If you are looking for a brief summary of what you need to know today to make informed betting choices, you’ve come to the right place!
We’ll make sure you’ve got the most up-to-date map before you embark on your sports betting voyage.
1. Nene out for the playoffs
The Houston Rockets are going to find their booster engines a little anemic going forward. Backup center Nene (ne Hilario) has been sidelined for the rest of the playoffs with a torn groin. The Brazilian was a nice cog for the Rockets this year, averaging 9.1 points and 4.2 boards per game, and he had upped his productivity in the playoffs (10 points, 4.7 rebounds). With Nene on the shelf, Mike D’antoni will look to a combination of Ryan Anderson and Montrezl Harrell to fill the minutes behind starter Clint Capela.
Houston didn’t seem to feel the effect of Nene’s first-quarter injury in Game 4. They went on to rout the Spurs and level their best-of-seven Western Conference semi at two games apiece. Yet there’s cause for concern. The Rockets were one of the best road teams against the spread this year (24-16-1 ATS). But when Nene wasn’t on the floor, they went just 4-6 outside of the Toyota Center. As the series shifts back to San Antonio for Game 5 (and a potential Game 7), I’ll be laying the points with the Spurs.
2. Ducks, Carlyle headed for a dreaded Game 7
The upstart Edmonton Oilers have put the Anaheim Ducks in an uncomfortable situation, one all Duck fans were hoping to avoid. After blowing a massive lead in Game 5 — which saw Anaheim come back from three goals down with less than four minutes to play — the Oilers left nothing to doubt in Game 6, pasting the Ducks 7-1. They dominated from start to finish and have now forced a decisive Game 7, the first of the 2017 playoffs.
Before the season, if you offered a team a Game 7 at home in the conference semis, they’d all jump at it. But the Ducks are no ordinary team when it comes to Game 7s. The franchise has lost four straight, and each one has been at the Honda Center. Just last year, they fell 2-1 to the Predators in the first round. Granted, that loss came with Bruce Boudreau at the helm, who’s 1-7 career in Game 7s. But Randy Carlyle can’t point fingers: he’s only 1-2 in Game 7s and was on the Leafs’ bench for this debacle.
There’s a lot of turnover on NHL rosters every year. But Anaheim’s leaders — Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry — have been there for all of this sordid history. I can’t side with the Ducks until they buck this concerning trend.