Weekly Highlights and Sports Betting Picks of the Weekend – March 31st

Posted by Jordan Walters on Saturday,March 31, 2018 7:53, EDT in

We are in the middle of perhaps the best 10 or so days of the sports betting calendar. Thursday saw Major League Baseball’s Opening Day, the earliest ever not counting overseas openers. All 30 teams were supposed to play on Opening Day for the first time since 1968, but there were two rainouts.

In addition, we have the Final Four on Saturday from San Antonio featuring No. 11 Loyola-Chicago in the first game as 5-point Mybookie.ag underdogs vs. No. 3 Michigan, and No. 1 Villanova a 5-point favorite over No. 1 Kansas in the nightcap at the Alamodome. The NHL regular season is also coming to a close, the NBA is going strong and golf’s Super Bowl starts next Thursday: The Masters at Augusta National.

It’s a good time to be a sports bettor at MyBookie!

Weekly Highlights and Sports Betting Picks of the Weekend – March 31st

Thanks A Lot Hamilton!

Are you still fuming over last Saturday’s Elite Eight NCAA Tournament matchup between No. 9 Florida State and No. 3 Michigan? Depending on when you wagered on the game, you might have gotten Michigan as either a 3.5, 4 or 4.5-point favorite. The Wolverines won 58-54. So if you had UM giving 3.5, you are happy. But what if you had them giving 4.5?

That 58-54 number shouldn’t have been the final score. With the Seminoles down four points and still 12 seconds to go, for some reason Coach Leonard Hamilton didn’t tell his players to foul. When he was asked about if afterward by CBS reporter Dana Jacobson, Hamilton initially appeared confused, then after Jacobson reiterated her question, Hamilton asked, “You think that the game came down to the final seconds of the game?” When Jacobson asked again why the decision was made not to foul, Hamilton said “the game was over.”

Would FSU have won? Unlikely but possible. Michigan shoots just 66.1 percent from the line as a team—326th of the 351 teams in college basketball. In addition, FSU fouled down six points with 15 seconds to go in the ACC tournament; down nine points with 14 seconds to go against Clemson in February; down 16 points with 24 seconds to go against Notre Dame in February; and down six points with seven seconds to go against Boston College in January. Notice a trend?

Perhaps Hamilton didn’t actually know the score? If I was a UM bettor giving 4.5 points for that one, I’m still furious because you almost have to assume they make at least one free throw to make it a 5-point game. Shoot, maybe the Noles win in a miracle finish.

Big Weekend Events

Of course, MyBookie has you fully covered on the Final Four. Here are two other interesting sports betting games this weekend:

Rockets at Spurs, Sunday, April 1st

Are the Rockets a safe bet this weekend?

This is an ABC national TV game. It’s quite possible that Houston could clinch the No. 1 overall seed in the NBA playoffs by Sunday. The Spurs, meanwhile, are simply trying to make the postseason. They haven’t missed since 1996-97, the year they tanked so they could draft Tim Duncan. In addition, the Spurs’ amazing run of 50-win seasons is going to end at 18. However, this is the 21st season in a row San Antonio has had a winning record, the longest consecutive streak in NBA history.

The Spurs again lead the league in defense but have had no answers for the Rockets this year in losing all three meetings. Houston is looking to sweep the Spurs for second time dating back to 1989-90 (4-0 in 2013-14). The Rockets are averaging 111.7 ppg (46.9% FGs), while the Spurs are averaging 97.7 ppg (44.2% FGs). Take Houston here.

Angels at A’s, Sunday, April 1st 

This game is rather meaningless in the grand scheme of things, although the Angels could be playoff team this season. What makes this notable is it will be the pitching debut of Japanese sensation Shohei Ohtani, the Babe Ruth of his country for his pitching and hitting prowess.

What to expect? Ohtani was not good this spring. In two Cactus League starts, he allowed nine hits and nine runs in 2⅔ innings, flashing plus stuff but also struggling with his command and serving up three home runs. He was so shaky that much of his pitching work came on the back fields in “B” games and simulated starts. Remember, because of an ankle injury, he pitched just 25 innings in Japan last year.

Ohtani said he’s ready. “I feel like I’ve done everything I can get to get ready for Opening Day and I felt like I’ve done everything 100 percent, but it’s hard. Every other year, even in Japan, I was never 100 percent on Opening Day, so it’s going to go gradually into the season. I think it’s going to be the same this time.”

Ohtani did single in his first official MLB plate appearance Thursday in the season opener against the A’s. He will DH many days where he’s not pitching, just not the day before or day after a start. Ohtani often looked overmatched in the Cactus League, managing just four singles in 32 at-bats (.125) and striking out 10 times.

The A’s are expected to start Daniel Mengden. The 25-year-old was 3-2 with a 3.14 ERA in seven starts last year. The Athletics have endured a season-ending injury to Jharel Cotton (elbow), and Paul Blackburn is sidelined for the time being with a forearm strain, as well. Mengden’s role as the No. 3 starter behind Kendall Graveman and Sean Manaea thus becomes even more important. I like the A’s at home as likely small dogs in the sports betting odds.