburgh Pirates +20,000
Detroit Tigers +20,000
San Francisco Giants +30,000
Seattle Mariners +30,000
Miami Marlins +30,000
Baltimore Orioles +30,000
Kansas City Royals +30,000

Odds courtesy The SuperBook