NBA and Ky Derby Notes

I Still Expect The Houston Rockets And Milwaukee Bucks To Meet In NBA Championship Round - Good Bye Golden State

By Kelso Sturgeon

The first round of the NBA playoffs has gone true to form with favorites winning by a 22-8 margin (73.0%) and covering the number in 20 of those contests, winning at a 67.0% clip. Since bettors wagering the same amount on each game need win but 52.35% of the time, these figures have produced major profits for those following that trend. Before you get too excited, convinced this is the silver bullet moment of a lifetime, please understand things from this point on are going to change dramatically.

When the playoffs began with 16 teams - eight each from the Western Conference and eight from the Eastern Conference - it was obvious there were teams such as Detroit, Orlando, Indiana and the Los Angeles Clippers that had little chance to survive the first round, let alone win the championship. These lesser teams were always candidates to get blown out and in the process lay out the one-sided numbers.

While not all the semifinals pairings have been completed, here is what that round is going to look like.

NBA Semifinals Pairings

#4 Boston Celtics at #1 Milwaukee Bucks
#3 Philadelphia 76ers at #2 Toronto Raptors
#4 Houston Rockets at #1 Golden State
#2 Denver Nuggets or #7 San Antonio Spurs at #3 Portland Trail Blazers

Everyone of these teams, regardless of where they are seeded, has the talent to win it all and you can expect them to unload everything they have in every game. That situation translates into competitive games should split the numbers right down the middle. It also is of note there were eight games over the weekend and the visiting team went a perfect 8-0. The odds against that happening again are out there in the twilight zone.

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RED SOX WILL HAVE TO SHOW ME THEY HAVE REALLY TURNED THINGS AROUND

The defending World Series champion Boston Red Sox (9-13) have a lot today before I as a baseball bettor will get on the bandwagon. The Sox just swept a very good Tampa Bay Rays team on the road, 3-0, and stand 6-4 in their last 10 games.

That's nice - a step in the right direction - but how can one have confidence in a team that is batting .233 and has a pitching staff with the second worst ERA (5.81) in the majors. When those figures start to move upward, I'll consider dancing but not before.

For the record, the Red Sox use a 4-man pitching rotation and here they are with their current records.

                --Chris Sale (0-4, 8.50) compared to 12-4 and 2.11 last season.

                --David Price (1-1, 3.75) compared to 16-7 and 3.58 last season.

                --Rick Porcello (0-3, 8.47) compared to 17-7 and 4.28 last season.

                --Eduardo Rodriguez (1-2, 7.20) compared to 13-5 and 3.82 last season.

Arkansas Derby Winner Omaha Beach Legitimate Kentucky Derby Favorite But Has Come Up With Quarter-Crack

Horse racing certainly Is a bit unpredictable for bettors - and owners, trainers and jockeys. This thought moved front and center today with the announcement Kentucky Derby favorite Omaha Beach, powerful winner of the Arkansas Derby in his last start, had come up with a quarter-crack, a hoof injury. His connections said has had this problem before, i.e. not to worry. Yeah.

I am strictly old school when it comes to horses getting ready for any race, and more so with horses running in a major classic. I view any setback as a real negative because it interrupts the horse's daily routine - never a positive thing. Omaha Beach has already missed one workout because of the injury. Personally speaking this is a red flag and I will await how Omaha Beach does in this next workout, especially compared to the past.

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