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May 24, 2016

The 4% pick on Warriors was released yesterday, well in advance.

In addition, there is one MLB pick tonight.

1) Take the OVER 8 total runs in KC Royals vs. Minnesota Twins for 3% of the bankroll.

These two lineups are seeing the ball well at the moment and combined to put up 14 runs on the scoreboard last night! While we don't expect this game to be as high-scoring, we do see it sailing over 8 for various different reasons.

Neither of the two starters, Volquez and Santana are at the peak of their careers anymore. Both veteran right-handers have lost some of their velocity and are also inconsistent with their command. Minnesota hitters have a healthy collective .267 batting average against Volquez in over 70+ previous at-bats! Santana meanwhile will have a tough test against a Kansas City offense that knows how to put the ball in play ans has seen quite a bit of him in recent years. If he starts handing out free passes, it could be a long night for his team. It's worth noting that the 'Over' is 15-9 in Minnesota games this season when the total was set at 8 or 8.5 runs!

Believe it or not, last night's game could have been even more high-scoring, if it wasn't for the Royals turning in 3 double-plays while the Twins turned one of their own! Those key plays by the defense put out the fire and prevented several base-runners from crossing home plate. We don't anticipate 4 double-plays in this game although a couple are likely. The two offenses combined for 29 hits in yesterday's slugfest as each reached double-digits! There is no reason, they should suddenly struggle tonight given that they are facing right-handed pitchers again and nothing unusual. If they were suddenly going up against a crafty or powerful lefty, fortunes could be reversed but tonight's two pitchers aren't too different from Ian Kennedy and Ricky Nolasco, who were yesterday's starters.

Even if the starters do a decent job however, neither bullpen is fresh or at its best at the moment. That's because Nolasco lasted less than 3 innings while Kennedy went just over 3 frames in last night's matchup! Both coaches, Ned Yost and Paul Moritor had to go to their 'pen much earlier than they were hoping to and had to use a wide variety of relievers to get all those remaining outs. As a side note, the absence of Golden-Glover, Alex Gordon in the left field makes the Kansas City defense weaker but doesn't hurt their offense as much when Paulo Orlando fills in for him. That's because Orlando is capable of doing just as much damage with the bat as Gordon is but is not an elite defender like the veteran left-hander. Catcher Salvador Perez went 5-for-5 last night and while we don't expect a repeat of that, he, much like most of the lineup is locked in at the plate right now and is capable of getting a couple more RBI's. Look for this game to be relatively high scoring as the Twins want to avenge yesterday's loss and prove they are not a doormat while the Royals are playing small ball well again and need to continue scoring runs to catch the Chicago White Sox atop the division.

2) Take Golden State Warriors -1 spread against OKC Thunder for 4% of the bankroll.

The defending champion Golden State Warriors suffered what was their worst loss of the season following a 133-105 beat down at the hands of the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game 3. In a game that was never really close, the Thunder raced out of the gate to take a 72-47 lead into the half. It was certainly an impressive display by the Thunder, who now leads the series 2-1, however this also sets up the defending champions for what should be a bounce back performance in Game 4.

It’s important to note that the Thunder played a perfect game in Game 3 with nearly all of their shots falling and everything going right for them. They were extremely efficient from the field and received production from nearly every player on the court, including from their bench players that don't always have a big impact such as Andre Roberson. They essentially ‘peaked’ in that contest, breaking numerous franchise records and we certainly don't expect them to be nearly as efficient in Game 4. While the Thunder put in a masterful performance, the Golden State Warriors struggled in nearly every aspect of the game. The Warriors had only 19 assists in Game 3 which is very low by their high standards. Making extra passes, cutting to the basket and playing their usual style which leads to 25+ assists per game is what we can expect in this contest as it was a point of emphasis by coach Steve Kerr in the post-game press conference. Curry and Thompson, along with others, also uncharacteristically missed some wide open 3's, including two corner 3-point attempts by Klay. Those type of performances happen, but this team is rarely inefficient in consecutive games and we believe they'll make those shots in this upcoming contest.

There is no question that what the Thunder managed to do to the Warriors was impressive, however, it's important to remember that it was just one game in a very long series. It was almost expected that with the series shifting to Oklahoma City that Kevin Durant and company would want to come into their home gym and make a statement and that they did just that. That being said, there is no question that this performance certainly got the attention of Steve Kerr and his players and that may not be a good thing for the Thunder. Let's not forget that this is still the same Golden State team who broke the all-time wins in a season record that stood for nearly 2 decades! This is a team that has not tasted defeat often this season, let alone a defeat as brutal as this. The Warriors have yet to lose consecutive games! They are a perfect 11-0 this season when coming off an upset loss when listed as a favorite and 6-0 after a loss by more than 10 points and often times these bounce back wins have come by double digits! We expect to see an extremely focused and determined GSW team in Game 4.

Besides being embarrassed in Game 3, the Warriors now find themselves in a rather unusual spot and that is being behind in a playoff series. They have only been down in a series once this postseason and it only lasted a single game. They were down 1-2 in a playoff series twice last year as well against the Memphis Grizzlies and Cleveland Cavaliers. In both cases, they responded emphatically in Game 4 and went on to win the series and we believe that this year's version of the Warriors is even more battle-tested and polished than last year’s championship team. They are not a team that panics in the face of adversity; in fact they have been just the opposite and have used adversity and pressure to fuel them. Their backs will be up against the wall in Game 4 as they cannot afford to go into a 3-1 hole against a team like the Thunder. We have seen Golden State at their best this season and they can be a scary team when things are clicking. We expect Curry, Thompson and company to put in one of their best performances of the season in this contest.

Given the numerous situational advantages that the Warriors will have in this contest, we have elected to make this a rare step-out play! We do not release step-out plays often; in fact, this is just our second 4% wager of the season! Our last step out was back on April 2nd and we backed Villanova at -2 in their 44 point beat down of Oklahoma in the Final Four! It's not too often that there is an opportunity to back the defending champions at a near pick'em and we expect these odds to shift prior to game time. The blowout win by the Thunder no doubt affected these odds a bit and we plan to take full advantage. This is a highly favorable spot for the Warriors to bounce back and just as Oklahoma City stole a game on the road in Oakland, we believe the Warriors will take this one in Oklahoma and even up the series before things shift back to Oracle Arena. We don't need Golden State to win this is blowout fashion and this could in fact be a close game, but given that the spread is only -1, any victory by the defending NBA Champs any Golden is good enough for us and we fully do expect them to find a way to win, as they have all season.

Other notable facts to consider:

  • Thunder are 5-13 as an underdog!
  • Warriors are a perfect 12-0 when seeking revenge!
  • Warriors are 43-6 after allowing 105 points or more!

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