It’s a big day and a big weekend for sports gambling! Today is the Kentucky Derby, followed by a Cinco de Mayo showdown between two of the greater Mexican boxers in the sports, Saul “Canelo” Alvarez vs Julio Caesar Chavez Jr.
Julio Caesar Chavez Jr, known to miss weight, came in exactly at 164 lbs and while he looked pretty gaunt, it wasn’t the worst weight cut in the world for him as his big problem isn’t so much eating as it is much weed (it doesn’t make him a bad guy!). Alvarez is on a tear and is coming down in weight to take on his Mexican rival, which should take away some of his punching power as he usually has waned in both power and output when he’s fought at these lower weights. Chavez Jr is very much a defensive boxer like his dad, although he doesn’t have the ability to be a savage like his father did despite, IMO, having slightly better athletic attributes. I see this one going the distance, so I am taking “Fight Goes the Distance – YES” at -120, and a play on Alvarez by points +125, as Alvarez’s modus operandi is to put on a good fight for the fans in this non-title showdown and get that “W” to build up momentum for his eventual super fight with GGG in 2018.
Classic Empire 4-1
J.Boys Echo 28-1
PIT v WSH Under 5 (+120)
Joshua vs Klitschko
Over Rounds 8.5 -115
In what is the most anticipated heavyweight bout in quite some time, the UK’s Anthony Joshua (-250) has a chance to go from wonder prospect to the baddest man on the planet vs veteran Wladimir Klitschko (+200) today at Wembley Stadium. Klitschko, coming off a decision loss to Tyson “I love cocaine” Fury, has always been known to be a prudent fighter. Joshua is a KO artist, but he’s never faced anyone with the defensive boxing of Klitschko. Klitschko often has a stigma of putting on bad fights because of his methodical approach, and his ability to hold guys and not allow them to find their jabbing range. I foresee this one going past 9 rounds, and maybe even the distance, as Joshua has yet to fight a boxer of Klitschko’s chin and pedigree. I fancy Joshua however in a decision (+500), as Klitschko is literally on the Back 9 at 17 and is on his way out…..but his iron chin and guile should see him through to the judge’s scorecards.
Senators vs Rangers Over 5 (+105)
Nashville vs St Louis Under 5 (-110)
OTT at BOS Over 5 (EVEN)
Celtics -2 (-115)
Nashville vs Chicago Under 5 (+105)
PARLAY: Nashville vs Chicago Under 5 (+105) and BOS v OTT Under 5 (-125) at +200
Bruins at Ottawa Over 5 +120
First off, NHL playoff unders are so far 1-9-2 O/U….and I think that will be the play for most of this series. But, considering the dynamic of Ottawa needing a win and the Bruins having injuries in the defense pairings, this should be a more open game today as Ottawa will be desperate to score goals even in Guy Boucher’s nitty neutral zone system.
UFC on FOX Kansas City:
Parlay @ +298: Souza -240, Johnson -699, Collier +120
Roy Nelson +125
Also, as a side note: if you do take the longshot Reis tonight in the title match, make sure to bet the “win by submission” prop. He is a jiu-jitsu maven and no one in the world is going to beat Mighty Mouse Johnson in a decision since he is the fastest fighters in the UFC. A shock win here will come via sub for Reis, and you’ll get more odds on that as supposed to the straight up +450.
Stoke v Hull Over 2.5 +110
I am taking this based on this alone:
i really wanted nashville to win already… but now i've never wanted something more pic.twitter.com/KI6zFaWb3f
— dom 🤠 (@domluszczyszyn) April 11, 2017
Game Bet for today:
Bruins @ Ottawa Under 5 (-105)
Brooks vs Oliveira Goes the Distance – Yes @ -105
Daniel Cormier wins by decision +525
Anthony Johnson wins by decision +775
Parlay +395: Kamaru Usman-285, Myles Jury -450, Pearl Gonzalez +200
My results on these have declined over the past few years. Who knew that spending markedly less time on something could result in inferior results?
10 Braves Over 74.5
9 Cubs under 96.5
8 Rangers Over 85.5
7 Yankees Under 82.5
6 Tigers Under 82.5
5 Mariners Under 85.5
4 Rockies Under 80.5
3 Reds Under 69.5
2 Nationals Over 90.5
1 Phillies Under 72.5
Homer pick to start but a lot of Unders this year. NL is woefully unbalanced so it’s hard to identify a pure .500 team. If there’s true separation by June, we could really see things diverge in the 2nd half of the season. Reds and Phillies should be the two worst teams along with San Diego and I have no idea how the Rockies total is at 80.5. In the AL, the Yankees need several things to go right to hit their over. I think the Tigers and Mariners are sending out the two oldest lineups in baseball without the rotation to really cover as backup.
Division Winner Guesses:
AL East – Boston
AL Central – Cleveland
AL West – Houston
NL East – Washington
NL Central – Chicago
NL West – San Francisco
Some thoughts looking at these numbers. I’ve noted before that seeing heavy juice on a line can affect your decision making. You try to come up with reasons on why to believe something. Case in point last year with the Orioles. Their line was somewhere between -170 and -180 on the under. They were a trendy pick to lose a bunch of games, but they played beyond expectations. Would I have felt so confident in them if they weren’t sitting at -173 or whatever on the under? I doubt it. Anyway let’s have a look.
Padres Under 66.5 – Not breaking new ground here. Several have noted that, on paper, they have the worst rotation in baseball. I am a fan of both Austin Hedges and Will Myers, but this lineup will consistently be littered with mediocrity. And if the lineup is bad the rotation is horrific. No starter is projected to have a sub 4.00 era in the pitchiest of pitcher’s parks. Jered Weavers fastball was so slow the other day MLB pitch tracker listed it as a changeup. (True)
Tigers Under 82.5 – Some of the Detroit blurbs are either hilarious or massively depressing according to viewpoint. “None of their options are attractive,” “got roughed up again,” “need to turn it around.” Reports note that in regards to position battles, one player fails while his teammate competitor “hasn’t exactly been great himself.” Anibal Sanchez has apparently worked on his mechanics and is looking like he may rebound which is a point against us.
Phillies Over 72.5 – Lot of young talent on Philadelphia. Plus you know you are generally not backing the trendy money when you are gambling on Philadelphia succeeding in anything.
Indians Over 93.5 – Well we have already gambled on Philadelphia doing well, let’s toss Cleveland in. Last year as I routinely kicked myself for taking that damn Baltimore Under the theme that kept coming back for me was how good their bullpen was. I am slightly nervous that Andrew Miller may be wearing down a bit. Even if that is the case this unit should be strong enough to carry this team. Hopefully a fully healthy year for Brantley.
Brewers Over 68.5 – The lineup by itself is certainly legitimate enough to clear this number. The issue will be how many games the pitching gives back. Craig Counsell seems like he’s due for some success.
Cubs Under 96.5 – To win this many games there has to be a minimum number of question marks. You could make the argument that the entire OF is one giant one. Jason Heyward is an enigma, Jon Jay is a far cry from Dexter Fowler, and when he isnt tearing ligaments Kyle Schwarber has played all of 40 games in LF. Wade Davis may be fine but is coming off injury. Hammel gone, Lackey ancient. Too many questions for me.
Royals Under 75.5 – As has been reported on quite a bit, the Royals have quite a few key players heading to free agency next year. Hosmer, Moustakas, Cain, Escobar…this is betting on the Royals selling at the trade deadline even if they’re in a spot that isn’t horrible.
Mets Over 87.5 – No reasoning necessary.
Angels Under 79.5 – My only offseason note for the Angels was to observe they had signed Ryan LaMarre to a major league contract, specifically 50k over the minimum. That’s all I got.
Yankees Under 82.5 – Sure.