Browsing Posts published in April, 2013

The New York Jets entered the 2013 NFL draft with countless needs on both sides of the ball. Coming off one of their most disappointing seasons in recent memory, the Jets traded Darrelle Revis to Tampa Bay for the 13th selection. Today, I’ll share my thoughts on each of the Jets’ selections:

Round 1, Pick 9: Dee Milliner, CB, Alabama

Some mock drafts had Milliner as high as third overall, which may indicate value. Milliner was the consensus best corner back in the draft and will attempt to fill the void left by Revis. However, I’m not sure if this pick makes sense for general manager, John Idzik’s long term goals. By trading Revis, Idzik implied that no one corner back can be THAT valuable. Paying $15 million per season for a corner back may seem outlandish to an organization that values depth. The only issue is–the Jets don’t exactly have a ton of depth, so using a Top 10 pick on another corner back makes little sense. The public is not privy to medical reports, so the Jets may know that Revis won’t return to his level of dominance. However, this argument is a tough sell given Tampa Bay’s willingness to offer Revis a $96 million contract extension. Overall, the handling of the corner back position has been flat out odd.

MV Analysis: I’m not a scouting guru, but given Milliner’s track record and the need for a Revis replacement, the Jets seemed to get a good value at Pick 9. 

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Sportsbook Review is an industry leader in the offshore sports betting community and their innovation continues is one of the reasons they are so recognized. An example of that innovation can be seen in their odds tool, which basketball bettors can appreciate as they lay their action on the playoffs.

The tool can be likened to many utilities that a stock market investors on Wall Street might use. SBR’s odds tool provides bettors the live, up-to-the-second NBA odds, while letting them compare them across 32 different sportsbooks. There is a handy color-coding scheme that allows betters to determine which lines have just changed on the fly. The screen shows all of the basketball matchups available, which games have odds and allows the player easily convert the odds from American to decimal. Once the games have commenced, the scores, time and quarter are shown right in the tool.

The importance of this tool can’t be understated. For starters, just the comparison across all of the books is useful as players no longer have to resort to primitive ways. The previous option would be to log into their accounts at different shops and compare. Now this can quickly and efficiently be done from one screen. This helps discern which sportsbook has the best value on an underdog or the cheapest price on the favorite.

Professional bettors will appreciate the history of the line movements, which can uncover trends in the lines. Users can click on the lines at a specific sportsbook and see the details of where the betting line opened and all of the subsequent movements. That’s available for moneylines, spreads and totals. It also shows when the movement occurred, so players can see if the line moved as soon as it opened or if the line moved minutes before game time.

The stats are archived as well, which makes SBR’s odds tool not only state-of-the-art but one of the most important tools for bettors nowadays.

The New York Yankees and the Toronto Blue Jays are set to do battle in the AL East for the first time this season at the Rogers Centre, and if there is such a thing as a series that each of these teams really wants to win, this is the one. The Yanks are coming to town without bringing LHP CC Sabathia with them in their rotation, but they still have the decided edge in most of these three games that are scheduled for this weekend.

The biggest edge for the Bronx Bombers probably comes right out of the gates on Friday night. LHP Andy Pettitte might be right on the verge of 41 years old, but he is 2-0 with a 1.20 ERA and is pitching like a savvy veteran. He opposes RHP Brandon Morrow, who has yet to pick up his first win on the season and has a 4.60 ERA.

The best of the New York pitchers this year has been RHP Hiroki Kuroda. He has led the team to two wins in three tries, including posting a complete game shutout against the Baltimore Orioles last weekend. LHP Mark Buehrle has been a disappointment for those making their MLB picks on the Jays at the outset of this season, as in spite of the fact that he is 1-0, he has a 7.31 ERA.

Sunday is probably the hairiest of the three matchups for the boys in pinstripes. New York throws the inconsistent RHP Ivan Nova against the equally inconsistent RHP Josh Johnson. These two men have both shown the ability to win 20 games in the past, but neither has gotten off to the start that they would have hoped for this season. Johnson especially, is just 0-1 with a 6.91 ERA.

The 2013 NBA playoffs start this weekend, and for the first time in almost 20 years, the New York Knicks are going into them as the Atlantic Division champs. It’s not just New York that is going to be on display at home in the first two games of the postseason though, as the Brooklyn Nets are going to be hosting their first playoff games at the Barclays Center as well this year.

Just because Brooklyn and New York are going to have home court advantage in the first round of the postseason doesn’t mean that they are anywhere near locks to get into the second round, though. NBA betting fans know that both teams have very tough matchups. The Knicks have to contend with the Boston Celtics, while the Nets draw the Chicago Bulls. Both enemies play stout defensive basketball, and both have enough talent to not just win their respective first round series, but subsequent series down the road as well.

The Knicks did play quite well this year against the Celtics, but there is definitely some cause for concern. The 3-1 record both SU and ATS was impressive for New York, but the one win that the boys from Beantown had happened at Madison Square Garden earlier in the campaign. If the C’s can figure out how to steal one of these first two games at MSG to start this series, it could be a long series that doesn’t go the way that New York wants it to.

The Nets meanwhile, were nowhere near as fortunate against Chicago. The Bulls won two of the three meetings this season and covered all three games. Brooklyn didn’t score more than 93 points in any of the three games this year against the boys from the Windy City, a clear indication that this is going to be a slugfest of a series.

The New York Mets were never really expected to be one of the better teams in baseball this year, but they probably didn’t expect to be as suspect in the starting rotation as they have been in years. They have two more games on Wednesday and Thursday against the Colorado Rockies before coming home to take on the Washington Nationals, and Manager Terry Collins will have to be careful with his rotation by the end of the weekend.

It is clear that Jonathon Niese and Matt Harvey are the top two pitchers to make your MLB picks on for the Mets. Harvey has been the craze at the outset of the season after he allowed just two runs in his 22.0 innings of work thus far this year. The big righty is one of the few pitchers in the game to be 3-0 after his first three starts on the campaign.

Niese will throw Wednesday against Jon Garland. Harvey has a tough matchup as well, opposing Jhoulys Chacin, who has started off this season at 2-0 with a 1.96 ERA in his own right.

New York had better pick up its wins in Colorado, because winning games at home against the Nats will be tough. Washington is setup to throw its best three arms in this series, starting with Stephen Strasburg on Friday and continuing with Gio Gonzalez and Jordan Zimmerman this weekend. All three pitchers are going to be going on six days of rest.

The Mets, on the other hand, are going to be a bit strapped. Jeremy Hefner is going to have to start one of the three games of this series, and from there, things will be interesting. Both Dillon Gee and Aaron Laffey threw in Wednesday’s double header, and one might have to pitch on three days of rest on Sunday. New York is going to have to call upon its AAA team to provide a starter for Saturday unless one of the long relievers in the bullpen is going to give it a go. Either way, this is setting up to be a long weekend of games in the Big Apple. 

The Detroit Pistons have had no success over the course of this season against the Brooklyn Nets. They have dropped all three meetings this year from an SU standpoint, and they only have one cover to show for their work in those games. On the final night of the NBA’s regular season though, Detroit will have one last chance to work some magic at the Barclays Center on Wednesday at 8:00 p.m. ET.

The Pistons are actually ending the season on a bit of a high, and they are playing like a team you would want to make your NBA picks on. They have won four straight games and have gone 7-0-1 ATS in their last eight. We really have seen Greg Monroe come into his own this season, especially in these last seven games of the campaign. The former Georgetown Hoya has averaged 19.6 points and 9.1 rebounds per game in that stretch, and he is surely going to be a man to watch out for in this one.

Brooklyn meanwhile, knows that it is going to be the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs regardless of what happens in this one. The team put on a nice charge on Monday night to dispose of the Washington Wizards even after falling behind 34-21 at the end of the first quarter, and as a result, the team is 5-1 SU and 4-2 ATS in its last six games.

However, that win against Washington really came with little consequence. Joe Johnson, Brook Lopez, Deron Williams, Jerry Stackhouse, Keith Bogans, and Reggie Evans all sat out for the game, while Gerald Wallace only played 22 minutes. The entire starting five was basically turned inside out, though it was still impressive to see the de facto bench players to it to a Washington team that had been playing solid basketball down the stretch of the campaign.

The Charlotte Bobcats are set to finish out the 2013 campaign with the worst record in the NBA for the second straight year. Their fate will be sealed on Monday night if they get beaten in their second to last game of the season against the New York Knicks.

It’s any guess as to how hard New York is really going to play in this game. The team locked up the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference over the weekend, and there is literally nothing left to play for in these last two regular season games. We certainly know that Head Coach Mike Goodson is going to play it safe with F Carmelo Anthony, who deserves the rest that he is expected to get. Others that will probably be on the shelf in this one include C Marcus Camby (foot), F Kenyon Martin (ankle), and C Tyson Chandler (neck). F Amare Stoudemire remains out for the rest of the month, and the earliest he could be back is the second round of the playoffs.

Charlotte has been a disaster all season long once again, and the team is a stunningly bad 12-56 SU and 23-44-1 ATS over the course of its last 68 games. The Bobcats have virtually no talent on their team, and they clearly missed with their lottery selection last year of F Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. MKG is just sixth on the team in scoring at 9.0 points per game, and he hasn’t played tremendous defensive ball either.

The Knicks are favored by eight-points on the NBA odds to open, and in spite of the fact that virtually none of the regulars are expected to play, it’s tough to argue. New York has won three of the last four games in this series by at least nine points, and the last four victories over the Bobcats have come by an average of 16.0 points per game.

The Indiana Pacers are going to war on Friday night with the Brooklyn Nets as 5 ½-point favorites in NBA betting action. Anyone who studies this series though, knows that for whatever reason, the boys from Brooklyn have had a great history against the Pacers, and that could create a great betting stance to kick off the weekend.

The Nets have won three straight games in this series and have covered five in a row dating back to last January 31st, 2012. The last game that the Pacers won and covered here at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in this series was back in January 2011.

This time around, there is probably just a bit more motivation for the Nets to do well than there is for the Pacers. Indiana more or less knows that it is going to be the No. 3 seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs this season. Sure, there is a possibility to run down the New York Knicks, who are two games ahead of the Pacers with four to play, but that isn’t all that likely. It also is just as unlikely that Brooklyn could run down Indiana for the third seed in the East. The Nets though, could win this game and clinch home court advantage in the first round of the playoffs against either the Chicago Bulls or the Atlanta Hawks.

G Joe Johnson has been bothered by a quadriceps injury of late. He has been back in the lineup for four games since returning from injury, but he has only averaged 14.5 points per game since that point, almost two points off of his scoring average for the season.

The last time these two met, the Pacers had massive problems on the boards. F Reggie Evans had 22 rebounds, while F Gerald Wallace had 11. C Brook Lopez led all scorers with 25 points.

The New York Mets and the Philadelphia Phillies are just getting a chance to know one another, and they are going to be engaged in MLB betting action for the third time this season on Wednesday night. This is the rubber match of this series after the two teams split the opening two games here at Citizens Bank Park on Monday and Tuesday.

New York has at least had a relatively consistent offense this year. Last night’s 8-3 loss was more a product of good pitching by Cliff Lee than anything else, but the Mets have still put 46 runs on the board this season (5.75 runs per game). That production should help young Jeremy Hefner on Wednesday.

Hefner only came up to the bigs for the first time last year, and he went 4-7 with a 5.09 ERA. In fairness to him though, he also allowed seven runs without retiring a batter against these very same Phillies, and had that outing not happened, his ERA would have been a respectable 4.42 instead. The righty was a tough luck loser in his first game of the year against the Miami Marlins when he allowed just one run in six frames.

The Phils are going to counter with Kyle Kendrick. Once thought to be one of the prospects that would help carry Philadelphia to a number of championships, Kendrick really hasn’t panned out all that well. He has just 56 wins under his belt in six seasons, and he had an ominous start to the season when he allowed five runs in 5.2 innings against the Kansas City Royals.

The last time Kendrick faced the Mets, he allowed just two runs in 7.2 innings, striking out six men without issuing a walk. However, the righty did allow two home runs, and he has had problems with the long ball in his last eight outings, allowing nine dingers in that stretch dating back to last year.

Seven months before hitting free agency, Robinson Cano fired his agent, Scott Boras, in favor of rapper Jay-Z’s Roc Nation Sports group. Cano is Roc Nation’s first client and the Roc will handle Cano’s PR/marketing initiatives. “At this point in my career, I am ready to take a more active role in my endeavors both on and off the field,” said Cano in a statement released on Roc Nation’s site.  “I am confident that the pairing of Roc Nation Sports and CAA Sports will be essential in helping me accomplish my short- and long-term goals.  I am making this important decision now so I can keep my focus on helping the Yankees succeed in 2013, while minimizing any distractions for me and my teammates.”

Roc Nation owner, Jay-Z, intends to become a sports agent for football, baseball, and basketball. Given Cano’s new affiliation with Jay-Z and Roc Nation, it’s difficult to imagine the 29-year-old second baseman leaving the Yankees. The Yankees made Cano a ‘significant offer’, but Boras clearly wanted to test the free agent market. Even though Cano’s Yankees lost their opening game to the Red Sox, you can start placing your bet on New York teams throughout the summer. It’ll be a very interesting season in the Bronx and throughout Major League Baseball. The action will certainly be entertaining.