NBA predictions and betting odds: More value with Melo prop

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Basketball bettors only have four games on the NBA odds board this Thursday, in what could be a lopsided night on the schedule, with no spread closer than 6-points.

NBA analyst Monique Vag looks at the NBA pointspreads, Over/Under odds, and team and player props, giving you her best bets and NBA predictions for tonight’s action.




The Philadelphia 76ers are 6-point favorites for the tail end of a back-to-back when they host the New York Knicks. However, they will be without both Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid for this contest. The Knicks, who are also playing their second game in as many nights, have also lost 10 consecutive matchups against the Sixers.

New York has really struggled to put points on the board, ranking 28th in points per game at just 104.7. The Knicks are up against a 76ers team who rank 22nd in points per game, but have really struggled as of late, being held under 100 in two of their last three contests overall. Expect more of the same on both ends, and bet Under the game total of 211.5.




The Portland Trail Blazers head to Indiana to take on the Pacers as 9.5-point underdogs, because Damian Lillard will be sitting this one out with a groin injury.

The Pacers have stumbled out of the gates recently, averaging only 20.7 first quarter points per game over their last three contests. Today, they take on a Blazers team ranked sixth in first quarter points per contest. Take Portland to keep things close early on even without Dame, and bet the Trail Blazers on the first quarter spread, getting 3-points.


Portland’s Carmelo Anthony has really stepped up in Lillard’s absence. Throughout that three-game stretch he has logged 20, 32, and 14 points and connected on no less than two made 3-point shots in each contest. Without Lillard in the lineup, there are a lot of extra field goal attempts to go around – look for a player like Anthony to go Over his points total of 16.5 on volume alone.



The Sacramento Kings and Oklahoma City Thunder have both been playing very well post All-Star break and enter today on respective three and four game winning streaks.

The Thunder have gotten out to very quick starts over their last three games, averaging 60.3 first half points per game, including putting up 72 last time out versus the Bulls. The Kings have also had a lot of success early, on averaging 59.7 first half points per game throughout that same stretch. Expect both teams to come out flying on and bet Over the first half game total of 113.



The largest spread of the night takes place in San Francisco, with the Lakers on the board as 10-point road favorites over the Warriors. The Lakers come into this one on a six game winning streak, but if they want to make it seven in a row, they’ll have to do so without LeBron James, who will be sitting with a groin injury.

The Warriors have really struggled shooting from the floor all season long, averaging 106 points per game and things won’t be easy against a stingy Lakers defense. Los Angeles allows only 107.4 points per game on 44.7 percent shooting. Look for the Lakers to step up on that end of the floor with LeBron out and keep a sub-par Warriors team Under their team total of 106.5.

Canucks vs Golden Knights picks and predictions for Game 1


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.


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.


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)


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)


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