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The last day of the English Premiership season saw one huge surprise. Yes, Hull got relegated, but, let’s be honest, a team that failed to score in 50% of their league games this season, it’s no shock they went down. Newcastle won. But since John Carver is the best manager in the Premiership, that’s no shock, is it? No, Liverpool being thumped 6-1 by Stoke in Steven Gerrard’s final game for the club was as big a shock as you would expect. Seriously, a club with the squad that Liverpool have should never be shipping 6 goals against Stoke. No offence to Stoke, of course, but to be fair, Liverpool shouldn’t be shipping 6 goals to ANY team.
As I write this, Norwich have bounced right back into the Premiership, after one season in the Championship. They eased past Middlesbrough 2-0 in the Play off Final, in what was a clinical performance from the Canaries. As much as we would have loved another 4 North East derbies on the fixture list for next season, Norwich are a good team to watch, so it’s not all doom and gloom.
In the NBA Playoffs, we called it right with the Cleveland Lebrons squeezing past Atlanta by 3 points. 9 points was huge, and going into OT, the game could have gone either way, but big games call for big players, which is what Cleveland have, whilst the Hawks are still trying to find one.
And in the NHL, again, the value was definitely with Tampa, as we called it. The Lightning are one game away from a trip to the Stanley Cup Final, in what has been an exciting series against the Rangers.
There is also the matter of the French Open tennis playing right now at Roland Garros. Our main tip for that is don’t run onto Centre Court and try and take a selfie with Roger Federer.
Today, we’ll look at Golden State vs Memphis, but we’re also going to take a look at perhaps the biggest series in Rugby League that isn’t for a World Cup, the State of Origin clash between New South Wales and Queensland, which takes place Wednesday night in Australia, but thanks to time differences, we want to make sure we’re on in good time.
NBA Playoff Betting Tips:
So the Warriors lead the series 3-0, which is what most of us expected. The 3-point extravaganzas we’ve been seeing have been quite an unexpected sight, though, and has led to some tight games… well, Game 3 aside. Golden State have been far too good all season, and they’ll want to wrap this series up tonight so they’re well rested for the biggest series of their season. 5 points isn’t much, with the expected high-scoring from the Warriors, so take Warriors -5 as they look to close out the series. Also, Golden State Half-time/Full-Time at around 2.00 looks value, as they’re going to be fast out the blocks and will then look to hold on. However, the Warriors to cover the spread is our main selection for the game.
State of Origin Game 1 Betting Tip
The Blues versus the Maroons in the most heated rivalry in Rugby League. Sorry, Wigan and St Helens, but when two Rugby League mad states go head-to-head, the rivalry is intense. Last year, the Blues took a tight series, to break the Queensland dominance of the 8 years prior. If Queensland had made it 9-in-a-row last year, there would have been many a suicidal New South Welshman, that’s for sure. However, Jarryd Hayne (now on the books in the 49’ers), and the boys got the win at the ANZ to close the series out 2-0, before losing the dead rubber by a wide margin in a game that no-one in New South Wales actually seemed to care about, since the trophy was already heading back south.
The question this time around is how will NSW cope without Hayne, and how will Mitchell Pearce get on in a call-up that many have questioned? And are the Maroons just too old now? The backbone of Smith, Cronk and Slater are undoubtedly past their prime, but are they, along with GI, JT and the rest still better than what New South Wales have? Do you know what, I don’t think so, at least not in Game 1. with Game 1 being played in New South Wales, the crowd are going to be firmly on the side of the Blues. They have youth on their side, too, which is a plus when you look at the age of the Queensland side. Look for Josh Dugan to have a huge game, as he’s looked in fantasic form leading into the first game of the series, and he’ll be a lock for many, many Origins to come as long as he stays fit and out of trouble.
New South Wales are odds-on, which is huge value considering they’re at home. New South Wales to win State of Origin Game 1 is definitely the value play here. If nothing else, it’s going to be a hard hitting game, with plenty of talking points come the final siren.