April 25th 2013 - Posted 6:00 PM Eastern Time


One NBA pick added as pick #2 at the bottom.



#1: Take Minnesota Twins on the Money Line (+100) against Texas Rangers risking 2% (Tepesch and Worley must start)

The Twins saw their five-game winning streak come to an end last night with an 8-5 loss to Miami in the second game of their double-header. Joe Mauer though continued his hot streak with 2 hits and an RBI, raising his average to .366. Mauer is batting .444 with two homers and eight RBIs over his last 11 games.

The Twins look to bounce back from that loss behind the arm of Vance Worley who finally showed signs of coming around and put together a solid outing in Saturday's 2-1, 10 inning road win over the White Sox. The right-hander allowed just 1 run and 5 hits and struck out 7 in as many innings.

The Rangers counter with rookie Nick Tepesch (1-1, 3.07), who was forced to leave Saturday's game against Seattle in the second inning after getting hit by a line drive just above the wrist. The right-hander checked out OK and should be good to go although only time will tell if there are any lingering effects from that shot. Tepesch had been solid to start the season but he is still a rookie and that needs to be taken into consideration.

The Rangers haven't seen Worley, and only 3 of their batters in the lineup have faced him before. In total Texas hitters are 2 of 9 lifetime against Worley! It's unknown if Tepesch is going to be 100 % for this contest and even the slightest issue with his hand could leave some pitches hanging in the zone. The line movement in this game has gone towards the Twins and I believe they are the right side tonight. Minnesota opened as +115 underdogs but despite only 35% of the public taking them, the bigger money has clearly come in on them as the line has moved all the way to just about even between the two teams now.



#2: Take Memphis Grizzlies at -4.5 spread against LA Clippers risking 2%

As far as trends and stats are concerned, there isn't a whole lot of them back the Grizzlies tonight since the Clippers have had the better of them recently. The Clippers have taken 5 out of the last 6 meetings in this series and yet the Grizzlies are actually slated as 4 point favorites? It really doesn't make a lot of sense to the public but there is a reason for it and simply put, this is a must win game for the Grizzlies tonight since teams that fall behind 0-3 are basically as good as out.

Memphis was blown out in Game 1 but Game 2 was a different story. In Game 1 their offense sputtered and they broke down on the defensive end allowing the Clippers to shoot well above 50% for the game. In Game 2, Memphis made very good adjustments and came just shy of tieing this series at 1-1 in a 2 point loss out in LA where Chris Paul had a buzzer beater.

Tonight the Grizzlies travel back to Memphis where they are 7-2 ATS as a home favorite of 3.5 to 6 points this season, this time with basically their playoff life on the line! There is a lot to be said about home court advantage during the regular season and I believe it means even more in the playoffs. Playoff basketball is simply a different beast from a handicapping perspective, the things that need to be taken into consideration are higher on almost all levels.

Unlike most games, I don't think this one is about statistics, trends, or even past history between these teams. Tonight is mostly about one team, who happens to be very good on the home floor, playing in their most important game of the season! This is what good teams do, they rise up against the most difficult situations in order to persevere. I believe Memphis does that tonight and makes it 2-1 in the series. There is a reason the linemakers have made them 4 point favorites despite their past struggles against the Clippers. Memphis gets it done tonight in front of their home crowd and inches closer in this series. Lay the 4 points for a small 2% risk.



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