May 6th 2013 - Posted 11:55 AM Eastern Time


Those who missed out on today's afternoon pick were luckier than the rest of us. James Shields pitched 8 great innings not giving up a single run as KC Royals led from the very first to the 9th inning! But lack of run support and failing to extend that lead cost us all dearly as the White Sox got a late run right at the end to take the game to extra-innings. And with momentum on their side, they went on to escape with a late narrow victory in the 11th inning! This is a classic case of a losing bet that although disappointing is one we simply do not regret. The starting pitcher had a great game and there were many good reasons for betting on Kansas City. The Royals threw this game away more than White Sox taking it.

Today's suggested NBA bet is added as pick #2 at the bottom.



#1: Take Kansas City Royals on the Money Line (-140) against Chicago White Sox risking 2% (Shields and Sale must start)

Even after having yesterday's game with the Kansas City Royals firmly in control for a majority of the game, the White Sox somehow found a way to lose. This seems to be an ongoing pattern for the White Sox. Up 2 runs going into the bottom of the 9th inning, the White Sox gave up a 2 run double to tie the game and went on to lose in the extra10th inning. Kansas City has taken the first 2 games of this 3 game series and today will look to sweep the White Sox today.

After blowing yesterday's lead and allowing the Royals to come back and win, you have to wonder how much that blow has taken out of the White Sox mentally. Losing games like that is never good for morale especially after leading a majority of the game. You have to wonder how much motivation Chicago will have to come out and win this game when all of the momentum right now is behind Kansas City.

In order to try and avoid the sweep, the White Sox send Chris Sale (3-2, 3.83 ERA) to the mound this afternoon. Sale has been a good consistent pitcher when he is at home, however on the road, it is a different story. Sale is just 1-2 on the road this season and during starts against both a struggling Cleveland and Toronto team, Sale was blasted for 8 runs and 3 runs (respectively) during a 4 inning and 7 inning start.

Not only does Sale have to deal with the struggles of pitching on the road but now he is facing hitters who have had a tremendous amount of success against him. Butler is 8 for 25 with 3 home runs, 2 walks and 7 RBI's; Escobar is 12 for 27 including 2 doubles and 2 walks; Perez is 6 for 19 with 2 doubles and 2 RBI's; Cain is 5 for 17 with double a homerun and an RBI; Getz is 6 for 17 with an RBI and Dyson is 1 for 2 with a walk. All 6 of these players have combined to hit .355 against Sale in 107 total at bats. Those are some impressive numbers against a single pitcher!

The veteran James Shields who has pitched very well recently including a good performance against his former team Tampa will start for the Royals today. Kansas City as a team has had a lot of success against the White Sox in the past. Not only have they won the last 2 games, they are actually 5-2 against them in the last 7 meetings and 19 of the last 27 meetings! There is no denying that the Royals have proven to be a much improved team from last season. The Royals are currently in second place in their division behind the Detroit Tigers. They are currently on a 4 game winning streak and have won 7 of their last 8 games! The winning streak stretches even further than that as all in all, they have won 14 out of their last 20 games! While it is always tough to sweep a team 3 straight games, there are few teams right now playing as well as Kansas City. Kansas City is 10-4 at home on the year and the White Sox are just 1-7 in their last 8 trips to Kauffman stadium.



#2: Take Miami Heat at -12 spread against Chicago Bulls risking 2%

This is an interesting game and an even more interesting opening line. These two teams couldn't have had more opposite paths heading into this second round series. The Miami Heat simply rolled past the Milwaukee Bucks in the opening round, coasting to 4 double digit victories in as many tries. Meanwhile the Chicago Bulls were in a knockdown, drag out fight with the Brooklyn Nets that went the full 7 games and required the Bulls to close out the series on the road.

The Heat have been off for the last week waiting to find out who their opponents are, resting and healing some nagging injuries while the Bulls who are already working with a somewhat "make shift" team will be without the services of Luol Deng and possibly Hinrich tonight. Not only are the Bulls running low on lack of depth on their roster but tonight they have to face the team that many experts are claiming will be the team to win the championship once again this year. You will hear some people say that the long layoff may hurt the Miami Heat in this game and the fact that the Bulls have been playing and playing hard will work more to their advantage tonight, I simply don't believe that. The Miami Heat know exactly who this Chicago Bulls team are, this is the same Bulls team that ended Miami's 27 game winning streak just a little while ago. Now the shoe is on the other foot; the Bulls are beat down and hurting and there is no doubt Miami wants revenge!

Even if Miami does come out of the gate a little bit rusty tonight, it is just a matter of time before they find their groove again. This is one of the deepest teams in the league. This is the same Heat bench who went out and beat a full strength Spurs team on the road earlier this season. They are a non-stop offensive powerhouse and have a number of players on the floor that are capable of stepping up and taking over a game. The Bulls simply do not have enough talent on the floor at any given time to defend all that Miami can do offensively. Defensively I will give the slight edge to the Bulls, however after just coming off a hard-fought 7 game series with the Nets and to have to turn around and play the athletically gifted and well rested Heat team, you have to wonder exactly how much gas is left in the Bulls tank? Miami is a team that runs and guns for the full 4 quarters, we have seen them multiple time this season play a close game throughout only to explode on a 20-2 run to end the game and cover the spread.

The next thing we have to look at is the line. The Bulls, who were the 5-point underdogs and went into Brooklyn on Saturday and knocked off the favorites in Game 7 and also ended the Heat's winning streak is now listed as a 12-point underdog? These two teams split the series meeting this season at 2 a piece and one team is getting 12 points? It almost seems too easy, and when it seems too easy it usually is. It's worth mentioning that Bulls are 13-25 ATS after a game where they covered the spread.

We have yet to see how truly good this Miami Heat team is. The series with Milwaukee was not a real challenge and this series with the Bulls will more than likely be the same. This Bulls team is coached by the determined and tenacious Tom Thibodeau who expects maximum effort from his players every night. But at some point, the will to win is not enough on its own and you actually need talented healthy bodies on the floor to do it. The Bulls are banged up and injuries and lack of rest are just going to be too much for the Bulls to overcome in this game. I expect the Heat to win this game by 15+ points tonight. Twelve is a lot of points in the playoffs but I feel the right move tonight is to lay them with the talented, rested Heat team who won't take Bulls lightly and will be eager to get revenge! The only way I see this bet not cashing is if Bulls get a lucky backdoor cover in the final couple minutes.



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