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Matchup Selection W/L
NBA  |  May 21, 2015
Houston Rockets vs Golden State Warriors
Golden State Warriors
-10 -110 at Bovada
Play Type: Premium

Houston initially played much better than expected in Game 1 on Tuesday night.  The Rockets were ahead 31-24 after the first quarter, and they led by 16 points in the middle of the second quarter.  Houston came into that game off an emotionally grueling 7-game series with the Clippers who had the Rockets down 3-1.  Houston then trailed by 19 points on the Clippers’ home court in Game 6 before making a miraculous comeback in that game, and they went on to win Game 7 as an underdog on their home court.  Then they played Game 1 at Golden State just 48 hours removed from back-to-back exceptional games.  And somehow Houston had enough energy remaining to jump out to a big lead over the Warriors.  But after blowing that 16-point lead, we expect a major regression by the Rockets tonight.  Houston was out-scored by 11 points over the final three quarters, and out-scored 77-57 over the final 31 minutes of Game 1 on Tuesday night.  Houston has lost five games in the playoffs, and four of those losses have come by 12, 16, 25, and 33 points.  The Rockets may also be without Dwight Howard tonight; he is a game-time decision with a knee injury.

Golden State was not at their best early in Game 1, but their superiority over Houston showed as the game went on.  The Warriors will be much better from the opening tip in Game 2, and a peak performance by Golden State will lead to an easy blowout win.  The Warriors have won four consecutive games by a combined 54 points.  In fact, six of Golden State’s nine playoff wins have come by 10 points or more.  The Warriors’ four home playoff wins have come by an average of +11.2 points per game.  Overall, Golden State is an incredible 44-3 SU at home this season, including three wins over Houston that have come by a combined 29 points.  The Warriors own an outstanding +13.8 point differential on their home court where they average 111.7 points per game on 49.2% shooting from the field and 40.8% shooting from three-point land.  Houston’s defense has allowed 119.7 points per game in their six road playoff games, so the Warriors’ offense should score at will in this game tonight.  Golden State is the superior team, and since Houston is off three consecutive draining games, we’ll lay the points with the Warriors in Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals on Thursday night.

10* Play WARRIORS (-).

Matchup Selection W/L
MLB  |  May 21, 2015
Los Angeles Dodgers vs San Francisco Giants
6 un-117 at pinnacle
Play Type: Premium

Los Angeles will play in San Francisco on Thursday afternoon.  Clayton Kershaw and Madison Bumgarner will be on the mound for the third time against each other this season.  The Giants won those games 3-2 and 2-1, and we expect another low-scoring game this afternoon.  Kershaw is 14-6 with a terrific 1.52 ERA and an outstanding 0.82 WHIP in his 27 career starts against San Francisco.  The Under is 19-6-2 in those games.  Nori Aoki (2-15), Brandon Belt (3-32), Brandon Crawford (1-18), Justin Maxwell (0-15), Hunter Pence (4-53), and Buster Posey (13-65) have all struggled against Kershaw.

San Francisco will start Madison Bumgarner this afternoon.  Bumgarner is 12-5 with a solid 2.48 ERA and a sterling 0.98 WHIP in his 18 career starts against Los Angeles.  The Under is 11-6-1 in those games.  AJ Ellis (3-24), Andre Ethier (3-24), Adrian Gonzalez (4-35), Chris Heisey (2-13), and Jimmy Rollins (4-24) have all had their problems with the southpaw.  The Dodgers are only hitting .199 in their five games against left-handed starters this year and Los Angeles is in poor current offensive form with a .208 team batting average in their past seven games, averaging just 2.3 runs per game during that span, and scoring 1 run or less in each of their past four games.  This game should be a pitcher’s duel with limited runs scored, so we’ll take the Dodgers and Giants Under the total on Thursday afternoon.

9* Play UNDER the total (Dodgers/Giants).

Matchup Selection W/L
MLB  |  May 22, 2015
Cincinnati Reds vs Cleveland Indians
Cincinnati Reds
+1½ -145 at pinnacle
Play Type: Premium

Cincinnati will begin a 3-game series in Cleveland on Friday night.  The Reds will start Mike Leake who is 2-1 with a terrific 1.74 ERA and an outstanding 0.71 WHIP in four road starts this season.  Leake has good numbers against many Cleveland hitters, including Michael Bourn (5-23), Michael Brantley (1-10), Lonnie Chisenhall (1-6), Jason Kipnis (1-9), and Carlos Santana (1-9).  Cleveland is just 6-12 at home this season, and the Indians are only 1-2 in interleague play so far.

Cleveland will start Carlos Carrasco who has lost two straight starts coming into this game.  The righty has a terrible 4.98 ERA overall, and an ugly 7.10 ERA in his three home starts this season.  Carrasco has not been the same since being hit by a line drive back in April, and he’s simply way overpriced in this game.  Cincinnati is hitting .424 (14-33) against Carrasco, so the Reds’ lineup should have success tonight.  Cincinnati presents solid value as a +1.5 runline underdog in this game on Friday night.

9* Play REDS (+1.5 runline).


Matchup Selection W/L
MLB  |  May 22, 2015
Seattle Mariners vs Toronto Blue Jays
Toronto Blue Jays
+1½ -122 at pinnacle
Play Type: Premium

Seattle’s road trip will continue with a 3-game series in Toronto beginning on Friday night.  The Mariners will start Felix Hernandez who is coming off his first loss of the season.  Hernandez has not been as powerful on the road with only 13 strikeouts in three starts this season.  Hernandez is just 5-6 with a poor 4.91 ERA and a weak 1.34 WHIP in his 13 career starts against the Blue Jays.  Last year, Hernandez got shelled for 8 runs in Toronto; the Mariners lost that game 10-2.

Toronto will start Marco Estrada in this game tonight.  Estrada is improving after a rough start to the year.  Overall, Estrada has a 3.55 ERA and 1.23 WHIP in his nine appearances this season.  Seattle is not in good current form as they just lost two of three games in Baltimore, and overall they are just 7-12 on the road this season.  Toronto’s offense scored 23 runs at home in their last series against the Angels, so the Blue Jays come into this game in good current form.  We’ll back Toronto on the run line in this game on Friday night.

9* Play BLUE JAYS (+1.5 runline).


Matchup Selection W/L
MLB  |  May 22, 2015
New York Mets vs Pittsburgh Pirates
7 un-125 at 5Dimes
Play Type: Premium

The New York Mets will begin a 3-game series in Pittsburgh on Friday night.  The Mets will start Noah Syndergaard in this game.  Syndergaard has allowed just 4 runs and nine hits in his three starts this season.  He has 11 strikeouts to just five walks, and he will be facing a weak Pittsburgh offense.  The Pirates are only hitting .225 in night games, and just .242 overall as a team this season with only 3.8 runs scored per game.  Syndergaard has plenty of support on the backend as the Mets’ bullpen owns a terrific 2.46 ERA and an outstanding 1.02 WHIP in all games this season.

Pittsburgh will start Gerrit Cole who is 5-2 with a solid 2.59 ERA and 1.17 WHIP in eight starts this season.  New York’s offense is only hitting .224 on the road where they are averaging just 3.3 runs per game.  The Mets are hitting just .227 in night games this season with just 3.3 runs scored as well.  Cole has solid support on the backend as Pittsburgh’s bullpen owns a 2.94 ERA and 1.28 WHIP.  The Under is 10-4 in the last 14 meetings, including 6-1 the last seven games in Pittsburgh.  We expect another low-scoring game between the Mets and Pirates on Friday night.

10* Play UNDER the total (Mets/Pirates).


Steve Merril is considered one of the best sports analysts in the nation. He credits his success to employing a variety of different handicapping techniques such as statistical analysis, trends and systems, and fundamentals such as matchups and emotion. By relying on numerous handicapping methods, Steve continues to beat the pointspread on a consistent basis in both college and pro football, basketball, baseball, and auto racing.

Steve was the first person to ever win the prestigious $100,000 Insiders Handicapping Invitational and his unique knowledge and understanding of the gaming industry is what separates him from other handicappers. Steve has spent the past 15 years studying the odds and probabilities associated with all forms of gambling such as poker, casino games, and even the stock market. Steve has transferred this unique knowledge and understanding of statistics and probabilities into the sports world, which has enabled him to win on a consistent basis.

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