Last week was all about evening the score. With wins in the NBA and MLB, my betting record for those two sports climbed back up to the .500 mark for the season.
With the Philadelphia 76ers’ win, and cover, over the Boston Celtics in Game 4 last Friday night, my NBA record now stands at 10-10 on the season. The Philadelphia Phillies were also victorious over the Boston Red Sox last Friday night, which made my MLB record 2-2.
Now that I’m back at even, it’s time to start building a winning record.
The Background: Back and forth we go in this second round of the NBA playoffs. The Sixers and the Celtics have engaged in quite a battle this series. The winning team has switched each game, with neither team being able to mount back-to-back victories. On paper, that would seem like a bad omen for the Sixers, since they won Game 6 on Wednesday night. The Sixers are also 2-1 at home this series and 1-2 on the road. Game 7 is set for Saturday night in Boston at 8 pm.
The Line: Sixers +5.5; O/U 170.5
My Take: As if the back-to-back wins and the road record don’t look bad enough for the Sixers, take a look at what Boston has been able to do following a loss this series. In the two games following the Sixers’ first two wins this series, the Celtics have stormed back to completely dominate Philly. Following the Sixers’ Game 2 victory, the Celtics came back to romp 107-91 in Game 3. Following the Sixers’ Game 4 victory, the Celtics came back to romp 101-85 in Game 5. The Sixers won Game 6, so will the Celtics repeat their dominant ways in Game 7? The Celtics should win this game, but then again, this series probably shouldn’t have gone this long in the first place. I’m expecting a closely-battled, back-and-forth game Saturday night, so I’m taking the points with the Sixers.
The Background: The Phillies began a four-game series with the St. Louis Cardinals in surprising fashion last night, not only winning the game, but scoring 10 runs in the process. The win gave the Phillies two in row, following their series-ending victory over the Washington Nationals on Wednesday night. Philly is in St. Louis for three more games this holiday weekend before they head on the road again to face the New York Mets starting Monday afternoon. The projected pitching matchups for the rest of this series are Cliff Lee vs. Kyle Lohse tonight, Kyle Kendrick vs. Jaime Garcia tomorrow, and Roy Halladay vs. Adam Wainwright on Sunday.
The Line: Phillies -120; O/U 7
My Take: The Phillies are a really streaky team. They win in bunches and they lose in bunches. That’s why I’m picking the Phillies to win tonight. The -120 line looks to be a bargain. Yes, the Cardinals are a pretty good team, and Lohse has had a solid season so far, with a 5-1 record. Lee is also coming off a tough outing his last time out. Still, Lohse hasn’t been pitching all that well lately, allowing 20 hits and 8 earned runs over his last 12.1 innings. That’s why I’m sticking with my hometown team in this one.