What Sportsbooks Think About the 2014-15 NBA Championship

BackSeatFan1

The NBA season is entering the home stretch and the playoff picture in both conferences is becoming clearer by the day. With that in mind, let’s take a look at the particular races on each side of the country, and which teams are in the hunt to grab the final spots in both conferences, with a little help from Vegas.

Things have been pretty stable at the top all season long. After the San Antonio Spurs stumbled out of the gate, and the Cleveland Cavaliers started to find their form, the outlook has been consistent. Combing through this sportsbook reviews resource shows that books such as TopBet, SportsInteraction and Pinnacle all have bettors looking at a Golden State Warriors vs Cleveland Cavaliers NBA final.

And why not? The Warriors have looked dominant all season long, with the Slash Brothers carving up even the strongest teams in the West in front of an incredibly deep bench. The Cavaliers, meanwhile, took nearly half the season to make the most of their trio of stars, but now Kyrie Irving, LeBron James, and Kevin Love have powered the Cavs to winning 18 of their last 22, including 10 of 11 against Western Conference teams.

And yet, Cleveland will be only a part of the story down the stretch in the East, where as many as six teams are in position to contest the final two spots in the Conference seeding, with it looking more and more likely that the two that do make it will have losing records.

The Miami Heat (+4,000 to win the Eastern Conference at most books) are the favored team of the bunch still contending (a list that includes Brooklyn, Indiana, Charlotte, Boston, and Detroit), and look like the team that could upset a top seed come the playoffs, with Goran Dragic bolstering a Heat lineup already boasting plenty of top tier talent.

In the West, it’s a much tighter race to the finish line, with New Orleans and Phoenix the only teams with a realistic shot of catching the seventh or eighth seeds. Anthony Davis remains out of the lineup for the Pelicans but that hasn’t held the team back at all, as they’ve continued to win in his absence. Phoenix, meanwhile, needs to stack wins quickly as they try and find their identity post-Dragic.

James Harden leads MVP race as we enter the 3rd third

James Harden is leading MVP candidate according to Bovada.lv sportsbook review as we enter the 3rd third of play. Harden is averaging a league high 27.4 PPG and outpacing his career averages in every other category, rebounds, assists, blocks and steals.

LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Steph Curry round out the others in contention for the award this year. LeBron missed some time with a knee injury earlier this season, but since then has come back to be the LeBron we all know and love. If Cleveland can climb back to the 2 seed in the East LeBron can make a good case for MVP.

Anthony Davis has made the leap this season into one of the best players in the league, putting up an insane 2.74 blocks per game along with 24.5 PPG and 10.3 RPG, but the lack of another star on the Pelicans will hurt their playoff chances and it’s unlikely a player on a non playoff team will win MVP even if he is putting up the best PER in recent memory

Steph Curry should give Harden the biggest challenge averaging 23.6 PPG while shooting 40% from 3 and still averaging 7.9 assists per game. The Warriors are by far the best team out of the 4 with guys contending for the MVP, so it wouldn’t surprise me if the Warriors finish 66-16 that Curry takes the MVP based on his team success.

Conference Bowl Records 2009-2013

Conference bowl records for the past 5 years

Conferences 5 year total 2013-2014 2012-2013 2011-2012 2010-2011 2009-2010
W L % W L W L W L W L W L
Big East 14 8 0.636 0 0 3 2 3 2 4 2 4 2
SEC 30 18 0.625 7 3 6 3 6 3 5 5 6 4
Independents 7 5 0.583 2 1 1 2 1 1 2 1 1 0
Sun Belt 8 6 0.571 2 0 2 2 1 2 2 1 1 1
Mountain West 14 12 0.538 3 3 1 4 2 3 4 1 4 1
Conference USA 15 13 0.536 3 3 4 1 4 1 2 4 2 4
Big 12 20 19 0.513 3 3 4 5 6 2 3 5 4 4
WAC 6 7 0.462 0 0 2 0 0 3 2 2 2 2
Pac-12 16 19 0.457 6 3 4 4 2 5 2 2 2 5
ACC 18 23 0.439 5 6 4 2 2 6 4 5 3 4
American 2 3 0.400 2 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Big Ten 15 24 0.385 2 5 2 5 4 6 3 5 4 3
MAC 9 17 0.346 0 5 2 5 4 1 2 2 1 4

 

Eli Manning Shows 2014 Potential In Week 4 Win

After a dismal 2013 season and a subpar start in 2014, many people who follow the New York Giants have become a little bit frustrated with Eli Manning. Even though he has been able to bring a pair of Super Bowl titles to the franchise, he has not really looked like the same player in recent memory. Thursday night, he looked like the Manning people became accustomed to just a few years ago. He threw for 4 touchdown passes against the Washington Redskins to blow them out on national television. It was fantasy football can only hope that this is a sign of things to come for the rest of the regular season.

In the NFL, fingers are always pointed at individual players. The fact of the matter is, part of the reason why Manning has struggled in fantasy football statistically comes down to his teammates. The line on offense has not really been able to give him the protection he needs, and his receivers have not been as dependent as usual. That still does not completely give him an excuse for all those turnovers and interceptions, but it is not entirely his fault either.

Washington might not have the best defense, but maybe this is what Manning needed to break out of his funk. New York showed signs of improvement last week by picking up a big win against the Houston Texans, but winning against a divisional rival is that much sweeter. New York still feels like they have what it takes to make the playoffs, so it was important to rebound after 2 straight losses to open up the regular season.

There are plenty of important players on the New York Giants, but no one is as valuable as Manning. He is going to be expected to get back to his old self in order to provide value for this franchise in general. Hopefully, he will be able to live up to expectations and not revert back to the unreliable quarterback he has been in recent memory.

Special thanks to Samantha Cagle for guest writing this post.

Seahawks Only Slight Favorites in Week 3 Super Bowl Rematch

BackseatFan

Some seven months after the Seahawks thoroughly demolished Peyton Manning and the Broncos, 43-8, in Super Bowl XLVII in New York, the two are all set for a rematch in Week 3 in Seattle. This matchup between the NFL’s two best teams has the potential to be one of the most watched – not to mention one of the most wagered on – regular season NFL games of the year.

Indeed, the apparent need for sports betting resources like SportsbookNation, a site offering sportsbook reviews, has shown that the industry is alive and well. America is putting money behind their NFL picks. But where’s best to put your cash in this huge game?

The defending Super Bowl champions open as favorites when they host Denver in Seattle. However, they head into the big game against the 2-0 Broncos coming off a Week 2 road loss against the San Diego Chargers and are only barely favored at all when you consider that most home teams are generally spotted three points (Seattle is -3 on the point spread).

You need look no further than San Diego to understand why. The normally air-tight Seahawks defense allowed 30 points, the most they’ve allowed since losing 34-28 to the Colts at Indianapolis 17 games ago. Meanwhile, the Seattle offense never really got going. Russell Wilson threw for only 202 yards while Marshawn Lynch was limited to 36 yards on six carries.

While the Seahawks are looking a little vulnerable after the loss, they are a different animal at home. They’re an incredible 18-1 in their last 19 home games, and went 4-0 at home against the Saints and 49ers last season, winning each by six or more points.

No matter how dominant Seattle is at home, the Broncos’ offense is still one of the best in the business. Peyton Manning continues to chug along, passing for 511 yards and six touchdowns while completing almost 70% of his passes and without throwing an interception.

But perhaps the big difference has been the Broncos defense. Hyped as much-improved throughout the offseason, Denver’s D has delivered with consecutive game-saving stops against the Colts and Chiefs. The reason why Denver invested so much in this unit was so it could beat the very best teams – like the Seahawks – in more ways than one. The wisdom of that investment will get its first true test this weekend.

2014 NFL Training Camp Dates

The 2014 reported schedule of starting dates for NFL training camps.

Team Report First Practice
Arizona Cardinals July 25 July 26
Atlanta Falcons July 24 July 25
Baltimore Ravens July 23 July 24
Buffalo Bills July 18 July 20
Carolina Panthers July 24 July 25
Chicago Bears July 24 July 25
Cincinnati Bengals July 23 July 24
Cleveland Browns July 25 July 26
Dallas Cowboys July 22 July 24
Denver Broncos July 23 July 24
Detroit Lions July 27 July 28
Green Bay Packers July 25 July 26
Houston Texans July 25 July 26
Indianapolis Colts July 23 July 24
Jacksonville Jaguars July 24 July 25
Kansas City Chiefs July 23 July 24
Miami Dolphins July 20 July 21
Minnesota Vikings July 24 July 25
New England Patriots July 23 July 24
New Orleans Saints July 24 July 25
Oakland Raiders July 24 July 25
New York Giants July 21 July 22
New York Jets July 23 July 24
Philadelphia Eagles July 25 July 26
Pittsburgh Steelers July 25 July 26
San Diego Chargers July 23 July 24
San Francisco 49ers July 23 July 24
Seattle Seahawks July 24 July 25
St. Louis Rams July 24 July 25
Tampa Bay Buccaneers July 24 July 25
Tennessee Titans July 25 July 26
Washington Redskins July 23 July 24

What is going on with the Atlanta Braves?

On April 28th the Atlanta Braves were 17-7 having allowed 27 fewer runs than the next best team and were 3 1/2 games up on the, then in second place, New York Mets and 6 1/2 games up on the now 2nd place Marlins. Since that day the Braves have gone 15-21, 9-11 at home and 6-10 on the road while scoring just 118 runs and allowing 140.

The short answer is they can’t hit, but that has always been the case. Even on April 28th just 3 teams had scored fewer runs than the Braves, but the Braves were allowing just 2.42 runs per game, something not even remotely sustainable for any team, let alone a team with black holes at 2B and 3B offensively and defensively.

If you check the odds at allpro the Braves have fallen to 8-1 favorites to win the NL pennant even though they’re currently leading their division. On the bright side rookie Tommy LaStella has played well in place of Dan Uggla since he’s been called up, but it’s only 27 at bats. BJ Upton will never turn into a walk machine, but he has improved this year at the plate, enough at least to hold off Jordan Schafer for everyday at bats although Upton should really be sitting vs righties with Schafer is those days.

The Braves have played the 7th toughest schedule in baseball and have 13 games left against the dreadful Mets and Phillies, but I don’t know if it will be enough to hold off 2of the Nationals, Marlins, Dodgers and Cardinals for the final playoff berth.