Three Underrated Games to Bet
Looking for something to watch and/or bet on at MyBookie.ag this weekend? I give you an underrated game from the NBA, NHL and a college football bowl matchup.
All good chances to build your bankroll before NFL Sunday action in Week 15. Check back at MyBookie for the latest online sports betting odds on the matchups.
San Antonio Spurs at Houston Rockets
When: Friday, 9:30 PM ET (ESPN)
I don’t think it would be accurate to call this a preview of the Western Conference Finals because of a certain team that plays in Oakland, but these are the two biggest challengers to the Warriors in the West. This matchup also got a little bit bigger because Spurs star Kawhi Leonard, maybe the best all-around player in the NBA when you consider his defensive presence, should be on the court. He made his season debut Tuesday in Dallas off a quad injury. Leonard hadn't played a game for San Antonio since Game 1 of the Western Conference finals.
Certainly, the Spurs aren’t going to let Leonard play heavy minutes at first. The right quadriceps tendinopathy that had kept Leonard out wasn’t as significant of an injury as what Tony Parker suffered (torn quad) and delayed his season, but San Antonio's penchant for caution will remain. A two-time NBA All-Star, Leonard produced career highs in scoring (25.5-point average) and assists (3.5) last season, while also logging 1.8 steals per outing.
It will be must-see TV to see Leonard guard James Harden, who is the early NBA MVP favorite on the league’s best team thus far. It’s the first meeting of the season between the teams. Since winning six straight from 3/24/13-11/6/14, Rockets have lost 9 of past 11 meetings vs. the Spurs. Dating back to 1997-98, Houston has only won one season series (4-0 in 2013-14). Last year in the series, Leonard averaged 28.5 ppg. Harden averaged 29.8 ppg, 11.8 apg and 9.0 rpg but also 6.3 tpg.
Montreal Canadiens “at” Ottawa Senators
When: Saturday, 7 PM ET (NBC Sports Network)
Why would those living outside of Canada care much about this NHL regular-season game? Because it’s special as they face off in the 2017 NHL100 Classic in an outdoor game at Lansdowne Park. That’s the home of the Ottawa RedBlacks of the CFL. So it will be cold!
The Senators and Canadiens, two of the founding members of the NHL, met on the League's opening night, Dec. 19, 1917. Montreal won 7-4. The NHL100 Classic will be the culmination of the league's Centennial celebrations and coincide with Canada's 150th celebration, the Senators 25th anniversary and the Stanley Cup's 125th birthday.
This will be the first outdoor game the Senators will host. They defeated the Vancouver Canucks 4-2 in the 2014 Heritage Classic at BC Place in Vancouver. Montreal is 2-1-0 in three prior outdoor games. It defeated the Edmonton Oilers 4-3 at Commonwealth Stadium in Edmonton in 2003 and the Boston Bruins 5-1 at the 2016 Winter Classic at Gillette Stadium in Massachusetts, and lost 4-0 to the Calgary Flames at the 2011 Heritage Classic at McMahon Stadium in Calgary.
This will be 22nd outdoor game the NHL has played since the first Winter Classic, on Jan. 1, 2008.
Ottawa is 0-2 vs. Montreal this year, losing 8-3 at home on Oct. 30 and 2-1 in Montreal on Nov. 20.
Camellia Bowl: Middle Tennessee vs. Arkansas State
When: Saturday, 8 PM ET (ESPN)
The best offensive player in the country you may not have heard of this season? I give you Arkansas State quarterback Justice Hansen, once a four-star recruit at Oklahoma who redshirted as a freshman before eventually transferring to a community college and then ASU.
Hansen leads one of the top offenses in the country. The Sun Belt Offensive Player of the Year has thrown for posted 3,630 yards (12th in FBS) with 34 touchdowns (T-7th in FBS), the most in Sun Belt single-season history. Seniors Blake Mack and Chris Murray and junior Justin McGinnis have caught 46, 43 and 42 passes, respectively, to lead the team, and four other guys have at least 21 receptions. A-State has gone over the 40-point mark five times this season and over 450 total yards of offense seven times, including a Sun Belt Conference-record 781 against ULM
Middle Tennessee was in the Sun Belt from 2001-12 – and was blown out its final three games against A-State – but is now in Conference USA. Middle Tennessee is playing in a bowl game for the third straight year. It lost to Hawaii last year and is 3-7 all-time in bowl games.
Also expect a close game. The three previous Camellia Bowl games have been decided by 10 total points and have gone down to the wire. It’s the first time these schools have played in this bowl.
The Rockets will continue to roll and beat the Spurs handily; the Canadiens win in the frigid outdoor conditions in Ottawa, and A-State covers the 4-point spread over Middle Tennessee. Be sure to check back with MyBookie online sportsbook for all the latest sports betting odds & lines.