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Saturday Service Plays

Re: Saturday Service Plays

JEFF BENTON

For Saturday, well stay on the diamond and play the DBacks in a virtual pick-em game against the Padres.

Theres no question that in terms of overall talent, the Padres rate the pitching edge in this one with Chris Young opposing Edgar Gonzalez. But theres also no question that as solid as Youngs stuff is, hes terrible when he goes on the road and hes not very good against the DBacks. Consider: Last year, Youngs ERA was nearly three times higher on the road (4.52) than at home 1.69), and in his very first road start this year a week ago at Dodger Stadium, a pitcher-friendly ballpark, no less he lasted just three innings, allowing seven runs on seven hits and four walks in an 11-1 defeat. Now he goes up against the highest-scoring team in baseball, one that?s batting better than .325 at home

Now look at what Young has done in his last four outings against the DBacks: 4 innings pitched (IP), five runs allowed, 9-1 loss; 4 1/3 IP, five runs allowed, 8-7 loss; 6 IP, one run allowed, 5-4 loss; 5 1/3 IP, six runs allowed, 7-4 loss. Thats right: San Diego is 0-4 in his last four efforts against the Snakes. What?s more, the Padres are 0-7 in Young?s last seven road starts!

As for Gonzalez, hes nothing special, but then again, neither are the Padres? hitters, who have been held to two runs or fewer in six of their last eight games, including scoring a total of three runs the last three nights. And in his one start against San Diego last month, Gonzalez was terrific, going seven innings and allowing one run on six hits and no walks in an 8-2 road win.

Add to all of that the fact the Padres, with last night?s 9-0 loss, are now 25-55 ? not a misprint! in their last 80 games at Chase Field in Arizona, and Ill back the home team here without any issue whatsoever!

(Based on a 1* to 10* rating system)

8* ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS

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Re: Saturday Service Plays

JAKE TIMLIN

Saturday selection is the San Francisco Giants.

Afternoon baseball I like for the Giants to get at least one series win today. Yep even against the red hot Cardinals I look for the Giants get the win all thanks to Tim Lincecum who lets face it is the Giants best option on the mound. I mean thanks to Lincecum posting a 2-0 record with a 2.25 ERA this season as the Giants have won all three of his starts there is something special about the righty as he is responsible for half of the Giants wins this season. Well thanks to Lincecum having won his last two starts against the Cardinals, including a 7-4 victory just one week ago and against the same Cardinals pitcher in Pineiro look for history to repeat its self as San Francisco steals one on the road. All San Francisco behind Lincecum this afternoon!

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Re: Saturday Service Plays

Tony George

Utah Jazz vs. Houston Rockets
Play: Utah +1

Slight upset here considering Utah's road record, which is not good and will hurt them in any playoff series, but the Jazz are 7-1 ATS their last 8 games, with the lone loss being a throw away game at Dallas in their last regular season game. The backcourt favors Utah here and I like their up tempo style. The Jazz have shot 49% from the floor on the season, play defense better than you might think and have a rebounding edge here. Houston's guard Alston is out for this game as well which is a key 13 ppg they will miss.

Play on Utah in a small upset.

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Re: Saturday Service Plays

Bob Balfe

NBA Basketball
Dallas +4.5 over New Orleans
The Mavs appear to be over their slump. Dirk and Kidd are two players that any coach would love to have in the playoffs. Dallas did just win the other night against this same team and they do have the momentum. This is a game that can come right down to the last shot.

Houston -1 over Utah
The Rockets know how good the Jazz area at home. Houston needs Game one or they can pretty much kiss the series goodbye. This Houston team did win 22 in a row. This should be another good one. McGrady has some key players around him that are really stepping up their game. Take Houston.


Major League Baseball
Phillies +100 over MetsSavannah Sports
Moyer/Perez



Savannah Sports

2 Units on Arizona -116

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Re: Saturday Service Plays

King Creole

BOS -15.0 vs  ATL

Analysis: The NBA's 'second season' begins on Saturday (4-18-08) and when it comes to the Playoffs.... it's 'GOOD to be the KING"! Preliminary handicapping in the Playbook NBA database has revealed some great ATS Systems for ROUND ONE and for the ENTIRE Playoffs. Most of these numbers apply in the first round... but SAVE the rest for down the road. Courtesy of KING CREOLE!

ROUND ONE / Good and Bad SYSTEMS by Seed:
#1 seeds 7-2 ATS as home favs off BB SUATS wins
#1 seeds 0-6 ATS off SU loss vs opp off BB SU losses

#2 seeds 4-0 ATS off SU loss vs opp off SU losses
#2 seed 2-8 ATS away off BB SU wins (last by DD)

#3 seeds 6-2 ATS off 3+ SUATS wins
#3 seeds 3-7 ATS off SU loss 15 > pts

#4 seeds 6-2 ATS as dogs off SU fav loss
#4 seeds 1-4 ATS off 3+ SUATS wins

#5 seeds 3-1 ATS with W/L percentage > .666
#5 seeds 1-6 ATS w/ > 3 rest vs div opponents

#6 seeds 4-1 ATS off SU dog win 15 > pts
#6 seeds 1-5 ATS as dogs vs opp off BB SUATS wins

#7 seeds 4-1 ATS off BB SU dog wins
#7 seeds 1-5 ATS off SU win vs opp off SU win

#8 seeds 8-2 ATS as DD dogs w/ double Revenge off SU loss
#8 seeds 2-7 ATS away vs opp off BB SUATS wins

ROUND ONE:
16-9 ATS favs > 6 pts off 3+ SUATS wins (8-1 ATS L6Y)

DD DOGS 5-1 ATS off 3+ SUATS losses

16-9 ATS dogs < 7 off SU loss 20 > pts (10-4 ATS vs non-div opp)

16-35 ATS home favs off SU win 20 > pts (3-10 ATS as DD
favs) (2-11 O/U since 2003)

Overall PLAYOFF Systems:
Play ON #1 seeded teams at Home when the series is tied (18-3 SU)

Play AGAINST teams off a playoff victory by 33 or more points (9-0 ATS)

Play ON desperate teams at home down 0-2 in the series (30-9 SU / 28-11 ATS / 20-9 ATS as dogs)

Play ON teams with 4 - 6 days rest in the 1st game or a series versus an opponent with 1 day rest (12-3SU L4Y / 11-4 ATS)

Play ON the Home Team in Game 7 when each team won at home the first six games of the series (19-2 SU)

Play ON teams that are leading the series 3-0 in Game 4 (10-2 SU L5Y)

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Re: Saturday Service Plays

John Fina

Selection: San Francisco Giants -110

Today the San Francisco Giants will be on the road as they take on the St. Louis Cardinals. We will side with the San Francisco Giants. The San Francisco Giants will be sending to the mound the much better starting pitcher. The San Francisco Giants will send to the mound Tim Lincecum. Tim Lincecum is a Perfect 2-0 with a 2.25 ERA (giving up only 4 runs in 16 innings pitched). To say the least, we see Tim Lincecum pitching another solid game today. On the other hand, the St. Louis Cardinals will send to the mound Joel Pineiro. Joel Pineiro is already 0-1 with a 14.73 ERA on the season (pitching only 3.2 innings while giving up 6 runs). We see Joel Pineiro having another bad start today. As you can see, the San Francisco Giants hold a huge advantage at the mound. To say the least, there is a lot of value with the San Francisco Giants today! Take the San Francisco Giants

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Re: Saturday Service Plays

MR A


Chicago White Sox (10-6) at Tampa Bay Rays (7-10)

The Rays have lost four of their last five and the last five against the White Sox. Chicago has won the last five meetings in Tampa Bay. Take the Chicago White Sox with veteran Mark Buehrle on the mound. The Lefthander has had a discouraging start thus far this season, but has been successful versus Tampa Bay, 6-1 with a 4.13 ERA in 12 career appearances, including seven starts.  Tampa Bay counters with Andy Sonnanstine. The right-hander is 1-1 with a 5.74 ERA in three starts this season. The Rays have dropped nine of Sonnanstine last 12 home starts.

Chicago White Sox - 115

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Re: Saturday Service Plays

MATT RIVERS

For Saturday take the Jazzmen in Houston.

The road is always extremely difficult and makes this far from the lock of my life but to get the far more talented and experienced Jazz and not have to lay anything is enough for me.

Yes Houston had that amazing 22 or whatever game winning streak, has a stud in Tracey McGrady and are at home today but without Yao Ming and Rafer Alston I just do not see the talent level being enough to prevail after 48 hard fought playoff minutes.

Jerry Sloan is a great coach and has a borderline great team. The Jazz are actually my sleeper to make it out of the West. Obviously they have issues on the road but in Salt Lake they pretty much never lose so if they can steal a game on the highway would be in the drivers' seat against anybody.

With Boozer, Williams, Kirilenko, Okur and others and after the experience of going deep in the playoffs last season I cannot help but think that this team is ready and well prepared to beat what is an average at the very very best Houston squad

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Re: Saturday Service Plays

GOLD SHEET LTS

NBA PLAYOFFS SATURDAY, APRIL 19

DALLAS over New Orleans

HOUSTON over Utah

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Re: Saturday Service Plays

DCI

NBA

Eastern Conference Quarterfinals
Game 1, best-of-7
CLEVELAND 98, Washington 95

Western Conference Quarterfinals
Game 1, best-of-7
SAN ANTONIO 104, Phoenix 100
HOUSTON 100, Utah 97
NEW ORLEANS 101, Dallas 94


NHL

Eastern Conference Quarterfinals
Game 6, best-of-7
Montreal vs. BOSTON: TOO CLOSE TO CALL
Game 5, best-of-7
Philadelphia vs. WASHINGTON: TOO CLOSE TO CALL

Western Conference Quarterfinals
Game 6, best-of-7
COLORADO 3, Minnesota 2

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Re: Saturday Service Plays

LT Profits

Washington Wizards @ Cleveland Cavaliers Under 188

The Cleveland Cavaliers and Washington Wizards went Over in three of their four regular season meetings this season, but the playoffs are a totally different a animal.

The Cavaliers learned the value of defense in last year’s playoffs, and the experience they gained in their deep run to the NBA Finals should serve them well here. In fact, all Cleveland playoff games last season averaged just a combined 175.5 points, with the Under going 13-7. Also, the Cavaliers enter these plays on a six-game Under streak, with the Under going 8-2 in their last 10 games overall with an average combined score in those contests of 183.3 points, nearly five points less than this posted total.

Now the Wizards obviously prefer an up-tempo style, but like they say, “Defense wins championships,” and good defenses usually stop good offenses at this time of year. Also, let us not forget that these teams met in the playoffs each of the last two years, and in both cases the teams played conservatively in Game 1, producing a combined 179 last season and 183 points the year before.

We look for the Cavaliers to slow the Wizards down here again, resulting in another Under.

Pick: Wizards, Cavaliers Under 188


San Francisco Giants @ St. Louis Cardinals Under 8.0

Tim Lincecum of the San Francisco Giants has some of the nastiest stuff in all of baseball, but the Giants don’t figure to give him much run support, so runs should be at a premium when they face the St. Louis Cardinals today.

Now Lincecum has managed to go 2-0 while pitching for a team that cannot score, and he already has 22 strikeouts while allowing 17 hits in 16 innings. He is a perfect two for two in Quality starts vs. the Cardinals also with the Giants winnings each of those games, and the last time he faced St. Louis last Sunday, he recorded 11 strikeouts while allowing two runs on six innings.

Now granted, Joel Pineiro was the Cardinals starter vs. Lincecum in that game also, and he was bombed for six runs and 10 hits while lasting only 3.2 innings against the normally light-hitting Giants. However, facing a team for a second straight start is usually to the advantage of the pitcher, so look for Pineiro to make the necessary adjustments for an improved performance.

Besides, we are not sure the Giants are capable of repeating that offensive display over anyone, so look for an Under in this spot.

Pick: Giants, Cardinals Under 8

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Re: Saturday Service Plays

Tom Freese

Game: Utah Jazz at Houston Rockets
Prediction: Utah Jazz

Reason: Utah is 26-11 ATS vs. winning teams and they are 16-3 ATS vs. teams that attempt 18 or more three point shots a game. Houston is 0-5 ATS their last 5 quarterfinals games and they are 2-5 ATS their last 7 games vs. teams that have a win percentage over 60%. The Rockets are 10-24 ATS vs. teams that outscore their opponents by 3 or more points a game. PLAY ON UTAH

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Re: Saturday Service Plays

MATT FARGO

Washington Nationals @ Florida Marlins
PICK: Florida Marlins

REASON FOR PICK: Washington was able to take the opening game of this series on Friday thanks to a three-run seventh inning but that is where it ends. It was the Nationals second victory in their last 14 games so it is obvious this team is not playing very well. The offense put up six runs last night but came in scoring two runs or fewer in five of their previous six games. Washington is hitting a dismal .223 on the season including .207 over its last 10 games and has won just once in in its last eight on the road.

The loss was the second straight for the Marlins but prior to getting blanked by John Smoltz, they had won eight of their previous 11 games so this can hardly be called the start of a slump. During that previous run, Florida had averaged 5.4 rpg including eight rog in the sweep at Washington last week. Despite that loss last night, the Marlins have won 10 of the last 14 in this series and getting a price like this against a team with just two wins over the last two plus weeks is just too good to pass up.

Shawn Hill will be making his first appearance this season but there is some concerns for sure. He has been bothered with tightness in his pitching forearm and anything dealing with the arm is never a good sign. Hill was a bright spot on this pitching staff last season but despite 16 starts, he walked away with just four wins. He did not pitch this spring and his lone pouting in the minors was horrible as he pitched six innings in Columbus on Sunday and gave up five earned runs on nine hits against Charlotte.

Burke Badenhop will be making just his second Major League start and while the first was nothing to write home about, it was not a complete disaster. He tossed five innings against the Astros while allowing four runs on seven hits and a walk but his command was good and if not for two bad pitches that resulted in home runs, it could have been a solid outing. He threw 84 pitches and 53 went for strikes and he now faces a much tamer lineup than the first one in Houston. Play Florida Marlins 1.5 Units

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Re: Saturday Service Plays

PAUL LEINER

10* NBA Over 188 Cle/Wash
10* Cardinals -120
5* Phillies even

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Re: Saturday Service Plays

Big Time Sports

Washington vs. Cleveland

This is the third straight year the Wizards and Cavs will meet in the first round of the NBA playoffs. Cleveland holds a 8-2 advantage in their post season clashes, and looks to send Washington to an early exit once again.

These clubs finished with near identical records, with Cleveland tallying a 45-37 mark, while Washington finished with a 43-39 slate. Each team was 18-23 on the road. For Washington to break through and advance to the next round, they'll need Gilbert Arenas and Caron Butler to stay healthy and fill the basket with consistent regularity. Both players have declared themselves fit and ready for this series. Antawn Jamison did the bulk of the scoring in the regular season, and he'll be called upon to deliver 20 & 10 here in the playoffs. Brendan Haywood is a bit overlooked, but is a solid contributor, especially on the boards. Shooting guard DeShawn Stevenson has agitated Cleveland's LeBron James, calling him "overrated", and that could be a bad thing for this Washington outfit. Strange comment considering James led the NBA in scoring this season with 30 ppg.

But King James can't do it alone in this series, and he and his teammates and coaches realize that. Zydrunas Ilgauskas and Wally Szczerbiak have to shoulder some of the scoring burden while giving a solid effort on defense. Daniel Gibson needs to deliver quality minutes despite a lingering ankle issue. Joe Smith and Delonte West must become integral parts of this unit if the Cavs are going to advance. Ben Wallace remains an enigma, and Sasha Pavlovic will miss this series with an injury.

Although Cleveland appears to be confident, and is determined to return to the finals, this Washington team is very capable of taking this series. The Cavs earned home court advantage, and that could be the difference, but look for the Wizards to push them much harder than in previous post seasons. In fact, I'll call for Washington to steal this series, as these clubs reverse roles from the last two first round matchups they've had.

Washington Series

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Re: Saturday Service Plays

The Nevada Sharpshooter

Utah vs. Houston

Even though Utah is the higher seed they will not have home court advantage in the opening round of the playoffs. This is a huge break for the Rockets as the Jazz have the stronger home court advantage of the two teams.

Now let’s break it down, Houston will be led by Forward Tracy McGrady, who will have to shoulder the load without Yao Ming. With Rafer Alston out due to injury the only other starter to average double digit points is Strong Forward Luis Scola who is averaging just over 10. The Rockets will have to play stellar defense to come out on top of this series.

Utah on the other hand will get points from all five starters, each of which is averaging double digits. Tops among these is Strong Forward Carlos Boozer who is averaging 20+ points and 10+ rebounds per game. Distributing the ball in this potent offense is Point Guard Deron Williams, who is averaging over 10 assists per game while scoring 19 points per contest also.

In the final analysis Utah is much more diversified on offense than the banged up Houston team.

Utah to win in 6

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Computer Sports

LA Lakers vs. Denver

The rough and tumble Western Conference has finally settled out and playoff basketball, and hopefully a little defense, is ready to begin. The #1 seed Lakers (57-25) survived a wicked race for home court advantage with all eight playoff teams being separated by only seven wins. The Nuggets lost out on the 7th spot on Wednesday when a Mavericks win relegated Denver to a showdown with Kobe.

LA has been playing well winning eight of their last nine games. The addition of Paul Gasol has transformed them from playoff hopefuls to Conference favorites. 22-5 in games where Gasol plays, the Lakers are a powerful force inside and outside with Kobe, only to made stronger if Andrew Bynum can return to see late playoff action.

The Nuggets (50-32) are led by the two headed all-star monster of Allen Iverson and Carmelo Anthony. Those two and aging veterans Camby and Martin account for the bulk of the Nuggets success.

The Lakers won all three regular season matchups by a total of 49 points. The much younger and athletic Lakers should be able to take advantage of an aging Nuggets front court in the transition game and dominate the series.

No 8 over 1 surprise here, look for entertaining basketball and the Nuggets to steal 1 game at home!

LAKERS IN 5

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Re: Saturday Service Plays

#1 Sports

Philadelphia vs. Detroit

Philadelphia (40-42) had little to play for down the homestretch, having for some time been locked into the 7-spot, and lost the momentum gained over a remarkable 22-8 run by losing their last 4 contests. Size is certainly not a strength of Coach Maurice Cheeks' crew but they are athletic, like to get out into the passing lanes, and score in transition.

Sixer stars 6'2" PG Andre Miller (17.0p, 4.0r, 6.9a, 1.3 steals), 6'6" SF Andre Iguodala (19.9p, 5.4r, 4.8a, 2.1 steals), and 6'11" C Samuel Dalembert (10.5r, 10.4r, 2.3 blocks) have each started all 82 games for a offense that averages 96.6 points per game and a defense that surrenders 96.2. Rounding out the Philly front five are the less than impressive 6'3" SG Willie Green 12.4p, 2.5r, 2.0a) and 6'8" PF Reggie Evans (5.2p, 7.5r, 1.1 steals). 6'2" G Lou Williams (11.5p, 2.1r, 3.2a) and 6'7" G/F Rodney Carney (5.8p, 2.1r) back up the front court while interesting rookies 7'0" C Jason Smith (4.5p, 3.0r) and 6'8" F Thadeus Young (8.2p, 4.2r) support the blocks off the bench. Young in particular is a player to keep an eye on in this series. There's no doubt his size is needed against the bigger Pistons and with 16.3 points scored per game over his last four, this kid has certainly made the most of his additional minutes during the Seventy-Sixers coast to the post-season.

Philadelphia managed a 2-2 split against Detroit this season, although in their final meeting (101-94 Philly at the Wachovia Center on April 9th) the Pistons played without Richard Hamilton and with limited minutes for the other starters. In the other 3 meetings, neither squad managed more than 86 points with Detroit taking a home game 83-78 on November 23rd and a road game 86-78 on January 23rd while Philly scored an 83-82 victory at The Palace of Auburn Hills on March 12th.

So just how does Philadelphia stop an experienced playoff team like Detroit? For most playoff dogs is means piling up the 3-pointers and besting the favorite in assist to turnover ratio, neither likely here. The Sixers' A/TO ratio on the season is 1.43, compared to 1.91 for the Pistons, while Philadelphia is the worst shooting team in the league behind the arc at 31.7% with only Iguodala (101 of 307) nailing more than 55 makes from downtown.

Detroit (59-23) cruised to the Central Division Title, some 14 games ahead of the Cavaliers, and enter the post-season as winners 9 of their final 11 contests. Coach Flip Saunders is roundly disliked by Motor City fans for supposedly burning out his starters on the way to the Eastern Conference Finals Series each of the last 2 seasons (The Pistons have reached the Eastern Finals each of the last 5 seasons) and leaving little in the tank to get further. Our home state's NBA squad (their names will be withheld to protect the lazy and unwilling to play defense) never has to face this problem so we guess we should count ourselves lucky as we count our Ping-Pong balls... again this season!

The gripe is true to a degree with 6'3" PG Chauncey Billups (17.0p, 2.7r, 6.8a, 1.3 steals), 6'7" SG Richard Hamilton (17.3p, 3.3r, 4.2a), 6'9" SF Tayshaun Prince (13.2p, 4.9r, 3.3a), 6'11" PF Rasheed Wallace (12.7p, 6.6r, 1.8a, 1.2 steals, 1.7 blocks), and 6'9" C Antonio McDyess (8.8p, 8.5r) accounting for 386 of a possible 410 starts but this season the minutes have been spread around pretty well following the opening tip. No less than 12 active Piston players have averaged over 3 points per game in 2007-2008 with 6'7" F Jason Maxiel (7.9p, 5.3r) and 6'8" F Jarvis Hayes (6.7p, 2.2r, played in all 82 games) bringing the most important front court support off the bench while 6'3" G Juan Dixon (5.0p, 1.4r, 1.8a) and 6'5" G Rodney Stuckey (7.6p, 2.3r, 2.8a) do likely for the perimeter. Dixon in particular has been sharp lately with double-digit points scored in each of Detroit's last 5 games. Offensively, Coach Saunders' unit racks up 97.5 points per contest with 3-point shooting a big piece of their scheme. Billups (137 of 342), Hamilton (62 of 141), Prince (53 of 146), Wallace (112 of 315), Hayes (73 of 194), and Dixon (30 of 72) are all legitimate threats from behind the arc while the Pistons' have continued their decades-long tradition of stiff defense with only 90.1 points allowed per game this campaign.

And then there is the biggest disparity in this first round match up - experience. Philadelphia's entire roster has amassed a grand total of 95 playoff game appearances (for 6 Sixers, Sunday will be their first) while Tayshaun Prince has 97 of his crew's 647 under his belt alone.

Free winner from #1 Sports: Welcome to your 2008 Eastern Conference Playoffs! Now, can't we just get to Pistons vs. Celtics already? In the first 3 games between these teams this season, Detroit dropped the defensive hammer on Philadelphia, allowing Iguodala to shoot just 32% from the field and held Miller to just 11.7 points per game and 3.7 assists. In the 2-2-1-1-1 format, Pistons in 5 makes the most sense but with an eye on Boston's progress and the anticipated Eastern Finals showdown we'll put our money on a 4-game Pistons sweep job.

Pistons in 4

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Dark Horse Sports

Dallas vs. New Orleans

It's official. The elite of the Western Conference runs eight teams thick. I truly believe that any of these eight teams can knock the other one off. Expect a great series from all four Western match-ups. But the best one of all should be New Orleans versus Dallas.

Don't think for a moment that Dallas has forgotten about their early exit from the playoffs last year at the hands of eighth seeded Golden State. This team is very dangerous and mighty hungry to get back to the NBA Finals.

New Orleans took a major jump to the NBA's elite this season. Chris Paul deserves major MVP consideration. But, in reality, Dallas perhaps has the best cure Mr. Paul. Jason Kidd has been rejuvenated by his return to Dallas. The PG position could very well be a wash in this series. Looking at the other players beyond the PG position, I like Dallas' chances. A lot.

Most of these other handicappers won't pick an upset in their series, but I'm not afraid to look at the facts and forget the seeding number in front of each team. This young Hornets' team has a bright future, but they will be humbled in round 1.

Dallas in 6

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ER

20* Playmaker: Cleveland Under 188

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