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The injury to Kyle Lowry of the Raptors has benefited one team more than the others as the Washington Wizards now seem to have a decent hold on the third seed in the Eastern Conference. They are a game up on the Raptors (two in the loss column) and it’s hard to see the Raps making that up without their best player. The second or third seed is where you want to be in the East because the fourth seed will get the Cavaliers in round two. The Wizards, Raptors and Celtics are all roughly the same talent level so whoever ends up in that second round 2 vs. 3 series should make for great basketball.
After a period of time when people thought that the Cavaliers were vulnerable for the top seed, that has proven to be unfounded. They have righted the ship and look to be an extremely dangerous team in the playoffs once again. The Cavs-Warriors Finals once again feels inevitable.
The Wizards will look to extend their lead in the race tonight as they face the Phoenix Suns on the road. Phoenix is not a playoff contender and this should be a great opportunity for them to do so.
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NBA Betting Tips:
The Thunder are currently in a three-game losing streak and tonight they get the cure to their ailments: the Blazers defense in OKC. These two teams played each other just last week, a Blazers home win, so you have to think that loss is fresh in the minds of the Thunder. OKC has a far better defense and that should be difference here tonight. Thunder -6.
Bradley Beal’s health has been a big part of the Wizards resurgence this year and while he is only listed as probable tonight, I still love the Wizards -6.5 over the Suns tonight. The Wizards are just a smart, veteran team that should run all over an inexperienced crew like the Suns.
World Baseball Classic Betting Tips:
The World Baseball Classic started on Monday and so far we have seen some surprises. Israel looks tough and should be on their way to the second round while South Korea, thought to be a favorite, is probably not.
An interesting game last night saw Japan take on Cuba and absolutely destroy them. Many people thought Cuba would be a favorite here, but Japan took them to the woodshed. Tonight, Cuba takes on China which is a more favorable match-up for them. The Cuban team has been diminished in recent years by defections and it might have finally caught up with them. China is a good example of the power of the WBC as they baseball has grown a lot in the country since the 2006 tournament.
I think that a half unit on China +461 could be a good play. The Cuban bullpen took a beating yesterday and I feel like the long travel to a foreign land is something that effects Cuba more than we’d normally think.