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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.

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

MLB picks and predictions for Opening Day

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It was a long and scary road, but we finally get MLB betting back on Thursday, July 23. Opening Day of the pandemic-shortened 60-game baseball schedule is headlined by a pair of matchups, with the New York Yankees visiting the Washington Nationals and the Los Angeles Dodgers rekindling their rivalry with the San Francisco Giants.

Like we do each MLB season (COVID-19 or not), we’ll be taking a swing at today’s baseball odds and giving our best MLB picks and predictions. Up first: Opening Day 2020.

MLB picks for today

New York Yankees vs Washington Nationals

Yankees slugger Aaron Judge was supposed to miss the start of the season back in the spring, but the delay to the 2020 campaign allowed the outfielder to heal up from broken ribs and return to his longball-launching self.

Judge looked great in New York’s warmup games, albeit for a limited number of at-bats. He went 3-for-7 with all three hits leaving the ballpark. And he wasn’t alone, with the Yankees’ other power bats providing plenty of pop around him in the order. He’ll get a chance to go yard again on Opening Day.

PREDICTION: Aaron Judge home run (+210)

San Francisco Giants at Los Angeles Dodgers

The Giants are no strangers to Clayton Kershaw, who has long dominated the Dodgers’ divisional foes. In 49 career appearances against San Francisco, The Claw is 23-12 with a 1.74 ERA and has allowed just 0.71 hits per innings pitched in those starts.

The Giants don’t pose much of an offensive threat, averaging 8.22 hits per game in 2019. San Francisco has managed 45 total hits in its last eight starts against Kershaw – an average of 0.86 hits per inning faced. Given the Dodgers’ ace looked ready for work in his tune-up efforts, we could see him go seven innings or more on Thursday, panning out to a little over six hits for San Fran.

PREDICTION: Giants between 6-7 total hits (+235)

Mookie Betts has reportedly landed a whale of a contract extension with the Dodgers after joining the ballclub this offseason via a trade with the Boston Red Sox. And what better way to lock down that deal than an impressive effort on Opening Day.

Betts recorded 313 total bases in 2019 (30th) and 353 in 2018 (fourth). He’s been swinging well in training sessions this offseason: in 27 at-bats during the spring/summer schedule, he has 13 total bases, including two doubles and a home run, while hitting leadoff during Summer Camp. We like that to continue into Opening Day.

PREDICTION: Mookie Betts two or more total bases (-182)

Top MLB consensus for today

Want to know who today’s biggest MLB betting and consensus bets are right now? Check out our top MLB consensus picks.

Opening Day betting card

  • Aaron Judge home run (+210)
  • Giants between 6-7 total hits (+235)
  • Mookie Betts two or more total bases (-182)